Saturday, November 3, 2012

To Race?...Or Not To Race? That is the Question!

Today's Miles....1174 miles via Delta and Ford....

What's your ultimate dream? That ONE THING that you want to do in life? That thing that is always in the back of your are terrified of it, but want it so badly. You know that in order to make that dream come true, you will have to sacrifice. Sacrifice physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, socially...and in many more indescribable ways. I have one of those dreams. I'm scared to even share it with you because it will either put me on the path to make it happen, or it will die.

My dream is to run a Marathon. Not just 'participate' in a marathon...but balls-out RUN it. To get there is going to take years. I haven't even participated yet! I don't know that I'm up for the physical strain. The emotional strain. The marital strain. But there, I've said it.  Cat's out of the bag and crapped on it.

To do this, I'm going to have to run...A LOT. Think about what you do every Saturday. Then replace it with running for 2 hours (or more), and being so tired afterwards that nothing else will likely be accomplished that day. That's sacrifice. That's dedication. That's craziness!

I admire EVERYONE that has ever completed a marathon....or is completing the journey to run their first! I know how much I put into a half marathon...and am contemplating doubling that? Am I NUTS? Yes...most runners are.

I can't imagine what it would be like to put in all of that training. To have put in the miles. To have made the sacrifices and look at the news unfolding in New York. The place where your dream is supposed to come true. To wonder if, after everything, it was just wasted? Has your dream ended before it even started? What a disappointment. I'd be in tears....especially in the midst of tapering. I'd have a taper tantrum of epic proportions.

In case you've been under a rock or on Mars, New York City and New Jersey (and many other places) have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy....or Frankenstorm....or FrankenSandy....or the More Perfect Storm.....or whatever you want to name it.

It wasn't a category 4 or 5 storm. It wasn't as fierce as maybe Katrina was. But holy crap it was HUGE. And it hit THE most densely populated place ON THE PLANET. I've seen scenes on the news reminiscent of Katrina, of tornado ravaged towns. Devastation. Desperation. Anger. Sadness. A reality so unreal that people can't believe it. Have no way to understand it. Have not yet accepted it. The wounds are still being cut. And salt water is being poured on it.

This is unreal.

People are still without power. Big deal? When you live on the 17th floor and you're 70 years old...probably a big deal. When the temperatures at night are getting to the freezing mark and you have no heat....probably a big deal.

There are gas shortages. Big deal? Guess what police cars run on? Fire trucks? Ambulances? People that deliver meals to the 70 year old on the 17th floor? Probably a big deal.

	As temperatures begin to drop, people wait in line to fill containers with gas at a Shell gasoline filling station Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Keyport, N.J. In parts of New York and New Jersey, drivers lined up Thursday for hours at gas stations that were struggling to stay supplied. The power outages and flooding caused by Superstorm Sandy have forced many gas stations to close and disrupted the flow of fuel from refineries to those stations that are open.  (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
From the NY Daily News. Can you imagine waiting for gas for 4+hrs to be told "Sorry we're out!"

There are houses still under water.

There are people still missing.

There are bodies being found.

And yet, in the midst of this chaos, this carnage....Mayor Bloomberg knew how to "boost the moral" of the city....Let the NYC Marathon go on as scheduled this Sunday morning!

Big deal? Very BIG freaking deal!

The NYC hosts 45,000+ runners. Those runners have to be bused to the start line on Staten Island. Let me repeat that...they have to be BUSED to STATEN ISLAND.

From the NY Daily News. New Yorkers waiting up to 3 hours for a bus

A woman stands alone in water in front of destroyed homes on Cedar Grove Avenue in a neighborhood where many houses were heavily damaged or completely destroyed by storm surge flooding from Hurricane Sandy on the south side of the Staten Island section of New York City, November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar
From Reuters. I'm sure this lady won't mind if the start line goes up near her house and 40,000 people go running by.

Staten Island is still under water, without power and running out of food/water with little relief in sight it seems. Think of the 1000's of gallons of water/gatorade offered to the runners during the race. The 1000s of blankets used to cover up the runners at the end of the race. The bananas and snacks offered after the race.

But no worries, the Mayor says NO resources will be taken away from the relief effort to host this event.

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Yes, the cops/EMTs/firefighters were already scheduled to be on duty (overtime) for the race....guess what....they've been "on duty" since last Sunday. The buses are privately contracted and not city buses....but still run on diesel and could move stranded residents around instead. The blankets have been bought & paid for....while people sit in their homes with the temperatures dropping near freezing. I'm sure the bottles of water were purchased weeks ago and have been sitting in storage....while some residents are going thirsty. The bananas and food were already paid for and being delivered...while some residents are hungry. Does this make sense to you?

You may not be a school bully and steal little Billy's lunch, but you sure as hell don't mind flaunting your sandwich in front of his face in the cafeteria.

A runner runs past some of the generators that will be used for the NYC Marathon. (Reuters)
From Yahoo Sports: Two generators with a third 'back-up' to power up the media tent are enough power 400 homes.

Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC officials have done EVERYONE a disservice. They told the 45,000+ runners that the "Show will go on!" They needed to have that marathon. To "boost moral". To "unite the city" as it has always done. To give people "something to cheer about." We NEED you to live out your dream!

What's a runner, a dreamer to do? Well, the Mayor says it's going to be okay - so let's go to NYC! You may never have another chance to live out that dream! If you don't, all of your sacrifices are wasted. Your dreams gone.

So now, the city has about 40,000 more people that 'are not using rescue & relief resources' in NYC. Those runners have been very uneasy making the decision to go. Getting there and seeing the devastation and realizing that having this race is rude, uncaring and despicable. But what's one to do once you've spent thousands of non-refundable dollars?

Well, Bloomberg says - Just eat that. The race has NOW been canceled. It was canceled on Friday afternoon. AFTER most of the runners made their way to the devastated city. The race should have been canceled. It needed to be canceled. But what a class one asshat to wait until everyone is there!

For the runners: I am sorry. I'm sorry you've trained so hard. You've sacrificed a lot. You've suffered a lot. But please keep it in perspective of what is going on around you. I hope that NYC officials figure out how to make all of those resources that 'did not take away from rescue/relief efforts' to actually aid the rescue and relief efforts.

As for me....I'm running tomorrow. Megan & I are signed up for the Conquer the Mountain 1/2 Marathon in Franklin NC. Megan's at home with pee on her leg peas icing her shin, while I'm in the hotel getting jittery. I wasn't nervous until a bit ago. Megan's very nervous, and rightfully so. She's a bit nutty, that one (or brave - I haven't decided yet). She hasn't 'trained' for this. Meaning: she hasn't been running regularly for the last 2-3 months....while I've been training for 2-3 months. She wants to run it for "fun." (13.1 miles for FUN? Told you she's nutty.) I'm trying to I going to race or not? I'll 'run' it. But do I want to Race it?

I think about my time last year, and how I blew my personal record out of the water by knocking nearly 40 minutes off of my time. Boy!! I'd love to do that again!! I don't think I can improve it like that, but I think I can beat my best time. But it would be nice to run "with" Megan....of course, I think she wants me to run with her because I will be carrying the pepper spray and neither of us wants to be eaten by that big, viscous dog!

So...To Race or Not To Race? That is the question.

For the NYC will not be racing this weekend.

Will I? Guess we'll find out tomorrow...

Gotta run...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I'm NOT a terrorist!!!

Today's miles: none, unless you count the 867 trips around the house picking up a weeks worth of construction trash and wood chips....I think the maid quit.

To the FBI Agent that is reading this blog: Really. I'm not a terrorist. Just a smart-ass.

I've been a bit busy of know...with my regular 7am-10pm M-F job that takes me to glamorous locations like Shawano, Wisconsin...and then there's this little monster of a house we're building. I asked Mark if he was tired tonight.

He said he'd been tired since July.

(I think that's when we broke ground.)

A quick update on the house....the house & garage are framed in. More than half of the windows are in. We're working on rough-in plumbing. It's going great!

But enough of the boring stuff....

My friend Megan has reminded me that I haven't blogged and she needed a this is for you Megan....

#1: I'm drunk. 

Seriously. I can't feel my face right now. I haven't been "drunk" since college (I graduated in 1999).

What brought this on, you ask???

One glass of wine.

Yes. You read that right.


An exact 6.5 oz glass of wine.

I'm such a slush. And I'm wired. And Mark's tired....

#2: I don't consume enough protein. 

I met with a trainer about a week ago to help me out in the nutrition/strength training areas of life. I'm supposed to be consuming 171 g of protein a day. That's a lot of Effing Protein! I've been trying some protein shakes. So far my review of most of them....God awful concoctions. Not very funny...but I thought I'd put that out there and save you the trouble.

#3: Don't mess with the TSA.

That one should be self explanatory. But then there's me. With my inability to keep my mouth shut. Let me explain...

Last week, I had the prison sentence opportunity to spend a week in South Dakota. Not the Mt Rushmore, Black Hills side....the east side. Where all of the dairy farms are of course! I've only been up there a couple of times before. Once everything was covered in snow. The second time I stayed in the city at a conference hotel. What I knew about South Dakota before I left....1) it was going to be COLD (and I HATE the COLD) and 2) it was going to be hair was not prepared for 35+ mph winds with gusts up to 65mph....

It normally takes HOURS of prep to look This good!!

What I did not know is that TODAY is the opening day of pheasant hunting season!!! Big deal...right????

Oh, you bet your pretty little panties it's a BIG deal!!!

Apparently thousands and thousands of people flock to South Dakota to hunt pheasant....and apparently all on opening weekend.

Anyway...I was scheduled to fly out of Sioux Falls, SD on Friday afternoon. I was actually happy to learn that extra flights and planes were coming into the Sioux Falls CrackerJack Box Airport on Friday...because I was pretty well guaranteed there would be some extra planes and seats going out...just in case my plane broke.

I arrive at the airport much earlier than needed because my meeting ended early. The Sioux Falls CrackerJack Box Airport has 7 gates. And only 3 are used regularly. Except on Friday. I would describe how many people I saw...except they were all wearing I didn't really see anyone.

Sioux Falls pulled out all of the stops to make the hunters feel welcome! They even had a TRADE SHOW..... in the flipping AIRPORT!!!

A brief interlude between arriving flights...

They had taxidermists, free cookies, free hats, blaze orange "My Cock is bigger than Your Cock" hats (I'm not joking on that one!), hunting guides, camo clothes, and more! It was a free-for-all!

They even had ladies in camo greeting the hunters as they came off of the planes handing out free water bottles!

They also had A LOT of security!!! I've never seen that many cops, US Customs Agents and TSA Agents in one airport....not even a big airport! But I guess it was necessary. Everyone had a gun.

I meant EVERYONE had a gun. They even set up a special gun checking/retrieval station. Once your luggage came off the plane, you proceeded to the gun claim section where the cops checked your paperwork and you could retrieve your guns.

After most of the guns had been claimed and the crowd thinned out a bit...

When I first walked in the Sioux Falls CrackerJack Box Airport, the first thing I saw was the gun check station, and there were about 40 guns on those tables. A somewhat unsettling sight. I guess I should have felt safe...right??!!! I mean, these are just Good Ol' Boys!! Not terrorists or anything!!

Uh....HELLO????!!! Dick Cheney ring a bell anyone!!??? These guys were so pumped up and excited about opening day, they'll probably wind up shooting themselves in the face before they ever get to the field!

After I enjoyed redneck people watching for about an was time for me to head through security. Same old, same old. Just a different day, a different airport. Take off my shoes, belt, jacket. Take my computer out of my backpack. Take my lotion out of my back pack...the only liquid I ever carry-on. Take everything out of my pockets. Walk through the scanner.....

"Ma'am. We're going to have to pat you down as something in your back pocket alerted the scanner. Please face the side to which your belongings are on."

No big deal. They are courteous. Professional. I didn't get felt up or anything. Nothing to complain about. Buttons on pockets do this all of the time...

"Ma'am. Is this your bag? We're going to have to scan it again."

Okay. Scan away. While I'm thinking...."Crap....did I leave my screw driver in my pack AGAIN? That will be the 5th one I've given up this year!!"

"Ma'am. Could you please step over here? We need to scan your hands for residues. And we need to look inside your bag. Are these your shoes too?"

Now I'm thinking...."Shit! What did I forget in my pack? OR What have I gotten ON my back pack??? I've been on farms this week. Did I set it down in a storage room? Crap! What's on my shoes?"

This is one of my biggest fears. I'm on farms almost daily. Sometimes a LOT of farms. I'm typically in barns where they house equipment and chemicals. Where they store stuff. Where fertilizer is sometimes stored. And guess what will get the TSA in a frenzy......traces of explosive residues.....

Like. Nitrogen. Fertilizer.

Just as my blood pressure is really getting high and I'm wondering how to explain why I've been around explosives.......she proceeds to pull this out of my bag......

"Ma'am I believe this counts as a liquid."

Me - "Seriously."

"Yes. It is."

Then she & a more senior agent, her 'back-up' I suppose, proceed to have a conversation about whether or not peanut butter counts as a liquid or gel or solid. After a couple of minutes of listening intently and getting a thorough education from the TSA on what constitutes a gel vs a solid; and how semi-solids should be considered in the liquid/gel category even though they are really a solid.....but 'not-really' a solid....

Me - "Well I would think that if it's a liquid or gel, it's still below the maximum allowable size...right?"

"Well, I guess that would be right. But there's something else in here we need to examine."

Uh-Oh.....Now, she's found my secret weapon.

"Ma'am. We can't let you through security with this."

Me - "Seriously???"

"Yes ma'am. It is considered a weapon."

Me - "Seriously.... "


Me - "It's small. It's plastic. It's not even a metal one. How could that possibly be considered a weapon?"

Then she and the senior agent proceed to have a conversation about whether or not this constituted a weapon. At this point, I'm actually getting impatient - which is very rare for me in airports.

But really.

I can't stand it anymore.

I. Have. To. Say. Something.

Me - "So........ Would it help if I unloaded it?"

That's when the wiser of the two agents decided that I was not MacGyver and could not possibly bring a plane down with Jif, a stapler, and some fertilizer residue on my pack.

Gotta buzz is gone...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I Am *THAT* Runner

Today's Miles: 8.2 miles running. Who knows how many more scurrying about the construction project.

So today was my very Long incredibly Slow almost 95% of it was a Run for the week. 

I woke up at 6:10 a.m. this morning so that I could get my run in early (before the sun, & heat, & my dad ready to start building deck). 

Charged Garmin last night. Check.

Charged iPod last night. Check.

Two pieces of toast with nutella. Check.

Fill up 4 water bottles for fuel belt. Check.

Fill up extra water bottle to stash in mail box. Check.

Pack Spibelt with dog treats. Check.

Fill pouch with chapstick, extra gum and Jelly Beans. Check.

Put on incredibly sexy Granny-style compression socks (that come clear up to my knees, but say "Adidas"). Check.

Hat. Check.

Snot/sweat rag tied around my wrist. Check.

iPod arm band. Check.
I'm ready to go!! So I start out my run in the planning mode. What route should I take? I need to get back to the mailbox at 1/2 way to refill water bottles. So I'm thinking a 2 mile down & back, then run the Graves Rd loop. That should be 8 miles.

What's that? 

Oh wow!! Runners!! I NEVER see runners here!? Wonder who these guys are? Do they live close? Maybe we could run together sometime? Nahh, they look speedy. Svelt. They must not be going far. Only one small water bottle on a fuel belt. But this is so cool!! I'm so excited to see I'm not alone out here!! Oh, here they come. Better greet them.

"Good morning."

To my complete shock, one never makes eye contact and the other gives me this bizarre face twisted smile.

Well screw you then. Not even a smile. Really. How rude! Runners are suppose to at least acknowledge each other.

Then I start to think about this more. Here are 2 guys running. No shirt. No hat. Just running shorts and a fuel belt with minimal water. I know they don't live here - so they've either traveled some distance (and they were already pretty sweaty) or they are running LONG today. 

Hard. Core.

If they were female, they'd look similar to this:

I totally stole this photo from Jennie Vee's FB page. Though I don't know the other 2 ladies, I'm certain that these are the fastest women in Memphis. And VERY Hard.Core.

And here am I - with my 4 water bottles, pack full of dog treats. iPod arm band. Snot/sweat wiper rag tied to my wrist. Compression socks. I'm looking Anti.Hard.Core. More like this:

Again - completely stolen pic of Annoying Restaurant Waitress Wearing Too Many Buttons.

No wonder the guy gave me a weird smile!? 

But wait a minute! Aren't all runners suppose to be supportive of other runners - of all shapes, sizes and abilities? Yeah! They should!!

That's when it hit me. Like.A.Car.

When I started out running, I cranked up some Evanescence to get me revved up. And you can't listen to that softly. You crank it up. LOUDLY.

So I'm pretty sure that my very polite

"Good morning"

was more like


All Drill Sergeant style.

When I met these same guys again at 3.5 miles, I at least got an acknowledged smile from one. Silence from the one I yelled at earlier.

When the one I yelled at passed me at 7 miles (holy crap he was keeping good pace), he gave me a thumbs up and a polite "Good morning." 

Even with the insanity of me, I earned his respect for pounding out 7 miles! 

Guess that's something.

(Or maybe he saw I had one of my earbuds out and figured it was safe to talk to me now.)

Gotta Run.....



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

81 Days to 13.1

Today's Miles: 900 miles sitting on my bum; The Ab300; 20 min tempo run; 200 weighted arm exercises; 100 weighted walking lunges; 100 weighted squats

HOLY CRAP I'm tired!!!

My arms are so tired I can barely type (obviously not).

My lunge-er is lunged out.

And I think I broke my squatter.

However, my abs are feeling pretty good!! Maybe that means I should up The 300?

Maybe not.

Did I mention in that run down above that I had to wake up at 3:30a.m. to catch a flight, and that it is now 1:30 a.m. EST, and I'm still AWAKE!!! What's up with that?

I'll tell you what's up with that - way too much exercising late in the evening. It keeps me awake, despite my overwhelming desire to be sleeping. (And an hour long nap this afternoon.)

So why exactly did I combine a tempo run day with an insano-strength training session?

Because my dears, yesterday was Day 1 of a half-marathon training session, and yesterday I was supposed to start out with strength training. However, I had way too much work yesterday (and recovering from the weekend). So strength training did not happen. Today is Day 2 - and it calls for a tempo run.

In an attempt to keep with my training plan - I combined. You efficient.

I will pay for this tomorrow.

SO - I know you're just dying to know why I needed to recover from the weekend!!

Did Mark and I throw a wild party? Get drunk? Stay up until 10 p.m. like a couple of wild kids???


I started my training program to become one of those sweepers in Curling. (You know, that Olympic sport where they slide a stone across the ice and a sweeper goes all Swifter crazy on the ice ahead of the stone....In other words, another backyard, beer induced game that made it to the Olympics like badminton.)

So here's your Life Lessons for the week:
(Lessons 1-5 had to do with porta-potties on a construction site. I only mentioned 3 in the blog but some friends piped in with 2 additional lessons.)

Lesson 6
If you dig a hole in East TN during the driest part of the year during a year when 80% of the country is in a drought, and the intent of that hole is to be a pond - it will never rain. However, if that hole was dug with the intent of building a house on top of WILL rain.


Farmers.....You're Welcome!

I lost count at how many times the guys literally dug mud out of the footers with shovels. Or how many times they were pumped out. Or how many times rebar was installed/uninstalled/reinstalled. But the footers finally got poured.

Then it rained. AndRainedAndRainedAndRainedAndRainedAgain.

It rained 1 1/2 inches at our house on Friday evening and NOTHING at my Dad's house....1/2 mile away!!!

But Who cares? The footers are poured!! Right? 

Well, muddy footers means block masons can't lay block on them. So - we got to clean them off with a shovel, a pressure washer and brooms.


This was the end result of Saturday's efforts:
Looks like I just ran a Mud Run. Guess my excuse of not wanting to ruin a pair of running shoes for a Mud Run is now gone. Guess I'll have to sign up for one.

Doesn't think that looks to bad?
Huh! What do you think of those freaky whitey's?

But in the end, I guess it was worth it (?). It was necessary. Because the mason's showed up on Monday and now it's starting to look like something!!

And then it rained.AndRainedAgain.

I really hope the rest of the week is dry!

Gotta run.....and get some sleep.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Life Lessons

Today's Miles: none

I'm a bit tired tonight. I'm a bit overwhelmed tonight. I'm a bit overworked and over-worried tonight.

I think I'm going to change the name of this blog to "How to keep your marriage intact & growing, work full time as a traveling saleswoman, train for a half-marathon, act as your own contractor and build a house, and not go completely insane."

But that seems a bit much. Don't ya think?

I actually don't start training for another 2 weeks...which by the way Megan Reid Saylors....did you catch that? We're approximately 13 weeks from our half. Get your shoes on chick!

I'm thinking that the training for the half is actually how I'm going to keep my sanity intact....or at least in the same sand box. But I'm not ready for a hard-core schedule yet. Not with my 7 week on-the-road-13-hr-day stretch. I'm in week 5. 2 more to go. Then a week home....while my dear husband goes away for a few days for work. did that happen? I'm home - and he's gone?

So, did you catch the 'build a house' statement earlier?

I feel like we've been 'building a house' for 3 years now. But we've not. We've only be 'planning to build a house' for several years.

We've graduated to the actual 'building' of the house.

The ground breaking began last week while I was in Wisconsin. I was so excited, so disappointed and so scared all at the same moment when Mark sent me that picture.

Excited because FINALLY!!! We're getting started!!

Disappointed because I wasn't there. Not sure what I would have done but sit around and watch my Dad move dirt and giggle like a school girl all day? But still. I wished I was there. I feel like I missed out on something.

Scared because Holy Shit! It's really happening. We've got a lot of things to do, to decide, to buy, to think about, to plan, to commit to. What if we make the wrong decision and are disappointed? What if it costs more than what we planned? WhatifWhatifWhatifWhatif.

I could bore you with every single detail of building this house....but I'll save that for my bestestestest of friends. However from time to time, I will try to impart some wisdom....just in case you are crazy enough to want to build a house yourself.

So - here we go....Lesson #1.

Did you know that according to code, you are supposed to have a porta-potty on site throughout the construction project? That means from Day 1. The very first day. Not Day 2 or 3 or 4 or 5. But Day 1.

Want to know why that's so important??

Because Murphy's Law dictates that someone will have to take a dump ON DAY 1. And without a porta-potty, they must utilize whatever Mother Nature our case, the woods.

And you know why that's such a big deal?

Remember when I told you about my dog that eats poop?

Oh no, don't worry. Even SHE has standards on what she devours.

However, the one that likes to roll in poop?  Well, he has no standards.

So here's Lesson #2.

It will take 2 baths in scented dog shampoo, 1 bath in Pantene, a wipe down with "dog wipes" (pre-moistened wipes used for quick baths), a wipe down with clorox wipes, a wipe down with straight vinegar, and a dip in the creek and clogged sinuses to take human poop smell off a dog.

Lesson #3.

Always have those things above and rubber gloves in stock - just in case the porta-potty delivery is delayed.

Gotta run.....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oh how the mighty fall....

Today's Miles: 4 miles along a beautiful bike path at sunrise on Lake Michigan....Perfection!

So by the title are you wondering if I face-planted this morning???

No. I did not.

Sorry to disappoint you.

I actually have nothing funny to report this week.

My post has more to do with not accepting the punishment given....The Penn State scandal and the list of sanctions from the NCAA.

I've been a bit up in arms over this entire controversy from the beginning. Since I grew up in the UT big football era....went to school there....went to games there....and then finally worked there...I've come full circle in my understanding of a big-football school.

When you attend a big-football school, you quickly realize that football is king. Literally. Recruiting top level athletes. Giving them scholarships (and not really caring if they can either read or write); giving them tutors (of course to keep their studies up since they have such a grueling schedule that actually attending all of their classes is asking too much); treating them like Gods (and neglecting to teach them how to have a job or career outside of football b/c not all of them are going to make it in the NFL).

Football is a business. Football is a money maker. Football is the center of everything.

Oh, but wait.....aren't we talking about football, at a University? At a place of EDUCATION and LEARNING? Isn't that what we should be focusing on?

Should be, but rarely is. In essence, football turns Universities into greed-machines. Protect the money maker. Protect it at all cost.

And that's precisely what Saint JoePa and the administration at Penn State tried to do. Protect it from the scandal of Jerry Sandusky.

If anyone at anytime was actually worried about his victims - something would have been done. The fine tradition of "Success with Honor" was nothing more than words on a tablet. The first moment that any one of them turned their head - is when they shamed Penn State. They are the ones that brought this punishment to Penn State.

How does a 'regulatory body' impose sanctions on an institution that are severe enough to fit the crime - this was not some simple NCAA recruiting violations. This was a cover-up of the RAPE of CHILDREN. But not so harsh as to punish the 'by-standers' or the students and the town of State College?

I've heard some people say the punishment is too harsh.

Too harsh???

Let me repeat something I stated above....this was the COVER-UP of the RAPE of CHILDREN.

Closing down the entire University may have been too harsh. But this?

We're talking about a University whose responsibility is to TEACH students how to be ADULTS and have careers. Yet, instead, the ADULTS in charge (and yes....JoePa may not have had 'President' after the comma, but rest assured, he was in charge) were nothing more than asshat cowards.

As for the fine, $60million is the equivalent to one season's revenues. Big freaking deal. That's why NCAA went further and brought the hammer down.

For those that are upset about wiping out Saint JoePa's wins.....shut it. What about the players??? Oh, wait a minute..PLAYERS. They PLAYED a sport. The only ones that are actually making a living off of what they did are now in the professional world - and I don't see the NFL firing players because their college stats are no longer "official." For those that PLAYED and like to relive their glory days on the weekends while drinking beer with their buddies - don't worry, you'll still remember that you carried the ball across the goal line more than the other team.

The NCAA had to bring down the sledge hammer. Because I guarantee you, this very same scandal could have happened at any other top-football school in the country. It is a culture on campus that football goes above all else. And that is wrong. It is wrong to put the program ahead of victims and it is wrong to put the program ahead of academics. It's about time someone made that clear. I'm just sorry it took this incredibly disgusting act to make that happen. It's not just a fine against Penn State. It's a wake-up call to the rest of the institutes out there to get their houses in order.

Some examples of Assholes that have the ability to speak to Yahoo reporters:

"I'm furious," Olson said, standing underneath rows of pennants from other Big Ten schools. "JoePa didn't deserve this. So many things are getting wiped away."

JoePa deserves so much more. I'm sorry the man is dead. But he got off easy. He should have to live through the shame of this scandal as the victims of Sandusky have had to live with their shame all of these years.

There were audible gasps in "The HUB" when the announcement came down, louder with each punishment. Dozens of students cupped their mouths with their hands, shook their heads and in some cases teared up.

"I don't know how you do that," Olson said of the sanctions. "It's ridiculous. It's not a respectable tone. It's a cheap shot."

Cheap shot?? CHEAP SHOT!!??? I'm sorry. Exactly how do you, in a respectable tone, tell an institution that you were a disgusting pig not only responsible for not reporting a sexual assault on a minor, you are responsible for the continuation of his crimes by turning the other cheek. That no moral person, no sane person, no person that has half a damn brain or heart would have reacted that way. NO one should put a program, an institute, a business, a goose that lays a golden egg before the welfare of children. Who does that???

It's almost August – almost time for a new school year, the first without Joe Paterno on campus since 1950. "I still look at him as the same guy," Olson said. "I want to go into coaching because of him. He's a mentor and a person I look up to. There's no chance of that changing."

I'm just glad you weren't part of Jerry's kids. Because JoePa would not have protected you.

Nicole Lord, a senior, questioned why Penn State's student body, and especially its athletes, should be punished "for the wrongs of three men and a monster."

We call Jerry Sandusky a monster because he committed the acts - why not call those that allowed him to commit those acts monsters as well? How is that any different than a mother knowing her boyfriend is raping her daughter....and staying in that dysfunctional relationship?

And I'm sorry if current players feel they are being punished...because in essence they are. But again...there's that word....PLAYERS. You cannot separate the institution from the athletes. You can't punish the institute harsh enough without having collateral damage. Which is why the NCAA will let them leave without penalty. It was not the fault of the student athletes. They unfortunately put their trust in people that preached Success with Honor, but had none.

Penn State will rise above this if they choose too. I believe that the acceptance of this punishment without appeal is the first step. And this is the only voice of reason I've heard in the news so far on this matter:

"Our heritage, our legacy has been tainted and damaged," said Troy Cromwell, a wide receiver on the 1986 team that won the second of Paterno's two national championships. Cromwell said he felt bad for current and incoming players, "but at the end of the day, there were still those kids, those poor kids, and those victims, and we have to think about them first in everything that we do."

If only they had done that from the beginning, so many boys could have been spared.

Gotta run...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Whol-lot-o Gelato

Today's Miles: 4 miles (3 at tempo pace) and 100 of 300 ab exercises (wholly shit those are hard).

So if you've read the above statement and have seen my FB posts over the last couple of days, you know I'm trying out this "300 ab exercises" that are supposedly ripped off of p90x.


I didn't think I had ab muscles in these places that are still sore from 2 days ago. I only got 100 in this morning because I hadn't written down all of the exercises and was trying to follow it on my computer. And it crashed. Oh Thank God.

But it's up and running again obviously, which means I'll have to complete the other 200 before night ends. Please Pray For Me.

So why all of this exercising you wonder? Well, the running part.....Duh. You're reading a 'running' blog.

The abs? Just to get more well roundedly fit (Is that a word?). case you didn't know....July is National Ice Cream Month. And TODAY is National Ice Cream Day!!

You should celebrate......A.LOT.

I have been.

I started at 9:30 this morning. 

A few weeks back my church had an ice cream social on a very hot day, and since I didn't have an ice cream maker at the time, I had to remedy that situation so that I could make some ice cream. So I bought an ice cream maker at JacquePennea that has a drum you freeze, rather than deal with all of the ice and salt.

Uh.Oh. Big.Mistake. Make it even easier to make the one dessert I can't get enough of! Just leave the drum in the freezer and you're ready to make ice cream any time!!! Day or night!!! Or in the middle of the night!!!

I've been more inclined to make gelato's rather than ice cream. The difference: using whole milk, eggs and less sugar versus heavy cream, half&half and lots of sugar. Gelato freezes very creamy, not so much icy like most homemade ice creams.

So far I've made
  • Banana Gelato = if you're a banana fan, it's like a banana bread in ice cream form....Heaven!
  • Dark Chocolate Azteca Gelato = sweet and spicy....It.Will.Change.Your.Life.Forever. I've made this a couple of times.
  • Salted Caramel Cashew Gelato = inspired by a customer's ice cream parlor's famous it's Mark's all time favorite!!
Some recipes if you're willing to put the time in and make some gelato...

Do. It. 

Dark Chocolate Azteca Gelato
 (stolen & adapted from some Italian person's recipe -
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 C (I substituted 2/3 C with 5Tbs+1tsp of Splenda Blend)
  • 2 Tbs sugar (separate)
  • 2 C whole milk
  • 1 1/2 oz of semi sweet chocolate
  • 2 oz of dark chocolate
  • 1 1/2 oz of high quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch or two or three of cayenne pepper
  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. In separate pan, heat the milk until it just begins to boil
  2. Use an electric mixer to whip the egg yolks and 2/3 C of sugar (or substitute) until they form creamy pale yellow ribbons.
  3. Add the hot milk SLOWLY to the whipped eggs and sugar while mixing with the electric mixer.
  4. Add the melted chocolate and mix it in well. Add the cocoa and mix again.
  5. Add the cinnamon and cayenne. Mix well. (You may want to add a small amount at a time and taste before adding more! I like 3 pinches of cayenne!!)
  6. Put the remaining 2Tbs of sugar and 2tsp of water in a small pan over High heat.
  7. Transfer the chocolate mix to a saucepan and place it over low heat and stir constantly with a whisk.
  8. When the sugar in the pan has turned to a dark caramel, add the caramel to the chocolate mix and mix it in thoroughly with the whisk until it dissolves. Keep on low heat and keep stirring for about 8 minutes.
  9. Cool mix completely (about an hour in the refrigerator).
  10. Follow ice cream maker instructions to make fabulous gelato!!

Salted Caramel Cashew Gelato
(stolen & adapted from

  • 1/2 C sugar (do not substitute - you need real sugar for this one!)
  •  1 Tbs water
  • 2 C whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher or ground sea salt
  • 1/3 C crushed cashews (or more if you like it nuttier)
  1.  Combine 1/2 C sugar and 1 Tbs water in a medium non-stick saucepan. Swirl sugar & water until just combined. Turn the heat on High, and allow to bubble and turn golden brown. If it goes to dark brown, you over cooked it. 
  2. When the caramel turns golden, add 2 C milk and whisk. At first the caramel hardens, but will melt into the milk as it heats. Constant whisking keeps the caramel from burning.
  3. Add the vanilla extract & salt. Whisk again until combined. Remove from heat.
  4. Separate the egg yolks and beat until light yellow.
  5. Add the hot caramel  mix to the eggs very SLOWLY while whisking swiftly.
  6. Return the mix to the sauce pan and turn heat to low. (I have to turn to medium on my stove.)
  7. Place a candy thermometer into the saucepan. The thermometer will read slightly higher than the actual temperature. Do not allow the mix to go above 179 F.
  8. Stir CONSTANTLY, until thick. About 12 minutes. When you can draw a line across the back of the spatula, it's done.
  9. Cool mix completely in the refrigerator.About 2 hours.
  10. Follow ice cream maker instructions to make gelato. Add cashews during the last 3-5 minutes of ice cream making!

 Enjoy!!!! And make sure you eat a ton of Ice Cream today!! And all month!!!

Gotta run....and do some crunches.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Another day, another year older!

Today's Miles: Zero!!

Saturday, June 30 was my birthday!!

How old? ask.

You should never ask a lady how old she is!! 

When people ask me how old I am, I have to think and do some math. It's not one of those things I just know or think about or have on hand....Let's see....I was born in 197...

That's all you get. If you don't know how old I am already - it's not important. It's just a number. You are as old as you feel....

OH.... NO....

I'm a lot older than I thought!!

For my birthday -
  • I hobbled around on crutches because I'm too uncoordinated to go out jogging about like some young fool.
  • I went to a church cookout instead of being selfish and doing what I wanted to do.
  • I actually wanted rain for my birthday because holy crap we are so dry here.

What I got for my birthday - 
  • My first grey hair - WTF!? I color my hair??!!
  • Record breaking temperatures. 105F in Knoxville on Saturday. The heat index was reportedly set to...I don't know.....
  • And I have to mention that in honor of my birthday - my best friend got stung on her butt twice by a bumble bee. And now she has a third ass. That was the Best. Birthday. Present. Ever!
All jokes aside. It was a great day because I got to spend it with the one that matters most to me. He is the best present I've ever received. (And yes Babe, I'm talking about you....not the dog.)

UPDATE on my least favorite foot: It was HUGE Friday night after walking through 4 airports; being delayed & not getting home until 10pm. I broke out the crutches on Saturday morning to minimize the pressure on it. And I couldn't just "rest" and sit around all day (even if it was my birthday). I hobbled some more with them today. I've been icing a few times a day. Things are looking better. I'll see how it feels on Monday morning without the crutches and decide if I get to make a visit to my favorite foot Doctor.

As for now - no worries. If I miss out on this 10K coming up, I will be disappointed. But shit happens. As uncoordinated as I am, and as many times as I stumble and run into stuff just walking around, I'm honestly surprised it took this long for my first fall while running. It's my first. Surely won't be my last. Surely won't be my worst either.

Holy Moly!! I JUST HEARD THUNDER!!!  YAY!!!!!!

Gotta run...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Running Towards Death

Today's Miles: 0.42 miles plus some gymnastics.

What I like about being on the edge of the Central Time Zone, is that daybreak happens around 4:30 a.m. This means I can go out in any town and run before my work day starts. And it's not dark. And scary.

This morning, I decided to get a 30-45 minute tempo run under my legs.

So, what happened.

This did.....

"What?" you ask.
"An intersection?"
"A beautifully landscaped crosswalk? With benches for the weary shoppers?"

This, my friends, is the most dangerous intersection in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Don't let the peace and tranquility of this place fool you! It's more dangerous than a packed New York City subway platform!

"What's so dangerous about it?" you ask again, because you obviously are not observant enough!

Here, try this:

Is that better? Do you get it now!?

I was jogging along (during my warm-up), getting ready to cross the street to a long straight away with level sidewalks that lead to the greenway along the lake. I thought that looking at the intersection (where the cars were) to avoid getting run over by said car was more important than looking down to see where I'm stepping. I mean it's huge, and there's nothing scary about it, right? A few benches? Some plants? 

Big. Freaking. Mistake.

Ah, geezz! Do I have to spell it out for you??


"What's that?" you ask.

That, my friends, is a death trap! I actually think it might be the head off of a sprinkler, but I don't really care WHAT it is used for.

What it does (to the unsuspecting runner - that's merely jogging through this HUGE sidewalk/crosswalk area looking at the traffic in the intersection to determine if she can safely cross the road) is nearly kill her.

This round beauty found itself under my left foot (the one with tendonitis last year, with Plantar Fasciitis until recently, and all-around-my-least-favorite-foot). I found myself trying not to land in oncoming traffic.

I'm fairly certain had I just let myself fall, my ankle would not be sprained and hurting and swelling and propped up in my hotel room with ice on it.

However, I would have landed in the road and most likely been run over by the oncoming traffic. (Side note: Where the hell are all of these people going at 5:00a.m.???)

I'm pretty sure the guy that honked at me while passing was merely giving me a "Perfect 10" for my mad-life-saving-gymnastic skills.

So am I just pissed & embarrassed for tripping and nearly falling out all over the place in front of a ton of people?  

Puh. Leaz..

I don't get embarrassed.

I'm pissed.
I'm pissed I twisted my ankle and I'm a few weeks out from a 10K.
I'm pissed it was my left one - not my right-"I'm Soooo perfect"-foot.
I'm even MORE pissed that I broken my running sunglasses during my graceful performance. If you've ever needed no-fog glasses, you understand my irritable mood. If you've ever bought a pair, now you really get it.

This running thing is going to kill me one of these days. But I guess we all are going to die at some point. Since the day we were born we were dying. We don't typically have control over how long we'll each be on this earth. Good people die young or in agony. Bad people die old and peacefully in their sleep. There's no comprehensible reasoning to it - other than we're not in charge of when or necessarily how it will happen.

Which makes me wonder - why is it when someone dies of a heart attack while running a race (whether it's a marathon or a 5K), people tell me to "Be Careful". Like running is going to make my life shorter some how? I'm fairly certain if someone dies while running they were either 1) going to have a heart attack anyway - somewhere, someday - regardless of their fitness level; or 2) trying to get fit and it was the 40 years prior to that run that caused the heart attack.

Be Careful out there guys! I heard that someone died while driving down the interstate and crashed their car!

Oh, and Be Careful! You don't want to choke on those cheese puffs your stuffing down your throat while feed your XBox addiction.

At least if I had died while running - whether from a heart attack or getting ran over - it's what I love doing.

Death is a part of life.You need to stop worrying about when and where you'll die, and just be prepared for it.

Enough about death. Time to take a few days off (according to my coach and therapist, the great  marathoner Jennie Vee Silk). The hay is in the barn. Thanks JV. I needed the pep talk.

Gotta run......

Gotta limp & hobble....

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lord I was born a ramblin' (wo)man...

Total Miles: 4-ish?

Was it because of the heat?
Was it because of the absolutely cloudless sky and 75 degree temperatures?
Was it because the first 2 miles had no shade?
Was it because my allergies are acting up?
Was it because I woke up with a headache?
Was it because I took (expired) Allegra about an hour before my run?
Was it because I was frustrated that the people I really needed to talk to this morning weren't available?
Was it because I didn't run until 10a.m.?
Was it because my new batman shoes made my calves tired?
Was it because my new expensive shoes may not be the right new shoes for my pitiful feet after all?
Was it because I ate fast food for the first time this week last night for supper?
Was it because I ate onion rings for supper and belched onion rings all morning?
Was it because I have grease running through my veins this morning?
Was it because I ate Fiber One cereal for breakfast?
Was it because I didn't drink enough water yesterday?
Was it because I forgot to take chewing gum on my run?
Was it because I forgot to put on chapstick before my run?
Was it because I used Sport "Sweatproof" sunblock and it ran into my eyes from the sweat?
Was it because my Garmin and I had an argument this morning?
Was it because I had to wait impatiently for that damn Garmin to charge before the run?
Was it because my boss told me yesterday that I had better enjoy my vacation in a couple of weeks because after that I'll be going non-stop?
Was it because I already feel like I'm going non-stop?
Was it because I feel out-of-sorts due to my work week being totally wrecked and changed around from what I had planned?
Was it because Mark & I were out late last night?
Was it because Mark's Grandmother is in her final days and I feel helpless and feel like she's simply waiting to die?
Was it because I'm wondering what in the world she's waiting for?
Was it because I have a very slow and sad hymn stuck in my head on repeat?
Was it because I haven't run with an Ipod in a very long time and I need a "pick-me-up"?
Was it because I haven't been running on the road lately - logging most of my miles on the treadmill instead?
Was it because my Mom needs me to take her to the doctor's office this afternoon to have her eyes checked - again - after a very serious blindness scare and eye surgery a few years back - and she's having problems seeing?
Was it because Shelly called this morning to say our building permits are ready to be picked up?
Was it because I'm completely overwhelmed with all the stuff I need to get done just to build a house?
Was it because I'm somewhat frustrated that we haven't broken ground yet?
Was it because I'm wondering how the hell I'm going to be traveling non-stop, building a house, keeping my marriage together, train for a half marathon, and somehow keep my sanity all at the same time?
Was it because I was chased down by two bitchy and bitey Chihuahuas and I only had one treat to divide between them?
Was it because I keep running the same 4 mile loop around the house when I get out on the road?
Was it because my legs are on autopilot on this route?
Was it because I'm thinking about joining a running group on Saturdays which would take away from what little time I'm going to have with Mark on the weekends?
Was it because I feel guilty that I want that, but pissed because I feel guilty for wanting it?
Was it all just because of a head-game?

No doubt it was one or most of those things.
No doubt my mind rambles to too many places while running.
No doubt I need to plug in some headphones on my next run to drown out my own thoughts.
No doubt I need to eat better to fuel a body that's training for a race.

No doubt my life is hectic and it's not going to get any easier.

No doubt this was a shit run.

No doubt it will happen again.

No doubt - I.Will.Not.Quit.

Gotta run...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sex and Fruit

Today's Miles: 502 miles on my butt; 1 mile walking to/from Walmart; 2 miles of wandering aimlessly in Walmart; 3 miles running on treadmill

I'm ready for race season. Although I've thought about it, I haven't run a single race yet. But I'm itching too.

Here's the problem - in a world where there's a 5K about every weekend, there doesn't seem to be any local ones when I actually have a free weekend! That's a bit annoying.

I decided a couple of weekends ago to run a 5K on the spur of the moment. That moment came on a Friday morning and the race was early on Saturday morning. I really wanted to run that race to measure where I was and if I had improved over last year. I didn't get home until late on Friday night, and racing at 7a.m. the next morning was just not going to happen.

On that Sunday, I decided to run my own race. But it was hot. And I'm a wuss. I changed my plans and decided to run it on the treadmill.

A 5K racing history for me:
August 2010     37:29
May 2011         32:58
August 2011     32:38

The thing about running on the treadmill is I know that the calibration is off a bit, but I wonder how much? I strapped on my Garmin footpod that's supposedly calibrated for my cadence as a backup. (And I pulled the incline to 0.5% so that I wasn't running a completely flat course!)

According to the treadmill, I ran a 5K in 30:39.
According to the Garmin, I ran a 5K in 28:32.

I haven't decided if I'm bummed I didn't run a sub-30 or completely stoked that I did run a sub-30. I'm so confused. 2 minutes is a HUGE difference on a 5K. And going sub-30 has been a dream of mine. I'm not even sure if I fulfilled that dream or not. Most likely not because a week later, my footpod died. I think it might have a battery inside it, but I'm too much of a dork to figure out how to take the back off without breaking it.

What does all of this have to do with Sex & Fruit....nothing...but you're reading anyway.... you perve.

So here you go...I have an extreme aversion to Walmart. I always leave completely pissed, totally exhausted, and typically without what I went there for because I gave up looking for it. Plus, I'm really scared of Walmartians. I akin them to large, wild, carnivorous animals. I like to look at them from afar or behind a glass (like on, but I don't want to get close enough to be injured by them (like getting run over by a buggy).

Against my better judgement, I went to Walmart today.

I went into Walmart in Live Oak, FL for two things. If I were looking for either 1) condoms or 2) fresh peaches I would have had no problems and would have been in and out in 5 minutes flat. Seriously. The people down here must have A LOT of sex. The condoms were front and center when you walked in, and I randomly saw a half a dozen posted around the store. But Hey! At least they use protection! And they like fresh peaches, but I can't blame them on that one. I LOVE fresh peaches.

They support the sex and agriculture industries down here, but you know what they are ashamed of? Mother Nature and literacy. The two things I needed were tampons and a spiral bound notepad. So, if you ever go to the Live Oak Walmart and need these two things, let me draw you a map - you're going to need it. The tampons are stuck in the most obscure alcove possible, next to the garden center. Because doesn't everyone plug up the holes in the bottom of the clay pots with tampons as a slow release moisture trap for outdoor plants? And the notebooks are in the opposite corner next to the automotive department. Because Bubba needs highlighters and sticky notes to properly change the oil in his car?

Really Walmart? What's up with this?

Oh WAIT!! I GET IT!! I'm in FLORIDA! Full of retired people! The tampons are more useful as garden tools than anything else; they don't let the grandkids visit (unless they need their car serviced); fresh peaches are easy to gum; and well - just because you're old doesn't mean you're dead. There's hope for us all!

Gotta run...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Apples v Carrots

Today's Miles: none yet. Flipped out tired from working & driving home yesterday. Me, the A.C. and the Treadmill will make peace later.

I've got an ass.

I know. So do you. But mine's different.

Mine is cute.
Mine is white.
Mine is dirty.
Mine is wooly.
Mine does not like to be touched.

Jealous? I bet you are, except about the wooly & dirty part.

If you haven't figured it out yet, we've got donkeys. Several donkeys in fact. There's Ollie - the first (four-legged) ass on the farm. Ollie was lonely and needed a friend, mostly so he'd stop trying to bite and mount the heifers. So, then came Jennie with her little one, CrackerJack. Well. As these things happen, Ollie and Jennie went out on a date, and forgot to take protection.....

Along came:

Depending on the day of the week, and which niece/nephew you ask, his name is either Brody or Jackson. (Yes, they name them after friends or siblings of friends they like.)

I, however, named him "Little Donkey." Because I'm original like that. In our family we have Barn Cat, Yellow Dog, Pond Dog, Little Man, Black Cat. We're so creative.

The last few weeks, I've been trying to teach this little ass to trust a lady with apples. His mamma is very skiddish, and I'm the only person she'll take carrots from. (Which I've learned little asses prefer apples over carrots, and big asses prefer carrots.) She taught Little Donkey well. He's in the barn being weaned from his mamma, and I'm trying to teach him people are okay.

It takes time. It takes patience.
You just can't shove an apple into a little ass and expect a good outcome.
You must convince the little ass that he wants it.

And as of earlier this week, I finally petted this little ass! Just for a moment. He's finally letting me touch his head. He doesn't like it. But now he knows he must let me do that if he wants an apple.

Just call me the Ass Whisperer.

Gotta run...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

You Only Wish You Were Like Me

Total Miles: Only about a mile or so

BUT WAIT!!!! I did over 25 flights of stairs and some lunges, squats and arm curls. That counts for something...right?

Here's a post I put on Facebook earlier today...

"I smell so bad I'm sitting next to the bathroom hoping people think that's what is smelling up the place."

I was sitting in Chick-fil-a.
In a posh Washington DC suburb in Virginia.
After spending about 2 hours at one of the neatest, but smelliest dairy barns I've ever been in. (Which was weird in itself. Clean barns are not normally smelly.)

But this wasn't just any kind of smelly. This was Stanky kind of smelly. Scccchhhmmmeeeeelly.

The kind that soaks up into your hair.
And your nose hairs.
And your pores.
The kind of Schmelly that makes you nearly fall out of the shower when you jump in with the hot water & steam running.

I normally would not go in to a restaurant and eat in this kind of condition. However:
1) I was hungry!
2) I really wanted to wash my hands.
3) I wanted a salad. I have yet to master the eating a salad while driving maneuver. And
4) I needed some WiFi to send read some emails with attachments and respond to them.

So, the poor people of Posh Chick-fil-a got a bad taste in their mouth today thanks to me - because you know taste is about half smell anyway.

To make my day complete, I had to drive about 2+ hours to my next farm visit in West Virginia. Then another 3 hrs to Mi Casa for the night in Altoona, PA. But if the story were just about driving another 5 hrs, then it wouldn't be on this blog now would it?

At some point today....after Chick-fil-a-Stank-a-thon and before West Virginia farm visit, I had a craving for peanut butter M&Ms. I blame the cashier at the gas station that took 4 minutes to take each individual banana out of the box and place into a basket - while I was staring at the M&Ms, because I didn't want to stare directly at him. Too bad he wasn't stocking the M&Ms. This day may have ended better.

What I did not realize was that at some point during the drive and me snacking on M&Ms, I dropped one in my seat. Not a green one. Not a blue one. Not red. Not yellow. But brown. It had to be brown. I realized it about 7pm when I stripped down for a shower.

So, not only have I scarred the people of Posh Chick-fil-a Virginia. There are now a group of redneck West Virginian dairy farmers, a gang of Hispanic milkers and a troop of truckers that firmly believe that I shart myself. They had the smell and the stain to prove it.

I have no shame.

Gotta run...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Peace Out Dude


What exactly is that? Lack of war? Quiet solitude?

For me it's that feeling of a cool fog settling in like a blanket over the mountains on a crisp, cool morning.

That feeling of a warm breeze gentling massaging your skin as you lay on the beach with your toes in the sand.

It's a physical thing. It's a mental thing. It's a spiritual thing. The same feeling can come from anything. Anywhere. At anytime.

I'm a fairly peaceful person. I get riled. I can get really pissed at times. But those moments thankfully do not last for long. Mostly, I am at peace.

It took a long time to get here. It was a long journey. It was a hard journey. I would draw you a map if I could, but there's no way to give you step by step directions. It's an incredibly awesome place to find yourself on a daily basis. I really wish I could get more people here because the world by far would be a better place.

But some may never find any level of peace. I find that incredibly sad.

My only advice is that the first thing you must do when searching for peace is be willing to give up control.

Oh.....that's a hard one. A REALLY hard one.

You can't control everything. You want it this way....well, guess what, someone else wants it another way. Is it really worth the struggle to get it your way? In some cases it really may be. But mostly, it's not.

I can't control airlines.
I can't control traffic.
I can't control the idiots I find myself surround by on occasion.
I can't control the decisions or lack-of that my bosses make.
I can't control the mistakes of others.
I can't control how others react to my mistakes.
I can't control the playlist on the radio.
I can't control the unthoughfulness, rudeness, or downright meanness of others.

But I can control how I react to all of this.

I read this last night from Pastor Matt Cannon's blog...

"I can’t control all of the things that have happened to me in the past and I won’t be able to control the things that happen to me in the future. But I can control how I react.  Better than this, I can allow the Holy Spirit to control how I react."

It's a message I felt that needed to be shared.
Gotta run....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

3325 Inspirations in Less Than A Mile

Today's Miles: 2 miles at tempo pace

Yes. You read that right. I'm running again!! YAY!! YIPEE!! I mean REALLY running again. WOOHOO!!! I bumped my long run to 4 miles yesterday!! I'm so stupidly excited about it too.

Aren't you? Why not!? You should be!

This has been one incredible weekend!

On Friday, after flight delays (again), I made it home in time for Mark and I to close on our house loan!! WOOHOO!!!



But that means we get to start building soon. Well. After Dad builds a barn for a farmer whose barn burnt down over 2 years ago. 

Oh. And after the first cutting of hay comes off - because you know we're building in the middle of HIS hayfield on OUR land.

No worries. It will probably take until June to get everything ready to break ground anyway. (But bet on this, when that round baler leaves the driveway, I'll be out there with a shovel digging footers if I have to!)

Other exciting stuff....

This weekend was Knoxville Marathon weekend. No, I wasn't running. Psht. I'm just up to 4 miles!

But, my niece Robin ran in the Kids Run on Saturday evening. She was so nervous - my fearless niece that stands on the back of her horse because she thinks she's a trick pony rider - was nervous about running a mile. I'll admit, I wasn't so sure she could do it either. Our practice run a few weekends ago was.....unproductive? She's a weaver. She'll look to the left, then start weaving to the left. Look to the right, weave to the right. Mark & I were certain she'd trip someone. She also would only run for about 3 minutes, then need to walk. So, I was expecting more of the same for the Kids Run.

On the way there, she kept saying "I haven't trained for this." With a lot of anxiety in her voice.

So, how did she do? The gun went off - and so did she! I kept yelling after her, "Robin slow down." I didn't want her to sprint out at the front because she wouldn't make it to the end. Then after 1/2 a mile I'd yell "Robin Slow Down!" Simply because I couldn't keep up with her!!

She ran the ENTIRE mile! She'd slow down a bit when I'd yell for her, then she'd shoot off like a rocket again. Weaving her way through the 1300 other kids (and about 800 adults). She did great! I was so proud of her! And I'm so proud of me!! I ran my fastest mile ever!!! 9:13 minutes!  (If she runs again next year, it's ME that's going to have to do some training!)

Sunday was RACE DAY!!

I had several friends running in either the 5K, the 1/2 Marathon or the full Marathon. They all did exceptionally well!! I was lucky to be stationed where the 1/2 and the full split off. The 1/2 runners went past me down to Neyland Stadium & the finish line. The full runners went another 25 miles and passed me on their way to the finish line.

I felt like a cheerleader again! 5 hours of "Great job!" "You're doing great!" "You can do this!" "Stay strong!" and my favorite line of the day "LESS THAN A MILE!!" It was amazing to see people's spirits raise up when I said that one! Some dug deep and punched in another gear. Some were relieved that the end was near. Some were pissed that they still had further to go.

I witnessed incredible things on Sunday. Determination. Courage. Will power. Strength. Insanity.  Desperation. Hopelessness. Limpers. Bleeders (someone forgot to tell one poor fella about nipple chafing....bleedingnippleslookspainful). Draggers (one lady literally had two people - one on each side - holding her upright by the back of her shorts and her elbows while she "ran" the last mile). Beggers. Winners.

I saw incredibly talented runners take 13.1 or 26.2 miles with apparent ease and speed. I saw 400 lb men & women struggling with their will power to finish 13.1 miles - and THEY DID!! I saw an 82 year old man compete using a WALKER!! I saw a crippled man with leg braces walk 13.1 miles!

See that's the thing about running. You don't have to be in first place. Not in the race. Not in your age group. Everyone that went out there and stepped across that start line was a winner. Some didn't even finish the race. But they had trained for it. They had sacrificed. They had won.

Mark asked me why anyone would subject themselves to that kind of commitment, (pain), anxiety, (pain), exhaustion, (pain), etc. (yougetmydrift). It's nothing I can accurately describe. "A feeling of accomplishment" doesn't do it justice. It's something you have to experience to understand. And it doesn't have to be 26.2 miles. Or even 13.1 miles. It could be a 10K. Or a 5K. Or a mile. Or a trip around the block! It's whatever YOU set your mind to DO!

The best part of the weekend, was running that Less Than A Mile with my friend Amy Gibson Hammontree. This was her first full marathon. And it was a TOUGH course. I am so proud that she ran a marathon, and so proud for her courage to tackle the Knoxville Hilly Marathon. When I saw her running towards me, I was so excited...and a bit worried. So, I decided to run the last mile with her to keep her company and keep her going.

I've never before talked to someone after they've run 25+ miles - and let me tell you this...It.Ain't.Pretty. (Or coherent.)

She didn't have to say much though...or rather she just couldn't. The fact that she never stopped and kept running and made it across that finish line was AWESOME! Jumbled words and tears and all. I am SO proud of her.

Maybe one day I'll find the courage to tackle a full marathon?

Gotta run...