Thursday, April 17, 2014

Not Even Ice Cream

Today was not a good day.

It started by my leaving a little later than I would have liked.  Maybe if I had been semi-on-time, my day would have been better?!

Yea, maybe.

I left our driveway and started to drive down the road we live on.  And then I had to stop and just stare.  A posse of dogs was meandering around the side of the road.

There, lying on the side of the road was the little-shit-weasle-barky-dog who had obviously been hit by a car.  It looked stiff.  I felt so sad and it shook me to my core.  

It was in front of our neighbor's house.  Their truck was home so I pulled in.  I rang the door bell and hoped they may have seen who did it.  How could someone just kill a dog and drive off?  Maybe my neighbor knows the asshats behind us who own the dog and could at least call and tell them.  You know, presuming they would care.  My neighbors weren't home.  It broke my heart to see all the 'hood dogs staring in disbelief wondering what happened.  I started crying watching Nyla sniff his body.

So I called my hubby who started calling neighbors we know.  I went on to work.  Fortunately, the wife of a guy we know waaaaaaay over yonder could get in touch with them.  After an hour or so, I got a text that a car was up there and they were dealing with it.

It makes me So. Stinking. Mad. that those despicable and irresponsible people can own a dog.  They got this little barky guy to keep their German Shepherd company.  But he is so little, he just runs through the fence and they are so STUPID they just let it wander.  Now that damn little dog paid the ultimate price.  It's not fair.  It deserved GOOD owners who gave a shit.

I've always disliked that dog because it barked, but I never wanted to see it harmed.  They will probably get ANOTHER dog to be a "playmate" for their completely neglected, ignored, and lonely shepherd.  Don't they know that you can't isolate a German Shepherd?  It's probably slightly demented from having been chained up before they so "lovingly" put up a prison fence.

I hope I never meet those horrible people in person, because I have a feeling my true opinion of what I think of them will come spewing forth.

Ice cream isn't even enough to save this day.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Glad That's Over

I DID IT!  I ran my first Half Marathon.  That's 13.1 miles.  Although my run tracker said it was 13.3 miles.  It was an experience.

We had to wake up very early, so for that, I thank my adoring fans.  Todd had to awaken the pups to get up and go.  It was a dark and quiet drive there.  Often throughout the morning I thought to myself how only crazy people wake up this early to go RUN.  

It was a great, flat, well-organized race.  They had heats for runners to start in based on expected finishing time so that everyone wasn't in one huge gaggle of flailing arms and twitching legs.  That's always nice.

My first mile was not the easiest.  I kept thinking my shins kind of smart because I didn't stretch enough.  But then after the first mile, I didn't give my shins a second thought.  I had warmed up.  I actually ran fast for the first 3 or 4 miles.  I thought I had better slow down because I couldn't keep a 10.5 minute mile up for much longer.

We had great cheerleaders along the course.  I saw some hysterical signs.  People really put some thought into their messages.  Here are the most memorable signs that I saw:
  • Worst Parade Ever
  • Run Faster, I Farted
  • If Brittany Spears Can Survive 2007, You Can Survive This Race!
  • Faster Faster Faster
  • That's what she said (of course this one was right next to the one above)
I took some pics along the way.
Iconic fountain at the round-about
Ran past a beautiful park.
Picturesque Loose Park
The rose garden on the other side of Loose Park, which was the way we "turned around" on the course.



I had not visited these iconic landmarks since we've been back, so I was happy to run past them.  I actually took pics, because I wanted to remember this race.  It may be the only time I run it.


I was very impressed with how well organized the race was.  There were Gatorade / water stations and port-a-potties almost every other mile, it felt like.  And around mile 6, there was a "Gu station" where they handed out opened packets of energy-gu!  I LOVED THEM FOR THAT!  I brought my own energy beans which I used, but I loved trying a new brand.  Another group of cheerleaders had bowls of gummy bears.  Another lady was handing out ropes of licorice.

Somehow I got a burst of energy at mile 11 and again at mile 12.  About a half mile before the end, I had the strangest sensation that I HAD to pee and I seriously didn't know if my muscles were going to allow me to hold it or not.  I mean, every muscle in my body was focused on finishing.  Finishing this dang thing so it could be over.

About 10 seconds before the finish line, Todd was there cheering me on and got a few pics.  I was never so happy in all my life to stop moving.

Right before I finished my first Half Marathon!
Once I crossed the finish line, I heard them announce my name because they called out the names of everyone as they crossed the finish.  I got my medal and a bottle of water, and they cut my timing chip off my shoe.  Then I headed straight for the port-a-potty to take care of my most urgent need.  Let me tell you, compression tights + running for 2.5 hours + going in a confined space = NOT a fun experience.  

My second most urgent need was to drink that blessed water.  Everything in my body was telling me that I Needed. To. Drink. That. Water!!!  But as I struggled to get myself redressed (and try to use my phone with sweaty fingers), I reached up to get that brand new bottle of unopened water only to hear it... plop.  The damn thing slid off the top of the slanted toilet paper holder and dove straight down into the blue abyss of the potty.  I looked down and I swear it was right on top, right there in all the muck mocking me.  O.M.G. Noooo!

I come out of the stall dazed and light headed and desperate for water.  Todd luckily found me. Did I mention my sweaty fingers couldn't type on my phone while I was in the john to tell him where I was?  And I had tried calling him but there was NO SOUND.  So.  Frustrating.

So I tell him I have to have water now.  We start walking towards all the food booths, and I see some friends we know.  Todd was in front of me and he didn't see them, but I did.  I was in a panic, almost in tears I was so desperate for water, I run up to them and say to my fellow runner "can I have your water?", to which he immediately gave it to me.  His wife was instantly worried and asked if I wanted to sit down or go to the ER people.  Nope, I just needed some water.  THAT was sort of a panic-stricken feeling that I never want to experience again.

Thankfully, after I drank the entire bottle, I felt better.  We saw a few people we knew were there, walked around and got a little food to snack on, then left.  As we walked the eternity back to the car, I realized what really hurt on my body were my shoulders.  I had woken up that morning with a stiff neck that wouldn't turn to the left but with a warm shower I had loosened it up enough to know I was going to be OK.  I purposefully shook my hands out at least every mile and tried to keep my arms down.  I guess I didn't do that often enough.  That was unexpected.

Also unexpected was my time.  You see, I had experienced 2 sinus infections and stressed my Achilles tendon, all within the past 2 months.  I had to adjust my training plan so many times, I abandoned it.  I had no expectations to make the original time I really wanted, of 2 hrs 30 minutes.  But guess what?  I came in at 2:35:13.9!  I am AMAZED that I finished in only 5 minutes more than my original goal.  I hardly had any time to work on speed training.

So there you have it.  I did a half marathon.  I can check that one off my list.  Now, I'm ready to stick with 10K's.  I can run a blazing fast 6.2 miles now.



 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I WILL Do It!

Howdy!  I know it's been awhile since I've blogged steadily.  However I still have ideas and thoughts to share.  I think of ideas mostly when I run.  You know, when it's most inconvenient to start typing.

I'm spending a fair amount of free time training for an upcoming 1/2 marathon.  It's my first ever.  I decided last September to start training for it, well, just to see if I could.  And I can.  I knew once I hit the 8-mile-threshold, that I will make it.  I can do this.  I got it!

The hardest threshold for me was to run 5 miles several times a week, and then to up that to 6 miles.  I never thought I'd be able to walk again after going this far just a couple times a week.  My feet hurt so bad and my ankle was not a happy camper.  I stuck with it though, and now 5 or 6 miles just feels GOOD.  It's a great distance for me.

I went 9.5 miles last weekend, and I'll go 10.5 the weekend after next.  I know I can do it, and that makes me happy.  I keep breaking personal record distances, and it's an amazing feeling.

I did not always like running.  But what changed my mind was the day I realized one simple fact.  The first mile ALWAYS SUCKSThere is no way around it.  Warming up and loosening up is not fun.  Walking, then jogging and getting into a pace just plain sucks until about mile 1.  Once I realized this fact, accepted this fact, and expected this fact, I started enjoying running.

I run on a treadmill, and I like it.  Most people think I'm nuts.  I don't care to run outside.  I hate the wind, loathe the sun, and value my ankles more than uneven pavement.  I always know what the climate will be.  My chances of skin cancer are reduced.  There are no mosquitoes.  There are nothing but positives to me for running on a treadmill.  I don't get bored because I have my tunes and my thoughts.  I am my best company.

But I will be at a disadvantage when it comes to race day because I haven't been running outside.  But I'm OK with that.  I don't have lofty goals.  I don't want to run fast.  I just want to finish.

And I know I can.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Let's Talk

Let's talk about social media etiquette, shall we?

This is a blog I've been wanting to write for a long time because some things bother me.  Some things bother a lot of social-media-savvy people.  I've been formulating my social media etiquette rules in my head.  Now it's time to write them down.

1. Thou shall not tag oneself in someone's picture, if thou were not there.  
Seriously, this is just not right.  Why is it not right?  Because, you were not THERE.  See, when you tag people in your picture, it says they *were there*.  I don't want a bunch of pictures that says so-and-so was there, when in fact you weren't.  Because it confuses me.  It makes me think back to the event, and think, "huh, they weren't even there"... see?  If you want my picture to show up in your procession of pics, then take my picture and SHARE it yourself, and then tag yourself in YOUR own picture.  That way it doesn't confuse MY history.  That's what FaceBook is all about--you can Share anyone's picture.  That is a socially acceptable action.

2. Thou shall not scream all the time.  
If you were not aware that TYPING IN ALL CAPS MEANS THAT YOU ARE SCREAMING AT THE AUDIENCE, let me share a little secret with you.  ALL CAPS = Yelling.  It's one of the few ways you have of conveying your feelings through the written word.  also, always typing in lower case is the opposite.  all lower case is like, whispering.  so please, use case appropriately.  If you are excited, by all means, SHOUT AT THE WORLD.  If you are sharing a secret, whisper all you want... just realize, there is a difference.  If you are typing on your phone, I'm going to be very forgiving on this rule.  But if I see all caps from you All.  The.  Time.  Then I'm going to skip right past anything you have to say because I can't handle the drama.  As long as you know that if you shout, I'm NOT going to read what you have to say, we're all good.

3. Thou shall think about using Spellchecker.  
Use it or not, it's up to you.  If I had a choice to hear from my friends who do not use spell check, or not hear from them at all, I'd choose no spell check because I want to hear from them.  I can be flexible, but please see rules #1 and #2, which I have a very hard time overlooking.

4.  Thou shall think about proof reading.  
It really does not take but an extra minute to just re-read what you just typed before you click the submit/post button.  That damn spell check will get you when you least expect it.  But, if you proof read, then you'll catch it before I do.  And rest assured that I will.  It's just part of my nature.

5.  Thou shall not abuse the exclamation point!  
Because using it for every sentence!  Lessens the impact you mean to convey!  When proof reading, just think to yourself if using an exclamation point for every single sentence is appropriate.  When excited about a topic, I really have to watch myself on this one.  I always re-read a sentence and ask myself if that particular sentence was worthy of the ending.  If not, it gets a period.  End of sentence.  Reserve the ! for the closure to particularly meaningful sentences.

As long as you aren't committing #1 or #2, I can be flexible and understanding.

I just had to get this out there in writing, because I believe some people relatively newer to social media just don't understand some of the unwritten "rules" that more seasoned social-media-savvy people take for granted.  And if nobody tells you, how would you know?!?  The sad part is that the people I really want to read this probably *never* will, because they don't even know about this little blog.  But if any of this helps someone else arbitrarily, then perhaps it is serving a purpose.  

If you think I'm just too whiny and your opinions differ, I'm good with that too.  Communicating vs. not communicating = It is my opinion that it is better to communicate even while violating the 5 rules above... but that's an entirely separate post for another time to whine about non-communication.

Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

It's A Major Award!

You know I'm not one to talk about work.  I keep my personal life personal, and my work life separate.  It's just easier that way.  (Especially since I worked for that ONE company that ONE time that made EVERYONE hyper-paranoid about saying anything at all about THE company in a social setting.  Those people need to lighten up.)

Anyway, I do have something about work to tell you.  What a great day I had yesterday!  Except for the morning, which pretty much started like any normal stressful day at work with miscommunication, drama, misunderstanding, bla, bla, bla.  All the stuff work is made of on a daily basis, except it got better!

I had a delightful lunch out with my hubby (rare occurrence that I didn't just eat at my desk) and had a delicious healthy lunch (unusual for me, I know).  Then went back to work for an afternoon full of meetings.  If I could just make it to the gym to hit the treadmill, my weekend would start.

In my department wide meeting, something really nice happened.  Our HR department started a brand new acknowledgement program so that people can be patted on the back for a job well done.  I was the first and only person in my department presented with an acknowledgement award for some work I did in January/February 

While many other people were easing into their new year of work, I had to juggle the daily stuff while focusing on something new, intense, and extremely aggressive.  The good thing was that I knew the due date was in late February, so the finish line was short.  Also, I had counterparts in several other countries being asked to do the same task.

What is SO COOL is the fact that something I did was acknowledged not only by the boss of my boss, but ALSO by colleagues GLOBALLY as being THE BEST.  It just floors me!  I mean, I was given an EXTREMELY aggressive timeline to produce something, but that doesn't mean I was going to half-ass it.  Which is what I think they expected given that they initially only gave 3 weeks, and we negotiated an additional month.  If they wanted it half-baked, they should have asked someone else to do it.  

When I thanked the presenter later after the meeting, she told me that I gave management so much to work with, they are really asking tough questions about what they are going to do with the future strategy.  SCORE for me!

Now I get a $100 gift certificate to choose from some really awesome prizes in the online store.  I think I'll go shopping now!




Monday, February 24, 2014

Upcycled

Howdy!  February has almost slipped away with only one single lonely post.  How does that happen?!?

I want to share an idea with you that I made and sent to a friend.  It's right up her alley because she loves burlap, and textured fabric.  And I love turning something that used to be considered trash into something useful.
 
Remember those old coffee cans that nobody keeps anymore and only pack-rats have burried in their garage?  Or you can find them full of buttons at garage sales.  Here's a great idea to re-purpose that old coffee can.

Here are my ingredients:


I bet you can imagine what I did with these 3 items....  And this is the interior view after I glued the rope all around it:



Ta-da!  Isn't it cool?!?  It could be a plant pot cover, a pen holder, a mail receptacle, etc.  The uses are limitless!

So there you have it, my 2nd post in February.  Tomorrow will be much more exciting.

SOMEONE around here is turning 11.  And he's someone to really celebrate!  I need to go frost his cake...