Sunday, May 27, 2007

Today is the day!

My friends will be here to pick me up at 12:30 today. Then we are driving to Grand Portage, where we will spend the night, and we take the ferry to Isle Royale on Monday morning.

I tried to take it kind of easy with my exercise this past week - Monday was a bike ride (of course it was 18 miles or so) but I always find that rather easy and fun. Easier than running, that is. Wednesday, before book club I was able to get home early and exercise for about 45 minutes on the NordicTrack.

And Saturday, I went out for a long, easy run with my friend. Long is the key word... we did somewehere around 12 miles. And to tell you the truth, for the most part, it was great. We chatted, and relaxed into the run, and ran at a very comfortable pace. From my figuring (minus the pit stop along the way) I clocked us at the 6-mile turnaround point at about an hour and two minutes. And yes, we were running and talking at that pace!

But then... my knee started giving me some trouble. The knee that has not given me trouble in the past... so we stretched a bit, and kept going. And it kept hurting, so I walked a bit, and it stopped hurting. Ran a bit more, and when there was less than a mile left, I walked, and it didn't hurt walking, so I figured I did not injure myself before I was to go hiking 50 miles in a week.

Yeah - it hurt most of yesterday after I got home. I have been taking ibuprofin, and resting it, and wearing a knee brace. And it feels better than it did yesterday, but still a little twinge here and there. But it still hurts some. At least I still have about 24 hours to recover before we start hiking. I am packing the Ibuprofin and the knee brace.

So I am all packed, and ready to go, and pretty much nervous as hell.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Holy Crap

This makes me nervous, just watching it...

If you watch closely, you can see someone jump off of the oncoming locomotive just before the impact

watch video

Yeah, I work for the railroad... but not this one!

Monday, May 21, 2007

less than one week

until I leave for Isle Royale.

Yikes. Kind of getting excited and nervous at the same time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Spring in Minnesota

I had good intentions of cleaning my house last night, but that just did not happen...

Instead, Eric and I went out for a lovely dinner. I got to sit out on the patio of a lovely restaurant, enjoying a glass of wine, and eating fabulous food. Eric had the salmon, I had the sea bass. It was just so relaxing.

I kind of needed it after my long day - I was at work from 7:30 am until about 5:30 pm. Catching up from a week out of the office, and preparing to be gone out of the office for another three days.

Things are going to be interesting at work for a while though, one of our unions in Canada is preparing to go on Strike at midnight tonight, so my boss is going to be depolyed to cover the work while the union folks are on strike. I don't have a permit to work in Canada, so it will be business as ususal here, pretty much...

I went for a run this morning, and it actually went pretty well - I did my 4 miles in about 41 minutes. It would appear that I am getting faster. Not a bad thing, but sometimes it just amazes me that I am running close to 10 minute miles. And the new pants I bought in Florida at the end of March are too big for me - I kept hiking up my pants yesterday, it was actually kind of annoying. But what's a girl to do? I guess I have to go look and see if I have anything in the next size smaller... although I think I kind of skipped that size last time I was losing weight. It means I just have to lose more, right?

Anyway, I need to hop in the shower and get on the road to LaCrosse - my meeting today starts there at 10:30.


Monday, May 14, 2007

My first ever....

And it brought a tear to my eye too.

I got a Mother's Day card on Saturday in the mail. From my stepdaughter. I guess I should have kind of expected it, since I saw the one she had mailed to my mother - but it still kind of took me by suprise.

Yesterday, I celebrated Mother's Day by going for a 5-mile hike with my 35 pound backpack, rushing home, showering, and then off to meet my mom, grandmother, and aunt (and their assorted spouses and family) for Sunday Brunch. There were 13 of us there, and we were all entertained by my cousin's daughter performing all of her dance recital moves for us in the restaurant, singing songs she made up. She's 4, and pretty adorable.

After that, it was off to do some shopping. A stop at the sporting goods store for some stuff sacks, getting my Mother's Day present of a new broom (When I asked Eric what I was getting for Mother's Day, he said "a new broom?" I thought it a good idea, since the one we have is old, and the handle is falling apart), cat food, and then a stop at Trader Joe's, since they have opened a new store in Maple Grove. I got some dried frut and trail mix for our backpacking trip, and some assorted other things you can only get at TJ's that I love (like chicken sausages!)

Oh, yeah, and after we got home, I did something like 7 loads of laundry.

I have more traveling this week - this time to exotic LaCrosse, Wisconsin.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

I knew something was off...

I went on a long run this morning.

And I ran the whole thing. I am very proud of myself. But, there was a fly in the ointment. I ran what I figured was a 10 mile route. Yep. 10 miles. Running. Me. Amazing, is it not?

But the fly: If it was 10 miles, I would have been doing 10 minute miles, since my time for said route was 1 hour and 40 minutes (well, and 59 seconds, if you want to be exact). I know I don't run that fast without pushing myself.

So I re-mapped the route. Turns out it is only 9.57 miles. Only. Would you listen to me? You might think I am a super-dedicated runner!

But, I have never run the whole route before. And I don't ever remember running that far, without any walking, at any time in my life. And the best thing: I'm not dead tired, and it was a pretty easy run. Methinks I am getting in shape. And another good news story - if you figure it out, it's about 10 and a half minute miles - which I still consider to be awesome.

On that note, I'm off to run some errands - I need to get flowers for my grandmother and mother for mother's day, from my sister, of course... I have better gifts!


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bereavement leave

Is is wrong that I asked for two days off of work for my step-father-in-law's funeral and internment?

Yesterday with the visitation and funeral, I really had to take the day off. Today, the internement is at 1pm. But I took the day off.

The funeral yesterday was odd, to say the least. Not that the ceremony was anything unusual, but just the assortment of people, Frank's (SFIL) kids, my Mother-in-law and her relatives. I guess I did not know him very well, and he was Eric's second stepfather - SFIL and MIL have been married about 9 years. But, as things go, of course my MIL was sitting in the front row. So we sat with her - I felt like I was userping his kids... why was I in the front, when his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren were sitting behind me.

And I learned things about my SFIL - I always thought he really was kind of boring, he liked to talk to you and not say much, but he was very active in a number of historical groups, and within the community when his kids were growing up. If I had known about that, perhaps I would have been more interested in talking to him when we went to visit them. But, I guess you just get cranky, and tired of telling the same stories when you get older.

I have been taking advantage of my free time the last two days to get in some running. Yesterday's run was great. I ran 5 miles in just over 50 minutes.

Today's run was another story. I think I ate too many bars at the funeral lunch, 'cause I was just not feeling it today. 6 miles today took me about an hour and 10 minutes. I will say I walked a fair portion of it.

Tomorrow it is back to work. I most likely will head out tonight, to make meetings that are tomorrow morning.

Yep, back to real life.

Monday, May 07, 2007

An interesting weekend

I'm glad that I decided to take Friday off of running, I think my body needed the rest!

Instead, my hubby and I went out to a Jaycees happy hour, and had some good food and fun drinks. And then it was home and in bed by 10:30pm. Yep, in case you were wondering, we are "old"!

Eric had a really neat event that he was volunteering at at 7am Saturday morning - something they call the "Vet's Home Opener" where they bring a trout pond, stocked with trout to the Veteran's home, and let them fish, then their catch is prepared as shore lunch. They get to invite their grandkids to the event, and have a grand old time fishing. I guess this event is something that they talk about all year, and something that they anticipate greatly. I just think it's a heck of a nice event.

Also, Saturday morning, I got up and met my running group for a run. I had 7 miles on my schedule, but ended up doing about 8 - it was an out and back route, and I got distracted by the conversation we were having on the run... but it was comfortable running for most of the way, even if we were doing somewhere around 10:30 miles

I came back home to a message on the machine from Eric's mother - his stepfather passed away somethime on Friday night or Saturday morning. He had been diagnosed with Stomach/Liver/Pancreatic cancer about three weeks ago, and they estimated he had about 4-6 months left to live. I suspect he just gave up. He was 81, and an Air Force veteran. If you are interested, this is the Obituary.

Eric ended up going out to a local place with a group of people that were working the event with him, and at about 3:00 when I called him to see what was up, he said he had just ordered food and a root beer, as he needed to sober up before heading home... evidently someone had paid for the first $150 of their bar bill...

So I headed out without him, to meet some of my friends to eat Mexican food at a place on their patio, and to have a DosEquis. Then back to my friend's house to chit chat... I ended up getting home around 10:45, to my husband laying on the bed, across the pillows at the top of the bed, sound asleep. I had to wake him up to move - I told him he had to move, or I was not going to sleep with him! It just made me laugh!

Sunday, I met a friend of mine to go for a hike with our 30+ pound packs, to get in some miles with the weight we will be carrying on Isle Royale. We actually went the same place I had gone running the day before, since I thought it was a pretty decent location. It was sure windy though - we ended up doing about 6 miles, but we were getting really concerned on the way back, with the wind gusting like it was... wondering if some of the trees there were getting ready to topple. I guess they measured some gusts at the airport (which we were quite close to there ) at 53 miles per hour.

And coming back to our vehicles... it appears that some bastard backed into my car, and dented the driver side rear wheel well. And didn't have the curtosy to leave a note or anything. My pretty red Jetta is now damaged. It really sucks. Well, probably not as much as Jessica's experience, but I don't know who did it, I have to be mad at an unnamed ahole.

So a mix of good and bad.

Par for the course, right?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Just under 9 minutes

Met up with Jess to run the Twin Cities One Mile race last night. It was actually pretty fun, although there were almost too many people at the starting line - much craziness ensued as the police kept trying to clear all of the runners lined up out of the street so that traffic could go through.
So my time was a little slower than last year (9 seconds according to my watch) but at least my leg didn't cramp up on me.
And I am registered for the marathon. (gasp!)
This is just a quickie, as I need to get to work, but I wanted to post the pic!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I went to the eye doctor today. One, because I had not been since October of 2005. Two, because I have a "floater" in my right eye that I wanted to be checked out. I kept seeing this thing that looked like a fuzz when I moved my eye. So the deal is, sometimes the proteins in the vitrious fluid clump up, then you see these strange spots. It's pretty harmless, but annoying all the same.

The good news is that I am noticing it less - perhaps it is breaking up somewhat or my mind is getting used to it and compensating.

But, they had to dilate my pupils to get a good look at it. And I am wearing sunglasses in my office, otherwise the overhead lights are painful, and the white papers on my cubicle wall have these strange halos. Let's hope nobody thinks they need to drug test me (not that I am worried about the outcome!)

I made myself real popular at work this week... I went out into the field to observe a supervisor and employees, and the employees are now all cranky because I am telling them what the rules are, and that the supervisors are expected to enforce them. "But we've been doing it that way for xxx amount of time!" Yeah, doesn't make it right now, does it.

I went for a 5 mile run last night, and it really kind of sucked. I was into it for the first two miles (in about 20:30) but then I started getting a little lightheaded. I had eaten a farily large lunch (chicken, flour tortilla, cheese, refried beans, spanish rice), so I ended up walking about 5 minutes or so. I finished in a little over 55 minues, so it wasn't terrible, but not like the 3 miles I did in just over 30 min the day before.

And today I think I have discovered the reason - I tend to tank a bit with my exercise when I am getting my period. Glad to know it wasn't since I about killed myself trying to do too much last weekend.

Tonight I get to meet Jess for the TC 1 Mile race that kicks off the Marathon registration. It starts with the first Mile!


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tired on top of tired

That was pretty much my weekend....

And last week was long, too.

Yeah, so I was in Chicago for three days last week, but at least the hotel I was staying in had a 24-hour exercise room. I did manage to get up both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings to run. 4 on Tuesday, 6 on Wednesday. Although I must say, I was definately wearing the wrong clothes on Wednesday. (Beware, this might be TMI) Chafing sucks. I mean, really. The shorts I was wearing kept riding up, and my thighs chafed (this is why I run in spandex...) but the sports bra I was wearing had a seam that chafed too... So sore boob and crotch, wonderful... and a whole day of instruction ahead of me (I was teaching a class) and then a plane ride to boot.

For the weekend, we were doing some spring cleanup/planting at a community center in St. Paul. My husband and I were running the project, and needed to be there at the 8am start. So, I decided it would be best to run before that... 5 miles (no biggie, right?) So run, 3 hours of gardening, then home. Where I decided since we were in the mode, I wanted to do something with our yard. So I cleared out the leaves and weeded the peonies, removed leaves from the window wells, and from the bushes and the ferns, amongst some other things... while Eric worked on wrapping a chain around the stumps of the bushes he cut down last year using the truck.

Yeah, I was tired that night after 5 miles, and about 8 hours of gardening stuff. So what did I do on Sunday for an encore?

Well of course, I got up and went for a run. I mapped out a route that was 9 miles (4.5 out then back). All well and good, but it turns out the Gateway Trail is under construction, and detoured. Since I don't have a gadget that tells me how far I run, I went to my originally planned turn-around point. And mapped what I had done after I got home. I went 9.5 miles. And it was hard, I ended up doing about 12 minute miles with the walking/water breaks.

And for an afternoon activity? We mulched the flower beds and the lilac bushes.

Yeah, I slept well.

And for this week? Believe it or not, I don't have any travel plans (unlike the last 3 weeks). The only thing I really have scheuled is the Twin Cities 1-Mile race on Thursday, where I plan to register for the Marathon.

I'm both excited, and scared at the same time.

So that's what's up.