Sunday, November 27, 2011

Creepy McCreepy

This weekend we made the decision to travel to Iowa and stay with my husbands family.  My in-laws.  My brother and sister in law and their almost 1 year old, Jacob.   It's only 3 hours away, and we spent the night on Thanksgiving and Friday, leaving on Saturday after a football game.

I LOVE where they live.  Love it.  It's in Knoxville but seriously it's more of a tandem of Lake Red Rock, which is the largest lake in Iowa, which means...wildlife.  Like, deer.  Everywhere.  All-the-time.  My father in law says he sees coyotes running around in speedy, silver groups.  If you're there in early spring, you can look up and see bald eagles and where they are nesting.  All you have to do is walk less than half a mile to see these majestic birds, and just walk anywhere to see any other wild animal.  I love it...and couldn't wait to actually run through the closed (for winter) campgrounds.  Just me, my music, looking for deer.  Running.

I put on my cold gear, which was too much, I knew I was going to be hot, but it didn't mind.  Off I go.  Now, I'm out running and about to enter the campground, and notice the gate is wide open.  This fall, the weather has been SO nice, nice enough to allow people to drive in and walk or run, even hike the awesome the park isn't really 'all' mine, and that's fine, I can share.

I'm noticing my run is more 'labored' than usual, I blame the Thanksgiving meal and my lunch that day.  I always say "fuel your runs", because it's so true.  Crappy food = crappy run.  (but really it was ok, and totally worth it).   I have both ear-buds in, just like I'm not supposed to but there is zero traffic, and as always I'm focused on my surroundings and aware of when loud, little red trucks with chain-smoking men are about to pass me.  Stupid truck has now ruined my 'only me' run, but it's a big campground, so whatever.

I'm finding my groove and look up ahead to see a pretty huge, ginormous, almost 90 degree hill ahead of me...with that little red truck parked at the top.  Now facing me.  Parked.  I think to myself "well, I can turn around and avoid the hill and The Creeper", or just keep going.  I kept going.  I think I chose to keep going because if I turned away, I thought that would show fear.  (oh, and he's not parked in some real parking place, he's just parked on the side of the road, opposite side of me)  I finally make it to the top of the hill and just ignore him totally *whew*.  As I'm passing him, I'm inhaling his cigarette smoke but he's now up there and I'm running down here.  I'm realizing as I run, this campground has one way in and one way out, probably like most state campgrounds, but that meant that I may have to see him again.  That small, wrinkled, weathered face, with a ciggy dangling out of his mouth.  But guess what?  He passes me again, so now he's leaving and now I'm feeling safe-ish.

Of course I have to run up that hill again, and now who's parked AT THE BOTTOM OF THAT HILL?  Are you kidding me?  My mind races and I think to call my husband, but I know his phone is downstairs and off.  I look right and left and there are huge ravines perfect for hiding bodies but if I got past a ravine, it's surrounded by water.  I actually stopped running to gauge the real or not danger here, and I knew I could outrun him, not a bullet, but him.  P.S.  I'm very dramatic.

I run down the hill.  I pass him...but now his truck is slowly rolling WITH ME.  WHO DOES THIS?  I died.  My arms went numb and I quick turned left into an RV camping area, he is still on the main road...I think.  I walk through that camping loop and when I want to leave, he's parked outside that loop.  I march up to him and pull out my phone and take a picture of him.  I shout  "WHAT?!?!?! GET AWAY FROM ME!"

Him:  "I'm just waiting for my wife, she is walking our 6 pound dog".  (he chuckles when he says 6 pound dog like that's cute or something)


Me:  "She's not right here, get away from me".

I walk in front of the truck and take another picture of him behind me.

I use every fiber of my being to get out of that park as fast as I could.  I never saw him again.  Creepy fucker.

I realize he quite possibly was there to walk his wife or dog or whatever, but he did harass me.  I wasn't there for his entertainment.  Maybe he missed that memo.

Ended up being over 5 miles of physical endurance and 10 lifetimes of mental strain.

Creepy, huh?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mostly Wordless Tuesday

Today is Mostly Wordless Tuesday for heck of it.  This past week has been pretty exciting for a small town, Nebraska woman.  I had a birthday.  I got finally an iPhone.  I ran 8 miles.  I bought some 'cold gear' for running.  And, I ran 8 miles...wait, I said that already.

This is getting pretty wordy for wordless, so I'll share some of my first iPhone captures.

my Nike Pro Combat 'Cold Gear'
Me modeling my reversible thermal Nike headband - both ways.  There needs to be an app that says "brush your damn hair". 
my celebratory wine...and that glass isn't as huge as you's an iPhone app called "make your wine glass appear huge"
and a birthday muffin...stinking 470 calories and 24 grams of fat...I had two.
My birthday lunch.  We had to head to Omaha for some things, so we tried a new restaurant -- Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen.  There are no words to describe how fantastic it is.  Is there an app for licking the plate clean and no one will see it?
Dessert.  Duh.  My birthday means dessert.  And can we have an app that changes high calorie and fat foods to something light and good for you?  But can it taste like this did?  Because.  O-M-G.
and my 8 mile route
This picture was near the end of my 8 mile run, and I realized it was also the end of a pretty great week...but also, possibly the beginning of many more great weeks to come.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Seven. Shichi. Siete. Sieben. VII

I ran 7 miles yesterday.  SEVEN.  I can hardly believe it myself.

After taking the weekend off from running, I pretty much felt I could do a 5+ mile run.  My 'favorite and comfortable' run is 4 miles, relatively quick (45 minutes or so) and around 500 calories burned.  I'm okay with those numbers, but I know all runs can't be 4, 5, or 6 miles...can they?   I never really know how far I'll be running until after about a mile or so.  Do my hips feel ok?  Are my quads tight like they love to be?  Any discomfort I can't mask with ibuprofen?   (and yes, I take ibuprofen before almost every run because I am old, and things just .... ache).   So, yesterday being beautiful, and I was feeling pretty good, running to my new play list, I thought to myself  "Hmm, maybe I could run 7 miles today."

I started with what I call 'Lawson Loop', and it's a small graveley 'track' around the new high school baseball field.  I've attempted to figure the distance and IF it's what I think it could's around 3/4 of a mile.  I think.  Maybe.  Or not.  Who knows.  I did two loops and thought I'd be crazy to run a billion loops for seven miles, so I hit the road heading out of town.

There are some 'not-as-busy' roads in the country, but most are pretty busy being they are arteries.  I hopped onto a side road, found my groove and ran, and ran, and ran.  Now, I'm running on gravel because when you live in the sticks, all roads eventually turn to gravel/stone/loose dirt.  The gravel was ok, just have to watch for extra large boulder size, ankle twisting stones, which thankfully, I avoided them all.

Still running 'out of town', I notice a water treatment plant that I had no idea existed.  I see many, many identifiable footprints of deer and dogs or maybe those are coyotes and wolfs, but since I'm running in their territory, I'll call them something non-scary, like, chihuahuas.   Up ahead and around the bend, I know there's a turkey farm. However, I realize the turkeys are probably gone since I'm noticing 12358425 white feathers along the road, which of course happened when they were attacked by the killer chihuahuas, or, when the were loaded up for slaughter. Ugh, the smell of a turkey farm is not a pleasant one, time to turn around.  I check my ipod, and I'm just over 5 miles...which is perfect.  Oh, but I'm hot.  Long sleeved black shirt with a t-shirt over it, and it's 58 degrees and I'm sweating like a whore in church.  Like, Biggest Loser sweating.  My back is soaked, oh, the sweat.

Heading back, I'm now back onto the familiar paved roads, waving to any vehicle that makes room for me.  Not really a 'wave' more like...I'm flashing them deuces to the side.  And, by 'vehicles', I'm speaking of dump trucks, farming things, trucks towing fertilizer and semi-trucks.  They're all real friendly, slow down, move over ... and WAVE.

I cut back over the Lawson Field and see a snake.  A snake.  I noticed it was gnawing on something red and meaty as I screamed and ran away.  I've just hit the six mile mark and realize I'm closer to home than I need to be, so I will need to extend my run in the neighborhood, and that's just what I do.  I'm starting to feel dehydrated and a bit fatigued, but at this point there's no way that I'm not going to put a seven miler in the books.

I do a loop and check the ipod...and yes, seven miles done.  By me.  First time ever.  I go inside my house and my arms begin to cramp, the dehydration is worse than I expected, but that's ok.  I JUST RAN SEVEN FREAKING MILES.

Monday, November 14, 2011

run-away weekend

I didn't run this weekend, and on Friday, I only walked.  I love weekend running because it's a great time to try new routes, paths or even trails.  The weather was even perfect, mid 50's.  Sunny.  Dry.  I still did not run.  Was I lazy?  Yes, I do think that was some of the reason why.  Mainly, my legs are tired.  Achy.  Tired.

I'm not going to beat myself up about two days of not running and in about an hour, I will be lacing up and starting the week right with a nice, long (to me) run!   Who's running.walking with me?  How far did you go?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

why you need to work out today

I will start by saying that I read this article probably almost a year ago, a year ago I was NOT exercising and eating everything in sight, soon gaining the most non-pregnancy weight of my life.

I love the above 'image'.  It's a thought process MOST people go through, most of the time..that is unless you're just eating whatever you like and unless you're not even wanting or trying to get thirty minutes of exercise in daily.  I think we all 'want' to eat right, lose weight or improve something about ourselves.   Our bodies are meant to move.  Clearly.  This is why we can't sit around and eat endless fat and calories and be thin or fit.  We need to move..and not from the computer to the refrigerator.  Nice try ;) 

What is our bodies biggest enemy?  We are sitting on it.  

You might not want to take the following stat sitting down: According to a poll of nearly 6,300 people by the Institute for Medicine and Public Health, it's likely that you spend a stunning 56 hours a week planted like a geranium — staring at your computer screen, working the steering wheel, or collapsed in a heap in front of your high-def TV. And it turns out women may be more sedentary than men, since they tend to play fewer sports and hold less active jobs.
Even if you think you have an energetic lifestyle, sitting is how most of us spend a good part of our day. And it's killing us — literally — by way of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. All this downtime is so unhealthy that it's given birth to a new area of medical study called inactivity physiology, which explores the effects of our increasingly butt-bound, tech-driven lives, as well as a deadly new epidemic researchers have dubbed "sitting disease." - Women's Day by Selene Yeager.
Then, I read this.
When you sit for an extended period of time, your body starts to shut down at the metabolic level, says Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri. When muscles — especially the big ones meant for movement, like those in your legs — are immobile, your circulation slows and you burn fewer calories. Key flab-burning enzymes responsible for breaking down triglycerides (a type of fat) simply start switching off. Sit for a full day and those fat burners plummet by 50 percent.
As if that wasn't enough. 
And even if you exercise, you're not immune. Consider this: We've become so sedentary that 30 minutes a day at the gym may not do enough to counteract the detrimental effects of eight, nine, or 10 hours of sitting, says Genevieve Healy, Ph.D., a research fellow at the Cancer Prevention Research Centre of the University of Queensland in Australia. That's one big reason so many women still struggle with weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol woes despite keeping consistent workout routines.
So, this is not rocket science...get out there and move.  Every day.   

Thursday, November 3, 2011

sometimes TV shows are jerks and running can't fix everything

Sometimes television shows are jerks, and they don't even mean it.  Hubby and I watch about eight shows/week.  We DVR them then snuggle up on the couch and have little marathons.  We love 'our shows'.   NCIS, NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, Dancing with the Stars, Biggest Loser.  We've even added 2 more shows, Up All Night and Modern Family.  As you can see, some shows are about crimes and detective work, some are light and entertaining and some are just flat our hilarious.  The entertainment value is priceless, taking our minds off of the daily grind is always a good thing.

Last night we watched Criminal Minds (one of my favorites), and as usual, it was fairly gripping, twisted and dark.  Hello?  The name says it all.  There were two story lines in the show, one was the bad guy and how he had previously had a terrible after death experience.  The second story line was how a long divorced couple were reunited ... only, she was dying of a terminal disease.  She wanted to die on her own terms, so she took a bottle of pills, and laid her head on her former husband and barely muttered a question to him.   "Do you think he'll be there?"  He held her tight and he was quietly crying, then he assured her, "Yes, I know he'll be there."

Next scene, cemetery.  He is sitting by two headstones, one is hers.  The other is their son - born and died on the same day some thirty years earlier.

My husband grabs my hand and squeezes it so tight, and we both just sit there, choking for air, tears falling, not able to say a word.  We weren't expecting that, clearly.  It took us each a good fifteen minutes to regain composure and to go on with the night.  It wasn't so much the headstone of the baby but more the question of the mother "will he be there?"  

We know this is how we both will meet our son and daughter.  In the afterlife.  And I know seven years after losing our first baby, the pain is still so raw and real.   I want to think of them all the time, but it's hard to.  So, when a silly weekly tv show rocks my foundation of cope,  I know it's time for me to think of them again, and, I will.

I will wonder how tall Jonathan would have been and imagine the color of Grace's hair.  In my mind they are the closest of friends, never separating, always smiling and happy.  I will picture the bedrooms they will never have and wonder if they miss us as much as we miss them.   I hope they are happy and warm.  I hope great-grandparents are reading them stories, and hugging them tight.  I long to hear their sweet voices.  To smell their hair, watch them play.

For now, they are forever in my heart, so close yet so far.  I won't ask the question "will they be there?"  because I already know "they will."

this stone is in my pond landscaping, it makes my heart swell when I see it

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

PlankADay and ThankADay - Day One

I planked.  Holy embarrassment.  ELEVEN SECONDS.  I knew my core was weak or non-existent..but eleven seconds?  I literally laughed out loud when I finished.  I am excited to see where I end up at the end of November.  Please join the PlankADay and ThankADay Challenge  I mean, why not?  You can plank almost anytime.  Your core will love you.  Eventually.

While planking for eleven seconds, I gave thanks for the ability to run the six miles that I ran yesterday.  I couldn't really give thanks to a real person or even God, there wasn't enough time!  Today's goal - fifteen seconds.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

a goal without a plan is just a wish

Personally, I love the beginning of a new month.  I love the newness of it, I'm usually ready to flip the calendar, and I'm always sometimes thinking of some way to challenge myself for that new, upcoming month.  I love early November, it's still very autumn-y...temperatures are still tolerable, Thanksgiving is weeks away, my sons birthday is ten days away, and a certain someone will be another year older *looks at ceiling*.   

Happy First Day of November!  I ran six miles for the first time ever.  I can't lie, it was pretty grueling.  I'm confident I wasn't physically ready to do this as I totally ran out of energy at mile five.  Mile five is my body's truck stop.  Done.  Finito.  No más.  It's not my breathing huffing and puffing, that's body...just...stops.  Live and learn, but hey, I did SIX MILES.  Which is four miles short of my current running goal.  Did I just say that?  Yes, I did! 

Goals.  First of the month.  Set some.  Now.

Here are mine:
Run at least twenty miles/week
push-up training
Plank-a-day  (one plank a day for as long as you can hold it) 
Less wine  (boo!  hiss!)

Why not start with a walk?  Or less snacking?  More water?   More sleep?

What are your goals for November?  Share!  Share!

a compliment can go sooo far

Last night I was chit chatting with my husband and reminiscing about my trip to Indiana.  My ramblings go on and on and it's funny how one thing leads to another and I eventually end up my yapping with a something my Mom shared with me.  Something pretty great, something she made sure to tell me, something that made me feel accomplished and really, really great.

My Dad said to my Mom  "You can really tell Lori is running and's really noticeable.'" 

I so love that she shared that with me.  THIS IS WHY I WORK OUT.  I want to look better, feel better, but really, look better. When someone notices my efforts AND tells just doesn't get much better than that.