Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Reb Rocks the Tempo Run!

Tonight I had the best run that I've had in about six months. My training schedule called for a tempo run...five miles, running the middle three considerably faster than my normal pace. I was excited for a real training run...real speedwork... but I was scared that I'd not be able to keep the pace it recommended. But I did it. And more. After running my first mile at my typical pace I cranked her up to the tempo pace and held it for the full three miles. When I hit four miles I walked for a tenth of a mile and then rather than running a slower final mile, I ran it even harder than the last three. I ran faster than I have since sometime in the Fall, and it felt amazing.

When I started running a few years ago I never thought I'd break a 12 minute mile. I was always told (by many doctors) that I could never run because of my deformed knees and severe asthma. For years I had a recurring dream about me running and running and running and feeling euphoric. My friend Dave convinced me to try and told me that if I ran slow enough I could do it. He was right. I ran slow, but I enjoyed it and my knees and asthma did okay at that pace...most of the time. Over the last year, however, I managed to train up to an average pace of ten minute miles. My knees do great and my asthma is generally okay. Tonight I was running nine minute miles for a while. For me that's running like the wind.
I am proud of my run tonight. After a LOT of self doubt over the last few weeks, I'm back to my old self and ready to train for this marathon.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

7 Miles, Zero Degree Windchill

Is this runner hardcore, or what?? Or just nuts? Your call. Whichever you decide, I still ran seven miles this morning in some pretty severe weather.
As it turned out, I was overdressed and had to strip down at mile 1.5 and remove one shirt and one pair of gloves. The sun was beautiful and the air very crisp, and I made a brief stop at the cemetary to visit my twins at the 3.5 miles mark. I still struggled to keep my pace up, but I think that my speed and endurance are starting to get back to where I was pre-surgery. I ran the seven in 1:13, or a pace of 10:25 per mile. I'm getting there.
Official marathon training starts tomorrow

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Snow Bunnies

We all bundled up and went sledding this morning and I practiced my snowy photography. I have some beautiful models, don't I?

More New Words

Amelia has a few more new words....
up, down (said together)
Holly (the Black Lab)

And the tooth count is up to 12, including four molars.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Marathon Training Begins

Monday officially marks the beginning of training for the Green Bay Marathon. 16 weeks of speedwork, long runs, and ice baths.
I'm really nervous about it this year. I'm still feeling very insecure about my running after taking a month off for my sinus surgery, and only running lightly for the month before that due to our move. I've had some good runs (last week's spiritual four miler and then the snowy seven miler with Jo) and some really hard runs (last night's tough 5 miler where I wanted to quit after 1.5 miles) but I'm still much slower than I was a few months ago. Last night I struggled through my five miles, taking three brief walk breaks and ending up with an average pace a full minute slower than I averaged three months ago. Meanwhile my running partner is getting faster and faster and has a much better mileage base to start training with. I've got some real catch up to do. And fast.
Our plan has us running four days a week with weekly long runs ranging from 10 to 20 miles plus one speed workout a week. We will run at least two 20 mile runs before the marathon. That's a long run, my friends. Ever run 20 miles? At one time? Trust me, it's a long way. And how about 26.2 miles? Just so you're clear, that's even further. And that's what I'll be doing again 16 short weeks from now.
God help me.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Snowy Seven Miler

Jo and I ran seven miles in a snowstorm this morning. It was 18 degrees and we have a Snow Advisory all day. It was snowing pretty hard throughout the entire run, making it difficult to keep our eyes open. We continuously found it necessary to clean the icecicles off of our eyebrows and eyelashes, and our clothes were coated in snow.
The route was a very hilly one, relative to the topography of our city, which added to the difficulty with instability. In several areas there were no sidewalks, so we were forced to run in the street which posed it's own set of difficulties. Jo and I always have issues with inconsiderate drivers during our training runs, and today was no different. When forced to run in the street, we always run against oncoming traffic, as is recommended for safety. The problem with this is that some people aim for you. And I'm not joking. We've been run off of the road into ditches numerous times when (usually pickup trucks) vehicles actually turn towards us and veer into the shoulder....usually accompanied by an upward-turned middle finger, musical horn playing Dixie, or shout of choice words.
If you someday read an article or hear a news piece about a runner who was intentionally run down or jumped and beaten by a motorist....well, it's most likely me. You see, Jo and I always wave, smile, or otherwise acknowlege considerate drivers who move over and/or slow down when passing us on the roadway. That said, we (okay, mostly me) also fight the good fight and stand up for road runners everywhere when someone is not considerate and endangers us on a run. If someone speeds by without moving over at all or inches towards us because it bothers them that we are running on their street I yell and/or offer up various not-so-polite gestures. Today, for example, a car came close enough to me on a snow-covered road that I could easily touch their window. And I was in the shoulder. I yelled, I swore, I tossed out fingers.... in the name of runners rights.
So, if you ever hear of a runner who was run down or chased by an angry motorist who was on the receiving end of my tirade, it's probably yours truly. And runners all over the globe with cheer me and forever call me their hero.
Their beaten and/or squashed hero, but hero nonetheless

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I'm On the Front Page of the Green Bay Press Gazette

Check it out! I'm on the front page of the main Green Bay newspaper, and their website! How fun!

Front page

and here is the full story

And here is the tattoo, since I've been talking about it... I love it because it has Rainey and Grace as angel fairies looking down over Libby and Amelia as fairies. The photos are a little blurry because I took them with the camera in my computer.

An Adult Day

Chris got home on Wednesday. After taking care of everything here by myself for a week and a half, and Chris working through the weekend and worrying about bedbugs in the hotel (okay, motel) we both needed a break. So we both took Friday off and had an adult day. I got a run in after the girls left for daycare, then we took off for Green Bay. We had a nice lunch which included drinks. This place mixed them s t r o n g. Chris couldn't drink his. He said it tasted like cough syrup. So after I drank mine, I downed his. I called my friends at work to inform them that it was 12:27 and I was loaded.
Next we headed off for the Oneida Casino. I've never been in a casino before. Yes. I'm two weeks shy of 34 and have never stepped foot in a casino. I took a turn on the slots and then we headed into the convention hall where we attended the tattoo convention.
We saw some VERY cool artwork. And some very cool artists from all over the world. My favorite was an all-female shop from Seattle, WA called Madame Lazonga's. Jacqueline added some detail to my large tattoo on my back that features all four of my girls as fairies among orange poppies. We plan on taking a roadtrip to Washington state this year and you know that I'll be visiting Madame Lazonga's. These ladies know color. If you are ever in their area, check them out. They do the most painterly and beautiful floral work. I've never seen anything like it.
Check out Madame Lazonga's

Monday, January 15, 2007

Life Is Two Crazy....

With Chris traveling for work, me still healing from the surgery, working full time and today's snowstorm things are a little nuts right now....
Two houses to shovel today
Two little girls to get up and to daycare then home and fed and bathed and occupied while shoveling two houses
Two dogs to care for and two dogs' worth of wet paw prints on the floor to clean up
Two Slim Fasts, strawberry for breakfast and chocolate for lunch
Two grapefruits in the evening
Two times that my Ear Nose & Throat doctor told me today that he "even gagged after that one" when trying to clean out my messed up left sinus during my unexpected visit today (after increased pain and swelling).
Two painkillers taken today after not needing to take any for a while.
Two books at bedtime for Libby...Spookly the Pumpkin and a Dragontales book...
Two baths given this evening to two dirty little girls
Two tons of laundry to do but no desire to do it
Two days left (I hope just two) of the same.

Oh, and I have not run yet this week and have to get three good ones in. After this week I NEED to get up to four runs a week...three 5-6 milers and one long run on the weekend. I am getting really worried that I'm not going to get on track with my marathon training. Having to take time off from running because of my surgery and it's complications (like today)...and moving and schedule challenges with Chris gone.... has really got me scared that I won't have what it takes to get back to level of dedication that I need.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Gassy Chickens

Earlier today Libby told me that she didn't want something because it would make her gassy. "It will make you gassy?" I asked? "yes" she replied, "It will make me gassy like a chicken".

I guess that's something we all should watch out for, isn't it?

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Couple of Kid Funnies

**The other morning, Chris came into our bathroom and found Amelia standing there with his dirty underwear around her neck, smiling proudly. We laughed and he removed them....only to discover my dirty thong hanging around her neck, too.

**Libby came up to me this evening, reached up and squeezed my chest and said, "I love your big boobies"

We have a couple of classy little ladies, ay?

Tickle Me Amelia

Amelia's new word=Tickle
She gets a little grin on her face reaches for you and says, "tickletickletickletickletickle"
Tickle is the newest of a handful... she also says:
thank you
no mama
one, two

oh, and GIVE ME SOME FREAKING MILK ALREADY BEFORE MY HEAD EXPLODES, LADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (but that one she says in our special private language.)

Edited the next day to add: I swear to God she just said, "one, two" in that normal sing-song inflection that kids do when they learn to count. I swear. it was as plain as day. We'll see if she repeats it.
Edited again to add that she repeated it later in the day.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Amelia had quite a day...she pushed two more molars through her bottom gums. About two weeks ago it was two on the top. Just think about how much that must hurt. Think about the last time you had a toothache. Now think about having two toothaches at once, on opposite sides of your mouth. Then imagine how it is when you don't understand why it hurts. You're not an adult who can understand a dentist telling you that it's a cavity or're a baby who just hurts. On top of it you get diarreah and a diaper rash which makes it all the more terrible. If you're lucky, someone notices and figures out why you're so unhappy and gives you some Tylenol...or Oragel. If you're not, your parents figure it out once the teeth are all the way through and the pain is lessening anyway.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Angel Gnome Won Out (thanks to the Devil Gnome)....Twice

When the Devil Gnome told me that my ass looks big he made the Angel Gnome's case. I ran that night and again tonight. Four miles on Sunday and only 3.25 tonight. I'm hoping that Angel Gnome and Devil Gnome's friends Speedy Gnome and Long Run Gnome come along pretty soon, or I'm afraid I'll be running this marathon gnomeless in May.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Angel Gnome vs Devil Gnome....

Angel Gnome (sitting on my left shoulder): "Get down there! If you run today there will be one less time during the week that you have to manage a run."
Devil Gnome (on my right shoulder): :The couch is very comfy and a movie would be very nice..."
Angel Gnome: "get the run over with and relax the rest of the evening."
Devil Gnome: "you are exhausted...have a cough and face DESERVE to lay on the couch."
Angel Gnome: "You'll have more energy after you go for a run...and you'll feel better"
Devil Gnome: "Don't listen to that goody-two-shoe pansy gnome. You feel like crap, and running on a moving rubber belt will not make anyone feel better"
Angel Gnome: "I'm sensitive. That doesn't make me a pansy. And running is the only way to train for a marathon and lose those ten pounds you keep talking about"
Devil Gnome: "Okay....sensitive. Whatever. Don't listen to that sensitive pansy gnome. Take a break. Everyone else in the house took naps deserve a break, too."
Angel Gnome: "A good run is a break. Go down and savor it while you still have someone around to watch the girls and you can run without jumping off and running upstairs to rewind a movie or pick up a dropped sippy cup."
Devil Gnome: "Your running pants make your butt look big."

That does it. I'm going downstairs.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Post Op Run #2 & PMS Of The Nose

My nose did not fall off.
Nor did it bleed uncontrolably.
Or even turn blue.

I loped along for three miles on my treadmill, increasing my speed every quarter mile. I topped out at ten minute miles, so I followed the rules and kept the speed down. My legs are a bit sore after my first couple of runs after a month layoff, but nothing too bad.

Yesterday I saw my Nose Guy, who cleaned out my nose/sinuses again. Imagine someone sticking a few metal objects deeeeeeep into your nose and then turning on a vacuum device, sucking out all gunk and removing scabs, revealing raw tissue. Pure pleasure, let me tell you.
Nose Guy said that while it used to be 'horrible' in there, it is now 'just plain ugly'. He assured me that I'm not a weenie for still having trouble with the pain, and said that he would expect that I'd still be having "boring pain in my eye sockets, cheekbones, and forehead" and gave me more meds. I feel much better knowing that I'm not overreacting to the pain.

Speaking of reacting, Nose Guy said that I'm a 'Reactor'. Red hair (blonde-ish, strawberryish naturally, very red thanks to Redken), freckles, fair skin....blush/flush easily. Reactors like me apparently have blood vessels that overreact. They constrict quickly and easily due to stimuli. So, the constricted vessels make everything in the nose/sinuses swell and get all inflamed and pressurized and painful. Well, said stimuli would be a bunch of bone-breaking and cutting and scraping.

I asked Nose Guy if next time Chris said I was being too sensitive, if I could just tell him that I'm a reactor and can't help it. He said yes...and to tell him that I have PMS of the nose. That's my diagnosis. PMS of the nose.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

First Post Surgery Run

I ran tonight for the first time since the surgery. I followed the doctor's orders and ran short and slow. I ran only 2.5 miles and only got as fast as 5.5 mph, only for a little while. It felt great, though, despite my nose and my cough and not having run in about a month. I hope to back to my normal distance and speed within a couple of weeks. Then marathon training starts.
And today was day one of Project Ten. (ten pounds to lose)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Reb's Resolutions

I'm putting my resolutions in writing for all three of you who read this to see. I'm very good (the benefit..or curse in some cases...of my very obsessive compulsive personality) at sticking to things.

1. Drop ten pounds in the next two or three months. (ten from my normal weight, not where I'm sure I am now, post pig out week) I will do this one. This is not your typical 'lose weight' resolution that everyone makes. When I say I'm going to, I do.

2. Run the Green Bay Marathon in May, beating my current personal best time by somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 minutes (hence the need for the ten pound weight loss). This one is Jo's fault. I wanted to say we'd PR it by 15 minutes. But she is crazy. And for whatever reason, she's the boss. I don't get that. I mean, I was running long before her, have two marathons under my belt while she has a measly one. That's just the way she is. That's why they have called her "Mean Jo" since college.

3. Spend more time with Chumley, my nearly (next week) ten year old Golden Retriever. Chumley gets neglected now that I have a husband, two children under 4 and a psycho Black Lab. It was just Chum and me for years and now he doesn't get nearly enough of my attention. So, two good walks a week and a brushing every weekend for Chumley.

4. Continue to do what I can to develop my photography career...lots of research and get those business cards printed! They are designed, I just haven't been able to get them printed yet.

Best Sale Ever

We went to Home Depot on Saturday night while we were killing time, waiting for the movie we were seeing to start. We thought we'd go back to the lighting section and look around for fun. We wanted a new light for our dining room, so we're pointing and debating and oooing and ahhhing and then I see this one I really like. It's brushed aluminum and amber colored glass...funky and sort of swirly....
...I check the price on the shelf. Too much. I look up again. The price tag says 25.00. (well, not exactly 25.00, but I'm rounding to the dollar here...) I told Chris that I would be back and went on a mission to find a Home Depot guy, whom I dragged back with me, saying that I have a question on something.
I pointed out the fact that the tag was clearly affixed to the light and that the price was much lower than the price on the shelf....which is not affixed to anything but the shelf.
There is a 120.00 difference.
The guy I dragged back sort of whistled, then said he wasn't going to touch this one and got the lighting guy...
The lighting guy was super nice...but his manager (when Lighting Guy wanted the manager to handle it), not so much. He was very crabby with me. But he couldn't argue it.
That's right. I got a 144.00 light for 25 bucks. It's hanging over my dining table as I write.