25 April 2010

(Mostly) Dry Run

Saturday morning, I got up to run the River Bank Run 25k course as a dry run. The actual race is May 8th. Saturday morning was any runner's chance to see how the last four month's of training would pan out. In my case, things went very well!

A and I talked about doing everything as we'd actually do it the night and day of the race, but real life had to be taken care of and we couldn't. I ate my carbs on Friday night (Pad Thai from XO). R and I went to a NOW event at GVSU, that luckily didn't last too long, so I was able to get into bed at a decent hour.

A picked me up at 7:30 a.m. in a light trickle of rain. I was not happy about the weather at all, but would rather run the course wet once on the "dry run" than on race day. It rained for just a bit more at the beginning of the run, and again the last mile or two. Thankfully, it was dry and cool for the majority of the 15.6 miles!

Notable moments along the course included feeling like I was running along a giant treadmill with miles of the same scenery along the river. That stretch has very little in the way of changing landscape, it's just trees and river and the occasional "No Motorized Vehicles" sign and more trees and more river. Hitting the end of that portion of the course is a relief!
Near the the YMCA, about a mile from the finish, we saw and heard an approaching train. I've never run to beat a train, but we did! There was no way I was going to stand and wait for several minutes for a train to pass so we could finish the last mile of our run! Had I stopped, I feared I wouldn't want to start running again.

I finished the course just under 5 minutes better than last year's time, which I was super psyched about. My knees got tight where they usually do, but I've devised a plan for carrying Tiger Balm during the race so I can re-apply it at about mile 6, which is usually when things start feeling tight. With my Tiger Balm plan I should be good on race day.
Totally looking forward to the race. It's such a fun feeling to gather with so many other runners, hear the starting gun and take off. Crossing the finish line is a whole other feeling, it's pretty amazing!

22 April 2010

This That and the Other

The teeth hurt. Top braces were installed this morning. Eating a sandwich as one normally would was not possible at lunch. Had to cut it into pieces and eat with a fork, rendering it not that enjoyable to eat.

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My yard is in dire need of an extreme make over. I know this. I just haven't made the time to do any spring yard cleaning yet. Random strangers are apparently taking note as well. I had a dude knock on my door this afternoon and ask if I'd want to pay him to do any yard work. Probably need to make a point to get on that.

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The cat asthma medicine project has been going rather well. Junior and I have a nice system worked out now whereby he gets a treat then his medicine. Then another treat. He's actually just swallowing the pill when I pry open his chompers and toss the pill in. Well, truth be told, I do have to gently hold his mouth closed for a minute until he does, but we're done with the struggle.

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I am in the market for new pants for work. When the weather turns summer warm, I tend to wear skirts almost every day, but with the weather being all 40s in the morning, low 60s in the afternoon here in Michigan, I've been wanting to wear pants. Winter weight woolly type pants aren't working, so goes with the two pairs of velvet-like trousers that I have. If I weren't in between sizes, I'd order some pants online and just see what works. I'll probably have to venture out and actually try some on though before finding a suitable spring-time pant. I just decided, I like shopping best when I don't actually need anything.

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I read a lot. I'm a writer for my day job. Editing as I read is an occupational hazard. I know I'm not perfect when it comes to sending a blog post up the flag pole. But I do read each post before I post it and then after it's posted. The rate at which I've been spying typos or full-on grammatical errors lately seems to be increasing. Just saw the misuse of "it's" vs. "its" in a very popular local blog. The other day it was someone talking about a "coy" pond, I'm pretty sure they meant a "koi" pond, but I could be wrong, they could have been discussing a rather quiet or shy pond. I should start a proofreading service.

19 April 2010

Notes from the front.

Remember where you put your orthodontia! I thought I threw away my lower expander over the weekend and it made me feel like a complete idiot. I was dreading having to tell my orthodontist. The good news: I ended up finding it, in my own kitchen trash.

Cats 1. Me 1. Found out over the weekend that Junior has asthma. He has a history of coughing/wheezing and he's been officially diagnosed. He also now has meds that must be given to him twice a day. He managed to lick all the way around the tiny pill hidden in some wet food. I crushed it up the next time and he wouldn't even eat the food. Tonight, it's going to just have to go down the hatch without food to cover it. I'll likely have to wrestle him, risking bites and scratches in teh process in order to do so, but he needs to finish his perscription. We're only on day three! Oy! Point goes to Junior. I am also trying to train them to stay off the couch. I've basically turned the couch into a book shelf - it's covered with books, magazines and newspapers. They don't find it so comfortable and have resorted to sleeping in their cat basket bed. That point goes to me!

Love the Art Scene in Grand Rapids! R & I went to Michigan. Land of Riches on Friday at the old Public Museum. We had such a good time checking out the art mixed in with the old museum pieces. Some super creative folks came up with the idea to mix in artwork with many of the items within the museum and the musueum's archive. The vibe on Friday night was super cool with a dj spinning some tunes. There were drinks and snacks to be had and plenty of people on hand for people watching. We actually ran into quite a few people we knew, which is always a good time! The exhibit runs for a bit, so go check it out!

Run + Chat. with other runners, makes the miles go by quickly! My friend A and I are making some new running buddies during our Saturday long runs. There's always something to talk about with fellow runners and it really does help the miles tick on by. Only 18 more days until RiverBank Run!

Prepare your pan. I made some banana bread this weekend and did not "prepare" the pan. It's a fricken non-stick pan and I was feeling lazy, didn't want to go the extra step. Or I was testing the actual non-sticky-ness of the pan, yeah, that's it. Turns out the pan is rather sticky. While the bread looked like it was done, I threw it back in the oven because once it broke in half-ish when I was trying to free it from the pan I realized it was still a little mushy. It was sort of a mess. R spied the mangled bread on the counter in a zip lock bag and said, "did the cats do that?!" They are naughty cats sometimes, but the bread was all my doing. It still tastes good!

14 April 2010

Seen on the Run

On my run tonight, I ran up behind a smoker just as he flicked a cigarette to the ground. As I ran past him I said, "you dropped something." He looked confused. Smoking is a personal choice, but littering? C'mon....the world is not your ashtray, dude!

13 April 2010

This and That

Here's a bit of this and that for a Tuesday afternoon:

Orthodontist tomorrow morning. Cannot wait. My bottom expander broke a week ago, so there's that. And the upper "appliance" that I've got now (it's not the original expander, it's more of a place holder - a trap(per) keeper!) is killing my tongue. Totally needs to be adjusted. The braces on my bottom teeth are doing great thhough. Teeth are on the move!

Totally tweaked my back last night. I wasn't even doing anything interesting or strenuous. I just moved and felt it tighten up. It now feels like I'm wearing a really heavy, yet tiny backpack in the middle of my shoulder blades. Not cool.

Broke down and bought the Aveda Air Control hair spray. I know you've all been waiting with baited breath to see how I'd solve my hair spray quandary. It's awesome. Love how it smells. Love the hold. It's not sticky at all, goes on very dry, yet holds. It's amazing!

There are 24 days until River Bank Run! Totally looking forward to it. Training has gone really well this year. I won't speak of what went down around this time last year. You can read about it, if you want, but I don't want to jinx anything! I got a new pair of shoes that should be broken in just enough by the time the race rolls around. I'm already thinking about what I'll wear, and how exciting it will be to cross the finish line! And I'm considering possibly taking that Friday off...hmmm?!

I think I've probably already extolled the amazing qualities of Airborne in a previous post, so if I have, just humor me. The stuff is great! Last week I was feeling a bit off, had a bit of a scratchy throat and low energy. I started a course of Airborne almost imediately, rested plenty over the weekend and aside from my back, I'm feeling good!

Remember that whole "I'm going to redo my bathroom" jag I was on? Yeah. It's sort of come to a standstill. Dudes don't call you back when they say they will. What's up with that? I have one estimate from one guy. Spoke with two others. One actually came to the house, never heard from him again. I'm not going to chase you down for an estimate, dude. You either want the work or you don't. I take your silence as a "hey, lady, I'm not intersted in your tiny bathroom redo project! I've got bigger fish to fry." Will likely get in touch with "Best Follow Through Skills Dude." To me, it makes sense to get the project going AFTER River Bank. We shall see if it aligns with Dude's schedule.

Want these sunglasses:

09 April 2010

Today's Mystery

When you've lived in the same neighborhood as long as I have, you know people by name, face and/or car. Even if you don't know someone personally, you know if they belong in your neighborhood because you've likely seen them before.

This morning on my way to work I saw someone that I'm still thinking about because I don't think they actually live in my neighborhood, yet they looked strangely familiar.

This person was walking through the alley that is behind my house. In my experience, the only people who routinely walk down the alley are people who live on the alley or are very familiar with the neighborhood, or are up to no good.

I first noticed said person, a lady, when I was pulling my car out of the garage. She must have sped up her pace when she saw the garage door open. She was already across the street when I exited the alley. Walking very fast and with purpose she cut through a parking lot near my house, almost as if to avoid being seen up close. I saw her dark hair, winter knit hat pulled down low. I thought I spied a band aid near her eye. As I sat at the corner waiting for traffic to clear, she hurried across the street and then disappeared.

Who are you, mystery person? Did I really see you or were you a figment of my imagination? Strange.


08 April 2010

I'm Eating My Lunch

...and I needed to take a few minutes to myself to breath. Aye carumba, this week is insane! I know in comparison to other's lives, my jam-packed week may seem like not such a big deal, but it's starting to wear on me as evidenced by how tired I am and the onset of a mild scratchy throat. Uck! I've already started taking Airborne! Here's a run down of the week:

The j.o.b. is so busy. I swear projects are multiplying any time I turn my head! Grateful to be working though!

Running after work Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and on Saturday morning.

Tuesday, I had a hair cut scheduled with my mom. Mix in dinner and some chatting and I did not get home until close to 10:00 p.m.

Wednesday, I had a meet up with my girlfriends from high school for our every other month or so gab fest. That was AFTER work, running and cleaning up after putting in my Wednesday miles. It felt good to finally sit down when we were seated at a fave local restaurant around 8:00 p.m. Got caught up on all the latest in my girls' lives, had a pretty good peasant salad and a few bites of dessert.

Today. I'm running again after work. Or, so I hope. I'm actually contemplating just going home and climbing into bed because it's cold and rainy again. Who am I kidding? The run will happen. It's too close to River Bank Run to start skipping miles. I actually have dinner scheduled with relatives who are in town for a couple days. Can't really ditch those plans.

Friday. Work as per usual. It's a rest day from running, so I'm planning to come home from work, get in my cozy clothes and get horizontal. Seriously.

Saturday. Up at 6:45 a.m. to meet up with the running crew for an 8:00 a.m. run. Did I mention we're up to 14 miles this week? Hoping for decent, non-percipitation weather for Saturday morning. I don't care what the weather does past say 10:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.

Sunday. Sleep in!!

04 April 2010

Happy Easter!

For Easter dinner at my mom's I made this lemon cream cake with a lovely Peeps adornment. The cake is usually a stand-alone stunning-looking cake with this sugar crumb topping, but my cake rounds which I made ahead of time (last night) in an effort to save time were being extremely shy and would not come out of their pans. Ugh! When they did come out, they were a bit of a broken mess. I had to improvise. I dropped one cake in my spring form pan, layered on the lemony cream filling/topping then put the second cake round on top of that and added the rest of the lemon cream. Skipping the sugar crumb topping, I pulled the Peeps in for an improvised topper and called it good. Easter cake crisis 2010 narrowly averted!

The cake followed up a delish dinner that my mom put together. We had great company in R & D. Laughs and fun were a big part of the evening! I hope you had a lovely Easter and/or Sunday however you chose to spend your day. Peace out! Peeps out!

02 April 2010

Hair ye! Hair ye!

I'm in the market for a new hair spray. It's been quite the ordeal! I purchased my third hairspray today in probably as many weeks and I'm going to return it.

Today it was L'oreal Elnett Satin Extra Stronghold Hairspray. Available at your local Target. I was intrigued by this hairspray because Ford Artists' Hair Stylist and youtube video hair-to super star Johnny Lavoy tweeted about it a couple months back. He's an awesome stylist, so I thought I'd give it a try. I liked how it sprayed, but CANNOT stand the smell. To paraphrase an amazon.com reviewer, "why would you get all dolled up and want to smell that bad?" It's a smell that does not go away either. I'm so returning this tomorrow, unless someone out there wants to try it and maybe trade me something you have but don't like. Total let down.

I've also tried L'oreal Vive Pro Glossy Style non-aerosol hair spray. I still have that one, but it's not my favorite, because it sprays on too wet. If you're local, I actually know you and you want to try it I'll give that one away. There was a John Frieda aerosol spray in the mix too that went back to the store after one try - the spray was way too powerful, we're talking pressure like those cans of air that you can clean your computer keyboard off with. It was ridiculous!

I'm really looking for a good areosol-type hairspray. I've been using Aveda's Witch Hazel hairspay for years. I adore how it smells, but have found that sometimes you need the finer mist of hairspray than the heavier spray a pump hair spray gives you. May consider trying Aveda's Air Control hair spray. It's at a slightly higher price point than I'd like to spend, but may have to break down and try it. At this rate, I need to widen my scope since I just really want to find the one that will do the trick, hold a style in place without creating helmet hair, provide volume and most importantly smell good or not smell at all.

Totally need to crowd source this: what hairspray are you using? Why do you love it and where can I get it? Please let me know, clearly I need your help!

01 April 2010

In the Bag

What's in my bag?! Because I know you're all dying to know what I carry around with me every day, I've got just the blog post for you! I've seen this kind of post done many times on different girlie fashion-type blogs and thought I'd take it for a spin and share my bag with y'all.

This is my most often used handbag lately. There are many things to love about it, it's my favorite color, it's large enough to hold a lot of stuff, it was inexpensive, but doesn't look cheap. Inside the bag, here are some of the items I have with me on a regular basis:

  • Chilewich make up bag. I've pulled out the most used items it holds: Burt's Bees Hand Salve, Lancome Juicy Tubes Smoothie Lip Gloss in Dreamsicle (thanks A!), Vaseline Lip Therapy, Stila Lip Color in Andie.
  • Wallet, complete with a lovely picture of Lakshmi the Hindu goddess of prosperity
  • Lara Bar in Ginger Snap
  • Nalgene water bottle
  • Giant Sunglasses, Marc by Marc Jacobs
  • Ipod Mini (way old!), still does the trick for running and listening to tunes at work. The Its little green pouch is from Ateneum (Art Museum) in Helsinki, Finland. The pattern is the same as the tile floor in the museum. I love it because it's a reminder of a great trip.
  • LG Rumor phone
  • Moleskin yearly calendar
  • Blue Flare pen (my favorite pen!)
  • Key to the wheels
  • Tea Tree Therapy infused toothpicks . Since I can't chew gum with the braces, these do the trick!
What's in your bag?