It’s always an adventure….

When Kim and I go on our Saturday long runs you can count on something weird, interesting or just plain miserable happening, today was no different. I was scheduled to do an 18 mile run today so we met at 5:30am to head to the Arts Center, the meet spot for the Little Rock Marathon training group. We arrived early so I decided I needed to go to the bathroom first so we turned around and went to the Shell station, keep in mind we are NOT in the best part of Little Rock, when I go inside the guy behind the counter is behind bullet proof glass, that gives you an idea of the neighborhood. I had to stand in line to ask where the restroom was, well of course, no Public Restroom, I asked where the closest place was and he asked if it was just me, and I said yes and so he let me use the non-Public Restroom and I was so nervous, I couldn’t go, dang it.

This was not a good start to the day, I had been on this route before and it is quite a few miles before we get anywhere that has a restroom. Kim and I both got route sheets just in case one of us lost one, it took up the whole page, whew, it was going to be a long 18 miles. The morning was not hot, but terribly humid, thank goodness the sun was not out, there was a lot of cloud cover.

We had run about a mile and a half and I knew where there was a Sonic and they had to have a restroom right? it is a restaurant. So we made a detour from the route and ran down to the Sonic, ran around to the back of the building where I thought the restrooms would be, but no, so I went back up front and asked a worker, she came out and showed me the nasty bathroom. I was able to use the bathroom this time, but was still nervous, it wasn’t very clean and I was afraid someone would walk in.

After my little break we had to make up some ground, I thought we had lost about a mile, but it ended up being only about 1/2 a mile, we kept going. When we got to Markham it was nothing but hill for the next few miles, this was the same route we had ran 2 weeks ago when it rained the entire run. Up we went, we trudged up Markham, I think we walked once, but not for long and then it was on to Kavanaugh, ARGGHH!!

This hill goes on forever and ever, we were on part of the Little Rock Marathon course for about 2.5 miles, which is all uphill, I think we were pretty decent today running up the hill. We saw lots of people running down the hill, odd, no one was going up the hill. Once you get to Mount St. Mary’s it’s not over, there is another 1/2 mile of hill to go and this is even more steep, but we ran up it and never stopped, we might have been slow, but we made it.

When we got to the top of the hill it was a relieve, even though we knew the hills were not over, there were lots more to come in our route, but something odd happened at the top of the hill, this cold wind started blowing and then we noticed these black clouds overhead, this did not look good, we were only at about 7 miles into our run. I told Kim we needed to find a yard sale and buy a couple of hats, because it was going to rain and soon. She agreed after a minute of me assuring her we could find a “new” hat. We both had stuck $5 in our fuel belts. We immediately saw a sign for an “Alley Sale” and so we turned into the Alley and there wasn’t a sale that we could find, great, the wind was really picking up and you could tell the bottom was going to fall out at any minute.

Kim asked if there were any stores around, and oh yes we were right around the corner from lots of “boutiques”, we were now in the best part of Little Rock. We thought we would run down to Starbuck’s or Kroger’s and see if we could buy a hat, we were determined to get a damned hat! We could run in the rain, but not without a hat.

So we actually ran a lot faster down to Starbuck’s and we were looking for Kroger’s since we only have 5 bucks apiece when I saw a Sherwin-Williams store, it was still pretty early in the morning, but they were open, so a girl who worked there happened to be outside and I asked her if they had any hats, and she replied, just baseball hats, PERFECT!! So Kim and I went inside and they gave us two white hats with red brims, cotton hats, but hats nonetheless. We were set. As soon as we stepped outside the paint store it had started raining, perfect timing.

We were off our route again, but not by much, we had actually just run parallel to where we should have been, so we headed back to our route, the rain was cold, the wind was cold and our happy run was turning sour. We continued to run for another mile and a half and it started lightning and now it was coming down hard, not just raining, no good, we needed shelter. We were in Cammack Village, not around any stores anymore, but we saw a park, and a slide, we thought we would run and get under the slide for cover, it was one of those big things that had a bridge thing and a couple of different slides, what we didn’t know was the steps and bridge and all was not solid, the rain poured through like a sieve, so we had to crouch down under the slide, there was barely enough room for us, the rain was still hitting our arms and legs, but at least we were not getting the brunt of it anymore.

We made jokes and laughed at ourselves cowered under the slide, but we had to get out from under the slide, we were getting stiff and we were cold and wet. It slacked up a bit and we took off, not a block away Kim spotted a canopy, it was the Cammack Village Swimming Pool and Police Station and just in time because here came another round, we ran up under the porch at the police station, what a relief.

We were so cold, goose bumps, shivering, wet and no way to get dry or warm. We stood there for awhile when I looked around the corner and saw another little area with a bench, we sat under there for a while too, then we went back up on the porch. Yeah, at times we probably could have started running, but we were too cold, it was just more than we could stand at that point. We both agreed we didn’t want to start running until it stopped raining, so we sat on the porch and shivered for 1 1/2 hours. It gets better.

About an hour after we had been sitting there, oh I forgot to mention, the Police station was closed, no one was there, this truck pulls up and this guy gets out and he says “did you get stuck in this mess or are you waiting on a class?” We tell our story and he says “I feel for you, I really do” and walks inside the building, oh and on the back of his T-shirt it said “Sheriff’s Dept”. He never asked if we needed a drink, if we wanted to call someone, go inside, nothing, but he felt for us, I guess that was good enough. We were shocked, we just couldn’t believe he didn’t offer to help, I mean come on, we were two hot chicks, oops I mean two wet hot chicks, well maybe we weren’t so hot.

So, we thought it had quit raining and we took off on this hill, of course and we start running and at first it’s okay, we are really stiff from sitting so long and we are still cold, but it’s getting better as we go and all of a sudden it starts raining again! I knew Kavanaugh was just ahead and I told Kim and we took off in a sprint. We made it without getting completely drenched again, we stood there for a couple of minutes before we decided to go into the Pet Hospital where they were kind enough to let us hang out. There was this old geezer in there who was babbling away how it wasn’t going to stop raining until tomorrow, oh boy, this is not what we wanted to hear.

We were actually talking about having someone come get us, who would we call, when should we call, we were sick of the rain and cold. We were at 9.5 miles. And then it quit raining again, I suggested we run down to Starbucks and see how we felt then, so we took off again, I’m sure you can guess what happened next? Yes, more rain, not as hard and we just rain on to Starbuck’s where we spent our money on coffee to warm us up. Let me say that the people at that store were not near as friendly as the people in NLR or Jacksonville, far from it. And the coffee sucked too, we ended up throwing it away about two blocks away.

As we were walking with our Starbuck’s, the sun came out, YIPPEE, I was so happy, it started warming us up, but then my shoulder blade started hurting and I almost threw up, don’t know why it makes me so nauseated, but this was not good, but at least the sun was out! So we decided to pretend it was a new run and we were about at 10 miles and we took off, happy again. Well, maybe happy is too strong of a word.

When you run with the Little Rock Marathon Group they want you to sign in with your mileage and then mark your name off when you get back and someone always waits on you, well today I did not write our names on the list, I didn’t want anyone to spend their morning waiting on us to get back. As Kim and I were running down Markham in downtown Little Rock this car pulls up to us and asks us if we need anything, water? are we okay? I’m a little confused and then she tells us she is with the Little Rock Marathon group, OMG!! They were out looking for us, she actually said we wanted to make sure you weren’t in a ditch or something. I was so embarrassed! We explained what happened and told her to call back to “base” and have them go home, we were only a couple miles out.

I thought we might get in around 16.5 miles, but the closer we got I realized we were going to miss that a little, when we turned on 10th street into the Arts Center we had 15.5 miles, oh well, all those hills surely added some mileage right? As we were running into the parking lot there was Leah, clapping, OMG again, she waited on us anyway, I felt so bad, it was about 11:45, we had been out for as long as it took me to run the marathon. What an adventure! You can always count on some kind of something when we do a long run. Next week is 20 miles, I wonder what that will hold?

Had to share the splits – we took our rain break at about 8.5 miles and I wanted my pace for the entrie run to be under 12:00 mile it ended up being 11:41.

  1. 11:48
  2. 11:06
  3. 11:03
  4. 12:59
  5. 11:39
  6. 13:32
  7. 12:11
  8. 11:04
  9. 12:41
  10. 10:50
  11. 10:31
  12. 10:26
  13. 11:29
  14. 13:12
  15. 11:24
  16. 10:36

Buyer’s Remorse

Today I met Kim at the Community Center and I went with her to a Body Sculpting class, Whoa, it was tough, I’m having trouble even typing, it was all upper body work and let me tell you that little Miss Andrea put the hurt on my arms and chest, I’ll be in tears by the morning.

Kim had fixed me this cutest little basket with dish towels, hand towels, a cute rug and all these gift cards, way over board!!  It was very thoughtful, but way overboard, way over the top, I really appreciated it.  We added to the basket when we stopped at the Air Force Base where they were having a NAF sale (don’t ask) I bought a set of knives for $1.00.  They don’t match, but hey, now I have dish towels and knives!

After the base we stopped at a couple of furniture stores, Sears, more furniture stores, mattress store, electric company, the bank and the North Little Rock Community Center.  I really have no furniture to speak of, most of it I sold before my move in with my now ex-fiance.  Anyway, today was the day for the final walk through at my new house, 2:15 to be exact, Kim and I got there early, pet Dixie the cute Lab, and sat in the heat and waited on Melissa, my Realtor.  I was noticing lots of things I hadn’t noticed before, like how dirty the outside of the house was, how the screen on one of the windows was messed up, the crack that the seller was supposed to fix, he didn’t, the driveway that needed to be swept, the dog that needed a bath and her toenails clipped, the list just went on and this was before we went in the house.

Then Melissa got there and we went in.  She explained that the Seller repaired the attic fan and it cost almost 300.00, he also replaced the garbage disposal and that was more than he thought too.  I’m just listening and thinking, so…. Then I go and lift up the corner of the carpet where the furniture used to be in the living room to take a peek at the hardwoods, someone had painted them white, really? really.  I went over to another corner, same thing, white paint, idiots.

We started taking a look at the things on the inspection list and what should have been fixed, not everything was fixed, I didn’t understand, but Melissa said, looks like he made repairs up to $500.00 then stopped.  We had a clause of some sort about the inspection if repairs needed to be made and $500.00, I should have paid more attention.  There were things he fixed that looked like crap, other things he didn’t touch that I guess I’ll have to fix, I was just frustrated by the time we were getting ready to leave.  I asked if the Seller would clean the house, she didn’t think so, great.

After Kim dropped me off at my car in Jacksonville, I was on my way home, stopped at the grocery store and my phone rang, it was the Title company, all cheery.  I was not cheery.  It is now 3:30 on Friday afternoon and I am less than 1/4 of a mile from my house, tired and hungry.  She says I need to bring a cashier’s check with me on Monday morning in the amount of $12,400.00 at 8:30am, I’m just shaking my head, your kidding right?  You couldn’t call earlier?  It’s Friday afternoon, I’m at the grocery store I have to turn around and go back to where I just left and get a cashier’s check, woohoo.  And that’s what I did.

I’m having a little buyer’s remorse, after all the things I saw today that need to be done and all the things I know the seller is not going to do, I’m very disappointed, I should be excited and this afternoon I’m not.  I was excited, but right now, not.

Aerobics class and Thursday running

My running BFF Kim teaches an aerobics class on Wednesday night and I really didn’t know how much I missed Jazzercise until I went with her on Wednesday, it was so much fun!  I would go on a regular basis, but it is so far away, I say so far, it’s not that far, and I hope Kim will let me ride with her again at least once a week so I can keep going, it was a blast!  and I have to say, I was a little sore the next day.

Thursday was weird, Kim and I met, we were supposed to run, but something happened, we didn’t run, we walked for an hour, we were both tired, the morning was cool and we should have run, but we made one loop around the lake I had to stop at the bathroom and we never started running again, we never asked one another if we wanted to walk, we just walked and walked, and then went to Starbucks 🙂

I really didn’t feel guilty about not running until later in the day, I started thinking, you should have run, now you are going to have two rest days in a row you big dummy, and the thoughts in my head would not stop!  So, I laced up the running shoes and headed back to Lakewood at 6pm and ran for 4 miles and it was a little warmer than it was at 6am, a lot warmer!  Anyway, got my miles in at an average 10:32 pace, yippee, I don’t know where the energy came from, I was a total pig all day, eating, packing, eating, packing, who knows, but I got my miles in, ta da!

Adding the miles on

I’ve decided that I only need to take one rest day a week instead of two, what do you think?  The San Francisco Marathon is about 5 weeks away and I’m scared that I won’t have the endurance to finish, I know I didn’t start training early enough and the sad part is, I had plenty of time.  Woe is me.  Oh well, you can’t change the past so I’m just trying to log some extra miles and hope it pays off on August 3rd.

I ran with Annette and Jane at our Tuesday Night Running Clinic, we could either run a timed mile, No Thank You, or do just a regular run, I chose the latter.  We got in almost 5 miles on a rolling hill course, it was around 95 degrees when we started, but there was a nice breeze and I don’t think it was near as humid as it has been, the sweat wasn’t dripping from my elbows like it normally does.  It was a decent run, I was not feeling good on the way out, but on the way back I actually felt better, except for the need for a bathroom, I’m beginning to just think of it as part of my run.  Run, potty break, run.

This morning at 6am I met Kim at Lakewood, she had 8 miles on her schedule, I wanted to at least run 5, but it had only been 12 hours since I ran at the Clinic, we would see how it turned out.  We made one loop around the lake and there it was, the need to go to the bathroom, thank goodness they were open, I almost didn’t make it, see the pattern, run, potty break, run.  We decided to try the loop we did on Monday, it has a few hills, but hey, we can’t seem to get away from them in this part of the country.  So off we went again.  My legs were tired at first and I had cramps to boot, had them last night too, but after awhile both got better and we cruised right through those miles.  Well, maybe we didn’t cruise through them, but we made it through them.

It was a pretty nice morning, we saw lots of geese, I mean a lot!  Then we saw two very fat cats who I couldn’t resist petting, they were so sweet, their owner came out and he told us all about them, Eeyore and Tigger, little butterballs.  We also saw the two white ducks who we keep our eyes out for, they are always together, one has all its feathers on the back of its neck gone, I think the other one plucks them, but they are always together.  And then there is the baby geese who are almost grown, you almost can’t tell who is mom and dad anymore, but they are still all together for now.  It’s a virtual zoo out there, but always interesting.  We got in about 5.25 miles, which was fine with me, I have lots of packing to do today.

My miles for the week are adding up, I don’t really have a start day to my week, but I have run every day this week, I have an 18 mile run on Saturday, which I am scared to death about, I’m never good on the long runs, but I have got to get better, I just must get better, that’s why I’m putting in all the miles, hoping to increase my endurance.

Stormy Monday Run

I met Kim at Lakewood Lake for a 9-mile run at 6am on Monday, I had no idea it was supposed to storm, who knew.  When we first started running it was just windy, very windy, we decided to take a new route since we had such a long run, we crossed McCain and then went left on Lochridge, straight uphill.  It didn’t take long and big drops of rain started falling and my stomach started aching up too, so we turned around and headed back to the lake.  Good thing.  Neither one of us was prepared to run in the rain, of course after last weekends 14 mile rainy run I wasn’t ready for a repeat and the sky was more stormy looking than just rainy.

When we got back to the lake I used the facility and the threatening sky looked better, sort of, hard to tell really, there are tons of trees around the lake and you can’t really see what’s coming.  We decided to make one loop around the lake just in case the bottom fell out, it didn’t.  So off we went on our new trek, across McCain, left on Lochridge which kind of turned right which became Crestwood, hmmm, this sounded familiar, oh yes, it comes out at North Hills, so we kept going.  We ended up going through Lakewood Village, across McCain again, into a ritzy neighborhood, out through Heritage Park and onto North Hills Blvd, turned right onto Lakeshore, I think, and back to the lake, we still only had 6.20 miles, but the sky was looking very dark and we both decided we didn’t want to get drenched and called it good.

It was a good run, quite a few hills, decent pace, we stayed away from the traffic for the most part except when we were on North Hills, it’s so nice to get a run done in the morning, no worrying about it for the rest of the day!

I did get a lot of packing done yesterday, just started going from cabinet to cabinet, I’ve got way too much stuff, I can see a huge yard sale in my future.  I’m definitely down-sizing, I had probably 10 clear glass bowls of varying sizes, what do I need 10 bowls for?  And wine glasses, tons of those, old ones, new ones, but lots, they were up in a cabinet, haven’t touched them in 5 years, so they must go.  Blankets, towels, dishtowels galore!  I may take those to the animal shelter, the list goes on.

Question for people in this area, do you know anyone who refinishes hardwood floors?  I had a dream last night that they looked beautiful, except for all the mud that was piled up around my doors.

Oh, here is a couple of pictures from my vacation, top to bottom, Biltmore Conservatory Gardens, Bodie Lighthouse, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Biltmore Estate all in North Carolina.

\"Biltmore Garden Conservatory\"\"Biltmore Estate\"

Sunday 8-miler

I went to Cabot this morning to run 8 miles with Annette, she was doing a 16 mile run and asked if I wanted to meet her for the last half, so I wasn’t too sure if this was a good idea after running 7 yesterday, but it’s sort of a test, I’ll tell you later.

When I arrived at the school Raquel and Jane were there too, then Kelly showed up, oh boy, I thought this might be a little too fast for me, then I thought no, cause Annette should be running relatively slow since it is a long run, and I was right.  We only had to wait a few minutes and here came Bailey and Gary then right behind them was Brenda and Annette, they took a quick break and we were off.

We did a 3 mile loop, I think they call it the Candlewood loop which ends up at the gas station where some of us took a bathroom break.  After the 3 mile loop we lost Gary, Bailey, Kelly and Brenda.  So for the remainder of the run it was just 4 of us, Annette, Rock, Jane and me.  Then we did a 5 mile loop, Cherry Loop I think.  It was a pretty good run, luckily for us the weather was great, nice a cool for June, about 68 to start, low humidity too and a very nice breeze, in the shade it was perfect!  I think Annette had a pretty good run considering she overdid it yesterday with a race and then a torturous bike ride.

Annette and I went for coffee after the run, it was nice to sit and talk, we haven’t done that in awhile.

Vacation Recap

It was harder to update my blog on vacation than I thought, I was driving, navigating, picking hotels and restaurants, just your regular travel agent, so I was exhausted at night, I would try to keep up with emails, but that was about it.  I’m back home now, I came home a day early, on Thursday night, I had to get away!  Now, I think I’m back to normal, back to my regular routine.  Vacation was stressful, too much driving without a destination in mind and no one would step up and make a decision, so I hope the rest of their vacation goes well, but I just couldn’t take it another day!

I think I left off with us finally arriving in Asheville, NC and heading to the Biltmore, well here is a recap –

Sunday – arrived at the Biltmore, paid for 2 days, since we didn’t get there until 1pm, $57.00, outrageous! We toured the mansion, built in 1895, beautiful and amazing, we walked from 1pm – 6pm, the Estate is not air conditioned, as it was in the day, it didn’t bother me much, but my Mom was sweltering.  The self-guided tour of the house was great, but we were able to finish it on Sunday afternoon.

Monday – ran at French Broad Park, 3 miles, my sister came with me and sat in the car while I ran, it was around 59 degrees, perfect for running.  After everyone FINALLY got ready we headed back to Biltmore to tour the Gardens, just as beautiful as the house, we also walked down to the, Conservatory, Azalea Gardens, Waterfall and Bass Pond, this was all downhill and I kept reminded everyone we were eventually going to head up those same hills and of course it was hot and long on the way back, we were there several hours.

Monday afternoon – this was my decision, Gem Mountain in Spruce Pine, NC, I had seen something about this place on TLC and wanted to go, you buy a bucket of rocks and hope to find Gems, well, the bucke t of rocks is not cheap, for a 5-gallon bucket it was $80.00, we got there so late we decided to split the bucket between the four of us, we also got a coupon for a free cutting of a stone, I had the best stone, YIPPEE for me!  It was an Ametrine, I think, it’s a mix of an amethyst and topaz, they said they rarely see one.  We all had gems of some sort and everyone paid to have a stone cut.

Tuesday – Day from hell – this is where I started to want to come home.  We wanted to get to the coast, the Outer Banks, according to Google maps, 10 hour drive on the Interstate, well, everyone wanted to take the scenic route, okay, that was fine, what was supposed to be a 5 hour drive turned into 10 hours, driving for 10 hours to nowhere, well, Dixion, NC to be exact.  So, I ran again, 3 miles around the hotel.  Intersting lunch, not sure where we were, but it was some hole in the wall and I thought this will be good, hmm, not so much for everyone else, I had a BBQ sandwich, I was in North Carolina after all, it was good, what was not good was everyone lighting up cigarettes, apparently they don’t have a non-smoking section, everyone smokes!

Wednesday – After everyone FINALLY got ready we headed to the coast again, Interstate this time, should take 4 hours and it did, we stopped at the Visitor’s Center right out of Cape Hatteras, NC and they gave us some good ideas, we headed south on Hwy 12, stopped at the beach and also stopped at the Bodie Lighthouse, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and then we were off to the Island of Ocracoke on a free Ferry, FREE, it was a 40 minute ride, I thought about Kim when we drove onto the Ferry, I knew she wouldn’t like it, we were swaying the whole way, car sick people would have a time!  Once on the island it was a bout a 15 mile drive to the village, very quaint, lots of people walking around and riding bikes.  Since it was now about 5 in the afternoon we made a decision to spend the night.  My sister picked out the room and it was not the best room we had stayed in up until then, we actually got in a yelling match about it, so this too made me want to come home and I made the decision shortly after to book my flight for the next day.

My Mom and I walked around the town, went into some of the shops, stopped and ate some shrimp in an outdoor restaurant and then headed back to the stinky motel where my sister and nephew had returned from their walk.  I made my reservations online to come home on Thursday out of Norfolk, VA at 4pm, so we would have to leave the Island by 10am the next day.  I was ready.

Thursday – Got up and ran around the island, another 3 mile run, it was nice and quiet, nothing open, moon still out, the lighthouse light still on, very cool.  Got back and took MY time getting ready, we headed out about 8:30am stopped and got some needed coffee, made to the 9am Free Ferry and headed to Norfolk.

That’s it, nothing exciting, back home, Kim picked me up from the Little Rock Airport on Thursday night, Thanks again Kim!  We met Friday morning at Lakewood for a 5 mile run and then I came home and mowed the yard.  We had made arrangements to meet again at 2pm to go shopping, I needed something for my High School Reunion tonight.  We shopped a lot, but I didn’t find anything I really wanted.

This morning I met Kim at Academy Sports so we could do a 7 mile run with the Little Rock Marathon Training group, this was a back down week for me, and I needed it.  I probably should have run longer, but was good with the 7.

Tonight High School Reunion, excited and not excited all at the same time.