Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Still loving those holiday treats! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Change of Plans

Things are not on track for a January marathon. I've tried to do the longer mileage, but I've reached a point where I think I'm doing myself no favors. I initially started getting worked on because my screwed up biomechanics were leading to overuse injuries that I could no longer work around. The chiropractor and physical therapist have spent six weeks breaking me down and loosening me up so my pelvis would go back into alignment and I've tried to keep doing marathon training during that process, which has been something of a disaster. With nothing where it used to be, my aches and pains have only multiplied.

Now we've reached the rebuilding phase of my therapy. It's hard work. More aches and pains in new places. And while I think I'll be strong enough by mid-January to handle a marathon, I won't have the mileage under my belt to do it with. And one thing I refuse to do is go out there with no certainty that my body is ready for 26.2 miles of running on concrete.

So I'm changing my focus. I'm going to put my energies into getting strong and biomechanically sound. It's base work, really, and it has to all be re-done as if from scratch because as far as my muscles are concerned, I have a new body to work with and nothing is like what it was before. Getting this part right is where my focus should've been all along and not on the stupid marathon.

Live and learn, right? Sure, I'm getting older, but when will I get wiser?

If things go well, I might do a marathon in Austin or Surfside in February.

I had a good Christmas. It's amazing how low-stress the holiday can be when you're not trying to juggle multiple family commitments. With my parents out of town and Dan wanting to opt out of his aunt and uncle's get-together, our only obligation was Christmas morning with his mother and sister, which went pretty well. We didn't stay long enough for me to get bored, thank goodness.

And then we were free! We had some overpriced but very good Indian food and a long afternoon nap. Yeah, it's no one's idea of a traditional Christmas, but we felt relaxed and happy and didn't dread the day as we have in other, more harried years.

In all, it's been a good holiday so far. Low stress, nice weather, no big time commitments so that my sleep/wake cycle has reverted to up-all-night/sleep-part-the-day. My body's clock has never been right and it's nice not to have to fight it for a week. I'll be suffering that first week back at the office, but for now, why worry? God made caffeine because he loves us and to make up for little mistakes like giving some of us bio clocks that think staying up until 3 am is a good idea.

I hope everyone else had a merry Christmas and/or is having a good Hanukkah!

Recent Workouts
Saturday: 1 hour elliptical, 1 hour bike - Carmichael Training Systems: Climbing
Sunday: Rest Day - Merry Christmas!
Monday: 5.25 mile run
Tuesday: 30 min core and legs, 45 min bike - Spinervals 3.0 Suffer-O-Rama

Sunday, December 25, 2005

What is this? Did Santa come? Posted by Picasa
It's a basket of treats! Thanks, Santa! Posted by Picasa
Merry Christmas, Friends! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 22, 2005

For me?  Posted by Picasa
An ornament? That's it? Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Solstice Run

I went for a really nice run today when I got off work. It was just a little five-miler around the bayou trails, but with the sun setting and casting a golden glow over everything, it felt very pretty and magical. The recent rains had washed mud across the lower parts of the trail, but it was dry and the uncertain surface forced me to slow down and look around a bit at the trees, the muddy bayou, the people walking their dogs, at the sunset painting its rapidly fading colors across the sky.

I don't know how fast I ran because I haven't worn a watch since I became injured. Trying to beat a preconceived notion of time is bad news when you're hurt. But I think I was slightly sub-9:00 most of the time.

The bayou trails are really a bad place to try for speed, anyway. The surfaces are too varied and uncertain. There's a spot near the fountain where the asphalt is so badly broken that you don't so much run as dance across that section as you make rapid calculations of where to place your feet where you'll be least likely to twist or break something.

There were quite a few tourists at the bat bridge at Waugh Drive. Funny, I've been running under there for years hearing the bats, smelling the stench of the guano, never seeing anyone other than homeless people. And now that they've put up a few signs about the bats, it's a regular tourist attraction.

There were quite a few runners out this afternoon. Some were dressed for snowstorms, but it really wasn't so cold as all that. Even I, cold-weather wimp that I am, found it warm enough for shorts.

Someone was walking a dog off-leash. I didn't see the owner, but I saw the dog-- a black mutt with a pink plastic day-glo ribbon tied to his tail for easy locating if he darted off into the bushes, I guess.

A nicely-dressed woman was walking home from the Kroger on the other side of the bayou from where I live. She was walking across the Shepherd bridge, a bag in each hand, blocking me from passing on the narrow sidewalk. Luckily a guy in a pickup saw my impatience and slowed down long enough for me to step into the street and sprint around her. It felt good to sprint.

On the last stretch up the hill to the Jackson Hill bridge, I passed a guy who was a fair bit younger than me. No sooner had I passed him when I heard a rustling in the dry leaves behind me. I couldn't let him pass me back, could I? He might be younger, but he was wearing cotton! So I kicked it in a little and by the time I got to the bridge and looked back, he was trudging, looking tired. Ha!

As soon as I got home, my lungs tightened up and I couldn't breathe. One of my least-favorite things about running in the winter. As long as the adrenaline is going, my lungs stay clear, but as soon as I slow down or stop, my lungs freak out and it can take as long as thirty minutes before I'm breathing normally again. Oh well. I'm used to it so it doesn't usually freak me out, which would only make it worse.

A shower, a nice dinner, some blog-checking and a short nap and now I'm ready to settle in with a bit of writing. I was at one of those "How do I want to get from A to B?" places when I stopped last night. Since not much was happening at the office today, I managed to have some good ideas-- ideas that made me laugh because they were evil. I don't know why I enjoy my characters so much more when they're bad than when they're good, but I do.

Lessee… what else? I got nearly all the audit docs collected and copied. If interruptions can be kept to a minimum tomorrow, I should be able to finish up before the holiday break.

Please think kind thoughts for my friend Dalila-- the coolest gal that ever lived. She works for the New York City Department of Transportation and all of a sudden her job is much more exciting than she would probably like.

And finally, a box arrived today for Tidbit from The Busy Bunny. What could it be?

Happy Solstice and Almost-Christmas, everyone!

Today's Workout
5.25 mile run

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Weird Christmas

My mom's father passed away Monday night. Note I didn't say "my grandfather." Technically, he is my step-grandfather or something like that. Although he was kind to me when I was a kid, I didn't grow up with any strong attachments to either of Mom's parents because they were holy-rollers and racists-- a hypocritical combination that I find so obnoxious that I really can't stand to associate myself with such people.

And so I don't regret his passing, but I regret the impact it has on other family members. And it's a weird feeling to have no one left in the grandparent generation, either by blood or by marriage.

I'm also emotionally conflicted by something. You see, he was quite well off. He had only one child, my stepmother, who is a drunk and a spendthrift. She had over $15K in credit card debt last I heard, spent mostly on booze and bankrolling her lazy daughter (my half-sister). And now with the death of one racist, that debt is wiped clean, just like magic! How the hell is it that I can bust my behind and get nowhere while rewards fall out of the sky onto a lazy person like my sister and a woman like Mom who spends 21 nickels out of every dollar?

Yeah, yeah, I know. Life ain't fair. Deal with it.

So the parents are off to California and won't be back until around New Year's. No biggie. When everyone is a grownup, Christmas is when you say it is. Maybe we'll celebrate Three Kings Day instead.

Oddly, my sibs are staying in town. Now, not to diss them any more than I usually do, but if it were my grandparent being buried, you wouldn't be able to keep me off the plane, holiday travel hell or no. I doubt they're staying away on principle, like I am. The fact that the old man probably left them something in his will and their mother could maybe use their emotional support ought to be enough motivation to get their candy asses onto the next plane to the Los Angeles area. Hell, I would've walked to Massachusetts for my grandmother's funeral, had it been necessary. And I knew I wasn't getting a dime and no one needed my strong shoulder to cry on. Up there among my New England relatives, I'm just a novelty.

Sometimes I wonder how I ended up in this family. I swear we share almost no common values. We're all carbon-based forms of life, and that's about it.

No workout tonight. I wanted to do some spinning, but we did a few new things in therapy today and I was a little worried that if I hopped on the bike tonight I would have no way of gauging if what we tried is hurting or helping. So my plan is to go for a run tomorrow if I'm feeling good, otherwise I'll make a date with Coach Troy and do some spinning.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Boss-Man's Party

Well, today was the CIO's party and it went much better than I had expected. I liked my veggie plate okay (it was uninspired, but not dreadful), everyone was in a cheerful mood and the party didn't run on past the scheduled end time. In fact, we ended early and I and a co-conspirator managed to get our afternoon business managers meeting cancelled. Yay!

I left the white elephant exchange with a clock. I'm still trying to decide if it's cool or just weird. Either way, it's very re-giftable if I decide I don't like it after all, which is the main reason I stole it rather than take my chances with the unknown gifts on the table.

I think we're into the homestretch now-- most of the bosses are going to be out the rest of the week and with them gone and no more parties, I'll be able to finish gathering documents for the auditors and settle in to a quiet rest of the week. We're supposed to work through Thursday. Hopefully we'll get sent home early that day. I won't be working very hard, regardless.

I went and saw Mary after work today and she really beat me up good. She told me to stretch my calves more often. For such a dumb, simple little thing that one can do almost anywhere, I sure am lazy about that!

I came home to a husband who was complaining about not feeling well. Grrrr... He says he's not sure if he's coming down with something or if he just ate too much calamari at his boss's luncheon. Well, he better not get me sick is all I have to say. Isn't there some sort of law that contagious spouses must stay at the Motel 6 until they're well? Didn't I read that somewhere?

No workout tonight. I got home pretty late from Mary's house and I was starving and now it's nearly 9 o'clock and I'm going to try to do some work on my novel early so I can maybe get more than my usual five hours of sleep.

I need my rest - calamari poisoning might be contagious!

Today's Workouts
* Carried 40 lb bag of bunny litter up to the third floor.
* Tried to escape while Mary dug her elbows into my calves - ouch!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sentimenal Day

Even though lots of things were hurting today, I decided to do Coach Troy's evil two hour interval video, Have Mercy.


Well, maybe it's the weather, maybe it's hormones, maybe it's the stress or the holidays, but I found myself feeling sentimental this morning. And that's always a bad road for me to start down. I get to thinking about places that will never be quite the same for me, about things I would like to do or that I wish I had done, about people who totally rocked my world and how strange and cruel it is that life, just ordinary life, drives a wedge between what we want and what we end up with.

None of which is to say I regret my choices. I'm not into regrets. I try to make the best decisions I can at the time I make them and no one can do more than that. If some of the decisions are bad, so be it. Plenty of my decisions are good ones.

It's also not to say that I'm unhappy with where I am now. Anything I would change about my life would be a minor upgrade, not a major overhaul. I have all the basics. Anything else is window dressing.

In other words, I have no cause for complaint. I'm not unhappy. It's just that every now and then a bit of random sentimentality creeps in and I find myself wishing I could have everything I wanted instead of merely anything.

So I figured it was a good day to beat myself up on the bike a bit. Get good and tired, damage a few brain cells if possible, have a turkey sandwich, follow it up with something sweet and gooey, then take a nap.

Which is where I'm at right now-- tryptophan-enhanced, nodding off at the keyboard and ready to curl up with my kitty and a good book.

Not a bad way to spend a sentimental Sunday afternoon.

Today's Workout
Sunday: 2 hour bike, Spinervals 9.0 Have Mercy

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Gray, Rainy Morning

The alarm went off. I took out an earplug and listened. Outside, it was pouring. I reset for 30 minutes and went back to sleep. Half an hour later, I repeated the exercise. Still pouring. Another 30 minutes and it was still raining and I couldn't put off my workout any longer.

So it was an indoor cardio kind of day.

Probably just as well, since my hip and IT band are really sore. I don't know if it's a good or bad sign. Does it mean the new treatments are moving things into place and this is just a normal growing pain, so to speak? Or did something go wrong? More on that after my next appointment, I guess.

Anyhow, this was a scheduled low-mileage day anyway, so it was all destined to turn out okay.

To minimize boredom, I followed a program of 30 minutes elliptical, 30 minutes treadmill, 15 minutes stair stepper, then repeat all three pieces and call it a day.

I managed to find two good long magazine articles to read on the elliptical machine, so that made the time go by pretty fast. I stayed in the 188-194 steps/min range, which I consider good for longer cardio work.

I did intervals on the treadmill, which is another boredom-delaying trick. I did 2 minutes at 9:00 min/mile pace, 2 at 8:30, 1 at 8:00, then repeat over and over while watching CNN. For my pace and stated goal of a 2.5 hour total cardio workout, this type of interval schedule, with no speedwork, was perfect.

I did nothing special on the stair-stepper. Fifteen minutes isn't so bad. I flipped through an old Smithsonian magazine, but I don't read well on the stair machine.

In all, it worked out pretty well. Various body parts started cramping and hurting on the run, but only toward the end of each session, so it was okay and I was able to finish. I noticed that my right foot was turning inward a bit and when I tried to analyze what was happening, I noticed that my whole right hip is tipping inward toward my center as I run. There's definitely a slight shift in that direction and it must be what's causing the IT band and knee issues because I noticed the same problem last weekend when my knee started giving me problems. I'll have to report this to the doc and PTs on Tuesday.

I really need to get a 21 miler under my belt next weekend if I'm still going to do this marathon. The fact that my hip and IT band are so tender this weekend worries me, as does the way my long run ended last week. I'm going to set up a massage appointment with Mary for this week and give the long run my best shot next weekend and see what happens, I guess.

As an alternate, I'm considering the Surfside Beach Marathon in February. It's a small beach run about 60 miles south of here and it's gotten good reviews. It sounds like one of those small, laid-back little venues where you quickly make friends with everyone. They also have a half marathon which I'm trying to convince Dan to do with me, whether or not I do the Houston marathon in January. Dan says he'll be too busy helping prep for the West U Warmup bike ride, which is the day after the Surfside Marathon. But I think I've got some room to debate that with him. I need to find out if he's really locked into an all-morning commitment, or if he's just making an excuse.

In other news, I think things are winding down at work, finally. The auditor wants various things, but it's at the stage where I get a call or an email and I go hunt down what he wants and take it to him. No more three hour interviews, thank goodness. Two of my three mandatory parties are over and I have my white elephant gift for Monday's party. After that, I think a lot of people will be out and I'll have some time to get things done without the phone ringing all the time. I'm being pestered a lot in these last few days before the holiday break, but it's all small stuff-- vendors wanting payment status, bosses wanting report updates, employees with questions about vacation time, etc.

My dad got into town last night and my brother had a birthday, so all is well in family-land. I sent my father one of Tidbit's picture books in November and he brought it home to show Mom. Now she wants one.

The Indian food was good today, the cat seems back to normal, the bunny has discovered the pleasure of lounging on the sofa and my writing is going steadily although it's been over a week since I had one of those days when I was really on a roll. Sometimes writing is a slog-fest, just like running.

And that concludes today's report.

Recent Workouts
Thursday: 45 minute elliptical (no running permitted - decompression day)
Friday: scheduled rest day
Saturday: 2.5 hour cardio (1 hour elliptical, 1 hour running, 30 min stair-stepper)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Can we rest yet? Posted by Picasa


I'm decompressing here a little, in more ways than one.

The biggest part of the audit is over. There are a few things that I still need to collect, but I have confidence that I can track them down-- they're silly things that aren't even typical audit documents, so I'm a little perplexed. But compared to what the auditor could've asked for, I think I'm in good shape. So if my boss can refrain from pestering me and if the phones will do me a favor and work properly (they were flaky today), I think I can get everything finalized on Friday or early part of next week.

A few other workplace frustrations have come up and I'm feeling pecked to death in some cases, just plain confused in others. I'm starting to suspect one of my bosses of being in the early stages of Alzheimer's. Seriously. Too many weird things have happened recently. But then, I think we're all tired, frustrated, forgetful and just trying to get out for the holidays, so maybe I shouldn't read too much into it.

We're doing some new things in physical therapy. The big one is spinal decompression in the lumbar area. We're trying to loosen my left hip, which has remained tight in spite of some of the other things we've tried. The decompression treatments have already made some noticeable improvements to my flexibility. We're helping things along with some trigger point massage treatments through the tight area of the lower back, both hips and both IT bands. We did some good work around the knees today and found a lot more tightness in the right IT band than I had realized was there. But I haven't been allowed to run this week because we're waiting to see how my body responds to the decompression. I'll run Saturday-- about 12 miles or so, and see how that goes.

We had our department Christmas party today and I sat with my assistant and a few of her friends and I got caught up on all the gossip. Working in a university IT department isn't nearly the circus that a restaurant is, but we have our moments.

So all I want now is for my one boss to remember what he says and does from one day to the next, for the other boss to quit nagging in me in her Mommy Voice for not sending documents to her that aren't on her must-send list (or at least not get snarky with me when I call and ask what docs she wants) and to find the missing property forms that are merely duplicates of the forms I already gave the auditor, but that he wants to see anyway. Oh, and it would help if my phone works tomorrow.

I can't believe I only get one week off for Christmas/New Year's this year. I'm gonna need a lot more than that!

Recent Workouts
Tuesday: 30 minute elliptical
Wednesday: 45 minute bike, Spinervals 4.0 Muscle Breakdown
Thursday: 45 minute elliptical

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Recovery Day

Quads and hamstrings were hurting today, more than they did after my 18 miler two weeks ago. Weird. I guess my body just wasn't up for it yesterday. Funny how that happens. How do Pam Reed and Dean Karnazes do it?

I was up ridiculously late Saturday night writing but dragged myself out of bed around 10 am this morning anyway and soon after Dan left for the gym, I started slowly getting things set up for a spin session. Except -- oops -- the pump was in Dan's car and my rear tire was beyond questionable. It needed some air or I wasn't riding.

So I changed into "real" clothes and ran some errands that I had planned for after the workout. And since Dan was at the park by the time I finished up I went by and got the bike pump. Success! I put air in the tires and I was in business!

My knee did okay until the last half hour, when there were a few times when it acted like it wanted to lock up on me. It clicked a few times, but it wasn't painful. I'll be glad to get it looked at and in the meantime I'm trying to find the problem spot with the tennis ball but haven't been successful yet.

I'm not looking forward to this week. The internal auditor is coming on Tuesday and Thursday-- a three hour meeting each time to evaluate my department's compliance with business policies during the past fiscal year. Yuck. There are so many things I think he's going to find. Last year was a terrible one for me because I lost an assistant and was not allowed to re-hire, the assistant who remained was sick all the time and they changed departmental business practices on us, keeping me in meetings all the time and delaying a lot of our paperwork to where we were often out of university business compliance by the end of all the shenanigans. Oh, I'm going to have a lot of fun trying to explain all that to the auditors! I wonder if I should just submit my resignation now and get it over with.

But at least the worst of it will be over by mid-day Thursday. And then it's three days of mandated holiday cheer as I attend Christmas parties Thursday afternoon, Friday afternoon and mid-day the following Monday. Nothing like feeling you must attend to make you feel like celebrating!

Today's Workout
90 minute bike - Spinervals 5.0 Mental Toughness

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Run, Interrupted

Today was supposed to be the first of two 20+ mile runs in preparation for the marathon. My first plan was to wear my GPS and try some different routes, but it was so cloudy out that I decided not to risk an uncertain signal. So I stayed close to home, which turned out to be for the best.

I started with a run to Memorial Park. Usually it's very crowded and tries my patience, so I figured I'd do it first, while I was still fresh. As it turned out, it wasn't crowded after all. In fact, there was reduced runner activity on all my usual routes, due to the 30K being held Sunday in Sugar Land. I've often thought about doing that race, but have never heard anything good about it, so I've always skipped it.

I enjoyed my two loops at Memorial, then decided to run up Memorial Drive to Chimney Rock and thus spare myself having to do two loops later at the bayou. Halfway into the park-to-Chimney Rock part of the run, a coyote came running out of an empty lot ahead of me, crossed the busy road (narrowly escaping getting run over) and disappeared into the yard of a fancy home. A few seconds later, it came back. Then it crossed the street yet again and this time I didn't see it any more.

It was puzzling and a little disconcerting. I've seen coyotes in the evening in the park, but never at 9 am crossing a busy street in a pricey neighborhood. I sure hope no one is leaving small pets outside!

The Chimney Rock portion of the run went well and once I was back inside the 610 loop, I stopped at the Memorial Park picnic loop (where the cyclists ride) to use the restroom. I noticed that a trail has been newly asphalted nearby and the roof of the restroom building has been extended. (It used to be a semi-open design.) Unfortunately none of the improvements have included supplying soap to the restrooms, which is probably just as well since no one has fixed the sink faucets either, so you can't wash your hands anyway.

That meant I had to stop at the Shell station later to wash up.

From there I did an out-and-back to the River Oaks country club. That was nice, but I was starting to hurt. Calves were crampy, hamstrings were tight-- we all know the drill, right? But just before I got back to the bayou trails where I would do my last four miles, my right knee tightened up without warning. It was the same problem I've had off and on since August, but this time there was no warning, no cramp in my hip and down the outside of my leg, just a sudden tightening and pain in the knee. So I walked when I had to and ran when I could until I got to the trails and the bench by the first water fountain. I stretched and massaged the area for a few minutes, then had some water and decided to see what would happen if I tried to continue. I did okay at first, but now the other knee, feeling ignored I suppose, started tightening up. So I stopped and rubbed it, too. Dammit. I ran okay again for maybe an eight of a mile before the right knee tightened again.

I stopped. I could keep stopping to stretch and massage and probably find a way to finish the planned route, but was that really wise? What was I trying to prove? Who was I proving it to? Was it worth the possible cost?

I swallowed my pride and walked home.

Tonight the knee feels fine for walking and standing with the weight distributed evenly between both feet, but when I move my weight all to one foot, the knee hurts in a crampy sort of way. I don't think this is a true injury that has to keep me from the marathon, but after a good 18 miler just two weeks ago, it's a big disappointment. I thought I'd made so much progress! You can bet I'm telling my physical therapists about this! Good thing I'm already being treated-- I'm sure they can fix me up if I can just give them all the right info, and we still have over a month to work with.

There's plenty of time, but I'm starting to get nervous about all this.

Recent Workouts
Thursday: 45 minute elliptical
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 18 mile run, cut short from 22

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Bunny In A Box Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bike Therapy

Wednesday was a much better day. Very busy, a few annoyances, but nothing too bad. It helped that my boss was out. It's easier to get things done without the boss.

Just think how productive our country would be if there were no bosses!

Oh, wait. I'm a boss, too.

Never mind.

Even though I got home late and hungry again tonight (physical therapy ran late), I forced myself to just have a small snack. Then I waited an hour, set up the bike and did a hard 45 minute spin session. I don't know if it was the music I used, the workout or both, but I felt great afterwards!

It's late and I haven't written a thing tonight, so I suppose I'll be up later than I would like, but that's okay. And I've got a lot to do tomorrow, but tonight I'm feeling like that will work out okay, too.

Thanks, everyone, for wishing this grumpy bunny well!

Today's Workouts
30 min core and legs (physical therapy)
45 min bike, Spinervals 7.0 Uphill grind

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Piling On

Okay, so we're into Day 2 of nuisance-level bad luck. While it is not to be confused with real, genuine bad luck, it's still a pain in the butt.

The boss was getting on my nerves again today, asking for lots of silly stuff ahead of an even sillier meeting. Ahem, exactly why do I have to keep reporting on project budgets that are no longer part of our department? And no, "We're doing it for OtherGuy," doesn't cut it. I've been in meetings with OtherGuy and he hates your reporting template, boss. Hate, hate, hate, you hear? He throws these reports in the trash. I've seen him do it! Just admit we're doing it because it gives you the illusion for a few more weeks that they didn't take the project away from you and give it to someone more competent.

Then around lunchtime I got a call from my other boss. We're usually friends, but today she pounced on me using her Angry Mommy Voice and asked a lot of rapid-fire questions about a contract I sent her last week. Not having a copy of it nearby, I couldn't answer her questions, so I simply asked what she was unhappy about, wrote everything down and said I'd fix it right away.

Feeling like a total idiot, I started on her laundry list. But I was puzzled. She was asking for documents I hadn't had to submit in years. She was asking about weird things. Time warp things. Who was crazy-- me or her?

I figured it was me until I went to the Contracts Office website looking for a particular document. I couldn't find the darn thing anywhere! I called the Contracts Office secretary, who laughed a tinkly little laugh and said, "Oh, that's not on the Frequently Used Documents list yet. Try looking third from the bottom on the 1999 docs list."

Uh, excuse me.... 1999?

As it turned out, the contracts forms and procedures had changed. Now, part of the blame for not noticing the change is mine. When you've clicked the same link for years, though, you sort of expect to keep getting the same document unless someone tells you otherwise. You don't expect that they will change the fine print because that's not the part you look at every time you fill out the form. You're thinking about the vendor name, product, dollar amount, etc. Not re-reading the fine print each time. But no, the fine print had changed and things had been taken out. Things I had to add back in by printing additional forms. From the 1999 docs list.


Well, at least I'm not crazy. And when I talked to the Contracts Guy for our area (who had made the same mistake I had and also gotten Angry Mommy mad at him), I suggested that maybe, just perhaps, he could maintain a list of current required addenda and email us whenever there's a change to documents and procedures. Just a thought!

Then when I got home I found that the cat had had diarrhea in the closet. Good job, Pix. So I cleaned that up and since he's been having intermittent problems of this nature for awhile now, it was off to the vet with him. $165 later they had no diagnosis and no recommendations. Don't you hate it when you spend money to find out nothing is wrong? It's such a dilemma-- I'm glad everything seems okay, but for $165 I at least want a few Latin-based medical terms to get thrown around, you know? Maybe some frowns and pondering? Or is that extra?

I got home late, hungry (hadn't eaten since 11:30) and in need of my athsma meds. And now that I've eaten and can breathe again, it's late enough that I'm not sure I'll digest my dinner in time to get a workout in.

That'll teach me to be too grumpy to work out yesterday. I should've gone for a run.

But my attitude was better today, so that's something. We're making progress!

Today's Workout
Cat Wrestling-- Small Pet Carrier Division

Monday, December 05, 2005

Just Another Tricky Day

Okay, I'll start by 'fessing up. I probably jinxed myself by expecting today to suck. And you know what? It did.

It was cold and windy out.

I was grumpy.

I'm totally stressing over the next two weeks, which include at least two three-hour meetings with the auditors and three mandatory office holiday parties, in addition to my usual round of meetings and appointments. I must bring food to one party, a gift to another and the third runs late and is hosted by one of the highest mucky-mucks at the university so I can't skip out early. You know, I like holiday parties and sharing as much as the next person, but once celebration becomes required, the magic is gone. It's just G O N E.

My day was broken into hard-to-manage time chunks by three meetings.

All the meetings required driving.

One only lasted fifteen minutes, after I went to the trouble to drive there, park and walk in the cold wind to the building where the meeting was being held. Fifteen minutes! And then another walk in the cold back to the car, etc.

The last meeting went past 5 pm. I work 7 am to 4 pm and was already unhappy that someone had scheduled me as a required attendee, even though that time block was marked "Out of Office" in Outlook. Now, I ask you, why bother putting my schedule in Outlook for all to see if people are going to schedule me anyway during times marked "unavailable?"

None of the three meetings I attended were in any way remotely useful, helpful or even interesting. They just used up time that I would've rather spent preparing for the audit.

My boss did and said some things that really pissed me off.

Driving home, I found I had a taillight out and my brake lights weren't working, although luckily we had a spare bulb and a spare fuse and Dan and I got everything working again after we got home. But that meant we spent an hour out in the carport, in the cold with flashlights frickin' around with stuff. Okay, at least we got it fixed, but I was soooooo hungry and cold!

I couldn't log onto anyone's blogspot blogs this evening.

The salad I had for dinner was wilty.

My cat is looking at me funny.

Yes, I'm grumpy.

And my attitude today was probably no help.

I'm going to do better tomorrow. I promise.

Today's Workout
Nothing. Too grumpy.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

'Tis the Season

I have done my first bit of holiday decorating!

On Thursday I got home late and found a UPS note on my door. I couldn't think what it might be, since I hadn't ordered anything recently. Hm. So I picked it up on Friday and it turned out to be a big square white box from a place called Winterworks. It was addressed to both me and Dan. My parents haven't discovered online shopping, have they? I got it inside and opened it up, with the assistance of a curious white rabbit who wanted to know more about that nice pine smell emanating from the box.

It was a wreath!

A nice big one, too!

I looked at the card inside and it was from my aunt and uncle in Connecticut. Hooray!

Isn't it great to get an unexpected gift?

I wanted to put it on my door, but didn't feel like looking for nails, so I took a picture off the wall in the hallway and put it there instead. I fluffed out the branches and voila! Instant Christmas!

I guess this means it's time to break out Tidbit's decorations for her cage. She likes to get into the holiday spirit, too. It's also getting about time to order her Christmas basket from Busy Bunny.

It's hard to feel like it's December when you can wear shorts outside, but we have a cool front moving through and that should help make it feel more like the holiday season. Also, the round of Christmas parties is beginning at work. The IT Managers' party includes a White Elephant gift exchange. Call me Scrooge, but I find those really annoying when they're not optional.

So it looks like between meetings, auditors and mandatory Christmas parties (gotta show my face and be a team player) I won't be getting much done this month. I know that's the sort of thing I'm supposed to be happy about, but I'm not.

Maybe one of those Christmas ghosts needs to come pay me a visit, hm?

Today's Workout
Sunday: 90 min bike, Spinervals 14.0 Totally Time Trial

Saturday, December 03, 2005


This weekend snuck up on me for some reason. Usually I'm looking for Friday by about Wednesday and this time it was here before I knew it.

I hope this happens more often!

It wasn't a particularly busy week, although I had my usual run of silly meetings, irritating phone calls and budget matters to ponder. I also got to prepare a contract. Ho-hum.

In physical therapy we're starting to work on my core. Yuck. They gave me a new exercise which, when done correctly, is pretty tiring if you do all the reps they ask for. And then they put you on a machine where you have to add balance to the drill and do it all over again. Yes, I'm hurting!

But they also did adjustments and a little massage work on me, which I promptly ruined by going for a run around the bayou. Smart, aren't I?

I did about fifteen miles this morning, a step back off my 18 miler last weekend. I thought this would be an easier run, but it wasn't. It wasn't my massage week and I've been slacking on my nightly stretching routine, so I guess I got what I deserved. I'll have to try to fit an appointment with Mary into my schedule this week because I'd like to do something between 18 and 20 next weekend.

I got an email from the Houston Marathon saying they're 75% full. I guess it's time to sign up!

Recent Workouts
Tuesday: 45 minute bike, Spinervals 3.0 Suffer-O-Rama
Wednesday: 5.5 mile run
Thursday: 45 minute elliptical, lots of core
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 15 mile run