Saturday, September 30, 2006

Seventeen Miles!

Today’s run was seventeen miles, and it went pretty well. The way I planned my route was not intended to play head games with me, but it did, in a good way. By the time I hit the last five miles, I was in an area that I usually get to early in a run, so even though I’d been out there for two hours already, it felt like I was only getting started. It helped that I have tentatively begun a new creative project and had a lot of ideas spinning around in my head. It sure made the miles go by fast!

It wasn’t a very eventful run, but I saw a lot of running groups out this morning, and I overheard some guys talking about 24-mile runs while I was getting water at Memorial Park. They were training for the Rocky Raccoon trail run, and I was a little envious. I’ve always wanted to try ultras, but since I’ve had such disastrously bad luck just getting my mileage back up to marathon standards without injury, ultras have remained out of the question.

The only problem I had today was tight calves. They had been tight before I started, and by the last two miles, the situation was pretty bad. My endurance sport friends know the drill—as long as you keep moving, it’s bearable, but as soon as you stop, everything locks up and you find yourself staggering around like Frankenstein. I thought I would die before I could get settled in to ice down once I was home, but Tidbit kept me amused by bouncing all around the living room like she was on springs. I don’t know what got into her today!

Once I had iced my legs, I felt a lot better, and I followed up with my usual routine of foam roller, stretching, and leg massage with my own personal blend of massage creams that leave my legs all tingly for awhile. Tonight I’m ready to bounce around the room with Tidbit. If I keep having successful long runs like this, I might just sign up for the San Antonio Marathon. Anyone want to join me? It’s November 12, and I’m not running it as an A race, since I need to stay uninjured for Houston in January. In fact, if I do San Antonio under 5 hours, I’ll be mad at myself. I would be running it just for fun and taking lots of walk breaks.

I got some reassuring news today—my university’s proposal to buy a piece of property on the other side of town fell through. Yay! I know it would’ve been a good deal for a lot of people on an academic level, but they were threatening to send all of us with “non customer-facing jobs” out to the new facility. That would’ve meant instead of a 10 minute commute, having to drive about an hour each way. That was not happening. I had been scrambling to apply for other jobs as it looked more and more like the deal might go through, but now that it’s not, I can relax a little. Moving your job across town when your “town” has the approximate square mileage of Guatemala is just so not cool. If I wanted to get jerked around like that, I’d go work for a corporation, where I’d at least make more money and have employer matching on deposits to my retirement account.

I’ve got a new creative project in the works, as I alluded to at the beginning of this post. I’m still tinkering with it, and trying to decide if I like it, if I want to continue with it, and just what I really want to get out of the exercise, but I’ll post more on that either later tonight or sometime tomorrow.

Recent Workouts
Monday: 4 mile run
Thursday: Rest
Wednesday: 6 mile run
Thursday: 30 minute elliptical
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 17 mile run

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Long Rabbit

Gardens and Bones

An unexciting rest of the week led into a fairly ordinary weekend, which has been nice.

I made an odd discovery on my Saturday run. At the corner of a busy intersection bordering a ritzy neighborhood, someone planted a garden on the little strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street. I saw eggplants, peppers, squash and other veggie plants. And on the other side of the sidewalk, abutting the wall to a very posh-looking estate, was a row of banana and grapefruit trees. The grapefruits were mostly green, with a few showing the faintest early tinges of yellow. Of course, the strangest thing about all this was its location. You’d think rich people with ginormous yards could plant their eggplants and bell peppers somewhere other than right next to a busy street. So whose garden was it? The maid’s?

It’s funny, the little things you encounter on a run.

In other news, my MIL is in the hospital this weekend. What seemed like a knee problem two weeks ago is actually a stress injury resulting from back pain due to a burst fracture in one of her vertebrae, the result of osteoporosis. We’re hoping the results of the bone biopsy will indicate they can fix the problem easily, but Dan gets the impression from her doctors that her bones are quite brittle.

So here’s a note to you ladies out there: Eat right, get moving, and keep moving! Your body won’t keep laying down calcium on your bones unless it thinks it’s got a reason to. Give it a reason, and give it the materials to work with.

Thus ends today’s public service announcement.

Recent Workouts
Wednesday: 4 mile run
Thursday: 30 min elliptical
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 14 mile run
Sunday: 6 mile run

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

La Chubbette

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tidbit and Friend

Not-So-Blue Monday

I had a very nice surprise waiting for me when I got to the office this morning—an email from a writing contest I had entered, saying that I had won the First Chapter competition! Yay, me! It’s not a huge contest or anything, no big prize, no fame and fortune, nothing like that. And for all I know, there could’ve been only three other entrants in the First Chapter division, and they all sucked. But it’s still a nice thing to go into your office, all sleepy and grumpy because it’s Monday and you’ve got a lot of work to do, and find out your creative work has won a small award.

After that, it was go, go, go… all day. Spreadsheets. PowerPoint. Reports. Lotsa phone calls. Yuck. But it made the day zip right along, and I went home feeling like I had been very productive. It was such a good start to the week that I followed it up with a short run. And even that went better than expected. It was sunny and humid when I left the office, but by the time I got home, changed, and headed out the door, some clouds had begun moving in and it was cooler out. I only needed to stop for water once.

In sum, it was a pretty darn good day, for a Monday!

Recent Workouts
Sunday: 6 mile run
Monday: 4 mile run

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Saturday Long Run

Today’s goal was 16 miles. I was a little unsure how that would work out because I’ve been having twinges in my hip again, but I selected a route that would keep me on flat, level surfaces throughout, and gave it a go.

I ran into a problem when I got to Memorial and Loop 610, where the road was closed due to construction. I almost thought I’d have to backtrack, but I managed to find a way through the site, near where the workers’ cars were parked and far from the actual work going on. The only difficulty was that the area was so full of thick, slimy, mud that there was no way I was going back that way.

The next problem I encountered was the place I had planned to get water was no longer there. That’ll teach me to not check that particular part of the route for more than a year! And since I would have to find a new route back to Memorial Park, I didn’t know when or where I would get water. I knew logically that I would find some within a couple miles, but it really messed with my head to not be sure. I felt thirstier than I should’ve at that point on the run and I thought about water way more than was necessary.

And all for nothing. I found a place with a gloriously ice-cold water fountain within a couple miles of my now-demolished first choice stop, and I have a new running route into the bargain. Instead of a boring out-and-back, I can now do a loop.

Uh, yeah. My creativity doesn’t manifest itself in new running routes nearly often enough.

I finished my 16 miles with no hip pain. Tonight it feels like it wants to act up, but I may just be thinking about it too much. We’ll see how I feel in the morning. If it’s bothering me at all, I’ll do a Spinerval instead of my usual Sunday six-miler.

Today’s Workout
16 mile run

Thursday, September 14, 2006

L'ordinateur est arrivé!

Yay! My replacement computer is finally here!

It took all evening of Dan setting it up for me, re-installing patches, docs and software, but I’m back up and running, and I’m very happy!

I’m just hoping now that this new machine will prove as reliable as the one I had for eight years. Or that it will prove even half as reliable. Anything but have to muck around with all those cables again! Where do they come from? Why so many? I seem to have way more cables behind my desk than are actually required for all the things I do. They must be back there breeding new cables, or something, twisting around each other like spaghetti.

Anyone need an extra cable? I’ve got ‘em!

Recent Workouts
Sunday: 6 mile run
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4 mile run
Wednesday: 40 minute elliptical
Thursday: 4.5 mile run

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


A few years ago I applied for a position. Although it wasn't with the division I've worked in these past ten years, it was the type of job that was the next logical step on the career ladder in my profession. I made the final cut and had lots of great interviews, but they ended up bringing in an outsider.

It happens. And truth to tell, his qualifications were better than mine.

But now he's moved on and much to my surprise, the people who interviewed me last time called me and invited me to apply again!

Now, I'm not vain enough to think that they didn't call anyone else or that I wouldn't once again lose out to someone with superior qualifications. In fact, if someone else is the better candidate, I would hope they would get the job. My sense of fair play would be offended, otherwise.

But... how totally cool that they remembered me and asked me to toss my hat in the ring!

It's nice to be thought well of. Lots of warm fuzzies here today!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Another Rainy Run

I had a pretty good week at work, and was glad that having Monday off meant no late afternoon Monday meeting. I find late afternoon meetings annoying because since no one can end a meeting on time, these things tend to drag out interminably and stick me in the worst sort of traffic by the time I can finally make my escape and head home.

I continue to wade through my list of way overdue personal projects, and I’m happy to report that I’m now down to only two important ones: go see the doc to get my asthma meds renewed, and take the comforter to the laundromat so I can use one of the big front-loading washers. Too bad there's no good way to combine those two errands.

Other than that, I’m about done! Okay, I still need to find out what’s wrong with the a/c on the RX-7, but that project is penciled in for October, so it doesn’t really count.

In other news, I’m still without my new computer, in spite of Dan’s best efforts. Dell is sending me another one, so I hope it will be here Monday. All the more reason I’ll be pissed if our Monday afternoon meeting drags on forever.

Today’s run was supposed to be a relatively “short” long run, with a focus on speed at the end. It didn’t turn out that way because it started raining during the last three miles. Between the mud and reduced visibility, no way was a negative split realistic. But I finished the twelve miles feeling fresh and perky, and that was good. And I refrained from seconds when Dan and I went for Indian buffet, so the whole calorie thing probably worked out okay.

It looks like they’re forecasting more rain for tomorrow morning, so while I didn’t mind getting caught in it today, I think tomorrow could turn out to be an elliptical sort of day. I may be dedicated, but I’m not a glutton for punishment.

Recent Workouts
Last Sunday: 6 mile run
Monday: 90 minute elliptical
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 6 mile run
Thursday: 30 minute elliptical
Friday: rest
Today: 12 mile run

Monday, September 04, 2006

Bunnyloaf Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Saturday Update

Grrr… I’m still without my computer!

My husband has been too wonderful for words in his tireless dedication to getting my PC up and running. He even bought me a new hard drive, when all else failed. But it’s doing the same thing as the other, leading us to think we either have a bad copy of WinXP or else a bad motherboard. Dan is going to get another copy of Windows for me tomorrow, so we should know something definite by tomorrow evening. I’m hoping it’s the OS, because I really don’t want the hassle of having to ship the whole CPU back to Dell and wait for a replacement.

Considering that he does this sort of thing for a living (and is probably sick of it when he comes home) and that he has his own computer (it’s mine that’s crashing), he’s really going above and beyond. I could’ve done everything he’s done myself, but it would’ve taken me a lot longer, since I've been out of tech support for so long.

I’ll have to remember to be nice to him.

I had a really good run this morning – fifteen miles with no trouble at all. That’s due at least in part to Mary’s work on my legs Thursday. Nothing like a good massage! I also increased the electrolyte level in my sports drink, which I’m sure also helped. I’m still using a combo of Amino Vital, Endurolytes and pomegranate juice. Today it was borderline salty with the extra electrolytes, but I stayed close to water fountains, so it was all good.

Not much else is happening here. I must be getting caught up on my sleep because I woke up from my post-Indian-food nap much earlier than usual. With so many days off, I’m reverting to type and becoming a terrible night owl again. I’m always pretty bad about that, but I can become almost vampire-like in my day/night, sleep/wake reversal, when I don’t have office hours tying me to the rest of the civilized world’s schedule.

Going back to work on Tuesday will be interesting. Oh, yes. Fun times.

Today’s Workout
15 mile run

Friday, September 01, 2006


You know, for eight years I puttered along on a little Win98 Gateway PC. My computing needs are very basic, so until recently, I had no particular incentive to upgrade. That little Win98 machine never gave me a day of trouble, either.

Last month I got a fancy-pants new Dell WinXP machine with wireless and all the bells and whistles delivered to my door. And tonight, it crashed. My husband is a techie, and I’m an ex-techie from DOS days, so we’re all over it. But at this point, we don’t know if the hard drive will be salvageable.

No worries in terms of my manuscripts, since I email them to myself each night, after making edits. And no worries on my photos and music, since we have all that backed up to an external drive. And I’ve got the laptop, so I’m not without resources.


How ironic is it that my clunky old Win98 machine was such a reliable workhorse for eight years, and my new computer crashed in a matter of weeks?

In other news, I’ve been taking a few sanity days off from work so I can get caught up on personal matters. I did a little shopping, took some things to our storage unit, ran errands, tracked down some parts for my RX-7 and put the car in the shop, I got a massage (finally!) and took Tidbit to get her nails trimmed. We asked for French tips, but the vet tech just smiled and gave a plain old trim. Poor Tid. Maybe next time, sweetie.

Recent Workouts
Tuesday: 4 mile run
Thursday: 6 mile run
Friday: 35 minute elliptical