Saturday, September 29, 2007

Change of scenery

Today we visited the inlaws. I took my running clothes, hoping to get a run in while we were there.

My mother-in-law graciously agreed to watch the kids while I went running (thanks again!). So I set out for a four-miler under clear blue skies. It was gorgeous out!

The run was good, although there were some slight hills that slowed me down a bit. I am definitely not used to running hills anymore. I need to do something about that. But overall it felt good to be out and clear my head of all the stresses of the past week.

We might get rain tomorrow, which will be a good thing because we need it badly. Maybe if it's not too bad I'll venture out for another run. I am hoping to get out of my rut and back into good running days again! Maybe I am on my way.....

Today's stats:
Run (outdoors):
Distance: four miles
Time: 44:54
Pace: 11:13 minute/mile

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mind games

For some reason, this month has been a tough one for me regarding my running. I have been much busier with school and all, but my overall motivation for running has taken a dive. I mean, I am very glad after I do it, but it's a little harder mentally to get it done. I hope I'm just having an off month, you know?

But I did run today at the track. Only three miles. Even though mentally it was tough, I still set a new PR for that distance. I have no idea how I did it, but I think the fact Tim and the kids were there with me made me run faster. Tim was really hungry and I knew it, so I guess I felt I had to get done faster so he could get something to eat. LOL.

Tomorrow's a preschool day for Kara, so I might take advantage of her being gone and do a couple miles on the treadmill. If I can get Matty to go back to sleep, that is. If not, I will probably strap him into the stroller and do an outdoor run. I just hope the motivation doesn't wear off before morning. Guess I'll go to bed soon so I can at least get some sleep and feel rested. I haven't had a good night's sleep all week. Maybe that's why my motivation is in the crapper.

Today's stats:
Run (outdoor):
Distance: three miles
Time: 30:29 (new PR; old one was 31:07 set on July 14)
Pace: 10:09 minute/mile

Mile 1: 10:30
Mile 2: 10:20
Mile 3: 9:39 (wowza!!)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Gonna toot my horn

So I got the results back today from my first big biology test, taken last week.

I just knew I had done well after I finished taking it.

I didn't know how well until tonight.

Out of 100 possible points, I received 100. :-) Only one other person in our class (of almost 50 students) got 100 points.

Overall, 11 people got an A, 11 a B, 10 garnered a C, 4 received a D and a whopping 11 earned an F.

Teacher Jen wrote little green stars on the front of my test. ;-)

I did just fine.

Out of a total of 140 points for the entire class, I have earned 160. Thanks again, extra credit!

I will really not be happy now unless I keep this A until the end of the semester. I don't see why I wouldn't, though.

Coming back on to add my stationary bike ride stats from tonight. :-)

Today's stats:
Distance: 10 miles
Time: 36:54

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ahhh! Much better!

I got out for my first long run in a couple weeks today. All I can say is I really, *really* needed it. I was starting to feel totally funky (not in a good way), so going for an outdoor run was a great way to help with my blahs.

I went to the middle school track again, thinking I would run the whole time there. Well, about 3.5 miles into it I got bored and headed out on the street. I ran a little more than a mile through downtown and finished the last 1/2 mile on the track. It overall was a very good run. I don't think I PR'd this time, but it felt good to be back at it. Plus, the weather was spectacular today!

***Coming back to update***

I just went back through my previous posts and found that I DID set a PR for five miles today! My old PR was set WAY back in July. Cool!!!!

Today's stats:
Run (outdoors):
Distance: five miles
Time: 54:20 (new PR; previous was 54:48 set on July 22)
Pace: 10:51 minute/mile

Friday, September 21, 2007

Conquering the world, three miles at a time

The title kinda says it all, no? ;-)

At least I was able to run today. I hopped on the treadmill while Matty napped and Kara watched The Little Mermaid -- AGAIN. That girl just LOVES that movie!!

I only felt well enough to run three miles. And I didn't keep track of the time. Today was one of those days where the time didn't matter to me. I just wanted to get it done!

I am hoping to feel better this weekend so I can run longer than that. Actually, I might try to do another short run tomorrow and then a long one Sunday. That would be perfect.

Today's stats:
Run (treadmill)
Distance: three miles
Time: didn't keep track

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sick or well??

I don't know.

I am still "getting over" this sinus infection, but I sure didn't feel like I was getting better today. Let's just say I took a step or two back in my recovery. My head got all stuffed up again and I felt generally unwell. So I didn't run. I didn't have the energy, and that sucks. I am hoping tomorrow will better and I can run then. Please, oh please. This month has been really, really crappy for my running, and I want to rectify the situation, but it's so hard when I'm feeling ill!!

I did use the bike tonight, since I felt like I *had* to do something. I even cranked the resistance up a few notches. Better than nothing.

On a happier note, I took my first biology test last night and am fairly sure I aced it. I knew the answer to every question on the test. I literally started beaming when I saw the test questions. It couldn't have been better had I written the test myself. I am so glad I really enjoy this class. Actually, I am really enjoying being back in college. I know I am more motivated this time around to do well,and so far I am doing everything right. I will know what my test score is by next week, but let's just say I am not worried in the slightest. I don't think I've ever felt this confident following a test. :-)

OK, time to wrap this up. Hope everyone has a great Friday!

Today's stats:
Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 8.09 miles

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Squeezing workouts in

It seems like my recent workouts have been squeezed in when I have time. I have been so busy with class and studying that working out has been secondary. But I am still doing it!

I have my first big biology test tomorrow, so I hope this weekend I will feel a little less stressed and be able to do a long run. The good thing is I feel about as well-prepared as I can be for this test, as I have been memorizing everything and studying every day. I am hoping it won't be as hard as we all think!

I got my grades for my second lab and the extra credit lab I completed. I got perfect scores on both! So now I have earned 60 points out of a possible 40! Thanks, extra credit!!! ;-) It's a good thing I am ahead of the game, because I will be missing a lab next month because we're going on vacation. So I need all the extra credit I can get!!!

Today's stats:
Stationary bike:
Distance: 10 miles
Time: 34:28

Monday, September 17, 2007

Back at it

I ran tonight after taking five days off to rest. It felt pretty good. I only did three miles because I ran after my evening class and it started getting dark. Better than nothing, right?

I have to study for my test Wednesday. Later, gators.

Today's stats:
Distance: three miles
Time: 31:50
Pace: 10:36 minute/mile

Saturday, September 15, 2007

What is Blogger's deal???

I am so very irritated with Blogger right now.

I have had two comments the past 24 hours or so, and tried to approve them (one was from Marcy, the other from Mary). Well, even though I clicked on the correct link to approve, Blogger said I rejected them! And then it won't let me "retry", saying the comments have been moderated. WTH?!

So I guess for the time being, I will again disable the function that allows me to preview and post your comments. If I don't, I don't know if anyone's comments will see the light of day.

Sorry ya'll.

Oh, and I hope to be running again by tomorrow. I really, really miss it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Down with the sickness -- UPDATE


I went to the doctor this morning because my head was in excruciating pain, and I have yet another sinus infection. Thank goodness I went though, because now I have some antibiotics and painkiller for my throat and head. My head is pounding right now though, and I can hear my pulse in my left ear. Ewwwwwww.

Tim managed to come home early to watch the kids so I can rest. I have been sleeping most of the afternoon. I will be heading back to bed in a second, but I just wanted to update ya'll on my ills. Being sick sucks!

Oh, I feel like I am dying this morning.

I went to lab last night, and started feeling progressively worse as time went on. By the time we got out at 9:30, I seriously thought I wasn't going to make it home, I was so dizzy and my throat was killing me!

I stopped by the store to get some meds (NyQuil and DayQuil), along with some 7UP for the throat. I don't know why but 7UP always seems to help soothe it. Then I watched Top Chef (all groggy-like) and climbed into bed.

I am up now because at 3 a.m. I awoke feeling like poop again. Off to take more NyQuil. I also took my temp, and it was 102.7. Yep, I am definitely fighting off something. Probably the same disease Kara and Matty are wrapping up.

There will be NO workout for me today. I think I will be lucky if I get off the couch at all. I doubt I will work out tomorrow, either. I HATE being sick! Bah!!!

Oh, but the awesome news is that I was in a different lab group tonight and it was much better than last week. Hallelujah. We officially got our labs back from the first week (I already knew I got 20 out of 20 because I checked on the Internet, where she posts our grades). No one in my group got a perfect score beside me! I think they all got 17s. One of the girls asked me how I did, and I was almost embarrassed to tell her. I just didn't want them thinking I was gloating or anything. But I was so happy!

All right, back to bed now. Hope everyone has a great Thursday. :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I am irritated...


My pinched nerve in my lower back has started acting up again, after being a good nerve for a couple months. It is manifesting in pain above my left hip again. Ugh. I haven't been running as much as I want to because of it. But I did manage a treadmill run today while Matty napped. I have an appointment with my chiropractor on Friday.

My throat is also a bit irritated today. I woke up with a slight sore throat, which is progressively getting worse as the day wears on. The kids have been sick lately, so I am not surprised I am starting to feel ill now. It's bad timing, since I have a four-hour class tonight. Blah. I will probably take some drugs with me because I don't want to suffer through class with a sore throat. I HATE sore throats!

Have to go now. Need to shower before Tim gets home. I don't want to show up for class as a sweaty mess.

Today's stats:
Run (treadmill):
Distance: three miles
Time: I forgot to look at the timer, but it was around 34 minutes

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I shall dominate my biology class


I got my first grade for my first biology lab, and I aced it!! Twenty points were possible, and I got all 20! Yay!! I am so happy!! The average score for the class was 16.26. So I am better than average! ;-)

My next lab is due tomorrow night, and I hope to get 20 again. Plus, I will be getting extra credit with that lab because I showed up to class last week, even though it wasn't mandatory, and I did the work. I am definitely on the right path!

Of course, our first big exam is next week, and I am worried about it. But our teacher did post a study guide so I know what will be on the test. As long as I study and memorize everything, I should be fine. *fingers crossed* I am meeting with my classmate Kristen on Sunday to study (she's the one who's my age). She has kids, so I'll be taking the rugrats along so they can play. :-)

I rode the bike tonight. To answer Mendy's question from a couple posts ago, I do my bike workouts on an indoor stationary bike. I do have an outdoor bike, but it's a mountain bike and is not in the best shape. It has been forever since I've used it, and it needs to be fixed in a major way. Not sure if I will fix it or get rid of it for a new bike later on. It is a 12-year-old bike, after all.

Today's stats:
Distance: 10 miles
Time: 35:22

Monday, September 10, 2007

I am tired

Tonight's entry will be short, as I am very tired.

Today's highlights:
*Kara got stung on her thumb by a yellow jacket at school today. She freaked and the teacher had me come to the school early. She's fine, though.
*I found out my first biology test is next week.
*My 49ers won! Close game, though.
*I ran on the treadmill, but it was so unspectacular I almost shouldn't mention it.
*Um, that's about it.

Today's stats:
Run (treadmill):
Distance: 2.5 miles
Time: didn't keep track, and don't really care

Saturday, September 8, 2007

OK, so *THAT* was hard!!!

Wow, you guys. I seriously had the most difficult race to date today!

It was the Soroptimist/Arcata Fire Department 5K in Arcata, CA. This is the same town that hosted the hilly Tim Brownlow Memorial Run last month.

I was hoping beforehand that the course would go through downtown Arcata where it's flat. Much to my chagrin, the map of the course showed it would go east from the downtown area to the Arcata Community Forest. Now, this area is beautiful (redwoods everywhere), but the downside is the course was pretty much uphill the entire first half. And about a mile of it was on dirt trails in the forest (and half up steep hills), which I am not accustomed to running at all.

I knew before we started there would be no PR this race. I was thinking I would be happy to finish under 35 minutes.

So we all gather in front of the Arcata Firehouse before the race kicks off. About 120 people total did either the 5K run or a two-mile walk. This race raised money for a new firehouse for Arcata, which they told us will be built in the next few years.

At 10 a.m., they cued the firehouse siren to go off, signaling the start of the race. Oh, before we started, I ran about 1/3 of a mile to warm up. Good thing I did, because almost right out the gates we started an uphill climb. This climb continued from F Street to 11th Street. On 11th Street it went downhill a little, only to go back uphill again. OK, so far, so good, despite the hills. We made our way to Union Street, down Union a little way to the entrance to the park. This is where it started getting rough. The road starts going up these steep switchbacks that just go on and on and on. Lots of people started walking by this point. I kept plodding along, thinking the road would go back down soon. Wrong.

I don't know how long it took, but eventually we ended up at a trailhead that led into the forest. And the hill just continued. I'd say about 1/4 mile at least of trail was one continuous uphill climb. At one point, I did have to walk because running really sucked at this point. Plus, the dirt and tree roots provided tricky terrain, especially since the area was completely shaded because of the redwoods.

FINALLY we reached the top of the hill and started our descent. That was the one good thing about this course: the second-half downhill. Of course, I was pretty tired, but once my legs started feeling the downward momentum, I just followed their lead. I guess that part of the race flew by, because we were headed the same way we had come and I knew it wasn't that much farther.

As I neared the last corner before the finish, I saw Tim (with the camera) and the kids waiting for me, as well as the photographer for Six Rivers Running Club. I smiled and waved for both cameras (which were on opposite sides of the street) and turned the corner. I was so happy to see that finish line!!! My finish time was a lot better than I had hoped, especially since I walked a little.

Oh, and the organizers served the BEST PIZZA EVER after the race. It was provided by Don's Pizza, Donuts and Deli in Arcata, and I can only say this pizza was totally worth all the sweat and pain. LOL! It was truly gourmet pizza. I had a slice of the Pesto Veggie pizza, while Tim had some Gourmet Spicy Chicken. I seriously cannot remember having a better slice of pizza in my entire life. I think if I lived in Arcata, I would eat there all the time. :-) OK, I sound like a commercial, but it was seriously that good!

Just a couple pics:

Me waving like an idiot:



Race stats (unofficial):
Distance: 5K
Time: 34:18
Pace: 11:02 minute/mile

Here are the official stats, just posted:
Time: 34:21 (bah!!)
Pace: 11:03 minute/mile

50th out of 59 (not so great, but not last!)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Kickin' ass and takin' names

That's what I was doing in my biology lab last night.


We had an extra credit lab last night. That is because half of our class goes to lab on Monday and the other on Wednesday, but Monday was a holiday so those students didn't have class. To make things fair, instructor Jen made last night's lab optional and will give those who complete the work extra credit. Boo yah!!!

So the lab was about pH and buffers, something I knew little (very little) about until last night. We had to work in groups of four, which were assigned by which table we happened to sit at. Unfortunately for me, my lab partners were idiots. One of the girls was a total bitch, while the other girl (I think she was a girl; she was SO butch!) did nothing and ended up leaving early (I was secretly happy about that). The guy was a slacker who did little, also.

We had to do two experiments in lab. The first one was testing the pH levels of different liquids, making tables of results, and seeing if crushed-up Rolaids make a good buffer. For those who are not biologists (join the club, LOL), buffers are basically solutions that resists changes in pH when small quantities of an acid or an alkali are added to it. It was actually fun.

Our second experiment was one we had to come up with ourselves. My totally useless partners (now sans butch girl) sat around with their thumbs up their butts while I came up with our experiment and got it approved by Jen. Most of the other groups decided to test if milk makes a good buffer. I thought it would be much more interesting to see if one of the other liquids would act as a buffer against sodium hydroxide (a basic solution). I chose grape juice (we had just a few options). So I designed the entire experiment (which Jen told me was the best one of all the groups, oh yeah!) and carried it out while bitch girl scowled and slacker dude, well, slacked. Jen said I rocked it and I actually understood it, too!!! That was the best part, I believe. :-)

Only three students stayed the entire lab session (we could leave after our second experiment was done). The three of us are considered the "older" students. I spoke with Jen about my awful lab partner experience, and she sympathized and told me to sit somewhere else next week and see if there are better people to work with. The two other "older" students told me they'd love to work with me in lab, but they're in the Monday session. Bah! Jen told me in a couple weeks I could transfer to that lab if I want, since people usually drop out by that time. I think I will do that.

I want to surround myself with the people who are my age and are there for the same reasons. Kristen, one of the older ones who stayed late last night, is also 32 and has five kids (three biological), a husband and full-time job. She also wants to go into nursing, but eventually wants to be a lactation consultant for new moms. She and I exchanged emails addresses, so I think I might have a study buddy!

I know this will sound so snooty, but I have no use for 19-year-old lab partners who are there because they have to be, not because they want to be. And you can tell easily who those people are. It's frustrating, especially since I WANT to be there.

Switching gears, I did sneak in a workout tonight. Just a bike ride. Matty has been sick and had a hard time sleeping last night. He has lots of phlegm and a very stuffy nose. It was so bad I went to the store at 5:30 a.m. to get him some meds. Then, after I gave it to him, he went into a coughing fit and projectile vomited all over me, himself and the floor. Ick. He threw up twice today, but by bedtime tonight he seemed to be feeling a little better already.

Today's stats:
Distance: 12 miles
Time: 45:33

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Two freak outs ... and a goal

I had two freak out incidents within about 20 minutes today. Fun.

The first one happened when I picked Kara up from preschool. All the three-year-olds were out front playing when I arrived. Matty loves to come and join the other kids, which I allow him to do for a few minutes while I talk with Kara's teacher and pick up her stuff.

Teacher Ronnie (Kara LOVES her, and so do I) and I were chatting about college courses when we turned our heads just in time to see Matty fall face-first on the concrete. I mean, he just splayed out and the sound his body made was kinda sickening. I ran over to him and he was doing what we call the "silent cry." His face was beet red, his mouth was wide open and tears were forming, but no sound was coming out. I hate that cry. It always scares me. I looked in his mouth, and sure enough there was blood everywhere. I took him into the bathroom and cleaned him up. Thankfully, his teeth were all OK (I was so worried he'd either chip another one or knock one out), and the blood stopped quickly. Two minutes later, he's back out playing like nothing ever happened. He does have a fat lip now, though.

Second freak out happened on the way home. I took our dog, Spike, with us to pick Kara up from school. He's a Yorkie and loves to ride in the van, so I figured what the heck. On the way home, Kara and I decided to stop by the local strawberry patch and buy a basket of fresh-picked strawberries (they are SO good!!!). I stopped the van, left the kids and dog in the car while I walked 15 steps to the fruit stand. What I forgot to do was shut the door completely. I paid for my berries, got in and drove off.

About three minutes later, I realized the dog wasn't in the car. Cue freak out mode. I turned around as fast as I could and sped back to the strawberry stand. As I got out of the car, the man I bought the berries from asked me if I was looking for my dog. He saw Spike running around the parking lot and herded him inside the stand, thinking his owner would return soon. I was relieved yet mad at Spike at the same time. And I was angry at myself because I hadn't put his collar and tags on this morning because we were only going for a quick trip. Lesson learned.

Nikki asked me what my goal is for this weekend's 5K. I am thinking I would be happy with a time of 31 minutes or faster, but I don't know if that will be possible. The course is in Arcata, near the course I ran in August, which was so hilly and difficult. So if it's hilly, I would be happy with a time of 32 minutes. But really, I am just happy I can run, so if I don't meet my goal it's no biggie. :-)

I have class tonight. I decided not to work out today, since my heart already had enough stress this afternoon. LOL! I will resume tomorrow. :-)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Crazy day!

I had a really hectic day. I babysat for a family member who has a son around the same age as Matty. Let me just say I am glad I do not have three kids! Talk about a handful!! Garrett is such a sweet boy, though, and both Matty and Kara had a great time playing with him during the seven hours he was here. I will be watching him next Tuesday, as well, and maybe on Tuesdays beyond that.

I have to take a shower soon and finish some reading for my class tomorrow night, but I did do an indoor bike ride this evening. I had to do something, you know? Tomorrow will be another busy day (Kara has school, I have school) but I will try to squeeze a treadmill run in sometime before I go to class. I hope.

Today's stats:
Distance: 8.04 miles
Time: 30 minutes

Monday, September 3, 2007

Queen of consistency

That was me today!

I didn't get a long run in. Kara is still feeling sick and I had some homework from my biology lab to do (I'm almost done -- finally!). I opted for a short run around the track at the elementary school instead.

Tim and the kids did come with me. Even though Kara has a cough and says she's not feeling great, she still wanted to go. She ended up running around the track a bit, too. And so did Matty. LOL! After my run, they both conked out in the van. Typical.

My run was so consistent today, and I didn't even realize I was being so steady until I looked at the stats when I got home. I was just running at my own pace, bopping to my iPod the whole way. I had no idea my pace would be almost exactly the same for all three miles. Crazy!!!

OK, that's it for now. I have to get Kara some medicine (forgot to at the store when I stopped by there *slapping forehead*). I might try another short run tomorrow afternoon. It looks like tomorrow morning I will be babysitting for a relative. Her son is just a couple months younger than Matty, so it should be insane and fun at the same time!

Oh, and Nikki asked how long my race this weekend is. It's a 5K. It's hard to find races here this time of year that are longer than 5K. The running club holds some really small races that are open to members, but I haven't had the courage yet to do one. I plan to eventually, though.

Today's stats:
Distance: three miles
Time: 31:23
Pace: 10:28 minute/mile

Mile 1: 10:27
Mile 2: 10:27 (not a typo)
Mile 3: 10:29 (I told you it was consistent!!!!)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Can't believe it's September

Wow, where has the year gone.

Hard to believe we'll be entering fall soon, which happens to be my favorite time of year. Before we know it, we'll be buying pumpkins and Halloween costumes for the kiddos. I just love that kind of stuff. And I love the fact it leads to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So this weekend was weird. We went to the hills and spent the night at Tim's parents' cabin. Kara had a rough night. She was so tired, but didn't want to sleep because she was afraid of the walls in the room we were in (they're wood-paneled with knots in the wood). She kept saying the walls had "eyes" and that she didn't like that. *sigh* I had to lie in bed with her until she finally fell asleep, which wasn't until after 11 p.m. And then Matty woke up SCREAMING right after I got to bed. So I had to get him some milk, which he hates drinking cold so I had to warm it up on the stove. By this time I was getting really, really cranky. He finally went down again, but at 2:30 a.m., Kara woke up crying. And again, she was complaining about the eyes in the walls. OMG, I was about ready to pack up and drive home (it's an hour one-way), because I was so frustrated. I finally got to sleep, only to be awakened again by Kara around 6:30. Blah.

So we came home early this afternoon. I napped on the couch a little. Kara said she wasn't feeling well and went to bed around 7 p.m. Thank goodness.

I am planning on running tomorrow. I want to do a long run, but I don't know if I will. I have a race next Saturday. I guess I will make my decision when I head out the door. For now, I am going to take a shower and work on my biology lab, which is due on Wednesday.

Today's stats:
Distance: 12 miles
Time: 45:22