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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Random Ramblings about Everything I Know Today

Seems like I am reporting the same things over and over again, since we last met I have swam, run, and spun a bunch. A whole bunch.
The whole indoor activity thing is really getting kinda old, hamster-in-a-wheel-ish feeling. I can hardly wait for the cold to break. Anything below zero with wind chill is too cold for me, and I was feeling pretty cowgirl about going out in that. So in January, I have done exactly ZERO anything outdoors. Blech.
Tuesday afternoon, I took Lucas to go and get his temps. He had already taken the test, so it was just a matter of writing a check and snapping his headshot. Immediately upon getting back into the car, he texted EVERYONE that he got his temps and congratulatory texts came rolling back in ..... and I'm thinking "Congrats for what? Way to write that check, mom! Superior penmanship! All right!"
It was icy and snowing out, and I offerred to take the boy driving a little bit. He immediately said no thanks - it's icy, I want to get home before the BB game, etc etc....... So I told him no one doesn't drive the day they get their license and he was gonna do it. I pulled us into the PHS parking lot behind my house and we switched places. We talked about taking it easy, accelerating and braking slowly, etc. "I know mom." So all excited to be behind the wheel, he turns the key and floors the Matrix on a patch of ice. I hollered out "Stop - brakes!" and he did. Then we started over. He buckled up his seat belt. I got my right hand firmly on the chicken strap and the left hand on the emergency brake. He took off and I tried hard not to shreik and offer some helpful advice like "try to stay on the right hand side of the lane" and "remember to signal all your turns" and "it's icy - if you dont slow down around that turn next time we are going to land in the neighbors pool...." Always the helpful one, Mike drove up in the Yarus (a/k/a "The Yardstick") and commenced spinning all around us doing donuts all over Jim Rockford-style. Yeah, that really did a lot to diffuse the high anxiety level behind the wheel.
Last night, we did our run at the indoor track at the Y. I was kinda hungry when we started, but figured I would suck on my Gatorade and be fine. I was scheduled for some sub 10:30 pace intervals, which I did, and about an hour later, we headed home. I started feeling crappy on the way home and was fully into a bonk feeling by the time I got home. I was still feeling it this morning even after a couple hours at work. I hate it when I do that to myself. It was a good feeling run though. I know sub 10:30 isn't lightning speed for most people, but its pretty quick for me.
Tonight I am off to marshall for Swim. Friday I will spin after work. Saturday I am scheduled for my long run, 14 miles probably on the indoor track. I am dedicated (now) to getting it in. I have blown off my last *5* long runs, a pattern I am trying to dig myself out of. You know how everything you read says skip anything but don't skip that weekly long run? Well yeah I was listening but not so great at following directions I guess. Will I make it an even half dozen this week? Hope not. If I do, I fully expect y'all will give me some shit about it.
BTW: 115 days until the Madison Marathon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Totally Discombobulated

The past few days have been a complete blur. Last week, I put in a lot of longer days early in the week, so I left work early (about 2pm) to make a total of about 46 hours in for the week. Before I left, I called to verify that the agency I scheduled to staff that evening still had my nurse on their schedule and I was ASSURED that she would be there for the 6-6 shift. ASSURED. Had a nice afternoon with Mike running around town, then hopped on the spinner for a nice long workout. About 2 minutes after I got going, the phone rang - the 6-6 night nurse didn't show up. Choice. As usual, no one was available or answering their phones to cover the shift. One of my pool nurses did agree to cover the shift until midnight, then I went in at midnight to finish out the shift. I would like to thank this SUCKY agency who I will respectfully not name (Staff One Staffing Network - OK I lied) for the most tired I have been in a while. It made for a long day - got up at 4am Friday, worked, worked out, worked again, then finally got to go to bed about 730 Saturday morning. Major Suckage, I wont lie. I actually walked the unit halls from 0330-0430 because I was afraid if I sat down I might go to sleep. I was whooped by the time I got my crack into the sack and slept for a few hours until about 1230. The thing with working nights is I never know what to do for sleep. I'm not used to them so I don't sleep well, and I don't want to sleep a full 8 or I wont get to sleep that night and get back to normal. The I walk around in a giddy daze until its bedtime again.

Saturday was really a wash. I slept til 1230, then got up tried to shake the fog off, dinked around the house and then we watched movies for awhile, then went to bed. I was scheduled for a 10 mile run according to plan, but just couldn't do it - it was freezing-brrr cold out and I felt like a limp dishrag.

Sunday I was feeling back to normal again finally. Got in 99 minutes on the elliptical as hard as I could go (that's the highest it will let me go - apparently the machine is anti-triple digits). Not quite my 10 miler, but punishment enough.

Monday, I was off to make up for the night shift and the 53 hour work week last week. Yahoo! I slept in, puttered around the house a while, then climbed on the spinner. Mike and I were planing to go run at the Y that night for the 2 hours Lucas had drivers ed, so was going to get in some good solid activity hours. No sooner did I climb on the spinner, the phone rang. It was my boss. The NOC nurse had called in sick. Might want to prepare to work tonight, its not looking promising for a replacement. Crap. Crappity crap crap. Since there was really nothing I could do, I got back on the bike and did spinning drills for the next 2+ hours. I got in to work at 6pm to report for a 12 hours shift. I was having a really hard time keeping track of timelines. Mrs so-and-so has a procedure on Wednesday - tomorrow right? Well in a couple hours tomorrow will be Wednesday, but for right now tomorrow is Tuesday. I had several conversations like that during that shift. That's where NOC shift gets weird. Tomorrow is tomorrow except when it really is another day forward and yesterday is subjective too. Totally confusing. Did I mention the night shift I worked Monday was also a full moon? That's never good - makes for a crazy night. Anyone that says the full moon stuff isn't true has never worked one with patients, its all true, every last word.

Got home at 7am and instead of going to bed, I had to wait up a little bit since school was delayed an hour due to getting 8 inches of snow (blech). Got the kids up at 0730, asked them to please let the dogs out of my room when they came home for lunch (so they wouldn't wake me up) and headed to the nest. Slept. like. crap. They were plowing the parking lot behind us (that one no one uses. ever. ) for hours. Once I finally got sleeping good, the boys were home for lunch, With their friends. The loud boys slammed things around the kitchen. They talked in their loudest outside voices. NO ONE came to let the dogs out of my room as planned. Pretty soon I hear someone yell "Hey - isn't your mom trying to sleep?!?!?!" Uh yeah, I was. Not so much anymore. So after a whopping 3 hours in bed I staggered downstairs to the kitchen where food was flying out of the cupboard faster than I even thought possible. The microwave was going, the pizza oven was cooking, the quesadilla grill was oozing cheese out the side. I let the dogs out and waited for the loud boys to leave so I could try to go back to sleep. I tried to go back to bed for an hour or so, without any luck. So I got up and plopped my tired butt onto the sofa and caught up with my bloggie buddies everywhere.

When Mike got home, he wanted to go to the Y to run. I wanted to curl up in a ball and go to bed. He won. We ran an easy 4 at the indoor track and I am glad I did. It was the first time for the Garmin footpod, and I was pleased with not having to count out 15 laps to the mile. It makes the time just fly by not having to be painfully aware of each and every lap. What I like about running indoors there is that there are usually a few people running or walking the track when we get there. We run. Some people leave. We keep running. More people show up, walk a couple laps or run them. We keep running. It feel good to see them all leave while we keep going, until they are all gone and we are the only ones left. I might be slow, but I can outlast them all when the distance gets long.

Today I am off work again, the last of my time to make up for the extra night shift before heading back tomorrow. I finally feel like my head is on straight again. I am fixing to get on the spinner for a couple of hours, but I am little scared. The pattern the past week has been climb on, spin for 5, pick up the phone and get called in to work NOCS. Send me good vibes people - I can't take another one right now!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Cupcake Fairy Cometh

Earlier this week, I came home from work to find a package had been dropped upon my doorstep and my children had brought it in and set it upon the kitchen counter undisturbed, as it was addressed to Mike and I. I gave Mike a quick call and asked him if he was expecting a package.
He wasn't. As he waited patiently for me to open the package, I knew he was anxiously awaiting news of it's contents. I peeled back the packaging tape, cutting it open with scissors. Inside it, I found boxes of tasty little treasures...... The Cupcake fairy had sent us a little box of creamy chocolaty goodness! There were cupcakes and a variety of other snack cakes.

The Wimmer boys were definitely in Heaven. I waited to tell them about the plethora of snack cakes until Mike got home a few minutes later. After Mike posed for a few pictures of him simulating eating them double-fisted with the wrappers on, we called the pigs up from the boy-dungeon and as you can see, no time was wasted digging in. The crumbs and cellophane were soon flying. Anyone reaching into the feedbag zone was careful not to lose a hand or an eye while trying to get their sugar fix.

Big thanks to Dan and his family for the surprise treat!
Monday we went to the Y to run on the track while Lucas was at drivers ed. It had been a while since I had run on anything but the elliptical or treadmill. I went to turn on the footpod for my Garmin, and found it to be dead - CRAP! Without the footpod, I left the Garmin in my jacket pocket and went the tried and true stopwatch and counting laps on my fingers method. I hate that- it makes me run really stiff to hold my hands in a way that I can keep track of the 15 laps that make up each mile. We got in what felt like a pretty easy 5.5 miles, nothing real special. Let me tell you though I was feeling all that real live track running by the time I went to bed, and I woke up the next day stiff and sore. My back muscles hurt, my quads were killing me, I felt like I did after my first half mary - ouch. I guess the lesson is I need to run more often on real terra firma more often so the muscles remember how that feels, and if I should bring a spare battery with me if I want to use the pod.
Tuesday I went swimming in the evening. I really didn't feel like it much but thought it might feel good to do some easy laps and warm up the muscles, plus some of the girls from work said they might be there. Plus, Tuesday is my sister Michele's swim night (although she hasn't come much lately) so I thought I better go at least for a while. The work girls were a no show, but Michele was there (yeah!). I still wasn't feeling much like swimming, the pool was cold, and I got in only about 1200 yds of lollygagging laps peppered with lots of stopping to chitchat.
Tonight we went for another swim night. I was ready for it. I had looked up a swim workout plan at . i knew what I wanted to do and how fast I wanted to do it. When we got there we discovered that the lifeguard hadn't shown up. We waited a while and CJ spent some time working on technique on deck with the group. Dave volunteered to be responsible for the group as the lifeguard and we got in for 40 minutes of swimming until he had to go. Mike's stroke looked good tonight. I can tell he was applying the advice CJ gave him and it looked much better.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Swim Heckling

Tonight we went for SWAT Team Swim and got in 2050yds of swim/pull/kick sets. We met CJ who is a tri coach who offerred her help.
She got some good video of Mike and I swimming. It was really cool to see what my stroke looks like - I've never seen video of it before. There is a big difference between felling it and seeing it, so that really was cool. It actually looked a lot better than I thought it would.
Maybe she'll email the video clip and I can post it....... who knows.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My New Name

Just thought I would update you on the new name I have been christened with.
I have moved from being "a douchebag" (as in "My mom is a total douchebag") to having this be what is used in place of, say, my proper name (as in "Douchebag will say I can't go do anything").
For those of you who don't really know me well yet, I guess that means you should call me Mrs Douchebag. Nice.
I'm selling teenage boys REALLY cheap this week. I might even pay you to take them off my hands.

In other news, got in 50 minutes on the elliptical, 50 minutes on spinner drills, and then 2050 yds of easy freestyle in the pool with my sister. (My wishlist includes having a lifeguard in future sessions who actually puts in the lane markers so I don't have to swim avoiding a collision with crazy old guy who swims on his back with flippers on his feet AND hands.)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Fair Warning

Tonight is the first night of Driver's Ed for my youngest.
We'll be sure to call ahead to anyone in the area when we do hit the road, just as fair warning to get out of your car and to the nearest shelter.
We survived the oldest getting his license, I have faith we may survive this too.
Did get some training in the past week, Thursday night I got in the planned 2000 yds of swimming, followed by 1:20 on the spinner Friday night while watching Borat. Borat - by the way - was kind of funny but really horribly inappropriate, but still kept me entertained long enough to get through several 5/5 sets of SLPs, standing, sprints, and miscellaneous other drills while watching it. (Just as an aside - also watched "I know who killed me" with Lindsay Lohan......quite possibly the dumbest movie I ever saw. Had a really hard time with it, particularly that she got a bionic arm and leg minutes after surgery......... puh-lease! And she had a prosthetic leg that needed to be charged up to be able to walk........ I guess they couldn't afford a technical team to advise them about how stupid that was....... 1 of 10 - don't waste your time on it).
The weather has been strange the past week. We went from a couple feet of snow the end of the week, to pea soup fog on Saturday and Sunday, to rain and the disappearance of ALL the snow on Sunday with more fog. Today was foggy, stormy, and finished up with a tornado warning (IN.JANUARY!!!!). Weird, wild stuff.
Sunday Mike and I were planning to take a run outside since it was soooooo warm out (45) however while waiting for the fog to lift a little and for Mike's belly to settle down, it finally got too dark to go outside so I ended up running on the elliptical for 1 1/2 hours.
Today Mike and I will head to the YMCA for the 2 hours Lucas is at Drivers Ed and run the track, maybe lift a couple of weights. I'd love to go outside, but the rain pooped on that plan.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Artsy Fartsy Photographer

I think I told y'all we got a new fancy schmancy DSLR camera for Christmas (merry xmas to ourselves).
With the snow , frozen fog, and other weird winter weather we got over the past week or so, i took an opportunity to wander around our country neighborhood and take her for a test drive the other day. Here are just a few of my favorites!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Let's Recap and Look Ahead

Been off the blog train for a few days, enjoying some family time with my family and Mike's.
The Saturday before Christmas, I got up early for a run before we left to pick up Mike's mom and grandparents from the Madison airport. Got in a few miles by myself when I was surprised to find the SWAT team coming up behind me and they twisted my arm to join them for the rest of their run and for breakfast afterwards. Mike and Nick met me at the restaurant and then we took off for the airport after a quick shower. It was foggy out due to the warming temps and all the snow that was quickly melting. When we arrived we were glad to see the planes were still arriving as scheduled. About 10 minutes before they were due to come in from their connecting flight from Detroit as noon, that changed and everything was cancelled and rerouted. The plane was sent back to Detroit. Many phone calls and a long day behind us, they finally arrived at Midway airport in Chicago about 9:30pm only to find their luggage was lost in space and we waited a long while more while they filed their lost luggage claim. Finally arrived at our house after 1:00am.

Christmas Eve Day we drove to Merrillville Indiana to meet Uncle Mike who was taking the grandparents (his parents) to Ft Wayne for Christmas. We picked them up again later in the week at the same place.

(Here's a picture from the Christmas festivities of my nephew Jacob encouraging his sister Izzy to climb the stairs, apparently by channeling Satan...... My mom is the spotter)

Christmas was nice. My parents, my sister and family, Mike's mom, and his brother and family were there and we enjoyed good food, fun, and a cut-throat game of television trivia.

We spent endless hours with Mike's mom and grandparents shopping, laughing, ate every single thing in sight, and as usual it was over way too quick. We really cherish the time we get to spend with Mike's family. They all live in North Carolina now, so the togetherness opportunities are few and far between - I wish they were closer.... we really miss them.

We dropped them at the Madison airport New Years Eve day, and then we got ready for a quiet night at home watching movies and tearing down the holiday decorations. I am always so relieved when I can put that stuff away and get back to normal. By New Year's I feel like Christmas threw up in my living room.

Today, my parents left for their winter in Costa Rica, so we won't see them again til spring when the snowbirds return.

Top 5 Funny Phrases from the Week:
1) "How does it feel to work for a company that sucks balls?" (Overheard being asked by the guy in front of us waiting to make a lost luggage claim at the airport)
2) "If someone put a gun to your head and said Poop or Die could you do it?" (I don't know why this came up......)
3) "I'm calling the police" ..."Well, I'm calling Wapner."
4) Dookie
5) Asked by Mike at Blockbuster: "Does this movie have humping in it? I can't watch a movie with humping with my grandparents..." (The movie was Georgia Rule....... the guy was technically right - no humping - but they say "Boner" and Lindsay Lohan took off her underpants and gave some guy a blow job........... I blame the Blockbuster clerk for that embarrassing moment)
Status of My Goals for 2007:
*Complete my first Duathlon and my first triathlon, then continue to do as many as physically and financially feasible: DONE!
*Complete a 10K race or more: DONE, Several times! Also did my first half marathon
*Compete in at least 1 bike race: didn't do, not because there were not opportunities but because my focus changed from working on my strength - the bike -to focusing on my weakness - running.
*Learn to Mountain Bike: Done, but not well. Had a really hard time conquering my fear of falling down. Crashing....... not so much fun.
*Graduate from Ball State with a BS in Nursing, thereby making me qualified for the job I have done for the past 10 years...................... : DONE!!!!!! (Finally)
*Continue to gradually lose weight into the 150 range or better, and maintain without significant gain: Didn't do this. I held most of the year in the 170-175 range, and after a low point of 160-ish this summer, I found that I was not able to properly fuel my training as I increased my volume. I gave myself permission to focus more on maintaining my weight and on increasing my fitness and endurance. Still a long range goal, but lower on the priority scale (no pun intended).
*Learn to run with my nutjob dog without injuring either of us ;-) : Well, I found a good tool to run with her manageably (the Gentle Leader Walk Harness). Problem is it abrades her across the chest so we can't run often or it leaves her with a mark. We'll keep working on this at least on short runs this spring.
I also updated my mileage spreadsheet .
Here is the upshot:
Running miles: 594.88
Biking Miles: 1885.7
Swimming yards: 57,950 (or 32.93 miles)
My unofficial goal for the year, never having set an annual mileage goal before was a stab in the dark at 2007 total miles for the year, so I guess GOAL MET and exceeded at 2513.51 miles. Now I have a benchmark for 2008 and can set a more aggressive goal.
My 2008 Dashboard:
I know some of you all don't believe in New Years Resolutions, but I think it is important to have goals to work towards to focus attention in the right direction. The concept for goal setting we use at work is something that they call Dashboards. I think of these goals like the dashboard of the car, something that is always in front of your vision as you move forward.
So that's what I am putting out there this year - my personal dashboard, my vision for the year 2008.
* Complete 2 Half Iron Distance (70.3 mile) Triathlons. We are officially registered for the Spirit of Racine and Iowa Pigman. If all goes well with them, we will get registered for IMWI for 2009.
* Complete my first marathon. The plan is for the Madison Marathon in May. Maybe there will be more than one, but let's just say one for now.
* Do the Danskin Sprint Tri with my sisters. (No pressure girls - it's just for fun!)
* Maintain my weight in the 160-170 range (after taking off the Christmas 10 of course). Maybe even dip into the sub-Athena arena as long as I can manage my endurance nutrition at the same time.
* Run a sub-30 5K. (borrowed that one from Misty, good goal)
* Get my spring cleaning done before December for a change. (Thought I should throw in a person non-exercise goal)
Mileage goals:
Run: 1,000 miles
Bike: 2,008 miles
Swim: 100,000 yards

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