Thursday, October 17, 2013



Feeling (physically):  Exhausted.  3 early mornings in a row, there isn't enough coffee in the world to make those suck any less.

Feeling (emotionally):  So many things.  Nervous about Ammon finding a full time job.  Anxious about having to take Gunner to doggy day camp 3 days a week.  Stressed by work.  Worried about the fact that I'm always worried, stressed, or anxious about SOMETHING.  That doesn't seem normal.

Pondering:  The Fair Housing Act, and the dire implications it has on my life.  That Act could cause some serious havoc in my life, it turns out.

Craving:  Sleeping in and making Ammon get up with Gunner and Beckham!  Also candy.  All of the Halloween candies.

Reading:  About Human Resources and Business Communication.  Womp, womp.

Laughing over:  The dynamic between the coaches on "The Voice".  So ridiculous.  It doesn't seem like they're even paying attention to the contestants auditioning half of the time.

Missing:  Amy Farrah Fowler.  Since we dropped cable over a year ago, it;s been hard to get my BBT fix, because you can only watch it through the cable network website, which never quite streams properly.

Loving:  That I have a puppy- dog who cuddles well.

Looking forward to:  A 4 day weekend, and Gunner only having to go to camp 2 days next week!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One about the dog

Yesterday, I had myself utterly convinced that I was the worst dog-mom ever.  You see, Ammon has been working really hard to find full-time employment.  On Friday night, he was lucky enough to get an offer for a one-month contract position working full-time in the lab he already works in, at a substantially higher rate.  Huge blessing for us, considering we have to make the first payment on his student loans in exactly one month and 3 days (not that anyone around here is keeping track of that awful day).  However, it meant Ammon wouldn't be home all morning every morning, and that we needed to get Gunner into doggy day care.  We had a referral to one right by my office from our friends at the Lab rescue, and their rates are pretty comparable to everywhere else, so we decided to give it a shot, and give them at least through this next month to prove their awesomeness.

So yesterday morning I got up extra early so that Gunner and I could promptly make his 8:30am appointment.  Except that I forgot that I had to stop at the on-site office to pick stuff up first.  Then I battled traffic all the way, and suddenly that impression of timeliness that I was hoping to give off was one of frantic apologies.  Especially when Gunner started growling at every dog in the lobby.  And suddenly I became "that" dog mom.  The one who is apologizing to everyone while her tantruming dog is causing a scene.  I was afraid they were going to turn him away right then and there.  They shrugged, said that it was likely "leash aggression", especially given his past positive experiences at the dog park, and took him back anyway.  Thank goodness.  I really didn't know what I was going to do if he got turned away.  Cry loudly and call Ammon, probably.  They had me stick around to make sure he socialized properly, chastised me for about a dozen things they think I'm doing wrong with my dog, and then told me I was free to go to work, feeling like the worst dog owner in the world would give me the stink-eye.

What did I do within 10 minutes of walking in the door to work, which is 5 minutes from camp?  I turned on the camper cam.  I was immediately concerned that I would get a call telling me that he had been expelled, and I had an hour to come and get him.  Sometimes I'm a little overly-dramatic in my internal monologues.  By the time 5:55pm rolled around (I get off work at 6:00pm), I figured they might have felt like he did alright, and that there was a chance he might be invited back to play in the future.  And thankfully, when I got there today they had the following waiting:

He passed his tests, and is not free to play!  This was a huge relief to see.  We still aren't sure that Gunner really likes it there, but given our current living situation, we don't have much of a choice.  Hopefully in the near future we'll be able to move somewhere that allows Gunner to relieve himself in a yard at will.  Until then, I'll have to hope that he continues to make friends at camp like Lula the Pointer and Cooper the Lab.  And yes, both his progress report and certificate are on the fridge at this very second.  Momma needs reassurance that her boy did good things.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm catching Ammon up in it too

You know that running thing I've been doing on and off for the last year and a half or so?  I'm starting to think that I actually kind of like it.  Trust me, I'm as shocked about it as anyone.  For my entire life, running has been little more than an annoyance, something to be suffered through.  I started running in order to prove to myself that I can do hard things, and persevere in the face of challenge.  I wanted to say that I, a non-runner, could do a half marathon.

I did a half marathon.  And then I signed up for another one.  A redemption half, because I wasn't happy with the outcome of the first one.  I'm told this is the way it starts, and suddenly one day, you find yourself running for "the sheer joy" of running, whatever in the world that means.  To me, it just sounds like a sick, sick addiction.  Always pushing for the next race, a better time, a longer run.  And I, in all of my cruelty, have caught Ammon in the same web now.  On Saturday, we ran a 5k together, the first time we've done a running event together.

We've been running together at the track about once a week for a month or so now.  It's a nice way for us to spend time together and get a workout in.  Plus, we get to take Gunner with us, which is extra awesome.  However, Ammon has never participated in any of my runs, except to maybe come cheer me on at the finish line.  I was so excited that he finally agreed to undertake this with me, but also a little nervous... Ammon is really fast over a sprint, and I figured if he could pace himself appropriately, he could very well beat me across the finish line.  The competitor in me really could not stomach the idea of this.  Not only that, but I had a goal.  I wanted to finish my 5k in under 34 minutes, because according to all of the fancy schmancy pace calculators, that means I should be able to run 13.1 miles in 2:40:00.

One thing I really liked about this 5k was that they attempted to line people up based on mile paces, so that there wasn't an intense log jam at the start.  It never, ever, ever works, but I appreciated their efforts.  We lined up at the back of the 9-10 minute mile pace section... a little faster than my goal time.  I did that, because on Friday, Gunner and I had our fastest run ever, 2.07 miles in 20 minutes.  I felt like it was absolutely possible that I could run close to a 10 minute mile over 3.1 miles after that.  So we lined up and took off.  Ammon stayed with me for the first half mile or so, before I ended up alone and in front of him.  I didn't see him again for the rest of the run.  It was okay though; the run was crowded, and I spent a good part of it making sure I wasn't run over, or running anyone else over.  For as many people as were participating, the course was very narrow, which was tricky.

I was thrilled when I got to the 3 mile mark and realized that I was not only going to beat my goal, but I was going to hit a 5k PR... my previous PR was 32:32 at the Colorado Marathon.  On Saturday, I stopped the clock at 32:17!  Given my much more laid back approach to training and running these days, I was pretty proud to have beaten my previous time.

The words "fastest 5k" might be my absolute favorite right now.  Awesome.

Even more awesome?  When I plug that time into a pace calculator, and it tells me that I am projected to run my half in 2:29:28.  Holy cow, that seems incredibly fast right now.  It also tells me what my ideal training paces should be.  They're pretty close to my current paces, but I could certainly work towards improving them.

Ammon came across the finish line a little less than thrilled with his time.  He's now on a mission to beat it when he runs his next 5k on November 23, the same day I run my next half marathon.  We're both going to crush our previous times.  We're both going to feel like rockstars.  We're both going to smell absolutely disgusting.  It's going to be epic.

Friday, October 11, 2013

I have a sick twin

Guys.  Your comments on yesterday's post were awesome, and hilarious, and totally made my day.  You might not have meant for them to be funny, but it just made me so happy that everyone shared what kind of a sick person they are.  That rocks.  I love that Whitney is my sick twin, and that the rest of you have such varied routines when you're sick.

It's Friday, which is totally and utterly awesome.  Ammon and I have our first 5k together tomorrow.  I'm excited and nervous.  I really want to beat him across the finish line.  Does that make me a bad wife???  I work pretty hard at running and fitness, and it really irks me that he puts in half the effort and gets double the results that I do.  I'm aiming for under 34 minutes, as I've said before.  I'm hoping for an 11:15 mile 1, and 11:00 miles 2 and 3, with a sprint to the finish.  I believe it's possible:  in the 10k I did over the summer, I did better than that in the first half of the race.  However, with being sick recently, and my not-so-great energy levels of late, I am a little worried.  Whatever happens will happen, and I will be happy knowing that I did my best.

Then after the race, I plan on taking a nap (I do it after every race, it's my favorite treat to myself), and then eating as little as possible until dinner (which will be really, really hard), because we are going out to celebrate my dad's birthday!  His birthday was back in September, when we had all of the flooding, so we ended up doing a subdued celebration the day after, without my brother.  This will be his big celebration, now that he and my mom are back from vacation, and all 5 of us can actually be in the same place at the same time.  Too bad Gunner can't come with us.  That would have made it perfect.

Speaking of Gunner, that little turkey has the craziest poop shame ever.  When I take him for his morning walk, he will find either the darkest place or the highest grass to poop in, and then I have the honor of trying to figure out where in the world everything went and how to get at it.  I'm wondering if it's a game, or shame that he has going on.  I prefer to think it's shame... if he's intentionally trying to make my life that hard, then I'm a little grumpy about that.  For real.

And on that note (because where can we really go from poop?), I'll leave off here.  I hope that today is a fantastic kickstart to a lovely fall weekend for everyone!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

No coffee, no world

I can't believe I'm upright today.  Tuesday morning, I started feeling really nauseated and exhausted, so on my lunch break, I took a nap.  It didn't help.  So after work, I went home and climbed into bed, and refused to move from said bed unless it as an emergency.

I am terrible to be around when I am sick.  I always have been.  When I was younger, the Doctors and Nurses used to claim that I needed to stop acting like a man, and "woman up".  I now find the whole notion of women needing to be good sick patients incredibly sexist.  It's the one day I'm allowed to whine and complain and be miserable.  I'm taking full advantage, people.

In line with taking full advantage, I had Ammon go to he store to get me my favorite sick person's meal:  saltines and ginger ale.  These two items happen to be 2 of my favorite things on the planet, even when I'm not sick, so the fact that I get to have them in nearly unlimited quantities when I am sick is like a gift from the heavens.  According to the nutritional facts, I ate approximately 15 servings of saltines Tuesday night and all day Wednesday.  I can't remember the last time my body was so carb-tastic.

Luckily the manna from heaven saltines and ginger ale did the trick, because today I can actually stomach coffee, which is my clear indicator that I am well enough to face the world again.  No coffee, no world.  I know some of you understand exactly what I mean by this.

Another fun fact:  This is only the 3rd sick day that I have taken in 3 years.  I usually go to work, even if I'm dying.  Again; if I can drink coffee, I am well enough to face the world.  Even if I can't breathe, or my head is being split down the middle by a proverbial pick-axe.

I'm really curious about how other people are when they're sick, and what they eat.  Literally, I do not move from bed unless it's an emergency, and I sleep and read like they're going out of style.  But I guess some people are trashy tv watchers?  Disinfectors?  Knock me out with cold medicine and I'm sleeping through the whole damn eventors?  Also, I hear some people don't drink ginger ale???  My best friend drinks cinnamon tea, and it totally baffles me how that can be her drink of choice.  So please... tell me all about how you are when you're sick.  I might try some of your strategies the next time I find myself ill.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

In case you haven't scratched your head in a while

Thank you to everyone who contributed their opinions on my post from last Thursday.  So wonderful to remember that I'm not the only one who struggles with not feeling it.  Who struggles with the enjoyment of blogging.

I had a really real, deep talk with one of my favorite bloggers over that particular post.  I came to the conclusion that blogging is becoming more and more like my real life.  Where I can't talk about what is real in my world, without censoring certain aspects of the story, without seeking to shield myself.  I'm letting things in this world hurt and affect me.  I get very sensitive when people don't receive what I have to say in the way that I hope they would, instead of realizing that everyone interprets things in their own way.  I mean, look at the flipping bible, and how many different denominations have sprung up, based on differing interpretations of scripture.  Look at how divisive a book that was created to unite has become.  Do I really think that I am more eloquent than the most inspiring, prolific authors known to history?

That's an awfully narcissistic thought.  I hate that I even just pondered that whole thing.  I hate that I compared myself to the authors of the bible.  Clearly, it's a self-love issue I've been having lately.

My readership hasn't grown lately.  I thought it was because my posts lately have been less.  Less funny, less inspiring, less random.  And I was absolutely, 100% correct.  My posts have been less, and it is adversely impacting my writing.  But at the same time, my posts lately have absolutely reflected my thoughts, my feelings, my attitudes.  I have been lessening myself.  I have not been making myself have the outrageous moments, the outrageous thoughts, and I haven't taken a single risk in a long time.  Unless you're afraid of germs, and you think that letting a puppy kiss you on the mouth is a risk.  In which case, I'm a born rebel, baby.

So this is what I think I need to do, y'all.  Yes, I say y'all.  I live in Colorado, and I don't give a flip what you think of my use of slang.  I'm just going to try to let it all hang out, the way we would in college when the Freshmen needed to waste meal points, and we hadn't eaten a decent meal in weeks.   I'm going to quit caring about finding the perfect picture for my blog posts, because "don't you know that people will only pay attention to your posts if there are high-quality, relevant pictures?"  Bull-shit.

Oh snap... she used a curse.  Given that the "B-word" is allowed on cable now, I think that I can let my BS flag fly.  Also, does anyone else remember feeling a little bit uncomfortable for Kate Hudson in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" when she stumbles into the family BS tournament???  I mean, she handles it with such grace, but I felt so awkward inside the first time I watched that scene until everyone starts laughing as she shouts Bull-shit for the first time.

Dang it, I broke my own rule and entered a relevant picture.  I forgive me, just this once.  I'm proud of myself for not taking a picture of myself with my belly hanging out, college style, though.  While appropriate, absolutely, positively not attractive.

I have other rules that I plan on breaking, too.  This whole notion of "blogging inside the lines" is starting to make me itch like a cheap wool sweater.  However, I'm having a hard enough time staying on topic, so maybe I'll just leave it at "letting it all hang out" and "not needing to scour the internets, my phone, and pinterest for the perfect pictures.  But don't worry, I'll break my new rules by sometimes following the old rules, in true rule breaker fashion.

I just confused myself.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Heavy feelings

I don't really know what to say here today.  My heart hasn't been in this lately.  Keeping up with blogging on a regular, long term basis is hard work.  I've been toying with the idea of a hiatus... Not posting unless it's REALLY important, paring down my bloglovin feed to a few essentials and letting the rest go.  It's a hard decision.  For almost 2 years (!!!) now, I've been putting thought to computer screen here, sought genuine connection here.  Somehow I feel like a hiatus isn't always as temporary as one thinks it will be.  The time that you once spent blogging begins to be filled with other things, and suddenly, it has disappeared from life altogether.  And that isn't necessarily a bad thing... it's just a different thing.  But I find myself being less and less open here, being more and more guarded about who I am, what I'm thinking, what I'm feeling.

There's also that niggling feeling in the back of my head that says, you could start over with an all new blog.  Leave the past baggage behind, start fresh, make different mistakes.  But that doesn't feel right either... I am so attached to so many of my posts, and it would cause my heart to ache if I had to take them down.

This feeling of not knowing if I should move on or not is weighing so heavily on my mind that I completely forgot to share with you guys what happened last weekend, and that really feels like a crime.  Something special, magical, wonderful happened last weekend.

Our family grew by 4 more paws!  People tell us we've officially "failed" at fostering dogs... we just say that we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams in providing a loving, supportive environment for one extra-special chocolate lab.

Who totally believes that he qualifies as a lap dog.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The need for speed

Oh look, it's another post about running and fitness today.  It's important to me, which probably explains it.  Today I'm linking up with one of the rockstars of fitness blogging, Skinny Meg for Workout Wednesday.


Some people who link up for this every week are ultra creative and great at making things, so they share the prettiest, most challenging "pin it to your workout board on pinterest and then never EVER under any circumstances do it" workouts.  I seriously love reading through them, pinning them, and then chickening out of doing them at the last minute.

I am not creative, and I follow the Revolt Now! workouts for my strength training.  Nichole has the best workouts, and I just can't find anything that works better for me, so I don't try to re-invent the wheel.  Instead, I want to talk about speed work at the track.

Speed work is something that I just started doing, because all too often as a new runner I have heard that it's only necessary for someone who is an intermediate to advanced runner.  That never really made sense to me, as anaerobic intervals followed by active recovery provide greater fitness benefits to ALL people, regardless of fitness level, than a sustained moderate effort does.  That's the basis behind so many workout plans, including weight lifting circuits, Crossfit, Couch 2 5k, Tabatas, etc.  Yet why are newbie runners told to go out and slog through, run slow, and do their best???  It baffles me.

Since I am in another training cycle for the Shiner Been Run on November 23, I decided to add in 1 day of speed work each week.  I read up on Yasso 800's, but decided that I wanted to work with 400 meter intervals, since I was new to speed work, and in general, I'm a pretty dang slow runner.  However, I am following Yasso's advice of starting with 3-4 intervals (eventually building to 10!), with a 400m active recovery between each interval.  What I like about this process is that you work really hard for a couple of minutes, but instead of stopping dead right after, you still have to move while you recover.  I remember back when I was in school for Exercise Science hearing that active recovery is the most important aspect of any interval training program, because that is what teaches your body to be more efficient to recover more quickly, which in turn is what increases your overall stamina.

Last night was week 2 of 400 training for me, and I was able to be really consistent with my efforts, yielding splits of 2:03, 2:09, 2:05, and 2:09 for my hard intervals.  My first 3 recovery intervals were all around a 3:16, with my last at 4:30-ish (hello walking!!!!).  I was pretty gassed by the time that last recovery lap came up, and I needed to jog another half mile after my last interval, so I totally fell apart.  However, when I saw my overall time for my 3 mile workout, I was pretty stoked.

We have another 5k on the 12th of this month, and I'm using that to predict my time and my pace for the half.  So to see that I had a decent time for 3 miles, even with over 4 minutes of walking, I got excited!

Do you run intervals or incorporate interval training into your workouts?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Every Morning

Every morning around 4:30am, the cat crawls up onto my chest for cuddles.  Of course, he isn't satisfied with just curling up there on my chest.  Nope, he walks back and forth on top of me until I reach up to pet him.  Once that hand is up there, I might be lucky enough to have him settle down.

Every morning at 5:45am, my alarm clock goes off.  If the cat is really obnoxious persuasive, I'll crawl out of bed to start my day.  If he's tired too, I'll usually doze until 6:15.  But once I'm up, it's go time.  First order of business is feeding the cat.  He WILL NOT leave me be until this step has been completed.  As I'm dumping the cat food, I let Gunner out of his crate for his morning stretches.  Those first up-dogs and down-dogs or the day are my absolute favorites.  He just looks so overjoyed that I'm up and almost ready to take him on a walk.  While he stretches, I start the coffeemaker.  It's my other great joy of the morning:  Knowing that I am short minutes away from coffee being fully brewed and ready for consumption.

While my life-giving elixir brews, I take Gunner for his morning constitutional.  We are usually out for about 10 minutes, exactly how long it takes for the coffeemaker to do what it does best.  But it isn't time for coffee yet.  Gunner has to eat.  He is hilarious at meal time.  So excited for noms.  Once he's in his crate and eating, it's time for my coffee and a shower. 

 From one of our early morning walks.

Every morning, I put off getting dressed for as long as possible.  I will sit in my robe and drink coffee and peruse the blog world until the last possible moment.  About 20 minutes before I have to leave, the dog comes back out of the crate, I get dressed, and I put breakfast together.  Almost every morning, that consists of fried egg whites and a quarter of a cup of old-fashioned oats.  So riveting, I know.  About this time, I pour my 3rd cup of coffee, and Ammon's first.

Did I mention that nearly every morning of our entire relationship I have been up and about hours before Ammon cracks an eyelid?  So, I get Ammon's coffee ready before he's even awake and set it on his bedside table.  On weekdays I give him a kiss, tell him he is in charge of the house, the dog, and the cat, and I head to work.  Knowing that unless tomorrow is Saturday, I'm getting ready to do the same exact thing again tomorrow.