Brody’s Rhabdo and My Marathon

When I last filled you all in, Brody and I had no idea he’d still be in the hospital. Although he had read about people needing to stay for days, he assumed he’d be in and out. Not so much.

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This was taken before he knew he’d be here for two or more nights. I don’t think I could get him to smile again like this now.

Doctors do not mess around with rhabdo, and rightfully so. Without treatment and monitoring, it can lead to renal failure (aka kidney failure), which may require dialysis. Brody has had great care at Langlade Hospital in Antigo with fantastic nurses. It’s rarely ever fun to be in a hospital (the only happy situation I could think of would be a birth), but they have made it a lot easier to tolerate.

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After the initial urine and blood tests and the rhabdo diagnosis, they set up Brody on an IV drip. The treatment plan is to flush his system with fluids to work all of the enzymes out. The first few bags went through quickly (on purpose) and included sodium bicarbonate. I tried to look up how adding this helps, and I would probably butcher it in my summary, so here’s where it explains it. He’s had well over ten bags of fluid pumped into his body since being admitted on Saturday afternoon and continues to drink water like a fish. Other than having Popeye-like arms, swollen from the fluid, he feels normal…just bored.

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His room has a nice flat screen; here you can see Brody is watching Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures.
I have learned a lot about muscle damage. For instance, when you work out and become sore, there is a chance you could have a very slight case of rhabdo. When you work your muscles, they release enzymes, such as one called CPK. Normally your kidney is able to handle this enzyme, but when you have rhabdo, your body produces too much of it. A normal person has a CPK count of 175; Brody’s count when he came in was over 100,000, then it went up, and is now down again. Also, the muscle breakdown creates lots of myoglobin, and this causes the discolored urine. Brody’s count of myoglobin continues to go down – yeah! We find out if he’ll be going home today or staying another night shortly.

On a possible related note, the Green Bay marathon was yesterday, or it was supposed to be yesterday. After three hours of heat, humidity, and hospitalizations (how’s that for alliteration!), officials called the race at 9:30am. Of course I have no idea if anyone will now be suffering from rhabdo, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone was. Rhabdo can come on when exercising in extreme heat and humidity.

This made me extremely nervous for my race next weekend: what if it’s hot, humid, or sunny? Yeah, I dislike running in the sun. If the same thing were to happen next weekend as it did in Green Bay, I would find another marathon to do in the next few weeks. Considering I don’t know if I will ever do another marathon, I can not imagine just throwing away all of the training I’ve done. As of now, the weather says it will be mostly sunny with a high of 89 and low of 59. Please, please, PLEASE let that be wrong.

My final long training run that I did yesterday also made me nervous. This run sucked, big time. Chalk it up to hills, heat, humidity (my cottage is only an hour or so from Green Bay, so I was running in similar conditions), or stress from Brody being in the hospital, I took lots of walk breaks. I couldn’t get my breathing under control, especially after running up hills. My chest felt tight and I may have had a mini-meltdown around mile four. I have reminded myself of my days in ballet and dance: we always had crappy rehearsals right before a great performance. I am keeping my fingers crossed that’s what will happen with my race.

Whoa, I had a lot to say today. If you gave up and x-ed out a few paragraphs ago, I totally understand. But then if you’re reading this, you’re not one of those people. Thanks for hanging with me and following my normally normal life! I appreciate you guys and gals!

Questions:
What exercise-related injuries have you dealt with?
What are your ideal running conditions?
What do you tell yourself after crappy workouts?

Running and Massages are Like Chocolate and Sea Salt

Running for three hours and twenty five minutes means my feet hit the ground 36,900 times. That was a lot of pounding, and my knees, quads, hips, and baby cows (as Monica calls them) were feeling it on Saturday and Sunday. Luckily, I had scored a deal: $30 for a 60 minute relaxation through the Best Deals of Madison and Beyond emails I get every day.

The Wellness Room is on Bedford St. in Madison close to the Brittingham Boathouse. I arrived about ten minutes early to fill out paperwork. The owner, I later found out, just opened up in April after having worked for various salons and spas for the past few years. She had a calm, serene waiting area; I would use those exact same adjectives to describe the owner/masseuse as well.

Before the massage began, I informed her of my long run the day before. I asked her to focus on my lower half.

This massage was lovely and so relaxing. Although I tried to not fall asleep, I couldn’t help it. I may have snored and woken myself up. She found some tender spots in my shoulders and my thighs. I left feeling content, a little less sore, and just happy. I also smelled like lavender oil…so calming. I’m thinking a massage a couple days after the marathon may be in order.

*****

It was about a year ago now that I actually started to consider myself a runner. Training for my first half marathon, changing a password to reflect my new status, and reading Runner’s World all contributed to this new title I attached to myself. When I read Janae’s post with this list, I found myself nodding to many of these. In particular, I like (and probably referenced on this little blog of mine) numbers 1, 2, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, and 24.

You Might Be A Runner If…
1. You see someone running while you are riding in your car and wish it was you.
2. You find greater joy in spending your money on running apparel, shoes & gear than on a pair of designer jeans or monogrammed purses.
3. Your sneakers cost more than you dress shoes.
4. Part of your monthly expense budget goes to race fees.
5. You are thinking about your next race while running in one.
6. You are actually happy about doing laundry because now you will have clean running clothes.
7. You decide to sleep in and skip your run, but then somehow get your run in before the day is over anyway
8. When people ask what happens if it rains during a race, you smartly tell them, “You get wet.”
9. You’re looking at this website instead of Facebook.
10. Running is a way of life, not a hobby.
11. You read every entry on this list because of the pure satisfaction of realizing YOU’RE NOT ALONE!!
12. Your day isn’t complete until you’ve put your run in.
13. You always go to the sports section to look for new running gear and new running shoes first when shopping.
14. The first thing you do after a run is log miles.
15. Your daily run is like therapy, or an anti-depressant.
16. Starting with a 5:30am run is a great way to start your day.
17. People often shake their heads when you tell them what you did over the weekend.
18. You hear you have to go somewhere for an upcoming weekend and immediately check out the races close to your destination.
19. Waiting for someone who is walking on a treadmill makes you want to scream.
20. You get upset about injuries because they keep you from running, not because you have actually damaged your body.
21. You are truly too tired to help with house chores, but can still pull a 40-60 minute run.
22. Your ‘To Do’ list reads:
1) Go Run
2) Everything Else
23. The first thing you pack for a business trip is running gear.
24. You know exactly how many miles are logged on your running shoes.
25. When you’re told you need surgery and your first question is how soon can I go running afterwards.

I don’t know what my running future will look like after this marathon. I don’t know if I’ll ever do another full mary.  Whatever I end up doing next, I hope I’ll always see myself as a runner.

Goodnight friends!

Question:
How often do you get massages?
If you’re a runner, what number(s) on the list do you identify with?

What I’ve Been Doing For the Last Two Days

Now all together…breathe in, breathe out, and smile. It is Friday. We made it. One week closer to summer break, one week closer to Switzerland and Croatia, and one week closer to the Madison Marathon. Woo hoo!

Here’s some of the stuff I’ve been up to for the past two days:

1. Thursday morning, I woke up earlier than normal. I had planned on running before work and my alarm was set for 5:00am, but the dogs’ erratic behavior (they sense the storms coming) meant I was up fifteen minutes early. After sucking down some iced coffee (caffeine) and eating half a slice of bread with a smear of peanut butter (energy), I was ready to go.

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Proof of the time I left the house for my run.

With more humidity in the air, it was a tougher run than Tuesday’s, but as always, it felt so good to work out in the morning. I saw a deer in the field and ran through a part of neighborhood I had never been in.

2. I saw Aziz Ansari last night! He was hilarious and put on a great show.

We were in the balcony, but I swear that is Aziz.

Although we don’t watch Parks and Rec, Brody and I watched one of his stand-up specials last summer and thoroughly enjoyed it. His show started at 7:00pm at The Barrymore, so we met two other couples at The Alchemy for drinks (New Belgium Somersault for me) and dinner (Matilda for me). Between dinner and the show, it was a very fun Thursday night! Plus, I was in bed at my normal time. Score for the 29 year old who acts like she’s 60!

3. Rarely am I not reading a book. I try to alternate between more quality pieces of literature and “fluff” books. The Grapes of Wrath has been on my to-read list for years now, and I finally started it last week. Unable to focus for extended periods of time, I decided to temporarily give up on it and begin something a little lighter: The Stolen Child.

Book description from Amazon:
Inspired by the W.B. Yeats poem that tempts a child from home to the waters and the wild, The Stolen Child is a modern fairy tale narrated by the child Henry Day and his double.

On a summer night, Henry Day runs away from home and hides in a hollow tree. There he is taken by the changelings—an unaging tribe of wild children who live in darkness and in secret. They spirit him away, name him Aniday, and make him one of their own. Stuck forever as a child, Aniday grows in spirit, struggling to remember the life and family he left behind. He also seeks to understand and fit in this shadow land, as modern life encroaches upon both myth and nature.
In his place, the changelings leave a double, a boy who steals Henry’s life in the world. This new Henry Day must adjust to a modern culture while hiding his true identity from the Day family. But he can’t hide his extraordinary talent for the piano (a skill the true Henry never displayed), and his dazzling performances prompt his father to suspect that the son he has raised is an imposter. As he ages the new Henry Day becomes haunted by vague but persistent memories of life in another time and place, of a German piano teacher and his prodigy. Of a time when he, too, had been a stolen child. Both Henry and Aniday obsessively search for who they once were before they changed places in the world.
The Stolen Child is a classic tale of leaving childhood and the search for identity. With just the right mix of fantasy and realism, Keith Donohue has created a bedtime story for adults and a literary fable of remarkable depth and strange delights.

Doesn’t it sound good? Although I love utopian/dystopian novels, I rarely read anything fantasy-like. This was a great find at Goodwill (great selection for building up a library!). I am only a few chapters in and already really liking it; hopefully I’ll find time to read this weekend.

4. Obviously I’ve been teaching, but school feels different around this time of year. The warm weather, prom, graduation, and the up-coming summer break all create a certain buzz in the building. I can’t believe I almost have another year of teaching under my belt!

5. I’ve been drinking kombucha this week and love it. This summer I may attempt making my own…we’ll see. For now, I’ll stick to either Synergy or Nessalla.

****

I am looking forward to sharing all of my weekend activities with you all on Saturday and/or Sunday. On the agenda: run 20 miles (the Monona 20K is part of that), attend a Cinco de Mayo party, meet teacher friends at Salvatore’s, and see Brody more than I did last weekend.

Have a wonderful Friday evening!

Questions:
What book are you reading right now?
Have you ever made kombucha?
Any exciting plans for the weekend?

Crazylegs Recap and Grumpy Pants

Howdy folks! After a busy morning and afternoon, I am finally on my couch relaxing, and it feels amazing. Let’s start with the running…

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Pre-running supplies (although I didn’t wear the cotton shirt for obvious reasons)

If you’ve read any of my posts from this week, you know how bummed I was about the weather. In all honesty, it wasn’t that bad! The rain held off for most of our pre-Crazylegs run, and when it was coming down, it felt good. Besides running through a puddle once on State Street, my feet stayed dry and I had no weird chaffing. One benefit of running in the rain – it rinses away the salt crystals!

Mel, Tim, and I all felt pretty good early on, but we were careful not to start out too fast. We got a little nervous that we were going to miss our waves for the race, so we ended up running the last two and a half miles from our cars by Trader Joe’s to the capitol with a 9:30 pace. Running up State, we dodged all of the walkers going in the opposite direction. This made it feel like an obstacle course. Luckily we made it in time, met up with my high school friend Rena, and waited for a few minutes for our wave.

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While Tim took off to be Mr. Speedy, us three ladies set off just to enjoy the experience. Observatory was kind of a beast, but we pushed through and didn’t stop to walk. The rest of the course stays fairly flat. Although I don’t know our official time because my Garmin included the nine before, I would estimate we ran the 8K in about 47-48 minutes. We probably averaged a 9:30-9:40 pace, but then we all ran the last mile in under 9:00.

Two complaints about the race (and both deal with people):
1) Rena almost got spit on. This girl turned her head, didn’t look behind her, and spit. Nasty! How do people not have the common sense to look first?
2) People just stopped in the middle of the course and walked. Okay – I get that this is not a race that many people really race, but if you have to walk (which I am not poo-pooing), please move to the sides. Crazylegs had approximately 20,000 participants (not sure how many were walkers), and it was crowded the whole time. You bump elbows with people, need to dodge groups, etc.

I have come to a realization: I am crabby after long runs. This made me curious, so I did a little “research.” Some forums said it could be low blood sugar or glycogen (is that the same thing?) or dehydration. This may have been the case with previous runs, but today I was grumpy immediately after running into Camp Randall because the crowd was overwhelming and my right ankle hurt.

What if I hurt myself? I have only a month until the marathon, and I have so far remained physically intact. My ankle isn’t painful but it’s tweaky. I took Advil and have been icing it. Hopefully after a couple days of rest, it will be back to normal. I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared or nervous though.

I hope everyone out there who ran or walked Crazylegs, participated in a different race, or did absolutely nothing had a great day!

Questions:
What are your biggest pet peeves related to running?
Do you ever feel grumpy after working out?

“I” Statements on My Birthday

One factor I consider when writing (whether that is here for you or at school doing freewrites with my sophomores) is my sentence structure; in particular, I try to vary the first word of each sentence. Today, however, I am not going to do that. So here are some of my “I” statements regarding today.

1. I was born on this date twenty-nine years ago. I weighed 7 lb 11 oz.

2. I cannot for the life of me spend money at Kohl’s. They send me $10 gift cards randomly, so I go there (obviously that marketing ploy works well on me). Today I wanted to buy clothes; I tried on a Vera Wang top, Rock & Republic shorts, two dresses, and a few other assorted items. Nothing! I found a pair of nude wedge shoes that I liked but they rang up as still being $45 (I am cheap). Once again, I bought a six-pack of running socks and paid $1.79.

3. I always find stuff I like at Old Navy. For $22, I bought two 3/4 length tops, running capris, a running tank, and a cotton dress. While Brody did the dishes, I proceeded to tell him the details of my shopping trip. After a couple minutes of recap, he responded, “Huh? I stopped listening after you went to Kohl’s.” He doesn’t get it.

4. I made dough balls, and they taste like Larabars. I ate four of them today. I need more dates.

20120427-221550.jpg I followed Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipe, used chocolate chips, and finely chopped peanuts.

5. I got beautiful flowers (pinkish-purplish roses and mini white roses) from my loving husband. What a lucky girl I am.

6. I went to Whole Foods today looking for Plant Fusion protein powder. My friend and fellow blogger, Bridget, read about it here. Sadly, the WF’s in Madison didn’t carry it. BUT…they do carry Graeter’s ice cream! Bridget introduced me to this incredible ice cream in Cincinnati – the black raspberry chocolate flavor is the bomb! I didn’t buy any, but it is nice to know it’s there.

7. I am angry at the weather. Forty degrees and a 70% chance of rain for most of the morning. Really? Come on Wisconsin. At least I will have lunch at Bluephies to look forward to during those fourteen miles.

8. I had a Dairy Queen blizzard tonight. Last weekend’s was so good, and I had a strong garlic flavor in my mouth from dinner that needed to be replaced with something. Plus, it is my freakin’ birthday. I had Butterfinger and it was good and I ate it all. The end.

No really, that’s the end. I need my beauty rest because God knows how hideous I am going to look after running in the rain for two+ hours. I hope Bluephies let’s me in for lunch.

G’night!

Two “Yah”s and Two “Boo”s

Yah for four miles and ready to go by 6:30!

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Now that the light from the rising sun starts to shine by 5:20am, I want to try getting my runs in before school outside (instead of on the treadmill). A neighbor is running the Monona 20K and the Chicago Marathon, so she is working on building her running base. We set out for four miles this morning and finished in under forty minutes. I didn’t wear my Garmin, but according to Teresa’s watch, our first mile was under nine minutes. Holy speedy! When it is dark out, I always thought I ran faster, and I guess I was right. Why is that? This weekend, Mel’s husband, Tim, said it’s because you lose some of your senses, which makes sense. Slight pun there with the two meanings of sense. Sorry, I couldn’t stop the English teacher in me from not taking advantage of a teachable moment. My secret to getting ready so quickly involves a lot of night before prepping, a headband, and a shower cap.

Yah for overnight oats in Brody’s almost done peanut butter jar!

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Although I prefer Trader Joe’s nut butters, I will not willingly let a peanut butter jar be recycled without an overnight oat treatment. I threw in another small scoop of peanut butter as it was almost completely clean. Another great part about OAIJ? No dishes to add to the pile in my sink.

Boo for the hole in my favorite khakis

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    I cannot recall when this happened, but I noticed it on my drive to school. You may also notice the discoloration, which makes me think bleach ate through it. This is odd because I never bleach my clothes and only use it on towels and sheets occasionally. I have a $10 Gap gift certificate that has been waiting patiently to be used, and I also have a $10 gift card to Kohl’s that expires Saturday. Mid-week shopping?

    Boo for rain and cold temps forecasted on Saturday
    Sunday afternoon, I checked the weather and this Saturday looked good. Sunday night I checked again and it showed clouds and rain. This morning I checked (obsessed much?) and it now says 30% of rain and a high of only 43. Booooo! Lots of people I know are running Crazylegs Saturday morning, including my high school friend Rena. I was hoping for nice temps and sun, but I guess I’ve been too lucky with nice weather for my Saturday mornings runs. The bright side? Running in the rain would prep me for rain on the day of the marathon. The dark side? Goosebumps, chaffing, and squishy socks and shoes.

    Question:
    What is one “yah” and one “boo” for you today?

    I Survived 18 Miles (and have no t-shirt to show for it)

    *I loosely based this title off of Mel’s posting on Dailymile
    Three hours and seven minutes of my day were spent running this morning. That’s a lot of time, and while I wish I could say I loved all of it, I can’t. This run kicked my butt. No, literally – my butt hurts, as do other parts of my body. It metaphorically kicked my butt mentally too, and if it hadn’t been for a two breaks at the car and a few short walk breaks, I wouldn’t have made it.

    Doing multiple loops through the Arboretum lacks the landscape variety I need. I love seeing so many runners, bikers, and walkers in there, but going past the same even beautiful scenery two or more times mentally frustrates me. Next week we’ll likely not loop anywhere, as Mel, Tim, and I plan to run nine before Crazylegs (which is an 8K).

    Running that far is very stressful on my body, and my IT bands need some rolling love tonight and tomorrow. As another way to help my body heal, I took a wimpy ice bath to help reduce the inflammation.

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    If you recall, my first attempt at the dreaded ice bath did not go so well (tears and about two minutes in the water). Tim, who has lots of medical background knowledge, shared with me a better way somewhere during the first six miles:
    1. Take off sweaty clothes and put on a warm top (for me, swimsuit bottoms and hoodie)
    2. Make something warm to sip on (black mango tea with honey)
    3. Fill a tub with cold water
    4. Sit for a bit (unintentional rhyme) and then add eight cups of ice
    5. Stay in the tub for 15 minutes (while reading blogs on your iPad…that was my addition to the steps)
    I didn’t add a ton of ice, and I may have had both the hot and cold water going into the tub in the beginning. Goosebumps covered my legs, though, once I added the ice, but they melted (which is why you see none in the photo above). Brody came home from Crossfit in the midst of my ice bath, and as I expected, he scolded me for my use of an expensive electronic device in a bathtub. Thanks, Mom.

    I had grand plans to do absolutely nothing for the rest of the day, but Brody persuaded me otherwise. Because we had no food to compose a lunch of substance, we drove to Chipotle and I demolished a burrito salad bowl. Paying extra for guacamole is totally worth it when they put an entire avocado on top of the salad creation. Our next adventure involved the dog park; two SLOW laps ensued as I felt like an old woman and Brody’s legs were shot from Crossfit.

    The laps obviously depleted my energy, so I convinced Brody to take me to Dairy Queen. The sweet and salty combo of vanilla soft serve and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups makes me happy.

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    Hmmm…this position looks familiar.

    I am currently lying on our new patio furniture while Brody mows the lawn. I am being a good helper, although I did complain initially when asked, by taking the grass clippings to an empty lot whenever the bag fills up.

    A nap sounds good about now…on this outdoor couch.

    Have a great Saturday!

    Questions:
    Do you have any ice bath or recovery tips for me?
    What is your favorite blizzard from Dairy Queen?

    It’s an Ellen Kind of Day

    What an amazing day! On my friend Bridget’s blog, her tagline is “I’m having an incredible year.” Well, I feel like I’m having an incredible day…and it’s not even over yet!!!

    But first: April Photo a Day
    Yesterday, I honestly completely forgot about taking my picture, so it’s here today. Better late than never.

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    The next text I will be teaching is Death of a Salesman, which I haven’t read since high school. Guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow? I had to hunt down the copies, so this is my something you found.

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    Ellen is always so happy, and while I flipping through the March edition of Real Simple, I came across this ad. Because Chantelle’s theme was how you feel today, I snapped a photo of Ellen’s smiling face.

    Reason Number One I am Happy Like Ellen:
    I had a fantastic run this morning with Mel and her husband Tim. We covered twelve miles and ran along Lakeshore Path, past Hoyt Park, down Monroe, past the zoo, and back to Brittingham Park. The temperature was perfect, I wore my new running clothes (Old Navy tank and Nike spandex shorts from Marshall’s), the GUs I brought were yummy (Roctane chocolate raspberry and blackberry), and we finished with an average pace of 9:41. Could it get much better than that?

    Reason Number Two I am Happy Like Ellen:
    One of the Wine and Recipe ladies, Mel, is pregnant with her first child and is due at the end of May. Two of the other Wine and Recipe ladies, Jena and Emily, threw Mel a baby shower today. Because Mel and her hubby are not finding out the sex of the baby, everything needed to be gender neutral. I went over to Jena’s house last night to help set up the adorable bee themed decorations and food.

    This was the sweetest theme ever!

    We had yummy food: chicken salad in pita, veggie wraps, pasta salad, spinach salad, cowboy caviar, fruit pops, cupcakes (which I helped frost), and Oreo truffles.
    It was fun to watch Mel open all of her gifts. Many of the other women there have kids, and so many times they said things like, “I wish we had had that!” Mel was especially excited for all of the bath time presents.

    *The woman to the right of Mel looks like she’s picking her nose, but she’s not.  I doubt she’ll ever read my blog, so I am posting this picture.  Casey, if you find this, I am sorry.

    I cleaned off a few items off her registry that no one apparently wanted to buy, including a bottle scrubber, a medical dispensing kit, and bibs. As an English teacher, I feel it is my duty (and joy) to give books to expecting moms. My always book is Goodnight Moon; I LOVED this book as a little girl and would apparently make my dad read it to me every night. Besides that, I also found Ten Little Monkeys: Jumping On the Bed.

    We played some fun, non-cheesy games too. Jena printed off pictures of celebrities’ kids; she gave us the names of the moms but we had to put the mom and child together. We got an extra point for knowing the name of the kid. I don’t follow celebrity “news” much but knew a few.

    Another cute idea, because it wasn’t exactly a game, was for everyone to fill out a sheet of paper with sentence starters such as “I hope you learn…” and “I hope you laugh…” for Baby Baker. Emily compiled everyone’s sheet and made a cute scrapbook that said “We’re Excited to See Who You Will Bee.”

    While I had a great time at Mel’s baby shower, I am sad to be missing my college friend’s bachelorette party in Chicago tonight. With Brody being in Vegas and not being able to fond anyone to watch the dogs, it just wasn’t in the cards. I hope all of my Pi Phi girls have lots of fun!

    Cheers to an Ellen-happy-face day!

    Questions:
    What was the best thing so far about your Saturday?
    What is your favorite baby shower game? Least favorite?
    Did you run today? Share the deets!

    Thankful Thursday

    1) Diptic

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    Thank you Carrie (who thanked Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean) for sharing this app with her readers (like me!). I have been wondering how bloggers make cool photo collages and was too lazy to figure it out. Here’s my first collage:

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    The photo in the bottom right corner is my photo of the day (stairs). Also, I should admit a mistake I’ve been making; the photo challenge ISN’T just for Instagram. Not sure why I made that up. I also want to credit this challenge to Chantelle and thank her for helping me improve my photography skills.

    2) Four-day weeks
    Tomorrow is already Friday! Having Monday off made the week fly by. Each day was over before I knew it. Part of me wants to break out into that horrible song: “It’s Friday, Friday…”

    3) Getting faster
    I am a pretty slow (and often ugly) runner, but I am getting faster. Thanks to my amazing sister-in-law and the Garmin she gave me for Christmas, I track my runs and can monitor my speed. Last week I ran five miles in 48:30 and today I ran it in 47:30. This means I averaged a 9:30 mile – crazy! I have always been a ten-minute miler, but things are changing. Maybe a future goal will be a sub-2:00 half marathon…

    4) Running Off the Reese’s
    When I first started following blogs, I found Cely and loved her posts. She’s hilarious and unlike any of the other blogs I was reading. But then this fall, her posts stopped updated in my Flipbook (the app I used to read blogs) and I stopped reading about Cely’s life. Now I use Google Reader, and I recently subscribed to Running Off the Reese’s again – joy!

    5) Only one doggie accident
    No pictures of this for obvious reasons.
    Whenever our family’s routine changes (i.e. when I go back to school after being on Spring Break for a week), the dogs’ internal plumbing gets a little wacky. Aside from being used to spending an hour at the dog park each morning, they also may have some anxiety over being left home alone again. Frankie left a “present” for me in the hallway (his normal spot) on Tuesday, so I was nervous Moose would follow suit. I can happily report that never happened.

    Question:
    What are you thankful for?

    Ugly Runners Club

    Happy Mond…errr, I mean, Tuesday! Not having school yesterday got me all out of sorts. At least if this continues, by Friday, it will feel like Thursday; just think how exciting that would be to think it was Thursday but realized it was Friday (credit for that observation goes to my teacher-friend, Joanna). I wish I could think of a smart, impressive analogy to that feeling, but I can’t.

    Today’s photo challenge topic: cold

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    We have been spoiled this spring, and winter for that matter, and today’s temperature was only in the upper 40s. My lovely husband hung this time/thermometer thing, so I captured an image through the screen. At first I made this choice because my little tootsies would be cold on the deck, but then I realized the screen added an interesting element and dimension.

    A friend on Facebook sent me this link, and I was honestly surprised I hadn’t seen it out there in the blog world yet.

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    source same as link above
    This guy…seriously? That smile? That perfect hair? Who looks that put together during a race?

    It made me giggle because during my long run, I spent a few moments questioning what I look like when I run. Because I mapped a route in a popular running and biking area, I passed by a lot of people (including a few people multiple times). I tried to look cool, relaxed, and happy, but I am sure my red, splotchy, salty face was contorted into all horrible kinds of expressions.

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    Luckily, evidence of my unattractiveness can be found on Facebook…like this picture my friend, Brad, took of me at the very end of the Haunted Hustle. Yes, I am comfortable sharing unattractive photos of myself with all of you. We are at that point in our relationship.

    People probably look at me and think, “Ooohh, that girl is not meant to run,” and sometimes I agree with them. Not much about running is natural or relaxed for my body, but I still love it. Why is that?

    With any challenge (Instagram Photo Challenge) or big decision (buying a house), there are risks involved and the potential for failure. Maybe the journey isn’t always pretty, like how I look running, but having a goal to work towards and the satisfaction after reaching it is worth it. Not all of my runs have been fun or pretty, but they make me a stronger person, and I am feeling really confident about running my first marathon. Does it matter that I am an ugly runner? Nope. So I plan to embrace it and create a new club: Ugly Runners Club, or URC (pronounced er-ck).

    Have a wonderful evening!

    Question:
    Who wants to join the Ugly Runners Club? There is a little hazing (eating lots of GU) and an initiation ceremony (held at Endurance House or Fleet Feet…whoever will sponsor us).