Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No. 45 (or 15337th place)

So I decided a little while ago that I should run the Bolder Boulder this year.  I had done it the first time back in 2004 with a couple friends of mine.  I had started running "for real" maybe in 2003 or 2002, and was enjoying doing local 5k's.  I was really enjoying being able to run, so I entered the BB10k and started training.  I ran 6 miles once, which was two laps around City Park, and felt ready for it.  And I was!  My friends and I ran the whole thing without stopping (which was our/my personal goal).  We kept a slow and steady pace, finishing at a reasonable, if not humble, 1:10:58.  I ran it again in 2005, finishing in 55:53.  In between these two races, I ran a half-marathon in Carlsbad, CA in January of 2005.  I trained in Denver through the winter, which meant that the actual race at sea level at a comfortable 60 degrees was pretty fantastic.  I can't remember my actual finish time for the half, but it was nearly dead-on 10:00 mile (I honestly think something like 131 minutes, 28 seconds).  And I haven't gone farther than a 10k since then. 
I was so glad that the same friend I ran with in 2004 wanted to run with me again this year.  We have always had fairly similar paces, so I felt good about being able to run the whole thing with her again (without stopping ha ha).  And we did!  She set a strong pace, and we finished in 1:00:53.  I came in 15337th place out of more than 50,000 people.  It's a HUGE race.  On the course, there were no fewer than 3 slip-n-slides in people's yards that a runner could choose to dive through (I chose no).  One appeared either filled with beer, or really dirty water.  At mile 2, there was the unofficial "marshmellow station", with a guy tossing marshmellows out into the runners.  I didn't get one, and I'm still a little sad about that.  There was an Elvis impersonator, whom my friend high-fived.  [To make it easier for future reference, I'll call her the Pie Girl, since that's how we became friends.  I am aware all my personal business is out there in
 this blog, but I don't see the need to bring any unwanted attention to the Pie Girl.  Also keeping in mind that being called the Pie Girl is not a reflection of her appearance in any stretch of the imagination.  She is quite petite and fit.  I will be mentioning her again in future blogs.  Back to the race.]  
Somewhere around mile 4 was an elusive donut stand.  I saw a girl running with a donut, and I told the Pie Girl with undisguised envy, "that girl has a donut".  She had seen the stand, but somehow, I missed it.  People come out to the neighborhoods and eat their breakfast in their pajamas, and at least once the smell of bacon was overwhelming.  Nearing mile 6 was a girl with a plate of cupcakes.  I applauded her (literally), but declined.  I wasn't feeling like eating a cupcake just then.  Weird, I know. 
The BB finishes with a run through the CU football stadium.  It's super fun (?) to sprint this last little part.  It's loud, there's music playing, the stands are full of people cheering you on, and you're almost done!  So I sprinted (read: accelerated from a jog to a run) to the end.
And as an aside, this race is always run on Memorial Day.  I had always thought of Memorial Day as a day to honor fallen soldiers.  However, the BB gives you a free bib to honor any and all people who have served/are currently serving.  And I was so excited to put two people of whom I am quite proud: my currently serving Sergeant First Class super secret squirrel brother-in-law, and friend from previous job who was apparently a major bad-ass in the Army at one time.

The Pie Girl and I had a great run.  On the drive back from Boulder, we talked about triathlons.  She's done one, I haven't.  It's something I kind of always wanted to do, but a) didn't have a decent bike and b) didn't have consistent pool access.  I now have a more than decent bike.  So, before I lost my nerve, feeling all super confident and mighty, we registered for the "Tri for the Cure" in Cherry Creek State Park on August 7th.  That gives me just over nine weeks to find a pool, and see if I can even swim 750 meters. 
I feel pretty confident I could do the whole race without training any harder than I ordinarily would do over a summer.  But all bravado and braggadocio aside, by "do" I mean “finish”.  Not heroically, not without a lot of discomfort, and likely not without feeling pretty miserable the whole time, and perhaps with a dramatic crawl to the finish line.  Soooo, I'll find a pool (I already found a couple at rec centers I can pay through the nose to use), and figure this thing out.  And perhaps, eat my words.
I'll admit that the swim part makes me nervous.  It's in a yucky reservoir (one year participants in this same tri all got some horrible skin rash from a parasitic snail or something godawful), it's in open water, there will be a bunch of other swimmers with their arms and legs all kicking out everywhere, and I've never done anything like that before.  And I have literally no concept of what it means to swim 750 meters.  It's like, half a mile.  Is that far?  I don't even know.  It sounds far.  I suppose I'll find out soon enough.
And just to see if I am over-confident or actually capable, this weekend I will attempt the entire bike/run portion.  So I'll ride my bike 11.4 miles (maybe 12 to call it good) and then run 3.1 miles.  My logic is that I can ride 30 miles and be OK, and I just ran 6.2 miles and was OK.  I can probably do half of each at the same time and be OK.  Right??  

Friday, May 20, 2011

Eeek a mouse! XLIV

The other day (like, two days ago), our cat became unusually fascinated with our oven drawer.  Riveted.  So much so that she had managed to fish out a Tylenol PM with her paw while attempting to get at whatever had caught her attention.
And naturally, we had to open the drawer to find out what was going on.  And there it was, scrambling over every piece of bakeware that I own, a mouse.  Soooooo gross.  It's grubby little nasty mouse feet touching all my stuff.  Ew ew ew ew ew.  And somehow, in the brief moments that I saw the damn thing, it seemed deliberate.  Like it was trying to literally touch everything in the drawer.  Husband mimed the mouse licking its paw and purposefully touching my muffin tray.  Funny!  And gross.  Yucky filthy mouse.
The bakeware was removed, and a peanut butter baited snap trap was set.  Four smashed mice later, we're hoping to be nearly done taking down the mouse metropolis within our walls. 
Now, you'd think a cat would be an asset in this kind of situation.  And as interested as she was in getting under the drawer, she can't really fit.  And then, she has no claws.  But she is marvelous at alerting us to the presence of mice.  And really, I'd rather a snap trap catch it anyways, and not have some mutilated chewed on mess in the middle of the kitchen.  Or in my bed.  You get the idea.
And besides, after she realized she's never getting into the drawer, she appears to be quite at ease and relaxed, knowing the mice situation will soon be under control.  And I'm still very very proud of her for trying.
Mice: Fear This!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A tisket, a tasket (this is my cat Basket). XLIII

I've really just been waiting for something to say before I blogged again.  I guess I don't have a whole lot, but here's a few things:

I had a fun bike ride last weekend on the first nice day (occurring on a weekend) in months.  Everything about it was ideal, except that the breakfast bar I brought with me to eat at my turnaround point somehow wormed it's way out of my bike fanny pack.  So no food for me, for 30.5 miles.  But it was fine.  And my smashburger that night was delicious!

Also, my cat has returned to spending time on my lap.  Usually only in the mornings, but occasionally in the evenings.  Mostly when she's picked up and placed on my lap, and coerced into staying there with attentive ass-scratching.  Look at that face.  And that belly!
And, we had a great time renting kayaks and paddling around Cherry Creek Reservoir with some friends.  Husband wanted to explore a new hobby, and invited us all to join him.  Besides the swarm of bugs that followed us around the lake, and the blister I got between my thumb and forefinger (which I have been made aware is both barely noticeable and not dramatic in this picture), it was a fun experience.

And finally, I am keeping fingers crossed and holding breath that maybe, maybe, my nerve thing is on it's way out.  Not gone, still get little reminders here and there, but I am definitely spending less time thinking about it, and that must be because I am less aware of it.  And, I'm off the seizure meds altogether.  My sleep sucks, but it's all an adjustment, right? 
So, I am hoping to plan a "Whatever Was Wrong With Me, It's Gone Now" party very soon.  And with any luck, my hair will look fabulous.