Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Mishmash

I finished my latest GAP-tastic cowl!  Sure, it won't be necessary to wear until late next fall, but hey - it'll be ready.  This particular cowl took me a while to finish because the first purple yarn I tried didn't end up being purple enough, and I had to wait until a better color option was available.  Plus, I learned the hard way that I can only knit with a bulky yarn for just a little bit at a time, or else my thumb joint starts hurting.  So I'd knit a row or two on this, then set it aside and work on something lighter.  I love how it turned out:
No shot of me wearing it because already too warm to wrap something like this around my neck.
Pattern is GAP-tastic, yarn is Madelinetosh ASAP, colorways are Medieval and Dr. Zhivago's Sky.

My other exciting, knitting-related news, is that I got new glasses, which means I can knit and watch TV while only having to wear one pair, instead of my old prescription glasses PLUS a pair of reading glasses.  Yes, my vision changed, but no, I was too cheap to replace the glasses last year.  But I couldn't take it anymore, so when it was time to get new contacts (a new prescription for them as well - why are my eyes still changing at my age??), I picked out a new pair of glasses:
One happy knitter!  I can seeeeeee!

The glasses are really pretty - I love the color (obviously I'm in a blue phase, choosing that color for everything from my car, to clothes, to the glasses), and the sides have a neat design:
Awkward side-selfie...

It's good to see clearly again!


Now that our weather has become mostly warm and humid, I'm sweating a lot more when I run, and it was time to put a towel in my car so my sweaty body wouldn't muck up the seat too much when I've driven somewhere to run.  I had a pink beach towel that would have worked, but when I saw this blue-striped one in the store, I had to get it:
Yes, I am the weirdo who matches the towel to the car.  Would you expect anything less from me?


We have our last 5K race of the season tomorrow - it's the Run For Remembrance, held at the firefighter training field, and it's always an interesting run. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Rock the CASA 5K Race Recap!

Cute race shirt!

On Saturday, I ran the 30th annual Kappa Alpha Theta Rock the CASA 5K.  This was the first time I've run this race, simply because in April, there are always at least three or four 5K races to choose from each Saturday.  This race is put on by the Theta sorority girls, and they did an excellent job!  Although, I have to tell you that when I heard that packet pickup was at their house, I was perplexed...why would you have packet pickup for a race at someone's house?  Then it dawned on me - sorority house.  Oh.  Not quite the private residence I was envisioning.  Can you tell I never did the Greek life thing?

This race has the lowest entry fee I've ever paid for a 5K - just $15.  It's chip-timed, and you get a cotton t-shirt.  They also have a raffle for some items, and a silent auction for others, and this year, they raised $97,000, which is pretty amazing!  The proceeds are divided between two local children's charities (one of which is run by a good friend of mine), so it was especially nice to be a part of this.

Anyway, race morning dawned and it wasn't raining, which was a relief because we'd been experiencing some really wicked storms over the previous two days, and it looked like they might continue.  Luckily, the storms held off, and all we had to deal with were some big puddles and very high humidity.  However, the storms caused air travel to be messed up the day before, and Julia, who'd been traveling for work, only made it as far as Houston the night before, so she ended up missing the race, which was too bad.

This was Loretta's triumph return to running - she had a hip stress fracture last fall, had surgery, and after she was released to exercise, had worked her way up to running a 5K using a Couch to 5K app.  She was ready, and we were excited for her!  CC and I ran with her, doing 1:30/1 minute intervals.  She did great!!!  It was so fun to tick the miles off and be with her as she reached her goal...ahh, running.  It's good for so much more than just running.

Loretta and CC with their old-school shoe timing chips.
 Most of the JFR Crew, plus Abby-dog.

This was definitely a fun run - there were runners, walkers, lots of roller-bladers (each group had at least one person take a fall, eek), people in tutus, guys in full-body suits (I don't know how they didn't pass out from the heat while wearing something that covered everything from head/face to toe) - and a nice amount of cheering spectators.  We stuck to the intervals, and before we knew it, we were rounding the corner (where Loretta's son, daughter-in-law, and grandson were cheering us on and taking pictures) just before the finish line: 
Jeff coming in for the finish - after not running all week due to a cold, he ran this 5K in 27:53!
 Cary, Brian, and Abby - looking good for the finish!
We had about a quarter mile to go, and CC told Loretta no more intervals - we were just going to run the rest of the way.  She said we didn't have to go fast, we just had to run...and then, Loretta took off like a shot!  This is us coming in for the finish - Loretta is hidden behind the girl in the white shirt, but please note that she's ahead of us!  I had to sprint to catch up with her!
Still trying to catch up to Loretta...
I love this shot - both CC and I are looking at Loretta, and are just so happy that she's done it!
  ...and we're finished!!! 
Nothing better than having a grandbaby waiting for you at the finish line!

The route was mostly flat, with a couple of sweet downhills that we took full advantage of.  After the hills of Austin just six days before this race, it was nice to have an easier run.  Plus only running half the distance was nice, too.  We enjoyed this race and would definitely do it again next year.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Small Sacrifices

The other day I was really hungry around 4:00 pm, and I knew I wasn't going to eat dinner until 6:45 or so.  It took a lot of willpower (and a couple of big glasses of water) to hold off on eating anything, but I'd done so well for most of the day that I didn't want to waste all of my effort at that point.

I could have had a bigger lunch, but I didn't, because I'm trying to eat less.  So those couple of hours of hunger would have been for nothing, had I eaten more - it's not that I would have had so much to have gained weight, but I probably would've negated anything I did that day to lose.

I was willing to be hungry.  I wasn't going to die, and I wasn't at the hangry/cranky stage where eating something is necessary to save a relationship (come on, we've all been know that "eat a Snickers" commercial IS telling the truth)(although you can achieve the same results with eating something healthier than a Snickers)(but damn, a Snickers bar is pretty good).  The hunger was worth the reward.

Dieting isn't about the big things.  It's about the day-to-day stuff you do, the little changes, the acceptance of being a little uncomfortable, that makes it work.  This also applies to maintaining that weight loss - much as I'd like to not have to think about what I'm eating, it just doesn't work that way.  As I'm in the midst of doing both at the moment (dieting on the weekdays, maintaining on the weekends), I'm realizing how many small, but significant, sacrifices I'm making on a daily basis in order to achieve my goal.  I'll be honest - some days, I'm going on a day-to-day effort, because thinking about being hungry again doesn't sound all that appealing.  But the results of these efforts are appealing to me, and for that reason, I'm willing to make these small sacrifices.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Mishmash

Thanks for all of the suggestions regarding Paco's flea issue.  After so many of you recommended Brewer's Yeast, I bought a bottle and started giving it to him.  The dosage is two tablets per 10 pounds of dog, so I have to give him six tablets.  Do you know, my good pup just ate them right from my hand, one after the other?  How nice to not have to hide them in a hot dog or peanut butter! 
Dez my treetz.  


One thing I've always wanted to do is to be a volunteer at a hospital where I could rock the babies in the nursery.  Only problem with that is in our small town, there really aren't any "boarder babies" that need rocking.  But since I have some free time on my hands now that I'm not the organizer for the running club anymore, I still decided to volunteer at one of our hospitals, and just go where they needed help.  Turns out, it's their volunteer-run gift shop!  I've had two shifts there already, and I have to say, it's quite fun.  Their cash register system was simple to learn, the shop is stocked with some really nice items, and of course, I like talking to people (staff and visitors alike), so it's all good.  I had to learn a lot of "color" code terminology (e.g. what to do if you hear a fire code, or a stolen baby code), and a lot of other stuff that doesn't pertain to where I'm working, and all of that was fine.

The only bad part of this entire experience was having to buy the khaki pants for the uniform.  UGH.  There is a reason why I wear mainly dark colors when it comes to pants and jeans - khakis show off every lump and bump on my thighs.  I tried on about 10 pairs, no joke, and finally ended up with a heavier, twill pair that was acceptable to my hyper-critical eyes.  For a top, I had the option of an official volunteer smock, or an official volunteer button-down shirt.  I opted for the way did I need to be wearing a loose smock on top of terrible khakis.  My self-esteem can only take so much!

Long story short (I know, too late):  I like my new volunteering job, even with the khaki pants.  


Tomorrow we have another race - this time, it's a local 5K, and it benefits the organization that is run by one of my good friends, so win-win all around!  Loretta is making her triumphant return to running after her hip stress fracture and surgery, and several of us are going to run the race with her.  Should be a fun morning!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday Workout Update

Well, not much has happened this week - I took a couple of days off from running, mostly because I'm getting a cold and feeling a little more wiped out than usual.  Didn't feel too bad after the race, except for a little tightness in my glutes, but I'm pretty sure that's from those wicked Austin hills.  Anyway, this will be a bit of a random post.


One of these days, I'm going to walk a big race and carry my camera, just to take pictures of all the odd things people do.  For example, Cary and I couldn't decide if a woman ahead of us was wearing black velvet shorts...or they might have been velour.  Either way, it didn't seem like a good choice to run 6.2 miles in - talk about chafing!  And then there was a woman running with her purse slung over her shoulder - and it wasn't part of a costume...nope, it was a regular purse, chain strap and all.  All I could think was, she couldn't pare down enough to carry the essentials in her pocket?


I've written about how I've been working on cutting back on my eating to make running easier.  And while I've noticed that my pants are looser, I didn't realize that one of my sports bras has also gotten a little looser...until I started running on Sunday.  I haven't worn that particular bra for a while (obviously), but packed it for the race because I figured this one would not chafe, if it rained, as badly as others.  So hey - the diet is working more than I realized, but I sure picked an inopportune time to discover that fact!


Finally, here's a couple of recent pins that describe how I feel about running:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Statesman Cap10K Recap!

Love the race shirt - it has the route map and shows lots of things Austin is known for - among them, bats under the Ann B. Richards Congress Ave. Bridge, being the state capital, food trucks, RUNNING, and music.  It's a technical shirt, too - sweet!

Yesterday I, along with over 14,300 other people, ran the Statesman Cap10K race in Austin, Texas.  This was the 38th year for this, the largest 10K race in Texas, and boy, was it ever popular!  We turned it into a getaway weekend for the race and had a great time with some of our JFR Crew - Cristy, Cary and Brian.

Even though we weren't running on Saturday, we woke up early enough to get our Blue Baker fix for breakfast before making the nearly two hour drive to Austin.  I know for some readers that would put them in another state, but nope - we just made it to the next biggest city!  We went to the expo first, to get our race packets, and were pleasantly surprised by all the goodies:
Nice plastic-coated grocery bag, provided by HEB, a race sponsor.  I use these bags when I grocery shop (coincidentally at HEB) and love them, so I was really happy to get two new ones!  Technical race shirt, hot/cold ice pack, coupon for free Whataburger (such a Texas thing, lol), Clif bar, and wildflower seeds.  Cary told me later that the intent was for the seeds to be sprinkled along the trail at Lady Bird lake (The Trail Foundation was this year's race beneficiary), but we'll just sprinkle them in our backyard and call it good.

The expo wasn't huge, and wasn't crowded when we were there, but the vendors were pretty interesting and we had a good time checking everything out.  Jeff and I bought some race clothes:
Windbreaker for him, pullover for me.

We also bought the black insulated bottle for Jeff to use as his coffee thermos:
I was able to get a couple tubes of Nuun Kona Cola, which I like but can't find locally.  That purchase gave me a free Texas edition Nuun water bottle, woohoo!  The purple bottle was a freebie from a probiotic company.

After the expo, we had a quick lunch at Whole Foods (you know we were in the big city when there's a Whole Foods around), and then we went to Ikea...again, big city.  After that we checked into our hotel and took a nap before meeting the JFR Crew (plus Cary and Cristy's mom) at Tuk Tuk Thai, where we had noodle dishes for our pre-race dinner.  The food was so good!  I'd like to go back there and be a little more adventurous with my meal, but that wouldn't have been a good idea before the race.  We made plans for where to park and meet the next morning (TxDOT Riverside - free parking!), and then called it a night.


Race day!  I have to say, after the luxury of staying so close to the starting line in Houston, I was a little nervous at having to drive in, especially with so many people converging on the same small area.  We left our hotel at 5:50 am and were parked by 6:10, which gave us time for a quick nap in the car.  The race started at 8:00 am, but our corrals weren't scheduled to start until 8:30 am, so we had plenty of time to find the porta-potties (which ended up being right around the corner from where we parked) and then take some pictures:
Jeff, me, Cary, Brian, and Cristy - ready to JFR!

So the weather.  Thunderstorms had been predicted all week for race day, and the organizers said that while the race would go on it if was just raining, there was a possibility that it might be cancelled if lightening was occuring.  We prepared for the rain as best we could (i.e. we are all wearing hats to keep the rain off of our faces, and there was a lot of Body Glide and/or 2Toms used to prevent chafing), but really, we were just going to suck it up and run through the rain.  Well guess what?  No rain!  Heavy, misty fog, yes - but no rain, and more importantly, no thunder and lightening.  That was a relief!
Waaay back in Corral D.  The state capitol building is straight ahead of us.  Oh, you can't see it?  Neither could we, which was too bad, as it would have been a cool thing to run toward.  Oh well, no rain, right??
This guy had no idea I took his picture, but I had to - I loved his shirt!
Cary and I - before.  We ran together.  She pushed me along and we managed to not die.  I'm joking about that, but holy crap, the hills were as bad as I'd feared!

The race started and we finally crossed the starting line at 8:24 am  - earlier than expected!  We ran 2:1 intervals, and stuck to them for about the first two miles, except when we were on a downhill - those we ran, regardless if we were supposed to or not.  But Austin hills are no joke, and the first 2.5 miles were full of them.  Going up the hills was brutal, but going down them?  A little scary!  I was running so fast that I was a little worried about the slick pavement, and hoped I wouldn't slip and fall.  My Garmin recorded a 6:42 pace for me on one of the downhills!  At least we made up time for the extra walking, right?

The course was really crowded for the entire distance.  I've never inadvertently hit so many people in my life by swinging my arms backward (just general running motion, nothing extreme) - it was unavoidable.  There were a lot of walkers, so we did a lot of dodging and zipping around people when we were running.  There wasn't much room for people to spread out, which contributed to the crowded feeling.  And I've never seen so many people wear the race shirt on race day, either!  I guess they hadn't heard the "don't wear the race shirt before you earn it" superstition.

We ran and ran, and I kept telling myself that I only had to run for two minutes.  That worked for a while, but dang - it was so warm and humid (we were as wet as if it had been raining, truly), and the fact that I haven't run more than three miles at a time was catching up to me.  Cary was pushing me along, and we were finally nearing six miles on our Garmins.  When we hit six, Cary said no more intervals - we'd just run it in.  Well, that was fine, but a short time after that, we hit the six mile marker on the course, ugh.  That meant we were running long (I'm sure all of that dodging and weaving we did added to our Garmin distance) - so we ended up running for nearly half a mile with no breaks...I can do that on a normal day, but the hills early on, plus the warm, muggy weather had worn me out.  Nevertheless, I kept running, and we finally turned into the finisher's chute, where we saw Jeff and Brian cheering for us, and shortly after we saw Cristy, who took a great picture:
All smiles because we were nearly done!

We crossed the finish line - whew!  Our Garmins showed that we covered 6.34 miles (Jeff had 6.33 and Cristy had 6.31); a 10K is 6.2 miles, so we got some bonus running done.

Distance:  6.34
Time:  1:27:44
Avg Pace:  13:50
Mile 1:  13:32
Mile 2:  13:58
Mile 3:  14:48 (cluster at the water station here; plus we walked a hill)
Mile 4:  13:41
Mile 5:  13:27
Mile 6:  14:16
.34:         4:02

The race was as much of an experience as I'd hoped, what with getting to run in downtown Austin, and being part of such a huge tradition (there were lots of runners wearing bibs saying this was their XX number of years running it - we saw a 28 year and a 36 year!).  The heavy fog made it so we couldn't see much, unfortunately (like the capitol building - as we got close, we could barely make out the bottom of the building), but overall it was fun (even with those dastardly hills).  The only thing that was not great were the water stations - while there were several on the course, they were really crowded and one station (near mile 3) didn't have any cups filled, so we had to wait to get water.  Plus, that's all there was - water.  No Gatorade or other electrolyte drink...considering how much everyone was sweating from the rough weather, a sports drink should have been offered.  We were surprised to not see more people taken out by the heat - we saw two people needing medical aid on the course, but they were both sitting up and whatever the issue, it luckily seemed to be minor.

Cary and I - after.  A little red in the face, a lot wet from the misty fog and sweat, but overall, we were looking good!
JFR Crew - Cap10K finishers!

After the race, we went to Kerbey Lane Cafe for breakfast.  By the time we were seated, we were all pretty much starving - I think it was about 11:00 am, we'd been up since 5:00 am, run over six miles, and then had close to a mile walk back to our cars, which resulted in us ordering lots of food:
Eggs Francisco - amazing!  Scrambled eggs on top of an English muffin, with fresh tomatoes, avocado, and bacon, and then covered with queso.  I managed to demolish a lot of this.
Side of gingerbread pancakes.  Yep, made it through most of these as well.  Plus lots of coffee.  I'd say I wish we had a place like this in our town, but it's probably a good thing we don't...or else I'd have to learn some restraint.

All in all, it was a fun weekend spent with good friends, with a little run thrown in as well!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Mishmash

I don't seem to get a lot of spam comments here (and this is in no way a challenge for more!), but I had one over the weekend that made me laugh - it was almost like Groot left it:
Nice Post. It is very Informative Post. I like Your Post. Thanks for Sharing this Informative Post with Us.
Well, alrighty then!  Glad you liked my Informative Post.


I need some help here.  Paco is a very sensitive dog, and not only does he have allergies that makes him itch and scratch and lick year-round, but he occasionally gets fleas - like now, when everything is blooming and growing in the yard.  It's not too bad - I might see one or two on him - but he seems to be allergic to the fleas, because his skin turns red, blotchy, and angry-looking.  

I tried Frontline on him in March, and he had a scary reaction to it.  He was shaking and his head was bobbing and swinging, while he randomly stared at a chair for about 30 minutes - it's like he wasn't there, neurologically, and I worried that I'd made him have a stroke by giving him a flea treatment.  He didn't get any worse, and by the next morning he was much better.  So, this month, after telling my veterinarian about his reaction, we tried Nexgard, which is a chewable dose.  Paco had an even worse reaction - he was wimpering and yelping as he gingerly walked, he was shaking, and he very obviously felt terrible. 
He laid on my lap, covered up with a blanket, for hours, shaking and whining.  Broke my heart to see him in so much pain!

I have my house and yard treated for fleas, but that only works so well, especially with the wild critters (skunks, possums) that pass through.  At this point, my vet is recommending Revolution for next month...but we are not thrilled with the idea of putting Paco through another potentially miserable 24-48 hours.  The vet has suggested we bath him in Dawn to kill the fleas, which we can do, but that will only help with any that are on him at that time.  I'd love to find something that would work longer, but not at his expense.  Any suggestions?  


No finished knitting projects to show you, but I finally made it through the three inches of 1x1 ribbing (which is knit one, purl one, over and over and over and over) on a tiny baby sweater I'm making - whew!  Now I just need to add on the rest of the sleeves and it will be done:
This is size 0-3 months - seems so teeny tiny to me!


The potted plants we put in are doing well - I feel like a new parent with them, though, as I'm constantly checking to make sure they're doing OK and have enough water and sunlight (but not too much!):
Stay strong, little plants!


Have a great weekend!  We'll be running the Cap10K in Austin on Sunday, most likely in the rain.  But'll be a warm rain, so there's that, right? :)