That Time I Cried Over a $15 Hamster

Poor little Jon Hamm isn’t feeling so well.

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Ok, we call him Hammy or Hamms because we’re lazy (see also: Pants).

Thursday he didn’t eat breakfast (I give him a little piece of broccoli, carrot, and lettuce every morning). About 75% of the time, he waits for me by his food bowl but when he doesn’t, I don’t think anything of it. Thursday night, he didn’t eat his treat so I knew something was wrong. Friday morning, he was sleeping in a strange spot in his cage. He always hides in the back but he was sleeping up front by the door. When I picked him up, he let me hold him which he hates. I don’t know what it is with me owning animals that hate to be held but the dude will try to squirm away until you put him down. Then I noticed he wasn’t opening his eyes so of course I freaked out and woke hubs up.

While I was at work crying all day and worrying about a damn $15 hamster, hubs did some online research to see what was wrong with him. According to the internet, it could be anything (helpful). We think it could be old age (he was a rescue so we only know he’s at least 14 months old) or a cold or maybe cancer. Hubs went out and bought some baby food, yogurt, and saline solution. We used the saline solution on a cotton ball to wipe his eyes to see if we could get them to open again. It took a day, but they did! Since then, we’ve been feeding him baby food and yogurt 3x a day and giving him water with a dropper. He eats a little bit of his hamster food on his own but not much. If this little dude is going to die, it is not going to be of starvation or thirst on my dime.

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In healthier times.

He’s overall better. His eyes are open and look better and he’s back to squirming away from us when we hold him but he’s still not normal Hammy. I’m thinking the outlook is grim. :-(  My heart cannot handle the death of adorable pets. I need an ugly pet. Or a parrot. Those will outlive me.

Anyway, that has been my weekend: worrying about that little jerk. Damn you for stealing my heart, Jon Hamm!

Four for Friday

I had big plans not to number this post. Big plans! But then I couldn’t think of a title and noticed I had four things to talk about coupled with the fact that I’m completely unoriginal. So here’s another numbered post.

1.  Have I mentioned how much I love Hannibal?

No? Well let me talk about it then! Not only have hubs and I watched both seasons of the show, but we have rewatched the movies Manhunter, Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Hannibal Rising. And now I think I need to read the books. Or at least the first one to see how I like it. But, yeah. Hannibal guys. The addiction is real.

2.  I forgot to mention that when I was leaving for my 22 miler the other week, I opened the garage door to find this waiting.

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Hubs brought that home from a “friends” house and lovingly propped that up for me. You can imagine how much I liked it at 2:30 in the morning. Nothing like getting the ole heart rate jump-started before you even start running. Later in the day, I walked by (it was still sitting there because I’m not touching that thing) and it started shaking, the eyes lit up red, and a little girl’s voice said “you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” Although, she couldn’t have said that exactly because that’s what the Incredible Hulk says but it was something similar and it made me pee a little.

3.  I bought a tank top from Athleta that I didn’t need whatsoever because it was “on sale” and UNSTINKABLE.


$28.99 is not a sale but when I see unstinkable in all caps, it’s like a personal challenge. I needed to know! So now after all my runs, I’m sniffing my sweaty tops like it’s my job. I sniffed this top. I sniffed other tops. I’m just sniffing everything for comparison’s sake. So the verdict: I have no clue. All my sweaty stinkable tops smell just like this unstinkable top – like I came in from the rain. So who knows if it’s really unstinkable.  I’ll keep on sniffing though because these are the important issues.

4.  The Chicago Marathon is in two weeks and I’m totally cool with that. I’m so calm and ready and just super chill about it. Yep, that’s me. Suuuper chill.

October 12, Get Here Already

I’ve been meaning to talk about running more than I have been but [insert excuse here]. It’s four weeks until Chicago. Or less. I don’t even know anymore. Basically, it’s gotten to that point where I’ve gone from supercrazyexcited to uncomfortably nervous.

Shameless Hannibal plug right there. Someone start watching that show so we can talk. That’s Hugh Dancy if you didn’t know and he is so ahh-maze-ing. He makes everyone else who has played the Will Graham character look like amateurs.

Anyway, running. I’ve been really good at finding excuses to skip my Tuesday runs, which I’m sure is doing wonders for my overall training. While I am so over training, I still feel like I might be running too few miles but I’m not motivated enough to change that. My long runs have been going ok, but they’re slow. I know that’s normal, I know I’m running on the face of the sun down here, and I walk at least .10 of every mile which all factors into my pace, but seeing my pace at the end of a run still hurts my ego a little.

This past weekend, Brad and I hit our peak 22 mile long run which I ran with a cold, thankyouverymuch.

Even sick, it was still better than our first 12 and 14 milers, which was surprising. The “highlights” – Having Fools Gold by Fitz and the Tantrums in my head for 10 straight miles (I was not amused) and Brad describing a whole horror movie plot he made up involving runners who are systematically killed off. That was a fun story at four in the morning in the pitch black next to the woods.

Also making me nervous is the thought of 1.8 million spectators at the race. ONE.POINT.EIGHT.MILLION. I don’t even know how that number is possible. Spectators stress me out with their cheering and their happiness and their motivation. It’s the worst when all you need to do is walk but there’s a group of cheering people making you feel like an ass for it.

I’m trying to decide whether or not to wear my Camelbak during the race. I’ve run one marathon with it and one without. I wear it during all my long runs and fill it with a mixture of half water/half Powerade Zero but it’s empty around mile 18 and becomes this annoyance because it no longer serves a purpose. I thought about carrying a water bottle with my half/half mixture (I can’t drink the regular Gatorade on the course) but this past weekend I found that I kinda like the Hammer Perpetuem powder for running nutrition.

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That’s a problem because you mix it with water, which is something else I’d need to carry. It tastes like licking an old chalkboard but I prefer drinking to chewing. Chewing during runs makes me nauseated. If I want both drinks, I would need to carry a water bottle while wearing a Camelbak, which is a lot of weight and super annoying. Plus, I hate having anything in my hands while running.

My other option is no Camelbak, holding a water bottle, stuffing a bunch of PB&Js in my sports bra, and not using the Perpetuem. I don’t love that idea either. You know me, I’m never happy. What I need is for volunteers to be at specific miles of the race to hand me things exactly when I need them so I can be the snobby running princess I’m meant to be.

Spending Time Doing Nothing At All

I have a new obsession.

I don’t want to go placing any blame here, but why didn’t any of you tell me about this show? Especially you Jackie, who I just heard is a big fan. You know I hate doing legwork and finding things out on my own. Anyway, I’m almost done with season 1 and damn, it’s good. I super love Hugh Dancy in it too. He’s so perfect for the Will Graham character. Now when I’m watching, all I can think about is how cute he and Claire Danes are as an IRL couple, which has nothing to do with the show but I’m thinking a Hannibal/Homeland crossover might be in order. Season 2 isn’t on Amazon Prime, so we’ll see how long it takes me to break down and pay for it.

Hubs and I also finished Firefly. We are officially the last people on the planet to watch it. BOOM.

I gotta say, seven episodes in and I could not figure out why the world loves it so much. It was decent but not doing anything for me. Then all of a sudden, episode eight and after was awesome. Now I love Firefly and I’m sad there’s no more Firefly.

We watched Serenity again too and I liked it so much better than the first time I saw it. Probably because I had a basis for the characters instead of staring at the screen blankly not knowing wtf was going on. So that was nice.

We got our dirty little mitts on Season 5 of Archer and now we’re all caught up.

Archer is one of our favorite shows now. I need season 6 to start already! Hubs said it has joined the ranks of those shows he could watch any episode at any time, kinda like The Simpsons or Friends. Except he didn’t say Friends because he hates that show.

And just when you thought all I do is watch TV (which is actually true), I also read a few books. I finished book 11 of the Sookie Stackhouse series. The end of the series is kinda meh, but I have this need to finish it because there are only two books left and because True Blood dropped such a steamy poo on them that they have to be better than what the show turned into. Also, Michelle recommended Before I Go to Sleep.

Do I even need to say Michelle recommended it to me or is that a given? From now on, just assume everything I read that is not a Sookie Stackhouse book is because she told me to. #dowhatImtold.  It was a lot like Memento and a little predictable but it was still really good and got me away from TV for about two days.

I still want to update you guys on my marathon training, an “unstinkable” running top that I bought that I am putting to the test with my stinky body, and my low sugar existance. Until then, have a great weekend!

 

Taste of the Nation Orlando 2014

I need to back up a few weeks because I’ve been meaning to talk about Taste of the Nation Orlando, which I went to for my second year. So let’s pretend it’s two weeks ago, mmmkay?

After a 3:00am wake-up for an 18-miler, a large iced coffee, a short nap, a few Diet Cokes, and a 18 oz sugar free Red Bull, because why not at that point, I made my way to the Taste of the Nation Orlando with my last minute date, Cheyanne.

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Hubs was originally my date for the night but he found out that he had to work all weekend the week before the event, so I didn’t get to dress up with him which makes me sad. We almost never get pictures together and I was looking forward to getting one of us looking all pretty-like. Cheyanne was a good date substitute though and she didn’t even try to take advantage of me at the end of the night.

Anyway, if you don’t know already from my previous posts, Taste of the Nation (TOTN) raises money for the Share our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger. Michelle and I went last year and this year it was held at the same spot – a giant ballroom at the World Center Marriott, the mother of all Marriotts. Not only does TOTN hold silent charity auctions but all the food that is left over from the event gets donated as well. So even though the ticket price is a bit steep ($150 without a discount code), it’s all going to a good cause.

We arrived a little late since I dropped dinner off for hubs beforehand. Once we got there, the place was already pretty hoppin’. That didn’t stop Cheyanne from finding her soulmate within 30 seconds of walking in the door.

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Sparkly things and wine is all she needs to be happy.

Michelle (and her husband Dan) came out this year too. She arrived early to eat and drink all the things, so by the time I got there she was nice and juiced up and led Cheyanne and I straight to the Tito’s Handmade Vodka booth like any good friend would.

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Those Tito’s drinks were delicious. I know you’re thinking, “Paula just likes booze” which is true, but I went back for seconds. I would have gone for thirds but the lady there did not mess around with the pours and I had to get home in a way that did not involve crawling.

Cheyanne and I made our way around the ballroom to check out the different restaurants. Since Michelle and Dan had already been there for an hour, they told us the best booths to hit up. I gotta say, the food this year blew away the food from last year in my opinion. (Warning: unappetizing dark pictures ahead.)

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Steak so tender you could cut it with a plastic fork and mashed potatoes from Capital Grille. It was the first thing I ate and by far the best thing of the night. I will definitely be trying out that restaurant.

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Probably the best scallop I’ve ever had, short ribs, and a vanilla cake from Shingle Creek.

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Calamari, also from Shingle Creek. It was the cup that a kept on giving because there was pasta on the bottom. Genius.

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Fancy mozzarella with something I was sure I was going to hate on top, but loved. I wish I could remember where this was from. This is why you don’t blog two weeks later.

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More short ribs from another place I can’t recall. I’m not even a fan of short ribs but this was amazing  It was so good that I thought they should have left off the toast, which is weird because I think bread makes everything better. This is the one time in the world when it didn’t.

I stopped taking pictures at some point because it was proving too difficult to balance a drink, food, and camera (life is hard) so a lot of good stuff went unpictured, including a crazy delicious fried green tomato BLT from BB King’s Blues Club and a bartender machine where you program the drink you want from a touch screen. I didn’t get a picture of the bartender machine but I did get a picture of Dan and I which is just as good.

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Worth it, I think.

I’m still doing the low sugar thing but I did try several desserts. The dessert area was a complete cluster compared to last year’s dessert carousel. This is the “line” I was standing in.

I almost gave up I was waiting so long but I persevered because dessert is my homeboy. I gotta say, I wasn’t too impressed this year. I don’t know if that’s the new, picky, low sugar me talking or if it was actually the desserts but I could only find one I really liked. Taste of the Nation must have been looking out for my waistline this year.

If I could make any suggestion, it would be to go back to last year’s dessert set-up or add a second dessert booth. Even jammed-packed, last year was way faster to get through and less frustrating.

Despite the dessert area, I think this year’s event was much better than last year. It’s like all the food was kicked up a notch. It’s nice to know they keep getting better. I had a great time and I’m thankful once again to be one of the media bloggers for the event. Time to start saving my pennies for next year. :-)

Everybody’s Working for the Weekend

Things have been busy lately. Real busy. Besides the regular stuff (job, marathon training, living the dream), hubs and I had a one-weekend deadline to paint our rental house that was completely trashed by the renters. Imagine living somewhere for three years and never cleaning or dusting anything. Then imagine dirt, fingerprints, food, and strange liquid in places on the walls in which you did not know those things could reach and you may have half an idea of how gross it was.

The kitchen was probably the worst. Besides needing to scrub all the cabinets, we also had to scrub the walls before painting them. The drip pans were completely black, which ok, that can happen when you cook a lot, but underneath were so, so, so many dead maggots.

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Kiefer

I think food fell through the drip pans, maggots made their way to that food, and then the renters cooked again and killed all the maggots with the heat. Just writing that grosses me out but it did lend itself to a Lost Boys gif so it’s not all bad.

On Saturday morning, I ran 12 uneventful miles. Unless you count the fact that I ran with Michelle’s running buddy, Tyler, for the first time and had to poop in the bushes. So I suppose it was eventful for him. The run was also faster than our normal long runs by about 45 seconds per mile so perhaps the need to poop has its advantages.

On Sunday, we worked on the house from 8:30am – 11:30pm. Our only breaks were to pick up fast food or go to Home Depot, so I got a pretty sweet set of cankles from being on my feet all day.

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I had literal ankle muffin top when I was standing. Hubs even mentioned how flushed I looked. Oh you know that’s just my crazy blood working extra hard to circulate through my body.

We ended up taking  Monday off of work because we couldn’t finish in time. So we had an extra long weekend of painting and cleaning and being generally disgusted with how our house was treated. Ten hours later, we were done around 9:45pm and beat-ass tired. Damn, I appreciate painters now. I hated doing all the work but we did it for half the price of hiring a painter. We even think the kitchen turned out better than when we lived in the house which is super annoying.

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Anyway, now it’s time to do all the things at home that got neglected over the weekend. I swear this full-time job thing really gets in the way. Being an adult is hard.

Except for the 20-miler I have planned Saturday morning, I will be doing absolutely nothing this weekend and liking it.

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P.S. If you understand my post title, rest assured you are old.

By the Numbers

Numbers. I like them.

1. The gas station by my house sells pizza super early in the morning.

That was the only good part of my 16-miler last weekend. The good news is I didn’t have any calf or shoulder pain. The bad news is I had a new hip/glute pain. It’s always gotta be something, right? Training started out great but now my long runs are getting worse by the week. I did more walking in the last three miles than running, so I’m not sure that’s good news for the 18-miler I have scheduled tomorrow morning.

2.  I’ve been trying out some new running fuel.

Usually I eat PB&Js on long runs since it’s the only thing that agrees with my stomach, but since Hammer Nutrition is really low in sugar, I’m hoping I can find something to interchange with my PB&Js. (No, this isn’t an ad. This is me trying to not poop while running.)

During my last marathon, I ate two PB&Js (1/4 at a time) before the thought of them made me want to barf, so I hope this will help me not get that feeling. So far I’ve tried the Perpeteum Solids which worked fine but they took a while to chew. I just ordered the regular Perpetueum (maybe it’s a drink? I couldn’t tell online) and some gels. I’m hoping they are in the mail today because I need them for tomorrow.

3.  I saw Guardians of the Galaxy.

I know, along with everyone else in the world. I was prepared to hate it because the trailer did nothing for me, plus I hate talking animals and there is that whole raccoon deal. I don’t think talking animals are cute, I think they are stupid and they make me stabby. I could never watch Babe for this reason, but I digress. With that all said, I thought the movie was great and the raccoon was kinda, sorta funny and not annoying at all. Definitely in the top 5 best superhero movies for me.

4.  Last weekend, I went out for an annual ladies night with some of my favorite people.

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This year
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2012

 

I’m starting to mourn my long hair, I have to admit.

It was a fun time. There was pre-drinking, there was bar hopping, there was Cheyanne winning eight lemon drop shots in a twerking contest.

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On a side note, Cheyanne complains she’s not on my blog enough, so I hope she’s happy now.

Ok, back to ladies night. There was Michelle rubbing her boobs on my back.

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It was pretty much everything one could ask for in an annually planned ladies night. The most important part of the night however, is that I got into several clubs and bars with my driver’s license picture looking like this.

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I have hubs to thank for that. Never leave your license unattended. That is the lesson here. And seriously, bouncers took one look and were all, “Yep! That’s you!” WTF.

5.  Hubs and I finished season 1 of The Fall last night.

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I know one of you recommended this show to me, so thanks! I really liked it. Season 1 is only five episodes so it’s low commitment. The serial killer in the show is the new Christian Gray. When I saw the trailer for 50 Shades, I thought he wasn’t cute enough for the role, not that I’ve read the book or will ever see the movie (because porn still exists and porn is always better) but I have opinions about it anyway that everyone must listen to. I think Jamie Dornan is much cuter in The Fall (and kinda looks like he could be Chris Pratt’s brother), so take that for what it’s worth because he plays a serial killer.

Since we are still a month away from our normal shows coming back for the fall season, we started Firefly. No, I have never seen it nor have I ever been interested in watching it even though Joss Whedon is my homeboy. Only time will tell if I have the 13-episode patience for a space western. Space western. Honestly. Those words should not go together.

6.  Pants turned 5!

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We usually don’t feed her a lot of fruit because rabbits don’t digest sugar well, but she got extra birthday treats including a piece of banana with a little peanut butter on it. She ate that while pretending she’s a lop ear. I must say, she doesn’t look a day over four.

What movie did you think you’d hate but ended up loving? There are so many and it’s usually ones hubs guilts me into watching, like Lilo and Stitch. I thought that movie looked like a piece of crap and I was crying like a baby halfway through when Stitch got lost.

Marathon Training in July

So, marathon training. That’s still happening. I’ve been meaning to update more regularly but I’m always so busy with something else, like watching four seasons of Archer and live-tweeting Sharknado 2.

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Seriously. Did anyone watch that? It was all I dreamed it could be and more.

Anyway, things have been going pretty well on the running front, all things considered. My calf issue was over until it wasn’t. On my 14-miler a few weeks ago, I jumped a curb and felt a little twinge again. The pain wasn’t terrible and I didn’t need to stop but it also didn’t feel good. So, I pushed August’s calf raking to last week and things seem to be back to normal. I also had the massage therapist work on my shoulder because that pain has been back since I started wearing my CamelBak again. Whoever said running is free can kiss my ass because this crap is expensive. That massage was $25 short of a new pair of running shoes. Luckily, I just don’t know what to do with it all.

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The only thing that makes me feel better about dropping money I don’t have is that the massage was good. Really good. And so, so helpful. Usually I go to massage therapists and think hub’s massages are 10x better. This guy is worth it, so I guess I don’t feel like it was wasted.

I also did a Crossfit workout a couple weeks ago, on a Monday, that made me crazy sore all week long. In case you’re looking for a workout that will make you think twice about wanting to stand up or sit down or stand idlely.

4 rounds:

  • 400m on the rower
  • 50 squats with the bar (45lbs)
  • 25 forward lunges
  • 25 backward lunges
  • 25 stiff-leg dead lifts with the bar (45lbs)

I swear my trainer told me he was going “lighter” before he gave me this workout since we weren’t using any significant weight. I could barely move for two days and I was still sore by my run on Saturday. I think my trainer feels bad because I’ve been getting some easier workouts since that one which I have been more than okay with.

Last weekend was supposed to be a 16-miler but Brad wasn’t able to run. I suppose I could have run on my own but I’m not that motivated so I slept in. I didn’t even know what to do with my Friday night.

booze

Oh, right. Yes I did.

We changed our 16-miler to this weekend and next weekend’s 10-miler is now 18 so we won’t have a drop in mileage for a few weeks. High mileage = 3am wake-ups to beat the sun because we usually walk a mile or more of all our long runs. #noshame

Since I’m not on Daily Mile anymore, I’m tracking my shoe mileage on a note app on my phone. That’s working pretty well.

Yes, I’m a spoiled brat with three pairs of running shoes. I’m hoping I won’t need to buy new ones until after this running season because I hate changing shoes in the middle of training.

This time around, I’m also tracking all my runs and paces with a calendar to check my improvement over the months and to be able to look back and do it again if I kill this race. (The c’s are crossfit days.)

That’s assuming I’ll run another marathon after this year which is unlikely because…

I skipped a few runs because of calf pain and unexpected schedule changes. I used to beat myself up over missing runs and now I couldn’t care less. I’m following my plan about 85% and I think it’s making training way more enjoyable this time around.

By the Numbers

I couldn’t log into my blog on my home internet for several days because of some server-side error with my host. Then the firewall at work was raised to Defcon 5 so blogging was out there too. Not that I’d ever blog at work because that would be wrong.

What I’m saying is, I have been denied blogging for too long and now I have a lot random stuff to talk about:

1. After many, many years of “putting it off” (a.k.a., being lazy), I decided to go back to school.

I’ve been accepted to the Instructional Systems Design Master’s program at UCF and I’m registered for my first, very expensive class. This works out perfectly because I’ve been looking for something to do with a bunch of 24-year olds that will make me feel even more ancient than I already am. I hope to be done with the program before I’m in adult diapers, or shortly thereafter. I’m flexible. My work offers tuition reimbursement so the plan is to get smarter without getting poorer. More poor? I don’t know words. So obviously I need to learn more of them.

2. I feel like this has been a crappy summer for TV, so hubs and I have been getting our monies worth out of Netflix. He decided we should watch Archer.

I was not loving season 1. It wasn’t bad but I also didn’t want to keep watching. Luckily, Seasons 2 and 3 got much better. I feel like a horrible person for laughing at most of the jokes because they are just wrong but then I remember that I’m running a race for charity so that karma thing should all even out.

3. Is anyone watching The Strain? I’ve been looking forward to it for months because I loved the book, but the first episode was just terrible. The acting. My God, the acting. So, so bad. Also, I’m having a really hard time accepting that this guy:

Is the same person as this guy from House of Cards:

The second episode was much better so the jury’s still out on this one. I’ll pretty much watch anything at this point because I need a new show.

4. I’m on Day 30 of no sugar. Screw you, sugar. You don’t own me!

Everything is going well. I’m still 5lbs down and I think I’m going to go another two weeks because my trainer promised me a particular gourmet cupcake at the end of the month if I did and I will do anything for a free cupcake. So, I’ll update you all in another week or so. Also, I apologize to sugar for saying I made it my bitch. I didn’t mean it and I still love you.

5. Finally, this week I will be myself again on Facebook. SEE YA, “Rhonda!”

Running So Far

It’s only been three weeks, but I gotta say marathon training has been going pretty well so far. I haven’t pooped my pants or cried once, plus my calf issue seems to be officially better. Knock on wood.

I had my calves raked finally. It felt like it  sounds, but surprisingly hurt less than when my trainer tried to work the knot out. I’ve never had a sport’s massage so I’m not sure what the difference is, but I imagine raking is similar. Basically, the massage therapist put lot of pressure on my calf with his thumb starting at my ankle and working up vertically to the back of my knee. I guess that’s the “raking” part but there was also deep, horrible massaging involved. If massaging is what you want to call it.

Ever since that massage, my long runs and speed runs have been pain-free and mostly delightful. Of course, my shoulder is still hurting so I think next month I’ll get a “massage” there as well. I plan to get one every month until the race just to be safe because my luck this year is leaning toward the shitty side.

Speaking of luck, I also managed to twist my ankle last Friday night in front of some dude talking on his cell and the window of an extremely packed restaurant. I didn’t fall but instead groped at the air awkwardly until I corrected myself. I looked back where I tripped and saw nothing that would have caused it, so that was embarrassing. I thought I was ok because I wasn’t limping or hurting afterwards but I woke up that night to extreme throbbing pain. I had a long run in the morning, so I texted Brad to tell him I might not make it. Then I took some aspirin, iced my ankle, and went back to sleep with it elevated on some pillows. I woke up feeling great which I found very suspicious and I proceeded to run a very cautious and pain-free 12-miler.

Dodged that bullet. Sheesh. I swear my body doesn’t want me to run this marathon.

I have 14 miles planned in the morning and then I have a date with a pretzel bacon cheeseburger from Wendy’s in the afternoon. I’ll be going to bed early. I need beauty sleep so I look good for my date.