Wilderness Adventures and Guinea Pig Murders

I have really good intentions of posting more often, but life is really getting in the way!

Last week, I found out that I DO NOT need bifocals….or corrective lenses, for that matter, which obviously made my week!!  That was until 15 minutes later when I drove through to grab Logan a hamburger and couldn’t find my wallet.  No worries….it was safely in my purse.  Why didn’t I look there first?  LOL

Wilderness Adventures

Ok, I didn’t really go on a “wilderness” adventure, but my sister, brother and I went out on Saturday afternoon to survey my mom’s 113 acres.  I haven’t been over there in AGES and it has really changed….changed in the fact that it is completely overgrown with thorn-producing trees and plants! IMG_5261

Somehow, I managed to escape the situation without poison ivy or poison oak, which is nothing short of miraculous.  I am extremely allergic to those terrible vines.  As soon as I got home, I stripped, threw my clothes in the washing machine and immediately took a shower to wash off any plant oil with which I may have come in contact.  At this point, I think I am good, since 4 days have come and gone and I have no sign of an itchy, red rash! *whew*

Since the “roads” were overgrown and practically impassable, we were on foot for much of the tour.  I felt like Bear Grylls – all I needed was a machete!

Yes...we worked our way through this!
Yes…we worked our way through this!
An area rooted up by feral pigs, literally the biggest menace in Texas!
An area rooted up by feral pigs, literally the biggest menace in Texas!
The cabin my oldest nephew built for high school weekend campouts has definitely seen better days!
The cabin my oldest nephew built for high school weekend campouts has definitely seen better days!

Guinea Pig Murder

In my ONE post last week, I mentioned Alli’s new pet guinea pig.  Turns out, she didn’t really like the guinea pig so I advertised the Great Guinea Pig Give-Away on Facebook Sunday evening.  Almost immediately we had found a new home for Bevo and the new family wanted to pick him up that evening.  Bobby put Bevo in the cardboard box in which we brought him home and placed it on Alli’s desk.  I took the cage outside for a cleaning.  When I came back into the house, Sophie was at the end of the hallway WITH Bevo in her mouth!  I have NO idea how a miniature dachshund was able to get that box off the desk in the first place.  In any case, Bevo was dead within minutes and I had to call the family back to tell them they would be getting an empty cage.  So far, no one has spilled the beans to Alli.  As far as she is concerned, we gave the guinea pig away! LOL

Bevo's last pic...literally less than an hour before his untimely demise!
Bevo’s last pic…literally less than an hour before his untimely demise!

Time for Cupcakes

It’s been a while since Alli and I baked cupcakes.  Monday evening we whipped up a batch of Red Velvet and last night we made my favorite, Kahlua.  Alli even tried a new fancy frosting decoration on some of the Red Velvet!IMG_5309

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Hitting My Stride

As I look back through my recovery journey since August 3, I am absolutely amazed at the progress I have made.   In August, I somehow managed to run 59 miles.  That number is incredible to me, considering I started with a 30 min 2:1 run:walk interval my first time out!  Last week, I ran 23 miles!!  I stopped focusing on mileage as a number quite some time ago, but I feel incredibly blessed right now because those 23 miles last week were the most amazing miles I’ve run since last year’s ITB injury.  The actual running has felt effortless – my runs would have been completely effortless if not for this stubborn, humid heat!  I am not currently having any of the post-run stiffness that I was experiencing before my stress fracture occurred, which I have also been battling as I have been rebuilding my strength and my running base.

Soul Sister 7 Mile Race

My friend Jenn and I signed up for a virtual race hosted by GoneForARun.com – Soul Sister Run which was 7 miles and to be run 8/28-30.  However, Jenn ended up with stitches in her foot so we postponed in order to run the race “together”….virtually. 🙂

Sunday morning, I set out on the run and it was amazing!!! And HOT!  I didn’t “race” it, because I am still building base and I will be racing Plano Balloon HM on 9/20.  I ran it at my turtle long slow run pace.

This will be the ONE and ONLY time I wear a race shirt on race day!IMG_5281

The funny thing is….you can’t tell that this shirt is completely soaked with sweat.  It was a hot one, but a good one!

Happy Hump Day Friends!

Jen

 

Safety is sexy, but some drivers are trolls

Trolls are no longer confined to bridges

No matter how careful you are – as a runner or a cyclist – when you are out on the road, you are literally at the mercy of others.  Safety is always at the front of my mind; I am careful about picking the safest routes available to me.  I consider the area of town, visibility (of myself and other cars/people), the amount of traffic, the time of day and, yes, dogs.  I wear bright clothing, reflective gear in poor lighting and get as close to the edge of the pavement as possible when cars are passing.  I don’t listen to music which helps me stay alert.  But sometimes, it doesn’t matter what I do.  Some people will always be hazardous to others when they are behind the wheel.

Last Tuesday, just after starting my run, I was at an intersection.  Because this tends to be a busy intersection and I was also turning right, I was on the right hand side of the street.  It seems easier to try to cross there, because when cars turn I can stay out of their way better.  With one foot on the pavement and one in the grass, I looked back to make sure traffic was clear.  As I turned back around, a car literally came within 6″ of hitting me.  This person cut the corner so much that she was completely in the other lane of traffic (thank goodness there wasn’t a car rolling into the Stop sign) and obviously very close to not even being on the road at all.  I threw my hands up to get my arms out of the way and watched her speed off as if nothing had happened.  Several friends later asked why I didn’t bang on the hood….I was too busy trying not to die!

Of course I would use the LOTR troll! What else would I use?
Of course I would use the LOTR troll! What else would I use?

I.  WAS.  SO.  PISSED.  I wasn’t angry about the possibility of being killed as much as I was angry that she could have taken me out of running for quite a while…or forever.  Many may feel that my anger was misplaced and that I should have been more concerned about my mortality.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time this year out of the game due to injury.  And I just returned to running on August 4.  And I have several races coming up.  All I could think about was not being well enough to run those races….or run ever!  (OK….I already spend a lot of time thinking about not running these races because of the Year of Injury, but that was all MY doing.)  I spent the entire run trying to keep my emotions in check because it was supposed to be an “easy” run, and a flaming pace would not have qualified.  Somehow I managed to run the slower than turtle pace so I ended up winning. 🙂

My sister seemed a little concerned that she had come so close to getting the “next-of-kin” call had I been hurt.  Thank goodness I finally remembered to tell her a couple months ago that she was a contact on my RoadID and please answer her cell if strange numbers called.

Moo-ving on to greener pastures

The jury is still out on the Newton Gravity III.  I’ve been out in them twice and each time my calves were screaming after the first mile.  Both times I stopped to walk it out.  And both times my calves calmed down after the walk break.  However, the shoe is a lower drop than my Newton  Fate and considering the trouble I had with the heel fracture, I am not sure if moving into this shoe is in my best interest right now.  I may give them one more try, just to see if there has been an improvement.  I know I’m not willing to risk my upcoming races in order to work my way into them. IMG_5109

Soooooo I ran a 7 mile long run this weekend.  Truth be told, my ankles began to get fatigued around mile 6.  Instead of panicking, I tried thinking logically for once.  (Hopefully this won’t be my next downfall.)  I reminded myself that in building mileage there will be aches and pains as my body adjusts, especially after a stress fracture.  I realized that my ankles weren’t feeling painful, but just felt tired.  I decided to stop if the feeling worsened….but it never did.  🙂  I was more stiff than usual – probably because I didn’t have time to properly stretch between my run and church, HOWEVER I spent some QT with my foam roller later in the day and that stiffness went away!

The amazing thing is what I’ve accomplished in less than a month. I returned to running on 8/3 with a 30 min run consisting of slow 2:1 run/walk intervals. I can’t believe that I started with that little interval run then progressed to 7 miles in less than 30 days and I managed to somehow get almost 60 miles this month. I truly feel blessed!

Family stuff is fun!

As much as I miss officiating, I am so glad that I made the decision to take the season off.  I was absolutely exhausted and didn’t realize how much until I had a break from it.  I haven’t stayed caught up on household tasks since I started reffing.  I still can’t believe that I have the time to do what needs to be done!  Scheduling runs and workouts is easy – I can’t believe I don’t have to move mountains to get it all done!  But the BEST part is the time I am able to spend with my family.  Alli loves it.  She did not like me being gone to spend time watching other people’s kids play volleyball.  Logan and I have been to the movies several times and I have enjoyed spending time with him more than I can describe!  I think Bobby likes me being home, too, since I am more likely to cook a decent meal if I am physically present in the house. 🙂

This weekend, the family (minus Alli) went to see Straight Outta Compton.  What an amazing movie!  I can’t say enough good things about it, but the thing I can’t get out of my head is – Ice Cube’s son looks JUST LIKE HIM!!  And I still wonder if the mother of the 8-year-old in the theater even cared what she brought her son to see?  Great movie, but NOT for young children.

Ohhhhhhh! Alli got a Guinea Pig. At first, she named it University of Texas until I explained that maybe Bevo would be a better name, since that is UT’s mascot. She and Bobby have sworn on everything that they have that I will not be taking care of this animal, because, let me tell you – I WILL NOT be taking care of this animal!  IMG_5190

On Sunday, we took Alli’s friend Sarah to Painting with a Twist for her birthday.  We really didn’t have any idea what to give Sarah for her birthday, so I suggested we give her memories instead of “stuff”.  It was a lot of fun and the class was small enough that they got a lot of attention from the instructor! IMG_5180

Living vicariously through my niece

My niece, Laura, is off on her next adventure.  She was an exchange student in college, spending a semester in Spain.  A few years ago, she spent a year in Guatemala working with the organization, Common Hope, modeling US reading strategies to teachers there in order to boost their education system.  I’m pretty sure our family was the ONLY reason she came back.  She and her boyfriend, Michael, took off last week to spend 3ish months in Vietnam and Malaysia.  She sent her first weekly update, with pictures, and OH MY GOSH!!!  I am so jealous.  What a wonderful experience! I’ve always admired Laura’s adventurous spirit, and I think that I may have raised an adventurous spirit of my own in Taylor.   I just hope Taylor will drag me along on some of her adventures. 🙂

Monkey Island....I'm in love! I want to go NOW!
They spent their first night on Monkey Island….I’m in love! I want to go NOW!

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Is it a bad sign when your alarm goes off on Tuesday, yet you’re confused because you think it’s Saturday? Nah…

Happy Tuesday!

Jen