Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Final Count

I just added all of my miles up for the year. The grand total is (drumroll please)........557.62 miles! (unless I have some sudden urge to get a few more in later today.) As I sat here looking at the number I first got disappointed in myself. I thought, "Man, why couldn't I have done even more?" But that I kicked myself in the ass and said, "Heidi, what are you thinking?! You didn't even think you could make it past 100 miles, let alone 500. Be proud of yourself for doing what you did." So I shall be proud in myself.

The next question to myself, "What will my goal be for next year?" That's going to be a tough one to decide. I have a hard time just saying "500" again. I've already done that and even surpassed it. I personally feel I need a higher number. At the same time, at the rate I've been going the past month or so, I'm scared to set a higher number. These winter months, it's harder to get out there and run, even if it is inside. I also think to myself, "if we're truly planning on running a marathon, then I'll kick out some miles."

So what's my mileage goal for this next year? I have no flippin' idea. It does help, if you have a number being held over your head, to get out there and pound some pavement. But maybe I'll just run and see where it takes me.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Weeweechu



It's a romantic full moon, when Pedro said, "Hey, mamacita, let's do Weeweechu."

Oh no, not now, let's look at the moon!" said Rosita.

"Oh, c'mon baby, let's you and I do Weeweechu. I love you and it's the perfect time," Pedro begged."

"But I wanna just hold your hand and watch the moon." replied Rosita.

"Please, corazoncito, just once, do Weeweechu with me."

Rosita looked at Pedro and said, "OK, one time, we'll do Weeweechu."

Pedro grabbed his guitar and they both sang.....

"Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year."

Merry Christmas from our family to yours =)

David, Heidi, Viking, Natchez, Jax, Lily, and Spencer

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Eve Of Christmas Eve Shenanigans

After the Roth Extravaganza our family went to the 'rents so the little ones could open their presents from Grandma and Grandpa Quirie and Justin and Cassie. I took pictures, which I have already posted on Flickr. Here's a video of all of the girls dancing the night away.


After the gift giving it was time for mom to receive her gift from J, Cass, David, and myself. For those of you who are unaware, mom absolutely LOVES Oprah. In addition, she is the hardest one to buy for, so Justin and Cassie came up with the idea of Jan's Favorite Things. We had fun preparing her gift and had even more fun presenting it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Running Digs

While you run you have a ton of time to think random thoughts. It's amazing the amount/type of thoughts that come and go. For instance, the other day I was thinking about what running products that I couldn't live without. Okay, technically I could live without them, but these items definitely make running a bit easier. I'm not a label whore, so name brands weren't a must have. I've gone through many styles, brands, and trial and error to find what works for me....and these are what I ended with. I guess you could say I dig 'em.

My hat of choice is the Nike Thermal Running Skullcap. It fits my head perfectly and has the sloping design that helps fully cover my ears. It's not bulky, but keeps the wind out. In addition, it has a small opening in the back for your ear bud wires to enter. I've never used this feature, but it seems pretty smart to me.


In the summer months I take to the Bondi Band. It's basically a hip sweatband. They have all different patterns, fabrics, and styles. It definitely helps to keep my hair and sweat out of my eyes. A must have for sure.

My running tanks are so variable that it's hard to mark down what I absolutely love. However, I have definitely found a pullover for winter that rocks. It's the C9 by Champion® 1/4-Zip Fleece Pullover at Target. I'm telling you, Target has some awesome active wear. I have multiple items from there, and although they didn't make this list, they rank VERY high on my items I wear while running. I'd highly recommend checking out their selection. And then when you can catch them on sale, that's even better!

Alright guys, you better skip this one, but I'm sure the ladies will appreciate it. Having a right fitting bra is number 1 when it comes to my wardrobe. That's no different when it comes to running gear. I searched high and low for a bra that would work and the Nike Pro Women's Training Sport Top is it. Bras are always an issue for me. Although some may be surprised, I am a larger chested girl. Not only that, but I'm small around, which makes it that much more difficult to find bras that fit/work. In addition I have a condition where I absolutely need good support. The experts say I should wear an encapsulated sports bra, but one in my size doesn't exist and doesn't provide the support I need. This is where the Nike bra comes in. I went with the XS, which personally I think is crazy. Looking at it off of my body, it looks like it should be a kids bra. It's an interesting feat to get into and out of. I'm now used to it, but the first few times I put it on it literally took the wind out of me. Those suckers aren't moving. The bottom line, and I'm not joking, if it weren't for this bra I wouldn't be able run.

No big surprise here, but the Garmin Forerunner 205 ranks high on my list. David calls it my crutch. Unfortunately it does tend to be. At the same time though, it helps me keep my pace and know how I'm doing in my run. Of course I haven't been able to use it since I've been running on the 'mill, but I do look forward to the warmer weather and using it again.

If you run outside, especially by yourself, then you need the RoadID. It's kind of like insurance, it seems pointless until you need it. I pray that it never has to be used, but it's there and gives me peace of mind.

On short runs I don't use hydration, but when I go out for the long haul I make sure I take something along. When I started training for the half marathon I kept my options open. From the recommendation of Erika I decided on the Quickdraw Plus. It holds just the right amount of water I need and has a pouch that I personally use for my MP3 player.

For all of my other crap that I take out on long runs (cell phone, keys, etc.) I use the SPIBelt. Just like the Bondi Band is a hip sweatband, the SPIBelt is a hip fanny pack. It's so tiny, but being made out of spandex allows it to stretch to your needs, which doesn't feel bulky. In addition, it stays put instead of bouncing up and down like a typically fanny pack. It's crazy how much stuff you can put in it.

I absolutely love my Nike Dri-FIT Tempo Women's Running Shorts. I love them so much that I have 5 pair. After tries with different brands and styles this is what I have settled on. They have the typically running brief inside, but don't ride up your crack. And they come in a ton of colors. It's as though they are constantly introducing new colors.

The Adidas Astro Pants are my pant of choice. They're not as tight as tights, which I also have. Not being too tight allows me to use these to wear over my shorts when heading to the gym. Or I can put on another layer under them during cold weather. At the same time, they aren't super loose either. The legs taper but have the back zippers allowing for a slight flair when you're not running. Out of all my pants I find myself wearing these the most and grabbing for them first.

This is another area where the guys may want to skip. And some individuals may not understand the need for Body Glide. Body Glide is an anti-chafing product. You place it in any place where you chafe and you're good to go. Originally I did not like the first time I used it. It made me sticky, which was totally the opposite of what it was supposed to do. Needless to say it found itself in the junk drawer. However, I have found that it is a must-have when I'm running in the gym. I've tried to explain the use of this product to several women and they kind of look at me like I'm crazy. Having my target area for Body Glide be my inner thighs, they look at me and say, "I don't have that problem." I have some pretty big thighs, something I absolutely hate, and attribute to being a bigger kid and riding horses. At the same time I never thought I'd be in the minority for having this "problem." Heck, maybe I'm not but everyone I talk to about rubbing thighs doesn't seem to have the problem. That aside, this product rocks and not so wet as Vaseline. But it all honesty, when you're chafing you'll take anything that relieves it, including straight up Vaseline.

When I started running my legs/knees were the furthest thought from my mind. True, I have a bum leg from breaking my femur back in the day, but I didn't think it'd be an issue. Of course I didn't have plans to run half marathons back then either. Originally we purchased the Knee Pro-Tec Patellar Tendon Strap, by recommendation of Erika, for David's bad knees. Soon after I started having problems with my bad leg and found that the strap made a world of difference on my knee, keeping everything tight, and I haven't run without it since. However, somehow it got misplaced (aka lost) within the past 2 weeks and I've been running without it. I've survived but I'm looking to get another one.

On those same lines, a supplement I won't live without is Cosamin DS. We use the same product for dogs and cats at our practice. Of course it's labeled under a different name. It's glucosamine chondroitin supplement. In all honesty I was hesitant in what to expect from it, but when you're in pain you're willing to try anything in hopes of making it better. It takes about 2-4 weeks to notice a difference. And even then you notice the pain is gone but you really notice it about 3-4 days if you stop taking the supplement. Not only have I seen this personally but also in the dogs and cats we put on the product. All glucosamine chondroitin products are costly and this one is no different. You'll actually see that this one is a bit more expensive but seeing the results, and knowing the company and their quality control (which many companies with supplements don't have and can't provide their research/data) it's worth it. And lastly, if you can catch it at CVS or Meijer on sale, you got yourself a deal.

On to socks! My favorite running sock are PowerSox PowerLites Running Lo-Cut. I think they are so awesome. I can't pinpoint exactly why, but they are one of my favorites. I've tried other brands (Under Armour) and they just don't do it for me. They keep my feet too hot. Some are too thin. Some too thick. Dunno, but I dig the PowerSox. Bad news though, I haven't been able to find they locally anymore, which has led me to use other socks. I think I have found a new favorite pair by Asics, but we shall see.

I'll end with my shoes, Mizuno Wave Riders. I started out running in trail shoes. Looking back I have no idea how I did it. They were flat, hard, and heavy. I remember walking in and getting fit for my first official pair of running shoes. They looked at me like I was crazy for previously running trail shoes to run in. They were surprised to see that I hadn't killed myself yet in them. Heck, I didn't know any different. And as with everything else, shoes aren't the easiest for me to buy. My feet are long but narrow. Nothing seems to fit just right. But when I slid my first pair of Mizunos on I knew they were the shoe. They fit like a glove. Every time I place my feet in those shoes I find why I love them all over again. I'm on my second pair of Mizunos and don't see myself changing anytime soon.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Don't Get It

Recently, in Sandusky, I've noticed several of these trucks around.


For those of you who aren't familiar with the truck, it's the Lincoln Mark LT. I'll be the first to admit I know nothing about cars, let alone trucks, but at first glance I think the truck is gorgeous. It's classy, tight, and just a good looking truck. Then something hit me. Who the heck would buy this nice of a truck when they need a vehicle to do truck things. Now I'm sure most individuals who buy a truck aren't thinking of, "where can I get some cinder blocks to haul?" the moment they purchase a truck. Or that they're just dying to scratch up their new truck to initiate it. I know knicks, scratches, etc. come with time and in the end makes a truck a beater. At the same time my personal feeling are a truck's a truck. There's a reason for it. If you have a truck like the Lincoln Mark LT, who would want to use it in the way you should use a truck, with the chance of marking it up? Not only do I feel this way, but I'm sure those guys driving around in the things have no plans on placing anything in the bed, other than groceries, if that. Just guessing. And at $39,000-$43,000 why would you you want to beat it up? At the same time why would you buy a truck for that kind of money, that runs at 12 MPG, just to drive around and look "cool"?

I'm not just targeting the Lincoln truck, but all of the trucks out there that fit into the same category. They're awesome looking, but I just don't get it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Personal Shopper

We all know that my fashion sense has gone out the door in the past few years. If the clothes aren't scrubs, running gear, jeans, or t-shirts, it ain't in my wardrobe. I think I posted this a few posts ago, but David and I totally have switched roles. Back in high school he was all about the jeans/jerseys look while I was the preppy dressed kid. Anytime David had a button-down shirt on people assumed I dress him (not true!) Speed up to today and I'm the one bumming while David is prim and proper, always matching, looking suave. Don't get me wrong, I'm comfortable in my own skin, but sometimes I feel like a total bum standing next to him. Of course that's my fault....I could come home and get all gussied up. Or on my days off spend a few extra minutes on myself. But it's just not going to happen. When you work 11 hours a day, 6 days a week, you get home and it's time for bed. And on my off time I'm going to spend time doing things I want instead of worrying what I'm going to wear. This idea goes all the way to my jewelry. I got a good collection of jewelry from right hand rings to necklaces, etc. Do I wear it? Nah. I can't wear it at work due to obvious reasons, but it's not like I'm going to come home and wear my "jewels" around the home.

So I've been dealing with this lately. I don't have all that many "nice" clothes. When it's come to the weekend I've been wearing t-shirts or sweaters. Obviously it's sweater weather and I only have about 5 sweaters. 3 of those are all the same style, just different color (hey, when I find something I like I buy one in every color), and are about 4 years old. Given that, they're looking pretty ragged. I can't ever justify buying regular clothes for myself because I feel so wasteful and they never get used, but I decided it was time for some new ones. So the adventure began. I absolutely hate shopping for myself. David, on the other hand, can shop all day. Mom, David, and I headed out to tackle the mission. Store after store it was a, "no. no. no." Nothing was working. Frumpy sweaters, ugly sweaters, and too expensive of sweaters. Oh yeah, not only am I picky when it comes to style, but I'm also a cheap ass. I will not spend more than $20 on a sweater. Call me crazy, but my last sweaters lasted 4 years and I didn't spend much on them. When you don't wear them that often I can't see spending a ton on them.

We finally get to TJ Maxx and within a few minutes I was done and ready to head to the next store. That's when Mom and David asked me to be patient and David produced not 1 but 3 sweaters that worked for me. Perfect fit, perfect price. So, in the future, I'm just going to send him out to do all of my shopping. Less stress and he has perfect finds. Yep, that's why he's my husband.

ETA: No big surprise but mom came through too! She ended up find a sweater online, on sale, and perfect for me. Knowing how I am she purchased 3, all different colors. Sweet!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm Addicted

Yes, it's safe to say, I'm addicted to Ebay. Not buying on Ebay, but selling on Ebay. A couple months back I decided to place some of my books on Half.com. I just thought I'd sell a few here or there. Starting out I sold 2 immediately and then nothing came of it. I just thought to myself, nothing gained, nothing lost (since it costs nothing to post). Then I started talking to my co-worker who encouraged me to post the books on Ebay. She said it's quite easy and it helps to get things off of your shelf. Mom has been trying to put fire under my butt for several years to start selling stuff on Ebay, but I just saw it as intimidating. So it's been in the back of my mind, but having even more encouragement pushed me to finally take the steps to start selling. So I started selling some of my books.

Most people can understand how buying on Ebay can be addicting. It's like gambling since you're trying to be the highest bidder. But I never knew I could get addicted to selling. But once you start making a few dollars here and there, you think to yourself, "I can do this! What else can I sell?" That's when David and I started going through the house. Not surprisingly, it was quite easy to find things sitting around the house that we no longer need/want/use. So we went from just selling books to now even selling clothes, housewares, David's old drum stuff, and odds and ends. I must say, it never ceases to amaze me what people will buy. We put a few things on there that I thought no one would buy. I took the risk, posted them for a $1-2 and waited to see. Those were the first things people bid on! What?! Now mind you it's not like we're going to get rich on $1-2 but it's now out of our hands and we made a buck. We won't complain.

Selling on Ebay has kept me busy. I'm sure no one would be surprised that I have it down to a system....I find items, take pictures, write up descriptions in a Word document, and then post a couple every day. The biggest time consumer is getting everything together and organized. Posting it is quite easy. And thankfully I have access to a decent amount of boxes and packaging through work (due to deliveries) so we haven't had to buy much, other than some extra bubble wrap. I have even gone so far as to help mom get a few things out of her basement. We sold Vintage Fisher Price toys, and some other odds and ends. Once again, it's not like they'll become rich, but it's off their hands with a few dollars in their pocket....and less clutter in the basement.

We've had a few snafus here and there but things have gone a lot more smoothly than I initially expected. I know the time will come when I run out of things to sell, but for now it's giving me something to do (like I need more, right?) and I'm enjoying it. Not to mention, the little bit of extra money pads our pockets just a bit more during this time when money it quite tight. As my co-worker stated, the money is helping to pay for Christmas gifts. No matter what way you look at it, you're a bit more ahead of the game than when you started.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

6 Months Of Vegetarian Life

As of yesterday I've been vegetarian for 6 months. With the exception of a few slip ups (french onion soup is not vegetarian) I think the transition has gone quite easy and I'm very happy with my choice. True, there are a few things I miss, but those are usually things I shouldn't eat anyway.....rice krispy treats and Knox Blox (jell-o square things)....and when the Easter season comes Peeps will be out. Thankfully I've found some alternatives such as Ricemallow, pre-made "Marshmallow Treats", and gelatin substitutes. Unfortunately I haven't found them in stores, locally or in Cleveland, and they must be ordered, which I have yet to do.

I have only had 1 true craving for a burger and it didn't last long. Those Morningstar Farm Burgers rock. (especially the spicy black bean). Mom even made a special batch of her chili just for me, and I couldn't tell much difference. If anything, there was less grease on the top, which definitely is a good thing. As always, it was super yummy and I still have some frozen in the freezer for later in the winter season (thanks mom!)

I think the biggest "drawback," if you can even attribute it to my diet, is that I am not as thin as I was this time last year. Once again, I can't say that it's because of the vegetarian thing. More than likely it's due to several causes....not being as religious with my running, not watching EVERYTHING I eat, not keeping a constant eye on my weight, and eating more carbohydrates. Last year I was obssessive about every little thing I put in my mouth and what I had to do to burn it off. Almost to the point of being unhealthy (in my brain). No big surprise, but it's one of those things I have to find a happy medium with. I have yet to achieve that, but am working on it.

So I think it's safe to say that this vegetarian thing is going to stick around. As with anything it's been an adjustment, but in the end I still think it's for the better.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Panic Attack

Dream Theater is a progressive rock band that your average joe has probably never heard of. David introduced me to them awhile back. Must say that when I want to "rock out" I put in some Dream Theater. They are not just a band, but true musicians. Today's power song....

Christmas Questionnaire

Received this from my friend Jen. Figured I needed to post something, so here it is.....

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial. Never had a real one. Would love to but it's a no go with the kids.

3. When do you put up the tree? Day after Thanksgiving

5. Do you like eggnog? I like the fake stuff in small doses. Too much will get me sick. Never had the real kind.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My oh my. Loved so many. Absolutely loved my "wheal orwange" from St. Nick back in the day. The hardwood Barbie house ranks real high for sure. I'm sure I could think of more if I tickled my brain.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My Mom

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. Is it up? No.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Neither usually, but will do a few mailed here and there.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Can't remember one that was the worst, but I can think of a few for my siblings....like fish socks for Ande'.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Pretty much love them all depending on my mood.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I keep an eye out any time of the year and makes notes. I start buying in November.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not that I'm aware of.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Grandma's Dream Cookies (aka cut out)

16. Lights on the tree? Grew up with white. David likes color. We compromise and change it up yearly.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Absolutely love Carol of the Bells because that was my rock out song in bell choir. But can't seem to rid my head of "ding fries are done" ever since hearing it. I can enjoy almost anything.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel before and stay at home for the holiday.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Christmas

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Nothing all that much. Maybe focusing too much of materialistic things (presents) and not on family and the real reason for Christmas.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Huh? Theme? Mine are all mix matched from Hallmark to homemade. As for color that depends on the year. Would love to do a theme but that'd get costly with how I like to change things up.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Not really sure. Gotta love the butt rolls though. Aunt Val's mud pie thingy. Aunt Daleen's Knox Blocks (even though I won't eat them anymore.....gelatin)

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Haven't made a Christmas list since I was a kid. This makes it hard for David.....thinking real hard I can say that I need a new dustbuster because mine is going. Not real fun, but when you're a OCD clean freak this gives me peace of mind.

That was fun. So discuss amongst yourselves. Post a comment with your own little questionnaire/answers. Post it on your blog. Do what you please, but have fun too! Have a very Happy Holiday Season!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ecstasy Of Gold

Let's be honest, lately my runs have been rough. Heck, they're always rough. Today was no different. With a stuffy nose and a head that I thought would burst, I didn't think I could make it. But good music definitely helps.

David brought this commercial to my attention several weeks ago and we decided it was a must on our running playlist. It's "Ecstasy of Gold" aka the theme from The Good, The Bad, The Ugly. I know Metallica has their own take on it, which is good, but I dig this.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Give A Dog A Bone

Hello everyone! As you all know David and I adopted Spencer, our greyhound. In the process we became part of a wonderful group called North Coast Greyhound Connection. It is all volunteer based and the basic concept is to find any and every retired greyhound a forever home. Throughout the year weekly fundraisers are held to maintain our funds to vet the greyhounds, find them homes, etc. This is where you come in. I'm not asking for money, just a few moments of your time. If you click here and vote for NCGC we may have a chance to win $10,000. I understand it's a long shot but every little bit helps. I'll also have a link on the sidebar for future reference. Thanks so much!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

4 States + 400 Dollars + No Detours = Priceless

We started our venture to NYC on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon. For those who don't know, getting to New York from Ohio is pretty much a straight shot. Given that fact we hoped to make good time, but that also depended on the traffic and weather. Thankfully we had easy going all the way. No problems...traffic, accidents, detours, or weather. Upon entering PA is there was some wet snow, but that was the extent of any "bad" weather. Something to note though, there's a stretch of the drive in central PA that lacks many exits, which includes gas, food, and restrooms. It seemed to take forever between exits. This didn't effect us, but we did make note of it, considering you never know what may happen.

We arrived in Newark, New Jersey at approximately 8pm. As expected, our hotel was immediately across the street from the Newark Penn Station. What we didn't expect was how nice it was. Not that it was a grand hotel by any means, but we expected just a typically travelling hotel. It was a small step up from what we would normally stay in, so we were thrilled. Upon arriving we flipped the tv on. That's when it was announced that there were "unsubstantiated claims of threats warning of possible attacks on the NYC transit system on Thanksgiving." These announcements were in lieu of what was going on in India. The crazy world we live in. We accepted the possibility of the risk, but settled in for the night. Threats come on a daily basis whether we know them or not so we weren't going to let that hinder our plans for the next day.

We woke up at 5:15am on Thanksgiving morning. We each put our minimum 2 layers on our bottom and 5 (yes 5) on top. We each had extra hats, gloves, and hand/feet warmers just in case. Our adventure started by stepping into the Newark Penn Station. It was full of hustle and bustle. We quickly found the ticket machines and made our way through purchasing the correct tickets and then headed toward Track 1. A packed train pulled up, we filed in, and headed to NYC. At that point we had our first "now what?" We never turned in our ticket so we were quite confused as what was going to happen. It was then that a conductor came through and was taking tickets. He hoped we had done the right thing, and thankfully we did. He took our ticket with no problem. Not a surprise but we did fumble our way through many experiences, from riding the subway, to finding bathrooms, etc. Let me tell you though, we were lucky. We happened to "fall into" situations and definitely took advantage of them. With the help of maps we made our way around and didn't have too many snafus. And if something happened we quickly got back on track.

We tried to make our way to Herald Square for the parade. We knew that it was a long shot, but wanted to try. Unfortunately it wasn't possible to get in there. At that point we had to decided whether to stick it out in that area or head up near Central Park. We decided to head north. The city was a buzz. At the same time it was controlled chaos. NYPD was everywhere. And all they had to do was have a presence. Most of the time they turned a blind eye. I can't tell how many times we crossed a barrier to get to the other side of the street. Heck, the majority of the time we were actually walking in the street. Yes, walking in the street in Times Square...how cool? They didn't care, as long as you just weren't standing there. After a bit of walking David and I were hot. All of those layers were kicking our butts. And we also needed to find a bathroom. Obviously, everywhere you went there was a line. We happened on a mall-type building and decided to try to go inside. Surprisingly it was open, which not too many people knew about. We quickly found the bathroom and were in and out. Who would've guessed that? After that we decided we wanted to get to the other side of the street. Unfortunately it wasn't so easy to cross the street as the crowds grew. After a small back track we were able to get to the other side of the street and made it into Central Park. It took us awhile but David was able to find an awesome spot, in Central Park, on the side of a hill, where we could see the parade. We knew all of those ventures out for Mardi Gras would come in handy again at some point. For pictures, we had branches in the way, but it was an awesome spot. This was our view


I'm glad we left so early so that we had the ability to find a decent spot and it wasn't long before the parade began. You could feel the energy rise as the parade drew closer. It was coming. I got chills. This has always been a dream of mine, to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in person. And it was about to come true. As the bands played and the balloons filled the air, I couldn't help but feel the tears coming down my cheeks. I know, I'm a geek, but this is something I never knew would happen, and it was right before my eyes. I absolutely love Mardi Gras and won't take anything from it. But although this was also a parade, it had a different sense. It was totally it's own. Trust me, both Mardi Gras and Macy's are totally worth trips. Just amazing. Absolutely loved it.









During the parade we had a couple local families around us along with a gentleman that watches the parade from the same spot every year. We kept conversation throughout the parade. Near the end he said that it was the longest parade he can remember to date. Let me tell you, our cold behinds and toes were feeling that. We had started to lose feeling in our extremities so although the parade was awesome we were glad to see it end.

We ventured through Central Park a bit but didn't come close to seeing it all. One thing I'd like to do next time is explore that area more. We headed toward Rockefeller Center but decided to grab a quick bite to eat. We happened on Ernest Klein & Co. International Supermarket. Our food was great, and we even got a Black and White Cookie.

We continued on to Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, and The Pond At Bryant Park. Then back to Times Square. All of this was unbelievable. It's hard to take it all in. I found myself sitting there, in awe, for a few moments. It's one of those things that you need to physically experience to be able to truly appreciate it. Even so, here's a short video.



Next up was the Statue Of Liberty. We didn't rush there that morning, due to the parade, so we made it there around 3-4pm. It was then that we found out we had made it on the last boat of the day. Whew! Once again, I found myself looking at the statue saying, "That's it! I'm really in NYC!" After our trip to Liberty it was time to go to the WTC site. We passed Wall Street/The New York Stock Exchange on the way. The WTC was interesting. I didn't know what to expect. You can see in, but for the most part there isn't much to see, with all of the construction and barricades around. In general southern Manhattan was quiet. Of course it was a holiday, so not too many people were around, but it was almost too quiet. Kind of weird.

We weren't sure what our plans were after that so we kept walking to see what we could find. It was then that we thought we'd check out Little Italy and get a bite to eat. Everyone's trying to get your business, so it's up to you to find the place you want to eat. After asking multiple restaurants if they charged for sharing a plate, we found one that didn't. In addition, our drinks for the meal were free, including sangria! Our dinner meal was cheaper than our lunch, was VERY good, and experience that we never had before. Another experience to add to our list.

Having already walked about 15 miles that day (I mapped it upon coming home...wish I would've had my Garmin) we decided to take the subway instead of walking all the way back to Times Square. We hung out there for a bit then decided it was time to head back to Newark. We hopped the train and called it a day.

Wow, did that all just happen? This was one of those experiences that I will never forget. Call me crazy, but one day in NYC was better than a week in Hawaii. We hardly did much planning, but it all came together. We didn't think that this would be possible on a multitude of levels. Everyone said we'd spend a ton of money. I guess it all depends on what you do or willing to give up. Our mindset was to experience NYC, and that we did. In the end we spent approximately $400 and that included gas, hotel, food, and transportation. We also saved by walking more than most people would. My final calculation came out to about 20 miles of walking. But that allowed us to see more, keep warm, save money, and burn calories. Not going to say I'm not sore. Yesterday I woke up with sore calves, shins, abs, shoulders, and back. And 2 days later I'm still feeling the effects.

But, it was worth the drive. It was worth the walking. And now that we've done it, it opens the door for many more experiences whether they're in NYC or somewhere else.

For more pictures check out our Flickr page.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

That's Not My Name

Running on the 'mill yesterday my ipod happened on to this song. I didn't realize I had ever acquired it let alone added it to my ipod. I found the beat addicting which made me push through. I guess you could say it was my "power song" for the day.

Nose Stuck In A Book

So the time is drawing nearer. The time for my national board examination to become a registered vet tech. It will be held in January. Just thinking about it gives me butterflies. Thankfully I have found a review book with practice tests/questions that will hopefully help me pass the thing. I can't believe how much information I have already lost from not using it, or don't know (stuff with lab animals and large animals). It frightens me. I'm also thankful that I've had downtime at work to allow me to use my time wisely. Although I'm thankful to have the book and be able to study, I'm not so thankful that I feel like my nose is constantly stuck in a book. My mind circles around memorization and making little "notations" or helpful hints to make me remember what I'm reading. Good thing I have an awesome memory....or at least did have an awesome memory in all past circumstances. Hopefully if I continue with my studying through repitition I'll retain some of it. Although this next month and a half are going to be awful long with the information swirling in my head and my anxiety breaking me down. Here's to more studying....

Monday, November 17, 2008

NYC

A few weeks back David and I were talking about random places we'd like to go or experiences we'd like to have. I brought up that I'd love to have the experience of being in a big city on a holiday to see how things are. You know, like in movies, where it seems like it's just another day, or people hunker down in their lofts, or where people take the train out of the city to their hometown in the burbs. I figured I'd never live in a big city on a holiday, but at least I could travel there. I also brought up that it's a dream of mine to experience the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Of course I prefaced all of this with "This is a pipe dream, but...." To this day I wake up on Thanksgiving and the first thing I do is turn on the tv to see the parade.

We didn't think much of it until later that night. David said, "Why don't we go away for Thanksgiving this year. This is a time to do it. We both have multiple days off and won't have to use vacation." In addition, not that I was ever a huge turkey fan, but having the Thanksgiving center around a meat-filled extravaganza, it's not as appealing as in past years. I'm not playing the "poor me" role. I'm still proud of my choice of being a vegetarian and know that I could have a million other options to choose from on Thanksgiving, but it is what it is.

We weren't 100% sure if we could do it, but we looked into our options. Originally we thought, Chicago. Upon bringing this up, mom wanted to join in. Mom absolutely loves Chicago. This would mean she wouldn't have to cook anything for Thanksgiving (which she dreads), and we could experience the shopping after Thanksgiving. Although it seemed like a great idea, Dad wasn't sold on the idea. In addition, Justin and Cass were on the fence with the idea. In the end they all decided to sit this one out. Instead Thanksgiving will be spent up in Michigan. At that point we decided Chicago was out. We could venture on our own but shopping really isn't our thing, especially when we wouldn't have a group to go with, just to enjoy some window shopping.

Our idea was at a standstill until we found that Sita and Alpa weren't planning on having Thanksgiving this year. Sita has her state board test (for massage) the following week and fixing a big dinner isn't high priority on her list. Not to mention David's sister is a nurse and will be on call that day.

It was then that we started searching for other options. For shits and giggles we looked up how far it is to NYC....8 hours. Ah, that's not bad. The wheels started to turn. Within an hour I pieced together where we could stay, how we'd actually get into the city, and then where we could go, and how much it'd be. I was in high Heaven...was I actually going to experience the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? I took a few moments to take it all in. Can we do this? Can we do it financially? Can we physically take on NYC? We've always wanted to go but were intimidated about getting around. True, money is tight, tight, tight. I can't even put into words how tight it is. The bottom line is we probably shouldn't go. At the same time, as said previously, this is the time to do it. We've always thought that NYC would be awesome but couldn't see staying there for a week....I think I'd get "bored" by 7 days, and financially it'd be impossible. Going for a day or 2 would be perfect. I was able to aquire transportation maps online and mapped it all out. We'd stay in Newark, hop the train to New York, then use the subway system to get around. Our plan is to stay a day and get as much in as we can. Although we have ideas of what we'd like to see, and a plan about how to do it, so we don't totally waste a day, we are going in with an open mind of "whatever we get to see, we'll see, If not, we'll see it next time." Of course our first plan of action is to go to the parade....after that, we shall see. Our plan is to keep in Manhattan and not venture to the surrounding areas this trip.

Surprisingly we found that this trip may actually be more affordable than Chicago. The most expensive thing is gas. The room and parking, are cheaper. And with unlimited ride passes, transportation is even affordable. Everyone tells us that we'll still spend a ton of money. I hear them and recognize where they're coming from. True, we may spend more money, but at the same time, remember we're not big foodies, so it's not like we're going to spend a ton on food. In addition, we don't plan on doing much, if any, shopping. Once again, our biggest expense will be gas, our room, transportation, and if we want to go to Ellis Island.

I still can't believe we're going to go to NYC. I still can't believe we'll be there for Thanksgiving and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I still can't believe that even though we have planned a few things, we're still heading there on a whim. This will truly be an interesting adventure.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Back In The Swing Of Things

Yes, I believe the ol' running Heidi is back. The one that can't let a day without running pass, or atleast without feeling real guilty. Today I got everything together so I could go running after work, but the end of the work day came and I just felt so tired....I decided to take the day off. As I drove home I kept fighting with myself....saying, "I should go run..." but "I'm exhausted, I need a night off..." It kept going and going and as I sit here, I'm thinking to myself, "Why didn't you go running?"

Ever since getting back into running I haven't had a night, after work, off of running. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love being back in the swing of things, but when you rise at 6am, get to work before 8am, work until 7pm, then go to the gym for a run, get home close to 9pm, that makes a long day. Not to mention, I still have to take care of the kids, the house, and feeding myself. Obviously that's not my schedule everyday, but it is for 2 days of the week, and the other days are pretty darn close.

So although I'm sitting here feeling guilty I'll keep reminding myself that although I love running and consider it time for myself, I also have to make other time for myself by taking a "chill" night. Maybe I can get some reading in.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

500 Miles For A Banana Split

I took Friday and Saturday off for running, but got right back to it today. I had originally planned to run an easy 2 miles, but then realized if I ran 2.85 miles I'd have my 500 miles for the year. I run 3 miles almost everyday, no biggie, right? Ah, but somedays you have it in you, somedays you don't. I recognize that and listen to my body on a daily basis. 9.9 times out of 10 I can hit my "goal" for the day, but you never know. But as Yoda would say, "Do or do not, there is no try." That was my mantra while running. And sure enough I did.

When I arrived at the gym this morning, it was extra quiet, and dark. There was one guy their lifting weights. I'm guessing he likes the peace and quiet of the gym too, given he felt there was no reason to turn on the lights, and just use the small amount of natural light from the windows. Within a few minutes I found myself alone in the gym. Peace. Me, music, the treadmill, and a mantra. My goal was within reach. I remember signing up for the Diabetes Challenge thinking, "How the heck am I going to attain this goal?" As with everything, it's just breaking it down into smaller steps. Thankfully Jamie, the creator, told us if we maintained a weekly mileage of 10 miles we'd meet our goal. That definitely made the goal seem accessible. I set out having a smaller goal of meeting my weekly mileage of 10 miles, with the 500 miles in the back of my head and in my running log.

My run went well. I rocked out and sprinted the last 1/4 mile. When I finished I stepped off of the treadmill knowing that I had just hit a milestone in my life. Another one to add to my half marathon. I had a sense of pride. However, this time there was no one cheering me on the entire time. I had to continually hold myself accountable. If I didn't run or failed to meet my mileage for the week I only had myself to answer to.

So this leaves to question, what's my next milestone? Ah, we shall see. First I'd like to see where I end in my mileage for the year. After that the options are endless. I'm up to doing another Half and David and I still maintain that we want to do a marathon within the next year.

And since I never officially congratulated myself for the half marathon I made up for it tonight....A Toft's Banana Split. Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Don't Tread On Me

Everyone knows that ever since the Half Marathon back in May I've been in a funk with my running. I continually tried to get on track and personally feel I have failed miserably. However, I believe I have hit a turning point. With David's new job comes many benefits, including a key to the fitness center at the school. There are 3 treadmills, bikes, a small indoor track (15 times around makes a mile) and a ton of weight equipment. We can also go whenever we want. Upon learning we were able to use the facility it gave me relief to know we can go there this winter to run and not have to worry about breaking my neck out on the ice. Not to mention I can't have an excuse for not running in the winter season. I hadn't planned on using the gym until needed but David talked me into meeting him after work one night. In all honesty I was dreading the experience knowing it was going to be on a treadmill. Although I've had very little experience on treadmills I just didn't like them. It seemed to take forever to go the same distance as being outside. Not to mention I just got bored. Then when I arrived I found my view to be this....


Before, I got bored people watching, how in the world was I going to deal with running into a white wall? I sucked it up and went on with the run and found it not to be too bad. Whew! Actually it was so good I went the next day, and the next, and the next. Yep, I think I'm back in the swing of things. Of course the weather's been real nice and I should be running outside, but I'm taking advantage of this new found inspiration. I've found that taking clothes to work and having a "date" with the gym definitely helps me stick to my plan and holds me accountable. And for the most part the gym is quiet. The only ruckus I have every so often is a youth basketball league. They don't bother me much though as I just tune them out listening to music. Otherwise, I only have 1/2 the lights on and maybe there's 1-2 more people. It's not like at a regular gym with a ton of people. It's just me and my run, which is how I like it to be.

Unfortunately David and I are unable to run together due to our schedules (he runs later, after he's done for work). But that's no biggie. And the white wall? In the begining I found myself counting the holes in the wall, now it's not an issue. Of course I notice it because it's there but most often I tend to get in my zone and don't think much of it. It's hard to explain...my eyes just relax, kind of like looking at one of those Magic Eye pictures, and just rock out to my music. I wasn't one to listen to music much while running outside due to safety, but now I definitely need music. Like I said, it helps tune things out and keeps me going strong. I'm thankful that I gave running inside a chance. I know I won't run inside forever and still love to run outside, but this helped mix things up a bit, and for that I am thankful. I'm back to keeping a daily running schedule of 3 miles and feel great. I just needed a change and a good kick in the ass.

Even while I was in the funk I was able to maintain my minimum 10 miles per week, which is good. I'm interested in seeing what my total mileage for the year will be. But for the time being, if you watch my mileage over to the left of the blog you'll see that I'm getting awfully close to my goal of 500 miles this year.....only another run or two and I'll be there....

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Business in the front...

Having a shorter hairstyle means it's cute =), but it also means more haircuts =( Through the help of Erika I was able to find an awesome stylist. Anna is amazing. She can do anything with a pair of scissors. Add on top of that her awesome ability to color and you have it made. Unfortunately Anna works at Dino Palmieri, which is located in Beachwood. Everytime I want my hair done I have to travel 1-1.5 hours to have it done. Traveling to Beachwood hasn't been that big of a deal, as David and I will make a day out of it. At the same time though, traveling that far every 4-6 weeks can strain you a bit. On top of that, it's not the cheapest haircut in the world. Don't get me wrong, I'm the type to pay for what I want, but at the same time I must be realistic.

Now most people will say, "Why don't you get your hair done in Sandusky?" It's not as easy as that. I've attempted other options but no one seems to hit the nail on the head. In addition I'm not seeing any hairstyles from local stylists that I go "wow! that's cute." I'm not saying that every hairstylist in Sandusky sucks, that's far from the truth, but I just haven't found the "one." With that being said, I'm always open to new options. I recently ran into a family member and she referred me to a newer place called Crazy Mullets. She said they're all "punk-type of people" that work there, and it's cheap. I figured why not give it a try.

Crazy Mullets is located in Lakewood. Yeah, I know it's still a trip, but it's shorter and the cost of the cut is about half the price than Dino Palmieri. After putting it off and finally getting sick of my overgrown 'do I gave them a call. After a few rings it went to voicemail. Man! After finally getting the courage to call I didn't even get to talk to anyone. Bummer. But, within 1 minute my phone rang back. There was a super nice girl saying she was calling from Crazy Mullets. She said she tried to answer the phone but it wasn't allowing her to do so. She answered my questions I had and made me feel real at ease with choosing them. They have a walk-in policy but appointments are accepted. I made an appointment and patiently waited for Saturday to arrive.

On Saturday we made the trek to Lakewood and were pleasantly surprised with the area. We haven't spent much time there in the past, so everything was new. It looks quite interesting and a new area we definitely need to check out. We walked in a found this...

Bright colors everywhere with cool music playing. Free drinks in the refrigerator. Their stations were Craftsman tool chests and their chairs were classic-looking red and white. The 2 stylists, who were male, and totally not who you'd think would be stylists, immediately greeted us and once again made of feel at ease. This means a lot to me given that sometimes I walk into Dino Palmieri and get totally ignored. Half the time I don't feel like I belong there and have this odd feeling the girls working feel the same way too. Anyway, we were told it'd be a few minutes and feel free to have a drink. After a small time one of the stylists came up and told me he was going to be doing my hair. And although he was nice, I had to take a few deep breaths because looking at him I didn't know what I was getting into. He had an Iron Maiden shirt on, his hair was crazy in the sense of style and color. And he had piercings everywhere you could think. He's definitely crazy....After I heard how he went to the circus the night before on mushrooms I couldn't help but think, "Why am I trusting this guy cutting my hair?" But I figured, why not? I've had many of bad haircuts. And trust me, hair always grows back. He ended up being totally cool. He kept conversation flowing and didn't make me feel out of my element (even though it was probably quite obvious). I told him I was up to him doing anything, as long as I can wear it to work. He ended up keeping my current cut, but my style was WAY different. He asked me how I wanted it styled....I once again told him that I was open to anything, which he said he loves to hear, and he went on doing his thing. I ended up having a pompadour type style. Of course I still am wearing the same 'ol style I've been, and the the pompadour was something I would have never done on my own, but I had a ton of fun having him style it that way. I ended up spending only $25 (including tip) and was definitely happy with the cut and experience. Not to mention he gave me a coupon for next time....I have 2 more if anyone else is interested.

Even though I had a good experience I'm not going to stop going to Anna. I absolutely love what she does with my hair, and will go to her here and there. This just gives my pocketbook and car a well-needed rest for the time being.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Our Own Linus


When I was growing up I had "my little pillow." It originally belonged to my brother Justin, but I soon inherited it and never let go. That thing went with me everywhere. You'd see me with my pillow, walking around, with my thumb in my mouth. My mom and grandma made various attempts through the years to wean me off of my little pillow onto a new one. It never worked. It never had the right touch or right feel. Nothing could replace my my little pillow. I'll be the first to admit that I hung on to that pillow until just over a year ago. Yes, I was married and all, but I took my little pillow to bed every night. Thankfully, in talking with others I have found that this isn't all that odd. The little pillow is hardly in existence. It's basically in shreads. After many washings, it's become thin, thorn, and lost stuffing. I knew that one day it'd have to be retired if I wanted to be able to keep it at all. I started to place it farther and farther away each night. First the bedside table, then the dresser, then to my closet. I successfully made the transition. David, being the wonderful husband he is, thought he should try to replace the hole I had. He bought me this super soft, fluffy blanket. I believe it's chenille. It was cool to the touch and I'd wrap my head in it each night. It didn't take long, about a year, to lose it's super softness, and then we purchased another one. It's not that I'm ashamed, but once again, I knew this wasn't something I could not continue for the rest of my life. It wasn't long after that I started to wean myself off of the blanket. I can now say that I'm little pillow and blanket free.


The point to this post is that I'm not the only one in our household with a "cuddles." The first day we had Viking home we gave him a bright blue towel for warmth and comfort. We called it his blankie. It didn't take long for him to attach to the bright blue blankie. He'd play with it, chew on it, and cuddle up with it. After 2 years it was in shreads and we knew it was time to replace it. I searched high and low for a new blankie that matched the color. Once I found it I bought 2 (one for back up). We introduced the new blankie but he didn't want anything to do with it. He wanted his old blankie. After weeks of attempts he finally let go of the old one and embraced the new one. I was able to salvage a small piece of the originally blankie and have it stowed away. As he has grown older he still plays with the blankie but thankfully his chewing has lessened. Although it's rough, we are still on the second blankie.


As everyone knows, and some may disagree with, we treat our animals closely to how you'd treat an actual child. We are the first to recognize that they are not the same as humans, however receive great joy having them as part of our family. With that being said, I never dreamed Viking could get this attached to something like a towel, like I did with my little pillow. He's absolutely hilarious with it. If I take it to wash it, he mopes until I bring it back to him all clean and warm. As stated previously, it's darn near impossible to change it out. He wants nothing to do with it. And every night, he let's you know when it's time for bed. He finds his blankie, grabs it in his mouth, takes it to wherever he wants to relax, and falls asleep with his blankie. When it's time to go to bed, I tell everyone, "Time for night night..." Everyone falls in and heads upstairs. You'll see Viking hop up, grab his blankie in his mouth, and head to the stairs. He continues holding the towel in his mouth, drags it up the stairs, and jumps up in bed with it. And even after a long day I can't help but smile every time this happens. I'm sure we'd survive without having all these furry kids running around, but I think things would be a bit dull. They keep us rolling....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Associate In Applied Science

It's finally arrived. My long awaited piece of paper they call a "degree." It's nothing special and it still hasn't hit me that I actually earned a diploma. I think that's because I never had a definitive ending point, such as a ceremony. This wasn't your typical college experience and I won't ever have that picture of a ceremony in my cap and gown with my diploma. But that's okay though. I've never lived my life in a typical fashion, following what others did, so I didn't see why that should change how I earned my degree.

My road to becoming a registered technician is not over. It technically will never be over, since I have to keep up with continuing education. However, at this point, although I hold a piece of paper in my hand, I'm not "legal" until I take the national examination to become a registered technician (RVT). That's coming soon enough. In the meantime I'm going to study my ass off and pray that I pass, and also soak in the fact that I have a degree.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chee WOW Wa

David and I try to do something each weekend. Something small but sitting on the couch doing nothing doesn't count. So this weekend our thing to do was going to the movies. We go in spurts where we go all the time then don't go for the longest time. In all honesty it's kind of hard to fork out the bucks to go. It's gotten so expensive, not to mention Sandusky's theaters aren't the greatest. But if we can catch the winter prices, plus matinee prices, we don't mind all that much. Yesterday the biggest choice was what movie to see. We decided to go see Beverly Hills Chihuahua. I can hear the moans now. It's got a ton of bad reviews, but I think most of the people won't even stomach sitting through it before they actual write a review, meaning they don't see one moment of it and just pass judgement of something stupid. True, you need to be in the right mood, should like animals, like kids movies, and a not too believable plot line, but we both thought it was quite cute and enjoyed it very much. It was mostly light-hearted and given that it was a kid-type movie you knew it was going to end well. The voices fit the dog's faces right on. I kept finding myself laughing. If only we could hear our pets talking to us. It'd be a hoot.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Coming Along

This past week work was started on our house. In the end we'll have new siding, fascia, soffit (sp?), and several new doors. Although the price seems daunting it's something that needs to be done. The cedar shingle siding couldn't take much more abuse from the weather without starting to have issues, and hopefully it will help a bit with energy savings. We're not expecting to save a ton, but any little bit helps. The siding itself has insulation but we unexpectedly had to get additional insulation underneath the siding to even out the shingles. The workers were told the shingles were much thinner but when they arrived they found differently, making the change to the work order. Thankfully we don't have to pay any additional. The workers are coming along quite fast....This is the most recent picture I have, however, the siding on the outside of the porch is also done at this time.....

Spencer's Halloween Costume

This past weekend was NCGC's Annual Howl-O-Ween Party. We are finally able to tell/show everyone what Spencer is for Halloween this year.....He's our very own Usain Bolt. Notice his gold medals, Jamaican shirt, and number from Beijing. His feet were even gold but they didn't show up on the pictures. We tied ourselves in with "Team Bolt" t-shirts and Jamaican flag. It took us forever to come up with an idea and finally we decided on a runner. Nothing exciting, but we were going to deck him out with all of our running gear. It wasn't something we'd have to put a lot of money into....then we came up with the idea of Usain Bolt. Bingo! So we went with that. In the end we still didn't spend all that much money...mostly just on our own shirts. It was fun and I think others enjoyed it too.







Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Getting To Know You

Received this survey from my Aunt Shelly. It requests that I send it back and send it on. Figured I'd just post it here on the blog. Anyone wanting to participate, feel free!

1. What is your occupation? Veterinary Technician

2. What color are your socks right now? Orange and black stripes

3. What are you listening to right now? Hum of the computer and clicking of keys.

4. What was the last thing you ate? Carmel apple

5. Can you drive a stick shift? No

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Mom

7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Aunt Shelly…I guess she’s alright ;)

8. How old/young are you right now? 25-Sad that I actually had to think about.

9. What is your favorite sport to watch? It’s not like I hate watching sports but I don’t particularly love it either. I prefer basketball live but football/baseball on tv. I do dig the Olympics when they’re on.

10. What is your favorite drink? Water with lemon. As for alcohol, not that I drink all that much, I like Malibu Rum with Pineapple Juice or Rodenbach Redbach.

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Dyed it 6 weeks ago. Before that it had been about 8 years ago. Obviously not a regular hair dyer.

12. Favorite food? Why must I love food so? Too many things to list, but I can tell you my downfall…ice cream.

13. What was the last movie you watched? Hocus Pocus

14. Favorite day of the year? I don’t have one specific day. Experiences and things change from year to year so it’s hard to pinpoint any certain day.

15. How do you vent anger? Cleaning or running

16. What was your favorite toy as a child? Mom might have to help me out with this one. I loved Barbies though.

17. Blueberries or cherries? Absolutely love rainier cherries and cherry pie.

18. Beach or Mountains? I think the beach but no mixing the sand and water.

19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? Disregard this, it originally came from an email

20. Who is most likely to respond? Probably no one, but if anyone wants to, go ahead.

21. Least likely to respond? Probably everyone

22. Living arrangements? House. Husband, 3 dogs, 2 cats.

23. When was the last time you cried? Today at work. Most times I can grin and bear it but sometimes it’s just gotta flow. Sorry to say, it’s happening more and more, and unfortunately not going to change. All I got to say is, the Lord will bless him according to his deeds. Repeat after me, “I love my job!”

24. What is on the floor of your closet? Shoes

25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to? My mommy

26. What did you do last night? Worked on Spencer’s Halloween costume…pictures to come.

27. What/who inspires you? Those that they tell “can’t” and yet they “do”

28. What are you most afraid of today? Personally I'm afraid of snakes. But if we're talking about life, people, etc....Ignorance and the unwillingness to change or try something new.

29. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Any, as long as they’re meat free.

30. Favorite dog breed? Now how are you going to ask a vet tech this question?? I love them all! For the sake of simplicity I’ll say Rat Terrier, Chihuahua, and Greyhound. In no particular order.

31. Favorite Day of the week? Monday. It’s a fresh start and you get to look forward to the upcoming weekend.

32. How many states have you lived in? 3-Ohio, Louisiana, and Michigan.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Piriformis

We went to Halloweekends last night with Sita and Alpa. We headed right to Dragster to make sure we made it on this year. Unfortunately even though we made it with not too many people ahead of us, they weren't running the cars full and it took forever. Of course once we got to the platform it was shut down for mechanical reasons. Bummer. We decided to wait it out and were thankful that after 45 minutes of further waiting we made it on.

Dragster is one of my faves, however it took a toll on my body on the first ride at the beginning of the season. It whipped both David and I around, which messed up our backs. With that being said, I didn't think I'd ever ride it again. Last night my original plan was to sit it out but once I got up there I just had to ride.

Bad news again. I'm not saying it was the Dragster, but within 10 minutes of riding I went to turn to talk to David and something happened in my left pelvis. I didn't hear or feel a pop, but a pain came that stopped me in my steps and hurt with every movement. Thankfully Sita was around to massage it a bit but with the cold and having 2 layers on my bottom (it was cold over there!) it was darn near impossible to get a good stretch. I tend to have problems with my right leg since that's the one I broke years ago. Sometimes my hip will pop, but I can make a certain movement and pop it right back in. But this was my left side of my pelvis. I continued through the night gimping around. I found if I kept my knee slightly bent I was ok, but any wrong movement and that "take your breath away" pain came back.

I took ibuprofen when I got home and slept on it. But when I got up in the morning it was still present. I took more ibuprofen and got hold of my chiropractor, who also happens to be a friend and she got me right in (whew!). I had an adjustment and she did a few things that hurt and felt good at the same time. According to her, it looks like I did something with my Piriformis Muscle. Her adjustment helped but I'm still nowhere near 100%.

I'm going to keep up with the ibuprofen and taking it easy but I must say I'm quite bummed. Just when I thought I was getting back to the swing of things with my running this wrench was thrown into the mix. I'll try to keep up with the positive thoughts and hope this isn't something that will sideline me for long.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Changing It Up

I've been wanting to change it up on the blog for awhile now but never really got around to it. Although I can usually figure stuff out on the computer I couldn't seem to wrap my brain around the whole background/template thing with our blog. I'd just get frustrated and give up. Instead of trying to make my own I've finally found a site that works great and has many cute choices. So this is my choice for now. If anyone has trouble reading the text, etc. please let me know.

Also, for those who haven't noticed I've changed my comment section so that you do not have to have an account to make comments. Instead, I now moderate the comments before they are posted. I figured this would be easier for most individuals who just want to post using their name instead of remember a screen name/password. So comment away!

8 Years Ago Today

8 years ago today David left for boot camp. He was entering the world of the unknown. We had no idea what the next year, let alone the next 8 years, held for us. I think we would both agree that his time in the Marine Corps was hell, but made him into the man he is today. It's been a roller coaster ride and I can't believe that chapter of our lives is coming to an official end. After today David will no longer be enlisted in the Marine Corps. He completed his contract by serving 4 years active duty and 4 years ready reserve. I'm proud of my Marine and can't wait to see what the next 8 years hold. It's never a dull moment with us, so this should be interesting.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This And That

Sometime, okay all the time, I have random thoughts. Most times Twitter is good for sounding those thoughts, but not all the time. Some thoughts require more than 140 characters. I make a mental note to blog about it later and never seem to get around to it. So here I am, it's time to blog about this and that.....

~Throughout the cruise I noticed many things. The main thing is the generalized aura of it all. Things that you'd hope to be "normal" but things aren't like that any longer. For instance, everyone being nice. I'm not just talking about the crew but also the other passengers. You pass individuals in the hallway, they smile, say "good morning!" and move on. Of course you run into the usual crabby person every once in awhile, but for the most part everyone is happy go lucky. I'm guessing that this is because everyone's on vacation, but even so, it's something I've never really experienced. Not to mention everyone let's loose...things you'd never dream they'd do, they do. i.e. participating in contests. And not only do people participate but they ham it up and it's hilarious. Another take-the lack of cell phones and computers. With the exception of the computer lab most everyone is unplugged. Straight up, I wasn't worried about not being "connected" but it did cross my mind before leaving for vacation. After getting on the ship, the cell phones were turned off, not to be thought of again until we got back in Florida (with the exception of calling home in St. Thomas to check on the kids). There was no checking the email, twittering, searching the internet, or hearing cell phones go off at dinner or during the show. I can't believe I'm saying this, but it was almost a relief being unplugged. When we hit port in Florida everyone's phones popped out and it was back to the same ol' business. It was that point when I knew vacation was over. Not only was I bummed vacation was over but I knew it was inevitable I'd soon be back to the same ol' crap myself. It's something I know I overdo and need to keep in check every once in awhile. Not only for the sake of those around me but also my own sanity. With my compulsive personality it's often hard. Instead of being a "want," in my mind it becomes a requirement...I got to check/post this or that.

~For some strange reason I still get homesick after all of these years. It doesn't hit me until a few days in, and usually I have to ask myself, "What's wrong?" because I'm just in a funk, but after a few moments I realize that it's just homesickness.

~I used to LOVE going to the beach, swimming, enjoying the sun. I got to say that that time has come and gone. I much more prefer a pool. Fresh water is usually too cold and murky and salt-water is, well, salty, and leaves my skin feeling sticky. If I could have the prettiness of the salt water with the clean feeling of fresh water it'd be perfect. In addition, I hate sand. I can walk on sand with no problem, but mix sand and water and I'm done. It's not like the actually feeling of the sand drives me nuts, but it's the thought of sand sticking to me and getting all over my stuff that drives me absolutely insane. Sitting here thinking about it makes me cringe....like fingers on a chalkboard. I expected to snorkel a lot on vacation, but once I got there, my thoughts change. The gear wasn't fitting just right, the water wasn't all that warm (@ CoCoCay. It was warmer than Hawaii, but not perfect. The water got warmer at each location), then the sand and water...yep, I enjoyed my time soaking up some sun, drinking a CoCo LoCo, taking pictures, and watching others enjoy the snorkeling.

~As stated previously, it's been hard to get fire under my butt to run lately. I can't even say lately, this has been going on since May. Not only that, but I'm having issues watching what I'm eating. It's not that I'm eating more, I'm just eating the wrong stuff. I've become so complacent that I'm frustrated with myself. I can't say it's the Zoloft anymore, as I'm off of it, even though I think that's what spurred it initially. I'm not sure if it's because it's no longer a new thing or what. Don't get me wrong, I still want/need to run but when that alarm clock goes off I'm no longer jumping out of bed as fast as I used to. I don't want to get to the point I was at previously, where obsessing over it constantly. That's not fun either. It's just been super tough to find a happy medium. I know a big thing is that we aren't "training" for anything. Mind you, it's not like I take 5K's seriously or anything, but if you have that in front of you, you want to make sure to get out there and run so come race day you won't have any issues. The biggest reason we're not participating in 5K's is because of $. It's not like we're broke, but it's not a necessity. I'll get into that a bit later.

~David and I are still playing with the idea of running a marathon within the next year. In all honesty I think it's something we need to keep us moving. However it scares the shit out of me thinking about it. Especially on the days when I feel I suck. Let's be honest....I suck everyday. Running isn't, and will never be, my forte'. That's why I started in the first place. I've never had a pain-free, perfect, fun run. No matter what I always have some form of discomfort, whether it's muscles burning, unsteady breathing, or legs feeling like they're going to fall off.
My good vs bad runs are mostly based on how much or little discomfort I have. If it's tolerable I've had a good run. And if I can also keep a steady breathing pattern, and a steady pace I've had an amazing run. If I keep up on my consistency with running daily these things get much better, but in all honesty I don't see myself being the next olympian. Big surprise?

~ I love David but running with him can be disheartening. We all know he can run circles around me but sometimes it can just piss me off. For instance, he hasn't ran since the cruise, yet today we went out for a run and he took off like it was nothing. Or when I trained for the Half and he did hardly anything (due to the weather and his bad circulation). Yet, he ran me into the ground and then some. I always initially try to keep up, but come mile 1 you'll find me WAY behind him, just plugging along. I get home, and he's breathing easy while sometimes I feel like I'm going to die. Of course he's had a few minutes to chill before I arrive.

~So you may ask, why are you complaining yet still run? I have absolutely no idea. With all that I've said I still love it. And for some odd reason I continue to run through whatever is thrown to me.

~I'm still determined to at least run the Cleveland Half again. Even when running on ice and piles of snow gives you a run for your money you know you're doing it for a reason. With talk of the Half and a possible full comes the talk of a better diet too. Neither David and I claim to be cooks, and my new eating habits may throw a bit of a wrench in our attempts, but hopefully we can get that on track too.

~Money, money money...it's a rich man's world. As with everyone the whole money this has thrown us for a loop. David taking the new job, with a pay cut, and them cutting hours at my work, has taken a chunk out of finances. We're not struggling....yet. But all of this has put a few things in perspective. We're still enjoying extras, and we want to be able to live our lives, but we've tried to cut back, and I can only guess we'll continue to try to cut back more and more. I am grateful for what we do have, as I know some others aren't as lucky, but it's definitely time for a realignment. Only time will tell.

50 To Go

Just sat down to calculate my mileage over the past couple weeks. Yes, I still keep a daily run journal. It's not as in depth at this time since we're not training for anything, but I still feel that it motivates me and puts things in perspective. I'm also a person that's all about numbers so crunching my stats makes me smile. Anyway, so it looks like at the beginning of this month I hit the 450 mile mark for the year. That mean only 50 more miles and I'll have hit my goal for 500 miles this year. (Actual, at this point it's less than 50 since I've run since the beginning of the month). Of course it's not like I'm going to stop running after I hit 500 miles, but I'll have met my goal. I'm very excited about this.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Missed My Mizunos

David and I have had a funk since vacation. Mine started as a sore throat, went away, then came back as a sinus/allergy crap. His started with the sinus/allergy bit. It hasn't been horrible, but not comfortable by any means. We kept putting off running for this reason. We knew it was "safe" to run, but given we didn't have to, and felt like crap, we took a few days off. In all honesty we're still not 100% but I knew I needed to get out for a run. Not having run since last Saturday I was dreading it. I've found that my body doesn't just kick back into place after a hiatus. Yes, it's been less than a week, but I've found anything more than 2-3 days tends to get me off kilter. It sucks, because let's say you hurt yourself and need time off. You do so, but seem to be back at square one when starting back up.

So I set my alarm yesterday morning to get up. It went off and I didn't get up. I needed another hour of sleep. However, I knew I had time after work and I'd run then. I dreaded what was to come all day. Don't get me wrong, I still love to run, but when you go from being satisfactory, to sucking again, it's a bummer. I got home, laced up the Mizuno Wave Riders, and headed out. As usual, by the end of the block my legs were burning. This is something that has never gone away. I just run through it and find that either it goes away or I put it in the back of my mind not to think about it. After that I was surprised by the run. For the most part I felt like I was floating on air. Floating to the point that instead of just breaking myself back in with 2 miles I went for the 3. With the exception of my legs chaffing, for some unknown reason, the run went way better than expected.

Boy, did I miss my Mizunos. I took my Asics Gel Nimbus on vacation due to trying to reduce my luggage load. I can wear my Asics for running and day-to-day wear. The Asic's are great shoes, but nothing like my Mizunos. It's not something you notice when you're not wearing them, but something you notice when you wear them. It's also something you don't notice from day-to-day wearings. But when you go off of them and then go back to them, you notice it. For instance, on vacation my runs went fine. The only "issue" I had was running on a treadmill. I think I may be one of the few people that don't care for running on a treadmill. I feel like it takes me forever to go my distance and my mind isn't stimulated enough. But other than that I didn't have any unexpected problems. But, when I slipped on my Mizunos yesterday it seemed to make a world of difference. Yes.

I flippin' love my Mizunos. I remember going into Second Sole and trying them on for the first time. I knew they were "my shoes." They fit my foot perfectly. I usually have problems with shoes having a big toe area, given my feet are so narrow, but the Mizunos followed the form of my foot. They may not be as sexy as other running shoes, but they fit my needs. I can't even describe how much I love these shoes. I'm on my second pair and don't see myself changing anytime soon .