Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Well, it looks like this would be the time to go out for my 8-mile run.... we are in the little triangle of Maryland between the green rain band and Hagerstown. The rain is moving north, so it will be upon us again in an hour or so. I will get rained on during my return trip, but I need to be able to deal with that. If Nancy could go out and slog/spash through 11 miles of flooded roads, and qcmier could ride 35 miles getting totally dumped on, I can stand getting rained on. We aren't flooded, being as how we're up in the mountains; we're more subject to transient flash floods as streams spill over and then fairly quickly the overflow runs downhill into the low country, which is far from here, but affecting Nancy down on the other side of Chesapeake Bay.
No point putting it off till tomorrow; it's going to keep raining till July 5. And if I go now (instead of sitting here in front of the computer), I'll be done and back and maybe cleaned up in time for the next relatively-clear spell, during which it's possible Steve and I might want to go do something, since we're both off work today.
Talked myself into it.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Wow. I've been tracking my running and biking miles at G-maps Pedometer but at a relatively-low zoom level to save time. For some reason, to map yesterday's 8-mile run, I zoomed in closer and discovered I have been running on the Blue Ridge Parkway almost since I crossed into North Carolina! I just stumbled on it accidentally, following my nose, choosing roads that lead me more or less southwest towards Panama City Beach. I'm glad I looked closer.... I've been so intent on logging miles that I haven't paid any attention to the scenery. How many, many times does that happen to all of us?
Lately, though, back home in real-life Western Maryland, I've been unable to miss how lovely it is. Biking and running, I can't get over the greenness. The woodland backroads are encased left, right, and overhead in the most amazing shade of green. I can't get over the fragrance: a mixture of pine, hemlock, ferns, wild roses, moist mouldering dark earth. I can't get over how fast the fawns are growing: Memorial Day weekend I took a picture of one that wasn't much bigger than my cat. Now they're as tall as Journey, who is the size of a smallish Labrador Retriever, although the fawns aren't nearly that stocky, and spring nimbly after their mothers. I see some nearly every time I'm out.
When you're out there, wherever you are, logging the miles on your bike or your running shoes.... don't forget to zoom in and be where you are.
..... catching up on blogs. If I visit yours and comment, I hope you'll visit mine.... I've had next to no one coming by lately, not surprising since I haven't visited anyone else. But Steve is playing poker with the guys till late, and I have the whole evening to myself. I'll try to stop by.
If you come by here, scroll down and read the last couple posts.... I added 2 just today. I miss my imaginary friends.
Stop here, set a spell, putcher feet up, say howdy....
Steve was working in the park office a day ago, when a woman came in all agitated and irate... they had been away from their campsite from 6pm to 9pm and during that time someone had stolen a large Rubbermaid container of food from their picnic table and we needed to provide better security surveillance in our park.
Steve said, "I can tell you where it is."
The woman said, "Oh... did someone turn it in?"
Steve said, "Nope. But it's within a hundred yards of your campsite."
The woman: "Have you seen it?"
The woman: "Then how do you know?"
Steve: "Because that's what bears do."
So Steve accompanied the woman back to her campsite, and they looked around a little, sure enough, not a hundred yards away, there was the container, chewed, clawed, and pried open, its contents ravaged and the remains strewn all over. The woman was aghast. "I thought the container was safe," she said. "It's a Rubbermaid."
They just don't get it. We have big signs. We hand out written instructions about storing food inside a rigid-sided vehicle, like a car, truck, or camper. Not in a tent. Not in a jeep with canvas/plastic windows. Not in a cooler at your campsite. And not in a Rubbermaid container on your picnic table.
Some of the lakeside summer residents have pretty "bearproof" garbage-can containers made of 2 X 4 slats, that blend right in with the landscape and look really environmentally compatible. I've seen them, on my runs, with the slats ripped apart, the garbage cans extracted, the contents strewn far and wide.
The only thing that works is to keep garbage or camp food in the house, in a closed garage, in metal bins with locks, in closed vehicles (read: windows CLOSED, not left open), or inside campers.
We tell them. They just don't get it.
And yet they walk around the hiking trails in the woods with bells on their backpacks, purchased at the campground nature center, to scare mild-mannered black bears away. Like this is Yellowstone with grizzlies, or something. Yes, such bells are sold at the nature center, but only because people have requested them, not because they're indicated. We can't get stuck saying they asked and did not receive.
They think they have to arm themselves with jingle-bells, but they leave their food out so bears can perceive humans as a source of marshmallows, donuts, and grilled chicken.
They ought to have to pass an IQ test before they can set up camp.
They just don't get it.
So I'm spending a fun post-swim afternoon, finished coloring my hair, got it blown dry, the curling iron is heating up, when my husband's "ranger" scanner goes off.... "Medic 9-1, Deep Creek State Park, Campsite #11, for seizures." We are site #25. #11 is just right across the loop from us.
My husband the paramedic was at the dentist, but Nurse Ellie hops on her bike and rolls on over there. Lady, 49 yrs old, diabetic, sick stomach since yesterday, hasn't eaten since yesterday afternoon, can't hold anything down, lying on the sofa trembling violently and sweating profusely. She's alert and oriented but agitated. Sure looks like low blood sugar to me.... gave her some sugar to dissolve under her tongue. Checked her pulse. Weak and a little fast, like with low blood suger. Her husband got out her blood sugar meter and she was able to check her own sugar. It wasn't low, actually it was high, but she sure looked hypoglycemic to me. We waited for the ambulance. Talked to her calmly. A first-responder came and as soon as he and I saw each other... "Oh, no," I said. "Oh, Gawd," he said. We had worked together long ago before he was a medic or I was a nurse. "It's okay, he's safe, you can trust him," I told the family. We got her blood pressure with his equipment. Sky high. I mean, maybe she's having a stroke, too. Ambulance with medics came. They had a chair stretcher (couldn't get a regular stretcher into the camper.) When she sat up she got a severe headache. Hmmm.... that could be low blood sugar OR a stroke. She started barfing. Ick.
Anyway, they trundled her into the ambulance and carted her to the hospital. I guess I'll check with the family later to find out what the scoop is.
I told them I was a nurse but I didn't tell them I've maintained my license on inactive-only basis for 2 years.
I told Mike, the first-responder, if I'd known he was coming, I'd have finished styling my hair before I came. He said I looked gorgeous. I didn't.
Good thing I didn't still have the dye in it. I'd have had to wrap a towel around my head and go like that, with my hair disintegrating under it for however-longer than you're supposed to leave it that I was there. That would have looked cute. Woman shows up on a bike with a towel on her head, rivulets of dye dripping down her face from under it, says, "I heard an ambulance call for someone here, I'm a nurse, can I help?"
It is so fun around here.....
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Thanks to all my friends for the supportive comments! It helps!
Oops, one thing I am definitely slacking on.... that is my friends' blogs. I just found out that Nancy had a birthday yesterday. If I'd been up-to-date on her blog I'd have known that and not found out the day after.
Anyway.... anyone who's even more behind than I am.... go see Nancy and wish her a happy "extended" birthday!
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
I just spent a couple hours copying all my training logs for 2006 from CoolRunning.com to TrainingPeaks.com, which is the website my coach uses to write my workouts, and where I log them for her. I was using CoolRunning as well because I like the format better. But it was too cumbersome to be keeping up 2 logs... I'm trying to cut down on my computer use, consolidating and condensing where I can.
Copying the info, I could not believe the weeks I was putting in, in January and February. If IM AZ registration had still been open, I could have done it. I was doing 2 workouts many days; two 100+ mile bike rides 2 weeks apart with a PR half-marathon the week in between. Running 6 or 8 miles a few days after a marathon. Biking 75 miles on Monday, 45 on Friday, 100 the next Monday. That would kill me now.
I keep telling myself I'm in my 2-week marathon-recovery period and not to be discouraged or take these couple weeks as representative of my fitness. Things are going to start picking up again this weekend. Tomorrow I'm on for my usual Thursday 30-mile ride to and from my mom's with probably 4 hours of fairly-heavy housecleaning in between; Friday is work at the gym 7-4 but a rest day from training; Saturday is work at the gym 8-2 and ride 40 miles; Saturday is run 8 miles, my first run since the Hatfield-McCoy Marathon.
I cannot believe what I was doing in January and February.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
We came home from being out and Steve said, "What's Journey gotten into now?" Clear plastic and colored squares were all around. Oh! I left my "training drink basket" out. She'd gotten the Baggie containing my packets of unsweetened Kool-Aid. They were strewn all around. Only one was chewed, and only a little, just a few toothmarks, and some powder on the outside. The remaining ones were untouched. HAHAHAHA!!! Poor dog.... can you imagine a dog chewing into a packet of unsweetened lemon Kool-Aid??? Blech! Yuk! Pthoooo! Wonder how long it took her to get the sour taste out of her mouth?
Monday, June 19, 2006
Here's how I stacked up:
#158 out of 201
44th out of 64 female finishers
5th out of 7 female 50-54 (no fair, the 50-yr-olds beat me...)
And that's the story.
Except the results page doesn't say whether the Hatfields or McCoys won... I'll email the RD and ask. Inquiring minds want to know.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Nothing earth-shaking.... just added Kentucky to my map of Marathon States Completed; added recent mileage to my Fantasy Training maps, where my run has now taken me into North Carolina, and my bike trip has progressed almost halfway across Utah on U.S. Highway 50. At 1023 miles I'm only a third of the way across the country, and nearly half the year has gone by. It's not looking too good to traverse the 1100 miles from Deep Creek Lake, MD, to Panama City Beach, FL, by November 4 either, with only 335.9 miles down.
Adding mileage to those treks is going to be sluggish for another week as I'm on scheduled marathon recovery with NO running, and easy biking. And swimming. I should start a Swim Fantasy Route. 12.1 miles this year is more than halfway across the English Channel.
My ride to my mom's house and back, day before yesterday, took my biking for 2006 over 1000 miles. I go once a week and spend about 4 hours cleaning. I've got several cupboards done and one junk room about 2/3 done, and all her dead/dying/languishing houseplants thinned out and planted into a few easy-to-manage planters and hanging baskets. In the room I cleaned Thursday, the carpeted floor was too much of a job for the vacuum cleaner. I swept it well, then sprinkled most of a box of Carpet Fresh on it, which I will let fester until next Thursday when I'll vacuum it up.
I am really tired, folks. The last two weeks have been sapped by my new job, easy and fun though it is, and my marathon and the 5.5-hr drive both ways. Not that anyone forced me to do that, but I'm recovering a lot more slowly than usual, probably because of the new job.
Don't pay attention to my whining. I'm going to bed now!
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
I tried to post a thumbnail, and although I was able to copy it successfully to my files, again my photos are not showing up on Blogger. Anyway, click on the link if you want to see my finish-line triumph :-)
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Monday, June 12, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
You can't read this, but it says "Phelps Funeral Home." They're set up for a service. And you never know when one of the mourners might have to answer a call of nature.
Good thing for the blue-painted feet.... I'd never have believed this was the way. It was kind of like being on a Hash Run, with "clues" often leading to "Bad Trails."
But there were so many truly beautiful moments....
Including this outdoor wedding -- a Hatfield and a McCoy -- with an Elvis lookalike doing an amazing rendition of "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You."
"...And I leave my Christmas lights on on my front porch all year long..."
The Green Mile
WrayJean and Kathy still look great... what happened to me?
Scenic view on the drive home
On the way home
I was surprised, that evening after driving home right after the marathon, at how tired I wasn't. It caught up with me the next day. Ouch. Yawn. This is Day 2 afterwards, and although I'm not as tired, my quads are still sore.
I'll post more pictures if I ever figure out what's wrong... and if I can't post more pics, I'll get wordy.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
I'll write a report soon and post pictures. Not tonight. It's 10p.m. and I've been awake since 3a.m., ran 5:20 (took a lot of pictures), then drove home 5:40, unpacked, finally showered, have been regrouping and checking email (an amazing amount in one day), and I am about to go to bed now. It's been a looooong day. I kept thinking about Julie running for 24 hours to the tune of 116.8 miles, and feeling puny because I was looking forward to the end of my 26.2....
Later, folks.... and thank you!
Thursday, June 08, 2006
I've been nursing a sore foot for about 3 weeks... something wrong with my metatarsal head (ball of foot) after hiking in bad shoes/boots when I was repainting the trial markers. Actually it doesn't hurt that much when I run, only when I walk, so I guess I better not walk during the marathon too much :-) If it feels as if it's getting more injured, I'll bail. It would be my first DNF ever, but it's not worth really hurting it and then being out for 6 weeks. We'll see how it goes.
I'm packing up my stuff now and will be off in the morning! My friend WrayJean from Indiana is sharing my room, along with her friend Kathy. I haven't seen WrayJean since Feb. of 2005, at the Gasparilla Marathon in Tampa. So that will be a lot of fun.
I'll let y'all know how it goes!
Monday, June 05, 2006
Speaking of "feat," I am going to try her Foot Potion. I'm getting blisters this year and I never used to. Feet are changing, or something. It got her through 116.8 miles in 24 hours with just ONE blister. I get hot spots after 5 miles. Gonna mix me up some and try it out. Maybe for this weekend's marathon.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Well, crap. I had this post all written out, published, commented on by Flo, then I went to change one little word and lost it.
It just goes to show.... I shouldn't edit and re-edit. Especially after something is already posted. You should see how long it takes me to make a 2-line email post acceptable.
Anyway, let me try this again.
This marathon is going to be fun. Here's the course description, including some history of the feud and pointing out some of the feud landmarks we'll see or run past.
Each runner is assigned randomly to be either a Hatfield or a McCoy (unless they're one or the other by birth), and the "family" with the lowest overall running time wins the feud... at least for this year.
I'm a McCoy. If life had worked out differently, I actually might have been. My first love was a McCoy. I don't know if he was the same McCoy family as the feuders, but had our (mutual) crush continued and endured, I might have been a McCoy. I wouldn't be where I am now. I'd be richer.... according to my understanding he's done quite well indeed. I wouldn't be retired (if I had ever worked... I don't know anything about his wife), wouldn't be living and traveling full-time in an RV. My children Valerie, Jonathan and Avery would never have been born; without them there would have been no Collin, Grayson, and Abbie. I wouldn't have lived in Garrett County, MD for 30 years. I'd have lived in 6 countries around the world and I'd be living in Geneva, Switzerland at the moment, not going to Kentucky to run the Hatfield-McCoy Marathon. It was a long time ago, 8th grade and our first couple years of high school. 50 years later, I still dream about him sometimes. I guess you never forget your first love.
Anyway, I'm done training for the marathon. I ran 18 miles last weekend and 10 today. At least, 10 more or less... en route, about a mile and a half out, I discovered my necklace was broken and the silver cross I've rarely taken off in 20 years, since Steve gave it to me that Easter, was gone. So I retraced my steps all the way home, and went out again, retraced, came back, went out again, and on this trip I found it. I was so overcome I picked it up and kissed it. So I looked at my watch, estimated where I'd need to run to to return home with a total of 2 hours, which I would call 10 miles.
MapQuest predicts a 4-and-a-half hour drive down there. This may be a good omen. I have sort of a rule of thumb that says it's reasonable to travel to a race when the travel time is no more than the race itself will take me, more or less. So, it's reasonable to drive half an hour to a 5K; an hour to a 10K; 3-and-a-half hours to an Oly tri; up to 6 hours for a marathon.
So maybe a 4:30 drive prophesies a 4:30 marathon.
You-all will have to take this post with any typos or syntax errors it may contain... I'm not going to take it back again after publishing to fix something and lose it again. It's already lost something in the translation. And gained.... I didn't include the story of the lost cross in the first version.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Many of the people who came in were regulars who didn't need anything except a "Hello," which of course to me means "Shoot the breeze about your workout program and what's going on in your life." But this is what we are supposed to do with customers -- make them feel we're interested in them, that we like them, that we want them to have the very best workout and the most success possible.
I sat next to one guy, he on one machine and I on the next, both of us lifting while we talked about RV'ing -- he's been pondering it and was really interested. Then he asked about triathlon, since I was wearing a race shirt. So we talked about that, while lifting, moving from machine to machine. Obviously neither of us was working very hard but it was chummy.
One guy I felt like I remembered from another incarnation.... which was true. (Remember, this is the area where we lived for 30 years where we're "back for the summer.") He had to tell me who he was, because last time I saw him he was a pudgy, sort of spacey 10-year-old. Not anymore... he's grown up and working out to meet the physical requirements to join the Navy. He's worried about running 1.5 miles in 12 minutes. Can't keep up an 8-minute mile yet. I suggested he do quarter-miles at a faster pace, like 1:50 for a quarter, with recovery jogs, rather than busting butt trying to run a whole mile in 8 minutes. He had never heard of interval training and acted like I'd given him the Good News.
We're supposed to do that, too... advise clients if we know what we're talking about; make sure their form is correct on the machines (like I'd know....) help them select the right resistance/pace/incline/weight for their ability and goals... yeah, on 3 hours training. I knew being a runner, biker, etc. would come in handy, as would being a nurse.... as such I did have training in lifting, but not weight-machines.... human beings, actually, and other heavy things, but the principles are more or less the same.
I think I like my job. The assistant manager came on duty after me, and she didn't call and ask what the heck happened in the cash register, or anything. Actually it was a little like working in the doctor's office, but not nearly as taxing mentally or emotionally. I'm happy.
Friday, June 02, 2006
Well, if the paperwork is messed up tomorrow, that's what they get for putting the new gym gal on Saturday morning, the busiest time of the week, all by herself.
I was there today for about 3 hours, was shown where all the day passes, membership forms, and contracts are, how to turn on the cash register (OH, GOD! THERE'S A CASH REGISTER????) and hopefully how to run it, where cleaning supplies are, how to turn on the tanning bed and advise customers in safe use, how to use all the machines. It was a lot in 3 hours.
Tomorrow I'm opening up and I'm IT until 2pm. Although I can call for help with any questions.
"Don't worry," said Kris, the assistant-manager who showed me around. "It's not brain surgery."
Thank goodness for that.