Stroll down memory lane

I was looking through old blog posts for something else when I found this gem and wanted to share:

No Running Tuesday

Today, I decided to sit back and enjoy the benefits of a step-back week.  (No running for me today; sleep in!)

I woke up a bit late, showered and headed off to work.  About fifteen minutes into that drive I dumped coffee all over myself.  (Fail!)  So I turned around, headed home, changed, and tried it again without the coffee.

The surprise awesome part of my day came when I got a text from Beth (yes, the one who took me to Kansas and dressed me in goat horns) asking if she could stop by my office and give me something.  She came by and told me this great story of how she thought of me while shopping this weekend.

Finally: someone understands me.

I read parts of this book over the weekend.  For some reason the "slow carb diet" described in the book seemed like it might be worth a try.  I totally didn't do it right because I was starving after lunch.  And I've decided that my body needs carbohydrates to keep running and my brain needs carbohydrates to keep thinking correctly. 

Calorie counting worked for me last time.  This time around, some days are really hard.  Some days I do fine.  Some days I go over my supposed count but I have enough information to know I'm still in a weight-loss zone, just won't lose weight as fast as I wanted.

After starving myself for lunch, I got to have dinner with Travis, a guy I worked with at the Science Museum several years ago.  It was really nice to see him and catch up.  (Oh calm down.)  We ate at Tanpopo which I'm allowing as my one restaurant cheat for the month.  (I'm trying to do another month of not eating out.  We'll see.)

Travis is the guy in this picture.  I forget what game we were playing but I know I learned it from my pooky bear.  This photo is from 2006 or 2007.

Now I'm home, my face feels like it's about to cave in (either from poor caffeination during the day or from sinuses, not sure which.)  I'm thinking about getting up early to run with the St Paul girls in honor of National Running Day.


It's really really hot here

This weekend was basically a four day slug-fest on my couch.  It was wonderful.  I ate, I drank, I did very little else.  Last night I did make it to the gym for some time on the elliptical.

Today, it seemed like a good idea to go for an actual run.  (Why not?  It's only above 80* and 10,000% humidity?  There's no tornadoes on the way or anything.)  This is a step back week (Win!) so a short run was in order.  I headed over to my happy place for this route, a nice little four mile run *ahem* "four mile torture fest in 83* heat and 70% humidity".  Like I said, a great idea.

I apparently save this route for extreme conditions.  I find it's easier to stick with in extreme conditions; there are no short cuts on this route once I've turned around and no roads or stop lights so I can just keep going.  Let's review today versus the last time I was here.

Shoes then: Anything that will accommodate my YakTrax
Shoes now: PINK! And no yak trax.
Conditions then: Snow banks.
Conditions now: Grass!  And look, houses too.
Nature then: Pine trees are marginally alive, hating winter as much as the rest of us.
Nature now: LIFE!



It appears that Lady Gaga exists solely to populate my playlists for running.  (As always, Lady Gaga videos were not meant for your children to enjoy without parental guidance.)  Examples of Lady Gaga's contributions to my running play lists:
  • The Edge of Glory, my newest find
  • Telephone Ft Beyonce - if you're not that into the "art of the music video" just fast forward to about 2:55 for the start of the song.
  • Born This Way - Performed Live at the Grammy's.  I find I like the song even more after watching this video.  (And I liked it plenty to begin with.)
  • Alejandro  Why does this song remind me of Ricky Martin?
  • LoveGame. I can see you standing there from across the block...
  • Just Dance ft Colby Dennis, perhaps the first of all Lady Gaga sounds I've found.
  • Bad Romance, still my favorite (even given my love for 'born this way').  Rah rah, ah ah ahh!
  • Bonus Track - I've heard this song is good but haven't really listened too much yet.  Judas

Long Run Thursday: 15 Miles!

I meant to go for a long run on what I am now calling tornado Sunday. Running was not a possibility due to weather and wild schedule.  I made up the long run today in perfect weather.

I think that one blip in the middle is related to a stop light.  Otherwise, a nice even run.

I ran this route.  I was really excited to see Lake of the Isles (which I can't explain because most of my experiences there have been so awful).  I was happy to see all the other lakes and the creek too.  The creek is flooded in a few places but not enough to close the path.

The run was just smooth.  I don't know how else to put it.  Nice, right?  Because 15 miles really isn't on the schedule for at least another month.  (Remind me about that schedule because I think an extra 20-miler accidentally was added to it.)  And I haven't run fifteen miles at once since, well it must've been sometime last year.  Even at the end, I just kept right on going.

The second I got home, I kept right on going into an ice bath.  Oh, it has been a long time.  I screamed.  I screamed a lot.  The only thing that hurts now is my ankles so it must've worked.

I had some eggs and awesome bacon (because it's that time of year!  Finally!) and headed to work.  Work was very relaxed, seeing as I hadn't even planned on being there today.  After work I hit the co-op for some grass fed beef in the form of a strip steak.  Yum!  Now I'm lying on the couch, amazingly not falling asleep.  Whatever will I do with my time?


This is what a good day looks like...

Last night I got to engage in one of my favorite past times: drinking with Amanda.  I was well into my second pint of beer when we started discussing some really interesting things about our lives. 

I must've been pretty loose because I said something I've never told anyone out loud before.  Amanda, in true best friend fashion, said "the way you are just makes sense to me now".  (You thought this was going to be all 'blogging while drunk' but it's much more emotional.) 

Honestly, I'd wanted a 'drinking with Amanda' night for some time.  We really hadn't done one since our double header over her birthday.  These events yield some of my favorite moments of our friendship.  (The pee cups were pretty special too.)

This morning I woke Amanda up so she could take me over to the I could drive her tired butt over to the Uptowner for awesome breakfast and coffee.  Coffee!

Work was, well, it had it's good moments.  What I feel most satisfied with was the time I *didn't* resort to ridiculous sarcasm in a client's kitchen.  (You're right; it's hopeless.  There is no solution.)

I came home to the season finale of House.  I'm starting to see the metaphor or symbolism or whatever the hell that was the last 10 minutes of the show, but basically I agree with the rest of the internet on this one:

Sorry.  Maybe when I see how it's resolved in Season 8 it will feel less ridiculous.


It has been a week...

I'm no sure what my issue what this week that I didn't want to write any blog posts.  Here's what was going on:

Monday: was a day of rest after the 12-mile Sunday.  I did work.  It was also the season finale of Castle.

Tuesday: I had a nice run around Lake Nokomis which has a normal amount of water and Lake Hiawatha which is overflowing its banks in a couple places.  I'm sure there was work as well on Tuesday.  Oh, I know there was; it was like a three hour training that was actually quite helpful.
Amanda and Kelly took me out for alcohol seafood, they took me out for seafood.  I never want to see another shrimp again.  I am so full.

Wednesday: I didn't run on my own but I did go with Team:Work and we tried a new route.  It was fine but only 2.7 miles, I need to find a way to add a few blocks to that one.

Thursday: There was no exercise.  I'm sure of it.  There was probably some work although ultimately not much.

Friday: I had to work (becuase I'm a team player).  I walked around the track at the Y for a while and listened to Car Talk.

Saturday: My one day of rest.  (That's right, not only did I have to work all five days this week; I only get a one day weekend.)  I went to the gym straightaway to get that over with.  I stopped at Turtle Bread for some breakfast bread and headed home.  I ventured out once more later in the day for a trip to Kowalski's where I purchased steak and strawberries (not for the same meal).  I spent most of the day Saturday planning on a 14-15 mile run Sunday morning.

Sunday: The forecast had other plans and I did not go for a run.  Happily, today is the first day of the farmer's market and I headed over to see these guys and get my awesome bacon and awesome eggs.
I did have to work today.  Boo.  Although my our associate director brought her two year old daughter who basically entertained me the whole time.  (I want ice!)  I love kids who just want to sit and look at you, don't like to be touched or picked up, just want to see what's up, so this kid was totally my speed.
Then I headed over to the gym (since I didn't get in my long run due to rain).  I did the elliptical for an hour then walked for an hour.  (Walking is a totally legitimate part of marathon training.)
I came home and had an awesome lunch of stale popcorn (truly the best kind) followed by yogurt and strawberries topped with chocolate chips and a few peanuts.  Yum!  Now I am debating laundry.

While I debate laundry, here's some great new songs for you to enjoy:
Any other World - Mika
Keep the Streets Empty for Me - Fever Ray


Twelve was the answer

Last night I debated about having my long run be a 12-miler or a 15-miler.  I decided almost every part of my body could've done 15 miles but my feet would certainly only stand for 12 miles.

Waking up was much less awful than usual.  It took very little mental convincing.  Getting dressed was more difficult.  12 miles in 47*.  Short sleeves?  Long sleeves?  Arm warmers?  I went for long sleeves; the correct decision given the 20 mph winds I contended with most of the day.  I grabbed my Gu, Gatorade and iPod and headed out.

I ran this route.  And felt much better than the last time I went for a long run.  The wildflowers are out.  The trees are getting buds and tiny little baby leaves (Hello Box Elders!  You're one of my favorite trees up here.)  And the birds were quite impressive.  I saw a hummingbird, a blue jay, grackles all over the place, and the brightest cardinal ever.

It was really a good run.  I didn't feel like dying at all, even on those stupid hills near Bryant, Portland, Chicago and 12th Ave.  I love rollers!

That's notable because I got home and an unbelievable wave a nausea hit me.  I didn't puke but I did think I was going to die.  Quite a turn of events from the run.  (Seriously, let me tell you how good I felt on this run.)  I don't know what my body's issue was.  I gave it a little water and a very small amount of food and it calmed the freak down. 

I did give my feet an ice bath although the rest of me declined.  (Thanks for the offer anyways!)  Then I had several cups of coffee and a nice protein platter for breakfast.  Now I'm getting ready for a nap.  Later I was thinking of going back over to Lake Harriet or Lake Nokomis for a nice walk and maybe take pictures of some of the flowers.


Prodcutivity Friday - I stubbed my toe and it HURTS!

Four day work weeks are just the best!  I finally feel like I have time to clean; like housework isn't awful or a punishment; and I can have a generally orderly condo without giving up my entire weekend.

RUN! I woke up somewhat later than usual although still kind of early. Immediately the scheming in my brain began.  How can I not run?  Maybe I should go to the gym instead? This is my usual problem with morning workouts: my brain is still tired and doesn't want my body to get up.  My plan this morning, as with most mornings was to think "just get out of bed and get into the workout clothes".  Can still go to the gym in these clothes...  Next thought was "just go outside and start; if you still want to die in ten minutes it's ok to stop".  Of course I got outside and went about four feet, immediately felt great and had a nice run.
Paula Radcliffe thinks I set a personal best for the mile today.  Not sure why she'd think that about today and not one of those days I spent a mile running down hill but whatever.  (If you have the Nike+ system you know what I'm talking about.)

Eat! Breakfast was awesome.  I'm still counting calories.  Right now it's mostly helping me see how much I eat and how food, anxiety and idleness are related.  There was no anxiety around breakfast.  (How could there be with all that bacon?)

Car: Originally I'd planned to leave my car with the boys at my garage and come back for it later.  But they were all "no, sit here and wait; this won't take us long".  I had a couple errands to run that were in walking distance of the garage so I went to do those.  Along the way I found a new coffee shop  It's not new, just new to me.  The guy said he roasts his own beans.  Is this normal?  I also found a store my pooky bear will love as there's more scarves (fashion scarves) every time you turn around.
Back at the shop my boys told me I needed to get new brakes "when it starts grinding".  (I think one wheel's doing that now.)  So I'll be back to see them next Friday.  The boys have been telling me since last year at this time "you'll need to get those replaced soon" so I guess I got all the use out of those brake pads I realistically could've expected.

Other business: I now have an account with a VPN service.  Why I need that I'll leave to your imagination.

Cleaning and laundry: Oh cleaning, not sure how I feel about you but it is nice to have a clean place to relax.  During laundry folding and hanging I watched Big Fish because Ewan McGregor has a special place in my heart.  I'm getting back to the "I have too many clothes" stage because they don't all fit in the space I've alloted.

Lunch/Dinner: I totally got Thai food.  I love squid and it's not stupidly expensive here so I treated myself.  Protein right?  Everyone needs protein after a run.

More cleaning: I re-organized my tupperware drawer.  This was largely uneventful.  I also went after the boxes in my entertainment center that hold papers, books, CDs, DVDs and other crap.  They're all nice and organized and neat now.  And I stubbed my toe!  I hit it on one of those $@#% boxes and it hurts really bad.  (How do you know if a toe is broken?  I feel like this one's been 'broken' about five times in the past.)  Just to be clear, the injury occurred several hours about and it still hurts.  This is going to make a long run Sunday quite interesting.  Seriously.  Hurts.

YWCA! I hit the hot tub.  I totally ran into a girl from a partner agency in the locker room as I was changing.  She did not know my "no naked conversations" rule.  (The YWCA doesn't have changing rooms, just one big locker room.)  But she was fun to talk to; she had good information about, um, something interesting.
After the hot tub, per tradition, I went to the liquor store across from the Y.  It's Summer Shandy time!


Two-a-days: Not sure that's completely necessary

0500 I woke up from this bizarre dream.  Running Beth was signed up for this marathon and some how she wound up at the start line with me and was all "yeah, we can run together".  (Sweet; she runs a lot faster than me.)  But the race was through a shopping mall (among other things) and at some point we literally had to sit down for a meal at a Bucca/Olive Garden type place.  Krazy Kat Lady was at the table and I was ready to go without the food.  Running Beth, of course, was feeling no pressure since she runs these things in waaaay less time than me.  So I got frustrated and mad and scared that I wasn't going to have time to finish and just got up from the table and abandoned Running Beth and kept doing the race.  Which by this time was winding through a big box store.  And I got lost.  And I missed Beth.  And then the alarm woke me up.  (Thank goodness.)

0530 Heather, Beth and I ran the Summit 4-miles route.  Heather and Beth were out for a nice easy four after a track meet (for their kids) the night before.  A "nice easy run" for them is not so much for me.  At the end of the run we had this conversation:
Me: So, next week I'll come again and we'll do more speedwork.
Beth: Speedwork ?!?
Me: Running with you is speed work for me.
Heather::Torn between laughing at my joke and wanting to actually do speed work::

At the end of the run I also had a moment where I really needed to do something gross.  (The pollen count is like 12 on a scale of 1-11).  And Beth and Heather were all watching me, concerned I guess because I was doubled over by my car door.  I was trying to do a loogie the size of a golf ball and be dainty about it. Just go, please, leave me alone for this for one second.

Work: Work was positive and productive.  I had three home visits, although one 'visit' was about three, no, four different people.  I multi-task.

1700:  That's 5pm for the rest of you.  For reasons unimportant to this story, I'd agreed to do an encore hill run with Team:Work tonight.  Hi, it's 85* with the heat index slightly higher than that, humidity is around 300% and we'd like to run up hill for 1.5 miles please.  It wound up being me, my boss and 'girl the other girl met in the bar'.  It was a fun night.  I love hill runs.  It was really hot too.

Go home: My apartment is roughly 85*.  The heat will not be turned off 'till next week.  Boo!.  At least I know it will be turned off soon.  (It's really not usually this hot in May.)  I ran into Neighbor (aka Apple guy) and we decided to go for dinner and catch up.  We went to the Birchwood.
When we were on the way home the sirens (yes, those sirens) started going and the sky had that yellow quality too it.  No tornadoes in Minneapolis that I know of but there was some hail here and some touchdowns in other parts of the state.

I think the plan for tonight is going to involve an air mattress to stay cool.  I need to decide if the plan similarly involves an air conditioner.  The jury is still out on that one.


Back to counting calories; and that dinner was a mistake

After a long and somewhat painful weekend, I've decided I need to continue to proactively manage my weight.  While getting on the scale at least a few times per week has probably helped me not  gain any weight, I'm not loosing anything either.  The best medicine seems to be counting calories.

I stopped counting calories around Christmas last year.  (Maybe?  It was after the marathon for sure.)  Partly I stopped counting becuase I was sick of it and thought I'd learned my lesson.  Another reason (bigger than I'd realized at first) was that the battery of my iPod was freaking out and always super lower.  Now that I have an iPod dock, that issue seems to have resolved.  Which means I can use the app I like.  (The android app store had a nice one too, just not the one with all my food from the past year already programmed in.)

Training... is still going on.  This morning I quickly consulted the radar and realized it was going to be an indoor type of workout day.  It started raining about three seconds after I got to the gym with lightning and everything.  I did the elliptical and was thrilled to remember how much I can eat, even while counting calories, after doing the ellipticals for an hour.


Flying Pig Sunday

0420 - Wake up!  I have no idea what I was thinking.  I headed out shortly thereafter and made it downtown around 0500, before the rain started.  I learned from last year that the best parking is under an overpass in the lots around Paul Brown Stadium.
Number 15407.  Because active.com is ridiculous I'm registered as "A M" so I need a bib number to see my results.
The race was, well, not what I'd planned.  In some ways it was much better and in some ways it was quite painful.

My plan was to stay with the 11:26 (2:30:00 finish time) pacer.  That was a mistake.  I run up and down hills differently than you people.  I'm slow up and fast as hell coming down.  The pacer ditched me around mile 1 and I was perfectly fine with that.

Kentucky - always a nice place for a race.  Lot's of bridges which are taller than you'd think.

Back to Ohio - the cheering squad met me on the bridge coming back into Ohio.  It was one of the only places Mom actually saw me apparently.  (My name is on my shirt; this shouldn't be hard.)  Really, this is also the start of the uphill section although mile 4 is a much gentler grade than what comes next and the run across downtown is legitimately flat.

Up big hills - right before this climb the route takes runners over this little overpass and it's lined with people.  I always feel like it's people lining the route to hell.
Hell, it turns out, was the best part of the course.  I just ran right up that climb.  No problem.  I thought I was at or ahead of a 12:00/mile pace that that time too.  (And that's a big hill to have run up.)

At the 'top' - it's not really the top.  The water station had water but ran out of cups.  WTF?  This did not help that 'puke' feeling I had in my stomach.

At the real top - there's water here.  It's still not helping that puke feeling.  Shortly after that I saw Mike and Linda.  Linda, who was in a rain coat, got a big hug from me.  Thanks for coming out!

Only it's not the top - the 'top' for the full course is actually not the top for the half course.  And all you people who say 'it's all down hill from here' are full of crap.  This course is "up hill both ways" times 10. 

Down big hills - the secret of this race is that the half marathon has a very technical, very steep, very long descent in addition to that ridiculous climb.  All my hill training paid off here, possibly even more than the up hills, 'cause I just let loose and had fun with it.  (Other than that I really wanted to puke.)  I passed a bunch of people.

Downtown, also known as "you really think now is the best time for an out-and-back" - there's this ridiculous part of the route where runners go west on Central Parkway several blocks and then just turn around and come back East on the same road.  It's easy because it's flat but it's mentally draining.

How much farther?  I may really puke - With less than a mile to go, I did have to start throwing in even more walks.  I was really getting sick.  I didn't take the beer they have near the finish line.  Happily I did run across the line and the cheering section got to see me.

Boom! I'm done.  I thought I'd finished with about a 12:00/mile pace.  Ultimately I wasn't disappointed given my training (those two 10 mile runs and that one 12-miler with Beth...) and the difficulty of the course.

And then I puked. 

This race is actually known for having really cool medals.  They delivered this year.

The official results: 12:04/mile pace, not my best but definitely good for today I think.
Here's my Nike+ read out.  The higher the line on this graph the faster I was running, this graph has nothing to do with the hills on the route, only my speed.
 To be clear, this race was a blast and it was fun to come home and run it for myself, but this is definitely not my best half marathon.   

Sometime after the race I discovered I have one of the most impressive blisters I've ever had.  (I'm including the gigantic one I had in Amsterdam.)  I only felt it once, for about fifty feet, during the race.

See it on my big toe?  Impressive right?  It doesn't hurt.

I spent the afternoon at home.  I did convince Mom and Dad to go for a stretch walk.  It was part of the day that it wasn't actually raining.  (Nice right?) 

We ended the night with Skyline and packing.  And Grater's. 

Cincinnati Saturday - my day of rest

Saturday was my day or rest before the big day. I woke up to an empty house. (Good; I needed a break after yesterday.) I hung around the house and made plans with a friend for later.

Mom and I headed down to the Expo. The Flying Pig Expo is easily the best one I've been to. (Sorry Twin Cities.) I got a couple little running things. I can always use a new headband and I finally purchased a race/number belt. Those things that hold the Gu Packs. This expo has a lot of the non-profits who benefit from the marathon including Dress For Success. It was the only booth Mom wanted to actually look at so we went over. I got a pair of earrings for basically being nice. (Nice!)
At the expo - good use of pink and black!

With a name like 'the flying pig'  this race lends itself to merchandising quite nicely

Goodies from the expo; Gu was not included.  This pictures also doesn't do justice to the pinkness of that belt.  It matches my shoes.

Earrings for being nice!

Mom and I then hooked up with Jenny and went out for Indian food, a rare treat for her since she is married to the pickiest eater on the planet. I had so much food and it was at a weird time, like 3:00 in the afternoon or something. I wound up not being hungry for dinner.

Mom and I made Moonbeams (this snack of peanut butter awesomeness) which resulted in the need for a trip to Kroger. It's weird to be in places where the wine and beer is right there in the grocery store.

We hung out the rest of the night. I did have a big bowl of cereal even though I wasn't hungry. (Good carbs for tomorrow). Mom and Dad watched some show about Prince William's wedding. I watched Mama Mia and listened to Harry Potter on tape. (I did not sleep. Even though I tried.)

At some point in the middle of the night I got up and was, um, sick a little bit. (Well, tomorrow is going to be interesting.) My throat has also been sore basically since I got here but I think that's a Cincinnati Sinus thing.

Cincinnati Friday - in which I need some time alone and there will be no water

Friday was always going to be the day of this trip that killed me.  And so it was.
My mom, who is also a social worker, wanted me to come to a CEU event at her School of Social Work.  And so I traveled back in time, much farther back than even the five years this blog lasts...

I wound up catching a ride with a family friend, also a social worker, whom I have known my entire life. Let the time travel begin. While there I saw another family friend who also knew me my entire life and has lived in the same house as me for most of my life as well.  (It was a two family house where I grew up.)  It was also quite odd to be on UC's campus where I spent three years earning a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice.  (Did I mention I am a geek?)  I assure you, it felt like much longer.

For lunch, Mom wanted me to eat Subway (bleh!) with her and the two previously mentioned family friends. Thinking about Subway made me feel like ish so I headed in the direction of a Chipotle I remembered from my college days. I got distracted on the way by an Indian take out place I knew from even before my college days. Best. Lunch. Ever. Jasmine rice. I could have more right now.

The afternoon presenters were an improvement over the morning and the day went on more quickly after lunch. We hit a traffic jam on the way out of the parking garage and my chauffeur *ahem* family friend was fit to be tied. (Oh what a mess. This is just awful. I'm going to time it.) Hilarious. Have I mentioned I love to watch drama like this and see how it unfolds. I'm the least comforting social worker I know. (I'm too busy trying to figure out what you're going to do next to calm you down.)

I did get a few minutes of time to myself before Dad got home and started being nervous about being on time for the play. Mom came home and started being nervous about something else. This wouldn't be a big deal to a normal person but I get nervous (in hell basically) about their being nervous so it's pretty awful. (Maybe why I live five states away?)

We headed over to pick up my Uncle (mom's brother). I swear when he got in the car I could already smell alcohol on his breath. Not that he was drunk. It just bothered me for some reason. I don't have much of a relationship with Uncle anymore. I used to see him every weekend when I was little and then I just got older and grew apart from him and his kid (Cousin). Uncle will come out and cheer at 5:00am for the Flying Pig race. In the rain. Just 'cause it's something to do and he likes it. So that's cool.

Then we arrived at the Playhouse in the Park. Mom and Dad wanted to get dinner over there. Nothing on the menu looked good. (It was slim picking to be sure.) So I settled for a cookie and a beer. I was mercifully full from lunch still.

We saw Behind the Eye which is easily one of the best shows I've seen there. (I've seen quite a few so that's really saying something.) I also told Mom I think I like this theater better than the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. I still like the Guthrie. I just think Playhouse in the Park picks better stories to tell and tells the stories better. (Sorry.)

Mom and Dad got a notice that the water would be off from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. (No problem right? We'll be gone all that time.) We got home at 10:30pm and the water was still off. Mom started freaking out. (I wish I would've put more water in pitchers. You drink like two ounces of water a day anyways.) At 10:45pm I called Waterworks. Ma'am, I do apologize. They were trying to get the water back on and had a second problem. They are working on it. 11:15pm and still no water. Remember that time I lived in Africa? I think I am the least concerned person in the house.

Cincinnati Portsmouth Thursday

I woke up (why is it so early?) and headed out for my last pre-Pig run.  4 miles.  Nice.  I did the mighty hill next to my parents house of course.  I need all the practice I can get.  This course is not flat.

Dad and I packed up the car and headed to Portsmouth to see Gramma.

Coming up Ohio-32 into the Appalachian Foothills

We're here!

Gramma wanted to go to a new cafe in the Bonnyfiddle part of town. I had an awesome grilled cheese. (Ranch and bacon!) Then we went down to see the floods, flood walls and murals. It was a beautiful day for a walk. And the views were most impressive.

Apparently someone to whom I am related worked here for $0.05/hour at some point in his life

The place we ate used to be a storefront and they turned it into a cafe and kept most of the original decor

Another great building with great fixtures!


Pigs are apparently a big deal in Portsmouth too!

Welcome.  We have murals.  And bathrooms!

The Ohio River as with all the other rivers in this part of the country is at a very high flood stage.
This is one of my favorite murals; ships heading to and from the Erie Canal.

This is a mural; for reference, this is what the river and that bridge look like when not at flood stage.  For example, you can see the pilings on this bridge pretty clearly.  And the trees are on shore.  Where they belong.

Walking down the street looking at murals and talking...

We headed back to Gramma's for a pre-road snack. We also installed a new hose. It was during this event that Dad and I had a little exchange about effort and quality of work when doing home improvements. The leak's not that bad it's fine. No; seriously; I know you hate home improvements but you can do better than this. I also got my first and hopefully last trip into the attic to inspect Gramma's leaky roof.

As with all trips to Gramma's, there was some manufactured drama. Some of it come in the form of a news story about someone to whom I may or may not be related. Oh, it's just so terrible I don't even want to tell you. And then we got to talk about it for a long time. Drama! Followed by the 'you need a new roof'; 'no, there must be a way to patch it' conversation. Drama number two! I love it. (Sorry, I know, I should be more helpful.) I can just sit and watch all this going on, and not have to be part of the drama, just get to watch it unfold. Fascinating. Because there are like ten solutions to this issue, any of which would be fine. So now I can sit back and wait to see which one happens and how it unfolds.  It's like watching the story line on a TV show except it's my family.

Mission: Hose.  Accomplished!

Fruit!  Yum!

The weather did get interesting on the way home. We drove through some heavy rain. Which made me wonder about Sunday. After last year I have become largely unattached to the weather. If it rains it rains. I'm still running and I won't have to drink as much water. Right?  Still...
Wet Pig!

Cincinnati Wednesday - Tornadoes and horses and Alicia; Oh my!

Since I'm tapering (ha!) I got to sleep in the morning.  I woke up late and had cereal with Mom.  I don't know what came over me but I turned the television on.  There was a line of storms moving through Kentucky just south of Cincinnati.  I lost count after the ninth time in two minutes that I heard the word tornado.  We should have a drinking game for this: 'tornado' - one drink; 'rotation' - one drink; 'hail' - one drink; "where's the lightning?" - Chug.  I would've won too because meteorologist on two stations asked that question.  (Is the radar malfunctioning?  There's no lightning?)

Everyone swore that the rain would be over by post time.  Mom and I packed into the car and drove to pick up Dad.  It was United Way day at Keeneland.  Since all three of us work with or in organizations that are funded by United Way, it seemed like a good use of our time.

We had reserved seats. A lot of people from Dad's office and a couple of the other office locations came. I knew a few people but not many. It was also my first time at Keeneland. I did not gamble. Sorry. I did like it when they walked the horses through the paddocks for everyone to see. Fancy.

The weather was, um, well. When we got there it was so sunny dad had his shades on.  (After the first line of tornadoes came through.)

That didn't last long though. It started to rain after the third or fourth race. We were in the covered grandstand. The track is called 'poly track' meaning it's no longer dirt; it's those ground up crushed up old tires. It's not dangerous to the horses when wet so they run races in most conditions.

After the races I had to drive Dad's car back to Cincinnati. In the rain. With a bunch of big trucks on the road. (I'll get over it I'm sure.) Then I split up with my parents and went to go see the other Bat Girl herself. For some reason I always forget that her boyfriend is a chef. I always love it when I remember. He made us a lovely dinner. We had Grater's for dessert.

Now I'm home contemplating the weather for tomorrow. (Will it be dry enough for one last run?)