I hab a code in my node.

At first I was thinking this was maybe just allergies, but it started with a sore throat and I have some body aches and general feelings of malaise, so now I believe it to be a cold. Oh, well, better now than in 2 weeks. I just hope I'm feeling better by Monday--that's when I plan to do my last long run (3 hours, 16 or so miles) before my 25k on 5/12. i'm already feeling better. Was pretty miserable last night and the first half of today, but I made myself do some upper body and abs work, then ran 4 miles. I'm not feeling too bad, now, but my bottle of Bell's Oberon surely doesn't hurt.

Had a busy week. Monday I did a corporate headshot then started in on a couple of wedding orders from the friend's wedding I shot back in Jan. She and her folks both placed orders on Mon. Tues. I had a dr.'s appt. with my PCP to try to treat my asthma issues (mostly exercise-induced, though the higher pollen counts are making more issues for me) more aggressively, so now I am trying Singulair for a couple of weeks to see how that works for me. I know I was busy on Weds., but now I can't recall what it was that had me so busy. I think maybe just working on photo stuff. Thurs. Dane had his last swimming lesson, and yesterday we had a JDRF function to attend in GR.

This past week has been one of those weeks where I feel like all I was doing was running around--and running, too. I'm really looking forward to my taper after my run on Mon. After my big race I won't be doing any runs of much longer than 11 or 12 miles--at least not until I get closer to my planned Fall half marathons.



This is what it's all about, folks!

Tonite I had the PERFECT run! For so many reasons...brand new shoes (NB 857--to alternate with my similar 1222s), first run in '07 in a skirt, beautiful weather, body ready to go fast--even though it was an easy run...felt effortless.

But the BEST part of tonite's run.... As you know I am doing fundraising for Girls On The Run. Tonite I happened upon a group of 15 or so "tween" girls--many in matching pale blue NB shoes. Beautiful, happy, fit, friendly, fun-loving young ladies. I stopped as they came to the bottom of a little hill on the path I was on and asked if they were training for GOTR--they were.

I then proudly told them and their coach that I was raising money for the very organization that they were participating in. THEY proudly told ME that they have a race on May 19. I could not be more excited for these girls. I'm hoping I can go watch the race and cheer them on--they deserve the support and I hope each and every one of them keeps running and/or participating in sports.

I ran along with them for a couple of blocks until they turned-around and I got to chat with a couple of the girls. One girl noticed my iPod and told me how much she loved it--I replied that it was a Christmas gift from my hubby as a reward for my own hard work running. I told the girls how much I liked their shoes. Last year's GOTR shoes were really hideous (pink and purple). This season's shoes are so much more attractive--pale blue & white and not nearly so cutesy--these are serious-looking shoes for girls who are serious about becoming fantastic runners!

I usually run in the AM while my son is in school. Had I not had a doctor's appt. this AM I would have missed out on such an inspiring moment in my running. I was already having a really great run, but "running into" these girls left me with a silly grin on my face for the remaining 2 miles.


Test...not sure if this will work, or not

Here is the map of yesterday's out-and-back race course. The elevation graph hasn't been working well (perhaps I will do a screen shot), but the hills were brutal! If the map doesn't show below, just click the link above...

[map removed for being crotchety--click the link above to view]




God, that bit! I've long said I loved hills--I lied. Actually, I do love hills...short, steep ones. Not LONG, endless ones over and over on an out-and-back 10mi. course.

Beautiful weather for a run--would have been a perfect race, but I never really found my groove. Kept forgetting to hit the lap button on my watch, so I don't know my splits, but I think the middle third of the race I was pretty putzy. My body felt good (no pains, muscles felt mostly pretty well), but I am feeling the effects of seasonal allergies on my asthma. I definitely want to talk to my PCP about more aggressive treatment for that. I was gasping hard at the end and this is the first time that I truly felt ready to vomit at the end of a race. Me no likey. I'm pretty infamous for my iron gut and aversion to barfing under any circumstances. By 5 minutes after finishing my tummy had pretty much settled, though.

My best friend and I ran side-by-side the entire way and only were 2 seconds apart at the finish--heh, being a reformed sprinter is good for something, as I was just ahead of her. We definitely pushed each other the entire race...there were moments where I just wanted to stop. My time was recorded (manually, no chips) as 1:39:26, but Eryn and I both agreed that something was up with that, as we both saw 1:38ish on the clock as we went through. I also forgot to stop my watch, but when I did it was 1:40 and it was well over a minute after I had finished. I think whomever was writing times down added a minute to both of our times, so we're sticking with the 1:38 times in our logs (I logged mine at 1:38:26 for an average mile pace of 9:51).

I finished 8/15 in our age group. I'm pretty proud of that (especially since I was worried I'd be last or close to it after looking at last year's time's for my AG) and of my time, especially since it was such a challenging course and I walked through each water stop--something I don't do when I take my Camelbak.

3 weeks to our big 25k. I think this race really served as a great training run for that, too. That course may be longer, but it will be much less hilly, so I should have no problem maintaining ~10 minute pace for that.


Go big or go home!

Tomorrow I have my first race of the year--a 10 miler. I feel REALLY ready for this...I plan to rock it! Looks like the weather will be beautiful, too. My first 10 miler last Fall was miserable, so I will most certainly set a PR (personal record) for this race. I'm faster now than I was then. My goal time is 1:35-1:40.


3 weeks from tomorrow is my big race for the year, the Fifth-Third Riverbank Run 25k. It's the largest 25k (15.5 miles) in the nation. I'm really looking forward to the experience. My best friend ran it last year and watching her run inspired me to train hard to do it with her this year.

In addition to running the race I am raising funds for Girls on the Run. Please donate if you can. The money I raise will go directly to our Muskegon County chapter, so local girls will benefit from my efforts and your generosity.



It surpassed my expectations!

Drive was awesome! Tomorrow night starts the regular series, so I will be couch-potatoing tomorrow, too. My brother is also watching and called during several commercial breaks to discuss plotlines and where we have seen various actors. Not since The X-Files have I had a TV series to be hooked on. The fact that it has major eye candy (Nathan Fillion AND several other actors) doesn't hurt!



8/7pm tonite on FOX -- Drive!

2 hour series premier...be there or be square! I :heart: Nathan Fillion (Firefly/Serenity, Slither). I can't wait!
Drive website


Ahhh...lazy weekend

Sorta. I do have an almost 3 hour run planned for today and tomorrow I need to work on some fundraising stuff for Girls on the Run. Other than that, pretty quiet.

My dad is doing well. I've spoken on the phone with him a few times in recent days and I don't hear much change in his personality or thought process...he is a VERY lucky guy. They finally got back home yesterday. He's been out of the hospital for a few days, but due to nasty weather they didn't drive home until the roads were clear--mostly because my mom is a very timid driver.

We submitted our application to our second choice school, so Dane is now enrolled in that public Arts & Academics academy. I think he will like it there. His teacher is fairly familiar with the school and also believes that it will be a good fit for him. If a spot opens at the Montessori charter school down the road from school #2 I think we will still enroll him there, but if one doesn't he'll still be in a good place for him.

Watched "Blood Diamond" last night. Again impressed by Leonardo DiCaprio's acting chops. Too bad he still looks 12, LOL! Now I am curious about the origins of my diamond, though. I have often wondered if it were humanely acquired, but after watching the film I am especially interested in learning of its history. I would likely sell it in exchange for a stone of more peaceful origins if I were to find that it were a conflict diamond.


No news is good news...

My sister tried calling me while we were touring school #2, so I couldn't take her call. Now I can't get a hold of her, so I'm guessing she's at work. But I wouldn't be surprised if my dad was discharged from the hospital and on his way home.

Everything seems to be going well and he was up-and-around yesterday. I talked to both my mom and sister yesterday and last night on the phone and both of them seemed quite chipper, so I think they must be seeing my dad doing really well, considering. Lots of teasing about the scar on his neck (we're joking that he's Frankenstein's monster and that's where he had a bolt removed). Also joking about his claim that he was only 42 right after he suffered his stroke. We've been telling him that he looks like crap for a guy his age...



Update @ 4:30. My dad was just discharged a while ago and will be staying at my sister's tonite. They are expecting some nasty weather, so hopefully my mom can drive them back home tomorrow.



Ooh, this is SO typical!

So we had a tour scheduled at our second choice charter school down near my hubby's work. It's pretty much literally down the road from choice #1. I called this AM with the intent to cancel, since a couple of weeks ago I had been told that their open enrollment was closed and that they were full for next year, but that we could always register to be put on a waiting list. After talking things over DH and I decided to simply enroll Dane in a traditional public school in the same general area, that way it would be relatively easier to reapply to our first choice school every year until we could get Dane a spot.

Anyhow, as I was on the phone with the receptionist at school #2 she asked "what grade are you looking at for next year, again?" I told her first. Well, as it turns out they have FIVE open positions for 1st grade for next year (I'm guessing that in the time between talking to her and today that several families who had applied there and at our first choice school finally notified this school that their kids would be attending school #1). Huh. So we went on the tour and plan to apply.

Here's where it gets sticky. I really liked the school. Hubby liked it too. I think I like it just as much as the Montessori school of our first choice--maybe even more. It's more traditional in the actual classrooms (which I'm not as fond of, knowing how free-spirited Dane is), but they have a VERY heavy emphasis on visual and performing arts, as well as vocal and instrumental music...and dance. They have dedicated band, choir, theatre, and art teachers (and beautiful, well-designed spaces for these subject areas...the kind of spaces that no other elem. schools have that I have ever witnessed) in a school of only 400 K-8. In many ways it would be similar to the school I attended as a child, but with even more emphasis on the Arts and incorporating necessary skills and knowledge into Arts education--something I am VERY strongly in support of. And Dane definitely has a natural affinity for Music and graphic arts...I have a feeling that Drama will be something he enjoys, too--he's definitely known for his flair for the dramatic.

So...I see what will likely happen. We will register him for this school and as soon as we do we will get the call that he has a spot in school #1 (we're almost expecting this, as so many people are leaving MI for work). And now I really love both schools. I know that he does well in the Montessori environment...but they don't have much in the way of any concrete Arts, Drama, or Music programs, so he'd not have as much immersion in these things until HS as I would like. And both schools FAR exceed state standards in terms of test scores and the rate at which they teach the essentials. Ugh, what to do, what to do....

I think I may talk to his current teacher to get her take on things. She is a Montessori educator, but she knows Dane as well as we do and is very open and honest. She will likely have some perspective on things.



Out of surgery -- so far, so good

Looks like my dad is doing OK. I talked to him a bit on the phone and he was a little difficult to understand, but he's also still dealing with the after effects of anesthesia, so that's not too surprising. He's a little freaked-out by those things they often use on a patient's legs after major surgery--the things that swell up and deflate rhythmically. I recall having those either after my c-section or boob reduction...I forget which.

Other than that he sounds good and I can tell my mom is feeling very relieved. She joked that earlier in the day when asked how old he is my dad's response was "42." A full 20 years younger than his actual age. Though if he were to be 42 again, can I be 14? I have lots of things that I would do over, given the chance (mostly choosing a different career/college path).

Now the HARD part starts. Getting my dad to make major, permanent changes in his health.

#1 thing to make an Easter morning hangover even more miserable...

...answering a phone call from your sister reporting that your dad is in the hospital and has likely had a mild stroke.

After an MRI and MRA it was confirmed that my dad did, indeed, have a stroke. He also had blockage in both carotid arteries, with one being almost entirely blocked, so he was taken into surgery this afternoon to clear both. I am still waiting to hear how things went, but did just talk to my sister and it sounds like everything went OK. My mom is pretty stressed, but she's tough. I think her RN background really helps her in medical situations. There is also plenty of family there...my mom's brother and SIL as well as one of my dad's cousins and her son and hubby.

My mom described my dad as "not a well man," but from things she said I took this to mean that he will always be at risk for further strokes. His smoking days are definitely over and I would guess that his diet and exercise will need to change, though he's not really inactive and used to coach my soccer team when I was younger, so I know he won't be averse to adding some sort of regular physical activity.

The thing that scares me is that my dad's grandpa died from stroke, as did my dad's dad...but they were older--that's what smoking does. Smoking moves these risk factors along faster. There is a strong family history of strokes on my dad's side of the family...this knowledge is one more thing to keep me running, lifting my weights, and watching my weight. Right now my risk factors for stroke are very low, but I'm still a young pup.

I will continue to post updates as I have them. Please keep my dad in your thoughts and prayers. I'm certain he will recover from this very well from what many people have told me with family and friends who have had the same procedure, but the kicker is going to be him making permanent changes. No more cancer sticks and I'm guessing his diet and exercise will need to change. The diet will be the most difficult, as he is already fairly active and does not shun exercise...but cheese and bratwurst will be the hardest to limit if a low-fat diet is prescribed (the jury is still out on this, obviously, as many cardiologists are prescribing moderate fat and low carbs, rather than the "traditional" demonization of fats).



Back in the day...

Thanks, Liz!

Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be.

Who was your best friend(s)? Liz, Lynne

What sports did you play? Track, Cheerleading, Soccer

What kind of car did you drive? Grandpa's POS Chevy sedan...didn't have a car of my own and didn't drive all that often.

It's Friday night, where were you? Either at a track meet, cheering at a basketball game, or hanging out with Liz.

Were you a party animal? Not really, though I dated one party animal for about 3 months. I was never much of a hard partier.

Were you considered a flirt? Only with the geekiest of guys and I had already met my hubby-to-be, so I didn't do all that much flirting.

Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? Choir and Show Choir. Can't read music well enough to play an instrument. Still can't.

Were you a nerd? Closet nerd. I dated nerds pretty exclusively.

Did you get suspended/expelled? No, I don't really even recall being sent to the office for much, not that Mr. Whaley would have cared. He was such a great guy!

Can you sing the fight song? Funny...a couple of weeks ago I was trying to sing it (to the tune of the Nortwestern U fight song that was playing on WGN radio), but I couldn't remember some of the lyrics in the middle.

Who were your favorite teachers? Mr. Jones, Mr. Lee (RIP, sweet guy)

Where did you sit during lunch? With Liz and Cindy in the crapeteria (actually, I liked GHS's food, for the most part).

What was your school's full name? Gibraltar High School

School mascot? Viking

Did you go to Prom? Not senior year. I had already met DH and he was off to college and unable to attend, so I didn't see the point of going alone.

If you could go back and do it over, would you? Maybe, but only with the knowledge I have now. I'd be interested to see how things are different now with email and cell phones. I'll bet I could be a mean text-messenger!

What do you remember most about graduation? I received the very first diploma granted on the stage of our new auditorium--a space that I had helped push for and dreamt of during all of our one-act play rehearsals in the cafeteria and performances on an old, cramped gymnasium stage.

What was your fav. class? English and Photography...funny, look what I degreed in in college!


Where were you on senior skip day? I don't think it was an official "skip day" but I do remember something about camping in a field with my classmates the night before our graduation rehearsal. (yeah, what Liz said)

Did you have a job your senior year? I don't recall having a job during the school year, but after graduation I waited tables. I pretty much always did restaurant or retail work during the Summers.

Where did you go most often for lunch? We had to stay at school

Have you gained weight since then? I did get up probably 60#s from my graduation weight at one time, but now I am within 10-15#s. I hope to get down near where I was, since I was always a healthy, fit size in HS.

What did you do after graduation? After the ceremony I had a party...several of my Wagon Trail buddies showed-up, which was extra fun! After that Summer I went to UW-O, then a semester in the UK, then moved to MI...where I have been ever since.

When did you graduate? Ack, almost 16 years ago!


What I did over my Spring break...by Kirsten D.

I had a fun Spring break (mostly...I am trying to pretend that my MIL is not in town and that I don't have to spend my Easter Sunday with her godawful family). I stayed up late almost every night and slept-in a lot. That's one of my favorite things. It's almost like Summer--only the weather isn't as nice. In fact, the weather during my Spring break sucked. So I have been going to the tanner so I can look like all those people who went to warm, sunny places...only on the cheap. I even have some nice lines. Once the weather gets warmer I can hopefully wear skirts and shorts without looking like I have legs of bratwurst.



Out of the mouths of babes...

Tonite as I was tucking Dane into bed I kissed both of his cheeks, wished him happy dreams, and told him I loved him. He responded by saying in the sweetest voice "thank you for telling me you love me."

God, he is such a polite little stinker. Even when he's being a total pill he rarely forgets his manners (at least in public--at home all bets are off much of the time, heh). I'm so proud of my monkey.