Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Luck of the Ersatz Irish

Or, Beer and Roaming in Knoxvegas.  Apologies to Hunter S. Thompson.

I can do anything for 30 minutes or so, right?


Well, probably not *anything*.  I can't imagine washing my hair for 30 minutes.  Or watching Ghost Adventures.  But I can run really slowly for 30 minutes.  I know I can.

Just NOT  in.  the.  rain

(which reminds me of a favorite joke, as answered by Ernest Hemingway:  Why did the chicken cross the road?  To die. 


 In the rain.)

The occasion was the Barley's St. Patrick's 5k.  Josie and I did it last year and nearly died.  SRSLY.  The first HOT day of the year after a very chilly winter - color me not acclimated.  And it was a huge disappointment to me because it was my 4th  or 5th race and I'd been improving in microbursts and felt really lucky going in to it.  Let's just say, I don't handle heat well in the best of times and I was crushed, like run-over-by-a-truck crushed (figuratively speaking) by my terrible 31:23 finish.

So this year's race was all about redemption. 

(And pizza.  Because there was FREE pizza at the end!  Also, 2 free beers as well, so thank you Barley's!)

I woke up to the sound of rain.  I have my heat pump's circulating fan running constantly, so this was not a gentle sprinkle, but a Noah's Ark kind of deluge for me to hear it from the snuggly confines of my boudoir.  A feeling of dread came over me, a veritable cloud (do you like where my metaphor is trying to go?) of 'OMG nooooooooo.'  I despise running in the rain.  Now I had the next 5 or so hours to let that dread fester, and obsess over Doppler radar.  And plan my running outfit over and over and over and over and - well, you get my drift.  I ate a huge breakfast and watched the skies.  I walked the dog and was sprinkled lightly upon.  I got in the van with Josie and hit the road to threatening skies but no measurable precipitation.  A couple of traffic snafus and an hour later, we hit Knoxville.  Still no rain to speak of, but coolish.  And a bit of March-y wind.  I got my race packet and began a rather ridiculous debate with myself and Josie over where I would put my race bib.  On the outer layer?  Or should I be brave and pull off the pullover and go sleeveless in the city? 

I felt another gust of March and decided to keep the pullover.

Mistake.  We started and I was warm by the top of the first hill.  First two things to get over:  the hill and the warmth.  Me 1, mental barriers 0.

And those were the first of many mental barriers I had to get through. That's been my Achilles heel lately - just thinking 'I can't.'  I had two goals for this race.  The big one was to run the entire thing (and when I say run, it's a run to me but to others it might appear to be more of a jog - whatevs.  We can't all be Speedy Gonzalez).  And the second goal - and the one that really seemed like a pipe dream, a will o' the wisp if you will, was to beat my last year's time.  That sorry 31:23.

I'll spare you the boring details.  Every time I was brave enough to look at my Garmin, my pace seemed good.  It was a very up and down course and I tried to take full advantage of every down and just keep breathing on every up.  I had my tunes, and they were a great distraction.  (Pre-race, I was listening to something really loud and obnoxious and imagining I was in a music video and all my fellow participants were singing lines - this is hi-larious.  Try it some time.)

At the finish line, I came *this* close to being taken out by a small black automobile, to which I very dramatically lifted my hands and mimed W.T.F?!?!  No one noticed, but I felt better.

Because I was at the finish.  And I had run the whole way.  And while I actually forgot to stop my Garmin, I later found out my time was an incredible 29:14.

Thank you again, Barley's.  It was da bomb.


Sunday, August 04, 2013

After Midnight...

Did that Pigeon Forge Midnight 8K thing last night.  With 3 or 4 hundred of my closest friends.  Or maybe not that many - not as many as I expected anyway.

I finished.  In under an hour.  And that was my goal.  So, well done me!  It could have gone better, but I got through and now, if I live, I'll focus on the next race - my anniversary run, so to speak - the Alzheimer's Race to Remember that was my First Ever Goal Race way back in 2012.  Time flies.

I've been having some problems with my hip and did not run at all the week before this race trying to calm it down.  I suspect bursitis, but have decided to get a doctor's opinion this week, providing I can limp in.

Getting old is not for the faint of heart.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Big Adventure

So, Adventure Lady has been on one BIG adventure since last report.

Specifically, she has (borrowing from Elf), passed through the seven levels of unemployment, sailed across the sea of Job Searches and finally walked through the Lincoln Tunnel, I mean the interview. 

Yes, boys and girls, I lost my job.  Strange as it may seem, this is good news, because NOW I have a new job with structure and flow and a chain of command!  Working for nice people!  With real office supplies!  I no longer have to beg pens from banks.  Color me ecstatic.  Color me thankful.  Color me relieved and incredulous and all sorts of happy, happy, happy. 

Merry Christmas, peeps.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Adventures at the Ballot Box!

So, there was some voting going on Tuesday.  And, good American that I am, I wanted to participate.  But, because I can do really really stupid things, my photo id went to Knoxville while I stayed home.


(still my favorite emoticon)

A quick Google revealed that I was entitled to vote provisionally and I could bring my id in to the election commission within 2 days to be COUNTED, so off I went to the polling place.  The man behind the table asked me for  id and I said I did not have it, but understood I could vote provisionally. He gave me a look and away he went.  He returned with a file of instructions. I was diverted to a table on the other side of the gym and we endeavored to figure out how to accomplish a provisional vote.  I was, at 6 PM, the First*.
So, I did my little paper ballot and folded it up middle-school style to fit in the too-tiny envelope.  I was told I was eligible to vote in a certain state race, but was unable to because it was not on my pre-printed paper ballot.  No one seemed too concerned about that, and I didn't press the issue because I knew that election was already won.  But their unconcern did concern me.

And finally, I prepare to cast my vote.  To place it in that most sacred of American institutions, the ballot box.

And I can't.  My election helper held  the box up.  He turned it over several times.  He caressed every corner of it and so did I.  Every orifice on that sucker was locked up, nay sealed up with all kinds of official looking wires and tags and actual locks.  He took my envelope and shoved it into a crack where the lid and the body meet and that was that.

Now, sure, that was a little bizarre.  Well, hell, actually, that was a LOT bizarre.  No way to put the vote in except in a manner that would probably (in Florida) cause the ballot to be declared invalid.  But I'm a trusting person and I was 99.9% sure this election wasn't going to hinge on my vote.  But I like to participate.

Today I went and presented id and again flustered the election commission to pieces. This whole provisional thing was new for me as well.  But since this was the first, or possibly the second election requiring photo id, I would have thought they might have made some, ahem, provisions for these kind of situations.

So that was my 2012 Electoral Experience.  Ballot obstruction and poll workers more at sea than the borough of Manhattan.

But my American dream came true.  Again.  In spite of everything.

*seriously?  at 6 PM?  I'm wondering how many people did not have id and did not press the issue.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My 2nd 5K

I finished it!

The On Cosby Moonshine Run, 2012.  And I finished 38th out of 88, I believe.  I read the results whilst near-frozen, so I could be wrong by a little, but not a lot.  I did not, however, meet my goal, which was to finish 2 minutes better than my first one.  So, maybe that was a bit ambitious.  My official finish time was 31:11.  It must be noted that this race was actually .26 mile longer as recorded by my Garmin, so the fact that I finished 25 seconds slower but went further is, like, wow!

First in my age group as well.

Pictures to follow as soon as my cheerleaders (I had 3!!!) send them to me.

The weather was warm enough that I went shorts, long sleeve T and light jacket to start.  The jacket was removed in the first half mile and was secured around my waist for the duration.  Which was a good thing.  I didn't know any other runners or walkers, but they appeared to be a fun bunch.  Truly, I was scoping out the competition, because that pernicious competitive spirit was upon me.  I don't think I'd gone quite one mile before the overall winners passed me on their way back.  Several (better) people in front of me cheered them, but I thought 'oh HELL no.  too soon!' but I did smile at the second place guy because he was polite and friendly during my warmup.  The course was a gradual rise up Highway 32 towards the Cosby Campground but turning left onto Liberty Road after about a half mile.  Then it was a nice downhill along a creek and through some lovely homes (but I really wasn't looking at them!).  The long slog back up was not pretty, and I had to break down and walk twice.  >.<  My favorite face again.  That was another goal I didn't quite meet.

But I finished and I felt good.  I have trouble comprehending how far out of shape I was and how long (at my AGE) it takes to get back in.  Shape, I mean.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Oppan Gangnam Style

and no, I'm not going all Psy on you.

I was reminiscing about my misspent youth and how I wanted to be in a gang.

Now, there aren't any gangs for suburban white girls (with the possible exception of sororities), so I had to invent one.

I christened it Vigilante Force and my idea of it was equal parts Merry Pranksters, Wild Wild West and The Avengers.  I forced my friends to join and we used to terrorize the seasonal personnel who lived in our neighborhood.  With endless games of Kick the Can and catchy catchphrases like 'be a lert!  the world needs more lerts!'  Oh, it was a simple time.  Anyway, here's a good song about gangs and growing up.  Not that I'm in any way, shape or form condoning violence.  Unless it's in a moderated forum/presidential debate.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Attack of the Ginormous Insects!!!!

(cue spooky music)


Well, actually they - and by this I mean it - came from the parking lot of Kroger's the other day.  It flew at me, not quite bee-like in its determination but speedy for its size, and I brushed it away.

Or rather, I THOUGHT I brushed it away.  When I felt evil little footsteps on my throat, I realized different and did the GetItOff!GETITOFF!GETITOFF!!!! Dance.

Point, me.

It relocated to my windshield and continued to terrorize me while I drove.

Point, bug.

I did stop panicking long enough to snap a quick phone photo and if you are observant, you will notice the antenna of his alien overlord master in the corner of the photo.  Holy Orson Welles, Batman!

Anyhoo, this is a stink bug, a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug to be precise, and we are having a bumper crop of them this fall.  Trust local tv to inform and forewarn on what must've been the slowest news day ever.