Rock on!

>> Thursday, April 30, 2009

I did my new run/bike workout today again. And it went great! I started with a 1 1/2 mile bike (about 6 minutes) and ran a full mile, no stopping (11 1/2 minutes at a 5.2 mi/hr pace). I followed that up with a 5 minute bike (about 1 1/4 mile) then ran 7 minutes. I walked 2 more minutes, then rounded out the mile to finish it in 12 1/2 minutes (5mi/hr pace). I think I could have gone longer than 7 minutes, but I didn't want to overdo it for the last mile. I promised myself that I couldn't take a break before the 1/2 mile mark. I did another 5 minute bike and then had to go fill my water bottle. I sweat a LOT. Especially in hot, humid weather. Oh wait, that's all year long. Finally, the last mile. By now, I'm soaked all the way through. I'm tired. I'm hot.

But I pressed on.

I started running at a 5 mi/hr pace and I felt good. Tired, but not too worn out. Not like Tuesday.

So I ran.

And I ran.

And I finally decided that I should take a break at 9 minutes in. Now I'm kicking myself for not just finishing the whole mile! I walked for 1 1/2 minutes, then finished out the mile for a total of about 12 1/2 minutes again. And when I was done, I wasn't completely exhausted. I felt tired yet energized. Does that make sense? During that last mile, I think I felt what some runners felt: good. They get into their pace and they feel like they can keep going for miles. I felt a glimpse of that. I know it's there inside of me, but I just have to reach for it!

After I finished, I stretched out and thought, "How am I going to get through Muddy Buddy without my iPod?" Seriously, I love it so much and it keeps me going. But I love it too much to get it dirty and possibly kill it. Oh well. I guess maybe following other runners will have to motivate me. Remember people, the goal is to finish and not come in last!


My Hometown's On TV!

>> Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Want to see the little podunk town I grew up in? Tune in to Good Morning America tomorrow and Friday. I'm not sure which day it will be on, but look for the Sanchez family (not my family) in Woodsboro, TX. Woodsboro is such a small town that they never even get on our local news!

Watch for the GMA at Your House part. It's on fairly early in the show! I'm excited!!


Tried out running & biking together......

>> Tuesday, April 28, 2009

And it worked pretty well! I started off biking for 1 mile which took about 4 minutes. I used the random function and set it to level 4....I don't want to kill myself on the first day. Then, I hopped on the treadmill and ran one mile. I ran at a 5.0 miles per hour setting and it took me 12 minutes. This part went really well, but I was definitely ready for the "bike break" at the end of the mile. I again got on the bike (4 minutes) and hopped back on the treadmill. This time, I ran about 5 minutes, walked for 2 1/2, then ran the rest of the mile (about 12 1/2 minutes). Bike again (4 minutes) then treadmill. By now, I'm tired. I ran about 4 minutes, walked for 2, ran 3 and finally, walked for 1. My last mile was about 3/4 of a mile, but that's okay. I did 46 minutes of cardio! Holy moly! I'll do the next round on Thursday.

No wonder I'm freaking starving this afternoon!


Funny Story

>> Monday, April 27, 2009

I had completely forgotten about this story until I saw this post on Pioneer Woman. My 6-year-old niece, Hannah, had gone outside to play on Easter weekend. She was wearing a cute little dress and of course, no shoes. Here's the little stinker with her silly Uncle Bubba.

She came inside and did a handstand in front of Jason. He made a comment that her little skinny behind was showing and she got an almost - but not quite - embarrassed look on her face. She wasn't wearing any panties! We were laughing, but my mom wasn't. My mom wanted to know where her panties were since she personally saw her put them on earlier.

For whatever reason, Hannah wouldn't tell her. She got an even more embarrassed look on her face and an almost - but not quite - shameful look. So then my mom asked her if she had an accident. Hannah keeps saying, "no, no, no." After being questioned for a few minutes, my mom loses her patience and tells her to show us where she put her panties. Curiosity inspired me to follow them outside. Hannah leads us into the garage and starts playing with something or other in there. Mom again tells her to show her where her panties are!

And then Hannah reaches into a stacked set of extra tires and pulls out her cute little flowered panties.

And they were dry and clean.

And it's still a mystery as to why she would even think to hide panties in a stack of tires in a garage. Kids!



I've been told that I need to update my blog a little more often because some people need something to read at work. It's been quiet on the home front lately because Jason has been out of town off and on for the past 3 weeks. When he's gone, I don't bother to cook for myself. (For shame!) I usually just fix something fast and read or watch TV. Nothing too special here.

I know I've lagged on the C25K updates as well. For weeks 5 & 6, I never got to do the Day 3 long runs. One weekend we were out of town and the other weekend we had to be somewhere early. I thought I'd just make up for them last week during Week 7. All three days of Week 7 consisted of a. 5-minute walk, a 25-minute run and a 5-minute cool down. For some reason, my body just wants to poop out at about a mile (or 12 minutes for me). I started this program so that I could do the Muddy Buddy race in Austin, but even that's not a consecutive 3-mile run. Since I have to alternate biking and running, I think I will start doing this in the gym this week. It will be a tough workout, but it will also be more realistic! My shins were really hurting, so a break from running 3 days a week was welcome. They are feeling much better, but not perfect. Oh well. I guess I'm not perfect after all. (Big surprise, right?)

Even though I've kind of ditched the C25K program, I'm not disappointed with myself. I can run farther than I ever could before which is really what I aimed for. Rather than focus on the failure, I will refocus my energy on weights. I really, really like lifting weights (MUCH more than cardio!!) and have really seen a difference in my body over the past few months. My legs have much more muscle now and even Jason agreed. He actually told me that he thought my cellulite had diminished and that my butt had lifted a little. He didn't want to tell me this at all because then it would mean he agrees that I have cellulite, but I thought this was great news! The hard work is paying off finally! My thighs and lower abdomen is where I carry all my extra weight, so it's nice to see that I'm making a dent. I've been on a pretty rough 3-day full-body weight routine for a while. I think I've gained 5-10 pounds of muscle which is awesome! My plan is to switch up the routine next week. If anyone is interested, I'll post the workouts so that you can follow along. After Muddy Buddy, I may try some spinning classes, too.

Other than my running failure/weight training success, not too much has gone on. I went to a bachelorette party last weekend and I'll post some pics when I get them. I also plan to try a new recipe this week which I'll post as well. I hope everyone has had a productive week. Keep on keepin' on!


Weekend Project Revealed!

>> Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Did you guess what Jason did with the pick-ax and the wood? If you guessed "build a garden" then you were right! Sorry, but there are no prizes. This blog just isn't big enough and I have no sponsors! (Sponsors and their samples will be much appreciated, however.) Moving on.

This is what our side yard looked like before the garden. The wood you see was some old wood that came off of some picnic tables. We try to save the planet once board at a time here at our casa.

The labor actually started over a week ago. Jason thought he would start by digging out the hole, build a frame, then fill it in with some good dirt. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a much more daunting task than it would seem.

It's hard to tell from this picture, but the pile of dirt you see is almost all rock. Lots and lots of rock. Not too much dirt here. Poor Jason got his workout when he took on this project. He put that pick-ax to work and even bent it a little.

We had a potentially scary thing happen while Jason was pick-axing out the pit. He almost broke a water main! It was placed about 8 inches off the side of the house. When we moved in, we couldn't figure out why there were double faucets outside in a few places. We just accepted it and used which ever one was easier to get to. In reality, one was connected to the water softener (the original pipes) and the other was connected to the city water. Apparently the previous owners didn't want to waste their water-softening salt on the yard, so they T-ed off the original water main from the street and put in new faucets. Jason almost broke the "new" water main...the one connected to the city water. We plan on capping it off and taking it out later on. The water was plenty soft without the extra salt so we had disconnected the softener a long time ago. But do you know what the worst part was? We didn't know where the shut-off valve was. It's on the street and we would have to have a wrench (which we do somewhere) and then be without water until Monday morning! Aaahhh!!!!

After we learned something new about our home, he dug a little more carefully. Here's the pit he dug out, complete with a giant pile of rock on either side. It's roughly 20 feet long and about 8 feet wide.

Every time I would go outside to check on Jason, Cassius would jump in the window to see where I went. He hates to be left out!

After digging out the dirt/rock, he planned to frame it in to contain the garden. I was sent to buy him some nails. Big mistake on his part. There are too many to choose from! Finally, I found the right ones and came home. He started sawing and nailing the old picnic table wood to make the frame. Sadly, the wood was just too old and too hard to nail. It constantly split and the nails didn't want to dig into the wood. He then decided to just start over and buy new wood. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise!

It turns out that old treated wood contains CCA (chromated copper arsenate) which is used as a preservative to keep out microbes, termites and other insects. CCA was outlawed for consumer use in December 2003 because of the levels of arsenic leaching off the wood were too high. You can read it directly from the EPA here. Our old picnic wood was definitely treated before 2003, so we chunked it. The new wood treatments are just Rather than find out in 10 years that the new treatment is also toxic, we opted to use untreated lumber. Sure, we may have to replace it in a few years, but it's better than finding arsenic in your tomatoes!

Here's the untreated lumber frame that Jason built. That's his dad in the background helping to fill in the holes and level it off.

As they worked, two cats would jump into the next door neighbor's window. They would reach out to us, as if we could pet them! The one on the left is trying to lay down in what looks to be about 2 inches of space. The one on the left is harder to see since it's mostly black, but he just wanted to jump over to us and let us love on him!

After ensuring that the frame was level, Jason & his dad started to fill it in with some nice manure-filled dirt. That part took the least amount of time! So, without further ado, here's the finished product:

I am planning on buying some seeds and tomato plants this week. Jason is in Washington, DC until Thursday, so I won't have any help until Friday! I'll update as soon as we get it all planted! I can't wait to get some nice, home grown veggies!


Book Review!

>> Monday, April 20, 2009

I have finally given in to the Twilight series. I read the first book after some prodding from a friend (or 10). I was against reading it for two reasons:

  1. I don't like vampires. I don't like to watch them or read about them. I can't stand that piercing sound that happens when they bite and I can't stand the sucking. Ugh. Flame me if you wish, but I just couldn't enjoy watching Interview With A Vampire even though Brad Pitt was in it.
  2. It's a tween book that has waaaaay too much hype. I don't like to buy into this and I was afraid that if I read a tween book, I'd be plagued by images of girls worrying about pimples, proms and what other girls/boys think about them. These are things I don't wish to relive!
However, after my friend reassured me that the vampires weren't too "vampire-y" and that it was really more of a relationship book, I reluctantly took it home.

And I read it in two days. It probably would've been one day, but I was forced to go to bed by Jason. I almost hate to admit it, but this book was awesome! I was hooked from the first chapter and I couldn't peel my eyes away. When I had to put the book down, I would think about Bella & Edward and what would happen next. I couldn't believe how I was sucked into the black hole of this book, but I didn't want to be pulled out. I was actually sad the book ended. Now, I have to wait to borrow the next book. I will have to plan a day of nothing to read that one. Definitely pick this book up!!!!

After this book, I read Seizure, by Robin Cook.

If you aren't familiar with Robin Cook, he's a medical mystery writer. His books often have complicated scientific terms in them, so if you're not into that, you might as well skip this book. I've read several of his books and I usually like them. This one took me a little longer to get into, but that might have been caused by just coming off of a Twilight high.

This book is based on a special procedure a scientist came up with that is based on stem cell and research cloning. The procedure had been tested on rats and was found to cure certain ailments in them. However, funding & keeping the research legal was an issue. The scientist and his girlfriend/business partner are convinced to do this procedure illegally in another country by a high-powered, low-profiled politician. I'll leave the rest for you to read!

If you enjoy medical mysteries, then I'd pick this one up. It's not the best one I've ever read, but it was still pretty good. I'm currently reading Eragon and I will let you guys know how that went when I finish!


Weekend Teaser

>> Friday, April 17, 2009

What is all this wood doing in our sideyard?

And what did Jason do with the pick-ax?

Stay tuned to find out!


A Lesson In Humility & Judgment Of Others

>> Thursday, April 16, 2009

If you haven't seen this video, you've been living under a rock. As I post this, there are currently well over 11 million hits. I've seen it about 3 times and it gives me chills and nearly brings me to tears each time. Please watch HERE.

And just in case you're wondering, yes, it's suitable for all ages.


Yard Work

>> Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So, does anyone remember our horrendous flower garden from this post? I'll refresh your memory here:

Notice the overgrown everything. There's two giant purple sage bushes (if you can call them that) on either side of a HUGE rose bush. In between, there's a crape myrtle that's grown almost through the roses and the purple sage. You can't really tell here, but we even have a tiny red oak tree and a tiny pecan tree growing in there! To the far right, you can see an out-of-control plumbago. The original post was to show the beginning of spring....a few roses.

Now, Jason's cut/hacked a ton of extra limbs and it looks much better.

And here's what's left of the plumbago:

It doesn't look great, but at least it's cleaned up. Our plan is still to try and transplant the purple sages to the backyard. The plumbago will probably just disappear into thin air because it's just plain ugly now. We're going to try to trim the rose bush to a more manageable size, but we'll see.

It's the little improvements, I tell you. It's not perfect, or even pretty at this point, but it's something!


Easter Catch-Up

Jason & I went to my parent's for Easter this year. My sister was planning a party with a few of her friends, so we decided to join in. On Sunday, we headed out to Aransas to her friend Jennifer's house. There, we were greeted by TONS of children and several people we didn't know. We weren't worried about this in the least because we brought beer and brisket.

The kids entertained themselves by running around, playing video games and just plain acting crazy. My nieces love to pick flowers, so that's what they chose to do. Here's my oldest niece, Hailey, giving me a smug smile. I was sitting down when I snapped this picture, so it's at a weird angle. She's a little camera shy, so there's not too many pictures of her.

At some point, my brother stole my camera and this is what I found in it:

You should be thanking me for sparing you the rest. I think there's about 10 of his self-portraits. He also took the only picture of me that I have from the party, but I'm not posting that sucker. It's HORRIBLE. I wasn't ready and it's a BAD angle. We'll just leave it at that.

This, however, is a picture I love! This is Jason with my other niece, Hannah, showing her true colors. She is one silly girl who loves to pose for the camera.

Someone decided to bring dozens and dozens of cascarones (confetti eggs for you northerners!) and all craziness ensued.

I even have a few small cuts on the top of my forehead from someone being a little overzealous with a cascarone. I blame my sister. I'm pretty sure she enjoyed smashing one on me. I felt the most sorry for this cute little girl. That confetti may never come out of her hair!

Jason & I got to play Easter Bunny this year. I've never actually gotten to do that before, so we had a lot of fun. Unfortunately, there weren't a lot of places to hide eggs in Jennifer's back yard, so we hid a lot of eggs in the grass mounds. We then called the kids to the back yard and lined them up:

And they're off!

That's my sis, Carrie, trying to take pictures in the middle of this photo:

Somehow Hannah talked this poor fellow into giving her a piggyback ride all through the yard. She kicked her shoes off earlier because they were hurting her feet.

Luckily, my mom was able to relieve him of his duty.

After the hunt was over, we ate lots of food while the kids stuffed themselves full of sugar and eggs. Speaking of eggs, have you ever wondered what kids do with hard-boiled eggs?

Well, if you guessed "try and crack them open, then put them in the seat of the tricycle" you were right! I laughed so hard because this kid was so intent on his work!

But the real joy was seeing all the kids stuff themselves silly with sugar, then leaving them there. Just kidding. I hope everyone had a safe and happy Easter!


Dear annoying guy at the gym,

>> Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Stop hogging equipment! Although highly obnoxious, you can talk to your friend at the gym as long as you want. But not while you are holding the ONE 50lb barbell in the entire gym that I need. I tried to wait as patiently as possible, but I just couldn't hold out any longer. So when I asked if you were using it and you told me yes, you should have known how infuriating that was. That barbell had been sitting next to you for the past several exercises I had done. Meanwhile, you're in some conversation with your buddy at the gym the entire time. Seriously? Could you maybe be more aware of your surroundings? Maybe you could just leave equipment alone while you are chatting and come back to it later. I know that might be a little too complicated for you, but you can try. You have until Friday to fix it.


A gym goer that doesn't have all day to work out


C25K W5D1

This morning I dropped back to Week 5, Day 1. Even though I ran indoors, I took the Advair and guess what? I did really well! In fact......dare I say it......I actually enjoyed my run! I can't believe those words came out of my mouth, but it wasn't so bad at all. After I finished running, and I was stretching, I felt good. I didn't feel horribly exhausted. As Martha says, "it's a good thing."


The results are:

>> Friday, April 3, 2009

That I actually don't have exercise-induced asthma as we originally thought. The asthma is actually triggered by the outdoor elements like pollen. Since the oak pollen has been in the 1000s, it was no wonder that I had trouble breathing. My doc gave me Advair to take on the days that I run along with the Proventil that I had already been using. The Advair takes 45 minutes to kick in, so I just take it when I wake up in the morning. He said that if I still had problems afterward, that I would just have to continue my C25K training indoors. This was not exactly the news I wanted, but hopefully the pollen will be long gone by the time Muddy Buddy comes along.

I think that I will drop back to Week 5 this coming week. Since I didn't get to finish the W5D3 run and this week went horrible, I think it's best to go backward. No one said that you couldn't repeat weeks. In fact, on the Cool Runnings site, it's encouraged to do so if you need it. This would put me finishing Week 9 the week before Muddy Buddy. So, I should still be on track.


Do You See What I See?

>> Thursday, April 2, 2009

Look closely. Do you see what I see? You must look past the overgrown purple sage, the crape myrtle that's grown in the wrong spot and the out of control plumbago.

You may have to do some moving around to find it........

Do you see it now? The sign that spring is upon us?

That's right, the first two roses on our rosebush are in full bloom! I just love them!

I love roses so much. We plan to transplant the purple sages (if we can) to the backyard so they can get the full sun they need and possibly plant some climbing roses behind the current rosebush. I'm not completely sure yet of the final plan, but I definitely want to keep roses on that side of the house. The former house owners must have gotten tired of taking care of their yard, because there are so many plants that are overgrown. As if you couldn't tell from the first picture in this post.

I now have a few battle "scars" on my arms from moving the bushes out of the way, but it was worth it!


C25K Week 6

Well, I've got some semi-bad news. I have completely failed this week. But it's not really my fault. It's my body's fault. It rebels. On Tuesday, I started Day 1. I got through the first 5 minutes okay and started walking my 3 minutes. I was having trouble breathing again, but I recovered somewhat. I then started in on my 8 minute run. That's where the problems started. I think I made it maybe 5 minutes before I had to stop. I just couldn't breathe at all. I tried walking for a minute or so, then finish out the run, but I couldn't make it. I walked until the next 5 minute run came up. I started in and did about 2 minutes before I had to completely stop and sit on a curb to recover. My chest was killing me. I stayed there for a couple minutes, then walked the rest of the way home. It took me almost 2 hours before I felt normal again.

Today was not too much different. I was going to press on into Day 2, but I decided that probably wasn't a good idea. I tried to do Day 1, but it didn't go well. Again, I did the first 5 minute run, but after that, it went downhill.

I've been taking my inhaler at least 15 minutes before I go outside, but it wasn't really helping me. I know that the oak pollen was part of it. But, because I had such a bad episode on Monday (the worst since I've started C25K), that I called my allergist up and made an appointment for tomorrow. Hopefully, I can get some answers.

It is so irritating that I have some friends who can pick up and run a few miles without having worked out in weeks.....or even months. Meanwhile, I work out 6 days a week, have become pretty strong, and yet I can't make more than a 5 minute run outside. It makes me feel very weak and I hate that feeling. Some of my friends look at me like I'm crazy because I have such a hard time running. They think it's fairly easy. Running is the only physical thing I do that causes the problems I have. But I still want to be able to do a 5K. And I will. I'll let y'all know what the doc says tomorrow. Obviously, Race for the Cure on Saturday isn't going to go so well. I'll probably walk most of it, but that's okay. At least I'm participating. There's still Muddy Buddy in May!



>> Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Last weekend, Jason & I headed up to Austin to celebrate my friend Shana's birthday. Oh, and to help her move her big, heavy dresser upstairs. And to take away her old bedroom set. Yeah, that's what happens when your husband owns a truck.

Saturday night started out in Driftwood, TX out at the Saltlick BBQ. This place is in the middle of nowhere. Literally. All we saw were trees and pastures on the way out there. Finally, we saw a HUGE parking lot with possibly hundreds of cars in a clearing. A police officer directed us to the line of parked cars.

Now, you know this place must be jumpin' if they hire city police to direct their parking lot.

When we arrived, Shana, who's always the planner, had already made reservations for all 20 of us. Thank goodness. We walked past the 50 or so people that were sitting outside drinking and waiting for a table.

Oh, did I mention that this place was BYOB? AWESOME!

As we walked inside, poor Jason had to duck in many places because of the low ceiling. Luckily, the part that we were in was sufficiently tall. We take our places and immediately started to pour the booze while we waited to order. Jason & I partook in some classic Crown and Coke. (My favorite!)

Since we had such a large group, the food took a long time to come to us. But, one of Shana's clever friend brought her a surprise to pass the time. Jello shots!

And here's the birthday girl attempting to throw the shots at the various party goers. She missed a lot and I don't even think that booze was to blame!

The table behind us was pretty rowdy and I noticed that it was all men. 20-something-year-old men to be exact. This is never good. They were at a bachelor party and were taking hits straight from the bottle of Jack Daniels. Somehow, they talked our fellow party goer, Rich, into joining in. You can see the bachelor table to the right screaming "Chug, chug, chug!"

I was even able to get a shot of Jason downing a jello shot. It's at a really obnoxious angle, but hey, it's my blog, isn't it?

Finally, the food arrived. And not a moment too soon. I was so hungry - as was everyone else - that I downed most of this pretty quickly. Oh, how I love brisket/turkey/potato salad/beans/pickles. But not cole slaw. That's just gross.

After we stuffed our faces, we finally made it to the bars. This is the only picture I had because there just wasn't enough room for cameras and the birthday girl had 10 too many birthday shots. The angle makes me look 3 times more wide than I am, but that's okay. Cropping is still cool.

The end.


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