Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I have a plan.

My plan was going to be to take it easy with everything. I stayed under 30 minutes and got my PR for my last run. I made a whopping $42 from the examiner--for 3 months of work. School is drawing to a close and my time will be even more limited. So I thought I'd just take it easy right now.

But I don't really do that. I mean, it might look like I'm taking it easy, but really I'm always juggling lots of different things and thinking about lots of different things.

My plan now is to just not sleep.

No, not really. Although that would make things easier. Thanks to the Happy Runner, I have a plan to get my 5K time down to 28 minutes for the Freihofer's in June. I ran it in 33:18 last year, so 28 would be awesome. We'll see. To really help me with my training I've come up with a way to get 2 outside runs a week instead of just 1. I always run on the road on Sundays. But now I will also be running Friday evenings. I'll feed the kids and me dinner (Fridays are always pizza--frozen--& salad. Easy peasy.), and as soon as Vader walks in the door at 6 I will walk out. Or run out. Most of my Friday runs are in the 3-4 mile range so it shouldn't take too long. Vader will eat his salad and I'll get home just in time to help get the kids in the bath. This obviously only works when it's light out at 6 because my road has no streetlights. But I'll take it. This is beyond awesome because of the planet-aligning I need to do to get Chewie to nap.

The days we stayed home last week Chewie napped great. The days we went out, she did not. All it takes is 5-10 minutes of sleeping in the car and she won't nap. Yesterday we stayed home, had lunch at 11:30, she was in her bed by 12 (without the Princess), asleep by 12:30, and then I put the Princess up there before 1, she was so quiet she got bored and fell asleep too. I paid for it at bedtime, but that was okay. Today, I managed to keep her awake when we got the Princess from preschool and I got her down  by herself shortly after 1. I brought the Princess up there at 1:30 and Chewie was sleeping on the Princess's bed. It was adorable. I'm not quite sure what happened, but she woke up and proceeded to destroy Pinkalicious: Tickled Pink. Luckily it's not a running day. So, I need to either stay home or make sure we are home before noon and Chewie doesn't fall asleep in the car and I have enough time to put Chewie down for a nap and then get the Princess up there so I can run & shower before I need to get SkyWalker off the bus. Wednesday is intervals day so it's a given I'm just going to be home now. I guess I'll have Fridays to do things.

I was going to write about my Blog Critics opportunity but someone is home from school now and two other someones are awake and destroying their room. So that'll just have to wait.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Half an excuse

Today we packed up the kids early and left the house at 8 am (early for us) so we could all go to Chewie's third hearing test and ENT consultation. The good news is that her right ear is totally clear now, there's no more fluid and she passed the hearing test in that ear. The bad news is that she failed it in her left ear. There wasn't any fluid or signs of infection. But there was a lot of negative pressure. The ENT was fairly confident that the negative pressure was the cause of the failed test and that her hearing is not actually affected. He said that all it takes is one good ear to develop normal speech patterns, so we're not at a critical point right now. He thinks that it could very well be seasonal. He recommends that we just wait and see. So, we'll be going back in August for yet another hearing test. Hopefully that will be enough time for the pressure in her to equalize, or whatever it is that pressure does.

I'm glad that he doesn't want to rush into tubes or any other surgical solution, but it would be nice to just have this over with. Until then I suppose she has half an excuse for not listening to me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oh yeah, that race I ran

As I've said before I'm not really that big into races. I don't feel the need to run one all the time. (Aside--I just typed one run instead of run one. I think I officially have only 2 brain cells left). When I do run one it's usually because my friends have already signed up for it.

Until last weekend. There was a 5K 5 minutes from my house. Now, I did a 5K close to home over the summer, but this was a different place. This was on the river, at the local state park. It truly was beautiful and I would kind of like to run the course and NOT race it so I could appreciate the scenery. Anyway, none of my friends were able to do it because they were all still recovering from that HALF-MARATHON they ran, but I signed up anyway. It was so close to my house, how could I not? I planned on registering the kids for the kids' race but the registration process was a little unclear so I figured I'd wait until race day. I'm glad I did. As it turns out we were too late for the kids's run. Luckily I was the only one really annoyed. The kids didn't seem to care too much. None of their friends were running either.

So, we got there later than I intended, but still with plenty of time for my race. It was COLD. Not like December cold, but just gloomy and overcast and a little windy. I had worn my racing jacket for standing around, but I wound up wearing it the whole race. Sure, there were people in t-shirts and shorts. And yes, I did warm up. But I am seriously a good 20 degrees colder than most humans, so I was okay with that. I picked up my packet, went to the bathroom, came out of the bathroom and saw an older guy staring at me. I thought for sure I had pulled my pants all the way up, so I was confused. I walked in his direction and thought I knew him... and mistakenly thought he must have been a librarian. Luckily he told me who he really was--the father of one of my former library teens. It was really funny because that was the last person I thought he was going to be. Yeah, he beat me.

When I got back to Vader and the kids Vader said he was going to go back to the car to look for gloves for the Princess. We were now 20 minutes away from race time. Just as I was getting seriously nervous because he has that problem with time and you know MOVING QUICKLY WHEN IT'S IMPORTANT TO ME, I saw a familiar person. A life-saver really. The Happy Runner had brought her two kids out in the cold, gloomy, dismal, dreary day, way out of her way, just to watch me race. Just seeing her instantly calmed my nerves because I knew I could leave the kids with her until Vader got back. I didn't have to though since he showed up a minute after.

I lined up, intentionally going towards the back so that I wouldn't start out too fast like I did at the Clove Run. I found myself next to... a librarian! It was nice to make a little small talk. There was also a preschool mom there but I don't know where she was in the beginning. We started out and I had to dodge people and a racing mom with a stroller and sticks and rocks. Yeah. Did I mention this was a trail race? I should have known that, having been to the park a million times, but I was just expecting some paved trail to magically appear. Ah well. So, I ran my first trail race. It was hard, harder than I expected. Dodging the tree roots and mud and rocks and other runners and branches and all sorts of crap was a little exhausting. I kept my pace okay for the first couple of miles (splits according to garmin: 9:28/9:31/9:28). Then we hit sand and I kind of wanted to flail my arms at the sky. But I kept on. When I hit the last quarter mile I wanted to really step it up and I tried. I mean, I did pick up the pace, but after having just come off the sand (with hills too!) my legs were just so tired, so I didn't quite pick it up as much as I had wanted to. Nonetheless I still came in at a faster time than I have before. 29:25 (according to my garmin it was 29:22, but I'm not going to complain about 3 seconds... too much.) That final stretch when I was just about to lose it, I heard a voice. There were lots of people cheering and talking, but I instantly picked out the Happy Runner's voice, and she brought me in. I didn't let go until I crossed the finish line.

There were plenty of faster people there and loads of faster times, but in each of my races I have gotten a PR. Sure, there's only been 4 races, but still, to improve in each race is not bad. And to think that 2 years ago I would have accused you of smoking the buddha if you suggested I would one day run in a race...

I leave you with this picture. Take a gander at the look on my face, people. Priceless. Just priceless:
I am clearly not amused by the bear-man.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I always thought this house was full of too much gas

I'm not running now because I'm waiting for a return phone call about our continuing water problem. I will bet anything that I will not get it. I did not run on Monday because I was waiting for the Culligan man to come. He was supposed to come between 1-3. He pulled in the driveway at 2:55. Awesome.

Even more awesome is the craptastic result of his visit. But, let me go back to the beginning.
Our water sucks. There's sulfur and clay in it. We've always had a Culligan filter system. Chlorine takes out the sulfur and F86 takes out the clay. We've always had some kind of problem--too much sulfur, too much chlorine. There's never been a nice balance. Back in 2008 (thanks archives!) we had to have ALL of our pipes replaced because the chlorine was eating through them. Vader talked to Culligan and asked if there was another system we could use because of that and they said Nope. So we spent $6000 to replace all of pipes with Pex instead of Copper.

Guess what? The chlorine was never supposed to be in the water. But, once again, I'm ahead of myself.

So, a couple of weeks ago I did a bunch of laundry, as usual, and the water smelled like rotten eggs by the end of the day. Vader checked and something was wrong with the pumps. Culligan came, did a tune up and got things working. He randomly mentioned that we should think about getting the chlorine filter replaced because it's only supposed to last 5 years. We've been here almost 10. Vader asked how we would know if it needed to be replaced. The guy said we'd smell chlorine or sulfur. Hello? We said we always smell  chlorine or sulfur. It's never odorless, it's always one or the other. He said the chlorine filter has TWO functions--to take out the sulfur and to take out the chlorine. Could someone have told us that when we said chlorine was eating through our pipes? Think they could have said THEN, oh, there shouldn't be chlorine in your pipes at all.


So then we have some other Culligan guy come out to replace the filter. He says there's something wrong with the "box" on top with all the controls and there's no sense replacing that because now we're getting into the $700 range to fix an old system. We should just get a new filter. And by the way, we should have a filter to to take out the F86 that's taking out the clay. So yeah, our water should not have sulfur, clay, chlorine or F86 in it. And it does. So now we're looking at replacing two filters and the price tag is getting in the thousands. Right before he leaves (after doing nothing) he tells me we also have methane in our water. Methane gas. He lit a match over the water and it went PFFOOOM instead of doing nothing.


We met with the Culligan salesman last night. To get the two new filters we need and the aerator to get rid of the methane gas will cost us nearly $8000. Yes, $8000.

I'm thinking of putting a sign out front saying "Free meth" but I'm not sure it'll work...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

No, you're not crazy

There was a blog post here and now it's not. Those of you who are smart enough to subscribe with google reader or some other blog reader are now in the top secret club. Those of you who don't... sucks for you.

There was just a bit too much detailed info about Vader's job and I was given a gag order last night (and he didn't even know about the blog post!). Luckily he is a luddite.