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Monthly Archives: October 2012

If Zombies Invaded Puppy School

I don’t talk about this much because I worry people might think I’m immature or a weirdo or something.  Deep breath.  Okay, here it goes…At the tender age of 45 I am finding myself totally into all things zombie.  No…I’m not into them like that.  I’m not a perv.  I’m into them the way normal people are into them:

Anyway, while attending one of our puppy school sessions, I was looking around at all the super adorable pups (except for that yippy yappy Chihuahua) and I thought, “What if zombies invaded the puppy school and turned all the puppies into zombies?”  Now let’s be real, I know people think about these things, I’m the only one brave enough to admit it.

So here’s how I think a puppy school zombie invasion would go down:

Puppies BEFORE zombie invasion:

cutehuskynormalgoldiewhippetpuppynormal

SITKA                             GOLDIE                                    FINN

Puppies AFTER zombie invasion:

sitkazombiepupgoldiezombie2zombiepupfinn

Yes, this is how I spent my free time tonight…turning puppies into zombies.

It’s almost Halloween folks so everyone go get your zombie on!!

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Post Half Marathon Bonehead Moments

Since completing my first half marathon last week, it seems that some brain cells were damaged in the process.  Usually I would blame my “bonehead moments” on my puppy but this time I will blame it on all the extra brain activity that took place during the half marathon.  Sure, running may not seem like it requires a whole lot of thinking but believe me, a whole lot of thinking actually takes place.  It requires so much focus, in fact, that it reduces your post-race focus capacity.  I’m not sure how long this will last but I’m hoping it’s short lived.  Take a look at the bonehead moments I’ve had since finishing the half marathon (most recent bonehead moment just a couple of hours ago):

1.  FAILED TO USE CAUTION WHEN PUTTING ARM WARMERS ON.    I bought some new Brooks arm warmers which are great for running in the chilly fall temperatures.  However, when I put them on, I had to tug on the top of the arm warmer to get it high enough up my arm.  As I was tugging with all my might, my fingers slipped and I hit myself in the mouth.  Ouch. When I was done swearing and wiping the blood from my lip, I tried again.  I hit myself again.  Damn it.  The next time I tried, I turned my head toward the opposite arm and was able to successfully put the oh so dangerous arm warmers on my arms.  My advice – when putting arm warmers on, don’t look down to see what your hand is doing.  Look the other way just in case your fingers slip.

2.  NEGLECTED TO OPEN GARAGE DOOR BEFORE BACKING CAR OUT.   Yeah, I said it.  Make sure your garage door is ALL the way open BEFORE backing your car out.  As I was backing out of the garage, I heard a terrible crashing sound.  My first thought was, “Dear Lord, please tell me that wasn’t one of those little dudes from the neighborhood.  I told them about that blind spot.”  I didn’t hear any screams so my second thought was that I ran into the trashcan.  Neither had happened.  When I got out of my car to assess the situation, I saw the garage door sitting on top of the roof of my car.  Crap.  That’s not good.  Luckily, I did not break the garage door and the roof of my car was scratched but intact.  Now that I think about it, I should have taken a picture…it would have been a nice visual for this imageless blog entry.

3. FORGETTING TO PAY ATTENTION TO MEAT PACKAGING.  You know how when you buy meat at the grocery store the butchers put it in those Styrofoam trays  then Saran Wrap the crap out of it?  Well, when you buy hamburger meat for, let’s say, chili, don’t just cut open the Saran Wrap and dump the contents of the meat in your pot and start cooking.  Did you know they put a little absorbent plastic-y pad under the meat so the blood doesn’t slosh around inside the package (gag)?  Yeah, that little sponge-like item does NOT go in your pot of chili.  It will not enhance the flavor!  I unknowingly threw that little sucker into the pot of chili but luckily, was able to retrieve it before the plastic melted.

4.  FORGETTING PIN (number) AT THE GROCERY STORE.  I’ve had my PIN for how long?  There are how many digits to commit to memory?  I use it how many times a week?  That’s supreme boneheadedness right there….forgetting my PIN in the checkout line at the grocery store.  So embarrassing.  I have never forgotten my PIN before.  Why now?

5.  FAILING TO WALK GRACEFULLY ON WET, SLIPPERY SURFACES.  So a couple of hours ago I took a nice leisurely spill on the wet steps while leaving work.  My boot heel slipped under my foot, my ankle rolled, I fell on the ground, I picked my sorry ass up off the ground (mainly because I knew I could be seen on the security camera), I hobbled back inside and called out for a little help.  It was pathetic and it was painful and it made me tear up a little.  I cried not only because it hurt but because I didn’t see myself running anytime real soon (and I just bought myself some new running shoes yesterday, too Sad smile).

There you have it…the potential dangers of thinking too hard when running a half marathon.  Take heed fellow runners.  While running, make sure you don’t use up all of your brain juice…leave some so you don’t experience post-race focus capacity issues.

Has anyone else experienced post-race focus capacity issues………or is it just me?!  Smile

Surviving My First Half Marathon

News flash…Slow Girl crosses finish line.  I did it!  I survived my first half marathon!  I’m so thrilled because earlier this year when I started running, I set what I thought was a lofty goal to finish a half marathon and I did it.  Yay me!

medalshirt2

(Note:  The race coordinators used 2011 bibs so the date is wrong…what’s up with that?)

I will spare you the minute by minute account of my day and instead provide some highlights about what I thought went well, what I could have done differently and some advice I received that was helpful.

THINGS I DID WELL

  • Set realistic goals.  My primary goal was to finish. My secondary goal was to finish under three (yes, as in three hours). My secret unrealistic goal was to finish in 2.5 hours. That was silly since I’ve never run at that pace in my life. Can’t a slow girl dream? I’m happy that I accomplished my first two goals (finish time was 2:49:28 – luckily I did not win any awards as I would have missed the awards ceremony).
  • I stuck to Jeff Galloway’s training schedule and the entire training was injury free. It was the slow and steady method of training which worked out well for this slow girl!
  • I walked up the hills like a rock star. This was a hilly course, which I didn’t quite realize when I signed up.  When I found out about the hill situation, my strategy was to walk up the hills since it sucks to run up them.  Then, at every opportunity, I would make up the lost time by running downhill, at the expense of my poor knees.  One hill, fondly known as “Doomsday Hill”  took me 10 minutes to walk up – this was at mile 9.5.  Running it was just not going to happen for me at that juncture in the race.
  • Crossed the finish line in an upright position.  No crawling involved. I made it through miles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (yes, I will be listing each mile for a dramatic effect), 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and of course the little pesky .1 mile at the end!

beforehalfmarathonafterhalfmarathon

THINGS I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY

  • Incorporate more hill training since after all, this was a hilly course.  The hills slowed me down but at least they didn’t stop me.
  • Drink slowly at the drink stations.  I took a swig of some refreshing water and it went down the wrong pipe so I had a choking fit…almost made me pee my pants which would have been SO not cool.
  • Relax and don’t let nerves get to me.   I found no pleasure whatsoever in dreaming about dirty toilets the night before the race which probably had something to do with the porta-potties that gross me out SO much I can not convey…my stomach is turning right now so let’s change the topic. Ick.  Think about rainbows and unicorns.
  • Don’t get light-headed.  I got light-headed around mile 10 but I don’t know why.  I drank water all along the course, I ate my energy snacks throughout the run and had a breakfast I was used to having before a long run (small bowl of oatmeal).   I haven’t figured out the problem so I don’t yet have a solution.  Maybe my brain was having a “what the hell are we doing” moment?!

HELPFUL ADVICE I RECEIVED (Not professional advice and not claiming to be professional advice)

  • Walk up to the water stations and walk while you drink, it’s gentler on your stomach and goes down easier.  Advice from: Leesa, my hair stylist and recent half marathon finisher.  Everyone has their own preference…run or walk, and  clearly I didn’t follow the walking advice because I choked on my water.
  • Stretch, stretch, stretch.  Advice from:  Andrea, younger sister and half marathon finisher.  Stretch before the race and stretch just as much after.  I did this and even threw in a couple of stretches at mile 10 and 11 when my hips were screaming…”Stop and stretch us or we will stop working for you!”  So I did and it felt good.
  • Just enjoy your first half marathon.  Advice from:  Everyone who ever finished a half marathon.   Well, that’s just dandy advice but honestly, I enjoyed it most when it started and when it ended.  Miles 1-8 flew by.  Miles 9-11 sucked and then I was so happy to see mile 12 and I made a little friend by mile 12.8 (see, I’m even slow at making friends).  It was her first half too and we were feeling the same…tired, sore, wondering how far away the finish line really was. It was nice having someone nearby who was in the same boat as me.  I didn’t catch her name but fondly refer to her as Girl in Pink #1 (she had a friend in pink too…that’s a whole other blog).  When the finish line finally came into view and I saw my husband, son and friends/fellow runners Patty and Jeff cheering me on, I was elated and completely forgot all about pesky miles 9, 10 and 11.  All in all it was a super great day!!!

running2

Good luck to all the future first time half marathoners out there.  You will do GREAT!

slowgirlfastdog2

Half a Freak Out Over a Half Marathon

My first half marathon is coming up in three days and I’m kind of freaking out because I’m not freaking out.  It’s in my DNA to freak out no matter what, but right now, I’m not freaking out.  It’s like I’m out of freak or something.   I think deep down inside I’m nervous and anxious and instead of dealing with it like a normal person, I’m ignoring it and going to a strange, happy place in my mind where I am calmed by pretty rainbows and joyful unicorns running around.

beautiful unicorn

See this image?  Welcome to my head. (image source:  free-extras.com)

Maybe I’m not freaking out because I read several books on prepping for a full marathon and since I’m only running a half marathon, I only need to do half as much work as the books recommended.

Maybe I’m not freaking out because I totally mastered the “tapering” concept.  I think I have taken tapering to a whole new level….a very, very low level.  I tapered to a standstill.  SCREEEEECH…running (and all exercise for that matter) has ceased to exist this week.  At least I won’t have to worry about any pre-half marathon injuries.

Maybe I’m not freaking out because I’m not worried about hydrating.  Let me tell you, this slow girl can hydrate.  I’ve been hydrating all week…just like the book tells you to do.  Of course my husband has to ruin it all by saying, “Don’t they mean drink lots of WATER…not WINE???”  To that I say, “Whatever hubby.”  Chug-a-lug….hello water, here I come.

Maybe I’m not freaking out because I have my outfit picked out, my snacks picked out, I’m getting a ride to the race so I know I won’t get lost driving there, my family will be there to cheer me on and I have some super special good luck running socks that my dear friend Kat and her adorable daughter Lily decorated for me.  When I opened the package and saw the socks and their well wishes, it brought tears to my eyes (notice I’ve got a rainbow theme going on here with the card below and the unicorn above?).  Pure bliss.

goodlucksock

Maybe I’m not freaking out because this is not a freak out situation.  Maybe this is an enjoy the moment, take it all in, relax and run like you’re a joyful unicorn situation.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

GO Joyful Unicorns.  Whoo!!! (Insert dorky Saturday Night Live cheerleader move here).

Puppy Love – The Honeymoon is so over

I feel a little bad about writing this but the whippet puppy honeymoon is O-V-E-R!  I know, that probably makes me a rotten person to be tired of all the puppy crap so soon (figuratively and literally).  I wrote about being THAT lady…the one who unconditionally loves her perfect little pup…and I do love my pup.  I just no longer think he’s perfect.  He’s a puppy punk sometimes.

The little dude has no respect for the weekend sleep in tradition.   He’s up at the crack-o-dawn ready to go as if it were a Monday or Thursday.  Seriously, why doesn’t he understand that Saturdays and Sundays are the only two days we can chill a little in the morning?  Is it asking too much to just sleep a little longer?

And why is it that house training was great the first week (so much, in fact,  I thought he was borderline genius) and since we have been “working” with him, he has more accidents in the house?   I don’t think they’re accidents at all.  I know he knows how to tell us he has to go…He does it 95% of the time.  That other 5% of the time he’s thinking, “Screw you guys, I’m going wherever I want to go.  That’s what puppies do, sucka.”  That’s disgusting.  Bad puppy.

And why does he have to chew on used tissue?  We have allergies in this household so we are always using tissue.  We have tissue in every room of the house.  Why does he have to find it, pull it out of the trash and chew on it?  That’s gross.  Bad puppy.

And then there is the whole Ninja Puppy thing.  How can he disappear so fast?  One second I see him and know the situation is under control then the next second, Poof! He’s gone…vanished…out of sight.  We had to barricade 4 different areas of our house to minimize the places he can sneak off to and do Lord knows what.  I don’t understand how, while under our strict supervision, he ninjas his way over to the wrong side of the barricade then looks at us like he pulled off a trick that would leave David Copperfield in awe.   It’s annoying.  Bad puppy.

To help with our puppy woes, we are going to puppy school.  It’s really for us humans because the instructors seem to think puppies are perfect (ha!) and humans are the ones who need training.  During class last week, we (the human family members) were paying close attention to the instructor, while Mr. Finn, on the other hand,  was taking a ‘cat’ nap during class.  Very rude.  Bad puppy.

It might seem like I don’t like my puppy but I really, really do.  He’s still adorable.  I even made him a little puppy snuggie to keep him warm during the chillier fall days.  The snuggie won’t win any fashion awards but it could win an award for the easiest darn dog garment to make EVER.  You need fleece, scissors, measuring tape, marker, Velcro square sticky back thingies, and a sewing machine.  It’s supposed to be a whippet fleece coat no-sew pattern but I opted to sew the area by the neck and add Velcro to the belly straps instead of tying it.  So there were some adjustments I made to the pattern.

Start off with some cozy fleece…

cozy fleeceThen end up with this rockin’ garment:

whippet coat  whippet fleece coat

I just measured Finn (along back and around chest), sketched out my version of the pattern on the fleece with a marker, cut it out, sewed the neck area, stuck on some Velcro square sticky back thingies on the ends of the belly straps and it was done in less than 30 minutes.

See, I really do love my puppy.  He is teaching me patience, he is keeping me on my toes and he is keeping my mind distracted so that I don’t freak out about my upcoming half marathon.  That’s awesome.  Good puppy.