Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Have I mentioned before I much I love Quisp cereal?  I ate this as a kid and it's been out of production for a long time.  I find it randomly at my local Dierberg's.   On Sunday my husband did the grocery shopping and told me that night it was back in the store.  I'm trying to wrap my brain around what part of him thought it was ok to see it in the store and not buy it?!  He said I still had a box.  Well yes, I still have a box because I can't find it anymore and I don't want to eat my last box!  So yesterday he went back and got me three boxes.   I ate three bowls for dinner last night!

Why did I eat cereal for dinner?  Cause Roger made soup and it sucked.  I have no idea what was wrong with it, but the noodles (Chicken noodle soup) were nasty.  It's like there was something wrong with them.  Roger choked down his bowl.  He was taught to "eat what's on his plate" he said.  *eye roll*  Umm. . . we are adults now.  We choose what to eat.  And I choose not to eat nasty soup.   Supper has always been a point of contention for us.  He wants a some kind of real dinner every night.  I don't.   We get it spats about it all the time.  :(

So today is the last day of the year. . . .  I woke up fat because of the above mentioned bowls of cereal.  Somewhere last night I chipped a filling in a tooth.  And by the looks of it the filling take up most of the tooth, so I'm not sure it will be repairable.  I called my dentist at 7:15pm and the message said they were open till 8, but no one called me back.  I will be calling them as soon as 8am rolls around.  I stress when there is something wrong in my mouth.  I keep playing with it.  And if I don't play with it and try to be "still" then I feel like I suddenly make more saliva.  TMI?  lol.    I just really have low level stress continuously when there is something wrong with my mouth.  Ugh.

Do you have resolutions for this year? I have a couple:

1.  Run a half marathon.  I'm actually working on choosing one in April.  It might be run/walk effort if my knee doesn't hold up. But I'm still hoping that the shoes I have coming mid-January will solve this issue.

2.  Be more frugal.  I tend to spend money easily.   I guess I have a lot of recurring expenses with my horse.  But living wise I pay the phone bill.  We don't have rent/house payment yet.  It's complicated but we don't have an electric bill.  I find myself just spending money that I don't need to spend.  Honestly I think it's partial depression.  Spending money makes me feel good.  So I'm going to work on that.  I want to bulk up the house building fund anyways.

3.  Work on my marriage.  Unfortunately this takes 2.  I gave up my photography venture for this.  So I hope that we make some kind of progress, but honestly my hopes aren't too high.  And so along with this is the promise to myself to make some tough decisions if necessary.

4.  Stop living such a cluttered life.  That t-shirt that someone gave to me 5 years ago that I never wear?  Trash it!   Get this shit out of my house!  I'm trying this already.  For example, the game we played at Christmas on Roger's side. . . I just didn't take stuff that I didn't want when I won.  His sister had this craft set up to make these snow globes.  One for everyone.  I didn't make one and neither did Roger.  We just don't need that shit collecting dust in the house.  We have enough.  But I'd say clothing is our worse area.  We are both guilty.

5.  Eat more clean.  I've lost sight of my weight loss goal.  While I"m not totally sick over how much weight I gained back I really want to do something about it.  I'm still about 50 lbs +/- from my heaviest weight.   But I'm about 20-25lbs above my lightest.   So I need to get back down some pounds.

Happy New Year to anyone that actually reads this! :)   Wish me luck that I get into the dentist today and I don't have to wait till Thursday or Friday.  

Monday, December 30, 2013

Warm Hugs

I'm Olaf and I like warm hugs!

If you have not seen Frozen - go!!  NOW!!   This movie is fantastic.   I cannot wait for it to come out on DVD.   I saw it with my husband a couple weeks ago and again yesterday with my mom and my 5 year old nephew.  And I missed stuff this second time around I think.  I have to see it again.  I am going to preorder it from Amazon.   It is simply a great movie.  Of course I do love snowmen. :)

So this weekend I was at the barn and this young girl asks me how Eli is doing.  I'm going to guess at her age - maybe 14?  I don't know.  I should ask her.  She could really be 12.   So I tell her that he's doing ok, but my I forgot to contact my vet before he left for Hawaii.  She says "Dr Loafmann?"  I said yes.  She says "yeah he's going on my boat".   Apparently they have a boat in Hawaii.  Geesh.  *eye roll*   Her father and step mom are well off, clearly.  I knew this.  They own a fancy restaurant in St Louis.  Rumor is they own the local Krispy Kreme too.  I don't know really.   Anyways, not long later we are both in the lounge eating cupcakes(!).   She asks me what I got for Christmas.  I'm thinking really - nothing that would interest someone of her age, but I tell her one thing anyways. She shows me all the horse stuff she got.   I remember those days!  Back when every item on my list was really for Eli. :)   Then she mentions some clothes and comments she's not sure why people got her that.  I said you can always use clothes.  She replies, as serious as a heart attack, "I have 6 closets of clothes".   I believe she said one is all western jeans.  The other is all western show shirts.   I don't think I have 6 closest in my house.   Well then again I'm a damn redneck that lives in a flipping trailer.   Clearly her and I are worlds apart!   Wow.   The family is nice as pie.  The step mom is "big" in the barrel racing world apparently.  Again, not a world I'm familiar with.   Must be nice.   I can only dream of 6 closets of clothing!  The sad thing is that I probably have enough clothes to fill 6 closets.  However it's just all in piles around my bedroom.  

Last night I got an email from a friend telling me that their horse was sick and colicky and was in surgery.  I woke up to the news that they lost him.  Malachi was a  24 year old Trakehner stallion and he was such a sweetheart.  So well behaved.   My previous trainer had him for a few years.  He had a wonderful personality and became a favorite of everyone that met him.  I cannot imagine how my friends feel right now.  :(   2013 has been a sucky year and even at this late date it continues to be so.  

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I walked

This morning I decided to go for a run.  I wanted to do 4 miles, but it just wasn't working.  I have no idea what the problem was.  Today is suppose to be pretty warm with temps in the 50's.  But there was frost on my car and it was in the 30's when I left to drive to the park.  

I wore my old navy tights (unlined), and unlined long sleeve shirt from Target and this jacket (you can't hardly tell that's a link!) from old navy.  I love this jacket!  It is SO comfortable.  I got it Thanksgiving night when the whole store was 50% off.  Total impulse purchase.  I got an xl which is a size larger than almost everything I currently wear on top.  But trying it on in the store, that's the size that felt and looked the best.  I love how it's cut a bit longer in the front and back. It's just super flattering.  But apparently it was just not quite right for today's run.  I have no idea what went wrong.  I was just kind of sticky.  I wasn't even hot.  I did take the jacket off somewhere around mile 2.5.  I only did 3.5 miles total. And I walked several times.  Something about walking just doesn't work in my head.  Then it doesn't count as a "run".  I also haven't walked during an outside run in a long time.  But it is what it is.  And I am still having knee issues.  So what could I do?   

When I got back to my car I had to head to the ATM and then Dollar General.  Our milk and bread were both expired.  I had drank some chocolate milk anyways before my run, but I wanted more with breakfast.  I normally have a shakeology smoothie but I wanted a hole in one egg.  So I made that and had more milk.  Yum! 

Even with all that walking my pace was only 1 min/mile less than it has been. 

Today we have Christmas with my immediate family.  I saw on FB that my brother's whole family is sick.   He sent out a text asking if everyone was ok with them coming as they have colds.  What are you suppose to say?  That would be half the family missing!  Plus Christmas is for kids and they have 2.  So they need to be there.  I enjoy giving gifts (more than receiving) and I like to see the kids open the gifts.    I already know what my parents got me.  So other than the stocking stuffers, nothing will be a surprise.  Oh those stocking stuffers!  What a stressful thing that is.  I have such a hard time getting a stuffer for everyone.  I find that crazy difficult.   So I'm off to wrap a few more gifts cause I'm a slacker!

Friday, December 27, 2013


I'm pondering giving up Facebook in the new year.   I don't know that giving it up is the *right* answer, but there has to be some solution.   I'm on it too much I think.  But I have many friends on FB that I enjoy keeping in touch with.  Some of them I've never met in real life, some I've only met a few times but I think I'd be sad if I lost touch with them.  For example there's one friend who I chat with multiple times a week, sometimes daily.   However I think FB alienates you from real life to some extent.  I have very few friends that I do anything with in real life.  That depresses me.  FB isn't the reason for that, but it doesn't help.   IMO the biggest reason is that I'm 35, married and have no kids.  I do not "fit" in with the majority of people my age.  I have no kids to go to school functions with.  I have no play groups to go to.  Etc. Etc. Etc.   But back to facebook.  I do think facebook is a bit too "happy".   I've said it on facebook before but it's kind of  a highlight reel of life.  Does that make sense?  People post about the good things that happen to them.  Heaven forbid you post something "real".   It's taboo for me to post that I fought with my husband last night.  OMG.  The waves that would cause in my real life!!!   I once posted something like "I hate to see a generous person get taken advantage of".    Now my sister in law doesn't speak to me.  Oh wait!  She did on Christmas because her step dad wanted something from my family.  Now isn't that sweet?  *eye roll* Oh and if anyone saw this blog I'm sure I'd be disowned.   Did I say that FB post was about her?   Nope.  Did I say who it was about?  Nope.  Did it point fingers at anyone specific? Nope.  I say if someone has a guilty conscious then maybe they should look at themselves instead of complaining about me posting something that could apply to any number of people.   That caused some waves in the family.   Oh my gosh!   So. . . what is the answer to FB?   To just look at everyone's happy go lucky life and feel badly about mine?   To just keep posting my own highlight reel?   (if you are FB friends with me, I imagine my life looks pretty happy eh?)   I don't know what the answer is, but too much FB time isn't healthy I don't think.  Maybe I should remove FB from my phone.  That might be one solution? 

Now about that fight. . . . my husband and I have issues.  I don't think either one of us is at fault.  I think we both are.  I think it takes two to be at fault in a relationship most of the time.  In our case, I just don't know what to do.  We "tried" therapy.  Ha!  We had 2 session.  What a freaking joke.  I expected many sessions over the course of many months.  I'm very disappointed by that.   Marriage is not easy.  Anyone who says so is flat out lying.  I guess I can't really go into detail here because again, if anyone saw this there would be hell to pay on my part.  I will say this. . . back to that no friends thing. . . it sure does depress me that I had no one to call last night to stay the night with.  If I had left I'd have had to pay for a night in a hotel.  How freaking pathetic is that?  

Yesterday I took advantage of the after Christmas sales. 

I'm addicted to Santa hats.  I have quite a few.  Now I have another! :)  It has sparkly things on the white fur.  I love it! :)   

Thursday, December 26, 2013


I hope you all had a great Christmas! :)   I have to admit that I kind of get depressed at the end of the year.  It seems like every year goes by quicker than the last.  And I still haven't accomplished the one goal I have in life.   So as New Year's approaches, I get in a crabby little funk.  I despise New Year's more than any other holiday.  All these new resolutions and happiness just make me want to gag.

But enough of the depressing talk.  We celebrated one Christmas so far.  Normally on Christmas Eve we go to my Granny's house and celebrate with my Dad's side of the family.  Since my Granny passed away in Sept things were kind of unclear.  About a week ago my Aunt Jane decided to have it.  However, she had a death on her other side of the family (sort of - not quite family) on Sunday.  So it was postponed indefinitely.  And honestly, knowing that family, I wonder if they will get it in gear and actually choose another date.

So we had nothing to do on Christmas Eve.  Ok that's a lie.  Roger's sister had called us a week or so ago to see what we were doing.  They were doing a white elephant gift exchange.  But we thought we had plans.   And when we found out we didn't, I did *not* want to go out to get more gifts.  And honestly I'm about sick of gifts that I don't want/need/have space for/collect dust etc.  Plus since we were spending Christmas day with that side of the family I figured we could do Tuesday night ourselves.  So we did. I wanted to try something that I saw on Pinterest - upside down Gingerbread men make reindeer.  So much to my husband's dismay we made more cookies.  However I discovered he has a hidden decorating talent.  OMG.  He was rocking the gingerbread men.  We didn't make as many reindeer.  I did maybe one deer and 4 or 5 gingerbread men.  But I did all the candy canes and I loved them.  I will do them again next year!

Then we made a pizza that we had got (uncooked) from a local bar.  Best pizza around and it's better made at home on the pizza stone than it is there.   We watched a hallmark movie and opened one gift. 

Christmas morning came and we opened our gifts first thing.  The cats enjoyed the boxes!

Then I went for a 3 mile run.  My massage therapist found a really messed up spot above my knee on my inner thigh.  She says this is why my knee is hurting.  I had the massage on Monday.  I will say that my knee was better on this run than my previous 3 mile run, but still not perfect.  However, I'm going to roll that spot on the foam roller and massage it myself.  I did discover that I have to really contort myself to manage to roll that spot.  Geesh.   I'm employing positive thinking that this is going to help and I can sign up for the half.   

When I got home we ate hole in one eggs and started making the corn casserole that we were bringing to Roger's sister's house.  That was a bit of stressful thing, but we managed to get it done and it tasted pretty good.   

I have to admit that I find it stressful being an in-law.  I felt very welcome in Roger's family when we were dating.  His parents and my parents live less than 2 miles apart.  So our families knew each other.  But somewhere things changed and I think they like me less now.  That causes me to feel uncomfortable and to withdraw and not really socialize.   Roger's mom finally figured out that I like snowmen and got me this great rug: 

It's so funny to me but I really don't think his side of the family knows me that well.  I think I'm pretty easy to shop for, but Roger disagrees.  *shrug*

I do have the cutest great-nephew in the world!!  And the best part, unlike my nephews, I don't have to bribe him to pose with me for a photo.  I hope that never changes.

 I think the camera on my new phone sucks big time.  After we opened gifts we played Pokeno which is like bingo but with a deck of cards rather than numbers.  There is a table of gifts and we play each round till everyone gets "Pokeno!".  This year we all had to bring a gift for the game.  In previous years Roger's mom supplied all the gifts.  I thought that was unfair and I told Roger that from the very first year.  I said everyone should bring some gifts.   He never listened to me.  I'm not sure how it came about this year, but I think it was more fair.  Though the table wasn't as full and quite honestly I'm not sure everyone brought a gift.  Nonetheless it was fun.

After we got home, I snuggled with the kitties.  Roger got me a Cardinals blanket and I think Mr Blue is in love with it!  He never ever sits on my lap in the evenings.  He is always in Roger's lap.  But he seemed very attracted to my new blanket.

We watched Hunger Games last night.  It was that or Smurfs 2.  Not sure how Roger agreed to Hunger Games.  But it was good and we are thinking of going to see Catching Fire in the theater.  I haven't heard much about it though.  I thought the first movie was very good so I hope the 2nd is done just as well. 

The other day I got an email that the photos were up from my 15K.   Well the thing is that I wore my number on my shirt.  In the beginning of the race I had a jacket on.  By the end my number was crumpled.  I know a photographer got a photo of me just prior to the finish and at the finish.  Other than that I didn't really see any photographers.  But since they couldn't read my number I had to search the lost and found photos.  I did manage to find 5 of me.  The ones taken just prior to the end were disappointing.  I was looking at the photographer.  He told me he got me, but honestly they suck and he had plenty of time to get a good one.  I do like the one at the finish where you can see the clock.  Even though that time is wrong because I was in the 2nd start wave. 

I have a confession to make.  This stems from something I noticed when shopping.  Roger and I were at Cabela's recently and I tried on 2 jackets.  There weren't any mirrors other than the dressing rooms.  So I had him snap a photo of me so I could see.  The first jacket was a hot mess.  But the second one I liked (he ended up getting it for me for Christmas).   However, I hated the photo of me.  I swear my boobs are low.  Am I crazy?  I looked horrible in that photo.  I actually took the jacket to the dressing room and thought it looked ok.  My parents were with us and I tried it on for my mom.  She liked it. Then I showed her the photo and pointed out my low hanging boobs.  She agreed the photo wasn't flattering.  And so I see the SAME thing in this photo.  I have a sports bra on.  So of course I'm smashed from side to side. But gosh sometimes I feel like my boobs are closer to my belly button than my armpits!   I'm only 35 for crying out loud.  And they are tiny so the gravity excuse does NOT work. :(

We celebrate Christmas with my family on Sat so that my nephew can be there.  This weekend is my brother's weekend.  And even though this year was his turn to have him on Christmas, we just don't get together that day since everyone has so many other obligations.  It turns out my brother was so sick he didn't get Hayden.  So it works out well.  One more Christmas and one more day of stuffing my face. I think I'll be running on Sat morning too.  I feel better about doing something before I eat.  Even though I still eat more than I burned off! :)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Baking Frenzy

I went on a little baking frenzy this weekend.  I'm not sure what possessed me.  Maybe it's the fact that I finally had time.  I didn't have to edit photos.  Wow what a relief that was.  Of course I have a to-do list that's still a mile long, but I ignored it.  

First I made my Grandma's thumbprint cookies.  As a child these were my favorite.  As an adult what a pain in the butt they are to make!  Wow.  

Then I made my current favorite cookie.  I got this recipe from a coworker at my previous job.  They are called "Almond Balls" but I think that's misleading cause there aren't any nuts in them.  I suspect most people would think there are based on the name.  But instead there is yummy delicious almond extract.  I have a huge bottle because I almost always add more than the recipe calls for.  I'm not going to lie, I thought about drinking the bottle.  Ha!  

Then I got this stupid idea that these packages of cookie decorations at Walmart would be fun. I'd seen them a while back but didn't get any.  Finally I caved this weekend.  What the hell was I thinking?   First up were these cute little penguins. The instructions didn't say what size circle to make.   So the white parts were way to big and had to be cut down.   I had to provide my own icing and it appeared it needed to be black.  What food coloring combo makes black?  I didn't know you could buy black food coloring.  That's what I did.  I'm sure I'll get full use of that bottle. ;)   We made boys and girls and putting them together was pretty easy.  You iced the cookie, sprinkled black sugar sprinkles on (why I don't know), but the white part on and then the decorations.   

I also bought a santa kit.   These were easier as I didn't have to cut anything down.  But how do you make a skin colored icing?  Well I looked at the box and saw peach.  I thought that might work.  One drop of red and 2 drops of yellow.  Well it looks like Santa hit the spray tan booth!  He's a tad orange. Ooops! I knew this before we iced them but gosh I just didn't feel like messing with the color and making it even worse. 

I brought cookies to work yesterday and I decided to try the santa as there was one left.  Yikes!  The red hat is cinnamon.  That didn't go so well with the almond extract flavoring in the icing.  Oh well.    

I should say those penguins and Santas were made from Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix.  Cause who makes that from scratch?   I was surprised it didn't have me refrigerate it.  I happened to have 2 bags of the mix and liked how well it worked that I made more cookies. 

And I got bored with sprinkles.  I played with my icing and I now realize how far I have to go to make those really nice professional looking cookies.  Yikes. 

I also made oatmeal raisin cookies but didn't take a photo of those.  They are boring! :) 

I used to put together a Gingerbread house every year.  And every year I said never again.  I don't think I did one last year.  But recovering from hip surgery made it hard to do anything but watch the Hallmark Channel.   For my birthday last month my mom got me a Gingerbread Barn! OMG! How cool right? There was even this gummi horse that stuck out of the window.  Oh dear!  The concept was great but the execution not so great.  The icing sucked.  It was thick and didn't want to stick to the cookie that much.  The cookies for the roof were cut in way that didn't piece together well.   The whole thing was not very stable! lol 

They gave you two piping bags.  That's great but when you need to get the tip out for the other color that doesn't work so well.   So I put the white on with a knife and tried to water down the icing to make it spreadable.  Didn't work so well. 

The horse was SO cute, but he was too heavy for the icing and kept falling off. 

You can see how the roof just didn't want to stay together. 

I think the size ratio for the horse head was slightly off but he sure was cute!

I loved the gummi decorations that came with it.  That made it super easy to decorate.   But literally right after I snapped these photos the wall with horse caved in.  I gave up and threw the thing in the trash.  In previous years I kept the house set out for a few weeks in my living room. But this one just wasn't going to make it.  If the horse wouldn't stay on that took all the joy out of it for me.  lol 

Here's wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!!! I wish I could say I enjoyed the holiday season, but I really don't.  Maybe if I was a happier person I would, but instead I just hear the clock of life ticking and think off all the things I didn't accomplish this year.  But that's a story for another day.   Enjoy your holiday!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Weekend runs

I wasn't sure how long I would take off after the 15K.   Thursday night Roger and I were on our way sell a piece of furniture via a FB yard sale site.  Not sure if that is any safer than Craigslist, but at least I can snoop around the buyer's FB page first.  I was really avoiding Craigslist as lately I've heard too many stories of people being beat up, robbed and murdered via transactions.  On our way, as I was driving, I actually felt the urge to run.  My legs wanted to run!  Who am I?  I'm surprised I felt that.

I was off work on Friday so that morning I went for a run.  A short 3 mile run.  I was hoping my knee wouldn't hurt, but it did.  And worse than usual. This is discouraging.  I'm trying to think back to a few of my treadmill runs before my race. I don't think my knee ever hurt on the treadmill.  I don't remember.  But I might suck it up and do 3 miles on the treadmill sometime soon to test out the theory.  This 3 miles was much harder than I thought it would be. 

I was discouraged by how much I slowed down, but I had no choice.  I probably should have walked. But I have good news!  The running dynamics from my heart rate monitor worked.  I didn't do anything differently.  But maybe I had it on upside down during my race.  I knew there was a right and wrong way.  But I have to admit the shape is similar to my Polar HR monitor and I always wore that one a certain way.  In this case, that is upside down for the Garmin.  So maybe in my nervous-early-morning-it's-freezing-cold-haze I put it on upside down.  Here are the stats from Friday's run:

and here is the information from Garmin's site about those stats. 

I always read that 180 spm is the *sweet* spot for running. I am surprised at how close I am.  I'm also surprised at my vertical oscillation.  Since it says taller runners usually have a higher oscillation.  Plus I'm just an all around sucky average runner.   I expected I'd be in a lower category for that and not in the top purple range!   We'll see how that balances out as I move forward. 

I took Saturday off and on Sunday morning I put on some old crappy shoes that I don't even remember owning.   It was wet and sloppy outside and I really want to try my Reebok ATVs for running (just once) but wasn't ready to get them messed up even in the slightest.   These shoes I wore were clearly NOT meant for running but I had to see what my knee would do.  It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't as bad.  Of course I only did 2 miles. So the verdict is undetermined. 

When I bought my Under Armour Cold Gear outfit I found a Nike shirt that I really wanted.  But gosh the clothing is so expensive I just couldn't justify another shirt.  And I really wanted a *matching* outfit.  So I didn't get it.  But as luck would have it I got it online on Black Friday from Sports Authority. 

I fell for the pink/grey combo.  I love both colors right now. I'm kind of obsessed with grey actually.  But I loved how the sleeves were different.  And I gotta say it's hard to take a selfie and get the sleeves in the photo! :)   This shirt is really tight.  Of course I heard that you want it to be really tight in the winter.  It might have been a bit too warm for the weather on Sunday.  I got a bit sweaty and I had to have my hubby help get the shirt off of me.   I was just stuck to the shirt.  Lol.   I hope we get some cold weather that works for my clothing cause this stuff isn't cheap!!!!

Oh and another score for the Garmin - it successfully uploaded my 2 mile run via wifi.  So maybe I am finally getting this thing configured correctly.   Whew.   

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Garmin take 2

*happy dance* I got Garmin's crazy Express Fit to see my watch.  OMG.  This was stressing me out.  I think mostly cause I was wondering why the hell I was so stupid that I couldn't get this working.  I had posted on Garmin's forum.  Thankfully someone said "are you sure you have the right version" and attached a link.   Well. . . . isn't that interesting?  My file said ExpressFit_20 and the one he linked me to said ExpressFit_201.   WTH?  So I took *everything* Garmin off my computer.  There was a plug in I had to install to manually upload my run since I couldn't get this Express Fit working.   I rebooted.  I installed the 201 file.   I was holding my breath and that stupid "please close Express Fit" message did not appear.  So maybe this is a different version.  It still would not open after the install until I did a reboot.   But when the computer came back up, I opened it up . . . I attached the watch. . . BAM!  It saw my watch.  Whew!   So I set up the wifi stuff through the program. But I have no idea how to tell if that works.  There are issues with that from what I read, but I couldn't even get that far.   So I guess I need to go on a run to see if I can upload something over wifi.  I gotta say this shit is *not* intuitive in the least.  Considering my technical background I wonder how some people work with this thing.  Cause I wanna pull my hair out. 

I did try to figure out what link I followed that gave me that 20 file.  I thought it was the link in the manual.  I went there, but it was linked to the 201 file.    I don't know. . . I think someone put a bad file out there and has updated the download.  That's what I think.  Cause I was going to be all up in Garmin's face if they had the wrong link in the manual. lol 

Now I still have to figure out what's going on with the HR monitor. Maybe. . . just maybe. . . I didn't have it on right.  That's a possibility.  A small one, but it was like 5:30 am when I put the thing on.  I had other things on my mind, so it's possible.  I shall try another run before I annoy the people at Garmin any further. 

Let's talk about GPS accuracy.  In my mind Garmin and GPS are synonymous. TomTom? Who are they?  You know what I mean?  Garmin is like a household word. Now I was having serious issues with my previous phone.  It was Samsung Galaxy S2 and I used Runkeeper to track all of my running to this point.   I had a refurbished replacement S2 and the GPS was whacked.  Totally.   It would give me mileage and the longer the run, the more free mileage I got.  The previous S2 was very reliable.   I got a S4 last month and it's been much more reliable.  Maybe not quite accurate. . . . like my path didn't follow roads exactly, but close enough.  Maybe I had unrealistic expectations for my Garmin.  That's possible . . . but. . . .I expected if I ran ON a street in downtown St Louis, then my path would be rendered *on* that street.   It's not living up to those expectations. . . 

So. . . I consider that to be inaccurate.  How about you?  There is chatter about this online.  So I'm not the only one with this problem, clearly.   But maybe this is why my watch said I ran 9.4 when I really ran 9.3.   Now that's splitting hairs.  I'm fine with 0.1 difference.  With that crappy S2 I could run 5 miles and it would tell me 5.25 or more.  That was not cool.   I mentioned this issue in my emails with Garmin and they told me they posted a statement and are addressing it.  We shall see.  Lesson of the day: don't buy the newest device.   *eye roll*

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

*dislike* Garmin

I'm so frustrated with Garmin right now.  I have no words.

I'm a technical person.  I mean clearly - I'm a software developer.  So why the heck can't I get this watch working correctly?

First of all the live tracking feature only works with iOS.  Ummmm. . . dear Garmin - you advertised that it works with a smartphone.  You did *not* specify Apple only.   Screw that - get it working for Android!

Secondly - on my 15K none of the running stats from the heart rate monitor were tracked. No cadence, no oscillation, no ground contact time. . . nadda

Third - Their Express Fit software can KISS MY BUTT!!!!  Do they have testers?   Have they ran this software through rigorous testing?  Cause in my job it would have failed.  Let me see, I download the install program.  I open it up to install and it pops up an error message that I must close Express Fit before continuing.  Ummm. . .. dear Garmin, I don't have your program installed yet!  How can I close it?  So it continues with the install.  Then it won't open.  I have to reboot.  Then I get it opened and it doesn't seem to recognize that my watch is connected to the computer.   WTH?

I've been emailing Garmin and now they want me to speak with the software team.  Unfortunately their hours are during the day when I'm not home.   WHY ME???    Other people have this thing working, but not me.  I want to cry.

Oh and their manual says if the heart rate monitor and the watch are shipped together they are already paired.  LIARS!  after 15 mins I figured that out.

Oh and then there is the GPS accuracy issues with this watch.  Oh my!  It's a good thing I got a discount.  And I hope their little software team is working overtime to get this watch working correctly.   How does a company of this size succeed with these issues??  Why have they released such crappy software?

And this is what I looked like yelling at Garmin this weekend when I was trying to get this set up.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

15K Recap

Oh my gosh!  Where do I start?  First of all we had winter weather here in St Louis.  They were predicting a "real feel" of 5 degrees on race day.  So the race officials implemented weather policies which included lowering the avg pace from 15 min/mile to 13 min/mile.  For some reason this really freaked me out.  I think because I knew if I had to walk some, I could still make 15 min/mile.  But I didn't think I could make a 13 min/mile if I had to walk at all.  

On Friday I went to Union Station to get my packet.  It was just raining then, but was predicted to turn to freezing rain any time.  The "fastest packet pickup" only works if the person scans your code.  Mine just wanted to me spell my name.  Which I had to spell three times, as usual.  So much for fastest race pick up!  It was well organized though.   I was surprised at the quality of the hoodie.   Actual embroidery!  I bought myself a beanie and a jacket.  I splurged since this was the biggest and longest race I'd ever ran.   Or at least I hoped I was going to run it, as I also bought my 15K sticker!  

Saturday brought lots of snow.  It was gorgeous.   However I was unable to try my new Garmin on either Friday or Sat.  So that was a bummer.   I'm having some issues/disappointments/frustrations with this watch.  I'll write another post about that this week.  On Saturday evening I started to figure out what I was going to wear, what I was going to pack and generally just getting nervous.  I was in the last 15K corral - E.   I was worried I was going to end up being the last person to finish!  Ahh the things you think about the night before.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  They wanted us at the race at 6:30 AM for a 7:30 AM start.   That meant a 5:00 alarm as we were leaving at 6:00.  That came way too early!   

In the morning it was cold.  Brr!  I was nervous about what to wear just to stand around.   I knew once I started running I'd be fine.  But they had hyped up this cold weather so much. I should have just trusted myself as it wasn't as cold as they predicted, but I still let the thought of the cold get to me.  I decided to wear shorts as a base layer.  Funny huh?  But they are biker shorts so they gave my entire upper leg (and butt!) a base layer.   I didn't want to try to layer two pairs of pants for the first time.   I wore my cold weather under armour tights.  On top I put a tank top as a base layer.  I just wanted my core to warm.  Then my under armour cold weather shirt.  Then a fleece lined jacket on top.  And a full fleece jacket on top of all of that for standing around.  What I didn't manage well was wearing my normal socks. :(  My feet were freezing cold standing around. 

Here I am just after arriving, before finding the porta-potties or the corrals. 

So we managed to find parking downtown and only about a block and a half from the race.  Not too bad.  The streets were kind of a hot mess.  The sidewalks still icy.  The sides of the streets just piles of ice.  Getting to the ports-potties was a "cross the ice at your own risk" kind of thing!  Ha.   There was a TON of them all behind ice.  Basically the plow must have come through after they were set up, so you had that pile of plowed snow all frozen and lumpy.  I managed to cross without breaking an ankle or embarrassing myself.  It's so fun to adjust all your layers inside the small little area.  Ha!  I got hot!  

The corrals were just a mishmash of space really.  They were going to release corrals A-C at 7:30 and then 4 mins later the next wave of D&E I think.  I was in E and the 13 min clock would start after the last person in E went through.  No 15K runners were in any corral after E.   The start was fast and rather anti-climatic.  I wish it had been more fun. 

The first mile was painful.  Literally my toes were frozen by then and I wondered if they would ever return to normal.  Even my hip felt stiff at the start. But on we go!  The crowd was crazy.  I was actually surprised to how fast my first mile was (10:30) cause I try very hard to not start too fast.  And honestly I thought because of the massive crowd it would be even slower cause I was weaving in and out of people.   There was a DJ at some point before mile 2 I think.  It's all a blur.   And there was one water station as well.  At mile 2.8 we split from the 5K runners. It was soooo tempting to get on the 5K side of the road.  The split was very clear and there were big arches over the road for both sides.   It definitely cleared out once we split from the 5K runners.  I felt like I was going fast.  My Garmin indicated it as well.   Since this was my first time running with a Garmin, I set all kind of records.  Including fastest 5K, but I really think this was probably my fastest 5K this year.  I may have been a bit faster at a 5K last year, but it's too hard to know when most of my races aren't chip timed.  Look at that avg pace! Sub-11:00!!!!!  Woo hoo!

So on we go.  Somewhere around mile 4 I see a big screen on the side of a building rotating through information and ads.  I see the temp is 23 degrees.  Perfect!   Around mile 4-4.5 there was another DJ and a chocolate station.  YUM!  They handed me a piece of wrapped chocolate.  No need for one of my chomps!   This was followed by a water/Gatorade station.  I opted for Gatorade.   Just before mile 6 we had to do a U-turn.  That was weird, but it allowed me to see who was behind me and to see I wasn't last! YAY.  There was a chip scanner at the 10K marker it seems, but I haven't seen that data posted anywhere. Of course my Garmin recorded my fastest ever 10K.   Ha!

Things went downhill, or should I say uphill, right after this.  Hello big hill.  We are now in the Soulard area of St Louis.  On Russell to be exact.  I've driven this road many times.  Joanie's Pizza is on this street and when I worked downtown I ate there many times.  Funny how it never seemed to be a hill before.  Whew.  I think I could have walked up it faster, but I kept running.  It sucked and I heard people complain about it once we made it to the top. That was definitely my slowest mile and it took me a bit to recover. Thank goodness I peeled off my jacket at the 6 mile mark!   

From here things are a bit of a blur.  I was just trying to keep running.  I felt my hamstrings and calves get tight somewhere in here.  I think they were cold.   I ate a packet of Gu around mile 7-ish.  And there was another water station in there somwhere.  At mile 8.3 there was a DJ telling us we had one mile left.  He was playing "Shout" and everyone was raising their arms.  I got kind of teary-eyed because I knew I could make it now.  I couldn't believe it was almost over and I had done it!   I was texting my husband at certain mile markers (5, 7, 8, 9) so he knew when to expect me.  Unfortunately some rude people standing in front of him stopped him from seeing me cross the line.   My friend that ran the 5K also missed me crossing as she sent me a text about 15 mins later asking me how far out I was!   

There were photographers on course and I know I was photographed just prior to the finish.  I can't wait to see how horrible I look!   When I stopped running my knee was in quite a bit of agony.  I limped very slowly across the snow and ice to get my finishers mug!   

I scarfed down my snacks so I borrowed photos from a friend.  There was cup of hot chocolate, a banana, an area of melted chocolate to dip items in.  Those items included a marshmallow, pretzels, rice krispy square and a wafer cookie. 

Of course I took the obligatory "I did it!" photo!  I had put on my official race hoodie and the beanie I bought at the Expo. 

My hubby and I checked out the merchandise booth while snacking and he bought me a shirt I was checking out when I picked up my packet.   We connected with my friend that had missed me cross the finish line.  She and I took a photo. She is as short as I am tall.  Wow don't I look like a fat blob in this photo!  Whew.  I will not stand like that again!

By this point I was freezing. I also seem to get very cold after a run, even in warmer weather.  Not as noticeably cold, but still cold.  Standing out in the snow I was freezing and my fingers were turning to ice even in my gloves.  So off we went.  Time for a post race meal!

My husband introduced me to "hole in one" eggs when I first met him.  I'd never heard of them before.  Cracker Barrel calls them Eggs in the Basket.   I love them!  Basically the egg is cooked inside the bread.  I get mine over medium (I think they call it) so I have yummy runny yolk.  YUM!  I was so hungry and still so cold. :)   

It was at this point I decided to check out my Garmin and see what info it would show me.  I was *thrilled* at the pace!!  I really stomped my expected pace.  I wanted my avg pace to be under 12:30.   I rocked it!!!

It matched the "official" time really closely!

I could not be more happy with this result.  And here are my splits from my Garmin:

I was thrilled that only miles over 12:00 were mile 7 (cause the hill was between 6-7) and the mile after it where I was kind of recovering and in la-la land. :)  

And finally, I know some people think this is totally dorky, but I'm proudly sporting this sticker.  I can say that this is probably my proudest moment.  Cause I did this all by myself. There was no trainer involved.  There was no horse as my partner (helping or hindering me).   I did all the training runs myself.  I ran this race alone.  ME!!!!  I never thought I'd be a "runner" and I still don't consider myself one.  But I did  it!  Yes I'm proud of it!!

I ended the night taking an Advil PM.  I hadn't been sleeping very well for about a week anyway.  I was getting more sore as the night went on.  I did take some Advil with breakfast, but that must have been wearing off.   I slept *really* well except when I woke up before midnight crying and screaming with a charley horse in my calf.  Ugh.  I get those randomly anyway, but I'm not surprised that I got one after the race.   I went right back to sleep though.  I took off the next day so I got to sleep in a bit and that was nice!
I know it's cliche to say, but if I can do this anyone can do this.  I did this one year and one day after I had hip surgery!  I'm not skinny.  I'm not a "good" runner.  My body isn't built for running.   I don't "love" it and I argue with myself in my head during every run.  Even this race - I had to convince myself to NOT get off at the 5K split.  Ha ha!   So it's very true.  If there is anyone out there afraid to try a distance like this, you should go for it!  If you haven't run your first mile, it's ok.  You can start slow.  I did.  For this race I followed a training plan and that was difficult to trust.  But I think it was successful.   The next question is: what next?   Maybe a half?  Maybe. . . .  

Here are some photos I yanked from the Hot Chocolate FB page. I thought they were pretty and they showed the city nicely.