I’m not crazy about Sundays.  I spend too much time worrying about wasting the rest of my free time.  Take today, for instance.  We slept in, which was very nice, got up a little after 10 (I think), had breakfast around 11, watched some episodes of Mad About You, and went out around noon to get haircuts and buy holiday cards.  We’re back, it’s not yet 2 o’clock, and I feel like so much of the day is gone already.  It doesn’t help that the sun goes down before 5pm now.  I don’t really have anything else to do today, so I should just relax and enjoy it.  And I will.  Eventually.  I’m going to run (which should be interesting; it’s pretty windy today), and then shower, and then curl up on the couch and start on these holiday cards.  We got our first one yesterday.  I was going to check out the new Bloom’s that just opened in the neighborhood (I need contact solution) and maybe get something for dinner.  Maybe I should do that before I run so I don’t have to go out again.  Maybe I should run to the store.  🙂

(A couple of hours later…)

I did.  I ran to the store.  It’s not even a mile away (I think).  Getting there was easy.  And I wasn’t buying much.  So I just grabbed my wallet and put it in one of those cloth grocery bags, rolled it up, and carried it in one hand.  It was certainly chilly and windy, but I was warm enough while running.  And I was immediately overheated when I walked into the store.  I managed.  Anyway, I grabbed what I needed, checked out, and headed home.  It’s a LOT harder to run home with a bag full of stuff.  It wasn’t heavy (maybe 5 or 6 pounds), but hanging the bag from my shoulder meant it was bumping against my hip with every step.  I tried cradling it in my arms in front of me, but that was awkward, too.  So I ended up walking most of the way home.  I think next time I’ll try a backpack.

Now it’s about 5 o’clock.  We ensconced on the couch with our cheese and crackers.  John is trying to install a game on his laptop.  I will probably read.  Catch you later.


I finally saw the inside of our neighbor’s house.  Now that she’s moving, she’s suddenly friendly.  No, that’s not fair of me.  She was always friendly, but it was more of a talk-to-each-other-over-the-fence-in-the-backyard friendly, not so much invite-me-into-her-house-to-chat friendly.

This neighbor (let’s call her Stella) was the seller’s real estate agent when we bought our house.  She adopted two kids from Russia (a boy and a girl) who came home for the first time just a few days after we moved in.  They were 5 and 9 years old.  She already had a son (also adopted, I found out today, but from Ukraine, not Russia, and as a baby, not a walking, talking child) who was about 6 when the other two came home.  And I think she has an adult son (stepson maybe?).  I’ve met him several times, he works with her as a real estate agent, shares her last name, and sometimes lives with her.  Maybe he’s her much younger brother.  I never asked.  Anyway.

Stella put a for-sale sign up in her front yard less than a week ago.  I’ve wanted to ask her about it, but, like I said earlier, we’re not exactly the kind of neighbors who just knock on each others’ doors to chat, so I was waiting until I caught her outside.  Tonight I took the dogs for a run, and on our way back, we met her two dogs.  No leashes, no kids, no Stella in sight.  (She is also the neighbor whose dogs routinely get out of her house and yard and wander the neighborhood.  She doesn’t always notice.  Oh, and these are the dogs (Ginger and Bear) who bark.  And bark.  And bark.  And bark.)  They’re nice dogs, and I was pretty sure they’d follow me home, since I had Roxy and Riley with me to hold their interest.  I got them into Stella’s backyard (the gate was open), threw my dogs in the house, and went over to her door to let her know her dogs were back (in case she was worried (assuming she knew they were gone, of course)).

Stella greeted me at the door with an immediate, “Come in, come in!” – something she’s never done before.  So I went in.  She showed me the house from top to bottom (and it looks great), and we sat in the kitchen and chatted.  She said she decided to sell her house now because if she waits any longer, the price will go down below what she paid for it.  So she’s basically breaking even by selling now.  Depressing.

I’m not sure what my point is here.  Oh!  Well, this may not have been my point, but the house sold on the second day.  I didn’t think anyone was able to sell that quickly right now.  And her price was not THAT low.  She’s closing at the end of January and moving by the end of March.  I should have asked her what the buyers are like.  Didn’t think of that until I got back home.

When I woke up this morning, you were on my mi-i-i-i-ind

I woke up today with a much sunnier outlook.  It’s Friday (woo!), the sun is trying to come out, I’ve been watching what I’ve been eating for the past two days and as a result, I have lost two of those pounds I gained back, Mom and Dad are on their way back to the States, and it’s the weekend!  It’s worth mentioning twice because I have a lot to do and will have time to do it this weekend.  I will finish shopping this weekend.  I will also get my earrings fixed.  John bought me these beautiful emerald and diamond earrings for my birthday this year, but the first time I tried to wear them, I found that one of the clasps won’t latch.  There’s nothing to keep that earring from falling out of my ear.  I want to wear them on Thursday (office holiday luncheon), so I need to get them fixed.

Hey, in case any of you were in doubt, Mom gives good advice.  Especially when one is overly emotional.  Mindy jumped right on the emotional crazy train with me and told me exactly what I wanted to hear (which is great for validation – thanks, Min!), but Mom told me what I should do.  And she was right.  So that’s what I did.  And now that the crazy train has pulled into the station (had enough of this metaphor?), I’m glad I listened to her.  Well, that was yesterday (and yesterday’s gone).  Today everything is sunshine and light.  🙂  That may be going a bit far.

John’s sleeping in this morning, so I need to take care of the dogs and get my butt to work.

Too much TV

I have completely forgotten what I was going to write about tonight.  Work was okay today.  It was nice having John there for the afternoon, even though he wasn’t very happy about it.  Yes, he’s still sick.  He seems to be doing slightly better (he’s not as dead on his feet), but he says he feels a little worse than yesterday.  His project is due tomorrow, so he and Greg are trying to put the final touches on it.  Then he can collapse.  He can sleep in tomorrow and then come to work in the afternoon again.  And then I will force him to rest all weekend.  Hopefully, he’ll be  better next week.

Ooh, the “Festivus” episode of Seinfeld is on.  I’ve been watching a lot of TV this week.  I only have a handful of shows that I DVR and watch regularly, but I really will watch almost anything that’s on.  A handful?  Let’s see.  In no particular order, I watch True Blood, Fringe, 30 Rock, My Name is Earl, Heroes, The Mentalist, and Lost.  I think that’s it.  And Eureka.  So it’s a handful and a half.  Seven hours of TV a week, except that their seasons don’t all run at the same time.  So it’s never more than six hours a week.  John watches all of those shows with me except Fringe.  And we tend to watch them on weekends, never live.  So why have I been watching random TV every night this week?  What’s wrong with my book?

It’s been raining all day, and every time we let the dogs out, we have to convince Roxy to leave the deck.  She’ll stand in the middle of it, in the rain, but we can’t get her to go down the steps without going out there with her.  And this last time we let her out, we couldn’t get her to come back in.  When she finally decided she was ready, she was completely soaked.  I just don’t understand this dog.

Maybe something will happen tomorrow and I’ll have something to write about.  🙂  Or maybe I’ll just be more focused and able to write something that isn’t boring.  I’ll try harder.  Tomorrow.

Recognizing that I’ve fallen off the wagon

I feel somewhat down today.  I’ve been trying to figure out why.  I’m sure it’s partly because John has been sick.  It’s hard for me to feel upbeat when John is miserable.  And because he’s been sick, he hasn’t been at work, and the office atmosphere is different.  I haven’t been running.  I have all kinds of excuses (temps in the teens, sleepless nights ’cause John is sleepless, rain this morning), but it still boils down to not running.  I feel better when I run regularly, and I haven’t been doing that for a while.  I also haven’t been watching my eating as much.  I need to get back to my good habits from the summer.  That combination (no running, not being careful about eating) has one MAJOR consequence for me.  I have put somewhere between 5 and 7 pounds back on.  Yeah, I know that’s not really a lot, but it means the scale is going in the wrong direction!

I behaved myself at breakfast and lunch today, but those are usually not my problem meals.  It’s dinner.  It’s always dinner.  But I’m going to Subway tonight so I can be good.  6″ turkey on wheat with spicy mustard and green peppers.  It’s calling out my name.

I can do this.

I will watch just about anything on TV. Pathetic.

John is braving the great outdoors to go to class tonight.  He met Greg before class to work out some issues with their project, so hopefully he won’t have to stay late.  He was considering skipping class, but I know he feels like he needs the review. He told me this morning that he felt like he’d been beat up.  I don’t think he really improved much today.  So he’ll stay home again tomorrow.

This morning was kind of a disaster.  Last night, when John decided he was probably staying home today, he said he didn’t think he had a shift, but he wasn’t sure.  I told him that I had looked at the schedule (I did, I swear) and that he definitely didn’t have a shift, but I would doublecheck.  Then I forgot to doublecheck.  So naturally, shortly after I left the house this morning,  I got a phone call from Dan (coworker) wondering where John was.  Apparently, he had the morning email shift.  Oops.  It’s so unusual for him to have the morning shift!  I covered it for him, but he’s still kind of in the doghouse with the boss since it’s really bad form to skip out on a shift without arranging for someone to cover.  I tried to take full responsibility for it by explaining to our boss how I essentially (but unknowingly) lied to him last night.  It may have helped.  Not sure.

People in toothpaste and mouthwash commercials have the whitest teeth.  Totally unrealistic.  How many people do you know with really white teeth?

I’m watching a dumb movie.  Just because it’s on TV.  I just can’t help it.  I mean, if there was a show on that  I liked, I would watch that instead.  But even Law & Order has abandoned me.  And I think my Tuesday night shows are done until after the New Year.  What movie am I watching?  Ten Things I Hate About You. No, wait, I actually like that movie.  It’s that other movie with the number 10 in it.  How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. Not a good movie.  But Kate Hudson is likable (in other movies), and Matthew McConaughey is nice to look at (in all movies).  The movie is near the end, and I’m supposed to feel sorry for her?  She did every annoying thing she could think of to make the guy dump her, and then her feelings are hurt when she finds out he didn’t really care about her?  Please.  Except, of course, they both fell in love while during the hellish week they spent together.  Whatever.  And yet, I’m watching it.

It’s over.  I feel dumber.

Today is dragging…

Seriously, today seems to be taking forever.  I have work to do, but I haven’t been able to do it because I got sidetracked by other work that I really don’t want to do.  But it has to come first.  So delaying the work I don’t want to do is delaying the work I really should be doing.  Notice I didn’t say that the work I don’t want to do is delaying the work I do want to do.  That just doesn’t exist.  🙂  Well, I’m sure it does, just not at this job.

Okay, the work I didn’t want to do is done.  Now I have to do the other stuff.

Poor John

Work today was kinda hard (one person missing) and kinda normal.  Which made it weird.  I spent the day getting up to speed on the project our missing person had been working on so I can take over as lead.  I was the lead on it last year, so it wasn’t that hard, but I’ve been completely unplugged from that whole project for more than two months, so it’s a bit of a shock to shift over to that way of thinking all of a sudden.  We start testing tomorrow.  It’s going to be busy, but in a tedious way, not a time-flies way.

John didn’t go to work today and probably won’t go tomorrow.  He has a sore throat.  Painful.  He couldn’t sleep much last night.  I got up to find the cough medicine and get him more water around 3:30.  And let the dogs out.  They go nuts if we come downstairs in the middle of the night.  He went to the doctor this morning.  He doesn’t have strep, but he does have a sinus infection, and they prescribed him cough medicine with codeine.  So he’ll sleep well tonight.  🙂  He was supposed to rest all day, but he didn’t really.  He was home and on the couch all day, but he was messing with his laptop (linux problems) most of the time.  Hopefully he’ll rest more tomorrow.

Shoe sales are TOTALLY AWESOME

How’s that for enthusiasm?  I went to the outlet mall today to finally shop for my boots.  I bought boots.  🙂  I went to Naturalizer first, and they were having INCREDIBLE sales.  Have you ever bought a pair of knee-high boots for $40?  I have.  🙂  But I didn’t buy them immediately.  I asked them to hold a pair of black boots for me.  I checked out Easy Spirit and Nine West (nothing I liked) and then went to Clarks-Bostonian.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to buy black or brown boots (I have more stuff that goes with black boots, but that sweater dress I bought would look great with brown), so I was just checking everything out.  Clarks had the most perfect, most comfortable (of course) pair of black boots.  On sale naturally, because everything’s on sale right now.  So I bought them.  Then I went back to Naturalizer because I wanted those $40 boots in brown.  They didn’t have them in brown in my size!  Boo!  But the salespeople told me I could order them, same price, and have them delivered at home.  🙂  So I will get them in a week or so.  I’m so very happy.  🙂  Now I want more clothes to go with my awesome boots.

Electronic drumsets are SO cool!

We went to Melodee Music (in Sterling) and went directly to the drum section.  They had four electronic drumsets set up, but they were roped off with a sign saying to ask for help.  We didn’t have go very far, though, before a store employee showed up.  VERY helpful.  If he works on commission at all, I can see why.  The cheapest drumset (which is apparently for beginners or kids) is on sale for $800.  The two he demonstrated for us (and then let us play) were the upper two, on sale for $2000 and $3600.  That shouldn’t count as “on sale”.  But whatever – they were both REALLY cool and lots of fun to play.  We played Roland sets.  There are plenty of other companies making these, but I haven’t done any research to find out how much they go for and who makes the best ones.  I really haven’t done any research at all.  And because of the price for the upper level models (the ones with the most flexibility, the ones both John and I would prefer to have), this will be a future purchase.  But it’s so cool.  🙂  They have presets so you can change the sound of the entire set or of each pad individually.  The bigger ones have room to add on pieces, and because it’s electronic, you can plug the whole thing into a computer, so John could use it for his studio.

We finished playing around on the drums and John found a guitar to try out.  He wasn’t really crazy about it, but he says that may have been because of the amp he was playing through.  Also, the strings were too thin (lightweight, maybe?) or something.  I was sitting on a stool in the same room, half-listening, half-daydreaming.  I have no idea now what I was thinking about, but I was entertaining myself.  Apparently, I looked bored out of my mind, so John decided one guitar was enough to try today and said we could leave.  I didn’t realize he did that for me until we were most of the way home, though.  I just thought he was done.  I didn’t mean to look bored.  I was just deep in thought.  Honest.  🙂

We’re settling in for the night with a fire, a movie, and dinner.  And for the record, I did run today.

Almost talked ourselves into not leaving the house today.

John and I were just discussing where we might need to go to get some shopping today, when we realized (duh) that we really can do all of this online.  So then we decided not to go.  Until John realized that Melodee Music is open and they have this guitar he was thinking about and he wants to play it.  And I can mess around on an electronic drumset.  So we ARE going out.

35°  Look!  The degree symbol!  I had to paste it in from Word.  Jess – go to Insert, Symbol, and then at the bottom of the Symbol box, type 0176 in the Character Code field and choose ASCII (decimal) from the dropdown menu in the next field.  So you can insert it in to the Word doc and paste it into your blog post.  There’s supposed to be a keyboard shortcut (CTRL 0176), but it can only be used on the keypad, and I don’t have one on my laptop.  (At least, that’s why I think it’s not working for me.)

Fighting that lazy feeling

I ran this morning!  It feels like more of an accomplishment than it should.  I mean, I should be running almost every day, so the fact that I ran this morning shouldn’t feel so momentous.  I need to get back into the habit.  Whatever, I still did good.  I ran three miles today, no walking.  Usually, when I’ve taken this much time off, I have to add a couple of short stretches of walking.  Except for about a week’s worth of slow 2-mile jaunts with the dogs and two 3-mile workouts by myself (including today’s), the only running I’ve done in the last few weeks has been the races (three in November).  I’ve been lazy since the end of October.  I just reread that list of what I’ve done and it doesn’t come across as all that lazy, but to put it another way, I’ve gone running about 12 times in 6 weeks.  I should have gone running about 30 times (5 days a week, 6 weeks).

With colder weather coming, though, I’ll need to change my routine.  I should do that anyway.  Add strength training, something like that.

Well, I have to get ready to go.  Dentist appointment today (left side deep cleaning!  Woo!) and then work.  Exciting stuff.

Barely coherent nothings

I had the morning shift at work today (meaning I had to be there by 8am, instead of my normal 9:30 to 10).  I spent most of the day really annoyed.  It messed with my schedule (no snoozing, no running) and it was just TOO EARLY.  My perspective changed when 4 o’clock rolled around and I could go home.  🙂

I’m forcing myself to write something.  I said I would post every day.  (Yes, I know I’ve already broken that rule, but I didn’t do it on purpose.)  I guess I could post what I have, but that feels like not enough.  On the other hand, whatever crap I’m writing right now won’t be much fun for anyone to read.  Of course, I didn’t promise quality stuff when I started this blog.  So if I’m boring you, feel free to skip this post.

I think we need to replace our thermostat.  It says it’s 70 degrees in the house, but I’m shivering.

I’m watching Happy Feet and deciding that I’m not all that crazy about it.  I like the tapdancing and I like the singing (and I like the penguin sidekicks), but the plot starts out kinda stupid and then just gets weird.

Okay, I think I’m done babbling about nothing.  I can’t even call that babbling.  That’s just filling space.  Sorry, guys.  Nothing much happened today.  I’m going to have some hot chocolate and read my book for a while and go to bed early.  I HAVE to run tomorrow morning.  Have to, have to, have to.  And then go to the dentist.  Again.  I’m just really tired and that doesn’t lead to writing.  I’m sure I’ll feel better, more alert, once I start running regularly again.  I’ve been really bad about it lately, 5Ks aside.

Almost forgot about the Ashburn 5K results!

The results for the Thanksgiving Day Ashburn 5K were finally posted.  According to the official results (and considering the issues at the finish line, I have no idea how they measured this), I finished in 30:29.  Not terrible, but not below 30 minutes.  However.  These are results I don’t trust, don’t believe at all.  The problem is that I really have no way of estimating what my actual time was.  At the very least, I think I beat 30 minutes (in reality, in actual time) because it was about 20 seconds before I passed the start line and I was delayed for a while (definitely more than 10 seconds) at the finish line because of the line of runners backed up from the chute.  So I think I can comfortably tell myself I beat 30, without knowing my actual time.  I’m considering running with a watch in the future, and tracking my own time.  On the other hand, am I really that anal?  (Shut up, people.)  I’m not qualifying for anything, I’m not training for anything.  I’m running for weight loss and overall health.  I can be mildly competitive and not go overboard.  Right?  We’ll see.

It’s also possible that I didn’t beat 30 minutes.  I’ll never know.  So you know what?  No more obsessing.  About this race.  🙂

Canadian Brass is super cool…

…where “super cool” means funny in a musically geeky kind of way.  Oh, and really awesome.  The concert was great.  And it was a total surprise.  I didn’t even know they were in town.  By Friday I knew something was happening on Monday, but I had no idea what.  I got a call from my dentist’s office while we were driving to PA on Friday.  They wanted to know if I could move one of my appointments to Monday afternoon.  I was already telling them I couldn’t (because of work), when I noticed that John was saying that I definitely could not go to the dentist Monday afternoon.  Naturally (once I was off the phone), I wanted to know why he would all of a sudden care when I go to the dentist.  And he refused to tell me!

So I knew something was up but had no idea what.  And somehow, I managed to keep my curiosity in check all weekend.  Then it was Sunday night, and I started trying to find out if there was anything I needed to know.  You know, do I have be prepared for something?  Do I have to dress up?  Are we coming home after work or do I have to ready for whatever it is that morning?  I think I wore him down, so he told me before we went to sleep that he got us tickets for the Canadian Brass holiday concert at the Kennedy Center!  So cool.  I love them.

We left straight from work (fast food in the car for dinner) because I had to work until 6pm and the concert started at 7.  John got us box seats (!), so we were seated in the front row of the lower balcony level, stage left, in the Concert Hall.

All five of them (two trumpets, one french horn, a tuba, and a trombone) entered from the back of the hall, playing something slow (I don’t remember what).  They walked in step, in slow motion, in single file (I could go on) down the aisle towards the stage.  They were all wearing black suits with white Adidas sneakers and different color shirts.  They looked comfortable.  Fun.  Which is pretty much what they are.  Two of the members have been in the group since they started in 1970.  One of the trumpeters is only 20!  And he was GOOD.  Of course he was good, he’s in the Canadian Brass, but you know what I mean.

It was a really good, really fun, concert.  I love the way they sound, how it all blends.  Good surprise, John!

And on top of that, John got permission from our boss for us to take the morning off and not go to work until 1pm today.  He didn’t realize I had a dentist appointment at 10:20 and was already planning on not showing up until 1, but that doesn’t make it any less sweet.  So we slept in and had a lazy morning.  It was very nice.  And my dentist appointment was not painful, so that was good, too.  Once I got to work and the numbness wore off, my mouth started to ache, but hey, that’s what ibuprofen is for.  And I only have two more appointments.  This year.   This month, since it’s December already.  And now that I’m not hurting anymore, I can have turkey sandwiches for dinner.  Okay, one turkey sandwich.  And some leftover green bean casserole.  Leftover Thanksgiving food is not good for my diet.

Rock Band is awesome

We had a really nice Thanksgiving.  Erik, Margaret, Greg, and Amanda came over in the early afternoon, and we had dinner around 3 or so.  Very yummy.  Greg brought his Xbox and Rock Band, so we played after dinner.  Love that game!  I’m really bad on the guitar, but drums and vocals were lots of fun.  We eventually moved on to Grand Theft Auto, another game I’d never even seen.  That one is just as much fun to watch (and heckle) as it is to play.  They stayed until around 11.  It was a long day, and we were super tired, but we had a really good time.

We didn’t get up as early as we’d planned Friday morning.  We’d hoped to get John’s parents’ house by about noon, but since it was after nine before we got up, that wasn’t possible.  (It’s a three-hour drive.)    We dropped the dogs off at the kennel and hit the road just after eleven.  We had a really nice couple of days in PA.   It was just the immediate family, so it was really low-key.  We had a late lunch when we arrived, and then John went to help his dad spackle and I took Emily and Molly to get movies and buy wine.   I always enjoy spending time with the girls, so it was nice to have errands to run.  Molly gets funnier every time I see her.

We rented two movies (P.S. I Love You and Dan in Real Life), but by the time dinner was over and we were ready for movies, we really only had time for one.  Emily wanted to see me cry, so we watched P.S. I Love You. It was…okay.  I did cry once, during the scene where she goes running to her mother, but otherwise, no tears.  Sorry, Em.  I’m sure the book is better.  John and I will try to watch the other movie soon.

Tom and Tania (Tanya?  I’m not sure) arrived just as the movie was ending (shortly after midnight Friday night).  We didn’t see as much of her as you might think since she has a test on Monday and spent most of Saturday studying for it.  She has to pass this test so she can start student-teaching and get her certification, and she was pretty stressed about it.  But we enjoyed the time we did get to spend with her.

We spent a couple of hours (no, I’m not exaggerating) Saturday afternoon setting up this year’s Brewer family picture.  Pat bought a giant inflatable Santa Claus that sits in a chair, waves, and talks.  We arranged ourselves around it, put on our Santa hats (sequined for the girls, furry for the boys), wrestled Mabel (the dog) into position, and then took picture after picture until we got one in which everyone was smiling, everyone’s eyes were open, the dog was looking (mostly straight ahead), and Molly wasn’t making a face.  We did eventually get that perfect picture.  And then we had Thanksgiving dinner.  Again (for everyone.  The Brewers had Thanksgiving dinner at Barbara’s house on Long Island on Thursday.).  But it was good, again, so it wasn’t a bad thing.  🙂

John and I left to come home around 9:20.  We made one stop (for Starbucks) just east of Harrisburg, and made it home in almost exactly three hours.  It didn’t feel that long, though.  We were in bed and asleep before 1am, totally exhausted.

Got up today about 10:30, after a very lazy morning listening to the rain.  We went out to pick the dogs up from the kennel, and we haven’t left the house again.  The fire is still going, John is still doing homework,  and I’ve been reading in between paragraphs.  It’s been a very pleasant day.

Cozy Sunday and running a race on Thanksgiving

Today is the best kind of winter weekend day.  It’s been raining off and on, it’s chilly outside, and we don’t have to go anywhere.  John built a fire, and we’re both sitting on the couch with our laptops.  He’s doing homework, and I’m doing, well, this.  We have classical music playing in the background, cheese and crackers on our (makeshift) coffee table, a glass of wine, and two dogs curled up on their beds in front of the fire.  Perfect.

Thanksgiving was a success.  Wait, let me back up a little more.

John and I ran in a 5K in Ashburn Thanksgiving morning.  It was really cold (low 30’s), but sunny and not windy, so still a big improvement over the Herndon Turkey Trot.  The 5K started at 8:25, and the start took us by surprise.  We were standing in the crowd, didn’t have watches on, and everyone was talking and stretching.  The start (was it a starting gun?  maybe one of those blasts from a bullhorn?  I don’t remember) jolted everyone around us and the crowd started to push across the starting line.  John noticed that the clock already had 19 or 20 seconds on it by the time we crossed the official line.  But whatever – that’s not really all that unusual.  These things always start out in a crush like that, and not everyone can be in the front.  It makes the official times a little less trustworthy, I guess, but, again, whatever.

I started running.  I was concentrating on keeping my breathing even, and breathing through my nose to warm up the air before it got to my lungs.  I could also tell that my right shoelaces were getting loose.  Every time my right foot hit the ground, I could feel them loosen more, until, inevitably, my right shoe came untied.  I hadn’t been running more than 5 minutes at that point, but I knew that if I stopped to tie my shoe, I’d have a much harder time finishing the race.  I had the momentum I needed and I didn’t want to lose it.  For the rest of the race, I concentrated on my stride so I could make sure my left foot never hit the ground close enough to land on my flapping right shoelaces.  My time for the first mile, according to the guy with a stopwatch, was 9:38.  I felt pretty good about that, but because so much of the first mile was uphill, I was hurting.  I slowed down a bit during the second mile, but managed to keep running.  The time at the end of the second mile, again according to the woman with the stopwatch, was 18:23.  She shouted out the time as we went by, and I actually said, out loud, “That’s not possible.”  The women around me agreed with me.  If it were true, it meant that I ran my second mile in 8:45, which is something I have NEVER done.  But even knowing that it didn’t sound right (since I KNOW I slowed down for part of that mile), I had no reason to think the woman was wrong, so as I started my third mile I had hope that I could beat 29 minutes.  (False hope.  John told me later (and it makes sense) that if a time doesn’t sound right to me AND it doesn’t sound right to the people around me, it probably isn’t right.)  About half of the third mile was on a path behind a neighborhood north of the Broadlands shopping center, and as we came off the path and back onto neighborhood streets, there were spectators telling us we were almost there.  And then we had to climb another hill.  It’s just MEAN to put a hill at the very end of a race.  But we climbed the hill and then I could see the finish.  Kind of.  I could see where all the people were, and I could see John waiting for me, but I couldn’t actually see the finish line or the clock.  I was running towards the finish, looking for the line, picking up my pace to finish strong, and then John was next to me, telling me I had to stop because there was a line of people waiting to cross the finish line.  I couldn’t make sense of what he was saying.  It might as well have been another language.  But then the people in front me stopped running, and there were race organizers telling us to line up in the order we finished.  But…we hadn’t finished!  Had we?  Turns out the chute wasn’t long enough and there weren’t enough people working it, so the line to turn our race numbers had backed up onto the course.  It really means that when the official times are posted (and they haven’t been posted yet), they won’t mean anything.  I could estimate my total time based on the time called out when I finished my second mile,  but I’m pretty sure that time wasn’t right.

Official time (or lack of it) aside, I felt pretty good about this race, and I think John did, too.  It was a beautiful morning, we ran three hard miles, and then we were going home to put the turkey in the oven.  John says that even though I say I’m not competitive about running (since while I’m actually running I’m mostly just trying to convince myself to keep my legs moving), my annoyance about the race clock and mile times AND the fact that I refused to stop to tie my shoelaces mean that I can now consider myself a real runner.  Just in time for me to figure out how to keep it up over the winter.  So if official race times ever get posted, I’ll let everyone know how it turned out.

Happy Turkey Day!

Just a quick note to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  We got up this morning around 7:20 and ran a very cold 5K.  Who knows what the official times will turn out to be, but I’ll get into that later.  Enjoy the day and don’t eat too much!  🙂