Wednesday, October 22, 2008

$2.99 per gallon

I was so excited yesterday to see that gas in NC finally dropped below $3.00 per gallon. From what I understand, our state has on of the highest gas priced in the US. I have been hearing lower prices for the US average, but our stations just went down yesterday. I filled my car about 10 days ago at $3.45 per gallon and thought that was a pretty good deal. Now we are under $3.00.

The scary part is that paying less than $3.00 per gallon is such a huge deal. I remember filling my first car, a 1985 baby blue Nissan Sentra sedan with a manual shift, for less than $13.00. Gas was usually around $.97 per gallon. That was a mere 20 years ago. Boy o boy, have times changed. It really does make me feel old, too.

Back in my day, sonny, we only paid 97 cents for a gallon of

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I would run 500 miles, and I would run 500 more...

As of this morning, I have run over 500 miles this year!! I hoped to reach this goal by the end of the year, but now I'm wondering how many more miles I can add to the tally.

Running has been such a big change in my life. When I was a kid, I was the worst runner in PE class. It would take me 2 minutes to get around the 1/4 mile track. I hated those days when we had to make that run. Even when I started running as an adult, I could only go for 1/2 mile before stopping. Now, I am getting ready in less than 2 weeks to do my second half marathon.

Sure, sometimes it is a pain in the ass. This morning, I didn't want to get up and go running in the cold and the dark. I did it anyway. Now, I am wondering if I could do a half marathon if every state in the Union. Wouldn't that be fun? We are already planning our 2009 travel around at least one race, and maybe more.

Maybe I will run a marathon...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tri and Suceed!

Today, my friend Heather and I did something new. We became triathletes. We participated in the Ramblin' Rose Women's Triathlon.

Our morning started very early. We were at the race site by 7am. It was dark and it was cold. We were bundled up in coats, gloves, and hats. We had no choice, though, as the transition area closed at 7:45. We picked up our chips, got body marked, and set up our transitions. Then, we waited. My swim time was 9:25; Heather's swim time was 10:00. We tried to find spots of sunlight and cheer on our fellow competitors. Soon it was time.

I stripped down and headed into the pool area. Thank goodness that it was an indoor pool. It was awfully cold when I took off my warm-ups and stood barefoot in my swim outfit. I met all the ladies who were swimming around me, and we talked about our tri experience. I was glad to know that I was not the only newbie to the sport. Then, I was in the pool. I loved the pool. The 250 yard swim went quickly. I soon passed 2 competitors, then I was soon passed by 2 more. I really liked the swim - I felt good and strong. I was out of the pool and on my way to transition. Yep, barefoot and wet into the transition area in the cold. No wonder after a 7:15 swim, it took me 3 minutes and 35 seconds to get ready for the bike.

I was off on my bike when I felt the chain slip. I thought I had a big problem, but luckily, I was able to down shift, then shift back up to get my bike going again. I was quickly passed on the first long hill, but I soon found my rhythm. I made my way through the gorgeous homes around the venue. I spent the time checking out the Obama vs. McCain signs in the yards (3 McCain signs and about 25 Obama signs). The wind was blowing and I was cold, despite my jacket, earmuffs, and gloves. I was still pretty wet after all. But, the nine miles passed quickly in 46 minutes and 47 seconds. I was back in transition.

Transition was much faster this time - 2 minutes and 1 second, but my legs were shot. I was very wobbly as I moved to the run. I was glad to see that about 80% of the women were walking at some point in the 2 mile run. I was one of them. I made it to the 1 mile turn around, and headed back. I think I got my legs back as I neared the finish. I was able to run strong toward the finish line. It was a great feeling to finish my first tri. Bill was right there to take pictures. I finished the run in 27:07.
We cheered on Heather as she finished. I was so surprised how much fun I had and how good I felt at the finish. It was a truly fun event. I will definitely train for my next tri (no more procrastination!) and I know I will beat my 1:26:44 time. After all, tri and tri again!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oh, motivation, where art thou?

I have had some problems with motivation lately. I have not been able to wake up on Thursday mornings for my runs. I don't know if it is the fall weather, the darkness, or the lack of sleep, but I have failed to run for two weeks in a row. I have maintained my running on other days, but Thursday has been blown off.

I have also had problems getting to work in the morning. I don't want to be at work, so I am constantly about 5 to 10 minutes late. Luckily, my employer is not a clock watcher. As long as I am getting my work done, they don't hassle me for the time. Thank goodness!

Well, I better find that motivation again soon. I am doing my second half marathon on November 2. Worse than that, I am doing my first triathlon on Sunday. Yes, Sunday, as in 2 days from now!! Guess when I did my first swim to prepare for the race? Last night. I guess I have at least some motivation...humiliation is great motivation.

Monday, October 13, 2008

First Canes Game!

I am going to my first Carolina Hurricanes game of the season tonight. The boys will wear their new "third" jerseys - they are black with the waving flag logo on the front. They will need to extra intimidation...the Detroit Red Wings are in town. So far, the guys have done well by winning their first two games. In both games, the Canes were down by at least 2 goals, then mounted a comeback to win. I hope that they win tonight, but I could do without the drama.

Today has been the perfect fall day. I hate that I had to sit inside all day when it was sunny and crisp outside. I guess I was able to take advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday when Bill and I rode our bikes downtown for lunch. It just seems that work should be waived on days as gorgeous as this one.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Dow closes below 9000

I just saw the headline that the Dow closed lower than 9000 today. I have not checked my portfolio in long time, and now I am too scared to look. When and where will the slide end?

I received an interesting e-mail a few minutes ago from a local shop. The shop has to pay a $10,000 business loan, but lacks the money due to poor sales recently. They are asking their patrons to donate $50 per person to keep the store afloat. Wow, I wonder how many local businesses will be taken down in the current economic climate?

Running and Yoga

Bill and I started taking a yoga class to supplement our running program. So far, it has been a great addition to our regimen.

We started taking a class at Carrboro Yoga Company that is called Yoga for Athletes. It is a special class geared toward people who are runners and triathletes. The instructor is a triathlete herself, Sage Rountree. She teaches lots of poses that open the hips and lengthen the hamstrings. I have added her blog to my favorites list, so go check out the Sage Endurance blog.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Great Night for Beer

Last night, Bill and I volunteered at The World Beer Festival. It is a huge festival with close to 100 booths each representing different breweries. Each booth gives out 2 oz. samples of their beers. It was the first time we had attended the festival as volunteers, not patrons. We weren't sure what to except.

We met Wednesday night for a volunteer seminar. At that time, we signed up to help out at the Breckenridge Brewery booth. We were familiar with Breckenridge, so we knew it would be a good choice.

There was no one from the brewery with us at the booth. Just 3 cases each of 4 of their beers : The 471 IPA, the Avalanche Amber Ale, the Oatmeal Stout, and the Vanilla Porter. Things started slow at 6:00 pm, but before we knew it, we were pouring beer non-stop. It was so cool to talk to the beer drinkers. It was fun to see the reactions of each person as they took a sip of the sample. The Vanilla Porter was by far a favorite. It is such a unique taste - I don't think there is any other beer like it. It was a huge hit - people were coming to the booth saying they were sent to try the porter. So, of course, we ran out halfway through the session. Still, everyone was so cool. There was not a single asshole all night. We must have served 500 people, so those odds are amazing. Then again, everyone there loves beer and was drinking, so there is not much to be unhappy about.

It may have been better without running 16 miles that morning (Bill actually ran 26 miles!), but it is an event I would certainly do again. We were able to try a few of the other beers and we definitely drank a bit of Breckenridge (no use keeping those bottles with just a sip or two for the patrons). We are looking forward to the party for the volunteers in about 10 days. All in all, a great way to spend a Saturday!!