Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Addicted to the NOOK-y!

The verses of Limp Bizkit song called "Nookie" streams through my head as I write this.  I've recently purchased a NOOK from Barnes & Noble.  I announced it on Face Book (or Crack Book- as one friend refers to it) and immediately had a friend (Yes- YOU! You know who you are!) refer to it as the Nooky.  Thus, I have this song going through my head.... " I can't lie. I did it for the Nookie, the nookie, the nookie..." 

I can't help but think of how ever the decision was made at Barnes & Noble to name this ebook reader the NOOK.  It strikes me as strange that the name is so close to a derogatory slang term.  Oh my!  I can just see the local ladies conservative book club up in arms over it being referred as such.  OH, M-YYY! I can see them banning the NOOK and setting up picket lines in front of the NOOK booth at your local Barnes & Noble.  Well, maybe not...

The NOOK is tooted as "the #1 pick for e-readers" by Money Magazine, 2010 'Top Pick'.  There's supposedly over 1 million ebook titles available and it will store up to 1500 ebooks. (Gee, maybe this would be TOO much for that local conservative ladies book club to handle anyway.)  Then there's thousands of free ebooks that you can down load in seconds.  It also has a nice feature of 6 font sizes that are available to read the ebooks in which plays well if you need a larger print.  (Not that I need that feature as of yet.)

The ebook reader was on sale recently on the Barnes & Noble site.  Then, I had a $25 giftcard and well I gave into my shameless want.  But I knew I would get use out of it.  I've always loved to read.  I remember as a child being under the covers with a flash light reading while everyone else was asleep. (Yes, Mom that wasn't a UFO outside my back window.  It was just me!) 

My new NOOK arrived yesterday just before noon while I was at my desk at work.  I immediately opened the box and plugged it in.  No shyness here!  I needed my NOOK-y fix! (OH MY!)  I quickly figured out during my lunch (with it still plugged in) how to operate it.  It is amazingly simple!  Book downloads within seconds and I really liked that I could get samples downloaded of new ebooks.  See if I liked the writer's style or not.  A VERY nice feature!  Another feature I think I'll get use out of is the "Wish List" where you can put new books that you are interested in getting.  I figure I could put them on my list and wait till the price goes down. NICE!

I even bought it with this nice green leather cover to help it feel more like a book.  It's got a quote on it, "A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever."- Martin Tupper.

I was up till 2AM last night getting my "NOOK-y Fix". (OH MY!) I read 5 samples of new ebooks, put 2 of them on my wish list, and downloaded some classic books for free.  I'm presently working on Pride & Prejudice.  It's kind of hard to imagine I've never read it considering how often I've seen versions of the movie. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Training Schedule Reflections...

Here I am on Friday afternoon while time is dragging at an ALL time s-l-o-w pace and I’m reading my desk calendar where I write down my entire workout activities. As I reflect on this last week, I can’t but think I need to “re-tweak” my training schedule.

One of the main reasons I’m thinking this is what happened this last Tuesday night. I found myself getting leg cramps about half way up on a canyon bike ride. OUCH! I quickly flicked my bike into the lowest gear and spun my legs working out the cramps. Afterwards, I of course pushed myself to continue all the way to the top of the canyon (me being my own worst enemy). But I had a fear that if I turned right around to coast down the canyon that the cramps in my calves would have stiffened to where my calves would have been essentially “locked” up.

I will admit that I was pushing it too hard on the way up the canyon in the first place. Yes, I was trying to be competitive with a couple of fellow cyclists; which would not have been so bad in of it self but I had gone for a walk/run of 4.5 miles early that morning. It was too much on my legs in one day.

Thus, here I am wondering about my training schedule, and I thought I would throw this out there and see if anyone might have a suggestion or a thought about what I’ve been doing. Now keep in mind that I’m training for a century bike ride and a half marathon. But here’s the general layout of my ideal week…

Sunday- Long bike ride—ideally 50+ miles (building up to 100 miles)

Monday- Early morning bike ride with club- 11 miles easy paced

Tuesday- Early morning walk/run of 3 to 4.5 miles; Canyon bike ride with bike club- 25 miles.

Wednesday- Early morning bike ride with club- 11 miles easy pace; sometimes I’ll throw in an extra 15-20 mile good paced bike ride on my own.

Thursday- Early morning walk/run of 3 to 4.5 miles; 15 or 20 mile club bike ride.

Friday- Early morning bike ride with club- 11 miles easy paced (Sometimes instead of biking I’ll go for a 1 mile swim.)

Saturday- Long walk/run of 6.5+ miles (building up to 13.1 miles)

And that’s my training schedule in a nut shell.  Any feed back would be appreciated! Thanks!

Monday, June 21, 2010

From Karaoke to the Tour De Flat Tires...This Weekend

I had a wonderful weekend but it always seem that Monday morning comes way TOO early. It’s so true that time flies when you’re having fun, and drags when you are not. So I find myself reflecting over my weekend while time drags at my desk on Monday morning as I’m working on my second cup of Joe. Here’s a few of the highlights of this latest weekend.

Friday night started out with going to movie with a co-worker. After the movie we headed off to a local bar for dinner and drinks. While boxing part of HUGE rib eye steak, the bar was setting up for karaoke. The co-worker and I decided to stay and check it out. The next thing I know I’m being talked into doing a little singing. It had been about 1 year since I’ve done any karaoke and OMG I was HORRIBLE! I got up for the first song and apologized to everyone in the bar ahead of time. But isn’t part of karaoke singing bad and off key and realizing that you may have thought that you knew the song but you really didn’t know it that well after all.

Saturday morning nice and early I met a friend for a run/walk up City Creek Canyon. Oh what a pretty canyon to run/walk in. The canyon starts just east of the Utah State Capitol and meanders up an eight mile stretch of road that is closed off to traffic except for a few service vehicles. We tried running for a bit but mainly walked a good pace up and back down for a total of 6.25 miles.

(Photos- ABOVE- Kym & Diane wrestling with the first flat tire-- These ladies can make it a sport! BELOW: The four of us-Kym, myself, Diane, & Brooke with Diane's pretty bike.)

Sunday was what we (Diane, Brooke, Kym & I) ended up referring to the Tour De Flat Tires. We went for a BCC bike ride up to the beautiful Chalk Creek Canyon. This one of my favorite areas to bike because it’s SO scenic and NO stoplights to worry about. It’s a box canyon that’s about an hours drive from Salt Lake and it ends at the border of Wyoming and has a creek that runs down the center of it. It oft times reminds me of Iowa farmland only with mountains. The whole area is dotted with farms/ranches where there are sheep, goats, horses, and cows.

(Photos: ABOVE- Brooke and Kym giving the thumbs up-- this was before the first flat tire. BELOW- The second flat tire and the men that helped.)

The Tour De Flat Tires started off well and we were all laughing, being loud and a bit obnoxious. We might have broken some noise ordinances with all our “to do”. But we were having a BLAST! I think we were just asking for it and we ended up having three flat tires and one tire bulging after a fix. We decided to turn around after the third one considering we only had one tube left between the four of us. . Then we discovered that Diane had a bulge from the last fix and after that two of us faced the wind to bike back to get vehicles while Kym and Diane, the Queens of the Flats for the day, waited for us to come back for them.
(Photo- Yes, this is flat number 3 you guess it!) 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dredmill Action

This morning about 5Am-ish I headed to the gym.  The place where I would have usually gone to run was corded off and had a Hazmat team working on it.  You see, Salt Lake City has it's own oil spill. An oil spill?!!?  Yes, there was a strong wind that knocked down a branch that hit a security fence that cause an "electrical fault" that caused a power surge through a 1950's-era oil pipeline.  Thus, a "One in a Million" cause an oil spill in the desert city of Salt Lake. Can you say BIZARRE!!? 

So anyway, not wanting to dodge around Hazmat teams this morning, I found myself at the gym doing a little "dredmill" action.  I don't have any fangled gear that tells me what distance or speed I run.  Most times I measure a route before on my bike, and then just time my run, sometimes, with my cell phone.  It's low maintenance-low technology type stuff, AND simple math.  Plus, there's the fact that I only had planned the one route at this time; which in hindsight was rather not too bright of me.

But the good news is that I ran 3.5 miles in 45 minutes on the "dredmill".  I average about 4.6mph speed limit.  Nothing that the police would arrest me for but it felt good.  I was good and I did my stretches before and my stretches afterwards.  Then, I even managed my way up the three flights of stairs to my place.  This last weekend, I managed to get out with some friends and run/walk about 3.75 miles in about an hour.  I think it (the running) is coming back!  Slowly but surely...

Friday, June 11, 2010


I went for a run on Wednesday morning. It had been almost 3 weeks since I had run, and I’ve lost it! I just couldn’t run. It wasn’t in my body to run, and so I ended up doing a quick paced walk for 3 miles instead of the run I had planned.

I had been SO busy with preparations for Little Red and trying to get some cycling in that the running aspect of my training got sidelined. In hindsight, it was not a good thing to be doing. I’m now paying for it. I’m starting from Square 1 again. I will admit that I’m at least a little better off than I was last year at this time. I’ve all ready ran one half marathon, and I own the shoes.

So now I find myself struggling to come up with a training plan. I’ve got a few goals that I need to work towards this summer. One century on the bike, another half marathon, and a double(possibly triple) canyon bike ride in one day. I’ve just need to come up with the balance training plan. All the while try to keep it manageable so that I can allow recovery for my body.

Another factor that’s not a “happy” thing is that Monday morning I was up 8 lbs. OUCH! Yes, I was STRESS eating while getting all of those preparations for Little Red volunteers on the way. I didn’t have time and I grabbed a lot of fast food. BAD ME!!!  I need to get back to my food journal and get serious. The extra weight is making it harder to break into the training regement. But the good news is that I got serious this week and am all ready down 4 lbs.

I’m hoping that I can get back to where I was. I was rather surprised at how quickly you can lose your running ability in a short time. It seems strange I can just hop on a bike and go 70 miles after a month of not doing anything, but run! Yeah, who’s dreaming now!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Little Red 2010!!

“You took the RED part of Little Red literally”, said the manager of the Smokin’ Blues Barbeque laughed as he looked at my beet red arms. It’s Saturday night after the 2010 Little Red Riding Hood Ride, and I’m at a funky new barbeque restaurant in Logan, Utah. By the way I highly recommend the Smokin’ Blues Barbeque if you are ever in Logan, UT. It is wonderful balance of southern barbeque food, GREAT Service, and LIVE music. It was THE perfect way to end a very busy, long, and FUN day. I also enjoyed a blue berry crepe that was VERY blue and AMAZING!
The day started at 4:45AM when I scrambled out of bed to across the room to turn off my phone alarm. I wasn’t taking any chances with sleeping in. I MADE myself get out of that King size bed. Not an easy feat when I only managed to start getting some “Z’s” at 1AM the night before. You see there was this rowdy bunch down the hall… that I was kind of part of. You could say I’m my own worst enemy!

After swinging by the hotel continental breakfast for a quick bowl of fruit loops (a weakness and the only time I eat sugared cereal is on vacations), I jumped in my car and headed to the start. There were still some clouds in the sky and I was hoping that they would go away.

(Here's Diane and myself with fellow blogger- Sallie and her friend Karen.  They flew in from Chicago to ride Little Red.)

There were major concerns about the weather. It was raining the night before. In fact, it was a good down pour in some instances but the Saliva Sisters, a local legend, still went on with the show. These gals were very much worth standing/sitting in the rain to watch, and they are REAL troopers. The show went on through some spots of drizzling. I found myself cracking up to their witty parodies of songs. Here are a few pictures of their various costumes…

So at 6AM I arrived at the volunteer booth and was busy most of the morning checking in volunteers. There were quite a few family members (husbands, mothers, daughters, and sons) that just showed up that morning to offer their help. I was amazed at the turn out and we definitely needed the help. It worked out pretty well.
As I was doing my thing in the volunteer booth, there was a costume contest going on. It was all kind of fun watching what these ladies came up with costumes. My friend, Sofia won a first place for her costume. She was in her homemade Wonder Woman costume. Then, there was the Big BAD wolf wondering around in his Superman outfit, and another gent running around in a Super Red Costume. Here he is with me…

I finally managed to get a late start on the ride for the 80 mile distance. The ride and the weather turned out to be BEAU-ti-FUL! The first 35 miles went wonderful and then I started getting cramping in my inside of my thighs. OUCH! At the VERY busy Newton Lunch stop I ate cantaloupe and drank quite a bit of water in hopes that it would take away some of the cramping away. It worked for awhile but then the cramping came back. I cut the planned 80 mile ride back to 73 and took a shorter route back to the start/finish in Lewiston.

The finish was SO much fun! Everyone was cheering you on and then there was wonderful cold lemonade with a HUGE strawberry in it that was served. It was SO good! Such Fun! I visited for a bit and then got to work back in the volunteer booth that was now a lost&found, etc…

About 3:30PM, they did the raffle drawing for the Halloween Bike ride that I had donated. I saw a gal jump up and down across the field as her name was announced. She lost her flip flops and her hands were waving in the air as she ran up to the stage. I signed a little note to her on the back of the painting and got a photo taken with her. It was cute how excited she was. Her friend told me that she was more excited about the painting drawing than the bike drawing. Shortly afterwards they did the bike drawing and then there was quite the exodus of people leaving the field.

About 5PM, we started breaking down and cleaning up. Sofia and Kim came in from their fist century as we were working on clean up. They both looked tired but were in good shape I thought considering it was their first.

Thus at about 9PM, I found myself at the end of the day enjoying some barbecue and LIVE music at the end of the day.  YUMMY!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sick & Busy...(NOT a Good Mix!)

Hello!  I haven't written in here like I usually do.  I've been sick and busy... I feel like my life is on hold while I try to get my act together (if that's possible?).  Meanwhile, I will admit that I've been a bit of a grump, and I feel a bit like this cat in the picture or so I imagine.

I came down with the cold last Friday that's been making the rounds around the office.  YUCK!  Stuffy head, congested chest, and just general tiredness.  It came just in time so that I could enjoy the Memorial holiday in bed.  Sleep, sleep, and more sleep...I'm trying to get rid of the darn thing.  I went to bed on Friday afternoon after work and stayed mostly in bed until Sunday afternoon.  I started feeling a little more human then but only ventured from home to pick up another batch of NyQuil on Sunday night.  Otherwise, I was parked on the love seat underneath a blanket and going between watching a movie or reading a book.  Monday, I felt a bit like a hermit venturing out.  I went with a friend to dinner, a bit of shopping, and then coffee at Barnes & Nobles. 

My taste buds are still off... where they went---I don't know.  This morning I had to have one of the guys taste the coffee.  It didn't taste right to me.   He said it was my normal real strong brew as his face pucker up a bit.  Food doesn't taste right to me yet, and you would hope that maybe I would be losing weight because I'm not eating.  Nope, I'm not doing anything exercise either though.  So it's all a wash.  I will cough in spurts, usually when I need to talk to someone on the phone (Oooopps, sorry to cough in your ear.) or when I seem to have discovered I left all of the cough drops at home (Good old Murphy's Law at work).

But on top of all of this sickness, I've been pretty busy.  We had inventory at work last Friday.  Now everything that was on hold due to inventory needs to be done YESTERDAY!  Then things have stepped up on the Little Red Riding Hood ride with it approaching this Saturday.  The volunteers are pouring in or  volunteers that were set up are now unable to make it after all for whatever reasons, and then there's all of the working out the details and getting them to the volunteers.  I AM AMAZED that Diane did this all by herself last year and kept her sanity.  You are AWESOME Diane! 

So anyway that's why I haven't written in here in awhile...  I hope you understand.  Of course, that's figuring that anyone is actually reading my dribble...? ;-)