July Recap

Three big events consumed most of July 2012.

1. Can’t stay away:


Eight months after leaving a full time team member position at Target Optical, I was offered a position to return as the Optical Team Lead in the Davenport store. Sometimes one needs to leave something to know how much she loved it. So was the case with Target Optical. I gave my notice at Rainbow International of the Quad Cities upon returning from…….

2. Bestie Jen’s wedding in Kansas City: well worth the wait.


Jen and I have been friends since the fall of 1997. In some ways it seems like it was just yesterday we were chatting it up at random places on the Simpson campus. Then when you consider all the things we have done since then, 1997 seems like a totally different lifetime ago. This was going to be a tough one because I was so happy for her. After all of the ups and downs, she found a guy worthy of her. It was worth the wait. We had a blast that day, especially on the dance floor. Surprise, I know. 😉


3. The Bix

After thinking through all of the career move stuff and being busy and having so much fun with Jen’s wedding, it was a welcome energy release to run the Bix at 6 a couple of times in preparation for The Bix at the end of July. I finished in about 90 minutes, which was about the same time I had finished in two years ago. Maybe I need to train more seriously next year? It’s fun regardless of where I finish – as long as I am not the last one to cross that finish line.



UBWP: Day 25

Jen’s Wedding Day:  July 15, 2012

Today’s Date:  June 20, 2012

Days To Go:  25

“Ultimate Bridesmaid 48 Day Workout Program” is definitely not the best title I’ve come up with to date.  Must have been the bottle of wine I drank during Mad Men a few Mondays ago that blocked my ability to come up with neat – and short – titles/names.  I decided to shorten it to an acronym: UBWP.  I googled it to make sure I was in the clear, and the only thing it can really be confused with is Upward Bound Wichita Prep at Wichita State University or this rural development organization.  Different enough to not be infringing on any brands, I’d say.

The UBWP was a great concept.  And I have a feeling it will finally be put into action when I run the Bix @ 6 tomorrow.  I have proceeded pretty well with the baby steps.  However, going to Chicago, Waco, and then Kansas City – all in a ten day jaunt – was too much for even baby steps to deal with.  And then I get run down, and when I am run down and super tired, I just don’t care about something as lame as the UBWP.

I made an awesome discovery during this past weekend though.  That size 6 bridesmaid dress I wore in my sister’s wedding six years ago?  STILL FITS!  Woot!  Tried on the dress for Jen’s wedding and other than some adjusting to take it in up top (story of my life), it fits beautifully.

But no pigging out yet.  I still need to get a bit more toned.  My bestie Jen was very kind in choosing a dress that hides the belly pudge that I noticed in a photo I appeared in at the Romney event on Monday.  I hate the belly pudge.

So UBWP continues, or maybe starts soon, however you want to look at it.  I’ll be the first to proclaim I am a work in progress.  If you want true workout motivation and inspiration, check out my sister’s new blog.  She is the workout rock star.

Ultimate Bridesmaid 48 Day Workout Program

On Sunday, May 20, 2012, I declared the following day to be the beginning of my self titled “Ultimate Bridesmaid 48 Day Workout Program.”  Actually that would be the following Monday.  Seems I miscounted and shaved off a week from bestie Jen’s wedding date.  Good thing, because I didn’t start on May 21 anyway.

Jen’s Wedding Day:  Sunday, July 15, 2012

Today’s Date:  Friday, May 25, 2012

Days To Go:  51

I don’t consider myself to be obese or even fat.  And my bridesmaid dress measurements were taken in early February – in the middle of winter when I had not been exercising at all.  However, my pants have been feeling a little snug lately.  And the photos taken on July 15 will be around for FOR-EH-VER.  And I want to make my bestie proud.  I want to look my best for her wedding.  No, I’m not worried about showing up the bride.  She is going to be the most stunning lady, even if I’m at my hottest.

The last time I was a bridesmaid was on July 22, 2006, at my sister’s wedding.  I lived in Houston then, worked out a lot, and had a nice light tan.  I was also six years younger.  Something about the thirties just makes pudge stick to the belly.

My last bridesmaid appearance (I’m on the far right): July 22, 2006. Oh, to be 27 again! 🙂

After going down to Creston for Jen’s bridal shower and festivities last weekend, I decided I need to get on the ball.  It’s crunch time.  The wedding is less than two months away.  And then panic set it.  THE WEDDING IS LESS THAN TWO MONTHS AWAY!

Yet, I didn’t jump on the running trail as soon as I got back to Davenport.  I looked at my to do lists each day during the five days since I came home from Creston and decided social butterfly activities and volunteer projects should fill my evenings.  I skipped a few lattes this week in favor of plain black coffee, but that was about all I did to forge ahead with my plan.

Today: Adding “work out” to my planner so I have no excuses. Also munching on animal crackers while drinking my black coffee. It’s all about baby steps. 🙂

Step 1:  Add “work out” to my planner to do list.  Must treat this as a real task.

Step 2:  Give kudos to myself for drinking more black coffee.  I like black coffee, just takes a larger amount to get me going in the morning since it’s not laden with espresso shots.  Small steps make a difference.

Step 3:  Be ready to literally hit the ground running on Monday, maybe before.

Step 4:  If I hit said ground running prior to Monday, realize this does not give me a break on Monday.

Step 5:  Enjoy my weekend without going too crazy on the calories.

Ultimate Bridesmaid 48 Day Workout Program preparations are complete!  Ready to officially commence in three days!

Downtown Davenport Adventures: BixBrai 2011

Very few things top living downtown during BixBrai 2011.  No traffic to fight.  Steady stream of people-watching entertainment.  A kybo 1/2 block from my apartment building entrance – just in case I can’t hold it until the 6th floor.

The kick-off to the festivities began that Friday evening with G at the Jr. Bix.  The jury is still out on whether he is permanently scarred from being crammed into a starting line with so many toddlers at one time.  G ran the very beginning and the very end, with daddy carrying him during most of the middle.  G loved the food and water at the end, and we all celebrated with some Happy Joe’s pizza afterward.

For the first time ever, my sister and I did the Bix together.  I slept in until 7:00 a.m. – very late considering the drive time I had to count in last year.  Somehow I still managed to not make time for a decent breakfast.  I downed a little bit of trail mix and water and thought I was good to go.  I know, why did I skip the coffee????  Insanity.

I appreciated Sarah starting way in the back with me, but I felt guilty for holding her back.  I ran most of the way up Brady Street hill.  This was tougher than Bix at 6!  Grrr.  No coffee in my system and it was morning.  Oh well.  I gave Sarah permission to leave me in the dust, so I would not allow myself to feel guilty.

But I couldn’t let myself down.  I needed an hour 20 or less.  And we were on pace to do that.  Until the 140 FOOT DOWNHILL SLIP N SLIDE!

Sarah and I looked at each other when we saw it at the turnaround, and detoured to the cement steps.  10 or 15 minutes later, we were drenched and cool.  I also had a nice smearing of straw all over me, as I managed to plow into the homemade buffer at the end of the slide.

Sarah became famous with her money shot on the Quad City Times website.

Perhaps the slip n slide relaxed me too much, perhaps the lack of coffee was screaming out inside of me, perhaps I was making excuses.  The second half of the race went a lot slower than the first half, and we crossed the line at about an hour 45.  The look of horror on Sarah’s face said it all.  That was SLOW.

But you know what?  It was the best Bix ever for both of us!  Quality sister time is priceless.

After sampling the vast array of snacks at the end of the race, we went to the mostly deserted farmers’ market.  Then Sarah and I parted ways.  I cleaned my apartment and attempted to nap.  Then I rallied to go out downtown that night.  Oh, Sunday was a tad bit painful.

I received one final Bix memory as I climbed into my car later Sunday morning.  The passenger door was ajar, and what little stuff I had in my center console was strewn about.  No important documents were stolen from my glove box, and I had left nothing of value in my seats or on the floor.  But the mischievous thief took two lighters – remnants of nights out back in the day when a friend or two would bring along smokey treats (the legal kind).  I’m hoping the thief found cigarettes to go with those lighters.

I pity the thief.  I’m pretty sure he didn’t have the awesome Bix experience I had.

Fridays with G and L: The Great Outdoors

This week G and L were both up and at ’em by the time I arrived in Bennett at 6:30 a.m.  Thank God for Starbucks!

I brought along Sarah and G’s Bix packets, but G was more interested in opening up the hair bands I brought for Lucy.  He thought they were candy, A.K.A. “bumballs”.  I wouldn’t let him open the package and thus received the saddest face ever.  G has perfected his puppy dog face during the past week or so: droopy eyes, cute semi-frown, dropped shoulders.  Then I re-direct him to something fun, and with a little hop of his legs, he’s perked back up again.

One of G’s favorite movies is Monsters, Inc., which I happen to love too.  We popped that in, and G was totally into it.  He also wanted to snuggle with Lucy on the couch.

Then we tried our first ever self photo with the three of us.

Then we went outside, and that’s where the real fun began.  The sandbox was a wet mess, creating a sand paste that G loved.  Once dirty enough to continue with other tasks, G watered his mom’s plants around the outside of the house.

The best part of this task for G is running the garden hose.  He takes every opportunity possible to turn on the water: filling Ryder’s water dish, washing his riding toys, filling the pool, you name it.

And yes, he is wearing his standard orange trunks.  I have declared these G’s outdoor uniform, as we inevitably have to strip off whatever he wears outside once we go back inside.  We have a normal outfit for him, and then the outdoor trunks.

G decided to dig in a small area of dirt beside the garage.  Notice the war paint (sand paste) he has marked himself with.

G also loves gloves, and snags Sarah’s gardening gloves to put on while shoveling.

After cleaning up, eating lunch, and napping, it was time to get ready to go to Davenport for G’s first Jr. Bix!  G didn’t freak out, but he did have his daddy carry him part of the way.

G did run across the finish line himself, but by then he was out of my camera range.  When G received his medal, he decided to give it to his mommy.

The grand finale of the evening was dinner at Happy Joe’s.  In G’s words:


Attempting to Become a Runner

I am not the athletic one in the family.  I am not the athletic one, period.  I even managed to not get a ribbon in one of the annual elementary school track meets in which I fully participated.  Oh wait, I did get a participation ribbon, which was presented to me under the auspice of being “under the weather” at our school-wide assembly that year.  How nice of my P.E. teacher.

I had moments when I wanted to be athletic, but then realized as I got older that we all have unique talents.  I am good at enough other things that I really can’t be mad at God for giving me no real athletic abilities.  And I also found watching sports to be more fun than participating in them.

I started running on and off about halfway through college when my roomie Amy inspired me to work out.  I wasn’t into the weights and stuff, but I loved the burst of adrenaline that cardio workouts provided.  My sporadic running and cardio workout phases have continued on and off during the past decade or so.

I never thought I’d run a road race, let alone the Bix 7.  But, as they say, never say never!  I watched the race – yes, people watch it like a parade! – in 2007 and knew right away I needed to try it.  Lots of people were walking, and I could at the very least walk seven miles.

It took me three years to finally do it.  I signed up last summer as a fast walker, waiting all by myself for the race to begin.  My sister and brother were way up front in the first class of runners.

Even though I was sore for a full three days after the race, I loved it.  Of course I could have avoided some of the pain had I actually trained for the race.  Since I had signed up to walk, I assumed no training was necessary.  When about the third old, old guy passed me, I decided to alternately run and walk.  Thus, the pain.

This year I am once again out of running shape, but I at least have run three of the four Bix at 6 races on Thursday nights.  The first one was very painful, as I did not work my way up to the seven miles prior to June 23rd.

Blisters on my heels from the June 23rd Bix at 6

While it’s tough to live up to the standards of my sister, brother-in-law, and brother when it comes to running, they are good sources of advice for things like avoiding blisters on my feet.  I learned Wright Socks do the trick.  I wore them at the next two Bix at 6 races, and the blisters are gone!

This morning my hamstrings hurt from the final Bix at 6.  I will miss the Thursday night races, and I must now rely on my own prioritizing and scheduling to ensure I keep up my training for the big day on July 30.

If you haven’t run a Bix 7 race, I encourage you to do so.  Not only is it a challenging course with lots of camaraderie amongst both runners and walkers, you get free beer and eats at the end of it.  And, for me, it keeps me running here and there.