Tuesday, March 19, 2013

“Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

That is an often misquoted line from the movie Dirty Harry.

Get Lucky!


Not sure how or where I first heard about the Get Lucky!7K & 21K Chicago.  It was probably from an Active.com email.  I was certainly interested because the medal was different looking from the standard round medal.  I didn’t have any races scheduled in March so I was interested.  But Chicago in March?  Who knows what the weather will be like!  So I waited as long as I could before signing up.  Which sadly I waited through one price increase.  My husband did NOT want to do this one; he said that I was crazy and that it was going to be cold.  (His weather predication would prove to be correct!).  But 10 days prior, the extended forecast didn’t look that bad.  Since he didn’t want to go, I invited my best friend Mary.  I thought maybe after the race we could have some fun in Chicago.  We’ve know each other since the age of 4 but don’t get to spend much time together anymore.

We headed up to Chicago on Friday, checked into the hotel, went to the Expo, grabbed some dinner and called it a night.  Originally she was going to go to the start of the race with me but the shoes she brought were hurting her feet so I suggested that she just hang out at the hotel until I got back, save the wear & tear on her tootsies for trekking around the city later.

The weather was not stellar.  If I remember correctly the current temp when I left the hotel was 32 degrees but “felt like” 27.  I almost walked in the wrong direction the the start.  But after asking a policeman at the first intersection, he pointed me the correct way.  Thankfully I then saw two other “couples” wearing running gear and followed them.  Struck up a conversation with one of the couple who turned out to be a husband & wife from St Louis and they were going to do the 7K.

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The start line was just east of Soldier Field and the walk there was just over a mile so a good warm-up and the weather didn’t feel too bad.  However,It was really windy.  The race started mostly on time (a minute late) after the National Anthem and then an Irish Jig!

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The routed us south down the Lakeshore Trail.  It was a nice path; scenic with Lake Michigan on our left.  I had worn a throw away but something in my gut told me to hang on to it.  So when I felt that I was getting overheated and just unzipping it wasn’t working anymore, I pulled it off of my shoulders but kept it on my arms.  Let me just say, that was smart thinking on my part!  There was a water/Gatorade/Hammer Gel station between miles 5 & 6.  Although I had a GU with me I took the “free” gel.  It was tropical flavor and I did not care for it.  BLEH!

Made it to the turnaround and the weather took a turnaround as well.  All of a sudden we were running straight into a headwind and were being pelted with sleet & snow.  It was brutal.  At one point I remember just laughing.  I think it was at that point I also questioned my sanity.

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Sadly, those weather conditions took everything out of me.  I slowed down considerably and started taking walking breaks.  EVERYTHING WAS COLD!  I couldn’t believe there were people out there in shorts.  People in the back of the pack with me – in shorts!  CRAZY TRAIN!!

Finally crossed the finish line, got my medal, a Mylar blanket and my food bag.  The food bag only had a plain bagel, a banana that wasn’t ripe and a mini Snickers bar.  Not a Fun Size but a mini and there was only one.  LAME!  I asked some random person to take my picture; I didn’t see a finishers photo area,  Then I texted Mary and my husband to let them know that I was done…and frozen!  It took everything my little fingers had to type those two texts.

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Walking back to the hotel I briefly stopped (along with others) in an emergency weather shelter at Soldier Field in an attempt to get warm for a bit.  Not sure it was really helping and I just wanted to get back to the hotel so I only stayed a few minutes.  Crossing one of the streets, you could see some of the staging area for their St Patrick’s Day parade.  I walked right past four DeLoreans.  Had I not still been frozen I would have taken a picture.  The walk back seemed so much longer than the walk there and the pedestrian traffic was much heavier because the parade was over that far south.

Got back in the room and sat on the bed, shivered and gave Mary a brief recap before getting in the shower.  When I booked the room I was verbally told that we’d have until 2pm for check out.  When we checked in, they said they would “give me” until 1pm.  Gee…thanks.  Anyway I was still drying my hair when we heard a knock on the door and the guy wanted to know how much longer we’d be.  I didn’t realize that it was already after 1pm.  I asked for 15 more minutes and he said okay.  Thus I had to hustle up getting ready and finish packing.  Mary and I agreed that the city was going to be crazy with everyone from the parade so we got the car and headed for home.

We stopped in Merrillville, IN at a T.G.I. Friday’s for a late lunch.  My turkey burger and sweet potato fries were scrumptious.  I was eye-balling a dessert but was just too full.  We got back to Mary’s house in Frankfort around 6:30pm and I was back on the road for home a little before 7pm.  I wanted to stop & get a coffee hoping that it would wake me up a little ( I was so tired) but once I started driving I just didn’t want to stop.

It was so good to get home and see the pooches and my husband.  But I was not out of bed very long.  I think I made it until 9:30.  It had been a long day.

So thankful that Mary went with me and it was good to catch up, even though all of this didn’t go exactly as planned.  But after 44 years of friendship, the time together was what mattered.


Us…back in the day.  Smile

Monday, March 18, 2013

Thelma & Louise ride again…

The “new age” Thelma & Louise that is. And by “new age” I mean we are in our late 40s and the car was a Prius! 

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My best friend Mary (who’s middle name oddly enough is Louise) and I road tripped to Chicago Friday night.  I was going up there for the Get Lucky! Half Marathon and she was just being a great friend.  We’ve known each other since the age of 4. 

When I was first eye-balling this half marathon, I asked my husband if he wanted to go.  When I told him that it was in March, in Chicago, he said that I was crazy and that it would be too cold (this would prove to be true) and that he didn’t even want to go up there on a little road trip with me.  LOSER!  But it was fun to go with Mary.  We don’t get to spend much time together anymore so it was a great way to catch up.

The trip up there was relatively uneventful.  It IS Chicago and traffic always seems to be a mess.  Things were probably a little more crowded since their St Patrick’s Day parade was the next day and the Big Ten tournament was taking place up there that weekend as well.  The weather was drizzly and gloomy.   We got checked in and then went down to the Expo to pick up my packet.  She kept trying to talk me in to buying things!  I did cave in and got a cute T-shirt which was only $15 so that wasn’t too bad,  Luckily she had her wallet because I had forgotten mine.  Oops.

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Back up to the room to just relax for a bit and try to figure out what to do for dinner.  Then we got sucked in to watching The Help on TV (I had never seen it) and the next thing you know its 7:45 and we still haven’t eaten or have any idea where to go.

We checked out the restaurant downstairs but not much to choose from and the bar – which was packed – had the same menu.  Luckily, Leon at the concierge desk recommended a restaurant that was just two blocks away called Pazzo's  I was not impressed with the service.  We stood at the hostess table forever before being greeted/seated.  We got water fairly quickly but then no one came by to take our order.  I finally flagged down someone and although I don’t think we were in his section, he did end up waiting on us and did a fairly decent job.  My meal was fair but you could certainly tell it was FRESH pasta and it was really good.  Best part of the dinner was that we had a card for a free dessert.  We had no idea what is was going to be but in was Tiramisu!   SCORE!

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Back to the hotel and it was lights put by 10:15pm.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A philanthropic and educational night

Last night was “date night” and we were going to go see a movie – something we rarely do but decided to go to a fund raiser instead.
There is a local organization called Mended Hearts.  Their mission: Mended Hearts Indy is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of animals of all breeds, ages, and capabilities into responsible, qualified homes, while educating and encouraging responsible pet ownership and companion animal adoption.
They were having an event called Cocktails for Canines (which was Mardi Gras themed) at the Indianapolis War Memorial.  So we thought this would be a fun night out while helping a cause dear to our hearts.  We currently have two rescue dogs and our very first dog was a rescue as well.  
There was an open bar (beer & wine so only water for me) and the food was pretty good although some of it was too spicy for my wimpiness.  But they had cupcakes that were divine!
We also had the opportunity to walk around and check out the museum itself.  I had been in there a few years ago but it was prior to a running event so I didn’t check it out.  And my husband was there last year for a Charter School graduation when he was on the board but he had no idea what all was in there either.
The auditorium is beautiful and within the museum there is a section dedicated to every war. 
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There is also as a section dedicated to the U.S.S. Indianapolis which is considered The Worst Naval Disaster in US History.  The story of it’s sinking on July 30, 1945, and the ordeal of the 316 men who survived in a shark-infested sea for days without food or water until spotted by chance because, when the ship failed to arrive on schedule, it went unnoticed by the Navy, can be read here: U.S.S. Indianapolis
You could spend all day there looking at all of the displays and reading the history of men and women from Indiana who have fought in these various conflicts.  I picked up a form to have my Dad’s name added to the Indiana Veterans Database, specifically those who served in WWII.
This evening started out with us just wanting to be philanthropic but it ended my giving ME so much more than I anticipated.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Is the end in sight?

I’m over the cold and the snow – bottom line!  It makes me want to be back in Arizona visiting family.  But then I have to remind myself that I would need to visit them again in August so that I would remember how much I HATE the oppressive heat out there.  Never happy, right?

But this was a lovely vision on the drive through my neighborhood after work.  A melting snowman.  I’ll give these folks credit, it was a good snowman up until today but I am happy to see it begin its demise.


It suppose to get up to 56 degrees tomorrow and I am hoping to run outside.  Technically there is a training 10K Saturday morning but I don’t want to pay $20 to do it so I need to just run that distance myself near the house. 

Warm again on Sunday but 100% chance of rain.  As if the backyard isn’t a wet soggy mess already from all the melting snow.  It is quite the task wiping the feet of three dogs before they come back in.

But hopefully the end of cold weather is near.  We “Spring” forward Saturday night/Sunday morning and then the first day of Spring is March 20th.  Only 12 days away.  YES!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ladies that Brunch

Its been quite some time since my high school and college days and seeing friends from those stages in my life doesn’t come as frequently as I’d like.  It use to be that weddings and baby showers brought us together but sadly now, we are gathering because some has lost a parent.

Back in December our friend (MND) lost her Mother.  Many of us gathered at the visitation that night and then went out for dinner afterward.  I went through a phase a couple of years ago where I was pretty good at organizing lunches or dinner with the girls either in our home town or in Indianapolis but everyone is busy and it got more difficult to do.  So seeing everyone again really made me want to get us together under happier circumstances.


So I sent out an initial email and everyone thought it was a splendid idea but then no one would commit to picking a date.  So I had to get bossy.  Our lawyer friend (PEF) graciously said she would host brunch at her house.  I put a few dates down for people to vote on and then we had the date.  Now, what was everyone going to bring.  Again, I had to list everyone’s name and some choices for them to pick from.  Sheesh…its was like herding cats.

Some of the girls couldn’t make it because of the drive and others had last minutes things come up.  Sad smile  But there were six of us (with WAAAAY too much food) and we had a lovely time.  PEF set a beautiful table and was very excited to use her pink china and she made all of us strawberry jam.

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Once the weather breaks, we’ll try to get another one of these gatherings organized.  Time is too short.

On the drive home, I could see in my side mirror that the moon had risen.  It was a full moon that night and it was so big and bright in the mirror.  There was a beautiful sunset as well. I really should have pulled over to get better shots of them.  The picture of the moon is from when I got home so the majesty isn’t the same as what I saw while it was rising.



Saturday, March 2, 2013


I had a weird feeling, almost like a sixth-sense when I was on the plane coming home from Arizona that I was getting some sort of bug – right then & there!  Airplanes are flying germ capsules anyway but I could just tell; we seemed to sit there too long before taking off, the air swirling around inside “felt” different, the passenger to my right (not my husband) had stinky breath that kept wafting my way.

So the next few days, my head felt a little congested and I had a bit of a cough.  Fast forward to the next week and both of us feel like poop.  My husband had a slight fever – which continued to climb - so he was quarantined in the guest bedroom.  Neither of us went to work on Monday and by Tuesday, his temperature reading was 102.7.   I put my foot down and made him go to an Immediate Care facility.  Diagnosis – the flu!  We now have to Cootie Bug in our house.


So they put him on Tamiflu ($100 for 10 pills & that was WITH insurance) plus one other pill but what am I to do?  Now I’m in full contact with the flu virus with no place to escape.  I’m not a big germaphobe and truly believe that so many people are always sick because they won’t “allow” themselves to be exposed to anything at all to build up their own natural immune system…but this did cause me some concern.  So I went to the store and loaded up on supplies.


I forgot to include the two giant cans of Lysol and Clorox wipes that I bought.

Luckily, his fever broke the next day but he ended up missing work for FOUR DAYS.  That has NEVER happened.  He continued to sleep in the guest bedroom until Friday night and I reluctantly did watch basketball with him one night in the living room…but just to be on the safe side, I wore a mask.


I think we are mostly on the road to recovery.  I don’t think I ever got the full-blown flu.  No, I don’t get a flu shot; our family had a very bad experience with them one year and I’m pretty sure it has scared me for life from them,  Plus, the statistics out today show that the flu shot was only effect 56% of the time. I still have a crazy cough that I can’t shake and I haven’t run in a week!  (Could make for an interesting half marathon in 2 weeks) but I’m going to try to at least walk 4-5 miles on the treadmill tonight.  Maybe I can sweat the rest of this thing out!