Saturday, June 30, 2012

And the Hits Keep Coming

Sharing a photo or two from my lovely day yesterday. Thankfully the total hit on the pocketbook was in the hundreds, not the thousands, and it was just many lost hours, not days. I'm fine. I even managed to get some work done while I waited for the repairs. Apparently it was the drive belt that broke, but from there, parts like the water pump, pulleys and tensioners and stuff are affected.  It's just not how I wanted to spend my money or my time yesterday.

I seriously feel like my theme song for this past week could be, "It's Raining Shit.". Oh, are those not the lyrics? Because that's what's stuck in my head.

New day today, heading to yoga first thing.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Ugh.  At about 2:20 this morning, after tossing and turning for what seemed like forever, I finally, loudly, asked hubby if he was awake about 5 times.  Finally he was like, what, did you say something? 

I told him I couldn't sleep.  It makes no sense.  I'm completely exhausted.  Between staying out so late at the baseball game for work last night, and then getting up so early to run this morning, I got less than 5 hours of sleep last night.  And I'm a sleeper.  I took a little nap when I got home from running, but less than an hour.

I am stressed about work.  We have our big audit wrap up meeting at 10:30 today.  I am worried.  The auditor has made a couple comments about some problems on my files.  Two issues I became aware of on Wed and attempted to resolve yesterday.  Not huge deals. 

Yesterday I told my boss how overwhelmed I was, and the end result of the conversation was moving one potentially big case off my desk to my colleague, and I'm supposed to think about whether there is another easy group of cases I could give up that would help. 

But that's not helping me right now. 

I asked hubby if he wanted to go for a run with me.  Then we wouldn't have to work out in a few hours when it's normally time to go to boot camp or go running.  He wasn't interested.

I asked if he wanted to watch a movie.  He suggested I go downstairs alone if I wanted to do that.

I asked if he felt sexy.  He said he wanted to sleep.

I asked if he wanted to play trains (my favorite dominoes game).  He suggested we put on the radio show that we listen to as we go to sleep, and that we go back to sleep.

I asked if he wanted to do some China trip planning.  He told me he loved me and that he thought we should go back to sleep or I should go downstairs.

So here I am.  Turned on my computer and wondered if writing it all down would help, or if just doing some work would help more.  Make me feel less behind.  I'm still torn.  I worry if I start working, the next few hours will fly by and I'll get some stuff done, but then I'll be exhausted when I have to go in to the office for our meeting.

Not fun.  Surfing and reading now has me at 3:00.  Wondering if now I'll be able to fall asleep if I try again.  I need to go to yoga this weekend.  Maybe today, tomorrow AND Sunday!  And going on vacation next week (just to Pittsburgh for the Fourth) might help -- or it might make things a million times worse because I'll be even further behind...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Homeowner frustration

We live in new construction.  I was actually the original buyer on my condo, about 10 years ago, and then hubby moved into "my" place.  We've had very minimal homeowner issues.

Being the first resident, there were a few weird things within the first week.  For example, I turned on the shower in the master bathroom, and no matter how low the water stream was (as close to cold as possible), the water was scalding hot.  I used the guest room shower, and it worked fine.  Very simple fix -- turned out only the hot water feed was connected (or something weird like that).  One time after a big rainstorm, we had water coming in the house near a window.  That fix was more of a pain, but there was just some "weephole" and sealant fix.  Other than that, we've basically been free of any real maintenance issues. 

Well, after a very, very, very late night last night (Rangers game for work with our auditor, preceded by dinner), I got home and the garage door wouldn't go up more than about an inch.  Hubby coincidentally pulled up about the same time I did, so we just parked down the street and looked at it briefly.  It looks like some cable had gotten disconnected on one of the sides, and the other one also seems loose.  But the motor works and everything. 

Sigh.  So we have someone coming out today to look at it and give us an estimate.  It's just one of those headaches I didn't want right now.  I'm trying to put all my monthly discretionary income toward plane tickets within China (we bought our tix to and from, but we still have to buy 3 flights within the country, and one boat trip, plus hotels, etc.).  And it seems like every month I won't have any weird big expense, something like a broken garage door seems to come up. 

I suppose that it's easy to see some bright sides.  The biggest one is that if this had happened just a few hours later, it would have been a major disaster.  That would have meant it was at 5:00 this morning when we were both in major hurries to leave the house (I meet my running friends at 5:10 to start running at 5:15; just too hot any later than that, plus there's the whole "going to work" thing).  And then our cars would have been stuck inside.  And without the cable, we don't seem to be able to lift the door manually (though we haven't tried too hard, since we're not stuck inside).  And the other bright side is that even if we needed an entire new door or motor or something, in reality, for our first major issue, it wouldn't be that expense -- I can imagine a new AC unit would cost more, for example. 

But still a headache, so I'm still complaining! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Closure at the Track

Last night's track meet was odd. It was insanely hot. Picture below of my car thermometer -- which said 110 if you can't see it.

Really, I knew that wasn't right. It was only about 104 or 105 yesterday, but it felt like 110 to me and to my car.

Ugh. It meant very low turnout at the track meet, so the events went really fast. There were just maybe 4 or 5 heats of the 100 meter race. They canceled the 4x100 relay for lack of interest. There were maybe 2 heats of the mile, and 3 or 4 of the 800.

I ran several events, but given the temps and the sun, I wasn't expecting anything exciting.

My mile time was slower than a couple weeks ago, no big deal. I was actually slightly pleased to have been able to pass 2 people (incluing a faster friend) in the last couple laps. I say only slightly pleased because I really don't care much about whether I'm last or not.

My 100 meter time was slower than last week, but only by 3 hundreths of a second. Darn! It would have been fun to PR.

My 400 meter time was slow -- I was dead last I think. And I wasn't feeling great. Being out in the sun and heat was wearing me down.

Finally it was the 800. I wanted to skip it, but I kept thinking it was the last track meet of the season, and either I went out on the crappy 400 I ran, or I tried again to leave on a higher note. And of course I decided to go for it. My friend's fiance said he'd share my lane and run with me through the whole race. We only had to share a lane for about 100 meters, then we were all allowed to roll into lane 1, and that made it much easier. I think we might have passed 2 people, and then 1 of them passed us back. But after the first lap, I knew I was in trouble. It was about 8 seconds faster than I planned. Unsustainable. I started talking to (actually more grunting and listening) my friend. He told me to relax on the straight at 500 meters. Then hold steady through the turn. Then when we hit 700 meters, he said to run it like a 100, move my legs, move my arms, and I tried.

Shock. Dead steady with lap 1, which lead to a Summer 2012 800 meter PR for me by a few seconds! Haha. Not really anything special. Not close to where I should be running an 800. Not close to where I ran the 800 a couple years ago. But best of all, not close to where I'll run the 800 in about February -- I am going to work on speed again starting hard core in January.

But either way, it was a great note on which to exit the track meet, to end my track season.

I'm so glad I tried doing something like this this year. I'd never done it before, and I was nervous, but I had a good time, it might have boosted my confidence a little, but most of all, did I mention I had a good time? It was so much fun to do that every Tuesday night. A couple extra miles for the day, a couple new acquaintances, a lot of memories, and a great plan for attending and competing in all of next year's meets.

Makes me think again about The Happiness Project, one of the books I read this year. Part of what she talked about was doing new things, going outside your comfort zone, putting yourself in new situations. My reaction usually is that I like my routine, I like my life, I like my fitness plan, etc. No need for anything new (obviously, we're going to China this year, I like some new things, just not too much). But this is exactly the kind of thing that I need to remember -- kind of wanting to do it, but not entirely, but then forcing myself to make the commitment, do it for a few weeks, pushing outside my usual zone and routine, and then loving it.

Car thermometer:

Friend who is over 50 and running a sub-5 mile here:

Random 100 meter runners:

A peacock at the grounds near the track:

More random 100 meter runners:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Stepping Back?

Things feel pretty crazy right now.  Our big twice-a-year audit is happening at work this week, so besides the stress with that, it also means a work dinner one night and a work lunch one day, and probably coming into the office on Friday, my usual work-from-home day. 

And I can tell I'm stressed.  For one of the first times in my life, I'm having some major insomnia.  I woke up last night at 1:45 and was awake for about 2 hours before dozing off again.  Just working -- in my head.  Thinking about emails and cases.  Ugh.

But the good news is that yesterday was a kick @ss kind of work out.  I think I've mentioned that somehow I gained some weight this spring.  I think it was probably because I was running so slowly when I ran wearing the weight vest, so I wasn't getting as much cardio.  I was actually running fewer miles as well. 

So I've been trying to clean up my eating a bit and be pretty serious about working out.

I realized that in a typical week, I work out at least 8 times, plus usually about 2 yoga classes. 

And it has FINALLY paid off! 

I think I'm back to the weight where I usually spend most of the year (about 5 pounds above my racing weight, and still higher than I'd like to be, but just where my body seems to settle).  And yesterday at boot camp, suddenly I felt like I was BACK! 

I felt like I was bringing it.  Working hard and doing well.  At the top of my game. 

Geez, it took long enough!  It has seriously been over a month that I've been running back at my "normal" pace -- and my heart rate was through the roof.  I wouldn't say my heart rate has lowered much yet, and I actually kind of felt like I was dying this morning during the run, but there's been some progress. 

It's really just in time because, based on external scheduling, I am about to step back my workouts a little.  I think I am dropping about one per week.  Right now I'm doing boot camp 3 mornings a week, and running 3 mornings a week, plus doing a track meet one night per week and a social run one night per week.  And then about 2 yoga classes. 

Tonight is the last of the track meets, and as much as I love them (it really is one of the highlights of my week), I am so ready for a little down time. 

It must be the summer scheduling, as mentioned before in the comments, but there is just so much going on at night lately.  I miss having some lazy dinners at home, getting to go to bed early. 

Oh, and since it's going to be 104 degrees tonight at the track meet, it's probably best that they end now before the summer gets any worse.  And now the good news is that with the track meets ending, I've gotten  to where I want to be.  I've gotten some speed back, I've lost some of the weight I gained, I feel better about myself, etc.  I think working out 7  times a week plus a couple yoga classes will work well for me going forward -- and that's still with one rest day from working out.  Seems like I have a reasonable plan now, and I like that feeling.  And I'm so happy I don't have the extra weight telling me I should fill my soon-to-be-unoccupied Tuesday nights with a replacement workout for the track meets! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

FMM: Dating, again?

My weekend was so uneventful and it quiet, that it was downright lovely.  We cleared off the DVR a little, watched a couple things on Netflix (Demolition Man (with Sylvester Stallone, has anyone else seen this?  it was ... interesting), Lilyhammer (think we're going to watch the whole series), and Secret in their Eyes (think this was up for best foreign film one year).  Besides all the screen time, our house got really straightened up, I even organized a couple drawers and managed to purge a couple things -- small things, but better than nothing. 

My long run was only 13 miles this weekend and it did not go well for one runner in my group, so I hung back and ran/walked it in with her.  She was really having a rough time -- possible went out too fast, but definitely some stomach issues.  But it made for a relaxing and easy finish for me, so that wasn't entirely unwelcome. 

And another high point to the weekend was book club -- but it was brunch instead of the usual dinner, and it was at my local bestie's house, which was fun. 

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!
I think we've done this one before, but doing it anyway, mostly because I came up with a good dream date for this week! 

FMM: Dating

1. What is your current relationship status? (Be as specific as you’d like to be!) Married -- first and hopefully last time.  Just over 3 years now. 

2. List a few qualities that you look for in a significant other. Loving, funny, considerate, able to put up with me, has things in common with me.

3. If you could choose to date one character in TV or film, who would you choose? And which characteristics are most appealing?  Hmm, let's go with Westley from The Princess Bride.  He was so in love and so devoted, not to mention funny, smart and strong, I never thought I'd find anyone that into me. 

4. How long should you date before becoming exclusive? I guess it depends.  If you both have dated a lot before, not necessarily too long -- but if people are young and inexperienced, a longer wait is probably better. 

5. What are your thoughts on public displays of affection? I think we've had this question before.  Hubby and I are kind of mushy.  I love it when we're touching in public, and we're almost always holding hands or have our arms around each other when we're walking or sitting. And there's lots of (closed-mouth) kissing and hugging.  I save serious public make-outs for about the 3 times a year I get really intoxicated.  But anytime we're on a plane that lands, I always want a "real" kiss.  But we make it short and hopefully no one else notices. 

6. How has what you want in a mate changed throughout your life?  Haha.  I only had to date about 5 other lawyers before I realized that probably wasn't a good match.  Not a good thing when you can both argue the other side just to argue. 

7. Do you kiss on the first date?  I did with my husband. 

8. Would you date someone shorter than you? I think we've had this question before too.  If the man of my dreams were shorter than me, I'd deal with it -- but he's not and since I'm not particularly tall, that was never really a question. 

9. What’s the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? I don't like this question -- the first things I notice are obviously the first things I think most people notice if they're honest -- you notice the fact that the person is the opposite sex, then we probably all notice build, race, and probably approximate age.  I don't buy it if someone says they notice eyes first -- you honestly can say that the person who walked by you on the street had hazel eyes but you're not sure if he was 15 or 85, and if he weighed 150 pounds or 400 pounds, if he was 5 feet tall or 7 foot 6?  It sounds sweet, but I just don't believe it. 

10. Is it important to be friends first?  Not necessarily -- I think some people can meet and start dating and become friends in the process, but I think it's nice if you know and like someone in a non-romantic context first.  I think I knew my husband for about a year before we started dating. 

11. How long should you wait before becoming intimate?  I'm sure it depends for everyone.  I'd say at least until you're exclusive, you feel like there aren't any surprises you don't know about the person, you think you could be compatible for life, you feel like you're in love (even if you guys haven't said it) and you've been dating at least 6 days, so it's dollar shot night at your favorite bar. 

12. Do you prefer to date older or younger?  I think my entire adult dating life the answer has always been older.  I'm sure in high school, college, and maybe even law school, I dated guys the same age, but generally older.  But I've only dated 2 guys more than 10 years older than me, one happened to be my husband -- almost 11 years, but we don't notice it unless we're talking about pop culture type stuff -- music, movies, tv shows. 

13. Biggest turn-on?  Consideration.

14. Biggest turn-off?  Asshole-ishness.  When I'm arguing with my husband or he's being a pill, I'm completely unattracted to him.  Thankfully that's not too often. 

15. Describe your dream date.  It varies.  This week, he would send a special lunch to my office -- maybe like a big veggie sub sandwich.  Right when I got hungry but before I could microwave whatever I'd brought.  It would be hearty and nutritious and delicious, but not too heavy.  Then a few hours later, he could pick me up at work with a special outfit in a bag for me to put on before I left -- it would be my favorite shorts, sports bra, a new and lovely tank, my heart rate monitor, watch, and socks (maybe new ones, I'm not sure), along with my running shoes.  He'd have a cold bottle of ice water waiting in the car.  He'd be dressed in running clothes too.  There would be smooth romantic music on the radio and he'd drive me to a local private high school, where lots of other people were gathering for the track meet, including a whole bunch of our friends.  We'd run.  About 3-5 events each.  Maybe we'd run one of them holding hands.  Then we'd leave together and go out for frozen yogurt.  There would be a long sleeve zip cardigan in the car so I wouldn't be cold in the fro yo place.  Then we'd walk home and make out (and go get the car in the morning).

As an aside, there's really no chance of this -- but hopefully we'll meet up at the track meet this week and run -- he'll do 2 events at most, I might aim for 4 or so.  But no new outfit, and probably no fro-yo afterward.  And certainly not leaving a car somewhere...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spoiler Cover

Hubby and I are watching The Bachelorette again this season.  It seems like there's a bit less drama when it's a bunch of guys, but I still don't know why we watch.  But we're hooked. 

Our June calendar has been out of control.  I feel like we have plans almost every night, almost every week.  This is going to have to end soon.  July can be an "at home" month maybe. 

Anyway, Monday night I was supposed to go see a movie with a girlfriend.  But then we found out that our trainer was having his network television debut that night (he was in the Regional competition for America's Ninja Warrior), and there was going to be a big watch party that night. 

This guy has been our trainer for years.  In fact, I can only think of 2-3 others that we've worked out with for as long (at our boot camp, it's usually several different trainers over the course of the week, and we've been going for many years).  So we decided it was really important that we go and support him, so I canceled my movie plans and we went to the sports bar for the watch party.  Unfortunately, he rocked the course but was only featured for about 7 seconds.  It was still a really good time.  And we recorded the Bachelorette.

Then Tuesday morning I got up to run.  One of my best running buddies and I are not running together this season.  I think he's just too fast for me.  We run the same route but separate, and then meet up at the finish.  We're both running with other people right now.  But he will always be one of my favorite running buddies. 

Well, his wife loves the Bachelorette and he gets hooked the same way my husband does.  Anyway, he and I will sometimes discuss the show over the miles.  And very early in a run we'd make sure we had either both seen the whole thing, or we'd figure out how much the other person had seen.

Tuesday, after our run, we were doing a cool down walk in the parking lot, his whole group and my whole group.  He came right up to me and was like, "We need to talk.  Man, I can't believe she voted off your boy Ryan."  And I was like "WHAT???????!!!!!" 

In perhaps the fastest cover ever, he was like, no, I'm just kidding, I don't know, we didn't have time to watch the whole thing.  And somehow I fell for it, hook, line and sinker.  Since I'd kind of shrieked when he said it, I had to explain to all our friends that I thought he'd just ruined the show for me, but he was joking, and we both haven't seen it yet.

Tuesday night, after the track meet, hubby and I watched the first little segment of the DVRed show. 

Last night, I went to do the social run.  It was short and hot.  A bunch of the people were going out for a beer afterward, but I just wasn't feeling it.  It's just been overwhelming to not be home at all at night.  I know it's all my choice, no one makes me do these things, and I enjoy them, but I just decided a beer wasn't a good plan.  I was better off not getting the extra calories (I skipped boot camp that day, so only one workout yesterday, and it was a short run, so it barely counts), getting the extra sleep, and spending the extra time with hubby at home.  Oh, and watching the Bachelorette. 

So I was done running by about 7:15 last night and home by about 7:30.  And we stayed up and watched the entire remainder of the show.  It got to be the date with the guy (Ryan) who was our early favorite.  He lives in the same region as the Bachelorette (which we think is highly underrated), and just seemed like a good match.  The more we watched, the less we liked him.  But still, our early favorite always keeps a special spot in our hearts on the show.  As we watched, I started to think my friend maybe hadn't been joking when he'd told me Ryan got eliminated.  And then I thought maybe he was, and he really hadn't seen the show.  And then I thought maybe he wasn't.  And then he was, and then he wasn't.  It was funny.

But of course when I went to go run this morning, he was the first person I talked to and I told him I'd finally seen the whole show.  He was like, thank goodness, saying he'd felt so bad for spoiling it and wasn't sure I'd bought his attempt to recover.  We had a good laugh about that.  And now we'll both be more careful.  And I need to just keep Monday nights clear so I can watch in real time!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sand everywhere

Last night was the second to last track meet of the season.  And two of my friends who had been coming weren't there.  One had a sore hamstring, the other had to go out of town.  But my other two friends were there, and hubby came to watch (he had a crisis at work, otherwise he may have had time to change clothes and come run).  And one of my friends brought her sister, so there were 4 of us running. 

I decided to step out of my comfort zone in two ways.  First, I tried one brand new event.  And I mean brand new.  Second, I tried one new event, which meant I competed in more events than I'd done before.

My brand new event was the long jump.  Nope, never, ever tried anything like that.  Maybe in junior high?  It was fun.  The guy managing the event told us to warm up and use tape to mark where we'd start.  Well, I decided I didn't need to warm up.  You just run down a little straight thing, step on the line, and then jump into the sand.  I knew you couldn't step over the line, but I figured I'm used to adjusting my stride for something like a curb, so no big deal.  They give you 3 attempts and measure your best of the 3. 

My first attempt was a complete failure.  I ran, stepped, jumped, landed, and fell kind of backward but stayed upright.  The guy called foul.  My toes had gone past the line.  Oops.  I guess that's why everyone marked their starting points.

My second attempt was bad because I had to mess with my stride to make sure I didn't go over the line, which meant I lost any speed I had gained.  But at least it was a valid jump.  And way further than I would have guessed I could go.

And then my third attempt was half a foot further and also valid.  Woot!

I was so proud of myself.  I asked 2 people -- a guy who lined up next to me in the 200 meter sprint, and one of my best friends who I talked to on the phone after the meet -- to guess how far I jumped.  They both independently said, well, I have no idea.  And I insisted, just guess.  And they both guessed 15 feet.  Haha.  So yeah, not quite.  Not quite 10 feet either.  Not really even close.  So I won't be asking anyone else to guess how far I can jump.  It was a major ego deflater.  Well, no really, I'm still pretty thrilled to have done it and gone further than I expected (for the record, my guess was 3 feet). 

Anyway, my second new event was just running, so not really new.  I ran the 4x400 meter relay with my friends.  It was fun and very hard because it was the last event of the evening.  We got smoked by some of the other teams, but you know, who cares?

But that means by adding the long jump and the relay, I did the most events I've ever done in a night.  The meet has 2 separate schedules, and they alternate weeks.  I did the same 4 events I did 2 weeks ago, and I added the jump and the relay, for a total of 6 events. 

Needless to say, I skipped boot camp this morning (I'm doing the social run tonight anyway).  When I got home from the meet I was exhausted.  And hubby was beat down too.  Major stress at work for him (nothing lasting, just one guy with some major medical issues, and now hubby's done with him).  So I had cold cereal for dinner, hubby had leftover pasta.  I talked on the phone with a friend, he played on his phone.  Then we watched a little of the Bachelorette. 

And then we went to bed.  I was exhausted and I asked if he cared if I didn't shower (at that point, I still thought I'd be going to boot camp in about 7 hours).  He said not at all.  I wasn't sweaty.  We change our sheets all the time.  So I went to bed.  And as soon as I got settled in, I realized there was sand on my legs.

Yuck.  On my second long jump attempt, I fell down, falling forward in the sand, as you're supposed to (if you fall backward, it counts against you).  Well, I'd brushed it off my arms and hands, but it wasn't until I got to bed that I realized it was still on my legs. 

I was so tired that I just ignored, but I guess I know what else I'll be doing before I go to work today! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The End of Easy

We are officially in week 5 of marathon training now.  I'm counting down to the Beijing marathon on Oct. 14.  Or on Oct. 21.  To be determined.  You know, because why would you need an exact date when it's still 4 months away. 

Thankfully, there is now a countdown calendar posted on the English language website, and it also appears to be counting down to Oct. 14, which will be good.  We'll in Beijing that day and I'll be ready to run. 

I'm finally less nervous.  If the marathon doesn't work out, we'll still have an awesome trip to China and there is going to be so much to see.  One of our neighbors (not the neighbors we love, this is one we don't know well yet) is from Taiwan and she has some relatives visiting her right now, and we've been invited for dinner and a night of Chinese conversation in a few weeks -- so I'm trying to focus even more on my studies! 

Anyway, in looking at my vague marathon training calendar (well, it's not vague, it's just a matter of determining exactly when that taper phase will begin), I realized that I need to enjoy this week.  It's the end of easy.  We will still have tons of "easy pace" miles on the schedule in the weeks ahead.  But starting next week, every single week there will be something "not easy."  At times it may be just a few sets of pick-ups during an easy run, or a couple miles of race pace during a long run, or an easy run but on hills. 

But it's a sign that we're finally moving out of the base-building phase of training and getting into strength.  Exciting and scary.  I have a lot of trip planning to do before we go!  And a lot of language studying!

Monday, June 18, 2012

FMM: What's in your Bag?

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

What’s In Your Bag?

Snap a picture if you can, and tell us about what’s inside your bag today.

My bag today (and most days lately) is a brown Vera Bradley that I got from my now sister-in-law. I love Vera Bradley since, as a vegetarian, the concept of dead animals and leather bothers me. I have some leather purses and shoes (and the interior of my car...), but less is better in my mind.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s in my bag (attempting to put in order of importance to me, just for a fun twist):

- my iPhone (not pictured, since it's used to take the picture)
- Vera Bradley wristlet (I use this for running and it was the source of my airport disaster in March)
- my inhaler (I have exercise-induced asthma, well, actually, I just have normal asthma, but my primary trigger for the last few years has been exercise, so I use my rescue inhaler daily before I work out)
-hand sanitizer (both a standard liquid bottle, and a spray bottle)
- chapsticks (2, one I use, one that's just there)
- Vera Bradley wallet
- a business card case I got from my law school best friend for graduation
- Vera Bradley mints
- my "other" keychain (on a Tiffany star keychain that I love, I keep all the keys I don't use regularly, house key, mailbox key, office keys, a bottle opener, husband's car key, and a few I don't even recognize anymore)
- lipsticks (2, one I use, one that's just there)
- my checkbook
- my Juice Pack to recharge my iphone (I almost never use this, but it's nice to have, I think hubby bought it for me b/c he really wanted one for himself)
- pens
- Tylenol
- a small mirror
- a granola bar, just in case
- my epipen (some of my allergies are very severe and I'll stop breathing within a few minutes without it; fortunately I haven't had to use it since 2002)
- Tide pen, just in case
- tampons, just in case
- work pass card that I don't know how or where to use
- random business cards I've gotten and need to leave at work
- i-pod earphones
- a flash drive, no idea of contents, probably my resume
- flosser that I'd only use in an emergency, it's been in my purse too long
- matches (why???)
- gum (old)
- eyeliner (old and with a broken tip, so not very useful)

It should be noted that usually my running car key (the car key attached to a little light) is in my purse, but right now it's hanging on the hook near the garage. And it should also be noted that there was some trash in my purse before making this list and taking the picture below. Good incentive to clean it out!

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s question! Feel free to participate even if you can’t snap a picture for us, and be sure to come back and link up in the comments! Happy Monday, Friends!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dual Days

Kind of funny how much my Saturday and Sunday looked like each other:

Miles to start each morning. 

Miles with one person both days (just with her Saturday, with her and many other friends on Sunday).

Yoga each morning after running, in a "lightly heated" studio (think it's set to 83).

Reading each day -- next month is my month to host Book Club, so I'm getting a start on the book I'm planning to choose.  And I like it so far.  I need to do a resolutions check in sometime in the next few weeks, since we're almost at the mid-point of the year, and I'm going to have to do a post of what I've read.

Made dinner each night for when hubby got home from work (well, that's my plan for tonight, need to start in a few mins).

Some "no longer needed" purging each day.  Super rare for me, but something I really, really should do more often.

Some organizing each day.  Yesterday the garage, today my closet.

That's about it.  Yesterday was super-productive in the garage and with errands.  I donated a bunch of stuff, spent a few hours volunteering, finally went to the bank to deposit some old checks (seriously, these people/companies might hate me, I sat on some of the checks for a couple months), picked up prescriptions, bought a couple new tops.  Twas lovely! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Track Meet Repeat

This week I participated in my second of the track meets. I didn't get any of my official times from the first one (besides my 1500 time), but I did this week.

It will be fun to compare over the next few weeks to see if the times change at all.

This week I did the 1600 (slower pace than my 1500 last week, which was disappointing), the 100, and the 400. I thought about staying to do the 800 as well, but I was just too tired.

Hubby did the 100, which he thought was fun. He was 4 seconds faster than me I think.

Anyway, I'm really, really, really enjoying these events. It kind of stinks that they're in the summer evening (so, so hot), and that they only last 7 weeks (and I missed the first 2 weeks, then spent a week watching).

It's just been a fun night to hang out with friends, talk them into running events that I want to run, getting beaten badly by them (though there's one person I usually finish near).

So I took a few photos to share:

Guys running the 100:

A mid-air high jump:

A different mid-air technique on the jump (I was obsessed with watching this and considered trying until I realized there was absolutely no way I'd be able to do it and I'd fall and look like a complete idiot):

Various people I don't know hanging around and warming up:

Guys running the 100:

People I DO know -- recently engaged, happily beating me in every single event we all run:

A few more shots of 100 runners:

It was fun, particularly watching the jumpers and the 100 meter races.  There were also some people who ran hurdles, but I didn't get close enough to take any pictures.  Another event that I am likely physically unable to do, certainly without an unduly high injury and idiot-looking risk, but that seems like it would be so incredible.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Done Deal!

I got an email from my friend in Shanghai:

I am available to help any time :)  Actually I was checking their official website the other day to see if any new info posted. The countdown clock was back on again and showing 400 some days to go !!! Today I checked the website again, the 400 some days changed back to 132 days, which put it in October this year. The link you gave me is an annoucement from 2011 marathon, annoncing best performing family runners. Which provided a contact number different from other numbers I called before. So I called the number and finally find someone. This lady told me this year's game is planned for October, the date is not finalized yet (there is a nation wide CCP party meeting in Beijing in October, so the organization committee of the game is waiting for a date from the city). She told me the marathon is definately on in October and once the date is set, they will post the registration info on their website. Great news!  I guess we just need to check the site from time to time . I will let you know if I see the registration notice. Take care, girl!

So yeah, back to uncertainty about the 2012 Beijing Marathon date.  But the Chinese website still has a countdown posted, and it's counting down to Oct. 14.

So I did what any irrational budget-conscious traveler would do. 

I bought plane tickets.

I had a tough conversation with hubby about priorities.  And the marathon is not the priority.  It would be awesome, but the priority for us is getting to see a new country and explore. 

I'd been playing around with plane tickets, putting some on 24 hour holds, letting them lapse, putting new tickets on hold, letting them lapse.

Well, yesterday I had a deadline to purchase tickets on hold.  As usual, I looked around to see if there was something better to put on hold.

And there wasn't.  In fact, to book the exact trip I had on hold, it would have been about $600 more.

So I pulled the trigger. 

The trip over sounds good.  Long but good.  We're on American, so that means we'll get miles, we'll be on a single airline, and we'll be on a US-based carrier (not a good thing in any way other than making communication easier). 

We'll be gone just under 3 weeks.  All we have are the tickets from Dallas to Beijing, and then Shanghai to Dallas, so we still have to figure out everything in between, but at least we've got the big ones out of the way.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Hubby and I have been married almost 3 years and 2 months.  In some ways, I feel like we've been together forever, as we dated for a relatively long time before getting married (4+ years).  But in most ways, I feel like we got married fairly recently.  I don't think of our wedding as being long ago.

But the official tally as of today is up to TWO couples we know who got married after us and are already divorced. 

Don't think it really says anything as a.) we actually know a fair number of people who got married after we did and are still happily married; b.) both divorces in these instances were probably for the better (all parties involved significantly happier); and c.) one couple had been together for a very long time and the other didn't even know each other when hubby and I got married, so one long courtship, one short.

It's just interesting and in some ways it makes me feel like we're starting to accrue some seniority.  I know the numbers of later-married and then-divorced will climb and climb as the years go by, and I know that will be sad in many instances.  But it's just odd.  When it was our third anniversary, one of my co-workers jokingly said to me, "and they said it wouldn't last."  (Jokingly because he didn't even know me before we got married, and he's been married more than 40 years.)  But as we start to know more people in the "later-married now-divorced," category, it starts to make me feel like we've been married a long time. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

FMM: Bedroom Habits

We had a lovely weekend, complete with a trip to Nacogdoches for the Blueberry Festival, accidentally having one of our phones start a small electrical fire while we were sleeping in a hotel with very old wiring, a 10 mile "long" run, a "lightly heated" yoga class, a monster salad bar trip with my godson (and his family), and way too much sun (but no burn fortunately). 

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links there so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Bedroom Habits

1. Do you set an alarm clock? If so, for what time?  I always set an alarm except on the very occasional Saturday when I get to sleep in.  I'll occasionally wake up before my alarm, but that's usually because hubby gets up earlier than I do most days, and sometimes I'll hear him.  On Mon/Wed/Fri, my alarm goes off at 5.  On Tue/Thur/Sun, my alarm goes off at 4:45.  Saturdays it varies.  This past weekend it was 6:30 because we had to be up early to be in line for blueberry pancakes. 

2. How many hours of sleep do you get on an average night?  Most nights I aim for 7-8, as close to 8 as possible.  I succeed in "lights out" 7-8 hours before the alarm about 4-5 nights a week.  The other nights I get less, which I know isn't good, but getting up that early makes it tough when I also have an evening commitment.  But if I sleep later and skip my morning workout, it's a slippery slope, so I don't give myself that option.  I'm up and at 'em, tired or not. 

3. Do you bring your laptop to bed? No, but my iphone, which is almost as bad. 

4. How many pillows do you require to sleep? 1

5. Do you sleep with socks on? Never.

6. How often do you change the sheets? As often as possible.  Lately we've been busy, so it's about once a week, but I love it when I have enough time to do clean sheets every day or two.  It completely grosses me out to think about all those mites that live on our sheets and feed off dead skin cells. 

7. Do you remember your dreams? Sometimes, but not usually.  Maybe once a week or so on average? 

8. Which side of the bed do you sleep on?  If you're standing at the foot of the bed, looking at the bed, I'm on the right.  We sometimes switch sides in hotels or when staying in someone's house.  Hubby likes to be closer to the door (he says it's to protect me, from what?  the boogeyman and monsters is my best guess).  The one exception is my childhood bedroom.  There's a double bed in there now, and I take the side closer to the door (the left side from the foot). 

9. How often do you take naps?  It's odd, I feel like a baby runner lately.  I used to always nap after Sunday long runs.  For years that was my habit.  Then somehow I guess I got used to the distance, and I'd only nap after 20 milers.  But now I'm back to being a baby runner.  The last 2-3 weeks, I've been napping every Sunday.  I get home from the run, refuel, flip on Law & Order and try to read a little, and next thing I know, I'm dozing the morning away. 

10. Do you sleep soundly? So-so.  I had a lot of stress in the last 6 weeks with our company being acquired, and I was waking up constantly.  It's gotten better now, but since I'm officially back in marathon training mode, I usually get up at least once a night to pee. 

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments! And hey…try saying hi to someone new this week! Happy Monday, Friends…

Friday, June 8, 2012

Road Trip

It's 8:09 a.m. and I've been working for more than an hour already today.  I'm aiming to wrap things up shortly after lunch and then we are hitting the road today.

This might be our very first road trip that will involve a Texas destination and a hotel.  We've driven on road trips before -- to Alabama a couple times, to St. Louis once, and to Kansas City a couple times.  And we've done "road trips" (loosely defined) in Texas, like when our flight back to Dallas after Christmas had all kinds of weather issues and we ended up in Houston, where we rented a car and drove to Dallas. 

But I don't think we have spent a single night in a hotel in Texas together (other than locally, and that's just been a couple times after something like the Italian Club gala when neither of us can drive home, so we stay in a hotel 10 miles from our house because for unknown reasons, that seems better than taking a cab).  Never driving to a hotel in Texas and staying there, and then coming back home. 

So today as soon as I'm done working, we are heading to Nacogdoches!

My local bestie and her husband are going, as well as one of her sisters, her parents, and we're all going there to meet up with her brother-in-law and niece who live in Nac. 

The true destination is the blueberry festival!

She's raved about the blueberry pancakes there for years, so I'm super excited that it worked out that we get to go this year too.

I'll have to give a full report next week. 

Mmmm, blueberries! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

National Running Day Triple!

Yesterday was officially "National Running Day."  Since I'm 90% sure I have a marathon goal to work toward (oh yeah, the good news about Beijing I posted this week, not yet clear; my friend in Shanghai called the phone number and they said the date is still not official; but we're going to probably go ahead and book tickets now anyway), I want to step up my training.

There is ZERO chance I will get a marathon PR in Beijing.  Even if the air were crystal clear and I were starting off the training season strong (instead of where I am), I want to soak up the experience of this marathon.

Now I know as well as anyone else that running a marathon alone at a slower pace than usual can feel like a beating, but I'm braced for it.  The key for me is going to be to start slow. 

Anyway, I'm stepping up my workouts this week.  On Tuesday, I ran 7 miles with my running buddies in the morning, then ran 2600 meters at the track meet with more friends in the evening. 

Yesterday, for national running day, I went to boot camp in the morning, and ran a little there (though actually I skipped out on most of the running, since I was sore from the track).  After boot camp, I went for a short couple miles with a friend.  It was mostly just because we hadn't seen each other in weeks and wanted to catch up.  Then I went home, showered, went to work, and worked all day. 

After work was my official "National Running Day" celebration -- I walked to a Mexican food restaurant right by my house that was the social run meeting point this week, went for a few easy fun miles with that group, then went back to the restaurant for drinks and dinner. 

Today with just a single workout is going to feel like a piece of cake! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mixed Bag at the Track

Last night I did it. After wimping out last week, last night I went to the track meet and actually "competed."

I have to use quotes because my performances didn't really count as a competition.  But I paid the money, pinned on the bib, and toed the line for several events (and crossed the finish line each time).  That alone is an improvement over last week. 

First off, I ran in maybe the second heat of the 1500. My friend's fiancĂ© was easily talked into running it with me. That was so sweet of him. She wasn't there yet, and he knew I had to figuratively close my eyes and jump, so he stayed with me. I was dead last. Not sure he was braced for that, but oh he was such a good sport.  So event one, I end up in last place (but admittedly, it wasn't the first heat).  But my time was disappointingly slow.  More than 15 seconds slower than my mile time should be (and 1500 is shorter than a mile!).  I'm feeling very out of shape.  But the only way to get back is to make myself do stuff like this. 

Next up was 100 meters. And I pulled along the same guy to run with me.  His fiancee still wasn't at the meet, nor was my husband, and he let himself be talked into running that event as well.  He didn't run with me, but we both lined up in the same heat.  The first several heats were kids sorted by age, all under 10, then 10, then 11, etc. up to about age 13, then he called for "anyone who is not a pure sprinter."  I raised my hand very high, and so did my friend's fiance.  So we lined up (not using starting blocks) and the gun went off.  It was possibly the most fun, mostly because it was over so fast. There's no real thinking. You just pump your arms and run like crazy. I kept pace with a pretty old guy near me (think he beat me), but apparently there may have been a woman behind me.  It was the most I've ever felt like a kid while running.  It reminded me of running as fast as possible to get away from my brothers, just out of control running as fast as humanly possible.  Tons of fun. 

Then, since I was on a roll, I asked another friend to join me for the 800 meters. That was tough. The 800 has always been my weakest event. They did a "waterfall start" where we all lined up along a curved line around the track, then everyone could gradually move into lane 1.  I started off just a step behind a very young boy in lane 1.  I stayed behind him until about 500 meters, then passed him. Then I set my sights on am older guy, and passed him around 650 meters. One friend was directly in front of me, but I couldn't catch her, and her fiancĂ© was way ahead. And one friend was just behind me, but very close.  And there were tons of people in front of us.  The run was just painful and fairly slow, but it is what it is.  The 800 is one of the few events that repeats every single week, so I'll have several more chances to beat my time from last night. 

Then for unknown reasons, I opted for a final event -- 200 meters. We started staggered around the track. Me and three friends, and 4 people we didn't know. I was in lane 5. Within about 3 seconds of the gun, lane 4 shot past me. Crazy fast!  I finished even with one friend, tied for last in the heat.  But smiling.  The 200 was hard too, harder than the 100 I thought.  I couldn't believe how much I was huffing and puffing at the end.  But so glad I'd done it!  And my friends were glad too, including glad I'd talked them into doing events they hadn't wanted to do. 

So my performance was far from remarkable, but it was insanely fun. Hubby said he'll run next week (he really wants to try the 100, he's more of a sprinter), as well as another friend who spectated this week.  So that means next week my group of friends will be at least 6 of us.  That's almost enough that we could do our own heat in some events! 

So my goal is to show up and run the next three weeks of this meet, and I'll hopefully beat a couple of my times from tonight. Glad I did it and didn't let myself get too freaked out. It was odd being one of the slowest people there, but the only way to get faster is to try!  And really, it doesn't matter to me even if I end up always being last.  I mean, my goal isn't to be a good sprinter, my goal is to get rid of this weight that has crept up the last couple months, and to get my long run pace to start to feel easier.  Oh, and to have fun!  3 more weeks of track meets should help with all of those goals. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Breaking Beijing News

As you may know, a major source of frustration for me has been attempting to plan my Fall 2012 marathon -- Beijing.

For the longest time, including as of this past Sunday, there has been no info -- not even the date -- on the official Chinese or English websites.

Then yesterday, as always, I checked.  The English language website had changed colors!  There is now something that says "2012 Marathon Notice," but of course it's not an active link and there's not any info there.  BUT... if you look at the Chinese language version of the page, there appears to be a date countdown calendar!

Now this has happened once before -- the date calendar posted on the English version of the website, only to be pulled off a few days later.

That made me think there were logistical problems and the date may be changing.

Now it's counting down to the same day again -- 133 days away as of yesterday, a/k/a Oct. 14 (actually, it seems to be counting down to Oct. 15, which is a Monday, but I'm assuming there's something wrong with my calculation because of the date line or something). 

That has me so excited.  We might buy plane tickets today. 

I looked online yesterday, right after I used the date calculator, and I managed to find an open-jaw ticket 100% on a major American carrier (AA) -- that's a huge bonus in a couple ways.  First, of course, it's always easier to be on a single carrier -- if flights are delayed or canceled, you're only dealing with a single carrier.  Second, AA means there's a decent chance of English-speakers at the airport counters, which will also help.  Third, we'll be able to rack up some frequent flyer miles that we can actually use! 

The way I'm contemplating the trip now is that I'll work a full day on Thursday, but start early and end early, and then we'd fly to Chicago Thursday afternoon.  We'd then fly Thursday night from Chicago to Beijing, and land at about 9:30 p.m. on Friday. 

I would prefer to do that entire trip a day earlier, so there would be more cushion before the marathon, but I just won't have enough vacation time to do that.

Saturday in Beijing we'd have to go to the expo and get my packet, but the rest of day would be free to explore.  Ideally, the Forbidden City.

Then Sunday, marathon.  Seeing some of the sites on foot along the way. 

Monday, exploring Beijing.

Tuesday, a trip to the Great Wall, and then maybe flying to Xi'an Tuesday night or Wed. morning.

I need to see if we can stay with my friend in Beijing or if we should find a hotel.

Then a couple days in Xi'an, primarily to see the Terracotta Army, which is on my husband's short list of world sites he most wants to see (that he hasn't seen already). 

From there, I think we'd fly to Chongqing.  Spend maybe a day or so around the city there, then take a boat trip to Yichang, so we could see the Three Gorges and the river in general. 

Maybe fly out of Yichang the same day we arrive there or the next day, depending on logistics I guess. 

Then some time in Shanghai.  Likely just a couple days. 

I have some good friends who live in Shanghai, I wonder if I could talk them into meeting us in Chongqing and completing the rest of the trip with us?  I used to work with the guy at the big firm where I worked (he's now in the firm's Shanghai office), and I got along really well with his wife -- if their son had been a daughter, she was going to be named after me!  But it was a he, and he's named after my ex-b/f.  Haha.  It was actually a name they really liked, so it's not really named after him. 

Then we'd fly home from Shanghai on a Sunday -- and get back to Dallas just a few hours after we take off (that whole date line thing again). 

We'd be leaving the US on Oct. 11 and coming back Oct. 28. 


So excited.

And the tickets were actually cheaper than I expected.  Not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but not much more expensive than our usual trip to Italy.  If you're wondering, flying Dallas to Beijing and then Shanghai to Dallas all on AA on the dates we picked, coach class, ended up being about $1250 per person.  We could do it cheaper by mixing carriers, but it wouldn't be worth it to miss out on the advantages (pun intended, that's the name of AA's frequent flyer program) of flying a single airline.  I was definitely thinking it would be more like $1500 each.  Obviously, there would still be about 3 more in-country tickets to book, plus the river cruise, and hotels, and then all the general costs of being there, but still, slightly better than I expected! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

FMM: Quick and Easy

Another fairly quiet weekend, which was nice.  The highlights were our group "long" run (9 miles, which doesn't really count as long, considering in a couple months 9 will be a weekday run and long will be more like 18 miles), and going out for drinks with hubby on Saturday night to the same bar where we went 7 years earlier.  Kind of a first date anniversary, but it wasn't really a date.  More an Italian class and then drinks at the bar with friends until it ended up being just the two of us and we kissed.  But it was definitely the beginning of our official love story, so a fun anniversary to mark. 

Time for FMM!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links there too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Quick and Easy

1. When is your birthday? End of August. 

2. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? Since my grandma died this past winter, I have no idea.  I used to try to write to her every so often.  I guess I wrote about a dozen thank-you notes in April to friends who helped me train for my March marathon. 

3. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Right now I'm eating a wheat English muffin with pizza sauce and American cheese, along with a smoothie containing spinach, frozen peaches, strawberries, cherries, soy milk, and protein powder.  And I'm taking my vitamins. 

4. Who is the next band/artist you will see perform live? No idea.

UPDATED:  I forgot, Blaze of Glory, a Bon Jovi tribute band, in late July.

5. What is the last song you listened to? No idea. 

6. If you could be fluent in any other language, which one would you choose? Chinese.  I think I already count as fluent in French and Italian (and of course English), but Chinese would be very nice for our upcoming trip this fall! 

7. Does anything on your body hurt right now?  My finger is still in pain from when I fell on March 13.  It seems that it's worst right when I wake up, probably from being so immobile while I sleep.  My calves are also a little tight from boot camp this morning.  I should try to get to yoga tonight.   

8. What’s your favorite sports team? I honestly couldn't care less. 

9. How often do you watch the news? I usually have the Today Show on in the morning while I eat breakfast, read blogs, shower and get ready for work. 

10. Do you wear glasses?  Contacts usually, glasses sometimes on the weekend or on a day I don't work out. 

This week was short and simple, and now it’s your turn to answer the questions! Don’t forget to go back and link up in the comments!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Clean Laundry

It's Friday, I'm working from home.  Was thinking about throwing in a load of laundry and then I realized that not once, but TWICE, this week I put on workout clothes and didn't work out.  That usually happens like never.

First, I chickened out at the track meet Tuesday night.  And then yesterday morning I got dressed to run and went to our usual starting point.  I was kind of surprised we might be running because it was raining (no big deal), but there was also lightning that I could see several times (we never run in lightning).  Sure enough, as soon as I got there, I saw an email saying no go.

It couldn't have come at a better time.  The night before, we'd gone to the Rangers game with my best friend from junior high who was in town visiting.  And the game took forever.  The other team (Seattle) scored something like 21 runs against us.  The up-side:  when we left at the end of the game, there was almost no traffic!

But seriously, I'm not a big sports fan.  At a baseball game, I usually watch an inning or two, then go walk in search of food.  Wednesday night, we walked forever.  I wanted fries in a cup, my junior high friend wanted an ATM (WITH cash, the first one was out) and a very particular shirt, and my other friend wanted something to eat but she wasn't sure what.  We were gone so long that I bought and ate my fries and then got ice cream.  My friend got a smoothie.  My junior high friend got a beer, a baseball, and directions on where would to go to find the shirt he wanted.  We got back to our seats, and it was less than 2 innings later!  We seriously walked the entire stadium, and had barely missed any of the game.  Well, I guess we missed about 10-12 runs by the other team, but less than 2 innings.  Yikes.  Made for a long night and I knew when we got home after 11, that my 4:45 a.m. alarm was going to hurt.

So the canceled run was quite a bonus.

And now the double bonus, no running clothes load of laundry!