Monday, April 30, 2012

Case of the Mondays

Today was definitely a Monday.  Hopefully today does not dictate the rest of the week. 

case-of-the-mondaysWork was actually fine, it was busy and I got a lot done.  But I was busy and therefore I didn’t have time to relax and eat enough grub, so by the time the end of the day rolled around I was CRANKY.  

I didn’t feel like working out but Jeff made me go for a run and then to the gym to lift.  When we got outside, I turned on my Garmin.  Nothing.  The damn thing was dead.  I pushed a bunch of buttons and then I think I accomplished a hard reset and got it working.  But it was all wanky and was telling me I was running a 5 min pace per mile when I was walking.  Then it didn’t quite know where I was or how far I went and just made up a mileage for me.  I think it has a mind of its own now.

garmin How the hell will I analyze my runs or know how far I have gone and at what pace?!  Woe is me.  I don’t want to spend money on a new Garmin, not yet.  Tomorrow I will push more buttons and see what I can do to fix it.

To top it off I felt like I was running with weights around my ankles.  I think I managed to get in 3 miles (but I don’t know because the Garmin is messed up) and then lifted some weights.  Even lifting was a failure.  I kept catching myself staring off into space and just was sitting on the weight bench like a turd thinking about what I was going to eat for dinner.

While sitting at the gym, I decided I wanted some leftover sweet potato fries.  So I got home and put the fries in the toaster oven.  It made some weird sounds and then never heated up.  Nooooo!  Now I have a dead Garmin AND a dead toaster oven.

toasterovenI HATE heating things like that in the microwave so I put the stupid sweet potato fries in the regular oven.  Then I went and did other things until I smelled burning.  I burned the goddamn sweet potato fries and then set off smoke alarm.  Now I am just in a foul mood and hate life. 

3934yu85yu4I then snap at Jeff because OBVIOUSLY he was to blame for all of this.  He then saves the day and orders me a pizza and says “Women, calm the F down.  You crazy.”

The End.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Randomness on a Sunday morning

I don’t have anything important to say nor have I done anything particularly exciting this weekend so here is a dose of randomness for you on this Sunday morning:
  1. I absolutely love the smell of clean.  This includes Tide or Gain detergent, bleach, Febreeze, and really any cleaning product.  I wish that I could always have laundry being done so that the house is filled with the wonderful smell of clean clothes.  This Gain commercial resonates with me:
  2. I also have a strange love of cleaning in general.  I deep clean my house weekly and love when everything looks and smells clean and fresh.  After I clean, I spin around happily in the middle of the room singing “Cleeeeaaaaannnnn!”  What, nobody else does this?  Oh well, you are weird, not me.  My backup plan if engineering doesn’t pan out is to be a cleaning lady.
  3. I hate weeds, especially dandelions.  It seems every rental house I have rented has terrible lawns filled more with weeds than grass.  They grow so fast and taunt me.  I hate them so much and will be getting a boat load of weed killer today.  Nothing feels better than spraying herbicide on weeds.  Dandelion2
  4. I plan my runs to zig zag through cool neighborhoods with houses to look at.  I live hear the Highlands neighborhood and there are so many houses I want.  There is a great mix of old and new and so much character!  I prefer established neighborhoods with trees.  I don’t know which I like better, the classic old brick or the new and modern…. so torn.  I like that this neighborhood has
  5. I despise snakes.  I know most are harmless but I don’t care, they are so scary and gross.  On Friday I was enjoying my run when I stepped on a horrible snake and I swear it coiled and struck at.  I screamed so loud and danced around like a maniac then sprinted away.  It was so horrifying.  I wanted to go back to the trail with a knife and cut its head off.  I can’t even include a picture of a snake because just looking at them gives me the heebie geebies.
  6. Both yesterday morning and this morning I drank an entire pot of coffee by myself.  I love that coffee makes you poop, and I have pooped like 6 times (1 poop per cup of coffee, interesting).  I do this so that I am all empty by the time I go for my long run and I get all hopped up on caffeine in the process.  turd
  7. Jeff bought me a present yesterday.  It was a bottle of vodka and the bottle was in the shape of a rifle.  I didn’t know whether I should drink it or play with it?  This bottle of vodka is amazing. IMG_1941

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nuun HTC Relay Contest Fail

Nuun announced it’s teams for the Hood To Coast relay the other day, at Noon (creative Nuun, creative….).  The list did not include yours truly.  Oh well, maybe next time! 

nuun_failHonestly, I don’t blame them.  I saw all the other applications and some of those people put a lot of time and effort into theirs and did a really great job.  Like they really really really wanted to be on the team and seemed to really really really LOVE to consume Nuun.  Kudos to them….. but that just isn’t me.

Not only did Jeff and I put a whole 5 minutes into my application, our stellar acting was fueled by a bottle of wine which probably is frowned upon by Nuun.  No editing was performed on our video that was taped using the video mode on my point-and-shoot camera.  I am simple and I am lazy and I am no afraid to admit it. 

In addition, I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t use a Nuun electrolyte tab in my video application.  You see, Jeff and I are friends with a GU employee who graciously provided us with a ton of GU Brew Tabs a while back.  So when it came time to pull a video application out of my arse, all I had on hand was GU Brew and I was too lazy to go out and actually purchase Nuun. 

Nuun must have caught on to my less than ambitious ways and my underachieving nature when it comes to contests, as they did not select me for their team.  Plus Nuun must be smart and realized I have a total of 4 followers; my mom, my husband, and my 2 dogs.  It would not be intelligent marketing to choose me.  They chose legit blogs with legit followers who would adequately market their product.  Duuuuhhhh!  Maybe next time Nuun, maybe next time…..

I guess this just means if I want to do a relay I will have to stop being lazy and put together a team or find someone to include me on their team.  Maybe a Ragnar Relay? Maybe an adventure trail race?  If anyone needs me on their team, let me know!  Will travel to run :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Seattle Work(out) Week

I was in Seattle all week for work, and did some working-out with friends on the side.  I arrived to a short-lived warm and sunny Seattle day (yes, these exist, and they are spectacular), but it was promptly replaced by a typical chilly grey and rainy remainder of the week.  But with all the warmth and sun I get in Denver, it was sort of nice to not have to wear sunglasses and SPF 50+ 24/7. 

I flew in Monday evening after work and immediately met up with some Seattle friends, Jessica and Steffanie, for a run around Lake Union followed by dinner at Harborside on their patio. 
lake unionIt was a perfect day and Mt. Rainier was out in full force.  No city is more beautiful than Seattle on a clear and sunny day.  The run felt so easy being at sea level, oh how I miss being able to breathe with such ease…… and it was so wonderful to catch up with friends. I miss them so much!!

I then drove north to Whidbey Island for work.  Tuesday was a typical Seattle day, but at least I was outside for work.  A crappy day in the field is still better than a day in the office; below is my jobsite.  Don’t be deceived by the beauty, that bluff is eroding into a landfill.  We are fixing it though, you are welcome Puget Sound.  whidbey
Tuesday night I stayed with my friend Jessica and got in a tempo run around Greenlake.  I can’t stress enough how much I miss sea level and cool weather…. the run felt effortless.  I haven’t felt this good during a run in months.  tempoIt was great to catch up with Jessica and I haven’t laughed that hard in a while.  Side note: we discovered we were both yearbook nerds and high school.  Her fiancĂ© called us laughing hyenas and I’m sure was mocking our nerdy love of yearbooks.

Wednesday I worked in my old office and caught up with Seattle work people.  I miss that office, great people there.  After work, I met up in downtown Seattle with my friend Steffanie.  She has an office that overlooks the city and Lake Union, not fair. 

It was Wednesday so I was also able to play with my Seattle soccer team, woooo hoooo!  It was a late game (9pm, YUCK) and was cold and very rainy the whole time.  Pretty miserable, but typical Seattle soccer weather.  It was great to see the team and to play some soccer.  I hadn’t played in 5 months so I was rusty.  We ended up winning 5-4….. and I woke up the next morning SUPER SORE.  In fact, I still feel like I got hit by a bus.  I remember why I haven’t joined a team here in Denver….

I stayed with Steffanie Wednesday night and it was also great to catch up with her.  She is running the Eugene half marathon this weekend and I was SOOO tempted to skip my flight, stay a few more days, and drive to Eugene with her to run a race at sea level.  But I was responsible and caught my flight back to Denver on Thursday.


Monday, April 23, 2012

On My Way to Seattle!

Today I am headed to Seattle for work.  I get in this afternoon and before I head north to Whidbey Island for a meeting and to conduct a site visit, I am meeting up with some friends for a run.    I  have a busy week with work stuff and for catching up with Seattle friends.  It is going to be great to see everyone, I miss them a lot!
I also am so excited to run in cool weather at sea level……

Last week I got in just over 36 miles.  Not quite 40 as I would have liked nor did I get in a good track or tempo workout, but it will have to do. 
Yesterday Jeff and I did our long run in the late afternoon so that I can get used to running in warm weather.  My legs felt really good and I had no trouble with breathing, but stomach issues came back with a vengeance.

I used to have tons a trouble with my stomach (at one time I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease but that doctor was an idiot and another doctor said I only had IBS) and running was always a crapshoot, literally.  I would have to plan my runs so that there was a bathroom within a mile or was in a remote area so I could go anywhere.  My stomach got better over time (it got used to the distance running) and I haven’t had a lot of issues in a few years.

Yesterday my stomach didn’t feel right from the start, but I powered through it and got all the way to mile 12, about a mile away from home, when I had to make a decision.
  1. Keep running and crap my pants.
  2. Stop and pull down my pants and go right next to the paved running trail, risk being seen by pedestrians.
  3. Clench and walk it 1 mile back home.
I chose option 3 and that mile felt like a marathon.  I looked like a freakshow doing the clench shuffle walk and was horrified that I might not make it.  Luckily, I made it home without an embarrassing incident.  The rest of the night I still felt sick and couldn’t even eat dinner.  Ugh, I hate stomach issues.  Lets hope that was an isolated occurrence.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

One last day to ski

Last week the mountains got some snow and since we had not been up all season together because of the horrible conditions, Jeff and I decided to get in one last day of skiing this season. 
First of all, in the morning in Denver it was already in the 70s.  I decided to take Elle for a little jog before we left to get her back into running.  She did ok, but whenever we ran away from out house she slowed down and kept stopping to phantom pee.  Whenever we ran back in the direction of our house, she sprinted like a maniac.  I guess she isn’t as enthusiastic about running as I am. 
elle_run We then loaded up the car and within 45 minutes we were in the mountains and ready to ski.  It was pretty warm in the mountains and people even came in a convertible with the top down.  I was worried it would be too slushy, but the conditions were actually good for this late in a horrible snow season.
ski3 Jeff and I always have fun skiing together and it was a great day.  He is such a good skier and I try hard not to be awkward.  I didn’t start skiing until after college, so every year I improve.  Hopefully next ski season gets a ton of snow so I have more opportunities to get out there.Jeff_ski barb_ski  ski We ended the day with snacks and beer (that we brought in a cooler because mountain prices are ridiculous) on the patio. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Red Wine Fights Weight Gain? I’ll drink to that!

There was a recent article that says red wine may fight weight gain.  It says “Piceatannol, a compound found in red wine, is responsible for the delay of fat absorption. The compound reduces fat cell formation by blocking the effect of insulin on cells, the researchers say.”  I’ll drink to that!  So I went down to our selection of wines and picked out a wine to drink last night while watching a movie.

Marcus James, Malbec (no year), $4.99 (Costco), Cork, Mendoza, Argentina
The back of the bottle says:
“Abundant sunshine and the right amount of rainfall ensure that the grapes used to create Marcus James Malbec reach their full potential.  Deep red in color with subtle tannins, plum-like flavor with notes of anise.  This wine has a soft, lush structures that ages well.  Enjoy this wine alone or with hearty steaks and roasts.”

First of all, as I was writing this it seems familiar.  I looked back in my other reviews and sure enough the Marcus James Merlot sounded very similar.  Get creative Marcus James, don’t copy your wine labels for all wines!! 

Jeff and I enjoyed this wine alone as their bottle directed.  We enjoyed this Malbec very much.  The guy at Costco had recommended we let it “breathe” for 30 minutes (whatever that means), so I just opened it and let it sit there.  I thought the smell did change a bit because when I first opened it it smelled really sweet but when I drank it the sweetness wasn’t there.  It was smooth and like always went down quickly and once again the bottle of wine was gone before we know it.

This is a very tasty wine for the $5 price, I definitely recommend this one!

Oh and I have been listening to an Icelandic group lately called Of Monsters and Men.  They remind me of The Head and the Heart and I really like them.  Check them out:
They are going to be in Denver at the end of May and I definitely want to see them live!

Well I’m off to get in a little run and then am headed up to the mountains to get in a day of skiing!  WOOO HOOO there was actually snow this week and I can’t wait to get in one last day of skiing!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

No Nudity or Celebrities

A few days ago my friend Beth asked me to go to a concert for the Naked and the Famous.  Don’t worry, there was no nudity or celebrities, it is the name of a Indie pop-rock (that is my description of their music) band from New Zealand.  I knew a few songs, my favorite being “Punching in a Dream.”
That video for their song is kind of ridiculous and creepy.  And the lead female singer must like wearing clothes that look like a cape or has wings when she extends her arms because she was wearing the same thing for the show.  Whenever she raised her arms she looked like a flying squirrel and I thought she was going to take off into the audience. 
IMG_1840Some of their songs were terrible.  I mean, I covered my ears and made a face kind of terrible.  But then other songs were awesome.  I don’t know what I think about them.  I probably won’t go to another one of their shows.  But it was great to see Beth and to meet one of her friends who was also really fun. 

While I was at the concert, Jeff played pick-up hockey with my co-worker.  Jeff hadn’t played in 3 years, but it came right back to him and he scored the first goal of the night.  He is really good at hockey and hopefully starts playing again because I actually like to watch him play!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Starting Marathon Training

I need to start to ramp up my training for the June 9 Utah Valley Marathon (8 weeks away).  I have decided I want to consistently run 40-50 mile weeks from now until then, which is way more than I am used to, but not so much more that I will injure myself or get burned out.

I’m going to keep up with my non-specific “training plan” and go at it week by week with 3 main workouts each week:

  1. Weekend Long Run
  2. Tempo Run
  3. Speed Work

I got a little lazy over the last month and didn’t really have a true tempo run and a true speed workout each week.  And it showed during my half this past weekend.  I guess I should be a little more serious about this whole training thing if I want to PR.

I also think I need to hit the track for the speed work.  I did this consistently before my last marathon and actually enjoyed it.  I just need to find a track near my house….. I found a dirt track that should work.  Maybe by posting these “goals” I will actually follow through with training.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Go! St Louis Half Marathon

Sunday was the Go! St Louis Half Marathon.  Jeff and I stayed in downtown St Louis a few blocks from where the the start/finish was located.  This was well worth it because we walked to our hotel after the hockey game the night before and went right to sleep.  We were then able to sleep in and leave our hotel 10 minutes before the start of the half marathon. 


The weather was a bit warm and humid for my liking (upper 60’s at the start, high humidity), so I had low expectations on how I would perform.  Plus I just wasn’t feeling top notch all week.  To top it off, there was wind and the wind seemed to gust only when we were going up a hill and only into my face.  Oh and I forgot about how the hills are LONG and gradual on this course and there are more up hills than down hills.  Ugh, I hated this course. 

Jeff and I never set out to run together and this race was no exception.  I like to start out at the pace I want to run the whole race (plus I always start way too fast), while Jeff likes to start out slower and gradually get faster.  His method worked, mine didn’t. 

My pace was all over the place.  Usually I am pretty good at keeping a relatively consistent pace and the past few races I had negative splits, but this race was horrible.  I could not settle into a comfortable pace and never felt very good.  I wasn’t struggling, I just could not push myself to go fast. 

stlhalfsplitsAt mile 4, I saw a professor from college who was running the marathon. I ran a few miles with him catching up on geological engineering stuff.  I’m glad I saw him because I want to apply to grad school and might use him as a reference; nothing like networking during a race.  Talking to him helped keep my mind off not feeling the best, but it also used up some energy.

At mile 7 I hear “Hey, how are you feeling?” I look and see Jeff!  He looked so strong and was feeling good.  I let him fly past me and I did not want to hold him back, so I just ran my own race and watched him get farther and farther away, all the while getting more and more disappointed with myself…. but I was SOOO proud of Jeff!  He was well on pace to get a PR!  Jeff’s dad was also following us on his bike and it was fun to keep a lookout for him; we saw him 4 times.

The last mile I could see the finish and just said “What rhymes with Bucket?” and sped up to to pass 3 women who were ahead of me to finish in 1:36:15.  Not a PR or what I was hoping for, but not bad either. It was just not my day, oh well, there is always next time!

I crossed the finish and saw Jeff with a HUGE grin on his face, HE GOT A PR, 1:34:00!  AND he felt great the entire race! 

jeffbarbhalfI am soooo proud of him and can see lots of PR’s coming up for him this year.  And as he gets faster, it will only push me more and help me get faster.  I am so excited to continue training with him and to push each other.  We have some big goals in mind for 2012 and 2013…… 

Overall the Go! St Louis Half Marathon is a well organized event.  It is a pretty hilly course, especially the second half of the marathon.  It goes through the Anheuser-Busch Brewery (you get some hoppy smells, some people hate this, I enjoy it) but other than that, it is a pretty boring course. If you live in St Louis it is a great race to run, but I don’t know if I would pick it to travel to.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Double Header, STL Style

Saturday started off with another Cardinals baseball game against the Cubs.  This time the whole family was out in full force, even the newest addition!

IMG_1765 There was another rain delay, but the sun once again made its appearance, along with heat and humidity.  We made it in the stadium where they handed out replica World Champion rings.

day2 The Cardinals redeemed themselves for their poor showing the day before and ended up beating the Cubs 5-1. 

day2_2 The newest addition to the family may or may not have stolen the show……and was so good the entire game!  I almost packed her into my bag to come back to Denver with us, but then I realized that I am not capable of being responsible for mini-humans 24/7 and left her in STL.  juliaAfter the baseball game we changed into our blue clothes and headed straight down the road for the Blues hockey game with the family and some friends.


I LOVE hockey!  This game was amazingly exciting.  There was a Blues goal in the first 2 minutes that set the tone for the rest of the game against the San Jose Sharks.


The Blues ended up winning 3-0 with a giant fight as the buzzer sounded.  There were claims of cheap shots and sucker punches.  Playoff hockey gets nuts.



After the game, Jeff and I were on our best behavior, passed up the celebrations, and headed straight to bed.  We had a half marathon in the morning!!!

2012 Opening Day

Friday morning Jeff and I started our day off with a little jog to loosen up our legs, then we headed to the expo for the Go! St Louis Half Marathon. 

expo The expo was at the St Louis University Arena and was decently organized.  It was a bit crowded and I can imagine it would have been really bad in the evening (after work) or Saturday during the day.  We quickly picked up our bibs, race shirts, and other random free stuff.  Then we headed downtown for 2012 Opening Day!

The weather was the pits for Opening Day, it was rainy and chilly (perfect running weather, I wish the half would have been this day).  But we made the best of the situation.

pre-gameAfter our in-car tailgate (and finding a parking spot) and after a rain delay, we finally made it into Busch stadium to watch the Cardinals take on the Chicago Cubs.  Because the Cardinals won the World Series last year, they had the ring ceremony before the start of the game and honored past Cardinals players.

2011champsThen the rain stopped and the sun came out.  The Cubs must have felt the Cards were rubbing in all their World Champion trophies because they came out with a bang and were up 9-0 by the third inning.  Ouch.  The Cards tried to come back but could not pull off an opening day victory.  Regardless, it was a fun day. I love Busch Stadium and Cardinals fans are some of the best fans in baseball!

openingday openingday2 We got to see family and friends and made it home and in bed at a decent hour, because Saturday we had another baseball game and a hockey playoff game!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Meet me in St Louis….

Jeff and I flew to St Louis last night for a sports filled weekend extravaganza.  Jeff is a HUGE St Louis sports fanatic, so I was not surprised when he got the idea to do the St Louis Half Marathon… happens to fall on the same weekend as the Cardinals baseball home opener and a Blues hockey playoff game.  So we are rushing around sport spectating and then running a little race on Sunday.

Friday- Cardinals Home Opener VS their arch-nemesis the Cubs (according to Jeff, I’m supposed to HATE the Cubs, but how can you possibly hate a cute cuddly bear?!)

Saturday-  afternoon baseball game Cardinals VS Cubs, followed by Blues Hockey Game in the evening.  Sometime in there we are going to stuff our faces with some carbs or just drink beer to cover our bases.

Sunday- run the half marathon in the morning followed by brunch and family time.  Then back to Denver.

A jam packed weekend full of fun with these guys (minus brother Dodsy who is in San Francisco finishing his thesis, I miss him):

IMG_0127 Yes, Jeff has four brothers.  His parents are saints.  These brothers are all best buddies (most of the time)….. and have strange brother languages (and dances)……

Off to start the weekend!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Oh yeah, the other medical studies I participated in….

Yesterday I did a post on being a Human Lab Rat for an asthma study.  I wasn’t totally honest, this was not the only medical study I participated in. 

After participating in the asthma study, I guess the research people loved me! I was precise in recording my symptoms and at-home testing/diary (yep, I’m a nerd) and apparently I was also good at verbalizing how I was feeling and was in-tune with how the medicine impacted my symptoms.  Who knew I would be such a good test subject?!?

I guess all the research coordinators talk amongst themselves because all of a sudden I was getting called for various studies.  Seriously, I was like a celebrity in the medical research test subject world.  They all wanted me, haha!

Plus I strangely enjoyed participating and before I knew it, I was making some good cash being a research test subject. 

I did a sleep study, another very interesting and informative study:

  • I had stay the night two consecutive nights in the sleep lab.  They hook you up to all these wires and you sleep in a little room where they video tape you all night.  They can tell how long it takes you to fall asleep and how many times you wake up during the night (and various other things).
  • During the over-night sleep study, I was told I was one of the best sleepers they have seen.  I fell asleep in 8 minutes and only woke up briefly once during the night (they did not record me sleep walking or talking as I have the history of doing, see THIS post).
  • Based on the results, I was diagnosed with Non-Restorative Sleep (I get 9+ hours of sleep a night, but never wake up feeling refreshed, who knows if it is legit infliction).
  • I tested a pill that was for non-restorative sleep and I SWEAR it helped; you took the pill right before you went to sleep and it allegedly would help you get the right type of sleep to wake up feeling refreshed.  Who knows if I got a placebo or not, but I would wake up every morning ready to take on the world.
  • I think I made $500 off this one.

Then I did a pain study, which allowed me to spend 2 days in a bed hooked up to morphine (BEST. STUDY. EVER):

  • They did a baseline assessment on my pain tolerance.  They used a warming plate that heated up to varying temperatures and put it against my skin.  I told them the pain number (1-10) associated with the temperature or when it was too hot for me to tolerate. (By the way, my pain tolerance is ridiculously low and I would dramatically scream out all the time… the nurse would roll her eyes and record the number, she was not impressed)
  • Then I did two 12-hour days in the hospital.  They would measure my pupil dilation (morphine makes your pupils dilate) and then give me varying amounts of morphine through an IV.  They would also do the same pain tolerance test with the warming plate every few hours. 
  • The size of my pupils would tell them if the morphine had kicked in and obviously I would become more tolerant to pain.  I also got really silly when they administered the morphine.  I’m sure I entertained the nurses.
  • I learned that morphine makes you feel really good.  I also felt superhuman and had a much much higher pain tolerance.  I can see why morphine can be addictive!
  • I think I made $750 to lay in bed getting legal and free morphine.  Glorious.

Don’t judge me that I made side cash from being a human lab rat…. it was actually fun in a strange way.  My scientific side found it really interesting! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Human Lab Rat

Yep, I have whored by body out in the name of science; I have gotten paid to be a human lab rat. (I do have my limits and would never do research for a drug company and I would read every single line of the consent form to determine the risks, I’m not that stupid) 

rattyelleBack in 2008 one of my nurse friends was working as a research coordinator for an asthma study through a respected medical university.  She was looking for participants with asthma and asked me if I was interested.  I gladly signed up because:

  1. I wanted to learn more about my asthma,
  2. I’d get free medicine (similar medicines I was using anyway), and
  3. I’d get paid over $2,000 for my time.  SCORE for me!

The test lasted for close to a year. and it was studying the “Best Adjustment Strategy for Asthma in Long Term.”  Basically they tested the severity of my asthma and then put me on an inhaled corticosteroid adjusted according to the severity of my asthma.  I kept a diary recording my asthma symptom and used a peak flow meter to quantify my asthma symptoms twice a day at home.  I would go back in every month to get officially tested on how I was doing and then they would re-adjust the medicine strengths and when to take it.

It was SO interesting because I got to see graphical data on my asthma.  I found out I was more asthmatic than I realized; before the test I thought I was just always out of shape, but it was really my asthma that was part of the problem!  Plus I got to see the effects of taking daily medication.  I was also in the middle of training for the Columbus Marathon so I was really in-tune with my body and breathing and could feel a difference taking the medicine.

I hate taking medicine so it was invaluable for me to see PROOF that the medicine helped me (the research nurse wasn’t supposed to show me the results but when she would leave the room and I would look at the numbers, whoops).  I know also know the strengths of asthma medicine taken at certain times that best helps control my asthma.  Very cool!


And the reason for this post is to remind myself to consistently take medicine.  Oh and because I hope to participate in a follow-on study to the BASALT asthma study here in Denver which would give me more free meds and some side cash :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Polishing a Turd

I’m pretty much a turd on a daily basis and spend very little time on my appearance.  I try to motivate myself to look more presentable and blow dry my hair and put on a little make-up, but I always fall back into my turd-y rut when I realize how much time it takes.

When I do I decide to dress up and look nice (and spend a little extra time getting ready), people are SHOCKED at how I look.  They say, “Wow, Barb, you look SO different!” or “Barb, you look SO nice today!” or “Barb, I hardly recognize you?!”

Or do they mean, “Wow Barb, you are usually really ugly, but today you tried and you don’t look like such a turd!”

When I make an effort with my appearance, it’s pretty much Polishing a Turd.  Even though I have my hair down and some make-up on my face, I am the same old turd.  Here’s photographic evidence of what happens when I try to look nice.

comparisonDo I really look that different??

I guess I do look a little different.  But not so much that it is worth the extra 30 minutes every day to try.  Well, I’m off to get ready in 5 minutes or less….no make up and hair in a ponytail! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Doudy Draw, Spring Brook, and Flatirons Vista

Trail running is the BEST!  Yesterday Jeff and I decided to do a trail run for our long run.  We got in just under 10 miles on a series of trails just south of Boulder.  We started at Flatirons Vista and did Prairie Vista and looped back on Flatirons Vista South, allowed Jeff to take a little pit stop, then went back on Flatirons Vista South to Doudy Draw to the Spring Brook Loop and finally back to our car. 
This was an awesome place to trail run.  The elevation gains were all gradual and not too tough and the scenery was gorgeous.  Jeff and I left our music at home and just enjoyed the quiet and the sound of our breathing and feet against the trail.  Trail running is so mind clearing!
runs1Trail running also works different muscles and keeps the pace down, which is perfect for a me (I tend to go way too fast on long runs).  We aren’t near as sore as we were the last time we did a trail run, but we will definitely foam roll today to make sure we aren’t sore this week.  It was also a great change of scenery and so refreshing.
We will probably get in a 5-6 miler today, with a few faster mines in there, to round out our weekly mileage to around 30 miles.
Have a very happy Easter today!!!!! 

Next weekend we will be in St Louis to watch the Cardinals Home Opener and to run the half marathon.  Excited!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Highlands Happy Hour Hop

Yesterday was so windy that I could hardly walk without getting blown over, so how could I possibly run?  Jeff and I made an unanimous decision to take the night off…. and headed out to partake in a Highlands Happy Hour Hop.  (This was not an organized event, it was just Jeff and I, but I love to make things sound more important than they are.) 

I absolutely LOVE the hours that are happy.  You can get some good deals on food and drink, plus you can get your drinking and eating in early (and thus go to bed early).  Most happy hours are from 3-6 so to take full advantage of the time, I had to leave work a little early.  We went to the Highlands area where there were 4 restaurants close together, perfect for our Happy Hour Hop.


First stop, Meade Street Station.  They didn’t have any food deals, but we each had a $3 pint.  I got a New Belgium Dig Pale Ale, it was more hoppy than a traditional pale ale but very refreshing.  Jeff got an O’Dell Brewing Co. IPA.  We liked this bar and will definitely come back.  The staff was super nice and gave us ideas on other happy hours.

IMG_1680 Next stop, Highland Pacific, a seafood and oyster bar.  They had food here so we started to absorb some of that alcohol.  We each ordered a $3 beer, I got an O’Dells Brewing Co. 90 Shilling Scottish Ale and Jeff got an Avery Joe’s Pilsner.  Both good, but really, how many beers are gross?  We each had an Oyster from the wonderful state of Washington and some Crawfish Mac and Cheese.  The mac and cheese had a great spice and so wonderful.  The staff here was also super nice and told us they were having their annual crawfish boil tomorrow. 

high pacWith some food in our belly, we left for our next leg in our journey.  But first, I embarrassed Jeff and took this hilarious photo:

shadowThird stop, Sushi Hai for some sushi and sake! We each got another $3 beer, a New Belgium Wit and $4 warm Sake.  We also ordered Gyoza and a salmon avocado roll.  Sushi Hai had a great happy hour and I liked the atmosphere there, except for the cat that was waving at us the whole time, so distracting.


The fourth stop was a fail; we were hoping to get some mussels at the Coral Room but they were packed and couldn’t seat us. 

So we went to our final stop, the Venue Bistro.  We each had yet another $3 beer, a Wynkoop Rail Yard Ale and some delicious shrimp and grits and a flatbread to share.  This place was pretty empty so the service was super quick and the waitress was really nice.

venueWe had every intention of then going to see The Hunger Games, and had even packed snacks to bring into the movie.  But the waitress said the movie wasn’t as good as the books, plus being the old lame couple we are, we were getting sleepy so headed home. 

But we first stopped at our local bar that we had been meaning to try out, The Corner Club.  This place was an absolute hilarious hole-in-the-wall and is literally a block from our house. Like every good hole-in-the-wall bar, it had lots of neon signs, Christmas lights, and was carpeted.  It looks like it could be a strip club from the outside, and in fact there was a pole adjacent to the dance floor.  There were also pool tables and a nice patio.  The people on the inside were equally entertaining to watch.  Oh and beers were $2.50 (not on any special), I got a Blue Moon and Jeff got a Coors. 

IMG_1701My hand (right) looks like I have man hands in this photo.  Gross.

It was a fun night and Jeff and I were home by 7:30 pm.  We even attempted to watch a horrible movie, Something Borrowed.  This movie was painful to watch.  I really did try to make it through the whole thing, but it was awful.  I turned it off in disgust and was asleep by 10.