Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Taiko

3 years ago I got a call from Shar Pei Savers asking me to go take a look at a dog in a shelter in Parma. I was warned that this dog was a really bad case and that someone working there had gotten in touch with our group begging us to take it b/c it wasn't getting proper care. So, I head on over and am met with the most pitiful site I ever saw. A dog, young, probably just about a year that is almost completely hairless and has chewed himself to pieces. He had some sort of "elepahntitis" that had make his legs enormous and full of fluid. His face was a puffy mess and the smell. Oh my god the smell was alarming, he smelled like rotten garbage. To top it all off there was a sign on the cage saying that it was up to the owner to have the excess skin removed, for you non dog or non shar pei people, you don't remove a peis freaking skin, they are supposed to be wrinkled. I got him out of the cage and he immediately came over and folded himself into my lap, the smell was so bad I couldn't stand it, I had to leave. I wasn't allowed to say I was a rescue, this place didn't adopt to rescues since they were a no kill shelter. So, I told them I had to think about it. I got in my car and just cried. I'm sure they thought I'd never come back. But I did, the next day I came back and got him and drove home with him trapped in the far back of the car and the windows down. He had been an owner surrender, bought from some F***ed up Backyard Breeder and had been turned in b/c they couldn't deal with his skin issues. It was labor day weekend. I told SPS there was no way I could foster this dog, he was in too bad of shape, there was nothing I could do. I took him to a vets office and left him for 2 days to get checked over and pretty much stayed away. I was scared of this dog and the unknown. But I had to bring him home. The first night we had him sleep in the garage, I still feel bad about that. The next time I washed him with tar shampoo and let it sit and scrubbed the oil and smell away for the most part. We let him sleep in the house that night. He had never seen stairs and had no idea what to do with them, so I had to carry him up and down them for a few days. He had never seen a toy. He had never slept in a bed. He was loving and gentle from day 1 and mushi loved him. I had no intention of fostering this dog. I had someone lined up to come get him the following weekend, but in that week he stole my heart. I talked Gary into letting me foster him, about a month later, we just went ahead and paid for him and filled out the adoption papers and he was ours. To make a long story short, Taiko had an extreme thyroid issue, once he was thyroid meds for a few months he got tons better, not perfect, I still had to give him a bath weekly, but the oil production slowed and his hair grew back and he didn't itch nearly as much. Later on we went further and put him on a strict diet of duck & potato dog food, no soy, no wheat, no grains. He got even better. Then we got him his very own dermatologist who determined he was allergic to all kinds of stuff like pollen and ragweed. So, now he gets a weekly allergy shot. And let me tell you,, we have spent thousands of dollars getting this dog into good health. He soon has to have surgery on his bottom lip b/c it wraps too tightly over his bottom teeth and is causing his teeth to decay. Whoever bred him should be shot. I freaking hate recreational breeders. Anywho, he has been worth every penny. I love him so much and cannot imagine what would have happened to him if I had taken that filthy greasy bloated pile of wrinkles home with me. He brings me joy everyday when I come home from work and he howls and yelps so happy to see his mamma. My favorite Tai quirk is when you are laying on the floor watching tv, he likes to come over and lay right on your belly and then he wags his tails and he keeps you pinned. Happy Birthday Taiko.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008

whaddup internet?

Hey there Bloggy Friends. Not much blogging lately, work is crazy. Crazy squared. Boy I hate working. But I did have a wonderful weekend and it was so fun to see so many old friends and my mom and sister fo course. But I am tired, all that driving just killed me. I was so beat when I got home on Monday and got to bed much later than I would have liked. My workouts have been sporadic at best, but my long runs are still going well. I need to get my butt in gear. It seems that fall is here and there is nothing better than running in the fall, so maybe that will be motivation. I can't believe it's almost september! I am already looking forward to the long weekend. I get 2 4 day workweeks in a row! Hoorah.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Best laid plans

Grrrrr.....today was a start over day. Not that I haven't been running, I have, but I've been doing little else. And mostly I've been running long, so I am not working out a lot. So, today I was going to go to spinning and lift weights before hand. But alas Taiko had other ideas.

Around 2 am I hear the familiar grunts. Tai standing by the side of my bed, grunting under his breath that it's time to go potty. Now usually this doesn't happen until 5 or 6am. I am lying there and I hate to not take him b/c how would you like it if you had to wait for someone else to let you pee. Gary never gets up, he sleeps through the monkey grunts. Then I realize - oh shit - Gary told me to let them out before I went to bed and I didn't! That means the monkey hasn't been potty since his walk at 7pm. I am a horrible mother. So I get up and take them out. When I get back G is up and I tell him what happens and he says he let them out last night. So, I don't know why Tai had to go, but regardless, I get back in bed and I CANNOT for the life of me fall asleep. I lay there thinking and worrying and planning and doing all kinds of stuff you should be doing from 2-4 am. I think I finally fell back asleep in the 4 o clock hour only to be woken up by Tai again around 6 b/c he had to pee again. ARGH. So, I crawled back in bed and realized I missed spinning and tried to sleep, but just kept tossing and turning and I stayed in bed until 7:40. Just an ugly morning. I feel fine right now, but I'm sure later in the day it's going to hit me. Blah.

So, this means tonight I must run or bike or swim or do something! Anything!

I am going to have one great weekend. But busy. On Friday after work I am driving down to Cinti to see my best friend Mindy. She is moving to NE on Monday so this will be the last time I will see her for awhile. I'll stay with her and we'll have dinner and go for a run Sat morning. Then I have a baby shower for some old dear friends that I have not seen in awhile and we've been bad about staying in touch, but I just love them. It will be great to see them and catch up. Then I will head to Danville and see my mom and sister and stay there until Sunday afternoon. Then I am going to head to Bloomington IN to see my dear friend Jane who had a baby in June. I haven't met him yet and I can.not.wai! So, I will stay with her Sunday night and then head home on Monday. It's going to be great. I cannot wait.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Gary and I went to see Tropic Thunder last night. It was really funny, you should check it out. I was in need of a good laugh.

Can you believe it's already dark in the morning? It's already hard enough to wake up at 5:30, but when it's dark out it's nearly impossible. I think I may switch up my workout schedule and give after work workouts a try. I just can't seem to drag my ass out of bed in the morning.

Tonight I am meeting Salty and Gina for a little trail run. Should be fun. It got a lot hotter outside. We were enjoying some nice fall weather last week. I hope it's not muggy. I have been a mosquito magnet this year.
Monday, August 18, 2008

Be Careful out there people

My very nice neighbor Miles got killed this weekend on his bike. It just breaks my heart for him and his family. And scares me off of my bike for awhile. He used to walk his dog everyday and I would always give a little wave.

He was hit by a truck while bicycling in Geauga County on Saturday. Miles was Life Flighted to Metro, but died from internal bleeding during surgery after three surgical teams worked on him for several hours. He was 58 years old.

The accident took place near a jog in the road on Rt. 44 near Music Street before the crest of a hill. Apparently a motorcyclist was passing on Miles’ right when a 2002 Dodge Durango struck him when he was attempting a left hand turn. Both the motorcyclist and the truck driver stopped when the accident happened, as did a good Samaritan who stayed on the scene until police arrived.

A link to the story in the News Herald:
http://www.news-herald.com/articles/2008/08/17/news/doc48a78314b99f8470316132.txt
Sunday, August 17, 2008

Just taking it easy....for once

What a gorgeous weekend we have been having. This has been such a great summer in cleveland. You couldn't ask for better weather. On Friday I called in sick (playing hooky!) and met my friend Sara to go run on the towpath. She is training for Columbus. She's been running for years, but this is her first marathon attempt and she is going to do awesome. I haven't been feeling well, as I said, so I decided just to listen to my body and take it easy. Since Sara is a bit slower than me, this was easy, I just ran with her and resisted the urge to speed up. I ran 4.5 out with her, and then decided to walk a bit and meet her when she turned around. She was running 8 out. I ended up walking a little over 2 miles before I met her and then ran back with her. I believe I ran about 11 and walked about 4. It was really amazing to walk for awhile on the towpath, I am always running there, so I miss all the good stuff. We stopped at the beaver marsh and scouted for some beavers. We saw an awesome baby pheasant that came right up to us. I rescued a giant fat neon green Caterpillar from the fate of being run over by a runner or biker (i freaking love Caterpillar), I saw lots of turtles and took time to take in the scenery. It was a lovely day and then we capped it off with a yummy breakfast at Yours Truly. Afterwards I was beat, and I napped and read all day long. It was great. When G got home we went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant Mitchell's Fish Market. It was a late celebration for my promo/birthday.

Saturday I took a long walk, ran a bunch of errands, did a lot more reading/lounging/olympic watching and chilled out. That night we went to our friends house for a cookout and we watched the women's olympic marathon, boy did the winner have a great lead. It's amazing to watch how fast they run and how they take in their nutrition. Crazy.

I started today off with a 5 mile run & 2 mile walk. I walked up to a coffee shop that is 1 mile from my house and met my friend Ilana, then we ran 5 miles, then I got a nice latte and headed back home. Now I am waiting for G to get up and guess what I'm doing? SItting on my porch lounging and reading. We are going to his dad's house today for yumm salmon and to hang out. Life is good. Do I really have to go back to work tomorrow?
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I haven't been feeling well this week bloggy friends. Just really dragging ass. So, I have no fun workout updates to give you b/c I've barely been working out! Oh no. Oh well one week won't kill me.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Last night I met Salty for a very nice 5.5 mile trail run at north chagrin. Well, actually we stuck to the bridle trails, my ankles are a little funky today from stepping on all the rocks. But as always she's great running company and we had a good time. When I got home Gary had dinner ready! He needed to run 2 miles as part of his training plan, and I had planned to go with him, but with a belly full of food, it wasn't happening. So, 5 and change miles and I called it a day. I will run a few more after work today, it's gorgeous out. This is just the perfect running weather. I love fall. Although I wish fall would wait until Oct to start.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Happy Sunday bloggy friends. Nothing too exciting going on over here at our household. G has been watching the Olympics for pretty much 46 hours straight. I on the other hand have sport ADD and do not enjoy the Olympics. I tried really hard to watch the opening ceremony, but was not enthralled at all at all the dancing around acting like a typeset key. So, I decided watching a report of I Love Money on VH1 was a much more acceptable way to spend my friday night, so that's what I did. Oh VH1 Celebreality gods, thank you for brining me such trashy goodness.

On Sat morning I had an 18 miler on my schedule. My friends were going to do 14 with me at the towpath and I was driving my new friend Karen there b/c she is new in town. So, I decided to do my other 4 before meeting them, I hate to break up my runs, but I figured 40 mins in between wouldn't make too big of a differnce I hope. I ran the 4 miles around my neighborhood at a pretty good clip. I saw a guy hop off his bike and pee in the front lawn of a mansion on South Park, classy. Once done with my 4 miles, I picked up Karen and we rode down to Boston Store to meet Sara, who is training for Columbus. Since her race is a few weeks later than mine, our schedules are 4 miles apart on the long runs. We headed from Boston store towards Peninsula with a plan to turn around at 5 miles, so we'd have 10 when we got back to our cars, we'd get some food/water/bathroom and then head the other way towards Station bridge for the last 4. I'm a bit faster than Sara, so Karen and I were ahead of her and totally distracted b/c some jackass was shooting a gun near the path, so I messed up and we didn't turn around until 5.5 miles and then we spent the next 5 miles worrying about where Sara was b/c we kept thinking eventually we would run into her since we were running faster. We never passed her and we got back to Boston Store and she wasn't there, so then I got worried! We headed out quickly for the last 4 miles and I just knew I would have to run into her b/c she'd turn around and come back towards Boston Store, but never ran into her. So, I was getting panicky after I turned around at 2 miles to head back to the car and at last I ran into her about a mile in. She had stopped to go to the bathroom in Peninsula around mile 8 and we passed her at that point. Doh! So, she stil had a ways to go, so I ran back out with her and then back to the car for a total of 15 miles, so 19 total for Sat. It felt good, I felt strong. I know I can easily keep a 10 min pace for 20 miles, but can I keep a 9:30? I just don't know. I don't want to start out too fast and kick myself later in the game. What to do, what to do. It was a beaufitul day on the towpath, around 72 degrees, sunny, clear skies, we saw lots of deer and a heron. After the run we had breakfast at First Watch in Hudson, yummy blueberry pancakes! That evening G and I went to a party at a friends house. It was a great day.

This morning G and I got up and rode about 20 miles. It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. My legs felt okay for the most part. The rest of today has been spent lounging around. I did run some errands, but I have been laying in bed while G watches Olympics and I read gossip rags. Perfect weekend!

Congrats to all my peeps who participated in the Greater Cleveland Triathlon. Sorry the swim got cancelled! I hope you had a good race regardless. Tracie, Jen C, Kim, Gina, Beth, Janet I hope you rocked it!
Friday, August 8, 2008

Finally Friday - hmm I think I've used that title before


Ahhhh Friday! It couldn’t come soon enough! Wednesday night we had dinner with some old friends we hadn’t seen in forever. They had a baby in Nov, so their life is quite different now, it was fun to catch up and hear about their little baby Mehir (which means the sun!). Last night Sara and I met at South Chagrin Reservation to run the 5.5 mile loop near Squaw Rock, which basically is straight uphill. It’s tough. Our new friend Karen met us. It was a great run and I feel so much stronger on that hill than I have in awhile. I just billygoated right up it! Now why do trail hills give me such issue! If I keep doing this run weekly I think I’ll be just fine at Akron. Karen is great; we have a lot in common, so I am very pleased to have a new running friend, especially one who lives like .5 miles from my house! Hopefully we can work out a morning run routine once the craziness from the marathon is done. While on our run, the neatest, saddest thing happened. We were up near the top of our run where it flattens out, just running along at a casual pace. You run on a paved path, that has a tree lawn to the right that is about 15 feet wide, and then there is a road. There were 2 female deer standing on the tree lawn, one right by the path eating. They didn’t even run. We stopped running and just stood there watching them. They kept an eye on us, but went about their business. We were literally like 2 feet from the one and about 5 from the other. They were so beautiful and delicate. It was just amazing, you could hear them breathing and munching the flowers. It made me sad that they weren’t scared of us, but it was great to have such a close encounter. I could have reached out to pet the one I think. On the way back, they were in the same area, but on the other side of the path which is woods and one of the deer was near the path and this couple walking their dog were watching it, really close and their dog wasn’t barking, but it was pulling at it’s leash and jumping (I don’t think in a vicious way, just a puppy way) and the deer just stood there! Just stood there munching, what the hell? After the run, we had some major thunderstorms and Mushi had a bit of a fever and I had the worst nightmare, so I really didn’t sleep well at all last night. I hope this day goes by quickly.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I got nothing. Nothing of interest to say. I had a lot more to talk about when I was trying to do a HIM. Now that i tucked my tail between my legs and decided it's not doable for me right now, I have so much less to say. I will say that I am excited for Akron. I am such a better runner than I was when I did Cleveland in May of 07. My goal is really just to finish in one piece, feeling good and strong. I was in bad shape at the end of my first marathon due to a hellacious blood blister and stomach woes. I know in my head that I should be able to finish easily around 4:10-4:20. My secret goal is to break 4:20, but I'll be happy under 4:30, as my first marathon was 4:42.

I have a half marathon next month. I really want to race it and rock it. I finally broke 2 hours at my last half marathon last Nov. I barely broke it at 1:59:23, but this year I hope to get in around 1:55. I would be thrilled and if the clouds align that day it might just happen.
Last night we had a work happy hour, it was fun. Tonight G and I are having dinner with friends tonight. Tomorrow I am meeting Sara after work to run up Squaw Rock Hill at South Chagrin. Our new friend we met Sunday Karen will be joining us. I guess I need to get on my bike tonight or tomorrow morning. I have really really let my crosstraining slide the last 3 weeks and it makes me sad! No ones fault but my own, time to get back to it. While I am not training for a tri right now, I do hope to do the red flannel metric century and I do hope to improve my swimming. So I need to get my shit together. I've fallen like my hamster friend.
side note - don't you just love his little teeth! Growing up I had several rats as pets, the most notable being Conan. Conan was so loving and a really great pet. We had him castrated b/c his balls were gigantic and would hang down your shoulder. My vet thought we were crazy, but they fixed him anyway. Conan lived to the ripe old age of 4. But what made me think of him were the teeth. Ooohhh conan would never chew his down, so my mom actually cut them with these dog toenail clipper thingies and I used to have to wrap him in a towel and hold him why she did it. The whole time I would be freaking that she was going to cut his tongue. It was traumatizing for me, probably worse for conan. My mom can pretty much do any vet activity.
Hmm, I don't know I guess I had something to say.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Toxic Tuesday

Yesterday was a much needed rest day. When I got home from work, Gary and I walked the dogs, then he decided he wanted to go see a movie. You never have to twist my arm to go see a movie and on Monday’s you get free popcorn and a $5 ticket to any Cleveland Cinema. So, we tend to see movies on Monday. Anyway, he really wanted to go see Batman. I already saw it, but I agreed, b/c well I like free popcorn. I have now spent 6 hours of my life in that movie. It was still good the second time around, but painfully long the second time around. Boy, Heath Ledger did an amazing job as the Joker. He was just psychotic.

This morning I met Ilana and we ran a little over 5 miles then walked back to her house for a total of 6 miles. It was a very slow run, what I like to call a quicksand run. My legs felt so heavy and I just couldn’t seem to get into a groove and move forward. But after about 2 miles my legs woke up and things were a little easier. But I need to do laundry badly, so I wore a cotton tshirt and it was so humid out and a little rainy, so the stinky tshirt was just sticking to me and hanging so low. What did people do before wicking fabrics? We’ve become spoiled. Imagine people used to run marathons in cotton and without any kind of nutrition. I can’t imagine, after 10 miles I get really fuzzy if I don’t eat a gu or two. Maybe it’s mental, but 10 miles seems to be my limit without aid. Although I always drink a ton of water. Everyone I run with they never bring water unless it’s a double digit run, I am thirsty 1 mile into a 2 miler. But it works out fine b/c I totally don’t mind a handheld bottle, a waist pack or a camelback.

Tonight after work I have a work happy hour. As much as I loathe my job, I like my coworkers, so that’s saying something! Then I need to do some weights/abs, so I better just stick to one drink!
Monday, August 4, 2008

Manic monday

I had typed up a blog and it erased, grrrrr, blogger, grrrr. I overslept this morning and had such a bad hectic morning trying to get everything together and be ready for work in 15 mins! I had a conf call at 8 am and got up at 7:45. So, I needed to be in my car by 8 and on my cell, I managed to make it happen, but it's an awful way to start the day.

What a beautiful weekend we had here in Cleveland. I don’t think I could have asked for more perfect weather. Sat. Sara and I volunteered from 12-4 at the Burning River 100. That was pretty cool, very different from a road race; those ultra runners are a different breed. It was interesting to see their crew and all the supplies these folks needed. E-Speed did a great job of organizing our outpost which was at mile 56 and 60.6, right at Boston Store. Sara and I took care of refilling runners bottles with their beverage of choice: soda, water, heed or Gatorade, sometimes a combo. I had the pleasure of meeting a few fellow bloggers – Trail Goddess Kim and Mike from Fat to Fit. So, that is always fun. Afterwards I was pretty zonked from being in the sun and on my feet. So, I didn’t get any workouts in, ugh. But G and I went to Panini’s in Coventry and had 1 drink and enjoyed the nice weather.

Sunday morning I got up bright and early for my 16 miler, which ended up being 17. I was out my door at 7 and did a few laps in my neighborhood to get in 3 miles, then I headed north up Fairmount to Arabica, exactly 1 mile, to meet Sara and Ilana. So, for you people that are bad at math, I got 4 in before meeting them. Then we ran around Shaker Lakes. Ilana ran 8 with us and then Sara and I finished up 4 more without her. It was a great run, I felt strong, I wore my camel back the whole time and barely knew I had it on, I really like this thing. I got a women’s running specific pack and it’s great. After Sara and I were done, we had some coffee and a bagel at Arabica, and then I ran the mile back home. Umm running with coffee and a bagel in your belly. Not so fun.
Today I am barely sore! Aside from having a really hard time getting up this morning I had no ill effects from such a long run, sweet.

After the run I went home and napped. Gary and I were going to do some housework, but it was such a nice day, we decided to run errands and go to the driving range instead. First stop was Chagrin Falls b/c I needed to buy a gift at a shop there, and then we got some caramel corn at the popcorn shop and ate that by the falls. We had fun checking out all the pooches. Then we headed to Punderson State Park and Gary putted and hit balls at the driving range while I lay in the sun and read. I am finishing up “A Thousand Splendid Suns”. It’s a good book, very well written, but I am not enjoying it, it’s just too depressing to know that societies like that exist. It’s so hard to relate and be okay with other cultures when they allow such atrocities.

Oh another plus from this weekend! When we were running this couple stopped us and they are new to town. The gal is running Akron and we’re the exact same pace! Yeah, I know people running Akron, but they are all a lot faster than me, so it’ll be great to know someone else out there around my pace. Yeah.

About Me

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Mnowac
distance runner attempting to run a marathon in every state, vegetarian foodie, mediocre triathlete, sucky swimmer, mommy to Harper, tea lover, coffee drinker, animal saver, hubby snuggler, race addict, full time working 31 year old living in cleveland
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Marathons so far

  • Sept 2012 - Corning, NY - TBD
  • April 2012 - Louisville, KY - TBD
  • Sept 2011 - Erie PA - 4:25
  • June 2011 - South Bend IN - 5 hrs+ (it was 98 degrees!)
  • Dec 2010 - Rehoboth Beach DE - 4:26:06
  • Nov 2010 - Huntington WV - 4:11:44
  • Oct 2009 - Towpath - Cleveland area OH - 4:30:35

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