Monday, March 28, 2011

The War Room

So we have dubbed our dining room area The War Room because it is the hub of all wedding related activities and projects.  Much planning for the battles ahead occurs here.  We also have this on our War Room wall.
That is the world's coolest seating chart.  Somewhere in blogland (WeddingBee perhaps?) I read about the idea to get pink and blue sticky notes to write your guest's names on. This way you can easily pick them up and move them around to different tables while you are planning your seating and make names easier to spot by color coding gender.  Of course we immediately ruined the symmetry of the board by making a few tables of nine and moving some blues and pinks together but it still looks awesome. 

If you look closely you will see that those are tiny National Park postcard replicas in the center of each table.  Instead of using numbers we are doing National Parks for table designations and using my beloved WPA poster style postcards for each table.  When we were searching for table number holders we ran across some restaurant tent style that we liked but were not willing to pay $11 each for.  So my ever-industrious guy decided he could make them.  Here is his first one.  I love these!!

We have also been perfecting the wing for the place card lemons.  This is a proto-type. I don't like the name placement so we are still working on it.

Oh, and the most fun was the week before when we decided to celebrate getting our invitations in the mail with a little Edgefield sparkling wine we picked up when we got engaged.  We also used the occasion to taste test truffles for potential wedding favors.  Oh, the lengths we'll go to for our guests.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Smells Like Teen Kitten

It has been a week since we let Abby out to roam freely with the other cats and it has gone better than expected.  She is more adventurous then we thought she would be and quickly roamed the entire house.  She isn't much of a jumper but does a lot of exploring on kitten level.

Ollie is being his grumpy old man self and still hisses at her but the hissing has decreased in the last week.  She has learned that she is faster and more agile than him so she just avoids or runs away from him.  I don't know if she realizes that he is all talk and no action but I hope she doesn't learn it so as not to damage his delicate feline ego.

The girls are actually getting along quite well.  Jackie has hissed on occasion but there is a lot of friendly chasing up and down the stairs and playing this game of tag on the dining room chair.  Mostly Jackie just ignores her but there is enough playing that it makes us feel they will be a good team.

We were waiting for some quirks to emerge and we have noticed she has a few.  One, she bobs her head like a bird quite a bit as she walks around exploring. Two, she drools when she is purring and happy.  She drools A LOT.  Three, she likes to roll around on our dirty undergarments and towels or any article of recently worn work-out clothing.  Freak.

Because no cat can escape the nickname factory we have a few names in addition to Abby.  She is also the Ablet, Abby Normal (we actually made Normal her middle name), Jinglebug (because her collar has a bell) and my favorite, Bug.  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Comfort Zone

Sometimes pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is a good thing . Other times it just serves to remind you of who you really are and where you really belong. Either way it is a growth experience I guess.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

St. Pat's Dash Race Report (Mostly)

Good gravy!  It has been over two weeks since I last posted.  There has been so much going on:  finalizing and FINALLY mailing the wedding invitations, insane work on the wedding website, new kitten integration, a redonkulous amount of time spent trying to find appropriate undergarments to wear under my wedding dress, a new round of dance classes, and an actual race in there too.  There is also a big design/name change coming around these parts but I just haven't had the time or the energy to implement it yet.  But before I get to all that I will do a quick St. Pat's Dash recap because it is my race-iversary race and the unofficial start of the "racing season."

When I logged on tonight to do my St. Pat's recap, I noticed Amber had just written her St. Pat's recap (great minds!) so if you want to read the before and after part of the race and see wet and cold pictures of us go here.  I am so glad she agreed to get up early and go run with me because having someone to go to races with is pretty great.   Sadly, my part of the run was nothing like hers. Can't wait to read about her half-marathon PR though!

Since I haven't been running much and actually wasn't cleared by my PT to run/walk more than a half mile I was entering the race with no expectations.  I just wanted to have fun and run my eighth consecutive Dash.  Luckily my calf strain has healed and there were no problems at all.  My leg pain was absent until about 4/10 of a mile into the race and then bothered me throughout the rest of the run.  I just kept trying to focus on maintaining good form and not letting the discomfort alter my gait.  I actually ended up finishing in 38:53 which is a 10:14 pace.  So sad to be off last year's pace of 9:44 but there have been extenuating circumstances.

As for the leg?  Well, I went for a three miler a few days after the race and it hurt quite a bit the whole way.  Saturday, I ran to the gym for some upper body work and ran back and it bothered me and it bothered me on my three miler last night.  The funny thing is, it isn't bothering me unless I am running or after I have ran.  The running seems to exacerbate it which it never used to do.  I am contemplating my next move but there is a good chance I might just shut myself down for a few weeks to see if I can really fully heal.  If that is the case then even the half in Eugene is off the table. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Throwing In The Towel

When I posted that quote about the marathon last week it had a double meaning for me.  On one hand it was saying it was OK to finish a marathon in whatever time I need to that day.  On the other, it was saying that it might take many, many months or even years to get to the start line of a marathon and that was OK too.  It was the second interpretation that resonated with me last week as I came to terms with the realization that the Eugene Marathon wasn't going to happen for me this year.  I am officially dropping my registration from the full to the half-marathon. 

This was a really difficult decision to make.  I wanted this marathon BADLY.  Ever since I finally ran a half I could be proud of last year this race has been my goal.  I wanted this one to be my inaugural marathon.  It was a chance to prove to myself how much further I can push myself and what I can accomplish.  This race was going to be the best way I could think of to celebrate my 40th birthday which is the day before the race. Heck, when we scheduled the wedding we did it so that it happened after Eugene.  So the decision to drop the race was emotional for me and difficult to accept.  But facts are facts and this injury has kept me from running and training and there was no way I could be ready by May 1 to run any kind of race I could be proud of.  I just feel lucky that the injury happened so early in training and not after four months of hard work.

Another reason this race meant so much is that we are going to try to have a baby after the wedding and getting the marathon done before that happened would have been perfect timing.  Training while pregnant just sounds miserable and, especially considering my age, probably not safe.  By the way, running through pregnancy is safe, just not hard training you haven't done before.  I know I can run one after a kid is born but I am guessing that will be fairly exhausting as well.  This race was my best possible chance to train my hardest and be at my best for the distance.  And it's gone now.  Unless of course there will be no babies then, woo-hoo, here come some races!

On the injury front, the calf has been (knock wood) much better and I am thinking about testing the waters with it this week.  The sciatica is also better but still flares up a little.  The back pain, which I never had before I started doing exercises for the sciatica, also seems to have mostly gone away.  Running should be able to begin again soon which is good because I am less than eight weeks away from a half-marathon and I would really like that race not to suck.

As for the marathon, well I'm ready for that amazing journey Ms. Flanagan spoke about and I will write my own ending for it in another race this year.  If I can run pain free very soon then Rock and Roll Seattle at the end of June is a possibility.  Portland or Victoria in early October are also high on the list but while running in fall is fabulous, training in summer is a bitch and I don't know how I would do with that.  For now I am just going to keep on with my PT program, cross-train while I can and focus on getting to the start line of 26.2.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's A Girl!

Here is the latest addition to our household:

Meet Abby!  We adopted her today from MEOW in Kirkland.  She is nine months old and is a really sweet kitty. 

So far Jackie and Oliver don't even seem to care that there is another cat in the house.  We have her shut in my office until she acclimates and they have been sitting by the office door a little bit when we are inside with Abby but paying no attention when we are downstairs.  When we brought her in in her carrier Ollie sniffed her nose and then just sauntered over to his food bowl.  Jackie sniffed her nose and stayed around a little while to sniff some more.  We were very pleased to hear no hissing, see no flattening of ears or fluffing of tails.  In Abby's foster home she got along really well with three adult cats so hopefully she will fit in here. 

So far she seems to lack basic jumping abilities but LOVES to give head butts and get lots and lots of pets.  She even lets you touch her belly! She seems to be playful but not a giant spazz which is exactly what we wanted. 

We can't wait to see how the meet and greets go!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Words of Wisdom

Every so often you happen to run across the right message for you at the right time of your life.  Today in my inbox was this daily Runner's World inspirational quote:

"Instead of focusing on all the things I can't control, I am enjoying the moments in front of me.  The marathon is going to be an amazing journey and I get the chance to write the ending."
Shalane Flanagan, Olympic Medalist and 2nd woman finisher at the 2010 NY City Marathon

I don't know what that ending is going to be but I am committed to a journey that might take a very long time but will most definitely be amazing. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

If It's In Print It Must Be True

Even though we have been planning this wedding shindig for 10 months sometimes it seems very far away and vague.  I've purchased a wedding dress, booked venues, met with florists, picked out a cake, and written scads o' checks.  Heck, we even picked out my wedding ring last week.  None of those activities has really had that "Wow, we are getting married" sort of feeling to it.  Then there are moments that make me stop dead in my tracks and say "Oh, Holy Crap!  I am really getting married."  Yesterday, I had one of those moments.

The final proof from the printer came in and there were our names looking all wedding-y on what looks suspiciously like a wedding invitation.  Even without a swoopy, romantic font and even with informal wording I can't escape that it is, very much, a wedding invitation.  A wedding invitation with our names in it.  For real.  Freaks me the hell out on one hand and makes me feel kind of giddy and excited on the other.

This piece of paper (OK, this screen shot soon to be a piece of paper) has driven home the fact that this is really going to happen and soon and it isn't some vague "someday" sort of occurrence.  It is really real.  And I couldn't be happier.

Oh, and by the way, they are going to be awesome.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Beyond Frustrating

I just got back from my four mile run in the rain.  Except it wasn't a four-miler; it turned into a two-miler because of pain in my right leg and rear that was there for the whole run and calf pain that turned up towards the end of the two miles.  I don't know what to do.  I'm not healing and I HAVE to start logging some serious miles or the race won't happen.  I am so frustrated now and I don't know how to fix myself any quicker.

The only plan I have now is to demand a physical therapy appointment sooner than March 11.  If I have to start crying on the phone to get one earlier I will totally do that.  I am also going to attempt my scheduled seven miles tomorrow night and hope for a different outcome.  Right now I just want to have a drink.  Good thing it is bar trivia night.