Monday, December 31, 2012

Missing New York

I'm kind of sad today.  I had planned to return to New York City this year to run the midnight run in Central Park like I did on New Years Eve, 2010.  It turns out that I just couldn't do it this year.  My daughter is preparing to study abroad next semester and we have to have her all ready to go on January 8th.  I'm going to Key West in 3 weeks which is going to cost more than I thought it would.  College nearly cleaned out my savings even with the scholarships I received.  (If it wasn't for the scholarships, I'd have a lot less to spend on Key West.)
Anyway, I'm going to run the local New Years Eve run tonight.  It's at 10pm which isn't as much fun as midnight.  It is small town and nothing like the atmosphere in Central Park on New Years Eve.  There were so many people there!  It just goes to show that runners just love to run!  Runners celebrate every occasion by running!  The run is 4 miles and I didn't run very fast, it was so crowded at the start that it took 11 minutes for the first mile!  It did thin out somewhat but there was still so many people all around me!  There were fireworks, too!  I had run nearly 2 miles when the fireworks stopped! The 4 mile run took longer than it usually takes me to run 4 miles but it was over with so fast! 
As for real life - Weather Channel website says 27 degrees at 10 pm here which isn't too bad.  I will think about sunny days, palm trees and shorts while I run!!  I go to Key West in 2 weeks, 3 days!
Tonight, I will be missing and thinking about this:
My daughter, my sister and I in Central Park before the run

My friend, Nestor (who lives there), and me after the run

Next year, for sure!!  I'm going next year!!  New York City, I will see you this date next year!!!

Runner Nerd
longing for the fun in Central Park

I Miss My Friend

I miss my friend; the one my heart and soul confided in

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance

So many things remind me of you.
When the sun is shining bright I think of you and smile
When I see the full moon I think of you (and say hi!)
When it's unseasonably warm in the fall or winter I think of you and smile
Occasionally I feel a hand on my shoulder for a moment and I wish it could stay there.
I often think of you and I smile, I laugh, I cry, I remember
I will never forget you
I am so very glad that I had you for my bestest friend throughout those years.
You believed in me when no one else did.
I hope that you could see me graduate and I hope more than anything that you are proud of me.  I always wanted to make you proud of me all through my college journey.
I miss you...I miss you more

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A house full of relatives

Last Sunday (23rd)  was my family get together.  All the years I was growing up and then many years of my adult life we had a family Christmas get together at my Grandmother's house every year until the time came that my Grandmother wasn't able to live in her home anymore.  My Grandmother has been gone for 11 years now but we still get together every year with the relatives.  Grandma started a couple of traditions many years ago because she felt that we were too wasteful and frivolous and too much money was spent with Christmas gifts.  She had us do a grab bag!  Everybody brought a gift that could be for anyone and they went into a big bag and everyone grabbed one.  Grandma did not allow any trading of gifts!  The other thing was that she gave everyone a brown paper grocery bag and filled it with very practical, useful things such as food items, toothpaste, thread, even toilet paper!!  All were things she had collected over the year when they were on a really good sale or clearance at the store.  We still carry on those traditions, although, we now allow trading of grab bag gifts!  Everyone still gets a brown bag but we all contribute to the brown bags now.  Grandma called it "Crazy Christmas" and that is what we still call our gathering every year!
I haven't hosted Crazy Christmas in a long time so this year I wanted to host.  My sisters and I were talking about it during our sister vacation in August and I committed to hosting it then.  I figured that I'd be graduated and would have all the time in the world to get ready.  I might have had a lot of time but I had 2 years of full time college and no housework to undo!  I threw out old junk mail that I won't admit how old it was!  I also cleaned out my large pantry; again, I won't disclose some of the expiration dates I threw out!  My house is cleaner than it has been in a very long time!    
I wanted to have a really nice meal so I first suggested that I'd like to have prime rib but my sister said that beef tenderloin is better.  I don't cook so I was asking her if it would be hard to cook and my brother in law (who knows that I am not known for my cooking) said he'd help me with it.  I ordered the meat from a nearby meat market, picked it up Saturday and took it to my brother in law; he cooked it at his house and brought it to my house.  It was really good! 
We ate and then proceeded with the grab bag festivities!!  I got a garlic keeper and garlic chopper.  Grab bag gifts can range from some really good things to some really silly things.  Then came the brown bags!  Then we ate desserts! 
2 extra tables set up to accommodate relatives, kitchen island overflowing with food!

relatives everywhere you look! (ignore the awful looking coat closet that has never had the doors put on)

table in the living room
At the end of the day I was exhausted.  It took 3 loads in the dishwasher to do all the dishes.  I started the first right away when dinner was finished, my daughter and sister so nicely unloaded it and started another when it was done and I started the last one right after everyone left. 
After everyone was gone I did what any sane person does - I went shopping!  I had a few things to get and I was not going to go to town on Christmas Eve.  Around here, the last few days before Christmas Eve many stores are open very late and some are even open 24 hrs for a couple of days and then they close early on Christmas Eve. 
It was a great day!  I got to see my relatives and my house is clean!!

Runner Nerd
Christmas party hostess

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Silent Night, Holy Night

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Oh Holy Night

Oh, Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Running in Sweaters

Tonight was our running group holiday run and party!  The person who made the Facebook invitation threw in the option to wear Christmas sweaters!  I just happened to have one that I bought a few years back at a thrift shop for a party or some occasion that called for wearing ugly Christmas sweaters. 
This is 3 of us with our sweaters!  I look strange; I'm not good at trying to pose like a fashion model!! 
My sweater zips up in the front and halfway through the run I had to unzip it.  It is very strange running with a sweater flopping around!! 
So that was the 2012 edition of the holiday light party!  Hard to believe that another year has rolled around.  Since Christmas and New Years fall on Tuesdays there will be no running group the next 2 weeks.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


I, Runner Nerd, am no longer the world's oldest college student!! 

The journey that began January 10, 2009 is now finished!! 
The shiny gold sash is for National Honor Society and the gold cords are for highest honors!!  I also got a certificate for Highest Academic Achievement for my 4.0 GPA!!  I was the Valedictorian!!!  Imagine that, the oldest student got the highest grades!!! 

I will post more pictures later when I get them from my son. 

For the last time, I sign my name.....
Runner Nerd
World's oldest college student, just graduated

(I'm not sure who I will be after this but I am not going to be a nerd any more!!)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

3 Long Days

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week my Respiratory Therapy class had board exam review.  It was 3 full days, 8am - 5:30 pm.
I'm very glad we had it, I feel so much more prepared to take my exams now.  I have 3 of them to take.  It's an odd thing; I just spent 2 years in school full time, a million hours studying and we just went over everything we need to know in 3 days.  Taking these board exams is almost like playing a game.  We learned how to pick the "key words" from the questions and what certain words signal.  It's as if we aren't going to be thinking for ourselves but playing a game, decoding a puzzle.
I'm not sure when I'm going to go and take the first exam; I hope to do it soon after Christmas.  There is a series of 3 exams that have to be taken to become a licensed RT.  Tomorrow I have to go and be fingerprinted in anticipation of applying for my license.  It has to be done before applying.
Graduation is Saturday!!!
Next week I have one week to undo 2 years of neglect in my house.  I'm having a big family get together on the 23rd.  I wish I could spend the time studying the materials from the review but I have to get the house ready. 

Tuesday night I was able to make it to running group.  When I left school I really didn't want to go.  I thought about just going home but I went.  I'm really glad I did!  We headed out for a 4 mile run.  Part of the run was on cart paths of a golf course.  The running store employee who runs with the group had went out and run the route and printed the map from his Garmin.  We looked at it, it seemed simple, it was a big loop.  We made a wrong turn somewhere and ended up running 7.7 miles!!  I really needed that!  I ran good.  I felt good afterward. 

Sunday is 5 weeks out from Key West!!!!

Runner Nerd
Nerd days coming to an end soon!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

School's out forever!!!!!

I, Runner Nerd, am DONE with school!!  I HAVE MY LIFE BACK!!!!!!
Today was my last clinical!! 
I don't graduate until the 15th  but I do not ever have to go to class again, don't have homework, no final exam to take, my journey is over!!!!!
I am one happy nerd!!!
Next week I have to go to a board exam review which is 3 days, Monday through Wednesday.  I'm not looking forward to it but it is necessary.   

I can't just be a bum between now and Christmas.  I have to recover my house from two years of being a full time college student.  I'm hosting my family Christmas gathering on the 23rd.  I have a lot to do. 

I also have to get a lot more serious in training for the Key West Half Marathon.  It's down to 6 weeks from Sunday.  I have my flight ticket and my hotel booked!! 

Runner Nerd
done with college

Monday, December 3, 2012

Last day of school

Today was my LAST CLASS!!!  The last day of school......FOREVER!!!!! 
I can't believe that my nearly 4 year journey is so close to done!! 
Driving to class this morning I was remembering driving to my first day of this program in January of last year.  I was wondering what I had gotten myself into.  I made it through!!!

I still have clinicals tomorrow and Thursday and then I will be officially done with school!! 

Oh, there's one other thing too..........
I HAVE A CAP AND GOWN!!!!!!!  Yep!  I picked up my cap and gown today!!!! 

Runner Nerd
attended last class
excited nerd

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday running

I'm the one wearing a skirt and striped knee socks!! Tonight was the Holiday Hustle 5K!  I ran pretty good!  Well, good for me these days!  I ran the 5K at a 9:12 pace.  I also wore my string of Christmas lights but they don't show in this picture.  This was the last event I get to wear the lights but I still have one more event to wear the knee socks!! 

I have ONE more class left!!!  Monday is my last class!!  I have clinical on Tuesday and Thursday and then I am DONEEEEEEE!!!!!  Graduation is the 15th!!  The end is near!!!!!!  Then end is in sight!!!!!!  Light at the end of the tunnel!!!!!!!!  Can you tell that I'm excited!!!! 

Runner Nerd
almost done

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Long run

Today I ran the farthest since coming back from Plantar Fasciitis.  I ran 7 miles and it went quite well!  I didn't get out to run until nearly 4pm because I spent yesterday and most of today with my niece who is due to have a baby next week.  She needed help with laundry because she isn't able to reach down into the washing machine right now.  She's been exhausted lately and had a mountain of clean as well as dirty laundry.  We washed loads of laundry and folded the mountain of clean laundry.  She has a big walk in closet and the floor was completely covered and you couldn't walk into it.  I crawled in there and just started folding clothes and pulling other stuff out to see what she wanted done with it.  We got a lot done that she has trouble doing by herself right now.  So, anyway, after my job was done there, I headed on over to one of my favorite running parks, Hudson Mills, to run 7 miles.  I had 7 miles on my schedule and Hudson Mills just happens to have 7 miles of paved trails!!  It was starting to get dark by the time I got done.  It's unusual to go for my run that late in the day and especially after having a big lunch!  Yep, my niece and I took a lunch break and went to TGI Friday!  It's our favorite place to go; we've been going there together for years.  I was kind of dreading the run since it was so late in the day but it seemed to go by fast.  I actually enjoyed it.  I had no problem with my foot.  My run ended by the office/activity building and I went in and used the restroom and then jogged out to my car!!  I know that doesn't sound like much but when I was battling the plantar fasciitis, once I stopped running it didn't take long until my foot would stiffen up and it would be hard to walk on!!  I really feel like I am back and on my way to Key West!!!!  Just 10 weeks from tomorrow!!  I can't wait to be there!!!

In the week coming up, it's Turkey Trot time!!  I'm running a 10K at the Y.  I'm also volunteering with setting up for packet pick up, and clean up after the race.  This started out in 2005 when one of the trainers put up a sign to go running on Thanksgiving morning.  There were 7 of us that icy morning and we ran 5 miles!!  This year we had just shy of 700 participants.  There is a 5K and 10K. 

Runner Nerd
late afternoon runner

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Running in Lights

Last night was one of my favorite events!  This is the 5th year I've run it. It is the Wayne County Lightfest Run Through the Lights 8K.  It's a 5 mile long drive-through holiday light display that is along a road that runs through a string of parks.  Every evening during the holidays for certain hours it is closed to regular traffic and cars drive one way through.  They always have a run on the Tuesday of opening week.  It will open on Friday.
This run is just for fun.  There are no bib numbers, no chips, no timing, no winners, no age groups or anything but an unbelievable number of people show up for this!!  They allow both running and walking, strollers and dogs too.  They say it's a dress rehearsal but I think it's a way to get extra money for the electric bill this thing must ring up!!  It doesn't cost as much as most races, I think I paid $15.00 and they give a nice long sleeve t-shirt.  I like the long sleeve t-shirts!
They give each person a glow necklace.  You will see people wearing all kinds of light up things.  A couple years ago I got the idea to attach a short string of battery operated lights that I use on a wreath to my shirt.  In other words, I run wearing Christmas lights!!!!
This is my friend and I with our lights and glow sticks: 
 Here we are by one of the light displays:
 Here we are helping the elves:
We had so much fun!  My friend in the pictures is also running the half in Key West.  When I run with her she pulls me along faster than I'd normally run.  I ran with her and running group friend who usually runs a lot faster than me.  I ran the 5 miles in 49:22, a 9:52 pace, quite a bit faster than I have been running on my own.  My foot behaved and the weather wasn't as nice as last year (mid 50s); it was 35 degrees, which isn't bad for running. 
I have two more holiday themed races, one is in the evening so I will get to wear my lights again!!  The other is in the morning so I will just wear my red and white knee socks!

As for the other part of my life - college - I will be done with classes in 3 weeks!!  I will be graduating in 31 days!!!  I'm almost done being the world's oldest college student!!

Runner Nerd
runs wearing lights

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Runner Nerd is training for a half marathon!

11 weeks till Key West half marathon!!!!!!  I'm training!!!!  Today was my long run of the incredibly long distance of 6 miles!!!  Ok, so 6 miles isn't a very long run, but for one who is just returning to running after 2 months off for plantar fasciitis, it's a very big deal!!!  My foot behaved nicely and I was even still moving when I finished!!  My first few post-PF runs were not so good; I was barely moving the last half mile or so.  Today, my 6th mile was faster than my 3rd, 4th and 5th miles!  As Garmy beeped for 5 miles, I realized that I was feeling pretty good and picked up the pace a bit!!  My overall pace was 10:56 which isn't great but for now I will take it.  As I continue to get rid of this weight I've gained since becoming the world's oldest college student I hope to see my pace get faster.
There is one thing I am totally sure of now:
I'll be there on January 20th!!! 
My running group friend, Erika, is thinking about going too!!  She doesn't know for sure yet but she wants to.  She was supposed to run the NY marathon tomorrow.  She had PF last year and just started running in the early summer after 4 or 5 months off.  She had a great training and was really looking forward to the marathon.  Her flight was Thursday late afternoon and she didn't know for sure if it was going to go until only a couple of hours before departure.  She flew into Laguardia which was still closed Thursday morning.  She picked up her packet before the cancellation was announced so she has her bib and the shirt.  After the marathon was cancelled, she was able to buy some running clothes half price.  She texted me earlier today saying that marathon runners can run 4 laps in Central Park tomorrow morning at 9 am.  She is planning on going and running. 
I hope that she is able to go to Key West, her and I have a blast together!  Tuesday night we went to the haunted attractions at Wiards Orchards in Ypsi.  It had rained most of the day so the haunted hayride wasn't running.  We went through the haunted mine shaft, haunted insane asylum and the haunted barn!  I haven't been to any haunted houses in years! 

Next Saturday is the Iron Turkey which I've run for the last 3 years.  I don't know if I will be running it this year.  I am not up to 9 miles yet.

One month from today is my last class!!  42 days until graduation!!

Runner Nerd
running again

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween dress up and running

Tonight was one of my favorite fall fun races.  It's called the Headless Horseman 5K.  There is actually a dude in a headless costume riding a horse!  People dress up.  I wore my big orange jack-o-lantern tshirt and orange/black striped knee socks.  The race is at night, after dark, so I also wore light up bracelets.  They were giving out glow sticks so I pinned mine into my pony tail.  (they came on a string but I took the string off and used a safety pin to pin it to my scrunchie.)  I wore my running skirt since it wasn't that cold.  A lady took a picture of me and texted it to me but I never got it so I can't post a pic but I did have one last year and I wore the same this year.
Same race last year, same clothes this year

The race course goes though a park and along a lake and then back out of the park and down the street to a cemetery.  The run winds through the cemetery and along a lake, which was really cool because there was a big ole full moon right up above us!!  There is nearly a mile in the cemetery.  It was chilly but not too cold for running.  I did have to wear gloves and a headband but I wore my skirt.  After the race there was baggies of CANDY!!!  I had a mini Milky Way bar in mine  - my favorite!!!  There were also popcorn balls; I haven't had a popcorn ball in forever!  I thought I was just going to taste it with a few bites but later on after I got home, I got it out of my bag and finished it up!!
As I was walking back to my car (a few blocks) I realized that my foot never hurt at all, not even a twinge, while I was running the race and as I was walking to the car it wasn't hurting!!!!  I was sooooo happy!!  I had the biggest smile on my face, even though it was dark and no one could see it!!

Runner Nerd
making a come back!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Feeling Left out

Tomorrow is the Detroit and the Grand Rapids marathons.  I have several friends running in each.  Other friends ran Chicago a few weeks back and a couple of others will be running New York City in a few weeks.  I feel like I'm the only one who isn't running a marathon or half marathon this fall. 
I AM running again!!  I've run 2 miles, 3 miles twice and 3.5 miles and all went well and my foot behaved itself.  The Key West Half Marathon is 13 weeks from tomorrow; one more week until a 12 week training program would start.  I AM going to Key West!!  I am sooooo looking forward to it and can't wait. 
School is down to 43 days until my last class (6 weeks from Monday!).  I may have found my calling!!  I finished my neo-natal ICU clinicals (very sick babies) and then it was on to my long term care clincals.  This is people who are ventilator dependant for a long term, sometimes forever.  I liked it a lot.  I can see myself doing it.  They are going to hire 4 new respiratory therapists in the near future and I talked to them about it.  I have to let them know when I graduate and pass my boards.
Finding a job is going to be a huge priority now.  My daughter is going to study abroad next semester.

I have been doing a lot of biking during the time I wasn't running.  I recently saw this guy while riding:
I've been seeing him since he was little while running but I never have my phone with me when running but I do when I'm riding my bike so I stopped and took his picture.  This cow is almost completely white except for this black spot on his side and some black on his neck.  His other side is completely white.

Another picture:  I wonder if this is intentional.  The sign says Great Harvest Bread Co.  What are the chances that some of the lights would burn out and leave these words:

I think it's intentional; I will have to go in there one of these days and ask (and buy a yummy cookie!!)

Runner Nerd
running again

Monday, October 15, 2012

Only 2 more months of being the world's oldest college student

2 months from today, Dec. 15, I will graduate and give up the title of world's oldest college student!! 
can't wait!!!

Runner Nerd
close to being done with the nerd part

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Got through it.

I got though "that" day, the day I was ignoring and hoping would go away!!
I went bike riding since I can't run.  I never imagined that on my 12th 39th birthday that I wouldn't be able to go running.  The next two years my birthday will be on Saturday and Sunday so I better be able to run!! 
Can't run so I bike
I saw my neighbor out in her yard so I asked her to take a picture of me.  I have to say that I did feel much better and inspired after talking with her.  I've known her for years, we met when our kids were young.  I never realized that she is older than me.  She always looked so young.  She told me that she will be 58 in a couple of months.  I was quite shocked; she looks so young.

So, I made it through!  Now I'm back to the life of the world's oldest college student!

Runner Nerd
world's oldest college student

Friday, September 7, 2012

If I ignore it, maybe it will go away

If I ignore today, maybe it will go away!! 
I have no life, I have homework, I can't run, I have plantar fasciitis, I've gained 10 lbs in school, and I'm supposed to be happy today???? 
If anyone, and I don't care who it is, if anyone dares to say those 3 stupid words that people like to say to people on this certain occasion, I will tell them to SHUT UP!!!! 
I suppose I will get used to it, but right now I'm just not liking it one little bit. 
I'm in a new age group for races and I'm also in a new cateory - grandmasters.  oh yippie!

I had to settle for biking today since I'm taking time off running right now.  I will just keep my mind on Key West! 

Runner Nerd
ignoring birthday

Monday, August 27, 2012

On the Home Stretch

Today was the first day of my last semester!!  It's going to be a busy semester; so much to do.
Much of the class is geared toward board exam prep and the particulars of board exams, licensing, job hunting, etc.  The clinical portion is 5 weeks of neo-natal and pediatric ICU, then several shifts each of specialty areas such as home care, pulmonary function, pulmonary rehab, sleep lab, and long term care. As soon as we finish with our class, we will be having a Kettering exam review the next week, just before we graduate. 
I graduate December, 15th!!  I can't wait.

I'm taking another week off running.  My heel is doing well but still has it's moments.  I wear my night splint every night.  I have a feeling that I am going to have to have orthotics made. 
I learned, after my day on Mackinac Island, that biking does not hurt my heel.  Since then I've been on a couple of bike rides.  Saturday I took the bike to Chelsea and rode around all the dirt roads in the Waterloo State recreation area.  I rode just shy of 18 miles.  I rode on a lot of the roads I used to run on with a marathon training group back in 2007 and 2008.  All of this riding has been on my old mountain bike.  My triathlon bike is still in the house and hasn't been out of the house in 2 years.  Hopefully, next summer my life will be more normal and I will be able to get it out again and maybe, just maybe, do another triathlon!!

98 days till classes are done, 115 days till graduation!!!!!!!!!!!!

Runner Nerd
in her last semester!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


My boating adventures were soooo much fun!!  I met up with my classmate/friend in St. Ignace, Michigan which is just across the Mackinac Bridge.  He already had his boat in the water.  I wheeled my bike over to the dock, he put it in and away we went!  The first thing we did was what I wanted to do more than anything:
Approaching the Mackinac Bridge

Sailing under!!
Under the bridge looking up
Looking between the bases of the tower.  Looking at the bottom of the Mackinac Bridge!!
We then kept on heading West a few miles from the bridge in Lake Michigan to a small island, St. Helena Island.  This island has a lighthouse!  The island is a land conservancy and is open to the public but the only way to get on the island is to anchor the boat and then paddle up in a small raft.  My friend does not have one...yet, so we just circled the island.
St. Helena Light on St. Helena Island
We then headed back and under the bridge again and on to Mackinac Island!
The Grand Hotel as seen from the boat.
Approaching Mackinac Island public marina
My friend docked the boat, we unloaded the bikes.  We rode into town and had lunch then we took off on the road that runs around the perimeter of the island.  After we circled the island, we rode to some places inland on the island.  In all, we rode 20 miles!
A little cave

Arch Rock
View from Lookout point
All too soon the sun began to set and it was time to head back to the mainland. 
Sunset over Lake Huron
We got back to the marina in St. Ignace and it was dark when we got back.  We (as well as all boats coming in) were greeted by a Fish and Wildlife officer to see if we had any fish, which we did not.  My friend unloaded my bike and backed his trailer in the water and loaded the boat.  He pulled it out of the water.  We were talking for a few minutes and the fish officer came over and asked us where we were from and we told him that he (my friend) lives nearby and I am from here and that we are classmates, etc etc etc.  He showed us 2 minks who have taken up residence in the marina and sometimes even in their patrol boat!!  They were so cute!  I had already put all my stuff in my car so I wasn't able to take any pictures of them.  My friend's 6 yr old son was completely exhausted!! At 10:30 my friend said, "well, I have a 20 minute drive home so I better get going!"  HA HA HA!  I had a 4.5 hour drive home!  After he got home, got his son in the house and put his boat away, he called and we talked for a little bit which helped me pass a little time and be more awake for the drive.  I think I thanked him 400 times!!!  It really was fun. 

This turned out to be a really great day!!  It was sunny, the water was calm, it was almost warm enough (it doesn't get as warm in the Upper Peninsula as it does here and even less so out on the lake).  My friend said that the only other day that he thinks was better as far as calm water was the 4th of July.  Wind is what could have cancelled this trip.  Because the water was so calm, he was able to go fast!!  He could ride into the waves made from the ferries, his son loved that!!  If the water had been rough, we would have just passed under the bridge and then straight to the island but we were able to go all over.

We now only have a few days left of being bums and then we will be meeting up again in the classroom for our LAST semester!!!!!!

Another thing I got from yesterday - BIKING  DOESN'T HURT!!!!!!   I biked 20 miles and it doesn't make my heel hurt!!  Even when I got home after my 4.5 hour drive, my heel did not hurt.  I actually rode the bike again today - 8.5 miles. 

Runner Nerd
sailed under the Mighty Mac!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The closest I will come to a vacation this summer

Tomorrow one of my class mates, who is also my friend, is going to take me for a ride in his boat UNDER the Mackinac Bridge!!!!  I am so excited and I can't wait!!  I know it's not much but I love the Mackinac Bridge; it's about the coolest thing we have in Michigan.  We will also sail over to Mackinac Island and ride bikes around the island!  I'm really excited about that; when I was a kid growing up, my family went up there several times each summer and we rode our bikes all over the island. 
My classmate lives in the Upper Peninsula and stays at his Mother's house when we have school.  There aren't very many Respiratory Therapy programs; it's not one that is offered at every community college like Nursing, Radiography, Sonagraphy, etc.
Planning this has been quite an ordeal.  As we were nearing the end of the semester in July, I told him that I wanted to get up there and sail under the bridge.  (He invited me up during our break last summer but I didn't make it up there.)  Not only do we have to work around our schedules but, also, the weather forecast.  He likes the wind to be less than 5mph so it's not too rough out there in the middle of Lake Michigan/Lake Huron. 
Tomorrow is the day!!  The forecast looks good!  I have my bike loaded and the Jeep filled with fuel; I can't wait!!

Runner Nerd
like a kid on Christmas!! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

4 months

I will be the world's oldest college student for only 4 more months!!  I graduate 4 months from today - Dec. 15th!!!!!!!!!!  It won't come soon enough!! 
That's all! 
Runner Nerd
returning to life of being a bum for 2 more weeks

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Running in a dress!!

What???  Doesn't everyone run 5Ks dressed like this???  
In the photo above:  my friend, Erika and me getting ready for the Red Carpet Run!!  We've got our thrift store fancy dresses, plastic kids play jewelry, tiarras, sports bras and running shoes!!!  We even had a "limo" ride to the race!!  We rode with another running group member and we sat in the back seat and we made him open the doors for us!!! 
The Red carpet Run is a Wednesday evening fun 5K race.  It's theme is celebrities and the red carpet.  The start finish line is a red carpet.  Upon finishing runners receive, not a medal, but a champagne glass!!  You will see everything in this race:  evening gowns, wedding dresses, men in tux shirts with shorts, men in suits or dress shirt, jacket and tie but with shorts, even dudes wearing dresses!!!  It's so much fun.  Erika and I already have ideas for next year! 

finisher champagne glasses!!
I'm totally enjoying being a bum!!  I only have a few more weeks before school starts again.  I just keep reminding myself that it's just one more semester.
My heel continues to get better although not all healed up.  I'm just running easy in hopes of being back to normal for Key West in January.

Runner Nerd
runs in a dress

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Still a Nerd!

My teacher posted the grades for the final!!  I had 94.  I was very happy and relieved to see that.  I was also a bit disappointed because I usually do better than that.  What can I expect when I blow off studying for an entire weekend.
My overall grade was 4.0!!  I also got a 4.0 for the music class I had to take so it was another 4.0 semester!!
Now I can forget about school and classes for a while.  I need this break!  

Runner Nerd
on a nerd break

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sister's Reunion

I spent the weekend with all of my sisters!  I have 3 sisters; one lives in California, one lives in Maryland and the other one lives about 30 minutes away from me.  It's been over a year since I've seen my California sister.  The far away sisters flew in Friday and we all stayed at my close-by sister's house.  Our parents even showed up on Sunday and we all had lunch together!
My nephew and I in the back of my Brother-in-law's truck (no, we didn't ride there!)


My nephews, with whom I also got to spend time!

My parents, my sisters, my nephews and me
We all had a great time.  Saturday night we were looking for people we knew in high school on Facebook.  It all started because we were trying to find out why a high school classmate of my sister's passed away recently.  One thing always leads to another and we ended up looking for a bunch of people we knew as kids!!  We had several dinners out and more than one ice cream eating session!!  Before we knew it, it was Sunday night and my far away sisters had to pack up to fly out in the morning.  My CA sis had to leave for the airport around 5 am.  I came back home Sunday night.  Monday morning it was time to get the notes out and study for my final exam which was today.  I've never totally blew off all school work for an entire weekend, especially just before a final!  I did study Wednesday and Thursday before the weekend. 
I took my final this morning.  I felt very unprepared and wasn't too sure of too many of the answers. I don't like this feeling at all.  All I can do now is wait until the teacher posts the grades.  I am sure I will still end up with a 4.0; I had 98% going into the final.
I now have 7 weeks off!!!!!  When I do go back, it will be my final semester!!!!!!  I graduate December 15th!!!! It won't come soon enough. 
I missed running group tonight. :(   After school, I went to a friend's house to retrieve a lawn chair that we had left there recently.  I ended up talking with them for 3 hours.  They are going to Key West in August and have been there many times, I'm going in January so we had a lot to talk about!!  When I got home it was nearly time that I'd have to get ready to go and I was tired so I didn't go.  I did go out and run 4 miles a couple of hours later.  It felt good to go running without any school work hanging over my head!

Runner Nerd
nervously awaiting final exam grade

Friday, July 6, 2012

Leaping Over roadkill and Well Behaved Heel

The myofascial release work I had done on my foot/heel/leg on Monday seems to be helping.  I ran the Firecracker 5 miler on Wednesday morning pain free.  I made it through weight workout class yesterday and then met my daughter in town for some mother/daughter shopping afterward.  When I'm with my daughter, no isle of a store goes unwalked!  I ran 4 miles this morning and my heel behaved nicely! 
It still does have it's moments.  Wednesday after the race, I went to my car to put on a dry shirt and foolishly cut across the lawn of the fire station.  Walking on uneven ground can make my heel hurt.  I changed my shirt and went back to the fire barn to see if results were posted yet.  I was 4th in my age group and my friend told me that they were giving awards to 5 places!!  This is the first time I've placed in this particular race!!  I think the heat may have caused some people to stay away!!  I know it was over 80 degrees before the race started.  I got a pair of red/white/blue socks!!  I like them! 

This morning it was 92 when I set out on my run and 95 when I finished.  I felt pretty good.  My clothes were soaked!  I knew I had to get a run in this morning; it's likely that I will not get to run again this weekend.  I'm spending the weekend goofing around with my three sisters!!  I haven't seen my sister who lives in California in over a year. 

There must be a variation of Murphy's law pertaining to running.  I ran on the roads around where I live, rural and with little traffic once I get off of the road that I live on.  As I was running a 1.1 mile stretch of one of the roads, the ONLY car that came by was just as I was approaching a decomposing, stinky opossum roadkill!!  I had to get over to the side which was right in line with the roadkill and had to jump over it as the car was passing by!   The joys of running on rural roads!!
I also saw another lady out running; I never see anyone running out here around where I live!! 

Well, I'm going to get my running clothes out of the washing machine then study a little for my final exam then I'm off to see my siblings!!!!!! 

Runner Nerd
leaps over roadkill

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Joy of Plantar Fasciitis Massage

Today I got a massage!!  You know, a luxury day of pampering at the spa!!!! 

*****(I wish I could insert the little emoticon dude from Yahoo instant messenger who is rolling around laughing and laughing and laughing!!!)*******

Ok, so this wasn't a luxurious day of spa pampering; this was hard-core plantar fasciitis torture massage!!  AND....I get to go back in 16 days and do it all over again!!!  How did I get so lucky?
She said that my calf muscles were really tight and that my foot had a lot of hard spots.  I have no idea what she means by hard spots.  She sure poked and pushed those hard spots and I thought I was going to come off the table. 
I'm supposed to ice it.  Oops, I forgot to do that tonight.  I hate ice - it's COLD!  After all, I'm the person who loves this weather!!  (got as high as 97 today!)   I actually intended to do it but I kept putting it off.  Maybe tomorrow. 

I told the massage therapist that I'm registered for the Key West Half Marathon in January and she said that I should be able to have this PF problem resolved and be good to go by then. 

Tomorrow is my last regular class of this semester!!!  Next week is just the final exam!!  Tomorrow we have class at Mott Children's Hospital in the Neo-Natal ICU.  Class is only 3 hours long instead of the usual 6 hours!!  AND class is at 1pm instead of 11am so I don't have to get ready to go as early!! I'm happy!  (In case you don't know, I have always worked nights and I like working nights.  This daytime going to school has been hard on me.) 

This coming weekend I will be spending a couple of days with all of my sisters in Grand Rapids!!!!  It's been a long time since I've seen my sister who lives in California.  I'm really excited!!  The only thing is that my final exam is next Tuesday so I am going to have to study Wednesday and Thursday and then not study until Monday, not my usual nerd final exam prep routine. 

Well, I'm off to bed. 

Runner Nerd
survived myofascial release

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Observations of a Nerd

A couple of observations I made after leaving the library today:  (The following is from signs in front of businesses)

CVS Pharmacy had 2 liter bottles of Coke on sale for 79 cents.
McDonalds had Quarter Pounder with Cheese buy one, get one free.

I have no idea what a quarter pounder with cheese costs but I am going to guess $1.99.  So, for $3.00 one could obtain 2 quarter pounder with cheese sandwiches and 2 liters of Coke (includes MI 6% tax on fast food and 10 cents bottle deposit, but no tax, on Coke)  Each quarter pounder with cheese weighs in at 520 calories, 26 grams of fat, and 1180 mg of sodium. (from McD's website)  You tell me, how many people do you think will be stopping in and buying one and getting one free and then proceeding to eat BOTH of them???????  I know not everyone, but I'm sure there will be a good number of people out there today consuming 1040 calories, 52 grams of fat, and 2360 mg of sodium as their lunch, for some this will just be a mid-afternoon snack!!!  Combine that with the cheap 2 L bottle of Coke and they will have quite the ingestion of healthy, deliciousness that makes up the good ole American diet; oops, I mean, UNHEALTHY crap that spells - job security - for those of us working in health care!!!!!!

I wonder how many people got their 2 QPWCs and a 2L DIET Coke or Coke ZERO!!! (to keep those calories down!)

Ok, that's enough!!  I just had to laugh when I saw those 2 signs this afternoon!! 

Runner Nerd
needs to pay attention to the road and not the signs!!

Long Run

Yep, did a long run today.  I ran the incredibly long distance of.......5 miles!  I can't believe that I'm calling 5 miles a long run these days.  I am happy to say that my heel behaved!!  Yayyyy, heel!!  I ran incredibly slow but I felt good and not so out of breath as I've been feeling on runs.  Going uphill was tough but overall this was a really good run!!  Now I know that the 4th of July 5 mile run is possible.  I will sign up at packet pick up the evening of the 3rd.  Last year I thought I was slow when my time was just over 50 minutes.  (50:10, I think) but this year I will just be aiming to come in under an hour.  My run today was 54 minutes, so I'm sure I can be in within an hour. 

After my run, I drove home, showered, ate yogurt with blueberries and then I was off to the library back to my other life as the world's oldest college student.  I worked 3.5 hours solid which I needed to do without distractions.  I got a lot accomplished.  Yayyyy me!!! 

Runner Nerd
runner for 1 hr, nerd for 3.5 hrs.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

HOT HOT HOT......(the weather, that is!)

Today, I saw a temp of 99 on the sign in front of my credit union.  The highest I saw on my thermometer at home was 96.  96, 99, either way it's pretty hot out there!  Everywhere I go people are complaining like crazy about the heat.  In the bitter cold of winter we long for the beautiful, sunny, warm days of summer and then when they get here all we do is complain, complain, complain. I'm sure not complaining!!  I love it!! 
No running today; today was cross training.  I went to weight workout class. 
Last night was a disaster of a speed workout.  The plan was 800s on the paved trail.  There is a mile marked out in quarters.  The plan was 1/2 mile fast, 1/2 mile recover.  I made it through 4 repeats.  The 4th one came in at 5:04.  That's a 10 minute pace, not exactly speedwork.  I felt like a fat, out of shape hippo!!  I can't even run a half mile in under 10 minute pace.  I drank and stood there trying to recover and my heart rate was still 120.  I started out to do one more half (the others were already quite a way ahead of me and I'd already told the coach that I was only doing one more and heading back) but barely made it to the 1/4 marker.  I turned around and jogged (if it  even qualified as jogging!) back then walked back to the school where we parked.  When I got back to my car, my heart rate was still over 130.  weird.  Yep, that proves that I am sooooooo out of shape. 

I know know know that the key is to get this 10 pounds of gained weight off of my body and then I can begin to build my fitness back up.

Less than 2 weeks till this semester is over and then I get a 6 week break!!!!!!!  I only have one final exam, yayyyyyy!!

Less than 6 months to graduation!!!!!!!!!!!!

6.5 months till KEY WEST!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow I have a lot on the agenda:  bake cookies to take to meet the new neighbors!!!!  Also, prepare for the final exam, finish up the last of my homework for this class.  I'm almost there!!

Runner Nerd
out of shape hippo! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Key West, Here comes the world's oldest college student!!!

I am officially registered for my graduation present to myself!!  I can't think of a better way to celebrate graduating from college and beginning my new career than to go to one of the coolest places in the world, where it's beautiful in the middle of January, and run a half marathon!!!
When I first started this college journey, my first thought was to do the goofy challenge the 2nd week of January  (Disney half marathon on Saturday and Disney marathon on Sunday).  It did not take long to realize that there would be no way that I could train for a marathon while going about the business of being the world's oldest full time college student and maintaining that all important 4.0 GPA.  When I learned of the Key West half in January I thought that would be perfect!  Half marathons are so much easier. I would have over a month after graduation which can go a long way toward getting ready for a half marathon as long as I had a good base. 
I'm really excited and looking forward to this!!  I've been saying for over 3 years that I'm going to go to Key West after graduating and I can't believe that I am now actually registered for it!!  I'm winding up my next to last semester then will have a 6 week break and at the end of August will be beginning my last semester!!
Soooooooo, anyway.... I have registered for...

Now, I have work to do.  I'm embarrassed beyond embarrassed to say that I've gained 10 pounds since becoming a full time student.  That is number one priority to get rid of that.  My mileage has went down to almost nothing, from 25-30 miles per week to 10-12 miles per week.  With weight gain and such reduced mileage I am so out of shape.  I run soooooo slow.  Turtles run faster than me.  I have a hard time running under 10 minute miles.  When I run with others on Tuesday nights, I can keep up 9 minute miles for a couple of miles but then I really slow down.  These days, 4 miles does me in.  So, I have to make a comeback!  My heel has been bothering me, it's symptoms of the "PF" word.  (can't even type it!)  I am going to one of the massage therapists at the place I go who has developed a massage technique for PF.

Today I ran 3 miles, my heel was good but afterward I drove about a mile to CVS to get a newspaper and when I got out of the car I had to give it a moment before taking the first step.  GEEZ, when is this going to end?????  

I have new next door neighbors whom I haven't met yet.  I still can't believe the old neighbors are gone :(   They built the house and had lived next to us for 21 years.  I am planning on making some chocolate chip cookies this week and taking them to the new neighbors and meeting them.  The recipe I'm making is one I got from the old neighbor!  It's the best chocolate chip recipe ever!! 

Runner Nerd
Key West bound

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fun in the sun and heat

Tuesday and Wednesday were beautiful days!  Both days saw temps in the 90s!!  I love love love it like that!! 
Tuesday night only two of us showed up for running group.  I know most people don't like running in heat like that.  I'm like anyone else; I don't run as well in the heat even though I like it.  We ran 4 miles and I was dripping when I was done!  The last mile was difficult but I still prefer this over the bitter cold of winter runs.  I love wearing shorts and sleeveless tops instead of multiple layers, tights, hats and gloves.  
Yesterday it was back to Wednesday night speed workouts now that my Monday/Wednesday evening class is over.  It was 92 degrees when I left home.  Six people showed up!  We ran on the paved trail. We ran fast for two telephone poles and recover for two telephone poles.  It's almost the same as doing 200s on the track.  We did a 1.1 mile section down and back 3 times.  In my out of shapeness and slowness of late, I fell  behind everyone else on the third set so I changed my plan to one telephone pole fast, one pole recover.  It worked much better for me at that point.  We did a cool-down and called it a workout. I was dripping again.  I had to run into the grocery store for something and I was still sweating!  I'm sure I looked like a dork!!  (I don't even want to think about what I probably smelled like!!) 
I had not seen the Wednesday people for the last 7 weeks that I had class so I told them that I had registered for the Key West Half Marathon on January 20, 2013 as my graduation present to myself!!  They were excited but also told me what I already know - I've got work to do so I can get back to running how I did before becoming the world's oldest college student!! 
I've been trying a couple of new drinks.  Hammer and Gu both came out with a grapefruit flavored tablet.  One of the things I don't like is the sweetness of the sports drinks.  There is still some sweetness but there is also that sour/bitter/sharp tangy taste of grapefruit!  I like them! 
My heel is still bothering me.  Tuesday night it did not bother at all while running but by the time I got home it was hurting.  Last night it was good while running until, for cool-down, we ran across a field toward where our cars were parked instead of taking the sidewalk to the driveway of the school where we parked.  On the grass it hurt.  I have trouble even walking across my yard to go to the mailbox.  My heel does not like uneven ground. 
No running today, went to weight workout class.  I hope to run tomorrow and Saturday and then take Sunday and Monday off so I will be good to go for Tuesday night running group. I really need to get an appointment with the massage therapist who has had good results with plantar fasciitis.  I will feel like such a traitor going to someone other than my usual sports massage therapist extraordinaire.  At least I am going to the same place.  This massage therapy studio recommends her for people having trouble with plantar fasciitis so I know my usual guy wouldn't mind. 

Runner Nerd
with sore foot :(

Monday, June 18, 2012

Music class done!

Yayyyyyyyyyyyy!!  This dumb music class is done!  Tonight was the final exam. I have to say, this class wasn't too difficult.  We could use notes for the tests.  I found that if I took notes during the lecture I had everything I needed.  There was also a guide for the exams and if I went over that and looked up everything on it, exams were easy! 
For the final, we were allowed to use all notes AND past tests for the final.  I got all the notes I took in class and the notes I made for each exam and got them in order and put the chapter tests with the notes for that particular chapter.  I also made myself a little guide to what kinds of things to find in each chapter so I could find things.  I did not know just what the final exam would be like.  It turns out that the final almost went in order from chapter 1 through chapter 27!  Not quite but almost!  In fact, portions of the exam were right off the earlier tests - exactly!  The first thing on the test was a matching - the names of the music periods to match with the dates.  I compared it to the first test and both columns were the same!!  No way, this is too easy!!  The 2nd section was also right off an earlier unit test!!  In spite of this, I could hear all this paper shuffling and page turning from all over the room.  That was hard to believe since all I'd seen so far was straight from earlier tests.  I couldn't help but think, is it possible that other students didn't bring their old tests???????  I was surprised at how fast I went through the test!  There were a few times I had to go back through notes I had taken during class to find things that had not appeared on past tests, but most was easy to find on the old tests.  I was the first person to finish the test; that never happens!  I turned in my test then packed up my notes and as I was leaving all the other students were shuffling through messy piles of papers.  I just find it so hard to believe that nobody else got their notes organized and in order.  Oh well, it's not my problem!!  I am just glad that the class is over!!  Now I can focus all my attention on the classes that count for my career - the respiratory therapy classes.  I now have a humanities credit so I am set for life!! 
Soooooo, that's that!! 

Runner Nerd
aces final exams!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Well, that was interesting

I have mentioned my dumb music class this summer; I can't become a respiratory therapist without taking a class from a list of classes that qualify as a humanities credit. 
Today there was a report due, it was a jazz report.  We were given a list of jazz musicians to choose from and guidelines for the project.  We also had to give a presentation on the musician.  The one thing the professor said was, "Do not stand up here and just read your paper".  He said that it wasn't necessary to make a power-point but to have something visual, such as a picture.  We were also to play some music from the musician.  Sounds simple.  Well....must be it wasn't so simple because six or seven of the students stood up there and just read their papers.  I was beginning to get worried after the first two students just stood up there and read their papers.  I started to think I had misunderstood; I wondered if I was going to be the only one with slides.  There were others with slides; I wasn't nuts!  My presentation rocked!!  I had slides, I was prepared, I knew the material so I did not just read from a paper or from the slides.  I had clips of songs in my power-point.  I better get a better  grade than the paper readers. 
Oh, the funniest thing from class tonight - When the professor said it was time to begin class, he started passing out tests.  The young man behind me said, "what?  I didn't know about that".  Hmmmm....I seem to remember that it's right there on the syllabus: 
Mon. 6/11   Test Chapters 23,24,25   Jazz reports due  Oral presentations
Sometimes it just amazes me.  I always check the syllabus for assignments, test dates, etc.  I also make a master calendar with the dates from all of my classes.  I print out a simple calendar from a website and put the due dates, test dates, etc from all the classes so I can just look at it and see everything.  How can you not know that there is a test in a class???? 

OK, I'm done now.  I'm glad that this report and presentation are done.  Only one more class next Monday and this class is done!!!!  
Tomorrow is a long day of respiratory classes so I'm off to bed now.

Runner Nerd
follows directions on projects

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My kind of weather and my time of year!!!!

YESSSSSS!!!!!  I loved today!!  The high temp was 91 degrees!  I even got to go for a run today!  I have to admit that I, like anyone else, do not run as well when it's this hot.  I ran slower than usual and sweat more than usual!  I just love the sunshine and the feeling of 1 layer of shorts and sleeveless shirt!  In the middle of winter while wearing layers of long running clothes, I long for these days. 
At 7am, I looked at the weather thingy on my ipod and it said 70 degrees with the high reaching 91.  I thought to myself that I should get going before the temp gets too much higher but...I didn't quite make it!!  It was after 10 before I got going.  (and, yes, it was 90 by then.)  
It was fun while it lasted and then it was back home to get working on a project for the music class.  I got it done, yippie!  I also worked on some other homework for that class.  What a way to ruin a beautiful day.  Being the world's oldest college student requires sacrifice. 
It's close to my favorite time of the year, the time when it's light out super early and still light out between 9:30 - 9:45 pm!!  Tonight I noticed that it was still a tiny bit light out at 9:30. That's the great thing about living on the western side of a time zone!!

I am down to 6 months until I graduate!!  I'm excited and it won't come soon enough!  Until then, I have to just keep at it no matter how hard it is to stay focused. 

Runner Nerd
sweaty but smart

Saturday, June 9, 2012

No recess

Today was a beautiful, sunny, warm day.  It was one of those days when you just wanted to be outdoors. For me, the world's oldest college student, there was no recess today.  I had to work on a paper for my dumb music class.  I went to the college to print some articles, stopped at the grocery store for a few things, and I was headed back home to work on the paper.  The library was deserted today; I think it's the first time it's ever been quiet in there!!  I was probably the only college student doing homework today.  I started the paper yesterday but it wasn't finished.  After 5 hours, it was finally finished!!  All I have to say is, seriously??? I need this to be a respiratory therapist????  (this class is my required humanities credit)  Tomorrow I have to get an oral presentation together.  It won't take too long.  I'm going to make a few powerpoint slides and write out a few highlights from my paper.  I found on Amazon in the mp3 downloads that you can preview songs.  The previews are about 30 seconds long.  I'm going to use that as my audio examples of my composers music. 

I didn't even run on this really great day.  Even though I still have work to do tomorrow for this dumb project for this dumb class, I do hope to get a run in . 

Runner Nerd
had to stay inside all day

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The things I do!!

Today I volunteered for the local running store at the expo of a half marathon taking place tomorrow.  I dressed as the Statue of Liberty to hand out brochures of an upcoming patriotic themed race!!  My running store of choice, Running Fit, is known for crazy, weird events and this is going to be one of them!  They are attempting to set a Guinness record of the most running Statues of Liberties!  Running Fit has purchased 1500 of these costumes and hope to get 1500 people to run in them.  It was fun and kids wanted to have their picture taken with me!!!  A couple people just took pictures!  I also ended up giving directions to restrooms, pointing out where the the race numbers were posted, where to head to pick up packets, stopped people heading in without getting their bib number from the wall first!  I was very useful in spite of my silly appearance!!
One of the kids who got his picture taken with me!       

The things I do!! 
After the expo, I went over to Bandemer Park to run a few miles.  My heel hurt when I started running so I ended up having to walk a half mile to get my heel and ankle stretched out so I could run.  I ran so slow.  The trail along the headrace is now paved.  I wish they had left it dirt; it was my 2nd favorite part of my favorite 4.5 mile route.  Oh well.  After coming out of Argo woods and along the boardwalk back into Bandemer Park, as I came under the highway bridge - there was a car laying upside down in the grass alongside Barton Drive.  The people were all out and were ok.  That was unexpected!!  I finished up and headed home. 
Tomorrow I am walking a CF walk (cystic fibrosis) with some of my respiratory therapy classmates and our teachers.  I'm not sure what the distance is; I don't know if it's a 5K or just a mile or some other distance.  I once walked a 5K and it was harder than running one. 
I didn't do any homework today - not very nerdlike. 
Runner Nerd
does silly things

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Running to Save 2nd Base

Another Race for the Cure is in the books!  This is one of my favorite events.  It's for a good cause, of course, but it's just fun!  The Susan G Komen Race for the Cure event in Detroit is one of the largest at over 30,000 participants.  It's also the flattest 5K course I know of!  My 5K PR was set there!  I PR'd there 3 years in a row (4 if my first 5K counts as a PR!).  I don't run anywhere near 23 minutes anymore but I have to say that this will most likely be the fastest 5K I run this summer.  It began raining near the end of my race so I didn't stick around very long afterward.  I usually wander around looking at the exhibits and getting lots of free samples from the sponsors and get my picture taken (which I can download for FREE a few days later!).  But, the rain was chilly so I got a banana, water and cut diagonally across the big parking lot where everything is set up.  I did manage to pick up a PINK grocery type bag and a really cool pink and lime green pen and got a bagel from Panera Bread!!  I made my way back to the Fox Theater parking garage where I always park, and left.  This was the fastest I've ever made it from the garage to the highway entrance!  That 30-45 minutes that I didn't wander around really made a difference.  It usually takes forever to get from the garage to the highway ramp which is a very short distance.
One of the t-shirts on display!

walkers finishing up (taken from Fox parking garage)

No baseball; Today, Comerica Park is hosting the Race for the Cure!

I have more pictures but it won't upload them so either I will have to make another post or try to edit this later.  I wanted to post a picture of the big Tiger sporting a pink ribbon!
After returning from the race, I had to get back to my task at hand: getting ready for hosting my family and other friends on Memorial Day.  Since becoming the world's oldest college student, my house is quite possibly a candidate for the messy house show on TV but I am working on that since inviting everyone over after the big parade in my hometown.  It's looking much better; I even discovered a dining room table under a mountain of textbooks, folders, notebooks and much unopened and should have been thrown away mail!!  What's more important - a 4.0 GPA or a clean house?????  That's easy - the 4.0, of course!!!!  A true nerd settles for nothing less!!!!

Runner Nerd

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Decluttering turns up treasure

As I was sorting through old school stuff (junk?) on the book shelves I came across a folder of assignments from one of the English classes I had to take as a pre-requisite for my program.  I found an assignment - a bucket list we had to do.  It had 100 lines and we had to fill in all of them.  I remember just coming up with stuff to get the lines filled in.  It was interesting to read it now, nearly 2 years later!  The first thing I wrote was - do an Ironman triathlon!!  (that won't happen this year or next!)  One of the things I wrote on this list has been on my mind since then and I am going to make it happen this summer.  The 5th thing on the list was - go flying with my Dad again.  My Dad is an airplane pilot and has been all of my life.  I've flown with him many times over the years.  When we were kids, we'd leave at sunrise and fly to Mackinac Island and spend the day and return before dark.  It's been many years since I've flown with my Dad.  My dad is now 75 and is still licensed but I know he won't be forever, so I want to fly with him again while it is still possible.  He does not own an airplane anymore but he does have access to several and does still fly quite often in the summers. 
Another thing I wrote on the list just for something to write was - collect all of the state quarters.  I remember writing that!  I actually did begin to collect them when that program first started and they released a new state quarter every 4 months or 6 months or whatever interval it was.  I know there is a little box around here somewhere with the ones I kept.  I have begun to collect them again!  It's more of a challenge now!  Funny thing - the first one I looked at had Mt. Rushmore on it and visiting Mt. Rushmore was the 3rd item on my bucket list!!  That was one of my serious entries as I have always wanted to go there.  I am definitely going to do it within the first 2 years after graduating.  In the same class, I wrote my informative essay on the history of Mt. Rushmore; I knew what it was but I never really knew how it came to be.  Since writing that essay, I want more than ever to go. 
Another item on my bucket list - number 2 - qualify for and run the Boston Marathon!!  If that's going to happen, I'm going to have to get back into shape and run a lot better than I do these days!!  I turn 50 this year but my qualifying time stays at 4 hours with the new changes.  Even if I did qualify, I'm sure it would be within a minute or two at the most so I'd have little chance of getting in anyway with the new order of registration procedures.  Oh well. 
I threw away most of the stuff in the folder but I kept the bucket list and the Mt. Rushmore paper. 

Runner Nerd
state quarter collector

Friday, April 27, 2012

Another semster in the books!

Took my last final exam on Monday so this semester is now over!!  I've been spending the last few days just goofing off and pretending that I'm not a college student!! I have to start another semester on Monday.
My teachers had posted the grades and I knew I had all 4.0 but today the grades were actually posted on my "report card".  I logged in and all I saw were FOURS!!!!!! 
I am such a nerd!!! 
Since my clinicals ended last Thursday, I was able to go to my Tuesday night running group this week!! 
I haven't been running much lately because I've been having some symptoms of planter fasciitis.  The worst thing ever was when I had to stand at clinical.  I could run around the hospital all day but as soon as I had to stand in one place for any amount of time, even a few minutes, my heel hurt extremely, horribly, unbearably bad.  (How's that for an overuse of adjectives!!!)  I won't have clinical this summer so hopefully I can get rid of this.  I may have to go to the runner injury clinic on the 1st Thursday of May. 
At least I am still a nerd! 

Runner Nerd
more nerd than runner

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Twinkie race

Oh my! The things I must do for a good cause!! 
Today I participated in a race to benefit the ALS foundation (Lou Gherig's disease).  My Grandfather had ALS many years ago and died when my Mom was in high school.  This particular race takes place every year on April 1 no matter what day of the week it falls on.  I ran it 4 years ago on a Tuesday evening.
The idea is to get a minute deducted for eating a twinkie before and halfway though the race.  I got my twinkie and headed to the start line where you get a mark on the tear off tag of the race bib for eating the twinkie. I couldn't help but think that this is the only time you will ever see a bunch of runners eating twinkies!! 
The last time I ate a twinkie was at this run 4 years ago and before that, I estimate that it had been at least 25 years since I had eaten a twinkie.  My kids say they can't remember me ever buying them.  My son says he had eaten some in elementary school and my daughter doesn't think she has ever eaten one!
I remember 4 yrs ago I thought the twinkies were going to be soooooo good but they weren't!   This year there was a homemade twinkie contest.  I tried a couple samples of the homemade twinkies and they were really good!! 
After the race, a friend and I ran 3 more miles and got back to the main part of the park just in time for age group awards to given out!  We both got 2nd in our age groups!  There were also twinkie finisher medals! 
Will run for twinkies! 

Twinkie medal

Friday, March 30, 2012

She's all mine!!!

one of our first few days together

Today I made the last payment on my Jeep!!  We should take a road trip to celebrate but that's not going to happen right now.  Being the world's oldest college student means a group project to finish up for Monday and then another project due in a couple weeks then finals. 
My daughter has already asked me if I'm going to get a new vehicle after I graduate and start working so she can have the Jeep for grad school.  Don't think so, kid!!  I'm hoping to enjoy at least a couple of years of no car payments. 
In other matters - Sunday is April 1, commonly known as April Fools Day.  I'm doing a silly 3 mile run called the Twinkie run!  It's always held on April Fools day no matter the day it falls on.  (weekdays it's held at 7 pm)  The twinkie part is that each mile loop you have to grab a twinkie and eat it and you get a minute deducted from your time!!  The proceeds of this year's run go to the ALS foundation.  My Grandpa had ALS and died when my Mom was in high school.  Eat twinkies and support ALS research, how can I not participate!!!!  I haven't eaten a twinkie since I did this run about 4 years ago and before that it had been at least 15 years since I'd had one.  After the run I am planning on running some more miles on the trails in the park to burn off twinkie calories!!
Runner Nerd