Day 1 of 12

This morning was my last day of leading postpartum PT.  I’m going to miss working with the Soldiers, but I’m not going to miss the program itself.  We did some pushups and situps and then went for a 2 1/2 mile run.  But I went 2.75 miles (in 28:03, 10:12 pace) because I circled back to make sure everyone was doing ok.  It was chilly this morning – about 35 with a windchill of 29.  But it was a good run.  Then after I had been home to change and eat breakfast and stuff, Ryan drove me to work so he could take the van to Tucson for his VA appointment.  Work wasn’t bad for a Monday, although it was day 1 of a 12 day workweek that is upon us.  I got some admin stuff done this morning and then played on the computer (hotmail and facebook) during lunch.  After lunch we had rehearsal for the Holiday Concert – full band for the first half and then sectionals.  After rehearsal, I had more stuff to take care of, as the Assistant Team Leader acting as the Team Leader (I got your back, AK!)  I ended up with Plan C for a ride home.  Plan A was to ride home with H and B, but they were ready to go well before I was so I told them to go ahead.  Plan B didn’t know she was Plan B until I texted her to see if she was still at work and found out she wasn’t.  So I went with Plan C, and J gave me a ride home.  Once home, I got changed and went for another run to finish out my planned mileage for the day.  I went another 3.04 miles in 28:40, a 9:26 pace!!  It felt great to be going fast yet again.  Of course, it was still chilly – 39 with a windchill of 30.  It was a great way to end my day, though!  When I got back home, Ryan was home and had picked Robert up from Child Time on his way. I  made chicken nuggets, mashed taters, and corn for supper, and then before Robert went to bed, he and I had some pumpkin pie for dessert.  After he was in bed, I got some stitching done.

Today’s high:  42
Current:  27

First Sunday of Advent

This morning I went to church twice although the choir only sang at the 1100 service.  I did a trombone solo for special music during the 0800 service.  I’m glad I live 1/4 mile from church – I didn’t get up until almost 0710 and I was meeting my accompanist at 0730 to warm up with him.  The service went well and so did my solo.  Everyone enjoyed it.  After the service, I came home for a while and got breakfast and then my guys and I headed back to the church so I could be there for choir warm ups at 1030.  The second service went well, also, and I think people enjoyed our choir anthem.

After church we went out for lunch and then to Lowe’s to find a digital timer for our Christmas lights.  Once we got home, we got laundry from last time folded and more laundry washing.  Robert did more cleaning in his room and I made my weekly phone call home to Mom & Dad.  I got a lot of cross stitching done today as well.

Today’s high:  55
Current:  40

A Clean Living Room!!

This morning was a no alarm clock morning for us.  It was my first time sleeping in in a very long time.  It felt good, even though I was up by 0830.  I brought Robert to Child Time and we got a lot of stuff done today.  We got the living room cleaned, but took a break around lunchtime and went on the Harley to the A & W in Benson.  Nothing like going a half hour to eat lunch.  It was a nice ride even though it was a little chilly.  But that’s what dressing in layers is for.  Once we got back home, Ryan went and got Robert from Child Time and we finished cleaning.  Robert did 15 minutes of cleaning and then he got to play Wii for 15 minutes and repeat.  I think he did an hour or an hour and 15 minutes of cleaning.  He still has some work to do in his bedroom, but we definitely made progress today.  I got the living room vacuumed really good and we got our Christmas tree up!!  It’s a pre-lit one, so the lights are on it, but we’ll decorate it tomorrow.  I ordered pizza from Papa Johns for dinner and we had a picnic on the floor – since we actually have a floor again.  I even got some crocheting done this evening!  It was a really good day.

Today’s high:  59
Current:  39

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I started this morning by heading to Tucson with K.  We ran the Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic 5K.  It was a beautiful day for a race – about 45 degrees at race start.  I opted for a long sleeve shirt and my running skirt and gloves.  The course was a cross country course, complete with several hay bales to jump over and 3 water crossings.  We did the loop twice.  I didn’t look at my Garmin at all during the race, except to verify that the 1 and 2 mile markers were indeed at 1 and 2 miles.  I finished in 30:50, a 9:55 pace!  This was my 3rd fastest 5K and it felt great!!  While I was running, I was thinking I was maybe at a 10:30 pace and I was pleasantly surprised at the end.  I ended up 411 of 773 females and 53 of 102 in my age group.  I’m very happy with that!!

After I got home, I played Memory Match with Robert, and he beat me very soundly.  And, no, I didn’t let him win either.  Then I checked e-mail and did other computer stuff before we headed to T’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.  My friend M was there with his family (wife and 2 kids) and L was there as well.  It was a lot of fun and T’s daughter and M’s son and Robert all had a good time playing together.  M’s daughter hung out with us adults.  There was tons of food, and so much food that no one noticed that the green bean casserole never made it to the table.  I did take some home to eat over the weekend.  

Once home from dinner (we were there for 4 hours or so), we just relaxed and I got some more stitching done (I stitched in the car on the way home from Tucson as well).

The only thing that could have made the day better would have been being with my family in Michigan.  But at least I’ve got good friends here to spend time with, and I’ll be home in Michigan in less than a month and I’m definitely looking forward to that!!

Today’s high:  50
Current:  37

Relaxing Sunday

This morning was a double choir Sunday, but my body needed sleep after yesterday so I didn’t make it to the early service.  I did get up in time for the 1100 service.  The service and our anthem (And the Glory of the Lord from Handel’s Messiah) went really well.  Then it was home for a little bit before heading to Vinny’s for Robert soccer team’s post season party.  It was a lot of fun – the kids playing and the parents all chatting together.  An interesting thing – all 4 of the kids there (several team members couldn’t make it) had both a mom AND a dad present!  Not very common these days.  We all had lots of pizza and wings and then Coach presented each of the kids with a trophy.  And then there was a cake.  But it wasn’t really a cake – it was cupcakes all frosted together to look like a cake.  Pretty neat!

After the party was over, we headed home to watch the final NASCAR race of the season.  Robert’s favorite driver, #48 Jimmie Johnson won his 5th championship in a row!  It was a really good race to end the season.  I got quite a bit of stitching done and then I called Mom at 1730and we talked for a while.  After I was done on the phone, we went to Denny’s for supper.  Ryan had a sandwich and Robert and I both had dessert.

Today’s high:  62
Current:  52

Race Report: El Tour de Tucson

We had 3 girls in a hotel room overnight, since we had to pick up our race packets the evening before.  There was a king sized bed which was shared by B and K and then I slept on the floor.  It really wasn’t that bad.  We were able to sleep in in the morning until about 8 and that was really nice.  K and I went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and had some really yummy cinnamon french toast with eggs and bacon.  B chose to eat at the hotel.  After breakfast we just lounged around the hotel room for a while and I got a little bit of stitching done before we headed to the 40 mile start point.

I was amazed at the number of people there.  It really wasn’t any different than the start of a running race, but when you add in all the bicycles, there’s a whole different level of scary.  K and I were both nervous since it was our first bike race.  Eventually the race started and we were off.  For a little bit anyway.  My back tire decided to go flat at .85 miles in.  I was so thankful for the Bike Patrol guys.  Two of them stopped and checked out my tire.  They found the hole in my tube and got it patched for me and I was back on my way.  K waited for me although I had told her she didn’t need to.  I stopped my Garmin during the repairs.  Soon we were back on the road again.  We stopped at the first fuel point so I could fill up my water bottles.  I had figured there would be water at the start, but there wasn’t, so I started the race with an empty bottle on my bike with gatorade powder in it and 4 empty bottles on my fuel belt.  

We got a really good pace going, and since we had both fluids and fuel with us, we didn’t need to stop at fuel points. It was quite windy at times, and it was mostly crosswinds and/or headwinds, but we still managed to make pretty good time.  But around mile 17 troubles struck again.  K went to unclip from her pedal, but her pedal decided to come off the bike and remain on her shoe.  Again the Bike Patrol was awesome and helped her get the pedal back on, and again I stopped my Garmin.  It kept coming off during the rest of the ride, but K figured out how to get it back on while she was riding.  We stopped at the next fuel station after we hit 20 miles and refilled all our water bottles – K’s 2 on her bike and my bike one and 3 on my fuel belt.  Yes, 3.  I lost one during the ride, but it’s ok.  I can buy replacement bottles.  After that water stop, we didn’t stop again, but we did stop a few times.  Most of the intersections were just cop controlled and the cyclists had the right of way, but at the more major intersections we were stopped to allow the cross traffic through.  

The closer we got to the end, the more my legs didn’t want to cooperate with standing while waiting at the intersections.  With 2 miles left, K left me.  I’m ok with her doing that – that’s how it usually is in races.  Like with 5Ks, she’ll leave me about the last 1/2 mile.  Ryan and Robert were waiting just before the finish line and it’s always great to see them.  I crossed the finish line and I was DONE.  I got off my bike so they could take off my timing chip and mark my race number and I almost fell over.  I did manage to hobble through the finish shoot and find Ryan and Robert.  We went and got my medal and met up with K there.  B and her other friend D found us there as well.  The three of them went and checked their bikes and then we all went in our van back to the start point so B and K could get their vehicles.  We said our goodbyes and they headed back to get their bikes and my guys and I headed to Red Robin for dinner.

My official time (chip time) was 4:12:39 and I finished 888 out of 1154 finishers for the 40 mile event.  My Garmin time was 3:44:13 with an average pace of 10.9 mph.  Total repair time for our 2 issues was about 28 minutes.  During the ride, I burned 1845 calories.  I had a total ascent of 2041 feet and total descent of 2442 feet.  Overall it was an awesome experience.  It was an absolutely beautiful day – sunny and a few puffy clouds.  It was interesting watching how the mountains changed throughout the afternoon as the sun and shadows moved.  The high temp for the day was 76.

Carinals Game, Relaxing Day off, and back to work

Saturday Robert had a soccer game and then we tried to change the brakes on the van.  But we had a lug nut that refused to come off – it was stripped and Ryan spent probably 4-5 hours trying to get it off.

Sunday I had an early formation and one of my friends from the band picked me up so Ryan could keep working on the van.  We headed up to Phoenix on a charter bus to play halftime at the Arizona Cardinals (pro football) game.  We got to watch the 1st quarter before we went back to the bus to get our uniforms and instruments and get changed.  Once halftime started, we marched out on the field playing "American Soldier" and then once we were in place and the Commander and Drum Major (not me – I marched trombone for this since we were short on trombonists) had changed places, we played the Armed Forces Medley.  Then we stepped off during the Army Song, like we normally do during ceremonies and marched off the field.  Then we changed out of uniform and headed home.  We spent about 6 1/2 hours on a bus for a 6 1/2 minute gig.  But it was a lot of fun, and you actually got to see me a little bit on TV – not during halftime because they had to do the blah-blah-blah commentary stuff, but as we were getting lined up in the end zone just before halftime started!  And I got 5 1/2 hours of cross stitching done on the bus (I read the rest of the way home as it was too dark to stitch).

Monday was a day off, but I still had to go out to post as I had an appointment and a visit to the lab for blood work and my allergy shots.  Once I got home, I read for a while and did my e-mail and stuff and then I went and got a 90 minute massage.  That was really nice and much needed.  And only $50!!!  Robert had soccer practice, and then we went to Golden Corral for their Military Appreciation dinner.  It was nice eating for free again!

Tuesday was a long day.  I got called in to work at 1 in the morning by my First Sergeant.  Don’t ask why because I can’t really talk about it, but 1SG needed some info that only I have access to because it’s on a system online and we had to fight for even me to get that access back when I started working in admin.  At least he gave me the morning off so I could get some sleep.  But it was probably half hour or so after I got home that I was able to even go to bed and then I tossed and turned the rest of the night.  I got up briefly about 0720 to make sure Ryan was up to get Robert to school and then I finally slept a little until about 0945.  I got up and ready and did e-mail and Facebook and stuff before heading to work for 1300.  The rest of the day wasn’t too bad, but I was exhausted.  Once I got home from work, I went for a 4.71 mile run in 47:45, a 10:09 pace!  That’s super fast for me for that distance, but between the stress of the day and just really getting into a good feel for the run, it was nice.  We went to Taco Bell for dinner.

This morning was PT and then home for a super quick change.  Ryan and I went to a duty day marriage retreat that the Chaplains on post put on.  We talked about communicating  and how to be better listeners and stuff.  We got some really good stuff out of it.  The Chaplains do these duty day marriage retreats about once a month or once every other month, and then they also do weekend ones at nice resorts once ever few months.  We’re going to start going as much as we can – it’s all free.  Not only is it a day off work, but it’s a good way to help enrich our marriage.  After we picked Robert up from Child Time, we went to Denny’s as I had a 20% off coupon that was about to expire.  Then I finally made it to choir practice again this evening.  It’s been a while, but they understand that life gets in the way sometimes.

Today’s high:  66
Current:  48

A day on the Harley!

This morning I got Robert to school and then headed out for a 6.32 mile run.  It took me 1:08:17, a 10:48 pace.  I must have found an inner speed demon or something – miles 3-5 were at an average pace of 9:55!!  It’s been a VERY long time since I’ve run that far at that fast a pace.  And it felt really good!  After I was done running and had gotten a shower and checked my e-mail and stuff, Ryan and I headed out on the Harley.  We went to the Bisbee Breakfast Club for lunch and then we went to Douglas just for somewhere to go.  I got a few pictures of the Mexican border – that’s the closest I’ve ever been to Mexcio, and as close as I can get since it’s off limits to us at Ft. Huachuca right now.  It was a beautiful day for a ride even though it was a little chilly.  But that’s what dressing in layers is for.  Once we got back home, we ran a few local errands and then went and picked Robert up from Child Time and went to Panda Express for supper.  

Today’s high:  60
Current:  43

Happy Veteran’s Day!!

This has been Veterans Day marathon week.  Tuesday morning was the earliest morning of the week, but we had about an hour and twenty minute drive to the school where a ceremony was being held.  It was a nice ceremony, and then we got fed lunch after.  YUM!!!  Wonderful sandwiches and some kind of squash soup and homemade apple crisp AND homemade ice cream for dessert.  All done by the culinary arts students at the school.  Once we got back to the band hall, we had a few minutes and then a full band ceremonial music rehearsal for gigs later in the week, followed by marching band practice, again for a gig later in the week.  I got about 2 1/2 hours of stitching done during the drive to and from the gig.

Wednesday morning was another early formation, but not quite so early.  We headed to another school about 45 minutes away for another ceremony.  The guest speaker at this one was a retired Air Force General who had also been an astronaut!!!  And after the ceremony, he came and shook the hands of all the band members and thanked US!  So now I’ve shaken the hand of a real astronaut.  Very cool.  And again, we got fed after the gig.  LOTS of really good brunch foods.  I got more stitching done during the drive.  Once back to the band hall, we had our usual hour and a half lunch break, and then after lunch was vehicle inspections, details, and a safety briefing since we’re going into a 4-day weekend.  I got some admin work done as well.

This morning was the Veterans Day parade here in town, and I was the Drum Major for the band.  The parade went really well – probably several thousand people along the parade route!  And then we had a ceremony in the park, but I got to just stand in the back and watch the ceremony.  Since I didn’t march with an instrument, I didn’t have one to play for the ceremony.  After the ceremony, we were done and headed back to post.  After I had been home for a bit, my guys and I headed to Applebees and met up with K and had a nice lunch – and it was free!  We only waited about 50 minutes to be seated – not bad at all.  And they had a really good system to get people in – they handed out numbers as well as taking your name down on the waiting list.  Then they just called the number.  Even Robert’s kid’s meal was free – he ordered the 2 mini cheeseburgers and they tasted really funny.  Even Ryan tried them and agreed with Robert.  So we only paid for our drinks and Ryan’s extra fries.  I must clarify. . .  We didn’t just not pay for Robert’s meal.  Ryan told the manager and he took it off our bill.

We came home and relaxed for a while and I finally checked my e-mail and stuff for the first time today.  And then we went to Chili’s for free dinners.  We had a great meal with the three of us and B and K.  I ate way too much today, but it was a very good day and great time with friends/fellow veterans!!

Today’s high:  62
Current:  46