A Surprise Visit (and the week leading up to it)

I’m in Michigan right now.  I flew in yesterday to Milwaukee and then drove to Mom & Dad’s to surprise everyone at my cousin’s baby shower this afternoon.  I called Mom & Dad during the drive yesterday and then everyone else found out today.  The look on my cousin’s face when she saw me walk in was priceless!!!  Everyone was glad to see me and the baby shower was a lot of fun even though it was a whole bunch of people (other than family and a few other familiar faces) that I didn’t know but who knew me (or at least knew me as "Sally’s Daughter").  My cousin got a lot of great stuff for her baby girl.

The rest of the day was just spent relaxing and Mom & Dad took me to dinner.  We had sauna this evening, and I always enjoy that!!

And now for the week leading up to today. . .

Sunday –   We didn’t go to church.  I had something in my eye and it was tearing up and kept wanting to close and make me sleep as that’s how eyes heal themselves when they are injured.  I did manage to get some stitching in and we just kind of chilled around the house and watched football.  My Green Bay Packers are going to the Super Bowl!!!

Monday – Monday ended up being a short work day after PT.  For PT we did a pyramid of pushups and situps – 1 to 10 and back down and then start going up again when you finished so everyone was still going.  Then we headed out to the track for a little while.  It was only 36 out, but it was 50 degrees warmer than it was at Ft. Drum at the time.  Our Commander gave us the afternoon off if we had played at the retirement ceremony Friday afternoon, so I was only at work for a few hours and didn’t really do much.  I don’t know that much at all got done in our admin office, other than our few weekly/daily things we do.  In the afternoon, I went and got a manicure and pedicure and my toenails are now green for the Packers!! 

Tuesday – It was cold and windy Tuesday morning, so I just took accountability of the Postpartum Soldiers and sent them on their way.  Work wasn’t bad – just admin office all day, plus getting my weekly allergy shots and taking care of some stuff at finance. 

Wednesday – We worked the girls at PT this morning.  We did 3 sets (45 seconds, 30 seconds, 30 seconds) of the following: regular pushups, regular situps, butterflies, walking lunges, wide arm pushups, frog kicks, military press, walking squats, close hand pushups, and crunches.  Great workout led by K!!  During the morning at work, my co-Equal Opportunity Leader and I met with the Specialists and Sergeants to discuss any issues they may have and then we had a class after lunch.  That class sucked any remaining energy out of me, so I wasn’t very productive after that.  Choir practice in the evening went well.

Thursday –   Thursday went by fast.  No PT, so I got to sleep in some.  The morning was some Soldier training time and then we had Brass Band rehearsal to dust the cobwebs off everything.  It wasn’t bad, but definitely needs work before any gigs.  After lunch we had another class and then we had marching band practice.  I was THE trombone section.  The secondary Drum Major ran the rehearsal since we have a couple of ceremonies coming up that he will be Drum Majoring because I have a class that I’ll be attending.  After marching band, I did a little bit of work in my admin office and then headed home.

Friday Travel day.  But I did go to PT for a little bit.  After we brought Robert to school, Ryan drove me to the airport in Tucson.  My flight from Tucson to Denver was really nice and not anywhere near full.  The flight was Denver to Milwaukee wasn’t bad either, but it was a full flight.  Once in Milwaukee I got my rental car and got on the road.  The first about 45 minutes were really good and then the roads started being snowy.  I went between 40 and 45 most of the way home and the about 5 1/2 hour trip took me almost 7.  I finally got to Mom & Dad’s about 0240 this morning.

Today’s high:  17
Current:  16

Ice Breaker 10K Race Report & then the rest of the week prior

It was a beautiful morning for a race. Although before I left home, I changed clothes twice. I couldn’t decide between my skirt or my tights. I started in my skirt, changed into tights, and then a fellow runner convinced me to wear my skirt. I’m glad I did. Although I did put pants and a jacket on while I was getting my timing chip and everything. As races on Ft. Huachuca usually go, there were tons of awesome volunteers and everything goes pretty smoothly. The race started after the playing of the National Anthem. The first 3 miles were uphill, including Heritage Hill which had a 250 foot elevation gain over a mile and a half. I wanted to walk a few times, but I just kept telling myself "Run to the next telephone pole." That got me up the hill, and I was even able to encourage a few other runners that I passed going up the hill! Luckily, what goes up, must come down!

So after I got to the top of Heritage Hill (and walked through that water point), it was pretty much all downhill from there. I passed a few more people on the second half of the course, part of which was part of our PT test run route, so it was nice running on familiar ground. I stuck around for the awards ceremony after, as I always do at races even though I rarely win age group stuff (I’ve had the very rare 3rd place age group finish). I just like cheering for everyone else!  I finished the 6.28 (just a teeny bit long) in 1:09:39.  

The rest of the day we just kind lazed around the house before heading for supper out and shopping for new shoes for Robert and grocery shopping for the week.

And now back to the beginning of the week . . .

Tuesday – The Soldiers were upset at me at PT.  We did a couple light sets of pushups and situps and ran for 25 minutes.  They were upset because I was making them work out the day before a PT test.  Oh my!!  Oh well. . .  The rest of the work day wasn’t too bad – just admin stuff all day. 

Wednesday – K and I gave the Postpartum Soldiers a PT test this morning.  Most of them did really well for where they are on the program.  Some of them definitely need some work.  By the time we were done with height, weight, and body fat taping, it was after 0830.  I headed home to change and get ready for my one-year follow up with my allergist.  That went well and I’ll be continuing my allergy shots.  Then I headed to work for another easy day.  K and I ran 3.11 miles in 33:01 after work.  It was a good day to end the day and start the evening, and reenergized me for choir practice in the evening.  It was good to be back with my choir family finally.

Thursday –   No PT, so I got to walk Robert to school.  That’s always a good way to start the day.  Work was pretty boring again, but I made it through the day.  We did Soldier task training in the morning and learned how to/tested on finding our location on a map by using terrain association.  That was pretty easy.  The rest of the day was in my admin office.  After work, I went for a 4.16 mile run in 45:02.  I had planned on going longer, but I was short on time and had to pick Robert up from Child Time.  He enjoyed walking home with me.  

Friday – We ran Reservoir Hill for PT this morning – a workout I enjoy!  I don’t know that the Soldiers do so much, but that doesn’t matter.  After formation at work, we had a rehearsal for the ceremony in the afternoon.  Then we did good building clean ups and I did some admin work before our next formation.  One of our Soldiers reenlisted.  After that was done, we were done for the day, but I still had a little bit of work to do before I headed home for a while.  I got some crocheting done and finished a project I was working on before heading back to work.  We played at the quarterly Installation Retirement Ceremony.  The ceremony went well, and because of its location, I was able to read during the ceremony after the National Anthem was done.  The auditorium where it was held is very small and the band sits out in the hallway.  After the ceremony I headed home, picking Robert up from Child Time on my way.  We had a nice relaxing evening and pizza was delivered for dinner.

Today’s high:  69
Current:  51

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

We slept in this morning.  I was actually the first one up and had almost an hour to myself before Robert got up.  We had breakfast together and then I brought him to Child Time.  Ryan was up when I got back.  We lazed around for the rest of the morning and did computer stuff before heading to the Legion on the Harley.  The American Legion Riders did a MLK Day ride.  There were about 16 bikes and 20 or so riders.  We drove around Sierra Vista for a bit before heading out to Tombstone.  We stopped at the Tombstone Legion post for a little while and then headed to lunch.  The place we had wanted to go for lunch didn’t work out – their kitchen wouldn’t open for another 2 hours.  So we went to Big Nose Kate’s.  The day was a lot of fun.

Once we got home, I started undecorating the Christmas tree and Ryan went to get Robert on the bike.  Robert helped me undecorate when he got home.  We got it all done, and Ryan took the tree apart and put it in our new Christmas tree bag (which is WAY too big – I guess we need to find a smaller size next year).  We even got the box of decorations and the tree back into storage out in the shed.  After that was done, I made Robert a pb & j for supper (we were still full from our late lunch)  and I got the dishwasher unloaded.  Then we finally finished folding the laundry.  It sure felt good to finally sit and relax and I got a little bit of stitching done.  Off to bed now – back to PT and work tomorrow.

Today’s high:  75 (could possibly be a new record high!)
Current:  58

So it’s been another week

Monday – PT was sets of pushups and situps followed by a little over a 2 mile run.  Then the rest of the day at work was spent doing admin stuff.  I crocheted at lunch.

Tuesday – We took accountability at PT in the morning and then released the girls as we had a PT test scheduled for the next morning.  But I was feeling really miserable and I called and made a sick call appointment.  After formation, I took care of a few things and then headed home.  My MPT leader sent me home until my appointment time.  I kind of just relaxed and played on my computer before heading back for my afternoon appointment.  It was just REALLY bad allergies, but because of all the mucus and stuff, my doc was worried that it could easily turn into a bacterial something.  My left ear was about 50% plugged and my right ear about 75%.  She sent me to the lab for blood work to make sure it wasn’t anything bacterial (it turned out it wasn’t) and after the lab, I went to the pharmacy to get my drugs.  One of them was one pill that had the equivalent of 4 sudafed plus some other stuff.  Once home, I took my meds and ended up napping for a while.  I had already asked K if she would pick Robert up from Child Time so I wouldn’t have to be sick around all the kids and in case I was sleeping (which I was).  Robert always likes when she picks him up, so that wasn’t a problem.  Ryan doesn’t get done with class until 6, so that was the other reason I had K pick Robert up.  I did a little bit of crocheting in the evening, but I went to bed pretty early, despite the nap.

Wednesday – I was home all day since my doc put my on quarters for 48 hours.  Ryan let me sleep and he got Robert up and to school.  I woke up a little before he left for class.  I spent the day trying to drink water, being drugged up, and I took 2 naps.  I did get some crocheting done in between naps.  I was in bed fairly early again, but feeling much better.

Thursday – Back to work, and in a little early for a "mandatory briefing."  Well, it turned out to be a motivational speaker, Dr. Ron Archer.  He was an amazing speaker and his life story is just awesome.  You can read more about him at his website.  It was definitely a great way to start the day!  After a quick trip home to get a few things I had forgotten, it was off to the admin office.  I gathered up what needed to go to my higher-up and I headed over there.  I did some crocheting at lunch and then we had an early release before the 4-day weekend.  Early release is always a nice thing!  K and I went for a 4.16 mile run.  It was going to be closer to 6, but we cut it short at Child Time (instead of going almost home and then back to Child Time).  We picked Robert up and walked home with him.  He enjoyed that!

Friday – No work today thanks to the MLK holiday weekend.  I love being in the Army and getting 4 day weekends for every holiday!  After walking Robert to school, I just relaxed and played on my computer.  Around noon, Ryan and I headed out on the Harley and went to post so I could get my Army Service Uniform sizes.  Then we headed out to Bisbee for lunch at the Bisbee Grille.  It was a great ride and good time together.  Once home, we got Robert and had a nice relaxing evening.

Saturday  We had a very productive day.  I started off the morning with a 9.49 mile run with K.  It took us 1:56:30 – almost 45 seconds per mile slower than I was hoping for, but not a bad run despite it being slow.  Once home and showered and breakfasted, we headed outside and got all the Christmas decorations down AND put back into storage and we got more cleaning/organizing done in the garage.  Ryan took us to Burger King for dinner so that I didn’t have to cook.  I got some cross stitching done in the evening.

Sunday –   This morning we got to sleep in some.  Of course, I was still up by about 0815.  I had to be at church at 1030 for choir warm-ups and it was a really fun anthem this morning!  After church, we headed out to post for lunch at Jeannie’s Diner!!  It’s finally open again after being remodeled.  Same great food and prices, but lots nicer inside.  After lunch, we went to the PX for a little while and then to the commissary for a few groceries for the week.  We stopped at home quick so I could put the groceries away and then we went to Best Buy and Big Lots for a few other things we needed.  When we got home, I got most of the rest of my Christmas presents put away and we ended up going to KFC for dinner after I made my weekly phone call home to Mom & Dad.  After we got home and I got Robert to bed, I got some stitching done.

Today’s high:  69
Current:  53

Back to work and a great week of running!

Monday – I was still off on Monday and I got some stuff done around the house while Ryan went to Tucson for his weekly appointment.  I ran 5.36 miles in 58:09 (10:52 pace) and that was a good start to what would become a great week of running!  Robert went back to school and it was nice having some "me time".

Tuesday –  Back to work.  It really wasn’t as crazy in admin as I expected it to be.  It was almost slow.  I only had about a dozen or so e-mails in my in-box, and some of those were post related events that were in the past.  It was nice seeing all my friends again and hearing about everyone’s time of leave and with family.  I also started back leading Postpartum PT this morning.  We had a fun workout – we went around the circle and introduced ourselves – who we were, what unit we were with, how many years we’ve been in the Army (pushups or situps for the number), our children and their ages (more pushups or situps for the total of the ages), and something noteworthy that included a number (more exercising).  We alternated pushups and situps and probably did well over 150 of each.  But it was a lot of fun.  Then we ran on the track for the last 20 minutes.  I was able to complete 2.03 miles in 20:31 (10:07 pace).

Wednesday –   For PT we did 3 sets of pushups and situps for a total of 50 each and then we went for a 2.23 mile run.  It took me 24:40 (11:03 pace).  I spent the day sneezing and blowing my nose.  I had been about 3 weeks without my allergy shots and I was miserable (I got one on Tuesday).  I did get some stuff done in admin between kleenexes.  Well before the end of the day I had decided that I wouldn’t be running 4-5 miles after work and that choir practice probably wasn’t going to happen.  After we picked Robert up from Child Time, we went to McDonald’s for supper since I didn’t feel like cooking.

Thursday –   No Postpartum PT on Thursdays, so I got to sleep in a little bit and have my turn to walk Robert to school.  That’s always nice!  I was actually very productive at work today and even did some stuff that I normally do on Mondays.  Of course, now I don’t have to do it on Monday so I don’t know what I’ll do.  

Friday – Friday is our "long run" day for postpartum PT.  We went to Reservoir Hill and ran down the hill, back up, and a lap around the parking lot three times.  Once K and I were done (she’s helping me out with postpartum PT!), we took extra laps around the parking lot for extra mileage while the others finished.  We ran 2.92 miles in 34:39 (11:53 pace).  Back at the end of November, this hill was getting easy for me.  Not so much today.  Work wasn’t bad.  It was a civies day, so no uniform and that’s always nice.  And it was a half day, so that was nice too!  I met Ryan for lunch at our local Mexican restaurant and then after lunch we went for a bike ride!  It was a beautiful day for it.  After dinner and some stitching time, K and I went for a night run – we left about 2100 and went 5.34 miles in 1:00:04 (11:14 pace).  It was a nice calm evening and an awesome run – the first of 3 runs in a split 13-mile long run.  All part of training for the Ragnar Relay – Del Sol which is the end of February.

Saturday – I was out the door about 0815 for another 5.13 mile run.  It took me 59:11 (11:33 pace).   My legs were definitely a little tired from the 2 runs yesterday, but I need to get used to it for the relay.  I’ll be running 3 legs totaling just over 18 miles over the course of probably 30 or so hours.  After I got back from my run, I headed to the grocery store for a few things that Ryan needed for breakfast-making and a few things for dinner.  Ryan cooked scrambled eggs, sausage, and hashbrowns, and I toasted English muffins for a very yummy breakfast.  K joined us, and we always enjoy having her over.  In the afternoon we watched football and just relaxed around the house.  Then K and I headed back out about 1500 for another 3.63 mile run!!  It took us 40:02 (11:02 pace).  We were both kind of tired and it was windy as well.  But it was still a really good run – and you never know what kind of conditions you’ll have come race day, so you just train in whatever there is.  Ryan grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner and we had baked beans and coleslaw with them.  K joined us again and we had a great ending to our day.  My total running mileage for the week??  26.64 miles!!!  I know that’s not much compared to my one friend who ran 97 miles this week, but it’s good for me!!  It’s my third highest mileage week since 2007 when I was training for the NYC Marathon.

Sunday – I slept GOOD last night.  And long.  I didn’t make it up for the 0800 church service, but we all went to the 1100 service.  I sightread the choir anthem (they also sang at the 0800 service since it was a Festival Sunday).  It wasn’t all that difficult.  Ryan read the lessons.  And Robert provided his usual amount of giggles to the choir during the Children’s Sermon.  He’s always just so cute up there, and the things he says.  After church we went to lunch at Quiznos and then did a little bit of grocery shopping before heading home to watch the Green Bay Packers beat the Eagles!!!  What a great game!  I also got laundry done and some stitching.  After I called Mom and Dad, we had the roast and potatoes that I had put in the crock pot this morning before church.  It was really good.  Off to bed now.  Tomorrow begins another week.

Today’s high:  57
Current:  44

Happy New Year and Home Sweet Home

Wednesday morning we said our goodbyes and got on the road.  We had beautiful weather for driving and made it to Iowa City, IA, for the night. 

Thursday we again had beautiful traveling weather and headed to just north of Wichita, KS.  Once we got settled at the hotel, I went for a 4.39 mile run in 45 minutes on the treadmill.  It was a pretty good run considering it was a dreadmill.

Friday we headed west and the first couple of hours were AWFUL.  The roads were slushy and a little slippery and everyone was driving really dumb.  And then all of a sudden, it was like there had been a wall put up and the storm happened on one side of the wall and not the other.  The roads were completely dry and clear.  People were still driving dumb though.  We had great weather for the rest of the drive to Albuquerque, NM, where I hit up the dreadmill again for my 1st annual New Years Eve 5K.  I ran the 3.1 miles in 31:30.  It was a great way to end the year.  I called Mom & Dad and Rick shortly after midnight their time to wish them all Happy New Year.  We went to bed shortly after that.  

Saturday morning we checked out of the hotel and got the van loaded up for the last time this trip!  And we headed HOME!!!  We stopped in Deming, NM, at a little local steakhouse and had a really good lunch.  We got home around 6 or so and just took in the essentials.  After relaxing for a little bit, we headed to Denny’s for supper before settling in for the night – in our own beds!!  Oh, and the cats were glad to see me, but I think Shadow is still a little mad.  Callie has been following me around the house like a puppy dog.

Totals from the trip home and back:  5 nights in hotels in 4 different states, drove through/in 10 states, over 4450 miles including driving around while at Mom & Dad’s, and 78 hours of engine time.  But was it worth it?  DEFINITELY!!!

Today we slept in and skipped church.  After breakfast and computer time, we got the van unloaded and while Ryan and I were doing that, Robert got all the recycling picked up from the yard.  Our recycle bin blew over during the high winds last Thursday and left stuff all over the yard.  Once the van was empty, we made a menu for the week and I got a grocery list made and Ryan and I also got laundry started.  We got the 2nd load in the washer before we headed out to the commissary to do our grocery shopping.  It wasn’t too bad considering it’s payday weekend.  We got all kinds of stuff to get stocked back up.  After we had gotten all the groceries put away when we got home, Ryan and I got clothes folded and I got supper cooking.  We had chicken pot pies.  I called Mom and chatted with her for about 45 minutes and while talking, I got bread going in the bread machine and got another load of laundry folded.  After the phone call I got some stitching done.  Now for bed. . .

Today’s high:  54
Current:  38

It’s a new year with new goals for fitness.  I surpassed my running goal of 300 miles by almost 63 miles, so I upped the goal to 400 for this year.  My push ups and crunches goals remain the same from last year.  I’ll give them a second shot at success.  And then a countdown to my next major race – my first relay!  It’s a 200 mile relay with a 12 person team.  Each runner runs 3 legs over the course of the race.