Monday, October 10, 2011

Winner at.....Running a 5K!!

My dedication to fitness over the last few months has surely resulted in a lack of time for things like blogging, but the upside is that I participated in my first 5K.....and my second!

Not knowing what to expect, my adrenaline was in overdrive for the first race, which dawned on the first really cool day in September, but at least it was sunny and clear out. I started out great, if a little overzealous and quickly realized if I didn't slow down i was going to hyperventilate - especially when I hit that first big hill less than a quarter mile into the race. It felt like I hit a BRICK WALL.

Fortunately, I relaxed and got my breathing back under control pretty quickly, but was afraid to push myself after that for fear of getting over-gassed again and having to stop. I was COMMITTED to seeing it through. I'm happy to report my hard work and commitment paid off with a nice 2nd place finish in my age group. Yippee!!

Knowing i didn't perform to my full potential (yes - I wanted first place, not second!!), I signed right up for my second 5K less than a week later. I trained really hard in between and was sad for the day of the race to dawn with heavy rain. Still, I decided to go ahead and tough it out and boy am I glad I did. I think it helped that I knew more what to expect, but I pushed myself steadily at a fast, but reasonable pace from the get-go....and lo and behold - FIRST PLACE!!! Yes, it was only in my age group, but I finished a minute faster than in my previous race, did well overall and it was enough to give me renewed motivation to keep up my running routine throughout the winter.

Yay for WINNING!!! Hope everyone out there is having a super winning week!

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Terrifying (but funny!) Spider Encounter

I am so terrified of spiders it’s nearly debilitating, particularly living in the south where they are quite abundant. Unfortunately, my son has inherited this phobia and will often swear there are spiders crawling on him (in bed, at school, in the shower and in the car, especially) even though none are ever found. One night (of many) while driving home my son was in the back seat and began screaming that a spider was on him. He thrashed around and screeched to the point that I nearly wrecked. As soon as it was safe, I pulled over and got out of the car and searched around to see if I could find anything (better safe than sorry, right?). As usual, nothing turned up, so I was sure, once again, that he had imagined it.

The next morning, as I am leaving for work, I toss my briefcase behind the driver’s seat and hop in the car. As I lean slightly to the right to start the ignition I catch something glittery out of the corner of my eye and turn to see a GIANT web (barely an inch – okay a foot – from my face!!!) extending from the passenger seat across most of the back of the car, in the middle of which is the creepiest, hairiest, shudder-inducing-est spider I have ever seen!! Later research determined it to be a wolf spider, which makes sense. It was as scary as any wolf I can imagine. Roughly quarter-sized, this spider elicited a sound that surely made my neighbors’ hair stand up on the backs of their necks, which would have perfectly imitated mine. Needless to say, I was out of that car so fast someone could have drafted off my backside.

Late for work already, I began pacing as I considered my options. 1) Donate my car to charity and never have to deal with the aforementioned spider. Work would surely understand my indefinite absence, right? Hmm. Probably not. And new cars are expensive. 2) Call for Mr. WinneratLife to leave work and come home to handle spider disposal duty on my behalf (as usual). This would have been perfect if I’d thought he would agree. And not think I was crazy. 3) Atttempt spider removal on my own [shudder, shudder, shudder]. THIS was not a pleasant thought, but I quickly and sadly realized it was my only real option. HOW I was going to dispose of the spider then became the next big dilemma. No way was I putting my bare hand anywhere near this thing.

I decided that gloves were in order and that a shoe was the only thing I could allow to come in contact with the spider so off it came for squishing duty [SHUDDER]. With no intention of getting into the car to deal with this, I roll down all of the windows and stand as far away as possible as I reach in the car (with only one eye open) to swipe at said abominable spider. In hindsight, the RAID house and garden bug killer that is always on hand would have been a better solution. Alas, with danger so imminent, I was NOT thinking clearly. The spider quickly began to run up the web and away from my attempts to end its life. At this point I am panicked and yelping wildly as my teenaged daughter comes out of the house to leave for school. She immediately erupts into peals of laughter as I dance around the driveway screeching and shuddering like I have lost my mind. She then calmly takes the shoe from me, removes one of her own and, placing one shoe in front and one shoe behind the web, deftly squishes the spider then pulls the spider and web free from the car. MY HERO!!! Who would have thought a daughter of mine could be so brave and fearless!! Of course, I still wasn’t happy to have to get into the car after having a HUMONGOUS spider in there for so long. Sadly, Mr. W.A.L. would not agree to trade in the car based solely on my spider encounter. Thankfully, weekly RAID treatments keep the spiders (and my shuddering) to a minimum these days and go a long way toward giving me spider peace of mind.