Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Running Once Again

The past two weeks I have been busy, but I also managed to get some solid miles in. I live so close to the American River Parkway that it is now so convenient and easy for me and Traildog to go for a run. He is my inspiration and he wont let me not go for a run. How can I resist those big brown puppy dog eyes. I just can't.

It has been good for both us. I was beginning to get in a bit of funk and was having a hard time pulling myself out of it. But once I started running consistently, slowly things became clearer and my haze lifted and I was once again moving with a purpose.

It has been tough for both of us during these past few weeks, finding new routines and not seeing Lil Man everyday has been even tougher. But we are growing and slowly finding our mark once again.

Traildog has gone out on every run with me and he is quickly getting trim. I mean he wasn't "big" before but I can tell a difference in him. He is so excited when we run and so relaxed when we get back. The longest run he has done is 12.3 which is around the lake. Not bad for Traildog.

Traildog is also finally adjusting to his new place. We are slowly getting things settled in and unpacked, but what ever you do please don't open the spare bedroom! I think the one thing I find the hardest is cooking for one. I find that I am eating the same thing day in and day out, or sometimes I just don't eat dinner. I am bringing my  lunch to work for the most part and I am enjoying the semi quiet time. I didn't realize how sleep deprived I actually was. I remember sleeping but, wow I can't believe how great it is to sleep for a solid chunk of time. This past week though my schedule has been so hectic that it doesn't really count. It's a good thing I know how to work on minimal amount of sleep.

I am looking forward to my new adventures and getting through this Holiday Season. I am also looking forward to the LOTTERY on December 10. That is next weekend. Dec. 10 is when I find out if I get into Western States or if I am waiting another year. What ever happens it was meant to be.....but I really want to run States!

Here is to fighting the funk, to getting some sleep, and to adjustments. Keep on running, I know I will.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Craziness!

I made it through Black Friday and the day after. It wasn't pretty at times but I did it. I was sleep deprived in a span of 32.5 hours I only managed to get 2 hours of short nap and than right before heading in Thursday night a 20 minute power nap.

Thursday I arrived at work at 1am with a team to complete all the 2 day prep. Staging product to ensure a quick and efficient replenishment process. Once we were done with the task list it was close to 9:45am. My family was planning on a evening Thanksgiving dinner so that worked because now I could go home and get some sleep. Only there was a few minor problems. One I so wired from work that I couldn't calm down no matter what I tried. My mind was spinning out of control, with thoughts like....did I prep enough, did I over prep, what if I missed I think remembered everything. It was frustrating. I finally managed to lay down and close my eyes but it wasn't a restful sleep. I was tossing and turning, the kids playing outside were screaming at the top of their lungs and it was hopeless. I finally got up around noon, with only a few hours. I than headed over to family house to have some family time and to play with both of my nephews.

I arrived at my sisters house with Traildog, he is family and I wasn't going to leave him at home. The nephews were super excited to see me. They came running down the hallway and about knocked me over to give me a hug, than they did the same thing to Traildog. It was great to hang out with the family even though I was on such little sleep. I have missed a few family get together in the past years because of work and I was tired of it. We enjoyed a great dinner and even better conversations. In fact my oldest sister wants to do a 5k with me. How great is that?

I headed home to get ready for work and ended taking a 20 minute power nap in the sitting position on my couch. I was so exhausted I didn't even set an alarm. I woke up and headed into work drinking a red bull on the way. Now typically I do not drink energy drinks but this was the exception to the rule. Survival!

The line at work was wrapped around the building. It was going to be crazy. Once the doors opened and the craziness began it was non stop. My team did an awesome job with keeping the floors full and quickly replenishing the end caps and helping out all the guests. It took an hour to get everyone who was standing in line into the building. The checkout line wrapped/snaked it's way up and down the aisles and around the store. It was utter chaos, but controlled chaos. I don't think I sat down that morning at all. I believe that my plans for my Logistics team were executed nicely, the packets I made for them on what they were doing each hour and when to take their breaks and lunches really allowed me to focus on other things. I knew they would do a great job and they completely exceeded my expectations. It was a busy day, but a day that with great plans went really smoothly.

After work I arrived home around 7am ish on Friday morning. I immediately dropped my things at the front door took care of Traildog and made my way to bed. I awoke around 2 that afternoon but was feeling rather funky still. My head was still foggy and I was exhausted. I stayed up until 4pm and went back to bed only to wake up at 11pm that night to head back to work to tackle our doubles. Those trailers brought in more freight than I have ever seen in my 11 years working there. It was literally three trailers in two. It was so much workload that I had pushed my team to their breaking point and they still completed the task. It was a crazy day, and to top it off P-Fresh arrived three hours late and it was huge. The biggest load I have seen since the opening of P-Fresh. I am lucky that I have a experienced team I am lucky that I thrive on challenges and it brings me to a whole new level. I am also lucky that I have a day off and get to rest and recovery before heading back first thing Monday morning.

I am looking forward to my afternoon today with a good friend and of course Traildog. I am looking forward to spending some time with my nephew and I am looking forward to actually making my new place feel like home.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Routines

It's been a bit since my last post. So Traildog is finally settling in nicely. We are both getting on new routines which is what I need. I was a bit off when I first moved in and I could feel my center falling, which is not good. With our new routines in place we are set for now.

Traildog and I head out for a run almost every day. I get home from work and he is very excited to see me. Once our hello's are made he stares at his leach and wags his tail. I immediately change and we both head out for our afternoon run of 6 miles. Last week we both logged 40 miles. That is the highest mileage week I have had since mid September.

At first, when I started running again it was tough. It felt like my body had forgotten how to run. My legs ached, I was stiff and it was tough. But I knew I had to stick with it and I needed to give Traildog some really good exercise. He loved it and would keep pushing the pace. Maybe that was the problem it was too fast. But as the week came to end everything started to click. My leg turnover was getting quicker it was easier to breath and the pace was getting faster. I knew it would be tough to start really running again, but I am glad I stuck with it.

Traildog just chilling at Fleet Feet after his 10 mile run!

This week is going to be tough to get any sort of strong mileage in. I already have 20 miles for week, but that is back to back 10 milers. I know work is going to be crazy busy and my schedule is even crazier. Basically on Thursday which is Thanksgiving I work from around 2 am to 9am and head home sleep some and return to work that night around 11ishpm and work until Friday morning. I am hoping I can make it over to my sisters house for Thanksgiving dinner.

I also put my name in for Western States 100. I really want to complete a 100 mile run this year.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tough Adjustment for Traildog

What have been up to this past week? Well, working so everything else like unpacking and getting my new place in order and getting couch over here has taken a back seat. I was lucky enough though to get my bed put together, I have a usable well just as soon as I find and clean my pots and pans. I have also been running the past three days with Traildog.

Since moving out of the other house Traildog has had some serious separation anxiety. When we lived there he was never alone for more than 4 hours. Someone was always home or running in and out and he had that constant human contact he loves so much. He even had another dog Ramsey to hang with in the back yard and play. And let's not forget about Lil Man, his favorite besides me of course. It has been a huge a change for my poor Traildog.
The love he has for Lil Man, taking a year ago

One thing though that hasn't changed is my love for him. Even when I received the call at work that he had been barking since 3:30am I didn't get mad I felt his pain. He is scared with all the new noises he has to get to use to. People walking up the front porch, people getting ready for school and work and talking outside. It isn't really that noisy but it is different for Traildog. I came home early that day and I could hear him not just barking, but he was howling and I have never heard that from him. When I opened the front door I saw him aimlessly wondering around the place howling, he was scared and confused. Of course once he saw me everything changed and he never left my side and became the good quiet boy I know.

I knew that I needed to do something about Traildogs nuisance barking, so while at work I picked up Barkoff. It is a ultrasonic training aid that can allow dog owners to take control over nuisance barking. An ultrasonic signal, inaudible to human ears, can instantly capture a dog's attention and can immediately interrupt the barking pattern. This what the website says about Barkoff. So far so good. When I went to work the next day, I waited nervously all day for the dreaded phone call. But it never came.

Traildog with his best pal Ramsey

I also decided to keep him in a smaller space. As in the bedroom, I didn't give him free range of the house as this may also be causing his stress level to increase, because he may think we are playing hide and seek and he gets very stressed when he can't find me. He is familiar with this routine and understands when I do my good bye routine. Our goodbye routine is I give him a treat for being where he is suppose to be. I also scratch his head and in a very clam voice I say "Be a good boy, I love you. Be back soon." He just sits there wagging his tail and ends up falling back asleep. The last thing I did was turn on some music for him. This way he would possible think someone was home and that might calm him even more. Well, when I came home he was supper excited to see him and he only barked once as I entered the house because I think I might have startled him. I am hoping that with some more time he will adjust even better.

I live really close to the American River Parkway and now when I go for a run I take Traildog with me and he loves it. We have been out three times this week and each time he gets better and better with running next to me and moving over when a bike approaches. He would run forever if I let him. It is great that Traildog loves to run so much because it also is helping motivate me to get back into it. Here is to Traildog adjusting!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Moving Craziness and Other Stuff

The past 4 days have been freaky busy in the Pigeon household. I found a new place to live and stated moving late Thursday night as I waited for the gas man for about 4.5 hours. I couldn't leave for fear of him coming as I didn't have an appointment and the next time they could get out to me would have been November 16. That would have meant to hot water, no oven, no stove, no heat. Not good. But once the gas man came I gave Coach Nikon a call and he helped me move my bed which was awesome of him as it was rather late for both us. Thank You Coach Nikon!!!!

I managed to bring over another load, but after that I was ready for bed and Traildog was having a hard time adjusting. Traildog was stressed out, he had high anxiety and he was barking more than he usually does. He barked at any and all sounds. Luckily he calmed down by the second night and now he is settled in nicely. I think he misses Lil Man and his buddy Ramsey.

As for me, I am still moving stuff. You see everything I owned has been in storage for the past 4 years. It has been about a year since the last time I looked in my storage unit. So I am slowly getting the storage unit emptied and slowly getting things unpacked. The one thing I didn't take my time on was cable and Internet. I really have missed it even if the TV is on only for noise. I had forgotten how lonely it is living by myself as it has been maybe 6 years since I was alone. Good thing I have Traildog because he is keeping me sane.

Lil Man was very excited to have me move out as he gets to help his mom and dad paint my old room for the new addition to their family. Hence the reason I needed to find my own place. Lil Man on Thursday night helped me load up my car and he even helped get Traildog together so that I could take him. It was rather cute but also sad for me. Here is my 4 year old nephew bringing me boxes and than my dog. I know he is going to miss me but I already miss him. I miss seeing him sleep, his bright smile in the afternoon when he gets home from preschool, his special bond with Traildog. In fact I think Lil Man secretly misses Traildog because when I stopped by today he had a imaginary Traildog he was playing with. I can't wait for Lil Man to come over and eventually spend the night.

It hasn't all been about moving though, yesterday I headed out to Last Chance 50k, 50 miler and supported and cheered on my friend Batman. He was running his first ultra and I wanted to be there even if it was only for two aid stations. I actually received a text message early that day and had to run over to his house because he had forgotten his IT band. I grabbed it and rushed to Laguna aid station and waited for him. When he arrived he was looking strong and in great spirits. He ran a fantastic race and I am sure he will be posting about it here.

Once I finished up at Last Chance I headed to Target to pick up some thing I really needed, like trash cans, a shower curtain, laundry detergent, etc...I was amazed at how much I didn't have. Once I finished up with that I waited for the cable guy to show up. He ended up being about 20 minutes late which also meant I received a $20 credit. Score. After all that I headed back to the finish to cheer on the finishers and help support Power Girl where I could.

Overall I am glad that I took a break from the crazy madness of moving and unpacking. I really needed that human contact and what better way than to be at the finish line of a 50 miler. Such inspiration and determination on the faces of those ultra runners. Congratulations to Batman and everyone else who completed the Last Chance! Now to unpack some more and return to work tomorrow morning.

I almost forgot, but I also signed up for Western States 100, here is to keeping my fingers crossed and my name being drawn at the Lottery on December 10.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Catching Up

It has been crazy busy since my last post. I have been running around looking for a new place to live, working, and just trying to keep things together. Work is busy, thanksgiving week planning. I think I spent a good week and half on that schedule to ensure that I had adequate coverage that week. Crazy planning, crazy visits taking place and just plan old busy.

But with all of that going on I did manage to get a few solid runs in this past weekend. Friday night I headed to Hoppy Brewery and met some fellow runners and friends for a nice easy 8. Now I have never been to Hoppies and when I am challenge to venture out of my normal comfort zone things can get a bit crazy. In this case I made it to Brewery just fine, the problem was trying to get in the parking lot as I drove by it the first time. So I decided at the next light to do a u-turn only I couldn't. No U Turn allowed. So I had to turn left and I slowly made my way back. Then on my second attempt I turned to soon and was stuck in the wrong parking lot. Once again I had to find my way back and on the third pass I finally emerged victorious and was able to park.

Yes, you might think I am directionally challenged, but that is only when I have never been somewhere and I start to second guess myself and that is when I mess things up. Luckily my friends waited for me as I arrived a few minutes past the scheduled start time. Sorry.

We started running and I learned that there were various distances in the group, 3 miles to 6 miles to 8 miles. I am not training for anything and I haven't been running too much, and I already had a few miles in my legs for the week, but soon I found myself doing the full 8. On the way out though I managed to roll my ankle and I heard the huge pop. Weird thing was I could run on it just fine, it didn't hurt, there was no swelling so I just continued on the run and didn't say a thing. Once we hit the turn around someone mentioned possible a slight tempo on the return and next thing I knew I had increased the pace and was pushing it more than I probably should have. I mean when is the last time I ran a tempo? It has been forever, but secretly it felt really good and my leg turnover was pretty solid and I was having fun.

As the miles clicked by I slowly started slowing down, but the group helped pull me. The good thing was there was only maybe a mile to go. I think I really just wanted to enjoy some beer at the Brewery. It was a solid 8 on the pavement and a nice tempo on top of it and the best part was the beer after and the great conversations. The bad part was I had to work the next morning and by the time I made it home I only managed to get 3.5 hours of sleep and I had a full day ahead of me.

The following day as I was walking around work I noticed my ankle was really sore and tender and I couldn't figure out why. Then it dawned on me a few hours later, I rolled it on the run Friday night. I wasn't concerned about it but I was a bit nervous about hitting the trails after work with some friends. I didn't need to aggravate it more. The trail run after work was awesome though I was a bit sleep deprived as I didn't get a nap in after work.

I brought Traildog with me and he really enjoyed his run. He is such a sweetheart and such a Mommy's boy. His love for me was seen by all. He wouldn't leave my side and if he did he was constantly looking back for me to make sure I was still with him. What a good boy! I love my Traildog. The run was a easy 6 just out enjoying the beauty that is all around us. What a great weekend of running with friends and enjoying some drinks after running. Here is to finding the time and remembering the beauty that is just outside.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Special Day With Lil Man

I return to work tomorrow after a nice 4 day break. Yes, it wasn't long, but it was long enough to hopefully recharge my batteries and get me ready to power through 4th quarter and the busiest time of the year for us retail workers.

I have enjoyed some great runs on the pavement that have really sparked my drive and enthusiasm. Now if I miss a run I feel like something is missing and just overall not the same.

Today I enjoyed a great morning watching Lil Man. He actually woke up early which meant we could start our day of adventure together, but first I had to get both of us ready and breakfast in our tummies. It didn't take long for that and we were out the door to his favorite store. Target of all places. He enjoyed playing with the toys and helping me fill the hand basket and than he races me to the check out lanes. He always wins....he is that fast.

Today he also enjoyed a very special treat. A kids hot chocolate from Starbucks, which he ordered himself and even started spelling his name for the Barista. Of course it was too hot for him and he once again stepped up and waited in line and asked very nicely and sweetly for some ice to cool his drink down. He noticed that I was waiting for my coffee to cool down so he kindly placed in ice cube in my coffee so that we could get back to looking at the toys.

Lil Man enjoying his special treat!

After our little treat we decided to get some things for lunch. We ended leaving with some broccoli and some hamburger meat for hamburgers. Once home he was eager to help me get lunch ready, but first he needed his chip snack I promised him. After his chip snack he was all business and helped by supervisor the patty making process and the cutting up of the broccoli. He also sang at the top of his lungs.....steaming the broccoli......It was pretty cute. While I prepared the meat he went to his room with Traildog and had a concert for him.

He has been very helpful with keeping his toys picked up and he also had some very good listening skills. I am really going to miss these special moments when I move out. Tucking the covers back on him before I leave for work, his special bond with Traildog and his special bond with me, hearing him call my name as soon as he comes in the house, or even busting up in my room because he is excited to tell me about his day.

I know Lil Man is very excited to move into my room, but I am not 100% sure if he understands what is about to happen. I wont be around all the time, he wont see me every day, I wont see him every day. It is going to be a huge change in both of our lives. I know though that I we will still have special moments and when they do happen they will be that much more special. I promise!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Enjoying Running Again

This week running has been easy and enjoyable. My how I have missed that part of running. Enjoyable! I took a mini vacation from work to recharge myself for 4th quarter and while I have been recharging I have been running. I haven't been on the trails since Saturday when I had that great run to Cool and back, but I have enjoyed the pavement around my neighborhood.

It has been nice not having to stress about when I was going to get a run. It is hard for me when I am working to even think about wanting to run after being on my legs for a good portion of the day about 9 hours. My legs are sore when I get home, I usually have zero energy which makes hitting the road for a even a 3 mile run a huge challenge.

I have noticed that ever since my schedule has moved to an early morning start time of 2:30 am my running has suffered along with family time. Unless that is, I come home take a nap, wake up play with Lil Man and than take another nap before heading back to work. That only works for so long before everything comes crashing down. When it crashes it crashes hard.

Needless to say not working the past few days has been great for me. I have even started looking for a new place to live. But that in itself is stressful trying to find the right location, and also keep Traildog in mind as I don't want his happiness or freedom to suffer. Very difficult to find a place that allows a 40lb dog. But it is a start, just not something I am actually enjoying, and thus far nothing has wowed me per say.

I have really enjoyed running in the mornings. It really gives my day a very positive healthy start and sets the tone for the rest of the day. I find that I have more energy, I am more focused and overall just feel better. I started running a few years ago to help balance my crazy life and it has allowed me to have some attainable goals through out the year. I have developed some great friendships while out on the trail.

Running gives me an outlet, an outlet I didn't have before. It has given me more confidence at work and in my day to day life. I know that I am capable of so much more than what my mind thinks. That is a great feeling, to know that I can do so much more. Running isn't about being first for me, it is about the journey and completing the name it is about enjoying the simple things in life and living each moment to the fullest. My journey isn't done, it is only getting started!