Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Catching Up Through the (Mostly) Race-Free Weeks

Winter has arrived. Brook behind my house. Chose this dismal photo since life without racing has been kind of dismal. Haha.
I've gotten so far behind on my blog that I once again need to do a catch up post. Catch up posts are SO hard because that means I have to cut out all of my blah, blah, blah for every day. But if I don't do this post, I'll never get caught up. I'm not even sure what to write in this. Maybe just list my daily runs briefly. A lot of photos? Yeah, probably. The first two weeks seem to blur together in my mind. And then the third week I spent with my family back in my hometown, Athens, Georgia. I thought about separating that out, but it will just be another blog post I'll wait way too long to write. I did run a race in Georgia, and it was pretty obvious that 3 weeks off of racing left me a fat slob. No goals and no racing for three weeks combined with pounding the sugar, carbs and way too many beers did me no favors. My racing addiction was replaced with unhealthy habits that I normally can keep subdued, but the mind just doesn't work the same for me when I'm not getting my racing fix. I've gained some weight which isn't really noticeable, but I've also gotten soft which is VERY noticeable. Good thing about going downhill, though, is that you eventually can't go any further and have no choice but to make your way back to the top again. I think I kind of needed this time to let myself go a little, but I'm paying for it. Haha.

On the bright side...knee pain? What knee pain? Seriously, gone. I had one day over the last month where it was excruciating, but it actually felt more like IT Band pain since it was radiating down from my hip and more on the side of the knee. Hurt so bad, but it only lasted a day really. I could still occasionally feel it off and on, but the last week and a half, I've had zero pain. I actually keep forgetting about it. Who knows how long it will be absent, though. It's not like anything "healed". Meniscus tears can present this way, but it will most certainly reappear at some point. I'm hoping that it waits until 2018 when I can afford health insurance again. Haha. I never was able to get an appointment with orthopedics, but if something happens and I do need surgery in 2017, I'll just have a hospital bill that I'll be paying off for the rest of my life. But that's nothing new to me; just add it to my list of never ending bills! Haha. But, anyway, I'll take this for as long as it lasts and consider myself lucky to have an injury that I can run with.

I was able to run these 4 weeks, and I had some damn solid runs in there... and some really shitty ones, too. Haha. I lost some fitness without any speedwork, i.e. racing and track workouts, but that will change soon when consistent racing starts up again beginning with the BU Mini Meet on New Year's Eve. That meet will be UGLY, but I need the training. I was doing consistent strength training 4-5 days a week until I left to go to Georgia, so I just picked that back up for the last week.

The best news I got in December was shared on my FB wall by Carolyn Shreck. When I saw it, I was in shock! I had been chosen by Fosters Daily Democrat (Nancy Eckerson and Andy Schachat) to be New Hampshire's Female Runner of the Year for the second year in a row!! I honestly didn't expect it. I was SO blown away to be chosen. I had rough first half of the year, then a pretty awesome one for the second half, but I still didn't feel worthy of this. I can't even describe how extremely wonderful it felt to be chosen again. Truly, truly honored! You can read the article here! My excerpt:

On the women's side, Leslie O'Dell, of Albany, had a great year, racing virtually every weekend, again earning New Hampshire Runner of the Year. O'Dell is a versatile runner, excelling on the roads, trails and mountains from 5Ks to marathons. She is hard to beat off-road, winning numerous trail and snowshoe races and the USATF New England Mountain Series. She was the fifth New Hampshire finisher in the Boston Marathon (3:06:49) and at the Mount Washington Road Race (1:31:57), and was second in her age group in the USATF New England Grand Prix, earning "Ironrunner" status by racing all seven events.

Catching up week-by-week:

November 28-December 4, 2016- 54.0 miles total

Monday, 11/28- Zero day. Worked my 24 hour shift.

Tuesday, 11/29- Everything was icy, roads and trails, so it was back to the treadmill. Far better workout than slipping and sliding on the road. This winter is already worse than 2014! 8 miles on the treadmill. Usual progression run with 1-3% elevation, changing every half mile. 57:42. 7:13/mi pace. I had originally planned 10, but I was done by 8.

This morning's newspaper pissed me off... :)

Fucking turkey haha
After my run and a shower, I put together chicken soup in my crockpot. Then, like a true MWV local, John and I went shopping at Walmart that afternoon for snow boots, shirts and these Pokemon slippers he talked me into. Haha. He loves these things.

John's ninja class as usual that night, followed by a new strength training program that I happened upon via Instagram. I kind of have a beef with Instagram since its a venue for the narcissists of the world and those people who feed them attention. So when I'm going through the feed and see women showing off their abs and asses and the 3000 likes, I typically roll my eyes and move on. BUT, this one person caught my eye because she's so damn fit! I was intrigued so I looked into her page and saw that she has her own website with daily workouts of all different kinds. I specifically need upper body and abs and found she had just that. And most workouts are 20ish minutes or less. That's perfect for me since I'll typically quit strength training if it takes me longer than that. So I tried an upper body and abs workout that was only 15 minutes that kicked my ass! I knew I had found the right place. Plus, the woman is so down to earth. Not what you'd expect when looking at her. Interested? Zuzka Light. I'll never look like her in a million years, but I really like the workouts. Exactly what I needed.

And the reason I'll never look like her....because the workout was followed by a large beer. Haha. :)

Made by Unibroue 

I love my big dogs, but if I ever get another dog, it will be a small dog. I love my little dog.
Wednesday, 11/30- Typical treadmill progression run with 1-3% elevation before my second 24-hour shift of the week. 5 miles. 36:06. 7:13/mi pace. The rest of the day was very quiet at work.

Thursday, 12/1- Only my second time this year completing a full loop of the Potter Rd/Davis Hill/Gulf Rd loop in Center and South Conway. I decided to just run it easy and not pay attention to my pace at all. I really needed to allow myself a run where I just felt good and didn't feel like I had to push it. This is a tough run anyway with over 1100ft of elevation gain and half of it on dirt roads, so it's never one of my faster runs. Today still kicked my ass. 14 miles. 1:51:07. 7:54/mi avg pace. I was really beat when I finished this one.

View from Leavitt Rd during the run. 
Later in the afternoon, I took a short walk with the dogs. Ran into Paul Kirsch and Victoria Weingold about to head out on a run. Paul was really confused not to see me in running attire. Haha. From there, I went to my therapeutic massage with Donna Cormier. The one I won at the Purity Spring Race. I'm so used to my deep tissue massages by Tina that I forgot just how wonderful a therapeutic massage is. It was honestly amazing. I was in that state between awake and sleep. Almost dreaming, but still aware. Such a relaxing state. I SO needed that. I would love to add these in every few months, but the cost of these massages is a lot and not really a luxury I should be paying for with my income. But, honestly, sometimes the benefit is worth it. It was so hard to wake up, but I took the dogs on another short walk at Whitaker Woods right after the massage to wake myself up before going home.

That night, I did more strength training and then wrestled an annoying wax-topped beer bottle that ended up being a drain pour. Boo.

Friday, 12/2- Spent my morning on Hurricane Mt Rd. I got up super early and drove to Hurricane Mt Rd with Spot and Phoenix with the intention of running the entire length of it and back before meeting some people for a hike. Even though I had microspikes in the car, they didn't magically appear when I got to the top of the road and looked down the backside to see never ending ice. I had to bail and run back down to my car. 4 miles total in 42:49. 1,051ft of elevation gain.

I should change my blog to title to "Mountain Deer in Headlights".

Phoenix at the top of the road. Deceptive, since behind me was the never ending ice sheet.
Back at my car, I put the dogs in and then started a second run, this time the other direction on Hurricane Mt Rd. I ran to 302/16 and then turned around. I felt like I was moving really fast, but when I saw the end result of these 4 miles, I was a little worried. 31:31. 7:46/mi pace. Eek. That was way slower than my effort, but in all fairness, I had just run up and down the Hurricane Mt Rd on the mountain side. haha.

I met Mary Hanson and Jill Barbour back at my car for a hike back up Hurricane Mt Rd. The dogs joined me again. I really enjoyed this social time since these are pretty cool women here in the Valley. People I can relate to. They were so worried about slowing me down so I had to keep reassuring them that I was perfectly fine with the pace and just enjoyed their company. We hiked up past the top of the road to the start of the Red Tail Trail and then ran back down to the bottom. 2.5 miles in 40:06. I can't even remember the last time I ran/hiked with anybody in the Valley so it was a needed escape from my hermit life.

John and I cut down his Christmas tree later that afternoon. The ones on our property are usually pretty funky shaped and never even, but I much prefer it it over paying for a tree. It's a much better experience anyway. I put the lights on it and then John decorated it that night.

I did another Zuzka Light workout...then beer time! Had to find my Narwhal shirt from 2011 Wilderness EMT course at SOLO to go with my beer. Haha.

Saturday, 12/3- Got in my new weekend run from home. Ran it on the speedy side today. 5.3 miles. 36:57. 6:57/mi avg pace. Picked up John's friend after to go to the Homestead Christmas at Remick Farm in Tamworth. There wasn't as much going on there as I expected, but the boys seemed to enjoy themselves with a game of checkers while I played solitaire. We rode the horse-drawn carriage, too, but that was about it. Walked over to the Tamworth Lyceum for their wi-fi to watch the Nike Cross Nationals Boys' Race.

Leaving for Remick Farm

Found a local cider at the Lyceum that I decided to try.
We drove to Sandwich to fill up the water jugs with spring water then went home. Dylan and John had a sleepover that night. I got in another 20 minute workout. This time a butt workout. Haha.

Sunday, 12/4- Same run as the day before, except I hopped over on a parallel street to be nosey and check out the the aftermath of a house fire from Wednesday. 5.8 miles. 42:58. 7:21/mi pace.

Forced the boys to take a hike up Mt Tom in Fryeburg after that. The last time John and I hiked it, there was no view through the clouds and we were swarmed by deer flies and mosquitoes. It was perfect weather this time around, so I thought it would be fun. Apparently, I was the worst mom in the world, and John gave me attitude the whole way. Ugh. In addition to that, he kept whistling to irritate me. My biggest pet peeve in the whole weird as it is, is whistling!! I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. The sound of it makes me angry. I'll actually leave places if someone is whistling since I can't tell everyone to shut the fuck up since it's my issue, not theirs. With John, though,  he's known for a LONG time that I hate whistling but decided to take it up recently. Grrrrrr. I only ask him not to do it in my presence, but now, he has something to get at me when he's mad at me. So, needless to say, I hiked far ahead of them to the top...where there was still no view, even with no clouds. Trees were the obstacle this time. Haha. 2.6 miles roundtrip. The boys ran all the way back down, and John was in a much better mood.

Misophonia- Just happened upon this recently. Had no idea it was considered a real disorder. Haha. Whistling, tapping, smacking. You name it. I hate it.

I got in another workout that night. Zuzka's short workouts make it easy to keep doing them. You do need a lot of equipment, but I started building up my home "gym" back in 2008 so I pretty much have everything I need by now.

December 5- December 11, 2016- 50.3 miles total

Monday 12/5- On a whim, I brought running clothes to work and for once I used them. Got on the work treadmill for 4 miles. Learned quickly that this is a treadmill for walking. I had the speed turned up as high as it would go. Forced easy run. I was sighing at times at the slowness, but 4 miles at that pace was better than a zero. And I was fortunate not to have a 911 call in the middle of it. 4 miles. 30:05. 7:31/mi avg pace.

Tuesday 12/6- Due to MORE snow overnight, running on pavement was out of the question, so I went to my old go-to by Chocorua Lake. The roads are dirt and snow covered, but plowed very well to make for a decent run with microspikes. It's not an easy run ever with or without microspikes. This would be the run I mentioned where I finished up with a lot of knee pain that I think ended up just being ITB irritation. Probably from running with microspikes for the first time this year. The first half of the run went well. I felt ok even though the run was difficult with heavy feet (microspikes). It wasn't until the last 3- 4 miles when I started to have bad knee pain. I pushed through it and surprisingly ran this particular route the fastest I've ever run it by almost 2 minutes! Haha. 12.2 miles. 1:33:54. 7:40/mi avg pace. 894ft of elevation gain. Admittedly, I was in a lot of pain after this run. I figured I was out after this. That I'd finally pushed it over the edge.

12.2 miles on roads like this

I struggle to take a good pic when I'm blinded by the sun. 
The fresh snow was actually beautiful so John and I broke trail on a walk in the Bolles Preserve later with Spot and Phoenix. My knee hurt a lot so I basically limped the whole way. 1.9 miles out and back.

John forgot his coat so he had to borrow my work coat. Haha.

Heron Pond

This photo isn't edited at all. The color just came out perfectly. Love this photo.
My first diet downfall began that night after I dropped John off at ninja class and went to Walgreen's. This is what started my 3 week sugar binge. I ate the WHOLE bag that night. EEK... but at least I still did my strength training.

Wednesday 12/7- Decided to take a zero with the knee pain. I didn't even walk at work. Sat on my ass ALL day long.

Thursday 12/8- As quickly as it came on, the knee pain was gone...but the hamstring soreness was back. WTF. But I didn't care. The weather was great, and I wanted to get in a long run. I set up a run that would allow me a few points to cut it short and head home if need be. I also came up with a route that would have minimal ice/snow. The run was kind of loop up Bald Hill Rd with miles 3 & 4 icy/snowy and slow going then down to the Kanc, through Conway Village to Stark Rd to 153 then back home via Cranmore Shores. I felt ok until the last mile when I suddenly felt pain low down in both hamstrings, so much so that I had to slow it down to an 8-min pace. The knee actually felt ok! 15 miles total. 1:54:24. 7:36/mile pace. Miles 2, 3, 4 and 15 were super slow, but the rest was a really decent pace. Overall I was really happy with this run.

Other than getting my nails done later, I didn't do much else besides another Zuzka Light workout that night.

Friday 12/9- So around 11pm the night before, I let Spot out like I usually do. She never came back. I was up every two hours calling her. It's not unusual for her to be gone for an hour or so off exploring in the woods. (The dog is 13. She's smart, and she's been doing this her whole life. It's a risk to let her do this; I know that. But for the most part of those 13 years, she's been fine. Granted, she does have bad luck with wild animals, but all of that has happened when she's with me. Haha. Bitten by coyotes twice, kicked in the head by a deer and swatted on the ass by a bear. Hahahaha. That's my disclaimer.) So anyway, I was up at 5:15am since I had an appointment with Tina for a massage at 10. I was planning to run the Sweet Trail again beforehand. So I still was planning to go, although I was worried about Spot. I honestly didn't know what to do. I just got ready to leave and hoped she would return before then. I took Phoenix out and heard Spot yelp in the distance! It was her bark of wanting something, like to be let in or out. I knew right then she was stuck somewhere, but that she wasn't far. I ran back in and changed into my snow boots quickly, grabbed the headlamp, ran out the door, ran back in, grabbed the cell phone. It was pitch black dark so I just wandered the woods with the headlamp. I realized the dog prints ended so I turned back and found prints leading into the Coleman's pit, about 100 yards from my house. Once in the open area, I stopped and looked from my far left to my right. On the far right, two glowing eyes appeared. It was Spot. As I got closer I could see her paw was caught in an animal trap. She was shivering, the poor dog. I pet her and she pressed her head against my cheek, but stayed super calm. I looked at the trap without touching it since her paw was twisted around in it and was immediately thankful for my last second thought to grab my phone. I knew there was a way to open the trap easily, but I didn't want to mess with it and hurt her, so I plugged it in YouTube and a professional video by Idaho Fish & Game showed me immediately how to open the trap. Spot only whined a little as I opened it, but pulled her paw out herself. The paw looked broken, but I really couldn't tell. She had to limp her way back to the house with me.

So long story short, I called Dr Sandy Brown's vet clinic, MWV Mobile Vet, for an emergency visit to inspect Spot's paw. Dr Brown took such good care of Spot; she sedated her and cleaned her paw thoroughly before splinting it. 2 hours and $300 later, we walked out of there. Oh, as for my massage appointment? Tom Hooper went in my place. Haha.

Spot would end up being ok. Her foot was so swollen at first with two puncture wounds that it was hard to say at first if it would be ok, but after 10 days of antibiotics, she's in the clear. It was good timing since I was going to be busy all weekend in my EMT refresher at SOLO and then out of town for 6 days; she would have been sitting around a lot anyway. About that trap, though...Dr Brown spoke to the owner of Coleman's who said he had no knowledge of anyone having permission to place a trap on the property, but when I went back out there that night to see if it had a name on it, tire tracks were present and backed up right to where the trap HAD BEEN. It was gone. Whoever drove back there had a key to get in the gate and knew where the trap was. I honestly don't care. I let my dog run "at large". I'm at fault for that. I own up to that. Like I said, letting her go free is a risk, obviously, but I'll still judge a person who puts out an inhumane trap like that to kill animals "just because". At least traps will be less likely to reappear over there now...I hope.

Once home, I left Spot to rest and took Phoenix for a loop run on the mountain bike trails and up Middle Mt in the Green Hills. It was on an icy/snow mix which made it slow going, but I didn't care since my hamstrings were wicked sore anyway. Phoenix and I broke trail in some awesome powder snow from Middle Mt over to the gap between Middle and Rattlesnake and then all the way back down to the mountain bike trails. It was one of the most fun runs I've had in a long time. 7 miles. 1:28:17. 1,636ft of elevation gain.

My giant rat running across the summit of Middle Mt.

Me on Middle Mt

Phoenix breaking trail down Rattlesnake
That evening, John was going to his friend's to stay for the night and the next day while I was in my EMT refresher course. I had planned to drop him off then go to dinner by myself, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted him to join me. I was happy when asked what he would prefer to do and he chose to go with me. Of course, he still had headphones in his ears most of the time. Haha. I dropped him off at his friend's house on the way home and then did my last strength training workout for the next 1.5 weeks. Ugh.

First time going to Black Cap Grill
Saturday 12/10- I was up early to run before my refresher. It was dark and really cold, so I said screw running outside. Hopped on the treadmill for my usual 5 mile progression run. 36:25.

I got to the SOLO Campus for the 8am start time. I was excited to see Nina, my hairdresser. She's been in every one of my EMT refreshers at SOLO. This would be my 3rd since you have to recert and relicense every 2 years. The refresher is always fun, especially if Josh MacMillan is teaching it. He was my original instructor for my 4-week Wilderness EMT course in 2011. He makes the class fun. I've come a long way in my knowledge since my first EMT refresher in 2013; that year I was so sick and could barely even complete the three days. I still felt like a newbie to it all even though I'd been working on the ambulance 1.5 years at that point. Now, it's so second nature and easy. Our class was full of EMTs who work in the outdoors/wilderness component and aren't as experienced with the urban component of EMS so for them it was a bit harder. For our group of local EMTs, we just blew through everything. Haha.

When class was over, I picked up John from his friend's and went home for the night. I'd be bringing him along to the next day's refresher. It's the kind of place you can do that without even asking. I love SOLO.

Crazy cold out that night so I made a fire and drank a good Nightshift beer.
Sunday 12/11- Ha! I thought Saturday was cold! No way was I running outside in that.

Oops. That's dusty. Flashed picked it up well! Haha.
It was back to the basement for another 5-mile progression run, but this time faster. 35:47. I actually got up extra early since I was bringing John along to the 2nd day of class. He ended up being content upstairs on the couch all day. We took a walk on the trails in the woods during lunch to get us both some exercise.

John hanging out at SOLO

I was bugging him during a break

One of the best parts about SOLO- the food!
Ok, so Sunday, I had a plan. I almost chose to do the January refresher instead because this one coincided with Throwback's Fat Alberta release. Egads! But when I realized that the January refresher interfered with the Masters Indoor Track Meet in Providence, I decided to take a chance and cross my fingers we'd get out early enough for John and me to make it to the beer release. Well, we lucked out! We got out an hour early, went by the house to let the dogs out then drove to Throwback Brewery in Hampton getting there an hour before close. Yay! What's all the hype, you ask? Well, it's a once a year release of an amazing chocolate peanut butter porter!

I like beer!

Agent Scully's head was kind of messed up so I posed with her.

John had dinner and a root beer. I just had a pretzel and a glass of Fat Alberta, then we drove back home. Yes, it's kind of silly to drive that far for this, but silly is what I do. It's my thing.

December 12- December 18, 2016- 50.4 miles 

Monday 12/12- Woke up to heavy snow falling so it was a 3rd morning on the treadmill. 5 mile progression run AGAIN, but even faster than the day before. 35:01. 7:00/mi avg pace. I had to snowblow the driveway to get out which sucked. John would be with his dad as usual, so I went solo to SOLO. Hardy Har Har. We had managed to get in most of the material the day before, so we ended up getting out by 10am. The snow was falling like crazy and driving home was sketchy, but I'm used to it and made it fine. I didn't have to be at work until 6pm, so this gave me time to snowblow the driveway a second time when the snow stopped, take Spot to the vet for a check up and run some errands I didn't think I'd have time to do before leaving for Georgia the next morning.

I got everything done and even had time to squeeze in a 3.7 mile ass kicker of a snowshoe run at Whitaker Woods. My first snowshoe run since probably Horse Hill on Valentine's Day. And damn. Lung burn ass kicker. Wow. Plus, I broke fresh powder snow most of the way. Despite being difficult, it was really fun. Took me forever to get through it. 45:03. Phoenix joined me and hopped along behind in my tracks. I was soaked in melted snow and sweat by the time I finished. I still had time to pack for our trip before going into work at 6pm.

I was beat and hoped for a quiet night, but no, we had two calls, and I got about 4 hours of sleep. Oh well. Haha.

Tuesday 12/13- Long travel day. Drove to Peabody, Ma to catch the Logan Express.

We had some time to kill at the airport since I qualify for Pre-Check at the TSA. We would anyway since John is under 12, but I somehow got on the Pre-Check list a few years ago. No shoes off, no laptops out. So much easier and fast. We went over to Harpoon with the plan to have lunch, but their menu sucked so I just had a beer and some peanuts, then we got dinner elsewhere before walking back over to our gate.

In the Logan Delta terminal waiting for our flight to Atlanta
The flight ended up being 30 minutes longer in the air due to weather delays in Atlanta. I read an entire book while John sat in the seat in front of me watching a movie. When we got to Atlanta, we were both burning up and sweating. A guy told us to bundle up outside because it was cold. It was 53 degrees! We were relieved for the fresh cool air. haha. Before getting our shuttle van to Athens, we had cold drinks at a bar in the airport.

The shuttle wasn't too bad, but we didn't get to Athens until 10pm. My parents picked us up and drove us to my brother's house where we'd be staying for the week. His house was also too warm and stuffy so I went right to the window to open it...BUT IT WAS PAINTED SHUT! Every single window upstairs was painted shut! OMG! I wanted to die. I would end up waking every night pouring in sweat and unable to get back to sleep. By the time we left the following Monday, I was exhausted from the lack of sleep.

Wednesday 12/14- It was nice to be on vacation and in no hurry whatsoever to get out for my run. I got to catch up with my brother and my parents for a few hours. Then I borrowed the truck and drove down to Heritage Park for a trail run. The trail was great. Windy and hilly mountain bike trails that made a large loop. My GPS lost its signal in the middle and cut off close to a mile. I didn't care, though. Last year, I ran here hungover and injured. This time I felt great and really pushed myself. I had to stop a few times to look at the map on my phone, but I tried to keep it brief. I accidentally got a picture of myself during one of these stops. The only photo I took besides the map photos.

I love this because I didn't even know I took this until later and it's pretty cool.
I ended up with 8.1 miles in 1:16:12. 755ft of elevation gain. Constant rollers made the elevation really add up.

Later that afternoon, my brother, Brandon, and I went for a drink at Chops & Hops down the street before he had to go out of town for two days for work.

Brandon and me in his Porsche.
He also has a Yugo. haha.
As soon as we got back, I took John to the trampoline park where we met up with my niece, Madison. This park was far better than the ones around here, and John loved it. He needed the exercise. I'd had plans to swing over to a brewery after the trampoline park, but my niece ended up coming back with us. I couldn't corrupt her like that. Haha. We did go to Starbucks and the beer store after, though.

There wasn't much to do back at the house. It's in the middle of nowhere outside of Athens. All of these new neighborhoods have sprung up out there since I've been gone the last 17 years. Parts of Athens are nearly unrecognizable to me now. It's basically become a suburb of Atlanta, which was predicted way back. I hate Atlanta, so I find this pretty disappointing. Athens has probably doubled in population since I left, but the infrastructure has mostly remained the same making it traffic mayhem. It's such a fantastic city, though. So anyway, the rest of the night was pretty boring. My dad was sick the whole time, so neither of my parents left the house much except to visit my grandmother the next day.

I'll admit I've been pretty disappointed that my parents are big Trump supporters. I actually went off on anti-Trump tirade that night. And when I say anti-Trump, it was all a judge of his character based on what I heard directly come out of his mouth. I was met with a "You need to check your facts," in response. What facts? I never stated any facts. I was judging the man on him alone. It was a lost cause. I shut up. No point.

Thursday 12/15- I got up early for a longish run in the boonies before we left for north Georgia to see my grandmother. There is absolutely no shoulder on the road here. It's literally the white line next to dirt and grass, and I hit the first 2 miles right in the middle of rush hour. I thought I was going to be killed and ran in the grass most of the way. NONE of the cars moved over even a little bit. That's like my nightmare. Once out on the country roads, there were few cars, all of them courteous, and a lot of cows. The run was hilly and a headwind the whole way out, but coming back with the tailwind and a lot of downhill made the finish easier. 13.1 miles in 1:32:49. 7:03/mi pace. 675ft of elevation gain, so decent.

We drove up to Hiawassee, GA, where my parents used to live until they sold their house this past summer and moved to Hawaii. Even though this is more boonies, my parents had a life there that kept them busy. So our visits always included things to do. Plus I had my favorite places to run up there. Visits had boring moments, but it was more relaxed, and my parents seemed less stressed. It was nice to get up there to see my 88 year old grandmother anyway. It was the only time my dad left the house the whole week besides dinner my last night there.

Four generations. I'm a tall one in the family. Haha.

John found this picture at my grandmother's and tried to recreate his face from 2009 Thanksgiving. He hated little kids then and wanted to hit his cousin next to us. If you look closely, you can tell I'm restraining him. Haha. What's also funny is that there are two ex's in this photo.  That's my brother's SECOND ex-wife. Haha. We O'Dell's aren't good at marriage.
We went to lunch and then headed back to Athens. It was a lot of sitting for John, so we went back to the trampoline park again for an hour. It was so late after we left that I opted out of a brewery visit. It was back to the house for more beer and...sitting around.

Rush Trampoline Park in Athens

My dinner. BEST cheese I'd ever had on the left. A port wine and beer cheese. I'd buy a block of this if I could find it. My brother brought it home from a catered event.
Friday 12/16- Another lazy morning because I could. With the 8K the next day, I decided to do something short, yet quick, on the trails at the UGA Botanical Garden. The last time I ran out here was probably 2004 when I came back for my brother's wedding and my 10th high school reunion. It was actually a pretty challenging 4 mile loop with a lot of rolling hills. It came down to a flat stretch along the Oconee River which was really nice. 4 miles in 32:52. Not a bad pace on the trails, especially with 387ft of elevation gain.

Tree tunnel along the river
I finally took John into downtown Athens and for a walk through the University of Georgia campus. I had to show him where I grew up and went to college since Bishop, GA (where we were staying with my brother) was NOT home for me growing up. As we drove through the downtown to find parking, I noticed it was crazy busy. Then I saw them, girls in mini skirts with graduation gowns. It was UGA graduation day!! Ugh! That meant town would be packed, and I worried about my plans for lunch at Trappeze Pub. Fortunately, we were only a table of two (story of my life), so we were sat right away. I chose this one for the beer menu of course. Turned out 2 of the beers I wanted were kicked! Ahh. I still had two great stouts, followed by a mediocre cider. I wasn't planning to drink so much, but John's one slider burger wasn't enough, and he ordered a second one. I had no choice but to drink more!

Photo from the Trappeze Pub in downtown Athens
I have to say I got a huge kick out of the young women walking in there. It was actually freezing out with a strong, cold wind, and all of these girls were walking in in mini skirts shivering. No joke. They honestly looked like morons. But I guess that was the outfit they picked out weeks ago and were sticking to it. Haha. It was time to walk around town and campus after that. John ended up really enjoying it, especially when he realized there were Pokemon everywhere!! It was crazy walking around and being able to point out what class I had in each building. Just engrained in my memory.

For those who don't know, at UGA, I majored in International Business and took 4 years of higher level French, that included French lecture classes. I understood the language perfectly, even though my own fluency was lacking. (I can't even speak or understand a bit of French now!) I had enough credits for a French Minor, but I chose instead to use those credits for the Global Studies Certificate. I graduated with a BBA in 1998. Sounds so sophisticated, right? Except that I hated almost every minute of my college education. I hated the Business School. The only class I absolutely LOVED was Political Science 101, an elective. It was the first time in my life I stood up on a stage ALONE; I was presenting my view for a mock town meeting. I broke away from my group literally 5 minutes before our presentation. We were supposed to be role playing, but they were playing the role of themselves. I presented the case from the OPPOSITE of my own point of view because it wasn't the role I was supposed to be playing. I walked up on the stage, said I had decided to break from my group (and this was after weeks of practice and discussion with my group) and proceeded to present my view on the choice of a landfill vs a park. Fuck the park! Haha. In real life, I wanted the park. The point is, I LOVED that class; it actually gave me the confidence to step outside of my shell for the first time. I should have changed my major right there, but I was SO burned out on school at that point that I couldn't imagine adding on another year to get in the Poli Sci pre-requisites. So I stuck with the business school. I was in a Business Fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi. I had a lot of friends in it, but they all asked me the same thing, "What are you doing in the business school?" My answer, "Just finishing it up." So in March of 1998, I graduated. The economy was booming. I could have had a job almost anywhere in Atlanta. My accountant friends went to Arthur Anderson and the like (look what happened to them all!). I just couldn't do it. And a choice was made that sent me on a completely different course in life. 1.5 months after running my first half marathon (the only constant in my whole life is running!) and 1.5 weeks after college graduation, I stepped foot on the Appalachian Trail for my first thru-hike. Post-thru-hike, I started the career I thought I would have until I retired because I loved it so much, a flight attendant with Delta Airlines. And when I say loved, I mean LOVED. September 11, 2001 changed my life course. My job no longer existed 2 months later. I hit the road in a 1985 Dodge van with my boyfriend (future husband, future ex-husband haha) and lived homeless by choice for the next 2 years. 6 months in the van in Arizona and California, 6 months thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, 6 months living in our van, mostly in Key West, FL, then 6 months on a second thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail before we were totally broke and ended up in Center Conway, NH. I married Bryan during that time and then ended up an Army Spouse for the next 7.5 years before (as much to my chagrin) settling back in Center Conway. A son, a divorce and 5 jobs later, here I am. The point of writing all of this garbage was to lead into how I feel about my life now. 4 years wasted. A completely obsolete college degree (DOS and Windows 93, anyone?). I was fortunate to have a full scholarship that covered tuition and books my entire college career so at least I'm not wallowing in the waste of a student loan. I work a job that teenagers do making $11/hour. How did I get here?! I used to say how I played in my 20s and had a blast. So worth it. But was it? Now, I'm not so sure. I do believe I would still be a flight attendant today with 17 years in had 9/11 not happened. It's weird to think how much that day directly changed my life, and because of it, I saw it as a chance to walk the mountains. It was wonderful! But as a 27 year old, it was hard to think of what the future really held living as a bum. And a part of me regrets some of it. These last few weeks, especially after walking around UGA and being back in my hometown, really brought out a lot of this regret. Reminded of me of what I once had potential for that I squandered and has left me kind of depressed the last week. There's basically no going back, though. I know that. I wouldn't be as strong physically nor mentally with my life experiences. I probably never would have escaped my controlled, comfortable life if I hadn't hike the Appalachian Trail at 22. So there are positives to it at least. For now, it's time to make plans for the future and work on escaping my prison. It will happen eventually. I may be in debt up to my eyeballs by then, but it WILL happen.

Anyway, back to the regularly scheduled programming....

Downtown Athens

UGA Arch!

I LOATHE football, but going to games here as a kid thru college was always fun.

A place I hung out a lot when I was a student

Pokemon Go led him here.
After our walk around campus, we went to Jittery Joe's Coffee Shop which used to be Caffe Royale. Both, in their original locations, were my almost daily hangouts in my last two years in Athens. The meter was about to run out, so we went back to the car with plans to hit Terrapin Brewing....until I got the text that my brother, Jason, had already arrived in town. So back to the house in Bishop we went. I got to see my brother and his son, Charles, for the first time in 3 years. John was super excited to hang out with all of his cousins who had arrived while we were gone. It was actually a good evening, even though I proceeded to finish off my 6th beer of the day with the 8K race the next day. Oops.

John with 2 of his cousins

Saturday 12/17- Despite my personal beer fest the day before, I woke up right into race mode. Athens usually has multiple races in the area every weekend, but on this particular weekend, there was only one, and it just so happened to be 3.9 miles from my brother's house. Perfect. The Will Chamberlin Memorial Santa Stroll 8K. Will Chamberlin could probably be considered the father of racing in the Athens area. He played a huge roll in the racing scene beginning in the early 80s. Without Will, my running might never have gotten off the ground. So it was perfectly fitting for this to be the one race of the weekend. My brothers and their kids decided to join in so I signed us up for a team.

I drove over early so that I could get a 3-mile warm up in ahead of time. I regretted the 3rd mile of the warm up and knew from that that I was going to have a shitty race. But, honestly, what did I expect? Haha. I walked to the start line with Brandon who was going to run part of it with his two youngest kids and then lined up with my nephew, Charles, at the start line. Lined up in front of us were these two kids who had traveled there from Texas to break the World Age Record in the 8K. One look at the girl, and I knew she was going to win the race. She looked 10 years old (turned out to be 13), but I could just tell that she was going to be fast. I'll just start by saying that she and the boy she was there with both broke their World Age Records for the 8K. Camille Napier. 29:52. Remember that name. She has potential written all over her.

There really isn't much to write about this race. The weather was pretty cold with a headwind going out the first half. I started off too fast and died big time in the second mile. No surprise there. Then it was just another punishing 2.9 miles after that. It was an out-and-back that I guess would be considered "flat", but it really wasn't. Very slight hills the whole way. At a slower pace, it would have felt flat, but at race pace, every incline felt like a big hill. I felt like a huge tub of lard the whole way, too. The sugar, the beer. I could feel it all. And I'm one who can drink the day before a race and do well, but certainly not with that many beers! I wanted to puke the entire last mile. The best part of the race, though, was when I passed my brother and 5 year old nephew, Lofton. Lofton immediately turned around and started running with me. He actually outran me for about 10 yards before stopping. He's fast! And so cute! I gave 100% of what I had to give, but came across the finish line in a disappointing 31:02. I ran my half marathon PR at almost the same pace. Haha. Oh well. I ended up finishing 2nd female and 7th overall. I was 1:18 ahead of the 3rd female, so I at least took 2nd easily. Here are my sad splits:

Mile 1: 5:57 Felt way faster than that
Mile 2: 6:29 Cringe!!
Mile 3: 6:21 Less cringe
Mile 4: 6:16 Felt like 5:45
Last .9: 6:18 That wasn't even a full mile! Complete cringe fest!

Pain cave. At least my arm has more muscle now. Can't say anything nice about the rest. haha

My mom was at the finish so I stopped with her for a minute then had to run to the car to grab clothes. It was actually really cold in the wind. I came right back over to watch my nephew, Charles, finish around 40 minutes and then my brother, Jason, finish in 46. Brandon and his kids had just walked and jogged out a little bit and were already done. I ran a 2-mile cool down then joined them inside the church where the race was held (one of the 100s of Baptist churches in the area). The awards were actually great. A Santa bobblehead and a cool mug. Full Race Results

My brother, Jason, and my nephew, Charles

My brother, Brandon, nephew, Lofton and niece, Copelan
I took Charles with me to Jittery Joe's Coffee Shop to get coffee and something sweet to get fatter with. Got John a hot chocolate and muffin. He was lucky that my dad stayed behind so he didn't have to go to the race. He was still asleep when I got back.

Early afternoon, it was back to the trampoline park! Haha. John loved it and it was the only way I could get him exercise. Somehow, I ended up with a car full of kids by myself! WTF. Haha. This time, I was going to a brewery dammit! So I made my mom and Jason meet me over there. Other than my runs and the one quick drink with Brandon, I really hadn't gotten a kid-free moment since I'd been there. I needed a little selfish time and told Jason to come along. We hadn't seen each other in 3 years so we needed to catch up. And I honestly didn't feel like it was too much to ask of my mom since we only see my parents once a year. And all she was really doing was just driving the kids back to the house. They didn't need much else beyond that. So I didn't feel guilty. It was off to Creature Comforts Brewing!

Back at Rush!
Creature Comforts was awesome!! The brewery is beautiful and the beer awesome. The Koko Buni Porter is out of this world. We got 6 6oz pours, a glass and took home 4 cans of Koko Buni. We had a great time catching up on each other's lives. 3 years was way too long!

Jason and me
When we got back, we took family photos for some reason I can't remember. Haha.

Me with my brothers

I guess I kind of belong in the kids' photo since my maturity level is about the same. Haha.

A serious family photo. (It's actually missing two more siblings, a niece and a nephew.)
12/18 Sunday- Woke up to nearly 70 degrees and high humidity! What was this? New England? I thought it would be nice to run in, but, oh no, it wasn't. Not at all. I was dying! It felt like Bobby Doyle all over again...except that if Bobby Doyle had been 70 degrees, we would all have been rejoicing at the cooler weather! Haha. How quickly the body adapts to the changing weather.  I couldn't complain, though. It was better than below zero temps and ice/snow.

I ran on the North Oconee River Greenway, which was actually a vision of mine long, long ago, well before they finally made it. Whenever I see a city with a river through it, I'm always dumbfounded to find no bike path next to it, i.e. North Conway. Haha. Unfortunately, it's kind of short and goes through kind of a bad part of town. Almost NO ONE was on it. I only saw two other people. It states it's 3.75 miles long, but, um, it's not even close. It was only 2.2. I added on an extra .8 miles on the road in Sandy Creek Park and another .4 miles on the other end in Dudley Park. Not sure how they messed the mileage up that much. Haha. It was still a nice path. It was mostly along the Oconee River and in the trees. A very nice use of space that was previously rarely frequented due to its close proximity to a high crime area. I ran at a decent clip but wanted to die in the "heat". It was actually a struggle. I finished within seconds of a downpour, so my timing was good. 6.1 miles in 44:21. 7:14/mi pace.

After the downpour, the temps dropped to the mid-50s. I should have waited to run. Haha. The afternoon was spent back at the trampoline park! Haha! This time Brandon and I took the kids. So that made 4 visits in 6 days for John.

We decided to all go out to dinner to Chops & Hops, and I had a great disappointment and reminder of why I hate the South. Chops removes the Hops on Sundays! WTF! Athens has a similar law in that there are no alcohol sales on Sundays, and only places that serve food can serve alcohol. Stupid that something like this is still in place in 2016. But Watkinsville doesn't even allow alcohol to be served in restaurants on Sundays! I was so appalled that I never could wipe the disgusted look off of my face. I made this for the FB beer page:

No way was I drinking water! UNsweet tea instead
Dinner was still good, and I was thankful that I had one beer left in the fridge when we got back.

As far as running goes for the week, I got in a lot less than I thought I would. I probably would have done more if I hadn't raced, so 50 is actually typical for me when I'm racing.

December 19-December 25, 2016- 60.1 miles

Monday 12/19- Up super early for another long travel day. My parents dropped us off at the shuttle back to the Atlanta airport. I was definitely ready to go home. I needed to be back in control of my space. I almost felt like a kid living with my parents again the whole time we were there. This is the first time I've noticed how living alone (with John, of course) for the last two years has actually affected me in a somewhat negative way. I don't really know how to get along very well with others anymore when I feel confined and not in total control of my environment. Soooo I think I just sealed the deal on Hermit for Life. Haha. Oh well. At least I'm comfortable being alone.

A rare moment with John
The shuttle ride was quick and got us to the airport 3 hours ahead of our flight. We were through security in less than 10 minutes with the Pre-Check thing, had breakfast and then waited at our gate the rest of the time.

New exhibit between concourses at Hartsfield
The flight left 15 minutes late, but with the great tailwind, we arrived 20 minutes early. It was a 30 minute wait for the Logan Express, and we were back to Peabody in no time. A quick stop for food on the way home and we got back before 9pm. The dogs were crazy excited to see us. I missed them! Spot was still in her splint so I cut it off. Her foot looked great!

I had packages awaiting. New snowshoes. Thank you, Bob Dion! And a box from the USATF-NE office. My award from the Mayor's Cup! It's really nice, but hard to take a picture of. Haha.

I unpacked, did laundry and, if you can believe it, DIDN'T have a beer. I was beer'd out! I didn't have another beer for 3 days. Just needed a short detox. I also didn't eat any sugar. After only 3 days, I felt more like myself again.

I got on the treadmill around 10pm because the all-day sitting made me too antsy and wide-awake. I did the 5-mile progression run in 35:04. It felt really good, and I was able to go right to sleep.

John put on Spot's collar. haha
Tuesday 12/20- John ended up going with Bryan all day since he hadn't seen him in a week. This gave me a chance to do 2 runs and get some errands done. Run #1 was from the house for an out-and-back on Tasker and Allard Hill Roads. There was probably a total of 2 miles on slippery ice, but the rest was dry and in great shape. This would be the fastest I've run this particular route! I was happy with that. 12.3 miles in 1:31:43. 7:26/mi avg pace. My watch didn't get the elevation right. This run is always just over 1000ft of gain, but it only recorded 913ft. I've used 3 different devices that all came out to over 1000, including the watch I used today, so something was way off there. The distance, as well. I had to run an extra .1 miles past the usual turnaround point to make it 6 miles at the half. My old watch, phone app and this watch have all been right on the money in the exact same place before. So the watch missed something. I'm finding this common with my "new" watch, the Forerunner 220. I feel like my old Forerunner 405 was way more accurate and the phone app consistently .2 long. Haha. Anyway, it was a run I was happy with.

Back to the cold. Brrr.
I took Spot back to the vet for a check up. She was in the clear! Yay! She just had a sore caused my the splint on the bottom of her foot, so she still had to wait a few days to let it heal.

I took Phoenix with me to the dump then over to Whitaker Woods for my second run, a snowshoe run. Same loop, just started in a different location. I was surprised to still be breaking a lot of trail days after the last snowfall, and it was the icy stuff, too. The snowshoe breaks through it, but then you trip over the lip of the ice with your snowshoe. Once out of the hole, the back of the snowshoe kicks up ice balls that pelt you in the back of the head. Haha. That part wasn't super fun, but it was a good workout. I was super tired after that. 3.8 miles which made 16.1 for the day. I was getting back on the right foot!

I picked up John at his ninja class later and called it an early night. I was SO tired.

Wednesday 12/21- Up early for my treadmill run as usual but slower. 5 miles in 36:40. I was feeling beat. It was back to work after my vacation. Boo! Sadly, I won't be able to take another day off for a long time since I used up all of my earned time going to Georgia. I think my next planned day off will be in August, the day after the Ragged 75 stage race that I'm going to do. I doubt I'll be up for a 24 hour shift after 3 days of racing. Other than that, maybe a half day or two. It's actually not bad at all, though, since I have 4-day weekends. It's almost like taking a vacation every week.

The work day was slightly busy with a middle of the night call. That one hurt since I still hadn't caught up on sleep from my week away. I was exhausted by Thursday.

Thursday 12/22- A small snowstorm moved in so I spent the morning after work getting in my first strength training workout in a week and a half and then relaxing while I waited for the snow to stop. I finished a book just before the snow stopped then it was time to run.

Dressed for my run while finishing my book.
Snowing out
I went back to Hurricane Mt Road to do the full closed portion of the road on snowshoes. That run kicked my ass big time. Snowmobiles had been through, fortunately, but the fresh snow made it a bit soft still. 8 miles total. Up to the top of the road, down to Chatham and the back up and over. 2,162ft of elevation gain in 1:34:06. I realized how out of snowshoe running shape I'm in after this one. My legs were trashed. It was pretty, though, and felt great to push myself like that again.

I made a trip to Frontside Grind, then home for awhile before going out to the movies to see Manchester by the Sea. I had a free ticket on my movie card so I figured what the hell. It was really good, but crazy depressing. I decided to go home and gouge my eyes out after that. Haha. Ok. Not really. Since I was glad that story line wasn't mine!

Friday 12/23- Slept in really late to catch up on sleep. I needed it! By run time, it was about 40 degrees. I had no desire to run on the road and knew that Corridor 19 snowmobile trail had been groomed so I decided to run on that with microspikes. Yeahhhh...I made it .2 miles before turning around and going back to my car for my snowshoes. The snow was super soft. Even with snowshoes, running was difficult. I ran mostly on the edges where snowmobiles hadn't yet churned up the snow, but it was still slow-going. As with every snowshoe run, though, my heart rate was probably close to its max the whole time and my legs were really working. I ran 3 miles out on Corridor 19 and then a mile up the Mason Brook Trail before turning around. Once again, I finished completely beat and pouring in sweat. Awesome workout. 8.1 miles total in 1:24:12. 836ft of elevation gain.

John came home later as he always does on Friday. He and his dad had been out all morning so we didn't do anything else outside the house. I got in another Zuzka Light workout and was already feeling way better. My body was quickly purging the previous week. My face even looked better, and my body felt back to normal.

Saturday 12/24- Ugh. Christmas Eve. This would be the first time since 2012 where I didn't work a 24 on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas. I almost always pick up a shift on one of the days or my schedule happened to fall on it. I loathe Christmas. Don't get me wrong. I love the lights and the music and having the tree and watching John open his presents, but I hate the rest of it. I'm not someone who gets invited to Christmas parties or family get togethers. I don't receive any gifts. I'm also not religious at all, as I've mentioned before. So there is really no reason for me to celebrate Christmas other than for John. Both days were just regular days for us minus the 5 minutes John spent opening his presents, which he loved, by the way.

The roads were wicked icy so I decided a treadmill run would be a much better workout. I did a 10-mile progression run again and felt really good. I had to work hard the last 3 especially when I upped the elevation, but I pushed through it. 1:10:47. 7:05/mi avg pace. Very pleased with this one since 10 miles on a treadmill is also mentally tough.

Christmas Eve ended up just pissing me off because we went all the way to Portland and kept running into places that said they were open online to find they were just about to close. We got to Spare Time to play laser tag and learned it was 50 minutes to close and we couldn't play. She felt bad for us so gave us a $5 card to the arcade. I actually already had two $5 cards so John did end up having a good time for 45 minutes. From there it was over to the Great Lost Bear. Website and FB page said they were open but gave no holiday hours, and, yep, they had just locked the door when we got there. Grr. I was starving since I hadn't eaten all day. I found that Ri Ra was open and drove that direction, but as we passed the Sebago Brewing Co, I noticed it was open. I asked John where he wanted to go, and he chose Sebago. I've always liked their beer. It ended up being a good choice. My peanut butter, brie and bacon burger was so good! I also got a Slick Nick beer.

Slick Nick

Playing Pokemon Sun and Moon on his new Nintendo 3DS he got from his grandparents for Christmas
From there, I decided to make the 18-mile drive down to Dirigo Brewing Co for their Baltic Porter Release. I had never been here and saw a post on FB about it earlier. It was pretty much the only brewery open on Christmas Eve. Besides a few guys who left shortly after we got there, it was just the bartender, a really interesting older guy and us. It was nice. They had free popcorn so John actually had a good time. He was surprised when I told him the river outside was the Saco. Haha. I enjoyed the beer and then talked to the older guy and bartender for awhile before we left. It left me in a really good mood to end the day. It was such a good choice to come here.

Sunday, 12/25- John opened his Christmas presents as soon as he woke up. I enjoyed watching him so this part of Christmas was good. I got him the two things he wanted plus a stocking, then he had two other gifts from my parents, and that was it.

My parents got him a new cell phone. I spent a frustrating hour trying to get it to work right, but it just wouldn't. I told Bryan to take John to the Verizon store the next day to see if they could fix it. Turned out it was a prepaid phone! I'm such a moron that I didn't even notice. Haha. Bryan pointed it out the next day. Duh. Phone got returned and a new one is on the way.

I went for a run through Cranmore Shores. I added on extra in the middle so that I would have enough to make 60 miles for the week. I didn't run it super fast. More of an easy pace. A lot of icy roads in the first and last miles also slowed it down. 7.1 miles in 7:17/mi avg pace. This run felt REALLY easy. And I was psyched to hit 60 miles again! That's about my max now. I don't really have any extra time to do more miles. I guess if I wanted to get on the treadmill for an extra few miles, I could, so it's not impossible. I'm just comfortable with 50-60 mile weeks when I'm racing every weekend, and that starts back next week!

It was actually beautiful out so John and I took all 3 dogs out to the Albany Town Forest for 2.7 miles of xc skiing. It was my first time out this year. I actually plan to do more of it solo on Thursday afternoons since I have a pass to King Pine. Part of the trail was icy, but most of it was soft enough to make it fun. We were out there for almost an hour and 40 minutes so it was time well spent.

There was nowhere else to go due to the pesky holiday so it was back home for the night. I got in another Zuzka Light workout and noticed that after 4 of her workouts during this week, I'm back to where I was pre-Georgia visit.

After probably 6 months or so, I broke out the wine instead of beer for a change. I just wanted wine for some reason. Weird. After the wine, I did the dishes, put away laundry, then called it an early night. I was happy for this holiday to be over.

Hmm. What song to end this with? I doubt anyone reading this listens to them anyway, but this is kind of a fitting one for this post.