Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mankato Marathon Expo and Race

So to continue in the right direction after the TC10 mile we decided to sign up for the Mankato Half Marathon.  Right after TC I was actually contacted by the Mankato group asking if we wanted to come down and have a booth at the expo again.  They supposedly had received our insurance information and wanted to know if we were indeed coming.   Believe me, we did NOT send our insurance information so it was just a line to contact us with but obviously it worked since we bought into a booth.  They were offering half price cost and we ended up signing over 200 new emails to our RaceGuide365 newsletter list so it was worth it.   Plus gave Mark a chance to chat in person with a few ZapEvent customers and potential customers. 

In the picture you can see our new UpTempo Logo and Expo backdrop that we are very excited about. Plus we also now have a Plinko board. Draws them in like flies and all they have to do is give me their email address to play and win a prize. Value for Value!

The keynote speaker was pretty cool too.  Kathrine Switzer.  If you are a marathon runner, you know who she is.  (her story)  She truly paved the way for women in marathon running so it was really cool to hear her speak and then get to meet her afterwards.  Mark bought me her book and we had her sign it.   She's super nice, although you can tell some that she does know she's important and goes through the motions a bit when meeting her fans.

Before the race we damn near froze to death, luckily tucking into a spot in a slightly heated bus stop.  It did start to rain right before the start and at the moment I realized my iPod had very little battery charge, Mark decided he was going to run with me that day.   I know he doesn't always enjoy my slower pace but it is really fun to run together in races once and awhile.  Even if he insists on singing aloud, not looking like running is taking him much effort when I'm about ready to fall over I'm so tired :-P

I originally planned on running by myself but as the weather forecast became more dire ;) I decided to run with Kris and keep her sprits up during the frosty morning. I was hoping that we could run a sub 2:00 hour half and the entire race I had the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld in my head yelling "No 2's for You." I know, I am weird.

IT band came on pretty strong again in the last mile.   Thought it might hold out for me but the last mile was pretty painful and my stride really shortened up because of it but Mark kept me going and we crossed the finish line hand in hand.  <3 data-blogger-escaped-font="">

Oh and it was some weird deja vu in the last 3 miles or so as we were running through the area and park that we came down to for a geocaching event a couple years ago.  The OTAK event.

And it took us all of 5 seconds after getting back to our hotel room to grab a celebratory drink :)

The beer pictured is Organ Grinder from Mankato Brewery - Not bad but I came up with a new hashtag that I am going to use in the future. #drinklocal

I only noticed once along the course that my right toenail may be poking my other toe a bit but it quickly resolved itself and I forgot all about it.  Until I went to take my shoes off to take a shower and noticed that it actually bled so bad it soaked into my shoe!!

I've switched to trying Saucony's and so far have liked running in them but this is an odd instance because I have never had a bloody toenail issue in my right foot.  It's always been the left foot, middle toe toenail digging into my second biggest toe.   This time was the same exact issue just the opposite foot.

On the way out of town Mark noticed a fun little stop:

I love finding game shops and checking out how they are setup. Dork Den has a great name and is a really nice shop, very friendly and they introduced me to the artwork of Art Lucia. Very Cool!

And I couldn't resist stopping at the gigantic Candy store along Hwy 169 that was having their fall festival of apples and pumpkins and squash.

  ---Oh and as I was writing this blog, we found out just how much of a chicken Rugar can be.   Mark accidentally overboiled a pot of jalapeno jam on the stove and it created some major smoke and as soon as the smoke alarm went off, Rugar was beside himself and when we put him outside, he was sitting on the ground with his leash stretched out as far away from the house as he could get, shivering harder than I've ever seen him before.  Our big chicken ;)  Granted I found Sugar underneath the deck as well.

In my defense, I was washing dishes when the pot overboiled. I can not comment about a watched pot but I can confirm that an unwatched pot will boil.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Back to IT

So after Mark was let go from PowerObjects last May, we've been working on finding a way for him to continue in a sales position.  We took a bit of a leap of faith and he accepted a position with ADT Security selling to small businesses.

Needless to say ADT was not the solution. Oh they talk a good game and say you can make this and that but in all honestly it is bull and they are constantly hiring because in the end it is not sustainable. Case in point, I was hired the 4th in a group of 4, I was the most successful but in the end all of them quit before I did. Others were hired after me or were supposed to start but decided better. And of those that were working before me at ADT, 3 quit while I was working there. It was a tough summer.

Money has been more than tight and we just can't seem to get ahead.  The ultimate goal is to get out of this house, fix it up enough to rent it out and buy something much newer if not brand new and livable.  This house works but it's not livable.  What I mean is that we can't have people over, or use most of the space due to the dogs not having room of their own so I feel like we are missing a huge social element in our lives.  I'm even embarrassed when the pizza guy walks up to the door and can see in.  Problem is that all of that takes a lot of money that we just don't have yet so we are working on a savings plan (and continuing to buy lottery tickets) in the hopes that soon, very soon we can afford to make some changes.

Once I realized that Sales was not a consistent income solution for us, at least it did not match our goals, I decided to bite the bullet and go back to my roots and a place where I know I can make decent money. IT

It didn't take long once I posted my IT resume, I received countless calls from recruiters and on two separate occasions, recruiters asked where I had been, finding my resume suddenly in the resume pool was a shocked as my skill set sets it apart from what had been previously been out there.

At one point I had three job offers and in the end I decided to accept a position with CompuCom, the vary same company that I started my IT career with back in 1997. A little ironic to come back to IT at the same company that I got my start with. Currently I am on a patch management project for US Bank and with a little luck that will role into a long term assignment. But for now we are back on financial track for the next 4 months.


So I don't know if I've really been too busy to write or just avoiding it.  1) because i'm on the computer all the time and don't like being on it more or 2) because the reason for this post just sucks.

As I've said time and time again, I'm sentimental and I want to have something to go back to and remember all of our memories so I'm going to get this one typed out and try to keep it somewhat brief.   Mostly because I want to forget the heartbreaking details of the moments I had to say goodbye and the heartbroken days after that were as excruciatingly painful as I always expected they would be.  

Maverick and Neo have been my boys for 13 1/2 years and on September 22nd, 2013 I had to say
goodbye to Maverick.  He had been having troubles with inflamed intestinal disease and the doc was worried he may also have been developing pancreatitis.   In the end it was a blood clot on top of it all that made us know it was time.  Our vet was great and explained everything and helped us understand that we did the right thing and his chances of recovery, even if we went to the U of M and worked with specialists were less than 10% and he would be in pain.

The part that still puts a deep pain in my heart is the memory of the moments in the end.  I am glad we were there and got to say goodbye and hold him and tell him I loved him but it comes with the price of the memory of when it happened and how much it hurt.   I know in time I'll be able to put that all aside and remember only all the amazing love and joy he brought to my life but so far a month later it still stings.

How we used to crawl up my leg when he was just a kitten and spent some time sleeping in a Mt Dew 12 pack.  When I would pick him up he'd rest his chin on my shoulder and occasionally decide to crawl up on my back.  And all the cute kisses he would give me by rubbing up against my nose.

How he loved to tear apart rolls of toilet paper and paper towels.  

How he insisted all TV time included him in my lap and back in my townhouse when I was working from home, I'd get home from Masters Swim in the morning and have time for us to nap together on the couch before starting work.  In his later years he did the "in your face" cat thing to wake me up much earlier than the alarm to ask for attention and breakfast.  And that crazy chewing thing he did with his mouth that after much discussion with the vet was assumed to be just a habit.  

And how he would drink out of my glass of water by shoving his head in it. 

If you are not a pet are rolling your eyes right now.  If you are a pet person, you get it.  Neo has been doing great.  We've seen a shift in her personality but for the better.  He doesn't seem sad or depressed but he's been much more vocal and cuddly and enjoys being in my lap.   While he can't take Maverick's place, he's doing a pretty damn good job of consoling with his cuteness.


(sorry the pictures are all over the page but Blogger still hasn't figured out how to make inserting pictures and arranging them easy even for someone like me that is fairly good with basic html......)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Getting our running feet back on the road - TC Marathon weekend

So I have two races to catch up on.   Feels good to be running at least a little and I think we've both come to terms with the fact that we can't be 100% "on" and training super hard right now and just need to get back running, don't care about pace and just enjoy being out there on the road or trail or whatever. 

TC Marathon weekend we were working the expo again.  We setup the ALARC booth, Mark managed our UpTempo booth and our fancy new Plinko board.

I worked with Jamie over at the Skirt Sports booth.  It was fun, I'm not the world's greatest sales person and spent a lot of my time at the prize wheel but we made a lot of sales and I got two new outfits out of the deal.  (Score!!) 

We managed to run a fairly successful TC 10 Mile.  A lot of that probably has to do with the super cool weather that morning.  Neither of us were in it to race by any means but just go out and enjoy it.  I maybe slacked a little more than needed in the first few miles but I was unsure how the IT band was going to hold up.  I felt really good in the middle miles but then the IT band started to lock up in the last two miles so it was a pain maintenance type finish.

The coolest part was the VIP passes.  Someone inside TCIM must have given them to us in our Expo packet.  What they gave us was access to the VIP area at the finish line.   Nice bathroom trailer, snacks, lunch and a really nice travel bag.   Plus front row seats to watch the marathon winners cross the line

We walked back to meet up with Brandon and T who were in town for about 12 hours to watch a friend run the full marathon and we caught Michael as he was nearing the finish line, smiling and sporting his Target team singlet.

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