Wednesday, May 30, 2012

smelly cat, smelly cat, it's not your fault

Two weeks ago, Kyle came home and told Layne he had to go out to the field for at least a week the next day (insert not so happy Layne). So Layne didn't want to just sit around in Houston for a week by herself (boring!) so she packed up a good three weeks worth of clothes and drove to Tulsa with the cat & dog in the back.

That Wednesday morning, with the dog happy as ever in the back seat and the cat not-so-happy in her crate in the way back, Layne started the trek to Tulsa. Houston to Dallas is super fast and easy (that's the part Layne always drives when her and Kyle go back up north) so she knew exactly where to go. But then came the problem. This was the first time she had ever driven that far by herself and she had never even driven to Dallas from Tulsa in all those years she could drive and so she was pretty worried about the part from D up to T-town.  Luckily, she made it to Tulsa and didn't get lost. In 9 hours.

There was a hiccup in Dallas though. Back when we moved down to Houston at the beginning of this year, we had the cat in her crate the whole time. And every couple hours when we stopped to get gas, drink, eat, etc. we would take the cat out and have her try to go potty in her literbox. She never needed to (we also gave her the amount of drugs the doc prescribed, so maybe she was just couldn't.) So the morning Layne started to drive she gave her the same amount of drugs and the cat seemed normal the whole time. The usual random discontented meows filtering through Layne's cheerful jams. So when she stopped halfway from Houston to Dallas at a park to let the dog roam, she thought the cat would be fine for another two hours. She gave the cat some water and then went and threw the ball to Char to stretch her legs, go potty and get tired. Once Char was panting and slobbering uncontrollably they packed up and started the drive again to Dallas. About 30 minutes before hitting Dallas, the cat started to meow even more tiredly and pissed off sounding. Layne just thought "the drugs are wearing off, I'll give her more when I stop in Dallas to eat and fill up." So 30 minutes later Layne pulls up to a gas station. Starts to fill up. Takes Char out to potty. And then heads to the back of the car to let the cat out to try to potty. She opens the door to the back and boom. The cat had pissed and crapped in her crate. Wait, not only just pissed and crapped in her crate. Rolled around in her urine.  A lot of emotions and thoughts were running through Layne's mind. What in the heck?! What do I do?! I feel so bad! No wonder she was pissed off meowing... Dammit cat, it better have not gotten on the carpet. Wow this smells so bad. I will never get another cat. Once she's in Tulsa SHE'S STAYING! How do I clean this up?! Poor little kitty... Among other things.

So Layne got paper towels from the gas station cleaned it up and wiped it down. Then she proceeded to wipe down the cat since she was wet from pee. Layne was too flustered to remember to give her another pill, so the rest of the drive to Tulsa consisted of a faint smell of urine and poo, with a cat meowing in the back, and a bored dog not wanting to sit down, trying to lick her face. She got to Tulsa fast.

Now if that experience with the cat wasn't enough, Layne had another one that she swears the cat will never come near her again. After the accident in the car, Layne called her mom to ask her to run to the store to get cat shampoo because she was going to have to give her a bath before she took her to Kyle's mom's house. Once she pulled up into the driveway in Tulsa, she took the crate and cat into her mom's bathroom and gave the cat a bath. The cat hated it. And hated Layne. Giving cats a bath is awkward and just not normal. They are afraid of the water, then once you put the soap on them they tend to try to get away, all the while scratching you with their awesomely sharp claws. Layne quickly rinsed her off and then tried to dry her with a towel, but she gave up. The cat was too mad and Layne was too tired. One good thing that came out of it: the cat smells great now because of the shampoo.

Honestly this was disturbing enough that we thought it needed its own post. Next post we'll get to the actual trips.

Monday, May 7, 2012

born to run

Last year, if you do not know the OKC Memorial half-marathon was miserable. The temperature was 35-40 degrees, rainy, windy and just plain freezing {so cold that when we finished, we couldn't unfurl our clenched hands. they were stuck like that for 30 minutes}. Layne's parent's dropped us off at the starting line and then went on to mile 5 to cheer us on. Well, because it was raining and lightening, we had to wait at the start line for one hour in the cold, chilly wind and rain. If they hadn't driven off, we would have quit. No doubt in our minds. But since we at least had to run 5 miles in that weather, we figured we might as well finish {shortly after we finished the run, it started sleeting. Ouch.}. Afterwards with his knee hurting and the horrible weather, Kyle swore he'd never run another half.

Well we ran it this year anyways. 

We started to throw out the idea of running it again early this year. We figured that if we ran it and finished it last year, we could run it again. Last year's weather is pretty much as bad as you can get until you hit F5 tornado combined with a devastating blizzard. This year's training wasn't as consistent as last year; Layne pretty much broke her ankle last fall and hadn't really run on it and Kyle's knee still hurt him every once in a while. So with all that against us, when we moved to Houston we only pretty much were only running short runs. We really started to pick it up about 10 weeks before the race. Training was going great until the two weeks before the race we went to Mexico with Rob & Tanee {that entry will be next, don't worry}. It was totally worth not really training, but we could definitely feel it the next week.

So the weekend of the race we drove to OKC. We were staying with Cam & Nic, who were nice enough to let us bring Char. It was a great deal on both ends--we didn't have to pay for boarding her and Charlie got to play with her cousin Stilly. It took Stilly & Char about two hours to finally calm down {literally. Stilly does this amazing thing where she swings her arm over Char's head and pins her to the ground.} Friday night we cooked out and caught up with them while playing drinking-SkipBo and listening to old-school classic hip-hop jamz. Finally 1:30am rolls around and we decided to hit the hay. Saturday Layne's parents came into town and we hung out at the OKC Art festival downtown and then we made it an early night since the race was the next day {which kind of sucked since the thunder/mavs game was on and we missed the epic last second shot by Durant that sealed game 1.}

 {char and stilly patiently waiting to play/wrestle each other}

3:30am. Woke up. Stretched. Drank coffee. Drank water. Played with Char. And then left for the race at 5, which started at 6:30. The weather couldn't have been more perfect, though the lines for the restrooms could have been. K waited in line for 25 minutes to use the facilities, and he was done in about 35 seconds. Madness.

We moved to the starting line with Cam and Nic and got into our corrals just a few minutes before the epic showdown began. Gun goes off and people start darting off like they're Usain Bolt's Kenyan counterpart. Unfortunately for Kyle, Layne was one of the runners. He kept up for two miles and then the overwhelming weight of his tree-trunk sized legs caused him to slow his speedy run to a grinding lumber. Layne is a true runner though, so she knew what she was doing. She pretty much stayed at that pace the whole race and eventually finished 157nd out of 8,151 half-marthon runners with a time of 1:40:53. She was 7th in her division and 31st out of all female halfers. Not too shabby. {side note: our pre-race goal was sub 1:40 but Layne says all the time in Mexico not running was definitely worth those 54 seconds.} Kyle got 365th overall with 1:47:28. Worse than last year, but hey, there's always next time.

This was Cam's first half and he beat his target time by almost 20 minutes and Nicole beat her previous PR by 13 minutes. Overall, a day of celebration for this clan of runners!

Heads up: next year, we will be running the race in minimalist shoes. After reading Born To Run by Christopher McDougall {recommended reading to absolutely every single person ever. whether you love running or hate it.}, we decided to give barefoot running a try. We really enjoyed it but obviously our tender little girly feet couldn't handle the rough Houston pavement, so we went and got some new balance zero drop shoes. It's pretty much as close to barefoot as possible but still some layer of protection.

This change in shoes requires us to basically relearn how to run, hitting much less heel and more mid/fore foot strike. We can definitely go in to detail here, but we'll spare you. Just go read that book. So far it's been a good change, but we can really feel all the new foot and leg muscles gettin' a good workout. Plus these shoes are the most crazy comfortable things we've ever worn. And that includes our most favorite underwear. We'll keep you up to date on how it goes, but let us tell ya, this barefoot/bareform thing is growing. We notice so many people in barefeet/vibrams five fingers/other minimalist shoes pretty much every time we run anywhere.