My December So Far…

Ah December…. I’ve been slacking on my blog posts lately.. but this is a crazy time of year. I’ve been stuck on a project at work requiring me to be in the lab all day, save an hour for lunch. But it finally ended yesterday, so I can come up for air now. We leave for NY early next week where we are spending the holiday’s with my husband’s family. Between now and then I need to finish wrapping gifts, make a thousand cookies (not really… but one year we made 709!), pack for Christmas vacation, and oh, yeah- run my second Dopey trial.

TBT.. the year we made over 700 Christmas cookies...

TBT.. the year we made over 700 Christmas cookies…

I’ve already been to four holiday parties, and made food for two of them on top of that. I’m also trying to finalize my costumes for Dopey.. which are gonna be pretty cool! I have to take Zeus to the vet soon.. he has some sort of skin discoloring on his belly that seems to be spreading and getting darker. His skin is also rough and flaky in spots. Otherwise, he is perfectly fine. He doesn’t itch, lick or bite at it. The only time he seems to care is if you touch it.. but I can’t tell if it’s because of the skin condition or because he just doesn’t want to be poked there. He’s still his normal happy, peppy, self. I’m not too worried about it.. I’ve read a little about dogs having allergies.. so maybe that’s what this is? I made an appointment at the vet for him yesterday, but I had  to cancel because my car broke down.

Yeah. My car broke down. In the middle of a busy road. During rush hour. Yep. I was THAT person. I noticed my car making a strange rattling noise about a month ago. It wasn’t really loud, but enough to hear it from time to time. Over the weeks it’s been getting a little louder. Last week I noticed my car was idling pretty loud. I was due for an oil change (it had been about 3900 miles since my last one) but I wanted to hold off until after the holidays when I would have more time to get it done. I figured I would let our mechanic assess the rattling noise then. But yesterday evening as I was driving home from work, my car started making a horrible knocking noise. It sounded pretty bad and I was hoping (as I was creeping along in traffic) that I could make it home. Then the acceleration stopped working… and I was stuck. The cars in front of me drove off.. the cars beside me started going.. the cars behind me.. stuck. AH! I put on my flashers and shifted to neutral, hoping to be able to drift out of the lane to the side, but no going. I was stuck. I was panicking.. trying to figure out who to call.. the cops? A tow truck? My husband? I tried calling my husband.. but he wouldn’t answer. I tried several times in case he realized it was an emergency and decided to pick up- he didn’t. I put the car in park and shut it off. Then I tried to re-start it. It barely cranked… clunked a couple times.. then finally roared to life. I was FREE!

I was only 5 minutes from home so I was praying the whole rest of the way I would make it.. meanwhile it was still making the horrible clunking noise. I made it home though.. got a hold of my husband and decided to call a tow truck. Lucky for me, I have road side assistance through my auto insurance. I had it towed to our mechanic, who was closed by this time. My husband works a later shift this week, so he said he could drive me to work in the morning and stop at the shop on the way to explain what happened.

When we got there this morning, I mentioned to the mechanic that I needed an oil change, but it had been making this noise for a month and it has been getting worse. He checked the oil.. and there was very little, if any, in the reservoir. I know I had not been leaking oil.. but he said that older/ high mileage cars tend to burn oil at a faster rate, and that it needs m0re monitoring from now on. He said he would try an oil change first and was pretty confident that would fix the problem- barring serious damage due to lack of oil.

My car is a 2005.. so just about 10 years old. It has almost 107K miles on it.. so not terribly high. We are currently saving up for a new one, but still need  another 1.5- 2 years before we can buy (in cash, no less, I do not want a payment!) My husband was trying to prepare me for needing to buy a new (but used) car if the repair proved to costly. I REALLY didn’t want to do this.. but if the problem is really just an oil change.. we’re in awesome luck! On one hand, it’s kinda embarrassing to run the car down to no oil.. but on the other.. I rarely go only 3K miles between oil changes. I’m usually  around 4K and have gone up to 6K (though that was probably not a good thing.) However, because the car is older now, I just need to make sure I pay attention to the oil level, and add more here and there between changes. I’m still waiting to hear back from the mechanic… but I’m hoping for the best!

Anyway.. I have three more weeks of training before Dopey! It’s crazy how close it is. This week is my peak training week and I’m doing my second Dopey trial! I’m running 3/6/12/23 miles starting today. Today and tomorrow won’t be an issue. Saturday I’m meeting Dawn (and hopefully Randi!) for the 12. Sunday is the big one.. and I get to do it alone, because Dawn has to work. At least I can run here at home- we were thinking of leaving for NY on Sunday, which means I would have to run up there, where I don’t know a route or any stops on the way. My plan is to run on the NCR trail- it’s a bit of a distance from where I live, but it’s a nice long trail that’s fairly populated on the weekends. I plan on doing 11.5 out and back. I have mixed feelings because 1- I’ll be by myself, and 2- this is the trail where I ran my 20 miler two years ago for the 2013 Disney Marathon and hurt my knee. It’s a flat course.. which puts a lot of strain on the same muscle groups along the way. Sigh.. I’m doing intervals this time, so maybe I’ll survive. Fingers crossed!!!

Eye on the prize! Eye on the prize!

Eye on the prize! Eye on the prize!

In other news, I didn’t really do a November recap- but I ran 106.55 miles in November! (Two runs were races!)

November runs

November runs

I have no more races coming before Dopey (who would want any, anyways lol.) Just looking forward to a little downtime next week for Christmas and then.. off to sunny Florida!

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