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Posts tagged with: running

The Best and Worst $17 I Ever Spent…


I haven’t been running lately, not because my doctor told me to stop, but because I feel weird about jogging down the road while my poor kid gets jostled like a smoothie in a blender.

My overactive dog likes running. He does NOT like walking. To prove it, he pulls relentlessly at his leash to show his annoyance that I’m now moving at the speed of a sea turtle. I let him get away with his antics for a few days until my sore hands could take it no more. I tried ‘delicately’ tugging back, stopping when he pulled, and outright begging him to stop but nothing helped.

I went to the pet store and purchased a $17 collar that promised to stop all tugging. I did exactly as instructed in the directions. I let him sniff it, gave him treats, let him wear it with no leash, gave him treats, put on a leash with no pressure, gave him treats, and grabbed the leash ready for a good pain free walk.

Given the fact that the $17 came out of our grocery budget and we’d be eating ramen for 2 days, I had fairly high expectations.


He planted all four paws firmly on the concrete, completely unwilling to move. ‘Oh. So mature Hutch!’ I yell. I dragged him about 3 feet or so until he suddenly started walking. ‘ I win!’ I thought… until I looked back in time to see him throw himself on the neighbor’s lawn, roll over onto his back, and whine loudly as if I had kicked him.

The neighbor, of course, picks this opportune time to walk outside and wave hello. ‘Congrats on the baby’ he says over my howling dog, who now has his paw caught in his collar. ‘Thanks!’ I say, trying to ignore the fact that my dog is giving a better death act than most Oscar winners. I pause. ‘Um. I promise I’ll be a better parent than pet owner’ I say loudly as my dog walked over to my neighbor’s feet to throw himself at them… still howling. ‘Uh huh’ the neighbor says doubtfully.

I quickly pick up my wayward dog, STILL howling, and walk down the street before suffering further embarrassment.

It was a slow hour long process with lots of whining – mostly mine – but I think we finally figured out how to walk in peace.

Now, off to figure out how to make my husband not throw a similar tantrum in the neighbor’s yard when he hears we’re having Ramen for two days.

A Hutch Update…


A few thoughtful readers have asked how my dog, Hutch, has been doing since the rattlesnake bites to his face.

The swelling went down, the lumps disappeared, his cheerful personality returned, and I’m happy to say, he’s completely back to ‘normal’.

I’ve been sensitive about taking him running since his neck was so grossly disfigured and swollen. His collar didn’t fit for more than two weeks after the bites and for at least another week after that, he was too sensitive to wear it.

Several weeks ago, I started to take him out once or twice a week. I wasn’t sure he would be able to adequately communicate pain or discomfort and was concerned about causing damage. Last week I got home from work and he met me at the door dragging his leash behind him, the waste bag holder bouncing off the walls and thumping loudly against the furniture.

I guess when it comes to communication, Hutch is pretty clear.

Saturday morning, I woke up early and decided to let him jog as far as he wanted to jog – assuming he’d tucker out at 3 miles or so.

At mile 7.5, I was the one to call it quits. When I turned around for home, he glared at me defiantly and pulled at his leash to continue forward. Apparently, the little guy is trying to make up for lost time. I missed my running buddy and I’m sooo glad to have him back.

His companionship makes the vet bill a little less painful to pay.

You can see one of the scars on his left side, but other than that, he looks great!

It’s Life Insurance Test Day!


After deciding to take out life insurance, I spent some time searching for a good inexpensive policy. I finally found one and set up the required physical exam.

I was terrified to get the exam for several reasons:

1. Thanks to my foot injury, I haven’t been running in weeks and I swear my muscle tone is decomposing by the hour.
2. In an effort to avoid high readings in cholesterol, I was to avoid Mexican food, sushi, and beer. Perhaps this would have been easier had I not lived near the ocean just north of the Mexican border. No Mexican food or sushi? That’s like asking a San Diegan not to eat.
3. They advised me to get a good night’s rest the night before the exam. Hmm. This may have been easier had there not been a 5.7 earthquake at 9:30pm last night followed by aftershocks until 2:00am.
4. I have a completely irrational fear of needles.

Upon arrival, I started shaking and sweating. The examiner asked me twice to please stop shaking, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to get the needle inserted in one shot.

I thought, ‘Yeah, because the shaking is voluntary.’

Halfway through the draw, he looked at me and asked, “Are you OK? You look extremely pale…well… more pale than you already were.”

Gee, you’re full of compliments today aren’t ya?

He finished the draw and by then, the room was spinning…and I passed out.

Yup folks, that’s me. 30 years old and I still act like a 5 year old around needles.

I’m glad it’s over.

Financial Injury Report… Part I…


Less than a week ago, I injured the tendon on the underside of my foot. I wish I could say it was from doing something cool like… snowboarding or… saving the world… but leave it to me to injure myself while doing something boring like running.

It was run, run, run… face to concrete.

Apparently, it’s a fairly common injury – albeit a very painful one.

The bad part is, if I don’t get this thing under control, the doc will saddle me with a big, ugly, expensive medical boot.

Hmm… perhaps wearing 5” heels to work 10 hours later wasn’t a bright idea.

As someone who still periodically thinks I know better than others far more educated than myself, I didn’t think it would do too much damage… plus, other than two pairs of running shoes and two pairs of the mandatory California flip-flops (neither of which are HR approved for work use), I don’t own a pair of flats.

By 9 am, tears were streaming down my face.

So, I was forced to purchase… *gasp*… flats.

Maybe it was from the pain, maybe it was from the financial frustration, maybe it was from the stress of my 30th birthday, but I found myself with a face covered with tears blubbering to the poor shoe salesman about having to buy ‘grandma shoes’ and “it’s not in the budget – but neither is an ugly medical boot or more doctor’s bills.”

It wasn’t my strongest moment.


Goodbye to my favorite pair of high heels, hello to ‘grandma shoes’ for however long it takes to avoid medical boots, doctors, and surgery.

the new flats

Haircutting Thift…


Whew! My week is finally winding down. This morning I woke up early and went for a six mile run. I don’t usually run six miles but I was attempting to see if I could run a 10K in under 70 minutes. It sounded easy until I was three miles from home, tired, and in no mood to run 3 miles back in 35 minutes or less.

Lesson learned. Next time, I’ll run 1,584 laps in my driveway instead. If I feel like quitting at lap 792, I can simply go inside rather than what I did… which was sit in a 7-11 parking lot and consider asking a stranger for a ride home.

But I dragged my feet a bit and started home. Around mile four, I hit a second wind and ran the remaining two miles. Needless to say, thanks to my curbside pit stop and dragging feet, I didn’t make my goal in less than 70 minutes. Maybe next week.

After my run, I went to get a much needed hair cut. I’ve always been a bit of a thrifty nickel when it comes to my hair. I hardly wash it, and when I do, I use shampoo purchased with coupons. One time I bought atrocious children’s bubble gum scented shampoo because it was on sale – and I wasn’t even working to reduce debt at the time.

Thanks to our debt reduction plan and the accountability of this blog, I tend to get an overwhelming since of guilt when spending money on non-necessity items. This has only exaggerated my aversion to expensive hair care.

It should come to no surprise that I met my current stylist at… Super Cuts. Yup, I am the queen of the $13 hair cut.

Before you tell me that only professional pricey stylists understand hair, maybe you should give cheap haircuts a shot. The stylists are often young, hip, and up with the current styles. Sure, you could run the risk of 10 weeks of bad hair days BUT, if you find a good stylist (and trust me, there are some), you could save hundreds of dollars each year.

How much do I spend on haircuts each year? Including tips… $80.

Try it. You’ll like it…well…maybe.

My body resembles my finances…messy


I’ve been training for a race for a few months now. Unfortunately, every time I make good progress on reducing my mile time, I get sick. First it was the never ending cough, followed by pneumonia, followed by lung problems, and then last week… strep throat. Before I started running, I hadn’t had so much as a case of the sniffles in over a year. Blame it on the excessive rain, blame it on a bad flu season, or blame it on my body’s boycott of my impending 30th birthday – this has been a rough year physically.

Running has been a reliable distraction from my finances but now, it seems like one more thing to add to my list of failures.

Yesterday was the first day I started to feel better after coming down with strep… until the itching began. Turns out, I ate something I was allergic to and broke out in a rash across my arms, chest, back, stomach, and face. Every time I had a moment to myself, I ran to my desk to itch my arms and neck like crazy until someone caught me. I would be annoyed but my body is such a huge comedy of errors, I can’t help but laugh.

I came home and all I wanted to do was take a bath, pop a couple Benadryl, and go to bed, but yesterday marked the second solid week I hadn’t laced my running shoes.

So I ran.

As I ran, the itching stopped, and for the first time in a long time… I felt good.

Sometimes, when you need it most, things go right.

Bye Bye Gym Membership…


My husband and I both have a gym membership. We pay a combined $50 a month to our local gym.

I’m a fan of daily fitness so I will be the first to tell you, if having a gym membership is the only way you will exercise, spend the money. The monthly gym fees will be far less expensive than poor health now and in the future.

We were able to temporarily cancel our monthly gym dues when my husband lost his job. Now that six months have passed without a trip to the gym, I’ve discovered something surprising…

I work out more now without a gym membership than I did with one.

I spend a quick 20 minutes running with the dogs or doing a workout video before making dinner each night. I do sit ups while watching TV or I jog in place. Before, if I didn’t have an hour to workout at the gym, I simply wouldn’t workout at all. Now, if I have 10 minutes, I use it!

I have always clung to my gym membership even in the leanest financial times. Looking at the impact of working out at home, I’m not sure why I held on so tight. We decided to make the temporary cancelation permanent. Rather than redirect all the money toward debt reduction, we’ve decided to keep part designated to fitness. The money can go toward new tennis shoes, marathon entrance fees, or exercise equipment. If we get desperate for a group class or a swim, we can sign up at the community center for $30 for a 3 month, two hour, twice weekly class.

Try working out at home this month. It may not work for you – but maybe you’ll be surprised at the results.

**If you do decide to cancel your membership, you may need to cancel several times. These companies (especially large gyms like 24Hour Fitness and LA Fitness ) can be very sneaky and ‘accidentally’ automatically deduct your dues for up to six months. You may need to consult with your bank to stop payments.**