Zombie Evasion and Debating NaNoWriMo

Today wasn’t bad for a Monday, it was just uneventful. I stayed late at work so Jon could take a test. We did laundry and dropped off a library book. I finished up some con notes and correspondence. The most excitement I had was doing a zombie mission this evening. We’d originally planned to find a geocache, vacuum the car, and then take a walk, but I’m not used to the fact that it’s getting darker earlier now. We nixed the other plans and headed to the rec track so we wouldn’t be out much past dark.

I’ve been feeling good about my walking abilities lately, so I was excited to see if tonight’s walk would be better than past ones have been. It started out great. I was walking at a good pace and got chased by zombies early on. I evaded them around the hilly part of the track,  and was out of breath by the time I crested the small hill (hills and I are not yet friends), but recovered quickly. I kept my pace up for a little while after that, but then my ankle started cramping. Everything else felt fine, but that ankle…so frustrating.  It’s like a tightness or stiffness on the outside, and it makes walking uncomfortable.  I thought I’d finally found the right fit of shoe because that cramp hadn’t happened in a long time.

Good shoe fit or not, my ankle gave me some grief, possibly due to the change in speed. I decided to take a rest at one of the benches to let the cramp ease itself. It finally felt okay, so I started up again.  I got a little further and finished my second zombie chase before it cramped up again. There are no other benches along that track, so I took a few standing breaks that didn’t really help. I was limping by the time I got to the last stretch. I figured it was okay, though. The app says it won’t trigger the zombie chases unless you’re walking at least 2.2 mph, and by that time I was shuffling along pretty slowly, so I didn’t think anything would happen.

Apparently, that’s not the case. Maybe it’s an average or the starting speed, but even with my slow shamble, the app triggered a third chase. I realize I could have paused the app or just said screw it and gotten eaten by the zombies. Instead, I pushed through the pain and hauled butt down the sidewalk for that interval. This is a good thing, right? The whole idea of “training” is to push past those painful moments and get in a good endurance-building walk. Be that as it may, once that group was evaded, I slowed right back down.

I ended up taking another break on the benches by the concession stands. The breaks always feel so long, and I get frustrated at the time I’m wasting, but I really needed that ankle cramp to go away. While I sat there, I watched Jon just stroll past. He was going into his third lap and didn’t see me sitting in the dark.

By that time, I was just a few minutes from having finished a thirty minute walk (breaks not included) and completing my mission. Though the break felt long, it was only a few minutes.  I walked around the parking lot for the cool down and to wait for Jon to get back around to the car since he had my keys. During what I thought was my cool down, I was chased again! It took me by surprise, but I got away . Apparently, there is no cool down. It’s just jump in, deal with the undead, and have a nice day.

Besides the sore ankle, I had some pain in one side of my lower back and hip, but I would guess that’s from walking funny to try to avoid the ankle cramp. Otherwise, I felt good! In the future, I’ll have to push through the pain, maybe, or just let the ankle acclimate. Next time I walk, I might do it with no zombie chases so I can keep at a steady pace and see if that makes a difference.

Afterwards, we went and got Subway for dinner then came home. I didn’t put laundry away, opting to get online and start this post instead. I did take a break to shower, so I’m all clean and ready for bed.

The only other thing of note is that National Novel Writing Month is coming up in just a few weeks, and I have yet to decide if I’m going to do it. Last week I was all excited for it, but now I’m not so sure. If anything, I should edit and re-work some of my past Nanos for possible publication. But I’m also sitting on two ideas for new stories right now: a horror/mystery that is currently in my head as a short story but could be fleshed out into a novel, I think; and a romance/erotica novel that I want to write to prove that I can turn out something better than 50SoG.  At the same time, I’ve already got things to do that I’m not getting done, like knitting projects, courses, books to read, and packing and purging. I’m just not sure if NaNoWriMo is in the cards this year.

But i have a few weeks to decide. I suppose I could set October as goal month to get all the other things done to free up the time to write in November. It could happen.

On that note, it’s time to catch up on some blogs before heading off to sleep times.

A.

 

Tengaicon 2013 – I’m Calling it a Sucess!

It’s just after midnight, so I guess technically I missed my daily blog deadline, but I’m still awake, so it counts. We just got home a little bit ago, and I was tempted to put off yet another post so I could crash. But I wanted to get something out about today, so here goes, with apologies if anything sounds off or wonky…I’m really tired.

I don’t think I’ve talked much about Tengaicon, so here’s some back story. It’s a local, one day gaming convention in MHK that’s been going on for close to a decade. It’s had its ups and downs, and last year it had a streak of bad luck.  In an effort to help get it back on track, I headed the committee for this year’s event. At the time I volunteered, I was in what I like to call “crazy planning mode.”  I figured I’d eventually burn out, but the goal was to make sure everything was ready before that burn out happened.  I wanted the end goal to be a plan of action that could be followed and built upon the following years.

For the last year, our committee has been organizing and getting things in place. There were several meetings at the beginning of the planning period, but eventually, as things came together, they tapered off. By the time we were a week away from the con, I felt that everything was on track. Sure, I let the ball drop a little bit. We could have done more marketing and PR, and there were a few details regarding food that missed the mark. But that was really all in hindsight, and I was cautiously optimistic that we’d have a good convention (and by cautiously optimistic, I was worried and stressed that no one would show up).

For our crew, the con stuff started last night when we met at the hall to set up.  Set up was quick, as we had a good volunteer crew. This morning we were back at 8 to put the finishing touches on the hall and to pick up some last minute things at the grocery store.  From the time the doors opened at 9:30 to sometime in the afternoon, we seemed to have a steady stream of people.

The day was fun! We had several local gaming groups attend, and they each brought in a good number of players. We also had casual gamers show up who found something that interested them. We had Tab Creations, a local game maker/company, come and demo a new game that’s going to be a Kickstarter project. We had our dice table, our silent auction to raise money for Child’s Play, paint and take, local artists, and concessions.  Everyone I talked to seemed to be having a good time. We got a lot of positive feedback and everyone was really nice.

Besides the demo, I didn’t do any gaming since I was trying to make sure everything was going well. I wanted to make sure all my volunteers had breaks, that all of our vendors and GMs  were thanked, and that the gamers were having a positive experience. I’m not sure if I was able to really talk to everyone, and I think I accidentally let a few people go a little long without a break, but I think things were okay and nobody seemed burned out by the end of the day (I did have a few flashbacks of my days as lead cashier at Glens, though).

Jon and I made it out by 11, sticking around to make sure the last few groups made it out okay and doing last minute hall cleaning. I’m grateful to everyone who helped and played. In the final counts, we ended up making a profit and I believe we had over 100 attendees. For a small convention, this was pretty awesome.

We still have a few things to do, like contact the silent auction winners who weren’t there to pick up their stuff when it ended, and set up a post-con meeting to recap and make a plan for moving forward. I also want to email everyone with thanks and put some notes and schedules down on paper to pass on to whoever my successor is going to be.  Because seriously, I’m so happy with how this turned out, and I want any future convention to continue to improve on what we accomplished today.

But those things can wait for tomorrow. I’m falling asleep typing this, so I think it’s time for much needed rest. I don’t think our double day of working out is going to happen tomorrow, as my back is killing me tonight. But we’ll see. And while I realize I’ve failed on pictures for this post, I think I’ve persuaded Terry to give me some of the pictures he got today in hopes of putting together a special Tengaicon picture post.

A.

 

Wasted Days and Running from Zombies

This whole day felt wasted. That probably isn’t fair to say, since things did get accomplished, but I’ve been spoiled with having weekends where Jon and I can go do stuff together and have a good time, and today wasn’t really like that.

We slept in a bit and had breakfast at home for once. We bought some sausage and gravy Banquet pot pies and each had one. They were really good and really filling.  On the way into town, however, Paradise Donuts caught our eye, and we decided to treat ourselves. I’m not usually a donut person, but I was feeling off this morning and kind of grumpy, so I decided to soothe the angst with a cocoa krispies donut and a frappuccino.

We started the day trying to geocache, but it was not a good day for us. We either couldn’t find the places we were supposed to be, couldn’t find a way to get to the place we needed, or just didn’t want to take the chance of being seen by muggles. We weren’t really up to much hiking today and had been hoping for some quicker grabs, but it just wasn’t happening. We did find one, but the other one we could get to we couldn’t find. The description said that no one had gotten it without help.  We’re going back before we claim defeat, but not until it cools down a bit, because I’m going to say the heat today had a little bit to do with my grumpiness.

We had a meeting for the gaming convention that went fairly well, other than the fact that I found out my updates to the site have not been posting.  I’ll have to re-update the schedule and then check with others to see if it’s working now. I suppose maybe this is my ball drop, at least the one I currently know of. However, if this is the worst that happens, we’ll be good. A couple people have had to cancel, but I’m keeping positive. We’re doing what we can do, and I think we’re doing it with relatively low stress.

After that we went to Game Hounds so Jon could meet with one of our friends to do some trading of sorts. We chatted with some people, walked to Dara’s to get some water, then headed across town to Manhattan Running Company where we finally got armbands to carry our phones in for our walks. The main goal was to not have to hand carry when we started doing the Zombies Run game, but the bands will come in handy for our regular walks too. They were a little pricey, but we’re trying to look at the long term investment. Now we just have to make sure to use them.

Though we were supposed to do our C25K today, we decided to just go ahead and try the Zombies Run. The program we started with is kind of boring, and our curiosity was getting the better of us. So instead of hitting the mall, we headed home early, figuring we’d go out later when it cooled off to walk the rec path. On the way home, we stopped at Ramblers for a later lunch. My craving for vegetables persists, so I ordered a side of steamed veggies, conveniently forgetting that I don’t really like veggies. The BBQ brisket sandwich was good, but I made the mistake of trying one of Jon’s fries. Man, there were regrets. On a good note, even though I don’t like green beans and broccoli, I did manage to eat about a quarter of the cup, so that’s progress on my part.

At home, I made playlists and laid down for a little while, procrastinating checking my website and doing updates. It’ll happen, but the day had already kind of worn on me. Finally the day got dim enough that we went out to the rec trail to take a crack at Zombies Run. Unfortunately, when we got there we realized we actually had to download the missions, which we hadn’t done at home. That was annoying, and a good way to make me feel like a moron. So we drove home to jump on our wifi, downloaded the first mission and went back.

Get ready for this drama.

It started out okay. The story was good, and I was really digging the immersive nature of it.  Every time it said I picked up something, I felt pretty cool. I got almost all the way around the track before feeling the need to rest, which is definitely an improvement. When I got to the end of the track, I was originally going to go across the parking lot to the beginning, but instead I turned around, figuring I’d just walk the loop the opposite way.  It was about that time when the first RUN happened.  My original plan of walking fast didn’t seem to cut it, as I could hear the zombie voices in the app. So I ran. Not fast. It was more of a jog, but it kicked my butt. I figured I’d be okay, and I told myself to just walk fast next time. But guess what? I ran again. The thing is, I know it’s a game, and it doesn’t feel real real, but it fuels the imagination enough that I really wanted to run and get away from the zombies.

When I got to the bench, I finally realized I needed to stop, not just because I was so tired, but because I’d pushed my lung capacity and couldn’t breathe right. I pulled the earbuds off, sat down, and then listened to what sounded like people rustling around in the woods behind me. That break didn’t last long at all. The noise could have been animals or birds, but I was already uneasy, so I booked it. I was so glad when the Mission Complete message came on. Instead of trying to make it around the track, I walked across the field, which wasn’t much easier.

Jon met me part way, and I just fell down in the grass. I didn’t faint or anything, but I was worried I was going to, so I just laid down in the grass. That was pretty major, because my knees don’t allow me to get up from ground position very easily. But it was a necessary action at that time.  I finally got up with Jon’s help and had one of those intense post exercise breakdowns where I cried. In reality, this was my best walk and considering I did run, I was kind of awesome. But in that moment, all I could focus on was that I’d failed because I couldn’t make it to the car without feeling like throwing up or passing out.

We stopped to get gas and something to drink and we talked about our future Zombie Run plans. I think we’re going to put in a little more time with the regular C25K we were doing as well as more gym time This was fun for the most part, and I know it’ll get easier in time, but I’m just not sure if we’re ready for it.

I will say, though, that for a wasted day, the walk did the trick of making me feel like I accomplished something. Now to shower and to bed. Tomorrow is an early day because….that’s right…we’re going on an adventure!

A.

Noodles, Sharks, and a Little TMI

I’m feeling much better today than I was last night. When we got home, I crashed hard. I had some really weird dreams, but I’m assuming that meant I slept well.  I’m having a little bit of pain tonight, but the day passed in relative comfort, so hopefully this will run its course. I think I’m at the mercy of a UTI/possible bladder infection. I get these every once in awhile. They don’t stick around long, but they’re pretty nasty when they hit. This one has gone on a little longer than usual, so if it’s not cleared up in a week, I’ll be seeing the doctor about it.

We slept in a little today, but not too late since Jon didn’t get the extra Friday off.  I took him to work and went to Hastings to work on some con stuff. They didn’t have regular coffee. I guess their brewer was down, which is to be expected. I like Hastings, I like the Hardback Cafe drinks and the baristas…but anymore, I pretty much just expect something to be broken.  However, I did have an Americano and liked that okay, so it was all good.  I managed to get some stuff accomplished, though I did sit underneath the TV and listened to the news, which was depressing.

I did two hours of work before heading over to my friend’s house.  She started her vacation yesterday but had reminded me that she was home today so we got to hang out. We went to Best Buy and to Noodles and Co. for lunch, then we went back to her house and watched Sharknado since she hadn’t seen it before. Most of the day was spent just chatting. It was really nice. I was surprised how fast the day went when I realized it was almost time to pick Jon up from work.

Today was supposed to be our C25K day, but we opted to go to the gym instead. One thing I’ll say for the walk training…it makes the gym seem that much easier. We’re still getting a good workout, but we did 45 minutes today and it didn’t seem as difficult as it used to. I watched Monsters on Netflix and may or may not finish it tonight. It’s okay.  Another thing we did today was buy the Zombies. Run! app which is on sale this weekend for two bucks. We’re not going to start it until our current program is over, but I’m really looking forward to doing it. I have eight weeks to come up with a playlist for it.

After the gym, we opted to just come home and relax for the evening. I played some Riptide and Jon did some css code. For fun. Which is why he’s the graphic designer. It’s been a nice, chill night. Going to end with a shower, some more water to keep flushing this infection out, and then either a movie or sleep, depending on how tired I am. Right now I’m sleepy, but sometimes that’s just a false alarm.  We’ll see.

A.

Preppin’ and Restin’

It was a good day of rest for Jon and I. I was sore again this morning, though I knew I would be with climbing that hill yesterday.  I’m not complaining…it was a good soreness…but I had to stop my brain from being slightly obsessive about going out again for a long walk.  It helped that my shoes were being washed, so I couldn’t walk anywhere for a good portion of the day.

We went over to a friend’s house while she and her family were in KC. She was awesome enough to let us watch her movies and use her laundry facilities while we kept her dog company. My tennis shoes are now nice and clean, though they seemed to have shrunk a bit in the wash. They felt fine on my feet afterwards, though, so I’m sure they’ll be fine for the week.

Later, we went and found a quick geocache to get our “souvenir” for the 31 days of Geocaching this month.  It was close to my friend’s house and turned out to be a really easy find. I spotted it first, so I’m the winner today (whoo!) and we took the trackable, hoping to find somewhere to leave it in Indy or one of the states in between (if we should happen to stop somewhere where a cache is nearby).

I grabbed some headbands from Walgreens and we got smoothies from the People’s Grocery for dinner before heading home.  We packed our clothes and most of our toiletries, which means we just have a few last minute things to pack tomorrow night and to grab Tuesday morning. I sent out a confirmation email to the friends who are riding with us to Indy, and it was around that time that I started the “What if?” game: what if we get a flat tire? What if the car breaks down? What if something happens to our money? This is a dangerous game, and I hate it when my mind goes there and starts making me anxious.  I’m doing okay so far to keep it at bay though, and my plan, if something should go wrong, is to not panic, do what needs to be done, and just roll with it.  Don’t worry, but be prepared…that kind of thing.

That about sums up the day. The only other news was that I received my confirmation for the Being an Outdoors Woman (BOW) weekend.  I didn’t get all of my first choices, but that doesn’t bother me, especially because my registration was so late. I’m signed up for fishing, GPS 101, Geocaching (I know, right?), and nature journaling. There’s also a mini Race for the Cure that I’m thinking about participating in, even though I’m a really slow walker. It’s like a mile and a half, though, and I think I could handle that without it taking all night. Right?

This is one of the rare instances I want Monday to get here, but that’s because I want to get it done and over with so we can start vacation.  So I’m off to shower and sleep so I can tackle the last minute stuff tomorrow.

A.

 

Crossing Things Off Lists

In an effort to travel with less stress, I’m trying to get as much done as I can this week to prepare for our trip to Gen Con next week.  I was able to check a couple things off the big to-do list today.

First, we went to a local car wash and vacuumed out the car.  Jon and I have made an effort to keep the car trash-free (yay for adulting), and we decided it was time for something a little more heavy duty, so we vacuumed the floors and the cup holders, which had gotten kind of gross, and then we wiped everything down with cleaner wipes. It didn’t feel too strenuous, and now our car is clean and passenger ready.  I even took an extra step and put a monthly general cleaning reminder on my calendar so we can keep up with that.

Second, we picked up our travel snacks. Originally, we were going to go to Target and use the credit we still have on a gift card. Since we also had a gift card to Menards and wanted to go find a cache there (didn’t find it, but rescheduled only to be stealthier later), we just went ahead and shopped there.  Trail mix, dried fruit, and beef jerky should be good for both travel and for walking around the convention center.  We also picked up some travel toiletries so we could make sure everything was packed and ready the night before.

As far as our GC list goes, that’s about all we got done tonight, but I think it’s going to make a huge difference by the time we leave. Other things we have to do this week include turning in our change for some spending cash, cleaning the house, cleaning out the trunk of the car, and, of course, packing.  My goal is to have everything packed on Sunday night to put in the car on Monday night, so I can get to bed early and be ready to hit the road at 5 on Tuesday morning.

The rest of our evening included some geocaching and dinner out at Cox Bros BBQ.  We also picked up some lunches for this week. I had every intention of getting stuff to make some easy pasta salad and then forgot. I even had a list. I fail at groceries, sometimes.

The big excitement of my night was finding out that another of my favorite webcomic artists is going to be at Gen Con. I’m thrilled, and this means I will have to splurge on a plushie if the artist brings any. Or a book. Or both. I have my priorities.

The last thing I want to mention is something a co-worker told me about today.  It’s a program called Becoming an Outdoors-Woman. Camping that involves sleeping on the ground doesn’t agree with me, but I do enjoy  outdoor activities and would like to revisit some of the things I did in my youth. Plus, I love new experiences.  I don’t know if I can register for the fall one right now, both due to time and money, but I am going to apply for one of their scholarships since this would be my first time going and I could swing the remainder of the cost. If the fall one doesn’t happen, I think I’ll aim to sign up for the spring one, pending our location after the first of the year.

On the whole, it was actually a pretty good Monday.

A.