Throwback Thursday: The Time It Wasn’t Carbon Monoxide

When I caught the stomach flu last week, I was reminded of a funny story, so that’s what you’re getting tonight. If the fact that the stomach flu brought this story to mind concerns you, don’t worry. I won’t describe anything in gory detail.

When J and I first got married, we lived in this house:

Living Room 3

We were trying to take a picture of the couch by standing against the opposite wall. Clearly that worked well.
Living Room 2
This is the living room/laundry room/hallway to the bathroom.

It was cute, it was clean, and it was cheap, but it was miniscule. When our landlords remodeled the slightly larger house next door and offered it to us at a great price, we jumped at the chance. (I can’t find pictures of said larger house, but trust me, it was bigger.)

A couple of months after we moved in, we were chilling in the living room, grading papers per usual, when the carbon monoxide detectors started doing their stupid “our batteries are dying!” beeps. After much struggle, we got them to stop beeping, got their batteries changed, and went on with our lives, thinking nothing of it.
(It wasn’t 4 a.m.. … for once).

Until the next morning, when Jordan started violently vomiting. In the shower.

Naturally, we were concerned. What if, we thought, that hadn’t been the battery beep, and we were being poisoned each moment? What if I was fine because I’d left for a while that morning to work out? We didn’t really think it was carbon monoxide, especially since we’d just moved in and knew the house had passed inspection, but we figured we were better safe than sorry. As Jordan tried to finish his shower, I called the emergency number for carbon monoxide (not 911, just to clarify), explained what was going on, and asked what we should do.

Did you know that if you even suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, they send police, fire trucks, and an ambulance, all with lights flashing and sirens blaring? We didn’t, either, but we learned it within minutes of that phone call.

The cops banged on the door and hustled us out the door, clearly irritated that Jordan felt the need to dry off and put clothes on. We went out and sat in the ambulance, where they checked Jordan’s vitals and asked if he wanted to be tested for carbon monoxide poisoning (a test that, they explained, was quite pricey). We declined, choosing to wait and see if the firemen actually detected any carbon monoxide in our house.

They did not. Turns out, Jordan just coincidentally caught the stomach flu the morning after the carbon monoxide detector’s batteries went out and the thing beeped at us. That was good news, obviously, but we were more than a little embarrassed.

And that’s how we woke up the neighborhood over a stomach bug.

I don’t even know what reader question to ask. Tell me something related to this. 

The Bad News, The Good News

As much as I hate to admit this, I often zoom in on the negative aspects of things. I get some good news… and I dwell on the one little thing that could go wrong. I get some bad news… and, well, it’s Negativity City.

So, in an effort to begin to break that cycle, today I’m discussing some news and events in my life, beginning with the “bad” news (none of these things are truly bad. I’m just a whiner) and then ending with the good about each thing, so that the good will be my focus.


The Bad News: There’s a pretty good chance that some of my coworkers, students, their parents, etc., are going to find out that I have a blog. And that’s weird for me, because I try to keep a line (albeit blurry) between “Mrs. S” and “Cassie,” and this blog is definitely on the “Cassie” side of the line.
The Good News: That’s because I’m going to write for Discover Northeast Colorado, a local website that covers events around this part of the state. That means more writing, more publicity, more doing something I love and want to pursue. And that’s a very good thing, both for me to do and for my students to see.

The Bad News:
photo (35)
The Good News: That day, I didn’t have to be anywhere until 8:45. That’s an hour and forty-five minutes later than I usually have to be somewhere. I spent it reading blogs and drinking coffee, and it was glorious.

The Bad News: That same jury duty day, on my way home for lunch, I got a speeding ticket. A big one. Because I’m an idiot and forgot that a certain section of a road I drive every single day (but never during school hours, obviously) is a school zone when the sign’s lights are flashing. The lights were flashing.
The Good News: One, I can afford to pay it. I mean, it hurts, but it’s not like I have to skip dinner for a week. And two, I will never, ever make that mistake again.

The Bad News: I really kinda wanted to run Monument Marathon in the fall. But now I can’t.
The Good News: I can’t because I’ll be the sponsor of Student Council next year (Homecoming is the same weekend as the race, and Homecoming is Student Council’s thing). As the STUCO adviser, I’ll get to work with some great kids and help them to discover how to lead and who they can be as leaders. And that’s pretty exciting. Plus, I get to do this marathon instead, and I’m super excited for it.

So as you can see, there is plenty of positivity that I can focus on. And really, the fact that these minor issues are the “bad” in my life is pretty positive in itself. So I need to spend more time in Positivity City and send the negativity packing!

Do you tend to dwell on the negative, too, or am I the only one?

What are your tricks for staying positive?

The Best-Laid Plans…. Training Recap, 2/24-3/2

For once, I’m glad to see that it’s Sunday night, because that means this week is over! Suffice it to say that this was not my favorite week of all time. I’ll hit the details in the training recap:

Monday: Scheduled rest, but I knew I wouldn’t have time to get in Tuesday’s double workouts, so my options were to lift on Monday or make Wednesday a double. I chose sleep Wednesday morning over rest Monday and hit the gym for 45 minutes of strength training.

Me, Wednesday morning. (source)

Tuesday: Intervals: 4×800 @ 5:00 pace with 400m recovery. With warm-up an cool-down, 7 miles total. I keep hoping these will start to feel easier, but this pace is still incredibly hard for me.

Wednesday: And here began the not-so-super part of my week. I had jury duty, for one. Though it didn’t start until 8:45, I didn’t run first  thing, because I thought surely I’d be out of there by 4:00, and since the courthouse is merely a mile from my house, I could get in my 6-mile easy run well before dark. And then, when we were given 1.5 hours for lunch, I was even more excited, because I could “runch” like all the cool bloggers I follow.

I was so excited, apparently, that I forgot I was driving in a school zone. And I got pulled over. And I got a ticket. And I no longer had time to run. I thought it was the universe punishing me for driving that one mile instead of walking, but when I left that morning, it was no degrees outside (seriously, zero). But I walked back to the courthouse, at least.

I still thought we’d be done by 4ish… but no. At 5:45, I was speed-walking home in the last fading remnants of daylight. Treadmill it was. And I didn’t even do core work when I was done, because I was starving. Fail.

Thursday: Annnd the failing continued. My stomach felt a little off when I woke up, but settled by lunchtime, so I ate. Bad choice. Shortly after school got out, I realized that I was sinking into sickland and needed to head home. But because I’m a moron, I still tried to run — on the treadmill, at least, so I could stop immediately if necessary. It was necessary. I made it 0.75 miles, retired to the couch, and called J, begging him to pick up saltines for me.

True story.

Friday: After being up most of Thursday night being sick, and still feeling awful Friday morning, I took my first-ever sick day from work (broke my almost seven-year streak). Obviously, I did not get in the scheduled strength workout. I did empty the dishwasher and take out the trash… and then I had to lie on the couch for an hour to recover. Awesome.

Saturday: Thank goodness, that was just one of those horrid 24-hour bugs. I slept nearly 10 hours Friday night and woke up Saturday feeling like a new person. I ate some oatmeal and still felt normal, so J and I ran some errands, and then I decided to try a run. I stayed on the treadmill so that, like on Thursday, I could stop immediately if I needed to. It was frigid and blowing snow out, so treadmilling wasn’t painful. Incredibly enough, I felt good. I really did not anticipate getting in my scheduled 10-miler, but I did. Around mile 9, I could really tell that I was fueled by only oatmeal and Friday’s saltines, and by the time I finished, I was in pretty dire need of calories, but otherwise I felt fine. Given that my focus as soon as I stepped off the treadmill was getting food, I spaced out the post-run stretch.

Sunday: I had a lot to do today to make up for Friday’s complete lack of productivity, so I just hopped on the treadmill when I woke up and cranked out the speed workout that was scheduled for Thursday: 2 x 2 miles at 10k pace and 2 x1 mile at 10k pace, all with 400m recoveries: 8 miles total with warm-up and cool-down. It felt SO GOOD to feel normal. Then, I did some core and stretching.

Totals: In all, I really only missed a strength workout and a recovery run, so things were not so bad as they seemed. I got in 31 miles, 45 minutes of strength training, and 15 minutes of stretching. Not bad for only 4 days of running, I suppose.

These jury duty and sick days messed up my non-workout schedule, too, so I apologize in advance for being gone from the blog world this coming week. My original plan was to stagger end-of-quarter assignments: my freshmen were to give (and turn in paper copies of) speeches on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, giving me those three days and the weekend to get them graded before my sophomores turned in projects on Monday.

But now, everyone’s stuff is coming in on Monday (and probably Tuesday), and grades have to be in on Friday. Friday is a teacher work day, aside from a few hours of standardized test training (yay!), so that will help. Even so, I’ll be a grading fool during the evenings this week.

I drafted a couple of posts last night, so I should get those up at least, but I probably won’t have much time to comment on your blogs. Sorry. I’ll catch up on the weekend, I promise!

When was the last time you got sick? Are you a baby when you’re sick, too?

Ever served on a jury? I did, a couple of years ago. It was actually pretty interesting.