dry run

OK, so I am a total nerd.

Yesterday, I actually got up at 5 a.m. in order to ‘practice’ my new gym/drive-to-school-in-traffic routine so that come Monday morning, I won’t be quite so anxious about it all.  Over-prepared Holly strikes again.

All in all, it went really well.  I was able to get to the gym just before it opened, work out for one hour, spend about 25-30 minutes getting ready before driving out of the parking lot at 7:12 a.m.  I used my practice to ‘push the limit’ time-wise to see how traffic would be a bit later.  I made it to school in 19 minutes!  Obviously, once school starts next week, traffic will pick up again. The professor with whom I run each Sunday morning actually does the same commute from our gym, so she was able to inform me a bit about how the traffic would be and such, and combining her advice with my experience Monday makes me feel confident I can get there on time.

Here’s the breakdown:

5 a.m. – wake-up, throw on gym clothes, pour hot coffee into travel mug and prep breakfast

5:15 – leave house

5:30 – arrive at gym, 1 hour workout

6:35/6:40 – hit the shower

7:05/7:10 – leave gym parking lot

7:45 – latest arrival at school to still be on-time for class


Obviously, this requires MUCH night-before prep.  Coffeemaker, breakfast, lunch and snacks will have to be ready to go before our target ‘head to bed’ time of 9:30.  (Yeah, that will last all of three weeks.)

While my dry run Monday definitely helped form a time schedule, it more served to show me areas in which I can speed up/simplify/improve my process.  For example, questions such as: bar of soap or shower gel?  where do i put my gross gym shoes? travel size toiletries or regular?  (Yes, I am that detail-oriented.  I should be medicated.)

Any way…in the 24+ hours since then, I’ve decided:

-I need a new gym bag.  One with outer mesh pockets, inner pockets and a place for my shoes.  My current bag is a giant floppy thing that doesn’t even fit in the locker and into which everything disappears into an unorganized mess.  A few dollars for added structure and organization will go a LONG way in saving time in the locker room, and it even has a pocket for my water bottle.  I’ll be buying this one today.

-Shower gel.  Bar soap might be quicker, but it’s SO messy.  And I have an abundance of yummy-smelling gels and lotions stocked up in a cabinet.  Must rinse loofah quicker!

-Full-size toiletries.  Showering five times a week there means I would probably refill mine at least once a week, since they are all super tiny (perfect for weekends).  Obviously, I won’t be bringing any giant family-size bottles of Suave or anything, either.  Plus, packaging makes me happy.

Packtowl! On the recommendation of a friend, I just ordered two of these, and they serve multiple purposes, not the least of which would be actually drying off.  My new gym bag is relatively small (I’m sure my shoulders will thank me later), so fitting a giant fluffy towel in there along with my school clothes is probably a no-go.  These towels are super small (they come in different sizes; the large is smaller than a regular towel) and light and will fit easily into the bag.  Afterward, they have a hook so I can hang them up in the car to dry.  They’re also antimicrobial and fast-drying.

-Febreeze.  Yes, I will be that girl who is spraying her workout gear in the gym parking lot before hanging it up in her car.

-Razors.  Gonna have to start shaving at the gym. Fantastic.

-New flip-flop shower shoes.  Because my old ones are tired and a bit yucky–why not get some fun new ones?!

My goal is to be all packed up before the weekend, along with all the other ‘to-do’ items on my list, like organizing our office and other miscellaneous tasks around the house.  T-minus five days til school!

Your prayers, patience and Barnes and Noble (for coffee) gift cards are all appreciated!

cows are huge (and other observations)

So I went to the Wyoming County Fair with the Nyes and their son, Adam, this past week. It’s fair week here in Western New York, and I’ve never been. We happen to live in Erie County, which apparently boasts one of the largest–if not the largest–county fairs in the county. Our neighbor county to the east, Wyoming, hosts a much smaller fair, and one in which the livestock play a much larger role.


People, I have never felt like such a city girl in my whole life.


The animals and their pint-sized handlers ( kiddos from 4-H and FFA) were definitely the stars of the show. We walked through barn after barn full of animals:





In addition to the myriad animals we saw being shown, we also walked through barns of other entries, including produce, baked goods and art:




And of course, there was the fair food:



I had a great time at the fair with my dearest of friends, and it was extra special knowing that Mr. and Mrs. Nye grew up around here. In fact, Mrs. Nye used to enter the pie contests and win–hence, ‘Mrs. Nyes’ Pies.’

Now, I’ll just have to get to the Erie County Fair one of these years to be able to see the difference, and what a difference there will be (I’ve been told).

open water

I joined some of the masters swim team members at Sunset Bay this morning for my first open water swim!


While I’ve been swimming my whole life, I didn’t really know what to expect when I wasn’t in a pool. It’s much the same, but you can’t see much and it’s way harder. And there are waves. And it’s impossible to swim straight. So, exactly the same, right!?

Regardless, I had the most fun swimming that I’ve had EVER. Seriously, if it wasn’t a 40 minute drive, I’d be there every morning. Or almost every morning.


It was pretty chilly to start–our coach was in a wet suit–but once our legs were numb, we were fine. By the end, the water felt just perfect. We only did about a mile, and I could have done at least double that. Can’t wait to do it again!