Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Eyes on Napa

I. Am. Capable. I. CAN. Do. This!
Napa Valley Marathon training started this week. This is my goal marathon for 2015. 26.2 miles straight down the Silverado Trail. Some rolling hills but 271 feet of total elevation drop. The only marathon I am signed up for. This is where I plan to run my Boston qualifying time in 18 weeks. My qualifying time is 3:55. I don't want to chance being a squeaker. I want to run 3:50.

The plan that I went with this time is a beefed up Hal Higdon Intermediate II plan. Last time I tried this, I made it mile heavy to begin with and it just didn't go well. This time, for the first time, I feel like I'm going into a training program with some decent base miles. The other times I did training programs I pretty much went from nothing to - Hello Week 1! I got 31 solid miles in last week and had double digit weeks for the 3 weeks before that...so, here's how I modified the plan...

Instead of starting with Week 1 of the plan, I'm starting in Week 4. I then put three more weeks of high mileage runs into the middle of the program so instead of three 20 mile runs, I will have long runs of 20, 22, 24, 26, and 20 miles. I am sticking with the tenet of a pace run coupled with a long run the next day so in Week 13 I'll be running my own Goofy. I will probably switch around some of my other days depending on my work schedule but the weekly miles will stay the same.

I am trying to schedule some type of fitness assessment where I can get my VO2 max tested as I'm playing around with the idea of trying to do 80/20 training, meaning doing 80% of my runs easy and 20% at a higher intensity. I think if I do the 80/20 thing with this plan, it means that every run is an easy run except for the one that I will be doing at goal marathon pace - which for me will be 8:45 miles.
8:45 pace. It sounds so easy... until you have to string 26.2 of them together.
I am also going to work on my fueling. Looking back, I think that that was probably why I blew up in Louisville. In both of my last two marathons I never had an issue with my cardio. I felt like I was running a conversational pace the whole time. At Monumental last year, it was my leg issue that made me stop and try to drop out. It still makes me sick to think that I walked 3 miles and finished in 4:20. At Derby this year I simply ran out of gas at mile 20. My plan had been to eat a gel every hour - which I did - but my legs just wouldn't go anymore after mile 20. I normally don't eat or drink when I run for anything under 10 miles. I will be practicing with more eats this time around.

Next is my mental game. Once my legs started failing I went into total nuclear meltdown mode in Louisville. I am really working on my brain this time, reading up on sports psychology and even signed up for a lecture.

Having said all this, I think my body is bipolar. After having some great runs the last two weeks, yesterday I had the most horrific 3 mile run I've ever had. I wanted to stop after half a mile. It was hot. It was windy. I was running my rolling county roads. My legs were tight and felt like they were a 100 pounds a piece. I seriously wanted to stop and walk but plodded through. I have no idea how fast or slow I was going but if I'm doing this 80/20 thing, my perceived exertion was a 10. Today I retreated to the hamster track and did 6 miles. Still felt tight but easy overall. I'm hoping things feel good for the rest of the week.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Running for the STARS 5K

Here's my race recap... mainly for me so I will remember.

I made it to the race and got to run this week. It was at 6:30 pm on Saturday night. I generally like evening races because, as it is well known, I am NOT a morning person. This Saturday though I had to work at 6:30 am, meaning I had to get up at 4:30 am to go to work. Ughhh...

Work was relatively OK. I didn't get killed but it wasn't a cakewalk either. Left Bloomington by 3:15 pm... then took 2 freakin' hours to get to Columbus! I have never seen traffic that bad on 46. By race time I just wanted a nap.

I went into the race thinking that I might be able to pull off a 7:30 pace (what the hell was I thinking?!)  or at least run under 25:00. My body did not want to cooperate. My left hamstring pulled a little on the warm up. Made me a bit concerned but then I ignored it.

Mile 1 - 7:36
... not too bad but my right hamstring started pulling... like alot
Mile 2 - 8:19
... at about 1.5 miles some guy yelled "you're in 7th!" All I remember thinking was "I don't care, I just want this race to be over!" I was pretty miserable by then.
Mile 3 - 8:43
... I totally tanked. My legs felt like heavy blocks of wood and I felt like I had no energy. I just wanted to be done.
Last 0.1 - 0:55

Official time - 25:33  (8:13 pace)

Ended up 8th in the women's race and won my age group but was disappointed overall. I actually felt nauseous after I got done. I don't know if I was just tired from working all day or if it was a fueling issue - however, it was only 3.1 miles! I don't think it could really have been a fueling issue however I did feel 100% better after I drinking a carton of chocolate milk and downing a banana after the race. Who knows... this was just not my night. I keep telling myself I ran 22:50 just over 6 months ago. My time will come down again (sigh)!

Best part of the night was hanging out with my Crossroads runner friends. Wish I could run with them more often. Jane passed me at the 2 mile mark and won the 40-44 age group. Magda passed me around 2.5 miles and finished 2nd in the 50-54 age group (yeah, I got my beat by a 13 year old that won the race and three women in their 50's that finished ahead of me.) Nora Jo finished right behind me and won the 55-59 age group. I'm reading a great sports psychology book (more to come on this later) that talks about running with the competition rather than against the competition. I really enjoy running with these gals!

Jane, me, and Nora Jo

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Overnight Pecan Praline French Toast

My kids are enjoying the last few days of Fall Break. Besides for a quick weekend in Charleston, SC for a wedding, we stayed home and lounged around. Last night my daughter had friends over and we had a bonfire in the yard. The girls stayed for a slumber party and stayed up til 7:30 am. To be a teenager again!

This was breakfast. Not anything on any Weight Watcher's plan but fine for a teenage metabolism!

 Overnight Pecan Praline French Toast
1 loaf French bread
6 eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash salt
2 sticks of butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Butter a 9 x 13 inch pan. Slice French bread and arrange in pan. The original recipe says to put in 20 slices but I have never been able to get more than 14 in a pan.
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well blended and slightly bubbly. Pour mixture over your bread.
Cover pan with foil and let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

 bread will have absorbed the egg mixture overnight
When you are ready to make breakfast, remove foil from pan, preheat oven to 350 degrees, and make your topping by combining all your topping ingredients together.
Spoon topping over French bread.
Bake for 40 minutes until puffed and golden brown.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pink Strong & Fort Vallonia 5K... the Third 48

A glimpse into my week and what I've come away with... it has gone in 48 hour cycles due to a screwy work schedule. I ended up working the night shift (7 pm to 7 am) every other night.

The First 48
Tuesday 8 am. Up and ready for the day.
I should be sleeping in but I can never pre-sleep the first day of an overnight shift. The problem this week will be that I don't have consecutive overnight shifts.

5 mile run mid-morning. Took G to dance class in the evening. Brought her home and went to work.

Wednesday 7:30 am. Home from work and on a conference call for work.
9 am. Call over and I go to sleep.
Noon. I'm up. Today's my day off and I don't want to waste it sleeping!
Took G to dance class in the evening again and ran 7 miles while she was in class.

It was pouring rain and I couldn't get my Garmin to lock onto a satellite so the plan was to run 35 minutes out, then try and get back in less than 35 minutes. Somehow the Garmin found a satellite soon after I started running. Besides for my recent 5K I'd been running slow and easy. The rain let up and I enjoyed the misty evening. Apparently my legs liked it too. I surprised myself and had a really good run.

9 pm. Home from dance. Showers for everyone and in bed by midnight.

48 hours. 37 hours up, 11 hours of sleep. Still feeling pretty good.

The Second 48
Thursday 8 am. Woke up because I had friends coming to take a piano off my hands.
Our basement is getting new flooring next week and we have to everything out and off the floor,
including this piano...

My parents made me play the piano through 8th grade. I haven't played since. My mom got a new piano and had my childhood piano delivered to my house. Arghhh.... I finally got her blessing to give it away. It's going to someone who wants to play the piano.

Next, my husband went to Lowe's to pick up all the flooring we will get installed next week. Two pallets of wood laminate. My job was to pick the boxes up from the bed of the pickup and hand them down to my husband and daughter. I decided today was a rest day from running and this was my leg workout - lots of squats!

2 pallets of flooring
Spent the rest of the afternoon clearing everything else out of the basement then went to work.
Friday 7:30 am. Home from work. It was a busy night. I could barely drive home.
9 am. Got up to shower and pull myself together. G had to be at a photo shoot in Noblesville (an hour away) at 10:45 am. I then realize that I feel like I got run over by a Mack truck. My upper back is sore... from reaching down to hand over all that flooring to my family yesterday.
G gets to her photo shoot. I decide to try and sleep in the car while she's getting shot (OK, that doesn't sound good but you know what I mean!) Then my cell phone starts lighting up with texts. Bloomington ED is getting hammered and they are looking for back up. Well, this chickie is over 2 hours away going on 1.5 hours of sleep so I guess it won't be me.
photo by Lydia Moody
Photo shoot is finally over... and it's back to Lowe's. They didn't give us all the materials we needed for the floor install so I had to go back and get more stuff. Luckily they already had it all sitting in a cart for me so all I had to do was put it in the back of my SUV and go home.
3 pm. Yeah, I feel like a total zombie. Tired but too tired to fall asleep. Run? Oh yeah, I haven't run today either. Maybe in the evening...
5 pm. Time to take J to cheer. Last Varsity home football game is tonight.
7:30 pm. Game time and no, I'm not going to get a run in today.
10:30 pm. Game is over and everybody is starving. We go out to eat and finally get back home at midnight
1:00 am. Bedtime.
7:30 am. Time to get up so J can go cheer at the JV football game.
48 hours. 40 hours up, 8 hours of sleep. Feeling "meh."
The Third 48
Spent the entire morning at the JV football game. It was an away game and had possibly the worst officiating I have ever seen. At half-time the referee threatened to flag the parents for unsportsmanlike conduct which would result in our coach getting ejected from the game. 'Nuf said!
J made it through another football season without breaking anything or getting dropped on her head.
It was cold!
We got back home around noon. I attempted to rest...
3 pm. Left to drive down to Columbus for the Pink Strong 5K. The 5K was a fundraiser for the Mammography Assistance Program as well as one local family. Crossroads runners were also challenged to raise $300. Our fearless race director Jeff Niewedde agreed to don a tutu if we did that.
Race time was 5 pm. I had to be at work in Martinsville at 7 pm so here was the plan...
25 minutes to run the 5K
5 minutes to stretch and get back to the car
60 minutes to drive home to Greenwood
10 minutes to shower and get dressed
20 minutes to drive to Martinsville
We got Jeff in a tutu...
photo by Barb Leffler
It was raining again so I went outside to warm up and get my Garmin to find a satellite. It's been taking it  forever to find a satellite lately. Then it was 5:00, then 5:05... we went inside for announcements then everyone grabbed a pink balloon and went outside...5:10...5:15...
The starting horn finally sounded at 5:17. By then I realized it was too late for me to run the race. There was no way I was going to finish and be in my car, on the road, by 5:30 so I watched everyone start and drove home.
So, Pink Strong 5K Race Summary - didn't run the race.
My husband claims that I live my life on such a tight schedule that it's unbearably stressful. We have come to a compromise - if it doesn't involve him, I can do what I like. Most of the time I can leave him out of the frenzy. The 5K on Saturday was my event, no other family members involved. I didn't run but I was OK with that. In the end, it was a fundraiser for a good cause and that's how I chose to spend my time.
Sunday would be a different matter. I wanted to run a race in Vallonia, one and a half hours away, at 1 pm. G was suppose to be at Nutcracker rehearsal in Carmel from 2 - 3:30 pm. My husband reluctantly agreed to take G to rehearsal so I could run.
I got to work on time Saturday night. By 4 am Sunday morning I was a train wreck. I was so tired I was having myoclonic jerks while still awake. The minutes could not go by fast enough to 7 am.
7:30 am. Home. I would have to be on the road again by 10:30 am if I was going to do the Fort Vallonia 5K (I always get to the race an hour early so I can register and warm up.) I decided this was not going to happen. I told my husband he was off the hook for Nutcracker and passed out.
So, Fort Vallonia 5K Race Summary - never even made it to the race.
Slept 4.5 hours and got up at noon feeling like I might live. Took G to rehearsal and started feeling better. My husband got to go deer hunting instead. He was happy.
Got a 5 mile run in at 6:30 pm. This was probably much better for me today than trying to race on 2-3 hours of sleep. I ran nice and easy, crunching leaves and side stepping walnuts until it was too dark to see my footing.
Planning to be in bed by 1:00 am tonight. Flooring people will be here in the morning.
48 hours. 37.5 hours up, 10.5 hours of sleep. Happy to have survived and lived this week!
My Takeaways...
This will not be the last week I ever have that will be like this. I should have run on Thursday while I was still feeling OK rather try to run on Friday after my night shift, even though Friday was technically my day off work. Next time I'm feeling good on a non-run day I'm going to run as I'll probably have a run day that may not happen.
Things happen. Be flexible. There was no gain to be had being upset over not running on Saturday. Some things are more important than the speed work you had planned to get in.
Kids will be kids for only a short time. I really didn't want to take G to a last minute photo shoot on almost no sleep but I'm glad she went and her photos are beautiful.
I should spend more time listening to my body than my competitive spirit. I really enjoyed my run this evening. I'm certain my legs would have felt like concrete if I had tried to race this morning.
I should go to sleep now...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

When Everyone's a Winner, Is Anyone a Winner?

What's wrong with this picture?

I downgraded my Monumental entry to the half-marathon and I was just getting OK with the fact that I was going to run it for fun. Then, I got to catching up on my emails today and let's just say the Monumental Marathon peeps done pissed me off...

I will be the first to say that I like receiving awards and hardware just as much as anyone. My issue, especially of late, has been all the participation "awards" that everyone gets.

When I was a kid, I played Little League softball. At the end of the season the team that had the best record was deemed the league champion. The team got a trophy that they gave to the business that sponsored the team, everyone had a party, and that was it. One winner. One trophy. Bragging rights.

Oh how things have changed... one of my daughters played hockey. Their team did not win a single game. At the end of the season every kid got a medal. Then the coach had a team party and handed out a trophy and special award for each kid on the team. Same with my other daughter. She played soccer. Team didn't win a single game. Every kid on the team got a trophy at the end of the season. I know, I know... you want the kids to have good self esteem. They are winners in life whether they won or lost the game. But really? A medal and trophy for everyone on the team? How meaningful is this?

There are other things that people do where they get adjudicated awards. This means that everyone will get some type of placing based on how well they score against a predetermined standard. You are told you are "just competing against yourself." It's like getting a grade in school except that instead of an A, B, or C, you get a First, Second, or Third Premium (like in 4H) or a Gold, Silver, or Bronze - like in the school music competitions.

These days though, it seems that even with the adjudicated awards, almost everyone will get a First or Gold; the remainder get a Second or Silver. Virtually no one gets Third or Bronze. Dance competitions have even come up with more ridiculous standards where the top performers will get a Perfect Platinum, then Platinum, High Gold or Double Gold, Gold, High Silver, Silver, etc... and so basically the lowest anyone really ever comes home with is a Gold... so now winning gold is like being at the bottom of the barrel but, hey, you can tell your friends that you "won" a gold medal.

I know that the seasoned 4H-er's know all about award inflation as they are all about trying to win a "fluffy" or Grand Champion ribbon. There are lots of First Premiums but only one Grand Champion. They get it.

Where am I going with this?

Those kids grow up. They become adults. Some still think they deserve an award (or something) for everything they do. I compete in Open Class at the County and State Fair. In Open Class, which anyone can enter but is mostly adults, there is only one first, second, and third in each category. I stood witness one year at our County Fair as a woman complained to the director about not getting an award, then demanded they create a new category for her needlepoint project. She reasoned that it was Christmas themed and that there should be a separate Christmas category. Then, I watched in amazement as they created a new category just for her... and "awarded" her a first place ribbon as she was the only one in the category. What the heck does that ribbon mean? I hope she's happy.

So what's my issue?

All those participation awards crept into the running world 15-20 years ago. I ran road races in the 1980's. Back then, you got a participation T-shirt and the winners got an award. If you ran a longer race like a half-marathon, you would get a finisher's certificate.

I think the most meaningful award I ever got was my third place age group medal from the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in 1987. (If you want that story it's HERE.) There were several thousand people in that race and I worked hard to get that medal. Imagine my surprise in 1997 when I finished the same race and someone threw a finisher's medal around my neck. Really? You're giving a medal to everyone now? Admittedly, it made me kind of mad as it seemed to somehow diminish the value of my previous medal.

But I got over it. This was the new reality. People want palpable recognition for what they do. It seems the race promotion peeps have latched onto that and literally run with it. Now all the big races give out medals... bigger and bigger medals...

left: 3rd place age group medal from 1987
middle: 1997 finisher's medal
right: 2014 finisher's medal

If running a half-marathon is a big deal for someone, they deserve their medal. If they overcame a huge personal whatever to get to the finish line, they deserve their medal. I don't want a medal for something I can do any day of the week. If I'm going to get a medal, I want to do something where I feel like I deserve that medal or have that medal mean something to me. When I toe a line at a race, I race to win. I'm running for time. I'm going to run the best that I can run that day. If I get a medal for that, it's something I feel like I've earned. The medal from Chicago 2010 means something to me because it was my first marathon. Chicago 2011 is meaningful because my best friend gave me the race entry for my birthday and I was able to take in the race. I have dropped my time in each of my following marathons.

People have a choice. If collecting race bling is what you're into, great. Now you have races that give out finisher's medals the size of dinner plates. The finisher's medal for the Texas Marathon this year weighed 3 lbs 3 oz. People are actually entering races based on what the finisher's medal looks like. Sometimes I feel like it's all about money. Which races offer the most bling and draw the most people.

I choose not to do that. I want to pay a reasonable amount of money to contribute to whatever charity the race is supporting and run my race. I don't want to pay $40 for a 5K to get a finisher's medal, T-shirt, goody bag, and food bar. That's not my thing and, thankfully, there are still plenty of good old fashioned road races where you can plunk down some cash and get a bib. In longer races though, the T-shirt, medal, and goody bag are inevitable because that is what people have come to expect.

So back to the Monumental...

I didn't run Mill Race because I knew I couldn't race it. I didn't want the medal. I didn't even pick up my race packet as I won't ever wear a T-shirt for a race I didn't run. I finally got over my self and decided I would run Monumental because of the fellow Sole Sisters that are coming in town for the race. My medal would be a remembrance of our time together.

Leave it to the race promoters to ruin the medal. So what's wrong with the medal?

It's missing a corner. Why? Because the race promoters want you to come back for 3 more years to get the other 3 pieces. Then, if you do that, they will give you the red and white star medallion that fits in the middle to complete the series/picture. The bling. The draw. The money.

 From the email: Beginning in 2014, Marathon and Half Marathon finishers will receive stunning, three dimensional, high relief medals that are part of a four year series. Culminating with the tenth anniversary in 2017, Monumental runners who have finished the series will receive the red and white Star Medallion, signifying the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, while ten year finishers will in addition receive a commemorative"frame" that holds the series together to create the Flag of Indianapolis. Four-year series finishers may also purchase the frame to display their medals as a set.

Really? I think there's all kinds of stuff wrong with this. First off, so if you run all 10 years you'll get a commemorative frame. Great. Those people earned that. But wait, if you want the frame, you can buy it. What!? Wonder how the 10 year runners feel about that. What about my friends that are coming in from out of state or the ones that are trying to do that 50-state thing? Wonder how they feel about a finisher's medal with a hunk missing as they probably won't be back for the following races.

If the Monumental wanted to do a series, they should have done it so the medals were fine standing alone too. For example...

In short, everyone will be a winner at the Monumental... and they will all get a medal with a chunk missing... because people want palpable recognition for what they do... and the race peeps know it. So who's the winner now?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Oktoberfest 5K

Just don't do any thing stupid... This could be really ugly...

Those were my thoughts. I had 4 runs last week. 3 miles a day. 12 miles total. Then I decided to race again. Let's just call it a time trial. I wanted to see how much ground I'd lost in my month off, plus, I just wanted to race again. I got my in-laws to take J to cheer and off to Seymour I went at o'dark thirty to plunk down $20 and get a race bib.

It was cold. Low 40's. I actually ran in tights and made sure I did a warm up run and stretch. Nothing stupid. I was really worried this was going to be ugly...

Mile 1 - 7:45 
...not too bad. I calmed down. It was actually a bit faster than I thought I'd go. I could relax now.
Mile 2 - 8:15
...still OK. Better than I thought I'd do and I still wasn't sucking air too bad.
Mile 3 - 8:20
last 0.1 - 1:20
...basically cruised in and didn't even attempt to kick. I ran as fast as I wanted to and didn't want to risk pulling anything.

Official time - 25:40 (8:15 pace)

So, about a minute slower than 3 months ago and 37 seconds off from 2 months ago before I decided to take the month off but... no burning leg pain and I could sit comfortably in the car all the way home.
Second place women 45-49
My friend Nora Jo won her age group
Pretty happy overall. I'm just doing some more base building this week and may try another 5K time trial in 2 weeks.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


It's amazing how the disappearance of a pet can suddenly change your mood. Such was the case yesterday...

All was well until G came home and said, "Where's Stell?"

Stella Luna her cat was no where to be found. I vaguely remembered seeing her the night before. Both kids swore she was in the house when they went to school in the morning. Stell is strictly an indoor cat. She usually spends the day sleeping on the back of a couch...or on the bed...or on a table.

She is G's cat. We joke that she is probably going to lose the use of her legs because G carries her around like an accessory when she is home. They spend a lot of time together. Stell is a people person. She hops in our bed at 2:30 am every morning and licks my husbands face. She has also been known to groom the dog. She usually greets G when she gets home or at least gives her an acknowledgement from the couch she is lounging on.

Have you ever seen a cat groom a dog?

Anyway, she was missing. How can a full grown cat with plenty of kitty hang just vanish into thin air? But she had. It was as if aliens had abducted her. She was gone.We called for her and searched the entire house... and not a peep.

Could she have wandered outside? She is not one to want to dart outdoors. Could she possibly have slipped outside though when one of us went out? I didn't think that was possible but that was the only explanation we had left as she was not inside the house.

I walked the yard calling for her. Could she get lost?

Dinner was a sullen affair. I tried to reassure my daughter that Stell was chipped. If someone found her and took her to the pound, she was chipped with our info... But what if someone kept her? What if a coyote or owl ate her? What if she got hit by a car?

Our outdoor cat Socks rules the back porch. Was Stell afraid to come back because of Socks? We put some food out on the front porch and left the light on for her. Finally, at 10 pm, my husband walked the yard one more time then got in the car and made a quick drive around the county roads to make sure she wasn't splatted on the road somewhere. Surely, he said, if Stell ventured outside she'd be tired of her adventure by now and want a warm bed to sleep in. He reassured me she could find her way back home by following her own scent trail (really?).

Still no Stell. No face lick at 2:30 am. I didn't sleep well at all.

This morning I half expected/wished the prodigal cat to be lounging on the chair on the front porch wanting back in. But no cat. The food was untouched. My heart was sinking. Perhaps I should go tell the neighbors today that our cat was missing. G was sad but still hopeful when she went to bed last night. I dreaded having to console her if Stell was gone forever.

I was standing in the kitchen pouring myself a cup of coffee when I heard it...mew...mew. Very faint but definitely a cat. I opened the back porch door and called for her. No cat. I ran to the front porch and called. Still no cat. No, I was not going crazy. I'm sure I heard a cat.

I stood stock still in the kitchen and listened some more. Mew...mew mew mew. It was the beacon cat cry. Stell had to be stuck somewhere in our house. My husband used to have a cat that was infamous for getting herself in situations inside the house - like falling down an open vent and ending up inside the ceiling - and his cat would send out that beacon cry until we found her. I followed the mews to the basement... then to my husband's hunting closet. I had opened the door to this closet twice yesterday but not really searched inside it. I had remembered the closet door being open, however yesterday when we were searching, I had found that the door had shut because something inside the closet had fallen and shut the door. I didn't think too much of it though because the closet is absolutely jam packed with stuff and it didn't surprise me that something had fallen onto the door. I had figured if Stell was inside, she would come out when I opened the door. Well, apparently she was nice and cozy the first two times I opened that door and didn't care that she was locked inside a closet. Looks like she spent the night there and then decided this morning that maybe she needed help getting out and started mewing.

Stupid cat. I hugged her and fed her a bowl of wet cat food. Then she went and laid on my kitchen table... and all is well again.