To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Monday, October 31, 2011

Anatomy of a Halloween Costume

Race? Report? What? I did another race this weekend? Yeah... about that.  I'll compose myself and come up with a report. It will most likely be short and I'll talk about Titanic more than running. Biker Boy captured how this went for me with this one single picture. I feel like it just really says a lot.

So instead of dwelling on the past, let's talk about today! It is Halloween .... one of my favorite seasons - because for me this one day does last a whole season. With a drawer full of costumes I decided to branch out. Go outside my comfort zone. Be really cutting edge and different ....Today, I am in full costume as.... wait for it .... a tired, thirsty, hungry half-marathoner. 

BUT! I couldn't just go in regular gear. No way. What fun is Halloween if you can't wear something you normally wouldn't? Today I am dressed, mocking those things I would normally make fun of while racing. I had to omit certain things, but considering I threw this together 15 minutes before I left for work, I like the finished product! It is obvious I usually spend too much time worrying about my clothes, and I would never run not matching with well though out accessories. Not today!

**As bright as they are, no making fun of the Nike capris and skirt combo. You WILL be seeing this again**
  • I am authentic ... with a timing tag on my shoe (from Portland!) AND my arm sleeves still smell from Saturday's race!
  • Head band ... animal print clashing with the animal print on the arm sleeves. Big no no in my world!
  • Um, neon anyone? One piece is fine .... but a full body of it? I need some sunglasses!
  • Rainbow sleeves (LOVE them, Thank you Team Sparkle!) with all of this ... a bit too much. But dammit I freaking LOVE them!
  • You can't see that my non-moisture wicking socks are another crazy animal print that are purple and pink. 
  • Shoes are stained with blood.
  • Crooked number ... and really this should be on my back, because how many newbies do you see running with their number on their back? Too  many.
  • If you notice my bib, it is for the Prefontaine Memorial --- but I'm wearing a Hippie Chick shirt? Bad form. I would NEVER race in a shirt from another race. I would also never (aside from my very first when the weather ended up dictating an emergency layer) wear the shirt for the race I am racing in. 
  • Naturally I have my Garmin. Can't leave home without it.
  • And to keep in character I am using my post-race water bottle from Saturday instead of my usual.
  • I also applied blush to my entire face so I could have a post-race rosy color all day long. 
  • Okay, I even ran from my car to my desk so I would be winded when I showed up. See? Authentic!
Things that didn't make it:
  • iFitness belt. It is still damp and very smelly from the race. I just couldn't do it.
  • Urine.  It is too early in the day to pee myself for authenticity ... but give it time. You never know!
  • Bobble headband - I suck. I should have added this. I have one at home.
  • Tutu. All I have is a petticoat that goes under another Halloween costume and it didn't have the right feel to it.
  • And as pointed out on facebook ... I need 4 or 5 girlfriends by me so we can walk arm in arm taking up the entire path so others can't get around us!
  • No post-vomit tissue in my pocket, because I always run with that. And today is the day I do what I don't normally do! Kind of nice to not have a poofy hip of paper towel!
OH - you can't see in the photo, but I wore a pink polka dot sports bra underneath. In person you can see it a little bit. 
Don't forget the medal. Mmm.... one more day to enjoy the fun of getting that beautiful and freakishly heavy Coast to Coast medal!

What did you dress up as? Are you doing anything tonight in honor of the occasion? Did you dress up your children? Did you have a huge ass party and have Dexter like props and wear the world's tightest outfit and pasties? Can you smell me all the way over there?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Theven Things Thursday

The lovely Christie at Changing From Fat to Fit was splendid and also nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. Due to lack of creativity, nothing going on in my life and writers block, I shall now come up with 7 more things about myself!  Thanks Christie!!
  1. Every single morning at work I listen to Jimmy Buffett from 8 to 9am. My day feels incomplete without my little dose of Jimmy!
  2. I hate the word veteran. I hate it because everybody says vet-run. It is like they completely ignore a vowel. Even as I was ranting about this on the way to work to my mom (we carpool) a commercial came on about Veteran's Day, and sure enough the douche bag said, "Vetrun's Day". CAN'T. STAND. IT.
  3. I have already had 3 kidney stones in my life. During the first one the doctor told me that I will certainly have more since I got the first one at such a young age. (I think I was 21 or 22. Now I feel old because I  can't remember. 22. I was twenty-two!) The second stone I passed was soooo big. It was a huge stone with tons of other little pieces that look like sand. I've read that even one sand sized stone is terribly painful. Well no wonder I thought I was dying. I was on Percocet and 2 other narcotics for an entire week. I slept. Woke up. Drank juice and ate. Swallowed pills. Slept. Over and over.  The stone was so big I named him "Hudson" -- after Rock Hudson. Get it? (I have a photo but I can't find it right now. You got lucky!)
  4. I cannot stand things touching my neck. I absolutely adore my Love To Run necklace and haven't taken it off since I put it on nearly a year ago. This week it is driving me nuts. I can feel it touching me. I'm sure this is all mental. I feel like I'm choking. OMG I can't get it off. I'm trying and it won't adjust.  HELP! Seriously, I am trapped in this thing. I can't breathe. Dammit.
    1. No really. I can't take it. I need it off. I'm going to cry. 
    2. I got it. I'm exhausted. You see? I'm not joking. I can't have things touching my neck. I feel sad without it on. I promise I'm not turning my back on Steve Prefontaine. I just needed to breathe.
    3. The psych major in me thinks this is symbolic of other things. Hm.
    4. Wow - there was a lot of sweat dried up into that necklace. Poor thing. I guess it needed to come off for a cleaning!
  5. I absolutely adore Fiona Apple. I've seen her in concert 4 times now, and even her guitar player use my pen once! I swear she has a song for any type of situation or emotion you could have. The ex-husband always knew to just stay away if I was blasting Fiona. Ha - the ONLY smart thing he ever figured out! He realized I'm either mad about something, or I will be mad if he disturbs my Fiona time. She's the best! And her body is just so perfect. Lucky lady!
    1. So the necklace has been off for 5 minutes and I'm still choking. This leads me to number 6!
  6. I believe in reincarnation. But I also believe in Heaven. I was BFFs with a preacher's kid (two different ones actually.) and she didn't understand me. She told me that doesn't make sense. Whatever, I don't care. Anyhoo... I've always believed in a past life I died by drowning or choking. This is my theory on why I don't go underwater, why I get sick watching Titanic when it starts to sink and why I can't have things touching my neck. This is probably why my running shirts are always too big, too. The only "tighter"ones I can wear have v-necks! I'm a freaking mess you guys! Let's call it pre-race nerves.
  7. BFFs.... I am lucky, I have multiple! I blame it on living in various places and the world wide web of myspace, blogging and facebook. And they are all my BFFs in different ways. If your name is Mike though - you get to hear it ALL! He's my #1 gay and I just adore him. We met on the internet, too, and have since gone one multiple vacations together across the country. 
That's Mike - we spent my 29th birthday gay bar hopping in Phoenix!
That was 7. Here's a bonus! And it is because I need to call him now to have him be my lunch date. I'm named after my grandpa! (We went to the same college and he was honorary "dad" for Dad's Weekend!) AND when I moved back to Oregon and was fixing up my house he and I were roommates! And now he's my landlord. We're obviously not close at all.  ;)  And I can see his yard from my backyard! My mom and I share a middle name. Whenever I have my child - and especially if she is a girl - I'm carrying on the middle name AND grandpa's name! I may have had my daughter's name picked out since the early 90's.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Let's Talk About ME!!

Kim over at (Just) Trying is for Little Girls tagged me, and since she could beat me up on Saturday at the race if I don't do this --and she said I can watch Titanic at her house!!, I am following along!  Now I shall copy/paste what she had (is it plagiarism if I fully admit to it?)

Here's how it order to "claim" the award, I have to handle some business.

The rules of this nomination are:

I get to tell you seven random things about myself as well as pass on the award to seven other great bloggers (see below).

Nominees, in order to accept this award you must:

-Thank and link back to the person who awarded you
-Write seven random things about yourself.
-Award seven other awesome and inspiring bloggers.
  1. Every time I go into the bathroom at work I dance. It might be a ballet style leg kick in the air. It might be a twirl. No matter what, I always do it. Sshh. 
  2. I have worn the same exact pair of underwear for every single race (except for the Disney 5Ks right before the Half Marathons -- I can't double up two days in a row.) I'm in a pickle about January when I have the back to back half marathons. Do I wash after the first run? Do I just initiate a new pair?? So much to think about!
  3. Last night I was just accepted by a new doctor. Mine retired, then his first replacement left really fast and the next replacement was lame (I never actually saw him, I refused to go after my mom's experience). So now I have a new one, and for the first time ever I have a female doctor. I'm just used to old men doing all that "stuff" every year. This will be a new experience for sure!
  4. When I moved back to Oregon I went to work for the District Attorney. Because of this (i.e. working the felony desk and surviving 2 major death penalty trials) I had a very hard time making new friends - I was convinced everybody was a meth head, an identity thief or just completely nuts. I only really know people from work, old friends from grade school days and my bartender friend that I have deemed to be a new BFF. 
  5. Even though I go to the YMCA 3 days a week for my water aerobics class I have NEVER passed a swimming test in my life. I can't go underwater without plugging my nose. Diving? Forget about it. Not gonna happen. 
  6. Bruce Willis and I are besties. Demi Moore has huge knockers. I've hung out with Secret Service. Thank you, Disney!!
  7. I have a psychology degree from Oregon State University because my dream job is to be Clarice Starling and hunt serial killers. And yes, I'd LOVE to talk with them like she and Hannibal talked all the time. It's morbid I know, but totally fascinating. For the record, I would have shot Buffalo Bill BEFORE he took off through that disgusting little house of his and. But wasn't that a great scene?
Now I get to pass on the love and force  let suggest 7 of you to play along. I won't cry if you don't play along. But all the cool kids are doing it. Right? Wait, are we? Am I a cool kid yet? Please??
  • Rose. Um, obviously!
  • Giraffy. Um, obviously!
  • Lesley. Okay, so I'm picking all the girls gutsy enough to race with me.
  • Abby.  The next one to put up with me for possibly 3 races in a row!
  • Lucy. We were SUPPOSED to be in Vegas together. :(
  • Brooke. She's trying to drop off the face of the blogger planet. I'm going to drag her back in!
  • Christina. We have a birthday coming up!!!

Today's random photo:
Ooh - this reminds me, I've figured out my Las Vegas Half outfit! Inspired by Circus Circus!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Update: Sentencing for the Animal Abusers

You may recall I had jury duty in September, and on the final day my number was called. The case was animal abuse with two defendants - one I thought looked like a transient and the other like Aileen Wuornos. If you missed it, you can click that link in the first sentence to hear all about my Nancy Grace type antics in the court room. Shockingly Not so shockingly I was dismissed.  Happily, after many days in the court room (while I was busy at work not being a juror), a verdict was reached --- guilty on all counts for both defendants.

Yesterday the women were back in court to be sentenced. Ooh - I found a photo. Credit goes to the lame newspaper that wrote the story. (Seriously, we have a terrible local paper.) The one sitting with glasses on really cleaned up. She is the one with the crazy Aileen Wuornos eyes. Pretty sure she sent some nasty looks my way. Yeah, I didn't abuse an animal, so you can suck it, lady!  The one standing is the one that looked like a transient on the day I was there. The blond lawyer is the one that kind of gave me attitude, so I professionally sent it right back at her. 

Anyway, good news -- if you are on the side of the poor, now deceased animal.  The sitting woman got 6 months in jail, the standing one got 90 days. And neither of them can own pets for 5 years. They got lucky. The sitter could have had up to a year in jail, the stander up to 6 months. I wish they would NEVER be allowed to have pets again. Hopefully years down the road I don't get called to jury duty again for anything they did to another innocent animal.
* * * * * 

And now I shall conclude this post with a picture ... of my finger the way it looks right now. My poor pinky. It isn't straight. It doesn't wear nail polish. It does crack open. It does look sad. Can you believe this is the hand of a 32-for-a-few-more-days-year-old?
We can thank the weather changing for this one. Sadly this is not rare for me.

Run #8.4 - Of Course, Because It's Race Week

Procrastination is the name of my running game! I was so excited to go run - so naturally I didn't head out until 8:30pm. I'm so predictable. I've convinced myself that my always running in the dark will be great practice for the Las Vegas RnR Half in December and Wine & Dine next October.

The weather was such a nice change. I was in a skirt with capris, leg sleeves, my thicker socks and a long sleeved shirt. How nice! I totally mixed up my route this time, adding the gigantic movie theater parking lot to my list of acceptable running terrain. No traffic. Ample light. Smooth surface. Nice!

The plan for 5 miles had to be altered and I shorted it to 3. Why? Because my ankle started feeling funky and I realized I was running with a slight limp. I figured 2 miles taken off would be better than running those 2 miles and making anything worse. But really I'm not worried. It's race week. I always feel like I'm getting sick. I always feel like I'm working on an injury. Heck, in 2010 with only 12 hours before my second 10K I jammed my foot into the deck. Oh the cracking sound was horrible. I was immediately freaking out, in too much pain to talk, yet trying to communicate to my mom that I needed ice ASAP. Bloody toes and all, I still got out there, ran and set my current 10K PR! SO, basically feeling injured and having last minute freak outs is all normal for me!

Anyway, nothing fabulous with this run. Just regular 4:1 intervals - I'm still doing it for shorter runs so I can get used to listening to my Garmin's beeping and also so I can learn to accept that I'll be walking more than normal. However, I am still feeling great when I finish and running faster during those 4 minutes, and that is just fabulous! One strange thing on this run. My last tenth of a mile I was on a street where I think EVERYONE was doing the laundry. The air was filled with laundry soap and fabric softener smell. It was so powerful I could taste it. Nothing like a soapy mouth when you are pushing for your finishing kick. Yuck!

* * * * * 

In fun, still running related news.... this weekend when I find THE shirt I will have 1/3 of my WDW race outfits complete. Yay! Also hitting up stores to work on the other Disney outfits plus Vegas. I hate feeling uninspired. I've also begun brainstorming for my Seattle RnR outfit. I don't plan ahead AT ALL. Never....

That's all. I'm the definition of boring today. Let's add a random picture not associated with anything in this post.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The $60 Post - Portland Pictures!

I surprised myself and ran awesome. I had a completely unexpected, unplanned, un-dreamed of PR. I had on a shirt that was way too big for me. But I also didn't have tons of double chins ... and I freaking PR'd!!! SO ... I splurged and bought them all! So now I'm shoving them down everyone's throats. If you'd like one framed on your mantel, or poster sized, just let me know!  (To be nice I am not uploading ALL of them. See how generous I am once in a bit??)

I swear I'm there - look to the right, the girl in purple by the dude in bright orange and girl in grey. See me?
The two photos above are around the 5.5 mile mark. Clearly they caught me during Clif Shot time!

12 miles in... Realizing if I keep going strong I will get a PR!
Here I come! I passed 4 people in that final stretch!!

Sweet relief!! Oh - and in all of these last photos I bet if we zoom in you'll see my face covered in tears!
Probably only 2 minutes after this shot I was being carted off to the med tent!


Friday, October 21, 2011

I Was On TV. And Douching.

Today at swim class there were only 5 of us ~ 4 "students" and our "teacher". I'm so happy it ended up being one big gab session (um, Thirsty Thursday anyone??). We did get in some good leg and ab work, but mostly our jaws had the exercise. So there we are just sort of flopping along and one woman motions for us to all come in close. 5 women huddled up getting all quiet. (I have NO idea how this even came up at all.) She tells us how a friend of hers decided when her husband passes away she is going to have him cremated, put into shotgun shells then go shoot them out in the forest. He was a hunter. She thought he'd like to be spread out that way. SO, the woman telling us this story goes home to her husband. She tells him, "Honey, I've decided when you pass away I'm going to have you cremated and put into my douche bag. That way you can have one last hurrah in there!" Bye bye silent pool area, cue the huge eruption of laughter from the 5 of us. These ladies are a total kick!

Yesterday we participated in the Oregon Shakeout - just in case we ever have a big earthquake here. I had my walkie talkie (you see me grab it off my desk in the following video) and I was in charge of evacuating part of the building and keeping people out. I actually had to run in and chase a guy out when he went flying by me to get in. I guess he just really wanted to pay on his water bill or speeding ticket??  Here's a collage. I'm in it! Can you find me??

Look at the top. See that girl's head as she ducks under her desk? That's me!  Look to the left. There is blond hair over a black jacket - just behind the woman in purple. That's me! Yeah, I'm pretty big in these parts. People know me. Don't believe me? Watch the video! I'm the star... right?  (The guy being interviewed is awesome - total Jimmy Buffett fan like myself, and got muddy with me at Warrior Dash!) And your challenge in watching this video is to a) notice the subtle plug for runDisney and b) find the world's strangest back of the head hairline. Got it? Okay, go! Find it!

Um, do I have anything else to add today? Nah, I think I'm good for right now. I might be back later. I mean I had a lot to talk about but my mind has gone blank.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Run #8.3 - 5K Word Play ~ In Song!

Yesterday I was ready to be a legit runner again, remember? Well by the time I got home I was feeling lazy. Facebooking was more fun. And then I wanted food. My fb status said, "I am a complete lazy ass." Giraffy, did you see that?? As I'm sitting in my comfy recliner watching Gene Simmons' Family Jewels I get a text from her about running. Dammit. She won - I was up and out the door. My 5 miles ended up being a 5K for a very good reason - my lazy ass doddled so long that I had to run shorter so I could get home in time to see Gene and Shannon get married. Aww, I'm so happy! I just love that family!

I really liked what I was wearing. If I can find a shirt to wear under that shirt I just might have myself the outfit for the first of two Disney half marathons in January! (I am just itching to go to Dick's Sporting Goods and load up on outfits!) So I'm out there running, in the dark. And during this entire run I only stopped my Garmin once when I had to pause because a car of teenagers was backing up. I really didn't figure they would see me in the dark, and I felt it safest to just pause and wait for them to go. Can't really blame me there, right? 

From the instant I started running I felt Great! I was happy. I was feeling no pain, stiffness or soreness. I finally just felt really relaxed and like I could perhaps be a good runner after all. My happy pace for a while seemed to be around 9:30 or lower. Huh, when did this happen? I certainly can't maintain, but it feels so good while it lasts! My mind was really busy. I was thinking about all sorts of things - all running related, and sadly not all positive. The positive thought I kept going back to was how a founding member of Team Jam (for some reason "founding member" came to my head last night and amused the hell out of me) texted me and motivated me to run. It made me so happy! Thanks for kicking my ass, Giraffy!! But it wasn't all positive. Have you ever been running alone in the dark and you go by a place with loud, not friendly/not clean looking people outside and they have an angry tone and potty mouths? It made me feel unsafe and I picked up the pace. But then my pace increasing made me feel good about myself - like I could still turn it up when I need to if I'm in a bad situation. Yay! Then my head kept going back to this one thing over and over and over .....

One time last year - before I had even done a half marathon or started training for the first one - a fellow runner said to me, "Maybe you're just not cut out for long distance running. Maybe you should stick to 5Ks." What?? Looking at it objectively I still don't get why she would say that. I mean I hadn't failed at a long distance. I was just building up. Yes, I was mostly racing 5K races, but that's because they are VERY available in Oregon. Why was someone almost telling me to just give it up before I could even try? Obviously it still bothers me a year later. I turned it all around though. Every time this came to mind during my run I just used it as motivation to disprove the naysayers. Sure I'm curvier than Kara Goucher. Sure I'll never qualify for Boston. Sure I won't win age group awards on a regular basis (my one was more than I ever expected!!). But dammit, I CAN run. I can beat other people. I can feel miserable and still crank out a 6 minute mile pace to pass by 4 people as I approach a finish line. 

All of this helped me have a great run! I even opted to go on new streets just because they were UPhill! UP! I RAN UP HILLS!! By Choice!!  I was still Gallowaying it because I really do feel better that way. Yay for JG, he brought life back into these legs!  My run finished off with All That Jazz, the same way the Portland Half Marathon did. I freaking LOVE that song. It has this slow build and so many moments for flair! If you haven't had jazz hands during a run you are really missing out. Just do it, it's fun!

During my walk home one of the greatest songs of our generation came on. Come on, you know you love it, too ... and thank you to Bridesmaids for bringing it out to the forefront again. It was Wilson Phillips' Hold On. NOW with freshly tweaked phrases and words that I created during my run and this morning in the shower!

I know this pain
But are you comfortable with your pace?
No one can change your time except for you
Don't ever let anyone step all over you
Just open your stride and you'll find
It isn't really fair to feel this way inside

Some day some runner's gonna make you want to
Turn around and say goodbye
Until then baby are you going to let them
Hold you down and make you cry
Don't you know?
Don't you know speed can change
The race will go your way
If you hold on for one 5K
Can you hold on for one 5K
Things'll go your way
Hold on for one 5K

It's my new power anthem to shut up the Negative Nancy's and boost myself to run better, faster, longer! In the next verse I have lyrics about not letting tutus pass you by, but that will be saved for another post!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Need A Mental Holiday

Should we go with bullet points since I have NO thought out idea for this blog?

  • Help me Rhonda just came on (do you know how hard it is to type that with an H?? SO unnecessary, but then typing it the way the Beach Boys misspelled it does help me avoid Google alerts!). Anyway, I used to hate this song. I can't tell you how many times this has been sung to me. Or how many times people would look at me at Kali River Rapids and say, "Help me Rhonda." Hahaha, yes, I haven't heard that one before. I'm forcing myself to learn to the like the song so I won't cringe the rare times I actually hear the song and not the jokes. This has nothing to do with ANYTHING.
  • On Thursday we are doing an earthquake/evacuation drill. The news people will be here near my work area. I better pick out some extra fun socks that day!
  • I'm overwhelmed (now I'm back on track with the blog purpose...).  I want to just go home. Turn off every form of communication and be alone. I want to de-stress, come up with some game plans and make some stuff happen!
  • So I'll run 5 miles. It is supposed to be about 80ยบ today which means, like my idol Steve Prefontaine, I'll "piss and moan" the entire time. But I hope the 5 will help with the stress.
  • I still need to test my full Halloween costume. I won't run in it, but I need to put on accessories just to know they will all work together. I WILL make them work. They are key!
  • The BIG stress lies with clothing.
    • Las Vegas Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon
    • Disney Family Fiesta 5K featuring the Three Caballeros
    • Walt Disney World Half Marathon
    • Walt Disney World Marathon Relay
  • Essentially 4 races coming up very soon and I have NO idea what to wear for ANY of them! I can't even get inspiration for it. I'm tempted to pull out all of my running skirts and lay them on the floor, then remove the ones I've already raced in and see what I'm left with. Then maybe I'll design around the skirts. But this still doesn't inspire me. My trusty websites are letting me down, too. Nothing is wowing me. I haven't found the "It" thing. For Princess I saw the skirt and I just knew. It clicked. Not this time. I think for Vegas I know my bottom half - which always reminds me of Circus Circus and tacky casinos, which I love - so perfect! But I need a top and socks. 
  • This is ridiculous. I am stressing about clothes! Forget that I have to actually RUN in these races. No, I worry about skirts.
  • BECAUSE, if I think about the running I panic. 29.3 miles in 3 days. Holy F-word, Batman! Last November I ran 15 miles. In January I did 72 - that is my highest EVER, and only because Lesley was kicking my ass constantly to get me ready for the Princess. I need to start kicking my own ass. 
  • But first I need clothes!!!
  • I'm going to be a runner now. I'm going to get my head back into the game.
  • And I think I'm done with food for a while.
  • I'm going to try to pause on registering for races now so I can save some money. I have my child to produce next year (since I totally got off schedule a bit, dammit), and in the event I have my turkey baster baby I'm gonna need some extra cash on hand to get that schtuff done!
Okay, now I'm going to go freak out a bit more now on my own. 
I'm just REALLY excited about Vegas. Maybe I should run the half in that pink dress behind me??

Monday, October 17, 2011

Boom! Seattle ... That's How It's Done!

It's done!

Giraffy, Becka, Rose, Kim, Lesley ....  See you there!

(Like how I throw Rose in here, I'm thinking optimistically!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Run #8.2 - Mini Race & Only 1/2 A Run

I'm such a lazy ass. Seriously. I want a trophy (because why not?) for being the laziest, biggest procrastinator/slacker in the running world.

Let's back up!

Yesterday I was at the OSU football game - right? I mean I watched it until I fell asleep from pure boredom. The tailgate was awesome though. Lots of people, fun stories, new people, good times! And it didn't rain! Sadly my little Lady Bug didn't come along (since I had actual game tickets this weekend), so I didn't have my little bandanna wearing partner in crime. I did, however, realize I was turning into my own little Jersey Shore/Snooki disaster over here in western Oregon .... THIS is how I went to the game =>

Whatever - I was comfy and my toes were cold ... and they really looked like runner's toes yesterday, so slippers were probably the best way to go. At half time we left early, as per usual, to hit the potty and get back to the tailgate party. For fear of being blocked when they raise the ropes so the players can get through, my mom and I started hurrying. So then I started in a light jog (slippers and all!). She speeds up. So I do. Next think you know, we are racing through the courtyard outside Reser Stadium. Who knew my mom could go so fast? Naturally I couldn't let her win... once I kicked in to my typical finish line sprint I lost her. She caught up to me after we crossed the rope area and says, "Now I understand the puking!" See?? It must be a family thing!

Fast forward to this morning. Perhaps fueling up yesterday on Voodoo Doughnuts, chips, cheese, crackers and Smirnoff Raz wasn't the best way to go out for 10 miles in the morning? I woke up today, had some more of my ginormous doughnut, fixed some toast and went out for 10 miles. Water? Who hydrates these days anyway, so overrated. Sheesh...

Yeah, I hit the wall by mile 1. I was doing a test run in most of my Halloween race outfit. It all worked, so yay! I didn't wear the accessories because, well, I'm not THAT ridiculous all the time. 1.5 miles in I was already on the phone with my mom - ready to meet her at the store so I could bum a ride home. Yes, I am THAT lazy! I mean I was only .8 miles from my front door at that location. I decided to keep going and not totally weenie out. However, instead of 10 miles I only did 5. It is all I had in me. My mind was just not up for it, and my body was still tired. 

The plan is to finish the remaining 5 tomorrow. I figure I should at least get started on practicing back to back runs if I don't want to be a total disaster during the second of two half marathons that one weekend in January!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to pop some corn, grab a Diet Pepsi and continue with my Dark Shadows marathon. Nothing like quality soap operas from the 1960's! I use the word "quality" VERY loosely here. This show is the best!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thirsty Thursday Flirt Off

We went out. Again. To the Blackbird. The pita and hummus is just oh sooooo good! I ate it ALL. I sort of offered to share, but was really happy when nobody accepted the invitation to eat my appetizer. The night started out normal. I was sitting (bellied up to the bar) between my mom and her friend Todd - whom I have stolen as my own friend. I mean really, do I let many gay men pass my way without just sucking them into my universe? Of course not! Joe, my new BFF (because I said so 2 weeks ago) was our bartender, as per usual. Really, Joe is the reason we go there at all.

Lined up, we all had our drinks (and my hummus) and conversation was flowing. Then we notice a man in a red shirt sitting to Todd's left. Todd immediately welcomes him into our conversation ... and this is where it all changed.  To cut out all the dirty details .... everyone thought red shirt Alex as good looking, very clean cut and polite. He seemed very interested in talking to Todd and myself. So then we were so confused! Was he "into" Todd? Was he "into" the girl?? What's the deal??? To conclude this post, enjoy the text exchanges that happened at the end of the night. 

First between Joe and I. Then Todd. Then Biker Boy.

In the end, as far as I heard before I crashed in my bed, we still don't know which way red shirt swings!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Run #8.1 - The Dress Test

Did you succumb to temptation a couple of weeks ago when Skirt Sports had their Deal of the Day e-mails? I certainly did. Not once, but twice .... ending up with two race belt skirts and a running dress. Monday my dress was waiting at my backdoor, so for my first run post-Portland Half Marathon I decided to take it for a test spin.

The goal was 2 or 3 miles, to be determined once I got running. As I think back, this is the earliest after a half marathon that I have ever run. I know some people recover fast - I do best with a 2 day gap before a race, and usually 3 or 4 days after  race. My legs certainly noticed that a) I was running earlier than normal and b) the last time they ran they got me a PR. I was TIRED! I just felt like lead. I did the Galloway run/walk/run method again, and had to pause 1 mile in to massage my left calf muscle. So damn tight!  In the end I did 2 miles in 21 minutes with this new method - I certainly will NOT complain about that, especially since it felt like I was moving a lot slower. I'm glad I only did a short run though - I don't have any desire to get repeat injuries, so if that means shorter runs now and then, I am A-Okay with it!

I could have fit another person in that shirt!
Let's talk about the dress! First off, I may have ordered a size too big? I don't like tight shirts when I run, so I went with a bigger size than the normal Skirt Sports skirts I have. Also, for 30 years now I've "known" I am fat. So I think I just always end up getting bigger sizes because I think I am bigger than I am. I mean my tummy is so far from flat that I guess wrong and just seem to end up in ill fitting clothes -- let's take another peeksie-poo at the Portland Half shirt disaster, shall we? I mean I actually had to keep pulling it back into proper alignment because it was sliding off to the side. With all of that said, the dress was really comfy on me! Because I am not endowed in the boobie region at all I still wore my own sports bra underneath. It has a built in bra, but it wouldn't have really done me any good.

I almost turned around to change clothes before even getting 3 houses away from my own. Under the dress I wore some really "fancy" compression-ish shorts I picked up at Target for the purpose of getting muddy in at Warrior Dash. They felt totally fine and comfy. No irritation at all - of course I only ran 2 miles, so who really knows - but then they were fine at Warrior Dash, too. The problem was the dress and the shorts together. As soon as I started running the dress was creeping up - like shorts when your thighs try to devour them. So now I am all self-conscious that my skirt is going up and the world is seeing my shorts. I ended up holding the bottom/side of the dress so it wouldn't keep riding up on it's own. When nobody was around I just let it go. I also used the cleavage alley pocket to carry my iPod. It didn't bug me, but my earphones did - not the fault of the dress.

Next time I'll try shorts of a different material underneath. And then I'll try some capris. If it always rides up this running dress will officially be a lounging/wear to work dress. I hope it works though. It was really cute and VERY comfy to run in - if you ignore the fashion faux pas!

**Oh, and round #8's training is for the Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon on October 29th!**

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Proof Galloway & I Are New BFFs??

I'll let the highlighted sections speak for themselves.

Basically I used Jeff Galloway's running method - and kept right on pace with The Man himself!

And those of you dying to stalk me, I realize I did a sucktastic job on keeping my info incognito. I'm feeling exhausted from the race and blacking out all of my details was just too much work.

And to end my marathon posts about the Portland Marathon, here is video I took of Frank Shorter sharing his favorite Steve Prefontaine story. Be sure to watch my new BFF Jeff Galloway in the background. He cracks me up! From listening to Frank and Jeff tell stories I learned I have even more in common with Pre. Not only does he also "piss and moan" about everything while running, he and I also can't stand the pin trader people! See? I'm telling you, Steve and I totally would have been real life friends!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Portland Half Marathon - Whoa!

My thoughts about the crowd!
Going to bed I had the words of Neta Prefontaine running through my head ... "Do your best and remember Steve will be running right next to you!" All night long this was echoing and I actually had the best sleep ever before a race! I woke up feeling calm, confident and ready!

At 4am I was up and hitting the shower, curious about what was ahead of me. Usually I know exactly where to go, where I'll be running, where I'll be finishing. This time I only had a general idea. I didn't worry and instead trusted Biker Boy to get me downtown on time. He did! Traffic was busy getting to the race area so we grabbed a spot a few blocks away and used that distance to let me walk off some nerves, warm up and try to eat a bagel. As per usual, I couldn't even eat half of one. And I forgot to grab a banana. Once again I would be running under fueled - story of my racing life! All day Saturday I was texting with friends that were running the full marathon. I kept it up in the morning, but in the mass of all the people and my feeling of being lost I never found them. Bummer. I thought of them all during my 13.1 miles though, hoping for them all the best as they tackled twice my distance.

I panicked a little bit when I couldn't get a signal on my Garmin. At home I have no big buildings in the way of the satellites. In downtown Portland? Totally different story! I was corral E, so it gave me a little extra time to panic and then calm down when it worked. The countdown was short and sweet ... and done by none other than Frank Shorter! I crossed the start line and couldn't wipe the smile off of my face. The streets were lined with tons of loudly cheering spectators and it made for an awesome start experience! My plan for this race was to stick with Jeff Galloway's run/walk/run intervals, keep my head calm and get under 3 hours. Done, done and done! I had my Garmin set for 4 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. At first I didn't want to walk, but I forced myself. I wanted to give this plan a fair chance. He says to do walk breaks early and often and so that's what I did! 

The first four miles flew by. There were so many spectators along the entire route, ample water stops and music at least every mile if not more. I seemed to be around the same people for the majority of the race, and for the first time ever, nobody annoyed me! Perhaps I was just really in the zone and enjoying myself that I didn't get irritated by little things. I was wearing a 5 hour pace band since it was the slowest one they had at the expo. Imagine my shock when half way into the race I was ahead of that pace! The sub-3 was mine without a doubt!

A misty rain happened about 45 minutes in and it was a welcome relief for me. I enjoy misty rain when I run. I had half of a Clif shot about 10K into the race and did drink all of my PowerAde before getting to the finish area. Ooh, I had a 10K and 15K PR (although I can't count them), so obviously things were going right. I was shocked at how well I was feeling. Thank you, Jeff Galloway! 

I never saw my friend running his first full. During the very long out and back I was sure I'd see him, but he was probably too fast for me to see (this was his 3rd race ever, and he got sub-4!).  I started to crash so I took some pretzels, but offered them to a volunteer when I couldn't eat them. I knew I was going to be sick. I didn't want to be. I wanted to fight it until the end. I was starting to feel pretty low and then I looked to the left and I felt like this happy ray of light just came beaming down. It was Cilley Girl and Jules! They have no idea how much I needed to see them when I did! Since we didn't meet up at the start this was actually better. I thought they looked so happy and I felt like I got a spring in my step seeing my friends smiling at me. Thank you, ladies!! I told them I knew I wouldn't PR, but I would still beat my goal. High fives exchanged and we all went on our way.
Just shoot me now. That shirt is way too big. Ugh.

I did a double triple take when my Garmin said I was 11 miles in. I actually almost asked other runners if that was possibly right. I mean I was so close to the end! At this point I owe a ginormous thank you to the spectators and volunteers. They really did help me get to the finish line. I was sticking with intervals, although the running bits were getting shorter now and then. When I'd feel like walking I had Neta's voice telling me Pre would be with me and I'd start running again - even picking up the pace. So many people shouted my name, only now their words sounded genuine. They all pushed me forward and reassured me that the end was close and I was looking strong. For a while I was running with my eyes closed, concentrating and soaking in the cheers. Biker Boy saw me during my worst part. You know I am done when my hands are on my hips. I had less than a mile to go. I wasn't going to give up.

With tears going down my face, jazz hands in full motion (All That Jazz came on), I was nearly delirious. I didn't care about spectators judging me. If mental dancing was keeping my head in check, then that's what I would do. It was pure agony. You see I had done the math for 2 miles. That PR that I wasn't even trying for and knew I wouldn't get? It was so close that if I didn't get it I would NOT be satisfied in the least. The pain must have been showing because the encouragement from others only got louder. One man actually just spoke to me. "Ronda, you are so close. Go get that finish. It is just around the corner!" "Really? Just ahead?" I said, completely crying. He said yes and I kicked it into high gear. At the last corner I had 4 people ahead of me. I picked them off one at a time -- going sub-7 minute mile pace! I heard my name over the speakers, threw up my arms and rejoiced when I got my new PR!

I stopped my Garmin. Realized I was NOT okay and started dry heaving. A nice man asked if I was okay. Before I could answer I was throwing up. Soon they had a garbage can in front of me. I was blocking finisher photos for the others. I kept apologizing to everyone because I felt terrible about it. For the first time ever during a "sick" moment I said, "Please. Help me." I had my napkin from my pocket and was cleaning up and a girl was throwing a space blanket around me. She helped me stand upright and another put on my medal. A nice guy from the left came and had his arm around me. "You did it! You looked awesome. You were great!" And then those two pretty much carried me to the med tent. I was dizzy (and not my normal) and disoriented. I was put on a cot and had my blood pressure, pulse and temperature repeatedly checked. They gave me juice and fruit and took care of me until I was okay to walk around. Before the doctor dismissed me (I had my own chart!) a volunteer said, "I recognize you! I've raced with you before a few times!" Wow - I felt like that was a compliment of sorts! The med staff was really great and after a while I was allowed to go.

Upon leaving I was given a rose, then hit the food area. They had oodles! I took some cups with donut holes and juice. Next we were greeted by men in tuxedos giving us little cloth sacks (that isn't the right word). It them we had a commemorative coin and a pendant - a mini version of our medals that you could put on a necklace! Then I got a long-sleeve finishers shirt and Douglas Fir seedling. Finishers photos were next, then as I left I was given a piece of flatbread pizza. Yummy! They sure do treat their runners well in Portland. I was very impressed!

All the swag included with the race fees!
I was also impressed with the runners as a whole. I mean we are CRAZY! Being in the med tent I saw scary things. Even after leaving the whole area I saw a runner on the ground completely drained of color. His eyes weren't responsive. He was stiff and shaking. I haven't been exposed to things like this before and it gave me a whole new level of respect for those fast, elite runners! I guess I deserve the bad friend award. I really wanted to stay to cheer on my friends to the finish, but the rest of the day I was just not feeling well. But then I was forced into a med tent, so I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself.

I have absolutely no complaints about the day! I registered for this on December 9, 2010. I'd say it was definitely worth the wait and I am so glad I did it. .... and I got a freaking PR on top of it all! Yay!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Portland Half Marathon - Pre Race

Apparently I don't know how to just relax in the days before a race. Friday morning I was up at 5:15am to get to swim class. I did try to back off a little on the leg exercises because I knew I wanted to run strong on Sunday. I did pretty good at just chilling out.  At 7:30pm I left my cottage to head north with Lady to Biker Boy's house. So around 11pm or later I am finally in my pajamas and sleeping. At 6am my alarm goes off up and I am up and starting yet another day.

Saturday morning we left Portland early to get to Corvallis for some tailgating with my family. Lady also came with me. This was her second time to OSU, but first football game. She was VERY popular and I think she knew it. I bought her a bandanna of her very own and that little girl was just strutting all over campus! Once the game started we left and went back to Portland so I could get to the Portland Marathon Expo. I was very excited to be at another big expo and possibly load up on free stuff!

At the expo we went down into a carpeted parking area - just like Disneyland Half - to get our bibs/timing chips. The official merchandise was there, but nothing I had to have. Besides, with my race fees I was already getting two shirts. A few vendors were downstairs, but mostly advertising other races that I'm already registered for. Down there a girl I graduated with recognized me. I couldn't believe it. I mean nobody ever recognizes me .... or so I thought. This will be continued in the race report!

Upstairs was where the regular vendors were. It was too hot. Too crowded. I think the expo should have been at the Convention Center and not the Hilton, but I am not a race coordinator. It was just too crowded to even look. Most of the regular vendors were there. I picked up some crazy loud arm sleeves that will be part of my Halloween costume in the next race, but that's it. We also got our goody bags and shirts. The half marathon runners got blue backpacks (yay!) and we all had the same shirt that was really pretty. Well done, Portland!

What I was mostly interested in was the lecture series - particularly the "Conversation with Jeff Galloway, Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers". I grabbed a 3rd row seat and while looking at Jeff decided I had to go talk to him. So Biker Boy came with me as my photog and I got in line. I bought a training book of his (since I am now using his run/walk/run method) and he autographed it to me personally. Yay! I told him that I have just started his method and am already loving it and that I'd be using it in the race and predicted good things. We talked about it a bit and he told me to say Hi in Florida in January when I'm there for the other races. BFFs in the making!

I got to my seat and then kind of lost my breath a bit. Frank Shorter walked in. Frank was with Pre right before Pre's accident. It was just one person getting me closer to my idol. I was intimidated. That feeling didn't last long! Frank Shorter was really entertaining - popping in with one liners here and there to help out Jeff Galloway's stories!

They began talking about how the two of them met. From there it was a lot of memories. Funny stories of their lives and races together. One thing was said that really struck a chord with me, so much so that I had to write it down. Bill Rodgers was talking about how all the things they are sharing are the fun times when they were being silly and just having fun. He said those are the memories that stick out more than a race with a fast finish time. Those are the important memories. Team Jam!! All I thought of was Disneyland and how we had a record slow time, but we had a record about of fun and that was more important to me than negative splits or PRs. I'll always remember that fun day for sure!

I learned a lot from these guys. They all had very different, yet helpful, advice to share. I felt really excited to be a runner and was really feeling ready for the race and ready to ramp up my training.  We were able to ask questions - which ranged from how have shoes changed over the years to what was it like at the Munich Olympics (with the terrorists) to ... and my favorite question that I was too shy to ask .... "Can you tell us some of your favorite Steve Prefontaine stories?" That's how the hour long "conversation" ended. Frank Shorter shared his favorite Pre story, then Jeff talked about him more. The end was pretty much acknowledging that he inspires them, he inspires all of us and he is a big reason that so many people are running today... with a big collective thank you and big applause from the group. Go Pre!

Biker Boy knows me and knows I'm shy. He convinced me to linger and get a picture with Frank Shorter. Before that could happen I saw a woman wearing a shirt with Pre on it. Over the course of her talking she says that she is Pre's sister. *and my jaw drops* I had to do a double take. Sure enough I was standing there talking with his older sister, Neta! I told her how I had met Linda earlier this year, cried on her shoulder and still exchange e-mails with her. Neta was awesome! We were all talking forever, she even introduced me to her children. We talked about Pre and how she knows he's still around. I won't go into it all, but there was a lot of Steve talk and it was just exciting, and fun to hear stories about him and get to actually ask someone who KNOWS about him. She was a total blast, so very friendly and warm! We got a photo together, and one with Frank, then all left the expo area together. She told me to go out there and run and to remember that Pre WILL be running right along side me. (Holy cow, I still get watery eyes just typing it!) If you can't feel ready for a race after that then when can you??

Next up was dinner. We hit the Vita Cafe so I could get vegan mac & cheese (and French fries) that I knew wouldn't upset my tummy. By 8pm we were in bed. By 9pm the tv was off, lights off and we were old people sleeping .... ready for the next morning's 4am alarm!

......Stay tuned for the race recap coming next!

Portland Greatness Sneak Peek

I thought the Portland Marathon weekend would be cool because it was local, a big race with a great reputation, friends would be there and I wouldn't have to run in the blazing sun.

It was that and so. much. more! So much more that I'm giving it two separate blog posts, which is a rarity for me. I'm still processing what to write, so I'm helping myself by writing this little "teaser" of some of the weekend's highlights!
  • I met Jeff Galloway, got his autograph, had a photo taken with him and talked about how I was planning on using his run/walk/run method the next day since I was already having so much success with it.
  • I got to hear great stories about Steve Prefontaine from the people that actually knew him, which led to ....
  • I got a photo with Frank Shorter AND Steve's sister Neta. 
  • Neta was awesome! I was completely shocked when I was talking to a woman and she told me he was her brother. She was so cool. Okay - I'll save it for the "real" blog post.
  • Pre-race dinner was yummy!
  • I lived up to my reputation in more ways than one at this race.
    • Unable to eat before hand
    • Jazz hands, singing and pure delirium during the last 1/2 mile of the race
    • Finish line sickness
    • AND my first official visit to the med-tent
  • Not only did I achieve my goal for the race, I more than exceeded it and completely stunned myself!
  • The swag .... Holy cow, the swag.... shirtS, medal, coin, pendant, rose, Douglas Fir seedling, backpack, a space blanket .... Portland knows how to reward it's runners!
Right now I am just totally exhausted. I spent all of Sunday napping off and on and eating. This is the first time I've skipped swim class because I just really had to sleep. Plus my ankles are sore and my knee is stiff. I'm certainly feeling the run - and I'm loving it!

This exceeded my expectations and I'm hoping the high will stay with me as I prepare for the next race!

**Wait until you see the photos Biker Boy snagged during my moments of delirium. Seriously, they are so bad that I cannot wait to share them. Most would be embarrassed, but I think they really capture how I was feeling!**

Before we part, I'll leave you with the finish times of my 7 half marathons. You'll see that I am not consistent at all, that Disneyland was crazy long fun and that something big happened yesterday! (* indicates stopping for character photos)
  1. Disney's Princess Half Marathon:  2:50:12*    
  2. Corvallis Half Marathon:               2:43:29
  3. Eugene Half Marathon:                2:37:07
  4. Seattle R'n'R Half Marathon:        2:53:52
  5. Lacamas Lake Half Marathon:      3:01:34
  6. Disneyland Half Marathon:           3:35:34*
  7. Portland Half Marathon:               2:35:54

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It Is Time!

Today has earned a blog post of its own! Football tailgating, a popular dog, hanging with fabulous runners and meeting another Prefontaine? Yes, I did! Something tells me Steve will be running with me again tomorrow morning!

So until I get to do a legit recap here is a photo from expo day!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Run #7.5 - Do NOT Take Your Dog's Medicine!!

You know how I always have a great excuse to skip/shorten/slack on my runs? Last night was no exception. But I feel I had a legit reason this time! It wasn't from Meniere's Disease, it wasn't from an upset stomach (oh we'll get to that!!) ... this time it was because of my little dog.

I looked like this (modeling my newest running skirt - the race belt one from Skirt Sports. I am showing it here paired with a race shirt and some adidas capris. I ended up running sans skirt, but just HAD to try it on, naturally!):

But then I looked over and saw this:

My girl was sleeping smashed against my sock/bra/compression drawers. (Don't you love my floor??) I love her little bandage on her wrist - she has polka dots!

I took advantage of her sleeping to count the stitches. One set isn't visible here, but I did find twenty! (She had her teeth cleaned and four fatty lumps removed.)

Once I was ready to run I had to administer the cone. She's a picker. I don't trust her to not try to get at her stitches. I thought it would be hysterical. Until I saw this face:

Okay, it is still a little funny. She was so confused. And then just really depressed.

She refused to make eye contact with me. Then she tried to walk and it was a disaster. She was crashing into everything. She was NOT happy. I felt horrible. I took the cone OFF.

SO .... I cut my run short. Just 2 fast miles so I could get back to my little Lady. I stopped in at my grandpa's house (right around the corner) and arranged for him to be her babysitter today so that she won't have to wear the cone (and risk knocking everything over in my house). Plus her meds warn of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea - I don't want that happening while I'm not there!

This morning I had to give her the first of 14 pills (2 times a day for 7 days). It was a capsule. I opened it, tried to mix it in some strawberry jelly, because who doesn't love that? She wanted nothing to do with it. When I dropped her off with Grandpa I had to bring her little saucer with her "treat" still on it hoping she'd eventually eat it. But you know who DID ingest some of the pill??? ME! Apparently it was on my fingers or somehow I got in on my face and then licked it? I'm not really sure. But it got inside of me and now I feel like ass! I'm in a cold sweat. My insides are churning. I want to hurl. And I try to drink water but it just brings that terrible taste back, so I'm sucking at hydrating. I even did my usual pre-race reminder, too:

The run was good. I ran harder than I will on Sunday. And I ran without music and my RoadID. I just had Lady on my mind and had to get home!

So that's it. Half Marathon #7 is this Sunday. Tonight I head up north. Tomorrow I go back south a bit for some OSU tailgating with the fam. Then right back north to the expo. Then racing! I'm excited ... now I just need my body to settle and pretend that it didn't take dog medication this morning!