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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No IFs, ANDs or ......

I just read it is impossible to hum while your nose is plugged.
Dude - try it. I admit I totally did. Go ahead, try. I'll wait ....................
So?? How'd it go? Weird, right?!?

Today was a first. In swim class I couldn't even make it through the warm up before having a bad vertigo problem. I grabbed the side of the pool. Didn't help. Ended up actually getting out of the water all the way and sitting for a bit, grabbed a drink of water, then joined the class. We had good ab work today. And I spent A LOT of time staring intently at the blue pool net. I had to get a fixed point to focus on. Once I had that I felt a bit better.

On the radio they were talking about facial hair and how they dislike kissing guys that have it. It isn't much of a secret, i.e. no secret at all, that I am not a fan of facial hair. I totally agreed with what the ladies on the radio said. I was certainly spoiled in Disney World. The years I worked there facial hair was not tolerated at all. If a guy showed up with even a hint of stubble he would be sent to the bathroom with a cheap disposable razor and told to shave. True. I saw it with my own eyes! So yeah, it was nice being in the world of hairless faces!

I procrastinated again. I'm so good at it. I did throw my clothes in the suitcase. Tonight I will just iron and make sure everything is nicely packed. Camera batteries are charging right now. Cookies will be baked tonight. Make-up will be packed Thursday at lunch. Race day things are all ready to go, with the exception of my Garmin and iPod. I had visions of a couple miles tonight. Given this morning and how I am currently spinning in circles, that might not happen. But I feel ready! And even with the crazy Meniere's nonsense happening, I am really excited for the race itself!

Yesterday I scored on a hotel room. I got a room right by the Portland Airport with a free 24 hour airport shuttle and free parking for only $77! Hooray for 25% off sales on Orbitz. Plus I have a restaurant and sports bar to keep me entertained before I try to sleep. This is for the Walt Disney World trip in January, FYI. I haven't gone into planning overdrive on that yet since I have this weekend to survive first.

Ooh!! Did anyone watch New Girl last night? Did you hear them "try" to play Eye of the Tiger on the bells??? Go Team Jam! I must say, I think Team Jam performed it much better in our crazy-we've-been-goofing-off-for-13-miles-and-3.5-hours-let's-sing-through-the-finish-line state! Speaking of ... Happy Birthday, Rose!

Sorry I'm such a downer lately. I really don't mean to be and I feel like I'm trying my best to keep my spirits high. It just gets really frustrating when you see that Meniere's is a lifelong thing and the only way to make it better is pretty much by experimenting to see what helps you. It is different for everybody that has it. These days I can't find something to make it better. But dang it, I just keep moving and plugging along on things. I have no choice really. Being home in bed all day gets boring.

This weekend is the annual Christmas Fair. I am so bummed that I'm missing it. My mom and I always go together. We usually just buy something from the booth that supports Saving Grace, the animal shelter that Lady lived in before coming home with me. The fair is full of crafty thing that women with too much time on their hands make. I always tell my mom not to buy stuff because we could just make it ourselves. She rolls her eyes at me ... but, um, we can make headbands now! And we made tiara/veils. And! AND!! You don't know this ... we did her fancy counter top in the kitchen. Everybody loves it and is shocked when we tell them it is our creation! I have my crafty moments!

I REALLY miss running. A LOT. Never thought I'd say that.

That's all for now. Have a lovely day!
The Riviera. Las Vegas, Nevada. The 90s. I was so skinny and cute. What the hell happened?!?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Speaking Of....

  • This past weekend I got a post card from a place I can't even pronounce. Too cool, thanks Emily!
  • Speaking of places where people have accents, and therefore people with accents ... guess who has reappeared and whom I might see when he will most likely be in town soon .... Sushi Guy. Yeah, blast from the past!
  • Speaking of guys with Guy in the name, remember Navy Guy? The one I "fought" over with one of my gays? Yeah, I forgot to follow-up on that. I was totally winning. Navy Guy even asked me to go to a movie one night. It was really late, so sadly I couldn't go ... but maybe some other time?!? 
  • Speaking of Navy Guy - this week we are doing Thirsty Tuesday instead of Thirsty Thursday. Not like I'd let you forget it, but Thursday night I head north for my slumber party with Jessica then we head to VEGAS!!
  • Speaking of Vegas, I have NOT packed AT ALL! I can't count putting a running skirt, shirt and compression socks on a suitcase packing. Oy - I hate my procrastination, but it is the one skill I have truly perfected!
  • Speaking of procrastinating ... Wednesday night I am baking cookies! Cookies that will be consumed while in Vegas. I vow to not let Jessica and I tear into them until we have touched Nevada soil.
  • Speaking of Wednesday, I am so into a couple shows that both air at 10pm Wednesday night... Revenge and American Horror Story. My local BFF got me into the latter, and Emily VanCamp got me into Revenge. I just loved her on Everwood and cannot get enough of seeing her on TV. She is just so pretty!
  • Speaking of pretty ... what wasn't pretty was my last swim class. It was actually very comical. We rode our horse noodles most of the time... BUT there was a catch. We all had a unique rubber duckie (mine was in a red/white cheerleader outfit) and we were balancing our duckies on our "horse" heads. In order to pull this off successfully I was pretty much in a crunch position the whole time. At the end we had horse races. 2 people at a time - riding our horses, using only our arms. I was in the final heat and it was a tough competition. I think I passed at the very last possible second. My plan was just throw my duck and catch up to it -- much easier than trying to babysit while racing! It is nearly 10pm and I can still feel it. LOVE IT!!
  • Speaking of loving it .... I LOVE the anxiety and fun of my procrastination when it comes to vacation packing. I am notorious for SAYING I am packing weeks ahead of time - but I never do. I figure if I say it I will do it, but yeah, doesn't really happen that way. OMG, I'm going to Vegas this week.
  • Speaking of Vegas ... I am BEYOND excited!!! Weeee!!!!!

  • Random photo alert .... yours truly, second grade, early 80's.
    *Apparently my current racing outfits aren't that far out of my lifelong comfort zone!

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    Run #9.7- Last "Long" Run

    First off, thank you so much for your nice blog comments lately. I wanted to reply to everyone - but obviously I've been feeling not up to much. Even looking at a computer screen has been bothering me, so I've just been out of communication with the world. But thank you soooo much. Your comments have really made me smile!

    Okay, so no runs in a week - bad, bad girl. I did go to swim class on my 3 swim days and even stayed after on Friday to try swimming some laps. One class was pretty difficult because apparently I lose my balance in water, too! But I really tried to get in the best workouts I could to make up for my inability to go running. Given the fact that I leave for Vegas in 4 nights, I felt determined to get out and at least try to run. I knew 10 wasn't going to happen. It took too long for me to feel steady enough to run, so if I did go for 10 it would be dark during most of it and I wouldn't have felt safe alone in the dark right now.

    I thought, "Maybe I can do 5" but once I started moving I thought, "I hope I can do 1!" This run was in my racing shoes (I train in my heavier Nikes and then race in my lighter Adidas. Seems to be working rather well for me actually) and a skirt. It was warm enough to go in a skirt with bare legs! I enjoyed it since I don't know when this will happen again... probably next year.

    He wants my cookies!
    **Kim, check out the necklace**
    **Totally "singing" the Titanic song**
    I tried to keep the pace slow. I stuck to the 4:1 ratio, as per usual, as felt pretty okay all things considered. I did discover I do better on the path where I have that line to follow - the line being the edge of the path. I ventured off into the grass to head to a drinking fountain and immediately started swerving all over without a fixed point to stare at.

    Speaking of fixed points and staring .. oh my gosh. What a crazy run. It almost felt like an out of body experience. My eyes and body felt disconnected. I couldn't really feel myself running - although I could feel my legs getting tired (this doesn't make any sense. I have a hard time explaining things during Meniere's episodes). Anyway, I was running and my body was going in one direction, but I couldn't really see it. I just saw leaves swirling around me everywhere. I'm so happy I did this run without any accidents! I realized if I sort of let my eyes glaze over and I didn't focus on anything, then I actually felt better. Odd.

    So I guess in Las Vegas I need to find myself something to use as a guide. The sidewalk, or the lines on the street. Something to just help me keep going without swerving around too much.

    I feel really happy that I got out there and ran, even if it was only 4 miles. I'm planning on another easy run tomorrow and a final short run on Wednesday before I bake cookies. Um, yeah, I'm the girl that bakes cookies to take to Vegas. I have a slew of drag queens just waiting for them, and you don't want to get on the bad side of a sassy queen, trust me! ;)

    Sunday, November 27, 2011

    Setting Myself Up....

    ... for a HUGE challenge. That's what I'm doing. Not on purpose.

    I'm sitting up unattended (not grabbing anyone, or a chair, or a wall, or leaning on something) for the first time in a few days. I thought my last Meniere's episode was the worst ... but this one tops it. And of course it is right when I'm trying to pack for Vegas.

    I get to go here again THIS WEEK!!!
    Right now I'm supposed to be running 10 miles. I'm terrified of trying to run at all. I'm hoping now I can do 5. I'll be happy with 1. Or 3. So all (running) plans for Vegas have changed. This trip has been a big challenge for a while. We booked everything at the beginning of the year. Then Jessica's work told her that nobody would be able to have time off in December -- AFTER they already approved it and we already paid for everything. We cleared that obstacle, then another. This time Jessica didn't have a way to get to the airport in the morning. Crafty thinking - I invited myself to stay over at her house on Thursday night, and then we can just drive down together. More driving for me -- but I think overall I'll feel more relaxed that way knowing we are together and nobody is stuck at an airport anxiously awaiting the arrival of the other.

    I can't find shoes. I hate the shoes they make these days, and I really want something to wear in Vegas at night when we go out (but flat so I don't kill myself before the race). I'm coming up with a plan to get around that one.

    But really the biggest hurdle is the running. I'm tossing out any visions of greatness in the race. Now my goal is just to finish upright. And still able to breathe. I didn't realize Las Vegas was at a greater elevation that I train at (I am at 528 feet, Vegas is 2030). But at this point, any distance may prove to be a challenge, so screw the elevation. I just want to move in a forward direction without continually drifting to the right and crashing into other runners.

    Did I mention I haven't run at all since last Sunday? That's a week. It is mentally breaking me down. I feel like a slacker. I'm a totally slacker anyway, but this time I don't want to be. In other news, I found a ton of books about Meniere's on I might get one. Maybe I can find something to help me out with the vertigo and running.

    I've brushed my hair twice all Thanksgiving weekend. Yep. Sad, but true. That's how terrible I've been feeling. What a time, too, right? I mean four days away from work - one should feel spectacular and be productive. Hm. Oh well.  My iPod is synced up, the new Vegas 1/2 playlist is on, I've got a full charge in that and my Garmin. I'm going to attempt to put on some running clothes and see what happens before the little bit of daylight is gone.

    I hope to be back with stories of how awesome I did!

    *I couldn't even make the mashed potatoes that I make every year. I had to get help. Pure suckdom. BUT I have made a ton of peas this weekend. They are so good! I might start living off of them.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    What Do These People Have In Common?

    Vincent Van Gogh
    Alan Shepard
    Emily Dickinson
    Peggy Lee
    Les Paul
    Heather Locklear
    Kristen Chenoweth
    The Little Fruit Fly in Rainbow Colored Socks

    What do these people all have in common??

    Meniere's Disease!

    I guess I keep some pretty cool company - and I left a ton of "famous" people off the list. I must say since my dream job is to be an astronaut, seeing Alan Shepard on the list is rather inspiring. And I freaking love a good singing performance (I mean putting one on, duh. Me? Share a karaoke microphone? Ha!) .... so it is reassuring to see Kristen Chenoweth on the list, too. 

    I could bore with you stories about the crazy vertigo and how it nearly knocks you on your ass. Or how one minute you feel deaf, then suddenly everything is too loud and you have to use earplugs to block the noise (that is me right now). I could talk about the nausea from the vertigo. Or difficulty walking. How I can hardly talk because I'm stuttering and/or slurring. Or how on some days all you want to do is curl in a ball and cry because it gets to be too much. But I won't. That's boring. You don't care.

    So instead, here's a video! It's short. And she's cute.

    *Today I decided that this is why Van Gogh cut off his ear. You know - um, I get it!

    Meet My Teammates!

    I'm definitely a solo runner. I've tried training runs with people and it just does not work for me. I need my freedom. To choose my own course. Make my own rules. Sing my own songs. Do my own pace. Time for myself!
    For a long time I was a strictly solo racer. **Strike that, when it comes to actually "racing" I am still solo.** But somehow I stumbled upon the pure joy of having a "team" during non-competitive racing events. A lot of these people are going to be talked about a lot more - and some you've already seen so much of that you know them by name (Lesley, Giraffy, Rose). In honor of Thanksgiving I am sharing this post. These are people I am so thankful for! They are so fun, silly, inspiring. Just over a year ago I would have never expected that I'd be spending so much quality time with these other runners, but thank you Mr. Internet --- every single person you're about to see is someone I wouldn't have met without the world wide web!

    First up, a long long time ago, I can still remember how, the music used to make me smile. Wait, no, not a sing-along. A long time ago, in a land far, far away (i.e. Portland, Oregon) I made my team debut. Leave It To The Beavers was our name. All orange and black, embodying the spirit of Beavers past and present (we had on Bengals jerseys - Houshmandzadeh #84 and Johnson #85 - former Beavers!). It was the 2010 Great Urban Race. Jessica and I signed up on a whim, having no idea what we were in for. Holding/kissing crawdads, borrowing a stranger's car horn to honk, jumping off of sculptures, creating art, jump rope, hula hoops, vats of beer, slices of pizza, and the infamous "driving test" that resulted in a crash of epic proportions - with my body being the one to fly across the ground. It was a total blast!! We covered 6.8 miles that day, sweat so much that we stopped sweating, and didn't win a thing. We didn't care. We felt like winners!

    Then came Princess Weekend. My mom was my next team mate for the Royal Family 5K. We never had a name, but we had a group costume. Our costume had to be altered less than 12 hours to the start time because we packed for cold - and that weekend in Florida was anything but cold! (Thank goodness for discount t-shirts at the Rainforest Cafe!) (Okay, so my mom I didn't meet on the internet.) We spent a full day working on our black veils, bedazzled and covered with orange and black streamers. Noticing a color trend here? It was the only race my mom has ever done ... so far. We walked, but I may have run now and then just to get her to speed up and try to pass me. I loved the friendly competition! She now boasts about being a (rubber) medal winning walker!

    The grand-daddy of them all was next. Lesley was there to help me lose my half marathon virginity at Disney's Princess Half Marathon. She promised she wouldn't leave my side. She was going to get me to that finish line. Before the first mile was up we scrapped our 2:20 plan. I still think if you cut out the picture taking, this was probably my fastest running time. We would sprint from photo stop to photo stop. The heroes fainted at our arrival. Okay fine, really they quizzed Lesley about GU. True story. And Jack Sparrow? He made me purr. True story. It was the best way to start my half marathon addiction. Even when my eyes were rolling in the back of my head and I was certain I was running on the sun, Lesley never gave up on me. Pretty sure she actually carried me through the finish line - the photos prove it... my feet were NOT touching the ground at all!

    I wouldn't have another team until Disneyland. And what a team we are! I say ARE because, um, once on Team Jam, always on Team Jam! Originally planned to be Rose and I, it was an honor to have Giraffy join us. Biggest goof balls on the course? You betcha! Cartwheels, singing, dancing, being hit by parade floats, humping Disney characters, laying on train tracks, that woman that peed herself, the goatse guy, the woman stretching out MY outfit, twinkle-toes. OMG, too many stories, too much fun!!

    What's next on the team horizon? Disney World!!
    First up, the 5K, with our full team yet to be determined - but at least Abby and I will be doing it. Then the half marathon the next day. Abby, Fred and I will travel around the course at a nice, slow pace, getting photos and .... who knows?!?!? What fun is WDW Marathon weekend without a little "Goofy"ness? The next day Fred will do a his THIRD Goofy! Abby will be on her own team for the relay, but we'll spend that first half keeping each other warm - perhaps doing the Dougie? Once Brian comes running to me, I will then finish off the marathon relay as part of Agony of d'Feet. I hope my feet don't feel too much agony, but come on -- 29.3 miles in 3 days? I've never even done that much in a week! What the heck was I thinking with this weekend?? It is sure to be memorable!

    GO TEAM!!

    Have you had a team? 
    Did you come up with any dirty team names? (what, do you really think Team Jam is about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? 'Cause yeah, it's not.) 
    Any advice for a crazy girl about to do back to back half marathons??

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Get Me Off Of This Ride!!!

    I had all of these blog ideas:

    What NOT to do as a race spectator (a blogger collaboration)
    My Ode To Mr. Body
    Meet My Team(s)

    and more.

    But instead I woke up this morning feeling like I was in a little cup in the Mad Tea Party, spinning spinning spinning.
    I can hardly speak today.
    I had to use the elevator. Stairs are frightening.
    I am imagining what I want my cane and/or walker to look like. I'm thinking red. Or black with pops of red. One does need a pop of color, as my bestie Joe always says!
    I might hurl at any moment.

    This SUCKS.

    SO ... I'm still a sucky blog friend. I want to catch up on everyone, but I can't really read. As I write this I'm depending on spell check to catch errors, although it can't correct any moments where I just flat out don't make any sense. This could be one long-ass day.
    Or I might have to get a ride home and pass out on my floor. (It is harder to fall off of the floor.)
    No, really. I had a Meniere's attack so bad back in 2004 that I fell out of my bed. Crazy.

    THIS.... is my life.

    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    Run #9.6 - Take That!!

    You probably enjoyed the lack of posts about my little runs - you're welcome - but now I'm back! The lack of posting was because I couldn't even walk or drive a car due to Meniere's Disease being a bitch to me a-freaking-gain... so running in the dark and rain when I'm not even alert, well bad idea, right?!?  It was a whole week between runs. I was soooo cranky about it and feel major stress.  This morning I wasn't any better, but I said Screw You, Mr. Meniere (the French physician that named it) ... I am going to be a runner whether you want me to or not!

    Initially I was going to test out some shirts for WDW, but then I realized Hello?!? Vegas is in TWO weeks - perhaps testing that new shirt is more important at this juncture. So in full race attire (minus a bib, but that would have been fun!) I powered on my Garmin, sipped on a cup of water and went out the door. The good motivation was that I was supposed to be meeting my mom to help her shop for Thanksgiving dinner supplies. Perfect ... no slacking to be done. I had a date!

    The weather was chilly - not even 40ยบ - and this is perfect for me! I stepped out the door with a fresh playlist and hit the start button. I'm going to leave out any running details and just say this ... I. Am. AWESOME!  I kept to the 4:1 ratio and only paused at the water stop (in the cold weather I ditch running with the hand held. I love hands free, water free running so much  more.) and a couple times because it was either stop and grab a pole, or continue and fall on my face.  The funny thing to me was that while running I was feeling great. Once I hit the walking segments my first steps always sent me off to the right .... I drift right during my dizzy spells. You might say I should have just kept running - yeah, I'm finding I'm really doing much better with the 4:1 ratio and so I want to keep that up.

    Again my 10K time for this run was faster than any of my 10K race times. I did eight miles today in less than 1:30. I couldn't believe it!! It really was the single best long run (non-racing) of my entire life! Take that, stupid Meniere's Disease!! Perfect weather, friendly people on the paths, a cute 4 pound dog named Molly chasing me, kajillions of birds, great music and a man that either wanted to talk to me about Heaven or was threatening to kill me.

    I was just over 5 miles in and this man says hello to me from a little too far away. When I got to him I said Hello back. He says "are you in a hurry?" No shit, really? I'm running - you think I'm going to talk? "Yep!" I happily replied. "How much time do you have left?" "3 miles!" holding up 3 fingers. "Ah, are you ready to go?" he says while pointing to the sky.  Wait ... are you asking if I am ready to die and go to heaven? WTF? No! No, I'm not. I have a lot left on my bucket list that I will cross off. And I have this Vegas trip. I still need to message Mr. Body. I have things to get done! So that is one option of his question .... or he is threatening to kill me and asking if I'm ready to die. Considering he was rather old, I'm going with option one - but you never know.  
    With my mommy, heading to the final home game of the season ... finally.

    *To go with this, a man at the football game yesterday had his right arm in a sling and was trying to get his jacket over his shoulder. I wanted to help, but all I could think was how Ted Bundy used to fake broken arms to get help from unsuspecting women. So I couldn't help him. **He didn't ask for help, I just wanted to. And I lost my ticket in the bathroom. I ran back and my mom saw it on the floor. Phew! So she went into go potty one last time ... and lost her two tickets!  All tickets were found. We got into the game. I got to watch the Beavers actually win a game (WHAT???). AND I spent the entire game checking out the asses of the team. Consistent as always, I still don't check out the white boys on the team. I love me some dark skin and a solid backside! Here's a photo (see left) of my friend and I at half time. We've been friends for 13+ years, had tons of classes together, formed an IM bowling team (Stolen Shoes) AND in-class bowling team (Blue Balls) together, took swing dance class and had many drunken fun nights of debauchery together. I love facebook for reuniting with my pals from back in the day!

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Chaos in a Sears Dressing Room

    I have writer's block -- which I fully blame on the fact that I've been in the middle of another week long Meniere's attack and can hardly think straight, let alone walk straight -- and when I read Christie's post today it reminded me of a story from 9th grade. I will now share that story with you. *All of the events are true. No names or places have been changed to protect the guilty.

    Sara and I, 3 years AFTER the incident.
    This happened back in the dark ages .... perhaps 1992 or 1993? Unable to drive, and not feeling like going bowling again, my friend Sara and I got a ride to our local mall to hang out for a while. Back then our mall actually had stores in it. We had hit the Bon Marche (now Macy's), the Closet (now Maurice's) and J. Jacobs (now vanished). As per usual all the people working asked us if we were twins. No. We should have just lied and gone with it, but we are both terrible liars.

    Running out of places to visit, we ended up at Sears. Woo!

    Okay, back then she and I wore the shortest shorts. Short shorts, t-shirts for basketball teams, scrunched socks, Keds. When we found these horrendous shorts we knew we had to create an outfit around them. We grabbed random shirts worth mocking and took everything to the dressing room. Naturally we shared a room and quickly put on this disaster. If only cell phones existed and we could have taken pictures! I stood there in this small shirt with denim shorts. Not just any denim. White denim, with mint green vertical stripes of various thickness. And they were NOT short at all. Huge. They came down to my knees and were very poofy. It was like a bad rap video. I'd say we busted a gut laughing, but it was actually a different body part.

    Sara and I in Louisville, 2007
    I quickly changed back into my own outfit and ran out of the dressing room. I was hiding behind racks of clothes waiting for Sara to emerge. You know how you get the giggles in church and you HAVE to stay silent, but it is so hard? That is what was happening with me. Soon enough Sara emerged, tacky shorts in hand. She walked up to the first adult woman she saw and said, "Um, I just tried these on, and they are all wet." Yeah ... Sara laughed so hard she totally peed the shorts!!!  The woman responds, "I don't work here." The look on Sara's face was priceless! I couldn't even wait for her. In a fight or flight situation, I'm a flight risk. I took off and ran out of the store and exploded in laughter.

    Sara came following me, completely mortified. We spent the rest of our mall time in the bathroom. Sara was killing time in the bathroom stall while I was the good best friend rinsing her urine soaked underwear in the sink and trying to dry it at the hand dryer.

    Wouldn't you know it, a woman comes in to use the bathroom. For some reason I think I should stop what I'm doing and hide the underwear casually. The lady was in that stall FOREVER! I could have seriously hand-washed and dried a full load of laundry. Poor Sara is still just waiting. I'm sitting on the floor outside of the restroom waiting. For-freaking-EVER!

    Eventually she left, I finished drying the undies, Sara put them on and we left.

    To this day, umpteen years later (did I seriously just type umpteen? Am I a grandma now?), we STILL talk about this and tell everyone our story. And I still worry she'll pee herself AGAIN!

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Today I Look Like....

    • a French whore
    • a performer at the Moulin Rouge
    • a drunk German girl at Oktoberfest -- okay, so this holds true every Thursday when I AM a drunk German girl
    • a dancing can-can doll in It's A Small World
    • a Britney Spears back-up dancer
    • a naughty librarian
    • mostly, a French whore

    Gotta love thigh highs that end up shorter than your skirt.... at work!

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Saran Wrap

    Okay, does anyone here actually LIKE Saran Wrap? I feel like it is this pesky thing everybody has, but when they go to use it they groan and the four letter words start coming. It really is annoying. It never clings the way you want it to. Really, I guess it just clings to itself. Good, Saran Wrap. Keep to your freaking self. I'm going to replace you with foil! Foil is so much more fun. I used to have a pretty amaaaazing foil ball in junior high.  I kept it up for years. It hung out near my cactus collection and my huge stash of Converse. Some things are really cool and fun. Some things are irritating... i.e. Saran Wrap.

    And in other news, I got my first and ONLY Happy Thanksgiving card last night. I've never had one before and I was really excited about it! Especially because it is from one of my most favorite people in the whole entire universe. Plus I really love Thanksgiving. I'm not someone that is in to gifts. I love Christmas and the decorations, smells, music, TV specials with holiday sweaters and Kathy Lee singing. But the present nonsense isn't for me. Thanksgiving is perfect. I get to feel the awesome vibe in the air and I get to see my family. We spend all day together talking and laughing, sharing the same stories over and over, gossiping, cooking, eating, drinking ... and usually there is singing, too! Anyway, getting a card in honor of a holiday I really love just made my day! 

    The race bug is really getting to me. I am itching to race. I am so freaking excited about Vegas. I get to hit a real expo, I get to be with one of my dearest friends, I get to see 2 of my favorite people as they star in a show just off the Vegas strip, I get to RUN! I'm really excited to help make this whole vacation/race experience memorable and fun for Jessica. I want her first to be special. Aww, TWSS.

    Then Disney is just around the corner. I'm already putting in requests with the WDW peeps to make sure I can see the Castle covered in lights while I'm there.  Holiday events will be happening at Downtown Disney during my trip, so I'll be there after checking into my hotel. Shopping and Christmas music, Disney, Wolfgang Puck mac & cheese. It is going to be wonderful!

    And I'm already obsessively stalking the RnR page for info on Seattle and Portland. Hurry up and give us course info, dammit!!!  And maybe some deals on hotels would be nice. I think my mom and step-dad are going to go up with me, and they'll want a nice place. I have visions of finally going to the top of the Space Needle for the first time in my life. Yay! Not to mention all the blogger reunions happening that weekend. I cannot wait!!!

    Speaking of bloggers, I might IM with one all the freaking time. It really makes for a fun day. I can't tell you what we talk about. But we make me laugh. A LOT.

    OH, and not in such happy news, my pain in the arse Meniere's Disease has been bugging me the last few days. I have visions of 4 miles tonight. I might have to do it under the influence of back-up meds, which could make this the world's slowest 4 miler.

    That's all.
    Questions ... um,
    Saran Wrap? Should we vote it off the island?
    How often do you stalk race websites?

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Another Post About Prefontaine

    I just read this crazy story on Daily Mile:  Pre Lives? Steve Prefontaine's spirit cheers on runners. Go read it! It is a fast read and pretty darn cool!

    (Did you read it yet?) Okay, for those of you that aren't going to, basically a bunch of track meets happened around Oregon and at all of them it was as if Pre was there. Running. Cheering. People kept seeing the image of him and then he would just vanish. I wasn't there, so I can't offer an opinion. Do I believe he was there? Well why not?

    The night before the Portland Half Marathon, as I was walking with Pre's older sister, she reassured me that I would go out and do my best. She promised me he would be running right beside me and help me. That next day - where I got my current half marathon PR - when it got tough his image popped into my head and I kept pushing. So he was there. Even if HE wasn't, he was in spirit and in my head, and that was all that I needed that day.

    But I have seen him before. No, really, I swear I saw him! I still want to go back to that very spot and see if there is anything on the ground. I was running a 5K in Eugene, Oregon. As I do with every race, I had my personal pep talk with him and asked him to help me out and give me fast legs. Corny? Maybe. Does it help me? Yes. I went into this race just hoping to keep moving and not pass out. I had a cold all week and breathing was difficult. **If you haven't raced in Eugene, let me tell you you are missing out! These people are so damn fast. I am always in awe and I swear they help me run faster than I knew I could. There's a reason it is Track Town, USA!**  The race began and I was swept up in a sea of fast runners. I did my best to keep up and felt pretty proud of myself. About 1/3 of the way in we crossed over the Willamette River. I started getting tired and thought about walking. I didn't want to though.

    I looked up at the sky and talked to Pre. Feeling about to be lost in the swarm of faster runners I looked down trying to find it in me to keep going. But when I looked down it wasn't what I expected. I did a double take and then looked at the other runners to see if anyone else saw what I did. No one else seemed to be phased by this vision I just had... which really makes me wonder what did I see?? I will tell you what my eyes saw. I saw Pre. His face was right there looking at me. I kid you not. I know what I saw. I can't explain it. I kept pushing. I chicked a guy in the final stretch. I got my current 5K PR!

    So do I believe it is possible for the spirit of Steve Prefontaine to appear and help runners to do their best? Yes, I totally do!

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    Run #9.5 - I Love It Again!

    August 7, 2011. That is the last time I had a legit "long run" that wasn't a race. The run was so bad I pretty much decided from then on my runs would be solo and on my own terms. Finally today I got to have my long run... and it was completely awesome! 

    I did a dress rehearsal of my marathon relay outfit and am relieved that it was very comfy, cute and not too warm/not too cold. We just made my headband for that race this afternoon, so I'm all set! The weather was gorgeous, a lovely fall morning with oak leaves covering my running paths. Also covering the paths were people! Walkers, dogs, fellow runners. For the most part everyone was very friendly, too!

    Headband break time ... with rum!
    The run itself was pretty darn good! At first I thought it was going to be fabulous, then I thought it wasn't. I paused a mile into stretch out my tense legs. Once that was done I was back to fabulous.  I stuck with the 4:1 ratio throughout the entire run, and amazingly my running pace didn't slow, it only got faster! Hot dog!  I was only planning on doing 6 miles, since it had been so long since I did legit training ... but then figured a 10K would be just fine. The next thing I knew I had passed 6.2, so I pushed it hard until 6.5. I'm sure I could have done 7, but I was in a hurry to get back to my mom's for headband making, and I didn't feel like weaving around my neighborhood streets again. 

    Not only did I run .5 longer than planned .... I did those 6.5 miles faster than any of my 10K race times! Holy smokes!

    Headband making is going great, but we got a little frustrated so we have paused for the weekend. All bands are made for my upcoming races, plus matching ones for Jessica and Abby to wear in those races. Sorry Abby - they aren't exactly, um, high quality? I have NO sewing skills and we are still trying to get into a groove, but they don't look horrible. I certainly won't be selling these to anyone, I couldn't take money for these at all! But they are cute and I like them. I tested one on the run today and it actually fit better than any of the bands I've paid out the ass for. So that's a win for me!

    **Three weeks from RIGHT NOW I'll be half way done with the Las Vegas Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon!

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    Run #9.4 - Thirsty Thursday & A Run

    I'm going to babble!

    Thirsty Thursday was AWESOME this week! My mom and I went up the street to our usual spot and ended up with the small booth in the window. We might have to sneak out of work early next week to get a spot at the bar! The owner and his son came and joined us for a while, so we had some new, fresh conversation with a couple of really cool people!  On the way to pay our bill I hear a guy saying my name. I'm clueless as to who he was, but I say hi. Turns out it was my oldest friend's cousin that I haven't seen since the sixth grade. He said he recognized me right away - apparently I haven't changed at all. Yeah, I could agree with that. So we had a lovely reunion! I couldn't stop hugging him, telling him how all the girls had a crush on him in school except for me ...because I knew better. Yep, even as a 4th grader I had excellent gaydar. The girls would never believe me, but I stood by it, and I was right!  He and I have exchanged numbers and have plans to go check out guys together some night!

    Then came Friday, my day off. I was up and at swim class with a plan. Once class was over I hung out in the hot tub with the two other younger girls, catching up on our non-swim lives. If only I knew their names. I feel like I'm too long into the class to ask people what their names are. After we left the tub I got back into the pool. I know this is so small and silly, but I did something I've NEVER done. I swam down to the opposite side and back. I'm told it is an Olympic length pool. It took me 40 seconds each way with my own improvised form. I'm a cross between dog, frog and mermaid. I really thought it would take a couple minutes each way, so I was shocked. It was so fun to say I can swim a lap!

    I planned on running Friday, but my Meniere's kept bothering me and walking was a challenge. So instead I got up this morning and went for a fast, hill-filled two mile run. Tomorrow will be my long run, so I just kept this one at two. I felt great and kept filling my head with visions of crossing the finish line of that second half marathon during WDW Marathon weekend. I can't even imagine what my body will feel like at the end of the 3rd race!

    For the rest of this day I have been hanging with my mom and my dog. We made 4 running headbands, working out the kinks. Jessica and I now have matching bands for Vegas. Tomorrow I'm picking up more velvet and we are going to turn into a factory and whip them out!

    So that's my weekend so far. I love 3 day weekends!

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    I Have A One Track Mind

    Vegas .... gotta love it!

    That is it. I can't think of anything but fabulous LAS VEGAS!!! It is my favorite city. I would love to be able to go there at least twice a year, if not quarterly. And I just realized that 3 weeks from tonight I'll be quadruple checking to make sure my race shoes are in my carry-on, checking that my Garmin is charged, making sure my iPod is all synced up. OMG, I'm going to Vegas!!!!

    So therefore I don't have much to blog about.

    Yesterday I loaded up on ribbon, velvet and elastic ..... running headbands, here I come! I have no idea how to sew. I mean I get that a thread goes through the needle. But a sewing machine? I've never even touched one. My mom will be there for that. If all else fails, I have a glue gun! And if all goes well, I just might try to get more ribbon on Black Friday - if they have any on sale. In true form, I don't even want to make them to sell them. I just want to have a nice collection so I can rotate between more than a couple. And I want to give them to people just because. Hopefully they don't suck.

    I love Veteran's Day. It was my little sister's birthday .... her name was Isabella Bijou. She was an adorable pure bred Maltese that left me after over 15 years together. I've seriously spent half of my life with that little dog. Anyway, I always loved having her birthday off. And now that I'm on my own with my own pets, I always go shopping with Lady on this holiday. She loves being in the car and loves it even more because she always ends up with a new toy on Veteran's Day! So I might find more ribbon at a different store. Ooh, I even bought myself a sewing kit to put my supplies in. It's adorable!

    And even though I have the day off, I'm still having my alarm go off at 5:15am so I can get to swim class! I've decided that since I have nowhere to be I'm going to stay after and try to swim a full lap. I have no idea how that will go.

    It is Thirsty Thursday! (When did I become a college girl again??) My BFF is hard at work folding napkins and ready for our weekly gossip fest. I can't wait!

    And, if you missed it .... I'm going to Vegas. In 3 weeks. YES!!!!!!
    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to editing my packing list. Too soon? No way!

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Run #9.3 - I've Still Got It!

    I'm still adjusting to the time change. I'm like an old person, or a dog, and my tummy is trained. It knows when it is noon and 5 o'clock, and starts growling. So now that it is getting hungry while I'm still working, I am having issues with working out BEFORE dinner. I have been so hungry that I'm eating once I get home. Last night was no different .... and I was daring and mad mac & cheese. I have the world's most sensitive tummy, like Along Came Polly/Ben Stiller sensitive, which is why I eat the same things over and over. However, mac & cheese and I don't always agree. Thankfully last night we did, and I was able to eat it and then head straight out for a run.

    Right now I'm paying close attention to the temperature when I'm going outside, for the sake of research and my upcoming races. I'm trying to figure out what I should wear. I think I solidified one shirt last night. I felt warm enough, but not hot. Granted, I only ran 2 miles. But they were fast! Okay - fast for me. Two miles in 20 minutes. I would always be happy with this, but I am especially happy because that 20 minutes was still at a 4:1 run/walk ratio! So yeah, my running was zippy!! Hooray!  For most of that run I was just in the zone. My legs felt no pain (maybe it was because they were numb from the cold?). I just felt like I was gliding along effortlessly. I couldn't believe it when I looked at my Garmin and had already gone 1.5 miles! I'd have gone for the planned 3, but I had to get home for Glee. I have my priorities!

    My last craft project
    for the 2010 Princess weekend
    In running news, I'm so happy my dear friend is talking about the Vegas race now. She hasn't trained at all, but now the race is in her mind. She is planning on walking it and has no fear about finishing on time. She's on her feet all day walking for 8 hours anyway, so I think she's of the mind-set that this will actually just be fun! I spotted many karaoke bars along the strip ... you can be sure to find us there at some point that weekend! 

    In swimming news, the YMCA sucked today! Our adult locker room is out of order. There was a leak so I think/hope they are repairing that today. So I had to use the girl's locker room that I haven't been in for probably 25 years. It is strange. And not as nice. And old. And cold! I hurried through to the pool and immediately got in to warm up. After class it was NOT fun to get out and have to walk into this freezing room while you're all wet. I may have whined a lot about that. Hopefully Friday our regular room is back in working order. There was talk of the ladies going to Happy Hour tonight, but that talk happened on Monday and nobody said anything today .... so I'm thinking it was postponed?

    Either way I'm not going to go, and instead I'm hoping to go to the fabric store to get the makings for headbands. I realized I could just make some and have them be the way I want, versus paying a lot for just one. Have you seen prices for those at expos? Come on. Seriously. No way am I paying $15. I'd rather pay $15 for materials and have extra to give to friends or something. So that's my new craft project whim. Hope my mom's ready because I sort of just decided we'd be making headbands this weekend by the fire!

    OH! I might also do a run this weekend along the North Umpqua Trail - by the river. It is so pretty there! My friend and I have been talking about doing it for a while now but I used to never have a chance. I might have to get some trail shoes now ~ and prepare for mud! Eek!

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Blabity Blah Blogging

    • My tummy is on fire from today's lunch -- Mexican -- cheese enchilada and French fries. Dammit why can't I say no to the fry??
    • I [not-so] secretly hope Justin Bieber IS the baby's daddy. I don't know why it would amuse the hell out of me. 
      • I'm so happy I have no children that are of an age that they'd make me listen to/see him. I can't stand him.
      • For the record, the only children I have are a dog and a cat.
    • Yesterday I start resort shopping for the 2012 Wine & Dine Half Marathon .... next September/October. 
    • I am soooooo excited for the Las Vegas Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. I LOVE the party atmosphere of a Rock'n'Roll race, and when coupled with my favorite city - this is a win-win for me. I'm excited for Michael Jackson Cirque, for huge drinks, for the expo, for the expo shopping, for the Titanic exhibit, for Nathan's French fries, for Margaritaville, for EVERYTHING!!
    • I think I have my 3 upcoming half marathon race day outfits picked! I need to do some test runs just to be sure, but I think I've got it. I still need to work on my Fiesta 5K outfit though. *must not forget my maracas*  (Abby, have you figured out your 5K outfit??)
    • I'm looking forward to a lazy weekend with my mommy ..... watching Harry Potter, Pirates, Dark Shadows and documentaries about serial killers. I like a little variety! And we're going to have a lovely fire. I love a good fire on a 3-day weekend.
    • My mom got me a shirt at the Bucket of Blood saloon for my birthday. I LOVE it. It is going to Vegas and Florida with me. It is my new favorite shirt. I'm wearing it right today.
    • The song I'm hearing right now is Your Woman by White Town. I remember calling the radio station in college to ask if it was a man or woman singing. He laughed and said it is a man. So then the lyrics confuse me.
      • Well I guess what you say is true
        I could never be the right kind of girl for you

        I could never be your woman
        I could never be your woman
      • Is this just the world's most gay friendly song and I never knew it?
    • I think with my newly free weekends I'm going to do a rehab on my house. I want to freshen up each room -- and finally put away all of my race stuff and hang my medals. I think I need to expand my running drawers. I suspect a lot of clothes and movies and who knows what will be donated to the local 2nd had store (the money goes to help the animals where I adopted my dog!). So if you are in need of junk ... head that way and get my stuff!
    • I'm ready for a Team Jam reunion. I'm thinking karaoke/sleep-over/nonsense in Southern California? Yeah? 
    • I was completely amused today when my marathon relay teammate, we are Agony of d'Feet, texted me for a good half marathon training program. Um, he's going to run this puppy in 90 minutes I bet. He is asking ME for advice? Turns out I have a ton more racing experience compare to him, but he has what I lack .... speed. And he doesn't know how to slack. Oh my gosh - we put the biggest slacker with the West Point grad that is a total perfectionist. This could be interesting!
    • Today's random photo:  my former Vegas shoes. *sigh* I miss my heels - I'm terrified to wear 3" and 4" heels now. With my luck I'd roll an ankle the night before the race.

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    Run #9.2 - Running, Drinking, Karaoke

    My "30ish" glass!
    Friday, at 3:44am my phone rang. My mom was sneaky! I always call her at 4am and she tells me of my birth and wishes me happy birthday. Since I always beat her to it she got tricky and called early. She said, "I am calling you now because this is when you caused me the most pain!" After our brief call it was back to sleep for a short while before my alarm went off for real. Instead of hitting snooze over and over and over I just hit it once then got up to start my day. I started with a run!
    Originally I was going to do 2 miles. Garmin issues made my time run short, so instead I ran one mile. Sure it wasn't much, but at 5 something in the morning that was a lot for me! I slept in my running clothes, so I literally got up, put on socks and shoes and left. It was a fun way to wake up, knowing I was starting off my 33rd year of life in a positive, healthy way! After my run I had to hurry in the house, put on my suit and head to the pool!

    My local BFF
    Class was great. I worked really hard and got a great arm and ab workout. I love Fridays when we usually only have about 4 of us in class. We have more space and freedom to get creative and goof off while working out! 
    Next off to work, where I got my birthday wish ... I survived the day without my two co-workers right by me even knowing it was my birthday -- thus I didn't have to hear them talk to me about it, which would annoy me. Yay! Happy birthday to me!

    He was my mom's high school friend. I stole him.
    Me and my Mommy!
    Then finally my birthday dinner at my favorite place in town, the Blackbird Bar & Grill. My co-worker and I walked up there together and found the rest of our party already in place at the bar. My mommy, whom I hadn't seen in a week while she was on vacay, was there with a tiara and glass just for me! AND my local bestie did make it after all. Yippee!! For over an hour we all just talked and had some drinks before moving to our table. Dinner was yummy, I love plain noodles in butter!

    And then it was the after party --- my mom went home and some of us went down to this totally seedy tavern. I mean nobody has teeth. I've only been there once and I thought it felt like a prison riot would break out. So it amused me to go there willingly - and it was so empty! I dominated the karaoke microphone and turned the entire bar into my dance floor. Britney, Cher, Alanis ... mine. mine. mine. I forgot to do 9 to 5, which is my new show stopper. Dammit. I feel like I sang more, but I can't really tell you because I don't really remember. It was a blast, and for the record I had NO hangover!

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    Memories of Birthdays Past

    In honor of this day when Kathy Griffin, Ralph Macchio, Jeff Probst, Puff Daddy and I all party together and celebrate ourselves, I've compiled little snippets of memories that jump out from past birthday parties. If you are a girl that survived life beyond the age of 13, then you probably have those love 'em/hate 'em birthday party memories, too!

    November 4, 1978: I remember trying to come into the world. My mom was putting it off until after midnight so her hospital bill would be lower. I complied and waited until 4am. I was eager to come out and didn't care that the cord was wrapped around my neck. I remember Dr. Louie telling my young mommy to NOT push. She pushed. I entered the world with a gash in my forehead. Thanks, mom. Then my aunt saw me and promptly puked. See?? It's a family thing!
    I LOVE the Pig!

    Why did I have to stick my tongue out??
    We had a pizza party one year. After the food we were heading back to grandma's house and piled into my aunt's van. It was huge, only those diamond shaped windows in the back. A bed. Carpet. A fridge. Dude - what a party van! Someone opened the door unexpectedly. My friend fell out and smashed her arm. Naturally we didn't go to the hospital. She survived.

    One story is too mean. I won't write it. I wasn't the mean one though.

    I was a French Maid one year -- having my birthday so close to Halloween we'd often combine holidays and have costume parties, sometimes even trick or treating during my party! Anyway, people thought I was a stripper. (Come to think of it all throughout grade school until I was Super Mario they always thought I was a stripper. I wasn't. I swear.)

    I'm the non-stripper in the center. My mommy is Strawberry Shortcake.
    That baby by her - he now has a 5 year old child.
    Slumber parties were not good. I had two. After the first we said we'd never do it again. (When I say "we" I mean my mom and I, by the way.) Someone always ends up in tears. That someone is always ME! WHY?? Ugh. Bitches. It was the 2nd slumber party that we discovered the beauty of the Bloodbath at the House of Death and someone stepped on my sleeping cousin. He never even knew.

    In 7th grade, for my birthday I completed my NKOTB doll collection and was made fun of for it. Suck it. They are STILL awesome and I STILL have my dolls!

    In college I was surprised with a birthday cake and a VHS tape of Now and Then. Seriously, am I that old that I was getting VHS movies in college? My cake had Mickey Mouse flying an airplane on it. Little did we know that same year I'd be applying and getting accepted for my first Disney internship!

    Ooh, my 19th birthday was a character breakfast in the Magic Kingdom. We had just done our school photo in front of the castle that morning. The food was yummy. I got a cupcake and a card signed by the 100 Acre Wood gang. Let's find a picture for that day. I was so tiny and my costume was gigantic on me that day! Still my favorite costume I ever wore in Disney World.

    My 21-er was actually uneventful. I went out with the frat boys for my very first Thirsty Thursday. I had my first taste of tequila. I discovered Sex on the Beach. I did NOT get drunk. My goal was to not get trashed so I'd be able to remember the night! (Okay, by this point I was already pounding Long Island Iced Teas, so I had built up a pretty good tolerance.)

    In Florida I had birthday parties at Jellyrolls, Margaritaville and the Hard Rock Cafe. And I was the very first person at Jellyrolls to have to do the My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean game on stage. I kicked ass and didn't  mess up a single time!

    My 29th birthday party was in Phoenix. We went gay bar hopping. I turned 29 in the parking lot of a gay leather bar. The entire moment is caught on film. (NOT VHS this time. Phew!) It was a seriously fun night. I didn't want it to end. There was a lot of dancing. I may have fake made out with my BFF (the gay one) and I may have made out with another boy. I do not speak of this. Whoa, you all - let's keep this a secret. Mmkay? I rocked the dance floor. I spilled fries all over my friends car on the way home. I puked in a restaurant the next day. Good times!

    On my 30th birthday Obama was elected as our president. The morning wasn't so celebratory, patriotic, happy, whatever. I came to work and my friend warned me before I even went around the corner. My desk was covered. I ripped everything off and threw it away. I stormed out of the building, bad words and all. The breakdown had begun. I ended up in my boss' office crying. How am I 30, divorced, single, no prospect for a child and well educated on the process of artificial insemination? She was going to let me go home for a mental holiday. I toughed it out and went out after for margaritas and nachos. 

    I can't even remember 31. Damn.

    32 was the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!! I can't see how it will ever be topped! I got up at dark. It was raining. I ran one mile through Disney's Pop Century Resort enjoying every single step. Then my friends and I went to a character breakfast at Cape May over at the Yacht & Beach Club. My Florida BFF was there, too. He gave me not one but TWO totes!!! And one of them was from West Point with his graduating year on it. I love that thing. Goofy and friends gave me a cupcake and sang to me. OOH and Jessica got me a Hannibal Lecter t-shirt!! After that we spent our day at Epcot, drinking around the world and sampling food from the Food & Wine Festival. My dearest girl friend that lives there joined us, and we got tipsy off of margaritas from that tequila bar in Mexico. It was seriously so much fun. My face hurt at the end of the day from smiling so much!

    33? Well, we'll see. An early morning run? Swim class. Work. And then dinner at my after work Thirsty Thursday hang out. My only wish for my birthday is to see my mommy. I haven't seen her on my birthday in years. We have dinner reservations where my local BFF tends bar, but I just learned he is off - I'm trying to get him to come join us for food now. As per usual I'll be talking to my mom at 4am and forcing her to tell me about my birth, a la City Slickers. And later I'll make my Florida BFF (I told you, I have multiple - like 4 in 3 different states!) sing Happy Birthday to me over the phone. Oh heck, I might even get some Shred on - work off that pasta I'll be having for dinner!

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    Run #9.1 - Getting My Ass in Gear!!

    Alright, it is time. Summer is over. This is my favorite running season now. I secretly think that maybe I don't like running in the rain and cold, thus running faster so I can get inside quicker? I don't know - but what I do know is running becomes fun for me in the fall. I don't dread going outside. I feel comfortable in the dark - it makes it easier to look in people's windows to see what they do in their homes at night.What? And now that I have a little racing gap I am really focusing on preparing for the Las Vegas Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon!! In less than a month I'll be down there (funny how this feels like a "huge" gap in my schedule!) and I am hoping to run a good race. My plan is already set .... if it ends up miserable like the Runaway Pumpkin, I'm pulling over, whipping out my debit card, buying a margarita and continuing on with the race, drink in hand. Confession: I may have already thought about crossing the finish line, drink in hand, just for an awesome race photo. I do have friends that live right there. I bet they could help me pull this off without taking time off the clock!

    Okay, so back to running. I'm in the zone! YIPPEE!!! My brain is so ready for a good round of training. To start it off, at 6am I was at the pool working harder than I've worked in a long time. The whole time my teacher kept telling people to watch me because I was nailing all the moves. I actually got winded! But exercising didn't stop there. Do you read the Almost Runner's blog?? Do it. She is so freaking adorable and I always look forward to her posts. Yesterday she said she was starting the 30 Day Shred. Without hesitation I knew that I wanted to give it a try too. (Thank you, I'm so glad you got me out of my workout slump. You rock!) Promptly after work I was at the storing picking it up, as well as some 3 pound weights. This gives me 1.5, 3 and 5 pounds to choose from.

    When I got home I did that dreaded thing.... I put on a sports bra and the smallest shorts I could find and stood in front of the mirror for my "before" pictures. Ugh. Yikes. Talk about motivation to shred! Quickly I switched into a running skirt, shirt, shoes and took another "before" just so I'd have something to actually share. After that I was off for 2 slow miles. I kept to the 4:1 intervals knowing that if I didn't I'd run too hard, too fast. I had to ease back in since I am still not sure if my leg is 100% happy or not. The run felt great! Only one moment of funky-ness in my leg and that's it. During the run I listened to Stacey. You know, Stacey! She's the chick that comes on your TV every time you turn it on in your Walt Disney World hotel room. I have her "show" on my phone and watch it all the time. It is sick. I have it memorized ... just like Titanic! Anyway, this really helped get me psyched for all of the races coming up in the next two months, and it made the time fly by!

    Once I got back in the door I put in the 30 Day Shred, grabbed my mat and weights and began 20 minutes of crazy intensity. Oh. My. Gosh. This thing is NO JOKE!! I kept up pretty well considering this was the 3rd round of exercise for the day. I was so sweaty by the end of the night, and I loved it! I never even called that Jillian person any bad words... yet.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon

    Halloween brings up visions of demons, the devil, Hell, zombies, blood, guts and gore. (Okay, so I like disturbing, scary Halloween things.) For me this race was the epitome of Halloween! Let's back up.

    Friday night I drove north for packet pick-up and grabbed a baked potato for dinner to ease my unhappy tummy. Not a great pre-race dinner. Will I ever learn? Got to bed rather early, hoping for 5 hours of sleep. Woke up, showered, put on my costume and was on the way to pick up Cilley Girl for our drive back down the freeway to meet up with Kim at her house. From there we all got ready, bibs on, hair done, tails in place. Once Jules and Donna arrived, off to the races we went! Biker Boy was our chauffeur, which is good since my pre-race nerves were doing a number on me and I would have been too antsy behind the wheel. We parked, got in line for the bus to the start, it arrives and we are on our way. 

    The weather wasn't bad. Misty, but not cold. Potty line. Attempt at eating a bagel. Group photos. Eating a banana. Forgetting to hydrate. Typical activity for me. I ran into my friend Rocky and asked him if he was going to win. "Maybe!" he said optimistically. I predicted first place for him, and if not - no lower than top 3. He went on to get 2nd place, missing first by only 20 seconds! 

    When the gun went off I was feeling amazing! My legs were just gliding across the ground. I had to pass so  many walkers in that first mile. This made me think that a lot of these people were maybe first timers doing this for fun and don't yet understand that walkers need to line up in the back? Just a working theory. I was going strong with the Galloway intervals and thought it was going to be a really fun race! Up until the 5K mark I was still feeling good. Then something happened. I don't know what. My mind started to go. My leg started to hurt. I had to pull over and stretch.

    Sadly this happened too many times. The road had no flat surface. The only happy place I found was in the gravel on the side. Unfortunately my Meniere's had been messing with me, so I was getting dizzy. When I get dizzy I drift right. During this race, if I drift right I would end up in the ditch. I kept pushing through, and was genuinely touched when fellow runners offered assistance or asked if I was going to be okay. We really are a great community of people!  

    I started slowing down. I was walking longer than I was supposed to. At the mile 5 water stop I was stopped. Trying to swallow some Clif gel and water. I was so happy to see Jules coming up the road. I waited for her and then began walking with her for a while. I told her to go on without  me and that I'd probably catch up. Sure enough we would leap frog the rest of the race. This really saved me. I refused to let her get too far away because I just felt safer knowing there was someone close to me that understands how I get dizzy. And she knew I was physically hurting. I was just so grateful for her that day!
    At mile 6 my IT Band just had enough. It gave me the big F-You and my race was over. I didn't quit. I never quit. But walking became the dominant mode of transportation. At one point on the only downhill I hauled ass and was sub-9! But other than that it was slow going. At the 15K mark I had my big mental breakdown. The crying started. I realized I had to sacrifice my finish time in this race and walk to hopefully save my leg for Vegas and Disney. I can't risk another injury right now!!

    Once at the end I kicked into gear. Not high gear. But just gear. I passed a woman in the final stretch and crossed with a small smile, I hope. Once I had the cameras behind me I was done. I just broke out into full blown crying. I leaned on a garbage can since we know I am very comfortable with them after races! I wasn't sick. I was just emotionally spent and felt defeated.  Kim came rushing over and got me water and helped me get myself together. Two minutes later Jules came up behind me. We did it! We may have complained a lot, but dammit we finished that dreadful course in one piece!  (**Mostly FLAT?? Pshaw, right.)

    After the race we showered at Kim's and I was in pure Heaven watching Titanic on her couch with S, her Titanic obsessed husband. After that we had a caravan over to the Brew Fest for beer (Diet Pepsi for me) and food (tons of cheese pizza for me!). It was a great way to finish up a race day with friends... talking, quoting Titanic, watching football, planning future races ... the norm!  But it wasn't over! That night it was Cilley Girl's birthday party and we had the yummiest tots! You won't believe this, but we talked about running. And future runs. And past runs. And beer. And sports!

    Do runners have one track minds?

    Okay, so this race is done. I'm moving on from it. I loved running as the Cheshire Cat and got many compliments. I enjoyed talking to the horses (I saw one leaping in the air and one wiggling on its back like my dog!), cows, dogs and goats along the course. I was sad at all of the road kill and squished unidentifiable beings along the road. I had to jump to miss stepping on an already dead "water dog". The smell of pine trees and general forest scent was lovely! I don't see myself doing this one again. Been there, done that, I like my IT band to be happy.
    Onward and upward. Next stop?? Las Vegas Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. Running the Strip at night? Yes, Please!!!
    "Borrowed" from Kim - it HAD to be shared!