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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baby Watch. Boston Brain. Save Evan.

Behold! A post of randomness.

Put yourself in a little alcove and let's sip on some tea and chat!

First off ... I don't have an alcove. I wish I did. And I don't drink tea ... unless it is from Long Island. 

Last summer I was on Verdict Watch. I paid so much attention to the Casey Anthony trial and was anxiously awaiting a verdict... granted a different one that what the jury came back with. Now?? Baby Watch!! Jessica Simpson has been pregnant for 23.5 months now. Eventually she'll pop that huge toddler out. Pop might be right. That enormous mound just might burst right open. If I were her I'd be terrified -- and demanding the drugs! So eventually she'll be a mom. I am not lying when I say I check at least 3 times a day for the announcement (morning, noon, night, any time else it hits me). **This just in: she can't wear heels anymore.  And I will say it here, because I'm not ashamed ... heck I blatantly talk about my love for all things Jersey Shore... I want Jessica to have another reality show. I want to see her with the baby, slimming down with her Weight Watchers deal, and preparing for her wedding. I can't help it. I'm a fan.

I'm ready for baseball food!!
My Boston Brain is out of control. The Coach just got our tickets to the Red Sox game today, so now I feel like it is on like Donkey Kong. My Excel packing list is already being worked on each day and the big attempt to get my laundry all clean so that I can pack begins tonight. Clearly I have too many clothes if the only laundry I regularly do is my running wardrobe ... and I still haven't had to wear dirty clothes to work. I'll try to not talk about it all too much, but I'm excited!!! I have finalized my race outfit, too. So the hard part is done. I'm ready to just be there taking it all in!

Evan Dando has been tweeting more, which tells us he is still alive! We're hoping that this means he isn't hanging around with Courtney Love anymore. I hear from his #1 fan that he is with his family right now. Hallelujah! Perhaps he is showering and getting some healthy food in his body. We can only hope!  #SaveEvan

If you use Snapfish they are having a 3 for 1 sale on their photo books through April 4th. I love these things! I've used a few different companies to make them, and they always come out cool -- much easier than making an actual scrapbook. I'm totally going to take advantage. I've already got books for just the Princess Half and Disneyland Half. I imagine this round will end up with books from Chip & Dale's marathon relay and the WDW Half. Fun fun fun! 

AND ... how beautiful did Kate look at the Titanic premiere yesterday?!?! LOVE HER!!! 

Oh, and my leg is decorated in pink and black KT Tape again. Tonight ... I WILL FOAM ROLL!! ...**edit: I DID foam roll. Yippee!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Know Why ... the Rum is Gone.

**First up, I was pleasantly surprised at all of the comments on yesterday's post. Thanks! It was just my own little way of writing down my realization that I really do perform better when I don't worry! If I just go out and enjoy everything and not set goals ... it never fails I actually feel better, physically and mentally, and my times just keep getting faster that way. And before I ramble I wanted to make sure that the blog world knew in no way was I calling Giraffy - or any of you - a fasthole. I strictly save that silly little term for 4 specific people not at all involved in blogland. Giraffy is the raddest person - my therapist - and my educator on all things Evan Dando. I just adore her!**

And with that ... grab a glass, get some ice, let's talk rum!

As I mentioned before, Saturday I rather spontaneously decided to just run my own half marathon. There was wind, rain, some lambs and some singing at the top of my lungs while running along I-5 where nobody could possibly hear me. I had a blast! I tackled hills I'd normally walk up (I ran half way up each, which is already a HUGE hill improvement for me. Yay!!) and I was able to just zone out and skip Jeff Galloway's intervals and just run. I felt fabulous!

But when it ended I had no space blanket. I had no medal. My pets didn't even give me half of a semi-green banana. What the hell?!?  Instead of the regular post-race celebration I hopped in the shower and formulated a plan. What better way to celebrate that planning a girl day in the big city?? -- Ha, okay, you Oregonians know that ANY city is big compared to where I live!

I decided to invite myself to crash at The Coach's house so we could talk about our respective long runs - and he has a nice warm fire place and two dogs that I am absolutely in love with. To help me celebrate, he fixed me a tasty rum & Coke .. Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum to be exact. Let's just say I NEVER saw the bottom of the glass. I kept refilling before it could empty. Um... I pretty much sang and danced along with the Smooth Soul infomercial for the entire hour it was on. He and I have watched it before and find it to be so damn funny - and now I just put a new, drunk spin on it. I can't even tell you the last time I drank, so it didn't take long for the songstress to come out. I ended up in full party mode. Surprisingly he is still speaking to me! 

When I woke up in the morning he was already gone for his 3rd insanely long run of the week. (This, my friends, is why HE is running the Boston Marathon and I am only going as the cheerleader!) Yeah, I woke up still tipsy. The dogs and I continued the party while I got ready to meet Cilley Girl for our shopping day. Once I saw her I had to warn her that not only did I have some Meniere's related vertigo going on, I was still a bit rummy. Oy!

We had a blast shopping. We always do. And we are terrible at shopping together ... because we are so good at it! New running clothes for all I say! And you could tell I was in post-run celebration mode when I actually had enough oomph in me to put on the sunglasses (very incognito, right?) and go into "that" store to check out a Prefontaine shirt I saw in the window. I may have bought it ... if it wasn't in "that" store. After shopping I had to visit the Coach again to get my things. At one point in the day - as I was trying to sleep on his couch - I caught him smirking. I don't even want to know why! My memory of the night is a bit sketchy. Oops.

It is now Monday night (as I type this) and I am finally feeling "normal" again. I'm maybe NOT going to drink the other half of the bottle this upcoming weekend. Well ... if I hit 100 miles for the month, I just might.

And what did you do this weekend? Do you have a favorite type of rum? Does Sailor Jerry rum knock you on your ass, too?? I think the Captain is better for this lightweight!

Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm A Running Hippie!

At the time it felt so ... deep! It was like this aha moment. And actually, yeah, something clicked inside and everything suddenly feels clear.

Running improvement. I think we could all agree that running is different for all of us. We all have different motivations, different reasons, different goals, different interpretations of the same common things.

I think part of this aha moment is why I released The Coach of his scheduling duties. To clarify, he's still forced to put up with me every day. We still talk running. But mostly I want him for advice when I want it. Or for a discussion. And frankly sometimes the tables turn and I find myself being the one to dole out words of wisdom and offer suggestions to him! He gave up on giving me a schedule after the first 3 or 4 weeks. And I never asked for more schedules. I'm so independent, I think I do best working in my runs when it feels best for me. When Goofy prep time rolls around, THEN I might go batting my eyelashes and asking for help with a good training plan. But for now, I'm a free agent. He's helping his running posse of fastholes (thank you, Cilley Girl for that term) prepare. They are training for their first half marathon. Um, obviously I've been there, done that. I know how to prepare, and honestly I don't prepare for them anymore. I just do them because I'm always ready for them, physically. So what he's used to giving out in terms of guidance is a lot more detail oriented than I am, and just not for me.

The moment Giraffy and I first met!
But then during today's conversation with Giraffy I realized why I am so different from them. It's all the mind-set. They are all about numbers. Who's faster than who. Who runs farther than who. It is like constant competition and judging everybody that's not like them. Like a bunch of peacocks trying to show off their feathers. That's not my style. Believe it or not, I was once a pretty competitive bowler. When I moved across the country I had just left a very supportive bowling alley where we all cheered for each other and it was fun. I joined this league in Kissimmee and it was the total opposite. If you got a strike the other team would be visibly pissed off. They'd do manual scoring just to make sure the computer didn't mess up. It was so competitive that there wasn't any fun -- for me. I like the supportive nature of sports, not the competitive. Want to offend me? Then don't congratulate me on a run and ask if I enjoyed it ... just immediately ask me my finish time. I guarantee you I won't answer the question. I think it's rude.

Giraffy and I realized we are pretty opposite (okay, we are totally opposite in almost everything!) when it comes to tracking improvement with our running. She is very number oriented. It wasn't until our conversation that I realized I am not. I am VERY anal about tracking my mileage. I HAVE to have my Garmin. I want to see my stats. But now I realize I base my improvement on feeling. I'm a running hippie! My emotions, feelings and effort level are how I declare improvement in myself... not numbers.

For example, this weekend when I did my own little half marathon my time looks faster than it was. I paused my Garmin to refill my water. I paused it when I HAD to stop to get a photo of this crazily decorated VW van. I paused it to potty. Confession: I paused it because I felt compelled to have a conversation with the cutest little sheep that I saw on my way back home. Naturally in a race I wouldn't do that. Of course I'd keep moving in a race. BUT with all that - I still feel I improved. I ran half way up hills that I'd normally walk the entirety of. I pushed harder and farther before taking walk breaks. And my walk breaks were shorter than they used to be. (Oh, I also tossed the 4:1 intervals out the door.) And heck, I was only supposed to go 10 miles!

With this realization I thought about races and running in general. It finally occurred to me after two and a half years of running that my goal isn't for certain times, distances or paces. I run purely for the experiences and memories. My favorite race memories aren't necessarily the PRs. They've been the moments that are fun. Cartwheels with Team Jam. Pushing Belle out of the way with Lesley. Pretending to be dead in front of a Haunted Mansion tomb stone. And not all of the best running memories are during races! When I think about this year's Shamrock 15K, I immediately think of our blogger dinner the night before and not the 10 minute PR I got the next day. For Seattle I think of how I got to meet my dear Abby for the first time. Las Vegas, well that has all sorts of crazy memories - none of which actually involve the 13 miles I was running ... but rather the aftermath!

So there it is, I run for Me! For fun. For memories. For challenging myself. For a great excuse to travel and see friends. When I'm 80 will I look back and be mad that I was a mid-pack runner that was happy with a 10 minute mile pace? I doubt it. Will I perhaps tell my grandchildren (I'm so optimistic!) about how there was a time in my life that I couldn't run around the block, and then decided to do half marathons and I met tons of great people as a result? Yes!

So what about YOU?? Do you focus on the numbers to see if you are improving? Do you take every run and race seriously? Do you worry more about having the right colored shirt than your finish time? (FYI - I found my red shirt finally!) What's YOUR motivation to run?? And inquiring minds want to know ... have YOU done a cartwheel during a race yet?? I highly recommend it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week 8: Monumental!!

Again I am writing from the comfort of The Coach's house... And he's not even here. I'm in charge, let's party!

What a week! Since I sort of released The Coach of his coaching duties I actually spread my wings and had a great week! (The Coach is still in the picture, I just want him more for advice when I need it. And motivation.) I slept through Monday's swim class but made it the other two days. Our teacher didn't show up Friday, which means we actually got a better work out when we led ourselves!

I had three runs, each one with something "big" for me and my improvement. First up was a short one. I left for 5 miles, but as I kept going faster I changed my plan. I turned it into a prep-run for the Boston 5K. How did it go?? Finally!! I've wanted it for so long, and Tuesday night I ran my first sub-30 5K!!

Next was another 5 miler... That I changed to make it 7! Only 2 extra miles, but for an after work run this felt huge... And awesome!

And then came Saturday's long run. 10 was planned so I figured I could do 12. 2.5 miles in I thought, "if I'm going 6 miles out, why not go 6.5?" Yeah, so I totally ended up running 13.1 miles just because!

I'm still waiting for my medal and space blanket!

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like...


.... and now I just have to find a red shirt. Why is everything pink???

Thursday, March 22, 2012

There is Hope!!

Where I work I start to sometimes think that everybody hates everybody. If they owe money for a speeding ticket they feel it isn't their fault and we are trying to steal from them. If they don't pay their water bills on time and fees start getting tacked on or water is shut off, again we are the bad guy. So when I had a little mishap yesterday I was dreading the outcome.

While covering the Robot's break a customer came in to pay on two bills. To make a long, complicated mess short, there was so much paper and cash changing hands that I must have gotten confused with it and actually handed back $50 to the customer instead of putting it in our drawer. After the customer left I went back to my desk. Then I got that feeling in my gut. I immediately went to our payroll tech who would balance the drawer in the morning. I confessed to her that I think I messed up and we might be short $50.

For 22 hours I agonized over this. I came to work with my checkbook in hand, prepared to offer up the money to get us even since it was all my error. Sure enough, $50 short. Damn.

After a few minutes we had decided I should call the customer and talk about it with him. I had prepared a typed script, compiled by 4 of us brilliant minds, to help me get through the call and my phone phobia. I was really hoping for voice mail. Unlucky me, I got a person. I asked to talk to whoever had come in to pay the bill.

He didn't know if I gave him money back. He knew he had a stamped receipt. I tried to be very nice and take the blame on myself for messing up our drawer and that I was trying to figure out when it happened. We finished the call and I knew we we going to have to eat that loss. Damn. That led to a big discussion about how to avoid this in the future (it gets complicated, I won't bore you. I mean it involves two different agencies and blah blah blah). I figured I may have made a large double-digit error, but perhaps in the end we have learned a lesson and can stop accepting cash for this other agency.

An hour later my jaw dropped. The customer came in. He went through his money and sure enough, there was the $50 bill I had given back to him. He was very humble and said he didn't want anyone to get in trouble. I could hardly find the words to express to him how grateful I was. I still don't have the words. I mean he didn't have to bring it back. I had no tangible proof that I had messed up. I mean I knew what happened, but there was no way to prove it for certain. But instead of keeping his crispy bill, he brought it back to me. I can't even tell you how refreshing it was to have that happen. And all because he didn't want me to get in trouble! I mean he could have had an extra $50 -- and who can say they couldn't use some spare cash these days?? -- but he returned it. He returned it to a government agency to boot!

It warmed my heart and made my day! I think good karma will come his way soon!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Week 7: Where Did It Go?

Week 7 of having the non-coach Coach happened and I can't even remember it! Thank goodness for Daily Mile to stoke my memory!

I only did 2 training runs. I was off and on with the Meniere's stuff again, and sadly running takes the first hit. I did have a nice 5K run where my legs were feeling pretty strong. I had been worrying that my IT Band was unhappy, so when it had no pain during those 3 miles I was relieved. I intended to do my scheduled 5 miles, but darkness and vertigo put a stop to it. I still felt satisfied though!

The second run brought me back to the treadmill. I totally get why you all call it the dreadmill now!! We were having a flood warning in town, so with the darkness and non-stop rain I resigned myself to my mom's tiny room with the treadmill. This time I hooked up my phone to the treadmill and played my music through those speakers. That made the run so much more bearable. Heck, I actually sang along and had fun! 5 miles done in no time at all ... pain free. Hallelujah!

I missed a swim class, which sadly seems to be my norm. I love that class, too, so I don't know why I can't drag myself there all 3 days. (Really, it isn't even a mile from my house.) I've just been exhausted lately. But the days I went were really fun and great workouts. I felt the ab exercises for a couple days after. I love that!!
One last Shamrock 15K pre-race photo!
So that was week 7 (I guess I did have that 15K race, too ... but that wasn't training so anyway...). Week 8 is already off to an awesome start. I don't know if I can even wait until it is over to tell you about it!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Shamrock 15K - Round Two

"That was hell. I have no need to ever do this race again." I'm sure something to that effect came out of my mouth last March when I finished the Shamrock 15K on a cold, dreary, rainy day. So this March I found myself once again at the Shamrock 15K on a cold, dreary day. This time it was a mix of rain and snow and wind! And this time I finished and said something to the effect of "That course is still hell. Wait a while before you try to get me to do it again next year."

I started my weekend early with a short drive up to The Coach's ranch. After mothering him and making sure he had everything he needed we switched to his car for the drive up to Portland. *It was a nice ride until I learned on facebook that my "sister" (my mom's cat) died. Nothing like shopping and crying on the phone with your mom at the same time!* Soon we were at the expo which was 25 times bigger than last year. In and out, then I met up with Cilley Girl! The Coach went off to spend his afternoon with his son while I had more girl time with my favorite Girl. We went back to the expo, scored some free gym bags and ran into Lauren working the iFitness booth! The running world is so small!

Time for shopping, because duh! Why wouldn't we?!? First stop - TOTS!! It is now my tradition to have tater tots before big races. I'm pretty sure they are the key to running well. We have no stores in town that sell new books, so I was excited to hit Barnes & Noble. I stopped breathing and grabbed my heart when I saw a table of Titanic books. I couldn't let go because I'll never let go! I walked out with a couple to add to my collection!


Dinner was at the Old Spaghetti Factory and so yummy! I ate my weight in food that night, and I have no regrets! The men ditched us, so it was just Donna, Kim, Jules, Cilley Girl and myself. It was just lovely. Great conversation. Yummy food. And a lot of race talk! We are certainly a group of pushers!! My night got even cooler when Kim's "S" came in and he and I could have Titanic talk and I could finally give him his present -- it is a matted strip of the film reel -- great shot of Kate & Leo! Post-dinner, Cilley Girl and I did some slow motion running to Chariots of Fire while at the grocery store. We're pretty cool like that.

Sleep didn't happen. Somewhere in the hotel it sounded like rock stars trashing their room. Fighting? Partying? Drinking? Music? WWE type stunts? No clue. All I know is The Coach and I were exhausted and couldn't sleep and had to get up too soon to run.

Got to the race area with ease and was able to meet up with Jules and Cilley Girl in time to get a photo and squish into the corral. The 15K was delayed due to a train. Then after they started letting waves of people go we had another big hold, again because of the train. That let me spend time warming up and stretching out my calves. Must have worked because I ran pain free!! Once we hit the start mats I waved good bye and was on my way.

The plan was to run until I got to the BIG hills, and for the most part I did just that. I kept up with the pack fairly well and was feeling in the zone and having a good time. And then .... 3 miles in I started getting that off-kilter feeling. Hello, Vertigo. I thought I was in for a repeat of last year. I took some slow, deep breathes and tried to just calm down inside and not let it get the better of me. It must have worked because during the next mile I was able to get through it and feel okay to start running on the not-as-steep parts. My plan was to walk fast up the hills. I did just that, and even passed runners! Once I hit the top of the hill and knew I was making my way down I just let it go. I kept it steady so I wouldn't fizzle... like I did in last weekend's 10K race. I'm really happy that I mentally kept it together for this race and ran it smart. When I could see the finish I just started picking people off in front of me one at a time. At the last stretch I was so focused on the finish line, but I did hear The Coach yell my name. I stuck my arm up to acknowledge him and kicked into high gear not once, but twice. Pretty sure I finished with a long, fast Ryan Hall type stride.

And how did I do? I got my new PR for the 15K ... by 10 minutes!!  *Did I mention that PR was done on HILLS with rain, sleet and snow??

Post-race, The Coach, his son, Cilley Girl, Jules and myself spent forever trying to get out of downtown Portland area so we could go have the yummiest post-race breakfast ever. French Toast after a race is just divinity!! All in all, this was a great weekend and I am so happy that I got to spend it with some of my favorite people!


Where to next? The next race report you get from me will be from Boston. Woohoo!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Crank Up Some Delilah!

Can't imagine life without this man! He's my #1!!
I am totally a little fruit fly! I just adore my gays. When I need a pick me up, they are there. These are the kind of men I like! I think I was born to hang with them and avoid the hetero male population. I'm kind of like a movie - one of those where you find the girl so annoying because she is always with the biggest asshole and you just want her to dump him and be fabulous on her own. It'd be so much cooler if I could be like Kate or Cameron in The Holiday. I think, as gorgeous and perfect as Kate Winslet is, I'd opt to be Cameron Diaz in that movie ... just so I could be the one to smooch on Jude Law. Yum-my!!

As a little "get to know the Fruit Fly" post - and because I'm kind of pissy and want to vent - here's documentation as to why I have no desire to ever be married again. And dating? Blech - you can keep it! *Names have been changed, for my sake, not the sake of the guys. It's my blog after all! ;)

Adam: Biggest mistake of my entire life. I figure everything happens for a reason, so this had to happen to get me where I am today. But fuck. Disaster. And I'm pretty sure he likes dudes - which is why I was able to tolerate him for so many years. (Excuse me while I go vomit now). That loser actually gave me a weight limit. Yeah - 140 is okay, anything more and "we will have to have a talk". Months after he was out of my life I didn't recognize him in a photo - because HE put on so much weight he didn't look like the same person. Karma back at you, Ha!

From 1997 - LOVE this picture!
Victor: Oh he was cute! My mom said "when you marry him sign a pre-nup. Once you marry into the mob they don't let you out!" Glad she had a sense of humor. We totally were never close to getting married, but he did have the softest lips I've ever met. We're still friends. No really, he was HOT!! He's probably to blame for why I am addicted to Jersey Shore.

Josh: Friends know I have been using code name "Josh" for years. Love of my life. I doubt that will ever change. Not one bad thing to say here. Never.

Nick: Boring as hell. Oh my gosh. That wasn't even a relationship. I put a stop to that before it could even be a thought. He was sad. 

Brandon: Couldn't stand him. Total asshole, in the disguise of a complete pansy. A complete dick to me at every single one of my races - buzz kill for sure! The single reason I refuse to use the word "amazing" anymore unless it is in a complete mocking sense. I can't tell you how many times I heard that word over the course of the 24 hours it took for him to slightly get the hint that I was repeatedly, very blatantly dumping him to his face over and over and over. OMG how did I last as long as I did??? And he fucking puked in my car while crying about who knows what. Still pisses me off. Douche bag.

Jordan: Hm, I wonder what could have been... *sigh*

Jasper: Appeared to be charming. And was. Until the true dickish nature came out. Let me quote: "You better not be eating, you'll pack on the pounds." I wish I was lying. Don't build a relationship off of a 10 day drinking binge when on vacation alone, okay? Just trust me!!

Always thought this was a cute photo of us.
Mark: Ripped my heart apart. Flat out told me he'd never love me. Flat out was a jerk to me in front of my friends ... constantly. Disliked me for the following reasons: small boobs, not a stripper, white, drug free. Liked me for the following reasons: free food, free rent, comfy car to ride in on trips. I know how to pick 'em! Since the end of this one I have been the ultimate "jaded about relationships" person.

Dexter: Dude, that guy was a freak!! I mean this wasn't even a relationship, and he told people we were engaged? We hung out at a couple parties. I was still in the divorce process. Nutso!

Rory:  (Where the hell am I coming up with these names??) This one is mixed. He actually proposed. I never answered. I wonder what would have happened?!? We'd have had absolutely beautiful babies. A strange thing that was. I wonder how he is these days. I should ask him. Still talk to this one, too!

Max:  This relationship was so freaking bizarre that really only my gays know about it. And my BFF. And they still give me shit for it - rightly so. It was fun while it lasted. I use relationship loosely. Huh. I was pretty sad at the end of this actually.

Milton:  This one told his mom I was his girlfriend before even clearing that with me. This was the first of two times I had to "fake dump" someone ... "Nick" being the second time.

Jughead:  He only hung out with me ONE time sober. Always had to go to the bar. Always. This wasn't cool with me. Had to put an end to that one. Phew!

I am reaching, trying to end on a good note .... but then I guess if I could I wouldn't always be single by choice, right?!?  For the record, I think there are a couple good ones listed up there ... 

**Does anyone else ever hear Delilah and just want to smack her?? Why is she so nauseating?? Why have I been cranking her up lately in my car at night??

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's App-solutely Addicting!

You know you've reached the peak of boredom when you are deliberately looking for apps on the iPhone ... just because. I've now discovered joy in finding free apps, downloading and then categorizing and arranging. Just today I've added USA Today, The Weather Channel, Orbitz, Kayak, Hopstop and more. The day is young, who knows what else I'll add??

I'm so excited for Boston. I have 4 apps just sitting there waiting to be helpful once I land in this new part of the world. 

*Side note, I just got a major craving for a Chips Ahoy cookies. Do they still make those? I kid you not, I haven't had one since the summer before 9th grade when I was in Hawaii and went through probably 2 packages of them.*

So in my quest to go overboard with apps I am here to ask you ... do you have any favorites that you just love? Better yet - any FREE favorites??

Is this the lamest post I've had in ages? Probably. I've got writers block, actually.

I'll babble about running a bit. The Coach is sick. I mean like gross sounding sick. I called him last night and hardly recognized his voice. Hopefully it doesn't get worse and starts to clear soon since we are doing the Shamrock 15K this weekend. HE is the reason I registered for this bitch of a race, so dammit, he HAS to run it, too! And speaking of Shamrock, I am sooo excited!! I get to hang out with Kim, S, Jules, Donna and the Cilley Girl again. Sure, I just saw 3 of them last month, but come on - do you ever get sick of seeing your running buddies? Heck no! That reminds me, I need to book my Seattle hotel room. Talk about excited!!!! I get to be reunited with my very first running partner ever, Lesley AND 2/3 of Team Jam will be together again. Hot diggity dog!! If you could all pop over to Rose's blog and convince her to head up to Seattle this June, too, that would be great. Really. Pretty please? Go peer pressure her for me. I WANT TO SEE ROSE!!!

And I'll end on a Great note! I didn't get to run last night because of some vertigo. The night before I was having a great run, which ended early because of the vertigo. Normally I'd be really cranky about this, but this week I don't even care. Why? Because Monday morning I met with a specialist to talk about my Meniere's. I passed my hearing test with flying colors! No permanent hearing loss for me yet. (Hearing loss is a common occurrence for Meniere's people.) Also I have no need for any radical treatment in my near future. As far as one can be with Meniere's, the doctor says I'm doing great and to just maintain. I don't even have to go back for another year - unless something happens between now and then and I choose to go in. What a relief!!

Alright - so hit me up about the apps you love that I need to try!!

P.S. I am soooo excited to see this:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Run for the Shamrock 10K

Spontaneously created outfit!
On Monday I had that feeling where I needed to find a race. I found a 10K in Eugene that was actually happening at the same time and place as the 5K The Coach was registered for. After verifying that I wouldn't look like a stalker by being at that same race I registered. A few days later there I was, parked about 5 cars down from The Coach. (Not stalkerish, just coincidence ... and that small of a race.) Compared to the races I've been doing, this was a total 180º change. 

No chip timing. No expo. Cotton t-shirts (which I actually liked, too!). The race was benefiting the Sheldon High School track team, and it appeared that members of the team were the people at each mile marker calling out split times. The 10K did have a water stop at mile 4, which was also manned by the students. Very informal, laid back, short and fast! These legs of mine are not used to short and fast anymore. That was my 2010 body. Now I'm all about the long haul ... so I was certainly unprepared for the spontaneity of this race!

My nerves were pretty in check. I spent pre-race getting my bib on, stretching a bit and visiting the bathroom ... the bathroom with NO doors on the stalls. I had to verify I didn't walk into the men's room because it pretty much looked like a row of giant urinals. 

At the start area I wished The Coach and his son-in-law well ... knowing I would not see them again at the race. (They did the 5K. The Coach was 10th overall and 1st in his age group!) I kept myself toward the middle/front so that I wouldn't be stuck behind any walkers. But in all honesty, this was a FAST group of people and my goal was to not be last! No joke.  My other goal ... PR. 

We started and I was in a steady group going about 9:30 minute mile pace. I kept up for quite a long time but knew I wasn't going to maintain that for 6.2 miles. I kept trying so hard to back off, but the racer in me couldn't do it. I had such a competitive streak for the first half of the race, it was ridiculous! I did use a woman between 60 and 70 years old as a pacer. She kept me going at a nice steady 10 minute mile pace and faster. I appreciated her a lot. Because I kept speeding up, I did fizzle a couple of times. It wasn't huge, but I would like to have not taken as many tiny walk breaks. 

In the last mile I was pretty spent. My body was working in newer ways and I was just ready for the finish line. A girl about my age came up behind me and said, "Come on! Let's do this. Let's bring it home!" I thanked her for giving me the swift kick in the rear that I needed, and I ran the rest of the way to the finish line. My upchuck reflexes were starting to flare up and I had to mentally fight the urge. I still managed a strong finish ... and NO throwing up!! Woo hoo!!

So how did I do? I was NOT the last person. AND I got a new PR by 7 minutes!! Pretty damn good results I'd say! In the finish area I ran into a friend that I didn't even know was into running now, so that was fun. I didn't come close to getting any age group awards, but since The Coach had to leave early I lingered and picked up his award. I should have just claimed it as my own. All in all it was a great day! The weather held out and I kind of got that taste of short and fast again ... and I think I want more!!
I found my dearest Steve Prefontiane at Trader Joe's!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Week 6: Defeat, Success, Hills

What a week of ups and downs! As I type this on my phone I am listening to The Coach and his dogs snoring. It was just that kind of week!

I made it to swim class two days. The day I skipped I just didn't have it in me and only worked half a day as it is. The days I went to were great though!

The running. Ugh. My first run of the week was dreadful. I did 5 miles on the treadmill at it was awful. I stopped too many times to just sit and cry. There might be an IT band issue in the works. After that run I felt like biggest failure and was ready to quit being a runner.

The next run was a complete turn around. The sun was out and so were the people! It felt wonderful to be in just a skirt and short sleeves. My legs were so happy to be out in nature again! I tossed out the Galloway method and just ran.... completing my fastest 5 miles ever!

Then I ran a race. That post will come later!

And finally today. The Coach and I were both still tired from racing but we tackled hills anyway! I HATE hills, so there was a lot of trickery on his part to get me to the top of them - even his dogs were showing off and out running me. 5K later I survived the hardest hill workout if my life. Now... I'm exhausted and kicking back soaking up my own little comeback story!

Next week... More swimming, more running and a lot more hills at the next race!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sex Tape, runDisney, Shamrocks

So Hulk Hogan has a sex tape. This really grosses me out. Please, nobody Rick Roll me and trick me into watching it! He was the first celebrity to go on Kali River Rapids when I was working in Disney World. Pretty sure he shaves his legs. They looked very tan and oiled.

Over the course of this week I was ready to quit running, then pretty sure I was the next up and coming star in the running world. Funny what a few miles here and there can do to the psyche!

Tomorrow is the 10K I spontaneously registered for. Looks like I'm in for a wet one. I guess the fact that I'll be in a tank top will be okay -- less material to get wet, right?!? Ooh, I just remembered I have neon green arm sleeves. Hm. Maybe I can re-work the outfit around the sleeves instead of the shirt! Next weekend is also a Shamrock themed race. So much green - and I pretty much own nothing green, so it gets challenging.

Last night I registered my dear friend Jessica for the Tower of Terror 10 miler at the 5K that same morning. I am excited to suck her into the runDisney world. How about you? Are you doing Tower of Terror? Or are you adjusting with the date change and getting in the Wine & Dine Half? I'm pretty bummed because I really wanted to do Wine & Dine .. but I am a big Halloween fan and W&D would make me miss all of the events. Plus I can't pull off WDW Marathon weekend AND Wine & Dine so close together. Darn. But either way I'm sure all weekends are going to be a blast!

The girl that made up the mean rumor about me tricking someone into getting me pregnant came into my work yesterday. I can't even really describe the physical reaction I had to her presence. I avoided her the entire time, but ugh - I felt it. Racing pulse, increased body temperature, cold, clammy hands. Perhaps I should I have just confronted her.

I'm sure you read Giraffy's blog, and if you don't ... um, go do it! If you have been reading, then you are aware of her Evan Dando obsession. Apparently I have a sympathetic bone in my body because now I'm on a mission to help save him. I just want to send him some clothes. And shampoo. And maybe help him kick the drug habit. He just seems like a lost little puppy. I might br a little insane. I blame Giraffy for this one.

You know those half hour long infomercials for music? For example, Smokey Robinson and random woman talking about the great Soul classics and how if you act now you cna get 2 bonus CDs. That's 150 songs to your collection, and you can return them if it is not the best collection you've heard. Yeah - so The Coach and I spent way too much time last weekend after our long run watching THREE different music infomercials. I found it fun to try to sing along with as many as I could. By the end I was doing lead AND background vocals with coordinated "dance" moves. I was kind of disappointed when we finished them. I think the long run got to my brain!

And I think that's about it for now. I'm going to try to get caught up on blogs this weekend. My schedule is just all out of whack and it seems now I get to sit down on the weekend and read and that's it. So lame. Have a great weekend everybody - and have great races for all of you that are getting ready to toe the line!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

To Flush ... or Not To Flush

I am really itching for vacation. When one comes close or I start planning one I spend A LOT of time day dreaming. I think about the future and what to pack. I think about the past and fun times I've had. Seriously, Boston cannot get her fast enough!! I found the perfect messenger bag and it is just hanging on the coat rack waiting to be used. Hurry up, April!!

Perhaps something that triggered memory mode in my head was a little sign I have in my bathroom that is a little souvenir from my childhood. Our family had a cabin at Tenmile Lake over near the Oregon coast. (For those of you in sunnier locales, in Oregon we mostly say we are going to the "coast" - NOT to the beach.) It was the coolest place to go for a long weekend or a full-blown summer vacation. You could only get there by boat. That meant anything you wanted, you had to bring with you because trips into "town" to the market were rare. We even had to bring our own distilled water for cooking and drinking! While rustic for ME, it was pretty posh! I mean we had an indoor toilet, microwave, oven, beds, couches and a table. We even had a television, but you had to bring VHS movies to watch anything - we didn't get ANY channels at all. The radio could sometimes get a fuzzy signal, so mostly if we heard music it was from tapes we brought out.... or Grandpa's old country music cassettes ... think Eddy Arnold and the Statler Brothers.

During the day we'd water ski, knee board, raft, canoe, swim and hike. The adults (which I later became) would sunbathe and play cards. We were serious - we played Shanghai and we played for money! Movies were a big thing. I can't tell you how many times we watched Goonies and Weekend at Bernie's out there.

My grandma always made a big breakfast to get us started. French Toast was my favorite, but we'd only get that one day usually. Otherwise it was pancakes. We'd always have potatoes, eggs, bacon, sausage.... it was a feast! For lunch it was every man for himself ... which meant I was always making macaroni and cheese, then being intensely annoyed when I had to share it with my younger cousin. Hot dogs and chips were also popular. Dinner would be big too (I must be hungry right now). Usually we'd have spaghetti or BBQ'd hamburgers. It was such a great time out there! And you always went home with tons of leftover food and feeling completely stuffed from filling your gut with junk.

 Ooh - what a transition.... so you fill your body, naturally what goes in must come out! Bathroom time!! *We did have a bunk house with more beds. Eventually my dad added on a little section with a functioning shower which had hot water 50% of the time* Back to the toilet ... the bathroom was in the cabin between the two bedrooms, right by the kitchen/living room dividing point. It was small but functional. We had a sink. You only ran the water when you were using it. NO wasting! If you were brushing your teeth, first - you didn't swallow the water!, second - you only ran the water when your brush was under the faucet. Going to the bathroom - you always prayed that my aunt's husband wouldn't clog the thing. The unofficial rule was told to us every time we went to sit down. You couldn't miss it because we had a sign! You'd walk in, see the sign, laugh, say "Yeah right" then check to make sure there weren't any slugs crawling around in the bowl (trust me, it's happened. So gross!!). THEN ... every time .. you'd flush.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Opinions on Running Clothes

First 2 short things.
Heel striking (which I accidentally just typed as "Hell" striking. Ha!): The Coach always thought I was a heel striker because he has seen my official race photos. While running he hung back to the side and watched and was shocked that I am NOT a heel striker. So I had to clarify --- it never fails when I see an official photographer on the course I fix my posture, I try to remove 2 or 3 chins, I smile and then my whole form just changes and I always end up having a heel strike. I figure that's okay - because heel or not, those pictures where it is the worst are always where I actually look the best!

10K PR time: I've done 4 10K races in my life. The first was on the hardest trail course and kicked my ass. The 2nd one, I set what is now my current PR (July 4, 2010). The last 2 are the Prefontaine Memorial with the notoriously crazy non-stop up and down action. I want a new PR! It's been close to 2 years since I set that one and it is time to speed it up. So I spontaneously registered for a race this Saturday in Eugene. Time to get out of my half marathon race mind-set and switch it over to shorter and faster!

And now my little product review! Nobody is paying me or giving me free stuff to do this - but Adidas people, I wouldn't turn it down. Same to you, Fila peeps. I just happened to have that little shopping spree and thought I'd give my opinion on some of the new things I was testing out! Let's start at the top and work our way down, okay? Great.

Head band: First time being worn - NO bobby pins holding it in place. This little blue, with green trim number was created by yours truly ... and my mommy!

runDisney shirt: Made by Champion, I picked this up at the WDW Marathon expo. Aside from being totally cute, in my opinion, it is super comfy. I've worn it a lot, but this was the first time wearing it while running. No issues with it at all. It was a runner's dream!

Fila seamless sports bra: I chose hot pink - because that was the color my size was. I'm pretty much very simple when it comes to sports bras. Being not of the busty nature, I can find something try it on and boom, it works. Of course I bet there are many that would be too big, but whatever. I hardly noticed I was wearing a bra! And I don't mean the girls were just bouncing all over. Everything felt in place as it should be, but nothing was ever riding up or irritating me. And the material is soft, stretchy. This might be my favorite sports bra now!

The bra - NOT on my mannequin body
Zensah arm sleeves: Zensah has made me happy. Zensah has disappointed me. The compression leg sleeves? Compression? psh. Doesn't happen. The capris I bought? See through, snagged when I was just opening the package, come up to my boobs and are basically a full body onesie. But the arm sleeves? I love them! Not constricting. Easy to get on. Easy to slide down while running if you do get too warm. I've raced in these in the rain and they kept me warm and didn't even feel like I was wearing something wet on my body. I think I've had these, wow... I've had them for a long time. They are great!

Fila running skirt/capri combo: Brand new, picked these up during the sale. (Fila was 45% off at Kohls!) The skirt has a cute little side seam action, but you can't really tell in this photo. I thought it gave a solid black skirt some personality. There is a pocket on the left side that I put my iPod in and never had issue with it. It was so easy to pull out when I wanted to change play lists, too! The capris were very comfy. I never got too hot on this day, and also stayed warm in the shady parts. I pretty much love it and will probably wash it and wear it for that upcoming 10K this weekend!

Running Skirts compression socks: Also not exactly new at all, but whatever. I love them! I wish they'd make more colors. My legs feel happy when I wear them. I save them for long runs and races only. And as far as price goes, these are on the cheaper end of the spectrum, so yay!

Adidas Liquid running shoes: L.O.V.E. Even lighter than the Adidas that I have been racing in for the last few months. They gave me a spring in my step! Super flexible. Cute. Comfy. My feet didn't get too hot or have a single complaint. No rubbing. No blisters. No blood. I feel bad for cheating on my other Adidas with them, but hopefully they'll learn to share. I'm rotating between 3 pairs of shoes now (1 Nike, 2 Adidas) and will probably not be wearing the Nikes as often, as they are noticeably heavier and thicker.

So that's it! Also I have on my Road ID and a Garmin. If you don't have a Road ID yet, go out and get one. I haven't needed it, but I feel so much safer just knowing that if something does happen at least they know who I am, my age and can get in touch with my family!  *Lesley gave me the sunglasses before the Princess Half. Super comfy... and helpful!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Week 5: The Coach Un-Friended Me?!?!

The week ended up pretty damn good! I did skip my Friday swim class because my teacher had indicated she might not be there due to a pending booty call in Portland. My 5:15am alarm went off and I thought, "Do I really want to get up, get my suit on and find out nobody else is there?" So I decided to re-set my alarm for 7am. I was happy with that decision! I finished out my week day shorter runs on the treadmill. That made 3 runs on the treadmill for the week (and for my entire life thus far). After falling off on the first try we got a little smarter. For the next runs I wore even less clothes, had my PowerAde within reach and learned how to actually STOP the treadmill. My mom was a dear and had the window pre-opened before I arrived, had 3 wet towels draped over the treadmill for me and even lined the floor behind me with pillows ... just in case. She's so funny!

In running news ... The Coach had the nerve to unfriend me on facebook! WHAT?? Apparently I am (in my words based on what he said) "annoying". Psh. He has like 40 friends. They are old people. They don't even know how to use a computer, let alone how to use facebook to interact with friends. So I got deleted! Asshole! I may or may not be done giving him a hard time about it. He says this way he can't make fun of me and my posts anymore. Apparently my Angelina Jolie leg photo was the last straw. Come on - that was some good stuff!! So I may have had some facebook fun at his expense, which of course he already knows about so it isn't like I'm a 12 year old girl doing anything behind his back. So while I'm too annoying to be facebook friends with, I DID get invited to join him on his long run on Sunday. Naturally I accepted the offer!

 My dog and I were up early and met up with him and his handsome dogs at his ranch. Lady is such a little flirt, let me tell you! She loves his boys and is I think trying to make BOTH of them her boyfriend! Leaving the dogs behind, The Coach took me up to a trail I had never been on before. It was an absolutely beautiful day (I even turned a little pink!) for a run. Dogs and people were everywhere, yet it still felt nice and clear on the path. We ran the first mile together and then I sent him on his way for his much faster pace. I was pretty proud of myself for skipping the walking intervals and hitting the first 1.3 miles non-stop. His plan was 14 miles, mine was 10. Mid-run I decided to go for 10.5 to get me to a nice 27 miles for the week -- my highest mileage week ever, other than WDW Marathon weekend!

Blair Witch meets my Run
The path was lovely and had a great mix of sun and shade. I enjoyed the scenery a lot and decided to get photos to share... for the blog, of course! I liked this cute bridge. It was so quiet with only the sound of the water below me. This path actually has mile markers! We started at the 3 mile spot. At the 6 mile marker I saw The Coach's Gatorade. I knew he usually stashes his drinks for the way back, so I HAD to do something. I was trying to make a tee pee around it, but when that didn't work right away I thought it would be fun to Blair With Project the bottle, and make a creepy stick person on top of it. It humored me.

About a mile later I got to the reservoir. It was nice! Sunshine, water, birds and snow all in one view! I ran along this for over a mile. What a lovely change from my regular sights! I was just over 5 miles in and about to turn around when I saw The Coach on his return. We did pause a bit and I gave him a hard time. He said it was just one gradual uphill for a mile, then flat. Whatever - this sucker was uphill the whole time! He said, "No! It just feels like that ... BOTH ways!" What?? He was right. I kid you not, this path seriously felt like one huge uphill coming AND going. Ugh. I told him I left a little present for him on the path and that he was sure to see it. We separated and continued on our way. 

The Coach's design
My second half was much better. I felt stronger and faster as I went on. When I got back to the 6 mile marker I found my own little "hello" in the path way! Cracked me up. I'm pretty shocked that Mr. Boston paused during his long run to do something so silly! I continued on my way and met up with him again for the last mile. It was a great run and I hope to return to that path again.

And just to show how clearly I am the fun, lively one and he is lame for unfriending me, I thought this photo clearly shows off the differences in personality. One is obviously colorful, energetic, friendly, full of pizazz. And the other? Well..... Whatever. He still adores me.

He says he'll run with me again, so I guess I passed! AND he was apparently shocked to watch me run and deem me a NON-heel striker!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Bought "All the Things"

Giraffy cracks me up when she says All the Things - so I totally stole it from her for this blog. Thanks!

My  mom and step-dad went to the gun show a couple weeks ago. Ever since they (my step-dad mainly) have been on a kick that my parental figures need guns (for safety, not for hunting). I did agree to go to a women's self defense course where we'd learn how to fend off home intruders and how to operate a gun, just in case. Well today was an early bird sale ... on guns. 

At 8:30am we left my mom's house and went north to the "big city" for the gun sale. Good lord. I walked into the store with them and just continued walking out the opposite door into the mall. Naturally their store had to be at the ghetto mall. Entertaining myself could be difficult.

In the end I had FOUR hours to kill in a mall with more vacant spots than businesses. Great. So what happens when I am killing time in a mall?

I buy all the things!

1 non-running hat
1 running skirt/capri combo
1 running shirt
2 running capris
2 sets of running shorts (is it a set? a pair? I mean it is just ONE short.)
1 sports bra
2 work skirts
1 work/going out shirt
1 pair of knee socks for the Shamrock 15K
1 Amy Winehouse CD
1 Diet Pepsi
1 side salad
1 pair of new Adidas running shoes

Then... at Dick's Sporting Goods
1 swimming suit (do we call it a swim suit? bathing suit?)
2 running shorts
1 running compression short (I just love making traditionally plural words in the fashion world a singular)
2 Clif gels

Tomorrow I'm taking these new beauties out for a double digit mile run. I cannot wait!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

If Only There Was Video

First times are often quite memorable. This week I had a big first for me – running wise. As a storm came rolling in I watched the weather get nastier by the minute. My 5 miles seemed to be in jeopardy. Remembering that my mom has a brand new treadmill, I joked about going to her house to run. Then suddenly that joke was a reality. I imagine it was a good decision. Over the course of my drive to her house I watched the temperature go from 41º to 38º… the drive was NOT that long or far. The rain seemed to get more texture with each drop as well. Yeah, as much as I didn't want to resort to it, Tuesday night I lost my treadmill virginity.

It was nice to be in summer clothes. I mean a skirt with no capris? A tank top? No Garmin? I admit I felt naked without the Garmin on, but it was kind of nice to not have all my gadgets and gizmos attached to my body.

After a quick orientation to show me how I can change speeds (I had to figure out how to do my 4:1 intervals on this huge contraption) my mom left me to my own devices. I had the TV on, my phone near by and I was running.

That peace I had didn’t last long. I never quit running, but I started melting immediately. I knew that phone would come in handy! While running I called my mom. She never answered, but soon she was there. I needed her to open the window. I was maybe one mile in? Maybe.

The next thing I knew I was taking off my shirt. Me?? Running in only a sports bra? Unheard of. I was dripping. I started hollering for assistance. Nobody was listening.
Hello? I need help in here. Hello!!! Can’t you hear me?? How can you not hear me when I am yelling at the top of my lungs?? I am dying in here. Hello!?!?!?!  HELP!!
My step-dad then enters wondering what the hell is happening. I try to tell him I am melting and I want a cold, wet towel ASAP. He doesn’t care. He wants to see what pace I’m running at, how far I’ve gone and how long I’ve been running. He leaves. I keep running.

A couple minutes later my mom rescues me with a cold wet towel – which ended up being worn across various body parts throughout the run. So. Damn. Hot. I could feel the heat pouring in and smell the fire place. It was almost snowing outside and I was melting.

The nice part of the run was the television programming. Leave it to me to spend my 5 miles of sweat watching a lovely documentary about the final moments of the Titanic. Addiction. Running + Titanic doc = perfect combo!

Oh wait, it gets better! I finish my run and realize nobody told me how to stop the treadmill. I was going at a pretty fast pace as I always do at the end of a run. I was so hot that I wasn’t thinking clearly and I just pulled off the safety cord thing when I hit 5 miles. Thinking it would stop right away I eased up on my legs. Next thing I know they are tripping up underneath my body and I am down. Boom. I hit the treadmill and it flings me right off the back into the wall. 

Yeah, that hurt.