Sunday, April 30, 2006

Jes' Fine, Ma'am

I had my stride analyzed this morning. I drove 45 minutes to The Health Club, where, in exchange for members of my local running club giving their phone numbers so that we can be hassled later on the phone to join, The Health Club let the running club conduct a stride clinic.

I signed up the minute it was announced since I always feel on the verge of an injury. My analysis was slated for 8 a.m., the first slot. I got there five minutes late, already very pissed off (read this, but not the dogs or the carpet part to get a good picture of my mood), after a long detour to the wrong place, because apparently, I do not read so good. We were "warned" in the confirmation letter to "be prepared to work out!" So i was ready! I ran a few times around the track (10.5 laps=1 mile, with mirrors, kill me now), then hopped on a treadmill.

A coach from the running club watched me for a few minutes, chatted about my 10K goal, told me my stride looked good, I ran relaxed, and I looked fine. Wha...? I chatted him up a bit so that I wouldn't have to kill him for having me drive 90 minutes to and fro to find out that my stride is fine. The entire thing took 10 minutes. He told me good shoes were important. No really. He said that. He was cute, so I let him escape with his life. And yes, I would have been happier if they found something wrong.

Later, that same day: Since I missed the running club's training run yesterday morning, due to a previous engagement, I wanted to make it up today. They did a practice run on the Incredibly Hilly 10K May 14 course. So I was mad about missing that. To make up for it, I had a donut for lunch. After having oatmeal for breakfast. At 6:30 a.m. Just so you understand how well I prepare.

I drove back out to do the Incredibly Hilly 10K by myself. With directions in hand. Which were incorrect. Grrrrr. After a phone call, I settled on an approximation of the race course. It was like 90 degrees F at this point, and I had all that Good Nutrition rolling around in me. I ran the Incredibly Hilly 10K course with legs like lead. This course has the added benefit of lots of twists and turns and other paths intersecting with it. To which I paid zero attention, I was too intent on getting to 3.2 miles. Didn't make it. Ran for 30 or so minutes, stopped, had a gu, drank (water), turned around and started back.

Here's a peek at my thoughts during this run: Was I supposed to take that left? Or that one? Or go straight? Should I turn around and take that left? I should, shouldn't I. No!! Don't!! You'll get hopelessly lost! You do know that you will never ever ever find your way back to the car, right? And you have no cell phone. Too heavy to carry, you thought. OK, that's it, you can't run anymore. Why not? Nothing really hurts. OK, walk for a minute. Why do you eat such crap? Please God not another hill. OK, this isn't as Incredibly Hilly as they said it was. You are almost done. Such a drama queen. Honest to God. How in the hell are they going to hold a race on a two lane bike path? Why did I sign up for this? This so sucks. No, it doesn't suck, it blows. We should have been training on this route for every single week of the past 10 weeks. Why oh why did we go other places to train? Why am I NOT IN CHARGE OF EVERYTHING??? Since I am of such obviously SUPERIOR intellect?

Like that.

But you know me. You know I always look for the positive in everything. So, forthwith, today's takeaways:
1. I ran, even though I did most assuredly not want to. (To Whomever is Keeping Score: Please note.)
2. I was mad at everyone. And I did not take it out on myself by curling into a ball and crying (though, there was the donut incident).
3. 21st C Mom literally pushed me out the door by replying to my whiney e-mails with tales of her prowess, once more proving the power of the RBF.
4. I need to eat in order to run, not run in order to eat. Rinse, repeat. Eat. Green things. Things that swim. Meals.
5. I persist. Even when I am mad and sad and worried. Surely, that is worth something.
6. That route is hilly, but it is not impossible.
7. My stride is just freakin' fine.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Its a Skirt Thing

Wanna see a guy run a 5k in a pink running skirt? Well, the rest of us do. But Mark won't wear it until he hears from 100 runners (or their friends and familiy) that they have donated either time or money to a charity (of their choice). So, go do that, right now and leave Mark a comment letting him know. Surely, there are 100 of us in the RBF who can come together in order to make Mark look silly! And do some good at the same time! Come on people, pull together! There is no I in TEAM! (There is however, a ME.)

In other skirt news, Bex has finally posted her review of the New Balance running skirt, and some photos of modelling it. Don't bother going over to see this cute chick in a short running skirt. There's really nothing much to see.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Still Waiting

For the runners' high. Apparently,I am not alone in wondering about the reality of this phenomenon. According to this article in Tuesday's Washington Post, the "endorphin rush" was first identified in the 1970s in research done on marathon runners' blood levels. Later studies, however, showed that "endorphins don't cross into the brain easily. They get metabolized." On the other hand, some studies have demonstrated that exercise increases the levels of three key neurotransmitters, which are associated with elevated moods. On the other other hand, research has shown that just "walking for 30 minutes had a significant effect in depressed patients." But that was self-reported, so not conclusive.

Whatever. I can say that I'm off the antidepressant meds I was on for so many years, and I can directly attribute that to running. But that too is anecdotal, not scientific, evidence.

Even so, the "runners' high" eludes me. (Except when I set a new PR!)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Too True

"He who overcomes others has force; he who overcomes himself is strong."

(From your friendly "Morning Mantra" guru—Kristin)

(What about he who overcomes himself and others? Hmmm.)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Rejoice, Victory Is Mine (Updated)

Warning: The story you are about to read may, or may not, be accurate. The writer offers no warranties as to its veracity, because the people who run this event are apparently NOT on my timetable, and have yet to post results from 8:30 a.m. this morning. Sigh.

Update: So blogger has been down all day. In my moment of glory!! I'll never forgive them for this.

Place: George Washington Parkway, Alexandria, Belle Haven Park
Event: George Washington Parkway Classic
Time: 6:30 a.m.
Temp: Effin' cold

This is a point-to-point race, which means you must park and be bused to the start. Which means, if you forgot to pick up your packet the day before, because, let's just say, you were too lazy, then you must get up at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, fiddle around waiting for things to develop, get your butt to Alexandria to board the shuttle bus early enough so that you can get to the start and get your bib and chip, all of which had to be done by 7:15 for an 8 a.m. start. (I know you all love the details.)

Which meant: I picked up bib and chip by 6:45, and then had to wait around in the cold.

Which meant: I got to pee like 47 times!! (I honestly do not know how it is humanly possibly to produce that much liquid in the space of an hour. I mean really.)

This race was nostalgic for me. It was the very first race I ever ran, back in 1999. I was 42. I had never run more than 2 miles in my life. I was certain I would never ever finish and that someone would have to pick me up. (Gee, some things never change, do they?)

Time in 1999:
38:14/12:14 min miles:
See? The proof!

Then I quit running for six years.

TODAY: Here is the totally completely and utterly unofficial time, which is too good to be true, but I can't stand not telling every single person I know (that means you, sorry), so by my watch:

31:13/10:03 min. miles

Update: Official Unofficial time:
(net) 31:08 (gun) 31:27 (pace) 10:08 min. mile
(although we all know my NET time is what really counts. right? RIGHT?

Holy sweaty boobs, batman!!!

(I will cry when I have to add a minute to that when the official results come out. I. Will. Cry.)

It's mostly a flat course, a few uphills, but I felt like I was cruisin'. For once I didn't start at the wayback. I kept picking people I thought were going my speed (or a little faster) to follow, but then kept on passing them. Passing. Other people. Other fast people.

There were two water stops in three miles. I laugh at water stops. NO way was I stopping for water. A few seconds here, a few there, and the next thing you know you're running 12-minute miles!

At the finish, which was a long straightaway on the backstreets of Alexandria, I ran so fast I thought I would die. How is is this possible then?

Mile 1: 10:26
Mile 2, (f'd up watch, of course): 0:8
Rest of mile 2: 9:58 (oh, i got excited when I saw that...even though it wasn't real)
Mile 3.1: 10:39 (Here is where I KILLED MYSELF. I'm pretty sure my dead limp body is still laying around the finish line somewhere.. )

Let's briefly recap:
GW Parkway Classic, 1999, age 42: 38:14/12:14 min. miles
GW Parkway Classic, 2006, age 49: 31:13/10:03 min. miles
(July 4, 2005, 5K "Cure Autism Now"; age 48: 33:50/10:53)

Who said getting old sucks?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Lift and Separate

So, I hope everyone finally got the obtuse little joke in my last post ... If you didn't, well, you've never been there, so don't worry about it!

To the rest of y'all who expressed worries: don't worry. Everything is peachy keen. I'm running ... but nobody said I had to love it, did they?? Alrighty then! Running is kind of like dating a bad boyfriend: you keep going back for more, because there's the occasional positive reinforcement. I just thought I'd list all the reasons I could think of that day that I love running, and well, that was the result. A bit of running humor. Hee.

Moving on. I would like to devote today's entry to a little-publicly-discussed running malady: chaffing. Specifically: Boob chafing. Oh you can find plenty about chafing in general on the Internet, always accompanied by the instructions that Body Glide (brought to you by the people who invented chafing) is the answer to all your chafing problems. I'm here to tell you: it ain't so.

A quick google search turned up mainly tips for men (shocker), along with the occasional x-rated site. (So tough to get those search terms right!) Where ARE ALL THE POSTS on women's chafed breasts from running? WHERE?

Now, my "girls" are good sized, but not huge. Not like freakishly huge. Not insubstantial though either. I wear this bra from Title Nine Sports Title Nine rates their bras with little barbells (so cute!): one barbell=no support (why bother?); 2=some support; 3=more support; 4=those girls aren't going anywhere. (They even have 4+ barbells bras. I shudder to think.) The Frog bra is a 4-barbell-er. The Frog bra is not so good in the lift and separate department; it's more of a mush them things down so they couldn't move if they wanted to. Wear the Frog bra and your girls aren't going anywhere. I wore it all thru marathon training last year, in the height of summer humidity, through long runs where I was SOAKED to the bone in sweat, and the worst that happened was some chafing along where the band is. And yes, I always wore bodyglide.

This year, my longest run to date has been 90 minutes. In 50 degrees (F). And afterwards? Eeee-oooouccch. (OK, this is gross, but somebody has to talk about it!) I had two lovely sores on the undersides of each, um, boob. Not where the band hits but right on the boob itself!! Like oozing sores! GROSS!

My BFF, a. maria, told me I needed to step up my defenses. She recommended this treatment: Throw out the bodyglide. Then, apply a layer of deoderant to the critical areas, and then a layer of vaseline.

Oh the humanity.

So I did that for this morning's 6-miler. Hard to tell whether it worked or not, since I'm still recovering from the damage I did on Monday.

My challenge to you: bring those girls out into the light! Let's share our remedies for this irritating problem, and demand that someone come up with a cure! They can put a man on the moon; they can solve boobular chafing. In fact, there should be a run devoted to raising money to solve this problem. (I'll have to look into that.)

Tomorrow I'll be running the George Washington Parkway 5k; the first race I ever ran back in 1999. After which I did no running for five years. So, I'll set a PR for that race at least. And, I'll be running with the blisters from hell on both bunions, and the impaired boobs (hey, at least I'm symmetrical!)

Next up: We are breaking free of the tyranny of weight, and the scale. (Maybe.)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Why I Love Running

The end.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Men in Skirts

Well, Why Not?, as this fellow so ably demonstrates:

Come on, what woman wouldn't want to date someone wearing the utilikilt? (Steve from

As I mentioned in an earlier (and I might add, much ignored) entry, our spiritual-running guru, Mark, posted a few days ago about his deep desire to see women runners wearing these things. And some of us running chicks gave him some grief. Which then spiralled into quite a behind-the-scenes convo.

So we threw down the gauntlet. If Mark wants to see more running chicks in skirts, we invited him to walk a mile—or run five—in our moccasins, so to speak. Wear the skirt, Mark.

After much hemming, hawing and eating up of the precious e-mail airwaves, Mark has agreed to don the pinky-pink version and run an 8k—but only if he hears from 100 members of the RBF (or their friends and relatives) ... PLUS he is asking us to donate to our favorite charity, as payback. It's a win-win, people!

So, I'm asking you to get on over to Mark's place, and read all the details, and pledge (any amount of time or money) to the charity of your choice, so that you can see an actual, real live video of Mark, racing an 8k, looking something like this:

photo, courtsey Dawn

Whatever you do, though, don't be asking any questions about what he'll be wearing underneath.

For your own sake.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Recap

(Well, the real recap is found in another place. This is my recap.)

Easter weekend: gorgeous spring-like weather! Saturday morning I had a 50-min run with the DC Road Runners, after which (oh, i will so regret saying this, even thinking it—Bex, look away), I felt fit as a fiddle, and a little like it wasn't enough of a workout.

So what did I do with all my extra energy on Saturday? Why, I took a nap, of course. The vacuuming could wait. Actually, Number One Daughter tells me that I might have actually said to her, on her first day back from school since Christmas break, that I might actually have mentioned, that if she felt up to it, could she vacuum? (I am soooo not like other mothers. Sigh.)

Saturday night was Easter vigil, where I rang a few bells, then went out to a lovely dinner with NOD and friends. Dinner might have included a french martini. Yum.

Sunday was supposed to be my long slow run, but hell's bells, my kid was only home for two days. So, after yet another long nap (this may be a record, two days in a row), we took a mother-daughter hike on ye olde "Billy Goat Trail." A sign at the trailhead warns you to "Think Twice," and is replete with dire warnings of numbers of people who have died, etc. We are so hardcore! We laugh at danger!

Dire warnings of rock climbing and numbers of people killed.

NOD looking good on rocks (crappy cell phone camera!)

Mom rocks, too!

We hiked up and down some spectacular rocks for about 90 minutes. Not a run, but plenty cardiovascular. And I got some good scoopage on life-at-college.

Still, I had to get my 90-minute run in. In fact, I was now agonizing about when I would get this run in. Like OBSESSING about it. DREAMING about it.

So, this morning, on my day off, I hopped outta bed at 6:30 a.m., and drove in the pelting rain, in rush-hour traffic, to the start of a nice, ever-so-slightly uphill course. And ended up running 7.5 miles, (a first! in a training run!) in 90-minutes. I was soaked and lonely. My giant bunion blisters started acting up again, but other than that, I was a-ok. My companion, Phedippidations, came along, and I listened to the history of the Boston Marathon and then to Steve's account of his running the Cape Code Marathon. Just what I needed to distract myself from the intense, never-ending anxiety that overtakes me at the start of every run (and for which I am very open to any suggestions, btw).

Afterwards, I raced home (after carefully stretching of course), drove NOD to Amtrack, and sent her on her way. Now, I'm home, and thinking: why not make it a trifecta? I'm heading in for—yes!—another nap.

Good luck to everyone running Boston today.

Running Blogfather Issues Challenge

It's kind of hard to you will just have to go read it for yourself, but the gist is that Mark, aka the running blogfather, is willing to don a running skirt (and possibly the matching bra, although that is up in the air at the moment), and actually compete in it, if YOU all will donate to the charity of your choice.

Like I said, you kind of have to read it.

I'm all for men in skirts! So, go support Mark right now. He's doing this to raise money for charity (he says) and to get more running chicks into running skirts. Sort of a sacrifice on his part for all mankind.

It just doesn't get better than this, people.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I'm Breaking Up With E-Harmony

(It's not me, it's them. Repeat until trance begins.)

Dear e-harmony,

I joined forces with you three months ago, at a promotional three-month introductory price, with the promise that I might actually meet a man in the flesh. My soul-mate, you said!

Three months later, I am sad and disheartened.

You sent me five "potential" matches in three months. Three that I remember. First, there was Peter in Potomac (Pip, as I secretly called him). Pip and I went all the way with our "guided communications" (a series of questions and potential answers you choose and send to your match; he answers and sends you back his series of questions and potential answers. Etc.). All the way right up until we had to decide whether or not we wanted to exchange actual real, non-"guided" e-mails. Sadly, we never made it. Why not, you ask? (Now, you ask. Too late!) Here's why: Because it took Pip three weeks to respond to each of many, many "guided communications." If I want to sit by the computer and wait for some guy to e-mail me back, heck, I can get that for free, no problem!

Then, there was Eddie from Edgewater. He was in retail sales—very successful. But his profile. Eddie, Eddie, Eddie: The most influential person in your life simply, truly, honestly, surely cannot be your 10-year old son. Commendable and all that you think so highly of him, and that he matters so much to you, and I'm sure he's one swell kid, but unless he's Mother Theresa and Albert Schweitzer all rolled into one, I think he cannot be the most influential person in your life. Living OR dead. Could he? I guess I will never know.

Then, there was Al in Arlington. Al was an all-right guy. Entrepreneur. Very successful. Ready to move on to things more important than "just making money." Yeees! I truly admire that. Al wants more out of life ... Such as? Well, Al's favorite pastimes are 1) golf, and 2) watching sports on TV. Now, I've always wanted to learn how to play golf. But I didn't go and mention it 75 times on my profile. Dating Al: Welcome to golf and football widowhood. Why even start?

So, e-harmony, I took my membership off auto-renew today. It was hard (for you), but just like ripping off a bandaid, the pain only lasts a minute. No grudges, no hard feelings. I'm moving on ... to!


Jeanne (Back in Bethesda)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

All Iron

Our friend IronBenny [link fixed]was pretty busy today, participating (running? swimming? biking? racing?) in Ironman Arizona. His dear wife has been updating his blog all day. It's all very emotional and amazing. Last I checked, he was 10 miles out from the finish. Really outstanding job. Can't imagine it.

And in other amazing news: I ran 6.5 miles this afternoon. Took a nice fall during the first mile, but luckily it was on the nicely padded dirt berm along the side of the asphalt trail. As I was swan diving, ass over elbow, a lovely biker rode by, saw me, made eye contact, and continued on without so much as a "how's-your-uncle-bob." Nice. But all Bex- and iron-like, I got right back up and soldiered on, bloody knee, ripped tights, and all.

And last, but most assuredly not least, a great big boo-rah (or hoorah, or whatever it is the marines say) to a. maria who completed the St. Louis Half-Marathon today, in a great time, and now is all set for her sub-5 marathon, and thus, is now all iron, too!

Life is good, people!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Oh, My Aching Bunions

After this morning's lovely 60-minute run in the rain (which by the way, was not exactly the "rolling hills" we were promised; more like one giant hill down for 30 minutes and then, you guessed it, back up for 30 minutes, but which I ran the whole ENTIRE WAY, despite a wild night of contra dancing*, like the pro that I am, even if I did come in last in my group, I wasn't too far behind), the DC Road Runners brought in a very knowledgeable chiropractor and his sports masseuse to talk about shoes, and stretching, spines, and feet. Yes, it's all about the feet.

We got to talk to him one-on-one afterwards. It was just like having a doctor at a dinner party, who you can pester and bother for free advice. I whipped my shoes and socks off so fast he never knew what hit him. "Take a look at these babies," I urged him, pointing to the giant blisters on the sides of both feet. The blisters I saw the podiatrist about on Tuesday. "Oh," said Dr. Chiropractor, "looks like you've got bunions forming."

Hello? What? Bunions??

I can't possibly have bunions. Only old people have bunions. What the hell is a bunion anyway. I told Dr. Chiro that I just saw the podiatrist on Tuesday, and he said NOT one word about bunions! Dr. Chiro was taken aback. He was mighty sure these were bunions. He showed me how my big toes are not straight. He explained just by watching how I stand that I am—I dunno, standing all f'd up, to compensate for the bunions that I refuse to have. Which throws off my gait. And leads to ITB problems, knee problems, back problems. All of which I have.

This really does look a lot like my foot. Except for the gross toe-crossing thing.

According to Dr. Internet, bunions are "painful swellings that usually develop on the inner side of the foot near the base of the first toe (hallux)." Often genetic (thanks, Mom!); usually found in women; thought also to be caused by high heels (I've been wearing flats since I could walk), or flat feet (I am very proud of my lovely high arches). So, I have these disgusting bumps and they rub against my shoe and that's why I get the blisters. Gross. I think feet are gross in general (except when they are the subject of art.)

No real treatment, except surgery in extreme cases (that would be when your big toe eventually curls itself over the ones next to it), but surgery generally results in limited range of motion, and no more running. (According to my specialist, Dr. Internet. Apparently, I need to check this out.)

I'm deformed. And doomed.

*On a lighter note, I was dragged off to contra dancing last night, held at the lovely Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo park. I say dragged because I'm more of a swing dance girl actually. Big bands. Benny Goodman. Tommy Dorsey. Glenn Miller. Contra dancing? What is that? "Against" dancing? I don't get the name. But off I went, because, despite my deformities, I'm a good sport.

Turns out, contra dancing is quite aerobic! And fun! And the music is cool. Lots of Irish influence. Live band. Each dance lasts for oh, an eternity. Like 15 minutes at least. You get a partner and you are with that person for the entirety of the dance. Well, of course, you say, what else would you expect? But in contra dancing, there's all this moving up and down the line, and do-se-do-ing, and being swung, and you'd think in all that time, at some point, you would permanently switch partners.

But no. Which I generally wouldn't mind. Except, well, you know. Fifteen minutes. That can be a lifetime.

There is also, apparently, a dress code, at least for women: tie-dyed hippie skirt, clunky shoes with black socks (to help with all those bunions, no doubt), preferably topped with a t-shirt about global warming or saving the whales. (I don't think there were a lot of Republicans in the room.)

Anywho, I had loads of fun. One of my friends brought her pedometer with her, and discovered she'd taken 7,000 steps in the course of three dances. I believed her. I had to leave early, though, in order to rest my bunions.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Good Luck!

A. Maria is running a half on Sunday, despite an appalling lack of freaking-out details on her site. What gives? Maybe all the people I started this journey with have become confident, strong runners?? Hoo-rah!

And Danny will be running an 8k this weekend. Good luck!

Bex finally crossed the finish line of the National Marathon (on her blog) with an awesome time. AWESOME. A time I would kill for. She's got post-marathon blues, or somethin'. Go give her epic recap a read.

And me? I have a l'il old 60-minute training run tomorrow morning with the D.C. Road Runners. I've really only run with them three times, due to travelling, or my big giant race last weekend. I'm sure you are all sick of hearing about me and my endless running neuroses, so, let's try it the George Costanza way: just do/say the complete opposite of what you'd normally do/say! Here goes: I'm totally 100 percent certain I can run 60 minutes tomorrow morning.

Happy trails.

Stanford vs. Washington

Here's a clip of thte last 450m of the 2006 Stanford/Washington race at Redwood Shores as the Stanford men's varsity eight defeat the University of Washington Husky varsity for the first time ever, shot from near the finish line referee position
(Here's the link in case you can't see anything below, like me, on the Powerbook):

Amazing finish!!

(And why do we care? Number One Daughter's boyfriend rows for Stanford. Huzzah! File under: bragging.)

Sick of running? Learn more about rowing.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

You Know What?

I am still high from running ten miles. I seriously, honestly do not care that I was slow. I'm sure that—baring injury—I'll get faster, eventually. (For those of you just tuning in: I was a hard-core run/walker for most of last year. Which worked just great! Now I'm trying to just run.)

I was afraid. I didn't think I could do it. I whined and moaned and came up with perfectly rational reasons why not to. I convinced my friends—and coach!—and most of you in blogland that I should NOT run this race (damn, I'm persuasive).

So what did I learn? I felt great during the run, high as a kite after, still feel good now, plus I feel so much more confident, it makes me think that I can (should) try other things that I also don't think I can do. Like run a half. Or a full marathon. Or break my 5K time. Or sprout wings and fly away ... Or grow up and be preside ...

But how about ... things like playing handbells with the Celtic Bell Ringers. I can't do that either! I don't read music, I suffer anxiety attacks, I'm terrified of making a mistake, and I could never, ever, ever perform in front of anyone.

But heh. I'm doing that too. And loving it.

Oh, I also can't, not in 100 years, do a 90-minute, 120 degree Bikram class. No way. Except ... yeah, I'm doing that, too. And liking it.

And a meditation group? Where you first share your most personal thoughts? Out Loud? Where you—dare I say it?—pray for each other? Out Loud? And then sit in silence for 30 minutes? Yep, I can do that, too.

So what did I learn on Sunday? To push myself. I can do more than I think I can. And I bet you can, too.

News Flash: Complimenting Commenter Is a Real Person!!

Since I'm a journalist (of sorts), I want to get this correction to my complimenting post out there as quickly as possible. (This came as a comment, but I wanted to make sure everyone saw it):

I hate to burst your bubble a little, but I'm real. This came from my noggin to my fingers across a keyboard. I'm glad that you enjoyed it though. It makes me happy.
Far from bursting my bubble, it inflated it even more. If that's possible. Go now, and get your own personal compliment!

(The OK GO video is real, though. I promise. Insane, but real.)

Monday, April 03, 2006


One of my favorite bands that you've never heard of:
"A Million Ways" by OK Go

From their new album, "Oh No"

They crack me up.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Just Your Typical Training Run

I decided to do a little training run this morning—just me and 9,999 of my closest personal friends—for a little thing we like to call the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run!! (Late add: More photos.)

Unofficial time: 1:57:49, or 11:42 min./mile pace.

1 & 2: 24:09 (no sense rushing a training run)
3: 12:17 (across the Memorial Bridge)
4: 11:37 (whoo-hee)
5&6: 24:07 (slow and steady does not win the race, but it lets you finish)
7: 12:13 (By now I'm pretty sure I can do this)
8: 11:37 (this is where it gets good)
9: 11:15 (oh so cocky!)
10:10:30 (my favorite pace to finish a race! and look at the direction of the last three miles!! Negative splits!!

[Note: blogger ate most of this post. Lucky you.]

My only goal was to finish without walking. Preferably under two hours. My strategy: Run for 30 minutes. Rinse, repeat. Don't walk until mile seven and only if you have to. Didn't have to.

I lined up, I saw my marathon partners from last summer. We chatted. They were run/walking. I so hope I beat them. (God, I'm bad.)

The day was perfect. Steve Runner of Pheddipidations regaled me for the first 55 minutes with tales of the Boston Marathon on his latest podcast. After that, my favorite boys ran me in. Man, they make me laugh.

What did I do right? It's possible that maybe I prepared well (except for the running thing). On Saturday, I hydrated like crazy; ate enough; had spaghetti for dinner (take out; this is how lazy I am. Oh, and when I got home from walking across the street to pick up my take-out spaghetti, the first thing I did? I tripped in my teensy tiny kitchen, landing hard on my right knee and wrist, and wrenching my shoulder. Ouchie. But the spaghetti was OK). Got to bed at 9, and slept soundly 'til 3:30 (which was really 2:30). Tossed and turned 'til 5 a.m. (really 4 a.m.); had oatmeal to make sure that thing happened (it did NOT). Drove to the Metro stop near my church, where I parked, took Metro, and then a shuttle bus to the start.

After, I met up with Nancy Toby and Holly and their friend, Keri, who I accidentally ran the Jingle Bell 10K with. (Btw, go look at Nancy's photos, they are much better.)

Afterwards, took the shuttle back to Metro and strolled into church (they had doughnuts; I was really hungry), covered in sweat and salt with my torn running tights. I honestly think no one noticed.

For your amusement:
Runners rushing around to board shuttle at 6:30 a.m. That, or someone sucks at taking pictures.

Sun coming up over the Jefferson Memorial.

The main attraction.

Random race people.

The real Cherry Blossoms: (l-r) Nancy, me, Holly, Keri.

My favorite race instructions are here; I guess it would have been OK to pee on the other monuments?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Insert 5 Cents, Receive Compliment

Are you feeling down? Not enough people in your life telling you how great you are?? Well, never fear, the Complimenting Commenter is here.

Just sign up and you'll get an e-mail much like this:


Spring is upon us. The sky is going to be blue, the sun shining, and the birds will chirp. In this time of change and beginning remember that you are a wonderful human being. You have capabilities beyond measure. Use what you have inside of you and be a positive influence on others. Great things are possible when you attempt them.

I believe that the world is becoming a brighter place and that you help contribute to that. Do what you can for others and be a good human being whenever possible.

As always you can save, delete, forward, respond, whatever, to this email.

The Complimenting Commenter
I don't care that a computer generated this. I don't care that this is not from a real person. All I can say is: This hit the spot today.