Sunday, November 26, 2006

Yesterday I Asked a Waiter for Milk, Warm

It was a rainy Saturday yesterday here in Sevilla. As in pouring buckets. NOD and I met to go to a museum (actually to the house of Pontius Pilate (don´t ask)) but instead ended up in a coffee shop because we were too lazy. So we people watched for a while, then moved up the street to meet my hostess, MC, and my travel companion, S., to go to lunch. (Lunch here is a Big Deal.)

MC is a native Sevillano; she is 82 and could easily outrun me. Or probably you. In any case, we were treating her to lunch. She was a former English teacher in the states, lived in D.C. for many years, so is used to idiot Americans. She makes me a cup of warm milk every morning, into which she puts a teaspoon of instant decaf coffee (don´t laugh, it´s actually quite good). So we decided, in order to help me practice my Spanish, that during lunch I would ask, all by myself, for "una leche caliente, con una sobre nescafe, descafinado." Which means, roughly, give me warm milk with a packet of decafinated nescafe.

Unfortunately, I forgot to add the words "in a cup." Which accounted for the quizzical look on the waiter´s face.

I had practiced that sentence for about two hours beforehand. And, despite having essentially asked to have warm milk poured in my hands (head? lap?), I was quite pleased with myself. (Apparently though, you need to be really specific when asking for stuff here.)

Hey, habla Espanol est tres difficile, is all I can say. (And really, that is all I can say.)

I am also totally flummoxed by the fact that every single person we meet knows immediately that I am an American--before I open my mouth! It´s infuriating! I dress all in black, and it´s not like I´m stumbling around in tennis shoes and bermuda shorts. I´ve asked NOD to explain, but she just shrugs and says "It´s soooooooooo obvious, Mom."

No running has occurred since the debacle with the yoga teacher. Today (Sunday) we walked about 10,000 miles to visit the Museo des Belle Atistes (which sounds suspiciously French to me, making me think I have once again confused these crazy languages), had another two-hour lunch, and walked another 10,000 miles to see the Rio Guadalquivir. With the help of God and NOD, I will attempt to run somewhere, other than in circles, tomorrow (Monday).

Adios, chicas y chicos!

Friday, November 24, 2006

How I Almost Killed My Spanish Yoga Teacher

Hola chicos and chicas (that is probably wrong right off the bat). I am here in Sevilla, and like a grown-up girl, I have ventured all by myself into a combo bookstore-Internet access place, summoned up all my courage, and asked "Quanto es media hora?" (you can forget the other upside down question mark, i´m having enough problems finding the @ sign. momma mia!) Anyhoo, noche last, it was Thanksgiving! And our very kind hostess, MariCarmen, who is 82, and looks 55, made a lovely fish stew and vegetarian quiche for me and my friend and Number One Daughter´s bf. NOD had to attend a Thanksgiving dinner with her escuela (school), so I took Number One Daughter´s boyfriend in hand, and we went first to the gym.

Ay yi yi!

I successfully negoiated our passage to the bike-treadmill room, y got us some auga. I got the agua after we walked up 17 flights of stairs to the treadmill room.

Oh, and the treadills? You will never guess! Kilometers!! Not miles!! Yo soy stupido!

So I was not running 8 miles per hora. Sigh. I ran 5K on the treadmill. Then down to yoga class. Where the lovely teacher anna, who spoke a few words of english, helped NOD´s bf and me partipate in yoga.

En espana, yoga class begins with sitting cross legged and saying ¨"om" like California in 1970. NOD´s bf and I tried hard to follow along, but I don´t know right from left in english, so that was hard. We did sun salutation, and then the lovely anna had people try to stand on their heads. She was going from person to person to help them. Oly NOD´s bf didn´t understand that, so he tried a headstand on his own (NOD´s bf=6`10"(approx). Anna, yoga teacher came up behind him and he toppled arse over elbow and Anna, scared for her life leapt out of the way.

C´est tres amusant. Actually anna was very concerned for NOD´s bf, which was tres facile. (Here´s another problem I´m having: I took ocho (8) years of french, and can´t speak a word, but i find myself saying EVERYTHING en francais. Tant pis, non? This morning I said ¨"grazie" instead of gracias. ok that is not french, but you get the idea, i´m f´d up! (I also say the "f" word a lot because i can´t remember how to say anything from uno momento to another. Tant tres pis! Zut alors!

I have seen the cathedral, the plaza de espana, y lot of other things I can´t remember. Everyone is quite nice and helpful to the stupido americano. NOD, by the way, can speak to anyone and everyone. I´m muy impressed.

Signing off before I get kicked off or someone asks me something in which case I will faint and die,

Your gal en Sevilla.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Nobody Move

Okay, this is it, my last hurrah this side of the pond. Please, no one do anything exciting or fun while I'm gone, or write anything funny or motivational, for pete's sake. No having any babies or getting engaged (you know who you are) or setting any Big Giant Records of any kind.

In fact, as Number One Daughter's hippy babysitter used to tell her every time I dropped her off, "No Fun Allowed." (That always made her laugh.) (I plan to blog every step of this trip so perhaps this warning is moot.)

With that, I'll leave you with this:
Click for cooking instructions! (My pleasure, CS.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

(Watch the vid over there------------> for its educational and geohistorical value, timely holiday message, and because it's just so easy to make fun of the '70s.)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

10 Miserable Miles

Lest you think everything is cupcakes and precious moments over here at Not Born to Run headquarters, let me set your mind at ease.

Just as my glorious victory at the Marine Corps Marathon was slowly fading into sepia-toned nostalgia, this morning's run hurled me—literally—back into reality.

The first week post-marathon I ran zero miles. The second week I ran 3 and 4. This, the third week, I ran 5 on Monday, then on Thursday I ran (barely) 3 on the treadmill (while gasping and swooning the entire way like a character in a Jane Austen novel, well, minus the treadmill), and 5 on Friday. So today, Saturday, I put 10 on the agenda.

And my lovely and clever coach said "Yes, please do 10 miles. You should still have plenty of conditioning in you to do 10."

So, I suited up at 7 a.m. (38F) and with my headache still firmly in hand (day three on the headache) off I drove to Georgetown to the end of the Capital Crescent trail.

I was out of Gu, so I brough half a p.b. sandwich with me, just in case. There was water along the trail so I felt relatively certain I wouldn't perish. And yes, I ran fully plugged in, and listened to two full episodes of Pheddipidations. So there.

My head hurt. But I soon forgot about that because that little niggling ITB pain at the top outside of my right thigh? Turned into a giant ITB pain. And moved around to the inside of my right thigh. And that little pain on the bottom of my right foot? Well, I was sure I had plantar fasciitis.

And then I got to mile two.


And that was how 10 miles went by. I literally cannot believe I ran 26.2 miles. Or 11. Ever. Everything hurt like hell. By mile 9, I remember thinking: Huh. So this is what calf cramps feel like. (I'm leaving out the gross bits.)

I was going to regale you (and myself!) with the sad stats, but I see that my trusty Ironman Timex has cleverly wiped out all of today's miles. I do know I had a few 14 min miles in there. I guess the good news is that I finished. Right? And the bad news is that I am chafed in all the worst places, my right foot hurts and my ITB is acting up. And I still have this &$@!# headache.


I hate precious moments.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Complete Running Network

Once again, that idiot editor over at Complete Running has let some riff-raff loose on a keyboard. The result? This little piece on the headphone debate. You know what they say about an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of keyboards ... eventually, out comes the complete works of Shakespeare. So, I guess there's hope.

Go give her a piece of your mind. And tell her you want a writer, not a drink of water ... (get it?)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Can You Ever Post Too Many Pictures of Yourself?

Apparently not.

(Me (who else?), not born to run, at mile 11)

(Me, mile 13, trying to drink, breathe, think and run, mile 13)

(Celebrating with some of my fav work buddies at a local watering hole. You might see another familiar face tucked away in there.)

(Photos courtesy, S.)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

... And Then I Left Again

Well, not yet.

But next Tuesday night I am flying out of Dulles to Heathrow (London) arriving at 7 a.m. ish (I know you all love the details), and then leaving from Stansted Airport at 6 that night to visit Number One Daughter in Sevilla, Espana. Stansted is 90 minutes away from Heathrow. So, my travelling companion and I have some time to kill in London (my fav place on earth!). But ... we'll have giant suitcases with us.

SO, the PLAN IS THIS ... (I just love the name of that blog): we'll take a train to Liverpool station, where they have a left luggage thing-y. And then stroll around Liverpool station environs, and talk British for a few hours until it's time to hop a train to Stansted where check- in is at 4 p.m. Arriving in Sevilla late. NOD's boyfriend will also be visiting her, and my visit will overlap with his for two days. Oh, I know he will be so happy to see his girlfriend's mother!! Does it get any better than that?

And then, ay yi yi ... so many plans to make! What to see, where to go, how to get places with no cash. Sigh. I am travelling with my good friend S. who speaks Spanish like a native and we are staying with her friend, who is a native Sevillianana (?) native of Sevilla. Spaniards are nice like that. S. has had to put up with some serious underplanning by yours truly. And that's tough, cuz she is a serious overplanner. Match made in heaven, right?

I'm sure it will all work out and I will be blessedly tired for two weeks. And of course, I am planning to blog from Espana. Hoping also to run there. Even if it's just around the block. Cuz that is too long for no running (a combination of words I don't think I have ever previously uttered ... and meant).

I had desperately wanted to get to beautiful Florence to see our very own Black Knight run the Florence marathon on Nov. 26. But alas, I cannot manage it. It is so unfair that Italy and Spain are so far from each other when they are so close on the map. Who's dumb idea was that?

So that's what's up.

Monday, November 13, 2006

... And Then I Came Back

To brutal harsh reality. It's a bitch. Why can't we have silent days at work? Or exclusively use IM? I mean, it's worth a try, people.

Yes, my weekend was wonderful. It is ... hard to sum up. I did no running at the monastery this year but lots of walking up and down some pretty steep hills. I walked outside by myself at night, and wondered "Why don't I ever do this at home?" "Because," I said, "you'd get run over or mugged in the cement suburban jungle of Bethesda." But in West Park, New York, there's just the Hudson River and the woods. (Oh, and Norman Bates' old motel across the street.)

But the woods are a lovely safe place. (Except for the occasional bear mauling. You know.)

Tonight, speaking of not running, I ran five miles, and it got dark about halfway through. And then I did something totally insane.

I took off my headphones.

I was alone with my thoughts.

I listened to the sounds of the trail and the woods at night.

I felt what my body was feeling.

I felt what running feels like.

No, it didn't feel great.

But I was there to feel it.

It's an experiment worth repeating.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Who Let the Dogs Out??

Holy hell, I turn my back for a minute and the place falls to pieces! a.j, so much for the mystery. You were immediately outed. Which means that you have an inimitable style. Which is a good thing! And despite all the begging, you didn't give in to the hordes asking for the "good" stories about me.

(Pssst, people: That's because there aren't any. Sigh.)

So, I thought today (Sunday for five more minutes) was on a.maria's agenda ... but she's probably out dancing on the tables somewhere !!!!!!!!!!!!! (that's me imitating a.j. Woot.) Thanks for holding down the fort, girlfriend. You are officially off the hook!

In the meantime, the boring me has returned, and I brought these with me:
(Sunrise, Hudson River, West Park, New York)

(Norman Bates lives here)

(I lived here for a weekend)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

caught red-handed..

well, there goes the mystery of the thing.

apparently my writing style - slash - choice of vocabulary - slash - drunken computer hijacking was completey see thru.

not even one wrong guess... how sad! hmpf!!

however, with my secret celebrity blogging identity revealed...
we can really have some fun!

trouble is...

um. yeah. i have zero ideas for fun fantastic and fabulous blogging adventures in the name of jeanne.

((( anyone else watching the KSU/UT game right now? for the love of all that is right and good in this world, someone please make it stop. Texas, oh Texas... what is wrong with you tonight?!?!

saddens me.)))


so. i ask you, my (jeanne's) good readers..
we've got all day tomorrow to tear it up.

what should i do with these sneakily accquired powers?!!

i'm all ears!

Friday, November 10, 2006


HEEEEEEEEE hee hee hee hee hee.....

i am celebirty blogger extraordinarire! and i drunke!

guess who i am!!!!!!!!!!!

(its 11:03 HERE, Bub its 12;03 THERE, so this totally counts as firday's post, yeah?

i'm thinkins so!)


bringing sexy back, woooot!

hee hee hee hee hee...

jeanne's gunna kill me!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Big Surprise

Well, fellow runners, I will be gone Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Now you didn't think I could possibly leave this little ol' blog unattended for three whole days, now did you? Hell no!

So I have given the keys of the kingdom to a Secret Celebrity Blogger who will post for me! And just who is this person, you ask? I'd tell, but hee, it's a secret. So you'll just have to check 50,000 times on Friday to see.

Stay tuned for a wild ride.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Food and Fear

I've had a lifelong affair with food, as I expect many of you have had. It's a love/hate thing. Often, it's been abusive (on both sides, I might add). But all that changed, after many, many years, when I decided to stop getting on the scale and stop dieting.

Now that sounds easy, but of course it wasn't easy. Or fast. It was gradual. I also started exercising around the same time. I discovered other interests. My daughter left home for college, so I could totally control what food I had around me (that's a good AND a bad thing).

So when I find myself stuffing things willy-nilly into my mouth, I get worried. No, not worried. Scared. To. Death. As in terrified. Cuz I've been overweight, and I'm in no hurry to get back there.

I just read this article from the Washington Post about food cravings, and this last paragraph struck me:

Many desires for food mask other emotions. Are you tired, stressed, upset, sad, anxious, angry or just plain bored? If you're tired, consider a nap. If you're stressed, a walk or other physical activity may help. If you're angry, maybe a call or e-mail to a friend will help -- and keep you from consuming calories that you may not be hungry for. You get the idea.
Duh, right? Unless you allow yourself to become unconscious. Which it looks like, somehow, I have.

So now I have a bit of work to do, to figure out what exactly I am busily masking by eating like it's going out of style. Maybe it's just the fear of having completed this enormous goal—and not yet having another one quite as large to take its place.

Maybe it is some hormonal changes; or my body adapting to a reduced running schedule.

I honestly don't know. But it's starting to really freak me out.

I'm hoping a weekend with the monks (and by the way? the monastery I'm visitng this weekend is directly across the river from the C.I.A. That would be the Culinary Institute of America, where at least one monk studied. And now he's a monastery cook) will help me figure this out.

Or exorcise it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Quotes o' the Day

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.
—Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC)
And here's one from my refrigerator:
The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.
—author unknown
In other news: Good God, I've never been so hungry in my life! I eat like every 10 minutes. What is going on?? I really have no idea, except maybe because my weekly mileage has err, dropped, um, significantly, maybe my body is just ... confused? Tonight, after dinner I had a peanut butter sandwich. WTF?!?!

I ran 2 miles yesterday, did yoga today at work (another butt-whooping), and tomorrow, following Hal Higdon's post-marathon's recovery plan, I've got an easy 4 on the schedule. Hal is really smart! He says stuff like this:
Saturday: A run of 30 to 60 minutes. Piece of cake, you say. After all, only a month ago, you banged out a 20-miler. But in your post-marathon mode, a run an hour long can still tax you. So don't pay that much attention to your watch except for when to start and finish. I don't care how far you run. I don't care how fast you run. I don't even care whether or not you run the entire 30 to 60 minutes! Walk if you feel like doing it. It's your call as to how many minutes you want to run today. Your body will tell you.
So, I realize this post is all over the place, but that's because in addition to eating everything that's not nailed down, I am so tired I could actually ... sleep!

And, I realized that I am leaving for Spain on Nov. 22. And returning on Dec. 3. Which is a Sunday. And then the Sunday after that? I'm running a half-marathon.

Well I hope 21st Century Mom is correct: that you (me) can run a half marathon sick and without training. I guess it's possible. We'll see.

Monday, November 06, 2006

My Big Plans

My adoring fans (OK, one) write:
Okay. It's been a week and I'm still waiting to hear what's next on your running dance card...half-marathon, marathon, or ultra or ironman?
It's tough having fans. So demanding.

So far last week, on my post-marathon training plan, I did: nothing. Monday thru Sunday. A perfect zero. Well, not quite. I did go to a strength-training class on Friday, which whooped me but good. Sunday, I stood for about nine hours, serving coffee. So that counts for something, right?

Today, I ventured back out there, and let me tell you: I still have the demon of "you can't run" on my back. (Or the monkey. Something is on my back.) I ignored him. And trotted off for a 3-mile run. A slow 3-miles, around 11 min pace, although one mile dipped into the 10:45 range.

My Big Goal is this, and simply this: To Get Fit

Yes, I know I just ran a marathon, but how many sit-ups can I do? How many push-ups? (That last one is easy: none. Well, none done in any sort of correct form.)

So that's it. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to attain this goal, but I figure I have a while to reach it. As with everything else related to fitness, nothing (especially me) goes quickly.

Oh, and I plan to keep racing.

And I'd like to get faster, so I'm scouting around for a running club that will help me achieve that goal.

Next up: Dec. 10, the Blue and Gray Half Marathon with Susie and David and Bex.

See the thing is, when you're training for a marathon, 13.1 miles starts to sound like nothing. "Of course I'll do a half! Cake!!"

And then when the marathon is over? And a 3-mile run seems hard? Yeah. But! I will be there! I will toe the line.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

"Go, You Canadian Bas****, Go!"

Was how my friend a. maria put it at one frustrating moment yesterday, during a marathon (get it?) IM convo we were having while watching Ironman online together (apart). We had a virtual screamfest.

Another theme was how do you do it?? How do you swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 mile, and THEN run a marathon? We saw piles of runners at the half-marathon point and they all looked as chipper as if they were out for a stroll in the park.

I don't know how they do it, but I do know two people who gave it their all yesterday. Give a BIG shout-out to Nancy Toby who turned in a fine, fine effort, and another one to the man of the hour (week? year?) Bold, who finished his first Ironman in under his "dream" goal time.

Take a bow, lady and gentleman. And a rest. You deserve it.

And another shout-out to me for winning the local pool for guessing Lance's NYC finish time. I said: 2:59:59. Official time? 2:59:36.

I so win. (I wonder what exactly, I win?)

Oh, and one more shout-out to my friend P., who finished NYC in a blistering 3:52:34.

I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted. I can hardly wait to get back to work.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ironman Florida!

Watch it here!

Our friends Nancy Toby (bib #2484) and Bold (bib #1269) (along with many other people I care about, but whose numbers or names I don't know!) are tearing it up!!!

(Edited: Removed times, because hello, this is not my race!)

This is too too exciting!

I so wish I was there!!

Instead, I'm heading off to starbucks for coffee ... because it's Saturday morning and ... NO LONG RUN TODAY! Woot!

Friday, November 03, 2006


It's National Blog Posting Month! The equivalent of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where participants are challenged to write one 50,000-word novel, from scratch, in a month's time.

NaBloPoMo requires you to write just one post per day—for 30 days straight!

I believe there are prizes involved. But no matter. Strap yo'selves in, and let's see if I can pull off this bad boy without completing alienating my loyal audience.

(BTW, I totally stole this post from Little Miss Runner Pants. Thanks!)

One thing: It's going to be really hard to do this from the monastery I am checking into next weekend! Thanks again, a. maria.