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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Contest: Haiku!

I wandered around the mall looking for clothes and found none. In comments, please post a haiku (or many haikus)... haikus? Is that the plural of haiku? Anyway, it's a contest. I will be the judge and Friday I will choose the best. The winner gets... hm. The winner gets a blog post about how awesome they are.

Wardrobe Update: Questions

Please please answer, ladies!
  1. Can you wear stockings with open toed shoes? Honestly?
  2. Tights - not the footless kind (ick), but more like opaque tights/panty hose - are they in?
  3. No stockings during the winter - is this appropriate?
  4. Tan/nude stockings - out or in?
  5. Are people actually wearing dress shorts with heels and whatever the cropped pants are called? I've seen these in the store, but I have to admit that I've seen no one actually wearing them.
  6. Is a store like Talbots or Ann Taylor going to be too momish for me? I don't want to look like after work, I'm taking the kiddies to soccer.
  7. Why is this so hard?

Wardrobe Update: Trip to the Mall

I went to the Mall yesterday after work. The goal was to get business casual type clothes, because I've had far too few reasons in recent years (oh, 5 years) to purchase business casual clothes. I shopped around. I went to Talbots, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, H & M, New York & Company, Nordstrom, The Gap... I did some heavy duty shopping. And I bought...











:::::: drumroll ::::::


















Nothing.


That's right. Nothing. The problems that I had:
  1. I was tired yesterday morning due to lack of sleep and I was in a bad mood, so I wore no make up, a sweatshirt and jeans. Translated into the mall was that I looked horrible in anything that I tried on.
  2. I was making an attempt to stay reasonably priced.
  3. The spring stuff is out. Yet, I need to be wearing this stuff within the next week or so. So, I was having trouble deciding what to get that would be appropriate for winter.
  4. I had trouble figuring out what is too fancy for business casual and what is too casual for business casual. It's been a while since I've had to think about that.
  5. I hate my weight right now and don't want to try anything on, plus I couldn't have picked a worse time of the month to be looking. Combine this with #1 and I felt either fat, ugly or both when I tried anything on.
  6. I lack shoes.
  7. I'm basically HORRIBLE at picking out clothes and putting together outfits. That's really what it comes down to.
I have to try again tonight because I have to pick something out. #5 is worse than yesterday, but at least I resolved #1. And I've decided to forget #2 and just spend what needs to be spent. I'll report back tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Like you care...

At long last, I finalized my Disney Marathon photos with the high res (translation: expensive) photos from Action Sports International. And yes, ASI is still on notice, despite the great photos that they took. Here's my favorite, and probably my favorite running photo (well, of me) of all time...

From Disney Marath...


Although... from a humor perspective, this one is pretty funny, because it really illustrates who is running their fastest pace and who isn't...

From Disney Marath...

Home

by Michael Buble

Another summer day,
Has come and gone away,
In Paris and Rome,
But I wanna go home.

Maybe surrounded by,
A million people I,
Still feel all alone.
I just wanna go home.
Oh I miss you, you know.

And I’ve been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you,
Each one a line or two,
“I’m fine baby, how are you?”
Well I would send them but I know that it’s just not enough,
My words were cold and flat,
And you deserve more than that.

Another airplane,
Another sunny place,
I’m lucky I know.
But I wanna go home.
I’ve got to go home.

Let me go home.
I’m just too far from where you are,
I wanna come home.

And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life.
It’s like I just stepped outside,
When everything was going right.
And I know just why you could not come along with me.
This was not your dream,
But you always believe in me.

Another winter day has come and gone away,
In either Paris or Rome,
And I wanna go home.
Let me go home.

And I’m surrounded by,
A million people I,
Still feel alone.
Oh, let me go home.
Oh, I miss you, you know.

Let me go home.
I’ve had my run,
Baby, I’m done.
I gotta go home.
Let me go home.
It will all right.
I’ll be home tonight.
I’m coming back home.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Review: The Oscars

It was horrible. And it wasn't Ellen's fault. I would have liked more Ellen. No, it just dragged on and on and on... Horrible. Boring. Blah. I agree with most everything that the Fug Girls had to say. I turned off the television during the Dreamgirls songs, only to find that I missed my favorite part (the Dead Person Montage) by about 15-20 minutes. The show was supposed to end at 11:30, people. And the crap that filled the 3 hours up to 11:30 wasn't even entertaining. They usually start with best supporting actor/actress, but they didn't, so instead those awards got lost in there. Ellen wasn't terrible, but she wasn't around for most of the show. The entertainment was boring. The interpretive dance was... a waste of time. The speeches weren't interesting, the montages that they showed weren't interesting. The musical numbers were boring (Celine Dion wasn't necessary, honestly). Really, truly, it was the worst Oscars I've seen in ages.

Best Dressed:
Cate Blanchett... Looking wonderful! The picture doesn't do her justice, she just looked spectacular.



Worst Dressed: Kirsten Dunst. I almost picked Cameron Diaz, but I am going with Kirsten. From afar, it's ok. But, her hair looks like she's about to go play tennis. I'm not one for bangs anyway. The collar is really the problem. And the color. And the hemline. Ok, it's all bad. She looks like my grandmother's handbag.


I can't wait to see the fuggings begin.

Friday, February 23, 2007

New Books

I just ordered two totally unrelated books...



Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!! The new Harry Potter! I can't wait! And yet, I am also a little sad because this is the last one.



Hopefully this book will help me with the whole weight loss/figuring out what I'm eating while training thing. My problem in 2006 was that I just ate whatever the hell I wanted and it showed on the scale. It's all good. I'll figure it out this year. There's NO WAY I'm gaining weight this marathon season.

V-8

I just read a blog post about V-8. I'm the exact same way where I actually like V-8, but I decide to drink it and I get the little cans and then don't drink them. I think Dave and I had a 5-pack (because I drank one or used in a recipe or something) of V-8 in the fridge for like 2 years. The vending machines in my building have V-8 in them. I always think about getting one and never do. This morning, I'm gonna do it - I'm going to drink one. Huzzah.

UPDATE: The vending machine was out of V-8. Apparently everyone had the same idea, I guess. So, I had cheese curls instead...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Upcoming...

Days to my next race: 16
Days to my next long race: 36
Days to Galloway Program Kickoff: 49

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

On Notice: GoKids Program

I know, I'm blogging a lot today about nothing, but I'm doing a lot of waiting around for people at work.

So, this weekend, there was this Nike GoKids Program at the Marathon. It's a good idea in theory, and a lot like Team Tiara. Basically, the kids had an 8-week program to learn about running after school. I think that part of it is GREAT. I wish I'd been involved in something like that in high school. It keeps kids off the street and also promotes a healthy lifestyle while fighting obesity.

BUT - they then had the kids run the last mile of the marathon along with the marathoners. Um... that's the bad part. Why didn't they just have the kids run the 5k? Or maybe hold a separate one mile fun run?? Why put them on the course with runners who have just run 25 miles and are dying? I know that at 25 miles (at Disney especially), if I'd seen these kids running along all fresh, SPRINTING during my last mile, I'd have strangled at least one of them with my water belt. And that's what they were doing - sprinting, running all-out, not even breaking a sweat. As a spectator, I didn't know what the hell was going on "um... who are all of these little kids?" I don't think it really promoted a sense of the seriousness for completing a marathon and also messed up some of the pictures, in my opinion.

Next year - I propose holding a one mile fun run or else having the kids participate in the 5k. Then, they can also help out at the marathon by handing out gu, bananas, oranges, water, gatorade, or sponges... something helpful so that they will not actually be running on the course. Until then... Nike GoKids Program, you are ON NOTICE.

Myspace for Runners!!

Go to Athlinks and search for yourself. You can claim race results, have a profile, and compare yourself to other runners. It will show you a list of a bunch of people who have run the same races as you, and will keep track of your win/losses. I have yet to beat Alla. A girl can dream.

Gasparilla

I'm totally going to the Gasparilla Pirate Festival next year. Of course, it would make more sense to just move to Tampa rather than trucking down there once a month.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gasparilla 5k and Marathon 2007

Gasparilla 5k (Saturday)
We flew down Friday night fairly late and spent the night at Sharon and Frank's house. Up bright and early Saturday morning, we headed downtown to the 5k, which started at 9:30. Last year, we started out across a bridge that had a slight grade, but this year they took the bridge out, so the only hill in the entire race was removed and it was completely flat. Sharon was less nervous this year. There isn't much to say about the actual 5k. I didn't stay with Sharon like I did last year, I was doing 2:1s and she was afraid to try intervals, so we split up 2 minutes into the race. I had been worried about being cold (the temperature was only about 60 as a high during the day, but it was sunny). Even though I'd only packed a singlet (60 degrees does sound hot when there's snow on the ground), Todd let me borrow his Fleet Feet long sleeve shirt. Turns out that I really didn't need it during the race, I heated up pretty fast.



I was trying to get a new PR, which would have been 35:40. I had set the watch I was wearing (Todd's watch) to have a goal of 35 minutes. After mile 1, I was 8 seconds behind and at mile 2 I was 14 seconds behind (so I guess I ran the second mile 1 second faster than the first). However, Bayshore Boulevard got me again with its blinding sun and heat and I slowed down for mile 3 and ended up with a final time of 36:06. A good time, one of my better 5k times, but not the PR that I was hoping for. It seems like the 35:45-36:45 timeframe is really where my ability level is right now. The sad part is, that means that I really need to work on the Shamrock 5k and try to set my PR there. If the weather is like it was last year, that might be easy.


Part of the problem was that the race was so crowded that I was constantly going around walkers and slower runners and I was NOT running in a straight line. That kind of sucked. Maybe I should just wait for Pikesville, which is a much less crowded race.

Sharon also beat her 2006 time, and she was somewhere in the 34 minute range.

After the race, we went to the Runners Expo and did some shopping (I got some new sunglasses) and I climbed the rock wall that the US Army had brought in. Once again, I miss rock climbing and really need to go again. I signed a waiver first... or I joined the army. Who knows, one or the other.



Next, we took the trolley down to Channelside and had lunch at Splitsville while the kids bowled. The rest of the day was spent at Sharon and Franks, and Todd and I went to Olive Garden for the pre-marathon pasta dinner. Early to bed.

Gasparilla Marathon (Sunday)
When the alarm went off at 4am, I really was hoping that Todd was going to decide that he really didn't want to run the marathon and would get back in bed. Instead, he got up and turned on the light. Ouch. We got ready, had some breakfast and we were out the door by 4:45. Sharon decided to accompany me down to the marathon to watch the run, which I greatly appreciated.



It was cold. The high for the day was 55 degrees and the winds were 25-30 miles per hour. As it neared the start time of 6am, I wrestled Todd's sweatshirt off of him and headed up to watch the start. There was only one wheelchair participant, so I guess he won the wheelchair division.

After we watched the start, Sharon and I headed back to the Convention Center to devise a plan. We had left the map in the car, so we had to keep going back to the Convention Center to check out the course map (they didn't have any spares to give us). We headed back over the bridge to near the finish line to watch the race at mile 6. Right as we were getting there, the pace car and the pack of Kenyan leaders passed us, which was pretty crazy. It really wasn't even light yet. When Todd passed, we were totally not paying attention and were just talking and so I got no pictures and we only barely got ourselves together to hold up the sign. There weren't many spectators out on the course, though, so it was pretty easy to find good places to stand.

Next, we went back to the convention center and got coffee and muffins and headed to mile 11. This was at the base of a bridge/hill, so we got to cheer people on as they went up. We saw Todd there after a few minutes and he was looking great. I had Biofreeze waiting for him.



The next thing on the agenda was to head back to the convention center to catch the Relay/Spectator shuttle bus to mile 14/24 or 16/22. We waited about 15 minutes for the shuttle, it showed up and filled up before we could get on. Some relay participants had to catch a taxi to keep from missing their runners. After an hour, we finally made it to mile 16, but we'd missed Todd. So, we stood at mile 22 and handed out oranges. There were VERY few spectators, so the oranges were appreciated. It was very very cold. I was wearing 4 layers - a singlet, a light longsleeve, a fleece jacket, and Todd's heavy sweatshirt and I was still cold. Some runners looked cold, others looked ok, but the wind was terrible. I think it was about the same as Marine Corps.



We saw Todd, who loaded up on a fresh coat of Biofreeze. He was still looking great (maybe 10x better than he did at NCR). He headed off and we got back on the shuttle bus, which was much faster. At the finish line, it was only a little while before we saw Todd, who did an excellent job. I don't know his official time but the race clock said 5:02 when he crossed the finish line. Pretty good figuring that he was shooting for 5:15 to 5:30. He had run the last mile and a half or so in and still looked great at the finish. He got his medals and photos with the pirates and we headed back.



After the race, we took showers and a nap and right at this moment, we're sitting in business class (Todd upgraded us in order to get more leg room and I could not be happier about it) flying back to Baltimore. Long and eventful weekend.


Congtratulations on an excellent finish, Todd! :)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bad Knees? No.

There's a common myth out there that running is somehow worse than other sports as far as injuries and knees and arthritis. I know about this myth - I've heard it a hundred times from a hundred different people.

So, I was pretty excited today to get my March issue of Runner's World and to see that they've got a whole section on knee pain and injury. From the article:

A review of studies from the past 25 years concludes that "moderate levels of running" appear not to increase the risk of osteoarthritis of the knees and may even have a protective effect. "The risks of running should be weighed against the tremendous benefits to other body systems," says coauthor Tyler Childs Cymet, D.O., an assistant professor of internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
There was another section of the article that stated "marathon running does not cause severe, acute lesions of cartilage, ligaments or bone marrow in well-trained runners." (Source: European Radiology). What the article says is that your knees are more protected from having strong quads, hamstrings, and calves.

Do knees still get injured running? Sure. However, that is why I'm in the Galloway program - less mileage (non-runners: yes, most marathoners run 2-3 times as much as I do to train for a marathon), slower training, and all of that prevents injury. Even if you do get an injury while training, it is usually an overuse injury. The true permanent damage only happens when runners continue to train through an injury, which you shouldn't be doing anyway. And injuries occur in any sport, not just running. Ask Donovan McNabb.

So, for now, I think of "oh, I don't want to hurt my knees," as just an excuse. It's an excuse to remain inactive and not get healthy. Even if running did hurt you, there are plenty of exercises out there that won't (and I do find this article funny, it talks about how one study showed that arthritis was higher in swimmers than runners...).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

And the winner is...

I've been trying to pick a fall marathon. Now, my mind may change, but after reading this article, I'm thinking I'm going to enter the lottery to try to get into the New York Marathon. Kim & Lance... Date with destiny. I know there's a reason he announced this the day before Valentine's Day. I'm yours, Lance! Screw those rumors that you're getting back together with Sheryl Crow. Screw George Clooney.

Oh, and my apologies to Joanna ;)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Wardrobe Update: Lucky Jeans



In response to repeated requests* by my sisters, I got a pair of Lucky Jeans. Well, Sharon and Shelly's requests, plus fate making it extremely convenient for me, plus a comment made by Dave to me back in November which kind of made me feel bad about my wardrobe. I have mixed feelings about them. I like them, they are comfortable and apparently look good, but they were expensive. At least I can say that I'm slightly stylish now sometimes. It's times like this when I wish Micki** lived nearby to instruct me on what to wear...

So, I'm going to start a new regular feature called "Wardrobe Update" where I try and purchase some new clothes to make myself look better. This is something that I've been putting off because I've wanted to be the "perfect" size, but I'm not waiting for that anymore. Plus - new clothes will help my body image, which has been severly lacking of late.

*nagging
**one of many stylish online friends

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Video Review: Body Max 2

First of all, I never did Body Max 1. So, I don't have a way of comparing this to what Cathe has already done in that area. Secondly, I didn't do the entire video because it's just too damn long. I skipped the step section at the beginning and the cardio blasts. However, from what I can see, this is a fun workout that gets the job done as far as weights and cardio.

Honestly, my favorite part of this video was the warmup. I really had a good time with the step portions of the warm up. Yet, all of the cardio moves are fairly simple and can be picked up pretty easily on your first or second try... especially if you know Cathe's "usual" moves. Hard enough to make advanced exercisers sweat, but easily modified for those that aren't there yet.

I'll update this review once I've done the entire workout. For now, Body Max 2 gets a preliminary 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

ON NOTICE: Income Tax

I hate the laws about taxes. This year, I separated, I had some consulting payments, I terminated my business, and holy f*cking crap, I owe a lot of tax. That isn't even really the issue. The issue is that I don't fully understand WHY I owe a lot of tax, or if I did my taxes correctly so I'm going to have to HIRE SOMEONE to do it for me. And I have a headache. I am really missing the days of the 1040-EZ. So, Income tax, you are ON NOTICE.

ON NOTICE: Action Sports International

I'm stealing The Colbert Report's ON NOTICE board and using it for myself. The first entry: Action Sports International. They took photos at the Disney Marathon and are charging me THIRTEEN DOLLARS for shipping a single CD to me. This, combined with the 80-some dollars for the photos in the first place and tax and I'm looking at nearly $100 for my marathon photos. I hate shipping policies based on dollars spent and not weight or number of items. So, Action Sports International... you are ON NOTICE.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Cupcakes

I made cupcakes for the superbowl and I wanted to share the recipe.

Here is what they looked like:

Friday, February 2, 2007

I Hate Airbrushing

Here is the portfolio. Take a look at the before/after photos.

I've seen this before, but it really bugs the CRAP out of me. I hate magazines like Playboy, for example that have heavily airbrushed photos. I honest to God think that men look at those photos and think that those women really look like that. I don't think people realize how much you can do - fuller butt and breasts, no stretch marks, no wrinkles... The list goes on and on. The Victoria's Secret catalog bugs me, too. And airbrushing is EVERYWHERE. It's only when you look at a portfolio like this one that you can truly see how fake the airbrushed photos look. And those people are all beautiful anyway!

Ugh. Annoying.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

When I Get Where I'm Going

by Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton
... for my Aunt Roxie...

When i get where I'm going,
On the far side of the sky,
The first thing that I'm gonna do,
Is spread my wings and fly.
I'm gonna land beside a lion,
And run my fingers through his mane,
Or I might find out what it's like,
To ride a drop of rain.

Yeah, when I get where I'm going,
There'll be only happy tears.
I will shed the sins and struggles,
I have carried all these years,
And I'll leave my heart wide open.
I will love and have no fear.
Yeah, when I get where I'm going,
Don't cry for me down here.

I'm gonna walk with my granddaddy,
And he'll match me stop for step.
And I'll tell him how I've missed him,
Every minute since he left,
Then I'll hug his neck...

Yeah, when I get where I'm going,
There'll be only happy tears.
I will shed the sins and struggles,
I have carried all these years,
And I'll leave my heart wide open.
I will love and have no fear.
Yeah, when I get where I'm going,
Don't cry for me down here.

So much pain and so much darkness,
In this world we stumble through.
All these questions I can't answer,
And so much work to do.

But, when I get where I'm going,
And I see my maker's face,
I'll stand forever in the light,
Of his amazing grace.

Yeah, when I get where I'm going.
Oh, when I get where I'm going.
There'll be only happy tears.
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