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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Linky-Loos

My favorite posts for the week!

Scuba Diving
Health and Weight
Money and Finances
Love and Happiness

Friday, July 30, 2010

7 Links

Amanda at Run to the Finish did a 7 Links Fun Game post, and I thought I would join in.

  1. Your First Post
    My very first post was called Fine, and it posted on November 29, 2004.  I had very few readers for the first 2-3 years that I had the blog, and I didn't really have a focus.  Most of the time, I used it like a journal or diary and just wrote whatever.  Many of those early posts have moved over to my private blog, so you won't see them here anymore.  You also might see some older posts on my archives on the right hand side of the page, but those were moved from my Google Pages account, and used to be part of my old static web page, when I had one.  I just moved them here when Google announced that Pages was going away.
  2. The Post You Enjoyed Writing the Most
    I hate to say it, but it's got to be my Wedding Post from July 2009.  I loved my wedding and I can really say that the day that I got married was the most perfect day of my life.  If I had one day to relive over and over again (a la Groundhog Day), it would be that one.
  3. A Post That Had a Great Discussion
    There was some pretty great discussion on my post about The Presidential Fitneess Test from February 2009.  It was interesting to see how others dealt with those forced miles.  There was some other discussions on Fear of the Phone.  And, who can forget my post There is Nothing at McDonald's?  I Disgree.
  4. A Post on Someone Else's Blog That You Wish You'd Written
    This one was really difficult, but I'm going to go with Amanda's post on Married Without Children.  I have a hard time choosing, but I did remember that one and liked it.  :)
  5. Your Most Helpful Post
    I'm at a loss on this one, so I'm going to go with a Food post I wrote for Take It And Run Thursday.
  6. A Post With a Title You're Proud Of
    I don't know if "proud" is how I'd put it, but I really love the title Grocery Shopping with Tina Turner.
  7. A Post You Wish More People Had Read
    Nanny Nanny Boo Boo!  I'm Faster than You!, just because I hate hearing about how "slow" people shouldn't run marathons, or shouldn't use the term "run."  Or whatever.  I have to also go with Cruise Ships Are Bad, just because I want to get the word out.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Slugishness

This is just the worst time of year for me and running.  My big excitement from my marathon in January is over.  I'm between half marathons.  I ran my last long-ish race in April (Lehigh Valley Half) and I don't have another race over 8K planned until the end of August (with the Annapolis Ten Mile Run).

It's hot.  I hate running in the heat.  Maryland has been hell for weather the past few weeks, with temperatures soaring above 90 degrees for what seems like ages.  This makes every single run difficult and miserable for me.  On Saturday, we started our run at 6:00am, only a minute or two after the sun rose, and it was already above 80 degrees.  The last couple of miles of that run were like torture.

For short runs, I've been trying to get some hill training in, since my next big race is quite hilly.  Heat AND Hills?  Ugh.  When my normal short runs are fun jaunts around my running store while I chit-chat with my friends, these runs of late have been near torture while my friends and I try desperately to get each other through them.

I'm hot.  I'm bored.  I'm certain there are other things that I would rather be doing.  Things that are easier and that don't involve gallivanting around in 90+ degree weather.

I go through this every year, and I'm sure it will be better once I get to September and I'm nearing my target race.  It still always seems weird that the time of year when I am most motivated is almost always the dead of winter when everyone else is hating runs.  I'll get out there and run today, but I won't like it until it's over.

Image Credit: Patrick Hoesly

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Linky-Loos

My favorite posts for the week!

Scuba Diving
  • RESCUED!:  An incredible story of a diver lost in a cave.
  • Nuu-muu: From Racing w/Babes.  Ends 7/28.
Other Things

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tire Pump FAIL

I hadn't ridden my bike since I before leaving for Little Cayman, so Wednesday, I thought I'd take it out.  I headed to the trail after work Wednesday evening.

Problem one: the brake was stuck and I couldn't get the brake attached when I put the front wheel back on after getting it out of my car.  Arg, it was frustrating, but I figured out what happened (it was caught on something) and re-attached.  Problem solved!

Problem two:  I needed to pump the tires.  The folks at the bike store instructed me that I should be at least measuring tire pressure once per week.  I had never pumped the tires or measured the pressure before, and I'd had the bike since March, so I thought I should take their advice.

So, I got out the pump.  It's one of those pumps that has two holes for each of the two different types of valves.  I have Presta valves.  I have never encountered a Presta valve before now.  I shoved it into the pump.  After a few tries, I realized that the little screw on the end of the valve needed to be unscrewed.  So, I unscrewed it.  I tried putting the valve back on again.  It wasn't staying on.  The gauge wasn't telling me how much air was in the tires.  Nothing was working.  I was getting frustrated, and it was maybe 155 degrees, and I had sweat running down my face into my eyes.  I think I had stupidly already put on my helmet.  I decided to switch to the back tire to see if I had more luck with that one.  Same result.

In mad desperation, I pushed the pump onto the valve as far as it would go.  And I pumped.  And the tire appeared to be filling with air.  The gauge still wasn't really registering anything, but the tire seemed harder.  I started trying to pull the pump off of the valve, but it was stuck.  So, I pulled.  And PULLED.  And PULLED.  POP, SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH....  I pulled the valve right out of the tube.  The tire deflated.

Now, I had planned to take "Tire Changing 101" at my bike shop on Monday.  But, I was busy and it was a crazy weekend, and I wasn't up for actually attending.  So, I had no idea how to change the tire, even though I had all of the materials to do so.  I was embarrassed.  I was upset, and I had to lamely put the bike back in the car and drive home.

At home, I logged onto my bike shop's website and found the instructions for how to change a tire.  Todd wanted to help, but I needed to learn how to do it on my own.  Of course it had to be the back tire.

It really wasn't that bad, although it took me forever.  Finally, 3 hours after my initial attempt, I got out for a 15 minute ride.


The whole time I was changing that tire, all I was thinking was how silly it was that I was even bothering with this bike.  I was mad, thinking this was a stupid purchase.  Why did I do this?  I don't know what I'm doing, and I hate all of this mechanical stuff that I have to know.  Running is so easy compared to this!!  Let's not forget, too, how scared I am of crashing the bike again.  If you have not seen it, you should check out Hyperbole and a Half's new bicycle post.  It reminds me of me.

Image Credit: Allie Brosch / Hyperbole and a Half

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Old Rules Revisited

In my last post, I discussed how the 10 Commandments for Kim's Weight Loss are no longer valid, and I listed off some new rules that I follow, and why.  Now, let's really go back to the old rules and figure out why I don't like them anymore.

In general, the "old rules" are all about what other people should do with regards to what I'm doing.  It was my way of dealing with people who chose to either judge or harass me about losing weight.  At the time, my husband (now my ex-husband) was not particularly supportive, and I had at least one or two passive-aggressive friends.  So, now let's look at these rules and I'll discuss how I deal with all of this now.
  1. Thou shalt not ask her if she has lost weight.  You know, to be quite honest, this isn't a problem for me anymore because I lose weight so slowly.  And, I occasionally have people question my weight when I've lost nothing at all.  I think it was a big deal to me in 2004 because I was coming out of a time when I was going to Weight Watchers meetings every week, and the big question when I got back from a meeting was "Well?  What did you lose?"  I don't have regimented weigh-ins like that anymore (and don't want it, thank you very much office biggest loser contest).  So, no one ever asks if I've lost weight, or how much.
  2. Thou shalt not comment on what she is ordering and/or eating.  I do still get this one, although not very often.  When I do go out to eat, it is either with Todd, who knows better, my college friends, who don't care, or my running friends, who would never think to ask.  I get the occasional family member who still seems shocked that I eat carbs or whatever, but it's pretty easy to brush this off.
  3. Thou shalt not guilt trip her into eating.  This was a problem for my former in-laws and my former co-workers more than anyone.  Food pushing.  Do you want a cookie?  Come on, have a cookie?  Why don't you want a cookie?  Come on, just one.  People just don't do that anymore, or I can just say I'm not hungry.  These days, I'll usually eat a little of whatever to be polite, and that is usually good enough.  I honestly think that most of the people who used to do this to me are no longer in my life.  Hm.
  4. Thou shalt not exploit the fact that she is dieting.  There was really only one person that ever did this, and that person is no longer in my life.  It was embarrassing to be called out in a group as "not eating" because "she's on a diet" and I really just wanted to be left alone.  At the time, the diet was so important that eating out was stressful anyway, and all of that attention and other nonsense made me feel more stressed out.  Anyway, not an issue for me anymore.  At least these days, I'm considered more of a source for running information than dieting information.
  5. Thou shalt not try to convert her to your diet plan.  This is a big one that I still do occasionally find people doing to me.  Again, I just brush it off, so it's not a big deal.  I'm really not interested in most diet plans, if not all diet plans, so it's no use telling me about your new protein thing that someone told you about. 
  6. Thou shalt not tell her she is losing too much weight.  It has been forever since someone told me this.  I think the threshold for such comments (at least for me) is about 15 pounds lighter than I am right this second.  And, well, I haven't been that weight since 2006.  Still, let me just tell you know so we're all on the same page:  I'm never going to be anorexic or so thin that I'm in any sort of danger.  That is never, ever, ever going to happen, so trust me, I'm fine.
  7. Thou shalt not sneak high-fat or high-calorie food into her mouth.  This is another fault of my former in-laws.  Part of the problem was that they invited us down for dinner every single Sunday, and wanted us to eat a big meal down there and basically pig out once a week.  I really didn't want to do that.  I wanted to splurge on one-on-one dinners with my husband, or dinners with friends.  It was a constant tug of war between me and them, which was eventually solved by us not going down there as often, but it obviously isn't a problem anymore.  I don't get a lot of people these days trying to pass of regular food as light food, but I don't eat light food anymore anyway, so it doesn't matter.
  8. Thou shalt not assume that because she is on a diet you are on a diet.  Again, irrelevant because my support system has totally changed since then.
  9. Thou shalt not offer loads of food to her disguised as gifts.  I still never enjoy the food-as-gifts thing.  And, again, most of the people who previously did this are no longer in my life.  The only people who repeatedly do this now are my co-workers, but I've learned to deal with it.  It's true that I don't feel that as a woman in my 30s, I need an Easter basket or a bag of Halloween candy as a gift every year.  Really, save your money.  I don't want it, and if I do want it, I will buy it myself.
  10. Thou shalt remember that no means no.  Indeed, it does.  And, I'm having to learn to tell people that I will tell them if I want a snack or cookies or a drink or whatever, and that they really don't need to ask me every few minutes in order to be a good host.  Really, I'm fine.  
So, there you have it.  The reasons why my original 10 Commandments are no longer valid.  In general, I don't need rules for other people to follow around me.  I will follow my own rules and everything will be fine.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rewriting the Rules

Nearly six years ago, I wrote a little post title The 10 Commandments of Kim's Weight Loss.  I decided to revisit them, and discovered that they just are not in line with what my philosophy is on losing weight and being healthy.  Not anymore, anyway.  I thought that I should rewrite them as the new 10 Commandments of Kim's Healthy Lifestyle.

So, here they are.  Expect a follow up post or two, when I will talk about why my philosophy has changed to much in 6 years.

The 10 Commandments of Kim's Healthy Lifestyle

  1. Thou shalt keep the number on the scale in perspective.  I have, in the past, had a tendancy to look at the scale and freak out about it.  Or, be obsessed with it.  Or, tie my entire sense of accomplishment and self worth on what it says.  None of this is good.  Running has helped me to find another focus, and it has become easier for me to remember that scale weight is just one metric, and not one that even matters all that much.
  2. Thou shalt eat foods based on how the food will make thee feel. Food is fuel.  When I started running, I realized that I couldn't keep up the low calories and fake/processed food that often comes with Weight Watchers and other mainstream diet plans.  Fake bread, spray butter and other such diet staples are unsatisfying and make me feel sluggish when I run.  I do my best to think about how I will feel after I eat something, and I've found that I enjoy my food more as a result.  There's less regret involved if you feel good after, and I've learned to hate that sick feeling that I get after eating something really heavy, greasy or processed.
  3. Thou shalt never ruin a special event with a "diet."  I just let it go.  I don't worry about what I'm eating on vacation, for example (even with as much as we travel).  However, I do still follow #2, so if a food is going to make me feel bad after, I normally won't eat it.  As much as I love pancakes, waffles and pastries, I had to skip them on our trip to Little Cayman because I get too hungry during the morning dives if I stuff myself with carbs and not protein.  So, eggs it was.  Furthermore, I make sure that I always eat at least two of my Grandmother's cinnamon rolls when she makes them.  I eat all of the traditional holiday goodies, and I just enjoy eating, because I love eating just as much as I enjoy running... :)
  4. Thou shalt keep up a reasonable exercise schedule.  And by reasonable, I mean that I can only do what I can do.  Sometimes, this means I'll go a few months with 5 or 6 workouts a week.  Sometimes, this means I'm barely getting in my required runs.  I do need to exercise because it makes me feel good, both mentally and physically, but I can't keep up a 6 day per week regimen 52 weeks per year.  It's just not possible.
  5. Thou shalt buy clothes that fit.  This is so silly, but something I need to remember.  If I want to be in a size 10 and it's the size 12 that fits, so be it.  I will no longer force myself into a smaller size simply because it's a smaller size.  No one sees the tags on my clothes, why is that such a big deal?  Besides, I always remember that the dress that I wore for my first wedding, when I was the thinnest I've ever been in my entire life, was a size 16.  Turns out wedding dresses are sized small.  But, who cares?
  6. Thou shalt strive to eat food that is wholesome, satisfying and healthy.  Again, food is fuel.  Still, I can eat what I want and I often do.  I do try to eliminate trans fats from my diet (almost 100% trans fat free at this point).  I try not to eat fast food, and I try to limit processed foods.  I try to limit "diet," "low fat," "light," and other such foods. The best food out there is whole, unprocessed foods, and Mother Nature doesn't have a fancy marketing campaign going on.
  7. Thou shalt never sacrifice happiness for weight loss, races, or speed.  I've done this in the past, and for that I am sorry.  Whether we are talking about diet, exercise, running or whatever, none of it is as important as happiness.  In the end, it's only a small piece of my whole life.  This is why I don't run on most of my dive vacations, and it's why that I sometimes have to stop just to breathe a little bit.  It's why I'm not weight training right now.
  8. Thou shalt be skeptical of diets.  Look, all "diets" boil down to one basic thing - eat less calories than you burn.  All diets are some piece of that, when you really look at them.  Last week, my friend sent me a link to a paleo-type diet, and it's just more of the same.  I'm making a lifestyle change that I can live with forever, not looking to drop a few pounds temporarily.  I have yet to meet a diet plan that I know I could live with for the rest of my life.  So, I make up my own rules.
  9. Thou shalt choose to run for life, rather than for one race.  This is so important to me.  I am conservative in my training, and that is because I have seen far too many people hurt themselves from pushing too hard.  I do my best to listen to my body, and I don't care if that means that I sacrifice speed or whatever.  I want to still be running when I'm 80.  Period.  I won't let a PR take that away from me.
  10. Thou shalt never give up a particular food simply to lose weight or be healthy.   Carbs are not evil.  I love carbs.  I am not sure what I would do if I was told that I had celiac disease.  I eat pasta the night before a long run because it tastes good, not because I need it.  It makes me happy.  Desserts make me happy, so I'm never giving up sugar.  Red meat makes me happy, so that's not going anywhere.  In fact, I think I will grill a steak tomorrow!  Fat, carbs, sugar, whatever.  I eat it all, just in moderation.  Even trans fats, which I am trying to eliminate from my diet, I do eat sometimes.  No worries, it's all about moderation and happiness.
Join me in a future post where I talk about the original commandments, and why I don't like them anymore.  And, why things have changed so much for me since 2004.  Certainly, you can see some differences if you look at both lists...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Linky-loos

My favorite posts for the week!

Running and Fitness
Food and Cooking
  • Kitchen Myths:  Originally found on The Consumerist, this is a great list!  The lobster one is good, as I'm terrified of cooking lobsters.
Other Things

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Couple More Photos

I apologize that I haven't written much this week.  I have been busy with work (big release on Saturday) and catching up after our trip.  For example, last weekend went something like this:

Thursday, back at our house at about 11:00pm after being away for a week.  Friday, full day at work, then home and then up to Pennsylvania to get the cat, who was staying with a friend.  Saturday, up and straight down to my dad's house for our family reunion, 2 1/2 hours each way.  Sunday, Pikesville 5K and then trying to get some post-vacation stuff done (such as washing and putting away our scuba equipment).

So, I've been somewhat busy.  After my work this weekend, I should have some time to breathe again.

I have been running, and my times have been good, but I've been feeling tired & sluggish.  I have gained about 3-4 pounds in the last few months - is that something I'd notice???  Or, is it that I missed a week's worth of runs?  Or, have I just not been eating right in the afternoons?  I'm not really sure, but I hope I start feeling better on my runs soon.

Anyway, here are a couple more photos from our trip I'd like to share, so that at least something on this post will be interesting:

Me with a school of Jacks:

Sea Star:

Grouper, looking far more scary than they really are:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Little Cayman 2010

Last year, Todd and I got married in Little Cayman, in the Cayman Islands.  The resort where we stay (Southern  Cross Club) was running a special where we would receive a discount if we booked another trip.  How could we possibly resist another trip for our first anniversary?  So, away we went!

Our building. Our room was on the top floor.

We left on Thursday, July 1, later than usual (so, we got up at 6:00am instead of 4:00am).  The plan was to take Southwest to Tampa and then Cayman Airways from Tampa to Grand Cayman.  This saved us a lot of money - about $200-300 - just because we didn't pay baggage fees on either of those airlines.  However, since we had to claim and then recheck our bags in Tampa, this process took longer than our usual US Airways trip would have taken.  It worked out really well, though, and we arrived in Grand Cayman in plenty of time to catch the turboprop for Little Cayman.  At Grand Cayman airport, we bumped into friends Lang & Suzanne, and they were on the turboprop with us.  We arrived in Little Cayman in time to freshen up before happy hour and dinner, and had dinner with our friends...  Matt & Ellen, Adele & Ed, Lang & Suzanne, and Don & Bethany.

It was great to be back with our friends.  Visiting at the same time were four other couples, all of whom we'd met in Little Cayman at some point in the last few times we've been there.  We had a great time together!

Todd prepares his camera

July 2 was our first anniversary. When we got back from the afternoon dive, we were surprised to find that we'd been left a bottle of champagne! And flower petals were spread all over our bed... quite romantic! Todd had requested a private romantic dinner on the beach, so we had a private table all to ourselves under the same palapa where we enjoyed dinner on our wedding night. It was lovely, and a perfect way to celebrate our anniversary.

Before Dinner

Our private table

At the start of the week, the weather was less than ideal.  On Friday morning, it started pouring just as we headed out for our morning (2-tank) dives.  There was lightning and thunder, so it wasn't really the safest situation.  However, we jumped in anyway, being sure to get under the water right away since being underwater is safer than being on the boat or the surface.  It had stopped by the end of the first dive and the sun came out.  It cleared up the rest of the day and I was thankfully able to get some hammock time in.

Saturday, the weather started out fine.  We went on our morning dives, had lunch, and went on our afternoon dive and then settled in for hammock time.  Then, I swear the wind went from a light breeze to something like 40 mph winds in a matter of minutes.  We had to run inside, although before it started raining, we had some hijinks on the beach.

Lang and Suzanne in the big storm on the 3rd

Ellen and I show our reactions to the wind:

Sunday was the fourth of July!!  The storm from the night before had blown away somewhat, but it stayed kind of overcast and weird all day.  Then, we were on the boat and ready to head out for the afternoon dive and it really kicked up - high winds, lightning, and pouring rain.  The dive was canceled. :(  A good decision, but it was sad to not dive.  We spent the afternoon napping in the room, and once the storm was over, we went down and had drinks with Lang and Suzanne, who were staying in the room below us (which was our room from last year).

After that, while I was getting ready for dinner, Todd did a photo shoot with Lang and Suzanne, and Adele and Ed on the beach.

Lang and Suzanne on the beach

Adele and Ed

We had a fun party on the fourth.  Drinks, pictures, dinner and fireworks.  Sadly, the fireworks were marred by more rain, but they were still pretty. It was a great time.

Ellen and Todd on the Fourth

All of the ladies at the Fourth of July party

Everyone at our big long table

After the storms and rain on the fourth of July, the front finally moved out!  We had nice, sunny weather for the rest of the time that we were down.  Yay!

Then...  It was just diving.  We did our three dives a day, had our three meals a day, and enjoyed cocktails at the bar before dinner and on the dock after dinner.  The stars were beautiful.  There are few places where I have ever seen as many stars in the sky as we see in Little Cayman.

The diving was awesome!  This is something great about scuba diving - topside weather doesn't have too big of an affect on how great the dives are (well, most of the time - a hurricane changes things, for example).  We saw many turtles, barracudas, sharks, groupers, and much much more.

Scorpion Fish

Cleaning Gobies were cleaning my hand



Leopard Flatworm


Me and a Turtle

Along Bloody Bay Wall

Schooling Jacks (that's me down there in the corner, with another diver)

The real highlight of the trip was the Sailfish!  We were on our way back to the resort on the Fourth of July (the morning dives) and suddenly the boat stopped and divemaster Mike called out "SAILFISH!"  Along the side of the boat, you could see the fin and tail breaking the surface.  Within seconds, Mike was down the steps putting on his fins and mask.  Todd and I looked at each other, and came to sudden mutual agreement that we needed to put on our fins and mask, too.  I had the chance to swim with a Sailfish!  That's on my bucket list of things to see underwater, so that was awesome!  (No photos, though, since Todd was set up for macro and there was no time to get his camera together before the Sailfish swam off)

The only bad part was that as the week went on, each couple headed out to go home.  That left us all alone, just the two of us on our last day.  It was nice though, since we were able to spend some time together.

Todd on the dive boat

Both of us on the dive boat

On our last day, we took kayaks out to Owen Island (where we were married last year).  The exact spot where we said our vows is now underwater.  The tide shifts and changes the island every day, especially when big storms come up.  Beaches are ever changing.  So, we took some photos and explored.  Todd kayaked around the island, but I headed back to get some hammock time in.

Me, at Owen Island

Todd Kayaks

We headed home Thursday the 8th.  We were delayed in Grand Cayman, and then again in Tampa.  It took forever to get home - almost 15 hours.  Blah.  So, we were pretty tired when we got home and discovered that it had apparently been really hot while we were gone.  It was 94 degrees in our bedroom!  We didn't leave the air conditioning on.  It was all better in a couple hours, though.

Our last night on the island

So, it was such a nice trip and we had such a nice time.  At this point, Little Cayman is really starting to feel like home.


A couple more underwater photos...

Juvenile Spotted Drum

File Fish

View the whole album:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pikesville 5K 2010

Try spotting me in that photo!  That is our entire running group from my running store, including those who are doing the Galloway Marathon / Half Marathon Training Program this summer, plus the participants in the "No Boundaries" program.  This race is the big event for No Boundaries - everyone in the blue shirt is running their very first 5K!  If you're looking for me, I'm close to the middle, and all you can see is my head.  Last year, someone stood in front of me and blocked me!  Not this year!!

So, the Pikesville 5K is the "home course" for my running group, since this is the course that I run when I join the group for weekday night runs (although we normally go a little farther than 3.1 miles).  This was my sixth straight year running this race, making it the race that I have run the most times!  If you're local to Baltimore and you're looking for a nice summer 5K, this is a pretty good one.  It's not too big, has some nice giveaways and a really great breakfast after the race (including eggs, has browns, bagels and fruit, plus some free things from Trader Joe's).  The downside is that it's a slightly hilly course, it's usually pretty hot, and it's not chip timed.

Out of the six times I've run this race, three of them happened just after I got home from a week long vacation.  That included this time, so I hadn't run since June 30 (diving and running do not mix).  I never quite know what that means, so I went into this with no expectations or goals.  In fact, I was down right grumpy when I got to the race.

I started out running with a friend, and I was feeling sore and tired for the first 3/4 mile or so.  My friend ended up decided to stay back and asked me to run ahead, so I ended up going on.  First mile was right on 12:00, and it started getting hot and sunny.  That's the usual for this race, but I kept pushing the pace, figuring it was only 3 miles and I wanted to have a great run after being away.

The second mile was faster, closer to 11:00, although I don't know the exact time.  Not sure what the third mile was, but it was somewhere in the 11:00 range, too.  I was trying to catch a couple of friends that I could see ahead on the course.  Once I caught up to my rabbit, though, she took off!!  Too funny.

So, final time was 35:25, which is pretty decent for me and a 5K.  It's not a PR for a 5K, but it's a PR for this particular race, so that's a great thing!

Sadly, though, I did not win a door prize.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday Linky-Loos

My favorite posts for the week!

Running and Fitness

Money and Finances
  • What Happens to Your Stuff When You Die?:  I hate talking about this stuff, but there you go.
  • Choosing a Target Date Fund:  More important stuff you should know.
  • 7 Tips for Saving on Airline Baggage Fees:  This is so important for us, since we fly with so much equipment for scuba diving and photography.  This time, we took a little longer to layover, and used Southwest and Cayman Airways.  Up to Grand Cayman, we paid $0.  We do have to pay excess baggage fees for the turboprop plane that we take to Little Cayman, but the total baggage fees for the entire trip was $46 for both of us...  US Airways, which we took last year, would have charged us $240 (plus the $46 we paid for the prop plane).
Other Things

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Three Things Thursday

  • I have officially given up on STS / Weight Training for the time being.  I was seeing results and doing well, until I fell off my bike and hurt myself, taking me out of the game for two weeks.  I started up again for a few more weeks, but then was thrown off by a trip to Florida for Memorial Day.  Since then, I've just decided that I can't do everything and I just don't have the time to stick to the 3 days per week that STS requires, while doing everything else I want to do.  It's summer, and I want to be outside as much as possible and not locked in the basement.  So, once the weather cools off again, I'll give it another try.

  • Speaking of my bike, I've been doing very well with it.  I haven't fallen off or hit anything with it in a while, which is great news.  I've been finding plenty of people to ride with and I've been out on a ride about once a week for a few months now.  I took it in for service last week, and the guy in the store seems to think I'm doing a great job of taking care of it.  That's great news!  In a couple of weeks, I"m going down to take a class on how to change a tire, something that I need pretty desperately.  I've been relying on someone (Todd or one of my bike-riding co-workers) to rescue me in the event of a flat on the trail.  That's not good.

  • If it seems I haven't been posting, it's because I have been on vacation in Little Cayman for a week.  I am on my way home today, and I'll be arriving back soon.  We booked this vacation while we were on our wedding trip a year ago, and we decided to head down to celebrate our first anniversary.  Some pictures, etc will be sure to follow.

Monday, July 5, 2010

MBE: Favorite Athletes

Monday Brain Exchange is sponsored by Jill at Finishing is Winning.

Topic: Favorite Athletes
Question: Who are your Top 5 favorite athletes? And why? They can be famous or infamous, to do with your sport or be in a completely different sport.

This is a great question because I actually have a distaste for professional sports.  However, I do have some favorite athletes.
  1. Cal Ripken.  What can I say, I'm from Maryland, and I've lived in the Baltimore suburbs for a decade now.  How can you not like Cal Ripken, even if you don't like baseball and no longer follow the Orioles?
  2. Jeff Galloway.  Ah, that Olympian that made it possible for me to finish a marathon (or 5 marathons, even).  Jeff competed in the 1972 Olympics. 
  3. Lance Armstrong.  Lance is such a great role model, and his story is a wonderful example of how you can make things happen, even when the odds are stacked against you.  I love Lance.
  4. Michael Phelps.  Again, I'm from Maryland, so I love Michael Phelps.  And, while loving Michael Phelps isn't as universal in my state as loving Cal Ripken, he is still pretty popular.  Plus, I've met his mom and his mom was Todd's home ec teacher.  So, you know.  There's some connection there.
  5. Meb Keflezighi.  I subscribe to Meb's Twitter Feed, and he just seems like an all around great guy.  Plus, he is a terrific runner.
There you have it!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday Linky-Loos

My favorite posts for the week!

Money and Finance
Scuba Diving
Food, Exercise and Fitness
  • Smith Island Cake Counted Among 50 Fattiest Foods:  For those of you not from Maryland, know that Smith Island Cake is the state dessert.  It is TEN LAYERS and it is AWESOME.  So, I respond to this article by ordering up a piece of Smith Island Cake (preferably from Sugarbakers).  Seriously, I like to indulge now and again and this is one of my favorite desserts.  Read more about it here and get a recipe!  Yum!
  • Bicycle Highways: An article by Slate about making highways safer for cyclists.  It's interesting because Maryland just passed a law requiring motorists to keep a larger distance from cyclists, and if you read the comments on The Baltimore Sun's website in response to the article on the subject...  Well, you'd figure Baltimore has some of the most hostile drivers on the planet (and you'd be right).
Other Things

Friday, July 2, 2010

One Year

Hooray!  Jump for joy!  It's our one year wedding anniversary!

Happy Anniversary, Todd!  :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Stats as of 30 June 2010

June 2009
53.4 miles
11 hours, 39 minutes
Avg Pace: 13:06/mile

June 2010
52.8 miles -- .6 miles less than in 2009 (so really about the same)
11 hours, 32 minutes -- 7 minutes less than in 2009
Avg Pace: 13:07/mile -- 1 second slower than in 2009

Total running for the year, 352.5 miles, 12:48 per mile pace.

Wow, almost the same everything as last year!  Last year, I was ramping up my miles about the same, but I think we're going to find that I'm going to start coming in with less mileage each month than I had in 2009.  That's because last year I trained for a full marathon, and I'm sticking to half marathons this year.  So, less miles, but it's a year of rest and a chance to maybe get a little faster while I gear up for running a full in 2011.

This month was difficult, just because everything seemed so incredibly busy.  Still, for the most part I've stuck with it, although I have missed a couple of runs here and there.  I have decided that I'm really not looking for any kind of spectacular performance / personal record at the Annapolis Ten Miler in August or the Rock and Roll Philadelpia Half in September.  I just really want to do my thing and have a couple of great races, and just forget about the time.

I think my biggest mark of success this year will be if all of my group members have great races and are happy with their running.  We've gotten up to 11 miles, which is pretty impressive for half marathoners who are still 8-10 weeks from their goal race.  We're going to run up to 17 miles, so that the 13.1 seems like a piece of cake.  That's the plan anyway.
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STS Progress


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