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Monday, January 31, 2011

Rerun: The Lost World

Since I'm in quite a busy time with things going on, I'm posting a host of old posts that posted on my blog ages ago.  Here is today's selection:  This post originally posted on August 5, 2005 back when my readers were mostly people who knew me.  My writing style sucked, so I have edited it a tad for readability for those who don't know me.  Other than that, it's mostly the same.  I did change my husband's name to be "my ex" since we are no longer married.

I have a confession.

I lose things.

A lot.

It started in 1995. My class ring, which I had only had for about 6 months, disappeared when I dropped it on the ground behind the Denny's near my house. I think I had paid $250 of my own money for it. For the next year and a half, I would mope around the parking lot, looking for it. I mean, how could it have just vanished? I heard it hit the ground and then it was gone. I've come to accept the fact that one of the "friends" I was with must have scooped it up. I have faith that when I'm 85 years old, someone will contact me having purchased it in a pawn shop 30 years before and they're finally getting around to tracking me down. Then, I'll get on some morning news show about how facinating it is for me to have been reunited with a piece of jewelry 70 years later.

I was heartbroken over the ring. I still am. I drive by the Denny's (which is no longer a Denny's) sometimes while going to my mom's house and consider stopping in and peeking around, but I resist. I decided not to lose any more things. I have failed on this quest...
  • January, 1996 - In the gym at school, I left my sister's Columbia jacket (which I had borrowed without asking) on top of the lockers. I ran to go the bathroom and when I returned, it was gone. It would turn up later on the floor of the locker room. My sister, who was angry at me, didn't want it back and it eventually ended up at Goodwill.
  • February, 1996 - My boyfriend had purchased me earrings for Valentines Day. Rushing out one morning before school, I put the earrings, some money, and a soda on the roof of my car. Halfway to school, I realized that I never took them off. I found one earring, but never found the other.  (There's a funny story here about how I scrambled to buy the same set of earrings so he wouldn't notice... I still have the earrings today, although they have since turned green.)
  • 1999 - At some point, I left my leather jacket in the computer labs at UMBC. I thought it was at home. Then, I thought it was at school. In the end, I never found it.
  • September 9, 2001 - I was on an anniversary trip for my first anniversary of my first marriage. I left my expensive camera on the ground at the resort where we were staying, near the shuffle board. We left to go somewhere else and returned about 10 minutes later to find it missing. The people who were standing there claimed to know nothing about it.
  • December 2002 - On my way to Vegas, I left my purse on the shuttle bus on the way to BWI from satellite parking. My ex did an amazing job tracking it down and we did get it back. This was good because we would have missed out on the Vegas trip since my ID was in the purse.
  • June, 2003 - I left a $25 library book in the hotel room in Reno. It was out of print and the library wanted to charge me an arm and a leg to replace it. The hotel found it and mailed it to me.
  • November, 2003 - I left my driver's license in the Venetian hotel after we had checked out. The Venetian found it and called the airport, who paged me. My ex had to go back in a cab to the hotel and get it. Remarkably, we still made our flight and I managed to keep that secret from the 3 co-workers who were with me on the trip (since I was horribly embarassed).
  • December 24, 2003 - I woke up with only one diamond earring on, when I had gone to bed with two. I never found the earring. I ended up replacing them with much nicer ones a couple months later after an exhaustive search.
The sad part is, there are more than that. I just can't think of them all right now. Plus, there are countless other times where I've forgotten or lost things and recovered them moments later. Sometimes I get burned, sometimes I don't, but I never learn. I never get better. And I don't know how. People get all weirded out by how upset I get when I lose things. "It's just an earring" or "It's just your license. Get a new one." Yeah, but you don't understand. This is a pattern. It makes me feel flawed. I'm the "girl that loses stuff". Don't lend Kim anything, she'll leave it on a subway car.

At my family reunion, I broke my sunglasses. I replaced them with a far nicer pair, but I left them in Bahama Breeze a few weeks ago. Thankfully, I got them back. The trick is remembering that you lost them as soon as possible, although that didn't work for me with the camera on our anniversary. Then, I left my credit card at a sushi restaurant the day before leaving for a conference.

Now, the kicker - I asked [my ex] if I could borrow his MP3 player for my trip to Minneapolis (I'm thankful that when I looked up my history, I saw I only paid $90 for it and I bought it in 2001, so it's not worth much now). I took it with me and he offered to let me take his noise-canceling headphones that he just recently got as an incentive at work. I listened to it in the Milwaukee Airport on my way out, then put it in my bag. I know I put it in my bag. On the way home, while I was in Milwaukee, I realized that I hadn't seen them when I was packing my suitcase. They weren't in my bag. Somewhere between Milwaukee and Minneapolis, I lost them. I put in a lost request with the airline, the super shuttle and the Hilton. No dice. No one has found them and the Super Shuttle called today to tell me that they were ending their search.

I feel terrible, [the ex] was livid. He is, understandably so, sick of me losing things. I'm sick of me losing things. I don't do it on purpose, so I don't know how to stop. I've been so responsible with his digital camera, but I am starting to doubt that he will allow me to borrow it for trips. I don't blame him. I was thinking of getting an iPod for myself, but I'm feeling like maybe it's not a good idea. I'm just so damned irresponsible.


Note from 2011:  I still lose things, none of this has gotten better.  About 6 months after I wrote this, I took my ex's digital camera to a conference and left it when I went out to lunch, but I did get it back.  Three months after that, I left my specially designed neck pillow in Disney World.  I got that one back, too.  Most recently, I left my cell phone on a plane to Orlando on my way down to visit our families in March.  I never got that one back and I've had to suffer with an old, out of date, and embarrassing cell phone ever since.  I've left water bottles the track during workouts, I've left things on airplanes and buses and boats.  Even on my wedding day, one of the big reasons I wasn't wearing my flip flops in any of the photos was because I left them behind the bar at the resort and didn't find them until the next day ("um, Kim, aren't these your flip flops?").  

I'm sure there are more, but I've stopped sweating it.  It is just a normal fact of life that I lose things and it happens.  It's who I am.  Todd seems to accept it, even if my ex didn't.  

Someday, I should tell the story of Todd's sunglasses, which he has lost and found about 5 times.  I guess maybe he loses things, too, and that's why he understands.  We're all human.  

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Guest Review: Gymboss

Meet Misty!  Misty has been running in my Galloway group since 2008.  She's run a multitude of half marathons, and ran her first marathon a year ago in Walt Disney World!  Her next race is the Princess Half Marathon in Disney in January.  I asked Misty if she would write up a review for the Gymboss interval timer, which I've always considered a handy tool for timing Galloway intervals, but know very little about.  So, please enjoy Misty's review!

I am doing the Jeff Galloway interval training method to get ready for a 1/2 marathon.  Kim is my group leader.  We all have Ironman watches with audible intervals. However, I prefer my loudness of the Gymboss alarm.

The Gymboss is small and easy to clip into the waistband or collar. The Gymboss looks like something you'd find in a dollar store. The timer is plastic, and although it can stand being dropped to the ground, it  would probably break if stepped on. The Gymboss is marketed as water resistant but I would not use it with water sports. It does not seem to affected by the skin moisture.

The Gymboss has different alarm sounds and an optional vibrating alarm. You can also choose between alarm length of one, five and ten seconds. I use the 5 second alarm and vibrate together. I found the vibrating alarm is not strong enough to detect when running. The high alarm tone is very loud; great for outside. The lower tone alarm is good when exercising in your own home. I can hear the alarm over my music, group chitchat, and my panting.

The Gymboss is easy to program. It was evident to me from the packaged directions how to operate the device, but the video on YouTube made it perfectly clear. I like the start/stop buttons being located on different side of the timer than the programming buttons. I find it's easy to locate the start button by feel when the timer is on your waistband.  You can pause the timer by pressing the start button three times in a row.

In my research, I found "real" interval timers start at 4X the price point of the Gymboss ($19.95 +S/H). For the money, it's a great tool and I'd definitely recommend it to any fitness enthusiast out there looking for an easy to use, awesome interval timer.

Details (from the manufacturer):

  • One or two different time intervals from 2 seconds to 99 minutes
  • Auto mode keeps repeating through intervals
  • Set up to 99 rounds
  • Manual mode acts as countdown timer
  • Stopwatch Function
  • Alarm by beep, vibration, or both
  • Alarm duration of 1, 5, or 10 seconds
  • Size of a small pager (1 3/4 x 2 1/4 inches)
  • Water and shock resistant
  • AAA battery required

Summary: The device is simple and effective. Getting used to setting up your intervals can be a little frustration until you get the hang of it. If you like mixing up your training, this is a great way to do it. I know athletes that use it for circuits, Tabata interval training and much more. The audible alarm is loud and the vibration is strong (unless the batteries are low). The clip allows the timer to attach to your clothing while you workout. You don’t need to look at the timer – a big plus. The Gymboss is ‘fairly’ priced. The only real competition is from some iPhone apps.

Neither I, nor Misty, are affiliated with Gymboss or the company that owns Gymboss.  I asked Misty if she would write a review, and neither of us were compensated in any way by anyone for this review.  Misty paid for her Gymboss herself, and I do not own one.  

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rerun: Why I'm So Random

Since I'm in quite a busy time with things going on, I'm posting a host of old posts that posted on my blog ages ago.  Here is today's selection:  This post originally posted on December 28, 2004 back when my readers were mostly people who knew me.  My writing style sucked, so I have edited it a tad for readability for those who don't know me.  Other than that, it's mostly the same.

For those that know me in my day-to-day life, one of the things that really stands out about my personality is that I will randomly blurt out whatever is on my mind for seemingly no reason.  I thought it wasn't as noticeable anymore, but even my co-workers at my current job have commented on it, and I've only been working here since 2008. Why do I do this?  Why am I so random?  Here's my post from 2004 that explains.

Since nothing is really going on, I thought I would entertain everyone with a story. Why do I randomly say things? Why does it seem like I just blurt out things that don't make sense? Here's the story...

The summer before I was to go into high school, I went to my great-aunt's funeral. I spent the night between the wake and the burial at my cousin's house in Virginia. We played with the Ouija board. I asked "Who will I marry? Give me the first 2 initials." Ye Olde Ouija said "D.L." I couldn't think of who DL would be. Finally, I remembered that there had been a DL in my middle school, but he was at least 1 or 2 years ahead of me, probably 2. I only remembered the name, not the person.  Since then, I've decided that my cousin probably pushed the Oujia board.  Isn't that how it works?  Doesn't someone always push it?

The end of the summer came and at high school freshman orientation, out walked this DL, introduced as the Treasurer of the SGA. I was sitting beside my friend Erin and I remember being so excited, saying, "THAT is DL??" He was very cute and I was determined that he was indeed the one I would marry. Maybe a month into school, the SGA was going to an event at Towson or Goucher, some college in Baltimore, I don't even remember which one now. No one was going, but DL came into our class and asked if any freshman wanted to go. He offered to give us a ride since we couldn't drive yet. I was thrilled and volunteered - one on one time with my future husband!!

Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with anything. Well, I had always been shy. As the youngest of 4 children (3 of them girls), I didn't have much of a need to learn to carry on a conversation. At the dinner table when I was a child, my parents or sisters monopolized the conversation and I just sat and listened. Same when we were driving somewhere or in any situation where I might need to talk. I just didn't. Silence wasn't terribly uncomfortable with me and making conversation was not a skill I had.

So, when the day of the event arrived and I had to drive over an hour with the lovely DL, I clammed up. Not only was I shy to begin with, but I was riding with a boy I had a crush on.  To make matters worse, I barely knew him past his initials. He tried talking to me, but for the most part I was dead silent. Good ol' DL wasn't too happy about this. Finally, on the way home, he pretty much chewed me out and let me know that I was not only boring, but if I didn't learn to talk to people I would get nowhere in life. And more. I don't even remember the stuff he said to me, except that he was not very nice. And I was crushed.

From then on, I had a list (sometimes literally a written list) of topics to talk about with people if I was going to be one-on-one with them. Small talk became a skill. The weather, school, work, my dog, you name it, I had it on the list and I talked about it. But what if I ran out of topics? Well, I would look around and think of something to say, like, "that house over there? I once knew someone's uncle's mother that used to deliver newspapers there." I might see a car that would remind me of someone, which would remind me that I went with that someone to see some movie, so I would start talking about that movie. Seemed random, but it made sense to me.

These days, conversations come a little easier, but I still occasionally blurt out things that seem quite random... whatever is on my mind, usually.

Note from 2011: Todd is my saving grace in this.  He is an extrovert, and I have become somewhat less freaked out when placed in a situation where I have to make small talk as long as he is with me.  I'm doing better.  He helps.  It's all good.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Better Late Than Never: New Years Eve

I never talked about our New Years Eve!  I thought I'd go ahead and do it, since I've had this photo sitting in my inbox for weeks now.

For the past 2 or 3 years, we've been hanging at home and having a Caribbean or Hawaiian themed dinner for New Years Eve.  I normally have to work on NYE, but this year I was off, so I wanted to go out and do something.  I looked up parties, and started thinking of plans in October or so.

Then, things just got busy and time got away from me and suddenly it was Christmas week and I'd made no plans and coordinated with no one.  I was sick and we were going to Florida and I just ran out of time.  So, the week of New Years, we still had no plans.  I ended up deciding that I would go ahead and cook, but I wanted the dinner to be extra-fancy and extra-special this year.  No jerk chicken or kalua pig like we did in years past.  I wanted LOBSTER!  I demanded LOBSTER!  Todd asked for steak with the lobster, so we decided on surf & turf.

I'd never made or purchased lobster before.  I had no idea how expensive it was before I made my declaration that we'd be having it for dinner.  I went to Wegmans on the 30th and picked out the two biggest lobster tails they had and then went to the self checkout.  This was when I noticed the price tag.  Ouch.  The filet mignon came from Miller's Food Market near my house.

I went with this recipe: Lobster Tails with Ginger Dipping Sauce.  I was nervous about it because I didn't want to screw up the $30 a piece tails.  For the filet, I used Classic Steak House Rubbed Filet Mignon.  I served it with steamed green beans and champagne (oh la la!!).  It was oh-so-classy.

Dessert was Todd's pick and he chose a Sour Cream-Lemon Pound Cake.  I couldn't find my tube pan, so I ended up making two loaf cakes.

The whole meal was phenomenal!  It was just like being out at a fancy restaurant, except that I was wearing fleece sweatpants and there was a cat around.

After dinner, we did the usual thing of watching the ball drop in Times Square.  Happy belated new year!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Undersea Journeys at Oregon Ridge

Todd and I have been attending the Undersea Journeys photography show at Oregon Ridge Park for a couple of years now.  Oregon Ridge is located in Cockeysville, Maryland if you are not from the area.

Well, this year, Todd is one of the featured photographers in the show!  He's going to be showing off his photos from Belize.  I'm so excited!

So, if you are local to the area, please feel free to stop by.  The show is on February 26 from 7:00-9:30pm at the Oregon Ridge Nature Center.  Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids, and proceeds from ticket sales go towards the Oregon Ridge Nature Center.  Seating is limited, so get your tickets in advance from Aqua Ventures, 410-66-OCEAN or  See the flyer for more information!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Review: Hood To Coast Movie

Hood To Coast Movie Trailer from HoodToCoastMovie on Vimeo.

Oh, man.

This movie was apparently only out in theaters on January 11 (last night).  However, if you have a chance to see it, whether in the theater or not, SEE IT.

My friends and I had been planning to see the movie for a week or so, and even though it was a snowstorm outside last night, we still braved the weather to run 3.6 miles in sleet, then have dinner, then head over in heavy snow to the movie theater.  The trip home was interesting, as well, since roads were not cleared.  My All Wheel Drive served me well.

I've never run a relay before (well, not one like this - I did do Disney's Wine & Dine - only 4 miles).  I didn't watch the trailer or find out anything about this movie before going to see it last night.  So, it was a pleasant surprise to see this movie.

Hood To Coast is the largest relay race in North America, stretching 197 miles from Mount Hood to the Oregon Coastline, with 1,000 teams and 12,000 runners doing the race.  Running a race like this requires not only some great running, but also some incredible coordination of effort.  The movie follows four of the 12-person relay teams as they prepare for and then run the race.  One team is a group of veteran Hood To Coast racers, out to have a great time, but also out to place high enough to guarantee entry the following year.  Another team is a group of complete rookies who seem to have only run 3 miles in preparation for the race.  Yet another is a family out to honor a family member who loved Hood To Coast and had recently passed away.  And finally, another team was out to support one member who had had a heart attack during Hood To Coast the year before (and was out to prove she could do it again, heart attack free this time).

This movie was so entertaining.  If you've seen other running movies, such as Running the Sahara and Spirit of the Marathon, I liked this one much more.  I was smiling for much of the movie, and I really enjoyed seeing this race and these runners.  I loved it so much that it's inspired me to run a relay.  Maybe not Hood to Coast - it's a little far away for me, but I'm going to research the Ragnar series.

Friday, January 7, 2011

HBBC Final Check In

HBBC Logo The Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge ended January 7!!  I haven't caught up with my points yet because we had a major release at work on Wednesday.  I got to work at 9:30am on Wednesday morning and didn't leave until 3:45am Thursday morning.  I finally got to bed at 4:30am.  I got up again at 10:00am yesterday and logged into my work only to find that there were major problems with the release and I worked straight through until 4:00pm and then a little more work later last night.  So, today is the first time I've been able to think about anything else.  Here's my final tally:

1 Point per mile (run/walk/snowshoe)
1 Point per 3 miles biked
1 Point per 20 minutes of weight lifting, Pilates, yoga, stretching or abs
1 Point per 15 minutes of another form of cardio (i.e. kick boxing, aerobics elliptical)
1 Per day where you reach a minimum of 7 servings of fruits and veggies

My points:

  • At my last check in, I ended with 107.6 points on December 28.
  • December 29: 4 miles = 4 points
  • December 30: 43 minutes weight training = 2 points
  • December 31: 3.7 miles = 3.7 points
  • January 2: 43 minutes weight training & 5 miles biked = 5 points
  • January 3: 48 minutes weight training & 3 miles biked = 3 points
  • January 4: 3.6 miles = 3.6 points
  • January 7: 68 minutes of weight training = 3.5 points 
Too bad there isn't a category for staying late at work!!

So, my final tally is:


YAY!  I guess my main goal is going to be: beat that next year...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Tentative Race Schedule

I haven't given my 2011 races a whole lot of thought because I have a bunch of things that are affecting my schedule.  I'm planning to have surgery on my leg in March.  I have kind of a weird winter schedule.  I don't know if I'll get into New York or not.  Still, here is what I'm looking at:

I have a lot of races planned, but not that many in the spring.  I'll start out the year kind of slow, but it's nice to be taking this time off.  It is strange to not be going to Walt Disney World for Marathon Weekend, though.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Stats as of 31 December 2010 and YEAR END!

December 2009
74 miles
16 hours, 26 minutes
Avg. Pace: 13:20/mile
Celtic Solstice 5 Mile Run 2009: Snowed out!

December 2010
65.3 miles (8.7 less than 2009)
13 hours, 36 minutes (3 hours, 10 minutes less than 2009)
Avg. Pace: 12:30/mile
Celtic Solstice 5 Mile Run 2010:  59:12 (11:50/mile)

2010 Year End Stats!
TOTAL MILES:  700.8 (2009: 703.2 miles)
TOTAL TIME:  148 hours, 51 minutes
AVERAGE PACE:  12:45/mile (2009: 13:08/mile pace)

2010 was a great year for running.  Like I said in my goals post, I set a PR at every single race distance this year.  But, I ended the year up 17 pounds from my absolute lowest weight the end of April / beginning of May, and about 7 pounds higher than January.  So, the whole "intuitive eating" thing really didn't work out.  I am afraid to say that I have to start tracking my food again, at least for a few months.  I'm frustrated that I can't just eat like a normal person.

I pushed in December to make sure that I got 700 miles for the year.  This statistic really means nothing, but it gave me something to do.  My cold over Christmas made it so that I had to rush and get in a bunch of miles the last week of the year.  I did it, but now I am having some heel pain, and I hope I'm just a hypochondriac and I don't have some sort of overuse injury.  They're currently on ice, both heels.

I've been keeping up with my strength training workouts, although still not with the regularity and consistency that I would like.  I tried out my new bike trainer for the first time today, finally, and I'm pleased to say that it's great and I have some great ideas for doing lower body circuit workouts.  Very exciting.

So, yay for a great year!  I've also enjoyed reading everyone else's year end summaries, even if I didn't comment.  I know my 700 miles is low compared to almost everyone else!  Maybe that's why it was so randomly important...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Saturday Linky-Loos

Holiday Things - Better late than never!!


Other Things
  • What I Mean When I Say I Have 5 Children: Before I was born, my mom had a stillborn baby.  She still is upset about it to this day, and this post helped me to understand.  It's weird to think that I have a sister that I never knew, and that never existed in the world at the same time that I did.  I've always told my mom that my older sister is really me, I just wasn't quite ready to be born yet.  I don't know if that helps or not.
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