Friday, May 30, 2008

A little recap

Things are a bit hectic around here at work. Three times a year our 45 person Board of Directors comes to town for two days (Fri and Sat) of meetings and socializing and this happens to be one of those times. Needless to say, my weekend plans consist only of work so far.

Since le foot started bugging me about three weeks before the marathon, I was forced to aqua jog, bike and lift weights and forgo my scheduled runs. By marathon week, I was nearly going insane. But seeing the girls (and Jess's husband, Scott) made up for it. Three of us flew from one Portland to the other, coast to coast just for this fabulous reunion and marathon weekend.

Pre-race Smiles!

As for a short race recap, I finished. Alive. Around mile 3, my hips were bugging me. By mile 10, my foot was pretty much burning. And by mile 24, my knee (same side as the bad foot, and the one I injured badly during lacrosse in college) hurt so bad at every step that I really thought I tore my ACL or something. Um, yeah. Basically, I ended up walking for a minute or so probably four or five times, but forced myself to run that last mile without stopping. Time: 4hrs 8min. My PR is 3:49, so considering I had a bum bod, walked a few times and the temp was in the 70s, I did okay.

The course was beautiful with about half of it weaving through the streets and neighborhoods of Burlington, VT and half along the bike paths next to Lake Champlain. And crowd support? It was insane! More than double the number of people running (9,000), were spectating. It definitely helped on the big hill around mile 15 to have everyone cheering us on. And Burlington? Such a vibrant, beautiful town. I want to go back.

The girls who chose wisely not to run the race!

As always, it was fabulous to see all the girls. Our tight knit high school group has been pretty freakin' amazing at keeping in touch and making our friendships a priority.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

FINALLY.


I think I may have just found my new spring/summer bedding. Yay! I've been searching for the perfect duvet cover for the past month or two and this could be it...until I see it in the store and decide it's ugly as all sin. I especially love the fact it's made of organic cotton. I'm one picky customer so let's hope this is the right one and that they have it in stock.

I threw out my old summery bed set last fall and have been relying on my red and white winter-themed comforter and Land's End flannel sheets for far too long. I'm crossing my fingers they will soon be retired for the next several months.

Human touch

It's necessary, or so they say. I've heard cases about babies who never make it past a few months of age because they're neglected of the human touch. But even as we get older, grow up and become fully functioning adults, we all need a little of it now and then.

I was reminded of this on a short connection out to the east coast, for which I was seated next to this tall, attractive guy who I think was around my age. We both drifted off and I woke up with his knee against mine. It was fabulously comforting so I continued to play the sleeping girl until we arrived at the terminal. We didn't exchange phone numbers or even hellos for that matter, but sometimes it's just not necessary.

As for the race, I made it. I'll post pics and more details soon, but for now I'm just trying to recover and re-enter the west coast time zone.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Marathon or bust, baby!

My bags are packed and I'm leaving on the red eye tonight for the east coast! Destination: Portland, ME and then on to Burlington, VT for the Vermont City Marathon. A few high school friends (most of the Moab 1/2 Marathon crew) and I are flying out together and meeting the rest of the gang in Maine for a fun weekend of running, hanging out and laughing. Two of the girls are foregoing the marathon (smart idea) to cheer us on and take photos instead. I haven't been to either state before so it should be fun! Ben & Jerry's...here we come. And other than my crippled granny body, I'm pretty optimistic about the whole thing.

Oh, and I'm getting sick of my hair, as I always do when I let it grow out. Having stick straight hair doesn't leave you many options, although I know I shouldn't be complaining because people tell me they would die for it. I, on the other hand, would rather have a mass of curls on my head, but the grass is always greener on the other side. In addition, I've been itching to dye it (I'm a hair dye virgin) just to spice it up a bit, but I'm a little too safe and reliable for that. Usually, I just ask for a short trim and if I'm feeling really creative, maybe a few layers. We'll see what happens next time I roll on into the salon. Who knows, maybe I'll just work up the courage to get a little crazy and let her have at it?

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Straightforward...sort of

I'm a pretty straightforward person. I don't like fake conversations or fake people. They bore me.

But when it comes to my heart, I couldn't be any less straightforward. Even when someone has declared their interest, I manage to be unable to admit I too care about them. It's as if not admitting it allows me some sort of power, when in actuality the guy probably thinks I'm not interested and therefore aborts ship. And you know, I don't blame him one bit.

Here's a little peek into my internal conversation before I even meet a guy:
A is Miss Positivity
B is Miss Party Pooper

A. "He's cute, seems interesting and I wouldn't mind dating someone like him."

B. "Fabulous, now how do I avoid him?"

A. "Um, helloooo...he's perfect."

B. "Yep, for someone else. Besides, I'm not what he's looking for."

The way Miss Party Pooper always wins the struggle is that she rationalizes everything into "Escape is always safest, right?" Yeah, unless escape means what you're left with is nothing.

I'm tired of escaping, ready to put it all out there, but not sure how to do it. I guess it's all about baby steps. One toe at a time (if that's even possible). In addition to a few chic novels, I'm currently reading "How to Stop Running from Love."

Yeah, I know. You're thinking "seriously, one of those lame self help books?" Yep, I'm that kinda girl. If you don't like something, you've got to figure out how to change it. Pretty empowering, don't you think?

Friday, May 16, 2008

I wanted to be you.

Sitting in the student union, eating my lunch, watching you and several other students study, read, highlight, discuss and look pretty focused on your work, I wanted to be you again-the student. Carefree, sundresses, smiles, frisbees, flip flops, Starbucks, barefoot, laughter, books, studying, student.

I was trying to think if I ever looked so focused and enthralled in my studies EVER, much less on a Friday afternoon where temps dance in the 90s outside. I can't imagine I did. But then again, I was a j-school (journalism) major, which meant a lot of reading, writing and editing, but studying...not so much. When it really came to studying, say for Econ or Accounting, my face was probably in a scrunched, confused, frustrated mess.

I remember sunny Fridays (or perhaps any nice Spring day) spent on blankets in the back yard of our house with all the roommates the year I lived in an old sorority house with about 30 other girls. We'd set up camp around lunch time and then traipse off to class if we needed to, but would promptly return to the lawn for more girl talk and sun bathing with our books and notes open, pens in hand, rereading the same sentence over and over again. We knew we weren't getting anything accomplished, but it didn't really matter. Ah, the carefree days when the real world seemed light years away.

I'm looking forward to a weekend of freedom and sun. With no big plans, I've been scheming up ideas. I heart schedules and planning. I don't love that I'm kind of anal and I truly appreciate people who force me to be a bit more laid back. But, if I don't have set plans with friends and family, I try to fill my days up to the brim.

Plus, with a bum bod, I'm trying to keep my mind off wanting to spend every extra spare hour doing workouts. I think I'll swim tonight, make these yummy gingerbread pancakes tomorrow morning, go to the Sat market, have a picnic with some girlfriends while listening to music in the park and probably enjoy some good reading time.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Business casual...barf

You know how a good outfit can just make your day? Ok, and maybe the fact that the forecast says it's going to be 87? Well, I'm having one of those days.

Truth be told, I loathe trying to get dressed for work every day. Business casual is my enemy. What I want to be wearing is the entire JCrew catalog, but my budget doesn't allow for that. Plus, being an athlete and being injured to boot, all I want to wear are my Nikes, black running pants and a sweatshirt. But today, after several outfit changes, I was shockingly pleased (and comfortable) with my outfit. That's all...nothing special.

Never mind that my back still hurts from the deep tissue massage I had yesterday morning. I'm trying to sit up straight at my desk and ice a lot. One of the not so fabulous things about being injured is that the body tries to compensate and protect the injury and in my case, keep most of my weight on one leg and tighten every single muscle in my back. All of this matters not when what you're wearing makes you happy enough to write a post about it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

tune me up

So, I have a pretty random taste in music (some might say crappy). I love everything from Colbie Caillat to John Legend to Guster to Tim McGraw. Pretty much anything that makes me smile, makes me want to sing like I have a good voice or makes me want to get up and shake my booty. I don't think I really know what music is truly my fav, so most days I just put itunes on shuffle.

But lately, every other song seems to come up Christmas and I can't stand it! I guess that's the price you pay for loving the holiday and uploading Charlie Brown and Mariah Carey's xmas albums. So, I've been forced to choose which album/artist/song I want to listen to at a particular moment in time. I'm so indecisive that usually shuffle is my best bet, but to avoid Christmas in May, I've turned off the shuffle option. Perhaps this is why people create playlists, no?

Sidenote: Every morning on my way to work around 8:30 AM I see this guy in his thirties maybe with shoulder-length greasy brown hair, a frown, a trudge in his step and red eyes on his way to the nearby 7-11 to pick up his case of Busch Light. I know it's Busch Light b/c if I'm a little later I see him walking back after his purchase has been made with the booze in hand. Two things go through my mind: how sad is it that he's alcoholic and the first thing he needs instead of a bowl of Wheaties or a venti latte is his morning Busch Light? And second, I haven't had a Busch Light since freshman year of college at the frat parties. Glad those days are long gone.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions for new music/artists you love...I'm on the prowl for some new melodious geniuses since I clearly suck at finding them. Hope everyone has a fabulous Tuesday! This girl is just happy to be done with Monday.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Oregon matters

It's one of the few times politicians probably care about what's going on out here in Oregon, but guess what? The democratic candidates are back! Hillary is here today and tomorrow and Barack is scheduled for a campus visit tomorrow night on our Memorial Quad. Pretty freakin' sweet if you ask me. And of course I won't be able to make it the second time around either. I'll be at my gramps' 76th Cinco de Mayo-themed birthday party. How cute is that?!

I'm still feeling torn. Most young people are all about "Obama for change" and I totally get that and I'm all for it and for electing the first African American president into office. But then I feel like Hillary has really earned it and has fought the fight, knows what it's like to be in the presidential hot seat (Thanks Bill) and is ready to put her words to work as the first woman president. Is Obama just talking the talk? I don't know! Is Hillary getting emotional because she thinks it will sway us women voters? No clue. Of course I don't think holding on to my precious ballot for another few weeks and trying to study up will really help me decide. At some point, I'll just have to dive head first and choose a candidate.

Whatever happens, it's a presidential race of firsts and either democratic candidate will be fine by me. I know everyone doesn't agree, but I believe that both are pretty dang smart and are ready to prove that being first is a great path to a bright future full of change.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Whoops...

Just this month (and we're only seven days in) I've spent over $200 on running gear. Yeah, I know. Crap. Oh well, the money's made to be spent, right?! And thanks to Bushy-poo, I don't feel quite as bad b/c that economic stimulus check just hit my bank account. And to be clear, this is the only thing I can thank Bush for during his fabulous presidency (insert dripping sarcasm).

The thing is, I REALLY needed new running shoes and I was started thinking my foot probs could have something to do with the fact that all three pairs of my running shoes are several months old. And I REALLY needed those polarized sunglasses I just bought since the sun is coming and trying to run in my huge $15 fashion sunglasses wasn't really cutting it during those 2-3 hr runs.

There's something about spending money on something that's healthy for me that allows me to put aside all guilt for spending any amount on good gear that will keep me comfortable and happy. And hey, I figure it's better than a drug addiction so I'm doing good. ;)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A little recap

Last Wed. I went on a date with a guy from eH, which in itself was a monumental occasion, but I played it cool. He lives a few hours away and happened to be just an hour away last week for work so we planned to meet up. I was a few minutes late because of my need to do my aqua jogging workout before hand, but he was nice about it and had a table for us when I arrived.

The thing is, the guy was a speech communications major in college so you'd expect only the best of conversation, right? Well, wrong you are my friends. He couldn't put many sentences together that didn't have an inkling to do with his job. He was nice, tall, well dressed, attractive, had a sense of humor and paid for dinner, but I wasn't really intrigued.

He couldn't find jack to talk about when it was his turn. So, it went something like this.

Sassy: "Not everyone can do sales. I know I couldn't. I'm impressed with those of you who can do it and do it well."

eH dude: "Yeah...blah blah blah blah blah." 5 minutes later... "Yeah, so my job is pretty great." Silence

Sassy: (patiently waiting for him to come up with something because this is a tennis volley and the ball just landed in your court buddy)

eH dude: (awkward pausing) "Yeah, so..." or the occasional "What about you?"

Sassy: (so finally I jump in to ask more questions about him or occasionally, I'd just offer the information he couldn't figure out how to ask.) "Yeah, I recently went to NYC for the first time as well. I loved the city and how amazing is Central Park?! But I couldn't really stand to live there if I wasn't in a close, nice, accessible area. I mean, I can't imagine living in Brooklyn and commuting into the city every day."

eH dude: "Yeah, I was pissed we didn't get to go to Central Park because this girl that was with us had to buy a new phone and it took like two hours."

Sassy: (thinking "wow, lame excuse.") He even caught me looking out the window at some people on the street. Ha.

eH dude: "Okay, I'm losing you."

Sassy: (thinking um, yeah well it's your turn) "No, I'm just checking out what that guy is doing over there..."

So, I can appreciate that he's pretty new to his job and is still excited about it (and the pay apparently). And maybe, just maybe he was nervous, but seriously, just ask some questions dude! I learned a lot about him, but when I think about what he learned about me I can't imagine it was all that much.

Anyway, he was a nice guy and I'm glad I gave him a shot. He even texted after the date to say he had a great time and then again on Friday to tell me to have a good day, etc. Really nice, but I'm not feelin' it and that's okay. In the past I might have texted or e-mailed him this week just to appease him and try to make more friendly chit chat, but ya know what? I'm not interested, so I'm not leading him on because apparently being nice to guys can do that sometimes.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

Honestly, I'm not sure why we Americans celebrate Cinco and I'm pretty sure whatever the reason, my personal excuse is another opportunity to eat fabulous Mexican food and drink a margarita.

I guess I don't really need an excuse, but when you love salsa and chips like it's your job, you'll take it.

Not gonna lie, the runners want to go out for Mexican after tonight's run (and my pool workout) for which I may have done the initial suggesting. But I'm tempted to just head home, cook up these or these (while wearing a sombrero of course) and blend up a little Jose Cuervo and lime juice and call it a night.

And because I couldn't stand being a total history idiot today, thank you Wikipedia. Cinco de Mayo..."The holiday commemorates an initial victory of Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

A common misconception in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day; Mexico's Independence Day is actually September 16 (dieciséis de septiembre in Spanish), which is the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico."

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Spectating can be nearly as exhausting as running, seriously.

Okay, maybe it's just been a little too long since I've felt the pain of the 26.2 mile race, but today was exhausting. The alarm sounded at 5:45 A.M. and I promptly dressed, ate, lathered on the SPF, packed my backpack and hauled it the four miles over to the marathon start on my bike.

Stef and I went from the start to the 3 mile to the 6 ish mile and race finish to watch our fellow runners kick some ass in the 1/2 marathon and full marathon. And let me tell you, it's rough being a spectator. My voice still hurts from screaming so much. I counted a dozen or more runners that we were keeping our eyes peeled for and chasing after on our bikes.

I realized that many times a half marathon/marathoner does not make a spectator. I had never actually watched a marathon or half that I was not participating and it was pretty freaking awesome. I'm so proud of all of you who put your body and guts on the line to train and finish 26.2 miles. It's no easy feat. And for some it's much harder than others.

Luckily, today was a marathon day of perfection. Everyone who wanted to qualify for Boston (who I knew) did, even if it was with just 33 mere seconds to spare. That would seriously be me ducking in just at the last moment. I run a lot, but speed is not my forte. Qualifying for Boston is a goal, but it will be no easy task. I was hoping my upcoming race would be a qualifier, but folks the foot doesn't seem to be saying it's in the cards.

In other fabulous news, it was sunny and in the 70s today so I'm crossing my fingers this means sun from here on out. Last time I said that I think we got snow a week later. But this time, spring, just give it up...it's time to let the sun shine cuz this pale girl is loaded up on SPF 55.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The fat kid

You know, I've started a post like this in my head for a while, but the right words just never seemed to bubble up. But just a few minutes ago I saw a picture on a friend's myspace from a bbq a few years ago that made me go "EW!" and the ugly thoughts reared their way back into my life.

For a long time, maybe fifth grade through freshman year of high school I was the fat kid, at least mentally and partly physically. I'm sure my mom and other nice people would say I wasn't fat just perhaps chubby. But mom, I was fat. Well, in my head anyway. I've always been athletic and super strong, being involved in everything from soccer to volleyball to track to skiing, but it wasn't until sophomore year of hs that I actually started exercising a ton and eating the right amount of the right stuff that my body was at a place I could be proud of.

The interesting thing is that while I looked "normal" I still felt and acted like the fat kid. For three more years I was running from one practice to the next, attending sporting events I wasn't a part of to take photos for yearbook or play in the pep band (yep, i was a band geek). For those few years guys took notice while I succeeded in pushing them far far away, not understanding why anyone would be interested in me. Looking back at the marked difference between that freshman year and sophomore year I don't know how I mentally didn't notice that "HELLO, you're now 30lbs lighter, it's okay to be happy and confident." But, I didn't.

Fast forward to college and this girl definitely gained her fair share of the "Freshman 15." Although I was on the lacrosse team and went to the gym pretty regularly, frat parties, late nights and an abundance of dorm food made it too easy to get too soft. And again I found myself in fat kid mode both physically and mentally. Everything I put on looked awful and I just cringe seeing pictures of my arms. And guys, I didn't date a single one in those four years. Granted, it wasn't THAT bad, but when you're critical and you're a photo snob and you have fat kid complex...it's bad.

Life since college has allowed me to find a balance in food and exercise and all the rest where I finally feel like "okay, this is good and healthy. Let's just keep it here and no one gets hurt." But when I come across the old photos I just want to trash every single one that reminds me of how uncomfortable I was with those rolls and the extra padding. And then I realize that I can trash and shred the pictures, but mentally can't seem to shake myself of the fat kid. As much as possible, I still try to divert conversations from focussing on me, avoid eye contact at the gym and last night it was all I could do not to ask my coach to please not take photos of me running around the track. Ugh.

Sorry, this wasn't meant to be a downer. Trust me, I'm not depressed. In fact, I'm pretty excited for the weekend for which the forecast is showing all sun. I'm visiting the fam and friends, going out for Mexican because you can never celebrate a little Cinco too early (and I just love the freaking food), watching a bunch of my friends run the local marathon and running my own 20 mile training run. Plus, my boss just said I could go home and it's 2:15 P.M. Hooray for Fridays!