Friday, January 30, 2009

Thank you, Native

Date: 01/30/2009

From: Native Eyewear Warranty Department

To: sassy molassy

Subject: Native Eyewear has shipped your sunglasses to you

Your prized pair of Native sunglasses have been replaced and shipped. Thanks for your patience. We’re sure when you get your Native's back, you’ll see they were worth the wait.

For answers to other questions, please see the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website.

Thanks for being part of the Native family.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Marathon (Part of TIART)

This Thursday's Take It and Run topic is you guessed it, the marathon. And what better theme to incorporate here, than that? Why? I'm training to run my 4th marathon on March 29 and let me tell you, it pretty much takes up 75% of your daily focus.

Thanks to the suggestions from TIART, I'm going to touch on: selecting a marathon,my training plan, the questions I ask myself, my strategy, and advice for other future and current half/full marathoners.

Selecting the Marathon: I'm a traveler, an explorer, a girl looking for a new adventure. My first long race that started this crazy string of marathoning was the 2006 Nashville Country Music 1/2 Marathon. So when selecting the race, I look for a destination I want to visit, a fun place to sight see and a marathon that sounds like a lot of fun. Last year I even convinced a bunch of high school friends to run a few races with me. It's crazy to see how your own racing can motivate others around you to step up their game and vice versa.

My training plan: is often one I've pulled from Runner's World. Sometimes it's from my Marathon Guide book, it just depends. My current plan is one from RW I found online a few years ago when preparing to run the Portland Marathon. It's time based rather than miles based. So instead of saying run 4 miles easy, it says run 30-40 min easy. Long runs say 2:40+, etc. The idea then, is that you focus just on getting out there for a specific amount of time and if your body decides not to cooperate in the speed department one day, you don't freak out that your entire training plan has gone to sh*t. It worked for me during my very first and best marathon, so I figured why not go back to it?

Questions that often cross my mind during those three precious months before a marathon include:
1. When am I gonna eat?
2. What am I gonna eat?
3. When do I have to eat again?
4. What time am I gonna run?
5. What am I gonna wear when I run?
6. Do I need gloves?
7. How many hills do I have to do on Tuesday?
8. Where am I gonna run?
9. What's Thursday's speed workout look like?
10. What time do I have to get up to go swimming before work?
11. Why can't people realize I have to wake up at the ass crack and can't go out to the movies/bars/etc until late the night before I run a 20 miler, or any night really?
12. And finally, why did I sign up for another one of these?

Now let's talk strategy. One of the reasons so many of these crazy questions cross my mind is not only because I'm well versed in the ways of the long race, but because of my strategy. My strategy is not just to finish the marathon, although that in and of itself is pretty impressive, but to run the entire thing without stopping, to the best of my ability (aka as fast and smart as possible).

At my best marathon, I averaged an 8:25 min mile, finishing in 3:49, nine min shy of qualifying for Boston, which is quite a lot in a race. My ultimate goal is to someday qualify for and run Boston, but it will take a seriously awesome race for that to happen, so we'll see...

So everything I do in my training and race follows that strategy. I eat the best I can, try to sleep well, limit alcohol, lift weights 2-3 times per week to keep my entire bod strong, strengthen the core, buy new shoes whenever necessary (this is key!), drink lots of water and try to follow my training plan to a T. The thing is, yeah, I'd like to go out a bit more with friends and maybe skip a few of those speed workouts, but ultimately I know that come race day, my religious dedication to my training plan and strategy will pay off. Hurting just a little bit less and running a wee bit faster for those 26.2 miles is all worth it to me.

Advice: There are a few key things I recommend to other future racers out there.
While training...
1.Wear the right shoes and replace them often. Your body will thank you.(I can't stress this enough. Coming from someone who has wide feet and pronates, it's serious. I now have orthotics and wide New Balances that finally feel good after a run. It only took about five years to find the right combination of shoe and orthotic).
2. Use Body Glide
3. Find a training plan that you can follow, and do so. If you need a partner to keep you on track, find one.
4. Pick a race, running outfit, tunes, etc. that keep you motivated and excited to train.
5. Train with water and supplements on your long runs (gu, cliff shots, luna moons, etc)
On race day...
6. take it all in. I don't train or race with my ipod for that very reason. I love enjoying the crowd, the other runners and the scenery.
7. try to run in the middle of the road, or switch sides so one of your legs isn't always on the slanted/downward side. This can create some serious injuries, trust me.
8. if you have to pee, do it. Sometimes there isn't going to be another porta pot stop for several miles and you don't want to pee your pants b/c you were afraid of spending 30 seconds in the outhouse.
9. smile for the camera. You'll enjoy your race photos just that much more.
10. enjoy the post race food and atmosphere. I love seeing the look of pain, pride and accomplishment on everyone's faces as they stuff them full of water and yummy snacks.

I hope you enjoyed my take on the TIART. If you have any questions about marathoning, I'm happy to answer them. Happy running!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Crockpottin' it

After college graduation we had a bbq at my parents' house with my friends, family and some of my mom's friends. My mom's coworker gave me a crockpot to which (masking utter horror) I said "oh cool, thank you." I couldn't help but think "why the hell am I getting a wedding gift for graduating college?" Maybe it's b/c my mom didn't use a crockpot for anything besides pot roast or hearty stews when we were growing up and I pretty much avoid red meat these days.

Alas, the Susie Homemaker that I have become stumbled upon a $6 Easy Crockpot recipes cookbook at Borders after a Sunday morning run a few weeks ago. And that's when I remembered the wedding gift sitting in my parents' garage. Last weekend I fetched it from underneath piles of other crap and brought it home with me to begin my crockpot adventures.

First meal? Thai peanut chicken. And man, was it good.

Ingredients:
2 lb chicken breast
1 cup hot salsa
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
fresh cilantro
chopped peanuts

Directions: mix together salsa, pb, lime juice, soy sauce and ginger. Pour over chicken in crockpot. Cook 8-9 hrs on low.

I suggest cooking up some brown/white rice and making a green salad to go with and of course pairing it with a good wine. Sprinkle peanuts and cilantro over the chicken when finished. YUM!

So, if you have a crockpot sitting around collecting dust, it's high time you dig it out and start cooking. You'll be glad you did, and so will the lucky people in your life who get to share in the deliciousness. Not gonna lie, I realize a good meal or dessert is the way to a man's heart...sort of.

What do you deserve?

I wrote in my journal a few weeks ago that I wasn't sure I deserved this guy, even though deep down I know I do. I told the universe that for whatever reason it decided to send him my way, I was totally appreciative. But now, now I'm thinking I don't deserve this. He didn't deserve to get laid off on Monday and I didn't deserve to find someone amazing who just might have to move soon in search of a paycheck.

But I know what they say, don't count your chickens before they hatch. So I'm trying to remain calm, supportive and happy. Choosing between between what you deserve and desire, and what is best for someone else isn't always easy. All I know is things get messy when your heart gets involved.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The things we do for training.

I gave blood yesterday. I told the lady that no, I wasn't doing any strenuous exercise within the next 24 hrs (lie). I went to a 720pm showing of Gran Torino so I could get home for an earlyish bedtime. I had six hours of sleep last night. I set my alarm for 6am on a Saturday morning, a day I don't have to go to work. A time that is earlier than the time I wake on a work day. I shoved on my spandex, body glide and kicks all to eat peanut butter toast (hey, i checked the recall list, my brands weren't listed so I'm taking a chance) so it would settle within an hour so I can get my run on. With an 11am mimosa brunch scheduled with a few girlfriends to celebrate one of their birthdays, it requires my almost three hour run start at the ass crack of dawn. And that friends, is why it's not even 7am and I'm blogging. The things we do for training (or our friends).

Do any of you do anything crazy in the name of training and attempting to fit it into your life beyond the pavement?

Happy Weekend!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Looking for a new scent...

I've scoured the fragrance counters at Macy's and can't seem to come up with anything I like better than Narciso Rodriguez for her, thanks to a sample I received in the mail from my last Sephora order. The last real perfume I bought (besides my Victoria Secret Love Spell body spray) was Clinique Happy and that sucker is empty. Any suggestions for a fragrance you can't live without?

PS- Did anyone else pick up their free beauty product at Macy's and Gottschalks thanks to the class action settlement? I did!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Salmonella, seriously??

I had heard of this whole outbreak in pb, but didn't really put much thought into it. I mean surely not MY peanut butter would dare be contaminated. And besides, it's peanut butter! Well, trusty msn, you've made me a little more aware. At the top of the recall list is all Clif Bar and Luna Bar products made with peanut butter! Great. Guess what I ate as one of my supplements on Saturday during my 2 hr 45 min run?? Yep, a mini PB luna bar. Salmonella, here I come.

Bottom line: you better check out the article and check your cupboards so you can chuck your nasty pb products. And I better check out the warning signs for salmonella poisoning.

To check out the full FDA recall list, click here.

PS-Obama, you and your family are so adorable. I love your little rainbow of JCrew colors and the fact that Malia was taking her own photos of you during your amazing inauguration speech. And, how happy were you to see Bush step into that helicopter?! You're not the only one. Here's to a promising, but tough eight(cross your fingers) years ahead. Thank you for stepping up to the plate.

Monday, January 19, 2009

There's a first time for everything

What are these you ask? Besides pretty flowers, they're a girl's first pretty flowers from a guy who wasn't her father or grandfather, and that's pretty cool. I didn't really realize it until they were being handed to me. Until the guy shows up on your doorstep with a bunch of lovelies, intentionally picked out and purchased just for you because you, you've got a hold on a little piece of his heart.

And for the first time, I don't want to run. I've run from so many guys, so many situations, so many feelings of insecurity. But not this time. Leave the running for the marathon training and hitting the pavement with the group, but not from him.

There's something that makes me say "yep, that's why the others just weren't good enough, weren't worth your effort and time." But this one, he's worth it. So hold on. Hold on tight to what you know and believe in and trust because ultimately, you'll be glad you did.

It's crazy how quickly a week or two can change your life. How meeting someone who wants the best for you all the time is absolutely normal, no matter how independent and alone you once considered yourself to be. How someone else caring about you makes you feel like you deserve just a little bit more from life. And for the first time, that's ok with me.

I hope everyone enjoys their MLK, Jr day no matter how you're celebrating it. Me, I'll probably be heading to the Oregon coast for the second day in a row with a few friends for some 60+ degree weather and strolling on the beach. Every year this day seems just a little more important to me as I not only age, but continue to see that whatever level of equality we as a society may believe we have achieved, we are still so far from being fair, just, and truly good to each and every other person in this world. This day continues to bring a mix of sorrow, contemplation and hope for me. Hope for a future that looks a little brighter with a new leader at the helm.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What it takes to get a passport...

in case you're interested.

1. Go to USPS.com
2. Fill out the passport form online (this will save you time at the post office)
3. Get your passport photo taken (I did mine at the local FexEx Kinkos for $12.95)
4. Find your birth certificate and be willing to give it up temporarily (soc. sec. card won't do)
5. Locate a post office near you that is a passport processing center (not all locations are. my city has just one passport post office).
6. Bring CASH or CHECK to pay for it (no credit cards, sucky i know)
7. Wait approx. three weeks for your passport to arrive. If it doesn't, start worrying and call.

A few things I did wrong...
1. went to the wrong post office
2. went to the post office without all my info (um, hello...when was my dad born? And what city was my mom born in?)
3. forgot my check book

But finally, after three trips to the post office, I have successfully turned in my application (and mailed off those damn Native sunglasses to get repaired/replaced). Now all I have to do is wait patiently...

Gear gone bad

There's nothing I dislike more than having a piece of my outdoor gear fail on me. Like the first time that "waterproof" jacket starts leaking on a wet day at the mountain, or getting a hole in $15 technical socks the first time I put them on, or when my $$$ polarized Native running sunglasses lose polarization and look hideous after no wrong doing of my own and just eight months of mild wear. Armed with a claim #, the receipt and a $30 warranty claim fee, I'm ready to get these damn things fixed. Native, I had such high hopes...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Just when you think you're being all optimistic

and the glass is half full for some crazy reason, you may want to come back to reality. Those shorts I packed for tonight's run, no longer the best idea...I'm gonna freeze. The blanket of fog that just fell over the city reminds me why I'm a realist and not an optimist, no matter how positive I've been feeling the past few days. A little sun doesn't always mean it's going to stick around.

The boy on the other hand, he just might stick around, but only time will tell. He may just be the reason I packed summer attire for a run that clearly deserves long pants. Thank you mother nature for bringing me back to earth. Trying not to freak out here and just take it as it comes. Easy to say, not so easy to do.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Paranoid much?

Near the end of our weekly check-in meeting with one of my managers, he said "so, is everything else going ok?" referring to the poor attitude/lack of sleep I've been sporting around the office. "Um, yeah" I replied, "I just want to tell you that..." What?! "No, don't worry I'm not quitting." Oh ok, good. I thought for a minute you were going to say you were looking at another job. "No, I just wanted to tell you that I'm going to Europe in May for three weeks." Oh, that's great!

The look on his face was priceless. Like his face went white and his jaw dropped for just a second there when I had him hanging on the possibility that I might be saying sianara to this job. Honestly, we have high turnover for such a small office, but I have remained one of the few steady ships in this sea for the past three years. So when it's my time to say sianara, I'll be darn ready, willing and deserving.

On an unrelated note of paranoia, my first instincts about the date were correct. It was good. We talked after Monday's run and he invited me to a surprise birthday dinner for a close friend that was filled with family friends and now we have plans for Friday. What I realized last night, is that while I always said I wasn't going to settle for less than I deserve or desire, I didn't actually believe it. I thought that somewhere along the way, the guy to finally strike my fancy would be good, but not great. But because he was mostly what I wanted, I'd let it go. I was a bit blind sided when what showed up was a guy who's polite, caring, smart, funny, athletic and cute. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Monday, January 5, 2009

All signs point to Monday

I had a date last night, which was in and of itself a monumental occasion. It went well. We went to dinner and chatted a while. He's attractive and does this cute thing with nose and has an adorable laugh. There weren't as many first date awkward moments as I've experienced before. There was some laughter and joking, a kiss and a hug and talks of doing this again sometime.

Ready to start 2009 and the work week off right, I went to bed around 1030pm after texting a few friends about the night. Unfortunately, I layed in bed wide awake for the next several hours. At 140am i woke up to have some heated milk (seriously, am I 5??) because that's the only thing I could think of doing. I finally got to sleep and woke at 8 after turning off my alarm. Great, so much for getting to the office early to start on some neglected projects.

My head hurts from exhaustion and those positive thoughts from the date seem to be fading. Like, was it really good? Am I delusional? Am I just wanting it to be a success even though it wasn't? Girls need to stop overanalyzing everything, really as a mass because we just feed off each others' paranoid diagnoses of situations, people, conversations. That should be added to my resolution list for 2009.

Anyone else having a case of the Mondays in the attempt to recover from these last few holidays?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Birthday success

I would have to give myself a pat on the back for this birthday. I celebrated it as I wished and have actually enjoyed it. Seriously people, this is big. I love birthdays and planning celebrations for others, having surprise parties, etc, but mine has never been fun. Today, was fun.

I did a LONG training run (ouch my legs are sore), got a fabulous pedicure, went to lunch with the girls, went shopping (fabulous Frye boots have been ordered), stopped by Starbucks, saw a movie with friends and am off to a friend's house in a bit for some quality hanging out. On my two hour and twenty minute run this morning, I had some time to ponder this insane torture I continue to put myself through.

I realized that before training for or running a marathon, there are some things I simply would not have known or been quite so thankful for.

You know you're a marathoner when...

1. you think a sip of water is a reward for running another 15 minutes
2. the people at REI look at you funny when you clean them out of cliff shots, luna moons and sports beans
3. you get a hand cramp from holding a water bottle for 2-3 hrs straight
4. your best friend is a stick of Body Gluide
5. you're hungry...all.the.time.
6. sheep can run (prob b/c they're so stupid they think you're running toward them. this happened today, seriously.)
7. gloves alone can make the difference between warm and cold
8. you'd rather go to sleep to get a good night's rest than go out for drinks with friends
9. you're excited to see the 13 mile marker (hey, you're halfway there)

Happy New Year people! I hope you're as excited about what's to come as I am. Cheers!