Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tales of a Runner: Bibs and Pins

How many of you racers out there save your bibs?  Your pins?  I generally save the bib for a week or so and then toss it.  The pins...well, that's another story.  I always have a need for safety pins and I accumulate them by the boat load this time of year.  Four pins for the bib, one more to pin my car keys to my pocket (if I don't have a zip pocket).  My problem is I need a whole other jar to keep them.  Come the fall, I'll be out and ready to stock up again.

The Winter Pickle Runs I just completed (I did two of the three runs) were super fun and the whole Pickle piece of it all made it more humorous.  I may hang onto those bibs for a while.  They award prizes based on how close you come to your predicted time and last week, I had predicted 36 min and came in at 35:52.  I was in the Top 10 Closest Predictions and won this here jarred pickle.  Complete with sparkles.  That's a keeper for sure.  I'm not one to rack up the race shirts but I opted to buy one this year to commemorate the Pickle series.
Below - my bib from the first run and the "pickle" I won from the second for being 8 sec off of my predicted time.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Listening to Tegan & Sara - Call It Off - and thinking of my sister's situation...she just broke off her engagement and wedding.  It's so heartbreaking and sad.  I wish I knew what to do, what to say.  I knew it wouldn't really hit her until her stuff was out of his place.  That happened last night.

I can't get into it all here.  It's not really my place.  We all know it was the right thing.  But there are no words for how she must feel - and certainly how I feel and my parents feel - knowing she's falling apart and her vision, her happy future has all fallen and gone up in smoke.  It's hard to see the hope though through the dark black smoke.

Tales of a Runner Series

I wanted to start a series to capture my running tales and document a little more of my eternal quest for wellness.  My back story is that I've been a runner since I was 10.  I would have done track in third grade had they let me but alas, I had to wait another year.  I ran through grade school and high school.  In college, I refused to sell my soul to the schedule that any college athlete must keep to compete so I just ran recreationally.  My races were always sprints.  In my senior year of high school my relay team made DE States and I made Second Team All Catholic.  Awesome.

I'd always wanted to do a 5K or something but just never made the time honestly.  Right after my mother in law was diagnosed with pancreatic in cancer in 2005, I made a decision to start training again and this time for a bigger race: the sprinter would do a half marathon.  Most people work their way up; Not me.  I think my second blog post here has some pics of me finishing that race in September 2005.  She had passed away by then and interestingly, finishing that race was part of my personal healing process.  Running is certainly therapeutic for me and at times it's provided necessary outs for stress relief.  The late night runs were always "outs" from the stresses of the day, from work and from the emotional toll her illness had on me especially planning my wedding.  She passed in August, about 6 weeks before the run.  I didn't run the entire thing...I ran about half of it.  But I finished.  Partly because I dropped $40 on it and damnit, I was there! I was over the Falls Bridge so I had to get my ass back to the Art Museum :)  But it was for her too, for all her courage and ultimately, ability to let go and trust.  Now it was my time to let go of bitterness and trust the next steps in my life.

I would still run after that, but I didn't return to any races until 2010.   That was when I was really bit by the race bug.  I did three that season and my best was the first.  I have found out a lot of things about myself since then --

  • I hate running in hot weather - 70 degrees is my max and I am done; I prefer a 45-50 degree day to run
  • I need great shoes and need them every 12-18 mo
  • I'm not a real endurance and distance runner - evidenced by the aforementioned story - so 5K is kinda my max although maybe one day I'll shoot for the Broad St. Run (10 mi)
  • I have to train and cross train
  • I still love the sport because it isn't really a race against anyone else but rather myself
  • Seeing the clock at the end pushes me
  • I need music...and sometimes that music is totally cheesy
  • I hate cross country courses...I prefer certified courses on pavement
  • My best time thus far was 34:44
Naturally between runs and cross training, one has tales.  Lots of them.  So this series will document my spring running tales and I'll try to pick it up again in the fall.  Fall is tough with conferences but I want to shoot for two runs like late Oct/early Nov.

Happy Running.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Monday, March 05, 2012

Saturday, March 03, 2012


Haven't browsed Storypeople in a long I stumbled upon a very appropriate one for Vince and tonight I'm poking around looking for one for my sister.  I'm still searching.  I did stumble on this one although I don't know it's name.

I can put down roots pretty quickly in the face of radical change, she said.
I haven't done anything sorta silly like this in a long time and heaven knows with all the stress circulating here lately, I could use a little silly.  So thanks to Steph A at A Modern Day Donna Reed for sending some love and silliness my way.
The Rules
1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
Eleven Random Things 
  1. I'm a bit of an 80s pop culture nut.  I remember lines from sitcoms and can recite them at the most appropriate times. 
  2. I loved Billy Idol's Mony Mony as a child and busted my ass to master my dubbing skills with my recorder.  When things would go awry, I would sob.  Napster really saved me from a future of sound engineering.
  3. I had an imaginary friend as a child, before my sister was old enough to interact with me.  His name was Enuja (pronounced eee-nu-sha)...I don't really know if that is how he spelled his name but we were good friends.
  4. The Monkees were my first concert and I was beyond upset at Davy Jones' passing this week.
  5. I developed an appreciation for vintage clothing/accessories around the age of 9/10.
  6. I've asked guys out on dates.  
  7. I have a big personality...I'm a lot to handle for a lot of people, at least initially.  
  8. I rarely if ever burn bridges but I have a framed picture that says "May the bridges I burn light the way." My dad said to me, "The few times you do it, you are making sure no one else has to deal with that person/situation."
  9. I love the supporting characters' roles in most movies and animated flicks more than the protagonist.  For example, I love Cruella De Vil and The Red Queen.  They are spiteful and evil but they represent that bit of bitch in all of us.  And there'd be no heroes without them.
  10. I start a lot of art and/or craft projects and rarely finish them.  The marketing genius Seth Godin restored my sanity this past Fall when he told us in a keynote, "It's OK if you start and don't means it's a hobby."  
  11. I have a fierce demeanor but I carry the world on my shoulders.  Maybe it's oldest child syndrome.  I don't know.
Steph's Questions
  1. Favorite place to grab fast food? -- Chick-Fil-A 
  2. Favorite class in high school? -- Art, then Lit 
  3. What's your middle name? -- Marie 
  4. Favorite 90's song (you know I had to ask)? -- How do I choose? Early 90s - Hey Jealousy | Gin Blossoms.  Mid-90s - Zombie | Cranberries and Wonderwall, Don't Look Back in Anger | Oasis.  Late 90s -- anything by The Goo Goo Dolls. 
  5. Name a movie that makes you cry like a baby - Huh.  I honestly can't think of a real sappy flick but I do cry during the Sound of Music for sentimental reasons. 
  6. How often do you REALLY clean your kitchen floor? - Ha!  I sweep it with a broom but I let our cleaning lady mop it every two weeks, unless there is a major spill that needs attending.  I don't mop. 
  7. Favorite candy bar? - Snickers 
  8. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? - Back to Greece because I loved it when I was 22...raw beauty and full of culture, ancient and modern.  But I want to go to the British isles too, to England (London), to Ireland and Scotland.  I want to see the cities and the countryside and go to all the theatre and see the Edinburgh Fringe. 
  9. Favorite way to wear your hair? -- Blown out, straight. 
  10. Name one of the Halloween costumes from your childhood -- My mom made our costumes for eons.  One year my sister and I were Raggedy Ann and Andy.  Adorable.  I made a promise that I would really "make" my son's costume soon! 
  11. If you could change one thing about our country, what it would you change and why (and how?)? -- Eliminate the 2 party system.  It's antiquated and in my opinion does not truly represent the American people, especially today in our economy.  It frustrates good people into pigeon holing themselves...and that they must therefore choose the lesser of the two evils. 
    How?  I am not sure but I liken it to the Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and finding that right balance.  It requires trial and error.  It means every year more independents (or whatever party, I am using "I" for Independent for simplicity sake here) stepping up and running for an office - as an I - and making the I have a place, a voice.  The challenge here of course is funding the campaign but I go back to grassroots - with Kickstarter and a few angel investors, one could run a decent campaign.  No, it won't look like what exists right now but that's the point - it has to look different to represent something different.  The majority will ignore it initially but the more it happens, the more mainstreamed it becomes, the more it's accepted.  At some point, there will be the right number of "I"s - running, declaring themselves as "I" and voting that we will have diluted the R and D that exist today so we have a government that is truly more representational of the people.  I honestly believe that what goes on in D.C. is insanity fueled by the media and more insanity.  If you put an entrepreneur in Congress, I bet you'd be amazed at how quickly things were prioritized and how fast shit got done. 

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Sad.  Phil and Whitney have been on repeat lately because they've captured the sadness and brokenness well.  When someone you love suffers, we all feel a part of the pain.  Sometimes life is so unfair.  "Where do broken hearts go?  Can they find their way home?"  God, I hope so.