Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pimpin Good Time

I don't know why some of my pictures from last night didn't really turn out, but for some reason, some pics were really blurry and others, like below, seem shadowy. Perhaps it's appropriate that Jerry, dressed in pimp regalia, should be cast in shadowy darkness -- maybe my camera was trying to make a social statement of some sort.

Anyway, here's Jerry in his pimp outfit. Side note: He made the cane himself. A fact of endless awe at the party. Scooter's kinda hovering there behind Jerry, unsure of whether or not we're gonna pimp him out as well. I think that cane freaked the bejesus out of him.

So, on to the ho. Here I am in hooker-rific wear. No Marcy, I didn't get Lucite heals: They're expensive and hard to walk in; besides, I already had these leopard print heals and anything in an animal print in hooker-appropriate in my opinion. Again, Jerry. Wielding his cane.
Like I said, some of the pics didn't come out well, and that was particularly true of most at the party. So all of the ones of us together came out either too dark or too blurry, and I don't know why (maybe elves have been fiddling with the settings on the camera, I don't know). But here I am at the party enjoying some pimp juice out of my ho cup. Those cups got a lot of compliments and rightly so. They are pimptastic.
The party was pretty fun. It was also a little awkward at times. We didn't know that many people, so until the conversation lubricant (called "alcohol") worked its way into our systems, we felt a little weird chatting with unknown people in our pimp and ho attire. But, we did meet some friendly and funny peeps who were a lot of fun (or maybe "pimp juice" just makes everything seem pretty fun).

We got home kinda late, and my hair was de-poofing (although still a rat's nest of hairspray), my make-up was wearing off, and my feet ached from standing all night in heals; I felt like a street worn woman, ready for bed. So, I was trying to capture the look here: In what I like to think of as "Hooker Goes to Bed."
But I don't think I look haggard enough. However, because my dress was strapless, it does at least appear that I am in a stage of un-dress. That's pretty whorish, right?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Please Check Your Ego at the Door

Today's first round of humiliation began at the sporting goods store where I went to purchase a swimsuit. Standing in front of the racks of Speedos, TYRs, and Nikes, I figured that because I'm a 6 in most other garments, I'd likely be a 6 in a swimsuit, so I gathered several together and trotted off to the dressing room.

Well. I could stuff myself into them, I can say that much, but I felt like I was an encased sausage. Generally, I have a pretty inflated sense of appearance, and running has only boosted my confidence in my physical appearance, but all of that physical self-assurance went out the window as I stared at my thunder thighs and rolls of back fat shoved into those suits. Clearly, a 6 was not the right size. Back to the racks I went.

8's were better, but the suit I finally settled on was a 10. Now, I am not saying that a 10 is a big size, because it's not, but to start two sizes smaller and work my way up was a bit demoralizing; however, I did feel pretty satisfied with my final selection: a brown and pink TYR. It's super cute, and you know what its best feature is? It's reversible! So, one way it's brown with pink piping, and the other way, it's pink with brown piping. I know that's a stupid thing to focus on, but anything to keep my mind off the cottage cheese that is my ass was valuable today.

So, I also picked up a pair of TYR goggles (pink too!), and I felt satisfied that I was ready for swimming. When I got home, I changed and headed over to the pool, visions of me cutting through the water like a knife through butter filling my head.

Here's the pool. Not real big, as I mentioned before. I measured it today (with the Garmin -- dorky, I know, but it was the best way I could think of to do it, but trust me, at one point I thought of bringing Jerry's measuring tape with me) and it's 30 feet in length. So, I was thinking: "Sheesh, this pool is really ridiculous to do laps in. I'm gonna be spending half my time turning around." But, when you have a "free" (read: $4,000 a year in association fees) pool at your disposal, you take advantage of it, no matter the size.

I hopped in and was pleasantly surprised to find the water to be the perfect temperature: cool and refreshing, but not cold. I popped on my goggles and readied myself for the virgin voyage of Speedboat Jess. Look at me: All that ego-deflation in the fitting room had melted away and I'm brimming with confidence! But then I started to swim. And I discovered that I suck.

I started off with the front crawl and quickly remembered why that stroke has always been my arch enemy: I have a hard time getting the hang of the breathing. I know what I'm supposed to do: I'm supposed to breathe in, stick my face in the water and blow out through my nose as I stoke, and then every two or three strokes, tilt my head to the side and breathe in again. Except what I start doing is holding my breath while my face is in the water and then I'm choking and gasping for air when I tilt and breathe.

Two laps in, I give myself a time out. Clearly, I need to position myself against the wall and practice my breathing a bit (flashbacks to being five in swim lessons). I do this for a few minutes and when I think I have reminded myself appropriately, I head back into another lap and promptly forget all I have just reminded myself of. One problem, I quickly realize, is that I'm trying to go to fast, and the result is that I'm kind of flailing from one side of the pool to the other, frantically trying to breathe. So, I take another break and give myself a few deep breaths, and then try to take things slower. This is better, but I am still getting tired fast and I still feel like I can't breathe.

I time out for another break, take a drink of water (from a water bottle, not the pool, sillies), and then decide to swim a few laps alternating between the breast stroke and the back stroke, both of which are less arduous and require less of the breathing synchronization. My breast stroke is decent (although, I always feel as though my right leg is trying to do its own thing), and I rock the back stroke -- I feel like I could swim to Europe with the back stroke, as long as there weren't any walls to slam into (my one fear with the back stroke is that I won't feel the wall and I'll bash my head into it).

After several laps of those, I feel pretty tuckered out, but decide that before I get out of the pool, I'm doing one more back and forth of the front crawl, dammit. This time, I really try to focus on slowing down and getting the breathing right, and on the lap down the pool, I do a decent job of this; but then on the way back, I start sputtering and choking again. In the end, I felt drained, my arms were like jelly, and I felt pretty disappointed. All that floating with a beer in one hand did not prepare me for this one. single. bit. As I walked, dripping, across the lawn back to my condo, I felt like I never wanted to see another pool in my life, and if I tasted chlorine again, I was gonna slap someone. But then as I showered away the pool chemicals, I thought: "No. You can do this. It's just gonna take practice. Like running. That wasn't easy at first either when you started that 3 years ago; remember the cotton shorts and the chaffing and the huffing and puffing and begging for death? This is like that too, except in alarmingly-tight-Lycra."

So, I'll be back to swallow more pool water. And I'll improve. Or drown. Hopefully, the former.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pimptastic

Just got home from shopping for a hooker dress.

Yup. I wrote that correctly. I got a hooker dress. For what occassion, you may inquire? For a "Pimp 'n Ho" party, but of course.

A friend of mine that I work with is hosting a party tomorrow night with the theme of "Pimp 'n Ho" and you have to come dressed as either. So, we pimped Jerry out -- fedora hat, sunglasses, jewlery, a fake grill, and I got myself a hooker dress, as well as some hooker accoutrement, and we both got "pimp" cups: Jerry's says "Pimpin" and mine says "Ho," and both are big and bejeweled. They are friggin' sterling (my newly adopted word for "cool as hell" -- I snagged it from Diablo Cody's book "Candy Girl" which, BTW, is rad).

I'll try to snap a few pre-pimp-party-pics to post tomorrow evening before we head out, but if I don't, I'll be certain to bring the camera along and be sure to capture some of our ho-rific time for your viewing pleasure.

Word to ya muthas.

P.S. My site meter hits are gonna go through the roof for this post!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ode to a Run

Sometimes, running is so "zen" for me. There's just some intangible feeling when I'm out there, even on a short run, like this evening's 4 miler, and I'm not thinking anything -- my legs are pumping, my lungs are expanding with the rhythm of my breathing, my heart is thumping, and everything seems to move in sync to the music on the iPod. And there's something almost poetic, or religious, about running when that happens.

And when I finish, I feel hot and tired, but also exhilarated and cleansed. It's a run like this that re-invents my appreciation for the activity and reminds me why I liked this so much in the first place.

1: 9:21
2: 9:30
3: 9:36
4: 9:38

Total Time: 38:06

Ring Issues

Last night, I was brushing crumbs off the bed (Scooter and his messy bones -- sheesh!) and my wedding band flew across the room! Granted, I had been thinking for a few weeks that it felt extra loose, and yes, lately I had noted that it seemed to slide around a little too freely on my finger, but flying off? Goodness. I think it needs to be re-sized.

However...

When I run, my fingers swell and it always feels tighter then. So, I just know that if I get it re-sized, it'll be tight when I run and what if my finger falls off from poor blood circulation? I suppose I could leave it off when I run, but I have experimented with that in the past (for example -- marathon training in the summer: heat+humidity+high mileage=chub fingers) but it felt too weird.

Such a conundrum. What do you guys do? Do your fingers swell when you run in the heat? Do you shed the rings? Or do you wear them no matter what? Should I get it re-sized or just be prepared for it to fling off when I gesture?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Class Clusterf*@k

This evening was my last evening of my Tuesday class. It was only 3 weeks long, but that was enough. It was a review session for the CLAST (College Level Academic Skills Test) in grammar. Grammar is easy to teach, but boh-ring, so I was glad to be done with it. On the plus side, it's just a review class to help students prepare for the standardized test, so I didn't have to grade anything. Bonus.

And...I had one of my students from that class tell me that I was a great teacher and that she'd never had someone explain things so clearly and effectively for her. Sah-weeet. Keep that in mind -- if you need someone to explain pronoun case or verb tense consistency to you (or maybe you're confused about dangling modifiers?), I'm your gal.

Of course, ask me to add 7 + 8 and you'll need to give me a few moments...

In other class news (because I'm sure you're dying to know, and in actuality, because I have nothing else to blog about), I was going to be taking over this night class for a colleague -- she's preggers and I guess last week they thought she was going to need to be on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy -- however, now I'm not. I guess whatever was wrong with her is better now, and while I am gonna sub for the class tomorrow night, she plans to return on Monday evening. Great, as far as I'm concerned. I didn't want a night class (especially one that met for two nights a week), nor did I want the added class (this is summer for Christ's sake and I should be spending my days lounging by the pool!).

Plus, I came out of the deal looking like a rockstar because my department chair is grateful to me for being flexible and accommodating, the colleague now thinks I'm supah nice, and well, I think I created some good work karma. And karma, in general, is always good, especially for me; because ya never know when fate will boomerang back and bitch slap you, and good karma comes in handy then. At least, it always works out well for Earl.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial 3 Miler

After taking a full week off of running, I decided that today was the day to get back to it. So, this evening, after the sun began to set and the air cooled some, I set out for a short 3 miler. It was not fast (29:59), but it felt good to get back out there and run.

And that's all I have to say about that.

In other news, no, we did not buy a new TV yesterday. Yes, we went and looked, but there weren't any impressive sales -- see, I'm looking for a store that sells a 42" HDTV, LCD, 1080P, preferably in a brand I recognize, like Sony or Panasonic, for...oh...$6. Ever heard of a store like that? If so, let me know. Pronto. Until then, I suppose we will just hoard our money and wait.

Instead, we did go to the cheap theater ($3 tickets) to see "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." It was pretty funny; I could have done without the full-frontal male nudity, and I thought a few parts could have been cut down for time, but overall, worth the $3 for some good laughs. Then, we also had a few flicks at home to watch: "The Golden Compass" and "Enchanted." We watched one last night and one today; neither deserves an enthusiastic endorsement.

I mean, "The Golden Compass" was alright -- followed the book pretty closely but excluded the book's tragic ending (in fact, it simply evaded the novel's ending by ending before the book's ending) -- but something about it just felt "blah." And then, "Enchanted"? Holy lord, that was mind-numbing. Granted, I know it was a movie for children, but there are some children's movies that also manage to capture an adult audience (ie, "Shrek"). But this? This was dull, predictable, and stale. I guess I had the mistaken assumption that it was going to be satirical -- you know, a la "Shrek" -- a fairy tale that mocks fairy tales while still managing to uphold certain standards of the genre. Instead it was such a boring version of the worst of the Disney-fied fairy tales. Maybe I'd appreciate it if I had children. Or if I were a child.

Aside from gorging on movies, both Jerry and I have been spending most of our day reading. He's reading Ken Follett's "World Without End" and I'm reading Augusten Burrough's "A Wolf at the Table." I didn't like the first few pages of Burrough's book, but now that I'm more than halfway through, I love it (although, if you're interested in Burrough's memoirs, start with "Running with Scissors" or "Dry" first).

Hope everyone else enjoyed a holiday weekend that was a good blend of fun with family and/or friends and relaxation. Back to the grind tomorrow, folks.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Weekend Pool Party Pics

The annual Memorial Weekend BBQ and Pool Party yesterday was nothing but a good time. I got to float in the pool and drink plenty of Bud Light. I participated in some squirt gun fun.
And I rocked it in a pool volleyball tournament.
After many hours of pool-tastic fun, we grilled and chilled on the pool patio -- below is much of the gang showing you how it's done. I ate way too much, and after dinner, I had to lay down on the couch for awhile and try to work through the "Snicker-Salad-Sweats"; clearly, I should not be allowed to eat my own body weight in dessert.
The rain saved itself until after dinner, so it really didn't interrupt the party as we feared it would. But the torrential rainfall began around 7 pm and didn't let up until the wee hours this morning. It's good that we got so much rain because lately it's been a *touch* dry around these parts (ie, wildfires in the Everglades).
So, after the rain began, and I was falling asleep on the couch, Jerry and I headed home to feed Scooter and spend the rest of the evening at home chillaxin. I was tuckered out from the beer, the pool time, and the food, and I crashed out on the couch by 9 pm.

This morning, Jerry was out and and about with the boyz, so I hung out at home with some chores: I did some laundry, watered my plants, balanced the checkbook and graded some papers. This afternoon, I don't know what we have planned -- perhaps stopping by Best Buy to scout holiday weekend sales on HDTVs, perhaps catching a matinee, perhaps laying on the couch and reading. We'll see what the day brings.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Par-Tay!

So last night's Rock Band event was pretty rockin. I belted out a few songs -- some I butchered, and some I did decent on. My fav song to sing? "Crushcrushcrush" by Paramore. I pretty much *heart* everything about this band right now, and have a lot of their songs on my shuffle for running. If I were a rocker chick, I would totally wanna be like this chick who's the lead singer. Maybe I should dye my hair red now just in case I get discovered soon, huh?

But, the person whose skillz were really impressive last night were Ryan's. This dude sang and played lead guitar on The Red Hot Chilli Pepper's "Dani California" and that is a radical feat. Those lyrics are super hard in and of themselves, but to also play guitar is...wow. I guess being a nerd and practicing Rock Band everyday pays off.

This afternoon, we're going to a friend's for the annual Memorial Weekend BBQ and Pool Party, so that should be a good time too. Hopefully it doesn't rain on us (although the forecast is working against us on that one), but even if it does, I'm sure we'll have fun.

Rock on with your holiday weekend, peeps!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fun Day Friday

Got to sleep in this morning (yay!) and then I ran some errands, one of which was stopping by the AT&T store to see about a new cell phone. I've had my trusty, but far outdated, Nokia for 4 years now, and lately I've had the itch to upgrade. So, I decided on the Blackberry Pearl, but I wanted it in red. Did they have red in stock? Nope.

The guy told me they could have one brought over from another store and I could go back later this afternoon for it, and I agreed, but then after I left the store, I was filled with doubt as to whether or not I truly need a new phone. I mean, yes mine looks like it's circa 1990, but it works fine, and it has been extremely reliable (much like my 1998 Honda Civic, aka "The Green Hornet," which I am reluctant to trade in -- something about trading in things that work just feels wasteful to me). Besides, I get like 5 calls a week on my cell and maybe just as many texts, so it's not like I'm yakking away on it enough to justify all the upgrades.

However, it's shiny.

Does anyone else have a Pearl? Is it wonderful? Will it improve my quality of life? Will it do my taxes and grade papers for me? Those are features I would gladly upgrade for.

Anyhoo...after the phone store and no phone (still gonna think on that so I probably won't go back today), I met up with Erin for lunch. She's in the last stages of preggy-preggerness and she's working from home a few days a week, so I picked her up and we had a nice lunch at Panera. Delish.

When I got home, I did about 40 minutes of yoga -- my own sequence -- and it was challenging. It's amazing what a few sun salutations, warrior poses, and chair poses will do for the heart rate. When I finished, I did a few sets of push ups and some ab work, and now I'm pooped. Plus, it's thunder storming out now (thank god! we need rain like the Mid-East needs a peace accord), and that, to me, spells "reading time." So, I believe I will plant myself in a reclined pose on the couch and read/take a nap.

I need my rest; a friend of ours is in town this evening, and I think the gang is getting together for some beers and Rock Band. Should be swexecellent. Oh christ on crutches! Some lightning just bolted across the sky and the thunder that followed sounded awfully close -- I'd best get off the computer before I get fried!

Happy Friday homies!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Strangely

I am finding myself without much to say this week. Maybe it's because I haven't been running since the half on Sunday, or maybe it's because I haven't done one iota of exercise since the half on Sunday. So...um...yeah...Wanna hear about my day?

I had class this morning, and got done around noon. Then, I came home, had lunch, and played with Scooter (he needs at least 10-15 minutes of concentrated playing after one of us gets home, so I usually throw toys back and forth across the house for him, then he gets tired and lays down for awhile). I popped in a DVD of "Friends" (for some reason, I've never been much of a fan of the 10th season, so I watched a disc from that season because I haven't seen those episodes a thousand times, and really, it's a funny season -- don't know why I'm biased against it), and gave myself a pedicure.

Then, I lay on the couch with my book ("The Memory Keeper's Daughter" -- good) and fell asleep. Woke up when Jerry came home from work. Then, we went to dinner, but made a quick stop at the puppy store first. We just like to pop in and look at the pups, and they did have an adorable Beagle there, but we can't have another dog and even if we could, I wouldn't buy one from a puppy store. Personally, if I buy another dog, I will buy from a breeder.

Anyway, we went to dinner, had some BBQ ribs and a few beers (although, I didn't get a full beer since Jerry spilled part of my first one; I call sabotage, but he swears it was an accident). Then we came home and watched "Michael Clayton" and did some family cuddling on the couch -- Jerry cuddling me, me cuddling Scooter, and Scooter cuddling his stuffed monkey, named "Kong." The movie was very good. Two thumbs up.

Now, I think I'll read some more and go to bed. I am sooooo looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. And the next day, and the next day, and the next day.

Maybe I'll run tomorrow, or at least do some yoga or something, so I feel as though I have something worthwhile to report. Because honestly? This post was lame.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Colfax Pics

I don't have much by way of pics, but my stepmom did manage to capture a few pics during the race on Sunday, and this is my first chance to get them up. So, here is the start line with the wheelchair competitors preparing for their start. At the finish, in City Park, the trees were freshly green with the richness of spring (I know, I'm a poet, and I didn't know it!); I'm on the far left. But you can't see me all that well; however, I'm the munchkin in the white visor and grey shirt.
And here I am after the finish. I was facing the sun, so I'm a squinty-squinterson. And yeah, I ran the whole race in a t-shirt, so you know the temps were cool (usually, I just race in a sports bra and shorts here in FL).
In other news, I really don't have much going on today. I took a 2 hour nap this afternoon that was glorious; I can't wait for the long weekend just because I want to catch up on sleep. Thankfully, I just have classes tomorrow, and then it's 4 days off for Jess, wa-hoo!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jess Comments

So, I have been getting some FAQs amongst the commentary here at "21 Days" and you guys ask some good questions and add some interesting comments that deserve some further elaboration on my behalf.

Re: Swimming
Um, I haven't swum (aside from pattling around with a beer in one hand) since, like, high school. So my comment earlier about taking up swimming is made with the greatest of hesitations because
A. I don't own a swimsuit that is "swimming" attire. Would need to purchase one of those thingy-ma-giggers. The swimsuits I own are designed for primarily laying in the sun and looking good while drinking the aforementioned beer.
B. Don't have a pool to swim in. Per se. See, our community does have a pool, and yes, it's approximately 25 steps away from my front door. However, it is not very long -- in fact, I don't even know if I could guess its length -- so would lap swimming even be worthwhile in that? I could look into lap swimming at a public pool that is up the road about 2 miles (I run by it all the time), but I don't know if they offer times for lap swimming. And the only other option for pool swimming would be at a gym, and I have been avoiding a gym membership like Britney avoids rehab.
C. It isn't a whole lot cooler in the summer. As Wendy mentioned, pools in South Florida in the summer are about the temperature of piss (okay, so that's my analogy, not Wendy's, but that's the gist of her comment), so the only difference between the air and the water, is that you're more wet in one.

Re: Swimming -- A Postscript
No, I wouldn't swim in the ocean. I live about 45 minutes from the ocean. I'm not making that drive on a regular basis. Also, the ocean would be tough to swim in and I'd prefer to stick to a pool. Also, the pool doesn't have sharks.

Re: Swimming -- A Post-Postscript
No fears Marcy, as of now, I have no plans on converting to the dark side, so triathlons are not in my immediate future. However, Jerry and I have been talking about getting bikes, so we'll see...

Re: Soccer
And its observed disappearance from my posts. Well, unfortunately, I haven't played a game since the strained quad incident. I skipped one week to recover the quads, I was out of town for two weekends, and two games got moved from Sundays to other days of the week (one I was out of town for, and one I had something else going on for). So...yeah...haven't played in awhile. I actually emailed the team captain today to ask about the start of the new season because I may just throw in the towel on this one and start fresh with a new season. Also, Jerry brought me home a brochure about other women leagues in the area, so I may look into those as well and see which one is a good fit.

Re: Bowling League
Jerry and I have been bowling in a summer league for the past 3 years, and we love it. Personally, I think it's brilliant to have a sport that allows (nee, demands) that you drink while participating. For those who are new readers, what you can look forward to from bowling season are a lot of posts that read something like this. If that's not entertainment, what is?

Re: Bowling League -- A Postscript on Drinking
Nancy commented on the previous post's declaration that I was gonna scale back on running this summer by saying: "It's actually the perfect time to get serious about your drinking!" Amen, Nancy, amen.

No Plan

After finishing a race, my next thought is usually: What's next? But after finishing Colfax, I know that my next planned race isn't until October (the Army 10 Miler), so instead of thinking about gearing up for another upcoming race, I'm thinking of taking advantage of a light summer race schedule and giving myself a bit of a breaky-break.

I'm not saying I'm not gonna run; I'm saying that I'm not gonna specifically "train." I'm gonna run what feels comfortable each week, and maintain a base, but I'm not going to follow any schedules. In Florida, it's a good time to scale back on running -- it just gets so hot here in the summer that training can be miserable (ie, read the entire summer of posts from 2007 when I was training for Chicago). So, while many of you are gearing up for the fall race calendar, I think I am going to gear down.

Maybe I should take up swimming. That would be a good summer activity, wouldn't it?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Colfax Half Report

Hey homies! I'm back! Well, physically, anyway. I got into Ft Lauderdale at 12:15 am this morning, got in bed by 1 am, and was back up at 6 am in order to get to school this morning, so I'm a bit sleepy, but I am back to hot, humid, and now smoky, Florida. So, I only have 15 minutes before my first class this morning, and I'm gonna try to fly through a brief race report. Here goes:

The race was great! The weather was perfect in Denver yesterday morning -- it was about 50 degrees at the 6 am start time, and while that's chilly for standing around, it is absolutely glorious for running. In short, the run was swawesome: Seriously, I loved breathing that crisp, dry Colorado air, and I felt absolutely no effects from the elevation. After all, Denver is only at 5,280 feet, and while that is certainly a climb from Sea Level here in Florida, I grew up in Colorado at 8,000 feet, so to me, Denver is not at a high altitude. Anyway, if it did affect me, the effect was counter-balanced by the easy-to-breathe air and I felt wonderful while I ran.

I was a bit too conservative with my pace in the first 5-6 miles, but then I started to pick it up and the second half of the race was slightly speedier. And all in all, I don't think I've had a half that felt so good. Literally, at the 11 and 12 mile markers, I felt like I could run for forever, and I haven't previously felt like that at the end of a half. So, while my time wasn't a PR (though I came very close to tying my A1A PR), I finished the race feeling the best I've ever felt at the end of a long race.

1: 10:06
2: 10:16
3: 10:02
4: 9:52
5: 9:53
6: 10:34 (walked while I took my first Shot Blok and drank some water)
7: 9:46
8: 9:38
9: 8:45
10: 9:22
11: 10:21 (walked again while I ate my other Shot Blok and drank teh rest of my water)
12: 9:56
13: 9:23
.26 (yes, some significant swerving, I guess): 2:10

Total Time: 2:10:05

I felt awesome as I came through the finish chute, got my medal, etc, and met up with some of my family who had come out to see me finish. I really enjoyed the race, and would certainly recommend it.

And for those of you living and running in CO? You guys have a sweet situation there. That air is so great to breathe; I would trade this hot, thick FL air for those CO temps and dryness in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Packed

I got my suitcase all packed and ready for my Denver trip:

Lucky horse shoe earrings: Check.

iPod charged and packed: Check.

Garmin charged and packed: Check.

Standard racing shorts: Check.

Trusty sports bra: Check.

Socks, shoes, long-sleeve tech shirt, visor: Check, check, check, and check.

Body Glide: Check.

Shot Bloks: Mutha-fucking Check.

That's the stuff that matters. I may forget my toothbrush, but if I have all my racing stuff, then I'm coolio. I'm sure Denverites sell toothbrushes.

Anyhoo, on the schedule for tonight is...wait for it, wait for it...bowling! It's our first meeting pre-league, and the league will begin in the first week of June -- wa-hoo! Are you guys pumped? It's bowling season! So, anyway, I have bowling tonight and then class tomorrow morning, and then I'm outta here tomorrow afternoon and I am westbound for the Mile High City.

The race isn't until Sunday, but I have the expo to attend, family to visit with, and friends to see, so I will probably be MIA in the blogopshere until I get back (late Sunday night), and probably won't blog again until Monday. I know, I know, shed a few tears now if you need to...okay, now quit being a pussy; that's enough crying.

So, wish me luck on the race and I'll see ya homies in a few days! Peace.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

3 Milah! On Fiyah!

Did my 3 miler last night. Nearly burst into flames.

And then this morning? It was miraculously cooler out; I think the weather is trying to mock me. It was smoky, because of the burning Everglades, but much cooler. However, I did not get up early and run -- and aren't some of you cute for suggesting that -- I don't like to rise early and I certainly don't shine when I have to.

Today I have an early evening classs, so I'll get home around 7:30 this evening and then Jerry and I are planning a regular Tuesday evening family walk with Scooter.

Monday, May 12, 2008

En Fuego

So, have you ever had your oven on broil and you open it, and think to yourself, "Man alive, that feels like the perfect temp to go running in!"?

Yeah, me neither.

But, those are pretty much the conditions here in Florida as of late, and for the past few days, it has been in the mid-90s with humidity and it feels like lake-of-fire heat. And that's not so pleasant to run in.

So yesterday evening, I went out for what I intended to be an 8 miler, but 2 miles in, I felt like I was gonna die. I pushed for another mile, but at 3 miles, I said, "Screw it. I'm heading back." Thus, I ended up only doing 6 miles, and I was so slow in the last two that I just turned off the Garmin because I didn't want to look at it anymore. And I worried it may catch on fire.

Tonight I plan on doing something short once the sun sets, but I'll admit, I'm not looking forward to venturing back out into the inferno. On the plus side, the temps in Denver for the Colfax Half this Sunday are moderate: high of 70 and low of 48. Sweet.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

to all the moms and moms-to-be out there!

I talked to my mom on Thursday when my gift arrived. She had requested either a Swiss Army knife (because her old one was confiscated by TSA the last time she flew) or motorcycle boots. Next, she'll be requesting a Hell's Angels' membership and I'll have to watch my mouth around her or she'll likely cut me. Anyway, I got her the Swiss Army knife, on the condition that she not try to board a plane with it (I don't need to spend the next 10 years of my life trying to spring her from Gitmo), and she seemed very pleased with her gift.

It would seem way more normal if my mom requested things like flowers and chocolates, or better yet, did the classic mom "oh, you don't need to get me anything" non-request. However, I may not have turned out to have so much coolishness if my mother had been normal, so thank god for that!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Hot as Hades

I had a smokin 3 miler this evening...no, not particularly fast..."smokin" as in I thought I might burst into flames because it was so hot out! I waited until 7 pm, right when the sun was setting, but clearly, I'm gonna need to start pushing that hour back a little later. I didn't realize how warm it was until I got home and checked the temp and realized that the "feels like" temp was 89 degrees.

I'm pretty sure the only ones who like it that warm are the elderly. And Satan.

1: 9:18
2: 9:22
3: 9:32

Total Time: 28:13

Thank god it was only 3 miles; because when I returned, I was drenched in sweat and I could feel my face pulsing with heat. Now, I'm ensconced in air conditioned comfort, and I'm cooled off, but man alive, I'm not sure if the day will ever come when I get used to running in Florida's summer time heat!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

New Loot!

After class today, I stopped by my local running store, and picked up a few necessities. First on the list? Shoes. My old pair has about 300 miles on them, so it was time to pick up a new pair; thankfully, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7 have been discontinued so that means they were on sale! Sweet. Next on the list? Socks. 2 pairs -- check. Shot bloks, black cherry -- check. New tube of body glide -- check. Sports bra (also on sale) -- check. The bra is an exact duplicate of one I bought a few months ago, and I love it. So, now that I'm all set up with loot, I'm gonna go...read. What? You thought I was gonna say "run"? Heck no, it's too hot out right now. Maybe later, but we'll see; today is supposed to be family walk day with Jerry and Scooter, but they may let me squeeze in a run as well.

Until then, I'm gonna follow the Scooter-afternoon-sequence-of-relaxation. It's kinda like the flow of sun salutations in yoga, but it's designed by the foremost leader in relaxation: My dog, and it requires very, very little effort.

Pose I: Super-dog pose. Legs extended out behind you, arms out in front, belly resting comfortably on the carpet. Chin to the carpet, and eyes closed. Breathe.
Pose II: Dead dog pose. Lie on your side, arms and legs extended in front of you. Head back on the carpet. Breathe.
Pose III: Aware that someone is taking your picture pose. Similar posture to super-dog, but lift head and chin off the floor and look up. Don't forget to breathe.
Pose IV: Someone is opening the refrigerator pose. This pose demands the greatest level of alertness without actually moving off the carpet -- careful; it's a pivotal balance between relaxation and interest. Again, don't forget to breathe -- you'll need it in order to hop off the carpet and scamper into the kitchen for a snack.
Videos are forthcoming from Yogi Scooter. He just needs to find the time to work on them; until then, there are toys to play with, bones to chew, and kibble to ingest.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Early Entry

So, I did Nancy's "10K on the 10th" today, the 7th, because I would like to do a long run on Saturday, and I know the RD is understanding of such conflicts, so I went ahead and got my race in this evening. My race went pretty well, and the splits were as follows:

1: 9:26
2: 9:06
3: 9:30
4: 9:37
5: 9:47
6: 9:27
.2: 1:47

Total Time: 58:42

I know the RD doesn't divide results by Age Group, but something I forgot to mention about the Disney 15K was that that was my first race in a new AG: So long 25-29, hello 30-34 group! So, on the Disney results page, it listed my placement in my AG, but it didn't tell me how many were in the group; thus, in my book, it had no meaning. As I said, I know this virtual race won't list us by Age Group, but I do consider it my second race in the 30-34 age range -- in my book, this AG now rocks because of my presence!

In other news, I did a whole lotta nuthin today. It was glorious. I finished reading Franzen's "The Corrections" and thought it was excellent. It deserves a lot of serious literary criticism and analysis, all of which I will spare you from here, so I will merely say that it was an astounding novel. But after such serious reading, I felt the need for some "brain candy" and I went to the bookstore in search of some light reading. I picked up Stephanie Meyer's "The Host" and Jen Lancaster's new memoir "Such a Pretty Fat." For those who may still be unfamiliar with Lancaster, go hop over to her blog and laugh your head off; I credit her with adding such gems as "asshat" and "fucktard" to my vocabulary. I started with her book this evening, and it's such fast, easy reading (and seriously, it is hil-ar-i-ous) that I've already read 100 pages, and I'm pretty sure it will be polished off by tomorrow (despite those two pesky classes I have to teach in the morning).

And that's pretty much been my day. Now, I have some more reading to do and some "Top Chef" to watch. Toodles!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Home Pics

So, this is our new furniture purchase: Actually, it's four furniture purchases, but we've arranged them so that they look like a cohesive structure, and I can tell you from last night's cursing, sweating experience that hanging that shelf above the TV was a bitch. And yes, the current TV does suddenly look small in that space -- perhaps we will soon upgrade to something fancier.

Below is a larger view of the living room. The timing of the pic (early evening) means that light was coming in through the window at a weird angle, so if it seems dark, blame Mother Nature, not my picture-taking. We also bought two new end tables, and ended up getting rid of our gigantic coffee table -- we're still scouting smaller coffee tables, but for now, Scooter has been enjoying the larger play space (those are a few of his toys scattered on the rug).

And, then we moved an old bookcase so that it fit in this corner, and we bought the mirror and decorative do-dads to fancy it up some. This space used to be empty.
So, yeah, that's what Jerry and I have been working on for the past few days. Got it all finished this evening, and we took the old furniture to Salvation Army. Right now, we're waiting for the sun to set (it's been hot as hades here today), and then we're gonna go for a family walk with Scooter.

Hope everyone else had a tubular Tuesday!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Recovery

Did my recovery 3, and they were superb miles -- the difference in de-congestion is remarkable; when I can breathe well, I run well.

The furniture re-arranging, etc is still in progress, so no pictures yet. This involves reconfiguring where the TV and stereo are, and that involves a lot of wiring, and so Jerry has been busy all evening attaching things. All I'm aware of is that there a lot of wires.

And while he's busy doing that...I'm drinking my Cinco de Mayo Corona!

Cinco de Mayo

I had the best night of sleep evah last night! I was so pooped yesterday from getting up at 4 am (and not sleeping well the night before), running, and then driving 3 hours home, and then spending the afternoon furniture shopping, that by 9:30 last night I was zonked out. I slept so well that today I feel great and barely congested at all now! Ahhhhh....feels good to breathe in and out without mucus rustling the passageways.

Plus, today is an easy going day. I have a few papers to finish reading, some last grades to calculate and then I will enter my semester grades and be done with this term! Of course, the summer term begins on Thursday (what a stupid day to start, right?), but I still get Tuesday and Wednesday off to chillax at home.

Tonight? Well, Jerry and I bought some new furniture yesterday and so Jerry spent all evening yesterday assembling it, and tonight we are going to re-arrange our living room/dining room. Maybe I'll post some pictures of it when we're done. I also think I may go for a recovery run this evening -- the legs aren't sore today so I might try to put in something short. Then, I deserve a Corona (it is Cinco deMayo).

For those interested in possibly participating in the Princess Half Marathon that I mentioned yesterday, go here to check out info on it. It's March 8, 2009, which is a Sunday. The course would be somewhat similiar to what I described from the 15K yesterday (admittedly, the parts between parks is not fabulous, but MGM and Epcot are fabulous to finish in -- and those are the miles when you need something interesting, right?). I think I may almost deifnitely do it. My tentative plan for half mary's begins in December, and I plan on doing 4 in a row -- West Palm in December, Miami in January, A1A in Feburary, and the Princess in March (I figure I may as well take advantage of the FL schedule during the months that races are pleasant).

But, let me know if you think you may, and perhaps we could discuss a group run for it!

Check ya later, homies! Enjoy your tacos and Dos Equis today!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Minnie 15K Report

I finished in 1:35:18. Not my goal time, but still a PR. Here are the details:

Miles 1-5
Were pretty dang boring.

But I knew that. See, what's deceiving about a Disney race, is that expectant racers believe the entire thing will consist of runs through the parks with Tinker Bell and her faerie dust nearby, but the truth is that the parks are several miles apart, and to get to them, you have to run on the highway. So, we started in the parking lot of Animal Kingdom (didn't actually get to run through that park), and then circled out toward the Wide World of Sports and then looped back toward MGM -- all highway, baby.

And the other deceiving thing about this is that Disney kinda touts itself as a "flat" course, but with highways, come on/off ramps -- those are hills in my book. So the first half wasn't real exciting, nor was it easy.

1: 9:57
2: 10:32 (had to make a pit stop)
3: 9:47
4: 9:56
5: 10:09

Miles 6-9.3
Were much more interesting.

At 5.5, we entered MGM, and as we rounded through the park from the back, a flood of memories about finishing the marathon along this course flooded my consciousness. When I entered MGM at the end of the marathon, I was hurting, but today, I was feeling fine, and I can't express what a relief it was to run up "New York Street" in MGM and not feel hobbled.

From MGM, we wound through the Disney Yacht Club and ran along the boardwalk that circles the enclave (I remember at this point in the marathon, I was crying), and then we headed directly into Epcot. Epcot is always cool, and in the early morning, before the park was open, it was literally like running through small streets in Europe. I knew at this point, I wasn't gonna come into the finish in under 90 minutes, so I just enjoyed the park and savored the fact that I succeeded in enjoying it (instead of wanting to die like I did in those last few miles of the marathon).

6: 10:39
7: 9:15
8: 10:03
9: 10:25
.5: 4:30 (must've been doing some serious swerving b/c the Garmin recorded .2 extra miles)

Finish Line
Was in the same spot as the marathon -- you cross behind the giant golf ball and exit into the Epcot parking lot into the expectant crowd. I got my medal, a banana, and a water, and then exited the chute.

Finish Time: 1:35:18

In the end, I was a little disappointed in my time, and can't fully account for my slowness except to say that some days are slower than other days, and I just couldn't light a fire under my ass, despite an attempt in mile 7. It was still a fun race, and I especially enjoyed the last 4 miles.

Plus, this Disney event has me thinking of other events Disney has that are unique -- the 10K for the Taste (during the Food and Wine festival in the fall), the Tower of Terror 13K in October, and they are introducing a new 1/2 marathon next March called the Princess Half. I may seriously consider that one. Any other women bloggers out there wanna mass meet in March for that?!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Off to See Minnie

Today, I set sail for Orlando for tomorrow's "Women Run the World 15K" at WDW. I'm going solo mio -- Jerry has elected to stay home with Scooter (ie, to drink beer and play GTA IV) -- which is fine by me. I'm not gonna do any theme parks; I'm gonna get up there, go to the expo, check into my hotel, probably lounge by the pool and read, and then I have to get up early tomorrow morning because the race begins at 6:15 am.

So, before I leave I thought I'd outline some tentative goals:

1. Beat my previous 15K time.

This should be easily achievable since I last ran a 15K almost 2 years ago and my time was 1:43. I'm positive I can beat that. Thus, tentative goal numero dos:

2. Finish in 90 minutes.

This will require a 9:30 pace, and it might be tight. At the A1A half marathon, back in February, I crossed 9 miles at 1:27, and that was a good 9 mile time for me, but with the 15K, I'll have .3 left to finish. So, 90 minutes will be close.

3. Avenge the end of the WDW Marathon.

This race starts in Animal Kingdom and ends in Epcot, and as best as I call tell, that's a close route (some slight variations) to the last 9 miles of the WDW Marathon, and for those readers, who were with me back in January of 2007 when I ran that marathon, you'll recall the utter emotional despair and physical breakdown I encountered in those miles (thus resulting in the 6:26 finish when I'd been aiming for a 5-5:30 finish). Anyway, I want this experience of coming through Epcot to be strong and confident; so it can kind of make up for the last time I ran through Epcot and kept wanting to lay down in the grass and die.

4. Have fun.

Despite the fact that the WDW Marathon wasn't the finish I wanted, it was a great race, and I do think that Disney really knows how to organize and host an event, so I'm sure this will be good. Plus, I'm looking forward to seeing what the medal looks like!

So, those are my goals, and the only possible impediment is this lingering congestion, but I think I can work past a few boogers for a race, and I think I'll rock it. See ya tomorrow with the race report!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Three

This evening, I got out for a 3 miler, and it felt pretty good.

1: 9:03
2: 9:21
3: 9:23

Total Time: 27:48

I'm still kinda congested, and while the running helps to clear up the nasal passages (can anyone say "snot rocket"?), I can also tell a difference in lung capacity. Feels like my breathing is more labored, so I hope that improves some before Sunday.

Now, my belly is full of delicious pasta, and I think I'm gonna chill for the evening -- pretty relaxed Friday around the Jess and Jer household tonight.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

TGIT

Still feeling well this evening, I decided to cruise out for a 5 miler; besides, nothing clears up congestion like a good run.

It wasn't what I would label a "great" run, and I'm not even sure if it deserves an adjective like "good," but it was decent. And the splits? Well, they are what I like to call here at 21 Days, "positive splits":

1: 9:19
2: 9:35
3: 9:45
4: 9:48
5: 9:54

Total Time: 48:23

Felt good to get out there though, and now, I believe I will read for a bit. (I'm reading Jonathan Franzen's novel "The Corrections." I'm about 5 years behind on its popularity, but aside from winning dozens of literary awards when published, it is probably most famous because Franzen refused to allow Oprah to make it one of her Book Club books. I give him snaps for standing up to pseudo-God Oprah, but at the time of publication, it just got too popular for me -- despite the Oprah snub -- and I tend to be contrary to things that get too popular. Anyhoo...now I'm reading it, and it is pretty good so far.) Then? A new "The Office" and "30 Rock"! Woo-hoo!

Better

The one good thing about getting sick during finals week is that my schedule of classes is altered and it's easier; so, I don't really have to teach at all this week, just administer my exams and read a lot of papers (which, thanks to hard work on Monday and Tuesday, I'm actually pretty much caught up on). This meant that yesterday, when I was really feeling like crap, I was able to get home by noon and spend the rest of the day in one of two spots: couch or bed.

Plus, I got to sleep in this morning, and with all the extra rest, I feel much better. I have a headache, and am still kinda congested, but it's worlds better than how I felt yesterday. This is generally the pattern a virus follows, and I get over them pretty quickly; I just wish my immune system would block them from getting in in the first place. Granted, like any teacher, I'm exposed to a lot of germs simply by the volume of people I come in contact with -- I have 150 students a semester, and they are always sick (sometimes I suspect they are licking their papers that they turn into me!) -- so it's gotta be a losing battle to protect me completely, but c'mon, sometimes I think my ninja immune system is sleeping on the job and just allowing these viruses to slip by.

Today, I have no finals to give, so I am thinking of cleaning up the house, taking Scooter for a walk and then going in to my office this afternoon. And if I'm still feeling well this evening, I'd like to do a short run. We'll see.