About Me

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My real life is a lot like THS (True Hollywood Story) except there's no fame, fortune, or drug addiction. Instead, I'm happily married, have two children, and a dog who's prone to barfing at 3 am. I love them all, but I also have to run away from them every day. I always run back, though.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So Busy

I need some kind of army of trained monkeys or a fleet of robo-Jesses to get everything done that I have going on this week. So, yeah, I'm a little behind on the blogging (plus, Jery has been hogging the computer lately with his 2 fantasy football leagues, as well as his MySpace Mafia and some other online war game -- seriously, could I have married a bigger nerd?!). Anyway, I hope to catch up soon.

In the meantime, hang tight with these random tidbits:
  • Yesterday, I bowled a 141, 127, and a 141. I think I am within the 150 range, and soon I hope to be posting a series of scores that represent a triple threat trifecta.
  • I ate an entire Chipotle burrito for dinner tonight and I swear that thing was the size of my head. I'm pretty sure the only carnivore that is a worthy opponent to me is T-Rex. Huzzah!
  • I am absolutely convinced that laundry breeds in the hampers; therefore, I am cutting off the fornication by putting dirty clothes directly into the washing machine. So far, it doesn't seem to be "hampering" the laundry licentiousness. How do you people with kids ever finish it?
  • I miss my Escape. Mostly I miss the way the leather seats delicately cup my ass cheeks. I also desperately miss Alt Nation on Sirius radio. I abhor commercial radio, so the only thing to listen to in the Poop-Tastic Cruiser is NPR. Don't get me wrong, I like NPR -- but if I hear one more word about the financial peril we're all facing, then I'm gonna steer that stupid 4-cylinder car that reminds me of a hearse right into a ditch.
  • It was rainy and lightning today, so no running. Besides, did you hear about the size of that burrito I ate? I feel like an Anaconda that just swallowed a goat -- all I wanna do is crawl into bed and sleep for three days while I digest.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wardrobe Flexibility

Thanks for the comments on the post below; it seems the majority votes for the "lucky" red race shorts, so I'll probably go with those. As per the questions about temp and the necessity of the shirt: The weather forecast for Sunday morning in DC calls for a low of 56 and a high of 75. To me, that is absolutely perfect running temps. Granted, the race doesn't start until 8 am, so it will be getting warm as we start, but to me, that will still be significantly cooler than here in FL.

Thus, my plan with a shirt is flexible. If it feels chilly to me that morning, I'll start with the shirt on, and if I get warm, I can always shed it and run in just my sports bra. Also, I will be on the lookout at the expo for something that may be more suitable based on my perception of the conditions once I arrive in DC, so who knows? I may find a shell top or a singlet that's more appropriate for race day conditions. It's kinda hard altering running environments and guessing about what sort of gear will be necessary, so I'm packing a few options and plan on being flexible come race day morning.

But consider that for me, 56 degrees first thing in the morning is gonna feel dang chilly. Granted, I think that's an awesome temp for running, but for standing at the start, I can guarantee I'll be chilly -- I'm used to running in temps that are pretty steady between 82-92 degrees. And as far as the high of 75? Please, our A/C in our house is set at 76 degrees. So, if I can run in conditions that will be, at the warmest, the temp of my air conditioned house, I'll be very pleased.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rainy 8 and a Wardrobe Dilemma

This evening when I set out for my 8 miler, it was cloudy and looking like rain, but it wasn't yet raining. Then, a mile in, it started to sprinkle, which it continued to do through the first 4 miles. But when I got to the 4 mile turn-around, it started to pour, so on the way back, I got absolutely soaked; however, aside from the rain (and especially the squishy socks and shoes), it was a good 8 miler, and I finished in 1:18:13, which is an average 9:47 pace. If I can do something around there for the Army 10 Miler next Sunday, I'll be pleased.

But speaking of the ATM, today I went shopping for a tech shirt to wear for race day. See, here in FL, I don't usually run in shirts, but it is probably going to be much cooler next weekend in DC, so I figure I need a race shirt. Last weekend I looked at my LRS when I went shoe shopping, but I didn't like anything they had. So, today I found exactly what I wanted, but the only problem was that the only color they had was black. Which I'm not stoked about. But I liked the shirt, so I bought it and figured I'd make it work.

The issue? What shorts go with it? Below, I have 3 possibilities and I need some help deciding. So, first up, my tried and true Nike shorts which are a reddish-orange color with white & light blue on the sides. I have worn these shorts for just about every race for the past two years; they are the most comfortable pair I have, but also they are psychologically comfortable. They do not, however, go with a black top. Second option is white shorts. And even though the piping is blue, it also has black piping, so it kinda matches. Plus I think the black/white thing probably looks best.
Last option is the black shorts with white piping. This is my least favorite option because even though black is supposed to be slimming, I think I look like a chunk of lard here. Maybe it's just my stupid half smile that's bothering me. Plus, I don't think the solid black is a good look for running.
So, whatch'a homies think? Option #1, 2 or 3?

Visiting Vizcaya

Through the college I teach for, I got two free tickets (offer through the Smithsonian) to visit any museum in the area, so Jerry and I decided we wanted to see Vizcaya, which is a historical mansion on the shores of Biscayne Bay in Miami. It was an overcast day yesterday, so the pics are kinda dark, but this is the side you enter the house through: The house itself is pretty cool -- very ornate with hand-carved doors and ceilings that are beautiful. It was owned by John Deering, who owned International Harvester, and it was simply his winter home. He died in 1925 and left a minimal staff to live in and maintain the house; apparently, it then fell into some disrepair over the years until Miami-Dade county bought it as a historic house in 1952. Now it is designated as a National Historic Landmark. Here's Jerry giving it two thumbs up:
The house, like I said, sits facing Biscayne Bay, so it has a pretty stellar view of the bay and downtown Miami. The tents here in the pic were set up because some (very rich) girls were apparently preparing for their Quincera (hope I spelled that right) party. We saw them on the grounds having their pictures taken, and at first we mistook them for brides, but upon closer inspection, it was clear that they were teens, and without the presence of grooms, we deduced that they were celebrating the Latin tradition of a girl's 15th birthday party. Which, by the looks of the preparation, was gonna be $$$.
So, while the house is pretty spectacular, the grounds are really the best part: Lots of formal gardens and stone structures that make it feel like something you'd see in Europe, but with a tropical touch. Here's Jerry and I:
And here I am in front of one of the many fountains:
All in all, we thought the place was pretty dang cool and we enjoyed seeing it, especially for free. So, after touring Vizcaya, we went out for a nice dinner and then finished the evening off by visiting the bookstore and picking up some new reads. It was a fun Saturday.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Damages

Yesterday, I dropped the Escape off at the body shop so they can fix this: And this:
And this:
And they thought it shouldn't take too long, and I might even have it back by the middle of next week. In the meantime, I got a PT Cruiser as a rental. Driving it makes me feel like I aged 35 or 40 years and I feel like I should be haggling with the grocery store cashiers about the cost of soup and complaining that the kids never come to visit. But, hey, at least I don't have to pay anything for it (so far, going through the other driver's insurer -- Geico -- has been easy and uneventful).

After class yesterday, I went for a quick 3 miler, and then I got ready for an evening of Rock Band 2:
We drank some beer, ate some sloppy joes, and rocked out!
We rocked until after midnight, and combine that with a few too many beers for Jess, and you have the formula for a pounding headache this morning. Oh well, that's the price of Rockstardom.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Car Accident

This morning when I got up, a brief thought flashed through my head: "I don't feel like teaching today. Maybe I could use a personal day today and just stay home...nah, I'll suck it up and go to work."

Well, I shoulda listened to that brief thought and stayed home.

On my way to school, I got smucked from behind by...wait for it...wait for it...yes, a college student on his way to the same place I was headed (no, he wasn't actually one of MY students, but still, the irony is kinda funny, right?). Thankfully, we were on a side street and weren't going more than about 20 or 25 mph, so neither of us was injured and the damage, while bad, isn't terrible. And my Escape is drivable.

However, this sucks the big one. I mean, I've only had my Escape for 3 weeks (haven't even made the first car payment yet!) and now it's gonna have to go in to the body shop for some healin'. So, I ended up taking a personal day anyway because I have all this insurance shit to sort through (it was the other driver's fault and he has taken the liability for it, so thankfully his insurance will be covering the damages, as well as a rental car, so that's good that I don't have to pay my deductible). Right now, Jerry and I are trying to determine where to take it for repairs: Looks like we'll take it to the dealership where we bought it, but we just need to hammer out some details.

Blech. Car accidents suck. Where's the beer?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

3 Miler and More Costume Ideas

This evening I fell asleep on the couch after dinner, and when I woke up it was already getting dusky out. So my first thought was "Screw it, I'm not gonna run." But then as I slowly woke from my cat nap, I decided that as much as I didn't want to get out there, I should. So I laced up the new kicks and did an easy 3 miler. It was already getting dark, and because it rained earlier, it was also nice and cool. Still muggy, but much cooler.

Glad I got up off the couch and got out there.

Now, back to the Halloween costume debate. Yes, yes, I know it's a little early to be kickin' costume ideas around, but I gotta hop on it early because every year I procrastinate and then end up with something kinda half-assed. So, thanks for the comments on the costume ideas below, but now I don't think I'm going with any of those ideas: Juno just isn't much dress up for me (aside from the preggo belly), Rainbow Brite costumes only come in one interpretation (totally sexed up -- which I'm cool with some "sexy" quality to a costume, but I don't want to look like a stripper), and Sandra Dee in that skin-tight spandex just looks like a yeast infection waiting to happen.

Also, I should specify that Jerry will NOT do a "couples" costume with me. He hates that kind of thing, so even though there are tons of cute ideas for couples' costumes, he's not down for it. And neither is Scooter willing to step in and be a replacement. For one thing, Scooter won't stand for anything but a collar on him, but for another, Jerry is strictly against dressing animals up. One year, I suggested that I wanted to be the Wicked Witch of West and make Scooter my winged monkey, and Jerry said "no." That was the death of that idea.

So, anyway, after wasting many hours on the internet looking at costumes, I have narrowed it down to a few possibilites that were not even remotely a part of my previous list. And again, I solict your feedback.

First up: Princess Leia. No, not in the gold bikini. I'd have to be high to do that costume. Except maybe in the bedroom (wink, wink). But this Princess Leia: I think I like the idea of toting around a blaster all night the most. Second idea is Judy Jetson. Cute, right?
And my last consideration is Red Riding Hood. My only problem is that it kinda resembles my Beer Wench costume from last year, but with a cape and a basket. Although...a cape does sound awesome.
Whatch'a think about these?

Halloween Costume Debate Cont'd

Today, Jerry emailed me a whole bunch of Halloween costume ideas for me, and here's just a sampling of some of my favorites. What'cha think of one of these?
Sandra D
Toadstool from Mario Bros
Gizmo
Animal
Alice from Resident Evil
Juno
Rainbow Brite



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Shoes

New running shoes help not just with the renewed physical comfort, but they also help with a much needed mental boost. I know that they gave me the necessary "oomph" to have a new attitude about my running for today's 4 miler (38:08). And the fresh cushioning couldn't hurt.

On a non-running related topic, Halloween is just around the corner and I need a costume idea. For our bowling team, we've pretty much settled on an idea for the four of us (but I don't want to reveal it here -- I'm not sure if it's a secret, but I don't want to be the one to spill the beans before the others are ready to unveil our idea), but I need something just for me for our Halloween party.

At first, I wanted to go as Wicket. The Ewok from "Return of the Jedi." But guess what? That's a hard costume to find. In fact, I've essentially scoured the Internet and no luck. Jerry felt that he could construct it from scratch, but he said he'd need to buy a sewing machine in order to do that. I nixed that idea. I don't want to shell out the $$$ for a sewing machine that Jerry uses once a year to construct our Halloween costumes.

So with the idea of Wicket out the window, what should I be?

Monday, September 22, 2008

MoGo for my Mojo

Yesterday, feeling crappy about my crappy weekend running, I went to the running store in search of that one thing that lifts every runner's spirits: shoes. My old shoes were approaching 300 miles, and I like to trade them in around that mileage, especially since I've been experiencing some shin discomfort, and for me, that's a tell-tale sign that the shoes are wearing out.

So, I went with the same shoe I've been wearing for nearly 3 years now: The Brooks Adreneline GTS, which is now in series 8. I almost ordered them online from Zappos, just because they had them available in yellow there, and I think yellow would make me look fast, but ultimately I feel loyal to my local running store, and I prefer to shell out my cash to local establishments when I can, and they just had the same boring ol' blue and silver. Oh well, just looking at their gleaming new tread and threads renews my desire to run.

However, today I'm taking a rest day -- besides, we have bowling tonight -- but I plan to put those new kicks to use on tomorrow's run, and hopefully they'll be the cure I need.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Failed 10 Miler: Take Two

After yesterday's unsuccessful 10 miler, I determined to get up early this morning and get it done at dawn. My alarm went off at 5:30 am, and I got up and was ready and out the door by 6 am. At first I felt good, but then that feeling quickly dissolved and by mile 2 again, I felt the same feeling I did yesterday: total fatigue. I went about a tenth of a mile more and then threw in the towel and turned around to make it an even 4. A slow, crappy 4. Those 2nd two were uncomfortable and tiring, and my mind was cluttered with frustration and disappointment, despite my best efforts to shove those thoughts away.

On the one hand, I'm thankful that the reason neither run didn't go well isn't because of injury or illness. While that would give me a concrete reason for the poor runs, I don't want to deal with either potential problem. However, on the other hand, it would be nice to have a concrete reason instead of just a vague "I didn't feel good" and "I felt just completely zapped" because neither provides a specific reason, and that makes it feel like I should have been able to work past it.

I don't have a lot of experience with running, but I have been doing this for more than 3 years, and that's been enough for me to experience some great runs and races, as well as some truly terrible ones. And I know that the terrible ones don't always need a reason to go badly; there can be a combination of reasons, both mental and physical, but ultimately they "just happen." And usually I can dismiss them as part of the running process and move forward without being too hard on myself.

But, it's one thing to do that with one bad run; two in a row is a much tougher mental hurdle because those bad runs erode the confidence and create self-doubt. But putting them behind me is what I have to do in order to not carry them as baggage into my upcoming runs.

So, this morning after I got home, I took a shower, and crawled back into bed for 2 hours. When I woke up, Jerry was making pancakes and the smell of syrup combined with the scent of fresh coffee helped wash my memory clean of the weekend's failed runs. So, I had two bad runs this weekend, but now I put them behind me, and I move forward.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Crappy Run

Today was supposed to be a 10 miler, and when I went out, it was 90 degrees. That's not an extreme temp here, but I decided to head out around 6 pm instead of waiting until the sun begins to set around 7 pm like I usually do, and that was a mistake. I don't do well in heat + sun. 2 miles in, I knew I made a mistake in the timing and I was paying for it.

I got to 2.5 miles and was spent. There was no specific thing wrong, no dizziness or nausea or anything, but I just felt zapped. I know that sounds like a vague complaint, but that's the best I can do -- I was completely drained. So, I turned back and figured I'd take a shorter route home and make it 4 miles. But at 3.5, I just couldn't go anymore and I walked the last half mile home.

It's frustrating when a planned run doesn't go as planned, especially when there's no specific complaint, but I can't do anything about it now, so I showered, made dinner, and now I'm gonna chill for the rest of the evening. No worries. I think I will set the alarm for early tomorrow morning, and try again. Hopefully it will be cooler then and I can get my 10 miles done. That's all a girl can do when things don't go well.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Garmin Down

As I was getting ready for my 3 miler today, I strapped on the Garmin, fresh off its charger, and turned it on. Nothing. I pressed the "power" button harder. Nothing. Held the "power" button down for 5 seconds. Nothing. Ack! I then tried pushing the power button over and over hoping that magically it would remember that it was supposed to turn ON. But...nothing. So I pressed every button on the Garmin and, yup, you guessed it. Nothing. I put it back on the charger and the screen remained blank. Nothing. Nothing. And more nothing.

So I ran my 3 miles without the Garmin, and vowed to deal with it when I got home. Running the 3 without the Big G was a bit like running blind, and I even caught myself looking down at my wrist a few times only to then remember that Garmy was at home.

After the run, I consulted the owner's manual only to discover that it offers no troubleshooting directions regarding a problem of this nature, and because the Garmin is 2 years old, the limited warranty has worn off. However, with a little more careful reading in the manual, I found a section that directed me to hold the "lap" button and the "mode" button simultaneously to reset the unit. And...it worked! I healed it! So, now it seems to be working just fine.

Phew! That gave me some panic. I mean, I wouldn't mind having a legit reason to finally go out and purchase the 405, but by getting the most life out of this one, I can save myself the dinero of an upgrade. Ahhhh, now I can go enjoy my Friday evening. Thank you Garmin gods.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

After work today, the thunder clouds gathered, the lightning flashed, the thunder boomed, and it rained. Not a good evening for a run. Instead, I settled in with my sweats and with a few brews. (Has anyone tried this MGD 64? I wouldn't highly recommend it; it tastes like water, and I'm not entirely sure if it even had any alcoholic content, but that didn't keep me from drinking a few of them -- with their low calorie content and uncertain alcoholic percentage, I figure I can have twice as many!) Then, Jerry and I rocked out on Rock Band; here's Jerry on the drums:
Here I am on the mic:
Well, drinking while holding the mic. Hey, a rockstar needs her brewskis, okay? We played a LOT of Rock Band and we did a decent job, earning some beer money for our two bands: One is called "Scooter Dawg" and the other is "The Copper Tops" -- both names in honor of our number one fan. Below, I take my turn on the drums (they are fucking hard!).
Below, our number one fan looks less like the kind of enthusiastic fan we were hoping to draw as Rock Gods, and more like a copper-colored dog who wants us to play with him instead of playing video games.
Is it me, or does his stuffed frog even look bored?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Playlist

Yesterday, I did get my planned 4 done (39:34) and today, I got a 5 miler in (48:32). Not much was interesting or exciting about either run, so I don't have much by way of reportage; however, I did add some new tunes to my Shuffle, and I re-arranged the playlist to mix up the variety on there. Looking at the playlist made me realize how clear some of my favorites are, just in terms of volume.

So, I thought I'd give you guys a little run-down on some of the bands and songs that Jess prefers while running:

1. Foo Fighters.
They win by a big margin with 10 songs on the playlist. My favorite song of theirs to run to? "The Pretender." It rocks. I am also a big fan of their newer song "Let It Die" -- also off the new album.

2. My Chemical Romance
I have 4 of their songs on my Shuffle, and my favorite one to run to is "Helena"; my favorite one of theirs to sing along to in the car is "Teenagers" because I like to belt out the lyric "Teenagers scare/ The livin' shit outta me!" They mean it as an irony, but I mean it pretty much literally.

3. Jimmy Eat World
Actually ties with My Chemical Romance for the #2 spot for number of songs on the Shuffle, but I like an orderly list with some sense of rank, and while I love Jimmy Eat World, not all of their songs are kick ass for running. My favorite running song of theirs is "Pain." 'Nuff said. But I also really like their newer song "Let It Happen."

4. Paramore, The Fratellis, Fall Out Boy, and The Arctic Monkeys
They really are tied, both for number of songs on the playlist and for a ranking for their runn-ability-qualities.

5. Rage Against the Machine
If you ever need a song that's just straight up kick-ass, you can always count on this band to deliver it. Plus, there's a proficient use profanity, which I like in a running song. My favorite of theirs is "Killing in the Name" simply because of the repeated lyric at the end: "Fuck you/ I won't do what you tell me"; too bad they're not together anymore. Audioslave (the band made up of Chris Cornell from Soundgarden and the remaining Rage members) churned out some good tunes ("Cochise" is a good running one), but they too aren't together anymore. Maybe Tom Morello is too good for any of those guys.

6. Against Me!
Okay, so I only have two of their songs on the playlist, but they really do friggin rock. Both "Thrash Unreal" and "Stop" should be on everyone's running playlists.

Now, I gotta go. We inherited Rock Band from our friend Ryan, and now Jerry and I are gonna go rock out here in our living room!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bowling Report: Week Two

Our second week of bowling was a bit more relaxed than last week, and because the team we were bowling was a little slow, we ended up having more time for drinking. Oopsie. Had more than my planned 3 beers.
And that didn't really help me out with my scores; although, I still managed a 120, 128, and 130. However, the low scores reflected in my game were a plague that inflicted our entire team, and we did not do very well against our opponent. So, despite the fact that we were in 3rd place, I think we sufficiently dropped down in the ranking after last night. Oh well. They serve Bud Light whether we're in the top of the placement or the bottom.
Anyhoo, I felt just fine this morning; I may not be able to type while intoxicated, but I bounce back the next day pretty easily. So, this evening I want to get out for a 4 miler. I haven't been running since Saturday morning, and I need to get back out there. Of course, it's like a gazillion degrees out there, so I'm sure it will be a sweaty, miserable 4 miles, but that's the way it is. I just have to roll with it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Okay

Jerry wouldn't let me stay at thebowlung alley and keep frinkg, Drinks. I'm mean drinking.

Anyway, it was not stellar for us as a team, but I did alright, adn I live beer, I mena "love" it.

Yeah, lots of love for it.

Anyhoo,,,I wantred to keep drinking beer and watchign Monday night football, but Jerry said "elts go home, and I' was like "fine." So we did.

Tuesday's gnnna kind asuck.

What should I be for Halloween?

Got Myself a New Bowling Ball

It's shiny, right? Now I'm ready to conquer that league! Yeah.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fall Fling 5K Race Report

This morning's race wasn't a PR, but it was still a good race, and it was a personal course record. Two years ago, I ran this 5K as part of a challenge from my friend Ryan -- we wagered to see who could set a new PR for themselves, and I'm sad to report that he won, and I had to buy him breakfast. Damn him. I'm still bitter. Kidding.

Anyway, at that time, I ran this course in 30:27.

This morning I ran it in 28:51. Granted, that's about a minute slower than the new 5K PR I set at the Weston 5K back in July, but like I said, still not too shabby.

The splits were like so this morning:

Mile 1: 9:03
Mile 2: 9:09
Mile 3: 9:16
Mile .16 (yeah, I guess a bit of weaving, huh?): 1:21

So, all in all I was happy I got up this morning and did the race, but I do have one bit of bitching to do. Sure, it was warm this morning (car reported outside temp to be 82 degrees at 6 am), but that's not my gripe; my real complaint about this race is one that applies to nearly all small, local 5Ks: Timing chips and the lack of mats at the start. What is the validity of the timing chip if there is no start pad? The whole point of chips is so that people don't crowd the start line and so that their individual race time won't start until they cross the start line, but if there are no start pads, then their start time is the gun time.

Personally, I mostly go by my Garmin because I'm pretty exact with hitting the start/stop, but it would be nice to have an accurate chip time as well. If these races aren't even gonna use the start pads, then what's the point in chipping the event? Is it psychological? To trick all of us into not crowding the start line? Are they just using the chips as crowd control?

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Found My Mojo

And it was in the last place I would have thought to look: The gym.

Yup. After class today, I donned my running clothes and hit the campus gym for some one-on-one with the treadmill, and I pounded out 3 miles in 27:11. Granted, that's on a treadmill, in a temperature controlled environment, but it still made me feel pretty good, so I decided that I will do the planned 5K tomorrow morning.

It's a shame I decided this after 1 pm this afternoon since that's when online registration closed, but I can still register at the race tomorrow morning. Again, I'm not sure I will PR (although the 27:11 on the treadmill today puts me on track to at least tie my 5K PR of 27:49), but it should still be a decent race.

Or, if it sucks, I'll just blame you bloggers for forcing me to go.

To 5K or Not to 5K

I have a 5K on my race calendar for tomorrow morning, but I'm not sure if I really want to do it, so I figured I'd elicit some blogger help in the decision process.

Pros:
  • Since I've been a running slacker this week, a race may be just the thing I need this week to motivate my running.
  • I haven't had a race since July, and this 5K is on the calendar as a way of jump-starting the fall race season, which will be relatively busy (I've planned for a 10 miler, 10K, 3 half marys, a 5K, and a partridge in a pear tree); see sidebar for race schedule.
  • The race is first thing in the morning, and if I get up, race, and get home before 8 am, I will feel like I accomplished super things before the start of the day.
  • I've raced this 5K before, so it's a chance to set a new course record.
  • It's at 7 am, so the temps should only be in the 80s.

Cons:

  • I've been so tired this week, I would really like to sleep in tomorrow. And getting up early and preparing for a race seems almost silly when it's "just" a 5K.
  • I have not been doing any speedwork lately, so I doubt I will PR.
  • Despite being scheduled at 7 am, it will be in the 80s, and it has been so humid in the mornings lately (like my sunglasses fog over kind of humid) that I think this won't be the kind of prime weather conditions for racing.
  • It's kinda spendy for a 5K ($30 on race day).
  • I've raced this 5K before and the course is not great -- it doubles back on itself -- and the t-shirts are blah.

So, what'cha guys think? I have an equal number of pros and cons, but do they each carry equal weight in the decision? I just don't know. A huge part of me is saying "Why bother if you're not that in to it?" But another part of me says: " Jeez, Jess, you're such a whiner this week! Get your ass out there and race!"

Which part should make the final decision?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

No Running: Take Two

Again, I just didn't feel like running today, and again, I just felt absolutely drained after my day at work. So, I didn't run. Didn't even take Scooter for a walk.

Instead I baked cookies and watched "Penelope" (pretty cute story -- plus it has James McEvoy, rarh!). Pretty relaxed evening. Maybe tomorrow I'll get my act together and do some running; or, maybe I need a mainline of espresso to kickstart my mojo.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Walking with Scoots

I'll be honest, after work today, I felt pretty worthless and running was the last thing I felt like doing. Generally, even when I don't feel up to running, I know that once I do run I feel refreshed and revitalized, and knowing that is usually enough for me to muster up the reserve motivation and get out there. But today, I just really didn't want to run.

Yet, I knew that if I skipped running I would feel the inevitable guilt that all runners feel after skipping a planned run; I also knew that the guilt would be even worse if I skipped exercise altogether. Thus, I decided to take Scooter for a long walk instead -- that way, I could rest assured that I had gotten in some exercise even though I didn't run.

So Scooter and I went for a 2 mile walk. And I know that it took us longer to walk those 2 miles than it would have taken me to just get out there and run 3, but I figure that's okay. I needed the break today.

Besides, Scooter lurved the walk.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Breezy Ain't Easy

While Ike has totally missed FL, (I'm sorry, SW Texas -- you guys have to be pooping your pants right about now looking at those forecasts!) it is sweeping nearby Cuba, so we've had gray and windy weather the past two days. Today, it has been particularly windy, with gusts around 25 mph.

Now, if that breeze brought cool, fresh air with it, I wouldn't mind it; in fact, I would errect a church in its honor and worship there on designated holy days. But that's not the case. It's still 91 out there, with 85% humidity, so that wind basically just feels like Satan is whistling at me.

Therefore, you may aptly conclude that my 3 miler this evening was a wee bit of a struggle; with a total time of 29:39, you'd assume correctly.

Bowling Report

The first night of league last night was, well, a little stressful. This league is much bigger and more serious than the casual summer league we've been participating in for the past 4 years, so we had to pay close attention to the different rules, regulations, and scoring. Plus, it was a little intimidating bowling next to, and against, teams who have sponsorships and where individuals are bowling in the mid-200s.

Plus, these "leaguers" are there to BOWL. Not to socialize. So a guy on the opponent team didn't hesitate to prompt me that it was my turn (which translates to: "Put your beer down, missy, and get up there and bowl!"), and we saw a verbal brawl break out between two players on another team. And all around us, it was a sea of bowling supplies: Bowlers were taping their fingers, applying wrist braces, polishing their balls, and sipping their Vitamin water. In short, it was like stepping up from running 5Ks to running the Boston marathon, and the competition was not messing around.

But a few beers in, and our team was feeling more relaxed and we had the confidence that only beer can provide. We determined that we will just have to approach the league in our own way: We're not there to win the championship or set any bowling records; we're there to have fun, enjoy one another's company, and do our best at bowling. Plus, we do know a few other teams in the league who are more like us, so we can socialize with them, and enjoy the competition on a more causal level when we play them. And certainly, over the course of 37 weeks, we're likely to improve.

So, how did my games go last night? Like so: 131, 116, and 138. Not great, but not shabby for me either. The rest of my team did pretty well too, but we won't know how many points we scored because our averages weren't figured in and thus our handicaps weren't calculated yet; however, I think we held our own.

It was fun, but it's not gonna be like Thursday night league, which should really be called a drinking league in which we incidentally bowl. Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed some beers last night, but I limited myself to 3, and I don't plan on getting wasted every Monday night; it's one thing to be hungover on a Friday, and an entirely different thing to be hungover on a Tuesday.

Although...as Jerry says: "If you're gonna be hungover, might as well get paid for it."

Monday, September 08, 2008

Start of Bowling

Tonight, Jerry and I start the fall league of bowling, and we have new shirts! So, here are some pre-bowling pics to get you guys excited about bowling!


Yeah, Jerry told me to just take a normal picture in that last one. Killer shirt, huh? Wish me luck with bowling! I think this league may be a bit more serious, so I hope I bowl well tonight; I don't want to embarass myself or the team.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Niner

This weekend has been incredibly hot; both yesterday and today had temps in the high 90s, so when I went out for my 9 miler, I knew I was facing a hot one. The temp at 7 pm, when I set out was 85 degrees, with 84% humidity and a 77 degree dew point, so the "feels like" temp was about 95.

Thus, the heat did not help create a very fast 9 miler (1:33:52), but at least I plugged along and got it done. Afterward, peeling off my sports bra felt like peeling off a swimsuit -- it was absolutely saturated in sweat, as was my entire running attire. And when I got in the shower, I felt the stingy realization of some under-boob chafing (no amount of Body Glide can protect you from chafing when you get completely soaked like that). Running in that kind of heat and sweating like that isn't much fun, but other than the heat, the running actually went pretty well. Like I said, it wasn't real fast, but the pace felt pretty comfortable, and I'm happy to finish up the week with it.

Now I think I'm gonna settle into bed and have a little ice cream. Delicious Cake Batter ice cream! Yummmmmm.

Congrats to:

Our friends Jon and Shannon, who welcomed their baby girl Rylee Elise into the world last night! So far, all I know is that she was 7 lbs 14 oz and has brown hair. Right now, we're gonna let the parents rest some, but we hope to get up to the hospital this afternoon and meet little Rylee.

Very exciting!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

So Long Ike!

It now looks as though Ike will entirely miss this region of FL. Each time the forecast gets updated, the forecasters have Ike steadily moving further south -- so the path now takes the storm through Cuba and then into the gulf -- so it looks like we will be in the clear. That's a relief.

The advantage to hurricanes over other natural disasters is that we get plenty of warning, but sometimes that warning can work people into a panic frenzy before it's really necessary. Don't get me wrong, I'd take a hurricane over a tornado anyday, but all I'm saying is that it's not always great to see that projected path ahead of time when it's subject to so much alteration.

Aside from that small flurry of excitement, not too much else is new. Yesterday afternoon I did not nap as I said I would; instead, I did my household duties: cleaning, laundry, dinner, etc. I like to get the house cleaned on Friday afternoons so we don't have to worry about it over the weekend, and I can just relax all weekend. It's like in "The Great Outdoors" when John Candy's wife says: "I just can't relax in filth." That's me. I like to have a clean house to start my weekend fresh.

Anyway, after I tended to all the chores, we had a really nice, relaxing Friday night: We had a big dinner, watched "Bee Movie" (which was really cute and quite funny), and then Jerry went and got Cake Batter ice cream from Cold Stone. It was great. Today, we went and ran some errands: Took Scooter to Petsmart to pick up a few dog necessities, and then went to the bowling alley Pro Shop to order my new bowling ball. My old ball has a crack in it and is chipping around the thumb hole (I guess I was NOT supposed to keep it in my car's trunk for 3 years -- something about the FL heat being bad for it...), so it will work for our first night of league (on Monday!), but it needs to be replaced. The new ball should arrive sometime this week. It's gonna be shiny!

As for the rest of the day, we really don't have anything going on. We're waiting for a friend to have her baby at any time (she went into the hospital yesterday to be induced), but other than that, I think it's gonna be a quiet weekend.

At some point, I need to run, but to be honest, I am really in need of some chillin' so I'm in no hurry to hit the pavement. Hope everyone else is enjoying their weekend! Check ya later.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Change of Path

The 5 day forecast for Ike was updated this afternoon, and now the Hurricane is projected to swing south of us, and while it will still impact FL, it may not directly hit us. Granted, forecasters warn that a 5 day forecast has a wide margin of error (the storm can wobble as much as 300 miles in either direction -- so much for meteorology as a "science" eh?), but this is what it's looking like as of today: We're not totally in the clear; to the contrary, we're still within the "cone" but it is looking safer for us than it was yesterday. So, that's good news. For now.

Other than storm news, not much else is going on. I should spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning the house and catching up with laundry, but honestly, I think I may plant my butt on the couch. Suddenly, I'm feeling an attack of lazy coming on, and there's only one cure: A nap.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Eek Gad

While previous storms Fay, Gustav, and Hanna largely bi-passed South Florida, Hurricane Ike now poses a significant threat early next week:
Up until this afternoon, Ike's path was forecasted to be similiar to Hanna's, which meant that it hadn't been a direct threat to us previously, but then at 5 pm, the forecast was updated and suddenly Ike had a new projection that has it headed straight for South Florida. Right now, there's really not much to do but watch the forecast and prepare with the necessary supplies. Freakin' out right now would be a waste of time -- by the look of the 5-day forecast, we'll need to save our freakin' out for Tuesday night.

So, until then, I went for a 3 miler (29:02) tonight, and then settled into a bowl of Jerry's very spicy chilli (required a cold, delicious Bud Light to help ease the tingling). As for the rest of the evening, I have a disc of "Mad Men" to watch or a whole season of "Gray's Anatomy" to begin, so maybe I'll flip a quarter to decide which one to watch, and then settle in.

Happy Thursday everyone! I know it's been a short week, but thank god tomorrow's Friday, huh?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Feeling Good Fiver

The running gods didn't punish me for yesterday's comment about my 3 miler being easy, and today I was able to enjoy another comfortable run; this time, it was a 5 miler (48:54). It's funny that a few months ago I would have thought that to be a slow time, but after struggling through July and August's heat, that's back to feeling like a decent time.

In other news, well, there really isn't much other news. It's been rad rollin' in my new ride the past few days; it's been a slight adjustment getting used to driving a new vehicle, but it drives so easily and comfortably that the adjustment hasn't been hard to make. Plus, because my old car was in such bad shape, I'm loving the features on the Escape that are just plain standard -- like A/C that works on multiple settings instead of just "full blast" and "off." I still haven't settled on a name yet, but these things take time to feel out.

But that's about it. Oh! I used the DVR for the first time. You guys were right -- it is tubular to be able to fast forward through the commercials! Now, I just have to adjust my fast-forwarding skillz; I have a tendancy to go right through the show instead of pushing play at the right moment.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Easy 3

After struggling through runs all last week, I seemed to have a fresh burst of energy for this evening's 3 miler (28:35), which felt...dare I say it? Well, it felt easy. And after looking at the numbers when I finished, I'm sure I could have pushed a little harder, but as it was, the 9:30 pace felt comfortable.

Karma will probably bitch-slap me for the above statement, but I guess I'll just have to deal with that later. For now, it's nice to have a run that feels good and effortless.

Monday, September 01, 2008

That New Car Smell

Today I said goodbye to The Green Hornet (trust me, I actually almost teared up some leaving that car -- it's been a trusty vehicle for a LONG time), and after yesterday's frustrating task of searching for a new car, we had a good day today at a different dealership and we found exactly what we were looking for: It's a 2008 Ford Escape. Not a hybrid (which was my original intention, but their cost just far exceeds our price range right now, so this is still one of the most fuel efficient models in its class, and for now, that's what I have to be happy with -- perhaps in the next 10 years, hybrid or electric cars will become more affordable). Anyhoo...we ended up going with a certified pre-owned car.
Like I said, it's still a 2008, but it does have 12,000 miles on it. Not bad. But this way, we were able to afford the fully loaded model: leather seats, sunroof, Sirius radio, V6 engine, keyless entry (almost a "must" for Jess), and all the other bells and whistles we wanted.
Plus, we were able to get the percentage rate we wanted for the financing and we are happy with what our monthly payments will be (although, admittedly, it will be weird adjusting to actually having a car payment again -- I haven't had a car payment in over 3 years).
So, it's a HUGE step up in quality from my 1998 Honda Civic (which had close to 200,000 miles on it! but again, I was really attached to that car -- took me from Canada to Key West and just about everywhere in between), and I'm practically giddy I'm so pleased with this new purchase!
Now, all that's left is the crucial decision of what to name it. So, let's hear some thoughts. It's a dark gray (I believe it's official color name is "slate" but I might be wrong), if that helps anyone. Personally, I feel like I need to drive it some to get a feel for its name, but I'm opening up the floor for suggestions as well. So, give me what ya got! What should her name be? (Yup, definitely a "her.")

Exhausting Sunday

Yesterday was a long-ass day.

First frustrating event of the day, my run. It was cloudy and breezy yesterday around mid-morning, and while it did look like rain, I figured I'd brave the chances in order to get the run done in slightly cooler temps early in the day. I had planned on doing 8 miles, so I got ready and headed out the door. At about 1.5 miles, the skies opened up and poured on me. The heavy rain lasted about 5 minutes, but by then, I was completely soaked.

However, I didn't turn around. The rain eased up and I figured I'd pressed forth -- soggy clothes and everything. Unfortunately, though, this burst of rain wasn't the last. It continued to lightly rain on me for the next mile or so, but I was just past the 3 mile point when the skies again opened up in a torrential downpour. It was raining so hard, I could hardly see, so I threw in the proverbial towel and turned around. Shortly thereafter the iPod quit (it doesn't handle being wet very well), but surprisingly, the Garmin never lost its signal.

Twice more on the way back, it rained heavily on me, and trudging through such rain in soaking clothes and drenched feet (that's the worst) was miserable. So even though I only did 6 miles, instead of the planned 8, I figured I'd worked as though I'd done extra miles and felt satisfied having just gotten through it.

So, after the rainy run, Jerry and I decided to go car shopping. Enter second frustrating event of the day. You may recall that I mentioned on Friday that I thought my car may be on its last legs? Well, it's old, has incredibly high mileage and, well, little things are beginning to go on it. We've been talking about a new car for about a year and had always tentatively planned on buying something within the next few months, so we decided to start the task yesterday. Ugh.

We went to a few dealerships and test drove some cars that we had been interested in, and after a few places, we found one that we really liked. It had everything we wanted, plus a few extras, but once it came down to the nuts and bolts of financial negotiation, we could not come to an agreement with the dealership. So, after about 8 hours of car shopping, we came home empty handed, and to be honest? I'm glad we did.

See, car salespeople want you to make a snap decision, often based on an emotional choice, but this is a big investment for us and we have to remain rational about it. (And really, a new car is about the most worthless thing you can buy: It's expensive, takes years to pay off, but depreciates in value; so it's not really an "investment.") And I'm not gonna make a decision that factors in so much money on a whim, or because I like the sunroof. Or because I feel pressured by the salesman.

This means we have more shopping to do. Maybe we'll go back out there today (I'd prefer not to -- I felt totally drained after yesterday's experience), but if not, probably in some of the upcoming weekends. I like the part where I get to look at the shiny new cars; I just don't like the 3 hours you end up spending at the salesman's little desk indoors going back and forth over percentage rates vs. rebates, and the "what can I do to get you in this car today?" No thanks.