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Friday, October 31, 2008

Costumes Revealed

Ready? Here they are!

So, here I am as Princess Leia, Episode 4:An action shot: Pretend like I'm blasting Storm Troopers, but having a dang good time doing it.Blasting is nothing but a hard day's work for Leia. And, heeeeeerrrrrreeee's Jerry: "Slave" Leia from Episode 6, Return of the Jedi
Sexy, huh?

Our guests should be arriving in about 30 minutes, the party ball is tapped, and we're ready to rock! More pics for tomorrow!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No Run Tonight

Despite the still perfect running weather out there, I'm just not gonna squeeze in a run tonight. Jerry I went to vote earlier this evening and it took us 2 and 1/2 hours of standing in line, so it's 7:30 now, and we haven't had dinner yet, we have serious Halloween party preparation to do, and "The Office" to watch. But, we did our civic duty and I'm glad of that.

And tomorrow? Halloween!! Jerry and I's costumes will be revealed tomorrow evening (right before the party -- so for those of you reading this who will be in attendance, don't sneak a look here at the blog after 5 pm!) and I guarantee everyone is in for a treat because our costumes rock this year!

Till then, toodles!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Farenheit 65: The Temp at which Jess Burns through a Run

The cool, pleasant weather continues here in South Florida with temps only reaching the low 70s as a high, and this evening when I ran it was only 65 degrees with 37% humidity. I don't know if words can describe how glorious it felt.

I ran 5 miles in 46:49 (Garmin found its signal right away this evening) with an average pace of 9:22/mile.

I wish temps like this would linger all winter long, but the forecast says it will warm back into the 80s on Friday and the humidity is forecast to return to its normal, suffocating density by the weekend. So, tomorrow I hope to get one more good run in before the warmth returns. I have to take advantage of and enjoy these spells when I can.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cool 3 Miler

The cooler weather must be effing up my Garmin because I stood outside waiting this afternoon for a signal for nearly a full 5 minutes. When I still didn't have satellite reception after that long, I decided to screw it, and I just used the stopwatch feature to time the run; besides, I know my 3 miler like the back of my hand, so I don't need the Garmin to help me calculate the distance. However, without its actually "Garmin-y" features for the run, I couldn't calculate my exact pace (well, I could but that would involve a lot of numbers and I'm allergic to math) and I don't have splits.

So, I only gots one number: I did the 3 miles in 27:14, which is an average pace of 9:00/miles. Sweet. This cooler, drier weather makes the running SO much easier: It's easier to breathe, I barely sweat, I feel cool, and I don't tire as easily. It's glorious!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sucked it Up

Tonight, I really, really sucked at bowling. I think my scores were 122, 130, and then a dismal 106. In fact, it's probably best I try to forget that last game. The rest of the team didn't do so great either, and we did not win many points; thus, we are probably gonna drop out of the top ten in placement (currently, we're in 7th place). Oh well. Lots of weeks left in the season.

In other news, it's supposed to get cold here tonight! Well, cold for South Florida. It's supposed to dip down to 59 degrees, with highs only reaching the low 70s in the next few days. So I guarantee I'll see someone in a parka tomorrow morning! As for me, I think it's glorious! Perfect "jacket weather" and running weather! Can't wait to get out there tomorrow and run -- should be fabulous!

Okay. I'm a little drunk, not much, so I think I'll go to bed now. Happy Monday!

P.S. The meat featured below is BUFFALO, not beef, people. I said that, but a few referred to it as beef in the comments (Marcy, skimmer). I've never met a cow that big before.

P.S.S. Scooter's tail is still angry. He won't let it be. He may have to suffer through the e-collar. I'll keep you abreast of tail-gate '08.

P.P.S.S. My cousin had a baby today. It's a boy: William Owen. I guess that makes me a...second cousin? That's no fun. I texted my brother to relate the news of our cousin's new baby and he replied with this: "Babies are aliens. Who'd want one?" That's my bro, yo.

P.P.S.S.S. Are you guys stoked for Halloween? Only 4 days away! Any guesses as to my costume? I'll give you one hint: It is awesome. Can you guess it?

P.P.P.S.S.S. How good at drunk typing am I tonight? Do I get some kind of prize for this kind of accuracy? Shit.

Dolphin Game Day Report

We arrived at Dolphin Stadium at about 10:30 am yesterday and immediately set about the business of tailgating. I figured it would be like any other tailgating experience I've had before, but it far surpassed all previous expectation: A friend of Jerry's from work is part of a tailgating party sponsored by Publix and Budweiser, and the event starts early and there's tons of food, and tons of beer. And because we knew this guy, we got it all for free! So, here I am enjoying my first Bud Light of the morning:So, we enjoyed some great pre-game food, as well as plenty of beverages. Here I am with most giant rib in the world:That's because it was buffalo. Get it? They were serving buffalo because the Dolphins were playing the Buffalo Bills! Awesome, right? Anyway, that rib was like a Brontasaurus rib! I couldn't finish it, and I had to pawn the rest of it off on Jerry.

So, anyway, we had a great time tailgating, and then we headed in for the game and made it just in time for kickoff. Our seats were up in the nosebleed area, but actually, we had a great view, and for the price we paid (each beer inside the stadium cost nearly as much as those seats), I think they were great seats. Here I am enjoying one of those costly stadium beers: It also turned out to be a great game. The Dolphins were not expected to stand a chance against the Bills, but the Dolphins played a great game, and it was fun to watch them stamp out the Bills. I like a close, exciting game, and this delivered that with a Dolphin win! The day got a little hot, especially in the first half (it's so hard to imagine how fans at other games across the country are bundling up for a game while we're sweating in 80 degree heat here), but it remained mostly cloudy for the day so it wasn't too bad. So Jerry and I both had a lot of fun; here we are enjoying the game:
All in all, for the price of the tickets, the hook-up for the tailgating, and the all around good time, we may just be back to a Dolphin game this season. Who knows, next time you see picks of me from a game, I may be one of "those" with my face painted!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Morning

This has to be a quick post because Jerry and I have to skedaddle to get to the Dolphin game today (well, we're really more in a hurry to get to the tailgating part, but you know).

So, this morning's 10 miler with Wendy can probably best be described as tiring. I didn't sleep well last night (kept waking up), and while it was cooler temperature-wise this morning, the humidity was unbelievable, and it took its toll on us both: We looked as though we'd run in the rain we were so drenched in sweat afterwards; I mean, when your hair is completely saturated and you feel as though you just came out of the shower, and when you lean over to remove your shoes and the sweat just rolls off you -- yeah, you know you're sweaty then. Anyway, the combined factors (but I especially blame the humidity) made for a rather slow time of 1:51:18. Although, considering that accounts for two bathroom breaks and some walk breaks, it really isn't terrible.

All that sweating made for some chafing, which I didn't discover until the stings of the shower revealed them when I got home. Lovely.

Anyway, I'm off to the football game. There's a 50% chance of rain, so cross your fingers we remain dry. Overcast skies, I would like, rain I would not.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Costume Complete

So, what I said last night about Scooter's tail healing? Well, that was a lie. This morning's tail inspection revealed that he is still chewing at it and the fur-hole is bigger. Because Scooter abhors the e-collar (I think he would literally gnaw his own head off to get out of it), we decided that the next best preventative measure was to wrap his tail in athletic tape. You can tell from his pitiful look that he doesn't much like this option either. But it's either that or the e-collar, I told him, so he better man up and get used to a wrapped tail until he can leave it alone.

In other Saturday morning news, I ran some errands this morning and bought the remaining accessories for my Halloween costume. No, I'm not going to reveal it until Halloween, but I am pretty pleased with it, and if I do say so myself, I think it may very well be my best costume to date. In the meantime, Jerry went to the liquor store to begin the stockpile for our Halloween party on Friday. He's going to buy a "party ball" (it's like a mini-keg of beer, but it's too small to do keg-stands with -- dangit) and an assortment of other alcoholic beverages for the wop he's gonna make. I'm totally stoked for our party (only 6 days away!) and I can't wait to see what everyone dresses up as!

Otherwise, today is a running rest day, and tomorrow I am meeting Wendy again for an early morning 10 miler in Boca. Then, tomorrow afternoon, Jerry and I are joining some friends to tailgate and go to the Dolphin game down at Dolphin stadium. Should be a drunken-football-tastic time!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Boring Friday

Scooter appreciates your good wishes for his tail. It really isn't that serious (he's had "hot spots" like this before), and actually, it's already starting to look better. Thanks to the shot and the take home meds, he should be all healed up soon.

As for me, my day was pretty much a lot of the same: Taught class, came home and cleaned the house, did some laundry, made dinner, and then there was a break in the rain this evening and I was able to get out for a 4 miler (38:08).

Umm, I really don't have anything else to say. I'm pretty boring, huh?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Tale of a Tail

This morning, I noticed when I walked Scooter that he was bugging and biting at his tail, so when I got back in the house, I examined the area he was paying attention to and I noted that when I moved back the fur, the skin was inflamed and irritated. I figured he'd be fine for the day and I could judge if it had worsened or improved after I got home from work.

video

So, I got home from work, about 7 hours later, and he had chewed off a dime-sized spot of fur and the irritated skin from the morning was now angry skin (although, not yet scabby and bloody). I called the vet.

Thankfully, the vet was able to get us in this afternoon, so I loaded Scoots up and Jerry met us there on his way home from work. Turns out, it was the same thing he had about a year ago when he tried to lick off the pads of his paws. So he got a steroid shot, a topical spray, and instructions to not bother it. Easier said than done.

Anyway, after I got back from the vet, it was pouring rain, and it's continued pouring ever since, so I think running is out for the evening. So, Jerry went to fetch dinner, and we plan on laying low for the evening (besides, it's "Office" night!).

P.S. Jerry read yesterday's post (below) at work today, so when he met me at the vet's office, he first examined Scooter's tail, and then turned to me and said, "So what the fuck about you opening those damn Starbursts again?"

"Oh, you read that today, huh?" I asked and tried to flash my cutest doe eyes.

"Yeah, and if you open a package of Starburst, you MUST eat whatever is in there, not just the red ones!"

"No, I don't have to. I do what I want," I told him.

"Well, I like the reds too and I want some left for me; otherwise, I get stuck with all the god damn yellows and oranges."

"Okay, I won't do it anymore," I told him.

Little does he know that while he was gone getting us dinner, I relieved another package of its red Starburst, and the other one was a yucky orange, so I promptly deposited that one back in the cauldron. Shit, I'm gonna catch hell for this post tomorrow night, huh?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lost the Cold Medicine, Kept the Speed

Well, kinda. 3 miles in 28:02. Not too shabby for a mid-week training run. The cooler weather certainly helps.

Now, I am on to my current task, which is to eat through all the Halloween candy. First, I annihilated the Smarties, then I moved on to Twix, and now I am consuming the Starburst. But I only like the red ones, so this requires methodically sorting through the two-Starburst packages and plucking out the reds and tossing the others back in the cauldron. This drives Jerry nuts.

Oh...Jackpot! I just opened a double red package! Sweet.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Powered by Pseudoephedrine

Still experiencing the symptoms of a cold, but because the symptoms are restricted to the neck up, I am still working and going about my daily activities like normal. With a little help from an over-the-counter decongestant, and a few Advil, I'm able to pretty much maintain my status as a well-oiled Jess-machine. This includes keeping up with the routine runs, and tonight I did my planned 3 miler in 27:58. By no means my fastest 3 miler, but it is faster than what my 3 milers have averaged in the past few months.

Sure, I could attribute the speed in part to the improved weather conditions here in South Florida as of late, and yeah sure, I could also attribute the speed to my anger (had a "slightly" frustrating day with students -- in short, I threatened some with a "pistol whipping," but that got more laughs than tears of fear and anxiety: I just haven't yet mastered the art of intimidation), but I choose to attribute my bullet-train speed this evening to the super powers granted to me by the generic brand decongestant.

As far as I know, the US Track and Field has not yet banned it from use in regulated races, so perhaps with even cooler weather and a truckload of pseudoephedrine, I could be the next Paula Radcliffe. Without the nagging injuries, of course.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Caught a Cold

Which is ironic since yesterday morning I told Wendy: "It's amazing I haven't caught a cold yet since Jerry was sick last week and all my students are sick." Then, BAM! I wake up today with a sore throat, drippy nose, and all around ickiness. And actually, it kinda started yesterday, but I didn't really notice the sore throat so much since I drank plenty of cold beer while we watched afternoon football with some friends, but this morning was the beginning of the true, full "ick."

However, it's just a head cold, so I took some cold medicine and I am at work (hey, I spent most of my weekend reading papers so I am GOING to be in class in order to return that work to my students -- I didn't get all caught up for nothing).

And tonight? We bowl! It's going really well in this league so far, despite our original reservations about it. Currently, our team is in 5th place, and Jerry won "Bowler of the Week" after his performance last week. So, now everyone on my team has earned that distinction except for me. I guess it's time to step up my game. Although, with this cold medicine running through my veins, making me a bit loopy, I don't know if tonight will be "my" night. Well...maybe a few beers will counter-act that cold medicine, right?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Perfect 10

Currently, we're enjoying absolutely PERFECT weather here in South Florida: It's in the low 70s, the air is drier, and the skies are clear and sunny. And with the sunrise not occurring until about 7 am, that means a 6 am run along the beach is awesome, so that's what Wendy and I did this morning.

I had Garmin issues (for some reason, after 3 miles, it still hadn't found a satellite signal, so I just turned it off and relied on Wendy to pace us and keep track of our mileage with her Garmin), so I don't have splits, but we did 10 miles in about 1 hour 45 minutes. Not too shabby considering we took walk breaks at the beginning of most miles (Wendy is still nursing a nagging injury that kept her out of running all summer), and I think she said our average pace was 10:30. A nice, conversational pace -- it's the sort of pace that makes me feel like I could run for forever, so it felt great.

Now, I'm home and I shut off the A/C and opened up the windows and the patio door, and for the first time in about 6 months, I'm enjoying the fresh air in the house. Ah...I love "winter" in FL. From now until about the end of February: These are the best months to live and run here!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Last Night

I went for a four miler right around dusk, and it was perfect out: Cooler, drier temps, a light breeze, ah...it felt glorious. Too bad I stopped the Garmin at a light at mile 3 and then forgot to re-start it, so I don't know the numbers for the run, but it felt good, and I suppose I should just be happy with that.

After my run, I got showered and ready and Jerry and I went out to dinner, and afterwards, we stopped and rented "Baby Mama." It was frickin hilarious. If you like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, you would like this.

And, as for what's in store today? Probably nothing very exciting: I still have a stack of papers to finish reading, there's the ever-present pile of laundry to get to, and Scooter is breathing on my leg right now to try and get me to play with him. As far as running goes, I'm taking a rest day today, and tomorrow I'm getting up early to run 10 miles with Wendy in Boca. She and I haven't run together for about...7 months? Something like that, so I'm looking forward to our run tomorrow.

Until then, toodles!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Playlist

I downloaded a few new songs to the iPod yesterday for more rockin running, and it was nice to run my 3 miler (28:39) today with some new tunage. I added the following to the running playlist:

"Countdown" by Jupiter One
"You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" by The Offspring
"All Over You" by The Spill Canvas
"Slow Down" by The Academy Is...
"Do You Wanna" by The Kooks
"Heart Attack" by Low vs Diamond
"The '59 Sound" by The Gaslight Anthem

Oh, and I want to remember to add Fall Out Boy's new song, "I Don't Care," so remind me to do that.

On the non-running playlists, I'm currently digging the following:

"Like a Vibration" by The Whigs
"Time to Pretend" by MGMT
"Many Shades of Black" by The Raconteurs
"I'm Not Over" by Carolina Liar
"Oxford Comma" by Vampire Weekend

Also, just for kicks, the following two songs make me laugh because they're kinda silly:

"Don't Trust Me" by 3Oh 3
"Oh No You Didn't" by The Wojahn Bros

Oh, yeah, also I heard the new Paramore song, "Decode," today prefaced by the DJ in this way: "So, if you're a chick, you're probably all into that 'Twilight' book; also if you're a chick, you probably can't wait for the movie to come out; also if you're a chick, you're dying to hear this song off the movie's soundtrack." That made me laugh because I knew what song he was talking about, and I was excited. I'm a nerd like that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Miller Time

Today, there just wasn't time to run:

After work, I went to my friend Erin's to help her out with Baby Miller. Ryan, Erin's hubs, is out of town this week, so yesterday I helped with bath time and today I helped watch the kiddo while Erin worked on a conference call. Thankfully, Baby Miller is about the easiest baby to watch in the world, so by 6 pm, I had done the hard work (changed his poopy diaper -- which, for boys, it's a bit nasty when the shit gets all over their balls, but whatever, I can handle it because he's just so damn cute and that helps me forgive him for shitty balls) and had him in his PJs and he was set for bed. So, yeah, by 6 pm that kid was out.

So, Erin got done with her conference call, we broke out the dinner and a bottle of wine, and had a nice evening of chatting while Baby Miller slept away.

Pretty sweet babysitting gig, right? About an hour of babysitting and I got both dinner and wine!

Tomorrow is another bath night, but I should be able to get a run in before that. And in the meantime, I still have about 3 sets of papers to read: Not nearly as fun as "Miller Time"!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This and That

Last night I sucked up the bowling alley by bowling one of the worst series evah: 117, 113, 111. I might as well have hired a monkey to stand up there and throw my ball for me. On the plus side, Jerry bowled some of his best games evah: 191, 196, 153. The 191 and 196 are the best games he's ever bowled (yet, he was still peeved that he didn't break 200 -- never satisfied is he?).

After bowling, we lingered at the alley bar for some more beers and if it hadn't been a Monday night, I think I could have drank my weight in beer. In was just one of those days.

Today, I've been swamped in work: I have five sets of papers in my possession right now, and I would rather lick the sidewalk than sit down and read them -- both activities sound equally distasteful. It's not that student writers are bad writers, and it's not that their work is terrible to read: It's simply the volume that's tedious. Five sets of papers = 125 papers. They're 2-3 pages each. So, yeah, lots of reading, commenting, correcting, assessing, grading.

If only I taught a subject that didn't require writing. If I could assess them based solely on scantron tests, my life would be WAY more simplistic.

Anyway, despite the literal burial by paper, I did get out for a 3 miler this evening, and it went well (28:32). The air felt a little cooler and a little drier, so dare I say it? I think we may finally be approaching the cooler part of the year! Yay!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Around the World: The Epcot Wine and Food Festival

Jerry in Canada.Here I am in Jolly Ole England with a beer.
In Paris, also with a beer. I know, beer isn't very French, but it was a Stella Artois, which is made in Belgium, and one of their official languages is French. So, by association, I was kinda being French-y.Jerry and I in Lousiana: They had several American cities, or regions, represented.The Moroccan Kefta was awesome. I had one, and then Jerry liked the bite of mine so much, he went and got one of his own.
Jerry in Italy. But, we're pretending those are beer barrels instead of wine barrels.
Me eating some potstickers in China. They were one of my favorites, Jerry's too. Another item we each got one of.
In front of the waterfall in Norway.
I'd make a good Viking, right? I'm certain I would be excellent at plundering.
Jerry and I with Donald in Mexico.
The awesome stuff: We ate food or got drinks from nearly every possible stand, and we enjoyed lots of good stuff. My top three favorites were the sushi from Japan, the potstickers from China, and the wild mushroom soup from Poland. Oh, I also liked the lamb chop from Australia. Jerry's favorites were similiar: The lamb chop, the potstickers, the bread pudding from Mexico and the kefta from Morrocco. He also really liked a Czech beer he got.

The disappointments: My scallops from New Zealand got blown over by a sudden gust and I had only eaten half of them. Some seagull got to enjoy them instead. The mofongo from Puerto Rico was bland as hell, and it was $3 I wish I had back. In Turkey, I wish I had eaten the beef ravioli thing instead of the meze, which was fine, but that ravioli thing looked delicious once I saw it. And, I would not have gotten the quesadilla con chorizo in Argentina again. In fact, in reflection, I don't know why I did: It was a stupid choice -- nothing wrong with it, but how dumb am I to order a quesadilla at a food festival? Could I be any more dull?

It was pretty crowded and some of the lines got pretty long as the day progressed, but we didn't really mind -- we were busy walking and looking around (at both the sights and the increasingly drunk people around us) that the waiting went by quickly. In the end, we spent more than 8 hours at Epcot, and by the end of the day, we were stuffed, a little drunk, and really tired. So, yeah, it was a load of fun!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Race for the Taste 10K Race Report

Pre-Race:
Packet pick-up on Saturday: Instead of a t-shirt, the race gave out beer glasses. Sweet. I have too many race t-shirts I never wear anyway. Got up at 5 am this morning, and got to Epcot at about 5:50. Took the shuttle to Wild World of Sports, where the start was, and then sat around for nearly an hour. We lined up at the start, and with 2,600 racers, it was a crowded start. We listened to the National Anthem, and then at 7 am, a series of fireworks announced our start.

Miles 1-3:
The first mile was REALLY crowded. Essentially the space we had was too narrow for that many runners; plus, some people clearly did not line up according to pace and there were walkers mingling with the runners (which, I have no issues with people who walk a race -- in fact, it's totally fine, but start in the BACK! if you're walking, you can NOT start in the 7-9:00 minute bracket, sorry). Additionally, people who were running in groups were taking up huge sections of the course. C'mon, people! No more than two abreast! Sheesh.

So, my first mile was outta whack in terms of pace, and I was kinda forced to run with the crowd, and I was trying not to swerve, but I couldn't help it as I attempted to pull away from people. This added quite a bit to my end mileage. Dangit.

After that first mile, I was able to establish my own pace, and really, the first 3 miles were pretty dull: nothing but highway, baby.

Splits:
1: 10:00
2: 9:31
3: 9:43

Miles 4-Finish:
At the 3rd mile, we entered Hollywood Studios (formerly "MGM"), and the scenery improved. The vertigo (yes, still lingering a bit) had been making me a little nauseous in mile 3, but I'd been able to run through it, and the 4th mile felt good.

The last few miles were the most fun (as is typical of every Disney World race), and as we circled into Disney's resort area and finally into Epcot, I felt pretty good, even though I couldn't pick up the pace. But that's something I partially blame on the course. That's one complaint about a Disney course: It's often somewhat narrow, and in some places there's only room for about 3-4 runners abreast, so it makes it kinda difficult to maneuver, but also, the course winds through the parks and resorts, and again, and while this makes the course scenic, all this twisting and turning forces you to slow some. Lastly, Disney -- despite what all their race paraphernalia claims -- is not flat. Especially through Epcot: The bridges offer plenty of hills, so while the scenery here is fun, it's kind of a challenging final leg of any race.

Splits:
4: 9:43
5: 9:41
6: 9:35
.37: 3:10 (yup, .17 additional mileage -- damn you swerving! why can't I keep a straight line?)

Total Race Time: 1:01:25

I'm a little disappointed in the time because I thought I could do it in under an hour, and without that .17 tacked to the end, I probably would have at least come it right at the 60 minute mark, but oh well. This was my first 10K race, so no matter the time, it's a PR.

Here I am coming along toward the finish:

Here I am after the finish: Sweet medal, right? I think it's one of the best medals I have. It's a chef hat with a miniature fork, spoon, and knife dangling from it. Cool, isn't it?
After the race, I got to partake of 3 tasting stations, and here I am with my favorite: Strawberry shortcake! It was another good Disney race -- well-organized, scenic course, excellent medal, delicious food at the end -- so I had an excellent time.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's report on the Wine and Food Festival (in short, 2 thumbs up!); hope everyone had a nice weekend -- I'll catch up with you later! Ciao.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Disney, Here I Come!

Today, I am virtually back to being a fully restored, hi-def version of myself; I would say I'm operating at 97% of Jess-ness.

And just in time to depart for my weekend vacay.

But first I have to teach my class, and then I have to drop Scooter off at Arfington's Pet Resort. Scooter has never been boarded before, and I have to admit, it feels a bit like dropping off a child at daycare for the first time. Or at least, as close to that experience as I can imagine (since I don't have any ankle-biters of my own). I know he'll be fine, and probably more than fine since this place looks better than the hotel we have in Orlando. Plus, I've signed Scooter up for the "all day play" option, so he's gonna be able to run around outside all day long (except from noon-2 pm: that's when they have a snack and "nap time" -- isn't that cute?). I figure that's the best option for him; the more tired he is, the less time he'll have to feel nervous and poop himself (his separation anxiety seems to manifest itself in the form of diarrhea).

Anyway, he'll be fine, right? RIGHT?!

Okay, so maybe it's me that might suffer some separation anxiety (and I wonder why my dog is so neurotic?); geez, I hope I don't poop myself.

Anyway, yeah, I have to drop him off, and then pick up Jerry and then we're off to Orlando! And tomorrow it will be a feasting at EPCOT. We looked up the menu at Disney, and there's about 20 different "stations" that represent over a dozen countries. It's going to be delish! I swear, Jerry's been talking about it all week. So, tomorrow we gorge, and then Sunday I burn it off. Partially.

We'll be back Sunday, so I'll update with a race report then! Have a good weekend peeps, and good luck to everyone running races this weekend!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Good, Not Great

Have you ever run on a cruise ship? The feeling is disconcerting because the ship is swaying slightly and it's kinda hard to remain balanced while you're running. That was pretty much how I felt when I ran today.

I still have some lingering vertigo, but it is by no means as bad as it was a day or two ago. I still feel like I'm swaying, but it just isn't severe enough to make me feel nauseous. So, I figured that was good enough for me to return to running, and I did a 3 miler (29:04) earlier this evening. It felt good to run even if it felt like the earth was tilting back and forth beneath me.

Otherwise, my day off has been pretty busy: I cleaned the house like it hasn't been cleaned in about 6 months, and now every bit of it is spic and span. I also got out the Halloween decorations, painted my toenails, and packed for our weekend in Orlando. So, now I'm gonna sit back with some Smarties (yes, Jerry bought Halloween candy about 2 weeks ago, and I can't keep my mitts off the Smarties -- each one is a little tab of sugary heaven!) and wait for The Office to come on.

I wish every Thursday were Yom Kippur -- I could use a day like this every week to catch up on shiz.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Better

I won't lie, this morning was a little rough, but I powered through my classes and as the day progressed, I felt gradually better.

I still feel a little woozy, but it's definitely improving. Hopefully, with another good night's rest, and with tomorrow off work, I'll be good as new.

Not Preggo, Just Vertigo

Trust me, I'm not pregnant. So you can shut your yappers about that speculation.

Still experiencing the vertigo though. It's not as bad today as it was yesterday (when I actually took 15 minutes to lay on the floor of my office I felt so sick, and if you saw the floor in my office that would be even more meaningful to you), but I still feel dizzy and a bit outta whack. They say there are two kinds of vertigo: subjective and objective. Subjective vertigo means that you feel like you're moving back and forth when you're not, and objective vertigo means it feels like the environment is moving when it's not. I have a hard time distinguishing between the two, because it really feels like both to me.

Thankfully, though, today's dizziness is not accompanied by the nausea I had yesterday, so again, I'm at work today. Maybe it's these students papers in front of me that are making me nauseous, hmmm.....
**Edit: Disregard that statement above. I now feel extremely nauseous. So much so, that I again had to take a few minutes to lay down on the floor of my office. I am seriously contemplating cancelling my classes and going home. Ugh...this is not good.

Anyway, still not sure if I'll run this evening; I guess it depends on how I'm feeling. I don't want to let too many days pass before running again, but I also want this vertigo to pass as quickly as possible, and running only exacerbates the issue. So, we'll see.

In other news:

  • I got the Escape back on Monday: It looks good as new and it's been glorious having my car back!
  • I also sucked it up on Monday night at bowling. I got a 119, 125, and 121. Boo. I blame the vertigo. It's not easy throwing a ball straight when you can't feel like standing up straight. Thankfully, the rest of the team did pretty well and we're currently in 7th place (out of 36 teams) in the league! Man, we rock.
  • Tomorrow I have the day off (it's Yom Kippur, so it's a holiday for us), and I have a dozen things to get done because Friday, Jerry and I are off to Orlando for the weekend. We're going to Epcot to enjoy the Disney Wine and Food Festival, and then on Sunday morning, I'm running the 10K for the taste. Should be an awesome weekend away.

That's about all I know for now. Enjoy your Wednesdays!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Vertigo

I've always been senstivie to various kinds of motion sickness (in fact, part of the reason I avoid the treadmill is that it kinda induces a certain amount of vertigo), and that's why when I fly I have to take copious amounts of Drammamine, but sometimes the sense of movement doesn't stop when the movement stops, and not even Drammamine can help me with that.

So, for the past two days, I've been experiencing some vertigo -- a side effect I occassionally experience after flying or returning from a cruise. It's not pleasant, and I have been feeling dizzy since I arrived home on Sunday night. But today has been particularly bad since the dizziness has been accompanied by nausea.

Feeling like I'm swaying all day is bad enough, but feeling like I'm gonna puke all day is even worse. I made it through my classes because I didn't want to cancel them, but it wasn't fun, and when I got home this afternoon, I laid down for a long nap to try and feel better. Laying down does make me feel better, but I still have both the dizziness and the nausea. So, for tonight, I'm gonna skip running in favor of laying down and hoping that this passes quickly.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Army Ten Miler: Long Report

Pre-Race:
The metro was crowded Sunday morning with runners, so I was glad we decided to leave at 6:30 am because we arrived at the Pentagon at about 7:15 with throngs of other eager runners. I left my gear with my dad, hit up the port-a-potty line and was in my corral in time for the National Anthem at 7:45.
The National Anthem always makes me a little emotional but yesterday morning's particularly did. In part, it was because the race brought out my patriotism -- I mean I'm standing in front of the Pentagon, about to run through the streets of the capitol, the Army helicopters are flying overhead, and surrounding me are current soldiers, former soldiers, and those running in honor of fallen or injured soldiers. But on a more personal level, I thought of my own family, and in particular, I thought of my youngest brother Sam, who is currently serving in the Army and who will be deployed to Iraq in January (a fact that moves me to tears now just typing it).

So, when they performed the Anthem and the helicopters flew over us, I cried.


The Start:
I quickly composed myself after the National Anthem, and got ready to run. It was a perfect morning, weather-wise, with temps hovering around 50 degrees with a nice breeze. The gun for the first wave went off at 8 am, and runners who were corralled first were off. 10 minutes later, the rest of us, in wave 2, were also off, and I crossed the start line about 17 minutes after 8 am and joined with the other runners in a hearty "Hooah!" as we crossed the start line.


Miles 1-5:
The first two miles were, by far, my favorite. We ran northeast towards the Potomac, leaving the Pentagon behind us, and we passed Arlington Cemetery on our left as we approached the Lincoln Memorial Bridge. I could see General Lee's house set up on the hill of Arlington, and thought a bit about the fallen soldiers who are buried in Arlington, as well as the tombs that represent unknown soldiers. My thoughts lingered there for just a moment and then were quickly re-focused to the upcoming bridge.


It's always an impressive sight crossing the memorial bridge with the Potomac stretching out below, the Lincoln Memorial ahead and the Washington Memorial silhouetted in the background, but that impressiveness is magnified by running over the bridge instead of driving over it. The sun was rising over the Potomac, and the Lincoln Memorial looked grand and impressive as we approached.

That moment was probably one of the best race moments I've yet experienced.


The course shifted to the right at the Lincoln Memorial, and we headed northwest, passing the Watergate hotel, and then looping around by the Kennedy Center and heading back toward the Mall. I felt pretty good during this time. For a brief bit, I suffered from a side stitch in mile 4, which is weird because I never get side stitches, but I ran through it, and by mile 5, it was gone.


Just before the 5 mile marker, I walked for a few seconds while I drank some water from an aid station, and then I resumed the run.

Splits:
1: 9:51
2: 9:34
3: 9:55
4: 9:40
5: 10:20


Miles 6-10:
The course merged us onto Independence Ave, parallel to the Mall, and this is where the crowd support was best: People lined Independence Ave and cheered us on. So, we not only got to pass some of the classic museums, like the Smithsonian Castle and the Air & Space Museum, but we also got to enjoy the spectator involvement.


At the 6 mile marker, the course began it's short loop in front of the Capitol: turned left on Second, then briefly ran on Constitution Ave, then turned right on First and then returned to Independence Ave, this time in the opposite direction.


I got another drink of water, and walked while I drank it, at the aid station at mile 8, and then headed into the last, and most boring, part of the race: Crossing the Potomac again and heading back to the Pentagon, but this time we didn't get to cross the scenic Lincoln Memorial bridge; instead, it was the George Mason Bridge, which is just a lot of highway. So, the last mile and a half was a bit of a struggle: The incline on the bridge sucked, there was no shade and the sun was kinda hot, and the path was narrow because only half of the highway was closed, so it felt crowded. My pace slowed in miles 9 and 10, and I was ready to be done.

Splits:
6: 9:45
7: 9:53
8: 10:09
9: 10:36
10: 10:21
.22: 1:48

The Finish:
The crowds were roaring as I entered the last stretch of the race as we circled back into the Pentagon's parking lot, and I felt good as I crossed the finish line. My Garmin read 1:41:56, and the Chip Time nearly matched: 1:41:57.
The finish chute was crowded, and a bit of a clusterfuck, but I got my chip removed, got some refreshment, and received my Finisher's Coin. Overall I felt good: The race was spectacular on many levels, and I ran a solid race, so all in all, I felt pretty happy.


Last Thoughts:
  • I wish they would put that Finisher's Coin on a ribbon, so I could string it around my neck. I'll admit it, I'm a medal-whore, so while the coin is cool looking, I would like it better if it could hang around my neck.
  • The military is rigid with their rules, and that sucks. I would've really liked to run with my iPod. Plus, I saw a soldier reprimand a runner who didn't exit "appropriately" out of the finishing chute. No wonder I was never inclined to join the military.
  • It was quite the crowd, and I always find that crowds make racing difficult for several reasons, but chiefly because it's hard to establish your own rhythm and pace when you are swerving or maneuvering around so many others.
  • Despite those 3 criticisms, I really loved the race, and 10 miles never went by so quickly!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Army Ten Miler: Short Report

It was a perfect morning for running here in the nation's capital, and I joined my fellow 26,000 runners for a great race! I had a good time, felt good, ran a pretty consistent race, and finished in my approximate timeframe.

Chip times haven't been posted yet, but my Garmin time for 10.22 miles (yeah, did me some swerving there!) was 1:41:56. I had hoped to finish in under 1:40, but I'm not at all disappointed in the finish time: DC is hilly and the race was crowded.

Anyhoo, I'll post a longer, more detailed report with pictures when I return to FL. Right now, I'm gonna go have lunch with my dad, then pack up my bags, and get ready for my afternoon flight home.

Thanks for all your good wishes!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Arrived

I arrived in DC last night -- my flights ran smoothly and on time. I'm staying the weekend with my dad (he lives near Woodley Park for those familiar with the district), so he met me at the airport last night and we had a late night snack and then hit the hay.

Today, we go to the expo and then tomorrow morning is the Army Ten Miler!

I'll probably post a brief race report after the race tomorrow, but if anyone wants to track me online, my bib # is 15218 and I'll be in Wave 2 at the start. The weather here is glorious cool, so i really think tomorrow will be an excellent race day!

Chat at ya after the finish!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Cooler 3 Miler

This evening, when I set out for my evening run, it was distinctly cooler. Not necessarily because the temp was cooler (it's still 82 degrees out there), but because the humidity was a LOT lower: only 55%. That means that the temp and the "feels like" temp were virtually the same. A trademark indication that we're headed into cooler, drier months. Sah-weet. Anyway, the difference in the air was palpable and I had a really nice 3 miler (28:18).

Aside from the nice, cool run, I also got a lot of other stuff done today: more papers graded, more laundry done, and I organized my race stuff, got my suitcase packed, and I got checked in my for my flight tomorrow. So, I'm pretty much set to go.

Tomorrow, I have a busy day: Get up early and fit a last, short run in, teach my class, fly to DC in the late afternoon. And somewhere in there, my Escape "may" be ready for pick-up; although, I doubt I will have time to go and get it, so its retrieval may have to wait until early next week.

But, get this: My first car payment statement arrived in the mail yesterday. Awesome timing.

Anyhoo, I'm not sure if I'll post between now and race day on Sunday, so if I'm MIA, no fears, I'm just busy with travel and race prep.

P.S. For those of you PR fans who commented on yesterday's post about the latest episode: Yeah, I totally agree. Kenley should've gotten the boot. And is it just me, or have the judges gone soft? I'm mean c'mon, what's with allowing all 4 to prep for fashion week? Just give one the ax!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Gettin' Shiz Done

Last night, I went to bed at 9:30 and I slept until 7:30 this morning. It. Was. Awe. Some.

So, loaded up with extra Z's, I was like a well-oiled machine today. For one thing, I decided against the black Nike shirt I bought on Sunday for ATM. I just decided that it would be too hot, and ultimately, I didn't like how it failed to really "go" with any of my shorts. So I returned it, and found a shirt that was exactly what I was looking for. And guess where I found it? Children's section. Target. $9.99. So, here's the winning combination for Sunday's race: Secondly, I got a bunch of papers graded today. Granted, I still have what feels like a never-ending pile to still get to, but I feel like I'm making progress. Like the never-ending pile of essays to grade, my never-ending pile of laundry is finally beginning to look as though I'm making some headway. And...I got a 4 miler done (39:10).

Now all that's left to do is watch "Project Runway" and chill for the evening.