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Monday, January 30, 2006

Tired Arms

My arms feel weak, like worn-down little nubs. This morning I did my strength training and it was my day to do arms, and because I have been slacking on strength training, my arms weren't used to the extra effort, and now after an afternoon of scraping wallpaper, they feel heavy and tired. Perhaps I should just put them into slings and let them sleep.

I'm trying to be good this week with the training because I have a 5K on Saturday and I'd like to run my best (I'm just glad Super Bowl Sunday is the day after, not before; I'd hate to have to be sober for that). I ran this same 5K a year ago and I want to see if I can improve on my time. So, come on little nub arms, get strong.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Lucky Duck

Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year, and after having attended a Chinese New Year party last night, I got to thinking today about the concept of luck (since so much of the symbolism invovled in the Chinese New Year seemed to revolve around inviting good luck and repelling bad luck in the forthcoming year). According to the dictionary's first definition, "luck" is the result of factors that cannot be controlled or predicted and is generally considered circumstantial. For those rationalists out there, luck is random chance.

But to me, luck is far more than that.

In my mind, luck is a concept similiar to karma -- something I actually take seriously (my only real spiritual belief) -- that what "goes around comes around" or "you reap what you sow." So, I think luck is something you project into the universe and into your daily life. If you put good into the world, good things will come your way, and I also think that how you think of yourself, as either "lucky" or "unlucky," directly affects the quality of your life. At first this may seem silly to some, but if you think about it, luck (or how we think about luck) can affect our social lives, our professional lives and our personal lives.

As wikipedia (one of my favorite new tools) points out: "There is evidence that people who believe themselves to have good luck are more able to take advantage of fortunate chance events in their lives, and to compensate for unfortunate chance events in their lives, than people who believe that they have bad luck. This appears to be the result of positive thinking altering their responses to these events." Also: "Those who are kind and generous to others are usually perceived as open and accepting, and so more likely to be freely offered assistance from others. They are also more likely to be able to ask for and receive help from others in time of need. On the other hand, those who are asocial or anti-social are less likely to ask for assistance, or to be offered assistance by others. The open, generous and cheerful person is more likely to be classified by others as lucky, while the curmudgeon is more likely to be considered by others or to consider him/her self unlucky."

So luck, I think, is a state of mind, and if we try to think of ourselves as lucky, then we might just be lucky in our lives. And I think I can apply this to running as well, since most ascribe to the belief that our mental state is 90% of the battle that all runners face -- if we believe in ourselves, then we will most likely succeed (in fact, there was an article in the paper yesterday about studies that have proven that an athlete's mental road blocks are the steepest hurdles he or he must overcome, so it's not just a concept for inspirational posters).

Sometimes trying to remain positive is a struggle, just as running has been a struggle for me, but I figure that the new year (that begins today) is the perfect time to remind myself that if I think positively that perhaps I will find luck in all areas of my life, including my running life.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday Update

Was something wrong with Blogger yesterday? I tried accessing my account, but wasn't able to, and therefore, I wasn't able to post. I'm sure everyone cried.

Anyway, that thirst thing seems to have fixed itself, but not before I got myself worked into a tizzy thinking perhaps that I had diabetes or something. Today, I feel appropriately hydrated. And I actually think the cause of my parchment was actually my diet. See, my husband was gone for four days and the theme of those four days was "Jessie isn't going to cook," so I ordered food and ate frozen dinners, all of which is so high in sodium. I think the salt must have built up in my system and dried me out. I went to the store yesterday and made sure I stocked up on fruit and veggies, and yesterday I had nothing but salad and fruit, so that must have helped heal me. (But I also had to make an emergency stop at a gas station on the way to class because I had to poo so bad.)

I also had a great run yesterday. I didn't go all that far (3 miles) but it felt good and I felt all happy and stuff. I have a whole slew of new songs on my MP3 so that had to help the mood. My new "go to" song is "Dammit" by Blink 182. I know it's an old song, but I forgot about it in my stacks of CDs and I found that I really like it for running. It has a great tempo. I'm also cookoo for "Laid" by James, "Last Nite" by the Strokes, and the new Madonna song "Hung Up." With so much to listen to, the time on the treadmill flies by.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I don't know why, but I have been so thirsty for water the past few days. I can't seem to drink enough of it. My lips are all dry and I feel like I have cat hair coating my mouth. What is wrong with me? I can't still be dehydrated from the drinking binge last Saturday; I usually have a pretty quick turn around in that department. Am I eating too much salt? Drinking too much soda? Taking too many aspirin? Talking too much in class?

All could be the culprit. But I am drinking water -- tons of it, and that means I'm running to the bathroom every fifteen or twenty minutes (which, by the way, I had the strangest smelling pee the other day; I really couldn't identify what I had eaten that made it smell so odd). On my way to school this morning, I even had to stop at a gas station on my way because I had to go so bad I thought I might burst; thankfully, it was a gas station I had stopped at before so I knew the bathroom was in decent shape.

But what is up with this? Hydration is one of the few things I do right. I don't eat all that healthy and I don't always stick to my training schedule, but I do manage to drink my fair share of water, so why is it not taking?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Curse of the Short, Stretchy Shorts

It was nice to get out and run yesterday, especially now that I have a few new tunes on my MP3 player (by the way, for those offereing music suggestions, I primarily enjoy alternative rock and classic rock, but I listen to just about anything, and for running, I need a good solid rythym). I didn't run as far as I wanted, because I didn't quite have the stamina, but it felt good to get back to my routine. However, in the last stretch on my way home, a truck full of men yelled out the window at me.

Why is it always men in trucks? Is the truck indicative of some sort of behavioral tick? Are they good men but once they are inside the cab of a truck they feel helplessly compelled to whistle and shout? And why would anyone think that a person would enjoy being the object of that?

Yesterday, they slowed down (which always creeps me out) and yelled: "Oh baby! You are beautiful! You look like an angel!" I just ignored them and stared straight ahead, feeling embarassed and anything but angelic. When I run, I like to think I am invisible to the naked eye; I like to pretend I am in a bubble of my own where no one can see me, but these assholes ruined that little fantasy and when men do that it always makes me feel very self-conscious and I blame the short, stretchy shorts.

Yes, they make running easier, but I also think they draw unnatural attention. Attention that I don't deserve for that area, yet can I just ditch the shorts and return to another pair that I feel are inferior? Damn, it's a catch-22. At least I'm not yet so comfortable with my body that I go in just my jog bra -- I always wear a t-shirt or a tank top -- but I start going in just the stretchy shorts and my sports bra and I better damn well be invisible.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Well, I never did make it out for my long run yesterday. Instead, I ordered Chinese and tried to watch some rented movies -- they weren't that good, and I ended up on the computer again trying to fix the music issues. The good news is that even though I still can't fix Musicmatch, I opened Windows Real Player, and was able to download and burn from that, and I'm going to transfer everything that was in Musicmatch over to Real Player. I got some good songs for my MP3 player, so this afternoon when I make up my long run I will have good stuff to run to.

But I am always looking for songs I don't have that could be good running songs: Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Re: The Drunken Post

As a runner, you're supposed to demonstrate some measure of self-control: Sticking to that training schedule is proof that most runners are very disciplined people who eat right, exercise regularly and who, in general, make healthy decisions. But I am not most runners, and as all of you readers know, I am terrible about sticking to my training schedule, and eating right is a chore, and while I try to make healthy decisions, I also like to throw caution to the wind, and do whatever I want some days. Which is how I ended up very drunk last night and which is why I thought I should post a blog entry -- the barely readable one you can see below.

Today I woke up with a pounding headache and cotton mouth so bad it felt like I had licked a wookie. I'm so dehydrated that I have been sucking down waters and wishing I had a time machine to go back and refuse those shots (no, wait, they were free weren't they? you can't refuse free shots). And to be hungover on today of all days; Sunday is the day for my long run, and it doesn't help when your thirsty as hell and you ache all over.

We'll see if I can hydrate enough to feel normal, and I'll let you know how my run went. Geez, all I feel like doing now is ordering Chinese and watching TV all day in bed (if only there were a training program for that).

Drunken Post

I should not be aloud (oops, wrong "allowed" -- that"s the one I menat). I'm very drunk and should not be typeing right now. Very bad Jess. But I have a sneaking suspicion I need to tell you people smething -- don't drink so much. Yeah, that's right. Damn, maybe I shouldn' frink so much. Crap. So many errors, I'm sigingin off.

See ya tomoroow when I'm sober. Crap, I'm a bad runner.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Saturday Morning

After spinning class kicked my ass this morning, and I felt a little better about the world, so I decided I wanted to re-tackle the music issue I've been having with Musicmatch. At first I was positive, but as the time wore on, my blood pressure rose and a headache insidiously crept in. I tried everything the online tech support offered: I tried disabling the Internet security, I tried re-setting my Internet connections, I tried fiddling with Musicmatch's settings, everything, and it still says it can't connect to the Internet.

By now, this has become an obsessive need. And because I can't download any music, I am, of course, finding tons of songs I want. But can I have them? No. So for a bit, I brokedown and decided I would purchase the upgrade. After fooling with that, I found that the upgrade tech support consisted of little more than sending a little help email to some unknown in California who probably won't email an answer to my question until Monday.

I seriously need to get back to the gym and peddle the shit out of that bike because I'm so pissed right now, my head feels like it's going to burst.

Friday, January 20, 2006

I'm still here

Sorry for the blog neglect the last few days. I rarely let such a gap fill up the days between entries, but I have been busy at home and with work, and I've been a bit lazy. Combine that with having nothing much to say, as well as running sporadically, and you'll understand why the blog has remained quiet the last couple of days.

I guess every once in awhile you feel a little "blah" and I figure it's okay to feel that way every now and then. But today the "blah" has passed and I'm ready to get back to my running routine and tomorrow I'm sure I'll have something to say.

Talk to you then.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Confessions of a Bad Runner

Confessions Number One: I have not run in five days. I have no legitmiate reason like illness or being trapped under a wardrobe; I have just not had the time (that is a lie -- if I got up before 10 am I probably would have the time). I have been busy with housework and school work and watching TV; my schedule is very full. I did, however, go to spinning class two days ago: That was not a lie.

Confession Number Two: Today I ate five dumplings for lunch. Five. Hefty sized ones. Originally I thought that even though I have been a bad runner I could at least be a good eater, but I have been a bad eater. I have had copious quantities of food every day that I haven't run -- I haven't cut back my caloric intake one smidgen.

Confession Number Three: I forgot to take my vitamin the past three days. No wait, that's a lie. I didn't forget; I intentionally did not take my vitamin the last three days because four days ago I nearly choked to death on that damn vitamin and I am now a little scared of them. I don't want the paramedics to show up and find me in my underwear on the bathroom floor dead with a vitamin lodged sideways in my throat.

Last confession: I don't really feel guilty about any of this. Seriously. Sometimes it feels great to follow your diet and training schedule perfectly, and yes, it feels wonderful to stick to a routine and see the results. But sometimes, it feels so good to be bad and just not care.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Music Issues

Listening to music as I run used to not be that important, but in the past year it has become an integral part of my workout, but lately the computer has been giving me attitude and I'm having music issues. I wanted to download some new stuff because I've been listening to the same music for some months now and have grown bored with it. Anyhoo, I have Musicmatch on my computer, and it usually lets me connect to the "On Demand" site no problem to download songs, but the past couple of weeks it has been saying that the Internet connection can't be found.

This is bullshit. I'm connected to the Internet right now, no problem, cable connection -- super speeds. Why can't Musicmatch connect? So after weeks of being denied, last night I got down to business on the computer and tried my best to figure it out: Which mostly meant wandering around in my computer settings and asking the Lord "Why?" (I also cursed some.) I figure one of two things must be done: Either this is Musicmatch's way of bullying me into upgrading to Jukebox Plus, or our computer has some sort of virus.

I lean toward the former because it has given me other problems as well (it wouldn't let me burn a CD a friend gave me and so forth). This is really bugging me because once I get it into my head that I want new music, or new anything for that matter, I grow very frustrated when I can't immediately have it. And running just feels lackluster lately and I need a pick me up -- new tunes would be perfect. Are there any computer geeks out there who can offer any advice?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Bike Bitch

This morning I went to a spinning class as part of my cross training (knee feeling much more like its old self), and it felt good to be in spinning class again -- I haven't been to one in about 2 months. However, the gym is a different place on Saturday mornings. It's much more crowded; therefore, it's more difficult to find a suitable parking space, and there are several classes going on in the morning, so many of the people who are taking up those extra parking spaces are the same ones that will be in the classes.

So, I found a space, and trotted into class and there was the normal varied bunch of bicycle enthusiasts adjusting their seats and fitting their feet into the stirrups. There are a couple of older men who seem to be in every single spinning class I've ever participated in, and because of that you'd think they'd be slimmer, but that's not the case. But they are excited to be there. Anyway, I got a bike in the back row, settled in, and then took my time surveying the class. And there she was: The bike bitch. These women are all over the gym; in fact, I'm fairly certain they don't work; they just workout.

It's easy to spot one: They are very fit and have carefully sculpted bodies (I'm quite certain that perfection does not come from their regular visits to the gym, but rather, to their regular visits to the plastic surgeon -- most women cannot physically have breasts that large and waists that small). They are tan. The wear tight, revealing gym clothes, which are almost always designer. Their gym bags are also designer. And they're the ones with the red Mercedes in the parking lot. They are middle aged, divorced, and looking for some meaning in their lives. They find it at the gym.

Women of this variety are typically quick to anger, and if a machine is out of order or a class doesn't start on time, you can bet that they will be the first one at the front desk to let those gym attendants know. Well, this bike bitch was pissed that the bike she had chosen wasn't adjusting properly, and she was cursing up a storm about how crappy the bikes are and that the gym needs to purchase new ones or else she'll start going to a different gym. Soon, the instructor was over there helping her and the guy next to her was helping, and the woman on the other side of her was standing there with a look of concern (I was silently praying that bike bitch would burst into flames -- the class probably would have been cancelled, but I would have been satisfied).

When the bike just wouldn't adjust like she wanted, she started saying that someone else was going to have to give her their bike because she was one of the first ones in the class (you have to sign in on a roster to guarantee a spot -- the first ones to sign in get their pick of the bikes) and that she deserved a spot and she wasn't going to be the one to forfeit the class. I watched the fit with the same expression I use for disorderly children in the supermarket: Part horror, part disgust, part embarassment. It was better than TV; I was riveted to the drama that was unfolding.

The instructor assured her that no one would have to leave the class and that they would get the bike adjusted; and then, as if God heard, the handle bars snapped into place and the bitch was satisified. She griped a little more that she had received the "crap bike" and she complained loudly that it was off balance, but no one paid her any mind, so she shut up and focused on peddling away for the next sixty minutes.

I was right behind her as I headed out the front door and I watched her stop by the front desk to give them a little piece of her mind. My heart went out to those attending the front desk.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Knee Trouble

My left knee has been stiff and a little sore the past two days -- it aches to bend it. I think I must have strained it or perhaps twisted it somehow? I don't know. I don't have the first clue about diagnosing injuries, and have never felt injured before, and I'm actually reluctant to refer to it as an "injury" -- feels too pro. I think it's a strain of some sort, and I haven't run the past two days just to go easy on it.

The embarassing thing is that I don't think I strained it by running, I think it was actually a pair of devil shoes I wore the other day that threw it out of whack. Actually, they are very pretty shoes, but the heel is more than what I'm used to and I wore them all the live long day. Then, I wasn't bothered by them in any way, but the next day when I got out of bed my knee felt icky. The shoes? Probably. That's the only culprit I can think of. Otherwise my running, stretching, etc hasn't change.

I curse those shoes!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The World of Running Blogs

Yesterday I was bored and was trying to Google my own blog to see if it would pop up in a search (I do this from time to time, and don't lie, I know all of you with bogs do it as well, and those without blogs, you know you Google yourself; I do. But I have learned that I am not interesting and have nothing that crops up under my name. Sometimes I also Google ex-boyfriends or friends I've lost contact with; that's fun too). Anyhoo, my blog did not come up within the first five pages, and that's all I ever look through. But what I did find were a lot of other running blogs.

I've always known there were a lot of us out there, but it struck when I was scrolling through the search results just how many are out there. So, after thinking about it some, and reading some of the blogs that did pop up on the search, I came to three conclusions about running, and about blogging about running.

One, running must be one of the most popular sports out there. And why wouldn't it be? It's easy to get started, you don't need special equipment, it's relatively inexpensive, there is plenty of variance, so you can set sizable goals, and anyone can do it. The popularity of the sport isn't new to me -- I didn't wake up yesterday -- and every time I'm at a race it always strikes me how many people are there, and these are just local events; it's not the New York Marathon. But there was something monumental in browsing through the blogs yesterday -- the girth of our community is quite overwhelming.

Two, runners not only like to run, but they also must like to talk about running. While I'm sure that badmitton enthusiasts also love to share their experience with the cock and shuttle (on ein the same? I'm not sure about badmitton terminology), you don't see too many blogs about it (although, it gives me a good idea). Runners, on the other hand, love to write and read and make comments about their own running and the running of others. We're a chatty group.

Three, everyone else seems to be running further and faster than me; plus, they have way cooler blogs! I try not to compare my running to others, but sometimes I can't hlep it, and I feel a bit like a tug boat barely tooting behind everyone else. And I sometimes can't help but wonder if I spend more time blogging about running than time spent running. I originally started blogging to keep some kind of record of my running, but now it seems that the blog has become my focus and the running has become secondary -- I run in order to have something to blog. Is this wacko? I blog therefore I run?

Too much to contemplate -- brain might flip inside out.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Muscle Men

Yesterday while I was at the gym, running my little heart out on the squeekiest treadmill ever, I was watching a Strongest Man competition on ESPN. It was between that and Dr. Phil (who I kinda suspect is not an underling of Oprah, but perhaps the devil himself), so I focused my attention on the gorilla men. Granted, I always listen to my MP3 player while running at the gym, and there's no sound emanating from the TV anyway, but I could still grasp the context of the show (my IQ tests show above-average scores).

The contest appeared to have come down to six men, which seemed logical that there be only six men in the world who could compete for the Strongest Man award; anymore than that and I would have to second guess the judges' selection method. The contest took the shape of three parts: Lifting a log over their head, lifting five boulders onto platforms, and pushing down a telephone pole. All three events felt like sizable feats of strength. I thought the telephone business would be the easiet and it proves I was right: Most of those guys toppled the poles quite quickly (and this was really the only event where I thought balance, not strength, was the key feature). The log lifting was impressive -- like incline presses, just bigger. But the coup d'etat was the boulder heaving.

Each guy had five boulders (seriously boulders -- each had to be the size of a stove) that he had to lift onto five platforms that were about shoulder height. Each one was pretty fast with the first three (the boulders had to be lifted one right after the other), but each guy struggled with the final two, especially the last one, and only three actually finished lifting and placing the fifth boulder. I actually feared for a moment that the Canadian was going to be crushed by his fifth boulder.

I was cheering for the American. Partly to be patriotic, and partly because he wasn't wearing a shirt (thank you, ESPN). But in the end, it was a Polish guy with a chest like a keg and arms like an elephant's legs who won. And you know, for a Strongest Man contest, his trophy wasn't all that big. Ironic.

I've been doing my bicep curls and chest presses, but I think I'm still a long way from pressing a tree. Maybe I could outrun them though -- they didn't look too fast.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The War of the Shorts

I won a small victory against my shorts yesterday. You see, ever since I started this running business, I have fought with my shorts, and it has long been a losing effort. The war began last June, but issues had been brewing for years, and there had always been tension between my shorts and me. I tried sending ambassadors and there were several attempts at peace treaties, but in the end, the only course of action had to be all out war. The attacks have since come in waves, and I admit that my defenses were under-armed and ineffectively trained for the sort of warfare I have encounter against these vile beasts.

First, there were the cotton shorts that bunch up and get all sweaty and sticky. I felt like I was running with a diaper. I tried to adjust and mold those shorts so they could better work for me, but in the end, I simply had to put them aside. They won simply because they had better staying power. Then, there are the stretchy shorts that also ride up, but in a different way, and in general make me feel self-conscious of my butt and thighs. These two pairs are satisfactory in many ways, but they absolutely refuse to abide by the contract to stay in place, and it is this boundry dispute that has kept the two of us at odds for the past six months. And lastly, there is the pair that I probably like the most, but we still have our problems. Our battle has mostly been a subtle tug of wills, but I am proud to announce, that after yesterday's attack, I finally made some headway.

This pair is made of nylon or some such man-made material and has those little built in underwear -- which I like because then I don't have to remember to wear underwear, and I do try to remember underwear when I'm wearing shorts; the last thing I want to do when I'm running is flash someone a little coochie. The fabric is good with this pair and, in general, they don't bunch up too much. However, I have never liked the waist: It has always had two intrinsic problems.

One, it doesn't hit me right. Instead of resting low on my belly, it naturally rests right up around my belly button, and that makes me feel like an old lady. My general solution to this has been to fold the top part over. I find this does two things -- it helps them sit where I want them to, and it decreases the amount of fabric between my thighs. Although it also leads back to more butt and thigh exposure, but I guess I just have to live with short shorts; it's part of running.

Two, this is the one that was truly bugging me. The cinched up wasit always felt a little tight, and the last thing I want to feel as I'm running is squeezed. So my solution? I pulled the cord out of the waistband, and viola! It felt so much better! I never tie that little cord anyway; it just made things tighter, and I liked the feeling of pulling that cord out. The shorts didn't expect this subversive maneuver, and they were shocked by my intuitive strategy. As a result, they behaved the entire workout.

So, yesterday was a day of triumph for me. Sure, the shorts continue to dominate in the war, but it improves morale to know that I have won a battle, and perhaps, in the not so distant future, there can be peace between the shorts and me.

Monday, January 09, 2006


I've been trying to keep to my training schedule and the hardest part is to not skip out on my cross training and strength training, but last week I was very good with both. However, I am still sore from friday's workout: Abs and legs. Why is it that it's not so much the day after you lift, but two or even three days after you lift that you feel the most sore? And by then you have to lift again!

Thankfully today was arms (they already feel a little weak and tired from this morning's workout), and I get to avoid abs and legs for another couple of days, but this morning when I was sitting up in bed, my abs were screaming: "What are you doing?!" I told them sorry, but I had to get up, and unless I slinked sideways out of bed, there was no other way around it. But then I hit the floor and my left calf yelled about that, and I apologized to it as well, but told it to suck it up and deal with the stiffness.

Poor body. It thinks I'm tormenting it. It just wants candy and long days in bed.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


On Friday night, after a couple rounds of bowling, some friends and my husband and I decided to hit the club -- the strip club that is. And while some people may find it unorthodox for a couple, or couples, to visit a strip club together, I've read and observed an increasing trend in the number of women who are not just accepting of strip clubs, but who actually enjoy visiting the clubs. So much so, that I read in "Time" that aerobic classes that feature stripper-moves are becoming one of the fastest growing trends in exercise.

Some gyms call it Strippercize, some call it Eroticize, one place reportedly calls it Cardio Striptease, and others name it simply Pole Dancing, but whatever you call it, I can see why women are flocking to it. For one thing, it's gotta be a good workout. All that dancing has to be the same kind of cardio workout that any other aerobics class offers, and when you throw some of that pole action in there, well, it becomes downright difficult.

On Friday, as I watched those strippers not only climb the poles (I couldn't even climb the rope in gym class!), but literally perform acrobatic feats up there (stuff that was almost Cirque de Soleil), I was amazed and even a little envious. The strength it would require to lift yourself away from the pole with one or two arms would be immense, and to do that upside down! They deserve to be tipped! While I wouldn't necessarily want to trade places with them (the whole topless business), I do admire their strength and endurance, and I can't help but think a class in Strippercize might be an interesting alternative to regular means of cross training, and it can't hurt some of the action in the bedroom either.

My gym doesn't offer any classes in these means yet, but I'll keep an eye out for them. Spinning class won't seem the same though now that I know what's out there.

Friday, January 06, 2006


South Florida is experiencing a cold snap, and temps today and tomorrow could get as low as in the high thirties. I know that those of you who live in the north are probably just shaking your heads and smiling at this, but forecasters say it could feel like freezing here. Some people who have lived in South Florida their whole lives only know what freezing feels like from their freezer. They're a little freaked out.

My students showed up to class wearing the most winterized clothes they own: Puffy coats, winter hats and gloves, even scarfs. And even though I laugh at them a little, I too wore a sweater and donned a coat and turned on the heat in the car -- it does feel chilly. I suppose I'll be running at the gym this afternoon, but for the strangely opposite reason that I usually do; I've got to escape the cold!

Funny how when I lived in Minnesota I thought thirty or forty degrees meant t-shirt weather in the early spring. I would run through the slushy snow and the temp would be barely into the forties, but it would feel like summer after hiding away from the sub-zero frost. I've become such a baby.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The RW

For most runners, "Runner's World" is like the Bible. We eagerly study it and memorize the tips and articles; we use the training guides and heed the advice regarding shoes and other gear. And I too like RW, and find many of the articles helpful and motivational; however, I've observed in the past months that a lot of runners, at least runners with blogs, seem to be women (I don't know, maybe we just like to talk, I'm not sure, but I see a lot of running blogs by women). And it made me think -- maybe there should be an RW just for women.

I don't want another "Women's Health" as Rodale (RW's publisher) already does; no, I mean a women's RW that speaks specifically to women runners and their needs and wants. Because I don't know if you other ladies are aware of it, but when I flip through RW, I certainly feel a masculine dominace, and if you quickly glance at the list of writers, contributors and editors, you'll see why: They're mostly men. And I was thinking the other day when I passed both women and men runners on my route that men's running might be significantly different from women's running.

Physically, women and men are very different -- most women have higher percentages of body fat, and we have boobs and hips: How do these factors affect how we run? Is it different? What factors of gear, motivation, training, pacing, speed, distance, diet are different? Many women might have children, or are pregnant, and how does that affect our lives as runners? These questions and other lead me to believe there's enough material to constitute another publication.

Maybe I'm just being uber-sensitive, or maybe I just need RW to have a few more articles about sports bras and the ever important issue of inner thigh rub. But I don't really think that's it. I think I've actually stumbled onto a fairly ingenius (obvious, I'll admit) idea. Perhaps it could be called "Radical Women Runners" or "Gnarly Girls Going the Distance" -- okay, those titles suck, but it's hard trying to come up with titles while keeping the Ninja Turtle language alive.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I can't sleep again, and I am trying to make myself drowsy by browsing blogs and the web in general, but I don't feel a wink tired. And I just ate four mini-Snickers, some of my leftover Christmas candy, the best stuff ever (it's better in miniature form, everything is). Something tells me that if I didn't love candy coated in chocolate or yellow cake so much that I might be able to shed more pounds and run farther and faster, but something else tells me that those things are delicious and heavenly and if, as a human being, you find heaven on Earth, I'm pretty sure the Bible says to eat it.

Anyhoo, I did run today -- was aiming for three miles, but after 2.5 decided to walk -- and it wasn't great. Amazing how some days are radical and others are bogus (a new goal is to single-handedly bring back the sacred language of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; the success rate has been minimal so far). The upside of today's run was that someone yelled "Yee-haw" as they drove past. Now, I've had many cars, trucks, SUVs, and front loaders pass by and wave, whistle, honk, and shout, but never, ever have I heard someone give me a "Yee-Haw!"

And I kinda liked it.

Made me think I was in the Wild West for a moment, and I love the Wild West! I love rodeo queens who wear their hair teased into a squirrel's nest and who still wear blue eyshadow and who think children's pageants are not only appropriate, but adorable. I love men who wear their jeans three sizes too small, and have a collection (can you imagine!) of belt buckles -- big, big ones. And I love cowboy hats, horses, beer, and the idea that everyone should live on a 200 acre ranch.

You may think I am jesting, but I kid not. I grew up in Colorado, and attended my first rodeo when I was four (my grandpa bought me a cowgirl hat). I lived with my grandparents on their "farm" when I was a kid, and we had three horses, a donkey, two turkeys, a rabbit, a shitload of dogs, four cats, and some chickens. I was in 4-H and I raised two sheep: Pepsi and Sprite. And we lived on 180 acres, where there were three ponds, a wood, an old barn, and numerous outbuildings. I loved that life.

Of course, Colorado has changed so that it is barely recognizable to me anymore (like seeing a relative after many years -- you can identify them, but are always surprised to see how they've changed). Somewhere along the line, the state grew popular to live in and has become quite crowded. Still, I wouldn't mind moving back. But it's not wild anymore.

Wyoming, on the other hand, and Montana -- they're still wild. Those states still hold onto the ideals of the Wild West by permitting drive-thru liquor stores, the totting of hand guns (why conceal it? -- it belongs right there on your belt!), flexible speed limits, and vast expanses of undeveloped land. Awesome. I have great stories about those states. Maybe one day I'll heed the call of "Go West Young Woman" and I'll be back in the land of the cowboy and cowgirl. Of course, I'd have to get used to running at that elevation again -- 8,000 feet can be a bitch on the lungs.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Random Notes

Approximate amount of cake I've had since baking it on Thursday: The whole thing. Minus one piece my husband snuck in.

Approximate number of calories: Like a zillion. I don't know how to calculate frosting and everything, but it's got to be a lot.

Approximate amount of cake I ate in cut squares that I put on my plate and ate like a civilized human being: About half.

Approximate amount of cake I just ate out of the pan with a fork: The other half.

Approximate amount I feel guilty about all this cake eating: Not much. I get this craving for the yellow cake and chocolate frosting about once every couple of months and instead of fighting it, I just let it consume me (or, rather, I consume it); I figure fighting urges isn't good for you, and I'd hate to deny myself anything. The cake obsession is a small price to pay to the sanity gods.

Approximate weight I've gained since the eating of the cake: None. Even though I seem cursed to never lose a damned pound, I seem to also be blessed to never gain a damn pound. I will be stuck forever at the same weight -- maybe not the tragedy I once thought it was.

Approximate number of blogs I have written about yellow cake with chocolate frosting: 2. Like the vitamins (3 blog entries) and funny people I see at the gym (25 entries), there are some things that will never lose their interest for me.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Sideways Vitamin

Do you ever swallow a viatmin and it feels as though it is lodged in your throat sideways? And then once you're fairly confident you've swallowed enough water to wash it down, it feels like a stone in your stomach?

That's what I've got going on right now. I swear that thing rebelled against me, and went in crooked just to piss me off. Then, I had to drink enough water to fill a swimming pool to get the feeling that it had slipped down into my stomach, but now I can feel it sitting there. And with all the water I just drank, I feel a little woozy from the effects.

Am I the only one who struggles with her daily vitamin? Why does it have to be so big? And why in the world can't it be gel coated, like aspirin? Ugghhh.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year Resolution

I thought about the idea of trying to publish a book, one of my life goals, in this coming year, and the idea of that goal both terrifies and excites me. You see, I wrote this book about two years ago, and then I spent a great deal of my time editing it carefully, and preparing it for the outside world. I queried agents, editors, publishing houses. Some of them answered me. A few wanted to read the first fifty pages. No one wanted to buy it. No one wanted to represent it. They all had the same comments: Good writing, won't sell.

I put that book away. Perhaps it is not very good.

Then, I decided to start with another idea I'd been brewing in my brain. Last summer when I had some time off work, I finished that idea: It was its own book. Since then it has sat in my right hand desk drawer. Sometimes I think about it. I think maybe I should take it out, edit it, fine tune it, get it ready for the outside world. But sometimes I think that the outside world will think the same thing of this book as they did the last one, and I will spend months sending out queries, writing cover letters, and buying stamps for the rejection letters I will receive in the mail. The thought is daunting.

But today when I was running, I thought about it, and I figured that being scared was pretty stupid. (And it can't be more painful than the running.) So, my New Year's resolution: to try and publish this book. Then, if this book meets the same fate as the one before it, perhaps I will try writing a book about running. Maybe I could title it: "21 Days." Catchy, huh?