Friday, March 30, 2012

It's Friday.

Once again, rather than having any kind of structure to this blog, i am gonna go off on a tangent.  It's what i do!  I had a post about how running has helped with my Anxiety and OCD (what OCD person doesn't love doing the same activity - left foot, right foot - over and over for hours on end??)  Any way, friday for ME means the day before my long run.  And tomorrow it's 18 miles.  That brings about a whole new level of anxiety.

How the heck does one run 18 miles and not die?  They are basically synonyms!  So Friday is spent eating yummy carbs, but also doing my very best to chill the F*** out. 

Here's whats occupying my mind today (aside from thoughts of impending doom):

1.  There has been an ongoing battle since i started my job over "the pretzel bagel." Every Friday, we get a variety pack of bagels at work.  In that pack, there is usually 1 pretzel bagel (and like 6 onion - wtf?)  and there are at least have a dozen people currently engaged in a never-ending battle over that bagel.  It has gotten intense too.  People love the pretzel bagel.  I usually only get if there is some kind of weather phenomenom that would cause most people to work from home.  But today, i got into work, and there it was, in all it's glory and splendor waiting for me.  I could only assume that one of the other competitors poisoned as a trap to take me out, but even knowing that i devoured it.  and it was delicious.  

2.  Matt is out of town tonight, so obviously i will eat mass amounts of popcorn while dancing around with the dog and watch movies on netflix pine for him in his absence.
3.  The most important reason for me not to die on my run tomorrow is that GAME OF THRONES SEASON TWO STARTS THIS WEEKEND.  I'M TYPING IN CAPS SO IT MUST BE A BIG DEAL!!!.  

Seriously though, so excited.  So, so excited.
5.  Speaking of game of thrones, i actually knocked out TWO chapters last night, right before i went to bed at 9:30.  I'm so cool i have to be measured in Kelvin.
But seriously, that fifth book is long and difficult.  No wonder he's never going to finish the series.....
6.  And lastly, i seriously skipped my run last night, went home, made dinner, and went straight to bed. I don't know what came over me, but even walking up the stairs i was ready to lay down for a break at the second floor.  Thank god our neighbor hates us so i persevered to our apartment.  Because i crapped out last night, i had to get up and run this morning, which normally sucks, but i saw this guys on the news:
If i ever get arrested, i too will sing bohemian rhapsody in its entirety in the back of the squad car.  You have my word.

So thats whats on my mind today, HAPPY FRIDAY!  Do you have any daunting tasks this weekend that are psyching you out??

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The most perfect run.

I have a whole other post, but i am pushing it back until tomorrow, to discuss the perfect run.

But before that - and update on the wellness fridge situation.
Thank you, person who left a dollar.  But it's too little, too late.  The wellness fridge is gone, and i am now left hungry every day.  I hope the guilt destroys you.
****update*****another dollar has appeared.  maybe yelling at everyone had an impact!

I have been running the skokie lagoons the past couple weeks because its super convenient.  I get to avoid traffic, and that makes me a happier person in general.  The path is hilly (by chicago standards) and there is never anyone on it, except a few bikers - and even they are few and far between.

There are a lot of times i have really terrible runs, where i finish the run, feel like i am going to die, can't take another step, etc.  In the past two weeks i have cut multiple runs short or had to significantly slow my pace, i have thrown up, i have had aches and pains, felt the first pangs of fatigue, and i have been unmotivated.  A good portion of the time, running sucks.  But every once in a while, a multitude of factors and elements align and create:

The most perfect run ever.

I significantly over-ate on Tuesday, and i was worried that my gluttony would slow me down, but in fact, all that extra food made me feel like i had more energy.  I think that sometimes i don't totally get the whole calories in/calories out thing.  Either way, what i thought was eating way too much actually made me feel great on my run!  I also slept in yesterday morning, thanks to Matt swapping an AM puppy shift.  That extra hour of sleep was glorious.  The weather was perfect - about 60 degrees, slight breeze, and the sun wasn't too high in the sky.  For some reason the distance of the run was psyching me out, so i did the ole "just see how you feel and you can always stop."  I started with a very conservative pace because i was still a little tight from the shuffle.  I ran at a comfortable pace, where i could of talked to someone, if i weren't totally alone.  The path i was running on is 4.5 miles, so i decided to do one loop and see how i felt.  

It was an incredibly peaceful run.  I actually enjoyed my music, rather than frantically flipping through songs trying to find something to push myself.  I was actually listening to folk music for half the run (I love you, Bob Dylan...)  The first loop flew by, and i decided to do one more going the other way, and maybe a little bit faster.  The one tragedy of this run is that i forgot to turn auto lap back on, so i only have times for the full loop :(

I have historically had huge problems going out too fast, and then losing my momentum later on in a race.  It plagues me.  It's something in my personality type, i think.  If you put me in the sahara with multiple gallons of water, i would drink them all the first day.  My mind does not understand rationing.  or pacing.

I was able to pick up the pace for the second loop, and shave a few minutes off my time, and that made me very happy.  When i finished the run, i was tired, but i could have kept going if i needed to (like if i was running a race)  That made me feel really good, and confident about this whole marathon thing.  I assure you, this brief feeling of calm will soon pass and i will return to my normal neurotic state of constant complaining and fear.

On my run, i saw 8 deer, a pack of Canadian geese (that hissed at me.) (because they are jerks) and half a grilled cheese sandwich.  (that was a weird one, but it appeared to be in perfect condition)  I actually went back to photograph the sandwich, bit i think one of the deer ate it.  Those greedy bastards.

The lagoon deer are totally unphased by people - they couldn't care less if i was there taking pictures.

And the best part?  Coming home to new compression socks that came in the mail.  All in all, it was a good night!

AND  just a reminder - Bic Bands is donating a portion of every BIC band sold to HDSA for both  March and April.  So, you can look fabulous, and help stop a really devastating disease.  Multi-tasking for the win!  So buy one for yourself, your bff, your mom, your sister, even your dog....

Waffles HAD to have the pink glitter band
Do you have any idea how hard it is to put a headband on a basenji??
***Excuse waffles red watery eyes...the poor pup has allergies is emotional over how fabulous she looks!
This is one of the ones i just ordered - I REALLY like the extra thick ones, mostly because i have so much unruly hair.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Whaaaa? It's Wednesday??

Sorry for being MIA yesterday, i was having a bit of anxiety, which i will probably go more into tomorrow.  Today, there are more important matters at hand.  Like first world problems.

1.  I went to the grocery store this weekend and bought a bunch of bananas.  It's one of the only fruits that is acceptable right now because everything else is out of season, therefore over priced and tastes like crap.  I also set the bananas on top of the toaster oven so that i could clean the kitchen counter.

Then Matt decides to toast himself a sandwich, completely ignoring the bananas sitting on top of the toaster oven.
BURNED.  MY BANANAS ARE BURNED.  Even the dog is stunned.  I am so pissed!  A brand new bunch of bananas, ruined!  And don't anyone even say that i can eat around the burnt part, because i refuse.  I REFUSE.  Thats what makes this a first world problem.

2.  I worked from home yesterday, which meant i could curl up on the couch with my laptop, but my spaz dog decided to spend the entire day digging at a couch cushion like she was trying to tunnel to China.  ALL DAY.  the digging was only stopped by brief periods of sleep, which i can only assume are from exhaustion due to digging.

3.  I ended up spending 14 hours trying to motivate myself to run.  By the time i did, it was 10'o'clock, and i had to go to the gym to do so.  I hate the treadmill so much.  I ran 4 disappointing miles, and vowed never to procrastinate again.  As i was doing my cool down, some freakazoid actually threw her towel on my treadmill to call dibs.  While i was on it.  AND STILL MOVING.  I could have tripped!  and based on the fact that you are 50 lbs overweight and wearing jewelry, you are probably not very familiar with gym etiquette.  You are seriously the worst gym ever, X-sport.

4.  The only reason i didn't quit my run after one mile was because Con Air was on.  I'm so ashamed.  I  don't know why i love that movie so much.  I know people were judging me for watching it, but whatever, i don't have cable.  The best part was, a guy got on the treadmill next to me, turned on BET, and then proceeded to watch Con Air off my screen the entire time.

5.  For the past week, i have been watching old episodes of 30 rock on netflix in my spare time.  It made me assess my current state of affairs.
- always disheveled?  check.
- Constantly eating junk? check.
- Overworked, underpaid? check.
- Dresses like a homeless person?  check.
- Lesbian footwear?  check.

It's official.  I'm Liz Lemon.

6. I went to Potbelly's for lunch on Monday, and when i was there, i was stuck behind of a herd of 8 year olds.  (a herd is 6, in case you needed specifics to help visualize)  Another customer actually asked them who was in charge (i.e. where the f*** are your parents?)  To which the tallest of the 8 year olds responded, "i'm in charge, see?" as he presented a handful of $20's.  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.  Did you really just hand a herd of kids some 20 dollar bills and leave them at a potbellys??  In the middle of the lunch rush for working class folks like myself??

And these were not well behaved children mind you.  If we were in the third world, those kids would have stood there like little angels in line to get a sandwich - because they would be so greatful for the sandwich!  These brats were crawling up the chip display, and knocked over the hand sanitizing station, spilling sanitizer all over the floor.  And they were yelling.  I literally took out my birth control and took my pill standing in that line behind those brats.  And people watched me do it.

7.  I have mentioned that our office has a "wellness initiative"  Which basically means that they got rid of the vending machine, and instead got us a mini fridge of healthy snacks we can purchase instead.  This morning i went over to it and saw this:
WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?????  What am i supposed to eat now??  Seriously, who can't afford a quarter for a string cheese.  I will find whoever did this.  I WILL FIND YOU.


8.  So apparently Matt decided to start a rival blog, because i wouldn't let him post on mine unless he pre-submitted a topic for me to approve.  The only problem is, his blog is just him making snarky comments on random things.  Who would ever read a blog like that??  oh wait....

It's on Matt, it's on...


9.  I have been stalking these pants at j. crew for weeks and lusting after them:
I finally went and tried them on, and the waist was too big, so i needed to go down a size, however my calves were already stuffed into them like sausages.   I could barely get them off.  I know i keep complaining about my thigh-sized calves, but this one hurt.  It really hurt.  Goodbye beautiful pants.

10.  Lollapalooza tickets are for sale - however the one day passes are already sold out.  So if i want to go, i need to buy a three day pass.  They aren't even announcing the line-up for another week!  It's like playing musical russian roulette.  I don't like those odds.  I am not about to shell out hundreds of dollars and then find out that miley cyrus and clay aiken are head-lining.  Risk taker i am NOT.


Monday, March 26, 2012

whirlwind weekend

I would just like to point out that Bill is a genius.  Why didn't i think of autosave? Who the hell let me have a blog anyway?? Here is the post i wrote this morning :)

I was going to break this into multiple posts, but hey, i'm lazy.

Saturday morning i had a 12-miler with my training group.  It was great weather, and made me realized what a good distance 12 miles is to run.  When we finished the run, Matt was waiting for me with Waffles!  She got to meet all the other CARA people, and have a fun morning in that park rolling around in mud.  (awesome.)  

After that, i had to head to navy pier to pick up race packets for Matt and i, and meet up with a bunch of other blogger folks.  The short trip to navy pier was definitely the low of my weekend.  My phone died on the way over so i had no way of contacting anyone, and i had to wait 20 minutes to park, because EVERYONE in Chicago decided to get their packet at the same time.  Navy Pier gives me anxiety.  When i got to the Expo, Eric was waiting for me outside, so we picked up packets and looked for the herd of bloggers.  I found them, and they said they would be out front in 15 minutes for some chowing down time.  That gave me 15 minutes to try and score free stuff!

THE EXPO:  This was by far the largest race i have ever been to, so it doesn't surprise me that the expo had a lot of power players.  I snagged some coconut water, 5 hour energy, and ate tons of food at the Clif bar booth.  I shook my fist at the 13.1 booth for their refusal to acknowledge me as a running blogger, but they just looked at me like i was a nameless crazy person.  I don't have any kind of scale to judge things, but the expo was pretty cool.

The best part of the expo?  No heat warning for Sunday.
THE BLOGGERS:  It was so cool to meet everyone in person.  Its weird when you feel like people are your friends and you haven't met them yet, so it was good to finally meet them.  I was bummed i missed out on the fun run, because based on photos, it looked like a good time!  We got a picture of a few of us on navy pier.  It was then i realized that i met up with these ladies having just run 12 miles and wearing no make-up.  I sure hope they still want to be my friends.  Since i hate Navy Pier and rarely go down there, I had to make a stop at the candy store.  To add to my candy hoard.
Kim,  Katie, me, KelseyBobbiKellyRachaelMaggie
I have problems.
THE SHUFFLE: Thats right, Matt and i shuffled!  I made us an awesome sushi dinner Saturday night to fuel us for the race.  I was super nervous that i would oversleep and miss the race, so i ended up waking up like every 20 minutes.  I finally got out of bed around 5:30, and made matt and I kilt costumes to wear to the race.  
There can only be one!
They weren't very good, because my idea of sewing involves hot glue and safety pins, but whatever, i tried, and they held up for the race.  Our friend Eric was meeting us to take a train down to the shuffle together, so we all left the house by about 7.  We checked our gear at the CARA facility, and met up with Tricia, who is my pace leader for CARA, and Keren and her friend, who was also running the Shuffle.
Keren and I, before the race
 We mosied our way to the C corral, and started to psyche ourselves up for a good race, because i needed this as a redemption race after last weekend.  

I have never really run a short distance race before, so i didn't quite know what i was doing.  I had made the goal of running it in 42:00 minutes, but then changed it in the days leading up to the shuffle to 43:00, because running fast is just too hard.  I didn't know what to do, so i just followed Keren and Trisha and kept up with their pace.  I didn't trust the Garmin, because of all the interference, so i just kept following everyone.  Around mile 3 i realized i was alone.  I wasn't sure if i was ahead or behind everyone.  That made me start to lose motivation.  I stopped for water, and eventually spotted Keren also getting water.  That gave me a boost to finish the race strong, so that i could drink my free beer in happiness, instead of sorrow.  

The weather was perfect.  I got a little warm during that last mile on michigan ave, but at that point, it was like, whatever, you're near the finish.  I lost Keren and Matt again in the last half mile, but i knew they were right behind me.  The last quarter mile was hard!  In my training, i like to always push the last quarter mile as hard as i can, but i didn't push as hard as i could have here.  Next time.  I ended up finish in 41:45 (thats an 8:23 pace! maybe fast considering i somehow managed to tack an extra 1/10 of a mile onto the course).  This girl!  can you believe it??  Keren was a few seconds behind me, and as it turns out, Matt kept up the whole time, and finished in 41:59!  Whaaaaaa?  his whole "only run 15 miles in 2012" training plan is starting to look pretty darn good!  I don't know if i should be impressed with Matt, or start pushing myself a little harder.

Somehow in all the post race confusion, i lost Matt for like two hours.  Next year, i am definitely leashing him.  While i was waiting for him though, i was able to locate everyone else i was with, pick up our stuff, and stopped to play with a puppy.  So it wasn't that bad.  
reunited and it feels so good.
I almost wanted to write a fake post whining about the race, since all i ever do is whine, but i really had a great time.  It was organized, the crowds were great,  i liked peoples costumes, the weather was perfect....i get why people like this race so much.  I am excited for next year, and who knows?? maybe i will run it in under 40 minutes next year!  (why not dream big!)
Trisha, Eric, and i with post race beers.
Its a party, not a race!
Keren and i, victorious!

POST RACE:    I won't lie, i am a little sore today.  Rather than stretch, i chose to drink beers and stand in the sun.   i was actually sore on saturday friday thursday wednesday i'm just sore and have kept pushing.  I should run today, but my poor body is saying no, no, no so i will probably try to cross train tonight, and maybe even sneak in some yoga!.  After the race, i got a lot of walking in - to the train, to the apartment, and then to the park for a puppy play date with Waffles' boyfriend Harry.
Poor Harry, Waffles is so intense....
All in all, it was a good weekend, but i am glad that i don't have any races coming up - running a half and then the next weekend an 8k is a lot of work!  I don't know how the people who race every weekend do it!


I wrote a super huge post this morning, and for some reason it didn't publish.  Now you all have to wait until i get home tonight and am able to publish it, because i sure am not rewriting all that.

Sorry folks!  (the fall backs of being a runner/blogger/full time employee!)

Friday, March 23, 2012

An Epidemic.

So this week, a few of us at work decided to sneak away for lunch and have a picnic at the Skokie Lagoons.  While we were walking towards the water, i spotted something large and bluish in the grass, and assumed it was some kind of urban scorpion (naturally)  Upon closer inspection, it was decided that it was obviously some kind of kids toy lobster figurine.  It was much smaller than a lobster, maybe 3-4 inches.  I ignored it and proceeded to stuff my face.  

Because i eat so fast, i was done with my lunch in about two minutes, while most people were still unfolding their napkins.  I started to poke around in the water, because i am a curious soul.  I saw ANOTHER toy lobster thing, only this gray, in the water, and missing the front half.  One of my associates pointed out that it was a crawfish (crayfish?) and also that i am an idiot.  And that it was dead.  What a sad turn to a picnic in the park.  I poked at it for a while with a stick, but it seemed so much more macabre knowing that it was half of a dead crawfish.

But more importantly - What the hell is a crawfish doing in Chicago??  Here is exhibit A:  (my friend Jenny went back and snapped a picture of the first crawfish for evidence.
Specimen A
Upon some very technical side by side analysis via google images, it is definitely a crawfish.  But is it real?  Where did it come from?  Why is it blue?  Lord knows i wasn't going to touch it to find out.

Fast forward to last night.  I went to run on the north branch trail, in a part that was probably 4 miles from crawfish specimen A.  I was also on a bike path.  I was also not near a body of water.  What do i see on the path in front of me?  A gray crawfish, walking across the path as if he owned it.  In my book, the case is closed.  Apparently, there are crawfish in Chicago.  (That, and i googled it, and apparently they are an invasive species introduced about 50 years ago as fishing bait.  so yeah, my theory holds.)  If you're curious, you can read about it here.

But seriously, i have lived in Illinois my entire life, and Chicago a good portion of that life and NEVER seen one of these babies. This week i have seen THREE!  (two and a half if you want to be precise)  Obviously, because of the freak March heatwave, the crawfish population has soared to epic proportions, and we have an epidemic (or maybe plague?) on our hands.  

You heard it here first.  You've been warned!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Digging deep.



I am sitting here, looking outside at the prefect day, trying to make up excuses as to why i can't run tonight.  When it comes down to it, I'm tired.  Like, really tired.  I have seven miles to run tonight, and then friday is a glorious, glorious rest day.  Right now though, seven miles seems damn near impossible, and i would rather go home, lay on the couch, and make Matt bring food to me.  One reason i am so tired is that i have been running alot.  Not alot for people who run, but alot for me.  I am reaching that point where i am feeling drained, and no amount of food or sleep can accommodate.  

Another reason is that last night, i said screw food, screw sleep, i am going to the blackhawks game!
Front row seats, naturally.

It was a great game, WE WON IN OVERTIME!  but that also meant i was up wayyyy past my bed time.  
I know every runner has to dig deep from time to time to find the motivation to start a run when they are tired, and finish a run when they are even more tired.  I try and remind myself that i am so fortunate to be able to have enough food available to me to sustain long runs, and the luxury of taking an hour of time (or more!) just for myself to go running.  and legs, i have those.  A lot of people don't have all of the above things.  So i need to shut up and be grateful and just go on my damn run.  
And when all that positive thinking fails, i just imagine there is a zombie behind me.

What motivates you when you need to dig deep?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's that time.

The time for first world problems.

1.  Matt, bless his heart, went to the grocery store to pick up a few items.  I had asked for oatmeal, and he got me this:
He got it because "the can looked cool."  Do i look like the kinda girl that has time to make slow-cook oatmeal? I assure, you unless it comes in a packet that says "instant" i don't have the time or the patience to make it for breakfast.

Things i do have time to eat for breakfast?
This bowl of leftover homemade buttercream frosting.


2.  Everyday this week when i have gone to the traffic website to see how bad my commute will be, i have opened it up, seen a 3 or 4 out of 10 (for the level of how bad traffic is) and done a little dance for joy.  Until i realized that i am looking at the traffic for Philadelphia.  WHY?  Why computer, do you think that i up and moved to Philadelphia? 

 And worse, why do you get my hopes up???  the traffic in Chicago was a 9 last night.  A NINEEEEEEEEE!
not chicago.  not even close.

3.  It had become painfully clear that i am the only running blogger asshole in Chicago that actually paid to run the 13.1 half marathon in June.  WTF?  Why don't i take the initiative to reach out to companies and event organizers to better my blog??  Why are you punishing me for my laziness, 13.1? See if i run YOU next year!

4.  Did you see they reopened the Amelia Earhart case?  Are you freaking KIDDING ME?  Either way, that lady is DEAD.  I am no detective, but it was a chick flying a poorly constructed plane over the tumoltuous waters of the south pacific.  Not to bust everyone's bubble, but i think she crashed the plane.  Take all that money you are going to use to find her ancient skeleton, and GO FIND CHEAPER GASOLINE FOR MY CAR.
Sorry your dead, but lets move on.

5.  I have a seriously pickle addiction, and the crappy neon green non-refrigerated pickles will not do.  I am a classy girl that demands Claussen pickles.  We went to pick up out weekly bulk container at the grocery store, and it was $7.50!! For a jar (granted a bulk size) of PICKLES!  When did cucumber inflation occur?  Did they pass some kind of tax on pickle brine that i was not aware of??

6.  It's official.  I have now had to create a compression sock budget so that i don't go beyond my means. For socks.  What has my life become.


7.  Michael Bay is redoing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  ENOUGH SAID.

8.  This girl has been giving me nightmares.  I need to stop watching Toddlers and Tiaras.

9.  My mom reads Kelsey's blog, and not my blog.  

10. And finally.  It was pointed out to me that it is in no way stylish to wear toms and compression socks to work.
I was misled!


11.  Maggie also has first world problems, and they are WAY more amusing than mine!  (or maybe i just find amusement in others sufferings.  maybe.)