Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A midsummer night's flu.

It started with a niggle.  What is a niggle you say?  According to Kara Goucher, its little aches and pains that aren't necessarily an injury, but more of a troublesome annoyance.  My whole body started to ache.  Maybe i managed to pull ever single muscle at once?  Maybe i woke up in my sleep and finally did the strength training i have been missing?  Maybe my whole body was filled with lactic acid?  I don't know, i'm not a doctor, dammit.

But then came my long run on Saturday.  I have good runs, and bad runs, but rarely do i have a run that is so horrible that i am convinced i am dying and can't finish.  It was so ugly it was beyond words.  And for a 15-miler and a comfortable pace, it shouldn't have been like that.  Needless to say, i stopped at 13 and actually had to lay on the ground for 30 minutes because i couldn't drive myself home.  By the time i did get home, all i could do was lay on the couch and nap.  It was official.  I was the only moron to who gets sick in the middle of summer. 

Needless to say, my training is at a complete hiatus.  I shouldn't even be at work, but they seem to frown upon taking sick days, so i will proceed to spread my germs all over the office.  I am starting to feel panicky because of the rapidly approaching Chicago Marathon.  How will i over come this huge snafu in my training??

Here's the thing:  Because i have a blog, i am able to review all my training from the last marathon!  And guess what?  The day i did 15 miles, i completely failed, it was the worst run of the entire training season, and i ended up getting sick.  Are we noticing a trend?  Obviously, i have some kind of "halfway through training" wall.  And after that first crappiest run ever, i got some advice which i will now share with you:

Take some time off.  Seriously.  When your body is sick, it means that you have managed to piss off your immune system, and that is a system you want on your side.  A lot of people get sick when they increase mileage.  It's a shock to the system.  Taking a week off isn't going to impact your training.  Running when you are sick or injured might.  That's the advice i got, but that doesn't mean it's easy though.  I felt guilty as hell sleeping for 14 hours yesterday and not running, and seeing as it will most likely be a repeat tonight, you can expect my blog to be very lame this week.  But, i feel confident that i will rebound and be back to training in a week (or whenever i feel human again)  :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Matt Reviews RNR Chicago and BTN 10K!

Some of you may remember my post in "His and Hers Soldier Field 10 Mile" alongside my red-headed sultry fox of a girlfriend, Sara.  If you don't, then in a sentence here was my reaction:  I thought it was going to be extremely hard, but it was actually alright and I beat the time I wanted to finish in (in case you're wanting to make fun of my time, Sara and I did a 1:32:00 or something).

I said that I would NEVER do a half marathon.  Never.

Yeah that I was wrong about...I signed up for the Rock N' Roll Half Marathon here in Chicago a few weeks after my first 10 mile race, and signed my death wish once and for all.  I thought sticking my hand in the inactive garbage disposal was more dangerous at one point.

They charge out the ass these days in the garbage disposal
installation market.
So before I get into the deets regarding the 13.1 miles from hell, I can say that I did try and prepare for this.  Sara and I do eat quite well, especially with our farmers share coming every weekend.  I was running around 3 times a week when work wasn't bat-shit crazy with hours; running around 4-5 miles on the 2 weekdays, and a longer run on the weekend.  Two weeks before the race I did (what I thought to be 11 miles) the longest run I've done period, but it got extremely creepy around 9:30pm at Montrose Harbor.  So I peaced out around 10 miles instead; but I felt great.

I think that long run was the reason i felt confident going into this race.  Except that I drank the Friday before, quite a fair share of beer I may add.  And on Saturday my friend Jordan and I were at Mayhem Fest in Tinley Park for most of the day.....with a hangover.  AND I didn't get home until 12:30am.

The Race:

We woke up at 4am, and headed over around 5 to be there 30 minutes before the start of the race.  I was in Corral 20, Sara was in 7.  So obviously that made me already feel like a slow poke haha.

Once things started though, it was all up to me - we were running separately.


I was already thirsty beyond belief from the start.  I need to start bringing a bottle of water so I'm not standing around going "CMONNNNNNN I DONT CARE WHOS TALKING ON THE INTERCOM SYSTEM."
Who needs to bring bottled water when you could have a
24" tongue?

But I was feeling pretty decent at the 3.1 mile marker...I had a drink at the 1.5 mile water station and kept my 10:00 min/mi pace going slow and steady.  I told myself not to speed up - even if a bro passed me wearing an Ohio State backwards cap, Ray Bans, and Jorts.


I was starting to feel the heat a bit, although I have to say that it was just humid - there wasn't a lot of sun exposure.  I was using each water stop but I was continuing to run whilst drinking.  Which is hilarious by the way - I spill that shit ALL OVER my face and shirt.  It makes me look like I've lost my vision and sense of aim to put a cup of water to my mouth for cryin' out loud...


This must be some kind of Ancient Greek
expression of half marathons affecting the body...
That image is extremely accurate of how I was feeling around mile 9.  I had a giant knot in my stomach, and I decided to make my first pit stop for ice.  Good plan.  I let it melt in the bag, then used it to squeeze cold water over my head and drink some of it for the next mile or so.  Still, I have 4 miles to go...

18K CHECKPOINT (11.2 miles)

I had some real issues here; much worse than at mile 9.  I felt exhausted, and although I kept thinking "5k left; 5k left and that's it dude," it didn't matter.  I was having trouble staying focused - my Zune player was fucking up - COOL TIMING ZUNE.


I finally had to take the shirt off near the finish line, where a group of girls "owww owww'd" me.  I'm sure it was a joke, as I'm pasty white with the form factor of a cup of jello.  I pushed myself to a 8:30ish minute mile for the home stretch - but that was about all I had in me.

I finally did it, 13.1.  It's going to be my limit.  I can tell you a a marathon is too long and too boring for a chap like myself.  And I don't think I'd have the patience for it.

My thoughts on the Xsport Rock N' Roll HM?  I thought it was killer.  The crowd support was amazing.  I mean it was better than any race I've done, albeit I haven't raced as much as some of you folks.  The bands along the course were fantastic, the water stations were aplenty.  I'd race it again for sure.  Sara and I have talked about other cities too - Lexington, Nashville, St. Louis, Las Vegas....NAWLINS (New Orleans for the normal people reading).  But seriously, it's a great series to think about traveling for.


Recently this Saturday I also ran the Big Ten 10k.

Sporting the Purdue shirt; that's right.  I ran the 10k in around 80 degree lakefront weather in 52:40.  Got a negative split and kept my pace almost dead on 8:30 min/mi.  It's the only race I've done where wearing the shirt you get for doing the race is almost a must on race day.  And it makes you proud of your school.  I felt good supporting Purdue doing that.  And it was my best 10k time to date - cool that it was the middle of the damn hot summer haha.

So there you have it folks.  My long-winded version of the races I just did.  Just be glad you didn't see me in person and ask...you'd be out past your bed time.

And since you're all runners, that's like 5:30pm SHARP.

 Nice bed head DUDES.

photo courtesy of jdn.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mo Money, Mo Problems...

Is luckily a situation i never have to deal with.

1.  Speaking of problems, Waffles has not once but TWICE snuck out the back door when i go to water the plants, run across our shared porch, broken into our neighbors apartment, and eaten their cats food.  She's so freaking fast too, she just beelines for the fancy feast.  I am pretty sure the cat, vampy, is plotting his revenge as she has now shotgunned two of his dinners.  Not to mention she is BREAKING INTO SOMEONE'S HOUSE.  I am so embarrassed!  How does one apologize for this??  Hallmark has no "Pet crime apology" section as far as i can see...

2.  How have i gone this long without creating my own someecards????
I sense you are going to be seeing a lot of these.

3.  Speaking of work, my partner in crime has been out of the country all week so i have been running our department.  Apparently, being in charge means you get emails at 11pm demanding changes to a presentation you sent over a week ago.  I don't care how big the project is - if i don't get adequate sleep, i am just going to scream at everyone and be unproductive.  I go to bed at 10:30.  the end.

4.  I was going to make an ecard about the olympics, but somebody decided to walk on my keyboard.....

5. Last complaint about work.  I don't know who the F is putting almonds in the dishwasher, but knock it off.  There is no reason for this, it makes no sense, and for reasons i don't understand, it pisses me off.  It's just not natural.  And i am sick of people abusing dishwashers.  FIGURE IT OUT!  People in the third world would kill for dishwashers.   Literally.


6.  This week has been so hectic, despite having a fridge filled with locally grown organic produce, i have chose to have popcorn and vodka for dinner.


7.  Speaking of veges;ihhiiiiiiiiiii hnl.,,,,,,,,,,,,,klkmlklgys fffffttttttfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

GUESS WHO JUMPED ON THE KEYBOARD AGAIN!  Only this time, the backspace button doesn't seem to work anymore.  I think that means she's getting fat.  And i should learn to type better.....


8. Anyways, Speaking of vegetables, I got onions in my farm box, and i was kind of annoyed because they are super small.  I know that there's a drought and all, but i am an American.  I am used to gigantic steroid filled produce, and when there is a drought, i am used to my country buying out another countries food supply so that i can be well fed.  I don't even know what to do with onions that are no bigger than limes.  How did we survive before we were able to mutate and enhance our crops??
are you even an onion??


9.  WTF candy!  I rely on you!  Why are you filled with 50% black licorice gum drops???  DON'T YOU KNOW NO ONE LIKES THAT FLAVOR?  Do you understand that i am so addicted to candy that i choked them down anyway with tears in my eyes so that i wouldn't waste the candy?  God damn you, generic bag of walgreens candy....DAMN YOU!


10.  So I got an email from the Chicago Marathon about the new corral system.  Since i don't qualify for wave 1 due to my totally sucking at running, i will be in wave two based on my predicted finish time.  Don't you read my blog, Chicago Marathon?  Don't trust any time i put for an expected finish, EVER.  Knowing how stupid i was in January, i probably put some completely unrealistic goal.

Looks like my reign of unachievable expected finish times terror is over.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Distractions from the suck.

Did i ever mention that i spend 8 million hours a day in my car in traffic? It's true!  granted it sucks, but i usually use that time to catch on the news and current events.

Only the news totally blows lately.  I can't listen to the coverage of the mass shooting in aurora for more than 10 minutes without bursting into tears.  I think its ridiculous that we now have to use units of measurement to describe over night shootings here in Chicago - (half a dozen people were shot last night - what's next?  A bushel of people??)  Spain is making nervous, with its impending bankruptcy and threats of a global recession.  And don't get me started on Syria.  Mostly because i still can't figure out what is going on over there, other than that it's really bad and lots of people are dying and it makes me sad.

The world is a little bit sucky lately.  Why can't we all just chill out this week, stop killing each other, and start obsessing over the olympics?  Well, since the news has majorly bummed me out today, here are some squishy feel-good stories about athletes in the news right now.

1.  101 year old marathoner Fauja Singh, also known as the coolest person to ever live, is carrying the olympic torch!  I always regretted being a late-comer to running, but Mr. Singh didn't start until well into his 80's! He has since run 10 marathons, including the New York Marathon.  At age 92, he ran the Toronto marathon in 5hrs, 40mins, beating my Rockford marathon time, and basically, showing me who is boss (him!)  I can't look at his face without wanting to cry tears of joy.  I love this guy so much. He has already expressed the desire to carry the torch for the 2016 Olympics, where he will be 105, and still a better marathoner than me.  You are so awesome!

2. Guor Marial is IN!  The South Sudanese refugee will be running the marathon in the olympics!!  While he won't technically be running under the south sudanese flag, every one in south sudan will know that he is running it for them.  So happy the Olympics committee is letting him run.  Did you know that his first marathon was twin cities last year, and it was the race that gave him the olympic qualifying standard?  The first ever South Sudanese olympian!  It's like cool runnings, only even more awesome.  YAY GUOR!

3.  While not an Olympian, ballerina Michaela DePrince just performed her first performance as a professional ballerina in Le Corsaire at the Joburg Theater in South Africa.  You would never guess that she spent her childhood in an orphanage in Sierra Leone during the civil war, witnessing atrocities most of us aren't even capable of imagining.  Her interview HERE is SO inspiring.  She is so cool and collected, and most importantly, sounds like an average, 17 year old girl.  

So there you have it.  There is a lot of crappy, crappy news these last few days, but there are also some truly amazing and inspiring people if you dig a little deeper!

Monday, July 23, 2012

How not to prepare for a half marathon.

(or what will here on out be known as "Pulling a gingerfoxxx.")

Friday was my birthday, and the the start of my last year of being able to say i am in my twenties.  Single tear....

So i had managed to finagle a day off from work (by cramming about 50 hours of work into mon-thurs) and did what any other twenty-something girl would do.  

I drove up to Lake Geneva to drag my good friend Eric out on a 22 mile trail run and ruin his vacation. note: I am an awesome friend.  
There is a really awesome trail that runs around the entirety of lake geneva.  It's really awesome, because some parts are paved, some parts are gravel, some parts are dirt, and some parts are literally just running through peoples back yards.  (note: because the trail has always been there, the millionaires that live around the lake are obligated to allow you to run it.  It seems weird, like you are trespassing, but it is totally legal)  

Some Pros: The trail is awesome, because you won't get a chance to get bored.  You will experience about 30 different types of running surfaces, and the view is indescribable.  It is very quiet, but you will encounter a few other runners/walkers. It's a giant loop, so you don't have to deal with the mental fatigue of turning around and retracing your steps.  And because it keeps you on your toes, it makes 22 miles seem not so tedious.

Some Cons:   It's a 22 mile loop with very few spots to get water.  We had some major hydration issues.  It is hilly, and aside from all the hills, you will have to run up/down no fewer than 30 flights of stairs.  All those different running surfaces can be brutal on your ankles, especially the last few miles when you are tired. I definitely have some lingering pain in my right calf/ankle from this run.

I had a great time, but i think Eric had a significantly less great time.  It was cool and cloudy in the morning, so we brought our smallest water containers.  It heated up fast, and we found ourselves frequently out of water and very thirsty.  I had a bigger bottle, luckily, but Eric only brought a flask, and started to get heat exhaustion towards the end.  We definitely suffered the last few miles, and may have resorted to drinking lake water.  We survived though, and i would totally do it again, only with more water!

After the run, i had to rush back to the city, because my BFF Ray-Ray and I were heading the Champaign county fair for some country music!  It was a whirlwind trying to get there in time (along with picking up my RnR race packet!) and resulted in me having nothing to eat all day but half a protein shake up until 7pm.  We got to the fair, and consumed many beers, and got some tasty fair treats, like sweet potato fries!   We rocked out to Lee Brice, who was performing at the fair.  We then consumed more beers, rode the tilt-a-whirl, went to a country bar for - you guessed it - more beers, and lastly, headed home for a night cap of beer and COOKIE CAKE!  Talk about a day of great pre-race decisions!

Luckily, i had Saturday to recover, which involved driving back to Chicago, and running a bunch of errands.  By the time i was done, i was completely exhausted, and it was past dinnertime.  I tried to eat some pasta, but my stomach felt terrible from the all the beer and cookie cake.  I had a piece of pita bread, and went to sleep at 11pm for my 4:15 am wake-up call.

Predictably, Matt and I missed the pre-race blogger meet up.  We made it to the race with just enough time to check our bag, and find our corrals.  I was in corral 7, which was a total joke.  I seriously need to stop signing up for races in January and putting my expected finish time as 1:55 for a July race.  What. a. joke.  I should probably also stop carbo-loading with beer, and tapering with 22 mile trail runs.  I am seriously concerned that i am going to sign up for a fall race, put my expected finish time as 1:55, and have them respond, "You're a dirty liar, you have been about 10 minutes behind every single predicted time you have ever put down for a race.  You get corral Z."
But there is no corral Z!
As you may have heard, the race was hot, and humid, and unpleasant.  I had no intentions of pushing myself, and being tired, underfed, and having a sore calf from the trail run did nothing to sway these intentions.  I had no desire to race, (especially in pain) and was just going to focus on some of the problems i have when i do race - mainly, positive splits, and the mile 12 meltdown.  

I still didn't get a negative split, but i only slowed down by 15 seconds overall for the second half (which for me, is impressive.)  I also ran the entire time.  Not a single stop.  I slowed down once to refill my water bottle, and that was it.  No walking breaks during mile 12 for this girl!  I do regret not pushing myself at the end though.  Everyone was shouting "sprint to the finish!!" and was just like, "No, no, that's not going to happen."

The race was actually managed very well, and the crowd support was great.  I have no one to blame but myself for any misery experienced on this run.  But to be honest, it wasn't miserable, i just didn't bring my "A" game.  I didn't want to push myself because of the weather and my leg, and my time (2:06) reflects that.  My negative split goal was not met, but my anti-meltdown one was.  And i got to watch Matt eventually finish his first half marathon!  I think its a great race, especially for first-timers.  I'm not sure if i will do it again though, just because of the date.  It's July.  What did any of us really expect?  I would love to check out some other RnR events for sure though! 

We also got to have a sweaty blogger meet up after the race:
Maggie's friend, Nina, Maggie, Amanda, Zach, Cary, Marcia, Pete, and meeeee!
It was awesome to have so many CRB's at this event!  I think everyone agreed that it was a great race, but the weather was less than ideal, and made it difficult for any of us to meet our goals.  Also, i should probably start showing up earlier so that i can be photographed without looking like i am dying.

The end.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

FWP - roar.

For some reason, i have been operating on a short fuse this week.  Primarily, because i wanted to take friday off, and then realized that it is impossible to ever take a day off of work when i need one.  The second i requested off, i had three projects come in that were due the same week.  Little do they know, i would rather work late every single night just to still get the day off.  And work late i have!

1.  You know how people in repetitive, terrible situations become desensitized to the experience?  That is how i am feeling about weather right now.
Another scalding hot half marathon?  I am so emotionally detached that i can't even whine about it.  All i can do is make this apathetic grunt. "mmmmeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhh."


2.  They make waterbeds for cows.
I seriously spent three years sleeping on the equivalent of an army cot that i bought at Ikea. You have GOT to be freaking kidding me.  
I have seriously spent 15 minutes trying to figure out if this is joke.  It has to be a joke, right???


3.  Speaking of animals, Waffles is on a slew of antibiotics and painkillers, so we have to crush up the medicine and mix it into wet food to feed to her.  I am normally against pampering the dog, but she recently had a growth spurt, and could use the extra food, so i am going along with it.  I worked so late this week, that the pet store i normally go to was closed, so i went to Whole Foods, like an asshole.  I ended up picking up Paul Newmans dog food, because it was the cheapest (cheapest at whole foods is still way out of my budget)
Oh. My. God.  Just to remind you, i don't eat meat, but both Matt and i were hovering over this can and salivating.  It is seriously like pot-roast dinner for dogs.  Cuts of beef, with potatoes and carrots.  It smelled so good i wanted to fight waffles and steal the food from her.  Then Matt and i sat down to our dinner of beet soup.  Tears were shed.


4. The president of chick-fil-a has stated that gay marriage invites the judgement of God.

Well, condemning gay marriage when you are only qualified to critique chicken and waffle fries invites the judgement of ME.  And i assure you, most religious organizations agree that my wrath is equally terrifying and significantly more obnoxious.  Nothing annoys me more than when restaurants and brands decide to get political.  Why do you even feel the need to publicly bring this up, Dan Cathy?  What do you know about anything other than putting pickles on a chicken sandwich? Can't you just sit around eating your delicious sandwiches and judging everyone in silence?  And damn you if you didn't just alienate the biggest consumer of waffle fries in the US - ME.  


5. The cone of shame has been the great divider.  People who have pets look at her, then look at me and give me a sympathetic nod and smile.  They know whats going on, and they acknowledge our suffering.
Non pet owners cross the street to avoid walking past us.  As if the dog has leprosy.  I'm sorry, but walking past my dog is not going to infect you - you won't sprout a cone from your neck.  And stop sneering and asking me what is wrong with my dog.  She wears the cone so she doesn't have to look at your stupid face.


6.  Our apartment is SO stuffy.  Why did i ever think living on the third floor was a good idea?  I actually yelled at Matt last night and accused him of "hogging all the oxygen"  Now that i am not so cranky, i am reconsidering if one can even hoard oxygen.  Why didn't I think of that??

7. Thanks to Keren, who truly understands living la vida FWP as much as i do, for sending me this: www.thefuckingweather.com  I am over you, weather channel.  This site speaks the truth!


8.  I assure, there are many more problems, but i seriously just don't have time today.  Some is better then none, right??

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Some Randoms.

1.  Are you following Badwater?  Mike Morton has less than a half marathon to go!!  I would also like to point out that 70 year old Arthur Webb is in 10th place currently.  Did i mention that he is 70?  Ok, good.  Our Illinois representative Scott Jacaway seems to be struggling - so send him some Illinois love vibes!!

2.  You know what would be worse than running 135 miles in death valley right now?
running 135 miles in Chicago, IL.  I have been watching the heat index, and it has consistently been worse here the entire time (because of humidity.)  Right now the heat index in death valley is 82.  In Northbrook, my current location, the heat index is 96.  Just sayin.

3.  I need some major inspiration for rock' n' roll this weekend.  Not only do i have a $0 budget for a costume, but it is going to be a toasty 90 degrees.  sigh.  At least that's cooler than 100 degrees?  I am just in desperate need of a cool, feel good race.  I am starting to doubt my abilities, and i am pretty sure That the RnR half this weekend will do nothing to alleviate this self doubt.  And i will have a crappy zero budget costume to boot.  Or maybe i will just run in my bathing suit...its going to be 90, after all.....

4.  I have consistently run 10-13 miles (minimum) every weekend for the last, i don't know, 4-5 months?  My feet, while not beautiful, are completely intact and unfazed.

And pink.  
Matt has gone on one 11 mile run, and now has two black toenails ready to fall off.  Obviously, i do not try hard enough.
Any advice for soon to be toenail-less Matt?

5.  It has taken me all morning to write this in 90 second intervals.  Work is crazy this week.  I need a clone.  Mike Morton has just won Badwater.  It is still hotter in Northbrook.

6.  Since Cary mentioned the muffins, here is the recipe i used!  I think i added nutmeg because i didn't have cinnamon, and i made a pineapple glaze, because i love sugar.  They were delicious, and i can't stop eating them.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

weekend woes

This was going to be the weekend that i got things done!  I got up super early Saturday, i ran an easy 8.5 miles, picked up my veggie box, planned out meals for the week, baked zucchini-pineapple muffins (!?!?!)
And then committed myself to hanging around the home front this weekend and majorly cleaning the apartment.  We had Waffles spayed on Friday, so i wanted to hang around and make sure she was ok and monitor her.  

We were somewhat worried because her breed (Basenji) is super active - constantly running, jumping, and climbing.  The vet assured us she would be fine, and just to keep her relatively calm.  She seemed very confused as to why we weren't going on super long walks and we weren't aggressively playing with her like normal.  Aside from a few cries when she moved the wrong way, she had a voracious appetite, and was in good spirits.  We stayed in saturday night, and just as we were getting ready to head to bed, Matt noticed some blood on the blanket on the couch.  We rolled Waffles over, and she had somehow managed to open the entire length of the spay incision.  Gaping flesh wound on the abdomen of my dog.  I grabbed a towel, and we wrapped her in it, called the emergency vet (whom instructed us to come in obviously) Matt drove like a bat out of hell and we carried her into Vet ER where they took us into a room and examined the wound.

Luckily, it wasn't as bad as it looked.  (it looked pretty bad!  And Matt and i looked pretty bad as well carrying a dog in, wearing blood stained T-shirts!)  There are two layers of sutures in the spay procedure - the inner layer, which stitches up the muscle, and the outer layer which stitched up the fat and skin.  She only tore open the outer layer, thank god, so her internal organs were never exposed.  

There were able to stitch her up at the ER with a local anesthetic, but she started screaming while she was back there.  For a silent dog, she makes the most unbearable sound when she is in pain.  I just started crying when i heard it, my poor baby!  We were there for a couple hours before she was ready to go.  They gave her antibiotics and a cone to wear.  They later told me that she was a silent little angel the entire time they were stitching, and that all the screaming was from them putting the cone on.  She HATES it.

We went home and went to sleep, and my entire Sunday was spent hovering over her.  I am carrying her up and down the stairs every time she goes outside (strength-training?) and mostly letting her sleep in my lap.  She is incredibly mopey because of the cone - she keeps crashing into things, and is obviously disoriented.  We have to keep the cone on for 2 weeks!!  And now, the heavy duty sutures are making her itch!  I am terrified to leave her home alone because i don't want her to reopen the wound again.

The ER vet said we could try putting a little t-shirt on her, but that was a joke!
She just got all tangled in it trying to get it off, and i was worried she would do more damage than i was trying to prevent.  I'm mostly worried about what she might do while Matt and i are at work.  She is in her crate, AND wearing the cone, but i am still terrified that she might scratch the wound open, and create another emergency trip.  and at this point, i can't mentally or financially deal with that.  (we have spent well over $1,000 on her in the past week!!)

SO, that was my weekend.  Hopefully yours was not spent crying in a Vet ER?  Have you ever spayed a pet and had issues with them scratching the incision?  Have you ever seen an image so sad and so funny at the same time??

Friday, July 13, 2012

funnnnnn facts!

It's here it's here it's here it's HERE!

Nope, not the olympics yet, but Monday marks the start of the 35th annual Badwater Ultramarathon!!  Badwater takes you 135 miles through the heart of Death Valley, mid-July, and eventually up Mount Whitney to finish.

Why would i, the girl who in the past has whined extensively about running a race in high temps and running a race that had mountain plopped into the middle, be attracted to what is arguably the hardest foot race on the planet??

Well, I assure you, i have NO desire to ever personally run this race.  I know that if you train hard enough and long enough, you can do anything, but every body has limits, and i know i could never safely run 135 miles in 120 degree heat.  Ever.  But MAN, if anyone ever wants me to be on their pit crew!

So what is the deal with badwater?
- It's really exclusive (you need major credentials as an ultra-marathoner to qualify, they don't want people to die on the course.  And it seems pretty easy to die on the course.
- There is usually less than 100 people running it every year
- The course is 135 miles, starting at the lowest point on the continental US, ending at the highest point.  Thats a net elevation gain of 13,000 feet.  (To put it in perspective, i start whining at 350 ft elevation gains!)
- If you think it sounds hard now, it used to be the Badwater 146.  At that time, the end was at the summit of Mt. Whitney.  The forest service put a kibosh on racing up the mountain, so the race officially ends at the Mt. Whitney Portal.  Runners are welcome to get a permit to then finish to the summit on their own.  And some still DO.
- All runners are equipped with a fully staffed support crew consisting of one, but usually two vans, and  3-6 people.  The vans will have coolers of ice, food, and full medical support in case anything happens.  
This is super fun!
- The race was started when Al Arnold up and decided to run the course.  Just because it sounded fun to him.  Because runners are bat-shit crazy, subsequent runners have done the "double-crossing" (running to the summit of mount whitney and then all the way back through death valley) And in 94, Scott weber did a triple cross.  Not to be out done, in 01 Marshall Ulrich did the "Badwater quad" Yes.  Thats four 146 mile runs back to back.  Do i have any takers for 5??
- That crazy Scott Weber was also the first person to do the Badwater Ultra with no crew.  He carried all his stuff with him.
- The record for the 146 mile course is 33 hours, 54 minutes (?!?!?!?!) and the record for the 135 mile course is 22 hours, 51 minutes (men) and 26 hours, 16 minutes (women)
- The record high in Death Valley is 134.
- The average low in July is a refreshing 90 degrees
The female record holder
- The temps in July reached 130 in 2007, 2005, and 1998.  (not good odds if you ask me!)  Although Mondays temps in Death Valley look to be a pleasant 110-115 degrees.  (The average high for July is 116)
- Your shoes melt.  Like for real.  

In recent years, badwater has started to offer live web streaming of the race.  They have camera's mounted at all the check points, so you can monitor the runners as they complete the hardest race ever thought up.  I will be checking in periodically all day Monday and Tuesday!  Chicago's own Scott Jacaway of Downers Grove will be running it again!  Check out the rest of the roster HERE.

I think the coolest thing is that some of these people have full time jobs.  To able to train for an event like this and manage a job and a family is something that i am in awe of.  You guys are awesome.  Good luck to everyone competing in the 2012 Badwater Ultramarathon!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What is Hot? Photo Challenge time!

Me and the heat, we have a love hate relationship.

I hate it, and it loves to follow me around like a shadow.  I think heat is a challenge we all struggle to overcome (some more so than others).  I have had a rough time this summer so far, and i have diligently tried everything you guys have recommended to beat it.  I have put ice in my bra, a la maggie, i have worn Kim's shirt cape, i have tried Charlyn's salt tabs, and i have ever resorted to trying to replicate Bobbi's infallible optimism.  But in the end, i still end up whining and pouting the entire time.  It's in my nature.  But rather than post a picture of my sweating face pouting, i decided to go a little further.

So what does "HOT" look like?
Well, thats all relative.
What's hot to me is a joke to some people (primarily, anyone in Death Valley right now.)  No matter how much ice we dump on ourselves, we are going that have a terrible time running in the heat until we  learn how to adjust our perspectives.  "Hot" Looks different to everyone, but when i see heat blurs drifting off the pavement in the horizon, i try to visualize what "even hotter" could look like.  Because you know that when its 105, that somewhere else in the world its 120.  And someone is running much faster and farther that you.  And maybe they are barefoot.  jerks.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fwp....in the news!

God i love the news.  Everyone else has bigger problems than i do.

1.  Everyone wonders about my obsession with raccoons.  And how they are getting bigger and fatter and meaner.  Exhibit A:
When raccoons attack video.

I'm sorry, but the scratches are one thing, but bruises?  Raccoons are assholes.  You have been warned!

2. Women only and men only parking spots.
Parking is hard.  Especially for those of us of the fairer nature.  Thats why this mayor in Germany went ahead assessed the difficulty level for a variety of parking spots, and ones that were narrow, or needed to be backed into, or were on an angle were labeled for men only (i am assuming to avoid the outbreak of hysteria that occurs when we are faced with something as complex as "an angle.") I say why stop there - go big or go home.  Don't let us park at all.  Us ladies should be forced to relinquish our keys the second we enter a parking garage.

3.  I am not sad that you were all gored by bulls.  There.  I said it.
You knew what you were doing, don't look to me for sympathy.

4.  Oh Pinki Pramanik
You have committed no crime here, other than that you make terrible choices in girlfriends.  Never trust a bitch, girl.  Good luck, and keep running, Y chromosome or not!

5.  I was all for this British "Ginger only" dating site....
Until i realized they are going to call it "Top Carrots"  Are you F***ing kidding me??  COME ON!

6. In San Francisco, they are dealing with their rampant pan-handling problem by giving all the homeless people pets to take care of.
I hate to be a negative Nancy, but - no, wait - I LOVE being a negative Nancy!  Why are you giving pets to people who obviously can't take care of themselves, let alone a pet!  Am i the only one who see's a problem with distributing puppies to derelicts on the fringe of society?  ANYBODY? (notice how much trouble i have taking care of dog!)

7. Oh no, the secret to the Big Mac's special sauce is out!  What is McD's gonna do, now that we can all make our own big macs at home??
Wait a minute - big macs suck.  The only reason people eat them is because they are too lazy to make their own food (I'm not judging, i am frequently too lazy to make food for myself)  We are assuming that serial McD's consumers have much more ambition than they actually do.  

8.  If you could have your baby anywhere in the world, where would you do it?
I'm just going to assume you said 7-11.  Talk about my worst nightmare.  On the plus side, if any of you preggo's can force yourself into going into labor today, you can get a FREE slurpee while you wait for the umbiblical cord to be cut, because it is July 11th!

9. Do you hate cobwebs like i hate cobwebs?  GRRR!  i wish there was an easier way to dispose of them.  Standing on a chair and dusting the corners is just SO. MUCH. WORK!  Thank god there are brilliant people out there that are just as lazy as me.
FYI - do not blow torch the cobwebs inside your house.  Just don't do it.  Also, i am a little concerned about the fact that we will give a blowtorch to anyone these days....


10. And finally, Shot put is awesome.  
So awesome.