Wednesday, May 30, 2012


1.  I. warned. All of you.
But seriously, did you watch the video of this?  It only shows their feet, but i can already tell you, that guy is a god damn zombie.  And i sure hope they are watching that poor homeless man that was half eaten like a hawk, because we all know how this is going to end up.


2.  So my desk at work faces this big beautiful courtyard, with huge glass windows.  The only downside is that birds keep kamikazeing themselves into the window.  We all like to eat, and have meetings in this space sometimes, and like to do so without walking over a dozen bird carcasses, so we started putting all the bird bodies into an empty planter, like a little bird mass grave.  Only last week, they hired a landscaping crew to come plant flowers.
I'm so sorry dude.  I swear, we're not psychopaths.


3.  I decided to treat myself to some delicious ice cream - 
I'm not one to really concern myself with serving sizes, because even though this has always been 4 servings, who are we kidding? I'm going to eat the whole damn thing, and it's going to be amazing.  Until i noticed this:
3.5 servings???
Since when did they start screwing me out of 2 oz of tasty frozen goodness??  When i want to eat 1,400 calories, i want to eat 1,400 calories!!


4.  While dining al fresco last night, i somehow managed to skewer a bumble bee with my fork on accident while instinctually trying to bat him away.  Seriously.  He was big too, and it was disgusting and horrifying.  I would have taken a picture, but i was too busy freaking the hell out.  So here is a reenactment.


5.  Then when we got back from Detroit this weekend, Waffles was so sick of being in the car that she was being a needy little pup, and decided that she needed to be in my lap every waking moment of the day.
Oh yes, she laid there the entire time.
Every. waking. moment.  
How does an African hunting dog become such a lap puppy?


6.  So Matt planted some herbs for our balcony, only a family of birds has decided to take residence out there, and has been picking off our herbs, one by one!
I seriously hate birds so freaking much.  


7. To try and protect the few remaining herbs, i put a laundry basket over the planters so that the birds couldn't get to my plants.  Only instead, they POOPED ON MY LAUNDRY BASKET!!!!
This means WAR!!!


8. I ordered two pairs of shoes to try out, so that i could see which felt better for running.  Only they are both so cute, that in order to spare hurt feelings, i must now keep both of them.


9.  I have celebrated 28 Memorial days.
And i still don't own a set of corn on the cob holders.


10.  I was being tailed by this guy on my way to work the other morning.
Thats the google street view car!  now my car will be immortalized.  Covered in dirt.  Sitting on the parking lot that is the Kennedy Expressway.  Sometimes it feels like i will be stuck in traffic forever.  But now, it's really true.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Photo challenge number, idk, 4? 5?

My ability to count has escaped me. 

So this weeks challenge from Maggie was about your favorite "seen on my run" photo.  Only i never bring my camera with me.  I just don't like to carry stuff when i run.  So, since i actually have a career where i draw stuff all day, i thought maybe i could use my artistic license to recreate a scene.  I have seen some pretty neat things when i run.  I saw a crawfish once.  And a skunk.  And about 30 obese raccoons. And once even a perfectly intact grilled cheese sandwich.  But i think my favorite sighting is a reoccurring one on the North Branch trail.  There's this guy.  I think he is some kind of bird photographer.  I see him on the trail maybe 70% of the time?  So he has to be out there multiple days a week.  He has a badass walking stick, a super nice SLR camera with a giant zoom lens, and sometimes binoculars.  He has an awesome straw hat, and a handlebar mustache.  
No, Seriously, i draw things for a living.
Even if i had a camera with me, it would probably be very inappropriate to take a picture of a stranger, so this very accurate drawing of him will have to suffice.  If you think i am lying, Keren can back me up, because she has also witnessed the awesomeness that is this guy.  SO, if you are ever running in the evenings near skokie lagoons, keep your eyes open for him, he is my favorite thing to see on the North Branch Trail!

Monday, May 28, 2012

His and Hers reviews of SF10!

Saturday morning Matt and i sprung out of bed at 4:45 to get ready for the Soldier Field 10-mile race.  Ok, i sprung, he hit snooze, and i had to nag him for 15 minutes.  I was really pumped for this race, because 10 milers to me are kind of the "party distance"  You aren't running so fast that you are miserable, like in shorter races (at least i'm not) and you don't think about dramatically throwing yourself into the nearest body of water, like during longer races.  

AND, you finish on the 50 yard line of soldier field!  I can tell you right now, i have been inside soldier field once, and i got no where near the 50 yard line, and it cost way more than this race.  So already, i'm a winner.  The race had been yellow flagged for both heat, and thunderstorms, you know, because it's me.
I'm surprised people even still showed up to the race after hearing that me and my curse would be there.  But somehow, people did still show up - 13,000 of them!  AND, while we were all hanging out in our corral waiting for the race to start, they cancelled the yellow flag, and switched it to green....WHAT?  I don't even know how to process this!

Matt was feeling nervous because he had never run a 10 mile race before.  Or even 10 miles in a row.  To be honest, he rarely runs 10 miles in a week.  BUT, if he met his goal (which was 1:40) his work would reimburse his race fee.  Right there, i vowed to drag his ass across the finish line if i needed to, because for $80, he could take me out for a night on the town.  Since the weather ended up being cool and cloudy, i told him our goal was 1:35 (which i knew he was more than capable of doing, based on his 10k races.)

It took us 20 minutes to start the race because we were in corral 5.  I had a very weird feeling while standing there.  These little bumps formed all over my skin, and i started mildly shaking.  It turned out i was cold.  Because i was finally running a race that wasn't 80+ degrees. 

The first few miles Matt was in a good spirit.  Our friend Trisha was running with us, and Matt was surprised when we would pass a mile marker, and say "wow, already?"  That was a good sign, until Matt became bored by mile 3 with only me to entertain him.  I soon ran out of popsicle jokes and antecdotes.  I felt bad because Matt kept demanding i entertain him, but i had nothing!  I listen to NPR!  I tried to discuss the financial crisis in Spain, but that just seemed to make him angry.  I sang a little, and i danced a little, but he was definitely becoming grouchy by mile 5.

Then we hit a headwind.  I tried to position us behind some tall people, but it didn't help.  Then Matt started to slow down.  This was so frustrating because about 5 miles is usually when i start to feel warmed up and ready to start the race.  I kept pulling ahead of Matt on accident, because he was wearing the same stupid shirt as everyone else, and was super hard to keep track of.  It was hard because if i were by myself, i would have been running a lot faster than this.

Then he started whining. He was about two feet behind me, and he refused to speed up.  and just loudly whined that i was a bad pacer because i kept running in front of him.  I slowed down multiple times, and often felt like i was running in place.  I kept encouraging him, but he was not having it.  He kept accusing me of speeding up, and i kept accusing him of slowing down.  By mile 8, he was obviously miserable and i told him that in 3/4 of a mile we would get to see Maggie, to which he responded "who is Maggie, and why do i care??"  geez.  Everyone around us seemed slightly annoyed by my cheerleading at this point.  We started a final push just before 9.5, but it might have been premature because Matt started to slow down again by 9.75.  I waited for him, and then we sprinted together to the 50 yard line!

I had a great time at this race, probably because i wasn't super serious about it (although i could have smashed my 10 mile pr with this weather...) I loved the crowds, and there were a lot of friends running it.  And while the course was familiar, finishing on the 50 yard line was super awesome.  I can't wait to run this again!

Well hello runners :)  Long time no see on the Gingerfoxxx blog (she refuses to let me post because she thinks that I want to talk about irrelevant things such as "movies that are terrible" and "what sports mascot would kick the other mascots' asses").

I don't see her argument to be valid, but I have to live with I chose to keep my mouth shut for all of these months.  And now you have the pleasure of hearing my side of the story when it came to my first 10 mile race.

Now I will say, the last time I ran a solid 10 miles while being decently in shape was senior year of high school....we used to run in the 100 degree weather in 200% humidity through hilly neighborhoods at a 7:30-8:00 pace.  Now you can see why I decide to whine to Sara saying "I'll never be in shape again."  I have a lot to live up to, to make that kind of time again.

So here's my recap of the Soldier Field 10 Miler:

We arrived at a decent time, and I had a fresh Clif bar in the no complaints yet.  The one thing I was worried about was how my stomach felt, and if I had to pee right when the race started.  So I made sure to use the porta potty well before the race (yet I still had to pee like none other when I finished).

The weather looked sketchy....I peeked at the sky every 5 minutes, and the wind was starting to pick up.  But honestly I'd rather it be rainy and windy than 100 and sunny.  So after the lengthy 20 minute wait, we finally got to let's recap by each mile:

MILE 1 -

Nothing to complain about, Trisha actually ran into the bushes before mile 1 to piss....and I laughed.

MILE 2 -

I was surprised to reach it so fast, yet I didn't feel like I was really pushing myself yet.  My explanation of running style is "it's like how I view stairs...I'd rather sprint up them and be done with it than take it slow and waste my time;" so I was glad to be done with 2 miles so quickly.

MILE 3 -

Nothing to report.

MILE 4 -

I still feel good, but I try and keep myself from looking at my Garmin watch and thinking "oh I'm fucking slow" or "you're going way too fast...I don't see any zombies idiot."  Sara yelled at me saying "don't look at your watch, just run."  So I ran...

MILE 5 -

Turn around time!  AWESOME the wind is "totes" blowing all up in my shit, so I feel like I have to push harder to keep on pace.

MILE 6 -

My body is starting to heat up quite a bit, but the good news is that I've started to pass my 6.1 mile race barrier.  So now it's onto my longest yet, 7 miles....

MILE 7 -

Sara is CONSTANTLY pulling ahead of me, and I tell her "hey babe can you please run alongside me?"  She responds with a "sure no problem," followed by about 5 seconds of staying next to me.  She then proceeds to Michael Johnson my ass and takes off in front of me AGAIN.

MILE 8 -

I'M HOT.  WHEN IS THIS OVER?  And Sara is STILL pulling ahead of me...this is supposed to be an awesome run filled with joyous conversation, and yet she can't think of a single topic to talk about.  Wonderful.

MILE 9 -

Just got some water, and in a quarter mile I finally see Soldier Field.  Starting to sprint up to a 7:30 pace and get tired as hell again at 9.6 miles or something..,

MILE 9.8 -

Finally get to see the opening to the field, and I catch up to Sara and finish this bad boy!


We are in Soldier Field, can you believe it?  Right as that thought pours into my mind and I take a look around, a large man in uniform tells us to basically "get the hell out there's more runners coming."

Glad I paid that $65 entry fee or whatever it was.

All in all, this was to see if I'd do a 10 mile race again...and yes, I will.  Will I do a half marathon?  Probably not.  It's going to take some serious a free bald eagle with signup or something.

Cya peeps ;)

Hope you enjoyed our recap!  And if anyone knows of a half marathon that gives out baby bald eagles instead of finishers medals, please comment with a link below so i can get Matt signed up!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

i got problems.

1. There is either a man using the women's room at work, or a very confused woman....
I am all for equal rights, but if a man is going to use our bathroom, at least put the seat down.  This is why we have separate bathrooms in the first place.

2. Matt's mom gave us what we thought was a wine aerator she bought by mistake. I am totally on board for making my $10 bottle of wine taste like a $20 bottle of wine.  Only it turns out it is just a glorified pourer/stopper.  I'm sorry, but in what world do i ever need to reseal a bottle of wine?

Plus, i drink straight from the bottle.

3.  I don't know how this happened, but waffles is already 6 months old.  That means i need to break the bank to get her spayed, as well has have an umbilical hernia removed.  

For the future, dog's don't have belly buttons.  Don't let anyone convince you otherwise.

4.  My hunger has returned. And it's ugly.  It hit me when i was in traffic yesterday.  All of a sudden, out of no where, i was so hungry i thought i might die in my car before i made it to some kind of food.  Let me tell you, that's an intense fear.  I ended up running in the door, and literally shoving tortilla chips in my mouth Betty Draper style.  I can't wait to go to work and destroy that cookie butter.....

Anchorman II is really happening.  Only now i have to wait for it.  DAMMIT!  I love that movie so much it hurts.  
Even for as much pain and suffering i was in at mile 25 on sunday, i managed to croak "It's so damn hot out....milk was a bad choice."  Too bad no one laughed....
6. I got into a discussion at work the other day in which i made the point that sea monkeys aren't real, and are only a pretend pet, much like flea circus's.  Only it turns out sea monkeys ARE real, and i am borderline stupid.  They have to stop letting me talk to people at work.  It's only hurting my reputation.

I'm still not getting them for my desk, though.

7.  I have seriously wasted an hour of my like looking up anchorman animated gif's.  How did this happen?  I really don't have this kind of time to spare.  And for no reason at all, i am throwing this your way.
It has nothing to do with anchorman, and i am not even sure how i got to it, but i am a sucker for dogs with subpar golfing abilities and cute hats.

8.  When i was home this weekend, i realized that my moms cats are every bit as fat as Meow, and i got super mad at her for supplying them with unlimited food.  
I just want to kidnap poor snickers and go all Jillian Micheals on her ass.

9.  It's supposed to be near 90 degrees with 30mph winds tonight for my run.  I know i can survive it obviously, but i am a little worried that once i get out there in that steamy wind tunnel, i am going to have a vietnam style flashback.  If you see a half naked girl running on the north branch trail, looking for an aid station, mumbling about powerade needing to return to the 90's, please call Matt.  Or take pictures.
10. Soldier Field 10-miler is this weekend!  Only according to Cary, the shirts are yellow.  YELLOW???  COME ONNNNNN!  I look so bad in yellow, it's criminal.  It is just not a good color for my ginger skin tone.  Who chooses the colors for race shirts anyway?  If i ever find a race with a hot pink shirt, i am running it. Even if it's a 90 degree marathon.  Maybe i should learn to choose my battles......

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Time Management is a FWP

Sorry folks!  I ended up working super late for a presentation, and then had to drive to Wisconsin early this morning to give the aforementioned presentation, which left me with no time to write about all my problems until tonight.  First world problem for YOU i suppose.

I could have written it late last night, but instead i decided to open a beer and make a giant plate of nachos and watch the season finale of how i met your mother (finally.)
So at least you know where you stand.

I will post it tonight, but until then, here are some First world problems to help you waste your wednesday.  Its about whiners, and features a picture of me, so it's legit.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The aftermath

Thanks to everyone for your kind words and advice.  I've been having a lot of trouble communicating how i'm feeling since the race, primarily because part of my frontal lobe actually melted.  True story.  Obviously, i will run a marathon again.  Mostly, because i signed up for two more this year, and i can't bear to waste money.   Also because in the history of weather, Ireland has only reached 90 degrees once and it was in 1887, and summer.  So a late October marathon there is about as close as you can get to a 50 degree guarantee.  

I've been thinking a lot about Sunday, and I'm stopping the pity party right about here.  Yeah, i was in the bottom 25% of finishers for this race, and my time was about an hour and a half longer than what i could probably do in ideal conditions.  But i was looking at all the results for the race, and about 20% of the people didn't finish.  And i did finish.  Also, i think my time should be knocked down by 15 minutes for the time i spent lying on the ground.  It's only fair.

Did you know that when i was in grad school i joined a local roller derby?  Don't get too excited, i was terrible. Some would say atrocious. My petite size made me a terrible blocker, and while i could usually achieve the speeds necessary to be a jammer, i couldn't control them and would fall. every time there was a curve.  On the round track.  My one skill when skating is that i got up faster than anyone.  I fell about 300% more frequently, but i would hit the ground and spring back up over and over and over.  I was never down for more than 2-3 seconds.  I think thats my gift.  

The aftermath:
1. I'm still not hungry, which is weird.  Based on training, i thought i would have been tearing through the kitchen like the incredible hulk, but i am struggling to eat.  I just don't want food.  I have been trying to drink disgusting protein shakes/meal drinks until my appetite returns.

2.  I'm not in pain.  My feet got a little roughed up, and my calves are a little tender, but i feel fine.  The only aftereffect i have had is intense waves of nausea, which i think is just residual dehydration.  I heard that you are not supposed to run for a couple weeks, but i think 6 hours in the giant sauna on Sunday might have saved me some muscle soreness.

3.  My brain is a little wonky.  I keep misspelling words (more than usual) and mixing words up when i talk.  Math is impossible right now.  I am seriously concerned that i lost part of my brain out there.

4.  I have been coughing since the race.  I think i strained my lungs a little.  I had a lot of trouble breathing in the second half, mostly because of the hot wind.  I might have been having an asthma attack, but i was too far gone to tell.  I feel like i used that coupon for cigarettes and then smoked them all.  

5.  I keep randomly bursting into tears.  It happened about 5 times yesterday.  Seriously. Brain. is. broken.

6.  Matt's in really bad shape.  I feel awful, because he was in no way prepared to run/walk/stagger 8 miles in that heat.  If it was impossible for me, i can't imagine what it was like for him.  He is feeling pretty rough, and really nervous for the soldier field 10 miler this weekend.  It's going to be awesome though.  I kind of want to super bowl shuffle across the finish line. 

7.  I don't know if i would run the Rockford full marathon again, mostly because of PTSD, but i would definitely do the half.  It's cheap, it's flat, and in nice weather its actually pretty scenic for Rockford.  And the volunteers were amazing for what they had to put up with (understaffed and not enough water)  

8. I'm still sad and disappointed, and probably will be for a while, but thats ok.  I have other races to look forward to, and most importantly, a summer full of running with awesome people.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Crash and burn.

Apparently, marathoning is not for everyone.

Here's my recap of the 2012 Rockford Marathon (to be known from here on out as the death march from hell)

I got to Rockford Saturday evening after driving to St. Louis on Friday night for a friends graduation exhibit. (To be discussed another day).  My mom had picked up my packet for me, but it was pretty sparse.  The Tshirt was unisex, so even the small is huge on me, and i probably wont really wear it (but i am picky about most shirts)  The swag included a 5-hour energy knock off and coupons for cigarettes and skoal.  Seriously.
It's Rockford, what can i say.  It was hot on Saturday, which did nothing to ease my nerves.  We went out to eat, but i had to force food in my mouth.  I was so nervous, i hadn't had an appetite all day (which is SO unusual for me - i am ALWAYS hungry.) I laid out all my stuff and went to bed early - As of the night before, it was supposed to be a high of 85 degrees, but very windy in the afternoon.  Not good at all.  I truly felt that on a cool cloudy day i could have run a 4:20 marathon.  I knew that would be impossible if it were to reach 80 degrees.

I woke up saturday, and got ready to go.  I demanded that we go early because i am so sick of running to the starting line.  We got down there at 6:30, and it was already 75 degrees.  Insert sadface.  
There was also a shortage of porta potties, so the lines were insane, and - you guessed it- had to run to the starting line.  (although it was only half a block, and dozens of people were still line for the porta potty!)
I started running with the 10:07 group.  It as a comfortable pace for me.  I talked to another girl for a while name Emily who came from Milwaukee.  The first 5 miles were uneventful.   After mile 5, we ran past my old high school, and then got onto a highway.  That was when the heat first hit me.  There was not a cloud in sight, and all that asphault made it feel like i was running across a frying pan.  we looped around, and at mile 7, i told Emily i was going to slow my pace because the heat was getting to me.  She cut back also, and said she was struggling as well.  At mile 9 i passed my moms house.  She gave me a salt pill and gel, and a freezy pop!  The only problem was they were melting already. (damn you, freezy pops!) That gave me a boost, even though i couldn't believe how bad i felt, and it was only mile 9.  I felt every bit as awful as when i was at flying pig.  Right after mile 9 Emily said she was done, and i was alone.  I talked to random people between 9 - 13, but it turned out every one was doing the half, and i wanted to stab everyone who said "only 2 more miles."  

*apparently, a lot of full marathoners opted out at the half.  I don't blame them.  by 9:30, it had reached 90 degrees,  NINETY DEGREES.  They said the high was 84!  And there was not a cloud in sight.  Full blazing sun.  After the split, it got real lonely.  There weren't many marathoners to begin with, and i think we lost a lot more at the half.  I felt awful at this point.  I don't like to sit in 90 degree weather, let alone run in it.  I threw up a little at mile 14.  I felt so hot and sick.  Luckily no one was around.  There were two people very far ahead on me, and one guy back behind me.  I was half running, half walking at this point, and just trying to make it to 16, where my family would be waiting.  A random woman was bringing out ice cold bottles of water from her house to give to the runners, and i wanted to hug her.  The weirdest part was that going as slow as i was, no one was really passing me.  Everyone was barely moving.
My attempt at "the Kelly pose"
At 16, i saw my cousin Ammanda.  Apparently, my mom and everyone had gotten confused on where to be (which sucks, because she had my salt pills)  Ammanda walked with me through the water stop.  They had a guy there advising everyone to slow down, because the temp had become dangerous (No shit.) They gave me a cup of extra salty gatorade, and refilled my water bottle. There was a two mile loop, and Ammanda said she would see me at 18.  I kept run/walking.  A woman handed me a cup of ice.  "Spectators" stopped cheering and started asking us all if we were ok.  At 18, i saw Ammanda again, and Matt.  He grabbed me a gel and a salt pill, and i told him i was mostly walking from hear on out and that i needed him.  The plan had been to meet me a mile 22 to run to the finish, but it would never happen now.  

And so we jogged a little.  And walked a lot.  Then 30mph headwind started.  Only it wasn't refreshing at all, it was a hot wind. I started to have trouble breathing.  I was so confused and struggling to walk at this point.  All the water stations only had hot water from sitting in the sun.  It was like drinking tea. The 5 hour marathon pace leader was also walking.  It wasn't safe to run anymore.

At mile 22 i collapsed.  I had been staggering for a while, and hearing those weird mechanical sounds that you hear before you faint.  It was just so hot, and i was not sweating at all anymore.  I remember staggering and leaning on Matt, and then laying under a tree.  I just layed there and told matt to get the medics.  At least thats what i was trying to say.  Another woman who was walking her daughter through this death march had a bag of ice and gave me a handful.  i sucked on some, and rubbed it on my neck.  I eventually felt like i could walk again, and was determined to finish this nightmare.

*i would like to point out that when i collapsed, no one paused my Garmin. Assholes.

I staggered on behind the woman and her daughter.  There was another guy who walked next to us for a while.  He was a seasoned marathoner.  I said it was my first, and he responded with "I'm so sorry, i promise you it isn't like this.  I swear, this is the worst it has ever been"  That helped.  A little.  The last four miles just sucked.  We ran through some woods, and it was lonely and scary.  If i would have been alone, and collapsed in the woods, i might not have been found right away.  

The last two miles were in the ghetto.  There was no water.  Even Matt was struggling at this point.  Then i saw Ammanda again.  She had gone home, and been so worried she came back with two giant bottles of ice cold water.  We staggered on.  I ended up finishing with two other people.  The girl whose mom was with her, and another guy whose family was walking with him.  We were all first-timers.  I think thats the only reason any of us finished, because we had nothing to compare this to, we didn't realize how bad this was.  It was 91 degrees at the finish, but the heat index had to be around 95. And to be honest, there were some stretches on the road that literally felt like we were in an oven, and things in the distance distorted from the heat coming off the road.

I don't even know what my time was.  After i crossed the finish line, a woman helped me to the med tent.  She did not pause my garmin either.  I was sat down, and brought ice and powerade.  There was no cheering.  No hugs at the end. No photos.  No people giving me food and telling me great job.  Just being rushed to a medic tent.  I think my time was around a 5:40-5:45.  

In my opinion, this race should have been cancelled.  The few of us stupid enough and stubborn enough to see this through were actually in grave danger, i believe.  I knew this in the second half when people stopped cheering, and started telling us to be careful.  There was not enough water, not enought volunteers, and they were not prepared for this heat.  This wasn't a fun race, it was a sad race.  For the runners, for the spectators.  It was just heartbreaking.  

This race is a complete failure for me, but i really don't know what i could have done differently.  Maybe i should have just stopped at the half and found a different race.  Maybe i should just not try marathoning anymore.  Maybe i am cursed.  Maybe all the global warming stuff is real.

All i know is that this race left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.  I still love running.  I actually feel like could do a couple miles after work today (although i wont) and if some day, someone asks me go run 26 miles with them, and the temperature is reasonable, i would enthusiastically be all over it! But i really don't know if i ever want to run a marathon again at this point.  That was a horrible and brutal experience.  

I'm really sorry i don't have a better story for you.  I really wanted to talk about how i ran across the finish line in tears to receive my medal and then drink beers and celebrate, but i was robbed of that experience.  Maybe i am just bitter because wounds are fresh, but this marathon broke my spirit.  I will never ever run a race of any distance in heat like this again.  It's not worth it, under any circumstances, and i am lucky to come out of it ok.  

Marathons are sad.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A photo challenge to distract me.

Oh Maggie, if only you had waited a week i would have a different race to complain about.  (i would also be able to participate in the running in your bra challenge, which i fully intend on doing Sunday.  Talk about two birds with one stone!)

To date, the worst race i have ever run has been the 2011 Schaumburg turkey trot half marathon. (you all thought i was going to say Flying Pig, didn't you?  or perhaps Get Lucky?)
To read the full story of my complete mental breakdown on a race course, go HERE.

I can't pinpoint a reason why this race was so terrible.  In hindsight, i would actually KILL right now to run a race in freezing rain.  I'm not even joking!  I think the real killer for me in this race was myself.  I was mentally exhausted, and had been wanting a break from running, and i didn't give it to myself.  Instead, i kept pushing to make an unrealistic goal.  Half way through this race, i had a complete mental breakdown.  I didn't just start pouting, i started balling my eyes out, and had to sit on a rock for a minute and just cry.  In the rain.  It was a misery i had not experienced before, and could not cope with.  I hated running at that moment because i wasn't having fun anymore.  I eventually started running again and finished the race (after people kept asking me if i was hurt) and you can see in the picture that even though i am smiling, my face is red and puffy from my sob session.  I didn't run again after that for a month.  

Lesson learned - When your body demands a break, give it a break.  None of us are olympic athletes.  This isn't our job, it's our reward.  It should be fun.  It's also okay to cry - just don't wear mascara (ouch.) and make sure you eventually finish the race.  

Also, i am sorry for being lame this week and not visiting everyone's blog as often as normal.  I am in meltdown mode, and will be back to normal next week :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A change will do you good.

Well, its official, i got the notice:
It's official - I'm cursed.  Where ever i go, the yellow warning flag, it follows.  I think this picture just about sums up how i am feeling right now:
Yeah, i'm pretty pissed off and wallowing in my own misery.  I could write a long post just whining about how i have the worst luck in the world, and how scared i am, and sad that any chance of a respectable time just went out the window.  OR i could write a post about just training for this has overcome all the odds, and that the most important thing is that i finish.

I assure you, i will do neither of those things.  Instead of my traditional First World Problems post, today i bring you: People with bigger FWP's than me!

1. Francois Hollande
I'm sorry, but if within hours of being elected the new president of France your plane is struck by lightening, i would be peeing my pants scared of what the next four years of your Presidency hold.  I have five hours of mother nature hating me, but you my friend, you have five years.

2.  Basically anyone in Greece.  Or Spain.  Or Syria.  Actually, that whole general area seems to be having some general issues lately.  
Whats worse than running a molten lava hot marathon?  Living in Greece.  I kid.  But not really.  They have problems.

3.  Any animal within a half mile radius of Lady Gaga.
God forbid i be the only asshole to bring up how many starving children could have feasted off of one of your MANY meaty ensembles.  SERIOUSLY.

4.  Matt.
Seriously, i am a crazy bitch this week.  I pity all of you who have been reading my blog lately, but this poor kid lives with me.  When you look him in the eye, all you see is suffering.  I'm sorry Matt.  Also, go get me a popsicle.

5.  This guy who was bitten by a rattlesnake in a walmart.
Seriously.  He was bitten by a rattlesnake.  IN A WALMART.

6.  This guy, picketing an all you can eat fish fry establishment.
How dare you advertise unlimited fried fish and then try to cut a man off after 20 pieces.  What has the world come too??  WHAT CAN WE BELIEVE IN????

7. This poor Dead Girl.
Whose tuberculosis was misdiagnosed as "lovesickness"  It's an honest mistake.  I mix the two up all the time.  Fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, coughing up blood - it's like they are the same illness.  Thank god we have WebMD.

8. Whoever was in charge of printing all these signs.
I think you might have made a mistake, friend.

9. Fat Betty Draper
Watching Betty Draper try to lose weight on madmen is heart-breaking.  Poor Betty Draper....You just have to stop eating so much girl!  Be patient.  I actually like you better fat.  (and did anyone else see that avocados were on the list of foods not to eat in her weight watchers meeting? People were crazy in the 1960's)

10. Lindsay Lohan
Do i really need to say anymore?  She looks old enough to be my grandma.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

U-G-L-Y feet.

Well, i definitely woke up in a better mood today.  I am slowly feeling more like a human and less like a slug, the non-stop tortilla chip river into my mouth has slowed to more of a small stream of tortilla chips, I have managed not to consume the ENTIRE jar of cookie butter (yet.) and i have mentally willed the high for Sunday down to 78 degrees.  (an improvement.)

Since I have this brief calm before the epic storm of pre-marathon insanity starts, i though i would use this time to review some products that were sent to me on account of my never-ending stream of complaints about the state of my feet.  Rumor has gotten out that i have the ugliest toesies this side of the Mississippi.
And this is the pretty foot.
ProFoot Care was nice enough to send me a few products to shut me up see if they could help.
They sent me a pack of moleskin sheets, insoles, and inserts for plantar fasciitis. 
First up is the Moleskin
I actually had to look up what this was over my concern that it was actually a moleskin.  (I assure you, it is not.)  As a general rule, my feet are pretty blister free.  They are so hard and callused that i am able to run great distances in cotton socks without so much as a problem.  One problem i have recently faced, however is moisture.  At the flying pig, i accidentally dumped an ENTIRE cup of gatorade on my left foot.  (In my defense, it was overfilled) And then this past weekend i did my 8 miler in the pouring rain.   Needless to say, my Pinky toes hate me right now.  They rub against the edge of my shoe when i run and it is IRRITATING.  Thats what the moleskin is for - you place it over spots on your foot that have a tendency to rub against something and become irritated, and it eliminates the friction.    

It comes in a large sheet so you can cut off however much you need - mine was just a tiny spot
And TADA!  my foot is happy again, and further irritation prevented.  Moleskin will be perfect for situations when i know my feet might get wet.  I might also use them for the two times a year i wear heels.

In my honest opinion, every runner should have some of this on standby.  If you know its going to rain, its better to slap some on and err on the safe side then to risk a blister fiasco.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Next up they sent me the Miracle Insoles.  As a general, i usually put insoles in my shoes at around 350-400 miles to help extend the life of them.  I am a cheapskate.  The insoles i had been using were from sports authority, and cost like $30, which is WAY pricey in my book.  I was excited to try these, because they retail for a fraction of the price.
I really like that these are customizable for any size foot.  Its hard to find inserts for my midget feet, and with these you can just trim them down to your shoe size.
They slip right into your shoes, and they actually make a huge difference!  For me, most inserts feel the same - they add some squish to your step (in a good way) and really helps cushion your foot for the long runs.  What i like about these in particular is that they are SO light.  The box says "2 oz" which is featherlight in my book - especially compared to the insole honkers i have now, which feel like 20lbs compared to these.  In short - they are comfy, and you can't tell they are there.  Exactly what i want in an insert!
My take on inserts?  I personally just use them to extend the life of shoes.  In general, i am a hard footed girl, so i don't need too much cushioning, but it did feel very nice, and made my old shoes feel like new again which i love (especially because my pink shoe is discontinued - i will run these babies into the GROUND.) If you have delicate feet, or like a soft ride, you will love these.

The last up is an insert for Plantar Fasciitis.
The only problem is, i don't have Plantar Fasciitis!  In fact, I have very high arches.
Do you have problems with Plantar Fasciitis?  Would you like to review these inserts?  If you're interested, just leave a comment.  The first person to call dibs, i will mail them to you, and you can review them for your blog (or, if you don't blog, you can just write a little note to them)

I really appreciate a company that reaches out to average runners like myself for feedback on their product. Because we're the ones that will probably at one point or another need these products to help our non elite feet adjust to the strain we put on them.  Their prices are really reasonable, and their line is available at Walgreens.  In the past i have gone to sports authority for things like this, but in general, Sports Authority has a limited selection, and their prices seem really high for inserts.  

And, on a personal note, as a packaging designer, i love their packaging.  Its bright and fresh, and lets you touch the package without exposing it too much.  But that is neither here nor there.