Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday, where have you been??

This week has seemed like the longest week ever.  Between my awful day on Wednesday, and waking up at 5 yesterday for an all day work event, i am BEAT.  I was going to wake up early this morning to get my 11 miles in before the heat of the day, but my body failed me, and now i shall have to do them after work in the broiling heat.  I am not sure why i can NOT wake up in the morning anymore!

Thank god next week is the fourth of July, so i get a day off and a chance for me to "reset" my schedule.  I can catch up on sleep, and hopefully set in place some kind of a schedule for marathon training (the past month has been chaotic, and following a schedule has been impossible!)  In honor of this glorious mid-summer retreat from the standard american 60 hour work week, i bring you some fun facts about the fourth of July.

1.  John Hancock was famously the first to sign the declaration of Independence, but did you know who was the last to sign?  Thomas McKean.  Way to suck, Thomas McKean.

2.  The 4th of July has only been a federal legal holiday since 1941!

3.  If Benny Franklin had his way, our national bird would be the Turkey instead of the Bald Eagle.  I'm sorry, but a turkey just does not look nearly as awesome in a tacky animated gif as a bald eagle does....
It doesn't have the same impact....
4.  Yankee Doodle is actually a song the british made up.  To make fun of us.  Why do we keep singing this?

5.  The national anthem is actually set to the tune of an old English drinking song called "To Anacreon in Heaven" Sung here by the Georgia Tech glee club.
See? Copyright infringement is our heritage!

6. Approximately 150 million hot dogs will be consumed on July 4th.  Also, i just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

7.  Most of our flags and fireworks come from China, but we still can't figure out how this whole recession thing happened.

8. Betsy Ross created the first US flag (duh)  This makes her the first freelance graphic designer in US history.  It also makes her responsible for creating the logo and brand identity for one of the biggest brands in the world!  Take that, nike and apple.

9. And lastly, as a true-blooded american, nothing makes me happier than animated GIF's......

10. and infographics.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

FWP - how does so much go wrong before noon???

Have you ever had a morning where everything turns into a disaster??

This day needs to end before i snap on someone.

1. No one wants to see the area in which they brush their teeth and wash their face coated in boy stubble first thing in the morning.
Seriously Matt?  What is your deal??

First World Problems

2.  My little shadow decided to go all Mike Tyson on the household textiles and eat a sizeable chunk of the bathmat this morning while i was trying to get ready.


3.  After i yelled at her, she made her way to the garbage and grabbed as much used kleenex and floss as she could fit in her little mouth and tried to make break for it.  As i tackled her, i knocked a new bottle of foundation off the bathroom counter and it broke.
Not cheap.

4.  I discovered that "demi baguette" does not translate into "Baguette for one!" I am heartbroken.  And a fatty obviously.  Luckily, i managed to save this end piece so i can say i didn't eat the whole thing.
i suck.

5.  I had to be at work early - i grabbed all my stuff and ran out the door.  Only to realize i just locked my keys inside.
at least i had a camera?

6.  Matt was already halfway to work, so i tried to Macgyver my way back in rather than have to wait 40 minutes for him to drive all the way back.  This resulted in a bobby pin becoming jammed in the lock.
Movies lie.

7.  I had no choice but to lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling.  Which appears to be on the verge of collapse.

8.  Matt finally rescued me, and i made it into work.  late.  I poured myself a cup of coffee, only to realize that is was hazelnut.  HAZELNUT?!?!??!  ARGH!!!!!!!  SARA HATE HAZELNUT!!!!!  This is when i seriously went incredible hulk on the world.

9.  I'm out of pretzels.  The only thing that brings hulk Sara out of her fit of rage is food.  But i keep eating all of it and creating situations like this.  

I've been in meetings ever since, so there isn't a 10 yet.  Yet.  There is a heat advisory out, so that could provide some potential first world problems this afternoon.  It's also only lunch time......So much potential for today.  So much. Like that dental floss and bathroom run the little monster ate will probably be making an encore appearance this evening.

I fully acknowledge that most people in the world have it worse than me.  But this has been one craptastic wednesday!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Seven things about me.

Amanda over at TooTallFritz was nice enough to nominate me for the beautiful blogger award, so i get to share seven fun facts with you!
If you haven't been to Amanda's blog, check it out!  There are few people in this world as sassy as i am, but she is one of them.  Us sassy girls have to stick together!

So, wait no further, here are some random things about me you probably didn't care to know!

1.  I am allergic to asparagus.  No, seriously.  We didn't figure this out until my early 20's because i had just never had it before.  Whenever i eat it, i break out in hives on my arms and legs.

2.  In the next few years, i would like to drive the entirety of Route 66 for a vacation. I've been on many segments, but never followed it from start to finish.  I'm a sucker for nostalgia.

3.  I have no religion (raised in an athiest/wiccan household) But i have been to services for all the following religions: Catholic, Lutheran, Pentacostal, Judaism, Sikh, Buddhism, Bahai, Zoroastrian, and Hinduism.  I think religion is incredibly interesting, and i think as someone raised outside of religion, it gives me a unique perspective and respect for all of them.  If there are any local religious groups you know of in Chicago that welcomes the public, let me know!  

4.  I never played any sports.  Shocking right?  I mean, i am such an awesome runner, i must have been a track star.  I hate to disappoint, but i spent my high school years waxing philosophy and literature with the intellectuals.  I passed gym class only because i aced the written exam (seriously - there was a written exam)  I couldn't even complete the mile.  (which you had to be able to run in 12 minutes.  Yes, i failed this.  One 12 minute mile.)  It was interesting to run past that high school in the marathon. (which i later collapsed in - some things never change?)

5.  I don't eat meat, but for no other reason than i don't like it.  Every once in a while, i do crave chicken soup though, and that is one of the only acceptable forms of meat (to me).  I have nothing against meat, and it doesn't bother me if other people eat it, or if it touched my food.  I will try anything though.  I just most likely won't like it.  :)  Which brings me to-

6.  Once time, i ate chicken feet for breakfast.  It was interesting.  I was staying with a friend, and his family took me out for dim sum, which is like a chinese small plate brunch.  Obviously, as they were very gracious hosts, i was going to eat anything they put in front of me.  The chicken feet were a little rough though.  So many bones.

7.  I have a masters degree in Industrial Design (an artistic extension of engineering) and my brother is a high school dropout.  That kid is so much better than me at math that it is EMBARRASSING.  He can do complex division in his head, and i would die without a calculator.  It goes to show that you don't have to be super smart to be successful, you don't have to be athletic to run marathons, and you don't have to be able to spell to have a blog.

It never hurts to be a smartass though.

Now for a few people i want to know more about. (technically, i want to know more about ALL of you!)

**Obligatory Rules**
  1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in your post.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  3. Tell 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award, and comment on their blogs to let them know.

    1. Sarah Sweet & Savory by Sarah
    2. Irina Chocolate Tea Time
    3. KJ - Running my life and this family....with the sweet tooth god has given me
    4. Tasha The healthy diva
    5. Nikki Life after Swimming
    6. Charlyn Pain is Nothing
    7. Running is Boise  

    Thanks for being interesting, and being bloggers, so that i have something to do while i eat my lunch at my desk like a weirdo. :D         

Monday, June 25, 2012

Finally, a PR!

Not a huge one, but one none the less!  :)

This Sunday was the inaugural Chicago Women's Half Marathon. As you may be aware, i have attempted to PR at the half marathon approximately 8,000 times already this year, and everytime, the race has been yellow flagged because of heat, and every time i have ended up struggling through it coming nowhere near a PR.  

Not that this was any different.  The race was yellow flagged with a 70+ degree start, and upped to red half way through (at the finish it was a sticky 81..) Although it didn't feel quite as hot as the 13.1 two weeks ago (but definitely more humid!)  Many moons back i had set this as my goal half to run a sub 2 either on, or by.  Obviously, it has not been a good year for me.  That or i suck - its still being widely debated.  I had the option to back off, run at a comfortable pace, and just give up until fall, or i could throw caution to the wind and still try to sub 2.  Even if it meant finishing with a 1:59:59. Or puking.

I decided to try my best, and not beat myself up if i didn't make it.  Luckily, two people that i run with through CARA had the same goal as i did, and Shawna, who is a pace leader, is able to comfortably run that time and "paced" us (allowed up to follow her like little puppies) up until the last few miles.
Carolyn, me, and Shawna - in the zone. 
Despite the fact that we are normally quite chatty, we were all pretty silent and trying to conserve our energy.  I felt hot and sweaty by mile two, which is never pretty.  I was able to keep up with Shawna until mile 8, and then i stopped at a water stop and walked through it to catch my breath and dump water on myself.  I was feeling pretty hot and gross, and knew i had to cut back my pace a little bit, which sucked.
The sun eventually hid for mile 10&11 which was wonderful, but i was already pretty fried, and unsuccessfully doing the math to see if i could still meet my goal.  I also saw Matt & Waffles with the greatest sign ever.
Since we are both obsessed with Game of Thrones, we decided to design our own house sigils mine is a ginger fox on a yellow flag (obviously) and my house words are "Martini's are coming"  We are giant nerds.  But at least i can spell - he wrote "Martin's are coming." <3

The last mile, i fell apart.  Like always.  I really need to work on this.  The sun came back, and i just started to feel really sick.  Then i started dry heaving.  Then i just lost it, and i think i took two walk breaks during this mile.  Finally there was a lady right before the 13 mile mark shouting (sub two, sub two!)  So i booked it with everything i had left, and cruised in with 21 seconds to spare.  1:59:39.

At the end they had cold towels, misters, and frozen yogurt.  I was so happy because i felt like my heart was going to explode from the heat.  All the ladies also got yoga mats! The only thing it was lacking was beer.  But thats just me.  After the race, i met up with my friends, who were both nice enough to help pace people (one officially, one unofficially)
me, Keren, Trisha
I'm glad was able to finally pull off this 3 minute PR, especially in unfavorable conditions.  I hope i could do even better on a cool shady day.  I am also now very aware that i consistently slow down in the last half of every race, and i really need to work on that.  I also need to stop flipping out at mile 12.  If anyone has advice on that one....

We had brunch plans with friends immediately after the race, and after that, we went home to deal with our bounty of vegetables for the week!
So much basil!  so much dill!
Seriously, like a pound of dill!  What does one do???
Homemade pickles!
I hope you had a fabulous weekend as well!

Friday, June 22, 2012

You googled what??

Every friday, Kelsey @ Ready Set Feast does the most hilarious post on things people googled to end up at her blog.  Sadly, i get no where near enough awesome random searches to do a post every friday, but here are a few of my favorite things people have searched that somehow landed them on the gingerfoxxx blog.  I will do my best to provide you the answers you seek.

1. Rockford Marathon ginger.
Am i really that notorious??? Was i the only ginger that finished?  Does that qualify me for an award??
2.  6 mo old costume peeps
ummmm, that is an awesome idea.  I don't have a baby, and i don't know what kind of costumes are currently available for babies, but dressing them as a giant marshmallow bird is 100% approved by me.

3. Do Dogs have belly buttons?
NO!  and don't let anyone tell you different...

4. Chances for gingers to survive a zombie apacolpse
I would assume that you mean apocalypse, but just to confirm, those chances are good, my friend, very good indeed.
5.  Do you wear athletic capris with underwear?
I do, but i think we determined that either way is acceptable.

6. First World Problems - champagne
If you have champagne, i find it hard to believe you are having any problems.  Unless maybe you are out of the aforementioned champagne....

7. Men freeballing in a car
I think i am actually more concerned that you actually spent considerable time on my blog.  You seem a little strange, but thanks for reading, i guess?

8.  Teenage mutant ninja turtles drown.
You are a sick bastard.

9. Wearing toms with long socks
totally acceptable in my book!  I do it all the time! Just expect people to make fun of you.

10. Ebola virus protection
My best advice is to stay far away from the ebola virus in the first place....but i'm not a doctor.

And, my all time favorite:

11. Where do raccoons come from?

They come from larger raccoons, friends.  If you need further explanation, then you should ask your parents.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Too Tired Thursday.

Have you ever been too tired to swing your back half onto the couch, so you just nap stuck where you are, not really off the couch, but not really on either?

Well, waffles has.  And so have I.  Granted, unlike her, i have zero time for napping.  I don't know whats wrong with me lately, but i have felt run down for the past month.  I kept telling myself it was post marathon exhaustion, but i think i might have over-played that card.  I just feel like i never get enough sleep, and my legs are always tired.  Last night, an easy-peasy three mile run just felt hard and exhausting.  (granted, it was 94 degrees, but still.)  

Could i have somehow broken my legs during the marathon and not realized??  Did i gain 300lbs in each leg, and you guys just aren't telling me??  (c'mon guys!)  I'm taking a day off to wallow at work in my compression socks, but i need a game plan.  I used to have no problem with 40 mile weeks, and now the 30 mile weeks seem difficult and exhausting.  I also noticed my pace is getting slower.  Again, it could be the adjustment to the heat, but i feel like by the time i finally get used to the heat, it will be winter again!

I think my new goal for next week is to get over my fear of the speed workout.  I have been avoiding it because i am not fast, and i feel like even if i am alone on a track, someone will appear out of nowhere and yell "Hey!  you suck! and you're running the wrong way!"  But it's about time i get over that.  Does anyone want to hold my hand and baby me through a track work out?  Where does one find a track anyway?  I feel like Kara Goucher is just presented with them.  Somebody give me a track!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


1. Does it even need to be said that the 90+ temps everyday this week are a huge problem?  Oh it does. Screw you heat.  I am not even going to whine about running in the heat.
Things i will whine about?
Getting into my car when it is 150 degrees, and burning my god damn elbow because the interior is actually beginning to melt.
It might not look like much, but it is honestly a miracle that i survived this.


2.  I'm also going to whine about what this god-forsaken weather is doing to my hair.  Granted, my 3 year streak of not brushing my hair might have a small influence in this, but regardless, this is what happened to my hair last night:

Yeah, i had to cut those hair-ties out of my hair with a pocket knife, bear grylls style.  If i was ok with existing in these atmospheric conditions, then i would have just moved to the bayou, southern texas, somewhere in the congo, guam, cuba, the innermost circles of hell.


3. I'm sorry, but in what world?
So apparently we have the time to choreograph an impromptu synchronized cart ballet at the Costco parking lot, but we don't have time to just bring the cart back to the store so that i can have a freaking cart.


4.  I see this pan-handler everyday on my way to work.  I was going to give him my granola bar the other day, and then i noticed that he was drinking organic orange juice.  Are you KIDDING ME?  I can't even afford organic orange juice!  In fact, i thought i hit it big when i switched from tang to tropicana!  You should be giving charity to ME, friend.

5.  This:
Is the form i need to renew my city of chicago sticker.  Thanks Waffles.


6.  I may have mentioned that Matt and i have been playing the license plate game for the past 8 months.  (find all 50 states)  We had been at a stalemate for months because of the lack of both Delaware and Idaho.  Well -
BAM. Delaware.
So suck it, Matt.  Game over.
But seriously, sitting in traffic is back to sucking.  What do people do when they are not endangering the lives of themselves and others by trying to photograph license plates while driving???

7. I have officially downgraded the Zombie apocalypse warning level back to yellow.  Not because we are any safer, but because i have eaten all the emergency rations in my car and at my desk.  :(

8.  It took us 32 years to figure out that the dingo ate the baby?  REALLY?

Well, at least the judicial system has got their shit together.

9.  In world news, they were reporting last night that Hosni Mubarek is mostly dead.  Mostly dead?  Am i the only one who can only think the princess bride right now?

10.  In an earth-shattering shocker:  Bristol Palin's reality show is vapid and uninteresting.
No really, people are surprised by this.  But, these are the same people who gave this moron a show, if it's any indicator.  Thank god Jersey Shore will be back soon so we can have some culture in our lives.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012


It's another scorcher.  Even the homeless panhandlers are no where to be found in the heat of day.  I think something like 8 billion people were shot this weekend in Chicago.  The italian ice vendors are out of everything but lemon by evening.  Everyone is grouchy.  People are out walking their dog before 6am, not just me anymore.  And most importantly - hooligan cooling is in full force.

(if you have never lived in a somewhat less affluent urban area, you are missing out.  We know how to party when its hot. this hydrant was jam-packed with no less than 2 dozen people until well after midnight.)

And most importantly, Tom Skilling is predicting an extra hot summer to rival 1977.  (which apparently was the hottest on record? - i wouldn't know, i wasn't born yet.)  

I could list a bunch of great tips for summer running - always have water, don't run during the hottest part of the day, but we all know that.  I don't know what it is, but as soon as i hear "don't run during the hottest part of the day" i slip on my running shoes and run during the hottest part of the day.  

You might be thinking "but wait, didn't the rockford marathon kick your ass less then a month ago, leaving you a hollow dehydrated shell vowing to never race in the heat again?"  That is very true.  And i won't race in the heat again.  Especially not a marathon - that beast is hard enough in good conditions. But that doesn't mean i won't go on hot weather running adventures!  In a hot weather running adventure, you can stop and cool off if you feel too hot, you can change your course to run in the shade, or even to splash through some water, you can run as slow as you want, whatever distance you want, and you can enjoy the path all to yourself, because most likely, other crazy runners are few and far between.  

There is something about running in extreme conditions that appeals to me (despite my constant whining) - i like the challenge, and i like the feeling of conquering that challenge.  It's just as much a mental exercise as it is a physical exercise - almost like a meditation.  Yeah, it's crazy hot and uncomfortable, and the shortest, slowest run feels like an endurance event, but by the end you almost feel cleansed.  

97 degrees?  110% humidity? 150 mph winds??  In Chicago, we call that "running weather."

****Disclaimer: I always have either my ID or an emergency contact bracelet.  Or if i am really off the grid, i bring my phone.  I am a badass, but i am not stupid - prepare for the worst no matter how tough you are.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The dog days of summer.

Matt has been on my case for a long time to "take a weekend off" from running.  This seemed like the perfect weekend to do so, because we had some friends from college in town, and it would be a weekend of drinking, eating junk food, and relaxing.  It was also going to be HOT.  

I still did my "long run" on Saturday, but i did the bare minimum, and basically it sucked incredibly hard.  I had too many beers friday night, and not enough sleep, and those seven miles at a 9:30 pace seemed embarrassingly impossible with a hangover.  The last two miles i abandoned the group and slowed down, but luckily a few other people liked my idea and joined me.  :)  Charlyn was out on the path too, but apparently i missed her because i was so busy trying not to throw up on my compression socks.  (which were already stained with beer, because in the first mile, i managed to kick a full tallboy someone had left in the middle of the bike path.  Thanks hooligans - i love reeking of beer at 6am.)  Needless to say, lesson learned.  Time to get serious about marathon training!
Then came the real fun:

We took Waffles, and her new BFF Ellie (our friends golden doodle) To the Montrose dog beach!  If you have no interest in 8 million pictures of my dog, you should probably just go ahead and leave now.
Ellie is ready for fun in the sun!
Waffles rocketing through the water
Waffles prefers running to swimming, just like me!
Waffles does not fetch.
Sooooo tired from the beach!
After the beach, we cooked out on the porch, and the dogs napped a lot.  Looking at the pictures i realized that waffles is still really petite for a seven month old basenji!  I feel like she hasn't grown at all!  And then matt and i did a seven week/seven month comparison:

They grow up so fast!!

This weekend was also the first week of my 20-week veggie box!  I get a box of veggies every saturday from a farm up near rockford.  This week we got a POUND of spinach, THREE heads of lettuce, chard, radishes, baby greens, garlic scapes, and oh so much more.  What does one do with an entire pound of spinach?  

I love the veggie box, because now i don't have to worry as much about groceries and meal planning - the farm does it for me.  It's also fun to try new vegetables (there is more than one kind of radish??)  Let the healthy eating summer begin!