March 28, 2011

Spontaneous Combustion

My computer exploded.  This might be my last post for a while.  (I'm on an ancient computer - this page took 10 minutes to load.)  Ugh.

More time to run?

Sad or Awesome?

I'm moving to Seattle in a few short months.  I've never lived there before.  In fact, I've only every spent a week there, but I'm super excited about the move.

The first thing I did to prepare for the move was look up the running clubs there.  Sad or awesome?  (You can guess my vote.)

March 27, 2011

Double fisting

Nope.  Not alcohol.  Just my favorite hot weather treat.

Not to rub it in for all you Northerners (my parents are still toughing out 30 degree weather) but down here in New Orleans we managed to catapult directly from winter into summer.  As per usual.  We've had sunshine, highs in the 80s and humidity of 4783%.  It's lovely.  The good thing is that you will never be salt overloaded.  In fact, you lose about 5 lbs everyday until your remember that you haven't had anything to drink all day and decide to rehydrate.

But I have a secret weapon.  When it's crazy hot out and I have a long run I don't want to do, I dangle a carrot.  Ok... not really a carrot.  Even better:  POPSICLES!  And not just any popsicles... they have to be the real fruit kind.  (Sorbet also works in a pinch.)  If I know I have them in my freezer, they can get me through a run.  Today, just when I wanted to quit my 18 miler, the mere thought gave me that extra oompf.

Mmmm is for motivation.

Yellow arrows:  proof this is post-run.
Popsicles > Shower

March 26, 2011


Lately, I've been missing my pizazz.  While I can't complain about things in general, here's the update:

1.  Yesterday I seem to have gotten food poisoning.  No idea from where, but my Friday night activity involved projectile vomiting.  Sweet.

2.  As a result of #1, I missed my long run this morning with a friend.  Fail.  Which means I have to do a long run in the swelting heat by myself.  Just perfect.

3.  I think I have plantar fasciitis.  This isn't actually a new thing - something that's been smoldering for a while - but lately it's been particularly annoying and I feel like publicly complaining about it.  Check.

4.  I've managed to develop a sleep disorder.  I can't fall asleep at night and can't wake up in the morning.  This may have to do with the fact that I'm 2 weeks away from finishing grad school, am now on spring break & my recent rotations have demanded little to nothing of me.  Ok... so what I mean to say is that I'm going out too much which is making me a lazy bum.  I guess that's not something I should complain about.

5.  I can't come up with a #5 right now but 5 seems like a better total than 4.  No one makes lists of 4.  That would be silly.

March 21, 2011

Little Rock Marathon Recap - Part II

Now that my family & friend have left, it's back to reality.  Here's the rest of my recap from Little Rock:

At the start

So, race day morning, Spazz & I awoke to everything laid out and set to go.  Of course, my Garmin decided to not turn on - something it's never done before or since, but OF COURSE the day that I'm pacing someone's first race it happens.  Awesome.  But we didn't sweat it - we figured we'd just hang with the pace group.

We got downtown & parked with plenty of time to spare.  As I mentioned, our "creative writing" caught the attention of an official photographer who snapped a picture of the two of us (above).  Since I brought my camera to document the race, I also got a picture of Spazz with one of our awesome pacers (left).

Soon after, the race began.  We didn't hear the gun, but the crowd started it's shuffle to the start line & we crossed a couple minutes later.

Once started, we had a great time.  There were a bunch of bands scattered throughout the course along with fantastic spectators, unofficial bands & lots of people with boom boxes or cars blasting music.  Spazz & I did our best to keep things light & fun.  We rocked out to the music.  Made lots of funny faces (see below).  Took plenty of photos.  Chatted it up with everyone around us.

"Dancing" for the cameras

My favorite music we encountered was a guy around mile 20/22 playing Wild Thing.  First of all, it's a great song to pump people up.  But in this instance, it was particularly great because the guy seemed to only know that song, and only know the refrain.  He just kept playing the refrain over & over & over.  Love it.  At least he was out there.

A little past halfway, the course starts going uphill for a couple miles.
Blame Little Rock for the poor picture quality.  I copied this from their page.
The hill isn't terrible but for those of us training in cities with ZERO hills it can be brutal.  Particularly if it's your first marathon.  Spazz started cramping a little on the uphill, but she quickly learned that it's not always the uphill that gets ya... the downhill can be just as tough on the body when you're not accustomed to that kind of running.  By mile 20 or so, I could tell she was hurting.  But this woman is hardcore.  We walked briefly a couple times to see if that would help.  She felt better when walking but that didn't make her feel better when we would pick the pace back up, so she decided to push through the pain.  Yeow-za.  Because I couldn't leave the last 6 miles undocumented, I snapped 2 photos around mile 24:

Smiling for the camera

"Hold on... Let me take one more just in case"
This is the "smile" I got.  Someone wasn't happy!
Check out those guns!
But she pushed through and we rocked through the last few miles.  We didn't stop at the Lipstick stop (mile 26) but we did grab some as we passed by.  And after all the worry of falling behind, Spazz & I finished within 12 seconds of our intended time.  Talk about awesome.  (That was all her.)

Once showered & ready to go again, we headed to the post-race party at the Clinton Library.  There was a Dr. Seuss exhibit going on, so the theme was Seuss everywhere:

The food was great & plentiful.  We stuffed our faces & then some.  They also had free drinks (including jello shots!) and, having met up with our pacers, we were soon handed several jello shots to start the night.  Once those kicked in, we headed upstairs to the award ceremony and dancing.  The band was awesome as was the company.  They played a Cajun song, "Feets don't fail me now," which seemed particularly relevant for running a marathon days before Mardi Gras.

Nothing like dancing to speed recovery.

Hey... I never said I could dance.
Little Rock.  Definitely worth it.

March 19, 2011

The Fam

Right now my mom, sister & an old friend are visiting.  They were awesome enough to come to New Orleans for Match Day and were able to share the moment with me when I found out I'm heading to Seattle for the rest of my training.  Let's just say I've been walking on air since Thursday.

They're in town until Monday morning, so I won't be writing any long winded posts for a couple more day.  (No pictures either.  They're still sleeping & I don't want to wake them to go get my camera.)

I hope you're all having wonderful days.  Enjoy the weekend ahead of you!

March 18, 2011


Yesterday I learned that I will be spending the next 3 years in Seattle!  Woohoo!  Talk about a runner-friendly town.  Now the question is, can I squeeze in the Seattle RNR Marathon before starting work in July?

<fingers crossed>

Congratulations to every that matched yesterday!

March 14, 2011

Special Destiny

On Thursday, I find out where I will spend the next 3 years.  One might say that I find out my destiny.

Thursday.  Match Day.

I'm not nervous.  I'm nervous.

Match Day.

I'll probably disappear until then.  Right now, my special destiny is waiting until then...

March 11, 2011

My inner nerd...

[Warning:  If you don't like Sci-Fi, leave now.  I mean it.  This will probably make you lose all respect for me.  If you like Sci Fi, I may become your new idol.]

In case you were wondering, my costume for Mardi Gras turned out amazingly well.  This year I got involved with a great Mardi Gras krewe called the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus.  (*A brief background explanation can be found below.)  Combining the themes of Science Fiction & Mardi Gras partying, they use the slogan "Saving the Galaxy One Drunken Nerd at a Time."

Along with hosting their own mini-parade to coincide with the larger parade of Bacchus, they also held a first annual "Set Phasers to Stunning" fashion show.  That's where I come in.

For weeks I painstakingly worked on a Starbuck costume from Battlestar Galactica.  (Yes.  I did go see the BSG exhibit in Seattle when I was visiting.  I couldn't help myself.)  My mom taught me to sew when I was little, but having gone years without sewing and with no sewing machine I was left to do the slow work of hand stitching most of it.  In the end, it was worth it.  Costumes are a big thing in New Orleans (shocking, I know) and I definitely had one of the coolest costumes there if I do say so myself.

Wanna see?

The dog tags?  It's a bottle-opener.
Haven't been to New Orleans?
Maybe that needs to change.

Unfortunately, I had to miss the parade (Chewbacchus) & the ball (Chewbacchanal) because of the Little Rock Marathon (totally worth it!) but at least I got to strut my stuff.  We even got a brief stint on
Not bad for my last year in New Orleans.  For now.  You never know what the future holds...

As for now, I'm at happy hour.  I set this to post automatically.  I figured being at happy hour when this posts would be appropriate.  Happy Friday!

*Background:  Bacchus (aka Dionysus in Greek) is the Roman god of wine, ecstasy, fertility & madness who was notorious for his partying and sexual escapades.  As you can imagine, he is a favorite at Mardi Gras celebrations.  In fact, Bacchus is the name of one of the major parades that rolls the Sunday before Mardi Gras.  Chewbacca, as you may remember, is one of the main characters from Star Wars.

March 10, 2011

Little Rock Marathon Recap - Part I

First of all, Little Rock rocks.  Seriously.  I was lucky enough to be there when a good friend (we'll refer to her as Spazz) ran her first marathon.  But even without such a momentous occasion, it's a great race.  The people were awesome.  The post-party was a blast.  (Nothing says recovery like dancing your face off.)  And the medal... well, you already saw it.  It's ginormous.  People kept telling Spazz, "don't get used to this" but it's not a bad way to get started.

Spazz & cheesy deliciousness.  Mmmmm.
You can't run a race without shoving incredible amounts of food into your face carb-loading beforehand.  Lucky for us, a friend of mine used to live in Little Rock and recommended Damgoode Pies.  The name is dead on.  First off, we ordered an appetizer expecting a small slice of garlic bread & ended up with what was basically an extra pizza.  (See picture)  That tipped us off that we were in for a treat.  The crust at this place is amazing.  It's possibly the best pizza I've ever eaten.  We polished off our meals with a groan & convinced each other there was *just* enough room for dessert.  I have a vague memory that it was something chocolate cheesecakey sprinkled with crack before descending into a wonderous food coma & rolling myself back to the hotel.

Upon arriving back at our sketchy as all get out lovely hotel room, it was time to let our my OCD take over and get everything set up for race day.  I'm a bit paranoid about forgetting things so I lay everything out ahead of time.  Plus, being a momentous occasion, we wanted to maximize crowd support for Spazz.

What'd we do?
Label, label, label.  By that I mean, we:

1. Sharpied her initials on duct tape that we plastered to her chest:
Initials have been changed to protect the innocent.

2. Sharpied her name on one leg* & "1st race" on the other:
Ok... she has the picture of her leg.
You'll have to settle on mine from Mercedes marathon.
You get the idea.
If you haven't tried sharpie-ing your name on your leg, I highly recommend it.  The idea came from another running friend (we'll call her Pebbles) and it's amazing.  Why?  No one sees it at the beginning of a race when you're caught up in the crowd, feeling good and riding the adrenaline wave.  But in most marathons (not New York, Boston or the other biggies) the crowd starts thinning out around the same time as your energy & enthusiasm does.  Now, all those people sitting on the sidelines can see your name &, if you're lucky, you'll get a lot of people cheering you on.  It's awesome.  Even though you know they're merely showing off their reading skills, you can't help but get a little pep in your step when you hear someone totally random cheering you on.  (If you feel great from start to finish you won't need this support, but it never hurts.)  

3.  Made a funny sign & pinned it to her back:
This sign was a MAJOR hit.  For the entire race, we could hear people periodically chuckling behind us and we knew what they were laughing at.  Many stopped to say hello, congratulate her and wish her luck.  Around mile 6 a guy ran up to us and said that people were talking about the sign for miles.  Literally.  He'd seen people pick up the pace, catch up to us and then drop back to tell their friends.  In fact, he'd heard about the sign a few miles before running into us from someone who'd done just that.

For now, I'll let you with that teaser until I get some more pictures.  Spazz has a bunch (I ran with her camera to document the race as we went) and the official photos should be back in a couple days.  Whenever I get one or the other I'll get back to you with the rest.

to be continued...

March 9, 2011

Little Rock Marathon

Sunday, I paced a good friend for her first marathon.  Despite the course having significantly more hills than where we train, and despite hurting, she kicked some serious boot-ay at this race.  And as a reward, we both got some great booty:  this big-a$$ medal.

To put it in perspective, the center earth (which spins!) is larger than every other medal I've gotten thus far.  Pretty flipping sweet.

More to come...

March 8, 2011

Bon Fete!

Happy Mardi Gras, y'all!  I hope you had a wonderful & safe holiday season!