Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ode to my Shuffle

Alright so I definitely shuffle when I run, but this time I'm referring to my iPod shuffle. It took me awhile to break down and buy an MP3 player...after all I own a record store... MP3's are going to be the death of my business, and I wasn't sure I wanted to be any part of it! But then a friend was upgrading to the newest iPod and offered to sell me his older classic one for really cheap, I said yes, figuring I would only use it on road trips so we didn't have to haul tons of Cd's along. Bought it, loaded it up and started using it in the car... damn was I hooked. Tried running with it but it would freeze up sometimes, and I couldn't find an armband that find my arm, so I bought a shuffle. It is oh so tiny and cute and green and it held 10 hours worth of music! It easily clips onto my hat, or shirt BUT the absolute best part about it, is that there is no menu. No one can see what music I have on it short of listening to it all. This means I can load it up with the absolute guiltiest of music pleasures, no one can hear it and NO ONE KNOWS! I felt like I was set free! It was the same feeling when I moved into my very own apartment with no roommates... I could leave dirty underwear on the floor, and dance naked, I could eat a gallon of ice cream for breakfast, use the bathroom with the door open and pick my nose if I felt like it. WHOO-HOO! I still have my big iPod in the car with all my "cool" music that anyone can scroll through, but my dirty little secret iPod sits at home, just waiting for days that I run on the roads and need some ear porn to set me free.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day!

Dear Dad
I know over the years there have been many times that we have butted heads and not gotten along but through it all you've always been there for me and I want to say thanks for always being a dad I can rely on. You've taught me to work hard, never quit and always, always do the best possible job with a positive attitude. Thanks for being so supportive, no matter what I chose to do, it's always helped knowing that I could try anything and you (and mom) always had my back. Thanks for kicking my ass when I needed it & saving my ass when I needed it. Thanks for not abandoning me when I was being an awful brat... say from age 12 onwards. Thanks for putting a roof over my head, food on the table and never letting me truly want for anything.
You're my hero, teacher & friend... thanks for everything.
All my love-
Your daughter

P.S Thanks for the running thing.. even though I didn't appreciate it growing up and thought you were a freak for doing it...I get it now. So thanks for the running DNA.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I got Tagged! My friend Katie who writes an absolutely hysterical blog got me. So here goes.

1- How would you describe your running 10 years ago?

Let's see, I would run from the car to the house if it was raining, maybe run a block to catch the dog if he got out (maybe), I would run if chased by mountain lions/bears/strange men wielding knives. Get the picture? Running wasn't on my radar screen at all. My fat ass was doing a whole lot of drinking and couch sitting in 1998.

2-What is your best and worst run/race experience?

I would have to say my best was my first trail race The Fall Fell 7 miler on October 21st 2007. It was my first race and I was really freaked out, but everyone was nice and I felt great and had such a good time, I was high for weeks after it. I was so smitten with trail running after that!
Since I've only been running for 10 months, I haven't really had a chance to have a really bad experience YET. At this point I would have to say that the 20 mile run when I bonked was the worst... I hadn't eaten or drank enough and the last 3 miles were pretty miserable.

3- Why do you run?

Running started out as a wild thought... Husband & I were driving across Illinois on our way to a family reunion in Wisconsin when out of nowhere I thought "I want to run a marathon with Dad" I have no idea where it came from... I had been getting back into shape by doing lots of Pilates & walking but running hadn't been on the menu. So I called Dad and told him what I wanted to do and he agreed, so I started running.... and took to it like a fish to water. It was like coming home. I have played soccer, lacrosse, ice hockey, raced bikes, (road, mtn & cyclocross) but for the first time I was doing something that made me laugh with pure joy while doing it. It just truly makes me happy.

4- What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?

I've been pretty damn lucky to have the best advice givers around me, between my Dad who has 30+ years of running experience and the Trail Nerds who are very kind to newbies, I don't know that I've been given bad advice. The advice that I probably use the most is " Start Slow!" and it's true.. it's much more fun to pass people near the end of a race than be passed.

5- Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.

This one has really got me stumped, I'm a really open person and I'll chat your ear off if you let me so I'm not sure if I could surprise anyone! I don't think many people know I was a forest firefighter for a couple of years and I would kill to do it again.

Now I'm supposed to tag 5 other people so these are the people whose answers I'd really like to read:

Bad Ben



Trail Zombie


Here are the rules guidelines:
If you have been tagged, you will find your name at the end of this post. You should then, copy the rules (or your version of them), and the set of questions onto your blog post, provide your own answers, and then tag 5 new people.

Just to be sure that everyone tagged knows they have been invited to play, go to their blogs and leave them a special comment letting them know, and refer them to your blog for details.

One more thing, once they've answered the questions on their own blog, they should come back to yours to tell you.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sex, Trails & Dogs

I started my weekend out right by taking Friday off work entirely and having a fabulous lunch at Eden Alley with my friend Becky. We were lucky enough to snag the last outdoor table, and since we had a bit of a "cold" front move in the weather was a perfect mid 70's! Eden Alley is about the only resteraunt in KC that serves raw dishes... it's so nice to go to a place and be able to order straight from the menu without any "please no cheese, please no dressing, please no animal pieces or parts" stuff.
After that we went and watched the Sex & the City movie... we used to watch the show together when it was originally on so we HAD to go see the movie. It was fairly predictable but a good way to totally end things and it was a lot of fun to have a totally girly afternoon. The evening was spent helping husband put up a new ceiling in "my" room... that part wasn't so fun, but had to be done.

Saturday morning was the 2nd race in the Rock Creek Series at Lake Perry. This time it was a 10 miler and I ran it with fellow Mud Babe Christy and had a great time. We talked endlessly and probably had too good of a time. I was told after the race that I could be heard all over the course laughing and talking. Yes, I kinda have a loud mouth. Christy's knee was giving her grief so we just took it easy. Thankfully due to our easy pace we did not get lost this time!! There was 2 spots that we could have gone off course easily but due to our hyper vigilance we were OK. Christy is a Colorado girl also so we have a lot in common and it turns out she's also a belly dancer! Hot damn! She's going to teach me... I've always wanted to learn, but I truly have my doubts that my hips will ever move like that! Dirty Girl Gaiters were the oh-so-fashionable accessory of the day.

Sunday was the Dog n Jog fund raiser for the Humane Society. Christy & Greg joined us with Leila, Christy's gorgeous golden retriever. We've been lucky enough to have Leila stay with us before and Otis is very fond of her. The "race" itself was kinda boring, it was just a few loops around 2 blocks on the Plaza, but seeing all the hundreds of dogs and trying to avoid all the piles of poop made it kinda exciting. We actually DNF'd the 2 miler.... Otis decided he was too darn hot after a mile and 1/2, so he found a bit of shade, flopped down, and wouldn't move anymore. He revived considerably after being offered ice cream cones. There was a whole bunch of Great Danes running around so we had the chance to talk to a bunch of other owners and have a bit of a "big dog" convention.
We finished off the day by hanging more drywall... buzzkill... but it's all up now. Mudding, taping & sanding is next and this is where I bow out for awhile. I'll jump back into the process when it comes to painting.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

We spent a wild & wacky Friday night putting up drywall in one of the bedrooms that we gutted last Friday night. Having a 100 year old house is both fabulous and frustrating all at once. I love the character and quirks of old houses, but until we bought one I had no idea that the character and quirks equals big huge bill at Home Depot and lots of headaches and swearing. We didn't set out to buy a fixer upper... husband and I aren't handy types... well, we weren't handy types.
We were in a bit of a time crunch when we bought our house and we knew we wanted to live in Strawberry Hill, so we basically looked at every house for sale in the area during a 3 week time span. We looked at our house early on.. hated it, and walked out. Fast forward 3 weeks later, we went back and looked again... maybe it wasn't so bad... maybe it didn't need as much work as we thought. It had all the original woodwork intact, under the green shag carpet there was supposed to be wood floors, it was HUGE and it was really cheap. No one had lived in it for over a year since the lady who owned it had died. It was pretty creepy and dingy, the whole house was painted green, ceilings, and walls, green carpet and heavy green drapes from the 70's. We put an offer in on another house but was beaten out by a few hours by someone else. So we put an offer in, went back and forth for a bit and closed on it just 2 weeks later. Immediately after closing we headed over and started ripping up shag carpet.
Now 3 years later exactly, we have gutted multiple rooms, rewired all the electricity (we still had knob & tube!), re did all the plumbing & pipes, replaced ceilings, sanded down and refinished the wood floors, painted all the rooms at least twice (I was having colour issues), completely gutted both bathrooms, and redid the kitchen twice (don't ask). And I'm sure there's a million other things we've done that I can't remember now. We're pretty darn handy now... well mostly my husband is pretty darn handy. He's done an amazing job going from someone who barely owned a hammer to someone who can practically build a whole new house. He's pretty terrific and patient.

We had taken about 6 months off from doing any projects, because we were both tired of living in a constant construction zone, but as of last Friday we're back into it again. This bedroom is going to be "mine". It's the smallest of the 4, but it has a door onto a private deck.. happy happy joy joy! I can't wait to move my computer in and decorate it all girly.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Rabid Squirrel!

I've been running on the roads a lot these past 2 weeks since I just haven't really had the time (or gas money) to hit the trails. So I've been doing loops of Strawberry Hill and on this one corner resides a squirrel that is either flirting with me or rabid. The poor guy has run over my foot 3 times in the past couple of weeks and then he runs partway up a telephone pole and chatters at me. I'm either going to end up bitten or carried off by the little guy.

2 days of racing this weekend! (kinda) Saturday is race #2 in the Rock Creek series out at Lake Perry, a 10 miler. This time I'm really hoping to not put my car in a ditch and not get lost. I don't really like DNF's. (feel free to read about my last experience here) I have however learned my lesson and I'm carrying a waterbottle even though there are aid stations and its only 10 miles. Hell I might even bring a map and a compass too!
Sunday is the Dog N Jog on the Plaza. Otis, Husband & I will be doing the 2 mile walk. Many people will be racing it, we will be hoping for a triumphant finish. Triumphant meaning Otis doesn't wuss out early from the heat, drop a big crap in the middle of the course or eat a little dog. It's a fundraiser for the Humane Society and it'll be a really good time. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for a cool morning, since the Otis is a very large, very hairy black dog and hence doesn't do so well when it gets steamy out.

Next Saturday is the Pod Trod out at Clinton Lake and is bound to be an absolute riot! I'm pretty much guaranteed to get hopelessly lost and covered in mud. Check out the details and if you're in KC, you really should come out and join us, it will be insanely fun. And anyway who can pass up a watermelon feast after the race?? If only there was a watermelon eating contest... that's something I KNOW I can win!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cool fire!

Last night a lightning strike ignited a petroleum storage tank a couple of miles from us which caused all sorts of cool flames and smoke to be visible all night. This morning on my run I figured I would see how close I could get.... not as close as I could have hoped, but the smell was pretty bad so it was probably best. Even 12 hours after it started there was still lots of leaping flames and thick billowy smoke, I wish I had brought my camera. The firefighters are just letting it burn itself out, they say it's better environmentally to do that. Really? I'm just really glad our house is upwind and a couple of miles away.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Did it!

5:30 am, Sunday June 1... my alarm went off and for a few minutes I thought I had overslept... it was so darn light out! It's amazing how quickly the long days set in, it seems like yesterday it was still kinda dark at 6:30. After a few minutes of rushing around and checking multiple clocks to make sure I was on time, I made myself a big fruit smoothie with lots of peaches, strawberries, blueberries & blackberries. I was pretty darn nervous and had been for a few weeks, I really wasn't sure if I was ready for this kind of mileage yet.. but since this 35 mile run was entirely for me, I figured I could shorten it at any time if I just couldn't do it. I assembled a cooler full of watermelon, oranges, soda, bananas, dates M&M's & pringles to bring along for myself and anyone who was choosing to join me on my birthday trek. I walked out of the house a little bit later than I wanted, given the 45 minute drive to the trails, but I figured surely they wouldn't start without me!
When I got to to Clinton Lake there was 9 of us that were running... one of my favorite people to run with, Gary, had gotten super sick and wasn't going to be able to run but came out anyway to make sure everything was OK and to make sure I knew where I was going! We had decided on a 20 mile loop, back to the cars to grab food and then a 15.5 mile loop. After a bit of dinking around and getting everything together, we were off! The fast guys took the lead and after an exhilarating 9 minute first mile, I dropped way back along with the other Mud Babes... it was going to be too long of a day to go fast!

Christy, Sophia, & I ambled along at a nice easy pace, gossiping and sharing stories, laughing and having a good time. Temps were still in the low 70's and the trail was nicely shaded, it was a bit humid, but not as awful as last Sunday had been. We continued on like this for awhile with the guys waiting up for us at some points and then continuing on quickly. It turned out a bunch of them were not doing the full 35 or even the first 20, so there was no need for them to go at an "ultra" pace. Bad Ben had been wonderful enough to set up water stations at periodic points on the course so we were never without cool water. We lost a bunch of the guys at one point, but picked up Kelley our local Mizuno rep who is faster than fast and brought a fresh energy to the group. By the end of the 1st loop all I could think about was getting some cold watermelon! I was still feeling pretty darn good by the time we made it back to the cars.

Ate a bunch of watermelon & oranges, refilled the water & called the husband. The plan was for him to start hiking backwards on the trail so we could meet up near the end. It turned out it was just Sophia & I heading out for the last 15 miles. Sophia is a super stud Mud Babe and was even late for work on account of me! Now that's a true friend! I hit a low spot at about 27 miles and she kept me going, taught me some good hypnotic breathing and kept being her cheery self. It really kept me going otherwise I probably would have walked a whole bunch more! The heat sucked pretty hard by this point, but we just kept plodding along. At Lands End we met up with the husband and at that point Sophia ran on ahead so she wasn't horribly late to work. I hiked the rest of the way with the Husband which was a great finish to the day. I loved being able to share the trails with him and include him in my crazy wish for the day.
Finishing felt pretty darn good, by the end my knees were screaming at me and my hips were pretty tight. Took 7:45:44. Husband & I indulged in some watermelon and picked off a few ticks. I got my first tick of the year... actually my first 3 ticks of the year. I went home and sat in an ice bath for awhile... husband came in and laughed at me for a few minutes until I stopped swearing. Then I sat on the couch and watched bad movies for the rest of the evening.
Couple of notes to myself:

I got bored of eating around the marathon mark and kinda stopped... this is not good! I have to keep eating, I think this contributed to feeling very un-chipper the last miles.

I run with the best people in the world. Hands down, no arguments, Trail Nerds/Mud Babes are the most fabulous!

I need different shoes for longer distances, I really like my North Face shoes for shorter stuff but today the bottoms of my feet feel bruised.

I need to train a bunch more... I was feeling pretty cocky after the marathon... sometimes I'm a dumbshit.

I had a great birthday!!