Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Climb Every Mountain

I've done some pretty cool things in my life. Many of them during Phase Five, of course. This past weekend I added another one to the list.

Don't get me wrong. Lying on a towel in a bikini atop sand at the Jersey Shore is a great way to celebrate the arrival of summer. And if you can upgrade from the Jersey Shore to a locale clad with Palm Trees - well, GO FOR IT. (Unless you happen to be from Philly and absolutely LOVE overcrowded beaches, 60 degree water, duplex housing, and REAL Boardwalk Fries. In that case, to hell with Palm Trees, I'll see you at Mack and Mancos.)

But this year, I did Memorial Day Norcal style, by heading out to Lake Tahoe. I had never been to Lake Tahoe before this weekend; and already, I can't wait to go back! We left early Saturday morning crossing the Bay Bridge and heading out I-80 East. We said good-bye to the San Francisco Bay, setting our sights on the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Our only stop was for Tasty Teriyaki Burgers from Ikitas. (Hmm... this IS a Tasty Burger...) Ikitas has GOT to be the coolest little store ever. Burgers, produce, pies, and mango salsa. Topped off with complementary salsa sampling!

Our cabin was in Norden, CA - North Lake Tahoe. Most of the ride was beautiful, however during the last half hour of the drive we went through both snow and hail storms. And I did panic a LITTLE about not having snow chains. But it wasn't bad at all, really. Our cabin was near the Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, and my car only got stuck in the lot where we parked our cars. Nothing two big guys and my roommate KT couldn't push me out of, though. And now I can say that my car got stuck in the snow in May!

After parking, we started to unload the car. We had to hike about a half mile to our cabin from the parking lot. Not an easy feet when it's snowing, there is no trail, there's already a good foot of snow on the ground, and 5 girls must figure out a way to carry $500 worth of food and beverage for 15 people for the weekend. Luckily, I have the following going for me: 1) Marathon Legs of Steel, 2) An amusement of snow on Memorial Day, and 3) A brand spankin' new BACK PACK! Like, a REAL back pack. So it wasn't too bad. The food, the beverages, and the girls made it to the cabin after only a few trips.

And of course, the men showed up right after our hard work was done. Smart men, don't you think? We put them to work in the kitchen whipping up drinks and planning the night's meal. Good food plus good wine and some really intense gaming made for some really effing good times.

A pankcake brunch started our Sunday, and then we set off to hike - IN SNOWSHOES! I had never done any snowshoeing before Sunday. And though this weekend marked the start of summer, in some ways, I am already looking forward to the return of winter so that I can do some more snowshoeing again. We started at the base of Mount Judah, part of Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, and headed around the lake and up what normally is a pretty decent ski trail. I will brag and mention that despite being a snowshoe novice, my Marathon Legs helped me trek up most of the mountain (really - The Mountain - this was NOT a dinky hill) in record time.

It took about an hour to get to the point at which the ski lift would normally drop off skiiers. But we weren't satisfied with only making it to the Ski Lift. We could SEE the summit at that point, but we wanted to see FROM the summit. So the real fun started. Because our mountain had turned into more of a wall, and there was no way to get up it without serious arm involvement. There was a lot of digging and toepicking. And gritting as I pulled myself up the mountain, a few tiny inches at a time. Cheers when it went well and little screams when I'd fall back down. A moment of doubt with, "JWC I don't think I can DO it!" Followed by squeals of delight to emit the RUSH of exuberance that flows when you dig in, clench your entire body, and CLIMB...

All the way to the top. A little bit of research leads me to believe the change in altitude from the base to the summit was 6883 feet to about 8383 feet for a change in elevation of about 1500 feet, and a top 5 on the ever-growing list of Top Life Accomplishments, for sure.

The trip back down was great, too. Lots of sliding down on our butts, which was still kind of scary for me, and a reminder of why I let the New Year's Resolution to Ski/Snowboard slide by the wayside. By the time we made it back to the cabin, it was time for Happy Hour. It had been warm hiking up the mountain, but by now it was getting chilly. Still, being from San Francisco, we know how to layer. So we sat out by the (frozen) lake, getting way too competive over Catch Phrase to stay warm.

More good eats, plus a dance party with fantastic beats. The crowning of Flip Cup Champions and WE LOVE YOU, JWC, YOU ARE NOT MOVING hugs. It was morning again before we knew it.

I remember crying as a little kid while my family packed up the house Down the Shore at the end of a summer vacation. I wanted to cry as we cleaned up the cabin and hiked back to the car with our belongings on Monday afternoon. The weekend was THAT GOOD. But, it was nice to get home and a) shower for the first time in two and a half days and b) pee in a toilet instead of in the snow.

Thankfully, we're going back in two more weeks. Can't wait! This East Coast Girl just can't get enough of the West Coast Outdoors! (Be sure to check out the pics!)

Friday, May 26, 2006


I'll admit that back then, when the plans came together, I was scheming. But only a little bit. Because on that first day that we met, we did bond over our mutual taste in music. Especially his music.

So, when I got an email announcing the show at The Fillmore (The Fillmore!!!!) in May, I emailed him and asked if he planned on going. He didn't even know about the show, though. But how do you say no once you know about it? Insider information like this is a CALLING.

So I got tickets, and we pined over them for 40 days.

And honestly, I was prepared to just go as friends. Because the only thing I can't seem to find in this amazing city is a real Guy Friend. And because it's less wierd to pine over a man and his guitar when someone else is pining over him and his guitar, too.

And so we pined. All day at work exchanging emails. Then after work exchanging voicemails. Throughout my afternoon run that I didn't want to do, but because of the SUMMONS I completed with relative ease. Yes, up and down four miles of some of the steepest and fastest hills of San Francisco, which I finished in 36 minutes. Almost stopping to walk on the way back up to Lyon but only almost. (Because when you're listening to him while knowing that you are about to SEE him - and HIM - you just feel like a total bad ass. No - you ARE a total bad ass. You are being summoned. And you don't stop to walk during a summons.)

The show was AWESOME. And HE is awesome. However I wish I could figure out if HE is a natural flirt or if he is trying to tell me something. With his eyes and his smile. And his lingering when our arms touch. His hand on my neck when we talk.

Dude, are you asking me to try to kiss you? AGAIN?

Oh, what I wouldn't give to hear a, "Hell Yes."

"I'm moving this way, I'm doing this thing.
Please enjoy.
Hell yes now I'm turning it on, I'm working my legs.
Hell yes now I'm calling you out, I'm switching my plates.
Peace and joy.
Hell yes now I'm cleaning the floor, my beat is correct."

But for now, it's just our song... (And my beat is SO correct!)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

We Just Can't Get Enough

It's always nice to come back to something after you've been away. Reacquainting feels good.

Tonight I got reacquainted with an old friend. It felt good to get his email this morning. To hear his voice on my voicemail. And to finally see his name on my caller ID. I love talking to this friend. He doesn't tolerate my complaining or my excuses. And while he does indulge me with bragging priveleges, he doesn't make a big fuss about my accomplishments.

We couldn't talk for very long. He was boarding an airplane and I was heading out the door to run. (For the first time in a few days.) I was reluctant at first, but our phone call reminded me that it feels good to get reacquainted.

And after a couple of easy miles, "I get a feeling, you get a feeling, we got a feeling, like we're alive."

Planned Distance - 4 Miles
Actual Distance - 4 Miles (Treadmill, 0.5 Incline)
Total Time: 34:40
Average Pace: 8:40/mile

And now that we're back into the groove? Well, we just can't get enough.

- "Mother We Just Can't Get Enough" by The New Radicals. From the Album, Maybe You've Been Brainwashed, Too.

(I know, I know. But as cheesy as this song is, I really just can't get enough!)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


On Sunday I staggered. And it was fantastic.

On Monday I slugged. Tired and still hazy. But I only had a few more hours to enjoy with TLY and I had to make them count.

On Tuesday I shlepped. Down the hill to work and from meeting to meeting all day. And because I think TLY still has my bus pass, I shlepped up up up to the top of the hill to get home.

Slumberous, I sit on my bed right now. I can barely sustain open eyelids let alone a 9:00/mile pace. My legs aren't sore, but they're quite angry. At the ten miles of trail running I completed on Sunday out at Tennessee Valley in Marin County. And at the six miles of urban hiking from Nob Hill to the Haight and back that rounded out Saturday afternoon. Not to mention the trip from Bay almost to Breakers.

Who knew a seven mile walk could turn a marathoner into such a sloth.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Bare to Breakers

Well, I did it again. Another PR!!!! This time in San Francisco's most famous road race, Bay to Breakers.

Distance: 7 miles (Almost...)
Time: 3.5 hours (Or so...)
Beers on the Course: 2? 3?
Vodkas on the Course: 3? 4?
Things I Won't Admit to Doing on the Course: 1... 2... 11... 12...
Naked Women I Saw on the Course: 4 (Maximum)
Naked Men I Saw on the Course: 44 (Minimum)
Pictures Taken with Said Naked Men: 8 or 9

These are some tough records to break next year, but I gotta start somewhere!

Oh, if only I could post all those pics... (Beware, some are of the PG-13 variety.)

Friday, May 19, 2006


Sometimes there are just too many balls. That are all in the air at once. These balls, which represent all of my plans for the weekend, are currently in the air. But they are falling. Quickly. And I am pretty sure that I am not going to catch most of them when they fall.

But at least these balls are not eggs.

I keep having to change my plans. Right and left and up and down and sooner and later... Doing my best to just keep on juggling and running with whatever comes my way.

Friday Stats:
Planned Distance: 7 miles TPO
Actual Distance: 5 miles Yasso (flipped with Tuesday / shortened to get into the office)
Time: 42 minutes
Pace: 8:24 min/mile

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bury Me

Even though I was at work until 8:00 PM tonight, I don't feel like I really got anything done.

Well, that's not true, really. I did finish a few things. But for someone who values a clean desk, it's irritating to find yourself burried under mounds and mounds of documents and emails and meeting requests.

So I am working from home tomorrow so that a) I can pick up my friend from high school who is visiting from the airport and b) I can burry myself under the office radar and actually finish a few important projects.


OK, I am back. I just sat here thinking about all that I had to do tomorrow morning and started to panic a little bit. So glad that I'm running faster than I used to run. It's nice to be able to finish my runs in less time than they previously required!

Tuesday Stats:
Planned Distance - 4 miles (Easy)
Actual Distance - 4 miles
Time - 35:30
Pace - 8:53/mile (A little faster than easy...)

Wednesday Stats:
Planned Distance - 7 miles Tempo
Actual Distance - 7.7 miles (Oops. I really need a Garmin...)
Time - 1:02:30 (Negative split, though! 32:00 minutes out, 30:30 minutes back - UPHILL!)
Pace - 8:07/mile (Includes my warm-up. So it's pretty much on target for my tempo runs.)

Two good runs under my belt this week, and I have to be honest. I don't REALLY feel like waking up at 6:00 AM tomorrow morning to run AGAIN. I just don't. Maybe that will change after a few hours burried under the covers, though. Here's hoping!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Go Big Sur

This weekend marked another Phase Five first - CAMPING.

I have never been camping before this weekend. As someone who really enjoys spending a large percentage of her time outdoors running, walking, hiking, and even drinking, I find it odd that in my twentysix years, I have never once slept outdoors. Overnight. In a tent.

Until this weekend, that is. In Pfeiffer State Park, in Big Sur, about 150 miles south of San Francisco.

After my 22 miler on Sunday, I packed up the car. With my roommate's kick-ass backpack and tent. (And head lamp!) And I drove down the 101 to California's Highway 1. Winding back and forth and along the curves and then up and down over the rolling hills. Past Santa Cruz. And through Monterey and Carmel. Swerving and weaving.

And smiling. Because it was just like I imagined it would be. The way Dave Eggers said it was. With sky above and ocean below. And those soft, tall, green hills in the middle. And in the end, all I can say is what he said:

"...can you see this motherfucking sky? i mean, have you ever fucking been to california?"

(Take a look if you haven't...)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

30 Gallon Tank

There aren't many words to the song. Actually, it's just one verse. Sort of. With a lot of repetition. It is so simple, and yet entirely overwhelming and complex.

Isn't that just like running? Very few words are required to describe the anatomy of my running. Right, left. Fast, slow. Long, short. Medium, too, I guess. And yet running is no where near as simple as this short list of words would lead one to assume. Running - and marathoning in particular - is entirely overwhelming and complex.

Just like this song. When I listen to it, I don't know if I'm invigorated or scared. But I am pulled. With each "c'mon" I am pulled. And when I hear this song, I can't fight the pull.

And on Saturday morning, I had to sing this song to myself. I needed to hear this song. Because I had to finish twenty-two miles Saturday morning. And I had to believe that I was a thirty gallon tank to do it. Up that long ass hill at mile 8. And 10. And at mile 12 when I was having some physical problems. At mile 14 when I was having some logistical problems, and at mile 17 when I was again having more physical problems. And especially at mile 20 when there was one more long, steep, hard hill. When my legs were soft and my mind was weak.

But I finished. By telling myself that I was a 30 gallon tank. Because 22 miles is nothing for the endurance reserve housed within a 30 gallon tank.

3 hours. 25 minutes. 22 miles.

- "30 Gallon Tank" by Spoon. From the album, A Series of Sneaks.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mr. Blue Sky

I slept with my window open last night, so by 6:00 a.m. the 1 California Bus was busy making runs down my street, the ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ-ing too hard to ignore any longer. I slunk out of bed, and quietly crept to the kitchen. While waiting for my oatmeal, I stretched.

I geared up and headed out the door and down the street. 6:22 A.M. Taking long strides down the hill to really stretch out my hip flexors. By the time I made it to the Polk Street Basin, my heart was starting to pound. Not so much from the exercise, as from the fear out of what I was about to find out next. After I queued the playlist. And started the watch. And sprung off...

"Sun is shinin' in the sky... There ain't a cloud in sight... It's stopped rainin' ev'rybody's in a play... And don't you know... It's a beautiful new day hey, hey!"

Especially when your hip doesn't hurt!

"Runnin' down the avenue, (Pant, Pant, Pant)... See how the sun shines brightly... In the city on the streets... Where once was pity...Mr. Blue Sky is living here today."

I headed down Polk towards Bay, then a left and out to the Marina. Through Krissy Field and out to Fort Point, under the Golden Gate Bridge. I know I say this all the time, but really, the red of that bridge against the bluest of skies... Well, it doesn't get old. And for a moment, right before I touch Hopper's Hands to mark my half-way turn-around point, I wonder if anything is more beautiful than this bridge above this water and these rocks. Before these mountains and beneath this sky.

This beautiful blue sky.

- "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra. From the album, Out of the Blue. And the soundtrack from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.


  • 8.5 miles round trip in 75 minutes for 8:49 average pace.
  • I know, it's too fast... But it felt fabulous!
  • On another note, time to retire these shoes... They've reached 293 miles. Wonder if they are the culprit to my hip issues on Tuesday? I alternate with a pair that's only got 140 miles on them, so I don't know. But I'd rather blame them than my crappy stretch job Monday morning!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Solve for X

We are taught to baseline. To incorporate additional factors one at a time. And to alter the ebb and flow of variables incrementally while effecting change. So that we stay in control. And ensure that our little experiments don't blow up in our faces.

I used to think I was a control freak. But lately, I find myself gravitating more towards chaos than order. Try as I may to develop a list, there is more to do at work than I can write down. I walked around in circles for several minutes this afternoon, trying to determine which ball to drop first. Only to crack up laughing as I realized people were staring.

My life, like yours, is probably best described with a differential equation. One with too many variables to ever solve, though... Despite precisely controlled science experiments! How can you ever hope to solve an equation whose variables are always changing? Quickly. Sometimes without reason. And many times, entirely accidentally.

Try as we may to keep our focus on something important, we will eventually tire. What is new, challenging, or exciting will become normal and routine. And though it will not always become mundane, what once caused our eyes to widen, our hearts to pound, and our stomach to drop, will cease to catch our attention the way it once did.

So far, one of the few conculsions I've come to make is that signifigance, in general, tends to wane. Even when we don't mean for it to do so.

But every now and then we are forced to shift focus. Causes to be determined, we identify new variables. And apply new constants. Detoured, we try to find the silver lining. We still can't solve for X, but sometimes, if we're lucky, we can solve for Y. We smile to ourselves. Not entirely there yet, it does feel nice to be a little closer to knowing the real value of X.

“I never, ever, ever take a race for granted until I cross the finish line.”
- Apolo Ohno

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


A few things about me.

1) If I dont' think I can finish something, I don't normally start it. Because...
2) I'm not that good at quitting.

The first time I ever quit a job I cried. Even though I was moving onto a better job, I hated leaving the one I had. The next time I quit a job, I cried BEFORE I quit. A lot. But not during the actual resignation announcement. (An improvement!)

I don't quit on my friends, either. To a sickening degree, I think. Not as much now that I'm better at picking friends, I guess. My friends now deserve me not quitting them. But some of the ones from the past? Friends of the boy variety, for instance... Well, I could have afforded to quit them much sooner than I did. Hell, I could still afford to quit some of them now.

But I'm not ready, still. (Sigh)

So, I like to think that not finishing my planned 7 miles tonight does not make me a quitter. Because I only stopped early when it was too impossible to ignore the shriek being produced by The Left Hip. The quiet eeek that began to screech at mile 2.25, which prompted me to seriously slow down. And the not so quiet piercing EEEEEEEEEEEEEK that yelped at mile 4 that prompted me to walk.

No, that was not quitting. Right? (Sigh)

Yesterday The Left Hip was singing. Scatting. Yodeling, even. I wish I knew what set her off tonight...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Four Fabulous Four

Have you ever waited six months for something? Really. Have you ever thought about it EVERY day for six months? Have you ever had to DO something about it for six months? Every day. Almost.

I have waited that long only for one other thing in my life. And waiting for that was NOT pleasant. At all. But I couldn't do much about it other than wait, so in that sense, these past six months, since they were full of proactive measure, haven't been as bad.

That's not to say that I'm not still SUPER excited that these six months are almost over, though. Because as of today, the Rock N Roll Marathon in San Diego is less than FOUR weeks away. And I can handle FOUR weeks. They will be FOUR focused weeks. FOUR killer weeks. But there are only FOUR now. FOUR!!!!

I started the Final FOUR this morning with a trip to the gym. Where I put up some SERIOUS weight on the bench press. FOUR sets of 65 pounds for ten reps on the flat bench, then FOUR sets of 45 pounds for 15 reps on the incline bench. Followed by FOUR sets of 45 pounds for 15 reps on the butterfly-thingy. Then I did some triceps work.

For such serious (for me) lifting, I am not really seeing any results. And that just doesn't seem fair. I don't really enjoy lifting all that much. And yet, I have incorporated it into my little *training* plan. And sure, I guess I do FEEL stronger, but I can't SEE the strength. And I think I deserve to see the strength. In the form of smaller, less flabbby. But I can still sqeeze my tricep flab. I'm doing it now, actually. I have definition, yes, but alas, I also STILL have sqeezable triceps flab. But my biceps are looking pretty good, actually. GUNS! And I guess the armpit flab is harder to find. Yes, armpit flab. Men know nothing of this irritating womenly troublespot. But armpit flab hangs over your strapless dress, negating all sex appeal of said dress. And while I'm sure men only look at our cleavage when we're in a strapless dress, we women only see our armpit flab. It sucks, but there are very specific cases that make us men and women and what we focus on when strapless dresses are in the picture is one of them.

With my time battling the big boys for a bench in the gym to lift my *SERIOUS* weights over, I headed outside for my recovery run. Down Polk Street towards the Marina Green and Krissy Field. Trying to maintain a 9:15/mile pace. Trying. Really. I really was trying. So hard. But there were so many other runners out, and I just kept wanting to catch up with them.

And honestly, I'm so bad at pacing myself without mile markers and clocks, these days. What used to feel hard, now feels like nothing. My frame of reference is all jumbled. It's kind of like when you've lost weight, and you go shopping to buy a new dress. Perhaps a strapless dress, now. You're in the store, looking at dresses, and you keep reaching for your old size. Because you look at the new size and wonder how your TOE will ever fit into that tubular fabric, let alone your stomach, thighs, and armpit flab. That's kind of how my running is right now. I still feel like this respectable but not super talented runner inside the body of someone who is actually pretty good, and very capable of hauling ass. Her own ass, even. Sans armpit flab.

So I get back to the gym after what I thought was my out and back 4 mile easy recovery run. And since it took me me 37:45, I figured I did an OK job at attempting to maintain 9:15/mile pace. But later, while playing around on Gmaps Pedometer, I learned my 4 miles was really 4.5 miles. Which means my easy recovery run was really more of a GOAL MARATHON RACE PACE run, done at an average pace of 8:23/mile. Oops.

I'd still give it four stars, though. (****) For effort and performance.

And so, with four being the number of the day, I thought it would be a good time to share with everyone that I received my race information last week while I was in Chicago...

Race Number: 4425
Corral: 4

FOUR!!!! I'm in Corral #4!!!!!!!!!!! HELLO WORLD!

And already I have butterflies. Because I don't think I could have picked a better corral for my fourth Marathon. FOUR Fabulous FOUR. It's gonna be a great race!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Personal Investments

Being thousands of miles apart, we have to devise other ways to stay connected. And invested, in all that what we're both doing.

She sends me emails asking me to PLEASE hurry up and post again. And sometimes, our telephone conversations remind me of the small Discussion Sections for those really big lecture classes we took in college. Because she is prepared. Equipped, even. When we talk, I envision her lying on her bed, laptop open, notebook in hand, chewing on a pen with a highlighter behind her ear. Ready to analyze, she submits requests: "Can we discuss what you wrote on Tuesday?"

The latest is my favorite, though. And I'm sorry, AFS, but I am just so touched by this one that I have to share.

Hi Nic!

How are you... hey, is there a link on your blog to your training schedule that week? For some reason I think that would be interesting, too. I really like numbers and time (a pretty unwellknown fact, I think), and would like to see how you do. And I feel invested in your goal of Boston.


No signature. It kind of feels like she she's just asking me pass her the ketchup. And that's what's so great about AFS. She can make you feel so important. Without all the hoopla.

And so, AFS, I have posted my training for you, below. I follow a program that I found on Nike.com. I can't export what I've logged for the first 20 weeks of this program for you to see. (Hey, Mike, wanna talk to the developes about adding that feature? Hee hee.) But I will tell you how I do each day moving forward for the rest of my training. There are only 120 miles until the big day.

Anyway, I am so lucky to have you invested in this goal, and in me. It makes me "... [feel] so good, like anything [is] possible." I can practically feel you squeezing my hand in support right now. And I know I'll feel it on the course. It really is much easier to run after your dreams when you know that someone like you is running along right behind me. I am sure I will feel you throughout all 26.2 miles on June 4.

- "Runnin' Down a Dream" by Tom Petty. From the album, Full Moon Fever.

Runnin Down a Dream

Here it is... When you lay it out like this, it doesn't look nearly as time consuming. Or intimidating. Or does it?

Dec 194 mi EZRest 5 mi EZRest 3 mi EZ8 mi LSDRest
Dec 275 mi EZRest 5 mi EZRest 3 mi EZ10 mi LSDRest
Jan 25 mi EZRest 6 mi EZRest 3 mi EZ10 mi LSDRest
Jan 95 mi EZRest 5 mi IVLRest 2 mi EZ12 mi LSDRest
Jan 166 mi EZ2 mi EZ6 mi IVLRest 3 mi EZ10 mi TPORest
Jan 233 mi EZ6 mi IVL3 mi EZRest 5 mi HLS14 mi LSDRest
Jan 306 mi EZ3 mi EZ5 mi IVLRest 3 mi EZ12 mi LSDRest
Feb 63 mi EZ6 mi IVL4 mi EZRest 2 mi EZ10 mi TPORest
Feb 136 mi EZ3 mi EZ5 mi IVLRest 4 mi EZ14 mi LSDRest
Feb 207 mi EZ3 mi EZ7 mi IVLRest 4 mi EZ12 mi LSDRest
Feb 274 mi EZ7 mi YSO4 mi EZRest 6 mi HLS16 mi LSDRest
Mar 63 mi EZ5 mi YSO3 mi EZRest 3 mi EZ10 mi TPORest
Mar 137 mi YSO4 mi EZ6 mi TPORest 5 mi HLS18 mi LSDRest
Mar 203 mi EZ7 mi YSO4 mi EZRest 6 mi HLS14 mi LSDRest
Mar 276 mi YSO4 mi EZ7 mi TPORest 5 mi HLS18 mi LSDRest
Apr 37 mi YSO3 mi EZ6 mi TPORest 5 mi HLS16 mi LSDRest
Apr 107 mi YSO3 mi EZ10 mi TPORest 5 mi HLS20 mi LSDRest
Apr 173 mi EZ7 mi YSO4 mi EZRest 7 mi TPO16 mi LSDRest
April 244 mi EZ7 mi YSO4 mi EZRest7 mi TPO21 mi LSDRest
May 14 mi EZ5 mi YSO3 mi EZRest 2 mi EZ10 mi TPORest
May 84 mi EZ7 mi YSO4 mi EZRest 10 mi TPO22 mi LSDRest
May 154 mi EZ7 mi YSO4 mi EZRest 7 mi TPO14 mi LSDRest
May 224 mi EZ6 mi YSO3 mi EZRest 2 mi EZ10 mi LSDRest
May 295 mi IVL2 mi EZ4 mi EZRest 1 mi EZ26.2 mi RACERest

Here's a summary of my training paces...
  • EZ - Easy Runs, done at an average 9:15/mile
  • TPO - Tempo Runs, done at an average 8:00/mile
  • IVL - Interval/Speed Runs, done at 6:34/mile for the speed intervals
  • LSD - Long Slow Distance Runs, done at an average 9:30/mile
  • YSO - Yasso 800s Runs, done at 7:20/mile pace per 800
I hope to finish the marathon on June 4 in 3:40:59 or less to qualify for Boston. 749 total miles, plus the training paces above, should get me there. Of course, pending good nutrition, rest, and a whole lot of heart.

Friday, May 05, 2006

They Never Got You

He gets her. HER. But he doesn't GET her. She is OK with that. And they get me. ME. But they don't GET me. And I am going to work on being OK with THAT.

A last minute trip to Chicago, with a bottle of wine and several Mandarin and sodas in, we both got that. We GOT THAT.

Not everyone is comfortable in the realm of what they don't know. It's a pretty fucking scary place, actually. But that's where we LIVE. We seek the intersection of that which we know we don't know, and that which we don't know we don't know. We can't imagine being anywhere else.

She is proud of my "skills." And for having big dreams. But mostly for using my "skills" to make those big dreams happen. I love her for not having to ask why I insist. On everything.

I am proud of her vision. And for never settling. Despite every compromise. Her big dreams are coming. Their reality is just a few hardworking days, up all nights, and beautiful mornings away, too. I know it.

Having articulated everything I haven't been able to say to anyone in person the past few months, I realize I miss her most when she is sitting right next to me. Nodding in agreement. Calling a bluff. Indulging bad habits. And reminding.

when you were breaking up
they was just waking up
and back in that place where you come from
did it pay to play along
that's where I'm coming from
I'll roll it myself or just let it be
cause I never got them and they never got me."

- "They Never Got You" by Spoon. From the album Gimme Fiction.

*On June 4, I'll be running that 2/3 mile for you, EMI.*

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hungry Like a Wolf

Every time my friend from high school, TLY, used to come over to my house, she'd walk in the front door, say hello to me, and then to my parents, and ask, "Whatcha got to eat in here?"

She'd open the pantry door and crouch down to see what was on the bottom shelf. Every time, she'd select the Bite Size Sourdough Pretzels. Or she'd stand on her tippy toes to see what was on the top shelf. Cereal. She'd always go for either Bite Size Frosted Mini Wheats or the generic Cocoa Rice Krispies. Which were appropriately named, Cocoa Munchies.

These stories don't get old for TLY or my father. Or me, actually. That girl could eat for days.

I've been feeling a lot like TLY today. Because I have had the munchies all damn day. But not the cocoa kind, or any other kind of muchie that could be considered fun. Today, I can't seem to get full. I've been eating all day. Protein. Fiber. Fat. Other complex carbohydrates. I've consumed them alone and all together. Every couple of hours... Every couple of minutes. And I've washed it all down with copious amounts of water. GALLONS, even!

And yet, I am still hungry. Really effing hungry. Even now, at 11:12 PM. I am starving. I'd eat something else, but you see, I'm out of food!

It was a pretty big day, I guess. 13 official miles of movement logged. 1 mile to the gym. 7 miles of 800 repeats. 1 mile from the gym back home, uphill, because I forgot to pack a bra to wear to work. (And while I'm kicking ass on the job, I'm not kicking nearly enough ass to show up without strapping in the twins.) 2 miles to work. Who knows how many miles running around the office. Then 2 miles home, uphill. And seven or eight trips up and down the stairs doing laundry.

Seriously, what do wolves eat?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Blast Off

A few months back, we whispered about it. It was just a rumor at the time. We didn't know what was going to come of it.

Then we got a phone call. We high-fived and started to talk about it. Out loud. On the phone and in cubicles. In conference rooms. This thing that we couldn't describe in complete sentences. Each thought spurring another thought until The Parking Lot was a four lane highway.

There were white boards and dry erase markers. Notebooks and pencils. Tables and wireframes and mock-ups. Pages upon pages upon pages of "the system shall." And then a faxed signature.

Kick-off! There was a meeting. Me, my manager, and my team. I was so nervous before that meeting. My first team meeting. I wanted it to go well. And I wanted them to like me. I wanted them to respect me. Even more, I wanted them to not see how nervous I was.

"Oh, wow. Cool. Yeah, that will work! Nice. This is going to be good. Pretty complex, but it will work."

Nice. My nerves calmed. And we got started. Designing. Specifying. Refining. Building. Coding. Running. More coding. Compiling. Debugging. Posting. Testing, testing, testing. Unit. Smoke. Bash. Integration. Picking it apart and putting it back together. Over and over and over again. Prodding. Questioning. Thinking. Deciding. Answering. With a side of coffee. Lots and lots and lots of coffee. Plus a green tea for good measure. Or two.

Documenting, documenting, documenting, documenting, documenting... There were emails and phone calls and Instant Messages. Mostly there were instant messages. And they are all sent at the exact same time. Seven windows at once, almost all day. Everyone's question the MOST important.

"Wow. This really is complex. But it's working! Can you believe that? It's working."

Another post. And a presentation. Again, the nerves in an excited state. But it's a GO! And so we launch. I wait, making sure that everything is perfect. I sit. I pace. I communicate via instant messenger with seven people at once again. I get more coffee. I bring my cell phone everywhere I go. I ping and plink and "sorry to bother you" but I just want to know where we stand!

When it is finally complete, I emit a loud, long sigh. I instantly feel the exhaustion that has been building these past few weeks surge from my eyes to my toes. I am so tired I can barely type. But also so content, and so proud of the accomplishment. Of OUR accomplishment.

The fun has only just begun...

(Really. I get to do this all again next week for Great Idea #2!)