Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

Here we go. Your weekly dose of Thoughtful Thursday. Are you ready? Are you sure?

1) I would like to move to a different state between the months of November through March. Not because I hate the cold, or because I hate the ice or the snow. No, no. It is because I HATE the snow removal people in Maryland. I can say HATE so wholeheartedly because I don't personally know a snow removal person in Maryland. So, I am allowed to use that word. Just this once though. Yesterday, it took me an hour to get to work, which is 7 miles from my home. All because there was one retarded person who decided to ditch his car on the side of 95, thus causing every retarded Maryland driver to slow down to 5MPH so that they can see the retard who drove their car off the side of 95. Just drive, people! Nothing to see here.

In addition, I arrived to work at 8:30, and promptly fell on the thick sheet of ice that resided in the stairwell of the door to enter my office. Banged up my left hand as well as my left ass cheek. Thank goodness for thick ass cheeks to cushion falls of this sort!

2) Why is it that I can have a completely slow week at work all the way up until the very last day before I'm leaving on a 3-day weekend? Then, and only then, does all hell break loose. Satan himself stepped out of the bowels of hell today, handed me a $117K order that needed to be, yesterday, then poked me in my ice-bruised left ass cheek with his red hot pitchfork, and demanded that I align the heavens and the moon and the stars in order to get this demonic order fulfilled before month end. Month end meaning today, since I won't be present tomorrow.

3) Why do people ask me to work for free? Ok, so it's just one person, and its the owner of my company's friend. At one time, I offered to help, and I was paid for that small job. An ample, fair, project-based amount that said "client" decided to pay me. Over time, however, the payments have dwindled, the work has become more arduous, and now I'm just annoyed. And it's just stupid Excel crap. I want to tell said person to just stop being dumb. Last time I was requested by said "client", I took 3 hours out of my work day to go to their site and help out--with the owner of my company's permission. After 3 loooong hours, on my way out the door to come back to my real job, I was offered payment in the form of a salad. A salad?!

A salad??!!

For realz??!!

Now, I am sitting at my real desk with a pile of requests from the parasitic salad payer, and I'm becoming nauseous just looking at it.

4) The physical therapists office is one of the weirdest places on earth. It always reminds me of the old movies where wounded soldiers are lined up on gurneys in a big communal room together. We all lay there, and while we're being treated for various ailments, we share war stories. It makes me feel victorious afterward.

5) I'm leaving for Tennessee today, and I have decided that my JL Coupon Tutorial Part II video is just too cool for Youtube. Otherwise, Youtube wouldn't keep getting so choked up every time I attempt to post it. Right? I am going to have to re-film the dayum thing when I get home on Monday, in order to make it a little shorter. This makes me sad. Because know me well enough by now to know how much I love talking. Youtube just doesn't want to hear my mouth I guess.


I will try to post a few quick updates with my iPhoney while I'm visiting "America at Its Best."

Happy jogging to all!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bondi Band Giveaway ****CLOSED! No Entries after 8AM EST 2/5/09****

UPDATE: 2/5/09 8AM EST: This giveaway is closed, peeps! I'll be drawing the winners this morning!! Stay tuned!


I am so excited about Bondi Bands, that in addition to ordering two for myself, I'm going give two away to my lovely blog readers. It's a Bondi Band celebration. I'm all about sharing the wealth. Jogger's Life is a purely socialist society. capitalism allowed. If I got it, then you're gettin it. Because I love you.

All you have to do is comment this post and let me know why you want a Bondi Band.

I'll tell you why I wanted a Bondi Band: My hair is annoying. The end.

I kid, I kid.

In all seriousness, my hair is short now, and I can't pull it all back or I get this really silly looking stub of a ponytail (a ponystub?) on the back of my head. It just looks ridiculous. Then the pony holder slips out of my hair and onto the treadmill. I become distracted, lose my footing, bash my head on the treadmill display, slide down the belt, off the back of the treadmill and land in a heap on the disgusting gym floor. Ok not really. But I'm just sayin...the last thing I need to be worrying about when I'm snotting, hacking, and gasping for air while running is whether my hair is going to stay out of my sweaty face.

So...someone mentioned Bondi Band to me, I checked out their website, and it seemed like the ideal solution. They said all of the right words. Their slogan is "where fashion meets function." to my ears.

I haven't tried out my Bondi Band yet, so I can make no guaranties about their effectiveness, but as soon as I receive them I shall try and see. In the meantime, I want you guys to win them now so that I can promptly send them out to you as soon as I receive them from Bondi Band.

So...comment away. Tell me why you need one, and I'll use the random number generator to pick two lucky winners next week!

Good luck!

Lastly, I have been trying to upload my coupon video to Youtube for the past 24 hours. I don't know why its not working, but I do know that it's irritating me. Now that I finally have made the vid, Youtube is taking 24 hours to upload it. I'm going to keep trying, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sexy Six Pack Challenge Update

Guess whose abs are sore.

C'mon, guess.

What? Me? You guessed that MY abs are sore?

You are basically a genius.

But, I bet that you didn't think that my abs could be sore from an 8 Minute Abs video, circa 1984! I'm only guessing 1984 due to the bright fuchsia and turquoise leotards worn by the hot chicks in the back who are sporting huge feathered hair. I'm pretty sure that I took a trip to 8-Minute-AbsVille back in 1994, by way of an old VCR tape that someone let me borrow, but I didn't plan on ever having to visit this locale again.

So here's how it went down...

I signed up for the Sexy Six Pack Challenge, as organized by Run To Finish, and committed to doing the Men's Health Belly Off 2009--Bodyweight II Plan. I started. I swear I did. I even took the pictures of my hideous flabs, and measured the girth of my midsection. The problem was that upon seeing the pictures, I didn't want you guys to see me in that horrible state. So I procrastinated.

And procrastinated.

And procrastinated.

In the meantime, I was regularly attempting to do the Men's Health exercise plan thingy, but quite frankly, it was more complicated than I expected, and I really don't do "complicated" very well when it comes to exercising. The first time I attempted and bailed on the Belly Off exercises, I went to Mega Video online and searched for ab workouts that I could stream online. Sadly, the only one that lasted more than 3 minutes was the aforementioned 1984 8-minute abs beauty.

Each time I tried and bailed on the complicated Belly Off exercises, I tuned in to that trusty 8-minute abs stream. Simple, to the point, non-complicated. Perfect. I've now done it 4 times (3X last week, once yesterday), and it still hasn't become any easier! And so, my plan has changed.

I am going to do the 8-minute abs video for the duration of this challenge. The challenge began on Monday, January 19th, and lasts until February 19th. In addition to 8-minute abs, my running mileage will be increasing due to race training. But I'm not changing my diet.

You can't make me.

And because I'm way too chicken, I'm not posting any pix yet. Maybe on Monday...after I've done the exercises more than 4 times. But, just for the record, my beginning waist measurement was 31.5". Don't tell anyone.

My BFF is better than your BFF

I'm going to Tennessee.

And I'm never coming back.

Just kidding.

I'm going to Tennessee on Thursday night. Tennessee's slogan is "America at its Best". I will return back to Maryland on Monday morning. Maryland's slogan is "America? Isn't that a shade of Dior lip gloss?"

I love Tennessee. I never thought that those words would escape my keyboard on purpose, but they did. Tennessee brings me back to reality, even if only for 3 bliss-filled days while I catch up with my BFF, and repeatedly sniff the head of her new baby. Warning: I will most likely return from Tennessee with a horrible, incurable, desperate case of baby fever.

Having grown up humbly in Central New York, moving to Maryland at the age of 20 caused a serious bit of culture shock for me. Everything was so fast and expensive and flashy. Maryland is no Miami, but compared to Blossvale, do the math. My point is that I love Tennessee because it reminds me that life doesn't have to be so fast all the time. The pace with which everything is done in Tennessee is about 8 times slower than the speed with which everything is done in Maryland. Slow is good sometimes. I like taking a vacation from fast every now and again.

In addition, Karie and I have been together forever. I have saved letters and poems and Valentine's Day cards from my Karie since we first became instant friends in middle school. I think it was New Kids on the Block that first brought us together. We still giggle about that. We giggle about everything, in fact. We have been friends through many years, and thousands of miles (think 'Germany', and 'Alaska'), marriages (both of us), divorces (me--not her), and now, little Aden James. Regardless of distance or time, our relationship and interaction is always exactly the same every time we are together. There is only one word to describe it: giddy. When together, we are two giddy little schoolgirls. Her husband just rolls his eyes while he drinks his Long Island iced tea. By the second Long Island iced tea, he's giggling right along with us.

My BFF, being the awesome BFF that she is, has already planned my running location for me while I am visiting her. I was nervous about this aspect of my trip to Tennessee. I have 90 days to train for my first 1/2, and I know that running on the regular is really important at this juncture. However, I'm chronically scared of being high maintenance. Although I have never gone to Tennessee and had expectations of doing anything spectacular (other than hanging with my BFF), I also am not the type to make requests. Like telling her what I want to eat for breakfast (she always asks me), or if I want pot roast for dinner on Saturday. These are just not things I'm comfortable with. I'm perfectly comfortable being the one who asks these questions and obliges. Not the other way around.

However, I did ask Karie this morning whether it would be a problem for me to run twice while I was in Tennessee. I had a panic attack upon hitting "send" on the email.

"Running? How SELFISH of me to want to run while I'm supposed to be in Tennessee hanging out with my BFF and her beautiful boy (Aden, not Toby)!"

I was mad at myself for sending the email. Then, no more than 5 minutes into my fit of panic, she responded. And it wasn't to tell me what an ass I am. On the contrary, my BFF said that she had already considered my running schedule, and we could either go to the park and run outside, or go to the gym and run on the dreadmill. Do you see how considerate this girl is? Have I mentioned that my BFF is way better than yours?

Not only did my BFF tell me that we will go to the park on Friday and Sunday (as I so sheepishly requested), but she also wants to go on SATURDAY too! Oh yeah. She's WAY better than yours. Don't try to deny it.

So, my worries about not running while I'm in Tennessee have been squashed. I will run twice, and walk on Saturday in the park with my BFF.

We'll probably giggle for 3 miles straight.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Crazy Lady, Comin Through...Scuse Me...Look Out!

Much has occurred since we last spoke at 11AM today. Well, not really, but I am feeling an overwhelming need to vent. So I shall.

1) I ran, and it was grand. I wouldn't call it my best run to date, or even as good as my last run. But, I tried my orthotics, and they were fabulous. Liz did caution me that I will most likely experience muscle soreness since my foot is now hitting the ground (or dreadmill) evenly, thus causing me to work different muscles. I'm all about working different muscles. It means the lazy ones that caused my original problem are being whipped into shape. Damn lazy ass muscles.

2) Today, at the gym, there were two young women who appear to be resolutioners. I say this because I have been going to the same ghetto-fied gym for 9 years, and I have only seen these two young women twice. Once today. Once last week. They don't have a designated "gym bag", they carry their things in a plastic grocery store bag. They were discussing the fact that one of them forgot her deodorant and brush. Any seasoned gym-going person knows that you buy two of everything. One for home, and one for your gym bag. And you certainly don't carry your gym things in a plastic grocery bag. THIS is how I know that they are resolutioners.

In addition, post workout, they both stepped on the stupid gym scale that has been broken for the past 8.75 out of 9 years that I have been going there. Although I do not weigh myself like...ever...I've heard others complaining about that scale for as long as I've been going to that particular gym. Not only did they step on the scale before their shower, but they both stepped on it again AFTER their shower. One of them complained that she "gained a pound" by taking a shower.

This reminded me, once again, of how happy I am to not be a slave to the scale. Please, I've said it before, and I'll say it again. THROW AWAY YOUR SCALE, LADIES. They are from the devil.

3) I sent my awesome friend, Robert a text this afternoon to ask him if he's interested in networking with my PT because she mentioned that she was looking for a running coach to work with. In turn, he invited me to run with his Peak Performance team in the Baltimore 1/2 Marathon in Frederick, MD on May 3. Considering that I have this innate ability to never say "no" to anything or anybody, I obliged. Now, I'm scared.

Baltimore 1/2 Marathon (Frederick), May 3
15K, July 12
Baltimore 1/2 Marathon (Baltimore), October 10

Errr...My original commitment to run The Boilermaker seems to be turning into a full-on race schedule. I'm frightened. But the idea of running both of the Baltimore 1/2 Marathons this year is very exciting to me. I think they even give out medals. I've never got a medal before. I bet they'll be shiny.


Can I do this?

Am I up for the challenge?

Can I do 13 miles by MAY?


Who, Me...Orthotics? YES WAY!!!

This morning, I picked up my custom orthotics. At lunch, I shall try them out for the first time.

And I am excited.

Yes, excited.

What a difference 3 weeks, and 2 laps around the PT track can do, no?

When Liz took them out of the package, I was still in denial. I still hated them. In fact, prior to stuffing them into my Mizunos, I was horrified by the very sight of them.


Ugh. Gross!



Yes, yes. They're bright blue, and they're thick as I don't know what. I wanted to throw them on the ground and stomp on them because they were so ugly and...ugly. And orthotic-y. I had 3 weeks to build up this frighteningly unhealthy, extreme hatred for my poor orthotics.

Then I stuffed the ugly things in my runners. Crammed my wide, (baby) bunion-infested foot into my Mizuno. Tied the laces.

And then, the heavens parted.

I saw Jesus himself.

And he was wearing orthotics too.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Egg White Omelet Dilemma

Sitting at my desk just minutes ago, having not consumed anything to eat since last nights' dinner, the only thing that I could think about was the vision of a beautiful, fluffy, egg-white omelet placed lovingly on a plate in front of me. The omelet was prepared with sauteed mushrooms and onions, and my very own personal chef seductively folded a hearty piece of provolone cheese in the crevice of the omelet, just prior to presenting me with his creation. And the chef was tall. And he was cooking this omelet for me whilst wearing a schmedium white t-shirt that made it apparent that he had worked out just prior to coming to my office specifically to cook this omelet for me. And he had huge biceps. And he wanted me to bear like 12,567 of his babies.

I have a seriously vivid imagination.

Alas, there was no omelet for me this morning. Had I been better prepared, I could have easily whipped this up for myself ( sexy chef) this morning, prior to work. Had I been better prepared, I could have even made myself a beautiful omelet last night, brought it to work and heated it up in the micro this morning. Had I been better prepared, I wouldn't have had to throw my gym clothes in the washer last night at midnight when I shot out of bed like a bullet upon remembering that I had no clean gym clothes. But I'm not prepared. I had no time to cook omelets, barely had time to put my damp gym clothes in my gym bag, and the dogs are lucky that they got 2 trips outside prior to me running out the door. I stayed in bed until nearly 7AM this morning. I was lazy. I do that often. That, my friends, is the problem. I need to get out of bed earlier.

That is another problem for another day.

The problem this morning was that I could not function anymore because visions of this lovely omelet had invaded my thoughts and taken over. Drastic times call for drastic measures. So, 1/4 mile walk to Royal Farms and $11.61 later, I came up with this:


I can assure you that these were the only healthy consumable items that existed at the Royal Farms by my job. I was actually surprised to have found these little beauties. My solution to the egg white omelet dilemma was hard-boiled eggs (of which I raped of their yolks), honey wheat bread (for toast), Parkay (because that was the only butter-like thing that they had in an easily-spreadable form), and a banana.

Sidebar: The banana is not ripe enough for my eating pleasure, but I will eat it anyway because I think it will help my calf tightness.

And so...the moral of the story is this: Get out of bed earlier, lazy ass. And request a personal chef at work. Preferably a sexy one. With rippling biceps. And his uniform shall be a tight white t-shirt.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

I must caution you that today's weekly dose of Thoughtful Thursday will not at all resemble last week's installment, which was filled with dreams of dogs-turned-vermin, story time in the shower, and general ponderous mention of beef jerky.

Nope, nothing like last week. Much less random. Way more pointed, concise, and purposeful.

Like this...
1) Why must Steve Jobs and his lackeys make my life such complete hell by not allowing me MMS messaging on my newfangled iPhone?! I am not kidding you when I say that this one fact in my life, at this very moment (and for the past week that I have had this dayum iPhone), is one of the most irritating things I'm experiencing. I know, I know. It's petty, you say.

Are picture messages REALLY that important? I answer that question with a resounding "HELL YES, THEY ARE!" Without a way to easily, quickly, and conveniently send picture messages to my friends and family, I feel a personal void in my life. Something is missing. It's too much WORK to send a picture message now. I feel like my brain is going to explode every time I even consider the process. It's just TOO MUCH WORK.

Someone, help me.

2) I really need to purchase a book about grammar. Now that I am not the only one reading the things that I write, I feel like I need to know the difference between "its" and "it's", and that I need to know whether my apostrophe needs to go before or after the "s" in any given word. And yes, I think about this every single time I write a blog post. It keeps me up at night.

3) At least once a day for the past two weeks, I have considered the fact that when shown (showed? shown? See...i need a book) this picture:


My Gazelle's response was "who's that?"

I replied "errrr...uhhh...that's me?"

See, this was taken pre-Gazelle. I know that I'm all dressed up silly for Halloween and all, and I am definitely wearing makeup and a goofy wig. But do I look so completely different that a man who sees me every single day for several hours could look at this picture and just completely not recognize me?

Am I like 50 pounds heavier now, unrecognizable to anyone who hasn't seen me since the unfortunate, massive weight gain? Are my legs the size of tree trunks now, so he had no idea that those sexy things were hidden beneath the fatness which are my legs now?

Do I need to go on a crash diet so that I can again look like some semblance of that Raggedy-Ann-costume-wearing girl I once was??

This is the agony that I have put myself through for 2 weeks. Can you imagine the torture that I'm going through over this? Irrational, senseless agony. The biggest and most alarming problem is that I don't look much different now--other than the wig and makeup. See, as I mentioned yesterday, my Kung Fu is just not that strong sometimes, people. I'm still a work in progress.

4) Did you know that this is the picture that caused My Gazelle to fall madly, deeply, insanely head over heels in love with me?


Are you laughing too? Because I am. What was I thinking? What was HE thinking?

Yep, there's more...
5) I'm trying to plan my next vacation. I think it'll be around May/June, depending on scheduling and work and blah, blah, blah. I know that I'd pretty much rather be here

than anywhere else in the universe, but my budget is limited. Does anyone have suggestions for a cool vacation, that is not necessarily tropical, relatively budget-conscious, within a reasonable travel-time from Maryland (car, boat, plane, whatever...), and can keep two active, able-bodied whippersnappers entertained for 3-5 fun-filled days? Do tell.

Almost there...stay with me...
6) I am excited about running again. I had a bit of a clash of the calves this week after my 5ish mile run last Sunday. Monday was uncomfortable, but Tuesday brought with it a pair of the tightest calves this side of the Mason Dixon line. I attempted to run on Tuesday, but I only made it a mile in about 12 minutes before I ditched the treadmill in favor of riding hills on the stationary bike for 13 more minutes. With that, I called it a day. Disappointed. Shamed. Mad at my calves. Not willing to be a quitter, I gave the treadmill another attempt yesterday. Despite the fact that my calves were still tight, I stuck with it. Took it very slow for the first 10 minutes, then picked up the pace for the next 5 minutes, and ran the last 5 minutes at about a 9:30 pace, which is fast for me. Hey...I jog, remember? 9:30 is a pretty dayum fast jog.

Tonight, My Gazelle has his bootie-kicking self-defense class, and while he's getting his arse kicked by Willie "The Bam" Johnson, I will be at the gym, running, happily.

Speaking of "The Bam", this guy is no joke, people. Here he is in action (he's the little short guy on the left).

My sweet Gazelle goes to this guy every single week (sometimes twice or 3 times per week) and pays The Bam and The Bam's son (Lil Bam?) to kick his Gazelle arse. Why, you ask? Because My Gazelle is the po-po, and apparently he has to keep his "skills sharp"...just ask him, I swear that those are the exact words that he'll use. And I love him almost as much as I love cupcakes. Almost. Cupcakes are winning though.

You made it! I'm so proud of you...
7) Does the fact that I'm canceling my other CPA exam on 2/28 ensure that I will be deemed as a "complete and total loser" for years to come? I'm hoping not. Because I am canceling the exam as an opportunity to gain back my sanity and start anew. I will begin again with a better idea of what I need out of this whole CPA exam process, and will be in a better spot. And have more time to coupon. And write Part II of the coupon tutorial. And run. And come to the realization that I would rather be doing so many other things than studying for the CPA exam. It'll happen...on my time...when I'm ready. I don't like pressure, so I've removed all traces of it from my life. By way of throwing $1,000 out the window. That'll teach me to pressure myself.

And with that, I can now promise you (without fear of failure or pressure) that I will indeed have Part II of the JL Coupon Tutorial up for your reading (and viewing) pleasure this weekend, without further ado. I will even have time to do my laundry this weekend, and that is very exciting.

See, this week's Thoughtful Thursday was completely way less random than last week! Told you.

Pffftttttt. Right. If it's not random, then I didn't write it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Diet Schmiet.

Recently, I've been reading a lot of fodder about diets. Again. It seems like this type of stuff comes in waves. A wave of the Atkins Diet, a wave of the Southbeach Diet, a wave of the Grapefruit Diet, a wave of the Blood Type diet. And Weight Watchers. And Nutri-System. And Jenny Craig. And whole body cleansing. And juice diets.

Guess what?

I've tried them all.

I even went into credit card debt buying food from Meals to Go. Why, you ask? Because I was under the impression that I had absolutely no control over my own ability to make sensible eating decisions. I thought that if food was put in front of me, I would not be able to control myself. After all, I was "fat", and that's what fat people do, right?

This, my friends, came as the result of a lifetime of disordered eating. I have mentioned this in the past without going into any significant detail, but I suffered from bulimia for many (many) years. It was a secret from my family, my friends, my former husband. NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY knew that I suffered from this disorder. It was my little way of coping. Of retaining (or regaining) control over my little world.

Don't get me wrong, I don't blame our diet-fanatic society for my eating disorder, but I do believe that because our society is so fixated on diets, there is this constantly looming downward pressure to be thin. In my 15-year-old universe, a way to "get skinny" soon developed into an all-encompassing coping mechanism. Society didn't tell me to become bulimic, but society definitely taught me from a very early age to "think thin".

A decision to lose weight almost always starts as just a simple diet, but often turns into a life-consuming parasite. In my opinion, diets are their very own category of eating disorder, in a totally non-bulimia way.

Have you ever known anybody who stayed on the Atkins Diet for YEARS, swearing off carbs as bad, and not eating a single piece of fruit for the last 5 years of the 20th century? This happens all too often. Many people do not know how to not be on a diet. Many people see food as either "bad" or "good", and somewhere along the way, their self-worth becomes mixed up in the equation. "Bad" food makes us guilty, and when we partake in this "bad" food, we feel bad about ourselves as people. When we eat "good" food, we feel good about ourselves as people.

This is disordered thinking, it is irrational, and it is just simply not true.

Food does not come in "bad" and "good" varieties.

We are not what we eat.

We are the people who love us, the quality with which we love other people, the depth with which we allow others to love us, the lives we live, the kind things that we do, and the way in which we choose to live our lives.

It took me nearly 2 years of therapy to come to these conclusions.

Don't let me fool you into thinking that my kung fu is strong like that. I still have my issues, that is without a doubt. The thing that I know for certain is that I will never again suffer from bulimia, I will never again be unkind to myself to the point of self-deprecating behavior, and I will never suffer from obesity. It's just not worth it.

The road to becoming "deprogrammed" from at least 15 years of "think thin"ism was long. I was able to do outpatient treatment because I was not dangerously underweight, thankfully. My treatment began on February 23, 2006, and I stopped all forms of treatment on June 8, 2007 (and I just had to write a series of dates on a blue sticky note so that I could sort that out).

The misconception about bulimia is that you lose weight. This is completely untrue, and from my experience, most bulimics are of normal weight or slightly overweight. I was one of the "slightly overweight" variety of bulimics. The only time that my weight would plummet is when I would go on one of my suicidal "fasts"; meticulously writing down every morsel that I ate, exercising up to 3 hours per day, and feeling victorious when I knew that I had burned more calories than I consumed. The tracking process was exhausting. Considering that I am an Excel-obsessed accountant, I was stellar at keeping track of how many calories I had burned and consumed. I knew how many calories would create a pound of body weight, and I meticulously tracked everything that passed my chapped lips just to ensure that I was working on a deficit.

I knew how many calories every food that could ever potentially pass my lips contained. Per ounce. Per cup. Per tablespoon. The mere record-keeping involved with starving myself was EXHAUSTING!

Inevitably, the weight would come back as soon as I began eating again, because my body was trying to hold onto every last calorie for fear of being starved to death again. Then the vicious binge/purge cycle would resume. Around December, 2005, I began to notice that I was having chest pains, and my fingers would tingle for no apparent reason. I was also getting sick all the time with upper respiratory infections for the entire winter of 2005. Being sick was a major trigger for my eating disorder to kick into full effect. Being sick meant that I had control over nothing. Not even my body would act appropriately. How dare I let myself get sick, and not be able to work out excessively for fear of an asthma attack!

I was sick for so long that I didn't remember not being sick. I started to not care about being sick, and I'd work out through the coughing and hacking and headaches. I was still binging/purging, by the way. In mid-February 2006, I started to experience dagger-like pains in my ribs when I breathed, sneezed, coughed, moved, breathed. Breathing was important. I was fearful that I had cracked a rib along the way during one of my bulimia benders. Despite all of the other problems I was having (constant sickness, chest pains, tingly fingers), the dagger in my ribcage was what brought me to the doctor.

Everyone has their rock bottom. It turns out that the dagger in my ribcage was mine. Enough was enough, and I was sick of being controlled by something other than my own will to be healthy and happy. I'm sure that my primary care physician thought I was insane, because as soon as he began to examine me for cracked ribs, the waterworks began. I told him my entire, long, painful story of bulimia. Much to his other patients dismay, I'm sure. They had to wait on the crunchy-paper-covered exam table for extra long that day! I did walk out of the doctor's office that day sad because I had a pretty bad infection in my lungs called pleurisy, but the good news was that it would go away, I had a referral to an ED treatment center, and I felt strangely liberated.

During my first 2 months of treatment, I met with a nutritionist and therapist on a weekly basis. I hated the nutritionist. She was skinny. And pixie-like. I always wanted to be skinny and pixie-like. I dreaded going to my appointments with her. I would get all sweaty and nervous when I had to go into her office. She was going to weigh me. That skinny pixie was going to weigh me. I lost 8 pounds within the first three weeks of treatment. That wasn't the goal. Eventually, I realized that the little pixie had issues of her own, and I wasn't really interested in being like her anymore. The 8 pounds that I lost in the first 3 weeks stayed off. I didn't care one way or another. I was becoming less and less fixated on my weight and the scale (I had no scale anymore, it was thrown away very early on), and more concerned with my personal well-being.

Strangely, ironically, maddeningly, I have maintained the same weight since my 3rd week of treatment. Give or take 5 pounds. That was 3 years ago. It really only makes me mad because I think of how many years I spent killing myself to lose just a few pounds, and here I am 3 years later. The same weight.

The moral of the story: Stop killing yourself. Stop dieting. Stop trying so hard.

I paid a lot of money for the skinny pixie to teach me how to eat properly from a nutritional standpoint. What it all boils down to is this:

There is no magic formula to eating. Eat what you want when you want it. Just be mindful. Obviously, eating an entire bag of Lays isn't going to do your body much good from a nutritional standpoint. But if you want some chips, eat the damn chips! Stop thinking so much.

The nuts and bolts of it is this: meals include at least 3 food groups, and snacks include at least 2 food groups. If you're hungry (really hungry, not fake hungry), then eat. This ensures that your body is getting enough food and nutrients, and by feeding your body when its hungry, you alleviate the urge to overeat. This is how I learned to eat, and this is how I still eat today. My snacks do not just consist of a pudding cup, for example. Instead, I'll have a pudding cup and some almonds.

Notice there is no talk of calories. Or diets. Or daggers in the ribcage.

There is, however, talk of food logs. This also doesn't include calorie counting, so don't be fooled. What you eat, when you eat it, and how you felt when you ate it is a surprisingly easy and very telling way to get a read on WHAT you're feeding. I know this all sounds very touchy-feely tree-huggerish, but I'm just keepin it real.

If you'd like my skinny pixie nutritionist's food log, I'm giving it away for free right here! No obligation. Well, one obligation.

Be kind to yourself.

That's all.

Oh. Just because you stuck through this whole post (as I climbed up and then stepped back down from the largest soapbox ever), I give you this. A tribute to the horror that was my 8th grade formal.


You just have to laugh at this one. Go ahead, I won't feel bad. I almost peed my pants when it surfaced on facebook. The horror.

And the SkirtSports Weiner is...

This giveaway was great fun. Not only because I loved reading your stories of tripping (there were a couple of these), diarrhea, upchucking, running parrots (?), and bloody appendages; but because I truly, honestly, wholeheartedly LOVE giving cool things away. I am "that" person who excitedly waits for everyone to open each individual gift at Christmas. Just so I can see the expression on a person's face when they receive something that they love. Or hate. Sometimes that's fulfilling as well. But mostly I love to give people things that they love.

And so, I give you a $25 gift certificate to SkirtSports.

Here are all of the entrants:


And the wiener is...


Beth from Avenue Z, who runs with cupcakes! Read this, it's funny.

I was training for my 1st marathon and running 20 miles for the first time in my life. It was my worst run ever. Hot. Slow. Alone. Hot. An old, *lame* man limped slowly past me. He was really old. I started singing the longest songs I knew trying to get through each mile: American Pie, Paradise by the Dashboard Lights.... One mile at a time.

Our team was having a big picnic at the end of this run. The parking lot was some distance away. I was stumbling past my car and thought, "Like hell am I going to jog all the way back here for the cupcakes." I stopped by the car to grab the big box of cupcakes I brought to the picnic.

So I'm stumbling. Sweating. Dehydrated. Barely putting one foot in front of the next. And I'm carrying this giant box of cupcakes.

"Look at that lady jogging with the big box," a friend said. "Oh my God. That's Beth!"

My mentor ran out to take the box. As they iced down my knees and rushed water to me, the cupcakes disappeared. The picnic was almost over because I was almost the last to come in. Thank goodness I didn't bring appetizers!

Mmmmm...cupcakes. I love cupcakes!

Congratulations, Beth (or @avenueZ as some know her). Just provide me your email address, and I'll get your prize over to you in a jiffy. Please do report back about your purchase. I'd love to know if you become a SkirtSports convert!

And to everyone who didn't win, sorry. I hate to disappoint almost as much as I love to give. There will be others. You'll win next time. Well, I can't promise that. But stay tuned, there is much love in the air here at JL. And with love comes presents.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Effort-Based Treadmill Training Speed

I don't know how many of you use Twitter, but if you don't you should. It's pretty cool. It's a great way to stay in touch with the rest of the universe, to connect with new people from around the globe, and to get nifty Effort-Based Treadmill Training Speed Charts (thanks, @kellyring)!

My Sista had mentioned to me over Christmas vacation that I needed to be mindful of the fact that the treadmill doesn't account for wind resistance. I basically blew her off. I do that a lot. However, now that I see some actual proof of this, and this chart is speaking my language (I speak "spreadsheet", the language of love), the concept of wind resistance is making sense to me.

What also makes sense to me is that if I try to run on the treadmill at only 5.6 with only a measly 1% grade, that's like running at a 10:32 pace. Now, I'm slow people, but I am likely to be able to handle 5.6 at a 1% grade for at least a few minutes anyway. So, I'm going to make this part of my training plan at least one workout per week.

______In other news_____

I wouldn't feel right about myself as a human being if I didn't mention the fact that I think it's totally awesome that DJ Steve Boyett personally commented on yesterday's musings about the PODRUNNER: Intervals Freeway to 10K Podcast. Even if it was so that he could tell me that I'm a complete dumb ass for not following instructions properly. What can I say...I'm willing to suck it up and admit that I'm an idiot from time to time.

Straight from the horses mouth (not that I'm calling you a horse, DJ Steve), the mixes are:

"house and progressive house (very little techno, by the way)!"

See, this proves that I am a newbie when it comes to running with anything other than The Rolling Stones, The Violent Femmes, The Prodigy, and the occasional trendy-bootie-shaker that somehow ended up on my Nano. I am a music moron. I admit it. In my non-running life, I listen to Regina Spektor and Imogen Heap and Fiona Apple, Etta James, Aretha Franklin...are you noticing a pattern? I like angsty female singers. Generally speaking, these songs don't include electronic drums. Forgive my ignorance.

I am actually glad that DJ Steve mentioned this to me, because it led me to start googling the difference between "techno" and "house" music, which led me to start listening to various clips, and much to my surprise, it really did all sound different. It also turned me on to some new music, which is extra cool in my universe.

Another thing that DJ Steve mentioned was this:

"(1) We urge people to listen to the very first P:I episode, "Intro to Intervals," that provides instructions on how to use the program and what to listen for. It's not exactly counterintuitive: the ascending tone signals acceleration, the descending tone signals deceleration;"

First of all: DUHHHHHHHHH!!!! I honestly, truly did not even notice the fact that there was an ascending AND a descending tone. Maybe there was too much sweat in my ears and I couldn't hear properly. Maybe I was breathing too hard and it distorted the sound of the tones. Maybe I was just enjoying the music so much that I got wrapped up and didn't even really hear the tones? Whatever the case may be, I am once again a moron, and when I do the workout next time, I will completely pay attention to the fact that there are two very different and distinct tones to imply whether I should be running slow or slower.

Lastly, he mentioned this:

"(2) We don't provide spoken instructions because we have a global audience, and feel it isn't write to play favorites in any particular language. Music seems to be universal enough that we decided to let it do our talking for us."

And, I am once again feeling like the village idiot. How completely ethnocentric and pompous of me to assume that the world revolves around the English language. Music is universal, and if the idiot who is listening to the tones would realize that they are ascending and descending, then this whole bit about telling said idiot to go faster or slower in English as well is a moot point. So, lets completely scratch that from all records.

I have a degree in Accounting. I swear I do. I am studying to be a CPA. Many people rely on me to give them concise, true, reliable information regarding very important things. I have many leather-bound books (that was a lie). WHY, you ask, is it so difficult for me to learn how to run intervals with the Podrunner Freeway to 10K Podcast? Because I'm impatient, that's why. Again, this patience problem rears its' ugly head.

I'm still working on that.

If I had been patient and taken the time to learn how the program works, none of this would have ever occurred. Although. I rather like the fact that all of this occurred.


Nevertheless, I wanted to personally thank DJ Steve Boyett for taking the time to explain to the village idiot how the Podrunner Freeway to 10K plan works. You will have no further problems from me, DJ Steve Boyett.

Oh, and from this day forward, I'm going to be calling this plan the P:I. Because DJ Steve does. Because I think its cool. Because I can now, since he commented my blog and all. Right DJ Steve?

p.s...My SkirtSports Giveaway is still open for anybody who is interested in telling me a funny running story! I plan to close comments tonight, so you better get on it!

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's completely snowing today.

I don't like snow.

On another note, my treadmill run last night was terrible.

Aren't I just a ball of sunshine today?

I was happy to finally be at the gym last night, since it took My Gazelle about 25 years to get ready, but then my run turned to absolute crap around the 3rd mile. I haven't uploaded it to Nike + yet, so I can't tell you specifically where the actual crash and burn took place, but it felt like around the 3rd mile. I was physically on the treadmill for 60 minutes, and most of that included running, but I didn't start my Nike + until I got to the first fast interval on the Freeway to 10K Podcast. Which leads me to the next topic...

It is very early in my trials of the PODRUNNER: Freeway to 10K Podcast, but of course I have already formed an opinion of it. Because I'm slightly opinionated. I try not to be, but its hard.

Despite my preconceived notion that I was going to hate this plan because the entire workout played techno music, I quite enjoyed it.

Yes, quite.

I found the music to be exciting and invigorating, and not at all seizure-inducing (as I expected it would be). Prior to trying it for the first time, all I could think about was that my listening to this podcast while working out was going to cause me to discover some new condition similar to photosensitive epilepsy, and I'd name it "technosensitive Elisabethilipsy", just so that I could have my 15 minutes of fame for flopping around on the treadmill in a techno-induced fit. Oh, my imagination.

Alas, I had not a single seizure. I guess I'm going to have to find another way to earn my 15 minutes.

The way that the Freeway to 10K program works is that each workout is a little longer than the next. There are 10 workouts (10 weeks), and you do each workout a few times a week prior to moving up to the next week's workout. The idea is that each week, you build a few more minutes to your time, thus adding more distance, and by the 10th week the goal is that you can run for 60 minutes straight. We'll see how that goes.

Each workout has a series of fast and slow intervals. Last night's workout included 5 of each. I was mildly confused, though, because I didn't listen to the instructions very carefully at the beginning, and I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to start with a slow or a fast interval after the warm-up. I began with a 5 minute fast interval, and then a 4 minute slow interval. By the time that I got to the second "fast" interval, I was questioning whether I was really supposed to be doing a slow interval instead because the music seemed slower than the last interval. I don't know.

I'm confused.


In any case, I just stuck with my plan, the slows maybe should have been fasts and vice versa, but I just went with it. My suggestion to PODRUNNER? Rather than just playing a little techo "boop boop boop" tone to notify you of a change in intervals, maybe try to be a little more clear. How about "boop boop boop FAST" and "boop boop boop SLOW"? I'd like that. Then I wouldn't have to think so much. I always like not thinking much.

I did some walk/run segments because, like I said, I lost my fire around the 3rd mile. I did make it to 4.2 miles (per my Nike +), and the treadmill said I was at 5.43 when I got off at 60 minutes. It was still horrendously slow, but I have to stop thinking that I'm going to just wake up and magically become Kate O'Neill.

It's just not going to happen people.

I know that building the base I need takes time, but patience has never been my forte. I am painfully inept when it comes to that virtue. I'm working on it. I'm hoping that the Freeway to 10K plan helps me to remain patient and build a sensible base, without trying to rush myself. I have plenty of time before my first "big" race, so there is no need to try to rush.

All in all, I think the PODRUNNER plan is a good one. I'm giving my JL Seal of Approval. If you want to try the PODRUNNER: Freeway to 10K plan yourself, you can get it here.

It's free. I like free.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Another Weekend...

I'm leaving for the gym in approximately 10 minutes (depending on how quickly My Gazelle can get his slow arse ready), and I'm looking forward to a nice run. I hate running on the treadmill, but I also want to do some core stuff today, so I'll suck it up and run on the treadmill.

Today I have decided to listen to the PODRUNNER: INTERVALS Freeway to 10K podcast. The idea is that it will help me build my base so that I can comfortably (wow, that is relative) run at least 7-8 miles within the next 3 months. That will make it much easier to run the The Boilermaker in July. I'll let everyone know later on how it went. My only concern is that the music is techno, and that type of music usually makes me feel like I'm about to have a seizure. That would just be bad to drop on the dreadmill (wow! I really did just type that on accident. Scary!) treadmill and have a seizure.

Typing dreadmill just made me simultaneously laugh and cry at the same time.

I also will be measuring and taking pictures today for the start of the Sexy Six Pack challenge. Sidebar: I'm really not looking forward to taking pictures of my flabby belly. However, the motivation which will come from taking pictures of my flabby belly will most likely accomplish more than anything else ever could.

I also wanted to mention that I am having so much fun reading everyone's posts about race stories for my SkirtSports Giveaway! I'm going to keep the post open for a little while longer just to see if anyone else wants to enter. That, and I also just love laughing at everyone's story.

Ok, off to the treadmill!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sexy Six Pack Challenge

I've never been commitment phobic. I am a "look after leaping" kind of gal. Thus, I was very easily convinced to participate in Run To Finish's Sexy Six Pack Challenge, which commences on Monday. Don't we all want six pack abs?

A slew of non-commitment-phobic blog hoppers who also desire six pack abs have decided that this is a lovely way to start off the new year. All participants had to chose their own 30-day plan, and come up with a way to be able to track and report their progress. I chose to use the Men's Health Belly Off 2009 plan (thank you for the suggestion, @zstruck), which has 3 options. I'm going to do the "Bodyweight II" option. Their actual plan is 8 weeks long, so I'll do the entire 8 weeks, but only 4 weeks will matter for the challenge. I'm basically 8 weeks away from having six pack abs, right?

Wait. I don't have to be a man in order to do this plan, right?

I will be posting my results every week by way of photos and measurements right here on the ole bloggie. I'm a little nervous about posting pictures of my (gasp!) stomach for all to oogle. My stomach is one of "those" parts of my body. I'd rather post pictures of my arse, to be honest. It's already firm. My stomach, on the other hand, is so not. I've been known to call this area of my body "my flabs" as opposed to "my abs". Which is why I'm doing this here challenge.

Which is why I'm not going to have nightmares about everyone seeing my less-than-perfect stomach.

If anyone is interested in joining the Sexy Six Pack Challenge, they can still do so right here. You should do it, six pack abs are cool man.

SkirtSports Giveaway: Enter NOW!

Alright kids.

If you've stuck by my craziness for the past few months (or gone back to read my earlier posts because you love me that much), you will know that I love SkirtSports.

When it comes to workout clothes, here are my priorities:

1) Comfort
2) Cuteness
2) Functionality
3) Durability
4) Cuteness
5) Did I mention cuteness?

I confess. I like cute workout clothes.

And. And...and I like it when my workout clothes match my running shoes.

Was that out loud?

Moving along.

I'm not sure how I even found out about SkirtSports, but it was a few years ago. I was mildly hesitant at first about what others would think of my running in a skirt. I didn't care enough to let it impede my purchase though. Let's face it. Cute is cute.

I recall buying my first black GymGirl. Actually, I bought one for me, and one for My Sista. When I told My Sista what I had done, she chuckled and said "you don't run in a skirt! She then told me that I was "such a girl", and blew me off. Months later, she very nonchalantly told me that she had tried (and was quite pleased with) her GymGirl.

She hasn't looked back, and neither have I. We love the things.

So, I don't really care if you run in skirts right now. I also don't care if it's freezing arse cold where you live, because SkirtSports has found a solution for that. And, I'm giving away a $25 gift certificate from SkirtSports RIGHT NOW.

You have no choice but to love SkirtSports at this point.

All you have to do to enter the contest is tell me your funniest running story.

Did you pee on yourself during a race? Did you trip and fall over Jacques who was running in front of you? Did you get smoked by a blonde 11 year old in pigtails at your last 5K (or does that only happen to me)?

I'll stop allowing entries whenever I feel like it. It all depends on how many of you lurkers enter the contest. I know you're there. Google Analytics tells me you are. Stop pretending. As soon as I have a descent number of entrants (I'm hoping for 50), I'll be drawing one winner using the nifty online random number generator.

Good luck!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

Ever had one of those days when you can't stop "the thoughts"?

One of those days where you wake up startled because you were just dreaming about how your black dog is actually a black rat, and your grayish/brownish dog is actually a grayish/brownish mouse, but you don't care. You pet them and kiss both of them on the nose anyway. You love them, even though they are scurrying around a box filled with potatoes.

Oh. You haven't?

Me neither.

I can't guarantee that there will be any specific 'theme' to this post. I don't promise a plot, or a direction, or even a satisfying ending.

What I'm trying to say is that my brain is full of thoughts today. I don't know if it was spurred by the rat and mouse dream, but I have been trapped by thoughts since I woke up.

For instance #1:
In the shower, I was "writing" an illustrated children's book in my head. I must admit that this is something that I've always wanted to do (writing a children's book), but I've never quite considered doing this (writing a children's book) whilst washing my hair and shaving my hairy legs. It was an interesting concept.

For instance #2:
I've spent a good portion of my day pondering a little tidbit that Junk Miles (wow...2 days in a row...good one) brought to my attention. Deborah and Dexter got married? I am upset about this whole concept. I don't watch much TV. Not only do I live in a house in which the TV worth watching is ruled by a sports junkie, but I also don't find a lot of enjoyment in TV programs of today. My idea of 'fun' TV is inclusive of all home improvement shows on TLC, and the Showtime trifecta. Dexter, Weeds, Californication. The end.

Considering that I don't watch much TV, it makes it much easier for me to maintain my insanely juvenile theory that the TV shows I watch are real. I know, I know. It's not real. But to me, it's real. Thus, Deborah marrying Dexter is just wrong. I don't approve, and I feel like the producers should have taken an audience poll before allowing the marriage to take place. Selfish? Yes, very.

For instance #3:
I spent a good portion of my morning today sitting in a room filled with people who were at the courthouse getting hitched. No, I wasn't getting hitched. I was picking up my new Notary Public commission. I couldn't figure out why my Notary process would be in the same room as the "lets get hitched" process. Who organized this mess? I couldn't figure out why I had to wait on a wooden bench with a bunch of people who were getting married at the courthouse. I just wanted to get to work. The process took entirely too long, all because of the people getting hitched.

For instance #4:
I wore heels today. I have worn (wore?) heels 3 times this week. I haven't wore (worn?) heels 3 times in one week for approximately 2 years. Today, on the day when I wore heels for the third time this week, I also had to walk 3 blocks from my car to the courthouse, then from the courthouse to the administration building (to the wedding chapel). Today, I didn't bring a pair of back-up flats as I normally would so proactively do. Today, I have two blisters. One on each one of my baby toes. It's OK though, they compliment the huge soup-can-induced bruise on the top of my foot just fine.

For instance #5:
Why do people eat beef jerky?

For instance #6:
I want to live here. It's an Earthship. You can put it anywhere. The couple who used to run the yoga studio where I took an African Dance class (which is a story in itself) closed down their studio last month due to economic conditions. Apparently, nobody was going to yoga or getting massages. I still think that it was a location problem, but it doesn't matter. They didn't consult me before they set up shop. But they should have. Anyway, they closed the studio and decided to move to New Mexico to learn how to build Earthships. It all seemed like a very Earthy, hippy sort of thing to do. Months later, I remain jealous that I am mentally unable to be so "go with the flow-y". I often want to sell all of my worldly possessions and move far away. I'm just a chicken.

For instance #7:
Why can't I blog (or some other completely enjoyable and equally-satisfying thing) for a living?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tough Decisions

I'm going to preface this post by just letting you know that I'm sulking right now. You can stop reading if you're not in the mood to watch me sulk.

Today, I'm remembering the note that my orchestra teacher wrote for me, right next to our group photo in my senior year book.

"To one of the best students that I've ever been blessed to teach. You are as tenacious as a bulldog. Don't ever lose that quality, it will take you where you want to go in life."

I remember it by heart because it meant something to me. I also remember it by heart because I read it aloud to myself at least 348,409 times. Then I read it to myself, silently, in my head, another 28,012 times. It meant something because she recognized a fight in me that I had never even seen in myself.

This has also come to light a few times through votes of confidence from my Momma. When I am really draggin' ass and feeling like marine snow (thank you, Junk Miles), I always know that I can call Momma, and she'll pick me back up. I've realized over the years that these conversations always include 3 key phrases: "you are not a quitter!", "you have the world by the ass!" (yes, these are Momma's words), and "everything's gonna be just fine".

Who knew that those 3 mantras could pick me back up and change my entire world around? She might drag me back down a week later because I sent her birthday card out a day late, but she is very effective at making a sad Jogger laugh again when necessary.

Tonight, I'm not calling my Momma.

Tonight, I'm channeling Momma's words from 400 miles away, in lieu of an actual conversation. Because I'm blogging. And I am tenacious. As a bulldog.

Tonight, I'm taking responsibility for the fact that I have not had my head in the game in regards to appropriating the study time necessary to sit for (and pass) my CPA exam.

I've sat for 2 sections.

I've failed 2 sections.

After the 2nd "you fail, you big fat loser" notice that I received, I took a study hiatus. I baked. I blogged. I organized things and cleaned. I went out often and drank too much alcohol. Basically, for 2 months, I pretended to be a person who had not already signed up for 2 more CPA exam sections. A person who had not already paid $500 for said exam sections. Instead of taking the bull by the horns (another Momma Jogger-ism), I retreated. Sabotaged. Wussed out!

Tonight, faced with the harsh reality that section #3 (Regulation), was scheduled for January 24th, I thought about propelling myself to the frozen Earth via my office window. Instead, I decided to cancel said exam (paying another $35 to cancel, naturally), and I have decided that I will take it when I am better prepared. Many months from now. Many, many.

This decision was made because I have yet another section of the exam scheduled for February 28th. The thought of being unprepared for the test on 1/24, and also not having enough time to study for the 2/28 exam was too much for me to cope with. I nixed the 1/24 exam so that I would have enough time to study and pass the 2/28 exam. I need to pass one of these things on the first try, no?

Although my pocketbook is significantly damaged at this point (fail 2 + cancel 1 = ohhh...$800), I feel relieved to know that I will now have 5 weeks to study for and pass the Business section. I just need to pass one. It will give me the confidence I need to keep moving.

Sort of like my reaffirmed commitment to races and race training. That, too, requires a lot of time and devotion.

Forward momentum.



Happy Boy

IMG_0759 edit
Originally uploaded by elisabeth0326
I am totally lagging on my blog posts because of scheduling issues (CPA exam is on 1/24, so I'm in cram mode). However, I just wanted to share this little bit of Nikko heaven with you.

Can dogs smile?

Sunday, January 11, 2009


The only way that I was going to complete this run, I decided, was if I had no other option but to complete this run. I was stuck on this plateau (even on my weekend "long") of not being able to run any farther than 3.5 miles. I knew that just wasn't going to cut it.

So, last night, in the midst of 2 Stella's, a house salad (with Ranch dressing, of course), and some french onion soup at The Greene Turtle with My Gazelle, I had the brilliant idea that he would drop me off somewhere far from home, leaving me no other option BUT to run home.

In the 30 degree weather.

Snotting all over my Under Armour gloves and the Nike cold gear that My Sista gave me for Christmas.

The plan was that My Gazelle would drive me to the lake (a neighborhood running/walking spot with a paved path around the lake). He would basically leave me there, stranded, in the wilderness, and I would have to fend for myself. How COULD he?!

I would then loop the lake twice (1 mile once around), and run home (another 2 miles), for a total of about 4 miles.

That was the plan, but it actually went down like this...

32 steps into the first loop, I had to pee.

First loop, backside of the lake, I paused my Nike + so I could stop at the bathroom.

The door was locked.

I cried.

My tears froze on my cheeks and then my cheeks cracked and I fell violently to the ground convulsing from the cold and the pain.

Ok. Not really.

I decided to suck it up and just try to forget about the fact that I had to pee. Not sure how I managed to do that, but it worked. I guess I was more concentrated on running than peeing.

About 3/4 through my 2nd loop, I decided to do a THIRD loop because I was feeling totally girl power by that point. I just kept telling myself that if running was easy, then everyone would be doing it. Nothing worth having is ever easy.

So, I did my 3rd loop and then ran home. At that point, I was just thinking about making it to the "landmarks" along the way.

Ok...Self...RUN to the stoplight by the mall.

Self...just RUN to Petco...

Self...just RUN REALLY FAST past that super creepola homeless guy that is shuffling across the street towards you, wearing a DHL envelope on his head!

See, there are advantages to living and running in the city. Creepy people make me run fast.

The final stretch home was difficult (hence the huge "crash and burn" slope you saw earlier on my workout chart). I never realized that the street that I live on is almost completely an uphill slope (from the direction I was running). Although not a huge grade, it was enough to be a struggle for me after already doing 4 miles. The last stretch did include a few walk/run stints, but I made it. Good lordy bigordy, I made it.

I did not curl up in a ball and cry on the side of Route 1. My Gazelle did not have to send out a search party for me.

And I basically feel like Wonder Woman.


Friday, January 9, 2009


I had a dream last night that I was running with someone else.

I know this was a dream was a dream.

However, had I not been completely, entirely sure that this occurred during the REM phase, I would've still know that it did not happen while I was awake, coherent, and had my wits about me. Because I don't run with people. If I'm running on a treadmill at the gym and someone steps on the treadmill next to me, I cringe. I start to panic. My breathing gets all sillyfied. I lose all focus. I have to talk myself into staying ON the treadmill.

At some point in my life, I came under the impression that when good runners run, they don't struggle. They don't sweat. They don't make grunting noises as their lungs beg for air. They just calmly, quietly, beautifully run their 20 mile run.

Those are the people who can run next to each other on the treadmill. Those quiet, beautiful, calm runner types.

That is so not me. I am a hot mess when I run. That time when My Gazelle so lovingly offered to run a race beside me was pure horror to me. The thought of struggling, grunting, and snotting all over myself with him beautifully running right next to me was too much for my weak psyche to process. Thank Baby Jesus that he changed his mind in the first 1/4 mile, because I was really considering faking an injury. We've only been together for 2 years, and I didn't think that any 2 year young relationship should have to cope with turmoil of the grunting, snotting sort.

All of that said, much like my irrational fear of Running Clubs ("Runningclubophobia?"), I suffer a similar fear of Running Partners ("Runningpartnerophobia?"). I immediately fall to the floor and begin to convulse at the mere thought of adopting a running partner. So many scary things to consider. Mostly the fact that I don't think anyone on the face of the universe runs as slow as I do or struggles as much as I do to just get in a measly 3 miles.

And then, I started this blog. And then, I started reading other people's blogs. And then, I started reading about people who run with other people, and it seemed enjoyable. Pleasing even. Fulfilling.

And then, My Sista (who might have only dropped her phone in the toilet once, but does have a habit of soggifying her phone in other creative ways) gave me the January issue of Runners World. And then, I read this article. And then, I felt all warm and squishy on the inside. And then, I fell asleep and had a dream about running with another human (rather than my standard canine) next to me.

I'm actually considering hunting down one of these "Running Partner" things now. I feel all girl power after reading the article about Sara and Claire.

Have any of you successfully made the transition from snorting, grunting, hot mess, solo running to beautiful, graceful, chit-chatty, partner running? If so, do speak up. Even if you're just lurking. Be anonymous...make a secret, anonymous comment. I promise I won't make you come back here...I just need help wrapping my brain around this concept that I'm toying with.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Who, Me...Orthotics? No Way.

So, at some point in my life (err...probably right now), I will have to come to terms with the fact that this


is not the same thing as this


I saw Liz this afternoon. We did some stuff. Then we did some more stuff. Then she yanked my foot around a little bit. Then she did some more stuff.

Then she told me that I need orthotics.



Conjuring up weird visions of nerdy kids with retainers and glasses? Old ladies hobbling across the street with canes? Pee-Wee Herman? too.

I'm not entirely comfortable with this concept. However, my desire need to jog is outweighing my irrational fear of orthotics. That desire need is even outweighing the $200 price tag for the orthotics.

I'm simultaneously mortified and happy. Mortified at the idea of needing orthotics, and happy with the idea of getting orthotics. Because they'll feel good. Because they'll help me run better. She asked me if I needed to think about it. I'm not that kind of girl. I act on a moments notice. I'm spontaneous. I'm spunky. I'm impulsive. I go back at 4:30 today to do a cast of my feet.

At this juncture, I really can't decide if I'm more irritated about needing orthotics, or that I didn't bring my camera to work, so now I can't blog this experience!


New Leases...

I'm happy to report two new leases in my life.

1) My rental condo. I absolutely had my panties in a bunch over the fact that the current tenant in my rental condo was moving out on January 15. There was no backup plan. Nobody moving in. Nobody to pay my mortgage for me. No corporate body to wheel their little rolly suitcase into my condo and set up shop for a few months.

This had me chewing my fingernails and crying helplessly at night in the dark. I like not paying my mortgage. I like being able to put said mortgage money towards the $4,928,375,483 in collective credit card debt that My Gazelle and I have. I like the idea that I might soon make a significant enough dent in said debt within the next year that a fairly sensible mortgage agent might actually lend us enough fundage so that we can have a real house. With a real yard. And a real driveway. And our own entrance. What a treat!

So, after being on Craig's List for...oh...5,986 years, someone finally emailed me to see the condo. Since I rent the condo out fully furnished for short-term corporate leases, its pretty much a lock that as soon as the person looks at the condo, they'll rent it out. It's fully furnished, fully renovated, and beautiful. Sometimes I wish that we could somehow magically transform My Gazelle's condo into my condo, and live in my condo...but have it geographically located where My Gazelle's condo is.

So...this is why I feel that way...


Needless to say, I was pretty confident that the guy would rent it as soon as he took a look. When our first appointment fell through (his fault), I got nervous. We rescheduled, but I wasn't putting much stock in our rescheduled appointment. Just as I was ready to curl up in a ball and start sucking my thumb, I received this email:

"Hello Jogger (ok...he didn't call me this, but I like it better),

I saw your place on craiglist last week coming available in mid-
January. I'm looking to do another short term lease and wanted to
check if you've found a renter yet. Let me know if the unit is still

Your Awesome First Tenant"


I cannot explain how happy I was to hear from Awesome First Tenant. I wrote his new 4-month lease yesterday, and he moves in exactly 4 days after the current tenant moves out. He's also asked me for the option to renew for another 3 months. This, my friends, is a HUGE relief. HUGE.

2) Monday also brought me a new lease. Corny as it might be, Monday was the day when I drafted a new lease on my jogging (running?) life. As I ran, in the dark, bundled up in the 30 degree weather, dragging a terrified 30lb dog behind me, I could not stop thinking about how much joy I was feeling. I was happy to be outside, happy to be sweating, happy to be relatively pain-free, happy to be exercising with my boy, despite the fact that he was acting more like a bowling ball shackled to my waist than a running buddy on this particular trip.

I came home from my jog feeling rejuvenated, happy, and ready to tackle my next jaunt. I truly could have gone farther than the 3 miles I did, if it weren't for the fact that Psykko was completely wiggin out at that point, and I didn't want to torture him any more. I felt all of this, despite the fact that it took me 36 minutes to travel 3 miles.

I figured this wasn't a bad pace, all things considered. Next time you run, strap a 30 pound dead weight to your waist. Then let it stop to sniff things occasionally, and allow it to pee on a few hydrants along the way. Let me know how it goes.

Happy jogging!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Nikko, the Bunny Maimer

So, I actually had to look up "Maimer", just to ensure that I wasn't making up a word. Although I often make up my own words, this is not one of those times, surprisingly. "Maimer" is in fact a word, and I think I may have even used it properly. Miraculous.

Back to our show...

Due to the fact that my little Nikko is a rescued pup, there is no clear-cut explanation of what breed he is. What I know about Nikko is as follows:

1) He doesn't really like strangers, especially men.

2) He sheds little dog hair tumbleweeds all over my hard-wood floor day and night. As if it is his job. As if my sole purpose in life is to vacuum up his dog hair tumbleweeds. As if I have nothing better to do all day than vacuum dog hair tumbleweeds from behind the TV. As if I totally love picking dog hair off of my socks before putting on my shoes, lest I have dog hair tumbleweeds inside of my shoes. I'm not bitter or anything.

3) He's incredibly obedient. Well, unless faced with a strange man, or a small animal that he thinks that he might have a chance of catching and maiming. There's that word again! I might say it again too. Wait for it.

My Gazelle, whom I love for so many various reasons, thinks that point #3 is one of the coolest things about Nikko. When he takes Nikko outside and they encounter the one rogue bunny that happens to hang out in our citified condo development, he runs with Nikko on the leash so that they can try to catch the poor little helpless rogue bunny.

Poor bunny.

In a previous post, I mentioned that we brought Nikko home a little stuffed bunny that happened to look just like the poor rogue bunny that he sometimes chases outside. Well, Nikko took one look at the poor little rogue bunny impostor, and immediately wanted to cause bodily injury to it. He wanted to pull every last ounce of stuffing from the helpless little bunny...and the squeaker too. The cute little squeaker was not even safe.

Poor bunny.

He immediately dragged rogue bunny impostor to his lair. He was so proud of himself. See the little doggy smile?

Disclaimer: Please ignore the hole in the sofa cover. This is the hole that my crazy African Grey Parrot ate.'s the dog sofa. I'm not concerned.

Then he kindly warned his sister to stay the helicopter away from his bunny.

"Please stay away from my bunny?"

He was really enjoying the poor stuffed bunny.

Then Nikko proceeded to jump off of the holey dog sofa, bunny in mouth, and began his characteristic psychotic zooming back and forth, back and forth, (and back and forth) past Maya. And might I say, Maya was pissed. Can I say pissed without offending? Wait. This is my blog. So anyway, Maya was PISSED! She just studied him.

Disclaimer: Please ignore the random table in the middle of my living room. I was wrapping Christmas gifts, and it would have been way too much work to see the TV from the dining room table. I'm lazy like that.

Disclaimer #2: Ignore the random leg residing behind the table leg. It happens.

Maya just sat and watched...studied him as he jumped off the holey sofa, zoomed into the dining room...

And zoomed back over to jump back onto the holey sofa.

p.s...aren't My Gazelle's shoes so cool? I wish they made them for girls.

Soon, the inevitable happened.

Rogue stuffed bunny FELL out of Psykko's mouth.

And then, the standoff ensued.

This went on for about...oh...42 seconds. Then Psykko promptly jumped off the holey sofa and retrieved his prize.

And he was victorious, as usual. He's sort of the alpha dog around here.

And Maya just sat there, watching...very intently.

Plotting. I just know she's plotting. Because girls are smarter than boys. She'll get him someday.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I have never been one to make "New Years Resolutions". In my opinion, New Years Resolutions are sort of like diets. They just don't work. Long-term lifestyle changes such as diets (and the various things that people "resolve" to do at the beginning of a new year), in most cases, require a full on lifestyle overhaul.

Its easy to say you're going to do something. The hard part is following through.

Oh, don't I know about lacking the ability to follow through. If there were a "Queen of Pissy Follow Through-Ville", that would be me. See me...raising my hand high in the air? I thought you probably could.

I'm one of those ambitious yet lazy people. I'm ambitious up until the point when I realize that something is going to be more of a challenge than I originally anticipated. If I find that its something that I am already good at and can excel at without fear of failure, I will totally run with it. I'll invest every ounce of myself into it. But if I'm going to fail, I run away. Retreat, retreat! I hate failure. Oh, and did I mention that I HATE FAILURE? The fear of failure causes me to procrastinate, and be lazy, and ultimately give up on those things which I feel are going to beat me down.

And so.

Welcome to 2009, Queen of Pissy Follow Through-Ville. Now that you are quickly approaching middle-age, it is time for you to grow up and be a big girl. No more procrastinating and being lazy for fear of failure. Take the bull by its' horns (as Momma Jogger used to always tell Little Girl Jogger). Run with the ball. Don't be a freaking candy ass. Just do it.

(insert other similar cliches here)

2009 is the year that I will be a big girl.

2009 is the year that I will set goals (not make resolutions).

2009 is MY year.

I feel so inspired.

2009 Goals:

1) Finish the Boilermaker with a smile, excited to run it again. This might be a stretch, but I'll keep it in mind.

2) Monthly run schedule as follows:
1st Quarter*: At least 60 miles
2nd Quarter*: At least 80 miles
3rd Quarter*: At least 75 miles
4th Quarter*: At least 60 miles
Total Goal Miles for 2009: 825 (Minimum)
***Ignore the fact that I'm talking like an accountant please...some things cannot be changed.

I would love to run more than 825 miles in 2009, but I'm setting a realistic goal so that I don't kill myself and get injured. Which leads me to #3...

3) Continue working towards being injury free (leg/knee/calf) by improving running form and seeing PT and/or running coach.

4) Run a 5K in under 30:00.

5) Stretch at least once per day (run or no run).

6) Drink at least 64 oz of water per day.

7) Pass my CPA tests and get licensed. This is not health/fitness/running related, but nonetheless very important in my life, and very intertwined with my running schedule. Studying requires about 40 hours per week...which is essentially a second full-time job. In addition to running. In addition to housework. In addition to trying to have a life. It is very arduous. But I will conquer these blasted tests.

8) Belly laugh at least once a day.

9) Visit my NY family more often.

10) Be kind to myself.

There you have it. This is what my 2009 will look like in a nutshell. At no point did I type "Be a total candy ass and punk out of your goals", so if any of you see me doing that, please pipe up.

If nobody else does, at least I know My Sista will. She's good at putting things into perspective for me.