Monday, April 29, 2013

My Post Run "Academy Award Thank You Speech"

Well as most of you have figured out I ran the Nike Women's Half Marathon yesterday in Washington DC. I definitely have some commentary on the race itself (and a lot of it is "not pretty") but today I am still in my Happy Happy Joy Joy mood about my performance yesterday so I am going to continue to roll with that and actually type out the blog I was "crafting" in my head yesterday.

I ran a PR (Personal Record) yesterday and not by a little... by a fairly sizable cut in time so I am super stoked about that! For those of you who are in your 20s or are natural runners I still probably don't run as fast as you but given my abilities I am totally psyched about my time!

So I am a dork but as I was left with some of my thoughts yesterday relaxing I thought of some of these things so I thought I would write a blog about it. As I was thinking many of these thoughts they reminded me of the Academy Awards Speeches so that's what it's become for me :) Yes I am a dork I know! But you also have to understand that as I was thinking it yesterday I was pretty exhausted (definitely didn't get enough sleep the night before and then I ran all out for the race) so my mind was working in funny ways... well funnier ways than usual I suppose!

Thank you to my dear friend Tonya who made the trek from Houston to the East Coast to run this race with me. Tonya not only ran this half marathon but she also did the Go Ruck Challenge in the middle of the night Saturday morning (If you don't know what it is Google it!) so in my mind she was the rock star of the weekend! I so admire her tenacity!

Thank you to the best race course support on the planet - Ken! (Of course it just so happens that he's been off the planet too!) Ken was a total trooper and willing to meet us on the race course anywhere we wanted to grab gear from us. He kindly went to mile 2 to wait for me to dump my long sleeve shirt and didn't bat an eye when I came through in a less than cheery mood at the time. He just said something along the lines of "I love you honey" which was definitely what I needed at the time! He happily hung with us over the weekend pre-race and happily waited with us post-race at the crazy Finish Line debacle.

Thank you to all "my mids" who texted me to wish me Good Luck or who texted after to find out how the race was. I know you all have lots of fun to cram into your weekends so I was touched that you thought of me!

Thanks to my friend Cary for a much needed laugh in the middle of the course. I was starting to drag a little and then one of your songs came on and hearing it made me think of you and how you would just shake your head at me and tell me I was an idiot for running 13 miles on a Sunday morning.. I could totally picture it perfectly so that made me chuckle and helped me keep moving!

Thank you to all the volunteers on the race course who handed our water, had their band playing or handed us food at the end of the race. Without volunteers these races just can't happen and we appreciate the volunteers tremendously.

Thank you Dan (and your whole band) for several of yoru great songs which were on my Playlist. They always keep me upbeat and when I was pretty tired and "Open Up Your Eyes" came on it made me stop thinking about the race (and my tiredness) and think for a bit about the fact that we get to see you guys perform in Atlantic City in less than a week which took my mind off the race for a few which was much needed!

Thank you to all the law enforcement and the many Bomb Dogs we saw out there. While we were not running in fear we did appreciate the visual reminder that we are being looked after.

Thank you Nike for having the class to hold a minute of silence for Boston - Boston was certainly in all of our hearts and minds and it was nice to have a moment together to honor Boston.

Thank you to our wonderful dog Guinness who helps motivate me to go run even when I don't want to. Without this I certainly couldn't have PR'd!

Thank you to the Craft Beer Companies, the Cheese Makers, Great Wineries and the Cupcakeries (Especially Crumbs because I just can't resist you!) for making such deliciousness that I just have no choice but to run because I love to partake in your deliciousness so often!

Thank you to Mel for getting me sucked into the Half Marathon insanity.... a long long time ago in that crazy place known as Russia :)

Thank you Glee for your awesomely fun music! With 3 miles to go I was cratering and then the song "3" came on - the timing was perfect! (Thank you Jenna Ushkowitz!) I was considering walking but while singing this song I got some pep in my step! The last quarter mile I was jamming to Darren Criss's "Last Friday Night" which absolutely helped propel me through the finish. (In case folks haven't figured it out - the only way I can get through 13 miles is with good music!)

Thank you to all the spectators out on the course with funny signs! This helps us take our mind off the run and it helps me get through the 13 miles in a big way! I may have to post a blog of just funny run signs later.... You may think your sign is not a big deal but I can tell you it's appreciated!

And last but not least thank you to my Mom for instilling in me that physical activity is a MUST! There was no sitting around on our butts playing video games, watching TV etc. in our house! We were told to get outside and do something and we did! It's something important that I have carried through my whole life. Thank you Mom!!

How's this blog for total dorkiness? :) Perhaps I still need more sleep....

Friday, April 26, 2013

Air Travel by Weight....

Many of you who have read my blog in the past have no doubt read one of my issues with airlines is that frequently I end up having to "share" my seat with a large person who is stuffed into the seat next to me. (In case you haven't read my comments before let me boil it down to the simple point - I don't like being uncomfortable in my seat which I paid for because they don't fit in their seat.)

Samoa Air is doing something that is a first for airlines... They are charging passengers by the pound for their weight as an individual and luggage. Frankly I just think this makes sense. Let's face it - what it costs for an airplane to fly is based on weight so why shouldn't people who are larger or have more luggage be expected to pay for more of the cost. (If you go to a restaurant and it takes 3 meals to fill you up you pay more money than the person who just orders one meal... same concept in my opinion.) I don't find this discriminatory I find this to be good business and in the end I find it more fair to everyone. Of course I find it more fair because I believe that equal means equal which also means everyone pays their equal share.

I would like to see all airlines adopt this policy. Weigh the passengers, weigh their luggage and base the ticket price on that. Along those lines - no more free lap children. They may not weigh much but it's not free to fly them. They have weight to them which means that they require fuel... if you're going to charge more for people who weigh more to make all things equal you must also charge for these small children as well. 

I don't doubt I end up highly unpopular for these thoughts but I challenge you that if you really think of it from a business and equality perspective... perhaps you might see it in a different light....

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Why I Run...

When I ran the Nike Women's Half Marathon for the first time in San Francisco (the original location) in October of 2006 there was someone at the expo who was handing out race signs that included the logo and the words "Why I Run." They had markers out so you could fill in your sign with what your personal reasons were/are. I thought this was really cool and not only got one for the race but took it home and continued to add to it. I hung it in our closet so I could see it frequently and use it for motivation. When we moved sadly I decided that the poster was pretty worn (given that it was just poster board and not framed it's not surprising that it was pretty worn) so I didn't bring it with us to Annapolis but it doesn't mean that I don't think about the reasons why I run. I thought I'd share with you Why I Run....

Some of my reasons sound "cheeky" or flippant and I suppose you could think in some ways they are but even those have some seriousness to them. Other reasons are certainly obviously serious. Here goes...

Why I Run...
I run for cheese, chocolate, beer, wine, mexican food, pizza and all the other wonderful tasty things that I love to eat and drink that are not necessarily the most healthy things in the world. (Let's face it while it sounds flippant it's true! I enjoy my food lifestyle and the only way I can continue to enjoy it is to work out and running is part of it.) I run to clear my head on days that I need to just get lost in the movement and I run to get my mind thinking about complexities I am struggling with an answer to. (Yes I know these 2 things are very counter but both can be true depending on the day.) I have run for many a cause to bring awareness or fundraising to it and in doing so I often run for those who can't run for themselves. I run for Guinness! (Yes the beer but even more importantly for my darling pooch who so loves to run.) I run to travel with my friends to see new places. (You may not realize it but running is a great way to see a city. And given that so many of my friends live in different places a half marathon is a great excuse for us to converge somewhere new together!) I run for my health. (Way too many people don't take care of themselves and have so many issues because of it. I certainly do not want to be one of those people. I like to LIVE my life and the best way to enjoy living life is if you are healthy! No I am not a total health nut but I do the best I can from time to time.) I Run... Because I Can! :)

I am sure there are a whole lot of other reasons I run too but these are what I've come up with for now. Do you run? If so - why do YOU run?

Finishing San Francisco Nike Half 2006

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Guinness Loves Sushi

Come on now - you all knew that Guinness is all sorts of spoiled so this next part shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to you....

A couple weeks ago we went out for a really fantastic sushi dinner with a friend of ours and while it was fantastic we unfortunately ordered too much. None of us were willing to do "sushi leftovers" but since it was just the fish (no rice etc.) we figured as long as we gave it to him pretty quickly that we'd see if Guinness might enjoy it.... and oh boy did he!!!

Here's some video of him chowing down!

And he most definitely licked the "plate" clean when he was done!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Is It Relevant?

Ok - I've tried to step back and not get upset at some of the things that are being bantered about in regards to the terrible tragedy in Boston but try as I might I simply can't. Being silent to me is condoning and I don't believe in enabling such terrible behavior without at least intellectually challenging folks to think about what they are saying instead of just espousing hateful rhetoric.

Let me start with just a simple question.... Is It Relevant?

Is it relevant that the left side of politics did this? Or that the right side of politics did that? What the hell does either side have to do with this really other than that we want a scapegoat to blame for this senseless tragedy and since we don't have one some people decide they need to create one. I'd say it's not relevant. Politicians are politicians on both sides of the coin. Both sides do good and both sides have their less than stellar moments but I would say that's not relevant to what happened yesterday in Boston.

Is it relevant that people lost their lives yesterday? Or that people were injured? YES YES YES! When we turn to nastiness within our country we dishonor these people. I'd be willing to be these people want justice for what happened but justice is about the INDIVIDUALS who planned and execute this attack not about who supports which political party.

Is it relevant to make a comment about how "a Godless person" must be behind this attack? Last time I checked the individuals who flew the planes into the Twin Towers were NOT Godless... they simply didn't believe in the God that most Americans (who are believers) choose to believe in. That does not make them Godless. Don't be hateful to an entire group of people with statements like this. And frankly at the end of the day it's not relevant wether they believe in God or not...

What is relevant is that there are good people and there are bad people in this world. There are good and bad within every political party, race, religion/non-religion, country etc. Generalizing only creates more hate. Creating more hate only lets terrorism win... Why would anyone want to let terrorism win?

Is it relevant that we bond together and honor the fallen, support the wounded and seek to stop senseless acts like this? Again I would say YES! YES YES! How do we do that? Well I personally feel it begins with us becoming UNITED once again instead of so polarized against each other. That's the grand scale but we can each individually start somewhere small...

Are you in the Boston area? There are many stories of people going from the finish line straight to the hospital to donate blood. (Made me tear up literally when I first heard this story.) There are many many stories of people in the Boston area offering shelter to the runners who had no where to say... or offering them drinks/food... or offering them a shoulder to cry on because let's face it didn't we all in some way need one of those yesterday after this horrific event even if we weren't physically in Boston? So follow suit and carry on good deeds in the same fashion as those folks. Of course there's always going to be an option to donate to the wounded and the survivors of the fallen - consider doing that?

As silly as it sounds I do believe in the idea that small acts of solidarity speak volumes and tell the world "We will not be beaten down. We will stand together and support one another! This evil will not be tolerated." Along those lines there is a major movement for folks to wear race apparel today - pull out a race shirt and do that! (Think this kind of thing doesn't make a difference? Think again! Look at how "Go Red for Women's Heart Disease" has become a major movement. And really how many of us see the color pink and don't think about breast cancer awareness?!) The same movement is encouraging people to get out there and run (or walk) and is intended to both honor the victims as well as serve as a display of unity and solidarity in the running community. Think you're not a runner? Have you ever run even 1 mile? Then you ARE a runner! (I mean that truly! You don't have to be a marathoner to be a runner. Do you think these small acts of solidarity are relevant? I sure do!

Band together.... Run together... 
Guinness and I will be heading out to run later this afternoon. I know my heart with be heavy with thoughts of Boston but I also know that running will be cathartic in many ways too. I suspect that every person I pass running will increase my hope in our world becoming more united in support of all who are touched by this tragedy. To me.... that's relevant... 

Run on.....

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Coming Soon!

How many of you have had troubles with sharing pictures with your friends and family after a big event? I know I certainly have. I've used a wide variety of ways but they all have issues...

  • Facebook - can't easily download all the pictures at once and you can't easily group your pictures with pictures from other people at the same event
  • DropBox - Not the easiest to use interface
  • KodakGallery, Snapfish etc. etc. etc - Again can't easily download all the pictures at once and can't group pictures
I suppose I could continue to go on and on about the issues I have had with various mediums for this but I won't... instead I'll tell you about how I am excited about something that is coming soon....

Event Stacks!

The idea is you and all of your friends and family can upload, store and share all your photos from an event in one convenient place. It is going to revolutionize how we share pictures and I can't wait for it!

I will admit the folks who are starting this are my friends but I also have to tell you that when they told me about this idea I literally started bouncing up and down because I knew what a great idea this is! I immediately started peppering them with questions about when it would be available because to be honest I needed this years ago! I so wish I would have had this to use for our wedding, Ken's launches, The Marine Corps Balls we've attended, Girls Wine Trips, Group Vacations and so many more things! 

Event Stacks is not up and running yet but it's in work. You can help get it going faster by going online to and registering today!

As their slogan says
                 "Live It. Stack It. Share It." 
Please share this with all your friends and family! 

I absolutely can't wait to start sharing my pictures this way!!! Check it out!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Latest Workout & Running Playlist

I definitely have to switch out my running playlists from time to time... I haven't completed the newest one but here's what I've got so far... It's a bit of a mixture that's for sure...

  • "Toxic" --  Britney Spears
  • "Down" - 311
  • "Lose Control" - Missy Elliott featuring Ciara
  • "Pepper"  - Butthole Surfers
  • "Hey Ya!" - OutKast
  • "Where It's At" - Beck
  • "Boyfriend" - Justin Bieber
  • "Teach Me How to Dougie" - Cali Swag District
  • "Thrift Shop" - Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis
  • "Daylight" - Maroon 5
  • "Loser Like Me" - Glee Cast
  • "Me Against the Music" - Glee Cast
  • "Oops!... I Did it Again" - Glee Cast
  • "Last Friday Night" - Glee Cast
  • "Goodies" - Ciara
  • "Mike Rocks" - The Cool Kids
  • "Sideways" - Matt Caplan
  • "Amsterdam" - Cary Shields
  • "Dirty Dancing" - NKOTB
  • "When I Grow Up" - Pussycat Dolls
  • "Hot in Herre" - Nelly
  • "Ladylike" - Storm Large
  • "Open Up Your Eyes" - Tonic
  • "3" - Glee Cast Version
I am looking to add some more songs... What do you think I should add? Remember this is for Working Out & Running. Also worth noting I hate country so please no country suggestions :) Other than that my tastes are pretty eclectic and I love suggestions from other so let me know what you think!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Fur is Flying!!

Well Guinness never had terribly long hair until we moved to a colder climate and now he's gotten all sorts of furry and fluffy over the winter. (Now that spring has sprung he will be getting a haircut this week though!) We've been chuckling over how different and adorable he looks. Last weekend while driving his fur was all sorts of flying about with the windows rolled down...