Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Simple Pleasures.

I was tagged by Kathleen to make a list of the 10 simple pleasures I find in life. I didn't include my family or friends because hey, those aren't simple pleasures, those are the great big amazing pleasures that I am thankful for everyday! Hip hip hooray.

In no particular order:

1. Warm days spent lounging with a block of cheese and a bottle of wine.
2. Ridiculous dog costumes.
3. Sleeping outside (or at the very least, with the window open).
4. Dutch ovens. Gas is an art, use it wisely.
5. Beaches, water, vacations, etc…but really, Galveston will suffice when absolutely necessary.
6. Snail mail!
7. The smell of freshly cut grass, freshly copied paper, fireplaces (you know, that smell of winter?) and laundry detergent. And frankly, I liked the artificial smell of port-a-potties until I realized that that smell I liked was, in fact, the artificial smell of port-a-potties. And that's just gross.
8. Really terrible TV.
9. Saturday morning breakfast after a long run. Really, just going out to breakfast in general.
10. Singing along to the radio...and not knowing the words. Bennie and the Jets ring a bell? I'm deaf. It's not my fault!

I'm supposed to tag other bloggers, but frankly, I think I am the very last blogger in the blogosphere to do this silly little game, so I won't bother. If you read my blog and you blog and you haven't yet blogged about your simple pleasures, then, please, my all means, blog away. Consider yourself tagged.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Corporate America.

I take my social cues from Corporate America. And just like Corporate America, I will just now begin to develop my personal goals for 2010 (although, let's be honest, corporations haven't developed their yearly goals yet...must. wait. till. after the first quarter.). My logic being that if I develop them now, instead of at the beginning of the year, I will only have 11 months to accomplish 12 months worth of things and therefore, my disappointment won't be so terrible when I fail.

Yeah, that's it.

My goals for 2010 include, but are not limited to:
1. Being a better person. For example: Stop yelling at stupid people. They know they are stupid and they don't need to be reminded constantly. Or do they?
2. Drop a pants size. (this will never happen and will totally be blamed on my 11 month deadline. If I had only had one more month...)
3. Enjoy life more. I feel like I do this to the extreme most of the time, but really, if there is one part of your life where there is always room for improvement, this is it.
4. Start volunteering at the animal shelter again. Ironman derailed my volunteering in 2009 and I miss the puppies! (Sidenote: adopt a dog from a shelter today!)
5. Get faster! Specifically, I want to run a 1:50 half marathon in 2010 (the Houston Marathon in Jan will also qualify to meet this goal)
6. Save more money so Tommy and I can move to the beach sooner rather than later.

To accomplish these goals, I have plans and diagrams and goals. Yes, because I am THAT anal retentive. Being a better person is hard to quantify, but we will just give me an E for effort regardless.

To get faster, I have developed a very fun race schedule and I plan on just simply running faster. I'm capable, but I'm also lazy. Sooo, I need motivation...here is the race schedule:

March 6-7 Texas Independence Relay - TEAM PACE BOOTY!
March 13 Bayou City Classic 10K
April 10 Gateway to the Bay Sprint Triathlon
April 11 Gateway to the Bay Olympic Triathlon
May 16 Florida Ironman 70.3 (that's a half Ironman for you non-triathlon nerds)
August 15 The Hottest Half - Half Marathon
September 25 Redman Half Ironman
October 24 The Houston Half - Half Marathon
December 12 White Rock Half - Half Marathon
January 30 Aramco Houston Half Marathon

There will be some sprints and olympic triathlons and 5Ks and 10Ks sprinkled in there over the summer and fall. Also, our September/Oct/Nov has not been finalized...we are toying with vacation dates and races and going to IMFL or IMAZ vs Longhorn Ironman 70.3 and Ironstar Half Ironman and Bike Around the Bay. Sooo, there is still some debate there. I'll keep you posted.

The Hottest Half will be my half marathon debut for 2010. I don't plan on meeting my goal 0f 1:50 at this race (although if I do, then YAYY!) since it will be hotter than a pig at a luau, but it will be a nice gauge of my fitness at that point of my training. Since I don't plan on running more than 15 miles in all of 2010, planning my training schedule has been strange to say the least.

Regardless of what happens in 2010 though, I am the luckiest girl in the world and I look forward to waking up everyday next to the man that I love, hanging out with the bestest friends I could possibly ever hope for, doing a job I enjoy, living in a city where it's always warm (except for that one time when it snowed and I cried), with the fluffiest puppy EVER. Thank you guys for helping me be so happy - MUCH LOVE!

Now, all I need to do is survive Wedding Madness 2010 and all will be well with the world...

Geaux Saints. (that was for you my dear)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

22.5 Miles is BASICALLY a Marathon.

Well, I didn't finish. Ha. Big surprise.

I started the race with a cell phone and cab fare...which usually indicates a slightly less than stellar mentality for race day. My theory is that to finish a marathon you have to have some heart and you have to want it...and I didn't have either of these qualities on Sunday.

What did surprise me was how much fun I still had. I started off running with 2 friends - one hoping to PR the full (under 4 hours) and the other planning on pacing him till the half turn-around at Mile 9. I lasted with them for about 1.5 miles. Ha. I chatted with some other friends and just generally enjoyed my morning jaunt. By the the time we reached the half turnaround, I felt like I could run all day, so I kept going (instead of turning and just doing the half)...unfortunately, but the time I hit mile 9, I was pretty well done. Ooops.

I kept forging onward in hopes of PRing the first half of the marathon, knowing full well that this would greatly hurt my chances of finishing the race (but that's why I packed cab fare, eh?). After mile 9, my pace dropped considerably, but I was still able to PR the half by a solid 3 minutes. No complaints here! If I had kept my original pace, I would have broken the elusive 2:00 barrier...but I know I can do it this year. 2010 is the year for speed! Regardless, 2:05:33 is nothing to be ashamed about!

As to be expected, I was pretty wasted after that...and I was at the furthest point from the finish line. AWESOME. Ha. I kept jogging for another 2 miles, run/walked for 2 miles after that, and by mile 17, I was done. I just didn't FEEL like running anymore. So, I got out my phone, started calling friends, looking for a ride and played games on my cell phone. It was pretty fun.

Unfortunately, due to my location, the closest ride I could get was at mile 22 (yeah, that means I walked another 5 miles...ugh!), but luckily Thomas was able to come and get me. I was three sheets to the wind at this point, because hey, if you're walking, you can totally drink all the beer the offer on the course. Hooray!

Best. Marathon. Ever.

Thomas dropped me off about a half mile from the finish - I took my can of Coors (and removed by chip) and hopped back on the course to get my finishers shirt. I've never felt so good crossing the finish line of a marathon.

I really enjoyed my run and I still beat a goal for the day - all in all, not a bad day! I am a little disappointed I didn't finish the race and continue my 6 year streak of finishing this race, but I ultimately decided it was the safest option in terms of my body and dude, getting a ride to the finish line is just plain funny.

I doubt I will run the marathon again anytime soon. I just don't have the energy for a race of that length or the training that goes along with it. I want to get fast. I KNOW I have a sub 4 hour marathon in me, but at what cost? Right now, I'm gonna focus on 10Ks and half marathons and I plan on breaking some big personal records this year!


I'm lame. But It's Still Mine.

And this is my pathetic attempt to win some Zipp 404's.

Please please please pick me.

I'll be really good this year, I promise.

It's Mine!

It's my blog and I can talk about whatever I want. I usually focus on mildy amusing things that happen to me and/or swimbikerun, but today I came across this and found it very interesting.

I'm curious as to what other people think about children with technology and/or free speech. There are two sides to every coin and repercussions to every action.

I think I lean towards the camp of "I have the right to say what I want but you don't have the right to not be offended". Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, but in general, this is where I lean.

I don't think a 7 year old should have unrestricted access to the internet, but I also think the nieghbor is a rude idiot. This being said, I don't think the neighbor should be REQUIRED to change his wifi name. Should be change it to be polite? Probably. But should he be required to? I don't think so.

I'm intrigued.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Farewell to the Marathon?

I've given up hope for having a rockin' good marathon. In fact, I probably have no business attempting to crawl a marathon, nevermind run it. Regardless, I intend to toe the starting line on Sunday...and hopefully toe the finish line as well.

However, I only plan to run while I feel good and painfree. The minute I start to hurt (more than normal marathon hurt) I plan on hopping up on the curb to join the spectators. I am only going to run for as long as it is fun...which may be 26.2 miles or it may be 4. I'm okay with either option!

I know that no matter how well (or poorly) I do in this race, I know I am capable of better. This past season showed me what I am capable of and I plan on reaching that level again next year...but I am smart enough to know that even if I CAN break 4:30 this year, that only means that I could have done better had I not done the Ironman. So, why kill myself this time? Hence my plan to run while it's fun.

Next year I will see what I am made of...or maybe I will just say that I am made of a 4:43 marathon (my current PR) and call it a day. My true love lies in the triathlon anyway and my biggest fear in pushing myself too hard on this race is it's effect on the rest of my triathlon season.

I had originally planned on this being my final marathon. The marathon just isn't my bag and I don't think my knees like it that much. I'd rather run forever than run marathons for only a few more years. This being said, I had originally said this would be my final marathon when I thought I could rock it. Since I can't rock it, (or even if I DO rock it, I know I could rock it MORE), we will see what the future holds.

Regardless, good luck to all of you running the Houston full marathon, the half marathon and the 5K! It should be a gorgeous day for a run! Leave your headphones at home and just enjoy the people around you! Race day is why you train...and you can only really enjoy it if you can experience all the sights and sounds!

Chuck Norris Never Ran 26.2!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Candy Etiquette

There is a right and a wrong way to eat candy. This blog will teach you everything you need to know.

The main rule is to always eat the favorite flavor last. If in doubt, eat in pairs and always ending with red.

Starburst – Open the whole package, eat the yellow and orange ones in whatever order you deem appropriate. Then eat the pink and red ones on an alternating basis, finishing with the color you like better that day.

Now-N-Laters – Due to the individually packaged nature of this candy, make sure you have a trash receptacle near by. These candies also require a slightly warmer temperature than normal candies, so be prepared to heat them.1 To eat them, you must open the green section and eat them first. Nobody likes green candy and I’m still not sure why candy companies continue to make it. Regardless, eat the green ones because it’s candy and it’s just wrong to throw it out. Then, open the red and purple sections, warm them to the appropriate temperature, and eat them in an alternating fashion, beginning with purple (so that you will end on red).

Skittles – Skittles are a candy that are okay to waste. Assuming you are eating a full bag2, you are allowed to throw out the yellow, green and orange ones if you so desire. If you want to eat the whole bag, eat these colors in whatever order you want, but always (always) at least two at a time. Mixing colors is acceptable. Once the offending colors are removed from the bag, you may now move on to the purple and red. These too shall be eaten in pairs, but mixing colors is no longer allowed. You will pour a handful from the bag, pair them up, always ending each handful with red. If you happen to pour an odd number you may eat three at once…of all the same color.

SweetTarts – Due to the packaging (Spree will have a similar problem), you are required to eat these in the order given to you…and no two packages are the same. Unfortunately, no one on earth likes the blue ones, so you will forced to eat them.3 So, unwrap one end and begin your quest. Once you near the last 5-10 SweetTarts, you should unwrap the remaining candies and sort them according to color. All the blues shall be eaten first, then yellow and green, followed closely by orange, and of course, finishing with an alternating purple and red strategy. If you have been bad lately, you may not have any red in your last handful, at which point you should seriously evaluate your life because someone is out to get you.

Spree – With similar packaging as the SweetTarts, your plan of attack will be similar. HOWEVER (and I cannot stress this enough), Spree is the only candy on Earth where the green ones are the best. Please follow the SweetTart regimen but finish with green. You must finish with green.

Nerds – The key to Nerds is that you mustn’t EVER mix the colors.4 Upon purchasing a box of Nerds, you should decide which side of the box will be the best and eat that side last. You are required to fully consume the less-good side of the box before moving to the more-good side. If your spouse asks to have a taste of your Nerds, he/she is required to take a pull from the side you are currently eating.5

Gummi Worms – Gummi Worms are surprisingly easy to eat and have very few rules. They must be eaten in pairs, and preferably ending with at least one blue/red worm.

Gum – Also an easy-to-eat candy. Gum must eaten in pairs. If your spouse chooses to eat only one piece of gum, you are allowed to either hit him/her or eat three pieces in your next round.

Lollipops – How many licks DOES it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? I dunno. And neither should you. Lollipops should only be licked until they lose their sticky outer layer at which point, they should be bitten and their innards eaten.

Gummi-Savers – Thankfully for the plastic carrying case, this package can be opened all at once and the appropriate candies eaten in order. Open your Gummi Savers and eat all the yellow and green ones. Then, because in gummi form you can’t tell which is orange or red, alternate them with the purple and find which ever one you like the best. End with that one.

Life-Savers – Life Savers should be eaten in the order in which they are packaged. Unfortunately, depending on which end you open, this could be catastrophic or delicious. Regardless, eat them in the order in which they are packaged until you get to the end – your last two Lifesavers should always be red then white.6

Fun Dip – When will Fun-Dip makers learn that 2 Lik-M-Aid sticks are not enough? You will eat the purple sugary goodness first (even though it’s in the middle…make it work) with your first Lik-M-Aid stick. Then, after you have sufficiently crashed from your sugar high and your spouse is about to divorce you, you should begin on the red section with your second Lik-M-Aid stick. Shortly after eating this second pack, you will be covered in colored sugar7 and totally disgusted with yourself. When you feel the need to fuel your self loathing again, you should begin on the blue/green packet…but you will be out of Lik-M-Aid sticks, so you will have to use your finger. Your finger and tongue will be green for approximately 3 days.8

1. I use the “under the leg method”. Since I eat these while driving, I will warm a couple up by sticking them under my leg and turning on the seat warmer. It’s quite effective.
2. Not a Fun Pack. Due to the restricted amount of candies in a fun pack, you are always required to consume the full amount in a Fun Pack.
3. Ideally, you will eat these with a friend who has their own package and by some wishful thinking, this friend will prefer the blue ones and you will be able to trade with them.
4. In the event of a rainbow box, you may mix colors, but you must separate out the big fat ones from the small ones. The big fatties should be eaten individually.
5. If your spouse is sneaky and waits until you have finished the less-good side to ask for some candy (because all he wants is the more-good side) you are no longer required to share with him.
6. Another one of the candy anomalies, white Lifesavers are clearly the best flavor.
7. Because this is EASILY the messiest candy ever created.
8. It is sometimes best to find a small child with a harried mother to give this to. They will appreciate it.

Doggone Debate

Tommy and I regularly discuss getting another dog. I am very pro-dog and Tommy (always the rational and boring one) is anti-dog. And by discuss, I mean that I send him pictures of puppies and he sends replies that just say, "no." Ugh.

If I were rich I would move to the middle of nowhere (preferably near the coast) and open my own puppy house. I would just take in dogs that I loved and it would be magical. So, my desire to have more than the one dog is pretty high.

I HAD been saying that after the Ironman, I would be pushing for another dog, because life would calm down then, but in reality, my life never calms down...so, in getting another dog, I just have to factor boarding costs into the equation. But it's after the Ironman and we still don't have another dog.

I want a young-ish female dog. Not a puppy - puppies are adorable, but dude, could they BE more irritating? So, in the 8mos-1.5 years range is ideal - still trainable and young enough to have a full life with me, but not so young that they will feel the need to teeth on my couch and need to pee every 5 minutes.

I want a female because my wonderful 7 year old male dog has started marking his territory and it's irritating as sh1t.

I want a furry one because furry ones are just cuter and preferably black (so I will only have one color of hair on my clothes). The black is negotiable. The furry is not.

And my last demand is that said puppy grow to be on the smallish side...more than 15lbs, less than 50lbs...

I need another dog, right?

Friday, January 08, 2010

Save the Whales.

Spandex is not made for just anyone. In fact, spandex is not made for anyone eat all. That shit is just evil.

In triathlon, we are "forced" to wear spandex, head to toe, lest we opt to waste LOTS of time changing in transition (which we don't want to do, so, spandex happens). Before a race, we all stand around, looking like beached whales, trying to suck in our guts and intimidate the other whales around us. It'll never happen. Because no matter how hot your body is, a full suit of spandex is just wrong.

Nonetheless, our Texas Independence Relay team - Team Pace Booty - has opted to make tri kits for us to race in and then to also wear for the Florida Half we are all doing.

We got the sample kits in the mail yesterday to tri on (ha!) and DUDE, they are awful. I hath ne'er looked so beached. I shan't be eating until May. Hooray! But, we will look cool as a team in our matching TPB uniforms. It'll be worth it, but let's seriously hope that there are no cameras. I'm pretty sure my ass looks exponentially larger in that kit...and it didn't need ANY help in that department.

So, save the whales! Go Team Pace Booty!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A rose by any other name…

…might smell just as sweet, but in my house, I can guarantee that rose IS called by some other name and it may or may not smell nice.

I have always felt the need to name inanimate objects but this desire has gotten much worse since Tommy and I moved in together. We agree on a lot of things, politics, the delicious taste of beer, dirty kids, loud dance clubs, etc, but at the very top of this list is this undying desire to name things.

Growing up I had a stereo named Esmerelda. My first car was named The Blue Goose (we called him The Goose for short). My vacuum is named Ramone. My pillow is named Squishie. My dog is named Donny, but he goes by Don, The Don, Dog, Beast, Monster, and most recently, Pugsy. Lord knows where we came up with that.

We named our cars Oscar and Freddy and our bikes are Mr. Moto, Rocky, Flo, and Roxie (there are also two unnamed bikes, but due to their lack of name, they cannot be mentioned here). Modes of transportation MUST have names. If I had a skateboard, I’d name it Jake.

We call our farts "cakes". It makes the whole experience much more enjoyable. Everybody loves cake!

Our friends Tiffany and Harold also like to name things, but mostly they just like to name living things and make life confusing for anyone who steps over their threshold (I think they are constantly trying to test me). Tiffany also goes by TT. Tansie, the dog, can also be called Lulu. Caleb will answer to Doey and Madison is ReRe. I’m surprised I can even remember them all.

What IS this obsession to give nicknames or titles to things? My mom always said that she regrets naming me Christine when she had every intention of calling me Christy. I mean, what’s the point? And then, just to spite her, I went by Ben for the duration of my teenage years. Muuuhahaha.

UPDATE: My wonderful friends Natalie and Tommy (who also happens to be my super special friend) have reminded me of a few that I forgot. Our Christmas tree is named Debbie...O Tennenbaum! She is a Deborah Fir, ya know. We also had Meatloaf the rat infestation shortly after Meatloaf sang at the Superbowl (or something)...and then we bought a rat Christmas tree ornament. His name is Meatloaf too. There is Eva the computer and Burnie the Burglar (named for his desire to burn our house to the ground while we sleep). We also have Sally the inflatable dolphin and Tally the inflatable sheep. If I remember correctly though, we are now on our second inflatable sheep...so Tally II.


In unrelated news, I’ve been thinking about candy dishes a lot lately. I’ve primarily been thinking about them because I have a DESPERATE need for candy that I have yet to fulfill today but also because they present a conundrum that I don’t quite understand.

I work in CubicleVille where people have baskets and buckets and bowls of candy on their desks. Some of these dishes are accessible without entering the cube while some are located inside the cube and require the removal of a lid (so intimidating!).

I often walk by these candy bowls, craving some Laffy Taffy goodness, only to walk on by without indulging because I don’t understand the dynamics of candy dishes and I’m afraid to break any candy rules.

What are the rules for consuming candy out of other people’s candy dishes? Am I required to stop and chat awhile? For how long? Or can I just grab a mini-Twix and be on my merry way? If I constantly eat one person’s candy am I required to replenish their dish at some point? What about if they are gone? Can I still take a Lifesaver?

What is my moral obligation in regards to eating this seemingly “community” candy? I don’t have a candy dish because I don’t have enough self control to not eat the whole thing in one sitting and I don’t eat out of other people’s candy bowls (much) because the whole thing makes me very uncomfortable.

The weight of this issue is too much to bear sometimes. Please shoulder this burden with me. I need your support.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Another 26.2

Truthfully, the thought of running another marathon right now makes me a little bit nauseous. Odds of getting violently ill on race day is high. Awesome!

My plan all along had been to train hard for the Ironman, squeeze in one more long run before the marathon, and then I would be good to go to meet my 4:30 goal.


My body totally rejected this plan. Before the Ironman, I could have questionably run a 4 hour marathon…and therefore my 4:30 goal was a no-brainer. I had that one in the bag. AFTER the Ironman however is an entirely different story. My body is tired and I was afraid to push it too hard (which was probably the right call) and I am just not ready for race day.


And to top it all off, I’ve gotten SO SLOW. Like snail slow. Like the story of the tortoise and hare doesn’t even apply to me because I am the flea that can’t even hold onto the dumb turtles shell. Seriously. I’m THAT slow.

My legs feel pretty good lately…but they feel pretty good SLOW. They aren’t having any part of speed work. Or speed in general. They’ll go out and run…if you want to call it that…but they aren’t winning any awards (not that they won awards before, but SUCK IT).

So my dreams of breaking 4 hours and 30 minutes are long gone. I’ll be lucky to finish in one piece. I’ll be pleased if I PR but really, I’m not counting my chickens, hatched or otherwise, because this race is gonna be UGLY.

In other news, keg party at our house after.