Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Years Eve

Last blog of the year...I didn't start blogging till this year, it's a new experience for me. I've had a journal online at Livejournal, I have a myspace page, I even have something at runbud, but nothing has stuck the way this one has. I have paper journals too, which I'd like to maintain better, but for some reason they have never lasted either.

My resolutions for the new year.
  1. SIMPLIFY/DECLUTTER - I have so much junk and crap around that I don't need (boxes that are still in my garage never unpacked in the 5 1/2 years I've lived in my current home) obviously I have no great need for the stuff and I REALLY want to have a less cluttered messy home and life
  2. JOIN A RUNNING CLUB - Finally join one of the running clubs I've talked so much about doing but never have, hopefully it will help me to make some new friends too
  3. WEIGHT/FITNESS - Get down to the weight that I have deemed my proper marathon weight and tone up my body for perfect running
  4. READ - I have a number of books: ChiRunning, Advanced Marathoning, Competitive Runner's Handbook and Jack Daniels' Running Formula to name a few that I have been wanting to read and use to full advantage to really get my running where I want it to be
  5. RUN - I think that's a given, it's what I do, but I want to really increase and improve on it even more so than last year. I hope to race a 5K and get in under 22 minutes, at least for now that's my goal, I'd like to run another 10K (have only run one) and I think that can easily go under 48 minutes, half marathon I think I have it in me to run under 1:40 and of course the marathon, which I have to decide on yet, but if I do one next year, I'm going for broke on it. I want a BQ. If I'm going to run Boston, I want to run it in 2008. The olympic trials are the day before, imagine being able to watch the best of the best in distance runners run the same course I plan to run the next day, to get to their olympic about inspiring.
  6. WORK - I need to find a new job, well, two new jobs actually. I need something that allows some creative outlet, something that I really enjoy, I don't dread mine yet, but I don't love going to work and I get bored, I don't want that, I want something new and challenging and I want to eventually get more education and I want a company that will help me achieve that.
  7. PERSONAL - This is the tricky part. I don't know what I want in my personal life. Well, I do know I want/need more people in my life. I don't go out that often anymore, but when I do, I'd like more people to be able to call on, new people to do things with, etc...I still don't think I want to be involved in a relationship with someone else, but I'd like a lot more friendships.
And now it's time to prepare myself for this evening...still debating on the cute little black dress or the miniskirt and sassy silvery top....even with the crud that Denver sent us, I still plan to dress up and have a good time!!

Everyone have a safe and happy New Years Eve and a splendid 2007.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Last Long Run of the Year

Today is December 30th. Only one more day of 2007. My plan had been for a long run on the 31st, last one of the year on the last day of the year, but I have heard the weather might be more favorable today so I ran it today instead. I did 14 miles. Longest I've done in a few weeks now, but was at a 9:08 pace overall, not bad, and the miles were over fairly hilly places. Nothing flat that's for sure. Weather was fairly warm, all things considered (ie it's December in Minnesota), it rained a bit off and on, not too much though, so didn't make me any colder. I was up a bit late and didn't sleep real well last night, and am working tonight. Mom and dad were up and another friend crashed at my place last night, so I made breakfast for all and got running around noon after mom and dad took off for my aunt and uncle's for their new years eve. Still not 100% sure what I have going on tomorrow, but I work tonight from 6:30-11:30, home to relax and unwind, and get a good nights sleep, then up tomorrow for a 4 miler, possibly going to see The Good Shepherd, then going out for drinks...The run tomorrow will put my mileage at 2032 for the year. 2000 miles plus my age, seems like a good note to go out on. I will also run, even if it's only a mile, on New Years day, no matter how badly I feel from a night of indulgence tomorrow. The idea of running out and running in the new year sounds nice, even if I can't do my midnight run into the new year.

Friday, December 29, 2006

End of Year Reflections

The year is drawing ever closer to its end and I’m looking forward to 2007. 2005 was a really bad year for me, 2006 was decent, at least runningwise. I had some breakthroughs with huge new PRs in the Marathon (3:42:54) and Half Marathon (1:44:12) and something come over me that really just infused my running. I’ve even been able to run outside most of the days so far this winter and have been inspired to purchase more new outdoor running stuff so I can stay off the dreadmill. Nothing else truly inspiring happened in any other major parts of my life though, and I feel like something is missing. If it’s the work or the personal, actually it’s most likely both, because while I’m still OK with my job, I don’t feel a passion for it, so that’s telling me it might be time for something new. I always said I would stay for sure for 2 years, it’s been 2 years now, time to start looking. For one, I’m never going to have options for a decent raise in the position I’m in, and I don’t know that there would be anything else in the company that might open up that I’d be interested in. Also I need a new challenge, I need a change to move out of being a peon …I’m just not where I thought I would be at this time in my life and I need to figure out things. And we all know how I’m feeling about Barnes & Noble, I’m trying to figure out exactly what other type of part-time job I might want, and I think it’s time to explore other things and see what I can maybe find.

I still don’t know how this year is going to end. Until this morning, I had no options even on going out. The idea of running from 11:30 to 12:30 and running in the new year has appealed to me, there aren’t any races around here that I can find that time, that night, so it was kind of out, although I did have J2 think that sounded fun, so probably could’ve convinced him to do that, but that leaves other issues…see, I’m done with the new years kiss thing…I’ve been done for a few years now. That pressure at midnight to find someone to kiss so you don’t have a bad year…well, last few years I’ve just kissed a friend (usually a female friend even!) and I decided that I don’t want to have a kiss at midnight with someone unless it’s someone that is something more…not a guy that I know and have shared a little time with, or someone random that I just meet at the bar that night. And if I were to be around J2 at midnight, that would come up I’m sure, and I don’t want to kiss someone that I’m not going to spend the year with, and where I am, I don’t know, I just know I’m not ready to be involved with anyone, or at least I haven’t met someone that I feel a need/desire to be involved with. Although almost wish I was and almost wish I was ready to get married, cause if I was, this would be the year to do it…the year of 7…especially 7/7/07…what a lucky day. 7 has always been a favorite of mine, and I just never even thought about the implications based on that number and this year before…Anyway, for how pathetic I am though, I need more friends, that’s for sure. This year, I could get no one to commit to doing anything on Sunday. I was going to be doing that run, and by myself…I had ideas, everyone backed out, or wouldn’t commit, or has paired up and have kids and/or won’t move without the boyfriend and the boyfriend has his friends that the friends go and do things with….it’s a resolution of mine though. To somehow find ways to meet more people that I can do things with. I know there are running groups…but I did try that once, and didn’t feel very welcomed, so I’m leary about trying it again…have to get over that fear. Sometimes I do feel very lonely, but it's mainly on these times like this when I just really want to go out and don't really have options...and no, I don't want a boyfriend still, just really want some good friends to do things with. Darn holidays, always get me feeling down...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lifetime Goals

I saw this at MNFirefly's blog and thought I would continue it. It's kind of fun.

Purple = I have done it Green=I would LOVE to do it!

  1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
  2. Swam with wild dolphins
  3. Climbed a mountain
  4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
  5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
  6. Held a tarantula
  7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
  8. Said “I love you” and meant it (my family that is)
  9. Hugged a tree
  10. Bungee jumped
  11. Visited Paris
  12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
  13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise (too many times to count)
  14. Seen the Northern Lights
  15. Gone to a huge sports game (does Vikings vs. Packers at Lambaugh count?)
  16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
  17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
  18. Touched an iceberg
  19. Slept under the stars
  20. Changed a baby’s diaper
  21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
  22. Watched a meteor shower
  23. Gotten drunk on champagne (numerous times)
  24. Given more than you can afford to charity
  25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
  26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
  27. Had a food fight
  28. Bet on a winning horse
  29. Asked out a stranger
  30. Had a snowball fight
  31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
  32. Held a lamb
  33. Seen a total eclipse
  34. Ridden a roller coaster
  35. Hit a home run
  36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (With alcohol involved)
  37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
  38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
  39. Had two hard drives for your computer
  40. Visited all 50 states (I'm working on it, think I'm at 37 or so)
  41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
  42. Had amazing friends
  43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
  44. Watched wild whales
  45. Stolen a sign
  46. Backpacked in Europe
  47. Taken a road-trip
  48. Gone rock climbing
  49. Midnight walk on the beach
  50. Gone sky diving
  51. Visited Ireland
  52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love (well, in lust)
  53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
  54. Visited Japan
  55. Milked a cow
  56. Alphabetized your CDs
  57. Pretended to be a superhero
  58. Sung karaoke
  59. Lounged around in bed all day
  60. Played touch football
  61. Gone scuba diving
  62. Kissed in the rain (in Venice, a hot Italian stranger)
  63. Played in the mud
  64. Played in the rain
  65. Gone to a drive-in theater
  66. Visited the Great Wall of China
  67. Started a business
  68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
  69. Toured ancient sites (Mayan ruins in Mexico)
  70. Taken a martial arts class
  71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
  72. Gotten married
  73. Been in a movie (kind of, I was in a video clip for a bands website intro, does that count?)
  74. Crashed a party
  75. Gotten divorced
  76. Gone without food for 5 days
  77. Made cookies from scratch
  78. Won first prize in a costume contest
  79. Ridden a gondola in Venice (it was raining the day we were going to)
  80. Gotten a tattoo
  81. Rafted the Rio Grande River
  82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
  83. Got flowers for no reason
  84. Performed on stage
  85. Been to Las Vegas (love that town)
  86. Recorded music
  87. Eaten shark
  88. Kissed on the first date
  89. Gone to Thailand
  90. Bought a house (well a condo)
  91. Been in a combat zone
  92. Buried one/both of your parents
  93. Been on a cruise ship
  94. Spoken more than one language fluently
  95. Performed in Rocky Horror
  96. Raised children
  97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
  98. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
  99. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
  100. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
  101. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
  102. Had plastic surgery
  103. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
  104. Wrote articles for a large publication
  105. Lost over 100 pounds (and never want to be at a point where I could!)
  106. Held someone while they were having a flashback
  107. Piloted an airplane
  108. Touched a stingray
  109. Broken someone’s heart
  110. Helped an animal give birth
  111. Won money on a radio show
  112. Broken a bone
  113. Gone on an African photo safari
  114. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
  115. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
  116. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild (Morrels)
  117. Ridden a horse
  118. Had major surgery
  119. Had a snake as a pet
  120. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
  121. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
  122. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
  123. Visited all 7 continents
  124. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
  125. Eaten kangaroo meat127. Eaten sushi
  126. Had your picture in the newspaper
  127. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
  128. Gone back to school
  129. Parasailed
  130. Touched a cockroach
  131. Eaten fried green tomatoes
  132. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
  133. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
  134. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
  135. Skipped all your school reunions
  136. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
  137. Been elected to public office
  138. Written your own computer language
  139. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
  140. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
  141. Built your own PC from parts
  142. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
  143. Had a booth at a street fair
  144. Dyed your hair
  145. Been a DJ
  146. Shaved your head
  147. Caused a car accident
  148. Saved someone’s life (it's part of why I donate blood)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Weekend

Another Christmas has come and gone…more family time, too much eating, too much drinking and a bit too much arguing and tempers raised. That’s what happens when you spend too much time together in too close of quarters right?

After Friday night hell, I mean working at B&N, I was so frustrated with customers I couldn’t wait to get out of there. It’s a trying time of year for retail that’s for sure. But I did survive, then I got to bed, got up and headed to mom and dad’s arriving there around noon on Saturday (took the picture on the way down the ice on the trees is so pretty), I had called and said I was leaving and would need to do my hair when I got there, I got home and my sister was in the bathroom, at least she didn’t take that much longer, but the plan had been no one was supposed to be in there when I got there. We went up to my grandma’s party, with my sister and I getting lost on the way there…how do you get lost in a town of 700 people that you grew up in? Well, the senior citizen’s center where the party was being held is now a room in the community center, we didn’t realize this and ended up going to the other party that was going on in the main room, before heading out, wandering downtown a bit (1 block) and almost just going for a drink at the bar instead!! Oh well, we found it and had a nice time. I looked at old pictures, visited with my grandma’s sister, Sister Marcan, who I almost never get to see, saw both of my grandma’s and then went for drinks that evening at the local bar and visited with aunt’s and cousin’s up there. Home to bed and ready to disown family as my brother, sister and brother’s girlfriend didn’t come home till late, my sister and I share a room (and her dog) and dog is up and down and won’t settle down and after a whopping 4 hours of interrupted sleep I wasn’t so happy on Christmas eve morning, but oh well. (my mom's mom, myself and my dad's mom)


I got up, dressed to go for a run but ended up chatting with my dad instead (but forgot that my GPS was out getting a signal till after we got back from grandma’s Christmas eve night so needless to say it was dead for the weekend) and then showered, got ready and went to visit with my grandma for a while. Back to mom and dad’s, had a glass of wine and then went to mass at 4, back to mom and dad’s for more wine (it’s how we survive the family!!) then to my grandma’s for our traditional Christmas eve of oyster stew, ham and potatoes, visiting, more wine (seeing a pattern here?) and then grandma piled with her presents (we stopped exchanging for the most part on that side a few years ago, too large of a family and once you turn 18, you are out of the main group) to open, then home to bed so Santa can come. (Max was wondering if he had any presents)


Christmas morning we have pushed back present opening at mom and dad’s till after brunch at my other grandma’s. It’s too rushed…and no one wants to get out of bed. It used to be we couldn’t get mom and dad up soon enough, now mom is up trying to get us up to open presents…we do look in our stockings though and usually have fun stuff in there. We were up and at grandma’s had a fantastic brunch as usual and ate way too much, opened presents, I think mine was the most popular, I got my balaclava and tried it on as I had been unsure which of the styles I might most want and couldn’t remember which one went on my list, but it fit perfectly and I had the question come up if it was for my new line of work, to which I replied that they didn’t know anything when they started hearing about the “hooded burglar”…I had a really pretty scarf too that I’m pretty sure my aunt knitted for me (she wasn’t there so will ask her via e-mail or snail mail), and some coffee that I’m going to drink and told my aunt that I would think of her while drinking it and she liked that. Finally we went back to mom and dad’s to open presents there. The dogs had already received theirs but were having fun running through the paper, and Max was trying to eat one of my presents. I received a pair of lighter weight tights and some heavier running pants (both things I had asked for), some beautiful wine glasses and a decanter that my brother picked out (total surprise there, didn’t know he could come up with something like that!!), and a new top and some jewelry from my sister who usually has good taste and does well with what she gets me. I also got money, which I usually get from grandma’s so I’m getting another running top with that money and possibly the cross pendant that I’ve been trying to find with the money from other grandma (her eyes lit up when I told her I wanted something like that, so I better buy that!). After presents were done, I headed out for a run, I had realized that I was at 1994 miles for the year as of last Friday, so I ran 6 miles on Monday and hit 2000 for the year on Christmas day. It was a bit windy (should’ve worn my hood) but decent and I didn’t have my Garmin but I think I was running about 8:30s for it. I got home, showered, took a nap and then we headed to my aunt and uncle’s for a late dinner and where I got to visit more with Sister Marcan and others and then headed back to a night cap near home, but unfortunately my bar was closed and while others were open, I never called around to find out where any friends were. (Grandma, myself and Sister Marcan)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas...

This might be my last chance to blog before the holidays, so I wanted to wish everyone a very, Merry and safe Christmas. Also to anyone out there celebrating Hanukkah that might be reading, I know it ends tomorrow, but I hope you had a happy one.
OK, that said, I'm struggling to try to find something, anything to keep me from just running out of here right now...sigh...can I last another half hour?? My floor gets quieter and quieter...if I was part of Finance,
the EVP was telling everyone to leave...sigh...I think maybe I'll haul my stuff down to my car...that will kill a few minutes...
Oh, and that's a picture I took at my house a week or so ago...isn't it cool the tree and the fireplace?? I love the way my house looks...I keep lights up longer than I should just cause I like how the lights give off a nice aura, dim, romantic and can't tell that from the picture though. I'd like more quiet evenings at home to just enjoy them. (which is why I leave them up a bit longer than I should).

OK, about to leave, home to pack, finish wrapping, work the 5 hours of hell and then home for a nights sleep, maybe a quick morning run and then off to the parents.

These are pictures from my run during lunch today...the island I often run around:

A lovely run… the snow, and slush and glop …the picture doesn't really show much of the roads (although you can kind of see the line of traffic) and it wasn't really record snowfall by any means, but it was's the most we've had so far this year (thankfully, I don't have yak trax!!) this is my balcony, you can see the lights, and you can see the trees beyond, it really was much prettier than the picture looks. I really, really, really wanted to run last night. I so didn’t want to use the treadmill and really didn’t have stuff for using it anyway, so my option was outside after the sleet and snow that fell earlier in the day and was still slightly coming down (wish I could’ve run when the snow was actually falling as it was gorgeous “snowglobesque” weather (that is my word, I created it a few years ago, I think I need to submit it to Webster’s, as soon as I use it, people seem to know what I mean and find it to be appropriate). I actually got to leave at 4 yesterday, which just gave me enough time to run before my girlfriend met me at my place to get the books I picked up for her and for me to look at makeup. Due to people driving stupid cause the roads were wet (they weren’t slick anymore) I got home at 4:25, changed, use the bathroom and was out the door at 4:35…I didn’t know how far I would be able to go before she got there, but I just ran…it was getting dark, the streets were sloppy, slushy and messy, thankfully where I run there isn’t much traffic, but there was enough last night. My paces were slower, just over 9 minute, but it was icy, slippery, crappy roads, in fact one part I had to actually run on the snow covered grass since it was safer than the side of the busy road (which the shoulder hadn’t been cleared on!), and one sidewalk was cleared but not salted so it was a bit slick, I found myself wondering how running on snowy, slightly slick roads compares to running in loose sand which is supposed to be a good workout as well, and it seems they are probably comparable, I know I read something about running in snow not too long ago. All in all though, I’m so glad I was able to get out, I even managed 6 miles before my friend got there, so that as awesome. This gave me time to peruse the makeup, buy 3 lipsticks, 2 eyeliners and some eye shadow (she’s selling it for a friend that bought too much Mary Kay inventory), chat a bit and still have time to shower, eat and get ready to meet up with J2 to watch the game (too bad the Vikes couldn’t pull it off, we need some receivers!) and chat a bit. We had yummy raspberry beer at McCoy’s and were out way past my bedtime…J2 is an attorney so was telling me some interesting things going on in his caseload, particularly considering he’s a defense attorney and used to work in the Public Defender’s office, he REALLY has interesting stories!! Anyway, we finally left the bar around 11:30, I got home and to bed around midnight, didn’t get any packing done or finish wrapping up presents, so that’s what I’m doing between jobs tonight and guess I’ll get home, sleep in my own bed and get up early to leave tomorrow to head home. I actually might come back up Christmas night to hit my favorite watering hole, J2 told me that he knew it was open cause he had been there before on Christmas night and if I were to come back I’m supposed to call him…still not sure what I think/feel on this one. I find him to be attractive, he’s very intelligent (which is most important to me), I enjoy talking with him, and I love that he’s a runner, he used to run sub-3 hour marathons, he has a knee issue now and can’t run them anymore, but he still understands the NEED for a run, and the fact that a bike ride and/or swim doesn’t do the same thing (which I’ve had way too many people tell me I should do other things, they don’t understand, it’s not that I want to run, it’s that I NEED to run). In fact meeting up last night our plan to meet up later was specifically so we both could get a run in before we met up. He knows the importance of running. J1 runs and is game for running, but in the winter he’s more about skiing, running isn’t his first love, he doesn’t have that real runner feel to him…he can’t motivate himself to run, he has to run with others, J2 will run cause he feels the need/desire to. I think kind of the definition between a runner and a “real runner”…it has nothing in my mind to do with the speed, but the love and/or desire for it.

Office is dead today. I think there are about 5 people on the floor…and most will probably leave early. I’m going to try to sneak out at 4…We’ll see if that works. I want to get home, wrap presents, get a bite to eat and of course get to B&N on time…man it’s going to suck tonight. Might need a glass of wine after work just to unwind! I’m also hopeful I can get up early enough to get at least a 3 miler in before heading to my parents. I have my grandma’s 90th birthday party open house from 2-5 tomorrow afternoon, then possibly drinks at the local bar, Sunday I am hopefully going to get at least 5 miles in and a nap before church, then dinner at dad’s mom’s, home to bed, brunch at my mom’s mom’s, then later a late lunch/early dinner at my aunt and uncle’s…then I might skip having wine there and just come back up here…then I can enjoy the sales on the day after Christmas since I have it off work…and maybe go take a look at phones and pick out a new one since I can get a new one now and get some good deals on it…I hate my current one and found what appears to be some good deals on-line…including saving on the activation of it!! The picture is hard to see, but it's the rotunda area between the towers where I work, I should take some more pictures of that, it's really quite pretty.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Darn MN Weather!!

Ah, crap weather. And it’s WHY we set the alarm clock early and get up early to get a run in…unless we want to be stuck on the treadmill, which now I can’t anyway. This could be an interesting night. I didn’t work on Monday or Tuesday night, had to work last night, tonight off and work tomorrow night (yuck!!) at B&N. On Tuesday a friend and I made arrangements for her to stop by after he son’s doctors appointment so she could pick up something I picked up for her and I could maybe buy some makeup from her (she sold Mary Kay and is now getting out of it and is selling stuff 50% off, and I could use some new lipstick, figured can’t hurt to look), later on Tuesday I had J1 e-mail me about running this week, well, I had already run on Tuesday worked last night and tonight had plans (although was planning to run too, just didn’t know what time so couldn’t make plans around it and am really not caring much if we get together anytime soon anyway, I’ll go out with him one more time and see, but most likely that’s done before it started), so we are going to get in contact next week. Yesterday J2 e-mailed me to see what I worked this week as he was doing some last minute things and was going to come harass me (his words). He was in the store, but I only briefly talked to him as we were busy, surprise, surprise and he had not seen me so thought had had missed me anyway. So today comes, I wanted to get up and run before any weather might happen, but decided I’d still just run after work, not knowing what was going to happen with my friend as she was thinking I could stop on my way home on Saturday (although not sure when I’m going either Friday night after work or Saturday) she cancelled the doctor appointment because she was worried about the weather (with good reason apparently) and now we have plans for her to stop after work, although the weather went from raining steadily all morning, to, while I was out running errands for an hour, sleet and getting somewhat icy conditions. So we’ll see. Also in this time, J2 has e-mailed me to see if I wanted to meet for a drink later, after both of us went for our run (which said run could be cancelled due to the weather, I could run in the rain, but it would suck, I could run in the snow, that wouldn’t be that bad as long as it was not too terribly cold, but to run in this sleet/icy crap, probably not safe, roads are going to be treacherous and I don’t have any Yak Trax yet)…hmmm…interesting…maybe…I said sure, where and when was he thinking? If he wasn’t sure on a place, I think I’m going to suggest a bar with raspberry beer that’s kind of between us (although a little closer to me) that’s if we both want to brave this weather…Vikings/Packers are on tonight…yes, I know, many out there who are fans of the Vikings have thrown in the towel, and I’ll admit to disappointment myself, but I’m not a fair weather fan, they might not be great this season, but I’ll still watch and root for them!

It does look like it's snowing now...if that's the case, a run won't be so bad...although it's still going to be kind of icy. Guess I get to try my new wool based warmer socks that I just bought!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Trans Fat Rant

Trans fats are the new big thing in health these days. They are what saturated fats used to be…only worse. They are the new thing to avoid, they are the new “hot button” of the food industry. It was required by the FDA to have foods containing trans fats to have the amount listed on food labels but as with all things with the FDA there are “limits” to this great new label and it really makes me ask what’s the point anyway? Foods are allowed to say “trans fat free” if there is less than so much gram, or percent or some such nonsense per serving as indicated by the FDA. So a company could in essence shrink the serving size of something, and make it “trans fat” free without changing any of the ingredients. Scientists and nutritionists still aren’t sure what is the “safe” amount of trans fats for a person to consume, but 0 is held to be the ideal since hey, this stuff is nasty. Anything that can actually lower your good cholesterol while raising your bad is not something to be consumed in any amount in my mind. Of course this is something that has been on the market for a really long time, and has become more and more prevalent in diets as people increase their consumption of fast foods and just eating out in general. When they first “created it” people still cooked, they ate at home, and they ate normal portions. Now they are super sizing at McDonald’s, gobbling down Whoppers by the dozen and eating KFC and walking out to have a heart attack…OK, maybe not literally, but it does happen. I’ve taken to still reading labels even though an item says trans fat free. I look for the key words “hydrogenated” or “partially-hydrogenated” and if those words are in it, I don’t buy it, even though it says “trans fat free.” How can it be trans fat free when it obviously has trans fats? Again back to that serving, sure it might only be trace amounts, but I’d prefer to avoid it at all costs. I think I recently heard up to 2 grams a day is OK, I found that Famous Amos Chocolate Chip cookies (which I do like as a treat now and then) have 8 grams in a serving, and there are two servings in a bag…guess what is no longer on my list of eating!! And with foods all cooked in oils, it really limits on the options of going out to eat. Why is it restaurants don’t have to list the calories, fat (including trans fats) and serving sizes of their portions? Sure on fast food sites you can get that information now, but most restaurants you can’t, even on their websites. Ruby Tuesday, for a very brief period of time had the information on their menu, I think you can still ask for it, but it’s not as easy to get. I did read the menu when they had it though, and it was enough to send me home. I always knew that restaurants had obnoxious portions and out of control calories, but when one meal, even one you think is “healthy” has over 1000 calories and 50 or more grams of fat, there is something wrong. Particularly for someone that tries to consume less than 2000 calories a day, and likes to eat small portions over the course of the day. Appetizers are meant to be for 4 people…one cheese stick had something like 250 calories and 20 grams of fat…I very rarely eat out anymore. I like to control my portions. I like to control my eating. I like to eat healthier, so on occasion I can have a my peppermint stick ice cream that I so love this time of year and NO ONE makes in a light version!! Because of this, I end up opting out of eating at restaurants very often due to portion sizes (and yes, you can take it home, but lets be real, how many things are that good reheated from a restaurant?) not knowing the fat and calorie amounts in the portions I’m served and any number of other reasons. Similar to the way that I avoided going to a lot of restaurants until the smoking ban finally made them smoke free, and now that I have options of non-smoking bars, I continue to only patronize those bars, even though some of my favorites (and closer to where I live) are still smoking. I have a bit of a choice now and I chose to be healthier by not being in a smoking area. People are up in arms because of the “policing by the government” with what is going on in New York right now with the ban on trans fats going into effect. I say good for New York. I don’t want the government telling me what I can and can’t do, but the restaurants aren’t making much of an effort to remove the trans fats or make serving sizes and/or food healthier or offer healthier options either. Of course some of the chains have. Wendy’s has already, Taco Bell says they are, KFC even, the worst offender of all, has made plans to change. McDonald’s is dragging their heels although plans to cut the trans fats in Europe, no plans as of yet in the US, but I would guess the edicts from New York will make McDonald’s do it nationwide. So that covers the chains at least, I mean why make changes to the oil in one place and keep the same elsewhere? But the small places won’t make the changes until they are forced to either by customers protesting and stopping patronage until a change, or government stepping in and requiring it by law. OK, yes, that’s not the ideal, but it took government stepping in to make some changes to the smoking laws, before that non-smokers had no choices, and while, to an extent, trans fats are only killing the person taking them in (unlike cigarettes which hurt the non-smokers too) what about the rise in obesity, heart problems, diabetes and other health risks that have then caused health insurance to sky rocket? Seriously, why do I have to pay for other people’s medical bills? I go to the doctor once a year, I run, I strength train, I do yoga, I eat well, I am moving toward the low end of the “range” for my height and age in the weight department (and have always been in the “healthy” range and my cholesterol is below 200, with my good cholesterol being in the “high” range. I’m healthy, yet my rates are the same as another person in my company that, hypothetically, is 100 pounds over weight, has type II diabetes and already suffered two heart attacks because they eat at McDonald’s everyday. Is this fair? Sure, we can make our own decisions on what we eat, the reason the “policing” needs to be done is because we are apparently incapable of taking care of making the proper decisions:

Obesity Demographics

  • Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
  • Approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, 60 million are obese (Body Mass Index or BMI > 30) and 9 million are extremely obese (Body Mass Index or BMI > 40).
  • Currently, an estimated 65.2 percent of U.S. adults, age 20 years and older, and 15 percent of children and adolescents are overweight and 30.5 percent are obese
  • Approximately 62 percent of female Americans are considered overweight.
  • Approximately 67 percent of male Americans are considered overweight.

With those statistics is it any wonder things need to be done?? People are made aware everyday of how bad things are, and they continue the same pattern and make the same choices and then turn around and sue the places for “doing this to them”…Here is my thought, if people don’t care and they want to continue as they are, fine, let them. Unless it’s a family member or friend of mine (who I would get on and try to help them get healthier) I don’t really care. Now that might seem cold, but if you are going to stuff yourself with fast food everyday, you are doing it to yourself and you can’t claim ignorance, but I want a physical for health insurance coverage. I am healthy, I’ve run 5 marathons, a number of halves and I run at least 5-7 days a week and strength train, cross train and do yoga, (I’ve been to McDonald’s 3 times this year, what can I say, I love their fries, but I refuse to go again till the trans fats are gone) I buy healthy things to eat, try to eat as healthy as I can when out, cook with healthier means (wheat pasta, no overuse of oils, low fat meats), although I’m still not perfect on it, but I know I’m healthier than apparently the big majority of this country, so I demand cheaper health insurance. Make those causing the rates to go up, pay for it…same as some insurance that charges higher rates for smokers, charge those overweight and unhealthy higher rates too. Hit someone in the pocket and maybe they will think twice about that monster burger with 9 slices of bacon, 3 burger patties, and 5 slices of cheese with a large order of fries, and monster sized Coke to wash it down…

OK, sorry, that’s my rant for the day. I had this come to me as I read letters to the editor making their opinion about how bad they think the “policing” action is…On a lighter note, I have only 2 more presents to buy, I managed my errand to my running store and got 2 new pairs of shoes, 2 pairs of socks and some sport beans and clif shots to have on hand. They were out of my sport wash unfortunately though…sigh…one more stop I have to add tomorrow. I desperately need to wash some running things!! I think I might get up early tomorrow, do my run in the morning, run errands at lunch (I can get the two presents and sport wash picked up while out running errands) and maybe get a second run that night while doing laundry, then packing, meeting with a friend at my place and doing a bit of cleaning up before I leave for the weekend…Then Friday I can rest a bit before I go to work and decide if I’m driving yet on Friday night after I get done, or getting up Saturday morning and going…

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I ran to Best Buy...

Literally...during my lunch. I have to say, this order on-line pick up at the store thing is GREAT!! Yesterday I tried to find one last gift for my brother at the store, they didn't have it that I could find, so I went on-line and found I could pick it up at the Best Buy I had been I ordered it, paid for it, then just needed a confirmation slip and my ID to go get it. I planned a run for lunch time (as is semi normal for me these days), it was sunny, uppper 30s (warm enough that after a mile I took off my gloves and wished I had worn one less layer) and Best Buy is 1.8 miles away according to mapquest. I ran out and a mile in turned down one path to do a mile out and back (my plans had been 6-7 miles today), which I did over some pretty hilly terrain. Then a little swoop down and around to end up at 4.5 miles when I hit Best Buy...took about 10 minutes to get my item, but thankfully I got there before the rush!! Then out the door, down the road and back to the office in another 2.5 miles for 7 miles in 1:02:31, just under 9 minute pace...not bad, particularly considering the hills. And one less stop I have to make on my way home. I LOVE it. I have my workout in for the day, I have one of my errands off my list, and one more stop should get the rest of my Christmas shopping done. I need to hit the post office for Christmas stamps and Marathon Sports to buy my new shoes and sport wash and then I can relax the rest of the week...except of course packing to go to my parents on Saturday.

The Truths of the Season

Ginger Breadman tagged me so here it is!

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate, particularly the good stuff (not the cocoa) after a cold winter run
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Well, of course he wraps them, I love opening them and he knows that!!
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I prefer colored, but I kind of have both on the tree and outside. Most of the ones around the house are colored though
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Yes, when I can find it!!
5. When do you put your decorations up? Thanksgiving weekend (although lights went up a little early this year, I love lights)
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I can't think of a specific favorite, although I do like the potatoes that grandma makes on Christmas eve with the corn flakes on top!
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Maybe the year my sister and I got our barbie dream made it for us based on measurements from the real barbie dream house, and worked on it in front of us telling us it was a plant stand for great grandma
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Truth? What truth? That he's a very generous guy that comes around each year bringing presents to people around the world?
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, at my dad's families, we celebrate Christmas eve there, but none of the presents from Santa till Christmas day morning
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? A hodge podge of ornaments from over the years
11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Both, it is pretty when it's coming down, and it's a nice evening, no wind and the big puffy flakes are there, and it's fun to run in, but I'm not big on the winter sports and cold, so I can most times leave it!
12. Can you ice skate? yes, I even took adult lessons a few years ago and learned a few tricks
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Probably the year I got the mini bake was what everyone wanted and I felt so lucky to have gotten one, either that or the barbie dream house as I played with that thing so much!
14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? time with family
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? I don't think I have one, but I do love the cookies
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Probably brunch at my mom's mom's dad's mom is there too, and it's a smaller group and easier to talk and good food and cheap wine (in honor of grandpa cause he liked his cheap wine, we always have a toast and think of him)
17. What tops your tree? an angel
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? giving, at least when I have found the perfect givt to give someone
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? I'll be Home for Christmas
20. Candy canes? Definitely!! And traditional ones!
21. Favorite Christmas movie? Rudolph and if Love Actually can count for a Christmas movie (it is at Christmas time)
22. What do you leave for Santa? cookies and milk, and if I forget to leave the milk out, Santa helps himself and leaves me a note to tell me! Sometimes carrots for the reindeer too

Monday Evening Run

Another nice run, although still felt slow...I suppose I can't expect the runs to be that fast when I'm wearing all the extra clothes I have to to be able to keep warm this time of year. I think the temps were probably low 30s when I started out after work around 5. I got home, it felt cold and I was talking myself out of the run, but decided no, I can't do that, so I headed out and ran 5 instead of the 4 I had planned. It was dark by the time I started and deep dark by the time I got home, but that's OK...only 3 more days to the shortest day of the year and then the days will start getting longer. It's what I use to get myself by these dark days!! I did get a strength session in yesterday as well. Now today I'm planning about 7 at lunch time today and hopefully yoga when I get home since I didn't want to get out of bed and do it this morning.

After work today I have errands to run. Yesterday I managed to get part of my brother's present bought, and the other part of it purchased and waiting for me to pick up at Best Buy tonight (I LOVE the fact you can purchase on-line and pick up at the store!!), a quick stop at Target should be able to get a couple other small things bought and hopefully one other present for another friend and then I should be done, except for a couple of small stocking stuffers for mom (I do the shopping for dad most years for that) and maybe a stop at my running store tonight to pick up shoes at 25% off!! I can't wait till I'm done with all this stuff. Why do I put it off? Some years I'm really good about getting things bought ahead of time, not so good this year. I haven't even gotten my Christmas cards out yet...even though most of them have been addressed for close to a week and the letter has been written for a while too!! Sigh...

Monday, December 18, 2006

December 11-17 in Recap

Well, not a bad finish to my week I guess. I managed 37 miles running, over 5 days. I did one 20 minute yoga workout (OK that was bad since my ultimate goal is 3 days at least, 2 20s and a 1 hour) and 2 30 minute strength workouts. My goal is 3 days a week for strength, but I'm giving myself a break on it since prior weeks have been 3 days of 20 and this was 2 days of 30.

I'm so glad I got that run in yesterday too as I really would've exploded at work last night if I hadn't had the release!! Nothing like trying to get customers out of the store at close during Christmas. And the last person I helped was a FORMER EMPLOYEE!!! I'm sorry, but you don't pull that crap of being in the store beyond closing time when you used to work there and know what it's like!! I NEVER go into a place if they are closing in 15 minutes or less unless I know I can be in and out with 5 minutes to spare before they close!! It's just rude otherwise. And any person that thinks otherwise should have to work retail and find out how much fun it is to be held beyond your time you're supposed to be leaving!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Sometimes you just need a run. Sometimes you don't even know that you need the run. Sometimes when you most don't feel like running is the time really you need to do it. Today was kind of one of those days for me. Friday I had done my slow 12 miles, it was cooler than I might have liked, but oh well, and yesterday was a nice day, but I opted to not run, but did get some strength training and then worked last night, so 5 hours on the feet (and avoiding the bad for me cookies and such they had at work for our little food day) running around the store I suppose counts for something. Today I woke up around 9, made my ritualistic Sunday call to my parents, talked to them for an hour, hour and a half, called my sister to let her know I wasn't going to come down to watch the game at her place due to working tonight at 4. I got some more presents wrapped, figured out something I should get one of my grandma's for Christmas (and wish I had thought of it last night in case my store doesn't have it so I can get my extra discount on it, might have to go to work early and hit a different B&N just to be safe or maybe make some phone calls). Anyway, I started watching the game while doing some cleaning and decided I needed to run. I dressed, got myself out there with no set miles in mind. I knew I'd go at least 4, but whatever was just fine for the week. My goal right now is just keep a minimu m of 25-30 miles per week, with an ultimate goal of hitting 35 to keep me really happy. Well, as of Friday I had 30 for the week, so anything today was icing...I went out and relaized I was pretty much set to hit 7. I maintained a 9:15 pace, not a great one, but it was cool and I am feeling a bit tired, I didn't push anything, just ran trying to keep things feeling good. I'm glad I did it. I was listening to a book. So kept my mind blank, temps are probably low to mid 30s, a slight sun, but not much, but it still felt nice. I'm glad I did it. I definitely feel better about myself for having done it (although could use a nap now) and hopefully that will help me feel good being at work tonight. When I got back, I stretched, used the foam roller on my leg over my IT Band and hamstring, am about to start a late lunch/early dinner and am enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate while typing this. Reminds me of something else I need to pick up at B&N, some more Godiva hot chocolate...yes, on the weekend, after longer runs, I reward myself with a nice cup of hot chocolate, not the cocoa, made with water, but chocolate, made with milk, and the good Godiva stuff...although I don't know where they think you need 3 tablespoons of the stuff, I put about 3 teaspoons in and that's more than enough!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Early Weekend Edition

So, another busy weekend, and it's still going on. I managed to get my 12 miler in, it never got quite as warm on Friday as I had hoped, I ran a 9:30 pace, which is much slower than I had hoped to run, but it's what I had the energy for after eating my typical breakfast of eggbeaters and toast at 9 and having an orange at 11:15, and I didn't run till 12:10 or so, finished close to 2, ran my errand to Whole Foods (and thought of MNFirefly when I went past Jamba Juice where I know she often goes after her runs around the lakes). This was a run around the entire chain of lakes. I haven't just run the lakes in so long it was kind of refreshing. I've usually had to run a couple of laps around one or another, and haven't just done the loop (10.5 miles) in a really long time.

I had a nice long bath and hot chocolate after the run, the met up with friends for drinks and appetizers and then out for a few more was a nice night, kind of low key and laid back. Saw a few friends, some were missing that I expected to see, but that's OK too...I was still quite tired this morning though when I woke up, and didn't get up till 10, which is strange cause I don't usually sleep that late even on nights that I'm up later and drink more...I felt the need for a nap later too, but opted out of that. I went to finish Christmas shopping, but decided it was not what I wanted to do, dealing with the crowds, so instead I went and strength trained, then I came home and finished up some cleaning I had started in my room and did some shampooing of my carpets with a shampooer I had borrowed from a friend (talk about an exciting afternoon) and then I had to work all evening...I was actually able to stay in a good mood most of the evening though. I even found out one of our new temp hires for the holidays is a podiatrist during the talk about the kind of person you want to know when you are a runner!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Thursday Run and Friday Plans

Last night I went straight home cause I wanted to run while there was still a little light, it was still mostly dark by the time I got to the heaviest traffic areas, but oh well. I really do need to get some more reflective things for running in the dark. Anyway, I left my gym bag at work to take home today cause I really didn’t use it yesterday, my day got a bit messed up as I had planned to run during daylight at lunch, but my boss was going to meet with me just after 1 (was after 2 by the time we met anyway so I could’ve run when I wanted to!) and by then I had time for strength training but not a 6 mile run…so I opted to strength train for 30 minutes (after doing 20 minutes of strength yoga in the morning) and run after work. When I got home, I realized both my watch and my Garmin were in the duffel bag I left at work…thankfully I run these routes enough that I can get a good guess of where 6 miles would be…I approximated it at 9 minute paces, but think some of them felt a bit faster and I might have been slightly over the 6 miles, but that’s OK. It was a nice run. I was slightly overdressed only because I wanted a hood for my head (since my hat was at work) and wore a top that had one but is a bit heavier…It felt good though.

After the run I made my trip to Trader Joe’s, one of the errands I need to run and have been putting off. I have decided too, it’s worth the extra drive to get there vs. my other grocery stores for their fruits and veggies. A few things are higher priced but most are about the same and if they are slightly higher, it’s usually because it’s organic…and the stuff is soooo much better. I love looking at all the stuff they have too. Today I’m leaving work at 11 and going to run an errand at a spice store for my mom, then make a run around the lakes (unless it’s cold by the lakes, then I might just run some neighborhoods) for a 12-15 miler and then a quick stop by Whole Foods as they have some chips I just love and am out of (not bad in calories, transfat free, low salt and they make the best nachos and aren't horribly overpriced like some of the stuff there!!). I’ll do a bit around the house then have to meet a friend for dinner at 6:30…we are going to Pepito's this great little Mexican place in a neighborhood in South Minneapolis. I haven’t been there in ages but they have fantastic chips and salsa, great chicken quesadillas (which might be what I just have as my main course) and my friend enjoys their margaritas. Afterward plan is to go to my local hang out for a while…funny thing is I could drink a few if I wanted as my run tomorrow will be short, but I have no interest in doing that, but I was thinking about shampooing my carpets tomorrow, so guess I can get up and get that done…should do some prep work for that tonight (ie moving furniture around).

I’m figuring out my hamstring (I think that’s where I’ve finally determined the problem is in my left leg) is still tight, and feels tight again today, which seems to be normal these days. I’ve been using my foam roller for the last 3 days I think I’ve managed to do it, and using the stick on it, as much as I remember at least, and things are still tight. I need to get that loosened up as it’s causing issues along my shin too…I wish a massage was in the budget right now. I think that would help the most. No idea how this got tight either as it’s never been a problem area of mine. At least it’s not painful and doesn’t seem to be better or worse when running a lot.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Opted Out

So I decided not to go to the Christmas party. Part of me wanted to, but the bigger part of me wanted to just stay home and veg. I used to be out and on the go everyday of the week, but lately, and in the winter in particular, I've just become blah during the week, and really only go out on the weekend because I feel like I really have to just to keep from totally becoming a recluse...I did a run during lunch yesterday, and I know I went too late and/or should've eaten before I went because it was really lagging. I did 5 miles, although Garmin was messing up a bit at the end on distance, but I finished in 44:50, not a stellar performance (which has me questioning some of my recent paces without Garmin, but my estimates for distance seem to be on, so who knows) but OK, didn't feel great after it though...that's been the case a lot lately. The conditions around the island (where I chose to run so I could have the option of quitting whenever I needed to) were a bit treacherous. The weather was upper 30s/low 40s, but one side hadn't seen the sun and we had rain on Tuesday so the path had been wet, and it was icy, first lap I ran on the path, second I went next to the path on that side as it wasn't worth risking a fall!! I didn't get any strength training in though, I planned to, but went down there after work and just realized I didn't want to change again and I just didn't feel like it, so I went home. I did get out of bed early this morning though and did my strength yoga (20 minutes) and have finally fully figured out that it is my hamstring more than the IT Band that is tight and causing problems on the left side. I need to work that out. I need to be better at stretching (and doing my yoga). Hopefully I can get that worked out before I make any decisions about next year.

Anyway, in other news...I managed to FINALLY get my computer at home working. After fighting with it, bitching about it and trying to figure out what to do with a lot of help from a friend (even hauling it to her place to try to get it into recovery counsel and wipe everything and redo it) I went to a basic idea and fixed it...OK, what happened is some type of virus got into it. I have had a lapsed virus program for a while, but don't use it much anyway, so figured I was safe...wrong. It was causing lots of issues. So I purchased McAffee with firewall and everything, couldn't install it cause the virus was stopping it. last night after all these other thoughts and attempts, I hunted down my owner's manual for the computer to find a way to reinstall Windows and hopefully wipe the virus...well, it suggested before doing that to do a system restore...duh...I've done that before and it worked. So I went back to the last of those I could do, it was from September, and lo and behold it worked. I was able to install McAffee, run it, put up the firewall (well that's having issues, but at least it's helping to look and make sure there are no viruses). I'm also going to download Netscape and start using that over Microsoft Explorer because it's much safer from what I hear...might even go with Firefox which is another good one I've heard. But happy day, now I can use my computer at home and get my Christmas cards ready, get a present ready I was going to send a friend and maybe do a little hunting and see what might make me some more money...and maybe get some new experience. I have one position in mind I'd really like to check into a bit more, and the commute would be no worse than it is now...wish me luck!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas Party or Not...

Well, I got a nice 7 miler in last night. Leg is still tight. I did stretch after I was done, but it’s still sore. I’m starting to wonder if I should take a few days off and see if that helps. I don’t know if it was being slightly overdressed (I had to wear heavier tights cause lighter ones were at work and heavier pants cause the lighter ones with reflection on them were at work as well) or just that things are feeling tougher. I ran in mostly dark and stuck to quieter roads since I also forgot my “blinky” (light that goes on my bike but that I wear to make myself more visible), there are some trails, but I avoid them after dark cause leaves too much risk, I like being around houses where if someone came at me I could run up to a house and hopefully get some help (suppose I should carry my cell too, but I rarely do), but I do live in a safe area. The weather was nice, a bit drizzly and foggy, but warmer still, which has been really nice. I ran 7 miles in about 64 minutes, just over 9 minute miles. Now I suppose I haven’t been running in as hilly of an area lately due to running more during the day at work and maybe I’m not used to the hills, but it does kind of bum me out that it seems I’m slower…I’m going to use my Garmin today on the routes I’ve been running here just to be sure I haven’t been THAT off on my guesstimates of time and pace. Maybe my distance has really been off.

So last night while I was running, it was dark, as I mentioned, and I thought to enjoy the lights as I live right near a very wealthy area, lots of big nice houses that probably all would sell for close to a million just for the area they are in, and some are HUGE…well, few of them actually had lights on them, and a few that did, only had a few lights…come on people…get into the spirit. Now granted, some of them may not be Christian and celebrate Christmas, but you know, even without putting any “Christian meaning” to the lights, I personally love lights…they are so pretty, and twinkly, I like having them up and I like having them on and I like sitting in my house with just my Christmas lights on to enjoy…even if I wasn’t Christian, I think I’d still decorate!! I’m going to have to go see some of the more dressed up neighborhoods, would love to run some of them, but unfortunately not safe to run in the dark, alone I suppose…sigh…

It’s my work Christmas party tonight. They gave us a robe as a gift, now I like robes, and it’s a very nice one, however I do have two others already that one was given cause they didn’t know what else to give me and I still use and like my other robe from years ago when I wanted it…now I’m not going to be a Scrooge and complain about it, but considering I don’t even wear the two I have all that often…oh well. The dinner tonight is at Ichiban, a Japanese Steak House in town…supposedly a very good place, one of the more expensive restaurants, but not someplace I’ve ever wanted to go. They are known for sushi, which I don’t eat, and yes, they do have cooked food, but looking over the menu, I’m a very, very fussy eater, and right now I’m trying to lose weight, so I don’t want to force food into my system that I don’t like/want anyway…I am from the Midwest and am a steak and potatoes kind of girl. Yes, I can get steak and shrimp (which I love) but I get rice, some chicken liver appetizer, a salad with crab meat (which I don’t care for and I don’t use dressing on my salad which I’m sure it automatically comes with), a soup that I wouldn’t care for, tea (again not a fan, are we seeing a trend here?) and some tea flavored ice cream…all in all, I’d eat the steak and the rice…that’s provided we order off the menu. It could be that things are just being provided and in that instance, who knows what might come along. I RSVP’d that I would go, and was excited about it, but now more and more and not feeling it…plus I wore jeans today, we get about 2 weeks of the year we can, and no one else that is going seems to have worn jeans, I could drive home, but then I’d be fighting bad traffic to get back to meet the bus to go, or bad traffic to get downtown…if I don’t go, I can maybe get my computer up and running (had some issues I had to ask a friend about yet again so didn’t get it fixed last night), do some cleaning and in general just hang out at home, which is more what I want to do anyway, particularly since I’m going out on Friday night for dinner and having to leave my house much earlier than I normally do…sigh…if only I wasn’t such a fussy eater, none of this would be a problem, but I also just don’t think I feel up to it all, particularly since I’m not dressed as nicely as I could be either…

And anyone know what is up with blogger? I can't seem to post comments on anyone's boards...don't think I'm ignoring you!! I am reading, just haven't been allowed to post...sigh...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Workouts Week of December 4-10

I didn't update on this yesterday when I covered my weekend, but I only managed 4 runs for the week and a total of 24 miles. Not nearly as good as I have had for the past few weeks, but that's all because of Saturday's mess up with working in the afternoon AND having that bad night...I did strength train 3 days for 20 minutes each day, and I cross-trained on Monday for 30 minutes on the elliptical, so not a horrible week, but definitely not one of my best. I think I'm going to take Friday afternoon off though as it's supposed to be mid-40s and run a 15 miler or so outside around the lakes and enjoy a nice afternoon. I have some errands I need to run around that area anyway and it gives me time to do that and still maybe go out and do something that night and be able to recover on Saturday. Joy too, this weekend I get to work both Saturday and Sunday...I so hate that...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Another Crazy Weekend

Weekend Update

Computer still messed up, but I might be closer to getting a resolution on it…hopefully something will be fixed soon!!


I went out with a friend to my local hang out, no intentions on having more than a couple, but I had someone driving me and one thing led to another, shots were had, fun was being had, we went to a party J2 was having…sigh, it was a rough night…I didn’t remember taking some of the pictures that are on my camera, heck, I wouldn’t even had looked at my pictures except J2 came into the store on Saturday while I was working and mentioned something that triggered in my mind and I looked when I got home…needless to say after indulgences on Friday (and definitely no more plans to do that till maybe NYE!) I got home on Saturday and just stayed in, watching TV…it felt like such a wasted day too as I woke up, went to the bathroom and went back to bed, had no idea what time I had gone to bed, and my friend who had crashed at my place (after driving me home) also didn’t remember what time we may have gotten to sleep…sigh…So beautiful day here on Saturday but I was working 12-5, I never work day shifts, but wouldn’t you know it. Anyway, I got home, had some dinner, watched some TV and had a phone call from J1 about running on Sunday. I had a few thoughts on my run and a busy day on Sunday so knew that I wasn’t going to be able to “plan” for a run with someone. I wasn’t even sure how far I was going to go anymore and told him I’d let him know if it did work out, but it really didn’t. Which was fine…


I got up and headed right out for a run, I had planned for 8 for a long run this weekend, had kind of wanted to do 10, but ended up with 7 yesterday morning. It was just all I had in me…I got home, made the weekly call to mom and dad then went to a friend’s place to bake cookies. She has a good sized kitchen and a heavy duty mixer so it works out really nice to bake at her place. This is the second year we’ve done this and I think it will become a tradition. We made pazelles (sp), spritz cookies, angel crisps and roll out cookies (a double batch). Plus she mixed up another kind she was going to make for her husband later as they needed to chill. Had the Vikings game on to watch while we were doing stuff, and her kids to entertain/try to keep out of our way, but all in all a successful afternoon of baking and decorating cookies. Next year we might have to let Colin, her oldest, try and help, he’ll be 4 then, probably about the right age for that. We then took a look at my computer and did a few things to it that might now make it something I can get into and be able to make some changes to and maybe finally blow away everything, reinstall and get rid of my virus or whatever is in it. Hopefully I can get that fixed yet this week and have computer access at home again…

Alex in his Vikings (well actually it was something I gave Colin when he was young but this is the first I actually got to see one of them in it!!) gear...

Now, do I post the pictures I took at the party…I threatened to put them on the internet!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Weather Reports Puzzle Me...

I know they puzzle all of us, and man, what a job, where else can you usually be wrong and STILL have a job?? But it’s strange to me, when I hear the weather report on the radio in the morning and it says a high for today of 20, and the current temp is 23…shouldn’t that be a high of 23 then and it’s just going to get colder?? Today I was looking at the forecast before I set out for my lunchtime run (done at 11 today due to a meeting from 1-4) and it showed me, on Intellicast (this is my most trusted weather guide, a friend told me about it years ago and she had been turned to it by pilot friends of hers, I've found it to be the most accurate most of the time) that the weather was going to have a high of 17 and a low of 10, yet the temp currently was 2 with a wind chill of -3…hmm…puzzlement…anyway, I went and ran…and yes, it was quite cold. When I got back to my desk an hour later, the temp was showing 9…it warmed up 7 degrees while I was out there. Yay!! OK, it’s strange though because I am SOOOO not one for cold weather. I hate it. It hates me. I have bad circulation I swear and it takes forever for me to warm up. I headed out, but thankfully there wasn’t a heavy wind that was cutting through today. I had tights that are supposed to be good for below 0, I had pants over them, I had an inner layer top, a 3 season wicking top and a windbreaker jacket, my glittens and a gator and hat…the only thing visible was my eyes, breathing through the gator makes warm breath, it creates water on the eyelashes, it’s cold out, the water freezes…I had one droplet fall off, crawl down my cheek and end up in my mouth…interesting…nothing like providing your own ice water huh? Anyway, I finished up 7 miles, ~11 laps around the island by work (it’s the easiest place to run simply because it’s protected and close if I get too cold), I don’t take my Garmin out cause it takes time to get a signal and when I hit the outside I just want to start so I can warm up…the buildings are tall and block the signal a bit. Anyway, the 7 miles were finished in 1:00:57 or so, ~8:40 pace, so still not bad considering the cold and how much more I have to put on to dress. Wonder what would happen if it was warm and I could wear shorts and t-shirt. Now I get to go work tonight at B&N…oh joy…and tomorrow is going to be boring as both of my co-workers are gone. But tonight guess the dog is gone. My roommate e-mailed me that she’d have her bed out tonight so not to freak out when I get home. Strange, I really thought she’d be there till end of the month, but she said she had to work it when she had people to do it, I do think she just wanted feelings toward the dog, the strain from that and a few other things that are differences in personality and the way we are as people, neither good nor bad for either, just different.

Now, can someone having warm temps please, please, please send some of that to me?? I don’t think I can take this much longer. I need more cold weather stuff!! After Christmas…I put all running stuff on my Christmas list, including if not the specific items I want, then a gift card to National Running Center, my favorite spot for cold weather gear (I like that they have a rating system and you can see how each brand is for things).

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dreary Wednesday

Winding down the day and figure now is a good time for an update…not a lot to update today but hey, I can kill a few minutes if I do.

I was exhausted yesterday when I got home…I don’t know if it was the day I had at work or what (and by the way, I ran into the one that made the complaint about me in the elevator leaving and she was a friendly and nice like nothing had happened…see, MN nice) but I didn’t do anything except make dinner when I got home. I watched some TV and by 7:45 realized what’s the point in staying up. I was tired, there wasn’t anything I wanted to watch right then and I could tape the show I wanted to watch and watch it this weekend…so that’s what I did. I was asleep by 8:30 I would guess…roommate had left and taken dog with her, I heard her come back, I actually had to use the bathroom anyway so I got up at 11:30 and then took about a half hour to get back to sleep cause mind was racing…but I did, and slept till 5:30, when dog decided to come barking at my door (roomies door had been closed when I got out of the bathroom, so no idea why it had to be opened and dog allowed run of house and barkability by my door again), I managed to get back to sleep again for a while but then of course alarm went off. Anyway, I was up and to work on time…been trying to get a lot done today and have been semi-productive I think. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be spending going through boxes…oh what fun…I did get a workout at lunch, ran 4 miles on the treadmill, and dreaded every step of it. My leg was still quite tight, I did some stretching and eventually it was feeling better, but the 4 miles still drug on…35:03. I did 20 minutes of strength training and am going to try to do my yoga strength DVD tonight as well. We’ll see how that goes. A part of me had considered running tonight outside as well, but now I’m not so sure…I’m cold, to make it worthwhile I really should run at least 5-6 miles (for all the bundling up I have to do) and I don’t think I have the ambition/energy for it, but it would keep me out of the house longer and away from the food that I can’t seem to stay away from. Sigh…this struggle to stop snacking is tough…and it’s the only way I’m going to drop those pesky pounds. I know, I know, I don’t NEED to lose it, but it’s just something I want, and I honestly do believe it will help my running.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

32 - A Heat Wave?

Heat wave coming through, it’s going to get up to 32 today!! And a chance for flurries…so in honor of this, I opted for an outdoor run today. I was a little less bundled than I have been and it wasn’t too bad out, when I left it was telling me it was 21 and felt like 15…still warmer than it has been. I stayed close not knowing for sure how it would feel and wanting the option to get back out of the cold if I needed it. I did the 6 I had planned and it felt nice. Total time was 51:40 an 8:40 pace, of course this is all approximate as I didn’t wear my Garmin cause I didn’t want to stand outside waiting to get a signal. Got back to my desk and decided to forgo the lunch I brought and just ate the banana bread and apple I had along with a hot chocolate as I was suddenly freezing…I did have one issue with my calf being tight, I tried other ways of movement to see if it felt better, I’m reading ChiRunning and am trying to get far enough to start incorporating the methods, but so far I haven’t been diligent or focused on the readings…anyway, I’m sure the tightness still has to do with that tight IT Band that I have…but oh well. Also had an e-mail from J1…I know he is going to want to get together sometime soon, not sure what I want…I e-mailed and had a message back from J2 yesterday, he’s busy this week at work, but am not sure how I feel about that situation either and if I want to go out on a date with him at all…I think they all need to just go away and not make me even think about these things. I’m perfectly content without dating.

Read through my e-mails that had come in and a mistake I had made earlier in the day came back to haunt me. I realized the error after a few questions went out and I sent a message the person most affected by it apologizing and reporting my error, something had been written differently in the contract than I was used to and considering all the documents I had been processing for signature in the last few days, I overlooked the way it was written. I got the information I needed and thought all was fine, but the person I had sent the message to apologizing opted to forward that message to my boss and tell him she had lost an hour of work and numerous e-mails due to this. My boss e-mailed me back that we should discuss and that he understands people make mistakes but “we have to realize how our errors affect others”…umm…excuse me…we are overworked, understaffed and so far behind on stuff it’s not even funny in our department. This person that had complained about me I’ve forgiven on times when she’s not gotten back to me in a timely manner and even recently had to send a second message to inquiring about something I had no heard back on. We are all human, I wish I could always do my job perfectly but unfortunately I can’t. This is a tedious, pain in the butt process to get documents for signature, things that actually shouldn’t even have to be done cause the client signed it already, approvals should already be out there, it should not be my responsibility in legal to get the financial approvals, my job should be to make sure the document we got back signed is the same one we went out and have an attorney approve it and then get it signed. If there are other questions, then that should’ve been brought up, discussed and changed long before the client signed off on it…but nope, I misread one thing and suddenly I need to “discuss it” with my boss…this is so frustrating…I’m tired of being treated like an uneducated child…let me run some more files up to 12…forget that I have a degree and a brain…I’m human too…unfortunately…

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cold and Interesting Weekend

Well, I was going to do an update on Saturday and then again on Sunday but my computer is hosed…fried…so not working it sucks. I have a virus in it, it’s been in a while but I haven’t been able to figure out how to get it fixed. I’ve tried a few things to wipe it and start over, but so far they haven’t worked. It was still working for Internet, now it’s just so darn slow nothing can seem to come up and that’s one of the only reasons I have it.

OK so enough on that rant…Friday night, got home, was chatting with a neighbor then went upstairs to change and go for a run. It was cold, but I wanted to get a short one in, I was changing when roommate came back in with her dog and asked if I was going to be around later as she wanted to talk. I wasn’t sure, had slight plans to go out, she asked if I had time then but I wanted to get my run in, so was going to wait till Saturday…I did decide to go out, had a nice time, ran into my boss, his wife and another co-worker from our Paris office, in fact helped them get into the bar as the co-worker from Paris hadn’t brought her passport. Anyway, chatted a bit with them then went back to friends I was visiting with. My friend and I had planned to only be out for a little while, but she started talking to someone and I ran into a friend…well, maybe something else, that’s a long story and until I know more I don’t think I’m going to think much on it!! Anyway, was talking to him, another J, will have to call him J2 to keep them separated, although technically I’ve known J2 longer…anyway, we closed the bar, but I had only had a couple of drinks anyway so was feeling fine. Got home and to bed and was up just before 8 to go for a run. I had been talking about running that 5K and decided to do it and J1 had suggested he’d meet me at the same spot and run down there with me and then run it with me…we had a ride home from a buddy of his lined up and I thought why not…so I was up early, met him about 8:45 and then off to the race. We had 6.35 in before the race started, it was about 10 degrees when I had started and there was wind…it was cold. We stood around just enough that my fingers were in pain but once we started up again, and blood was flowing it was fine. This is a huge race, about 5000 or so runners so no chance on a good time unless you are in the front. I have no idea on our time even but I know we paced over 10 minute miles it was so packed, oh well. I wasn’t trying for a PR on this one. People dress in costume and they only give prices for the top 5 men and women overall. After the run we finished off a 3.65 so I could have my 10 miles, they were kind of slow due to the cold but oh well. We met J1s friend and his mom and her friend that were with and got to the car, I was so cold as my under layer was damp and with the wind and such I just couldn’t stay warm. I went home, took a bath had some hot chocolate and a nap and felt better. Roommate got home and we had a talk too…we’ve agreed it’s best for her to move out at the end of the month as the strain is too much and if she stays till March we probably won’t be friends anymore. She didn’t want to move again, but what can you do. I thought long and hard on it and figured it’s better this way too so wasn’t going to try to talk her into staying, it’s not good for either of us. I had to work Saturday night and went home and to bed…had a wake up call at 7 am from the dog, this is a big part of why moving out is a good thing…and then couldn’t sleep anymore, so I got up, did some cleaning and talked to mom and dad and then decided to run. Even though it wasn’t any warmer and might have been colder than Saturday, went outside for it and did 6 miles at about a 9 minute pace…then got home and watched the Vikings be beat by Chicago, oh well. Hopefully next year we can rebuild!! A bad record this year gives them draft picks!! Oh, also got a batch of beef barley soup made up. It’s a good winter thing to have around…and gave me something to bring for lunch today. Sunday night I then went to dinner at my favorite restaurant with J1…it was a nice evening, and he’s interesting to talk to, although I think I talk more, he does listen, which is a plus, but I don’t know if I feel it going anywhere…I’ll give it a bit more time and see, but I’m a bit concerned cause I have a feeling he really likes me for whatever reason and I feel bad if I don’t return that feeling with the same enthusiasm. I think this just proves my point though. I’m really not that interested in dating. I’m open to it, but it really has to be the right person for me to be fully engaged and ready to be committed to someone. I won’t be with someone just to be with someone. J1 is a good runner (he’s run 3:3ish for marathon), interesting, attractive, stable in that he owns a home, has his own business etc…but there still needs to be a bit of something right? Like I said, I’ll give it a bit more time, but we’ll see.

Anyway, I finished the week with 36 miles, 3 days of doing 20 minutes of strength training and 2 days of yoga. Not a bad week. In fact I’m happy with it and will take it. Just hope it warms up a little bit for this week as I am tired of the bitter cold already…At least we have the winter solstice coming up and the days getting longer which is a very good thing. I need the sun and even if it’s only a minute or two each day, days getting longer are so much better and easier to deal with than days getting shrorter!!