Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fall is Definitely Here

Yes, I do realize that fall has been here now, officially, since Sunday, but last night, I ran and I ran naked again (meaning no watch, no Garmin, no MP3) not actually NAKED and I noticed how much more fall has shown up and it makes me a bit sad. I do think that the fall colors are very pretty, don't get me wrong, but, living in Minnesota, I know what comes after the leaves fall off, and not being a fan of cold weather, well, you see where I'm coming from right? Fall is bittersweet. It's pretty, and the cooler weather again, after running in the heat and humidity of the summer, feels nice, but it's also leading to cold, and in Minnesota, extreme cold! And snow, which yes, can look pretty, but makes commutes icky and running treacherous. I like the warm. Spring is my favorite, a time of renewal, of growth, when the rain is great because it brings the green and new flowers summer you have warm, warm days and humid, sultry nights, when being outdoors in a tank top and little skirt is fine (or if you're adventurous, a skinny dip, and no, I wouldn't know from experience on that...except that one or two drunk nights, and remember, I do live in a city!)....the days are long, you can run almost any time and not have to rush home to get it in before dark...and I see if Spring is rebirth, well, then you can think what fall and winter are...

I did get my run in last night. Everything seemed to be OK again, still not 100% but much better than it has been. My glute still isn't making any complaints, which is a miracle in and of itself since that has been my biggest problem area recently. My hamstring was a little tight still, but my shin never acted up either. My knee was having a bit of an issue again, so when I got home, I iced it, I stretched (downward dog, upward dog, pigeon pose, laying on my stomach and pulling my foot with opposite hand to stretch the quad), I did stabalization moves, I'm doing anything and everything I can to keep things feeling good and get them to be better. I have a few other exercises I plan to incorporate back in too (was wondering if they might be part of the tight inner abductor so I stopped them for a few days). Hopefully it will keep progressing. I'm working on a plan for things for the next few months, including a race that has been in my mind for a while....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Run at Last

For those that read here on a fairly regular basis, you know I’ve been dealing with a tight glute/hamstring or some issue for quite some time and it has made running uncomfortable and not much fun at all. I was on the verge of giving up running all together after my 25K on September 9th. I only ran 9 miles from 9/10 - 9/16 and from 9/17 - 9/23 I didn't run at all.

During my week off last week, I was working on all I could do to work on the stability in my hips, which are probably the biggest problem. I've been doing exercises to work the inner and outer hip abductors and trying to stretch all sore and potentially sore areas along with the stability exercises. By not running, I thought things would improve, however, I was having a tightness in the hamstring that was different from what I had had before so I asked L if I could get a massage on Saturday and he worked on the trouble leg for about 40 minutes. He found tightness in my inner left abductor that I had been unaware of, and also tightness in my hamstring and he thinks it might be a quad problem so worked on areas in there. I had also been having some tightness in my inner knee, but that seems to be a joint issue and I’m just icing to try to get that feeling better. Finally he worked in the glute again and that wasn’t quite as tight as it has been, so something must be working. Anyway, after it was all worked out, I felt better, still a bit tight on Sunday but I decided I was going to try a run last night.

I dressed in some of my favorite running things including a fun pair of shoes I almost never wear because they are more my racing shoes for shorter distances. I went out and things seemed to be feeling OK, although I felt some tightness along the left shin. I hesitate to use the words “shin splits” because a PT once informed me that after age 13-14 for girls shin splints are more just a generic term for pain in the area…anyway, that is kind of what I was feeling, a tightness around the outer left shin a little bit when going uphills. I tried to be sure I was running “normal” and not babying the left side, but must’ve been doing a little of that. The results of the run though were favorable. I didn’t wear a watch, but it felt like a moderate to slightly fast pace, I did 3 miles and stopped to stretch each mile. When I got done I did more stretching, used my scaro wedgy and later, after talking to L, and on his suggestion, used my stick on my shin and then on my hamstring. I seemed to have loosened up the hamstring some more and I iced both the shin and knee as well

I at least it seems to be having some improvement and maybe eventually it will all be fine and I can start focusing on future runs again. I’m taking today off, although will be stretching and doing the icing, then tomorrow I’ll head out for another 3-4 and continue an every other day thing, slowly building up and seeing how things hold up. I have no specific races, but I found the World Run Day that I think I want to do on November 11. Just have to decide on a distance...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Life

Part of me has been composing this blog since Sunday…but I haven’t had the pictures (kept forgetting my camera) so I wanted to hold till I could put them all together. Not to mention work has been so crazy busy that I haven’t had the time to write anyway. It’s still busy, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted to spend a couple of minutes on it before I head into the rest of the day. Today is no ranting about how the GMAT sucks, or questioning what I’m going to do (maybe another day this week), nor is it about my running, which hasn’t been going well or much at all, but that’s OK and I’m working on a plan for that, probably to be revealed later as well. Nope, this one is about a new life.

These are pictures of baby Sabrina Brianna. Born Saturday night at 11:43 pm to a couple of my best friends. I’ll say a couple of my best friends because that is what they are. I’ve known H and J only together. Met H in 1995 or 1996 at a company we both worked at. While J was living in another state at the time, about 7 hours away, I met him shortly after I had gotten to know H and while she went back and forth on things with the relationship and spent time debating marriage or break up, they eventually ended up married and I was in the wedding as a bridesmaid, with the option to be the best man had I wanted to be (I was even invited to the bachelor party, only bachelor party I’ve ever been invited to and had to pass cause my mom and dad were in town, sigh). So having known them as long as I have, obviously they are good friends and I’ve known them through the good and the bad…well, Saturday was a final good for them. They had their first, Colin, 4 years ago in November, Alex just turned 2 on the 10th and now baby Sabrina. At 7 lbs 10 oz, she was bigger than both brothers and mom did notice that when she made her way into the world. She also took a bit longer but worth the wait according to mom and dad. These pictures were taken at 11 am, so she’s not quite 12 hours old at this time.

Now I post these, and I was there to see her pretty much as soon as visiting hours were underway. H called me just after 8 and we talked a while then I decided might as well get in the car and go see her. With very little sleep and having just given birth, H didn’t look bad at all either. And Sabrina was sleeping when I got there…very cute little thing isn’t she? Anyway, what I find with seeing her and the other two and hearing stories etc from people…I think I’m defective. Honestly, I can see babies and think they are cute, but other than friends kids, I really don’t care about holding them or anything. And seeing one does not make my uterus jump, or flip or skip or anything else I’ve heard people use to describe their desire for another child. I keep waiting for this instinct to kick in, and while seeing H pregnant and feeling the baby move intrigued me, I’m curious as to what it feels like when it’s coming from the inside, it still doesn’t intrigue me enough to want to deal with 1) getting it out (I’m not a big fan of pain) and 2) dealing with the responsibility of this being for the rest of your life scares the bejeezus out of me. All my friends seem to be very baby oriented and all about kids, and I’m getting to that age where that clock should be ticking right?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Life is Not Fair

OK, yes, I learned a young age, when I said "that's not fair" to my mom...her response? "Life's not fair." And honestly, it really isn't...I got my official scores on Friday from the GMAT office...I hate them, have I mentioned that? Anyway, had my writing scores included. Now the writing score doesn't figure into the overall. When you hear people discuss GMAT scores they are talking their verbal and quantitative scores combined, you know, the 600, the 720, the 615 that is the average of admitted Carlson students (way, way higher than my mediocre score) with a 3.3 GPA (mine is either 3.6 or 3.7)...anyway, the writing score is a 1-6 rating (maybe 0-6, but I'm not sure on that) and I figured I'd end up with an average 3-4 rating which is good enough for acceptance...nope, I had to get a 5.5. Yeah. Nice. Why couldn't I have just done 50 points higher on the other sections and then I'd have much less to think about and not much for worry in applying. Sigh...The writing is 1) analysis of an issue. You are given a section to read and the statement at the end you have to show why or why not the conclusion is a good one. 2) Analysis of an argument, you state why the argument is good or not. Well, apparently I'm good at both of those. Even my verbal score is OK, enough above average that I'd probably at least be considered, but that quantitative is so low...the real sad thing is though, I know my math is not the greatest. I can learn it, I can do it when I'm being shown what to do, but it's not a strong suit of mine and doesn't remain in my memory so I didn't chose a field that I need it. And for an MBA, I was planning to stay away from Finance and Accounting for an area of study for that reason...

So back to GMAT...math screwed me over, the writing were business based issues and I did well at really, is it fair that my mind understands business, that I can see issues and analyze good and bad about them, and I know I would excel in the program and it would help me in my current job, but just because I haven't had math related things in the last 8-12 years that I can't do a graduate program...stupid standardized tests...and I normally excel at them...

Friday, September 14, 2007


OK, yes, it's been a rough week, well rough beginning to one. I know, I know, I owe an race report and updates but I haven't much felt like it because there just hasn't been good stuff to report. I will attempt a race report at some point though, just to report why it wasn't a great race...but the GMAT threw me for a loop. After finally getting some respectable scores, scores that would've been fine to apply to places, on a few practice tests I took, I went in for the real thing on Monday and bombed. And no, that isn't an exaggeration. I don't know how I did on the essay part yet, that has to be graded separately, but the multiple choice, verbal and math I got the score instantly (after having an option of not reporting the score which I should've done) and it was not good. Let's just say I will not get into Carlson on that score and that is really the only MBA program around me that I want to apply for. IF my work experience was fantastic, and I could write some stellar essays I might have a chance, but with the score and some lackluster other areas, I just don't know. My boss thinks I should still apply (and then if I don't get in, retake the test and reapply), L thinks I should plan to retake the test and get a tutor etc to help me and then apply...thing that sucks is that I really, really wanted to start in the spring. I was looking forward to starting classes again. I like school. I've always done well in it, when I try and want to do well, and it's been long enough that I'm so ready...heck, I was even looking at what classes I was going to take and what days (schedule is tenatively up), just was debating how many I was going to plans and career goals are now all messed up. I never expected this. I'm good at tests, particuarly standardized ones. Without much studying I did quite well on the ACT, I always scored in top percentiles on Iowa Basics tests...I don't know what happened. I never have test anxiety. I was calm and relaxed and honestly, based on the difficulty of the questions (at least my perception of the difficulty) I really thought I was doing well...

Monday, September 10, 2007

I Ran...

And it wasn't pretty. I'll try to get a full race report in the next day or two, but right now focus is on the test. I take that this afternoon and afterward I'll try to get a report and some stats. Depending on the test, maybe an update on that too. Tonight I'm going to relax....let's just say though, I hurt, the race would've been better had I not started too fast (first split was 8:15...umm...yeah...). I have about 3 hours before I am heading over to study a bit more and then take the test...sigh...Oh, no idea my placement overall, but my time was somewhere between 2:22 and 2:23, not chip timed, and the startline was confusing so I don't know if I started my watches (GPS and HRM) at the right spot either.

Friday, September 07, 2007


Now I’m worried. Last night I took a practice test from the GMAT people themselves. I didn’t take my time on it and kind of pushed things a bit, but still I did try my best (I had lots of time left so I know I didn’t spend enough time trying to do things) and to say I did poorly was an understatement. If that was my score, no MBA program for me. And I only have tonight, tomorrow and Sunday to study up and be prepared for Monday afternoon. I should almost take Monday morning off too, but as of right now I’m planning to work half a day, trying to do as little looking at the computer and getting eye strain and tired from it before the test as I can. I went to the library at lunch today and checked out Algebra II for Dummies as well as a few other text books and things…I should’ve done that a lot sooner. Anyway, the reading and other things were just as bad as my math last night too, and that’s the part that is supposed to be bringing my score up…sigh…no idea what is going to happen on Monday. All I know is I need about 100 points more than I got on the practice one last night…Have I mentioned how much I hate math? All those times we were told “you’ll use this in your life”…ummm….yeah…I did do well in high school (and college) algebra. I understood it, but obviously I haven’t used it in real life or I would still remember how to do it! When I see a problem like this:

x + 1 - x + 2 = 0
x – 3 x - 4

and it’s asking for the value of x, I tend to freak sometimes…OK, that one isn’t super hard, but it’s also not easy and it’s not something I see everyday so how should I remember how to do something like that! Of course the stupid book is telling me “those who approach the GMAT as an obstacle and who rail against the necessity of taking it usually don’t fare as well as those who see the GMAT as an opportunity. Those who look forward to doing battle with the GMAT are insane (OK, it doesn’t say that, but you know), or, at least, who enjoy the opportunity to distinguish themselves from the rest of the applicant pack, tend to score better.

I know I have to take it, I’m not railing against it, I just see where it has opportunity for being done differently as I’m not in a field that uses math, business math isn’t algebra, (or geometry) and I don’t use math on my job in any sense of the word anyway…and standardized tests (and I tend toward doing well on them) are not a good test of how someone is going to do in college anyway, why is this torture done?? Sigh…

So my weekend will consist of studying, studying and more studying, with a 25K on Sunday.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Roses and Puppies

I’ve been trying all week to do an update and now almost a week has gone by and none of the great things I’ve been wanting to write about have managed to hit my blog. Sigh…work has been hectic, which is a good thing. I like my job and I like being busy and having lots of things to work on and being able to go new places and try new things and I have all these other things I want to do eventually with this position…it’s a position I control. I can make it go where I want it to because it’s a new position. I’m the first one in it…it’s kind of cool…but also keeps things busy!! (Roses from my balcony)

I got my race number this week. Yep, that’s right, I’m running a 25K on Sunday that I’m really not ready for. Can I go the distance? Of course. Even though I only ran 8 miles total last week (yeah, think I took taper a bit far!), but I did run a 17 miler 2 weeks ago, so yes, 15.5 is nothing. I’ll probably shoot for a 1.5 mile warm up before the race and get an even 17 for the day too. Seems to be the way I’ve been going. A longer run of 15-17 miles about every other week and I guess that’s fine. I might do a 10 mile race with some college friends that I haven’t seen in forever the end of October, unless I end up visiting friends in Idaho…I’m still looking for tickets to see them.

The weekend was nice. I like long weekends. It gives time to relax. And with L out of town (whom I do miss, didn’t expect to miss him quite this much, but thankfully he’s been able to call me the last couple of days and he does get home Monday and I’ll see him Tuesday) it gave me plenty of time to focus on stuff I need to get done. I cleaned the house Saturday, and I got it nice and clean. I found two skirts that had been lost in my closet, made things sparkly, thoroughly cleaned my bathroom and kitchen, even started in my garage, although that needs more work. I managed to study some for that test and have this weekend yet to cram, and I went to visit friends I hadn’t seen in a while on Monday. All in all a nicely relaxed weekend. Sunday I made a fantastic dinner of grilled chicken breast (bone in with skin) on the grill with rosemary stuffed in the skin (fresh rosemary I have growing on my patio) that came out so excellent…nice and golden brown, so juicy and good and the leftovers will make a fantastic chicken salad tonight. I also made some parmesan oregano and parmesan basil potato wedges…both so yummy. Yes, I’m proud of my food from Sunday night! I also had a glass of good wine with them, that turned into 2, and then I was watching Marie Antoinette and suddenly the bottle was gone…ooops…not something I do often so that’s OK. I have wine that has been in my house for 2 years almost that I haven’t drank so obviously I’m not that bad that often! Was having a dream that night that I had a headache though and then Max barked at a someone walking their dog (at 4 am!) and woke me up (but he's just so cute) and lo and behold I had a headache…oh well…the screaming, squealing 1 year old outside my windows at at 7:30 am didn’t make me too happy either, but I survived…

My week…not much for running. So far 4 on Tuesday, a 2.5 mile walk last night will shoot for 6 tonight if it’s not too terribly hot for Max and then tomorrow off, Saturday an easy one and the race on Sunday…other than that, I’m studying. That’s it. I get home and put in 2-3 hours going over stuff. Tonight I’m taking a practice test (computer one) then I have one more paper and one more computer one to do over the weekend and test is Monday afternoon…hopefully it goes well.

(Max at Lake Calhoun getting a drink, he's not dainty about it)