Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkins in the park 5K

I ran in the Pumpkins in the park 5K at Cobb's Hill this morning. With all the hills, it's definitely not a PR course, so I'm happy with my time of 22:59 (44th place out of 467 total runners). Plus costumes were encouraged so I got to wear a Superman shirt. I only wish I had a cape too. Still, that shirt is sweet and I'm totally going to wear it even when it's not Halloween. There were some pretty neat costumes, including a runaway bride, Oompa Loompa, Homer Simpson, and 3 ladies dressed up as the 3 blind mice. Sadly, I registered too late and they had run out of t-shirts, but I did win a plaque for finishing second in my age group.

Jeremy made this awesome photo series from the race. It's like my very own comic strip!

Lyric of the moment: "I wonder what it's like to be a super hero. I wonder where I'd go if I could fly around downtown. From some other planet, I get this funky high on yellow sun..."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The laws of physics need not apply

Sometimes I think about the things I would do if Physics ever took a vacation...

I would love to visit another universe or another dimension or wherever it is those people on Fringe and Quantum Leap and Doctor Who are always going. I would love to meet an alternate Jen. What would she be like? Would she have a mohawk? (awesome!) Would she be a chemist? (not awesome).

(Question: what is the opposite of an exclamation point? If "!" is what you use to convey your excitement about something, what punctuation mark conveys your unhappiness or non-enthusiasm about something?)

I would definitely build a perpetual motion machine. Just because I could.

Also, I would levitate. All the time. Gravity schmavity.

And teleport. Breakfast in Paris, a day trip to San Francisco, a weekend in Australia and back home in time for work on Monday.

Ooh! Forget about getting home in time for work. I could be in two places at once. Sweet!

Explore a black hole, run across the ocean, eat an infinity of cake without gaining a pound (ok, even I wouldn't want to eat an infinity of cake. Sugar coma!)

I wish Physics would go on Oprah and win a trip to somewhere far away. Like Pluto.

Ooh! Another one. Go to Pluto! Although technically, it's not the laws of physics that's preventing me from going to Pluto. It's the lack of a rocket ship.

So many possibilities.

Exclamation point overload.

Lyric of the moment: "It's so easy from above, you can't really see it all. People who belong together, lost and sad and small. But there's nothing to be done for them. It doesn't work that way. Sure we all have soulmates, but we walk past them every day..."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Birthday suite

Saturday was my 29th birthday and it was filled with Niagara Falls adventures...

Riding the Whirlpool cable car

 Enjoying the sweet view of the falls from our suite

Riding the Skywheel

 Eating dinner at the Rainforest Cafe

And by dinner I mean the chocolate volcano. It even came with a sparkler on top!

My birthday present from Jeremy was a sterling silver mood ring. I'd been wanting one for a while and somehow he found a local artisan to handcraft one for me. It's pretty awesome.

Now, what should I do with my last year of being a twentysomething?

Lyric of the moment: "You know I dreamed about you, I missed you for 29 years. You know I dreamed about you for 29 years before I saw you..."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Some people make to do lists. I make wish lists

I wish I was less awkward and better at talking to strangers. If some dude you've never seen before comes up to you as you're walking into the gym, starts talking to you and says "I saw you running..." is it friendly or creepy? I'm hoping friendly. I am always surprised when strangers talk to me. I don't know why I assume other people can't see me. They have eyes and I am not the Invisible Man. I like people but I am terrible at small talk and awkward at everything else.

I wish the candidates for State Assembly were less interested in my vote. Ken Krause came to my door, Harry Bronson's people keep calling me and I'm getting hounded by political surveys. It's rather annoying.

I wish I could opt out of the holidays sometimes, like skip Christmas one year or call in sick. Christmas comes every year so it seems like you should get to sit one out every once in a while. You could be all "Thanks dudes, but I'm cool. No overcrowded malls and 2 months of Christmas songs for me this year. I'll catch the next one." One year my family went to Florida for Christmas and squirrels attacked our house. So I can only imagine what Christmas would do if I tried to dodge it.

Sometimes I wish I didn't have such a sweet tooth. Or maybe had just one sweet tooth instead of 24. It's cake's fault for being so delicious.

I wish my dreams were invitation only. Maybe my unconscious could hire a bouncer to keep out the wankers and ghosts from the past. Last night I had a dream about a man who killed his wife and dumped her body in a lake. The dream wasn't scary or anything (I can't remember ever having a nightmare or scary dream. Even when bad things happen in my dreams, I am never afraid in them. Dream Jen is invincible. And can fly if she runs fast enough. Awake Jen is way less cool.) But when I woke up I was creeped out at myself for having dreamt* it.

I don't know if there are rules about how many wishes you can make at one time, so this last one is a hope.

I hope I can maintain all the endurance and speed I gained during summer training. Sometimes it feels weird not having a training plan to follow, but other times I like the freedom. I don't have trouble finding the motivation to work out. I need the motion. If I don't get some kind of exercise every day, I get all antsy and restless. But I still can't believe that last month I ran a half marathon in 1 hour 43 minutes! I was hoping to finish in 2 hours and I had doubts about my ability to maintain that pace. The possibility of going faster hadn't even crossed my mind. I hope it wasn't just some kind of fluke and that I can continue to get stronger and faster. I've found lots of training plans for different length races, but no maintenance plans for the in-between times, so I've just been winging it. Here's hoping that works.

Lyric of the moment: "The world's a roller coaster. And I am not strapped in. Maybe I should hold with care. But my hands are busy in the air saying, I wish you were here..."

*According to the Oxford English dictionary, the past tense of dream is dreamt or dreamed. I like dreamt better because it sounds fancy. And dreams should be fancy. But I appreciate the ole OxEng giving us options.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Farewell to funk

I'm like most people in that Monday is my least favorite day of the week, but today I actually don't mind it. I'm still trying to climb out of the funk I fell into last week. I don't know if it was the result of a bad day at work or just seasonal malaise, but I felt mentally tired and just sort of blah in general. I'm ready for a new week and a new start.

Why is it that it's so easy to forget compliments yet so hard to forget criticisms? Even when you know you didn't do anything wrong and the giver of said criticism is clearly an unpleasant person and possibly a nutcase, it is still hard to let go of bad experiences sometimes. I get annoyed with myself when I let other people get to me. So many good things happen in life and I shouldn't let one bad thing leave a stain on my otherwise good day.

Segue to completely unrelated things.

As expected, I am in love with my new Tempur-Pedic mattress and I'm thrilled to have a queen sized bed after so many years of sleeping on a double. (I take up a lot of space in my sleep. I'm not sure what I do but I think it involves some kind of ninja-ing.) Now there's a room in my house with nothing but a huge bed (filled with pillows, memory foam and a warm comforter), nightstands and reading lamps. It's the sleep of champions up in there!

I recently learned that Hitler was a vegetarian and animal rights advocate (I'm reading Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals by Hal Herzog) and I can't stop thinking about it. So Hitler thought mass extermination of Jewish people was ok but eating meat was disgusting? It's mind bogglingly insane. Add it to the list of things I will never understand.

Last week I went to the Dunkin Donuts drive thru to get hot chocolate, but when I got back to work I realized they had given me some random coffee drink instead. I tried calling the store, but no one answered so I e-mailed customer service to explain that I received the wrong order and didn't want it because I don't like coffee. Then they sent me coupons...for free coffee. Classic.

Saturday morning was chilly and windy so I wussed out and went to the gym instead of running outside. The treadmill's timer only goes up to 60 minutes, so I decided to see how far I could run in that time. I got in a little more than 7 miles. The treadmill is nice because it's a softer landing than pavement, but I forgot how boring it can be to run in place for an hour. I had my iPod and I picked a treadmill in front of the window so I could watch people coming and going outside, but I think next time I'll have to bring a magazine or something to cover up the display panel so I don't have to watch the time tick by sooooooo sloooooowly.

Goodbye funk of last week. On to better days...

Lyric of the moment: "This is just one of those lonely nights. The good times gonna come..."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday's random thought buffet

On Saturday, Raymour and Flanigan will deliver my new love, a queen sized Tempur-Pedic mattress. I'm not thrilled about paying $2000 for a bed, but this is the most comfortable mattress ever. And it comes with a 20 year warranty, so basically for $100 a year I get to sleep on a cloud. I don't mess around when it comes to sleep.

But I may never leave the house again.

Fall is definitely in full swing. All my weekday morning runs are now in the dark, which sometimes makes me feel like I am running in a dream and sometimes makes me feel like I am running in a horror movie.

I don't understand why people in horror movies cannot run without falling. Stop looking behind you and just get the hell out of there.

Part of me wants to run more races, but I'm not really feeling any of the upcoming events in Rochester. I don't like racing in and of itself, so I look for races that involve some kind of awesomeness (like running on an airport runway) or novelty of place or distance. I will probably register for the Pumpkins in the Park 5K because I love Cobbs Hill and potentially one of the Thanksgiving Day races (I think there is a new one in downtown Rochester this year so I have to look into that).

My stupid hip is still not 100% and sometimes my knees hurt a little. I stopped going to acupuncture because, while it's great for managing pain, it isn't going to do anything to fix whatever it is that's wrong with me. The pain is not severe, it's mostly just annoying, so my new plan is to ignore it until I can figure something else out.

I bought Saucony Kinvaras and I've been wearing them on shorter runs. My hip complains less when I'm running in them and I like the way my legs feel all loose and springy afterwards.

I wish I had a regular running buddy, except I don't know how to go about finding one.

Dear universe, hint hint.

Lyric of the moment: "It's not where you are, it's where you're going. And it's not about the things you've done, it's what you're doing now. Everybody gets knocked down, everybody gets knocked down. How quick are you gonna get up?..." (This song has been in my head since yesterday)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

If you build it, I will climb on it

Yesterday morning I filled up my water bottle and took off on a mini adventure run. I usually run the same handful of routes, so it was nice to head out with no specific plan in mind. Nice but potentially a bad idea since I have a terrible sense of direction and a tendency to not pay attention where I'm going. But it all worked out. I ended up running about 8.5 miles from my house to the canal trail off S. Clinton, taking the trail to Edgewood, then to Monroe Ave and back home. Lately all I want to do is run and explore and listen to Mumford and Sons.

After breakfast, we went to Griffis Sculpture Park, which I thought was near Buffalo but is actually closer to Middle of Nowhere, NY. I was not a fan of the 2 hour drive, but the park itself is neat. There are all these cool sculptures on trails through the woods, and the best part is that you can climb on them! Although, the only people who seemed to be taking advantage of that were me and some small children.

Lucky didn't care about any of the sculptures, but she was super excited to go on her first road trip and sniff new counties. I was super excited to climb on giant insects and towers.


Lyric of the moment: "Sounds of laughter, shades of life are ringing through my open ears, inciting and inviting me. Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns. It calls me on and on, across the universe..."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Weekend adventures

Saturday morning I went to the group run at Fleet Feet. I miss the pace groups but it's still nice to have people to run with. I wound up running with a group of 3 guys who I'm pretty sure are all way faster than me. I kept up with them for the whole 8.5 miles, then they all started sprinting at the end and I was thinking "Dudes, it's not a race." I've never been a fan of competition. I don't think running, or life, is a contest. Sure, I want to keep improving, but most importantly I just want to keep going. But on Saturday I just went with it, because I figure running with those guys is great training and can only make me faster and stronger.

Later that afternoon, my parents and I went to my cousin's high school cross country race. She's super fast and finished the 3 mile race in about 20:46! You wouldn't think that running would be inherently exciting, but it can be fascinating to watch other people run. Especially if it's a hot guy. Running shirtless. Into a library.

Saturday night I went to my friend's bachelorette/lingerie party. I'm not sure who started the whole buy your friends lingerie before their wedding trend, but it seems to have taken off. I don't really understand the wearing of lingerie. Why spend money on an article of clothing, the sole purpose of which is to get someone to rip if off you? I think it makes some women feel more confident or something. Personally, I would feel ridiculous and probably wouldn't be able to stop laughing. But my friend loves lingerie and I was glad to see her so happy. Plus, who doesn't like a party with penis shaped baked goods and games of "pin the junk on the hunk."

On Sunday my mom and I went to the Hilton Apple Fest. I was disappointed that they didn't have any Honeycrisp apples and they were sold out of hot apple cider, but I did get some kettle corn, which is the main reason I go to festivals in the first place. Also, arts and crafts booths are always entertaining. People make the most creative and crazy stuff. My favorite booth at the Apple Fest was the "Pet Angels" people, who make stuffed animals with angel wings in memory of your dead pets. What the...? Seriously? Who would buy that? Although I guess it's better than having your pet taxidermied. Better in that it's slightly less creepy but still way up there on the crazy scale. It takes all kinds I guess.

Lyric of the moment: "Autumn’s sweet, we call it fall. I’ll make it to the moon if I have to crawl..."