Friday, November 26, 2010

Rochester Thanksgiving Day 8K

Yesterday, I ran in the first ever Rochester Thanksgiving Day 8K race downtown. I'd never run a debut race before, plus I didn't feel like driving out to Webster to run the Turkey Trot with 3,000 other people, so the downtown race it was. The course was okay - no real hills, which was nice, especially considering that it was a cold and windy morning. But I'm not a fan of courses that simply go out halfway, turn around and then follow the exact same route back.

I don't know if it was the cold weather or if I went out too fast or what, but the first half of the race wasn't pleasant. My chest hurt from breathing in the cold air and I thought I was going to have a bad race. Why did I think this would be a good idea? Why wasn't I still under the covers right now or drinking hot chocolate or otherwise indoors like a normal person? But then I moved on to more productive thoughts like "You can slow down if you want but you have to keep running." and "So what if you have a bad race? It will make you stronger or build character or something." and "I'm going to eat so much pie later." And then I started feeling better. When some dude passed me around the 7K mark, I said "Good job" and he replied "Stay strong" so I figured I'd try to stay with him until the end. But when the finish line came into sight, I took off and ended up finishing before him. Though I did get beat by a guy wearing a turkey hat. As he ran by me I told him I liked his hat and he said something I couldn't understand. (I think there is a direct correlation between running speed and the tendency for your exclamations to come out like grunts instead of actual words.) Afterwards, the Stay Strong dude told me I had a nice kick to the finish.

My time was 36:33 (59th out of 308), which was faster than I'd expected. I know I'll never be fast enough to win a race. I just want to keep improving or, failing that, at least keep going and enjoying myself.

This morning I went to the Waffle Run at Fleet Feet and ran the 5 mile route. Back at the store, they served free waffles and sausage, but I left after the run because I had other things to do and because I didn't really know anyone there. I still haven't gotten the hang of the social activity aspect of running. But I like running with other people, even if I don't have much to say yet.

Lyric of the moment: "And if I need a rhythm, it’s gonna be to my heart I listen..."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My bestest friend's wedding

This weekend I had the honor of being a bridesmaid for one of my closest friends. Meghan and I have been friends since 7th grade and we have had some crazy and hilarious adventures along the way. The wedding was a blast! Good friends, good food, good music, good times. Meghan looked absolutely gorgeous, as always, and I know she and Mike will be very happy together. Even though I am in no hurry to get married myself, I have always loved other people's weddings. I love seeing the people I love in their happiest moments. And weddings have an infectious sort of energy - so full of hope and optimism for the future - that you just can't help but have an awesome time.

Also, the dress-up photobooth is the best ever!


Lyric of the moment: "You'll be given love, you'll be taken care of. You'll be given love, you have to trust it. Maybe not from the sources you have poured yours into, maybe not from the directions you are staring at. But turn your head around, it's all around you. All is full of love..."

Monday, November 8, 2010

If you give a house to a rookie...

My weekend started off with a semi-accidental 10 mile run on Saturday morning. (Last year I would have thought "How the hell do you accidentally run 10 miles?" but apparently that's just how I roll now.) I went to the distance run at Fleet Feet, but the weather was crappy so I figured I'd do the 6 mile loop and call it a day. But I ended up running with a group of 3 other people who were following the 10 mile route and I felt good so I decided to do the extra miles with them instead of heading back. Overall, I think we may have gone closer to 11 miles. I didn't have any gels since I hadn't planned on going that far, and the weather was a mixture of cold rain and snow, but it was a surprisingly enjoyable run. I haven't run that far since the half marathon and it was nice to find out that I can still do it. Now that I have thrown modesty to the wind and given in to the spandex, running in the rain is no big deal. Throw on a waterproof jacket and running tights and you're good to go. My Kinvara's held up well in the rain too. Of course I stepped in a puddle within in the first mile and my feet got soaked, but they warmed up pretty quickly and didn't feel soggy or anything after that. Sunday I woke up early and snuck in a quick 3 mile run around my neighborhood before heading to breakfast with friends at Simply Crepes. So delicious.

The running was just what I needed to get rid of some pent-up frustration about my house. My weirdo bathroom has been misbehaving and I will probably hire someone to put in a new bathroom floor within the next few months. And if I'm going to rip up the whole floor, I might as well redo the whole bathroom while I'm at it and try and fix all the weirdness the previous owner installed in there. But that's expensive. And time consuming. So do I still want to buy a new house, possibly a duplex, in a few years or stay in my current house until I pay it off, slowly fixing it up along the way? I still haven't decided, but lately I'm leaning more towards staying. Dealing with renters would be a huge pain in the ass, though totally worth it for the extra income. But a simpler life with a smaller house, like the one I have now, has its appeal too. I don't know. I'll figure it out somehow.

I think Emelyn had the right idea when she said she wanted her next husband to be a handyman. All of this would be so much easier if I was married to Ty Pennington right now. Well, not Ty Pennington exactly, but someone equally handy and less hyperactive. This is the downside to buying a house by yourself: you have to bear all the responsibility yourself. There's no one to help you decide what to do and help you pay for it. And I'm certainly no handyman. But I'm sure it will all work out eventually.

Still, it would be nice if the house could offer up some good surprises once in a while, like finding thousands of dollars under the couch cushions instead of dog hair or gold bars in the basement instead of spiders (Sorry Tiger. I like you and all your spider friends, but spiders don't have the skills to pay the bills.)

Lyric of the moment: "I'm trying to tell you something about my life. Maybe give me insight between black and white. The best thing you've ever done for me is to help me take my life less seriously. It's only life after all..."

Friday, November 5, 2010

Some kind of mysterious stranger

He said: "Is that a mood ring? You're blue and green, that's a good combination."
She liked the sounds of that.

I love fleeting moments with random strangers. Maybe you share a funny anecdote or a smile, maybe you commiserate about long lines or shitty weather, maybe you wave in acknowledgement of your shared determination to be awake and running at this ungodly hour. These are the kinds of moments that are full of limitless possibilities. You don't know anything about this person, so anything could happen. For whatever reason, some sequence of events has brought you to this place at this time, where your world has just collided with that of another. And that's just the beginning. You don't yet know that she carries a lucky penny in the pocket of all her coats or that his favorite book is "Sirens of Titan." You don't know if you'll become best friends or vague memories. Maybe you'll never see each other again or maybe, years from now, you'll hardly be able to remember a time before you knew each other.

But whatever happens, this chance meeting will change you somehow, perhaps without you even realizing it. And that's my favorite part. Everyone we interact with can be a source of joy in an otherwise ordinary day or a lesson we had to learn the hard way. We are the accumulation of all our experiences and connections.

I like people and sometimes I even revel a little in the awkwardness of human interactions, so why don't I ever actively try to meet new people? Oh yeah, because I am terrible at it. Some people naturally make friends wherever they go and I wish I was one of them, but I am lacking the necessary social skills and outgoing personality. I'm no good at small talk. I want to skip ahead to the part where we jump out of airplanes and travel around the world together.

Lyric of the moment: "Haven't we met? You're some kind of beautiful stranger. You could be good for me. I have a taste for the danger..." (because it reminds me of Austin Powers. yeah baby)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Run for the hills

Last night I went to the hill workout at Fleet Feet and the free talk afterwards about how to dress for running in cold weather. This was my first time at one of their regular Tuesday night hill workouts, mainly because I'm a morning runner and their workouts don't start until 6pm. But it was actually a lot of fun. As much as hill repeats can ever be fun. And the view from Cobb's Hill at sunset is breathtaking.

I used to hate hills, but lately I find that I really don't mind them. By no means do I love them or actively seek them out, but I'm not intimidated by them either. Just take it one step at a time to the top, and eventually you get to come back down again. It's just converting kinetic energy to potential energy and then back to kinetic. Take that hills, you've been scienced! (I really wish I had more occasions to say "You've been scienced!")

Most of the other runners were decked out in their reflective vests and headlamps. I should probably buy something like that since it's dark when I run in the mornings, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I don't like having a lot of running "stuff." I just want to lace up my shoes and go. But I also don't want to get smashed up by a car. So there's that.

The talk about cold weather gear was informative, but I'm not about to spend hundreds of dollars on fancy new high-tech baselayers and midlayers and jackets and tights. Mostly I just wanted to hear what kinds of fabrics and products they recommended so that I can be on the lookout for similar items the next time I go to TJMaxx, Marshalls or other discount stores. In winters past, I ran in sweats, but the Fleet Feet lady said cotton is the worst fabric to wear when running. Apparently I've been living on the edge.

Lyric of the moment: "When the future's architectured by a carnival of idiots on show, you'd better lie low..." (because it's the perfect description of election time.)

Lucky sporting my I voted today sticker