Thursday, June 30, 2011

Assorted craziness from my brain

*So far, I've been loosely following the marathon training plan that I used for Cleveland, mixing in some speed work with shorter races and track workouts, but mostly just running whatever I want. I'm hoping this doesn't turn out to be a terrible idea. But if there's one thing I learned from Cleveland, it's that you never know what will happen on race day. So I figure I will focus on having fun and enjoying my training runs, and then whatever happens, happens. This summer, I've been craving variety. I want to run on trails, along the beach, down to the pier to get soaked by the waves. I want to explore new routes and have adventures on foot. As a life plan, the do-what-I-want/enjoy-the-journey philosophy seems to work for me, so maybe I should run the way I live.

*I'm super excited about Hawaii, but having a mini freak out about having to wear a bathing suit, even though I know no one will notice or care except me. So lame. Though I realize that if my biggest concern is not looking good in a bathing suit, my life is pretty freaking sweet.

*I remember when I was a kid, people were always asking what you wanted to be when you grew up. It was a question I could never answer, a blank, weighty with expectation, that I could never fill in. I would say something like astronaut or marine biologist or pirate - ridiculous answers to a ridiculous question. I never had any idea where my life was headed. I still don't. But I wish I could go back in time and write "awesome" every single time. Because that is really the only thing I've ever wanted to be. Awesome, as in alive, happy, and having a kick-ass time.

Lyric of the moment: "Am I back in line for love again? I can hardly recollect who I was before we met..."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Because the best things in life are free

It seems like there's so much more to do in Rochester during the summer. Maybe it's just that I feel like doing more things because it's so nice out. In any case, here are some of the things I'm thinking about doing this summer. Bonus points for being free! Because adventure doesn't have to cost a lot of money.

*PB&J night at Lux. Tuesday nights, starting at 9pm. Free peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and some kind of drink specials (PBR maybe?). I don't care about the alcohol, I just want the PBJ.

*Free movie night (and I think free popcorn too) at The Living Room Cafe on Monroe Ave. Friday nights at 8pm.

*Free movies in the parks. Especially Jaws at the beach on Tuesday, July 12.

*Shakespeare at the Bowl. Free performances of Othello from July 1-16 at Highland Park Bowl.

*Comedy open mic night at Boulder Coffee. Sundays at 8pm.

Holla if you want to join me or if you have other suggestions for inexpensive fun.

Lyric of the moment: "And love can come to everyone, the best things in life are free..."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wise men say: relax and enjoy

I got an e-mail from my college cross country coach (apparently they listed the top 10 male and female finishers from the Airport 5K in the Rochester D&C and I was #10):

"Hi Jen, Congrats to you! I saw in Sunday’s D&C that you were 10th in a 5K and ran a good time as well. Great to see that you are running again. You certainly have the talent, and you just have to relax and enjoy it! Keep it up girl!! Hi to your parents! CHEERS! Jack"

I cringe when I think about how critical I used to be of myself and how upset I got at the slightest perceived failure. I was such a baby. Thankfully, I have mellowed out a lot since then. Still, it's a good reminder. I'm so much better when I relax and enjoy everything.

So I've decided to try and let go of expectations. I want to improve, but sometimes progress is painfully slow. And I don't want to overthink it or worry about it. I just want to keep going. Work hard for the sake of hard work. Find enjoyment in the effort. Give without expecting anything in return.

This is my favorite time of year to run and I want to soak up every minute of summer's long, sunshiney days. Last Tuesday, I did a 5 mile trail run at Seneca Park, Wednesday I did speed work on the track with Eric and Sheila, Thursday we ran from my house down to High Falls (note to self: explore Rochester more this summer), Saturday Joe and I ran on the airport runway, Sunday Shooter and I ran along the trail by the beach, and tonight a few of us are going to do a tempo run on the Irondequoit 4th of July 10K course.

Sure, speed would be nice, but I'll be happy as long as I never run out of places to run to.

Lyric of the moment: "Since I met you a couple months ago you ain't been the same. Not sayin' I'm the richest man alive but I'm in the game..." (because it's one of my new favorite songs to run to, even though I don't understand what game he is talking about)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Airport 5K

Thanks to Joeski for the pic!
Today, Joe and I ran the Airport 5K. He PR'ed with a finish of 25:12!  Awesome! My time this year, 21:32, was 50 seconds faster than last year, so I'm happy about that. I hope I can continue improving. And I got free bowling passes for finishing second in my age group. So we will definitely have to go bowling sometime this summer. Even though I am terrible at bowling. Like high score of 34 terrible. Luckily I am better at running than I am at bowling.

I definitely felt tired after the race, but it's a good kind of tired. It means I gave my all to the race. And I can't ask for more than that.

Lyric of the moment: "Sometimes you're happy, sometimes you cry. Half of me is ocean, half of me is sky. But you got a heart so big it could crush this town. And I can't hold out forever. Even walls fall down..."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Super hugenormous thanks

Today's list of things for which I am super hugenormously thankful:

*Strong bones. I got the results of my bone density scan and apparently my bones are made of steel. Just kidding. But they did get stronger. In 2001, the scan showed osteopenia (low bone density) but now it's back to normal. As my doctor wrote in his e-mail, "I think this is great news!" I like to think it is the result of all the ice cream I've eaten in the past 10 years.

*Fun weekends: Jazz fest, hot chocolate (with sprinkles! thanks Shooter!), a road race, puppies and dogs everywhere, Rhino's soccer game (thanks Shmeagans!), Dippin Dots, running and weightlifting, and lazy Sundays.

*My iPod for returning to life. It was broken and now it is fixed (thanks Mike!). And the beat goes on.

*People who take the time to really get to know you - the good, the bad and everything in between - and like you anyways.

Lyric of the moment: "And one day we will die and our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea. But for now we are young, let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see. Love to be in the arms of all I'm keeping here with me..."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fast & The Furriest 5K

Thanks to Shooter for the pic!

Saturday's Fast & The Furriest races were so much fun. Sheila, Eric & Shooter rocked the 10K and all got PRs. I ran the 5K, which was new this year, and finished in 21:46 (7th out of 168). As I was rounding the final turn to the finish, someone yelled that I was the first woman, but I didn't think it was true. Lucky for me all the fast people ran the 10K, so I actually was the overall female winner of the 5K. I never won a race before, and probably never will again, but it was pretty sweet. Plus I got a medal and a $50 gift card to Fleet Feet.

Photo from

I ran one 5K in 2009 (23:26) and two in 2010 (22:59 and 22:22), so this is my fastest time in recent years, but I would still like to beat my fastest time from college cross country (which was around 20:30 I think). I always wanted to break 20 minutes but never did when I was younger. Hopefully I will get there someday.

Lyric of the moment: "This is what it looks like, this is what it feels like. And this is your heart beating faster, faster..."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer of Awesomeness 2011

Weekend adventures: 13 mile run around Irondequoit with Shooter, Eric and Chris (It will never cease to amaze me how I can now wake up and run 13 miles like it's no big deal. And that there's nothing I'd rather do first thing Saturday morning than get in a good run with good friends), Fairport Canal Days with Mom and Dad, Chipotle and X-Men First Class with Mike and his cousins, getting to see Dangers while he was home for the weekend, weight lifting (Sundays are now going to be weight lifting days. Hopefully. Because I need some muscles), reading on the porch in my hammock chair, Funny Girl on Netflix and homemade peanut butter and banana smoothies.

Monday: 3 mile solo run before work, then 2.5 mile run with Mike after work. He made chicken and vegetables for dinner and I did the dishes.

And summer of awesomeness 2011 has begun!

I'm looking forward to Tuesday speed workouts, Saturday long runs, upcoming races (Fast & the Furriest 5K, Airport 5K, Irondequoit 4th of July 10K, possibly some trail races), going to NYC for a Yankees game in July....

and the pièce de résistance...

vacation to Hawaii in August!!

Life is good. Seriously, ridiculously good.

Lyric of the moment: "Heart don't fail me now. 'Cause there is no time to waste..."

Friday, June 3, 2011

State of the Robot

I am rapidly approaching the end of my twenties and the beginning of what I can only hope will be more awesomeness. I'm excited to turn 30. It feels big, momentous somehow. I think for the first 3 decades I was just getting started. I can't wait to see what happens next.

I've changed a lot in the past 29 years, especially in the past 5 years, hell even in the past year. I don't know if it's for worse or for better, but it feels pretty nice, kind of like I am growing into myself.

I would like to exit my twenties with a bang - stronger, healthier, happier (and hopefully faster) than I've ever been. I would like to greet my thirties with open arms and ice cream cake.

So in the remaining months before my 30th birthday, I will try to do just that. I'm going to get all my checkups and train for another marathon and live it up as best I can.

I got a physical today and it looks like I'm good to go. Everything is normal. My CPK levels are back to well below the normal limit. Blood pressure, cholesterol, electrolytes, BMI, iron, blood sugar - everything is a-ok. My doctor wants me to get a bone density check because my last one, in 2001, showed some osteopenia, and I never had a follow up. Otherwise, I am perfectly healthy.

I didn't expect anything to be seriously wrong. Still, I think I can do better. The habits I form now are what will keep me healthy as I age. And I'd like to stick around for a while. There's a lot of stuff I want to do.

My doctor always asks me if I'm going to get married and have children. I don't know what that has to do with anything, but he asks me about it every time I go to the office, whether it's for a cold or a check up or whatever. In the past I always said no and then he would look at me like I was some kind of alien. But today I said "I don't know" (saying "none of your business" seemed too rude) because who knows, maybe I will. I never thought I would run a marathon. Until I did. So who knows what I will do next. Whatever happens, I'm sure it will be a fantastic and hilarious adventure. And what more could you ask for out of life?

Lyric of the moment: "However long I stay, I will always love you..."