Monday, January 31, 2011

On Guard

After, my long run, three glasses of wine and some nachos Saturday night I felt less than motivated to drag myself out for another run Sunday. 

I spent a large part of the morning reviewing notes for my boards and watching the Houston Marathon live on-line.  It wasn't very interesting and it looks like one of the girls who was trying to qualify for the trials had a mishap somewhere between 25k and 30k and dropped.  I don't know her story yet because she hasn't updated her blog and neither has her friend who ran in the half marathon championship the day before.  I hope she takes another crack at an OTQ.  She certainly has the talent to run a sub-2:46!! 

Anyway, back to my "On Guard" story.  Well, finally around 1500 I got my lazy ass out the door for a little over 5 pokey miles.  My legs were fatigued as they should be, but nothing to stop me from an enjoyable recovery run, except for the ski boot. Yeah, the first mile felt like I had a ski boot on my left foot.  My achilles and the plantar fascia that run along the underside of my foot were tighter than they had ever been.  I sighed, this wasn't going to be easy getting ready for Boston on any fronts.  I was going to have to watch my foot very carefully. 

Speaking of guards and protection, I sometimes forget how much nursing info has been ramrodded into my head and how many others have been spared the system overload, however it does have its perks at times.  I found myself laughing hysterically the other night when A explained to me he needed a good insurance plan because he was now 40 and he didn't want something to happen to his weaponary, manhood etc...(i.e. testicular cancer).  The thing is men are most at risk for testicular cancer between the ages of 15-40 when their testosterone levels are highest.  I explained this to him and he sighed, a little relieved.  I then proceeded to tell him, now he had to watch his "shield" and defend his land/territory as he was now at greater risk for prostate cancer.  He wasn't too happy, of course I am not sure if that was because he was really worried about cancer or if it's the thought of a rectal exam -- FUN! FUN!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The UGLY Truth

It is never something I like to do.  Go into a situation unprepared that is, or even underprepared for that matter.  I guess you could say "I'm a safety girl." 

That said, getting ready for Boston is definitely putting me in the "I am not ready for this" category.  I had planned a tempo run the other day with a 4 mile warm-up, 4 miles at tempo and .5-1 mile cool down only to have my knee ache (out of nowhere mind you!) and my Garmin beep at me and say "memory full."  I couldn't believe my luck!  What were the chances?  I figured it was okay I would just run off A and hope he could hit the correct pace, but then he started weaving left and right shooting snow and slush from his waterproof shoes onto my not-waterproof shoes. 

Now A and I are very competitive and have very different etiquette when running.  When I run with a slower person, I usually let them lead and run off them, never trying to push the pace or make the other person feel like they aren't going hard enough.  I also, never finish first.  I know I am faster, there is no need to rub it in.  The other person worked harder and they deserve to finish first.  I have nothing to gain.  A however, runs either in front of me or just a hair ahead on my side.  If I pick up the pace he picks it up never letting me be in first and if I push hard at the end, well he pushes past me to the end -- first.  I have spent years being annoyed and trying to get used to it, so when I KINDLY said "can you please pick a side?"  I got a not-so kind response.  That was the 3rd strike for this run.  I turned around and trudge home alone while A continued on his own.  No tempo run done and a wonky knee warranted an extra rest day.  (A later admitted he was just cranky and apologized, so all is good and normal).

Today, I knew I still owed my long run and I figured with the rest day, if the knee felt ok I would just do it.  I had 3 flat easy miles and then I literally headed for the hills.  They aren't major like Sherman or Fairmount, but there are 4-5 in a 3 mile period that are about .25-.5 mile long and have plenty of grade.  I think the steepest is about 7-8%.  Anyway, I rolled down and back on this strip for 15 miles and felt like I had the back of an old lady.  It was aching something fierce and I just felt, well pooped.  Although, I can walk fine and I have no severe aches or pains and I will live to run another day -- 8:47/mile for 18 miles through the hills tells me two things....

Even if I blow up I will still probably be able to finish Boston in less than 4 hours


Even if I blow up I will still probably be able to finish Boston in less than 4 hours

While I am not deadset on a PR, of course I want to run one!!!  Good Lord, I have my work cut out for me.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's Not Supposed to Tickle

Most of us have seen the triathlon CGI video, about the guy who finds getting up at 4:45 "to train" fun.  I had not yet seen the running one -- pretty funny and spot on in regards to some of my running buddies (I can so see a certain girlfriend of mine at her office trying to explain this to her co-workers). 

Crazy how "losers" get medals and the first "marathoner" died, yet every year more and more people are taking up running. 

I also found Adam Goucher's favorite running quotes here.  Most of them I had heard before or wasn't that impressed with, but these two made me laugh. 
  • "It's not supposed to tickle"
  • "If you wanna catch me, you gotta be fast…
if you wanna stay with me, you gotta be good…
if you wanna pass me….You’ve got to be kidding" (Not that I, "turtle" as A likes to call me would ever wear this on a shirt, but I do find it funny).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Running Regular...Boring....

I started this blog to log racing and running experiences, but when it only gets a small portion of my life if any, often I find I have nothing really to say about it.  The other part of it is, I find myself infatuated with some of the information I have learned in school (Solar  and Spiderman would be so proud of my nerdiness). 

Running has been very consistent the last month.  I have managed 5-6 runs per week hitting 115 miles so far this month.  I am over the whole, "Uuugghh, I wish it were a rest day.  My legs are sluggish.  When will I be pumped about training again?"  It passed about two weeks ago, so it took about 3-3.5 weeks to work the run lag out of my legs and the motivation back into my body.  The foot and calf are still manageably uncomfortable, but usually the pain subsides after the first or second mile.  I just came off a recovery week of 26.30 miles as per the garmin, so we will see how the next cycle goes.

My long runs have not been going as well as I had hoped.  Last year, when I started training for Cleveland I had three months of base training, for Boston this year, I got two weeks.  I keep trying to view it as a challenge, but once I have reached a new tier of accomplishment in any area of my life it's always difficult for me to go back and not have those same higher expectations.  It could just be that it is colder and windier than last year or maybe I am turning into a pansy...Nahhhh!

I have no time goal for Boston at this stage in the game.  It's too early for me to tell with only a two hour long run.  I don't want to push myself and get injured (or more injured), but I don't want to be a sloth and slack off, only to set myself up for a time that I should have and could have easily bettered had I pushed a little harder in training. 

I still have plenty of pounds to remove before Boston too.  I have been eating like a line backer the last week!!  Damn those drumsticks!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bet You Didn't Know

As you can see this is a down week for me from, well everything and boy did I need it.  It has allowed me more time to blog and surf the internet and study.  I found out some interesting things...

  • 1) Josh Cox ran the P.F. Chang's Arizona Marathon and just kept on going to break his American Record in the 50k.  He ran a 2:17:xx before tacking on another 4 miles to set a new record in 2:43:xx. 
  • 2)  Kara Goucher is only 3 months post baby and ran the 1/2 marathon there in 1:14:xx and some change to complete her fourth 100 mile week in preparation for Boston.  She didn't win, but still 1:14 is crazy fast.
  • 3) Sammy Wanjiru supposedly assaulted his wife with an AK-47.  Wow, that's some severe domestic violence.  Not impressed, he should have gone for a run to cool off. 
  • 4) Kate Bevilaqua beat Rebekah Keats at Ironman Western Australia on her hands and knees.  Makes me cramp up just thinking about how much it takes to keep going.  You can watch it here...

Learn something new everyday. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Exception, Not The Rule

I found this story on the kitchen table, so I know my parents both read it and shed a few tears.  I know I did.

The most important trips aren't about getting somewhere. They're about getting to someone. (via

But in an age of mounting airline fees, reduced in-flight services, uncomfortable security pat-downs and multi-day delays caused by erupting volcanoes, it's easy to forget that.
 Amid the cries of "I've already paid for my hotel!" and "You need to get me to Atlanta!" anger and inconvenience frequently blind us to the fact that travel is ultimately about people. We also forget that airline employees—bound by big company rules and regulations—get frustrated, too.
 Enter Nancy, whose travel triumph, tempered by a great deal of sadness, has turned an unnamed Southwest Airlines pilot into an online hero.

(More at NewsFeed: Meet the 13-Year-Old HERO of the Australian Floods)

Nancy reads a blog by Christopher Elliott, a consumer advocate and journalist, and wrote to him about her husband's recent ordeal traveling on flights from Los Angeles to Tucson to Denver. Their situation makes complaints about leg room look downright petty.

"Last night, my husband and I got the tragic news that our three-year-old grandson in Denver had been murdered by our daughter's live-in boyfriend," she wrote. "He is being taken off life support tonight at 9 o'clock and his parents have opted for organ donation, which will take place immediately. Over 25 people will receive his gift tonight and many lives will be saved."

So early in the morning, after what must have been a torturous night's sleep, Nancy and her husband arranged for him to fly from Los Angeles, where he was traveling for work, to Tuscon, where he would step off one plane and immediately onto another one headed to Denver. "The ticketing agent was holding back tears throughout the call," Nancy wrote. "I'm actually her step-mother and it's much more important for my husband to be there than for me to be there."

Mourning the loss of his child's child, and no doubt worrying about his grieving daughter, he was likely in no state to travel. Airport stress only compounded his despair. He arrived at LAX two hours before his scheduled flight time, but quickly realized that delays at baggage check and security would keep him from making the flight.

(Travel photos: Amazing snapshots of travelers stranded by holiday blizzards)

According to Nancy, he struggled to hold back tears as he pleaded with TSA and Southwest Airlines staff to fast-track him through the lines that were moving like molasses. Even though missing his flight could mean missing a final chance to see his grandson, no one seemed to care.

Too much was at stake to simply roll over and cry. When he finally cleared security—several minutes after his flight's planned departure—he grabbed his computer bag, shoes and belt, and ran to his terminal wearing only his socks. The pilot and the gate agent were waiting for him.

“Are you Mark? We held the plane for you and we're so sorry about the loss of your grandson,” the pilot reportedly said. “They can't go anywhere without me and I wasn't going anywhere without you. Now relax. We'll get you there. And again, I'm so sorry.”

It's hard to overestimate the courage of the pilot's decision. The flight, which ultimately departed 12 minutes late, likely had hundreds of passengers rolling their eyes in contempt. And given that any delay has knock-on effects for passengers at the destination airport, his decision placed Southwest at risk of facing the wrath of travelers, and more than a few demands for compensation.

Elliott, who brought the story to the blogosphere's attention, approached Southwest about the story, half expecting the airline to be outraged by a pilot's refusal to push the on-time departure.

Instead, they told him they were "proud" of their pilot, a man who clearly understands that taking a child off life support has consequences that run deeper than a flight taking off late. As Nancy wrote: "My husband was able to take his first deep breath of the day." Hopefully, over time, his daughter can do the same.

By William Lee Adams

It's too bad this pilot seems to be the exception to the general population and not the rule.  A little more patience and compassion, might be just what we all need.


I did it!!  After a little more than 6 years at the restaurant I wrote up my resignation two weeks ago notifying them of my last day.  I am a little sad, but extremely excited.  Some things that I just wont miss...

Crappy tippers -- I have never really discussed tipping on my blog, but before I stop serving here is my $0.02.  I approve of most of my friends tipping, but some are completely awful!  The going rate for good service is at least 18%.  If you can't tip don't go out to eat.  Servers make $3.50/hour + tips and then tip-out 2.25% at our restaurant, so if some table comes in has a $100 check and leaves $5.00, I just made $2.75 after tip-out.  If you stiff me, I am in the hole $2.25 and it costs me to come to work!!  I have people tell me all the time they are crappy tippers and I tell them that's fine because I give crappy service.  Ask yourself: How would you feel if someone was messing with your money?  Would you laugh at the funny joke?  No, so don't expect me to either. 

Unprofessionalism -- All the servers, that yell at each other, refuse to help out and do their assigned work, well I say be gone, bye bye, I wont miss you!  I often think that if I was too lazy to change IV tubing or an IV itself in the hospital, I would hands down lose my job.  That's how it is at work.  I wont miss how the bartender is married with 2 kids and sleeping with a server who has her own kid or all the people that have DUIs and have no money for rent because they spent it at the bar! 

Improperly cooked food -- I wont miss how ticket times get up to 25-30 minutes when we are busy and guests want us to give them a free meal.  "Jesus people!  We are busy!!  We can only fit so many steaks on the grill."  Also, when we tell you the steak will be a warm-red, HELLO, there will be blood.  A sirloin "well done, not burnt" will not be juicy.  You got the cheapest steak, because it is the cow's ass, of course it will be tough.

Some of the things I will miss are...

My girls (RG, DVL & TI).   They have such great work ethic and if we hadn't stuck together during the many moments of insanity, we may have all walked out and quit.  I told them I would come in next Christmas and tip them all $100.  All too often people under tip than over tip. 

My awesome regulars, who came in religiously over the years to keep me up to date on their adventures while enjoying some unhealthy, but tasty food.  I genuinely enjoyed getting to know all these wonderful people and share many laughs.  I have been saying my good-byes and introducing them to the other 3 awesome ladies I worked with so that they can continue to come in and have an a good experience at the restaurant. 

I am even gonna miss my GM, who is so much like my dad.  He is impossible to talk to when the restaurant is on fire and yells in a time of crisis (kinda like Chef Ramsey), but in the end he means well and loves you with all his heart, like you're one of the family.  Deep down, he is a big softy.  Sometimes, I think too much.  He needs to expect more out of his staff and put down the law, stop this letting them slide on their work. 

Alas, I am going to an hourly wage, with full benefits, paid time off and full-time hours in 4 days with the opportunity for overtime!!  I am so happy to know my paycheck will no longer depend on how well I can kiss ass or how educated or uneducated a customer is :) 

As of February 23, 2011, I am officially no longer a server.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Next Chapter: See You Soon

When I last left my blog I was at the pinnacle of my stress level.  However, a canceled final with the option to take the average of your test scores and a few weeks of working like 35-40 hours after finals and I managed to

a) Graduate
b) Make the $450 (cash or money order only) for my review class

I felt it necessary to "get away" from the books and blogging to allow myself a re-load of some sorts before starting this promising new phase of my life.  I am still thinking "next semester" thoughts, only to remind myself a minute later -- there is no next semester, you are done, but that will fade. It seems so strange that I have been going to school since 2005 and in that time gotten (2) bachelors degrees and (1) masters and now that chapter has ended. 

I promised myself, I would study diligently for my state boards and build up my mileage again in preparation for my 5th marathon, but both are not quite where I had planned them to be.  Although, I told my employer I would be leaving him here in the next few weeks, he seems to have decided to get as many hours out of me as possible, thwarting my efforts to study and run in favor of asking how a guest would like their steak cooked and refraining from walking out because as a whole our restaurant lacks accountability from the management on down (which completely frustrates and annoys me, as a person with a self-diagnosed obsessive-compulsive personality disorder). My sanity clings to the thought of, "a few more weeks and then I am done with this."

As for my review class it is exceptionally informative and funny.  My instructor is 110% NO BS.  She tells the most ridiculous stories to help us remember drugs, diseases and treatments we will need to not necessarily be a good nurse, but to pass the NCLEX exam.  My homework includes 530 questions every week with stacks of handouts, which will put me pretty near the recommended 3,000 that should be done before taking the boards. 

As for my board exam, well of course KSU's administration who set unrealistic goals and deadlines for us dragged their feet "because of snow days" and submitted our graduation work to the state late (Uuggghh, one last thing to add to the pile of things KSU did to piss us off).  I am very excited to be done with that place.  If and when I go back for my masters in nursing, it certainly will not be there.  I did however, sign up for my test and am keeping it a secret from the world, so don't ask. 

Running has been slow, but progressive and my weight has come down about 3lbs.  My aunt even came out on New Years and was able to run 8 miles with me and my running club, followed by some mimosas and a kick ass runner's breakfast at FDs.  The weekly mileage is only hanging in the 30s, but on a positive note I have found new uses for a golf ball that has minimized the discomfort in my left hamstring, calf and foot.  Mornings are always a test the first few steps as I walk gingerly until I can assess the damage from the day before. 

Boston is less than 100 days away and I very excited to go with the e-speed, BB and JP.  My team (mom and aunt) will be traveling separately, but will be there nonetheless.  My mom has been at the starting line of every one of my marathons.  The first one (Akron) she was not quite at the level of a hot mess, but she was a bit teary eyed and emotional, right before I left.  I told her I would "see her soon" to try and calm her down and although she is much more composed and focused on getting me focused now-a-days, I still always say it before I cross the starting line. It's funny how I used to give her a 20 minute window of when and where I would be at a certain mile and she would just watch expectantly.  Now, she gets updates on her cell and knows my splits almost better than me.  It's my hope one day that I am the one standing with the cell phone watching her splits and trying to not to pull my hair out as she leaves the starting line and tells me "I will see you soon."