Thursday, June 30, 2011

Online Dating, Playa?

I went on a morning run with SR and Pam on the Newport Back Bay Loop!  As annoyed as I always am to be up early in the morning, there's something beautiful about running super early.  And running with them makes my freaking day.  10ish miles!

Also, I was the proud recipient of some of Pam's famous gifts:  Lemon Bars and Gummi Bears!  To show my appreciation, here's a picture of the Gummi Bear army I made before they met their sad demise....

A moment of silence for the bears....



Did y'all see any pictures of Yoda, the world's ugliest dog?
"Owner Terry Schumacher of Hanford, California says the 2-pound dog has come a long way since she was found abandoned behind an apartment building. Schumacher says she first thought the pooch was a rat."

Awesome.  Honestly, I find the thing kind of cute. And I can totally see the Yoda resemblance!


And speaking of da dogz... I was driving home today and heard a radio program about the dating scene these days based on this article in the New Yorker. Online dating specifically.

It seems like there's three major sites: OkCupid, Match, and Eharmony.

I've only had brief and disastrous experiences with it in my single days.  My main experience involved making an OkCupid profile for spite when on a break with the ex at the time only to find a couple days later that I got matched with his friend.  A frantic call from a bar bathroom later, his friend swore silence on the dating matchup.  That was the day I learned that it's a small world and a jungle out there, even in LA... :)


When I've talked to my friends about online dating, I've found there are a few distinct categories of online dater:
  1. The No Way Jose: Thinks online dating is kind of pathetic. Is ok with, and will be supportive of their friends doing it, but will secretly think it's kinda lame.
  2. The Experimentalist: Open to it. Had a profile right after a breakup. Had some ok dates. Ya know...normal stuff...
  3. The Playa: Likes to online date for personal entertainment and the funny stories.
  4. The I WILL BE ON ALL SITES!!: On every freaking site in existance.  Match, EHarmony, JDate, IndianMatch...you name it, they are ON IT.  Has been online dating since before Al Gore invented the internet. 
So...have you...or would you (if you were single...come on...play along)...ever online dated?

Any horror or success stories you've heard?

If you met someone online who was perfect in all other ways, but owned five dogs that looked like Yoda the ugliest dog, and lived with them in a tiny apartment...Deal breaker?


Monday, June 27, 2011

Your Best Distance?

I need these. 
I think I'm going to run a 5k this weekend.  Well....one on July 2nd that is a super informal race.  I want to do it mostly because it's on Saturday.  

There are a bunch of kick-a looking 5ks in Southern California on Monday, the 4th of July, but I want to run Saturday for these reasons:  
1) Group bike ride on Sunday will make me sore for a Monday race and I don't want to miss it!  
2) I don't want to stress all weekend about running a 5k.  I want to have the option to overdose on diet coke and Say Yes To The Dress on Sunday night.  Hopefully while enjoying the glory of my PR!  
3) I want to set a benchmark ASAP to work off of
4) If I really want to run another one, I'll just run two in a weekend!  
Yay America!   

Am I overthinking this?  
Yeah.  For sure.   Why?  
Because 5ks scare the bajeezus outa me.  

They are fast, painful, and reminiscent of high school cross country racing frustration.  And I don't think I'm very good at them and I don't do them often.  My adult PR is a 21:18 and I know I can do better. I've always felt like I'm best at the half or full marathon....if there's one thing I'm good at, it's plowing through long sustained uncomfortable situations (both in running and in life), and I think that translates.

 However, the Runners World Race Predictor Calculator doesn't seem to think so.  

For a long time, I've thoughts that these race predictor calculators are kind of wacky.  When I typed in my 5k PR, it predicted two times on the distance extremes that I think are off the wall:

Best Mile:  6:24
Best Marathon:  3:23:55

uhhhhhh really?  Please find me a 3:23 marathoner who can't run a 6:24 mile while hopping backwards on one foot in their sleep.  

I don't mean to knock a perfectly free service, but why does it seem so inaccurate?  I tried another race calculator that more closely predicts my times, but still is a bit off and predicts a faster marathon off this fairly mediocre 5k I ran on little training in early 2010.  

So I wanted to get your thoughts on two things:  

1) What do you think your 'best distance" is?  

2) Have you had the same confusion with the race predictor calculators?  Are they BS or am I just complaining too much?  :) 

PS:  Everyone who entered the Bachelorette giveaway is a genius!  Almost everyone still has their top 3 in the running !!

(On another note, when I read this post again, I worry that it sounds egotistical or overly race time obsessive. My apologies if I'm coming off this way...)

Boats, Beers, (B)repeat (B)miles

First Things First: 
1) If you haven't entered the Bachelorette giveaway with your picks yet, do it before 8 PM EST.
2) I did a guest post at Happy Healthy Runner:  Check it out!  Rachael (writer of Happy Healthy Runner) is an awesome runner, a great writer, and even better, is a Texan. =)

This is a guilt post.  Because I looked at my blog today and saw the last post was from Thursday!

OH NOES!!!

I've got a good excuse though.  Anthony was down here for the weekend.  I hate writing rushed posts, but here's a quick report :

I did some repeat miles.  4 miles.  1% incline. 3.5 minutes rest.  6:50, 6:40, 6:31, 6:28.  I'm getting better and now run on the treadmill at 1% incline rather than .5% incline. .
I felt like a total poser when I realized that .5% incline is a total joke according to this chart:
Here's what incline you should run. Apparently.

Besides that, I did a lot of this - this weekend:

And this....


That right beer is the North Coast Scrimshaw.  Anthony's favorite.  I got some sort of more girlie wheat beer which was good too.  The top one is some random Greek Beer, Hillas.  As sad as it makes me to say it, I've never had a Greek beer I was crazy about.   To me, it's all about the Corona lights and the Wheats.

We also walked around Long Beach and saw this:




The Queen Mary.  I don't know the story exactly, but I think it's just a boat you can tour that never leaves the harbor.  Kind of sad for a boat.







I also just bought a duvet online.  Why?  Because I have a low quality comforter that has been getting feathers everywhere.  It's not uncommon for me to go to work and look down and see a giant chicken feather on my pants.  While I'm ok with being this cheap, Anthony is not, so I took the plunge.

Overstock.com, you are a relationship saver.

Has anyone else ever had this duvet-feather problem?   ;-)

And what treadmill incline do you run on?  What simulates outside best?  

Happy Mondayz!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My caffeine love affair

Caffeine, I love you.  

In fact...I've always loved you.  

Let me explain: 
Let's go back in time....back to the glorious 80s....
Sure, I wasn't drinking black coffee as a six year old, but a little coffee ice cream?  Coke for Sunday dinners? This is where the love affair started....back when Poison and slap bracelets ruled the world.     

As a super neurotic teenage girl who was not about to waste calories on milk, I would take the $1.00 my mom gave me daily to buy milk and instead buy diet coke before track practice.  
Yeah I know...the drink of champions.  (don't tell my mom) 

I remember my first Frappuccino.  Starbucks mailed me a coupon when I was in high school.  I got the Venti Mocha and was up all night.  Glorious.  

When I went to college, I was amazed that the dining hall had everything I could ever eat and drink.  Including unlimited coffee and diet coke.  Ah heaven!   Staying up until 3 AM was no problem!  

Even now as a runner, I buy the Gu and Blocks that are drugged.  

And here I am at age 28....still loving the taste and feeling of these brews.  For me it's a love for Coffee, Iced Tea, and Diet Coke - in that order.  And I finally hit my limit a couple weeks ago:

I was sitting at my desk and all of a sudden, my eye started moving:  Da twitchy eye!   To compensate, I started sitting at my desk, holding my right eye still so that I could try to make sense of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets with more than 1 second of vision.  It's kinda hard to work when your eyelid thinks its a hummingbird.  

Of course, I didn't make the caffeine - twitch connection.  It didn't occur to me my 3 diet cokes and 2 coffees could be possibly causing this.
I thought "OMG I'VE GOT MS!  Or possibly ebola!!  

  But friends...this story has a happy ending.  My bf's brother (an optometrist), was like 'uhhhh you should cut back on the caffeine."  Genius.  And amazingly, my vision is way better!   In fact....I could probably beat you in a staring contest right now (maybe)!  

All I did was cut down to 1 coffee and 2 diet cokes.  Still kind of extreme?  Sure.  Should I cut down more?  Yeah probably.  But while my love may be a little unhealthy, I'm just not ready to break up.   There's too much history there.  And too much deliciousness. 

Anybody else love this stuff?  
Have you tried to stop drinking diet coke / coffee / tea / opium ?  
Just kiddin' about that last one.  


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Relays / Mud Run? Speedy friendz.

It was a crazy and event filled morning for me and my blogging / running friend career!
It started out with a run at the Newport Back Bay Loop with Skinny Runner and Pam.  

This was my first time meeting Pam and I was way excited to meet her - and yeah...she's super cool.    I was also a tad bit nervous to run with these two speedsters.  In the days before our run, I kept emailing them stuff like "uhhh we might need to go really slow" and "don't point and laugh if I need to stop".   Luckily, they only pointed and laughed a little, and it was so great to run with them.   8.5 miles.  
one of these is me this morning


The only problem with running with these girls, and OUAL, is that they are all so freaking gorgeous and have cute outfits, I feel a little like the troll of the group.  Suggestions on how to look cute running?  I can't let these girls show me up!  =)


After the run, I went home, showered, and obsessively looked the Nuun blog to see them announce the results for the sponsored Hood To Coast Relay.  
The top of mount hood looks cold
I actually suspected I was in the finals for consideration and here's why:  The past couple days, I've seen a big increase of searches for "TheFasterBunny".  
And let's be honest:  The only people who actually type that into a search engine are my relatives and boyfriend.  And....people who might be trying to decide on a Hood To Coast Team...dum dum dum!  

Anyways, I am psyched and honored to be part of the team!  My first reaction to learning I was picked was more to wonder if I wanted this as much as many of the other bloggers who applied.  If I really deserved to be chosen.  Just because I have decent MS Paint skills (nothing compared to EatDrinkandRun), should that really earn me an entry?   The more I thought about it, the more I really got excited to be part of the team.  Deserve it?  Who knows.  But I'm gonna own it!   ;-).  
I'm also thinking about finding a costume to wear (if they'll let me).  Duck?  Bear?  A big box shaped like the state of Oregon?    Kim Kardashian big booty shorts?  The options are limitless. 

Since this is all new to me, I want to hear any input on your 'adventure race'  or relay thoughts and experiences.    

Have you ever done a long distance run relay (or do you want to?)  (4x800 in high school does not count)
Or are you more of a solo runner?  

As long as we're talking about adventure - what about those mud runs?  Fun...or disgusting?  


On a slightly different note - thanks for your entries into the Bachelorette contest!   You can still enter until next Monday.  Thus far what I've learned from your entries is that I am not the only one with a reality TV crush on JP.   Hands off ladies, he's mine.  =) 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bachelorette Madness Giveaway. Win Starbucks / Yogurtland. I'm buyin'!

This giveaway is really a contest! And I'm doing it mostly just because I want to continue to be able to obsess about the Bachelorette.  You know March Madness?  When everyone fills out a bracket to predict who will win the NCAA basketball championship?  Well this is like that...only way more serious!    And just like March Madness fill out a bracket even if you don't watch ;).  
Das Rulez 
1)  Pick what dudes you think will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd left on the show by next Monday (guy guide below).  
2) Write your three picks in a comment (or email margotmarie123@gmail.com if you're really shy).
3) Nah you don't have to tweet, facebook, or even follow me to enter.  But hey, it'd be nice of you to follow me and tell people about it cuz this will be more fun with more people.  

Da Scoring
Picking the winner:  8 points
Picking 2nd place:  6 points
Picking 3rd place:  4 points. 
Getting pick in top three but wrong place:  2 points each 

Da Prize
$20 gift card to Yogurtland or Starbucks (your choice) for highest score!  This is my carrot to make sure the stakes are "high"  :).  If a ton of people enter this, maybe I'll pick a 2nd place too.  If you live a billion miles away, we might need to figure out something equivalent.   

For those of you who aren't watching the show (gasp.) , or can't tell these dudes apart (me, kind of), here's the key to who is left:

THE DUDES LEFT

 Lucas - Golfin' sweet talkin' Texan. 



Constantine - pretty sure he's Greek.  He should meet Deanna Pappas! 


JP - Mah fave!  Dude's dude. 


Ames - Totally Sweet and Dorky.


Mickey - Pretty boy. 

Ben F.  - Long Hair.  Makes wine.  GD hippie. 

Blake - Dentist.  Just like Ashley. 

Ryan - Extremely smiley.  Gave another dude a concussion.

Bentley - Total Dbag.  He'll be back...Kelly Ripa thinks he looks like the Brawny Paper Towel Man.  


Here are mine:  1) JP  2) Ryan  3) Ames

Pick your dudes and enter below!!  (but prepare for my picks to go all the way...hehe) 

Feel free to enter even if you don't watch the show! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Avgolemono (Greek Chicken Soup). Family Recipes!

Today I finally put on my big girl pants and went on a group bike ride!  30 miles...awww yeaaahhh (long for me) !  

I've been terrified to ride with anyone because I know my bike handling skills are terrible and I don't want to crash into everyone or make them have to wait for me at every hill (or turn or light..etc).

Luckily, I made the dudes at Surf City Cyclery promise to not make fun of me or leave me on the side of the road.  They lived up to their promise and even put up with me forgetting to put my front wheel on correctly and dropping my chain on the ride (where the chain of the bike literally comes off due to bad shifting!)
The guys at this shop are seriously amazing at knowing about bikes and amazingly nice, so if you are a newbie like me and live in So Cal, go make friends with them!  And buy stuff.

The Town of Skala
This is also a recipe post day!  This one is kind of special to me since it's something I grew up eating:  Avgolemono  (Greek Egg Lemon Rice Soup).  It seriously takes comfort food to a whole new level!

We grew up eating this because my dad is from Skala Sikaminias, Greece - a small fishing / farming town on Lesvos.  I've been to a billion different Greek restaurants and have seen this soup in many versions, but of course, I think the way my family does it is the best!  My dad actually passed away in February 2010 from cancer, so...this is my father's day tribute post (even though I'm sure he'd be appalled to know that I have a blog haha...he was pretty old school about things...I could go into more detail about my dad passing and his life, but that's a separate, and more emotional post I'm not really ready to write :( ).  

**Disclaimer...to make this, you'll need at least 3-4 hours and be cool with making your own broth.  
I suspect this will not be the most used recipe on my blog, but believe me, it's worth the wait :).  

I totally stole this pic off someone else's blog
Avgolemono (Egg Lemon Rice Soup...nearly literal translation!)


Chicken Thighs, Wings, Necks (any pieces you can boil for the broth...what you pick will depend on how much chicken you want for the soup)
1-1.5 Cups Rice
3-5 Lemons and/or Bottled Lemon Juice, to taste
2 Eggs
Salt, to taste


1) Boil Chicken pieces in a large stock pot.  Fill with enough water to cover pieces.  Add the strained (no seeds) juice of 1-2 lemons, or the equivalent squirt from a lemon juice bottle.  Add about 50% of the salt (at least a teaspoon).

2) Boil for about 3 hours on medium heat.  Add water during the cooking process if too much boils off.
3) Remove big pieces of chicken/bone from pot.  
4) Pour contents of stock pot into a large bowl through a strainer to strain out smaller pieces of chicken that were left in the pot.  Throw away strained pieces of chicken.  Pour strained stock back into the stock pot.   Chill broth until you can skim fat off the top.  Add water until the pot is about 5/8 full.  Heat up broth.  Add small pieces chicken to broth from the large chicken pieces in step two.  This will be the chicken for the soup.

5)(IMPORTANT STEP to make egg smooth in broth
Beat two eggs in a large bowl until evenly blended.  Spoon large spoonfuls of hot stock while blending the egg/stock mixture.  As the blend gets more soupy, you can add larger portions of stock each time you blend.  When the large bowl is nearly full, begin pouring from the bowl to the stock pot, blending the soup in the stock pot with a stirring spoon as you pour.
6) Add rice to soup - about 1 cup of rice for every 6 or so cups of broth.
7) Let the rice cook 30 minutes on medium heat on stovetop.
8)  Add additional lemon and salt to taste (it should be a LOT of both) and cook for an additional 15 minutes.  

Enjoy  =).

PS:  You can probably use already made canned chicken broth if you want.  But come on...it's fun to cook like you imagine great grandma did!    Live a little!  


On the question side:  What family recipes do you like to cook (or eat)?


Any things your family made that everyone else liked but you thought was gross?  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

J-Biebs Hair. Mile Repeats.

Ahhhh Saturday!  Beautiful day outside....and I'm sitting here inside....blogging and watching the Disney Channel.

My passion for entertainment targeted towards 12 year olds is pretty high.  Today it's The Wizards of Waverly Place.  It stars Selena Gomez, JBiebs girlfriend.  Anyone else think this is just a publicity relationship?  

I know.  I ask the difficult, hard hitting questions on this blog.  

I sort of wonder if JBiebs is going to turn into the Jonathan Taylor Thomas of our generation:  Adorable while young, kinda strange looking as an adult.  

On the subject of celebrities (that I seem to be writing more and more about), I figured out how J-Lo got her famous booty:  Padded booty biking shorts.  

I finally got mine in the mail and went on a quick trial ride yesterday.  IT WAS LIKE BIKING IN THE CLOUDS!!!  Ahhhh comfort.   The effect of looking like Kim Kardashian was an added benefit.

Here's your visual.  And to answer your questions:
Yes this is a picture of me, and I took it.  


(hehe)



Hey Margs, what about the repeat miles you have in the subject line?  


Oh yeah.  I did a workout for the first time in two weeks.  Actually it was really nice taking that "time off"by doing my usual easy low mileage runs.  I felt enthusiastic about running this morning, which hasn't happened since before Boston!

I did the workout on the treadmill again, since I am pretty sure off the mill, my brain is getting in the way of my body getting a decent workout.  So until I either figure out the treadmills are wrong, or I stop being crazy, I'm gonna do workouts here.

Here are the splits with 3:30 walking rest between:  6:57, 6:45, 6:40, 6:31.  .5% incline, 1.5 mile warmup and cooldown.

Decent.  I'd like to do 4 @ 6:30 or 2x2 @ 13:00 to feel ready for a 5k PR.  Hopefully soon!!

I always feel a little silly in the gym working out really hard.  Possibly because of the galloping buffalo sound I make with each stride when I run hard.

Anyone else get self conscious at the gym when working out hard? 

Should I wear those shorts under skirts and see if I look like Kim K. ?  

=)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Race Report Throwback Edition: Malibu Half Marathon 11/10

Happy Friidaaayyy!  I was running today (I've been taking a break from workouts last couple weeks...just running like 40 minutes a day...too much life and body stress lately) and I was thinking it might be fun to post a couple old race recaps from before I started blogging.  
This one is from Malibu Half Marathon in November 2010.  Not my finest moment, but I hope it makes ya laugh!  Sorry if you know me in real life and read this a long time ago.  

Without further ado.....take yourself back to 2010....before we had flying cars and robots.....
::swwwwiiissshhhh!::  (time travel noise)

Malibu Half Recap
I am being way overly dramatic, but I thought that an unexpectedly bad race would make for a funny write up !  Please take this all with a grain of salt, as I have been lucky to not be injured and have decent races that went smoothly for the last couple years.  This was a definite reality check!  

I decided to run the Malibu half bc they offered a Groupon for it  - and being the deal searcher that I am, I signed up.  

The day of reckoning occurred this morning and I woke up to a welcome alarm at 5:15 AM.  Walked out the door and thought “wa oh...” it’s already like 65 degrees out.  This did not bode well for my preferred method of racing (40 degrees...polar bear style...).  Made the 70 mi trip up to Malibu and realized that the giant traffic jam on the PCH had to be where the race started.  It was 7:00 AM and the buses left to take us to the start at 7:30.  No problem, right?  Wrong.  Unfortunately the dude taking the parking tickets was dead set on making sure as few runners as possible made it to the race.  Usually parking attendants have things like dollar bills for change, and parking tickets for your dashboard.  This guy apparently could only handle about 5 at once so he would go and get more every 5th car or so.

The bus took us 13 miles North and are dropped off at “point random, Malibu” at about 8:00 AM and immediately my heart sinks.  I’d been holding it for the last two hours in hopes of one glorious bathroom stop once we arrived.  Unfortunately there were about 15 porta potties for about 6000 people. 

 I began the wait...

Around 8:30 I finally was at the front of the line!  I go really fast - unfortunately we all were using toilet seat covers since they have run out of toilet paper.  Nooooooo.....!   

I hear cheering from the inside of the Potty and think “huh...they started the race”.  In a panic, I run out, throw my bag in the truck for bag check, and start my race.  About 1:30 into it, I realize that I didn’t recall seeing a chip timing station that marked the start.  I ask the lady next to me, who barely speaks english, if we passed the chip station.  She says “yessss” and I think “come on can't I catch a break here!!”.  

I turn around and run the .2 mi back, with people calling to me “you’re going the wrong wayyyyy!”.

Take 2
 I get back to the start and restart my watch, and start my race...for real this time!  The first time was just a tryout!  I start making my way through the entire crowd.  I have never genuinely been at the actual back of a race, and there were actually people walking with canes!  I say this not to make fun of them, but to give props to ANYONE who has the patience to walk 13 miles with a cane.  

The next three miles go somewhat uneventfully although I started to have the sneaking suspicion that I was not feeling so good. Also, the weather was starting to get really hot  - I think it ended up around 80 F.  There was literally no shade during the whole race as well.  For some reason, Malibu seemed to think it was unnecessary  to have water stops more than every 2 mi and visible mile markers, so mile three was the first one I actually saw.  They were also giving out Coconut water?  What on earth?   It is not delicious!  I checked my watch at mile 3 and I was at a 7:20 pace.  I think - “no wonder you feel bad - you are going out too fast.”

I slowed it up a bit, but for whatever reason it was all over at this point.  By around mile 6-7, I was about to quit.  I didn’t because I knew it would be just out of pride of not wanting to post a bad time, not because of some genuine physical aliment. Still, it’s amazing what goes through your head at these times.  I was beating myself up over going out too fast, and crazy thoughts like tellings myself I was stupid to not wear sunscreen - how would anyone ever want me if I looked like the shriveled up lady from “there’s something about mary” and didnt even have fast race times to impress!!! 

I also got very angry about volunteers and how slow they were handing out water!  Not logical, I know...I finally sucked it up and told myself to just be happy to be running.  

Around mile 10, I met up with my friend Josh who made the race ok again.  We were able to pace each other and grumble about the bad races we were both having as well.  

The last three miles were actually ok.  I finished and I think it was somewhere around 1:46:00.  Hard to say though, since they also didn’t seem to think it was important to have a clock at the end of the race!  Definitely not a time I am super happy about, but something to remind me to train a little harder and make sure to figure out race logistics next time!  

The race expo at the end had more Coconut water.  And Icelandic yogurt.  Very strange stuff, very strange.  

So that brings me to “lessons learned”:  
- Keep expectations low
- Always go out slow
- Train with more consistency
- Make sure you actually CROSS the start line :)

That's all :). 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Running Safety, Girlfriend?

I'm comin' clean!  Like the rest of the blog-o-sphere, I put my hat in the ring for the Nuun Hood to Coast Relay Team.  I'll spare you all the details, but  I'll introduce you to my main character "Nuucy Drew" in my children's "book":

Nuuncy Drew and the Case of the Relay Member!  

Engaging, no?  hah it's ok I can take it if you think it's lame :).  

Bottom line, I figure if Nuun is looking for a blogger who loves wine tasting, bunny ears at major races, and workouts like "Run faster until you're about to fall off the treadmill", I'm their girl!  

If not, that's cool too, although I think Hood To Coast with the team would be amazing. I would like to put my vote in for Jess at Blonde Ponytail because it was pretty cool of her to blog about the contest a couple weeks back and try to get others to enter.  Team spirit.  

On to the main topic, Running Safetyyyyy:

I was at Road Runner sports a few weeks back and I saw they had little cans of pepper spray to carry with you when you run.  

It kind of reminded me of my general fears of going out on a run and never returning....morbid...I know I know...but haven't you watched the Dateline NBC specials where this actually happens?  

There's all the regular safety recommendations that you've probably seen:
1) Don't run in deserted areas
2) Don't run with headphones on, esp at night (ok be honest...who NEVER runs with music?  What is this, 1990?)
3) Run with someone else.
4) Make sure someone knows exactly where you're going and when you're coming back.  

I sort of follow these rules.  I generally don't run alone in the dark or in dangerous places.  But I run alone a lot outside and often find myself on a trail or track where the Seinfeld quote from one episode "I coulda killed you here and no one would know"  (remember...when Elaine has some repair man over???), goes through my head.
And as a relatively small woman who probably couldn't defeat a small dog in a fight, being alone on these trails isn't wise.    

Actually the one ridiculous "safety" thing that I do, that I am convinced is protecting me, is that I greet any suspicious looking dude with a 'hello good morning' or the like.  I'm hoping that if they were planning to kill me, my politeness might just stop them.  Likely...I know...=).   

Do you carry pepper spray or have amazing karate skills?  

How do you say safe when you run? 

Do you think I should write a sequel to "Nuun-cy Drew"?    Perhaps "The Adventures of Go-Tein"   ?  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pippa And Harry...sittin' in a tree...

Have you heard?
Pippa Middleton, Kate's little sis is single.  
Dudes rejoice!   

This is how I envision an earlier conversation between her and Kate Middleton: 

Kate:  "I still can't believe you wore white to my wedding. I mean seriously?"

Pippa:  "I think you're just mad because now they call me "Her Royal Hotness".

Kate:  "Whatever girlfriend...I married a Prince.  Awww yeah!"

Pippa storms off.  


Later...she decides that going for Prince Harry migghhttt be a good idea after all...no way is she letting Kate win this one!

12 hours later, a facebook group with 125,000 fans called "Pippa Middleton is Single, Prince Harry Likes this" is born.



Hehe.  Thanks for indulging me on this one.  I can't help it.  =).  Back to running soon.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sacramento Calorie Counts

I'm sitting in Sacramento Airport right now....I spent the weekend with Anthony's family which was pretty cool (Which is why I haven't commented on your blog this weekend!..or run much).  His mom is the most ridiculously good cook ever although I have to be careful because anytime I enter her kitchen she's got something delicious up her sleeve.  I've actually got a giant pan dulce she packed for me in my bag right now, just in case I have a craving for a giant pastry.  That pastry's days are numbered....
If you've never had one, run to your closest Mexican bakery and get one fresh.   

Besides the half pig in forms of bacon, ham, and carnitas I consumed this weekend, we also went wine tasting in Placerville.  It's weird I keep going wine tasting since I still haven't learned anything about wine.  We ordered a Pinot Gris (doesn't that mean grey?) and I had no idea what color wine was going to come out.  (WHITE!)  

A's Bro and Girl
A and Me
We so classsyyyyy:

It was a beautiful day!  I'm pretty sure the Sacramento - Tahoe - Yosemite corner of California is my favorite.  Beautiful and a little less crazy.  =).  San Francisco, I'm lookin' right at you when I think crazay

Since I've been in Sac Airport for the last couple hours, I did a little nutrition fact research:

In California (and I believe New York....dunno where else), they've started printing calories of menu items for chain restaurants.   

The first time I saw this reporting I was a little confused and thought for a second it was the price.  But hey, I'm not the most observant crayon in the box.  =).  

However, in general, I love this.  This way I won't get the snack size Rolo McFlurry with 510 calories when a cone would have done just as well.  Yeah yeah... I guess the real good alternative would be an apple.

The sweet tea's got like 320!  

I've definitely found myself shocked at the calorie content of some items, like random California Pizza Kitchen Salads.  The one thing I don't like about this Fast Food reporting is that it sort of oversimplifies nutrition facts..as though calories are the only thing that matter.  Well ok...and I also don't like that I'll never be able to enjoy a Rolo McFlurry or a Giant Chocolate muffin without guilt again.  Darn you FDA.

How much do you change what you order when you go out to eat based on nutrition facts?  

Are these lists up where you live?  

Annnnnd Rolo McFlurry...is it WORTH IT?  
=)

Luckily the pastry I've got in my bag is nutrition fact free....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Are you a starbucks luva?

This morning, bright and early, I had a blogger date with Skinny Runner and Once Upon A Lime.
It was awesome...I've had kind of a lackluster week (which has made my posts overly sarcastic...my apologies...unless you like them in which case...rock on), and seein' girlfriends is always good.  

Sure, I met these girlfriends on the internet...but that's not too weird these days is it?  =)

I ran for about an hour with the girls, and then Skinny Runner went to go run more miles than I care to think about.  Impressive stuff.  I forgot to take any pics, so I made this high quality collage of what the blogger run might have looked like:

What the blogger run looked like!
No of course their pictures aren't stolen from their blogs!  









Run-wise, I'm still sore from Fontana days, which I guess is ok.  My constantly limpy state of late is giving me a good idea of what it may be to be 80 years old.  

Because of the early wakeup time, I was DYIN' like whoa by the mid-afternoon.  This warranted an extra giant size Apricot Iced Tea from Coffee Bean.  I don't even know what the size I got is called.  Larger than the large.  Ginormous?

Oh yeah...and I got a mini muffin.  Because I'm a sucker for mini desserts.  
Mini desserts + mini calorie content = mini me?

Yes I finished that whole iced tea.  If they had a 64 oz, I'd order that.  

I feel like in most regions of the country, there's Starbucks, and then some competing coffee chains:
  
In SoCal it's SB versus Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.  

In the Pacific Northwest, it's SB versus Tullys and Peets and Indie places with tattooed dudes.  

In Houston it's Starbucks and ummmm...Starbucks?  (help me out here, Texans)
"Edit from original post for the Texans...you're right...there are some awesome mom and pops in TX.  My fav was Agora in Houston because it was just a crazy experience every time. The angry service was just a bonus.  What's the BEST is that most of these places serve booze too!  What's not to love! "

Everywhere's got the McDonald's coffee these days too.  

I love Starbucks, and am not exactly sure why.  I don't think the coffee is all that good, but there is something peaceful and indulgent about walking in the shop.  
Annndd..... their tea is beaten by miles by the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.  

Coffee Bean's got a billion flavors, and the tea latte.  And when I drink their stuff, I'm sticking it to the man (Starbucks) by...purchasing from the slightly smaller man.  

So...are you a Starbucks lover or hater?  
What do you think of the McDonald's stuff?  

Also, if you made it this far, here's your carrot reward:
Living Social is selling two movie tix on Fandango for $9!   It's so crazy because Skinny Runner was just talking about how tickets are hella expensive on her blog earlier today.   And I agree.  I'd take a crappy movie theater for cheap over IMAX and 3-D. 

 I'm not sold on 3-D until they make it 90000% better and I feel like I'm actually IN the movie anyways =).  


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Goal: Runnin' the majors.


Before I get into the running talk, I wanna talk about a snack I had:








I was eating some grapes yesterday and ran into this freak of nature-------------------------------------------------->

What's going on here?  A twin?  The King Grape?

And while we're talking about fruit, do you think kids growing up today will know that watermelon used to have seeds in it?
I am going to make sure my future kids know.  And tell them that if they swallow a seed, it will grow a tree in their stomach.

Anywayssszzz....onto the running talk....

Each time I've run a marathon I've figured it would be my last.  

Marathon 1:
I ran the Austin marathon 2004 on a whim when I was a junior in college.  I think I registered about a week before, and ran it with a friend who didn't even register.  Yes, she ran 26 miles with no record to it.
Untrained, and uninformed, it was one of the most physically painful experiences of my life.  Also, true to form, I went out hilariously fast and remember being in front of the 3:30 pace group for some time.

I swore I'd never do one of those again....

Marathon 2:
It took like six years to do one again...
The next marathon, my same friend (do we see a pattern?  Hi Hilary!), decided we should meet up for Chicago and run it.  Being the sucker that I am, I agreed and signed up.  I remembered the pain of Austin, so I semi trained.  Long runs just ain't my thing.  This was my BQ, a 21 minute PR, and my first time in the beautiful city of Chicago, so the Chicago Marathon has a special place in my heart.  I remember the pure elation I felt as I realized around mile 24, that I was going to qualify for Boston (a dream of mine for years).  

As much as I wanted that to be my last marathon, I knew I had to take the opportunity to run Boston.  This would be my last marathon ever. 

Marathon 3
This spring, I bucked up and ran Boston.  It was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had.  Maybe that statement means I haven't experienced a lot of cool stuff in my life, but I think it more means I just love the sport of long distance running.

What Now?

And now...I think I want to do more.  I've decided I want to complete the majors (that are accessible to lay-women like me):  New York, Berlin, London.  What motivated this decision is that I've done 40% of them...why not keep goin'. =)

I wanna hear people cheer and say stuff like "Gute Arbeit" (just found that in google translator), "BMW", "The Gap",  "Bumbershoot", and "Sod Off!".  
"If you can make it here you can make it anywhere" would be cool too.  

Anyone know what my odds are of getting into London if I apply every year from now until 2050?

Have you done (or are planning to do) Chicago, Boston, NYC, London, or Berlin?  Any other lofty and expensive plans ?   

Oh yeah...and I wanna do Athens too!!  The first marathon!  I'll play this on my ipod during the race:

....Ooo and it's alright and it's comin' 'long
We got to get right back to where we started from....




Monday, June 6, 2011

Straight talk to the Bachelorette (100% not running related) =)

Dear Ashley H.,

Even though sometimes you are annoyingly perky, I hate seeing you all sad.  

We really need to have some girl time together, you and I.  I need to give you some straight talk and get to the root of why you like all the dudes who are mean, sleezy, and talk really slow.  

Brad Womack?  This Bentley dude? 
Your friend told you he sucks via text message!  Listen to your girlfriends...girlfriend....

And then when you were saying that your relationship with Bentley was left unresolved after he left?
Omg no girl.   He left you.

I think the J.P. dude really has something going for him.  He wore jammies with you!  I'm thinkin' he makes it to the end.  He'll make you happy.  Just give him a chance.

And don't worry about not being like Emily.  I'm intimidated by her too.  If only she were a b**ch it would be ok to hate her, but she seems so darned nice.

I know I'm just watching you on a tv show but IT FEELS SO REAL!!!


Can't wait for next Monday.
xoxo,
Faster Bunny

PS:  I'll write about stuff that's not the bachelorette soon.  Cross my heart promise.  

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fontana 13.1: I'm a Logistical Fool / My Vendetta Against Lululemon

Hey!  I've been delaying writing this report because I can't put my finger on the disappointment I feel in myself.
You're gonna kill me for saying that because I ran a 1:33:15*.  

BIG ASTERISK!  I just spent 2 minutes trying to figure out how to spell "asterisk"!  Who knew?  =)


Before you bring me the olive wreath of victory, remember this race had a 2000 ft drop.  I had no idea how powerful that was...but believe me it's huge.  It's like I was golfing and got a 6 minute handicap.  


Whew.  Now that we've gotten that out of the way I'll do the recap.  It'll be funny, I swear.  

4 AM happiness and beauty
My alarm went off at 4:00 AM and I looked at my phone alarm with pure anger.  I remember waking up at like 3:30 AM and thinking I'd get some water to drink (I'm kind of an insomniac) and realizing with horror my wakeup time was a half hour from then!

Anyways.

I put the race address into my phone, was pleasantly surprised that Fontana wasn't as far as I thought it was, and took off.  I got to my exit off I-10 and had a few extra minutes so I went to use the bathroom in McDonald's right by the race to avoid any race crowds.  As I got back into my car I thought...wait a second...something isn't right....where is everyone....


I look back in my phone and realize that I've driven to the wrong town.  I accidentally drove to Upland...the iphone directed me to a similar address.  Fontana is 16 miles down the road.  I had like 10 minutes left in packet pickup.




Fun fact.  These towns are close to Chino.  Where Ryan from the O.C. was from.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, please ignore and don't 'un-friend'.  







I got to packet pickup a few minutes late - 6:05 and ran into ChaCha and Sarah -OUAL as they were in line for the bus.  I said the world's quickest hello and then begged the ladies at the packet pickup to give me my number.  I didn't get a race t-shirt, but I didn't want to push my luck by asking.

I got on the big yellow school bus and met two really cool ladies.  Mimi and I can't remember the second lady's name.  Mimi wanted to break 2 hours and I stalked her time later and saw that she ran a 1:55.  woo hoo!

As the race started I saw these two ridiculous ladies in front of me.  They were wearing matching lululemon tight booty shorts and sports bras.  For many unreasonable and cranky reasons, I wanted to smack them for wearing such ridiculous outfits.  I passed them with pleasure  (these two characters show up in the story later...dum dum dum...).   I also passed another skinny blonde girl in a $200 lululemon outfit as well.  Let me explain myself.  I love lululemon...their stuff is awesome.  I just want to beat everyone who wears it in races.  I'm probably just jealous :).

Mile 1:  6:36.  Whaattttt?  Totally downhill but I still must be insane.

Mile 3:  20:30ish

Mile 6.2....some sort of fake 10k PR....

Mile 10:  69:00.  I was running with the same group of people and trying to hang with them.
This is getting ridiculous.  I don't think I'm slow, but I know I'm not capable of clicking off 10 sub 7 miles with ease on a real course.  Unfortunately, reality set in relatively soon.

At mile 11, I got a side cramp.  Probably from the extreme jostling and cherry sports beans I'd been chomping on.  And from the ridiculous pace I started at.

I tried every technique in the book to get rid of the cramp.  Standing straighter, breathing deeper, even waving my hands over my head in the air.  It must have been a sight.

A good 8 women must have passed me.  The dude who I was talking to at the start passed me.  THE LULULEMON TWINS PASSED ME!!!!  NOoooooooo!  I was majorly demoralized.

I passed the race photographer around mile 12 and made a peace sign to him...posing.  I realized later, my race number on my sports bra was covered by my shirt and made it look like I was banditing.  Photo-man must have thought I was a nut.  

Anyways, the last two miles I ran were more like 8 minutes and I finished.  1:33:15.  Still a major PR but like I said, this was the fastest easiest course ever.

As I walked to the snack stand, a dude who I recognized from the race came up to me.  He said in a hilarious accent "Heeeyyy...what happened....you were with us the whole way and then it was like you stopped movvvinnngggg."  I know I know.  He finished in like 1:29.  

I saw Once Upon A Lime and ChaCha after the race too and they had both PR'd!  Congrats!

As I went to my car, I realized, I had no real idea where I had parked it.  I spent my last moments in Fontana searching the streets...wondering where I left my car...and my brain that morning.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Appendix:

I hope you don't think I'm overly crabby from this post - I had a wonderful time in Fontana.
1) I am SO happy to have run this time - even on a cheat course like this.  
2) This race was run so well for a small half.  I'd recommend it to anyone!
3)  I've now got NYC qualifying which was my goal. 
3)  Those lululemon girls are probably really nice.  Maybe....