Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Whimsical Wednesday: I'd like to thank...

I'd like to thank the makers of Diet Coke, Hot Pockets, and Pringles for keeping me alive this week.  And my allergist for prescribing the lovely antihistamines that help me to fall asleep easily and to keep breathing through the night.

I'd also like to thank my dog for not peeing (much) inside the house.  And my other dog for snuggles and loves when I need them.

I'm sure there's someone or something I'm leaving out but I can't keep my eyes open for another second.

I will be MIA for the next few days.  First making it through Friday and this big deadline, and second from sleeping and not touching a computer for at least 24 hours. 

the CilleyGirl

Monday, June 27, 2011

Money Matters Mondays: Rite Aid and I need a spare husband and kids

I did my part to save money this past week:  I couponed, I bought lunch on my office credit card, and I worked over 50 hours. 

I am so tired.

So, a quick little example of how you too can save big moolah by using coupons.  Here's my Sunday Rite Aid trip:

2 Excedrin PM at $1.99/each
-used 2 $1.00/1 coupons

2 Stayfree MaxiPads at $2.50/each
- used 1 BOGO coupon (if you have a Y chromosome, that means buy one get one free)
- used 1 $1.00/1 coupon

2 Xtra laundry detergents at $1.99/each
- used 1 $1.00/2 coupon

The retail total was $11.46, $6.46 after coupons.  I used $6.00 in +Up rewards from last week; +Up rewards are money off your next purchase that you get for buying certain products.  That brought the total out of pocket to $0.46 plus $4.00 in new +Up rewards -- and I still had $2.00 in +Up rewards leftover from last week.  The trick is to combine coupons with the products where you'll get +Up rewards.  I'm running low on night time moisturizer so I may use my +Up rewards soon to knock down the price on that (something you'll never get for under $1.00).

I should have 17+ hours of overtime on Friday's paycheck.  Hopefully I'll have enough extra to get me comfortably through the month on cash only.

With all of the printing of the coupons, I was out of ink at home.  I saw that Staples had a promo where you could get a free eco bag -- you know, the reusable shopping bag.  Usually you have to buy the bag.  Everything that you put in the bag -- and I think this is always, not just for this promo -- you got 15% off.  Plus there was a second promo where you got $4.00 per ink cartridge and 20% rewards back when you bought $50.00 or more in HP ink.  And guess what kind of printer I have?  Let's just say I went digging through my wastebasket to pull out the used cartridges.  I recycled six cartridges and I bought around $70.00 in HP ink (I paid around $60 out of pocket after the 15% bag discount).   That should give me $24.00 back on the cartridges and around $14.00 for the rewards.  That means Staples is going to be sending me a check in about a month for $38.00!!  And the program is free!  Why aren't more people doing this?

I have had people kind of be negative about couponing in general -- that you're taking money from the stores.  But that is absolutely not true.  Look at a coupon:  the store gets reimbursed for the coupon amount plus a handling fee, usually around $0.08.  So one, the store is making money.  Two, roughly 3% of all coupons issued are ever actually redeemed.  It might be a little higher now with the recent coupon publicity but still.  Three, people are in shopping.  That's helping the economy.  And lastly, and most important, YOU are saving your hard-earned money.

You should really look into this if you have a family.  There are a gazillion coupons out there for cereal and for diapers.  I don't eat grains (usually, ahem) and don't have kids, in diapers or otherwise.  Yogurt is another big one I see, but I don't eat yogurt any more either.  You can get toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste -- all for pennies or even for free.  I've had to rein in buying certain things, because as I've mentioned previously a couple of bottles of shampoo will last me a couple of years.  But if you have other people in your household?  Cut a few coupons, read up on a few coupon-matching sites (they do 95% of the work for you), and then GO SAVE.

the CilleyGirl

Friday, June 24, 2011

Free Form Friday: The Premiere Edition

Welcome to the premiere edition of Free Form Friday!  Where I'll throw out whatever.  Again, pretty much what I do all the time but with a catchy title.

The sun peaked out this afternoon so I took some pics of my garden.

In this corner, we have the butter lettuce run amok, French lavender which is doing really well, jasmine which is doing well despite the fact that I have yet to re-pot it, and the cucumber bush. 

On the patio table for now is the romaine, which I thought would be bigger by now.  I found some extra pots under the deck that I had forgotten about so I may transplant these into one bigger pot that I can hang off the deck.  Like I did with the carnations.

Isn't the color on these gorgeous?  And can you see there are a dozen more buds getting ready to burst open?  When I bought these, I thought they were in a six pack that I could break up and spread out but they are kind of one big clump.  There's lots of room left over in the pot; I think I will get a couple of something like pansies or Sweet Williams to put on either side and balance it out.  I also have strawberries getting ready to bloom.

Sorry about the fuzzy picture.  Strawberry starts were two for $1.00 at Fred Meyer so I got six into this pot.  There are three different varieties in here.  One will have pink blooms and there is one that should bloom in a couple of days.  When I read it would be pink, I thought some light girlie pink but the blossom I've got is magenta.  If more pop up that will be spectacular!

So when you have lettuce run amok, you need to eat it or it will stop growing.  Here's a recipe for quick and easy chicken caesar salad wraps.

First, harvest the lettuce.  Can you believe this growth is from the past several days?  I cut it back pretty good but by Monday it'll be ready to pick again.

Next, get out the chicken that you grilled up last week.  This is part of the 20 lbs of chicken from the Zaycon Foods deal I did.  The flavor is amazing.  Makes you wonder what they do to the chicken you get in the store.

For wraps, you need, well, wraps.  A couple of 10" tortillas will do the job.

By the way, can you tell I'm not a professional food photographer?

Chop up the chicken and then get your favorite caesar dressing.  My personal favorite is Safeway's Eating Right brand of fresh garlic caesar.  It's a perfect consistency -- I hate gloppy, thick dressing -- and best of all it's low cal so you can use enough not to have a dry wrap without adding a ton of calories.  I think this is 40 calories per two tablespoons.

Mix up the lettuce and the chicken with enough dressing to coat everything thoroughly but not so much that there is a lot of dressing sitting in the bottom of the bowl.  While it sits, heat up your tortillas in the microwave between damp paper towels.  I do about 45 seconds for two tortillas.  The warmth and the damp helps them to be more malleable and not tear.

As I mentioned, without enough dressing your wrap will be dry and tasteless.  Too much dressing and the flavor is overwhelming plus the tortillas tend to get too wet and tear.  With lettuce and chicken for two wraps, I used about four tablespoons of a moderately thin consistency dressing.  I then lay down a line of about a tablespoon of dressing on each tortilla before putting on the lettuce and chicken.  I then topped with a couple of pinches of shredded parmesan.  You can mix your parmesan in with the lettuce and chicken but I find that the parmesan tends to clump all together and then stick to the bowl.  This way you get an even layer of cheese.

Now wrap and enjoy!  Total time to make:  15 minutes, including time to dodge hungry dogs.

I have to work this weekend but I've got time for one last picture of my new baby:

Isn't it beautiful??  To give you an idea of the size, the entertainment center is 46" wide.  I didn't think to measure the height inside before I got the TV so I was very lucky that it just cleared it.  I have maybe an inch and a half of space at the top.  I'm thinking of taking July 5th off so I can have a four day orgy of television.  It's the little things in life, right?

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thirteen Things Thursday

Inspired by a few bloggers that I follow, I am dubbing this "Thirteen Things Thursday" where I list 13 more or less random items.  Which is pretty much what I do anyways.

1.  I learn about the oddest things in the course of my job.  Today I learned there is a company called "Lice Knowing You" in the Seattle area.  They specialize in, as you might guess, lice removal. 

2.  My older dog, CBS, took a tumble down a flight of stairs around 4:00 a.m. this morning.  Since she was on her way out for a potty break, hitting the landing caused her bladder to release.  So I was up at 4:00 a.m. cleaning up pee and coaxing her outside just in case there was anything left.  Poor puppy. 

3.  This week I started a container of strawberries (so far I've whacked my head on it once in the first three days) and a cucumber bush.  Both are growing nicely but if we don't get some sun soon it will all be just pretty little leaves.  Case in point:  the butter lettuce is growing like crazy.  Salad is again on the dinner menu for tonight.

4.  I should have my Directv installed Sunday, just in time for the season premiere of True Blood.  Yay!!  The package I got not only has the typical movie channels (Turner Classic Movies, AMC, Lifetime Movie Network that kind of stuff) but Encore, the Movie Channel, and Fox Movie Channel and for three months I also get HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax for free.  I may never leave the house again.  And on top of all that, this satellite TV package is $40 less per month than what I paying at Comcast. 

5.  That should all help with my efforts to go to an all-cash budget.  I did get a LivingSocial deal recently for two movie tickets (Julie -- we need to go see a movie!) but otherwise with the satellite TV and Netflix I don't need to pay for a movie for ever.

6.  I am also switching my internet provider to DSL and getting a land line again for the first time in about a dozen years.  Bundled with Directv I'm saving $45 per month overall for TV and internet, plus I'll have a land line.  I probably won't keep the land line once the promo rate expires (it's six or twelve months, I forget) but in the meantime my mother will be happy that I'll have a phone I can actually hear ring.

7.  Recently I bought some Pringles as a snack after not having any for several years.  I just ate half a can for lunch and brought a new can back to the office to snack on.  They're like crack, man.

8.  Ever hear of Swagbucks?  You sign up and get points for searching the web with their toolbar instead of, say, Google.  There are other chances to get points by doing directed web searches (i.e., go to this website and tell us what you think the company's message is), playing games, watching videos, answering a daily poll, and a lot of other things.  You can redeem your swagbucks for actual stuff like a $5.00 Amazon gift card.  It's kind of like playing roulette (so fun when it pops up to tell you you've earned swagbucks!) and in the first week of doing this I have 393 swagbucks (I need 450 to get the Amazon gift card).  If you sign up, please tell them the CilleyGirl referred you (cilleygirl at gmail dot com). 

9.  The original Disapproving Rabbit Cinnamon passed away recently.  Goodbye Cinnamon, it was an honor to be disapproved by you.

10.  Best of luck this weekend to the Little Fruit Fly who is running the Seattle Rock 'n Roll Half.  Have fun and don't worry about muggers!  Oh, and a city block in downtown Seattle is about twice the length of a Portland city block.  So if someone tells you "it's just four blocks down", hop on a free Metro bus instead.  Trust me on this.  Best of luck to Tall Mom who is also running it this weekend. 

11.  And speaking of Tall Mom, she and Tricia were both chosen to be on Nuun's Hood to Coast team.  Yay for them!!  My boss has run HtC three times and he has some great stories about it.  Prepare to be both exhilirated and exhausted :)

12.  It's kitten season!  A kitten fostering blog I follow out of Tacoma is doing their annual Dog-a-Thon FUNdraiser for the Tacoma Humane Society.  However, all of the money raised by the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee goes to the cats.  In the first year they did this, their goal was to raise three squillion and they raised $23 squillion!  Last year the bar was raised to $40 squillion and they raised $48 squillion.  This year, the goal is $50 squillion and they are over 1/5th of the way there.  If you can give, please do so; my beautiful cat Sammi, who I lost to kidney disease three years ago this August, was adopted from Tacoma Humane.  We had 14 wonderful years together and I donated in her memory.  Even if you can just send good vibes to these adorable kitties -- look at the page, they are SO cute -- that would be great.

13.  I have to work again this weekend, so by July 1 I will have worked every day since June 14.  I keep thinking about the overtime.  I tend to skip meals during big appeal seasons and it does not help me to keep a positive attitude.  I didn't take a lunch at all yesterday and man oh man was I snarly.  Today I went home for lunch to let the pups out -- landlord is coming today to look at replacing the siding and hopefully rebuilding my rotting deck so I had to leave them in -- and it was nice to be able to get away and just not work for an hour.  I'm trying to watch everything left in my DVR before the satellite guy comes on Sunday so I haven't been going to bed early as I probably should.  Last night I watched the last three episodes of this season's Supernatural.  I liked this season better than the last and am interested to see what they do for the next (and likely the last) season. 

the CilleyGirl

Monday, June 20, 2011

Money Matters Monday!

Hidey ho everyone!  Did you survive Father's Day?  I was stressed that I would forget to call my dad and he would be pissed and then I call and he doesn't even realize it's Father's Day.  Figures.  We had a nice, albeit short, chat, and then I called my grandfather next door (to my dad) to wish him a happy Father's Day.  Which took less than a minute then I chatted with my grandmother for about a half hour.  Completely reflects my family life.

I'm trying out a few things to prompt myself back into writing here on a more regular basis.  I recently came across a cool blog called Never Niche where the name stems from the fact that her blog is about a conglomeration of interests that just don't fit into a specific spot in the blogosphere.  And neither do mine.  I try but then after a short period of time I tend to write about anything shiny that catches my eye.  After all, I am all about the whimsy. 

Rather than change my blog name yet again (and "Never Niche" is taken), I thought I'd start alliteratively allocating certain days of the week to certain topics.  So today is (for now) "Money Matters Monday."  Where I'll gather up all my debt-busting related stuff in one spot.

I'm continuing to coupon but I'm kind of broke so my spending threshold is fairly low.  As in, I'll buy something if (a) I need/stockpile it and (b) it's generally couponed down to $1.00 or less.  This past week I did a fun deal at Rite Aid after finally figuring out how the Up+ rewards works.  Here's what went into it.

On Wednesday, I bought the new Bayer Advanced Aspirin.  I only bought just that because everything else I was looking for wasn't in stock.  It was on sale for $3.99 plus a $1.99 Up+ reward.  (Up+ rewards are like cash off your next purchase when you buy the qualifying item.)  I had a $2.00 off one coupon, bringing the total down to $1.99 and then I got the Up+ reward, making it free.  On Friday I went out to see if I could find the rest of the stuff I had been looking for.  Again at Rite Aid, I got two Arm & Hammer toothpastes ($3.99 each with a $3.00 each Up+ reward, and I had two $1.00/1 coupons, making them free), two Oral-B toothbrushes $2.99 each with a $1.00 each Up+ reward and I had a buy one get one coupon, meaning I paid $0.99 for two toothbrushes), and then I bought another Bayer Advanced Aspirin because I found out it works well on headaches.  Hmm, I had a coupon but it didn't ring up...  Anyhow, together with the previous $1.99 Up+ reward I paid $10.97 out of pocket but got $8.00 back in Up+ rewards for my next purchase -- meaning that total spent was only $2.97. 

I have told myself that I must stop buying toothpaste now.  I'm set for a while.

I'm looking into ditching my cable in favor of satellite TV.  For the TV portion of my cable bill, I pay about $90 per month.  If I switch to Directv, I'll pay about $40 per month for the first year; I think it goes to $55 in the second year.  That's a savings of $600 in the first year just on TV.  I'm looking at switching my internet provider as well; currently I pay about $55 a month for broadband.  I should be able to get it for a lot less than that. 

Of course, as part of the anticipated switch to satellite -- where they have tons of free HD programming -- I had to purchase a new TV.  Yep, I've finally gone flat screen and high def.  It's huge.  I'm in love.  I may never leave the house again.

Anyone have any money saving tips or suggestions that I can do?  Particularly about satellite TV and internet service?  I'm a little wary of switching car insurance, anyone actually switched to Geico or Allstate with good results?  Horrible results?  Bueller?

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Peeking in

I'm still alive!

My mom was finally able to come down for a visit this past weekend so I took a four day weekend.  Amidst all of that, work is ramping up for our second biggest deadline on July 1; it's looking like I'll be working every day between yesterday and July 1 to get it all done since I've had more than my average of vacation days over the past few months.  Which has been nice but there's lots to do. 

I still haven't talked with my boss about a raise but I've been preparing for it.  I read this fabulous book last night about women and knowing their worth.  Which along with the couponing (still doing it -- saved about 85% on the items for which I had coupons last night, throwing in other non-coupon items still had me saving 50% overall) has me back to the horrific conclusion that (a) I have a shitload of debt and (b) I need to get out of that shitload of debt.  Ergo, I'm going to be reading Dave Ramsey and a Suze Orman book directed towards women (I read part of it a year or two ago, but now I'm getting my own copy).  Funny how trying to save money means you're buying books on saving money.  Right?  I did go to Powells for the Suze Orman book, so I'm only paying about 25% of retail on that -- and I found another money/debt book (name escapes me at the moment) for only $0.95 that normally retails for about $18!  Dave Ramsey I got for the Kindle, which was cheaper than any of the used ones out there.  Yes, I know I could get these through the library -- which I did previously with Suze Orman -- but I go through books like these slowly and never manage to finish within the three week checkout period.  Plus I like to refer back and highlight stuff, which you can't do with a library book.  At least, you shouldn't be doing it with a library book!

In other related news, I'm looking into some container gardening.  I planted some butter lettuce and romaine starts a couple of weeks ago and Monday night I had my first home-grown salad.  My mom and I looked at a lot of plants this weekend (farmer's market in Beaverton plus Wal-Mart's garden section) and even though I don't like a lot of veggies there are several which I do like that I could grow myself.  I'm extremely interested in a cucumber bush plant for saving space.  I think I could do broccoli and cantaloupes.  Maybe even carrots for next year; I think it's too late for this year.  I'm going to hit up some thrift stores and freecycle to find pots for all this plus the plants my mom bought for me -- a beautiful star jasmine, some lavender, and carnations.  If I really get into gardening, there's a spot in my yard that I think would be perfect for a raised bed next year -- it seems to get good sun and I can't get grass to grow there anyways. 

Let's see, what else?  Still no running and I haven't gone to the gym to do other things either.  Boo me.  Self, if you're not going to use that gym membership then you need to cancel it.  One way or the other, do it!  I'm picking up 40 lbs of fresh, never-frozen boneless/skinless chicken breasts tomorrow that I got for $1.64/lb through Zaycon Foods.  My co-worker is buying one ten pound bag, I'm poking at Julie to see if she wants one too, and I'm hoping that I can manage the freezer space for 20 to 30 lbs of chicken!  Happy that I recently got a good deal on quart sized freezer bags and a whole lotta marinade too!

That's about it from my corner of the world.  I've got some pics and details about my mom's visit to post eventually.  Oh, and today is my dog Cute But Stupid's 16th birthday!  The past year has been hard on her so I was glad that she made it to her 16th birthday.  I have a feeling that this may be her last and I've been preparing for that eventuality for some time now as our other setters made it to 17 and 15.  This September will mark ten years we've been together.  I'm ready to let her go when it comes to that, and otherwise we just enjoy every day we have together until then.

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Topsy turvy scurvy update

Went to store last night to buy fruits and veggies -- Yes!  I felt so virtuous.  I bought hearts of romaine (to supplement the fresh lettuce currently growing on my deck), strawberries, bananas, and carrots.  And sweet pickle relish and tater tots.  And baked beans, which are technically a legume and I shouldn't be eating with paleo but I've had myself a hankering for beans and weenies.

Ate fruits and/or veggies last night -- Yes!  I had sweet pickle relish and tater tots with ketchup.  Don't judge; Reagan said ketchup was a vegetable.  I meant to have a nice bowl of freshly sliced/lightly sugared strawberries but my mom called and by the time I got back to finishing the making of the potato salad it was too late in the evening for me to eat something that acidic.  I also took all my vitamins last night and felt a lot less tired this morning than I normally do.

Ate fruits and/or veggies today -- Yes!  The strawberries meant for dessert last night went into today's lunch bag.  They were more syrupier than I like but still tasty.  I brought a banana but so far have not eaten it.  Dinner tonight will have potato salad which not only has potatoes but sweet pickles.  Yum! 

Ooh, random thought:  I bet dumping a couple of cans of baked beans and some weenies into the crockpot tomorrow morning would be soooo yummy by the time I get home tomorrow.  Mmmmmm.

I think I'm going out for pizza for lunch tomorrow so I'll be certain to nab some slices with pineapple, black olives, and mushrooms to continue my anti-scurvy campaign.  If my mom wasn't coming to visit this weekend (and I wasn't taking Friday and Monday off work), I would've gotten fresh pineapple at the store and maybe peaches and mushrooms too.  But that much produce would've just gone bad by the time work rolled around again next Tuesday.  And I also have a Tuscan cantaloupe that I sliced up last night too; need to eat that up too (Mom likes cantaloupe, at least she used to). 

I'm still feeling odd.  Like if someone punched me in the stomach something important would rupture like a cheap water balloon.  Maybe it's mono.  Or maybe it's a TOO-MUR.  Or maybe it's a ventricular aneurysm waiting to pop; my grandmother had that (the ventricular aneyrusm part, not the it popped part) and it's a hereditary thing.  I don't know; anyone want to suggest some dire disease for me to have?  C'mon, it's fun!

the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ahoy, ye scurvy curs!

So the other day I'm hanging out, thinking about my diet, and I realize:  I can't think of the last time I had a fruit or a vegetable.  Hmmm.

And then I'm thinking I'm coming down with scurvy.

Is anybody else familiar with scurvy?  Not like up close and personal, but did you learn about it and other wacko diseases in not-college-level-school?  I remember learning all about things like scurvy and rickets, beriberi and pellagra, and cowpox and anthrax -- and let's not forget bubonic plague! -- in as early as junior high.  Why?  I mean, granted, anthrax because extremely relevant in recent years but otherwise?  Was this some kind of a "so you better eat your veggies, kids!" kind of brainwashing?

There were pictures and everything!

I'm guessing that in addition to putting the fear of god into kids to eat healthy and wash their hands on a regular basis -- and what a way to go about it -- that it was also a "look how awesome the human race is!" kind of thing.  We've cured all these things, go us!  But surprisingly no mention of relevant things.  Like cancer.  Emphysema.  Cirrhosis of the liver.  I was well into college before I figured out exactly what cancer was, and it was long after that when I learned that bits of cancer can break off and go to other parts of your body and make more new and different cancers.  Sadly, I learned this in conjunction with the illness and eventual passing of a friend's husband from cancer that at the end had spread everywhere. 

You know, I meant for this to be more amusing.  Boobies!  How's that?

Back to my lack of fruit and veg.  I'm starting to suspect (in addition to catching scurvy) that as a consequence of sinus/allergy problems I've lost my sense of taste to a certain extent.  I just have little interest in eating these days and when I do eat it's not very satisfying.  Even things like ice cream aren't doing it for me.  What's up with my body?

I do know what's up with at least one body part, namely my right lower leg.  I saw the orthopedist yesterday, who really has a good case of the cutes, and I'm still not cleared for running for at least four more weeks.  My leg has not gotten worse and he believes I am healing well.  I am cleared for non-impact activities such as the elliptical and the recumbent bike.  If I feel strong enough I can maybe do some walking in two to three weeks but he advised against it. 

That means that I better get my scurvy ass to the gym tout suite if I want to have a chance of getting back into training at the end of the next four weeks.  I'll be looking at only a 12 week training period for Portland.  That suddenly does not sound like a good idea, and sounds a lot like a second stress fracture waiting to happen.  I may need to rethink my running goals for this year.  I may need to drop to only the half marathon for Portland.  Hmmm.

I'm off to dash out a few more work tasks before heading home to make potato sald.  Pickles are vegetables, right?

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, June 2, 2011

You might be a penguin.

As a truly slow runner, I do get annoyed when I see people whining about how slooooowwww they are.  With their nine minute miles.  So I thought I would make up a handy little chart that let's you know whether you are truly a slow runner.  Or whether you should go fuck yourself AND the horse you rode in on.  Because clearly there was a horse involved in getting your oh-so-slow nine minute mile. 

If you consistently run a seven minute mile or faster, congratulations!  You are a cheetah.  You enjoy a healthy slice of massive pain in all your runs, and occasionally it would be more convenient (and less messy) if you ran in an adult diaper.  You are nuts, or quite possibly Kenyan.  Luckily you can often be found on the ground in agony shortly after a race or else we'd never catch up long enough to put a medal on you.

You can't catch m--- ow!!!  My hamstring!!!

If you consistently run over a seven minute mile but below an eight, congratulations!  You are a pronghorn antelope.  You also enjoy a healthy slice of pain in all your runs, but not to the point where you crap in your pants.  Be careful those age group medals don't get tangled up in your horns.

I'm ready for my medal now, Mr. DeMille.

If you consistently run an eight or nine minute mile, congratulations!  You are a lion, a Thomson's gazelle (all other gazelles out of luck apparently), a wildebeest or a springbok.  Take your pick!  There are many of you out there.  You often medal in your age group, and on a particularly good day (and age) you get the first place spot.  Great job!  Tthe rest of us like and admire you.  Except when you whine about being slow.  Then we hope a crocodile gets you at an aid station.

I am a springbok.  Don't judge me.

If you consistently run over a nine minute mile but not quite a ten, congratulations!  You are a thoroughbred.  Told you there was a horse involved!  You constantly push yourself to do better and as a consequence those fragile little legs can suffer injury.  Take it easy on yourself!  Remember that most of you will not get to hump all the mares you can handle in your post-race career.  Many of you will end up gelded instead.  But there's still a lot to do in the world other than mares, so keep yourself healthy enough to do it without bionic parts.

I'm a wildebeest, and I am born to run.  Literally.  Google it.
(Like you didn't know what a thoroughbred already looked like.)

If you consistently run a ten or eleven minute mile, you are a Cape Hunting Dog or an elk.  Yeah, I didn't know what a Cape Hunting Dog was either but they're cute little suckers and apparently rather speedy.  So congratulations!  You're smack dab in the middle of the pack -- appropriate for a Cape Hunting Dog or an elk -- and make up the bulk of any race.  The true penguins aspire to your achievements.  You probably want to be faster, and we wish the best of luck to you on that.  We'll miss you, as you were the closest runners we could actually see way up ahead there.

We are Cape Hunting Dogs.  We're very cute, meaning we'll probably eat you.

Are there still runners behind me?  Are there???

If you consistently run between a 12 minute mile but under a 15 minute mile, congratulations!  You actually are a penguin!  On land, you are slow.  If you were in the water, you'd be one fast mother, able to swim up to 40 miles per hour, but clearly you chose the wrong sport.  But that's okay!  We penguins run for the love of running.  Because we are nuts.  And quite definitely not Kenyan.  There'd be more of us, but they're all annoyed by the others whining about how slow they are.  While they're a mile or so ahead of us in the race.

I will kick your ass in the water.  Just don't ask me to run to get there!

If you consistently run a 15 minute mile or slower, congratulations!  I'm thrilled to see you out there.  You're behind me, but you're out there, and both of those things make me happy!  You are a sloth.  It's not as bad as it sounds.  The sloth moves slowly not because it is lazy but because one of its main predator is the eagle.  By moving slowly it avoids being killed and eaten.  So good job you!  Also, you're cuter than those Cape Hunting Dogs.

I'm slow so that the photographers have enough time to always get my good side.

And now, courtesy of the TeamPenguin website:  You might be a penguin if... have to politely (for the third time) tell the men in the police car moving behind you that no you do not wish for a ride. wear your jog bra on top of your singlet. This is especially true if you are male.

...during a race, you keep turning around to see if there is still anybody behind you.

...the rest of the pack is out of sight before you have run 100 yards. meet both the hare and the tortoise running back towards you doing their cool-down after a race

...the only reason you don't drop out of a race is that you are embarrassed that the police in the car behind you (closing the course) will see you. you are rounding the corner onto Main Street and the finish line, you overhear the announcer on a microphone to the crowd of 500 saying "We are assured the young lady is coming in!" (Oh well, at least I was young). recognize all the regular runners on your favorite route from behind. get passed on the uphill by a runner pushing a double baby jog stroller. shoot a 24-shot roll of film during a marathon. make arrangements for a late checkout at the hotel. are more worried about the porta-potty lines than the start line.

...your support crew talks about meeting you for supper, not lunch. have to memorize the route because you know that you will lose the back of the pack.

...the truck picking up the cones is pressing on your behind. (Don't laugh - this actually happened to me!) you pass a course volunteer they ask you, "How many are behind you yet?" and you say "Behind me? Behind? Gosh... I think two... Unless they turned around!"

...the awards ceremony is over before you cross the finish line.

the CilleyGirl