Thursday, May 31, 2012

Exhausted Overweight Insomniac Sets New Land-Speed Record; Details at Eleven

1.  I haven't been sleeping well since really before I went up to my parents on vacation.  In terms of actual sleep while at my parents, I slept like a rock but only about six or seven hours a night, which just doesn't do it for me.  Then I came back and insomnia hit for a variety of reasons plus my weekends were full with various and sundry so long story short (too late!) I woke up this morning around 4:00 a.m. -- after having gone to bed at 8:30 the night before but not falling asleep until nearly midnight -- and couldn't get back to sleep.  What to do?  Go to the gym, apparently.  As Garfield once said, I'm already in a bad mood, I might as well exercise.  And even longer story short, I ran what is probably the fastest three miles I've ever run.  Even if my Nike+ was smoking crack.  Who knew that would be what it took?  (the sleep deprivation, not the crack)

2.  For me, sleep deprivation = aphasia.  In other words:  Cat bicycle pineapple.  And I get punchy.  My co-worker -- who is also sleep deprived, we've been comparing war stories -- and I have had some interesting conversations today as a consequence.

3.  And when punchy, let's share pictures!  This is me and Julie at Portland Rock 'n Roll:  the before shot. 

4.  This is my parent's new puppy happily settled in on top of their lab. 

5.  My mom and I have decided the puppy is the devil.  It's the green eyes.  In this shot, she's clearly thinking about ripping my throat out as I sleep.  But I never got to sleep while she was in the house, and so foiled her evil puppy plan. 

6.  Okay, some times she's really sweet.  When she's not escaping from the yard.  Her name is Molly but we may re-name her Houdini.  Or Steve McQueen.

7.  This is their lab, begging me with her eyes to kill the puppy put her out of her misery put down the camera and pet her.  Her name is Rebel and she likes it when I sing David Bowie to her: 

Rebel Rebel, you tore your dress.
Rebel Rebel, your face is a mess.
Rebel Rebel, how could they know?
Hot dog, I love you so!

8.  My parents have two horses.  This is Chance.  Although we put his hay well inside his stall for his meals, he prefers to dine al fresco and so carries his hay outside to eat. 

9.  And this is Jet.  Or as I like to call him, that mother fucking horse that bolted out of the pasture when I was trying to carry the puppy out of the pasture and so I had to chase him around the mother fucking yard for an hour and a half in the hot sun.  Yes, his head would look lovely mounted on my wall he's very pretty too. 

10.  We round out the ranch mix with three cats.  Gizmo lives in the big house but due to puppy interference I didn't get any shots of her on this trip.  Out in the bar we have Honey and Clover.  Although I can never remember which is which and so I have now re-dubbed them Pudge and Fluffy the Finger Slayer.  Can you guess which one is which?

11.  Both barn kitties always put their paws up whenever I see them like Pudge is doing.  Like they're demonstrating the petting process, in case we've forgotten between trips to the bar.  Fluffy the Finger Slayer is so (now) named because when I pet her she starts chewing on my fingers.  Like the petting provokes such ecstasy that she must chew on a couple of pink finger sausages.  If I keep petting her normally, she'll chew on them where it's more like gumming them.  If I stop petting her, then she chomps down. 

12.  I came home to this pretty mister hanging out on my neighbor's deck a couple of weeks ago.  We have no idea how he came to be there, or to where he went when he departed.

13.  This is my swag haul from Portland Rock 'n Roll.  Yes, this is why you didn't get a lot of stuff at the expo.  You're welcome.   Seriously though, I learned you need to come early and have a partner who can block and distract the vendors.  Even more seriously, if you're tempted to bitch at me for grabbing all this crap, remember that for every ten races I've run, only one of those has food and what have you still left over by the time I've finished.  I've done races where I have heard tales of magical treats.  Fuck if I ever even saw their remnants, much less had the chance to get one myself.   Eugene Marathon where "every finisher gets a post-race massage"?  Amend that to "every finisher gets a post-race massage, unless you finished less than 45 minutes after the course closed then you're out of luck."  Hell, I've been actually out on courses where they ran out of stuff during the damn race.  Apparently Portland Marathon had pretzels.  I knew only because I crushed their bits into the ground as I ran by.  Last year's Shamrock 15K?  Ran out of cups at a water stop.  The year before that?  Ran out of finisher's medals.   How the hell does that happen?

And if you're still really really really upset about this, I'll send you a pair of sunglasses.  Because why did I get three pairs?

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Everything on hold - I'm gonna be gone fishin'!

Thanks so much to everyone who weighed in on my apartment choice.  While I do love that huge, light, bright and pretty apartment, I realized that if it was exactly the right choice at this time then I wouldn't have spent about twelve hours stressing about it.  So I am going to withdraw my application for now and keep looking.  I don't want to be at the very top of my budget in a place where I ignored some issues about which I could be unhappy.  Maybe I'll be back to that place again.  Part of my decision was that I just don't want to try to coordinate all the moving stuff during June; this is our second busiest time of the year and that needs to be a priority.

Plus with that apartment I wouldn't have extra money in the future to do things like escape to the beach this weekend.   Since none of my friends were willing to go to Vegas with me instead.  So I'm going to kick back with my oceanfront view room, continue my pursuit of the best clam chowder and the best razor clams, and mull on some of the other places that might meet my needs.  Without giving me an ulcer or completely emptying my pocketbook.

the CilleyGirl

Monday, May 28, 2012

Help me decide!

As I mentioned, I am looking for a new place to live.  I've got 72 hours to decide on one versus another versus keep on looking. 

Contestant No. 1:  HUGE and so pretty!!

This 1,275 square foot space is a two bedroom, two bath with a loft. 

It has huge bedrooms plus a big bonus space with the loft.  Seventeen foot floor to ceiling windows in the living area.  The kitchen has granite countertops with a built in microwave, nice new fridge (short of a Subzero, this is my dream fridge), and a large built-in pantry.  All the cabinetry in the apartment is maple.  Tons of closet space; each bedroom has two closets plus there is a large linen closet in the master bedroom.   It has a wood burning fireplace and a full size washer and dryer.  Lots and lots of windows so it is very light and bright.  I can paint any room I want.  The property has a seasonal heated pool (complete with a pair of ducks), year round hot tub, and a very nice 24 hour gym space with high end treadmills with TVs and about a dozen weight machines.  There is an onsite massage therapist.   This has a reputation for being one of the highest end communities in the area. 

Those are all the pros.

For cons, no garage and no dedicated parking is included in the rent.  There seems to be adequate parking for the most part, however, and they may go to assigned spaces within about six months or so.  There are a lot of units at this property - 240 total - so on the parking lot side of things it does feel a bit crowded (luckily that's not translated to being inside the unit).  The rent and water/sewer/garbage charges have this at the tippy top end of my budget, so it would take a while to add any furnishings like an actual guest bed.  With the big ceilings, electricity could be high in the winter; it was very temperate inside the unit today though, and there wasn't any heat on.   I can have dogs or cats, two pets total, but they do charge pet rent, $30/month per cat.  They only have one centralized location for garbage so I'd have to walk a small distance to toss my garbage. 

This one is available at the end of June.

Contestant No. 2:   Spacious and secluded.

This is a 1,043 square foot space with two bedrooms, two baths, and a full size garage.

The layout flows really well.  The dining room is a somewhat separate space which is nice.  There is good counter space and cabinets plus some extra space in with the closet directly across the kitchen.  There is a wood burning fireplace and a full size washer and dryer.  There is also a big garage, it's not attached but it adds a lot of extra storage space.  It also gives a dedicated parking space outside the garage.  The balcony is covered.   The property has a seasonal heated pool and a year round hot tub.  The property on the whole is a smaller community than Contestant No. 1, which makes it feel spacious as you drive through.  It is about $100-$120 overall per month less than Contestant No. 1, depending on utilities (I'm estimating high, I hope), although I'd want to get a separate gym membership which would be at least $30/month -- there is a 24 Hour Fitness sport club within five minutes up the street.  I can have up to two cats, with no monthly pet rent.

Those are the pros. 

Cons:  The finishes are solid but average.  I'd likely need to keep my pantry cabinet for extra storage.  A microwave would take up part of the counter space.  The fridge isn't much better than what I have now, and a better fridge was high on my wish list for a new place.  There's no linen closet space so I'd have to work that out.  No dogs are allowed at this property, so if I did decide to get a dog I couldn't have one here.  Lastly, there aren't any of these units available now; I'm first on the waiting list but I have no idea when one would come available. 


I could keep looking, while waiting on the second property.  But I wonder how many more properties are in the area in which I want to be that have what I am looking for. 

Despite the lack of an assigned parking space, I love love love the first property.  I looked at this about 12 years ago and loved it then.  The parking situation is mildly concerning; I'm going to drive through after work tomorrow night to see what parking is like.  It may sound funny but the fridge is a big selling point for me.  I have almost no crisper space for fresh veggies now, and it's pretty much the same situation at the second place.  The first place is almost too much space though; I'd need to have lots and lots of running friends (and non-running friends) come stay with me on weekends to make it worthwhile.  Commute times and the immediate surroundings are almost identical for each property.  The first one is about two steps closer to Julie's house, which she'll like; she can also come have slumber parties with me this summer when the overload of testosterone gets too great.  I could furnish the guest room through craigslist; I do have some savings I'm building up for my MCM trip; I could spare a few dollars from that.  The living room space is big enough that I could get a recliner in addition to a couch; again, I'd have to save up for that but I am looking for a long term space.

And reading all of that, I guess my question to you is:  Am I nuts in going for the luxury apartment?  I am already approved, I just have to put a deposit down by Thursday.  I'd appreciate your thoughts!

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I was tagged today by Jenna Renee at The "Almost" Attorney with a meme.  Good timing too, because while I did make the time this morning to download my race expo pictures I put them in the wrong section of The Cloud and consequently can't get at the damn things to write my expo recap. 

Anyhow.  Here are the rules.

You must post these rules.

Each per­son must post 11 things about them­selves on their blog. Answer the ques­tions the tag­ger set for you in their post and cre­ate 11 new ques­tions for the peo­ple you tag to answer. You have to choose 11 peo­ple to tag and link them on the post. Go to their page and tell them you have linked him or her. No tag backs and you legit­i­mately have to tag 11 people.

Eleven Things About Moi

1.  On Monday I subscribed to the 2012-13 season of Broadway Across America.  Shows are Memphis, Book of Mormon, War Horse, Flashdance, Rock of Ages, and The Addams Family.  I'm fairly meh about War Horse, which means someone I know will be getting a War Horse ticket as a Christmas gift (you can start submitting your request/bribes now).  Tuesday I saw a trailer for the Rock of Ages movie, really psyching me up to see these shows.  Isn't that Tom Cruise in the trailer?

2. When I was young, I would listen to Carly Simon's That's The Way I Always Heard It Should Be and took it as further proof that as a woman you shouldn't do things just because that's how it's always been done. I think now if people ask me why I'm not married and/or don't have kids, I'll play that song for them.  Plus if I never get married and never have kids, I'm never going to die

3.  My stepdad is a long-time friend of one of the 1990 recipients of the Nobel Prize in Medicine.   I used to mix his drinks when he'd come over to play poker or have dinner.  His son is the author of several fabulous books about Labrador Retrievers as well as a bunch on fishing, etc. 

4.  The last time I had a conversation about Great Penises I Have Known and Loved was Saturday.  You're welcome.   

5.  I am weirdly hooked on that My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding reality show.  It's sad.

6.  Despite growing up in the Seattle area, I never drank coffee until about six months after I moved to Portland in the mid-90s.  The lobby of my building had a Starbucks.

7.  I have never seen E.T. or The Goonies.  I really have no desire to do so either.

8.  I thought tea was the most disgusting thing until about four years ago when I went to a tea house owned by an ex-pat.  Now I drink it fairly frequently.  Still can't stand ice tea though. 

9.  The first concert I ever went to was Rick Springfield, circa spring 1983.  The first concert I ever went to without a parent (mine or anyone else's) was Bryan Adams, circa fall 1984. 

10.  My great great great ....... great uncle was a signatory to the Declaration of Independence:  Stockton from New Jersey.  Pretty much the only guy who caught shit for signing.  When he lost everything, was thrown in jail, probably tarred and feathered for all I know, it was my great great great ....... great grandfather who bailed him out.  Which I guess makes my great great great ....... great grandfather a Torey sympathizer.  Yay?

11.  I think I am the only person who didn't know Jillian Michaels was gay.  Seriously, found out just this morning.  And half of me thinks it makes total sense while the other half is realizing that apparently I've always thought of Jillian Michaels as Pat.

Now on to Jenna's Questions.

1. What is/was your favorite subject to study?

Besides Great Penises I Have Known and Loved?  *snerk*   I loved history.  I was >< this close to getting a minor in college.  Like one or two classes away or something like that.  But I didn't realize it until after it was too late to get those classes in.

2. What is your favorite season of the year and why?

Fall.  Always always always fall.  I love those clear, crisp days where maybe you need a sweater but not really, and the sky is so blue.  All the leaves are changing colors.  Plus it's the time for my favorite holiday (Halloween) and my birthday. 

3. Do you watch reality tv? If so, which shows?

I try not to because I can't stand the genre but sadly I do watch some.  The aforementioned My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Storage Wars, the occasional Biggest Loser.   But I never plan to watch it.  Some times I turn them on just for background noise when I'm doing something else like reading a book. 

4. If you could have ANY career in the world, what would it be? Is that different than your actual career?

I would be a successful writer of fiction.  It has many things in common with my actual career.

5. Is it better to have a few close friends or lots of "friends"? Why?

I prefer to have a few close friends.  Right now I have three people in the bestest friend category (one of which I've been best friends with since we were 15), one who is getting pretty close to that status, and one that I'm getting to know better.   I am still in touch with a lot of people with whom I was close to growing up but life has gotten between us; they're still good friends, as opposed to mere acquaintances or "people that I know" but I don't really have to put effort into the friendships to maintain them. 

6. What is your favorite song?

I can't think of any one song I love more than any other.  My favorite songs tend to be ones with lots of piano and sax.  Like Jim Steinman songs, all dramatic and crashing.  You know how on Glee recently they did Paradise by the Dashboard Light?  The other song Rachel sang, It's All Coming Back to Me, was also written by Jim Steinman.  Total Eclipse of the Heart is also a Steinman song. 

7. What/who is your favorite band/singer?

I'd have to say Fleetwood Mac.  The Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks incarnation.  Listening to them right now actually.

8. What is your favorite sport to play? To watch?

Baseball for both.

9. Who is your favorite designer?

I am so the wrong person for that kind of question.  I'll go with a classic, Bob Mackie.  "I saw it in the window and couldn't resist!"  I plan to visit that dress in the Smithsonian this fall.   I wonder if maybe Cher's dress is there too?

10. What TV show would you want to be on and why?

I want to be on CSI:Miami.  Because I want to beat Eric Delko's skull into jelly with a sledgehammer.   But now it's cancelled so I guess I'd want to be on NCIS.  Because I want to beat Tony DiNozzo's skull into jelly with a sledgehammer.   Loathe those characters, loathe those actors. 

11. When is your birthday?

October 27.  I kind of wish I could've held out until Halloween but close enough. 

I'm going to have to do a second post to tag eleven others and make up eleven questions.
the CilleyGirl

Monday, May 21, 2012

Inaugural Portland Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon - Part 2, The Race

In case you were wondering, Part 1 hasn't been written yet...

I owe my performance at this race to two things.  First, to Road Runner Sports and their ShoeDog experience which got me in new shoes and custom insoles; and second, to my best pal Jules without whom I doubt I would've had it in me to finish this race and finish it strong. 

This was only my second time running in the new shoes and insoles; the first was The Great Clusterfuck Bloomsday two weeks ago.  For both races, I ran almost completely pain free.  I had some slight cramping in my shin for about a mile and then it worked itself out.  After that, not only did I feel great but I felt great with minimal leg fatigue -- you know, just the kind that reminds me you're running 13.1 miles -- all the way to the finish.

And I almost got a PR.  I was certain I wouldn't, so when it started looking like maybe (that's probably more like maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe) I could actually get in under three hours I found I couldn't even remember for sure what my half PR time was.  I finally had to go back through my blog and look it up.  Turns out, it's from the April 2010 Race for the Roses Half -- which, if you read my recap of that race, I hated.  Not as much as Bloomsday of course but that half race was a thoroughly painful experience for most of the second part of the course. 

Anyhow.  My half PR from April 2010 is 3:05:07.  Yesterday I finished in 3:06:36.  So close!  Just one less stop for traffic, or if I had tied my shoes properly before the race and hadn't had to stop to re-tie them during the race, I could've had it. 

I did like the Rock 'n Roll course, although I didn't think it would be quite so hilly, at least not after the long, gradual hill on Hawthorne.  It was nice to race on the east side of the river, for a change.  Oh, and I am eternally grateful that they carpeted the Hawthorne Bridge for this race.  I don't know if I could've managed to be on the grating for the whole time.  As it was, I sprinted across the bridge.  I haven't downloaded my Garmin yet, but I may have gotten under an eight minute mile at one point.  This is how phobic I am about heights.  Everybody that I was sprinting around and past and in between were very nice, since I was calling out that I hated heights and had to get off that bridge NOW or I might lose it, "it" being my sanity and probably my cookies. 

Funny thing, though, after about ten seconds -- it took probably at least a minute to get over the bridge -- the faster pace felt really, really good and natural.  I was telling Julie and RR, maybe I should be trying for a faster pace all the time rather than doing a lethargic shuffle, the latter of which always makes me feel fatigued.  I felt energized running faster.  Something to think about. 

Jules and I stayed together until just after mile ten when she started feeling injured.  I'm indebted to her for getting me that far and for giving me the go-ahead to forge on ahead without her to chase down a potential PR.  I gave it my best shot but after all those hills -- and there didn't feel like there was as much downhill in this course as you would have expected after all the up -- I didn't quite make it.  But I did run the last 5K in just over 42 minutes whereas I ran the first 5K in 43:50; I'm looking forward to seeing my splits tonight.   I'm particularly interested to see how much time we lost because of traffic stops, pretty sure we got stopped six times in total.

My Garmin ended up being a full two tenths of a mile over, which made for a VERY long last mile.  (I did lap my Garmin when it said I hit 13.1 since I wanted to see that time.)  At about 0.75 miles to go, I started chanting in my head "Just keep swimming!  Just keep swimming!"  And at first it was in a cheerful Dorrie voice but as the finish line got closer and closer -- yet farther and farther -- the voice in my head got more and more desperate until I realized that at some point I had started saying it out loud with every step.  Just.  Keep.  Swimming.  Just.  Keep.  Swimming.  And I couldn't stop saying it.  Down the last stretch when I had just enough left for a little kick, over the finish line, and into the finisher's area as I stumbled around trying to stay upright:  Just.  Keep.  Swimming.  I started texting my friends:  Just.  Keep.  Swimming.  I was like a crazy person.  Julie came in about five minutes behind me and I had just managed to shut myself up. 

I think it's my new race mantra.

Congrats to everyone who ran yesterday; I'm enjoying reading all the recaps. 

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thirteen Things Thursday

Haven't done this in a while...

1.  Last night I stuck to my plan:  had a normal dinner (Kim - I had TWO veggies, can you believe it?) then was in bed by ten.  So naturally I couldn't sleep.  I tossed and turned and for about 90 minutes thought about opening my bedroom window.  But didn't, because it didn't seem all that stuffy.  Finally I did open the window and fell asleep right after that.  Although the sleeping pills I also took at the same time might have had something to do with it.

2.  Had a fabulous lunch yesterday with the aforecited Kim.  Good food, good company; what more could you want?

3.  I've got the bug to move.  As in, a new place to call home.  I've been in my current place for five or maybe six years now (they all blend, it's a consequence of my job) and had moved there under some urgency so that it wasn't an ideal place.  My two chief issues with it are that it's right next to the freeway and a busy arterial, and it's damn small.  Size does matter when it comes to your home.  I'd stay even with the traffic noise but I'm starting to feel suffocated. 

4.  I think I'm going to go back into an apartment since I don't plan to get a dog any time soon.  Plus I really want a larger space - around 1,000 square feet - with nicer finishes, and I won't find that in a rental house with my budget.  I'm already looking at paying up to $200 more per month in rent for the kind of apartment I want.  I also want better appliances - like a fridge that doesn't require the application of any duct tape to keep the stuff on the door from falling out - and a fireplace.  Ideally, a gas fireplace but we'll see. 

4.  With moving, comes all of the logistics.  Even in my smaller apartment now, I have stuff.  Garage sale time!  I'd be looking at selling a lot of big stuff like my treadmill, washer and dryer (if I don't need one at the new place), entertainment center and maybe my couch.  Plus lots of paperback books and CDs. 

5.  Luckily I have time to plan all of this.  But the idea of a fresh start is very appealing. 

6.  I could also do some decorating, which I really don't have room for currently.  While I was up at my parents I did some antiquing.  Which for me, really means junquing.  Yesterday I mentioned the cool plates I found; they're in these neat colors with cocktail recipes on each.  I'll post some photos once I've gotten around to actually unpacking them.  I also found this hilarious print.  It's a head and shoulders shot of a woman, kind of Victorian age in dress and hairstyle.  She's pretty.  But what made me do a double take and eventually buy it was that she's got two cherries on a stem hanging out of her mouth.  Just hanging there.  For no apparent reason.  The more I looked at it, the more I became convinced that she was about to eat those cherries.  And then tie the stems into a knot.  With her tongue.  Because she's a naughty Victorian lady.  I'm going to hang it in my bathroom. 

7.  I am able to get this fabulous radio station out of Corvallis at my office and in my car.  Classic rock, baby.  I like KGON in Portland but it's hmmm sometimes too hard core for me?  Like a little too much on the technically awesome rock stuff - Hendrix, Clapton, ZZ Top - that I appreciate but am not all that in to.  When I went to Newport I was able to get the Corvallis station for almost the entire drive and it was exactly what I needed on a drive that felt like it took forever.

8.  Am I the only person who never feels the need to listen to NPR?  I swear, everybody else I know is "I was listening to NPR on my way to work today and...."  I know this is really weird but NPR has always felt vaguely cult-like to me.  Like you're listening to someone making the Kool-Aid. 

9.  I'm looking forward to having my friend the Fly Girl visit this weekend.  We plan to get to the expo early on Saturday to maximize our schwaggage.  Which is so a word.  There will also be tots and Powell's and possibly big Dicks. 

10.  Court cases about the valuation of golf courses are borrrrinnnng.  I had to fortify first with caffeine and salt water taffy.

11.  I love love love love love working with someone who gives a shit about things.  My last coworker?  If it didn't impact her directly she just didn't care or she did it half-assed.  Like one summer we were having a heat wave in Portland with temps in the high 90s and the AC unit that covers my part of the building crapped out.  I was dying, it was so hot; I actually went outside at times to cool off.   It took two days of me asking every couple of hours if she'd called the repair guys yet -- because she was the only one "allowed" to call them -- before she finally did.  How petty or self-involved can you be?  Our new hire not only takes care of problems right away, she is proactive about preventing problems in the first place.  How novel

12.  Who do you think will bite the big one in tonight's Grey's Anatomy season finale?  My money's on Lexie or Mark. 

13.  Only 14,000 runners are scheduled to run Rock 'n Roll this Sunday.  After Bloomsday, I think the streets will seem also deserted with only 14,000 people.  Echo echo echo....

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mojo CPR - STAT!

You may not have noticed, but I seem to have totally misplaced my running mojo.

I know, I know.  This is completely out of the blue, isn't it?  Clearly I am not one to talk about my problems.

Well, now that we've all had a good snort over that one....  My running mojo.  She is gone.  Last seen around mile 15 of the 2012 Portland Marathon.

I pinpoint it back to that day for several reasons.  One, that marathon experience sucked.  Getting sick on the course from the sports drink was not pleasant.  Two, when I got home that day after the marathon it was to the realization that the time was now for my Maggie to leave us, and she crossed the Rainbow Bridge the next day.  Three, from that point forward I was just hoping to make it past the first of the year before it too was Ginger's time.  Almost three months to the day after Maggie, Ginger followed her across the bridge. 

Four, on top of all of that was the usual year-end craziness at work, which took a radical turn into insanity when the only other full-time employee was abruptly fired two weeks before year end.   And five, on top of all of that was me working six and seven days a week yet not having any money to show for it.  Last, but not least, it was around October 2011 that I last read an issue of Runner's World.  I realized that when I hauled them all up to my parents' ranch on vacation last week.  Where I managed to read all of one issue and a half. 

So.  What now?  Obviously I need a reverse mojoectomy.  Which is extremely relatively easy to type say but a bitch to actually do. 

I guess it's once again back to the basics and rebuild my mojo from scratch.

EAT:  I've mentioned before that in the latter part of last year my appetite changed.  I was able to eat large quantities of food, often at binge levels.  Then it was like flipping a switch; I got fuller much faster.  Yet, I still attempted to eat more.  Because surely, otherwise I wasn't eating enough, or I would be wasting food, or whatever stupid reason I had at the time.  Now, I need to plate normal portions.  On vacation I cruised a few antique stores and found some cute salad-sized plates to add to the other cute salad-sized plates I already have.  I'm going to plate portions that fit those sized plates.  Maybe not a 3 oz. portion of meat, more like a 5 oz. portion, but definitely not 8 or 10 oz.  If I'm still hungry after I'm done, I can have more -- but only if I'm still hungry, not because that's how much I used to eat. 

RUN:  I was doing okay with my plan to rebuild my base mileage, at least as far as the total weekly mileage went.  However, I wasn't always running three times a week; often it was only twice which meant I was bumping up the miles for each run.  Not the way to stay healthy.  I didn't run at all during my vacation after Bloomsday, too exhausted from puppy wrangling and horse feeding.  This Sunday is the Portland Rock 'n Roll Half, which will not be pretty.  My A goal is 3:15.  My B and C goals are just to finish without getting swept.  Starting next week, though, it's back to rebuilding my base mileage, and I'll post my weekly mileage goals here.  But...

SLEEP:   I have to get enough sleep so that I don't get overly cranky and crap out on myself.  Ten hours a night is my preference, and I can't function without at least a solid eight.  Since it's challenging for me to work out after work, I need to shift back into an early morning exercise schedule.  Therefore, I need to be in bed by 10:15 at the latest (that factors in teeth brushing and all that jazz).  On the nights before a rest day, I can be a little bit more flexible with my bedtime but I want to get into a routine.  I think I'll also plan to get up earlier on my rest days -- usually I roll out of bed by 8:10 since I live so close to my office -- and make myself breakfast, stretch, read, watch the news, etc.  Pretty much all the stuff I'm not doing in the evenings. 

What do you do to get your mojo back?

the CilleyGirl

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bloomsday 2012: The run that isn't.

Wow.  What can I say about Bloomsday?

Almost nothing good, unfortunately.

That's not entirely the race's fault though.  I blame all the fuckwits who participated. 

Okay, not really.

Okay, yes really, but I'm not quite being fair.

Part of the blame is on me, who for some reason was under the impression that this -- being called a run -- would have the opportunity to actually run.  As in, it's a race.  It's not a run, and it sure as hell isn't a race.  The correct way to describe it would be the "Bloomsday Run unless you're not an elite then it's more of a fun run except by run we mean walk."  And then there should be an asterisk to the caveat that you'll be walking like sardines packed into a can except by packed into a can we mean shoved together on a road.

Holy crap, there were so many people

Really, they should just call it the Bloomsday Clusterfuck. 

It all started at the expo.  Which looked nicely huge from the brochure and did have a lot of vendors, but the venue was not as big as you would've thought.  Plus, so many people.   Almost 50,000 in the Clusterfuck itself, and I'm pretty sure they not only all went to the expo at the same time I got there but they brought all their extended family.  Which, okay, they're entitled.  But then...  the expo.....

Had. No.  Free. Stuff.


This really should've been my first clue.  Race expos have free stuff.   Not here.  Here, I got a free chapstick and that was it.  It.  Was.  Weird.

The bib pickup was really well organized though, I'll give them that.  Better than Shamrock and much better than the Portland Marathon.  Though they could've taken about half of the space allotted to bib pickup and put it to much better use in the vendor section. 

Once I got past my homicidal impulses -- so many people -- this is the first expo where I've really bought stuff.  They did have some decent expo pricing on some items.  I've been thinking about getting The Stick for a while but wasn't sure about the texture.  I saw the Tiger Tail at the expo and decided to get one.  I like it.  It's much easier to roll my IT band and low back with this, compared to the regular foam roller.  And it packs much smaller; this would easily fit into a suitcase.  I bought an ankle brace at incrediwear that is absolutely phenomenal; the pain in my ankle that usually would persist for up to three days after a run was gone within 24 hours.  I don't know how it works but it does.  I also bought a Pure Energy Band for pain and haven't had but a whisper of a headache since I put it on.   My balance has also improved; almost no incidents of vertigo whatsoever. 

I wish I'd remembered to go back for these fabulous arm sleeves I saw.  I've been trying to figure out who the vendor was but so far no luck in tracking down a website.  Boo.

So.  The Clusterfuck itself.

My hotel was within walking distance to my color group and it was a nice warm up, particularly since while it was sunny it was also 35 degrees at 8:30 a.m.  Immediately went to the porta potty line, and having done 50+ races over the past few years I estimated it should take about ten minutes to get to the potty. 

Except that, cilley me, I was estimating based on runners.  Not on fuckwits non-runners.   Or fuckwit race organizers who put only eight porta potties in a corral for roughly seven thousand people.  Y'all, it took me 45 minutes before I got to pee.  And that was with switching lines -- somehow our line which was supposed to be for two potties ended up being only for one and I guess everyone was getting completely re-dressed or something in there because after 25 minutes when we had moved literally one foot me and the gal I was chatting with gave up and moved to a line that was for three potties. 

Meanwhile, my color group got the go-ahead to leave right before I got to the potty so I ended up with the group after mine.  You know, roughly seven thousand people.  I finally got started shortly before ten a.m.

And immediately got to do the bob and weave, bob and weave.  Seems that none of the fuckwits non-runners actually read the instructions the Clusterfuck directors handed out.  For example:

Rule No. 1 - NO Headphones

Headphones (and iPods) pose a serious hazard because they limit your ability to hear other participants, emergency vehicles, or safety warnings. PLEASE DO NOT WEAR HEADPHONES, IPODS, etc. 

If a race specifically says no headphones, I leave the headphones at home.  As for everybody else?  Yeah, no.  Three out of five had headphones.  So they couldn't hear me (and the others crazy enough to think this was a run) behind them saying "on your left.... On Your Left.... ON YOUR LEFT MOTHERFUCKER!"  But the last part only in my head -- okay, maybe muttered very quietly to myself.  Because nobody could seem to follow rule number two...

Rule No. 2 - If you're walking, keep to your right

We love walkers, so if you are running and feel the need to walk, we encourage you to do so.  But PLEASE MOVE TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ROAD to allow runners and fast walkers to pass.

Not even close.  I guess not only could they not read, they didn't know their right from their left.  Which wouldn't have been so bad except for.....

Rule No. 3 - If you're walking, keep to your right AND walk no more than two abreast.  

Please do not walk more than two abreast, as it makes it difficult for others to pass.

Maybe they thought "abreast" was a dirty word and therefore clearly this whole rule must be a typo so they didn't have to follow it.  Which again, wouldn't have been so bad except for....

Rule No. 4 - Don't hold hands on the course you dumb fuckwit fuckwit.  

And wait until after the race to hold hands.

Not even going to cross that last one out because the rules actually did come across with that kind of tone.  Really, unless you have a very small child you shouldn't be holding hands with anyone on a race course.  And if your child is that small, they should be in a stroller.  Which, in this race, had to be at the very back.  So I do give props to them for enforcing that rule at least.

They did also have a no wearing garbage bag rule; I saw only one fuckwit person to this.   There was the ever popular your number goes on the FRONT, idiot, not the back; two out of five did this but as in my opinion it serves as a handy Darwin identifier* I let it be.  No dogs; I did see one dog sort of on the course but I think that poor schmuck (the owner, not the dog) was actually out for a walk.  And just happened to do it on Bloomsday on the most famous part of the course, Doomsday Hill.  Okay, maybe I'm just feeling generous here. 

As for the race itself, I really should learn to pay attention to things like elevation charts.  There were two pretty serious hills and one truly serious hill.  There was some nice downhill throughout but with so many people it was tough to make up any time on the downhill.  With three aid stations plus my handheld I was able to stay hydrated fairly easily but it did get warm and I forgot sunscreen again and with less pollution the sun is really strong out there; my arms are still lobster red.  Despite everything I was able to maintain a somewhat decent pace until just before mile six when I pushed it a little too hard and then spent a half mile trying not to hyperventilate.  Doomsday Hill comes around mile 6.5 -- right when I caught my breath again -- and I couldn't run up it even a little bit at that point.  At the top, though, I was ready just to be finished and realized I might be able to chase down my C goal of 1:45.  I ran as much as I could to the finish and I almost did it.  Almost.

Then me and my fellow lemmings piled on top of each other waiting to funnel through the finisher's (cotton) t-shirt pickup.  Fifty thousand people, four lines.  Somebody at this Clusterfuck clearly needs a remedial physics lesson.   Not sure if they had more water or even any food in the reunion area.  I was starting to feel stabby.  I have zero plans to ever run Bloomsday again.

But the medal was cool.

the CilleyGirl

*Those from the shallow end of the gene pool.  I'd be nicer about this for first timers, but every single fucking set of race instructions tells you on which side of your body to pin your race number.  There shouldn't be more than two of these in a race ever

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Last night I checked out the new high-falutin' grocery store in town.  I'd been jonesing for stuffed mushrooms and I figured it was as good a place as any to find the fixings. 

As I walked in the door I noticed the sign on the glass that said the usual like "no shoes, no shirt, no entry", but also said "no photography."  And I was confused by that for all of five seconds until I really focused on the beauty that is the produce section. 

All the strawberries were posed in little wooden picnic baskets with their hineys all pointed up.  I thought, wow that must really suck to be the guy who has to pose all those strawberries and then I walked past a guy who was, at that moment, posing more strawberries in little wooden picnic baskets with their hineys all pointed up and I almost asked him if it sucked but I suspected he might just respond with a story about how it was his life's dream to pose strawberry hineys so I didn't. 

The true beauty was in this six foot wall of produce.  At first glance it looked to be only maybe four or five inches deep which made the beets look like they were all stacked one on top of another in a method that defied gravity or would make for really cool bowling plus cleanup on aisle nine and I was really, really impressed until I realized that the beets all had long leafy tops and that the shelves were actually about two feet deep and I kind of felt cheated.  But then I looked around some more and it was all perfectly stacked.  And not just in normal ways.   Like the fennel alternated, fennel butt and then fennel top, for about 15 across and eight high.   There were designs in the stacking and coloration.  On top of it all, everything was almost the same size, shape and color amongst its various produce species.   Out of the 100 employees reputed to be working at this store, obviously about half of those work in the produce department.

They also have a lot of produce you don't normally see or perhaps have never seen.  Like for example, they had cauliflower in four different colors.  Besides the usual plain white, they had heads of cauliflower in lime green, orange, and lavender.  And I was instantly enchanted and tempted to buy said cauliflower in every color even though I never really eat it, because clearly it's not I don't like the taste but because it hasn't been festive enough

Next time I think I'll sneak a picture.

the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Getting ready for Bloomsday

I may have mentioned oh, six or twelve times, that this Sunday I am running Bloomsday in Spokane, Washington.   With only a few days to go, I am starting to plan.

Today I confirmed just where my hotel was in relation to the expo and the race start.  I'll be driving directly to the former on my way into town and then head to my hotel.  On race day, Google Maps tells me I should just hoof it to the start.  It estimates a 12 minute walk.  Sounds like a nice warm up to me. 

And especially because I don't have to be in any hurry to get to the start.  Not only is the race chip timed, this race is gi-freaking-normous.  Consequently, they will be starting in eight waves.  Looking at my race registration I estimated my finish time to be two hours.  For seven miles.  Not quite sure what I was thinking there, but I'm fairly certain I'll be in the very last wave to start.  Meaning I start at approximately an hour after the race officially starts.  Boo.

Yesterday the plan for my A goal was 1:35.  This would put me under a 14 minute mile average, which is what I need for MCM.  Today I looked up the elevation in Spokane and we'll be running at about 1,700 feet.  Usually I run at zero.  So elevation may be a factor.  I think my B goal will be 1:40, and my C goal 1:45.  I should figure out splits and crap like that.  Or have Big Red, my Garmin, do it.   Hmm.

Currently there is a flood warning in Spokane, and rain forecast for the remainder of the week.  Considering that this race is centered around the river -- oh goody!  Knock on wood though, Sunday is currently forecast for mostly sunny with a high of 62.  That should translate into perfect running weather at 10:00 a.m. 

Now I guess I should figure out a race outfit, eh?

the CilleyGirl