Say Cheese!

Actually, I have no clue what this has to do with cheese...but I am extra proud of my British heritage upon watching this...


MySpace Theft...

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?

2. Do you have any weird sleeping habits?
I'm a drooler.

3. When was the last time you've been swimming in a lake?
Last Summer. I live a short drive from numerous freshwater lakes, including Lake MI.

4.Would you rather sleep with someone else or alone?
Alone. I always sleep the best after Derek is up and out of bed.

5. Where is the Wizard of Oz?
Well...the guy who wrote the novel is from Holland, MI or had a vacation home there. Holland is full of freaks, so maybe the Wizard is there....

6. Do you consider yourself creative?
Mostly. Not as much as when I was a kid, though.

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?

8. Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears?
Christina, I guess. She actually has a decent set of pipes and seems to be fairly stable.

9. Do you stay friends with your ex's?
Hell, no.

10. Do you know how to play poker?
No, but I should learn.

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?
Probably pretty close to it...maybe 40 hours. It hurts like hell.

12. What's your favorite commercial?
Ahhh...damn, I can't recall. I know I saw one recently that had me LOL, but it's not coming to mind at the moment.

13. What type of food do you eat the most?
cheese. Duh....

14. When was the last time you had a lot of fun?
We helped a friend build her deck last weekend. We are going over there tonight to help out some more (and drink beer), too.

15. Have you ever had a Choco Taco?

16. The Boston Red Sox or the New York Yankees?
Meh...baseball is lame.

17. What color are your bedroom walls?
buttery yellow.

18. How often do you forget your dreams?
Most of the time. I should really keep a dream journal--I have some weird ones!

19. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
Gah, I do that at least once/week, I think. Usually Dane does something goofy that gets us both laughing hysterically.

20. Can you name 5 songs by N'SYNC?
Not off the top of my head, but if I recognize their stuff when I hear it.

21. What's the one thing on your mind right now?

22. If you could swim in any ocean which one would it be?
Mediterranean...actually, I guess it's not an ocean, per se, but it is saltwater, so I'm gonna go with that.

23. Do you put salt on a turkey dinner?
Not usually. Most turkeys are so brined that they are already quite salty.

24. Do you always wear your seat belt?
always...even just to move the car a few feet.

25. What cell service do you use?

26. Do you like bananas?
mostly, though I have to be in the mood.

27. Have you almost gotten in a car accident?
Who hasn't? Mostly due to asshats who can't drive. Lots of folks who go on autopilot on the road or who behave as if they are the only vehicle out there...that's some scary stuff.

28. What do you wear to bed?
t-shirt, undies. In the winter I might wear flannel jammies.

29.Been caught stealing?
When I was 4 or 5 my folks caught me with some little erasers or something that I had taken from a store. They took me back and made me return them to the shopkeeper. I never lifted anything after that.

30. Do you know how to play pool?
Not really, though I've always wanted to learn.

31. Can you play pool?
See 30.

32. Do you truly love anyone?

33. Bluegrass or rap?
Both...I like just about everything--except WASP Gospel. *gags*

34. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?
Hmmm...Nathan Fillion or Ewan McGregor.

35. Skim, 1%, 2%, or whole?
whole or 2%. The lower fat stuff is like water. I might as well just drink water.

36. What food do you find disgusting?
lima and garbonzo beans.

37. Windows or Macintosh?

38. Did you ever play, "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours"?
Yeah, I was probably in 3rd or 4th grade.

39. If you could pet any animal w/out getting hurt, which would it be?
Some variety of big cat. I love ginormous kitties. I'd want to hug it around the neck.

40. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
Online, sure. Not sure if I've done that IRL.

41. Have you ever sung in front of the mirror?
I still do (don't tell)!




This just in!

I got new shoes! I have long been hearing great things about Keen shoes and pricey, ugly, fun shoes have never done me wrong before (hence my obsession with Dansko orthopedic clogs). Lately I have been having foot issues that I am almost certain are mild plantar fasciitis (my outer arch, particularly on my right side, feels like it is being stretched too far...common problem for those with very high or very low arches). The best treatments for this is shoes with good arch support and not going barefoot. I still need to find a pair of shoes for in the house--I tried Crocs, but I don't know how people can wear those barefoot. They make my feet sweat something fierce. Nasty sensation...like wearing Nerf balls on my feet--yuck!

I have a pair of Tevas that I have been wearing for several years and they support my feet well, but after washing them the straps shrunk and they aren't a model that is adjustable through the toes. As my feet are quite wide this led to shoes that would cut into the front half of my feet--particularly late in the day or if I were bloated. Right now they will be gardening shoes, as they do work fairly well mucking about in the dirt.

The Keen sandals (Venice H2 model) really fit me nicely. Dane has some similar protected toe sandals that he loves, too. Nice to have practical shoes that we can hike on the beaches in without worry of injury to our toes.

I'm definitely of the opinion that spending more on shoes and eyewear is money well spent. I still have a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers (Liz, remember these?--I think mine are almost 20 years old!) that stay in my glove box for passengers in my car in need of shades...I think those are actually coming back into fashion, funny enough. My experience has definitely been that the spendier footwear is a better value when compared to cheaper shoes--they usually fit better and hold up longer. No more buying a new pair of $20-40 sandals every Summer and having to take them in for repairs at least once.



Less than a month later...

I think I have another cold. Not sure, but all afternoon I was dragging and I have a mild sore throat...though this could also be allergy-related, so who knows. Now I am physically cold and can't wait for bed--hope it's just a cold and not the flu. Oh, well, at least my big race is over and the pressure's off. My 2 runs since the race have been really godawful...yesterday I walked at least a third of the 4 miles. Maybe my body is telling me to just take a break for a few days.

Just spent a buttload of money on stuff to plant in the yard, though, so I hope I at least feel up to doing that this weekend. The planting won't even be so bad, but we have a lot of weeds to pull and dirt to shove around to get things ready to plant.



2007 Riverbank Run 25k -- aka Run, Mommy, Run!

Woke up dark and early (as opposed to "bright" and early--not too bright at 4am) to make sure that I would have plenty of time to shower, get dressed, eat, get my coffee in, relax, make sure I had everything I needed along, and ample time for my guys to get going, too. By 5:45 we were out the door and ready to hit the road for our hour drive to the race.

After a potty stop (coffee...heh) we were in Grand Rapids at 7am, sharp. We easily found a parking spot in a ramp just a few steps from the starting line, then went into DeVos Place where they had opened up the huge hall that they use for the auto show and other large events as a nice indoor place for runners to stretch and use the bathrooms. I got my last potty in about 45 minutes before the start. My best friend, Eryn, was in line to "go" as I was exiting the ladies' room. We then got down to the business of warming up, stretching, and saying goodbye to our hubbies and my son before we crammed ourselves into the elbow-room-only crowd lining up for the 25k (the larger 5k event starts 5 minutes after the 25k takes off).

A few minutes later the crowd starts to move forward...I didn't even realize that the race had started (I guess we were back far enough to not really hear the gun), but we were off. I was fully expecting to have to dodge slower people and waste a lot of time zig-zagging in the first mile or so, as I did for the Komen Race for the Cure 5k I did last Fall, but I really didn't have to. The crowd very quickly spread out and I almost immediately found my comfortable, maintainable pace--which I maintained almost perfectly from start to finish (the hills in the second half slowed me some, but I made up for it in the last couple of miles...when my sprinter thighs shine, heh).

By mile 2 Eryn was getting ahead of me...part of me wanted to push to keep up with her, but a bigger voice in my head said "you had 3 shitty runs in a row before this race and have trained for an entire year--make this a race to remember fondly, not one that leaves miserable memories of breathing struggles and nausea. There's always next year to kick some ass once you know the lay of the land and what to expect." I listened to that voice. I also want to get my allergies and asthma under better control for '08--especially since I want next year to be the year that I complete my first marathon.

The weather could not have been more perfect if I had ordered it. Cool, damp and cloudy at the start, giving way to milder temps and full sun with light winds just a few miles in. Along the race I would occasionally chat with other runners--some who ended up speeding up, others who slowed-down. One gal I recognized from the 10 mile race Eryn and I did 3 weeks ago. She was one of 2 women we passed just before the finish of that race. For a long while I kept pace with a woman who does triathlons and was "coaching" a friend along in this race. I eventually lost them when they walked through a water stop--I have found that I definitely do well with my Camelbak, as my legs almost instantly tighten up as soon as I slow to even a brisk walk (if I ever have to use a port-a-john during a race I think it will really mess me up bad).

The only real physical issue I had during the race were a couple of miles of what I am pretty certain is chronic compartment syndrome. I really only get this now during longer races. It almost always comes on about 3 miles in, causes my feet to go mostly numb for a couple of miles, then dissipates. It's strange, but it's far less bothersome now than it once was, since I know it's temporary.

By mile 11 the hillier terrain was starting to effect my breathing to the point where I thought it might be a good idea to use my inhaler. Note to self: should have been doing this during all other long races--what a difference it made. Shortly after I came upon a runner who was loudly yakking on the side of the course. Right then I REALLY wished I'd had my iPod--that sound is enough to make even a runner with no queasiness sick to his/her stomach. There were other times I kind of wished I had my iPod, too, but mostly I was enjoying eavesdropping on the conversations of others (boy, do people ever talk about strange stuff, :p) and the other sounds of the race.

I used a GU packet around mile 5, then a little Rice Krispy treat a few miles later, and one last GU 3-4 miles from the finish. One guy noticed the Rice Krispy treat I pulled from my Camelbak and said "hey, you got a beer stashed in there somewhere?" I told him that unfortunately I didn't, but that it had definitely crossed my mind on more than one occasion. Shortly after I heard a couple of people talking about my favorite beer (Bell's Oberon) and I started really looking forward to the finish line (never did get my free Michelob beer, though).

During the last 3 miles I think I had a permanent smile plastered on my face. I wasn't running this race as fast as I had originally wanted to, but I just found the whole experience to be so blissful. AND by this point I was starting to pass people left and right. Slow and steady DOES win the race. By the last mile I was dodging people like they were standing still. The last half mile I was nearly sprinting and I felt stronger than I ever have at the end of a race. I wore the biggest cheesy grin for the last few hundred yards. Next year I will likely finish faster and with no silly grin on my face, but this year I went for the experience. Of the 5,672 runners who ran the 25k I'll bet there were few others who finished giggling. Seeing Eryn just a few yards ahead of me as I approached the finish line and being able to cross hand-in-hand with her was just the icing on the cake.

After the race we stopped by a JDRF garage sale in town that we had donated a bunch of stuff to (my charity of choice is Girls On The Run, hubby's is the JDRF, as he is preparing for his 3rd 105 mile bike benefit this Summer). Then we drove an hour to Eryn's place to hang out for the afternoon. It was one of the best. days. ever.


Today we had big all-you-can-inhale Mother's Day buffet. I love eating like that and feeling not a whit of guilt!




Prince Charming In-Training

This AM I found this Magnadoodle "love note" on the floor outside my son's bedroom door. I particularly love his creative use of exclamation marks. *giggles*

Man, how did I ever get such a sweet kid? He is seriously WAY cuddly, sensitive, and sweet. Everyone keeps warning me that it likely won't be long before he becomes too cool and macho to be such a little lovey-guy, at least around other people, but I really hope it doesn't happen. I love that he is so outwardly loving to us, even in public.




*sigh* I knew it was too good to be true...

Ok, so I am a total skirt/skort convert--when it's warm I won't run in running shorts. The loose fabric between my thighs tends to only chafe and annoy me, as well as ride-up and look completely unattractive. Unfortunately running skirts are generally pretty pricey--$40-70 is the standard price range for a well-designed one.

My very first skirt was my New Balance Andare skirt (mine is pale blue with fuscia trim). It has liner shorts for modesty if the skirt should fly up or while sitting and stretching...though they ride-up a bit and tend to fit like boyshorts, not so much like bike shorts. Thus far this has been my favorite skirt in terms of functionality--and here is why. It has no side slits. I also LOVE my New Balance Bonita skirt/skort, but after my first run in it with my Camelbak™ waist pack I discovered something that a running friend of mine had also discovered...skirts with side slits will ride up in the back under the Camelbak, leaving one's liner short clad butt hanging out for the world to gaze upon (I discovered this almost immediately and turned-around to change to my old faithful Andare skirt). Kinda defeats the purpose. But it still works well for general running.

In a drawer I have a SkirtSports Gym Girl, but due to their wonky sizing (too small...others have had issues with their products running too large or too small, as well--even in the same model of skirts) and the side slits I have it up on eBay.

Recently my best friend and I discovered that Target has cute Champion C9 running skirts and for only $20. They fit pretty well and have a nice little zippered pocket in the back, perfect for a GU or keys, ID, etc...but the small side slits also caused some riding up in the back when I tried to wear it out on a run with my Camelbak, yesterday...*sigh*

So, I broke down and ordered a RunningSkirts.com skirt (no side slits and I've heard it works well with a Camelbak--we shall see). Hopefully it will be here before my big 25k next weekend (a day or two before would be best, that way I can maybe go out for 3 miles in it to make sure there are no fit or chafing issues). I love my powder blue Andare skirt, but I'm sick of wearing it. It's already seen one race and I want something more fun and flashy. The skirt I just ordered is orange with pink trim--loud! I'm being brave and trying one with liner briefs, rather than longer compression shorts. Figuring how they ride up, anyhow, it probably won't be all that different.


Look what I can do! /Stewart

I did it! Yesterday I ran for 3 hours (almost 16 miles). The last hour was pretty godawful and I was slower than I have been lately...mostly due to still recovering from a cold, I'm sure. I was pretty sore yesterday and had a hard time falling asleep (I think my body wasn't yet ready to stop moving--nor my brain). But this AM I felt fine. In a little bit I need to do a weight workout--I think I will leave my legs alone and just do upper body and abs, though. I'm a little stiff and tired, so no sense overdoing it.

Now my taper begins...I will do one more sorta longish run before the big race on 5/12, but that one won't be more than 2 hours.