Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 231 - CDA 1/2 Marathon Day!

 The weather and race conditions couldn't have been more perfect.  Although a lot of goofballs showed up at the starting line with jackets, hats, gloves, etc., the temperature was just around 50 degrees at the start and warmed up to 60+ degrees by the finish.

This being my second 1/2 marathon and having previously run 2 full marathons, I didn't experience any sort of pre-race jitters this go around.  The people near me at the starting line, however, were clearly first timers.  When I'm nervous, I have a tendency to talk, a lot.  Apparently, this is how my starting buddies cope with nerves too.  In every direction, people were spewing advice that they had heard from their sister-in-law's uncle's accountant who had run a 1/2 marathon at some point who swore by the need to tape your nipples/eat only fish the week leading up to the race/ bring four fairly large water bottles strapped to their waist despite knowing that there would be many water/aid stations along the course.  I don't mean to belittle any of their pre-race preparations or race day equipment, but some of the stuff they had done/brought was just silly.

That said, many of those newbies probably wound up beating me to the finish line.  My lack of consistent training, being crazy sick around Easter and then rolling may ankle a few times leading up to the race resulted in a less than impressive finish time, 2:25:42.  For comparisons sake, I ran the Seattle half-marathon in 2005 in 1:59:48.  That's 2 minutes slower per mile.  Thank god I made the decision not to go for the full marathon.  I'd probably still be crawling on my hands on knees to the finish line.

Oh well, I finished!  I walked a bit, but ran probably 85% of the course.  I really can't complain about my time, because it is what a deserved.  I didn't make training a priority and chose on many occasions not to go for a run when I should have.  Plus, prior to this blogging adventure, I would have struggled to finish a 5 mile run.  All things considered, I'm a healthier and happier person than I was this time last year and for that, I am proud.

 Besides taking Tucker for a quick walk later in the afternoon, I spent the majority of the rest of the day off my feet.  I soaked in the tub while I re-read the second half of Harry Potter 7 (the final movie comes out July 15th!), watched 3 episodes of 16 and Pregnant and enjoyed a movie on the couch with the hubs.  Part of my sloth was due to my legs feeling completely shot.  The other was due to not wanting to put any pressure on my right foot.  Why?  Scroll down to see.  WARNING: THOSE WITH WEAK STOMACHS SHOULD STOP READING HERE.  DO NOT SCROLL DOWN.

Sorry, but you were warned.  The top left corner of the pic shows the remnants of the blister I acquired in San Diego.  On the inside of my foot is a standard run-of-the-mill blister and an ANGRY and throbbing blood blister.  I usually develop a good enough callous that I don't wind up with blisters.  BUT, I made the mistake of getting a pedicure before going down to SD.  I thought nothing of it as they scrapped the callouses off my feet and was thrilled at how silky smooth my feet felt when they were done.  LESSON LEARNED.  As long as I continue to run, I will learn to love the callouses so I don't wind up with more nasty photos like this one.  YUCK.

I hope my feet heal quickly, as I now must turn my attention to preparing for the mountain climb (in addition to school and work).  I begin my bid for the Summit in only 34 days.  Cardio training will still be important, but I am going to be putting a greater emphasis on weight training during the next few weeks.  On to the next adventure!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Days 217 - 230 - MEGA UPDATE

Yeah, I've sucked at blogging lately.  I've also sucked at exercise and eating healthy (which is probably why I haven't been more excited to blog about my over-all suck-fest).  ANYWAY, here is a brief recap of my last two weeks.

The primary adventure of of the last two weeks revolved around my little bro's graduation from San Diego State University.  To get there, I took an overnight train to Seattle.  The train was behind schedule due to some flooding in Montana, which meant I got to spend some extra time with the drunk and homeless of Spokane in the train station at 2AM.  I don't know how the poor security guard kept his composure after being spit on by an extremely intoxicated man and then repeatedly called a racist as he asked another young man to show his ticket or leave the building.  I was VERY happy when the train finally arrived and I could get away from the madness.

The majority of the trip was in the dark, so I tried to get some sleep.  Once I woke up, I enjoyed looking at the scenery of this beautiful state.  For awhile.  The joy didn't last.  As most know, I am not exactly patient and this trip was taking WAY too long.
The train started out fun!
Then I got pretty bored...
And around the 6th hour I was pretty much over it.
Once I arrived in Seattle, I had several hours to kill before meeting my mom at the airport.  I dropped off my luggage at the law firm I worked at back in 2007 and went on a photo tour of my old city.  The weather was PERFECT.  Sunny and about 70 degrees.  I walked from the ferry docks down along the water and then up to the Space needle.  I explored all around the Space Needle and Seattle Center before following the monorail track back to Westlake Center.  I grabbed a baggle for lunch in Pike Place market and then meandered back towards the office.  Needless to say, my exercise today came in the form of a several hour walk/hike.  I then took the new light rail from downtown to the airport.  SUPER convenient.  Moo just barely made our flight, but after taking a plane, train, automobile and light rail, we finally arrived safely in San Diego.

There was never a dull moment in SD.  Here's a quick visual tour of our trip:
I FINALLY got to meet the newest addition of the Moss family and my new favorite baby boy, Isaiah!
Went for an amazing run on the beach (why did we ever move away?!)
Helped my little Cuz surf for the first time
Enjoyed a Padres game and wasn't too disappointed to see the Mariners actually win...
Made Chad Sandy Egos for graduation breakfast (Egos with cinnamon and sugar)
Took a TON of grad pics of the bro around Balboa Park
Cheered on Chad as he GRADUATED!
Not pictured, but still an awesome part of our trip were a day spent in San Clemente with some great family friends, LOTS of good food and an epic dance battle.  Chad's roommate Greg challenged me to a round of Dance Central on the Xbox.  Greg believed himself to be the ultimate champion of this game and was certain he could not be beaten.  He went so far to state that once he beat me, a former NFL cheerleader, that he would never need to play the game again.  I, always up for a fight, told him that I would beat him even though I had never played the game before, I had a sprained ankle (I re-rolled it, awesome) and recently had acquired a giant blister on the bottom of my foot (stupid flip flops).  Let's just say it wasn't even close.  Despite his best efforts, I was still able to whoop Greg's butt while he played on "easy" and I played on "hard."  Sorry Greg.  Maybe next time.

I was crazy sad to say good bye to the bro and So Cal, but I had to get back to Spokanistan to start work at the Unemployment Law Project.  I (and the other 4 interns) had orientation Mon-Wednesday and then started my regular hours on Thursday.  I think I am really going to enjoy my experience with this organization.  In addition to work, teaching tap, a few jogs and LOTS of walking, the highlight of the week was getting to see Wicked with the hubs.  

I have been in love with the Wicked soundtrack for a few years now and have been dieing to see a live performance.  Charlie heard about a way to get last minute tickets via a lottery system and went downtown to try his luck. Despite there being over 150 people vying for only 20 tickets, Charlie was the first name called and snagged us seats in the third row!

The show was unbelievably amazing.  Holy Cow, could the lead actresses could sing!  Their voices were both tear and shiver inducing.  I stole a few glances at Charlie during the show and he either had a grin from ear to ear (during a light hearted number) or was sitting on the edge of his seat fully engrossed in the performance.  We both agreed that we would need to see it again, soon!

In other exciting news, CHARLIE GOT A JOB IN SEATTLE!  He will be starting at Northwest Cable News on June 13th.  He is really excited about the work he will be doing and the people he'll be working with.  I am thrilled that our plan to return to Seattle seems to be falling into place, but am bummed about the prospect of spending 9 weeks in Spokane alone.  Expect many-o-cranky blog posts to come.

Saturday, Charlie and I walked around Couer D'Alene for a bit so I could pick up my 1/2 marathon packet.  Sounds healthy, right?  Wrong.  We found this place:
They had cupcakes in all flavors and varieties.  I was particularly intrigued by the maple and bacon cupcake and the Raspberry Cheescake Cupcake, but ultimately choose a DELICIOUS carrot cake cupcake.  Charlie went for red velvet.  There were a lot of other flavors I was eager to try.  When I'm feeling a little down this summer about being out here alone, I may choose to come back to this store and eat my feelings.  Honesty is the best policy, right?

It was long overdue, but that wraps up the recap.  Tomorrow is race day!  Kinda wishing that my training hadn't dwindled off so badly after that great 11 mile run back on Day 188.  Oh well, if I put one foot in front of the other, I'll eventually cross the finish line.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Days 210 - 216 - Getting Lazy

I have been a very lazy blogger, and for that I apologize.  Here's a quick review of the happenings in the life of me.  I slept in on Sunday after the prom and then met with Corey to review for my labor law final.  I was thoroughly disappointed by the finale of the Amazing race.  I really had hoped Gary and Mallory would win, but alas they were foiled by a shoddy cab driver.

I studied all day Monday, breaking only to take the dog for a walk, to go to yoga and to watch gossip girl.  By Monday night, my brain was fried.  I simply refused to learn anything else and went to bed.

I had my labor final on Tuesday.  The sun was finally out, so I spent the last few hours reviewing for the exam in the sun.  Although the exam was scheduled to take three hours, I finished in an hour and a half.  This allowed me to scurry off to teach my dance classes on time.  On the drive to the studio, I felt myself become a happier and more carefree person.  It was like at the end of Beauty and the Beast when you think the Beast is dead, but then light shoots out of his fingers and toes and suddenly he becomes a prince...  That is exactly what finishing your last final is like.  You are no longer an mangy haired Beast with a short temper and poor grooming habits.  As you pull out of the law school parking lot after that last final, the curse is lifted and you return the bright and joyful person you once were.

My dance classes were a pleasure to teach.  There were no rolled ankles or swear words.  SUCCESS!

I killed it at the gym on Wednesday.  Having not lifted weights in a while, I worked my way around the gym like an old pro.  After the weights and some intense time on the stair master, I was exhausted.  Since my car is still out of order, I had to walk home from the gym.  Fortunately, the sun was out and there was a nice breeze.  This inspired the rest of my activity for the day... Sitting outside in the sun reading a book.  I read some stupid chick novel called Something Blue.  It was dumb.  A total waste of time, but who cares?!  I've got nothing but time for a few days!

The highlights of Thursday included picking up my car, getting my ring inspected and cleaned, baking cookies with my hubs and going to a dance studio meeting.  Maggie and her husband Brian will be celebrating their 1 year wedding anniversary this weekend, so Charlie and I decided to make them sugar cookies.  I was certain that we had a heart shaped cookie cutter.  I was wrong.  Charlie thought we should just use the cookie cutters we have (a ghost, scary moon and two sizes of pumpkins), but I didn't think they quite fit the anniversary theme I was going for.  We tried to find a heart shaped cutter at Shopko, but were out of luck.  So, we free handed them.  They may not be perfect, but I like the way they turned out.  And in case you were wondering, no we did not hire a professional to put on the sprinkles.  That fine work is 100% a product of Charles J. Hilen.

Friday, I met Roxy and Haley for drinks to celebrate the end of finals/ beginning of summer.  I had only planned on having a glass of wine, but when my power steering went out on my drive down to CI Shenanigans, I decided a stiffer drink would be necessary.  So I had my glass of wine and a margarita.  Fortunately, I had gone for a 5 mile run earlier in the day so I didn't feel too guilty about also ordering the chicken nachos.  Unfortunately, I forgot to apply sunscreen...  Oh well, you can't have a sun burn without SUN.  And I wouldn't wish away the sun for anything! 

After an early morning drop off at the airport (you better know I love you Haley for to get my rear out of bed before 5 AM on vacation), the rest Saturday was spent running errands with the Hubs.  We quickly ate lunch at Waddel's before returning home to rest and prepare for tonight's prom.  I enjoyed a little more outdoor reading time (sun burn had already turned into a tan... I love being native!).  I'm finally getting around to reading the book 1L by Scott Turow.  I was given it as a gift after I was accepted to law school.  THANK GOD I DIDN'T READ IT THEN.  The book is about a first year student's turbulent experience at Harvard Law.  It is scary how much his experience matched mine.  Had I read this book before starting at Gonzaga, I may have been discouraged from finishing.  It is oddly therapeutic to read it now, however.  It's almost as if the frustration, anxiety and fear I experienced is being validated by a stranger who went through a similar experience nearly three decades ago.  

Around 5:30, Charlie and I set off for the convention center.  Mead High School choose to have their prom on the roof.  Sounds awesome, right?  WRONG.  An hour south of Spokane, the city of Pullman was under a tornado advisory.  The winds in Spokane were no less forgiving.  Our typical DJ set up involves light trussing and a sound system that are raised several feet in the air.  I've been in law school long enough to know that if either of those systems were to crash down on a student that we would be F'ed.  We managed to rig up a make shift wind screen, so we for the most part were protected from the wind.  The poor kids, however, were blasted the entire night.  I would have been pissed if I was one of those girls who had spent $75 on a fancy updo only to find my hair a total wind blown mess 30 minutes into prom.

The dance itself went well.  I got to DJ a bit and had a pretty good time helping out the Hubs.  After the dance, things took a turn for the worse.  I felt myself starting to feel weak and assumed I was just tired.  I hurried to get everything torn down and brought to the car as fast as a could.  While Charlie loaded the jeep, I became very aware that I wasn't just tired.  Yep, I got food poisoning.  I, like so many of the underage drinkers at the prom, got to throw up on the drive home.  JUST FREAKING GREAT.  After a shower and some water it was time for bed.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Days 203-209 - Many Varieties of Pain

The last week has been a serious suck-fest.  Between physically injuring myself and being emotionally and psychologically injured by law school, I am ready for a VACATION!

Tuesday was just awesome.  I got approximately 3 hours of sleep, as I needed as much time as I could find to cram for my community property final.  Before the exam, however, I had to teach my dances class. I rolled my ankle teaching my little 4 & 5 year olds how to do "sassy walks."  I've rolled my ankles a bazillion times before, but this one was BAD.  Had I not been teaching class, a long series of swear words would have streamed from my lips in a shrieking and violent fashion.  Alas, I was left to silently compose myself while hobbling to the side of the room.  My ankle popped so loudly that I heard one of the parents in the back exclaim "Did she break it?!"

I still had to teach my advanced tap class on my throbbing ankle.  Fortunately, we are at the point in the year where I can ask them to do something across the floor and they are able to do it without needing me to demonstrate first.  Still, the experience was not enjoyable.  After all that, I got to take my final.  It wasn't all that bad, but my professor did manage to somehow squeeze in a question on nearly EVERY subject we covered during the entire semester.

It wasn't until after I got home and took off my shoe that I realized how badly I had hurt myself.  Every time I tried to step on it, a wave of nausea washed over me.  I iced and elevated it right away and continued to do so for the next 24 hours.  That said, Wednesday was spent in bed reviewing Constitutional Law and editing Conflicts of Laws answers.

Thursday was my Conflicts of Laws exam.  It was 100% a typing test.  We were able to work in groups to prepare answers in advance that we could bring in to the exam.  We would then have 3 hours to re-type the answers during the exam period.  Apparently, I am too slow of a typer, because I was unable to finish the final answer.  I really try not to complain about the grades I receive, but I have a hard time understanding how this type of examination measures anything other than rewarding those who can type the fastest.  We all had the same answers, but those with the highest words per minute will wind up with the highest grades.  Grrr....

Most of Friday was spent at the library preparing for Con Law.  I don't usually create outlines for my courses because I take my class notes in outline form.  That said, my class notes were FAR too detailed, so I spent about 10 hours boiling everything down to a 19 page outline.  Besides the 3 hours I stopped to sleep, the remaining time leading up to the exam was spent memorizing my outline and listening to this:

I probably listened to the Glee cover of Friday at least 42 times within a 24 hour period.  While sitting in the courtroom before the exam, I'm sure my classmates thought I was having a seizure as I danced in my seat while listening to it on my ipod before the exam.  Some people drink to relieve stress.  I listen and dance to Glee.  Get over it.

After the exam, I hurried home to take a nap.  Later that night, Charlie and I had the privilege of DJ'ing a prom down town.  Being three exams into finals week coupled with not being able to exercise at all to blow off steam, sticking me in a room with a bunch of teenagers and loud music was enough to push me over the edge.  By the end of the night, I was a total grouch and just wanted to go home.  I will be owing Charlie big time in the future to make up for the temper tantrum I threw during the take down process.

Fortunately, Sunday was much more enjoyable.  After many apologies and a few tears (did I mention I am also PMS'ing?), Charlie and I settled in on the couch with a bottle of wine and enjoyed a couple hours of mindless television.

I've got one more final on Tuesday and then a few weeks of FREEDOM.  And get this... THE SUN IS GOING TO COME OUT!!!  I don't care if I burn to a crisp.  I will be enjoying some serious vitamin D.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 202 - Title Change?

Perhaps a change in title is necessary.  This blog may be more appropriately titled as "1/2 Marathon, Mountain, Maui and MOVING." 

Thanks to some great advice from family and friends, I have decided to swallow my pride and do the half marathon in 26 days.  As many of you already know, we will also be moving at the beginning of August.  I've held off making it "blog official" until Charlie let his work know, which he has now done.  By taking a few summer courses, I will be able to graduate a semester early.  I also secured an externship in Seattle for the Fall with an amazing organization.  SO, the count down is on.  101 days left in Spokane!

Today was spent swimming and studying.  I wanted to give my joints a rest from yesterday's high impact long run, so I decided to swim for 40 min.  My legs felt pretty shot from the day before, so I relied more heavily on my upper body.  I got the best upper body workout I've had in a long time.  I should probably start swimming more often if I am going to have the toned arms and back to go with a bridesmaid dress I need to wear at the end of this summer...

Tomorrow I have to take my Community Property final.  This is just a 2 credit elective course, but somehow it is much harder and is requiring substantially more time than any of my other finals.  I will be lucky if I am able to cram half of the material I need to know into my brain.  That said, I better get back to it.  Goodnight!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 201 - Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

Sometimes I am too stubborn for my own good.  Despite still coughing constantly, needing to blow my nose at regular intervals through out the day, and not having done a real workout at all this week, I somehow decided that I needed to go for a 14 mile run.  Not only am I not back to 100% health, but I figured I could just run 3 more miles than my next longest run during this training process.  I was wrong.

After Charlie dropped me off at the Idaho state border line,  I quickly realized my mistake.  I simply could not breathe.  GROSS ALERT!!!  IF YOU HAVE  A WEAK STOMACH, STOP READING.  Like during my hike last Saturday, I constantly needed to stop and clear junk out of my lungs and nose.  Fortunately, the centennial trail was fairly empty (most other local runners were participating in the bloomsday race downtown).  Therefore, very few people had to witness my frequent expelling of snot and phlegm.

I have finished 2 marathons in the past, but this was the most painful run of my life.  Not being able to breathe made every step agonizingly difficult.  I wound up needing to walk a significant portion of the "run" and ended up quitting at the 12.5 mile mark.

Part of the purpose behind this blog was to provide an honest account of my successes and failures in working towards my goals.  I am an EXTREMELY proud person and have a tremendously hard time admitting failure.  BUT, it's time for a little honesty.  I am not prepared to finish a marathon in 4 weeks from today.  I certainly could blaze ahead and attempt the full 26.2 miles.  I could likely run a good part of it and then hobble along for the remainder of the course, crawling if necessary to cross the finish line.  I would enjoy NO part of the experience.  But because I am so stubborn, I would be willing to rip my body to shreds to achieve this goal I set in October.

Or, I can admit to myself that I did not put in the work necessary to successfully complete a marathon, swallow my pride, and down grade to the half marathon.  Having run 11.3 miles 2 weeks ago without issue or injury, I am certain I could run the entire half-marathon and be proud of the result.  Plus, I am less likely to endure an injury during the half marathon that may prevent me from achieving my next goal of climbing Mt. Rainier...

My head says to do the half, but my damn pride demands me to go for the full!  What to do?  WHAT TO DO?

If you were in my shoes (which would be gross, because my shoes STINK), what would you do?

Day 200 - Lame

For the most part, today was lame.  Nearly all of my morning was spent at the library reviewing answers with my Conflicts of law group.  Although I love my professor for this class, I can't stand the material.  It is all procedural law.  Procedural law = BORING!!!  I like the exciting stuff, like when an employer chooses to throw out test results for promotions out of fear of being called discriminatory (only the white employees scored high enough for the promotion), but instead was then sued by the white employees for race discrimination.  That is WAY more fun than trying to decide whether Alabama or Kentucky law should apply to a case.

Since I am planning to go for a LONG run tomorrow (and am still coughing up junk every 15 min), my exercise was limited today to a long walk with Charlie and Tucker.  It was great to be outside enjoying the nicer (still not nice) weather with my boys.  The rest of my evening was spent washing and folding 7 (YES, SEVEN!!!) loads of laundry.  At least I got to enjoy a funny movie while I folded.  If you haven't seen Easy A, I fully recommend it.  Gotta love Netflix!

Day 199 - Which Seat Can I Take?

It's Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday...  Or not.  After turning in my employment discrimination case file, I spent the rest of the day preparing my answers for my Conflicts of Law final exam.  Fun times.  Plus, Charlie started to feel under-the-weather today.  A few days ago, I admitted to being a big baby when I am sick.

Charlie. Is. Worse.

I love my husband dearly.  Really, more than I can express.  But when he is sick, he becomes incapable of making decisions and speaking in full sentences.  It took over an hour and a half for us to confirm that he did in fact want pasta for dinner and to then retrieve the necessary items from the store.  When he doesn't feel well, he also likes to snuggle.  When he doesn't get to snuggle, he whines.  So, I got to stay up well after mid-night working on my homework so that he could have me sit through a movie with him on the couch. 

In 11 days from now, I would love to do nothing besides sit on the couch with my hubs and watch a movie.  But this is crunch time.  Thankfully, everything that I HAD to get done got accomplished once my man sized baby was tucked into bed.  LOVE YOU CHARLIE!!!

Day 198 - Guilty

WOO HOO!!!! Today was my last day of classes for the semester!  Although I will be taking 3 classes over the summer, this was also my last day of a full semester at GU.  Too bad there was no time to celebrate.  Besides class, I spent the first portion of the day working on my employment discrimination case file.  My goal had been to finish this before Easter...  That clearly did not happen.  I should be done LONG before it is due tomorrow at three.  IF I am able to sit down and finish it without getting interrupted every 15 min, that is.  I love some (definitely not all) of my law school classmates and would ordinarily enjoy taking a study break to chit chat with them.  Today, however, I needed them to go away so I could focus.  Love you guys

Besides working on employment discrimination, I also got to play the roll of a murderer.  I volunteered to help out a classmate who is taking a trial advocacy class and needed a witness for her final project.  I didn't know until today, that I had been given the part of the pregnant girlfriend with cancer who was willing to admit to murder (that she may or may not have committed) in order to get her boyfriend who had been accused of the crime out of jail.  Every now and then, law school can be a little fun.  But only a little.  Now back to finish this darn case file!