Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tricks or Treats?

I forgot to wear my Halloween sweater today - you know the one adorned with jack-o-lanterns front-to-back and the arched black cat in the lower right-hand corner. If I know you, and I think I do, you're sporting a festive deer-hunter orange sweater similar to mine as we speak. Let's face it, orange is a flattering color, is it not? At lunch I felt a pang of jealousy when this woman walked by with a tiny felt pumpkin top attached to her chin with a velcro strap - nearly mistook her for the real thing.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

First Date

Last Friday was the first weekend date night for me and TheGuy. When I asked what he wanted to do, he rattled off his proposed agenda. And we did exactly that. We saw Michael Clayton and afterwards we went back to his house and played Guitar Hero and polished off a bottle of wine. It was only my second time playing that game. Needless to say, I struggle on the "easy" level. He has Extras on DVD so we watched some of that as well. It was nice to just hang out and do something low-key like that.

One thing I forgot to do was check out his cologne. I didn't think it was humanly possible (for a male) but he wears THE perfect amount of cologne - you only can smell if it you're really close. Most of the men I know either don't wear any at all or bathe themselves in it. Someone (most likely an ex or his sister) taught him the proper technique for applying cologne: to spray twice and then walk into it. I know this because I complimented him on this once so he told me what he did. I'm curious to see which cologne he wears since he said he switches it up but doesn't know any of the brands as they were all gifts from old girlfriends.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Drop it Down a Little Low Like That

Every time a holiday rolls around, I'm one of those annoying commitment phobes who refuses to agree to something in case a better offer comes along. This year I eventually decided to accompany my friend Ms. Tiffany to her co-worker's Halloween party in uptown.

I liked the idea of going as a gold digger -- I had even bought a gold dress and purse, but I had planned to buy some gold spray paint for a shovel and some gold makeup, but just never got around to it. Laziness is a bitch. There's always next year, I suppose.

In the end, I chose to go as a school girl simply because it was the easiest alternative. I already had the way-too-short-for-a-26-year-old plaid skirt and knee-high stockings from a previous costume so all I did was buy some red ribbon for pigtails. I felt sort of foolish and it definitely wasn't original but when you make a habit out of waiting 'til the last minute, your options are limited.

Saturday was my mom's birthday so the family went out for a late dinner. I didn't leave the restaurant until 9:45 so by the time I got home (10), I rushed to get ready. We showed up more than fashionably late after I got incredibly lost driving to the party, but I have a feeling we didn't miss much. The party itself had a reasonably good turn-out, but I didn't know anyone and Ms. Tiffany only knew the host and one of his buddies.

The host, Dick-in-a-Box, was wasted. He desperately tried to make conversation with us, but he came off as remarkably awkward, bordering on creepy. When he went to get ice for our drinks, Ms. Tiffany said he's usually really nice and friendly, but apparently alcohol turns him into a social retard.

After he retrieved plastic cups from the kitchen, he made us vodka seven drinks and continued to sound like a complete dumbass. You couldn't help but feel sorry for him. He rambled on about how his party had turned into a "college party" and dully explained how much work went into the decorations. He talked about normal things but his demeanor was the thing that made it uncomfortable. He didn't smile or joke around. He was monotone and serious. It was just plain awkward.

Halfway through our drinks, he excused himself, announcing he would be back in "two minutes" so we decided to make a break for it. We chugged the last half of our drinks and made a beeline for the door. Sure, we could've waited for him to return and made up some lame excuse about meeting up with our friends, but the way things were going, we could tell that would've led to a twenty-minute guilt trip.

We then headed downtown to meet up with C-Sharp and PFunk and the respective crew. After sitting in traffic and having the ramp ticket feeder malfunction for the car ahead of us, I was looking forward to hanging out with guaranteed fun people. It had begun to feel a little claustrophobic at the party. By the time we got inside the bar, it was midnight. Since I got such a late start, I had to slam all my drinks/shots, but I succeeded in getting drunk by the end of the night. The "last call" drink was a godsend. It put me right over the edge.

It felt like I only danced for a total of five minutes, but it must have been a lot longer since I was stiff the next day. Funny how I can run 26 miles with minimal soreness, but the minute I exercise different muscles, soreness is sure to follow. Out on the dance floor, I met Bill Lumbergh -- a funny, dorky guy I apparently was drunk enough to talk to. C-Sharp takes credit for hooking up the love connection. Uh yeah. His pic says it all.

I snapped this photo with this blog in mind. This is what I get for saying I like IT guys.

With my short skirt, I wonder how many people saw my ass throughout the night. I bet it didn't look as good this guy's though - one of the officers from Super Troopers. Super sexy.

Hmm, no panty line, looks like he's free-ballin' it.

Last but not least, in a surprising Halloween revelation, I decided I most definitely like PFunk's girlfriend, Dorothy (she was Dorothy from Wizard of Oz). We haven't exactly been friendly towards one another so it wasn't until recently (last weekend) that I began to wonder if she were someone I could picture myself being friends with. In situations when you're forced to hang out by default, it's one thing to be tolerant of someone's company, but I've come to realize I actually kind of like her.

The defining moment occurred when she disappeared for a half hour and then randomly showed up with a black leather cat tail. We have no idea where the hell it came from, but being the mature adults we are, we used it to make obscene gestures. In photos too. Or maybe that was just me. It even received more attention than PFunk's Dick-in-a-Box costume (popular this year) complete with faux squirting penis prop.

Oh, and C-Sharp/"Pacman" Jones (I had no idea who that was) kindly reminded me to mention the fact his giant stash of fake $100 bills wound up in the cleavage of many-a-woman at the bar. Way to mark your territory. What, what.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sexy Little Nothings

Yesterday I rifled through the drawers at Victoria's Secret in an attempt to find something "normal." A sales associate came by to ask if I needed any help and then apologized for the overflowing merchandise, blaming the inconvenience on their Christmas stock.

I don't get it. Why would I spend $14 on red and green underwear that says "ho ho ho" to wear one month out of the year? Even on a hot day in July when I was 99% certain no one would see my underwear but me, I'd feel ridiculuous.

I was disappointed when I found an adorable sea-foam green pair that looked more like a bikini bottom than underwear, but it said "bride-to-be" across the booty. There was also a cute pink and black polka-dot pair that read "sexy little thing" on the front. Why? Is that really necessary? Do women find the words validating? Is that why people buy this stuff?

When did I become a prude for turning my nose at bras adorned with sparkles, rhinestones, and lined with leopard-print interior?? Is this the kind of thing that gives women the confidence to bring out their inner sex kitten? Or is it simply a turn-on distraction for men? After all, it's safe to say men are easily distracted.

It's not like I'm all about the cotton briefs. In fact, I did manage to find a non-trashy lace bra and underwear (I refuse to say 'panties') sans writing, but I scoffed at most of the intimate apparel. I found it (a) tacky (b) heinous (c) whore-ish. Maybe it's just another sign I'm getting old.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Curiosity Killed the Cat

Ok, don't laugh, but TheGuy lives at home with his parents. Under any other circumstances, this would be an inexcusable dealbreaker but I've known him since I was 18. It's not like he's some unemployed loser watching his mom fold his laundry as he plays video games all day. He's got his bachelor's degree and then some, but like most I know, he's at a crossroads in life. Before he can make any moving-out decisions, he first has to decide whether he's going to leave the country for that teaching program.

His parents spend half the year at their second home down south so he doesn't have it too bad. They left last week so he offered to watch The Office at his house so I can see his kitten. I am so excited!!! I get to see the house he grew up in, his childhood bedroom, pictures of his family, and possibly meet his sister who lives there as well. I know that's a strange thing to get excited over, but I have been so curious for the longest time! If you know me, you know I should be enrolled in Snoopaholics Anonymous!

I'm extremely curious as to what others do in their day-to-day lives and one's dwelling/living situation speaks volumes. It's hard to believe, but I never saw TheGuy's dorm room in college. Come to think of it, he saw my dorm room freshmen, sophomore, and junior year. He graduated a year before me so he wasn't around when I was a senior. He also gave me a ride home once my freshmen year so he saw the outside of my parents' house.

When he was a senior, I attended parties at his place. He lived in the senior housing complex on campus which essentially is an apartment with a kitchen, living room, and four bedrooms, but they always kept their bedroom doors closed so I never saw the inside. Wait, I'm suddenly having a flashback where I possibly may have seen his room at one of those parties. I believe it may have been used as the coat room so that's why I was in there and we looked up something on his computer or I watched him check his instant messages on AIM. It's very foggy -- I have zero recollection of what the room looked like. Anyway, I also went to a couple parties at the house he lived in after college but never saw his bedroom.

I don't know, maybe I am a freak, but I am dying to see his house. I can't wait!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Running Season

It's my favorite time of year for running. While most runners yesterday were bundled up in jackets, I tend to be warm-blooded so I jogged in my college senior week t-shirt and shorts. I worked up a sweat, but the brisk air kept my body cool. Chilled temperatures work in my favor, pushing me to run harder.

I had this incredibly vivid dream over the weekend that I was running my second marathon. I was focused on my pace with a strong desire to beat my former time. I could see the flag mile markers and I was around the 14th mile when I awoke. In my dream, there was a sense of urgency -- a need to set a personal record -- the pressure similar to past dreams where I'm rushing to turn in a paper for class on time or the dreaded serving nightmares from my days of being a waitress. I wasn't satisfied with my time so maybe this was my body's way of telling me I have to do it again.

As a side note, I've seen this guy several times now running barefoot. Is that not insane?!? What if he steps on a nail? I hope he's up-to-date on his tetanus shots!

Monday, October 22, 2007


Saturday I went downtown for GC's cousin's bachelorette party. I didn't show up until 11 and by that time, GC had been drinking for five hours. She was a total riot. During the walk to the club, she hollered "douchebag" at every dude we passed on the street. She darted in front of oncoming traffic several times which triggered a duet of musical horns and impatient drivers stopped mid-intersection as they waited for all twelve ducklings to cross.

When we arrived at the club, GC asked the bouncers out front if the owner was inside and they said "no." I can't recall what other words were exchanged but the bouncers cocked an attitude which doesn't sit well with her so she scolded them for being rude: the exact words Bouncer-on-a-Power-Trip wants to hear. So there we were, lined up single file, when BPT sauntered over, unhooked one side of the velvet rope and demanded GC step out of line, for she was not welcome as she was "overly intoxicated" and that was an "invitation for trouble."

Little did BPT know, but GC is good friends with the club owner. In fact, she'd made our bottle service reservations through him. A few minutes after the squabble scene, the owner showed up and personally escorted GC into the club, pulling rank over the protests of BPT. It was validating to witness BPT's authority undermined!

I didn't know the other girls with the exception of the bride and her sister, but it was a fun night. Nothing too crazy, just lots of drinking and dancing.

I later met up with C-Sharp. He was outside smoking when I arrived and busy "establishing commonalities" with two girls. I nearly cockblocked him yet again when I was introduced as his cousin/friend/wife/sister, but they didn't seem to notice or care. Or there was a language barrier.

It was off to Perkin's after bar close where a friend soaked up all the liquor in his system with twenty pieces of rye toast. Also noteworthy: impressive beat boxing at the ghetto table next door and a sweet old granny in the adjacent booth enjoying half a sandwich and slowly slurping chicken noodle soup at 3:30 am.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

If Only Soda were a Major Food Group

In case you didn't believe me when I said Eggo's with freezer burn is my next meal...

Cheese, cola, and condiments. What more do you need? Oh, wine too.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Confusion is Fun

Thursdays are The Office and TheGuy night. As he was getting ready to leave that evening, my head suddenly filled with doubts and questions, as it does from time to time. Instead of addressing my concerns, when he asked what my weekend plans were, I hid under a blanket and mumbled something about not doing anything. You see, he always asks but not with the intent to take me on a date.

He then came over by me so I said, "I thought you were leaving," as I slowly emerged from safety. "I was but you seem sad," he replied. Sad wasn't the right word. More like baffled. With him but also myself. I'm a tough read. Mostly because I can't decide what I want half the time. It's a constant battle.

I had tentative plans with GC last night but never heard from her and didn't try to call her so when TheGuy texted to see what I was doing, we made plans to hang out. He was at a bar with some friends but said he wasn't gonna stay long.

We went to Santana's for some greasy food and then watched Knocked Up. He didn't stick around after the movie. In my overanalytical head, that would normally make me nervous but I don't think it had to do with me. He said he forgot his contact stuff which sounds like a lame excuse and easily could be, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. I think it probably had more to do with the fact his allergies have been acting up due to my cat. Stupid Marley.

It's thoroughly confusing. He comes over and acts like a boyfriend but we don't talk about it. We don't really go on dates either. Yet things seem to be heading down the relationship track.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Post Marathon Burnout

I ran twice last week but stuck to a slow paced four miles each time. At the gym, I even tackled the weights one of those times (Hot Trainer Guy may have had some pull) and managed to injure myself by using more weight than my frail arms can handle. It was a struggle from start to finish and I just kept thinking how I'd much rather run another 26 miles than do one more rep of lat pulldowns. Hot Trainer Guy was in awe of my strength -- I'm sure that's why he hasn't introduced himself yet.

I went for another short four mile run yesterday. In the rain. It was refreshing. I'm sort of at a loss for what to do next. My desire to run is minimal. I do it to keep in shape but I'm bored. My friend and I discussed trying a spinning class or maybe I'll take up kick boxing. I need some variety.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ex Factor

I just finished looking at MySpace pictures of my ex-boyfriend so I came to vent. First off, I should clarify which ex I speak of (there's only three). He was my first boyfriend, the one I cared about most. He's getting married November 3rd to a 25-year-old who registered for a doggy stroller. Perhaps they'll take one of their four cats for a spin as well.

He and I haven't spoken in two and a half years because it just got to be too hard. And complicated. So I told him I couldn't talk to him anymore and stuck to my word. When I ran into his brother at the bar a few months ago, I considered getting in touch with him but never did. Though I was tempted when I heard what he was marrying into.

My biggest consolation is knowing his brother (who I always thought hated me) said he thought I would have been a better match. Ever since that fateful night, his brother and I have been friends on MySpace and he recently posted pics from the bachelor party he threw for his little bro. It looked totally lame. I love how they are doing shots out of hotel coffee mugs. But my ex looks cute. He always does. Even without his trademark sideburns.

Then I went to his fiancĂ©e’s MySpace page and saw she posted new pics of her trial make-up and hair. Uh, it looks like she's got a crazy old aunt who flunked out of cosmetology school. The bride-to-be looks old but not in a good way. A pair of mom jeans would complement her hair and make-up. She'd be better off with NO makeup and hair down.

There were also photos from the bridal shower. I hate the formality of showers and weddings, but for a split second, I tried to imagine what food my mom would serve at my shower and what kind of dorky games would I be forced to play.

I couldn't help but put myself in her place and wonder what I would be feeling if I were the one marrying him in a few short weeks. I would be nervous and anxiety-ridden about things going according to plan for the wedding, but I believe I would be happy and doubt-free in regard to him.

I haven't dwelled on his upcoming nuptials as much as I thought I would but a picture's worth a thousand words. I already had the visual of her engagement ring thanks to MySpace and now I'm haunted by an image of her standing beside her "future mother-in-law" (albeit a very nice woman but a tad overbearing to say the least). Also her captions make me want to vomit. Beneath a photo of him guzzling a pitcher of beer: "CHUG IT BABY!"

After the big day has come and gone, you'll find me glued to MySpace scrutinizing every last detail of the event including how her bridesmaid dresses weren't the most flattering color and how her veil looked cheap just like her freebie make-up job.

I'm thinking I should throw a party that day...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Breathing Room

Some of you have been wondering what happened to TheGuy. He's still in the picture but nothing has changed. He comes over every Thursday and we order pizza (it's a delicacy in this household where freezer-burnt Eggo's constitutes a meal, we can't all cook!) and watch The Office but that's the extent of an update. I haven't seen him much the past couple weeks because I had the marathon and he went out of town for our college's Homecoming last weekend.

We talk every day online. I have to admit it feels like we're dating but I avoid the subject because I don't know what I want. When we first started hooking up, I was on the rebound so I figured that one or both of us would eventually start dating someone else and make a clean break. I certainly never imagined it would drag on this long with no talk of boundaries or level of commitment.

But I kind of like it this way, with him. There's less pressure and little to no expectations means fewer disappointments. We don't have dates planned out weeks in advance and we're not obligated to spend Saturday nights with one another. There's more breathing room. The thing is, I don't know if I'm ready for the emotional investment a serious relationship requires. And if I were to jump into something prematurely, it wouldn't be fair to the other person.

Granted, I'm not dating anyone else nor do I have any intention of doing so. If I heard he went on a date, I'd be livid and probably never speak to him again. Surely, I'm in deeper than I realize so I'll be kicking myself later. With each passing day, it becomes more and more pathetic that I fail to have the "where is this going" discussion, but it's so much easier not to. I'm content now. What if it all goes to shit after our talk?

In addition to all that, there's also the lingering possibility he may be leaving the country to teach English.

Gay, Straight, or Taken

I wish I had drunken tales of debauchery for you but it was a very tame weekend. Did some shopping, got my hair trimmed, and spent quality time with the dogs. Last night over drinks with GC and Ella, my fondness for living solo was reaffirmed as I listened to roommate horror stories of drugs, sex, and rock ’n roll. Scratch the latter. I meant stolen personal belongings. It was the perfect end to the weekend. Nice way to wind down and relax. We spent a fair amount of time trying to decide whether a guy GC knew from high school was on a date...with a man. She bumped into him shortly after we arrived and instructed him and his friend to come over and say hello to "two cute girls."

When we went to the bar for the next round, we decided to stop and introduce ourselves since they were still stationed in the same corner of the bar. It was slightly awkward, as if they were uncomfortable around us and it was apparent we had interrupted them. Before we made our way back to our stools, GC's friend called out, "I swear, we're going to make our way over there, but we've just been busy talking." It was then we decided they indeed were on a date. They didn't stop by until they were on their way out the door, her friend declaring, "It's past my bedtime."

A group of guys standing beside us all night finally summoned the liquid courage to initiate conversation as we were about to leave. I guess you could say they score points for a creative pick-up line: "Doesn't that guy look like Conan O'Brien?" The only problem was he didn't. GC got sassy by giving them a fake name and telling them we were all roommates from Shakopee who moved there because we love Valleyfair.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"I'll take a hint for $500 please."

Last night I texted Sparky to see if he wanted to join us for wine which turned out to be a big mistake.

Here's how the texting went down:

Sparky: I appreciate the offer. I am going to the Wild game.

Me: Cool, have fun!

Sparky: We definitely need to get together soon though. What are you doing this weekend?

Me: Drinking heavily. At a bar. Yet to be determined.

Sparky: Do you plan on eating dinner before that?

Me: I prefer to drink on an empty stomach.

Sparky: Well I guess I'll be eating dinner alone then.

Kinda sad, huh? It ended there. I had no response to that! I later relayed the exchange to GC and told her I do NOT have a crush on Sparky so she said she'd let him know.

The Case of the Purple Toothbrush

Last night I met GC at the Loop for Wino Wednesday. After career and men updates (or lack thereof), we got to talking about our friend Ella. The past few months, she's been seeing a guy she met online. Last weekend she awoke to a familiar scent on his comforter. She recognized the smell, asking aloud, "What is that? I know it." Several repeated whiffs later, she identified the fragrance as Tommy Girl (the cheapness only added insult to injury).

She then got up to brush her teeth with the pink toothbrush he'd bought specially for her, but when she went to place it in its matching pink case, there was a purple toothbrush! She left with no explanation. He called twenty-four hours later (perhaps after purple toothbrush girl was over?) to say it was his roommate's girlfriend's toothbrush. One can only speculate as to how many toothbrushes his medicine cabinet holds...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Marathon Stats

I know, I know. You're like, "STFU up about the marathon already!" Too bad.

How pitiful is it that I got beat by a pair of hairy balls?

Much Ado About Nothing

Now that I'm still coming down off my marathon high, I've started thinking about new goals to tackle. Something I've always wanted to do is learn to play guitar. I played the clarinet (nerd alert) and piano and since learning chords is half the battle, I feel as though I've got a head start. I'm in no rush, but one of these days, I intend to teach myself to play. What a pleasant surprise for my neighbors!

My co-worker Stripes just broke up with his girlfriend of four years and I have an inkling it may be related to me. I knew they'd hit a rough patch so I tiptoed around the topic because (a) I don't want him to think I like him (b) I don't want to give him a window of opportunity to declare any "feelings" for me (c) I don't want him to think I like him. Sure, he's a funny guy and I like hanging out with him, but he's like a younger brother. When Deborah asked why he broke it off, he said it was because they fought all the time and had drifted apart. I can tell he's into me so I seriously hope I wasn't a factor in the decision he may come to regret later.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Baby Got Back

If you've been around a while, you may recall that I went off on my ex's new girlfriend of behemoth proportions. That wasn't very nice of me. I suffered bloggers' remorse the following day. In all seriousness, she's no beached whale, but she could stand to lose a few pounds. You know, step on the scale and subtract fifteen. Kidding. Sort of.

My ex and I remain on "good" terms so we still "talk" which generally consists of me belitting his existence and nitpicking his flaws as he goes on the defensive, much like the good old days when we were a couple. The other day he informed me his girlfriend said she's gained 20 pounds since she began hanging out with him. Chunky-rific.

Let's go over the facts. When he and I were dating, I quit working out for two years. Soon after he was out of the picture, I joined Lifetime Fitness, started running again, and completed a marathon.

It's the freshmen fifteen of relationships. Make sure you take a before and after pic.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Mind Over Matter

Patience is a virtue! Here it is, what you’ve all been waiting for…

Well, I finished! I was a nervous wreck the past three days leading up to the race. My biggest concerns were: (1) the weather (2) running alone (3) hitting “the wall.”

Much to my dismay, it was the hottest weather in the history of the Twin Cities Marathon. The average high during the race was 77 with a dew point of 69. All those steamy training days paid off since my body had somewhat of a chance to acclimate to the muggy conditions. However, the possibility it would be so miserable in October never crossed my mind! I was very much looking forward to cool, crisp temperatures -- should we have been so lucky.

Did you hear they closed the Chicago Marathon due to heat? A 35-year-old man died and 250 were treated for heat-related ailments.

When I first arrived at the metrodome Sunday morning, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Many were gravitating indoors so I followed the crowd and plopped down on the cold concrete to do a very weak job of stretching (I hate it). I guess I wanted to appear as though I actually followed the rules of running. Five minutes of stretching was all I could handle.

I then headed back outdoors and made my way to the starting line. Just arriving at the start and seeing the 10,500 runners who signed up was inspiration in itself. I thought to myself, if all these people can do it, I certainly can. It no longer seemed like such an unattainable feat.

Flags were posted with times of fifteen minute increments and we were to line up accordingly. My heart nearly leapt in my throat when the first flag I saw said 5:30, as I assumed it meant 5:30 mile pace. Then I realized it meant finish time. I was set to make my way to the 4:30 group (you had to push your way through the crowd) when around 5:15, I spotted a friend of mine, Roxy, from college. She was with two other girls – one she works with, Sasha, and the other girl, Amanda, was Sasha’s friend from Portland.

Quick back story on Roxy – she lived in my section freshmen year of college and if there’s one thing to say about her, she’s got balls. Back then, she drove a bright yellow pick-up truck and every morning around 7:30, she’d blast Juvenile’s “Back That Ass Up” as she was getting ready for class. My fellow section mates didn't share my admiration. Given that I didn't care for most of them, I loved her even more. Needless to say, I wasn't surprised that she and Sasha were wearing black t-shirts, hot pink skirts, and matching pink ribbons in their hair. They looked cute and sassy.

I knew Roxy was a runner but didn't know she was a marathoner. Turns out, this was her third. In fact, I remember her going for ten mile runs back in college and thinking she was insane. I was so relieved to see someone I knew who had done this before! They were all former marathoners so it was comforting to know they'd all managed to complete them.

The girls said they were in the 5-5:15 range so while I knew that was slower than what I was shooting for, I was just grateful to have people to run with. Having someone to encourage and push you along the way is crucial! Earlier I'd had all these visions of me sprawled out on the ground as I was trampled by other runners with no one to pick me up. At the time of sign-up, I was freaked about not having anyone to run with, but ultimately decided that was a poor excuse for not running a marathon. During training people kept asking if I was running/training with anyone and when I'd say "no" they'd get this blank expression on their face before saying, "Oh, I'm sure you'll be fine."

You know it’s a bad sign when the announcer says, "This is not the day to set a PR, folks" before the start. The humid conditions were brutal and only got worse as the sun came up and beat everyone down.

So we began as a foursome but Sasha kept insisting we were going too fast. Around mile 4, Amanda and I surged ahead. At first, we kept slowing and checking to make sure they were within sight, but eventually we lost them in the pack.

Amanda and I seemed to match one another’s pace until mile 10 when she began to drop back. She first wanted to walk because she needed to use a port-a-potty so when we arrived at the next one, there were four people in line. She encouraged me to go ahead more than once but I declined and waited for her. Afterwards, she needed to walk the next hill.

At the next water stop, she seemed to perk up a bit after re-fueling with Gatorade and water, but I still had to decrease my pace quite a bit ‘cause she was lagging behind. The humidity really began to take its toll so she began to get dizzy and needed to stop and walk at other points as well.

They have designated runners set as “pacers” whose sole purpose is to set the pace for others. They carry balloons and wear a sign that denotes their time so when the 5:30 pacer passed us around mile 16, that was when I made the decision to take off on my own. I definitely didn’t want to finish after 5:30 or even worse, risk not finishing in the 6 hour time limit. I felt terrible leaving Amanda but my competitive side was raring to go in hopes of coming in under 5.

At mile 20, they have this giant inflatable “wall” so if you weren’t thinking about it before, you are once you get there! After the 20 marker, you think, only 6 to go, that’s nothing!

I never caught the 5 hour pacer and instead came in at 5:11. Not the best time by any means, but I did manage to beat Sven Sundgaard, a local celebrity weather forecaster. Of course I did also get beat by an 80+ year-old man. I struggled those last few miles, but nearing the end was motivation. I stopped and walked a couple times due to dehydration. I learned that one misconception about marathoners is that people assume they run the entire time. Not true. Some even power walk and beat the runners. I felt discouraged by the number of walkers for it made me want to walk, but I don’t do so well with the pattern of walk, run, walk, run etc. so I only walked during those weak moments when I felt as though I might collapse.

I finished strong (adrenaline goes a LONG way) and when I came down the home stretch outside the St. Paul Capitol, I was thrilled to see GC and another friend cheering me on. A few steps later, my parents shouted my name as my dad attempted to snap a picture but he was a few seconds too late. Since you’re wearing the micro chip to identify you, they call your name as you cross the finish line and volunteers immediately place your medal around your neck. Then they place a silver blanket around your shoulders for warmth since you’re prone to the chills afterwards. Every finisher also receives a shirt.

I got the backside of my medal engraved with "1st marathon."

Despite the killer heat, it was a positive experience and easier than I anticipated, but it could just be that I'm prone to imagining the worst-case scenario. I'm curious to know how I'd perform in mild temperatures for I know the weather significantly hurt my performance as was the case for others.

The fans are AMAZING. I swear, I think some of them exerted more energy into cheering than I did running. If you put your name on the back of your shirt, they'll call you by name. I knew this beforehand, but chose not to partake. Even so, a few called me by my bib number. They were right there supporting you -- some sprayed runners with their garden hoses, handed out food and even beer, and provided music and entertainment. One chubby, middle-aged guy wore a t-shirt that said, "If I've Done It, You Can."

When I got home, I slept. A lot. I think my exhaustion was actually more mentally strenuous than physically strenuous! It truly is a case of mind over matter. While I enjoyed it and fully intend to do more, I'm so relieved to have it over and done with. I would’ve been sorely disappointed if I hadn’t finished. For the last few years, every time a marathon has come and gone, I've felt disappointed in myself for not participating. Not anymore!

Fortunately for me, I experienced no chafing, no blisters, and very minor soreness. Prior to the race, I feared I hadn't trained hard enough, but my body held up in good physical condition even post-race! My mom couldn't believe I wasn't panting or breathing heavy after I finished. I think it just comes naturally.

My only question is: now what? I’d like to do a half-marathon. Maybe not anytime soon but I think I could do well.

Thanks once again to all my supporters and well-wishers! I've never felt so loved!!

On the sleeve of shirt:

Friday, October 5, 2007

In Looking Back

Feelings of nostalgia swept over me as I did my final six-mile run Wednesday evening. I've run the same course every training day for the last 90 days. Some may find that boring, but I prefer it. I like knowing exactly where I've come from, how far I have left to go, and where it is I need to get back to. This last year has been a huge transition and that was a major motivator for me. Had I taken training more seriously (less drinking, more miles), I would be in a better position from a physical standpoint. But I don't regret any of it. The fact remains I haven't enjoyed myself this much since college. If running this marathon meant sacrificing all the fun from my life, it wouldn't have been worth it to me. My goal is simply to finish.

I stuck to my plan of doing 3-4 miles last night, then relaxing 'til Sunday. For the first time since he told me he always sees me running, I saw the bartender from Psycho Suzy's biking last night. I'd stopped looking for him so it was weird that I happened to see him on my last day of training. Hopefully it's some sort of positive sign or something! I'm nervous, anxious, and excited all rolled into one.

Not sure if I'll feel like posting the next few days so just wanted to say thanks to all who have listened to my venting and offered support!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

30 Second Updates

Life updates in thirty second increments...

Grey's Anatomy: STFU

I know this is a week late, but I didn't get around to seeing Grey's until recently when I viewed it on my old-school VHS player. I gave up on that show after season 2. The lovable characters (aside from Meredith, as if she needed an equally annoying sister) who formerly engaged in witty, lighthearted banter continue to be replaced with self-afflicted rants and raves. And cheesy melodrama. It makes me sick. Don't even get me started on that whole Bambi incident which led to Izzie's respectively asinine speech...

The only humorous bit was when Cristina referred to her interns as numbers rather than learning their names.

Ready As I'll Ever Be

I did a twenty-miler Monday night. Was it awful? Yes. Did my legs burn? Yes. Did I almost twist my ankle several times in the dark? Yes. I'm sure the "real" runners have been on taper the past month. Not me.

Here's what the participant guide says:

"There are toilet facilities located within the start/staging area in the HHH metrodome and portable toilets are located throughout the course. They are there for your use. Trees, shrubs, and buildings are there for your viewing only."

I spent $40 on a sports bra last night in hopes I'm not doing this:

What Happens in Vegas...

Hotel and airfare is booked for my friend's bachelorette party in Vegas! I have to say the most overused phrase in the English language may be: "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!" Every time I tell someone about my trip, I cringe as I wait for those imminent seven words as if I've never heard them before. Seriously, Vegas, you need a new slogan. Or I may go crazy in the next two months.

Extra Large Diet Cokes

TheGuy and I hung out twice last week (completely sober). We shared a funny exchange at the movie theater when he ordered two large Diet Cokes that were bigger than my head ('head' was the best I could come up with).

Big Debbie Loves Little Debbie

So much so she devoured an entire box of these in one sitting:

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Good and the Bad

My weekend went something like this...

Good Shots

Raspberry kamikaze
Scooby Snack
Lemon drop

Bad Shots

Grape ape

If you thought I learned my lesson the first time around when I downed three grape apes in a row, you thought wrong. I only had one this time but it was enough to send me home early yet again. Other than vodka and Buddy's Grape soda, there's some myserious component that generates this negative response in my body -- it's not so much a sick feeling, but moreso the "I'm so crabby I want to die" feeling.

I had fun however -- the short while it lasted. The highlight being a random run-in with C-Sharp's most recent crush. I'll spare the use of her name but let's just say it's prevalent among nursing homes nationwide. She was cute and seemingly has a good head on her shoulders so she got my stamp of approval (not that anyone asked for it). It's pretty sad when you show up at 9 and can't outlast those in your group that have been drinking since noon. Oh, and Sparky showed up; I left ten minutes later. He was either mad or pretended to be mad. Tragically, when you leave the bar at 11:30, you get a lame blog post such as this. Dammit.

Saturday I met GC's childhood friend that was in town. She was super nice and cute and married. This loser douchebag acquaintance of ours showed up at the bar and started hitting on her right away. He got to be a major buzzkill with his persistent creepiness and phony lines such as, "You look like a million bucks tonight" and "You're too hot to be a nurse." Poor girl!

Lucky for GC, she was out of earshot range during all this, but when she found out how perturbed we were by his presence, she was quick to rectify the situation by herding our group to the patio. Two minutes later, guess who showed up for a smoke? He saw us and noted we weren't smoking, but I don't think he picked up on the fact we'd only gone outside to escape him. Or maybe he did. He moved on to some blonde in a red halter top. Whew. We met up with others, then split up, bounced to a couple more clubs, met some dudes in VIP that wanted us to go to some party off highway 280. We capped off the night by flirting with the 28-year-old valet attendant (after accusing him of being 18).

So I had a headache all day yesterday despite doing the things I usually do to cure a hangover -- being a total couch potato and loading up on caffeinated, non-diet soda and greasy food. I didn't drink that much so I'm convinced it was the B-52 shot Creepy bought us. Combined with the fact I'm old.