February 2, 2008

Thank You for the Music*

Oh! My Half Marathon playlist runneth over! For realz! I got so many songs, I had to narrow down my choices and have just one per submitter, so I could fit everyone! Seriously, y’all rock. I got about 30 emails’ worth of songs too, so I now have enough to last me almost 5 hours. Hopefully I won’t need to hear all of them.

By the way, even if I don’t like a song someone suggested, I added it to the playlist. Because it was important to them that I play the song. I told one friend, “I’ll be sure to notice at what mile your song comes on and I’ll recall later that that mile sucked ass because the song totally bit.”

If you want to see what I’m running to, you can see the list here. Some songs just plain rock and have a great beat. Others have sentimental value, or inspiring lyrics or titles.

With such great music, I’m sure to have a great Half Marathon! Hell, I might keep running past the finish line just to keep listening! (Or not.)

Special thanks to blog babes Ali, Mere, Tobie, Annie, Jenni (and I even added Vika’s suggestion!), Music Mama (even though I couldn’t find the songs online), Sandi, Saj, and distractedspunk.

*That’s a song by ABBA, but is too slow to run to.

January 31, 2008

Gimme one song. Or two. Or ten…

As most of you know, I am running my first half marathon this Sunday. It will take me a while forever and I need to fill my iPod playlist with many, many tunes. Unfortunately I’m having trouble finding songs I’m not tired of hearing. I need a cheering section throughout the 13-mile endeavor (in forecasted 44 degrees and possible rain, with 19 mph winds), so if you would be so kind as to give me the name (and artist) of one song (or a few, or several) to add to my playlist, it’ll be like you’re in my ear, saying, “GO CATH! You can do it!”

It would help if the song was on the upbeat high-energy spectrum, but anything is fine…except for lullabies. Probably not such a good idea. Also, I hate Celine Dion, so you can skip her entirely.

Even if the song is not my usual taste (but I like all types of music so I’m not sure what my taste is) I will play it during the run (except for Celine, and assuming I can download it somewhere), and I will know that you’re cheering me on in spirit. I’m even putting your name in the title, so when I look at my iPod, it will remind me who suggested the song. I can almost feel the love already!

Some of you offered tunes by commenting on an earlier request I posted for cardio songs, and I plan on using some of those as well. But I need to fill like THREE HOURS of time.

So far, from input from co-workers, I have quite an eclectic mix: Jay Z, Van Halen, Michael Jackson, Metallica, Pink, Hot Hot Heat, Pat Benatar, and Thicke to name a few.

So what song do you want me to run to and think of you?

January 30, 2008

Test your own limits and keep going

Even though that bit of wisdom was on the inside of my Dove Milk Chocolate today, I don’t think it meant, “Think you can only eat 5 of these? Go ahead, eat more! Keep going! You can DO IT!” Seriously, I don’t need a fortune to tell me to eat more chocolate, but it’s nice to have the permission to do so. (I refrained, by the way. The chocolate, he will not win!)

BUT! I did take the sentiment to heart, with regard to my upcoming half marathon on Sunday. Sure, I’ve never run 13.1 miles before. My limit is 10 miles. That’s as far as I go. Ten. That’s it. But on Sunday, at mile 10, I will keep going because 1) awesome people have donated over $3,000 to the cause, in good faith that I will actually complete this endurance event for which I solicited donations, 2) I want a freaking medal, 3) my husband, my friends, and perfect strangers will be cheering for me as I pass them on the course and 4) I want to run farther than I’ve ever run before. Ever.

Yes, I want to run the distance of Manhattan from tip to tip. I want to pound the pavement running around Golden Gate Park for nearly 3 hours (and hopefully stay under that time, please, oh please). It might be raining. It will be cold. At times, I will rather be on my couch in my jammie pants and slippers under the soft and fuzzy Green Bay Packer blanket, playing Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii, while eating Dove dark chocolates and sipping Murrieta’s Well Zarzeula. But instead of jammie pants, there will be panting. Instead of slippers, Brooks running shoes. My black running pants and official TNT race shirt will keep me warm and toasty, and I will be playing my iPod. Chocolate and wine will be replaced by Jelly Belly Sports Beans and Gatorade.

And when I am done, when I have crossed the finish line, there will be tears.* Tears of joy, of pain, of relief. Tears that say, “Sweet Baby Jeebus, I did it!” Also, possibly tears of not receiving a medal because I ran slower than 6,000 people and those tears will say “I ran a @#$%ing half marathon and all I @#$%ing got was this @#$%ing stupid @#$%ing t-shirt. @#$%ing @#$%!!”

I am ready.

*Coincidentally, this also often happens while I play Super Mario Galaxy.

January 20, 2008

What do you want? A medal or something? Hell yes, I do!

I ran 10 miles for the second time yesterday. This time I hardly walked at all, except for the 1-minute walk portion of my 5-mile run, 1-minute walk interval. I ran with a TNT teammate, we took it very slow, and we took a LONG time. I run like a snail, I really do. This concerns me because only the first 6,000 finishers receive medals at the half marathon I am running IN TWO WEEKS. They allow 10,000 to register. That means, I have to run faster than FOUR THOUSAND PEOPLE. Not going to happen, nope.

It should be noted that I have never won a medal, trophy, or ribbon in anything, except for a First Place prize that everyone in my 5th grade class got who submitted a book for the elementary school young author’s book fair. And that ribbon was a piece of blue “ditto” paper, cut into the shape of a ribbon, pasted to the inside front cover of The True Story of Smokey, my cat. Around that time there were several unauthorized autobiographies about him, but I wrote the truth.

Now where was I? Oh. Yeah. I want a freaking medal for running 13.1 miles, dammit. Just knowing that I completed such an event should be validation enough for me, but it isn’t. I want concrete, material evidence of my efforts! Bragging rights! So I can be all, “Look what I did! I have a medal! Do you have any half marathon medals? No? I must be better than you then!” I would then huff hot air on it and polish it on my shirt for effect. Also, if I get a medal, it means I did not come in last, which is something that is unacceptable to me. I hate don’t mind that I’m slow, or that I am the last person to finish a timed trial at our workouts. There are just 40 or so people there, and most of them have done this whole running thing for years. But out of thousands of people, surely there should be a few slower than I, right? I mean, I have to be faster than the walkers, don’t I? Please, can 4,000 people be walking that day?

Maybe I should look into buying those shoes with skates on the bottom. Heelies? Is that what they’re called? Maybe then I’ll gain some speed on these people.

Maybe Barry Bonds can juice me up before, since I will be in San Francisco and all.

I know! Have Taye Diggs running ahead of me in nothing but black boxer briefs, and Dexter chasing after me with a hypodermic needle and cranial saw. Then, maybe I can run faster. Maybe.

Ooh! I could put Ex-Lax in the water at the hydration stations. Scratch that. It’s just mean. Plus, it could backfire because I would probably need the facilities at some point, and the lines would be insane, thus extending my time even more.

Le sigh.

Perhaps I should hail a cab and ride to near the end of the course, and then sprint across the finish line, all fresh and lovely like Katie Holmes did in New York. (NOTE: I’m saying she finished looking lovely, not accusing her of taking a cab or being transported by Xenu-led aliens or anything.)

Did you know that the winning team in the Super Bowl gets a trophy AND each player gets a big, huge, gaudy ring, even those who DID NOT PLAY in the game? And some of the players already have a ring or two. Award hogs! Can’t there be a rule at this half marathon where those who already have medals wait until medals are presented to all who have never received one? That seems totally fair to me. Were I one of those people with piles of medals, I would surely offer mine to a poor soul who ran too slowly in her first half marathon to beat four thousand other runners. Because I’m nice like that.

January 1, 2008

Cool Running? COLD Running is more like it.

While on vacation I am supposed to be keeping up with my Team in Training workouts. I’m not really expected to go 10 miles or anything, but I do need to run some so I don’t cancel out all the training I’ve already done. I signed up to do a 5K in Milwaukee yesterday afternoon, benefiting kids with cancer, and my sister-in-law agreed to join me.

Did I mention the run was in Milwaukee? WISCONSIN? In winter? It was 28 degrees out. I AM FROM CALIFORNIA WHERE IT DOES NOT GET DOWN TO 28 DEGREES. I think it’s cold when the thermometer shows 55 degrees. My blood is thin and I admit I am a pansy.

it's frickin' freezing out here

It was cold, yes. But I did it. I ran a race in the frigid air, on vacation, by choice. And I even paid money to do it. And my time was better than I’d expected, having been so long since I ran. And I have never run in such cold. But I finished, and even sprinted across the finish line. See?

Yay me!

But it was fun and there was beer at the finish line.!

We also got free bottles of champagne to help us ring in the new year. And there were cookies!

After the run, I decided that 28 isn’t so terrible to run in and maybe I’d even feel like going for a run later this week, before we head home. But I just checked the thermostat and it says it is 4.7 degrees Fahrenheit outside right now. I was outside for about 2 minutes when the temperature was TEN degrees, and my face felt like it might fall off. So I think I’ll be staying in for awhile, sitting here in my warm sweats, on the warm couch with my warm laptop, thankyouverymuch.

December 15, 2007


I was up before 6 am today to prepare for my run. Yes, I know it’s Saturday. I’m still new at the running thing, so any run I go to is an event. I have to make sure I have all the warm clothes I need, the hydration belt, the snacks. It’s quite an ordeal and still unnatural for me so it takes a while to prepare. I also get butterflies before each run. I also need to eat a real breakfast before I go, which is not something I really care to do just after waking up. But I need fuel, and will be miserable without it, so I do it, and the oatmeal battles the monarchs in my gut.

I met the gang at the carpool location at 6:45, although I would be driving myself because I needed to be back early for a wine tasting party this afternoon. Our last carpooler was late (I DETEST lateness), which meant we’d have to hustle to make our 8 am start time. According to Google Maps, it would take over an hour to get there, but with Last Minute Sally showing up tardy, we barely had an hour before the run would start.

As we hit the road, I knew I’d have trouble keeping up with the car I was following. At one point, I yelled to the driver that she was going to get us pulled over. Of course, I was yelling this in my enclosed and fabulously heated car and she was about 10 car lengths ahead of me, so my warning fell upon deaf ears. This was when I was following at 85 mph. Shortly after we merged onto Hwy 17, I saw a CHP car, and immediately slowed down. The car I was following did not slow down too much, but she did tap her brakes.

Guess what happened next.

I got pulled over for speeding.


Apparently the speed limit where I was clocked was a mere 50 mph, and I was going 65. Since I saw this ticket coming, I didn’t protest. I didn’t play dumb, I just handed over the required documentation and took my punishment. In hindsight, I should have pulled the “I’m running to cure cancer! I need to follow that girl up there!” card, but I did not. Surprisingly, it didn’t take too long for him to write my ticket, and I was back on the highway in less than 5 minutes. Still, this setback made me want to turn around and go back to bed. I would surely be late for my 8 am start. What was the point? The lead car had sped off on her way, unkowingly leaving me in the dust. AND! She did not get tagged for speeding. Perhaps his radar gun didn’t go as high as her mph.

But I went anyway. I had to. It was a 10-mile run, and my last chance for a long run until the new year, since I will be traveling when they hold the other runs.

Hey! Did you know that it is cold as @#$% near the ocean at 8 am? It is. And was. During the run, frost formed on my gloves. My teeth chattered. The five miles out part was actually OK, despite the mud and rocks and roots from the redwoods. The scenery was lovely and distracted me from remembering I was running. FAR. I kept a pretty good pace. I was thrilled to reach the 5-mile point which meant I was halfway done and I could turn around and head back. YAY! And I was good, for the first two miles back. And then, my legs decided they didn’t want to move anymore. They suddenly hurt like hell. I think it was my hamstrings, but really, my entire leg (both of them) just felt stiff and painful. I stretched, but it didn’t help, so I pretty much walked the rest of the way. And I arrived at the finish 25 minutes later than I should have (according to the goal I had set for myself). If people hadn’t stopped to chat with me on their way to the finish, I’d probably have been in tears. Because I could not run. I did not want to run. I hated running.

When I came home, too late to attend the wine tasting outing, I did the ice bath. Fortunately, I have found a way to take my mind of the frigidity of the water. Cry. I let it all out and cried like a pansy-ass baby until the last cube was melted.

As I type this, my body is still trying to thaw out. I’m cold. I’m miserable. And I hurt. For me, this day has sucked more ass than Oprah’s liposuction technician.

December 1, 2007


I ran eight miles today along the coast of Half Moon Bay. It was gorgeous. And damn hard, let me tell you. Even with the five-minute run, 1 minute walk, it was still hard. And far. And the friggin’ wind made it seem like I was running in place for about 3 of those miles.

pacific ocean

Since Half Moon Bay isn’t near my house, I needed to find a way to ice myself other than my usual post-run ice bath. Sitting in a car for an hour sort of lessens the benefit of the ice bath, since you’re supposed to do it soon after the run. So I rolled up my pant legs as far as I could and walked into the ocean. We stood there for 10 minutes, my TNT teammates and I, our teeth chattering. It was freezing, but if I didn’t do it, I’d be so much more sore than I will already be when I try to get out of bed tomorrow.

And I officially changed the event I’m training for. I’m doing the Napa FULL marathon. That means I only need to run just over three times further than I did today. Uhm…yeah.

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