the science of elevation

I have spent the last week working on my alcohol tolerance and avoiding the shit food in rest areas off of highway 5. it has been quite a week off of everything I consider challenging and I have paid for it dearly.

I returned Wednesday evening from a 2 martini, 2 chardonnay, 4 cabernet sauvignon Christmas weekend. I feel I must mention, this was a 5200 ft Christmas weekend.

the trip there required a 10 hour drive whereas the return required an 8 hour drive - both of which I parched myself dry of water to save time on urination stops and bladder pressure. thus I have returned from this trip a drunken shriveled dehydrated human raisin.

never again.

I kicked myself in the ass and ran 3.5 miles the day after my return. followed by 3.2 the next day. today is my second day off in a row and tomorrow I have plans to hit the trail for 50 minutes. that's right folks. 50 minutes. I will be asking my husband to wait at my finishing point with a roll of TP to string across when he sees me turn the corner. my dog will be holding my medal, awaiting for me to take to the podium while I hum the national anthem to myself.

but I will not jump to conclusions. the truth is, I will have to run 130 minutes in order to feel.. accomplished. and when that happens, I'm driving to the top of the highest mountain with a bottle of Hess Cabernet Sauvignon to celebrate.




after two dirty martinis, several sugary cookies, and some wine Saturday night I woke up Sunday with quite a hangover and a cold. football is the last thing I wanted to watch. so I turned on my spiffy red Nintendo DS - Brain Age 2. already, not a smart decision.

before I could begin my "Daily Lessons" it wanted to gauge the current age of my brain by way of a very complicated row-sham-bow. well let me tell you, a hangover and a cold in the morning automatically makes your brain 60 years older than it really is.

my disappointing brain age results convinced me this hangover and cold meant no run for me today. surely my 80 year old brain could not push my legs to go any faster than a staggering gait of a whiskey-drunken 82 year old.

but I had a date with a new running partner and I wasn't ok with letting her think I was a flake. I still have my pride.

so we met at the Campbell trail and after explaining my running rules (1. I don't talk with the exception of the Name Game 2. I run slow and 3. I may sound asthmatic but don't worry, I'm fine) we took off. and on this run I had more runners nonchalantly wave at me than on any other day. this is my reward after purchasing a running hat, getting comfortable with looking up rather than the ground 3 feet in front of me, and a running partner that owns practically the same running wardrobe as myself. it was awesome. to say the least.

we finished 4.1 miles in 40 minutes. yes I know, but it's ok. this is the furthest I've ever run in (ironically) one sitting.

PSH. I'd like to see an 80 year old do THAT!


call me doctor

Fashion Analyst

I promote myself from Direct Content Specialist (what is this? I'd rather not articulate) to Fashion Analyst. over the past couple of months my interior fashionista has ripened and my wardrobe has grown three fold. while I still feel the constant need to expand my collection, I think I have finally hit that point in my life where I no longer wear the same ensemble to every party. and let me explain why this is important.

maybe I am the only one of you in this boat but, it saddens me to see people at work who are stuck in 1982 business attire - or worse, 1990. all those pictures you see at the Intel museum from the 80's with people in server rooms wearing tapered jeans, bright tennies, mustaches, and frizzy hair? I see them every day today. in the year two thousand and seven.

if within the last 10 years you have worn a top the same pattern as your pants, an argyle shirt with red white and blue, an outfit that consisted of entirely the same color, or pants that are just too short but you put them on anyway* - let me slap you in the face in internet space. what were you thinking?

seriously start considering throwing out your dresser now in its entirety (because it's probably ugly too) and get yourself a new piece of furniture and a Vogue magazine. flat-irons exist for a reason - and it isn't to put those pleats in those purple pants you wore yesterday. can your belt double as a watch band? is it white with little hearts on it? I wore that when I was 10. throw it out.

I'd tell you to go to Crossroads (that nifty stylish little second hand store) but I don't trust you. to fix your closet ailments I recommend a trip to Heritage 1981, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Express. take a trip and call me in the morning.

*Except on the night of Halloween which is the only night it is okay to wear your 20 year old favorite sweater and / or Madonna inspired mesh top.


a friendly poll

so I've caught a mild cold that has stolen one running day from me thus far. tomorrow will be the day it confirms itself as my first official cold in years, or as a just a gum-size wad of needles stuck in my throat. and since I am taking today off and making my one-day non-running streak in to a two-day non-running streak, I thought I should do something useful.

I'd like to ask anyone who is still reading these rants their opinion on something. I still haven't signed up for a race but I have dwindled down my options.

See Jane Run is a half marathon in Alameda (boo / yay) with views of San Francisco from along the trail (yay). It's flat (yay), it's women's only (yay), there is a section of the race right in front of the Oakland Airport (boo).

The American River Parkway Half Marathon is in Sacramento (definite boo). The trail looks really pretty (yay), flat (yay), live music along the course (yay) and their race t-shirts for women are CUT for women (yay). And, I want to hug whoever wrote the text for their website.

please vote.


beep beep

for Christmas this year, my mom asked me for a simple watch that she can time her walks with. and by walks I mean, hauling-balls walks... not stroll-on-a-nice-day walks. I told her "fantastic! that's easy. you can trust me to do that."

well I received it in the mail yesterday. I decided to sit down and figure out all the fun little buttons before wrapping it. I took a look at the little 1 inch by 1 inch folded manual that Nike provided me and decided to take my chances with folding that dinky thing back together again the right way and unfolded it to reveal a butt load of watch button combinations and options. what have I gotten myself and my poor mother in to.

5 little buttons = a timed run and multiple lap tracking; saved data information on your best run, best lap, and average pace; interval timing; pace monitor; and of course, time. (and neat sounding little BEEP BEEP BEEP boop affects)

let me tell you, this thing was spiffy.

I took a glance at my poor little 2 year old Nike running watch on my wrist... dirty, and only H2O resistant for up to 50m (or down to I guess I should say). mom's new watch? 100m. she can't even swim. mine cannot track intervals for speed training. and I don't think mom will take up running any time soon - I mean, there's only so fast one can walk.

and before I could give myself any more selfish reasons to do a switch-a-roo, I took 15 minutes to fold that damn manual back up the right way, threw the watch back in the box, and wrapped it.

besides, slow and steady is my middle name. who needs speed?


moe. he. toes.

my teeth are quite sensitive today thanks to all my deliberating and lip biting over the weekend.
last Friday was my personal deadline to sign up for a race. it was my deadline to make my 'impossible' officially nerve-racking and stomach-churning. and well, I haven't signed up yet. but let me explain.
I hit a little avalanche of doubt. of maybe I-can't-do-it. of I-won't-wake-up-in-time-the-morning-of-the-race. of but-my-legs-will-fall-off. it's-too-cold. it's-too-hot. my-knees-won't-bend-today. my-blister-is-too-big.
well, you know what I say:
there's nothing a good ol' cocktail party can't solve.
numerous mojitos in to the evening and my friend that ran the Big Sur Marathon is urging me to sign up for a half. "you can do it! you can totally do it!" and, maybe it was the wine or - gawd - that shot of Patron that I just remembered but, I believed her and she seemed to believe in me.
so I think it is now time for you all to refer to "fireplaces and iron-ons".
and remember, if in doubt, throw a cocktail party!


gimme more

I accomplished my first solo run today. 36 minutes of pure terror I tell you. right before dusk, on a hardly populated trail? let me put mountain lions back on my list now please.

I finished my run with about the same feeling of satisfaction I would think Britney Spears must have after performing a concert. Excited, but secretly disappointed in herself.


I am lucky enough to have about a 2x20" view of a window in the distance from my quaint cubicle. I can see the tops of leafless trees.. and the white dense fog behind them. and I tell you this, I had a reminder pop up 15 minutes ago "Prep for run!". snoozed it. 10 minutes ago "Prep for run!". snoozed it. 5 minutes ago "Prep for run!". dismissed it.

as much as I love running in rain, in fog, in cold, I can't get myself up and out there in the midst of it all. I have been wondering.. what is wrong with me? this is the weather I thrive in.. it's depressing weather.. it's curl up on the couch with hot cocoa and a fire (or loud heater) weather.. it's "shut the door dammit!" weather..

and then it hit me. I'm not getting up and going because no one else is. everyone else made like bears and went in to hibernate mode. either that or they forgot to throw on their running shoes and after 36 minutes of running in leather slip-ons, is suffering from multiple blisters and knee pain.

this really dwindles down my possible list of enemies. lung capacity, mountain lions, asthma-like weezing, the name game have slowly been crossed off my list. and now I face solitude and I am at a stand still.

fuck this. I'll be back in an hour.


gold lions

I took a break from writing this weekend in order to let my fingers thaw after my run back on the last day of November 2007. that night, I ranted to my husband about my numb knuckles and the wind chill level and the lack of animal life due to it being colder than a witch's tit, and then the commercial break was over and back to watching the Mt. Everest reality show where climbers risk their lives to get to the top. psh. at least they have more than shorts and a t-shirt.


after my defrosting weekend of wine and chocolate, no exercise and just plain hibernation, I decided that since today is Monday I might as well plan on running - it just seemed appropriate to throw all the aspects of every day life that is unenjoyable on the previously established 'worst' day of the week. I also took the trash out, did the dishes, and some laundry for shits and giggles.

for fear of freezing to death, I brought a sweater and my nifty on-the-go iPod (I refuse to die to the sound of lions feasting on my cankles). my partner and I took off just before dusk and with every walking couple we passed I couldn't help but feel a bit more comfortable about the animals hunting us - surely they would eat the slower subjects first.

3 bunnies, 2 deer, and 4 slow walkers later and we're still alive... with 36 minutes of running behind us. maybe running in the woods isn't as scarey as I thought. maybe running isn't as scarey as I thought.


fireplaces and iron ons

People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results.
Albert Einstein

per some motivating friends and a personal itch, I have decided that days are easier spent working toward something rather than nothing at all. it is simply a matter of identifying what my something is. is it the moment I push the door open to leave work; is it eating my favorite baked chips without sharing a single one; yoodling under an underpass; waiting 355 days for my birthday, and then not doing anything; chopping my own wood.

last time I checked, there wasn't a load of fireplace-ready wood on my doorstop when I returned from a run. but my inner craze tells me I might just get an immediate result on my doorstop the day I push myself to do something I thought I could not.

so when should you plan on waking up too early on a weekend and putting on your KATHLEEN IS AWESOME t-shirt (or a homemade Flight of the Conchords one) just to stand out in the cold for an extended and boring period of time? not tomorrow. or next month. or the month after. in fact, given the look on my face after 3.1 miles, I'd say you have about 5 months or more to prep those shirts.



I bought a running hat the other day. it makes me feel really special. even when I don't wear it - just the fact that I own one is excellent, party time. it just screams RUNNER despite how much I am not.

and when I was daydreaming about my new hat while at work the other day I remembered, I have an iPod. and I have an arm band. break that sucker out along with my new nike swish sweat-wicker sun-blocker and we're talking a possible couple of seconds taken off of my running time simply due to my stylish outfit points.

first things first in this trek to increase speed by way of expensive accessories: I need new tunes. I've had the same Madonna, Decemberists, and Radiohead voices yelling at my brain since back when treadmills were my friends and my guns were so big they had their own shadows. so I hit the PC and set out to download some new inspirations to rock my body.

15 downloaded hip songs later and Nick walks in on me dancing to Fergie talking about her fitness, so delicious, fergilicious.

unless I plan on dancing in my running hat in the middle of my trail, this may not be a good idea afterall.


name game

today, whilst resting on the john, my toes looked incredibly tan. maybe it was the lighting. the tile floor. or the tanning bed trips that I recently stopped. but why was I barefoot in the bathroom at work with the candlestick?
changing clothes for my daily run of course. and thinking of something else other than the musical contributions of my stall mates.

30 minutes later out on the trail with my stand-in running buddy, I'm playing the name game for the first time. I'm no longer grunting yes or no answers in response to my chatty, high-spirited, and extremely in-shape partner rather, I'm spouting out names of famous people with my huffing, puffing, and slowly turning red temp buddy.*

what's the name game I hear you whisper to yourself? I say Will Smith, you say Sean Penn. I say Paul Newman, you say Norm McDonald. and on and on it goes until he says Bill Cosby and my brain freezes. we hit our destination, flip a bitch, and I dust him.

with no buddy to hear panting next to me, no buddy to hear the leaves crunching under his/her feet, and no buddy to outrace if I see a mountain lion, I turn in to Snow White. not because I immediately adopted 7 dwarves or pulled a narcolepsy tantrum, but because I looked for my quails, my deer, my wild turkeys, my little bunnies with their white butts that remind me of that white spot above my own ass - all to help me distract myself from my lungs. and my little homies were nowhere. probably keeping warm in their little nests and burrows.. chuckling to themselves while they watch me struggle, or hiding from simba who's waiting around the corner. little fuckers. some Disney movie THAT run was.

I continued looking for them until before I knew it, I was almost done. hauled balls to my personal marker of which stopping beforehand would keep me up at night and stopping past it would create a feeling similar to pouring vodka on an open cut on my left lung. after finishing, I immediately turn around and walk back to find my temp buddy and make sure he followed the correct yellow brick dusty road amongst the many yellow brick dusty roads.

I spot him. and shout "COREY FELDMAN!"

*Mitch, you did a great job. Thanks for pushing yourself for my sake and, I will see you tomorrow out there.


some day

All you people with motivational issues, nice to meet you. You there, the one without goals, me TOO. Need more monkeys but, that's the whole barrel?* I find myself in that situation a lot.

In The Beginning, of this long Thanksgiving weekend, I ran my first 5k. The remainder of the leftover-weekend was spent deliberating. I imagined a new job and began writing my article for Women's Health magazine - I don't work for them but, I may some day. I ran hills until I stopped - I'm not a runner but, I may be some day. I signed up for a second 5k three days after my first and I did not go - I'm not committed but, I may be some day.

Some day a motive. Some day a goal. Some day an exponential amount of barrels of monkeys.

In all my 'some day' rage from the weekend, I sent a note out to a woman who had an essay featured in Women's Health and followed that with hours of anticipation. She fell in to that - what I consider - insane group of people who run for fun. But she began her essay as I begin this story - she thought people who ran for fun were nuts. And yet there she went, training for 5 months before running a half marathon - crazy lady. Well, she replied and made a very good attempt at making me believe not that nothing is impossible, but rather that Impossible is Nothing.

And while her words are inspiring, I can't help but notice the focus is on what is POSSIBLE and not what is REALISTIC. Call me pessimistic, call me weak-spirited, unambitious, apathetic... I am not a motivational speaker. My feelings will not be hurt. But, and maybe this is a step for mankind in and of itself, I won't believe Impossible is Nothing until I've felt it with my own feet and lungs.

Some day.

*Mr. Potato Head "We need more monkeys!". Mrs. Potato Head "That's the whole barrel!".