You could be forgiven for assuming that my life has been filled edge to edge with training for the half, but the truth is that I've just had so much going on that I haven't had time to blog about any of it.

This weekend I attended a memorial service (expect a longer post on that later) and went out to brunch with my family for my birthday. While I was at the restaurant, Stacie called. We talked for a minute, and then I said, "I should go - I'm at a birthday brunch."

She said, "Oh, whose birthday is it?"

I love Stacie, plus I forget everything. I did not feel bad at all that she forgot my birthday. Stacie, on the other hand, forgets nothing. She was mortified.

So when I went to her place that evening to hang out and watch a little Psych, she and Chele surprised me with balloons, an ice cream cake, flowers and the DVD set of My So-Called Life.

I have the best friends ever.

This week at work is crazy because we're working on our annual bar guide. It's 160 pages, and we have to send 80 of them to the printer by Friday (our normal deadline is Monday). It has been a head-down kind of week.

Also, this afternoon I bought a Wii. More on that later, perhaps? Well, I'm sure.


Birthday recap

- Wake up. Hmm, off to a good start already!
- Make coffee, open cards from grandparents, aunt and uncle.
- Drive to BMV to renew plates. Am convinced the BMV stereotype originated with people who only go there on Saturday - my weekday morning trip is rewarded with no line and a very helpful young man in stylish glasses.
- While writing check out to the treasurer, miss a call from sister. Voice mail is of her entire first-grade class chorusing, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" Best voice mail ever.
- Find excellent parking space in lot. Thanks, City of Cincinnati - but I didn't get you anything! Unless you count my parking tickets over the years. In fact, let's definitely count those.
- Card from co-worker on my desk when I come in. Thoughtful!
- Worky work work.
- Venture out into beautiful spring day to secure expensive takeout salad.
- Workity work.
- Slight miscommunication: I thought I was running with my dad after work; he thought he was planting shrubs at home. I take abbreviated run on my own.
- Dinner with Mr. W. We try tiny blog-recommended noodle shop one block from my apartment. They use fresh vegetables! Also, sesame dumplings amazing. We'll be back.
- Presents! Mr. W provides gifts for me AND my cat, plus a lovely bottle of wine AND a six-pack of cider! He is far too good to me.
- We sip the wine (me) and cider (him) while watching DuckTales. Thank goodness these are GizmoDuck episodes and not Bubba episodes.
- Home.
- Write blog post.
- Bed?

At the BMV

Does anyone else think it's a little weird that checks written at the BMV are made out to the state treasurer, personally?


I'm totally famous now

The lovely picture in the previous post has been accepted for publication by the prestigious Reds snacking blog OMG Helmet Sundae.

I'm so proud!


Guess where I am ...

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Training, Week Nine: Pain

Ever since I ran the Heart Mini, I've been a little worried about pain.

Not that I've run all that much, you know, at all. Five miles here and there, two miles yesterday. But after my five-mile run last Saturday, the bottom outside part of my left foot hurt for days, as did my left thigh. This pain was exacerbated when I had to walk any sort of distance (which worries me for the half-marathon; I always assumed I'd be able to at least walk it in its entirety). Yesterday I ran just two miles, and I still had pain in my left foot.

My mom keeps telling me I should get some orthotic inserts for my shoes, so maybe I'll try that. I can't have run more than 250 miles in these shoes, so I can't possibly need new ones. (Please, Lord, let me not need new ones - I can't afford it!)


This morning I went to pull my plate of turkey bacon out to the microwave, and somehow the glass turntable came with it. It fell to the floor and shattered into approximately 17 million pieces that came to rest everywhere in a 10-foot radius of the crash site.

I think I will still be finding glass shards a year from now - just now I caught Thursday investigating a piece that somehow found its way into the living room.


Go pig go!

Spotted on my run - a pig in spring.


Heart Mini, part two

I was pretty proud that, for all the times I considered walking during the Heart Mini, I only actually walked twice (besides a few steps at water breaks). One was up Torrence.

The other was up the last big hill on Columbia Parkway.

When people talk about the Heart Mini 15K, they talk about how hard the Torrence hill is. It didn't seem that way to me, because by then I was looking for pretty much any excuse to walk. Torrence seemed like a blessing - a break in the form of an obviously insurmountable incline. The real heartbreaker on the course comes at mile 8.5, when you're imagining the worst is behind you and suddenly there's this hill on Columbia Parkway that goes on forever. It bested me in the 5K last year, and it bested me again this year. (Wow, I had forgotten how much warmer and sunnier last year's race was.) I actually ran up the last tiny bit of it just to get the damn thing over with.

And from that point, it's a downhill run back into the city, and it's easy to give it your all for the cameras and the supporters that are somehow still lining the streets nearly two hours after the starting gun went off.

I know it's not a real marathon or anything, but it's twice the distance I've run in my life, and the final approach to the finish line was very emotional for me. I passed a man who was walking the course at this point, and he said, "That's right. Leave it all out here." It meant so much to me that it took me a moment to turn around and thank him.

You can look up my official chip time if you want - you know my name and stuff. What matters to me, though, is that the official clock at the finish line told me I had beaten two hours. If I had seen anyone I knew at that point, I would have broken down crying.

But I made sure to smile for the cameras this time. Last year, the race photos made me look like I was about to collapse on the finish line.

Afterwards, Chele, Josh and I went to Daybreak for tasty breakfast.

And then a couple hours later, I played soccer - which I thought would be miserable but was actually great; a minute into the game all the soreness was gone and I was ready to run all over the place! It was like the hair of the running dog or something.

And now it's four and a half weeks to the Pig. I'm feeling good - ready to get back to running more regularly and be slightly more prepared for the half marathon. I'm no longer worried about keeping up with my friends; the goal is to finish. And I can finish.