Buy More ... Subway

So there's this show I like. I like it so much that I make a point of watching it on Hulu after I have already seen the broadcast episode, just so I can feel like I'm casting my vote for the show in some way. I like it so much that for the first time in my life, I sat down and wrote a letter to a network bigwig asking for another season. (If I had been watching Arrested Development when it was in trouble, I think I would have done it then - but alas, by the time I discovered it, it was too late.)

It's very confusing to me that this show isn't wildly successful, because I feel like everywhere I turn, I meet a new fan. I'm pretty sure I know more fans of Chuck than of Lost, for example. But there you have it - the show's "on the bubble," as they say, and so letters are being sent, petitions are circulating, all the usual stuff.

If you want to know more about all the usual stuff, you can read about it here. But if you would like to participate in a "save the show" campaign that doesn't require you to dig through your stationery drawer for a stamp, there is something very simple you can do:

Tomorrow (Monday, April 27) is the season finale of Chuck. Sometime during the day, head to your local Subway (a major advertiser) and purchase a $5 footlong. If your local Subway provides comment cards, leave a comment saying you bought your sandwich as a thank-you to Subway for its sponsorship of Chuck.

The idea, of course, is that TV shows need advertisers to survive, and if advertisers can actually see sales based on their sponsorship, the show will have more reason to continue. I'm still not sure if the logic is sound (Subway's franchise model means the comments might not ever come to the attention of corporate, for one thing), but hey, it's only $5.

I'm going to bug you about this on Twitter for the next two days, by the way. Because I am an enormous dork.


COPOMP: Pun-tastic edition

In Red Bank, New Jersey

COPOMP: Cheddar edition

The deli in my office building sells cheese in chocolate-bar-sized chunks. Neat!

Clearing old pics off my phone: Awesome license plate edition

Fun fact: T9Word types "slave" before "plate."


Training, Weeks 8-10: Springtime!

I love spring. I especially love running in spring! Here are a few of the things I get to see on my runs around the neighborhood:

  • Squirrels! Usually running around on telephone wires.
  • Flowers! Oh, man, this category keeps growing and growing. First there were hints of crocus, and then the daffodils sprouted, and the grass kept getting greener, and then one day I was jogging through an actual mini shower of cherry blossom petals as though I were an anime character or something. This week it's been mostly pansies, tulips, hydrangeas, and flowering bushes - I make sure to breathe deeply when I pass a lilac or viburnum. Tulips are still my favorite, though.
  • Birds! Mostly robins, but plenty of other birds as well, from sparrows to wrens to (last week, in Mount Lookout Square) a yellow chickadee. (EDIT. Mr. W informs me that this last one was more likely a goldfinch.)
  • Lots of nice dogs! Often they are being walked by their owners, who make sure they heel as I puff past. (Despite the stereotype of dogs chasing joggers, I've encountered just one dog who's tried to follow me. In Milford. On two separate occasions. And he wasn't a particularly scary dog.) The dogs pent up in fenced-in yards tend to yap at passersby, but they're probably just excited by any change to the scenery. I tell them hello - and also "woof," if no other humans are about.
  • Other runners! Especially on Observatory and Madison, which seem to be popular running streets. I say hello to them all and try to smile, although I worry that in the later miles of my routes it comes off as a grimace.


Training, Week Seven Again: Missing the Mini

Week Seven began with my newfound "don't stop" goal; it was supposed to end with the Heart Mini-Marathon. But two days before the race, my friend Chele texted me: "Just so you know, I'm not running the Mini on Sunday if it's raining."

(Explanation for posterity: After a week or two of 60-degree weather, Sunday's forecast called for temps in the 40s with drizzle, sleet and maybe even snow.)

Chele had already registered for the Mini, but the idea of facing that freezing rain on a surprisingly hilly 9.3-mile course was too much for her. I had not registered, but the rain wasn't about to stop me. Yet suddenly, the prospect of running the scary hills in the terrible weather without a friend to meet me at the finish was looming, and that was too much to bear.

So, not wanting to wait until two hours before the race to know if I was running it, I made my decision: I skipped the Mini.

And guess what? Chele wound up running - even though it rained. The other friend who planned to run it with her convinced her to do it. (Guess I should have tried that. I could have gotten 9.3 miles and a sweet T-shirt instead of the "stay in bed until 1" award.)


Training, Week Seven: Don't Stop (with special guest star Katie!)

(This is the proper music to listen to when reading this post, by the by. Maybe don't watch the video, though; I'd like for you to like Brazilian Girls when you're done.)

Week Six was ending, and I headed out to Milford to do my six-mile "long run" (actual marathoners are laughing right now) with my dad and my sister, who was in town for the weekend.

Katie (my sister, not the Katie from the bacon bourbon experiment) is also training for the half Pig, but she runs faster and is using a more rigorous training program. (It actually asks her to run 14 miles two weeks before the 13.1-mile race, which seems anticlimactic to me.) She eats six-mile runs for breakfast. (Or brunch, seeing as how it was Sunday.) So she was saying that we should try to run it straight through and make a 10-minute pace and all this other stuff, and my dad and I were all, whoa girl - we run slow, and we stop and walk when we feel like it, which is usually once a mile or so.

Still, off we went. I was trying to keep pace with Katie, who I think was slowing down a bit for our benefit, so we still hadn't stopped to walk after a mile and a half. At that point, my dad - whose knee has been giving him a lot of trouble lately - tapped out and walked back home, and Katie and I kept going.

And going.

And going.

(And then we stopped because I had to use the Porta-Potty conveniently located at the three-mile mark, but then we got going again.)

And going.

And an hour or so later, I had run the whole six miles with only that bathroom break. (I was such a jerk to Katie when she said I shouldn't lie down after.)

Thanks to my lovely sister's inspiration that day, I've realized that I haven't really been pushing myself. So my new goal on any given run is to go as long as I can without stopping to walk. So far, it's going pretty well.


Man, Nike just knows how to make a video that makes you want to drop everything and go run RIGHT NOW:

Nikeplus.com seems to be down right now, so I can't tell if there's a way to enter this challenge if, like me, you don't have a Nike+ system. But if there is, I'm doing it! Good job, video!


Training, Weeks 4-6: Pick Up the Pace

Wow, it has been forever since I've posted about my marathon training! Here's the beginning of my catch-up posts:

Saturday of Week 4 was the always-lovely Strides of March Carrot Run. It's a small run compared to the Pig or the Heart Mini, but it appears to be growing. Usually I can find a spot in the main parking lot; this year, both the main and overflow lots were full. I had to park across the street in some overflow-overflow lot, and I think I was among the last people able to squeeze in there. Next year, I'll know to come earlier.

I'd be lying if I said the Strides wasn't disappointing for me this year. For one thing, since I parked so far away, I had to abandon my swag bag! (There was no way I was going to be able to stash it and make it back to the line by the starting gun. I tied my T-shirt around my waist and bid the rest of the bag farewell.)

And for another, it was a pretty bad run for me. I was too hot, and I felt kinda sick (due to the heat or the Clif bar I wolfed half an hour before race time, who knows?), and I came thisclose to just stopping and walking, which should not happen to me on a flat course after FOUR YEARS of running. I should be able to run a 5K without dying, and I should be able to run it in under 35 minutes.

I ran the whole way, but I missed the 35-minute goal.

But at least I finally remembered to take pictures during the race!

My dad at the turn-around.

Maybe I should have stopped to get a better photo of the silly fruits and veggies (plus the Flying Pig, just to remind you of what you'll be doing in two months) that cheer you on. My on-the-run photo seems somehow perfectly framed to make people in felt produce costumes and saggity pig outfits seem off-kilter. But they are very nice and encouraging!

After the race, we went to IHOP, which was nice.

So for two weeks after the Strides, my goal was to increase, um, my stride. My steps when running are kinda tiny and shuffly (especially when I get tired), and I figured an easy way to improve my pace was to just make each step longer.

And then, at the end of Week 6, everything changed.