Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Randoms and Questions

1. Can someone please tell me that Lance Armstrong and Ashley Olsen are NOT hooking up?

2. Do people who work at 7-11 get to drink free Slurpees?

3. Wearing the same fleece for six straight days makes you smell like a homeless man. (no offense to homeless men)

4. When did Halloween become a national holiday equivalent to say, Thanksgiving or Christmas, replete with outrageous, wasteful lawn decorations, endless parties and sugar/booze binges?

5. Oh wait. I'm not against those things. At least not the candy part. Nevermind.

6. But how has it become an excuse to dress up like hookers? (no offense to hookers, though I imagine it might take a lot more than my prude ass to offend them)

7. The new best food on Earth are honey wheat pretzels. Good God, I could barely pull my hand out of the bag to type this sentence.

8. One might think that, given the fact that my boyfriend is so far away and we see each other for one week a month, that I might lay in bed at night and think about him. And I do. Absolutely. But I also think about candy.

9. And no, I won't share the details of my boyfriend-thoughts....or the candy...but let's just say Mike n Ikes are in there....somewhere...maybe even next to the Red Vines.

10. My new favorite tv addiction is Tell Me You Love Me, but tell me, how come every tv show or talk show or article in magazines all talk about unhappy marriage? Isn't anyone happily married and getting sexed anymore? Is that what I get to look forward to? Consultation from Oprah Magazine on why my marriage sucks? Awesome. Gimme the ring and the minister NOW.

11. Why do people always assume that, just because you have a webcam, you're doing something dirty with it?

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Score

Me: Five Days
Candy: None

Me: Four Days
Back Pain: None

Just over five months to IM Arizona.

Game on.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Short post to let you know I have composed a lengthier one on the IM training progress, but am hesistant to post it just yet, thus I anger the Gods of Healthy Backs (who have, thus far, been very generous in their powers these last few weeks). Suffice to say things are moving forward, in every area of my life, the details of which will come shortly. Hope all had a great weekend!!!

P.S. To all the Girls from last night - you effing rock!!! I look forward to many more "hot and heavy" conversations! Thanks Rachel!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cards on the Table

You know how some days, you wake up and you have to go to work (on a weekend)? You're sitting in front of hours of work with reports to write and edit, with workouts to get done, a sore back, and the clients you just spent your Saturday seeing won't even cover the almost $600 in cell phone bills you have paid in the last 10 days.

And then there's the parties to attend that you have been so excited about but are so overwhelmed with work you think - Gosh I just want to crawl back in bed?

Then you open your mailbox to find simple but loving cards, just to let you know that someone, thousands of miles away, is thinking about and loving you?

Somehow you get that energy back.

You put on those shoes and go to the gym.

You pound out some edits.

You take a shower and put on your new hot boots and get your ass to that party and laugh your head off with your friends.

But before you walk out that door, you look at the growing collection of cards displayed on the table, and you smile.

Yeah, today's one of those days.

Here's to love.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Sign

My phone rang:

"You have Picture Mail!"

I opened it up.

This is what I found:

It was sent when he was in Colorado for work.

And now he is in San Diego, California, for the fires.

He'll be out there the weekend I was scheduled to visit his hometown.

Disappointing, yes, but he's doing good for others, so I can't complain.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder, right?

And I am fond. Very fond.

I *Heart* You Too, babe.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You Know You've Got a Problem When...

You receive a thank-you card from a recent baby christening you attended, and in addition to the general thanks for the gift, the proud father writes:

"We'll make sure to have chocolate cake again next time too!!!"


Dang. So busted.

But what I can't figure out is how they knew. It was either:

A.) The five pieces I shoved into my mouth when noone was looking, and then stacked my little plastic plates and pretended they were my sister's (hey, she just had a baby - it's plausible).

B.) The finger prints and swiped frosting left all over the cardboard that the cake sat on.

C.) The black eye I left on that five-year-old who wanted the last corner piece (that little shit was tough, man!)

D.) Someone saw me passed out in a sugar coma in the bathtub, with a ring of chocolate around my lips and under my fingernails, and and a buttercream flower neatly tucked behind my ear (to be eaten later).

Man, I swore I locked the door.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Snap Crakle Pop

Okay, okay, so that last few weeks of posts have been, well, sappy. I re-read my posts daily, and even I get sort of squirmy reading how mushy I get. The way I have been writing, I figure I am one entry short of posting pictures of kittens, rainbows, newborn babies, and cookie recipes.

Not that I don't like cookies (I do), or babies (as long as they are not mine), or even kittens (as long as they are of the stuffed variety...or under the tires on my car).

I kid, I kid.

Please, no hate-comments from those cat lovers out there. I would never actually run over a cat.

On purpose.

So while I would love to brag on my new boots (still hot), or all the work I have been doing (lots of it), or even the new honey in my life (it's going great), I think it's time to talk training. And by training, I also mean back rehab.

As I posted earlier, I went running with Cheese last Monday, after which I was basically crippled again. I stuck it out (like the idiot I am) until I couldn't do it anymore by Friday. I broke down and called my doctor. By the end of the weekend, I felt a bit better, so I did was any smart triathlete would do - went running again.

And guess what? Not such a good idea.

What a surprise.

I just love touching that hot stove.

This morning was more painful, but I saw the doctor this afternoon. This is the same voodoo witch doctor guy that pretty much sprinkles fairy dust and prescribes eye of newt to cure my ills. As though I make fun of him, he still seems to fix me. And today wasn't any different.

He did all these weird ass things that resulted in very loud snaps and pops. He did everything from play with/massage my feet, to lay me on my side and sit on me to crack my back. And yes, I paid for it.

Hmmm...sounds a lot like the weekends of Cheese's college years...

But I have to say, as I sit here typing this and having just injested the last 800 milligrams of my daily 2400milligram Ibuprofen program, I seem to feel a little better.

Maybe I should go for a run and test it out.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Today was my day.

All day. All mine.

I worked private practice in the morning, and then has a whole day wide open for myself.

I thought about running or going for a swim, but I have been laid out all week after the injury on Monday (more on that next post).

I thought about taking a nap.

I thought about watching a movie.

But in the end, I took my butt out of the house and decided to run errands.

However, I quickly realized that "errands" was code for "Mental Health Day."

First stop: dry cleaners on Central Street. Which happens to be next to the video store that I was renting from for tonight's Girl's Night. Which also happens to be on the same street as the little gelato cafe. Stopped at them all.

I should mention that Central Street in Evanston is my one of my FAVORITE place to be in the Fall. It is lined with little shops, a library, and the Northwestern foot ball stadium. It's a small street, but on it there is a park, the Great Harvest Bread Store, a bakery offering free pumpkin slices (yes please!) and incredible trees showing off the most unreal colors of leaves you have ever seen. It's small town in a big city, and I love the bejeezus out of it.

I literally walked down the street, smiling like one of the crazy people that live in the group home by my house, and swinging my arms as if to hug the day with the love I am in. And on this day, when it was 75 degrees, slight breeze, cloudless sky, and the right touch of sun on the cheeks, there was no better place to be.

Well, maybe the shoe store I hit later on and scored the most fabulous pair of brown suede boots.

But Central Street would definitely come in second.


Especially with free pumpkin slices.

In any case, today was the day you use your mind to take a snapshot of, a memory to file away for when the days might not be so good, so content, so satisfying. It's for those days when the sky and your spirit are gray, when your bed sheets are the only thing you have to wrap around your body, when daybreak equates to heartache. These dark moments, on days like today, seem so far away, even impossible. But we all know they happen.

And when they do, you just pull up this snapshot as evidence that things always get better, no matter how hopeless they seem. If you can just survive long enough to swim through the doo-doo pile life throws at you, there are blinding blue skies, slight breezes, the smell of bakery's making pumpkin bread, and the sight of turning leaves waiting to be remembered.

And guess what else I noticed?

I'm pretty good company.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


So this morning, after a week's visit, the Cheese has returned home. Well, he didn't actually go home, just off to a new adventure, but he did leave Illinois.

The visit was interesting. We went for a couple of runs and swims (he even pushed me to finish through my cooldown during one swim when I wanted to quit), spent time with friends and family, and even partner-in-crimed our way through late-night snack run to datisfy our sweet tooths. I felt bad because there were a couple days where work got hectic so I had to spend a ton of time supervising, staffing, returning calls and putting out little fires here and there. But he found ways to spend his time, which periodically included watching my new television and even cleaning my apartment.

It's funny, this relationship thing. It's like, we don't see each other for several weeks at a time (though still keeping up our nightly multihour phone calls), but then we have whole week together, and its like cram time - go-go-go. So basically, if he lived here, we would be on, like, month two of dating. And if we were going by the Traditional Book of Dating, we would basically still be in the honeymoon period. You know, the one where all's good and happy, and we're on our best behaviors, so on and so on. And if following the typical Traditional Book of Dating, we would still be in that agree-on-everything, gosh-aren't-we-cute-and-cool, I-just-love-everything-about-you-and can't-live-another-minute-without-your smiling-face kind of place.

And that's not to say that we are not still there. We are. But in our dog years dating, when your dude is in your home for 24-hours a day, when the date doesn't end at the end of the night and you get to go home and do all your little secret bedtime rituals alone, or wake up in the morning and drink 20 cups of coffee and take your morning constitutionals without the presence of a second set of ears, you tend to move quickly past over those all those good manners and "gosh look at me, I'm perfect and I am only going to show my perfect parts." No, we kind of fast forwarded to the "yeah this is the real me - love it or leave it baby."

In a way, this pace is both jarring and refreshing. By jarring, I mean that you learn A LOT, and QUICK. Sometimes it's a lot to take in. But I can be pretty understanding about a lot of things, and frankly, Cheese has been as well.

And by refreshing, I mean that all the stuff is right out there. The good and the bad. And it's nice, because you don't have to find yourself, six months down the road, emotionally wrapped up in a relationship, only to discover some of these things that would make your skin crawl, and have to go, "Oh crap, now what?" And then you end up resenting the poor bastard and wondering, "What happened to the Prince Charming that always wore cologne, and dressed sharply, and brushed his teeth? And who is this man who farts under the covers, leaves his wet towels on the floor and stinks up the bathroom right when I need to take a shower?"

And those are the more-or-less superficial issues. When you are just starting a relationship, you're all googly-eyes and kissy-faced, and you can't ever imagine arguing or fighting over issues. But couples fight - its inevitable. But at the early stage, you avoid this aspect for a while, living in LaLa Land and mooning over how perfect the two of you fit together.

At some point, the crap will hit the fan, and then all the ugliness comes out. Two people, two sets of defense mechanisms, two personal histories and baggage, two ways of fighting and communicating, and two sets of assumptions and interpretations. This is the meat, this is where you start to learn about the person - the real person - and not just the surface, chivalrous guy who opens doors and pays for dinner and laughs at your jokes and feigns interests in your work. No, here is where the real person emerges, and depending how bad it gets, you may be faced with some difficult truths.

Oh, and before I go any further, this is simply a reflection, and NOT a commentary on Cheese - he does none of the above, least of all leave a stinky bathroom. He's actually quite thoughtful about this part, what with the fan and open window and all. And he brushes his teeth and smells quite nice.

And trust me, I DO NOT take these things for granted.

Yeah, I scored.

So the pace at which this relationship has evolved has been quite different for me. I kinda appreciate it, though. And while all the real stuff is right there, right now, the pace also helps keep the "newness" stretched out for a little while longer. So each time we see each other, it's almost like the first time. And frankly, the words, "more beautiful than what I remembered" will never get old.

(I will pause here for the moans, groans, and puking noises. Get it out now. There's just a bit more...)

Cheese, as you know, is very tell-it-like-it-is. There are no head games, no ulterior motives or self-serving reasons for doing nice things for me. And he is honest. Brutally honest. He really seems to want to hang with me. For me. Weird.

Maybe its my new cute haircut.

And no, Ellen, it's not a perm. I'm all natural, baby. 100% real.

Love it or leave it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Back to Black

I am not so sure where I wanted to go with this post. I started out going in one direction, but towards the end, realized it was not where I thought it would go. So I am going to try this again. Please hang with me, for the road may veer left and right, but hopefully will run straight.

I went for a run on Monday. I knew going into it that my back was already sore. Monday's tend to go that way - I have a meeting every Monday really far from my house, which requires tons of driving and hours of sitting, so all of that together equals bad back.

When I got home that afternoon, I knew I had to go (especially since I ate a box of Mike nI kes for breakfast....and lunch), so I got dressed, grabbed the IPod and off I went.

The first thing I noticed was how amazing I felt. And I mean immediately. I could breathe (so long, lung infection!) It sounds stupid, but it is crazy how a little thing like being able to breathe will make a run that much better.

But I stareted out good - I paced well, didn't go to crazy, and was only going out for 30 minutes. I even set my IPod to the Slow Song Playlist (you have one, you know what I'm talking about - great for the random or drawn-out break-ups, rainy Friday nights working from home, or whenever you just need a good cry...or so I've heard...ummm..moving on...) And I did it intentionally so that I would not go balls-out crazy on what should have been an "easy" run.

And then,

there was the turnaround.

I took off. I felt like I was flying. Like I had little wings I my shoes, I did. I was even listening to "The Show Goes On" by Bruce Hornsby, which is slow and sad and makes me cry every time regardless of where I am or what I am doing, but there I was flying down the beach path, barely sweating, steady breathing, and lip syncing at the top of my lungs.

I knew, as I passed the children's park, the rocks, the beach house, that on this run, something was different. Something was pushing me from behind, cushioning my steps, pumping strength into my legs.

Or maybe this ability to fly came from the sensation of a weight lifted. The ability to run and to literally leave it all out there, to fly almost without effort, because finally, after a very long time, I felt healthy, inside and out. I felt the power of being healed, inside and out. I felt the absence of toxicity and anger, which I watched fall into the sand and then stamped out by my Adidas.

I need to stop for a second and note that this is not ordinary. I have NEVER been one of those runner's that will say, "I get so lost in my thoughts I don't even remember running" or "I love to just meditate when I run, and just end up at the end without knowing it."

I dislike those runners.

Fine, whatever, I am jealous of those runners.

'Cause make no mistake - I not only remember my runs, I often rue them. In fact, many runs (especially these first ones back in training) more often than not feel like the death grip of Mortality's Hand around my lungs, like my mom's around a wine bottle, while my heart rate immediately skyrockets like my sister with a new American Express at an Anthropologie sale. Yeah, like that.

So to have a run that you truly only read about on the last page of Runner's World was pretty cool. I hate those last page stories, btw. I really just want someone to say, "Yeah, I hate running. In fact, I only run so I can eat the 5-pound bag of M n M's my wife picked up at Costco last week, and washed down with the six-pack I keep hidden in the garage and drink when she thinks I'm mowing the lawn." Or even better, "Running's was never really my thing, until I noticed the 26-year-old soccer mom with a 23-inch waist, D-cup, and a husband that travels who moved three blocks down, so now I run past her house twice a day, and I've never felt better! It's a Win-Win!"

But yeah, you never read that.

Anyhoo, let me make my way back to the post.

So despite the 15 minutes of out-of-body-never-felt-before-who-is this-runner-girl high I got, and the day-after reflection of lifted weights and stripped-away anger (which truly I could have spoken more about but feel I have inundated you all with so much reflection lately that I am giving you a break - your welcome), I woke up this morning with this:

What the FUCK just happened to my back?

And this is more or less what I have lived with all day. I will spare you the details of the how much Ibuprofen I have taken, or how I have made my house guest give me innumerable massages, but suffice to say that holy-mother-of-all-that-is-peaceful, it hurts.

And to think, I was seriously going to go to the pool today. Really, I was. No kidding. I was THIS close to going, but dang, this back thing really got in the way....(wink)....

Oh, the pool.....I so love/hate you.

So let's see what happens tomorrow. There are a couple other factors that might also be exacerbating this back issue, and I hope to have them resolved by the morning, or at least the afternoon. I'll keep ya updated....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pride and Joy of Illinois?

Bear down (and out), Chicago Bears!

Wow. Seriously.

Before I launch into this post, I have to admit (cause Cheese will call me out on this), I did go to this game, but I left when there was about five minutes left in the fourth quarter, right after Greise threw that interception. Of course, as my sister, Devin, and I were walking through Grant Park, we heard the signal go off indicating a Bears touchdown, and then, five minutes later, another round of "Bear Down" in the distance - yes, a second touchdown.

Thus, ten minutes after we left the park, with about 50% of the rest of the stadium, the Bears had managed to tie it up. 10 seconds left. Great.

So as Devin and I walked back to the car, we stopped at a bar on Michigan Avenue with about 50 other people and watched through the window as the Vikings kicked the game-winning 55-yard field goal.

I got a call from Cheese, who spent the day in the 'burbs with Clyde, telling me I wasn't a real Bears fan because I left early (oh, and apparently because I don't own or wear any Bears paraphernalia to the games - although I do wear my Bears baseball cap just about everywhere, but I had to go to a christening party after the game so I couldn't have hat head). Whatever. I showed up, in the rain, layers of clothes, to watch the game, which is more than I can say for him and Clyde, who I offered the tickets to in the first place.

Now, I would be lying if I said the promise of some hot pretzels with mustard didn't sway me out of my own comfy bed down to Solider Field, but hey, it's a HOT PRETZEL. You trying saying no to that.

I can't. And I didn't. Twice.

Yeah, that's right. I had two. And a soda.

That's my dork-version of 'gettin' crazy.'

I also had a great time with my little sister, who I rarely get to see these days, what with her new teaching job, hockey lessons, lacrosse refereeing, nannying and other assorted activities that come with being newly married. Sigh. But when we do get together we can be a pair of A-Holes. Nothing raunchy, or at the expense of others (at least not to their knowledge i.e. lady with the modern mullet and three-inch red nails, or the grumpy old couple who have their season ticket seats next to ours for the last hundred years, but have never so much as uttered a friendly hello to us).

Also, as I briefly mentioned, Cheese is in for the week. He got here Friday, leaves Thursday. We had a great weekend, and on our upcoming schedule are some dinners and drinks with friends and family, a little bowling (which is my sister and brother-in-laws new favorite past time), some training runs and swims (we had our first joint swim yesterday), and some basic face-to-face time, which is limited, given out geographical distance from each other.

It's nice to have him home.

So that's that.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Okay, now I will be the first to admit that, when it comes to money, I can be a little frivolous. For the most part, I am really good at saving, but I can admit to being prone to little splurges here and there. Nothing big or crazy (except my new tv, which I will be posting about shortly), but mostly just day-to-day stuff. Like morning coffees, afternoon snacks, two gym memberships, $100 hair cuts (hey, the guy's worth it), and the occasional bike upgrade.

But I do save, and I save well. I don't usually buy things for the sake of buying them. For instance, I received, as a gift, the first model of the IPod when it came out four years ago, and still have it. My car is another example of which you are all familiar. And I rarely buy new clothes or shoes, unless they are of the running variety.

But when you are faced with the possibility of buying a house, money gets put into a whole new perspective. Perhaps the biweekly pedicures become once a month (thank god for the winter season), and perhaps eating out five days a week can be replaced by a once a week trip to the grocery store (ugh-my disdain for the grocery store is a post in and of itself). For me, I have started to really keep track of what goes in and out, which is tough, considering that I have never in my life balanced a checkbook or made a budget. I figured that would happen should I ever partner up or (gasp) have a family.

So when you are hit with a useless cost while trying to monitor your expenses, it can be a bit irritating, to say the least.

This happened to me twice in the last week alone. First, while spectating at the marathon, I returned to my car to find a $50 ticket. I believe I mentioned this, but it still chaps my hide. Fine, whatever, it was my fault, but who puts ONE sign for "Permit Parking Only" on the first few inches of a block, and then nowhere else? It doesn't help those of us who might want to park, say, halfway down the block. And certainly not those of us who are preoccupied by calculating the minutes per miles so as not to miss her friends, while balancing her Starbucks, and monitoring the sweat situation that is occurring under her armpits.

Whatever. I'm over that one.

But the second instance came today when I had to shell out almost $200 dollars (yeah, that's right) to replace the rear baby window on my 7-year-old Hyundai because some jag-off decided to punch it out in an attempt to steal the contents of my vehicle. Oh, and before you say it, just about everyone has already asked, "Why would they go after your car? Have they seen it? It's an effing Hyundai."

Yeah, thanks. Not helping.

Sure, I can understand that the delinquent might have been attracted to the mountains of paperwork, bag of random garbage, empty water bottles, extra pair of flip flops, last week's laundry and some old Mike n Ike boxes stuck in the door. Who wouldn't, right? But they didn't even take anything, expect a six-year-old broken laptop from the trunk, which actually did me a favor by taking it off my hands.

And, how nice of them, they left me with a broken window. And apparently, it is the most expensive to fix.

Now help me understand this. The most useless part of the car, the least functional piece of glass on the whole vehicle, is the most costly to replace. The little piece of crap doesn't even do anything! I can possibly understand if it rolled down, ya know, provided some needed air for the dogs when I take them to the park, or allowed for some needed ventilation on the days when its 100 degrees and I refuse to turn the air on (hate air conditioning almost as much as the grocery store).

And the truth of the matter is that I probably wouldn't have replaced it (L.A.Z.Y.), but even I am too vain to be driving around with duct tape over my window (courtesy of Big Cheese). Yes, I know, it's weird that I would drive a little shitbox that has over 110,000 miles, and is more dented and scratched that my previous love life, but still be embarrassed about duct tape over her window.

But even I have some standards.

Despite what you might have heard.

So I shoved on over to the west side. Side note: Why are all these places in the worst and farthest part of town? And wouldn't you know it, my insurance deductible is too high, and silly me, I managed to stay out of accidents for the last year (personal record, I'll have you know, jsut ask my front bumper), so it came out of pocket. Great.

Next week's private practice clients better show up, cause momma's got bills to pay.

Yeah, your therapist does think that way.

So that's all I got. A whole lotta wasted money. If I could only find the shit that did this in the first place, I would for sure bring my Isotoners and choke every last dime out of his criminal ass.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Now I Can (Semi) Relate

So I had my own mini-version of the now-infamous Chicago Marathon this afternoon.

No, I didn't run 26.2 miles. But I can say that, within the first 26.2 feet of my run, I was just about ready to quit.

In fact, I was so gasping for air that I am pretty sure I popped a blood vessel in my lung, causing me to then wet my pants, much in the same way little kids do when they get really scared and lose all control of their systems.

Okay, so maybe I didn't exactly wet my pants, but I did almost cry like a five-year-old, so same thing. Almost.

Let me take a few (labored) steps back. So I thought that it was a good idea to go for a short, 40-minute (translated to 4 miles in my pace book) run this afternoon. I woke up in a bad mood, carried it around like a flask in my pocket for most of the day, and then figured I would actually look at and use the training program my coach sent yesterday. Today was a run, so I said, "What the hell." I strapped on the shoes, grabbed the iPod, and shoved off.

I got about two blocks (no joke here) when I realized the following things:

1. I most definitely still had a respiratory infection.

2. My lungs instantaneously burst into flames.

3. It was still about 85 degrees out at 2:45PM, and I was too arrogant to think about bringing water (for crying out loud, it was only four miles, I said. Oh boy, would I choke on those words.).

4. Not even the new Hilary Duff song on my iPod would pump me up enough to make the rest of the run. (But on a completely unrelated sidebar - how about poor 'ol Hilary? What with all the Nicole Ritchie baby momma drama to deal with - and I got to hand it to Hilly because if that were me, watching my ex knock up some pseudo-celebrity and then get married to the skank two weeks after we broke up, I would FOR SURE choke a bitch. Fo' sho'.)

Dang. Sidetracked again.

Where was I?

Oh right - the realization of my misery.


So, like the stupid triathlete that can't take no for an answer (also exemplified by my run and bike ride last week while in the midst of a fever and bloody cough - yeah, that's me, folks), I kept going. I made it gasping to the turn around, at which point I stopped, walked about 10 yards, and then started playing that game you know we all play - the one where you say to yourself, "Okay, start running at the next light, next one....okay, for sure the next one."

I eventually started running again, made it back to the main part of the beach path, and then discovered the one working water fountain in Evanston. Glory Be Hallelujah!!!!! I drank up the grainy dirt water like my mom and her wine at 4AM last call, and started again. I made it 37 minutes until I just said enough.

I was two blocks from home.

When I stopped my legs were shaking, I was gasping, and I managed to form a nice white, chalk line around my mouth, like the ones the police use to mark where a dead body is. Only in this case, the only thing dead was my pride.

Four miles. And it felt like 40.

And now I can sympathize with the poor souls of yesterday's race.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Holy Mother of God - Chicago Marathon Race Report

Did you watch the Chicago Marathon?

I did. In fact, I went out to cheer on my friends. And holy bejeez.

First off, before I get into my own experiences as a spectator, let me just say this. This was by far the most incredible race ever witnessed, and for so many reasons.

The finishes for both the men (photo finish) and the women (that poor little woman who got smoked in the last ten feet) were beyond words. Didn't see it? Go to the WBBM Chicago website to check out the video. Trust me, it's nothing short of spectacular.

But even more incredible than the winners is the fact that they SHUT DOWN THE MARATHON.


One of the world's premier races came to an abrupt end at around noon today, when the heat was just too much for the organizers to handle, causing things such as aid stations depletion (people taking so much water there supplies ran out) and subsequently runners' demise. In the end, one person died (male, age 35) and over 250 were taken to local hospitals. EMS from all surrounding suburbs were called into to handle the amount of people that needed medical attention.

I left my spectating post at about 11:30 to head about one mile over to UIC hospital to visit my brother, and the ER entrance was so jammed with ambulances, they were lined up on the street. It wasn't until I got home later that I called my friend "A" who ran (and was pulled off when they closed the course) that I found out how bad things got.

As a spectator, I stood at the 15 mile marker, the corner of Damen and Adams, and watched what would prove to be the most miserable and pain-riddled mass of people I had ever seen, which is a huge statement coming from someone what has spectated several IM's and marathons. At my spot, I stood as still as possible, in a cami and skirt, leaning against the barricade, and could not stop the river of sweat pouring down the back of my legs. I even wore real underwear (not the thong variety) in the event that the sweat was so profuse that the full panty would at least try to catch some of it. But no, ass-sweat prevailed, not to mention stomach sweat, arm pit sweat and forehead sweat. Yikes.

It was bitch-slapping hot out there.

No wind, no clouds, and LOTS of heat and humidity.

I waited and waited for my friends, and apparently left right before they would have passed me (only to discover a $50 parking ticket on my car, at which point I promptly threw a temper tantrum in the middle of the street, and physically walked up to the police, tapped the window, and DEMANDED an explaination....sadly, the cop gave me a good one, so I am out 50 bones. Fuck.) I was disappointed to hear that I missed my friends, but even more disappointed that at least one, "A," got pulled. I still haven't been able to contact my other friend (a 52-year old, multi-marathon veteran) who either got pulled or DNF. I hope it's the former.

However, despite today's outcome, let me finish by making the statement that the Chicago Marathon stands, still, in my eyes, as the best marathon out there. Several times I had to hold back tears watching the mass of spectators, runners and aid helpers alike fill the streets of my hometown with heart, determination and pride. I know a bunch of people are planning to run next year, and my own sister is going to train for a PR and hopefully Boston qualifying time, so next October cannot come fast enough. If you are just thinking about doing it - DO IT. There's no time like the present, no race like Chicago.

Congrats to all who finished, as well as those who tried. In my opinion, everyone out there today deserves a medal.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Found Out

Yesterday, my 32-year-old brother had a pancreas transplant.

He found out Monday he made the transplant list.

He found out yesterday morning there was a pancreas available.

This morning, at the hospital, we found out it came from a 17-year-old boy.

And I also found out that, after reviewing my brother's file (who was diagnosed with insulin-dependent Diabetes at age 12, and who last year lost his sight and subsequently his job and insurance, to the disease) the University of Illinois at Chicago Hospital decided to cover all his costs.

Every last penny.

What are the words for that?

There so many, but one in particular:


Thursday, October 4, 2007


My friend recently told me this:

"People will always tell you who they are. You just have to listen."

So I finally started listening.

And boy, how different things sound when you're ready to hear them.

UPDATE: While I will explain this post soon (I know it is "cryptic"), my friend actually corrected me and told me she said:

"People will always show you who they are. Believe them."

Same concept though.

Monday, October 1, 2007


So here I am, six days into what appears to be a massive ax-through-the-head-praying-for-death-or-the-like-layin-ya-out-flat-all-weekend kinda cold (flu? sinus infection? who really knows?!) and after plowing my way through the entire cold remedy section of the local CVS, I am no closer to health than I was when the shit hit the fan last week.

What have I taken? Oh, let's see:

Sudafed, Tylenol Sinus, Advil, Cepacol, cough syrup, Nyquil, Theraflu, etc.

I got so desperate today, I pulled some pants over my pj's and a sweat shirt over my tank top (so I didn't have to wrestle with a bra), and drove to my sister's house in a sinus-filled fog, and rummaged through her medicine cabinet like a crack whore looking for antibiotic-rock.

She had one pill. Ripped that shit open, swallowed it with a shot of lemonade.

Yeah, I'm hard core like that.

But that wasn't enough. No, need more. Must have more.

So I proceeded to call my sister Devin, who then informed that she did not have any, but that if they did, she would have given it to her husband who has insisted on pouring hydrogen peroxide into his gaping knee wound each morning rather than see a doctor, but nooo, he couldn't be bothered with going to the doctor so he would rather let his knee fall off....something, something, I can't hear anymore cause my ears are filling with fluid.....

At this point, I was one Advil away from accosting my sister's 15-year-old male tenent for anything - ANYTHING- he had in his medicine cabinet, until it occurred to me that his family are like really big Jesus-Church people, and they likely only had some Eucharist wafers, a bottle of holy wine, and a round of "Go Tell It On The Mountain" to cure their ills - so yeah, that wouldn't have helped.

So then I did what every poor, recently graduated, newly employed psychologist without a primary care physician would do - I drove right back to the CVS and asked the pharmacist what the strongest over the counter med he would recommend for a chest/head cold. Apparently my mucus-filled throat, wheezing and cold sweats didn't tip him off, as he then asked if I would need it for an adult or child. So I cough/hacked out loud (seriously) looked right him, and said, "Um, yeah, it's for me."

Plus, and I must add this, I have this weird paranoia about getting drugs form the drug store these days, what with all the meth people scooping up all the Sudafed in such mass meth- quantities that you now have to take a little tag and bring it to the pharmacist so they can relinquish the meds to you. And frankly, for all intents and purposes, I could very well been one of the meth-heads rocked out, trying to score.

Because I am sure, in that moment, I looked like it. Body shakes, cold sweats, hacking cough, low-pulled baseball hat, homemade-meth lab in my trunk.

Anyhoo, where was I?

Oh right. Dimatapp.

So the pharmacist recommends Dimatapp. For kids.

So I jumped in my car, turn it on, then proceeded to (accidentally) drink the whole bottle.

What? Why are you looking at me like that? I didn't mean to, I swear - it's just that it's made for kids so I thought I would need to just double the dosage 'cause I am like, well, a bigger kid.

And then, well, truth be told, it tasted a lot like grape Kool Aid.

And....I think we all know where I stand on grape Kool Aid.

It's the elixir of the gods.

Yes. Yes it is.

And it seems to be working. At least the pink squirrels in my living room tell me so.