Archive for January, 2009

SO close

So, I’m in the process of booking a last minute flight home to Minnesota for the weekend — quick trip, 36 hours at best — and was looking for cheap flights. Ever since Sun Country stopped flying direct from Dulles to MSP, it’s been hard to find a good low cost air carrier to hook a girl up, but I still swing by the Southwest Airline site every time to see if, by any chance, they’ve decided to add MN to thier list. I know this task is fruitless, as they DON’T FLY THERE, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

But WAIT! As I went to the Southwest site today, I was momentarily elated to see “MSP” as a “Going TO” location. Wha? Do miracles really happen? Can I for real get a non stop low cost flight to Minnesota again? It’s like Christmas!!!

And then…

DOH! So close, yet… hope. There is hope. It doesn’t help me now, but I see good things in my future. I love Southwest. I really do.

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Getting Back To It

So, I mentioned in my previous post that “I miss training”. Allow me to elaborate: my post IM “Hey man I’ll get up and work out when I feel like it” is shockingly failing on me. I mean, really, let’s all take a collective gasp of surprise that, after 9 months of two hour workouts every morning *before work*, I no longer “feel like” jumping out of bed at 5am, especially when you factor in the 20 degrees weather.

The first week post IM this “sleeping in” felt decadent and deserved. And it was. I worked hard, got rewarded (Ironman! WOO!) and now got to rest. It was fabulous. But now, two months later, well, it feels… off.

I am struggling mightily with the time justification. Training for an Ironman is completely and utterly selfish thing to do, a goal you pursue for your own vanity and/or to sooth whatever mental defect you have that thinks it’s a good idea. Training for an Ironman demands a YOOOOOGE amount of time away from family, work, friends, and there’s no real way to fairly balance it all; the best you can do is strike deals with the affected parties and promise you’ll be back eventually. (For example, see the post regarding the day Boss and I went to settlement on our house. I woke up, ran 9 miles, went to settlement, rushed to work, worked frantically, went to the pool, swam, rushed to the grocery store, and finally made it home with dinner around 9pm, where the boss had been unpacking ALL DAY and hadn’t eaten a thing. At the time, I felt unfairly pulled in about twenty directions, letting down work, the Boss and others, and ended the day in my new house crabby, tired and overwhelmed; looking back, I can’t believe I bypassed the occasion of buying our first family home and neglected to, you know, HELP UNPACK. Yeah, I totally win the “good partner” award for the year.)

So now, when I have the choice to cram in a run or a trip the gym OR walk the dog so the Boss can sleep a little longer, or make coffee while HE walks the dog, or make dinner while he’s working late, or work late because my coworker needs a favor (or, even more on point, because my job just needs to get done), I feel like that’s where I need to be right now. I need to be present, in my life, doing any of the millions of things that we do for each other to make life a little better.

But here’s the thing: This method isn’t working either. I feel less productive at work, I’m crabbier at home, and I feel infinitely less satisfied. So last Friday, in between work and dinner with friends, I snuck over the gym and pounded out a hard, sweaty, breathtaking 30 minute run. Now, three months ago I don’t know that I would have even bothered suiting up for “just” 30 minutes of exercise, but now, ten minutes in to my treadmill induced zone, I thought “Oh right. THIS is who I am.” That 30 minute run hit a reset button somewhere inside me, and I felt more like myself than I had in days. Exercise isn’t a vanity-motivated luxury that I selfishly do in my precious “me” time; it’s something I need to do so that I can be the best version of myself for the people around me.

So, yeah, maybe partly I do this because I like wearing my skinny jeans and I don’t want to give that up, and I’m sure that in the ever evolving quest for balance I’ll screw it up again and skew too hard in one direction or another, but I hope that I can remember this lesson: that taking care of myself enables me to take care of the other important things in my life, and there’s nothing selfish about that at all.

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Moving right along…

Not much to see here (my dog is cute, the weather is cold, and I miss training), so I give you this quote:

I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.
– EB White

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Conversation from today:

Me: “I’m getting a little annoyed that people keep referring to our dog as our ‘Baby Substitute'”

Lucy: “Oh, no, I would much sooner assume that if you got pregnant it would be a puppy substitute.”


My friends and family have long teased me about my slightly distrubing love of dogs, and how I long for my own dog the way some women long to have babies. Well, this evening, The Boss will be bringing home our very own pup. Welcome to the family, Moose! I’m sure you’ll destroy everything we cherish with your puppy teeth and paws, but we’ll love you anyways.

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If it’s going to be this cold, I’d just as soon have some snow around so I can go skiing.

(photo credit: Kim J & Stanely)

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My Morning

  • Get up
  • Whine
  • Go back to bed
  • Get back up.
  • Shiver.
  • Whine
  • Brush teeth.
  • Look for running clothes
  • Locate shirt in dryer
  • Remember that i need pants
  • Locate pants
  • Stub toe.
  • Curse.
  • Look for socks. Find one. Victory!
  • Remember that I need two socks. Damnit!
  • Find second sock. Sock #2 is different thickness than sock #1.
  • Debate how much this will bother me while running.
  • Decide “A lot”
  • Look for different sock.
  • Fail at finding new sock
  • Suck up the different thickness socks.
  • Reach for caffeinated Gu.
  • Discover lack of caffeinated Gu.
  • Curse.
  • Look for gloves. Find gloves. Rejoice!
  • Look for Ipod. Remember have not charged iPod in 4 days.
  • Curse.
  • Attempt to tie shoes while wearing gloves. Fail.
  • Remove gloves, tie shoes.
  • Leave house
  • Step outside. Note that it is raining.
  • And cold
  • Curse.
  • Go to start watch. Notice that I forgot watch.
  • Curse
  • Begin to notice how pretty everything is all covered in fog
  • …until I start running and realize that water on the streets is turning into big sheets of ice.
  • Run slow so as to not slip. (yeah. That’s it. That’s *exactly* why I run slow)
  • Notice that ass has frozen and seems to be bouncing independently from my body.
  • Bitch about ice on ground.
  • Suspend bitching once sun rises and I notice how pretty the National Mall looks.
  • Resume bitching when submerge foot in big puddle.
  • Dream about the wonderful DC Spring weather, and the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler
  • Conveniently forget that I am allergic to the cherry blossoms and will in no way be able to run while they are in bloom.
  • Be annoyed that socks are different thickness and one shoe is looser than the other.
  • Round the end of the Mall over by Lincoln. Look up at Abe, look at slick steps covered in ice and puddles leading up to Abe, and give him a wave, promising to visit him later.
  • Get cold.
  • Start to run faster to warm up and get home.
  • Send Husband mental thoughts consisting of “Make breakfast and coffee…make breakfast and coffee…’
  • Stop running fast. Pant.
  • Resume slogging
  • Get home
  • Give Husband a big sweaty kiss despite the fact that he did not get the mental message of “coffee and breakfast”
  • Hop in warm shower and think to self “I love running”
  • Smile when I realize: I actually meant it. I DO love running.

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Horrifying fact I learned today:

Only a single dissenting vote prevented the death penalty in Texas from being carried out by immersing the convicted person in a nest of fire ants.

I have very real fear of ants, a fear I think is completely logical given that I was swarmed by fire ants at the tender age of 3 and some days I can still feel them crawling on me.

I’m mostly horrified, but also slightly impressed, that the people who drafted the capital punishment code in Texas even considered fire ants as a potential execution method. Lord knows that would have deterred ME from committing a capital crime! (I mean, hopefully not the ONLY thing that would deter me, but still)

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Checking in quickly to chat about the latest book I’m reading, Barack Obama’s “Dreams From My Father”.

My book club chose “Dreams From My Father” over “The Audacity of Hope,” and I’m glad we did, as it’s more interesting to me to read a story that was written before Barack Obama knew he would be running for President. It’s tone feels more authentic to me, and I do not read it with the nagging feeling that someone is trying to sell me something (I think ten years in D.C. is starting to wear on me a bit!) While it might not have the purpose or the message of “Audacity of Hope,” I feel the tone speaks more to who he is as a person, something I find just as interesting as the overall theme of the book.

It’s amazing to me to read our next President talk of cocaine use, drunk driving, pre-marital sex, but what is more amazing is that I hadn’t heard these things brought up during the campaign as a mark against his character, a way to score some points for his opponents. I think the reason it never was — or if it was, the reason it never caught on — is that these taboo topics are discussed in the book in the context of a life adrift, looking for meaning; of human mistakes that are made as one tries to figure out how to be an adult.

I like this. It strikes me as honest and real, and a great lesson that I think is missed as we watch political candidates sell themselves to the public in a ‘holier than thou’ light. I think morality is used a lot in political campaigns to appeal to people’s sense of how one *should* be, and as a result our leaders attempt to act as if they have never acted inappropriately. We know this can’t be the case, but we expect this of them anyway (do you really think Obama could have written this book now, as he was running for both the party nomination and then the presidency? Surely his handlers would have warned him against doing so, cautioning against the backlash from giving voters the wrong impression). I think if we gave our public servants a little more credit for being human, we might get a more honest view of who they are, and as a consequence receive a higher level of service and commitment from them.

Reading this book, I can’t say that I like Obama more than before I read it; in fact, I think on a personal level, I like him a little less. But I remain just as impressed with the message he brings to America, and the intellect and thoughtfulness his brings to his life, both public and private.

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