Monday, April 30, 2012

I don't do boring

This weekend I did some damage. No, not to myself (for once). I'll give you a hint: it started with a package from Kara.

Just the lollipop. The dog was already here.

When I e-mailed her to thank her for the package (there was more in it than just the lollipop), she told me that the colors of the lollipop reminded her of the colors I'm going to make my house. Obviously she doesn't know me at all. There is RED in that lollipop!

Later in the day I went to Target and, since the only way I'm going to acquire the things I need for the house is to buy a couple items at a time, I picked up some kitchen items.

Turquoise kitchen towels and orange hot pan holders.

I also got the two shower curtains I need for $5 each! I love Target so much. Yesterday I decided to check out some silverware/flatware/forks, knives, and spoons online and ended up ordering the ones I want for a really good deal at Macy's. At first I was thinking of doing this:

Buy old silverware off Craigslist and paint the handles.

But when I got to the bottom and was faced with "Standard spray paints are not food safe." I decided I didn't really want to die of paint poisoning and my guests probably won't want to either, so I went with these instead.

Yes, in these colors. To match the cups that I bought previously.

 What did Pippi think of all this?

Woman, you make me sleep in awkward positions.

To end this post, I was going to include pictures of the aftermath that is my pinky toes from the half marathon two weeks ago, but then I realized no one really wants to see that. If I'm wrong, let me know and I'll e-mail them to you. Basically it looks like I've got a long road of building up the calluses again. I'm so glad Hartford is six months away!

Instead, I'll share with you a dog I met at Petsmart. 

It really is a dog, not a horse. I swear!

With all this house stuff, I can't help but feel like this until Friday.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just because

Today I'm feeling the random.

I love Pinterest so much.

I saw the photographer and decided to be a doofus.

I can look hardcore too.

...unless it's a bill.

This is pretty much a daily occurrence for Pippi and Rocco.
(but then Pippi starts cleaning out Rocco's ears and they're in love again).

Current Groupon deal. Over 280 bought. I question the sanity of people
in this world.

Dog butt hooks. I NEED these!!

And that's about all the random I've got time for today. Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A good day to work from home

Today President Obama is making a speech on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. This is where I work. Because my boss is awesome, she gave us the choice of working off-site for the day. I, of course, jumped at the chance and I am writing this from the comfort of my dining room, in my running clothes, having not showered yet.

Apparently my boss didn't take her own advice, and is currently at work. We just received this email from her:
OK, you all can thank me later for your option to work off-site today – things are crazy here! ... There are cops everywhere, and the line of students waiting to get into Carmichael is wrapped all the way around our building past the law school. And it’s more than three hours before the speech begins!

I’ll keep you posted on all the fun….

I bring "the fun".

OH, but there's more. After his speech, he's being interviewed by Jimmy Fallon for his show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. This will also take place on campus.

I am so glad I'm not in Chapel Hill right now. Not that I wouldn't want to see the president speak, but it's nice knowing I can do that from the computer I'm typing this post on instead of battling crowds of starstruck students.

Announcement #2:

I added a bunch of new Noodle Hugger and collar designs to the shop yesterday. Go check 'em out!

Make your pup patriotic.

Did someone say olives?

I've recently added a bulk order option for Noodle Huggers. If you are interested in buying a large quantity for a group, team, or any other purpose, let me know!

Bulk rates pricing:
quantity     price/piece
20-29          $4.65
30-39          $4.50
40-49          $4.25
50+              $4.00

Shipping for bulk orders is $6.
(Please allows two weeks for production and shipping).

Would you rather fight the crowds to see the president speak in person or watch from home?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Never again

...will I run two races less than a week apart.

I've learned in my short time in this sport to never say never, but seriously. Never.

On to the Tar Heel 10-miler recap. That's why you're here anyway, right?

The race started in the UNC-Chapel Hill football stadium. This was a big marketing point for this race, although I actually think it was a terrible idea.

That line of people extending from the START line all the way around the stadium? Yeah, it kept going. I lined up behind the 10-minute mile pacers and was basically all the way across from the start line, with many more people behind me. Once the gun went off, I didn't actually start moving for what seemed like years and by the time I got to the start line, the clock was already at almost 9 minutes. And that's where I started to freak out for the first time during the race. I think the stadium start could have been a good idea had this been a much smaller race.

The temperature for the race wasn't bad (60 degrees) but the humidity had to be hanging around 100%. My plan was to stick close behind the 10-minute pacers, but after about the second mile at an average of 9-minute miles, I couldn't even see the pacers anymore because they were so far ahead of me. What's the point of even having the pacers?! Really really frustrating.

The first 4-ish miles I felt like we were repeating the same route over and over, which was basically hill after hill after hill. Around mile 4 I was already drenched in sweat and frustrated at the route and was so ready to quit. A DNF didn't sound so awful at that point. Around mile 5 I passed a woman vomiting up all her hydration stores and realized that I was ok and things could be worse! I finally was able to get some sports drink and it gave me back a bunch of motivation (it's the little things in life).

It wasn't until after I passed the water station that I realized that was the station with GU and that I just screwed up and didn't get any. Frustration returning.

The next 3/4 of a mile was entirely downhill and was so amazing...until we turned another corner into another hilly neighborhood. I did a lot of walking the next couple of miles. My quads were tight and I was out of water and wishing I'd had that GU. At the mile 8 water station (yes, two miles before the finish line), I was able to grab a GU and more water. Why did I do this so close to the finish line? I knew what was coming.

Entrance to Hell.

It's probably a good thing this wasn't closer to the beginning of the race or pulling a DNF probably would have been even more tempting. The best part of it was about halfway up, there was a dude cheering us on in a bathrobe and slippers.

Fast forward to the finish, aka-where everything kind of fell apart.

As I was approaching the finish line, the announcer was yelling for people to hurry to section 301 (I'm making up this number because I don't remember what the actual number was) in the bleachers for their medal and food. All I wanted at this point was a sports drink or water. I *think* I was handed a sports drink (or else I picked it up. I don't remember that either), and had to ask a random stranger if she'd mind opening it for me. All I wanted to do was down it but was being shooed up into the bleachers.

Mike and my new friend (actually his friend, whom I just met after the race. I make strangers my friends if they come highly recommended by my actual friends :), Nicole found me and showed me the dude handing out medals. Up in the bleachers. Strangest thing ever. He didn't even put it around our necks. Also, they look pretty cheap compared to the ones from last year. But I digress.

Purple. I know, you're all shocked.

Once I felt like I was hydrated enough to form sentences again, we went in search of food. After a trek around the outside of the stadium, the only food to be found was banana halves. So I ate one and tried to imagine it was a bag of chips or a bagel. To no avail.

As with every race, the volunteers and police support were awesome and I was pleasantly surprised by all of the people in the neighborhoods who came out to cheer for us.

Unfortunately the cons outweighed the pros for me in this race. There were far too many people for the starting venue and the finish felt haphazard and poorly planned. Mike said this was his best race so far, which is awesome! Will I run this race again next year? Probably not. But I'm glad I did it this time.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dear people of the world

Dear people of the world,

I'm here to explain a little something. At first I thought this something was just a tad annoying but now it's full-blown obnoxious. That something is this: Not every running race is a marathon. A marathon is a very specific kind of race; a very specific distance.
a long-distance running race, strictly one of 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 km).
In case you don't know where the idea of the marathon came from, a quick overview:
There was this dude from Athens named Phidippides. Phidippides was a professional runner. Basically, the Athenians took advantage of his skill. They had him running all over the place asking for help and warning people of things. After running 280 miles round trip to Sparta and back, and fighting in the Battle of Marathon, Phidippides was then asked to run another 26 miles to announce their victory. He got there with just enough energy for the announcement before he collapsed and died.
I wonder if you'd chafe less or more running a marathon naked.

I'm pretty sure that if Phidippides heard you calling a 5k race, a 10-mile race, or any race shorter than 26.2 miles a marathon, he'd have something to say about it. And my guess is he wouldn't be too nice about it (unless maybe you died at the end, then he might take it easy on you). I feel, however, that he'd be okay with calling a 13.1 mile race a half marathon since, well, it's half the distance of a marathon.

Just to clarify, I have great respect for race-runners of other distances and obviously they are real races (I have absolutely no plans of running a full marathon ever!), they're just not marathons. And that's okay!
A fabulous movie that everyone should see.

Speaking of running races, starting today Aspaeris is having a 50% off sale! Just enter the code APS4me at checkout and *BAM* you're on your way to amazing comfort and recovery.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My new favorite game

Pippi is an interpretive sleeper.

Yes, she was sleeping when I took this picture.

What was she interpreting? How I was feeling the last two days. I'm not sure how I did it, but until this morning my ass hurt so bad it hurt to walk. Normally after a long run it's my calves that scream for a few days. Apparently this time I did it wrong. My rear doesn't look any better than it did last week. All that pain for nothing.

Today I am planning on attempting my first run post-race. I'm debating whether to wear my older shoes or the new ones. Maybe I should just be like the crazy neighbors down the street and run barefoot down our street where everyone has gravel driveways. Stepping on rocks is fun, right?

In other news, I'm currently on season 5 of How I Met Your Mother and I think I've found my favorite episode.

The name of the episode is Right Place, Right Time and in it, Marshall presents some of his charts and graphs. One of them really spoke to me.

"Ranking of Presidents (by how dirty their names sound)"

This brings me to my favorite new game. Things that sound dirty, but aren't. Some examples:
Deliveries in the rear
Tight end
Melon baller
Homo erectus

Yes, these all make me giggle. I know you have some even better ones. Aaaaaand...go!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The race photos should be interesting

You know how it's generally frowned upon to run a race having not trained exceptionally well for it and also to wear new running shoes for that race? I am here to tell you that those are some great rules, friends. I learned these lessons the hard way yesterday, running the RunRaleigh half marathon. I knew that I wasn't going to PR, but I never expected to add 20 minutes to my time!

Apparently I can't follow directions.

Without going into a lot of detail, I'll just say that I ended the race limping and barely able to actually run through the finish line due to the pain in my left hip and the blisters where my baby toes used to be. What was awesome, however, was that Mike and Nicole (who I met in February and who ran at this race, too) met me about a half mile from the finish line and coaxed me to get there. Also, I wasn't dizzy at all for the race. A small miracle.

The shirt was a huge hit with the volunteers.

Thankfully we parked about 100 yards from the finish line, because otherwise I may have attempted to crawl to the car. I may just cut my baby toes off. I don't really need them, right?

Next year, dude. We shall meet again.

So I'm hoping the hell brought to my baby toes is because I never really "broke in" these new running shoes and not that the shoes don't fit right. Thoughts?

Another amazing small miracle happened this weekend. Pippi and I stayed at Mike and Nicole's house Saturday night and, due to her past of growling and snapping at strangers (like "the ex"), I was worried she'd be that way toward Mike and Nicole, and not get along with their dog. When we went in their house, she immediately wanted to meet and lick Mike and Nicole and growled once at their dog and a half hour later the two of them were running around and playing in the backyard. I'm such a proud dog mom right now! I know it sounds dumb, but believe me. It's a big step.

I'm pretty sure she'll be doing this most of the day.

So next weekend is the Tar Heel 10-miler and I'm determined to make it a much nicer experience (all things considered, the RunRaleigh half was a great experience, had it not been for my stupidity). Mike is running this one as well, and I'm hoping he won't have to wait quite as long for me at the finish line after he's done).

I took the day off work today. Such a great idea. I sense a lot of stretching and foam rolling. And watching the dog sleep. And rehydrating. Maybe some ice cream. Best Monday ever.

Have you ever ran a race you weren't very prepared for?

Do you typically get blisters on a certain part of your foot from running/walking/biking, etc?

Friday, April 13, 2012

ISO a straight jacket

There's a contract for a home with my name and signature all over it, you guys! Shit just got really real.

I may need a Xanax. Or a straight jacket. Perhaps a noose?

You really can't deny the truth in this.

On a side note, when I told the dude at the running store yesterday that I am running the Tar Heel 10-miler next weekend, he wanted to know what my goal time is and asked if I'm going for 8- or 9-minute miles. Apparently I only look speedy.  Also, he was pretty adorable.

A house contract and some eye candy. All-in-all not too shabby for a Thursday afternoon.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'm not really a spaz

Yesterday's post brought a lot of comments like, "Dude, you're a freak. Why do you care what color your running shoes are if you really need them for a race in five days?" I want to address this. The reason is...RED. I can't stand the color. I've discussed it here and here.

Red is evil!

When i was a lot younger, my step mom had a red car with red interior and every frickin time I rode in that car I got carsick. I will swear forever and ever until I die that it was due to the red interior.

To me the color symbolizes anger and vomit. I don't need to be thinking about vomit while I'm running a race I'm not exactly prepared for.

So, when Sarah at Fleet Feet brought out these shoes, you can understand why I just couldn't bring myself to spend $90 on this color.

The Brooks Launch also comes in the following three colors.

I would have even taken the ugly yellow ones. I'm not a running shoe color snob, but I must draw the line at red.

You're such a spaz, Mom. I'm embarrassed for you.

Is there a color you refuse to wear? Or am I the only one?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Running shoes and Neil Patrick Harris

Yesterday I went to get fitted for running shoes. I had suspected the reason I was getting blisters and rubbing on my left foot is because it's smaller than the right foot. It drives me batty. Well, it turns out my left foot is actually half a size larger than my right foot! For crying in the sunshine!

I've got one of each.

So, after telling Sarah-the-shoe-fitter my woes and her asking me if my bunion causes me pain (dude, I have a bunion. hehehe....bunion), she brought out a pair of Nikes and a pair of Asics...both of which I've had NO luck with in the past. And, true to form, they both sucked. Another pair of Nikes later that didn't do the trick (although I have to give Nike props for their awesome shoe colors!), and she finally  brought out a pair of Brooks.

NC State's color

It just so happened they fit pretty great and I decided I'd try them out...but I really didn't want this color if possible. I mean, come on Brooks, really?? My running store location didn't have them in any other colors, so Sarah is having a much nicer color delivered from the Raleigh store.

UNC's color

What can I say? I'm high maintenance. I find it ironic that the store right by UNC's main campus doesn't carry this color, but the store right by NC State does.

Next subject? Neil Patrick Harris. Yes, I completely changed the subject. Don't worry. It's allowed. Lately I've been watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix, in episode order. I'm currently on Season three.

Remember back when NPH was Doogie Howser, MD?

Well, now you do, but your first thought was Barney Stinson.
You know it was. Don't lie.

Onto the point of this thing. Neil Patrick Harris is awesome. It just occurred to me just how awesome he is.

When you see Tiffani Amber Thiessen, you think: Kelly Kapowski.

When you see James Van Der Beek, you think Dawson Leery.
Joey was so much hotter than you, Dawson. Face it.

Matthew Perry? Chandler Bing.
I automatically hear is name said in Janice's voice.

These actors all went on to do other things, but will always be recognized first for these roles. In most cases, I forget their actual names and end up shouting, "It's Kelly Kapowski!"

Neil Patrick Harris? Well, he's Neil Patrick Harris. He's not Doogie or Barney. He's awesome! And I'm pretty sure he knows it.

Are there any other actors from your younger days you see and refer to as whatever they were known as on their show?

Are you ever annoyed or delighted by the colors running shoes come in?