Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Brand New Year (My Revolution)

This is it! The end of 2008. YEE HA!

You all know what a crappy year it's been for the Gills. Yes, for the most part, we're all intact, but we definitely have some scars to show for ourselves.

Normally at this time of year, I have all these goals and resolutions mapped out, but I honestly don't know what 2009 will bring us. Some things are so up in the air, it's hard to plan. But I do know that we will be working hard to have a good year. I have come to the conclusion that you just can't plan for everything. Things happen that sideline you, sometimes you're down for a little while, and sometimes you're hit so hard, you can't get up for a while. Really, what is the point of having all these goals for a new year? Why can't we make these resolutions on a random Tuesday in April or something? It's what I plan on doing. I think January is going to bring a lot of changes for us and I will just have to see what happens.

On another note, Keller came to work with me yesterday. That was interesting. He was good for the most part because I could close the door to my office and let him watch Word World on the portable DVD player. But he was still kind of unruly, especially as the morning wore on. Every time I had to go speak with someone, I had to bring him with me (obviously) and he would stop along the way in various people's offices. Then when we got to our destination, he would leave and run down the hall, drop and roll (he likes to slide into the floor and roll for some reason). Thankfully, he didn't break anything which I can't say about the last time I brought him to work with me. He was spent when we left. He was out cold less than 5 minutes after we got in the car and managed a nice 3.5 hour nap. And I'm not embarrassed to say I took a nap too. I was just as tired!

Then, last night, I ran with my Marathon/Half Marathon group for the first time in 5 weeks. It was so awesome to be out there with my people again. They are doing so well and to be with them makes me feel whole. I didn't do their whole run, but I did 3 miles and didn't have any pain! It hurts a little this morning, but I think it's just a little stiff or something. So, healing is good stuff!

Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year's Eve. Be safe and have fun. See you next year (groan...I hate it when people say that).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All These Things I've Done (I've got soul but I'm not a soldier)

Girls on the Run International, the parent to Girls on the Run of Montgomery County, sends out a weekly email to its councils with updates and various musings. In each email there is a "Word up" from Molly Barker, who is the founder of the organization. Molly is a great woman and is probably the goofiest person I've ever met. The weekly email arrived in my Inbox about an hour ago and Molly's "Word up" is as goofy as ever. She discusses 'soul laughing,' which is when you are completely present in the moment and absolutely love the moment you're in. You basically smile on the inside and out. Goofy concept, I know, but I completely relate. Anyone that knows me well knows I'm 100% goofball.

Anyway, Molly listed 15 things that give her that soul-laughing feeling. In the spirit of the holidays, I wanted to play along. I don't know if I can think of 15, but I'll try. And I definitely pilfered one from Molly because I feel the same way. Here's my take on soul laughing, in no particular order:
  1. Keller's belly laugh. Gets me every time.
  2. When we dance to "Birthday" for someone's birthday. Everyone is involved, even Lola the dog.
  3. Someone in the car next to me is singing at the top of their lungs, especially when hands are in motion and head movements are included.
  4. Anything that Keller says, really. Especially when he tells me I'm his best friend. :)
  5. Spending time with my girls. Cheapest, yet most effective, therapy around.
  6. Watching the Kona Ironman Championships.
  7. Listening to John talk and play with Keller when he doesn't know I'm listening.
  8. Watching anyone I've coached cross a finish line. Or hear about a wonderful workout they've had. Really, just seeing anyone I've ever coached have a proud moment in running shoes or not.
  9. Spending time with my parents.
  10. Watching Keller in school, interacting with his friends and teachers, when he doesn't know I'm there.
  11. Seeing people do nice things for others just for the heck of it. Simple things, like holding the elevator or saying "hello."
  12. Getting Christmas cards.
  13. Getting hugged. I really like hugs.
  14. Dancing like a lunatic. And seeing people laugh because of it.
  15. Running.
There are my 15.
Speaking of running, I ran for the first time yesterday. I did 2 miles of running and walking and felt really good. I didn't have any pain while I was running and I haven't had an residual pain. Yippy! I'm back, baby!
I hope all of you have a wonderful, JOYOUS holiday! Be safe and merry!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Splish Splash

There was a massive water main break this morning in Bethesda, not too far away from my office. How does this affect me? The bathrooms aren't working. You know, not flushing... It's disgusting and I'm disgruntled that they're actually making us stay here without proper functioning toilets. For someone that drinks a lot of water, such as myself, it is not fun. NOT FUN, people.

So...onto other topics. I saw my podiatrist yesterday. He's not really my podiatrist, but the one that saw me when I broke my toe and he's been the one following up with me. On a side note, his name is Dr. Footer. Isn't that funny? And appropriate? I wonder if he went into podiatry because of his name. Anyway, he's very nice and I like him a lot. Any doctor that tells me straight up that I'm clumsy is OK in my book. And, he also said....drumroll....I can start moving my behind! I can start "fast walking" with running mixed in. There really isn't a chance I will dislocate it again, unless my clumsy self does something to it, as he politely mentioned.

I am going to try running today! On the treadmill, it should be all right. I'll be sure to give you an update!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Going Under

Why do people feel the need to tell you that you look tired? Really? I hadn't noticed. But THANKS.

Seriously. Don't you think I already know I look tired? It's not like I don't see myself in the mirror.

Anyway, that's what's going on here. Apparently I look very tired and people feel the need to tell me. It's not like there isn't anything going on. It is the holiday season, after all. So the usual ugly stresses of life are multiplied by 800 due to the holiday stress. And I'm still inactive, so I'm not sleeping well. I haven't been able to swim because it's been busy. But I was also having some pain in my shoulders. I couldn't lift my arms up over my head!

I go back to the doctor on Monday. That is the 4-week mark of breaking my toe. I really hope he tells me I can run. I am going out of my mind here. But even if I can't run, I wore running shoes for the first time yesterday. It felt all right. So, I can at least take a spinning class now. I can't very well take a spinning class in Crocs, you know.

I'm currently watching my little 3-year old son spelling and writing. He just wrote 'slide.' He is a spelling guru and we think he'll be reading pretty early. It's kind of freaky how good he is with spelling and letters. He'll ask me to spell something for him and he remembers it from only hearing it once. He's going to be too smart for us before too long.

We're heading down to Williamsburg tomorrow for early Christmas with the Gills. We haven't seen them since John's race in September, so it should be nice. Then next week is a short week and Christmas, so perhaps I'll have a chance to sleep. You know, so I won't look so tired.

Happy Friday, people.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bust a Move

I am currently sitting in the Van Ness Metro station. They are doing track work so I have a 20 minute delay here. Yay me.

This weekend was super busy. I went out with the girls Friday night for Allison's birthday. That was fun. Then I coached Saturday morning. That was good too. We then headed down to Richmond to Mendy's. She was having Cameron's birthday party. He actually turns three on the 22nd but had his party early. That was a lot of fun.

You know, whenever we go down there I always want to live there. Just because things seem so much more relaxed and life just isn't a big deal. I don't understand why it's that way here. I guess because it's the nation's capital or something. But I would much rather live in a more low key environment. Too bad we couldn't find jobs for ourselves in Montana.

Anyway, this morning my 8K group had their race. It went very well for them. I was the proud mama at the finish line again. All my runners always make me feel proud no matter what they do. They're out there working and that is more than what most people do. They are all rock stars in my book.

After the race I had my bookclub holiday lunch at Black Market Bistro. That was yummy. Even though it's "bookclub" it's really just my girls getting together. And it was as fun as usual.

Then it was off to a client meeting in DC. Which is how I ended up in my current situation. I really love going into DC and all but it is such a pain in the butt to get in and out of the city.

Well, that's that. Tomorrow is another Monday that I'm not looking forward to. But it will be Christmas soon enough and time off will be here.

Happy day to all of you. Hopefully I'll be out of this stupid Metro station soon.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Weird Science

According to, it's currently 68 degrees here in Bethesda, MD. WTF? It's December.

I have been having a weird day. Nothing happened at all. Same old stuff. But for some reason, I just feel weird. Well, more weird than usual. I'm having strange thoughts and weird moments. I think it's the weather and there's an apocalypse coming. Or something. I just feel like I'm just sort of observing the day, but not really participating. I'm a quiet observer today.

The week has been fairly normal so far. I actually started swimming again and it's felt really great to be active again. It's been a long 2 weeks of inactivity.

Tonight is the first night of no coaching on Wednesdays. Maybe that's what is making me feel weird. I have plans for me and Keller to go visit friends, so it's not like I don't know what to do with myself.

So, I neglected to mention in my last blog post the haircut we gave Keller Sunday night. I don't usually like to mention things that kind of portray me as an idiot. Well, that's not true. It's more of me being an idiot and my child is involved. See, John and I got the crazy idea that we would give Keller a haircut using the clipper things John uses. I normally cut Keller's hair because he HATES getting his hair cut. This wasn't always the case but it is now, so whatever. John wanted to try these clipper things because he thought it would be easier. So, we go along clipping Keller's hair and all is fine but I was having a hard time getting the back clipped. I don't know if it was the way Keller was sitting or what, but I couldn't get any hair off the back. John suggested I take the safety thing off the clippers and cut it that way. So, I did. And now my poor child has a bald spot on the back of his head!!! I totally scalped him. I repeat, John told me to do it. I defer all balme to him. At least it's on the back of his head and not the front, but it is noticable. And he was so cute sitting there, all unknowing, watching his Word World. While we scalped him.

Don't get me wrong, the rest of the haircut is fine. He looks as adorable as ever. But that poor little bald spot makes me feel bad every time I look at it. My poor child.

So, I guess the weather, my strange paranoid thoughts, and my scalped child are lending to the weirdness of the day. Hopefully it will pass. It's making me sleepy.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'm So Excited (And I Just Can't Hide It!)

Today is an important Monday for many reasons.

The January 2009 issue of Runner's World hit the shelf over the weekend and guess who happens to be in it? That's right, me! I have known about this for some time and it's been killing me not to say anything (unless it didn't happen) and to wait to see if it did.

There is a section of the magazine that's a Q & A with experts. And I'm one of the experts this month. It's pretty cool and something on my life list that I can cross off (being in Runner's World). In case you happen to pick up the issue, it's page 38. :)

Also exciting news is that this past Saturday morning was the goal race for my Beginning 5K group. They were all there with bells on (it was the Jingle Bell 5K after all). It was so cold (20 degrees). But everyone finished in great time and I couldn't be more proud.

Today also happens to be the 28th anniversary of the death of John Lennon. While this isn't really a very happy thing, it is something that should be acknowledged (in my opinion). John Lennon was such a visionary and so ahead of his time. His unfortunate and tragic death really robbed the world of true greatness. There are times when I have gotten upset that the coming generations of people will never know music genius like Lennon and the Beatles. I know, I'm getting crazy, but the Beatles were more than just a band and it's important that their influence is still felt.

Anyhoo, the last item of interest today is that I am wearing a real shoe on my left foot. Yay! I am not wearing that hideous shoe anymore. Well, I'm not wearing it right now, anyway. My toe/foot has been feeling better, so I thought I'd give a real shoe a try. It seems to be all right at the moment but I did bring my ugly shoe with me today in case my foot starts hurting badly.

So, that's the news this fine, yet extremely cold, Monday morning. Have a good one!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bad Mood Mom

I am currently home with a pink eyed kid. Again.

I had a feeling when I picked up Keller from school yesterday that he'd be home with me today. There are several things that are annoying about pink eye. Let's go over them:
  1. It's highly contagious so I'm washing everything he touches, all day long.
  2. It's insidious. Keller had pink eye last week. We got the drops, it went away, and now it's back.
  3. Pink eye doesn't make you feel bad, so my normally crazy active child is still crazy active and I can't bring him anywhere to to release his energy.
  4. Giving eye drops to a 3-year old is not my idea of a fun thing.
So, there are my preliminary thoughts on pink eye. It's awful and I hate it!

Now my previously annoyed state is just agitated by the pink eye. Why am I annoyed? Well, I've been on my own this week because John is out of town. I'm exhausted. My broken foot is killing me from running around all over the place. And I miss being able to run for real. I met with a friend yesterday for lunch and she asked me what races I have lined up. Um, none. I just don't know what's happening between my current broken state and then if and when I'm having surgery on my other foot. I can't commit to anything and I feel completely aimless.

On a more uplifting note, my Beginning 5K group has their race tomorrow. I know it will be cold, but I can't wait to see them. This group has been outstanding and fun. They are incredibly motivated and it has been a lot of fun to coach them. They just want to know everything about running and are excited to learn. I will miss them and I hope they all come back for the 10K program I'll be coaching beginning in February.

Anyway, that's my rant for the day. Happy Friday!

Monday, December 1, 2008

One Week

It was one week ago today that I broke my toe. It feels like a lifetime ago.

I went back to the doctor today. He said my toe is still in place and things seem to be healing nicely. I still can't put a lot of weight on it, and certainly can't run on it. But I can start to swim. My toes are still wrapped so I'd have to either swim with the wrap and look like an idiot, or take it off and be really careful. I think I'll just wait until next week and give it a try.

Keller's pink eye has cleared up nicely. It actually cleared up after the first day of giving him the eye drops. He was weird about the drops. Sometimes he'd hate them and cry. Then other times he would be fine. It was weird. But the pink eye is gone and that's really all that matters. He went back to school this morning. John took him in, and while Keller didn't really want to go in, he ultimately had a good day. I'm so glad things are going well for him at school!

I guess that's all from this front. John is going out of town on Wednesday and will be gone until Saturday. It will be a long week, but I'm sure everything will be fine. My beginning 5K group's 5K is Saturday morning and that is very exciting. Keller and I will be there cheering them on!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank You

Today is Thanksgiving. Happy T-day, everyone!

Last night we pretty much decided we weren't going down to Williamsburg for the holiday. I have been sick all week with a sore throat and high fever and sitting in the car in traffic with a broken foot is the last thing I want to do.

I felt bad and horribly guilty over it, but in the end, it was the right decision. When we woke up this morning there was that familiar crust on Keller's eye-- PINK EYE! We're heading to the doctor first thing in the morning to be sure and get some drops. Fun times in the Gill household, indeed.

I was feeling down and depressed and all that about not being among family, blah blah blah. But really, I'm with the people that matter most to me and that is what I'm truly thankful for. And John went to the store first thing this morning and got the full spread. We'll be eating here the moment Keller gets up from his nap.

And we just discovered a Rocky movie marathon on VS, and really, this holiday just couldn't get any better now. And I just happen to be wearing my "Cut me...Mick" shirt too. It is fate. Eye of the Tiger, baby.

Just wanted to let everyone know that I'm thankful for my wonderful family and friends, past, present, and future. I love you!

By the way, it's our pup, Lola's 7th birthday today too. Happy Birthday, Lo Bo!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'll Be Back Upon My Feet

Well, not too long after I wrote my blog post yesterday, I began the ultimate adventure.

John and I were getting ready for work in the bathroom and we were discussing Thanksgiving. I was completely distracted as I walking in and out of the bathroom. Well, on my way back in, I slammed my foot into the door. Not just into the door, but it hit between the door jamb and the door itself. My tiny baby toe was pulled so hard by the force that it broke, and I tore a ligament which dislocated the entire toe bone from the joint.

It was horrible! I broke another toe back when I was a kid, so I knew the pain and I knew I had broken my toe again. In fact, I could see the bone in the wrong place. I didn't know it was dislocated, but I knew that wasn't right!

I went to the doctor (the podiatrist) right away. They took X-rays and told me it was broken, I had torn a ligament, and it was dislocated. He had to reset the bone. Now, this really worried me because you see on all the doctor shows how painful it is to reset a bone. It is, but what's the painful part is the numbing. The doctor had to give me two shots of Novocain into my foot. One right below my toe joint and the other in the back of my foot. I screamed out, it was so painful. I made the doctor feel bad, he actually apologized. Once it was numb, he reset the bone. I didn't really feel pain at that point. I have this weird problem with bones. They completely gross me out. I can't have bones touching, like when I sleep on my side, the blanket has to be between my knees. When someone touches a bone, even if it's my elbow, I want to puke. So, I thought I was going to puke all over the place when he was resetting the bone. Thankfully, I didn't.

The doctor then put a plaster splint on my foot and I have to wear one of those gorgeous shoes. It's really sexy. And I can't run for a month. A month! I can't do anything for the next week. Then I get the splint off, and maybe I can swim then. After 2 weeks I can ride the recumbent bike (no weight on the foot). The doctor said because of the dislocation and torn ligament, the toe joint is very unstable and I have to be careful to let it heal correctly.

This would be all fine and good except I A) am a pretty avid runner and B) coach runners for a living. So, last night was the meeting of my 8K group. I followed them in my car. Well, I'd go ahead to show them where to go, then they'd catch up, then I'd go ahead, etc. It actually worked out very well. My runners now have their very own pace car, just like the professionals.

So, that's that. This was just perfect timing with the holidays coming. It was funny, one of my runners said last night that it wasn't all bad: the holidays on pain medication could be a good thing. I haven't gotten my prescription filled yet....

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Want to Break Free

I have not even felt like writing in my blog. Isn't that awful? I am usually never at a loss for words. But things have been hard and the one thing that has been making me the most stressed I won't talk about here. Let's just say I'm REALLY looking forward to the short work week.

So, let's talk about the weekend instead. Friday night, the girls got together over at Mary's. We hadn't all been together in quite some time. It was fun, as always.

Saturday morning started with me coaching my marathon/half marathon group. Because it's a large group, and they all run at different paces, I often ride my bike along side them. Well, that was the plan this Saturday. I started off and my hands and feet were frozen in a matter of minutes. I almost fell off a number of times because I couldn't feel my brakes. While it was a little scary for me at the time, I'm sure I was quite the sight to see me floundering around on my bike. I had my thickest gloves and socks on, so I don't think there was anything more I could do. I had to go back to my car and follow everyone around in my car. It was comical to say the least. I will have to find another solution there.

Later in the day, we went over to Eric and Isa's for an early Thanksgiving. They are traveling down to FL for the holiday, so they wanted to have friends over for an early feast. And what a feast it was. We ate like there was no tomorrow. It was a fun night with all the food, wine & champagne, and card games and Wii. Wii is a very interesting thing. I kind of really want one because it's a lot of fun, but I know that I'd play all the time and nothing would ever get done. You know, like me and Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc.

Sunday I met with a client in the morning. He's such a nice guy and he's come such a long way in his running. Then the rest of the day was lazy. Well, I shouldn't say lazy, because I spent most of the day doing laundry, folding it and putting it away. And I didn't even finish. But I definitely made a dent.

And now it's Monday. Yahoo. But what's funny is that Keller is starting pee wee soccer tonight. It should be interesting because we were talking about it yesterday and he said he doesn't want to play soccer. So, this should be fun. At least we can get a refund if he doesn't like it! And I have my 8K group tonight and that should be fun. Lately, my groups are the only things I look forward to.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Kid is All Right

I cannot believe it's been almost 2 weeks since I've updated my blog. That's the longest I've ever gone. Really, the most I've ever gone between posts was maybe 3 days. This is a sign of how things have been.

Things have been rough. Just really busy with work, coaching, home life, yoga teacher training, etc. I kind of feel like I'm drowning. But this is the last day of teacher training, so hopefully I will start to get back to normal soon.

I've been having some kind of emotional block with my running lately. I just do not feel like running. I run with my groups, and it's always great. I look forward to running with them tremendously. But all other runs just don't interest me. I have been trying to figure out why. I was looking through my running log for the last couple of years to see if there were any patterns. Do I always get like this in the fall? Has this ever happened before? Etc. Well, the thing that I noticed was that there was a definitely loss of mo-jo this summer. I was doing well until about mid-July. So, I was trying to think about what was going on and it hit me. All the crap that had been going on this year was catching up with me: my grandmother dying, Archie dying, my mom's illness, Keller's issues at school and me trying to find him a new one, work issues, the list goes on. It really came to a head in August. I had floundered at the NYC Half Marathon and was really low. I then had my own health problems, and while everything is fine, I just never recovered emotionally from it all. I didn't stand a chance at Chicago.

I'm writing about this because, as you know, running is a very big part of my life and when it doesn't go well, it radiates through everything. It's a good example of the mind-body-connection. When the body fails, so does the mind. Well, for me anyway.

I have been thinking about the groups that I coach and how I invest so much emotionally with them. Really, I do with all my clients. And one of my groups, the beginning 5K group, just makes me so happy. They all make me happy, but this one is different. They are so inspiring and motivating because they are so excited by what they're doing. They've never run before and the fact that they can run now, and not pass out, is invigorating to them. They feel unstoppable. Was I ever like that in my running? I don't remember. I need to try and be excited by my running.

I just think I need to be "in the moment" more with everything, but especially my running. I need to focus on one day at a time, and not just on a particular race or event. I need to have fun so it doesn't feel like work. Because it was for a while. I've been training for something since December of 2005. This is the first time in 3 years I'm not training for anything. I can have fun and run because I love it. I'm not saying that training for something isn't fun and all that, it is. But I'm just burned out on racing. It's time to just run.

So, that's my rant for the day. I need to go prepare for my last day of teacher training. I have to teach a class and the thought makes me want to pass out. Yay!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Times They Are A Changing

You know it.

I feel like the doors have flown open and we can accomplish anything.

We elected an African American man to be our President. A man that believes anything is possible if we come together, recognize what are our needs our, and meet them with respect and dedication. I know it's virtually impossible for one man to change the world, but I feel if anyone can, it's Barack Obama.

We could not stay awake last night, but John woke me up shortly after 11 to tell me Obama won. It didn't sink in because I was still kind of sleeping. But when I woke up this morning, it really felt like Christmas morning. I have never been this excited to see what will come.

John and I kind of ran downstairs to watch the news, and there it was: Obama's speech in Chicago's Grant Park. We sat there, tears streaming down our faces, excited and hopeful at the turn our country has made.

This has to be how it felt when Kennedy was elected. Maybe it's beyond that.

I just want to say thank you to everyone for believing in change, believing we can do anything, and taking this election as seriously as it truly was. It is a new day in our country.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ain't That America

It's here!

We have been waiting for this Election Day for what feels like years. And I guess it has been well over a year with primaries and all that. At this point, I'm usually so fed up with Election shenanigans that I can't wait for it all the be over. But this time is really different for me.

This is the 4th Presidential Election in which I will be voting. The first one was Clinton's second term and it was very exciting for me. Clinton came to speak at ASU and a bunch of us skipped class so we could see him. How often do you get to see a President speak live? Oh, it was awesome. Exciting and electric. I think I'll always remember that day.

The next two elections were such a debacle. I think the whole mess really turned people off from voting and changed the general attitude of Americans. In fact, a coworker was talking about that just yesterday. About how her vote doesn't count, etc.

But I really think this election has changed that feeling for a lot of people. Oh, I'm sure there are people that still feel their voice won't be heard and won't vote, which is truly a shame. But, whatever your political feelings are, the results of this election will be groundbreaking. We'll either have the first African American President, or the first female Vice President. That's huge, any way you look at it.

I am watching the news as I write this. The polls don't open here in Maryland until 7:00. It's currently 6:00 and they just reported on a polling site in Rockville that has had people in line since 3:30. While that's a little excessive, it's also really freaking cool. They interviewed that first man in line and he said he was just too excited to wait. This is his first election and he's nervous and excited and can't concentrate on anything else. I think that's amazing. Seriously, think about it. There's no monetary or material gain. He's not waiting in line for a video game or cell phone. He's waiting 3 and a half hours in line TO VOTE. If that's not inspiring you to get out there, I don't know what will.

I won't take this time to discuss politics and agenda. I think you all have an idea of who I'm voting for. I just hope that all of you vote. It's the most important, and quite possibly the easiest, thing you can do to make a difference in this country. And besides, if you don't vote, you can't complain about anything.

Rock the vote, people.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Push Push

I know you've all been wondering about my 100 Push Up Challenge (PUC) progress. Well, wait no more, people. I am still rocking the push ups.

I finished Week 2, Day 3 earlier this week:

Set 1: 12 push ups
Set 2: 13 push ups
Set 3: 10 push ups
Set 4: 10 push ups
Set 5: max (I did 15)

Yes, that's a total of 60 push ups!! I am pretty proud of myself considering I couldn't do 1 push up not too long ago.

After Week 2, you're supposed to do a progress test to see if your baseline has moved up. Well, I had to delay mine because I hurt my arm. Not from doing push ups, no, from carrying around a 32+ pound 3-year old boy.

I picked Keller up from school on Tuesday and we headed to Trader Joe's. He started dozing in the cart. He then started fussing because he couldn't get comfortable and really wanted to sleep. So, I carried him around in one hand and push the cart around and dud my shopping with the other. I had to get food! Don't judge me. He slept for almost an hour like that.

Needless to say, my arm was dead for about 2 days. I couldn't do my progress test. Well, I did it this morning and I surprised myself with my push-up prowess. My initial exhaustion test, done before all the push ups started, was 9. I could do 9 push ups before I pooped out. My exhaustion test this morning was....22 push ups! That's quite some progress, don't you think?

Anyway, it's Halloween and we're looking forward to it. Keller's costume is 100% original since I made it. I will definitely post a picture after all is said and done. He has his parade at school this morning and then trick-or-treating tonight. It should be a fun day.

And I want to say to my dad: Happy Birthday!!! You and mom rock and I hope you have a great day. Talk to you in a little bit. Love you!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Winner Takes It All

I have been having a downright shitty week. Nothing happened in particular. I am just contemplating life and things and all that crap, which is always depressing. There's more to it than that, but I won't get into it now.

So, after the whirl wind that is the usual morning routine, I get to work and go about my day. On a small mini-break, I log into my Twitter account for my alter ego, Coach Jenn (check it out here). Anyway, another Twitterer, Blaine also known as Run to Win, has been having this contest all week to give away 5 copies of the new movie that's coming out about Fred Lebow, a crusader in the New York City running community and responsible for bringing to the city one of the most highly regarded and sought after marathons in the world. Anyway, I've entered the contest each day and....I won yesterday. Yahoo!

If you go to Blaine's website and look at the post for the winner of Day 3 of the contest, you'll see a video that has him picking the winner and clicking on my website! It was kind of cool. It's nice to know someone looks at my website every now and then. ;)

I'm very excited about getting my DVD. I've been wanting to see this movie since I first heard about it months ago. I ran NYC last year and while it certainly wasn't my best race (I didn't really train well for it), it was amazing. Growing up in NY, you hear about this race and the magnitude it has. It brings 5 boroughs and countless neighborhoods together for one day. And when you're running, you feel like a rock star. I was wearing my Livestrong gear and people were calling me Lance, cheering me on. It was great. So, I can't wait for my DVD to arrive.

See, I guess the day isn't all bad.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Falling Down

Anyone that knows me knows that I am prone to accidents of all kinds, falling off chairs, you name it. This is the main reason why I run because I don't have to touch anything or anyone (though I did kick ass at relays in high school). The last few days have been especially clumsy, in various ways.

On Friday, I nearly had a nervous breakdown. You know that tiny space in between the front seat of a car and the center console (this is ususally found in SUVs)? You know how when you drop things in there, they're usually lost forever? Well, as I get into the car to go home on Friday, I dropped my entire key ring into that tiny space. How did they fit, was my first question. But they did. Every thought is going through my head: how will I get home, how will I pick Keller up, I'm stuck in this garage forever, etc. I was able to get them out, though I had to crawl under the front seat from the back seat. Imagine walking through the parking garage and see some weird lady's legs hanging out of the back seat of a Honda Pilot. That would be me. But, after scraping my arms up and cursing a little, I got my keys out. I didn't cry either!

On Saturday I ruined a perfectly good cup of coffee by accidentally adding orange juice to it. And I already had a cup, so I can't blame it on that. For a split second I thought about just drinking it anyway, but since I'm not that big of an OJ fan to begin with, this wouldn't be a good idea.

Then just this morning I dropped a paper clip down the front of my dress. Now this really wouldn't be a big deal, but I can't find it. I don't really know how I dropped it down there to begin with, but when I did, I felt it slide all the way through. I thought it fell out, but I didn't see it anywhere. So, I went to the restroom to see if I could find it. I looked everwhere, even in my boots and it's gone. So, I retraced my steps to see if it fell out as I was walking to the restroom. No paper clip. It's definitely perplexing.

My most famous idiotic moment has to be when I was in college. I was at the movies with a friend and we were doing that hip check thing where you hit each other with your hip. As I was about to hip check with all the force I could muster, my friend moved away. I had all this momentum built up, so I couldn't stop. Plus it all happened so fast. Well, needless to say, I went flying. And because I had all this momentum, I didn't just fall to the ground. I fell, and rolled. Seriously, I rolled across the floor of the movie theater. I don't remember what other people around me did because I was too busy laughing. I think I laughed for the entire movie. I'm laughing now just thinking about it.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Keep on Smiling

This weekend was heavenly. I just didn't want it to end.

We didn't have to travel. We didn't have to train for anything. We had plans with friends and that was it. And that was awesome.

We actually watched a movie Friday night. It was the first time we watched a movie together in literally months. We watched Smart People with Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker. It was good. Interesting with some funny moments.

Saturday morning was nice and lazy. After breakfast John, Keller, Lola the dog, and I went for a walk and took the soccer ball. We kicked the ball around for a while, until Lola got too annoying and wouldn't let anyone play. We then went to the playground until it started to rain. We ran back home, dried off and then had some lunch.

We then all took naps, which was awesome. We then got up and got ready for Noah's birthday party. That was fun and chaotic. It was at My Gym, which is a free-for-all. Keller just goes crazy there, so it was an hour and a half of chasing him around, making sure he didn't fall off some apparatus.

After Keller went to bed, we watch another movie. We watched No Country for Old Men. While I'm usually not one for extremely violent movies, this was pretty good. It had some very interesting dialogue. I liked it.

Sunday morning we went downtown to watch the Marine Corps Marathon. This was my first (and second) marathon, so it's pretty nostalgic for me. It was a gorgeous morning and it was cool watching all the front runners go by. I usually don't get to see them since I'm way behind them. It was awesome.

After the marathon, we met Eric and Isabel for brunch. We hadn't seen them in a while, and Saturday was Eric's birthday, so we needed to get together. We stuffed ourselves and had a great time.

We then went home, had naps, I went for a run, and then we all went over to Mary and Steve's for a great dinner. The usual suspects were there, and it was a great time.

So, this was my idea of a perfect weekend. Friends, food, and fun! Happy Monday!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ray of Light

I knew it would take just a couple of nights of really good sleep to feel better. While I still have a lot going on, at least I feel a little more capable of handling it now.

Before I go any further, I want to share something I'm extremely proud of. I had the great opportunity to chat with a local running celebrity: Michael Wardian. This guys is just a year older than me and he's accomplished so much as a runner. He is great in every race he enters, often winning them. But he's also a dad, a husband, and a successful international ship broker. He is incredibly balanced and has a fantastic outlook on life. Even if you're not a runner, this interview will change the way you look at staying fit. Please take a look!

Speaking with Mike really made me think about how I run, how I put too much pressure on myself causing my races to tank, and how I should just have a good time. The rest should follow.

And I'm definitely making progess with my current challenge: the 100 push up challenge. I finished week 1, and have moved into week 2. Here's what I did yesterday:

Set 1: 9 push ups
Set 2: 11 push ups
Set 3: 8 push ups
Set 4: 8 push ups
Set 5: max (I did 12 push ups)

That's another 48 push ups under my belt!

Anyway, I hope have a great day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Old Brown Shoe

I need to be very depressing at the moment. Cut me some slack, I haven't written anything depressing in a long time.

I have finally reached my limit. I am completely spent. I have been going a mile a minute for months now and I literally feel like I can't move a single step further.

It all just kind of hit me today. I've been feeling stressed and overwhelmed for a while, but I kind of just deflated today. Things have been hectic and hard for us all year, but by late August, things kind of evened out. Keller had settled into his new school, my mom's health was in check, my own health scare was worked out, and I was able to cut my hours at work. But since then, it has just been building in momentum.

Since the beginning of September, we've celebrated Keller's birthday and had his party, John did his race so we traveled there, I did my race so we traveled there, we went to Sesame Place, I've had two running groups start, I started writing for the D.C. Examiner (which I love), and I fit 40 hours of work into 25 hours every week. And those are just the big things. I'm not even counting the other 800 things we have been doing in between everything.

I'm not trying to sing a woe is me song. As all of this was going on, it was just life. I was just going through the motions. But it just all hit me today. I feel disconnected from everything and I had to just come home today and lay down. I had a mile long list of things to do but I just had to put it all on hold for a little while. It didn't really help.

I don't really have much of a point here. I guess I just needed to get it out, maybe rationalize why I feel the way I do. I know I'll feel better soon. I need a couple of nights of good sleep and things to just slow down. While I don't think I can get things to slow down, I can at least go to bed early.

Tomorrow is another day...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Walking on Sunshine

It seems as though our trip to Sesame Place was a success. Keller had a blast and that was the goal.

It kind of started as a comedy of errors. When we got to the hotel in PA, my parents were already there and had told me what room we were staying in. Apparently I didn't hear them, and while John was parking the car, Keller (who was sleeping and waking up) and I were trying to open someone else's room. This wouldn't be a big deal except it was about 10:30 at night. They were asleep and got out of bed! But I wasn't off by too much because we were staying in the room next door. Thankfully I didn't see the woman that answered the door again or I would have been mortified!

Then, as we were filling up the air mattress, the motor on the thing died. So, I ended up sleeping on the very hard hotel floor. See, we brought the air mattress for Keller to sleep on. Obviously, I wasn't going to let my child sleep on the floor, so John slept with him in the bed and I was on the floor. It was quite uncomfortable and my back has been messed up since then. Nothing like running a marathon one weekend, having a sick baby in addition to a nonstop busy week and then sleeping on the floor the next weekend. It will be a wonder if I ever feel recovered from this race.

By the time Saturday came around, we were ready to go to Sesame Place. When we got there, we had to go through the Fort Knox security at the front gate: they finger print you in addition to scanning your name and admission ticket. Ok. Because that's necessary. And my mom, who apparently could double as an assassin, didn't have a readble finger print.

When we got through the hoopla of the front gate, it was go time. They were having trick-or-treating throughout the park, so we promptly got our bag and started. We went through a corn/hay maze a few times. We then played in the game area for a while and won a stuffed penguin, an Ernie basketball and a little stuffed white seal that we named Wally. Keller actually won that one himself, and has taken quite a love to it.

At 12:30 we enjoyed an hour-long lunch with Big Bird, Elmo, Bert, Ernie, Zoe, and the Count. Keller was in heaven. Truly. He had a great time. When he met the Count, he promptly showed him how he could count by putting his fingers up into the Count's face. It was priceless.

After lunch, we walked around some more and then headed back to the hotel for naps. Then it was to Red Robin for dinner. That is always good.

Sunday morning, we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast back at the park with Big Bird, Elmo, Bert, Ernie, and Zoe. Again, Keller was in heaven.

After breakfast, we walked around some, played on some slides, found the trick or treating candy spots, and just enjoyed the chilly Fall day. We heard that Cookie Monster was going to make an appearance, so we stuck around. Then, finally, at 1:30, there he was! I was quite excited, though Keller had fallen asleep by then. Oh well. At least I got my picture with him. :) You can't beat Cookie Monster.

After hanging with CM, we headed out. We said goodbye to my parents and started back home. The trip home was uneventful and we got home at about 5:00. I am so glad to be home. While it was fun and Keller had a great time, I am pooped! As it turned out, I didn't sleep well again last night and still have not been able to get a good post-marathon night's sleep.

And now it's back to the real world. This week will be just as busy. Client meetings, deadlines, etc. Not looking forward to it. I am looking forward to my 8K Training Group starting tonight. That will be fun!!

Happy Monday.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Love Is In the Air

Could it be? Could Fall actually be here?

I love Fall. It is my absolute favorite season. I mean, Spring is pretty awesome, but for some reason, Fall is wonderful for me. I love the crisp, cool mornings and chilly night air. It's perfect for running, though I'm not running until next week.

This weekend marks the very first weekend both me and John are free from training. No one is training for anything. Yay! So, we decided to mark the occasion by going to Sesame Place for some sweet family fun. Keller is crazy for Sesame Street, it's all he wants to watch. He'll wake up in the morning saying, "Sesame Street is brought to you by the letter C and the number 4." Seriously.

Anyway, when I told my parents that we were going to the Happiest Place on Earth (for Keller) they thought it would be great to join us. So, we're meeting there (it's right outside of Philadelphia, which is about halfway to both of us). We'll be all piling into one room, which should be fun. We have breakfast with Elmo and friends one morning, and we will be on the hunt for all the characters. Because it's the last weekend of the season, I know the water park is closed (not that we would want to go in the water now that it's cool) so I'm a little concerned it will be boring. But, considering Keller's love for Sesame Street, I don't think it really matters. We think his little head will explode from the excitement of it all.

In other news, my yoga certification classes will begin in two weeks! Yippy! For three weekends in November, I will be working towards my Level 1 certification. So, for those of you in the Washington, D.C. area, be on the lookout for a Yoga for Runners class. People, you have no idea how important yoga is to my overall running and well-being. Not only does it help with my strength, endurance, and flexibility but it helps keep me centered. It's a great complimentary stress-reliever to my running. I've been practicing since 2001, when John and I were planning the wedding and I was stressed out. It made a great difference. While I can't practice everyday or as much as I'd like, when I do, it's just wonderful.

Ok, it's 7:30 in the morning and Keller is still sleeping. This is amazing. I think he's making up for traveling last weekend and being sick. Thankfully the trip to Sesame Place is short and he can sleep in the car. Oh! I hear his little voice. Need to go squeeze him.

Have a great weekend!

OH! I forgot. Today is Week 1, Day 2 in the 100 push-up challenge. Here's what I did:
Set 1: 6 push ups
Set 2: 8 push ups
Set 3: 6 push ups
Set 4: 6 push ups
Set 5: max (I did 10)

That's right, I did 36 push ups this morning! I am an animal.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I went to the podiatrist yesterday. It was a good visit and I'm pretty optimistic that my foot problems will be gone before too long.

I have bunions. There, my shame has been revealed. Unfortunately, I've had them all my life as the biomechanics of your feet are inherited. You know, your feet will eventually look a lot like your parents'. Anyway, my right foot has been getting pretty bad and bothering me a lot on my longer runs. And it was my right foot that was killing me during Chicago.

The doctor said I have pretty significant damage on my right foot. Actually, I believe the word he used was "deformity." And my bunion is only mild! But, because I'm only 33, and it's so bad already, I should expect it to only get worse. He said that being a runner has actually helped the situation because the joints in my foot are good, I have really good range of motion and that will help me should I opt for surgery. So all you naysayers and anti-runners telling me it's because I'm a runner that i have these problems: :P

So, that brings me to my next decision. Should I have surgery? It's a 3-month no-running recovery. Three months! Can you believe it? He said I can swim after 2 weeks and bike after a month. I mean, I have to consider my job. I am a running coach! I run with people! But I would hope my clients would understand that, as I'm standing there in a cast, I just can't run with them right now. But it's my expert advice people need anyway ;)

In thinking about it, there is really no perfect time to do something like this. But now is probably the most optimal time. I don't have any races on my calendar for the next year, I'm in good shape right now, which will help with recovery, and it would be good to have this done and me be recovered before we have another baby. So, *gulp* I'm going to have it done. I'm going to call my doctor today to set up the surgical consult and we'll go over all the specifics. Then, next year, depending on the situation, we'll do my left foot.

I feel all right with this decision. I mean, I'm not going to do a cartwheel or anything, but this is something that is going to be needed at some point in my life anyway. There are ways to manage the pain now, but they won't prevent it. Surgery is really the only way to rid myself of the pain. And if I'm diligent in my recovery, my doctor feels I shouldn't have any recurrence for something like 30 years. We'll see.

Now I'm going to puke.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Push It

Today is Day 1 of Week 1 of my 100 push-up challenge. I just did my first workout and I think I may puke.

Here's what I did:

Set 1: 6 push ups
Set 2: 6 push ups
Set 3: 4 push ups
Set 4: 4 push ups
Set 5: max (I did 10 push ups)

That's a total of 30 push ups. I have never done that many in my life!

I don't really have a whole lot to say. Was working from home yesterday since Keller was sick. He's doing a lot better and no longer sounds like a sea lion.

I had my post-marathon massage yesterday. I'm a big fan of deep tissue massage and yesterday was the end all of deep tissue. I swear this woman was trying to break my bones. I thought she was going to break my arms for sure. Thankfully I survived without needing to go to the hospital. And I feel pretty good today.

Now it's back to the real world: work for me and school for Keller. Then I have a podiatrist appointment to see what I'm going to do about my feet. Then I'm going to try to see my friend Amy in the hospital. She just had her second baby on Monday. Then I have my Beginning 5K group. Busy day!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I think I'm crazy. It's been about 40 hours since my marathon ended and I'm already thinking about what crazy ass thing I can do next. Though, I'm not talking about a race this time. I'm taking the 100 push-up challenge!

This six-week program was developed by this cool dude that is kind of a machine. The guy runs, bikes, swims, does 100 push ups and will basically kick your behind if you need him to. I was "introduced" to him on Twitter and have been trying to keep up with his blog. He's an interesting fellow.

So, now that my lower half is broken from my marathon, it's time to refocus and do something that will keep me motivated. While I have my beloved yoga, I need something I can hoot and holler while doing. Yoga just isn't a hooting and hollering kind of practice. I have always been kind of lacking in the upper body strength department. Oh, I try. I do all sorts of crazy things to try and build up my strength. Crazy arm balances and plank position for days. But I think I need a more powerful intervention. We'll see if this does the trick. If not, well then, nothing will.

I did the initial test, which will determine my actual training plan. I did 9 push ups before I couldn't lift my body any more. That's not so bad, right? I will try to post my progress (or lack thereof) each of my training days. I'm a little nervous. But what the hay!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rock this Town

Let's take it from the top.

I woke up feeling good and ready. We met Amanda, Damon, Lynne, and Betsy. We all headed over to the start and were very excited.

Then we were off. We were feeling good and all that. It was very exciting. We saw our family at miles 1 and 3 and that was great. Everyone, runners, spectators, and volunteers, were all great. Then the heat kicked in. By mile 8 Amanda and I decided to just let it ride. We didn't want to kill ourselves in the heat and we wanted to have fun. We danced to all the music playing. We gave hugs to the singer of a band with a sign offering free hugs. I bet he regretted that. But we had a great time.

We saw our family again at mile 12. Keller was looking ill so that wasn't good. But we still hugged and took pictures and all that. It was fun.

I started having foot pain at some point, I don't remember when. I have foot problems in both feet that will most likely require surgery. They really haven't been an issue until recently. They've been bothering me mainly on my very long runs in the past couple of months. Anyway, that's the reason my race started tanking. Amanda was feeling yucky too so we decided to continue dancing and signing and having a good time.

We saw interesting things. Here is a list of some: a group dressed as Batman, Robyn, Supergirl, Batwoman, and the Joker. We saw a guy in a blow-up Sumo wrestler costume. We saw a sign that said "Poop if you gotta". We saw Elvis and some weird dude in a Frenchman costume with a sign that said, "Make baguette not war!". Gotta love it!

Time-wise this was my worst marathon in history! But Amanda and I had so much fun, the crowd was awesome, the other runners were great and the course was really nice. The things that made this race bad, the weather and my injury, were totally out of our control. I would definitely do this race again.

I met the womens winner as we were heading out for dinner. That was cool. And we saw Deana Kastor (the American woman who won Chicago a few years ago and the bronze medal in the Olympic marathon in Athens). She is a tiny woman.

Unfortunately now, Keller is sick with croup and we'll be heading to the doctor as soon as we get off the plane today. He was up all night and we had to do a steam bath to get him to sleep. My poor baby. UPDATE: went to the doctor and yes, it's croup. Got some meds and he seems to be feeling better.

Thank you to everyone for all your kind words and well wishes. My 7th marathon may not have been my best performance but it was sure the most fun. And you all have a lot to with that.

I don't know when #8 will be. I'm taking a break! Probably having surgery on my feet. But I'll be back. Ready to kick some ass.

BTW, this is my 100th post. Yay!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chicago is Large

We love Chicago. Seriously, this place rocks.

I'll start from the top. The flight here was nice. Keller did really well. He was a little unruly as we went through security, but other than that he was perfect the rest of the trip. He watched his little DVD the whole time and was content.

We got to the hotel and settled in. One set of friends were already here and we were waiting on another set of friends. In the meantime, we happened to meet Alan Webb who is the American record holder in the mile. This guy can run a mile in 3 minutes and 46 seconds. Seriously.

After Alan, we headed to the expo. That was an experience. It was kind of overwhelming. But we got some good stuff. We saw Olympians Sanya Richards and Leshawn Merrit. It has definitely been fun to see famous runners.

My parents got into town last night and we all got breakfast this morning and then went on a trolley tour of the city. I know it's touristy but we have never been here! Anyway, it was lots of fun and this city is awesome! It's so nice and has such character.

Then John and I went back to the expo. Ryan Hall who is the next great US marathoner, was going to be there signing autographs. We got there in enough time to see him but they closed the line for autographs. Needless to say, I was mad. But we saw him and that was cool. Then on the way out we met Bart Yasso who is a legendary runner. For the more serious runners out there, he developed the Yasso 800s. Anyway he's a cool dude.

Now we're going to get some dinner and then just hang out. I'm really excited about tomorrow. I don't even care about the weather anymore. It's just going to be so much fun!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I have about an hour to get ready and get out the door. And, of course, I'm putzing around on the computer. Now I think I know why I'm late for everything. It's called Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc. Too much social networking.

I'm feeling a bit less stressed. I'm done with work for the week. And while I can check my email and stuff, I'm off duty. I totally overloaded my editor before I left, so he'll have stuff to do while I'm away (as if he didn't already). So, that's good. Sometimes it feels really good when you're really productive. I knocked so much off my to-do list. There was only one item I wasn't able to finish and that can be done on Tuesday. Woo hoo!

Keller is so excited about going to Chicago. He told all his friends and teacher at school. John got him a little camera so he could take his own pictures. He'll have the window seat on the plane and he'll be in heaven. He has a number of obsessions (wonder where he gets that from) and the sun and clouds and moon and stars are all one of them. So, he'll be ecstatic being in the sky and so close to the sun. But we borrowed Mary's portable DVD player to be on the safe side.

As far as the race goes, it is what it is. I've trained. I've prepared. I've packed for every situation. You can't cram for a race. You either have the miles or you don't. I think I have them. I certainly have more than what I did for NYC Marathon last year, and Frederick earlier this year. So, here's hoping all goes well.

I'll try to post throughout the weekend. But I'll definitely be back on Monday afternoon (or Tuesday morning).

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stressed Out

Yes, that's a song title.

And, yes, I'm stressed out. Not only do I have to deal with my nerves regarding Chicago marathon, but I have to deal with getting everyone ready to travel (including Lola!), finish things up at work since I'll be out, and find the time to fit in my final runs. Ack!

Though, I have had some moments of serenity. Last night was the second meeting of my Beginning 5K group at Fleet Feet. These people freaking rock. They are so excited and wonderful. It also looks as though everyone in the group (all 27 of them) really seem to mesh. There's lots of laughing and smiling, which makes me happy too.

And, right this very minute, I'm watching my just-over-3-year old child write letters on his little white board. He's writing! Legible letters! And spelling! It's crazy.

I so wish I could just wiggle my nose and be at the finish line of Chicago. I am really looking forward to it, but at the same time, I'm so nervous. I don't ever really get nervous before races. But I've been so looking forward to this one, and now the weather is going to be hot and it may not go as I'd hoped, which makes me anxious. Ugh.

Well, I'll try to blog while I'm in Chicago. If not, you'll most definitely hear all about the race, and Keller's first plane ride, when I get back.

Happy running!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hot in Herre

I just checked the weather for Chicago on Sunday. It's going to be hot. It will be about 60 at the start, which is manageable, but there is a high of 79 predicted. Are you kidding me?

I have been waiting and hoping this race would be THE race of the year. I haven't had the best of luck in my races this year. I had an awesome Pike's Peek, which is at the end of April. But then Frederick Marathon was ugly (it was hot and my stomach didn't like it). The the NYC Half Marathon was ugly (too hot), and then Virginia Beach was ugly (too hot). Are you sensing a pattern here? I don't like to run in the heat.

So, I'm now feeling nervous. I was feeling excited and couldn't wait and blah blah blah. But now I'm starting to feel my nerves. It's going to be a mental race now. I just have to tell myself I've gotten through worse. If any of you know my Walt Disney World Marathon story, you'll know what I'm talking about.

It seems that I've gotten my stomach issues under control. And, on paper, I know how to run in the heat. Therefore, in theory, I should be all right. Here's hoping.

Send your good vibes, because I'll need them!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Kids Say The Darndest Things

Bet you didn't know that was actually a song title. If you can name who sings it (without Google's help), I'll give you a kiss.

Anyhoo, there weren't any exciting events happening this morning. Although, for those of you waiting with baited breath for the news...I found my lost shoes. And they weren't on the side of the road either. They were in a bag, underneath some crap, on top of the dining room table. Just where they should have been.

I thought I would mention the latest funny things to come out of my child's mouth. Here's some background: I love to pinch Keller's butt. He has the most adorable baby butt in all the land. It's irresistable. Anyway, the other day, I was going in for a routine pinch and he told me that his bottom was closed. Ha!!! His bottom was closed for pinching. Too funny.

Then, last night, John and I were on the couch talking. Keller wanted some milk and I told him to hang on a minute and I'd get it for him. Well, that minute was just too long for my child. He proceeded to go to the fridge, get the milk out, plop it onto the couch next to me and say, "It's milk time."

You know, this might be the first Tuesday I've enjoyed in a long time.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Clock Goes Round

There are some days where my biggest accomplishment is just getting out of the house in one piece.

I used to be such a punctual person. In fact, I was an on-time snob. I was never late for anything, and if I ever was, it was because of a catastrophic event. Well, that was before and this is now.

I am late for everything. Seriously, I just cannot be on time for anything anymore, no matter how hard I try. And I hate it. Hate, hate, hate.

This morning, we all got up a little late. I cannot get out of bed when Keller is still sleeping. It's unnatural. He has always been an early riser, and by this I'm talking about waking up at 5:00 in the morning, everyday. And he just doesn't "wake up," he is ready to take on the world, running around like his pants are on fire. So, when the chance to sleep in a little comes along, we're all over it. The past few mornings, Keller has slept until 7:00, which is pretty much our noon.

After we got up and had breakfast, it was crazy time. John and I getting ready, me trying to track down everything, and not finding anything. Seriously, I lost a pair of shoes. How do you lose shoes? I've always wondered that, when I see random shoes on the side of the road, how on Earth does that happen? Well, I'm sure my cute black heels are on the side of the road somewhere.

Anyway, we made it out of the house. Keller was a little late for school, but it was all right. They were doing their sign language session when we came in and he sat down and seemed to just get to it. As I was leaving, there was another little girl from his class coming in, so I didn't feel so bad.

I surprisingly made it to work on time. Traffic wasn't bad. As I was driving to my parking garage, I saw a fellow late person running down the street, waving her arms at something. Though, she was in worse shape than me because her underwear was hanging out of her pants and her hair was all wet. That instantly made me feel better. :)

Nothing like being late Monday morning.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I'm Gonna Flip Out Like a Ninja

There is some crazy shit out there. Seriously.

I was writing an article for my D.C. Running Examiner column on running at night (stay tuned, it should be posted later today). I did a Google search for LED lights you can wear, because I have one but I couldn't remember who made it. Anyway, I came across this website that has all this self defense stuff. In addition to slingshots and blowguns, you can buy really pretty pink and swirly colored Ninja throwing stars. And stun guns that are shaped like cell phones. You know, to throw off your attacker. There was a lot of crazy stuff.

So, then I got to thinking about Ninjas and I did a Google search on Ninjas. I came across this other website that has a whole line of apparel for Ninja Kittens. I'm serious. I don't know if it's outfits for a Ninja kitten, or an adult to showcase their love for Ninja kittens. You should really check it out. The whole theme of the website is good and evil kittens. It kind of weirded me out, but I figured I'd share it anyway.

I realize the Internet is a crazy place. But good and evil kittens? While I think Percy (our cat) has some good and evil moments, I wouldn't make up a whole website about him. I don't know, maybe I would. I do love him and have 13 years of Percy stories to share. Be on the lookout for Evil Ninja Percy: The Blog.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Do You Believe in Love

Now that I've linked my blog with my Facebook page, I thought I would give a refresher course to my faithful blog-readers and give instructions to my new readers. For those on Facebook, this is a blog I keep at If you like my Facebook shenanigans, you'll love my blog craziness. Here's the deal:
  1. Every blog post title is the title of a song, or lyrics to a song.
  2. You have to guess the song/artist.
That's all! Well, besides loving every word that I type.

Today's song title is the result of a deep-hidden love that was uncovered while I was in the car today. I realized, possibly after years of supressing such emotion, I love Huey Lewis and the News. How can this be? Such pop music is not usually on my "Love!" list. But for some reason I not only found myself humming along to this tune, but screaming it very loudly. Thankfully, Keller was not in the car with me or he certainly would have told me to stop singing.

I have admitted quite the number of crazy obsessions, addictions, and crushes on this blog. But I'm thinking this one I should actually be a little embarrassed about. Huey Lewis?

Oh well. At least it's not Michael Bolton (sorry to all the MB lovers).

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Running On

I have a new venture. It has been a couple of weeks in the making and I've been dying to tell people about it but didn't want to jinx it.

I am the new D.C. Running Examiner on the Examiner website. This is basically a website that has different regional news, information, events, etc., written by local peeps like myself. It's pretty cool. Anyway, I am the local expert on all things running and other related topics.

I've posted my first article, which you can read now! I hope you guys check back often!

Freak Out!

Ok, so I'm having anxiety.

Now that John's race is over and we're back in the real world, I'm starting to freak out. I have a lot of crap to do and I have my own race in less than two weeks. Isn't this supposed to be my taper time?

Last night, I had to renew my CPR certification. In all the years I've been getting my CPR certification, this was the best class. We were done in 3 hours and there's no test anymore! Yippy. And I think by now, I actually feel confident that I could perform CPR and actually remember what to do. I know that sounds terrible, but everyone I know that has their certification, myself included, always says that in the class, they rock, but would they know what to do if it happened in real life? I think I'm ready. Though I really don't want to test it out.

There were only 3 of us in the class. Me and two old biddies. Seriously, they were just not getting it and we were actually done late because they just weren't getting it. One of them even claimed her mouth was getting bruised from practicing the rescue breathing. Seriously. When she was pointing it out to me, I told her I didn't see anything. Which I didn't. She was just one of those women. The awesome instructor, who had to be the most patient woman on the planet, was getting frustrated. And I was bored. I have to say I hope I never collapse around those two. I'd die for sure.

Anyway, my Beginning 5K Program starts tomorrow. I'm actually looking forward to meeting everyone and helping them reach their goals. I just am a bit overwhelmed because I just have a really busy week and I am hoping I'm able to get everything prepared for them before tomorrow.

By the way, election day is in a little over a month. You better vote. I'll try not to get too political here, but it's more important than ever to vote this year. I'm pretty sure you all know who I'm voting for. We have to be the change we believe in, people.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

We Are the Champions

Well, it only took 14 hours and 55 minutes, but my husband is now an Ironman finisher. Pretty awesome!

So, when I left off in yesterday's post, I was going on a run. I ran up to the bike course and ran along there for about an hour hoping to see John. I saw him right before I was turning to go back. He was in good spirits and was having a really good ride.

After a while, we went over to the transition area and we able to see John start the run. He was still smiling!

We walked part of the run course and because the runners were looping all over the place, we were able to see John 3 times! It was great.

We left to get dinner and headed back for the finish. It was after 8PM at this point and Keller eventually fell asleep. And it started raining again.

But then, at about 9:40, John came running out of the darkness with about a half mile to go. I ran with him and he was still in great spirits. We made it to the track and it was great watching him cross the finish line. He did it! We were all crying a bit.

John was in pretty good shape. He was coherent and his body didn't start breaking down until about a third into the run. I think that's pretty good considering he had been racing for 11 hours at that point.

We are so proud of you. You are a true rockstar!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Eye of the Tiger

Well, he's off!

We were up and out by 5:00 this morning. We went to drop off his supplies at the transition areas and then headed to the start. John was in really good spirits. I've seen him nervous before but he wasn't really that freaked out. He just seemed really excited.

At 6:50 they were allowed to get into the water. They had to swim to the "start line." then the sky opened up and it began to pour. I was soaked. The race promptly started at 7:00.

I left to go back to the house and get changed and pick up Keller, John's mom and sister. We made it back to see John on the bike. Then we went to get something to eat. We parked alongside the road so we could see John again. We saw him about 3 times because we decided to drive up and down the road. It was pretty funny.
Now we're back at the house. I think I'm going to go on a run here in a minute.

I will update again soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

Have I used this title before?

Anyway, why are humans never satisfied? Seriously, why do we always want the opposite of what is actually going on?

What I'm referring to is the weather. This last week has been really nice. Not hot, not humid. Nice, fall weather. But yet, people will still complain about it. You know, after they just finished complaining about how hot it was a week ago.

Last Saturday morning I was giving a talk to the Montgomery County Road Runners Beginning 5K group. We started at 8:00 AM and it was about 58 degrees or something like that. Absolutely perfect running weather. In fact, even a little warm for my taste. And I heard some people complaining about how they were freezing. Meanwhile, not a week before it was in the 90s with 100% humidity. There was a race the weekend before (Parks Half Marathon) and people were sent to the hospital for heat exhaustion and other heat-related issues.

This morning is another example. It's chilly and windy, and a bit cloudy. We're expecting some rain. But it's in the high 50s again. It's actually a nice morning. On my way to work, I saw some women doing their morning walk in big coats, hats and mittens. Are you kidding me? We don't live in Antarctica. Then I get to work and one of my coworkers has this thick ass sweater on and is complaining about how freezing she is. She has the heat turned up to the highest level in her office. Seriously, if you go in there, you're hit in the face with a wall of hot air and immediately pass out. It's dangerous.

So, what's the deal, people? Fall and spring are my favorite seasons for the cool mornings and pleasant afternoons. But I just love how everyone sits and cries about how hot it is all summer and how they can't wait for cooler weather. Then the cooler weather gets here and people cry about how cold it is. Mother Nature can't win. Maybe that's why the Earth is going haywire. It's all about Karma!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tangled Up In Blue

The newest season of The Biggest Loser started. Yay!

When this show first started, I really thought it was the worst idea ever. I thought it was going to be about bringing a bunch of overweight people together and tempt them with food and make them miserable. And basically promote being skinny and all that crap. That is so not the case.

They bring people who are overweight to a ranch and make them work out and eat right to lose weight. But they do it the right way: through exercise and a healthy, nutritional diet. And, yes, it's ultimately a game and competition and these people are playing to win some amount of money. But really, they are learning very important skills and tools to lose weight and keep it off by living a healthy lifestyle.

A lot of the contestants often have some type of counseling or talk session with their trainers and the doctors that are involved with the show. They learn why they eat and can't lose weight. Which is so important. Whether it's their environment, their relationships, their emotions, etc., they learn ways to cope with these things so that they can overcome them. And lead the lives they have always wanted. Being fit and healthy.

I know I get all geeky when it comes to stuff like this. And it's not because I lead a healthy lifestyle. It's because I didn't always lead a healthy lifestyle. There was a period of my life where I was very self-destructive and wasn't the healthiest in the world. Yet, through the support of my family, friends, and health care professionals, I was able to get through it. And that is why living a healthy lifestyle is so important for me. Being healthy saved my life.

That is why I devote my life to helping others reach their goals. It is so important to have that person that believes in you and will help you get there. That's why I LOVE Bob Harper. He's one of the trainers on the show. I love him. He, too, grew up in an environment that was not conducive to a healthy lifestyle and so many of his family members are going down a road that is dangerous. His mom passed away from a heart attack. So, his way to combat all of that is to be healthy and active. And he's just awesome. I love him.

I'm stepping off of my soap box now. I'm just really happy that The Biggest Loser is back! It's so inspiring.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Birthday Boy

Today is Keller's 3rd birthday. I cannot believe my baby is three.

Keller was born on a Thursday. I started feeling contractions at 2:30 AM. I had actually had some signs the night before that his arrival was imminent. Anyway, I woke up with contractions and went into the other room to time them before calling the doctor or waking up John. At 3:30 the contractions were stronger and about 7 minutes apart. I woke John up.

When I woke him up, I think all I said was, "John, I'm having contractions." And he jumped up and started getting dressed and I think said, "Let's go." I called the doctor and he told me to come in.

We left for Holy Cross and by the time we left, the contractions were about 5 minutes apart and really strong. I called my parents and I think they jumped into their car right then and there.

We made it to the hospital at about 4:00. By then my contractions were about a minute apart. And so freaking painful. They did the initial exam, I was already at 7 cm and was going to be a mom very soon.

We got into our delivery room and the guy came to give me an epidural. I asked him if he was going to paralyze me and he assured me he wouldn't. I was having contractions while he was giving me the epidural, so I had to be sure I'd be able to walk when this was all said and done.

The doctor broke my water and told me things were moving along nicely. At about 6:30 they told me I could start pushing. John was out in the parking lot calling family, so I of course had to wait a little. No one thought I'd be going through such a fast labor. They cut off the epidural and when John came back, it was time to go.

I pushed for about an hour. It was the hardest physical challenge in my life. Because I had been on bed rest for 3 months, my legs were shot. They were shaking and I had no strength to push. I was feeling the contractions and it was not a fun time. They had to give me a shot of something to speed up my contractions because they started to slow.

I really started doubting whether or not I could get this baby out. I said as much to the doctor and John (something like, "I can't do this anymore"). The doctor was a little miffed and basically told me in no uncertain terms that I was pushing the baby out. It's all about tough love with me. The doctor knew this and had to be stern with me.

Just after 8:00 AM, our sweet baby boy was born. John had tears streaming down his face, that was a beautiful sight. We didn't know what we were having and everyone had convinced us we were having a girl. So when the doctor said we had a boy, we were a little surprised. I almost asked the doctor if he was sure, but thought against it. I didn't know if his tough love had ended by then and wasn't sure if he'd slap me. Anyway, Keller Joseph Gill was born. And the light in my life shined as brightly as ever.

Yesterday was Keller's birthday party. It was a hoot. We had a safari party at Andy's Parties in the Kentlands. It was awesome. The kids got little safari hats and binoculars and went on a safari for lions and giraffes. We did a pinata, pizza and cake. It was great. I will post pictures later today.

Happy Birthday, Keller. We love you to bits.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Run for Your Life

I wanted to let everyone know that I'll be coaching 3 new programs at Fleet Feet Sports, Gaithersburg this fall.

I will be coaching a Beginners Running 5K program, an 8K program and a Marathon/Half Marathon program.

The Beginners 5K program will meet at the store every Wednesday at 6:30 PM beginning October 1st. The goal race is the Frederick Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis 5K on December 6, 2008.

The 8K program will meet at the store every Monday at 6:30 PM beginning October 22nd. The goal race is the Rockville Jingle Bell Jog on December 14, 2008.

The Marathon/Half Marathon program will meet at the store every Tuesday at 6:30 PM beginning November 11th. The goal race is the National Marathon and Half Marathon on March 21, 2009.

So, if you're looking to start running or looking for a new goal, or just want to meet new people to run with, there is a program for you. I have heard from a lot of interesting people so far, so it looks like these groups will be a lot of fun.

You can email me at for more info. You can also get more info by going to Fleet Feet's website.

I hope to see some of you out there this fall!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Home on the Range

I am home-bound today. After about 3 weeks of a working refrigerator, our oven has decided to poop out on us.

It was nice how I found out too. I was putting together a delicious pizza. It was onions sauteed in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, arugula and feta cheese. All on a yummy whole wheat crust. I turned on the oven to preheat. After about 10 minutes of the preheat light not coming on, I opened the door. Cold. I think the ignitor is broken. Thankfully I was able to bake the pizza in Marc and Melissa's oven, so my creation didn't go to waste. At least it was good.

So now I'm home because the repair person will be here sometime between 8:00 and 5:00. Nothing like a huge window to completely ruin my day. I was hoping to go get a neti pot today. If you don't know anything about a neti pot, let's just say it's kind of gross. It's a pot that has a long spout and you put some saline solution and some herbs in and irrigate your nasal passages. You lean your head to the side (over the sink) and pour the solution into the top nostral. The solution will flow through the nasal passages and clear everything out. It's hideous, but it helps with congestion, allergies, sinus issues, etc. And I need one. I haven't been feeling well the last few days and I would rather not take medication if I can help it.

Oh well. Maybe I'll get lucky and the repair person will be here early. I doubt it though.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dance this Mess Around

I am what you call a "hot mess."

The book I just finished by Chelsea Handler was pretty funny. Anyway, she coined the term 'hot mess' to describe anyone and anything that is just not doing well. And I am that today.

I haven't been sleeping well. My runs yesterday and this morning sucked. I don't know what the deal is. I just can't get things together. It took every last ounce of energy to get myself to work this morning. I really want to go back to bed. In fact, I think I may leave early. I am just not myself today.

I am looking forward to this weekend. My parents will be in town and it's Keller's birthday next Monday. So we're having his party on Sunday. I can't wait. And what's really exciting is that he gets it. He knows it's his birthday and he knows he's having a party. I hope it's fun. I'm sure it will be, but I always worry about whether or not people are having fun.

We're having it at Andy's Parties, where they do everything for you. You just show up. We're having a safari theme since Keller loves animals so much. The kids will get little safari hats and go on a safari hunt to find little toy animals, which they get to keep. There are other games and stuff, including a big lion pinata. I think they'll all have a great time. And I don't have to do any of the work, which is the best part.

Ok, I need to get myself through this day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm Yours

Today is our 7th wedding anniversary.

I know in the grand scheme of life, 7 years isn't really that long, but it's a pretty long time for people our age. I can only think of one couple of our friends that have been married longer.

It's so weird to think that John and I have known each other for 10 years. We met in 1998 but didn't start dating until 1999 (well, New Year's eve).

For those of you that don't know the story, we used to work together. We were never on the same team in the lab where we worked, but we worked in generally the same area. So we saw each other all the time. And me being the flirt I am, and John being the shy guy he is, I was constantly flirting with him and completely embarrassing him. It was pretty fun.

A lot of the people we worked with were young and we'd all go to happy hours or parties at someone's house. So, John and I would often end up at the same bar or club and I would flirt endlessly and he would be bashful. I guess he was playing hard to get.

Then New Year's eve (1998 into 1999) was the turning point. We kissed after the ball dropped and John kept saying, "You know this changes everything." Well, I guess it did.

So here we are in 2008. We have been through so much, both good and bad, and it's been a thrill. I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else.

Here's to 70 more. :)

Amor vicit omnis.

Friday, September 12, 2008

All You Zombies

I am a zombie today. This week has just wiped me out. Being ‘on’ from morning until night with an almost 3-year old is quite a lot of work. Not to mention working and everything else that’s going on. I am so tired.

The only good reason why I’m so tired today is because the girls came over last night. As Holly says, that is the best therapy. Sitting with my girls, talking about life and love is the best. I am really lucky to have such good friends. I hope they know how much I appreciate them :)

So, Keller is hysterical. Yesterday morning, we were sitting on the floor playing and Lola was sitting on the floor as well. Lola is our dog, for those of you who don’t know. Well, Lola decides that it’s time to do some licking, which is just gross. So, I said firmly, “Lola!” Then Keller added, without skipping a beat, “Lola, stop licking your crunch.” I only assume ‘crunch’ is Keller’s word for ‘crotch.’ I laughed so hard. Then Keller started laughing. It was a fun moment. And Lola stopped, which is equally funny. Keller told her to stop licking her crunch a couple of times this morning too. I don’t know if I should discourage him from saying that or not. What if he tells someone at school to stop doing something to their crunch?

Anyway, I’m so freaking glad it’s Friday. Happy Weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Will Remember You

Today is the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

It's hard to believe it's been 7 years. Life has changed so much since that day. We got married 4 days after the attacks on Long Island. It was such a chaotic time.

The attacks occurred on a Tuesday. It was my last day at work before we were heading up to LI for the wedding. I was finishing up some training for our new employee, Russ, who I didn't know very well at the time, but later he and his wife, Erika, became very good friends. We were in the lab, with our radio playing, when our boss came in to take our radio out. We had no idea what was going on and we thought we were in trouble for playing the radio too loud. That's when our boss told us what happened. At that point, the first plane had hit the first tower and nothing else had happened yet.

We ran to our desks to see what was going on. Shortly after the second plane hit and then the plane hit the Pentagon. Being in Maryland, we weren't anywhere near the Pentagon, but living in the Washington DC area makes you feel vulnerable nonetheless. My brother called and emailed shortly after the Pentagon was hit. I spoke with John shortly after that. They were all watching the news on the big screen in one of the buildings on campus. I was able to get in touch with my dad and everyone in my immediate family was fine. I can remember that feeling of helplessness because my entire family lives in NY and CT, so I just felt so far away from them.

The rest of the day was mainly filled with trying to get through to friends in NY. The phone lines were tied up for most of the day, so it was difficult to get through. But eventually hearing everyone's voice was very soothing.

We left for NY the next day, which was planned. The way we normally go to LI is by crossing the Verranzo bridge into Brooklyn. This passes the lower part of Manhattan, which is where the attacks were. All the bridges and tunnels were closed except for the Tappen Zee, which is on the other side of the island (of Manhattan). So, as we crossed the bridge, we could see the smoke plumes on the other side of the island. It was a sunny morning, but there was a huge black cloud that hung over Manhattan. Both literally and figuratively.

Once we got to my parents' house, we felt better being with them. We had the final things to do for the wedding, but none of us really felt like doing anything. We really didn't know if having the wedding was the right thing to do. Many of our guests couldn't come due to the airports being closed. And the guests that could come, would they feel like it?

During a crying spell of not knowing what to do, my mom said to me that having our wedding was the purest form of unity. This is what people need right now, to celebrate the beginning of something and to celebrate love. It made sense but I still wasn't sure.

Well, obviously, we got married. And it was a beautiful day and a beautiful night. Everyone just let loose and had a great time. So many people thanked us for giving them a distraction and something to look forward to. We were truly grateful for everyone being there.

So, I apologize for being a downer two days in a row. But don't just think of this day as a sad day. But rather a day to love your family and friends. A day to be grateful for life and love. Remember those that were lost and honor them by moving forward.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Day the Music Died

I am on my own again this week. John is in Connecticut visiting the manufacturer of some of the sequencers they use at work. He left yesterday and will be back tomorrow night. It's 3 days, but it will feel like 3 weeks. I really don't like it when he's out of town. But it is what it is.

So, on my 100th day of not sleeping well, I was up at 4:00 this morning. I decided to watch a movie because we have had the same 3 movies from Netflix for months. I watched My Own Private Idaho with River Phoenix. I was obsessed with River Phoenix for a little while earlier in the year and I realized I'd never watched this movie. It was pretty good.

I've often wondered how different the world would be if the people that died so young and in terrible manners didn't actually die. So, if Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, River Phoenix, John Lennon, etc., didn't die, how different would the world be? Or, are these people legends because they died? I mean, John Lennon was a legend in his own time, of course, but some of the others that died really young, like River, were they already legends? Well, I guess maybe River isn't really a legend because no one really talks about him anymore. Just like Heath Ledger was idolized for the first few months after he died, and now no one talks about him anymore.

I have no idea where I'm going with this. Watching him just made be a little sad. I just always have felt a certain amount of sorrow for people that died so young or in such a tragic way. I think River Phoenix could have been a big deal as he got older. He was so talented and so ridiculously good looking. It's sad he had to die at all, but from a drug overdose? It's terrible.

When I was in LA a few years ago, we happened to be right across the street from the Viper Room, which is where River died. Because of this morbid facination with death I seem to have, we had to go over there. There really wasn't anything to see.

Well, how's that to brighten your Wednesday morning??!! Sorry to be such a downer.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Baby Come Back

This weekend was nice. Uneventful. Which is always nice. Saturday was a wash out and my run was postponed until this morning. So, the day was spent playing with Keller and watching tennis until it was rained out.

Sunday was yet another 20-mile run. It was a struggle this time. I'm just tired. I haven't been sleeping well, plus all the emotional stress of Keller in a new school and trying to figure out what I'm doing with my life. Anyway, we got through it and that's the important thing.

After the run, Allison and Ava came over and Keller was in heaven. He just loves Ava. He was asking about her all day on Saturday, which was weird because I didn't tell him we were seeing them at all. He's psychic. But they played away and Allison and I were able to catch up.

Then is was nap time, which didn't last very long unfortunately. Oh well. But Keller and I had a nice afternoon together and then it was bath time and bed time. And then I went to sleep.

All this buildup to say that I taped the womens US Open final between Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic. I used to really dislike the Williams sisters because of their arrogance and annoying demeanor. Yes, they changed the game with their power. Womens tennis was always kind of demur. The Williams sisters came along and made it powerful and fierce. Then they kind of fell off the face of the tennis court, getting caught up with other things like fashion design and acting. Everyone wrote them off. Then I guess they got their focus back. And they're really doing so well. I have to respect that. So I find myself rooting for them which is kind of a weird feeling for me. Just because I really didn't like them for so long. But they've both made such a great comeback in their careers. Which means they've been working hard and really taking things seriously. Serena won the US Open and I'm happy for her. It's the first time she's one the US Open since 2002.

If you think about it, imagine being the CEO of a company. And then you were fired. In an ugly manner with rumors swirling about your incompetence and lack of ability. And then 6 years later, you found your way back to the top, in spite of the doubters and nay sayers. That doesn't happen often in any field, and pretty rarely in sports. Once you're down, you're usually out. And it's a woman making such a great comeback, which is an awesome thing.

I guess the point of this whole ramble is that you should never really count yourself out of the game. If you work and believe in yourself, anything is possible. On this grumbly Monday morning, I'm hoping that thought will make this week a great one.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Part-time Lover

I am now a part-time employee. Woo hoo!

I have been contemplating going part-time at work for some time now. I have been feeling really disconnected from my life, namely my husband and child. Since Keller has started his new school, he has been sleeping later in the morning. And while, in general that's a good thing, I leave at 7:00 in the morning because of traffic and the commute into Bethesda. So I barely saw him. One morning, I even woke him up a little (he was awake but still in that sleepy phase) just so I could see him before I left. When I did have to go he would say, "Mama, stay here with Keller" or "Mama, I need you to play." And my heart would break every time I had to tell him I had to go. Well, that has all changed!

I spoke with my boss on Tuesday and I now am on a part-time schedule. I'm so excited. Today, Keller and I played for about an hour! It was awesome. John and I got ready for work at the same time and we were able to talk and catch up. We usually don't get to spend a lot of time together because of our various training regimens. So this morning was really nice. Anyway, after we got ready, Keller and I were off to school. And we play this game when we are in the car together: he wants to find the letters of the alphabet, in order, on the signs and stuff along the way to our destination. We found all the letters, though I cheated a little with 'Y' and 'Z'. They were found in the classroom, where I knew we would find them. Oh well.

But I'm so excited because now I get to take him to school and pick him up every day. And if I can't pick him up for some reason and John gets him, I won't feel guilty about it because I would have already spent buckets of time with him in the morning.

Yes, it's a financial cut. But, really, in the grand scheme of things, spending time with my wonderful baby is a hell of a lot more important.

And, in addition to having more time with my family, I'll be able to coach a lot more. I won't spill the beans on that venture yet, so stay tuned...

Seriously, dude. Life is good.