Friday, July 27, 2012

Today, Goodbye.

Today is kind of a big, sad day. Our last day in our Adams Morgan apartment together, our last day in D.C. together. I said a long (hot) goodbye to our neighborhood this morning on a 6 mile run. I'm going to miss our location so much! I know all the mileage around there, I love running through the National Zoo and the Rock Creek Park, I love the park and the 7-11 across from our apartment. I love our big, south facing windows that fill the whole apartment with light in the morning while I stretch out. ugh. Sad.

The funny thing is, I never would have guessed all the things that made our apartment so great when we first signed the lease. I knew we liked it the best of all we'd seen, but I didn't know how much I would fall in love with it, or how D.C. would finally feel like My City once we moved in there. Sure, living with only one closet was hard (to say the least), and the cockroach problem was miserable, and our lone tomato really wouldn't grow and the condo board was a B*TCH. But I loved it there.

Our neighborhood.
Photo: Jeanine Finch
It's also the first place the Grige and I ever lived together. Which means it has the memories of lots of fights, lots of firsts, and lots of friends, all of which I am avoiding thinking about because I'm already falling apart just thinking about leaving 600 sq. ft. of wood flooring and bright paint jobs.

I should be getting excited over our new, big apartment, with central air and craftsman fixtures and a yard and MULTIPLE CLOSETS and FREE LAUNDRY. But I can't. I'm completely hung up on the fact that I'll never run home through the Zoo again. Or spend all day laying around in Kalorama park. Or drunkenly order wings at the 7-11 at 3:00 am after karaoke. Sure, I'll be back in a few weeks, but it just won't ever be the same.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A New Wedding Theme...

I have been obsessed with wedding themes lately, perhaps as a way to pass off the stress of our impending wedding. We didn't spend much time thinking about a theme, it just sort of seemed obvious. We both love green, and the outdoors, and the ceremony would be taking place under a willow: Boom! "A Walk in the Woods".

I like to think that if the Grige wasn't a designer, and totally into our wedding not being one giant joke, I would have had a more creative theme. My favorite until yesterday was "Finding Nemo". I imagine decorations sort of like the dance scene in Back to the Future, fish as centerpieces, seafood on the menu, a whale sounds dinner soundtrack, a first dance to "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid, bridesmaids in orange dresses with white stripes, seaweed bouquets, guys in orange ties... The list goes on and on. It would have been awesome, just saying. Also, decor and details would have been easy, because kid's movies make it their business to make sure there is more movie paraphenalia out there then a bride could possibly know what to do with.

Just Keep Swimming!
Source: Dinsney Pixar,

Then, yesterday, I found the most amazing website on the planet and decided that I really should have thrown a "Cow" wedding. Moo Moo to you too! I'm not even going to embed that link because I want you to go to the website that badly. Check out the "cow party" section (which is a grillion pages long) and let your imagination run wild. Country music would fit well with this, as would a "cow pie" wedding cake (aka: giant brownie) and bottled beer (in cow coozies, no less).


So there. I have planned two weddings for you. Have fun.

The theme fixation doesn't stop there. I'm starting to feel like our theme is evolving to something like "it's the thought that counts". I know, you're thinking that is a weird theme, but let me tell you why. About a week ago, I was planning to get ahead of the game and send all of the Grige's and my important documentation up to Michigan so that we wouldn't lose it in the move before applying for our marriage license. Luckily, before I sent, I opened the envelope with "THE GRIGE'S BIRTH CERTIFICATE" written on it in giant print. And guess what. It was empty. So now, the Grige will spend his last two days on the East Coast running around Maryland trying to get a new birth certificate. Fun times. Something tells me that it's not going to happen.

If that were all, it might just be funny. We'd get officially married at city hall in St. Louis in October or November, which would be kind of fun, and everything would be fine. Except that it's not all. I noticed yesterday that my wedding band (which I ordered 2 weeks ago) hadn't shipped yet. I called the jeweler, and guess what? They never placed the order. Gahhhhhhhh. In the best case scenario, the ring will arive the day before the wedding. Something tells me that is not going to happen either. Womp Womp.

Good thing I have a solution!
Photo: Chad Fisk
So now, we are most likely going to be missing two of the most fundamental and legally significant aspects of the wedding, which makes me very sad. But hey, "it's the thought that counts", right guys? ha. ha. ha.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Remember When I Said We Could Handle Moving and Marrying in the same Month?

Actually, I don't think I ever wrote that. I knew this would be stressful, but then stuff like the last 48 hours comes flying out of nowhere and knocks us both on our asses.

I talk a lot about how different the Grige and I are. Different personalities, different coping styles, different talents, strengths, communication styles and backgrounds. It makes for a lot of good variety in our life, and generally, I love it. But sometimes I worried that we didn't have enough in common to make for a strong marriage. Because everyone has fears like that, and it's hard to be in love with someone who is oh, so very different from you.

There is one major way that we are exactly the same, and I didn't even realize it until earlier this very summer. We are both kind-hearted, generous people who generally (and somewhat naively) assume that everyone else is nice and sharing and gives people the benefit of the doubt too. You may be surprised to hear that this is not always the case, and sometimes we get yelled at, scolded, bullied - whatever you want to call it - by people who are not quite so nice and innocent as we are. But that's not even the thing we have in common!

Photo: So, the kitchen is packed, but we still live here. Cooking requires creativity. Facepalm.
Packing... and Cooking Creatively.

The thing we really have in common is the fact that these interactions with people who treat us rudely and accuse us of generally being "up to no good" really de-rail both of us in very physical and personal ways. We are genuinely hurt, to the point of feeling ill, having trouble eating and sleeping, and even breaking out in a rash (that's just me, not the Grige), when people assume we're looking for a fight or trying to undermine their authority and treat us disrespectfully as a result. I know people who can just let things like that roll right off their backs, but the Grige and I are just not those people. Instead, we lie in bed next to each other all night, staring at the ceiling with our minds racing over what we could have done wrong/what we can do to fix it.

To sum up, we don't have a problem with authority or rules, and when we find ourselves in the wrong, we're willing to accept responsibility and correct our actions. We desperately want to follow the rules and we actually, physically need to be validated for doing so. How do we want to be validated? you might ask... Well, we want to be given the benefit of the doubt that we don't go around trying to make life hard for people and that any wrong-doing on our part is an honest mistake that we want to fix.

Photo: Jeanine Finch

So right now, we're not sleeping much and are generally very distressed about a problem with the condo board in our building (which, by the way, refuses to speak with us directly, even though we are NEIGHBORS, making it very hard for concerns to be addressed for either party) and our moving plans. The passive-aggressive nasty-ness and dictatorial manner have beaten both of us into sniveling, sleepless little heaps of pity while we try to deal with an ever-growing pile of wedding stuff.

Montello Condo Board! If you guys are reading this - we really want to follow your (stupid and kind of crazy) rules! Just stop yelling at us already! We are only asking questions!

Some people might say that we should just hunker down, get through the move, pay whatever psycho fines we're assessed and NEVER EVER RENT IN A CONDO BUILDING EVER EVER EVER. Generally, I agree with them. Don't do it. I know the unit is beautiful, and competitively priced, but just don't, okay? No one likes being a second class citizen, especially in their own home. And, you can live there when you are ready to buy.

However, that's not the moral of the story here. The moral of the story is that even though things are very very dark and sucky and stressful right now, I'm kind of glad this is all happening. Because it is infinitely comforting to me to know that the man I'm going to marry shares my deep, ingrained, desire to do the right thing, and to treat people (and be treated) fairly and honestly. And to know that those things are so important to him that he's up all night with knots in his stomach and eyes on the ceiling right next to me? It's priceless.

May your wedding planning be filled with slightly less stressful and upsetting reminders of why you are marrying your partner.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Terrific Ten

WHOOOOO! My first foray into the double digits was a success! I took advantage of the blessedly cool 85 degree weather in DC on Saturday morning to tackle my new personal distance record. I started rather later than I had planned on since our varied states of packing make food preparation an exercise in McGuyver skills. I had a slice of peanut butter toast (after using my finger as a knife), packed up my water bottle and shotblocks, and headed for the door.

Bikers rule!
Not for the first (or last) time, I didn’t really research my mileage before -hand very thoroughly. I had a vague idea of where I wanted to go, but trusted mostly to the signage in the Rock Creek Park and my strong knowledge of the mileage around my apartment to triangulate my distance. I kind of like this strategy, because it keeps me mentally engaged through the whole run. I’m constantly thinking of how far I’ve gone, and adding up the various tidbits of distance information I pick up along the way, like trail signs, timing, and known distances. I ran:

2 miles from my apartment to the zoo – the first two thirds of my regular morning run
1.7 miles from the zoo to Beach Drive – via information on a trail sign at the intersection right after Pierce Mill

1.5 miles to the ranger station out Beach Drive (which is closed down for bikers and runners on Saturdays, yay!)
Turn around
1.5 miles back down Beach Drive

1.7 miles back to the zoo

2 miles from the zoo to my apartment
= 10.4 miles in 1:58:26

I’m discovering that I like to keep my long runs a little on the long side. I already know that the marathon I picked is a Boston Qualifier, which almost certainly means it will be long. I also don’t really trust trail markers or Map My Run to get my mileage right, and I’d rather be safe than sorry. Not necessarily knowing where I’ll go beforehand is really freeing for a control freak like me, and I’m really proud of myself for being able to let go like this. It’s a welcome break from all of the other over-planned aspects of my life right now. I’m sure I’ll have to do more planning when I’m running in strange cities, or when my mileage starts getting long enough that I can’t count on trail signs and familiar territory to sustain my full distance. For now, I’m really enjoying it.
A map of the Zoo, via the National Zoo website. I run by th petting zoo with the cows and donkeys.
I was also proud of myself for staying on pace and finishing in under 2 hours. This included 2 water breaks and a bathroom break, since I’m learning to just let my watch run. Anyway, I’m still going to need those “breaks” during the marathon, so why set my pacing up for failure? I want to just feel great about finishing, so I’m trying to keep my expectations as reasonable as possible. I don’t think there’s much sense in running my first marathon for a goal time, though under 5 hours would be great.
As for the run itself, I thought the first 3 miles really sucked. It was hot, and I was instantly sick of running and just felt stiff and icky. Luckily, there were lots of people out running as well, and I got lots of encouraging smiles and waves from them. This is probably a sure sign that I looked miserable, but it succeeded in making me feel better. My first water break was just over 3 miles in, and that’s when the run started to turn around. I had a very fast  and fun mile 4, 5, 6 and 7. I took shotblocks at mile 4.5 and mile 6.5. They tasted great, but it was really hard to get the package open with how sweaty I was. I will definitely remember to rip open the package before I leave home next time! Overall, I think I just need to remind myself that it’s okay to start slower for long runs and remember that the fun almost never starts until after mile 4. I remember someone telling this to me once a few years ago and thinking that I would never be able to run more than 4 consecutive miles. Ahhhhhhh, perspective. If only I had listened.

Just like usual, the last 2 miles were brutal, mostly due to hills. I think it also means that my pace is good though – I don’t like finishing these longer runs with lots of fuel in the tank. I always find myself wondering how I will possibly handle the next week’s long run while I’m tackling that last hill. 12 miles next week seems insurmountable from the middle of that stupid hill. I guess we’ll just have to see!

So now, an uncomfortable confession: I get pretty sick right after I run more than a few miles if I’m not extremely careful of what I eat. And sometimes, even then… It would appear that my gut just really protests being bounced and shaken around for two hours. Since part of the deal with this marathon training is getting to know and fuel my body better, I’ve been experimenting with how best to prevent the violent rebellion after each long run. I had a glass of Tang right when I got home, and danced around the boxes in our living room to cool down, and stretched in the shower, so far so good. I had another glass of water while I got dressed, but knew I was going to need more calories before we left to hang out at a friend’s house. About an hour post-run, I had a small salad with almonds, dried cherries and feta. And immediately regretted the decision. In the grand scheme, the whole episode only made us about an hour late, but it still pisses me off that my body should be so upset with me about doing things that are good for it. I like running, but the long runs take a large enough chunk out of my day without adding an additional two hours of being chained to the bathroom. I’ve toyed with my diet, and the only thing that seems to keep it under control is just not eating for a few hours after a long run, which makes me cranky, because I’m HUNGRY after those things. Smoothies do seem to be better than real food, so I’m sticking with them for now and hoping that my body just adjusts as time goes on. Grrrrrrrr.

Photo: So, this just happened.... omnomnomnomnom
And then I ate this, and lived happily ever after.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Breaking News! Do You Know What Today Is?

I just received an email from the kn*t informing me that today is "Black Friday in July". I guess it's time to take advantage of the sales and finally invest in that name change kit I've been eyeing. Oh! and I can also buy bikini bags for my bridesmaids! And have them personalized.

For the record, I only signed up on the kn*t because they have a ridiculous amount of content available. When I was looking for advice on etiquette for divorced families at weddings, they had a lot of links for me to click. Many of them were worthless, but at least it was a starting place. They also have fairly good local vendor directories for obscure locations and lots and lots of pictures of dresses and hairstyles, which can be helpful.

However, the constant barrage of "YOU MUST BUY THIS NOW" e-mails that have been flooding my inbox is ridiculous, especially since the stuff offered is total cheap-o crap. And picking a random Friday in July and calling it "black friday" is just too much. As if one crazy psychotic consumer holiday wasn't enough. ugh. gross.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Case for "Traditional"* Weddings

There is an episode of Sex and the City where Carrie & co. are Sunday brunching and Carrie discovers Big and Natasha’s wedding announcement in the “Single Woman’s Sports Section” of the NY Times. When Carrie first begins to read, she brushes it off. “Nothing in there sounds like Big. It’s all her..” Until she hears that a saxophone played When a Man Loves a Woman as they walked down the aisle. She promptly loses it (with the kind of desperate dignity that only Carrie Bradshaw can), because that’s the moment that the Times reporter describes that really reminds her of Big, and who he is.

I can say with 100% confidence that our wedding announcement will never appear in the Grey Lady, and I’m even more certain that, if it did, no one would be weeping over the fact that the Grige or I am off the market during a delightful looking Sunday brunch. However, the scene has sort of haunted me through wedding planning. Mostly because I wonder what about our wedding will make my guests think:  “Oh! That’s so ‘Emily’”.

Probably nothing. I mean, let’s be honest. How many of us actually find decent ways to express our personalities through details at our weddings? And even if we did, who would get it besides us? None of my guests are going to set there and think “awwwww this quirky 80’s song by David Byrn that they are walking down the aisle to is so totally Emily!” They’re going to think: “what on earth possessed them to choose such a weird song? I wonder if the person with the iPod is pulling our legs…”

 A wedding is supposed to be a fairly universal right of passage, so homogeneity should be part of the deal, right? “My special day”, my ass. That’s what makes it a wedding, and that’s what guides people to understand what you’re trying to signify by doing it at all. If a tree falls in the woods and only the Grige and I are there to hear it…….. You get the idea. We’ve seen trees fall in the woods. And we both watched the Grige hand me this pretty ring half-way down an empty ski run. And if we did my version of a perfect wedding, it wouldn’t be that different from those events. In fact, it would probably take place on a fallen tree in the woods near a ski run and there would only be a handful of people there to hear it. What’s more, most of those people would have already know how committed the Grige and I are. We don’t’ need to declare anything to them. They’ve seen us snark at each other, and comfort each other, and blame each other, and forgive each other. They’re the people who will be standing right up next to us when we say our vows, supporting our relationship with their presence for all the world to see, the way they always have.

Trees fell, the world turned, the view was amazing...
So why am I so obsessed with my individuality and my privacy when it comes to this wedding thing. It’s clearly a social construct designed to show our community, in a way they will easily recognize, that the Grige and I are becoming a family. We deliberately chose not to elope because we wanted to share our love with our community in a meaningful way, which meant throwing a rather large and scary feeling wedding. But we will be up there, doing the same things that millions of other couples do: galavanting in a white dress, exchanging rings, saying time-worn vows….

I think it’s probably the millennial thing. If there are two things that people my age are obsessed with, it’s individuality and privacy. We live online double lives with our blogs and facebooks and twitters, constantly “brand managing” ourselves into identifiable boxes through writing and photography and consumption of goods. At the same time we assert that we are so different from everyone else. We must shout our very important individual-ness from the internet mountaintops. And we are different, and that is good, but it is not really what a wedding is about.

Photo: Chad Fisk
At the same time, we vehemently defend our right to re-claim our privacy at any given moment. To live public lives on the internet and then suddenly pull back – “you shall not see my honeymoon pictures” and “our wedding will be a private affair that will masquerade as a birthday party until the last possible moment”. Not that we aren’t entitled, but it’s a little confusing that I would be so willing to write about my wedding experience to a faceless internet audience on this blog, but hulk out whenever my mom wants to invite someone I don’t know well.

I think the difference is that I don’t really want to brand my our wedding. I’m going be a very human person that day, and it feels vulnerable. So I try to loose myself in details that will remind everyone constantly of how special and well branded and individual we are as a couple. Even though the whole point of the day is something that is such a common and shared experience that it almost seems too sacred to pepper with “individuality”. It’s not about me. It almost makes me think that cotillions and coming out parties should be more common, so that we can all just express ourselves already and let weddings be about the features that hold common meaning for our community.

Instant Anonymity..
I’m not suggesting that there isn’t more than one way to skin a cat. People have wonderful, unique weddings that work for them all the time. What I’m suggesting is that a wedding will always be unique to the two people getting married, and that a wedding will almost always hold some key, recognizable maybe even (gasp, clutches indie beaded necklace) generic features that make people of all ages point and say “hey! look! a wedding!”. Some people are crafty, and design-minded and enjoy visual stuff. I might even be marrying one of them, but no one is going to look at those leaf punch cut-outs and think “oh, Emily (sniff sniff sniff)”. They’re going to think that when I show up in a white dress and do all the “traditional” crap they expect me to do. You know, the stuff that they did too. Duh.
So I am going to stop trying to convince myself that the color scheme and cake flavor will tell people something about how different and interesting we are. The song I walk down the aisle is not going to fill their eyes with tears. They weren’t there that first fall we were together. The fact is that people don’t want to know how you are different from them. They want to know how you are the same.

* By Traditional, I don't mean that you have to spend a gazillion dollars and have all the things, I mean that you are probably going to wear a fancy dress/pantsuit/tie/whatever, exchange rings, make some promises, sign some stuff, and take some posed photos.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Update: A DC Cockamouse?

Breaking News!!

Or rather, breaking terrifying mental musings of someone who listened to her fiance beat up a giant bug this morning!!

I am thinking that we may have encountered (and killed) the elusive DC Cockamouse. Citizens, these are frightening times...

A (Good) Step Back

So last week was a “step-back” week in marathon training, and not very exciting. But I don’t want anyone think I am giving up so soon, so I will write about it anyway.

It was kind of disappointing to me to run such a light week, but it was probably a good thing with the holiday tucked into the middle of the week there. Sneaky, sneaky holiday. I need to remind myself that these step-back weeks are packed in for a reason: my body needs to recover. I’m glad I took full advantage and look forward to crushing 10 miles this Saturday.
Also, my Tuesday maintenance run last week was AWFUL. My legs hurt so much, I probably walked over 1/3 of my 3 miles, which made me sad after how triumphant my 9 mile longrun was. I took Wednesday off and drank too many G&T’s instead. Thinking rest had cured me, I hit the dreadmill on Thursday to try to address any stride problems that might be causing my ankle/calf/shin pain. It was a total bust and I gave up after a slow and gimpy mile to hit the stationary bike. I did almost 20 miles and felt pretty good afterwards. Cross training rocks.

After having such a rough training week and knowing that it was going to be another hot hot hot weekend, I opted to do my “long” (only 5 miles) run on the dreadmill on Friday evening. I actually executed a fantastic 5 miles at 11 min/mile pace and only took one short walking break to drink. My legs bothered me a bit at the beginning of the run, but I pushed through and they loosened up by mile 2. I think the difference was that I dragged my Boston 3’s into work in place of my minimal New Balances. The moral of the story may be that my crazy pronating feet just aren’t able to handle this amount of mileage without more support.
Boston 3's

So far, I’ve been running all of my long runs in the bulkier Adidas Boston 3’s, but still breaking out the NB Minimus trail shoes for my 3 milers. Those days are over. The NB’s will still be great for biking, hiking and lifting, and maybe even as race shoes for 10ks and shorter, but their days of regular running are over for me.

Beautiful NB 10 Trail's
Sadly, even the Adidas are probably a little on the “light and fluffy” side for the kind of mileage I’m about to start taking on, since they’re more of a marathon racing shoe. I’m thinking of retiring them until race day after I successfully break into the double digits this weekend. I figure that then I can invest in some hefty training oriented shoes and save the beautifully broken-in Adidas for shorter runs and race day. Yay!
So that’s where we are after a step-back week. I jump up to 5 mile maintenance runs and a 10 mile long run this weekend, so wish me luck!

A Bug of Uncertain Size and Intentions

I hate moving. Everybody hates moving. One of the things I hate most about moving is the fact that all the stuff shuffling sometimes awakens creatures better left undisturbed, in places like "under the bed" and "behind the couch". This morning, about 5 minutes before my alarm went off,  I heard a bang and the Grige let out a barbaric yawp the like of which I have never heard from him. I assumed he was injured and immediately leaped up to rescue him!

"Stay over there!" He shouted. "Don't even look."

Filled with terror, I asked if he was bleeding that badly, wondering how this could have happened while simply getting dressed in the morning. "No, it's a huge bug. Just stay over there and don't look."

He tackles food like he tackles bugs.
Photo: Megan Shiley
He did not have to tell me twice! I stayed curled up in the far corner of the bed and watched him thump around on the floor looking around for this "giant bug" which he apparently didn't kill with his first strike. Not. Scary. At. All. He also kept making these alarmed and frightened noises that were even scarier. I've never seen the Grige loose his cool before. Bears in Yosemite? No problem. Snake in the Water? What are you worried about? Giant, man-eating cockroach in the kitchen? Quit your whining, you silly woman. But this bug, that he would not let me even look at, was reducing him to whimpers and yells while he whacked at it with his bare hands and feet. Serious man points were awarded.

I am Mighty Grige! I fear NOTHING! Except the bug under our bed!
Photo: Me
He finally must have killed it, because he looked up at me with mixed fear and disgust and said "I got it, just don't look yet." After cleaning it up with a massive handfull of papertowels and carrying it to the kitchen (apparently, it was a matter too great for the mere bedroom waste basket), he allowed me to get out of bed and said he needed a hug and a back scratch. I obliged, and asked him how big it was.

" You don't want to know. I'll tell you after we are all moved out. I can't wait to get out of here."

Whaaaaaa? He wouldn't even confirm if it was larger or smaller than a mouse. My imagination is running WILD. This creature has probably been living under our bed for 2 years, feeding on dust mites and wrapping paper, waiting for me to disturb it's hibernation by packing up the Grige's side of the bed last week. I wonder what other horrors await us under there?

I suppose there is always the option of getting my mean face on and dealing with it, but why?
Photo: EE's personal collection
Needless to say, the Grige is now officially in charge of all "under the bed" packing. I'm not even sure if I can sleep in there tonight. I'm also instituting a very strict "no bare feet in the bedroom" policy while we're packing up. I will be armed with closed toes shoes from the moment I cross the threshold moving forward. Flip-flops need not apply.

So, how was your Monday morning?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Today, I am a Woman

Happy 4th of July!

Tonight, the Grige and I are going on a very fancy cruise on the Potomac to watch the fireworks. It's my first (and probably only) Independence day in D.C., since the crowds are so bad, I usually skip town. I'm really excited - this is definitely the only way to do DC on this holiday, and I've never had the funds. Fortunately, Chad's Aunt's got us these amazing tickets as a wedding gift, so I get to live the high life tonight!

Seriously, just thinking of this cruise got me through all my extremely stabby episodes on the metro yesterday. I understand that people want to visit their nation's capitol. It's beautiful, and they should see all it has to offer. However, stay off the f*cking metro during rush hour. And if you must ride, stand right, walk left, and keep your kids the hell out of my way if you value their lives. K? Thanks. PSA over.

So, our fancy cruise tonight gave me the perfect opportunity to try out my newly acquired wedding makeup skills. I also have a few very lady-like tips for preparing for a fabulous evening:

Photo: This is what a wedding makeup trial run looks like. Step 1: booze
Makeup + Wine

1. Spend the whole day battling dust bunnies under your bed while you try to pack up your very small apartment. Wonder how the hell that much crap fit under your bed.

2. Shower. You are covered in dust bunnies.

3. Demand that your handsome fiance press your cocktail dress for you. You are crap with an iron, and he knows it. Revel in the fact that it took him longer to press your dress than it took you to apply 30 lbs. of makeup.

4. Laugh at your fiance when he cannot figure out the pleats on the dress. And takes that failure really, really seriously.

5. Pour yourself a rocktail

6. Clean the toothpaste crap off your mirror.

7. Apply concealer, foundation, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, eyebrow filler, eyebrow holder gel, mascara and lipstick. That wasn't so bad, was it? Sip your rocktail in between each application.

8. Blow a fuse while you try to blow dry your hair. Discover that the refrigerator in the kitchen and the hairdryer in the bathroom are on the same fuse. Wonder why. Realize you are only learning this after 2 years in this apartment because you never blowdry your hair. Be glad you are moving.

9. Ask your husband to be if he would marry this face. Kiss your lipstick off all over his face when he says yes.

10. Re-fill your rocktail and sit around in your underwear until it's time to leave. Today, you are a woman.

11. (optional) make yourselves late while you write a blog post about it. Get yelled at.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Nine Miles, Ninety Eight Degrees

I'm still alive! That alone should denote this week's long run as a success.

9 miles, 1:43.29

After barely surviving a week of temperatures topping 100 degrees, tree toppling winds, lightning shows and one near gas disaster related to an empty tank and a slew of powerless gas stations (and a 50 car lineup...), the last thing I wanted to do was tackle a long run and a new personal distance record.
oh 98 degrees - if only I had been listening to the band instead of running in the weather... I think you could see these flames behind me though....

There are few things I hate more than the swampy weather that settles on DC in the summer. Last Friday was a record breaking 104 degrees. I felt like walking to the bus stop was a physical struggle of herculean proportions. I planned accordingly, and decided to run my regular morning 3 mile loop three times. This way I could check in with the Grige, re-fill my water bottle at regular intervals and stop at 6 miles if I became dehydrated. I also set a goal focused on "time on my feet", as usual. I aimed to finish 9 miles in under 2 hours.

My game plan for loop running was quickly shot to shit by a ton of down trees from Friday night's freak wind storm. My regular loop runs though about 0.5 miles of property owned by the zoo, all of which was shut down. There were also a plethora of debris on the Rock Creek Park trail which provided me with obstacles.

Luckily, I'd been checking my pace and was holding very steady at a 9:30 min. mile. Since I wouldn't know my mileage with the epic fail in the middle of my loop, I dropped down to a 10 min. mile pace and headed off into rock creek park. The wonderful thing about running when it is a gazillion degrees is that it keeps your muscles loose. I felt great, and even came across some trail markers to help confirm my distance estimates. The temperature kept dropping, and I found a water fountain to re-fill my bottle.

I was really cruising right through mile 8, but then ran into a killer hill that slaughtered my pace, as evidenced by my nearly 12 minute mile splits (averaged). I finished strong and took about 10 minutes to cool down before heading back into the air conditioning. I then re-fueled with a glass of Tang (yes, they still make that, and the Grige actually had some in our cupboards...).
The Grige had ripped the wrapper off, so it was more like "un-identified orange powder" until he explained the purchase...
Dinner consisted of a pile of asparagus, an ear of corn with salt and butter, and a stick of string cheese. My stomach is always pretty sensitive after a run, so I topped off my calories with another glass of Tang. I'm sure I'll be starving tomorrow morning.

Big lessons from today:

1. I don't hate running in the heat. As long as I have plenty of water and loose clothing, I actually felt pretty nice. Waiting until evening to enjoy the cooling after sunset was a good call.

2. I made it through 9 miles without fuel. I probably shouldn't go much further than that without bringing along some dried fruit, but it's nice to know that I can.

3. The Nathan hand-held bottle that I bought is the best 20$ I've ever spent.

4. I experienced "runner's high" for the first time. I essentially felt invincible from mile 4 - mile 8. Yay! Let's do that AGAIN

5. I'm not trying hard enough. I comfortably ran at my PR 10k pace up through mile 8 before falling apart on a hill. That means my 10k was slow, and that my last mile today was pretty sad. It's nice to know I have more in me, and I'm thinking about adding a 10k race to my training plan on a step back week just to see what I can do.

So now I'm going to finish watching the olympic gymnastic trials (those girls are AMAZING) and try not to cry ever single time they air the P&G "olympic Moms" commercial.