October 25, 2008
So, in case you haven't noticed, I kind of have this thing for Illinois sports and Champaign. So come football season, I accumulate quite a few frequent traveler miles along I-57 to Champaign and back to Chicago. Today was a road game, (and no one would go with me), so I got to spend the weekend at home. I woke up early, got my car washed, went to the bank, went to the cleaners, bought a halloween costume, and managed to watch the Illinois game all by 4. Since the previous 18 weeks had been consumed by marathon training and weddings, this whole free time thing is relatively new to me. I was actually so bored at one point today I thought about going into work. I'll repeat that - I was so bored going to the office was a viable option for entertainment.
The me of 2 years ago would find this totally unacceptable. The me of 2 years ago lived in a nonstop action packed world guided by the mantra of if you weren't workin, you're playin. What' s happened in this period? I blame the economy and credit crisis. I'm just too bummed out to enjoy myself.
I wonder if the economy of 2 years ago is also disappointed with its current day self.
October 23, 2008
I'm the world's biggest Tampa Bay Ray fan. Well, probably not, as I've only just jumped on the bandwagon, but I'm sure I'm not that far off from being the biggest Rays fan. How can you not be? They are the true American Underdog - horseshit one year, belle of the ball the next year. What's there not to love? Not one damn thing, that's what.
Hip Hip Hoo Rays!!!!!!!!!!
What exactly happens in a persons head between reading "Rules of the Road" and the moment that they get to a stop sign? I drive through several on my secret back road way to work, and every time I encounter people who fail to grasp the concept of how these sophisticated means of traffic control work. So here are a few simple reminders for some of you out there in Drive Batshit Crazyland:
1) First come: first served.
2) Like everything else in life, you move clockwise around the intersection to get to your turn.
3) As an extension and clarification of #1 and #2, if two people arrive at the same time, the person on the right goes first.
4) Just because you're on a major road does not mean you have priority over the side street. So at any of those 4-way stops, everyone is subject to the sign equally.
5) Just because you're in a hurry doesn't mean you don't have to wait your turn.
6) If you're riding a bike, get bent because I hate you.
See? Now everyone is better off. You're welcome.
October 19, 2008
On Sunday, October 12th I ran and completed my first marathon.
Anyone who has known me for any degree of time can tell you I'm not much of a runner. Well, the could tell you that I used to not be much of a runner. But then 3 years ago all of that changed when my sister ran her first marathon. As anyone with younger siblings can attest, one thing you absolutely cannot do is let your younger do something of that caliber and let her take all the glory. So after two attempts at training thwarted by injuries, I was determined that my time had come and I decided that 2008 would be the year I would run it. I needed a taste of big time running in Chicago, so I ran the Shamrock Shuffle in March, which at 8K was the farthest I have ever run consecutively in my entire life. This race was very important because it proved two things to me: 1) Crowds on the side of the street cheering you on definitely makes running more awesome than I ever imagined, and 2) I was severely out of shape.
The official beginning of training for the marathon began in the 2nd week of June and would continue for 18 weeks until October 12th. Training consisted of running 3 days during the week and then a long run on Saturday's. Once I got into a groove and adapted to the schedule, I actually started to crave running. Scheduled days off were filled with eagerness to lace 'em up and get back out there and run. I think part of this was the excitement of what I was training for, and the other part was it allowed me to see more of Chicago than my normal routine allows.
Well, on the 12th all of that training finally came to some good use as it was really, really warm out that day. Not the record heat that we had in 2007, but 83 degrees is not ideal weather for running outside for 26 miles. The experience of running was nothing short of amazing - seeing so many people and what a spectacle the race is for the entire city made the experience that much more rewarding. But the best part of it all definitely had to be coming down that final stretch on Michigan Ave, hitting the turn on Roosevelt up over the bridge and seeing that crowd cheering everyone on to the finish. Once you see that sign saying 1 mile to go all of the pain and tiredness just disappears and your powered by an absolutely amazing rush. The feeling you get when you finally cross that finish line is one of the greatest senses of accomplishment you can have, and its something I'll never forget. That and the Mexican feast my friends prepared for me to eat after the race. Tamales inside of burritos - innovative AND delicious.
Special marathon thanks to Dad and my sister for walking around to cheer me on, Maggie for cooking the aforementioned Mexican feast, and Jessie B. for running the last 5 miles with me. You guys rock.