May 31, 2012

Road trips: you're not my favorite

I'm currently packing and cleaning and getting ready to start driving to South Carolina. I'm not excited about it. I hate long car rides, and this one is double-digit hours. So while trying to avoid the inevitable, I decided to be random.
  • Yay for Jessica Simpson and her baby girl, Maxwell Drew, being on the cover of People! I'm getting it to take on my road trip. Oh, wait ... I guess I should focus on driving. I probably can't be trusted with it in the car.
I love them! (source)
  • Speaking of road trips, I loathe them. (Did I mention this? Well, it's worth mentioning again and again.) I'd fly everywhere if I could. Chloe appreciates me driving, though.
  • I want to like road trips. They sound like they could be fun. Maybe with the right people, music, snacks and destination? I don't know. I think I'll still find sitting in a car for hours and hours and hours tedious.
  • If you're asking yourself, "Didn't Jina just return from a trip?", you'd be correct. I did. I wouldn't plan it like this, but you can't schedule graduations when you want. 
  •  I struggle with running while traveling. I prepare. I pack my running clothes. I schedule when I'll run, and then ... nothing. I know most people love exploring a city by running. That scares me. I like knowing where I am and how I can get back to where I started (the safe way).
  • Back to Jessica Simpson (I find myself saying that constantly), as predicted she joined forces with Weight Watchers to lose the baby weight. She is so darn smart, even if she thinks buffalo wings are from buffaloes. 

May 30, 2012

Another running worry

Running at night is my thing. Because of this, I always try to stay alert and don't listen to music. I'm always on the lookout for Creepy McCreeperson. But, I'd never think to look out for eggs

This happened along an extremely popular running route in the Tampa Bay area. During training, I run that route every Sunday morning (ugh, yes, morning). 

Isn't there enough to worry about while running? From the basic concerns like falling down, injuring myself, overheating or having a bad run to watching out for before-mentioned Creepy McCreeperson, I think my worry quota is satisfied.

Have you heard of anything like this happening? I haven't, but I'm still fairly new to running (a little more than one serious year).

May 29, 2012

A weekend in photos (and a few words)

My trip to Kansas rocked. Here’s why: 
  • We grilled and ate massive amounts of steak. 
I love my brother and the massive amount of steak he grilled.
  • I got to hang with my family.
Surprise! I caught you with a gigantic steak. Note: I did not eat all of that steak.

  • I got to hang with my brother and sister-in-law’s crazy dogs.
  • We were goofy (as usual).
  •  I had ample time to relax and be creative (or childish).

May 24, 2012

For the love of the half

I got tired of thinking, debating, mulling over, questioning and wondering whether to do the Florida halfathon challenge, so I channeled my inner Nike and just did it.

I’m officially registered for six half marathons this race season:
I loved the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. It made me happy.
  • March 17, 2013: Beach Half (part of halfathon challenge)

I guess you could say I’m addicted.

A half marathon is the longest distance I’ve run, and it’s by far my favorite. I love the steady, enjoyable pace of a long run.

I used to like 5Ks, but I’m a little disappointed in my times lately. So, now I hate them. OK, not really. I’m just a little soured on them. It’s not them, it’s me.

I’ve only done one 10K, and it was fine. But, I just didn’t find a love for that distance.

But, half marathons and I, we’re crazy about each other.

May 23, 2012

Car dancing at its finest

A holiday weekend on the horizon, and I can't stay focused this week. I'll use that as my excuse for being random, but we all know I'm like this all the time.
  • Perhaps I love this video because it contains two of my favorite things: sugary pop goodness and a baseball team. Perhaps it's because car dancing is a specialty of mine. Perhaps it’s because they keep straight faces. I cannot. Whatever the reasons, I find this hilarious.
  • Our firm gives us four-day weekends for Memorial Day and Labor Day, and I love it. I'm making a trip to Kansas and not taking one vacation day. I hoard vacation days, so this fits right into my plans.
  • My dad is great about making sure I get my running in while I am visiting. He is planning to ride his bike behind me as I run, but he promised to fix the kickstand.
After a hilly Kansas run. Yes, it's hilly.
  • I've finally welcomed 2007 by getting a Kindle. Then I regressed and welcomed 2005 by reading the Twilight books. Look out '90s, you're next!

May 22, 2012

Seven hours later ...

I probably shouldn’t bring in photos when I get my hair colored. I always leave disappointed.

After 7 hours (yes, 7 long, mind-numbing hours), my hair didn’t look like the stupid picture.

I understand it’s hard to exactly replicate a photo, so I’m not mad. I could even like my hair; I’m not sure.

It just doesn’t look like the photo. Of course, I don’t look like Carmen Electra so that might be a big part of the problem (maybe all of the problem).
Yeah, so not me.
Apparently, my hair has a lot of red in it. When I was coloring it dark, I guess it always did have a reddish tint. It always washed out so fast, I barely remembered it though. In an ironic turn of events, red is the hardest color to lift out of your hair when trying to go lighter.

So after those 7 grueling hours, I’m left with hair that’s way more red than I intended. Sometimes I feel that it looks orange, but others are assuring me that it doesn’t (I think they’re just being nice).
I’m not sure if I don’t like it or it’s just taking some time to adjust to this lighter color.
Kinda orange, no?
Oh, well. I can live with it for eight weeks when again the colorists will descend on my hair in their second attempt to make my hair look like the photo. I’d do it sooner, but in an effort to keep my hair on my head, I’m giving it time to heal. The stylist suggested waiting “as long as I could stand it.”

Until then, I‘m left with more carrot- than caramel-colored hair.

I think I’ll just go running. A ponytail and a Bondi Band hide most of it. 

May 21, 2012

Ready to rock

I got an email for my training group for the Women's Half Marathon. I got all excited, and then looked at the date it starts: August 16. 

Darn. That's still a long way away. 

I'm ready now. Nice change of pace from my nervous-as-heck attitude last year.  

My running confidence has really improved. 

So much so that I'm still debating (and leaning more toward doing it than not) doing a local halfathon challenge (four half marathons between October and March, in addition to the Women's Half Marathon in November and the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in February).

And, I'm really looking forward to it. And, not nervous. Or concerned about my abilities. 

I want to decrease my time. Not "just finish." 

Bring it on. August, are you here yet?

May 16, 2012

Hairy randomness

It's time for one of those posts with all the random thoughts. Welcome to my brain ... frightening.
  • I am loving the promos for Charlie Sheen's new show, "Anger Management."  Of course, I love Charlie Sheen so that makes sense. 
  •  I like Maroon 5 even though most of their songs sound exactly the same. Like one, like them all. So, I find myself jamming along to their newest song, "Payphone." But, what year is it? Are there any payphones left in the US? Of course, I don't tend to really listen to lyrics that closely. Maybe it explains this in the song. 
  • Dr. Dre rocks (well, raps); he's one of my all-time favorite rappers. So, when I heard on the radio this morning to Google "Dr. Dre World-Class Wreckin' Cru," of course I did. Wow.
  • Being the cheap frugal girl that I am, I get my hair cut and colored at a beauty school. I don’t change my hair style much, and I never let anyone cut more than an inch off of it, so I’m not really particular about who cuts it. As long as I don’t end up looking like this again (I’m number 9), I’m cool.
  • I’m all about changing hair color, though. I get bored easily, and I figure color is something you can always fix (or I tell myself that). So, for my appointment on Saturday, I'm thinking lighter. Maybe carmelish?
From this ... (classy car photo)
    ... to this? (source)
  • Sometimes I wonder why I spend so much time on my hair. I feel like my hair spends most of its life in a ponytail. Between running and sports or out of irritation, my hair is up on my head a good deal of time.

May 15, 2012

Does anyone follow the rules?

I ran a 5K on Saturday, which my firm participated in as a group. Since it was a work event, I wanted to present myself in a respectable manner (sweating buckets and stopping at the wrong finish line are pushing respectable ...).

So, I made sure to read the rules of the race. They were simple, easy to find and easy to understand. No baby joggers, no rollerblades, no headphones and no dogs. In another area, I read more information about the "no dog" rule; not only did race organizers not want them in the race, they didn't want them in the race village. Sorry, Crazy Eyes Chloe. 

Read the rules, understand the rules, follow the rules. Simple right?

Well, apparently not. After I got hit in the back of the foot with a stroller, I started noticing other jogging strollers and an insane number of headphones. And, while there weren't any dogs racing, I did see some in the race village. Funny. All of these things were not allowed.

Also, many walkers ignored their 8 a.m. start time and started with the chip-timed 5K race at 7:45 a.m.

Come on, people. It's a few simple rules – most likely for your own good. Follow them.

Granted, I get called a square quite frequently by my boyfriend for my incessant rule-following. Didn't he know? 
Do you follow race rules? Or am I the only square?

May 14, 2012

Miles for Moffitt 5K: race review

I ran a 5K on Saturday in memory of a wonderful woman.

It was not my best 5K performance, and I did something really stupid: I stopped at the wrong finish line. Yeah, I was that girl.

The event, Miles for Moffitt, is held on the University of South Florida campus. I assumed because of the location, parking wouldn’t be an issue. Parking wasn’t an issue, but getting to parking was a bit of struggle. It was slow going getting onto campus and getting to a parking spot.

The event had a 5-mile run, a 5K run, a 5K walk and a kids’ fun run. They all had staggered starts. The 5-mile run started at 7:30 a.m., the 5K run started at 7:45 a.m., and the 5K walk started at 8 a.m.

The 5K run started on time, but I think a lot of the 5K walkers decided to start at that time, too, instead of their scheduled 8 a.m. start. I went across the start line and immediately had to start dodging walkers.

It was a pretty packed course throughout. It was a constant dodge-and-weave run for me. That is not my favorite way to run … at all. That is why I run at night.

And, this course had “hills.” I put hills in quotes because a hill in Florida is probably more of a slight incline. People that deal with real hills will call me a wimp. But, when you’re not used to dealing with inclines of any type, this adds another level of difficulty to an already difficult race.

And, speed bumps. Holy cow. I forgot how many speed bumps are on a college campus.

Oh, another thing: it was hot. And, I was wearing a heavy cotton T-shirt. Yuck.

But, it was cool to see all of the people running in honor of or in memory of someone who battled cancer. And, to see all of the money being raised for the Moffitt Cancer Center.

As I made my turn toward the finish line, I kicked it in. I felt really good about my speedy finish, and stopped my watch and started walking at what I thought was the finish line. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the finish line. Sorry to anyone behind me.

Heading toward the "finish line"
I noticed everyone else was still running, so I started running again to the “next” finish line. It wasn’t too far away.

I'm getting ready to cross the real finish line. Looking at the photo,
it seems pretty obvious.
I’m still not sure why there were two mats and two finish lines. I didn’t look at either of them clearly (obviously), so I’m not sure what happened.

The time on my watch: 35:08. Yeah, not great. I know I’ve got a much better time in me waiting to bust out. It just wasn’t at this race.

My official time: 35:26. So, my finish line snafu probably cost me about 15 seconds. Sheesh.

Me and Theresa in the shade ... where we belong
The food spread after the race was incredible. The most food I’ve ever seen for any race. I didn’t eat anything after the race, but I took some for later (I have a problem resisting free stuff).
Post-race food (minus the Double Big Gulp; that is the iced tea my
used to stay awake for the race)
I wasn’t going to miss this race this year, but I don’t think I’ll be doing it again.

It’s a bit of a drive for a short race, the traffic was a pain, the course was not my favorite, and all of the walkers in the run are really frustrating. 

May 11, 2012

Why I run at night

In Florida, I have two choices when running outside: early morning or night. I choose night, and here's why. 
  1. I’m a natural night owl that dreads the morning. Gosh, I hate waking up early. It’s one of my least favorite things; it always has been. I wake up with just enough time to get ready. That’s it. No extras. I think I’d start to dread running if I had to wake up early to do it (races and training group runs are the exceptions). 
  2. There is no big, scary sun to contend with. I burn easy. I get hot easy. I need to avoid this ball of fire if at all possible. 
  3. There are limited (or no) people out at this time. I usually run around an almost 3-mile loop in my neighborhood. It gets very competitive in the morning and early evening. When my dad was visiting, he got stressed out trying to walk the dog because of all the congestion. There are runners, walkers, bikers, strollers and dogs everywhere. It's cool I live in an active area, but sheesh, I hate dodging all the traffic. 
  4. It's peaceful. Because of reason #3, it's quiet. I love this.
  5. It's dark. If anyone does happen to be around, they don't have to clearly see my sweaty, red-faced self.
Of course, running at night isn't perfect. Here's why.
  1. There are limited (or no) people out at this time. Thankfully, I live in a safe area, and I've never had any issues, but I realize this could be a problem. I play it safe and never listen to music and stay alert. 
  2. Bugs, specifically no-see-ums. If I go out at the wrong time, these bugs are everywhere. I come back from a run with a sweaty face plastered with bugs. It's a cute look.
  3. It can get pushed aside. If work gets crazy, and I have to spend half the night proofreading, running gets bumped. Thankfully, that doesn't happen too often.
  4. It's more humid ... or at least it feels that way. In Florida, it really doesn't matter the time of day, it's humid. Really humid. But, I think it's more humid at night. I have no scientific evidence to back this up, though.
My sweaty self after a humid night run

May 10, 2012

The most meaningful 5K

When I interviewed for my job almost six years ago, I met a woman with an incredible smile and an incredible personality to match. She made me feel welcome and comfortable immediately. I felt like I was talking to a friend throughout the interview.

When I asked others why they liked working there, they replied "the people." I could understand that response, if only for this woman. 
I got the job, and I got to know this woman a little better. She always had a smile, always had a funny story and always had a fantastic attitude. 

Unfortunately, a few years later, she was diagnosed with cancer. She kept her fabulous attitude, always smiling and never getting down. I've never seen someone go through such a serious illness with such grace. I never heard her utter a compliant.

Earlier this year, she died. 

On Saturday, my firm is participating in a run and walk that benefits a local cancer center in her honor. I'm proudly running the 5K.

I started thinking about my goal for this race: I want a better 5K time. But, then I realized my goal should be to enjoy every moment of this race. If a better time comes along with it, fabulous. If not, I'm honoring this woman with a smile, something she put on my face every time I was in her presence.