Saturday, November 07, 2009

18 months in the making

Last Saturday I finished my final long run before the race. I think it went well. I used a route I haven't seen in awhile (Apparently through a bad neighborhood, though I didn't know it at the time. Sorry Dad). It was very windy, which meant that my out leg was a wee bit easier than the return leg. However, all told, I maintained my pace throughout the run, and when I finally calculated the actual distance, it was a little over 10 miles, at just under a 12 minute mile. This makes me pretty happy. I know, however, that anything can change in a week. I could end up in pain, or it could be exceptionally windy or hilly, or anything, so I won't be disappointed if I can't maintain that same pace.

My goal for this race is to finish safely, without any new injuries, and without being the last one across the line. I don't want to set a time goal, because I don't want to be focused on the time. All I really use my watch for these days is to time my walk breaks (see below). This has been successful, as I have been enjoying the run itself, without the fierce inner competition that got my injured in the first place. That said, I would love to finish in under 3 hours. My first half was 2:14, and my second was 2:01. This will be nothing like those races.

My energy has been great, once I realized that I need to eat later at night before my long run. I've been using 2 gel packs, about every 4 miles or so, with Gatorade in between. I have had some difficulty squeezing in all of my training runs during the week, sometimes skipping an easy run or a tempo. I worried that this might affect me, but I've been happy so far. I really think my strategy in this race will be based on under training. No injuries for me! the only complaints I have so far are some sore hips and knees, mostly in the last few miles. I think this is probably due to the cold, as it's been coming on in the past few weeks. There is no soreness the next day, which tells me I probably don't have an important injury, just joints that are sensitive to the cold.

I'm using a walk run strategy recommended by many sports physicians, including Jeff Galloway. I have found that if I begin my run slowly, by walking often, then building up to longer endurance, I don't lose my steam as fast. I have actually improved my speed this way, as I am able to run faster when I'm running, and also ease impact stress on my shins. My race day goal is to begin with a 4:1 run: walk, then increase my running until I'm running a full mile before a walk break. This actually seems to help my hips and knees, as they tend to hurt like crazy if I walk at the end. this strategy will take self control at the beginning, as I get very caught up in race day adrenaline.

One mental struggle I had when I first came back into training was that I didn't feel like a runner anymore. I felt overweight, tired, and in pain. Every 2 mile run was torture. But I would walk or drive on a route that I used to love, and those feelings of joy and peace of the run woudl come back to me. I longed for that. Saturday on my 10 miler, I felt that peace again. I felt like I was running, and not just pretending. I was a little sad when I got back to my starting place (Even though at that point I was longing for advil), and I just generally enjoyed myself the whole time. I am very excited to be running this race. I haven't run a race since May of 2008. I set the goal for myself in spring, that I wanted to run a half. I didn't run the Labor Day race I wanted to, but I am eventually fulfilling that goal.

It's a beautiful da out today, and I feel confident and prepared. A little nervous, but I can't wait for that finisher's medal and free lasagna dinner at the end. Next goal? We'll see.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Homebrew Journal Vol 1

I should have done this from the beginning. I don't remember any of the stats on my first independent homebrew experiment, except that I started it sometime in August, and that it contained Whole Foods Organic cider, and Pick N Save organic cranberry. I think I used Safeale05 yeast, and added 1# white candi sugar. So now I will right that wrong by recording all of my endeavors from the beginning. This will mostly be for me, unless you happen to care.

10/10/09 5 gal Apricot Cream Ale. Safeale 05. OG: At this point, I don't think I feel like using the hydrometer. Don't think I will.
10/10/09 1 gal Grape Wino Wine. Old Orchard red grape juice. Safeale 04 (edit - Dumped this one all over the kitchen floor. Won't be making the wino wine.)
10/10/09 1 gal Pomegranate Apple Cranberry Raspberry Sunshine
10/10/09 1 gal Apple Pomegranate Funtastic

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Super Skilled Girl’s Guide to Brewing Your Own Beer

Step 1: Have a homebrew. If you’re all out, or just starting your first batch, have a microbrew. Or a glass of wine. But drink something, to remind yourself why you’re going through all this trouble.

Step 2: Eat some dinner. It will make you far less crabby than trying to brew on an empty stomach.

Step 3: Find something for your roommate, husband, dog, etc to do. Preferably out of the house. Working on your own is a little more hassle, but it’s worth it not to have to explain all of the messes you’re making.

Step 4: Find LOTS of towels. I can’t stress this part enough. LOTS of towels.

Step 5: Buy a cheap pair of yellow rubber gloves. It will help to protect the pretty manicure you just got.

Step 6: Read some books to be sure you know what you’re doing. I recommend The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, or the Alaskan Bootlegger’s Bible. Consult them frequently.

Step 7: Choose your work area. Avoid lifting or carrying as much as possible by working near the ground. Cover said work space with the aforementioned towels.

Step 8: Sanitize your equipment. Make sure to wear the gloves, as the solution that takes the gunk off of your bottles also takes the pretty polish off of your nails. Also, be sure you have all of your equipment before starting, so that you’re not calling the room mate in the middle of your process to find out where your automatic bottler is.

Step 9: Whether you’re at the brewing stage, racking stage, or bottling stage, don’t panic! Drink your homebrew. DO NOT give in and call someone for help. You can do this, all on your own.

Step 10: When finished, clean up all of the evidence of the huge mess you just made. Again, TOWELS. Then, have another homebrew, and make a cake. It will remind you that you’re a woman, and not only can you brew your own alcohol to make your friends drunk, you can bake, to make them fat!


Monday, August 10, 2009

Thank You So Much

This weekend I listened to a sermon about the tenth commandment: "Thou shalt not covet." Prior to this, I never much considered myself a covetous person. I think i get by fairly with minimal material possessions. I don't think I ask fr much. However, I soon learned that there's more in life to be envious of, and that those things keep me from truly appreciating all that I have been blessed with. The pastor presented the congregation with a challenge: go home and list everything you're thankful for. Keep listing for a few days. He challenged us to come up with a list of 50, 100, or even 500 items. I see this as a valuable activity, as I have been so blessed in my life, though I often forget those blessings when I'm overcome with self pity at one temporary situation or another.

So here's my top 25, in the order in which I thought of them. I managed to create an excel spreadsheet of 64 items in about 5 minutes, and I'll keep adding as I think of things.

emergency room
my own car
college education
multitude of grocery stores
fashionable and seasonal clothing
hair dye
the internet
all of my senses
past relationships
learning from mistakes
affordable housing

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed of hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Saturday, August 01, 2009

A List of Sorts

In the interest of feeling a little caught up on this blog, and for everyone who actually reads (all 2 of you), here's a list of what's been going on lately.

  • I went to Africa. It was great. I'd love to show you pictures; all you have to do is ask.
  • I started running again, then stopped, then started again. I hope to run a half by November.
  • I ended a 2 year long relationship.
  • I enjoyed several adventures in baking.
  • I found a new bar that I'd like to make my regular hang out - Leff's Lucky Town in Tosa. Great new patio, ok food service.
  • I bought a new computer and new cell phone. Love the former, undecided about the latter.
  • I finished the 3rd season of BSG. Can't wait to start season 4, by myself.
  • I watched the first season of Lost. Not bad.
  • I planned a camping trip and a baseball outing.
  • I downloaded a ton of music from, and look forward to more.
  • I saw the Hangover by myself, and laughed.
  • I watched He's Just Not That Into You, and cried.
  • I made a bet with Heather that I intend to win.

I Like Lists

I'm a forgetful person. About some things. I remember a promise someone made to me years ago, word for word. I remember exactly what outfit I was wearing at my 21st birthday party (even though the rest of the details are sketchy). I remember the terrible taste of asparagus the time my parents made me chew it for hours. But I can't for the life of me remember the name of that really nice person I met last week, where I left my cell phone, what I wanted to say, or the three things I need to pick up at the grocery store.

It is for these items that I make lists. I love them. I make lists for the store, to-do lists, packing lists, lists of cds and books that I'd like to buy someday. And yes, once in awhile I'll make a list of the top 3 things that I'd like to remember from a conversation over a glass of wine.

I like looking back on old lists, and I enjoy reading other peoples' lists. But sometimes, I even forget where I put my list. This has happened to me the past few trips to the grocery store. What I've found, though, is the simple act of making the list helps me to remember what I needed to buy. I'm delighted when I come home and I did indeed purchase everything I intended to.

Which is why I won't be giving up the habit anytime soon. now if only I could apply the practice to finding my cell phone...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Letters from Africa - Day 2

Hi guys!

Today I'm a little bit more rested than yesterday. We woke up really early to go on a safari, and saw pretty much every African animal there is to see. It was wonderful.

Then we went to a village market, in which I realized what a "Muzungo" I am. (Muzungo means White Girl).

In response to Dad's question: A mutatu is a type of bus here in Nairobi. It's a van that holds 14 passengers. One man drives, and one man keeps jumping out of the van to get people to ride. Even if you don't really want to go there, he tries to convince you that you do. They drive very fast, in heavy traffic and bad pollution, and play VERY very loud gangsta rap music. This is the primary mode of transportation for Kenyans. Not so much for white people. It's great.

The rest of our friends get here tomorrow morning, and we are going to Nairobi Chapel for church. Monday we fly to Yabus.

Love you all,


Letters from Africa - Day 1

We're here in Nairobi, all flights went without a problem. Very very tired. We rode in a mutatu today, ate some yummy food, and shopped at the Masai Market. Tomorrow we go on a safari.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

World Adventure, Day 1

I leave today for Yabus, Sudan, via Nairobi, Kenya, via Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I won't really be able to post while I'm there, but expect photos when I return home.

Monday, May 04, 2009

So, on face book, there's an option to find friends (if you feel you need them). You can search by email. by workplace, or by graduating class. Since I've had a little bit of wine tonight, I decided to search by BCHS class of 2000.

It turns out, there are about ten people on the list they gave me that I'd actually like to be friends with. Turns out, those are the people I'm already friends with! was I such a nerd in high school that I don't even know who half these people are, and definitely don't care if they like me as a friend or not? Do I even need to go to my 10 year reunion?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Conflicting Loyalties

So far, I've been a graduate student at Marquette University for about 2 months. I haven't even registered for classes yet (slacking already). However, I have been surprised and delighted at my experience so far. I feel a bit like a traitor for thinking that Marquette could possible be a more quality experience than my alma mater, THE University of Wisconsin. So here how each one stacks up:

  • BIG student body.
  • Lots of opportunities for involvement in every cause you could imagine, from gay rights to republican rights. And it's the Republican groups that get lynched.
  • A large offering of courses to choose from and muddle through in the process of earning a degree.
  • I wonder who my adviser was?
  • A great city to live in, lots of fun events and nightlife.
  • World renowned player in many fields
  • Competitive admission
  • classes that fill an hour after registration
  • Financial aid??
  • Much smaller student body
  • Catholic university, so probably fewer opportunities
  • Not too many courses to select from, but since it's a master's program, I would expect that.
  • Advising staff who recognize me name, and spend an hour on the phone with me discussing all of my various options
  • 1/2 of my tuition paid for.
Overall, I'm pleased with how much I feel taken care of. Kudos to all of who who are employed by Marquette, for all you do to keep the system running smoothly.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


I just had a blissful experience buying running shoes last night. In the past, I've gone to a very small, local running store, where I'm ignored and condescended to, until a local track star enters the store, and then I'm all but shoved out the back door. Not much knowledge, or at least none to share with me, a lowly female runner.

So, needing to trade in my faithful Brooks Adrenaline GTS for a pair exactly like them, I headed to Fleet Feet Sports in Brookfield. There, I had my gait analyzed over and over in an attempt to perfectly correct my over-pronation. There was only one girl working in the store that day,and there happened to be another customer in before me. The clerk (Shoe specialist?) repeatedly apologized for offering me less than one on one service, as she explained the mechanics of my shoe and orthotics.

I can't wait to run today in my new, ultra stability shoes. And I can't wait until he 300-500 mile mark when i have the privelege of giving this store my money again.

Also, they have running club.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Reaction to The Internet

I recently stumbled upon "Greg Rutter's Definitive List of The 99 Things You Should Have Already Experienced On The Internet Unless You're a Loser or Old or Something." Apparently I'm a loser or old or something, because I had only ever seen or heard of about 10 of the items. So I made it my mission to sit down and actually watch/ read every single item on the list that I've been missing.

My Thoughts:

  1. 1. Can't believe that was televised.
  2. 2. Kids make great videos.
  3. 3. Lame
  4. 4. Seen it
  5. 5. Seen it
  6. 6. Did someone slip me acid? This video is the trippiest thing I've ever seen in my life. And I watched Smurfs growing up.
  7. 7. Neat
  8. 8. Fat guys lip syncing also make great videos.
  9. 9. Seen it
  10. 10. Lame
  11. 11. Good for my self esteem, but crashed my browser.
  12. 12. Wtf?
  13. 13. Shrug.
  14. 14. Shrug.
  15. 15. Cute parody.
  16. 16. Looked more like a hamster.
  17. 17. Seen it
  18. 18. Not much for the f word, never got into GI Joe.
  19. 19. Reminded me of the Darwin awards.
  20. 20. Awesome. I wish I a) owned a bulldog, and b) could teach him to board like that. I'd be popular.
  21. 21. Seen it
  22. 22. Again with overuse of the f word. Why is this funny?
  23. 23. Literally shaking with laughter. Second most trippy thing Ive seen. Rest of the site sucks, though.
  24. 24. So that's what lol cats are.
  25. 25. Shrug
  26. 26. Shrug
  27. 27. Kind of liked it, actually. It's bookmarked for when I have a bad day.
  28. 28. I've been Rickrolled many a time.
  29. 29. Shrug
  30. 30. Drunk kids make for funny videos. Child protection, anyone?
  31. 31. Shrug. F word. But I did like the bit about 400 babies.
  32. 32. Heard of this one. Did what it was supposed to. Laughing and crying at the same time.
  33. 33. Shrug
  34. 34. Wtf?
  35. 35. Really?
  36. 36. This reminded me of a cross between the video they show before Nexus, and my buddy Brandon's push up pictures. Got boring at the end, but generally neat.
  37. 37. Seen it. Awkward.
  38. 38. More child exploitation. Too long.
  39. 39. Shrug.
  40. 40. See #8. 2.7 million people like to see big women falling.
  41. 41. Shrug.
  42. 42. News anchors being dumb make good videos.
  43. 43. Why did 6 million people watch that? Oh, right, because it's on the Internet.
  44. 44. This is why i don't have guest speakers in my classroom.
  45. 45. Nerds make for funny videos. And we all know that big guys make for funny videos (see #8, #40). Combine the two, gave me a chuckle.
  46. 46. Well.
  47. 47. Reminded me of the falling over/ laughing baby. See #2.
  48. 48. F word. And more.
  49. 49. Gave me a chuckle. Only because I like accents.
  50. 50. Omg. Pop up videos on crack.
This will be a good place to pause, maybe take a nap, maybe find a snack. I think I'm starting to get a wee bit cynical. More this afternoon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


So it turns out the combination of lemons, sugar, and just a wee bit of vodka can cause a nasty canker sore.


Scrubs Season 8

I love Scrubs. It's just good TV. So when I found out that ABC would be airing all new episodes, I got so excited i might have wet myself a little (false).

Unfortunately, I have a regular commitment on Tuesday nights, so I'm forced to wait for Mike's DVR to tape episodes for me. Until... I discovered Hulu yesterday. Now I can catch up whenever I want to curl up on the couch with a bottle of cheap wine and a bag of chips.

So far, not bad. Courtney Cox as the new Chief of Medicine is a little awkward, but the character interaction is all that I hoped for and more. Laughs that made stuff come out of my nose, punctuated by some nice, quiet, contemplating-death moments.

I feel warm on the inside.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bad Habits

Regarding my last item on my to do list. I have got to stop biting my fingernails, and the cuticles around them. I am 26 and three quarters years old, and a girl at that, and it is just not socially acceptable for me to bite. It drives Mike insane when I bite. I want very badly to have pretty nails.

So I'm announcing to the world right here, right now, that I'm going to stop, one finger at a time. As of right now, I will not bite or pick at my index or middle fingers. Maybe by starting ith small goals, I will be rewarded with more success.

But beyond starting small, how to do it? I'm really open to any suggestions that people have. Preferable ones that work. Right now I'm trying an incentive, which I know from years of ed psych is probably doomed to fail. But, regardless, if I go 2 weeks without one bite, I will treat myself to a manicure. And if that's what it takes to have pretty hands, I'll keep doing it.

The madness will stop!

Saturday, January 03, 2009


Stealing from josh, I have a brief list of things I'd like to do in 2009. Not nearly as extensive as Jen's, I think I have a nice balance of things I know I can check off, and things that might be a challenge. In no particular order.

  • read all 4 Twilight books - check!
  • run a 5K, 10K, half marathon
  • pay off debt
  • start grad school - check!
  • take GRE - check!
  • visit Africa
  • save $5000
  • bake 2 new pies, and 2 new cakes
  • make a meatloaf
  • listen to meatloaf
  • learn to appreciate red wine
  • call my brother once a month
  • email my grandma once a month
  • do the 5C3 challenge
  • memorize a book of the bible (1 John or Philippians)
  • look into an IRA
  • read Once a Runner
  • read and discuss The Shack - Check!
  • make a really nice tasting batch of wine
  • wear glasses more
  • Update - Go 2 weeks without biting my nails, then quit for good.

The Year in Review - 2008

Since everyone else is writing about their 2009 goals, I figured I may as well jump on the boat and write about mine. First, a recap of 2008 success and failure.
  • Whine Less - Success. I really think I'm a happier, less anxious person than I was at this time last year.
  • Stay aware of the world around me - Failure. I subscribe to lots of news feeds on Google Reader, but somehow, I can never seem to read the NPR or other world news. I'm hooked on, though.
  • Run better - Success/ failure. I did find some really great runs last winter and spring. I sometimes truly enjoyed my ridiculously long runs. And I achieved a personal record in the Door County Half Marathon. But shin splints made me drop out of the marathon, and I haven't run any meaningful distance since.
  • Be a better friend - Success/ failure. I've done fairly well at keeping in touch with my missionary friends. Writing letters is hard when it takes so long for them to be delivered. And I've grown closer in some of my friendships. Birthdays have been forgotten, however, and I've definitely lost contact with several good friends.
  • Super Secret Fifth Goal - Success.