Tuesday, March 17, 2009


So, I got my hair cut the other day (it's spring, and I felt like getting a few inches taken off just to ... well ... lighten things up a bit). I went back to work the next day, and one of my co-workers noticed right away (always nice) -- but then she said "oh! you got highlights, too!"

Ummmm, no.
That is actually gray hair. *sigh* But, I've been going gray since 16 (no lie), and -- as my coworker pointed out -- my gray is actually quite pretty, and can be easily mistaken for highlights.

So I quickly moved on, and then spent some time this weekend shuffling through some photos of me from seven years ago to send to some former co-workers. They wanted some photos from around the time I worked for them, and I was pleasantly surprised when I started sifting through those old photos (well, perhaps it's better said that I was pleasantly surprised with the comparison between me now and me then). I'm certainly in better shape now than I was then (I was fairly unhealthy then -- I certainly didn't eat enough).

So, just for kicks, here's belly in 2001:

Have a bright and sunny day, everyone!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Welcome to the weekend, everyone!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Friday, and is gearing up for the gorgeous weekend. The sun is peeking around the corner of the window (get it? Peek-a-boo? Yeah. Dorky. I know. Sorry. *sheepish grin, shuffle*), and it looks to be a fantastical day (minus the St. Patrick's Day revelers, which make things a bit dicey here in Chi-town). I'm going to train later today, after I'm done with some meetings in the morning, but wanted to post and say howdy-do before heading out. Idgy The Cat says hello, as you can see, and hopes that soon mommy gives back the trainer that she "borrowed" (ahem...) from SJV. (It's super quiet, but makes a sufficient amount of noise that she has to move her napping location -- which, for the Idgster, is less than optimal.) SJV is going to his swim class (he's SUPER fast now!) this morning, and I'm going to try to talk him into waiting to run with me later. We'll have to dodge any puke (from the revelers) but I do have some St. Patrick's Day shamrock bobbley-ear-thingys that I can wear to be Festive during our run. Might be cute...
So, I hope all of you get a chance to get out and enjoy the sunshine. It's been a long hibernation, hasn't it? I don't know about you, but this Belly has gotten a bit bigger over the winter season...
Sunnily yours,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Gimme Some (Much Needed) Socks, Dude!

So, folks, I have entered Steve in a Speedo's Tales of a Virgin Athlete Contest. I'm hoping to win some new drymax socks -- SJV has been pleading with me to get some new socks (my toes have taken it upon themselves to make the socks a bit more ... breathable. So I have holes in my socks. *sigh*) and this is a way for me to share some great stories and get myself some seriously solid socks. Wish me luck!

Here's the "extended version" of the story that I gave to Steve. The contest rules require 300 words or less, so I slashed and slashed until the story fit. But, for you, I include the Whole Story. Bon Appetit!

It was February 2007, six months after I started running, when I landed in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A busy career dominated my life; I hadn't taken a vacation in three years. So, I was a little surprised when I decided to run in the World's Best 10k, and go to San Juan -- completely alone.

I checked in at the race's sponsored hotel, after a Kenyan and his coach. I spent the weekend wandering the beach, going to the expo and getting autographs from more Kenyans.

We had been warned to arrive on time for the bus that would get us to the race. (Although plentiful, cabs couldn't take you to the race location.) So, on race afternoon, I went down to the pickup location, a busy street frequented by "friendly" locals, right on time. And I waited. And waited. While boys in el-caminos cat-called, and hollered things that I'm probably lucky I didn't understand. Finally, 20 minutes later, I went back up to the hotel, and learned that the buses had come early. So, I was stuck. I had come all the way from Chicago to miss the race because the bus driver came five minutes earlier. I was crushed.

I then saw three people with race shirts on. Fellow stranded racers! I went to them, explained we had missed the bus, and asked if they knew of any other means of transport to the race.

Then the escalade came around the corner of the hotel.

The three "fellow stranded racers" were the CFO of the main sponsor of the race and his top staff, and they had special race "backstage passes". They offered to give me a lift, and I gratefully accepted. Sweet!

The race was fantastic, but the whole time I ran, I wondered how I would get home. It was dark when we finished, and I was worried. I got through the finisher's chute, and saw a tall gringo-looking guy who was speaking english. "Excellent! I'll ask him where to meet the buses." I did, and he said he was waiting for his fellow triathletes to finish (he was part of a triathlete club -- perhaps a prediction of things to come?), but that they would walk me to the buses. He took a photo of me while we waited, and chatted, and soon his friend Luna met with us. We walked to where the buses would pick me up, and just as I was getting ready to fight the crowds for a seat on one of the buses (which were parked in grassy, bushy, scary areas in the dark of an underpass) they suggested something much more fun. Luna's family was having a BBQ, and they lived just up the road. Would I want to come and be their guest? After a minute or two of cajoling, I continued my walk with them -- my finisher's medal around my neck, and two new friends on either side. So, I spent the evening eating authentic Puerto Rican BBQ, singing "feliz cumpleanos" to her neice, and listening to the frogs chip in their backyard.

It was, indeed, the worlds' best 10k. But the world's worst photo (see below).

Idgy the Cat

Idgy the Cat