Monthly Archives: October 2009

Foto Friday: A running tour of my ‘hood

Inspired by this post and armed with my iPhone, I went for a run* and tried to document the sights of my “usual” route.   It’s a 3 mile loop from my house and only contains 4 turns, but there are plenty of sights** to see:


don't quite have the hang of taking pictures while running yet


I live near campus, so I run by a couple fraternity/sorority houses


and the old Presidents house or something (seriously, i run by this 3x a week and I'm not sure what it is....)


Lots of UI pride... even now!

This one makes it look like I'm moving FAST.... or the cars are!

This one makes it look like I'm moving FAST... or the cars are!


obligatory U of I marker!


Gorgeous fall colors


There are 2 schools on my route. This is one of them.


picture perfect


on the home stretch!


Urbana has a reputation for being "crunchy." This canoe for sale embodies that mentality. Love it!


I'm obsessed with these red bushes!


home sweet home


but I usually try to round the corner and finish at the back door (this street is also a bit more colorful)


* full disclosure:   I didn’t actually plan to take pictures that day.  I planned on a 3 mi run, but I noticed how pretty the scenery was and thought about the blog post I’d read.   Stopping to take photos didn’t help my run any so I changed my 3 mi into 2 mi and didn’t worry about time.  It was quite enjoyable.***

** I also run by Robert Ebert’s childhood home *every* time I run–there’s a plaque and everything.  But, of course, I didn’t think about taking the photos until after I passed his house.


*** full disclosure, part 2: If I had realized that it would be my last run for two weeks,  I might have pushed a little harder!


It’s official: my “minor hip pain” is a sports-related injury.

I went to the Dr. today and she referred me to Sports Medicine, told me to take Alleve, and said NO RUNNING until I can get in to have Xrays– on November 11.  She said I can walk on it and do the elliptical as long as it doesn’t aggravate my hip.   So I guess I’ll be hitting the gym for the next few weeks.

Or not.  Tonight, I drowned my sorrows in a bowl of ice cream.

You take the good, you take the bad…

The Facts of Life theme song has been swimming around in my head for the last few days.  ‘Cuz, here’s the thing.    There have been some not-so-great things happen the last week or so:

  • I  injured my hip running and probably won’t be able to race this weekend.  Even though I’m slow, racing is my favorite part of running and I’m super bummed. I’d decided to just do the 5k, but now I don’t know.  I’d like to end the year on a high-note, but I don’t know if running my FIFTH 5K is really worth injuring it further.
  • I had a couple really painful days at work.  It’s that time of year.
  • I took the morning off of work to have a new TV/Internet service installed at my house.  Turns out they couldn’t get enough “signal” or something, so they’re going to try to fix it and I’ll have to schedule another install, which means taking off another 3-4 hours.  I’m thinking of saying “No, thank you” to them.
  • My mortgage company miscalculated my escrow last year.  As a result, my monthly payment is going up $200 to make up for the difference.  Starting in December.  Awesome timing, folks!

So, yeah… it’s been a rough few days.  Nothing major, just minor everyday annoyances.  But, you know what else?   I also have plenty to be thankful for:

  • I had a great time bowling with friends on Friday night

Alison, Cory, and Bobbi at the bowling alley for Cory's bday

  • I went to a super-fun bachelorette party on Saturday (In a pimped-out bus…. complete with a stripper pole!)
  • ChachiBus

    I'm in there... somewhere!

    Jaime, Me, Donna

    Jaime, Me, Donna-- decked out in our scarves!

    Bride-to-be...workin the pole!

    Bride-to-be...workin the pole!

  • I had dinner with my mom, Aunt and Granny to celebrate her birthday.  At said birthday, I lost $10… but the good people at the Ribeye returned it to me. I also got to hear my Granny tell the story of how she turned down a marriage proposal (again) from her 80+ year old “beau.”  Priceless.

me, Aunt Linda, mom, Granny

So, yeah….You take the good, you take the bad.  You take them both.  And there you have:  The Facts of Life.   Mrs. Garrett would be proud!


I went on my first long run* today with the iPhone. It is GORGEOUS here… beautiful fall weather, great color on the trees, perfect for running.

My plan: take it easy, get the 4 miles in, don’t worry about time/pace, etc. I did a *lot* better this time, telling myself that I would only check my phone at pre-determined intervals. (oh, and btw– I’m still running with the phone AND my iPod Nano. I haven’t properly set up the ipod on the phone yet. That’s another post)

Anyway, I cheated a few times and realized I was going faster than I intended… even under 9 min/mile at one point (my average for a 3 mi run is around 11/11:30). Anyway, my handy-dandy running app lets me export my “stats” to share. I promise I won’t do this after every run, but I find it fascinating. I mean, seriously, who knew that there would be that much fluctuation in elevation in URBANA?

Anyway… enjoy the Sunday stats**

RunKeeper Shared Fitness | Running Activity.

mi pace climb (ft)
1 11:52 13
2 11:21 17
3 10:54 5
4 12:04 27
*yes, my long runs are only 4 miles right now.
** this didn’t display like I wanted it to. I was hoping y’all would get the full map, elevation chart, splits, etc right here on the blog. Boo RunKeeper. Guess that’s what I get with a free ap!

Foto Friday: Billboard

I saw this billboard yesterday and I had to stop  and take a picture of it. (Actually, I had to park, cross the street in the rain, and stand there like an idiot taking a picture of it).

Is it just me or does this ad bother you?


I can’t help but think it’s from Smart Tan or a similar organization.   If so, I’m appalled that they’re using the pink ribbon to promote their cause.  Now, if  the message was just “Vitamin D helps decrease your risk,” I’d have no problem with it.  But the fact that they say “from the sun and tanning beds” makes me a bit suspect.

I’m all for Breast Cancer Awareness month, but why use it to promote your own cause?   And isn’t this kind of like trading one cancer for another?  I realize skin cancer is less deadly, but still.

What do you all think?

What I learned on my first post-iPhone run

  • Ignorance is Bliss
    I downloaded a running ap* for my phone to keep track of time, distance, pace, etc.  I thought I needed it so I can work on my pacing.  Turns out I was checking it every 2.3 seconds and, therefore, never got into the “zone.”  It was kinda like my first 5K where I felt like I used up too much mental energy to enjoy it.
  • Knowledge is Power
    However, the ap confirmed what I already knew:  my pace is all over the place (rhyme time!).  I was running anywhere from 8:30 min/mile to almost 15.  Yes, almost 15… I can walk that (and did last night).   Maybe periodic pace checks are more reasonable.

  • Armband is necessary
    Definitely going to need to invest in an armband if I decide to continue running with my phone.  Tonight I carried my phone in my hand and had my iPod on my hip (as usual… classy, I know!).    Although my pink iPod and my pink iPhone were color coordinated, it wasn’t comfortable to run with the phone in my hand.  And I kept turning on and off the “map” function.  Plus, maybe having it on my arm will keep me from peaking too much.

  • There’s no such thing as an “easy” run when you have a belly full of junk
    I usually run in the mornings on an empty stomach.  Today, I chose to sleep in and I ran after work.  It has been perfect weather here and I only had a 2 miler on the schedule, so I was excited for a nice, relaxing run.  Unfortunately, I filled up on junk all day today and I could feel it while I was running.   Must.Eat.Healthier.   Maybe if I tell myself that losing 10 lbs will help my running, I’ll actually do it.  We’ll see.

All in all it was a pretty crappy run, but I get to put a check in the “done” column… plus, I got a blog post* out of it!


* for you runners/walkers/iphone junkies out there– i’m looking for ap recommendations!

**anyone notice that as soon as I said I was “over” blogging, I started posting more often.  figures.

What I learned on my walk home last night

  • Not all teenagers are “meddling  kids”
    I thought for sure I was going to get pelted with eggs as part of some sort of egg war.  Nope… it was just a Boy Scout troupe playing hide-and-seek.
  • People have really funny names for their wireless networks
    Like “this aint’ yo crib” and “don’t even think about it.”
  • It’s possible to get lost… in your own neighborhood…. with a fancy GPS-enabled phone
    Turns out you actually have to be able to read the map.   FAIL.
  • Walking in heels is a bad idea, even if it’s just a short distance
    See above.  My 1 mi walk turned into 2, maybe 2 and a half.  I’m counting it as cross-training as my knees/feet hurt today.

Welcome to the 21st century

In case you didn’t get the memo, I got an iPhone tonight and I’m having tons o’ fun playing around with it, downloadding apps, etc.- including the wordpress app I’m currently using.

Oh, and I got DVR too. I’m sooooo 21st century!

Running Roundup

My runs* this week went pretty well.  I ran MORE than my scheduled mileage for each of my 3 runs.   I ran in the rain for the first time Wednesday and liked it!  It was more of a light drizzle than a full-on rain, but it was nice.   And due to my less-than-stellar directional skills, I managed to get a 4.2 mi run in Chicago this weekend.  It was nice and cool– perfect running weather.

I’m still debating:  5K or 10K??

After my strong run this weekend, I’m confident that I can FINISH 6.2 miles, but it will *not* be fast, and I might have to walk.   I’m okay with a walk/run strategy (I’ll only be up to 4.5 mi on my training plan by then), but I’m afraid that doing poorly in the 10K will kill my motivation.   I’m not sure a race is the best environment for covering the distance for the first time.  On the other hand, finishing the year w/a 10K under my belt would be kinda cool.

If I run the 5K, however, I have a good chance of getting a PR and finishing the year off strong, which might be better for my overall confidence/motivation than a mediocre 10K performance.   I figure the “real runners” will be in the 10K and there’s a good chance I’ll come in last.

I don’t know.  I think I’ll try for 5 miles this week and see how that goes.  The registration deadline isn’t until the 28, so I have a little bit of time.  I  just wish that 8K hadn’t fallen through.  I feel really confident in my 8K abilities.   Grrr…


* Cross-training:  not so much. I did one Jillian Michaels workout, which was only about 30 mins.  Totally kicked my a$$, but didn’t cover the time allotment.  Completely skipped the 50 min cross-training on Friday.  Probably won’t do much better this week, either.

Foto Friday: Costumes, cont.

Tis the season for costumes–  Very soon we’ll see witches and ghosts and pumpkins (along with Slutty Nurses, Slutty school girls, Slutty fill-in-the-blank… don’t get me started).

Anyway, as I was searching through photos for this much-delayed Foto Friday post (thanks, Suzanne, for the kick in the pants…) I realized that some of my favorite costumes weren’t even HALLOWEEN* costumes.  Most of them were for Bunco!   

Without further adieu, I give you my favorite non-Halloween costumes:

Erin and I at Cops and Robbers Bunco-- one of my all-time fave pix

Erin and I at Cops and Robbers Bunco-- one of my all-time fave pix

As "denim Barbie" for Denim Delight Bunco  (tip: add the word "Barbie" after anything for instant costume idea!)

As "denim Barbie" for Denim Delight Bunco (tip: add the word "Barbie" after anything for instant costume idea!)

My "business suit" for Animal Print Bunco (Animal Print Barbie, perhaps?)

My "business suit" for Animal Print Bunco (Animal Print Barbie, perhaps?)

can't go wrong with a Hippie costume!

Can't go wrong with a Hippie costume (although Hippie Barbie is a bit contradictory)!

For Glamour Shot Bunco (Motorcycle Barbie?  80s Barbie, perhaps?)

For Glamour Shot Bunco (Rocker Barbie? 80s Barbie, perhaps?)


* you can see previous posts here and here.