Monthly Archives: April 2010

Foto Friday: Fun with Photoshop

Big race tomorrow.  I’ve been doing everything in my power to not think about it, but it’s pretty much consuming my thoughts.  

Lots more than that later, but for now… I’ve been trying to teach myself Photoshop.  Here are some of my favorite creations:

Cutout derby girl

neon derby girl

charcoal chalk_pink


burglar_graphic pen

Kyle and I-- film grain

poster edges

Roxie really looks like a killer now!



Has it really been over a month since I last mentioned roller derby?   It’s almost like there’s nothing exciting going on.   Au contraire, my friends (totally had to look that one up… thanks, Google).

Here are some of the exciting things  that have happened in derby land:

  • I took–and passed– my WFTDA written test
  • I officially chose Bitch E. Rich as my derby name
  • I ordered my skates.   They have yet to come in. It was almost 2 months ago!
  • The Arch Rival Roller Girls came to visit/coach a practice
  • One of our players made this super awesome soundslide  of the visit (look for me in the beginning– pink tights). 
  • Her dad made a super awesome video of one of our practices. I can’t figure out how to link to it, so check it out on our facebook page (and while you’re there ‘like’ it!)
  • It has yet to be recognized (apparently there’s a backlog)
  • I took–and passed– my WFTDA skills test
  • I got assigned to a team
  • Our team chose a name (the ‘Paign) and colors (black and blue–we’re tough!)

The biggest news of all…. WE’RE HAVING A BOUT!!!    


Yep, that’s right… the first official TCDG bout will be Friday, May 21.  Details to come (check our website for more info as it becomes available).



Are you ready??

As the Illinois Marathon (and half-marathon…which I’m running)quickly approaches, I’ve been getting the same question over and over:  Are you ready??

Truth is:  I’m not.   Although I’ve been training since mid-January (I’ll have to look up the exact date), I don’t feel ready.  

I’d like to tell myself to “trust in my training,”  but I don’t feel like I’ve had the most successful training cycle– I missed a couple long runs, shortened some of my mid-week runs and haven’t really felt on for a while now.   Many of my long runs start off strong and then peter out near the end.    Even some of the shorter ones have been less-than-stellar. 

I’ve been running 3 or so times a week and getting plenty of cross-training via derby, but I just don’t feel ready.   Although I still enjoy running, I enjoy derby more and have been focusing a lot of my time on that the last few weeks (more on derby later, I promise!)

By now, I had hoped to be up to the full 13 miles, but I’m not.  I did “10” last weekend.  I put 10 in quotes because it was technically just 9.58… and I took a 2-min walk break at mile 6 and slowed down for some stop lights.  This is analagous to the advice they give about slowing down/walking through water stops, but I think I’d be much more confident if I had a full 10 mi of RUNNING under my belt.   

I’d hoped that by running a 10K a couple weeks ago, it would decrease my race anxiety… but I think it only made it worse.  There’s NO REASON for me to take walk breaks in a 6 mi run, yet I did.   I hope I don’t give up that early in the half.    I’d like to finish in a respectable time (right now, “respectable” is looking like 2:30:00… sad, I know!), but I dont’ want to get so hung up on time that I psyche myself out.

I don’t want to waste all of these weeks of training by burning out in the end, so I’m hoping for a few solid runs this week and I’m going to try 13 on Sunday– even if I have to take some scheduled walk breaks. 

So much of running is mental and I know if I let the “what if’s” into my head, I’ll be DOA.  But with my recent setbacks, it’s hard to keep them at bay.   I’m hoping I’ll get a little push from the race day adrenaline… and so far the forecast seems doable.  But my nerves are definitely cranked up to 11 for this one. 

I MUST do this…  Wish me luck!  

(Just don’t tell me that I’ll do “fine.”  I’ve heard that so many times and it’s about to make me pull my hair out!)

Only Me, Part 2

Hannah over at Illini_Girl’s Adventures  likes to joke that she specializes in awkward.  I’m not sure what my specialty is, but here are a few things that seem to only happen to me. 

Only I could:

… get stopped for texting while driving, when I actually wasn’t

I had the radio on and I thought I heard my phone ring. I checked to see if someone had called and next thing I know there are flashing lights behind me.  Ugh.   I knew I wasn’t speeding, but it was 9 p.m. on a Saturday night.  And my license plate sticker was out of date.  The officer explained to me why I was being pulled over.  I showed him that I hadn’t made or received a text message since 7:30 that night.  He gave me a written warning anyway.   Not a ticket, but still!   This has taught me to keep my phone in my purse (preferably in the back seat) from now on. 

… offer roadside real estate advice

A couple of days before that I was walking my dog and some guy stopped alongside the road.  I live fairly close to the University so it’s not uncommon for people to ask for directions.  This guy was different.  First of all, his car was PACKED with random stuff.  And he had an open box of Cheerios in the front seat, like he was snacking on them during the drive.   Anyway, he pulls up and asks me if there are any apartments for rent in the area.  I  tell him there aren’t a lot of apartments in the neighborhood, but if he goes closer to campus he’s sure to find some.   He didn’t like this answer, so he asked about houses.  I told him to drive around and look for signs.  He asked how much rental houses go for around here. I told him I didn’t rent, but I thought they were fairly reasonable. I explained that I have a friend in the apartment leasing business, but he deals with mostly college students.

Over the course of the next 10-15 mins (remember: he is in his car alongside a fairly busy road.  I’m holding my dog on a leash)  he proceeds to tell me waaayyyy too many details about his life:  I know he’s 40.  He’s from Ohio.  He has no friends/family here.  He just got a great job, but doesn’t want to pay more than $500 in rent, etc.    Finally, I said: “I’m not sure what else to tell you,”  and told him to look up a real estate agent.  Or buy a newspaper.  I was kinda weirded out by the experience, so I took the SUPER long way home just in case he was following me. 

fail to recognize the warning signs*

Last weekend, I met some friends downtown for Happy Hour.   My “usual” parking spot was full so I had to park in a large lot a couple blocks away.   When we got done it was dark (sidenote:   ever notice how happy hour is *never* just an hour), I walked with my friend to the end of the block and then we parted ways.   I clicked the “unlock” button on my keyless entry thing, saw the lights flashing and hopped into the car.    As soon as I sat down, I realized something wasn’t right.  The car was CLEAN… and I couldn’t figure out where to put my key.   About that time, the *real* owner of the car walks up and says: “I think you’re in my car.”   Me: “oh, I thought something wasn’t right. Sorry.” and turned and walked away like it was no big deal.   I kinda wonder what he thought when he saw the crazy girl getting into his car.   I found mine a few rows down and went home.   

*this title was left intentionally vague.  I wanted those of you who didn’t already read it on facebook to experience it as I did. 

Seriously, this stuff only happens to me.

First 10K– an automatic PR!

I ran the Safe Kids 10K on Saturday.  I finished in 1:10:45, which is an 11:24 min/mile pace.  I’m not especially happy with my performance (see below), but I’m glad I did it.

Positive:  I finished.  My pace was comparable to my training runs.
Negative: I should have finished faster.  I lost my confidence and took too many walk breaks (really any walk break in a 10K is too many for me.  I’ve run 6 mi without stopping numerous times).

Positive:  I was surprised to see two of the Derby Girls out on the course.  One was running the 10K and I tried to keep her in my sight as long as possible.   The other one *smoked* by me in the 5K! 
Negative:  The course itself was BORING– a 4 lap loop around a local park. I’ve run it as a 5K and it wasn’t so bad, but by the 3rd lap, I was sick of seeing the same sights.  

Positive:  I *smashed* my previous 5K record by over 2 mins
Negative:  I started out too fast and paid for it in the end (see above re: walk breaks)

Positive:  I got much-needed race experience before the half-marathon (<3 weeks away…yikes!)
Negative:  The race was really small and I never really “ran my own race.” Instead, I tried too hard to keep up with other runners (I did not want to come in last!)

Positive:  This race made me realize how much I need a “race plan” for the half.
Negative:  I’m not really sure what that plan should be.   All through my training, I’ve been thinking I’d just run as far as I can before stopping.  I’m now thinking maybe I should schedule in some walk breaks so they’re not so defeating if I take them at the end.  When/where should I take them?  I’m thinking maybe miles 6 and 10?  

A few other random gripes:

  • I forgot my watch and my RunKeeper app crapped out on me again.  IF I continue running after the half, I may need to upgrade or invest in a Garmin.  But I don’t know how much more running I’m going to do.
  • At the end of the 2nd lap, another runner comes up behind me and says: “You can do it… We’re almost done” to which I replied: “No, honey, I’ve got two more laps to go.”   She said: “Oh, 10K?  Good for you. I’m impressed.”     Not really sure what that means as I was starting to struggle by that point.   Thanks for the motivation, lady!
  • After my 3rd lap, I was really struggling.  The clock read 51:xx:xx.   One of the volunteers tried to point me towards the finishing chute.  Once again I had to say: “Sorry, I’m not done yet.”    Ugh.  Talk about motivation-killer!

Roxie strikes again!

Remember last year when Roxie killed a baby bunny?   Well, she’s done it again.   This time, she’s movin’ on up like George and Weezy….

April 2010

May 2009

Uhh… at least she’s improving???

Thank Goodness

First things first– I got my 9 miler in this weekend. Yay!  Thanks for all your words of encouragement.  

I was a bit nervous about the run, but I did a few things that I think helped get me out of the funk:

  • I set out to run for time, not distance.  I didn’t even look at the map before I left.  I just put on my watch and said I wasn’t stopping for two hours.
  • I ran a different route including parts of the half-marathon race route that I’d never run before.
  • I switched directions. (I usually run in a counter-clockwise loop from my house. This time I went clockwise)
  • I made a new “long run” playlist for my iPod.
  • I slowed down… WAY down.  Someone commented that I should just jog or shuffle when I get tired.  My run = jog and my jog = shuffle.  I was slow, but I knew I could get the miles in.
  • I ran in the morning, which I usually prefer, but haven’t been able to do lately.

It was one of the best runs I’ve ever had.   The weather was perfect (for me)– a little cool at the beginning, overcast and breezy, but not windy.  The first hour literally flew by– I was running through unfamiliar territory and just soaking in my surroundings. I was smiling as other runners passed by, completely taking in the experience.  

At about mile 7, I was certain that I could run 10.  I was even composing the “double-digit” status update in my head.  At about Mile 8, I was back in my neighborhood and I knew how much further I’d have to run.  This kinda set me back, but I wasn’t stopping until I was I was 100% certain I’d run 9 miles. 

I ran for almost 2 hours and then stopped about a mile from home to cool down.   When I stopped to check my RunKeeper app for my phone I was muy disappointed–  it didn’t work :( I have no data from the run and I ran through some “unchartable” areas, so I don’t  have completely accurate data on my run.   My best guess is 9.1 miles (which I think is conservative) in 1:51.   I missed my goal of running for 2 hours, but I made my mileage for the week and I feel great about it. 

I also passed a rabbit statue in the park and a dead bunny on the side of the road, which I thought was uber-appropriate for an Easter  run!