Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I have waited a long, long time to write this blog post. I've thought about all sorts of kitschy ways I could write it (and let me tell you, I came up with some doozies). My favorite was that I was going to tell you that I secretly did a tri, it went well enough, and that I'm going to do two more. It's true! Sort of. But so are a lot of other things which Ears tells me were tip-offs for her.

  1. No recent race announcements or training plans
  2. The sudden disappearance of speed training
  3. The drop in mileage, slow rebuilding, and no runs longer than 6 miles
Have you guessed yet??? I can't keep it to myself any longer!

I'm pregnant!! 

It's true--beautifully, wonderfully, excitingly true!! And it does explain a lot! 
(this is my "big" side. Yes, I look appreciably bigger from one side than the other. And yes, I felt compelled to tell you this)

I'm about three months along. I'm due the beginning of April. I can't even type it without smiling! 

I will run as long as it's reasonably comfortable and safe, and possibly even run more than I have been lately. My doctor gave me the go-ahead to keep running as long as I can comfortably carry on a conversation, and that as long as I hydrate properly I don't even need to limit myself to 40 minutes, which I'd been doing as a precaution.* I like her a lot. Now that you guys are in on my huge secret, I can discuss what running is really like these days, register for 5ks without needing to explain why I'm not trying to PR, and explain that while I'm thrilled about the upcoming Rock & Roll race, I'm participating as a volunteer. Time to give back! 

As I said in my last post, lots of fun stuff coming up, and I couldn't be happier!

* this was medical advice that my OB gave to me based on my fitness and medical history. Do not use my blog as a substitute for medical advice! Every woman and pregnancy is different. What applies to me might not apply to others. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mondays in Love: Things Found Along the Way

Before I get into today's Mondays in Love, I want to say that I realize things have been a bit sparse around here lately. Last week at work was flat-out crazy, seeing me at work until after 7pm two nights and traveling for work Friday and yesterday. Rest assured, I'm returning to the land of the living, and have some fun stuff planned over the next couple of weeks, including--are you ready--the inaugural Rock & Roll StL!

But first things first, today's Mondays in Love. Today it's all about the things you discover along the way.

A little while ago I blogged about spotting a single gravestone hanging out in the park I run in. Later that week I went back and took a picture of it to share. It's been waiting in line for a few weeks for its turn here on Mondays in Love.

I think this gravestone says Eliza Hoole (?), 1882. Remarkably, I can find next to nothing about it online, even in the historical documents of the park. I found a few other blogs that think the name reads Eliza Poole or Eliza Moore, also with some different interpretations of the year. I was hoping for a great story, of how this one grave ended up here. But I guess I am left to wonder and imagine. 

Have you ever found something really curious along a run? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mondays (work with me) in Love: My Love

A few posts back some of you commented on the incredible invention that is my husband's invisible bike. Did he have invisible friends to go with it? Was he doing the happy bike dance? People who knew him in college might have asked if he got an invisible bike to go with his albino alter-ego.

Sidebar: Seriously, the man is pale. And blond. And pale. Back in the days when people used AIM his user name involved the word Albino. Really.

While an invisible bike would have been a really good trick, he did in fact get the traditional visible kind. I think he was just a little sheepish about sharing it with you.

(yes, that is really my husband. We're a bunch of hams over here, and I love it)

His real bike is the Giant Escape (lol, he bought a giant escape). He's been riding through the park and neighborhood and has even used it to commute to work a few times. I love love love that he's doing this. It makes both of us smile. That's what I'm in love with this Monday (like I said, work with me)--my hubby's new bike habit.

Think I'll catch the bike bug one day? Have you??

Sunday, September 18, 2011

7 Links Throwback Post

How thrilled was I to discover on Friday that the always lovely Beth over at discom-BOB-ulated Running nominated me to participate in a throwback post! I had a lot of fun reading her older posts again and am excited to dig back through my own. So what is this about? Thanks for asking. :)

Here are the rules:

1. Blogger is nominated to take part
2. Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category
3. Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part.
4. These bloggers publish their 7 links and nominate another 5 more bloggers

I want to preface this by saying that although I've had this blog for about 4 years, I didn't always participate in the bloggy world with it, exactly. Only my closest friends and family knew about it at first, so the categories of today's post that refer to popular posts and whatnot, I'm just going to use my posts from the past year and a half or so. 

Post #1: My most beautiful post
For being pretty, this post of my park in the fall. For being emotionally beautiful, I don't know. I'm not good with these things. But, without going into really old posts, probably this one. 

Post #2: My most popular post By page views, easily this very old post. Blogger tells me that I get traffic to this post from people searching online, probably for the fake Eleanor Roosevelt quote. By comments, my most popular post was Cleveland Marathon Part 2. The support of so many friends and family meant the world to me. It was a tough race, but I held it together enough to PR (by 11 minutes!) and get home in one piece. I also got to meet a lot of fantastic people that weekend, including BoB, Jodi, Dave, and Jenn, and got to see Morgan and Spike again, among other people. I actually re-read this post the other day because I've long struggled with that race, how I dealt with it, and how I feel about it now. I think the recap is pretty fair, in the grand scheme of things--but rest assured, it's a race (and a PR) I will beat. 

Post #3: My most controversial post
I'm not sure I have a whole lot that's controversial on here. I think the post I got the most blow-back from was this one, where I blogged about running while 7+ months pregnant. This is definitely from the era before I knew other bloggers or participated in the blog world, so most of you have never read this. But everyone I knew in real life from RunningFirst to my Mom gave me crap about it at the time. 

Post #4: My most helpful post
I think my product review posts are the most helpful. I've fielded a lot of questions from female friends about how to shop for an adequate sports bra (see product review here). More recently I reviewed some Balega socks and got some good feedback from people. My TnT buddy Meredith has the same problem I do, borderline bruising on the bottom of the foot even in perfectly good but low-cushion running shoes. The socks were a good find for me, and hopefully for others (see here). 

Post #5: A post whose success surprised me
This one from August 2010, because I was feeling kind of sorry for myself when I posted it. It was right after we moved here and I was missing my friends back in Illinois, and having people to run with. 

Post #6: A post I felt didn't get the attention it deserved
May 22, 2010--a date I will never forget. I ran a 5 mile trail race that morning and was in the ER for an emergency appendectomy by dinner! Running related and super dramatic. What more do you want?! Haha :)

Post #7: The post I'm most proud of
This is hard, because it's less the post itself and more the race it recapped that I'm so proud of--my first marathon, Detroit 2009. My training cycle had been badly interrupted by injury, to the point that I wasn't sure I would be able to race. But with help from my Teammates I hatched a plan, stuck to it, gutted it out when the going got tough, and finished with a time I was thrilled with. It's easily the post I re-read the most often and even still sometimes get emotional reading, particularly about the end of the race. 

Now for my nominations for other bloggers to re-share their posts:
1. RunningFirst, as a welcome back to training and fundraising for the Team
2. RunJessRun because, even though she's not the most frequent blogger in the world, I always enjoy her posts
3. Marlene at Mission to a(nother) Marathon, for being one of my favorite blogs

Thursday, September 15, 2011

For the TEAM

Some of you may recall that I got my start in endurance running through Team in Training. I trained with the Team for 3 years and mentored two seasons. I don't have a personal connection to blood cancers, but fighting cancer is something I have become passionate about through Penn State's THON and through my involvement with Team in Training. I know a lot of you also have a connection to TnT, so when my husband sent me this article yesterday, I knew I had to share:

An Immune System Trained to Kill Cancer
Published: September 12, 2011
A closer look at what was done to cure two patients of chronic lymphocytic leukemia with a novel gene therapy — which may be useful against other cancers.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mondays in Love: Toblerone and Perrier

If history would teach me anything, it's that you guys don't know what to make of my crazy family stories. But this morning I impishly posted a Facebook status about wanting some Toblerone and Perrier, just to rib my brother about something that happened 13 years ago. I was surprised about how many responses the status got, mostly from people who thought it sounded like a lovely Monday. I had a whole other post planned for today, but after that, I had, had to ask my brother, ODP, to guest blog for me. So without further ado, I give you Toblerone and Perrier.

Gene's apartment was something between student housing, a commune, a speakeasy, and a rehab facility.  In fact, it served all these functions during his 8-month stay there.  He had a 50-gallon trashcan with "Pook Buket" written across the side.  We once made a 4:00 AM trip to WalMart to buy a blender, at a moment that was identified as ideal for margaritas.  Wrestling night was not to be missed.  Sometimes there were naked people.  Sometimes there were personality disordered stoners.  Sometimes there was hard-core pornography and the Cranberries playing simultaneously.  Sometimes there was an angry elderly neighbor demanding the return of his newspaper.  We hadn't taken his newspaper, but we undoubtedly appeared suspect and I can't fault him for blaming us.

As a foolish youngster, I made a baseless and tragically responsible decision to remain sober during this time.  As a result, I believe that I have the only cogent recollection of November, 1998 in Gene's apartment.  Given my dysfunctional level of sobriety, I was often asked to make trips to the store.  One afternoon Gene handed me some cash and asked that I go out for milk, Marlboro Lights, etc.  On my way out of the apartment I casually asked if anything else was needed, to which Shawn responded, "I'll have a Toblerone!"  Perhaps I was not functioning on the same level of consciousness as the rest of our company, all of whom recognized the joke.  It seems that it's strange for 19 year old guys in West Virginia to eat Toblerone.  Who knew.

A while later I returned to Gene's apartment.  I unpacked the bag.  Marlboro Lights.  Etc.  Toblerone.
"ODP, where's the milk?" asked Gene
"Oh, there wasn't enough money."
"How?  There should have been."
"The Toblerone put us over budget.  So, no milk."
Blank stares all around.  I handed Shawn his Toblerone.
"Uh, thanks," he said.
"ODP," replied Shawn.  "Who the fuck eats Toblerone?"

A better question was, "Who, in that apartment, was drinking milk?"

In fact, I ate Toblerone.  Not frequently, but once in a while, it hit the spot.  I still remember my first Toblerone.  It was a rainy afternoon in rural Italy...  I also had my first bottle of carbonated water on this high school Latin club trip.  It seemed like a good combo at the time and I failed to notice that my new-found europhilic snacking preferences put me in a strange minority in our little rural town.  Perhaps I had shown up that day with a bottle of Perrier.  I did that sometimes.  In combination with the Toblerone, an impression was struck.  Ever since, I've been pegged as that guy who snacks on Toblerone and Perrier.

I can only express profound satisfaction that Jo's FB status regarding Toblerone and Perrier has attracted such attention.  Perhaps I was just ahead of my time.  Perhaps I was, and still am, kind of weird.  Whatever the case, I am awesome, and so is Toblerone.

Daniel (ODP)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mondays on Notice, belatedly

You didn't think I was going to forget a Monday on Notice, did you? Not at all. Instead, I got carried away yesterday by running, baking, and hanging out with friends. And it was glorious. So, Tuesday, let's get this unapologetically belated Monday on Notice started!

I've actually decided to put my Notices on Notice. See, it's turned out that more often than not I have something I want to profess my love for. And who doesn't like positive sounding posts? So after much consideration I've decided to rename this segment Mondays in Love. There will still be an occasional thing On Notice (I actually have something today), but mostly it's just going to be a place to highlight the love.

Today's Mondays in Love is brought to you by this incredible, gorgeous weather. For the foreseeable future we have highs in the 70s and low 80s, sunshine, and a breeze. Do you know what this means?

  • If Mr. Joanna or I want to sleep in on a weekend, we can! I do not have to be running before 7am to beat the heat. If I want to run at 2pm, I can. It feels like such a freedom after the summer.
  • I can leave the windows open in our house.
  • When the air gets cooler in the evenings and mornings, I can snuggle up in a well-worn, well-loved hoodie. 
  • My husband will start obsessing over stews and soups soon. I don't really care about stew, but I love watching him get so into things. 
  • Undoubtedly one of my favorite things about fall--apple pie!!! I think we're planning a trip to a nearby orchard to pick fresh apples. YAY!
  • This last one's just vain and girly, but I can start carrying my one and only Coach shoulder bag to work. It's a dark red suede, very fall, and it's gorgeous. And I bought it as part of a charity fundraiser. 
The one thing I'm putting on Notice this Monday? The irresponsible a-hole who left a big stinky pile of dog crap in our front yard. There are tons of dogs in our neighborhood and I'm usually fine with that. It's also a neighborhood of really great dog owners. Clearly someone missed the memo on proper dog etiquette. Jerk. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weekly Recap: Operation Rebuild Base, Complete

This week was a huge triumph for me. At long last, I've regained the base mileage I wanted to be at. And I XT'ed. It was just a fantastic week.

4.1 miles through the park with some of the fastest splits I've seen all summer. I was having an absolute blast and was actually surprised to see my first mile time when my Garmin chirped at me. <3

The conclusion of my very much loved yoga Groupon came with a last great 6:30am workout. It was a great way to end the month-long experience. I may yet do some drop-in classes. I just loved the studio.

4 miles through the park


A slower run in the park. We had a couple days over 100 degrees this week. Mostly I didn't mind the heat wave, but it did slow me down a bit. Friday was also a stay-at-home-with-my-kiddo day (his school was closed). These days are few and far between and I cherish them. We had a blast. And since I can't leave you with a photo-less post, I'm going to introduce you to my new favorite brownie mix (dark chocolate FTW!). The kiddo and I picked this up at Target and made it together. It's about the best $1.32 I ever spent.

We had another 100+ degree humid day, so I decided to sleep in and move my weekend run to Sunday, which had a high of 79.

Today was the first run that felt like fall. The leaves haven't started to change yet, but the cooler weather, the 41% humidity which hasn't happened since maybe March or early April, the people out grilling in the park, all of it. I was so thankful to be outside and be running. A weird thing happened. I noticed a single, solitary gravestone in the park. I've gone past it at least 100 times and never saw it. It totally took me by surprise. I'll take my phone tomorrow and take a picture of it. I'm really curious now! Who the heck is buried there??

Weekly totals:
Miles: 16.2
XT: 60 minutes