Thursday, February 25, 2010

Life List #112: Check!

Ok... if you've been following me, you know I only have 111 life list items. And I'm not just making up items as I do them so there really isn't nor will ever be an item #112. But after the last few days attempts and fails, this morning's triumph seemed like it should be listworthy.

Yes... you will laugh when you realize that a 31-year-old who has always been known to her friends as a pretty darn good cook & baker with some pretty over-the-top dinner parties on her record, did not know how to make an sunny-side up egg until this morning. I can roll sushi, bake bread from scratch, cook mussels, and even fry my own handcut truffle french fries. But even after resorting to google for tips on the "dippy" eggs (as I used to call them as a little girl), I could not master it! This morning -- done! I feel like I've been so productive today and its only 8am and I am just turning on my computer! (It may have to do with the website I designed in the last few days and my great response from the client last night though too).

Wow. I hate to be all cocky but as a breakfast-making, marathon-running, bible-reading, butt-kicking business entrepreneur over here, I'm getting so good at my life list, I'm now accomplishing things not even on it! ha!

On a side note: my good friend Carrie sent me this Sandwich Sprinkle spice mixture a few years ago to make her famous stuffed jalapenos with. Its ridiculously good on eggs -- "dippy" or not.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Move over Sheryl Crow

As I weigh my days wondering "To Run, or Not to Run" and start getting seriously bummed at the fact that my ankle/leg pain, while not getting worse, does not seem to be getting better... I'm looking for good distractions. Being in Ohio in an uber-small town with all of my friends a phone call or plane ride away, the idea of not being able to train for this marathon is a pretty big bummer. I'll find out more on Thursday when I go to the sports doctor -- stay tuned!

So I'm looking through my list... and checking it twice (Tee hee. Sorry.) for some ideas to pre-occupy myself.

I've already signed up for my CPR class, might as well do something that could (but hopefully won't) put it to the test... so I just signed up for a Masters Swim class at the nearby YMCA. A good workout since I'm sitting around and trying to stay off my leg. And although I've checked off "#6: Learn how to swim properly" and "#2: Complete a triathlon", I'd still like to keep moving forward on those items and improving both!

And because that class will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:45-10pm, I noticed there was Adult Beginner Guitar classes on Thursdays from 7-7:45pm at the same Y. So there you go: "82: learn at least three songs on my guitar."

We're making progress people...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Running Update

After one run... I had wicked Plantar Fasciitis (par for the course with my wicked flat feet). After another run... crazy achilles pain. Next time... my calf was on fire and it felt similar to when I had that stress fracture in 2007. I decided that despite the pain (idiot that I am) I was going to go back to the gym and squeeze a slow 4-miler in just in case I couldn't do my 11-miler this weekend. My run hurt like hell and the only time the pain really went away was about an hour after my workout. Huh? Running on it fixed it? That's entirely counter-intuitive!

Today, my heel is slightly sensitive and I'm just a bit sore on the top of my foot/ankle. But compared to how I was feeling before my run, I'm SO much better. My calf hardly hurts at all! YAY! And I've come to realize that at least I'm lucky to be running one of the few marathons in April that has a half marathon option -- that wasn't a possibility in New York or the Marine Corps. So as bummed as I would be not to run the full (its my birthday wish, after all!), at least I can do something!!!

In other endorsements, after my treadmill run, I limped over to Dave's Running in Perrysburg to talk to them. How perfect that I came right before closing when there was 4 employees with no other customers. They all patiently listened to my long list ailments and the remedies I've tried and although the didn't sell full replacement legs/feet, they did actually point out that maybe the treadmill usage in the last two weeks is a huge contributor (more give and it inevitably changes your gait!). HMM! Interesante! They also highly recommended (short of visiting an actual podiatrist for custom orthodics) the PowerSteps Pinnacle inserts, which is the same brand I vaguely remember my orthopedic doctor recommmending in '07. So I put the money down ($40! Not cheap!) and will keep you posted!!! I also dug up the physicl therapy exercises from that same orthopedic doctor and will start doing those too in high hopes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Soon All Will Be Safer in My Presence

Life List #65. get CPR certified

This will be happening on Thursday, March 18. 9-6pm. That's one long day of resuscitating dolls of adults, children and infants!!!

This item was put on my list a long time ago not for the actual overarching idea of helping my fellow man (although that IS pretty clutch), but because four years ago, I actually almost choked to death on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It was the day before my 28th birthday and I was just hanging out in my apartment on a lazy Sunday morning after a night out. I made myself a basic PB&J (smooth PB -- I've now switched to crunchy). On literally the first bite, it got lodged deep in my throat. I didn't quite chew it enough (I SAID it was a lazy Sunday, didn't I?). I scurried around my apartment trying to find countertops to push myself into in an attempt to dislodge it -- I had seen my older sister do this once at my parents' house long ago. It wasn't working and although I had considered running into the hall to my neighbors apartment, I was just in a t-shirt and underwear so my weird twisted idiotic logic said "I can't go out in the hall while I'm choking with no pants on!!!" Funny now... pretty stupid then. Or not... I still don't know.

In any case, I went into the bathroom (this had to be over a minute or maybe even two) to try to push myself on that counter with its rounded corners and as it wasn't working, I looked up and saw a purple scary face peering back in the mirror. My panic took control and I literally bent over and puked my guts out. That reaction literally saved my life... my airway was free and I had avoided death by PB&J. However that next week I literally couldn't even take a sip of water without excrutiating pain. Turns out after a visit to the Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor, I had pretty severely "burnt" the inside of my throat from the friction of the lodged sandwich. In any case, I learned my lessons: 1. Its a pretty good idea to take a CPR class at least once so I have some sense of what to do in an emergency. 2. Take smaller bites and chew them obviously. And of course, 3. Put some pants on, for Pete's sake.

So I'm really looking forward to this class and just knowing that I have the power to do something in that sort of scary situation God forbit it ever happened again.

Also, on a side note: why is it that the Toledo-area seems to have so much more First Aid/CPR classes than all of Boston and NYC areas? Do they realize its a lot smaller population? I've been looking into taking this class for years and not only do I suddenly have tons of options, but its also ridiculously cheaper!

Be inspired yourself -- take a CPR/First Aid class if they are available near you (Red Cross, Salvation Army, YMCA, local hospitals). Sadly, you never know when you'll need it!!!

Lenten Sacrifices & Ashy Wednesdays

Last night I actually went to Ash Wednesday service for the first time in about 3 or 4 years. It was nice and a de-stresser to sit there in church after dark. Of course, poor BF of mine had to work late bc his company's president was in town for a 5pm meeting so I blessed him by touching his forehead to mine when he got home and sharing some of my ashes! I know it doesn't technically count but I also know he would have gone if he could.

I admit... my faith has sort of took a backseat in the last 10 years off an on. I've been put through hell and back with awful jobs, loss of loved ones, erratic schedules, repeated heartbreak and just general cruddiness. But that's no excuse because I've also been blessed with amazing friends and family, inspiring trips, and amazing accomplishments to make it to where I am today. So looking back on my life list, there are two spiritual items that are an effort to pick up on that religion that has inspired and driven my parents, grandparents, and ancestors to make me who I am today. Obviously my spirituality and beliefs are very personal and its always hard to make sense of it all in this modern world but if I don't start making a bigger effort to learn about it, how will I ever truly and not hypocritically be able to teach these things to my children someday.

So without going on a tangent of what I believe and getting all preachy (especially since I respect and am equally inspired by different religious ideals as well), I'll simply report what my 40 days of sacrifices are:

1. No candy. This isn't a huge issue for me actually but I learned that the BF has this weakness occasionally. So I'll do the same in solidarity.

2. No cursing. Hello!!?!?! Life list #98! BF is as well doing this in solidarity for me. I don't think I'm necessarily the sailor that I was before when I had such a cruddy job and entire situation going for a year or two. But I do slip up occasionally (proven when a "beeper" slipped out of my mouth while I had two teeny guests under 3 over the other night -- I'm hoping the dinner I cooked them and children's books I read them made up for it!).

3. And my third, rather than give something up, I'll do something I don't usually do: I'm starting to read the Bible. I have a great study version with lots of Cliff's notes and maps and timelines (and additionally the world's SMALLEST type ever -- this may take a LOT of lent seasons to get through!). Yet again, BF is on board with this one and really excited about it... so maybe I have to give him a nice bible to help him out! So there it is: Life List #67 as well! Anybody have any tips for reading it? Do I really just start at the beginning or is there a better order (New Testament first, perhaps?).

Runner up sacrifice: I considered giving up beer and pizza but since those seem to be the official food & beverage food choices of the state of Ohio, I decided now's not the time. I will however, try to limit it as well as make better eating choices across the board! Maybe a whole-grain home-cooked pizza is in our near future...

So I'm pumped for Lent (that's not a phrase that people usually utter, is it?). And although the homily last night was about sacrificing without doing it just to brag about it and focusing on the idea that He will know even if your sacrifices are secret... I'm still broadcasting it on my blog. Partially because, is anyone reading this thing anyhow? And partially because I need some accountability to help me stick to it.

So, if you need the accountability to... tell me, what's your 40 day sacrifice(s)??

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Birthday Wishes

So this year, the marathon I chose to train for is on my birthday -- April 24. My parents, little sister, boyfriend and a handful of other favorite people of mine are all schlepping down to Nashville for the Country Music marathon so some of us can run 26.2 miles (and I will celebrate all of my 32 years).

However, I've had problem after problem this year. Bad shoulder. Wonky toes. Super sharp plantar fasciitis. And now I have yet another eerily familiar woe -- the dreaded posterior shin splints. My right leg's calf is soooo sore on one little spot specifically on the inside of that leg. Been there -- done that. In 2007 I had a sore posterior shin on that same right leg the month or two before the Marine Corps Marathon. I completed... in a lot of pain and with a handful of advils. And within three days afterwards, I couldn't put any weight on it at all and I learned I had a stress fracture in my tibia. Cut to 6-7 weeks of wearing an evil boot and having to go to the world's creepiest and flirtiest sports orthopedist. Bad news.

So I'm paranoid that this is what I may have again... I sit here with ice on my stupid calf and worry that I'll have to spend my birthday tortured as I watch all my loved ones run the race that I was supposed to be in. That could be a REALLY crappy birthday. I know I'm insane to want to run a full marathon on the one day of the year that is all about me... but the actual race day is the only reason I dare run in the first place. I hate running coincidentally... but the glory of the finish line always give me amnesia to the hard work and exhaustion of training. So I'm saying my prayers and hopefully this Cobra kicks in so I have health insurance (they say it will be retroactive but I don't trust it). I have 67 days to try to get back on this bandwagon that I can't seem to stay on for even a solid week. Here's hoping!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Life List Update 2010

Last time I've done an updated list check in was September of 2008. Since then I've moved to NYC for a year and then back to my roots of Ohio. And had conquered 21 of the items. Now... I'm at 31 done!!! So let's recap!! Stuff in italics are DONE!!! Stuff in blue are hopefully within reach in 6 months!


1. run a marathon :: completed first on October 28, 2007 (Marine Corps in DC - 4:42:44). Finished my second at the New York Marathon in 2008 at 4:28:14. And I'm currently (I cannot believe it either) training for my third on my birthday: April 24 in Nashville! Do I get extra life list bonus points for completing above my
2. complete a triathlon :: completed at Douglas, MA 5 Star Triathlon on September 13, 2008
3. buy a bike :: completed on April 24, 2007
4. ride a century (100mile) bike ride in honor of my Uncle Ray :: completed with my sister Tessa on August 31, 2007. Rainiest bike ride ever ended up in the longest bike ride ever. We projected 8 hours but with Tropical Storm Daniel, we finished in 11!
5. run 10 5ks :: 5 out of 10 so far (PR 26:12)
6. learn to swim properly :: finished course at Y on 4/29/08, fluent with freestyle and backstroke

7. surf in New England
8. surf in Hawaii
9. surf in Indonesia
10. go rockclimbing outdoors
11. run in Central Park :: completed on 8/5/07 during NYC Nike Half Marathon
12. run up the stairs of the Chicago Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower)
13. run a half-marathon in less than 2 hours (PR is 2:08:59) :: next half marathon will be Churchill's in Maumee, Ohio on March 21, 2010
14. take boxing classes
15. do a yoga 30-day challenge
16. drink 8 glasses of water a day for one full month :: why is this one SO hard for me?!?
17. no soda for a full year :: finished on 10/1/08
18. compete at least three seasons of tennis league

19. go skydiving for my 30th birthday :: have to reschedule this... my initial attempt on 4/12/07 got canceled because of weather
20. ride an elephant
21. ride a camel :: completed in July 2009 at Diani Beach in Kenya
22. go skinny dipping :: completed in Fall 2008, not the sexy encounter I was envisioning in my head when I wrote this item but a hilarious memory of a camping trip gone silly
23. gamble in Vegas :: completed on 5/9/07 on a work trip

24. go white-water kayaking and/or sea kayaking
25. scale/belay down a building
26. climb a volcano
27. target practice at a shooting range
28. play paintball :: finished on 4/13/08 with sisters, Bill, cousin Todd, and Tim... want to do it again!
29. go snowboarding out West
30. go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
31. swim with sharks
32. swim with dolphins
33. drive a sportscar around a track
34. go dog sledding
35. climb Mt. Kilmanjaro

36. climb Macchu Picchu
37. go on an African safari :: Jen & TC's wedding in July 2009. What an amazing adventure. I still cannot believe it.
38. visit the Pyramids
39. drive across America from coast-to-coast
40. visit Japan :: completed on 5/14/08
42. visit 200 places in the "1001 Places to See Before You Die" :: 51 out of 200 so far
43. visit Stockholm
44. visit Kenya :: trip of a lifetime!! completed July 2009
45. visit Montreal
46. visit Morocco
47. ride a mule in the Grand Canyon
48. go on a mission trip
49. spend a weekend in a log cabin in the wilderness :: October 2 in New Hampshire with Laura, Braden, and Emily. No running water... no electricity. And the most amazing food and more stars than you could ever ask for.
50. spend New Year's in an exotic location
51. ride in a hot air balloon :: completed on 7/12/08 in Stowe, Vermont (thanks, Steve!)
52. go on a yoga vacation/retreat
53. visit a rainforest :: completed in Belize on 12/24/07
54. fly first class
55. visit India
56. visit all seven continents :: 4 out of 7 so far
58. visit Graceland
59. attend Maine's Lobsterfest
60. attend the Head of the Charles Regatta :: completed on 10/21/07 - thanks Jeff & Sarah!
61. watch the sunset on the West Coast in a romantic setting
62. watch the sunrise on the East Coast in a romantic setting
63. spend an entire weekend on a sailboat
64. take a helicopter tour

65. get CPR certified
66. learn to make paella :: completed on 5/26/07
67. read the Bible
68. grow and eat my own herbs + vegetables

69. learn to roll sushi :: classes on 9/19/08
70. learn to pray the rosary (in memory of my grandmother + with her rosary)
71. bake bread from scratch :: completed 9/29/07 (rosemary bread... mmm)
72. learn to chop food like a pro :: finished cooking chopping class on 6/8/08 given to me from Danielle, Kristen, + Liz! I can't wait!

73. learn another language fluently
74. read/reread all 100 of the "Radcliffe 100 Best Novels" :: only 9 out of 100
75. watch all 100 of the AFI's 100 years, 10th anniv edition :: 60 out of 100 so far
76. learn more about investing
77. learn woodworking + make a piece of furniture :: finished a lovely teak coffeetable on 1/24/08

78. develop a better/stricter budget and stick to for at least 3 months
79. pick back up my contributions to my 401K

80. write a will
81. start a new 111 to-do's once this one is halfway finished

82. learn at least three songs on my guitar
83. take up art more regularly (though drawing, painting, photography, or mixed media)
84. commit at least three balloon animals to memory :: almost!
85. knit an entire sweater
86. sell some type of art/product
87. teach a class
88. be in another play or musical
89. write/illustrate a children's book and submit it to a publisher

90. convince someone else to start a list of life to-do's :: completed on 7/29/07, Lori and Missy
91. adopt a family for thanksgiving or christmas
92. volunteer once a week for at least 6 months
93. organize a charity event
94. be someone's mentor
95. donate hair to Locks of Love charity

96. give up coffee for at least 3 months :: finished 1/1/08
97. go to bed no later than 11pm every weekday for a month
98. one week without a single curse word
99. go one week without complaining a single time

100. no computer for one whole week :: completed week of 5/14/08 while in Japan, Vancouver, Seattle

101. buy a car
102. buy a house/condo/2-square-foot-of-land!
103. own a pair of manolo blahniks or jimmy choos :: completed on 9/16/08 (thanks, you know who you are!)
104. wear a bikini and feel 100% gorgeous + confident with my body :: P90X and marathon training?1? come on... it HAS to happen.
105. eat at a Michelin-rated restaurant
106. be on a silly TV gameshow (reality TV shows DO NOT count)
107. do a keg stand with both my sisters :: completed on 4/12/08
108. kiss someone in the pouring rain (a la The Notebook... *sigh*) :: completed on July 31, 2009. First weekend reunited with Ryan... stuck in the Ryan trying to get to dinner with my sisters as our cabbie got pulled over by a cop for a wrong turn and we chanced trying for another cab. Umbrella broke. And we were soaking wet. It was frustrating as hell but every moment with him that weekend was still romantic and magical.
109. throw an old-school all-girls pajama party sleepover :: completed on 4/26/08

110. go to the movies once a month for a full year
111. go on a picnic complete with basket, blanket, wine, and a cute guy :: got the basket and the guy... now I just gotta make it happen once the weather warms up!