Friday, February 26, 2010

are you kidding.

Many bloggers have charming little "series" in their blogs. A few I've come across include: Frou Frou Fashionista Fridays, Look & Learn, Freebie Fridays. I have decided to jump on the series bandwagon, with: are you kidding.

It will probably happen often on Fridays because by then I am so fed up with life at the office that I have to vent, but who knows, you may get a surprise every now and then.

For today's installment: are you kidding. Do not walk into my office and place something on my chair when there is a perfectly good mailbox with many sections to choose from hanging right outside my door. Why are people lazy enough to circle for hours around the wal*mart parking lot so they can get one spot closer, but then manage to muster up the energy to take those extra 10 steps in and out of my office?

Can't wait to shut this door behind me at 4:30 today.

Friday, February 5, 2010

red sky in the morning, sailors take warning...

My "merry band" of running buddies, as we like to call ourselves, noticed the red sky this morning and recalled this old weather warning: red sky at night, sailors delight, red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. Now the forecast is set for up to 34 inches of snow and high winds. We cancelled our weekend trip, but T&B will visit us here next weekend instead.

Back to the run. I am so fortunate to have a few different running groups, so I never have to run alone and rarely have to resign myself to the treadmill in the stinky stale air of the gym. Fresh air is where it's at, yo! You'd be surprised at just how many people are willing to get up before 5 to run, and actually relish it. I place myself squarely in this group - even though it is sometimes torturous to pull myself away from my cozy bed and cuddly hubby at 4:45, I have very rarely regretted it (no offense, Kyle!).

My Tuesday/Thursday group is a sub-group of a large Baltimore running club, the Baltimore Pacemakers. The Pacemakers do long runs together on Saturday mornings (at a more sane 7 AM), and track workouts on Wednesday mornings. This little group of us that convenes on Tuesday and Thursday includes 8 or 10 folks who run about the same pace and just prefer the company of others to the solitude that some crave while running. We range in age from 28 (ahem, I am proud to be the youngster) up to 60ish, men and women, several Ph.D.s, an M.D., a professor, an architect, one of my fundraising colleagues, a lawyer, a Washington Post editor, a published author, and a professional mom. In a normal setting I would probably be slightly intimidated by a group like this, but on the road before dawn, we're all just runners. Albeit, runners with very enlightened conversations through labored breaths.

Sorry, I tend to get wordy when it comes to running. I like it! What I meant to write about was what we experienced this morning, mostly before dawn and all before 8 AM. We started early to get 15 miles in before the storm hits. Several of these folks are heading to Beantown with me, and all have one spring marathon or another planned, so missing our long run isn't really an option.

On the first leg of the run I had an inspiring strategy conversation with my colleague about the shape that my program is taking and it's potential for the future. So much better to talk about that stuff outside of the flourescent lights of the office. We headed to Druid Hill Park, a place that has a bad rap in Baltimore as it's on the brink of a sketchy hood, but is really a hidden jewel full of challenging hills and a freshly paved 1.5 mile track around the lake. We encountered a contingent of Hopkins ROTC members, decked out in camo, combat boots, and huge packs, and exchanged cheers for one another as we passed. Which led to a shared book review on Jon Krakauer's "Where Men Win Glory" which I'm almost done listening to in the car. We saw the ducks gathering around the line between ice and water in the lake, wondering if they know the storm is coming? They probably have a better idea of what's going to happen than we do. We watched the sun rise over the city and noted the red sky and clouds. We talked about the crazies we encountered at the grocery store last night and what we all plan to cook up this weekend as we're snowbound. There was no mention of the Super Bowl, but one of the group who had recently hosted a party at her house for the Packemakers did share an interesting insight from her teenaged daughter: Mom, when you guys are running you never talk about running, but when you're not running that's all you talk about! So true.

I pulled away from the group a little bit at the end because the water breaks were becoming more frequent and I just wanted to finish. As they came in, a few told me how strong I was looking and we all shared a "great run, guys" and many thanks before heading our separate ways - to the lab, the hospital, the courthouse, the office, wherever. Even though I'm sitting here sore and tired now, I already can't wait for Tuesday morning. And for that matter, Monday morning, when I run with my team at the homeless shelter - there, though very few have jobs or homes, but similarly, you don't notice the differences out on the road. But more about that next week.

What was the best thing that happened to you between 5 and 8 this morning?

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I listen to the radio throughout the day at work and between that and checking, am hearing and reading some pretty amusing and panic-inducing (for others, not this noco native) terms describing the impending storm. I will document them here as the day progresses. Should you hear any good ones, leave a comment and I'll add them to the list for all to enjoy. Let it snow!

how balti-morons clean up snow
9:04: paralyzing

9:07: high-impact

11:22: Here's a picture to make Dave swoon:

1:51: Disruptive Snowfall, Potenially Paralyzing

1:21 on 2/5: the snow has begun! Here's what I just found on the NOAA website...maybe I shouldn't be kidding around!


Fine, I'll stay inside and drink hot cocoa with my hubs. :-)

check ya later, city

The next two days can not go fast enough - I am so excited for our weekend trip! We'll leave mid-afternoon on Friday to drive 6 or 7 hours southwest, hopefully in the opposite direction of the impending snowstorm, to meet up with Tera and Brett in Damascus, VA. It's just about as close as we could get to halfway between Atlanta and Baltimore.
buh bye, balto (yes, people call it that - weird)

Tera found a cute little bungalow to rent for very few U.S. dollars (as Kyle commonly refers to what most of us usually call money) and we're going to do some hiking, seek out some live bluegrass and small town food, and officially start planning our big trip for the fall.

hello, bungalow
What big trip, you ask? We'll be heading waaaaaay south in probably October or November, to check out Patagonia and the Andes. We'll likely try to stay mostly in either Chile or Argentina, yet to be determined. We'll definitely be checking out these craggy beauts, do lots of hiking, hopefully some rafting and mountain biking, and maybe even ice climbing on glaciers ridiculously close to Antarctica.

So yeah, it's time to get down to planning and training. We want to be in great shape so we can enjoy our adventure to the fullest, and of course, we have to break in our gear so we don't look like the inexperienced city dwellers who stopped at REI on their way to the airport. For now, we'll start here.

the mountains of Virginia

And we should make it home in time for the Super Bowl. Phew! You know I didn't want to miss that. ;-) Have a great weekend!