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Archive for January, 2009

Cookie monster

Circa 1987:

mike-cookie

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1985-326

In 1985 I ran my first race.

It was at a Fourth of July picnic in one of the county parks. It couldn’t have been more than a 100 yard dash, perhaps even 50 yards. That distance seems longer to a four year old, but still.

I won the race. My prize was the doll you see me clutching ever so proudly. You could feed her a bottle and she would pee. It was magical.

Looking back I should have known I would be a runner. I will probably never win another race, but I hope to experience many more moments of great joy as I push myself to achieve what I once thought impossible. And years from now when I look back, I will be proud of all that I accomplished, and all the hard work that got me there.

“Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You have got to set your self on fire for it.”
– Anonymous

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Way to go little brother!

i_04951

Over the weekend my little brother got engaged! Please look at what an adorable couple they are.

On their first date they played Scrabble. Three years later he took her out to dinner. They went back to his apartment to play Scrabble by candlelight.  He had written out “Will you marry me” on the Scrabble board.

How cute is that?!?

i_0940

Congratulations Mike and Omoleye! Love you!

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Letter to the Y

Dear Downtown YMCA,

I have been a loyal member of your establishment for the past eight years (or so). I enjoy the cleanliness and the general upscale feel of the place. I am satisfied with the quantity and quality of the equipment. The only thing missing is a pool, and I understand that due to the location above a shopping mall, it is not feasible to add one. I love the spin classes, and that they are included with my membership. Overall I am satisfied with what I get for the money.

However, I do have one major issue. In an attempt to make sure that all members will have an opportunity to use the cardio equipment, you have imposed a 30 minute time limit on the treadmills. And to make sure that no one bends the rules, the treadmills are actually set to go into cool-down mode and shut off after said 30 minutes. This is where I have a problem.

The thing is, if all of the treadmills were full and there were people waiting to use them, I would have no problem adhering to the time limit and letting others use the machine after 30 minutes. It would only be fair. The thing is, I have never seen this happen. In fact, at the times I frequent the Y during the day, most of the treadmills are empty. The 30 minute time limit is a huge inconvenience for those of us hoping to run more than 3.5 miles. 

I happen to be training for a marathon, and part of the reason I pay to use the Y is so that I can take my training indoors when the weather is bad. Take today, for example. The windchill is well below zero, and I had a 12 mile run on the schedule. I figured if I could make it 10 miles inside on a treadmill, I would be satisfied. I fired up an audio-book on my iPod and got to work. After 30 minutes, the treadmill went into cool-down mode. I had no choice but to clear it out and start over. Thirty minutes later, same thing. As a result, I do not have an accurate workout summary, and I have to do my best to guess on exact time and pace. Never once during my 90 minute workout was there a person on the two treadmills next to me.

Here’s the thing. People are going to use the equipment for more than 30 minutes one way or another, and as long as no one is waiting, I don’t see any problem with that. The fact that you have set the treadmills to stop after 30 minutes just pisses off your paying members. I urge you to take this ridiculous time constraint off of the treadmills so people like me can go about their training without being inconvenienced. Running 10 miles indoors is mentally challenging enough without the added distraction of worrying about a time limit on the damn treadmill.

Sincerely,

Frustrated Runner

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Snowmass, CO

Another January, and another trip to beautiful Colorado has come and gone. We lucked out with the weather this year, as most of the week was sunny and in the 30’s. Here is the view from the top of one of the peaks.

The first two days were a bit cold and snowy. Day one I under-dressed and was freezing all day. I decided not to make the same mistake on day two, so I piled on the layers. I call this look the uni-bomber.

This photo was taken on our last run of the trip. I picked a beautiful spot with a breathtaking mountain backdrop. As you can see, my mother-in-law didn’t quite see my vision, and instead captured some trees in the background. It turned out cute anyway.

Steve was able to do a better job of capturing the majestic scenery.

Though I feel like my snowboarding improves every year in Colorado, I did have one pretty big mishap this trip. On the third day, I caught an edge on an easy run and fell. Hard. Like as in did several somersaults down the mountain and hit the back of my head on the hard-groomed snow. The next morning I woke up and could barely move my neck. I had some serious whiplash. I went out anyway, which was dumb, because I was so shaken still that I felt like a beginner snowboarder. I couldn’t make turns because I was afraid to fall again. I knew it was all in my head, but I couldn’t get past it.

Day two after the fall was even worse. My neck was more stiff than the first day, and my whole body hurt. Even my stomach muscles were so sore that it hurt to cough. I realized that my body had taken a bigger hit than I thought, and decided to take the day off.

Friday was our last day, and I woke up feeling much better. We left early to have breakfast up on the mountain, and followed that with a full day of fun in the sun. I can never get over how beautiful it is up in the mountains.

Now it is time to hunker down and wait out the rest of the nasty Wisconsin winter. I realize it is only January and we have a long way to go, but a girl can dream of spring and birds and leaves and sun, right?

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Colorado here we come

laurasteve

We leave today for our annual week long trip to Colorado (yay!). Steve’s family has been going out there every year for over 20 years now, and this will be my fifth year in a row. It is always a fun week consisting of snowboarding by day, outdoor hot tubbing by night. I am very psyched about the weather forecast too. It looks like it will be in the 30’s all week with lots of sun. The past few years have been bitterly cold, so that will be nice. They have already gotten over 12 feet of snow this winter, so conditions on the mountain will be perfect.

I am bringing my laptop, so I will try and update with some pictures throughout the week. With that, I’m outta here!

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I recently started on a huge project for my dad that involves scanning the 35mm negatives of all of my childhood photos, spanning about 20 years. As you can imagine, there are quite a few. I will periodically post some of them that I find to be hilarious, or that triggor the memory of a good story.

1989-361

This is my childhood cat, Whiskers. In the jar is my pet goldfish Tiffany (named after the pop star, of course). Whiskers looks pissed, like what? stop looking at me. this goldfish is such a tease, you evil human. Moments after this photo was taken, Whiskers got his revenge. Once everyone was out of the room, we heard a big crash. We ran back in to find Tiffany flopping around on the floor, water everywhere. take that. Tiffany survived the fall, but the trauma must have been too much for her. Sadly, days later, she died. I walked into the kitchen to find my mom putting Tiffany down the garbage disposal. I freaked out, as would any 8-year-old who witnessed this nightmarish scene. Heard of a toilet mom? Talk about traumatic.

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