Monthly Archives: November 2009

Still Here

Despite the long hiatus from blogging, I wasn’t really doing anything super fabulous that would have kept me away from the computer.  In fact, I spent a good chunk of my holiday weekend watching Season 1 of The Wire.  That show is addicting!  I had several random dreams all involving The Wire last night.  And I now find myself looking at Baltimore and its residents in a new light.

And can we talk about how ridiculously attractive Idris Elba is?  And did you know he’s British?  I died when I heard that.  Now I need to hear an interview of his so that I can die again.  Oh my, the hotness.  Seriously – if he tried to mug me in Baltimore, I’m pretty sure I’d just give him everything and then a long awkward hug. 

Moving on…

I took a bunch of pics of my Thanksgiving dinner so I’ll save that for another post (maybe tomorrow).  Thanksgiving was spent with just Jeremy and it was awesome.  No travel.  No stress. 

I had a very disappointing Black Friday shopping day so there isn’t much to report on that front.  The company was fun (hey Theresa!) but overall, the sales were lackluster.  I hesitated on a pair of boots in the store and then looked them up online (for a slightly better deal).  But hesitated to buy them last night online.  I went to buy them this morning and they are sold out of my size on the site with the REALLY good deal!  That’ll teach me to wait on purchasing super cute grey boots. 

I tried to run yesterday after taking a week off and my knee starting to hurt after 1 mile and now it STILL hurts.  UGH.

I have restarted p90x as of this morning.  Jeremy wanted to do the program again and convinced me to do it with him by telling me just how much he enjoyed working out with me in the morning.  I’m a sucker for a compliment.  I’ll try not to blog about the program again since I think it bores the majority of readers!  Just know that I’m not following the diet closely because hello?  It’s the frickin’ holidays and I want to drink champagne (I’m currently obsessed with champagne and sparkling wines).

Lastly – I have my ears pierced twice.  In the second hole, I have a pair of 1/4 karat diamond earrings.  I hardly ever mess with these earrings but noticed that one of them was looking extra crusty yesterday.  So I thought it was a good idea to take the earrings out, clean them thoroughly and perhaps give my ears a break from wearing earrings.  I totally forgot that I had replaced the backing (the original ones screwed onto the post) with a cheapo plastic backing from one of my other earrings.  And now I can’t get the son of a bitch off. 

Jeremy pulled out pliers and I sort freaked out.  I envisioned him ripping the entire earring out of my ear.  But today I’m really freaking out.  I can’t get the backing off!  I broke 2 fingernails trying to pull the backing off and it didn’t budge.  Someone suggested I try baby oil or vaseline.  Any ideas?  I don’t remember the plastic piece being that difficult to put on the earring post.  But seriously – I am a dumbass.  I should have just gone to the store for the appropriate backing. 

So there you have it.  I’m alive, super boring and freaking out over my ear.

How was everyone’s holiday weekend?

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My Marathon Shirt

I figured I owed my readers the winning t-shirt slogan for my marathon shirt. 

The last check of results showed that 2 slogans were tied:

(printed upside down) If you can read this, carry me across the finish line

(front) K.I.M. (back) Keeping It Moving

It was a game time decision for me.  I originally wanted to find a purple shirt (that matched my dorky compression calf sleeves) but put off finding a shirt.  Lucky for me – I have some pals that work at a t-shirt printing company.  I asked them if they had a purple shirt and was told no, there was only gray.

I figured I should give it up but a part of me really wanted a fun shirt… especially since I was unaware that our bibs would have our names printed on them.  So – I chatted with my friend Friday night about it and he said if I could have the slogan before noon on Saturday, I’d be good to go.

I teetered back and forth with a few slogans but eventually went with:

 

Keeping It Moving!

This was the slogan that Jeremy came up with and I suspect that he voted for his own slogan several times.  I originally asked my pal to print, “I know I’m slow but I’m… Keeping It Moving” but he only heard the last part.  Surprisingly, people really dug my shirt.  Or at least that’s what they told me.

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My First Marathon Experience

Holy shit – running a marathon is hard.  Running a marathon after missing 5 weeks of the most important long distance training runs and then trying to ramp up 3 weeks prior with only a half marathon being your longest training run is REALLY f’n hard.

But hallelujah – it is OVER.

While my finish time isn’t anything impressive, the fact that I have only ever run a half marathon distance prior to this makes me feel a bit better.

I decided to stick it out with a 5 hour pace group for as long as I could (which happened to be a little after mile 12).  I think without them (and the awesome pace group leader, Robin) – my time would have been MUCH worse.

I’ve never really written a mile by mile race recap.  At times during the marathon, I did think about how I was going to blog about the experience (between thoughts of, “I regret signing up for this” and “omg – I wonder when I’ll get full use of my legs back”).

I’m going to make this a photo post too.  Prior to the marathon, I was nervous about how my stomach would handle the insane amount of fuel and gatorade I was sure I’d be injesting.  Thankfully, a friend lent me her prescription strength Immodium AD.  I didn’t have a single stomach GURGLE!

I was incredibly nervous.  It was MARATHON day!  I didn’t sleep very well and had been up since 4:30am.  Was I ready?  Could I really do this?  My knee had been aching all week.

But it was now or never.  Moments after this flattering photo was snapped, I had to run to the portapots.  And the lines were INSANE.  I made it out just as the first wave was being released.

I found the 5 hour pace group and just hung out in the crowd.  I spent a good portion making faces at Jeremy and Kristin (my cheer squad).

Our wave lined at at the start.  The woman holding the sign was the pace leader, Robin.  She was awesome!  Jeremy said that he saw her finish… ALONE.  I guess not everyone could keep that pace (or they surpassed it like that girl in the full Army uniform). 

The guy in the yellow shirt is Tim.  He didn’t keep that pace but I met up with him around mile 20.  I’ll get to that story later.

Jeremy snapped this after mile 6.  And yes, I was really that happy!

I have to say that the first 6 miles FLEW by.  They really did.  I felt strong.  I actually thought, “If I keep up this feeling, maybe I CAN run at least 20 miles today…”  Ha!  Little did I know.

My knee started to ache about a mile into the entire marathon but it was a manageable pain.  My legs started to feel fatigued around mile 9.  At that point, the majority of the course was fairly flat.  We ran mostly through the downtown portion of Philly and there was tons of crowd support and interesting things to look at.

Around mile 9, we hit a HUGE steep hill.  I tried my best to run up the hills but I finally hit one that I just couldn’t do.  My thought was to try to rest my legs as much as possible so I could go the distance.  I walked up the hill and fell behind the pace group but managed to catch back up with them shortly.

At mile 12, I really thought I wasn’t going to make it.  I was feeling incredibly tired.  The only thing that kept me going was knowing the Jeremy was going to be around mile 12 to cheer me on.  And there he was (with Kristin).  I almost cried when I saw them.

I ran over, gave him a quick kiss and said, “I think I’m dying.”  He told me to keep running.

Shortly after mile 12, I had to stop to walk.  I lost the pace group and just didn’t have it in me to catch back up with them. 

The crowd support picked up again as we were heading into the Ben Franklin Pkwy AND the end of the half marathon.  And this is where I think the folks of the Philly marathon are CRUEL.

Imagine being pooped and seeing a sign with “FINISH LINE –>” printed largely.  And then see a sign next to it that says, “<– 14 MILES”.  Which way would you go? 

I honestly thought about breaking off at that point and just doing the half.  But I kept moving.

My quads, hamstrings AND calves were all screaming.  I ended up doing a pathetic trot whenever I could muster the strength but essentially power walked the majority of the way.

Strangely, I didn’t lose my smile.  The slow pokes are a friendly bunch and I was surrounded by an amazing group of runners.  And yes, even though they were slow and sometimes walking – I considered them runners.  I passed one lady who declared to her friend, “This shit is NOT fun!”

I saw a lot of the faster runners coming in the opposite direction (the course looped).  And let me tell you – never judge a runner by their looks.  There were quite a few slow pokes around me that looked ripped and very fit.  There were quite a few fast runners who didn’t appear to be in shape or they were older than my dad! 

Inspiring, I tell ya.

Everyone’s bib had their name printed on them, but I still wore a shirt with my name on the front.  I felt a little silly with my name printed twice but it was nice to have everyone shout, “Come on, Kim!”, “Great job, Kim!” 

It was also irritating to have my name shouted so much… but only when I was feeling particular exhausted and beat.  Or when I couldn’t pick up my legs without feeling a burning pain.

Mile 14-20 were awful.   Like I said, the course looped so this entire span was spent staring at runners going in the opposite direction.  And the turnaround point seemed like it was never going to come.  I felt like it was a cruel joke.

My feet were hating me.

But after mile 20, I saw Tim (the guy in the yellow shirt) with 2 other runners, Donna and Jack.  They were chatting cheerfully and dancing along to the music.  Tim remembered me from the pace group and they took me under their wing.  Because of them, I was able to trot out another mile. 

I wished I could have kept up with them, but my legs just didn’t have it in them.  I am still thankful to them for helping me move along though.  I was feeling a bit down at that point.

When I saw mile 23, I thought, “okay – just a 5k.  You can do it!”  But my legs said, “go to hell.”  I really wanted to be able to run the remaining distance but my legs and my knee were not trying to move.

A few times the pain in my knee was so extreme, it caused my leg to buckle.

However, I saw quite a few runners battling IT band injuries.  I felt so bad for them.  We were the runners who weren’t bending our knees.  Yes, try to imagine running without bending your leg.  It sucks.

Mile 25.  I wanted to cry.  And I wanted to run the rest of the way.  But I couldn’t.

I only picked back up to a trot during the last 1/4 mile.  People were lined up along the course and at least I knew the end was in sight.

I almost cried when I saw Jeremy and Kristin.  I mustered up a big smile and kept focusing on the finish line.

Jeremy managed to capture the true pain I was feeling.

And then I crossed the finish line (still waiting for the race photos) and Jeremy caught this gem:

When one of the volunteers put medal around my neck, I told her that I loved her.

Jeremy presented me with a small bottle of champagne and my favorite dark chocolate bar.  But all I wanted was a banana.  :-)

I hobbled to our hotel room as quickly as possible (we had a 2pm checkout and it was 12:50pm).  I managed to squeeze in a 15 minute ice bath and a quick shower.

We stopped off at Tony Luke’s to pick up cheesesteaks for friends (they watched our dogs) and had some delish vegetarian sandwiches.

Words can’t begin to describe the amount of pain that I feel today. 

But the million dollar question – was it worth it?  Hell yes!  I ran a frickin’ marathon!  Now I think I want to do ONE more someday just so I can beat my piddly time.

My friends Ian and Paul also ran the marathon.  Ian ran it in 4:09.  This was his FIRST marathon!  Paul finished in 4:32… beating his previous marathon time by over 20 minutes! 

While I am in extreme pain now, this experience just solidified why I love running so much.  The enormous amount of comraderie was amazing, the runners of all walks of life were inspiring and well… it’s a great workout.  :-)

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Nervous Nelly

This is it.  The marathon is in 2 days.  The marathon that I haven’t trained well for and that I fear will turn me off of running altogether. 

My stomach is getting gurgly like it does when I’m nervous.  I have to remember to pick up some Immodium AD! 

I’ve been staring at the course map today and reading everything I can about this marathon.  I think that I made a good choice in having Philly be my first marathon.  It’s a great city and it sounds like there is a ton of crowd support along the way.  And hello?  You start AND end at the Rocky steps (although Jeremy will probably have to carry me up the steps).

I totally slacked when it came to making a fun t-shirt (and voting seems to have stalled anyways with a tie between 2 slogans).  I wanted to pick up a light purple technical shirt to match my compression sleeves but really?  Why do I even care? 

I started to put together a “marathon mix” on my iPod but after adding all the songs I loved, I saw that the mix was 13 hrs.  If I’m still walking after 13 hours, please put me out of my misery (especially since the course will have long shut down). 

I feel so excited, nervous and unprepared all at once.  I’m stoked that some friends are coming up to support me (despite my warnings of a loooong finish time).  My friend joked that if they get THAT bored, they could catch a movie and still make it back in time to see me finish.  Ha!

I’ve thought about tweeting my journey but I can’t even walk and text.  Tweet and run?  I’ll end up in a manhole!

Everyone has been wishing me lots of luck.  I’m icing my knee as we speak.  And my nervous stomach has had me in the bathroom every half hour.  TMI?  Yes.

I truly hope that I can enjoy this course despite my unideal training and injury.  I hope that the beauty of the city, the cheers from the crowds and just the feeling of following through with a goal I thought I’d never set will fill me with an overwhelming sense of AWESOMENESS.  I hope that this experience is magical and that maybe, just maybe, I’ll attempt another marathon.

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Should I Be Offended?

I just looked at my blog stats and saw the popular search terms used that magically brought people to my blog.

And all I have to say is: What.the.f.

 

I’m not even going to type out the phrase that has scared me the most but check out the 4th one down from Today’s search term.  Um… what?!  Have I ever written about that?!  Sweet jebus… I need to blog more about puppy dogs and rainbows.

As for the tiny —-, thank you internet for reminding me daily (yes, this is THE most popular term used) that I am flat-chested.  Its not bad enough that I’m reminded everyday when I look in the mirror!  Sheesh!

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Follow Me During My Marathon!

Inspired by Lauren‘s post to follow her during the Philly marathon (she’s another Baltimore blogger that’s running Philly… although she’ll be running it MUCH faster than I am), I thought I’d share the same information with my faithful readers.

The Philadelphia Marathon is offering something called F.U.N. Runner Tracking:

This exciting feature allows friends and family who are not running to track their favorite runners on the course and receive split times and finish information instantly via pager, text message or e-mail. Check back on our website closer to race day and sign up for F.U.N. Runner tracking.

If you’re interested in checking out my split times (or just to make sure I finished the damn marathon) – my bib number is 8920.  I laughed out loud when I saw that I originally predicted that I’d finish the marathon between 4:16-4:30 because as of right now, I’m sure I’ll be posting a 6+ hour finish time.

But to the haters of my slow-pokiness, I challenge you to physically exert yourself for over 6 hours.  When you’re done, we’ll talk about how awful your legs feel and how you’d love nothing more than an ICE bath and to poop (but not at the same time because who wants to sit in a tub with poop?).  Thankyouverymuch.

I will have my cell phone with me (mostly in case of an emergency or in case I can’t find Jeremy at the finish line)  and am contemplating tweeting during my run.  I should probably focus more on the fact that I’m participating in my FIRST marathon. 

Running a marathon was something that I never dreamed would be possiblein my life.  Although I am ill-prepared due to injury – I am still going to go for it and give it everything I’ve got.  I will leave my heart on that course.  Perhaps tweeting isn’t wise.  But if you have my number – feel free to send me encouraging messages!  :-)

My awesomely amazing marathon friend sent me this bit of advice:

Have good mental attitude and just try to relax which I know sounds crazy. A lot of things will be going through your head and sometimes I feel like on race day as you cross the start line everything kind of settles and you can just enjoy your run.  
Remember your mental capability is stronger than your physical.
That’s my goal.  To finish and to just enjoy the fact that I’m doing something I once deemed impossible.

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Nerd

As I’ve said many times… this is my LAST semester in graduate school.  Hallelujah! 

So far – I’ve managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA.  I’m kind of impressed with myself since I still feel like a total phoney when it comes to the field of Information Technology.  I’m also impressed because I have dealt with turds in just about every class I’ve taken that threaten my sanity and my patience.

I didn’t think the 4.0 GPA was a big deal because honestly – it hasn’t been that difficult.  However, in chatting with some other students this semester – I’ve realized that apparently not everyone gets straight A’s.  Who knew?

I’ve recently been getting tons of e-mails from my school inviting me to corporate visibility days.  The e-mails all start with the same message in the beginning that state something like, “Congratulations!  [Corporation] has identified you as a student they’d like to meet at their upcoming Corporate Visibility Day at [school].”

I really thought just about everyone got that.  Apparently not.

I also recently received an invitation to join some national honor society.  The invitation stated, “You worked hard to be in the top 15% of your university class, and hard work should have its rewards.  Because of your academic excellence, you are invited to join the world’s premier collegiate honor society…”.

Up until that point, I really didn’t give a shit about my GPA.  I just wanted to pass my classes and get reimbursed for my tuition. 

But now?  Now I want to graduate with a 4.0.  The competitive nature in me has set in and I want to be amongst the top students in my class.  Will this get me anything?  Nope.  But dammit, I want it.

I recently got a 74% on a mid-term and found myself freaking out over it.  When did I care?  Honestly – I can get two C’s this semester and STILL graduate.  Shouldn’t I be slacking? 

That C got my ass in gear and I’ve been studying, taking control in my groups when I need to  and talking to my professors about my grades.  When did I become such a nerd?

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5th Grade

Maybe I should try to scare the potential rats away by bringing back this awesome hair (this is me circa 1990):

You’re welcome.

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Eek! A Mouse!

For anyone that lives in Baltimore (or any large city) probably knows that there is usually an issue with rodents.  In some previous residencies, I have had issues with rats.  Very very large rats.   Maybe one day I’ll scan the photos and post them to this blog.  Some were as big as small cats.  Some were acrobatic (they jumped from kitchen counter to other counters across the room).  Some hoarded the dog food. 

I still shudder when I think about it.

Jeremy and I have lived in our current house for over 4 years and in that time, we have NEVER had a rat in the house.  NEVER.  We had a roach problem last summer but fumigated the house and haven’t seen another one since.

We have seen one mouse (and yes, it was a mouse. I know the difference) that was promptly killed by our dog.  He sensed the mouse behind our stove and when we pulled the stove out – the little field mouse scurried out and Petie slapped it down with his paw, bit it once and spit it out.  It was quite frightening. 

But again, never a rat.

Lately?  I’ve been hearing those familiar sounds of things in the walls that I haven’t heard since my previous rat-infested residence.  That scurrying across the ceiling, the scratching at the walls and it IS FREAKING ME OUT.

I blame our neighbors.  We’re sandwiched between 2 dirtballs whose homes are filled with more people than bedrooms can accomodate.  I want to move so badly but the market isn’t really conducive to us selling our home for anywhere near what we owe. 

I know I’m an animal-loving person, but I cannot handle a rat infestation in our house.  I just can’t do it.

Gah-ross.

** Update ** I found the pictures of the rats from one of my previous residences.  These are kind of gross so feel free to immediately close this browser (and apologies).  I just want to show a glimpse as to what a rat in your house looks like.

Also – for those vigilante vegetarians… these were taken before I became a crazy animal-loving veg.  I DID initially buy “happy traps” because the idea of killing mice was something I was not okay with but… they don’t make happy traps for rats.  And the snap traps seemed a little less cruel than the glue traps.

And these weren’t even the biggest of the rats that we had seen in the house.  We had called an exterminator who basically laughed and said there was nothing he could really do.  Luckily – I moved out shortly thereafter but GAH-ROSS!

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Ego vs Reason

Warning – this is another post about running.  I realize this isn’t exactly an exciting topic for some of my readers so feel free to skip this post and I won’t take it personally.

Taking a 5 week hiatus from running altogether (due to issues with my IT band) really impacted my marathon training.  I took a hiatus from the very important long distance training runs and am paying for it now.  My endurance isn’t where it needs to be but most importantly, my legs lack the strength to carry me a long distance.

I ran for the first time on Halloween.  I ran 5 miles, very slowly, but without pain.  According to my training schedule – I was supposed to run 20.  The next Saturday I managed to run 10 miles following the Galloway method.  This past Saturday, my goal was to run between 15-17 (secretly hoping for 17 miles because that would leave me with only 9 more miles for the marathon).

I woke up and just did NOT feel like running.  But I knew I had to do it.  I had something to prove.  I started off slow.  I followed the same Galloway method ratio (4 min run/1 min walk).  I ran through Canton, Fells Point, the Inner Harbor and then made the decision to keep moving forward through Federal Hill and finally to Fort McHenry.  It was 8 miles.  Once I hit mile 9, I was exhausted.  My legs felt like lead.

I tried downing a small packet of salt halfway through my goal distance but felt no difference.  I ended up walking from 9.3-10.0 and then picked up to a run.  I modified the Galloway method to run 3 min and walk 2 min.  But at this point, I was feeling really down.  I managed to get to 13.1 (hooray – a half marathon!) and stopped to walk.  I thought I’d just walk for 5 minutes.

5 minutes came and went and I just kept walking.  I finally looked at my Garmin and saw that I hit mile 14.0.  I tried to pick up to a run but my brain and my legs were NOT in agreement.  I just couldn’t pick up my legs.  At all.

I ended up walking to Starbucks, getting a red eye then to Safeway to purchase some Epsom salt.  I should add that I looked deranged.  I was wearing black running capris, a traffic cone (orange) colored running shirt, black running sleeves, purple calf sleeves, neon green running headphones, a light grey headband (with a purple skull on it) and a light blue fuel belt.  I should have taken a picture.  I looked batshit crazy.

You would think the fact that I looked insane would have motivated me to keep running (EVERYONE was staring) but I just didn’t have it in me.

I took an ice bath when I got home and while my quads aren’t very sore today, my shins and ass are killing me.  My knee is sore too (stupid IT band!).

The Philly Marathon folks sent an e-mail with my bib number and all the info I needed about the race.  And they also included this:

Need to run a shorter distance?
If, for some reason, you need to run a shorter distance on Race day, you WILL be officially timed and scored and WILL BE ELIGIBLE for awards at the shorter distance. However, at the Expo, you will receive the bib number and shirt from your original event.  At the finish line, please accept a medal ONLY for your official event.  Your official event is printed on the race number that you are wearing.

Reason would dictate that I should just concede and run the half marathon.  I clearly haven’t been able to train like I should have.  But I don’t like the fact that I’d get a full marathon medal.  That cheapens the whole thing to me.  It seems wrong that I’d get the medal for the full marathon if I didn’t even run it.

I’ve told everyone about the marathon.  I’m very hard headed too.  And lots of folks (including Jeremy and my docs) think that the adrenaline from the marathon could possibly push me forward.  But then again – do I really want a 6+ hour marathon time on my record?  Oh who am I kidding – I don’t give a shit about time.  But how deflating.  I’m pretty sure once you hit that mark, most of the spectators have left. 

Ugh – what to do.  I go back and forth.  I signed up with a 5 hr pace group and checked out what the splits would be for that pace (11:27 min/mile).  I could hold a conversation at that pace (I have in the past running a 10:30 min/mile).  Chatting usually gets my mind off of things (like distance!) and has miraculously pushed me to distances that I never thought were possible for me (a girl that once faked an asthma attack so I wouldn’t have to run 2 miles).  Pacers are generally chatty, right? 

I think I’m going to go for the full and just try to enjoy the entire experience regardless of coming in past 6 hours.  For any friends that were planning on sticking around – I won’t hold you to that!  The only person I expect to see when I cross the finish line is Jeremy (preferably holding some Scotch and desserts).

What would you do?

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