Thursday, June 28, 2007


For years, I loved Bing Cherries. As a child, they were my most favorite food. I thought that they were special - just for me. They only came into season for a few weeks before my birthday and then, a week or so later, like magic, they were gone. I remember sitting on the floor in front of my parent's couch watching DuckTales and eating cherry after cherry out of the thin plastic bag. I would eat until I was sick. I love the firm ripe deep red ones and would savor the sweet juice as I ate each one. I would leave even most slightly mushy cherries behind - they weren't worth my effort and ruined the wonderful perfection of the other cherries. I really loved Bing cherries.

Then, two years ago, I discovered Rainier cherries, and suddenly the Bings seemed like a cheap imitation. Everything about the Rainiers is better. They are sweeter without being too sweet; they are firmer; they are perfect even when bruised and blemished; they taste like heaven with blue cheese and honey. The only problem with them is the price. It hurts to spend $6.99 a pound for fruit, but what can you do when its true love and its only available for a few short weeks each summer?

Last winter I tried to get my cherry fix with something that can't remotely live up to either of those fresh varieties - frozen sweet cherries. While far better than canned, nothing about them compares to the sensation of popping a a firm ripe cherry in your mouth and scraping the pit clean with your teeth. They serve a purpose, but frozen cherries only make me long for summer and its bounty.

I'm so glad summer is here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


One of my dear friends said something last night that really hurt me. It hurt me because I couldn't understand why she would think that about me, how she had formed that opinion about me, as someone who knows me so well. Its wasn't a big thing, and I'm not even sure what she meant by it. It left me a little bit hurt and a little bit surprised and quite frankly a little bit angry. It also made me wonder what sort of image I put off about myself.

I guess I should tell you want the comment was - "I can't really see you enjoying life in Colorado" - after I had just stated my desire to live there at some point in time. While I admit that I'm not really the North Face Fleece wearing type (well, I own one and wear it on weekends in the winter). I enjoy nice clothes. I like wearing heals, and I guess I don't do drugs. But, I don't really see why any of that would make her come to that conclusion. As I have discussed her, I'm not a beach person (I could never visit another beach again and probably not be all that sad about it), and I love the mountains and outdoors. I love spending weekends biking or hiking or running outside. I love watching leaves change, catching a deer unaware as I head down a path, or playing in the mounds of freshly fallen snow.

I don't know why I let this opinion get to me so much. This friend's opinions really do matter to me for some unknown reason. As a thirteen year old, singing along to 4 Non Blondes' What's Up, I remember be angered by her comment that I shouldn't sing that song because I didn't have the voice for it. I actually felt vindicated from that comment when my college a cappella group chose me to sing the solo on that very same song. Some might say that I have a memory like an elephants, but I don't really. Its more that her opinions and minor comments can wound me more than almost anyone else's. I don't know why that is. Its so strange because I've sort of grown as a person to the point where most of the time I don't give a damn about what others think about me, but for some reason that's just not true with her (or my mother for that matter). Why do some people's opinions matter more?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I don't write about food much on here. Its not that food isn't important to me - in fact, I would actually say that I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with food. Its more that my experiences with food seem to me to either be embarrassing (hello eating an entire box of weight watchers giant fudge bars in one sitting) or boring (dinner often consists of a green vegetable, whole wheat pasta, garlic, and olive oil). I think that's part of the problem. I love food and I love eating, but so often I'm fighting myself over these loves. I'm feeling guilty about the dessert I shared with a friend last night, or sneakily gobbling down an entire bag of white cheddar cheese popcorn in my car (both things happened last weekend). I need to give up guilt. I need to stop regarding foods as good or bad. I need to accept that sometimes I eat for reasons that have nothing to do with hunger and everything to do with emotion. Food is not the enemy. Since I already think about food far too much, I want to revel in the tastes and textures, in the scents and flavors.

Today's lunch embodies what I want to feel about food and the kind of food I particularly enjoy putting in my body. I've been excited about this lunch since I thought of it yesterday afternoon. I was sad yesterday when I realized I couldn't have it for dinner cause I already had plans to go out. I convinced myself to go on my run this morning instead of going back to bed when my running partner didn't show up by reminding myself that if I went running I would have time post-run to create this perfect meal (and if I had gone back to sleep I certainly would have overslept and been unable to make it).

Today's lunch tastes of the sweetness of fresh home grown tomatoes, the tangy crispness of chopped green bell peppers, the slightly bitter zing of diced white onions, and the mellow nutiness of olive oil. It tastes fresh and clean. It uses food from my fridge that had sunk to the bottom of my refridgerator drawer and begun to shrivel, but tastes as though I had purchased the produce at the farmers market yesterday. Its food that fills me up and leaves me satisified, yet without a trace of guilt. It nurishes my body and soul.

My lunch is simple - its just couscous with diced tomatoes, onions, green pepper, olive oil, and a tad of garlic. Its just a tabouleh salad. I didn't measure anything, I just boiled some water, threw in some couscous and began chopping. I'll probably never make another salad just like it again. I have no idea how much olive oil or salt I used, and I'll probably stink to the high heavens for the entire afternoon (garlic, check, onions, check). For all I know, it could be horrible for me due to the amount of olive oil, but this is how I want to eat. The reverence that I felt as I dined on this simple salad is how I want to feel about food.

I'm tired of fighting myself over food. I'm tired of feeling guilty. So here's what I want to do - eat foods that satisfy me. Think about what I'm putting in my mouth and why. I want to stop worrying about the amount of olive oil in the salad, and recognize that its just food. Its tomatoes and green peppers and onions and couscous. Its nutrious and healthy. It tastes good. I dwell on the joy in eating and stop being consumed by a fear of food.

To some extent, I've been living with this mindset since the half marathon. I eat what I want to eat. I try to eat at least 5 servings of whole fruit and veggies a day, not because I should, but because it makes me feel good. My body feels better when I do that. I've lost the weight I gained at the end of the half, and in fact, last week (before the striking of PMS bloating), I was back down to 155. If I can eat as I please and maintain my weight, I think I'm ok with maintaining a weight that is slightly higher than is considered "healthy."

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Tomorrow night I'm going to dinner and out dancing with a guy who is pretty damn awesome. He's smart and funny and passionate and close to his family and friends with my friends. I've known him since high school, and he's in town on a break from working on his Ph.D. in Chemistry. But is it a date? Chemistry boy will probably pay for dinner cause he's that kind of guy. He's picking me up at my apartment at six and there will be lots of dancing the night away. He's straight. He had invited me to go to a wedding with him, but I had to pass because I'll be at a different wedding that night. With most other guys in this situation I would think - DATE - but with him, well, I'm not sure.

He came over to the apartment last night, nominally to see the roommate, but ended up hanging out with me instead. In passing, he mentioned that he had been telling his parents about me. Does this lead more to the date theory? Oh, and he called me his dancing partner if that influences the determination. I've never kissed this guy (and honestly the attraction thing is maybe the problem - nicest guy ever, but I've never thought that I wanted to jump him). So, I guess we will find out if its a date or not tomorrow night ;-)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

half again?

So, I was talking with my friend Matt today, and he asked if I was going to run the Lewis & Clark half marathon in September. L&C is the other major half marathon in St. Louis - in fact, its where Dean Karnazes' 50, 50, 50 started last year. I hadn't really thought about whether I would do it or not until Matt's question. And now, I don't know:

- I want to run another half marathon someday
- Its convenient (I don't have to travel)
- Matt will probably run it too (and in under 2 hours)
- Being in training makes me feel good about myself (physically and mentally)
- It would keep me on a workout schedule
- I've already written the daily mileage in my day planner

- I hate running in heat
- I like sleeping in on weekends
- I've been looking forward to having weekends for long bike rides, float trips, weddings, rock climbing, and relaxing by the pool
- I was so bored with running by the time I finished training for the St. Louis half that I just started running regularly again last week
- I hate running in heat
- I like running in the cold (even sub 30 degree weather with snow on the ground)
- I've already missed the first week of training (not that big a deal, training for the week calls for 13 total miles, and I was gonna run 10 or so anyway)
- Training would mess with my current agreement with a workout partner who would not be training

After this analysis, I think I am just gonna keep doing what I'm doing and not train. If what I'm doing ends up looking like training, then maybe I'll sign up for the race. Otherwise, I think I will enjoy long bike rides, float trips, weddings, rock climbing, and relaxing by the pool (while still getting in 5 or more workouts a week). I think I am more suited for spring racing rather than fall racing because of my very strong training weather preference. What do you all think?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Movin' on Up

I’m almost completely moved in to the new apartment. YAY! I love the new apartment and my new furniture looks fabulous.

Yesterday was difficult. The only thing wrong with my apartment is that it’s a third floor walkup, which is only a problem when you are moving in and moving out. I moved two Toyota Camry loads myself, up all those stairs, and unpacked all the stuff. As you can see it was a lot of boxes.

Once I saw the apartment, I realized that my bedroom is a wee bit smaller than I had imagined it in my minds eye. My solution was to cancel the sleigh bed frame. My room looks very finished even without a bed frame, and its going to look even better once I get my curtains up (pretty much the only thing I have to do on my end of things).

Now, I need to buy a couple more things. First, I need groceries. Next, I need a chair. All I want is a simple wooden chair that looks good with my office furniture and fits in the corner when I’m not using it at my desk. Right now, there are only three places to sit in my apartment: my bed, the floor, and my balance ball. I’ve written this entire post while sitting on my balance ball – isn’t that supposed to be good for my abs or something?

The apartment itself is BEAUTIFUL. The kitchen is gorgeous! My bathroom is quite nice, but currently has a slight problem.

So, I started moving yesterday at 7 AM. I didn’t finish and sit down until around 10:30 pm. It was a long move. When I got done, all I wanted was a nice hot shower. First problem: the hot water wouldn’t go on in my shower. This problem was easy to solve – the water had been hooked up backwards, so I just set the water to cold and voila hot water. The next problem caused my bigger problem, the water was spraying in my face too much so I attempted to adjust the shower head so it was behind me more. Um, ouch, not a good idea. I push a bit too hard, and um, broke off my shower head. I got hit in the eye with an incredibly powerful stream of water. I got out of the shower, and used my future roommate’s bathroom instead. Luckily I had already cleaned her bathroom for her. I just didn’t have the energy to deal with the broken shower last night, and although I’m sure its fixable, I think that might be waiting for my dad to fix it for me (I’m too embarrassed to call the landlords about this one unless dad can’t fix it).

btw – I love my new bed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

on the run again

I have this big post written up on my laptop about my move last weekend with photos and everything, but internet access isn't cooperating at home so that post is going to have to wait until tomorrow (when the cable company comes out and sets things up again - lets just say there was a slight miscommunication with my landlord).

Anyway, there are two wonderful things that I am already enjoying about my move. The first is that my commute is literally 6 miles. When I leave my apartment at 8:10, I'm sitting in my desk chair at 8:30. There is no traffic and I'm not going to need to fill up my gas tank every 5 days. Its wonderful. I'm still inclined to try taking public transportation, but right now I'm reveling in the quick commute time. I'm not ready to have a 45 minute commute again just yet.

The second thing is the park. I now live about a half a block from Forest Park. I've written about the park before - its the place where I did my long training runs. I can't say enough great things about having it right outside my back door. I haven't been able to resist the lure of having it just steps away. Yesterday, even though I had Zumba after work, I got up early and went for a 40 minute run. Today, I drove to the other side of the park to meet a friend at 6:20 for another 40 minute run. While getting up at 6 isn't my favorite thing, I have found that I'm already awake so I might as well be running. 6 am in the park is almost a magic time. Its sunny and bright, but the weather isn't too hot yet. There are plenty of other runners on the path so you feel safe, but its not crazy busy like a nice Saturday morning. It has enough hills for diversity, but it has enough flat stretches that you don't get too worn out. Based on the way I live my life now, I never want to live anywhere else in St. Louis. I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

note to self

Don't ride my bike in the evening without sunglasses, 2 reasons: (1) the sun is right in your eyes when you aren't in the shade and (2) bugs, lots of bugs. Bugs in your eyes suck.

Monday, June 04, 2007

big plans

This past weekend, I had big plans. I was supposed to ride my bicycle over 70 miles in two days. I was supposed to get a little packing done, but generally just enjoy spending two days in Southern Illinois. I was supposed to wear my new Fat Cyclist jersey (orange). None of that happened.

We had thunderstorms this weekend. Friday night, the power went out in the movie theater while I watched Knocked Up (eh, entertaining, but mediocre at best). Saturday, I still wasn't feeling 100% after the wonderful bought with the stomach flu during the week, and thunderstorms were projected for Southern Illinois. I'm a pansy and have no real desire to ride my bike in the middle of thunderstorms, or get picked up by the sag wagon and hang out with a bunch of random people I don't know in the rain. And it was supposed to rain all morning on Sunday. So, I didn't go. I stayed home. I did a lot of packing, reading of books, going to a housewarming party, getting a bad manicure (stupid not letting the polish dry between coats and hence having bubbling nails), and going to brunch. It was a wonderful weekend, even if I was a lazy behind and didn't do an ounce of exercise. It turned out Sunday was perfect in St. Louis (though who knows what things were like 150 miles away in Southern IL).

My only regret is that I didn't get to ride that morning and wear my brand spanking new jersey. Its super cool and I feel so connected to the world when I wear it. I know people have received those jerseys across the country and even throughout the world.

On that note, I have another post about his Pink jerseys. As I mentioned before, his wife is being treated for Cancer, and he has come out with a pink jersey. Twin Six, the company that is making the jerseys, isn't making any profit off the them. The profits are all being divided three ways: to pay for fatty's wife's cancer treatment, to pay for a trip to Italy for her after treatment, and to go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I've got to admit that though I have never met fatty and likely never will, I have begun to feel like I'm a part of that community and that I truly know him. I'm looking forward to getting my pink jersey and wearing it with pride.

Friday, June 01, 2007


Um, so, well, the reason my body hurt everywhere wasn't just muscle pain. I had the stomach flu. Missed two days of work. Ached all over. Curled up in a little ball in my bed. Generally hated life. Things are better now...lets just pray there is no rain this weekend in southern Illinois...