Thursday, October 27, 2005

A gravel-dweller no longer.

Good news! As of today, October27, 2005, I am the proud owner of parking space #23. That's right! I'm parked on ASPHALT today. I have a lovely piece of it that turns into a small lake when it rains, but hey, I'm not complaining. I'll just have to wear galoshes to work. I feel like I have finally arrived.

I was thinking about it, and it must be some kind of record. I only spent two months in the gravel. It could be divine providence, or it could be that in the last month, four people have quit.

Not being used to the whole "assigned piece of land" routine, I accidentally parked in the space next to mine, #24. I walked into the building thinking to myself, "Well, if I'm parked in the wrong space, I'm sure I'll hear about it." Sure enough, 10 minutes later, I get a visit from the "owner" of space 24. There are three empty spaces on either side of #24, including my space 23 (which is even two steps closer to the building), but for some reason, this person felt the need to let me know. All the while acting like it was no big deal and that she wasn't bothered by it. But, if she wasn't bothered, why bring it up? Just park in your space tomorrow, and I'll figure out that mine is one space over. Kind of funny. I'm living a true Office Space experience. Instead of a stapler, it's a parking space.

It's their way of having a little sense of power in a completely powerless situation. In the long run, it just brings everyone down, and they end up losing the only real power anyone truly has – a sense of worth at being someone formed in the image of a Holy Creator. I hope they figure it out before it's too late, and their parking space all of a sudden becomes free.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Heading to the World Series!

Here's something you all probably don't know about me…

I LOVE the Houston Astros. I'm not a baseball fan, per se – I'm an Astros fan, and have been for as long as I can remember. I love to watch baseball when the Astros are playing, otherwise, I could care less about it. I don't get to watch them much during the year since most games that are televised here are American League games.

I know what it is. It's my dad. I have such fond memories of watching the Astros with my dad. We'd watch every game, much to the chagrin of the "woman of the house" (a phrase which here means my stepmother). For three hours, it was my dad, my brother and my sis all cheering on our team. My sister and I were FANATICAL about keeping the box score for every game, and my dad still has the score book with every out we recorded. When I go to Texas to visit my dad in the summertime, I get to watch the games with him again, and those are some of the happiest moments of my life.

In the course of my lengthy love affair with the Astros, there have been so many disappointments. There was the '86 NLCS when the umpire called Craig Reynolds out at second base in a VERY controversial (and might I add wrong) call that ultimately took the winning run off the base path and sent them on their way to losing that year to the New York Mets. Then there was last year. Playing the Cardinals in the NLCS, ahead three games to one and they end up losing in a heartbreaking game 7.

So here we are in 2005. The Astros start the season off with an abysmal 15-30 record. In what can only be called a stellar turnaround, they win 36 of their last 40 games to clinch the Wild Card spot in the playoffs. So back to the Cardinals in the NLCS, up three games to one. Sound familiar? They lost game five on the last out when Albert Pujoles hit a game-winning homerun to snatch the World Series from them that day in Houston. But, we still had two more chances. It's off to St. Louis to play the last two games (if needed) of the series. It's game six, with Astros ace (one of them, at least) Roy Oswalt on the mound. He only gave up 4 hits. 4 HITS! The Astros never looked backed after scoring first and went on behind great pitching to win the game 5-1! Finally – the World Series! The first time EVER for the Astros. Like I do after every game, I called my dad and we got to celebrate together. It's not quite the same as being there with him to watch every game, but I'm grateful nonetheless that he's only a phone call away. He picks up on the first ring knowing it's going to be me, and we just cheer.

The World Series. How about that?

Monday, October 17, 2005

26.2 and Still Standing (barely).

Well, folks. I did it! Yesterday, Oct. 16, 2005 my sister and I successfully completed the 26th running of the Columbus Marathon. We were two of 6200 participants which included wheelchair racers, walkers, 2- and 3-person relay teams and runners. After 4 hours and 25 minutes of pounding the pavement, we sprinted down the hill, through the chute hand-in-hand and got the finisher's medal put around our necks. It was something else. I can't even describe the exhileration, the relief that we finally got to stop, and all the emotions after training for months and months. It's all finally over, and I AM SO GLAD!

We drove to Columbus on Saturday and spent the afternoon at the runner's expo. The goodie bag did not disappoint! All kinds of good stuff – great samples, discount coupons for my favorite Mizuno shoes in which I am currently running (I'll take advantage of that and get myself another pair at a much reduced price for when these wear out) and the shirt is fantastic – long sleeved running shirt made of the CoolMax fabric. No cheap cotton t-shirt here. Stephies husband, Tim, browsed a very cool used record store and found a ton of good, inexpensive music. Columbus is one cool town. The downtown is big, but not in an overwhelming kind of way. It's clean and hip and on Saturday was full of red shirts because Ohio State played that day. The mood was very festive because they won and everyone was riding on the red wave of excitement, including us. We had a great day that was topped off by a pasta dinner at a very nice restaurant next to our hotel.

We woke up very early the next morning (5 am), ate and showered and got downtown for the start of the race. There were SO MANY PEOPLE! It was all very exciting. The weather was perfect!. It was a little cold starting out, but we had long-sleeved shirts on, and once we got started, it warmed up quickly. It sure did feel great to cross that starting line! The first half of the race went by so quickly. There was great neighborhood participation – people lined the streets and cheered on the runners. There were bands playing, people outsisde with their guitars, saxophones – instruments of all sorts. There was one guy who was sitting at the end of his driveway playing Irish tunes on his piccolo – very cool. Terry and John drove down to support us, and we periodically would see them along the course during the first half. At one point, we took off our long-sleeved shirts and gave them to Terry after the weather warmed up some.

At the halfway point, we saw Tim again and we were still feeling GREAT! Those first two hours just flew by – we were having so much fun. At this point, Terry jumped in and ran the rest of the race with us. I am so grateful that he was there – he was really a great encouragement when the going got tough. At around mile 17, I started having some problems. My hips started to ache pretty badly. By mile 18, I was in agony. Finishing the race wasn't the question – I knew I was going to finish. At this point I was wondering if I would finish in an upright position. It was such a strange feeling – my hips never hurt like this through all the training runs, but man did it hurt. I was just trying to breathe through it and the pain was so bad it took my breath away. I almost broke down in tears, but I held it together and Terry and my sister were right there with their encouragement and support. By mile 22, I was feeling better (I was numb by now) and my sis was getting bad. But at the end we both pulled it out, and picked up the pace for the last two miles. We were passing people left and right! When we turned that last bend and saw the finish line, it was like getting new life in us. It was a nice downhill to the finish and crossing was the best feeling ever. We even got interviewed! We got our picture taken, got a blanket, got some food and SAT DOWN! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

All in all, it was a wonderful experience. The high at the end is one I'm sure I'll never be able to re-create. It was an awesome day, and an awesome accomplishment and a feeling that I just can't describe. I am so glad I did it and am grateful to my Lord that He gave me the strength – not only on the day of the run, but in general. Strength, health and all good things in my life.

I'M NEVER DOING IT AGAIN. (My sister thinks she can convice me otherwise, but she does not know the steeliness of my resolve)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Marathon Weekend

Okay, it's that time. It's finally here. The MARATHON WEEKEND. On Sunday, October 16, starting at 8:00 a.m. I will be tackling my biggest challenge of this year – the Columbus Marathon.

My sister and I will drive to Columbus on Saturday and spend the afternoon at the running Expo before carbing up on a good pasta dinner. I can't wait to pick up my goodie bag. When you enter a race, the fee usually includes a "goodie bag." In it, you get the race t-shirt (long-sleeved shirts are always well-received), some energy bars, and anything else the various sponsors decided they want to throw in. Now, the races I've done previously have all been relatively small local 10k races. The goodie bags are generally pretty good. So, given that this is a major marathon, I can just imagine the the goodie bag will be pretty incredible. I'm sure there won't be new shoes or anything like that in there, but I'm hoping there might be some good coupons for some.

I'm not doing too much this week to prepare, which in itself is the preparation since the key word for the week before the run is REST. I've been doing just that. I've been sleeping very well this week, and every night have been having marathon dreams. For the past two nights, I've had a dream where I can't get to the starting line and I miss the whole race. What could that be about?

Signing off until Monday when I will be a much more tired and sore body.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Hi Frankie

A very cool thing just happened to me.

Frankie just made a comment on my blog. I've never met Frankie, but through the magic of the 'net, and the worldwide blogging community, I made a new friend of sorts. How cool is that?

Frankie hates warm toilet seats, too.

Thanks for reading, and yes! check out Andrew Peterson. You will not be disappointed! You can purchase his CDs at

48 in a 20

I haven't posted in a few day, and I wish I had something better to post about today…

I got a speeding ticket this morning. Stupid me – I wasn't paying attention and didn't slow down in front of Market Street Elementary. I go this way every morning, and the sign has usually stopped blinking by the time I go to work. I didn't notice that it was still on this morning (I was in such a fog. I took an Advil Cold and Sinus, and they make me groggy), and sped right into its little trap. Another thing I failed to notice was that a police officer was driving right behind me.

So, I pulled over and took my punishment like a, well…


He walks to my window, I hand over my license and proof in insurance, and as soon as he walks away, I start to cry. CRY? Yes, you heard me, CRY. Bawling like a baby, I was. I probably shed more tears in that few minutes than Verity has her entire lifetime.

When he came back to my car with my ticket he said in a very surprised voice, "Are you crying?", which made me cry harder. He was very nice about the whole thing and tried to comfort me the best he could while handing me the ticket that will make my bank account much smaller, I fear.

What a horrible way to start the day. In the pink.

By the way, I was going 48 in a 20.