Friday, December 24, 2010

The Way To My Heart and TAG, I'm It!

 Secret Santa is serious business where I work.  It lasts an entire month and gifts are given every few days.  My co-workers become CIA agents and no one is to be trusted.  People create Secret Santa Facebook accounts, e-mail addresses, scavenger hunts and whatever else they can cook up in their crazy little minds.  It's great.  Yesterday, my sneaky Secret Santa was revealed at our annual gift-exchange/pot-luck.

My final gift was Portia De Rossi's memoir Unbearable Lightness.  I love memoirs but usually don't read those of celebrities.  I heard Portia's story on Oprah recently and it resonated with me.  I started it last night at the gym and can't put it down.

Books, not diamonds, are this girl's best friend.  They truly are the way to my heart.  As a child I received books for every holiday.  Even my Easter Basket had books when my siblings received candy and money.  Stories, whether fiction or not, affect me in such a strong way and stick with me for months, maybe even years.  I am so appreciative when someone gives me a book that I know they picked out just for me.

I was gifted with another thoughtful book out of the blue yesterday by one of the men that attend our support group.  He chose a book about Paul Farmer, a physician that inspires me and I greatly admire.  The note inside was the best gift of all.  He called ME an inspiration!  Can you believe that? I am so incredibly touched by this gesture.  Thank you, if you're reading this!  You made my day.

Now, I think I have about 5 pounds to lose after yesterday's potluck.  Everyone is unbelievably accommodating leaving me with endless amounts of vegan options.  So, what does a girl do?  She eats everything...and then some.

Thank you to Linds Love Miles for tagging me to answer the following questions! I answered them in the most running-related way possible.

1. What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2010?
This may seem far from extraordinary but it's a big one for me.  In 2010 I finally learned how to push myself in my running.  I learned what it feels like to run outside of my comfort zone.  The first few races I ran terrified me.  I ran at a comfortable pace the entire time and never finished feeling proud.  This year, with some major encouragement from Angela, taught me to push past comfortable and work hard for that PR.
2.  What are your running goals for 2011?
Not only complete my first marathon (in less than 3:50) but more importantly, make it to the start line, injury-free!  I should have already run my first marathon by now but injuries have haunted me in 2010.  I also want to run the Chicago Marathon next year.  I ran half in 2009 with Ang (as support) and I can't wait to run it myself, right back in my old stomping grounds.

3.  What was your favorite race?
This is very tough because one of my favorite places in the world is San Francisco.  However, I am going to choose the most random Cinco de Mayo 5 Mile race put on by the San Diego Track Club.  It happened to be my birthday, which made it extra special.  It took no planning or preparation, whatsoever.  After work I drove up to Lake Miramar where a small group of runners gathered around and off went the gun.  I just came back from a stress-fracture and ran much faster than I ever imagined I would.  It was the greatest birthday memory and such a fun, small race.  No frills, no cheesy music, but I did win a medal! :)

My bloody sock and insole after the race :)

4.  What is your favorite holiday guilty pleasure?
I'll answer this for Ang first - she loves watching Charlie Brown Christmas and listening to the Charlie Brown station on Pandora.   For me, it's food!  Anything full of sugar is where I find I pleasure.  I try not to feel guilt because most of the year I eat well and I am always very active.   

5.  What is your most embarrassing running moment?
Well, recently I wrote about one right here.  But there is another poop related incident that is worse.  Angela and I were meeting up with Coach Jenny Hadfield, a writer for Runner's World and friend of Angela's from Chicago.  It was very early and we parked near the start of a trail when I realized I had to go #2, STAT.  I opened the door to the porta-potty and the smell was so horrendous it almost knocked me on my a**.  I decided to do my business in nature, like the olden days, right?  I found a nice tree to squat next to and let it happen.  I heard some twigs snapping and the sound of someone approaching.  A mountain biker passed right by me, made eye contact and continued on.  It happened too fast for me to react and pull my pants up!  The good news is, I will never see him again (and we had a really great run that day, so pish posh).