Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sunset at Frenchy's

Linae, Joe, and I met up last night with the Bruces from Chicago, who are in town for the Outback Bowl (GO COCKS! That was for you, Eric, lol.)

Sunset on Clearwater Beach

Heather, Eric, Linae, and me

To the triathletes! That's Joe on the right.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ten Second Book Review - Last Night at the Lobster

Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan

The Red Lobster in New Britain, Connecticut is not performing the way corporate would like, so they're pulling the plug five days before Christmas. Manager Manny, a decent guy, wants to make the Last Night a great one. Unfortunately, he's got a bunch of no-shows, a few terrible employees that *do* show up, and a blizzard is keeping the customers away. He's also got a pregnant girlfriend at home, but is in love with one of his waitresses, with whom he had an ill-fated affair.

At only 146 pages, it's a very short novel, but a very good one. I pretty much devoured it in two days. (It would've only taken me one day, but I had to go to my own dead-end job.) Who'd have thought that the minutiae of a day at a chain restaurant could make for such a good story? I liked the characters, especially the well-drawn Manny. I found myself wanting things to go right for him. It's the sign of a good book that I'm curious as to what happened to the characters after story ends.

5 stars out of 5.

Monday, December 29, 2008

My To-Be-Read Stack

Actually, I've read several of them already. I just ran out of shelf space on my other bookcase, which is 6 feet tall and crammed full. My dream is to buy a little house and turn one small room into a library. I'm talking floor-to-ceiling book shelves on all walls where it's possible, and a couple of enormous, overstuffed, comfy chairs.
(Okay, I also got a new camera for Christmas, so I'm trying it out. Thanks for playing along :-D )

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ten Second Book Review - Enemy Women

Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles

Near the end of the Civil War in divided Missouri, the main character's father is arrested by the Missouri Militia, who then steal their possessions and try to burn their house down, sending our heroine, Adair, and her two sisters on the road to St. Louis to try to find their dad. While on the road, Adair is falsely accused of spying for the Confederacy and cutting telegraph wires, is arrested by the Union Army, and sent to a women's prison. She's drawn to the commanding officer, Major Neumann, and he to her. He's being transferred out to a fighting unit, and he helps her to escape, promising to find her after the war. It's not a sappy love story, but a nice element to a story of a young woman's fight for survival and to make it home.

Adair is feisty without being annoying, the way Scarlett O'Hara could be, and I was intrigued by Major Neumann and wanted to hear more about him, although he was really a secondary character. And there is not an antebellum mansion to be found in the entire novel! An excellent book.

5 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

A few photos from Christmas Eve :)

We, as Midwesterners, think this is funny. It's also appropriate, since it was 82F here today. It *is* cute, though :)

The annual apple pie

My first attempt at deviled eggs. I couldn't find my star decorating tip, so I filled them by squeezing the filling out of a baggie with the corner snipped off. Also, the paprika kinda got away from me a time or two ;) Not pretty, but quite tasty.

Roscoe, the only fur kid left in the Newton household

Our temporary house guest, Patrick. He lives across the street. His mom and dad went out of town for Christmas eve. He's very friendly, but quite needy ;)

My favorite gift so far. What does one get for someone who loves the Dallas Cowboys AND has a weird thing for garden gnomes?? There ya go.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ten Second Book Review - I Love You, Beth Cooper

I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle

Valedictorian geek shakes up his life during his valedictory speech by professing his love for head cheerleader/homecoming queen. Improbably, cheerleader and her bitchy, uber-popular friends take geek and his equally dorky, is-he-or-isn't-he-gay, movie quote-spewing, bad Spanglish-speaking friend out on graduation night. Chaos and hilarity ensue. This includes a crazy Army-assassin boyfriend, co-ed showering, a towel-snapping scene, and a grad party to end all grad parties. I had always wondered what the cool kids did in high school ;)

3.5 stars out of 5.

Currently reading Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles and friggin' LOVING it.

Ten Second Book Review - Then She Found Me

Then She Found Me by Elinor Lipman

Prim schoolteacher is contacted out of the blue by her brassy, slightly obnoxious, semi-pathologically lying birth mother. I actually like the main character, April. I can relate to someone who becomes comfortable doing their own thing (also known as "stuck in a rut") and tends to close herself off emotionally from people. However, I would have told the birth mother, Bernice, to hit the bricks about halfway through the book. And then moved and changed my name :-P

4 stars out of 5

Sunday, December 14, 2008

RR: Gulf Beaches Holiday Halfathon

Nice race that runs through some of our little beach towns, starting in Madeira Beach and running through Redington Beach, up the Pinellas Trail, and ending with a loop around, and then into, Taylor Park, which I'm pretty sure is in Largo. About 1200 people showed up, and the weather was perfect for running--cool, overcast, and not too breezy.

2:22:12, which is way better than my last PR (2:30:59) last month, and *significantly* better than this same course last year (2:57:05)

This one was for Lili the Great Dane, whose cancer had caused her to deteriorate rapidly over the past week and we had to have her put down last night. She was a very good dog.

And I ran like I stole it :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holy Tacky Lawn Ornaments, Batman!

Our new neighbor's front lawn (well, part of it, anyway):

The "band" plays actual music, which just adds to the experience ;)

Santa is new. It seems like there is something new and exciting every time I come home from work. I was very excited when The Grinch showed up.

Our house. Mom refused to buy any 8' lawn ornaments. Killjoy :(

Our house, only darker
Which reminds me--I need to make time for my lights run soon :)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Official 70.3 Pre-Training Kickoff

Since I hadn't been on my bike since the Suncoast tri (like, six weeks ago,) Linae decided that I needed to ride today, so I met her about 12 miles up the road in New Port Nowhere and we rode part of the Suncoast Trail and through Starkey Park. We saw two deer (I don't think it was the same one twice) and the biggest effin' grasshopper I've ever seen in my life. We have some weird @ss bugs here. I ran through a mini-swarm of lovebugs the other day. I knew they were lovebugs because they were "hooked up," the gross little fornicating ba$tards.

Anyway, I slowed the injured fast girl waaaaay down (y'know, so she wouldn't aggravate her hip further. Riiiiight...) I have a LOT of work to do. 18.5 miles, which is as far as I've ever gone on two wheels. About a mile before we hit the parking lot, Linae turns to me and says, "By the time we finish today, you'll be 1/3 of the way there!" (For my non-tri friends, the bike portion of this race is 56 miles.) My reaction: Holy sh!t. My butt hurts NOW. And I'm slow. She assured me I'd get faster if I actually RODE THE BIKE once in a while. Hmmm. I suppose it's worth a shot....

And so begins 70.3 training.

Thanks, Dr. Pusher! :)

PORN - 12 miles in the morning

Failed Spectacularly

Guess yesterday just wasn't my day. Oh well. There's Tuesday. And Thursday. And Friday. And the same next week. I'm bound to hit two of them :-D

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Testing, Testing

After missing one test by five words (FIVE WORDS! AARGH!!!) two weeks ago and then completely train-wrecking one the next day, I am testing again tomorrow. And I will pass. If I do not, I will post my Goodbye-Cruel-World missive here tomorrow afternoon ;)

All positive vibes/crossed fingers/whatever it is you do for good luck will be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Drank the Koolaid

Participant: Shawn Newton
Event: Beach2Battleship Half 2009
Date: Saturday November 7, 2009
Invoice: R-I-88785-50506

Yep, I signed up for a half-iron distance triathlon. For those not in the know, that's a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run. Yes, all in the same day.

Funny. About a year ago, I was telling my friends there was no way in hell they'd ever get me to do a tri. Guess I showed them ;)

By the way, my pushers, Nancy and Linae , are both doing the full (2.4/112/26.2)

Let the training begin!!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Not the Right Girl

He seems to be interested in a polished, big-city type of girl. I'm basically a Southern girl with a Northern accent, infinitely more comfortable in small towns.

He seems to want champagne, caviar, and the opera. I'm beer and brats and country music. Football and hockey. Though I'm not opposed to the opera.

He seems to want a girl who is thoroughly put together: Perfect hair and makeup, dressed well all the time. I pretty much live in beat-up jeans, shorts and flip flops. Low-maintenance hair, little makeup. I run, therefore I sweat. It's not really attractive. Salt forms on my face, arms, and legs. NOT put-together by any stretch.

He seems to want someone who is "on" all the time. Sometimes I just want to BE. I don't have a zillion fascinating stories to tell you and your friends. A lot of war stories from my marriage, sure. But who wants to hear those? Running or race stories? Probably would bore people to death. Court reporting, books, dysfunctional families. These are the things I know best.

In the entire time I've known him, though he's flirted with me relentlessly, he hasn't really asked me any questions about myself, and so really knows very little about me. It's a shame; he's missing out.

I can only surmise that he's not really interested, and he's merely a flirt. Which is fine. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. I'm not the right girl anyway. So when I see him from now on, I'll smile at his flirty little comments, and know in the back of my mind that there's someone pretty cool out there somewhere looking for beer and brats and hockey.

Probably in Nashville or Charlotte :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New 10K PR

Old PR - 1:10:23
New PR - 1:02:44

That's over 7 minutes off. I'm pretty stoked :)

And that is all I can say about it at this time....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

For Linae

Target practice? He *looks* relatively harmless, what with the flowers and all ;-D

(Is anyone surprised that I own a gnome, BTW?)

And if my mom is reading: Yes, I need to dust my bookcase....

Key Lime Pie!!

My favorite!! The biggest challenge is going to be to not eat it in the car on the way to Daytona tomorrow.

I normally make my own crust, but I was going for quick and easy this time.

For all non-Floridians: Key lime juice is yellow; thus, the pie is yellow. It's NOT SUPPOSED TO BE green. Green Key lime pies are evil and must be avoided at all costs. That is all.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Diabetes on a Plate

This is the dessert that I am semi-famous for. I get requests for it for every pitch-in, holiday party, and PMS cycle ;) The first office pitch-in I brought this to, when I worked for Indiana State Emergency Management Ops, my friend (and work husband) John came up to me, gave me a hug, and told me it was better than sex. Awkward, sure, but I'm glad I, uh, made him happy.

It's not low-fat or healthy in any way, unless you count the peanut butter, which is protein. The health benefits are pretty much washed out by the stick of butter and three cups of confectioner's sugar that also goes into the mixture. And the loads of chocolate. And the crust, which consists of crumbled butter cookies and melted butter.

I made it today for a Black Friday party at work. I made it last week for an early Thanksgiving party at school. They went before lunch was over, and my poor little lemon squares, which I actually prefer because they're not as rich, got the shaft :(

Tomorrow: Key lime pie!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

These pictures brought to you by the letter "G"

For "graceful." Yeah, riiiight....

Took a spill on my run this morning. Hit a crack in the pavement, turned my ankle, and went down like a sack of wet cement. The ankle is fine; my ankles are really weird anyway--kinda bendy. Another reason I've always been a lousy ice skater ;)

I'll be back out on the roads tomorrow morning. Hopefully without extra road rash....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hockey Night in Tampa

Thursday, November 13, 2008. Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning. The Wings won 4-3 in an exciting game that went down to the last minute. TB pulled their goalie and everything :) It was kind of weird to be rooting against my current hometown team, but being from Detroit, I have been a die-hard, rabid Wings fan since I was 4 years old. No question which team I was there to support.

There was a nice ceremony honoring our veterans before the game started.

There was almost as much red in the stands (including myself) as blue and black. It almost looked like a Red Wings home game. I attribute this to two things: 1) The Wings won the Stanley Cup last year, so there are lots of bandwagon fans, and 2) there are tons of Midwestern transplants living in the Tampa Bay area. Five of my neighbors alone are from Michigan.
The big group of people in red and white jerseys near the right side of the photo was part of a group of electricians from the Detroit area. They chartered two buses and drove down here specifically for this game. There were about 90 of them scattered throught the Ice Palace. I kept running into one guy, the guy who told me all of this information. He was drunk when he got off the bus ;) Anyway, before the game, he saw me in my Wings shirt and hollered, "Wings shirt!! This chick ROCKS!!" and some of his buddies cheered. So I played along, doing the "raise the roof" thing, and he started talking to me. I somehow managed to run into him at both intermissions AND on my way to the bathroom after the game.

Mikael Samuelsson (37), Niklas Kronwall (55), and Kris Draper (33).

Mom and me

Victors! Goalie Chris Osgood (30), backup goalie Ty Conklin (middle), and Brian Rafalski (28).
At the first intermission, I went up to visit my friend Wendy, whose boyfriend's sister's best friend had a skybox; it was a pretty sweet setup. I drank their free beer, ate their free pizza and brownies, and chatted with a bunch of native Michiganders. Felt like home ;)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ho Ho Ho and Deck Them Halls

Since they insist upon shoving Christmas down our throats starting right after Labor Day, and I've worked retail for the past three and a half years so I'm slightly Grinchy anyway, I've decided to think of some things I actually *like* about Christmas, despite the obnoxious commercialism and the depression and the unrealistic expectations put upon loved ones ;)

*Christmas Lights. When I lived in Michigan, we used to drive over to Grosse Pointe Shores and go up and down the streets looking at the fantastically-decorated mansions. Even when I got older and moved, I enjoyed walking around the neighborhood with my then-husband looking at the lights. These days, I do a "lights run" around the subdivision, which is fun. Maybe next Christmas someone will run with me :)

*A Charlie Brown Christmas. It just never gets old.

*The Nutcracker ballet. Cheesy, I know, but I've loved it since I was a kid. "The Waltz of the Flowers" is my favorite, and the Pas de Deux.

*Certain Christmas movies. The original Miracle on 34th Street. A Christmas Story. And, of course, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. (Did you really expect anything different?)

*Candy canes. I can take or leave Starlight mints, but I can never pass up a candy cane! (A regular old-fashioned one, none of those gross fruity flavored ones...) When our dalmatian Barney was still with us, we could only hang candy canes on the top half of our tree because he would take them off and eat them, wrapper and all. Freshest dog breath in town :)

*Homemade sugar cookies. I make awesome ones, super-thin and crispy. If you want to try them for yourself, let me know; I'll make ya a batch ;)

*Wearing my holly barrettes. They jingle.

*Some Christmas music. I inexplicably love "Jingle Bell Rock." "Blue Christmas." "Mele Kalikimaka." Gary Allan's version of "Please Come Home For Christmas." Harry Connick Jr.'s Christmas CDs. And, of course, Jeff Foxworthy's "Redneck Twelve Days of Christmas" (Twelve pack of Bud, eleven rasslin' tickets, tin of Copenhagen, nine years probation...)

*Eggnog milkshakes from Steak 'n Shake.

*Watching someone open that one perfect gift. I screwed myself last year by giving my mom tickets to George Strait. I can never top that. But she loved it, so it was awesome.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

RR: Orange Blossom Half Marathon

November 9, 2008. Tavares, Florida.

Reader's Digest version: 2:31:02, about 13-1/2 minutes off my previous half PR from back in January. I heard separately from two guys with Garmins that the course was about 1/2 mile long, which Linae and I both figured since mile 3 seemed really really LONG.

Saturday afternoon: After driving the two hours from Hudson to Tavares, we pretty much wandered around this little town looking for City Hall. The only directions given to us was, "It's by the lake." What they failed to mention was that were TWO lakes. Apparently, they just assumed everyone knew which lake they were talking about. No address. No cross streets. Nothing. And the website was no help, either. So finally, after driving around the wrong lake, going the wrong way, Linae with her GPS and me with my TomTom (neither of which was much help,) we finally stumbled upon packet pickup. Right across the street from O'Keefe's Irish Pub. Guess where we wound up :)

After a glass of cider (above,) we drove into Clermont to Dave's Tri Homestay. Dave is a pretty fun guy. We made friends with his conures Frick and Frack, and I scratched the ears of a cat or two he had running around outside his house. He had some pro triathletes staying there, which was cool. Dave, Linae, and I headed over to Olive Garden for some cheesy, starchy goodness, then we came back, watched a program on Lance Armstrong that Dave pretty much insisted we see (I think I may have nodded off--Linae referred to it as the Lance Infomercial,) then cleaned up a bit and hit the rack.

Sunday morning: It was kind of chilly, and Linae had the foresight to bring a couple of trash bags to keep us warm. We tossed them right before the horn, and then we were off. I hung with Linae for just under 4 miles (or it might have actually *been* 4 miles, since mile 3 was long,) and then I dropped back a bit. I was feeling pretty good through about 7 miles, and then I started to hurt a bit, so I slowed down and eventually walked a little. My "A" goal was 2:35, and I had a bit of a cushion thanks to Linae's pacing, so I figured it wouldn't hurt. What I forgot was what it does to me mentally once I start walking--I tend to not feel like *running* because walking feels so much better. And that was my undoing for the next couple of miles :-P I started playing mind games with myself: "Okay, I'll run to the cone, which is mile 9." I'd then get to the cone, forgetting that there was also a cone for mile 8. "F*&k!! All right, second cone is mile 9. Next f*&king cone, next f*&king cone, I can walk a bit when I hit the next f*&king cone...." So that went on until about mile 11 :)

When I hit mile 10 and realized that I could pretty much walk the rest of the way and make 2:35, I settled into a comfortable, sustainable pace. Right before I hit mile 11, I saw a pink top and striped pink skirt walking a bit ahead of me. I figure I'm hallucinating--No way is that Linae. So I sped up a bit, and sure enough, it's her. And she's limping pretty badly. I pull up to her, ask her if she's all right, which I don't know why I asked because she obviously wasn't, but you know....She says she's in excruciating pain and tears up, which makes me tear up (because if I'm in the room, nobody cries alone,) then she gave me the car key since I'll get to the finish line before her. I take the key and keep walking next to her. She looks at me and says, "Why are you walking?? RUN!!" So I did. As I'm pulling away, I hear her call out, "If they have any beer, save me one!"

Right at mile 13, I reeled in this dude I had been leapfrogging all morning, looked at my watch, which read exactly 2:30, and told him how I had wanted to go sub 2:30. He looked at his Garmin and said, "If it makes you feel any better, we're actually at 13.5 miles." Huh. Yeah, it does a little. We crossed the finish line, I got my medal and a bottle of water, went to the car to get our long-sleeve race tshirts, went back to the post-race party, and pulled two beers out of the cooler. The guy behind me laughs and says, "9:30 on a Sunday morning and you're double-fisting it! My kinda girl!" I said, "Yeah, I earned these bad boys!" He said, "Especially since the course was long," and showed me his Garmin (sounds dirty, but isn't.)

I met Linae at the 13 mile mark, gave her her beer, we ate donuts (suddenly we're Homer Simpson with the beer and donuts,) hung out a bit, I went and got the car because she could barely walk at all at that point, and we headed back to Dave's to clean up. We headed back home and stopped for cheeseburgers along the way (heaven...)

Next month's half: sub-2:30 on an accurate course ;)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Me in Five Years

"Your Honor, could you ask the killer to speak up?":

Crossing Mississippi off my Places to Potentially Move To list:

DEFINITELY in the Beyond Section

Yesterday, one of my esteemed colleagues (read: goofy co-workers) showed me a new line of "personal massagers" sold on our company's website. It was good for a few laughs and several immature and inappropriate comments:

Per the web page:

"Form 6 Personal Massager - Blue
Treat yourself to a personal massage even while on vacation with this compact 7" long unit. This vibrating massager has six vibration modes and is both waterproof and rechargeable. Every surface of the unit vibrates, so you choose which contour will best suit the needs of your own body. Made from phthalate-free medical grade silicone and metal. Runs on one lithium battery, included. Includes charging base and power adapter. UL listed. One-year limited warranty."

Per me: This can be yours for only $184.99 plus shipping/tax! And if you place your order in the store, you can use your 20% coupon. What a deal!!

Well, we *used* to be a G-rated store anyway ;)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

10-Second Book Review: The Memory of Water

Complete chick-lit, but a good little escapist drama. Sibling rivalry, mental illness, parental love, unspeakable acts, repressed memories--good stuff! I would have liked to have delved into the relationship between Marnie and Quinn a bit deeper, but I'm in kind of a weird place right now.

4.25 stars out of 5, if you're looking for something lite :)

And because I'm in a random mood:


Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Pictures

Saturday night: Hockey Game

Hockey babes: Linae, me, Lisa

Tampa Bay Lightning (white sweaters) got their asses handed to them by the San Jose Sharks (dark sweaters.) Maybe next time :(

Sunday: Busch Gardens
Steven feeding the lorakeets

Joe and Lisa

The Scorpion! I'm in the fifth car, right hand side. Not that you can see it

RR: Suncoast Sprint Triathlon

Saturday, October 25, 2008. 660 yd swim/10 mile bike/3.1 mile run

Reader's Digest version: 1:41:07, four and a half minutes faster than my last time on this course back in August. And this course was a bit longer, so it's all good :)

Extended version: Linae and I were lucky enough to spend another fantastic weekend with Lisa Limper, who descended upon the Bay area to play sherpa and volunteer extraordinaire for the Suncoast triathlon :)

I picked up Lisa at the airport on Friday afternoon. After getting us lost at least twice, despite TomTom, I finally managed to make it to Linae's house. Stupid road construction :-P We dropped off our stuff, gave the Dobie some lovin', and headed out to eat. After some moderately decent Tex Mex, we girls hung out around the computer for most of the evening while Joe and his school band played the high school football game. So instead of picking up our race packets in a timely fashion like responsible triathletes, we screwed around online updating fantasy football rosters and picking out my new ringtone for Linae's phone (It's "Some Beach," in case you were wondering :) )

Race day was cold and rainy and windy. The four of us woke up between 0500 and 0530. We all stumbled around for a bit, got our gear together, and headed off to Fort Desoto, near St. Pete, to pick up our packets. Lisa volunteered doing body marking while Joe, Linae, and I headed to the start. We ran into Linae's friends Sherry and Jared, who were doing their first tri. We decided to try to stay out of the wind by huddling behind a sign on the beach. The sign said, "Dangerous Currents. No Swimming." I found this ironic, as it was about 1/8 mile from the swim start.

When the sun started to come up, we went in to do a quick warm up swim. The water was fairly cool, probably around 75F, but tolerable once you actually got in and started moving around. Once again, our wave started last, so we stood around waiting, teeth chattering. When Joe's wave went off, we noticed a pod of maybe eight dolphins in the water, really close to the swimmers, like maybe 10 feet away. Way too close for my comfort. As everyone was ooohing and aaahing over how cool it would be to swim with dolphins, I just kept thinking, "I hope they leave before I get in there." I have a healthy respect for marine life, and there are certain parts of it I don't want any part of. A wild dolphin encounter is one of them. I guess I've been hanging out with the marine biologist for too long ;)

Anyway, by the time we went in, the dolphins had left, but we then had the problem of the rough swim. I tried to calm myself beforehand by breathing deeply and telling myself that I wouldn't drown. We swam along the sandbar, and I could almost touch bottom if I needed to. The current helped, making the swim faster, but it still felt like an eternity because of the swells. I swallowed a fair amount of seawater, and if I didn't swallow it, it went up my nose. It was not a fun day in the water, and I was grateful to be done.

Saw Lisa on my way into transition, got a high five, and it was on to the bike. On my way out, a lady came up beside me and said, "Great job! Jesus loves you!" I said, "He must, because I didn't drown and I wasn't molested by dolphins, so it's a good day." The ride was fairly uneventful, despite wet pavement and a vicious headwind from miles 5.5-8. What with all the marathon training I've been doing, I hadn't worked on my cycling. I no longer have an excuse, and it's GOT TO get better if I ever hope to have a decent 1/2 IM.

Saw Lisa again on my way out of transition, pointing us in the proper direction. She later told me, "You were *not* in your happy place." And how ;) The run was okay. It takes me a half-mile or so to get my legs to not feel Jello-y, so that combined with the loose-sand beach run in the beginning of the run made for a slow first mile. But I picked it up a bit, and felt decent toward the middle and finished fairly strongly.

Final time: 1:41:07, which is almost four and a half minutes faster than my previous race on that course. And this course was longer, so I'm pretty happy about that.

After champagne in the parking lot (no tequila this time--sorry Neil!) we cleaned up, gorged ourselves on hot wings and Amber Bock, took a nice nap (hey Linae, do you have a black snake I could borrow??) had a beer at Andreychuck's, went to the Ice Palace, where the San Jose Sharks spanked our Lightning (but we still had fun,) went to a Halloween party thrown by Joe and Linae's friends, went home and crashed at 1300.

Today was Busch Gardens with Lisa's friend from college and her family. I think we're all pretty much beat :)

A HUUUUUGE thanks to Lisa for volunteering. You're awesome, girl, and it was fantastic to see you again!! See you in February for Gasparilla!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mount Desert Island Marathon in Pictures

Sunday, October 19, 2008. Bar Harbor (Bah Hahbah,) Maine. C-c-c-cold at the start (for me, at least--it was about 30F.) Fantastic race, friendly Mainers (not Maine-iacs,) gorgeous scenery, awesome schwag, diabolical hills. Due to said hills, I was hoping for sub-6:30. I ran 5:44:20, which is awesome for me, a mere 2 minutes over my PR from flat flat flat Kiawah Island. Thanks to Kay for pulling my carcass over the line!

Pics from the day before, as we were wandering the village:

Me in front of Frenchman's Bay

Frenchman's Bay

I'm 99.7% sure that's Cadillac Mountain

Gazebo by the town pier

Church in town

Pics from race day:

Freezing, whiny Florida girls

Why I miss Up North

Bait shop! I loved the lobster on the building


Where do I check in??
Mickey Mouse hands. The gloves never came off

Still alive and in good spirits past the halfway point

Kirsten!! She walked the marathon, finishing in 8:02 and change

Somes Sound, right around mile 18. The wind kicked up mercilessly and the temp seemed to drop about 10 degrees, so the throwaway shirt came back on for a few miles

Happy finishers! I'm sporting the unexpected and much-appreciated microsuede windshirt that was part of our schwag bag. And dig my mylar-chic skirt ;)

Bling! Shirt and medal. Who the hell looks good in this color?? Whatever. At least it's technical fabric

Blurry close-up of the medal. The past two years' sponsor was Red Lobster, so there was a Red Lobster logo where the crow is. I prefer the crow, especially after the race director told us the story of how Crow Athletics got its name, how crows and runners are similar. If you'd like me to retell his story, hit me up ;)