Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Running a marathon is hard. I feel like I'm "listing" a lot lately but I'm just not in the mood to write long paragraphs about the "marathon experience". This list has no theme, it just is...
  • The first mile of a marathon feels fantastic
  • Port-o-potty's at 6:00am pre-marathon are foul
  • For some reason, when running with my TNT buddies, things you would never hear me say in my everyday, non-running life like "you go girl!" or "you got it, girl" or "girl, you can do it!" come flying out of my mouth providing Charles plenty of lets-make-fun-of-cami fuel
  • Just when you think you successfully lubed up everything on your body that could possibly chafe, you realize there were about 12 other places you should have hit when you jump in the shower post-race...ouch!
  • You feel pretty silly when you are whining and begging your husband to stop running and then look over during mile 21 and see this guy jogging past you...
  • Comment heard by my father-in-law as one tired guy crossed the finish: "When did the Rockies move to Atlanta?" If you didn't know or, more likely, didn't notice, Atlanta is HILLY. Just as I would finally breakthrough a particularly mental or physical block in the race, yet another hill would be around the next turn just daring me to keep running.
  • Not to be rude, but people who yell "you're almost finished!" at mile nine should be shot.
  • Again, not to be rude, but people who yell "this is the last big hill!" when there are actually 14 more, should also be shot.
  • My husband is my hero and the only reason I finished the marathon. There were times during the course where he literally grabbed my hand and pulled me so I would keep running. He refused to let me give up and kept me going from about mile 14 on...I truly could not have done it without him. I didn't even know if he was in pain or being mentally challenged as well because he was too busy baby-sitting me to complain.
  • There is an instant camaraderie among all the runners...especially toward the end of the race. You're all in the same boat, all trying to finish and if you can encourage someone that is looking particularly fatigued or discouraged you do it and what happens is you start listening to what you are saying to that person and start believing it yourself.
  • I heard that you hit a wall at around mile 21 or 22...for some reason, my wall decided to plant itself right in the middle of mile 14 which just wasn't nice at all.
  • One of the most ingenious elements of the ING marathon was that all of our first names were printed on our numbers so all along the course, people weren't just saying "You're looking good! Way to go!" they were saying "Great job, Cami! Looking strong, Charles!". It actually freaked me out a little at first but as I got used to it I was so thankful the spectators were taking the time to read the names and personally acknowledge was really encouraging.
  • Seeing your friends out on the course yelling for you makes you smile ear-to-ear, even if you are 18 miles in and wanting to die.
  • The Finish Line was one of the most beautiful sights I have seen in a long time. We caught our first glimpse of it from about 50 yards away and for the first time in the race I knew I was actually going to finish. All of a sudden my legs felt fresh, I got a burst of energy and even had enough wits about me to grab Charles' hand and pose for the camera!
  • I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, E-V-E-R run another marathon again. I did it once, I can say I ran one, I give all kinds of props to those people who choose to run multiple marathons (although they are obviously complete masochists and should consider therapy) but they just aren't for me. That said, I can definitely see myself running a half marathon every now and again.

Here are some pre, mid and post-race pics to prove we actually ran the thing. Thanks for all the support and patience during my many marathon-related posts!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Let the countdown begin...

I can't believe it's almost here. In less than one week Charles and I will begin our marathon and finally put an end to the months and months of training and waking up early and watching what we eat and drink on Friday nights. I am so anxious about the event I can't stand it! Am I going to finish? Am I going to get a cramp? Will i have to go to the bathroom? #1 or #2? Will I be able to walk the next day? Will Charles and I finish together? How many hills are there? Will there be a lot of Atlantans cheering us on along the way? Will i drink enough? Will i drink too much? Will I hit a wall at 14 miles or 24 miles?

If you happen to be in the ATL this weekend and see a bunch of people running around town, feel free to shout some words of encouragement to us! I'll be the one in the bright purple singlet with 150 or so of my closest friends. Not to mention, the other 14,850 people running along with us. I can guarantee you that somewhere along the course there will be beer-drinking, fried food and loud music to help pass the time...should be fun!

And, if you are looking for a little inspiration to start training for your first marathon, take a look below! The joy and pride and sense of accomplishment on our faces and in our body language will really motivate you begin your training regimen.

Wish us luck!

Friday, March 16, 2007

It's March Madness, Baby!

Over the past couple of years, I have really gotten into the excitement of March Madness. I can distinctly remember the first time I became totally engaged and hooked on the tournament...I was in a ski town in Colorado (Breck maybe?) at a restaurant with my Dad and one of the games was on TV. There was a long wait at the restaurant so we passed the time watching the game. Charles had filled out his bracket and I knew which teams he picked so automatically those were the teams I then rooted for. This one particular game playing at the restaurant was a nail-biter. Regulation went right up to the last second (as so many of the tournament games do) and then it was overtime. I think there were two or three overtime's in the game, all of which were back-and-forth and totally intense, before the game finally ended, again, at the last second. I was exhausted by the end of the game and taken by surprise at how much fun it was to watch and have a team to cheer for. I don't watch pro basketball and don't watch a second of college hoops prior to the tournament, but filling out that bracket thus knowing ahead of time which teams you want to win for 61 games all within the span of a couple of weeks, most of which are pure excitement, how can you not get wrapped up in it? Not to mention, it's great procrastination during work hours and good bonding time with the far I have him beat by one game. I go here a lot and refresh every couple of minutes during game time.

So, currently I sit 13-3 thanks to losses by George Washington, Duke and Gonzaga (I ALWAYS choose Gonzaga, Villanova and Xavier to make it through at least the first round because I like their names...). Here is my final four:
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Texas
  • Memphis

I have Florida and Memphis going to the National Championship and Florida taking home the title. Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Explosions in the Sky

Late, late, late, late, very very late Tuesday night, we were excited to see a fantastic show from that oh-so-lovely band from Texas, Explosions in the Sky. I will say, I was a bit skeptical as to how exciting and entertaining the show would actually be as Charles and I fall asleep to their music most nights. Seriously, everyone should try it out. If you don't already have it, put the Friday Night Lights soundtrack on your iPod and I dare you to try and make it through 5 songs as you're laying in bed at night. It is deliciously good sleep music. That said, you can imagine my concern about attending the show even after reading countless raving reviews about the quality of the live shows and hearing first-hand from a good friend that the show they attended a couple years ago was mind-blowing. In my head I was thinking, "Should I wear my jammies and bring a pillow and blanket?"

The first two bands I could've done without. It's always a nice surprise when you show up to see the headlining band and end up really enjoying the opening acts. P.O.S. comes to mind at the Minus the Bear show...also, The Ghost and Thursday totally schooled Rival Schools at a show at the Echo Lounge many many years ago. Alas, Tuesday night's opening acts were a bit disappointing for me. The first band was trying hard to sound like Explosions but failed miserably and instead had people scrunching their faces and covering their ears in agony. The guy used volume to build energy into each song to the point where your entire head was vibrating from this big loud noise. It was pretty bad. The second band was decent enough I guess but the lead singer annoyed the hell out of me for some reason. Not to mention, it was about 90 degrees with 107% humidity in the bar so listening to a really good band was almost unbearable. After about 2 songs from the second band, Wendy and I went outside to get some air.

The lateness (especially for a Tuesday night), the heat and the mediocre opening bands were worth the wait when EITS finally began their set. They have this fantastic ability to play really slow, swaying music just long enough that right when you are about to either fall asleep or become bored with the sound, they throw in the drums and guitar and bass and the audience goes crazy bopping up and down and shaking their heads. Then, just as you are about to lose your mind with the increasing intensity of the sound, they bring everything right back down again. It's really hard to decipher when one song ends and the next begins as they tend to play almost white-noise sounding music between the made me think of these in-between periods as palate cleansers because I think if they played back-to-back songs, everything would run together and might sound too much alike. The pauses kind of make you forget what you just heard so when they start a new song that has a lot of very similar sounds you don't get a sense of monotony. There was no encore and I think the audience was a little bummed about it but I was just fine as the heat was really stifling and uncomfortable. I left with a big smile on my face and I wasn't sleepy at all! Definitely check them out if they head to your city...also, check out the guitar player, he is beautiful. See below.

**Note: I just read my husband's blog and his account of the show. So interesting how we each describe what we saw. Clearly, he is the superior writer in the family and certainly gives a more in-depth description of the show experience. Read and enjoy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Since my last Numbers

  • 28: thin mints consumed
  • 3 (or 4?): ben & jerry's pints consumed
  • -3 (or -4?): pounds lost (gained) due to aforementioned consumptions even though i'm running my ass off
  • 250: women attended my Women's Leadership Conference workshop
  • 3.5: hours spent at Mall of America
  • 36: points purchased to ride on two MOA (that's what the cool kids call it) attractions...see pics below
  • 337: dollars spent at H&M
  • 20: miles run on a beautiful Saturday morning
  • 1: wedding attended
  • 2: wedding showers attended
  • 500: Blockbuster employees attended my sampling event
  • 4: feet of snow on my cousin-in-laws back porch
  • 4.5: miles run in said snow & ice
  • 32: times i almost cracked my head open on said ice
  • 3: cities visited
  • 2: delayed plane rides
  • 27: age turned on 2/28
  • 0: nights spent hanging out with friends
  • 100: red tag points earned (it's a work reward system), getting me a few steps closer to the kate spade purse i've had my eye on
  • 64-ish: total miles run

looking forward to a full week at home, a sleepy concert, low-mileage runs, st.patty's day with old friends and a lazy sunday book club day. i hope to come back to life this week. we'll see what happens.

less than two weeks!!!