Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Whole Lot of Sports Randoms

After watching the Patriots handle the Vikings on Sunday, I realized that there are a couple of things that need addressing.

1. Brady and his Beiber ‘do: Since Tom has let his hair grow, I have defended his look more than once. Needless to say my patience with this issue is growing thin, unlike No. 12's hair. I feel I can no longer seriously and convincingly defend him. While I will always defend him, even if he grows a Troy Polamalu, it’s getting difficult. He is still quite good-looking, but I also think he might be able to rock a ponytail right now. Seriously Tom, I’m not a stylist by any means, but we should chat …

2. Good-bye Moss: I’ll admit, I was pretty upset when I heard the news of Randy Moss being traded back to Minnesota. I felt like we were on the receiving side of this:

I feared the possibility of a less-than-entertaining offense, a vicious string of losses and an insanely dominant Vikings team. Well (knock on wood), none of that has happened yet. In fact, the Pats are doing just fine, and well, Minnesota has a very arthritic Brett Favre. Post-season prediction: Favre will miss his first game since 1992 and will retire for real this year. I mean, he just looks miserable ...

All in all, the Pats will be fine. I highly enjoyed the time we shared with Randy, but we didn't win anything with him, did we? I’m just going to go ahead and say it, I’m glad Randy went back to where he came from and here’s to hoping he grows another one of these:

3. Hello, Celtics: In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Celtics opened up their 2010-2011 season this past Tuesday. That’s right, the Celtics are baa-aaaackk. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a title. With the exception of the loss to the LeBron-less Cavs, the season has started off right. We already beat the ever-so-powerful Heat and set the stage for quite the re-match. As if the Celtics being back isn’t great enough, this guy is also on our team. The guy who stared in Kazaam, asked Kobe ‘how his ass tastes’ and whom my grandmother thinks ‘is well-endowed’ is wearing Celtic-green.

4. Heat, Schmeat: Like I just said, the Heat opened their season with a pretty disappointing erformance for their Miami faithful. As of Sunday, they currently stand at 3-1. I have yet to be as impressed as expected, but then again, the NBA season is long and they have time to prove themselves. They did, however, put quite the thrashing on Orlando last week.

5. No Time for Fantasy: I’m sad to report that both of my fantasy teams – Andrea’s Ironmen and Fitness Freaks – are not boasting good records. I barely have time to blog, let alone update my fantasy teams. It’s made the football season far less entertaining, especially since I usually remember to change it at the start of the 4:15 games.

6. Zero Limits: My all-time athlete crush, Apolo Anton Ohno, just came out with his first book, Zero Limits, last week. I watched intently as he spoke about it Thursday on the Today Show and you better believe I’m hoping for a copy under the Christmas tree. I mean who wouldn’t want to write a book written by this guy?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

E-ST-J What?!

If you’ve ever taken a Myers Brigg’s Assessment, you already know what ESTJ means and you might even be one yourself. If you haven’t, you’re probably wondering exactly what the acronym is all about. Well, here it is in a nutshell…

For my Peer Leadership Seminar, we were all asked to take the Myer’s Brigg’s Assessment – Most of my classmates had taken it before, but this was my first experience so I was pretty curious. It’s about 200 questions that you are supposed to answer ‘without thinking,’ essentially answering with a natural instinct. Despite my skepticism about the whole thing, I answered the questions and predicted my results during the following class meeting. Turns out, when we got the results back, they were just as I had predicted.

E – Extroversion: “People who tend to focus their attention of the outer world of people and things.”
This is the really the only one that I sort of debated between. While I really like to be surrounded by people, I also LOVE my alone time. Going out is fun, but after a long week, there is nothing like a lazy night with a glass of wine, baking and watching some tube. However, like extroverts, I think aloud and readily take initiative, so I guess for now, I am a little bit of both.

S – Sensing: “People who tend to take in information through the five senses and focus on the here and now.”
I often see the trees rather than the forest, meaning that I focus on details rather than the big picture. Totally true. I make sure all the little pieces of the puzzle are complete before I look at the whole. I trust experience, like direction and I’m probably the most specific person you’ll meet. No sugar-coating or adding fluff with me.

T – Thinking: “People who tend to make decisions based primarily on logic and on objective analysis of cause and effect.”
Essentially, I see the world in black and white. I firmly believe there is a cause for every effect and vice versa and that everything happens for a reason. Sure, I can be see as ‘tough-minded,’ but I follow logic, rules and I tend to sway to the objective side of reasoning. Want an example of a famous ESTJ? Remember Robert De Niro’s character Jack Byrnes in Meet the Parents? Yup, that’s me. There’s no ‘maybe,’ I prefer ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

J – Judging: “People who tend to like a planned and organized approach to life and prefer to have things settled.”
I live by my planner. I write everything down in that thing and while I would probably survive if I lost it, my world would be turned upside-down. I’m sure I drive everyone I know crazy with my need to plan, but I’m never the late one, the disorganized one or the last-minute one. I need closure, have a ‘system’ for just about everything and can’t ‘play’ until my work is done.

I am one of the most extreme cases of ESTJ. My professor said this was the first time he has ever seen someone with such a distinct result. The ESTJ blend is driven by their needs to analyze and bring into logical order the outer world of events, people and things. If they had a motto, it would be “just do it, and do it right.” An ESTJ likes to organize, complete tasks quickly, take their responsibilities seriously and believe other should do so as well. Us ESTJs are loyal, dedicated, motivated and apparently have a tendency to be athletic.

After reading this, you make think that I am a stress case with a super-planned life. Well, I am, but, I like it. I actually love it. I am always on the go, but my ESTJ-ness allows me to balance my day-to-day responsibilities. I tend to be pretty high strong when it comes to meeting deadlines and following schedule, but its how and I am and all I know. I really do feel like taking the assessment helped me to understand how and why I think the way I do and why some of the people surrounding me do why they do. So, if you’re ever asked to take the Myer’s Brigg’s Assessment, do it and take it seriously.
Take a look at this sweet ESTJ shirt I stumbled upon online that made me laugh ...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Second One ... Maine Marathon

Ahhhhhh. Feels good to breathe a sigh of relief. Ran my second marathon today – Maine 26.2. I wanted under two hours, but most importantly I wanted a PR and I certainly got one – by, oh, 20 MINUTES! I’m very happy about this, especially since I know that my third will more than likely bring sub-four if the trend continues. I did swear to take a long break after today, but my friend Misty and I are already making plans for a half next month. She put it best, 'Stupid people think alike, right?'

I was nervous for this race, but not even close to the level 100 nervous-ness I experienced before Sugarloaf. Race morning Jaime and I drove up together and picked up Danielle on the way. Obviously, a marathon is not a marathon without some Danielle in the morning. Roles were a bit reversed this time around – Danielle struggled through training and didn’t want to run today, whereas I was pretty pumped. I should have asked her if she 'felt like P-Diddy.'

We ran into Misty before the race, so a RTB 2010 picture was a must. Van slumber party again? Let’s do it.
Three of my friends, who I know from work thouogh the friendship so goes far beyond, ran the half. This was actually Jaime’s first road race ever! She was so nervous, but I knew she could, so I totally non-violently forced her to go through with it. So proud of her!

Andy, Pauline and Jaime and I pre-race:

Seeing so many people I knew before the race totally put me at ease. I see them almost everyday working out, running races and they have become my fitness family. Also saw Colleen, Erin and Maureen (they ran the half as a training run for Marine Corps in a month) and are like my gym moms, always concerned with my injuries and listening to my complaining.

It was like 46 degrees or just above at the start and since we all know I’m a huge weather baby, I sported a throw away shirt. Totally didn’t throw it away though and gave it to Sarah at the first water stop. Also managed to pull it up high enough to show off the race number. (Fun fact: There has only been one race – road race or triathlon – that hasn’t had a four in it and I was pumped this had one, too.)

As for the actual race, here are the highlights. I started out running with Danielle which was awesome. (She is the one I credit with my marathon obsession, afterall, so I wanted to be there for her, even if just for a little bit.) I wish we could have run together longer but I totally lost her around mile 3. She might or might not have stopped to take a picture. Ya, I know, silly girl.

MILE 6.5 – All the half marathoners turned around. Danielle warned me about this and she was right – EVERYONE out there is doing the half. Needless to say the field depleted quite a bit.

MILE 10 – Met the long downhill that everyone was talking about. Couldn’t help but dread the run back up it at 16. Did see my family near the bottom, which was super fantastic.

MILE 13 – Reached the halfway point in 2:01!

MILE 16 – Met Mark. This was his second marathon in two days – he was one of the crazy people that did New Hampshire Saturday and Maine Sunday. Not to mention the fact that he ran an ultra last weekend (twice around Lake Tahoe) and has met Dean Karnazes a couple of times, so I was quite fascinated. We stuck together until Mile 20, talking about both our past and upcoming races. It was really great to have him with me, the time went so much faster and before I knew it I only had a 10K left. He yelled at me as I crossed the finish line and so here we are:

MILE 21 – Saw Misty waiting to run the last leg for her relay team. She gave me a big smile, a welcomed good-game butt slap and asked me an inappropriate question as she promised.

MILE 21.5 – Kevin rode up alongside me. He was biking along the course and hung with me for a mile or two. I first met Kevin through my internship – he’s one of our super race volunteers. Come to find out, he runs in the Maine Track Club and we have a ton of mutual friends. His first full marathon is Mount Desert Island in two weeks!

MILE 24 – Back onto Back Bay, very similar terrain for me. I could actually see the finish area from here and wasn’t too thrilled that it seemed so far away.

MILE 25.5 – MISTY!! She ran up alongside me and pretty much coached me to the end. I was totally at the I-want-to-cry-because-the-last-mile-is-one-too-many point so her being there was great.

MILE 26.2 – Funny story here, I actually ran into the half marathon finish on accident and had to hop over the barrier to finish the full. You try and hop a barrier after running 26.2 miles, not cool. Mom was right at the end, waiting for me to finish and a hug from her was all I wanted:
The family and I post-race. I wasn’t about to let this photo-op go again (totally missed it at Sugarloaf).

I’ve been joking with my sister’s boyfriend, Eric, about painting a giant ‘A’ on his chest for me. Instead, which I happen to think is so much better, he turned the ‘S’ in the Superman logo into an ‘A.’ Don’t tell anyone, but I think I’m starting to like this guy.

Many props to both my sister and Eric. They got up so early and were there throughout my race with my parents, escorted me to the food tent and to the porta potty, which as all runners know, says a lot.

Ran into another gym rat, Veronica. This was her first marathon and she totally rocked it! Along with Veronica came Jenn, Misty (again, must have been stalking me) and Lisa (I love these gym rats!) Here’s Veronica and I:

Couple of final thoughts and words of advice … always run a marathon with a handheld and have a great sister waiting on the side with refills (the whole hydration belt sucks during a race) ... wear Zensah compression sleeves (my legs feel great) … take a post-race ice bath (it was not pleasant, but I’ll be happy tomorrow) … seek out some sweet shorts because they really do make the outfit … hang out with friends the night before (keeps your mind off things and its good for the running soul, you know, just like pasta) … wear a black shirt if it’s cold out (it’s good camouflage).

All in all, a fantastic race. Definitely a keeper and a ‘you bet I’ll be there even if I have to fly’ for my 2011 race calendar. It’s pretty much like a long run only with people you know every couple of miles. Post race my mom told me that she never saw me without a smile on my face and my family saw me five times throughout! If that doesn’t sum up my day, I don’t know what does.

Just because my father did such a great job taking pictures, I have to include this one of Danielle and I. I was pumped to see her finish and I’m so proud of her!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pre-Race Jitters?

Alright, so it’s here. Well, almost…Maine Marathon tomorrow!!! Pretty excited, kind of nervous, ready to run, so LET’S DO IT!

Five months ago, just two weeks after my first marathon, I was back in training for my second attempt at 26.2. Yes, I know, I didn’t take a break. I have, however, vowed to myself to take a short break after Maine tomorrow. This probably won’t happen, but hey, I did think about it. So, I deserve some credit.

Since June, I have run a total of 558.6 miles in addition to whatever cycling, swimming and lifting I’ve done. So that being said, I think I’m ready for this one, well better than I was for Sugarloaf. Though, I did hear about a huge hill at mile 16. I didn’t drive the course for fear of freaking myself out. Can’t do anything about it anyway, right?

Today was spent recording a radio show for class but most importantly browsing the race expo and prepping with Jaime. She’s running her first half marathon tomorrow. I’m SO excited for her!! We rolled, stretched, ate, shopped and bs-ed about whatever. I wanted to paint my nails, but more important things had to be done. Tomorrow, Jaime will meet me at my house and then we will pick up Danielle. Then, its off to the races!

This probably doesn’t fall into much of an order or even make sense, but that’s all I’ve got for now. Race day tomorrow!