Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fast Breakfast

BRB! Doing this every day for the rest of my life.

May is National Egg Month, but of course a quick hot breakfast is welcome any time of the year. This basic "egg in a mug" recipe has infinite possibilities. And it only takes a minute or two to deliver fluffy yumminess. More » 
(from Lifehacker.com)  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tip of the Year!

This is, no joke, the best trick I've learned this year about anything!

It's summer, and if you live anywhere the sun shines, science dictates that it gets stupid hot inside your car when it's closed up and baking in the sun. According to this Japanese video, rolling down one window and opening and closing the opposite door a handful of times will quickly and effectively cool down a hot car. More »

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Puppet and Puff :)

Without a doubt, the cutest 34 seconds of today:

This kitty kat was comforting the lizard after they moved to a new apartment and the lizard was stressed out!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shake It Off and Step Up

Another story I read years ago. I don't know who the author is. This story popped into my head today and I thought others might benefit from reading it, too:

Once upon a time there was a farmer who had an old mule. The mule fell into a deep dry well and began to cry loudly. Hearing his mule cry, the farmer came over and assessed the situation. The well was deep and the mule was heavy. He knew it would be difficult, if not impossible, to lift the animal out.

Because the mule was old and the well was dry, the farmer decided to bury the animal in the well. In this way he could solve two problems: put the old mule out of his misery and have his well filled.
He called upon his neighbors to help him and they agreed to help. To work they went. Shovel full of dirt after shovel full of dirt began to fall on the mule’s back. He became hysterical. Then all of a sudden an idea came to the mule. Each time they would throw a shovel full of dirt on his back he could shake it off and step up. Shovel full after shovel full, the mule would shake it off and step up. Now exhausted and dirty, but quite alive, the mule stepped over the top of the well and walked through the crowd.

A great attitude. A great way to approach life. Shake it off and step up. Too often we hold on to what has happened to us.
We hold on to it for a week, a month, even years. We cannot shake it loose from our memory. It eats away at us and steals our joy, happiness and peace of mind. The past hurt can create feelings of bitterness, resentment, anger and revenge.
We keep allowing these emotions to be thrown on our backs and if we do nothing, we will be buried deep in the well. Walls will be built in our relationships. We will avoid each other and the cold war begins.
But, we have a choice: keep it inside and embrace the hurt or shake it off and step up. Give it a try. Shake it off and step up. Words that have been said or actions that have been done, shake it off and step up. Let it go. Whatever it is: a rude comment, a past mistake, being ignored, we can stew over it all week. It occupies us all the time.
Too often we nurse hurts, we keep them alive inside and go over them time and time again; not only stewing from them, but now chewing them over and over until it gets us sick. Too often we rehearse hurts, tell everyone what has happened to us.
The cure is to accept what has happened, try to make sense out of it, learn from it, then shake it off and step up. When you let it go you feel free and you are no longer buried in the well. Once you are on your feet again you can take some action. You decide where you want to grow in life, the direction you want your life to take. You decide whether you will allow the hurt to make you a bitter or a better person. Learn from it. Emerge stronger.

I can relate...

I read this story years ago. I can't tell you how many times I've said this over the past couple of months:

I love that story about the athlete -- of whom someone observed that the whole time he was running the race -- his lips were moving.

When asked as to why his lips were moving -- he responded by saying:  "I was praying." -- They asked, "Were you praying to win?"

"Oh, no" he replied, -- "I was praying, 'Lord, You pick them up, & I'll put them down. -- You pick them up, & I'll put them down."

Friday, July 15, 2011

United States Map (as seen by a New Yorker)

This is brilliant.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Is this weird?

I can't possibly be the only person who does this.
Oh my god, am I the only person who DOES this?!?

Pizza and COOKIES?!

In the same box?! Now this is just getting ridiculous, America.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


We are currently in the middle of a big thunderstorm -- the kind you only experience in Maine. My mom would like everyone to know that if you're ever in a field when a thunderstorm starts, you should hide in a gully.

You're welcome.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I did it :)

Remember how I said I was going to do 139 miles in 19 days? Due to the challenge ending sooner than I thought it was -- (I thought I had one more full day) and some days where no walking or running was done at all... now that everything is said and done... I have completed 139 miles in 15 days.

I have completed a total of 150 miles in 21 days. The challenge was supposed to take place over six weeks and I did it in three. I'm pretty sure I'm certifiably crazy at this point -- (or I already was before and no one had the heart to tell me.)

Here is how the challenge ended for me: I was at Steve's Yia Yia's house on the treadmill and I knew I was close to reaching my goal. Steve was downstairs leaving me alone so I could finish up. Now, I've listened to a lot of music during this challenge. A lot. I've often said that if I were actually able to complete this, I would owe at least half of the victory to Lady GaGa. I didn't plan what the "victory song" would or should be. I've listened to a lot of GaGa, a lot of Michael Jackson, a TON of Eminem and many, many others during all of this... but at the 11th hour, it was The Boss that brought it home. Wrecking Ball came on, I looked at my iPhone and saw that this was it... and I started sprinting. After already doing 23 miles in one day, I'm sprinting to the finish even though I insisted I'd probably be crawling. I'm insane.

Then, a couple of minutes before I'm set to "cross the finish line" I see this from my dad:

So then I have tears in my eyes, the mile tracker hits its mark, the final chords of Wrecking Ball play out, and all I hear is Bruce screaming, "Bring it on!"

And then the fireworks start exploding outside. No joke. I insisted to Steve that they were for me :) If he was smart, he would have told me that he arranged all of it! We watched them together and laughed when the sparks came too close and then I made him get into the pool with me so we could watch them from there. What a fantastic end to a really tough challenge. It was all worth it. EVERY SINGLE MINUTE. Especially that last moment, with the well wishes from friends and family pouring in all day, and then that last, somehow perfectly-timed message from my dad... and then Bruce, fireworks and Steve. 

You know, it's good advice for anyone embarking on a new challenge: BRING IT ON. Anything is possible. And sometimes, if you're very lucky, at the end there will be fireworks.

As Molly said to me, "One word. Yes. One more word. Believe." This has become my mantra.

Bring it on.

Monday, July 4, 2011

5.7 miles to go

I can promise that they will be the hardest 5.7 miles since I started this!

Sent from my iPhone

10.46 miles left

and I may actually have to crawl across the finish line. I already did 12.57 miles today and I don't think I can wear a shoe on my right foot for a few days. I don't know how runners DO this!!!!! I have a new appreciation for athletes, that's for sure.

Just realized...

... that I only have until 2:59 a.m. tomorrow (?!) to finish these miles. So... it's not 23 miles over the course of 2 days. It's now 23 miles TODAY. Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

23.7 miles to go

A full marathon is 26.2 miles and it can be done in a day. It's possible. I've got this.

Sent from my iPhone

31 miles to go

The rain stopped me today, but I have a plan B, thanks to Adam!

This morning's photo:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

35.8 miles to go

I did over 20 miles today. That's a great accomplishment for me. I'm proud. Here's what mile 13 looked like:

I'm grateful for the three other lunatics using the track at the same time as me. I wouldn't have been able to stay if I had been there alone!

I'm in the home stretch now. I think I may actually do this :)

Nike+ Challenges: Running, Walking, and Bionic Idiots

If you follow this blog, you know that I signed up to reach 150 miles in a 6 week Nike+ cardio challenge at work. This was a pretty big deal, considering that I had major surgery in January. Regardless, I wanted to give it the old college try. I was able to log a few miles (11, to be exact), and then BAM!... skin cancer diagnosis. Surgery on my shoulder right away. Rough recovery. On June 17th, I remembered my pledge to reach 150 miles by July 5th and made a commitment to at least TRY to finish the remaining 139 miles in 19 days. I have less than 50 miles to go and sometimes it hurts like hell, but I'm trying my very best to finish what I set out to finish.

Something has been happening on the message board of this challenge that pisses me off. When you log into the website (which is terrible, by the way), you can see your progress in the various challenges that you're participating in. Most people are doing what they can with what they have, and they're really happy to be progressing in any way possible. On the right hand side of the page, you can "trash talk" to the other people in the challenge. In this trash talk, there are idiots. I guess if you're going to call it "trash talk" then you're just asking for the trash to come over and talk. There are @ssholes who insist on raining on everyone's parade. These macho, obnoxious people are LIVID that people are DARING to WALK some of their miles... as if this impacts these @ssholes AT ALL. They go on and on about how a walker cannot POSSIBLY know what it's like to deal with small tears in their muscle tissue and that a walker has no idea what a runner's high feels like. My favorite comment so far is that "if you're walking, you're cheating." To those @ssholes, I say a big fat FU(K you. I started this challenge walking. I am now able to jog AND sprint. But I'm still walking. I'm SO happy for you that you have a perfectly toned and conditioned body and you are able to run at ridiculous paces and leave everyone in the dust. I'm just so, so happy about that.

Can you sense the sarcasm? Because it's there.

Here's what I'm happy about: BEING ALIVE. I had 9 tumors removed from my abdomen in January -- less than six months ago. I was diagnosed with skin cancer four months after that and went through a horrendous recovery with my zombie scar. I had another major abdominal surgery 3 years ago. I also have an Achilles tendon that's been on the verge of a rupture for 2 years. The scars are multiplying, but I have been pressing on. I have been fighting the good fight -- all in the name of health and in proving to myself that it can be done. And I've been doing it in 80+ degree heat on pavement.

So, to my highfalutin colleague (wherever he may be), and to anyone else who has something to say, I survived all of this crap, so you know what... when you have come through what I've come through, then you can stand up and judge me. Until then, sit your @ss down and shut the fu(k up. If I want to crawl across the finish line, I will. And it will mean more than your bionic marathon miles, because I'm doing this for ME... and not for anyone else. If you want to be judged against your peers, join an ACTUAL real-life marathon and clock your damn time and miles. I've come through stuff. I've made it to where I am today. I'm going to celebrate that. You can go ahead and celebrate your chiseled body and your sprints and your laps. I'm going to celebrate being here... LIVING... WALKING... RUNNING... BREATHING.

As a side note, if I'm doing this for anyone other than myself, this is who I'm doing it for. I have known Molly since the day she was born. She is my cousin (not by blood - but in heart.) She is incredible and inspiring and bionic in her own mighty way. There was a quote on season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance that I can't get out of my head. There were two brothers (Ryan and Evan), and Ryan was being cut while Evan was advancing in the competition. When asked about what it would be like to leave both the competition and his brother, Ryan replied, "I am with him every step that he dances." Molly is with me every step that I take, and I know that I'm with her every step that she takes. We don't care if we're walking, running, crawling, sprinting, wobbling or sliding. It's all the same to us.

THIS IS WHAT MATTERS. Not miles, not times, not distances, not sweat. What matters is being able to look yourself and your friend in the eyes and say, "I did it."

Chew on that one for awhile, Mr. Bionic Man.

52.9 miles to go

And miles to go before I sleep... And miles to go before I sleep...

Friday, July 1, 2011

56 miles to go

That's 14 miles a day for 4 days. And that's over the 4th of July weekend... when I like to have fun! Grrrrr! Why did I decide to do this again?! :)

(12.18 completed today - best 10K I've ever done apparently.)

Gotta keep moving!

Sent from my iPhone

66.3 miles to go

It's too damn hot out. I need a treadmill.

Sent from my iPhone