Wednesday, April 3, 2013

2013 DFW Zombie Run!

Oh wow. Words cannot express how disappointing the DFW Zombie Run was... but don't worry, I'll still use a few thousand words trying. Just think of this miserably long post as a symbolic representation of that miserably long race. 

What is the DFW Zombie Run? It was advertised as a night-time adventure 5k. The website promised obstacles, a mud pit, and awesome swag (well, a t-shirt and a bag). Most importantly, it promised zombies. Each runner would start with 4 flags (flag-football style) and spend the race trying to evade zombies (volunteers) to keep their humanity (flags). If a runner crossed the finish line with at least one flag left, they'd be dubbed as "still-human" and receive a medal for their efforts. Even those unfortunate enough to get infected (lose all their flags) would still get to enjoy an awesome after party (they really kept talking up the amount of free beer they'd have) and get entered into a raffle for the undead (not raffling off the undead... but limiting the participants to only the undead). Sounds awesome, right?

The website even went into detail about what kinds of zombies we'd encounter: 

  • Runners - 28 Days Later style zombies that could run after you
  • Walkers - Zombies that would move slowly but travel in hoards. If they surrounded you, you were toast. 
  • Transition Zombies - Zombies that would actually transform into zombies mid-race (because not every zombie starts out looking like death... they need time to rot and have their instincts kick in). They'd apparently have a loud, twenty second transformation process that would give nearby runners a head start to get away. Also, apparently they'd be missing some essential things that normal runners would have... like maybe a bib or flags or something. 
  • Creepers - Zombies that would apparently be really slow (and maybe crawling?), and would be of little concern as long as you weren't in a narrow space.

When reading up on it, I loved the amount of detail they put into everything. They had professional looking commercials and a million rules. It seemed like they really had things figured out. 

Oh how wrong I was. 

My first clue that things wouldn't be as seamless as I hoped should have been the fact that after the automatic e-mail confirming my registration last month, I received no correspondence or information from them about the race. That is, until the day of. They sent out a waiver at 2am the day of the event asking everyone to bring a signed copy of it. Why that waiver wasn't on the website, included with the confirmation, or e-mailed earlier, I don't know. Fortunately, I was planning on stopping by my office to pick up some things anyway (which really didn't help my claims of "oh, I don't work too much, I totally have a life" when I ran into the very same boss that accuses me of the opposite so often), so I was able to print it out no problem and didn't really think anything of it at the time (I can only print things at work, because my home printer is covered with wine from when a bottle of Hobo Hooch (it's actual name) exploded in my trunk mid-move). Jeff thought that maybe they had sent it out last minute because it looked like a terrible storm would be coming in, which was fair.

Still classier than Boone's Farm
In any case, even though I had pretty high hopes for this race, I was also pretty nervous and somewhat terrified for the following reasons:

1) I am a terrible runner. I had upped my training recently by going running before work every morning rather than after work on the evenings I happened to be free (which were few and far between), but I think since my legs weren't used to that, they tired out quickly. I noticed my running capacity decreasing steadily over the course of the week before the run. It didn't help that I was usually sore from my Jazzercise classes (seriously... they love doing non-stop squats and lunges in Jazzercise). 

2) I am somewhat accident prone. While I haven't suffered any terrible injuries, I get a lot of really dumb ones. A coat hanger through the ear, a broken finger while playing kickball, you know. I even broke my foot going to the movies once (not at drill team, not in a kicking fight... but going to the movies). As a result, I was a little nervous about doing an obstacle race in the dark. I just had these terrible visions of me falling into chasms, tripping over zombies, and getting touched by unseen creatures (like fish or bugs) when in the stream and/or mud pit obstacles.

3) As I mentioned, the weather forecast did not bode well. We were under a severe storm warning that predicted thunderstorms, high winds, torrential rain, and the possibility of hail. I'm willing to run in rain (as proven at the Great Taco Run), but I draw the line at pretty much everything else. The hail was really what concerned me. If it started before we ran, that'd be fine. We could camp out under a bridge or stay home or whatever. But what if it started hailing mid-race? What would we do, find cover under a tree? The only person that ever has worked for is Homer Simpson. 

"Sheltering myself with a large piece of sheet metal,
I ran for cover under the tallest tree I could find!"
4) There were going to be zombies. I watch a lot of horror movies, and zombies are terrifying. Even though I knew they'd just be regular people, the terror felt somewhat real. Also, I'm pretty sure there was like a 20% chance of there actually being a zombie apocalypse at the same time that we wouldn't notice until it was too late because the real zombies would blend in so well with the fake zombies. 

Rather than chicken out, though, we decided to keep on with the race and headed out to Fort Worth. We made it there in plenty of time (about an hour before our wave was supposed to start), grabbed our stuff, and headed towards the check-in area.

That's where the trouble first started. 

The check-in zone was basically just a small trailer in the middle of the parking lot. We couldn't even see anything else race-themed from it. With no discernible lines and absolutely no organization, we eventually gave them our confirmation sheets and waivers in return for a random bib number (we were supposed to fill out the bottom with our information so that the timing chip could be linked to us, but only half the people knew that) and a belt with three flags (even though the website clearly said that we'd have four). Because they had run out of safety pins, there was one girl there stapling everyone's bibs to their shirts. Supposedly, they had only planned for 3000 runners, but had 5400 show up instead (according to the somewhat apologetic Facebook posts they made after the fact), which would explain a lot of the chaos. However, they had also said that walk-ups weren't allowed, especially since all of the waves were full, so I don't really see how they didn't plan for the right number of runners... but whatever. 

After getting our bibs, we decided that it would be a good idea to grab our swag and put it in my car with our other belongings (they had been very clear about the fact that we couldn't take anything with us on the course... which makes sense considering that it was supposed to involve a mud pit and wading through a stream). Then, we saw the ridiculous layout of the course and tented party area. In walking to get our shirts from the party tents, we walked right by runners from the first wave heading towards the finish line. Maybe it's just me (and every event planner in the world), but having a race course not just intersect but actually align completely with the casual walking area seems like a bad idea. Keep in mind, this is a race where zombies are chasing runners to steal their flags. We had some runners join our little group and pretend to be walking towards the tents until zombies passed. We also saw some zombies taking flags from people who hadn't even started the race yet... because there was absolutely no way to tell the difference! That was just dumb. 

Eventually, after hitting a lot of check-points and having different people yelling different instructions at us, we made it to the tents. Unfortunately, the lines for t-shirts were really long, and we really wanted to catch the next wave (of runners... not surfing), so we decided to put our stuff up in my car and just get our shirts later. In fact, Jeff, Liz, and I had decided to run with Jane Jetson's* wave, which was about half an hour before the one that we signed up for. It's a good thing we did, because we ended up being the last wave to run (but more on that later). 

We got to the starting line, but not until after passing a guy with a giant tub of medals that was handing them out like candy. He offered me one, but I declined, thinking that I would rather wait until after the race when I would have earned it. It was noble... and I regretted it so hard later. 

Finally, our time had come. The air horn went off and so did we! Everything started out like a normal race, but as we approached the first bridge, we ran into a whole hoard of zombies underneath it (because they're just like trolls, apparently). That's when I learned that I'm really bad at evading things (attention potential muggers: please don't pay any attention to this part). After just the first clump of zombies on this 5k, I had already lost two of my three flags and was panting so hard from the interval sprinting I had done. Jeff, Liz, and Jane hadn't lost any. I felt kind of like a loser. Liz gave me one of her flags, though, which was really sweet. Also, it was kind of funny how one of the zombies took a flag from me. We probably circled each other for a good thirty seconds while he kept grabbing for a flag and missing and I kept flailing and trying fruitlessly to get around him. It did not go well. 

That's when it started to rain. 

Worse than that, the rain made everything really slippery. At this point, we hadn't reached any obstacles yet (or as we'd discover later, we wouldn't reach any obstacles ever), but it was still pretty treacherous just running around. Because we were trying to avoid zombies, we were running kind of all over the place and changing directions constantly. Had we just been running on the sidewalk, it wouldn't have been a problem, but sprinting through mud and grass and jerking around was dangerous stuff. At one point, Liz fell directly on her knee, which I'd imagine was less than pleasant (after regrouping at my apartment, she spent a good portion of the evening icing it). I also watched a zombie lunge for Liz and fall over. She yelled "oh, are you alright?" while sprinting away, which was kind of cute and funny (don't worry, he was fine). 

By the time we hit a mile, the rain was pouring down. All the zombies had gone back to the tents, and all of the runners we had passed (all two of them... if that many... because I'm way slow), had walked back the way we came. With no signs, barricades, or volunteers to guide us (with the exception of one fire truck blocking the way), we followed what we thought to be the course. It can't have been the course, though, because we only went roughly 3k rather than 5k. Apparently, we weren't the only ones that were confused by the course, either. Later, when looking at the facebook page (and all the outraged comments), some people talked about the course being a 7k. Others posted about how they had to dangerously cross the river on shaky/slippery rocks because they were led to believe that was part of the course. I'm guessing that that is why the firetruck was there blocking the path. They probably came out to keep people from crossing the river, especially considering that apparently a girl had drowned at that spot not too long ago (according to facebook). The entire course was just such a disorganized mess. Perhaps they had planned on counting the river as their big obstacle for the race but never cleared it with the city? I mean, there weren't any other obstacles (except for a shoddily built wall thing at the very end), so I'm guessing it would have to be? 

Regardless, we took the only route we could find and headed towards the finish line. After the halfway point, we realized that we didn't see any runners from the next wave. In fact, we didn't see anyone else on the course at all. Apparently, shortly after we started, the police officially cancelled the race. I'm not sure if it was because of the storm, because of people getting hurt on the unmarked course, or a mixture of the two. We didn't have far to go to reach the finish line, though, so we figured we might as well see it through. Unfortunately, they had already started deflating the finish line, so we had to run to get there (I realize it was a race, so running shouldn't have been a big deal, but I had given up running completely about halfway through, and the slippery, uneven grass was more dangerous than ever). We actually had to hold it up a little in order to walk under the arch, but we did it!

I couldn't find a picture from this New Girl episode where the guys are holding up the deflated
finish line so that Zooey Deschanel could finish the race, but trust me, it happened.
After finishing victoriously (because we all totally still had flags on our belts - thanks again for the extra flag, Liz!), we went to the tents to claim our prizes... and found that there was absolutely nothing left. Granted, the race had been cancelled due to rain, but we were told that they were completely out of t-shirts, out of medals, and out of beer (which, I didn't want anyway... but it's the principle of the thing). They did have a couple dog tags and rubber bracelets that they dumped into a pile on the ground to let everyone dig for, which Liz was nice enough to grab for us. 

By the time we left, we were furious. With no swag, no organization, no obstacles, and hardly any zombies after the first leg, we had essentially paid to jog (okay, walk) a couple miles in a public park. 

We weren't the only ones who were furious, either. While we were under a bridge changing into some dry clothes before our drive back (again, just like trolls), Liz overhead some policemen complaining about how terribly planned and dangerous this race was. Then, Jeff and Liz spent the ride back reading us the angry comments from the facebook page. According to the comments, we weren't the only ones that left with nothing (even those in the second wave claimed that they had already run out of medals and shirts by the time they had finished). We also weren't the only ones confused by the course (as described above). Luckily, we weren't among the groups that actually got hit or kicked by the zombies. We also were lucky to not be one of the zombies that got hit or kicked by the runners (seriously... people are crazy and get way too competitive). It was so bad that the local news actually got involved to run stories on how awful this race was. Then, after hundreds of angry comments, the company that put on the race posted a public apology and offered refunds and shirts/medals to any dissatisfied runners who e-mailed them... except that the e-mail address they gave didn't work. Then, they claimed to be affiliated with charities that had apparently never heard of them, so they revised their statement to say that they had planned to donate a portion of the profits to the charities. For the next two weeks, things just kept getting uglier. 

Eventually, I started to really feel bad for this company. I honestly couldn't tell if it was a swindler who was trying to get away with a shoddy race and got caught, or a genuine small company that just got in over their heads and didn't know how to make things right. Either way, everyone was so vicious that I wasn't even upset anymore. Now that more time has passed, and they've started making things right, I'm starting to believe that they are the latter. 

About a week after they race, they put out a revised statement and e-mail address that people could contact if they didn't get a shirt or medal (that remember, were supposed to be included in the cost of registration... it wasn't just people being selfish), and it worked. About a week and a half after e-mailing them my address, I actually received my swag in the mail. Seriously, I did not expect that to happen. 

"I Survived The Hoard!"
Also, they decided to give refunds to all of the waves that were cancelled due to the storm (although seriously... the rain cancelling some of the waves really wasn't the problem, in my book - it was the terrible planning, lack of resources, etc.). 

Now that the whole ordeal is over, I'm really glad that the company made good on their promises. I think this has been a valuable learning experience for them, and I hope that they can fix some of their mistakes before their next event. That being said, there is no way I will ever participate in any of their future events. There were just too many inherent issues.  

Have you ever been part of a race or event that just went terribly awry? Do you think this was a scam company trying to save face or a genuine company trying to make right? Aren't medals the best?!

*Some names have been altered to protect the identity of my friends.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dear the Internet,

I appreciate what you are trying to do. In a way, it's kind of nice that you try to send me personalized messages when I'm browsing Facebook or reading articles on Cracked. It is very thoughtful of you to show me advertisements for Modcloth or Etsy, two things I'm obviously interested in, rather than the blanket ads for old lady vitamins and chainsaws that I assume you show to strangers. Sometimes, it feels like you really get me. 

But sometimes, you go too far. 

Where I used to see half priced shoes and websites that sold discount Disney movies, I now see leagues of advertisements for online dating sites (because yes, advertisements are measured in nautical distance now). I used to think that was just a glitch, as these ads were placed directly next to ones for engagement rings (why would anyone need both?), but I'm starting to wonder if this was not more deliberate. Are you trying to show me pictures of engagement rings so that I can start to feel lonely and isolated before basically shoving me into an online dating program? Well, it's not going to work! First off, you are an inanimate object and I am not actually located inside a computer, so shoving is already out of the question. Second, you seem to really underestimate (or maybe overestimate... I haven't decided) how much I care!

"Microwave Cooking for One? That's perfect, because you hate to cook and are single!"

But sure, maybe you wanted to start small. You wanted to see how much abuse and humiliation I could take at your hands before really laying it on. 

Well, good job. You've finally succeeded. I didn't mind when I saw nothing but ads for online dating, but now, I can't read an article without half the page being covered in ads for plus-sized clothing. I've never browsed for, looked at, or bought plus-sized clothing, and yet, here it is all over every webpage I bring up. What? Did you look at the pictures from this blog and/or my facebook, run them through some sort of scanner, and decide that I'm not thin enough for regular clothing stores? Even worse, why do all of your models look so depressed? Is it so I'll relate to them after I get sad that apparently the internet as a whole thinks I'm overweight enough to merit exclusively plus-sized clothing? 

Granted, there is nothing wrong with wearing plus-sized clothing, much like there is nothing wrong with being pregnant. But in both cases, it is insulting to just assume that about someone. 

You used to be cool, Internet. What happened?


Jenny "7 Free Pizzas Isn't Enough" C.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

By day, a mild-mannered Assistant Project Manager...

... by night, a former mild-mannered kickboxing student.

Last spring was rough. I was usually stressed out and on edge. Even when laughing and joking around, the slightest disturbance could send me off the rails. Most unsettling of all, I was always uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable with my coworkers, with my friends, and sitting alone at home. Eventually, I felt uncomfortable in my own skin and at some points with my own name. It was a weird time. After a while, I realized that this wasn't just going to go away on its own. I needed to do something. 

That's when I joined a kickboxing gym. Obvious solution, right?

Rather than talk to anyone or try to work through my issues the usual, healthier, way, I pretty much just decided that kickboxing would fix me up. I thought it would be a good opportunity to relieve my pent up frustration and anger in a safe environment. Granted, it wasn't nearly as cathartic as that scene from Zombieland where they smash up the abandoned gift shop, but since there was no zombie apocalypse in progress at the time, that option just seemed way too cost prohibitive. 

And as weird as it sounds, it totally worked. After the first few classes, I saw a significant improvement in my stress levels and overall happiness. I guess I just needed a suitable outlet. 

A very suitable outlet
I started in the Kickboxing 101 class learning proper stance, basic kicks, and a few easy punches. After a couple weeks, I moved up to the Kickboxing Intensity class where we would run, shadow box, stretch, punch, knee, kick, lift weights, and do some ab work, usually in that order (sometimes with burpees thrown in there for "fun"). 

Kicking was easily my favorite part (even though kicking was my least favorite part of drill team). My legs have always been stronger than my arms (you know, like most people), so it always made me feel so powerful to round-house kick something in the face. Actually, that's not true. It always made me feel so powerful to round-house kick something in the torso-area. Every time I tried kicking the dummy (that we called Bob) in the face, my heel would catch on its shoulder and I'd fall backwards squeeling. My instructor called me a mouse because my voice would get so high.  

With the exception of burpees (ugh, seriously, those are so terrible), shadow-boxing was my least favorite part. While burpees were difficult, shadow-boxing was just awkward and boring. I felt like we were just throwing our fists in random directions (granted, I was probably doing it wrong), and I didn't get anything out of it. Shadow-boxing would have been way more fun if it had been the kid version, where you'd make your shadow fight another person's shadow. Be careful, though, because if you are only looking at your shadow, you might accidentally actually use your non-shadow fist to punch another person's non-shadow face (sorry, Eric). 

High knees are also pretty fun, and proof that my years of dance can actually apply to less girly activities. When the coach showed me the move, he seemed impressed with how quickly I caught on. What I didn't tell him was that it was basically the exact same movement as the running man. Or maybe I did tell him... and maybe he didn't appreciate it. Whatever. 

These are the exact poses made when trying to teach Kirsten how to do the running man years ago.

The best part is that I never felt pressured to spar with my classmates (or even asked, for that matter). I was strictly a no-contact kickboxing enthusiast, and I wanted to keep it that way. Kickboxing was a pretty fun time. 

However, all good things must come to an end, right? You may have noticed my use of the past-tense. Well, since I started drafting this post months ago (yeah, I know I haven't been here in a while... work and my life outside of work have both gotten crazy busy), my kickboxing gym closed its doors for good. 

Don't worry, though, before it closed, Lisa and I decided to get a couple Groupons so that we could continue working out together (I met her at kickboxing, and we made such great workout buddies that we couldn't let that end). Not only did we find a great deal at another kickboxing gym (that I haven't actually checked out yet because I'm terrible about procrastinating), but we also got a voucher for 20 Jazzercise classes (which I may have mentioned before!

Here she is dutifully posing for pictures while trying to not laugh. She's the best.

But seriously, who knew that Jazzercise was still a thing? I went to my first class thinking it would be fun dancing, kind of like Zumba, but then it totally kicked my butt. I'm loving it! I was kind of worried that after kickboxing ended, I'd return to my old funk, but I'm still feeling pretty good. Either I'm in a healthier, happier place than before, or maybe Jazzercise was just the ticket I needed!

And it's got to be safer than kickboxing!

Have you ever found an awesome gym only to have it close down? Did you ever actually make friends in a fitness class? Do you want to guess how many hot pink leotards I bought for my new Jazzercise classes?

Spoiler: it's zero.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Valiant Attempt...

I was having lunch with a friend the other day, when the topic of my new diet came up. We were eating some chicken caesar salad when he asked what I planned to accomplish by going on South Beach. I told him that I wanted to get healthier overall and hopefully lose some weight in the process. I started to tell him about how I went on South Beach about two years ago and lost a crap-ton of weight, when he, being the type to love word-play, jokingly asked, "Oh? Did you find it?"

And yes, yes I had. In fact, that was the problem and my entire reason behind going on it again! Two years ago, right after I graduated from college, I started a new health regimen that involved the South Beach Diet, Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, and my first pass at my Couch-to-5k program. I got addicted to fitness magazines and spent most of my time obsessing over workouts and meal planning... and it totally paid off. Within four months, I lost about 30 pounds, dropped two clothes sizes, and for the first time ever, was able to go into the dressing rooms of Forever 21 without crying (just kidding, I didn't always cry, sometimes I just complained loudly and obnoxiously). More than that, though, I finally felt strong and confident.

After a while, however, I grew complacent and started to fall out of my healthy habits. Where I had grown accustomed to eating some delicious apple salad or baked chicken for dinner, I gradually, then predominantly, started turning back to fast food. Where I had been working out and running nightly, I started playing more video games and going out to movies or bars. Now, over a year and a half later, I've completely undone my progress from before. I've found all the weight I lost.

All thanks to Nancy Drew and the Case of the Missing Cheeseburger

And so, having decided that it was definitely time to act, I started the South Beach Diet again on Monday. When I tried this in February, it only lasted a few days before I thought I was going to die. I had been drinking a lot of soda, so I kind of forgot to eat (like, legitimately forgot - not an eating disorder thing). By the time I realized I was ravenously hungry, I couldn't eat anything comfortably because my stomach was so full of Diet Coke. I was so nauseated and terrified that I quit the program that day. This time, I'm already on day 5 and haven't felt like vomiting even once! Improvement!

I think the big difference is that I'm trying to be more realistic this time around. I know that I'm going to screw up (heck, I already have a couple times thanks to freaking dinner meetings and Thanksgiving potlucks at work), but I keep reminding myself that one mistake doesn't mean I should give up, nor should it be an excuse to splurge too much. I also know that if I never indulge in anything, I'll make myself miserable and end up binging on junk sooner or later. Going in with the mindset that I don't have to be perfect but that I do need to make a valiant effort is proving to be very helpful and has kept me motivated.

In addition to South Beach, I'm planning on really stepping up my game in the activity department. I've signed up for a race in January that I'll start training for here shortly. Also, a friend from my kickboxing class and I both decided to get Groupons for Jazzercise, which I'm pretty pumped about.

Although, I'd really prefer to do Jazz Kwon Do

Now, if I can just start getting up early to run or do yoga before work, I'd be set!

Does anyone else ever feel so hungry they want to vomit? It doesn't make sense to me, but that's how I feel sometimes. Do you have any tips on how I can start getting up earlier that don't involve me going to bed earlier? Anyone have any leotards and leg warmers that I can borrow for Jazzercise?

Friday, November 9, 2012

"I'm majoring in Mechanical Engineering and getting a minor in Robin Hood."

I'll be honest. Over the past month, I have not been keeping up with my fitness regimen. This is due to a number of factors including laziness, injury, Halloween-themed events throughout the month, and a lot of time spent crafting. I made a Daisy Duck Halloween costume for myself and a Jane Jetson one for my friend. They're pretty awesome. Read all about it, here!

But in between stabbing myself with pins, watching horror movies, and carving pumpkins, I did manage to pick up a new hobby, archery!

I used to be so jealous of my friend, Caitlin, who took archery lessons while we were in high school. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. A couple years later, when I was perusing the catalog of available physical education classes I could take to satisfy my kinesiology credits in college, I saw that archery was an option and got super excited. When I told my sister about it, she relayed to me a tale of a former classmate of hers. He had arranged it so that all of his electives were Robin Hood themed (Archery, Fencing, Medieval History, English Folklore, etc.). Whenever someone asked him what he was studying, he would say, "I'm majoring in Mechanical Engineering and getting a minor in Robin Hood."

Anyway, that must have been the best semester of my life, at least from a P.E. standpoint (badminton, speed-walking, and self-defense had nothing on archery). I think one of my favorite parts of that class was that my friend Daniel was taking it at the same time. Because he was left-handed and I was right-handed, sometimes we would shoot back-to-back and pretend we were in a movie. Hannah and I had even planned out what the movie poster would look like - Daniel and I would be shooting arrows from a canoe that was being driven by a crazed looking Chase (who was in a canoeing class at the time), while Josh, the villain, hang-glided in wearing steam punk goggles. In the background, we'd see Hannah drying glasses behind the bar at her saloon. Without realizing it until now, I think we were going for a Wild Wild West feel (also, this reminds me that Hannah and I haven't talked to Daniel, Chase, or Josh in forever... we should get on that).

After that semester ended, I had no idea how to keep up with archery, and I kind of forgot about it intermittently. Every year or so, I would go to one of those sporting goods stores and check out their bows, arrows, targets, and hay bales, but I'm pretty sure my parents would be upset if I started bringing large eye-sores to their house, and apartment complexes usually frown on  openly wielding weapons. Weird, right?

Enter Groupon.

When I least suspected it, there was a Groupon available for archery lessons and range shooting. Hannah and I redeemed the offer only a couple weeks after it expired, which sadly, was earlier than usual!

Not too shabby for my first day!
She didn't change clothes halfway through the outing,
these two pictures were taken on different days.
We had such a blast that we both ended up getting one-year memberships that include equipment! I've already been back a few times. It's very close to my parent's house, which is across town from my apartment, so sometimes I'll go shoot until my fingers hurt then spend the afternoon with my family.

Have you ever done archery? Has Groupon come through for you like that? What kinds of movie posters or album covers did you and your friends pretend to be a part of?

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Great Taco Run

After two months of arduous training (you know, a few trips out jogging each week), it was finally time for the highly anticipated Great Taco Run. I was very excited about this race, because while I am usually kind of nervous before races, I actually felt prepared this time. Thanks to my somewhat success two weeks earlier at the Tour des Fleurs and the fact that for the first time ever I actually made it to week 8 in my Couch-to-5k program, I was actually pretty confident and hopeful about how this race would turn out.

I prepped the night before by eating a bunch of tacos with my family (because it is called the Great Taco Run). Once I got home after dinner, I laid out my clothes for the next morning, along with all of the crap I'd need to bring with me (purse, race bib, granola bar, etc.), and actually got into bed pretty early. I tossed and turned for a long while before starting to finally drift off to sleep...

... and was shaken awake by an earthquake.

I'd never felt an earthquake before, so I was naturally very startled. It was all the more unsettling because I had been in that weird pre-sleep stage where I wasn't sure what had happened and thought I might be either under attack or insane (until I felt the after-shock, that is). But after that ordeal, it took me forever to fall asleep again.

As it turned out, the lack of sleep wasn't going to be my biggest problem during the race. The rain that morning proved to be a much bigger impediment. As Hannah, Jeff, Liz and I headed to the race, there were only a few sprinkles, but by the time we finished the 5k and were heading towards the post-race taco frenzy, it was raining much harder. It never poured down, but we were soaked through regardless. The rain itself didn't really bother me until my socks started to get wet - I cannot stand it when my feet get wet, except in very controlled situations (showers and swimming pools).

Unfortunately, the rain had slowed us down enough that by the time we made it to the post-race taco frenzy, they were almost entirely out of tacos. With only one booth still serving (that had a huge line and was just Taco Bueno) and both Hannah and I shivering because of how cold we were, we decided to leave and get a celebratory brunch. In keeping with the spirit of things, I ordered breakfast tacos.

Race time - 46:52

Because it was raining, I decided to leave my phone/camera in the car.
Instead, I thought I'd just steal this blurry picture off the internet of
two of the participants who were there dressed as tacos.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's not you, it's me.

Dear Dr. Pepper and Coca-Cola Companies,

I regret to inform you of a decision that has recently been made that may affect your revenue and bottom-line projections for the foreseeable future. Despite being an avid supporter and frequent customer of your diet beverages for the past fourteen years (and of your non-diet beverages for years before that), I have decided to go a different direction with my life, or at least, the beverage drinking aspects of my life.

It's not you, it's me. I hope you believe me when I say that I have the utmost respect for you and what you offer to the public. Long have I defended you against the slanderous cries of naysayers on health-themed witch hunts. Long have I refused to put stock in the rumors perpetrated against that sweet sweet aspartame.

More than once have I turned towards your products in a time of need looking for comfort and consolation, and they did not disappoint. You've always been there for me, but I'm afraid that I can't be there for you anymore.

The simple truth of the matter is that I just love your sodas too much. I can't get enough of them. To quote Singin' in the Rain, if I may, "All I do is dream of you the whole night through. With the dawn, I still go on dreaming of you. You're every thought, you're everything, you're every song I ever sing. Summer, Winter, Autumn, and Spring."

I love them so much that it hurts. Sometimes literally, sometimes not. Sometimes to the point where I get frequent headaches - either from not drinking any water and being dehydrated or from going a day without soda and suffering from caffeine withdrawal. Other times, just so far as to make any excuse to get myself a soda - usually resulting in me buying fast food meals that I don't particularly want just because I didn't have any sodas at home.

I've grown dependent on those cans and bottles and have finally realized that that's an unhealthy relationship to be in.

And so, after much deliberation and soul-searching, I think it would be best for me to cut my ties completely.

Someday, maybe, I'll be able to reintroduce your delicious beverages into my life again without going overboard, but for the time being, I think it's safest if I kept my distance.

I'll miss you.



P.S. Don't worry, in all likelihood, I'll be back soon.

Do you have any not-actually-that-terrible vices that you're trying to give up? Have you questioned why Dr. Pepper and Coca-Cola would read a letter together? Is there any situation in life to which Singin' in the Rain doesn't pertain?

And for your entertainment, the youtube clip of the aforementioned song from Singin' in the Rain.