27 August 2009

A Terrifying Temporary Career Change

One night, for just a few hours, I was a bartender. It's actually more accurate to say "I spent a few hours behind a bar last Thursday." What I was doing was less like "tending" and more like "apologizing" and "wasting beer."

The ordeal was an event - a fundraiser for Mariana and I. Running buddy La'Trisha was there too, but after deciding not to run the race, she was working for fun. It was a simple enough task: make drinks for a few hours. Having spent plenty of time in bars, I felt prepared. Still, we went to the bar early for a crash course in policies and procedures. Real Bartender Casey showed us how to pour beer, mix drinks, take food orders and keep tabs. The lesson probably took 20 minutes and when we (I) said we had gotten everything, we were lying. We took a walk before our shift and shared a bottle of wine. You know, for courage.

We got to ease into life behind the bar. We started on the proper side (the side on which I belong) talking to friends while Owner Keith tended to everyone who was already there. There was little demand when we got back there, which was perfect because everything took four times as long as it should have. I couldn't find the bottled beer I wanted. I thought I forgot how to use a bottle opener. I couldn't remember the specials. I couldn't remember the price jump from that shelf to the next one. I was slow and confused. And unfortunately it was not just in my head. It was as plain as the gin I poured into the vodka tonics.

"Have you ever bar tended before?"
"Wow. You can't pour beer for $h!%."
"You do have another job right?"


I didn't give anyone straws in their drinks. Customers were telling me where to find the alcohol. Others instructed me and cheered when I poured my first proper pint. There was an instance when we had too many credit cards and not enough open tabs. To call it a mess would be to sugarcoat.

And then it was over. We made more than $300 in tips and Owner Keith told us to entertain our friends, which I found to be the best part. It's been a really long time since we just sat with friends in a bar. I mean we've been to bars since moving here, but that was back when we were new and before the height of our money preservation. We've now found people with whom we're comfortable. And we're again allowing ourselves to be social. After bar tending, I promised to put more effort into just being around people I enjoy. It's a valuable lesson. And if I takes a little humiliation behind the bar to learn it, I'm game.





Reminder: I'm running in the Nike Women's Marathon as a fundraiser to fight Leukemia & Lymphoma. Please support me by donating here. The donation deadline is October 1st.

Thank you!

22 August 2009

Ten Miles? Check!

This girl - or rather an older, wiser, fitter, version of this girl - ran ten miles this weekend. I know. I too needed a moment to fully absorb that but I promise it happened. I can't say it was intentional, but it wasn't quite accidental either. I ran because I had no choice.

The goal for the day had been to run eight. I visualized that during my pre-run ritual. I tried to conjure my sense of accomplishment as I forced myself to drink water (very difficult for me in the mornings), ate my wheat toast, and drank a cup of coffee. I tried to form a time-improvement strategy as I holstered my water bottles and checked my electrolyte arsenal. I arrived at the run without pains, aches, or hesitation. And then came the largest jump of the season.

I had run six miles for three or for consecutive weeks. I'd run seven miles for the last two. And while the schedule told me we were to do 9 - 11, I really thought I could get away with eight. I mean the race is still seven weeks away. But apparently it's time to get serious. The options Saturday morning were 10, 14 and 16. Naturally, I went with my best option for survival. And I ran ten miles.

We ran underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, down to Baker Beach and over to Ocean Beach. It was cold, misty, and the kind of gray that marries the ocean to the sky. We ran to Lands End, along the Ocean, through some woods and onto a trail. And just like that, I was a trail-runner. I'm not sure if I'm a fan - there are a lot of things to avoid and I got a lot of sand in my sneakers. There was a set of built / carved stairs that we couldn't run but that were an endurance challenge all by themselves. There were high, natural walls and low, jagged rocks. It was an adventure. And I ran through it all.

I treated myself to two gummy sharks at a rest stop. I got a cramp less than a mile away and swore off that stuff for good. I stuck to my shot block & Gatorade regimen. I kept my breathing steady and my stride short. I felt good until right about the time I realized I only had a mile to go. Suddenly everything hurt. I had a shin split. My thighs were on fire. There was an itch on the side of the big toe of my right foot. I was just tired. And I still had one hill to go.

The ten miles took me 2:16. I ran 95% of the way, walking up/down the stairs and up part of that hill pictured above. It's remarkable, even if I have to say so myself. I was still standing when it was over, and the idea of eating almost made me sick to my stomach. I followed the nutritionist's advice though, and ate just a banana and pretzels (to replace potassium & sodium lost in sweat) and went home. I never got stiff and was barely sore on Sunday. I don't know if it'll be easy to duplicate my success. But I plan to ride this wave for at least a week.

Reminder: I'm running in the Nike Women's Marathon as a fundraiser to fight Leukemia & Lymphoma. Please support me by donating here. The donation deadline is October 1st.

Thank you!

17 August 2009

Boys Ruin Football

I could have titled this "The 49ers Game That Never Was," but I firmly believe men are responsible for my extreme disappointment Friday night.

Someone handed me these two tickets to the preseason game between the 49ers and the Broncos. She had won them in a drawing at work, only to find her husband didn't want to go. That woman then gave the tickets to another woman, who did not win the drawing. Woman #2 returned the tickets to woman #1, because her husband didn't want to go to the game. Woman #1 then brought them to me, and I gleefully accepted - but called Jesse just to be sure.

I called him at least five times between 4 & 5PM Friday and he didn't answer. I saw 5PM as a point of committal. I mean there were few people around after that to take the tickets in the (what I thought to be highly) unlikely event Jesse didn't want to go.

He didn't want to go.

He had valid reasons - I was scheduled to get out work minutes before kickoff. Candlestick Park isn't close to where we live and we'd have to work out a way to get there. And by all calculations, the trip would take an hour. I knew all of that, but I was still excited. I was still about to see the 49ers play at home - which I've never done. To me, it seemed fated. Two silly husbands had brought these tickets to me. I told Jesse to grab the car (to cut our travel time in half) and meet me right after work.

He was there and away we went. We were at the stadium by 7:26. We pulled into a parking lot, and were about to be directed to the last available spot when everything fell apart.

It costs $30 to park at Candlestick, and they only take cash. Neither of us has stopped at an ATM. Our mission had been to just get to the game. We left our cozy lot in search of a main parking area that might have had an ATM. I was even willing to suck up $6 fees. Jsse suggested we just go home and my little heart was broken.

Again he had valid reasons. It's preseason football. Jesse says the players don't put forth a lot of effort because they don't want to get hurt. We didn't need to spend $30 to park, plus whatever we were going to eat once we were inside. The only "good" part of a preseason game is the start, which we had already missed. We would have to stay to the end, to get our money's worth and then we'd have to leave with the thousands of other people who were bound to do the same. Also, he doesn't care about football, or the 49ers, or the Broncos, and that he was just going with me.

I told him I had never been to a preseason game and that I had been excited to go and that I wanted to try harder to go since we were already there. But I agreed to go home. Even if we had gone inside and even if everything that followed was perfect, I'd still feel like he didn't want to be there. And if we had gone inside and anything had gone wrong, it would have been the end of any truce.

So we went home and I was bummed. I thought we were in for an awesome impromptu night. Instead, we had lost a great parking spot and started the weekend arguing. But - similar to last weekend - my frown was quickly turned upside down. We found an even better parking spot without even looking. It just appeared we got close to our place. And when I got home, I found a lovely flower waiting for me. After that it was all smiles.

Reminder: I'm running in the Nike Women's Marathon as a fundraiser to fight Leukemia & Lymphoma. Please support me by donating here.

Thank you!

15 August 2009

Retrieving Henry

What gets towed must be repaired and driven home.

I called Cammisa Motorcars Monday to ask what was plaguing my little car. The guy in the service department asked me if mine was the one with the vanity plates that (at the time) was running like crap. I told him indeed it was. While that may not read as an overly friendly exchange, indeed it was. I like a happy mechanic. Happy people in the service department put me at ease, and leave me less wary of being bilked. Of course, that could be their ploy. In which case I'm what one might call a "goner."

Happy Mechanic Man told me I had a faulty ignition coil, and that it would be a free repair under the (ever impressive) Hyundai warranty. Naturally the part wasn't there and had to be ordered. But I was in no rush. No car means no parking worries. And no repaired car means no figuring out how to get to Burlingame to get it. I worked a different schedule this week (one that allowed wine on a Sunday evening) and I was looking for a complication - free Monday. That turned out to be great. But Tuesday was a mess.

I guess it worked out for the best, but my schedule was changed at the very last minute Tuesday. In fact, I would say it was after the last minute since I was already at work when it happened. My morning became open and I hadn't been prepared for the extra time. You might remember I fall to pieces when a plan goes wrong. I had planned to be at work Tuesday morning. And when I wasn't, I was nearly frantic thinking of a new plan. Thank goodness my car had been towed.

Happy Mechanic Man called to tell me Henry was ready. I then set out on an adventure to retrieve him. I first took a bus to the Caltrain Station, where I bought a one way ticket to Burlingame. It seemed very strange to me - a trip to Burlingame at 12:30 on a weekday afternoon. But no one else seemed to agree. I think the man who sold me my ticket found my co-conspiratorial smiling annoying. He did not smile back.

There weren't a lot of people at the train station, and the whole thing felt very Sunday-afternoon-ish, except I had no book to read. The ride was idyllic. It was a sunny day and the tracks are bordered by trees and shrubs to reduce neighborhood noise. The seats faced each other and since no one sat across from me (the girl eating broccoli & garlic humus), it seemed like a real trip. But that was over in about 20 minutes. After that, I walked another 20 minutes to the dealership. There I found Henry running and clean.

The maintenance was free and (thanks to some extra something or other) so was a new wiper I needed. My car was towed, repaired, washed, and outfitted with a new wiper blade. And all it cost me was $6.25 in transportation costs. Fantastic. Viva Hyundai. I enjoyed my drive back to San Francisco, found a place to park immediately, and made it back to work on time. Success.



Reminder: I'm running in the Nike Women's Marathon as a fundraiser to fight Leukemia & Lymphoma. Please support me by donating here.

Thank you!

14 August 2009

One for The Books (v)

Saturday (finally) ended as a success. I did my pool thing and Coach Becca, Jesse and I went to Skipolini's for pizza, garlic bread, and Pepsi. I don't know the last time I had pizza & Pepsi at the same time. And after having rekindled my taste buds, I don't know why I would ever again have one without the other. It takes me back to the days of my childhood (obesity). Delicious.

Jesse and I spent Saturday night at home, avoiding calamities. He watched the 1980 classic Altered States and I remembered how much I love a good story. Those two statements are not related. I by no means want you to think I enjoyed Jesse's movie. I absolutely do not recommend it. I was reading while he watched, ensconced in "Wicked: The Life & Times of the Wicked Witch of the West." I had had the book for three weeks and hadn't touched it. It was due Sunday, and like for book reports due in high school, I started reading the day before.

It's a great story, full of religious and political lessons. Naturally I found myself comparing it to the musical. I kept thinking I knew what was going to happen and I found myself almost rushing to get there. The musical ties everything together nicely. The book paints a less rosy picture. Still, it's a good tale and I have the sequel (and a $.10) bill waiting for me at the library. I'm just not as "good" as I used to be.

I read all morning Sunday and we went to Mariana & Ajit's housewarming Sunday afternoon. I would like to note Mariana is the one who had the idea to run the half marathon. So all failures and successes are to be left at her doorstep. Thanks.

We had a fabulous time at their super-fabulous apartment. We ate empanadas, drank wine, had sausages from the Rosamunde Sausage Grill, and ate a cheesecake. Mariana also prepared a salad, and Jesse made the dressing. We also made a new lawyer friend named Noel. It was all quite lovely and domestic. And very grown up - before the wine kicked in and we got a little silly. It made me excited for Jesse and I to have our own dinner parties. Of course that won't be until after we start decorating. But we've only been here a year right? We have time.



Reminder: I'm running in the Nike Women's Marathon as a fundraiser to fight Leukemia & Lymphoma. Please support me by donating here. Thank you!

13 August 2009

One for The Books (iv)

I sent my parents the picture of my bloody bandage and told them it was quite possible I was about to drown. I mean I didn't really think I was going to drown, but I certainly did not expect to have an uneventful lesson. Not using my pinky slowed me. We were more than a half hour later meeting Coach Becca. Then - and please do not be surprised - the pool was not available. There was a swim meet. Jesse and I were 45 minutes and $18 from home with a coach and no pool. And it was hot. It was a perfect day to swim. It was about 2PM and I wanted to cry. I wanted to give up and let someone else try to control the day. Certainly it was beyond me. I had done the best I could, all things considered. I sat in the car with my sweaty back and throbbing finger and had nothing positive to offer. Thank goodness for Coach Becca.

She took us to another pool and along the way we got to drive with the top down. It was very "California." We cruised the San Francisco suburbs, taking in the sunshine and trees and (at least for me) appreciating the reprieve from the crowds that surround us everywhere else. It was a great reminder to relax and I needed it. It softened the blow when we found pool #2 was also hosting a meet. Apparently a lot of summer leagues end in August. And that's prime time for swimmers to show their skills.

We did end up having the lesson - about two hours later than anticipated - at Coach Becca's brother's pool. It was large enough to have a deep end, but small enough that everyone there knew I was there to learn to swim. Part of me wanted to stop and explain to them that I had never had the opportunity to learn, that it wasn't that I had failed, just that the right moment (and the right teacher) had not arrived until now. I wanted everyone there to know I have accomplished some great things, just not swimming. But that would have made me insane. So I went along with the lesson.

It went well. Breathing is still a foreign concept. I can move my arms and kick. Or I can breathe and move my arms. But any combination involving both breathing and kicking sends me to the bottom of the pool. I managed to do it all once over the weekend, and truth be told, I don't know how I did it. Coach Becca insists I over think, and that I have to just go with what feels natural. She's such a swimmer.

The grand finale on Saturday was for me to get into the deep end of the pool. It must be noted that "deep" is anything deeper than 5'. That's about as high as my nose, and therefore worthy of a red flag. This particular deep end was 6' and I was not excited to delve into its depths. I crossed my arms, stood out of arms' (and pool's) reach and told Coach Becca we were moving too fast. She made me come closer, promising she was not going to push me in. I scowled, but I did it. She talked me into the pool and had me hanging on with just one arm. I thought I was going to vomit. My stomach was tight and I swear I couldn't take a deep breath to save my life. And considering I might have needed a deep breath to in fact save my life, I think I started to sweat.

My assignment was a simple streamline kick across half the pool. Starting in the deep end meant I'd be able to stand up as soon as I was done. That was incentive. Having everyone stop staring at me was also incentive. I mustered my deepest breath, got off to a terrible start, and made it more than halfway. When my head popped out, Coach Becca and a little old lady were cheering. And I would have cried, if I had caught my breath.

Reminder: I'm running in the Nike Women's Marathon as a fundraiser to fight Leukemia & Lymphoma. Please support me by donating here.

Thank you!

12 August 2009

One for The Books (iii)

By 10AM Saturday morning, I had not run the mileage I had hoped. I had not even easily completed the mileage I had run several times before. I had developed an issue with my car, and snapped at my boyfriend. I tried to start the day again. Jesse and I ran errands, buying a mug and a mop in Chinatown. We walked through some alleys, navigated around some tourists and saw some nice buildings I know I had never noticed. It was a nice day, I was happy again.

I decided to make a burger and fries for lunch - before my Saturday afternoon swim lesson. I took out a potato and a patty. While knives and cutting boards were at my disposal, I decided to use the mandolin. It's the same as the one pictured. Jesse bought it for me years ago for my birthday and I rarely use it. On Saturday I pulled it down off the shelf. I applied the safety grip to the potato. I started to slice, but I didn't have the leverage I wanted, so I held the potato.

I slid, the potato sliced. I slid again and again and then I cut off a little too much.

I lost a bit of finger, and a but of finger nail. I ran cold water on it. Jesse applied two band aids, and I bled through them both. He told me to keep the wound above my heart. I tried, but I did have to finish cooking. My finger was throbbing, but my food was delicious. I decided to redress the wound before my swim. Then Jesse suggested I might not be able to hang out in the pool, bleeding as I was. And I just looked at him. I couldn't take the idea of being denied another chance for a successful Saturday. He suggested I call Coach Becca. I refused. He kept pushing, and I did call, but she was busy and didn't answer. I redressed the wound, added a lot of medical tape, and we hit the road, via BART.

Reminder: I'm running in the Nike Women's Marathon as a fundraiser to fight Leukemia & Lymphoma. Please support me by donating here

Thank you!

11 August 2009

One for The Books (ii)

There's probably very little like finishing a disappointing run and realizing you still have that problem that kept you from your goal in the first place. That's how I felt when Charlene and I got back to the car Saturday morning. I started Henry again. The "check engine" light was still blinking. He was still shuddering. I did what I am trained to do - what my father instructed me to do when he gave me the keys to my first Hyundai (Epe) back in 2002 - I called Roadside Assistance.

Roadside Assistance is worth whatever part of my car payment goes toward it. When I call, I get a person. That person makes sure I'm safe. Together we discuss what I need, and that person makes it happen. I called, a tow truck was arranged. I went home. I told Jesse what had happened.

That turned out to be the incorrect course of action.

Jesse insisted we go back and check fluids. I said I saw no point in doing that, when I was getting a tow to the dealership anyway. By then he had jumped out of bed, brushed his teeth, and gotten dressed. I told him I was going to make pancakes, but that I needed to shower and that I only had 30 minutes before the truck arrived. I told him Roadside Assistance was already on the case. He grabbed his keys and his phone and back to the car we went.

He checked the fluids. He had me start the car. He had me rev the engine. He did not let me take pictures of him for Twitter. He then came to the conclusion that something was not right.

I told him his powers of deduction had done nothing more than cost him some pancakes.

He said he just didn't want me paying for a tow if it wasn't really necessary.

I told him a tow arranged by roadside assistance is free. And that my car is still under warranty, so the repairs should also be free. I explained I had no intention of paying for anything to be fixed and that we were running out of time before the tow truck arrived and that I still needed to shower.

I was annoyed and I should not have been. I should be pleased Jesse took the time to see what was wrong. He jumped out of bed with an "S" on his chest to see if he could fix the problem before it escalated. I'm sure that's the premise under which he was acting. At the time though, I saw it as an insult. As if he didn't think I could determine there was a problem and decide the simplest way to fix it. I saw it as "let me go see what you've done, and if I need to undo it." So I was defensive, while Jesse was trying to be my hero. And there you have the nature of our relationship.

I showered. The tow truck driver called. I called the dealership. I was told the service department would be closed until Monday. Jesse and I greeted the tow man. He hoisted Henry and took him to Burlingame. I went back home to salvage the rest of the day. That turned out to be painfully difficult.

Reminder: I'm running in the Nike Women's Marathon as a fundraiser to fight Leukemia & Lymphoma. Please support me by donating here.

Thank you!

10 August 2009

One for The Books (i)

If there was ever a weekend ripe with the potential for disaster, this past weekend was it. Fortunately it turned out to be what we call "great California" weekend instead.

It started simply enough - with me heading to Ocean Beach to run eight miles. I was excited about my first venture above six. I had my running shoes, my running belt, my new goo, and a few butterflies in my stomach. I thought I was excited. It turns out it was the apprehension I usually can't explain just before something goes wrong.

I started my car, edged out out my parking spot, and could not help but notice my "check engine" light was blinking. I may have said this before, but the "check engine" light has to be dumbest indication of trouble in history. One (in this case: I) can not just check the engine. First of all, I wouldn't know if anything were misaligned or broken - I don't check the engine when all is well. How would I be able to determine if aught were amiss? Secondly, the "check engine" light doesn't indicate how many miles one might have before the car (in this case Henry) might stop. There's also no way to know if driving will make the problem worse, or if it might shake something in place and cure the whole malady. No. Telling me to check the engine does nothing but make me angry at the futility of a "check engine" light. There's no troubleshooting. Why bother?

I digress.

My light was blinking and I tried the "drive and shake something back into place" method. I went around the corner to pick up running - buddy Charlene. She suggested we check the manual (which we did) and that we not try to get to Ocean Beach (which we didn't). I parked Henry right where he had been and hope for the groundbreaking, eight mile run disappeared. San Francisco is only seven miles wide. I could design an eight mile course if I tried, but not off the top of my head. The best I could do was seven. And Charlene and I ran to Sports Basement. We set out to do a seven mile run, but I think we only did... six.

I've learned to listen to my body. Every four weeks, my body tells me there are things it cannot do. I used to think my body was saying "here is what I will not do" and I set out to overpower that with determination. But my body is clear - there are things it can not do. Even if it's been done before - even if it ought to be easy - there are things that cannot be done on certain days. On Saturday, running uphill was one of those things. I just didn't have it in me, and we walked more than we should have. But the conversation was good.

Reminder: I'm running in the Nike Women's Marathon as a fundraiser to fight Leukemia & Lymphoma. Please support me by donating here Thank you!

06 August 2009

Just Doesn't Seem Right

I gave blood today. A bloodmobile was set up outside my job, and all I had to do was show up with my ID. The actual process was a lot more intensive - my blood pressure was high (annoying) and my blood required extra coaxing to leave my body (painful) - but I did it. When it was done, I ate my cookies, waited my state-required 15 minutes, and got my reward: a coupon for a pint of ice cream from Baskin Robbins.



Naturally I skimmed to the bottom to find the restrictions, and almost missed that second line. Apparently I only get 12 ounces. That to me seems to contradict the whole "pint for a pint" thing. I mean I did my part; I gave a pint of blood. Then (once my services were rendered) Baskin Robbins reneged on its part of the deal. I couldn't very well take four ounces of my blood back. And who would that punish? Certainly not the person who made the decision to give me 12 ounces of ice cream for my 16 ounces of blood. My only recourse is this: telling the world.



So.



Dear Baskin Robbins:

I donated blood today, for several altruistic reasons. I was pleased to see you were offering the "Pint for a Pint" incentive. You've been on my mind lately, because I really enjoy your "Ice Cream & Cake" commercial. It reminds me of my youth, which was filled with lots of ice cream cakes. But Baskin Robbins, you didn't quite deliver. I understand a pint to be 16 ounces. And a pint of blood can save three lives. I know four ounces per Californian will cost you a lot of money, but you've already committed to 12 per, so I don't think that should be part of your reasoning. Personally, I'm trying to lose weight. So I do not NEED another four ounces of ice cream. Still, it was promised. And I would share it. Please explain why Californians have to do without our entire treat.


Please support me as I raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (and train for a half marathon) by donating here: http://tr.im/n6F7

~ Danie D.

Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

01 August 2009

6.2 And Some Goo

I have a new fear and it's been realized. This morning's run started on a hill. Immediately my body tensed. I felt it in my neck, in my shoulders, and in my chest. When all of those things are tight, the legs don't really matter. I mean I typically start at a slower pace anyway, but this morning it was impossible for me to keep up with anyone. I'd like to blame the cold, or the fact that we hadn't stretched, or the extra weight of my keys, shot blocks, and goo. But the reality is I just couldn't do it.

We were back in Sausalito this morning. Once we ran *up, we ran *down for probably a mile. It gave me a great view of the bay, and an opportunity to wonder how I was going to get back to the top. There were no immediate answers, so I kept running.

I get passed a lot going downhill. I make it a point to keep my pace. It helps me remember I have to be prepared for the road ahead. Maintaining a slower pace downhill also helps me (or so I'm convinced) regulate my breathing. By the time I hit flat ground, I'm ready to pick it up. A little.

Today I started slowing down after about 2.75 miles. I wasn't feeling weak, or sore. I was just tired. And just as I wished for some energy, I remembered my goo. It was actually a green apple flavored gel, infused with sodium and caffeine - the things a runner needs while running. I got it as a sample last week and was excited to try it. I pulled back the top.

I slurped.

I gagged.

I can't tell you what I was expecting. I don't think I gave it any thought as I opened it. I wanted what it promised and I didn't question the means. The gagging messed up my breathing, which quickly translated to leaden legs. Of course it's for one use only, so after realizing I didn't want the gel, I had no way of closing it. Also - nowhere to toss it and no water with which to dilute it. So I finished it. It sat in my throat like meringue. Only not delicious. And the packet made my hand ridiculously sticky. I put it back in my pocket (which was then stuck shut) and tried to get back on track. I was also trying to conjure saliva. In the end, I had to walk a little. I needed composure.

The gel did deliver and I barely noticed the following mile. I think the only thing that brought me to reality was a sneaky, curving incline that told me I was a giant hill away from the finish. I made it, but it wasn't pretty. There was a time I thought I could walk faster than I could run. That was not true. Walking just made the legs feel heavier and the time tick slower. So I jogged along.

I learned a lot of lessons today.

1) It's important to train with treats. I would have felt a lot worse - and gone a lot slower - without the gel and the shot block I had before the hill. Also, they add weight. I noticed that today and would not want to be surprised with that on race day. I'm going to get a utility belt. There wasn't any water today and I really could have used some. Whatever I need on race day, I'll bring.

2) I have shin splints. It turns out they can be on the *side of the leg, as well as in the front. I had started to worry about the all important IT band, but when I showed the coach my sore spot, he confirmed it was the shin. That was welcomed news, as shins can be strengthened.

3) I can use the sweat from my face to wash my hands. Gross? Yes. But necessary after the gel incident.

Next week we "re commit," meaning we promise to raise our funds, or pay them. To me, it also means we're ready for the 2nd half of our training. We're about to go further and do more (hills) than before. Thanks to the support I've received, I'm ready to do both. I'm less than $1,000 from my fund raising goal, and less that $500 from my agreed minimum. I am totally going to do this! Thanks.

Please support me as I raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (and train for a half marathon) by donating here: http://tr.im/n6F7

~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry