THIS makes me so happy.
Archives for August 2005
August 2005 Archive
I have to tell you what we did on Sunday. I had declared it a Pajama Day, which really only means that I accept no invitations and make no plans. Since I don’t think I even own pajamas, it’s only a pajama day in Celia-spirit. I’ve started to block these off once a month in my calendar, and so far I’ve had two of ’em. They’re fantastic.
So we slept in. Nowhere to go! Didn’t have to get up at 3:30am to go run a half-marathon! It was great!
Then we got up and took the drive down the coast that we’ve been meaning to make for, like, forever. First we took the dogs to Fort Funston. I couldn’t believe that Lala had lived in the Bay Area for so long with dogs, and had never been there. It’s one of the only places in San Francisco that dogs can still be off-leash, but that was just a small part of the fun.
Dude. The hang-gliders. I’ve seen ’em before, but I’d forgotten just how awe-inspiring they are. And Lala had never seen them, hanging over the ocean, over the cliffs. The thing about Fort Funston is that they’re RIGHT over you. You look directly at the people who look like they’re going to fall out of the sky at any moment. Great photo HERE and more HERE. And there’s a webcam here, but it’s the middle of the night right now, and I can’t tell whether it’s any good or not.
I remember a few years back, when Bethany and I walked the Avon 3-Day Walk for breast cancer, we were routed through Fort Funston. All during the walk, people driving by had honked for us, keeping our feet moving on the 20 miles-per-day. When we were walking at the fort, the hang-gliders cheered and clapped from above us. I remember loving that.
This time, we engaged with a hang-glider even more closely. One soared down quite close to us as we walked along the cliff-edge, and I waved at him. Then he turned around and soared back and hovered above us, looking down. I grabbed Lala and made her turn around and look.
Which is when he dove straight down at us. Straight. Down. It’s a mostly silent sport, but there’s this loud wind-whistle as the glider hurtles right at your head. PhoooooooooOOOOOOO. I saw him grin at us, I swear I did. I might be making the grin up, placing it in my memory, but I don’t think so.
We didn’t move, obviously knowing that he wasn’t going to commit suicide by crash landing on our heads. It was like a really fun reverse roller-coaster, being freaked out by standing on the land, not moving.
Lala was SO excited by the hang gliders. Miss Idaho and Harriet ran in big loops with huge eyes and happy grins, and so did Lala.
And then it was my turn:
Because Fengari, the beautiful little yarn store in Half-Moon Bay, was having a sidewalk sale.
Now, did you ever? Yarn! Sidwalk sale! And you won’t believe me, I know, when I tell you that I didn’t buy anything. Well, not from the sidewalk, anway. There might have been a sock yarn incident on the inside, but we’re not talking about that.
Then we had olallieberry pie at Duarte’s and looked at the fog rolling in as we drove back up the coast.
Then we came home and the dogs were STILL this happy:
A good day was had by all. Pajama Days rock.
I saw the cardiologist today. It was a good visit. He was nice. He spent lots of time with me, and answered all my questions, and gave me an EKG (which was totally interesting — I felt as if a six-year old were putting stickers all over me) and then said I HAVE TO LOSE WEIGHT.
And can I tell ya? For a girl who likes her weight, who really believes she was okay with exactly what she looks like, to have a man tell you that, while his eyes go up and down you, feels kinda crappy.
His eyes went from the weight listed on the chart to my body, and then back down again. Then up to my chest. Then back to the number again. Then over to my shoulders. I am NOT making this up, I swear to god.
And then he wouldn’t let the "what do you eat" thing go. Dude. C’mon. I only eat veggies. And brown rice. Don’t I look like that kind of person? Shut up. I like tofu. I like green things. I would never think about chowing down on some nice, crisp bacon with fluffly cheesy eggs on the side (typo = dies. Wow).
Then I started telling more of the truth. Okay, sometimes I eat Taco Bell. Every once in a great while, maybe a cheeseburger. Or two. Maybe some Mexican food when I’m at work. Or every other night.
He kept raising his eyebrows as I upped the ante. It was embarrassing to see him not believe me (and before you defend me, he was right to not believe me). Okay, some cookies sometimes. Maybe some "healthy" chips? Maybe a little ice cream. He nodded. Maybe some more ice cream. He nodded again. Maybe a shitload of ice cream with lots of hot fudge and brownies, to boot. And some MORE hot fudge! And whipped cream!! Get outta my way!
Snap! The folder closed, and he explained that the fat in my body, while not at the obese level, is still chemically reacting with and against the triglycerides that I have to lower. So he says I need to run more. (Gasp!) And eat better. Period.
And he did say I was right in not going on the meds my silly primary care doctor badly prescribed — he’d rather me manage the triglycerides with diet and exercise if at all possible, which he thinks it is, since I’m young and have no terrible habits (he doesn’t know about the yarn stash), and since the meds can sometimes damage the liver.
More veggies! Less sugar and fat (even fruit is too sugary, he says). Lala, who likes her some girl-shaped girls, is devastated and might just kick his ass. My little trained pugilist.
But I’ll just try to be healthier, which will be easier thanks in no small part to your fabulous suggestions of earlier this month, and I’ll try not to rankle at a stranger telling me to LOSE WEIGHT (yes, all caps is SO necessary).
Yesterday, as I was signing the UPS log, the UPS guy leaned over and touched my big toe. And said, "Nice."
Strangers don’t touch strangers, dude. He wasn’t freaky; he seemed very nice. I don’t mean to, or even think I should, make a complaint. Apparently he must appreciate chipped sparkly polish.
But it was weird.
(But the reason he was there was fabulous: I was receiving a box of Penzey’s spices from Gwen, who sent them in response to my plea for vegetable recipe ideas. I’m so excited! Now I have to read their catalog and figure out how to use them, but hey, one of the spice mixtures even has chipotle in it! And there’s this shallot-pepper mix that looks so good, and a bunch of others! I’m spoiled and happy and learning how to cook!)
(Aside numero dos: Although I am cooking way more nowadays, I’m still pretty flippin’ clueless. I decided to attempt bhindi masala the other night, a crunchy, spicy, Indian okra dish. It called for chopped green chilies. I wasn’t sure how many to chop, so I sliced up half the basket, maybe about forty of them. I thought they were like little green bell peppers. When sauteing them, I noticed I couldn’t breathe, all-of-a-sudden-like, and had to open the windows and turn on the fan. Then I ate some of the okra with some rice, and thought it was mighty hot. And then my mouth heated up more. And more. And more. I thought I might never eat again. I didn’t even bother with ice water or milk, I just licked the ice cube trays in an attempt to cool off my mouth. Finally I referred to the recipe, where I found that I should have chopped TWO green chilies. Damn it.)
Yesterday, a couple of knit dorks met up for coffee.
Yes, Stephanie was in town and I hijacked her for a little while prior to her stunning speaking engagement at Stash. I hear that earlier in the day she had tripped and fallen into Artfibers where perhaps she bought some yarn and perhaps she did not. That’s what happens when you trip and fall and swipe your Mastercard through the machine on your way down. Or so I hear.
She made the classic mistake, however. Damn. For such a knitting pro, she forgot the basic rules of engagement.
Never. Ever. Leave. The. Sock. Alone.
It might try to go home with the wedding dress. You know how this one ends. Someone always gets hurt.
Or the barista might get her hands on it. (Check for piercings, Steph. All I’m saying.)
Or worse, the sock might turn. You didn’t know they did that, did you? (Oh, you did?) Poor Candi. It was nice knowing her.
Actually, Candi was running outside with The Sock, planning on getting me to take a picture of it committing hara-kiri under a car tire, but Stephanie came back out of the yarn shop where she’d gone to use the bathroom (so she says) and totally caught us. Or she would have caught us, had she thought to wonder why we’d been outside and why we’d spun on our heels and raced back inside when she saw us. Bless her little heart, she never even asked.
I have to say, if you haven’t seen her speak yet, you MUST. There was something so awesome about sitting in a crowd, listening to her talk, realizing that yes, she IS the Comedian of Our People. Imagine. Surrounded by (mostly) women, all knitting away, just dying laughing over her comments. Jokes! Jokes about KNITTING! Little asides that only people like us would get! Could there be anything funnier to us? She’s a funny, funny lady, and she deserves every bit of adulation that she receives.
Sadly, I had to leave early to go to work. But I got to hijack The Sock. That ruled.
I did it! I actually ran the half-marathon! And what’s more, I did it with very little training, (longest training run was six miles) and I did it in three hours ten minutes, shaving a whole 25 minutes off my times from when I ran the real marathon back in December (I ran both halves then in the same time of 3:35, so I don’t think longer distance was part of it).
Now, I don’t recommend my training method. My thighs are burning so
much today that when I walk I find a rolling motion, weeble-wobbly, is
best. But no blisters save a little one on my pinky toe, no shin
splints, no other ailments. It’s so strange. When I was in training
last year, I think I kept injuring myself and then kept running, so
every long run was an opportunity for more pain. This run, I just
shocked my body into doing it, and it went along, probably thinking we were going to stop for coffee and a danish at any moment,
and then it never did.
(Remember, until last year, I ran nothing but a hot bath. So this is exciting. Excuse my long-ass excited post.)
Lala completely selflessly volunteered to drive us to the starting line in the morning, since none of the parking garages would be open and BART doesn’t run that early. She lived to regret her generosity, however, when, at nine-thirty the night before I said I was going to bed.
"Because I have to get up in six hours."
Whoops. Until then I had withheld the crucial information about when I was going to wake her to drive us. Yep. 3:30am. The look of pure horror on her face was dreadful. She couldn’t have looked more stricken.
But she was a champ, and we picked up Joanna along the way. (I actually drove and didn’t pour Lala back into the driver’s seat until she dropped us off in the City.) We dropped off our sweats in marked bags, to be delivered to us at the end of the race (nice, that), and then strolled to the start. Because we’re slow(ish), we had the early 5am start time. Walking up, my friend Geena happened to see me in the sea of 15,000 other people and she started the race with us.
Geena had been adhering to an even more radical training method than mine — she’d done a three-miler! Let’s just say that while we were confident that Joanna would make it, with her twelve-mile training run under her running belt, we just wanted to get to the bridge before they closed it to runners.
See, the San Francisco Marathon had gained the rights to run over the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time in years. That’s why so many more people were signed up for the first half of the marathon, which runs from the Embarcadero at Mission down to the bridge along the waterfront and into Golden Gate Park, as opposed to the second half, which is flatter, but less scenic, going through the city streets. To have the right to say you’d run a race across the city’s signature bridge! Oh, yeah.
So Geena and I just hoped to make it that far. The bridge started at about mile 5.5, and we had to be there by a certain time or they’d close it to runners and open all lanes back to traffic. We started the race, completely without fanfare, not like Honolulu at all. There were no fireworks, it was a much smaller crowd, and we didn’t even hear a starting gunshot. We just heard a voice yell "Go!" over the speakers, and we got.
There is nothing like running with a lot of people in the cool, wet darkness, through streets you always drive, the streetlights intermittent, watches that aren’t yours beeping all around you. The fog was thick and cold yesterday, which makes for perfect running weather, I think. It got a little windy sometimes, and that made us cold, but it was preferable to being too hot by a long shot.
And we ran. Geena and I expected to walk a lot, I think. But we ran, and we kept on running. We kept thinking that the three of us would split up, since it’s terribly to hard to maintain a pace either slower or faster than is right for you. I’ve never managed to be able to run with friends, only with people placed in my groups because they’re the right pace for me. But we looked at each other as we ran, time for a walk? Okay. More running? Cool. That’s a hella big hill. So walking.
We saw Mariko flash past early on — can I just say, that super eggplant runs FAST. Never did catch up to her — by the time we were done, she was back in Oakland. Seriously. But it was cool seeing her run.
We made it to the bridge with tons of time to spare, and we were still running. We were THRILLED. The excitement was palpable, as people rounded through the toll plaza ON FOOT and onto the span. Being slower, of course, we tried to stay off to the right, which meant we were running right next to the raised walkway onto which we weren’t allowed. Between the walkway and the roadway, there’s about an eight inch gap and you can look right down into the water. Freaky, but neato. I kept feeling like I would fall through.
It was super foggy and windy up there, though. Besides through that gap, there was no scenery. When we ran under the span supports, those huge red metal objects that fly into the air, making the Golden Gate so recognizable, we couldn’t even see the middle of them, let alone the top. We heard foghorns but could see no boats. We couldn’t see land at all. But we ran.
The above photo is tiny, since I need to buy it from marathonfoto.com in order to make it large (which I totally will), but I actually remember being on the bridge, seeing the photographer, and trying to be silly. I think I succeeded.
Also silly is this one:
Joanna noted that she usually leaves her head off her pics, anyway.
At this point, both Geena and I could have stopped for any reason and been happy with ourselves, but we kept running. And running. And running.
Best part: It was fun! That was the most surprising thing! We talked and laughed and chatted with people (including the 71 year old guy who looked sixty, who was running his FOUR HUNDREDTH marathon that day — he told us that and then lit out, leaving us to eat his foggy dust.)
And the other best part? I didn’t have to run the whole thing! I kept thinking, "I’m almost done! I don’t have to run a marathon today!" It was fabulous.
And then, we finished! Have I mentioned I LOVE a finish line? Three hours and ten minutes. Woot!! Again, no fanfare to this one, no one was cheering, but dude, I cheered myself over that line in a big way. Got aluminum blankets and bananas from the nice volunteers, caught a bus back to the full marathon finish line with Joanna and Becca (who had finished in 2:49, go Becca!).
I won’t go into details, because I tried, and it wasn’t funny, but we had several funny Losing Things moments, including the losing of people, and at one point I ended up with Geena’s phone, but no Geena, and no way to find her. I knew she didn’t know my phone number by heart, and there was NO way we were going to find her in the sea of thousands and thousands of people all milling about at the full marathon finish line, so I just gave up and yelled, "GEENAAAAAAA!" And I heard, "Rachael?!" Just like that, found her again. We had been meant to run together.
And meant to eat together. Six of us went to Mel’s for breakfast, had lovely corned beef hash and eggs for protein, and beer for carbohydrates. This at nine in the morning. I’m telling you.
Then it was back to the finish line, where we cheered Jennifer to the end.
That’s her in red, both feet off the ground. She made the full race in under six hours, running the last nine miles on a stress fracture. She’s now on crutches and pretty miserable. But she’s a star. She did it!
And so did we! I contentedly go back to my little three-mile runs now, awaiting the day the bug bites again and I have to run another half-marathon. I think, having earned the bragging rights of the full Honolulu marathon, I won’t ever need to do another full one. But I loved that half.