Racing as slowly as I can

Hey there – just a quick fundraising note (yes, I know I promised to entertain you all of your days, but honestly?  I have a paper due tonight at midnight.  Check back later for entertaining).

The Komen Race for the Cure is less than a month away (June 6) – if you have a couple of bucks to throw to a worthy cause (breast cancer research), please consider supporting me.


5K – take two

Do I need to apologize for light posting?  I suppose I do.  A combination of work-crisis and middle of semester has my thoughts otherwhere these days.  So, very sorry if you are expecting great — or even not-so-great, but just regular, thankyouverymuch — thoughts from this space.

So, what to do when one is rather stretched for time?  Add another commitment, that’s what!  In this case, it’s the Komen 5K Race for the Cure, which I will be doing on June 6.  If you care to sponsor me, the link is here — no dance o’ Paypal needed this time, since they use a service to help their runners and walkers collect funds (though the service could use some help on the back end – is it so hard to make the runner or walkers’ links easy to find for said runner or walker?  Apparently, yes.  Or someone just needs some help with their UI).

ANYway, I need to go off and get in a run while today is sunny so I’m actually in training for this!

And a very big “Happy Easter” for all of my readers who celebrate the holiday.

Oh, what a world, what a world

When I was growing up in New England winters, there was the temperature and then there was "wind chill."  Temperature was pretty much irrelevant.  Wind chill was the important number, since that was what you were going to experience when you walked out the door.

Fast forward to summertime in the DC area, where the humidity is tactile: a hot washcloth pressed over the nose and mouth, a dog’s hot breath in your ear, a damp velvet suit hugging your every move.  The humidity and heat combine to create the yang to wind chill’s yin – the heat index.

The heat index is on us, with expectations of heat experiences of over 100 degrees, and even with jogging in the morning before the full blast of summer, I tell you I am melting .

There goes my baby, she knows how to rock and roll

Mom and I were talking about "our" words a while back.  It’s something Elizabeth Gilbert talks about in Eat Pray Love – if I recall correctly, she has a friend who believes that every city and every person has a word that describes them or sums them up.  It’s "their" word.  Mom asked me what my word was, and it just popped out:


Now, that may seem like a pretty lame word to be one’s all-encompassing, but anyone who’s ever heard me talk has heard this word many, many times out of me.  And it’s not because I’m overly accommodating (stop laughing, Ma, John, everyone else).  It just happens to be a word that I find infinitely flexible.  A lot has to do with intonation.

Bridging: "Hey Jill – here’s something you absolutely disagree with!"  "Um… okay.  So let’s think about this…"

Happiness: "Jill – something fun!"  "Okay!"

Processing:  "Jill – bad news."  "…Oh-kay …"


But it’s that last example I am talking about here.  I’m unemployed.  I’ve been unemployed for about a month now (I wanted to take some time before I talked about it here).  I was unemployed when I started this blog , back in 2004.  So we’ve come full circle, and not in a way I would have wanted.

Oh-kay .

However, so far so good – at least emotionally.  I’ve kept up with my running.  I’ve kept up with Tosh’s training.  I’ve kept going with the job search and the networking and the stuff that goes along with it.  I haven’t gotten too freaked out.  In fact, coming back from my run today, I was shuffling and dancing down the forest path near our house (yes positively jitterbugging – jazz hands may have been involved, I’m just saying).  Hey – you try to stay still when "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" comes onto your iPod.  Let me know how that works out for you.

I don’t think anyone saw me (except poor Tosh, who clearly knew in his doggy way that Mommy had completely lost her marbles).  And you know what?  If someone did, I don’t care.


The good news is, I came in ahead of a 23-year-old

356th out of a field of 383 is actually better than I probably would have done as a teenager…

The bad news is my calves still hurt.  Feh.  I’d like to get running again, but I know from experience I just have to rest until there is no more pain.

Race report!

Hello all.

I had meant to write a race report yesterday, but, well – I was pretty tired.  So tired, in fact, that we returned from the race, I showered, we had lunch, and we ended up napping for at least 2 hours.  Wiped.  Out.  I have a recurrent cramp or spasm in my calf, so that made the run a bit more of a shuffle for me for most of it (especially on the hills – which were humungous, may I add), but I did it!



Portrait of tired but proud woman.

Anyway, I had promised a Very Special Thank-You to all who contributed, and here it is.  As you may know, I would not probably be running at all without my trusty nano and its tunes.  So here is my final training playlist, which also got me through yesterday as I chugged up all those endless hills, dedicated to my lovely supporters.

1. "Bitch" – Meredith Brooks:  Okay, as tacky as it is right out of the gate – this one’s really for me.  You know I can’t get going without my angry grrl music.

2. "Steve McQueen" – Cheryl Crow: To my former colleagues.  A sincere thank you for your generosity and caring.

3. "The Night Pat Murphy Died" – Great Big Sea: For Lianne – dark, bouncy, silly, and Canadian.  Here’s to ya, girl.

4. "Have Fun Go Mad" – Blair (they don’t have that version on iTunes, so I replaced it with Trondheim Storband’s version for the iTunes mix): For Robynn .  She may not quite "set sail from just around the corner of the Portobello Road," but she’s certainly closer than any of my other supporters.  Take a turn around Osterly Park for me, my dear…

5. "Don’t Cry No More" – Boz Scaggs: For Marilee, because it just seems like the kind of tune she would like

(trust me – some of these titles bear no resemblance to their mood – this is a pretty happy, bouncy mix for the most part)

6. "Virtual Insanity" – Jamiroquai: For Kathy , as we seem to live in a virtual insanity rather than a real insanity, despite living only minutes from one another!

7. "I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’" – Scissor Sisters: For Barbara, because she’s just that great, she deserves the Sisters.

8. "Born to Fly" – Sara Evans: For my darling husband, who hiked out onto the trail to cheer me on and told me he was really proud of me.  When we were dating, I listened to this song a lot, and I knew he was the "brown-eyed boy in my future."

9. "I Was a Little Too Lonely (You Were a Little Too Late)" – Erin McKeown: For Anabel, not for the sense of the tune, but for its intrepid silliness.

10. (Power Tune) "Some Days You Gotta Dance" – Dixie Chicks: For Mom.  Because she’s the one who first taught me that some days you gotta dance.  In our case, in the living room to Carol King.

If you like this mix, you can get it here:

In the home stretch

If you were thinking of sponsoring me for the Poplar Springs "Run for the Animals," time is running short.  The details for sponsorship can be found here .  There are a couple of people I haven’t thanked yet, but I have a big group "thank you" in mind, so my apologies for not (yet) acknowledging your generosity!

The race is May 18, and just in time for it I actually ran 3 miles yesterday, meeting my goal of 36 runs in 12 weeks!

More details about the run can be found here.

Channeling Marie

Okay – after a really cold March, April arrives and BLAM – it’s 74 freakin’ degrees.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s a beautiful evening, but for purposes of running?  Going from the high 30’s to the mid 70’s makes for some insta-fatigue.  But anyway, I was going to tell you about how I channeled Marie today.

Marie, for those who don’t know her (and that would probably be most of you) is one of my dearest (and among my oldest) friends.  Neither of us suffer fools gladly (“or at all,” I hear my mother saying), but Marie has what I consider to be a truly admirable way of dealing with the dimwittery of total strangers, particularly children and adolescents (which is good, because she’s a Teen Services Librarian).  Her manner combines a sort of brisk, almost military, no-nonsense forcefulness, with just enough politeness to allow people room to respond with good grace.  By the time I’m ticked off enough to handle a stranger’s wilful (or witless) dumbassery, I’m usually not so diplomatic.  The reactions I get often range from defensive and hostile to frightened and cowed.

This evening during my run, as I got to the little wooden bridge that spans a small stream behind our house, I nearly tripped over a scooter lying on its side.  A girl – probably around ten years old – was down by the water, inspecting the stream.  “Might want to move that,” I yelled as I went by.  She looked up at me and either didn’t hear or didn’t register what I had said (she had a look I remember from being that age – she was on a different planet in her preadolescent head: it’s springtime, she’s outside, cabin fever is over).

When I came back, the scooter was still there, and she was still crouched by the water.  I walked over, took a deep breath, thought, “How would Marie handle this?” and said, “Excuse me, is that your scooter?”  She nodded.  “Would you please move it so it’s not in other people’s way?”

She scrambled up the bank, trying to explain why she had left it there, and I said (still managing to not lose it or take an impolite tone), “I really don’t care why you left it just there, but it’s in the way and it doesn’t have to be.”

“Okay.  Thank you,” she said as she positioned it away from the path.

“Thank you,” I said.

Now, Jill – was that so hard?

Sidling towards 40

My mom called today to tell me that at around 8 a.m. 39 years ago, I gave her a new perspective on the phrase “bite me.”  Start as you mean to go on.

John fed my inner geek, encouraged my running proclivities, and celebrated the date by gifting me a Nike Amp+:


Yee ha!   Onward towards 40!

These animal-related “thank you’s” could get elaborate…

Robynn has promised some 4theanimals dosh, so here’s my first YouTube effort to say “thanks!”