Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Running Gag Order

Big left this comment on my last post:

I have also officially started my "I only talk about my upcoming marathon" program. Unless you ask a question directly related to work, you will get a marathon answer. Thus far the results have been awesome.

I play a game with myself. It's the How Long Can I Go Without Mentioning Running? OR the Let's See If I Can Refrain From Mentioning Running At All Challenge.

Look, I know perfectly well not everyone (OK, maybe most people) has the slightest interest in hearing about my running adventures. That's part of the price we pay for being Obsessed Runners. We love and embrace our sport; other people (the "unenlightened") just...don't get it. I used to get the same reaction when I got all wound up about rocks and birds (well, let's face it-- I still get wound up about rocks and birds). Sighing, meaningful looks of there she goes again, eye-rolling, et cetera. You all know what I'm talking about. Thus, occasionally I make a (feeble) attempt at keeping the "I ran 20 miles this weekend" and the like (waxing about the loveliness of the latest Sugoi jacket, the stable of Garmin products, some unpleasantess involving one's lower GI tract) out of conversation, because, really, once you drop that bombshell on someone whose contribution to the Monday-morning "so, how was your weekend?" ritual at work was "sit on the couch and watch football," well, it's like hearing the proverbial record needle scratch and cricket chirp chorus as your listener tries to process the words "ran," "twenty," and "miles" which all appeared in the same sentence and were uttered by a person who looks not only well-rested but excited to have accomplished such a feat. And then you continue with a "...and not only that but I did it at an 8:38 average pace which is, you know, only one second slower than the pace I need to BQ and..."

...you see the person's eyes glaze over again, because for most people the letters "BQ" are missing a "B" and "BQ" must be some kind of truncated version of "BBQ" for the ultralazy ("BarbeQue," perhaps) but you barely notice, you're on a roll, going on and on about tapering, and carb-loading, and the merits of the various flavors of Gu (Chocolate Outrage all the way, babies) or the various options for midrace refueling in general, and what start corral you've put yourself in, but that was when you registered for the race (24 hours after registration opened in April, hooray for restraint, eh?) and back then you had no clue so you took a wild guess and entered "4:30" but now that's been thrown out the window because you so totally rocked your 20-mile run at an 8:38 pace...

...and, yeah.

Yeah, so. Uh...what did you do this weekend besides watch football?

Anyway, I'm trying, I'm really trying not to completely overwhelm non-running friends, family, and co-workers with all this running blather. It's desperately difficult, however, especially with the marathon so close at hand.

I should just succumb to the inevitable and adopt Big's "all marathon all the time" plan. It would make things so much easier.

Tuesday Thoughts

Because I have all these things banging around in my head, clamoring to get out...
  • Is it weird that I find the sentence "The most direct experimental signature of a compactified extra dimension would be the appearance of an infinite tower of Kaluza-Klein particles" really exciting?
  • Note to organizers of the Run for the Rolls: I hereby request you change the name of the event to "The Bun Run." (big kudos to the sister of my RF501 teammate Kara for this one.)
  • My co-worker keeps a jar of candy for everyone to enjoy. Recently little boxes of Milk Duds have been added to the mix. I am in so much trouble. (MDs are my favorite candy Of All Time.)
  • You know you're a runner when you keep a copy of your training schedule in your cubicle for easy reference during the day.
  • You also know you're a runner when you have this stuff on/near your nightstand (read photo notes).
  • Well wishes and good vibes are in order for my fellow run-blogger and Michigander Nitmos.
  • John made his first batch of homebrewed beer over the weekend. In two weeks (approximately) we will have our very own beer!
  • Listening to Phedippidations today I heard this: "If you have an opportunity--not a perfect opportunity--and you don't take it you may never have another chance." I took this as a sign I am meant to follow through with my crazy plan to attempt to BQ in the Detroit Marathon.
  • My new Song Obsession of the Moment: Okkervil River's "Lost Coastlines."
  • Today is FINALLY going to be a good day at Weight Watchers weigh-in. I weighed myself yesterday and was pleased. I have also noticed I've acquired a strange angular and sinewy appearance. I think the fat is being vacuumed off my frame. My collarbones and sternum are protruding more than ever. Now, if only I can lay off the Milk Duds...
  • My ankle does not hurt. My ankle does not hurt. My ankle does not hurt. (do you think if I say it enough times that will make it true?)
  • How about that amazing comeback and massive upset win pulled off by my beloved Michigan Wolverines against Wisconsin on Saturday! Go Blue!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Run & Race Reports (Weekend Wrap-Up)

Saturday: I sacrificed sleeping in and lounging around in my pajamas drinking coffee and reading the paper to drive 40 minutes to Kensington Metropark to run 20 miles. Wait a minute...every Saturday is like that (minus the driving) and has been since June. *sob*

I jest. Really! I was up cheerfully at 6:30 and on the road before 7:00, pulling into Kensington around 7:40 to check in with the RF501 person on-site. The place was swarming with people who were there to run the Kensington Challenge. I was there to pound through 20 miles. I did the run totally by myself; there were a lot of fellow runners on the path but I wasn't running with anyone. I passed people, was passed by people, crossed paths with the Kensington Challenge field (twice; I saw the leaders up close and personal around mile 13 due to course overlap-- the second-place male zoomed past me and said, "Great job, looking good" and I said, "Thanks-- you too!"). The weather was amenable (about 60 degrees at the start, overcast) and the scenery pleasant. I can't argue with woods, water, and birds including a group of four sandhill cranes which were foraging right next to the path. I stopped to watch them for a minute. I was about 3 meters away from them. It was crazy! I love birds.

I felt good. Really good, in fact. So good that I finished my run in 2 hours 52 minutes which was a 6-minute overall and 20 seconds-per-mile pace improvement over my 20-mile run three weeks ago. I averaged 8:38/mile for the duration.

Stop right there.


If you recall a few weeks ago I posted this. I was only off that pace by one second the other day.


Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I have to push through an additional 10K. The truth is I felt extremely good on Saturday. I definitely had enough zest to keep going. If I start a little bit quicker...try to sustain an 8:40-8:45 pace for the first half and then take it up a notch for the second half and get down to around 8:25-8:30...


That little voice in my head is getting louder and louder. It's driving me MAD, I tell you. I KNOW, I KNOW, I should be thinking, "Shut the hell up about Boston! Just concentrate on finishing! It's your first marathon! You should not be thinking about qualifying for Boston!" I do think that, actually. I did it on Saturday while I was running and realized I had done two 8:26 miles in a row (miles 17 and 18). Shut up about Boston. Shut up about Boston. SHUT UP ABOUT BOSTON!

But...you know...if I'm physically capable of running at the required pace, which I appear to be...THEN WHY NOT? Why not give it my all? Why not go for glory? If I crash and burn, I can at least say "I tried my best" and move on, looking ahead to a future race and another chance. I will be driven more insane by an aftermath of "if onlys..." and wondering what could have been if I had really made the effort. Thus, I have decided:

BQ or bust, baby! I'M GOING FOR IT!

Now you all can tell me I'm completely nuts.

Sunday: I was in Ann Arbor for the second annual Big House Big Heart 5K. A warmup jog quickly made me realize this wasn't going to be a day for breaking personal records. I was rather creaky from the previous day's long run. Add to that an unorganized field of thousands and my unfortunate position trapped way at the back and I really wasn't going to be setting any records. I decided to use the race as an easy recovery run and just enjoy myself. 3 miles feels like a fleeting wisp of nothing these days, you know? So that's what I did. I moseyed through the first mile in about 8:54 and by then I had worked my way past most of the walkers and slower-paced people. I was able to open up my stride and cruised easily through the final 2 miles of the race. Unlike last year when I was working really hard over the final half mile and could barely enjoy the trip through the tunnel into the stadium and then the final 50 meters on the playing surface, this time around I ambled into the bright sunlight (or should I say "ran into the sun," LOL) at the end of the tunnel and gazed around at the splendor of the Big House. I was treading the same sacred ground on which struggling Michigan (no snark; they're REBUILDING this year!) had pulled off an unbelievable comeback and massive upset of 9th-ranked Wisconsin the previous day! I kicked into high gear for the final 50 meters and finished in 27:06. The scene at the finish was total chaos as thousands of runners were funneled into a tiny choke point at the apex of two angled lines of water tables. TERRIBLE PLANNING! I shuffled along with the rest of the crowd, grabbed a water, a banana, and some oatmeal cookies, bumped into someone from my training group (unbelievable coincidence given the swarming melée of people) and then split to go meet up with a friend.

It was a good weekend. Quality running, quality recovery napping with tabby cat (Saturday afternoon), quality beer (Celis Grand Cru, Celis White) on Sunday evening ending a three-day hiatus from all adult beverages (due to the unholy trinity of warm weather, an old friend, and a bottle of Maker's Mark last Thursday).

Oh, and by the way: IT'S TAPER TIME!

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Functional Relationship With Shoes

I walked in, said, "I need a new pair of shoes exactly like the ones I have on right now," flashed my Brooks Adrenalines, and five minutes later walked out with a box (and a new shirt and a box of Gu since the shirt was 25% off and my current box of Gu only has 4 packets left in it; you didn't expect me to visit my favorite running store and not find something else to buy, did you?).

I've bought more running shoes this year (2 pairs) and last year (2 pairs) combined than I have "regular" shoes in the last five years or so. I'm not terribly big on shoes. I don't like shoe shopping. I only buy shoes when I absolutely have to, and then I'll wear them until they literally fall apart. I'll spend good money on good shoes that will last for years, like my Dansko clogs (5 years and going strong).

Hey, who else wishes running shoes would last that long? Oh, oh, oh, I just formed a theory. What if...shoe companies have the technology to make a long-lasting shoe but purposely don't so we Obsessed Runners (or at least runners who care about the lifetime of their shoes and how it affects their feet) will have to buy new shoes every 500 miles, thereby making more money for the companies? It's diabolical, my friends, and yet so simple!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sure Sign of Obsession (Or Maybe Mental Illness?)

Oh my God, people. I need help. SRSLY, as the kids say. Or would that be text? Anyway.

I had a running dream this morning. It was...highly entertaining? curiously detailed? frustration-provoking?

I decided I would run a marathon AS PRACTICE FOR THE DETROIT MARATHON. My "warmup" marathon was called "The Motor City Marathon" (which, incidentally, was the ancestor of the current Detroit Marathon). It started inside a parking garage. The elite runners started first. I was standing in the next starting wave and I realized I was wearing flip-flops. "OH MY GOD!" I screamed. "I FORGOT TO PUT ON MY RUNNING SHOES!" I flip-flopped as fast as I could back to the gear area and jammed my shoes on my feet and made it back just in time. And we're off! OK, I thought, I'm just going to cruise along at around an 8:45/mile pace. Things are good. I'm settling into my groove. And then...things got a little...weird. First of all, the race route went into some kind of...mall?...or something, and to get inside you had to pay a fee and go through a turnstile like the ones in NYC subway stations, except you couldn't just get a MetroCard, no, you had to swipe your plastic and sign a receipt and the person punching buttons was so unhelpful, and the system was down (aren't they always) and I was looking at my Garmin and muttering, "Come on, come on, come ON, this is totally runing my time!" since the race was chip-timed and every second's delay was COSTING ME. FINALLY I was able to scribble my name on the credit card slip and passed through the gate.

The weirdness continued as the race route went through several buildings, including college clasrooms (in session!), a restaurant (sushi...or maybe Mongolian?) and what looked like the street my grandparents lived on in my hometown in California. The route was marked on the ground in pink chalk which was barely visible and I was certain I was going to get lost. At some point I remember looking at Garmy and seeing I had gone 11 miles. Only 15 more to go!

After that things get a little hazy and I really can't remember anything else. However, the best detail of all was that my bib was green, which is the bib color used for Detroit to indicate the wearer is a first-time marathoner. In my dream I was worried because if I ran my "practice" marathon, would that mean I couldn't wear the green bib for the "real" marathon? I'm looking forward to proudly wearing that green bib come race day and if I can't...well...*cry*.

I can't even remember to bring to work the vase of flowers I cut out at the farm yesterday but my subconscious is "with it" enough to make sure my race bib is green in the silliest running dream ever.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I Would Run One Thousand Miles...

On the road again...

Disclaimer: I actually can't stand that song but it seemed fitting.

Yes, people, I cracked that barrier yesterday. One thousand miles. Too bad I was so wiped out at the end I completely forgot about flashing the super-secret sign of the "Thousand-Mile Club" as suggested by Big. I busted through my 16-mile run at an average pace of 8:40/mile, which was perhaps a wee bit faster than necessary, and I paid for it later in the day when I collapsed for a good two hour nap.

I scared the crap out of an acquaintance of ours whose house was conveniently situated around mile 10 of my run. I was fighting "the urge" and we decided to stop there to see if someone was home so I could use the bathroom. Upon arrival we found the front door unlocked, cars in the driveway, but no one answered our shouts and so I went directly inside and upstairs whereupon I caused a massive dog ruckus and our friend was roused out of sleep in the most unfortunate way: by a flushed, sweaty person dancing from toe to toe in his hallway while two dogs emitted frenzied chaotic barking. Fortunately we're on good terms with the guy so barging unannounced into his house at 10:15 am wasn't a problem. I zipped off with a new spring in my step for the final six miles of the run and even pulled off a couple of 8:25-ish miles I felt so good. New route, nice weather, husbandly accompaniment, passing 1,000 miles, four weeks left until the marathon.

Country roads, take me home...

My personal trainer Darwin will show me how it's done.

Here is where all I could muster was a thumbs-up. I was on the verge of total meltdown.

Final stats:
16 miles
1000.5 miles for the year!
Post-run rehydration: Michigan Brewing Company's Superior Stout and Screamin' Pumpkin Spiced Ale. I also sampled the Imperial IPA...OOOOOEEEEE!!! We went to the brewery for lunch. John bought a starter homebrewing kit. Look out!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Numbers (I Love Them)

1: Month from today is the Detroit Marathon, also available in...
30: Days until the marathon or...
4 weeks and 2 days. No matter how it's measured it means it's quickly approaching.

984.5: Miles I have run this year (starting on January 2) which means that in...
15.5 miles I will reach...
1,000 miles for the year! This will occur close to the end of my 16-mile run tomorrow. How convenient! There will be a photo op to mark the occasion. I'm trying to figure out how to indicate "1000" with my hands. This may require multiple pictures.

515: Miles put on my Brooks Adrenalines which has me in a quandary: do I buy another pair and break them in to use in the marathon, or do I just stick with the current pair? I can tell they've been well-used and it would perhaps be a wise move to get another pair. A month is an adequate time to break in a new pair of shoes.

In other news, in an act of supreme sacrifice (self-deprivation?) I have decided not to attend the Corner Brewery's Oktoberfest tonight in order to be in top form for my 16-mile run tomorrow. After last week's semi-debacle (unholy confluence of beer and bad weather) which resulted in my not running at all for three days, I cannot afford to miss another long run so close to the marathon. Y'all don't even know how much this is paining me. I'm giving up BEER, people! My second-favorite beverage (after water, which I need to live, though sometimes I wonder...)!

The things we do for our passion, eh? Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Come Back Here And Say That To My FACE!

Wednesday around 6:30 pm I was on site in Dexter for the RF501 group run, otherwise known as "hill repeat torture." We set out perkily and as we trundled across the grass next to the strip mall parking lot a sports car with a couple of guys in it swung down the road and the driver leaned out and screamed, "You can run all you want; you'll still be (garbled)!" I vaguely heard his passenger howl with laughter as the driver gunned the engine and the car roared away. I turned to my running buddy L and said, "What did he say?" thinking, did I really just hear what I think I heard... She responded: "I think he said, 'run all you want, you'll still be fat'."







You can see my ribs, for fuck's sake! (and some fabulous guns if I may say so myself.)


Note: in our little group of three (two women, one man), none of us could remotely be considered fat. Or even overweight. We're all training for marathons which will be run in a month's time. We're all lean mean running machines. I was chomping on this insult during the entire workout and it even carried over to this morning when I churned out an 8:16 8th mile. Yes, I tend to dwell on things. A little righteous anger tends to spur me onward.

I am NOT fat. I have worked SO hard to get where I am today. I have lost sixty pounds. Yeah, I may still be carrying around a little extra on my frame (at least to my eyes...I'm not at my goal weight yet) but I am NOT FAT.


I thought so.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

L'ardir mio, la mia costanza

Yesterday afternoon I chose to drive around the block instead of going straight home because one of my favorite Mozart arias ("Eh parti...Per pietà" from Cosi fan Tutte) was playing on the Met Opera Sirius station and it was right at the end and I just had to sing the final lines with trill and high note. I'd been singing along since the recitative at the beginning and there was no way I was going to miss out on the money shot. (Trilling feels really good!)

If you watch/listen to the video...I sound like that. I'm not kidding (I picked this version out of the several I found on YouTube because this woman's voice sounds extremely similar to mine in coloring and timbre). I don't joke about my voice.

So why am I not a professional singer? There is nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, I would love to do more. It's been my dream since I was in college. So...well...yeah. I'm 34. I should have started taking voice lessons when I was 18, not 29. I should have gone to school for a degree in voice performance. Sopranos are a dime a dozen. So I soothe myself with singing when I can and continue dreaming.

Other stuff I can sing:
"Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben," Mozart
"Nei giardin del bello," Verdi. Shirley Verrett rocks and her rendition of this aria on a CD I bought in college is what made me fall in love with opera in the first place. This aria is fiendish, my friends, but oh so fantastic to sing. And that big note at the end? High A, and I rocked it at my recital two years ago.
"E Susanna non vien...Dove sono i bei momenti," Mozart. My favorite piece to sing of all time.

Monday, September 15, 2008

High School Flashback!

In my life as a runner there was a Phase I. This was my high school cross-country career. I ran varsity cross-country for four years and was the captain of the team my senior year. We won our conference championship twice, a district championship once, and a lot of invitationals. 1988-1991 were good years to be on the cross-country team. Edited to add: Some of you might think I kept running once my high school glory days were finished. This is not so. Once I crossed the finish line in my last race the fall of my senior year, I am sad to say that was pretty much it for me and running for the next 15 years. Oh, sure, occasionally I would make a few half-hearted efforts to get back into it, and I usually went running every summer when we went on family vacations to Lake Winnepesaukee, New Hampshire (there are a lot worse places to run, trust me) but I was in no way a serious or even casual runner. I didn't have 1% of the dedication to the sport that I do now. Phase II of My Life As A Runner began in October 2006 when I ran that first awful half-mile on the treadmill at the gym.

And the rest, my friends, is history.

Recently I was doing some reorganizing and came across a bunch of pictures from my high school years.

You are all about to discover why I wear those headbands every single time I run. The years have not done much to soothe the savage hair. I have a white chick 'fro.

Exhibit A of why I love Bondi Bands. Also, pre-braces removal so circa 1988, my freshman year.

Exhibit B of headband necessity. Of course I also had a perm (it was 1988...everyone had a perm) which didn't help matters.

One of my first-ever races. I remember I almost barfed at the end.

Ohio High School Athletics Association District Meet, October 1988. This is probably my all-time favorite running picture of myself. I ran a 24:13 and set a new PR at this meet.

Look at me, the skinny minnie.

The team after winning our first OSHAA District Championship, October 1989 (sophomore year). West Geauga RULES!

Oh, Great...Just Great

As if we didn't already have enough road hazards to be mindful of...

Wild pigs menacing farmers and joggers across Michigan

And it isn't just farmers who suffer. "I've seen yards they destroyed in populated areas up in Midland County that look like they were rototilled," Rusz said. "We've had reports of them menacing joggers in southeastern Michigan."

Side note: I wish the media would call us what we really are: runners. I'm not a "jogger." I run. You run. We all run.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Song About Running? Awesome.

Sea Wolf, "Middle Distance Runner." An entire song about running? Yes!

Since the audio isn't the greatest, here are the lyrics:

Well I'm so sad tonight
And the words won't come out right
It's been a long day on the track
And its stamina that I lack

So won't you run to me tonight?
Tonight we could pretend that we're just lovers
But I'll only ever be a middle distance runner

Well my heart is beating hard
And I'm off with a shot at the start
And my legs tremble from strain
But by the finish line I'll drain

So won't you run to me tonight?
Tonight let's not talk about next summer
Cause I'll only ever be a middle distance runner

Well I'm so proud tonight
Of the woman you've become
And I'm just too tired to fight
So my darling, I'll succumb

But you'll have to run to me tonight
Tonight I will love you forever
But I'll only ever be a middle distance runner

Anti-Ant Bite Self-Medication Regimen: Complete

I successfully eliminated the last stinging twinges of my ant attack with the application of one Bell's Oberon, one Arcadia Ales Cocoa Loco Triple Chocolate Stout, and two Sierra Nevada Pale Ales. Overkill? Perhaps. But it was such a lovely evening and the porch was so inviting...

Either way, the gams are back in top form and ready to hit up Arbor Brewing Company's Oktoberfest celebration followed by a 16-mile run tomorrow morning.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


People. You are not going to believe this.

I went outside a little bit ago with a couple of co-workers to throw some bread to the ducks and geese in the "pond" in front of my office building (whole wheat bread...we want our office pond waterfowl to be healthy). I was standing there tossing wads of bread into the water and I happened to glance down and see that my pant legs ARE COVERED WITH ANTS. Ants are swarming all over the rocks directly under my feet. I was standing on an ant nest. I yelped and jumped off to the side and started trying to brush them off but the little buggers were quite tenacious and they weren't coming off (I quickly learned why). Further assessment of the situation yielded a trip to the terrace picnic table where I peeled off a sock (covered with ants) and folded back the cuffs of my pants (more ants). I started feeling these uncomfortable little prickling sensations and upon closer examination I realized the little fuckers were biting me. That's why they weren't coming off: they had their mandibles sunk into my clothing and my skin.

OK. Situation just escalated to critical. I beelined for the bathroom where I whipped my pants completely off, turned them inside out, and inspected every inch for ants. There were several, one of which had managed to crawl all the way up to the crotchal region. Can y'all say "Terror Alert Red?" I picked ants off my bare legs, stomped on the ones crawling around on the floor, conducted one more search for strays on my pants, and put them back on.

I successfully de-ansted my pants, but now my lower legs feel like they're on fire. It's really, really uncomfortable. This situation will only be assuaged by the internal application of several beers once I get home.

UPDATE: Legs feel better, but I'm still having the beer when I get home.

Skunk Funk Junk

Proclamation: I would rather be in the middle of a tightly-packed crowd of 1,000 nasty sweaty runners at the end of a marathon than have to run through ONE. MORE. CLOUD. of skunk musk*.

That is all.

*I had to hold my breath it was so bad. Holding breath while running = not a good idea.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Scenes From A Run

The bright morning sunshine, the realm of possibility.

Saturday, September 6: my first 20-mile run. John was along to provide support and document the occasion. It was an absolutely perfect morning for a run: about 50 degrees when we set out just after 7:00 am, dry, and sunny. After traveling the same roads for last week's group run (16 miles) I knew I wanted to go back. This particular route winds through the Waterloo Recreation Area near my home and it is so beautiful and peaceful out there.

GU break around mile 5.

Best thing about this route: BATHROOMS!

The loneliness of the long-distance runner.

You never know what's just around the corner.

Chasing my shadow around mile 8.

Working it up a hill around mile 11.

Under the avenue of trees.

Looking pretty good considering it's mile 13.

Onward, ever onward. Mile 16.

Back to civilization. Only 3 more miles.

Feeling the burn, baby! Not looking so perky now. Somewhere between mile 18 and 19.

And...done! Walking back home.

Stretching with my personal trainer, Darwin. Personal trainers Hannah and Bouhaki were occupied elsewhere (chewing bone, looking out window).

Final stats:

20 miles

Friday, September 5, 2008

I'm Just Saying...


That's how fast I would have to run in order to finish the marathon in 3:45:59.

What's so special about that number?

Oh, I don't know...(as I look off into space, all innocent...)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Be Careful Out There

Sunday evening, two female Ann Arbor joggers were the victims of assault and attempted kidnapping. This was big-font front-page news in yesterday's paper.

Don't think the possibility of this happening to me hasn't crossed my mind from time to time. I spend a lot of time running on deserted country roads or when there is little to no light. I tense up every time a vehicle slows down beside me. I'd like to think I could fight off an attacker or sprint away given my superior fitness ("See if you can catch me NOW, fuckhead!") but if someone is truly determined I might not have a chance. Neither of these women were prepared; they were taken totally by surprise.

It saddens me that I have to think of every suspicious vehicle with a lone man behind the wheel as a potential threat, but there it is. I know there are a lot more good people in the world than bad, but there's no way to tell the difference. The person who stops and asks for directions because he's lost might be the one who pulls a gun on me and orders me into his vehicle. I know men aren't excluded from becoming victims of violence, but we women have to be so much more alert and careful.

I think it's time I got myself a wee little canister of pepper spray.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Just So Y'All Don't Think I'm A Snob Or Anything

Distance running in expensive clothes...a deep love of singing and performing in opera...devotion to eating locally-produced food...voting Democratic...

There is another, seedier aspect to my New England liberal arts women's college-educated persona. I dare you to take a gander.

Also, I spent part of yesterday at a biker bar in the aptly named Hell, Michigan. I Labor (Day)-ed in Hell. With two pints of beer.