Archive for September, 2012

After getting married, not only did I change my name, but I also went about changing my marital status on any forms or accounts that I was already updating.

I knew that the change would come into play once we filed our 2012 taxes, but I didn’t figure on seeing any changes before that.

Enter Geico.

I’ve had car insurance with Geico for more than 2 years now, and I’ve always been happy enough with the monthly cost. I mean, sure, who doesn’t want to pay less? But my rates were comparable to those of friends, and it was certainly doable on my budget.

Then I changed my marital status, and Geico changed their rates. To $20 less a month!

Now, let me assure you that I recognize that $20 is not a huge amount of money. Even over the course of the year, it’s not the same type of savings that we’d get if we, say, cut out cable. But it’s not really the $20 that got me.

It’s the fact that the discount happened after I noted that I was married.

Does being married make me a more responsible driver? Does it make me less likely to speed or get into accidents?

Does it make other drivers less likely to hit me? I’m pretty sure there aren’t any drivers out there who start to gun it through a red light, see me in my Ford Focus, and think, “Shoot, I better be more careful. She looks married.

I wonder, however, if they (Geico) are banking on a stereotype. Maybe they assume that because I’m married, I’m likely to drive less because my husband is likely to drive more. And if that’s the reasoning, they’re about 2 years behind schedule.

It’s true that I drive less, but I’ve been doing that since Husband was boyfriend, for one very simple reason: he doesn’t like my driving.

He doesn’t like my tendency to go with the flow of traffic, when traffic is flowing perhaps slightly faster than the posted limit.

He doesn’t like my tendency to take yellow lights for what they are – a warning that the light is about to change, so you better move quickly if you want to make it.

He doesn’t like my tendency to leave anything less than two car lengths between me and slowpoke in front of me.

And because I don’t like constant reminders of our different driving styles, I cede the driver’s seat.

I haven’t been keeping stats, but there are probably fewer disagreements in the car when he’s driving, as opposed to when I am. We probably also reach our destination anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes later.

So there you have it, Geico. If your plan was to reward me for driving less, then you’re a little behind the times.

But if you want to knock even more off that monthly rate, I’ll let Husband drive 100% of the time, instead of just 99%.

And I’ll make sure we leave at least a half hour earlier than planned.

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In the weeks leading up to the half-marathon (which was yesterday), I ran 9 times. Of those runs, only two were 6 miles or more – not even half of a half-marathon.

I basically did everything wrong when preparing for this race.

But still I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could beat my old time of 2:06:50. (Even though my pseudo-secret goal – before lack-of-training was obvious – was under 2 hours.)

So I suited up – complete with a pace band, to keep me on track – and thanked God for yesterday morning’s absolutely perfect running weather.

A recent injury kept Husband on the sidelines, but he biked around the course, looking for (and usually finding) me at certain mile markers. It became a game for me. I knew that the next time I saw him I’d be x% done with the course.

Nothing like a good math problem to distract from how tired your body is.

I was afraid that I’d started off too fast. Afraid that I hadn’t paced myself properly (even with the pace band on my wrist, spelling it out for me). I was afraid that I’d crash before hitting the finish line.

And I could have. Except for two things:

  1. I knew that Husband was waiting at the finish line for me.
  2. I could see from Guillermo that, if I could stay steady, I would achieve my secret goal – by a lot.

So I stayed steady and sprinted the last stretch.

And when I crossed the finish line – finding Husband immediately – Guillermo showed me that it was totally worth it, reading 1:53:58.

At the finish line – I really was happy, but the smile doesn’t quite make it to my eyes because I was about to fall over.

I beat my previous PR by more than 10 minutes, and I came in well under 2 hours.

As I wobbled over to the food and water, Husband was there to hold me up and tell me how proud he was. As well as (understandably) slightly surprised.

You hardly trained for that! You really are a slave to the weather.

He’s right. If there had been any humidity yesterday, I would have been a goner.

But there wasn’t.

So now I have a brand new PR, and one more thing to cross off my list.

*All photos courtesy of Husband. Thank you for finding me.

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I’ve never shared my maiden name on this blog – perhaps because I’m still trying to maintain the illusion of some privacy – but I can tell you that it is unique. Chances are, if you know it, I’m the only one you know with it – or, at least, my family is.

My maiden name is also fairly long, and gave friends and teachers a run for their money in trying to pronounce it as I was growing up – all of which led to an inevitable nickname.

Early on in my junior year in high school, a particularly scatter-brained teacher took one look at me, one look at my name on roll call (which he’d already been using for the first few weeks of the year), and asked me, incredulously, “What’s your name again?

And before my shy, 16-year-old self could pipe up, Chris, in the desk next to mine, chimed in: “Her name’s Epod.

(I know what you’re thinking. No, iPods had not been released yet. I promise you.)

The teacher nodded distractedly and went back to roll call. Apparently Epod was much easier to remember than my full name, because he didn’t ask again for the rest of the year. And not only did the nickname stick, but it spread. Not just to friends, but to other teachers, too.

And then it spread to groups outside of high school, even without my introducing it. First my camp friends started calling me Epod, and then it somehow found its way first to college, then to DC.

My parents even used it on the sign they made, when they visited for my first half-marathon. But that might have been a space issue, too.

I was never bothered by it. As far as nicknames go, Epod’s pretty tame.

I just never realized how attached other people got to it.

The most prevalent question I got after the wedding had nothing to do with how the wedding went, what married life was like, or even about the honeymoon.

It was, far and away: “Wait! If you’re changing your name, can we still call you Epod?

Honestly, it never even occurred to me that anyone would stop.

Besides, do you know how hard it is to break a nickname habit?

I don’t think I could change it if I wanted to.

So it’s a good thing I don’t.

*There’s still sometimes confusion. Most recently when a leader at camp came up to ask me a question, and had apparently misunderstood the nickname. That’ll happen.

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It’s no secret that I love hot yoga. And when I head to a class, I make sure to prepare myself. I have two towels, two bottles of water (at least), and likely an extra shirt. Plus the mindset that hot yoga requires – it will be hard; you’ll sweat your ass off; and you’ll probably slip on the mat or floor at least once.

Last night, however, I chose a non-heated class.

I wanted something a little less strenuous, a little less slippery, and a little more centering.

Of course, I was stressed from leaving work late, rushed to the class and forgot my water bottle – not the best start to a lovely meditative practice. But I lay on mat, trying to relax and focus – secure in the knowledge that this class would be far cooler than I was used to. Just what I needed.

Not even 15 minutes in, I was already sweating.

Okay, I thought. There are a lot of people; it’s a smaller space. But the instructor is adjusting the thermostat – I’m sure he’s making it cooler.

Which was quickly followed by, but then why are there puddles around my mat? And damn me for forgetting my water!

I started wondering if it was even possible to do non-heated yoga in the DC summer. Maybe the heat and humidity just permeate everywhere. Maybe there’s no escape.

Until the instructor announced, “Sorry everyone. The thermostat isn’t working. I have the air on, but it doesn’t seem to be doing anything. Don’t worry, though. I’ll report it to the building management.

And suddenly all those little puddles made sense, and I was back to cursing my lack of water.

I tried to get back to my intention, but my mindset was all off. All I could think of was powering through, cooling off, and changing into clothes that weren’t dripping.

There was a moment during the final resting pose that I thought I might have found my center again. The room was dark and quiet, and I’d just gotten a grasp on my intention.

But as soon as the instructor asked us to sit up, all too soon, I might add, my first thought was, What a shitty shavasana.

Center: still lost.

I’m already signed up for several more classes next week – all non-heated – so here’s hoping that they fix the thermostat in time.

Or that I remember my water.

But preferably the thermostat. And a longer shavasana.

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