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Posts Tagged ‘i’m pretty much a rock star’

Go, go, Jason Waterfalls…

I’ll beam you up; I ain’t going nowhere…

The incinerator, put it all together…

Words are hard for some people.

And sometimes you sing a song one way for so long, that the right way just sounds wrong.

Take the incinerator song, for instance. I’ve been singing about the incinerator since high school.

No, it didn’t make much sense, but I kind of brushed it off as “those creative types who write weird lyrics that I don’t understand.” It wasn’t until recently (with in the past few years) that I realized that “incinerator” was actually “Cinderella.”

I still like my version better.

When you add into the equation the fact that I don’t buy CDs anymore (and therefore don’t read/memorize the lyrics in the jacket), it’s pretty much a guarantee that I’m singing something wrong at any given time.

Sometimes it’s more fun that way.

And sometimes, you can be singing something right the whole time, but as soon as you hear someone else’s version, you can’t get it out of your head.

In high school, my brother and I worked at the same market and therefore were privy to the same continuous loop of “classic soft rock.” On one particularly long day, he heard me singing along to the classic “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” And as I sang the chorus he looked at me in confusion.

Why did you sing, ‘secondhand emotion’?

Because that’s how the song goes.

Oh. That’s not at all what I thought it was.

What did you think?

I thought she was saying, ‘what’s love, but a sexy man in motion…,’ and I thought, I guess that makes sense for her.

When you think about it, he has a point.

And now I can’t hear the song any other way.

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This weekend was amazing.

I went into the marathon nervous, and feeling a lot of pressure – that I’d placed on myself. I’d set a goal of finishing faster than last time. I figured that since I only had a month to train for the first marathon, having a full three months would make me better prepared (i.e. faster) this time around. But then, my training runs weren’t what I hoped they’d be. They were slow and difficult, and my hope of getting a PR was quickly fading.

I settled for a goal of just finishing, but still wore the pace bracelet to keep track of where I was in terms of a 4:59 finish.

To be honest, I didn’t glance at Guillermo too often for the first six or seven miles. I was enjoying the atmosphere and checking out all the costumes. I bet you didn’t know that so many superheroes ran the Marine Corps Marathon.

I was also keeping my eye out for our dedicated spectators. RB, LB, and DS were camped out near mile seven, where DS captured this photo – a pretty accurate representation of how I was feeling:

So excited! I’m running a marathon! I feel great!

Later on I spotted MJ’s dad holding George, the giant balloon he’d bought in order for us to be able to find him amidst the crowd:

And at some point around the half-marathon mark I realized that I was about two minutes ahead of pace, and that if I kept it up I could even possibly PR. Once I realized that, though, I tried my hardest not to think about it. With more than half the race left, I knew I’d drive myself crazy if I stressed over it. So I continued with my routine of scoping the costumes, reading the signs, and getting chills as I read the shirts of those who were running in memory or in honor of a loved one. And, of course, watching out for our spectators.

Around mile 16.5, I saw Nicstress, out of nowhere, and at mile 17 I caught up with Mo, who I hadn’t seen since close to the beginning. Together we ran the next few miles, spotting Memo and Mo’s boyfriend twice along the way. Memo even ran with us briefly, in order to get a good photo, and nearly ended up stuck on the course, thanks to a well-placed water table.

I saw MJ’s dad once more, sans George, as I headed into the final 6.2 stretch. I remembered from back in March that this was truly the hardest part of the race for me. I was sluggish, I was drained, and there was minimal crowd support. This time around it could not have been more different. I’m feeling the high again just writing this.

It helped that I was familiar with this part of the course. I’d just run it at the Army 10-Miler the weekend before and knew what to expect. I glanced at Guillermo again and realized that I was still significantly ahead of pace and that I really might be able to meet my goal. And that is what carried me through to the end. Seeing people walking just strengthened my resolve and I pushed on through the end, right up that one last ramp to Iwo Jima.

And when I stopped my watch and saw the result, my smile was so big that you might never know that I’d just run 26.2.

The actual result was 4:56:29, which means that I beat my first marathon time by more than two minutes. It may sound insignificant, but for me that’s huge.

All in all, this race was everything I wanted it to be and more. I wore my medal around for the rest of the day, in addition to my new super cool MCM jacket, and, though I ached, I felt like a rock star.

Thanks so much to all of you for your support, comments of encouragement, song suggestions, and race day thoughts. You’ve been fantastic. I don’t have another marathon lined up yet, but you can be sure I’ll let you know. As it is, I’ll be taking this week off from running, but this race was exactly what I needed to get me excited about the sport again.

Oorah!

*Note: With the exception of the first photo, all photo credits go to the boyfriend and his iPhone.

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So, this past weekend consisted of…

…playing a ridiculous amount of Rock Band with my girlfriends and their husbands/fiances. (Which resulted in deciding that, in order to get better, I will eventually have to purchase my very own Rock Band. You know, for my free time.)

…shopping for and ordering a bridesmaid dress. Come June, I’ll be decked out in this:

I love the color, I’m just not really a bow or gathering kind of girl.

But hey, it’s not my day.

…running the Philly Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon!

If you remember last year, my parents missed me crossing the finish line, and my mom admitted that she’d been looking for me in the ambulance. This time, she knew better – though still missed me. BUT she is an excellent supporter, and I’m so glad she came out. (Thanks, Mama!) And she did catch this action shot around mile four or five:

See me amidst all the pink?

Last year, too, we were so excited for our first real medal. Once we finished, we marveled at the weight and the general coolness of the Liberty Bell we’d won. But this year, well, this year’s medal wins, hands down:

The guitar! The sparkles! And it’s even heavier than last year!

My actual time may not have been as good as before, but the experience was right up there. Plus, reward me with a medal like that, and you can be sure I’ll be back next year.

I’ll run it as many times as it takes for my parents to see me cross that finish line.

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I’m usually much more of a New Year’s Resolutions girl, but I hear that quarter-life crises are slightly less daunting if you have some sort of plan. So, in honor of turning the big 2-5 today (why, yes, I am shamelessly blogging about my birthday, on my birthday), I’ve come up with a little list of things that I hope to accomplish before June 11, 2011.

And I fully expect you to hold me accountable. Please and thank you.

So, in the year of 25, in no particular order, I want to…

1) …volunteer somewhere in DC, preferably with kids. Any suggestions (and/or company) are more than welcome.

2) …hit a home run during softball.

3) …run a race with an average pace that’s under 10 minutes, something I haven’t been able to do since I hurt my hip in December.

4) …finish all the books I’ve started, that I got halfway through and left for something else. There are about 6-7 right now.

5) …finish my first year of grad school, which really should take care of itself, but you never know.

6) …go skydiving.

7) …get a bike and become comfortable riding in the street. Because I find that terrifying.

8 ) …learn how to change a tire. And other car maintenance tricks necessities.

9) …get a new tattoo (or two).

10) …start taking Chinese again. Or at least brushing up on what I’ve already learned. I should be able to say more than, “This is my mom, dad, and little brother,” “I love you,” and, “I don’t know.”

11) …ride a motorcycle.

12) …run the Marine Corps Marathon faster than I did the National Marathon. So, something under 4:58:57.

13) …be more outgoing. Whether that means attending more blogger happy hours, emailing a bloggy crush, or just generally introducing myself to new people – this is a hard one for me.

14) …prove to my boss that I do deserve a promotion – even before I complete my MA.

15) …finally go hiking out at Great Falls.

16) …make a more concerted effort to visit friends who live in New York. It should be so easy, and yet I think I’ve visited once in about 3 years. I’m a bad friend.

17) …go on a road trip. Destination negotiable.

18) …get more comfortable cooking from scratch and experimenting in the kitchen.

19) …learn how to play pool better – or, at the very least, learn how to break so that the balls actually move.

20) …run a race in a new state. I’ve run in Massachusetts, New York (if you count bandit races), Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC (I know, I know – not a state), and Virginia. Maybe it’s time to explore something other than the East Coast.

21) …get an iPhone. My plan is up in February, so either Verizon better come out with something that lets me play Words with Friends, or I’m switching to AT&T.

22) …find a church in DC that I’m comfortable going to. It was such a big part of my life growing up, but I haven’t found one that I love down here.

23) …watch JB get married/be in my first wedding!

24) …rent a car. Just because I can.

25) …participate in an underwear run. I mean, I do run to look better naked, after all.

And because you always have to have that extra special bonus one for good luck:

26) …meet a Phillies player! I realize that this isn’t so much of a 25-goal, as it is a life dream, but that’s why it’s the bonus. Because it would just be icing on the cake.

*swoon*

I’m sure you’ll hear more about these as they either get checked off or I realize, what the hell was I thinking? But either way, it should be an interesting year.

Happy Friday!

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The big girl version of the itsy bitsy bikini. The childhood memory is pretty much why I bought it. Well, that, and I just think it's cute.

As a kid, I imagined myself as some kind of rock star.

Really, I was just a ham and would jump at any chance I had to perform. If my parents were hosting a Christmas party? My little three-year-old self was right there to oblige with any and every Christmas carol I knew. During the school talent show? I did a little dance/skit/performance to “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” – complete with wearing said bikini on stage. I was eight. (We do have these performances on tape. However, I’m not hi-tech enough to know how to convert an 8-millimeter tape to a YouTube video, or else I’d share.) As I grew a wee bit older, and decided to focus on my singing career, I would even go so far as to tape myself with our Talkboy, a la Kevin McCallister, and critique it. (After I realized that I didn’t sound as awesome as I knew I was, I stopped recording and just kept belting it out.)

Now? I still love to sing, but I’m far more self-conscious than I was. I tend to shake a bit in front of large groups. I thoroughly enjoy karaoke under the right circumstances (read: large groups and significant amounts of alcohol), and do a stellar rendition of Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me.” But that’s really the only public singing that I’ll do.

What does that leave, then, as an arena to showcase my talent? The car and the shower, of course.

I went to school in Baltimore and spent a fair amount of time going back and forth from there to Philly during breaks and whatnot. And I-95, well, it can get awfully boring if you don’t keep yourself entertained. So I would put on my hands-free earpiece, pretend it was a stage microphone (I was trying to channel Gwen Stefani at the time), and *seriously* rock out in the car. If you were ever stopped beside me, you’d probably see me bouncing a bit in the driver’s seat, fighting against the constraints of the seatbelt. And it felt GREAT. Freeing, even. It kind of makes me sad that I don’t have my car down in D.C.

Not me, but it totally could be.

Not me, but I like her style.

But I still have the shower. I now start every morning with a carefully selected, upbeat playlist (that may or may not include some Beyonce, Rihanna, and Britney, to name a few) that I belt out to wake me up – especially when I’d so much rather still be curled up under the blankets. On the days when even the singing and the hot water aren’t doing enough to energize me, I throw in a few dance moves. Yeah, you read that right. I shimmy and shake and do as much as the shower space will allow. (I’ve recently considered investing in some of those rubber grips for the floor of the tub, to decrease the liability of slipping.)

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting that getting up while it’s still dark out is easy. But my little song-and-dance routine tides me over at least until my morning coffee.

And maybe now with all this practice I’ll be ready for another karaoke appearance (complete with dance moves!), and add some “Womanizer”* to my repertoire. Who’s in?

*I can (and should) be swayed on song choice. Feel free to make your suggestions here.

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