29 February 2008

training confusion

As my last post discussed, things are at sort of a standstill training-wise. I had my second PT appointment this week and was told nothing for another week, except maybe walking. ;) So as I looked over my proposed race schedule for this year and thought about the conversation Monica and I had yesterday about picking one race and being devoted to it, I devised a plan of sorts for training that has some flexibility in case I have to take more time off. But I'm a little confused, so here is where the wisdom of all of you comes into play! ;) First, let me give you my amended race schedule.

MARCH-probably nothing
APRIL-hopefully the Hinckley Duathlon
MAY-hopefully the Silver Springs Duathlon and Blossom Time Run
JULY-Lighthouse Tri
AUGUST-either Cleveland Tri or the GCT (oly distance for both to prepare for Great Lakes Escape), Run Jane Run 10K
SEPTEMBER-Great Lakes Escape OLY
OCTOBER-Towpath Marathon

Now please keep in mind there are a bunch of 5ks spread throughout and in November and December. Plus I was planing on the Fall Classic Half, but figure if I'm ready for a marathon in the fall then the half won't be an issue to prepare for. And I was also hoping for a couple big rides, at least one century in the fall.

So here is where things get confusing for me. First, I won't be able to really workout at the level I was at until April, cuz I have to ease back in so I don't reinjure myself. But I have a small plan of attack for March in hopes that I will be ready for the Duathlons. If not, those will get scratched from the schedule. :(

I found an olympic distance training plan and that needs to begin on May 12th and then my novice marathon plan starts on May 26th. Soooooo I figured that I could swap out the running distances in the OLY plan with the mary plan and I would be good to go. Any thoughts!?!?! Here comes some of the confusion. All the marathon plans I have found work in distance and the tri plans work in time. So should I just ignore the running part all together, deducting the time that should be spent running according to the tri plan and make sure I get the time in for the swim and bike portions and just follow the distances for the mary plan?? Man, I'm getting confused again, I hope this makes sense!!! :P

I really want to be prepared for my September and October events!!! But I also will probably completely lose my mind if I get injured again and I don't want to go overboard. So I've begun a conservative build plan starting next week, even if it is only stupid walking! ;) In an attempt to be conservative with my training to 'ease' in, I took the first week of my oly plan and reduced it by 10% for 10weeks (which brings us to this coming Monday) to create targets for total time spent per week training. (Yes, I was completely bored at work today and had very little else to do. I know I'm totally a dork......you should see the calendars I've made just for my training and race schedule.) Thankfully, my swim clinic only runs til May when I begin my oly training plan. And after the next two weeks, it won't eat into my time targets. Plus I think I'm going to ignore the swim for this month and not figure it in to my targets. ANYHOW!!!!! Wish me luck!

As has happened in the past, I've been reminded that I'm not doing the things (eating right, getting enough rest, taking time to relax, spending enough time with friends, etc.) I need to do to make me healthy or happy. And as before, something happens to me physically that makes me slow down and recognize the error of my ways. So I'm trying very hard to be patient and mindful so I don't repeat this experience as a result on not learning my lesson in the first place. As always any advice that you guys can provide in terms of my proposed training plans would be MUCH appreciated!

Ooooohhhh is everyone loving the snow? I would be slightly happier if everyone wasn't exercising his/her right to be an asshole today while driving, but hey you can't win them all! ;)

28 February 2008

pain in the ass....

No seriously, I have pain in my ass. :P So Tuesday I was scheduled for pilates but after swimming on Sunday my hips/pelvis on both sides, outer thighs, sacrum area and right piriformis where aching so much. I couldn't get comfortable no matter how I sat or laid. I tried stretching, Monday I begged my brother to attempt some trigger point therapy to try to relieve it. Nothing was working. So when I got to the CVWC on Tuesday, I asked Melissa if we could skip pilates and fix whatever was going on. Let me tell you, I couldn't believe the level of discomfort I was experiencing. I have a pretty high pain tolerance but this was more than I expected. On my right side everything through the glutes was just a mess. Melissa worked for quite a while trying to get everything to relax and release. She told me she could feel all the muscles/tendons that surround the hip joint were super inflamed. My left hip flexor and quad were a huge mess too. And my left lower back is all screwed up because my left side is overcompensating for the right. An hour later I was pretty uncomfortable. Things had relaxed quite a bit, but that doesn't mean the muscles weren't sore. I came home and soaked in a epsom salt bath which helped alot.


I was originally planing on going to school today but sitting in the car for over 6 hours today is definitely not going to help the piriformis issues! So I'm just saying no! ;) Seriously, though all this just from swimming!?! I'm rethinking my clinic this weekend and I'm almost positive that I won't be able to participate in the CTC indoor tri next weekend or the St. Malachi 5 miler on the 15th. :( I don't see Dr. Shah again till the 22nd so we'll have to see where I am then. It is all very discouraging, to say the least. Yesterday, I felt the best that I have in a few weeks but today I woke up sore. I've been trying to sleep with a pillow between my legs, which seems to be helping the IT band and flexor alot. I guess things will just have to take their course.

Meanwhile, I've become a frickin' sudoku genius. ;) And I've been 'organizing' the house. I'm just bored out of my mind folks! I have also been working the other numbers, that is census data. I'm the biggest dork when it comes to graphically representing info. You should see the pie charts I come up with. ;) They should have some sort of 12 step program to help excel freaks like me!!!

Seriously, it is like -100 outside today, so bundle up!!!! Stay warm and enjoy! :)

26 February 2008

snow :)

The drive into the office today was wonderful. I mean the roads were actually much better than I anticipated but I love the way the world looks when it is blanketed in clean white fluffy snow! :) It is so beautiful!!! I know that most people complain about the snow (and there are DEF times that I get sick of it) but I really like the snow. I think I like winter more than summer. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to be outside doing things in the summer but I don't know, I really like winter. I think honestly, I like three of the seasons pretty equally and then summer is second to the rest.

I think I will always need to live somewhere that experiences seasonal changes. The weather and the way the world around me looks and feels has a huge impact on how I feel on emotional and spiritual levels. If I were to miss a season change, I think it would have quite an impact on me. Days like today make me pause and just listen to the birds and the snow as it lightly touches down.

Monica has a link on her blog for the Daily Coyote. It is such an amazing blog, many thanks to Monica for sharing it!!!!!

I LOVE checking out the site everyday, looking at the amazing pictures of Wyoming and feeling a bit of jealousy. I really love living in the city and being in walking/biking distance to tons of things and being around people all the time, but there is a part of me that would love to move out in the middle of nowhere. Like to Oregon or Washington State. Have an amazing garden so I could grow my own veggies and have chickens and horses. It would be so amazing and completely satisfying. I could do this around here though too. I mean there are lots of beautiful places in Ohio that would be perfect for this sort of dream. Just not Cleveland Heights. ;)

While the Daily Coyote is truly amazing and I get totally sucked into the pictures and transported to Wyoming, I often feel a little guilt. As all of you know I have a cat, Morris. The circumstances in which I found him and now have him were not ideal and being allergic to cats definitely can make the relationship strained at times. But I feel responsible for him and making sure that he is loved and taken care of. Morris is a housecat now though. He was a stray and although he was close to death when I found him, I sometimes wonder if he misses roaming around and exploring. Shreve's cat Eli wanders around the hills of Wyoming exploring to his heart's content. And it makes me feel guilty that Morris is couped up, only able to chase the birds and squirrels from the window sill.

No offense to anyone reading, but I think it is extremely irresponsible to let your cat prowl the busy and bustling city and its surrounding neighborhoods. There are many reasons for this; cars, trucks, dogs and some not so friendly people top it off. While I do get Morris vaccinated (much to my disdain) I do not give him any type of flea/heartworm meds because I'm not so sure they are completely safe. I do have specific foods that he eats to help keep parasites away like garlic and pumpkin. So if I had a little 'farm' he could run around outside a little and I wouldn't worry about his safety. ;) I do my best to keep him entertained and we play in the morning and night so he has time to run and romp. He is a crazy runner, dashing at full speed from one end of the house to other crashing into whatever is in his path. But when I see pics of Eli, free to go wherever he wants, I feel a bit of guilt for keeping Morris in the house.

One day maybe, I will have my own little piece of paradise with a garden and a place for Morris to run around.......and then I can get a dog too! ;)

24 February 2008

hip hip horra-NOTHING

So I went swimming today. Yeah! Well kind of yeah. First, many thanks to Jen C and Brenda for putting up with my slow ass!!! I got in an hour of swimming. What's that you say, isn't the class an hour and a half?! Yes, my friends you would be correct. But my hip decided that an hour was enough. :(

Now even though I've already had a great pep talk from B Bop, I still want to, need to, rant a little. Believe me, I'm much better than I was, he saw me in the parking lot directly after my pathetic attempt at swimming this am. Ahhhhh!! *deep breathing* I'm sick of this already. It has been almost 4 weeks since my hip decided not to work and I have actually gone running ONCE. Just.one.time. And we all remember what happened then. Then I have been swimming 5 times in 4 weeks. That's it 5 TIMES. And each time I can't swim for more than 45-60mins. :( And I'm about one and half lengths slower (if that makes any sense). The trainer, well let's see I've actually been able to get in 2-3 45 mins sessions a week in so that isn't too bad. But I'm not doing any drills and I'm only riding somewhere around 13-16mph.

What is most frustrating is that there isn't any warning, it just happens all of sudden. It isn't like it aches for a while and then I can't go on, it just suddenly happens. I can't go on. *SIGH* Thanks for listening everyone! :)

I'm sure things will turn around soon and my hip will be fine and stop being a pain in the ass (or hip rather).

Lately, I have been dreaming of a vacation. Not just going away but a specific destination. I haven't gotten to travel very much, but in the short list of vacations one place stands out. Many of the places I've been to (except Florida) I have really enjoyed and would like to visit again. The one place that I feel this NEED to visit again is Ireland. Granted I was there for work so I worked most of the time, but when I wasn't at work I was out exploring the city or the countryside. I want so much to go back. Anyone feel like it? ;) Seriously though, I probably cant afford to go this year but next summer I think I'm going back. For vacation purposes only! Not for work. ;) If you haven't checked out my pics from Ireland, there is a link to the right. You'll have to excuse some of them, the planner/urban designer just couldn't resist taking pics of buildings, tiles, doors, windows, sewer covers, etc. ;) I included a short slideshow (I think I took like 200 pics or something, so I tried to cut it down some) of a few of my favorite ones for you. Enjoy!

P.S. seriously think about it......Ireland! ;)

23 February 2008

fun weekend

Before I begin my post, I want to send a BIG CONGRATS to my brother Steve. Yesterday he found out that he had been accepted to the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University! CONGRATS STEVE! :)

Last night I went out with my friend Allison and her boyfriend Phil and one of his friends, Dave, that was visiting from Michigan and Bryna. We were out celebrating Allison and what a cool person and fabuloso engineer she is. ;) Here are some pics from our fun night out. Enjoy!!!

I was planning on hitting the pool this am but since I didn't get to bed until 4am, that didn't happen. My stomach has been very unhappy today. I'm not sure if it is my dumb medicine or the Irish car bomb I had just before we left or the fact all I had to eat so far today was toast. Or maybe all of those things. ;) So needless to say I won't be very fast tomorrow at swimming but I'll be there. I miss running and I have to take my bike in soon to have my new wheels put on. I just don't want to give it up though when that is all I can pretty much do. :( We'll, see!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

TriGuyJT made me do it

Many thanks goes out to TriGuyJT for tagging me.....:P!

Sit back and enjoy everyone!

1. I'm the oldest of 2 children, there is a 10 year age difference. The situation turned out well because we both got to have individual lives, although there is still that occurrence of "oh your Tracie's brother...." Despite the age difference we are very close, as family has always been important in our family.

2. Even though I've had lots of falls and accidents, I've only ever broken one bone. When I was in fifth grade I was roller skating at roller skating night. (Hey I went to a catholic school, we had little things that!) Anyway, someone called my name and I turned my head to answer, when I looked back forward, there were two people at my feet and I had no time to move. I fell and put my hands back to catch myself and felt the tip of my pinkie finger touch the back of my hand.

3. One day I was asking my mother about the spelling of my first name. I thought there was some great story as to why her and my father chose Tracie with an 'ie'. Here is the story, pretty much verbatim:
T: "Hey why did you pick Tracie with an 'ie'?
M: "Oh well, your middle name is Marie and that sounds the same and ends in an 'ie' so I figured they could be spelled the same."
T: "Next, time I ask that question, think of a more interesting answer....."

You know this is hard to think of 7 random facts. Maybe if there had been a specific topic of randomness.....

4. I have been known on many occasions to talk in my sleep. People can carry on conversations with me and I have no recollection of them ever happening.

5. I'm horrible at remembering dates; like birthdays and anniversaries. I don't think I have ever remembered an anniversary in any of my relationships. :( I'm getting better though trying to write them on the calendar. It is very convenient though, my mother's birthday is March 7th and my dad's is November 7th, so I only have to remember the month. ;)

6. I have played several instruments: saxophone, clarinet, piano, and guitar. The last two I taught myself.

7. I still have the teddy that my mom made for me when I was 3 or 4. And yes I sometimes still sleep with him. :)

Here are my tags:
Steve in a Speedo

I'm CONFIDENT that you guys will be able to come up with some GREAT randomness!!! :)

21 February 2008

you know what they say....

Breaking up is hard to do. Today the Cavs traded several of my favorite players, including my boyfriend Drew Gooden. :( (Drew doesn't exactly know that he is my boyfriend, but whatev!;)

Seriously though, I'm not totally sure how all this is going to play out. I guess we will have to wait and see. Ferry seems to think that a midseason mixup is a good thing, but I'm skeptical. I'm pretty sure that Gooden is like number two or something in rebounds. HELLO, WE ACTUALLY NEED THOSE!!!!!

One thing that will be MUY INTERESADO is the reaction Wallace will receive when he enters the Q as a Cavalier. This is a PR person's dream come true. ESPN is going to eat this shit up. When we play Detroit in the finals, they will pit Wallace against Wallace. Creating this huge sense of tension and anticipation. I'm really unsure how I feel about the addition of a former Piston's player. I personally think that they all look like huge scary dudes. And that isn't just because I'm short. They are super intimidating. All of our players are nice friendly looking dudes. Oh well! So long boyfriend and Hughes, Marshall, Simmons, Newble and Brown. Good luck!!! We'll miss you, especially Drew! ;)

20 February 2008


Today is one of those days my friends. Nothing seemed to go particularly wrong, but everything felt that way. First, let me apologize to all those I have emailed today and those I haven't responded to yet. I'm in a funky mood and I second guess every word because I'm so concerned with sounding bitchy or annoyed or miserable.....or all of the above. ;)

Today was an especially trying day with the kids teaching this afternoon. :( I had several that just didn't want to learn and chose to be disruptive and rude and nasty to everyone else. It was exhausting. I have kids looking at me for guidance and help and rescuing from the bullies and I feel like I need to be rescued. Please don't get me wrong, the kids are wonderful and have so many personal and home issues and I know that they are unfortunate products of parents that are too busy trying to survive that parenting falls by the wayside or parents that are absent or just sadly don't really have the ability to consider another human being and his/her needs.

Here is some seriously depressing info. Neglect is dangerous in several ways. One of the most serious effects, besides death, is the emotional effect on the child. When a child is neglected, they do not develop the ability to feel empathy for another living thing. We are not born with the ability to be empathetic; it is a learned behavior. So neglect produces effects that are far reaching, beyond the one person who was neglected. And we wonder why things in our world are so f-ed up.

So back to my kids. I try to talk to them, to get them to settle down and think about what they are doing before they do it. One of the boys is making fun of the only girl we had in our group today. He thinks she is fat and that she acts too white. And here I sit thinking what can I say to get this kid to shut up!? Then another boy starts picking on another boy who is autistic and calling him dumb and retarded. Then the last boy keeps telling me he isn't smart enough to be in this group and needs help with his assignments and he is dumb.

I'm feeling like I want to get up and walk away because I don't know what to say to them to make them stop. I know this is part of growing up but I have one kid arguing with another who then threatens the kid saying, "I'm gonna get my cousin to jump you. He is gonna lay you out, lay out! You want that, you really want that??" All the while, I'm trying to get through the story of Marian Anderson and how she overcame her struggles and achieved her dreams.

So I finally, sternly, tell them to all be quiet. I look at each of them as I speak and I say, "For the rest of your lives, people are going to judge you because of what you look like. They'll say you are too fat or too skinny; too tall or too short; your skin is too light or too dark. That you look stupid or nasty. Don't do that to each other. You all are friends, don't be THAT to each other. You want someone to respect you? Treat them with respect and you'll get it back. Think about what you are saying and doing, don't make a fool of yourself. Don't be nasty and hateful to each other."

I see them thinking, kind of 'getting' what I'm saying. I look at the one boy and tell him to apologize for the dumb/retarded comments and he does and shakes the other boy's hand. Unfortunately, all but one was effected by what I said. I see the young girl trying not to react. I tell her to ignore him and let it roll off her shoulders. Once the lessons are finished she comes over to me as I'm sitting there grading the papers and cleaning up, put her arms around my neck and her head on my shoulder. I tell her that she can't let him get to her. She will always encounter people who will try to bring her down and she has to stay strong. Not let them get her mad, get the best of her. She gets mad and reacts, they win. I tell her I know it is hard, but she has to stay strong. She is better than that.

I love kids. I love being around them and talking to them, relating to them. I love kids because for all they go through, they are resilient. I love how much they laugh. I love how one little giggle can make all of us rolling on the floor, overcome with laughter. I love how real their emotions are, how uncensored their words and thoughts are. I see hope when I look into their eyes. I can see the future for them every time I see that sparkle appear. I don't always see them for who they are today but for they can become.

That has gotten me in trouble before in my own relationships. Loving who someone can be, instead of who they are. I worry that is what happens with each of them some days. Am I too easy on them? Am I trusting that they will find their own path? That I don't have to guide as much as I would like?

But there are days where I worry. Times like today. When I see these incredibly gifted, imaginative, intelligent young men and women and I worry. I worry what they are going to become; if their world is going to hold them back. I worry about the opportunities they won't have. I worry that I'm not giving enough of myself to make a difference.

There are some days I leave East Clark and I had a great time and loved being around the kids and the reality of their world doesn't quite get to me. Then there are other days, like today, where no matter how fast I pedaled tonight on the trainer, I couldn't get away. I am glad that I won't be back til Monday. The weekend is a welcome reprieve.

I'm pretty sure though, no matter how fast I swim or pedal this weekend, each of them is going to be with me. Reminding me of why I go back and why I believe in them.

Because we all deserve to have someone believe in us, believe in our dream, believe in who we are and love us for that.

19 February 2008


Lately, things have been crazy for me schedule wise. I'm the queen of busy and I like being busy, but sometimes it gets a little crazy. :) So I have been looking at training programs because as you can see from my race schedule, I have two oly distances scheduled, a half and full marathon. All of these events happen within weeks of each other. I think if I start a training plan for a marathon it will prepare me for the other events. What do you guys think??? I've been checking out some plans on runnersworld.com. Any advice as usual is much appreciated! :)

Do you think it is a bad idea to do two sprint tris in one weekend?? I'm pretty sure I already know the answer ;) but I want to make sure!

Today I have a session with Hayley for my hip. :( Then pilates and then swimming with Monica. I have to be a 'model' for my mom tonight for one of her projects for school. Just a reminder LADIES, tomorrow is Diva's Night at Fleet Feet so check it out ladies!!!!

Stay warm out there Clevelanders! Its cccchhhhiiiilllllllyyyyy!!!!! :(

Mayor's Ball

Saturday night we went to the Mayor's Ball for the City of South Euclid. Georgine Welo is a great friend of our family and someone that I consider a mentor. I have done alot of work with her for the city and other projects. Here are some pictures from the night! :)

17 February 2008

national geographic update

One of my favorite sites to check out is the National Geographic. They always have the most amazing pics. In fact, they have a ton of wallpaper downloads available for free. (I have a snowy owl as my background at work right now, courtesy of NG.)

So I wanted to share with you some interesting articles that I read today as I recouped from my weekend today.

Rare Egyptian "Warrior Tomb" Found

I love all things Egyptian. It is a dream of mine to visit Egypt. When I was in middle school, I was convinced that I had been Cleopatra in a past life or at least one of her ladies in waiting. The Egyptian exhibit at the Cleveland Art Museum is pretty great if you've never been.

Anyhow, a new tomb from the 11th dynasty was recently discovered of a warrior. Very important for multiple reasons as outlined in the article. He was a warrior at the time of my most favorite Egyptian ruler, Queen Hatshepsut.

No Pristine Oceans Left, New Map Shows

This story was interesting, but I was kind of dumbfounded. I mean it isn't like I am privy to info that the rest of the world isn't, but the guy that did the study seemed to be slightly surprised by his discovery. I was kind of like, "Dude, I could have totally told you that one!"

Gorillas Photographed Mating Face-to-Face, a First

Another thing that I love is the primate world. I think they are just the coolest. Seriously! The animal planet shows about the gorillas and the chimpanzees are my fav! So interesting and completely incredible how alike we are. Anyhow, this article discusses the first known photo of gorillas mating face to face like (some ;) ) humans. This pic here is of the two greeting with a hug, which is also uncommon. The lucky lady involved with this strapping silverback is named Leah. She seems to be special in other ways as well. She was recently photographed using a stick to test the depth of a lake before wading across. Pretty clever chick if you ask me!

New Hazard Maps Show Most At-Risk US Communities

This article was interesting. Maps were created showing the US cities most at risk for unpreparedness for natural disasters based on social factors. It also discusses the trends over the past 40 years and how things have shifted.

Time Capsule from 1791 Found in Mexican Cathedral

Seriously, how cool is that!? The time capsule was created to protect the cathedral and was inserted in a stone ball in the center of the cross atop the cathedral to commemorate the completion of the building. I bet no one involved with this capsule ever thought it would be discovered hundreds of years later!

Go check out these stories and more at National Geographic online! There are always pretty amazing images and stories. Enjoy! :)

16 February 2008

Chili Bowl

Well my friends, today was my first race since my hip decided to get involved in my running, and not in a good way. I was advised by my doc that I could run as long as I wasn't out to break any records and I stopped at the FIRST sign of discomfort. Hayley, my PT, however had a different opinion. I'm sure when I see her on Tuesday she will voice it again! ;)

Anyhow, I was running late this morning after not sleeping so well last night. Thankfully, Charlie is super chill and didn't mind my tardiness. Then I proceeded to drive around to figure out where to park. lol. It was nice because there were so many CTCers there today. So we all chatted a bit while stretching. It seemed that the overall feel today was that no one was particularly excited or well rested or felt very good. So we all kind of commiserated about our unhappiness. :)

I started off feeling great! It felt awesome to be outside and running. I haven't done any running since I-day, two weeks is a long time!!! I loved running through Ohio City. The course was well supported with cops so I would cheerfully say hello to each one. I was doing ok until about a mile and a half in. I wasn't shooting for any great numbers. I told Charlie and Monica not to even look for me till 45 minutes after the start.

So I'm running along and taking frequent walk breaks and I felt good. Maybe even a little better than good. Then my hip started to feel twingy, I thought it might be fatigue. So I walked for a solid 10 minutes. Now you see why I was able to converse with all the cops! ;) I did ALOT of walking today. By the time I got to mile 2 running was uncomfortable so I walked the rest of the way. Well I 'jogged' through a few intersections so the traffic wouldn't have to wait as long for my short legs to get out of their way. ;)

I was almost to the top of the hill on the bridge and looked at my watch, it said 36 minutes. Then I saw Beth running towards me yelling my name. :) So she walked back with me and kept me company. I'm not sure what my final time was because they only have the AG top threes up right now. (Gosh Hermes, get with it!!!) But I know it was somewhere around 48 minutes. I know forever! But it was good to get back out there and I'm just glad that I did it. It was a gorgeous morning!!!

A big congrats to all of the CTCers; we had several people finish in the top 3 of his/her respective AG.

When I got home I did some housework and then I laid down with a heating pad. It helped a little but I still feel pretty stiff. I'm sure after a couple of days things will be better though.

I wanted to leave you guys with this fwd I got the other day from my cousin Kristin. It made me laugh so hopefully you haven't seen it before!


Well ladies and gents, I'm off to make myself pretty for the party tonight! Have a great weekend everyone!!!

15 February 2008


So happy it is Friday! February is way busier than I thought it would be. But it has been a fun busy month so far. :)

This week there were soooo many things going! Then last night I went to AJ Rocco's to see fellow CTCer TriFolk play. Well done, Charlie! A good time was had by all, illustrated by the three empty pints I had in front of me when I left. ;)

Tomorrow is jam-packed which is nice! First, Chili Bowl then (possibly) swimming with Monica, then I have a mayoral ball for the mayor of South Euclid and then my cousin wants to go to a bar after. I know totally nutz, but I'm sure it will fun! You all are welcome to join us out!!!! Well, the ones that live in Ctown. I mean of course ALL of you are welcome but I don't think you would want to travel that far. ;) Anyhow, we are planning on the Boneyard in Mayfield so come join two of the lovely Z ladies for a few drinks! :) I've never been but Kristin loves it so we shall see what I come up with! ;) Anyone have opinions???

Next week is crazy too but the highlight is new socks!!! Now not just any socks my friends, Balega socks. I have a credit waiting for me at Fleet Feet and Diva Night is Wednesday so I'm going to get some socks!!!! :) LOVE THEM! They are so comfy. My fav are the XTerra Trail Socks so I'm excited to get a few more pairs of those! I know, just socks, but my friends for me it is about the little things!

Then I will be in the Blo again and I have a meeting with one of my profs because the lead prof for my project option thinks my proposal is not that great for my project. :( You can check it out for yourself and tell me what you think! (You really don't have to! I just like constructive criticism.) See the thing is that:
A. Yes, while there is alot to cover, I don't necessarily have to go in-depth with each recommendation of the community.
B. Several of the goals can be solved together with a couple of strategies, so it isn't like I'm going to be 'solving' all the world's problems. (Just a few.)
#3: Seriously, I can totally kick some planning (and nonplanning) ass, so why you gotta be down on me Sternie?! I always get it done and done well, so just believe. Believe in the dream Sternie! ;) (Sternie is short for Dr. Sternberg; I don't think he knows I call him that though!)

Gosh, I had so many other things I was going to write about today! :( Then I got sidetracked. Ok let's see I had one particular message I wanted to get across. If you aren't interested in criminal law please proceed to just my message which is AFTER the LAST white line.


Today, the verdict was returned in the Jessie Davis murder trial. For those who are not familiar with the case a quick google search will produce ENDLESS results.

Having a legal background from undergrad and having worked for the DA's office in the city of Buffalo, I know a little bit about the law. I was concerned that although Cutts took the police to her body that he would still be able to get off, as it were. The remaining evidence was all circumstantial. I will say that his defense was poorly done. I'm not sure if a plea was offered but if I had been counsel I would have urged my client to take the plea. I'm not sure that everyone is aware of this, but when someone is charged with a crime, that individual has NO REQUIREMENT TO PROVE INNOCENCE. The burden of proof lives on the State. The only time this becomes fuzzy is when you have confessions. Now I'm not positive that he confessed, I believe he only told them where they could find her body and then refused to give any further info without an attorney. Instead his counsel thought that it was prudent to allow him to take the stand and concoct some totally unbelievable story about what happened that night. Delivered between sobs. What was striking about the testimony is that it was the only time Cutts showed any sort emotion the entire trial. He did not show emotion when pictures of her decomposing body were shown.

Here are the two biggest flaws with his story (besides the fact that he was a police officer and if it was truly an accident he would have felt comfortable alerting EMS to assist in resuscitating the victim):
1. He claims that an argument ensued and at one point he violently lifted his elbow striking the victim in the throat rendering her unconscious. FLAW: Her windpipe was severely damaged (collapsed I believe) and she had two broken vertebrae. Additionally there were ligature marks on her neck. Any CSI or ME will tell you that kind of force required to produce such results cannot come from violently striking someone with an elbow.
2. He claims that he used bleach to try and 'wake her up' because of the smell. FLAW: It appears as though at least a half of a bottle of bleach was spilled on the floor of the bedroom.

So today he was found guilty of all counts except one, aggravated murder of Jessie Davis. I don't know the CPL here but I believe aggravated murder requires use of a weapon with premeditation and knowing intent to kill. Clearly, they were not able to convince all the jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that he did this.

Here are the charges and verdicts:
* Count 1--Aggravated Murder for purposely causing the death of Jessie Davis: NOT GUILTY, FOUND GUILTY ON LESSER CHARGE OF MURDER (15 years to life)
* Count 2--Aggravated Murder for purposely causing the unlawful termination of Jessie Davis' pregnancy: GUILTY (Death penalty or life in prison)
* Count 3 --Aggravated Murder for purposely causing the death of a viable, unborn child; a child under 13 years of age: GUILTY (Death penalty/or life in prison)
* Count 4--Aggravated Burglary for with the purpose to commit murder, trespassing into Jessie Davis' home: GUILTY (10 years)
* Count 5 & 6--Gross Abuse of a Corpse for reckless treating the corpse of Jessie Davis and her unborn child:GUILTY & GUILTY (1 year each count)
* Count 7--Child Endangering for creating substantial risk to Blake Davis in leaving him home unattended: GUILTY (6 months)


The whole point of sharing this story is to remind/alert you that this is an EXTREMELY common occurrence. Here are some frightening statistics:

-Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.
-Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.
-Nearly 25 percent of American women report being raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or date at some time in their lifetime.
-On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day. In 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner. The same year, 440 men were killed by an intimate partner.
-Pregnant and recently pregnant women are more likely to be victims of homicide than to die of any other cause. Homicide is the leading cause of death overall for pregnant women, followed by cancer, acute and chronic respiratory conditions, motor vehicle collisions and drug overdose, peripartum and postpartum cardiomyopthy, and suicide.
-Approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.
-Forty percent of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.

I am completely aware that these stats are thrown around all the time, but obviously people aren't listening or paying attention or the violence would stop. We need to be teaching our young people that violence is not a viable option when dealing with conflict, disappointment or anger. We need to set an example as adults that it is never appropriate to be physically, emotionally, economically, psychologically or sexually abusive to another person. Further, it is our responsibility to offer support and help to those who are experiencing such atrocities. Jessie Davis is just another face of this epidemic. Chloe, days away from birth, is too. Please take time to be aware of those around you and help people that need it. One person really can make a difference. Even if you touch just one other person in your entire life that is enough!

13 February 2008


As I sat in my house and my toes feel like icicles (even with my balega hiking socks on!) I got an email from my Auntie Terri that was about frozen things so I thought I would share it all with you! ;)

I'm not sure if any of you have ever heard of Improv Everywhere but their website has a whole list of 'mission' of improv, well everywhere. So the one I have here was executed in Grand Central Station. 200 Improv Agents 'froze' for 5 minutes while other travelers bustled around them. Watch and see the results!

I especially thought of my bloggy friend Josh who lives in Philly (oh so close to the big apple). Josh you should TOTALLY do this!!! I wish I was still in NY to participate. I especially liked the Abercrombie&Fitch stunt they pulled so check that one out too!

P.S. Thanks for all the great comments everyone! They mean sooooo much more than I can express. :)

12 February 2008

almost a year ago.....

I have been thinking about discussing this on my blog for a while now but I wasn't sure exactly how I wanted to talk about it, like exactly when I should share it or if I even wanted to in fact. It is something that I'm still getting used to and something so personal. I kind of feel responsible to spread awareness and talk about my experiences. Lately, I've been thinking about it more and then today I logged onto the forum and one of the other members had a post about the moment that brought you here. So here is mine. :)


I was always active when I was growing up but as I started to get into middle school I just kept getting chubbier and chubbier no matter what I did. Thyroid disease runs in the family and my mother always attributed my weight issues to that but the doctors could never figure out what the problem was. I played sports through middle school all the way to high school (swimming, diving, basketball, tennis and cheerleading). As I entered high school, my weight started to fluctuate a lot, major ups and major downs without reason. Throughout college I worked out consistently and was able to maintain a consistent weight (not necessarily the one I wanted, ;) ) for that time. Still I was always having thyroid tests every six months since the doctors were convinced there was ‘something wrong.’ I was diagnosed with everything from thyroidism to fibromyalgia to RA to MS. Every time I went to a specialist they would say that whatever the test said, I didn't have that particular disease. Thankfully!!!

Fast forward to summer of 2005, three years after graduating undergrad, I moved back to Cleveland and not much about my activity level changed. I still worked out 3-4 times a week and was consistent with my food. Three months later, I had gained 50 pounds and was so disappointed. I had no idea what was going on. I started working out more and being very strict with my food, but nothing changed. I went for my yearly exam in March, 9 months after I had moved back, I had gained 10 more pounds and asked my new doctor to do a full thyroid panel. After much convincing she finally did, against her better judgment. Two weeks later she emailed me and said that she wasn’t sure what the problem was but that my numbers came back ‘weird’ and I should see an endocrinologist.

I saw another doctor and she ran a ton of other tests and diagnosed me with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). After I found out, I had many mixed emotions and she kept telling me that it wasn’t because of anything I was or wasn’t doing that I had such a hard time losing weight. I’m not good at being a victim or feeling helpless and that was so difficult for me. Around the same time, I went to this terribly boring luncheon with my mom and there was a silent auction. One of the prizes was one month unlimited with a personal trainer. I bid and won!

I started working out with Alexis and tracking all my food. I found out that I was only eating about 700 calories a day. So my initial 'job' was to start eating more. It was so hard! I still am trying to slowly increase my calories. Thankfully, the more I train the hungrier I am. ;) Unfortunately, I have to take a couple of meds, which was very hard for me. I'm not a medicine taker and the knowledge that I will be on medication for the rest of my life for this is/was unsettling.

Then I had to learn more about PCOS. Everyday it can be difficult, most days it isn't though. But learning about this disease makes me feel more normal I guess. I know that things that happen inside my body or with my emotional/mental state are a result of PCOS and not my craziness. ;) There are a couple of things that are frustrating about PCOS overall. First, it is very common, 10% of women in the US that are of reproductive age have it. However, whenever I talk about it no one has ever heard of it. Most doctors are clueless about it and that is why it goes undiagnosed for years. Many women have to travel long distances to find doctors that have knowledge about it to get appropriate treatment. Further complicating matters is that even though the word 'ovary' is in the name, it isn't a reproductive disease but a disease of the whole endocrine system. Which essentially means that my brain doesn't work correctly. ;) Who knew right?! I'm lucky, I don't have many of the outward physical symptoms that come with PCOS but the unseen ones are there.

One of my biggest issues with being diagnosed was how I felt about myself. I have always been a confident person who truly accepted myself, flaws and all. I'm lucky that I'm capable of giving the unconditional love that I give to those I care about to myself as well. However, when I was diagnosed I became so disconnected from my body and I began to let it and PCOS define who I was. I have never felt so insecure with the way I looked or how I felt about myself as I did a year ago. It was so unsettling to be in my late 20s and have such disdain for who I was. What was more unsettling was that this was the first time in my life that I had ever felt this way.

So as I move forward, I know that I might face challenges that others don't but we all have challenges in our lives, they come in many different forms. And like everyone there are days when I get whiny in my head and feel the tiniest bit sorry for myself. What makes me feel better is that I have decided to define my life instead of letting PCOS define it for me. I might not be able to control things as much as I would like or see results as quickly as I would like but I've always needed to learn how to be more patient and this is another opportunity to practice.

I am so thankful for my family and friends and how supportive and understanding they have been. Interested in what is going on in my body and how my life is changing as a result. They are always so supportive and truly interested in my training and races. :)

I'm also thankful to have found CTC. Thanks especially to Jen C; she was the first person I 'met' from the club and I knew that if everyone was half as friendly and supportive as she was I would have a blast! I have made so many wonderful friends over the past few months and I haven't met one person that I didn't like. Everyone is so supportive and the best cheerleaders! :)

So thanks to everyone! Thanks for stopping by and reading my frequent (and frequently long!) posts and giving advice and support. Thanks for helping me learn more about triathlon and in the process myself. Thank you so much for being part of this journey! :)


I was checking my stats last night and I saw this visit:


I'm always interested how international viewers found me so I checked out the referring URL. And guess what!? This person found me from CNN.com. Can you believe it? I clicked the link and saw the article on CNN.com about Zednik and at the bottom of the article there is a shortlist of blogs that have similar info. I found the link at the end of the day so mine wasn't listed anymore, but isn't that something? I know that a searchbot populates those lists, so it isn't like anyone at the journalistic giant actually read my blog but still fun.

Totally not really important, but I felt little 'special' for a few minutes. ;)

Anyhow, I hope everyone is staying warm!!!! Cuz it's chilly out there (again) today! :)

11 February 2008

history repeats in the Queen City...

You all by now I'm sure know of my love for hockey and the Buffalo Sabres (who I hardly ever get to watch :( ), last night it was a solemn win for the Sabres as Richard Zednik of the Florida Panthers was horribly injured.

I have included the video of the injury and reply, the version I have here doesn't show too much blood, but I am warning any of you who might not want to see the slow motion reply.

With the Sabres in possession, Jokinen(FL) checks MacArthur(BUF) and as Jokinen goes down his legs go up just as fellow teammate, Zednik, is skating behind him. Jokinen's skate makes contact with Zednik's neck. Shockingly, Zednik immediately stands after his initial contact with the ice and skates back to the Panther's bench three quarters away down the ice.

In the video I have here, Jim Lorentz an announcer for Buffalo can be heard saying, "I'm afraid I have, but I don't like to recall it." In response to fellow announcer, I believe it is Rick Jeanneret, saying, "I've never seen so much blood that quickly." Jim is referring to Clint Malarchuk of the Buffalo Sabres. In 1989 his jugular was sliced as it made contact with an opposing player's skate. Malarchuk was a goal tender and could not escape as Steve Tuttle of the St. Louis Blues approached the crease. I provided the link but I chose not to embed that video due to the graphic nature. A fight promptly ensued, as is expected when the opposing team's players rush the goalie, knocking him down and moving the net. So the video is zoomed in very close to all that is occurring on the ice.

Thankfully in both cases, the players were able to receive prompt medical care and Malarchuk received 300 stitches and returned to practice 4 days later.

As of now, Zednik had surgery on his carotid artery and is recovering. Hopefully, Zednik will recover quickly and be able to get back out there! Best wishes for a quick recovery!!!

10 February 2008

I know, as if one post wasn't enough today.....

I just wanted to get my weekend summarized. ;) Sorry!

Yesterday, I had a jam packed day! Woke up a bit later than I had wanted as a result of staying up til 1am on Friday night. Rushed over to Pilates and then over to the Cingular store to help my mom figure out her phone plan. Then I went over to Marshall's cuz I NEEDED a new pair of black heels for this thing I have next weekend. Rushed home, took a nap. Which is not something I do regularly but it sure felt good to sleep for an hour. :) Got ready and went over to the CTC Party.

One of the other CTCers was hosting it at his totally pimped out loft. Seriously, the bedroom looked like a magazine. ;) He was an awesome host and I got to finally meet a few people that I only know from the forum convos and got to chat with others. So overall it was a pretty good time! :)

I was up late again last night, because even though I was tired when I got home from the party (and pretty much half in the bag) I answered my cell when it rang and ended up on the phone til about 1:30am. So again this morning I slept in till about 8:30am and refused to get out of bed because of the chilly snow that I heard whipping around the house. Around 9am I finally got my ass out of bed and got the day started.

I have been doing some work for school and house stuff (yeah :P) so I'm going to have dinner in a bit and then hit the trainer and see how my hip feels. I'm pretty much dying after a week of doing nothing!!!! I'm surprised I made it. Seriously, I usually would start to get depressed after missing two days of workouts but this week I did ok. I think I was just busy otherwise that I didn't notice it as much.

Ok so here is the plan for this week workout wise:
S: bike
M: swim, I'm going to swim for 30mins at a reasonable pace and see how I feel, if my hip starts to bother me I'll end there, if not I'll try and squeeze in another 30mins.
T: bike
W: swim 45mins., bike
R: if I don't go to the b-lo I might got for a hike
F: swim, pilates
S: Chili Bowl :)

Now, even though I'm not supposed to run, I think that hiking isn't the same and if I just do a short one I should be ok, right? It is supposed to be sunny on Thursday so I will prob go to Buffalo, so I might then try to fit something in on Wednesday after tutoring. I'm not sure exactly what I'll do but I'll probably head out to CVNP. I haven't been out there in a while, like years! So it is officially allowed.

sooooo Wicked..............................

No not me! Ok, well........sometimes. ;)

Sorry for the delay in writing! I wanted to write about Friday night festivities on Saturday but totally ran out of time.

Last year my mom and brother and I went to see Wicked and when we heard it was coming back this winter, my brother began a campaign to my mother resulting in her purchasing tickets for him and I for xmas.

Here is a synopsis of the show:

The musical is based off of the book written by Gregory Maguire . I've never read it only seen the show, but if it is anything like the musical I'm sure it is great. The story focuses on Elphaba (Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda (the Good Witch) and how the two met. The beginning of the musical takes places prior to the story of The Wizard of Oz. Then about halfway through the musical the events in the movie start to appear subtly. The only characters that aren't explicitly shown are Dorothy and Toto although they are referred to subtly.

As the story unfolds you learn about Elphaba and her story. There are alot of themes that are relevant in today's current political atmosphere, as Elphaba is deemed 'wicked' because people always need someone to blame things on and be afraid of. Fear is what gives those in power the ability to continue there power and create a diversion so people do see what is really going on. As Ephaba's powers are revealed, those in power attempt to manipulate her and Glinda to use their magical powers to control Oz and Munchkin Land. But Elphaba isn't having it and she is faced with a decision to follow what she believes in and lose an opportunity that she has dreamed of for her entire life or quietly do as she is told.

We first went out to dinner at the Chophouse. I have to tell you guys, my brother was so adorable. He was so excited for the show and so excited to go to dinner downtown. Since he is in high school there isn't any real reason for him to be in the warehouse district, especially on a Friday night. For him it was a night in the big city! I don't think he stopped smiling at all the whole night. :)

Dinner at the Chophouse was of course wonderful. As usual, I ate my salad and a couple small wedges of their cornbread (which is waaaaay too good) and when dinner arrived I could only eat a few bites and was stuffed. I tried REALLY REALLY hard to eat more but I had eaten too much of others things. So I basically watched Steve eat and then we headed over to the theater.

He was also excited because my mom had purchased upper box seats and he hasn't had the opportunity to sit there before. As we were ushered to our seats he kept looking at me with "this is the coolest ever!!!" expression. The upper boxes aren't used at all shows because of how much of the sets and the sound equipment has grown over time. For example, at the Lion King, the boxes where occupied by soundguys and instruments. So as we climbed the old narrow staircase his excitement grew.

Having already seen the show once before we both have our favorite parts. I love the Emerald City costumes the most and my favorite songs are "Popular," "Defying Gravity" and "For Good." Steve's favorite songs are "Defying Gravity" and "As Long as You're Mine."

The house was packed as it was sold out. The resulting energy was incredible and you could feel everyone's excitement. The show was amazing of course and we had great seats to see everything. It is a fast paced show with wonderfully amazing costumes and sets. The score is also quite well done. I mean this has won several Tony and Grammy awards, hello!. ;)

We took some pictures at dinner and then in the theater and of the stage. So I put together a flash video of those pics and a couple from the Wicked website. I wanted to include the entire song, "Defying Gravity" so I grabbed photos from other websites to fill the time. If you have the chance to go, do it! It is a really cleverly done show, the characters are great and well played! Enjoy!

NOTE: I used Camtasia to create the flash file. I have pasted all sources for pics in a comment to the post.

08 February 2008

do you have stars on your underwear???

So I went to see Dr. Shah today. He was very nice and totally understands my desire to get back into things which was AWESOME! Unfortunately, he couldn't magically share his speed, but oh well. :)

Let me break it down for all of you....

Drive for what seems like forever, because let's face it, Hudson isn't really close to anything. ;) Go into to see the Dr. and meet the med student studying with him.

They had me perform a bunch of very specific movements to assist in a diagnosis. Then I had to have xrays of my hip/pelvis area to see what was going on. This is the 'good' part of the story so keep reading.

So everything goes totally fine with that and the technician says,"Just stay here and I will check the films in case we have to redo some."

me: "Ok sure. Thanks!"


The door opens slowly and the two technicians peak their heads out and the one looks at the other and then at me and says:

"Do you have stars on your underwear?!"

At first, I was like what the hell is she talking.....about....then "OH.MY.GOD."

I didn't even think when I was getting dressed this morning about my appointment. I grabbed whatever was clean and ran out of the house. Well let me tell you what was clean in the underwear department. Hot pink panties with crazy diamond studded stars!

Instantly my hands cover my girlie parts (cuz everyone totally has xray vision now) and I get beat red and start apologizing to the techs.

I am taken back into my room and pretty much everyone that works in the office knows about my panties. Dr. Shah comes back in and says, "Oh wow, yeah there they are."


Seriously, it was pretty hysterical. And guess what?!?! I took pictures. ;)



I knew you would all want evidence! :P


I have a hip flexor/iliopsoas strain. Here is a lovely diagram of the muscles that are involved. So I'm allowed to "cross-train like crazy" (exact words of Dr. Shah ;) ) but kind of watch the running. So the Chili Bowl is on!!! He said it would probably be my slowest time but if I didn't care and I felt ok I could participate. However, at the first sign of any discomfort I have to stop running. :(

I also have to keep up that damn foam roller on my IT band. (OUCH!!!!!!!!!!! that doesn't even do it justice people!) I also have to go for PT 1-2 per week for 4 weeks and then go back and see him. ($$$$$)

Now, I gotta run! I'm going to dinner and then out to see Wicked tonight! Which by the way, if you haven't seen you NEED to! It is phenomenal!!!!!

07 February 2008

check this out......

Ever want to send a someone a note to let them know you are thinking about them??? And in that moment, also thinking, "I wish I could send a card made by a local artist???"

Well, look no further my friends! My Auntie Terri has a solution for you :)

Visit Lake Erie Artist's new on line card store. Featuring the talent of local Cleveland artists.

Please take time to check out the selection and why not buy a few while you're at it!?! Especially the ones made by Terri Harper! ;)

I'm pretty lucky, I get her handmade lovelies for xmas and bdays! :)

In other Auntie Terri news, she will be having a gallery opening in March!!! So you can stop in and see all her amazing work! I will post the details as they become available.

Here are some of my fav images, mouse over for a larger view:

In other news, I finally gave in and am seeing Dr. Shah tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully, he will have good news for me. Fingers-crossed everyone!

06 February 2008

updates :)

I don't have too much to report about the hip. :( I had PT on Tuesday and my PT had a really hard time getting my hip flexor to release. I'm still.......stiff and sore. I'm hoping to make an apt ASAP with a DR to figure out what is causing all this.

In other fun and exciting news, I got a haircut AND a color today! :) I love getting my hair done! I always feel like a new person.

Not much else to report, as my training is practically nonexistent, as is my social life, nada mucho!

I have a fun-filled weekend coming up so hopefully I will have pics to share from Wicked and the CTC Party! :) Stay tuned!!!

Hope all of you in the blogosphere are happy, warm and dry! The rain is crazy!!!!!

04 February 2008

!WARNING! rant to follow......

I meant to publish this a couple of weeks ago, but there were other things, more relevant in terms of triathlon and training, etc. So I now post this little rant, feel free not to read it. If you do want to read it, please don't hesitate to share your opinions; I LOVE all opinions even ones contrary to my own.

It has absolutely nothing to do with training or triathlon but instead about politics, the patriot act, 9/11 and above all else FEAR. Enjoy!


I felt compelled to share this story with all you! I was just catching up on recent current events and found a story about Ramak Fazel. Some of you might have already heard of him. I had not. Ramak was born in Iran and moved to the states when he was young. He is an American citizen. He recently decided to tour the US, as he has done many times before. But this time it was for a special project. He had a large stamp collection and was visiting each state capitol then sending postcards to himself at his next destination. The result was an art installation in a storefront in SoHo. What happened along the trip, while not surprising to me, is terribly disappointing and frankly disgusting. Here the NY Times video and the NY Times article.


I watched an interview with Ramak from CNN and he says that at the beginning of his trip he told the woman sitting next to him on his plane ride to Hawaii what he was doing. Apparently, she didn't quite 'get' what his purpose was and filed a report with TSA and they alerted the anti-terrorism task force.

This story reminds me of an incident that occurred when I lived in Buffalo, NY. I remember picking up the Artvoice and seeing a story about a professor from UB who had been arrested and detained under the Patriot Act. As I began to read the article I couldn't believe what had occurred.


I should backtrack a bit here, I apologize. If you want to skip my interlude scroll down to the next dividing line.

I lived in the state of New York when September 11th 'happened'. I was a senior in college, anticipating the beginning of my adult life and moving on. The middle of August brought many changes. I had decided that I wasn't going to law school. All that I had been preparing for for 3 years, suddenly wasn't what I wanted. I wasn't exactly sure what I would do, but I felt like I had two semesters to figure it out. The semester began without incident, then a few days in we found out one of my roommates was pregnant. She had had a short lived, sex filled relationship of sorts with an old high school friend that summer. She felt as though her world was crashing down around her. A week later, I got a phone call at 4:30am. It was the highway patrol, I had to pick up one my roommates who had just been arrested for a DWI. She was hysterical and threatening suicide. I knew she was just scared and I convinced them to let her come home.

Things started to calm down a bit, as much as they could with 6 women living all under one roof. I had a 10:00am Tuesday/Thursday class and so did two of my other roommates so we would walk to class together. Mine was a freshman level science class that I had to take to fulfill my liberal arts reqs. I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth listening to 101.1 The River, a Canadian station and Tears for Fears "Everybody wants to Rule the World" was playing. I heard someone galloping down the steps and then a bedroom door fly open downstairs. I looked at the clock thinking that we weren't late it was only about 9:00am.

I heard a muffled panic coming from the living room and toothbrush in mouth walked in to find my roommates staring at the tv with a look of disbelief. I turned off my electric toothbrush and listened as Katie Couric's voice shifted from journalist to human being. As she was broadcasting from the roof, another plane crashed into the towers. A wave of confusion floated through her and then panic. You could hear the fear in her voice. I looked at my roommates and said, "we are at war, someone attacked us." I knew at that moment, my life had changed, my world, my future were changed. I could feel the loss of all I believed in.

We realized the time and didn't know what to do. We went to class. I sat in class with a bunch of freshman who had the misfortune of 8am classes because they were freshman and registered last. With a professor who had just taught an 8am class and had no idea that anything was amiss. I remember leaving that class as fast as I could and I ran into my Harold on the way out of the Science Building and asked him if he had called his parents in Brooklyn. He just looked at me confused, I said, "Harold, call your mom." And walked away. I never saw the towers actually fall that day. I didn't see them until years later. I remember not being able to use the phone, cell or landline. I called my friend Steve who lived in New Jersey but had clients in NYC at least a dozen times before I got through. The first thing he said when he answered was "they're gone, I saw them and then they were gone." He had received a phone call from a coworker who told them of the first crash. So they got in their car and started driving back to New Jersey. He said that he turned to look as they were on the Garden State Parkway. At the top of the first hill he still saw the towers standing, then at the top of the next they were gone.

Living in New York State and in a border town in the aftermath of September 11th was difficult and stressful. We were inundated with propaganda and fear. Canisius was the only public or private for that matter, entity in the city of Buffalo that didn't close. Our President Father Cooke is from Manhattan, his family all lives there and he hadn't spoken to any of them when he addressed the campus that afternoon. But he told us that we would persevere in the face of this and had to keep moving forward. Bomb threats went on for months. People were afraid to cross the bridges. Everyone was afraid. I've never seen so many American flags. And surprisingly those flags lasted for several years after.

I also saw fear change people I thought I knew. I saw fear take over. I saw my friend Hassan thrown out of a bar and spit on because his skin was brown. I saw an RA from the other dorm get spit at and called a terrorist because she was Lebanese. I saw hate and fear. And it scared me.

I remember thinking what I would do if there was a draft. My brother was only 11 and the time but I knew this would go on for a very long time. I struggled with wanting to protect him from a draft but then feeling guilt. Both of my grandfathers had served in wars. My mother's three brothers all fought during Vietnam, one on the front line. My father's number had been called and he was lucky to not qualify. Was is disrespectful for me to want to know how to save my brother from fighting when it was part of my family history? I kept telling myself that a draft would never happen. Then the Patriot Act was passed.

Being in a border town we felt everything first. The Patriot Act was constantly being used for means of detention on the border. Everyone was afraid to speak his/her mind. I helped organize a Peace Prayer Service and served MC. We had several faiths represented and each read a prayer that was important in his/her respective faith. I cried as Hassan sang his. I couldn't forget how horrible people had been to him and he was still willing to stand up and be different. There were signs everywhere, in stores on campus, on lightposts, anti-terrorist signs I guess you would call them. I call them disgusting. I remember when we saw the large poster someone had put up on the front porch of a house on Eastwood, it was hateful and disgusting. Since it was a college owned house they had to remove it.


As I sat at Spot and sipped my cafe au lait, my stomach started to knot. On May 11, 2004 Steve Kurtz awoke to find his wife not breathing. He called 911 and paramedics arrived with fire rescue. They found more than just Hope Kurtz. Steve Kurtz is a founding member of Critical Art Ensemble, an art group that explores the intersection of art and technology. He was working on an exhibit at the time and the rescue workers saw petri dishes and several microscopes in the living room. The police called the FBI and Kurtz's home, car, research and writings, laptop, and his wife's body, even his cat were seized under the Patriot Act and he was detained without charges.

He currently is still waiting for his trial to begin, which could end in a possible sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Here are some links to read more about his story:

Artvoice articles

Strange Culture writeup

BoingBoing Interview

Marching Plague - the result of Kurtz's supposed bioterrorist activities; the original manuscript was confiscated as part of the state's investigation

I often think about what the future is for our country. I sometimes think about what the world will be like for my kids. What kind of future do they have waiting for them? Our government is so reactionary, never proactive. What will this fear lead to? What is the result of presidential and congressional panic?

Listen up ladies!!!!

I just wanted to share two fun events coming up for LADIES! :)

First, Fleet Feet in Northfield is having a Diva's Night:

Wednesday, February 20th from 7pm to 9pm we are going to be your diva headquarters! Come join us for another one of our most popular nights of the year.

We will again be offering discounts to all, gifts with purchase, raffles all evening long, professional bra fittings with a representative from Moving Comfort, a fashion show of Brooks Apparel for the Spring of 2008, chair massages and mini manicures from the All About You Salon and Spa.

We will have food and beverages all evening long to help sustain you for all of the fun and fashion!


Second, Mountain Road Cycles is having a Ladies Wine Night:

Mountain Road Cycles in Chagrin Falls is having a FREE Ladies Night on FEBRUARY 28, 2008 from 6-9pm.

There will be info sessions on bike maintenance, a special sale on apparel, and wine tasting!

Factory reps from Pearl Izumi, Felt, Giant, and Endura will be there with samples and demos too.

For more info contact Jacob at 440.247.7662 or Jacob@mtnroadcycles.com.

Click HERE for the flyer.

I hope to see you there ladies!!!!! :)

02 February 2008

My first 10K and........

my first DNF. :(


It was very icy this morning in case any of you readers were in hibernation. I almost killed myself just on the way to my car from the house. So we got to the race via Janet's caravan of racers and all was well. It was a bit cold and windy but hey it is February after all. The parking lot was a sheet of ice so when they said go I started running cautiously and didn't fall or slip at all. I was trying really hard to pace myself but I must say that I did my best running so far at this race. :)

I really liked the route and it was super peaceful. I know I've said this before but I really like not being with the pack, it is so much quieter (more quiet??) and I can definitely think more. The course was definitely challenging and thanks to gortex wrapped all comfy around my feet, my tootsies were never wet or cold. My calves are quite another story. There were several streams and really big puddles and a bridge. It was really great, I kept wishing I had brought a camera with me.

So just before the halfway point, my right hip started bothering me, which was disappointing because for as challenging as the course was I was making really good time. The last few weeks I have been working with my PT, Hayley, to figure out what the cause was of this sore right leg. The pain or sometimes just discomfort would move around a bit making it difficult to really determine the cause. We are still trying to figure it out but today might have been the best indicator.

Ok anyway back to the story. I suddenly start to feel muscle fatigue in my right leg then all of sudden a shooting pain in my hip. It felt like someone was pushing a needle into the socket. Now for those of you who don't know me very well, I have a very high tolerance for pain. So much so that I have had what to me feel like 'nagging' discomfort for weeks and they turn out to be serious illnesses or injuries. This pain was very sharp but fleeting. So I did what I have never done before while racing. I stopped. I stood there for minute and thought, "What are you doing?!?! Keep going, keep going." As soon as the voice got louder and more stern in my head I started to move and the pain returned with a vengeance, I could feel my pulse quicken and my breathing getting labored and then my eyes started to fill with water. I kept running and kept saying, "You will not cry. If you cry, you won't be able to breathe and then you won't be able to run. STOP CRYING NOW!" So I stopped the tears as quickly as they had started and tried to run through the pain.

At some point your body just says, "I. HAVE. TO. STOP." And mine had begun that. When I got out to the part of the course that ran next to the highway I had to walk. I tried a few times to start running but the more I tried to pick up my leg the more the more it hurt. There was some tall grass that had fallen over and frozen in big heaps on the ground so I had to lift my legs higher than I wanted to as I walked.

Then I heard someone behind me. The 'sweeper'. He started talking to me, trying to keep me moving. I barely made it over the last stream because it was much wider than my stride and after jumping the last one, I thought it better to suck it up and just walk through. He asked me how I was and I told him that I had to finish even if I walked to the rest. That started to get uncomfortable and all the pressure I putting on my hip with my fist wasn't alleviating the pain.

I had never had such a feeling before. Not since a tennis injury to my wrist when I was in high school which severely affected my ability to grip my racket. I was only able to hide that from my coach for a week and a half. I got caught because I tried to return and my racket fell out of my hand as my I felt my wrist pop. I was benched for two weeks because I didn't report the injury when it first happened.

I was overcome with emotion. I'm not a quitter. For better or worse, I don't give in. Yes it has caused me pain before, emotional mostly, but I just can't give in until I know that I have done all possible to succeed. Until I know that I have exhausted all of my options and tried my best.

As I made my way into the church parking lot, he asked me if I wanted to go on and said that I was only a little over halfway. Just then a gold SUV pulled up and he said, "He can take you back if you don't want to go on. It's ok you know, if it hurts you should stop." I had been in such denial that it was that bad. I was pretending that I hadn't been limping since the first sign of pain, clearly favoring my right leg. I stood there and I didn't know what to do.

I sighed and said I was done and got in the car. The whole way back he kept reassuring me that it wasn't a big deal and that I could do it next year. I was trying so hard not to cry.

I know it sounds silly to be so emotional, but it was very disappointing for me. I always set high expectations for myself and if I feel like I'm not accomplishing things I get very frustrated. All I can do is rest my stupid hip and hope that things clear up soon. I have swimming tomorrow and I'm going to go and see how much I can do. I'm not so worried about the swimming but the getting in and out of the pool. Ha! I can drive with two feet so that will help. Right now it is still really tender and it is uncomfortable to put pressure on it so I have to take one step at a time.

Janet and Elizabeth did really well!!! Way to go ladies! :)

I hope that you all are having great weekends!!!! Enjoy the big game tomorrow! :)