Monday, October 31, 2011

Spooky Halloween Tale

This fine Halloween morning I thought I would share a true story of a woman who was once normal and on Halloween morphed into a scary, crazy, neurotic, OCD individual.

Yes, the woman is me. (No, the woman in the picture is not actually me, but I think it is a pretty accurate portrayal of what I will look like in another 30 years.)

Every morning I make tea while I get ready for work.  The tea water boils, I finish putting my face on, getting dressed, and making the bed, and then run down and pour the boiling water into my travel mug.

I have been doing this for 4 years now.

And yet today, for some reason, 3.5 miles into my drive to work, I decided I simply MUST go home and double check that I had turned the stove off.

Which of course I had.

But I needed to add a little crazy to my life and double check.

Off to wash my hands 47 times,

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Ok, so if ya'll recall, I blogged last week about maid service while at conference numbero uno (of 7...) and about how I didn't like to have the maids come daily because I didn't have the cashola to pay them.

(If you do not recall this story, then start reading my blog more often.  I beg of you.)

Well the responses have overwhelmingly been "you tip your maid service!?!?!"

Which got me thinking.

I have ALWAYS tipped the maids growing up.  I remember my dad leaving cash on the TV stand when we would leave for our daily activities when I was a little girl and since then I have been tipping.

But apparently, that shit is not normal.  (The Pinkson clan not normal?  Color me shocked.)

So please, as I have 6 more conferences to attend in the near future, please let me know if I need to be packing cash to tip the maids, or if I am crazy, and maids do not get tipped (which will save me a bundle of money and some stress).

Monday, October 24, 2011

I have an addiction

Help me, mama. 

Someone has made the mistake and invited me to Pinterest.


Cannot stop pinning.

If you do not hear from me for the next 100 years, it means my addiction has taken over and I am lost in the cyber-world of beauty that is Pinterest.

You can find me Here.  Follow me (because I am insecure and need you to follow me to feel successful).


Friday, October 21, 2011

Clean yo' self

I come to you from beautiful, sunny, warm, perfect foggy, overcast Southern California to gripe about something.

I would say I travel a lot.   Not even including this trip, I will have at least 3 night stays in over ten hotels between now and April.

Because I am a neat freak, when I travel I do not leave towels on the floor.  I make my bed, I fold my clothes, I have things neatly put away when I check into my room.  No crap all over the place, everything is where it should be.

And because of this, I do not need my room cleaned daily.  I do not even need the house cleaners to come in every other day.  So I put the little "Do Not Disturb" sign on my door and leave it there generally for the entire 3-5 days I am at the hotel.

I do not have a maid at home, why do I need one when I travel?

Am I on vacation from being the clean, OCD individual that I am?  No.  If you can make your bed at home, keep your towels off the floor, and generally not be a slob while you live at home, why must you behave differently while at a hotel?  Just because there is a maid?

Furthermore, at home, I do not clean my bathroom daily nor do I vacuum my floors daily.  I do not change my sheets daily, or my towels.  Why do I need this all done daily while on vacation?

For the few days I am staying at the hotel, I do not want my space invaded just for the room to be perfectly cleaned.  The garbage can be emptied from my gum wrappers and tissues when I leave, thank you.

But apparently this mentality is absurd.  Regardless of whether I am at a Hilton in Houston, the Marriott in Anaheim, or the Hyatt in Albuquerque, I am constantly asked by the cleaning service if I would like my room cleaned.

Just yesterday (8 hours after I had arrived--how messy could I have allowed my room to get WHILE I SLEPT?!) I had a note under my door (on lovely hotel letterhead) instructing me to call housekeeping if I wanted my room cleaned.  I also had a message on my phone--from house keeping seeing if I wanted my room cleaned.  And lastly, as I ducked out of my room in the middle of the day (I had gone back to freshen up) a cleaning woman saw me and literally dashed down the hall shouting after me "scusa me, ma'am, do you no want me to cleana your room??"  I kindly explained that I did not need the room cleaned, I had just arrived last night, yadda yadda.  "No towels?  You don'ta want new bed?"

I smiled, said no, and went back to my meeting.  But I do not understand why I am constantly asked if I need my room cleaned during my short stay.  Do people really not understand that I keep my room clean and do not need fresh towels daily?!

Or that I never remember to travel with cash and therefore cannot tip the maids? (This may or may not be the real reason I do not have my room cleaned while traveling. Hint: it definitely is.)

Back to work I go,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

La La

I am unexpectedly headed to LALA land for work tomorrow.  Southern California weather, I welcome thee.

I am bummed that I will be away, I have a lot of work to do, a man to love, runs to go on, healthy meals to cook, and Friday Night Lights to watch.  I have no desire to be working at 7 am every morning straight through until Sunday.

But my biggest concern is not the work, the fear of flying, the massive amounts I will miss my man.

It is the fact that I am, how shall we say, fashion retarded?

This is LA:
And at any given moment, this is me:

Not quite the tanned, leggy, sexy, blown-out, perfect female specimen that roam the streets of Hollywood.

This trip is going to be great on my self esteem.

Going to pack,

Friday, October 14, 2011


It's raining and will continue to rain for the foreseeable future.  It is also cold.

I have a serious headache.  It has been here for 3 days.

Recovery from this race is taking far longer than I anticipated and I have not gotten any exercise since Sunday.

We are broke (always).

I want a puppy.

Our house is a mess.

I need new snow tires (please see: we are broke).

I have pimples (3!).

I have to do laundry this weekend (at least 4 loads).

But none of this is going to get me angry.

It is near impossible to be upset when this is what I see everywhere I look:

Happy Fall,

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Half Marathoner

This is what we in the race world call a "Race Recap."

For those who have a life and have no desire to hear my step by step experience of Sunday's big race, go do something else like take a nap, type a paper, or go to the bathroom.  Anything really.  But for those who pretend to care, this is a long, boring post (unless you love race recaps like I do).

Saturday night Mr. G and I loaded Caroline the Corolla with running gear, apples (yum), my race information, etc.  We hit the road and drove south to the land of the Massholes.  We found our lovely (sarcasm) hotel without a hitch.  Checked in, had a brewski, and off we went to dinner.  Got some pasta, some wine, some gelato.  Nothing out of this world, but it still hit the spot.

I was in bed by 9:45 with a goal to be asleep by 10:15.  HA.  All night I dreamt about racing.  I constantly woke up up because I was nervous and anxious.  It was not a swell night of sleep.

At 6:20 my alarm went off.  I popped out of bed to order my room service breakfast (wheat toast with peanut butter and a hard boiled egg, please!) only to find out that my hotel did not have room service.  WHAT THE MOTHA FUCK!?  I threw on my clothes and went down to the shatty ass "marketplace" in the lobby and got a wheat bagel with peanut butter, a banana, and a fake scrambled egg, (which I immediately tossed in the garbage when I left).

By 7 am we were walking to the shuttle over to the race.  I was nervous but calm.  At the shuttle stop we were surrounded by people who were also running, the energy was fantastic.  We loaded the busses and headed over to the start.

We arrived about 35 minutes before race time.  We walked down to the race start line and were blown away by the thousands and thousand of people.  There was music playing, 6,000+ runners and spectators milling about, stretching, having fun.  It was amazing.

Until I looked at the lines for the 45 or so port-o-potties.

Of which 3,000 people were waiting for.

And of course I had to go pee again, even though I had gone moments before loading the bus.

We jumped in line and stood and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  30 minutes went by and I still had a good 12 people in front of me.  And a good 30 behind me.  And that was just in my row for my port-o-potty.  There were lines like that in front of all other 44 port-o-potties.  The announcers asked for the runners to line up.  People in the bathroom lines started looking nervous.  The national anthem was sung.  People in line started shifting about.  They started announcements about the route, people started dashing to the trees to pee so they could start on time.  I was a nervous wreck.

5 minutes later it was finally my turn.  I jumped in, peed, and sprinted over to my starting corral.  Mr. G was sweet and ran with me, stood to the edge of the coral, and started snapping pictures.  Bless his heart.

There were so many people, we could not all fit into the corral.  We stood outside of it, hundreds of us, and just waited for the gun to go off.

When it finally went off, the crowd cheered and I teared right up.  (Emotional wreck, right here.)  People started moving, and about 3 minutes later I was finally able to get into the corral.  I waved good bye to Mr. G and started walking towards the start line.

I had a huge smile on my face for the first 2 miles.  The crowd support was fantastic.  The energy of the runners was even better.  It was downhill.  Everything was great.  I was able to listen to my music and not focus on others, but was also able to thrive off the energy of those around me.  I saw momma and poppa PB at mile 1 and was just on cloud nine.  The entire race was an out and back course, so we also saw the men from the wheelchair division already coming back when we were between miles 2 and 3, and the crowds went wild.  The runners were just so thrilled for these bad ass mother fuckers and we were cheering and shouting for them.  It was the highlight of the race for me.

(Another highlight was the fun signs: "You are all Kenyans today!" and "Your stamina turns me on.  Call me."  And finally, "That is not sweat, that is your fat cells crying.")

The runners high lasted until mile 5.  At mile five we turned around and started back for the first out and back leg of the course.  I was feeling a bit tired and started thinking about running, which is never what I want to do when I run.  I took some shot blocks and carried on.

At mile 8 I was pretty pooped, but my friend Kali and her husband where there waiting for me.  Kali jumped in and ran with me for nearly 4 miles.  She is a seasoned half marathoner and was so positive and supportive.  She talked me through those 4 miles and was right by my side.  When I needed to slow down and walk (which happened a lot during those 4 miles) she was telling me it was ok, I needed to listen to my body.  I still do not know why I was so tired, I have certainly done 8,9,10,11, and even 12 miles numerous times this summer.  But regardless, I was just completely exhausted.  And Kali was right there telling me I was doing great, that I could do this, that if I needed to walk that I should walk.

Miles 9-12 felt entirely up hill.  Not major hills, mind you, just slow, gradual uphills.  And for God's sake, they were such long miles.  Miles 9-12 felt longer than miles 1-9.  I wanted to face punch everything.  WHY WAS THIS TAKING SO LONG.  HOW COULD THIS MILE BE LASTING FOREVER?!  Shortly after mile 11 we were back at the start of the race.  "Oh good," I thought.  Almost done, I can see the stadium, hear them announcing names, see the smoke from the grills."  But OH WAIT.  Mother fuckers have you run another mile out and back before you finish.  FUCK.  We ran through the zoo, I was barely surviving.  People said they saw giraffes but I only saw the brown ground in front of me.  I thought I was going to die.

Finally we hit mile 12.  Kali's perfect doll of a husband was waiting there, cheered for me, and Kali left.  *Dear god, Kali, thank you for your support!*  At that point I knew I could make it.  No more walking.  Just run.  JUST DO IT.  I ran, slow, steady.  I saw a sign that said "800 meters to go!"  And before I knew it I saw another that said "Only 500 meters left!" I rounded the corner and could see the stadium.  I heard Mr. G shouting "Shauni!  Go Shauni!  You are awesome!" (or something to that affect, but I like to think he said that I rocked or some such thing.)

I entered the stadium.  I turned the bend.  I saw the finish line and the clock and I ran as fast as I could manage.  Which was not fast, as I was being passed left and right by those around me.  But I crossed the finish line, threw my hands up over my head and smiled.  And immediately stopped running.  I just wanted to walk.

I went and got my medal, and Mr. G called.  We met in the food tent, where I was stretching.  All I wanted to do was stretch and rest and drink water.  Fuck everything else.  I was exhausted.

My official time was 2:21.  I am disappointed in my time, but I am also extremely proud of myself.  This is the most challenging thing I have ever done, and had you asked me a year ago if I could run 13.1 miles I would have laughed in your face.  I have never felt more proud of myself.

I did not have any pain while running, however after the run and all day yesterday I was stiff and sore.  My toes still hurt and I am waiting for some of the nails to fall off (my worst running nightmare).  It is terribly painful and inconvenient.

Regardless of how exhausted I felt and how sore my body was after the fact, I already cannot wait to run Boston again next year.  And the Covered Bridge half in VT next June.

After all, I have to shave time off my pace!

Thanks for listening,
One Bad Ass Granny

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thoughts on Running

This is going to be a slightly different blog post than usual.

This is going to be more like me rambling about my thoughts on something with no care as to how readers might react.  This is strictly for me to just "get it all out there."

A little over a year and a half ago, while living in the most physically active town ever, I heard friends and colleagues talking about running.  They all ran.  They were members of running clubs.  They ran to the office.  They ran every day for fun.

"What in the...?  Why would you want to do that?"

I never had the desire to run long distances.  While I thought it would be cool to be able to run for say, 30 minutes, when I heard people speak of running distances I was appalled.  That sounded horrible.

But I knew that 30 minutes of running was something I should be able to do--I was pretty active.  And by pretty active I mean I went to the gym and used the elliptical for 40 minutes 4 times a week.  If I could do that, I could try running, right?

(Note, while the elliptical is a good workout, it in no way prepared me for running.)

So I went to the local high school track and forced myself to run.  It was horrible.  I would go and do 4-6 laps, walking in between, with lots of aches and pains.  This only lasted a week though, as I lived in the Sierras, and wouldn't you know it, but we continued to get a shitload of snow way in to the month of May.

Then we moved back to Vermont.  I had a wedding dress to fit in and no money for a gym membership (woe is me).  So I started running again.  I ran from my house to the covered bridge a mile away.  I could  again *barely* do this.  There was one hill in the middle of this mile run and for months I could not run the mile without walking up the hill.  Eventually I was able to run up part of the hill, but then I would need to stop and rest at the top.  And always, after I made it to the bridge, instead of turning around and running home, I would walk back.  This lasted for a few months.

Then winter came and the desire to run completely went away.  I joined my gym and it was back to the elliptical I went.  And the stair master.  And weights.  But not running.

For some reason in February, I decided to sign up for a 5k.  It was a month away.  I started running on the treadmill at the gym and once again, it was awful.  I could maybe run for a mile.  I would do my mile, then walk a little, then run another little bit.  Over the time period of a month, I slowly and painfully made it to the 3.1 miles I needed to be able to run for the 5K race.  I ran the race, it was challenging, and I finished in 31:58.

I continued to run after that.  It was a slow process.  I felt that it had taken me a month to get up to 3 miles, so adding another mile to that distance would also take me a long time.  By April I could run 4 miles.  I called my mom, my sister, my friends, Mr. G to tell them all I was up to 4 miles.  I was so proud of myself.

It should be noted as a reminder that I have never ran.  Not ever.  In High School sports and for the presidential awards you better believed I walked my skinny (back then it really was skinny) ass around the track for the mile test.  Fuck running.

When I was able to run 4 miles, I happened to be in Boston during the Boston Marathon.  It was completely inspiring.  How can these people do that?  It was so amazing.  It also just so happened that an old friend of mine, who I would never in ten million years would have guessed that she would grow to be an athletic runner, also was running a marathon.  Add that to the 4 people in my office who were all half marathon runners (and one marathoner) and a spark was lit in my soul.

I was going to do a half marathon.

I found a training schedule that was for 12 weeks.  I knew I would need more than 12 weeks to get my body ready for a half.  I have now been training for nearly 30 weeks.

I started on the treadmill.  I was still slow.  But I slowly, slowly added miles.  I was up to 5 miles on the machine.  And then a month later I was at 6.  By July I could run 7 miles and at that point I knew I would be able to do the Boston Half Marathon.  In July I signed up and was so proud of myself for even being able to consider running a half.  And with the ability to (barely) run 7 miles, I was just over half way to my goal.

In late July I finally decided it was about time to run outside.  All this time I had been running on the treadmill most days, with a few runs outside on a hilly 2.5 mile loop.  I had Mr. G drop me off 8 miles from home.  There were some hills and some dirt roads.  I was excited.  But lord have mercy was it a challenge.  It was SO hard for my to transition from running on a flat, steady treadmill to the great outdoors.  I had to stop and walk often.  I walked up some of the hills.  But I made it home and again, I was so proud of myself.

This weekly pilgrimage has not only continued since July, but it has become a ritual that I look forward to most weeks.  Mr. G will drive me miles and miles away and I will run home.  Just me, the road, and my music.

I loved that every couple of weeks Mr. G would drive another mile farther away.  I loved that I had 2 hours to myself to think, run, focus on what I wanted.  Rarely did I think about running, or when I did it was generally "Wow, I just ran 3 miles without thinking about running at all!"  I focused on my breathing, my stride.  I made up games in my head.  I imagined myself running over the finish line in Boston.

Over the course of the summer, I have continued to shock myself.  I can now run 12 miles pretty comfortably.  My speed is not great, but during one run, I did manage to run 2.5 miles (in the pouring rain) in less than 20 minutes.  I can now run hills, even mile long hills, even if they are at mile 10 and 11 on my long runs.  I am strong and I am proud.

Of course there are days that suck.  Sometimes I do not want to run.  I force myself to go out and while I usually end up enjoying myself, other times all I can think about is running.  And I find that when I think about running while I run, I do not enjoy it as much.  I think about how tired I am, or how this is not relaxing like taking a bath with a good book and some Pinot.  I cannot catch my breath and I get frustrated.  There are days like this and they straight up suck.  But for every bad run, for every negative thought, for every little pain my body gets, there are a million happy thoughts, enjoyable runs.  And a few pounds lost, too.

My big race is this weekend.  I would be lying to say I am not nervous.  I have had IT pain this week (if you had asked me a year ago what an IT band was, I would have looked at you crazy.), I do not know the course that I will be running, I am used to running alone, not with 6,000 others or with people cheering me on.  What if I do not finish with a good time?  What if I do not finish at all?  What if I get picked up by the sweepers?

But I know I can do this.  Since February, I have become a runner.  I run.  It is starting to define me.  All I want to do is run, talk about running, buy running gear, surround myself with other runners.  I have comfortably run 12 miles.  I can, on any given day, run 10-11 miles.  I can run outside up hills or inside on a boring treadmill.  I may not be fast, but I can do it.  So come this weekend, while I have butterflies in my chest (and stomach, and mind), I will kiss my husband and put on my music and I will take off, just like I have every other Sunday for the last 3 months.  And I will do this.

Thanks for letting me ramble.  And thanks for listening.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Last night I was sending a text to a friend and my autocorrect changed "ooooh" (as in, "ooooh, I can't wait!") to "poopy."

I noticed right away and was able to correct the text, but not before giggling out loud.  "Hehe, poopy," I was thinking.

Mr. G heard my giggle and asked "What are you laughing at?"

I told him and he responded in such a way that I knew we would be together for the rest of our lives.

He burst out laughing and started repeating the word, "poopy."

To which I responded with laughter and snorts.  And the word, "Pooper."




"pooper scooper."

"poop shoot."

"poop.  poop.  poop.  POOOOOOOP."

This conversation, word for word as outlined above, lasted a good six minutes.

We are so mature.

It is why our marriage will last forever; poop is a top contender for the coveted position of my all time favorite words.  Likewise for Mr. G.

We were fated to be together.

Pooper Scooper,

Monday, October 3, 2011

What in the...?

Yesterday my man and I hit the local theaters for a movie.  We break the law and bring in our own popcorn.  We always feel rebellious and slightly bad ass.

Imagine how I felt when I looked across the aisle at one point and saw (what looked like) an older lady sitting with her feet on a crate she must have brought in.  It was red.  And in her cup holder was a giant thermos.  And at her feet (next to the red crate) was a full sized picnic basket.  Filled with bags of goodies (I saw at least one bag of Doritos).  And in her arms was a giant blue water jug.
Like this, only blue.  And large and in charge.

But she wasn't drinking it, just shaking it.


Why the large water jug, but also a thermos?
Why never drinking out of it?
and most importantly...


Confused and impressed,