Monthly Archives: November 2011

Thanksgiving Nails

I did a little artwork tonight

Thanksgiving nails left hand. Edward Winslow and Squanto to the rescue!

Thanksgiving nails right hand. Major stars in the frames. (Frames and portraits inspired by Robin Moses)


Called on Account of Pee

This past weekend was the Turkey Trot 5k. It was also the same weekend I babysat my niece, Olivia, while here parents went away for the first time since she was born about a year ago.

Friday evening I picked Olivia up from daycare and she was all smiles and cuddles. We had a good time with friends at a potluck, where she was very entertaining. Her tired little butt fell fast asleep on the way home in the car. So did mine. I had a big day ahead. Doing a 5k with a jogging stroller.

In the morning, around 7am, I actually had to wake her up. Again, smiles and cuddles. How can you not love this kid? We both chowed down on bananas and Cheerios then got dressed. Backed the diaper bag and jogging stroller, and off we go.

We arrived at Colonial Park with plenty of time to get ourselves together and check in. Unfortunately I didn’t register early enough, so no T-shirt for me. Boo.

Olivia was actually enthralled by watching the 1-mile fun run race. As they finished up we went to line up for the 5k at the back of the back. By chance, I ran into an old friend from college (Hi Ryan!). He asked when I had a kid. Nope, not mine. Just borrowing her.

Suddenly the race started. Yeah, suddenly. People just started moving forward. So we followed along. Me pushing the stroller behind other strollers and a few dogs at the back of the pack.

I was plodding along, and actually felt pretty good. The cool air was refreshing. My lungs weren’t exploding after 1/4 mile. But Olivia was starting to fuss. I rocked the stroller a little. Maybe she would go to sleep. After a half mile I backed off. The wailing got louder. So started to push it. More fussing and whimpering. Not good.

I pulled over and felt her diaper. It was quite full. And her onesie was wet. And it’s like 40 something degrees out. Not good.

I assessed the situation. We were closer to the car than the finish line. I had a baby that was very wet. I was running a 5k in a race where I was doing ok, but not enjoying the course. Time to cut my losses and do the right thing.

We headed back to the car, and with the heat on full blast, I changed her diaper, and clothes. I sipped on some coconut water while she sipped some formula and dozed off. It was a lovely bittersweet trip back down the canal. Once home, we both dozed off on the couch.

Newspaper Nails a la New York Times

Newspaper nails over Orly White Cap. I went New York Times.

Quotable Inspiration

56. Make the switch

The difference between a jogger and a runner is a race-entry blank.” –Dr. George Sheehan

101 Greatest Running Tips on Women’s Health

I couldn’t agree more. That is what really got me going. Sure, I could jog on the treadmill at the gym for 20 minutes and go on to some other machine, but signing up for a race gives me a goal. There is something to shoot for. Now I have some pride in the game.

I probably won’t do so great at the Turkey Trot this weekend, but it will probably still be better than my first race. And next month, when I find a race, I will probably improve a little more if I stick to my training.

I’m also finding thinking about races helps me focus on the number of miles and not the numbers on the scale. I don’t stress as much about food as I used to when trying to lose weight. So I had a grande salted caramel macchiato. BFD. I enjoyed every sip. I’m still losing a little weight each week. I’m getting there. I’m happy. I’m becoming a runner.

Missing the Mark

My own sketch because I couldn't find any other image to illustrate the point. And no, I don't live in Alaska. Stop laughing at it! Ok, you can laugh. He does look like Spock.

That c25K workout didn’t happen last night. It’s so so dark by the time I get home. And it’s starting to get chilly earlier. When I get home all I want to do is eat dinner, chill out for a little bit, and go to bed. And lately I’ve been going to bed earlier than usual. It sounds like a bunch of crap excuses when I read it on paper in black and white, but it’s all true.

I get up at 6ish. Shower, dress, hair, feed the cats, pack my bags, and out the door around 7. Then an hour commute to be at my desk around 8. Lunch is at 12. I try to get a walk in if the weather is cooperating. Leave work around 5:15, sit in traffic for an hour and change, and get home around 6:30. It is pitch black. I do not feel like running. I do not feel like leaving my couch.

This is not good. This is getting me no where. Let’s fix this.

1. Workout in the morning instead? Maybe, not my first choice. Getting up earlier is really really hard for me.

2. Head straight to the gym from work so I don’t have to be outdoors? Probably a very good idea. Must remember to pack gym bag.

3. Go for a walk/run straight from the office? Possibly a good idea. Could change in the bathroom. Won’t have to sit through traffic. Would need to pack bag and a snack.

4. Get a running buddy? More likely to keep that appointment. So true, and I’m already looking into it. Hey Katie? Tara? Interested? Anyone?

5. All of the above? Yes, even better.

New plan of action is to attempt to do the workout in the morning, which will provide more energy for the day. Fall back is to have a gym bag in the car. I already keep a set of field clothes, so what’s the difference? Then I can  do it straight from work, go to the gym, or meet up with a friend.

Inaugural HFF Weekly Update

I used to do a weekly update email every Monday for the emergency squad activities, and I kinda miss it. I tried to come up with different themes and make it funny.  I also really like planning and organizing. Let’s just say my calendar is color coded, and so is my closet.
I also find it’s a good way to stay on track with activities and priorities. Make sure I don’t double book (too much). And honestly, it’s the only way I can ever carve out some personal time or gym time. Otherwise it just slips right past me.
So here is the inaugural edition of Heather’s Figments and Fitness Weekly Update. 
  • Timesheet. Check. (I HATE doing my timesheet. If I ever have my own business I will ban timesheets. Or atleast not do one myself.)
  • Have husband show me how to put more music on my Droid
  • Do a C25K workout
  • Make mini-pumpkin cheesecake from the recipe I found on Fitnessista.
  • Happy Birthday Carolyn!
  • Go to work
  • Strength workout at gym
  • Do the nails. They are getting shabby. Need a design idea. I’m saving Jeremy’s super truthful Thanksgiving, for, well, Thanksgiving.
  • I need to do something fun. Not sure what yet. Andy is working all night, and sometimes I struggle with being a blob on the couch when he has those shifts. Especially now that he introduced me to Skyrim.
  • C25K workout
  • Bake for the meeting. I’m thinking some kind of bread. Good reason to have the oven on when it’s chilly out. 
  • Weekly meeting where I share baked goods, so that I don’t eat them myself. 
  • Clean and baby-proof the apartment
  • Get a walk in somewhere
  • Olivia comes to stay with Auntie Heather! Yay!
  • Pre-Thanksgiving Potluck at Caryn’s. Hmm, what to make for that.
  • Somerset Turkey Trot 5k with Olivia. My cousin, her girlfriend, and their dog are coming too. I’m so excited they are joining me. 
  • Most likely chill and grill for the afternoon.

Tough Mudder Tri-State 2011 as a Volunteer

Heads up, this is kind of a long post. Epic event.

Saturday morning was very cold and very dark, but I dragged myself out of bed anyway. I fumbled around looking for the clothes I had picked out the night before and a few extra items of warmth. I kissed my husband good-bye and left to go hang out with a bunch of crazy people playing in the mud.

When I arrived at Raceway Park it was starting to hum with activity and buzz with anticipation. The volunteer check in tent was full of people chatting and munching on breakfast sandwiches. Most were talking about why they were here, and thinking about doing it next year. There was a sign-up sheet being passed around for different volunteer posts. As cool as it would be to do an obstacle, I passed it on and decided to let the coordinator just put me wherever needed help.

I was assigned to “Bag Check”. At first it sounded stupid, and I was a little disappointed. Our job was to check in participant’s bags and hold them, because obviously you don’t want to go splashing through the mud with your keys and cellphone on you.

The first wave of Mudders was due to start at 8am. By 7:30 they were coming in droves. As chilly as it was, nobody seemed to care. There were huge smiles, laughing, and joking. Lots of hooting and hollering. Crazy hair cuts and wacky costumes. Supportive families and wide-eyed kids.

There was a band of super heros. The cast of Sponge Bob. A group of “flying pigs”. Some came dressed in military uniform. Some came dressed in very very little.  I even posted to Facebook about the vet I saw wearing a camo kilt…and two mechanical legs.

It was about 35 degrees F and these crazy and brave men and women were about to embark on a 12 mile course with 32 obstacles that included cargo nets, hay bales, fire, water, a half pipe, electric shocks, and tons and tons of mud. The estimated time to finish is about 3 hours, and the goal is just to finish. The top 5% will later go on to participate in World’s Toughest Mudder next month in the same location.

Just as it seemed like we were starting to slow down with “check in”, the first few Mudders were returning triumphant. They came bearing the orange headbands of honor, soaking wet, and shivering. It’s a damn good thing they get their bib number written on their forehead, because the ones on their wrists and bib are in tatters or soaked in mud.

We scrambled to get their bags back to them. That’s when I realized why some of them were so heavy; they were full of dry, warm clothes. Screw the changing rooms, they stripped off wet shirts right there and put on dry ones. Then they left to join the party that was starting back at the finish line.

As the day got brighter and warmer there was less shivering, but more mud. There was a quite a bit of limping and even a little blood. It was a little worrisome to see such well muscled and active looking guys in such condition. It certainly gave me second thoughts about doing it next year. It also made me a little worried for my brother and his friends who were due to start at 11:45.

My shift was over around lunch, so I grabbed some food and headed out to the course to try to catch a shot of my brother’s team and take in the sights. The Everest was set up around mile 8. Because of waivers I signed, I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to tell, but you can see for yourself what is going on and what the objective is.

The best part was the sense of camaraderie. Of course team mates were helping each other out, but they were helping perfect strangers too. It was clear some of the participants were in this thing solo. But really they, weren’t. They were all in this thing together.

While I was standing there watching with the other spectators, a linebackeresque guy yells “Hey purple! Bring it!” So this young woman in purple under armor takes a running start at the obstacle and throws up her hands to these strange men. They grab her hands and pull as her feet attempt to climb the muddy rest of the way. Another guy reaches down and pulls her up by the leg. Not graceful, but it works. One guy moves on and Purple kneels down to recover and help the next person.

I couldn’t seem to figure out where my brother was at that point in the race so I headed down to the grandstands where the finish line was. It was amazing to see these people crossing the finish line to music and cheering for hours. People of all shapes and sizes and ages.  Despite everything they had been through they were still running and smiling as they received their orange headbands of honor.

Just as I was starting to worry, and get tired, I saw the “Cheese and Crackwhores” come around the bend and down the home stretch. I think Ray knew I would be there. They slowed down just long enough when I yelled so I could snap pictures of them.  I was so impressed and proud to see them finishing strong.


Evan and Scott

I could probably go on for pages about all the things I saw and thought while watching just part of this event. But that would just be a spectators view. I can do better.

Yes, I do want to do this.


If you read this in search of more photos, I snagged the link from my brother for official photos. You’ll need your bib number to look it up.

Here is a link to more photos, including Purple and mechanical leg man