cold

On December 19, 2010, I ran the Christmas Classic 5K in Golden Gate Park.

I signed up for this race several weeks in advance, so I was pretty bummed out by the fact that I had fallen prey to head cold #1 (I’m still recovering from the second cold as I type) days before the race. I felt even worse when I found out that it was going to rain and be nasty out during the race. I had never raced in bad weather before and I wasn’t entirely sure that running in rain and wind was going to be good for my cold. Lastly, I was sad that I might miss out on getting another race shirt.

Since I’m not a long distance runner and don’t have medals, race shirts are my only form of fitness bling. Boo-yah.

I debated bailing on the race in this post, but when race day came, I just decided to go for it. I might drop dead trying, but I was going to finish and get my damn t-shirt.

A couple of days before race day I hit up Sports Authority for some inclement weather gear. I didn’t really have a track jacket or hat, and I knew that I needed them for the race, especially given my health at the time. I picked up a super cute Nike jacket that was on sale and a Nike cap. I had wanted gear that wasn’t black, as everything I own is black, but in the end, it’s what I wound up with. The night before the race I was getting excited, so I decided to model my gear.

Hawt, right?

Yes. Okay. Moving on.

I’ve looked back on my camera, but I can’t find any pictures of breakfast. It was almost a month ago, but I think I had a cup of coffee. I also probably had some kind of nut butter and a banana on a slice of either Great Harvest Dakota or Brown bread. I guess this as I always have peanut butter and banana on toast before a race and secondly, I guess this because it’s the only food I really had in my house during the month of December. Oops.

I was running (ahahaha. punny. ok. not really.) a little late that morning and I managed to navigate the distance to the 5 Fulton stop on McAllister and Divisadero just in time to see the bus drive by. Very reminiscent of my Run Wild For A Child morning, no?

The only difference is that this time, I couldn’t hustle enough to make it. I had a full Clipper Card this time and everything. Le sigh.

Do-dee-do. Guess I’ll just have to wait then.

As I stood there in the bus shelter, the wrath of God poured down on San Francisco. Seriously. The wind was blowing so hard I thought the shelter and I were going to be obliterated. I was getting soaked because it was raining sideways, into the shelter. I was freezing and wondering what exactly I was doing out of my bed and out in the cold, harsh world.

After 9 minutes of getting thrashed by mother nature and a 10 minute MUNI ride, I arrived at Golden Gate park. I didn’t really know exactly where the start line was, so I just sort of followed the other people wearing running clothes who also wore expressions of “WTF am I doing here?!”

I figured they would know where to go.

After I got there, I picked up my bib and started my great restroom search. The brilliant folk from the park sort of forgot to unlock them so all of us were pacing around from bathroom to bathroom trying to find the magical open one. Eventually a park employee came and opened up. I got in there before he closed it to be serviced and stocked. Fine by me. No line. Woo.

After all of this rain, wind, and bathroom searching, I was starting to feel crappy, tired and blurry. Out of focus. Ick.

I went to huddle with the other people who would be running the 5K. There was also a mile race, so all of us 5Kers were waiting on the mile race to end. I saw my co-worker run by super fast. Impressive. All of us cheered on the runners. The rain had stopped somewhere during all of this and all of the happy vibes from the cheering started to brighten my spirits.

Woo! Go running! @yay!

Eventually it was time for the race to start. I didn’t have high expectations. I just set out to finish and do the best that I could, given the circumstances. The first mile was pretty tough, just because it was up an incline. I never run up hills, save maybe racing up one block from Oak to Page on Broderick after my Panhandle runs. I never actually train for hills. This wasn’t steep, just a steady climb. I really didn’t want to stop, so I just kept at it, which I think was probably a bad idea. I kind of burned through my energy really early.

During the other 2.1 miles I did a lot more walking than usual, as I was struggling with breathing…my sinuses were shot. Despite the difficulties, I was having fun. Race workers said encouraging things when we hit certain points. I watched little kids running with their parents and siblings, the elder family members trying to motivate the young ones to keep going and “finish strong”.

Finally, I saw the finish line ahead. I was sad to see that it was already past the 33 minute mark, but even more sad to see 34 minutes approaching. I ran as hard as I could, but I just couldn’t make it in under 34.

I posted this video on New Year’s Eve when I discovered it had been uploaded onto YouTube. I had anticipated it being very difficult to locate myself, so I just clicked on the third part and started scanning for myself. Luckily, it didn’t take very long. I am the first person to cross the finish line in this hunk of video footage. Score!

As I crossed the line a race worker exclaimed, “300! You’re here! Good!” You can hear it in the video.

Then I continued on down the chute and someone handed me a lollipop. Nice!

I made my way over to the post race festivities and picked up my t-shirt, water bottle and swag bag. Then I saw what kind of munchies they had going on. Cheese…..and DOUBLE RAINBOW ICE CREAM! w00t! You got to choose between chocolate and mint chocolate chip. I’m a chocolate girl, always.

Those are the legs of a fellow runner. He was chatting with a mother and son who had just finished racing. Then he talked to me for a bit. People at races are always so friendly and nice!

After a few minutes I sought out my co-worker to say hi. We chatted. Then I started on my walk home, happily eating ice cream and feeling accomplished and chipper. I passed a family and I remembered the little boy. He had passed me up during the race! I watched him as we walked…he was eating his lollipop and his ice cream at the same time. I smiled and told him that he was really fast. He didn’t have much time for me…eating two desserts for breakfast is hard work. His mom smiled and made a few comments though.

I really enjoyed this race. It was small, low-key and fun. I was able to not care too much about my time and just get out there and run, which is really what is important, right? I mean, who cares if you ran your 3.1 miles in 20 minutes or 40 minutes? It’s still 3.1 miles, and it’s still awesome. I wish I could get that fact through my thick skull more often.

The only thing I didn’t really like about the small race factor is the hand scoring. I had to wait two weeks to hear any word about my official time. Sure, I just said above that time wasn’t important, which is true, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to know it just for my own records, memories and blog posts! The first step towards an official time was the above linked video. Then a day or two later they posted my time….

31:22

Uh…what?

If you look at the video, I came in at around 34:02. My RunKeeper says it’s 34+ minutes also. Where did 31:22 come from? I e-mailed the timing people from the race and asked about it…they said it is correct.

Which is totally isn’t.

It’s not that time matters all that much….except that now my PR on Athlinks is a time that I didn’t earn. It bums me out a little bit that it isn’t accurate. I can’t believe my luck…two races in a row where there were timing issues. Maybe it’s Golden Gate Park. Perhaps it’s cursed….

Spooky.

At least I got my t-shirt…

…and a bunch of junk mail that needs to go through the shredder…

 

Have you ever had timing problems with a race?

I don’t know how all of you feel about shopping, but depending on the item, I love it.

I like shopping for furniture, electronics, books and music.

But what I love shopping for most of all is outerwear.

Jackets. Peacoats. Track Jackets for running. Sweaters. Dressy coats. Rain coats. I love them all. Seriously, I think an unhealthy portion of my closet is dedicated to coats.

There is certainly one type of jacket that I am lacking in, which is a puffy jacket. I want to remedy that problem immediately with this:

(Source)

Or something very similar to it, anyway.

One thing I love about living in San Francisco is the lack of any kind of significant weather. The only problem is that occasionally, weather shows up and I have absolutely no clothing that will work. I’ve been freezing for days, with the temperatures in the 40s, nearly down into the upper 30s. Really not that cold in the grand scheme of winter, but in San Francisco, it’s damn nippy. I have no outerwear to deal with these types of “frigid” conditions. I’ve been wearing a thermal long-sleeved shirt, a long-sleeved zipped hoodie and a woolen peacoat and the wind and cold are just blowing right through me. The peacoat isn’t very thick and it’s just not working out. I need a puffy jacket. Stat.

My co-workers and I went out for lunch yesterday. Over a steamy bowl of chicken udon, I explained my intense desire to purchase a coat and I suggested that on our way back to work we stop at the store down the street that sells North Face stuff. They agreed and soon I was surrounded by jackets. Unfortunately, their women’s selection was sort of lacking. I found one jacket that was kind of okay….but it was brown. I’m not really into brown. Finally, a purple jacket presented itself and I lifted it up off the rack, thinking it was sort of cute, and maybe I’d try it on. But it was locked to the clothing rack. Turns out all of the jackets were. I decided I’d ask someone to let me try it on, but I wanted to look around a little more first.

Then a salesperson swooped down on me and asked me if I needed help.

I told her I was just looking.

Then she proceeded to follow me around the store and stand about 4 feet away from me, no matter where I went.

I didn’t like it.

Perhaps I am in the minority, but I don’t really like being assisted by salespeople. I prefer to shop alone (or with the people I came to the store with, in this case, my co-workers), and then if I need a sales associate, I’ll ask for them. I don’t like to feel pressured. I don’t want to hear their opinions on how something looks on me. I just want to do my own thing.

Now, it’s a-okay if an employee comes over and asks me if I need help ONE time. Then I either take them up on it, or I say “No thank you, I’m just looking.” But when the person follows me around, non-stop I start to get mad, and even if I wanted something in the store, I probably wouldn’t buy it just because I didn’t like being hounded by the staff. In my opinion, there are only three reasons to hound someone while they are shopping:

1) To get a commission.

This is fine. If you want to race over the second I make up my mind so you can take it to the register and get credit for helping me, that’s cool. I don’t care. Just make yourself available and when it’s time, you can take my items to the counter. But if you stalk me like some kind of large wild cat, waiting to pounce on its prey, I will make it my mission in life to ensure that you GET NOTHING.

2) You think I’m stealing.

I hate being profiled when I’m shopping. When I was a teenager, I remember going to Camelot records because I wanted to buy a copy of Puccini’s “La Boheme”. This is the opera whose libretto Jonathan Larson modernized when he created the musical “RENT”. As you all know, I’m a RENThead, so I wanted to go back to the original source. The employees there kept staring at me as I shopped, trying to figure out which recording was the cheapest. Finally, one of them came up and demanded that I show them my bags. I was completely shocked and just handed them over. Obviously, they contained no stolen music. I then purchased the CDs from them. If that happened today, I’d refuse to let my bags be searched and like hell I’d buy anything from them.

3) You think I can’t afford your merchandise.

Once I was birthday shopping for my mother and I went to a jewelry store to buy some earrings. I had every intention of  spending a good chunk of change on the present. The employee kept following me around, which as I’ve said, I find annoying to begin with. Then after about 10 minutes of following me, she came over to the case I was looking at and said, “Why don’t you come and take a look at these items over here. The ones you are looking at have REAL gems in them and are too expensive….these ones over here have glass ones and will be much more reasonable for you.” Yeah. I totally turned around and walked right out of there.

So I’m a sistah
Buy things with cash
That really doesn’t mean that all my credit’s bad, oooh
So why dispute me and waste my time
Because you really feel the price is high, for me
I can’t look without being watched, and oh
You rang my buy before I made up my mind, OW!

–“Free Your Mind”, En Vogue

I know that in that song, they’re talking about racial profiling, but even so, that is exactly how I get treated when I walk into stores sometimes. Maybe the chucks and messy ponytail throw them off, but frankly, I don’t care. I’m a customer, and I deserve respect.

At any rate, I have no idea why the employee was following me around yesterday. I just know I was made uncomfortable by her close proximity, and that coupled with their not so awesome selection meant that I went back to work without a puffy jacket.

Wish it had worked out differently though. I’m really cold.

Huh. I must be feeling a little better….I just ranted! Yay! Silver lining!

What kind of shopper are you? Do you like assistance or do you like to do your own thing?

Greetings from the state of infirmity!

I woke this morning thinking that all was well. I felt greatly improved from yesterday. I could breathe through my nose. I had no fever. My throat was feeling dandy and I had absolutely no desire for Jamba Juice.

(Well, that’s a lie. I always have a desire for Jamba….it just wasn’t as intense as it has been for the last couple of days.)

Instead, I put on my usual 1/3 pot of coffee and then examined the contents of my fridge.

Well, freezer.

I bought these a while back and thought I might give them a try. Truth be told, I don’t mind Eggo’s myself, but no harm in trying other brands.

I know, I know.

Homemade would be better…but I don’t have a waffle maker or waffle pan….or whatever people make waffles in. I can make pancakes, but waffles? No. Not without a toaster.

And apparently I can’t even do that…I burned them! My bad!

They still tasted pretty good though! I liked them. I decided to have a couple of sunny side up eggs as well. To keep with the theme, I overcooked the eggs a little also. Oops.

After this triumphant return to normal eats, I decided I must be (mostly) recovered and it was time to do a mass laundry expedition. Clean the sick coated sheets and comforter. All of the towels. Make everything fresh and new.

About halfway through this exercise, I learned that I was in fact, still sick.

And wanted to die.

Okay.

Not really.

But I didn’t feel good to be sure. I have a bad habit of over exerting myself when ill. I think it has to do with never taking sick days at work. I feel like no matter what, I need to push on as normal. Not so. Even when you feel a little better, it’s still wise to take it easy for a day or two. Deciding to embark on the great apartment cleaning that you’ve been meaning to do isn’t the soundest idea.

I had meant to wash all my dishes and clean my floors, but after going to Walgreens for cat litter and washing all of my clothes and sheets, I had nothing left to give. I struggled to put sheets on the bed, and then I nuked a bowl of soup from yesterday, putting Daria back on my TV.

The soup wasn’t anything special. Just a “toss whatever you have into the pot” creation. It had onions, garlic, chicken broth, chicken, black beans, Trader Joe’s Three Grain Blend, half a bag of frozen peppers and some spinach in it. Chunky and filling.

Now those of you who are healthy living purists and never do anything nutrition-wise that you shouldn’t, look away.

Oh yeah.

I went there.

I can’t help it. I don’t care whether these things are healthy or not. I grew up crumbling them into bowls of soup. I’ve done if for as long as I can remember and there’s nothing that comforts me more than taking 4 or 5 of these and crushing them over a bowl of hot steamy goodness.

Yes.

So good.

I pretty much spent the rest of my day coughing. Most of my other symptoms are gone, but I cough and cough and cough. There’s nothing I can do to stop it either. Nothing helps.

Not even sparkling Sofia Coppola wine.

I may have or may have not tried to soothe my coughing with a lot some of this sparkling wine that I picked up at the Coppola vineyard back in April when I went wine tasting with my friends, Cindy and Florence.

(I know it sounds fancy…but recently I spied the same bottle on the shelves at Safeway. So much for feelin’ swanky. Wait. I take that back. It’s not wrapped in girly pink cellophane at Safeway! Totally worth the weekend trip to Sonoma! ….)

Alas, despite my efforts, the cough remains.

What is your least favorite cold symptom?

For me, it’s a tie between sore throat and cough.

Hello.

I’m sorry to have abandoned you all so early in the New Year.

It isn’t my fault, though.

I’m sick.

I’ve managed to contract a cold for the second time in a month.

I think my lack of good, healthy food has made my body very vulnerable. I’ve been eating scraps or take out for days. It makes me realize how important my CSA deliveries really are. When I get that fresh box of fruit and veggies, I have to cook. Unfortunately, much like good television, my CSA is on a one month hiatus so I’ve been wandering around helpless, ordering food like I have no options.

I decided on Sunday evening that I’d pick up food from the Whole Foods hot bar. Since I would be walking directly past Whole Foods (I was walking home from work), it seemed like a good idea. People are always raving about their tasty, healthy options.

Behold:

A big giant mess of stuff.

I had a hard time deciding on what to get, so I got a little bit of a lot of things. I got a salad with edamame, tomatoes, radishes, kidney beans, turkey, onions and spring mix greens w/Balsamic vinaigrette. I got a couple of spoonfuls of mixed roasted vegetables. A tiny bit of asian noodle salad. Some tabouleh. A bit of red quinoa salad of some kind. Maybe a few other things.

Verdict?

Eh.

I think it all tasted okay, but there was nothing that tasted all that amazing. All so-so. While I think it probably is a good option if there aren’t other healthy-ish options available, I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to pick it up. Plus, it was mega expensive. Like $10.95 expensive. Sure, I probably would’ve paid that much (or more) picking my dinner up elsewhere, but $10.95 seems a little much for a to-go salad bar experience.

I also picked up a bottle of Synergy Kombucha in the Guava flavor.

Verdict?

Delicious!

I also learned that my corner store sells Synergy. Kombucha at almost any hour of the day. I love living in San Francisco.

I’m sure this stuff is nothing like brewing it up yourself, but still, I’m a fan.

When I woke up Monday morning, I discovered that I was cursed with the plague. All I wanted in the entire world was some Jamba Juice. Coincidentally, my co-worker gave me a Jamba Card for Christmas, so I pulled on an oversized sweatshirt and hobbled the 5 blocks to the Church and Market Jamba location.

Berry Topper.

This hit the spot big time.

I spent the rest of the day at work, getting more and more sick. Unfortunately, one of my biggest complaints about my job is that most of the time, I can’t call in sick. Even if I am legitimately ill. There are only a handful of managers and finding a person to cover short notice is nearly impossible. The only person who might’ve been willing to help me was my office mate….who gave me this new strain of head cold in the first place. Work definitely wasn’t a good idea for me last night. I got increasingly sick. By quitting time I was running a slight fever, suffering from the chills and a stomach ache. My body hurt. I was not doing well.

Luckily, this morning I felt a little bit better than I did last night. So I went out for the only thing my body wanted.

That’s right. Back to Jamba Juice.

I asked the employee if I could get the granola and banana that come on top of the “ideal meals”, but instead have it on top of a “coldbuster” smoothie. The concept seemed to confuse him beyond belief. Eventually, we sorted it out.

I also stopped off at Safeway for soup ingredients. Unfortunately, I was so tired from the trip to the market, I’ve not been able to work up the energy to cook yet. Hopefully, I’ll be up to it soon.

Until then, I’m going to continue hanging out in bed, drinking the Odwalla Apple Juice I picked up earlier, having a Daria marathon.

I swear.

I AM Daria.

Source via Google Images

What do you eat when you’re sick?