Decide to stay in bed all day.
Decide to have a Wes Anderson marathon.
Decide to clean your entire apartment.
Decide not to do any of these things.
Answer the phone.
Answer the phone.
Give in to the urge to text your friends to let them know.
Receive encouraging texts back.
Forget to eat.
Call a friend.
Call another friend.
Get some more encouraging texts.
Remember to eat.
Ride a bike.
Visit parents’ house.
Write a blog post.
(To be continued…)
Archive for the otter Category
Decide to stay in bed all day.
Last sunday, I ran in the Pro Footbal Hall Of Fame Enshrinement Festival 2-Mile Fun Run (say that 5 times fast!) in Stadium Park. If you’ve been following my previous races, there were no surprises this time around.
I rode my bike there early and walked down to the starting line about a half-hour before the race began. I like getting to the races early; there’s something about watching everyone physically and mentally prepare themselves for a race. At the starting line, I met up with my friend Nour, who also runs in these things.
It was funny, because I was joking with Nour that if I was in charge of the race, there would be no national anthem, no prayer, no warning. I woud come out, fire the starting pistol, and that would be it. About a minute after I said that, the pistol went off, startling everyone! After a second of confusion, the race was on!
(picture taken from www.ohiochallengeseries.com)
Of course, I still can’t get my MP3 Player to play my race mix (probably because my non-internet computer has an old version of Windows Media Player), so I went with The Long Blondes-Someone to Drive You Home. It’s pretty good for a racing album.
Anyway, it was not to hot, but the humidity made it hard to breathe, and most of the race is uphill. I knew that I wouldn’t beat last month’s time, but I was hoping to beat my time for this race, which I did by almost 2 minutes! I finished at 16:23.60, and I had hoped to finish in 16:30, so goal achieved!
Afterwards, I met back up with Nour, as well as the otter and her sister, who has started the race further away from the starting line. We ate the free food (which, for some reason, always includes sandwhiches with meat! Come on, people…runners are often health-nuts! Some of us don’t eat meat!) and watched the other racers finish before going home and napping.
I think, as usually, the HOF race is my last one for the year. Next year, my goal is to run in at leat one 5K race. Wish me luck!
I rode my bike again.
Yesterday, I took that trail I was talking about last week (the one I took pics from) with the intention of riding through Stadium Park. I figured, what with the speed limit being about 20MPH in most of the part (and 10MPH in other parts), it would be a safe ride on the roads there. I was surprised, however, to find that the bike path that I had heard was planned for the park was actually just about complete, so the trip was much easier than it could have been.
Stadium Park was pretty uneventful (though very busy…a lot of people use the park system there!), but as I was turning around, I realized that accross the street, at Monument Park, the trail continued.
Again, Monument was busy, but the trail was nice and not too hard to ride on. When I made it through Monument, I was happy to find that the trail continued through Waterworks Park.
This is where the story gets interesting. I followed the trail through Waterworks until it passed under a bridge. Now, this place looked like the kind of place where you’d get mugged at night…the path turns a corner under the bridge, so vivibility is limited, and it’s between two hills, so you can’t really see the street from it. I decided to brave it and see what was on the other side of the bridge anyway, and I found…
…the ruins of Mother Goose Land!!!
For those who don’t know, Mother Goose Land was a small theme park in Canton that closed down in th eearly-to-mid eighties. I have lots of pictures of my brother and I at Mother Goose Land when I was about 6 years old, back when it was still in operation. The otter and I had always joked about trying to find the whale, because we knew that it’s the last remaining part of Mother Goose Land still standing except for one building that was turned into some sort of armory.
I’ll admit, when I came out from under the bridge and saw Willie the Blue Whale there, I got a little choked up. I’m going to go back soon with a real camera (that pic is from my phone) and get some better pictures.
Anyway, if anyone wants to go for a bike ride in Canton, the Stadium/Monument/Waterworks park system has a great trail with a prize at the end!
On July 4th, I ran in my second race of the year: The North Canton YMCA July 4th 2-mile! This was probably my favorite race yet!
I started out my morning by getting on my bike and riding the 3.33 miles from my apartment to the North Canton YMCA, which gave me a good warm-up workout. I got there nice and early (I didn’t have to be there until 8:10…I got there at 7:20), so I could stretch and just walk around and take in the atmosphere. If you’ve never been to a race, there’s something inspiring in seeing all these people who have trained themselves to finish these races. You often hear about how lazy Americans are, but you don’t see any of this at the races.
Anyway, I got ready around 8:00 for the race. My goal was to come in at just under 17 minutes, which would beat last month’s race time by about 10 seconds. Of course, I still can’t get my playlist to play on my new MP3 Player, so I cued up Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. The cannon fired, and I started running, weaving in and out of people who might trip me up.
As a crossed the 1-mile mark, the race worker called out “Eight minutes and thirty seconds.” Good time, but I would have to speed up in order to make my goal. So I pushed myself.
That last mile was hell…I don’t think I’ve ever felt so exhausted as I ran, and I almost stopped and walked part of it, but I was determined. I ran, getting behind someone with a good pace and using him as a gauge for how I was doing. And then, I could see the finish line.
It was an uphill climb to the finish line, but I could read that the timer said “16:30.” I knew that if I sprinted, I could make it in under 17. My goal would be accomplished. Except that, as I got a little closer, I realized that it had said “15:30!” I was a minute ahead of where I thought I would be! I pushed myself across the finish line, then began having dry heaves, my body pushed to its limit.
A ended up coming in at 15:54.21, which was over a minute and 10 seconds better than my goal time! This also means that in the last year, I’ve improved my time by over 2 1/2 minutes!
Anyway, after I finished, I jogged down the course and caught up with my friends Beth and Ilya, and cheered them along the last half-mile. Then, the 5 mile race started, and I waited down the course and cheered the otter and my friend Nour on. It was great seeing so many of my friends run (some of them much further than I did!), and as corny as it sounds, I’m proud of all of them!
Next race…The Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival 2 mile!
I meant to post this on Sunday, but I was waiting until I could Photoshop these pictures down to a manageable size. Anyway, the otter and I took a trip to Pittsburgh this weekend to visit our friend Kurt. We spent too much money, but we had a great time.
We got to Pittsburgh on Friday night. Surprisingly, the trip there only takes about 2 hours from North Canton, so even though we didn’t leave until almost 8 PM, we still got there in time to have fun that night. We met Kurt at his apartment, then went to The Squirrel Hill Cafe, or the Squirrel Cage, as the locals call it. There, we had expensive beer and listened to some good music from their juke box.
At the Cage, we met up with a few of Kurt’s friends and made out way to a diner, the name of which escapes me right now, but I’m sure Kurt or the Otter will chime in in the comments section to remind me! The food was pretty good and very cheap; I had a grilled cheese sandwich and stuffed olive leaves, and my bill was less than $5.
The next day, we met Kurt’s friends at the Phipps Conservatory. This was really cool; they had all sorts of plants, from coffee plants to bananna trees to orchids. There was also a room with butterflies flying freely, and there were glass sculptures everywhere.
After the conservatory, we got a bite to eat at an awesome little restaurant which, again, I can not remember the of. We then parted ways with Kurt’s friends and took a tour of the Carnegie Mellon University campus, where Kurt goes to scool and works. It’s a beautiful campus.
Next, we went the Caliban Book Shoppe, mainly to look for used books (I bought Orlando by Virginia Woolf and The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski), but the most awesome thing was that I found The Mountain Goats’ The Coroner’s Gambit, Babylon Springs, Sweden, and Nine Black Poppies! My Mountain Goat CD collection is even closer to complete! BOOYA!
Um…but I digress. We also hit a few other little stores before making our way to Paul’s CDs where…I found The Mountain Goats’ Beautiful Rat Sunset and All Hail West Texas, as well as Neutral Milk Hotel’s Everything is! If I ever find tMG’s Full Force Galesburg, I’ll have all the major CD releases!!!
Afterwards, we went out for coffee, then went to Kurt’s friend’s house for a night of Apples to Apples, Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job, and lots of alcohol. Good times.
Before we left on Sunday, we went to Church (for Kelly…I’m unaffiliated.) and for lunch at a local pizza shop (Damn! I can’t remember any of these places’ names!) and then headed out for pur exactly 2-hour trip home! It was good to be back, but we’ll definately go visit again soon!
Yesterday, I went running with my friends Beth and Jenny. My goal was to get to 4 miles, which I did with surprising ease; I probably could have gone another half-mile. I think that having people I knew there made me more accountable, so I was less inclined to give up. Unfortunately, despite wearing SPF 30 sunblock, I have a sunburn on my face. It’s possible that I got the sunburn walking to the bus earlier in the day, or that it happened while I was walking from Panera to the gym, but I think that it’s that my sunblock is expired.
Another bad thing is that I’ve been walking the mile and a quarter to the bus and back in my Chucks, so my feet are killing me. The good thing about this is that when I put on my running shoes, the pain stopped. To remedy this, I got myself a new pair of shoes. New Balance. So my feet should be in comfort country any time now.
It’s not all bad. As I said, I did run 4 miles, and I’m going to try again tomorrow if it’s not raining. I also figured out how the short story I’m writing is going to end, so I feel pretty good about that.
Oh! And the otter got into grad school! She’s going to get her MBA. So everyone should congratulate her!
OK, so yesterday, I put forth a number of goals that I wanted to accomplish this 3 weeks. Here’s what I did yesterday:
1) I wrote about 700 words, give or take, including yesterday’s blog post. Not the 1000 I had hoped for, but I think that I have more direction today.
2) I bought a Russian language book/cd set. I was going to get the Spanish one, but the Russian one had a 5 dollar rebate, so coupled with the coupon I had, I got the whole set for about 18 dollars. After studying it yesterday for about an hour, as well as looking at it this morning, I think I’m starting to get the pronunciation of the Cyrillic alphabet.
3)I ate some Raisin Bran. I ate some yesterday, and I ate some today. Go me.
Besides this, I still had time to get a workout in, and I watched the entire first season of The Sarah Silverman Program (a birthday gift from the otter) while cleaning my apartment. So I’ve been surprisingly productive on my first day of vacation. We’ll see how today goes…