Monday, April 26th, 2010
I have a slight obsession with a Finnish troll. Now when I first saw the fat delightful thing at a loading dock in Helsinki, I thought he was a hippopotamus without a mouth. It wasn’t until years later when I was working in Brussels that a girl from Finland who toiled at the EU enlightened me to his troll origins. And who is this mysterious hippo/troll you ask? Moomin of course! He will most certainly make it big in our fair United States one of these days, for he really is a marketing dream. But for now, he remains rather unknown. So when I received a Moomin book in the mail this weekend from my brother written in English, I was thrilled.
When I first saw Moomin after disembarking from a large Scandinavian boat where I drank a ton of vodka and got a tad seasick, my friend Mary-Alice and I ran towards him like two possessed children who had never had toys. Mind you he was about seven feet tall and in a glass case. But without conferring, we both ran to him and threw our arms around the trapped stuffed animal. Then, well, we adopted him as our shared imaginary troll hippo and the rest of the story is really too embarrassing to tell, so I’ll stop there.
One thing my brother is exceptionally good at is remembering the little things. Win your company softball game? Ken will send you some exotic congratulations candy that he found in a Bulgarian store in the East Village. Turn that frown upside down? He has a card made by the hands of Albanian refugees to commemorate the experience. So after I told him all about my grueling run in Charlottesville, he bought me the very hard to find Moomin book and mailed it off to be devoured by my inner six-year-old. You’re the best Kenny!
- Moomin’s wonderfully fat Finnish head.
Moomins for sale at a shop in Japan. The craze should hit all four year olds in the US really really soon.
Monday, April 19th, 2010
Oh what a day without glamour. I was pretty convinced that maniacal elves broke into my room last night and pounded on my legs with hammers. But then I remembered that I ran the Charlottesville marathon 24 hours ago, which is pretty much the equivalent. I am just a tad sore. Like Craig just carried me up the stairs sore. So I didn’t do too much today except troll around on the internet. And I can’t seem to take a spin on the world wide web without perusing my favorite site, This is Glamorous.
I loooove This is Glamorous. It’s pretty much everything that’s good in this world on one little internet site. And I was thrilled that Lucky magazine just picked the tastemaker behind the site, Roseline Lohr, to be a guest blogger. So deserved! Basically the site is full of interiors, clothes, jewelry, fashion spreads, and other tidbits like vintage bicycles and flea market finds that make up a subtly fabulous life. And it’s all put together as little stories told in pictures with a wonderful romantic aura to it all. The gal’s got the best taste and I try very hard to copy it.
On a day like today, where my toes are black and blue, my clothes are hideous, I have a weird cut from wearing a sports bra for four hours, I can’t walk without wincing, and I would be very happy wearing Uggs and a snuggie in public, I like to turn to This is Glamorous to remind me that there is a world out there beyond my current state of homeliness.
- I love the interior ideas on “This is Glamorous.” Though they make me want to sell all my worldly possessions on ebay to buy one robin’s egg blue velvet sofa.
Everything on Roseline's blog has this wonderful romantic feel which gives you hope when you have hammertoes and feel like you may never be able to wear anything but orthopedic walking shoes.
Sunday, April 18th, 2010
P.A.I.N. The Charlottesville marathon equals the biggest ass kick of my entire life. We’re talking 26.2 miles of brutal hills. I think there was only six miles of straightaway in the whole course. People had casually mentioned that it was a hilly race, but I had no idea by hilly they meant akin to sprinting along mountains while the runners around you curse the fools who designed the course. Another major issue was that there was absolutely no one cheering you on during the race. I think I saw about five spectators during 26 miles. Luckily one of those spectators was Craig.
While I finished the race and had a pretty strong first half, I was really really dying by the end of my second half. I was super nauseous from all the water I drank because of the heat and my legs were crying from all the hills. When Craig saw me for the third time at mile 20 and asked how I was doing, I all but started to cry and told him I was pretty ready to just stop right there, collapse on the hill and puke on myself. But instead of calling me weak or letting me quit, he asked if it would help if he ran next to me. Of course I said yes, because I knew it would help and he could save me from throwing myself off a bridge, which I was close to doing at that point. So in jeans and a sweatshirt and carrying my huge heavy camera, he jogged next to me for the last six miles of the race. Honestly, it was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done and it saved my marathon from becoming a mess of blood, sweat, and tears.
I love to run. And I didn’t even mind training for 16 weeks in winter. But I think this is the last hillfest marathon I do. I want a flat city with a lot of drunk lunatics cheering me on every couple feet. When this marathon ended, I proceeded to puke in the plants at the Omni Shoreham and pass out on Craig’s thigh. It wasn’t pretty. But if it had not been for Craig and his amazing unwavering support, I would have done that before I had crossed the finish line. What a gem.
Here I am at mile 13 still able to stand up straight. Next time I decide to run a marathon in the mountains, please remind me that people who design courses like that are Satan's handmaidens.
Saturday, April 17th, 2010
I’m in Charlottesville gearing up for my marathon which I have now been told twice is “nothing but hills.” Help! Oh well, it actually takes a little pressure off as I am less worried about my time now. It also makes me thankful for the “I am a warrior” playlist I spent hours putting together this morning. And what does a warrior listen to you wonder? ABBA!
I googled “marathon playlists” for a good 30 minutes and many women recommended the timeless ballad, “Dancing Queen.” Brilliant! Running to the sound of perky Swedish people vocalizing in the 70s seems like a wonderful idea. So I immediately downloaded the cast of Mamma Mia the movie singing brilliant little ditties like “Money, Money, Money.”
I of course loved my fellow Vassar alum Meryl Streep in the movie but I also adored Amanda Seyfried who had me at “I can tell the weather with my breasts,” in Mean Girls. She actually looked hot in a one piece bathing suit and sang “Honey Honey” as well as any rhinestone-encrusted Swede. And don’t even get me started on her in the romcom “Dear John.” Boy am I a sucker for chick flicks.
It’s 8:57 pm and I’m off to bed in 33 minutes. Can’t wait to listen to Amanda sing “Fernando” as I crawl up hills in historic Virginia. Here’s to 26.2, woot woot!
Ah the ABBA fest that was Mamma Mia! For some reason I have been inspired to run a chunk of tomorrow's marathon to the sounds of the 70s legends.
I loved that Amanda Seyfried's name in Mean Girls was Karen. An underused name in film. And the weather boob thing was amazing too.
Monday, April 12th, 2010
I have run 386 miles in 15 weeks. That’s just shy of the distance between DC to Boston. Sometimes I wanted to burn the innocent little piece of paper that screamed at me to get my butt out the door with those rows of even numbers and mile calculations. Even that very nice quote from George S. Patton at the bottom of the page sometimes drove me nuts. But now that I’m a week away from the Charlottesville marathon and feel pretty ready, I have a new love for the marathonrookie.com training schedule.
It got me to run even during snowmaggedon. It told me that it didn’t matter if it was January and freezing, I better put on those sneaks and become one with the trail. If it had been a trainer or a friend, I think I might have tried to fake sick or feigned frostbite. But there was no arguing with the chart.
My last longish run was today. I did 10 miles of hills while Craig, always the trooper, biked next to me and gave me water and motivation. Next week the chart actually says the words “walk three miles.” Walk?! Well, what the chart says, I will do and hopefully I will have spry legs to gallop around the land of Thomas Jefferson.
My running inspiration is Terry Fox who ran a marathon a day with one leg and cancer. My other inspiration is that darn piece of paper.