Thursday, August 21, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. I was honored to speak to the Chicago Tribune yesterday about Jim Foley's murder. It's my sincere hope that he's remembered for his fearless contributions to public dialogue rather than the horrific way his life was abruptly ended. My heart goes out to his poor parents. I can't imagine what they're going through.
2. I have literally run out of things to watch on the bike trainer. I don't have a television and only watch stuff on the bike. Even so, I'm bored out of my gourd. Is it time for Ironman Wisconsin yet?
3. I'm dog sitting again and I'm surrounded by cute. Everywhere I look these two furballs are staring at me with stupid little grins. I think Napoleon has worked out an uneasy truce with Bowie, mostly because my sister's Pomeranian is too dumb for life. It's like living with a stuffed animal of Boo.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Break in the Programming

You may have heard in the news about the beheading of an American journalist by extremist, or saw it on Reddit or Huffington Post. Jim Foley, the reporter at the center of this shocking story, was my classmate in the winter of 2007. We worked together at the Medill News Service in Washington, D.C. We went through foreign correspondence training together and edited each others' work. He was always quick to smile and faced challenges with an easy demeanor that caught on to everyone he met.

My heart is heavy and my thoughts are with his family. Jim was kidnapped in 2012 from Syria while working to expose human rights violations. This kid was easily the bravest reporter I encountered in my time at Medill - after graduation, he took to the Middle East, fearlessly working to bring to light the tales of atrocities a world away.

It certainly puts things into perspective - my career, my choices, my life. The world is a better place because of Jim, and his contributions will live on beyond this tragic turn of events. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Motivation Monday

It's time to embrace the set backs and the detours. Progress sometimes comes in the form or starts and stops, false starts and wrong turns.
Here's to staying focused and keeping your sights and your standards high!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Yelp Elite Party at Stonewood Ale House in Schaumburg

Yelp Elite parties are my favorite - fun people, free food and fabulous drinks. What's not to love? I took Katie as my plus one to the Schaum-Brew Party. I got dolled up and we met there after work:
I am never looking the right way. Ever.
It was a fantastic party - all of the 22 beers on tap were available for free. This place knows the way to my heart. So naturally, I drank some of the best beers on the menu that I'd been meaning to try. Find out what I drank by following me on Untappd.

We also sampled a ton of bites and appetizers throughout the night. It was my duty as a foodie and a Yelp Elite member to try it all. Right? My favorite was the pretzel, but I am a salt fiend. This Southwestern eggroll didn't do much for me.

The nachos were surprisingly crispy despite being coated in melted cheese. That pulled pork sandwich was good but needed more sauce.

When we left, we all got pint glasses from the place. Maybe something for my growing collection?

If you want to join me for a future event, learn how to get invited to Yelp parties.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. I watched my sister's dog over the weekend and it was hilarious watching Napoleon teach Bowie how to be a dog. At one point, Napoleon started chewing on a piece of cardboard and Bowie was like "Yay! We do this!"
 2. This is my sister's apartment. I want to emulate her pint glass collection display thing. Am I too old to proudly display pint glasses? I don't see how it's any different than collecting post cards. Except more delicious.
 3. My Ironman tan lines are insane. I have at least three distinct sets on my legs and back. I'm going to be in a wedding at the end of November and am looking at my options for sorting this all out. I think I'll need a tanning bed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Two Girls and a Grill

And a bottle of wine and 11 pieces of metal. I am very, very thankful for my sister tonight, who miraculously enjoys putting stuff together. Like I don't even get it. I hate buttons, let alone assembling furniture. But this kid went to work:
For the price of a cheap bottle of wine, we ended with this:
So now we have a grill! The question is, what do we make first? Taking all suggestions and requests!
The kid also assembled this beauty:

That's right, I bought an end table/dog kennel combo for the furry man of the house. He is actually quite pleased, and I'm rather pleased Katie assembled it while I was at work. Yay for sisters!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Training Tuesday: Crunch Time

Only a few more weeks between me and Ironman Wisconsin. Not sure where the months went, but oh well, I'll do what I can. Twenty five sleeps separate me from a multi-hour journey ending in what I hope will be my own personal triumph. While my training has certainly not been up to par, I'm trying to piece together enough to finish the damn race.

So I ran 18 miles Saturday with friends and did not die. It was tough, especially the last two miles. It was an overall pace of 8:52 which felt damn tough for me. When this whole Ironman endeavor is over I'm going to have to focus on cutting back on beer and treats to get my speed back.
Why do these other people look like they haven't run?
That was promptly followed up with a 100-mile bike ride ... on the trainer. I'm a masochist, clearly. I was on that damn trainer long enough that my Kindle ran out of juice and I had to switch to my cell phone. Ridiculous, clearly.
Recycle bin = table. Also, there's a growler propping up that fan.
Mentally, I'm unfocused. I'm muddling through training and hoping for the best. This was not my plan at all, but very few things in life go according to plan. My only goal was to be able to finish this race with a smile. Now I'll take just finishing the damn thing. I have my doubts, but that's my normal state of being. 
The reason my runs feel so hard
So instead, I'll focus on smiling. That's just as hard as an Ironman these days.