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what it means to run a marathon relay

I ran in the Big Sur International Marathon this weekend.  And before you get all zippy about that, I ran it as a relay with 4 other people.  Which really just means that I did a simple, short 5 mile run.

I’ve never done a relay before and I was full of questions about what it would be like

I knew that our team would be running our legs independently, so I logically knew that I would be alone, but still… the vision in my head looked mostly like this:



The reality was a lot more like this:



From my experience of one race, here’s what I now know and impart to you…
-Because it’s happening simultaneously with the actual marathoning, a relay marathon must suffer all the same hoopty and brouhaha. This means I had to wake up at the grotesque hour of 3:20 am.  For a race start of 6:45 am.  So that I could run 5 miles.

-Leaving The David and Vinny, the 2nd and 3rd legs, to get on the bus to take me to the start was a super strange feeling.  We’re all in this race boat together, and now it’s “so long chum!  see you in 8 hours!”

-As the runner of our first leg, I had to contend with the actual race start and thousands of marathoners.  I could write a whole other blog post (stay tuned, maybe I will) or possibly even a scathing treatise of hate just about this race start.  It took an hour to get through the porta-potty lines and bag check.  Just so I could run 5 miles.

-Finishing my leg, seeing the exchange point and sprinting up to The David to pass off our relay slap bracelet was fun and exciting.  That was a pretty cool 15 seconds of “Hooray!  I’m doing a relay!  I’m passing my baton!  Go team go!”   But then he ran away.  Another 5 miles away.  Leaving me alone with the other Leg 1ers.  So that he could go run 5 miles.

-Finishing leg 1 meant that I was 21 miles away from the finisher’s village and was currently just stuck on the side of the road.  A very beautiful road, granted.  There were bananas and gatorade, but other than a promise of a bus ride back in another 3 hours, that was all I got.  Possibly another sort of marathon, one that’s not taking place on such a scenic, yet inaccessible and remote course, wouldn’t have this problem.  But being stranded for hours and hours of forever is a big fat dislike.

-So I went ahead and walked the next leg, and found The David at the end of leg 2. On my team, I ran one leg and walked a second.  The 3rd legger went ahead and ran the 4th leg, as well, and then ran/walked to the end (for a total of 16 miles!).  The 4th leg runner also ran the 5th leg.  All the extra running wasn’t about wanting to do a longer run, it was about wanting to get to the finish, rather than be stranded somewhere along the course.  Except for me.  I travelled 10 miles and was still el stucko.

-We had to be at the shuttle pick-up point to be carted off to the start at 4 am. The bus dropped us off at the finisher’s village around noon.  Not counting the next shuttle ride we had to take to get back to the parking lot where we’d left the car that morning, that is 8 HOURS of time for the sake of running 5 MILES.  Which kind of means that I had a pace of 96 minute miles.


Filed under Running, the bitch goddess, Uncategorized


So, yesterday I told you all about my destructive jeans behavior.

Which was a precursor to telling you about having to get some new jeans, because I had none.  Zero.  The very last pair, of any size, busted open this past weekend.

Having no jeans to wear would mean too many instances of tights.  Or certain doom.

So I walked to the Levi’s store on a lunch break this week.

I picked out a pair of jeans, mostly based on the color, and grabbed it in 3 different sizes.  After trying them on, I handed the 2 smaller ones to an enthusiastic fellow named Deon, and told him I was going to take the 3rd pair.

He glances at the label on what I’ve picked, grabs my wrist and says “Oh, no.  These are not for you.  I’m going to find you the right pair.”

You probably know that they’ve got this whole Curve ID thing going on now, where they’ve got 4 different styles of jeans made to fit different body types.  And by different, they mean differing waist to hip ratios.

Deon put his hands on my waist and made me lean from side to side, I think to assess my love handles.
And then he did some measuring business and scurried off to get more appropriate jeans.

He sent me into the dressing room to try several more pairs, insisting that I come out after each one for him to consider.

I was made to turn around so that he and a coworker girl could check out my lumpy rumpus.

I told him that I thought the skinny jeans accentuated my hips too much and he cried with glee “you shouldn’t try to hide your curves!  we should celebrate them!”

Oh, Deon.  Where on earth do you think I could hide all this?

But eventually, I had a pair that was deemed acceptable by all parties.

I think they look pretty much like the first pair that I had picked out myself.  Except that these were a waist size smaller, so that’s nice.

So, the Levi’s Curve ID thing?
They’re not the best. jeans. evar.  But they fit and I’m mostly sure my ass crack is covered.


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consuming the CSA box


The box of vegetables that’s delivered to my door every other week is a daunting prospect of consumption when there are two eaters.  At the moment, I am 11 days in to a 25 day bout of life sans The David (who is somewhere between 15 and 17,000 feet up on Mount Acancagua in Argentina, and also probably not dead.)

So only one eater will be consuming:
4 humongous leeks
1 bunch of dinosaur kale
1 bunch of chard
1 bunch of collard greens
2 stems of broccoli
1 romanesco (that’s the neato spirally one)
1 green leaf lettuce
4 little endives
1 bunch of celery
A bag full of baby bok choy

I read once that fats are an important part of our diet, not only because we need them for proper very scientific functioning, but also because they make things like vegetables taste good and us more likely to eat them.
Exactly right, sez I.
So most likely, much of the leafy green things will get chopped and then sautéed up in a bit of bacon fat and then mixed up with the crunched up bacony bits.  But how many days of bacony greens are we talking here?  4?  5?
And the leeks?
Man.  I like leeks fine, but this is leekier than I feel the ordinary girl is expected to get.

If you’ve got any great recipes or cooking recommendations for this lot, please share!

Also, come over and eat some?


Filed under Foodery, Uncategorized

happy valentine’s day


*sent to me in 2008 by my magical friend, Alysha.  


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you eat one piece…


I don’t do a lot of baked good making.  I already spend enough time in the very small kitchen making the meals that are necessary for the daily hoopty.  And if you’re gonna eat some snacktastic calories, it’s cheese, people.  Cheese.

Most meals we make leave behind a lunch or two’s worth of leftovers.  But baked goods? Weeks of tempting treatlets to consider.  If you don’t eat the whole kitten at once.

And yet.

Make this cake anyway.

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how else are you gonna wear a slip dress in January?


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my favorite day of the year

couch pyjamas

The Friday after Thanksgiving is a marvelous day.  It has no purpose.  No agenda.  There’s still a whole weekend after that I can push the chores and errands into it.   It’s a day that seems specifically engineered to pay homage to pyjamas and movies on tv.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thanksgiving is a pretty good day, too.

The David and I ran a 10K Turkey Trot in the morning.  He ran the whole way with me, which I loved.  Thankful doesn’t begin to describe what it feels like to have a person who’ll do that.

My head rationalizes that 6 miles isn’t really that far, but it sure feels like an epic saga while you’re in it.  An hour and fifteen minutes is a big chunk of time!  There was a good amount of trudgery struggledy.  And an unholy number of uphills.  But the recollection of that yuck seems vague and fuzzy now.  What I do remember was the incredible rainbow that we saw for much of the way in between miles 3 and 4.  And I remember the vanilla It’s-it I got at the finish.

Race bling in a tree

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

And then there’s the wonderful gluttonous feasting of Thanksgiving.  Oh the fabulous feasting!

My friends-who-are-family set up a deep fryer in their little backyard every year.  If you’ve never had deep fried turkey before, it’s not like what you get from a bucket at KFC.  Mostly it’s the same as everyone else’s turkey, but it cooks in about half an hour.  And because it cooks so quickly, it tends to be moister than roasted birds.

But it is pretty feckin terrifying to watch.

the turkey goes into a vat of boiling oil

We had a an impressive spread.  The David and I made Smitten Kitchen’s Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin and Thomas Keller’s Creamed Pearl Onions.

plate full of yum

We also made a Pumpkin Panna Cotta with pomegranate seeds for dessert.  I had no idea how easy panna cotta was to make.  Seriously.  It’s like making Jell-o.  I highly recommend trying it out.
The hardest part really was getting the extra ramekins we needed to serve 8 since I’m Maggie and I needed to have the fancy porcelain ones from France.

pretty dessert

And now I’m eating too much popcorn, half way paying attention to movies and deepening the ass divit in my couch.

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Filed under Foodery, these are the days of my lives, Uncategorized

does this sumo costume make me look fat?

the interwebs are abuzz with all things halloween.  and pumpkin.  holy toledo, the pumpkin!

and since it’s only right and proper to jump on one band wagon at a time, today I’m going to have thoughts about halloween costumes.

i don’t really do the sexy costume thing.  i blame all my wobbly bits, which i’m not willing to put on parade.  not even for the fear factor of it all.

but i have a whole lotta liking for the idea of a costume that totally exposes faux wobbly bits.



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Unpointy = Dull

I keep waiting to formulate a point, before writing something new.  Thusly, it’s been close to two months since my last post and that’s just crusty, Margaret.

So, here are all of the things I’ve had mulling around in my noggin that I could have written about, but didn’t.  Now in handy list format.

1.  2010 in review.  I ran 3 5K’s and a 10K, a feat never attempted by my person previously.  If I were any other blogger in the blogosphere, I would have been sending myself singing telegrams all about how awesome and congratulatory I am because of those races.  But I think they were dreadfully slow, and so I scowl at myself and plan purgatories on the treadmill.

2.  Also, 2010 in review.  There was a dead Maple in this year.  Kind of a big deal.  2011 is looking to be sans cat.

3.  Christmas.  I bought stuff.  And as per usual, once the permission was granted to buy stuff in general, I had a field day.  Presents for other people also means presents for me!  From me!  And so my debtfulness is not quite as minimal as I would have liked.  But back on the bandwagon now!  Woof!

4.  Family.  They made me kind of sadly in the Thanksgiving and Christmas times.  There is joblessness, and not speaking, and cancer and well, more dead cats.  Honestly, I probably wouldn’t blog about this too much… there’s too much history and back story and feelings of guilt and I like to stuff all of those bits into a jar.  With goji berries.

5.  I fit into my snow pants.  But I haven’t worn them in the snow yet.  Similar to #1 in this list, I am very stubborn about feeling glad about this because I am still all self-beat-uppery.

6.  I finished volunteering on my first Taproot project.  It took about 10 months.  It made me a little crazy.  But at times, I felt clever and insightful and worthful.  Those moments were sort of nice.

7.  The pursuit of awesome.  I have been thinking a lot about how people get driven by the belief that they have to do something amazing and end up feeling like they’re kind of failures because they either don’t know how to achieve the awesome or they can’t even figure out what flavor of awesome they’re supposed to be chasing.  Does it push and drive us to feel this way?  Or just end up making us feel crappy about the normal lives we eke out?

8.  Similar to #7, musings about my generation and why we’re so frenzied for success… when our parents were this age, they were poor and struggling.  Now, we’ve got all this disposable income (even those of us my age who have kids) and a sense of entitlement for more.  I deserve a raise!  Give me a promotion!  I want two kids and a successful business of my own and perfect hair!
What happened to us?

So, there’s that.  A list of naked little ideas.  Maybe some of them will get outfitted and fleshed out.

And maybe it is time for frozen yogurt.

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Youthful Optimism

My boot camp teacher had a holiday party last night and because I like to be supportive of other people’s parties and because it was half a block away, The David and I stopped by for about an hour.

There were quite a few girls that I didn’t recognize at all, so when I did identify one as a cleaned up and regular clothes version of a fellow 6 am-er, we made a bee line.  Then, started up one of those conversations with her and her boyfriend that mostly involved a lot of me asking questions.  She’s doing Teach for America in an Oakland middle school and he’s working with San Francisco public policy.  They’re from Michigan and have been out of school for a year and a half.  And they have so many plans!  So many options!  Maybe they’ll stay in Oakland.  Maybe she’ll be a teacher.  Maybe she’ll go back to graduate school.  Maybe he’ll move to DC.  Maybe he’ll go into politics.  Maybe he’ll go back to school, too.

They were so excited about what might come next and so open to the possibilities.

And then there’s me and David.  10 years older than they.  Existing in varying degrees of job hate and apathy.  Not sure of what we’re doing next and not taking any steps to make a decision on the options.

I don’t think we’re doom and gloom miserable people.  The David’s really pretty peppy and I can be quirkily amusing.  But we have definitely lost those rose colored glasses.  I really don’t even think about not having them so much.  In fact, I’m not entirely sure that I’m sorry I lost those glasses.  They seem kinda tiring.

I’m going to take a nap now.  Wake me up in half an hour.  Maybe it will be time to apply for a new job then.

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