Monday, April 27, 2009

Vacation - Destination 1, Nashville

Steve and I are on a vacation with the oddest itinerary. The destinations were picked because I had back to back races which required travel. We decided to simply take the week off and go from one race to the next without going home between.

First stop, Nashville, Tennessee for the Country Music Marathon. I lived in Nashville for a few years, but I haven't been back in over a decade. This is an ambitious town, but it remains absolutely Southern and charming. When I lived here, I interned briefly with Nashville Sports Council. Of course, there weren't many sports in Nashville then, just an triple A ball club and college sports, but no big events or pro teams. Setting up a non-profit to bring big time sports to twang town was dreaming big. A decade later, Nashville has an NFL team and its new stadium downtown, an NHL team and its new downtown arena, a marathon with 30,000 participants and it was picked to host the Women's Final Four. The economic impact to Nashville - over $340 million dollars over 14 years.

While I've been gone Nashville has also built the Country Music Hall of Fame and one of the premier Symphony venues in the country. Everything they are building is downtown within walking distance of each other. That's Nashville, growing, ambitious but still very charming.

We've had a wonderful couple of days here. We've been busy, but not overwhelmed. Steve got here late on Friday night, we had a quick dinner from the Bar-Be-Cutie then went to sleep. On Saturday, I did the race in the morning. Typical to Nashville's partyin' style, neighborhoods turned the race into a big cookout / breakfast cocktail party. After the race, we hung out at Bongo Java for coffee and a view of the Nun Bun, visited the Parthenon, then sat on the lawn at Centennial Park and listened to the Dave Matthews concert going on across the street at Vanderbilt's Football stadium. On Sunday we visited Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art, had a fabulous dinner downtown and capped the night honkytonking at Tootsies Orchid Lounge. Monday we had breakfast at the Loveless Cafe (oh, how I had missed those biscuits) and then hiking woods at Percy Warner park. Then we went to see that AAA club, the Nashville Sounds, who have completely redone their stadium. Before heading in for the night we walked to the Tennessee State Capitol and then on the see the grandeur of the Hermitage Hotel.

We'd still like to squeeze in visits to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman, the Center for Visual Arts, dinner on the riverboat, listening to songwriters' night at the Bluebird Cafe, stops at Belmont and Belle Meade Mansions, a visit to the "other" Hermitage, a drive to Lynchburg to visit Jack Daniels and meals at about 5 barbecue places that I've missed.

Alas, we leave tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Photo of Someone Much Cooler Than Me

Sorry. I've been a bad blogger lately. I've also been a been a sub-stellar friend, dud girlfriend, a lame daughter, sister and aunt. If you're one of the people I've dissed lately, then it's not you, it's me. Work has been pretty all-consuming for the last few weeks and I'm behind on every other thing in my life. Sorry.

Now that we've discussed why I'm a big ol' loser - lets talk about someone who kicks butt. Kicked cancer's butt and kicked the Boston Marathon's butt. I got an email today to let me know that Julie a 3 time cancer beater, Team In Training marathon mentor and LiveStrong runner has added Boston Marathon finisher to her list of accomplishments. She's also running San Diego and Seattle with our TNT team. Three marathons in three months? That's my kind of girl!

Here is her photo from

Did anyone hear how Coach Happy did at Boston? Update: Happy finished Boston too! A very good day for the TNT Purple People.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Life in San Diego Gets Even Better

Sonic Drive-In has opened in San Diego. Did you hear me? Sonic is here. My friend Denise lives near the Sonic and she reports the line goes around the store and down the street. I don't care. I'm am soooo there.

My dear Sonic, I've been waiting for you. Chili cheese dogs, onion rings and my favorite - the Diet Cherry Limeade made with real limes and extra cherries. Oh yes.

If we ever get a Whataburger my life will be complete.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I Ran The World's Fastest 5K

More accurately, I ran in the Carlsbad 5000, the race they call the World's Fastest 5K. They call it that for good reason, the world record has been broken there 16 times.

We ran this as prep-race for Team In Training. There's so much to learn about Running In A Race, e.g., where you want to wear your race number so it doesn't annoy you, how to line up at the start, how to protect your pace in the mob of runners. You don't want to learn those lessons during your first marathon. Running the prep event is essential for people who've never raced.

As of Tuesday, I wasn't going to do it. I called Steve from a business trip and said no way. I'm not a sprinter; my pace is more like waiting for the earth to rotate beneath me. Really, I'm that slow these days. The fastest 250 finishers get a medal, but the rest of us get to walk around medal-deficient announcing to all our lack of speed. I didn't want to run dead last in a sprint and feel bad about myself. I had decided to go to the race to cheer on my teammates and mentees, but skip the race myself.

A big driver of this pouty response is my overall stress level - I've been traveling a bit for work, Steve's been sick, our jobs are extra-intense lately, and the house is a mess. I regularly find myself at the very end of my tether. And that is no place to be.

On Saturday, I smartened up about the Carlsbad 5000. Who cares if I'm slow? I've always been slow and it never stopped me. I was being a big, whiny baby. Run - not because you're fast, but because you love to run. The race was actually pretty fun. I ran with a nice group and I wasn't nearly last.

Bonus surprise - all TNT finishers did get a medal. It absolutely rocked to see my teammates get their medals.
Not a surprise, but a bonus - my friend Raul and a bunch of TNT teammates picked up a top 250 medal.

Run on my speed demon buddies; I'll be right behind you.