About Me

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Movin' on Up!

Yeah, sing it like "The Jefferson's!"

My blog had moved, so if you read this, go here now:


And, remember, don't be shy, leave a reply! (Comments make my life).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fly Me to the Moon...

Actually, don’t. I like my feet on terra firma, thank you.

I write this from above 10,000 on some plane that I thought 10 min ago was FOR SURE going down. I was actually so scared, I rang the flight attendant and actually asked her the following:

“Ummm, so it seems this plane is slowing down a lot and kinda shaking and also turning…are we about to plummet to our death?”

This would not be the first time I’ve asked a flight attendant this sort of question, by the way. For the record, the ALL give you the same response, “Oh no, this is normal, you just look at my face and if I look worried, then you should worry and if I don’t, you shouldn’t.”

I don’t believe them anytime they tell me this (do you think those flight attendants on the flight from Brazil to France that went down in the Atlantic knew a thing?). But, you better believe I watch the flight attendant’s facial expression like a hawk. I also listen to the pilots like its God speaking to me.

[Doesn't look worried....yet]

I’m not sure why I’m such a nervous wreck flying. You’d think I’d be over it by now as I fly about once a month. But, nope, still the girl rebreathing into her hands who, at times, has her hands over her eyes during take off as it that is going to make it all go away (who is also intermittently saying “oh my God” like it’s a tic). Pray to God you never sit next to me on a plane.

I try to remind myself that “its all physics” and that “these pilots are very well-trained and safety checks are numerous.” Still, I have thought the following in flight (not this particular one, on different ones): that the wing was going to fall off, that the plane was breaking in two, the engines were about to fail, that the wing was on fire (that one was actually just the red light on the wing flashing), that we were going to roll over because we were banking too much…this list could go on and on.

I get particularly nervous on Airbuses (rather than Boeing, yes I have a preference in manufacturer of my plane). I think the Airbus A330 or whatever it’s called was in several crashes in the past few years. Also, I had a particularly bad experience (and by bad experience, it was my completely fabricated experience) during a flight from DC to NYC on said Airbus. I SWORE that when we were taking off and then turning that the plane was stalling and just KNEW we were going down. On this particular flight, I was with my whole family and my mom pretended like she wasn’t related to me (and then whispered to me, “Do you see ANYONE ELSE freaking out on this flight?!?”). My sister had to calm me down with some TV show on her iPod. Thankfully, we are all still alive.

[dreaded airbus A330]

I also get pretty nervous on these commuter jets (Embraers) that I fly between NYC and TN because these are the ones that went down in KY and near Syracuse (first one was on too short of a runway and second one was a problem with ice on the wings).

Basically, no plane is ok with me.

I should really go into a flight simulator before a mile race or something because my adrenals are working at the level they would if I were being chased by a tiger in the Serengeti. I swear to you my epinephrine level is through the rough. I would run a mile under like 6 min or something, I’m so amped up.

Thankfully, we are, for now, in some smooth air. But, I mean the nose does seem a little downward pointing and we are DEFINITELY not descending yet…

And, now we’re kind of shaking...FANTASTIC. And the lights are off. I hate that. I feel like I’m sitting in a cocoon of terror.

[the word cocoon reminds me of the very hungry caterpillar]

So, I’m going to soothe myself by listening to Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” on repeat. I think the song, on a whole, is a terrible influence for the younger set, but KP knows how to make a catchy song…

Monday, June 13, 2011

Smile! Unattractive Brightroom Photos

I don't think I've ever had one attractive race photo. Brightroom either gets me really far away (sometimes thankfully) like on Sat:

...where I am definitely stopping a few steps before the finish line. Yeah, it was that painful.

Or look like a hot mess:
["Mommy, help! This is too far!"]

Or look like I'm barely moving, which is somewhat disturbing to me:
[Shortest Stride EVER! Yay! I win something!]

I mean, it appears as if one foot IS marginally moving in front of the other....maybe by 5 cm.

I have found ONE cool photo...both of my feet are off the ground.
[White girl has mad ups.]

But, mostly, the Brightroom photos AREN'T keepers.

On that note, I'll leave you with what Courtney told me at around the 5K marker on Sat (she ran the first 5K with me).
"Meggie, I am not running faster, you are running slower." -CLM

In my head, I was laughing, but I couldn't waste my precious lung reserve on that.

On Saturday, I will be 3/4 of a doctor. I hope this doesn't scare anyone...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Climb Mountains While You May

The title of this post comes from a camp song, called "Go Gently." Anyways, speaking of camp...

Whenever I'm a parent, one thing I WILL do is send my kids to camp. I went to a most fabulous camp, Camp Illahee, in Brevard, NC as a camper for a total of 5 years and as a counselor for 1. My mom jokes that my 5 year pine-tree pin (given to on your 5th summer) is my most expensive piece of jewelry. [And she's probably right.]

A lot of people think parents "ship their kids off" to camp to "get rid of them" and that the kids really don't like it. Not true in 99% of cases. My first year as an Illahee girl (1994!) I went to the 2 week session, which runs concurrently with the 4 week session. When my parents came to pick me up, I was less than pleased to see them and BEGGED to stay another 2 weeks.

I could go on and on about sending your kid to summer camp is one of the best things for them, but I will try to be brief and summarize in bullet form:
  • "Making it" for 4 weeks sans parents teaches you that you can be independent and successful. A huge confidence booster in and of itself and a prelude to college in some respects.
  • In reference to the first bullet, camp gives you A MILLION chances to be successful. Big and small achievements don't go unnoticed, whether its cleanest cabin, passing a new swimming level, hitting a bullseye in archery, making a really cool lanyard, or just being polite kid. You will leave camp feeling like a rockstar.
  • Camp gave me a chance to try a million new things I never would have done otherwise. I've kayaked down the Nantahala, rock climbed Looking Glass Rock, "swam to Dolly's" (if you swim 2 miles over the session you got to go for ice cream at Dolly's), made a bench in wordworking (which I still have), vaulted on a horse (like gymnastics on horseback), and done a back-tuck in front of the whole camp at the gymnastics show (talk about feeling like a rockstar). Sorry Mom and Dad, but I don't think you all would've taken me rock-climbing.
  • You learn that getting caught in the rain is ok. You will just get wet, you will not die. Sleeping without A/C is fine. A spider may crawl in your kayak, but you will live to tell about it. Walking outside to the bathroom is not inhumane. --> Basically, you learn live in the elements and be a little tougher.
  • You spend pretty much all day (and night, really) outside in the mountains. What's better than that?
  • You write letters on real stationary. With stamps. No cell phones, computers, facebook, etc.
  • Camp is full of awesome role models from the leadership down. Your kid will try to emulate good people.
So send your kids to camp. They will thank you for it one day. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

Speaking of stationary, Madeline sent me this awesome card:

Damsel in distress, if you will. Another bah-na-nas card from Madeline.

If any of you were wondering how the little Mini 10K went down today, I'll tell you, it was HUMID. I finished around 52:21 (my pr is 49:52). I ran the first 5K in 25:30...and the 2nd in 26:40ish. Lets just say the humidity, the hills, the "only social running" lately hit me hard in the 2nd half. But, thats ok. [Ok, I'll admit, at first, I was thinking "Man! Have a maxed out in running?!?] I just reminded myself that I wasn't training for this race and it still served as good kick in the butt to start "training" again soon (coupled with copious amounts of "social running," for good measure.) So, no pr, but you know what, I got out there, I tried, and I finished. I realized there's a LOT of work to be done if I want to be as good at running as I am in my head (ie a BQ and other little "goals".) I got a medal. And I made the website with my 2 great friends:

5 points to whoever recognizes the sticker on my shorts...

Anyways, its 9:30 pm. I'm exhausted and going to sleep. All this talk about camp makes me feel like I should play taps or something...

Here's the chorus of "Go Gently," which inspired the title of my post. I think its a good thought to the day with, too.
Climb mountains while you may, and sing your songs,
Start living everyday; it won't be long before you turn around
and wonder where life's gone.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

NYC Forgot Spring

First, Mother Nature tried to keep making winter "happen," and now summer is in full swing. Apparently, there was some spring thrown in there, but I must have missed it. This is probably because I spend the majority of my day inside.

I actually somewhat like summer running. I think its because when I run really slow, I have an automatic excuse in "it was really hot." Perfect, right?

In case anyone was wondering, I have brought back the ol' sportband when I have remembered to put it on. Its horribly uncalibrated, so I should probably get on that for accuracy's sake.

On another running note, when I first started running I took a lot of walk breaks and consider this a "failure." I tried to blame it on the fact that I was used to little breaks in between hard bouts of effort in tennis and not the fact that I was either out of shape, mentally weak, or just terrible at running. The other day, when I was procrastinating studying for my surgery exam (as I am now), I read this on purplepatchfitness somewhere (shout out to Jesse Thomas [www.leapdaysports.com], a super triathlete, who is coached by this guy which is how I found this awesome website):
We include walk breaks for every level of purplepatch athlete (including the pro's!) to allow perfect biomechanics, limit unecessary stress and optimize recovery.

Which got me thinking, are walk breaks all that bad? Should I incorporate so I actually run more than I shuffle? Hmm...

Courtney and I ran some 400s and 200s on Tuesday and I don't know which is more painful, those or a marathon. I definitely was in some gastrointestinal distress for 24 hours afterward. TMI, I know. The conversation before we started will give you some insight into our friendship:
- M: "So, I'm not gonna stay with you."
- C: "Yes you are"
- M: "Mmm, ok. You can time them."
- C: "Ok, lets go."
- M: "Wait! I'm going to time them to."
- C: "You're only doing that so you don't have to keep up."
....start running
- C: "Stop sprinting."
- M: "This is fine!"
...200 meters lady

Courtney, Jess, and I then saved the corner of 1st Ave and 25th Street from a terrible fire. (The garbage can was on fire and we called 911...go us.)

Needless to say, this little Mini 10K is going to be hmmm....well I'm just not going to think about how unpleasant it might be.

I gotta work on thinking positive.

I'm curious if anyone out there amongst my vast, vast readership has thoughts on 1) walk breaks and 2) my attitude towards running.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thumbs Up, Everybody!

If you're in need of a little inspiration before starting this work week (or school week or just week), look no further than this cutie who just learned to ride his bike.

I'm gonna need some inspiration this week to get myself in gear to study for my surgery exam (June 17) as well as this end of the year oral exam (June 18). You better believe I will be celebrating on June 19th.

If anyone reads this, I want guesses on what I will run the mini 10K this weekend. To aid in you guesstimation, I will give you a little Meggie 10K history:
June 2009; Mini 10K; 1:00:11
Dec 2009; Joe Kleinerman; 55:22
April 2010; Scotland 10K; 55:05 (which is basically the same as above)
Dec 2010; Joe Kleinerman; 49:52

If you need some extra help, my last 5K (in March) was 23:58 and my marathon (May) was 3:48:03.

Bust out those TI-83s and get crackin'....

On a totally unrelated note, I literally ran into the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck this week. Consider it a sign from God if you do. Its like Mr. Softee, but better. I got the Salty Pimp, which is vanilla Softee with caramel + sea salt + dipped in chocolate. It will be the best $5 you will spend. So, I suggest you seek him out.

Thinking of getting up at 5 am to run a quick 4 miles (not actually fast). Have to be in a 6:50. I just don't know if I can drag myself out of bed that early...

Saturday, June 4, 2011


A few years back, Oprah (love ya, girl) ranted and raved about her newest favorite thing, a book called "The Secret." Apparently, if you think about what you want, it will happen. (I think its more elegantly stated that positive thinking can lead you to increased happiness, wealth, health, etc.) Simple, huh?

I read an article a few months later (I can't remember where, its been several years) where basically the author made fun of the book. I took her stance, too. I mean, sure, I can wish for a pair of Christian Louboutin's all I want, but that doesn't mean I'm going to get them. (I realize wishing for material possessions is not the point of the book, but I still thought the concept was crazy.)

A year or two later, the 2008 Olympics rolled around and I'm an Olympic junkie so I'm glued to the TV for those two weeks. I'm slightly obsessed with gymnastics so, of course, I do NOT miss any of the gymnastics competitions (or the national and Olympic Trials leading up to it). In case you missed it then, Nastia Liukin ended up winning the Olympic All-Around title, the most coveted title in all of gymnastics, beating out Shawn Johnson, who was highly touted to win the competition being the reigning World Champion. In interviews later, Nastia revealed that in the year leading up to the Olympics, she had read "The Secret" and made a vision board that included images of the gold medal to be awarded at the Beijing games to inspire her as she trained. Worked out pretty well for her...

[this is one of my fave images ever]

It wasn't until I started training for this past marathon that I entertained the idea of reading "The Secret" and making a vision board. My goal was a a pretty big reach for me in terms of my running ability so I probably needed a little extra belief in myself to make it happen. I didn't do read "The Secret" (not enough time in medical school this year), but I did make a vision board on a 2 week break I had from school (partly out of boredom). I didn't achieve my goal like Nastia (that perfect bitch), but I think partially it was because I didn't really believe what was on that vision board. I think I'm a little too much of a realist sometimes to really wholly believe in something that I know could happen, but is probably beyond my reach.

A few weeks ago I read this, on a blog about some girl who became an amazingly fast runner (went from like a 4 hr marathon to now close to 3 hrs, which is nutzo):

This took my PR of 3:39:17 down to 3:20:25. I still say that I talked myself into it. For months leading up to that race I woke up every morning looking at the post-it note on my bathroom mirror that read simply “3:20.” [http://thelogicoflongdistance.blogspot.com/2011/05/interview-candice-schneider.html]

Sounds kind of like a quasi-vision board, no?

After reading that, for a hot sec I was all pumped up and got my post-it notes ready to rock. Then, I came back down to Earth.

While I'd love love love (as Teresa Guidice would say) to qualify for Boston at NYC (3:35 for my age group), I realize that would be pretty tough for me as it would need to be a huge PR (by like > 10 min) and NYC is a pretty tough course. So, should I go around putting 3:35 on post-it notes everywhere? I'm not so sure...

I think making your goal a little higher than what you can probably do pushes you a little bit more and you'll achieve something much greater than if you had set your goals "realistically." For example, my goal for the past marathon was 3:40 (the old qualifying std). I didn't get it...I was 3:48 (a 21 min PR!), but if I had set my goal of a more "realistic" 3:50, I probably would've run 3:52.

So, it remains to be seen if I'm going to have post-its with 3:35 or some other goal time posted around my room. Check back in Nov...(if I keep this blog up)...

And, then, after writing all of this, I still wonder why I even care what I run a marathon in. I mean, it really doesn't matter, it has no bearing on my future whatsoever. Is it just being kind of fun a good enough reason to care? I digress...

On a completely different note, if you actually know me in real life, you know I love sending cards. I send them for most holidays and my friend, Madeline, and I send cards back and forth to each each other, usually particularly witty ones or ones with excess sparkles and Disney princesses. Here is one of my favorites from Madeline from recent memory:

[If you can't read it, it says "Trust me, totally hot."]
[sending me a card makes me happy and I will send you back a totally hot one, probably from Papyrus]

Has any of my vast readership done something (like the post-it notes, vision board) that helped them achieve a goal? Spill it, peeps...

[I really need to start studying...]