Monday, January 29, 2007

Introspection from high in the sky…

So, I am sitting on a plane now- flying from Austin to Houston. I am supposed to be reading some briefing report and competitive analysis for a conference I am attending. I finally realized after about 10 minutes that I was just staring into space… or at least out the window. So, I decided to write this…

My grandfather recently had a stroke. This has been pretty difficult for me. It is hard to see someone you love that suddenly seems so different. As usual, I hide my emotions and feelings behind humor and then it will just hit me hard all of the sudden.

Truth be told, I have always been the renegade grandchild (hard to believe, right?) I never did as I was told, was the adventurous one that did not want to follow the rules, and was always looking to live the big life out there. Most of my family never really understood what the hell I was thinking or doing and I realize much has not changed to this day. They seem to struggle with my decisions, traveling lifestyle, and basically think I am a lunatic. My grandfather always supported my ways- even when I would get in trouble or go out on a crazy limb (hence my chin-splitting open story… eeeeeek). He also was my biggest fan when I played sports growing up- often planning his and my grandma’s trips between their homes in Florida and Ohio to correspond with seeing me play basketball and run cross country as much as possible. He clipped every newspaper article…. Even asking his small northeastern Ohio hometown paper to run an article on me… because I was HIS granddaughter after all. I can do no wrong in his eyes.

About three years ago, my grandparents got Web TV so he can use his TV as a monitor due to his declining eyesight and type. My family is thrilled with my return to running, especially grandpa. My mom fills everyone in on my whereabouts and plans and keeps them updated. My grandpa usually sends me an email before a race to wish me luck. In the back of my mind on Friday and Saturday, I thought about this. Would I get the email? Would he remember? Is he OK? It made me miss my family so much and I felt selfish in a way for thinking about this when I know he is in bad health. But somehow it makes me think about how much I know he wishes he could cheer me on if he could.

I got the email Saturday evening. Apparently, grandpa yelled at my grandma from this chair Saturday afternoon and seemed to be in a panic. He had remembered my race and thought he had missed it- he thought I had run Saturday! He asked my grandma to type the email for him as to write exactly as he spoke. I still cry when I look at it.

Maybe this is why the race seemed so easy yesterday. I did not feel pain. Maybe it is why I seriously cannot even remember it now. I can’t remember the miles. I think about how I was glad to be wearing sunglasses because I cried at several points, but not tears of pain. I think about how I felt- strong, confident, and supported.

I usually do things in spite of people that tell me I cannot do it. But, I run for all the people that tell me I CAN do it.

And so I continue on my journey to the Chicago Marathon... may every day of running seem as easy as it did yesterday!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

3M ROCKS!!!!!!!

Woohoo!! 2:11:13!!

The race this morning was awesome. I felt great, I PRed and beat my Kiawah time by 7:27, and I like to think I even beat my unspoken goal of 2:10 if I hadn’t stop to use the restroom and had to wait for the port-a-pottie. Next time I will get it!

I loved the course- a nice break from the usual flat ass runs we are accustomed to in below-sea level Charleston. Of course, who could not love the course? There were a bunch of downhill sections and a couple little hilly sections thrown in (Yes, those were HILLS in my book!) I especially loved the last little uphill at mile 12.6 or so before we got to the finish straightaway. I knew this last section was coming (thanks to Wiley’s email last week about the course layout) and I totally kicked butt. I was passing people left and right as they were not prepared for it. A nice downhill finish too. Love it! And the 3M goody bags with all those fun office supplies- I could totally concoct a cool art project from all that schwag :)

This race felt ten gazillion times better than Kiawah, my first half marathon. I finished Kiawah in 2:18:40 on a flat course. I had not trained enough for it and just hoped to finish in one piece. Today, I felt strong. I felt happy. I felt like I was more in control of myself and my pace and everything around me. I hit no wall at mile 9 like I did at Kiawah and wanted to die. In fact, I maintained a steady pace throughout which was one of my goals after my yo-yo performance before. According to my Garmin, I maintained a 9:58 pace which mentally, makes me happy it is under 10:00 min/pace. I did a 10:35 min/pace at Kiawah this is a huge improvement.

Random fact- of the three South Carolinians that ran the race (yes, there were only 3 of us)... I placed second. Yahooo!!

A special THANK you to Jen aka Gagger... who found me all over the course and cheered me on with some colorful and entertaining signage.... and had a Gator Beer waiting for me at the finish line. YOU ROCK!!!!!!!

I am just so happy. I seriously cannot WAIT til my next race!! Looks like my next one will be running the last leg of my relay team at Myrtle Beach on Feb 17th- my leg is 11.2 miles. Part of me really wants to push it a little bit and run the Hilton Head Half on Feb 10th…. Which I think it is totally doable after taking a weekend off of racing while I am skiing in Utah.

Why the hell not? After all, I am currently in third place in the Charleston Running Club points program for running the most races…

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Oooooh yeahhhhh I am getting excited!!!!! Tomorrow is 3M!!!!!!!!!

I am starting to get that excited, nervous feeling in my stomach. It feels a little weird being on the road and getting ready to run- a strange room, a strange bed, not my normal routine. I am trying to make it as normal as possible.... this is what I have been training for!!! Plus, I have good reason to dedicate this race tomorrow.... and THAT is why I am really doing this :)


A picture perfect day in Austin...

I could not have planned it better... I got my day started pretty early and got a lot accomplished :)

*Coffee with a work colleague Austinite who I never get to see
* Shopping and scoring a killer deal on a new business suit at Nordstorms (and alterations done immediately!!) and a cute new pair of shoes.
* Stopping by the Blanton Museum to briefly discuss ticketing needs and get them my contact info for a demo... plus seeing a pretty solid collection (actually the largest university art collection in the U.S.)
* Running at Town Lake trails with the coolest hasher in Austin
* Barton Springs (how much do I love it there????)
* Baby A's for some margaritas (aka purple hooters)

.... and now I am watching my FAV movie and chilling for tomorrow.


Friday, January 26, 2007

I'm stoked!

Drum roll please....

Weather forecast for 3M on Sunday...

High 54°/Low 33°
10% of precipitation

Should be faaabulous running weather :)

Thankfully, it looks like the rain is gonna hold off til Tuesday- hurray!!!

For those other weather dorks that read this (I know you're out there!), here is a little background knowledge. When determining the percentage chance of precipitation, meteorologists look at the last 10 days that had similar weather patterns. They then determine the percentage chance based on the number of these days that it actually rained.

OK, back to the nerd pit TIFF!

I am never drinking again

Does someone have a gun?

I cannot stop laughing whenever I re-read this email from Lulu this morning:
"Did you seriously get a VM from Raul? Who the fuck is Raul? And how did he get your number?"

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Pub run tomorrow night, biotches!!! Wooooohhhhooooo!!!!!!!!

Granted I have no f'in clue where I am going... but I will be there with bells on!!!


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Rock star by night, runner by morning

Despite a packed schedule, I did manage to get four runs in the past week- 11 miles last Sunday, a quick 4 miler on Tuesday, bridge run on Wednesday (about 5.5), and 10 miles today on the trails. Thankfully, I had a pal to run with today out at the Greenway and the miles passed by with ease as we talked about just about everything. Breaking up the monotony of the road was awesome…. And there are 17 miles of trails out there for me to enjoy! In typical fashion, I did manage to step into a mudpit and completely cake my shoe in mud whilst the other is still white and gleaming. I totally look like a freak.

After my Annual Sales Kickoff Three Day Bender, I admit I am happy it is over. I cannot keep up with that breakneck pace of boozing,’ parties, and other assorted fun. Well, maybe I can. Still… some people (like Brownie) are able to rock out all night and then run 4 minute miles the next morning up Pike’s Peak. I am not like that. My pre-run prep last night was less than ideal- lots of oysters, beer, Jager, gambling, dancing, and less than 2 hours of sleep on my friend’s dogbed in the corner of the living room (don’t ask). Of course, he has a yellow lab who fell asleep on top of me and I was wearing a black sweater and jeans. Again, I look like a freak. I can’t help it that my friends kept handing me drinks last night. It is rude to say no! I usually had two, sometimes three, drinks in my hands at all time. We were supposed to be team building and what better way than to shake your ass with your coworkers (to Journey)?

Therefore, I am taking a hiatus from drinking…until Thursday. Well, we do have a team happy hour tomorrow night… even though I have an early, early flight Tuesday morning!


Saturday, January 20, 2007

High heels are not a runner’s friend

I thought it would be a fabulous idea to wear 4 inch heels last night to my sales kickoff party downtown (aka Night #2 of a three night bender). After all, I am 5’11” and seldom have the opportunity to wear tall heels because most men I go to functions with are around my height or a little taller. My date last night was 6’9”- this left plenty of room for high, high heels.

What a mistake.

My feet are killing me! Maybe it is one of those things… you need to get used to wearing them and it’s not that bad… I am not sure I want to know. And walking (skipping) down those cobblestone streets in those shoes… bad bad bad

Today’s weather forecast in Charleston is mid 50’s, sunny, no humidity, beautiful blue skies the color of the ocean water in the Cayman Islands (poetic, right?) In my opinion, this is utopian running weather.

Where will I be today though? Stuck indoors at a mandatory sales team building event. All I can say is… as soon as they make me do a trust fall or sing “Kumbaya”… I am walking out.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Hiiizzzz-ump Day!!

I can’t get this outta my head today…

“Sometimes I think it’s a shame,

When I get feelin better when I’m feelin no pain”

A free Woodford Reserve on Tiff for the first person that knows the name of the song and artist!

Tonight was my running group night over in Mt. P. As usual, I was busting a move to get out of the office, changed, and over there by 6:15 PM. I drove like a madwoman to make it on time… sure glad I did too… no one even showed up! Apparently, the rapid drop in temperature (my car read 40 degrees) and the horrible wind gusts keep people at home. Not to mention this week was the bridge run training workout and people act like they have to climb Pikes f'in Peak or something.

Oh well, I got a good 5 miles in. I started on the Mt. P side of the bridge, ran over and back. Maintained a 9:50 pace which was good for me considering the conditions and the fact that I really wasn’t pushing it the entire time. Usually I see tons of people on the bridge. Tonight I saw 4 other people during the entire 5 mile stretch.

I am fixin’ (a little southern twang for yall) to sign up for the Bridge Run. One of the registration questions is your expected finish time, which then determines what section you begin with and you get a different colored bib. For some reason, I am debating what to answer… my goal is 49-60 min and I KNOW I can do it in under 59:59… the other option is over an hour. Why am I even thinking about this??? I am so lame sometimes. It is like I am in denial that I will actually run it sub-hour. I guess it is the same difference- me starting at the very back of the 49-60 group (I certainly don't want to slow people up) or the very front of the over hour group. The difference? It is all about the color of the bib. Please tell me what a freakazoid I am being.

Wooohhoooo....I’ve got a big weekend ahead- our annual sales kickoff!! In typical fashion, it includes an entire weekend of social events and F-U-N!!! I am first making a huge presentation Friday afternoon in front of the entire salesforce (200+ people)- Should be kick ass. Friday night is our big sales semi-formal party at Charleston Place, the nicest place in town. They actually put a photo on their website that includes me!! I am the one riding the horse in my short black gown. Talent, I know.

There will be lots of drinks, dancing, and post-party fun downtown!! Love it love it love it.... Somehow we will all drag ourselves to team building Saturday afternoon and then reload for a big oyster roast and barbeque Saturday night. Let’s just say- the long run is being tabled til Sunday!!!!!!!!

Off to Bedfordshire for this tired gal...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Expense reports can....

SUCK IT!!!!!

A tale of two siblings

Sadly, I admit to occasionally falling out of touch with my older brother. Life gets in the way, ya know? He lives ten hours away, is married, and he and his wife are now expecting their first child. I emailed him today to check in and he told me about winning a triathlon this past weekend. I was thrilled! My brother has always been a phenomenal athlete, I guess I just never really realized how much he has gotten into his triathlons/biathlons/duathlons. I googled his name and was astounded to find that he has won a ton of races- both in his age group and Men’s Overall.

I cannot stop smiling as I could not be any prouder.... although I would never come out and say that to him, alright? I've got to keep him hating his spoiled, bratty, eccentric little sister that loves to be the center of attention :)

Damn… he rocks!!!!!! Wooohoo… Go Tiff’s brother!

Do I smell... REPEAT?!?

I woke up this morning while praying all night for a freak snow/ice storm to hit Charleston so I don’t have to go to work today. Why? Because it sounds like more fun to watch skanky TV and shop online.

Plan detoured. It is 65 degrees outside...damnnnn...

I check my email a couple minutes ago. Friends need a fifth player tonight for their basketball game.

Am I in? Am I in? Am I in?

OH... hiizzzzell yes I am.

Could this be a repeat of The Comeback?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

One tequila...two tequila...

I cannot stop laughing when I watch this...hence the fact that Tiff and tequila are not really friends!!

Bachelorette Party Recap...

Waaaaait, I can’t post the details here. This is a running blog after all. I would hate to bore you all with the details of my social life and bachelorette antics when you are clearly coming here to read about my running and training.

What was I thinking?

On to running. I did my 11 miles today. I felt pretty damn good the entire way… I feel sooo much more confident going into the 3M Half than I did Kiawah back in December. I had not run more than 8 miles before doing Kiawah and that was 3 weeks before the actual race. My travel up until the race totally killed my training efforts as I found myself switching back and forth between coasts and I totally burned myself out of work and never actually got those last few long runs in. No excuses anymore! Fortunately, I have been in town for several weeks now and that has allowed me to get into a training rhythm. I will admit- I am itching to get back on the road so this will be my last week in the office before a 3-5 week bender (still waiting for final travel itinerary details for where I will be going after I get back from my ski trip Feb 9th).

Big news! I took the plunge today… I registered for the Chicago Marathon! I decided to finally quit talking about it and go for it. I figured this would be a good first marathon for me and gives me plenty of time to prepare after getting a couple halfs under my belt. Although… it also puts me into deep marathon training in the dead of summer here in Charleston. I know I can get through it… I did it last year… on a smaller scale. Summers in Charleston can only be described as hellacious… consistent 90+ degrees with full humidity. I will have to force myself once again to be a morning runner!

As of right now, I am running Chicago by myself. Most of my marathon friends have run it before or are going to be running NYC or Marine Corps a couple weeks later. I don’t mind going it alone… there is a ton of crowd support and I am used to traveling alone…. Plus… (this is the best part)…. Check out my digs for the weekend - Not too bad, eh? Racking up hotel points is surely paying off as I will be in luuuuuuxury! Anyone else thinking of doing Chicago?

Nice to finally chill out after a big weekend of running and catching up with friends…. My favorite chair is feeling so good and these cherries are yum-yum-yummmmy!

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

5K Race Report- woohoo!!!

Last night was not my best example of pre-race preparation. Of course, my mantra was, “It’s just a 5K! I could do that in my sleep!” My friends even started the Tiffany Drinking Fund to raise the $28 I had spent by pre-registering for the race this morning. Drinking a baker’s dozen beers and eating a Wendy’s frosty for dinner was not my best plan.

Lo and behold- I ran the race.

By the grace of God, I just happened to wake up at 5:45 AM this morning after “forgetting” to set my alarm last night. I rolled over and cringed at the thought of running while hungover. I know, I know… I am a wimp.

I decided to just suck it up and ate the following for breakfast-

  • 1 piece of dry toast
  • 1 chocolate caffeinated GU
  • 1 huge coffee with a shot of Bailey’s
  • Orange Gatorade
  • 4 extra strength Advil

I get to the meeting spot where I was hooking up with my friends. I was feeling pretty good at this point. “Good morning! Good morning!” I could not stop yelling. My friends let me know there were several bets riding on my appearance at the race and completion (kinda like a parlay bet). I let them know, “I feel F’IN GREAT! Never felt better! Those Coronas sure hydrated me last night!”

I soon realized the parents with small children around me were suddenly moving away from me and putting the “earmuffs” on their kids. I guess I am a bad influence.

The weather could not have been more beautiful for running. Mid-50’s, sunny, blue skies, I am so lucky to live here!!

Thankfully, my friend Elizabeth was there and runs about my pace. She just started Bridge Run Boot Camp so I knew she would push me a little bit. We start off super-fast, running the first half mile at about an 8:00 min/mile pace, slowing down a little for the second half but finishing the first mile in 8:22. This is a lot faster than I normally run so I was pleased, especially considering the fact I was carrying a conversation the entire time with her and the middle-aged dude running alongside us. Nice folks.

Second mile we take a little slower… back to my normal 9ish min/mile pace. I have run a lot of 5Ks lately and know I normally reach a Tiffany Wall about 1.8 into a 5K. It is totally mental. I think it’s because I always go out too fast and I then realize I still have another 1.3 to go. I find it is easy to make excuses for yourself while running and to allow yourself to just do the same thing over and over. I mean- let’s think about it. It is easy to tell yourself, “OK, Tiff. You are doing good today. Let’s just slow down a bit, alright? No need to rush.” However, today I pushed through it and didn’t even acknowledge my normal routine. Perhaps it was because I had Elizabeth. Perhaps it was my increased training lately. Perhaps I was just hungover and knew the faster I ran- the faster I would be done. Oh well- who really cares? It was nice to get through it. Progress is always good.

I was running with my Garmin today like usual and noticed their 2 mile marker was 2/10 of a mile past my GPS reading. At that point, I knew the race was going to be a little longer so I couldn’t really expect to go by my normal 5K times.

Overall, I absolutely loved the course. It was nice having a change of scenery as most of the downtown races take the same route- all the way down Meeting Street, around Whitepoint Gardens, and back down East Bay. Today’s route was around the College of Charleston, around the Battery, by Colonial Lake (gorgeous!), and back down Ashley. I think I will incorporate this into my downtown routes.

Back to the race. I get to the 2.6 mile mark (according to Garmin) and Elizabeth starts complaining of a sore quad from speedwork last week. At that point, I let her go and pick up the pace- just under an 8:00 min/mile pace or so. I finished strong in 29:07 for a 3.32 mile course. It was a little disappointing to see that number when I crossed the finish line but I reminded myself it was a little longer. I surely would have broke 28 for the 5K distance and felt pretty damn good the whole way.

I thought about it later and realized I could have pushed myself more. I was able to hold a conversation with the folks around me and expended a lot of energy keeping Elizabeth pumped up. But when you think about it, races are meant to be not only contests, but also fun as well. It is nice to spend a couple miles with a friend you don't get to see that often. I guess you don’t always have to get out there and push yourself to the far limits! I also realized I need to be more consistent with my pace. My pace charts have definitely flattened out but there is still room for improvement.

It sure was a fun way to spend the morning! And I don’t feel as hungover anymore.

What’s up next? Well, a little manicure and pedicure time with the gals and some bachelorette fun tonight!!! Long run tomorrow- 11 miles. Think I will tackle the James Island Connector- our second largest hill in the lovely and fair city of Chaaaaaaaarleston.

Happy trails!

Bad bad bad bad bad Tiff

I intended to go out last night for just "one drink"... and ended up leading the troops like the Pied Piper throughout the city of Charleston on a bar tour... finally getting home at 2:30 AM.

Now it is 5:43 AM and I am hating life.

I have a race this morning.

Why did I do this?

Bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad Tiff.

One thing is for sure though... I never considered missing this damn race. Come hell or puke, I would be out there!!

Can I getta WOOHOO?

Friday, January 12, 2007

It's Friday! It's Friday! It's Friday!

OH YEAH. It is Friday aka Tiffany Day (didn't you get the memo?)

I am excited for many reasons, mainly due to the following:

  • I have a 5K tomorrow morning that I am going to TOTALLY rock. My friends have finally come out of running hibernation from the winter so there will be lots of familiar faces around.... except I am going to kick all of their asses.
  • BACHELORETTE party time!! I am going to help one of ole' sorority pledge sisters celebrate her last few good days as a single gal. Wooohooo!!
  • Ten mile long run on Sunday! (maybe I should have placed that BEFORE the Bachelorette party)

Oh yeah- it is F'in FRIDAY.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

My day... in haikus...

Chained to desk,
Airplanes make me happy
Travel soon for Tiff

Running shoes so white
Glimmering and sparkly
Until mud puddle

Meetings boring
Must get through them alive
Ready for beer?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wednesday Run… and the magical reappearance of my American Express card!

I had to make a MAJOR decision tonight- I was at a crossroads. My sales team was having a big going away happy hour at 4:00 PM today for one of our outside sales guys. Everyone cleared up at 4:00 PM as I kept trekking at work. I knew I had my Wednesday Mt. P running group tonight and I really, really, really wanted to go. I felt accountable.

So, I changed into my running clothes at work and stopped by the happy hour for about 15 minutes. Wearing my clothes there made me accountable because I would not have stayed out all night boozing it up with workout clothes on. I stopped by, told a few jokes, and got on my way.

Damn, I was proud of myself!

I get to my running group (which is normally all women) and I see a 20 something guy sitting at our normal meeting spot. He looks like he is getting ready to go on tour with the Dead- cargo shorts, long hair, tie-dyed shirt…. But he has running shoes on. I start talking to him and yes, he is here for the run. The other ladies eye him up as well.

We start running and it is clear he wants to keep a pretty fast pace (or at least faster than my normal pace). I run to stay with him while several of the other folks drop off. I ended up staying with him for the 6 mile run and got to know someone I probably would have not met otherwise. We also decided to mix up our run next week and finish at Shem Creek where we have a plethora of creekside bars to choose from, including my favorites- Water’s Edge and Red's Ice House where the beer and Bimini are free flowing!

On a FANTASTIC note- I also found my Am Ex that I thought was lost or stolen (Nascock). Just like my momma used to tell me when I was little and I had lost something- “Retrace your steps, Tiff” I went through the last couple days in my mind, checked the online credit card charges (hell, I can’t remember much from Friday night but apparently I spent almost $200 on sushi and sake shots- DAMN) and lo and behold… I found the card! It was tucked in one of my suit jacket pockets. Yippeeee!

Time to celebrate with some online shopping for cuuuutie North Face Boots for my ski trip.... a girl's gotta look good after she does her one ski run for the day and then resorts to drinking in the lodge before retiring to the hot tub!


I need your input. I am trying to decide what is appropriate in this situation….

As previously stated in a previous post, I created a marathon relay team to run the Myrtle Beach marathon. I have 3 teammates that will run 5 miles apiece, and I will run the final 11.2 miles.

The team registration is not necessarily cheap… I told them that. As of Monday, it was $150, or $37.50 per person. Well… the price went up yesterday to $175 or $43.75 per person. I did not really think anything of it… it was only a $6.25 increase, right?

Well, some of my teammates started to point out that this race was a little “pricey for a 5 mile race” Hell, I am not debating this.

I then thought of this in the big scheme of things. What is going to happen when we decide who is driving 2 hours to Myrtle Beach? Luckily, we are staying at my friend’s beach house the night beforehand in lieu of a hotel.

I guess I did not see the big deal.

Then I started to think… should I be paying more because I am running more? Is this fair? I mentioned this to one of them and she seemed to think this was a decent idea.

What do you all think?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tuesday Night Run... and a positive attitude!

Today was just one of those days when I looked at things from a new perspective. It is really weird where we get our motivation from at times... I will save you those details :)

I was anxious to try out my new running shoes so I threw in a fun little workout tonight, mixing it up a bit with some speedwork. Tomorrow is a 7 miler with the (fast) Wednesday night running group so I did not totally woop it up....

Warmup- 1 mile
10 x 400 repeats
Cooldown- 1 mile
Total- 4.5 miles

I have not run 400m repeats since my cross country days back in '94 (OK, now I feel old Brownie!) and I must say.... I still hate them. I am not (nor do I believe I ever will be) a super duper fast runner. My 400m pace is a few hairs faster than Wiley's 20 mile pace. You know what, though? It is all good. I will get better. I will get faster. I will stick with it. I can do it.

I went to the doctor today for my allergies to get more Zyrtec and Flonase. It felt good when the doctor pointed out that I have dropped 30 lbs since May. It is a damn slow process. I still feel like I have a ways to go but I KNOW I will get there!!!

Overall, today was a great day... During my annual review today, I got a 10% raise at work. That felt awesome. I am improving with my running. I can do it.... I will do it!!

I am looking forward to a big 5K Saturday here in Charleston... I will just keep slowly chipping away at my times. At this point, every race is pretty much a PR... ha ha! I am also planning on getting my long run in on Sunday... maybe I will give my favorite bridge a visit :)

Now... time to try out those 1200 thread count sheets that just arrived from Overstock... awwwww

Monday, January 08, 2007

Today suuuuucked.

I knew today was going to suck right from the get-go. It started out on the wrong foot when my kitchen was overcome by a thick cloud of smoke. Yes, did you know the sensors in your toaster can break, therefore not knowing when the bread is ready? Uh…yeah…I went into the bedroom to continue getting ready before I smelled a horrible stench coming from the kitchen. I grabbed the flaming and scorched bread from the toaster to hurl it into the sink and got it all over my white linen shirt fresh from the dry cleaners.


I get to work. Two software demos and a presentation for the newbies- back to back. Meanwhile, my inbox is filling up with messages titled, “Did you forget about this?” and “Don’t let this slip through the cracks!!” which were referring to emails sent this morning that I had not even read yet.


This afternoon I had a conference call with an angry client. I had been dreading it all weekend. We had several people on our end but no one wanted to step up and take charge. I finally take over and get absolutely MAULED over-it was awesome. Apparently, people get mad when they buy software from you and it doesn’t work. Who knew?

A glimmer of hope! I drive over to Mount Pleasant to pick up the new running shoes that just came in. Think again, Tiff! There is a shitstorm of a traffic accident and the store is closed when I get here.

I make the best decision of the day… I finally decide to just ditch my Junior League meeting and head home. Therefore, I am safely at home drinking a glass of Cabernet and waiting to watch the Buckeyes kick ass. I used to love watching the band spell out "Ohio" when I was little and my daddy would take me to home games in Columbus. I thought the "i" dotter was just the coolest thing ever :)


The Myrtle Beach Marathon Relay!

In typical Tiffany Fashion, I procrastinated and did not sign up for the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon in time before it closed. Truth be told, I was never really excited about running it so I think I subconsciously did not sign up in the hopes of it selling out and I could just do a local 8K race here in Charleston. Myrtle Beach is so skanky anyway.

However...being an insanely competitive individual, I started to feel like I lost for not signing up in time. I want to WIN! I sat in front of my laptop debating doing the full marathon just so I could satisfy my online shopping craving (sounds like we might need a support group for this after reading some other blogs!! I finally caught a glimmer of hope in the corner of my eye… a RELAY! I could do the marathon relay… I just needed to recruit 1-4 people to join my group.

I recruited the first person with no problem. My friend, Edi. She has run 9 marathons and was planning on doing the half anyway before I told her the damned thing sold out.


The relay exchange points are at 5, 10, 15, and 20 mile markers. She agreed to do the first 10 miles and I would finish up with 16.1. No problem, right? Ha! Funny how I just throw that out there when I have never run anymore than 13.1 in my life.

Then I recruit my second team member- Stephanie, a two time Boston Marathon finisher. She signs on to do just 5 miles, stating she is “out of shape” although she could go outside right now and totally kick all our butts. She is also a past hash regular with the Charlotte chapter. Today marks her return to running after taking the holidays off- she should be a regular on the Charleston racing circuit this year and I am hoping to talk her into doing Chicago with me in October.

Awesome! My mileage segment is now down to 11.1 miles!

Still waiting on a possible fourth relay member to pick up another 5 mile leg- I have agreed to keep my 11.1 miles and finish up! Now THIS is the way to run a marathon... get your friends to run the first 15 miles for you. Genius!

I am already dreaming up t-shirt designs....

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday Run!

First of all, congrats to all the ARA 20 milers today… you all totally kick ass! I can't wait to hear the race reports about how much you totally rocked it! La la la la…

I tabled my long weekend run until today due to my basketball comeback appearance yesterday and because I was experiencing first-hand why I should never drink sake again.

I looked at the weather reports last night for this morning- 65 degrees and RAIN (100% chance) Bleeech… I set my alarm for 6 AM with the high hopes of getting my miles in before the rain came. I felt like I was tossing and turning all night, having really strange dreams. I have finally pinpointed that this happens when I fall asleep with the TV on… usually with it on The Weather Channel, CNN Headline News, or Sportscenter. I need to figure out how the Sleep mode works on my TV. Digress….

Alarm goes off this morning. Snooze. Alarm. Snooze. Repeat about 27 times. I finally get up around 8:30 AM and look outside. Blue skies! (Cue me singing “Blue Skies” by Willie Nelson) Perfect. Those meteorologists are totally amateurs!!!

I get dressed and head out- it is pretty warm- I go with shorts and a tank top (white, by the way… this will be an important factoid later on in the story). I had decided to do just 9 miles today- realizing I still have 3 weeks til 3M.

I haven’t run in my neighborhood lately and I forgot how friendly and vocal people are when they see you are exercising. Most are walking at a snail’s pace with their dog(s) and either a) eating or b) talking on their cell phone. Several people along my route told me how great I was doing and they wish they could run too. It is funny how people just think I woke up one day and could run 13 miles. They always ask, “Well, isn’t running hard?!? I don’t think I could do it… I can barely run to end of my driveway without dying.” I try to tell them that when I started, I could not even jog half a mile without stopping and it takes time to work your way up. They usually turn their head at that time and mutter some other excuse. Oh well! I tried!

First five miles… the sky holds up but it looks like it is seriously clouding over. Suddenly, the sky falls. I debate- pack it in and head back? Or trek on? As if planned, “Eye of the Tiger” comes up on my MP3 shuffle. Da...da da da... da da daaaaaaaaa... I trek on!!! If Rocky can do it, so can I!

I am drenched.

I see a car pull up next to me. Someone shouts, “How much for an hour?” I look down and realize my shirt, which is pretty thin even when dry is completely soaked and I looked like I was trying out for the sorority wet t-shirt contest on college Spring Break '98 in Cancun (which of course is just speculation from what I heard, OK?) To make matters worse, the person yelling at me from the car was some dude I work with that I barely know. Weird.

Great. Now I am a running hooker. Before responding with my going hourly rate, I smile and wave and keep running… all the way to the 9 mile mark. Two big loops around my neighborhood. All in all, a pretty good run today. It was a nice change to run on my own… I sure like running with a group but it is great to have solo running time to think about things going on in life, at work, etc.

Weekly mileage- 24 miles… I am really happy with this. I am trying to step up my weekly mileage from my normal 15-20 mile weeks. Ba-bam!!


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Good luck good luck good luck good luck good luck good luck good luck good luck!!

Sending a big South Carolinian GOOD LUCK to everyone doing the ARA 20 Miler tomorrow in Austin!!

YALL totally kick ass!! Woooooohooooooo!!!!!!!

The Comeback

I had resorted to spending my day chilling out after a long night of Ring of Fire sake shots… until I got the call. The call that would make the beginning of the Tiffany Dynasty Comeback. My friends needed a fifth player for their rec basketball game today or they would have to forfeit and miss their chance of playing in the playoffs. Would I play for their team? HELL YEAH!! I had not joined their team full-time this year due to my hectic travel schedule but would drop anything and everything to hoop it up.

I set the plan for the team. No subs. We were going to press, full-court. I mocked up a couple plays on the back of a bill I had in my purse with a purple Sharpie. If all else fails, I told them, just give me the damn ball. We have to REFUSE to LOSE. My friends look at my half-crazed face with a sense of fear in their eyes. They knew I meant biz-nass today.

It was beautiful. Jumpshots. Rebounds and put-backs. Three pointers. My signature up-and-under move. Draining free throws. Even my left-handed hook shot came back. At the end of the game, I had scored 38 points and had 16 rebounds (according to my personal scorekeeper in the stands).

Funny thing is- back in the diz-ay, my high school high score was only 37 points. That means I set a personal record today, hungover and wooping up on some innocent ladies in a middle school gym.

I think I might need to contact an agent- this officially makes me the hottest free agent recruit for the Charleston County women’s basketball rec league.

**As a followup to this... for those of you dying to know if the Lagerhead Tavern team won today... we won by 3 points!!! Hurray!!!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Almost Friiiizzzz-iday!!!!!

So I cannot get 80’s and 90’s rap songs out of my head today. In my mind is a dance mix of Tag Team “Whoop There It Is!”, “At the Playground” by ABC (Another Bad Creation), and the theme song from Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

I was waiting to make a copy and I told one of my co-workers that our conference in Houston is going to be “Whickety, whickety, whack!!!” as I made fake turntable moves while dancing.

May not sound weird- but coming from a tall, white, blonde girl in a business suit…
Yeah... it's weird :)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Run TIFF Run!

Had a great run tonight with my Wednesday night running group! We had a couple more people there who missed last week due to the holidays. No one could make up their mind between running the Olde Village (flat) or the bridge so I finally blurted out "Bridge!! Bridge!!" I got a couple evil glares as I believe a few folks took the holiday season off from running and wanted an easy run. I was looking forward to getting my first bridge run of '07 in- BRING IT!!

It was nice starting from the Mount Pleasant side tonight as a change from my usual downtown starting spot. During our 7 mile run, we actually ran the first 4 miles on the same exact race course as the Cooper River Bridge Run. I usually train by running the Mt. P (steeper) side during the latter part of my training runs when I am tired. Tonight I ran it at the beginning when I was still fresh. What a difference! God, it felt so good to see the progress I have made!!!! I checked my Garmin after the first 4 miles and was well on my way to getting my sub-60 Bridge Run if I had kept going on the course (the next 2.2 miles are super flat)

The bridge was hoppin' tonight!! Lots of people out enjoying a nice night. I even ran into my good friend, Molly running the other way. Molly has signed on to do the ING Georgia Half Marathon with me in March. We are both ccccrazy... we have to be at a work conference that Sunday evening in Dallas and are stopping in Atlanta on a LAYOVER to run the half. We should have a great time (Printhethes always have a good ole' time)! Molly and I look pretty funny running together- she is about 5'1" (with heels on) and a former Georgia Tech cheerleader. Being about 5'11"- my strides are about 3 times as long as hers. Her poor husband just shattered his femur so she is looking to get out of the house more often due to his cabin fever :)

Blech- I did notice my back was tightening up when I was running back up the incline on the bridge. It has never done this before... hopefully it was just a one-time thing or it was my reaction to the gusty winds blowing towards the top of the bridge. Anybody else experience back tightening or know anything to stop it?

All in all, tonight was a pretty painless way to get a good 7 miles in- good conversation and beautiful scenery of the Charleston harbor and Atlantic Ocean in the distance. I am really liking my running group! I am also planning on running with "The Lakers" downtown on Mondays and Thursdays.

What better way to round out the evening? I met up with Jim for some beers and to discuss the details about Mountain Week '07 in Park City (mainly to talk about how much we are going to gamble and how many consecutive hours we could spend in the hot tub) and topped off the night spending the $100 gift certificate my team got me at VS...SEMI ANNUAL SALE TIME, ladies!!!

Arrivederci from Chaaaaaaaarleston :)


I'm going skiin' (and partyin') February 3-8 in Park City, UT!!!!!!!!!!!

KICK ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Runnin', gunnin', and gamblin' woman

Couple weeks ago, I was at a casino in Albuquerque.

I ran up to the roulette wheel and threw $50 on red at the end of the night while walking out.

I yelled, “It’s gotta hit red or black- 50/50 shot…blahahhahahaa!”

It hit double-zero- which is green.


I should stick with hustlin' 7 year-olds at the Bimini Ring Game.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

This is one of the funniest things I have ever seen!

The Notre Dame Flowchart...

Surprisingly, my sister-in-law and good friend co-worker (both ND grads) were not as amused as I was!

Let's just hope they beat LSU tomorrow or it will be a sad, sad day for all involved :)


Monday, January 01, 2007

Blog of the Day

I almost bought a coke today.

It looked so good.

But I didn't.

Not a bad start to the New Year… and a PR to boot!

Took 6 seconds off my 5K time (ha ha!) and finished in 28:02 (Garmin time). My official race time was 28:47 as I was screwing around towards the back of the pack telling a joke to some friends and did not start right away.

BIG NEWS!! I finished 4th in my age group (out of 23 runners) and was 18 seconds behind the 3rd place finisher in 27:44. I also finished 43rd out of 174 females. Either I did well or everyone else was super, duper hungover... perhaps a combination of the two? :)

Cheers to 2007!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOLA 2007!!!!!!! Pura Vida... all year long...

So, I am really excited about 2007. Not that 2006 necessarily sucked, it actually was pretty damn good. I am enthusiastic to be moving on to a new year with new possibilities!!!

I got back into running last summer to achieve the following goals:

  • Get back into shape
  • Find a (healthy) way to deal with work stress
  • Meet new people
  • Set goals and achieve/exceed them

I think I have (or am on my way) to achieving all of this! I couldn’t feel better about it. Running has been my savior at times when I thought I might throw my computer (or co-workers) out the window. Thank you, Running.

However, I am officially making 2007 MY year. Here are my running resolutions:

  • Run at least 2 marathons
  • Run at least 2 trail races
  • Run at least 3 half marathons
  • Break an hour for the Cooper River Bridge Run (I could do this now!)
  • Break 26 minutes for a 5K

Professionally, I am right where I want to be. Working in Sales and traveling so much has been super tiring, yet rewarding. People always ask me how I am able to run while on the road… hasn’t really been that hard. The Garmin Geek-o-Meter and web sites like Gmap and have been really helpful and it has really opened up my eyes to parts of cities that I would not have explored otherwise (yes, sometimes I end up in the ghetto!) Fortunately, running does not require much equipment- just a pair of shoes and some motivation- which I certainly have!

Luckily, I still get to do my favorite thing- speaking engagements about our software and nonprofit management- even though I am in Sales. After speaking at 5 conferences last year (in 3 different countries!), I was invited to speak at the prestigious AAM (Association of American Museums) Conference in April and invited to speak at a graduate program lecture series at Carnegie Mellon University in May! Aside from those, I will still be keeping my annual speaking engagements for my company on fundraising and accounting topics.

I have finally narrowed down what I want to do with my MBA. After taking the GMAT in February, I am applying to my “reach” schools (yeah- do not even ask. You will think I am c-c-c-crazy!!). As a backup plan, I can always get my MBA online through Univ. of SC at night while still working full time and traveling- and my company will pay for a big part of my MBA. If I was accepted to one of my “reach” schools- I would probably sell my house, furniture, etc. and move there for the program. But… they all have less than a 12% acceptance rate. Hence- the word “reach”!

So….. here’s to 2007! The Year of Tiff!
(at least for me… you can make it the Year of (Insert Name) as well!)