Friday, October 31, 2008


Yes that's Daisy in her Yoda costume.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Filled up for under $30

Who would have thought this would be exciting?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Calling on All Running Princesses

So I figured since I am enjoying the post marathon runner's high. Well that is what I am attributing this too - I am ready to try again - ok maybe halfway ready to try again. I've signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon on March 8th. (Meghan will sign up as soon as she sees proof that I have and really since she lives in Orlando and I will be crashing at her place she really can't say no.)

It's the inaugural race and for the love of God the medal is in the shape of tiara - what could be better. The only bummer is that it is advertised for women - and Bruce is refusing to sign up. I told him that we will just put him in a pink shirt and tiara and call it a day. But he seems to think that won't work. So I am signing him up for the Royal Family 5k.

So to begin my newest training - on Saturday I was inspired - no not to run yet - but to buy new shoes. I had logged 400+ miles on my running shoes and it was time to buy new ones. We went to our favorite running store - Hanson's in Uttica. The guy working was the same one who was there last time we stopped in and on that trip we learned that he too was running Chicago. His goal time was somewhat faster than ours. He wanted to run a 2:14 (yes two hours and 14 minute marathon - we again were hoping for 4:45.) So of course on Saturday we asked him how he did - well he finished 7th - the first American to cross the line - the only American in the top 10 and his time was an amazing 2:16. Suddenly my 6 hour marathon became a way more embarassing story. However the coolest thing is - he was nice enough to pretend to listen.

Bruce and I left there even more amazed. Of course we don't even know his name - he's just our favorite guy at the running store. So I immediately looked up the marathon results. His name is Mike Reneau. Which of course only tonight did I "googled" him. And what is even more amazing is that he has only been running since 2004. Yes - it's crazy. I assumed he was one of those prodigy runners that ran all through high school and into college. No he got started in running marathons when he took a "marathon running" class as an "easy" elective his senior year at the University of Wisconsin. He ran his first marathon at 2hours 36 minutes. I wondering if I should sign up for this class. Here are links to two fascinating articles - one in the Washington Post and one in the Chicago Tribune.

However on Sunday - it was the Detroit marathon a perfect chilly temperature (I am only wondering where this weather was last week.) Bruce and I woke really early to head down to Detroit to cheer on Mary. She was running her first half-marathon and let's just say her training over the past couple weeks had not been easy. So as a fellow "seasoned (ha)" runner I wanted to show my support - by yelling foolishly from the sidewalk. I consider my work cheering best served at the back of the pack - I yell for anyone and everyone - sometimes I little too loudly for my husband's liking. However I tell him that if it embarasses him so much he can walk away and pretend he doesn't know me - there is no rule that he has to stand next to me. Because I won't stop yelling.

Needless to say my planning wasn't steller - I failed to ask Mary what she would be wearing - so we missed her at mile 1 and at mile 3. We tried the internet tracking device with a pitstop at channel 4 and well that didn't work at all. Then we headed to mile 12 - were we waited for her (and I spent most of that wait cheering for everyone and embarassing Bruce.) Just at the point - I was feeling really dumb that we came all that way and she wouldn't even know we were there - there she was! Of course I yelled cheered and screamed loudly for her! I ran out to catch her and run a couple hundred yards with her. She was amazing. I am so proud of her. It takes a lot to get out and run - so to power through like she did - is just awesome. And since I cannot do her story justice - she happened to write a long email to tell everyone about it because she lost her voice - so I will let you hear it from her in here own words. See the posting below.
For first time on TiVo Changed My Life we have a guest writer:

My 1/2 Marathon
by Mary Lobbestael

Inspired by my dear friend Jennie (fabulous blogger and elite runner) and an acute case of laryngitis, I am putting pen to paper (well, fingers to keyboard as it turns out) to share my first 1/2 marathon story. Fittingly, the story is a bit lengthy.

For those of you who followed my training, you know that things didn't go so smoothly. And by not so smoothly I mean my main goal the week before the race was simply to stay out of the friggin’ hospital.

My boss commented last week that I am a linear thinker (which I, of course, took as a compliment at the time). So appropriately, I am going to tell this story chronologically – starting with the beginning of the best worst month of my life.
September 9, 2008 – Fractured thumb
I wish I had a remarkable tale to report for this, my first "in training” injury. But alas, I simply (and stupidly) slammed my thumb in a car door while in New York for work. Of course, post-injury I thought of scads of much more interesting NYC-based stories involving crime on the MTA blue line, drunken self defense in the Meatpacking District, or The Day After Tomorrow–type freak flood. But, as so often is the case in my life, reality is simply not that juicy. Did I mention the car was a Buick?
Runner Mary: 0, Injured Mary: 1

September 11, 2008 – Wisdom teeth extraction
Ok, I know what you are thinking... What joker schedules oral surgery the month before her first race? Well friends, no decision I make happens without thorough contemplation. Here's a peek into the mind of a linear over-thinker:

August – too busy enjoying the dwindling days of Michigan summer to schedule surgery. Plus I didn’t want to seem too anxious to have my impacted molars ripped from my skull.

October – race month, clearly not an option.

November – loads of work travel and my first and only, much needed vaca for the year -- Coasta Rica! (Note: I did seriously contemplate the strong “diet” value of dental surgery. Who wouldn’t want to shed a few pounds before…. gasp… getting into a bathing suit in November? Although a very strong case could be made for pre-vaca extraction, the thought of any complications or swollen cheeks impacting my booze-induced fun in the sun was much too daunting – November was out.)

December – let's be honest, waiting for December just seemed a bit risky given the state of the auto market (can you say pink slip?). No job, no dental, no dice.

Alas, I was left but with one month – coincidentally my favorite of the year – September. I wasn’t crazy about spending any part of my b-day month (yes, I celebrate the entire month) doped up and in pain, but my hands were tied. So, after eliminating work travel dates, my birthday weekend, and checking with Nurse Jenn’s schedule, I landed on September 11.

And although scheduling the abovementioned extraction was my own choice, the subsequent infection was not. Two total weeks with zero miles logged.
Runner Mary: 0, Injured Mary: 2

In an equally unplanned maneuver, I accidentally OD’d on Vicodin and Aleve during my recovery phase. (And for the record: Who knew that Aleve was not the same as Advil?!!?!) Sweet Jesus, my liver still hasn’t forgiven me.
Runner Mary: 0, Injured Mary: 3

September 29, 2008 – Shin splints
Those who have experienced them would undoubtedly agree that shin splints are the quintessential kiss of death for runners. They can end your training faster than wine disappears on Girls Night. For those of you lucky enough not to be unfamiliar with this sort of pain, it’s like a zillion little swords slashing at your shins every time your foot extends to the ground. And it doesn’t matter if you have taken the necessary precautions – anti inflammatories, icing, stretching, resting. Shin splints are selfish cruel little bastards who don’t care that you have done everything human to exclude them – all they care about is crashing your running party and staying until the beer is gone.
Runner Mary: 0, Injured Mary: 4

October 9, 2008 – Hit by truck
Seriously. While running at my customary (well lit) 6am time frame in Ferndale, I was plowed over by an old dude who was too friggin’ clueless to even realize there was a blonde girl in the intersection he was rolling through. Ok, technically I didn’t get plowed over – it was more like bumped into. Again, reality may not be as juicy as the headline, but candidly – getting hit by a 4,000 pound truck at the crack of dawn didn’t result in major physical injury, but it left quite a mark on my psyche.
Runner Mary: 0, Injured Mary: 5

October 13, 2008 – Upper respiratory infection
In the immortal words of Lt. Kaffee (A Few Good Men)... “And the hits just keeping on coming.” Waking up – unable to breathe or swallow properly – the Monday before the race was a relief. Seriously. This was the final straw. This tipped the scales. Whatever stubborn, harebrained thoughts of racing on Sunday that were still swimming around in my pea brain were quickly exterminated. How could one be expected to run 13 miles when one couldn’t make it to the bathroom without fainting?

And for those of you keeping track – our tally stands at:
Runner Mary: 0, Injured/Fractured/Infected/Hit/Sick Mary: 6

October 16, 2008 – D Day
Thanks to a few dear friends (and I am not talking about the blow sunshine up your a$ kinda friends; I’m talking about those motivational ones who’d just as soon kick your a$ than see you give up on yourself) – I realized that even with a few speed bumps in the road (who am I kidding - these were more like spike strips) sometimes you just have to try. Their motivating words resonated loudly in my head…

Forget about the race. It’s just a long run.
This is just your victory lap.
Just make it happen.

So with the imminent possibility of recording the worst 13 mile run in the history of the world and living with the subsequent embarrassment, I chose to run. Runner Mary down by 6 and I chose to run.

And in what can only be described as a runner’s Hail Mary pass, I scheduled my very first chiropractic appointment for the Friday before the race. I had reliable sources that said getting adjusted could help ease shin pain. To tell you the truth, I would have soaked my body in lime Jello if you told me it would help mitigate my shin pain.

October 19, 2008 – Race Day
Prerace: BENGAY, baby! I applied an entire tube. Shin splints be damned!

Mile 0 - 3: Head down. Ipod on. And then only my thoughts to keep me company…. “Damn there are a lot of people here, here’s hoping I don’t trip on someone… sweet Jesus it’s too late to turn back now… run your own race, Mary…run your own race…run your own race…run your own race…”

Mile 4 - 5: Trek across the Ambassador Bridge wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be. Looking back, I wish I would have enjoyed the view a bit more, but alas I was too busy trying not to step on any fellow runners to look at the Detroit River. Oh, plus, I got a bloody nose. This was actually a good thing – made me feel like Rocky. I looked and felt like a total bad ass! Also, this eventually scared other runners away, which meant I didn’t have to worry about tripping on anyone. ☺ Unfortunately, I used almost half of my 26-tissue Kleenex allotment during this stretch.

Mile 6 - 8: Solid running through Canada. Overall, these were my best miles. Very serene and I felt like I had found my rhythm. In a move that I would regret about a mile later, I had Gu (energy gel) at about Mile 7.5.

Mile 8 - 9: The Tunnel run back to the USA… You may have heard about this – it is touted as the world’s only international underwater mile. What you probably haven’t heard about – the tunnel is about 97 friggin degrees and there’s absolutely zero circulation. And what’s more, given the infamous nature of this mile, they actually print out your mile time on your race certificate. That's particularly unfortunate since I got sick at the end of the tunnel – here’s hoping that they don’t note that on my certificate.

Mile 10 - 11: This random run through Detroit was much harder than I anticipated. And some jerky race ops guy found the only friggin hill in Detroit and routed us up it… Urg. Shortly thereafter I hit my proverbial wall. My pace slowed and I really had to focus just to keep my legs moving. The waves of nausea were coming much more frequently. The sword party had started to intensify in my shins and I started the mental countdown in my head… only 30 minutes to go…only 30 minutes to go…only 30 minutes to go.

Mile 12: Thank the dear lord for Jennie and Bruce. Seeing them after Mile 12 marker was as euphoric as seeing a “Half Off” sign at the Saks designer shoe salon. Jennie ran with me just long enough to impart some words of inspiration that, I kid you not, were the only thing that helped me run my remaining mile.

Mile 13: Ok, my avid movie watching really came back to bite me here. Yup, I have watched one too many sports movies, my friends. You know how at the end of any given race or athletic endeavor there seems to be some miraculous second wind that hits the protagonists on the home stretch? A second wind that is so powerful the underdog seems to simply float across the finish line? Well that is all crap. The final mile was the hardest mile I have ever run. Ever.

On a brighter note, I did finish to much fanfare. Not necessarily for me, but rather for Tetyana Byelovol - the women's marathon winner who finished just steps ahead of me. Yeah that's right... this Ukrainian twinkie ran 26.2 miles in the time it took yours truly to struggle through half that. Bet that bitch didn’t have shin splits. ;)
Final tally:
Runner Mary: 13, Injured Mary: 6

You can watch me cross the finish line at the following website:

➢ Click on the 2:33 – 2:43 tab
➢ My gun time was 2:35:20 (clock in center with yellow numbers)
➢ I’m in yellow shirt, blue shorts on the left side of screen

Anatomy of a Runner Thanks to Bruce, here’s a picture of me at Mile 12.

Special thanks go to
Jenn & Seth
Jennie & Bruce

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sonic Opens in Flint

...but the wait was way too long. Next time.

It's Fall!

...which makes for a beautiful commute.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chicago Marathon - Check

I finished. That's pretty much all I can say. I know it's shocking but well let's just it wasn't quite the day I had dreamed about. What is the Chicago Marathon that I did dream about? Well it would be a cool crisp fall morning, where I was healthy. And well it was neither of those two things happened. Despite the near 6 months of training and 400+ miles (all over the world) I am still glad that both Bruce and I did it and finished it.

So here's the recap. Last week about this time, I started to feel something inside that said you are getting sick. I fought it - by coming home and going to be pronto and upping my vitamin c intake - with vitamins, orange juice and lots of fruit. However, I couldn't shake it, but I do have a new rule in my classroom - when students come up to my desk to get Kleenex - they must go somewhere else to blow their nose - instead of directly at me. By the time Saturday night hit - enough positive thinking could not hide the fact that I was sick.

We arrived in Chicago on Saturday. We promptly met up with Megan (my former Wunder Student - and now Columbia College Student.) It was her birthday - so we bought her lunch at Pot Belly Sandwich shop. Then we headed up Michigan Ave to met up with 7:11 member Robert and his wife Heather (who traveled all the way from Lima to cheer us on.) We hung out for a while then headed to Wicker Park to enjoy a fabulous dinner at the Handlebar. We were supposed to meet up at 6 pm but we were ten minutes late because well it's rare but this time I went the wrong way - nearly 1/2 mile the wrong direction down North St. Don't worry I ate crow on that.

We arrived to the Handlebar (finally) where we met up with my family. We celebrated my Dad's 29th birthday and Megan's 19th. I brought the kids pop-up books which I am proud to say were a hit, especially the Barbie Makeover book I gave Sophie. Then we headed home for an early evening - we needed to rest for the big run.

We were up early to head to the start - but to be honest I never slept. I think it was partly nerves and partly because I was really getting sick. We (Bruce, his Dad and I) headed down to the start with the 40K+ runners. This was Bruce's first marathon, my second and his dad's 19th. When we finally crossed the start line it was 20 minutes after the official start of the race. There were that many people running. At first we were crawling - then we started to move. The pace was too slow for Thomas (Bruce's dad) so he took off - Bruce and I ran slowly but it was fine.

At mile one we ran into our first spectators Robert & Heather. Then a mile or two later - we saw my mom, my sister Krista, Josh (her husband,) Sophie and Max. They were screaming our names it was so great to have fans. At this point, I was running on pure adrenaline and had forgotten I wasn't feeling well. However, by mile three it hit me that I was not up to my normal running style. I felt sluggish and was dragging. Then by mile six, I was not sure I could make much more. I pushed on for a couple more miles - until my body said - "ummmm, not today." Bruce was ready to call it quits with me but I said, NO. He had worked too hard this summer not to finish - just because I was crapping out, he should continue. Plus my dad was going to be up at the next mile or so and if I wanted to he could take me home.

I am not going to lie, after Bruce left, I got really emotional. I had worked so hard - and I so much wanted to finish the marathon - even if it wouldn't be close to my goal of 4:45. Believe it or not I was not the only one in tears. The weather was getting hotter and people where just starting to drop like flies. Once I reached my dad - he, a great sport - who had not expected to walk into town, walked the course with me to meet up with the rest of my family at 12 miles.

When I reached them they were all great. I got huge hugs. Max was so funny and matter of fact, he was like, "Ok Aunt Jennie, you are sick, so you should come home with us." Part of me wanted to, however there was this stubborn part of me who was going to finish this race no matter what. I stopped for a little while and got some more hugs and then my mom, dad and I continued on to the half-way point. On the way there we saw Megan. (It's a lot for a college student to wake up early on the weekend and come cheer me on, so needless to say I was touched.) By this time, I was feeling a little better and I decided to try running again. I ran about 2 miles and was feeling good - but decided walking was better for me.

It was about this time when I met Debbie from Atlanta. She too was walking and frustrated because she wanted to be running. She hurt her knee and thought that she wouldn't be able to finish the race, but then slowly began walking and decided that she would try. At this time we began to walk together and talk. We have a lot in common other than having a frustrating marathons - like she has a blog too. I am so glad I met Debbie, because it was so much easier passing the last 11+ miles with a friend. She is pictured down below with me - she's wearing pink and was not expecting to meet up with the paparazzi that was my family. :)

The next time my mom and dad saw me - I had a walking buddy/running buddy. Debbie and I even started giving ourselves goals and running a little. We were walking at quite a clip. As we got closer, it became more feasible that we were going to finish. At mile 25 - when we had made a plan to run to the next block - we ran into her running coach - Justin from Atlanta. And for some reason the next block became the finish line - he described the last 1/2 mile of the race and despite the face that it ended up hill - we ran in the entire way and crossed the line together. I had hoped to cross the line with Bruce - but I am glad I had a friend to cross with. It made it a little easier.

Somehow - not becauase it was planned - because we didn't think that far ahead. But we all managed to meet up after the race. Debbie let me borrow her phone and I called my dad, who happened to be not to far away. Then Megan called my dad and she was with Robert and Heather. And my dad called my mom and we all ended up in a little park - to rehash the day and take some photos.

On a side note - Bruce's dad crossed the finish line in 4hours 27minutes. Amazing - if you ask me!

Bruce and I met up at the end of the race. I am so proud of him. I am not sure if I will try a marathon again - this one proved to me that despite how hard you train - you can't control everything. For now, I think I will stick with half-marathons for a while - it's a much more doable race. However, I am not going to lie - there is a part of me that thinks - well maybe the New York Marathon would be better because it's in November. (Yes, I am nut case - that may need intense therapy.)I wore my medal proudly to school today - not a lot of people saw because I was hiding in my room with my sickness. Despite everything - I am proud to say that I finished the Chicago Marathon.
Max & Sophie giving Uncle Bruce a big hug on Sunday.

Sophie giving me lots of love on Sunday. It was just what the doctor ordered.

Bruce and I at mile 6 in Lincoln Park.

Meeting with the fam at mile 12.

Megan cheering me on in Chicago!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


My duds for Sunday - this way everyoe can cheer me on. Bruce is
already embarrassed.

Monday, October 06, 2008

5 Days 14 hours 49 Minutes 17 Seconds Until Chicago
(as of this blog)

Ok - we are just six days until Bruce and I (and his dad - but he will finish long before us) run the marathon in Chicago. This is the third time I have signed up for the marathon and hopefully the first time I will finish. Between working in TV news and being well a natural born klutz - I have paid entrance fees, started training and well never finished the race. So let's hope that number three is a charm.

Now this question keeps coming up: "How far is the race?" So please for the moment let me get on high horse and say - a marathon is always 26.2 miles (or 42.195 Kilometers.) And has been 26.2 miles since 1924 - before that it varied by a mile or two. According to our friends at wikipedia. The event is named after the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens. The legend states that he was sent from the town of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming "Νενικήκαμεν" (Nenikékamen, 'We have won.') before collapsing and dying. Which is well very possible for me on Sunday - however I have been training so let's hope that it is not probable.

Bruce and I will head to Chicago to not only run the marathon but celebrate my dad's 29th birthday and Megan's 19th birthday! Plus Robear and Heather are coming in from Lima to cheer us on. I am very lucky to have a built in cheering section in Chicago and two great friends that are willing to drive-in to cheer.

However, if you aren't coming to Chi-town - don't feel left out. You too can track my progress - electronically. You can sign-up online and the marathon will text or email you when I get to 4 locations on the route (one of which is the finish.) All you need is my bib number - which is 26822.

I will be running with Bruce - which has made this experience more rewarding no matter how well I do at the race on Sunday. We have had a great time running together all summer through Europe and back here in Michigan. So wish me luck - and when bring advil for the next time I see you because I have a feeling I might still be sore.

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Bag of Heaven

Mmmmmmm Smarties - my favorite treat - as of late.

Bruce and Robert enjoying iPhone air hockey at the Qudoba. We were lucky enough to be able to dine with him as he drove through on I-75.