Monday, April 30

Fresno Marathon? Sweet!

Last week I read in the Fresno Bee that they are going to be adding a full marathon to the Trail of 2 Cities Half Marathon that runs annualy in November. The innagural race will be in November of 2008 and the course runs from Woodward Park to Dakota and Clovis and back again. This is very exciting news! I have always wanted a local marathon to run in so I don't have to drive to another city and sleep at a hotel and then drive home the same day as the race and I can be familiar with the course before I run it. Fresno is also the largest city in the state not to have a marathon. However there have been marathons twice in Fresno's history, one from 1978-1987 and the other in 1999. The running community is growing in this area and it is about time there is marathon that reflects this. This is a great opportunity for people to try long distance running out and also for people to watch a marathon if they haven't seen one run. There will also be a field of elite runners and if you have never seen an elite runner race it is unbelievable. One year and seven months to go!

Friday, April 27

Person of the day: Nola Ochs

Taking the long road, Nola Ochs of Kansas will be graduating form Fort Hays State University at the age of 95 making her the oldest college graduate ever. Nola started taking college courses 35 years ago when her husband died and has earned enough credits to now have a degree. Citing a love of learning last fall Nola moved into a one bedroom apartment 100 miles away from her hometown to earn her degree in general studies with an emphasis on history. She hopes to become a storyteller on a cruise ship when she graduates.

Cheers to Nola!

Thursday, April 26

What I do at work

kclu80 (12:49:25 PM): so what do your checks look like?
redpennylane (12:50:28 PM): they have travel images on them. European landmarks and NYC, with that sort of aged travel look
kclu80 (12:50:41 PM): oh thats cool
redpennylane (12:50:45 PM): like old luggage
redpennylane (12:50:47 PM): haha
kclu80 (12:50:46 PM): I have a stagecoach
kclu80 (12:51:04 PM): hahaha, those last few lines were comedy if read in isolation
redpennylane (12:51:18 PM): hahaha
redpennylane (12:51:26 PM): seriously what the heck are we talking about
redpennylane (12:51:41 PM): yeah I like picking out all the personalized stuff
kclu80 (12:51:43 PM): I dont know but I have a stagecoach which is totally bitchin
redpennylane (12:51:56 PM): there was a whole lot of nothing to choose from
redpennylane (12:52:00 PM): hahaha
redpennylane (12:52:05 PM): just standard bank checks
kclu80 (12:52:05 PM): unles you want to go puppies, kitties or patriotic
redpennylane (12:52:24 PM): Well, the wells fargo wagon is a comin' down the street
redpennylane (12:52:39 PM): yup
kclu80 (12:52:38 PM): haha, what if I drove a stagecoach?
redpennylane (12:52:47 PM): lol
redpennylane (12:52:59 PM): I am cracking up picturing it
kclu80 (12:52:58 PM): take it to Landmark, park where JD does
redpennylane (12:53:06 PM): lol
kclu80 (12:53:32 PM): that would be awesome
redpennylane (12:53:45 PM): fantastic!
kclu80 (12:54:06 PM): I think I am oin to post some of our random funny conversations on my blog, we are on fire today
redpennylane (12:54:09 PM): now would you drive it or ride on the inside and have a driver?
kclu80 (12:54:17 PM): I would be the driver
kclu80 (12:54:21 PM): cracking the whip
redpennylane (12:54:39 PM): can I ride inside and step out all lady like?
kclu80 (12:54:46 PM): yes with a parisol
kclu80 (12:54:56 PM): or those frilly umbrellas or whatever
redpennylane (12:55:02 PM): yes! And a powdered wig like Manon's
redpennylane (12:55:10 PM): yeah parisol
kclu80 (12:55:31 PM): those big bustles certainly are fantastic for hiding body inperfections arent they?
redpennylane (12:55:50 PM): I gave my kids 15 extra credit questions having to do with the opera...YEAH THEY ARE
redpennylane (12:56:07 PM): to bad the corsets caused women to pass out
kclu80 (12:56:13 PM): yeah, thats a downside

Wednesday, April 25

Implicit Association Test

I recently came upon a HArvard study that uses an Implicit Association Test (IAC) to determine individuals automatic preferences for categories such as race, sexual orientation, gender, religion etc. The IAT measures implicit attitudes and beliefs that people are either unwilling or unable to report. Considering myself an educated, open minded woman, I was horrified at the results of some of the tests I took. I find the study itself incredibly interesting and I encourage everyone to take a few of these IAC's to open your mind to what biases you have that you may not eve be aware of.

Tuesday, April 24

A Ramblin Tuesday Morn

A few rambling thoughts for the day:

  • I love the new no envelope deposits at Wells Fargo. It is a small thing I know, but it makes me happy.
  • I have a huge knot in my neck, it hurts.
  • I have started to read a book that has gotten some attention in the past so I thought I would see what it was all about. The book is Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcom Gladwell. Basically the book argues that your "adaptive unconscious"--a 24/7 mental valet-- provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or react to a new idea (yup, I plagerized that synopsis). He uses interesting examples like speed dating and how by observing a very small segment of conversation between marriage couples you can predict with a very high degree of accuracy if the marriages will last etc. Coupled with the fact that this book is a fairly easy read, all the neccesary criteria for a best selling pop pyschology book are covered. So far no major ah ha moments but it has kept my attention. I also bought the book American Vertigo by Bernard Henri-Levy. It is a somewhat aristocratic frenchmens perspective on America as he travels through America and re-traces the steps of Tocqueville when he wrote "Democracy in America". I hear the French are assholes though so we will see how I like it.

Thursday, April 19

nuthin but a g thang

So my keyboard at work has decided that the letter "g" is only going to work, sometimes. Seeing as I type looking at the keyboard, I won't notice that the "g" is missing right away so I have been typing like I imagine Britney Spears talks most of the time; roofin, nothin, paintin, fixin, lookin, typin...oh southern/okie/white trash venacular, you make me want to pull up my britches and walk around a public restroom barefoot.

Wednesday, April 18

About two years ago I hiked to the top of Half Dome and absolutely loved it and plan on going again this year. Unfortunately when we finally got to the cables and pulled ourselves to the top, clouds rolled in so there was no view to speak of. All you could see was a white abyss of fog that enveloped the rock which of course dissapated by the time we got back down the cables. In any case it is something that I would reccomend everyone do at least once and if you have never been to Yosemite well shame on you and get up there, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth in my opinion (despite the many tourists). So, if anyone is interested on doing this with me (so far I am flying solo) please let me know and we can go up there for the day. They usually don't put the cables up until Memorial Day so it would be a summer venture. Yes, this is a somewhat long and taxing hike that is pretty much all up hill (all down hill on the way back though) but kids were and old people were doing it when I was there so pretty much anyone can make it.

Also, if you want to listen to a high energy band that has a bit of a rock/funk sound may I reccomend Robert Randolph & The Family Band. I have been listening to them lately and they just put you in a good mood.

Tuesday, April 17

Burritos, running and more!

I am feeling sad and angry from the horrific events of yesterday. Not much else to say about that that hasn't already been said, just a very tragic and uncessary event that should not have happened.

I got a free burrito from Chipotle yesterday. Mmmm Chipotle and yay to free food.

I had trouble sleeping last night, first time in a long time that has been a problem. I was hot and I couldn't get comfortable and my stomach was hungry for some reason (despite eating the entire Chipotle burrito).

My running is on a steady incline lately. I have been running faster and easier this past week and hopefully that continues. I still can't seem to pinpoint why some days are great running days and some days I struggle despite keeping a food journal and paying attention to how well I am sleeping and what I did the previous day etc.

Currently listening to some Social Distortion. I wish I could have caught them when they were in town last week, but they sold out. Good stuff none the less.

Friday, April 13

grrr Kasey

I have a confession. I did not end up running yesterday, despite the snot to the wind comment, it was just too windy and kind of cold and I frankly didn't get my ass out there. What really irritates me though is how irritated I am with myself when I skip a run. For most people probably not a big deal, but I get guilt ridden and dissapointed with myself so I cant even really enjoy the time off. It is dumb, however I can't get those thoughts out of my mind. I will make up for it today with a nice long run.

Thursday, April 12

Tay in da wind

Today I have a middle of the week long run scheduled to boost up my mileage. Typically I will do a long run on the weekend and do shorter maintenance runs during the week. Since I get off work at 4 and it stays light until probably around 8 or so I have plenty of time to make one of my maintenance runs into a training run during the week. Unlucky for me I decided to do that today, which is freakishly windy. I really dislike running in the wind for various reasons but mostly since I do my longer runs at Woodward my allergies are really going to act up which as any allergy sufferer knows is generally unpleasant and down right irritating. I have however been looking forward to the run all day because I am stressed out about work and in an overall bad mood and running is always a cure for that. Snot to the wind in an hour and a half.

Wednesday, April 11

New opportunities

As I try and decide just what it is I am doing in the construction field, I have also been working with Kendall's uncle on a workshop we will be presenting for California Community College Board members. The workshop is titled "Mastering New Realities through Governance as Leadership" and I will be presenting the communication aspect of leadership in small groups. This is exciting to me because my masters degress is in training and consulting and it is something that I have always been interested in doing. Although I am not getting paid for this, it is a really great opportinity to network and is good experience in this field. Most of the training I have done until this point has been in the context of school or through a class project at school. This will be my first opportunity to do a workshop freelance which is something I want to continue to do in the future. Kendalls Uncle Bill has a lot of connections in the community college districts and has done various traning and consultanting around the world so he is an excellent cpontact for me to have (thank you Kendall!). He has also mentioned doing workshops with me in the future so hopefully he likes the work that I do for this project and it leads to other opportunities.
It is still strange to me that I enjoy doing workshops and training sessions because of my extreme fear I used to have of public speaking. I was terrified of getting up in front of people because I would turn red and get shaky, it was awful. Well when I decided to study communication I inevitably started doing a lot of speaking in front of people and I eventually just got used to it. It still gets my heart racing, but in a good way now.
Oh yeah and I will no longer be posting my training because I found another program. How sad you all must be...

Monday, April 9

this just amazes me

The latest news in sports has focused around Zach Johnson winning the masters, Florida winning the NCAA basketball tournament, and the baseball season openers around the country. What you may not have heard about however is 3 ultra-endurance athletes running the equivalent of 2 marathons a day for 111 days. Oh yeah and they were running 4,000 miles across the Sahara Desert. Matt Damon's production company followed them and filmed every grueling moment of the event which will eventually be made into a documentary. As far as athletes go, ultra-endurance athletes to me are by far the most impressive and certainly the most crazy. It simply amazes me what the human body can endure and these athletes make a career out of pushing that threshold.


Holidays in my family have become dull, lackluster, and obligatory. Mostly this is because my sister and I are both adults with no children of our own and holidays are usually geared towards kids. My immediate family has never done much with our extented family and have usually done our own thing on holidays. Sometimes I am a little jealous of the families that all get together and have big dinners and holiday celebrations, but for the most part just hanging out with my sister and parents has been fine with me, until recently. With my sister engaged and living in Austin she hasn't been in town for a holiday in quite sometime which just leaves my parents and I. Now I see my parents on a daily basis, for 8 hours a day and I look forward to the weekends where I have a break from them for 48 hours (I would imagine similar sentiments from my parents about me as well). So yesterday I went over to my parents house and the day consisted of me sitting on the couch with my mom and dad while my dad flipped back and forth from golf, baseball, and something ridiculous on the sci fi channel while he plays video yatzee, my mom reading the paper and I myself flipping through home and garden magazines. Then we ate dinner and I went home. This is what we do on holidays now and frankly I would rather stay home, but that would not go over well at all. My sister better start popping the babies out soon, it is up to her to save the holidays for the Wilsons.

Saturday - Ran for 1:30 at Woodward. Beautiful weather, great hills. Legs felt pretty good. Need to start increasing my mileage on the weekends.
Sunday - Long walk in the morning, pilates, long walk in the pm. This is my off training day so nothing strenous.

Friday, April 6

Training, thats all I got today

I don't really have much to post today so I am going to just talk about my training. After getting a solid 8 hours of sleep on Wednesday I thought I would be full of energy yesterday, unfortunately it turns out that was not the case. I actually fell alseep for about 10 minutes yesterday while waiting for a program to load. In any case I need to be more diligent about taking my iron tablets and eating more so I can start feeling better. I did get to the gym however and did a 50 minute run on the treadmill (running indoors is not my preference but it is convenient) followed by a workout that included bounding, lunges, arm bands, and leg press (my favorite) that took about an hour. Felt ok, but I am still a little weak in the run.

Thursday, April 5

Drumroll please

I finally got to tallying the results of the NCAA tournament bracket and the winner is none other than Ed Stewart. With a score of 47 wins Ed takes the victory and the money (will round that up today and have it to you soon). The rest of the standings break down like this:

Ed - 47
Marty - 45
Kendall - 43
Mark - 43
Tennesse - 42
Kasey - 40
Vince - 37
Mike - 36
Susan 32

Vince and myself were the only ones that picked Florida to take it all, unfortunately we are going by total points so it is pretty much irrelevant. Congratulations Ed, well done.

Training: Got my new shoes and tested them out yesterday for a little over an hour at Woodward. The shoes felt great but my legs felt heavy and clumsy, which I mostly attribute the copious amounts of alchohol consumed the previous night. I did a couple of hill intervals I hadn't done in awhile as well which I need to start doing at least once a week. Went to bed early last night and expect to feel stronger today.

Wednesday, April 4

For Ed

  • Today I am going to Sports Authority after work to buy a new pair of running shoes. The pair I have now have way too many miles on them and are possibly attributing to the hip pain I have been experiencing. Since I will be near Woodward Park I think I am going to go for a long run there to break in the new shoes. I have been doing the majority of my running since the marathon around Tower, which is less than an ideal location for a good run. I find little dogs like to bark me and nip at me, I stop a lot at lights and intersections frequently and the surface is concrete. It will be good to get out of a city enviornment and have a good strecth of road out in front of me. I need to get in the gym to lift more than I have been, but going on a long run outdoors is a much better stress reliever.
  • I intended to announce the outcome of the NCAA pool last night, but I didnt get a chance to tally the scores because I was busy eating, drinking, and playing frisbee golf. It looks like I will have the time tonight to do it and I apologize for the delay. I will put an additional dollar in for my tardiness.
  • Here is what the topic of phone calls has been today: 1) Did you feed Eddie this morning?; 2) Make sure you move the plants to the spare bedroom out of the way of the carpet cleaner; 3) Did you move the plants yet? ;4) Ask the chiropractor (for the dog) why he is holding his leg up like that; 5) Did Eddie eat? Is he inside or outside?; 4) Are the spots coming out of the carpet? -- there will be more, I am certain of this but thats all the phone calls so far.
  • What I do over here is what some people may call work. Currently I am preparing the contracts for the 35 or so subs we have for an upcoming job and getting the close out documents together for a different project and I am preparing a change order budget (are you asleep yet because I almost am - actually I took a nap on my office floor the other day). I have also been watching a lot of sport clips on youtube and found a half marathon to run in July. Anyone want to run it with me?

Cheers to Mr. Bernstein

This just warms my heart and brings a tear to my eye. I am always impressed with writers who get published (although there are some craptastic books that are in print too) because it seems like such a difficult and painstaking process, but Mr. Bernstein is especially impressive. I think Oprah may have her next book club book. Lets just hope his book isn't completely fabricated because I hear that really pisses the Big O off.

Training: nada (great start eh?)

Tuesday, April 3

minor annoyance of the day

When people answer their cell phones as if they do not know who is calling them. Someone I know always answers her cell phone "hello?" instead of "hello". You have caller ID, you know who it is, whats with saying hello as if you have no idea who could possibly be calling? (I told you it was a minor annoyance) Actually I might just be more annoyed that this individual talks to their significant other at least 4 times a day and calls this person every morning to make sure they are up for work and then asks if the dog is in or out, every single day.

Carry on.

the weekend etc.

Topic 1: So this weekend I went down to San Diego for my sisters bachelorette weekend extravaganza. For the most part it was fun, but also very annoying at times. It took me a little over 8 hours to drive to San Diego, spending about 4 straight hours from LA to San Diego in stop and go traffic. I generally enjoy driving, but not in those conditions, particularly because I have a manual transmission. One reason I love living in Fresno, traffic is generally not much of a problem. Another minor annoyance was going out to the clubs on Saturday. I haven't been to a club in a very long time and I thought how bad could it be for one night. As soon as I walked in I remembered why I loathe these places so much. I will save you the detailed description, we all know why they suck. Other than that though, it was nice to see my sister and the weather was beautiful, I even got a nifty trucker sunburn on my left arm from driving home.

Topic 2: The NCAA tournment concluded last night with Florida coming out on top. Only Vince and myself picked Florida to win, but I don't believe either of us have enough total wins to take it. I am swamped at work because my mom has pnemonia and is home sick and the office manager is on vacation so I haven't had time to tally the scores to determine the winner yet. I plan on getting to that this evening and I will announce the winner tomorrow.

Topic 3: So I am going to try something new on my blog. I have taken some time off from more intensive training but I am ready to get back into it and I am currently looking for a half marathon to run in the upcoming months to be followed by the Long Beach Marathon this fall. In order to help me stay a bit more focused I am going to start to post my training workouts on my blog so I can keep track of what I have done and that way I am publicly accountable for the work I am doing, which for me is motivating. This is probably of no interest to anyone else and feel free to ignore that part of my blog, but if you see me slacking by all means call me out.