Thursday, 30 October 2008

No on California's Prop 8: an open letter

Dear friends and family,

I'll be blunt. I'm writing to ask for your help in defeating California's Proposition 8, the ballot measure that would codify the discrimination inherent in the statement "marriage is between a man and a woman."

I could give you fiscal, social, familial, or personal reasons why I believe Prop 8 is wrong, but I'll just say this: it's fundamentally unAmerican to say that some people are more worthy of government sanction than others. It was wrong when we counted slaves as 3/5 of free people, it was wrong when women were denied the vote, and it's wrong today.

If you're in California, please don't forget to vote. And no matter where you are, please join me and thousands of other Americans in giving whatever you can - your time, your money, your goodwill and word of mouth - to defeat the proponents of inequality.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Foodie goodness

Today I have been thinking about food.

First off, about how I like it. And I like real food (and Diet Coke). I had a taste of a Powerbar Gel thingy this weekend and it was so nasty and chemically that I don't know how any of you choke them down and I'm definitely going to have to work on the DIY-realfood-energy sources. And about how I am glad that I don't feeel one bit guilty for eating an entire bag of baby carrots and a whole bag of grapes (and a sandwich) for lunch today. Someone somewhere who was doing weight watchers said that she counts all fruit/veg as 1 point because she didn't get fat eating carrots. Too true, so I'm munching away like a rabbit to my heart's content.

But it's so much easier to eat this way when I'm running and except for one week a month and it all goes hand-in-hand, which is both nice (for staying on track) and annoying (for getting back on track). But even so, I had a nice, relatively healthy dinner for New Restaurant Tuesday yesterday.

Nextly, I'm thinking about what my goals are for cooking. I like to have a healthy meal with as little time and fuss as possible. So when it's my turn to cook we have things like chicken breasts flash marinated in citrus on salad leaves with citrus vinagarette. Meg, on the other hand, likes her food to have FLAVOUR that screams at you, and she doesn't care if she uses every pan in the kitchen to do it. Cooking for her is an event, something to be savoured. So we get pork loin with spicy apple jelly and curried couscous. Neither is bad, except that I have to clean up after her while she gets to clean up after me. It's just something I've been thinking about. What are your goals for cooking?

Finally, I had a little time to kill so I've been reading my friend Tracy's awesome food blog. You should check it out.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Slog to the Beat

The Run to the Beat half-marathon was Sunday. I'm just now getting to write it up, but the short version is that I (barely) finished. Maybe next time I should actually train. ;)

Told Meg that she didn't have to come because the weather was supposed to be crap, and she said she'd decide on the day. I got up around 7, got ready to go - stupidly wearing my Banana Army shirt for the first time on race day. Luckily I discovered the itchy tag before I left and was able to cut it off. Grabbed a couple of Baby Bell cheeses, a zucchini muffin, and a banana to go plus a pint of water with my morning meds. Left at 7:45. Walked to the Starbucks nearest my tube station but was there before they opened on Sunday morning. Unfortunately the short walk and little bit of food had gotten things moving so I had to wait for them to open so I could take care of business and get some coffee. Get on the tube to Green Park only to discover that the Jubilee line was closed at that station. Back on the Picadilly line to Leicester Square, then the Northern Line to Waterloo, then the Jubilee ... which is now closed at Canary Wharf due to a stalled train at North Greenwich (where I need to go). "Passengers wanting North Greenwich are advised to exit at Canada Water and take the 188 bus."

At Canada Water I get off with about 100 other people and join the 1000 people waiting for the bus. One bus per 10 minutes, and always full. Finally one of the 199 bus drivers took pity on us and got us as close as he could...which turned out to be about 2.5 miles from the start, in the rain. Luckily the start had been delayed until 10:30, so we all walked. Get to the O2 area as the start gets going. Find a bag drop, peel off wet clothes, find my way to the start, cross about 15 minutes late - thank goodness for chip timing.

First 3 miles are good, feeling strong. Run to the first water stop (yay me!). It's all downhill from here. By the 10k, I'm down to walking 1/running 9, plus walking the uphills and the water stops. The rain is pouring down, my clothes are soaked and heavy, my shoes are squishing with every step. I'm mad I left my headphones at work because between the music stops (every 0.75-1.5 miles) it was quiet. I really hoped to be able to run the last 5k and was telling myself "you can do 5k in your sleep" but I literally couldn't make my legs go any faster. I just kept walking, then running, then walking again. Finally crossed the line (jogging, kind of) at a gun time of 3:06. Yuck. Chip time 2:51:17 - double yuck.

Photos are online. I am really feeling unhappy with myself for not training enough, but I guess it gives room for improvement for next time.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Unexpectedly disappointed

So, I didn't get into the London Marathon. Given how shit my (lack of) running has been lately, and some possible plans for next spring, I didn't think I would care. I'd decided that if I got in, I'd run it, but if I didn't I wasn't going to go for a charity place. And I'm sticking with that plan. But.

When I got home tonight and saw the package in front of the door, I felt sad. I entered the ballot and said that if I didn't get in I'd donate my entry fee to the official charity, and in return I was promised a fleece if I didn't get in. So seeing the package there meant I hadn't gotten in. And I was unexpectedly sad.

So, now I've got to decide what to do next...because I'm feeling ready to start running again, maybe.