Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Two-Night Stand

First up: I'm not a one night stand kind of girl. I'm not getting into bed with someone right after I meet them.

I prefer to spend two nights with them, and introduce myself AFTER the first night. 

Kind of. I'm married, remember? To this cutie:

But I have a funny story and it needed an intro. Ah, the old bait and switch. Ahem, now that I have your attention, let me set the scene.

 It's 12:45 at night, and I'm a little drunk. Nothing crazy, but some wine and a dehydrating plane ride can give you that light-headed feeling. I'm pretty nervous to be doing this, something I've never done before, but I put the hotel key into the room's door and try to imagine what will be on the other side.

The room is pitch black, and I can't even tell if anyone's inside. I turn the bathroom light on and slip into something more comfortable (butterfly pajamas and a tank top, for you fashion forward ladies) before tiptoeing to the beds. One bed was full already, a couple passed out in the dark. The other bed had just one denizen, the blanket turned down inviting me in. I sprawl out on my side of the bed...

Alright, alright. Read Fifty Shades of Grey if you want to head in THAT direction, but if you want the truth-

The above really happened. My flight got in really late to Seattle last Wednesday night, and I shared a room with three other women who I had never met before. In one bed: Stephanie and Lauren. In my bed: Jocelyn. I crawled in next to her in the dark, felt awkward and then realized I had no choice but to go to bed and hope she didn't wake up and scream something about an intruder. The next morning around 7, after the alarms went off, I rolled over and introduced myself to her. Gotta say, that was a first!

Luckily, she is one of those exuberant outgoing personalities that makes you feel right at home, so that eliminated the awkwardness straight away!

So- since none of you are going to tell me about your random one-night stands in a comment box, tell me instead if you read Fifty Shades of Grey and what you thought about it.
I haven't read it, but the excerpts I have read look terrible. Not as in, terrible subject matter, but as in terrible writing. It's one of those books I'll probably read eventually just to know what everyone is talking about. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Would Jump Off the Bridge

Did anyone else have a parent that would say things like, "If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you do it?" Because I did. That was the response if I wanted a cell phone, brand name clothing or anything that everyone else in the class TOTALLY had. I thought I had outgrown this peer pressure, but clearly I have not.

Ready? I have a Twitter account.

Let me explain. I swore I wouldn't delve into yet another form of social media. Facebook and blogging are consuming enough for me. And then Hood to Coast happened. We communicated with our other van through Twitter, learned about course changes and saw funny pictures from teammates. When I say, "we", I meant my other vanmates did and I looked over their shoulder every .12 seconds saying, "Huh? What? Who?" Even our van decorations revolved around Twitter:

Everyone else had their name and hashtag on the van. I had this: "Vanessa- Twitter?"
I think it's fair to say I'm a little out of the loop. I got over it though, by remembering how I read books and play with cats and try to do things that don't revolve around an iPhone. Even by the end of the relay, I was cool with my plan to abstain from the twit-twat that goes on in the virtual world.

Then I got home. And I wanted to keep talking about running with everyone. And Tim might be tired of hearing the same damn stories about people he has never met. (I can't imagine why.) So I peeked at Twitter. Damn! People use Twitter a lot! Even Falon called me out on my lack of updates over the last weekend.

So, fine. Twitter wins. I cave to peer pressure. I'll jump off the bridge, since everyone else seems to be doing it. My first tweet:

Let's be honest here, guys. It takes me a long-ass post to get my point across typically, so I doubt that I will be able to produce succinct and hilarious tweets on a regular basis. But, me anyway? Or friend me, or Tweet me, or whatever the hell it's called. Just do it so that my whole stats thing looks less sad. Gracias. 

Leave your Twitter handle in the comment, please, so that I can follow you!
Also, don't laugh if it's not called a handle. I think I heard that somewhere? 

Also, feel free to leave me any funny people I should be following. Or ridiculous people who will make me feel smart, either way.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Waiting for the Shoe to Drop - Hood to Coast 2012

So...Hood to Coast. I don't even know where to start. If you're just tuning in - what took you so long? Also, Hood to Coast is a 200 mile relay that starts at Mount Hood and ends up in Seaside, Oregon. 12 runners take turns running portions of the relay, and spend their off time cramped into a sweaty van eating trail mix. In short, it's freaking awesome.

At the start - Mount Hood!

I was lucky enough to be part of one of nuun's three teams, After-nuun Delight. I loved that name. Like, loved it. Just scandalous enough to get laughs, but looked seriously tame next to vans with team names like "My Third Leg is Hard." I don't want to get sappy here, guys, but if you look past the erection jokes (COME ON. You KNEW I meant that third leg) you'll see that I truly had the experience of a lifetime.

I have the tendency to be a cynic at times. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop with this whole event. Eventually, I was going to be forced to talk to someone I hated, or be shoved into doing something I didn't want to do, etc. In reality, that never happened. I already love nuun products, but loving the product does NOT mean you will love the employees. But then I did. I am semi-convinced that they were faking it the entire time, because no company is THAT nice when running on zero sleep and being forced to poop in porto-potties for 36 hours. At least, I'm not that nice. But they were.

Van 1 Team Night! L-R: Mason, Lauren, Caroline, me, Robyn, Susan and Shanna

It's getting long, and I'm getting sappy. But straight up: there is no experience like this, and I am incredibly grateful for everything that nuun did over the course of the weekend. Especially Mason, our van driver/midnight runner extraordinaire. I met tons of people, ate roughly 16 pounds of gummy bears, formed bonds with my vanmates and had my first solo night run.

Oh, you guys read this to hear about running? My bad. I'll try to focus. I ran three legs, and here are the recaps of each:

Run #1 (Leg 3) - 3:45 PM Friday
My Garmin says that this run was 4.4 miles and that I ran an average of 6:50 pace. Obviously, my Garmin is on crack. That's all wrong. Sorry to people who thought I mysteriously got super fast. The ACTUAL numbers for this run were : 3.93 miles, 29:12 and a 7:25 average pace. It was gorgeous, paved roads and, um...straight downhill. Damn. I was hoping to avoid that detail. Yes, it was the perfect gradual incline at the perfect temperature and is undoubtedly the fastest I will run ever. And holy crap it felt so amazing. If all running felt like this, I would do it all day, every day.

Run #2 (Leg 15) - 1:30 AM Saturday
This run was right outside of Portland and was the one that scared me the most. For starters, it began at 1:30 AM. Anyone who knows me should realize that A) I am never even awake at that time, and B) If I am awake, I'm sure as hell not running. Luckily, adrenaline kicked in and helped me through. I did, however, have a minor battle with the reflective vest I wore, which scraped me up pretty badly. Other than that, it was fantastic. I couldn't really see my pace on the Garmin in the dark, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out at the result was 7.24 miles in 1:01:59, for an average pace of 8:32 I have to say that at this point, my legs didn't really hurt like I was expecting them to. The terrain was rolling hills, but it never really was a problem.

Run #3 (Leg 27) - 11 AM Saturday
So here's where things got interesting. At this point, I had slept sitting up in the van for about 2 hours, and I was exhausted. And feeling a little "off", stomach-wise. I ate some Pepto Bismol and told myself to just shut up and deal with it. Unfortunately, just stepping in and out of the van was challenging around this point. The course was rural and beautiful though, and I just kept on keeping on until the end. Total miles: 5.6 in 51 minutes for a 9:06 pace. I swear I was sprinting to the finish, but it may have been something closer to 10 minute miles. Whatever. Details.

Well, there you go. I swear, it seemed longer than that in person.

I know part of the process is thanking people for the swag. And man, was there some swag.

I can't even handle that right now, but I will say that a) nuun rocks my socks off, b) Tiger Tail is better than the Stick (in my honest opinion) and c) Sparkle Skirts may seem silly, but they aren't annoying and they did a great job of keeping us noticeable and looking like a team. Will I go buy myself the whole rainbow to wear for races? Nope. But I sort of, kind of loved them for this event. Sssshh. Don't go telling anyone and ruining my hardcore cred. (P.S. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I'm not even the tiniest bit hardcore, nor do I have anything resembling this so called "cred" that gets spoken of.)

Cliffnotes Version: I ran Hood to Coast. I love nuun. I got swag. I made friends. I wore a sparkly skirt and liked it. I toured Washington/Oregon in a van and visited 5+ Starbucks destinations in 3 days. I had the time of my life. 

Have you ever done a relay? Do you ever plan to?
More importantly, who wants to invite me to join their team? I bring good snacks and sing "Call Me Maybe" loudly on a regular basis. How could you NOT want 36 hours of that?

Sparkle skirts. Discuss.
First response: gag me with a spoon. 
Second response: no seriously, gag me. 
After trying one on: hmm...these are kind of cute, I guess. 
After running first leg: yep, love the skirts. Feel pretty. Need a tiara to complete the look
After running third leg: f'in skirt. No more. 
Overall verdict: Fun accessory for a team run or a themed run. They make you stand out and get noticed, if that's what you are after. After 36 hours, you will probably hate it. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Resisting Baked Goods

Since finding out that I can't eat wheat or soy, life has been hard. Yes, I can find things to eat. No, I'm not starving. But dear baby Jesus, it is so incredibly hard to resist baked goods. Things that I didn't even really like before - donuts and cakes - I want all of a sudden. So I have been trying to focus on the things that I CAN have.

A couple of weeks ago we had friends over for dinner, and the woman made an incredibly gorgeous baklava. She's Turkish, so she followed all the rules, made it with 40 layers and filled it with honey. Although I drooled over it, it was wheat city and was a no-go. Thankfully, my mother-in-law was kind enough to make something equally delicious.

Macaroons, baklava and lemon cake

She made a batch of surprisingly simple to make macaroons, or almond cookies. These didn't have coconut in them, which I was expecting. Instead, they had three basic ingredients - almond meal, sugar and egg whites. You can't get much easier than that, can you? Each one was topped with a single whole almond, and they were tasty enough that none lasted the night. Delicious. Here's a basic recipe for them HERE.

Random tangent here, but I feel like it is my duty to make sure that anyone reading this is well-versed on the distinction between macarons and macaroons. Both, in my opinion, are delicious. But they are very different confections. See below for clarification:


Phew. Now we've got that out of the way.

Another delicious dish my mother in law whipped up for us while she was here was profiteroles. I'll admit I came close to shedding a tear for having to miss this one, because they are incredible. She made the shells light and airy, we whipped heavy whipping cream for the center and each one was topped with melted chocolate.

Hard at work. With chocolate.


To make sure I wasn't a sad little bunny, I decided to dip some cherries in the same melted chocolate. Man, they may not be pretty (ok, fine - they look ugly) but they tasted incredible. Lesson = dip anything in chocolate, and it will taste good.

Do you have any dietary restrictions/food allergies?
I won't continue with my sob story, but YES! Gluten and soy. Thankfully chocolate is okay so I'll be fine. 

Macaroon or macaron?
As delicious as the macaroons I had were - it's macarons all day long. Specifically because they come in such gorgeous colors. I don't even mind that they cost like $300 apiece because they're just so dainty and pretty and delicious. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The First of Way Too Many

I really tried to hold back on this topic. I haven't mentioned it at all since finding out I that I snagged a spot on Nuun's team, but the time has come to bombard you all with information that 40 other bloggers will also write about at the exact same time.

Yes, the time for Hood to Coast 2012 is upon us.

I can't lie...last year I LOVED reading the recaps and updates from the various bloggers who participated in this epic race (a 197 mile 12 person relay that starts at Mount Hood and ends at the beach in Oregon). Even I, however, started tuning out after the 45th blog post. So, yes...I'm probably going to dwell on this more than I should, and you'll probably be ready to virtually smack me by this time next week.

But you guys....I'm running in Hood to Coast! #nuun #hydration #running #HTC #lemon lime flavor #low calorie beverage #blog post recap 4,256 #this is why I don't have twitter


Is that too many hashtags? I actually don't have a Twitter account, so at least I can spare you those updates.

Anyway, this Wednesday I am flying out to Seattle to join my other nuun teammates for the relay. I forgot to get excited for the whole thing until this weekend when I watched the Hood to Coast documentary. It looks FUN. I am so excited to meet my van buddies, gorge on junk food for a couple of days and run my little heart out.

All shirts make my butt look fast.
I tried to figure out how to pack for something like this, and so far I've bought a sleeping bag and some glow in the dark nail polish. I'm relatively certain that I'm not prepared, although my nail polish is super cool and it's neon pink and the bottle actually lights up. Like I said, not really prepared.

I had to elbow tweens to get the last bottle. Maybe.

Training wise, I feel pretty good. I will run a total of 17 miles in three different legs, so my biggest concern is just not racing too hard and then limping the final leg or needing crutches. This week I even managed to do three separate runs in 24 hours, which should be good practice. On Friday morning, I ran 6.5 miles. On Friday night, another 6. Then on Saturday morning, another 4. I know some people have been running doubles for months to prepare, but my last-ditch effort will have to suffice.

So, Hood to Coast voyeurs, here's my promise to you: when I get back, I'll put up a recap and share some photos of the adventure.

And Hood to Coast haters, for you: This will be the first post, and it won't be the last. But I'll take it easy, and I promise that the next four months will not be lengthy posts reminiscing the one weekend where I got to feel like a real runner.  It will be more like three months.

Advice please! Anyone who has ever run a relay like Ragnar, Hood to Coast, etc: what's one thing you wish you knew before you started?
Packing, racing tactics, decor, costumes...share the knowledge!

I am Van 1 of "Team Night" in Nuun's team After-nuun Delight. Team Night (actually, mostly the lovely Caroline!) is putting together a fun playlist with songs about night. Any suggestions to add?
So far my favorites on the list are You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC), A Hard Day's Night (Beatles) and Last Friday Night (Katy Perry).  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Caviar and Champagne (JK! Burgers and Beers)

The last few days I spent in Asheville, North Carolina with Tim and his mother. It was a quick two night trip, but it was wonderful to get a chance to explore a new place that I'd never been before. Plus, it's less then four hours from home and makes for a perfect little weekend getaway. Or, um...Sunday-Tuesday getaway. Details.

Anyway, the thing I was most excited about was the food. We really do live in the middle of nowhere out here in Georgia, and the nearest restaurants are more often than not chains or fast food. Of particular interest to me was a restaurant called Posano - a completely gluten-free restaurant. It was so wonderful to eat out and not have to be that annoying person who asks what ingredients are in every sauce and then just has the damn plain salad anyway. I still had to steer clear of soy, but I ended up with an incredible burger and fries:

Sure, the bun was kind of sweet and clearly not made from wheat, but the burger patty itself was flavorsome and juicy. The fries were topped with Parmesan cheese and even the ketchup was clearly homemade and had a little acidic kick from the vinegar. Naturally, I used this opportunity to drink a beer. No, not an actual beer, but this came in a bottle and had bubbles so we can pretend that this sorghum-based alcoholic beverage was beer. It got me a little buzzed, so I'm not complaining.

Honestly, the dining in Asheville was fantastic. It seemed to me that the majority of restaurants in the downtown area were independent establishments, and there was nary a golden arches in sight. I guess the health-conscious locals are pretty picky about their food too, because most menus were clear about gluten-free or soy-free foods, and there were a number of vegan and vegetarian options.

Once place we all really liked was the Early Girl Eatery. Maybe "liked" is an understatement, because we went there twice in a 48 hour trip.The first time I got a big salad, but asked them to top it with their famous grit croutons - amazing. It's basically just cornmeal that they have clearly fried multiple times in some crack-like oil substance, because they are crispy and fatty and delicious.

I guess I had met my limit of locally grown, organic healthy food for a while, because yesterday on the ride home I stopped for what I can only imagine is roughly a gallon of sweet iced tea, southern style, from Dunkin Donuts.  In my defense, all sizes are 99 cents. It would be fiscally irresponsible for me to choose a small size and throw money away, diabetes be damned.

I also managed to convince my fellow guests at the hotel in Asheville that I was a complete freak by - wait for it- actually working out in the fitness room. There was a glass door separating it from the lobby, so I got my fair share of stares and general disbelief from people walking by. Monday was a three mile easy run and Tuesday a slightly faster 7 miles. I also burned calories by walking around the city constantly for two days, opening and closing the same map 84 times a minute because I don't understand directions and asking "is this gluten free?" at 5 restaurants each day.

Do you ever take weekend trips somewhere new?
Not often, but we have whenever we have people staying with us. Last summer we went to Savannah with Tim's mom and New Orleans with a friend, and this year we went to Florida to see my dad and brother and then this trip to Asheville. I would say it's a lot of work driving for such a short trip, but Tim does all the driving anyway.

Are you good with maps/directions?
No. Just no. Sometimes I use the car GPS when traveling the same route I take all the time, just to be sure. I also have to do that thing where I face the exact same direction as the map in order to really understand my location. (Anyone remember that scene in Friends when Joey is in London and has to "get in the map"? That's me, spot on.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Champagne Treadmill Half Marathon PR

On Tuesday night, I spent the evening doing what I do best - drinking champagne. Tim’s mom brought some Veuve Clicquot in duty free on the flight over, so we got to live it up and pretend like bubbly is a normal part of our weeknight routine. Life was good. 

Fast-forward to Wednesday, and you might be able to imagine how I was feeling. Just a little dehydrated, grumpy, irritable and annoyed at the world. By the time lunch rolled around, I was happy to sit on the couch, eat candy and call in sick to work. AKA avoid checking emails and refuse to open my computer. After an hour of reality television (ahem, Million Dollar Listing LA) I realized that eating sugar and watching TV wasn’t going to cut it. I hopped onto the treadmill and told myself just to run until I felt better. 

13.1 miles later, I felt better. Much, much better.

In some weird twisted scenario, the grumpy, bitter Vanessa with a stomachache and a little bit of a hangover managed to get a half marathon PR - by a lot. If you’ve been reading for a while, you might remember THIS POST. It’s from back in February, when I geared up for a sub-2 hour marathon and instead cried, was sick and crossed the finish line in 2:18. 

Still giddy and unaware of what's to come.

This time, I started running at 6.1 pace on the treadmill, and then upped the pace by .2 mph each mile. Maybe it was the fact that I had plenty of extra sugar in my system, maybe it was the fact that I needed to run the grumpy out of my body or maybe I just had something to prove, but I managed the 13.1 miles in 1:51:20 - an 8:30 pace. 

Needless to say, this is completely unofficial and totally doesn’t count as an actual PR. I didn’t stop at all, but it was on a temperature controlled treadmill and I kept the incline at 1% - AKA completely flat. I am, however, super excited for my next half marathon. It’s the Women’s Half Marathon in Nashville this September, and I’m running it with some great blogging buddies - SuzBeth and Jenny! I don’t know if my time there will be 1:51, but if all goes well I should be able to beat my PR of 2:01 from the Dalton half last October.

Do you ever drink alcohol the night before a race?
I always avoid it because I think its dehydrating, but I always seem to run pretty well hungover, which I attribute to the extra calories/carbs. Anyone else have a theory that encourages champagne/wine consumption?

Do you find it easier or harder to run on a treadmill?
Lately, I’ve been finding that I run slower on the treadmill than outside. However, I have an easier time with long runs on the treadmill because I can watch television, and that makes time fly by. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Random Sh*t

Random Shot. That's what my title means, little brother who should probably not be reading this blog but is so dang cute he gets away with everything.

Moving on. Coherence is a virtue I have not always been gifted with. Today I've been writing work-related nonsense for a solid 11 hours already, and my mind is fried. Ergo, you get random, um, "shot".

I hate my hair. Once a month the moon is in the right stage and the humidity is perfect and it works, but the rest of the time I pile it on top of my head and hide it from the world. As much as I hate it now, I have to remember that at one point I had an orange afro. In comparison, I now look freaking awesome all of the time.

Orange afro. Never again.
My mother-in-law is visiting for two weeks. I know, I know - insert mother-in-law jokes here. But actually, it's kind of nice to do all the touristy stuff that we would never do ourselves. Yesterday that meant going to the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga - awesome.

Rest days kind of suck. Yesterday I was all, "yeah - tomorrow is a rest day!" and today I want to pull my eyelashes out one at a time because I can't run. I'm antsy. I keep biting my nails and twisting my hair around and eating random crap because....well, just because.  Because I'm bored and getting up to eat more candy is more fun than writing anymore.

I have the best job ever. Ignore everything bad I've ever said about it. I was lying. Honestly, I love my job. I work from home, I get to do what I love - write - and I get a lot of feedback so I can get better. (I'm not deluded enough to think I'm perfect, so critique is a blessing.) Seriously - if anyone wants to break into freelance writing, send me an email. I certainly don't need the competition, but I wish someone had shared a few resources with me a few years ago and saved me a lot of time and hassle.

I'm doing a giveaway on Facebook tomorrow.  Chobani sent a me a big ol' package of love today, and I want to share the wealth. I got an awesome water bottle and then a kind of less awesome but still fun bag with speakers. I don't know where to take the bag with speakers, but I'm so excited to have it. I'm going to use it as a purse, plug my iPod into it and have an ongoing soundtrack for my life. Anyway - my facebook page. Giveaway. Tomorrow. I'm keeping the bag, but I'll be giving away some free yogurt coupons instead.

Love your hair or hate it? P.S. If you have awesome straight hair that requires no maintenance I will shank you. JUST KIDDING! Cuddles.
My hair is this weird stage between fro and ringlets naturally. It looked good when I had it permanently straightened in Hong Kong, but the process causes cancer, is banned in America and costs a fortune, so that was just the one time. But damn, it looked good.

What song(or songs) would be on the soundtrack to your life?
"Sundress" by Ben Harper (I love the song, but I also just love sundresses. That's as deep as I get here) and Hot Blooded by Foreigner.  Because I'm awesome.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Woman Runs 50 Miles, Demands Attention

If this blog were a newspaper (HAHA! Blogging ≠ Journalism) then this title would be completely appropriate as a headline. This week I hit a record in my running career. No, not nuun tabs consumed during my run (advertising-check), not towels soaked in sweat due to high summer temps and not Olympic events watched on the treadmill.

I ran 50 miles this week. And 68 miles in the past 8 days. I want to have a party, but instead I'll write a blog post and maybe have a rest day. (Actually, not maybe. I will have a rest day. Tomorrow.)
This week's mileage, courtesy of Daily Mile

I know that some of you (ahem, ultra runners!) can do that in your sleep, backwards and without body glide. But for me, it was a huge accomplishment. Perhaps the best part is that I actually feel good, and have no aches or pains or even soreness at all. Here's the week's recap:

Monday: Ran 5 Miles, 45 minutes of yoga
Tuesday: Ran 8 Miles
Wednesday: Ran 7 Miles
Thursday: Ran 9 Miles
Friday: Biked 15 Miles, 30 minutes of upper body weights
Saturday: Ran 15 Miles
Sunday: Ran 6.5 Miles

Total Running Miles: 50.5

Obviously, you will want to send me some kind of certificate, award or other form of acknowledgement. But please, no flowers. It's just too much.

In all seriousness, it's a goal I have wanted to reach for some time now. I just didn't want to do it and kill myself in the process. This week felt manageable and I'm proud, but I imagine the next week will consist of a few less miles to make sure my body can handle it.

Evidence I am capable of the "happy" emotion.
 In other news, did you guys know the Women's Olympic Marathon was on today? Oh, every other blog already mentioned it? Geez, sorry. I was like a little kid watching Saturday morning cartoons today - up in the dark, sitting on the floor in front of the screen, (Tim's mom just flew in last night and probably didn't want to be woken up before dawn) wrapped in a blanket and eating oatmeal. Halfway through the race I switched to running on the treadmill while watching and totally felt like a winner running super fast....until I looked down at the screen and saw my pace. That was a letdown.

What's the next running or fitness related goal you want to accomplish?
I would love to run a sub-7 minute mile. Just one. That would be incredible for me. 

Would you rather win the 100 meter race at the Olympics or the marathon?
Even though I'm a distance girl through and through....100 meter. It would be insane to be the fastest woman on Earth.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Cheat Sheet to Viewing 2012 Olympic Running Events- Part I's the thing. I've been watching plenty of the Olympics coverage, but I cheat. I randomly look up updates during the day, and then just watch whatever happens to be on at night for a few minutes. I figure if someone sets some incredible world record or China begins world domination via athletic events, someone will tell me about it. But starting August 3rd....well, suddenly I'm more interested.


The Track and Field/Athletics events start on Friday, August 3rd and run until August 12th. For most of us, it's not enough to just put on the television randomly and hope someone happens to be running really fast during that time. And, for me at least, I'm willing to wake up a little early to watch the really good stuff go down.

To clarify - this is not, by any means, a conclusive guide to the track and field events during the Olympics. But I've been scrolling around online this afternoon looking for events I WANTED to watch, so I figured I'd include this little cheat sheet for anyone who is doing the same. For the most part, this only includes finals, and it definitely favors the women's events.  Because while I'd love to watch every heat of every event, I also have a little job thing I have to do on the side. You know, 40+ hours a week.  Unless I specified otherwise, all the times listed are EST, and this guide covers only August 3rd - August 7th. I'll cover part two later on!

(Note - what does RT mean? Random tidbit. AKA how to look like an expert/genius when you're, well....not.)

Friday, August 3rd:
3:30 PM - Men's Shot Put Final
RT: Did you know the word "shot" can refer to the heavy metal ball as well as the action of throwing it? Fun noun/verb action for you there.

4:25 PM Women’s 10,000 Meters Final
RT: Shalane Flanagan, a marathon contender this year, took bronze in this event in Beijing with a time of 30:22.22.

Saturday, August 4th:
2:30 PM Women’s Discus Throw Final
RT: Did you know that a men's discus weighs 2 kg, but a women's discus weighs just 1kg? Because men are twice as strong? Use this to spark intelligent debate and/or misogynist discussion at your Olympic viewing events.

4:15 PM Men’s 10,000 Meters Final
RT: If Ugandan runner Moses Kipsiro wins this event, the Olympics committee will likely play his country's anthem more than once because it is so short (15 seconds).

4:55 PM Women’s 100 Meters Final
RT:The 1928 winner of this event, Betty Robinson, was in a plane crash three months after the games. Bystanders noted here nonexistent pulse and declared her dead. At the mortician's, it was discovered that she was alive, and she went on to compete in the 1936 Olympics.

Sunday, August 5th:

6:00 AM Women's Marathon Final
RT: The first true marathon distance (26.2) was run in London so that runners could finish the race exactly in front of King Edward VII's royal box. 

4:10 PM Womens' 400 Meters Final
RT: Amantle Montsho, the reigning world champion in the event, was the first professional female athlete from her country of Botswana.

4:50 Men's 100 Meters Final
RT: Jamaican training partners Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake are the two to watch for the honor of "Fastest Man on Earth."

Monday, August 6th:

2:00 PM Women's Pole Vault Final
RT: There are no set or required lengths for poles. Athletes can choose any length that helps them to perform best.

2:15 PM Women's Shot Put Final
RT: British athlete Eden Francis has an unusual shot put coach...her mother.

4:30 PM Men's 400 Meter Finals
RT: Eric Liddell, one of the bases for the main characters in Chariots of Fire, won this event in the 1942 Paris Olympics.


Tuesday, August 7th:

2:00 PM Men's Long Jump Final
RT: Meyer Prinstein, a long jump contender in 1904, couldn't compete in the final because his religious college refused to allow him to compete on a Sunday. Sidenote: Prinstein was Jewish. Whoops.

4:00 PM Women’s 100 Meters Hurdles Final
RT: Lolo Jones (whose real name in Lori) is a serious contender in this event and is the most followed US Track and Field Athlete on Twitter.

4:15 PM Men’s 1500 Meters Final
RT: Philip Noel-Baker won this event in 1920 at the Olympics in Antwerp and is the only Olympian who has also received a Nobel Prize - in 1959. Overachiever.

So - let's hear it. What Olympic event are you looking forward to most?
Women's marathon and men's 100 meters.

Would you rather run on a treadmill WATCHING the Olympic Marathon Final or run listening to the radio updates?
No question. Treadmill. Can't wait to do this!