2015 Jazz Half Marathon race report

Remember the last time I did one of these? I said it was the last time ever? Well, I mean, somehow I signed up for this one and it was all my fault (I can’t even say anyone else twisted my arm into signing up) but for real this time. This was my twelfth half marathon and I think that’s a nice roundish number. (Except I can totally see myself saying one day, “but 13 is even more perfect since that’s how many miles are in a half.”) Fortunately, my brain won’t be able to let go of the .1 so I’m hopeful I’ll be able to ignore that argument. From myself.

Anyway, this one was kinda spooky. And I don’t mean because it was on Halloween.

It all started when I went to put on my number. Heather had grabbed my number and t-shirt for me from the expo, and I hadn’t even looked at them before this morning. As I went to put them on, the thought, “it would be cool if the race number had ’42’ in it.”

I picked up the shirt and saw the number.


So close!

As it turns out, they were giving out the numbers in order of picking up race packets, so Heather got number 42! I mean, it’s still kinda weird, you have to admit.

Anyway. Drove over to the race, and spent a lot of time trying to find the parking space I’d reserved. Finally found the lot, and pulled into a spot on the third level. Went to the race and ran into some of my NOMB friends.


The weather was a lot warmer than I was hoping – in the low 70s, but at least it was cloudy, unlike in 2013.

Anyway, off we went. I kept to a 1 minute run, 1 minute walk. It’s amazing how later in the race that first minute lasted an eternity, and the second minute went by in a flash.

Some pics along the way:

I honestly had no expectations for my time, which in the past have ranged between 2:33 and over 3 hours. Even though I’d done some decent training, I am still dealing with Achilles tendinitis. So I just wanted to finish.

First, I just wanted to finish in under 3 hours. And then I thought, maybe I can finish under 2:50 with a stretch goal of 2:45. If I kept to a 13 minute/mile pace, that would put me in right around 2:50ish.

And I did it! Finished in 2:48:39. Woot!

Screenshot 2015-10-31 14.01.45.png

And, I mean, you know, not last. (Though now I’m in the “Masters” division. That means old.)

Got a decent medal:


then found some of the NOMB ladies again.


So, remember my scintillating story about parking from earlier? Well, I got in my car and was sitting there for a few minutes when Ashley (the one on the left there) knocked on my window. Randomly, she was parked in the space next to mine! Okay, maybe you had to be there. It’s a big parking garage, okay?!?

I went to get something yummy for lunch, but Taco Bell wasn’t serving Cantina Bowls yet (I’m fancy) so I decided to try to catch the end of the boys’ soccer game, which I did. They were pretty excited to see me. I was wishing I’d brought a jacket. I felt faintly ridiculous in my green sparkly skirt. Oh well.

We all hit Waffle House for brunch and I basically used up all the calories I burned during the race. Worth it!

Low blood sugar strikes

Now. If someone sees me mention signing up for another half marathon, please just stop me.

Halloween 2015

Right, technically that’s tomorrow. But because of major thunderstorms coming through, everyone is trick or treating tonight. Plus, it’s Halloween at school. So yeah, today is essentially Halloween.

People are way up in arms about “moving Halloween” and saying, “in my day we trick or treated in the rain and snow, uphill both ways” but you know, I’m happy not to go out in a downpour. Even for candy. And you know how I feel about candy. (Very positively, in case you didn’t.)

But that’s beside the point. The main point is this adorableness…


All Pokemon characters. I’m sure you knew that already.

Oh, this is amusing/distressing/outrageous. Linus needed an orange shirt to wear under his costume and the only one I could find was this old shirt I wore to Mardi Gras in 2005. It’s funny because of what it says on the front. It’s distressing and outrageous because it’s a woman’s XL shirt and it fits my 7 year old perfectly. He’s normal sized, the shirt is not.

on a seven year old
on a thirty year old

Anyhoo. So tonight we trick or treat! And since tomorrow morning is the half marathon, you can bet my carb loading will take this form:

Bowl of smarties

Oh, and if you’re wondering what to do with your kids’ Halloween candy, check out the post I wrote a couple of years ago.

How to Deal With Halloween Candy

All of the boys’ costumes so far can be found here.

Halloween 2014

I can’t believe I never posted a photo of the boys and I last year for Halloween. So here it is. For my records.


Since it was four days before I had LASIK, I had to wear my glasses, which is not part of Wyldstyle’s costume, but I had no choice.


There. Hands in LEGO position and everything. That’s dedication, man.

Just life

I always said you shouldn’t wait for something big to happen to write a blog post, so here I am, writing a blog post about nothing much at all.

Let’s see.

Last night, Miles and I went for our dinner. He got a haircut. He looks cute.


And then at 5am, presumably unrelated to the haircut, he got a nosebleed. Poor bunny was hysterical. I had no idea what to do, since we’ve never dealt with a nosebleed before. But I think we’re more prepared if it happens again.

Here’s a cute picture of one of my teams at work. Well, most of the team. The ladiezzzz.


I didn’t realize at the time just how short they all are. Hee!

This weekend is a half marathon. Why did I sign up for this? Peer pressure! Ah well. I did a ten mile training run last weekend (it was ugly and on the treadmill) so I suppose I’ll be able to do this. Meh. It’s not at all cool here so that really sucks.

What would suck more is if it rains that night like it’s supposed to and we can’t trick or treat. I need my Smarties fix, man! I mean, the boys would be so disappointed!

We at least got to go to Ghost in the Oaks at City Park last weekend. I took selfies on a ride because it’s funny.


The weekend after this one is my friend Kristie’s wedding. We’ve been friends 4eva. Since 7th grade. So that’s…a really long time. Don’t make me say the number here. Anyway, I ordered a sparkly dress from Rent the Runway. I am excited about that.

I think that’s about it. Hmm.

Getting inked

My very talented colleague Michelle (I mean, just check out her blog, it is the best) took some behind-the-scenes photos of my tattoo experience last week. Pretty cool!

More tattoo pics here.

applying the stencil
hold stilllllll
more ouch
all done!


Home again

Got home from the Grand Meetup Monday night and MAN was it good to see the boys and George. I got so many good hugs. And the boys’ front teeth all seem to have now fully come in, so they looked older and different. Sigh.

The evening I got home I got to meet Gareth’s sister and cousin, who had come over from the UK. They were lovely, and I wish I could have spent more time getting to know them. Well, we’ll just have to make another trip over, that’s all!

One of the hardest things about being away last week was missing Gareth’s service, but I was able to help a bit by making the slideshow for the service and one that played continuously at the pub afterwards. I got lots of positive feedback on it, so that felt nice.

When I was in Park City, I wrote a post for the New Orleans Moms Blog about how much I love my neighborhood, and it was kind of a clumsy word vomit of emotion, but sometimes you just have to.

I hate a post without any photos, so here’s a #tbt for ya. Technically, it was 5 years ago yesterday, but it seems as if my photos from October 22 through the years have been less than scintillating.

Anyway, it’s adorbs. Linus and Emily at the pumpkin patch when I took him to Virginia.


At least you can’t see the poison oak he had which made much of our trip a living hell. Good times, good times.

Automattic Grand Meetup 2015

I’m sitting in the lobby of the Grand Summit Hotel in Park City, Utah, watching my colleagues head out to the shuttles and off to the airport. Most of them I won’t see for another year. Well, you know, see in person. The way Automattic communicates, it doesn’t feel like that at all.

It was a busy week. And a hard one from which to be away from home, what with Gareth’s memorial and all.

Monday, I arrived and we had the welcome reception. It’s probably the most overwhelming part of the whole meetup, especially since we have about 150 more employees than we did last year. (We’re up to nearly 400 and we’re still hiring!)


I worked in person with my teammates. What a concept! We’re allowed to choose to either do a project, take a class, or do our regular job during the GM, and I chose the latter. It was a gorgeous day and so we had a little walking meeting and enjoyed the scenery while strategizing about hiring.


That evening, I gave my flash talk. I was glad to get it over with early in the GM, so I didn’t have to stress about it for the rest of the time. I didn’t mumble or nervously stumble over my words, and I even got a few laughs, so I’ll call that a win!

Later, I attended a workshop on Lightroom given by another Automattician, and learned a bunch of new tricks for processing photos.


I woke up early-ish and took my camera up the hill behind the hotel to take some sunrise photos.


Spent the day working again, and possibly streaking our hair with fun colors. While we worked, obviously. (I interviewed a potential Happiness Engineer with bleach in my hair.)


Woke up early for the Automattic 5k. (Not my best time, but heck, I did it.)


More working, and then in the afternoon, I painted a pretty picture.


In the afternoon, we took the company photos and some with our teams. And some goofy ones with friends.

That night, I attended a nighttime photography workshop and tested out what I learned. I wouldn’t say it was a total success, but it was fun and if you don’t look too closely, they look pretty good.


Hit the party suite that night, took some selfies with coworkers.



I had a pretty quiet morning, watching some fantastic flash talks and visiting with friends. Then around lunchtime, a few of us headed into Salt Lake City to get our tattoos.



Had a quiet morning. Went on a tiny hike with Zandy, watched flash talks, and then failed with the rest of my team to escape a room. (But at least I got a few of the clues!)

Went into Park City with some pals where we had a yummy lunch and did a bit of shopping. It was raining, so we didn’t stay for too long. But we saw a bunch of Automatticians doing a bike tour. (Confession: I was supposed to do that bike tour like I did last year, but I was scared to ride on hills in the rain.)


That evening, I had a great dinner where I had some wine. And then I didn’t stop having wine until about 4am. Uh. It was fun. There were lots of pics at the selfie wall that night. And plenty more tomfoolery.


I…did not feel well. I managed to make it through the day and then last night was the big closing party. It was awesome. I do wish I’d felt a bit better.

Robyn sang a song!


And the photo booth…so much fun!

Good times.

Until next year!




My dad would probably hate this

But I got another tattoo today. It’s to honor his memory.

He hated his tattoo. But I like to think he’d like this anyway. Or appreciate it. Or not be too terribly mad at me for getting it.


It’s a spade (that’s what his tattoo was) made of the number 42 (his lucky number.)

The night sky in Park City

I went on a nighttime photography outing last night. I wouldn’t say I did super great at it (so much to learn!) but I had fun and got some cool photos.


Automattic 5K

This morning, I “ran” a 5K with a few of my coworkers. I say “ran” because altitude, man. And hills. Mountains, even. So while my time wasn’t great, I had a great time chatting with my coworker Carolyn, which is exactly what we did for the 5K last year. Tradition!