Grocery Store Etiquette . . .

Today I made a trip to my local grocery store. I, normally, am a very laid back person. It takes quite a lot to rile me up. Today, the grocery did just that. It was insanely crowded for a Saturday afternoon and full of rude, rude people with no manners. Therefore, I have decided to come up with some basic rules of grocery store etiquette. I don't for a second believe my little list will make a difference, but it will make me feel better!

1. Follow the basic rules of traffic. Stay on the right hand side of the aisle. If you have to pass, please do so on the left.

2. Stop and look at intersections and the end of aisles. Don't just pull out into the larger aisles and cut people off. Think of it as a stop sign! Or, if you prefer childhood phrases, "Stop, Look, and Listen!"

3. Don't leave your shopping cart unattended. To me, this one seems obvious. Why would you leave your cart unattended in one aisle and go four aisles over to get something else? It's just common sense!

4. Similarly, don't park your cart horizontally or diagonally across an aisle. Keep your cart near the sides so that others can pass through the aisle. Nobody wants to work to maneuver through the aisle simply because you're inconsiderate!

5. If there is more than one person in your group, try walking single file. There is a reason we were taught to walk single file as children.

6. Say "Excuse Me!" If you cut someone off while shopping, smile and say "excuse me." It's not difficult at all! There's no need to be sour during your shopping trip. Positive attitudes tend to spread. Wouldn't you rather spread a positive attitude than a negative one?

7. Don't barrel through the store as if you're the only shopper there. These shoppers are similar to those drivers who push and push you. They think if they push, staying right behind you, you'll move faster! Everybody in the store wants to make their way through, as quickly as possible. Do you think you're the only shopper who'd rather be somewhere else? Take a deep breath and relax.

8. As you are walking to your car, don't walk in the middle of the parking lot aisle! Walk to the left or right side of the aisle so drivers can make their way through without having to drive behind you.

9. Outside the store, why not put your shopping cart in the holding areas? Putting the carts in these areas prevents them from blocking parking spaces and rolling into other cars. It also makes it much easier for the employees to gather them up and bring them back for other customers. Hey, you could even offer to take the empty cart of someone who is leaving to use while you're shopping. It saves everyone a little bit of time.

10. Give pedestrians in the parking lot the right of way. Is it going to make that much difference in your time to wait five seconds to let a shopper cross the parking lot? No. Is that great parking spot going to disappear if you pause to allow the Mom with her two kids to walk past? No. Again, take a deep breath and relax!

It's Official . . .

I am officially in as a registrant of the Peachtree Road Race! The Atlanta Track Club has cashed my check, which means I'm in. This is the 10K held every year on July 4. The mileage should be no problem, seeing as how I just ran 13 and will quite possibly be training for a marathon. I know, I know! After the race I said the 13.1 was my limit . . . but I might have changed my mind. (More on that in the next couple of days.)

The blisters are healing finally! I'm itching to run but am afraid of pestering my blisters even further. So, I shall wait.

I Took a Tumble . . .

Today is the day I finally get to blog about the ING Half-Marathon. There is good and there is bad.

I woke up at 5:00 a.m., wide awake and excited. I took MARTA from the Lindbergh Station to Underground for the start of the race. I was one of many runners stuck on MARTA for about 15 minutes. We never did figure out why we were stopped and other trains, with runners, were passing us. (We did hear something about an item being on the tracks, blocking us, but I'm not sure.) So, we get to the Five Points station a few minutes before 7:00 a.m. I decided to use the bathroom there, and of course, there was a line. I wasn't too worried about the time since I knew there wasn't a corralled or wave start. It would take 20 minutes for all the runners to cross anyway. I officially crossed at 7:17 a.m. My Garmin was unable to locate a satellite for the first mile due to the buildings downtown. I checked my time at Mile 1 and noticed that I had a satellite signal.

The first couple of miles went great. I felt energized and was keeping a steady pace. (Most of you who read this blog know that I'm a slow runner, that's just me. I have to really push to break a 10 minute mile.) Just before Mile 3, I was cut off by another runner (not intentionally) and as I tried to keep from hitting them I tripped over a round speed disc in the road. I scratched up my knees and hands really good, and put quite a bruise on my left knee. See pictorial evidence below:

During the fall, I also busted up my pretty Garmin GPS watch. It would turn on and keep time, but wouldn't locate satellites. I stopped at the first medical tent to let them swab my hands and knees with alcohol. I even had an Atlanta Police officer stop me to make sure I knew I was bleeding. I'm telling you, I was wearing the blood, scrapes and bruise like a badge of honor, because I kept going.

The runner who won the marathon passed me just after the marathon Mile 18. That was very cool! I was also able to cheer for the lead women marathoners while I stood in line at a porta-potty. (Hey! I was having fun with my run, I wasn't trying to break any kind of record. Besides, I stopped my watch, so I know what my actual time was.) The potty break was at Mile 7 (I never saw a sign, but the volunteers around that area had shirts that said "You only have a 10K left!"

I stopped again at the medical tent around mile 21 (I think?), it was the tent right off the turn at Ponce De Leon. I wanted to have my hands swabbed again since I had been inside a nasty porta-potty. Unfortunately, the guy in the tent spotted the knot and swelling around my left knee and had me ice it. He was very sweet about it though, because he could tell I didn't want to stop. One thing he said made me feel good. He told me I looked good and fresh compared to some of the runners they'd had come in. After icing my knee for about 10 minutes, he cleared me to go with instructions to stop running if my knee started to swell again or I felt any sharp twinges of pain. So, off again I went a runnin'!

The hill up 14th Street was a killer, which I have no shame in admitting that I walked up. This was around Mile 11-12. By this time, I realized I had lots of blisters on my feet, in all the places that the Body Glide didn't get, and they were so painful! I also walked the longer hills on Peachtree, part from the blisters and part from wearing down in the heat. It was 80 degrees at my finish. Once I saw the finish line, I was amazed at the burst of energy that I felt. I had always heard that you get a rush when you see the finish line, but didn't expect it. It was so neat to run across the finish line and then get my medal!

The cheering zones that were set up around the course were great. I loved that our first names were on the bib numbers because going through those zones you'd have random people yelling your name and cheering you on. That was great for me! I was also excited to see a friend of mine cheering the runners on around Mile 3-4. I ran over and hugged her! I think my only complaints as far as race set-up were the mile markers and water stops. I would have rather seen mile markers every 3 miles, and I really only saw two medical tents (but could've missed some). Only the very first water stop had Powerade, this was somewhere around Little Five Points b/c I had both Powerade and water around there. All the rest were just water. Thankfully, I had a big bottle of Gatorade in my fuel belt, along with two bags of Sport Beans. I will swear by Sports Beans for every long run -- they worked great!

After the finish, I felt completely exhausted! My feet were killing me and honestly, the only thought in my head was, "Why did I sign up to do another one of these next month?" I got some water and food and made my way to the chip removal spot. I wanted to meet up with the TrainStrong group, but my feet hurt so bad that I just walked to MARTA and went back to my car.

Once I got home, I was so afraid to take off my shoes! I was worried about what they'd look like. I knew they'd be blistered, but I was really hoping they wouldn't be blue! I counted 12 blisters, total, 6 on each foot. Here they are as of last night:

Honestly, this is the funniest picture to me! I can't look at it and not start giggling. Today, the blisters are covered in gel band-aids made especially for blisters, which are wonderful! They're feeling much better today!

So, today, I'm kinda itching to run! How funny is that? All in all, I'm happy that I did it. I'm very proud of myself for finishing the race. This time last year, I couldn't run a full mile, and I just did a half-marathon! How cool is that?

Coming soon . . .

I will be posting all about my half-marathon experience. I'm ruminating the post as we speak. However, I am waiting until my battle scars and muscle soreness lessen a bit, so that I'm not biased. I also have pictures of said battle scars that I'll post. They're not gross, and one is actually very funny.

Anyhow, that's my medal up there! One thing I can say about it, I'm proud of myself for finishing!

More to come!

My Date with Pete Yorn . . .

First, no, it wasn't really a date, it was a special show sponsored by Atlanta's 92.9 DaveFM! There were about 40 people in the audience, so it was nice and intimate. Pete came out and sang 2 songs, did a Q&A with the audience, and then played 4 more songs. His voice sounded terrific, and his acoustic guitar sounded nice, too. He was really cool! During the Q&A he talked about how weird it felt to have written a song that was on the Album of the Year (this would be The DixieChicks album), and also said the female that he was influenced by the most was Chrissy from The Pretenders. That was a nice choice I thought! The Pretenders are very cool!

Afterwards, I stuck around for a bit and was able to speak with Pete for a few minutes and have my CDs signed (pictured above). He was very sweet and seemed a bit shy, but was so nice. It was so much fun.

Earlier this morning I went down to the ING Health Expo to pick up my race packet and wander around the booths. TrainStrong had a booth so I visited with them for a bit. Got lots of protein bar samples, magazines, a running hat, an ING jacket and shorts, posters . . . there was all kinds of stuff!

I've got everything ready to go in the morning except for filling my water bottles. I'm excited! I'm staying around for a bit after the race to hang out with the TrainStrong group. Other than that, I'll do my best to get online and update you all on how the race went!

Wish me luck! 13.1 will be my longest run yet!

I won! I won!

I am a fan of Pete Yorn. That being said, I was very sad when I discovered that the night he was playing in Atlanta was the night before the ING Half-Marathon. This meant, of course, that I couldn't go. I have to be up early Sunday morning, and staying out late is certainly not conducive to that. However, my favorite Atlanta Radio station 92.9 Dave FM announced last week that Pete Yorn was coming in for their "Circle of Friends." This is a "win your way in" thing, so I've been constantly trying to win since they announced it.

So far, I'd been getting nothing besides a busy signal. That, however, changed today. I called in trying to win by answering a Matt Kearney trivia question, but I missed it . . . barely. Sully told me I was so close, but not exact. Darn! Later in the afternoon, Sully asked for caller 19 . . . I dialed and it rang and rang and rang and then disconnected. Then, I started getting busy signals. I decided to try one last time. It rang . . . and Sully answered! I won passes into the Circle of Friends! I'm super excited because this is the only way I was going to be able to see him while he was in Atlanta. So, sometime after Saturday I shall have a Pete Yorn story, and hopefully some Pete Yorn pictures!

If you're in Atlanta, check out 92.9 Dave FM, it's a great station. Mara's "Radio Free Lunch" at noon is very cool, and Sully's "Retro in the Metro" at 5:00 is my favorite. If you're not around Atlanta, they stream live . . . so check them out!

On another note . . . Jones Soda Co.'s Strawberry Lime Soda and Cream Soda? Yum!

Peachtree Road Race . . .

So, today is the day the application for Atlanta's Peachtree Road Race comes out. I snatched up my paper very early this morning to prevent anyone from stealing it! (It happens in apartment complexes!) My application is completed, a copy of my passport is ready to go, along with my entry fee. I'll put it in the mail first thing tomorrow morning.

For those of you unfamiliar, the P'tree Road Race 10K is very competitive in Atlanta. It's capped at 55,000 runners. They automatically accept the first 45,000 entries they receive and then randomly select 10,000 more from all the applications. The first year I applied, I got a number, but ended up not being able to run and gave it to a friend. The second year, I didn't get in. The race is held the morning of July 4, you know, when it's miserably humid in the city of Atlanta! I'll keep you updated -- I should know within a couple of weeks if I'm in.

Yesterday, my Will and I headed to Nuevo Laredo for some yummy Mexican food. Their lobster tacos are the best! Afterwards, we drove around the city a bit. We stopped at a couple of little neighborhood stores, grabbed some coffee, and checked out Park Tavern's St. Patrick's Day event. It was a beautiful day, but quite cool. Afterwards, we went back to his place and watched some of Shortbus. We'd seen it at the Landmark Theater during its run and it's good, very graphic, but good. Anyway, we checked out of some of the special features and what not.

Today I plan to get through four days worth of newspaper! I got behind this week. I also have several movies that I need to watch, one being, An Inconvenient Truth.

Next Sunday is the ING Georgia Marathon/Half-Marathon. I'm telling you all right now, with no shame, that my time is going to be horrible! My longest training run is about 8 miles. I had three weekends within the last month where I haven't been able to run, plus having some sinus issues that kept me heavily medicated! So, I'm sure I'll be walking a decent portion of the race. I figure, as long as I finish, and do not get picked up by the sweeper bus, I'll be happy. Surely I can do it in 6 hours! Plus, I have another one the end of April. That one will be much better.

(12 of 12) 2.0 - March

Welcome to my little neglected blog. Hopefully, 12 of 12 will get me back in the mood to post! See Chad's blog for the rules.

6:39: Wakey! Wakey! Yes, it's an odd time, but I hit snooze! Time to get up and get ready for work.

7:30: Today's front page of the AJC. While I loathe the fact that Florida's Joaquin Noah is on the front page, I'm very excited that REM is also! They're being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tonight!

7:45: Time to leave for work. This is my absolute favorite coffee mug. It's a fun color, extremely durable, and keeps my coffee very hot. It's fallen off the roof of my car several times and is still in one piece.

8:30: On my way to work I stopped to pick up some Claritin. It's the only thing that works for me during allergy season. I was pleasantly surprised to find a $4.00 off coupon just stuck in front of the boxes!

2:30: I'm finally getting to sit down and eat lunch! A quick salad, carrots and dip, grapes (not seen), and my yummy lemonade vitamin water. I've also got today's crossword puzzle.

6:00-ish: My very fun dressing room at Forth & Towne. I'm very sad they're closing down the store. I tried on lots!

6:45: Here I am leaving Nordstrom at Perimeter Mall. Time to finally head home.

7:20: My purchases from Sephora: Smashbox O-Glow, Korres Wild Rose Mask, and Jonathan Product Silky Dirt.

7:25: My purchases from Forth & Towne: blue t-shirt, pink button down blouse, black slacks, and a black jersey wrap dress. I'm very excited to wear my new dress. Too bad I have court the next two days. It'll have to keep until Thursday or Friday.

9:00: Post-dinner, sitting down with a couple of chocolate chip & walnut cookies, a glass of milk, and my new book "Spy Handler." The author is Victor Cherkashin, the KGB office who recruited Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen.

9:30: I remembered I was supposed to search for a condo on Anastasia Island for a trip in May. I found it! Hopefully, they'll have vacancies for when we want to go.

10:20: Watching Anderson Cooper 360.

Bonus Pic: Green!

On my way to work this morning I stopped to place my newspapers from past week in the recycle bins. So, green bins and being green!

Until April!