Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Running Gets Real

I ran 11 miles this morning. I'm not saying that to brag (much), as I realize that people out there run marathons and super-marathons and 11 miles isn't much. I'm saying it as context to explain my thoughts and feelings about running, because 11 miles IS a lot to me, being the longest distance I've run, well, ever.

How's the running going, you ask? Good, good. I'm enjoying my long Saturday runs and I feel strong and healthy. Unless I twist an ankle or really give up and slack for the last 2 weeks before my race (half-marathon, Halloween morning), I should be able to do the full 13.1 miles without killing myself.

This is it. This is my Halloween.

It's weird, being a runner now. I feel that passing the 10-mile mark lets me call myself a runner without hesitation. But it is weird because I used to hate it so much and never went beyond 4 miles on a morning run. I thought 4 miles was a long run, but I was wrong.

I was so, so wrong.

See, after 4 miles, you may hurt and feel sweaty, but you can go back to normal pretty quick. (Results may vary.) It's like playing with a rubber band. You stretch it a little, and nothing much happens. But when you stretch it further, the band either breaks or gets stretched into a new shape, especially with repeated pulls. I'm no doctor, scientist, physical therapist, or any other kind of expert, but I'm pretty sure the same thing happens to the human body and it's weirding me out to go through this stretching.

Again, I'm not an expert, but over the last couple months, as I've been training, I have:

- Been too warm almost all the time. My roommates probably hate me for turning up the air every night, but I can't sleep unless I do. It's like I have a furnace inside my chest.

- Been hungry all the time, especially after the long runs. And it strikes at weird times; I'll have no desire to eat at breakfast time but will want a Las Vegas buffet spread an hour later (after forcing myself to eat a healthy breakfast because I KNEW this would happen).

- Craved bad foods. Every week my mind becomes a civil war between the wise dietitian inside me that knows I need vitamins and minerals, like what is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and yogurt, and without them, it will hurt more to run, and the gluttony monster that just says WANT MEAT WANT BREAD WANT PANCAKES WANT ICE CREAM WANT PIE WANT WAFFLES WANT CHEESY PIZZA WANT POPCORN WANT COOKIES WANT WANT WANT

- Had my clothes turn against me. I don't mean during the day, when I'm cleaned up and living my life. I mean when I'm on my run. My lovely, lovely shoes haven't given me grief, but this morning my shirt had a nice little surprise for me:

Mile 1-8: good shirt, nice shirt, wicking moisture and feeling good!
Mile 8-10: uh, feeling a little uncomfortable where the sleeves' seams are, but nothing I can't handle


- Lastly, started to actually DESIRE going for a run! Not as training, not as workout, not as balance for those times I've given into the WANT monster and eaten pie and ice cream when I shouldn't have, but because I want to go for a run. How did this happen?

Like I said earlier, I'm new to running. I haven't done any really long distances yet. I have heard tell of things to come, like blackened toenails and other undesirable effects of running. I hope I won't have to find out, but if I keep running after the half-marathon (and let's be honest, I probably will), who knows what will happen?

I'll keep you informed about any new developments about the training and how the race goes. If any of my toenails turn black, I promise I'll show you pictures!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Salt Lake Comic Con 2015!

Hey, folks! Wow, it's been a busy few weeks. I started a new job, which has been keeping me busy. I also got the chance to go to my first Comic Con!

Yes, my first Comic Con. It was also my first time getting a picture with a celebrity who wasn't a writer. (You know, I don't think I even have that. My bad.) And my first time cosplaying, but I only did that one out of the three days.

For those of you who want the abbreviated version of my Comic Con experience, see the post on my other blog I work on collaboratively with my friend Kiersty. That post has a lot more of my thoughts and impressions. This one's longer due to a whole bunch of pictures. Here's the link. 

This is my blog, though. MINE! MWAHAHAHAHAHA! So I post a bunch of pictures and details that didn't make the other one.

Also, I promised a link to the Fanundrums blog. Here that is. If you think I'm nerdy on this blog, you should see me over there. But, today, we're talking Comic Con, so the nerdy will be strong with this post.

Okay, let's go:

Thursday, I went up by myself. That's the perk of working at home; I can set my own hours. I did my work early and went up to Comic Con for the evening. It was fun, though a little lonely. I get why people tend to go in groups.

One of the things I did Thursday, well, the only thing worth mentioning, is see the panel with James and Oliver Phelps, also known as Fred and George Weasley. That was fun. I'm used to panels being people debating certain writing procedures or politics in art, because that's more what happens in the conferences I've been to. But a panel where a couple of actors, who are pretty fun guys, answer questions and tell stories about their experiences filming the Harry Potter movies was a new, fun experience. I did go to a panel about dark fairy tales, which was more in keeping with my past experiences. It was good, but I decided to treat Comic Con differently and play around, see celebrities.

Oh, and I went to panel with voice actors, one of which voices this guy:


That was fun.

Friday I went up with friends. We saw two panels with celebrities, or at least, I did. One of my friends had a photo op with James Phelps, so she didn't come. These panels were with Sean Astin (Sam Gamgee from LOTR) and Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes from Captain America). Can I just say here that I love Sean Astin? I always liked him pretty well because I like his characters, especially Sam, but after seeing him at the panel, I really like him as a person. He's a runner who runs for charity and is an overall nice person. He was very friendly and humble and seemed like someone's cool dad up there, answering questions.

I need to watch the LOTR movies again now. And the Harry Potter movies.

I also took a bunch of pictures, so get ready. Here are some highlights:

Some top cosplayers:

Here we have the "Aliens" Meme and Beaker the Muppet:


And here is Ling, Yao, and Chien Po from Mulan, the scene when they dress as women:


A bunch of characters from Spaceballs:


Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon and a humanized Bill Cipher from Gravity Falls:

Yes, the above Toothless costume is a costume. I promise there was a girl in there. The front legs are her arms.

And a couple more from Friday:


Yeah, that's me, thrilled because I got my very own SHIELD badge. Yes, it has my name and picture on it. And yes, I'm a field agent. A level 4 field agent. I'm wearing the right shirt for it, right?


Me in the TARDIS, back from an epic adventure in medieval Normandy. Details aren't important.

Okay, that was Friday. Saturday was pretty cool, too.

Saturday was the day I cosplayed. My first time. It was kind of last minute; I've been putting together a costume for this Halloween Half Marathon I'm doing, so it was simple and easy, but comfortable to move around in.

Am I killing you with suspense? Okay. Here I am. And here's my character.

Dipper Pines, from Gravity Falls. Here's the detailing on my forehead of the birthmark that gives Dipper his nickname:


I nailed it. The picture of me has it reversed due to camera angles, but it was identical. You can see how it really looked in the next picture.

Okay, moving on. I met up with my friends. We were excited.

We started out the day by seeking out the celebrities. Right off the bat, I found out that Sean Astin was letting people come up and say hi for free. SQUEE! I did that, for sure. He's a friendly man, as I said. Instead of high-fiving us and waving us on (I high-fived Sean Astin!), he commented on my hat. Oh, that was a highlight for sure!

We met a couple more celebs:

My friend Madeleine is the one in silver. She's Quicksilver from X-Men: Days of Future Past. As for the celebs, you can see their names and roles on the banners behind them. (Walter Koenig and Marina Sirtis)

Saturday, I also got two Dresden Files books signed by Jim Butcher, one of my favorite writers. I also met a couple of his (cosplay) characters:

(Harry Dresden and Karrin Murphy. Yay.)

I also learned that one of the perks of cosplaying is finding the other people who are into the same things you are. I found a bunch of other Gravity Falls cosplayers, and I made it a point to get pictures with all of them:

Another humanized Bill Cipher, and then Stanley and Stanford Pines:

And here is me with Mabel Pines and Soos, and then one with Wendy:


I enjoyed that. I liked finding fellow fans and then actually, sometimes, being asked for my picture too. It made me feel kind of like a celebrity, which cemented my theory that Comic Con is about gong to see and be seen.

Here's some more notable cosplayers and photo-worthy things:

Izma and Kronk from The Emperor's New Groove. The other is my friend Mary, as the waitress from the same film:

The Ouran High School Host Club:

The Impala from Supernatural (no, for real!) and Agents Coulson and Simmons from Agents of SHIELD:


So, that was my Saturday. After running around, getting these, I got my final picture:

That's the Phelps twins. James (Fred) is the one on my side. I'll tell you, it was hard work trying to make myself look like a girl again for this picture. I even wiped off the Big Dipper on my head.

And yes, I'm still thrilled about this.

Did I like Comic Con? Oh yes! Would I do it again? OH YES!