Las Vegas. The city that keeps taking my money, and keeps me coming back. I don't think I know exactly what it is that makes me love the city so much. There are plenty of negatives, namely the flipping heat. But I think that there is something about the constant entertainment and excitement. Of course, there are plenty of depressing people around who are wasting money they don't have. But tomorrow, I'll make sure to ignore them, and appreciate the fact that I get to spend it with people I love: Julia The Vosses The Wall/Murphy-Walls The Intern(s) The Boom Boom.
I'm certainly disappointed that more of my close friends won't be able to attend, but I also accept that there are plenty of limitations for people.
If you would like for me to place a bet for you while I'm there (Thursday at about 1:30PM local time, to 12:45AM local time on Monday), text me, and we'll hook it up.
Oh. And I'm on twitter now. If you want to follow me there, knock yourself out. Apparently, I'm supposed to say I'm @mikecation. There is also a link to the right if you want to click it.
A co-worker, let's say a co-worker who is not my boss but is a muckity muck within the building, had a fundraiser about 6-7 months ago. I told her, as part of a running discussion we'd been having, that I would donate 20 dollars to her cause, if she trained and ran the 5K as part of the Illinois Marathon. Obviously, as you can guess from the fact that I'm even bringing this up, she did NOT participate. To her credit, she was sick. Not to her credit? She hadn't signed up.
Now, the $20 went to a good cause, so I obviously don't want to take it away from that. But come on! A deal is a deal, right?
I know I'm weird. That being stated: If you're at someone's house, and they don't have a BAR of soap, only body wash, is it just common to pour it in to your hands, and then wash yourself like that? I'm not a huge fan. I like having something in my hand to wash me.
I had the pleasure last night to help the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) with their inaugural fashion show fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society, in the name of Chris Norwell, a former Illini football player now dealing with leukemia. Great cause, wish we could have had some more people out there. As a result, there were a few items left over from the silent auction that did not receive a bid. The SAAC folks were gracious enough to give me one, and I ended up with a very nice basketball warmup top, like the team wears as they're going through layup drills. I thought it was very nice.
Until I saw it is a 4XL.
That's bigger than Tizzy can wear, I believe.
I will now be wearing an Illini dress next season.
Figure it out. There is no need to speed up, slow down, and pass me 8 times, only to get passed 9. You're an idiot. It is also a potential accident waiting to happen.
2) Slow driving in the passing lane. Why? That is a lane designed for you to pass in. If you are going 65 in the passing lane, you are going too slow. Move along to the right, especially if you are getting passed.
Other than those particular issues, the 27 hours in Madison were spectacular as always. The farmer's market provided delicious treats, specifically chili pork sticks, and some jalapeno muenster cheese for me, and a bunch of cheese for Julia as well. Got to see a lot of family, Dad was decidedly quiet, and Ella's Deli still has the best ice cream in America. (Sorry, Custard Cup).
Back to Madison on Memorial Day for the Half.
What bothers you on the road? And what else am i missing in Madison? Post your comments if you've got the time.
I want to congratulate the organizers of the Illinois Marathon. All things considered, they did a spectacular job making a start up race run pretty smoothly. There are always going to be some mistakes, but I think they were at a minimum. So here are the things I liked, and didn't like: Liked: -The course. It was flat, and although I would have liked to have gotten in to Champaign a little bit more, I think they did a decent job of showcasing Urbana. Maybe a run through downtown next time? (Yes, I know downtown Urbana is an oxy-moron.) -The shirts. I should have taken a picture, but the shirts they gave out were spectacular. I will wear mine often. -The medals. Really nice. I think it was a good touch to give them out to people who finished the 5K as well. -Finishing at Memorial Stadium. Yes, I'm pretty lucky in that I get to get down on the stadium turf rather often, but I will admit, it was pretty cool to run across the 50 to finish. -The volunteers/spectators. Great, great turnout by the community. -My run. I ran smart, and part of that I owe to Doug, who got me in the right position at the beginning, and it helped keep me calm.
Here are the things that could be improved: -The start. Do NOT have port-a-potties facing in towards where the runners should be lined up. That was crazy. -The people complaining about traffic. You were given ample notice. If you did not plan an alternate route, or alternate staff, that's on you. -I would have liked more in to Champaign, just to showcase both cities. -Better signage. On the course, it would have been nice to see bigger notifications at mileage markers, or even a timer. Inside the stadium, we desperately needed some way to be told how to exit. -Having a tennis match right afterward. I did not get in a good stretch, and I'm still sore two days later.
I'm very happy for all of my friends that ran and finished, especially Tony and Alex, who both killed their runs. Just destroyed them. And a special thank you to my Mom for yelling, and of course to Julia, for making a sweet sign, and getting me some delicious cookies for post-race (which I didn't get to until 10:30 at night). I'm just sorry she couldn't be there.
Next race is in Madison. Memorial Day weekend.
Today, I had a nice day off, and have been doing a ton of chores and things around the house. On my list of 10 things, I've only got one left, and that is to get the remaining casino things I have in this apartment to Cassie. After that, we're all good!
If you have any comments about what you think could change about the Illinois Marathon, let me know!
My goal is 1:55. That will mean a pace of about 8:46 per mile. I'm hopeful after a great last couple of weeks of training, with minimal pain. I'm going to get some wonderful ice treatment right afterward at Atkins, and all things considered, this couldn't be much better.
As a note, when filming this two months ago, I was in the midst of my bronchitis, and you can tell. The CrackMonkey volleyball team defeated all challengers, and is once again the champion in our league. After playing three competitive games last night (and one not so competitive game), my feet and right knee are killing me, with just days to go before the half marathon. I'm going to ice the hell out of them all today. And get my last run in today, a two miler.
Also, just a week away from Julia meeting my Dad's side of the family. This is a note to my family...everybody stay calm. Dad, I'm looking at you. :)
Laura and I cooked up a surprise for it too, so we're excited about that.
Finally, I'm going to leave with you with this debate sparked by one of my favorite all time players on the Illinois Soccer team. Goalkeeper Lindsey Carstens came up with this question:
You know what, kids? The New Kids in Block were in town last night. Julia and Leigh both went, sitting second row, courtesy of yours truly. And they had a great time. Unfortunately, and I can't say I blame them, their excitement (and the fact that the NKOTB went long) woke me up when they got home. So as a result, on this Monday, I'm spent. Absolutely spent. But not surprised about it. Lots to get to this week. Big race on Saturday. I'm still healthy. I did 7 miles on Sunday, at a much faster pace than I'll be running on Saturday. (8:21 as compared to 8:45, hopefully). I'm just hopeful I can find my pace on Saturday, and that it's above 40 degrees. 50 would be spectacular. Incredibly fun night on Saturday. For a recap, please visit http://thecrackmonkeys.blogspot.com, to hear from Tony Cappa. And by recap, I mean not a recap at all. But it was great fun to spend time with Julia, Leigh, Glenn, Tony, Alex and Michelle, Beef, Sarah, Liz, and Brittany. And Tyler. And Echo Love. Yes, there is a person named Echo Love. I have next Monday off. What should I do with my time? Also, we're less than two weeks away from the Wisconsin marching band concert. I hope Madison is ready for us.
In the mean time, please enjoy this wonderful video from Craig Mack. I would like to see him perform this live, instead of having the NKOTB come back.
Had a lousy dream today, in terms of its timing. Basically, there was a massive power outage at work, and so we all got to hang out outside (it was warm) instead of having to work. At 5:15 in the morning. Mind you, Sarah wasn't there, because she overslept through her 9 snoozes. There were fun activities to be had, including whiffle ball, but the most interesting disturbing involved my good friend James "Big Poppa" Morton. Apparently, all he could do was talk like the LOLcats. He refused to speak like a normal person, only saying things like "Oh Hai" and "I can has cheezburger?" This confounded me, and so I left him with a cat to pet. Nearby, on a giant screen television at the back of the parking lot, we were watching Jennifer Ketchmark on Channel 3, as we were asked to decide which hairstyle we would like to see from her. We all called often to vote for "bald", which was going to force her to shave her head on the air.