Attempting to talk sports, Festivities, Humor, Thoughts

19 Thoughts While Filling Out My March Madness Bracket

‘Tis my favorite time of year. Let the March Madness begin.

  1. This is happening. It’s happening. Oh my god it’s happeningggggggg.
  2. There’s something so satisfying about filling out a bracket.
  3. I think I’m sexually attracted to March Madness brackets.
  4. Hmmmm Wisconsin or Virginia Tech?
  5. GOING WITH VIRGINIA TECH BECAUSE I’M A SPICY MAMMA.
  6. Isn’t Baylor a form of Ibuprofen?
  7. I just Googled it. It’s not. But it sounds like it could be, doesn’t it?
  8. Ask your doctor about Baylor today. Side effects include…
  9. I swear to God, Baylor is some kind of pill. Allergy pill? Anyone? If you find the pill, please let me know so that I can stop feeling crazy.
  10. Purdue sounds like a type of soup.
  11. When I say Gonzaga, it sounds like the dramatized version of “Mufasa”. And now I’ve potentially ruined Gonzaga for you. You’re welcome.
  12. Why am I not tweeting this shit?
  13. I feel like those gamers with the headsets and four different screens in front of them while filling out my bracket.
  14. This is the first year I’m betting money with a group. I better win.
  15. Heart palpitations.
  16. Water water water.
  17. Heart palpitations.
  18. North Carolina, do not fail me. Go for the gold.
  19. And now I get to do this all over again with a second bracket. And I cannot wait.
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Anecdote, Attempting to talk sports, Exercise, Festivities, Humor, News, Out of the Ordinary, Travel

Hey Guys, I Didn’t Puke!

If you’re reading this, it means I did not die. I successfully completed a marathon!

26.2 miles of straight up running, or at least, something close to it. Between 18-24 miles, it was questionable.

This is how I can best describe what running your first marathon is like:

The Start Line:

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Being a runner is like being a part of a cult. Some of them live religiously by ideas that make zero sense. Like wearing flat “running” shoes with the slits cut out for each individual toe, and then running 26 miles in them thinking they make you faster when in fact it kills your feet because it has no support system. It’s like running barefoot.

And whoever left those McDonald’s Apple Pie wrappers near the start line, I hope you puked it all up throughout the race.

Mile 1-3:

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There are so many people cheering, clapping, and hollering, you don’t know what to do! You just keep running, and probably at a pace you shouldn’t be running. Oh, and there are lots of men in the first mile who decide to take a wee-wee because they are nervous. Just a line of men facing a concrete wall – it’s actually pretty disturbing. Yet, at the same time, I was jealous.

Mile 6-13:

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I only ate a banana before going on this trek, so I started to get a little famished but I had to ignore it. Naturally there were signs reminding me of everything I was missing.

“Run Now. Wine Later.”

“There’s Beer At The End Of This.”

“While You’re Running, I’m Eating Pizza.”

“I Didn’t Get Up This Early Just To See You Run.”

Some other favorites:

“You Run Better Than The Government.”

“You’ve Got Great Stamina! Call Me (Inserts Phone Number).”

“Hey Sexy Legs!”

“This Is Your Motivational Poster.”

Once you get to the Half Marathon mark, you think, “Okay. Not bad. Only one more half marathon and I’m done!”

I’m internally crying but I look excited for the sake of the crowd. 

Mile 14-18:

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I thiiiinkkk I’m doing okay. Not quite sure yet. 

This was a weird moment because my body has already endured running 16 miles and the thought of going any further seemed impossible. But I had to keep moving. I’ve also been stopping at every single water and gatorade station and at times, it felt like I was going to puke.

And then I got to one gatorade station where a bunch of 18 year old frat kids were handing out cups. I grabbed one, chugged it, half dazed and noticed a frat kid giving me a dazzling, thousand watt smile, caught himself, and as I kept moving, his eyes followed. And he continued to grin. There’s usually a difference between a hey-youre-doing-great smile, and a hey-come-check-out-my-dirty-frat-house-later-and-we-can-netflix-and-chill smile. Amiright? Maybe it was just a hallucinating marathon brain moment. I’ll never know. I was in no condition to set the record straight.

Mile 19-24:

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There were too many times when I looked at the sidewalk and thought, “That looks like a great place to take a nap.” I was so over this marathon thing. I was straight up walking at this point. I didn’t feel too bad about that because so was everybody else. You would think that Chicago in October would mean nice fall weather. 65 degrees, maybe a little cloudy and windy. NOPE. When I arrived to mile 24, I saw a Walgreens sign that read 82 degrees. No wonder why I wanted to just die, right there, on the street.

As I got closer to the finish line, there were more people cheering and handing out supplies such as orange slices, cold wet cloths, bags of ice, and spraying the hose out into the street to run through. But some people began handing out strange things such as jellybeans, Starburst, and Smarties. They yelled, “JELLYBEANS! YOU WANT A JELLYBEAN!?” I politely declined but in my head I screamed, “I’M AT MILE 22 AND I WANT TO CURL UP IN A BALL AND DIE. SO, NO. I DON’T WANT AN EFFING JELLYBEAN! ARE YOU SERIOUS???”

Mile 25-26.2:

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I’m almost done! Approximately 15 more minutes and I will be done! Good Lawd!

This is where the devil marathon screws with you. You see, you reach the 25 mile marker, and think, “One more mile! One more mile!” Until a quarter of a mile later, you reach a sign that says, “1 Mile”. And then you just get angry at the sign, and then at yourself for forgetting that last quarter of a mile. And then you reach a spring in your step. Only one more mile, and you’ll be finished. So you want to finish that last mile as fast as humanly possible. I felt like Superwoman just speeding by, wondering where all of that energy was during the last 6 miles. You see the finish line and you go faster and faster until you cross. I was too tired to throw my hands up in excitement, and the only thing that came out of my mouth was, “Thank fucking God.”

After The Finish Line:

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Volunteers hand you a goody bag filled with granola bars, chips, and a banana. They hand you a wet towel. They hand you your medal and a little plastic cape, and then a beer, and then a protein shake. At this point, I have no clue what’s even happening or where to go from there. There were 45,000 marathon runners, and trying to find family and friends seemed lightyears away. Sam said to meet under the letter F in the Post-Race Party. When I saw the sign for the Post-Race Party, it felt like a mile away. I could barely stand, carrying all of my stuff, and had this plastic cape wrapped around me that was supposed to cool me down but it only made me warmer. I was so overwhelmed, and every inch of my body was in pain. I swear, it took me 20-30 minutes to get over to where my family and friends were. As soon as I saw them, I started blubbering and crying. I wasn’t crying because I finished. I was crying because of how long and how far I had to walk just to find them. The first thing I said in a fit of tears was, “Why was this so far away!?”

But, at least I finished it! My first thought when finishing was, “I’m never doing this again.” However, marathons are like tattoos. You can never just have one. There are already talks among my friends about the Berlin Marathon in 2017. We’ll see. We’ll see.

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Attempting to talk sports, Exercise, Festivities, Humor, Things I Should Have Solved A Year Ago

4 Days Until Dooms Day

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The time has finally come. It’s a little unbelievable to think that six months ago, I was just starting my marathon training and now it has come to an end. In four days, I’ll officially have finished a marathon…at least I hope so. I’m praying that my aching body will make it to the finish line with clean shorts (because apparently people poop their pants and I’m still unsure how) and a hydrated stomach.

Some goals for Sunday:

  1. Don’t throw up.
  2. Don’t poop or pee my pants.
  3. Don’t throw up.
  4. Be happy and fun by waving to onlookers.
  5. Don’t throw up.
  6. Screw with my own head and convince myself that Gu actually works.
  7. Don’t throw up.

If I had told myself ten years ago that I was going to run a marathon, I would have slapped my knee and called myself a biscuit. Fourteen year old Jess would have never believed me. In fact, it wasn’t many moons ago that I laughed at the thought of running. I giggled and snorted whenever someone said that they enjoyed running. All I could feel at that time was the pain in my neck, chest, legs, and lack of breathing. I absolutely despised running. However, I was extremely jealous of those who could run and actually liked it. I wanted that so badly. It’s probably the cheapest way to exercise next to walking. It doesn’t require $500 a week in studio lessons, or hours upon hours outside of school for practice. It doesn’t require every weekend of your life or $1,000 of gear and supplies. That’s the amazing part. You can actually do this in your own time, which is a wonderful thing.

So, after the long 26.2 miles, I will reward myself with a beer and some of Chicago’s finest deep dish pizza.

Wish me luck!

If you haven’t already, please donate to my charity for the Chicago Marathon! I’m running alongside my teammates on The Lung Power Team where we raise funds for lung disease research. I’m only $75 away from my minimum of $1,000! Please donate today! 
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Attempting to talk sports, Festivities, Out of the Ordinary, Travel

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

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I’m going to do my best in telling this Vegas story to you. Those of you who read my post back in May Signed, Sealed, Delivered know that one of the many places I wanted to visit was Las Vegas. I knew what to expect, but nothing at the same time. It really is one big party all day, everyday.

My first experience playing Black Jack, I won $40. If you want to look at it that way. I put down $60 and walked away with $40. But at least I walked away with something. Now let me try to describe these Poker and Black Jack dealers to you. For the most part, they look absolutely miserable. Seriously. If anyone in Vegas is not having a grand old-time, it’s the table dealers. Of all the tables Sam and I sat down at, there was probably one guy who chuckled his way through every card, taking our chips with him. They look bored, agitated by the drunks and egotistical people and I’m sure their only real pleasure is seeing those egotistical gamblers lose. One guy sat down next to us and flicked his hand around when he wanted to hold like he was swatting away a fly. It made me want to gag.

200-69 I’m like, “Whoa dude. We’re at a $10 table…let’s calm down shall we?”

He also used a cup holder as an ashtray. So we already know what kind of person he is.

The heat in Vegas is enough for me to say I could only handle staying there for two days max. 110 degrees during the day with no chance of cloudy shades, and 98 degrees at night with no chance of seeing Nick Lachey. At least everywhere you go has air conditioning because if not….Bye Vegas, I look forward to never seeing you again.

Our first official day in Vegas was on Saturday and we spent a few hours by the pool. Even with half of the visitors being families, it still felt like my Spring Break in Panama City Beach, FL in March of 2013. Loud, obnoxious techno music, and women and men in skimpy bikinis when they probably shouldn’t be in skimpy bikinis.

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This would have been a great picture if it didn’t look like Sam was sticking his $50 straw up his nose.

That giant pyramid in the back was our hotel! The Luxor, which was pretty neat.

Now onto the best part. Earlier that morning we decided to place some bets on a few baseball games going on that day. I’ve always liked baseball but I can’t follow it as well as I can basketball. I have a basic knowledge of baseball and know what teams are good, decent, and horrible. Therefore, I went with a three game parlay and chose the Giants, Cardinals, and Angels. I only put down $20 while Sam put down $40. I figured he had a better chance of winning than me.

So that afternoon, we attempted some more Black Jack, and we did absolutely horrible. Sam lost $200 in a matter of 20 minutes. I was doing okay until I hit a hot table and was up $185. We had a cut off of $200 and I was like, “Hey, we should probably stop here.” Sam got a little greedy and told me to keep going and then I lost it all! It will be something I can make fun of him for for at least a few years. So we were down in the dumps and decided to watch the baseball games. Sam lost. However, I was doing beautifully. The Giants won, the Cardinals were up 6-1 but the Angels were hurting slightly. They were only up 2-1 and I needed them to get at least one more run. Our eyes were glued to my phone until they finally won and the Cardinals won 8-1. Which means I saved our asses and won $300. Out of all the things I could have won in Vegas, and it was on baseball. I’m just going to stick with sports bets the next time I come.

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This is me rolling in the dough.

So I won back all of the money we had lost and it was as if we were never in Vegas. If only I had put down $100 and I would have won $1500. Damn.

Later that night we went to an awesome Vegas show called Fantasy that reminded me of a burlesque show and they had a comedian.

This is me with the comedian:

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He did an incredible James Brown and Michael Jackson impression. I can’t even describe it because it was so good.

Basically, Vegas is one big “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda”, at least that’s how Sam sees it. If should have put down $100 on that baseball parlay. I should have stopped at $185 at that Black Jack table. Sam should have chosen the Yankees instead of the Astros (that’s what I would have done).

Always save as much money as you can before heading to Vegas so that it doesn’t sting as bad when you take a look at your bank account. As for me…it was as if I never went, thank god.

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Attempting to talk sports, I Wasn't Worried, I'm not a mommy blogger, Internet Things, Things I Need, Uncategorized

The Madness Is Real.

Ben Brust, Traevon Jackson

‘Tis my favorite time of year: March Madness. When I was a young, naïve, and petty little girl, I despised any and all sports. I didn’t even know what March Madness was until about 5 years ago when I met Sam. Now, I can’t get enough of the randomness that ensues, the victory, and the disappointment. For the past 3 years, I’ve joined a group with Sam and his family, eagerly filling out my bracket. I like to pick the opposite team from Sam mostly because I can’t have us both winning at life. I need to bring him down. Every year, Sam has won……….

This year is my year!

I’ve done thorough research on the teams involved this year. I’ve turned into that geeky, unshowered 14 year old boy in his basement looking up stats on his laptop with empty Cheetos wrappers all over the floor with Monster energy drinks. I need this. Sam can’t win them all folks. No. I don’t even care if I don’t win. Him not winning means I’ve won.

I’ve changed my ways this time around. I’ve decided to not be so predictable and go by that tiny little number in the corner next to the team name. I decided to go with my gut, which means letting a few underdogs slip on by.

.

.

I’m all like, “Hey man, I’m rooting for you. You got this.”

I love a good underdog story. So while everyone is banking on Kentucky to win it all, I’ve got my eyes on Wisconsin. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Kentucky is undefeated, blah blah blah. I feel like picking them is a little too obvious. Something’s going to happen, it always does. It’s basketball for crying out loud. There’s never a sure thing. That’s why March Madness is absolute madness. Who knows, Kentucky could choke while in Sweet 16. You never know. I could do all my research and every article I read has a different prediction of the outcome. You’ve got Iowa State, Virginia, Arizona, and Kansas. So many to choose from! So while I am rooting for Wisconsin to go all the way, I hope to beat down Sam and his ego.

My work even has a bracket going on, and I have a chance to win a $100 gift card. So I went with Kentucky, because I mean, it’s Kentucky.

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Sorry Wisconsin. You’re still my beau.

 

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