Wednesday, April 24, 2013

South Shore Half Marathon Race Recap

So now that this race was over 2 weeks ago, I suppose I should write a recap.  And since I'll be toeing the start line (um, in wave E) again in less than 3 days, I need to recap my last race, lest I bombard you with race recaps next week.

This race was my fourth half marathon and my last race as a 24 year-old. Kim mentioned this race to me on one of our runs and for the price tag ($20 day of, $14 early registration) and the close proximity (a little over an hour away), I figured it was worth a shot to run as part of my scheduled 20 miler that day.  Running 20 miles by yourself can be a bit, well, boring.  Plus a race has other benefits such as water stations and post race snacks.

I had planned on arriving early and running 7 miles before the race, but due to bad planning, I ended up squeezing only 4 in beforehand.  The start was a bit congested with no organization in terms of pace, but since I ran pretty much right up until the start I didn't mind starting near the back.  According to the results, 839 people finished the race so you can imagine the crowd at the starting line.   I passed and was passed by quite a few people in the first 2 miles of the race before cruising up a good-sized hill right before the mile 2 marker. By mile 3, the crowd was starting to thin out and I was finding my groove.  

The race was on a part of the Oak Leaf Trail System.  As we neared the turn around point the trail veered of the roads and wound through some trees.  I really liked this part of the trail, but it did get a little bit crowded in some sections.  Several parts of the trail were covered in water and at first I tried to run through the grass at these parts, but that ended up being a bad idea. The grass was very squishy and from then on, I just went straight through the puddles.  Initially, I was worried that my feet would be cold, but my socks and shoes dried fairly quickly and my feet felt fine.  Just another benefit of good running socks, and much better than the cotton option I wore for years.

Around the halfway point, I felt my energy starting to lag.  I waited till the next aid station to take a Clif shot gel.  That helped me get some energy back.  Around this time I started running next to an older lady.  She seemed like she was keeping a strong pace so I just latched on a bit to encourage myself to keep running.  Once we reached about mile 10, we moved into a more open part of the course and the wind picked and my running partner fell back. I stayed strong and kept on moving.  I tried to focus on passing people in front of me to keep my mind of the wind blowing straight into my face.

The downhill portion at mile 11 definitely helped pick up my pace and I kept cruising till the finish.  Of course, I did pick up my pace in the last quarter mile just because it feels good to cross the finish line fast.

South Shore Half Marathon
April 7, 2013, 9 am
Milwaukee, WI
Time: 2:17:13
Pace: 10:29

I spotted Kim and a few other bloggers inside after the race.  After chatting with them for a few minutes and grabbing some salty snacks from the post-race food table (a nice spread from Aldi's!), I headed back out for my final 3 miles to reach 20.  I followed the trail north for a while (the race went south) and weaved around till I made it 20.  It was difficult to start running again after the break, but I felt fairly good (for already having 17 miles in).  I had to walk a bit, but I finished the 20 miles.   I had planned on taking two gels on this run, but only took one and could definitely feel that I was under-fueled by the end.

RachelJessica, me, RiyantiKim (photo courtesy Kim)
I met back up with these ladies for lunch at the Palomino where I enjoyed a delicious egg sandwich with a homemade biscuit and tater tots.  I was starving by this point, so lunch was much needed.  And I enjoyed learning more about the other bloggers.  I've met so many people through blogging now and I love it.

After a great lunch and even better conversation, I got back on the road to head home.  But I couldn't leave Wisconsin without picking up a six pack or two of my favorite New Glarus beer.  In a sad twist of events, my fav Fat Squirrel was not to be found.  Instead I had to settle for Two Women and another brew which I cannot recall at the moment.  I did some research once I got back home and found my beloved Fat Squirrel under the "Beers We Have Known and Loved" section on the website, as in past tense, no longer available. NOOOOO! I pretty much love all the New Glarus beers but I am very sad to see my favorite go.  I might have to make another trip up to the brewery soon to see if I can score some Fat Squirrel.  When I was telling Kim about this, she mentioned we could do another Chicago Running Bloggers brewery run.  How awesome would that be? We could even do a meet-up with some Madison bloggers! I'm off to devise the plan.

Overall, I would definitely do this race again.  The smaller venue is nice and the price tag certainly doesn't hurt.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Illinois Marathon Training Week 23

Can I just tell you how close the marathon is?

Wow! I'm thrilled that it is so close.  Actually I wish I could be running it right now.  Why aren't you here yet Saturday?

Week 23: 4/15/13-4/21/13
  • Monday - 75min yoga
  • Tuesday - 6 miles with Kim
  • Wednesday - Sick :(
  • Thursday - 4 miles w/ 2@8:49 (1% incline), 1200yd swim
  • Friday - Rest
  • Saturday - 7.25 miles + 45min walk + 9 holes of golf
  • Sunday - 30min walk
  • Weekly Total - 17.25 mi run + 75min walk + 1200yd swim
Tuesday was a great day for a run with Kim.  We had a little excitement when we saw a dog chasing a deer and got really worried that he would start coming towards us.  Well he did start running toward, but we did spot the owners ahead on the path.  Right away they yelled, "Don't worry, he's friendly!"  It is still frightening when a large dog is running towards you.  In general, I feel like dogs get more excited when they see someone running versus walking and want to chase you.  A dog owner once told my mom his dog was friendly when she was walking, and then it bit her.  Not so friendly anymore, huh? I know it is probably fun to let your dog of the leash, but unless you can guarantee me it is so obedient that it will always come when called, it probably should be on the leash. Okay that's the end of my rant for today.  

Rudy really likes to chase things
I had some weird stomach pains starting Tuesday night and all day Wednesday so I skipped my spin class after work for some quality couch time.  I still have no idea if it was a touch of food poisoning or a stomach virus, but it didn't feel very good.  Thankfully, it wasn't too terrible and I was still able to go to work and eat normally.  

Saturday's "long" run was supposed to be 8 miles but I had to cut it short because I had an appointment with my insurance agent.  I also got a late start on the run because I was enjoying lounging around my parent's house a little too much.  I figure the walking later in the day, especially the walk that involved carrying all my clubs up big hills made up for the fact that I cut it a bit short.  It was still a bit chilly for a round of golf, but an extra jacket and a pair of gloves made it seem like the weather was just fine.  I even managed my first birdie of the year along with a few pars with my favorite pink golf ball.  Of course, that ball also meet some cart paths and several trees on the course, but all in all it had a good day.  

Do you have any dog encounter stories?  
I've also been chased by a dog on my bike.  It got my heart pumping, that's for sure!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Running Blogger Survey

Kelly is hosting a survey linkup! Answer the running blogger survey questions and add your link to her post!

Best Run Ever

Probably the F^3 Half Marathon.  I didn't plan to "race" this race, but I wanted to get in a good training run.  I felt so great and it ended up being a 6 minute PR!

Three Words that Describe My Running

Challenging, fun, social.

My Go-To Running Outfit

A great bra, black capris, and a tech tee.  And I really shouldn't forget a great pair of socks and running shoes.  My favorite socks are these ones--they have seriously saved my blister problem.  Plus lots of BodyGlide and my SpiBelt.  Of course lately, it's been more like pants and long sleeves plus gloves all.the.time.

Quirky Habit While Running

Hmm. I have this weird problem where I run too close to the edge of the sidewalk and have to force myself to run back towards the middle.  I'm afraid of another sprained ankle.  Hey, I'm clumsy.

Morning, Mid-day, or Evening
Very rarely do I get up early enough to do a morning workout.  Only when I know there is no way I can do one in the evening and I go to bed super early.  The after-work workout is my jam.  Sometimes I try to convince myself to become a morning exerciser but that snooze button is just too easy.

Ragnar 2012
I Won’t Run Outside When It’s

It's too cold or icy or when it's raining too hard.  I try not to run in the dark by myself, but I do finish runs in the dark.  I normally don't let the cold stop me from running and just bundle up more, but if it's too cold, I'll just run on the treadmill.

Worst Injury – And How I Got Over It

I did have some knee pain before my first half marathon, but with adding in more cross-training after the race, the pain went away.  I think it was mostly due to IT band tightness.

Last fall on vacation, I rolled my ankle and the swelling was pretty out of control. I didn't even post the worst of the pictures because they were too disgusting.  And severe swelling lasted for at least a week.  For that injury, I just made sure to rest and took a few weeks off from running.

I Felt Most Like a Badass Runner When

I think it's a tie between my first triathlon and when I finished my second half marathon and had a huge PR. At my half marathon, I think that was one of the first times I really felt like a runner instead of someone who runs.  I trained well and even with being sick on race day, I raced well.  And also my half PR is no faster than Matt's and I always thought he was a much better runner than I.

Doing a triathlon had been on my mind for awhile so completing one was awesome for me.  I love to tell people that I am a triathlete.  Usually they are so impressed, but I always tell them that they could do one too!

Running Goal for 2013

Finish my first marathon!  Coming up in a week and a day!
Finish my second half Ironman!

Next Race Is

Again my marathon!

Answer one of these prompts in the comments or make your own blog post and linkup!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Illinois Marathon Training Week 22

The first week of taper is over and done.  I'm still feeling strong and haven't done anything too crazy yet.  

Week 22: 4/8/13-4/14/13

  • Monday - 75 min yoga
  • Tuesday - Rest
  • Wednesday - 60 min spin (45s moderately hard, 15s hard repeats) + 5.5 miles with 3x1600 @ 8:27 (1% incline treadmill) 
  • Thursday - Rest
  • Friday - 6 miles - avg. pace 9:07 (1% incline treadmill)
  • Saturday - 12.5 miles 
  • Sunday - Light walking
  • Weekly Total - 24 miles + 60 min spin + 75 min yoga
This week ended up with a lot of rest days, but I still got in all the training sessions.  Although Friday's run was supposed to be 10 miles but I needed to cut it short because I had a rehearsal dinner to get to. 

Saturday I didn't start my run till a little after 10 am.  I was enjoying the morning and lounging around with Matt before he left to get ready for the wedding (he was a groomsmen).  Turns out that wasn't quite enough time to run and get ready for a 2 pm wedding.  Although it might have had something to do with the fact that I also tried to do a load of laundry.  I ended up hustling across the grass in heels to make it into the church at approximately 1:58 pm.  I wish I could say that this is not like me, but in truth, it's extremely typical.  Matt is usually the one who makes me get places on time.  But I managed to find a seat before the bridal party began the processional.  

If dancing around in heels all night isn't good recovery from a long run, I don't know what is.  This might explain why my calf muscle is so tight. 

I did something crazy this weekend and looked at triathlon bikes.  My local bike store was having its annual spring clearance sale and I couldn't resist checking out the bikes.  I've never ridden a tri bike before so I thought I would try it out.  It's...interesting.  The riding area was only a small-fenced in area of the parking lot with lots of people standing/walking around and other's riding bikes so I felt out of control.  The sales person, Doug, did suggest I go to another store location to try out more bikes to get a feel for what I like.  A tri bike is quite the investment so I should probably stay away for this year.  

Overall I'm pretty happy with this week.  Mostly, I just can't wait for the marathon to be here.  Both so I can see my best friend Laura again and because I just want to do the race. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

For Boston

I wanted to come here today and talk about how my marathon is only a little over a week away, how training is going, how excited I am to race.

Instead I woke up this morning, hoping that yesterday's events were a dream.  But the news on the radio quickly dashed those hopes.  I'm saddened, shocked, and appalled that someone could do this to innocent people.

The Boston Marathon is usually a day of triumph and celebration.  What I am trying to take from yesterday is the strength of the running community, the courage of all the first-responders, and all the people that are coming together to support Boston.

We will persevere.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Venus de Miles Ride

As I've been searching for triathlon races to do this summer, I've also been poking around for supported or group bike rides.  When I was training for my half Ironman last summer, I did the majority of my long weekend rides alone.  My rides were split between the low traffic, bumpy roads in eastern Iowa and the Palatine Trail system and forest preserve paths I could ride to from my apartment.   It is peaceful to ride a bike by myself, but after riding 3+ hours every weekend for several weeks on end, the rides got a little boring.  Especially because I was mostly riding the same routes over and over again and the scenery was getting old.  I tried searching for group rides, but didn't have much luck last year.

I did participate in one supported ride last year and that was the Arlington 500 hosted the the Arlington Heights Bicycle Club in May. Don't worry that's only 500 furlongs not miles! It was such a treat to have a route already planned out in a different area plus a fully stocked aid station with fresh, cold water, treats and snacks.  You know what is delicious when you are riding your bike in the heat? I'm glad you asked.  Oreos.  Much better than the Gu or Quaker Chewy bars I usually eat on the bike.  Most supported bike rides also have a sag vehicle that drives the course and assists cyclists that are having problems like flat tires or other mechanical problems.

After the ride, I ate this delicious ice cream cone.

Just had to throw that in here.  
I plan on doing the Arlington 500 again and had hoped to find a few more rides to do.  That's why I am so thrilled to be selected as an ambassador for the Venus de Miles ride of Illinois.  I've actually been eyeing this race since seeing the recaps from last year's ride on Erin's and Kelly's blogs.

Venus de Miles is a 61- or 25- mile all women's road ride through Lake County, Illinois.  The ride takes place on Sunday, July, 28.  Last year was the inaugural ride to support the Greenhouse Scholars.  Greenhouse Scholars is "dedicated to helping high-performing, under-resourced students reach their full potential".  Through their efforts, seven scholars have been selected for the program in 2013.

If you aren't a competitive cyclist, don't worry.  Bike rides are not like races and have a very friendly atmosphere. There is no clock finish line and it is not a competition.  Riders are encouraged to stop at aid stations and make new friends without the pressure to ride super fast.  After the ride, riders are encouraged to stick around for the post-ride celebration.

Even if you don't have a road bike, you can still do this event on a mountain bike or any type of bike you have. If you don't have a bike, look into borrowing one from a friend or check out rental information from your local bike store. My local bike store rents out bikes for about $25 a day.

I look forward to sharing my training with you and I can't wait to meet people at the ride!

Disclaimer: I was selected to be an ambassador for Venus de Miles and am provided with a free entry into the ride. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Illinois Marathon Training Weeks 20 & 21

I alluded to my lack of motivation lately in this post.  With longer daylight hours and warmer weather just around the corner, you would think getting outside for a run would be easy.  But I have been struggling.  The wind, cold, and rain are certainly not helping things either. Here's what my weeks have looked like.

Week 20: March 25-31

  • Monday - Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown Level 2
  • Tuesday - 12 miles @ Deer Grove FP (distance questionable because my phone got tired)
  • Wednesday AM - Jackie Warner 40 min strength circuit
  • Wednesday PM - 1 hour spin class
  • Thursday - Rest
  • Friday - 10 miles
  • Saturday - 45 min walk
  • Sunday - 30 min walk
  • Weekly Total: 22 miles running + 75 min walking + 1 hour spin + 40 min yoga + 40 min strength

Highlights this week: a very muddy and slushy forest preserve run, possum spotting (can you see him?), and my first run in a short sleeves this year!

Week 21: April 1- 7
  • Monday - Rest
  • Tuesday - Rest
  • Wednesday - 2 miles + 50 min power spin class
  • Thursday - 8 miles
  • Friday - Rest
  • Saturday - 7 miles w/ 4.5 @ 8:57 (1% incline)
  • Sunday - 20 miles (4 + South Shore Half Marathon + 3)
  • Weekly Total: 37 miles running + 50 min spin
South Shore Half with Rachel, Jessica, me, RiyantiKim
Now that I look at these weeks, I realize they aren't too bad.  The lack of running from Saturday to Tuesday isn't great, but I still managed to do all three runs in the second week and two runs in week 20.  I realize training plans are built to allow some runs to be skipped, but I feel like it is late in the game  to be skipping runs.  I probably made a bad decision in doing a 7 mile tempo run on Saturday and running a 20 mile run on Sunday, but I really didn't want to have another 2 run only week.  Were my legs sore on Sunday? Yes, a little, but not enough to stop me from getting to 20.  

I'm now officially in the taper portion of my plan! My longest run this week will only be 12 miles and next week will only be 8 miles. Some people hate the taper, but honestly, I kind of like it.  Shorter runs allow me to have time to run all the errands, I've been neglecting lately.  If I get too anxious about not being able to run long I will just add in some easy cross training sessions like yoga and swimming.

I'm debating whether or not to get new shoes now.  I added up the mileage on this pair of shoes and they are already at 325+.  Granted many of those miles were done on a treadmill which doesn't wear down shoes as fast as outside terrain, but that is still plenty of miles.  After my 20 miler on Sunday, my ankles and knees were pretty sore which is normal, but they felt more sore after this 20 miler than they did on the last 20 miler.  I would definitely stick with the same kind of shoe if I got a new pair, but I think brand-new padding would help.

Is getting new shoes two weeks out from the marathon a good or bad idea?  Please weigh in!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A very special day.

Today is possibly my favorite day of all year.


I'm 25 years old.

Lemon Blueberry birthday cupcakes for my coworkers
I know some people get all sad about turning another year older, but I am always excited when my birthday rolls around. Each year seems to get better than the last!

Twenty-four was a wonderful year.  I...

  • Ran 3 half marathons including two PRs plus many other races
  • Finished a half Ironman plus an Olympic and Sprint distance triathlon 
  • Sprained my ankle only once
  • Played in my first fantasy football league and won!
  • Went on a week-long vacation with one of my favorite people and had an absolutely amazing time
  • Explored San Francisco with my mom for a quick weekend trip
  • Celebrated 2 years at my job
  • Met so many wonderful new blogger friends that I can't even list them all 
Plus so many other things that never made it onto the blog.  

I'm so excited to see what 25 brings!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April Goals

Local readers: Swiftkick is giving away free pairs of socks to people who download a coupon and bring it into participating Fleet Feet Sports and Runner's High 'n Tri stores until April 19th.  Just download your coupon for a free pair at and take your coupon to your favorite Swiftkick dealer.

I love my long compression socks so I'm excited to try a pair of these out! 

I just looked back at my blog posts from the beginning of March to see if I had a good excuse for not posting a February recap and new March goals, but all I could come up with is I was still recovering from my vacation.  Even though I was back from vacation for about 2 weeks before the end of March, I am still going with that reason.  February was a short month so there is that as well.

I had a hard enough time completing all these goals in two month's time so it's a good thing I skipped March.

Before we get to April (which btw, is my favorite month of the year-mostly because it's the month of my birthday), let's recap February goals.  

Goal 1. Spend out on vacation.  CHECK!

This goal went really well.  I was able to enjoy all our dinners and sight seeing without freaking out about the prices.  Of course it helped that Matt and I took turns picking up the bills so I never felt like I was spending gobs of money.  Finding the balance between saving and splurging will continue to be a work in progress for me.

Goal 2. Use the foam roller after every run.  CHECK!

I succeeded in this about 85% of the time.

If I didn't have my foam roller, I would try to spend some time stretching out really well, but I wasn't perfect with that either.  This was especially true if I ran in the morning before work and was running late.

I also learned that I need to continue stretching throughout the day.  Most days at work, I spend several hours sitting at my desk. My legs might feel good at the beginning of the day, but they tend to stiffen up really quickly after a few hours of sitting.  Standing and walking around throughout the day really helps with the soreness and stiffness.

Goal 3. Get back in the pool.  eh. 

I swam once in March.  That's it.  Looking at potential half marathons for this year didn't seem to motivate me either.  Swimming is such a great cross training workout because it is very low impact on the legs and helps build my endurance.  As marathon training slows down, I am hoping to increase swim training.

Goal 4. Ski one whole day in Park City without falling over. CHECK!

Woohoo!  On our very last day I did not fall down even one time, although I came close more than once.  Matt did fall down getting off the ski lift which was pretty hilarious.  Especially because I was behind him and got to watch the whole thing and it sort of looked like he was moving in slow-mo.

All this talk of skiing makes me want to plan another ski vacation right this minute.

Okay onto April goals.  I've decided to cut back my goals to only 3 from here on out.  Having fewer goals will help me focus more on accomplishing those goals.  In the last few months, I've had a hard time coming up with four to five goals each month (also might be why I've skipped months) and end up putting in a lot of "fluff" goals.  Not that these are bad, but only choosing three will allow me to lead me to pick more meaningful goals.

Okay, end side note.

Goal 1. Nail the rest of marathon training.

I've been struggling with motivation lately with training.  Something that I will talk about more in my training recap of my last two weeks.  This means getting in all the rest of my runs and also not dropping the ball on cross training.  No skipping workouts because I am feeling lazy (injury or super soreness is a valid excuse however).   Workouts will be shorter in the coming 3 weeks because I am now in the taper period so this goal is completely manageable.

Goal 2. Plan 2013 race calendar. 

I've already done 2 unplanned races in 2013 and the marathon is obviously a big goal race for the year, but I also want to do a few triathlons. I need to sit down and look at my calendar for the summer and choose a goal half Ironman and several shorter triathlons.

Goal 3. Spring cleaning.

Although I try to clean regularly, some parts of my apartment get neglected and need a little cleaning TLC every now and then.  Since spring is finally here to stay (I hope!), it's time to dust off the cobwebs.  I am already getting a head start on this by getting my carpets cleaned today! This is also a good time to go through my winter wardrobe and purge the things I don't wear anymore.

Have a great Tuesday!

Do you have any goals this month?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


First of all, please check out my guest post over at Kelly the Culinarian.  It's my guest posting debut!

I'm taking this post idea from Bethany today because it sounds fun. And because I not motivated enough to write a real post that requires actual thought beyond answering questions.  Maybe later when I don't feel so blah.

a: age - 24 years and about 359 days.  This should give you plenty of time to buy me a great birthday gift for next Wednesday.

b: bed size - queen! Because I am a queen.  Not really.  I slept in the same twin bed for 22 years before getting this bed.  When I moved into my apartment in Arlington Heights, I was dead set on getting a queen bed.  Do you know how difficult it is for two people to sleep in the same twin bed?

And yes, it is still sitting on the floor.
c: chore you dislike - dusting surfaces.  Seriously, where does all the dust come from? Also cleaning the bathroom and kitchen floors.  No matter how often I do this, they are always covered in crumbs and hair.

d: dogs - I'm still trying to convince myself it would be okay to get one.  Until then, Rudy will be my favorite.
Shaved/naked Rudy
e: essential to your day - Water. I drink a lot of water every day.  This also helps in making sure I get up from my desk to go to the bathroom several times a day.

f: favorite color - Um none? I used to like green a lot but honestly no color is my favorite.  Pink, however, is very annoying to me.

g: gold or silver - Silver.  I do have a few gold pieces I wear sometimes but on a day-to-day basis I'm wearing silver.

h: height - 5'5. The last time I was the tallest one among my peers was approximately kindergarten. I still think that's a pretty good height though.

i: interesting fact - About me? Hmmm. I have a spot in my knee that feels numb all the time. I think I have too much scar tissue built up in there from falling too many times.

j: job title - Biomedical engineer.  That's what my business card says.

k: kids - Nada. I just hold other people's babies and return them when they cry or poop.

l: live - The Village of Arlington Heights.  I'm still confused as to why everything is a "village".

m: mom’s name - Barb or Barbara.  Also the inspiration for this song

n: nicknames - Oh I've had quite a few over the years--Speedy, AJ (hated that one), Tots, W^2 (w squared, a terrible couple nickname).  But the most infamous nickname was and still is Wedge.  From an epic wedgie.  Some of my high school acquaintances still refer to me by this nickname.

o: overnight hospital stays - Since my birth, none.  I don't even like going to the doctor, so I'd prefer to keep it this way.

p: pet peeves - I actually have a draft post all about my pet peeves.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people leave their dishes in the sink.  How am I supposed to wash the dishes when they are crowding my sink?

q: quote from a movie - "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."  -Dory from Finding Nemo.  Did you hear that you they are coming out with a Dory sequel - Finding Dory.

r: righty or lefty - Lefty for things like writing, eating, and small steady hand tasks.  But in sports, definitely a righty.  I am ambidextrous!

s: sibling - One younger brother named Jared. He is very loud.

t: time you wake up - 6:45 Monday through Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays it varies.  Sometimes I get up early and other times I sleep in till 10 am.  Those days are awesome.

u: underwear - Yes, I wear them.  But not under bike shorts, never under bike shorts.

v: vegetables you don’t like - Okra.  That shit is gross.  Hairy on the outside and slimy on the inside.  I even tried to fry it and I still didn't like it.  If you don't like a fried food, that's when you know it's bad.

w: what makes you run late - Being myself.  Yes, I am habitually late.  I'm trying to improve but I still show up to things late all the time.  Also I swear it takes me five minutes to leave my apartment and get into my car.

x: xrays you’ve had - Knee, both ankles, back.  I'm clumsy.

y: yummy food you make - dessert.  Actually I like almost everything I make.  I'm no foodie but I am a sugar addict.

Turtle brownies. 
z: zoo animal favorite - Penguins.  I love the penguins.  If a zoo doesn't have penguins, well then, it's not a real zoo.

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