My Secret Birthday Gift To Myself

I’ve been secretly training and losing weight for my birthday since April.  I became unhappy with my body and sad that I wasn’t running anymore.  I felt that something was taken from me. I wanted it back, but most of all, I wanted control again.  Control of my birthday.

Since 2007, every birthday of mine, I ran 10 miles.  Some times alone, some times with my fellow runnerds, but always 10 miles. I was training for the Chicago Distance Classic, now Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago, and my birthday always landed on a 10 mile week/weekend. Being the introvert that I am, plus not being a person who really celebrate (let alone enjoys) my birthday, I decided to do my long run on my birthday.  It was my way to celebrate, so to speak.

Then 2 years ago, I got injured and stopped running.  No more running. No more birthday runs. The little special me time that I used to celebrate this day of my birthday was gone.  I missed it. But most of all, I missed having that control/introvert time of my birthday.  Where people don’t acknowledge it, but instead allow me to zone out & be me.

So at the end of April, I decided I wanted it back.  I started to run again. It was slow and painful, but I wanted to work myself up to this birthday gift to myself.  This gift of running 10 miles.  That is, until I won the lottery to the NYC Marathon.  So I added a 5K to it.  I’m fine with running a half marathon on my birthday.  A solo half marathon.  Something for me.  My gift to myself.  I’m excited and nervous cuz I’ve worked so hard and it’s only 5 days away.

I have high expectations and terrified that I would fail like I did this past Saturday on my long run. But most of all, I just wanted to coast along the lakefront.


VB4: What I Love

I love..

– Traveling, especially aboard

– Chicago

– Australia

– Texting

– Road trips

– Baseball

– Quigley

– Photography

– Teaching

– Hanging out w/ my friends

– Domo

– Driving down LSD

– Cooking

– Big Honking Medals

– Running

– Margo, John Green, Hank Green and all the Nerdfighters

– Lamp

– My cat

– Long walks on the beach

– Beer

– Friends

– Wrgley field

– Biking

– Making videos

– University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

– Chicago Cubs

– Not wearing pants

Top 10 Quotes of 2007

Here are my Top 10 Quotes of the 2007:


No. 10:

 “Illinois beats Ohio State!”

            – Pham, yelling in Chicago when Illinois defeated #1 Ohio St.


No. 9:

“This message is for freshmen and sophomore homeroom teachers.  Please check them to see if their zippers or straps are broken.”

            – Pham

“I wouldn’t want to check their zippers!  When would we do this?  During naptime?”

            – Kathy B., during a faculty meeting


No. 8:

“I love Coach Lentine!  I love Coach Lentine!  I love Coach Lentine! You **** at you guys recording.”

            – Mauro H.

“I’m free!

            – John B.

“No come back!  Ooo!  My sexy coachy.”

            – Mauro H., in Coach Lentine Tribute video


No. 7:

“Oh, I got talent!”

            – Dave G., demonstrating his teacher skillz


No. 6:

“Since you brought it up. Do girls fart?”

            – Pham

“Yes!  And they smell just as bad as boy farts!”

            – Erica M.


No. 5:

 “…I want solid poo again.”

            – John B., Spirit of St. Louis Half-Marathon


No. 4:

“Confession, I’m not wearing deodorant.”

            – Katharine J., Chicago Distance Classic


No. 3:

“If another kid calls me Hermione, I’m going to punch that kid in the face.”

            – Katie S., on Halloween dressed as a Slytherin


No. 2:

“And the last graduate of Archbishop Quigley, Daniel Zaparaniuk.”

            – MGM, AQPS 2007 Graduation


No. 1:

“I miss it.”

            – Fr. Walsh., in reference to Quigley Seminary