With a little help from my friends

Before I do anything bloggy today, I have to give a very special shout out to one Ms. Keri Duckworth, the brilliant illustrator responsible for the darling page banner you see above this post today on NotablyNeurotic.com.  Keri is the cousin of one of my college roommates and when I made the decision to take my blog to the next level, I knew Keri was exactly who I wanted to hire as a graphic designer. We’ve been working together for several weeks, fleshing out details and trying to capture the essence of me and this blog. Keri was amazing to work with and she brought all of my silly ideas to fruition in a way that seemed almost effortless to an artistic genius such as herself. I said “Squid, please!” and she said, “Yes, ma’am!”, not batting an eye at my strange request to have a tentacled creature at the forefront of my website.

And she made me look like I have hips, so she’s an artistic genius and a miracle worker.

And isn’t Joey just precious? I showed him the picture last night and while he wasn’t overly enthusiastic at the time, I’m sure the gravity of his impending fame will sink in soon and he’ll be just as delighted as I am.

More of Keri’s fabulous work can be found at www.keriduckworth.com.

Keri, I want to thank you again from the bottom of my heart. You made a narcissistic blogger’s dreams come true. :)

(FYI: I obviously spelled narcissistic wrong the first time I attempted to write it, and autocorrect asked if I meant to type “anarchistic”. Surprisingly no, autocorrect. Not today.)

So now I feel tremendous pressure to keep blogging, which is good because I need something to keep driving me towards my goals, and what better way to do that than to pay someone to make my face into a cartoon?

If I had taken matters into my own hands and did my own blog banner again, it probably would have come out looking something like this:

Anyway, I wanted to rub it in make mention of the fact that I got up early to run before work again this morning. That’s two days in a row, people, TWO. I even considered whipping up an omelet for breakfast, but then I thought, “Whoa! Steady, girl. Let’s not get too carried away here.”

This morning’s run was an easy 3-miler because I am only 9 days away from the One America 500 Festival mini marathon and I'm supposed to be tapering, but I threw a few rounds of hill repeats into the mix because I’m hard core like that. 

Saturday will be my final long run before the mini and I gotta be honest, I’m pretty jazzed. This is my favorite part of training because I no longer have to kill myself to make sure I can go as fast as my chaffed thighs will let me. Rather, the final weeks before the race I run simply to maintain my endurance. That being said, I’m embracing a pressure-free 8-mile run with open arms.

And then it’s time to carbo-load!

Did you know cake has carbs?

And beer?

Just sayin’ … 

Before I sign off and head to my first softball game of the season (I’ll recap it for you tomorrow and be sure to mention how ridiculously sore I’ll be from swinging a bat for the first time in 6 months), I wanted to propose marriage an idea for my race:

Music is clearly the glue that holds my marathon training together. Up-tempo music is my running's lifeblood, and I always take great pains to put together my race playlists with precision and careful planning. But this year I thought it would be fun to have my readers put together my race playlist for me! (Seriously, you’d save me a chore.) If the spirit moves you, I’d absolutely love it if you would leave me a comment, Facebook message or email with the name of your go-to “get pumped up!” song (80s music is ALWAYS welcome). It can be your favorite song to rock out to in the car, favorite song to sing in the shower, or even a song from your own running playlist. I plan on purchasing an iTunes gift card this weekend and will happily add your selections to my minimal list. When I formulated this idea last week, I thought it was so clever that I briefly considered running for congress.

I would so love to have my friends' and family's favorite jams on a playlist to get me through the race, so help a sister out!

Here a few of my own “must have” tracks already on my 2012 One America 500 Festival Mini mix:
  • Gwen Stefani’s “Sweet Escape” (My superstition song. It has to be first.)
  • Tao Cruz’s “Dynamite” (This song makes an appearance on my playlist twice. It’s that important.)
  • LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” (Obviously. Come on, look at me.)
  • Glee Cast’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” (Don't judge me.)
  • Jason Derulo’s “In My Head” (Ironically, I can never get this song out of my head.)
  • Beyonce’s “Who Run the World (Girls)” (Yeah, we do!)
  • Eminem’s “Til’ I Collapse” (So I don't ya know, collapse.)
But these songs are only going to cover me for what, 3-4 miles? I need your help, please!

And, I'll be sure to mention which song is playing when I cross the finish line. :)

What’s your favorite up-tempo song?


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE your new banner!!! When I have two consecutive seconds to sit down and fix my blog banner, perhaps I'll consider your designer friend to help me out!

    My playlist has a ridiculous amount of silly songs, but some of my favs are "Pump It" (Black Eyed Peas); "If We Ever Meet Again" (Katy Perry & Timbaland); "Born This Way" (Gaga. Come on - everyone's running playlist needs Gaga.); and countless others that will make pretty much anyone reading this cringe in horror....so I'll furnish them upon request. haha

    1. Ha! Okay, I am putting you down on my playlist as "Born This Way". Gotta have some GaGa!

  2. Okay because you said help a sister out, and you're my sister-in-law, I feel the need to help!

    I love currently listening to:
    - Turnin' me on by Nicki Minaj
    - Somebody that I used to know by Gotye
    - Wild Ones by Flo Rida
    - Angel by Akon

    And pardon my French for this one...
    - ^&*()& in Paris by Jay-Z and Kanye

    1. Thanks for the suggestions, Molly!

      I LOVE that Turnin' Me On song by Nicki Minaj ... I will definitely put that one on my list under your name!

      And Flo Rida. Cuz that song is just awesome.

      And I know you don't watch Glee, but oh my gosh! They did a cover of that Somebody That I Used to Know song and it gave me goosebumps!

      Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cay2dnuhcs

      I already have that Jay-Z and Kayne song, but I have a hard time listening to it while I run because it makes me want a fish sandwich ... no lie.

  3. Dancing with Myself-Billy Idol
    Come On Eileen-Dexy's Midnight Runners
    Call Your Girlfriend-Robyn
    Jumpin, Jumpin-Destiny's Child
    Get Outta My Way-Kylie Minogue
    Stronger-Kelly Clarkson
    I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY-WHITNEYYYYYYYYYYYYYY (sorry, I just really love this song)
    Wannabe-Spice Girls
    Love On Top-Beyonce (actually, really great to finish to)

    I like to mix older with some new. And some campy songs too. These are all on my gym mix.


    1. Also, My Life Would Suck Without You-Kelly Clarkson. Fun and fast.


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