half marathon scheduled for the weekend we will be there. It's for women only and the course looks beautiful along the coast. Can you say serendipitous? I emailed Scott's aunt to see if there is any way I could do this since it's about 3 hours from where they live. She said "Woo Hoo!" Not really, but she did say it sounds like a plan. Looks like Maine will be state #1 on my list. Then only 49 more to go. Did you know that running IS addictive? Did you know that runners are just this side of crazy? Now you do.
Watch out Maine..Marathon Bird is on her way!
I also ordered the newer Mizuno Wave Creation 8 in my size. No longer pink, but a passable silver and yellow. My plan is to alternate my shoes between weekday and longer Saturday runs. A. hugged the sales lady who was completely caught off guard by the joy that is A. She has cats, not children. Oh well. A. only ran on the treadmill once, tried to readjust the video camera, rearrange one small display, and jumped off their bleachers twice. Not bad for 15 minutes.
In a bold move, we ventured down the shopping center to a Mediterranean restaurant for lunch. It's fun to try different types of food from time to time. I want A. to try new things too and realize that a nugget is not her only option. The presentation of the veggie sampler did not impress her 3.5 year old palate. She decided that grape leaves and baba ghanouj were ick, falafel was passable, and pita bread was the best. We tried. Oh, um...yeah, I knocked my tea over and tried to leave with my head held high with the wet marks down my shirt and of course...crotch. Good times.
Scott decided he wanted to mow the yard, "Because rain is coming." I thought to myself, "So?" The grass won. The running store closed before I could get there. Scott said, "Just go tomorrow." Now, I tried to keep my head from exploding. Really. I calmly said, "I'll have A. with me tomorrow and it will be so much harder(you know, to reassemble the running store and all)...blah, blah, whine, whine." My perfect plan was laid to rest.
I perked up once I realized I could eat Pad Thai right out of the Styrofoam ALL BY MYSELF and watch the latest treat from Netflix. Who needed new running shoes anyway?
I settled into Big Brown (our recliner...it's tasteful I promise) and started watching. And eating. I knew I had wanted to see this movie, you know, because it was on my queue and all...but I couldn't remember what it was about. Oh my, if you like documentaries, if you like feel-good-teacher-student-life-changing movies, if you like history, if you are human...please rent this movie:
Paper Clips is just amazing. You see how a simple idea can transform into something larger than you can grasp; how people in a rural Tennessee town can learn from a horrible evil in our history. It's a movie about hope, about connection to our past, to the larger world, to all humanity...and yes, about paper clips too.
5. 4th Grade Teacher - Loved the little people. State testing and pressure, not so much.
1. Coal Miner's Daughter - 3 words: Tommy Lee Jones. "Doo, yer growling like an 'ol bearrr." I freely admit that I love Loretta Lynn and could watch this movie over and over and sing along with every song.
Places I Have Lived:
1. Tex-Mex - today, tomorrow, just call me and I'll be ready
Now that we've "moved" out and returned to reassemble our home I am bitter that the whole project is NOT finished. I am tired of pottying in one bathroom, showering in another, getting dressed in another room...upstairs/downstairs...where are my shoes?
I'm so over having contractors show up whenever, often at odd times, usually unexpected.
We have been too patient. Too understanding. Oh, another delay...well, okay. No work for a week or two? All right. I think we're going to have to change our persona. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Our wheels are about to squeak as loud as they can. I'm out of metaphors, but I still want my house finished. (Sorry for sounding like a petulant toddler, but it's been a long 6 months.)
On a positive note, having to "move" out allowed us to sort through "Stuff"" that we obviously don't need or use and get rid of it. That's a good thing. I'm also rearranging things a bit too. This is also a good thing. Of course this rearranging and de-cluttering will lead to a few trips to Marshall's and Hobby Lobby to refresh the decor some. It's only fair right?
I think I was running through a wool blanket or something, the humidity just bore down on me. Ick! The group, the tunes, and my rockin' cool running skirt helped me get it done. Thanks guys.
Last August, A.'s Meemaw (Ruby) passed away. She knows that Meemaw is in Heaven and talks about that and also talks about some of her memories. We look at pictures frequently and talk about Meemaw often. A. still surprises us sometime by just blurting out, "I miss Meemaw." There's not a lot we can do about these feelings, just work through them and try to comfort her.
This week at the hotel A. made a special friend, Ms. Connie. Now, honestly, A. makes tons of "friends". We are blessed with Little Miss Social Butterfly. Ms. Connie is a PE teacher at an elementary school in Nashville, TN. and is just so sweet and friendly. We ate breakfast together a few mornings and saw her at the pool some too. She patiently talked with A. about ALL kinds of topics, showed her pictures of her family and friends on her phone, let A. sit on her lap and give her hugs, just on and on with the sweetness. A. really needed to have a connection with a Meemaw figure, even though Ms. Connie didn't know this. Of all our hotel memories I think Ms. Connie will hold a special place in A.'s mind. Thank you Ms. Connie!
We took a picture with my phone, but I have no idea how to get it onto the computer. I will investigate and try to upload it soon. A. and I also plan to send Ms. Connie some Goodie Mail.
Have you done a Random Act of Kindness this week? Were you the recipient of a RAK recently? Do you know how to upload pictures from a MotoRazr?
Our days are freakishly similar. Day after day. First, we take full advantage of the hot breakfast buffet. Yum! Whatever will I do once we go back home? Oh, yeah...cook?
All in all, hotel life has been better than I thought. As we are getting closer to moving back home, I'm starting to realize how hard it will be to say goodbye to the breakfasts, the pool, the clean towels, the little packs of Maxwell House. Sigh. I wonder if there is anything else around our house that needs to be fixed. Hmmm.
First there is my Fuel Belt. It's the cousin to the fanny pack. You must relinquish all pride once you strap it on. In true RG fashion, I wear it all the time. Next we have my training schedule and log. The RG takes copious notes. If only I had a pocket protector. I also have my Garmin Forerunner 201. This is the dinosaur of personal GPS tools, but it works for me. I keep track of my intervals, pace, distance, calories burned (my favorite), average pace, etc. You can do tons of stuff with a tool like this, but I only know the basics. I also have my iPOD. RG also frequently visits this site, and subscribes to the magazine. Running Geek Heaven. Once I'm all strapped up, plugged in, velcroed together, I am the epitome of cool. Yep.
I have also developed another type of geek. The Blogger Geek. BG has become somewhat addicted (65%) to blogging. Reading, posting, commenting, it's all fun. BG is still developing. I know a few basics, along with a smidgen of html code. But really, how do you even say html?
Running Geek gets along well with Blogging Geek, which is good, since Blogging Geek talks about Running Geek quite a bit. Running Geek also thinks about Blogging Geek while running. All this geek talk...I think I need to go to Best Buy, after a quick stop by the running store.
So, what is your inner geek like? Do tell.
First meet my friend the foam roller.
My other best buddy is called The Stick.
It's great for massaging out soreness after runs. It's small enough to carry in your running bag too. You can read more about it here. Just wanted to share a couple of tools that have helped me along the miles. Happy running & walking!
Do you ever do something nice for a total stranger? Something unexpected? Maybe a kind word or thoughtful gesture? If you did, would that person, in turn, pay the kindness forward? Maybe. Hopefully. While I consider myself a polite, usually thoughtful person, I don't often perform random acts of kindness. I'd like to challenge myself to try though. There is a quiet movement beginning to circulate throughout Blogville. It's exciting and could be life changing...for me and those I don't even know.
Two recent posts by Kristi over at Everything Is Pink have gotten me, and a slew of other bloggers, buzzing about the difference our actions can make. You can read more about the challenge and the contest--yes, that's right--a fun contest courtesy of Jenn.
I'm going to challenge myself to make a difference in this small way and see what happens. I say that Pay It Forward isn't just for Haley Joel Osment anymore--let's all try it.
Would you like to join me?
For some time now I have enjoyed reading several bloggers' SPT (Self Portrait Tuesday, or Thursday, or whenever) posts. After much hemming and hawing, I decided to play along too. So, here goes...
This week's challenge was to document where I escape to get away from it all. Right now, since we are staying in a hotel, my choices are limited. You have to roll with it right? Well, here is where one of our cats (Spooky) gets away from it all...(mainly away from A.)...
and here is where I get away from it all...running on a local greenbelt. Of course the family came with me, so this time I was only partially "away". Overall though, running is a big escape and retreat for me. It is (usually) completely MY time to listen to music, notice my surroundings, think if I feel like it, and feel my body working. It's just my feet and the pavement. And some sweat.
Another escape for me is a good book and a cup of coffee. Perfect combination, well, maybe with some dark chocolate too.
I have recently been figuring out a bit more of "techie" thingies. Just a little, but I was getting pretty proud of myself. I can tinker with my blog layout, add pics & videos, and (don't fall out of your chair) even do a smidge of html code. Yesterday, after a long round of hotel pool swimming and a short walk to Starbucks, A. was down for her nap. I thought I would watch something on our DVD player. I hooked up the cord, got my salad all ready, eager to watch an episode of Bones. Put the disk in, push some buttons...nothing, a bit of tinkering...nothing. I gave up and ate my salad sans Bones. Later I told Scott that something was wrong with the DVD player, it wouldn't work, blah, blah. He simply asked, "Did you turn it on?" Apparently there is a power button on the side. I thought it was part of the latch mechanism.
The other little story relates to Bible class. This quarter I am teaching the 2 year old class. We recently promoted, so these little ones are so "fresh". I do most of the talking and singing, asking questions to several blank, but adorable faces. Anyhoo, most of the class was practically born in Bible Class, which is wonderful. I now realize though, that I take it for granted. The last two weeks we've had a couple of sweet little visitors. I'm ashamed to admit this, but I had thoughts of, "They don't know how to sit." and "They don't know how to behave in Bible Class." etc. Meaning, I was going to have to work harder. Um, Duh Holly! I was sweatin' by the end of class, but you know what? It wasn't at all like I feared. They followed what I was doing, they did what I asked and they followed the example of the other boys and girls. I said a quick prayer for forgiveness for my attitude and guidance if these precious visitors return. I humbly realized that these little ones haven't yet had the opportunity or routine of going to Bible Class, that most of the others have, and that hurts my heart.
So, I'm off my High Horse now, and you know what? It's a good place to be.
Mingle2 - Online Dating
Hmmm...I suppose the numbers don't lie. I was worried that it would be higher. I'm pretty sure I answered honestly, but...I could just be in denial and subconsciously tried to beat the rap. It did feel like I was taking a lie detector test, well how I imagine it would be. All my criminal knowledge comes from TV. I just needed to hear the "whomp-whomp" from Law & Order to complete the experience.
What's your score? C'mon...the first step to recovery is awareness, right?
As I was
This evening Ma and Pa Kettle and a dog named Sadie loaded up from the hotel, had to stop by the house for more, ahem, stuff, then drove out to a local greenbelt. Scott and A. played and Sadie got some sniffing and panting in. I got to sweat. I was only running for like 30 minutes and I'm convinced my sweat formed multiple offspring in that short time. I think the temps were still around the 90s or at least high 80s...and it was 7:00! I was quite thankful for the occasional breezes. I'm all about the little things.
Overall, I got my first weekly training run in and I survived, just melted..
As of last night, we are hotel dwellers. I felt like we were Ma and Pa Kettle with all of our bags, hanging clothes, stuff, one high-strung Golden Retriever and two skittish kitties. I'm glad it was already dark. Sadie (our dog) is pacing a track in the carpet already, let's just say she is slow to adjust to new things. I've hardly seen the cats, they've made a home for themselves under our bed.
As we were packing I realized a few things:
- I over pack way too much--but I can't stop myself. I might need it.
- We don't have adequate luggage. We were able pack our clothes fine, but it's all the other "stuff" like toiletries, make-up, books, pool stuff, animal stuff...you get my drift...we had all these miscellaneous bags that just seemed silly. But I might need it.
- I will adjust to hotel life, but I really miss my home and my stuff.
- When my home is in disarray, I am cranky and not myself. When my home is emptied out and packed away I am cranky and not myself. This could be a long 2 weeks.
The hotel has some perks:
- fresh towels everyday
- hot breakfast buffet every morning
- they allow our crazy pets
- snacks in the evening
- a kitchenette in our room, but as long as there's a coffee pot and a fridge for my creamer, I'm a happy camper
- A. has her own room, bathroom and queen bed (how will she ever go back to her "daybed"--actually converted crib?)
- a Starbucks within walking distance
- Internet--pretty much a deal breaker!
So, um...yeah...maybe hotel life is pretty good after all. We're off to the pool...
How fun is that?!? Thanks girlfriend! This is quite the cool honor, even though I think Scott discreetly rolled his eyes when I showed him. Oh well! Now it's my turn to tag 5 other Rockin' Girl Bloggers. Hmmm...let's see...it's such a vast field...I will tag:
- Jen of Mis(s)Adventure(s). She is juggling grad school, being a wife, mama - to a 3yr.old boy and 4 mos. Mastiff puppy, AND she is training for her first marathon in October. She totally rocks!
- Jill of Creativity, Musings & Such. She writes with such honesty and humor about her life, her blog has been a must read for a while now. She recently traveled to Paris with her book club friends and generously shared her adventures--it felt like I was there too! Jill is another rockin' girl for sure!
- Chloe Elizabeth of Existential Dilemmas. She is another new bloggy friend. She is also training for her first marathon--you go girl!! You are a rockin' girl fer shure, fer shure!
- Last, but certainly NOT least, I tag Michelle over at A Happy Heart. She is a fun mom that shares her life's adventures with grace and humor. She is a bloggy friend from our neighbors to the north--Oh Canada!You ROCK!
Whew! What a rockin' list of rockin' girls! (Obviously, I like to say rockin'.) I've only been blogging for a few months now...but oh my...it's addictive. It's been fun posting about the odds and ends of my life and reading bits and pieces of other's lives. How fun to make bloggy friends all over the country and even the world...now THAT totally rocks! I appreciate people taking time to comment on my blog, silly as it may seem, they really perk up my day. After I got over my initial worry of "I can't comment, I don't know them," I started to leave comments on blogs I've enjoyed...and you know what? They comment back. How fun!!
- 27 weeks
- buckets of sweat and Gatorade
- umpteen miles pounded out
- running in all conditions(TX heat & humidity, rain, cold)
- support of group with common goal
- at least 2 pairs of shoes
- hill and speed training
- sore muscles
- cheers and tears of joy
- a huge Woo-Hoo when I cross that finish line!!
The official training season of Bay Area Fit started today. My eyes are on the prize...finishing 26.2 in January 2008. Woo and Hoo!
I have always wanted a Vera Bradley bag, how about you? Now is our chance...for free. Over at pinksandbluesgirls place there is a fun giveaway happening. Check it out, but hurry, the contest ends Monday, July 9th at 8:00pm EST. Not only do you have a chance to win a Vera, you can also win products from Sheena & The Body Shop. Check out her site to find tons of fab Body Shop lotions and potions.
Another fun contest is going on courtesy of Laurie at Tip Junkie. You have a chance to win a cool Classic T-Shirt, who can resist that? Not I. Just leave her a comment and say you heard about it from me, that way we both have a chance to win!! That totally rocks!
You can view other T-shirt styles at Executive Homemaker. I don't know about you, but T-shirts are my fashion staple...classic, casual and most importantly...comfy!
By the retreat the following year, Scott and I were preparing to make our trip to meet Nadya, the little 2 week old baby was 13 months old, and she was waiting for us. Thank goodness God thinks bigger and better than we can even imagine.
We are preparing to go on vacation. Sort of. Usually we'll plan a little trip to another city and stay in a hotel. This time we're only traveling about 5 miles away. Weird, huh?
Several months ago we had water damage (shower pan failure--Eeek!) that put our master bath and family room out of commission. Yes, we're thankful for State Farm! Things are finally to the last stages of repair, but this stage is a doozy.
We have to move completely out of the first floor so all the floors can be sanded and refinished. Hence, the "vacation" a few miles away. It's such a strange feeling though, to "move", but not really move. There are people here packing everything up and A. and I are hiding out upstairs. I'm very thankful they are doing it though, so we don't have to, but it feels strange to have all your "stuff" rummaged through and boxed up.
Here is a sample of some of the repair work to the family room:So, what will hotel life be like for 2 weeks? Either we'll be spoiled by the towel service and breakfasts or we'll be climbing the walls. Not sure. I'll keep you posted.
A. has heard us talking about packing up, "moving", and going to the hotel. Yesterday morning she came downstairs and announced she was ready to go. She had everything she needed...
...one change of clothes, one pair of pajamas, and two of her stuffed friends. All set. If only it was really that simple!
Some things just make me happy. Like immediately. Whether it's stacked up in the cabinet
My running music.
I have an iPOD shuffle clip-on. This is my best little running buddy. We are very attached, I'm not sure I could run without it. Even when I am with a group I have my music. I don't mean to appear rude or anything, but it really keeps me going. I keep the volume low-ish so I can talk to others as we pass.
I have roughly 150 songs loaded. The music varies from rock, pop, alternative, and some hip/hop. If I am running in an event I listen to the play list, if I'm just running/exercising I use shuffle. Before a race I like to add a couple of new tunes or rearrange things a bit. Hey, anything to help distract my mind from what my body is trying to do!
Here are 6 recently added songs:
Rehab by Amy Winehouse
Irreplaceable by Beyonce' *
Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne
Maneater by Nelly Furtado
Makes Me Wonder by Maroon 5
No Hay Igual by Nelly Furtado*
I do try to get the edited/cleaner version from iTunes, that doesn't make all the songs okay, but...
Here are some faves:
Fergalicious by Fergie *
Wind it Up by Gwen Stefani
Que' Onda Guero by Beck *
Country Grammar by Nelly
The Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani *
Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen
Pump It by the Black Eyed Peas *
Girl by Beck
American Woman by Lenny Kravitz*
I Just Wanna Live by Good Charlotte*
M!ssundazstood by P!nk *
Proud Mary by Tina Turner *
Baba O Riley by The Who
Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones *
Ain't That A Shame by Cheap Trick
What I Like About You by The Romantics
Sweet Home Alabama by Lynard Skynard
I Love the 80s & 90s:
Brass Monkey by The Beastie Boys
Desire by U2 *
Rag Doll by Aerosmith
Hurts So Good by John Cougar Mellencamp*
Shake It Up by The Cars
Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard
Let's Go Crazy by Prince *
My Sharona by The Knack
Just a Girl by No Doubt*
Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N Roses
I Can't Believe It's On My iPOD/Guilty Pleasures:
Get Right by Jennifer Lopez*
It Takes Two by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
Hey Ya! by OutKast
I'm Glad by Jennifer Lopez
Switch by Will Smith
Yeah! by Usher
**Artists that really get my feet running.
Somewhere along the way, no matter our intentions, the wheels come off our plan. We've tried different approaches, from baths at night to laying out clothes and ironing the night before. Those things help, but it always seems we get down to the wire and I still have to wriggle myself into my spandex, throw my dress on and make a mad dash for the door. No matter what the clock says, you can't rush (or skip, gasp!) the spandex.
Instead of driving to church in a pleasant, peaceful, count your blessings way, I am white-knuckled gripping the door handle, gritting my teeth, taking shallow breaths because of the spandex, ready to jump out as soon as Scott slows to a safe speed. This is not the right frame of mind or spirit, I know.
Since spending the night at the church building isn't ideal, the only other option is to do something even more drastic. It is a 2-step plan:
Set my alarm earlier.
Get up when it goes off. Sigh.