Wednesday, December 30, 2009


With the advent of eHarmony and Match dot com, it seems like more and more people are getting involved in LDRs - long distance relationships. I said earlier this year that the LDR was on my shun list and I just was not going to consider it. I wanna see you when I wanna see you. If I'm having a bad day and I need a hug and a foot rub, I don't want to have to coordinate a flight or a car ride.

It seems like pickings are slim in the good ol' Queen City. I'm good friend Serenity_23 is single. We keep running into crash and burn dating scenarios. Why? We're good lookin' chicks, if I do say so myself. We have personality. We're not gold diggers. We have been known to cuss some folks out a time or two, but 9 times out of 10 it's warranted.

So now I wonder, if I restrict myself to the Charlotte area, am I cutting myself off from opportunity? Do I just need to learn how to exercise more patience? There's a guy I know from high school...he's pushing up on me. Hard. But he lives in NY. We talk all the time. What's funny is that we really didn't interact much in high school (he was a year ahead of me). He is hilarious and can actually hold a conversation without the use of "conversate" and "irregardless" (have I mentioned those are serious pet peeves of mine?) I always ask him when he's moving back to NC - he was here before when he was in the military. But I'm never serious about that because I would not put that pressure on him. His two sons are in NY and I'm sure he wants to be there for them. Having moved back to Charlotte because of a relationship (which ultimately failed), I just could not ask someone to move here for me. I wouldn't want them to resent me/the move if the relationship didn't work out...kinda how I feel about Idiot (yeah - that's his official nickname now). And I'm sorry, but I REFUSE to move back to North Siberia. I just refuse to move period, unless I'm moving for me, or a prime job opportunity, or to be closer to my family.

Well that was a rambling mess of thoughts. Maybe I just need to stay single. :lol:

P.S. - I did a spell check and it did not highlight "irregardless" as being spelled wrong. Wow. I thought most dictionaries would say that was incorrect or non-standard. I guess it's becoming standard now. But really - just stick to "regardless" or "irrespective!" :lol:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Yesterday I was reminded of a dating story I hadn't thought about in a while. I don't think I've shared it here. If I have, charge it to my early onset dementia. Thanks!

Picture it: Charleston, 2002 (I love the Golden Girls). Kappa C and I had been dating for a while now. He planned a trip for us to Charleston. We stayed at a hotel in North Charleston and had a very good weekend. Except for one little incident.

Kappa C had planned for us to visit one of the plantations in the area. It's called Drayton Hall.. I don't know if you've ever been to any of the plantations down there. Some of them look at little "Gone With The Wind-ish", but Drayton Hall is not like that. The main house still stands. They've probably refurbished it by now. One of the slave cabins has been turned into a bookstore.

We were the last tour of the day, and it ended at said store. I ended up purchasing a book called Slaves in the Family. At the end of my purchase, the tour guide was telling us about how the plantation became a share cropping farm. There was a man (whose name I've long since forgotten), who was born there during the share cropping time. He used to sit outside that very bookstore and tell stories about what it was like to live there. She told us that he had passed away a few years prior, and that he asked to be buried on the property, near where the slaves were buried in unmarked graves.

The tour did not include this area, but it was off of the main road to the house. We were told that we could go there, but that we should exercise caution. They had been told that there were wild boar in the area. At this point, Kappa C is now alert. Kappa C grew up in a small town in GA. Like, they only have one stop light, and they probably still have a black prom and a white prom (oy vey.) Growing up in this environment, he learned everything there is to know about the indigenous wildlife of the south. Apparently, wild boars aren't something to fool with.

Me: I want to go check out the graves on our way out.
KC: Well, we need to be careful...those wild boars are no joke.
Me: I think we'll be ok.

We're one of the last cars to pull up and park. Which means people are already at the graves. In my mind, if the wild boar were gonna be a factor, wouldn't we hear screaming and hollering by now? Kappa C is thinking otherwise. His eyes are darting around periodically. I'm looking at him like, it CANNOT be this serious. Really?

We start walking down the path to the graves. All of a sudden, we hear something running high speed through the woods, approaching from our right. I can tell it's up further ahead, so I just freeze. Whatever it is, I don't wanna run into it. 2 seconds later the noise is identified as two deer. They run across the path and don't even pay us a bit of attention. I turn to my left to say, "oh, it was just some deer..." but this cat is M.I.A. He's already back at the beginning of the path.

Me: What the?? Did you just leave me here??
KC: Well I thought it was the wild boar.
Me: OK...but you couldn't let me know that we were running? You bench press like 300 lbs, SURELY you coulda picked me up and carried me? Tugged on my sleeve and said 'let's go?' SOMETHING?
KC: Well I thought you were gonna follow me!
Me: How can I follow you if I DON'T KNOW THAT YOU'RE RUNNING? How you gonna leave your girlfriend to get mauled by wild boar??? Are you serious?? I cannot even believe you!

Man, I was mad at him for about 2 hours. Tense ride back to the hotel! :lol: We went out to dinner later that night and we made up, thankfully. When I told his friends that story, they were crying/laughing. But, if you know Kappa C, this is just classic Kappa C-ness.

So - would your S.O. have left you in the woods, too? :lol:

Breaking Up is Hard to Do!

Blogger - what's good? Sorry I've been MIA. I took a break from a couple of things over the last 2 weeks. After finishing the half marathon, we decided that we'd take a break from running until January 1. I had a flash back to the time off between indoor track and outdoor track in high school. It was usually only a couple of weeks, but I could always feel the difference when practice started back up. On the one hand, I was sure my body would appreciate the rest. On the other, it's always a struggle to get started with your exercise routine when you stop.

With that in mind, I decided that I would run on 12/22 and 12/24. On 12/22, K and I went for our usual run on the road by my job. She took it out at a pretty fast pace. Well, it's fast for me. For her, it's literally a jog in the park. After 2 miles I was spent! She pulled ahead and I waved for her to continue on. That last mile was pure torture. At one point, about half way up a hill, I had to stop and catch my breath. I promise you my HR was close to 200. I really need to get a heart rate monitor. Garmin 405CX, anyone?

12/24 was a crazy day and I never made it back outside to run. I packed my workout attire, though! I give myself 28 cool points for making the effort. This day my co-worker was hacking up a lung, and gave me her germs. Booo. I spent 12/25 - 12/27 recovering from the plague. Perhaps I needed the rest, though. Last night I ran 3.1 on the treadmill and it didn't feel half bad.

I know that the new year is rolling around, and many people are making resolutions. I would imagine that exercise and diet are part of those resolutions. If you start exercising, and you have to miss a day or so, don't beat yourself up. Just don't let it turn into more than a week. :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's My Thing...

As you may have noticed, the blog has been focused a lot on running lately. This was something I got into last year, but got really serious about in the last 4 months or so. Someone asked me the other day, "so what made you get started with running?"

Well, it initially started as a health decision. I know I needed to be exercising. I had some pounds/inches I wanted to lose, and I knew from past experience that nothing took it off as fast or as efficiently as running. Many times, when I don't want to get out there and practice, it is the health initiative that ultimately gets me moving.

It's also mental. I still have some unresolved issues/feelings from my last relationship. If I were really to just sit in the house and not do anything, it would be very consuming. I love my friends, because I think they have gotten me out of the house more in the last 6 months than I ever was in the year prior to that. But I still needed something more.

When I'm running, I'm challenging myself to meet new goals. I'm pushing for new PR's (PR = personal record, for those who never ran track before :lol:). I'm challenging myself - do this, beat your last time. I'm running off frustrations, aggression, sadness...all of it. It's my thing. It's how I cope. It's my free therapy.

I think the biggest thing is that I'm in control. People come and go. Jobs come and go. Relationships fizzle and end. People move in and out of your life. Unless you're doing something to push them out of your life, you don't have any control over when they leave. I can control running. I decide when and where I'm running. I control the pace and the time. If I decide to run, there's no one who can stop me and say that I can't do it. It's truly all up to ME.

I know that some folks can't wrap their minds around WHY I would want to run 13.1 miles. Or why I would go outside in the freezing cold to run, when I could be doing myriad other things. But that's ok. As long as I understand, that's all that matters. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thunder Road conquered!

So yesterday was the Thunder Road 5K, half marathon, and marathon! Friday we went down to pick up our chips, bibs and shirts. I really think the nerves started kicking in on Friday morning. It's one thing to run 12 miles as a practice run, but to actually have it be a race? I didn't even get nervous about the 15K we did in October.

Friday after work, I went bowling with 3 of my co-workers. Then hit Run For Your Life to pick up some Hammer Gel. They were telling me about a previous race in which the temperature was 18 degrees, and the water at the water stations began to freeze. Gulp. I had been checking the weather all week. I knew that the high that day was only going to be 53 degrees. So of course, it was NOT going to be 53 at the 7:50 a.m. kick off time. Earlier in the week, weather reports said that it would be rainy. The folks at RFYL advised that it would not be. Phew! I re-checked the weather and they were right.

I went to bed around 9:00pm on Friday night, after having a small pasta dinner. I set my alarm for 5:15 a.m., and got up and moving around 5:30 a.m. or so. I got up that early to try and stave off any issues with my digestive system. I had a banana for breakfast and took my time getting ready. I checked the temperature and it was a whopping 27 degrees. Thanks, Mother Nature!

Cheryl, Janelle and I met at our usual meeting place, and car pooled in Janelle's car to uptown Charlotte. Jay decided not to run, and for this, he has been on "shun status" since yesterday. He kept saying that he wasn't ready - I kept asking him how that was possible, since we completed the same training?? While I logically understood WHY he wasn't running, I was a bit sad because his pace is a little closer to mine, and I knew he would pull me along. I was going to have to do this on my own, and not get caught up in the crowd.

The crowd was truly off the chain. There were 1,460 5K finishers (589 males, 871 females), 2,992 half marathon finishers (1,451 males, 1,541 females), and 1,409 marathon finishers (975 male, 434 female). The marathon and half marathon started at 7:50, but the 5K kicked off after our race. There was a huge sea of people in and surrounding the Convention Center. Finding a bathroom to get into before the race start time was a challenge, but we managed to pull it off.

Did I mention that it was cold? I don't know about you other runners, but I always struggle with my cold weather gear. I don't want to have too much on, because if I have to strip down, I'm likely going to have to just drop it in the road. But, I don't want to freeze either. I ended up with some Nike Fit-Dri gear that I found at the outlet, and then I put the Thunder Road t-shirt over that. This combination seemed to work. During the race I didn't really feel the cold.

We tried to get as close to the start line as possible. They were allowing 3 hours to finish the half marathon, and 6 hours to finish the marathon, starting from gun time. Cheryl was concerned about making it in that time, but I knew that she would. The gun went off and this massive sea of folks started moving forward. Looking on the ground I could see that folks had already shed clothing, gloves and Gu packets. There were so many spectators cheering us on. Everyone says, "don't let the excitement of the race cause you to take your pace out too fast." I see why, now. You get excited and caught up in the moment, and suddenly you are moving along with the crowd, which might be moving faster than your pace.

Cheryl, Janelle and I stayed together for the first 1/2 mile or so. We tried to stay to the right to let the faster runners move ahead, but it really didn't even matter. People were ducking and diving and cutting in between us, trying to jockey for position. We moved down 3rd and made our way towards Charlottetown Rd, to head over to 4th. By the time we started up the hill towards Charlottetown, they were no longer with me, so I had to cut up my music and go it alone.

Once we got onto 4th and to the first water stop, I was feeling ok. I tried to pick out folks in the crowd that seemed to be going with my pace, and stick with them. I said, from the moment I signed up for this race, that I would be happy with a pace between 11 - 12 minutes, allowing for the crazy hills. When we ran the 15K I came in with a 12:45 pace. I did not want to run anywhere near that. I would check Nike+ periodically, which was accurate at the beginnig of the race. At the end, not so much. LOL! My pace is clearly not even enough for Nike+ on a long distance run. Oh well.

Around me, people kept shedding clothes. Except for the three guys dressed in the red long johns and Santa hats. I chuckled a bit as they came running by me. The long johns had the slits in the back. Thankfully they had black running tights underneath them. Lots of people had on Christmas-themed socks and other gear. One marathon runner had on a full Santa suit. I guess he was warm, if nothing else!

Around mile 5.5 I broke out my Hammer Gel. I had to take off my gloves and stuff them in between my shirt and my fuel belt. For some reason I just can't seem to open that little packet with my glove on. I finished the gel and as I was approaching the 6 mile marker, one of my gloves dropped out and I kicked it. Ah well. Not going back for that thing! I'll just have to pull my sleeves down if my hands get cold again. At that point, my body heat was flowing and I really didn't feel the cold. Right after the 10K split check, there was a guy juggling what looked like bowling pins. He chased one of the runners in front of me, trying to get her to participate in his juggling.

I made it to the 7 mile marker before I stopped to walk for 1 minute. I remember my mind wandering and thinking, OK I got 7 done, but man - I still have 6.1 to go! This is when it would have been good to have Jay there. I remember during the practice runs we chatted a bit and it kept my mind off of the challenge of the run. From this point on, it became some type of random interval run. I ran as much as I could. I wanted to not walk again until I got to the 10 mile marker, but the hill on Sharon Road got me, and I had to stop and walk again. I tried to keep my walking intervals to no more than 2 minutes. Most of them were 1 minute. I just didn't have the "umph" that day.

The cold weather wasn't helping. My left quad decided to start hurting and would not let up. I was feeling disappointed in the amount of walking I had to do. I wondered how Cheryl and Janelle were doing. In the midst of all those people, I still felt a little alone. But I pressed on. The last three miles were pure torture. Luckily, the end of the race did not have as much elevation as the practice run. Apparently, Thunder Road is famous because of all these hills. One of the guys at the expo told us about a half marathon in Tampa. He said there was only one 20 ft elevation. I think I need to go run that one. LOL!

I've never been so happy to see a finish line in all my life. I ended up with a time of 2:31:03, which is an 11:32 pace. So I hit my goal, as far as pace. I can't help but wonder what myt ime would have been, if I hadn't done as much walking. Despite the craziness of it all, I think I want to run this race again next year. I want to challenge myself to get a faster time. I know I can do it. I'll just need to focus on speed training, and longer runs during the week. I'm proud that I finished the race. I think my track coach from high school would be proud, too. I don't think he ever saw me run anything over 3.1 miles.

Oh - this morning we treated ourselves to breakfast at ye ole Cracker Barrel. This is where we normally go after our recovery runs on Sundays. We decided to skip the recovery run and just go straight to breakfast. Turns out one of the waitresses there had also run the half marathon, so we took a pic with her:

We even convinced her boss to let her wear her medal during the day. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Get to it, man!

If you follow me on Twitter, or you are a FB Friend, then you already know what I was talking about last night. If not, here it is. Last night was the finale for the latest season of The Biggest Loser. I used to watch this show a lot when it first came out. Now, not as much. This season I caught the halfway point where the remaining contestants got make overs. They had made some drastic changes, but still had a ways to go.

My brother in law was telling me about a contestant named Shay. By the time I started watching, Shay had already left the ranch. Apparently, Shay is the heaviest contestant they've ever had on TBL - male or female. Shay came to the ranch at 476 lbs. Yep. 476 lbs. Last night they showed some footage from when she first arrived. Everything was truly a struggle for her!

At the weigh in, it was revealed that Shay had lost 172 lbs! That brought her down to 304. SHe acknowledged that she had a long way to go, but that she was going to get it done. Subway, needing a new cause to champion, decided that they would invite Shay back to the spring finale (in May), and that for every pound she lost, they would pay her $1K. But you know, I could tell by her eyes, even before this was announced - she was on a mission to get it done.

On the Book of Faces last night, I posted the following status:

"Dear Facebook Family & Friends: If Shay can go from 476 lbs to 304 lbs without surgery, I dont' wanna hear NAN person on this board talking about they can't lose weight. NAN! Yes you can! You CAN do it. And you don't need to wait until Jan 1, 2010. Start right now! Make it happen, people! I have faith in you! :)"

The majority of folks agreed with me. One person said, well we should note that they have trainers and chefs (although they don't have chefs, they do get training on the right foods to eat and prepare, etc). But my thing is, that sounds like yet another excuse. Especially when we have too many "real life" examples around us, of people who got it done. Basically, in 2010, I'm not trying to hear any of this. We put effort into the things we truly want. When we want to learn about something, we spend hours researching on the net. Why can't we do the same thing for health and nutrition??

If you want to lose weight, get to it, man! You don't even have to wait unil January 1, 2010. Start now! :)

My BFF's stepmother posted that I was her she-ro. I told her she was mine, because of all of her community involvement (she just recently was elected to the school board in my home town), and that my own personal challenge was to get more involved in community service. So, she said that she would work on more exercise and eating less junk, and I could work on my service. I happily accept that challenge. I'm going to start looking into things this week.

What are you going to challenge yourself to do differently, starting today?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sometimes I Wonder...

...about random people I've had interaction with in the past. I wonder do they remember me, what affect our interaction had on them, etc. On Saturday, my group was supposed to do 7 miles in preparation for our half marathon on 12/12. It was supposed to be rainy and cold, and so the decision was made to run on Sunday. I went ahead and got 3 miles in regardless. I went out to the greenway I've mentioned before, and went in through the entrance behind my old apartment complex.

After I finished running, I drove around to where my old apartment was, and then I suddenly remembered a girl who lived upstairs from me. I lived on the first floor and she was on the third floor. I don't even remember how we started talking. I remember one day she stopped by and we talked for about 30 - 45 minutes, about nothing and everything. I think we even talked about hanging out, but it never came to fruition.

Fast forward a few months, and I kept hearing someone going up and down the stairs (the stairs were wooden...the geniuses who built the complex didn't realize how noisy that was going to be - or I guess they just didn't care). I opened the door to see who it was, and it was her. She was moving out, so she was up and down the stairs taking stuff out of her apartment. She was moving in with her mom to save money. I surely understood that. She looked like she was really in need of some help. I think all the big items had been moved, but she was still packing up that last minute miscellaneous stuff that you always get stuck with when you move: random knickknacks, paperwork, etc. I wasn't doing anything, so I offered to help. I have been in the situation where I'm moving, and people are supposed to help me, and then they just go MIA. I knew how she felt. We got the apartment vacuumed, I checked through to make sure she hadn't left anything, and helped her take the last bit of trash to the dumpster. We ended up exchanging numbers, but we never did hang out. And then shortly after she was gone, I ended up moving to Atlanta.

I cannot remember her name for the life of me. I have not thought about her in years. Driving by the old building triggered the memory. I had her info like 2 or 3 phones ago. I wonder how she's doing now. I wonder if she remembers that cloudy, dreary day. I wonder if she's ever taken the time to help someone else out, just because. She might not even remember our interaction at all. Oh well. I hope she's doing ok. I'll send some positive vibes out into the universe for her.