Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lingering Effects

So, I've been out of my boot for about a month and a half now.  I jumped on my bike immediately after the doctor gave me the go-ahead.  Four days after I was freed, I did a 10-mile ride at the Tour de Goatneck in 45 minutes.  And, at the end of August, I did the 25-mile ride at the Hotter 'N Hell 100 in about 2 hours.  Not bad.  

Cycling season is now at a close and running season has begun, so it's time to start thinking about races.  The most I've been able to run so far is 4 miles, and rather slowly.  The impact of foot to pavement is hell on my healing ankle, my calves and my shins.  My body feels like that of a new runner, and everything from the knee down hurts all the time.  I had ambitions of doing the DRC Half in November, but judging from my performance so far, I think it will be smarter to do mostly short races until the Austin Half in February.  That's my goal race for the season.

However, I do have several short races lined up:
Oktoberfest 5K - Sept
Santa Fe 5K (maybe) - Oct
Rockledge Rumble 15K - Nov
Fired Up 5K - Nov
Turkey Trot 8 Mile - Nov
White Rock Marathon Relay (5 mile anchor leg) - Dec
Houston Marathon 5K - Jan
Too Cold To Hold 15K - Jan
Will Run For Chocolate 15K - Feb
Austin Half Marathon - Feb
Hogeye Half Marathon (maybe) - April

I think I may need to find a 10K somewhere in October, but it's already a busy season.  And, hopefully this year I'll be able to run all my races instead of a few here and there in-between injuries!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I run half marathons. I'm lazy like that.

I was drafting this blog shortly after I finished my first half marathon in May, but between getting married and breaking bones, I forgot to post it. Enjoy!

White Rock Lake Centennial Half Marathon - May 2011

I DID IT! I finished my very first half marathon. I'm not gonna lie, it was hard. However, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Probably because I was properly trained, and I've done several relatively long races (15K and 20K).

I've been trying to complete my first half marathon since December. I was signed up for the Rock 'N Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon, but I tweaked my achilles after a half marathon relay in November and was unable to run in Vegas. I did, however, get my $150 shirt that comes with registering for a Rock 'N Roll race. One of these days I have to do that race. It runs you right down the Las Vegas Strip!

In January, I decided my achilles was healed and it was time to start training for a half again. I am a member of DRC, so I joined their spring training program. My very good friend TE is a pace leader for DRC, so the thought of running with her and then having breakfast at Barbec's every morning sounded good to me! I ran the Frigid 5K in January so we could accurately gauge my pace (I PR'd!). But, I was only able to run with them for about 2 weeks before my achilles starting acting up again. Dammit! I took a month off from running altogether to let it heal a little more. I started running again about mid-February because I'd signed up for the brutal Catalina Marathon 10K in March. Yeah, I know it was just a 10K but it was really hard!

Frigid 5K - January 2011

By mid-March the achilles had settled down considerably, and I was able to put in some major miles. I had to train on my own from that point forward because I'd missed out on so much during the 2 months I hadn't been training with DRC, which was ok. I like running alone. It clears the mind, and I don't have to keep pace with anyone or chat. I like running with people too, but when the miles start getting longer it's easier for me to focus if I'm alone.

DG signed up for the Hogeye Marathon in April, so I got a team together for the marathon relay. I needed the miles for my training anyway. TE and I and two old college pals from Fayetteville teamed up. TE and I were the 3rd and 4th legs, which sounded like a good idea at the time. I chose the anchor leg because it had the most mileage (~8 miles). However, I didn't begin my leg until about noon. Dude, it was hot. It was hot and windy and hilly and it sucked. It really did. About mile 5 I came to a water stop and one of the ladies handing out snacks and whatnot said to me, "Honey, I've got peanut butter crackers, gummi bears or a cold PBR. What would you like?" The ice cold beer, duh! It was delicious and just what I needed. Although, something can be said for PB crackers and gummi bears. I love them all! Only 3 miles to go, no problem. Well, until I saw the last 1/4 mile or so that was a near-vertical ascent to the finish. Oh wait, it's not the finish yet, you have to run around the town square first. I have photos of me running up this hill and they aren't pretty. I look homicidal, so I won't post them here. But, here's a very nice photo of TE and I with our medals! I look much happier!

Hogeye Marathon Relay - April 2011

With the Hogeye behind me, it was time to focus on the half...The White Rock Lake Centennial Half Marathon. I rocked its face off! Well, I finished it and I wasn't last. That, my friends, is how I measure success when it comes to running.

A little past the first mile, I saw Plain Jane Dough and her Blueberry cheering and heaving a sign that read "On-On MJ!" Yay! Thanks, guys! In hindsight, Plain Jane and I have thought of an even better, more fitting sign for my next race. Anyway, I spotted DG and my cheering entourage of beer and GU at mile 4, and I was still feeling good. Bumper passed me a beer and I hung around for about 30 seconds. I had to hand DG my MP3 player because it shorted out from my sweat. Oops. Oh well...onward! I kept well-hydrated and GU'd up every few miles. Everything felt good until mile 11. Then, the dreaded wall. UGH. The temperature was rising and I was nearing the 2:30 mark. I had a goal of finishing in 3 hours and I'd really have to pick it up if I was going to make it.

I spotted the cheering entourage about mile 12.5 and apparently I was in no mood to chat. I vaguely remember saying anything, and I don't really remember if I grabbed a beer or not. I'm sure I did. But, I was in the zone, and I knew I couldn't stop. If I would've stopped, I might not have gotten started again.

I crossed the finish line at 3:13:21. Not a terrible time for a first-time half marathoner that only started running seriously in the last year or so. I believe a major factor of me not being able to meet my goal time was the temperature. It was hot. We took some pics at the finish and headed up the hill to pizza and beer.

DG and I at the finish

DG had the greatest t-shirt made for me as a gift for finishing my first half. It says "I run half marathons. I'm lazy like that." He really is my biggest fan.

UPDATE: Since I have a broken ankle, I probably won't be running any races until late in the Fall season. I'm signed up for a couple trail runs in October and November, but I may be walking those! We'll see. However, I got a new bike and have only put 30 miles on it, so that will be my primary training as soon as I get out of this boot...3 more weeks! I really, really can't wait.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Patience is not one of my virtues. Also, I am a very poor patient. These character flaws have really pounded me into the ground lately. As you all are probably aware, I broke my ankle three days before my wedding in Vegas (see previous post). Unaffectionately named Kankle the Ankle because of the size it swelled to during the first week of injury (when we thought it was just sprain...walk it off!). Luckily, the tendon is intact (I have no idea how), and the bone that snapped is small and should heal quickly. Of course, 'quickly' is relative in my case. Quickly, to me, means a week-to-10 days, max. Even that length of time is pushing it. No, it means weeks or months. Months. Mind you, I've never broken a bone in my 31 years until now. I hate it. HATE. IT.

I hate many things about it, but most of all I hate: the looks of pity as a crutch down the hall to the bathroom at work, the looks of pity as I get on the elevator, the looks of pity as I hobble through the parking lot, the looks of pity as I get out of the car and hop around until I can get my crutches situated, the looks of pity while I'm standing on the sidewalk waiting for my husband to bring the car around (which I appreciate, of course), the looks of pity when I'm trying to find a place to put my crutches in a restaurant so they're not in the way of other patrons. I swear to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I will never look at a disabled or handicapped person ever again with pity in my eyes. They're doing the best they can, and the last thing they need is for me to feel sorry for them. They don't want my pity, but I will gladly open the door for them.

I've also noticed how completely dismissive the general public is to the disabled/handicapped. I've witnessed this for myself. People are assholes. I'm not permanently disabled and for that I'm truly thankful, but I'm getting a very small taste of what they go through daily. The smallest tasks are a huge effort.

We went to the movies on Sunday after brunch (in West Village, so the douchebaggery was already high), and the number of times I had to ask people to move aside so I could get around them to get into the theater or to the bathroom was astounding. These people are just standing around, chatting. That's fine and all, but get the hell out of the way when you see someone with crutches coming your way. Yes, I made eye contact with them, they saw me coming and just stood there. Chatting. My favorite part of this little outing was when we were all situated in the theater (I'm at the end of the row because I shouldn't really be climbing over people.), the previews were running and I'm finally able to relax...almost. I hear, "Excuse me, can we squeeze in here?" I looked up and see three people standing there staring at me like The Stepford Wives. Smiling, but emotionless. I was astonished by their bravado. Seriously? Can't you see my crutches that are blocking the entrance to this aisle? Can't you see my giant boot? Can't you see the fire in my eyes?! Sigh. I got up, ever so slowly, picked up my crutches and moved around so they could sit in the three empty seats in our row. Then, the topper was when she said, "Wow, it must be hard to get around, huh?" I wanted to shank her in the throat with my crutch. I guess they missed the three rows in front of us that were completely empty. These are the kind of people that put their daughters in beauty pageants and would secretly give them Botox at age 9.

Another thing I hate about is my inability to exercise. I'm not a naturally thin person and I need to work out to keep myself relatively fit. I like mexican food and beer and french onion dip. Man, if there were a heaven, I'm pretty sure they'd serve french onion dip with every meal, which would be mexican food. Anyway, I run/bike at least 3 times per week, more if I'm in training. I haven't done any sort of exercise in nearly a month. It's miserable. My body is revolting, and it demands I do something. Yeah, well, shut up, body. I can't help you right now and Kankle says he can't, he's too sick. Wuss. Why don't you grow a pair and man up, Kankle?! Heal faster, you weak little bastard!

However, through all my bitching, moaning, whining and tears my husband has been such a trooper. I hope I haven't abused him too much. Like I said, I'm not a good patient and I don't like people doing things for me. I can do it by myself! But, when I can't carry my own glass of water to bed because I only have two hands and they're both busy holding me stable to my crutches, it's nice to have someone around willing and able to give you a hand. Hell, he's legally required to now. Sucker!

I go back to the ortho in a week. For the love of sanity and a long marriage, I hope to least get rid of these crutches. Of course, I want to be fully-healed, but I'll take being able to get my own glass of water.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Our Fabulous Las Vegas Wedding

Instead of "I do" he said "Absolutely." And, we said it at the Paris Hotel in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada! 58 of our closest friends and family came to see us exchange vows, while getting into some trouble, having many drinks, and seeing me break my ankle while gracelessly falling from the mechanical bull. I didn't know it was broken until I got home and decided to go to the doctor for an x-ray. Oops. Whatever, I rocked that bull...sort of. Here are few highlights of an unforgettable week. Thank you to all that came out to see us!

It's martini time!

Getting ready to go to the Sin City H3 White Dress Run!

Before the White Dress Run and right before the bull broke my ankle. Yes, I didn't break my ankle the bull did!

I looked good until I fell off. Luckily, no one has any pics of me falling...I hope.

You'll notice that I'm not in this photo. I'm back at the bar with ice on my ankle. Thanks to Karen, Chihuahua and Holly, I was well-entertained!

Karen and I entertained ourselves one day by shooting very awesome machine guns at zombie targets. We were giddy for a while!

Some of my downtown entourage. I wanted to hang with everyone, but couldn't keep up because of the increasing size of my ankle. Thanks, hover-round!

My hover-round train attendants. I'm still the bride even if I am broken!

There's a satin train attached to a hover-round, how could you NOT surf on it through a gift shop?!

One of my oldest, dearest friends.

My lovely matron and maid of honor.

Here I come! I hope you're ready!


As the officiant looks on disapprovingly, he couldn't help but grab my ass.

Mr. and Mrs.

We love making people gag. It's so easy!


Taking this pic was like herding cats! Most of our 58 guests.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

It's Things Like This, T-Mobile

I have been a loyal customer of T-Mobile's since 2008 when I moved to Texas from Arkansas. I know, long time right? I was referred to them through a friend who said their customer service was awesome and having dealt with Sprint for 10 years, good customer service was a refreshing change. I think their service is pretty good. I have issues with my phone occasionally, but it's good for the most part. It's good enough for me to stay with them.

However, I received a text message from T-Mobile today that said, "Texas Recovery Fee now included on monthly bill. Please visit www.tmobile.com/legal for details." I thought it was for some charity or something, but I couldn't think of a natural disaster in recent days/weeks. So, I went to the website and found a disturbing declaration:

"Starting in February 2011, Texas customers will see a new fee on their bill. Texas law imposes a franchise tax on each company conducting business in Texas, including T-Mobile. We will add a monthly charge labeled "TX Recovery Fee" on your bill to recover the cost of complying with this tax on T-Mobile. This fee is not a government mandated charge..."

What the what?! Are you friggin kidding me?! Now I have to pay your taxes? I already pay about five different taxes, including a state sales tax, for my cell phone service. Why do I have to pay yours too? I'm a corporate paralegal, I know about franchise tax and this stinks like a hog house in July!

Franchise tax is the cost of doing business, like buying pencils or post-its, or having a flushing toilet, or having that lawyer on retainer for those pesky sexual harassment issues. I'm pretty sure the pizza joint down the street isn't charging me extra for my slice because he has to pay franchise tax! (He's not, I checked.)

In some states it's a flat rate, in others it's based on the number of shares a company issues or the worth of its assets held in that state. In Texas, the lowest of these three calculations is used (or you can choose the auto-calc): total revenue minus cost of goods sold; total revenue minus compensation; or total revenue times 70%.

Not cool, T-Mobile. I know times are tough, but I'm a middle-class consumer and everyone craps on us. Unless other cell phone companies are doing the same crappy thing you are, out of principal I may just be shopping around.

Who's with me?! Solidarity!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Ever since the half marathon relay in San Antonio last November, I've been nursing an injured achilles. I pretty much stayed off of it until the beginning of January in the hopes that I could start the spring training season healthy. Yeah, not so much...

An achilles injury is one that takes weeks or months to heal properly, and even then it's not always 100%. I did heat/cold therapy, wrapped it and stayed off of it for what seemed like a very long time. I'm not the best patient, and I'm even less inclined to take care of an injury unless it hurts. If it doesn't hurt, it's fine! Right? Uh...right?

In January, I joined the DRC spring training program to help get my pace up and to run with people that were at my same fitness level. I was doing really well and even shaved 5:36 from my PR on the DRC Frigid 5K! The time received on this race was used to place you in the proper pace groups for the training program. I was so excited about the new training season! The first few training runs went great, and my pace leader even asked me if I wanted to move up to a faster group. I declined because I'd just come off the achilles injury and wanted to take it easy. Then, it happened. On a 5-mile training run I had to stop and walk the last 1.5 miles. The pulling and nagging pain of my right achilles had started again. Damn it! I was so disappointed. I tried telling myself that it was just a minor ache because my achilles has weakened from the injury and not running for almost 2 months.

I've mostly been off it for about a month. The last two weeks I've been off of it completely and only doing cardio on the elliptical...so boring. This past Saturday was my first attempt to see how it was doing. I ran very little, but walked about 5.5 miles. More than anything my calves and shins are stiff because of how little I've been running these past few months. I could tell the achilles was a little sore. Of course, some of the discomfort could've come from standing on a concrete floor the night before at the House of Blues while The Reverend Horton Heat entertained me. My feet were killing me by the time we got home, and I had on comfy shoes!

I've missed so many races because of this injury, that I'm reluctant to sign up for anything. Besides the disappointment, they're expensive! I want to run the Hogeye Half Marathon in April, but it's still a giant maybe. However, I've already registered for the White Rock Lake Centennial Half in May. Here's to hoping.

I just want to finish ONE half marathon. Is that too much to ask? I think not!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A pinch of emo, with a dash of forever

I've been trying to think of a way to write this blog without it sounding to emo, but I'm failing. So, I'll just come out with it...


There, it's out! Well, we announced it a couple of weeks ago, but I must blog it for posterity.

The event was more of a concurrence than a proposal. Which, if you know us at all, you know that this is extremely normal. Decisions are made together, even marriage proposals. We were at home having a couple of drinks and a "state of the union" chat. We knew eventually that we wanted to get married, but had no plans as of yet. The conversation progressed onto the subject of marriage and we decided the next step was upon us.

Of course, I got all giddy with girlish excitement that I could barely contain. I know my enthusiasm was contagious because Dave started to get into it too. We told my parents and family and a few close friends, but we were waiting to make the mass announcement (i.e., Facebook) until after we told his parents, which wouldn't be until after Thanksgiving. The following weekend we went shopping for a ring and after only 3 stores and about 45 minutes at the mall, I found the perfect one. A lovely 5-stone ruby band. Pretty, huh? He did good.

The day after our engagement, we went to the Wednesday night hash (DUHHH). During circle I was chatting with Tisha about who knows what when I heard Dave declare an accusation. I paid attention with interest while still listening to Tisha until I heard him say, "Of all you crazy hashers out here, there's only one among you crazy enough to marry me!" I couldn't believe what I'd just heard, and I was so shocked that I immediately turned beet red. I could feel my ears burning, and I don't know if it was from my giant grin or the embarrassment that I felt by being the center of attention. Sometimes, he completely surprises me.

Since then we've been thoroughly enjoying being a newly-engaged couple. It's fun. This change we're experiencing is a truly unique, precious feeling. I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. I'm a lucky girl that found her perfect match, and I couldn't be more thankful for that first rainy night nearly two years ago.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Palo Duro Trail Run 20K

I did it.

I conquered my goal of running the Palo Duro Trail Run 20K last weekend. And, let me tell you, it was much harder than I anticipated. The fact that my allergies were in full swing, and I didn’t have full lung capacity because of it, made it much more difficult. I don’t usually wheeze and lose my breath by just walking. Thanks ragweed, you’re an a-hole. Anyway, I knew it would be a challenge, but I wasn’t truly prepared for the ups and downs of the trail. I think after this experience I can say that I’m mostly a road runner. I saw glimpses of the road during the race and longed for just a little pavement. I got some…like 20 feet. A few points on the course spit us out onto the road for just a taste of asphalt, then ushered us back onto the trail. Thanks for the tease.

We started out at 7:30, just as the sun was about to peak over the canyon. Pretty, huh? The first 3 miles or so were pretty easy. I was thinking to myself how silly I was for being nervous about this race. But hey, I’m nervous before any race. But, I can do this! It’s like a road race but with dirt and trees. Cake.

By the time we (my running partner Tisha and I) got to about mile 4, I had taken back what I said about this being easy. What the crap?! It was a long climb up the canyon wall and then back down again…over and over and over. As you can guess, this continued for many miles. Sometimes the ups and downs were short and sweet; sometimes they were long and bitchy. There were 4 water/aid stations along the course and they stocked the absolute best snacks I’ve ever seen on a race. Road race organizers, take note! In addition to the usual Gatorade and water, there was Coke (yes, Coke), PB&J sandwich squares, sliced bananas, date bars, M&M’s, potato chips, and more. It was the best water stop EVAR. And the volunteers were so friendly and encouraging. You could tell they really cared about this event. I think trail runners are in a completely different mind-set than road runners, and they’re so much friendlier too. I’m sure it has something to do with competition. Its just a different culture. At the aid station about mile 9, there was a very friendly mama deer that let us feed her bananas. It was very cool.

Speaking of mile 9…the Staircase of Death. I could see myself plummeting to my own death. Or, at least a broken ankle. Our legs were already a bit shaky. That, coupled with a stair-stepping, nearly vertical decent down to a clearing where a photographer was waiting was unnerving. The placement of the photo op is highly questionable. Everyone either looked scared or relieved to have reached the bottom without death or injury. Not my best angle! You have to step nicely, one careful foot at a time, whilst holding onto tree branches for dear life. I slipped a couple times and Tisha’s yelling at me not to fall because she didn’t have any bandaids. Duly noted. One runner bounded past us and ran down the Staircase of Death. He reached the bottom without incident. Boing! Boing! Boing! Crazy bastard.

By about mile 11, I was pretty exhausted and ready to wrap this thing up. We were working on over 3 hours on trail and I was hoping to cross the finish line under 4 hours. By this point, I was relieved and pleased with myself that I’d only chosen to do the 20K “fun run,” instead of the 50K or the 50 Mile. I couldn’t even imagine. The 50K consisted of a 6-mile trail and 2 loops of the 20K trail. The 50 Mile consisted of 4 loops of the 20K trail. Screw that. I’m in awe of anyone that can do those kind of miles, but I’m ill-equipped and simply don’t have the ambition. Plus, I’m not crazy.

A good portion of the second half of the trail consisted of walking. I was coughing so much I’d worn myself out. I mustered some energy because I was not walking through the finish line! We rounded the corner and there we saw all our friends that had finished before us cheering and waving. I love that part. It really gets me going. We were still about 200 yards or so from the finish and I had to walk for a minute to catch my breath. I was wheezing pretty hard and the chest congestion was really affecting me. After I caught my breath for a few seconds, I was able to run the rest of the way in.

Finished...finally! My Garmin said we came in at 3:57:24. I’m ok with that time because so many factors weren’t in my favor of getting a good time. Namely, it was a trail run and not a road run, and I was sick. Less than 4 hours was my goal and I made it…just barely! Where are the cheeseburgers and beer??

Afterward I was utterly exhausted and my dependable Zyrtec-D was barely keeping me sane. The canyon is a truly gorgeous place, but the pollen attacked me fiercely. I think if the temperature would’ve been about 10-20 degrees cooler, it would’ve been easier on me. Once it gets cool, most of my fall allergies diminish. I think I would like to do this trail again next year, but it will have to be cooler to help quell some of the airborne pollen. While I had a great time and tried to put on my happy face most of the weekend, I was miserable a lot of the time and NyQuil became my evening booze of choice. I hate nature so hard in the fall.

Thanks to my awesome boyfriend for coaching and encouraging me throughout this process. You rock my face off. And, thanks to my running partner, Tisha, who kept me going with conversation, jokes and laughs during the race. I couldn’t have done it without you both.

I now have a new goal and since I’m already trained up for a half marathon, I’m registering for the Las Vegas Half in December.

What’s next? Who knows.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Merriam-Webster defines being addicted to something is “to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively.” That definition pretty much sums up how I feel about my current running experiment. Addicted. My body is addicted anyway. Most of the time it takes about a mile into my run to actually start enjoying myself, but after my muscles warm up it’s a nice little ride I like to take with myself. I can’t really run with music as it kind of kills my focus. I like to listen to the sound of my shoes hitting the pavement, the sound of my breathing, and just be. It’s kind of a zen thing. I know, I sound like a dirty hippie.

I do, however, have weeks when the thought of running even 3 miles seems like a ridiculous thing to ask of myself. Sometimes I just don’t have the inclination to get up and do it, and sometimes I just simply don’t have time. I mean, we are ­busy. And, I don’t mean busy as in, “I’m so sorry I forgot to call you back, I’ve just been so busy lately.” I mean the kind of busy wherein you have to pencil-in time on the calendar to do the laundry and remember take in extra fiber to keep the BM’s moving along at a decent clip because you don’t have time to sit on the crapper for 30 minutes a day. Those aren’t complaints, per se. I like having many activities and outings and whatnot. I’m just stating facts. We actually do make a consorted effort to clean up our calendar from time-to-time, but we fail. What can I say, we’re go-getters.

But, I digress. (Purposefully, Jane. I’m much too busy to delete that whole paragraph.)

So, anyway… Last Saturday I ran my longest training run to-date, 10 miles. Whew! To my surprise, I did not feel that badly afterwards. I took some GU with me and sucked it down about mile 5.5. I think that really helped. It wasn’t until about mile 9 that I started to get really fatigued. I was doing a loop around White Rock Lake (~9.2 miles) so I had to go a little further to get in my full 10 miles, and I was worried that once I saw the car I would just stop. But, I didn’t. Yay me! I just kept going and finished my 10.1 miles in ~2:20. I don’t seem to be getting much faster, but I can go further so that’s something.

I did eat a giant Angry Dog cheeseburger afterwards (mmmmmmm), which in hindsight was a poor decision. My body wasn’t pleased with my choice of victory food after such a beat down. Whatever, shut up body, it was a damn tasty burger. What’s even sadder is that I ordered a Sierra Nevada (bigger mmmmmmm) to go with my giant cheeseburger and I couldn’t even drink it. My body was rejecting cheeseburgers and beer. What the what?? The saving grace is that Dave got to have an extra beer. A win for him. You’re welcome, dear.

10 miles. It sounds like a lot. Hell, it is a lot. But, this side of six months ago I thought 5 miles was a lot. Eight months ago I thought 3 miles was a lot. What you think you can accomplish is relative to your determination. A year ago I didn’t even want to run that much. It’s a big deal. After I finished this 10-mile run, I started thinking of all the races I could most likely run this season. I’m betting I could kick some ass. This is my schedule so far, along with a few next year I’m tossing around as definite maybes. There are more on the calendar, but I don’t want to get overly ambitious.

Palo Duro Trail Run 20K – Next weekend!
San Antonio Half Marathon Relay – November 2010 (First leg, 7.7 miles)
Turkey Trot 8 Mile – Thanksgiving 2010
Las Vegas Half – December 2010
Austin Half – February 2011
Hogeye Half – April 2011

By the way, the Tour de Fleurs 10K went very well. I ran with Serenity most of the way and finished at 1:30. Not bad. I don’t look like it, but I am having fun!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Too Hot To Handle

It started in the spring. I decided I wanted to run the Palo Duro Trail Run 20K. So, Dave came up with a reasonable training schedule for my endurance and ability. It started gradually, increasing 2 miles every other week. At the end of May, when the serious training started, I was to run 4 miles on my long run and 6 miles total for the week. These totals increased every other week, until October, wherein I would be up to 13 miles for long runs and 24 miles for the week, at most. I looked at the schedule he set up for me and as I scrolled down and realized at the end of this experiment, I should be able to run 13 miles. Whoa.

About a month ago, I was told about an out-and-back race down the east side of White Rock Lake called Too Hot To Handle. It’s actually two races, a 5K (3.1 miles) and 15K (9.3 miles). Apparently, it is also known for its awesome swag! Dave is currently training for a marathon, so it would be a good long run for him anyway. I was just planning on doing the 5K. I wasn’t up to 9 miles yet, so I thought no way could I do the 15K. Dave encouraged me to sign up for the 15K, and if I got tired at mile 7, I could walk the rest of the way. He was right. I was way past a 5K in my training. After weeks of steadily increasing my mileage, I was up to 7 miles on my long runs. I’m not fast by any means, but I can finish in one piece.

I’ll admit it, the week of the race I was nervous. I don’t know why! I don’t usually get nervous unless I’m the center of attention, which I hate unless I instigate the attention. I guess it’s because this was something I’d never tried and I wanted to succeed. Luckily, we had a full week of activities (per usual) to help keep it off my mind….from taco nights, to DUHHHs, from happy hours, to my first anniversary hash trail on Saturday at Lake Lewisville.

On to race day… I woke up around 4:30 a.m. and tossed and turned until the alarm clocked finally went off at 6:00 a.m. I was up and ready to go. Not exactly a normal occurrence for me. With all my gear laid out the day before, it was an easy morning and out the door we went with our power bars and Gatorade in hand. Thankfully, we arrived with fairly easy parking close to the start/finish. We had some time to kill before the race, so we just chilled in the grass until a few minutes before the start. Dave meandered to the front and I stayed near the middle. At 7:30, the race’s start time, a 5-minute delay was announced…no wait, a 10-minute delay…no, just a few more minutes, folks. Sigh. I finally crossed the starting line a little before 8:00 a.m. I was already sweating.

I took mile 1 and 2 at my normal pace. People were passing me right and left, and I tried to keep my mind away from trying to outrun them. The chafing started about mile 2. Ouch. I spotted Denise about mile 2 with water and beer at the ready. Thanks girl! Catch you on the flip side! About mile 4, right before the turnaround, I was getting really fatigued. I saw one of the event photographers put his camera away. I thought to myself, “Am I really that far back?!” I took a look behind me and I could see a small string of people. This is when I realized this was a runner’s race. This was no fun run. Please, please, please don’t let me be last.

At mile 5 and 6 I found some energy and kicked it up a little. The heat was intense and only about 20% of the course was in the shade. Brutal. Right before the big hill, a biker watching the race asked me if I would like a bottle of cold water. Yes, please! Thank you, biker man. That water was awesome.

I came upon Dave and Denise at the same spot I’d see her before, between mile 7 and 8 now. I knew he’d be finished by now and be there having a beer or two with her while they waited for me. Denise offered me a beer, but all I could think about was not stopping. If I stopped, I may not get started again. Dave refilled my water bottle, gave me a kiss, a few pointers, and pat on the butt and sent me on my way. They yelled words of encouragement which I greatly needed at that point. I’d hit the wall. Hard. I was nearly homicidal and hated everything. I kept asking myself why I'd ever agreed to do anything so incredibly dumb! I didn’t even know if I could walk to the finish. It was painful.

Mile 8 was a full-on walk… I spotted the mile 9 marker a little ways down, and felt a sense of relief, albeit ever so slightly. I was not there yet. The last 0.3 mile was around a corner, so I couldn’t see the finish line until I rounded the corner. As soon as I did, I broke into a quick jog. I was determined to have a strong finish. I mustered energy I didn’t know I had. As the finish line grew closer, I heard Marc and Serenity yelling, “Go Melissa! Yay! Go! Go! Go!” That’s when I broke into a dead sprint and didn’t stop until I crossed the finish line. Hearing my name being cheered by familiar voices gave me the boost my mind and body needed to have a strong finish. Thanks guys!

It was a glorious feeling having run so far for the first time in my life. My body hurt everywhere, but I was so happy. I stood and talked to Marc and Serenity, and compared notes of the race and how brutal the heat was. We headed over to the beer tent where I was sure we’d have to stand in line for one tiny beer. Luckily, and to my very pleasant surprise, there was no line at the beer table and were served immediately! Yay! It was good beer too, microbrew by Gordon Biersch…mmmmmm. Next to the beer table was Jane and David working hard and handing out water. Thanks for volunteering! That water was great! Dave showed up a few minutes later and we had a few more beers. We all took off to meet friends for brunch at Snookies afterwards.

My official time was 2:28:09. I was hoping for a better time, but it gives something for me to compete against. And, I didn’t come in last! Win! Dave did very well and came in near the front of the pack a full hour ahead of me! Good job, babe!

I couldn’t have done it without the encouragement and support of my friends and family. You are the best.

Next up…Tour des Fleurs 20K on September 18. Stay tuned!

After the race. Hey, why is my beer bigger than yours?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Bum and Me: A Dialogue

Bum on Train Platform (as I'm putting tokens in the ticket machine): Hey, lady, if I give you my [expired] ticket, will you give me your change?

Me: Uh...sorry, I've already put in my money.

Bum: Well, take your money out! I have a good [expired] ticket here that you can have. I gotta get something to eat (…as he takes a long draw off his cigarette).

Me: Already got my ticket, but thanks anyway.

Bum: Pbbbbhhhtttt….UGLY! (stomps off)

...I love this city.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Incredibly Random Memorexing: Part Duex

That's right, folks! I've gathered random memories for your viewing pleasure for another installment of Incredibly Random Memorexing! Enjoy. Clearly, I did.

Me and the big sister. I heart her.

Hogs v. Aggies

He'll tell you I was too excited about how well we were playing. Don't listen to him. I had the appropriate amount of cheer for my team and respect for his. Oddly, he disagrees.

I will rock your face off with my awesome! (David, pay attention to my awesome...)


30th birthday...I was alternating between vodka and vodka. I like to have options.

Yes, that is a High Life I'm drinking. It's the champagne of beers. That's how classy I am.

I make hoola-hoopin look like cake. Seriously, I do. I'm that good.

Move it, ladies! I'm the only single girl at this party!

I win.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

She's Going the Distance

A few weeks ago, I signed up for the Palo Duro Trail Run in October, a 20K (~12.5 miles) of what I hear is some of the most beautiful scenery around. It's held at Palo Duro Canyon State Park, near Amarillo. It’s the Grand Canyon of Texas. Pretty, huh? I’ve never really been much of a runner. I know, shocking with my 26-inch legs and all. I was mostly a gym rat (mouse?) that has always had a like affair with the elliptical and yoga classes.

Sidenote: I miss yoga. I need to find another studio.

So, this will be my first attempt at running any sort of distance. After my last two training runs, I think “running” may be a loose term, for now. I have yet to build up the endurance in my legs to carry me more than a few miles. My boyfriend, who is also in training mode, has set me up with a good training schedule with a steady increase to my goal.

I think two factors will encroach upon me achieving my goal. Number one: we have a very full schedule. We’re rarely home, and when we are we don’t stay there very long. We’re get-up-and-go kind of people. I’m a busy body…I can’t sit still for long. Just ask my boyfriend. Number two: it’s hot and I like my sleep. This weekend, the high is at 100+ degrees and it's barely June. It's not even officially summer yet! Because of the heat, he gets up some mornings and runs at 5am. I cannot do this. I’m ill-equipped. A while back, I did try going to the gym in the mornings before work, but I was wiped out for the rest of the day. I wish I could though. It would make my life more manageable to get my workout out of the way in the morning. But, alas, not so much. On the plus side, 4 miles on my bike counts as 1 mile of running. I have a camelbak for the bike, so longer rides this summer are possible and probable.

Luckily, there is a dreadmill at the gym in our building. If it’s too hot for any outdoor activity, I’ll get at least some of my miles done up there. Hell, maybe there will be a good movie on TNT that will entertain me for a while. It could happen.

About 20 weeks to go. Wish me luck.

Palo Duro Canyon

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Survived Boobquake 2010!

Much to the chagrin of the Iranians, the world did not collapse into itself yesterday when likely thousands (and perhaps millions, I have no idea) of women ascended their cleavage onto unsuspecting young men.

If you haven't heard how this all got started, you can read all about it here. It started as a boob joke by a blogger, Jen McCreight, a student at Purdue, making fun of this:

"Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes," Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran's acting Friday prayer leader.

According to the results of Boobquake, our provocative experiment yielded no more earthquakes around the world than normal. See official results here.

We participated in Boobquake at Lee Harvey's during Dollar Taco Day (one of my favorite days of the week). As you can see, Tisha and I did our part to ensure that all young men around the world were duly corrupted by our breasts. In turn, the young men were much appreciative.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Census Bureau is out to get you!

Glen Beck irritates the ever-loving shit out of me, and for good reason…he incites fear and paranoia into every word that comes out of his mouth. Even his chubby cheeks irritate me. This clip only further solidifies my “Are you friggin’ kidding me?” opinion of ‘ol GB. This clip is an interview of our favorite wingnut-fundie-but-not-as-hot-as-Sarah-Palin Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) about why she’s not filling out this year’s census. You go, Michelle! You show that Census Bureau, and therefore the White House, who’s boss! You’re such a rebel! I have goosebumps.

What right does the government have to know how many people live in your house?! Oh wait, why is that a secret? Hmmm. But, how dare they ask for your phone number! Well, uhm, I think it’s probably listed, isn’t it? They could always just call your telephone company. By the way, you can thank yourself and the Patriot Act for which you voted (and renewed with no reforms in February) for that piece of your liberty. And, I’m pretty sure the government has an FBI file on you, Michelle. Hell, the saleswoman at Macy’s asks for my phone number every time I buy a pair of shoes. Ack, it’s a conspiracy! Such intrusion!

I just can’t believe the government needs to know the population so they can accurately disperse $300 billion in government funds! That is so retarded! And..and…and…and…WHY doesn’t the census ask if we’re American citizens?? We could count all the illegal aliens if the Census Bureau would’ve just asked the right questions! Do you know how easy it would be to kick them out if we knew where to find them? Oh wait, is it ok with you if we ask for their phone number??

Michelle Bachmann, you're a damn genius.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This Entry Deserves No Title

I swear, after re-reading a few entries from the past year or so, it appears as though I only use this blog to update my "readers" about the goings-on of my life. That's boring. Besides, those of you that know me know what's going on anyway. Anyone else is someone I don't know and they've probably stopped reading anyway for lack of substance.

But, to get everyone up to speed... Uh hem...I finally found a great job the beginning of this month doing what I love. This time, it's not at a law firm, but an asset management company. You'd think being a paralegal I would be able to find something fairly quickly after I got laid off...not so. I was unemployed for a total of 5 months. Of course, if I wouldn't have had a job in the spring/summer, it would've been pretty rad. But, I had to be unemployed in the dead of friggin winter (and the coldest too). Also, I bought a new (like super new) car a few weeks ago and went to Vegas with my favorite man.

We are currently booking our calendar for spring/summer. Yay!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Bloggy Mistreatment

My blog has literally fallen off into the abyss of the forgotten. I have a private forum (i.e., a journal) in which I write down inner-most thoughts that should never be published because there are few strangers that probably read this blog. Anyway, I think recently I've drawn a bit of a blank about what I think may be interesting writing. I'm simply not inspired. Having been unemployed going on my fifth month (*cringe*), I've been in a literary black hole. I haven't really been wasting my time off, per se, but I don't think I've made the most of it. Namely because, after my car accident, I elected not to purchase another car until all the insurance nonsense had been cleared up. Good thing, because shortly thereafter, I was laid off. Thank Jebus for a little foresight and public transportation. I know this all sounds incredibly depressing, but I'm actually very happy. We have our finances down to something so ridiculous you'd think we were living Section 8 large. But, no, we have a great loft downtown and are more than comfortable. I'm not sure what I'll do with all the excess Benjamen's when I get a normal paycheck instead of my government cheese. I'm pretty sure a new pair of shoes will be in order. Duh.

Fortunately, classes started again a few weeks ago, so at least I have something to stimulate my brain. And, many thanks to Beckbee for selling me one of her bikes. She's a great little addition to the family and occassionally keeps me from eating out of boredom! She will be well-used this Spring.

In other news, Vegas is just a few weeks away (see, I can even go on vacation!) and I've been assured that my appetite for memorexing will be duly satisfied. Unfortunately, due to lack of funds on all sides, the big trip we were planning for August has been scrapped. We'll do something not so ambitious, but have an awesome time, nonetheless. We always do.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm Baaaa-aaaack!

I'm sure many of you thought I fell off the blogosphere. Well, I did for a while. You see, I've been preoccupied with my new-found unemployment. Because of the current economic climate, I was laid off from my job at the beginning of October. Working in real estate law when the real estate market is still in a decline is tricky, at best. Unfortunately, I had the least seniority so I was the one sacraficed. Such is life.

For the first couple of weeks I found myself in a slump of sorts. I slept until almost 9-10am and didn't get out that much. I started cooking meals from scratch and tried my hand at painting. I'm a good cook and a bad painter. The three pieces I turned out looked like a fifth grader did them. I'm not sure if it's my lack of creativity or inspiration. I searched for jobs for hours, and rarely did I find any I was interested in, or I was either under- or over-qualified. Plus, the added stress of not having a car made it difficult to look for anything outside the loop. Not that I want to commute to work, I was very spoiled. I had the perfect setup of not needing a car when I worked, lived and schooled within a 3-block radius. Something will come up. I've got my finances in good shape...no real worries so far.

I turned 30 about 2 weeks ago and I'm still waiting for someone to ask me how old I am and give me the blank stare like they can't believe how young I look. Hehe. I've never actually said, "I'm 30." I don't know how it will make me feel, but I'm looking forward to my 30's. I'm still young enough to have a good time and old enough to not make stupid decisions. 30 sounds good to me.

Since I have so much time on my hands, my grades are excellent. And, with three weeks of class left, I'm confident I'll pull a 4.0 for the semester. Next semester I may pick it up a little and take 9 hours. We'll see.

Oh yeah, my boyfriend has been amazingly supportive throughout this ordeal. He rocks my face off.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mid-Week Mind Wander #6

View from the living room of our new loft.

Have you ever arrived at a point in your life where you have nothing to complain about?

We have arrived...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mid-Week Mind Wander #5

Why is that trees, grass, general foliage, etc., hate me from September until whenever everything green dies? An upside to living among so much pavement and glass is that I don't have to deal with such an assault on my immune system. However, I have to say it's much tamer in Texas than it was in Northwest Arkansas. Look at all those trees!

Old Main at the University of Arkansas

It really is a very beautiful place to live and I do miss it from time-to-time (especially all my people), but damnit those trees attacked me as soon as they started turning colors. And, right a the beginning of football season! LAME. Good thing I don't have a car because I can't see anything through these watery eyes. I look liked I've just smoked a bowl.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Divin' on a Thursday Night

Since moving to Texas from Arkansas a little over a year ago, I've found it challenging to find girls to hang out with that aren't full of drama and nonsense. Over the past few months, I've befriended several very awesome chicks. Last night, one of those cool cats and I (and a good friend of hers, whom I think is the bee's knees too) went out to Café Brazil for some eats and then down the block to July Alley, a rad dive bar in the heart of Deep Ellum. We discovered they had a rockabilly band playing that night. (I heart rockabilly big time.) No cover, which is kind of sweet for us but not so much for the bands. But hell, it's Deep Ellum and whatever it takes to revive it. I hope they got free beer. We left before they played, but we're old and I was tired (Dave and I were in bed by 10:30...no lie), plus we'd stayed out late hashing the evening before.

I have a special place in my heart for July Alley. Dave and I went there on our second date while we were waiting for Elm Street Tattoo to open so I could get inked again. Plus, it has $2.25 Ziegenbock...on tap. We live downtown, so it's just over a mile to this jewel. We should take the bus down there more often. It's a great little place with an eclectic mix of people to watch and talk to...I dig it and my new-found divas.

Move! You're blocking my close-up!

Leslie says hi to Dave

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's so simple...

Lately, I've been a little concerned, and frankly irritated, about some drama surrounding (but not directly including) me. I had a detailed blog written about compassion, kindness and judgment; something to help cleanse me of my agitation and to aid me in my quest to stop judging others so harshly myself. I deleted it as soon as I came across this...

"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness." -His Holiness the Dalai Lama

I am not a religious person and I guess you could put me into the category of agnostic. However, this message touched me. It's something I needed to remind me of my own life philosophy that has been my constant for a long time and that is, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It's a very simple, near childlike point of view, but it's effective and I'm a much happier, more fulfilled person as a result of following it.

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most profound.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mid-Week Mind Wander #4

Why, in a senior-level college course, does the professor take 2 hours to go over the 7-page syllabus?

I hope all of us can, in fact, read and follow instructions properly by this point. Is it necessary to hold our hands and explain every facet of your policies and curriculum? I could've actually learned quite a lot in that 2-hour waste of time.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Updates Abound: A List

I have many (a few) updates. I will convey them in the most efficient and Type A way I know, a list (you all know how much I love lists):

1. I am still afoot. And, even though I heart not having a car, I know I must procure one at some point in the very near future. Mind you, my GAP insurance company is still "processing" my claim. My accident was over two months ago; get off the pot SafeGuard. When it's finally wrapped up in the next week or two and my auto loan is paid off completely, I will diligently start looking. My dad and uncle have been scouring car auctions in Texarkana, but there is very little to be had. I'm very anti-car payment because of the minimal amount of driving I have to do. I work, live and school within a 4-block radius. It's rad. But, I can't find anything I can pay cash for that isn't junk. I don't have that much cash to throw at it. Financing appears to be a must. Bleh. Even though I do enjoy having such a fine-looking chauffeur, I want to go shoe shopping.

2. Saturday is moving day, of sorts. I'm about 99% finished packing, just some crystal left in the kitchen to bubble wrap and a few other things. It will be tight for a couple of weeks before the new place is ready, but will be worth it. Literally, half of the new space is floor-to-ceiling windows and a truly amazing view of downtown. This will be a remarkable and wonderful adventure for us both. A stock the bar party will ensue probably sometime in October. Write that down. (Side note: The Dallas Public Library (8 stories of literary orgasm) is about 3 blocks from the new loft.)

3. Yesterday was my first day of class. I'm in love with school all over again. This is going to be a bad ass program and I feel like I'm going to do really well. I've been in the legal industry for 8 years, and that will only help me along. As luck would have it, it's the only ABA approved program in DFW and it's 3 blocks from my office and new loft. Word. It's retarded cheap, so I'm able to pay cash for everything, including books. Hello, tax write off. 30 hours to go.

4. My knee is still giving me trouble. I twisted it about a month ago on a hash trail when I tumbled down a hill. The hill won. I didn't take care of it properly for the first week because it didn't feel injured after a day or two, and it's just gotten steadily worse ever since. After sitting in class for 2 hours last night, sans brace, I was walking to the train and a horrible hot-needle pain was assaulting my calf. I made it home, barely, and collapsed on the bed. I couldn't help but cry. It hurt. Dave put some ice on it, poured me a Stella and nuked the pizza he'd saved for me for dinner. All better. (Side note: My attempt at running, not walking, the Oktoberfest 5K in September and Race for the Cure 5K in October may be compromised. Sad face.)

5. Football season is upon us. Yes! Dave and I are going to the Arkansas v. A&M game at the new Cowboy Stadium in October. One of my dearest and her husband will also be coming down from Arkansas for the big game. It will be a highlight of this football season, for sure, and probably the only Arkansas game I'm going to be able to attend. Unfortunately, he and I had a deal that whomever secured tickets to this game first got to decide which side we were to be seated. Guess who got the tickets first? Yeah, not me. Guess where we're sitting? Yeah, not on my side. However, I will still be decked out in my Razorback garb whilst sitting among throngs of A&M fans. Please, please let us not suck. Please.

6. I'll be 30 in a couple months. We'll talk about that later.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Incredibly random memorexing...

Camping...just the two of us.

NYE 2005

We like(d) to dance on top of bars (same bar...)

Very old school (same bar, some years earlier...)

My sister and I on her birthday...we'd had a bit of hookah

Best vacation EVAR...I heart Mexico.

At the races...I won $60! Mama got a new pair of shoes!

Sister's birthday at the hookah bar

I'm from the country, what?

Invasion of Arkansas in DFW

At a Renaissance Festival wedding