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.