Friday, August 22, 2014

I might be a runner

I started running a few years ago, but I've had a hard time categorizing myself as a runner.  Why?

First, I'm not super competitive about it.  I only do a few races a year. 
Second, I'm not fast. I'm currently averaging about 11:30/mile.
Third, I don't "look" like a runner.  Yeah, I have it in my head that runners look a certain way.

But I realized recently that despite all these things, I might just be a runner after all.

Here are a few things that might push me firmly into runner status:

:: I refuse to spend more than $30 on shoes.  Unless they're running shoes.  I'm currently on my fifth pair of running shoes and none of them have cost less than $100.
Newest are on the far left, oldest are on the far right.

:: Last weekend, I had to skip a five-mile run. I was really disappointed about that.  In fact, I think I was as sad about missing that run as I was about missing a movie day with friends.

:: When I have a bad day, nothing clears my head better than pounding out a few miles on the trail.  Or the treadmill if I have to.

:: I hate paying full price ($10 or more) for a movie, but I have paid no less than $25 for any race registration.

:: I love talking to other runners about their gear, their rituals, and their accomplishments.  Stay tuned for a fun Q and A series with some of my favorite runners in the next few weeks.

Last week's workouts
Friday: Awesome 5-mile trail run!!!
Saturday: Off.
Sunday: Off. Had to skip a 5-miler because I was sick. :(
Monday: Off.
Tuesday: 4-mile trail run
Wednesday: 3-mile trail run
Thursday: My legs have been feeling kind of tired, so I found this 20-minute yoga sequence for runners.

I'm supposed to do five miles tonight, and between the humidity and the threat of storms, I guess I'll be hitting the treadmill.  (Yes, I still have a little gym time left.)  Yeah, so the fact that I have a Friday night date with a treadmill might also mean I'm a runner, right?


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fifty questions

Back in the days of MySpace and email chains, I used to fill out surveys like it was my job.  So when I saw these questions answered by Allie and Juliette, I knew what my Thursday post would be for this week.  This is how I spent my one free evening this week (last night).  I know how to party.  

1. What are you wearing? 
Red tank top and underwear with polka dots.  What?  Don't look at me like that ...
I might need this sign for my place.

2. Ever been in love? 


3. Ever had a terrible breakup? 

Of course.

4. How tall are you? 


5. How much do you weigh? 
Less than I did four years ago but more than I did two years ago.  Sigh.

6. Any tattoos? 


7. Any piercings? 

Just my earlobes. I used to have my cartilage and belly button done, but I got bored with them.

8. OTP (one true pair, favorite fictional couple)? 

Marshall and Lily

9. Favorite show? 

I think this should be plural. Who has just one?  Parenthood, Nashville, Scandal, Grey's Anatomy, Big Brother ... just to name a few

10. Favorite bands? 

Actual bands? Ingram Hill, Delta Rae, Red Wanting Blue, Maroon 5 ... just the first few that came to mind.  I have a crap ton of favorite solo artists though.  If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've been introduced to them.

11. Something you miss? 

"Friday Night Lights"

12. Favorite song? 

Ha.  This is harder than the shows/bands question.  But at the moment, I am enamored with "Headphones" by Matt Nathanson 

13. How old are you? 

14. Zodiac sign? 


15. Quality you look for in a partner? 

And now I feel like I'm online dating again. Blech.  I guess I'm looking for someone with whom I can totally be myself and feel loved and valued.

16. Favorite Quote?

17. Favorite actor? 
This guy's been my number one for a while now ...

... but this one has been slowly gaining ground over the last few years ...
I might have a type.

18. Favorite color? 


19. Loud music or soft? 

If I'm working, I want it soft. If I'm running, I want it loud.

20. Where do you go when you’re sad? 

Sometimes I'll go for a walk or run to burn off the feelings.  Other times, I just want to be alone in my apartment.

21. How long does it take you to shower? 

Around 10 minutes, unless I need to shave my legs, then add a few minutes.

22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? 

I can go from pillow to ready-to-walk-out-the-door in about 40 minutes, and that includes publishing my blog post and making breakfast.

23. Ever been in a physical fight? 

Try again. I'm definitely not the friend you bring in case shit goes down. (This is Allie's answer, but I like it.)

24. Turn on?

Having a passion about something.  Not an obsession, but a strong interest and drive for something.  Also a great smile and good hands.

25. Turn off? 

Bad spelling and grammar. Someone who's inconsiderate.

26. The reason I started blogging? 

I was bored one day at work and knew it would take up some of that time. 2 years later, I'm still at it.

27. Fears? 

Driving next to semi trucks and pubic speaking

28. Last thing that made you cry? 


29. Last time you said you loved someone? 

Sunday at the end of my Skype chat with my best friend

30. Meaning behind the name of your blog? 

I guess I just wanted something that conveyed that I would always be honest and true to myself in this space.

31. Last book you read? 

"Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match" by Amy Webb

As an online dating veteran, I wanted to check out her experiences and insights.  I wasn't disappointed.

32. The book you’re currently reading? 

"Paper Towns" by John Green 
I loved "The Fault In Our Stars," and I'm anxious to read more of his writing.

33. Last show you watched? 

"Big Brother"  I loved the Zingbot appearance tonight. 

34. Last person you talked to? 

Vocally? Jaci.  Via text? Kam

35. The relationship between you and the person you last texted? 

Good friends

36. Favorite food? 

Right now, all I can think about is fajitas, so we'll go with that. 

37. Place you want to visit? 
Every MLB ballpark.

38. Last place you were? 

Before I came home, I was at work. Very exciting.

39. Do you have a crush? 


40. Last time you kissed someone? 

Too long ago.

41. Last time you were insulted? 

To my face?  I'm not sure, but I can guarantee it's done behind my back plenty.

42. Favorite flavor of sweet? 
Ice cream - Vanilla
Cupcake/cake - almond/wedding cake

43. What instruments do you play? 
Flute ... and no, I never went to band camp!!!!

44. Favorite piece of jewelry? 

Two rings I got from my parents -- one for my 13th birthday and one for high school graduation.

45. Last sport you played? 

I ran earlier this evening. Does that count?

46. Last song you sang? 

I sang along with "Weightless" by Natasha Bedingfield during the cooldown from my run.

47. Favorite chat up line? 

I'm really not good at this.  <--- That's not the line, but it might as well be.

48. Have you ever used it? 

I'm guessing you're referring to #47, so .... obviously the answer is no.

49. Last time you hung out with anyone? 

Last week sometime.  I've been a busy girl.

50. Who should answer these questions next? 
Anyone who has a little time to burn.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Another humpday = more confessions

Thanks to all those who agreed I should give up household cleaning after yesterday's post.  I'll have to see if my insurance will cover that.  Otherwise, well ... this girl's on a budget, so I might just have to suck it up for a while.  And just plan to get sick every time I clean.

Anyhow ... time for Humpday Confessions!

Vodka and Soda

---  The other night, I got a friend request from someone I haven't talked to or heard from in more than two years. And the last time we spoke, he ripped out my heart.  Now, I'm not saying I never forgive, but he could have at least sent a message explaining why he wanted to be in touch again.  Until then, this is my response to his friend request:

---  I realize yesterday's post was a giant whine session about being sick.  But this is my blog, so deal with it.

---  After such a good run on Friday night, I was really sad not to get to hit the trails again on Sunday.  Who have I become that I'm sad about not getting to run?

--- I have been itching to bake for weeks now.  Of course, now that I have time to bake, it actually feels like August outside.  But I don't care.  My co-workers were long overdue for some treats, which they're getting tomorrow. I still haven't decided what I'm baking, but baking will be happening.

--- This whole thing in Ferguson, MO, is unreal.  I've seen footage of the riots and I'm watching reports come out about members of the press being arrested for covering the events.  It all seems like something that happens somewhere else ... not in America.

--- I love having the right to vote and be a part of the political process, however I'm already sick of all the political ads on the TV and radio.

--- Sometimes I find myself driving without the radio on.  After spending a whole day on the phone and/or listening to all the chatter around my office, sometimes the quiet is a nice break.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Another weekend spoiled by sickness

I swear I never get sick.  But in the last six months, two weekends have been destroyed by unexpected illness.  In April, I got hit with a gastritis attack.  This past weekend, well, I still don't really know what I had.

The weekend started out just fine.  I had a good five-mile run Friday night, then I watched the Rangers lose, and read some blogs since my blog reader had more than 100 in the queue.

Saturday morning, I slept in a little and then took myself to see "Guardians of the Galaxy."

I absolutely loved it.  Then again, I was pretty sure I would based on the reviews of my friends and ... well, Chris Pratt.  Love him.

Then I ran some errands and came home to give my apartment a good cleaning.  The one good thing about having a one bedroom place is that it doesn't take long to clean everything.  I knew I'd be done around 4:30, which would give me time to clean myself up and go to a baseball game.

This is where things went south.

As I finished cleaning, I felt a little lightheaded.  I chalked it up to using cleaners in the bathroom -- a small enclosed space -- and opened the windows a little wider and sat down to relax a little.  I thought the feeling would pass.  It didn't.  It got worse.  I became so dizzy that the room was spinning anytime I sat up.  And my stomach let me know it wasn't happy with that.  Feeling miserable, I laid down "for a few moments."  I woke up three hours later.  I never nap.  So I knew there was really something wrong. And I still couldn't sit up without the room rotating around me.  Clearly, there would be no Iowa Cubs game for me that night.

Living alone when you're sick is a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, you can sleep wherever and whenever and as much as you want.  And you can wander around the house without pants and not offend anyone.  On the other hand, there is no one to make you food or bring you water and Gatorade.  Sigh.  I knew I needed to eat something, so I fought through the spinning and tilting room enough to make some dry toast, which I ate while I watched the Anna Kendrick rerun of "Saturday Night Live."  Then I went to bed and slept for ten hours.

I woke up Sunday feeling slightly better, but still not 100 percent.  Certainly not well enough to run the five miles listed on my training plan.  And I also decided I wasn't well enough to go have a long-planned movie day with two friends.  Sigh.  I stayed home and tried to rest while doing my normal Sunday duties -- preparing meals and doing laundry for the week.

I'm now feeling slightly better.  The room doesn't spin anymore although my equilibrium is still a little compromised.  And my head aches and feels foggy.

The medical folks in my life are guessing a virus settled in my ears and was stirred up while I was cleaning.  Whatever it is, I'm ready for it to leave so I can feel normal again.  Or at least more like myself.  I won't presume to think that I'm normal.

P.S. I think this means I shouldn't have to clean my house again because it's hazardous to my health.  Right?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Music Monday: Red Wanting Blue - "You're My Las Vegas"

I saw this band live for the first time a few weeks ago.  My friends and my brother have been raving about them for years.  I don't know why I waited so long to check them out.  I'm hooked now.  They put on such a great live show, and their music is solid too.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Making time in a busy week

This has been an exhausting week. 

I haven't gotten home before 9:30 a single night.  That includes one late-night dinner and girl talk with a friend from out of state and another night of celebrating a friend's birthday.

It also includes late night runs at the gym. (Yes, I'm milking the last week of my membership before I freeze it.) I was a little surprised I was not even nearly the only one working out at 8:30 p.m.  It's not my favorite or optimal time to be at the gym, but I needed to get this week's runs in.

Needless to say, I'm ready for a little downtime this weekend.  And some good outdoor runs.  The treadmill was nice for pushing my pace a little, but I can only run in one place for so long.  Seems like four miles is about the threshold.  


I'm looking forward to getting back on the trails tonight and Sunday.


Last week's workouts
Friday: Walked almost six miles at the Iowa State Fair. I'm counting it as a workout.
Saturday: Off.
Sunday: 4-mile trail run
Monday: Off.
Tuesday: 3-mile run on the treadmill
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: 4-mile run on the treadmill

After this week, I'll HAVE to make sure I get up on Thursday mornings for my runs.  Or move them to Wednesday.  We'll see how it works out.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Just a few confessions

Vodka and Soda

Humpday confessions time!!!

:: I am super sad about Robin Williams' death. It's just a testament to how serious depression can be. Can we stop pretending it's something people can just get over on a whim?

:: I really don't understand what's going on with Foursquare and Swarm.  Have they merged?  Why do I still have both?  I'm so confused.

:: I was supposed to run four miles yesterday and I only did three.

:: I currently have four movies and two books out from the library. This is just an occupational hazard from my part-time gig.

:: I feel so out of touch with what's going on in the world. I can barely keep up with local news ... don't even ask me about national and world issues.

:: I'm disappointed I only got one day at the Iowa State Fair this year.  There's so much I didn't get to see and eat.

:: Apparently Chris from Andi's season of "The Bachelorette" is going to be the next "Bachelor." At least that's the speculation after a camera crew followed him around the Iowa State Fair (among other places) recently.

:: I need to catch up on this week's "Bachelor in Paradise." It's my summer guilty pleasure ... along with "Big Brother."

:: I desperately need to do laundry. Maybe I'll get home at a decent time tonight and get a load done.

:: Even though I love fall and everything that comes with it, summer seems to be disappearing way too fast.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What I've learned working at a library

As I might have mentioned in this space a time or two, I took a part-time job a few months ago. I started looking at my budget and realized I could really use some extra cash.  I scoured Craigslist and a few other sites for part-time opportunities, but it was tough.

There were reasons for that. I needed something that would fit in with my full-time job schedule.  I wasn't willing to give up all of my evenings and weekends.  And, to be honest, I wanted to find something I would enjoy.  I know that's a lot to ask in a part-time job, but somehow I found it all.

A kind friend suggested I look at library jobs. I've been an avid reader for as long as I can remember and I love books.  It sounded like a great fit.  As luck would have it, there was a part-time opening in one of the metro libraries and the person doing the hiring was someone I knew from a previous job.  Although I was certainly qualified for the job, I think it helped that I knew the person taking the applications.

I was very promptly hired as a part-time circulation clerk and was promised six hours a week with the option to pick up more hours as available.  And believe me, I've taken advantage of that "option" every chance I've gotten.

My library job is everything I wanted in a part-time gig and more.  It's a much-needed departure from my day job, and I love being around books and people who enjoy books.

I've only been in the job for a little more than two months, but I've already learned so much about the library business and trends.  I thought I'd share a few of those tidbits.

:: People do not have any respect for library materials.
Books get worn and sometimes a bit of water damage. That's nothing.  Movies and CDs usually bear the worst damage -- full of scratches and often covered in mysterious stuff that I don't even want to begin to identify.


:: Graphic novels are a huge deal. And you read them backwards.
I had no idea how popular graphic novels were.  I'm so intrigued by them.  Some of them have some great artwork and intriguing titles, but I haven't bit into them just yet.


:: "Classics" from my childhood are still somewhat popular.
 I smile a little whenever I see a Baby-Sitters Club, American Girl, or Judy Blume book cross the circulation desk.   I haven't seen any Sweet Valley High books.  I'm not even sure we carry those.


:: There is a graphic novel series where the hero is a lunch lady. Not kidding.
I was highly amused when I first saw this.  And every time I check them in or out, I can't help thinking about Adam Sandler's "Lunch Lady Land" song.


:: One of the most popular young adult series is about warrior cats.
According to Wikipedia, the series follows the adventures of four Clans of wild cats—ThunderClan, ShadowClan, WindClan, and RiverClan—in their forest and lake homes.


:: I am in the minority when it comes to library patrons.
The smallest demographic in library users is 20- and 30-somethings without children.  I don't know if that's because people my age don't do a lot of reading or if they're all using e-readers.  Either way, it makes me kind of sad.  


::  I will never run out of books I want to read.
Seriously. I constantly see books coming in and going out that I want to add to my to-read list.  It will never end.  And I regret nothing.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Music Monday: Marc Broussard - "Weight of the World

Marc Broussard's new music is a little different from his earlier stuff, but it's still just as great.  His voice has a way of conveying emotion and meaning that just slays me.  Of his newer songs, I think this is my favorite.

And here's possibly my all-time favorite from him. 

Again, the vocals ... AH!  He's just amazing.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Giving up the gym ... for now

This week, I made the decision to put my gym membership on hold.  A combination of reasons led to this decision.

No time
I've always said gym memberships are not a waste of money unless you're not using them.  And I have not been using mine. With my work and social schedule, I can't tell you the last Zumba class I went to.  And now my half-marathon training schedule will keep me out of spin.  Sigh.

Different fitness priorities
I'm training for my half-marathon, which means lots of running.  And if you know me at all, you know I'm an outdoor runner.  So I'm not even utilizing the treadmills at the gym.

Saving money
Money is kind of tight right now as I put all my extra funds into paying some things off.  I started looking at the money I was tossing at credit cards and realized it was a huge waste.  I'm ready to be done with them.  Yesterday.  So saving $30/month on my membership will help give me a little more breathing room.

I believe this is the right decision for me at the moment, but I do have a few fears about freezing my membership.  For one, we've had a mild summer so far, meaning running outside has been easy.  Now that I've given up my access to treadmills, it's likely to get ridiculously hot or rainy.   I'm also concerned that going back will be harder. I fully intend to unfreeze my membership after my half-marathon.  Hopefully I'll have some of my financial goals achieved by then as well as a handle on my schedule so I can get back to some of my favorite classes.

In the meantime, I'll need to find some alternative cross-training workouts I can do at home.  Any recommendations?


Last week's workouts
Friday: 4-mile run
Saturday: Off.
Sunday: Off.
Monday: 4-mile run (it was a terrible run, but I did it)
Tuesday: 4-mile run with running club 
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: 3-mile run on the treadmill

I was feeling lazy on Sunday (which is supposed to be my long run day), so I pushed the run to Monday.  I won't do that again.  I also need to be a lot better about my water intake.  I'm still having trouble with it.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

I just want to hide away

Life has slowed down a little, which has given me a lot of time to think.

This isn't always a good thing for me.

If overanalyzing things was an Olympic sport, I would be a medalist.  Maybe not gold, but I'd definitely be on the podium at the end.

I'm in kind of a weird place, mentally.  I have lots of doubts and anxiety about things.

As a result, I've found myself pulling away from people and activities.

This is weird, considering I had a few days of solitude during my staycation.  That should have been enough to take care of my introvert recharging.


This is not a good feeling.  Hopefully it passes soon.

I tried to use the interwebs to solve my funk last night.

First I went to youtube and found this Matt Nathanson song that was totally perfect for how I was feeling:

Then I remembered that this song always helps shake a bad mood:

And then I went to Pinterest for some funnies:

I'm not completely back to my regular self, but it made me feel a little better.

And if someone wants to do this for me ...
I'm just sayin' ....

What do you do when you're in a funk?

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