Thursday, November 06, 2014

Do strangers really have candy?

It has been a long time.  I have really neglected my blog, but life has been busy.  There never seems to be enough time to get anything done, but that might be a topic for another post.

It's funny to me that I find that it is often easier to be nice to strangers rather that people I actually know.  It really doesn't apply with my close friends, but to my acquaintances.  I realized it just the other day.

I was in a clothing store and was able to strike up a great conversation with a fellow shopper and a store employee.  I really enjoyed talking to both of them and I felt so great about the conversation.  It wasn't a deep conversation by any means - we just chatted about the items in the store, how to put outfits together, and the discounts we received for our birth month.  It just seemed so much easier to carry on a conversation with these two random people. I felt like I was free to smile and just enjoy being there.

No, of course, it could have something to do with the fact that I was off on a work day and out shopping.  Maybe I was just in a better mood for that very reason.  Maybe it was easier because these two people did not know me at all.   They had no history of me and made no judgments toward me.  I could just be the person I wanted to be in that very moment - a normal, happy woman out for a day of shopping.  If only life could be so easy breezy all of the time. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Golden Globes 2014

Well, it certainly has been a long time.  It has been so long that I wasn't sure if I would even remember my password to login.  It certainly does not look the way I remember it looking.  I guess I just need to post more often.

Let's talk about The Golden Globe Awards this past Sunday.  I love award shows because I love the glamor of all of the wonderful dresses.  I also love to see my favorite stars win and hear their speeches.  This show was wonderful for me because I really think The Hollywood Foreign Press celebrates some underrated actors.  It is always a nice surprise to see who wins.  Several of my favorite actors were surprise wins -  to me at least.

I was thrilled to see Amy Adams win for American Hustle.  She is one of my favorite actresses and it is really nice to see her be recognized.  I also loved seeing Robin Wright win (Buttercup rules!) and Amy Poehler get long overdue recognition.  Amy P. is so great on Parks & Recreation.  I was also nicely surprised to see Matthew McConnaughey win for Dallas Buyer's Club.  He gave a great speech, too.

I am so fired up now.  I have a long list of movies to see: American Hustle, Dallas Buyer's Club, Her, The Wolf of Wall Street, and so many more!  Bring on the Oscar nominations tomorrow morning.

I would be remiss to forget to mention my favorite dress of the night - Ms. Amy Adams again.  Love the color combination on her as well as the great necklace.  Gorgeous!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lack of Motivation

Well, it should not be a surprise that I am suffering from a lack of motivation.  It has been nearly 21 months since my last blog post!  So much has happened between then and now...

Bill has become an Ironman finishing Ironman Coeur d'Alene in June 2011
I am a 2 time 70.3 triathlon finisher with Beach 2 Battleship and TryCharleston
I was supposed to do the New York Marathon in November 2012, but it was canceled due to Super Storm Sandy

Ever since the cancellation of the New York Marathon, I feel like I haven't been able to get myself together.  I took the entire month of December off.  I did nothing even though I never ran a marathon.  I was supposed to get back into running and training in January, but here it is March and I am still having issues.  I can manage to get up and go to classes (muscle conditioning and spin class), but it has been hard to run.  I don't know if it has been the cold or the dark, but I just haven't been able to run in the mornings. 

I am rather ashamed to admit this, but I am not going to do the Tobacco Road Half Marathon next weekend because I have not trained.  I knew it was coming, but I couldn't get myself out to train.  My next chance is the Tar Heel 10 miler coming up in April.  I can't blow off this race.  Maybe that will be the motivation I need. I hope it is.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Scars are Souvenirs

As I near 40 years of age, I can reflect back on my life so far with all the memories I have. I realized, though, that not all of my memories are in my brain. I can look at my body and find memories of good times, stupid ideas, and the battle wounds of growing up in my scars.

I have a mark on my left wrist - a jagged vertical line. I don't remember what happened, but I do remember the face of my friend Laura Lokay from the second grade who told me know to pick at it. When I look at that scar, I can see her face so clearly and even hear the wise words coming from her 7 year old mouth.

I have a chicken pox scar on my chest. I got chicken pox as a gift from a classmate for my 17th birthday. I remember being out of school for about 4 days and missing our homecoming game. I also remember the night before I broke out. My good friends to me out to celebrate my birthday and we returned to my house to watch movies. Sometime during "The Running Man," I realized I had a fever. We had to send my friends home, but I still remember having a good time.

On my leg ankle, there is a big spot on top of area where my foot and leg meet. I fell down the patio stairs at my fraternity house in college (Yes, it was a co-ed business fraternity called Alpha Kappa Psi and we had a house on fraternity/sorority row at UGA). I fell with my foot under my body and am really lucky I did not break anything. I was pretty drunk (surprise!) at the time, so it probably kept me from realizing I was falling. Man, there were some good times in that house and on that patio.

I cut off a big chuck of my right ring finger and you can still see the damage. I was trying to impress this wonderful guy by making dinner for him. I was using a mandolin cutter, and just when he asked me of I should be using the safety guard, I sliced off the side of my finger. He was so calm. He cleaned my up, threw out all the food (and I presume part of my finger), and ordered pizza for us. Thank goodness he decided to marry me despite my being an absolute klutz.

My most recent scar is from an attempt to do a muscle up at CrossFit. I never did get that move, but I will always have a discoloration on my right wrist as a memory of trying to do it.

My favorite scar, however, is from the cable car incident while on vacation in San Francisco. I have a nice scar in the middle of my right shin. Bill and I were riding on the running board of a cable car on our first day in San Fran. We went around the corner, but we were heavy. The operator asked all of us on our side to jump down and push us through the corner. Well, I jumped a second too late, and my shin banged the side of the car. I knew it hurt, but it wasn't until we got to the hotel that I saw I was bruised and cut. At least I knew it would make a good story, and it did.

Yes, I have many scars. Each one has a story - some I remember clearly, and some I can't recall. They are little stories of my life and I wear them proudly.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Change of Mind

Well, today was my last day at CrossFit Durham. I know I have been going on and on in this blog about my fitness program. I finally decided this month that I am done with Crossfit, at least for the near future. I need to get back to the core of triathlon training - swimming, biking, and running. I am looking forward to working out by myself again. I don't want to feel the pressure of the group fitness. I have watched my friends get better and better at different exercises while I feel like I have remained the same. At least now, I won't be competing against anyone but myself. I am also looking forward to those extra dollars in my pocket each month.

Maybe I will change my mind come the fall, but I think this is a good decision for now. I can't wait to run tomorrow.

Friday, May 06, 2011

And They Lived Happily Ever After

It's all I want for my books and movies - to end with and they lived happily ever after (I would have said a happy ending, but I was afraid it would be misconstrued). The plot should be boys meets girl, conflicts arise or bad guys make trouble, bad guys defeated, good guys triumph, and love conquers all. If the plot is going to vary, there should be some sort of disclaimer at the beginning of the book or movie. I don't want to waste my time reading or watching if the ending is tragic (I'm looking at you One Day, Cold Mountain, and Atonement). I want to be entertained and I want everyone to be happy in the end. Real life is difficult and disappointing. Books should be an escape.

I am reading a series now called The Hunger Games. It is a trilogy and I am reading the final book. I have really enjoyed the series, but I have heard that the finale is "frustrating." I was so upset by this notion that I had to ask the person who loaned me the books if she was satisfied with the way the series ended. She said that there is heartbreak along the way, but ultimately the ending is a good one. I have been nervous about reading all week. I feel like I have invested a lot of time getting to know these characters and to care what happens to them. In my mind, there is only one way for the series to end, but I have a feeling the author does not agree with me. I don't want to read an ending that will leave me feeling bad. I don't want to be upset. I just want the good guys to win and for lovers to be together. I am torn up about the book, and I am only 1/3 of the way done. I keep going because I hope the author would not have nurtured these characters through 2 books to make something horrible happen to them in the finale. I hope I am right.

Fairy tales and romance novels have the right idea.

Monday, March 21, 2011

2011 Shamrock Half Marathon

Yesterday, I ran my 7th half marathon and second Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. I had high hope going in to this event because I had set my PR here in 2009. Well, the day did not disappoint.

Now, on paper, this race should not have been great for me. The weather on Friday was spectacular, so hubby and I decided to sit outside on our deck and drink beer. Well, one beer led to another, which then led to getting a pizza because we were not in the mood to cook. Overindulging two days before a race is probably not in the manual under "good ideas." We were much better on Saturday, however. We ate well and went to sleep early. Despite our going to bed at a reasonable hour, we did not get as much sleep as we had hoped. The winds were blowing so hard (16-17 mph) that is was causing the balcony railing to shake and make noise. I woke up several times and wondered how it would affect the race. It was still windy in the morning, but I don't think it was a huge factor in the race overall. Once you add that I have not been running long distances (I think I did 8 miles in January, last 13.1 was at the Kiawah Island Half in December) and have only been running once a week, I should not have done well at all. My attitude when I started the race was not to worry about a PR, but to just have fun. If it didn't happen, it didn't happen.

I started the race feeling pretty good. I knew the course and knew that it was pretty darn flat. This race is known for it's crazy costumes, and this year was no different. Everyone is in such a good mood - people are just out to have fun and get the beach party sponsored by Yuengling at the end of the race. I was running along feeling pretty good at about mile 4, and I decided to check my watch. I was a little slow off my PR pace, but it wasn't too far off. I had lots of race left, so I decided to experiment. I thought of my intervals like a CrossFit WOD. I thought I would see what would happen if I pushed a little bit harder through the last 45 seconds of my two minute run interval. I worked on it for awhile, and saw that my pace was now at my PR pace. I was encouraged.

I decided that I was going to go for it. I was going to leave everything on the course. I thought about my friends at CrossFit and about the mental toughness to get through those difficult workouts. It's OK to take a break, but then get right back to it. Try to get just a little bit more before the beep lets you know that it is time for a walk break. I stuck to that idea, and it worked. By the halfway point in the race, I was below my PR pace. I knew it wasn't over yet - I would have to keep pushing and get a negative split (faster on the second half of the race than the first) to get the PR. I kept pushing, and when I got tired, I would adjust the surge time - 30 seconds, 25 seconds, then 20 seconds. Then, there was the wall.

At about mile 11.5, everything seemed to go. I was really tired and my left IT band at the knee was really hurting. I was checking my watch, and I could see my pace slowing. People were lining the road, yelling for the runners. I was trying to suck it up, counting down the distance remaining with each interval. For the last mile, I had to literally concentrate on two minutes of running at a time. We made the turn onto the boardwalk, and I could see the finish about a 1/2 mile away. I was aching, but I ran it in. I could see my time, and I knew it was close.

I managed my way through the gauntlet of folks with the medals, water, finisher's hat, finisher's shirt, and food. I found Bill, and thought I might collapse. My legs just could not take my weight anymore. I was so thankful that our hotel was about 50 yards away. I did manage to make it back to our room, but nearly lost it when we could not get the door open. Standing hurt too much. I went right in to a cool bath, and I really think it helped my legs. After soaking for a bit, I was able to take a shower and get dressed so we could leave the hotel and get a much needed celebratory burger and beer.

I checked the website for my official time last night, and it was to the second the exact time of my previous PR. Sure, I wish I could have broken it, but I am happy. I did second guess myself for awhile - what if I hadn't stopped to drink the water at that one stop? What if I had had my Sports Beans instead of Gu? What if I hadn't done CrossFit and actually trained to run? Well, it doesn't matter now. I did it, I finished it, and I am happy with the overall race. I learned that I can push myself. Just wait until next year.