Friday, May 16, 2008

All Your Questions Answered!

The time has come for me to announce the winner of the 25th Birthday Giveaway. (I realize I had said I'd do this last week, but I was still a little busy celebrating the big 2-5, so do forgive me!) And the prize goes to... (drumroll and crazy intense music inserted here)


Yay! Please make sure you get your mailing address to me so I can send your prize. (And in case anyone is curious, I just wrote all the names on paper and drew one out of a hat... well, actually it was a Target bag, but does that part really matter?)

Everyone else who entered is a winner, too, because now I'm going to answer all your questions! This will also be known as the longest. post. ever. Here we go...

Rachel said...
Cool post and great way to celebrate your birthday and generosity! Have you ever run a marathon in Georgia? How did you get started running marathons?
Thanks Rachel! I actually have not ever run in GA. My full marathons have been here in TN and one in AL, but I have made plans to run a marathon in GA later this year!

I ran my first marathon back in April 2005 here in Nashville. I had been on the track and cross country teams when I was in high school and found that I really enjoyed running, even though I wasn't the one winning races or anything. I didn't run much when I got to college, but my senior year I decided that it was a good time to cross running one off my "life to do list." My boyfriend at the time (LTX) decided he was game, so we spent 4 months training and then ran together. It was a pretty awesome day. After that I was hooked and have been running races ever since (thought my running partners have changed from race to race).

Katy said...
What a fun idea! Ok, I'm just now TRYING to get back into shape (I used to run 2-3 miles a day BEFORE college)and its just as hard on my joints as on my stamina. How did you get started? Did you just hit the pavement and go?

Thanks Katy! Like I said in my answer to Rachel's question, I ran in high school. It's been 11 years since my first day on the track team, but I'm sure I started off SLOWLY. Anytime I take a break and come back, I try to take it easy. It takes your body about 3-4 weeks to get used to any kind of new activity, so I'm not surprised that your joints are bothering you a bit. My best advice (and I'm no expert, but this is what I would do) is to go run/walk for however long your stamina will allow. If you feel like you're too out of breath, then slow down or go on and stop for the day. If you can try to go for about the same amount of time for a week or two, you'll find that you eventually will run more than you walk. In time, you'll be able to keep going longer. It's always best to gradually build up to more. Don't let yourself feel intimdated or discouraged... it takes time to get back in shape. No one can go out and run lots of miles easily when they're out of shape (well, I'm sure some people can, but they're not like us average people). Good luck, and keep in touch about your progress!

jojo said...
Hi! I'm a lurker, I admit it. Happy birthday early. So, my question: what do you like most about the city you live in?

Thanks for the birthday wishes and for delurking, JoJo! Ah... Nashville is a fantastic little place to live. It's really hard to pick one thing. We have tons of good restaurants, lots of places to catch live music, and endless opportunities for entertainment. I think if I have to say what I love most, it's that we have that southern small town feel and a little bit of the big city (although we're not talking like NYC or Chicago big) right here in the same place. It's kind of neat.

B2G said...
Firstly, I love that you used the word "connectivity."

Secondly, my question is: What are the top three characteristics that you're looking for in The One? One thing can be something physical.
Thanks B2G! I like fun words. :)

Oh, wow. Hmmm... can I just say that we all are wanting to find someone that we're physically attracted to and that not count as one of the three? Wait, it's my birthday... I can do what I want. So yes, of course physical attraction is a key characteristic (and in my mind, he's tall, thin/athletic and has a gorgeous smile and great eyes! But I'm open to other looks...).

I definitely want someone who shares a faith in God with me. I don't feel like he has to have the same background as me or agree with me on every single thing or anything like that... but I do want to feel like we have some sort of common ground about our beliefs because so many important decisions (i.e. how to raise kids) would be based off of our core beliefs.

I have to find someone that I can talk to... share with... I want someone that will listen to me and talk to me as well. A confidant. A best friend basically...

And finally, someone that makes me laugh and laughs at me. Life isn't always sunshine and rainbows, but I hope to find someone that will find joy in small things... who will enjoy life with me... and who will find plenty of reasons to smile and laugh. Although I won't lie... sometimes it's nice when he's all these things AND has a little bit of an edge.

Susan said...
What fun! The above comments asked some great questions, and I'm looking forward to your answers. Hmmm, let's see... my question will be:

What is your usual exercise routine/schedule (How often, far, long do you run each week? Do you do different exercises besides running?, etc. etc. etc. and so forth)

I also wanted to ask you "What 3 places would you like to visit and why, but maybe I'll let someone else claim that if they wish... or can I use it as a bonus question?) :)

Happy early birthday to you! 25 is a super age! Enjoy it to the fullest! :)

Thanks so much Susan! Ok, so as for my exercise routine... I try to make sure I do some sort of exercise 3-4 times a week. I always do a long run on Saturdays. At a minimum, this is usually 10 miles. If I'm training for a race, it'll be longer depending on where I'm at in the training plan. I run on 2 weekdays... if I'm training, this includes a speed workout and a tempo run, both about an hour each. I tend to do between 5-6 miles when I do each of those. I really don't ever run more than 3 days I week. I almost always get one strength training workout in, but I'm trying to get that up to 2 per week so I can tone up and strengthen my core. I also like to make it to a class at the gym whether cardio or yoga so that I can change it up a bit.

You can totally ask a bonus question! I have a LOT of places on my list to visit right now, but I'll pick three. I really want to go to New Zealand. I have seen pictures, and it looks absolutely gorgeous and full of possibilities for adventures in the beautiful land. I'd also like to do the Switzerland/Germany/Austria section of Europe. Also beautiful and with really cool cultures I'd like to become immersed in for a few days. On a more local note, I'd love to see more of the New England area like Connecticut, Vermont, Maine. It seems like it's also a beautiful area of our own country that I'd like a chance to check out. (And a bonus answer... I definitely want to get to Hawaii someday... or somewhere else that is similarly tropical.)

Crazy Daisy said...
Happy Early Birthday!

My question... If you could do any job in the world what would it be and why?

Thanks girl! This one is easy... I'd love to be an editor at a magazine or publishing house. It doesn't matter to me which one. I've always dreamed of being a writer and certainly have plans to pursue it later in life, but I'd jump at the chance to work in editing. I can see myself making important decisions about content and overseeing copy editors. Needless to say, I love The Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty for fueling this regular daydreamn (which also usually includes me living somewhere like NYC). I don't really see myself at a fashion magazine or anything like that, but there are definitely LOTS of possibilities. There's a good chance that I'll go after this sometime, but we'll see. :)

Quirky said...
Happy Birthday Mel. You'll love 25. 25 is when you aren't a considered a kid anymore, but still young enough not to be old. :-)

Okay, here's my question: If you could have absolutely ANYTHING (cost is no object) as a birthday present, what would it be? And it has to be fair asking for a loving husband or boyfriend or world peace.(although if mail-order husbands exist, maybe that counts). A bazillionaire wants to give you a birthday present...what do you ask for? Go big.

Thanks for the kind wishes! This one is actually a toughie... I would obviously want to allow this person to be really generous since they're offering to do as such. I wouldn't want to offend them by asking for something too small. A lifetime unlimited shopping spree at The Limited would be nice... or maybe a really huge house because then I'd have a nice home, and if I ever sold it the money would be great. Wait! I got it... I'd have him buy me a magazine or publishing house along with all it takes to run it so that I can have my dream job that I referenced in the above question!!!

Joe said...
What is your earliest memory? Was it a good memory or bad memory?

I think my question is going to win. No offense to any other question up here though!

Aw, sorry Joe. You only win an answer, but I hope that will be a nice prize for ya! I SWEAR I can remember my first birthday party. My parents always say it's because I have seen it on video, but I have a very vivid memory about them cutting off some of my little personal cake to give to my uncle. This is not in the video. But maybe it's in my head... After that, I have a slew of memories of being in pre-school and playing with the other kids in my class. I got in trouble once for throwing a blanket back and forth with another kid when it was supposed to be naptime. I also remember being 3ish and my mom being pregnant with my sister. I'd kiss her belly at night and tell my baby sister goodnight. All of those were kind of all around the same time I think.

smc said...
Happy (upcoming) Birthday!

My question is: If you were only allowed to listen to one cd for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

Speaking of presents, I sent yours on Thurs. They said it will arrive on your birthday. So keep an eye out on Tuesday!

Thanks! And what a fantastic present that showed up here on Tuesday! Sneaky, sneaky.

Goodness, this one is a toughie as well! Considering I have several thousand songs on my itunes, it's hard to pick something like this. But if I must... hands down, Dave Matthews Band's Crash. I always claim DMB is my all-time favorite band (out of SOOOOO many other favorites I have that are all completely different), and Crash is my favorite album they have... so it only makes sense. There's not a bad song on there.

peachy perspective said...
Ah, love the episode with Chandler in the box... "you stay in there and think about what you did"!

So in honor of that, what is your favorite Friends episode?

Oh my goodness, ya'll have really broken out the tough ones. I immediately find myself thinking about the one where Janice is asking the 6 if any of them have ever "almost" ended up together and the episode flashes back to a few years earlier when Rachel was newly engaged and Central Perk was a bar. Ross and Phoebe almost... Chandler and Monica almost (interesting)... Monica and Joey kinda almost... Rachel and Chandler almost (in her daydream)... just an all-around funny episode.

But I also like the one where everyone starts finding out about Chandler and Monica: "They don't know that we know that they know we know!" And the one where they all watch the tape to see who came on to whom when Ross and Rachel ended up getting together. Oh goodness, there are SO many. I still laugh so hard everytime I see them...

Preppy(STB)Peshke said...
I have just started working out again - got to fit into a wedding dress in 88 days. My first trainer appt was this morning and she killed me. Any advice to beginning runners?

Also, 25 is such a great age - any quarterlife crisis yet? Are you where you thought that you'd be at 25? I didn't think that I was at the time, but in retrospect I was in a perfect place in life.

Happy Birthday!

Thanks Preppy! Congrats to you on the upcoming wedding! Keep at it with the trainer.. they definitely know what they're doing and can show you tons of great exercises for you to do with them and on your own to help you get wedding day ready! The first 3 weeks of any exercise program are always the hardest because it takes your body about that long to adjust to being so active. Keep at it, and it will definitely get easier. A lot of my answer for Susan's question above will help you out with beginning your adventures as a runner. The most important thing is to just do what you can at first, even it's just to run for 10 minutes. Keep at it, and eventually you'll feel like you can push yourself to go a little longer. Once you can run 30 minutes, assess how many miles you're doing in that time. From there, add no more than 10% more each week. So if you run 3 miles in 30 minutes, start trying to do 3.3. Once that gets easier, bump it up another 10%. I hope this helps, and feel free to shoot me an e-mail or comment if you have any other running questions as you get into it!

No quarter-life crisis for me. :) I've certainly done some thinking (as evidenced by previous posts over the past month or so) and have been trying to be on top of being sure I'm where I want to be. For a long time I would have said I'd be married and considering having a child by now. That didn't happen. And I'm fine with that. I like where I am now. I'm also trying to be mindful of the future and be really aware of if I need to make any changes. And in the meantime, my 25th birthday has served as a great reminder that I'm young and single and should be out having some fun! I've been trying to just enjoy the heck out of where I'm at right now, and doing so is really keeping things sunny and bright. I know that I have a lot of things I want to accomplish and that I'm actively trying to do so with each one... but I'm also trying to remember that I don't have to get them all done by a certain age.

Nate said...
Have you ever been out of the country? Which country (or groups of countries) do you most want to visit, if any?

Why yes I have! Back in 1997, I went out of the country for the first time when I went on a Caribbean cruise with my family. I didn't leave the US again until 2004 when I traveled through Scotland, England and France. I went back to England again in 2005.

Reference my answer to Susan's bonus question above to find out that I'd like to see New Zealand, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. I might as well add that I'd love to see Italy and Australia, too. One of these days I'm also going to get myself up to Canada since I have a friend there.

Joy said...
Hey Melanie!
Happy, happy 25th birthday! My 25th is next Monday, so I've really enjoyed reading your "pre 25th" posts. My question is this: what is your favorite Nashville restaurant? Why do you like it, and what do you have there?

Happy 25th to you as well, Joy! This is a toughie as there are SO many good places to eat around here! I'm a big dessert kind of gal, so I love stopping by our Cheesecake Factory for a slice. Bosco's also has a terrific dessert menu including this chocolate burrito type thing that I LOVE. The Pancake Pantry is terrific for pancakes, of course, but there is always a line. We have some great local mexican restauarants. I've been to The Melting Pot once, and it was pretty fantastic. It's too hard to pick one place!

Jackie said...
What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?

Well, after turning off the alarm I usually pet my cat Tucker because he climbs up on me before I can sit up and starts purring. Then, I usually go to the bathroom. Glamorous, I know. 10 minutes later I'm usually out the door.

Before I go to bed, I brush my teeth and wash my face and put on face serum and stuff in an attempt to make my skin nice and clear. I climb in bed and sometimes I read, sometimes I watch a little tv. Lately I've been watching Friends episodes. I'm on season three!

Thank you all so much for your fabulous questions and for sharing my 25th birthday with me! Congrats again to Preppy(STB)Peshke for winning the grand prize (I won't list what it is in order to keep it as a surprise for her, but keep an eye on her blog and maybe she'll let you guys know when she gets it!)! Congrats to everyone else for winning answers to all these terrific questions. I feel like we're old friends sharing a cup of coffeee...


Crazy Daisy said...

This post was SO much fun! Thanks!

B2G said...

I LOVE that Friends episode. I totally quoted it in a post not too long ago. Oh and? Your description of the physical side of a guy sounds just like my TB!

Susan said...

This was a great post! Thanks for answering all those questions, and some were pretty tough!

I would love to visit New Zealand too. I've been to Germany, and loved it! I've only gone through Austria - didn't really stay - and it is gorgeous!!! I definitely want to go back for a long visit!

I hope you get to travel to all those places you wish to see!

Glad you had (are having, actually)a happy birthday! :)

db said...

So, my new best friend here in Korea is a Kiwi (from New Zealand!) Her accent is freaking awesome and she's lovely. So, maybe I have the connection that can get you there for CHEAP! I know how Mel loves a bargain! Hehe. Hey, maybe we can meet up there!

I'm glad your birthday has been so great. I miss you!