Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Video

I'm still not feeling well. I hate sinus problems. I'm just glad it's finally the weekend so I can rest more and hopefully knock it out since next week... I should get the green light to go running.

In the meantime, I saw this on another running blog today. I kind of teared up a bit. This is the kind of stuff that I wish the media spent more time focusing on. Go here if the video won't work on here for any reason.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Police on the Street

I'm going to reveal a glimpse of what it's like to have a HUGE extended family, most of which live within a 20-mile (or smaller) radius, in this post.

Tonight I went and had dinner with my folks, and then I stuck around to watch LOST with them (oh my gosh, so many questions!) I headed back to my place.  It's true that I don't live very far from them, and for now that works.

I get to my street and start to turn on it when I realize that just past my driveway are 6 police cars, one firetruck, and one ambulance.  There's a sharp curve just a few houses down from mine on to another street.  I couldn't see any sort of car accident, but it was obvious something had gone down on the corner.

I was somewhat cautious as I got out of my car, even though I was a good ways away and the security light came on when I pulled up.  It was eerily quiet.  Even though all the vehicles had their lights on, there didn't seem to be much commotion.

I come into the house, and I call my dad.  As it so happens, I'm living in my dad's parent's house.  His aunt and uncle live down the street, and one of their sons lives across from me and the other son lives on one side of me. So yes, that means there are four houses on my street with people who are related.

My dad's cousins are both on the rescue squad, and I had noticed that the one next door had his front door open.  I knew he'd know what the heck was going on, so my dad called him to get the scoop.

Turns out: dad's cousin heard a loud boom, he went to check it out and two kids jumped in a car and took off.  Dad's cousin gets in his car and follows them.  He also calls the police.  The police catch them in the next town (which isn't really as far as it might sound) and bring them back here.

Apparently, they saw on the news last night how people were making small bombs.  They decided to give it a whirl and set one off in the road a while ago.  (Mind you, this isn't a heavily traveled road and we ARE in the south where such things as setting off explosives in the road isn't really as scary as it might sound.)  Of course, these kids were just playing around... but anytime you make a bomb, even it's small, you're probably asking for trouble.

I have to admit, it's nice to have all these connections so that I can know what's up.  A few months ago my power went out for hours, and I was able to eventually find out that a woman had run into a main power box a few blocks over.  Of course, my dad said he didn't call his cousin so much to satisfy my curiosity tonight as much as to make sure I was safe.  He said he just wanted to make sure no one was wandering around the neighborhood with a gun or anything.  Hmmm.... I guess my mind doesn't naturally go to such things.

My only real problem with the situation here is that the kids got the idea from the news.  Even with a journalism degree, I still find myself to consistently find more reasons why I'm not supportive of our culture's media.  I just don't think we need to know every thing every minute of the day.  Not that I really believe the media tells us everything, but geez... sometimes I think the media just gives people ideas and creates just as many problems as it solves.  But that's just me... and my opinion after four years in university and 3.5 years since to further form my opinions.

Anyways, the lighter point here is: DANG.  Do I live in small town America or what?  I think that's what I love about Nashville.  I can get the feel of a big city at times, but I can still enjoy how quaint it can be to live somewhere with a small-town feel.

Sick Day

It is a FACT that I never get sick when I'm running consistenly. Sure, I can't avoid catching some sort of stomach bug virus, but in general? I don't get sick.

I've had trouble with my sinuses/allergies since I was a kid, but I am convinced that running regularly helps keep everything working correctly. I only seem to have serious issues these days whenever I'm on a break from running.

Monday I felt worse and worse as the evening went on. I got in my bed at 8:45. Hello, how old are we? That was my bed time in like... middle school. I think the only time I've gone to bed "early" to my recollection in my adult years was the first time I ran a 21-miler in the heat back in 2007. I passed out watching tv at 6:30pm and slept until the next morning.

I wish I could say I slept well, but it was a fitful sleep. I tossed. I turned. I tried to clear my throat a million times in hopes that the drainage causing it to hurt might just break the next time I tried again. I sprayed my throat with Cloraseptic in an attempt to get some relief. It worked long enough to fall asleep, but then it wore off soon enough to wake me back up.

Needless to say, I didn't make it to work yesterday. I rarely take a sick day, but I felt so miserable and tired and unhappy that there was just no way I could force myself to sit at the computer all day. I finally managed to get to sleep for real around 4am and stayed in bed until 11. After that, I pretty much spent the rest of the day on the couch.

Daytime tv when you don't have cable? Surprisingly ok for the one random sick day. I watched The Bonnie Hunt Show. I laughed over two episodes of The Cosby Show that I've probably seen 5 times. I watched The Ellen Degeneres Show (seriously, that's one daytime tv show that I probably would watch regularly if I were at home). I even watched Oprah... and I'm usually pretty anti-Oprah these days.

I'm still not feeling great, and I still slept in a bit... but I made it back to work. It's exhausting. You know you don't feel well when you think if you go to sleep you won't wake up until tomorrow. However, I'm feeling a TON better today then yesterday... so I'll take it.

Oh, and by the way, thank you for your kind and encouraging comments on my last post. I certainly wasn't trying to get a bunch of sympathy, but it still brought me warm fuzzies to hear from each of you. I think some of you were even commenting for the first time! Yay! Seriously though, it's always nice to know that other people know what it's like to be in a bit of a funk. And now it's a sick funk... but I'll bounce back and return you all to your regularly scheduled Melanie blogging soon. Just stick with me for a few days.

And this is random, but do any of my fellow cat lovers out there get as big of a kick as I do out of how a cat LOVES to look out a window? I keep the blinds open in my back bedroom for Tucker because I found he loves to look out that window the most (my guess is because the dog is in the backyard). All of my other windows have something under them he can sit on and work his way behind the blinds. However, even with all these places he can view the outside world, he runs between my legs and gets up on his hind legs to look out the storm door as soon as I get the back door opened every. single. morning. You'd think he'd never seen the outside world before and that this is his only opportunity each day to see what's going on.

Of course, I'm a sucker for how cute he is and I always pick him up and hold him so he can see out for a few seconds. Today I held him longer because it was snowing, and I figured he should get to check it out. He did seem to realize there was something coming down.

And when I say snow, I mean an hour's worth of flurries that leave no sign whatsoever that they were here other than wet roads. And yet, the schools were still out today.

I wish we'd just get a really good snow. My sled hasn't been used since 2003. Seriously. It's time.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Blue World Today

I've been contemplating today if I should say what I'm about to say... I could just ignore it and go on about my merry, cheerful way. However, I'm not feeling merry or cheerful right now, and even in writing I can't just pretend like everything is perfect right now. I don't feel like it'd be appropriate to share why I am feeling a little down and out today either.

So let's do it like this: I had a pretty craptastic weekend that has caused me to feel a bit down and out. To make it worse, I woke up today with a scratchy throat that now feels like a very swollen throat. So not only am I feeling a little blue, I am now also feeling sick.

I need running back. I rarely feel ill when I run. More than that, I can usually blow off steam or let out emotions I'm feeling when I can go for a run.

When I was sitting in my floor this morning and putting on my shoes, some of the lyrics from Coldplay's song "Lost" went through my head. I feel like it'd be overdramatic to say I feel lost right now, but I do feel a little off after all these weeks of not running, and my feelings about it kind of connect with that song.

I'm sure my emotions will pass, and you'll find me back to my normal happy self in no time. But for today, I'm in a really blue sort of mood. And I don't like it one bit.

I'm in no way trying to solicit sympathy, especially since I don't feel like publicly sharing what's up. But I'm putting it out there... I honestly feel really unhappy today. I always bounce back, but for today... it sucks.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Book that Might Make You Cry

Even though I can be a bit of a softy, I don't usually cry over books and movies. The exception to the rule seems to be books and movies about animals, such as when I fought back sobs when I went to see Marly & Me.

Today I finished reading Dewey by Vicky Myron. You may have heard of it. It's a book about a cat who was shoved into a library book drop and how the library adopted it. He lived in that library for 19 years, and the book shares some of the heartwarming and heartbreaking stories from those 19 years.

I'm not spoiling anything to say that I knew when I picked it up that there was only one reason why the book summary specified that he lived there for 19 years. Most cats don't live that long. I still couldn't help but tear up toward the end of the book.

All of that aside, it's really one of the best books I've read lately. I think even if you're not a cat lover, you'd love this book. It's not just about a cat... it's about a small town in Iowa and the people who live there. It's full of good stuff about life with some of the lessons about how a pet can help us in good times and bad sprinkled throughout it.

My favorite lines came toward the end: "Find your place. Be happy with what you have. Treat everyone well. Live a good life. It isn't about material things; it's about love. And you can never anticipate love." So true.

In other news, I was freezing my butt off earlier in the week, and today it's 64 degrees. Gotta love Tennessee weather. If I could run, you better believe I'd be squeezing in a short run at the park before dark. Less than two weeks and I can actually do that!

I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend. I'm getting closer to being done with my race scrapbook, so I hope to knock out more pages on that. I desperately need to clean my house... I did take my car to get it vacuumed and washed today, and I'm pretty sure I haven't done that since October. I'm also hoping to catch up with a few friends. Oh, and I'm SO sleeping in tomorrow. :)

Have a good weekend, and good luck to anyone running a race!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Post that Doesn't Say Much of Anything

When I first started blogging in 2007, I didn't really feel any reason to have an anonymous blog. I know that some people prefer that for their own blogs, but it wasn't something I felt the need to do. Most of the time, I never regret this decision.

Once in a blue moon, however, I kind of wish I was anonymous. I am by nature a VERY private person, and I rarely share the more personal details of my life with anyone outside of 1-2 close friends. Every now and then, I find myself wanting to blog about something to see what all of you awesome people think... but since I'm not anonymous, I don't do it. I don't want to expose something really personal and have it linked back directly to me. It doesn't even have to be anything bad... it's just that sometimes there are things I'd love input on, but I also don't want it publicized on the world wide web.

I hope that makes sense. :) No need to worry dear readers... nothing is wrong. I've just been thinking today about how nice it might be on occasion to be completely vulnerable to readers and share things that I don't share just to get the opinion of other people who may know more about certain things than I do.

I haven't really had it on my mind to do much posting this week. I'm easing back into some working out, but I still have a dull ache in my hip sometimes so I'm taking it easy. Today I need to continue to work on cleaning my house. I knocked the bathroom and vanity out the other night, but I still need to do a lot of vacuuming and dusting. I've decided that's going to be my workout today.

And last night, I was a total couch potato. I watched the hour LOST recap and then the 2-hour season premier. It's definitely my favorite show and the only one that I make sure to never miss an episode... I'll always tape it if I'm not going to be home.

Hope everyone's been having a good week. I personally am ready for the weekend. Work has been a little slow this week. I'm not too worried right now about my job security (which I know is a blessing), but I do better when I'm keeping busy. Watching the minutes tick by and waiting for an order to come in through our website is tedious.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Thankful Tuesday

You people rock! Thanks for all the great swimming advice. I feel way more motivated and encouraged to get my butt in the pool and get at it. I also found out that my gym has a special swim team you can join where there is a coach who gives you workouts and stuff. Plus, you get to meet other people. So I might check that out.

Last night I ended up going to the pool class. It ended up being a pretty decent workout, but I found that I got really bored. I think it was the boost I need to get myself in that lap pool!

I took Tucker back to the vet today for a check-up since we found out two weeks ago he has Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. The new food had brought his pH level back to normal and there was no sign of the crystals that cause blockages, but he still had blood in his urine. So now he's on a prescription food which should eliminate that. Of course, it costs more... but in the grand scheme of things it's dirt cheap to feed him compared to a dog... or a child. So I'll take it. :) I'm just thankful that it seems like there's little to worry about for the time being.

We've had snow flurries coming down since yesterday morning. It's really pretty to look out the window and see them floating down. There's been zero accumulation though. If it's going to snow, I'd rather it didn't tease me. I want a BIG snow. Snow that shuts down TN and that you can sled in. I haven't been sledding since the last big snow we got... in 2003. It's time.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Confession, a Call for Advice and Some Other Riff Raff

I have a confession.

I've been off the crutches for almost 2 weeks and have a green light to swim, but I have yet to go swimming.

Part of it is because my gym membership wouldn't renew until last Thursday (I had it put on hold for a month while I was injured to save some cash). Since then? I've just been lazy.

And I'm tired of being lazy. But today? Today I feel nervous. It's been a LONG time since I was on my high school swim team. I know that I won't have much endurance to swim for very long. I keep thinking about how I'll go in there, swim a few laps, wear myself out, and then have to leave with wet hair in 30 degree weather. It's not like me to make excuses. I should be singing from the rooftops that I can do something active again.

It's just hard. I'm a runner, not a swimmer. I have great ambitions in my head of swimming 1-2 times a week for cross training because I know it'd be SO good for me. I'm just finding it hard to get started. I wish I had a buddy to join me at the lap pool. Since I don't, do any of you out there who swim (whether occasionally or often) have any advice for me?

I'm thinking about easing into things today by taking one of the cardio swim classes today. I have visions of being the only young person there, but cardio is cardio regardles of the demographics of who comes to the class, right?

I had a relatively low-key weekend. I DID go to the gym on Saturday to celebrate my newfound freedom to use my newly reactivated membership. I did about 25 minutes of upper body weights, and it felt great! I got to check out all of the new equipment they had gotten in. They have beautiful new treadmills. Only two more weeks and I can get on one!

The rest of the weekend I tried to stay in and avoid the cold. I got a LOT done on the scrapbook. Thank you all for your kind comments about the pictures of it that I posted yesterday. I find that once I just sit down and do it, I really enjoy it. I love when I get on a roll and knock a bunch out. I've only got 7 more races to do and then I'll be all caught up! It's fun remembering each race as I scrap it. I know I'll be glad to have a book where I can reminisce over all my races at once any time I want.

I also found out that the New Kids on the Block are coming to Nashville. I'm so not even kidding when I say I will be at Ticketmaster when it opens next week to buy tickets. I know it's cheesy, but I LOVED them as a kid and wanted desperately to go to one of their concerts. Now I have that chance, and I'm going.

In other random news, I went to K-Mart with my mom last night to pick something up. I was waiting in the car, and noticed two police cars in front. I wondered what was up, and then I saw two officers walking out a guy in handcuffs! I'd never actually seen someone get arrested and put in cuffs before, so I was straining to see what was going on (and if I knew the person in cuffs). I kept looking and realized that I did know someone - one of the officers! He's an old friend of mine. I have to say, it was really fun watching him put the guy in his car and then talk to the other officer before they spoke to the K-Mart employee and then left. I'm going to have to call him and tell him I saw him arrest someone. (And I know maybe it sounds creepy to be sitting in the car watching all of this... it's not. I wasn't very well going to get out of the car when I saw him and run over to say hi or anything. I doubt he'd appreciate that... plus, he has a gun. Friend or not, you shouldn't run up out of a dark parking lot to say hi to a guy with a gun.)

Seriously... any swimming advice would be much appreciated. Hope you all had a great weekend.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What I've Been Up To

A few people have asked to see some of my scrapbook work, so here are some snapshots of what I've already finished.  Forgive me, but I've also included a gratuitous picture of Tucker. :)









Friday, January 16, 2009

2009 Plans

I know I'm late with getting on board the train for what I'm aiming for in 2009, but it's better late than never, right?

Let's go with some categories for my goals...

FITNESS/RUNNING
  • Heal from injury :)
  • Run at least one of each event: 5K, 10-miler, Half-Marathon and Marathon
  • Run additional races if body and schedule allow
  • Set at least two new PRs in two different distances (one hopefully being a 4:15 in the marathon)
  • Run 600 miles (I was 3 miles shy last year because of the injury)
  • Cross train twice a week as often as possible (swim, bike, yoga, etc.) to improve strength and flexibility

FINANCIAL

  • Continue with monthly deposits to Roth IRA and money market savings account
  • Never let my savings account dip below the amount I've designated as my emergency fund (unless there is an emergency and I NEED it)
  • Build up the amount of savings after my emergency fund to save for future purchases
  • Follow budget to limit spending and increase extra cash to transfer to saving

I realize my financial goals are evasive on here, but that's because you don't all need to know what amounts I'm trying to save and all that jazz. Suffice it to say that I like to keep my saving a high priority since I figure there's always a chance of big purchases in the coming years (car, maybe a house, etc.). I like to have some play money on hand as well for trips, concerts, etc. Plus, I like earning interest. :)

OTHER HOBBIES

  • Finish my race scrapbook and keep it caught up
  • Finally finish scrapbooking the last 3 semesters of college and start working on scrapbooking all that's happened since then (believe me, if I could ever finish college, it'd be a lot easier to finally catch up to the present... I can't believe how much I did in college!)
  • Read at least 2 books I want to read each month

PERSONAL

  • Create a 101 in 1001 list and begin working on it
  • Take at least two fun trips
  • Go to at least three concerts
  • Pursue some freelance writing leads more strongly and attempt to actually do some to begin gaining experience
  • Continue volunteering twice a month (if not more)
  • Try to find a church or Bible study that is a good fit
  • Take care of my skin
  • Focus on how I can live a life of love, beauty and grace

I love getting a new planner for a new year. It's so full of possibility when it's blank. I haven't really put a lot of things down on paper for 2009 yet, but there are a few things that are certain.

  1. I should be back in shape to run the Country Music Half in April, but we'll see as time goes by.
  2. I am going to see Dave Matthews Band here in Nashville in April. I bought my tickets yesterday! That will be concert #2 for the year.
  3. I am hopefully rescheduling my trip to visit Steph in Chicago in the next month or two since I had to cancel my December trip because of my injury.
  4. I will definitely run the RC Cola and Moon Pie 10-Miler in June as usual.
  5. I am definitely running the Chicago Marathon in October as my comeback to the full! It will be a fun weekend because my mom is going to go with me and spend a few days exploring the city.
  6. I would like to run another marathon in December, but we'll see how I feel after Chicago.
  7. I will also turn 26 in less than 4 months. It's crazy... 25 is going by so quickly.

I hope to meet new people and make new friends this year. I intend on doing a lot of my training runs this summer for Chicago with the local running club, so that should be fun.

I'm looking forward to seeing what 2009 has in store!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Taste of Pop Culture in My World

We have some fun things to catch up on!

Tuesday night, my sister and I took our mom to the Celine Dion Taking Chances concert at our big hockey arena in Nashville. Seriously, that place is huge! We had pretty great seats on the front row of one of the balconies. I'd say 95% of the seats were full, and I was surprised at how many men were there. Then Celine came on stage, and I could see why the men might not have minded their women dragging them there. Celine has a pretty great body. I mean, if my legs look that good when I'm in my 40s and have had a kid, I'll be a happy girl. If I can find a reason to wear a short sparkly dress and stilettos to show them off, that'd rock, too.

In all seriousness, I've never been an avid listener of her music, but she's pretty mainstream when it comes to pop culture so I wasn't surprised that I recognized most of the songs she did. The woman really can hold out an impossibly high note for a ridiculous length of time. She's got some serious spunk, too. She ran around the stage. She danced. She busted some moves that I know I am no longer flexible enough to pull off. Her 360 degree stage had treadmill belts built in so that she could be moved down it while she held out a note or walk on it and not really go anywhere. It's hard to explain, but it was cool.

She had dancers all over the place at times. She disappeared into the middle of the stage to change outfits about 6 times. As for the outfits? Wow. I wouldn't mind having a few of them myself. Not that I'd know where I could pull off wearing them, but still...

All in all, mom was tickled to death that she got to see her live and insisted that we need to start going to more concerts. We had a lot of fun and left feeling entertained. Celine even had a guy do an opening act of impersonations of musicians and actors that was pretty terrific. He had us cracking up for 30 minutes. In the end, it may have been the best present we could have given mom... and enjoyed ourselves.

Last night after a meeting for the community board I sit on at a local non-profit, I went with my family to this awesome little polynesian restaurant we have in town. It's a little pricey, so we only go once a year around the holidays. Before my pop pop died in 2000, the extended family went to celebrate his birthday each December. We found that we still needed an annual Omni Hut fix, so we keep going back. It's a delicious special treat each year.

Next up, I have read the first two books in the Twilight series this past week. I really felt like I needed to be in the pop culture loop, so I got the first two for Christmas and picked them up. My opinion so far? Honestly, I like them well enough that I've ordered the second two online to read. However, I don't know that I feel compelled to join in all the hype about them. Don't get me wrong, I like them just fine. I haven't closed them and abandoned them like I have with plenty of books in the past. There's nothing inadvertently wrong with the writing (but I have found quite a few typos, which always irritates me because someone got paid to edit the thing and missed things!). I just am not on board with all the fuss.

Maybe I'm a tough critic when it comes to books about mythical characters. I feel like J.K. Rowling is one of the most talented authors of such a genre out there, so it's hard for me to not compare other work to her Harry Potter books. These definitely in no way compare to Harry Potter in my opinion.

Plus, sometimes when I've been reading, I keep thinking, "Ok, let's move it along." It seems like some things are unneccessarily dragged out. Plus, I currently have mixed feelings on how a teenage girl can be so in love she wants to give up her soul. I know it's fiction, but still... I'll come back to all of this once I read the other two and can offer a more concrete opinion. These are just my thoughts so far.

I've actually read a LOT the past few months. I keep meaning to make a list of everything I've read for you guys in case anyone wants to know what I'd recommend. A lot of it has been guilty pleasure reading, but that's always a good thing, right?

It is unusually cold in TN. Today the high is 24 and the low is 8, with windchills around -10. This doesn't. happen. here. I wore 3 layers on top and my new running tights under my jeans. I figured I might as well get some use out of the tights! I also splurged and got some Starbucks at lunchtime. Yum!

Oh, and registration for the Chicago marathon opens on Feb. 1. This is for real about to happen. I may have to start running slowly in a few weeks, but I'm hoping to be back to normal within a few months so that training for this race can start off with a bang in June. Heck. Yes.

Another Call to Delurk

Apparently it's delurking week on the ole blogosphere.

I have no clever gimmicks for you today, but I'd still love it if you'd delurk anyways. :)

If you've been reading my blog and never commented, please leave a note and say hi. I'd love to know who my readers are and check out your blog if you've got one.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Speaking of Nintendo Games...

Is it sad when a song comes on your Pandora and you recognize it from playing Rock Band on the Wii?

And you don't even have your own Wii?

On My Mind Today

Last night, I finally started taking down my Christmas decorations. Hear me out... I was on crutches until Wednesday. With my new mobility, I wanted to have some fun, and taking down decorations is not fun. Instead, I went to see Bride Wars on Friday night with a friend, my mom and my sister. Super cute movie! I rarely go pay the $9 to see one in the theater, but I love both Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson so I just had to splurge. Anyways, I got everything put away except for the tree. I'm saving that one for another evening when I have new energy. Eventually, I need to clean my house since I haven't done so since before the crutches.

I also attempted shopping for jeans on Sunday. This ended up not being fun. Over the course of several shopping trips the past two month, I have determined that I cannot buy jeans at the following locations: The Limited (which is where I used to get them but they no longer have a style that fits me right), Old Navy, American Eagle, Delia's, AĆ©ropostale, Kohl's, Goody's, Express, NY & Co., and Target. I'm going to have to break down and start looking at the more expensive ones. I don't mind the idea of paying a lot for one pair of jeans if I can find a pair that fit me exactly the way I want them to fit. I can get by a bit longer without buying new ones, but eventually I need to find some that fit. My biggest problem? They usually fit everywhere except the waist... and then they look like they fit in the front, but they have a terrible gape in the back that I can usually stick both my fists in. A belt wouldn't help because then it'll just cause a bunch of wadded denim in the back. Grrr... I really hate shopping for pants.

I have about $50 in gift cards at Target. I wandered around the other day and didn't see anything I just had to have. I don't want to waste it on stuff I don't really need. I'm thinking I might hang on to them and buy myself a Wii for my birthday (which is 4 months away, so I may buy it early). As usual, I have to mull over such a large purchase for at least a month or two. It's just the way I roll when something costs more than $100.

I have yet to make it to the pool, but I did buy some swim goggles this past weekend so I'm set. I can't wait to start being active again! I get to start running Feb. 4th, so I'm also looking forward to that. I'm hoping swimming will help me get some fitness back before I start back with more lower body stuff. I also want to get to Arms & Abs over the next few weeks so I can build some core and upper body strength up again, too!

Tonight... and I know this is going to make some people laugh... I'm going to a Celine Dion concert. My sister and I knew how much our mom wanted to go, so we surprised her on Christmas morning with tickets. Granted, we'll be in the nose bleed section and probably watch the video screens if we really want to see things, but it should be a good time. I used to dance, so I always enjoy a good show where there's lots of dancing like what she's supposed to have. Report to come tomorrow.

I'm still working on those 2009 goals to post in time. I realize it's taking me the first month of the year to plan the year, but January doesn't really count in my opinion. It's such a blah sort of month, don't you think? :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

I Love Lists

Because I love lists, and because it's a crazy busy Monday, and because I wanted to offer a little something and don't have time to really write... here is a list that's been circulating the blogsphere. I thought I'd join in. It's interesting to see what I've done.

Here's the rule: Bold the things you've done & post on your blog!
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (it was middle school... I played flute)
4. Visited Hawaii (Oh I will someday!)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (DisneyWorld like 5 times, but never Disneyland)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (I don't think it's the original for numerous reasons)
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (so that I could interview for a new job!)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (do the ones in The Venetian in Las Vegas count?)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (Scotland!)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (I did minor in French, but I can hardly speak it)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (I think I am blessed.. no complaints)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (never in a million years)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (kind of... got a stress fracture)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (oh goodness, you have no idea)
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year's Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life (I've been told I have)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

I'm not sure what all this says about me aside from the fact that I like to travel. :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

By the way...

  • Click on over to my blog sometime if you read in a reader... I have a new design.
  • The new cat food gives Tucker gas.  The other day he was in my lap, and all of a sudden there was a really awful smell.  I  am hoping that maybe once he's adjusted to the new food that will no longer happen.
  • I so slept in today.. and this is something I did a lot of over the break, but this morning I was still curled up in bed listening to the rain outside and I thought,"Well, the only good thing about not running right now is that I didn't have to drag myself out of bed at 7 to go run in this cold, wet mess."  There's always a bright side, right?
  • Instead, I'm going to keep plugging away at the scrapbook.  I"m going to try to take some pictures of what I've done soon and share.

Friday, January 9, 2009

2008 in Review

I know I'm behind, but it's time for me to close out 2008 and start thinking about what 2009 will hold. Today I bring you a month-by-month recap of the more important things that happened in 2008. Look for a post with some goals (running and personal) for 2009.

January: I started running again after taking a few weeks off over the holidays. I had also just completed my 3rd marathon, so I needed a break. I did go see Spirit of the Marathon in the theater to get some extra motivation. I also remember well how shocked I felt one day when I was running on the treadmill at the gym and saw on tv that Heath Ledger died. If my memory is correct, I was proud of myself for striking up a conversation with a hot guy at the gym. Nothing came of it, but I'm always pleased with myself when I'm a bit bold.

February: I watched Eli Manning lead his team to a Super Bowl win with good friends. I went to Knoxville with Danielle for a super fun weekend with our friend Bennett before she left for Korea. I spent another Valentine's Day alone, but the florist gave me a red cowgirl hat and I wore it the rest of the day. I also made an Outlook reminder to suggest to my boss that we order flowers for his wife sooner than the morning of V-Day.

March: I set a half PR of 1:56:09 in the middle of a thunderstorm. This was VERY exciting. I was putting in some longer runs and feeling good about my fitness. I also got excited when I heard NKOTB was getting back together, and I was disappointed they were coming nowhere near here on tour. I was really ready for warmer weather.

April: I volunteered for a huge event in Nashville for the non-profit I volunteer for regularly. It was exhausting but super rewarding. I also went to a Bon Jovi concert with some people a good bit older than me and had a blast! I finished the month helping a friend get a new half PR when we ran my fine city's Country Music Half in 2:02. There was much celebrating that evening.

May: I turned 25. This presented a bit of an emotional roller coaster for a few weeks, but I've settled into the age nicely. I celebrated my birthday with friends and family. I also went to Gatlinburg with my mom and sis. My blog also celebrated it's first anniversary.

June: I saw my best friend Stephanie graduate from Harvard Law in Boston. I also started struggling with allergy problems and felt awful for a while. I still ran a 10-mile race in the heat anyways. I also headed to Florida with the family.

July: I started the month still in Florida. I finally started to feel better. I did very little running. I went to DC for the first time since I was a kid.

August: I saw Dave Matthews Band in Memphis. I bought an iMac. I won my age group in a local 5K, something that has never happened. It's the fastest 5K I had run in over 7-8 years. (I am so a distance girl.)

September: I went to Toronto for a weekend with my two best girls and had a blast. I was disappointed they don't stamp your passport at the border. I started getting more hardcore about my marathon training again.

October: I ran a lot of long runs, and I had my first ever 100-mile month. I ran in a local half in some really warm weather. It was no PR, but I did break 2 hours. Amanda was in town from Canada. We had a blast here and in Knoxville.

November: I ran my 4th marathon at the Battlefield Marathon. It was just a training run, so I took it easy. I also did my first video blog. I ran a 5-mile race on Thanksgiving that made me certain something was wrong with my hip. (Looking back, I'm surprised I maintained a 9:00 minute mile pace with a stress fracture.)

December: Instead of running the full I'd been training for, I walked the Memphis Half. I had a nice weekend. I found out I had a fracture in the neck of my left femur and started a 4-week adventure on crutches. My emotions were heightened and sent me into varying moods of depression and acceptance. I enjoyed the holidays and got to see the boy again. I watched a lot of tv. I had 12 straight days of no work. I started making a race scrap book.

So all in all, there were definitely a lot of good things that happened in 2008. I think the year ended a little more roughly than I'd like, but it helps that I got good news this week about my injury. 2009 is already looking up.

I hadn't really set definitive goals for 2008 other than to save some money and run some races. I certainly achieved those (aside from not getting to run the full I had been training for the past few months!).

I'm actually in the process of getting down some specifics for 2009. I'll be back with those soon. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm Back!

Ignore the terrible face that I am making right here where I stopped the video.  Wow.  Note to self: Make sure to smile pretty until the camera is for sure stopped.

Nonetheless, I'm back.  Here's a video about what I've been up to for like the past 10 days.  Both good news and bad news are involved!


New Year from Mel Belle on Vimeo.