Friday, February 27, 2009

Seriously?!

I was driving back from picking up some lunch. There's this small bridge on the street my office is on that goes over the railroad tracks. As I'm starting on to the bridge, the large truck in the other lane inches across the double-yellow line and is coming at me head on. I see him holding his cell phone up in front of his face.

I honk. It's not even a big honk because he wasn't quite close enough for me to panic yet, but it was a little toot to get his attention so that he could pull back into his lane before getting too close to me.

Dude flipped me off.

Seriously?! All I could think is how much I wish that I had some sort of loud speaker system that I could have flipped on and said, "Um, excuse me?! You better believe that if you had hit me head on, you'd be getting more than a friendly honk from me buddy." I don't really get worked up over these sort of things and I really don't care, but it just blows me away how people act sometimes.

In other news, our weather is insane right now. Yesterday it was sunny and 70 degrees. Over night, it started pouring down rain (seriously, I haven't heard it rain so hard in a long time). Today the temps are falling and by tomorrow we'll have 27 degrees and snow flurries. I laughed pretty hard when the radio DJs this morning were giving the weekend weather and said, "So if you don't like the weather, wait a few hours and it'll change." Only in Tennessee can you experience so many weather types in a 36-hour period of time.

I'm planning on running again today, and then next week I'm going to bump up to running 3 days a week. Despite being eager to get back in shape, I really haven't been quite as gung ho about running as I thought I'd be. I think it's that I'm not able to do near as much as I'm used to, so it just feels weird to be running so little. After 4 weeks of 2 running days and 2-3 cross training days, I think I'm ready to bump up the number of days I'm running to my usual 3 days. I figure after that gets comfortable, then I can start working on slowly but surely adding some mileage.

I actually don't have a lot of plans this weekend. I didn't really make any because last weekend was so full with my trip to Chicago that I knew I'd want to take it easy this weekend. I might join some friends at some point, but I'm definitely looking forward to relaxing and being free to decide on a whim what I want to do. I haven't had a weekend with zero set plans in a while, so it's nice.

Hope everyone else has a good one!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

On My Constant State of Soreness

Getting back in shape is tough. I knew it would be, but DANG. My whole body perpetually hurts these days.

I ran 30 minutes straight yesterday for the first time since November. I took it at a much slower pace than I'm used to, but I knew I had to if I wanted to run longer. I'm still trying to be really careful to not increase anything too much at once. It felt good to run for that long again!

I've also had two days this week I couldn't get to the gym, so I used the Shred DVD both days. The second time I decided that since I had tried Level 1 3 times and it hadn't been SO bad that I should try Level 2. Oh. My. Goodness.

It was hard! I got really sweaty! I was even more sore the day after than I am after Level 1! Needless to say, I think I'm going to stick with Level 1 a little longer until I can do it without being incredibly sore the next day. My core is still so weak, and my legs could use the extra help as well. I can definitely feel it working, and I think using it will be a good way to regain some of my overall strength as I keep building up my running.

Today? I'm taking it easy on the bike. I have still felt so tired from the weekend, and working out definitely wears me out more right now than it does when I'm in really good shape. I feel like I could take a nap right here at my desk! I know I am going to be so thankful when I can get back out there and log 5 miles after work and still feel great for the rest of the day.

I have definitely identified that my game plan needs to be to work on strength and flexibility a lot until I can do heavier mileage. I know it'll be so helpful for my running when I can run more again, but more than that I know it'll make everything easier. My hamstrings right now are SO tight... I need to get my butt to yoga this week since I didn't make it last week.

A special shout out to some of my new readers! Thanks for stopping by. Today's post is a bit fluff, but I promise I have more to say other times.

And I was surprised only one person noticed my Sufjan Stevens reference yesterday... or maybe some of you did and didn't say anything. Regardless, if you don't listen to his tunes, you should!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"drove to Chicago... all things go, all things go..."

I had a FANTASTIC weekend in Chicago. It was so much fun that I'm still pretty worn out from the trip... and just now posting about it... and it's Wednesday afternoon.

All of the pictures I'm posting will be below. I took a ton more, but I think these are some of the best that give a highlight of the weekend.

Since Steph and Patrick were at work on Friday, I spent the day wandering around on my own in the cold. Don't worry... I went prepared. Not only did I have on my running tights and Under Armour long-sleeve, I had on jeans, a sweater, snow boots, a scarf, hat and gloves. Other than my face, I stayed warm.

I had never checked out Millennium Park on either of my previous trips, so I headed on over and took the typical tourist photos in the bean. It has some other name, but apparently everyone just calls it the bean since that's what it looks like. I also checked out Grant Park since I know the marathon starts there in October. I'm super pumped about running it, and I'm even more excited that S&P live so close. I will totally just walk the 10 minutes over to it on race day. Yay!

Friday evening we went to one of the coolest bars I have ever gone to, and it may just be because we don't really have bars like it around here. Anyone in the Chicago area ever been to The Violet Hour? If not, then you should check out. The place is really dimly lit with candles and serves some of the most amazing (and pricey) cocktails I have ever had! I had one drink made with Pimm's, something that I've only ever had in Europe and that I've never found anywhere here in the states until this night. We had a good time laughing, talking and trying some unusual appetizers.

Saturday was spent having a nice brunch at West Egg Café and wandering around some of the stores on Michigan Avenue. I didn't find anything, but the birthday girl made a few purchases. It had snowed overnight, so I was busy being in awe of all the snow on things. :)

We took it pretty easy and hung out at the apartment the rest of the day, but I did enjoy some authentic Chicago pizza for dinner and watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog again. If you haven't seen this, you must! Seriously. Take 45 minutes, watch it and report back to me.

Saturday night we celebrated Steph's birthday at the dueling piano bar in town, Howl at the Moon. I LOVE a good dueling piano bar, and I actually discovered this one in Chicago with Steph and Amanda during our 2007 Wrecking Crew weekend. It wasn't long after that we got one in Nashville, and it's always a good time.

Sunday was a pretyt laid back day before I headed back to TN. I didn't do nearly as much touristy stuff as I usually like to do, but this was mostly because I've already done most of it on my previous trips. I was just happy to celebrate my best friend's birthday and spend a weekend hanging out with her. I'd like to hope that one of these days we're not going to live quite so far apart, but for now I'm happy to be able to make weekends like this one happen.

All in all, Chicago is one of my favorites cities to visit. I definitely enjoyed this trip, even if it was soooo much colder than what I'm used to here in the sunny south!













Monday, February 23, 2009

Back in the South

I'm back!

Of course, you're going to have to be patient and wait for me to share all about my fantastic (and cold and snowy!) weekened in Chicago. I promise to share a few details and pictures soon.

For now, I'm back in the south. It's surprisingly not much warmer, but we don't have any snow. I am so ready for spring it's not even funny. I want to wear t-shirts. I want to wear sandals. I want to run outside in shorts.

The good news is that it's sunny in these parts today, including my own personal disposition. I'm feeling pretty happy these days.

I took time off from much exercise while I was out of town, but I did walk around the city a lot and managed to make my left leg really sore. The good thing is that I don't feel any sort of pain or discomfort where my injury was... the soreness is totally just the rest of my leg trying to get used to all the activity and regain its strength. I'll take it, but at the same time I'm ready for it to go on and catch up.

I'm playing a little catch up myself... I have exciting plans tonight involving unpacking and laundry and tidying up the house. I'm hoping to work in a Shred workout with Jillian Michael's as well. I need to start using it more often. My tummy is ready to get some of its firmness back!

I'll be back for real when I catch up other things in my life. Stayed tuned... I got some great photos on my trip to share!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Interesting Work Day

I've been having an interesting day at work.
  • I received the Comcast bill for our internet, and it showed we didn't pay last month and charged us a late fee. I called the bank and got proof that the check did clear. I had mailed it on Jan. 28. It was due Feb. 1. It was only going from Nashville to Atlanta, so they should have had it on the 30th, leaving 2 days until the due date. I called and they said they did post the payment, but it wasn't until Feb. 9, thus the late fee. I told them I didn't think I should have to pay a late fee just because they posted it late. She said they post them as soon as they receive them. I said I mailed it the 28th and can't fathom how they didn't get it until the 9th. She credited the late fee. This was wise. I would have put up a bigger fight. Oh, and I also found that if you just keep hitting 0 over and over when you call their customer service, you get through to a real person a lot more quickly.
  • A guy came in and tracked mud all over the place. Our cleaning guy doesn't come until Monday. I've opted to leave them for him since that's what we pay him for. And we won't have any customers in here before next week to see it. But really... I've never seen so much mud on someone's shoes.
  • One of our customers received some product from us that was damaged. The box was completely intact, so that rules out UPS inflicting major damage. My boss and I both know it's because the company we buy the items from does not package the product sufficiently because they are cheapskates. I emailed our rep to ask him to send replacements, and he writes back saying they've been sending a lot of replacements to this one customer and what's up with that? So I politely write back it's one of our oldest and best customers who buy a LOT from us, and lately they're the only ones we've been shipping this product to. I also said I don't doubt their honesty and integrity and that I believe the items are not packaged in a way to prevent damage. I then asked again when the replacements will be sent. I'm not offended that he questioned me, but I mean, when you don't package your products appropriately, don't be surprised when you keep getting calls that they're damaged. (Meanwhile, this particular vendor gives me more headaches than any other vendor we buy from... so I'm not really surprised.)

Meanwhile, it was pouring down rain last night when I went to sleep. I love when that happens. I woke up once around 2am and it was still coming down. Tucker was all cozied up next to me keeping me warm. I really think that's the perfect way to sleep... rain outside, someone keeping you warm in bed. (And yes, I know a man would be better than a cat, but I'm not taking for granted why I've got for the time being.)

It was still rainy this morning, but now the sun has come out and it is WARM. I'm talking 68 degrees. I think I might have to sneak outside for a bit after I ship orders.

I'm happy today. I've got Pandora playing the good stuff, and I've got a smile on my face. I've got a lot to look forward to right now, and that's certainly a good feeling.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Making Plans

Apparently mentioning the potential of getting hit on by a yoga instructor is something that peaks a lot of your interests. I got quite a few emails and comments, most of which asked me if he was cute. The answer? Yes. I also liked how some of you had opinions of whether or not he was actually flirting. I'm still not so sure, but either way it was kind of nice to have a cute guy come up and talk to me. That's rarely, if ever, a bad thing.

I also really appreciate how encouraging you've all been as I've started running again. I know I've got a ways to go before I can crank it up, but it feels really good to be hitting up the gym again. I don't even mind the treadmill so much. I'm just glad to be moving. Granted, my running doesn't feel quite as fluid right now as it usually does. It's also not coming as easily as I would like, but I think within a few more weeks I should start feeling an improvement.

I want to start using the Jillian Michaels Shred DVD more often. I did Level 1 on Friday.. not only was it hard to last the 20 minutes, but I'm also just now getting past the soreness it left me with. I know that my core has gotten pretty soft during my inactive 2 months, and I think the DVD could help me tone it up a bit. I'll post more on what I think about the DVD when I've had a chance to do it more often and see if I notice any changes to my body.

I know we're closing in rapidly on the month of March, but beginning to run and work out again makes me feel like I'm at the beginning of a new year. I have decided that other than a 5K or 10K in a month or two, I probably won't do any longer races until I run the 10-Miler in June that I've run the past 3 years. I can't miss that one! I figure within a month or two I should be ok to start adding some real mileage, and then I can really train to try to PR at the 10-Miler. I've always just run it for fun after running the Nashville Half or Full, so it might be neat to really make this race one where I try to reach a new goal.

After that? Marathon training. I really want to PR at Chicago, and so far my research is giving me tons of insight. I hope to develop the perfect training plan over the coming months as I dig and read more.

It looks like it'll be a lighter year for racing (of course, I'll run some shorter races throughout the year!). Even still.... I think it's going to be a good year. I have some big goals for the races I am going to run, and I'm looking forward to reaching them.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Post-Valentine's Weekend Post

I like to think that I do a decent job at balancing my life.  However, sometimes in the winter I have a tendency to not get out quite as often as I do in the summer.  I think this is normal for a lot of people, especially in climates that can be cold.  

About this time of year, I find myself itching to get a bit more active again.  I'll even brave the cold weather a bit more than I would in say, January.  I think it's because I know that spring is on the horizon, and any day now I'll start pulling out all my cute summery tops that I know and love.

In an effort to not be a crazy cat lady this Valentine's Day, I went to a small party at a somewhat old and somewhat new friend's pad.  I sort of knew this gal in college, but we never really hung out much before.  I appreciate the invite to her party and, even though I knew I wouldn't know anyone there really well, I put on some cute clothes and headed out there.

I had a blast.  There was nothing in particular that made it super exciting.  There was pizza and beverages and music and Wii and laughter and catching up.  You get my jist.  It was a comfortable evening.  I left feeling a new sense of energy about connecting with people that I hadn't felt in a while.  It felt good.

All in all, I had a pretty nice weekend.  I got to spend some time with some other friends as well as relax a bit.  I ventured out on Sunday for the yoga class at the Y, where the teacher may or may not have been flirting with me.  I have a hard time telling sometimes whether a guy is flirting or just being polite.  I wasn't sure what I was in for when I saw him walking up (I'm rarely approached by guys at the gym), and I was really uncertain when he opened with, "I'm going to go out on a limb here..." and a dramatic pause.  The rest of the sentence was a simple "you're here for yoga, aren't you?"  (My yoga mat may have been the big clue on this one.)

After about five minutes, he worked it into the conversation that he was teaching the class.  I was absolutely clueless.  I've never been when he's been teaching before.  By that point, I decided he was just being friendly to a student.  Even so, it's probably the biggest conversation I've had at the gym in months... (of course, there was at least one month I didn't go anyways.)

Today was a busy day at work (we don't get President's Day off), but the boss took me to Red Lobster.  I LOVE those cheese biscuits.

I also worked in another run.  This time I walked 2 minutes, ran 10 minutes, and then repeated it twice more.  I know I'll bounce back sooner rather than later, but my lungs are definitely still killing me.  And sometimes my left leg feels like a separate entity.  Other than that, things are going well.

Hope everyone had a terrific weekend!  I've got some fun things going on this week.  There's certainly much to be happy about today.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Friday the 13th!

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I was born on a Friday the 13th. Whenever one rolls around, it's always a little fun for me. Sometimes they end up being really good days, and I always like to think it's because I'm especially luck on them. Of course, sometimes they're also relatively normal days... so we'll see how today turns out.

I swam 500 yards yesterday! It was pretty exciting for me. Granted, I had to rotate breaststroke and freestyle because I just can't do numerous laps of free just yet. I also had to stop and take little breaks in between every other lap, but I tried to run in the shallow in to keep my heartrate up a bit. I know that when I was on the swim team in high school, the first couple of weeks kicked my butt. I figure this is kind of like that... without running much, my cardiovascular isn't quite up to par. I want to work on the swimming though... I saw a new flyer for an indoor triathlon for people who have never done one, so I'm kind of toying with the idea in my head. We'll come back to this later.

I have opted to not say anything about it on here, but I've been back to the single life for a while now. Thus, I have no big Valentine's Day plans. I just didn't want that to be a big surprise when I make no mention of a romantic weekend. But it's my blog and I didn't want to talk about it here. I'll be hanging out with some friends at various times this weekend, so it should still be a fun one... but it'll just be a regular old weekend.

I have to say... I've only ever had one really good Valentine's Day. I guess despite my Friday the 13th birth, I've been pretty unlucky in love so far. (Don't worry... I don't lose hope. There's a man for me out there somewhere.) I even remember getting strep throat in the 2nd grade and having to miss our Valentine's party and field trip to go roller skating (and I LOVE roller skating, so I'm sure my 7-year-old self cried over this).

I've only ever had a boyfriend for 3 V-Days, but the first year with him kind of sucked and then the third year he didn't ask off work. (In his defense, he did send me flowers to work and take me to dinner the next day, so it turned out fine.) But the middle year? We were young and happy and thought we had everything all figured out. We turned a Monday V-Day into a whole weekend affair. I went and decorated his room with streamers and balloons when he wasn't home. We went to see a chick flick. We went to the lake and enjoyed the scenery. We went out dancing. He came to my place on V-Day morning and surprised me by cooking me breakfast in bed. We went to a nice dinner downtown that night. It was a really fun 3-day celebration. I suppose I just didn't know then that it'd have to tie me over for a while. :)

It's ok, really... this is no pity party. I am not the kind of girl who is so desperate to have a boyfriend that she'll run out and grab one. Honestly, V-day is just a commercial holiday and isn't that big of a deal. I think for me it's more that it reminds me that I do desire someone that I can do fun, creative, thoughtful things for to express how I feel (any time of the year). I know a lot of people feel this way.... it's just fun to do little things for someone you're dating. Whenever I'm single on Valentine's Day, I find myself thinking about how it's ok I'm single, but that when I'm not again, I have a ton of great ideas of fun things to do for a significant other. I miss being able to give to another person.

Anyways, tonight I'm hanging out with a friend, another friend is stopping to have lunch with me tomorrow as he drives across the state, and I'm going with another friend to yet another friend's place for a little party tomorrow night. It should be a fun weekend.

I'm also hoping to knock out some more scrapbooking on Sunday and hit up the yoga class. (Running a bit today!) I'm feeling good about getting back into shape. It's still going to take a while, and it's really hard to feel like my lungs aren't able to keep up and my left leg is so weak... but I'll get there. I'm really enjoying mixing it up with the biking and swimming and yoga and strength training. I am determined to come back to marathon racing stronger than ever before, and I know all this cross training will play a role in making that happen.

Whether you find yourself single or taken this weekend, I hope you all have a terrific one! A shout out to Sarah... she's running her first marathon ever tomorrow! Good luck to anyone else who may be racing.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Caved...

I'm going to try the Twitter thing for a bit and see if I like it.  Find me as MarathonMelanie. 

Tucker and Twilight and Training Books

I'm a bad mommy.

Last night, I was going to have dinner with my parents and some family friends. They live a few minutes away, so sometimes I take Tucker with me so he can play with their cat and not be stuck home alone. He seemd to enjoy this, and other than a bit of meowing he doesn't seem to mind riding in his carrier.

We were on our way home last night when he started making a very different kind of meow. I could tell he was distressed. I knew immediately what was up... he needed to use the bathroom. I kept talking to him and crossed my fingers he could hold it. I knew from his meow he knew that he wasn't supposed to go in the carrier, but he really had to go.

When we got home, the little mat was soaked. I could tell from his mannerisms that he seemed to feel guilty. He's never had any issues with using his litter box, so I knew he knew that going in the carrier was wrong. I couldn't be mad though. What could he do?

However, I know that from now on I'll carry him to the litter box before we leave to get in the car. Even though this has never happened in the 2.5 years I've had him and have been driving him around, I don't want it to happen again. I know that when he's at my parent's house he plays so much with their cat that he never goes to the bathroom until he REALLY has to go.

In other news, I finished the Twilight series last night. I still have really mixed feelings. I definitely went through all four books pretty quickly and enjoyed them. I can see why it's easy to get sucked into the story and want to know what happens. However, I still am not so sure that the books merit quite the hype they've received. I continued to feel really irritated at how slowly the story seemed to move at times. I feel like Meyer was dragging things out for the sake of dragging them out. I could be wrong, but that's how it felt to me as a reader. Plus, like I said before, I have pretty high expectations of novels about mythical characters. I'm such a huge Harry Potter fan that it's hard for me to not compare other such books to the seven Rowling wrote. As far as I'm concerned, Twilight doesn't come close to being as awesome as the Harry Potter books. That's just me. You're free to disagree.

Also, did anyone else notice a big mistake in Eclipse? One of the first times graduation is mentioned, it's referenced to as being held in June. Later on, it's referenced as being held in May.

Along the lines of books, I ordered some yesterday. The YMCA has a program called My Y Rewards where you earn points every time your card is scanned. You can cash the points in for prizes online for free! I had been saving mine up. First, I ordered Run Less, Run Faster. Even though I used a modified FIRST plan in the past, I've never actually read this book. Since I'm on the prowl for the perfect Chicago marathon training plan, I feel it'll be worth it to read.

I also ordered Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD. I keep hearing everyone say how awesome it is and figured that for free, I'd certainly give it a whirl, too. I could use some help in the strength and toning department.

I saved the remaining points for next time, but then I hopped over to Amazon to order a few other books to help me figure out my training. First, I finally ordered Advanced Marathoning. I keep reading that the people who follow these training plans are accomplishing great things, so I decided it's time to read it and see if it's for me. To round things out, I ordered a copy of The Triathlete's Training Bible. This is in part because I've been told the sections about running are amazing and also because someday I plan to try out a triathlon, so why not go on and read about what it takes?

I'm pretty excited. Even though I'm taking things really slow physically, I want to get as much info as I can before I start really training again. I've read quite a few other books in the past, but I think it's time to get some new info and new ideas on how to really improve my marathon time.

I'll be sure to let you all know what I think about my new purchases when they arrive!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Need Some Training Plan Help

Today the "running after an injury" training plan calls for walking 3 minutes, running 7 minutes and then repeating it twice more. I'm actually still pretty sore from yoga on Sunday, so I'm hopeful the running will help work out the kinks. My guess is since it's only run 3 for me since recovering that it will leave me more sore. Ah, the price we pay... I'm hoping to spend a little time on a bike after I run. I know it's important I do other things to build my strength and fitness back up.

It's hard for me to not drool a bit over some of your blog posts. You people are out there running all sorts of crazy long runs and getting ready for races in the next few weeks... and I. am. so. jealous.

Don't get me wrong. It feels GREAT to be able to run a little bit again. And I'm not about to go crazy and try to do too much too fast. But I still can't help but feel a little left out. I know I need to give it a few weeks to see how things go before I even start plotting to run a 5K.

I'm also trying to remind myself that I should use my free time right now to do some research. I'm going to need a good training plan to start come May to get ready for the Chicago marathon. This is where you come in: What training plan have you used and loved? I've tried a different one with all 4 of my marathons... I don't like to get bored. There's one that I used that was a spin-off of the FIRST plan that I did exceptionally well with and could go back to, but I'm curious what all of you have known and loved.

Send me the link if there's one online you thought was great, or just tell me where I can find the one you used. I'm determined to really read up on this and find one that will not only be a good fit for my life but that is also one that will help me improve my marathon time. I'm determined to do the work to get my time down. I'm currently sitting on a 4:31:23 PR, and I'd LOVE to hit 4:15 in Chicago (though we all know that deep down I'd love to break the 4-hour mark).

If you're willing to take a few minutes to share what's worked for you, I'd certainly be appreciative.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Easing Back Into Things

I really have not been on top of the blogging lately, have I? Please forgive me.

For starters, it's been in the 60's and 70's here! This makes me want to drive with my windows down, and go to the gym, and clean house, and run errands and do all the things I don't like to get out and do while it's freezing cold. Don't get too jealous... it won't last. It never does. But it's been nice.

On the running front, I've now gone for 2 runs. I am all about having a plan, and I found a great little plan online for running after recovering from a stress fracture. You can find it here. I think it'd be a great plan for anyone who had to take a break from running regardless of if it was because of an injury. Plus, it was created by Pete Pfitzgenger. I first heard of this guy through Aron and am now reading about him on other blogs, and his training plans seem to work. So I figured his recovery training plan would probably be the way to go, too. I think following this and doing some quality cross training along with it will help me get back into shape and ready to start training for something without overdoing it in the meantime.

I got the second run in on Friday. I have to say... it was easier than the first run I did on Wednesday. I don't like to run/walk. I'm a runner. It's really hard for me to know I was in marathon shape 2 months ago, and now I'm struggling to run a mile or two. However, I know that if I do it right, I'll be back in shape in no time. I'll also be kicking some of my old PR's butts!

Friday evening I went to a girls' night with one of my good friends. She was the only person I knew and I was REALLY tired, but I still had a nice time and enjoyed getting to know some of the other gals.

Saturday I went with a friend to see He's Just Not That Into You. I knew it hadn't been getting great reviews, but I also knew that meant I'd probably like it. I find that I never much care for the movies that get great reviews. Anyways, I loved it. I didn't really learn anything new that I haven't already learned from my years of dating, but it was so cute and funny and just spot on about some of the things men and women do when they're playing the dating game. I totally recommend seeing it.

I also ran some errands and did laundry and other equally boring activities.

I managed to knock a lot out on my scrapbook. I'm down to only 3 more races, and then I'll be all caught up! It's very exciting. I'll have to post a few more pictures of the recent pages I've done soon.

Did anyone else watch the Grammy's? I was pleased with a lot of the winners. I loved seeing both Coldplay and Radiohead do performances. I also really liked Carrie Underwood's. But if there's one thing that left an impression, it was M.I.A. dancing around in that spandexy see-through leotard on the day that her baby was due. (I bet her doctor was having a fit. Then again, she probably paid her doctor to hang out backstage... just in case.) I wonder if the kid will think it's cool someday to watch the video and know he/she was there in the womb, or if it will just be questioning her taste in maternity clothing. Seriously. Wow.

I also squeezed a yoga class into my weekend and it was awesome! I mean, it was hard because I haven't done yoga in 2 months, but it was hard in a good way. I'm sore today in a good way. I definitely am realizing that my left leg (the one where the injury was) is considerably weaker than the right. I'm definitely going to have to take my time working on getting my strength back before I can expect to do any crazy running.

I hope everyone else had a great weekend. It's looking like it's going to be a good week. I've got some fun things going on, and our warmer weather is supposed to hang around for at least a couple of days. I will take it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Giveaway Mania

I love a good giveaway. I rarely win them, but when I do... it's oh so exciting.

Here are two you should check out!

First, the lovely Mojito Maven is giving away some VERY delicious looking chocolates in honor of Valentine's Day. I love chocolate, so these would be fantastic!

To counterbalance the sweets the lovely Chic Runner is giving away Eat This, Not That. I could use some help in determining what to buy when I go grocery shopping, so it's be awesome to win.

Go check it out. I love both of these blogs, so even if you're not interested in the giveaway you should at least read a few posts.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Good News

So my voice is raspy because of my sinus infection, and I look a little rough since I had just gotten home from the gym, but I had good news that I thought would be fun to share via video!


Untitled from Mel Belle on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hodge Podge

I know you all love it when I write long posts with tons of different things. This is what happens after a week of being in a funk due to not running, a sinus infection, and a few other odds and ends.

First of all, thank you all for you enthusiasm about the Chicago marathon. I am going to stick to my guns and make this my next big marathon, but after I run it I am hopeful I can find some other smaller marathons to run and make up for some lost time.

I am getting really excited about running, even though I know I'll be told tomorrow to do something like 1 mile 3 times a week before increasing to 2 miles and then 3 miles, etc. I'm pretty sure I'll be allowed to get on a bike again, so a few spin classes should help fill the void my legs feel from not running as much as I'm used to running.

As much as I hate to say it, I might not run the Country Music Half in April. It's $100!! I think the Elite Racing people are starting to think a little too highly of themselves. I know I could have gotten in cheaper if I signed up sooner, but with the injury I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it. I am realizing that I'll probably be in shape for a half by then, but I don't know if I'd be able to really push myself in the half distance by then. So I might skip out and put the money toward some 5K's over the next few months. Having to start all over with running and having some time to build up until I start marathon training again in June might be the push I need to improve my speed and 5K PR. I need to start trying to plan out what the next few months will look like for my running and racing (and exercising in general since I'm going to learn to love cross training as I rebuild my mileage).

I have a few other things I'm excited about today. For starters, I rebooked my trip to Chicago to visit my best friend. If you've been around for a bit, you know I had to cancel this trip in December because I was on crutches. We managed to find a good weekend for me to head up there in a few weeks, so I'm pumped. AND - I had booked the flight with Southwest yesterday, and then today I got an email about their 3-day sale. I hopped online, went to the Change Reservation page, and changed my reservation to the exact same flights I'd already booked - only today it was $13 cheaper. Score. Now I have $13 to use toward the next flight I book, which may be my marathon trip to Chicago. I love Southwest. If they wanted to pay me to promote them, I'd do it gladly. (Of course, here I am now doing it for free.)

I also bought tickets to see New Kids on the Block in a few weeks with my sister. I know, it's silly, but I just couldn't miss the opportunity. I actually bought them on Friday when they went on sale. When I told the guy at the Kroger counter I needed concert tickets, he guessed if they would be for NKTOB. Apparently a LOT of women my age had been in buying them that day. It was already over halfway sold out. I'm not alone in my desire to see 40-year-old men sing songs that made them famouse over 20 years ago.

I'm not back to 100% after the sinus infection, but I'm feeling up to going to my favorite Arms & Abs class today. I figure it'll be a good way to get myself excited about how after my doctor's appointment tomorrow I should be able to go back to the gym and RUN a mile. Yay!

I'd been a little behind on my Google Reader the past few days, but I've got it under control again. I apologize for my lack of commenting lately. Happy Tuesday to you all.

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's Official

I'm running in the Chicago Marathon with 44,999 (assuming it sells out, like it always does) people who are crazy/insane/smart/passionate/self-disciplined enough to run 26.2 miles in a big city.

And I couldn't be more excited.

It's hard to remember that the race is 8 freaking months away. I can't even book my airfare yet.

I go back for my final check-up with the doc on Wednesday, so I should be able to develop a game plan of how to slowly but surely start running again. I've got plenty of time, so I'm going to do it right.

Look out Chicago... here I come.

(In other news, I finally broke down and went to the doctor. I've had a sinus infection this whole week. I got some good meds, and today I finally feel a little bit better. It is due to said sinus infection that I've felt generally crappy and avoided much quality blogging the past few days. However, there are things to be excited about now that I'm almost back to running, so please stay tuned...)