Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thoughts

Not only had it been a while since I did a video blog, I also haven't done a bullet list in a while.

  • When I ran on Saturday, I ran 2 miles out and then turned around to come back. I was pretty excited about turning around because most of the first 2 miles had been heading straight into the wind. When I turned around, I found that I was STILL running straight into the wind. I actually said out loud, "Well that's a dirty little trick."
  • Yesterday we had a couple in our office making decisions for a bathroom remodel. As they were leaving, the guy told us to watch today around 8am and we'd see him in the Black Hawks that would be leaving the base today. The guard members in them would be heading to Iraq. I told my boss how I couldn't imagine what his wife was experiencing. It's going to be his second deployment, but still... I think I'd be in tears all day and not out making cabinet decisions. Maybe it's just different when you are actually a military wife and not just someone trying to picture what it's like.
  • I did go stand outside this morning and watch them fly over. I kind of wanted to cry.
  • I'm really not happy about this hip flexor. It's definitely sore today. Again, it's not painful... it's just kind of really sore in the front crease of my leg where the quad meets hip. Seriously annoying. I've been on such a role with my recovery and coming back to running.
  • My mom's childhood best friend's husband's mom died this week (confusing, I know) and my parents have convinced me to go with them to the visitation tonight by promising to eat at a certain meat and three restaurant in Nashville that has the best homemade chocolate meringue pie that I've ever eaten. Yes, I'm a sucker for dessert. No, I don't care that I'm going to eat it even though I'm skipping my run today. (And I hope this doesn't sound bad... I never actually met the lady that died so I wouldn't really be expected to go tonight anyways.. I'll take a book in my purse to read while the folks visit with the friends.)
  • I finally got caught up on my Google Reader again. Sorry that I still haven't been commenting as regularly as usual.
  • I have been reading a Nicholas Sparks book. I normally am not one to do much guilty pleasure reading unless I'm on the beach, but my grandma bought me one of his books for Christmas. I got tired of all the technical stuff in Advanced Marathoning the other night and picked it up. Next thing I knew I was on p. 60. There's something about his stuff that sucks me in. (I'm not giving up on the marathon book... I just couldn't take any more science type stuff that time of the night.)
  • I'm eager to race again. I know it won't be happening for a while, but still... the itch is there.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Video Update


Untitled from Mel Belle on Vimeo.

It's a little long, but I promise if you stick with it you might find a few good laughs. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Cat Made a Funny


I can't believe I'm posting this.

I have a little shelf thing where I keep some of my little stuffed animals from my youth and from my sorority days.  My cat LOVES to pull them down and carry them throughout the house playing.

This is what I found today.  I couldn't help but die laughing.  Apparently my cat has a slightly inappropriate sense of humor.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Not a Normal Event

So yesterday was a pretty terrific day... except for one thing.  I watched a house burn.

I was sitting at my desk a little after lunchtime, and I thought I heard someone screaming.  Our office building is in a little commercial park at the end of a residential road, so I just assumed that it was kids out playing since they're on spring break this week.

A minute later, I caught a glimpse out the front door of a man running in between my car and my boss's car.  This was odd, and I said something about it out loud.  My boss came out of his office, and we went to look out the window to see where the man went.  Due to the positioning of our building and our little parking area, there aren't really any reasons for anyone to be coming through between our cars.

But then we saw it... flames coming out of the house across the street.   We went outside and found a few other people were already out of their homes watching.  The screaming?  It was coming from the woman who lived there.  She was still screaming and sobbing and rolling around on the ground.  It was awful.  The man of the house was walking around in whitie tighties (although blue in this incident).  A neighbor soon gave him a shirt and shorts to put on.  I'm sure he was thankful.

Soon after we walked out, the police and fire trucks turned up.  They move quickly to get the hoses attached to fire hydrants and to begin fighting the flames, but the fire was so big that there wasn't much chance of anything being saved.  We also had some crazy wind yesterday because of the rain that was moving in, and it certainly helped spread the flames.

We stood out there for probably 45 minutes or so watching.  Tons of people came walking up from the other businesses and surrounding homes.  It was certainly one of those kinds of things that you know it just awful, but you feel like you need to stand there and watch.  Like, it almost feels like maybe in some way by standing out there instead of going about your business you're showing your support and compassion for the people who are suffering.

I just can't imagine... I think fire scares me more than any other type disaster.  I remember having bad dreams about fires when I was a kid.  (Fortunately, I slept soundly last night.)

I felt odd going back in and sitting down to keep working.  I suppose that part of the lesson we should be reminded of when these type things happen is to never take things for granted.  In the end, our lives matter more than our home or the things we keep inside of it.  Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in this fire.  But I still know that it must be terrible to lose all of your possessions.  No amount of insurance will ever be able to replace your home, your memories, some of the things that aren't replaceable...

Just another reminder to count our blessings.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mountain Climbing

I had an absolutely lovely weekend. I LOVE spring weather. I probably should have gone running in it, but instead I went hiking on Saturday with a friend. I definitely think that was the right decision. We had a terrific time talking, taking photos of deer and enjoying the warm weather (I wore shorts!).

Yesterday I went to a baseball game with my family. I'm not really an avid baseball fan, but my sister's boyfriend plays and it was a reason to sit outside all afternoon. I did take a magazine to read whenever I got bored with the game. :)

I also put away all my winter clothes and pulled out the summer ones. I know that this could end up being a bit premature, but I just couldn't stand to look at my sweaters any more. It's not like I can't pull one back out if we have a cold snap. It felt so good to see all my tank tops and skirts and bright colors!

I finished reading a book last night that I definitely want to recommend. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer is all about when he made an expedition to summit Mt. Everest in 1996 and about what transpired that spring on the mountain. The book has been out for a while, and I'm glad I finally heard about it and read it. While I have no aspirations to climb the mountain myself, I do find myself interested in reading about other people who do these kinds of adventures. I suppose part of that comes from my enjoyment of other outdoor activities. I'm not into the extreme stuff, but I like it all enough to enjoy hearing about people who do the extreme stuff.

When I first started reading the book, I couldn't put it down. I stayed up way too late that first night. I probably would have finished the book sooner, but life got a little busier and I had a few evenings I went straight to bed instead of reading. When I did get my nose into it, I felt so sucked into the story that I felt like I was on the mountain in the midst of it all. Of course, I can't really imagine the conditions, but I felt like the descriptions really painted a good picture.

All in all, it was a truly interesting read and totally worth my time. I'm super glad I took a break from the running books to read this one.

Even though I did nothing resembling mountain climbing this weekend, my quads are so sore. The hike we did on Saturday was pretty steep, and I realized my legs haven't seen hills since before the injury. Dang. It's definitely a good kind of sore though. I'll take it. Hopefully it'll clear up before tomorrow's run.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Another Friday Down

I've been having a pretty busy week. Between that and a 24-hour stomach bug, I haven't exactly been on top of getting some posts up. My Google Reader? Over 300. I usually pride myself on getting it all read several times a week, but it just hasn't happened this time.

I had a GLORIOUS run on Tuesday afternoon. We reached the mid-60's again, so I headed to the park for the first time since before my injury happened in December. I knew that my plan called to run for 30 minutes, but I really felt ready to try to increase my mileage to 3.5 miles. I took off and felt great. The breeze was absolutely perfect, and tons of people were out running and walking on the path.

I got to 1.75 miles in a little over 15 minutes and was pretty surprised since that meant I was running about a 9-minute mile. I hadn't been running that on the treadmill, but I suppose it just goes to show that treadmill running is way different (and less motivating) than running outside. I tried to keep my pace consistent as I turned to head back to my car. I hit it almost spot on when I finished all 3.5 miles in 30:51. I was ecstatic!! I didn't feel like I could have run much more, but I knew it was good to throw in that extra half-mile and find that I could handle it. Hopefully I'll be up to 4 miles soon!

I went out with a couple of girls that evening for St. Patrick's Day. It was fun, but we kept it simple with an Irish beer and some good food before heading home. We did all have to be up early for work after all.

Wednesday afternoon I started feeling kind of weird so I didn't do any kind of workout. By that evening, I was sick to my stomach and hugging my toilet.

Fortunately, it was short lived. I was able to sleep by about 2am and I seriously stayed in bed like ALL day yesterday. I went in to work for about 2 hours to get a few things done, but then I was back home and asleep again.

I feel great today, so I'm not really sure what that whole mess was all about. I've got a weekend full of gorgeous weather ahead of me, so I'm hoping to work in another run. One of these weeks it's going to work out for me to increase to running 3 days a week!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. It appears I've got some hiking on the agenda with a relatively new friend (is it just me or is it not almost as exciting to make a new g'friend as it is to start dating someone new?) and I'm hoping to do a little spring cleaning around the house. I actually cleaned it top to bottom last week, but now it's time to start trying to organize some stuff that's gotten tossed in drawers and boxes. It always feels good to get organized!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Right Stuff


It. Was. AWESOME. I mean, seriously... in the words of Barney Stinson, it was "Legend... wait for it, DARY."
The New Kids on the Block came to Nashville 17 years ago. I was 8-years-old and begged my parents to take me, but like most parents they weren't really interested in going and didn't think I was old enough anyways. I was never pleased that I missed my one chance to see their concert.
I totally made my childhood dream come true. They performed for over 2 hours, and they did all old stuff (and like maybe 3 new songs). I've gotta admit... I might end up downloading the new album. I thought the songs they did off of it were pretty good. It's definitely current pop instead of early 90's pop, so it's nice to know they evolved their music some this time around to keep up with the times.
They did all the songs I was hoping they would do... I was really surprised at myself over how many words I still knew! I wasn't alone though... there were numerous times when they'd stop singing and let the audience keep going... and the audience was loud.
I know their in their 40's (except young Joey) and that most of them are married with kids, but for being a bunch of older guys they definitely put on a good show. And let me tell you... Joey? That man can dance! I've always thought he was one of the cutest in the group, but he's turned out to be a right sexy man. I couldn't NOT watch him dance.
I got some great pictures, and I promise to post them once I can get them on my computer later. I even took a few videos... they're not great quality, but it's fun to have them.
They did "Step by Step" and then "Hangin' Tough" as the encore, and both were crowd favorites.
I definitely laughed and danced and sang along with no shame. I had soooo much fun. I don't think my sister was quite as into it as me, but she was a lot younger when they were such a big deal. She still had a great time hanging out and laughing and dancing.
Before one song, they were saying how they hoped all of us felt sexy because they were going to play a sexy song. They went on to say that they know there are a few men in the place (and seriously... they were few and far between) and they said, "Men, if you brought your girl here tonight, it doesn't matter what you look like... you'll be the sexiest man alive to her tonight." I got a kick out of it.
Seriously... I'm so glad I went. I definitely felt like this was one of those fun little once-in-a-lifetime kind of things, and I'm glad I took advantage of the chance to see my favorite childhood group. My tastes have changed and I've come a long way in terms of the music I regularly listen to (the New Kids and Dave Matthews Band have little in common), but it's fun to be a little nostalgic sometimes.
But I have to say... it was funny how they're the New Kids on the Block, but yet their all grown men. I know they couldn't very well change their name for the reunion tour, but ht ehumor of it all doesn't escape me.
If they're coming to your town on the spring tour, go see them. I promise you'll be entertained!
PS - No idea why my paragraph spacing isn't working. Sometimes blogger is annoying. Sorry for the mashed together text!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hangin' Tough

I have been SLAMMED at work today. I also had high hopes of getting caught up on my Google Reader and responding to some of the emails some of you have sent me this weekend, but that didn't happen and looks like it won't before tomorrow.


However, I had to share a quick post to say that tonight? Tonight I'm going to see these guys.



I can't wait. I think it's going to be a real hoot. My sister is going with me, and I am totally making her dress up in something silly. I'm opting to rock out the blue eye shadow and side ponytail. If I can find an old scrunchie, it's being worn, too!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Cool Kids Buy Swimsuits in Winter

I've been trying all week to catch up on my Google Reader, and in the process I haven't been commenting much. Please forgive. :)

Sometimes I don't think people believe me when I say the weather in TN is crazy. Seriously, if you don't like the weather, just wait a few days (or sometimes just a few hours) and it will be different.

On Tuesday, it was 80°!!! I went into Target in a t-shirt, jeans and flil flops. I walked past clearance swim suits and figured that since it was so warm, why not enjoy the idea of summer and try some on? I always buy my swimsuits at Target because they're inexpensive and the Wassino brand fits me really well. I tried a few on and ended up actually buying one for $19, tax and all. You can't beat that. I can't say I needed a new suit, but for that price and since it fit really well, I didn't think I was breaking the bank.

By the way, I know that the stores start carrying swimsuits in like Janaury so that all the spring breakers can buy them, but it always seems so insane to me to look at them when I'm dressed in a sweater.

Wednesday? Cloudy and 40°. Yesterday? I woke up to SLEET.

It's supposed to rain for like the next week, but fortunately we should be back up in the 60's by Tuesday or so. I tell ya... it's ridiculous.

No big plans this weekend... hanging out with some friends, getting a workout in, going to a birthday party. It should be fun and somewhat laid back. I certainly won't be doing much outside since it's gone cold on us again! Needless to say, the new swimsuit is going to sit in the drawer for a while longer, haha.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More Scrapbooking Fun

As promised, here are a few more pictures of some of the pages from my race scrapbook that I finished week before last.  I haven't posted every single opening (there'd be so many!), but I hope you enjoy getting a taste of how I've saved all my race memories.

I know a lot of you said you didn't have the time or creativity to do something like this, but I really think it's a piece of cake if you really want to consolidate your memories.  I don't usually do a ton of fancy stuff.

Basically, I print only the pictures that I really like and want to scrap.  For each race, I make sure I also have my number and certificate.  If the race gave me a sticker with the race name on it, I always use that.  Then, it's just a matter of picking a cute paper for the background and then coordinating colors to back my pictures.  I trim them down to get rid of excess picture and I use a corner rounder to round the corners.  I find an arrangement that looks cool, and then I stick it all down.

I filled up an album, so it'll be fun to start a new one when I start racing again!  Enjoy!





Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Running Update

You are all too kind with your sweet comments on us girls all dressed up.  I suppose it is a BIG change though from the pictures I post of me from races, haha.  I also got a few questions about where I got the dress.  I actually stole it for the evening from my sister.  She wore it in a friend's wedding back in November, and they ordered it from David's Bridal.  It's totally the kind of bridesmaid dress that you actually can wear again!  I don't think it looks especially bridesmaidish at all.  And yes, I just made up a word.

So you know you're a runner when you have to give a urine sample at the doctor's office and you feel really proud when the nurse tells you it's the clearest urine she's seen lately.  (Yep, I went there.  I'm talking about my urine.)  Don't tell me you fellow runners don't all keep an eye on things each time you go to the restroom.  I find it's hard to keep ahead sometimes on the hydration, so I'm always pleased with myself when I know I'm doing a good job.

Granted, I'm still not running a ton.  I'm managing to get a good sweat going most days of the week since I'm using the Shred DVD pretty regularly.  I still only got 2 runs in last week even though I was aiming to bump it up to three.  I'm trying again this week and started today with a 25 minute run in which I covered 2.5 miles.  I was pretty pleased.  It's getting a little easier each time I run.  I've got 10-12 more scheduled runs on the post-injury plan I'm following, so before I know it I should be ready to start gradually building mileage instead of running by time.

I still owe you more pictures of the rest of the work I did on my race scrapbook.  I'll get those up on here soon!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

We Got All Gussied Up This Weekend

Saturday night I headed downtown with two of my best girls for a ball. In the past, I've worked on planning several of these kinds of things or volunteered to work in some capacity at them, but I've never actually just attended one.

This particular ball was benefitting the Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee. Basically, the B&G Club is an after-school program for youngsters. It gives kids a safe place to go do their homework, play games, etc. after school until their parents are home. I've had friends who worked at the one here in town when were in high school. They always said it was such a blast to spend their afternoons with the kids who attend.

We had the best time. There was food, drinks, a jazz trio and later dueling pianos for entertainment. We danced some. We checked out the silent auction. We laughed a lot. It was seriously a blast, and I'd probably go again next year if I'm able. I haven't heard yet how the numbers turned out, but there were definitely a lot of people in attendance so if I had to guess, I'd guess that the evening was a success.

I didn't really take a ton of pictures, but here are a couple. We were all pretty excited about having something to get all dolled up for!




Saturday, March 7, 2009

Questions

1.  Does anyone else have a shoulder that pops when you do shoulder rolls backward?

2. Does anyone have a favorite website to use for counting calories?  I want something simple, and preferably something that lets you pull things up from restaurants because I tend to eat out a lot.

Thanks for all the well wishes for the ball tonight.  I can't say that I have terrific dancing skills, but I can say that I'll likely have fun on the dance floor despite it.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Bust A Move

Today I decided to run out and grab some lunch. While sitting at a red light, I glanced in my rear view mirror and found the guy and girl in the car behind me getting in to whatever song they were listening to. I was cracking up. They were definitely dancing in their seats, and they'd look over and sing to each other and continue to dance along to the beat. I couldn't help but smile as they got their groove on. I thought about how great it is that they were having such a good time.

I'll be busting a move myself tomorrow evening. I'm going with a few girlfriends to a charity ball for the local Boys and Girls Club. We're all pretty excited to get dolled up and enjoy entertainment and an open bar for a worthy cause. :) I won't lie - I have to have a drink or two to be able to get that "I don't care if I look like an idiot" kind of buzz before I'll hit the dance floor, but I know that once we're out there we'll have a blast.

I don't really dress up very often these days, mostly because I dress so casually for my job. I also spend a fair amount of time in workout clothes. Unless there's a special occasion, I don't have much reason to put on something dressy. I'm definitely excited to have something to attend where I can really get all gussied up in something that I wouldn't wear for just a normal night on the town.

I promise I'll share pictures!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Double Workout

Tonight I was driving to the gym and I got behind a car that had one of those little tv's in it.

Elmo was on.

And I was mesmerized.  

It wasn't so much because of Elmo.  I think it's just crazy to me how clearly I can see those tv's when I'm in a car behind them!

I actually went to the gym twice today.  First, I went after work to get my second run of the week in. My plan called to run 20 minutes, walk 2 minutes, and run 10 minutes.  It's definitely still not "easy," but I know that I've already come a long way in the month I've been running again.  And today I hit 2.96 miles!

I ran and got some groceries, put them away, ate some dinner and then headed back to the gym.  This time, I went to yoga class for an hour.  It. Was. Awesome.  I have really been having issues with tight muscles (which makes total sense), and I'm excited about starting to get some of my flexibility back.

Any of my fellow LOST fans out there?  What'd you think of last night's episode?  I think it's been one of my favorites all season, but dang it leaves me with soooo many questions.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Strengths and Dreams

I recently purchased Strengths Finder 2.0 (Tom Rath) to read and take the online assessment to determine my strengths. (Visit strengthsfinder.com for more info.) After taking the 30 minute assessment, it gives you your top 5 strengths.

Mine?

  • Discipline - People who are especially talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.
  • Developer - People who are especially talented in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from these improvements.
  • Empathy - People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others' lives or others' situations.
  • Achiever - People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
  • Intellection - People who are especially talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.
There are quite a few other strengths, and it was interesting to read the descriptions of my top 5 and realize how spot on they were for the most part. I can't say that I necessarily learned anything about myself I didn't already know, but I definitely feel like the descriptions are concise and precise... so if I ever need someone to understand why I am the way I am, I can tell them, "Hey, read this decription about Discipline and it'll make more sense why I am always tidy and organized."

It's definitely worth checking into if you like stuff like this. I did it as part of a local community board that I serve on for a non-profit, so I look forward to going to our meeting next week and finding out what other people found from their assessments.

I got a 30 minute run in yesterday. I'm having to try hard to not let myself be discouraged that I am running slower than what I like. I only got 2.88 miles done in that 30 minutes! I know I need to keep going slow until I build my endurance back up some, so I'll keep taking it easy until I improve. I realized yesterday that I'm definitely feeling my IT Band in my left leg (the one I didn't use for a month), so I'm sure it's tight. I need to work on that some. Today I'll be using Shred and the abs workout from RW again... and maybe working the IT Band out on the ole foam roller.

I had a really crazy dream last night. I was inside this building with a lot of people I knew, and I was waiting to get some ice cream. An announcement came on over the intercom telling us there were some bad guys outside of the building and for us to move into the halls so they couldn't look in the windows and see us. I abandon my ice cream and head out. We're all standing against the wall, and I felt nervous but not really scared. We see all these men coming inside and realize it's the bad guys and they found a way in. They're all dressed in TN Titans stuff and when they come in they're not violent or anything. They just start talking and then making us watch footage of a recent Nashville Predators hockey game. All I can think is about how I've never been a hostage before and that whenever I get out I'd have to blog about it because it'd be such a great story!

Wow. I woke up about that point and really had to laugh at myself for dreaming about such things AND thinking in the dream I'd have to blog about it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weekend in Review

I seriously had a lovely and relaxing weekend. I like being a busy girl and staying involved in things, but I also really enjoy having my downtime.

Friday I enjoyed a nice little run and then realized that I put a little over 20 miles in over the 24 days since I got the ok to run again. It's not like the mileage I'm used to logging, but I'll take it for now. I also watched Nights in Rodanthe, which was every bit as "Nicolas Sparks" as the book (and I know this because it was one of my guilty pleasure beach reads last summer).

I actually still ended up doing a lot this weekend now that I'm thinking about it, but it all involved staying in and avoiding the terribly cold and windy weather we were having. It snowed on Saturday night, but we only got a dusting in my neck of the woods.

I finally saw the movied Pay It Forward. I'd never seen it, but I kept hearing good things about and am of course familiar with the pay it forward concept. I really enjoyed it other than the fact that I didn't know ahead of time that it would be sad! I didn't stop there with the movies... I finally rented Wall*E and loved it. Seriously, Pixar never disappoints.

Aside from the movie watching, I also finished my race scrapbook! I am super excited about this, and I promise to post a few more pictures of some of the pages I did recently to finish it out. It felt so good to have all of my races compiled. I filled the book, so I'll start a new one whenever I have my next race. I've been on a real scrapbooking kick, so if I can hang on to it I'm going to try to finish my college books. I've only got about a year and a half left to finish them. It'd be nice to catch up sometime this year to present-day. I think it'd be a lot easier to stay on top of keeping them current if I could ever catch up.

I also slept in both days. Yay! And I did something that's totally not important but that had been on my "I want to get around to this eventually" list... I had about 30-40 songs on my iTunes that didn't have the title/artist info because they came off a mix cd. Most of them I recognized, but I didn't know who sang them or the actual title. So I spent some time googling lyrics and figuring them out. I found all of them but one, and I remember who I got it from so I shot an email off asking for the info. It felt really good to take care of something, even if it was small and inconsequential.

I found myself with the desire to start cleaning out drawers and closets, but I restrained myself. I think the "spring cleaning" urge is starting to hit.

Oh, and has anyone else tried the abs workout from the February Runner's World? I gave it a whirl last night after 20 minutes of shredding with Jillian, and I have to say that I think it's got some serious promise. It didn't take long, it didn't require anything other than me and the floor, and I could feel the burn. I'm thinking I'm going to try to do the Shred DVD 2-3 times a week and follow it with this abs workout for a while and see if I start noticing a difference in my core. I'm also bumping my running to 3 days a week now!

I hope everyone else had a lovely weekend. I know it doesn't sound like I was really relaxing, but seriously it felt great to do some things I enjoy and take it easy.

Today I'm getting my hair cut. Don't get excited... I'm not doing anything different. I just love getting an inch trimmed off every couple of months. It looks so much better and it curls better and I'm just generally happier with it. It's definitely nice to start a Monday knowing that after work someone else will wash your hair and cut it and dry and straighten it.