Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Friday evening I stuffed myself with some yummy food when I went to dinner with my dad. My mom and sister were out of town all week at a baseball tournament, so it was nice to hang out just the two of us.
Saturday, I checked another distance off the list in my quest to build my mileage before I start marathon training: 8 miles! Not only that, but I kept a pretty consistent 10:00 m/m pace the entire time. I was VERY pleased with that. It was a pretty humid run and a reminder that things are about to get HOT around here, but all in all it was a good run. I spent the rest of the day (after an ice bath and donning my recovery socks) hanging out with my friend Danielle who is home for a while from Korea.
Sunday was a lovely lazy day. I had lunch and watched Apollo 13. I realize how incredibly random that is, but I just have had the urge to watch it again for a while so I rented it. I think I just find myself amazed that we can send people into space, and it's a really good movie about the Apollo 13 incident. After that, I spent the evening at a cookout with friends. Good food, good drinks, and lots of Nintendo Wii action.
The only downside? I only got 5 hours of sleep because I was up at 6am to pick up Paige and go volunteer at a Memorial Day 5K. Despite my general sleepyness, it was worth getting up early. We had a great time clipping chips and finally meeting fellow runner and blogger Amy. (She's way cool, just like her blog!)
I had intended on taking a nap, but I headed to the Boro with my folks instead to go to a little celebration for the MTSU baseball team. They won the SunBelt Conference over the weekend, something that's pretty cool for my alma mater. My sister's boy is a senior on the team, so we're excited for him. They got a spot in the NCAA tournament, so I'll be heading to Louisville, KY with my sis on Friday to go watch them. They'll be playing Vanderbilt and have a decent chance of beating them. I'd love to see them go forward in the tournament.
I rounded out my weekend by going to a wedding yesterday evening. It was outside. And it rained. One minute it was bright and sunny, but then a 10-minute shower rolled in and soaked us all. I have to say, even though it wasn't ideal, it made for a nice memory I'm sure. Everyone just kind of rolled with it. It kind of took out the sound speaker, so we hummed "Here Comes the Bride" after the shower passed and the bride was able to walk down the aisle. It ended up being a lot of fun, even if my efforts at making my hair look good were in complete vain after the shower.
I love weekends like this one... I little relaxing, a little busy, a little running, and a lot of fun.
Looks like I'll be running my 9 miles this weekend around Louisville... or on a hotel treadmill. Today I'm going to do another little speed session of 400s to continue to do some slight work on my speed. I'm not ready to start going crazy on that just yet, but it felt good last week to make my legs work a bit faster. I'm finally starting to feel like I'm back in a fitness groove. I still have a ways to go, but it's nice to not feel so sluggish anymore. :)
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
You book a trip to Europe.
I had been toying with the idea for close to a month ever since I found out that I might either totally lose my job or have to go part-time. I figure that there's no telling if there will ever be another time in my life where I have no husband, no kids, and no job commitment. And Europe is on sale right now! Last time I went? I spent $1100 on my round trip airfare. This? I got my round trip flight AND a direct flight from Dublin to London for a little under $700.
So I'm going to Europe. I realize this might seem a tiny bit foolish since technically I'm only making enough money right now to pay my bills. However, I'm super frugal and very financially responsible. The way I see it, this is exactly what I save so much money every month. I want to be able to do things like this.
Next month, I'll be flying out to Shannon, Ireland to travel around southern Ireland for 6 days before flying over to London. There I will be meeting up with some of my travel companion's friends to stay and explore wherever they can suggest that we haven't seen before (I've been to England twice already). We might also make a day trip in England happen as well since we've got 5-6 days there before we fly home.
I am pumped. It's not every day that you can do something like this, and it's really not every day that you can talk a friend into going with you.
I'll be reading up on Ireland for the next few days because we need to plan our route and book some hostels to stay in during our days there. If anyone has ever been to Ireland or England and has any suggestions for us, I'd love to hear them. Again, we're staying in London most of the time, so if you know of things that are a little off the beaten path or if you know of a great day-trip destination, send it my way. Neither of us have been to Ireland and we're up for pretty much anything if you have suggestions.
Believe me... you might miss me while I'm gone, but the posts and pictures I'll have when I return will make up for it, promise.
And to all my fellow runners - this does not mean I'm ignoring my training plan that technically starts the same week I'm flying out. My travel buddy also runs marathons so we've agreed to get a few runs in while we're there. Running in Europe? Heck. Yes.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Anyways, I showed my femur neck who's boss last night. After an hour of pilates (which was a bit easier than I had hoped, so I may try the other pilates class that I hear is tougher), I hit the treadmill for a gentle one-mile warm-up. I kept it at a 10:00 m/m pace, and then I started on some 400m repeats. (For those not down with the track lingo, a 400m is also a quarter-mile/ 0.25 mile.)
I did 6x400m repeats with each repeat at the 9:00 m/m pace. I certainly used to do repeats faster, but I'm still trying to make sure I don't overdo it with increasing pace and mileage. At the same time, I knew that my body would experience shock when the first speed session of marathon training hits if I didn't go on and start doing some semblance of a weekly speed workout now.
It definitely felt good to pick it up a bit, even if it was just for 2:15 at a time. In the end, I logged 3 miles in about 31 minutes (including the short walk breaks I took between repeats). I am pleased.
Meanwhile, I'll be back tomorrow with some exciting and big news! And no, I am not engaged (wouldn't THAT be big news since I'm not seeing anyone), pregnant (that would be an even bigger surprise considering the lack of baby-making activities), or moving.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Lately? I get out of the shower and find myself with razor burn... and when I put lotion on my legs like I always do post-shower, I can still feel stubble.
This happens even when I use a brand new razor.
So I'm looking to switch to something new since this one is suddenly just not performing. Razors are expensive, so I hate to trial and error it.
So please help me out... tell me what razor works for you. Any insight on why you think it works well would be appreciated. I shave often this time of year since I'm in my running shorts pretty regularly, so it's important that I find something that will give me a nice, smooth shave.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Even crazier is that this is the first year where I don't really feel any different. I think 25-27 seem kind of interchangeable in some ways. Or maybe it's that so manye of my friends are 27-29 and I don't ever feel like they're older than me, so I don't feel much older by turning from 25 to 26.
Anyways, it's my birthday! I stayed up kind of late last night watching Jimmy Fallon because the totally awesome Andy Samberg was on there. I'm pretty sure I'd marry that man. They performed "I'm On a Boat" live for the first time ever. It was totally worth staying up late to see.
I started my day with a bagel and then headed to my awesome hair stylist to get my hair cut and colored. It's not as big of a deal as it sounds. It was just time for a regular trim. And I had her do a semi-permanent color to match my natural color exactly... we were just trying to cover up the greys. Yes, I have grey hair. They aren't terrible yet, but it runs in our family to turn grey early... and I had enough that I wanted to cover them up. Even though my color isn't different, it still seems prettier in some way... richer and shinier. :)
I've been having a relatively quiet day here at work, and tonight I'll round out the celebrations with dinner at the Olive Garden. YUM.
Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes! My Facebook page has been blown up today, and it makes me feel very loved.
If you scroll down to the previous post, you'll see I've decided to join the 101 in 1001 bandwagon. I wanted to do this back at the new year, but I took forever to decide what to put on the list. Starting on my birthday seems sensible. I reserve the right to alter my list at any time, but I feel pretty good about getting started on this journey.
Here's to hoping that the 26th year of my life brings many good things. I'm ready.
Since I’m a Runner...
1. Run the PWP 11.2 mile loop with someone so I can learn it (finally) 7/11/09
2. Run at least eight marathons - Chicago 09, Huntsville 09, San Francisco 10, Flying Monkey 10, Huntsville 10, Disney World 11, Chicago 11, Flying Monkey 11
3. Run a 23:30 5K - 23:36 Run for Mercy 5K 10/2010
4. Break 1:50 in a half-marathon
5. Break 4:00 in a marathon
6. Run in at least eight races I’ve never run in before - 7/4/09 London 10-Miler, 7/25/09 Striders Picnic 5K, 9/7/09 Franklin Classic 10k, 9/26/09 Shelby Bottoms Boogie 15K, Chicago Marathon 10/11/09, Team Nashville 10-Miler 11/14/09, Frostbite Half 2/13/10, Oak Barrel Half 4/3/10, River Bank Run 25K 5/18/10, San Francisco Marathon 7/25/10, Nashville Women's Half Marathon 9/25/10, Run for Mercy 5K 10/30/10, Flying Monkey Marathon 11/21/20, Disney Half and Full Marathon (Goofy Challenge) 1/8-9/11, Key Alliance 5K 5/14/11, BoroDash 11/24/11
7. Join the Nashville Striders for a group run at least once a year - Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011
8. Get a massage (or other special reward!) after every completed marathon - Chicago 09, Huntsville 09, San Francisco 10, Flying Monkey 10, Huntsville 10, Disney 11, Chicago 11, Flying Monkey 11
To Be Fit and Healthy...
9. Go for a month without soda - April 13 - May 13, 2010
10. Make cross training and/or yoga/pilates a weekly habit
11. Try an Ultra
12. Try a new kind of workout/class - BarreAmped May/June 2011
To Be a Tourist in My Own City...
13. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame - February 2011
14. Visit the Yazoo beer brewery
15. Visit Cheekwood - Fall 2010 for Chihuly
16. Eat at the Melting Pot again - Girl's Night Out October 10, Erin's Birthday 2011
17. Listen to music at The Bluebird Cafe - January 2, 2012
18. Visit Arrington Vineyards - June 2010
19. Go to Nashville Shores - September 2011
20. Go to a Nashville Predators game - March 2010, October 2010, November 2010
21. Go to a Nashville Sounds game - August 2009
22. See something in the new Symphony Center - April 2010
23. Eat at Loveless Cafe - May 2010, August 2010
I Love to Travel...
24. Take a spur of the moment road trip - Bowling Green, KY/Diamond Caverns April 2011
25. Go to NYC again - December 2012 with Adam (and got engaged!)
26. Visit 3 new states - Oregon (Aug. 2009), Washington (Aug. 2009), Missouri (Oct. 2010), West Virginia (Dec. 2010), Wisconsin (June 2011)
27. Return to Europe - Ireland and England Summer 2009
28. Visit a new country I’ve never been to - Summer 2009 (Ireland), January 2010 (Cayman Islands, Mexico, Belize, Roatan/Honduras)
29. Go to New Orleans - March 2012
30. Visit St. Louis and do the tourist stuff (the zoo, museum, Budweiser, the arch, etc.)
31. Go out of town for a New Year’s Eve - Snowshoe Ski Trip 2010
32. Visit Cedar Point or another equally cool amusement park
33. Stay at a Bed and Breakfast somewhere
I Want to Be a Student...
34. Learn how to sew on buttons
35. Learn how to drive a stick-shift
36. Learn how to make 10 new dinner recipes - Ketchup chicken, mexican casserole/dip, poppy seed chicken, french toast, honey glazed porkchops, chicken enchiladas, buffalo chicken, vegetable ragout, Red Lobster cheese biscuits, round steak
37. Learn how to change the design on my blog
38. Take a dance class (ballet, tap, hip hop, etc.)
39. Learn more about how to start a business - November 2011
40. Learn to make a homemade pie (preferably from Miss Millie’s recipes)
41. Take a surfing lesson, preferably in Hawaii or California
42. Learn to do something new that I've NEVER done before - March 2010 (hit golf balls)
43. Read the Bible (even the boring books)
I Want to Be a Giver...
44. Give five “just because” gifts
45. Give money to people who are fundraising at least 4 times a year - August 2009, 2 in September 2009, October 2009, January 2010, March 2010, June 2010, 2 in August 2010, October 2010, December 2010, April 2011, August 2011, September 2011, October 2011, November 2011
46. Cut off some hair to donate to Locks of Love or comparable non-profit
47. Complete at least 50 hours of volunteer work - Run for Mercy 5K 2009 (Event Chair)
48. Mail a card/letter to someone four times a year (doesn't have to be the same person) - Mrs. Belcher May 2009, thank you cards for the Mercy 5K October 2009, Aron after her BQ, December 2009, assortment of people Christmas 2009, interview thank you January 2010, Brian throughout 2010, thank you cards to my Run for Mercy team in women's half September 2010, thank you cards to Run for Mercy 5K team, thank you to Rebecca for taking me in during snow storm, February 2011, LG thank you April 2011
49. Donate $1 for each task not completed to a non-profit
Since I’m Relationship-Oriented...
50. Fall in love - Fall 2012 Adam!!!
51. Mail a real love letter
52. Kiss in the rain
53. See Stephanie and Amanda at least once a year if schedules allow - Steph: October 2009, December 2009, May 2010, Both: July 2010, Both: April 2011, Steph: May 2011, Steph: June 2011, Steph: September 2011, Both: October 2011
54. Make contact with local friends I don’t see often at least once a month
55. Meet at least one blog friend per year in person - August 2009, October 2009, May 2010, July 2010
56. Plan at least five $5 dates - June 2010 (Wave Country), Spring 2011 dinner/movie nights
57. Find a church and get involved - CrossPoint
58. Make at least one new good friend - DONE :)
It’s All About the Benjamins...
59. Save money for laser eye surgery (and do it if I can afford it)
60. Remain debt-free (exception: buying a home or reasonably priced car)
61. Maintain a 3-month emergency fund
62. Continue saving for large future purchases
63. Sell anything I can that I no longer need - Yard Sale June 2010, Yard Sale September 2010
64. Put money in my Roth IRA each year - 2009, 2010
I Like Culture...
65. See a Broadway play (preferably on Broadway, but in another city will count) - Wicked - September 2009
66. Listen to every song I’ve got in iTunes at least once
67. Go to the ballet (not The Nutcracker since I've seen it twice) - Cinderella 10/27/11
68. Go to three concerts per year - Live on the Green 9/24/09, Live on the Green 10/1/09, Imogen Heap 11/20/09, John Mayer 2/10/10, Live on the Green 9/2/10, Live on the Green 9/30/10, Live on the Green 10/7/10, NeedtoBreathe 11/19/10, Bright Eyes 3/17/11, Lady Gaga 4/19/11, NKOTBSB 6/21/11, Live on the Green Fall 2011, Lady Antebellum 11/14/11
69. See Dave Matthews Band anytime they are in Nashville
I Like Organization
70. Organize my receipt system into something that works better - July 2009
71. Clean out things/clothes I don’t use/need once per season (sell or donate items) - June 2010, January 2011
Further My Career...
72. Publish something I’ve written - Pets Across America 2009
73. Get paid for something I’ve written - Pets Across America 2009
74. Accept a new job that I love - February 2010
75. Find a job with benefits - February 2010
Just for Fun...
76. Take pictures inside a photo booth - July 2010 (SF marathon)
77. Host a true dinner party - October 2009
78. Go ice skating again - March 2011
79. Go snow skiing again - December 2010
80. Go water skiing/wakeboarding again - July 2010 wakeboarding, July 2011 wakeboarding
81. Go roller skating three times - May 2010, December 2012, April 2013
82. Go to a drive-in movie - May 2013
83. Go white water rafting again - July 2009
84. Try 10 new beers - Ireland and England Summer 2009: Bulmers, Smithwick, Kilkenny, Zubr, Boh, Blarney Blonde, Guinness, Plain Porter, Porterhouse Red, Chiller, Magners, and Strongbow.
86. Try a new hair color - August 2010
87. Scan all of my favorite photos from pre-digital years into my computer
88. Finish my college senior year scrapbook and scrapbook of races up-to-date
89. Send a postcard to PostSecret
90. Ride a horse
91. Sing karaoke
92. Buy myself flowers three times - July 2010
93. Carve a pumpkin one Halloween - Halloween 2012
94. Paint pottery with someone
95. Watch one new movie per month, minimum
96. Read one book per month, minimum
97. Complete another cross-stitch item
98. Buy my own domain name - January 2011 - www.marathonmelanie.com
99. Name my car - The Cougar (November 2009), Hadley the Honda (February 2011)
To Be Accountable on the List...
100. Blog about each item (do this in monthly re-caps of my progress)
101. Make a new list!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
I woke up to a thunderstorm around 5am. Now, that may not seem like a big deal, but it is... I usually sleep through them. We're talking I come into work and the guys are talking about the huge storm and I'm all, "what storm?"
But this storm? Colossal. I'm talking CONSTANT thunder and lightning. There was so much lightning, I could see it even with my eyes closed. My windows were shaking from the thunder. There was no way I was going back to sleep with all that noise. (Side note: I won the 7th grade spelling bee with the word lightning.)
I finally fell back asleep, but the disruption made me lose some valued and much needed sleep... so when the alarm went off, I turned it off.
I feel a little guilty, but at the same time? I'm going out tonight to celebrate my birthday with friends. So I feel like sleeping in was probably wise since we'll have a late night. And I'll get a run in on Sunday. And I can start my new gym in the morning routine on Monday, which makes more sense anyways.
In the meantime, there's still rain in the forecast for the weekend. I love a nice rainy day, but it feels like it's been raining for weeks now. I'm ready to see it all move out.
Have a great weekend. I should have a fun post and pictures after tonight's birthday mayhem downtown. :)
Thursday, May 7, 2009
And yes, I realize that I have a sick way of remembering dates. It's worse than just remembering what date something important happened. I often remember exactly when unimportant things happened.
It's crazy to think of how different my life is now than it was on that day 4 years ago. Sure, I'm not using that degree I earned... but I will one day. I've been happy with where I've ended up. A degree is a degree sometimes.
I've experienced heartbreak since then. Unfortunately, more than once.
I've had a terrible job working for someone awful, but I learned from it and eventually found the one I'm in now and have been super happy for close to 3 years.
I've made new friends. I've seen friends get married. I've seen friend freaking have babies.
There's a lot of unanswered questions in my life. Will turning 26 next week feel any different than being 25? Will I be able to keep my current job for as long as I'd like to? What will my next job be? When will I meet the love of my life? When will I get to go overseas again?
I know the answers will come when the time is right. I can't say my life is what I thought it'd be at this point, but all in all I'm happy. I am blessed. I know the future will be bringing more ups and downs. Maybe things don't always go the way that I might have anticipated yesterday, a month ago, a year ago, or even four years ago.... but I think where I've ended up is pretty good. And I look forward to seeing where I end up next.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
So I've mentioned a few times over the past few weeks that things have not been going as well as I'd like lately. One or two of these things are still issues, but I still don't find it quite right to discuss on here.
However, I'm ready to talk about one of them.
I'm no longer employed full-time.
For a few days, I thought I might be completely losing my job. I work for a small company, and we have not been immune to all the stuff going on in the economy. I know my boss hates to let any of us go, and he told us that if we had another offer somewhere then take it. One of the guys I work with is married and has a little one, so he moved forward with another job.
Being single and having little expenses, I was prepared to go on unemployment and spend some time really thinking hard about what the future holds for me. I do a lot of administrative tpye stuff in my current position, and while I love doing it in this particular role at this business, I have NO desire to do it anywhere else. My heart is in the publishing industry, and that's where I want to be eventually.
Fortunately, things aren't so bad that I need to completely walk away. My boss and I have arranged for me to work 20 hours a week for the time being. If things get worse, then I'll leave. If things get better, I'll increase my hours again. It means half my pay since I'll be working half the hours, but I am incredibly frugal and save a ton each month, so I'm ok to live on less for a few months. I think I can swing it without having to dip into savings as long as I don't go overboard on spending, but that's also what the savings is there for...
I'm actually really ok with it all now. It was a little disconcerting at first, but now I've figured out that I can sleep in a bit and then go get a run in or go to the gym each day. I'm going to be in better shape than ever before I think! Then I'll shower, have lunch, and come in to work 4 hours each afternoon. I'll still be done at 3:30 (and will already have my run or gym time done), so I will have time to do whatever else I need to do.
It's easy to sit here and wonder what the future holds... I know that there's a good chance I'll ultimately have to find another job eventually. But I can't really think much about all of that. I want to be present. I want to live my life now. I do think there's a world of change on the horizon for my life (and I'll admit, sometimes it takes me a little time to adapt to big changes). For the meantime, I want to make the most of where I'm at now. It's pretty awesome that I'm going to have a lot of extra time on my hands and that my daily schedule is going to be the way it is for a little while.
I'm also contemplating takig a trip. I don't want to say too much until I sort out the details and figure out the when and the where and such, but I figure that now is probably one of the best times for me to go do something really fun. Sure, I probably shouldn't spend the money when I'm bringing home less, but that's part of why I stay on top of my savings so well. Plus, all things travel are getting less and less expensive right now. I love a good deal.
I'm still feeling a little overwhelmed by how my life has kind of turned upside down a bit lately, but at the same time I'm kind of excited about the changes. It felt good to sleep in this morning. I know it's going to be great tomorrow to sleep in, go run a few miles, go to work and then have the whole afternoon and evening free to run some errands with my mom and have dinner.
I'll probably keep my eyes and ears open for odd jobs to earn some extra cash. I'm looking into a tutoring program, and I figure I'll let the people I used to babysit for know that I have daytime availability again.
In other news, I turned on the weather today and it shows rain for the next 7 days. It's been raining since last week. Seriously, it's getting old.
When I went for my 5-mile run yesterday, I went to our local greenway. I planned to run 2.5 miles out and then turn around to run back to my car. I only got to about 1.25 and couldn't go any further because the creek was flooded and covered the path, and there was no way to get to where the greenway picked up again on the other side. I mean, I could have swam across, but that seemed excessive. So I ran back and then turned around and repeated everything again. With all the rain in the forecast, it's looking like I might not get to run more than 1.25 miles out on that path for a while.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Here's how I've already started:
Sunday evening, I was already near downtown having dinner with a friend. I decided about an hour before it was supposed to start that I was going to try to get a ticket to see Death Cab for Cutie at the Ryman Auditorium. This is one of my favorite places to see a show. Since it's on the smaller side, there's really not a bad seat in the house. I walked up to the box office and scored a ticket in row 8, DEAD CENTER, for only $34. I then spent 4 hours watching Ra Ra Riots, Matt Costa and Death Cab. My spontaneous decisions lately have definitely been worth it, and I feel like I got May off on a good start. The concert was definitely a nice little present to myself.
In other news, the weekend was incredibly rainy. Someone I know actually made a post on Facebook about how she didn't know we lived in Seattle. I used the time to catch up on the month's worth of laundry that had accumulated.
My boss and I go to lunch together once a week (it's a nice little perk of the job), and today we headed to a local mexican joint since it's Cinco de Mayo and all. I realized halfway through our meal that the 4 men seated beside us kept staring at us. It was a little unnerving, and I couldn't believe they didn't stop when they noticed I was staring back. I'm sure they were wondering what was up... I mean, I am close to 26 and he's 29. But I never can figure out why people seem to think it's so odd we're out eating lunch. I could TOTALLY pass for his daughter. We're both short, skinny and have dark hair. He's got 2 daughters the exact same age as me and my sister. While I don't look like either of them, I could still pass for being his daughter if people only saw me.
I ran 5 miles today for the FIRST time since last November when I ran a 5-mile race and realized something was horribly wrong with my hip. It was exciting. I finally felt confident bumping up to 5 miles, and it went pretty smoothly. I finished it in about 48 minutes. I probably could have pushed the pace, but right now I'm more concerned about increasing my endurance. I'll worry about picking up my speed later.
Tonight I'm heading out to do a little celebrating for Cinco de Mayo, yet another fun way to kick off my birthday month.
I realized I've bounced around a lot in this post. Sorry! All of these tidbits couldn't really stand alone as their own posts.