Sunday, February 28, 2010

Starting a New Season

I'm not so sure I'm totally done with my blogging break, especially since I anticipate this week wearing me out a bit. However, I wanted to share a few things tonight.

I've been unemployed for exactly seven months. Over half a year. That's quite a while, but it feels like only yesterday that I walked away from my last day at my last job. It's funny how quickly time goes by when you're not stuck in some sort of "normal" routine.

I have done a lot of really amazing things during this time. I took a trip to Oregon and Washington. I spent a week on the beach with some amazing friends. I went to Chicago and ran a marathon PR of 4:11:22 at the Chicago marathon and met Nicole. I planned a 5K. I participated in a track clinic. I ran my second fastest marathon at the Rocket City marathon. I went with my family on a cruise. I saw snow.

I got to sleep in and stay up late, which is something I prefer. I got to go to the gym during the day when no one is there. I got to go shopping on weekdays when my mom had a day off here and there. I got to enjoy the holidays without feeling the stress of trying to get it all done on top of working 40 hours a week.

I got to laugh. I got to deepen my friendships. It's a sore subject, but I went on dates and had a blast. I got to spend time reflecting on my life. I got to think about what I want to do with my life next.

There are some things I didn't get done. I had hoped to get more work done on my scrapbooks, but that's not something super important or anything. I've gotten some done, but it hasn't been as much as I had originally hoped. Nonetheless, it wasn't something I felt motivated to do, so I don't feel guilty. I also intended to really clean out things and figure out what I can sell in a yard sale this spring. I really think this will be easier to do when I start packing to move in a couple of months, so I don't feel bad that I didn't get this done either.

It's kind of blown me away to find myself in this position where I now have a job. I'm excited and nervous all at once to be starting something new tomorrow.

There truly are seasons in our lives. The time has come for this season of unemployment to end. It hasn't been about not having a job... it's been about having time to do things I might not have been able to do as easily if I had been working. It was about taking advantage and making the most of having the extra time. It was always a positive thing, and looking back... I still see it that way.

This new season brings me to a new job in a new organization. I have no idea what's in store for me, but I know that I have a good feeling about it. My life is changing, and I know that there are probably many more ups and downs coming my way. Even though I'm feeling a little down right now, I know that my life has way more many ups.

For that, I am thankful.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Taking a Break

First, I want to thank you all for your kind words. I've been in this boat before, and I know I'll be fine in the very near future. It's more that it's just one of those things that always gets me down, and it's so much more because of being tired of being alone more so than the actual guy right now. I have to be sad for a bit before I can bounce back and be ok. My feelings are hurt, and I can't shake that off right away.

So I'm sorry for being kind of dark lately, but I promise that will clear up in time.

Meanwhile, I'm not going to write a race report about the Frostbite Half I ran on the 13th. I used it as a training run, and I finished in 2:02. I was pleased. And then I haven't run since. I'm just not there mentally. I'll get my groove back there as well, but for now I'm not being too hard on myself about it.

In other news that I haven't shared yet, I'm no longer unemployed. I start a new job on Monday. I don't feel like I should share much about it, but I know that it's more than likely going to be a great thing for me to be doing. I've enjoyed this time of unemployment, and I'm thankful for the opportunities I've had. I won't lie... it's hard to give up all of this free time, and having to adapt to this big of a change when my heart is a bit heavy is something that is quite hard for me. But I know it'll all turn out...

Anyways, this is a jumbled post. I don't know when I'll run again. I don't know when I'll post again. I think I need a few days to just enjoy the end of the time of not working. I need a few days to try to finish shaking off this silly boy stuff. I need time to readjust to my new schedule and routine. So maybe I'll be back soon, and maybe I won't. We'll see.

I'll be reading your blogs in the meantime (it's a great distraction from the millions of thoughts in my head right now), but I can't promise to comment a ton.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Vulnerable

I keep a journal. It's FOR SURE completely different from this blog. I write things in there that I don't intend for anyone to read. Other than me. Ever.

I write in it everyday. I remember how in high school my friend Danielle would dare me to go one day without writing in my journal. I couldn't... no wait, I wouldn't do it.

My high school friends also knew about the color pens. I'm not quite as strict about it now, but back then I had different pens for different topics. I guess I felt like it was a way for me to be able to find the words I was looking for whenever I might look back on them.

I don't use so many pens anymore. I use just two. (I realize I'm allowing you to see some of my quirks, but that's one of the reasons for the title of this post.) Black is used for the mundane details; blue is used for anything I deem a bit more significant. It's pretty open to my own interpretation.

I've always wondered if I'd reach a day where I don't write in it. I've been writing daily since high school started in 1997, and I haven't stopped yet. I don't know when I'll stop. I feel like I might... I don't think I'll ever stop writing in a journal completely, but I think there will come a time where it's not a daily thing.

Some days have longer entries than others. Sometimes I write a brief sentence or two about what I did with my time that day. Sometimes I write a detailed account of a conversation I had. I might write about how something I read affected my thoughts. It can be a little bit of anything.

I don't really go back and read what I've written very often, which I'm sure sounds odd. What's the point then? I suppose it's that I like knowing I CAN go back and reread stuff. Occasionally I do. There are times when I want to go back and remember how something happened or what may have been said in a conversation that was important to me.

The only real issue is that sometimes I have the days where I really don't want to write about what happened... but I just can't walk away. I HAVE to write. I HAVE to record what happened because I know that there might be a day when I want to have the details... there might be a time when I need or want to remember, and if I've written it down when it's fresh then I know it's the most accurate account I could possibly go back to in order to remember. The brain changes details over time, but my words aren't erased.

I think maybe that's why I still journal the old-fashioned way: with a spiral notebook and ink pens. What's written is written. I can't delete it. Sometimes that's nice.

But I struggle in moments like these... because if I write about it, then it's real. If I write about it, I have to admit it happened. If I write about it, I have to be in touch with how I feel. If I write about it, I know it can't be changed.

There are a lot of people who would tell me that how I feel right now is silly or crazy or dumb. I'm not the kind of girl who can just get mad and say mean things and force myself over it. I have to be upset. I have to feel emotional. I have to let the questions and the feelings of not understanding go through me. I am exactly who I am. Who I am is a girl who gets upset over these things. I'm a girl who either likes you or doesn't like you, and if I like you and you hurt me, I get sad... not mad. I like you because I see the good in you, so I'm not going to say bad things just because I got hurt. I'm the girl that fights for what she wants, especially when she's got nothing else to lose.

I'm also the girl who wants to sit here and say that that's it... I'm done... that I don't care anymore. But it'd be a lie.

I will always be the girl who puts herself out there on the line. I will always be the girl who is all in. I will always be the girl that genuinely likes you when she says she likes you. And it is my hope that one day, it will pay off. One day, it won't end. One day, it won't feel like this. And it will be worth these moments of hurt.

I'm a big Lady Antebellum fan, and like tons of people in America I've been digging the new tune "Need You Now." Apparently, someone else knows exactly what I mean if I'm to judge by the one line in the song saying, "Guess I'd rather hurt than feel nothing at all..."

That's the girl I am.

I hate getting hurt, but I know that I'll never get what I am looking for if I don't risk getting hurt. I'd rather feel the pain in the process of seeking something good than to not care, to not feel anything...

So that's me. I'll keep taking that risk. Maybe sometimes it includes those other words of the Lady A song about "I said I wouldn't call, but I lost all control..." Or maybe it's just getting out there again and starting over.

And yeah, I'm saying this even in the midst of sitting here with hurt feelings. I can't help but wonder if that means I'm the most crazy person I know... or the most sane.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Losing My Mind?

Do you know how a cell phone will start beeping at you when it's starting to die?

I got a new phone last week, so I retired my old Motorola Razor. (It was a sad day.)

I've been on the couch watching the Olympics tonight (go USA!) with my new phone nearby.

I keep hearing that beeping sound that my old phone made when the battery was fading fast.

It is not the new phone... it has three bars of battery and is right beside me.

It is not the old phone... it was turned off last week. I even went to where I stuck it to make sure the sound wasn't coming from there.

Since it's a quick beep, I can't figure out where it's coming from. It also doesn't happen very often.

I'm either losing my mind, or else there is a phone somewhere in here that I don't know about that is dying... the odds of both are pretty slim.

What in the world is going on?!

I really thought it was on the tv at one point, but that doesn't make sense either.

I've also been trying to figure out if I've got something else in here with a dying battery, but nothing seems to fit.

I'll let you know if I figure out what's going on, but for now it's starting to drive me a little nuts.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fearless

Please tell me you're watching the winter Olympics.

I have to be honest... I've never really watched them in previous years other than to catch a little bit of the women's figure skating here and there.

However, I can't seem to keep my eyes off the tv in the evenings right now. The skiing, the snowboarding, the speed skating... it's all just blowing my mind!

The more I watch, the more I become sure of one thing... to be a summer Olympian is pretty cool and requires a ton of hard work. I think the same is true for winter Olympians, but I think they require something a little extra than those in the summer sports - they have to be FEARLESS.

Can you believe some of the falls we've seen? Can you imagine what would happen if they fell during some of the tricks they're doing? I always find myself holding my breath a bit when they fly up in the air or something.

Anyways, if you're not watching, I just wanted to say that you should. I've been blown away!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ready for My Weekend

This week has flown by... I can't believe it's Friday, but I'm kind of glad the weekend is finally here. Even though I'm not working, a weekend still feels different to me. They're always fun and relaxing in some ways.

This weekend is quite full. I'll be running the Cedars of Lebanon Frostbite Half in the morning. I'm using it mostly for a training run, but I can't help but kind of think a bit about the time. I'd love to finish around the 2 hour mark, but I'm not sure if I'm in shape to do better than a 2:10. Plus, it's going to be CRAZY cold. So we'll see what happens. I know it'll be fun, and that's what matters to me most about this race. Plus it was only $5. And it starts at 11am. So you can't beat all that.

I'm going to visit my grandma since I haven't seen her in a while, so that'll be nice.

And I have some Valentine's Day plans with a certain gentleman that I've been seeing a lot of lately. We both kind of have the same opinions about Valentine's Day, so it's nice that we're in sync on how to handle it. It'll be low key, but I know it'll be fun. I'm just looking forward to spending time together on the day.

I hope that everyone has a fantastic weekend and that you're able to spend time with someone who means something to you on V-Day. Remember that there are lots of people who love you that might want to hear from you!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Public Apology

I think that when John Mayer titled his newest album Battle Studies, it probably had so many more meanings to it than what anyone would guess up front.


I'm not a huge fan myself. I like his music alright. I think he writes some great lyrics at times, and the man certainly knows how to play the guitar. However, I think he's kind of full of himself and has a lot of growing up to do, so it's hard for me to have a ton of respect for him.

Nonetheless, my sister LOVES him, so I decided to be the best big sister in the world and get tickets to see him last night in Nashville as her Christmas present. She was ecstatic on Christmas morning!

We headed downtown and joined the thousands of other people making their way to the arena. He played a good bit of new stuff, and he played some of the oldies I really like. One of my favorite tunes from the new album is Assassins, so I was pleased to hear it live.

At the end? Well, what you may have heard is true. John Mayer pretty much broke down on stage. My sister and I didn't have a clue what had happened with his recent interviews and inappropriate comments, but next thing we new we were both sitting there like "Is he crying on stage?"

I think that this little piece on it describes the account best if you're interested.


I may not like him very much, and I DEFINITELY think he's got a ways to go in terms of maturing... but I think that making a public apology is a step. I have more respect for men who can sincerely acknowledge when they make a mistake as opposed to the ones who "issue a statement."


Only time will tell if John really learns and changes from the experience, but I know that it can be hard to open up to anyone, much less a crowd of thousands of fans.


Do I like him any better because of this? Not really. I've seen him live now and probably won't ever feel the need to do it again. (Unlike Dave Matthews Band... I've been to 6 shows and will certainly go to as many more as I can.) But I think it was kind of cool to be part of that audience that got to hear him open up and apologize.


He said he just wants to play his guitar. I hope that's what he'll start doing.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Catching up on the Books

One of the things I had hoped to accomplish while unemployed is to get a little bit more caught up on my scrapbooking. Unfortunately, it's just something that I haven't really had the desire to really spend a lot of time doing. I've been making progress, and I'm a few pages away from finally finishing my junior year of college.

I've decided that I want to start and finish my book for the 2009 races I ran as soon as possible. I get excited about scrapping my races, and I would love to get caught up before I get too many races in during 2010.

I honestly don't think it'll take too terribly long since I didn't run any races until June due to my pesky injury, and the only one that I really have a ton of pictures from is the Chicago marathon.

Nonetheless, it'll take a while I'm sure. I've been trying to pick out which pictures need to go in the book so that I can get them printed and ready. It's really fun looking back on the pictures a bit after the races and reflecting on what I felt like that day. It's when I do things like this that I really realize just how much I like how running has become a major part of my life.

With any luck, I'll get the book done quickly and then can try to knock out my senior year. I still believe that if I could ever finish scrapping college that I could try to get caught up to present day a lot more quickly. By scrapping races in a separate album, all it really leaves to scrapbook from the past 5 years since college are some trips and weddings as well as a few other occasional photo-worthy events.

Scrapbooking my life is definitely not a priority to me. If it doesn't get done, it doesn't get done. Nonetheless, I enjoy it... and it feels good getting it done. So here's to hoping that eventually... one day... even if it's years away... I'll get caught up and find myself in a position where it's a little easier to keep the books up to date.

But we'll see.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Musings

Several things bounced around in my head today, but none of the topics deserved a post of its own... so here you go:
  • I got a free lunch at Arby's today. The matter in which it happened is kind of funny and sad. I had a coupon for a free regular roast beef. The girl couldn't figure out how to get it to ring up, and finally she found a way to make it happen. Then I ordered a $1 fry and a $1 drink. (Hey, I'm unemployed and on a budget.) When she punched them in, they rang up higher prices. I pointed this out and she told me they didn't have buttons to push for the value items and them made it do a 20% off thing and the total was still like $3.50 instead of the $2.20 it should have been. She seemed baffled that I wasn't going to pay that when I ordered two items that were $1... She stared at me. I stared at her. She punched in something and announced my meal was free. O...k... I think she just had no idea how to ring up my order, which I thought was kind of sad but I wasn't about to question it.
  • So then I went to Wal-Mart. I'd really like to boycott that place because I never have a good experience when I'm in there, but since I'm on a tight budget I really need to shop where most of the items I buy are cheapest. That would be Wal-Mart. Today's big issue? They're remodeling... which means rearranging everything. Something they did like two years ago. My first big issue is that they're letting themselves run out of a ton of stuff so that it's easier to move things around. I think this is pretty unfair to the customers as well as bad business practice because I was annoyed they didn't have things I wanted AND they lost money when I went elsewhere to buy it. Second, in a few weeks I'll go in there and everything will be moved and I won't know where anything is and I will be annoyed. Ugh.
  • It's snowing again. It's not much... maybe an inch or so. But this is crazy. I'm suddenly having one of those "we're not in Tennessee anymore" kind of moments. It was crazy to get enough snow to go sledding in last week. To see more of the white stuff again so soon is unsettling. Global warming my foot. (BTW, don't leave me comments about how it's "climate change" now and that it really does exist. I'll probably just delete it because it's my blog and I can do that. God controls the weather. End of story.)
  • I really miss dancing sometimes. I don't miss spending my Saturday afternoons at the dance studio, but I do miss that feeling of going out on stage and doing a really fast tap number or a really amazing pointe dance.
  • I'm running a half marathon on Saturday. The longest I've ran to prepare is 10 miles. I know I'll finish, but it will definitely be more of a training run sort of race instead of one where I try to do well. Plus it's going to be cold. Really cold. What was I thinking?

Friday, February 5, 2010

101 in 1001 Update

I'm a few days late in getting my act together and posting this, but things have been busy. :) I have some exciting things going on that I hope to be able to share soon.

January was kind of a light month in terms of what I had time to do. I was out of the country for the first week, and then I started spending a ton of time job searching. I also want to note that there are several things on the list that I'm working on, but I can't really consider them done. There are a few things that I am consistently doing that I won't mark anything about until the end when I assess whether or not I feel like I was able to maintain what I was trying to do.

I'm also considering editing a few things on the list that I've realized just aren't important to me. It's my list, and I can do that! :)

Here's what I was able to cross off in January:

28. Visit a new country I’ve never been to - Technically, I had already crossed this one off when I went to Ireland in June, but I got to go to some new places when I went on my cruise with my family: Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize and Roatan.

36. Learn how to make 5 new dinner recipes - I haven't made much effort on this since I got started, but I learned how to make ketchup chicken, something my mom always made a lot when I was younger.

45. Give money to people who are fundraising at least 4 times a year - I felt fortunate to be able to make two small donations to some friends who are running the Disney Princess Half with Team in Training.

95. Watch one new movie per month, minimum - I watched one called Life in Flight that I didn't really think was all that good. I really haven't spent as much time watching new movies lately, but I suppose that's ok.

96. Read one book per month, minimum - I was too busy in December to finish anything, so I made sure to get two books read in January. First, I read John Grisham's The Broker while I was on the cruise. I think his books are great vacation reads. I also read Dean Karnazes's 50/50 book. I have to admit that I was kind of disappointed. It'd be a great book to read if I were a beginner and needed lots of advice, but most of it was stuff I already knew. I guess I had expected him to write more about the actual marathon courses and cities, so I was a little bummed to find that wasn't the case.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Oh yeah... I'm a Runner

Every now and then, I kind of forget that I actually started this as a running blog.

But when you haven't been running as much, it makes it hard to talk about running.

I have been working on getting back into the swing of things. I've actually only been running about twice a week since I got back from the cruise. This isn't ideal, but it's keeping me sane. I always find it hard to run this time of year, in part due to the crappy weather and in part due to having a busy fall training schedule. I like taking it easy a bit in the winter if possible. Since I'm not planning a spring marathon, I'm thrilled to be cutting back on the mileage.

I have been working in some spin classes and other workouts like the Shred DVD and random gym classes here and there, so I think that kind of makes up for not getting a third day of running in. Since I'm tentatively planning my first indoor triathlon in April, I feel like I need to be working in more biking and swimming.

I did get a nice 10-miler in with a friend on Tuesday. Parts of the path were still covered with snow, so that made it kind of interesting. It's much harder to run on! It definitely slowed me down a bit, but it was a nice little run full of good conversation. It felt good to log it.

I logged another 5 today when I did a 6x800m speed workout. I've definitely lost some speed, which is a bit disappointing but is to be expected after taking some time off running. I feel like I'm bouncing back quickly, so I don't mind.

My first half marathon on the year is next Saturday. I'm probably not really prepared, but I know I can cover the distance. I plan on just enjoying it and using it as good training to get ready for the half I'm doing in March. I'd really like to do well at it.

So I'm getting my groove back, but I'm also kind of taking it easy. It feels good. I've lost my holiday/cruise weight that I gained, and I feel my body shaping back up. Yay!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sledding in Tennessee

I mentioned I did a little sledding on the ice this weekend. Here's a short video of one of my ventures down the hill. I didn't do as many 360's as some trips down, but you get the picture.

PS - I'm a big nerd, and I know it.


Sledding from Mel Belle on Vimeo.