Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa Hat Run

Me post Santa Hat run. Still smiling. Although I'm not sure how. I took off trying to keep up with the group. Unfortunately it's been awhile since I ran a 9 minute mile so it was a tad bit painful. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Gaylord Opryland Experience

When I was in the fourth grade my Grandma and Aunt took me out of school for a week (unheard of!) for a girls' trip to Nashville. I remember that I had a good time but I don't really remember any of the specifics of the trip or our itinerary. Except The Opryland Hotel. I remember every moment of walking through that big, grand hotel. It was so much bigger and more beautiful than the hotel we were actually staying in. Grander than any place I had ever visited. The gardens were breathtaking. Even the restrooms were impressive. I loved everything about it. In the two decades since I fell in love with the hotel, I have remembered it fondly and dreamed of actually staying there someday.

You can see how my big expectations may have set me up for a fall...

In case you're not up on the Opryland, it is extravagantly expensive. It was a big deal for us to splurge on it. And obviously I had built it up pretty high in my mind. And I looked forward to it for WEEKS.  We showed up at Christmas time where they do it up right.  Perfect for me because I love all things Christmas.  Except, as we found out later, the Opryland takes in 10,000 visitors a day during Christmas...which translated to us sitting in traffic for over an hour just waiting to check in.  And sitting in traffic over an hour everytime we returned to the hotel.  If we ever stay again, it will NOT be at Christmas time!

True to my memory, it was still extravagantly beautiful.

The atriums were just as beautiful as I remembered.  They were huge and there were so many!  They had them all done up for Christmas and there were several huge Christmas trees.

 There were over a million Christmas lights outside, and many of them just happened to be right outside the window of our room so I could look at them anytime from the warmth of my hotel room.  They were, of course, gorgeous too.

I wanted to know if there was some trick to getting the entire tree all lit up like that, so I practically climbed inside one to get a picture:

Now I've shared all the things I loved, let's talk things I didn't.  Namely, our hotel room itself.  Everything in the lobbies and atriums and outside the hotel were wonderful.  Our room was like a Motel 6!  The exterior door didn't seal all the way, so it let in cold air and noise all night long.  Because we were by the Christmas lights, there were tour buses dropping people off every 10 minutes until about 4 AM every night and we could hear the engines and the people talking like we were part of the crowd.

It was freezing in that room!  There were other problems that I could have lived with, but certainly didn't expect: the wallpaper peeling in the bathroom, the carpet not quite meeting the wall.  I expected higher quality rooms, but instead the room quality was really shabby.  I think I would have been disappointed, but not angry...if only I wasn't freezing and being woken up every 10 minutes! 

We called down Saturday morning to complain about the temperature and noise level.  I was expecting that they would offer to move us to a floor off ground level, or at the very least apologize for our troubles.  Instead we were told, "Well, complain to someone when you check out tomorrow."  What?!?! 

Summary: the service is less than you would expect, the rooms are way less than you would expect.  The Opryland Hotel is a great place to visit, but you may want to find somewhere else to stay.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

That Garth Brooks is a Class Act

Way back when (aka October) we went to Vegas. Me for a conference, Dave for a life experience. I wanted desperately to check out the new Garth Brooks show. Dave was unwilling to pay the price for the tickets.

Fast forward to November. Apparently Dave was feeling guilty about denying me the chance to see GB. So for my birthday (the big 3-0) he surprised me with GB tickets for the flood relief concerts in Nashville!!

Well that concert was Friday night and it was phenomenal! Seriously the best concert I've ever been to! And best birthday present EVER!!

He sang all of my favorite songs, including my all time favorite The Dance, which was beautiful and moving in person. Not only did he sing all of his hits for us, but he also told us the year they were hits and anecdotes from the time. He was super personable. He sounded just as good live as he does recorded which is kind of rare these days. And he even brought some special guests:

Steve Wariner made an appearance for a rendition of Long Neck Bottle.

What would a special GB show be without his wife, and my close personal friend, Trisha Yearwood?

They were amazing together and it literally gave me chills when they hit hose harmonies. Really, really great. I sang along to every song, screamed and cheered like I was at a high school football game, and came away with no voice at all. It was such a fabulous time!

For a truly country weekend we did it up right and stayed at the Opryland Hotel. More on that tomorrow because believe me, I have A LOT to say about that.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Weather Strikes With a Vengeance

Friday I set out to do a long run before we left for Nashville (more on that later).  It had snowed and iced and closed down schools 3 out of 5 days.  I set out to run 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

I took off at a slow jog.  The road looked like this:

What the picture doesn't show you is the 1/2 inch of ice on top of all that snow.  It was crazy slick.

I made it 30 minutes.  I figured better to get back in one piece than to fall, break my leg, and end my marathon dreams forever.*

The good news is I needed one more 30 minute run for the week and got it out of the way.  And I came home Sunday and did my long run and my running week was saved!

*No, I do not think I'm being overly dramatic here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Body Machine

Last night I was running intervals on the treadmill (and made it 2.62 miles-take that treadmill!) and an interesting thing happened.

I was obsessing about my body...but in a good way.  I couldn't help but notice how powerful my legs and arms felt when I was doing a quarter mile sprint.  I felt good.  I felt strong.  I kept thinking what an amazing machine the human body is that it can propel us over miles and miles, on all terrains and in all kinds of weather, if only we let it

My body is not something to be degraded for being lumpy, or saggy (babies you know), or too heavy, too hairy*, too wrinkly, too short...any number of derogatory things I've said to myself over the years.  My body should be loved and cherished for what it can do.  I have run two half marathons and countless 5/10/15Ks.  In a few short months I'm going to run 26.2 miles.  My body is not my body is amazing!!

*Seriously.  I shaved my arms for an entire year, all through 6th grade.  I feel a little bit sad for that girl.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bye Bye Vices

I’ve been in absentia from the blog.  I haven’t had much to say this month I guess.  My life has been work, Christmas shopping, kiddos, and running.  Then I sleep and do it all again.  What’s to say about that??

The training is going well, and even with my Cold From Hades I still feel like I’m on track to begin my half marathon training in January.  Yay!  It’s been really cold and snowy around here (the cold I can live with but snowy = falling = embarrassing) so I’ve been hitting the treadmill more than I’d like.  But I’ve managed to get in all my training runs AND still do all my long runs outside – wee ha!

I’ve hit the point in my training where I’m ready to get rid of some “bad” stuff.  I always give up alcohol when I’m 2-3 months out from a race.  That's not really much of a sacrifice, since I drink about 2 glasses of wine a year, but still I give it up!  I try to limit the soda and sweets too.  I just think my body performs better when I don’t put quite as much junk into it.  That’s not to say that all junk gets the axe.  I still have cookies and ice cream, french fries, and I usually swap out some of the soda for sweet tea.  This year I’ve decided to try nixing the sweet tea too, really it’s just pure sugar, and I actually like unsweetened tea too so why not nix the sweet tea and see how my performance fares?  I’m sure I could be a superstar if I had a really wholesome training diet of lean protein, fruits, and veggies and kissed all the fun (read: sugary) stuff goodbye, but I’m simply not at a point where I want to go that wild and crazy!

Tonight we’re expecting half a foot of snow, so I’m in for 30 minutes on the treadmill.  The TM really hurts my hips and knees so I tend to run slooooooooooow on it.  I’m looking for about 2.6 miles in 30 minutes.  It looks a little sadder in black and white.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Creepy Encounters of the Long Run Kind

Yesterday I went for my weekly long run.  Wait…let me back the train up.  3 weeks ago I went on my weekly long run, came home and promptly caught some kind of Cold From Hades, did lots of sleeping and drinking of fluids and absolutely no running for 3 weeks.  The cold finally leaves my chestal area, I give it a couple more days of rest just to be sure and then Saturday hop on the treadmill for a 30 minute run.  So I decide Sunday that I’m good to go for my long run, I scale it back some but decide I can handle a 50 minute run.  And I did, but that’s not the point of this story.

About 20 minutes in, I’m feeling good, and then I see a guy in a hoodie walking down my side of the street toward me.  Now I have a decision to make.  Do I cross the street and show my judgment (which can also be perceived as fear)?  Do I stand my ground and show my “I’m not afraid of you face”?  Do I take a side street thus avoiding an encounter, but take a chance that he will follow and now I will be in a less populated area?  Do I ponder how a man out running wouldn’t have to think through all of these scenarios?

In the end, I stand my ground and stay on my side of the street so as not to seem intimidated, but I give him a wide berth.  Far enough away that he would have to move faster than me to grab hold, but close enough that I can still see his creepy glass eye and hear him say “You lookin’ good”. 

(An aside here: When I hear people yell/cat call/whistle at me while I'm running I am so flabbergasted.  I want to stop and yell back "Really?  I've been running for an hour, my hair is a giant frizz ball, I'm sweating in places I didn't even know I had, and there's a strong possibility that I sharted during that last mile...but really?  I'm looking good to you?"  But I digress.) 

I pass people on the road all the time.  I’ve had all manner of things yelled at me out car windows.  But this guy here, he Freaked. Me. Out.  I had a bad case of the heebie-jeebies and it stayed with me the rest of the way.  I varied my route back trying to keep the right mix of population with “not likely to run into that guy again”.  In fact, I kind of carried around a violated feeling the rest of the night.  You feel like you live in a safe place, you’re out and about on a populated street during daylight hours, but then you get a little reminder of what kind of place the world can be and might be. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Breaking the Fast

Dave has been fasting (in preparation for Fall Fire Up at church) for the last 24 hours. Today he broke the fast in style. Breakfast buffet at GC. The girls wanted ice cream after breakfast. They are their mommy's girls!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I’ve been MIA.  That’s because I’ve been in Vegas Baby!

I spent a whole week in Sin City for a conference.  But I also brought the hubby along and we spent the evenings enjoying the night life.  We played a few penny slots, a couple nickel slots, but got no braver than that.  We took in some excellent shows!  Those with kids probably have been subjected to That's So Raven on the Disney Channel.  Well the dad from that show was headlining at The Improv Comedy Club and he was hilarious!  He even singled me out in the audience to engage in some tête-à-tête regarding my pink Snuggie!

We also went and saw Criss Angel Believe, a Cirque de Soleil theatrical production featuring magic by none other than the MindFreak himself.  Also very, very good!!!  I highly recommend it if you’re in the neighborhood.  I have no idea how he does what he does.  Which I guess is the point.

The only sin we engaged in during our stay in Sin City was indulging in decadent food!  My waistline hates me, but my taste buds were oh, so happy…  We ate fabulous Mexican food, a scrumptious breakfast buffet, melt in your mouth cheeseburgers. 

Cheeseburgers as big as your head

The best by far was at Max Brenner’s Chocolate Restaurant.  We went at dinner time, but all we ordered was the milk chocolate fondue.  It came with strawberries, bananas, brownie & cookie chunks, and marshmallows for dipping.  They brought out a little fire so that you could toast the marshmallows before lathering them in chocolate and slurping them off the skewer.  The toasted, chocolatey marshmallows are easily the best things I’ve ever put into my mouth.  Ever.  The chocolate fondue was so good we wanted to slurp the leftovers through a straw. 

So we did:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bad, Bad Mood

I didn't start off the day in a bad mood...really!  It probably doesn't help that I got about 2 hours sleep last night, but really that's no excuse.  The culprit is easy to name--Facebook!  Is it just me, or is that site kind of the devil?  (I kid, I kid...sort of)

I, like many people I assume, am friends with a whole lot of people that I wouldn't stop on the street to talk to.  People I went to elementary school with, college "friends", people I exchange emails with at work.  You get the idea.  Of course, I am friends with people I actually communicate with, family (great way to exchange pictures), parents of my kids' friends (great way to arrange play dates and look for sketchy pictures to clue me in always to have playdates at my house)...but the vast majority of people I am facebook "friends" with are people I haven't physically talked to in a hundred years, give or take a few.

At first it's good fun.  Hey look!  There's old whats-his-name!  What a cute family he has now!  Or...Ha!  Look at that receding hair line and pot belly-serves him right!  Like I said, good fun.

But have you noticed that things on Facebook tend to be all flowers and rainbows, all the time?  I mean sure, your BFF from 3rd grade probably has fights with her husband from time to time, but to hear her tell it in status updates he's the Best. Husband. Ever.  Or her kids never fight, or have an accident, or she still keeps in touch with all 627 people from your graduating class.  In fact, they get together every week for dinner.  Does it ever just make you feel inferior? 

You have to put it in perspective of course.  Most people are putting the best of themselves out there, and leaving the ugly out of it.  Why wouldn't they?  But it's still so easy to get caught up in comparison shopping.  He got 317 Happy Birthday's on his wall?  How did he get so many?  People didn't even like him back in the day...

Or, after I had kids I managed to hold on to one friend, because really...who has time for more than one after they have kids?  So how has your junior high nemesis managed to talk on the phone to all of our old classmates every day, meet them for yoga in the mornings, get together for mexican night once a week, create a Wii baseball team with them, and go to book club with them too?  Am I the only one that can't make time to keep friends?  Really?

And let's don't forget the comment judgment.  Was that status update aimed at me?  Was that person's comment a dig at what I said last week?  Is he talking about ME?  Is she making fun of ME? 

It can actually be a bit of a nightmare.  It's worse than any clique in high school ever was.  Does anyone else out there have Facebook Syndrome?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Life Gets in the Way

I woke up this morning to a sick five year old.  Fever, sore throat, tired, cranky.  My plans for today consisted of work, marathon training, carting a kid to dance class, and a bike ride while watching Biggest Loser.  All that got kicked to the curb, or if I'm lucky just rearranged.  Work was obviously cancelled, and dance class looks to be a no-go too.  I really need to run still...and I really don't want to do it on the treaddy!  Torture!  There's a chance that while my lasagna is baking, I can convince my hubby to let me out the door for a run the very second he walks in.  My 3 year old will be harder to convince.  She's a major momma's girl and will not want to let me out of her sight as soon as she gets home.  The run is still up in the air.  At least I should still manage to get my bike ride in while watching BL as long as the kids' bedtime goes off as it's supposed to.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Marathon Training Begins (Kind Of)

I’m training to run a marathon.

I’ve run two half marathons, a 15K, and a handful of 5K and 10K races.  I’ve been running for just over 2 years.  But a funny thing happens every year (all 2 of them!) when I finish my half marathon.  I quit running.  It gets hot and humid outside, I’m sore, I deserve a break…you name the excuse and I’ve probably used it.  Then when I finally do resume running I try to pick back up where I left off and end up hurt.  So, this year when I resumed running I vowed to do it slowly so I wouldn’t get hurt (hopefully).  I’ve been doing a combination of running and walking 3-4 times a week for about 2 months now. 

I’m approaching this very carefully.  First, I’ll run for several months to establish a solid base.  Then, I’ll begin a four month half marathon training plan.  After successfully completing my half marathon in May I will continue to strengthen my base until mid-June when I will begin officially training for a fall marathon.

I’ve decided to do a training plan that identifies training by time, rather than distance.  I get hurt every year at some point during training, and I think a lot of my problem is speed.  Not that I have speed mind you.  I’m actually quite slow.  But I try to do speed workouts, or keep up with a faster paced runner.  Or more often, my training plan says I’m going to do 4 miles, so I’m going to do 4 miles darnit, but I’m tired of being out here on my feet so I’m now going to sprint the last half mile so I can just be done already.  Then I end up hurting myself during those little sprints.  No more!  This year I’m going to run for time.  If I’m supposed to run 45 minutes, then that’s what I’ll do whether I make it 3 miles or 8 miles (yeah right!) in that time.  I’m hoping this will discourage me from doing crazy things to try to make up distance, and maybe my knees and hips will make it to race day in working order.

Week 6

I finally made it to Week 6 (though it actually took me about 9 weeks to do so) and today ran my first 30 minutes straight in months.  It felt great!  I ran 2.67 miles in 30 minutes.  I added a couple of minutes of warmup and cooldown walking on, because I think that has really helped me protect my knee from the old familiar pain.  I ran the full 30 minutes and I felt really good.  Now I can get back into thinking about training for an actual race!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week 5

Week 5 calls for walking 3 minutes, running 12 minutes, then repeating to start the week.  By the end of the week you are supposed to walk 3 minutes, run 15, walk 3, then run the rest of the session.  Today I walked 3, ran 13, walked 3, then ran 11.  I made it 2.37 miles.  Tomorrow is supposed to be the start of Week 6, but I'm not quite up to where I'm supposed to be so I'm going to continue Week 5 until I feel good and ready for Week 6.  Especially since Week 6 is the last one of this program and I want to make sure I've taken full advantage of this program before I move on to more strenuous training.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Week 4

This week I actually started and finished Week 4.  Week 4 called for walking a few minutes to warm up, run X number of minutes, walk until rested, run X number of minutes again, then walk the remainder of the half hour.  To begin the week, the running portions were 7 minutes, and by the end of the week the running portions were 10 minutes.  By today I was up to 10 minutes of running, then I walked 3 minutes to recover, then ran another 10 minutes.  I felt pretty good and I made it 2.42 miles.  My weekly total was 8.83 miles in 2:07:10.  Tomorrow I'll be ready to move on to week 5.  I'm so ready to be back to continuous running!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Taking It Slow

Well, I stayed on week 3 all week this week.  I did 3 workouts, Tuesday, Friday, and today.  On each one I alternated 6 minutes running with 1 minute walking, plus the 5 minute warmup and cooldown.  I just really felt like I was struggling with 6 minutes of running at a time so I wanted to keep working on it until it felt better.  I am trying to build up slowly after all. 

Finally today it seemed to come together, so tomorrow I'll start week 4 of the training plan (even though it has actually been 6 weeks!).  I'm proud of me for taking it slowly!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The End of Week 3?

Today I hit my 6 minute run intervals that I needed to hit by the end of week 3.  I alternated running 6 minutes and walking 1 minute during the middle of the workout.  I went 2.17 miles in 30:50.

I really didn't feel good during today's workout.  It was a struggle to run 6 minutes at a time.  I felt like I was really struggling to keep going for that long.  I felt tired and extremely unfit.  The hills really killed me today.  I think I'll stay at week 3 a little longer before I move on to week 4.

My weekly total was 8.71 miles in 2:01:35.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Week 3

Today I started week 3 of training.  The Complete Book of Women's Running prescribes walking the first 5 minutes, run/walking the middle 20 minutes, and walking the last 5 minutes.  The beginning of the week is 4 minute run intervals and by the end of the week you work up to 6 minute run intervals.  Today I ran 4 minute intervals alternated with 1:20 of walking.  I went 2.14 miles in 29:50.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Today I did two good things: I ran my first 4 minute run interval and I crossed 2 miles!  I went 31:55 instead of 30 minutes and went 2.2 miles.  I alternated my 4 minute run intervals with just 1 minute of walking.  I felt pretty good, even with less recovery time than I've been giving myself.  Even better, I am still injury free!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Week 2

Today I began the Week 2 training plan from the book (even though it's actually been 1.5 weeks since I started training).  Week 2 prescribes walking the first 8 minutes, run/walk for the middle 14 minutes, and walking the last 8 minutes.  During the run/walk you start with 2 minute running intervals and work up to 4 minute run intervals.

Today I did 2:30 run intervals and felt pretty good.  I made it a total of 1.9 miles in 30:10.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

One Week Down

Today was my last running workout of the week.  I managed to run 1 minute run intervals.  It was my second time running 1 minute intervals this week.  The first time I moved up to 1 minute was on the treadmill, so I decided to do it again outside.  Next week I will continue working on Week 1 training goals.  So far no knee pain!

I ran/walked 7.1 miles this week for a total of 2:02:06.  It felt good to be running again even if it has been a little hard.  I am not going to lose my base next year after the mini, because I don't want to make this struggle again!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Feels Like the First Time

Today I went for my first run in a LONG time.  The main goal this training cycle is to build up slowly so that I do not get injured.  I decided to start over completely and build up slowly, like a brand new runner.  I'm using the training plan in The Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running.  Today was day one.

In six weeks the authors take you from sedentary, to running for 30 minutes straight.  Each workout is 30 minutes.  As prescribed in the book, I started with a 10 minute walk.  For the middle 10 minutes I alternated 30 seconds of running with walking until rested.  Then I walked the remaining 10 minutes.  I went 1.73 miles in 30 minutes, and only actually ran about 2 minutes of the 30.  It was humbling, because I actually felt like a newbie during my 30 second run intervals.  I don't know if I could have run more than that at one time!

The goal by the end of this training week (from the book) is to work up to an interval of 2 minutes of straight running.  In the interest of taking it slow and not getting injured, I have decided to listen to my body.  If I'm not ready at the end of week 1 to move up to the week 2 workouts, then I'll stay at week 1 for a while longer.  If it takes me longer than 6 weeks to get up to running 30 minutes at a time, that's okay.  I'll get there eventually, and hopefully pain free.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I Heart Star Wars

I only managed to run a couple times on the treadmill during my two weeks in BAMA. I did manage, however, to visit the Star Wars exhibit at the space museum. There was lots of cool exhibitage including C3PO who was nice enough to pose for a picture!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Dear Florida, I Miss You

We just got home from taking the kids on their first vacation to Florida.  We drove down and took our time, using 3 days to get there.  We drove a few hours a day and then spent the night at a hotel to give them a chance to stretch their legs and move around some.  They actually did much better than I thought they would.  Of course we kept them busy with lots of movies and music.  The only real struggle we had was frequent potty breaks, to be expected with a 2.5 and 5 year old I guess.

On the way down we stopped at the Atlanta Aquarium.  Very nice aquarium but very crowded.  We waited in line for lunch for almost an hour!!  The Aquarium itself was fine and worth a stop if you're nearby and dig the aquarium scene.

We had to stop at the visitors center when we crossed into Florida for some photo ops, since it was the girls' first time and all.

The big highlight of the trip was going to Magic Kingdom.  The girls loved going through Mickey and Minnie's houses.

All the rides were a hit, and T. even rode Space Mountain.  You sit by yourself on Space Mountain so I was freaking out the whole time, but she wasn't bothered in the least.  She had a blast.  All in all, our trip to Disney was a rousing success.  The worst part was standing in line for 2 hours to get the girls pictures with the Disney Princesses.  It was the longest, slowest line we stood in all day. 

And after all that waiting, A. sat for one picture and then freaked out.  She was too scared to get pictures with any of the other princesses!  Talk about a waste of a couple of hours.  Thankfully, T. posed for her pictures without incident.

At the end of the week we made a couple hour trip to go and visit with some of Dave's family.  They were excited to have us over and made us feel right at home.  We did some swimming and some eating and some visiting.  T. really took to her Uncle Gary, and of course Great Grandma fawned over both girls.  It was such a great day!

The whole week was fantastic, and I'm already looking forward to our next vacation.  Although I think next time we'll fly...

Monday, May 24, 2010

"This is it. Don't get scared now."

Have you ever seen Home Alone?  This is by far my favorite Christmas movie of all time.  I love it.  In it, there's a scene where Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) brings his sled inside the house, positions it at the top of the stairs, and proceeds to ride it down the stairs and out the front door into the snow.  It's a cute scene and you can relate because you probably thought about doing something similar when you were a kid. 

Today we took A.'s baby bed apart, and I walked onto this scene:


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mini 2010

The hubby and I ran the Mini this year. His first, my second. Now we've only been training hard and doing long runs for about 6 weeks. Me because of a knee injury, him because of a fear of the cold and a foolish belief that he is invincible.

I started the day in Corral D, he was in about P or so. Our gun time was 14 minutes apart, but our chip time was just 4 seconds apart. 4 seconds!! Can you tell we trained together?

Dave was quite pleased with his performance since he ran the whole thing and didn't die.

I was quite disappointed with my performance since my knee blew out (again. see reference to injury above) around mile 8. After that I did a walk/run/hobble combo for the next 5.1 miles. It hurt and I finished a full 30 minutes slower than last year. And my pride still hurts today.

Apparently I forgot to pull out the camera this weekend. Maybe because it was so, so cold. I have no pics of the event to share :(

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wheel. Of. Fortune.

My mom called to tell me they were having wheel of fortune auditions about an hour away. That's all I had to hear and I was in! Hubby and I loaded up and made the drive. We made a weekend of it: a night in a hotel, out for pizza at Uno's, yummy breakfast in the morning. Them we headed over to auditions where we passed The Wheelmobile (every scrabble nerds dream. I should know.). We stood in line forever. We finally made it inside where Road Show Pat and Road Show Vanna called contestant after contestant to come up and play a speed round. Good times were had by all. Alas, we did not get chosen for the audition or the show. But we did get pics with Real Pat and Real Vanna:

He's posing extremely weird.  He didn't actually tell Vanna to "get in my belly" despite how it looks.

I'm in the presence of game show greatness.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why I Run

Enough is enough.

At the age of 28 I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.  I had a doctor who wanted to put me on medication that would alter my appearance, my moods, my body chemistry.  For life.  I wasn’t willing to accept his diagnosis or his treatment options.  Instead, I turned to exercise for relief from my symptoms.  I started out walking, and accidentally started running.  And amazingly, my symptoms improved.

My friends and family thought I was crazy.  They would pass me on the road and honk.  Offer me a ride.  Call me later to ask how long I had been out there.  To ask me why I choose to run.

Why do I run?

I run because it makes me feel alive.  It makes me feel well.  It makes me feel good enough.  I run because it makes me feel empowered.  It gives me a challenge.  It gives me much needed me-time.  I run because it makes me a better mother.  It makes me a better wife.  It makes me a better employee.  I run because I appreciate the legs and heart and lungs that let me.  I run to feel athletic.  To feel free.  To feel light.  I run for the camaraderie.  I run to be alone.  I run because I want to.  I run because I have to.  I run because it makes everything else seem possible.