Friday, November 8, 2013

Recent Happenings

So I've been quiet. But it's been necessary. I had to get a few things figured out.

Things I've figured out include:

  • I got a new job at a running store. I get to try on all the shoes I want. And talk about running. And wear running clothes to work. And admire all of the beautiful dudes that come into the store. So think that is pretty much a win-win. 
  • I've been writing my thesis. I submitted a chapter for review today. So that is pretty cool considering I haven't touched it in over a year. Bring on the revisions.
  • I found a new coffee shop that serves endless cups of coffee. Pretty sure it's heaven on earth.
  • Found a new band I love. Check out The Wild Feathers. They will melt your face right off.
  • I placed an order for leopard print running tights yesterday. Yes, I said leopard. Yes, they will be kickass.
I don't have much else to say at the moment. But I promise to share all the weird stories that come from doing life at a running store. I do have one that happened on my second day, but I will share it at a different time. Trust me, it's worth the wait. 

But I gotta go. I have a date with multiple margaritas to celebrate the thesis chapter submission. BOOM. Take that grad school.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Words to Live By

I found this on Pinterest.
Pretty much sums up how I want to be in my life. In all areas of my life. 

White hot and passionate. 

Let it sink in. 

Then go be it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Library Shenanigans

Once upon a time, I was a full-time grad student.

That time has passed.

Now I just have to write a thesis. Which I haven't touched since May 2012.

Yep. May 2012.

I've been making my way to the library off and on these past few months to finish up research and data collection of the mammoth thesis project. And I've noticed a few things.

1.) Dragon necklace guy behind the counter should know by now that I ask for the same crap every time I come in there. I'm pretty sure zero people come in there and ask for 1966, 1968 or 1970 microfilm of the Arkansas Gazette and the Arkansas Democrat. Plus I look the same, give or take. T-shirt. Messy bun. Yoga pants. You'd think by now he would know that I KNOW how to work the microfilm machine. But every time dragon necklace asks me if I understand how to use it. I always nod and politely say yes unfortunately I'm very familiar with it. Come on, dragon necklace. Get it together.

2.) If you stay in the library long enough, you will catch yourself singing out loud to whatever song is blasting through your earphones. Today I caught myself singing Bruno Mars' Gorilla. Probably not library appropriate....but hey, they can't arrest me.

3.) You know it's time to leave the library when you start texting people in headlines and you think it's funny. It's not funny. It's sad. Very sad. Today's headline read Disgruntled grad student demands caffeine in library. Luckily, I have good friends that actually laugh instead of not ever talking to me again. I went home after that.

But I'm pleased to say I have only nine more months of newspaper coverage and editorials to sift through before I can start writing again. So if I gave 8-9 days to the library, that can all be over. And then I'll never have to see dragon necklace again.....or until I need to check out 498734985723974 books for said thesis writing.

Things are coming along.

I don't want to toot my own horn or anything. But I think it's going to be a nice piece of literature. Something I will be proud of.

I say that now.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Joys of Free Time

There are times in one's life when it feels like there is not enough time. And there are times in life when you are praying for something to do.

Right now, I'm in the latter group.

There comes a time in a person's life where watching Netflix excessively, eating too much cereal, deciding if working out is a priority and figuring out how long you can do without clean clothes becomes less cool.

In college and right after college, those things still seem acceptable. But after having a job, being unemployed, getting a new job and becoming unemployed again, it just doesn't seem right anymore.

Having all this free time brings on feelings of guilt and inadequacy. It's depressing. And humbling. And frustrating.

And three years ago as a first year grad student who was working and driving all the time, I would have killed for free time.

You always want what you can't have. And once you get it, it's just not as colorful as you thought it would be.

I long for the feeling of contentment. And I usually take to content feelings like a duck to water. I like knowing what I have is enough. That I have it together enough to feel satisfied. That's a beautiful thing.

And then something happens that makes those feelings go away.

Losing your job to lack of funding. Landing two perfect-for-you job interviews but not getting the jobs. Meeting someone you really like for the first time in a LONG time but not getting to spend time with said person because of 500 miles of highways.

I'd love to tell you it was just one of those things bothering me. But I'd be lying.

And I have been doing stuff. It's just not stuff an almost 26-year-old woman with a college degree/pending Master's degree should be doing with her time.

For example:

  • Excessive time spent on Pinterest. Just a few things that have caught my eye.

  • Yoga, which is a pretty productive use of my time. I do still need to workout.
  • Job hunting. AKA sifting through the desert wasteland. Also productive.
  • Domestic chores. AKA laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, etc. Again with productivity.
  • Excessive Netflix watching. It's gotten so bad that I can barely find anything to watch.
  • Thesis work. Less productive.
  • Daydreaming about said person 500 miles away. My productivity black hole.
  • Blog reading. One of my favorite ways to pass time.
  • Thumb tweedling.
On a positive note, the roommate and I did go horseback riding on Sunday. 
The roommate got a blind-in-the-right-eye horse. He was a gentle giant. A perfect gentleman, too. 

I got a horse named Candy.
She liked to go the same speed as molasses. I was usually 4-5 horse links behind no matter how hard I kicked her in the side. Although at one point, she did break into a trot, which in turned left me with a bruised butt. I wish I was kidding. But I'm not.

Other things to mention about horseback riding: 
  • Always wear pants to prevent chaffing.
  • 100 degrees is not ideal horseback riding weather.
  • Be prepared for a bruised butt due to trotting.
Now since I have all this free time, you'd think I'd write on this blog every day. But I can almost guarantee each days post would sound like this.

I got up. Brushed my teeth. Made coffee. Watched Netflix. Applied for jobs/went to the library to work on the thesis. Came home. Went to yoga/went to run. Ate dinner. Exercised the most self control to not text/call said person 500 miles away so I don't look like a needy girl. Went to bed. Tossed and turned. Fell alseep after 1 a.m. Repeat.

Nobody wants to read that depressing crap every day. So I'll try to do my best to come up with better content.  

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Day on the Buffalo National River

Arkansas didn't take the name of the Natural State for no reason.
I'm pretty sure it wins best views.

Last Sunday I floated the Buffalo National River for the first time. I even got to man my own kayak for the entire day.
It was the most perfect day. I couldn't have asked for more sunshine or better people to spend the day on the river.

Since it was my first time on the Buffalo and my second time in a kayak, I'm happy to report I didn't flip my boat or lose any personal items. And the river was higher than it normally is at this time of year, or so said the party bus driver who hauled us and the canoes to the river.

I only had to get out once to save my kayak from the river bottom, and it was my fault for not knowing how to drive in the mini-rapids.

I'm pretty positive I could spend every weekend floating the Buffalo.
The Spirit, that's what I called my kayak, was everything I wanted her to be. Lime green and roomy. Perfect for smooth sailing. The roommate got an orange kayak, while the Red Head and her little sister navigated a lime green canoe with all of our stuff.

We only had one minor mishap when the Red Head and her sister ramped a semi-submerged tree in the middle of some rapids. They kept the boat upright, but the Red Head lost her iPod to the river. She totally jumped out of the boat in the middle of a swift current to get it, and by sheer willpower, she saved it. It was much like a scene from Baywatch. Very dramatic.

I tried to paddle back to get her, but I just ended up running The Spirit into another kayaker, which left me to float backwards through a series of rapids. Needless to say, I didn't paddle back to her to save the day.

But it was a perfect day. Perfect in all sense of the word.
We had a blast, and kayaking has quickly become one of my favorite things. I mean it when I say I want to kayak all the time.

If someone were to ask me right now how I'd like to pass my time (as far as hobbies), I'd say more trail running, more yoga and more kayaking. So that's what I'm going to try to do.

Running has taken a backseat since the Little Rock Half Marathon. I fear my right knee is in need of an MRI to see what's causing its issues, but ain't nobody got time for that. I should say ain't nobody got money for that. But I still run. Just not as often or as hardcore.

I did get to run in the rain the other day. Almost three miles. There is something so pure about running in the rain. I feel so physically and emotionally clean when I'm finished. Like my mind is somehow clearer. That the rain has washed away my distracting thoughts.

I also got to go to a sunset yoga class last week, too. Yoga on a patio at sunset is the most perfect thing ever. Well, aside from a hot yoga class. Hot yoga is my favorite.

I'm about to have a lot of free time on my hands. And not by choice. So I will run more. Go to yoga as often as I can. And I will figure out how to kayak more. I'm also going to find time for strength training, but not because I love it like I love the other stuff.

I will strength train to become a better runner, yogi and kayaker. And in case of an incident with an attacker. Morbid, I know. But a girl can't be too careful these days.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Busy on the Lake

Y'all, Arkansas is beautiful.
The lake is beautiful.

I'm a fan of big bodies of water. My first favorite being the sea. All other bodies of water fail to compare, but I do love a good boat ride on a lake. Which is what I did over the weekend.

I also kayaked for the first time.

Hello new favorite hobby.

My shoulders were so sore, but in the best possible way. I didn't take my phone with me for the kayak trip because let's be honest...I would probably never see it again. It would be at the bottle of Lake Catherine.

Thankfully, the ole phone stayed safe in the car. But I'm still bummed I don't have pictures to share of my cheesin' face in a bright orange kayak.

The only thing that could have made the kayaking experience better was having a beer during paddling breaks. And listening to this song.
I've been tapping into my country roots here recently. The roommate and I listened to this song about 100 times on Saturday and Sunday. It was awesome. You think we'd be tired of it, but not quite.

It was an excellent weekend. Kayaking on Saturday. Lake happenings on Sunday. Running in the rain on Monday. All of my favorite things.

This weekend is also going to be awesome.

Buffalo River here we come.

The roommate and I have been trying to plan a float trip for five summers, and every year it falls through. Not this year. We finally have a small group of good peeps lined up to float the Buffalo. This will be my first time, and I'm super excited.

The kayaking really set the stage for the float trip. I've been day dreaming about it all week. I've even been stalking my really adventurous friends on Facebook to see how it's really done. I doubt we will encounter any rapids. From what I read, the Buffalo is rather tame.

Tame or not, I think we will come back with some good stories to share.

Have you ever floated the Buffalo? Kayaked? 

What's your favorite big body of water?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Great Expectations: The Beach Edition

About a month ago, I went to my favorite place on earth.
Hello Beach!!!

While I was at the beach, I met a good lookin' country boy. And we hit it off. Spent some time together. Drank some beer. Rocked in a hammock. You know things you do with someone at the beach.

It was perfect. I dare to say too perfect.

I'm a tad bit ashamed at how girly I acted over the whole situation now that some time has passed, which brought some much need perspective.

Every fiber in my being told me I liked him and that I should trust him. But the good ole brain of mine said maybe be careful. Maybe don't trust him or like him too much.

But I was a goner. I liked him instantly. Still do if we're being totally honest.

He was a smooth talker, easy on the eyes, loud, funny, perfect half smile, sculpted shoulders, the whole nine. He'd play with little kids in his family. And he'd showcase his athleticism by diving into the ocean to catch a football. Lord help us all who saw that beautiful sight.

But the level of likeness has gone down a considerable amount. And I'll tell you why. His fault and my fault because it was definitely both of us at fault.

He didn't show up for me.

And I mean show up as in actively pursue.

That's a big deal.

Now granted, he is about 500 miles away from me. But that shouldn't stop anything. Distance does make showing up literally more difficult, but it could still work. (Look at me the eternal optimist. The realist side of me is shaking my head in disgust.)

Here's the other thing. I gave the kid an out while we were at the beach. The whole we-don't-have-to-exchange-phone-numbers-and-pretend-to-really-care out so we could leave it as the most perfect week in the history of beach vacations.

But he didn't take the out.

So that is the first step of showing up. Not to mention that he knocked on all the condo doors one night to find me BEFORE we officially met. Another show up step.

Realistically, I should have known better. I slap my wrists now thinking back to how it all happened. And I give him mad props. Kentucky boy's got game like this Arkansas girl's never seen before. I mean really. Arkansas dudes need to step it up.

To be honest, I don't really blame him. It's just what happens when there's sun and beer and bare shoulders on the beach. Man, did he have great shoulders.

I'll forever think fondly of him. Because it was too good of a time not to.

But I'll be smarter next time. I won't have expectations. They tend to get me in trouble. And by that I mean I get too girly, which is annoying. Makes me cringe to think about it.

I know why guys have a tendency to phase out "those girls." We've all been one of them. Starts out fine. Then, we just start the over-analyzing and too much emotions talk, and it's like BOOM! We become the girls we hate.

When you see other girls doing it, it's like ha ha she's ten shades of crazy. Then you catch yourself doing it, and it's like HOLY SHIT, I'M ONE OF THOSE. You try to play it cool, but the damage is done.

So what happens next?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Call it a learning experience. Don't judge yourself. Promise to never do it again. Grab a bottle of tequila to mourn the fact that you turned into one of "those girls" and a bottle of champagne to toast yourself to being a better person than you were before.

Now somebody go get the limes and salt....

Thursday, July 25, 2013

While We're Wishing For Stuff

The roommate and I have been playing a game recently.

It's called "While we're wishin' for stuff..."

It basically let's us wish for stuff we wouldn't otherwise wish for. It perfect for good days and bad days, and it's been an ongoing game for a few weeks now.

So I thought it would be fun if I shared some of it with you.

While we're wishing for stuff, I'd get a really awesome new job that's full time and has benefits...AKA Big Girl Job.

While we're wishing for stuff, I'd love it if people didn't act shady. Let's all just tell the truth. It's much less nasty. And it get your point across better than any other way.

While we're wishing for stuff, I'd love to run in the rain real soon.

While we're wishing for stuff, I'd move to the beach and live there forever.

I know I've been absent from blogging and social media and that whole thing. But I've been trying to work some stuff out.

While we're wishing for stuff, I'd love for all of us not to have to make choices between the ages of 18-20 that affect the way our lives works.

Some of us made good choices, and I'm not saying I didn't make good choices. I just made choices that are more challenging than other people. I chose loving my area of study over an area of study that guarantees jobs. I was thinking short term fixes verses long term solutions.

Now I am blessed. And I am very thankful. The Good Lord and my parents have provided for me in every way possible. So please don't think I'm whining. Life is just throwing me a lot of lemons, and I'm struggling with making all this lemonade.

I just don't want to settle for anything less than what I know I love.

I don't think that's a bad thing. It does make things more challenging.  But I think that's how I like it.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Love Note to The Bit

Bit started her last chemo treatment yesterday. 

Looking back at the past year, it's just amazing how the Big Guy works. I am truly in awe of Him and how He worked through a sweet little girl. 

Bit is the most resilient child I've ever known. And my love for her is something I can't put into words. 

Her sweet voice, hotter-than-the-sun bald head and infectious giggle are just a few of many things about her and this whole journey that remind me of all that is good in this world. 

She gives me hope. Hope to overcome things that seem impossible. Hope to be brave when I'd rather not be. Hope that my child-like ability to love and trust people is not lost. 

My life has forever changed. 

The good Lord used a four-year-old to put my life into perspective. Some things just aren't that big of a deal. And worrying is not going to make any situation better. 

But trusting in the Big Guy, knowing that He is in control of everything and actually seeing Him do His work....Now that's important. Loving people just because He made them....That's important, too. 

Thank you for the support this past year. 

Thank you for the bold prayers. 

Thank you for the unconditional love you've each shown to this child. 


I mean it. 

From the bottom of my heart.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Next Race

There is one universal thing all runners share: The thrill of the next race.

It doesn't matter if we ran a PR. Or had the worst racing experience ever. Or fell down at the finish line. Or DNF. Or broke a toe. Hurt a knee. Didn't fuel properly. Threw up. Got the euphoric Runner's High. Passed 28 people during the race.

We are always planning for the next race.

It's true. Really. One could even call it slightly masochistic.

We willingly run 13.1 miles or 26.2 miles knowing we will be sore and have to resort to "hobbling around" for a few days.

No matter how bad we feel running a race once we cross the finish line we forget. We forget the pain, the excessive sweat, the tears, the chaffing.

We hobble over to get the medal hung around our neck, and then we hobble over to the chocolate milk and snacks just to turn around  to our friends and say, "What's next?"

I've been hobbling around for three days. Today is the first day I feel back to my normal self. Even though I got a PR at the Little Rock Half Marathon, miles 9 to the end will forever be engraved in my quads and hamstrings, and I'll always be the girl who sat down and cried at the finish line. (Totally not ashamed.)

So what's next for me?

Races on My Radar
3/16 --- Lil Cheetah 5K in DeWitt, AR
4/6 ---- Capital City Classic 10K in Little Rock, AR
4/20 --- German Heritage 5K in Stuttgart, AR (if it doesn't start at 9 a.m.)
5/18 --- Dino Dash 5K in Little Rock, AR
6/15 --- Go! Mile in North Little Rock, AR

If those races don't tickle your fancy, go check out Arkansas Outside's calendar of races across the state. There are races all over the place so you really have no excuse not to get outside.

What's on your race radar? 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Heart to Serve

The good Lord has blessed me with a heart to serve. It's simple. I want to help other people.

I've worked in the non-profit sector since I graduated from college. For the most part, I've had a very pleasant experience, and I've learned a whole lot about how different people are in the process.

The hardest lesson I've learned/am still trying to learn is some people don't have a servant's heart. They don't see helping people as a priority, unless it benefits them in some way.

My soft heart has been callused in more ways than one in my 25 years on this earth. But I try to be open to other people's perspectives and plights outside of my own.

My favorite definition of to serve is to be useful.

To be useful.

Because if you're not being useful, you are being useless. And that's not how I want to live my life. Useless.

I've recently been struggling with my purpose. The Father's purpose for me.

And over the course of the last few months, I've seen His work come to life all around me. I've been freely giving of myself and my time to this and that, and I've taken hits from all sides. I've heard it all.

"You can't do that."

"It will never work."

"People won't participate."

"It's never been done that way before."

"Why do you even try?"

And I've asked myself at various times why am I doing this. The answer is always the same.

He put me here to do good works. To give of myself and my time freely. To love people because they haven't been loved on in a while. To serve. To be useful. Despite all the backlash and speed bumps. He will make me useful for His purpose.

Does that make me perfect and free of frustration? Absolutely not. I'm constantly frustrated by people and things that are out of my control. But I'm also constantly reminded that He is in control. He knows the outcome and worrying about it is absolutely pointless.

About a week ago I was in a moment of self-doubt, and my daily devotional said this:

I'm leading you, step by step, through your life. Hold My hand in trusting dependence, letting Me guide you through this day. Your future looks uncertain and feels flimsy - even precarious. That is how it should be. Secret things belong to the Lord, and future things are secret things. When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at things that are Mine. This, like all forms of worry, is an act of rebellion: doubting My promises to care for you. 

Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to Me. I will show you the next step forward, and the one after that, and the one after that. Relax and enjoy the journey in My Presence, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go. - Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

I've been wanting to write about this for a while, but I struggled to find the words to say it. Whether you know you have a Servant's Heart or not, I challenge you to be useful and serve. And try to be mindful of other people who are serving.

It's not rocket science; it's love.

Love people.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Little Rock Half Marathon Recap

I ran the Little Rock Half Marathon, and I'm happy to say I survived. I feel like we all need shirts that say "I survived the Little Rock Marathon." because that race will test every aspect of your ability to keep moving forward.

I prepared for this race. Not quite as well as I prepared for St. Jude back in December, but I did train. I ran all my long runs on Little Rock hills.
So when I set my clothes out the night before the race, I felt prepared. Not as confident as St. Jude because I was battling a major sinus infection that decided to show up three days before the race. But I knew I could run the distance.

Sunday morning was cold. 27 degrees is not what you want, and I knew it was going to be tough since I was still pretty sick. By the time we got to the start line, my toes were numb. And I didn't feel them again until mile 5. But more on that later.

The first six miles were golden. Minus the cold air, snotty nose and numb feet. Downtown Little Rock was lined with people, and I was super excited to see some elite runners pass us on their way back around the six mile loop. I felt good. I could actually breathe for the first time in days.

After mile 6, I didn't know the race course as well. But we weaved in and out of downtown streets before running up Capitol Street. I've ran up that street many times during training, but it's a whole different ballgame on fresh legs.

Mile 9 was the game-changer. One mile uphill. A slow climb. Calves burning. Quads screaming. Battlefield of the mind. I kept telling myself just make it through this mile, and you can take a walk break.

Miles 10, 11 and 12 looked exactly like 9. Slow uphill climbs with some downhills. Just to climb right back up the next mammoth. By mile 12, any incline of any shape or size was a mammoth in my mind. My hamstrings were screaming. I was exhausted.

When we turned onto Cantrell for the final half mile, I was basically a machine. Just. Keep. Moving. Your. Legs. I was hot and cold and tired. And I was starting to feel kind of hypoglycemic-ish.

I crossed the finish line in tears. And then sat down immediately. Tears of relief and joy and humility. I was just so happy it was over. And I was even more happy I didn't pass out at the finish line.

I looked down at my watch to check the time, but it was still running. I didn't stop it.

But I did something amazing. And absolutely not planned.

I finished in 2:39:45.

That's six minutes faster than St. Jude's.

I ran a PR on the hardest course I've ever faced while I was sick as a dog.
 This medal will be one of my most cherished possessions. I gave that race everything I had, and I left it all on the course. Those 13.1 miles were the hardest, yet most fulfilling, miles of my running life so far.

Let's do it again. But for now, I rest.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday, The Third Day

So I'd thought I'd brighten your rainy day with some stuff I haven't told you yet. I bet you'll get a kick out of this. Let's start with the weekend, shall we?

I had a sleepover with the Bit on Saturday night. Sunday morning we put red lipstick on and watched cartoons.
Then I taught her how to throw the crown. My ASA sisters would be so proud. That's a future ladybug right there.

On Sunday afternoon, the roommate and I went to hike the base trail at Pinnacle Mountain. I needed a redemption hike after I tried to run that trail on my birthday. It turns out slow really is the new fast, or at least it is for me when it comes to trail running.

I spent the beginning of the week working in the hometown. It's amazing how I work and check stuff off the to-do-list, and yet nothing really gets done. Is this what adulthood is all about? If so, I need to see more direct payoff. Some cause and effect stuff. You know what I mean?

I've been itching to run, but the weird Arkansas weather has struck again. During my hike on Sunday, it was a sunny 67 degrees. Yesterday a winter storm blew in, and there's ice and rain and sleet and wind everywhere. I don't do winter. Winter and I don't get along. So my running has been at a low this week...I'm gonna hop on the dreadmill this afternoon to get in a few miles.

I'm also going to hit up Kroger for this beauty.
I haven't told you, but I've been pretty much vegan since January 1. During my training for St. Jude's half marathon, I had a lot of stomach issues. While I realize that is to be expected, it seemed like mine were excessive. If I wasn't having stomach issues, I was worried about having stomach the cycle was pushed forth.

So I gave up meat and dairy. Cold turkey.

I said I would do it for a full month and reassess the situation. And I did.

I felt great. Lots more energy. Always the right amount of full, never miserable after a meal. And my running was at an all-time best. No stomach problems. Not even on my longest runs.

Now making the commitment to give up milk, cheese, eggs, meat and all things with those things in them was a huge step. There was a week where I only thought about cheese. Stringy, melted cheese atop everything on a plate in front of me.

And the whole month, I dreamed of eggs. Scrambled, fried, poached, omelet. You name it. I wanted it. It's funny because before January, I would have told you I didn't like eggs. But I was singing a different tune come mid-January. I LOVE EGGS.

In fact, I love them so much they are really the only animal product I've worked back into my diet. And I'm not proud to say this, but on Saturdays after long runs I would eat eggs for second breakfast. (All runners love second breakfast...can I get an amen?)

To tell you the absolute truth, it's not that hard to be vegan. It's more difficult when you go out to eat, but it can still be done. And I've found that my body has a hard time processing lots of dairy, especially cheese. And I don't really miss anything. They, whoever "they" are, make really amazing alternatives to meat and dairy products.

So there it is. Stuff I've neglected to tell you. But I didn't want to share until I knew exactly how I felt about it.

I guess I could rename the blog to Little Vegan Runner...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Little Rock Half Marathon Training

In two weeks, I will run my second half marathon. I ran my first one ever...and three months later I'm doing it again.

Lots of stuff has been going on around these parts lately, and I'm sorry I haven't gotten to tell you about it any sooner. But let's have some sharing time. Or I'll share and you can read...and then share in the comments. Because I love comments. Seriously. Sharing is caring peeps.

I ran 11 miles this morning. It was windy and cold. But I was in rare form. And by that I mean my attitude was of another person. Usually windy and cold runs means I'm going to be a super Grinch. I mean I hit total diva status when it's below freezing, overcast and windy. You can ask anyone.
But today was perfect. A windy and cold delight.

I've found my most favorite place to run in Little Rock. Or I should say North Little Rock, if specifics is what you're after. North Little Rock did the River Trail right. It's right on the river. I mean so close you could fall in. The rock walls are beautiful, and there are plenty of bathrooms along the trail...if you're into that.

I can't even describe how beautiful it is to me. The Big Guy knew what he was doing when He carved that rock quarry. End o' story.

I spent 9 of the 11 miles singing "I will walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more." Followed directly with "DADADADA..." Nobody sang the responses back to me. Bummer.

So basically the premise of this post is to show you I've been training for the Little Rock Half Marathon, and things have been going well.
I ran 9 miles at Two Rivers Park a few weeks back. Around mile 4, we decided to throw in a mile of trail running just off the River Trail. It was the highlight of the run.
I ran 10 miles last weekend. My  first long run after turning 25. YAY for birthdays. We ran from the Clinton Library to Burns Park and back. Not my best run. I was cold to the bone. No sun. Windy. Total diva princess...and not in a good way.

As a treat to starting my 25th year, I bought some new trail running shoes.
Hello unofficial Brooks spokesperson. #runhappy

After a 2.5 mile birthday trail run on the Pinnacle Mountain Base Trail, I decided trail shoes were a must if I didn't want to die running over all the rocks, roots and occasional small animal.

There will be a post about trail running once I get some more experience with it. But as of right now, I can tell you without hesitation trail running is the best kind of tough. Badassness just exudes out of you. Oh, and you'll be introduced to a new kind of tired.

I'm currently recovering.
Long runs are the best. Reading is the best. How I Met Your Mother is the best.

If I don't see ya before, I'll see ya at the finish line on 3.3.13. BOOM!!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Three Years Ago

Three years ago today I started this blog. It's weird to think about how different everything was three years ago. I've blogged off and on for three years. I've documented my life for three years, and it's a pretty cool thing.

So in honor of my blogging anniversary, I have an announcement.

On March 3, 2013, I will be running the Little Rock Half Marathon. This is my second half marathon. I ran St. Jude's about a month ago.

I took a month off from running after St. Jude. I ran maybe three times just to see if I still could. Why do I keep thinking I'll forget how to run 5 miles?

I haven't gotten into a solid running routine, but I have been running. Last weekend's long run was warm and rainy.
It was my first run in the rain. I loved it so much the next time a storm's brewing and it's warm outside I will be putting on my running shoes.

I'm going for a little 3 mile run this afternoon, and then tomorrow I'm going for 8 miles. Long runs are my favorite. Something about falling into a rhythm and relaxing. Not all of them are rhythmic and relaxing. Some of them suck. But at least I'm out there putting one foot in front of the other.

 I hate to make this short and sweet, but I have a date with a four-year-old bald baby girl that I haven't seen in a week. Sweet Asher got her cast off a few days ago, and I have to tell her not to walk around. It's gonna be a fun day.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I Run Half Marathons

One month and 16 days ago, I ran my first half marathon. It was a joyous day. The thing about December in Arkansas is the weather is unpredictable. I had no idea if I would be running in the coldest of colds or a heat wave. But at the end of the day, I wouldn't have cared what weather I faced.

I ran 13.1 miles. Or I should say 13.32 miles.

And I ran it in 2:45:37.

Not a world record, but it's a PR for this girl.

The two major things stood out from that day. Two things I will hold near to my heart forever.

1. I ran 13.1 miles representing The Brooklyn Project and Asher Brooklyn Ray.

2. I ran 12.5 miles with my mom, my favorite person on the planet.

I am so grateful for this experience. Running 13.1 miles for bald babies who need love and support is an awesome thing. Running 13.1 miles for a bald baby girl I love to death makes it even sweeter. And sharing the whole run with my mom was the icing on the cake.

But this is what I know.

  • Nothing is quite as exhilarating as standing at the starting line of a major race. 
  • Running through St. Jude's campus at Mile 4 bring emotions so intense that it brought tears to my eyes. I had to fight back the ugly cry. Towards the end of mile 4 coming out of St. Jude's campus, I thought I was in the clear. But a certain lady caught my eye across the road. We locked eyes. And she mouthed the most sincere thank you, thank you so much. Her eyes broke contact with mine and drifted down the little girl with a pink scarf on her head. I lost it. I was running a half marathon, but that lady reminded me why I was running a half marathon. 
  • Miles 8 through 10 were tough physically and mentally. You just keep running out and feel like you'll never turn around. Something about turning around is a mental checkpoint for my brain. I need a turnaround. 
  • Break off from my mom and Lisa at mile 12.5 was tough. I wished we could have finished together. And we will very soon.
  • The last half mile I ran by myself I felt like I was flying. Alone in my thoughts. Feet hitting the pavement. Passing other runners. Bringing it in. Feet crunching over gravel the last hundred feet. Seeing the finish line. Total sensory overload. 
  • Nothing is quite as satisfying as crossing the finish line of a major race. 

I hope each of you find something you are passionate about and hold on to it for dear life. Take time to find it. It's worth it. I promise.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Well it's four days into the new year, and I haven't posted in forever. But that's ok. Just means I have lots of stories to tell you now that I'm back.

I've been wanting to tell the St. Jude's half marathon story for weeks now, but my spare time has been sparse. I do solemnly swear to tell the St. Jude's half marathon story. But for now I give you some teasers.
 Just so you know I finished. Because I did. And it was awesome.

And for Christmas I got this.
One of the few things I have with the coveted 13.1 on it. I need to tell you that the race expo had no small 13.1 stickers. So no new car bling. Zip. Nada. Nan.

Needless to say, I was completely appalled by the lack of stickers. I mean I did run 13.1 miles. And my car has nothing to show for it.

I also need to mention the fact that I wore my medal for an entire day. Yep.

And just for good measure, I should also bring up the fact the Mayans were complete wrong in their end of the world prediction. 2013 is here and going full force. And I'm hanging on by the skin of my teeth.

It's crazy to me how time just zooms by. I wake up, eat, work, eat again, socialize, eat again, run, shower, sleep, repeat. My new job has taken over my life. And for a 20 hour part-time job, I'm not sure how it's become such a dominate force.

Aside from things being crazy with the new job and lots of traveling back and forth from the Big City to the homeland, everything is strangely normal.

I rang in 2013 with my two favorite people (the roommate and Chelsey if you're curious). One of which was the birthday girl (a.k.a the roommate) on NYE.
I think the roommate had a pretty good birthday...I mean she looks fabulous. 25 and fabulous.

I'm looking forward to 2013.

While 2012 wasn't a complete bust, it wasn't the best of years either. I mean I broke up with someone. Was jobless for three months. My three-year-old cousin was diagnosed with cancer and had major bone replacement surgery. Stress everywhere.

But the upside is that I broke up with someone that wasn't right for me. Was jobless for three months while I helped take care of the cancerous three-year-old who had major bone replacement surgery. I got a new job that I like a whole lot. I became friends with someone I never thought I would become friends with, and I've realized it was a God-given friendship. I trained for and ran my first half marathon. And I rang in the new year with two of my favorite people on earth.

So 2012 is what I would call a growing year. I feel like a completely different person, and by that I mean a better person. I learned a lot about myself and what I don't want for this one life I get. So that just means the possibilities for what I do want in my life will be easier to find. And that means I must be doing something right. Right?

I hope everyone has a fantastic start to this new year. And I hope you know this means a fantastic start (or I should say restart) to blogging. I'm back!!!!