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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

So Many Reasons...








I have a lot to be thankful for. My heart is filled to overflowing. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." - Thornton Wilder

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Let's Chat

I promised myself that I would write at least two blog posts this week and although this one is probably cheating due to the lack of creativity, I'm still going to go ahead and give myself a gold star! Winning!

Ok, let's do this - following are five things that are on my mind today:

1.) I just finished reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed for the third time in less than a year. Wild is the story of Cheryl's solo hiking journey across the Pacific Crest Trail that runs from California to Oregon. I want to like this book so badly but even though I found it entertaining enough to read  three times, I just feel unsettled and antsy every single time I read it. The story gets under my skin and I find myself feeling both energized and irritated. I feel like I'm missing something in the story...why am I so annoyed by Cheryl and her journey? Have you read Wild? If so, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on the book and maybe you can explain why it bothers me so much.

2.) I went to the gym last night after work to do a quick back and biceps workout. My plan was to get in and out as fast as possible because I had already finished a longish run earlier in the day. I really wasn't planning on running but when I walked into the gym, my favorite treadmill was sitting right in front of me, empty and just begging for some attention. (Everyone has a favorite treadmill right?! I'm not a weirdo...or am I?) I decided to just jog a nice easy mile and warm up my legs but ten and a half miles later, I realized that I still had a back and biceps workout to do and pulled myself away from the treadmill. I'm not really sure what happened but it felt great and what can I say except that I really like running.

3.) I think part of the reason my run felt so amazing is because I spent 2 hours at DMV yesterday and after filling out TONS of paperwork, providing every possible document you could imagine and handing over $100, I was told that I was missing information and would have to come back. Here is where it gets frustrating, the piece of information that I need doesn't exist to my knowledge and when I tried to explain that to the lovely DMV employee, she simply shrugged her shoulders and informed me that it wasn't her problem. I then asked if they were going to give me my money back since they weren't going to be able to help me today and I swear that lady giggled! I guess she thought I was being funny but for real, what kind of people take your money, spend two hours making you fill out paperwork and then send you away to locate documents that don't exist?! The only positive thing I can say about the entire situation is that I didn't cry in public so I guess that's something.

4.) A friend of mine just shared this lovely article with me about the physiological effects of completing an Ironman. Although I have previously heard a lot of this information, it definitely serves as a reminder that I should be really nice to my body over the next few months because I am getting ready to put myself though hell. (Real Talk - The whole aging 20 years thing does freak me out a little bit and losing a large portion of my colon sounds miserable...this may have been one of those situations where ignorance is bliss. Oh well, it's too late now! The paperwork has been signed and I am just too stubborn to throw in the towel.)

5.) Last but not least, I have been absolutely obsessed with Ray LaMontagne lately. I'm not sure if it is the gloomy weather we have been having, the memories and contemplation that come with the holiday season, the huge crush I have on a certain boy (which I can't talk about because I don't want to jinx it) or just a shift in my mood but my poor Spotify account is on Ray LaMontagne overload. Go listen to Let It Be Me a few hundred times and then tell me you aren't a fan. It's good stuff my friend!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

True Story Tuesday

So yesterday was a Monday in every true sense of the word. After an extremely long day at work, a horrible run, a crack in my windshield courtesy of a gravel truck and a headache that made me wish for death, all I wanted was to go home, pull the covers over my head and sleep the day away. Thanks to a stupid commute, a few random errands and my normal evening routine, it was pretty late by the time I finally put on my pajamas and crawled into bed. After setting my alarm and snuggling up in the middle of all my cozy pillows, I started counting sheep and quickly fell into a deep sleep. I'm talking "super deep feel like you are in a coma" type of sleep! Which is why I basically had a heart attack 45 minutes later when both of my fire alarms started to go off and I woke up to an apartment filled with smoke!!! After about 30 seconds of sitting in my bed completely confused, (apparently I am a little bit slow to react in an emergency!!) I quickly jumped up and turned on every light in the apartment. The entire place was smoky and smelled of burning plastic.  I was absolutely terrified to my core in the way only someone who has had their home burn down twice before could understand. Flashbacks of previous fires and the destruction and chaos that comes as a result were flashing through my mind and I was shaking so much that my legs felt useless. Random thoughts were racing through my mind regarding what I needed to grab and I was super annoyed that I was wearing the wrong (read: not exactly decent or super cute) pajamas. If I had known there was a possibility that all of my neighbors and a truck filled with sexy firemen were going to be around, I definitely would have dressed a little better. (Yes, I know this is vain and silly to worry about when you think your apartment is burning down but the title of this post is True Story Tuesday so I'm just being honest.) It only took a couple of minutes for me to realize that the smoke was pouring out of my heating system and that is when I remembered the heating notice from my landlord. Last week, we received a notice in the mail that we were required to set our emergency heating systems in case the temperature dropped, in order to prevent the pipes from freezing. At least I think that was the reason. To be honest, I only skimmed the note and then clicked my heater on. Well, to make this rather long story a bit shorter, my heater decided it was cold enough to come on and apparently it needed a good cleaning, a new air filter or something else heater related that I don't have a clue about. Once I was sure there wasn't an actual fire, I opened all of my windows and doors and tried to clear out the nasty smoke smell from my apartment while also trying to stop shaking and regulate my racing heartbeat.. Which is why I found myself sitting outside on my balcony at 2:30 am with a cup of herbal tea and the latest Victoria's Secret catalog. I may not be able to predict the next "emergency" but I plan on nailing the damsel in distress look when it comes to my pajamas! Priorities people, I'm all about the priorities!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Get It As I Go

"Most of the time we have to get in the arena before we think we are ready. That’s what courage is all about; we can’t wait to go for it until we think we’ve got it. Sometimes we’ve got to go for it and get it as we go." Kristin Armstrong

I have been thinking about this quote for the last couple of days and have repeated it to myself so many times that it could easily become my mantra. I'm not sure why I feel so challenged by this statement but I just can't seem to escape it. I've been going through some really hard stuff lately and if I am being honest, there have been a lot of days when I just feel like giving up. I'm not typically the type of person who gives up when things get hard but everyone has a breaking point. A couple of weeks ago, I was hit hard with a horrible combination of pink eye, flu type, strep throat kind of nastiness and was literally forced to just stop moving and rest for a couple of days. Although I felt like the grim reaper was dancing on my grave, I had a lot of time to think and reevaluate some of the things I was struggling with. After two days of laying on my couch, I did what any normal person would do and signed up for Ironman Florida 2014. That is normal, right?!? Yeah, probably not but there is an explanation for my madness.

In 2008, I crossed the finish line at Ironman and accomplished something that still makes me proud to this very day. Covering 140.6 miles in under 17 hours kind of makes you feel like a badass and changes the way you see yourself. For the first time in my life, I was proud of myself and felt like anything was possible. I knew at that moment, that I was capable of doing extremely hard things. Looking back now, I am so incredibly grateful for that experience because I had no idea that the next few years were going to be more challenging than even Ironman. Most of the people who are reading this blog know the heartbreaking circumstances surrounding my divorce but for those of you who need some background, I have provided a few links to part of the story.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

I wish I could say that after Part 5 of that story, everything changed and life became wonderful but unfortunately that was only the beginning. I have spent the last three years struggling to figure out where I belong and what I am supposed to do with myself. This crazy journey has led me through three states, five homes, eight jobs and too many men that were just not right for me. To say I feel unsettled would be an extreme understatement. I never expected that this is where I would be at this stage of my life and sometimes it feels incredibly scary to be facing life and all of its challenges on my own. While I was laying on my couch trying to feel better, I realized that I was becoming a victim in my own life. I need to do something that is bigger than me and that will challenge me to remember what it feels like to accomplish something that seems impossible. On November 1, 2014 I will be lining up on the beach in Panama City, Florida to remind myself that I am stronger than I give myself credit for. When I think about all of the training time I am going to have to put in over the next year, I feel pretty overwhelmed because I know what this is going to require of me but I am determined and possibly just stubborn enough to make it happen. I'm not ready for this and I'm scared to death but "sometimes we've got to go for it and get it as we go."

I hope you will follow me on this journey. I am currently on week 2 of a 12 week base building phase and I am loving every second of training. I'm pretty sure that this training love is only going to last a few more weeks but I am going to bask in it for now and try to drag it out as long as possible. 353 days until race day!!! I got this!

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That


Gee whiz! I can't believe it's already November 11th. Where is time going? I know they say that time flies when you are having fun but I'm not having fun and time is still flying by! I suppose I should clarify that life isn't horrible or anything, it just hasn't been a ton of fun lately. In fact, it's been kind of tough and sad and even overwhelming at times. You didn't come here to read about my sad life though so let's talk about the fun stuff.

First of all, I am officially registered for Florida Ironman 2014 and I am super excited about it. I literally get a huge grin on my face every single time I think about it. I plan on writing a full post about why this race means so much to me at this point in my life but right now I am just letting it all soak in. I know for sure that as soon as training becomes intense, I am going to rethink this entire thing but for now, I am basking in the excitement. I will be blogging about my training and nutrition in preparation for the race but I promise to not talk about it incessantly. (read: you are going to be sick of hearing about this race long before I cross the finish line.)

Other than registering for awesome races, I have been spending a lot of time reading. I have always loved to read but it has been taken to a whole new level recently. In the past week, I finished these five books:

 
     

 and I still have a huge stack of books sitting on my nightstand just waiting to be read. Maybe all of this reading makes me a nerd but I prefer to just tell myself that knowledge is power. Quick note for any other book lovers out there - All of these books were excellent with the exception of the Slim Calm Sexy Diet book. Mindy Kaling is hilarious, Kristen Armstrong never fails to make me want to be a better person, The Language of Flowers was unique but lovely and Me Before You was disturbing in the very best way possible.

Let's see...what else do I need to tell you. I have been living on  a lot of gum and coffee lately. Specifically,
     

 this gum and Starbucks coffee which is definitely not healthy and gives me huge headaches. On the bright side though, you wouldn't believe how easy grocery shopping is. (Mom - I'm mostly kidding about this so please don't freak out. I promise I am eating real food occasionally as well. Promise.)

The weather is starting to change here in Charleston which makes me so incredibly sad but I am trying to look for the silver lining in this whole stupid winter thing and the only thing I have come up with so far is being able to wear tights every day. I LOVE tights. They are so warm and cozy! Plus, let's be honest, they make our legs look amazing! The only thing that sucks is when you have to pee a million times a day and every visit to the bathroom involves a wrestling match with your tights. I swear, when I leave my house in the morning my tights fit perfectly but after pulling them off and on multiple times, they start to sag and droop and twist in ways that just don't seem possible. To be honest, the more I think about it, the less I like tights. Why can't it just be summer all the time? Winter is dumb.

Finally, am I the only one who is disappointed by the new Marshall Mathers LP 2? I want to like it because I have a completely ridiculous and baffling crush on Eminem but I just find myself rolling my eyes at the entire thing...especially that whole stupid Rap God thing. This is probably just another sign that I am getting old. Guess it's time to pull out the Kenny G and Yanni. Sigh.

Good talk guys! Let's do this again soon.