Monday Mindspacing Vol. 152

1) I'm finally getting my AWFUL sleep pattern under control!!! Yay!!!
2) I have been the worst at cooking in the last week. Absolutely horrific. If you don't ask me how many times I cooked, I'll tell you no lies.
3) I need a big change in my life. I'm feeling stuck.
4) And now for an unnecessarily long recap of my long run. Saturday, I ran out of my front door with a goal of going at least 11 miles on a wandering route through one of my favorite neighborhoods. I've done multiple short runs from my house but this was my first time attempting a long run from there. It was also the first time in a while (if ever??) that I tried eating shot bloks in lieu of actual food i.e. oatmeal with molasses and raisins or a peanut butter bagel or peanut butter sandwich. Oh did this bite me early. I wanted FOOD. Duh. I know myself. Other people can run on empty or near empty and not eat during but this is not me. Reminder: Only fix things that aren't working. No matter. Training is the time to try ridiculous things.

Knowing I would have to return on an uphill (a pretty evil and steep one at that), I wanted to start out very conservatively. But as cold as it was (46 degrees), my summer version of almost fast for the beginning of a long run (12:30/mile) felt excruciatingly slow. I knew if I could stay at that speed for a few miles, I could pick it up in the middle and end and finish strong up to my door. Except... at mile 4.5, I saw a lady from my running group running with one of her other running groups (she's in THREE) and she invited me to join them at 11:15 pace. I knew that might be a little fast for a long run but I was (as always) game to give it a shot. I felt better about it because I had banked some time early on.

Sometimes the pace felt easy and awesome, other times it felt utterly ridiculous and wretched and not, like you may think, just on hills. The hills felt mostly okay. I was able to keep up with others and recover pretty nicely which felt GREAT! I think the biggest problem that I wasn't as aware of at the time was the incessant variation in my pace. When I looked at my chart, I was going back and forth between 10s and 12s pretty constantly for 5.5 miles. How exhausting! I got tired just looking at it! If we'd actually stayed closer to 11:15, I probably would've been fine.

But I was overjoyed to break off from them once I finally looped back to a street I recognized about 10.5 miles in. I knew I was over 2.5 miles from home but I wasn't sure on the exact distance and I was nearing TIRED. And smelling lots of bacon and sausage scents wafting out of houses over those middle 8 miles. (No, I wasn't hallucinating!) I entertained myself by imagining I would knock on a door and ask for some bacon. LOLOL It was nice running off from a familiar route onto an unfamiliar route and not having to worry about how to get back. It would've been nicer if I could've been bothered to pay a little more attention so I can replicate it! LOL

It didn't take long for me to REALLY be ready to be done. Like another mile ready. But by this point I was approaching my favorite section of downhills. I told myself I EARNED those downhills and I wasn't about to start walking now! I kept giving myself goals of a little farther, a little farther until I got to the rudest uphill toward my house and ended it at 12.85 miles. I thought about getting to or surpassing my farthest ever distance of 13.1 and decided I was so tired it wasn't even worth it. At one point I said, "How annoyed will you be if you don't do it? It's only XX farther!" But my body said stop. And I don't regret it at all. I walked the last mile home at approximately 700 minutes/mile pace squinting like a crazy person as sweat burned my eyes. This doesn't happen during my runs but after?  MY EYES!!

And now my left quad absolutely hates me. It's so achy and angry! I've prescribed yoga for myself and maybe another day layoff Tuesday depending on how much my quad does/does not cooperate. If it's at all tight like it is today, don't worry! I will sit myself down! I'll get in plenty of miles on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Saturday will probably be 13 but this time at MY PACE!! Overall, I still consider this a good run because I completed it and learned some things. I also think I've stumbled on the strategy I want to use. Starting over half marathon pace (HMP), then dropping 10 seconds every three miles until I'm under HMP, sprint to the finish. I've also revised my goal down from 2:45 to 2:37 (12:00/mile). My race is December 1st. 40 days away!


35 Before 35

Yay!!! New goals!

1) REALLY learn to swim.  I can float, I know what the strokes look like and I might not drown in a pool but yeah... it ain't pretty! Let's make it pretty!
2) Go parasailing.
3) Go waterskiing!
4) Have at least two children...
Let's all pray for twins, thanks.  I've always wanted them.  I used to read books about twins and other multiples from about 4th grade on. AND I just found out girl twin in French is jumelle. That is way too close to the pronunciation of my name for me to say it's anything but a sign! :)
5) Read 26 more classic books.
    ⁃    a. The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois
    ⁃    b. 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez This is my bf Stace's fave book. I love Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera so I'm not sure why I have avoided this book.
    ⁃    c. Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver
    ⁃    d. Ain't I A Woman?: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks
    ⁃    e. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
    ⁃    f. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
    ⁃    g. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
    ⁃    h. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
    ⁃    i. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
    ⁃    j. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott How I've gone so long w/o reading this in its entirety, I don't know.
    ⁃    h. A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor
    ⁃    i. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    ⁃    j. The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
    ⁃    k. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
    ⁃    l. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
    ⁃    m. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee and Walker Evans
    ⁃    n. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
    ⁃    o. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
    ⁃    p.  To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
    ⁃    q. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
    ⁃    r. You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down by Alice Walker
    ⁃    s. The Delta of Venus by Anais Nin
    ⁃    t. Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
    ⁃    u. Lady Chatterly's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
    ⁃    v. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
    ⁃    w. Emma by Jane Austen
    ⁃    x. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
    ⁃    y. Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

    -    z. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
6) Pay off a student loan.
7) Take my mom on a trip out of the country.
8) Create a family tradition. 
I think an annual trip to the beach and/or out of the country would be amazing!
9) Maintain a budget for one year.
10) Read My Utmost for His Highest every day for a year.
11) Save $10,000 toward a house.
12) Eat a non-breakfast vegetarian meal one day per a week for a year. 
13) Start a garden.
14) Go to Mexico (preferably with Rashan).
15) Learn to skateboard. 
16) Take skiing lessons.
17) Go on an international cruise. 
I went on a river cruise of a few hours while in the Netherlands in 2000 but I want to cruise that lasts at least a few days.
18) Ride in a hot air balloon!
19) Make cheese. 
I saw Rick Bayless do it and now I want to do it myself!
20) Go trapeze-ing! 
Yessssss!!  That sounds sooooo awesome!
21) Go to Taste of Chicago.
22) Win an major award for teaching or documentary.
23) Go paintballing!
24) Visit 5 new states.
25) Go to the Caribbean.
26) Run a half marathon.
27) Run a marathon.
28) Brush up on my French to become conversant again.
29) Reactivate my membership in my sorority.
30) Go to a Carolina Panthers game.
31) Run a race in another country.
32) Go to Vegas.
33) Complete a triathlon.
34) Complete a race to the top!
You run up the stairs of a skyscraper. Sounds fun! Also, I'm gonna need some stair practice!
35) Complete my 30 Before 30 List. LOLOL

Any goals you want to hit?


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 151

1) I have at least 5 gift cards with $.94 to $5 on them... to 5 different stores (Crate & Barrel, Express, Container Store, Macy's, Madewell). Does that make me a failure??? If so, does it help that I've used every last penny on every Target gift card I've ever had? LOL
2) The comments on some of the most popular blogs I read have me convinced the popularity is just not worth the headache. Why are people so mean???
3) Lord help me. I'm so jealous of everyone who has run a half marathon in the last 3 months. SO JEALOUS!!! Can I say I'm appalled at the prices of these races, though? So appalled. The NY Marathon is $255. To torture challenge yourself for 26.2 miles. Other marathons are about $60-100. Considering the logistics (road closures, security and timing being top concerns) surrounding a race of this distance, I don't want to but will almost allow $90-100 but anything over that is highway robbery. Many races are too expensive, period. That's the real reason I've only done a handful of races this year. Even with 5Ks and 10Ks at $25 to $45 on average, it starts to add up and unfortunately, it's just not in the budget.
4) If you've run during the heat of the summer, your time gets a huge boost when the temperatures drop in the fall. I can't tell you how exciting and gratifying that is to watch in myself! With running (like so much else), consistency is key. Your body will adapt to what you're asking it to do if you just keep running consistently. Really! I looked back at my times over the last year and I've dropped 2 minutes per mile on my slowest days. SOOOO exciting! :)
5) Last week I surpassed my goal of reading 52 books this year. Woohoo! That's due in large part to the 8 books I read in January and September and 7 each in February and March. I'm now at 54 books and going to keep going. Do I create a new goal of 60 or 65 or just wing it? I think I'll wing it.
6) I'm going to post my 35 Before 35 list this week. YAY!!!
7) I also start working as a poll worker for early voting this week. EXTRA YAY!!! How did I not know they paid people for this?? I volunteered to help with kids voting when I was a teenager and loved it.
8) I've already started planning my menu for Thanksgiving... I can't help myself! It's just over a month away and I got a Thanksgiving issue of a food mag in the mail last week so I feel justified! Thank you, food magazine publishers, for fueling my obsession!
9) My film got into another festival! Yay!!!
10) The best thing about starting work this week (after money)? Returning to a normal sleep pattern!! I'm so sick of sleeping a few hours at a time. It's absolutely ridiculous and I can never stop it until I have a reason to leave the house at a normal, non-running, hour.
11) In my shout out to new shows I like, I left out "Ben & Kate." I dig it! :) Of old shows, New Girl is amusing, Dexter needs to kill someone and "How I Met Your Mother" is frustrating me like no other! OH MY GOODNESS TAKE ME TO THE MOTHER AND SHOW THIS DOGGONE BARNEY WEDDING!!!!
12) Don't tell anyone... but I've heard some pseudo holiday sounding music & I'm tempted to break out my Christmas music already. I know, guys! I know! But I just can't help myself! I'm proud I've made it this far! I've been known to pop out the Christmas music in September for the year and randomly in March or July. I'll try to make it through the week but I make no promises! (Just talking about this means I probably won't even make it through the day. LOL)


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 150

1) Remember how I look forward to being a grandma more than a mom (more fun)? Rashan and I have decided upon our names as grandparents. I was going with Grandma until he said he wants to be Pop. So I'll be Nana. Nana and Pop goes together. :)
2) When I was going running the other day, Rashan was smiling at me randomly. I said, "What??" He said, "My wife is beautiful." SWOON!
3) I'm so glad tv is back! But Thursday is a crazy TV day for me. Yikes! Anyway... New shows: I like "The Mindy Project" and "Go On." "Partners" was okay but I can't see it lasting. "The Neighbors" amuses me. "The New Normal" is still wretched but the little girl's Little Edie (from "Grey Gardens") was magnificent! "Guys with Kids" is a fail. Worst? "Animal Practice." Never watch it. I'm secretly obsessed with which shows get cancelled with. Secret's out.
4) If you haven't seen the premiere of "The Office" yet, skip this.... I'm so sad Dwight's not the father. :(((((  I love them together. That episode started wrapping up too much stuff for me. I'M NOT READY!! But Creed has been cracking me up this season!
5) I get strange desires for food. No I'm not pregnant. This isn't new. But I'm ever more susceptible to commercials and food shows. It's ridiculous.
6) My left ankle is being intermittently mean to me. Make it stop.
7) I read several blogs where people put nut butter (healthy bloggers love the term nut butter) on waffles. I cooked two waffles, put peanut butter between them and topped both with syrup. YES, LORD! The bloggers were right! Bless them.
8) We get a Trader Joe's here on OCTOBER 26TH!!! YAY!!!! I haven't lived in a city with a TJ since 2008!! I'll probably get a job hundreds of miles away a week before they open. LOL I'll take the trade-off. Hopefully it will be in a city where TJs is also just 6 minutes away!
9) Nearly no one gets this about me but... I almost hate running with music. It's an unnecessary distraction for me. I only use it occasionally when running alone and then low enough that I can hear my surroundings. With other people, I'm chattering. In a race, I'm working hard and absorbing what's happening. A lot of people find music helps them in rough patches. That is when music most irritates me. I'm always like "SHUT UP!!" And rip out the earphones. I know! Extreme! Before I started running, I was a "leave the gym if you don't have your ipod" kind of girl. I'm not even sure how the change began but it was somewhere in my 3rd month of running.
10) Somehow I forgot to mention I lost my race porta potty virginity at the BGR! race! All of my other races had non-porta bathrooms available. I hadn't used a porta potty since softball at age 8. What a difference! Spacious, with toilet seats & paper and HAND SANITIZER!! And since it was dark and there were no lines, free of trauma. Hallelujah! (And you're welcome for sharing!)
11) I'm reading the new J.K. Rowling novel mostly because it got terrible reviews. LOL I'm a little over halfway through and I must say, there's nothing like a 500-page book where the first 100+ pages are a slog of too many characters. Yes. Yes, I mean this book.
12) I'm going to be a poll worker for early voting this year. Can't. Wait. We had an orientation with the temp agency that does staffing for the county. It was supposed to start at 3 and last about 30 minutes. I was there at 2:50. A woman strolls in at 3:04. Orientation actually started at 3:10. This man walks in at NO LIE, 3:28. 3:28!?!? We started 10 minutes late and you're still an additional 18 minutes late??? What if it started on time and actually lasted 30 minutes?? Mess. I expect many much more delicious stories. Oh the blog fodder!


Broke Phi Broke

Early this morning I watched the latest installment of ESPN's "30 for 30" series: Broke. It had in depth interviews with athletes who literally lost millions of dollars, ending in bankruptcy and millions of dollars in debt for some of them. While it was a fascinating train wreck, like the director of the film, I was surprised by how much I empathized with the athletes. Yes, it is unfathomable to earn and lose 40 to 100 million dollars. Even 10 million! But a lot of them were duped by family and friends, sometimes their own parents. Can you imagine your mother giving you a 25,000 bill for raising you? On your birthday? According to one anecdote, this actually happened. While technically I know people have toxic relationships with their parents, it still shocks me.

Another downfall was generosity. I love giving people things I know they'll love! Basically these men (every athlete interviewed was a man... I would've liked to hear from some of the women) didn't know how to say no. No, I can't pay your rent. No, you can't have $200 or $300 every month for YOUR child support (not their own children) or car payment. No, I can't pay your cell phone bill. No, I can't support five households until I can't support one.

Mostly I tried not to make judgments but some of it was just plain stupidity. STOP MAKING BABIES WITH STRANGE WOMEN!! Don't spend a mortgage on jewelery. BUY HOUSES OUTRIGHT WHILE YOU CAN AFFORD IT SO YOU AREN'T HOMELESS WHEN YOU CAN'T. BUY A NORMAL-SIZED HOUSE!!! No one needs a 52,000 square foot house. No one. Somehow they forgot or never realized that 1) it all adds up and 2) the money ends.

At the end, I didn't want to spend any money. Okay. I wanted to spend $10 this week and the next one. I know this is an extreme reaction but I'm a spender. I like buying and having stuff. But I don't ever want to be the athlete version of myself: tens of thousands of dollars of income and nothing to show for it. Do you know the last time I bought an item of clothing not tied to a free gift card? Me either. I'm pretty sure it's been more than a year. I want an award.

Thank God my parents drilled into me the evils of credit cards. I have one credit card that could be paid off in less than a paycheck. My debt is from student loans. This period of unemployment has reigned me in but over-spending happens in every income bracket. I'm glad Rashan is extremely level-headed about money even though and ESPECIALLY BECAUSE I want to be reckless sometimes. God knew what he was doing when He placed him in my life. I will have my moments again but if I plan well, I should be able to go a lot farther than I ever have before.