I had a brief moment of panic on Monday morning, that quite possibly may have consisted of some screaming and jumping around in the kitchen, followed by a few shed tears (almost!) and a serious consideration of going to Bojangles for a box of fried chicken. And yes, I will admit I talked to Tom, apologizing over and over again for violating him by reaching through his underside to pull out his neck. At one point, I call my mom telling her "I can't do this, there's no way I can reach inside the vagina to pull out the neck". To which she responded, "How can his name be Tom if he has a vagina?" Then she reminded me that I used to help deliver babies, I could do this. But I assure you, it is not the same.
I did ultimately scream my way through the neck removal process and get Tom in the oven. The turkey came out great, if I do say so myself. My husband even said it was better than any turkey his mom ever made (I told him to please not tell her that, I'd like to stay on the good list with the inlaws).
We had a great time--12 people in all were here, and we definitely feasted! Jett and I are so thankful for the friends we've made in our short time living in Charleston. They definitely have helped it to feel like home.
We head to Charlotte tonight. The Turkey Trot 8K is tomorrow morning, and after that we will head to Jett's mom's house for lunch.Then to my dad's side for dinner. Friday we'll go see Jett's dad's family, and Saturday we'll have our Thanksgiving with my family on my mom's side. I am so thankful that all of our immediate family lives within a 30ish mile radius of one another, but this is what all holidays consist of. And this year, my mom's family is even planning around everyone else instead of packing it all into one day.
With all the eating and football watching that is sure to go on this week, I definitely need the motivation of the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge. I signed up for the HBBC to redeem myself from my lack-luster performance in the POTM challenge, which I have totally sucked up. My HBBC start has been slow (read: non-exsistent). I fully plan to redeem myself tonight once we get to Charlotte. Team members, I will make it up over the next month, you have my word!
I try to remind myself daily of all of the blessings in my life, and thank God daily for all that I have to be grateful for. It's so easy to get caught up in the worldly ideals of money, materials, and things that just don't matter all that much. This past year has definitely held trials for Jett and me, as we've gone from single people with adequate paychecks, to a married couple with a single income and a load of student-loan debt. Somehow though, everytime we think we won't have enough to make it through the month, God provides. I keep reminding myself and Jett that's it's only a few more months, and I will be contributing financially again. We are so fortunate in all that we have, and these blessings are definitely not lost on us. Each time in the past few weeks that I've let myself slip into a moment of self-pity of covet, there has been a blatant reminder to "count my blessings". There are so many so much less fortunate than me, and for all that I receive I should be paying it forward.
Today in particular I am thankful for answered prayers--for the bills that I have been putting off this week and the money in our account that sufficiently covered all of them this morning. And that's just enough to make me happy today!
What are you blessed with in your life? What was your simple moment of happiness today?
Does this happen to anyone else? You take too long of a break from something and find it harder to get back out there?
Today my motivation will come from my brother. We are all officially signed up for the Charlotte Turkey Trot 8K on Thanksgiving morning. We are going as a family--Jett, my brother, sister-in-law, and myself will run the 8K. And I think my mom, dad, and aunt will walk the 5K. When I emailed my brother yesterday telling him we were registered but that I hadn't been running this week, this is the email I got back from him:
So today I thought I'd share a little video I made for my mom's birthday last week. My mom is an incredible woman. She is a dedicated wife, mother, daughter, nurse, Sunday school teacher, and friend. My grandfather (her father) has dementia, and has progressively gotten worse over the past several years. This has been a hard change to witness, as he is one of my heroes--someone I have always looked up to. He is by far one of the best men around, and we have always been super close. Knowing how hard it is for me to see the changes in him, I know it must be 10-fold that for my mom. She is his only daughter.
My granddaddy turned 90 this past May, and up until the past few years, has been blessed with great health. My grandmama is 88 this year, and is still on the go. But the changes in my grandfather have taken a toll on her. She is his primary caretaker, and when he is up many hours of the night confused and aggravated, she must be up with him. My mom dedicates the majority of her free time to them--going to their house almost every day after her regular nursing job to check on meals and medications, and just to give my grandmother a break. She spends the majority of her weekends with them, and sometimes her mornings before work. My grandmother fell and fractured her pelvis a couple of weeks ago, so lately my mom has made a bed on their couch many nights.
In between all of her hard work, my mom somehow finds the time to call me everyday just to chat, spend time with my dad, and maintain a positive attitude. When I told her thank you the other day for all that she does for my grandparents, and I'm sorry that she's having to spend so much time on such stressful jobs and decisions, her response was this: "You know what, it's my family. Family comes first, always." Like I said, an incredible woman.
The past year I have been living away from my hometown attending graduate school, and while I get back often, I can't help out like I could if I was still there. I miss having my family right down the street. I feel like each time I see my granddaddy, there's a little more he doesn't remember about me. While it's hard, I'm grateful that he's still around each time I go home to visit.
My mom loves to come to Charleston and visit us, but unfortunately the circumstances lately haven't allowed her to leave on the weekends very often.
For her birthday, I decided to make her a little "video gift". Our bank account is hurting right now while I'm not working, and my mom's birthday is on Veteran's day each year, so she has never been able to get a birthday card in the mail on her actual birthday! I thought this would be a great way to remedy that. I hope she will take me up on my offer to come home for a weekend to care for (and visit with!) my grandparents while she and my dad take a much-needed break to our home in Charleston.
Happy Monday, everyone. I hope it's a great start to a new week.
Wednesday night was cold and rainy here, thanks to Ida blowing through. So with no desire to run on the treadmill and no desire to run in the cold rainy darkness, I thought I'd try my rested legs out on the indoor track at the gym. I just did a mile, and aimed to do it as fast as I could.
The mile took me 8:59:44. (I love how it was under 9, even though really this is a 9-minute mile).
While this isn't a fast mile to many people, this seemed relatively fast for me. I tend to average around a 10:30ish mile. When I used to do the dreaded mile run in elementary and middle school, I'm fairly certain that I never ran it quite this fast.
Now, of course it took me a half a mile of walking around the track afterward to recover, so I wouldn't have been able to keep this pace up for much longer. But I think with some serious work I can get faster, eventually. And of course, I also still don't have much of a distance running base to work with, so I will continue to work on that too.
My tentative goals include:
- Running at a comfortable pace 3 days a week
- Some type of undetermined speed work 1 day per week
- Re-running the mile once per month (hopefully with improvement)
In other news, the germy little kiddie germs seem to have caught up to me. My immune system has not let me down thus far with all these crazy flu and strep germs breathed in my face at clinic, but it seems to be trying to decide if it's going to throw me under the bus this week. I have a nasty cold and sore throat, but at least no fever or other flu symptoms. I guess I should thank my immune system for bailing me out once again.
In running news, there is none. I know, I know. I'm just barely getting started and here I am, no running in over a week. I could give you a lot of excuses, but I'm just going to give you one (I'll save the others for another week where there's sure to be another lapse in running). MY SHINS. They kill. What gives? So here I am, asking for a little help. For the past few weeks, my shins (both of them, but the left more than the right) have been hurting. It started out with just a little ache in the mornings and at the start of a run. They always felt better as my legs warmed up. For the past couple of weeks though, they haven't been letting up as much. The ache doesn't completely stop while I'm running, and after a run--oh after a run--they are so painful. Going up and down the stairs to our apartment is not so much fun, especially with 120 pounds of dog pulling me down the stairs. So ... I iced them after my last run, and bought some Tiger Balm. But I've also been letting them rest this week, hoping it will improve. Does this sound like shin splints? Does anyone have any experience with this and recommendations on how to make it go away!?
Runway 5K Race Report:
On Halloween, Jett and I drove back to Charlotte for the weekend to celebrate my dad's retirement with a combo Halloween/Surprise Party for him. He's only 54, and lucky him, has put his service into the post office and was able to retire after 28 years. I'm so happy for him.
(My dad's "CONGRATS" pumpkin)
I finished the race in 33:05. This run was fun because we were actually running on one of the runways at the airport. We were side-by-side with planes taking off. They had all kinds of neat planes and helicopters to check out after the finish. And, it was flat--a big plus! It was also raining, but not as cold as the last run in Charlotte.
Some dislikes of the race: the water stop! Now I know I don't really need a water stop in a 5k run. But, the cold air isn't something I run in often living in Charleston, so my mouth was dry (does this happen to anyone else running in cold, dry air?) and water sounded SO good. They appeared to have a water stop set up at the half-way point, but apparently they closed it/moved it/ran out? No big deal, only 1.5 miles left. So after I ran past the closed water stop, I just thought I'd drink at the end. But then, probably about 2.8 miles into the race or so, low and behold, a water station. I assumed I'd grab a cup on the go, throw a little back to wet my mouth, and keep going. That's what I get for assuming. There were no water cups to grab. As I approached (mistake #1), the guy at the station was filling the cups up one by one as each person came by. At this point, I had already slowed/stopped so thought I might as well get the water (mistake #2). He literally was doing the 2-handed, prop the container with one hand, fill the cup with the other hand, as the water jug was obviously running low. After he filled my cup about a centimeter, I said "that's good", grabbed the cup, and finished the run. That probably added at least 10-15 seconds onto my time. The other disappointment I had was the timing system. We had d-tags for our time, but they only posted clock time--no chip time. We started out probably mid-pack, and I would guess it took us close to 45 seconds or so to cross the start line. And I didn't start my watch this time, thinking I wouldn't need to because I could just check my chip time after the race was over. No such luck. Any other race I've run has posted both clock time and chip time. Is this typical or is it more the norm just to post clock time?
(Veronica and I before the start)
(Jett and me after we finished)
For those of you who are experienced runners, what do you recommend? Building more of a running base before trying some speed work, or incorporating speed work into my runs now? I would love some advice.
I'm planning to go out for a run this evening, so here's to hoping that my legs feel great! I also just discovered that we have exercise tv ... sweet!
So, last night my husband and I set off to the Ravenel Bridge that connects Mt. Pleasant to downtown. Over and back is close to 5 miles, and the slope is 4.1% most of the way (but gets up to 5.6% for part of the trek!). Lesson learned ... bridges are TOUGH! I ran the 10K bridgerun last year, but hadn't at all prepared for it and we were so far back in the crowd that by the time we even made it to the base of the bridge we had to walk. There was no way to get through all the walkers. Needless to say, we did make it up and back down alive. But after making it to the bottom of the first side and coming back up, it was hard! I did end up walking a lot of the second part up, but am ok with my first try out. We finished the 4.9 miles in exactly 1 hour. A really slow pace overall, but not too bad for walking so much.
And finally, check out this great giveaway (here) from Mel over at Tall Mom on the Run. Giveaway ends November 1st .. hurry to enter!
Last night they had a special episode where viewers emailed or went on camera to ask questions, and different members of the family took turns answering. One lady (in a rather condescending tone, in my opinion) on camera asked how the family feels about how large their carbon footprint must be, considering how huge the family is.
Now, let me preface what I'm about to say by making sure y'all know that I do my part on a daily basis to save this great green Earth we live on. I am the light-nazi in our home, following my husband around flipping lights off that aren't need. I fully support car-pooling and walking, when feasible. Most of the time we fill up reusable water bottles and coffee mugs, rather than buying paper or plastic to throw away. We bought our own recycle bins and take them to the local drop off because our apartments don't recycle. And (I'm not kidding here), before Jett and I were married we actually had a fight about him using too many paper towels.
All that to let you know that my first thought when this lady asked her question was "what the hell is a carbon footprint"? Then I thought, oh wait, I do know what a carbon footprint is. Then, I realized this lady must have never seen the show, or just doesn't like children (and probably doesn't believe in marriage either). This family carpools everywhere, chops their own (dead) trees for firewood, built their own house with hot-water used to heat the floors, hands everything down to the younger family members, and does the majority of their shopping at thrift stores. I'd guess their carbon footprint is a lot more impressive than many of ours.
And on a completely more random note, do you ever notice how many cars on the road have been in wrecks? Seriously, probably ever 5th car or so I pass on the road or see at a light has a dent in the side, a bumper hanging off, or a busted light. That's a lot of car accidents!
Our wedding day was perfect. We were married at The Tahoma Retreat in Norwood, NC. Lake Tillery was the gorgeous backdrop to our vows, and although it was cloudy and misty all morning, the clouds cleared right before the ceremony for a beautiful fall day. We danced our first dance to True Companion by Marc Cohn and our last dance to All I Wanna Do by Sugarland. Our day was absolutely great and I can't believe it's already been a year!
Check out a few of our pro pics from Kate Ashbrook here. We LOVED Kate! She did a fabulous job and is just overall a great person.
After our wedding, we spent the night at the Westin Hotel in downtown Charlotte before flying to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for a week for our honeymoon.
Today, we spent the day just enjoying time with one another. On the morning of our wedding day, Jett had a special gift delivered to me. It was a box that he stained and labeled with our wedding date that was filled with paper, envelopes, a pen, and a letter from him. The purpose of this box is for us to fill with letters and cards that we give to one another every year, and then each year on our anniversary we will sit down to read through them. Can you imagine how special this will be in 50 years? Today we sat down to re-read through our past year and remember some special details from our wedding day.
We also cut the top layer of our wedding cake (which was actually pretty good) and has a toast of the champagne from the bottle saved from last year.
We also exchanged anniversary gifts and had dinner at Miyabi's in Charleston ... yum!
A year of marriage has shown me how blessed Jett and I are to share this love. It has been one of the most love-filled and rewarding years of my life. It has also been one of the most challenging. Anyone who ever tells you that newlywed life is filled with goggly eyes and long walks on the beach is either lying or the least selfish person God ever created. I am neither a liar or all that selfless, so I'm here to tell you that while we definitely had our walks on the beach over the past year, we have also had our fair share of arguments, tears, hurt feelings, angry words, and just plain ole fights. But, we also came into this with realistic expectations--knowing that we are both hot-headed and sensitive. Learning to live together was hard--it still is some days. But it's also a lot of fun and I wouldn't have it any other way (okay, maybe I'd trade in our crazy downstairs neighbor if I could). In just a year I know that we are slower to anger, quicker to forgiveness, and more considerate of one another's feelings. At the end of the day this marriage is always worth it, and I know that it always will be. I thank God every day for this blessing that is my life!
May I always be able to look back at October 25, 2008 and remember what it felt like to marry my best friend--my true companion.
So ... as you might have guessed, I also have had a hard time adding in a good fitness routine. And blogging routine, it seems. But I'm back! Last week was a bust, for pretty much everything except for school. After my last post, I've only done my "activity" 2 days ... last weekend. But, I was able to run another full 3.1 miles, which felt great! I need to get back on track, with a lot of things in life. I'm a work in progress, so I'm okay with occasionally slipping up. I will get there, I know I will.
In other news, these past few weekends have been just as busy as the weekdays. Last weekend, Jett and I were able to spend some great time together just hanging out, rather than worrying about jobs, or stressing over school, or planning how we're going to juggle our schedules. On Friday, I packed a picnic and we took the dogs to Folly Beach and had dinner and just enjoyed our time. This is our view for dinner.
Saturday, we finally made it to the Charleston Farmer's Market, which I've been wanting to do since I moved here. And Sunday, we went back downtown to check out the Charleston Green Fair.
With all of the craziness around here lately, it's been hard to just be with each other. It was great to have some work-free, worry-free time together.
This past weekend, Jett's college roommates and their wives came into town for the App State v. Citadel game. Jett graduated from Appalachian State, but we haven't been able to make it up to any home games last season or this season so far. So, when we found out they were playing the Citadel in Charleston, Jett made plans for the game. It's always great to see friends from home, and the game was a nail-biter!
And this is what I'm doing . . .
In other news, yesterday I kept getting phone calls from an area code I didn't recognize. Seriously, ever hour from 4 to around 8 this same number called, never leaving a message. This morning I had another missed call, and another call while I was checking the missed call list. I answered this time, and the convo went a little something like this:
Caller: (In a STRONG Asian accent): Hallo, my name is Steven, I am calling from continuing your education online degree.com. I would like to talk to you about about continuing your education online degree.
Me: I am a semester away from a master's degree, I'm not interested in continuing my education online.
Caller: I would like to talk to you about continuing your education online degree. (Proceeded by a bunch of words that I'm sure were a mix of English and some other language that I didn't understand).
Me: I'm not interested, please take me off your calling list.
Caller: Ok, goodbye.
Now, I see many things wrong with this encounter, but here are a few of the most frustrating to me. And let me preface this by saying that I understand that everyone's just trying to make a living like the next guy. But, don't call me over and over. Especially not early in the morning or late at night. Secondly, why would you employ someone to sell your product that doesn't speak the language of the audience that he is selling to? Thirdly, this same company called me over and over again around this same time last year and only quit after my husband matter of factly told them to quit calling or else. And lastly, and most importantly to me, seriously, was this guy's name really Steven? His fresh Asian accent and dual language product pitch sure didn't make him sound like a Steven to me.
And in the news that this blog was actually made for, days 3 and 4 of my 30-day challenge.
Yesterday, I wrestled my bike off of our bacolny where it now calls home after we got a rather rude letter from our apartment complex telling us to move it out of the breezeway or it would be removed for us ... thank you very much. I rode in the area, since it was getting dark and was pitch black by the time I made it home. I found some awesome trails in the neighborhood right next door that I'm sure to take advantage of more often (it's amazing what you find when you actually make it outside to do something). I also discovered that my hind end and a bicycle seat are not like pb&j, lock & key, or hand & glove. Catch my drift? AKA, my butt is largo and my bicycle seat is hardo.
Today, again I waited until 8:30 to remember that I'm trying to be a better person. I also seem to forget every day that it now gets dark at 8. So I took my largo backside to the gym and placed it on the treadmill. For 27 minutes to be exact. And only about 12 of those were actually running. Then I plopped that backside in the recumbant bike seat and pedaled away for the remaining 18 minutes. Lesson of today: when you remove yourself from the couch after being a potato for many many months and then use your legs every day, they will probably hurt. Also, if you eat Chick-fil-a as your only meal of the day, you will not feel fabulous.
However, I will put a check mark in the success box for days 3 & 4.
Didn't stop cleaning, schooling, cooking/eating dinner until after dark tonight, so I went to the gym for a run. I walked 1:30 minutes then started running. My goal was to run continuously until my playlist ran out, but my mp3 player froze at song 5 of 6. I was at around 29 minutes, so my new goal became to run until 30 minutes. At 30 minutes, I was at 2.66 miles, so my new goal became to run until the 5K mark. So I did. I ran (except for the first minute and half) 3.1 miles for a total of 34 minutes, then walked for the remainder of the 45.
Day 2 = success.
So, on my 3rd lap around I came up to the hubster (who's real name is Jett, by the way) at a standstill with Rosemary and Duncan. Apparently they were pulling like crazy (we left their harnesses at home) and trying desperately to find me. So, I offered to take Rosemary along with me to run. Ha. That lasted about 1 mintue before my arm felt like it was going to fall off. We walked the rest of the time with them.
I have no idea how far I went, because my ADD kicked in about a lap into it and I lost track of how many laps I ran before stopping to walk. My watch was at 20 minutes when I stopped to walk permanently, and I'd run all but about 3 minutes of that. One more slip up ... I accidently stopped my watch at 37 mintues but didn't realize it until I looked down to see how long we'd been moving. Although, I'm positive it was at least 45 minutes and probably a bit longer.
So, all in all I'll chalk day 1 up to a success!
Ok, so I’ve never actually written a first post. But I have written more first paragraphs than I can count and more first pages for essays than I care to think about. And those are always the hardest. Sometimes I just skip over them and come back at the end. But alas, you can’t skip the first post of a “make yourself better” blog and then come back and write it after you’ve “made yourself better”.
I guess my goal is not necessarily to make myself better, but to help myself feel better. And to help me feel better about myself. So here I am. My husband calls the desire to start a blog just another addiction to the internet. I call it an effort to help me stay motivated, keep me accountable, and give me an outlet (and maybe even to find a little encouragement along the way).
I am not an inactive person. But I am much less active than I have ever been. And my clothes, the scale, and my attitude show it. I like to chalk that up to my desire to spend quality time with my newlywed husband and my never-ending pile of grad school work. But really, I just find myself making excuse after excuse. I’m in a slump and I need to get out of it. So, I’ve put it off and put it off but here’s my plan: do something active for at least 45 minutes for the next 30 days. Starting tomorrow. Now I don’t plan to stop at the 30 day mark, I’m just making that my short-term goal in hopes that I won’t give up and by that point it will be easier to drag myself off the couch. I’ve heard it takes 21 days to create a new habit. But my body seems to be slow to respond to everything else in life, so I better give myself an extra week. I would like for this activity to be primarily running, as I’ve always dreamed of myself as a runner and dabbled in it here and there. I’ve actually run two races in the past (only because I made a promise to the same friend both times, and I don’t break my promises if there’s any way around it). I ran a 5K in 2007 (34:22) and a 10K this past April (1:14:48). But both times I only ran a week or so before hand just to make sure I wouldn’t die on the course. And since then, I’ve run a time or two here and there, but never consistently. So, I will run. But on the days I’m not running, I will do something else active—ride my bike, take a walk with my dogs, swim, anything. I know I can’t run every day of the week (and who would want to!), so I will fulfill my 30 days in other ways as well. Hopefully, my clothes, the scale, and my attitude will all improve in the meantime.
So join me as I take responsibility for how unhealthy I have become and try to get my life back on track. My plan is to start to tomorrow—but we all know what can happen to the best laid plans . . .
Weight: A whopping 161 lbs
One more thing . . . did I mention that I don't like to run?!