Thursday, March 29, 2012

Big Changes

March has been a big month for me.  

The excitement started on March 9 when I celebrated my 39th birthday. You may recall  from last year that I kinda freaked out when I turned 30. Therefore, it would stand to reason that entering into my 40th year would be  traumatic.  Ironically, it's the opposite.  Life is good. I'm happy. And it's only getting better. If this is foresight as to what my 40's are going to be like then bring it on. And yes, I've been wearing that crown the entire month. 

I celebrated my birthday the way most people do - surrounded by friends, hanging out with family, and... buying the house of my dreams.  It's a 1960s fixer-upper, mind you, but it's truly the house that the Spicy Chicken and I have been dreaming of owning some day.  After 6 months of searching, waiting and saying "If one of these houses would just go on the market..." as we drove down Carrsbrook Drive our patience finally paid off.  I'm not sure who is more excited us or Sasha, as she's finally rid of us as clients (she is, however, stuck with us as friends forever).  

And while I wasn't exactly looking for a job (because I was too busy looking for a home) an amazing opportunity presented itself to me in that area this month, too. Earlier this month I started working for Jaggers Communications and MBPR & Marketing, two amazing small PR firms here in town owned by women I love and respect as friends and business women. I'm truly surrounded by greatness (and I'm not just saying that - check it out for yourself herehere, and here ) and feel honored to be a part of these teams.

And then there's the 10-Miler...the one negative in my fabulous month of March. The race itself is not a negative, of course.  Proceeds benefit lung cancer research at UVA Hospital and an anonymous donor has offered to match every single dollar raised by participants so it's obviously a really good thing. For me, however, it's a major stressor. I'm still not even sure if I will be able to cross the Finish Line because of my injuries.  

That being said, I've lined up a few friends to run with, bought a new running skirt that I feel really cute in (yes, Dan Schutte, that is truly part of  my race plan) and I'm just figuring all I can do is do the best I can.  And after the race is finally over I plan to celebrate my last few hours of March on Sunset Beach very with one of my very best friends drinking a few of these...

Yep, life is good.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sad Face

I'm usually kind of a Pollyanna-type girl. You know -  glass half full, the sun will come out tomorrow, etc. Right now, however, I'm feeling much more like Oscar the Grouch.  

After months of training (albeit with quite a few ups and downs), lots of stretching, hours of icing and a band-aid or two the race is just 2 weeks away - and I'm injured.  

Last weekend my shins flared up so badly I was barely able to walk up the stairs, let alone run anywhere.  I took a few days off (even from cycling and walking Scout) hoping it would make a difference but a few hours after my run with Meghan on Tuesday I was in pain again.  After my workout with Callie on Thursday, where we did virtually nothing plyometric, I had to ice just to get to the bus stop. They hurt even when I wasn't putting any pressure on them (like when I was laying in bed whining to the Spicy Chicken).

I gave in and called the doctor.  He didn't tell me anything I didn't already know - it's probably just shin splints - rest for a few days - put ice on it - take some ibuprofen... 

The thing is, I don't have time to rest.  The race is just two weeks away!  I've been working so hard for this and now I find myself wondering if I will be able to do it at all.   I know it's just a race but it was a serious goal for me.  I want my girls to see that even though it wasn't easy I put my mind (and body) into it and that I can succeed at it.  I want to carry Chrissy's memory across that finish line with me.  I want to do it.

And you know I will.  Even if I have to load up on ibuprofen before the race, walk more miles than I run and spend the three days following the race with my legs in buckets of ice -  I'm going to do it.  (Just make sure you keep that glass of tequila more than half full for me at the beach, friends, because I'm going to need it!).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Lone Runner

I've made mention before that though I run I do not consider myself a "Runner".  To me  Runner is someone who enjoys running at a much greater level than I do - who can't wait to get out their shoes on and get out on the road - who doesn't whine and cry nearly as much as I do.  You know who you are.  I'd give a shout out of admiration to each and every one of you if I wasn't worried you'd be so inspired that you'd head out on a run before reading the rest of the post (you know the important parts - the stuff about me...).

I used to think that there was a special "Club" of Runners that looked down on people like me who bring up the rear in the 5Ks, are proud of 11 minute miles and do races with the goal of crossing the Finish Line. But during the past few months of training I've found this just isn't true. I've been astounded by the number of friends - even friends of friends - who have offered to help me train.  And trust me, all of these people would be in "The Club" if there was such a thing.

Until this week, however, I've never taken any of them up on it.  Why?  Because I've been scared.  I'm not part of the The Club, remember?  And though people scoff when I say "I'm NOT a good runner", the truth is, I'm not saying it to be a martyr - I'm NOT a good runner.  I run because it's something I can do from the front door of my house - someone else's house - a hotel - or wherever I might be - and all I truly need is a pair of shoes (and we all know I have those!).  I do not run because I'm a Runner. 

This week, however, I finally gave in and met my friend Meghan.  Meghan will tell you she's not a good runner but trust me, this girl is one heck of an amazing athlete.  She rocks everything she does including WINNING the age group for her first ever triathlon! Another one of Meghan's many great qualities is communication.  The girl can talk.  And, as you all know, so can I.  So needless to say it was non-stop conversation the entire run.  And you know what? It was amazing!  Before I knew it we were passing the turn around point and I wasn't even tired! 

I do have to say that I am struggling big time with shin splint pain right now so am having to walk a little so it was easier than usual from that too, but what made the difference for me on Tuesday was undoubtedly Meghan (I forgot to mention she also happens to be the most positive, encouraging person I've ever met). And, if that's not enough, her husband is also a super stud athlete and occasionally blogs about his triathlon experiences at - check it out.  I promise you will be inspired!

Moral of the story? Don't be afraid. You don't know what you're missing out on.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Old Habits Die Hard

Even after years of attempting to deal with my emotional eating - and great forward strides - I still struggle with hiding my emotions under food.  Let's face it - hot fudge feels a lot better than tears do (tastes better too).  

Most of the time I have a good handle on it, but when things go really wrong I can easily lose control.  Within minutes of receiving the call from Chrissy's mom that she had slipped into a coma I found myself in the refrigerator reaching for pretty much anything I could get into my mouth, and it grew progressively worse over the next few days before I got a handle on it.

Truthfully, excepting a few sugar-laden granola bars and yogurt that I allow the kids to have for snacks (and currently those damn Girl Scout Cookies) there's not much worth over-indulging on in our kitchen.  That doesn't usually stop me, however.  Remember, I started dieting and binge eating around the age of 9.  I'm a master at creating something horribly caloric and disgusting out of virtually nothing.

We didn't often have sweets in the house when I was growing up.  It's not that it wasn't allowed, but rather if it was there it was hidden. Yes, I said hidden. My mom would actually buy or make things and hide them from my dad and I.  It wasn't as cruel as it sounds - she knew that if they were in plain sight we couldn't help but eat them (all of them), so she was trying to protect us. Over time Dad and I got pretty good at her little game of hide and seek (there are only so many places you can hide a cake) and she eventually gave up on fooling us and just stopped buying them.  So when I wanted/needed to binge I had to be creative.

Therefore in my tween years I became the MacGyver of the kitchen - concocting things like mock ice cream sundaes made out of stale marshmallows leftover from our last trip on the river smothered in Hershey's Chocolate Syrup (for some reason we always had a can of this in the refrigerator) and "peanut butter cups" from baking chocolate and peanut butter (drizzling a little of that chocolate syrup on the top helped cut the bitterness).  And if we had white bread? The sky was the limit!

I don't go this far anymore, but I have been known to invent some crazy combos in the middle of a sleepless night (which usually involve peanut butter) and I can brew up some really interesting combinations with just a Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge, a bobby pin and a refrigerator door full of condiments.  

Old habits die hard.  But they do die. I'm going to make sure of it.