Monday, January 12, 2015

Disney Half Marathon..... A Lesson in Humility and Persistance

This past weekend was Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Back in April (I think), I signed up for the half marathon which was Saturday (Jan 10th).

Once again, I didn't train properly. In fact, I barely trained at all.

I'm in a serious mental/physical funk. I'm trying to "flip the switch" but I am just not in the zone. Looking to this weekend, I was super nervous. I knew that I wasn't prepared, that I wouldn't do well, and that I may very well get picked up by the Sag Wag. I also thought really hard about whether or not I should even participate.

However, in case you didn't know, Disney races aren't cheap. I knew I at least needed to try. I went in knowing there would be pain and that my time would be horrendous. My main goal was to just get out there and do it. Just TRY to finish.

When 3:30am rolled around on Saturday, I rolled out of bed, got dressed, and headed for the bus. By the time we got there and I made it to my corral, the wheelchair group (very first group) was stepping off. While I was standing there (Corral K), I noticed two things....... it was COLD (42 degrees, according to my phone) and my toenails were bothering me. Oh, crap. I forgot to trim my toenails.

Rookie error, there. Had I been running even a little prior to this, I would have noticed that my toenails were getting too long and would have trimmed them.

So, I stood there waiting............





Finally, around 6:15am, my corral stepped off........



The first mile was fine. One of my toenails was digging into another toe and I really had to pee, but otherwise, I was ok. Breathing was good, stride was good, pace was good. I was good.

Then, I saw Porta Potties. Done.

By the time I stood in line and went, LAHP and her hubby B had caught up to me. They were a corral behind me. The fact that we even found each other was a miracle, but the fact that this is the third race that we've been able to randomly meet up without phones is a true miracle.

I stuck with them for the next five miles. It was a different experience for me. Usually, I run by myself, with music. So, it was different (but a good different) to have people to pace with and chat with.

And, take selfies with..........



We ran through Magic Kingdom, which was fun. Here's the view coming out of the castle......




Once we hit Mile 6, I hit a serious wall. My feet were KILLING me and my right quad was completely frozen up. They were jogging and I told them to go ahead without me.

From that point, I basically just walked the rest of the way. Every so often, I would try to jog, but would barely make it a minute before my feet would be screaming at me to stop. To be perfectly honest, I'm surprised it took 6 miles to get to that point.

I got into a state of just power walking as much as I could. For the next couple of miles, I sort of people watched. I didn't even put my headphones back in. It was a new way of going about it, that is for sure.

Around Mile 9.5, my legs were done. In fact, my whole body was just over it. I put my headphones back in and just zoned out. I honestly think I was in a trance.

Just move one foot in front of the other........ Do not stop moving until you either fall down, get swept, or cross the finish line.

Eventually, I did finish. My time was AWFUL. Just horrible. But, I finished. And, chip time-wise, there were people who finished behind me.


FINALLY, the Finish Line.

 



As poorly as I did, I was still proud of myself for completing the entire race.



As soon as I was done, we had to head over to Wide World of Sports for Lydia's races. Homegirl did great! She really did step it up! I was miserable. My muscles were in so much pain, I was freezing, and my feet were on fire.

Right after Lydia was done, I met up with my friend Holly and her husband for lunch at Downtown Disney. At this point, I was just walking so to keep moving. We had a nice visit and then I caught the bus back to the hotel.

When I got back (around 3pm), I was finally able to take off my shoes to survey the damage. Two of my toes were bleeding and three of them had blisters the size of the actual toe. My big toes are bruised under the nail from bumping up against my shoes. Gross and painful.

I basically bathed in BioFreeze and chilled the rest of the day/night. Mom and Lydia went to Magic Kingdom and had a blast. They were even able to score dinner in Be Our Guest WITHOUT reservations. I was so jealous. I would have loved to have gone, but I don't think my body would have stood for it. My mom was kind enough to pick up a candy apple for me and bring back her leftovers.

Yesterday, we packed up, ate breakfast, and headed home. Poor Lydia was super disappointed that we didn't go to one of the parks, but I could barely move. I did take her to a movie.

As we were leaving Disney property, we drove past the Marathon route. The people I saw had just passed Mile 20 (and it was 11:15am). I was so emotional for them. Just the journey they were currently undergoing. I do not know that I will ever do a full marathon, but I have such mad respect for those who do it.

Today, I'm slightly better. The worst of the blisters burst last night, so it is much better. My right calf muscle is still pretty locked up. I'm trying to gently stretch it and walk as much as I can. Random muscles are sore. I have a massage scheduled tomorrow, so hopefully that will fix me up.

A few takeaways from my 2nd Half Marathon..........

  • For the love of all that is holy, TRAIN. Stop your madness and get out there to train!!!!!! I have the Princess coming up in six weeks. Obviously, there will not be any major improvements in my running in six weeks, but I can at least improve a few things. My leg muscles tone up pretty quickly, so that would help. 
  • Your body is far more capable than you give credit. I really listened to my body. It was mainly cursing me. But, I pushed it further than I thought possible without jeopardizing my overall health/safety. In the back of my mind, I knew I needed to play it safe if I had any hope of doing the Princess. At the state I am in now, I think I will be able to do an easy round on the elliptical by tomorrow.
  • Don't diss the walkers.......... I heard a LOT of grumbling on the course about walkers. More than I have with any other race. Maybe it was because it is Marathon weekend, so people were a little more serious about their running? I don't know, but it was frustrating. We are all on our own journey here. Making someone feel bad because they are walking is just rude.
  • On the other side of the coin......... Be respectful and aware. There were a lot of walking AND running groups that were taking up the entire lane. When I was with L and B, I tried to make sure that I was either ahead or behind them, so were weren't walking/running three wide.
  • For the most part, everyone is awesome. There is so much encouragement from everyone.... participants, spectators, volunteers, and even random park visitors who wish they'd picked a different day to try to enter EPCOT.

Overall, I am proud of myself. I know where I failed and where I succeeded. I learned and, hopefully, I will be motivated to do better. The main thing is that I did it. I tried. There are a lot of people out there that wouldn't.



Thursday, January 8, 2015

Open Letters......

Dear Neck and Shoulders,

I'm extremely tired of you and your inability to just be pleasant. I heat you, I stretch you, I buy special pillows for you, I self-massage you, I beg other people to massage you....... Nothing works.

So, be prepared. Due to your stubbornness, I'm now going to seek a medical professional to whip you back into shape.

Signed,

My entire left side can hardly move

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Otter Box,

Thank you for finally making cases that are durable AND pretty. Now that you have that covered, could you light a fire under your screen protector department? Those suck.

Signed,

Walmart makes better screen protectors

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Jess,

Stop being lazy and unmotivated. It's not a good look for you.

Signed,

Your hips
Your thighs
Your waistline
Your stomach
Your pants
Your tops

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear 'The Bachelor' franchise,

THANK YOU for making the most hysterical and cringe-worthy limo introductions episode ever. I was laughing and hiding my face under a blanket.

Props to whomever had the idea to get half the girls drunk and relaxed for a few hours before bringing on the other half. Their spying and running commentary was almost Michelle Money worthy.

AND.... The fact that it was daylight when the rejects were doing their exit interviews? Priceless.

Signed,

Tara and Crazy Eyes are going to be entertaining

P.S. - PLEASE hire Michelle Money to actually do running commentary!! Like, she really should live with all these girls, but not compete for the man, and then just tell us her hilarious opinion.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Dear Target,

I do not appreciate the fact that Valentine's Day cards AND bathing suits are already in full display. 

Signed,

Single and Spring is a couple months away

 
 

Monday, December 29, 2014

2015, what will you bring?



So, today was one of those productive-not-productive days. Last week was fun, but busy. This past month has been fun, but busy. Therefore, important things like the cleanliness of my bathroom, my laundry, and putting my clothes away got pushed to the way backburner. After snuggling with my Shellbelle for a couple of hours while her mom went to the doctor, I washed all my laundry, deep cleaned the bathroom, and put away Mount Wardrobe.

As I am waiting for loads to finish, I hopped on the ole Blogger and read Juliette's link-up about predicting 2015. Let's see if I can do this, as I really have very little idea what the future holds.........

By the end of 2015......


  • I will have traveled to Memphis, again (cheating as this is happening in 2 1/2 weeks, but I need at least one for sure).
  • I will have lost at least 25 lbs..... Preferably 50, but definitely 25.
  • I will have earned my Disney "Coast to Coast" Medal (running a half marathon at both Disney World and Disneyland in the same calendar year).
  • I will have paid off my car.
  • I will have gone on another cruise.
  • I will log at least 1500 miles on my FitBit (this includes regular movement, but I want at least 500 miles to be jogging/walking/exercise related).


Things that will NOT happen in 2015....

  • I will not dye my hair any weird color, no matter how much I'm told by odd friends that I should.
  • I will not attempt online dating, again.
  • I will not see The Hobbit or any of its relatives.


Things that I am completely unsure of about 2015.......

  • Where FD and I will be..... Hopefully, there will be some solid movement in one direction or another.
  • If an opportunity that presented itself in October will come to fruition. I'll find out by February.
  • How much I will blog. I would like to get better at it, gain more followers, etc.... But, it may just be a little place for me to write my thoughts when I feel like it. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Oh, Holidays, How Fast You Come

How do I go an entire month without blogging? It has been busy and productive, but I need to get better at this whole documenting-my-life thing.

What have I been up to that has been keeping me so busy?


First, on Nov 20th, this little lady turned SIX. I just want to cry at how big she is getting. Mom, Trevor, Irelynn, and I took her lunch at school...... She thought she was big stuff.....






That night, was the premiere of Mockingjay. Heidi, Billie Jo, Anthony, Ethan, Noah, and I all went. I LOVED IT! Personally, I loved the change in keeping Effie alive.... Elizabeth Banks is great and it adds to the entertainment to have her in.





Thanksgiving was a bit quieter, this year. Everyone was going up to Tallahassee for the FSU/UF game, so as soon as lunch was over, it cleared out. My household went up Thursday afternoon, while I went shopping with Heidi and Noah. This was Noah's first Black ThurFriday experience and he was a hoot. We honestly didn't have any problems.... We got to WalMart first around 6 (that was the craziest, but nothing awful) and were done by midnight.



We were crying laughing over this poor girl who stood in line at WalMart for 30 minutes for a bag of marshmallows.......


At one point, we swung by WalGreens to return a Redbox. There were about four other cars doing the same thing...... As we drove away, a workers was peering through the glass doors, watching all of us. It was dead inside and I am sure they were bored to tears, lol.

Our last stop was Kohls..... Noah was freezing, so we got him this spiffy sweatshirt.....



The original plan was for Bryan, Megan, Shelby, and I to drive up to Tallahassee after Bryan was through was work on Friday. However, one of their dogs got really sick, so Bryan went up (it has been his lifelong dream to see Florida State play Florida in Tallahassee) and we stayed home. Saturday, I was able to get some Christmas prep done and then I went over to hang out with Megan and Shelby. 

I mean, isn't this the cutest thing you ever did see?



Sunday was more of the same...... Christmas prep and Shelby snuggles....




Monday the 1st, Heidi and I had plans to go see NPH narrate Candlelight Processional at EPCOT after work. It is always a great way to start off the Christmas season and NPH does a wonderful job. I love their stage set and twinkling tree lights.




The 4th was our city's Christmas parade. I am always in it for work (our stations are in seven different parades throughout the first two weeks of December). This year, I had to work the set up as part of my Junior League Provisional duties. It was a bit stressful, at first (our parade is HUGE..... 125 floats and over 35,000 people attending). My friends C and M, and I had fun looking all official, though.....



Saturday the 6th, I headed over to House of Blues for a Jerrod Niemann concert with my friend T. It was a lot of fun!




Sunday was a Christmas party at my friend Ronda's.... We had a blast and I walked away with some serious loot (tin of cookies, box of truffles, $15 Starbucks gift card, and a $25 Olive Garden gift card). My kinda party!



Wednesday (the 10th) night, we went to Melting Pot. They were having an Ugly Sweater promotion, so we wore ours with pride......



Saturday night, we did a promotion for a private Chris Young concert at a nearby golf resort. It was a very nice event, but a bit stressful as the venue wasn't familiar with working a concert or winners. Once everyone was taken care of, my friends that came with me voted to leave early and grab dessert. It was outdoors and we were freezing. We had a great time though.


Yesterday, I stayed in my PJs all day and worked on Christmas cards. I had something every evening for 13 nights straight and exhausted. As I finish typing this, I am working from Universal. The work stuff should be slowing down this week, so hopefully I will get caught up on all my personal business.















Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Life and Randomness....

I suck at this whole documenting life thing, lately. And, not just on my seriously neglected blog....... I have several Shutterfly books I would like to finish. I'm even not so great at remembering to Tweet or go on IG.

I guess I am just busy. I try to remember to document in some way, but it's so fast moving.

My perfect niece was born exactly two weeks ago. I have a post in drafts to let you see how wonderful she is. It will happen, soon. Just be sure that she's the best thing on Earth.

I'm giving away a truck on Saturday. In a pretty big way. A freaking live game show. That I put together. It's not easy, ya'll.

An extremely amazing opportunity has come up........ Hopefully, it will go through.We will see.

The past few years have been "The Years of Sass"......... Pretty sure that I've entered "The Years of The Bitch."

As of late, I am more in love..... and more unsure of the future.... and more calm.... than ever in my life. We will see.




Monday, October 13, 2014

Tower of Terror 10-Miler 2014

So last weekend (October 3-5) was the Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend at Disney. If you will recall, last year's was my first big race ever. Before I talk about my race, I have to brag on some others.

So, my mom had so much fun watching Megan and I last year that she got amped up and decided to participate. She and my stepdad signed up for the 5K during Princess Weekend. Then, she signed them up for it this weekend AND signed Lydia up for the kids' races. Mom and Jeff really can't run it, because of some former injuries, so they walk. They just like to participate.

This was Lydia's first race and she *can* run. The first race was her age group. Depending on the age group, the kids run either 100, 200, 300, or 400 meters. Lydia ran 200. The 100 group was hysterical to watch. They are all aged 1-3. Some of them LOVED it and others weren't having it at all.

The winner went to Baby Aladdin who got about twenty feet from the Finish Line and refused to go any further. His parents refused to pick him up to walk him across the finish (a lot of parents were carrying their kids, lol). Even the media people got into it.

 Eventually, Baby A won. The RunDisney people needed them off the track to let the next racers (age 4-6) start. Parent - 0, Kid - 1. I took a ton of pictures during the 15 minute sage (there were several heats), but managed to get an internet friendly one (ie, no faces of the kid).......




Lydia rocked her 200-meter dash and even convinced Jeff to join her. Next up was a timed 1-Mile race. For that one, she wanted me to run with her. I was wearing flip-flops, so that wasn't happening. I walked near the path for the first half, so that she could see me. At that point, she was comfortable running the rest of the way with the group. Disney security is really tight, especially for the kid races. They don't let anyone leave the race area without a tag that matches the child's bib, so I told her that I would meet her at the Finish Line.

In her words, the race was "HORRIBLE. It was a long and awful race!" But, she liked her medal, lol.





After their races were over (I was getting Lydia ready while Mom and Jeff were doing their race, so no pics of them), I headed back to the hotel to nap and rest up for mine later that night.

Here's where I get real.......... I have *REALLY* let myself go. Like, I weigh more than I have in 5 years. Not a fact I'm proud of, but it's the truth. Not only have I gained 20 lbs since last year's race, but I plain didn't train. I mean, I'd run a few miles a couple times a week, but that doesn't prepare you for something like this. So, I was nervous. I knew I'd finish, but I figured it would take me about 20-30 minutes longer than last year.

On top of that, Megan is preggers and due with the-best-niece-in-the-world on Oct 19th. Homegirl wasn't about to attempt 10 miles at 38 weeks pregnant. My other race buddies also weren't doing this one for various reasons. So, I was solo. SCARY.

We always run by ourselves, but we usually hang in the corrals and start together. You get in your corrals at 9:15/9:30. The race starts at 10pm and my corral started at 10:20pm. So, I was basically chilling by myself for an hour. Heidi came up to hang with me until corral time and to see me finish, but it was still a bit intimidating to just stand there in a crowd of 9500 people and not know a soul.

But, I did it. I tried and I completed it.

As I was trudging along and miserable, I would just try to pep myself up. Thankfully, the weather was gorgeous. Last year was hot and humid. This year, it was the first cool night we've had. 50's and little-to-no humidity. So, I tried to tell myself that at least I was getting to enjoy the weather. Also, when I was in the last three miles and could only jog about 1-2 minutes at a time before having to walk, I really had to give myself a chat.......... 

"Jess. You are trying. You've completed 7-8-9 miles and you are still trying to jog. THAT is an accomplishment."

It was not easy. In fact, it was REALLY hard. I wanted to quit. There were times when I told myself that I just didn't care what my time was, anymore. There were times when I felt really bad that Heidi was waiting for me and I was taking so long (turns out, she was having a blast with the other spectators). But, I kept going.

Eventually, I did finish! And, I was completely right...... 21 minutes behind my time from last year.



Heidi was super proud and supportive. I was really thankful to have someone at the end.

Ironically, I wasn't nearly as sore as I was last year. I mean, I was sore. But, it didn't last as long or as bad as last year.

As it stands, I have TWO half-marathons scheduled at the beginning of the year. One at the beginning of January and another in mid-February. Yep, I'm insane.

How am I going to keep myself from going down that nasty 'Wingin It' rabbit hole? Well, it does help that these races are close enough to have something to work for, but far enough that I can train reasonably. I'm doing a HIIT Running app three days a week (started Week 1, Day 1 today) and then one longer run (starting at 4 miles and working my way up). Plus, I'm throwing in T25 for strength, speed, and agility.

I *know* I can do this. With the exception of my longer runs, I shouldn't be working out more than 1 1/2 hours a day. Back in my glory days, I was working out double that some days.

I'm also trying not to stress about my weight, right now. Of course, I need to work on my diet (those french fries and sweets have snuck their way back into my habits) and I definitely want to lose weight, but I'm trying not to focus as much on that. Right now, my main concern needs to be getting fitter.... faster.... stronger... more endurance. I feel like if I'm mildly conscience of my eating during this time, some of the weight should come off. Once the holidays and these races are over, I can really focus on the weight.

That's the plan. To keep myself accountable, I'll be posting my workouts and progress toward my goals at least every two weeks.

Here goes................

Monday, September 29, 2014

Saga of TG: New Chapter

Some of you may have seen this on IG. Most of you probably don't care. And, all of you are probably like, "Wait, why are we still talking about him?"

But, this has always been my place to document my life, so I'm going to share.

The Guy came to town last week. If you recall, it's been five years since he's moved and almost two years since he's been back. Ironically, this past Friday (the day he got here and I first saw him) was one year to the day since I found out that he was having a baby.

As I said in the baby post, I'd long ago given up hope or really wanting anything with him. I really had stopped thinking that we were ever going to be anything but friends. But, when I found out in such a harsh way that he was having a baby, it brought back ALL those things I once wanted and never got. It took some time to process. And, the hurt took a bit to get over.

Eventually, I did. Eventually, we started talking again. And, about 5 or 6 months ago, I was talking with him on the phone (we usually text once every 2-4 weeks, sometimes more and sometimes less.... and, we usually chat on the phone every couple months) and when I got off the phone, it hit me. I was COMPLETELY over him. Like, I was happy to catch up, but it just dawned on me that I'd healed.

Eight and a half years ago, he literally walked into a room and changed my world. It sounds dramatic, but he did. I've learned, I've grown, I've had my heart broken, I've healed, and I've really learned what unconditional love is because of this man.

It's been a LONG time coming. A really long time. But, it finally came. I think it happened gradually, but I just stopped being "in love." I still adore him and he still means the world to me, but my heart strings were cut.

Then, I found out he was coming to town. As excited as I was to see him, I was a little nervous. After all, it's really easy to think you are over someone when they live three states away. We chatted a couple times about his visit. We knew we would see each other at the station (he was coming into town for some business), but he still said that we needed to get together outside of that. I was feeling the excitement you feel when your best friend or favorite relative is coming for a visit..... but, I was still worried that I'd slip back into old habits when I actually saw him.

Friday morning, I went into the station and he was already there. He was sitting in on one of the talk shows and during a break I went in to say Hi. Cue him looking at me, "HEY! It's you!" and jumping up to give me a big hug. In between going on different stations and doing interviews, he basically claimed his old spot in my office to chill. We got to chat a little, but it was busy and a lot of people were coming in to talk with him. It was just really fun/weird to have him back in his old stomping grounds, which are still my stomping grounds. In some ways, it felt like he still belongs here and in other ways, it was so weird.

I invited him to go to HHN with me and some friends that night. He wanted to, but didn't end up going at the last minute. His mom was also in town and wanted him to hang out with her, lol. So, we made plans to meet up for breakfast Saturday morning.

We did meet up for breakfast and though it was quick (he had a speaking engagement to get to), we still had a good time. Like always, we basically talk about everything and nothing. 45 minutes later, he had to rush out, we grabbed a quick pic (because the one from the day before was blurry), he gave me a hug, and told me, "See you later, you."

That was pretty much it. I went about my day and the rest of my weekend. We shot quick texts to one another last night.

Meanwhile, I had a bunch of people being super concerned. It was sweet, but funny. My poor BIL saw a picture of him on FB and cautiously asked my sister if I knew he was in town. My sister, fearing that he had a death wish and didn't tell me he was in town, texted my cousin to make sure I knew. My cousin was aware that all was well, lol.

I also had people doing "check ins" to make sure I was emotionally ok. So, I have spent the last few days explaining to everyone that I am, in fact, over him. There were no heart flutters at the sight of him, there was no tears or overwhelming sadness when he was gone.....

Simply put, I've moved on.

He is still one of my favorite people in the world. I will always care about him and his well-being. However, I can definitely, without a doubt say that I do not feel that way about him anymore.

As I told my Ninny, "Look, I will never say never. Who knows what God has in store for me. However, God has taken that desire out of my heart. For years, I've prayed that if TG wasn't in HIS plan for me to take the desire out and He finally did."

So, friends, it's been a long road, but I can say there is a new chapter in the story of The Guy. "Friends for Real"

Again, you may have seen this on IG. But, since all of this started on this little blog o mine and you've spent years reading about my seemingly-neverending-love, I thought at least one picture was owed of this previously nameless, faceless man.......


The Guy and I