Wednesday, April 25, 2012

You Only Wish You Were Like Me

Total Miles: Only about a mile or so

BUT WAIT!!!! I did over 25 flights of stairs and some lunges, squats and arm curls. That counts for something...right?

Here's a post I put on Facebook earlier today...

"I smell so bad I'm sitting next to the bathroom hoping people think that's what is smelling up the place."

I was sitting in Chick-fil-a.
In a posh Washington DC suburb in Virginia.
After spending about 2 hours at one of the neatest, but smelliest dairy barns I've ever been in. (Which was weird in itself. Clean barns are not normally smelly.)

But this wasn't just any kind of smelly. This was Stanky kind of smelly. Scccchhhmmmeeeeelly.

The kind that soaks up into your hair.
And your nose hairs.
And your pores.
The kind of Schmelly that makes you nearly fall out of the shower when you jump in with the hot water & steam running.

I normally would not go in to a restaurant and eat in this kind of condition. However:
1) I was hungry!
2) I really wanted to wash my hands.
3) I wanted a salad. I have yet to master the eating a salad while driving maneuver. And
4) I needed some WiFi to send read some emails with attachments and respond to them.

So, the poor people of Posh Chick-fil-a got a bad taste in their mouth today thanks to me - because you know taste is about half smell anyway.

To make my day complete, I had to drive about 2+ hours to my next farm visit in West Virginia. Then another 3 hrs to Mi Casa for the night in Altoona, PA. But if the story were just about driving another 5 hrs, then it wouldn't be on this blog now would it?

At some point today....after Chick-fil-a-Stank-a-thon and before West Virginia farm visit, I had a craving for peanut butter M&Ms. I blame the cashier at the gas station that took 4 minutes to take each individual banana out of the box and place into a basket - while I was staring at the M&Ms, because I didn't want to stare directly at him. Too bad he wasn't stocking the M&Ms. This day may have ended better.

What I did not realize was that at some point during the drive and me snacking on M&Ms, I dropped one in my seat. Not a green one. Not a blue one. Not red. Not yellow. But brown. It had to be brown. I realized it about 7pm when I stripped down for a shower.

So, not only have I scarred the people of Posh Chick-fil-a Virginia. There are now a group of redneck West Virginian dairy farmers, a gang of Hispanic milkers and a troop of truckers that firmly believe that I shart myself. They had the smell and the stain to prove it.

I have no shame.

Gotta run...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Peace Out Dude


What exactly is that? Lack of war? Quiet solitude?

For me it's that feeling of a cool fog settling in like a blanket over the mountains on a crisp, cool morning.

That feeling of a warm breeze gentling massaging your skin as you lay on the beach with your toes in the sand.

It's a physical thing. It's a mental thing. It's a spiritual thing. The same feeling can come from anything. Anywhere. At anytime.

I'm a fairly peaceful person. I get riled. I can get really pissed at times. But those moments thankfully do not last for long. Mostly, I am at peace.

It took a long time to get here. It was a long journey. It was a hard journey. I would draw you a map if I could, but there's no way to give you step by step directions. It's an incredibly awesome place to find yourself on a daily basis. I really wish I could get more people here because the world by far would be a better place.

But some may never find any level of peace. I find that incredibly sad.

My only advice is that the first thing you must do when searching for peace is be willing to give up control.

Oh.....that's a hard one. A REALLY hard one.

You can't control everything. You want it this way....well, guess what, someone else wants it another way. Is it really worth the struggle to get it your way? In some cases it really may be. But mostly, it's not.

I can't control airlines.
I can't control traffic.
I can't control the idiots I find myself surround by on occasion.
I can't control the decisions or lack-of that my bosses make.
I can't control the mistakes of others.
I can't control how others react to my mistakes.
I can't control the playlist on the radio.
I can't control the unthoughfulness, rudeness, or downright meanness of others.

But I can control how I react to all of this.

I read this last night from Pastor Matt Cannon's blog...

"I can’t control all of the things that have happened to me in the past and I won’t be able to control the things that happen to me in the future. But I can control how I react.  Better than this, I can allow the Holy Spirit to control how I react."

It's a message I felt that needed to be shared.
Gotta run....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

3325 Inspirations in Less Than A Mile

Today's Miles: 2 miles at tempo pace

Yes. You read that right. I'm running again!! YAY!! YIPEE!! I mean REALLY running again. WOOHOO!!! I bumped my long run to 4 miles yesterday!! I'm so stupidly excited about it too.

Aren't you? Why not!? You should be!

This has been one incredible weekend!

On Friday, after flight delays (again), I made it home in time for Mark and I to close on our house loan!! WOOHOO!!!



But that means we get to start building soon. Well. After Dad builds a barn for a farmer whose barn burnt down over 2 years ago. 

Oh. And after the first cutting of hay comes off - because you know we're building in the middle of HIS hayfield on OUR land.

No worries. It will probably take until June to get everything ready to break ground anyway. (But bet on this, when that round baler leaves the driveway, I'll be out there with a shovel digging footers if I have to!)

Other exciting stuff....

This weekend was Knoxville Marathon weekend. No, I wasn't running. Psht. I'm just up to 4 miles!

But, my niece Robin ran in the Kids Run on Saturday evening. She was so nervous - my fearless niece that stands on the back of her horse because she thinks she's a trick pony rider - was nervous about running a mile. I'll admit, I wasn't so sure she could do it either. Our practice run a few weekends ago was.....unproductive? She's a weaver. She'll look to the left, then start weaving to the left. Look to the right, weave to the right. Mark & I were certain she'd trip someone. She also would only run for about 3 minutes, then need to walk. So, I was expecting more of the same for the Kids Run.

On the way there, she kept saying "I haven't trained for this." With a lot of anxiety in her voice.

So, how did she do? The gun went off - and so did she! I kept yelling after her, "Robin slow down." I didn't want her to sprint out at the front because she wouldn't make it to the end. Then after 1/2 a mile I'd yell "Robin Slow Down!" Simply because I couldn't keep up with her!!

She ran the ENTIRE mile! She'd slow down a bit when I'd yell for her, then she'd shoot off like a rocket again. Weaving her way through the 1300 other kids (and about 800 adults). She did great! I was so proud of her! And I'm so proud of me!! I ran my fastest mile ever!!! 9:13 minutes!  (If she runs again next year, it's ME that's going to have to do some training!)

Sunday was RACE DAY!!

I had several friends running in either the 5K, the 1/2 Marathon or the full Marathon. They all did exceptionally well!! I was lucky to be stationed where the 1/2 and the full split off. The 1/2 runners went past me down to Neyland Stadium & the finish line. The full runners went another 25 miles and passed me on their way to the finish line.

I felt like a cheerleader again! 5 hours of "Great job!" "You're doing great!" "You can do this!" "Stay strong!" and my favorite line of the day "LESS THAN A MILE!!" It was amazing to see people's spirits raise up when I said that one! Some dug deep and punched in another gear. Some were relieved that the end was near. Some were pissed that they still had further to go.

I witnessed incredible things on Sunday. Determination. Courage. Will power. Strength. Insanity.  Desperation. Hopelessness. Limpers. Bleeders (someone forgot to tell one poor fella about nipple chafing....bleedingnippleslookspainful). Draggers (one lady literally had two people - one on each side - holding her upright by the back of her shorts and her elbows while she "ran" the last mile). Beggers. Winners.

I saw incredibly talented runners take 13.1 or 26.2 miles with apparent ease and speed. I saw 400 lb men & women struggling with their will power to finish 13.1 miles - and THEY DID!! I saw an 82 year old man compete using a WALKER!! I saw a crippled man with leg braces walk 13.1 miles!

See that's the thing about running. You don't have to be in first place. Not in the race. Not in your age group. Everyone that went out there and stepped across that start line was a winner. Some didn't even finish the race. But they had trained for it. They had sacrificed. They had won.

Mark asked me why anyone would subject themselves to that kind of commitment, (pain), anxiety, (pain), exhaustion, (pain), etc. (yougetmydrift). It's nothing I can accurately describe. "A feeling of accomplishment" doesn't do it justice. It's something you have to experience to understand. And it doesn't have to be 26.2 miles. Or even 13.1 miles. It could be a 10K. Or a 5K. Or a mile. Or a trip around the block! It's whatever YOU set your mind to DO!

The best part of the weekend, was running that Less Than A Mile with my friend Amy Gibson Hammontree. This was her first full marathon. And it was a TOUGH course. I am so proud that she ran a marathon, and so proud for her courage to tackle the Knoxville Hilly Marathon. When I saw her running towards me, I was so excited...and a bit worried. So, I decided to run the last mile with her to keep her company and keep her going.

I've never before talked to someone after they've run 25+ miles - and let me tell you this...It.Ain't.Pretty. (Or coherent.)

She didn't have to say much though...or rather she just couldn't. The fact that she never stopped and kept running and made it across that finish line was AWESOME! Jumbled words and tears and all. I am SO proud of her.

Maybe one day I'll find the courage to tackle a full marathon?

Gotta run...