Tag Archives: running

A blog a week keeps versatility at its peak

I want to thank Sarah Alice, who nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award on Sunday despite my inability to blog more than once a week due to a tumultuous schedule revolving around work, dart league, working out and darting away from Chloe’s terrifying clutches when she’s on the prowl. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve been nominated a few times before (Thanks also to Dacia and MJ) but have not yet participated in spreading the WordPress love, as I tend to spread myself out too thin as it is. Guys. Dart league.

I also nap. A lot.

I’m remedying this today by graciously accepting. I also figured if I waited long enough, there’d finally be a medal or trophy accompanying this prestigious award. No? Not even a plaque hastily made from Popsicle sticks and rubber cement? Come on, a gift card to Chili’s? A certificate with clip art taken from the Internet that I can print out on my own time and dime?

Hey, they don't give these out to just anybody...What? They DO? ...gah...

Still no? Fine. Then I’ll now proceed with my hour-long acceptance speech and thank you that you’ll have to sit through uncomfortably because you really have to pee but you feel slightly sorry for me and my exuberance at finally winning something that isn’t a green participant ribbon from a grade school track meet.

Finally.

Thanks to sugar-free Red Bull, a healthy dose of neuroticism, and the Internet for all the captivating YouTube videos of cats vs. printers, from which I draw all inspiration. Thanks especially to you guys, who have all been so rockin’ awesome in your time spent devotedly reading this blog each week! I appreciate you!

There, that wasn’t so bad. So, in keeping with the rules, below you’ll find seven things you probably never (wish you) knew about me, along with a list of my favorite blogs.

1. I’m a jogger, not a runner.

My first day attending physical therapy, I was distinctly told that those who run faster than 9 miles per hour on a treadmill are runners and anything slower than that is merely a jog. My physical therapist told me this with one eyebrow arched, indicating she thought I would be appalled to be classified as a jogger. I told her, “I just run so I don’t feel guilty about all the candy I eat.” Going to the dentist is like attending confession for my dietary habits, except I don’t have to utter a word. Below is an actual conversation between me and the guy who sold me running shoes last Saturday:

Sales guy (his patchy beard indicated he wasn’t quite a man): “So, you’re a runner?”
Me (in a teacher-ly, corrective tone): “Oh, no. Jogger.”
Sales guy: “Training for any upcoming marathons?”
Me: “I mostly just work out so I don’t get fat.”
Sales guy (slightly unsure of himself now): “What kind of running shoes did you previously have?”
Me: “Reebok EasyTones.”
Sales guy: “Those aren’t running shoes.”
Me: “Ex-actly.”
Sales guy (frowning): “I see.”

Even then, he continued to ask me if I wanted to buy running socks. Then he saw the socks I had chosen for the day and realized I couldn’t even manage to put together a matching pair. Our running dialogue was over at that very moment.

2. I am incapable of making the perfect pancake.
I just can’t do it – they come out burned or raw in the middle every time. The ultimate paradox is when they’re burned, yet still raw in the middle. How, pancakes?! How! Varying the amount of oil in the pan? Useless. Carefully reading the instructions on the back of the box of instant pancake mix? No improvements. Switching pans? Futile. Using the same stovetop temperature as Clayton, who makes PERFECT pancakes EVERY time? (How, Clayton?! How!?) A wasted effort.

In the battle of me vs. breakfast, breakfast wins every time.

I have, however, dominated frozen waffles in the toaster. Take that, breakfast.

3. I am destined for a lifetime of wearing acrylic nails.
One of my worst vices is relentlessly picking at my nails as a result of a) nerves and b) boredom. As I am a worrisome person with a (quite troublesome, now that I think about it…) short attention span, this is not a good combination. It inevitably results in a) ouchies and b) my hands looking like little boy hands. Not sexy. The only solution besides self control (hahaha!)? Acrylic nails that cost entirely too much. However, due to the great gab sessions that break out at each appointment, it’s at least still cheaper than paying for a therapist.

4. I’m terrified to get up to pee in the middle of the night.
Don’t laugh or the ghosts and evil spirits that infiltrate homes at exactly 3 a.m. (it’s the witching hour) will come after you. On second thought, go ahead. Chuckle your little self away. It’ll save me from uselessly picking at my nails with anxiety when I wake up at 2:59 a.m.

5. I’ve almost been sawed in half (sadly, not by a magician).
Two years ago, my doctor found a bunch of tumors in my kidneys and told me he was 99 percent sure that one of the larger masses was cancer. A partial nephrectomy was required to remove this tumor – a surgery that resulted in slicing more than 8 inches of my stomach in half. Although it was no magic trick, my mother swears it was by the grace of God that the biopsy came back benign.

Here’s the funny part: I had to stay in the hospital for a week, connected to a pee bag the entire time. In wry disdain, I told my dad that this was not the look I was going for (I did, on the other hand, totally own that backless hospital gown). When I had to go for my daily walk in front of everyone, my dad suggested I pretend the pee bag was a Coach bag instead. I walked around my floor smirking and asking “Jealous much?” to anyone who glanced my way for the remainder of my stay.

6. I pretend people are cheering me on when I do chores.
There are only two ways I am motivated to do chores like washing the thousand coffee thermoses that can’t go into the dishwasher and mopping behind the

"You'll see I'm wiping WITH the grain of the wood." -me to no one

toilet. The first involves seeing something move in the corner of my eye and realizing my apartment might be showcased on the next episode of “Infested.” The second involves imagining a crowd of adoring fans screaming loving words of encouragement all the while covertly judging the way I spray Pledge directly onto the coffee table instead of first onto my rag. (“She didn’t!” “Oh yes, she did.”) The end result? A job well done every time.

7. I secretly love all Taylor Swift songs.
Oh, God, you all hate me now, don’t you?

Blogs you’ll either love, hate or think are just ok
1. The Byronic Man – Hilarious, witty, observant – he’s got my vote in the next presidential election
2. Bridgesburning – Her blog is like a warm blanket and cup of cocoa when it’s freezing out
3. H.E. Ellis – She’s had books published – about life in NEBRASKA – so you know she’s good
4. Memoirs of an Evil Stepmom – Astute stories about life, family and that new Muppets movie you were “forced” to go to with your kids
5. Thirtythreeandcounting – An amazingly sincere blog about self discovery and weight loss
6. The Wanderer – Where it’s ok if a picture is just worth one or two words, too
7. Pithypants – Writing that instantly turns that frown upside down. Hey, that’s not an upside down frown, that’s a smile!
8. Cushman’s Chronicles – Finding faith in life and life in faith
9. Likethehours – Join him on his adventures in China. Also, if you’re Mélanie Laurent, join him on a date, already – gosh!
10. Keta’s Potluck – Although not on WordPress, her autobiographical stories always inspire heartfelt nostalgia
11. The Good Greatsby – He has his way with words and then never calls them
12. Silva Gang – Where life on a Silva platter is always possible, no matter how broke you are
13. Japecake –Proof you can have your cake and accidentally snort it up your nose with laughter upon reading his blog, too
14. Recording Artist Ava Aston’s Blog – Mr. Bricks – enough said

A day in the life of a (pseudo) runner

The occasional person runs after a hat blown from atop their heads on a windy day. An unlucky few run for their lives from axe murderers – or, more likely, after a particularly bad date. Some run for president, some from their fears. And SOME run because, well, they like it. Because it’s “good” for you. God forbid.

My running habits are a concoction of the above statements, with the exception that there is not enough Purell in the world to make me want to shake numerous germ-riddled hands on a constant basis – obviously what being president primarily entails. Obviously. Plus, it’s hard to run in heels so after a bad date, I more or less trot unevenly at a quick, but always panicked gait. At that point, he may as well be an axe murderer – I mean, it’s not like we’re going to have a continued friendship after I find out my former date is on Team Edward.

In the words of stand-up comedian Demitri Martin, “I think that when you get dressed in the morning, sometimes you’re really making a decision about your behavior for the day. Like if you put on flip-flops, you’re saying, ‘Hope I don’t get chased today. Be nice to people in sneakers.’”

As a kid, I ran everywhere because life was so exciting and effervescent that there simply was not enough time in the day to explore all it had to offer. Now there could be a tornado warning with a visible sighting of the natural disaster looming outside my window and I’d probably just shrug nonchalantly and be sure to grab my Cheetos before slowly retreating uselessly* to my bathtub.

*Seriously, what are apartment dwellers supposed to do in those situations? Apartments: for the happy-go-lucky. (Read: Single and oh, so alone.) I guess apartment owners figure that if we’re renting in the first place, we’re probably loners, and quite honestly, who’s going to miss us when we blow away in a swirling whirlwind of cats and frozen dinners, our tears, now, the bitter rain.

God, that got dark fast.

Nowadays, I go for long runs outside because I figure it’s a better alternative to going nowhere on some stationary machine at the gym while some sweaty, creepy dude eyeballs me until I see that portions of his lower body appear to be doing some (probably not so heavy) lifting of their own.

Awkward. Which is my point. So, as you can plainly see, the gym is not an option.

Also, the jeans. THE jeans. If you can’t fathom spending an entire paycheck on a pair of jeans lovingly sewed out of heavenly soft cotton crafted from the clouds above by angels themselves, then you can’t possibly understand how amazing they make my derriere look. Derriere. Such a proper word considering I wasn’t above a junk joke not more than two paragraphs ago.

Sadly, I have to fit INTO the aforementioned jeans for this incredible transformation to take place – hence, the running. The jeans are a burden and a blessing.

You can be the biggest advocate for running on the face of Earth, but five minutes into beating that pavement, that phrase gets literal, and quickly. Everyone who has exuberantly and ambitiously taken off running regrets it at some point within the jaunt. Everyone. And if you say, “Oh, I just love it,” I call your bluff. Maybe just for a second, maybe for the entire run, but it’s never FUN, or the movies or my favorite bars would come equipped with a track. And it’s certainly not fun for the whole family, because your baby can’t even log a mile and that just makes the entire family look weak.

I’d say that yes, I love the way I feel after a long run in the country, but I’m pretty sure the joy and peace I feel afterward primarily stem from the 12 hours in the future I don’t have to work out. At that point, I convince myself that I have earned my gravy-dunked fries and twice-battered chicken strips, which lead to a guilty food coma/baby, thus sustaining the vicious circle.

I do love running. To be outside when the grass has just been trimmed with the scent of honeysuckle and lilac in the air is nothing short of wonderful, but that is not to say it doesn’t have its low points. Particularly on ridiculously hot days when I INEVITABLY see a fellow colleague walking toward me a block ahead. Do I cross the street and break out the hurried, abrupt wave as I journey on my way?

Yes. Yes, I do. And the faster I run, the more likely no one will see my (quite worrisome, in fact) oxygen deprivation and become horrified as they realize I’m sweating (quite obscene) bullets.

As they approach, I pick up the pace and envision Rocky climbing those stairs. I’m breathing fiercely out of my nose, mouth closed with gritty determination trying to pull off looking like I’m at perfect ease with my run. Like I could do this all day. Like I love it. Hoping shamelessly that as they drive by, they’ll think: Man, look at that girl go! I am impressed. And GREAT derriere.

Of course, face red with exertion, body pushed to its breaking point, bug-eyed sunglasses on, I am unrecognizable to these familiar faces crossing my path.

When I get home, I collapse on the floor and turn on my air conditioning to the “arctic” setting. Chloe looks at me amusedly with a hint of ridicule before quickly becoming unimpressed, stretching and falling to her side with a disinterested yawn.

In the morning, I’m so sore, I can hardly even get the damn jeans on.