Monday, April 10, 2017

Not Quite Down For The Count

I've mentioned my marathon right?
Yeah, I thought so.
They say that you always know when some one is a vegan, running a marathon, or does crossfit, because they don't stop talking about it!

This last Saturday I had my longest training run yet: 18 miles.  Yeesh.

We ran through the Andover back roads.  Hills, gravel roads, trucks barreling toward you without slowing, dogs running free.  Guess what else?  I live in Kansas.  Do you know what the word means?  it means "People of the (south) Wind".  That's no joke.  It's ALWAYS windy here.  There's nothing to block the breeze here in our lovely square (with a bite taken) state.  So, when running up and down hills on gravel roads, it's no surprise that I was pretty covered in dirt afterward.

For the last week or so, I've noticed a pain in my heel that has been getting steadily worse per run.  After a short 4 mile run last friday, I noticed that my pain was just as intense as my 15 miler the week before.  I looked online, and it seems that I've developed Plantar Fasciitis.

I only have three weeks left until my race!  What am I supposed to do???

Well, what can I do?  I'm going to continue training, and I'm going to run my race.  I've been icing and rolling and stretching and wearing the right shoes and doing everything I possibly can to relieve the pain and make sure I don't over do it.  But the simple truth is: I have 20 miles this saturday (4/16).  I need to make sure I get 20 miles in this week.  That's 5 miles a day for 4 days, or 4 miles a day for 5 days.  I would prefer the former, so that I can enjoy my Good Friday off and my 4 day weekend coming up.

We'll see.

If you're reading this, and you're the praying sort, pray that I don't over injure myself.  If I really tear this ligament, I can't afford surgery.  And I really want to run the Yellowstone trails this summer.

Onward and Upward, right?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Milestone After Milestone... Just Like Step By Step

To take a step in the "right" direction: forward, backward, sideways, whatever, means that you are moving.  Sometimes forward is the way to go.  Sometimes you need to go backwards and evaluate decisions.  Sometimes you need to step sideways and change your course completely.

It seems these days, that every step I take is a milestone.  A personal record (PR) if you will.

I've already talked about my Younique business and my summer job at Yellowstone National Park, but one milestone I haven't talked much about on this blog is my first Marathon.

I've run two Half Marathons before.  My first one was November 2014, and my time was simply abysmal.  I finished just short of three HOURS. Two years later, after completing a training course here in Wichita, I finished my second Half Marathon in roughly two hours and eighteen minutes.  Which was under my goal time of two hours and twenty minutes.  Yay me!

After that successful run, I decided to keep the momentum going and sign up to train for a FULL Marathon.  Training has been going well, until the middle of March.  Right when my speed group was getting to the long miles, further than I had ever run before and much needed for my psyche, I went down with some serious seasonal allergies for a full week, and then ANOTHER full week of something else for which I never saw a doctor.  I missed a seventeen mile run, and when I tried to go ten, I felt like I was going to die.  I couldn't believe it!  How could this happen?  How would I ever be able to finish a FULL marathon?  26.2 miles?  YEAH RIGHT.

Well, I got over the crud, started feeling better, and knocked out FIFTEEN miles (and a quarter) on April third.  I still feel great, and am looking forward to seventeen or eighteen this weekend (4/8).

My race is coming up at the end of April.  The twenty-ninth to be exact.  I can tell you that I am nervous, but I've been following the race on Facebook. They have been posting mile by mile videos, so that even though I don't live close enough to preview the course with a run, I can see where I'll be running.

This particular Marathon is special.  If you're not familiar with distance running, or Marathon running, the first one can really get to you.  It's a long way!  If you're not already familiar with the story of the first "marathon" then let me enlighten you.

The legend is that a Greek messenger was sent from the battle of Marathon to Athens to proclaim victory.  He ran the entire distance (supposedly 26.2 miles) without stopping, burst into the Assembly and shouted "WE WON!" before collapsing on the floor, DEAD.

*blink. blink*

Yeah, people use that as a means to tell me that I'm crazy.  But do you know what?  The Marathon has been an Olympic event since 1896.  And people have definitely been running it longer than that.  If they can do it, I can do it.  I DON'T plan to run all out, so I will NOT be dying at the end.  I plan on running my miles around 11:30/12 minutes per mile.  And I plan to have a nice sprint at the finish so I look good for the cameras!

One of the specialties of the OKC Memorial Marathon, is that first timers have a different bib look.  There are a ton of spectators along the route, and when they see the newbies coming they give a special hoot and holler!  The city knows what this run means, and it shows.

I'm excited to be a part of it, and honestly CAN'T WAIT to run it! I need a few more miles under my belt, but I'm certain I'll be just fine come race day.

You can check it out at the links I've shared here, or you can drive to Oklahoma City on April 30th!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Opportunities Coming Out of My Ears!

Ok, it's no joke that I am not the most consistent with my posting.  And when big things happen, I tend to get really busy and this blog just slides to the backburner for MONTHS on end.


So here's my update.  If you read my last post (two months ago,) I've taken the plunge and become a Younique Independent Presenter.  Younique is a makeup/beauty company that makes quality, nature based products.  I have pretty sensitive skin when it comes to daily wear makeup, and this stuff is amazing.  Not only does it NOT break me out, but it stays put ALL DAY.  I don't have to use a lot, and it looks great!   I'm having a blast playing with all the new colors and products.  And while it is a lot of work, (yes, I do WORK at my business,) I wouldn't change my decision to become a presenter for the world.

Next, I've been accepted with a company that works withing Yellowstone National Park for the summer!  I'll be working at gas stations/convenient stores for a company called Yellowstone Park Service Stations (YPSS) for the ENTIRE summer!  Holy Cow!  I was feeling the wanderlust bug, but knowing I probably couldn't afford to travel if I wasn't able to find another supplemental job to replace the one ending in may (public schools), I decided to see if I could find a job that would take me away for a while.  In January I started to put out feelers.  I asked my friends, I asked facebook, I got the notion to see if I could find a job at a National Park.  While the official US National Park Service jobs were asking some serious questions, I learned of this small company and put in my application.  It's almost like fate.  My phone interview was conducted by a fellow from just north of where my parents live!  He offered me the job.  I'll be living and working IN THE PARK for almost 4 months!  (5/31-9/24).  I cannot express how exciting I am at this opportunity!  And while I know it was my attitude and mental issues that got me kicked off my amazing job on the Mystic Whaler last summer, I've been through almost a year of therapy and have some techniques I can do to calm myself down.  All I ask is prayer that I will be able to make it the full 4 months.  I'm not sure which station I'll be at yet (Upper Old Faithful, Lower Old Faithful, Grant Village, Fishing Bridge, Canyon, Tower/Roosevelt Junction, Mammoth Hot Springs,) I know that if YOU come visit, I'll be able to see you!  I'll have two days off TOGETHER each week.  (This is surprisingly one thing I am over the moon excited about!) I knew that the company highly encourages us to go exploring, but I also just discovered that there are group employee hikes that are already scheduled!  AND there are park employee sports!  Softball, Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer.  Oh my land!

So here's my conclusion:

Buy some makeup and come visit Yellowstone this summer 😉

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Terror of Taking a Leap

I feel like I've been on a rampage.  Not a scary, tear down physical things and wreck society rampage, but an emotional one.  I feel like lately I've been holding so much in so as to not rock the boat that it can't be contained any longer.  It's a difficult thing, living at home at 34.  I want to get out, but I haven't the financial stability to do that just yet.  I'm taking steps though.

At the end of this week, I'll get a car.  That will give me at least the freedom to leave when I want, and to go do the silly little things that solidify friendships.

I've also thrown my hat into the ring of Direct Sales.  I've taken on the role of Younique Independent Presenter.  That's right, I'm selling makeup.  I never, in my wildest dreams thought I'd ever be doing anything like this, but I'm enjoying it.  It's been slow going for me, and challenging.  Trying to get your friends to buy stuff so you can make money isn't exactly ideal for me, but I do love this product, so that helps!  I have a wonderful coach, who I look up to in so many different ways.  If she can do it, I can too!

I guess that's all I needed to get out for now.
No introspective thoughts to trouble my sleep tonight.
I think.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Personal Opinion in it's Place?

I'm curious, why would anyone read a blog with a highly personal (even if names are left out) rant against a person/place/thing?

I'm feeling very rant-y.

I know a few things:

1. Not many people read my little blog here
2. It is possible that in the future more people will read it and go through the back-log
3. Putting a personal rant up is very cowardly.

I am not a coward.

I also know that there are blogs and talk shows dedicated solely to ranting about very specific things, people, and places that the population does indeed read/listen to/watch.

So why can't I bring myself to do it?  Why can't I tell you what is going through my mind at this exact moment?

Reason number one: I'm currently at an Elementary School finishing out my day.  Surrounding me are children that I know I am an example for.  Even though they will never know my thoughts, or that I'm even typing this, I know that what goes on in my head tends to leak to my words and actions.  So, as I was in classrooms and one on one, I put my thoughts to the back.  I purposefully focused on the tasks I was teaching or assisting with.

Reason number two: My problem is a petty one.  I feel slighted.  I am not the only one who feels this way, but I have not seen any other outcry of disrespect directed toward the party in question.  I refuse to be the first.

Is there a reason number three?  Do I have to have a reason not to post hateful comments on my blog? Do I need a reason to post them?  Not really.

I just needed to get my thoughts into writing, and thankfully I am a fairly speedy typist.  Handwriting a journal can be therapeutic, but frustratingly slow.

You, my dear reader, are just that lucky. 😉

Monday, January 9, 2017


I find myself thinking about this subject often, but not in the way many others do.  I could be wrong about that.

Word association:
Beauty: Women
Beauty: Horse
Beauty: Within
Beauty: False

Typically, this is a word used to describe a woman.  This is how it is most used in the american english vernacular.  The second most described area is nature.  To be honest, in my little world, it is most often used to describe nature and I still think of women when the word is mentioned.

Beauty is a book about a white horse that ends up breaking it's two front legs.  Heartbreaking.  And it's a children's book.  Okay, sure.

"True beauty comes from withing."  Once again, describing human traits, typically female.

And the 'false' association, well, that's just my negativity coming to the surface.

A quick google search brings up this:
  1. 1.
    a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.

    "I was struck by her beauty"
  2. 2.
    a beautiful woman.

    "she was considered a great beauty in her youth"

    synonyms:beautiful woman, bellevision, Venus, goddess

  3. Once more, the first definition could be anything. Nature, animals, carpet, people, colors. Anything. Yet, the writers of this particular version chose to highlight it's use in describing a woman.

    The second definition is just describing a woman outright. The second is not a true definition.

    The french word "Belle" is a proper name, a word for a woman, and also literally translates to "Beauty/Beautiful."

    Ok, now that I've waxed literary for this long, what does Beautiful actually mean when describing a woman? I ask this, because it has perplexed me lately.

    I have always been told that I need just a little eyeliner and/or mascara because my eyelashes are so very light. When buying a foundation (which I hate wearing) I always have trouble matching my skin tone. I more often than not go without. I honestly can't remember a time in my life where I applied foundation on a daily basis that was not having to do with being on stage for a musical or play. I have naturally rosy cheeks, so I don't really need a blush. The only tones of eyeshadow that really work for my brown eyes, with my light coloring and eyelashes are browns and maybe a hint of purple. My palette is very limited. Every once in a while, the color will drain from my lips for whatever reason, so I'll don a subtle mauve lipstick or a pink tinged lipgloss.

    All this to say that, for someone who hates wearing makeup, I sure know a lot about it.

    I know that when I do decide to wear makeup I feel nice, but I am constantly worried about the stress of the day ruining the various chemicals I've smeared on my face.

    I know that if I wear makeup to run or exercise in, it WILL run down my face as soon as the sweat starts. But if I don't, I'll just look like a person who exercised. I don't mind looking plain, but then again, I was one of the 2% of the population who got 'lucky' enough to have red hair. In other words, without makeup I'm still not very "plain."

    I would tell a person to not judge based on appearance, yet I do it all the time. I've been conditioned to say "That's too much makeup" or "Good grief that lady needs to put some effort in her looks." Neither statement is correct, yet we as individuals make these judgements on a daily basis.

    Stop telling me what I should and shouldn't do with my face. Maybe I can't afford makeup. Maybe I left it all in another state for 9 months. Maybe my 3 kids were running wild and I just didn't trust them enough to take a shower, blow dry my hair, put on a face while leaving them alone for an hour. MAYBE it's none of your business.

    MAYBE, JUST MAYBE I made my own choice and judged myself and said "not today."

    *disclaimer: I totally put on eyeliner and mascara today.

Friday, January 6, 2017

That ever contemplative mind

Things that should be noted before "moving on" are as follows:
~Toward the end of October, my closest friend, one I considered (as did many other unsuspecting humans) as my sister, passed away.  At a time in the future, a blog will be dedicated to her memory.
~I have made the decision to finally finish a degree.  Music Education.  I still need to take a placement test and finish my FAFSA, but I should be starting in the fall at Butler County Community College.
~I have finished training for, and ran my half marathon.
~There are no more pieces of me left anywhere in Louisiana.

Today marks the third day back to work in this new year.  I've thought so much in the few months since I last blogged about what I needed to write about.  The truth is that I just couldn't bring myself to write anything.  No blog, no poetry, no music, not even barely a post on facebook.  Last year was indeed the toughest I have faced.  I lost multiple jobs, moved back in with my parents for the second time in my adult life, faced opposition from my father and brother for that move, and started counseling sessions.  I had been thinking that things would never change. Then I went down to Lafayette to retrieve all the belongings I had in storage.

While there, I send an invite to an ex-boyfriend to join me in libations one evening.  He did indeed show up.  I did not plan on having a melt down, but it had been a long time coming.  The wonderful friend that he is, we sat down after my tears subsided and discussed life over the last year.  It truly has been that long since I've seen him, as our last interaction was January 2016.  He mentioned that the change that has taken place in my life is very visible.  I never thought anything had changed other than my constantly feeling down about every aspect of life.  I'm inclined to believe him.

I have a history of self-doubt.  I have never really seen the positivity in myself until a male points it out.  Let Freud say what he will about father issues (I really do not get along with mine at all,) but it's true.  Let's just say this time it was slightly different.  This was no longer a man I had romantic inclinations toward.  Our time together was rather insignificant in the scheme of relationship history, our intimacy in the figurative sense only.  We separated ways due to the supposed difference in what we each saw for our future.  At least, that's the way I remember it.  So when I extended the invite for the first time in a year, I was surprised it was accepted.

I have always thought that I would live my life out in Lafayette, LA because I wanted to.  By sheer will I was going to be there.  At this point in my life I believe that was never to be.  I have decided to stop making absolutes.  I may end up back there.  I may not.  For now, where I need to be and where I want to be are not the same, and I must learn to accept this and flourish.

Lafayette will always be a part of me.  For the better part of 12 years it was my home, or at least the one place I was always trying to get back to.  That thinking had me blind.  My home has always just been where I was.  My physical address truly had nothing to do with the word "home."  In Florida, I was home.  I found a community I could contribute to and supportive friends.  The same was true for my time in Kansas, and my time on the boat in New England.  Life may not have always been the best of times, but it was not always the worst of times either.

So, now I am here.  Contemplating all the new things laid out in front of me.  Moving in with a family who needs me.  Running a full marathon.  Starting school, and actually finishing it.  This is not the beginning of a new year, this is the beginning of a new life.  It is up to me to keep this up.  To no regress into the ease of making decisions off the cuff, but to continue to be mindful of my present situations and make my decisions based off of where I need to be for my future.

Goodbye, 2016.
Hello, the rest of my life.