Recovery from the Fourth

Myles & Ben in new chairs // Life In Beta

Our weekend was a whirlwind of fun picnics, amazing food, and fireworks. I’m not complaining one bit, but WHEW was it exhausting! Myles is totally off his sleep-schedule so it’s going to be a few days till we’re back to normal around here.

I’m also feeling like I ATE my way through the weekend (omg picnic-food…) so I’m feeling sluggish and generally “blah”. I’m looking forward to getting back to normal eating and running. I have another 5K in less than a month … eek!

I got a nice comment from Sara this morning letting me know she nominated me for this blog-award…


Here are the rules:

  • Thank and link to the person who nominated you.  (Thank you, Sara — everyone go check out her new blog, Sweaty Mess Mama!)
  • List the rules and display the award.
  • Share seven facts about yourself. (See below)
  • Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated. (Also below.)

Seven Facts About Me…

  1. I am with my high school sweetheart. Mike and I dated in high school (I was a senior, he was a junior). We broke up after about a year but I never quite got over him. I got married to the guy I dated after him, moved away, got divorced … and years later Mike and I ended up back together. We’re technically engaged, but we’re both pretty happy with our relationship as-is so I don’t know if we’ll ever technically get married — but we still call each other “husband” and “wife”. (I wrote about our “love story” in a 3-part series.)
  2. I’m a (semi-) crunchy mom, I guess… I became an instant step-mama when Mike and I got together. My step-son, Ben is almost 6 years old now and it’s hard to believe he was just a little toddler when Mike and I got back together. Mike and I also have a son, Myles, together. Myles was born at home with a midwife, which was one of the most amazing, empowering experiences I’ve ever had. I loosely follow the basic ideas of attachment parenting (co-sleeping, gentle discipline, etc.) but I am far from perfect.
  3. I almost became an anthropologist. When I graduated high school, I had NO idea what I wanted to do with my life. My mother pushed me to study computer science because I’ve been a fanatic for computers most of my life. So I started in the CS department. At the end of my freshman year, I decided I hated it, and I was really in love with anthropology after having taken a few electives. I switched my major and took tons of anthropology/archaeology classes. I even went on a dig! I absolutely LOVED it, but by the end of my sophomore year, I had matured enough to realize I didn’t have the dedication to go on and get a master’s degree right away, and I was too much of a homebody to travel the globe studying foreign people and cultures. So I switched my major once again and ended up with a degree in Management Information Systems (MIS).
  4. I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I’ve written about it  before, but I continue to love Twitter and hate Facebook. As a web developer, I feel like I HAVE TO be on Facebook, but I really wish it would go away already…
  5. I have a lazy eye. Thankfully, it doesn’t “drift” much at all anymore, but when I was a kid, my right eye turned in toward my nose sometimes. I had to wear a patch on my good eye when I was around 3-4 years old, to try and strengthen the muscles in my right eye to keep it straight. I remember as a very little girl, my doctor told me if I wore my glasses, some day my eyes would possibly get better and I wouldn’t have to wear them anymore. I took it to heart and took very good care of my glasses, wearing them faithfully. By the time I was 16, I didn’t need them anymore!
  6. Straw papers and crumpled napkins gross me out. (File this under really bizarre, I know…) At restaurants, after you take the paper of your straw and crumple it up, I get really weird about it … that crumpled up paper (in my mind) is germy and gross and I want it as far away as I can push it. And don’t even talk to me about if you sit down at a table and there’s a crumpled straw paper from the last person who sat there. (Queue heebie-jeebie shudder…) Also, if you crumple up your napkin and put it on your plate at the end of a meal, then whatever leftover food might be underneath or beside that napkin INSTANTLY becomes toxic to me. If you pick a leftover french fry from underneath your napkin, I will dry heave in my mouth a little. I don’t know WHY those things gross me out so badly, but they really freak me out.
  7. I am incredibly uncoordinated. Perhaps it was because of that lazy-eye, but I have terrible hand-eye coordination. Softball in school was a joke. I also pretty much suck at basketball, volleyball, tennis, and anything else that calls for catching/throwing a ball or hitting it with some kind of implement. I was a cheerleader and a sprinter on the track and field team, because that was the most coordination I could manage. Even so… I always manage to be the ONE person that makes a klutzy fool of herself!

I’m nominating…

Weekend Heat + Running Fails

I know in the middle of our icy-tundra winter, I swore I wouldn’t complain about this … but holy crap is it HOT out there!

So Damn Hot

It’s been in the 80s plus rainy and damp, so the humidity is just amazing. Our landlord seems to have “forgotten” that our central a/c is broken, so we’re basically like …

Simpsons - Fan

Yup. We have casement windows so normal window-unit air conditioners won’t fit in our windows. I got one of those freestanding roll-around a/c units and have it cleverly rigged (read: duct tape and styrofoam) to the window in our living room, but it really only cools the vicinity immediately in front of it. So… yah.

Running is Impossible

I went running Friday night. It kind of felt like running in a steam room. ICK. Shockingly, I had a great pace going and was doing pretty well till … BAM!


Damn heaved-up crack in the sidewalk just came OUTTA NOWHERE, I swear! It’s tough to tell in the picture, but I have abrasions all down my shin. I kept running another 0.7 miles after this, but I was pretty bruised and bloody (and mostly embarrassed) when I got home.

I decided to be lazy and take Saturday off. Not sure yet if I’ll run tonight. (I mean, it IS True Blood night…)

How was YOUR weekend?

Biggest Loser 5K Recap

In the grand tradition of crazy race photos, I somehow managed to appear to be doing the Charleston as I crossed the finish line Sunday…

Biggest Loser 5K Finish Line

(You know… the Charleston…?)

Charleston Dancers

Any-whoodles, on to a recap of the event…

For the first time in a long time, I got up at 6 AM on a Sunday. I am NOT a morning person, but I was pretty jazzed so for once, I didn’t have a hard time waking up. I had a quick lite breakfast, got ready, and was out the door and to venue by 7:15. The doors technically opened at 7:30, but I was glad to be there early because I didn’t have to park far away and take a shuttle to get there. (Woo!)

The half-marathon started at 8:00 and the 5K at 8:30. Watching the half-marathoners start was fantastic. I’ve never attended a race event before (to spectate or participate) so I didn’t know what was in store; Dan Evans (from Season 5 of The Biggest Loser) had the crowd really pumped and everyone was cheering and counting down to send the runners off. The general vibe was really fantastic.

Biggest Loser 5K Erie

I was at the back of the second corral of runners to start after 8:30. (I registered to walk, so I didn’t want to get in front of all the runners who were trying for PRs.) The first time experience of being in a huge group that takes off at the sound of the air-horn? Super fun.

Thankfully I read Jon’s “what to expect” post and remembered from my days as a student at PSU Behrend: the course was going to be HILLY. (Like, REALLY hilly.) I knew the first hill was going to be killer, so I decided to start out walking.

The course was challenging (and even more so for the half-marathoners – wow) but really pretty. There wasn’t a lot of shade, and I realized pretty quickly that I’d forgotten to put on any sunblock. (Whoops.) I walked a lot more than I wanted to — though technically I had registered for the 5K walk, so I guess that’s ok. I still feel like I should have pushed myself a little harder, but I was genuinely afraid if I pushed too hard, that I’d overdo it and not make it to the finish. Being my first 5K, I just didn’t know…

Around 2.5 miles, I almost started to cry. I wasn’t hurt or tired or frustrated. It was at that point that I realized that I was DOING IT. I set a goal. I worked toward it. I didn’t chicken out, and I was going to cross the finish line. That was a huge moment for me. I sniffed back the tears so I didn’t look like a total weirdo, and I picked up the pace.

Random photo-op with David Brown and Chelsea Arthurs from Season 15. ('Cause why not?)

Random photo-op with David Brown and Chelsea Arthurs from Season 15. (‘Cause why not?)

About 150m before the finish line, I decided to all-out sprint. I was feeling good, and could see the finish, so why not? I don’t know if it’s the case with all races, but at this race everyone who was really obviously pushing themselves at the end got a LOT of cheers and applause. People gathered at the finish line were incredibly supportive, amazing cheerleaders. There was a woman on a microphone offering words of encouragement too. I don’t know who she was, but she was cheering me on and high-fived me after I finished (hence the really goofy race photo where my hand is in the air). Then I got a congrats from the volunteer who placed a finisher’s medal around my neck.

Talk about a great first experience! I guess it has to do a lot with the Biggest Loser concept, but people were all very supportive and encouraging. After the race, I observed a half-marathon finisher come up to a girl who had walked the 5K and struggled through it. She told her that she had seen her passing the other direction on the course, and that she did a great job, then she gave her a hug.

Stuff like that really restores my faith in humanity, ya know? Runners, I’m quickly finding, are a welcoming bunch of people. I had feared maybe they’d be elitist and snobby, but that’s not the case at all. They’re much more, “Come! Join us! We have bottled water and bananas!” Yes.

First 5K

The race photos did drive home that I have a lot of work to do. I love my body and it’s not about being a certain size, but in order to be more successful at running and all the other things I want to do, I need to get to a healthier weight too. It’s all a process. After my first 5K, I’m even more excited about it all.

Now I understand why people find races addictive…

5K Antici…pation

Sunday will be my very first 5K. Saturday is packet pickup. Babysitters are organized; clothes are picked out. I’m as ready as I’m going to be.

(Thank goodness I signed up for the 5K walk this time around, because I definitely don’t feel ready to run.)

The Biggest Loser Run/Walk Erie, PA June 22 // Life In Beta

I signed up for this 5K back in January. I signed up as motivation because though I’m  woefully out of shape, I WANT to run. I signed up to walk this 5K as a baby-step in the right direction. And now it’s June, and it’s time to DO THIS. (Eek!)

Here’s the course:

It’s been a while since I’ve been out on Behrend’s campus, but I’m thinking this will be a hilly, challenging course (particularly for those doing the half-marathon).

I’m confident I can do it, but it’s weird to be doing something so new and different alone. I’m shy; I’m not a “joiner”. There’s lots of things I’d like to do or try, but typically unless I have someone to do them with me, I don’t go at all. This has been different. I wanted this, and now I’m going for it.

(But I’m still a little nervous/excited/anxious, all at the same time!)

Any advice for a first-time 5Ker?

RHPS Antici-pation!

(P.S. Please tell me y’all got my reference…? Hehe.)

Wordless Wednesday