Monday, April 27, 2009

Welcome to Taper Mode

Today is the first day of tapering for the Green Bay Marathon and I'm realizing that I haven't really written about the process of training as much this time around.

What I've learned about spring marathon training is that it makes you one tough cookie - running for hours and miles and miles on a treadmill is mentally challenging. Running through fresh snow is tough and pounding out miles during rain and getting coated in mud is tiring. But, through it all, I've learned that I can hack it.

Last summer, while training for the quad cities I had a scheduled 13 mile run (during tapering) that I completely complained about because it was raining out. However, it was in the 60's, and while it was coming down pretty steadily, there was no wind.

This weekend, not only did I run in the rain but it was cold and windy.

I ran the Crazy Legs Classic race in Madison (it's an 8k, just shy of 5 miles) on Saturday and as I drove to Madison through a torrenchial down pour I was a little concerned about running but hell bent on doing it. The race went well and I finished in 44:29 finishing 1 min and 3 seconds faster than last year. I've heard that the race was a little over 5 due to having to reroute it because of flooding on the bike path, but regardless, I'm happy with my time. I got done and while I was wet, I had a blast.

Sunday I ran my 20 miler. Thankfully, I procrastinated long enough that I got through most of it with light to moderate rain and there were times when it stopped completely! However, on my last mile, I got pounded on. I thought it was sleet, but nope, just really really big rain drops - coming down in buckets! But, I finished and while I was a little slower than I had hoped, I got the miles in and am feeling pretty good.

Today, I allowed myself to sleep in! I got a glorious 10.5 hours of sleep (I didn't get a nap on Sunday so I was in bed at 8:30!! Loved it!!), and I'm off for a massage in a couple of hours. And, tomorrow, I only have to run 5 miles!

One more thing about spring training - you see LOTS of dead things. I've "ran over" snakes, deer, skunks, squirrels, and birds. And, while I wasn't the one to bring them to their demise, I was sure happy to not have crossed any of them while they were alive (especially the snakes!!). Once fall training starts I know there will be lots of live things to run from - turkeys and deer mostly, I'm hoping to stay away from the snakes!!

"Match" Date #1 & an in between meet and greet

Well, I finally went on a date with someone I met on Match. It was well, just ok in the grand scheme of things. I didn't want to poke my eyes out with a stick but I didn't get that "this is awesome" feeling either.

I met the cop at Buffalo Wild Wings because I'm always up for wings and beer and while others may think that's a totally lame date, I think that for a first meeting it was fine. It was casual and brightly lit and there were lots of people in case I needed protection from strangers.

Anyway, the conversation was easy and we ended up going for ice cream after and we set up another date for a Sunday afternoon cook out.

In between dates with the cop, I went to visit my BFF Heather in Cedarburg and as I walked through her door she told me that she had "exciting news" - I immediately asked her if she was pregnant. When she informed me that she wasn't and that it was for me, I was more than curious.

Turns out, her neighbor down the street, HR guy, was single and our age and meeting us out for dinner and drinks if I was ok with it. I'm never one to shy away from meeting new people so we walked down to HR guys house and walked to downtown Cedarburg, which is a really cute little place.

HR guy turns out to be pretty awesome and hanging with him until bar close allows me to list all of the reason why the cop is so not me. First and foremost, HR guy can get through a sentence, nay, an entire 6 hours without mentioning boobs - serious bonus points.

Bonus points for interesting travel, life experience, and things to talk about other than sports (which is TOTALLY fine, but come on, are the Cubs ALL you've got?)...MORE bonus points for being incredibly educated (meaning you didn't graduate because you were a football player who got by on the skin of your teeth), well spoken, and polite (aka, not mentioning boobs constantly).

It was an interesting weekend for sure and while it was lots of fun, not a match was made...totally fine though as it was a good, clarifying learning experience!

Friday, April 17, 2009

You Never Know What's Next


What you are about to read actually happened. If you are reading and you know this person, it's OK, you do not have to be angry at him - AND, if you'd like to be angry at me, wait until you get to the bottom of the page and then we can talk. As always, I thank you for your over protective anger. If you are this person, I do care and this is not meant to hurt you - or me - but it's a story I feel needs to be told. If you are someone who doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about, then just read and draw your own conclusions.


For six months he had this strange power over me - a power that always made me go to him whenever it was convenient for him and one that, towards the end, always made me leave feeling bad about myself.

At the beginning I felt wanted, which was nice because he was attractive and had that cool California surfer look to him that always makes me swoon. We would spend hours talking about life and everything and nothing all at once and it was nice. We had an easy, comfortable rapport between us. He made me feel sexy and smart and special.

It didn't take me long to figure out though, that I was being used to fill a void and I'm sure it didn't take him long to figure out that he could call or text me and, without thinking, I'd toss everything aside and run to him, be there for him, with no regard to myself. But I let it continue.

I lived that way for a long time, letting late night phone calls followed by 15 minute drives rule my life for the thrill of spending a couple of hours with him. Often getting there to find and empty bed; one that I would shamefully crawl into and no matter how pissed off I was about it I stayed. I listened to the apologies when he'd come in at 2 am but I knew he never meant them. And in the morning I'd drive back to my apartment almost always in tears about the whole thing, cursing myself for staying and cursing him for treating me this way. I my friends was the definition of doormat.

And although I realized my doormat status long before I could ever get my wits about me, I finally came to. Almost two years ago, I marched into his house (I had really cute pink high heels on), dropped off stuff I had of his and said I couldn't do it anymore. He didn't argue (ok, well, he really couldn't - in his defense he was recovering from an emergency appendectomy, but still, he didn't argue). He only said "can we talk about this later?" (meaning it was inconvenient for him because he was drugged up, um hi? no excuse). And then, I walked out and it was done.

I moved around like a zombie for awhile after that. Crying constantly, holing up in my apartment, not wanting to do anything. I was sad. Mostly I was sad that I was so stupid to think or believe for one second that this person actually cared about me or how I felt.

The good news is, something snapped in me that May. I realized that I did have worth and that I needed to put myself first and make sure that I was taken care of which meant getting off of my ass and getting to the gym. It meant changing my eating habits. It meant reassessing things in my life from food to friends. It meant taking a good, scary look at myself in the mirror and confronting things I hadn't wanted to before.

I saw him a year later - 75 pounds later - and it was a polite run in with each other. Kind words were exchanged and he apologized for the way that things ended with us. I took his apology, smiled politely and rejoined my friends. I then ran into him a couple more times at a local watering hole where it was always the same, a kind smile, a nod of hello, but nothing more and I was ok with it, I was really good with it. It was always friendly and deep down I knew he really meant his apology.

Then, out of the blue, I texted him a question that I knew he'd know the answer to right away, it was something stupid about a band. I still have no idea why I did it. Did I really just have a question or did I want to be friends? I thought so. And then, I felt sorry for him when he lost his job and I genuinely wanted to do something to help, if I could, and began to reach out periodically. I genuinely gave a crap about him because he's a person and it's what I do and more importantly, I knew that he had been through a lot and I have a hard time not caring about people who have been in my life.

And then, I did it. I threw the "we should catch up some time" out there. But I really meant it, I really wanted to see how he was doing and see what was new. And, after months went by, we eventually set up a time and a place, at a location that I knew would be comfortable for me to be in and not get drunk and let emotions take over and either yell at him or swoon again.

There was no dinner.

There were drinks.

The night before our scheduled dinner.

I knew that at 10 pm, which is when I finally was available to go (in his defense, he wanted to meet at 6), it would leave me feeling funny in some way, shape or form. I knew I shouldn't go, but I did.

I met him on his turf, at a bar that he knew. We immediately fell into conversation that was easy and fun. And although easy and fun, it turned flirty way too quickly. He again apologized for the way things once were and I again accepted. We danced to the juke box, laughed and talked, had some beer and before I knew it, the bar was closing and we were the last ones standing.

He asked if I wanted to continue at his place and I rambled on about how I wanted it to be different this time, I wanted him to respect me and I bought that it would be.

So I went, and it was fun. He stated, more than once not to leave him. We talked about things in a "to be continued" way and as I left early Thursday morning, although I knew that would never happen.

I drug my ass to work on Thursday with an hour or two of sleep, no work out and a feeling of disappointment in my gut (mainly because I knew I couldn't actually TELL anyone about this because my friends would murder me if they knew, and I love them for that).

The thing of it is, I like him. I really think that he is a good person. I enjoy his company and I really did have a great time with him. That's always the kicker. I always think that part fits and something will change and make everything different, but it doesn't.

The one thing that is different though is that I let him off the hook when he asked for a raincheck on dinner. I told him that it would be ok if he really didn't feel like making a rain date. And I meant it. I'm not mad. I'm not bitter. I'm not even sad about it. The thing is, I still care about him and I have a funny feeling that somewhere, deep down inside, he appreciates something about me and probably even cares a tiny little bit.

Maybe I did it because I wanted to know that I could. Maybe I did it because I wanted the perfect ending to his chapter. And, strangely, in some way, maybe I got it. We had fun and I made the best out of the moment. And, while his chapter in my book of life may not even be over yet, I've learned from him, from our prior relationship and from our last night together.

Gilda Radner sums it up perfectly when she said "I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. "

Here's to lessons learned and whatever happens next...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Most Myself - and Figuring That Out

So I've been spending a lot of time thinking about who I'm most myself around, or what situations I may be in when I'm most me - and sadly, I'm still pondering.

However, I have come to a couple of conclusions:

  • I'm most comfortable with people who knew me pre May 2007 - these people knew me when I was 75 pounds heavier and liked me anyway. I sometimes (a lot of times) feel really weird about exposing the old me to people. I'm embarrassed about it - ashamed even - but I never ever felt that way then. There are pictures from college that people have uploaded onto their facebook pages that I am "tagged" in and I find myself always wanting to untag me in them so that any "new" friends that come along don't see what I used to look like. But I don't untag myself, because it's part of who I was - of who I still am. People I have known for awhile get that; they get that I have been through a major overhaul, but I'm still me.
  • I am so lucky to have people in my life where I feel like I can say anything and not be judged and where I can be a little crazy and not care, I can "dance like no body's watching" because they're right there next to me. I don't have to sugar coat anything with these people; I don't have to always have a sunny disposition; and I can share anything and everything with them.

I'm still working on this - it's harder than I thought it would be for some reason - maybe because I'm still trying to figure out what being "most myself" really means. Who am I and what am I all about? I have a good idea but I'm still working on that.

In the effort of still working on figuring that out - I think that this Match thing may be helping - but only slightly.

I've been at this for 2 weeks; my profile has been looked at 1110 times; The return has not been so good. I've had some people contact me or note that they may be interested and I've made an effort to send out emails but so far, nothing all that exciting has come my way. Which is ok, I mean, I've only been at this for 2 weeks.

However, I did go on a date with a guy that one of my friends knows - not through Match. And while he was nice enough, there was no chemistry on my part.

Here's what I learned:

  • I absolutely need someone who has an interest in traveling and has the ability to do so.
  • Yes my friends, I love the big cities, so if you tell me you never want to step foot in NYC and that you hated LA, it's probably not a match.
  • Furthermore, I adore Washington DC - for oh so many reasons. Love it or hate it, one should appreciate it - and if you don't, well, again, probably not a match.
  • I get embarrassed really easily. Not so much from things that I'm doing but from things that people I'm with are doing. You'd think that after 28 years of knowing my dad, nothing anyone did would ever be embarrassing, but...not the case.
  • I love food and am not shy about it - I am never "that girl" on a date - you know, the one who orders a side salad and a diet coke? However, when it gets pointed out to me that I eat like a normal person, again, I get embarrassed.
  • I like alcohol. I know that may make me sound like a lush, but I enjoy going out and having drinks and going to wine tastings and I would really like to do that with someone who's going to join me. It's awkward to be drinking alone.
  • I'm more passionate about knowing something about things that are going on in the world than I thought I was. I have a hard time when people tell me that they really just don't care about current events because, no matter what your position on those events is, they do matter.

So, I'm getting somewhere. I'm figuring it out. It was kind of fun to go on a date seeing as I haven't been on one since November and boy was THAT a learning process (fun overall...but I learned a lot of hard life lessons in November)...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Something I'm Pondering

Remember I blog stalk? Well, Chris's sister Meg (whom I've never met, but have heard lots of great things about!) just posted something that got me thinking - when do you feel most yourself? And further more, when I'm feeling most myself, what is that person like? I'm off to do some thinking - be prepared for deep thoughts by Jen soon...