Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving, my short list.

Today is going to be a hard day for me. Today will also be a totally new experience for me. For the first time in my life, I'm either not at home with my family crammed into my Grandma's tiny family room, or cooking a monstrous Thanksgiving meal. Oh, and I'm not with the person who's been the mainstay in my life for 11 years......tiny detail. BUT, I am going to share today with wonderful people who have opened their home to me and Eric. I am taking a broccoli casserole and candied yams, and I'm going to have some fun today, even if I'm not completely sober doing it!

In honor of Thanksgiving, I'm making a short list of things that make my life better, and for that, I'm thankful.

1. My family. Crazy as they are, they're my rock and solid foundation.
2. My mom. The older I get, the more I appreciate her, love her, and respect her for the choiced she has made in life, even when I didn't understand them.
3. Eric. He holds me when I need to cry over a man that isn't him, he makes me laugh so hard I need to cry, and he talks me down when I'm ready for a battle. Mostly, he makes me happy, and that's kind of a big deal.
4. Running. It keeps me sane, even when it's insane how much I do it. I love it, and I can't live without it.
5. My musical abilities. Singing makes me happy, and playing piano de stresses me. Not everyone can do what I do, and I'm so thankful to be one of the blessed people who can.
6. My students. When I'm having a crappy day, they lift my spirits. They make me laugh, and make me cry, and most of all, they make me proud to be a teacher and mentor. I share their successes and failures, and I give each one of them a small piece of my heart in the hopes that they carry it throughout their lives with joy!
7. My friends(both online and in person), as few and far between as they are. They help me see everyday that I am good, and that I have many things to offer many people in this world, some I never even dreamed of.
8. My cat. He loves me unconditionally(as long as there's fresh food in the bowl 2 times a day). he is my best friend and companion, and generally makes my life a happier place to live.
9, My car. It's not fancy or fast or new, but she's reliable and safe. And, she's PAID OFF.
10. My courage. I've made some choices this year that were gutwrenchingly hard. They took courage, and will take perserverance. No matter the mountains I have to climb, I will look back at my journey and realize that was all worth the struggles.

So, today, I will live my life as it is, love my life as it is, and eat until I'm green in the face!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ugh........the holidays

As I sit here making my shopping list for Thanksgiving( no, I haven't shopped yet), I'm trying to hold back all the tears that so badly want to get out. I've had a really, really, really hard year. While 2010 was better than 2009, I feel like I've been through a war. I have so much to be thankful for, but I also feel like I've got a giant hole gaping inside my chest that aches for what I've lost. My mom was telling me how much she wishes I was home to help her decorate her Xmas tree, and I can honestly say that I"m more homesick than I've ever been. I just want to be with my family this year for the holidays.

I'm missing elements of my life with Michael. And even though Eric adores me, he can't take away the hurt that I have to muddle my way through and he can't replace my best friend. I know that this hurt will get better with time, but right now, it feels like it's never going to get better.

I've come so far, and I've accomplished so many things. I'm so thankful that I can go out and run 6 miles everyday. I've decided to start studying to be a personal trainer, and that it'll help me with the next chapter of my life. Knowing those things are around the corner help me see past the immediate challenges.

Ok, enough bellyaching. I'll get through it. I always do.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I'm having a hard time coping with life as a single girl, especially with the holidays coming. The one year anniversary of my granfather's death was last weekend, my ex's birthday was last week, and Thanksgiving is next week. Plus, I've been sorting out all the Christmas decorations, deciding what to give the ex and what to keep. Even though I know it's been 6 months since I , every time I go back over there for something, I feel like my heart is getting ripped out of my chest. I miss my house, and my kitties, and I miss him. We were best friends for 11 years, and it's so hard for me to just have that disappear, seeing as how I don't really have that many friends.

My 30th birthday is coming in 3 weeks, and I'm in a little bit of crisis with it. Where I am right now is nowhere close to where I wanted to be when I set my plans out before me 10 years ago. Nothing on my list has been accomplished. Then again, there are some things that weren't on the list that got accomplished, like running marathons! Who knew? But I'm still struggling to get my life together. Every week I keep feeling like the floor is going to drop out from under me.

Just the thought of the holidays this year makes me want to curl up and die. Xmas was our favorite holiday, and we decorated for weeks! I love Xmas. But this year, I just don't know how much I'll be up for. On the up side, my parents are coming to visit me for my birthday, so my mom will probably help me decorate my tiny place. I have enough stuff to decorate 3 apartments for Xmas, so I may not get out any of "our" things, only the things that I've had since before we were together. Plus, my parents coming makes me have to put the finishing touches on my little house. Everything is pink and brown, so I have cute little shadow boxes that I painted to hang and I painted shelves pink/brown, and even screwed hooks into one so I could hang all my medals!

I think I'm settling into life ok, I'm just so emotional about little things. I guess these breaks are all steps up the divorce mountain. Things like deleting him from Facebook caused all out emotional mayhem, but after 6 months, I just don't need him checking up on me, and I don't need to be checking up on him. I'll get through all this. But some days, I cry while I run, because I just need to. I always feel better afterwards. Today might be one of those days.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Really Hard time

I think that yesterday may have been one of the hardest days I've ever had, except for the day I left my husband and the day I lost my granfather. Coincidentally, yesterday was the one year anniversary of my grandfather's death, so it was already going to be a hard day without the stuff that happened.

I have been dreading yesterday for a few weeks, and knew it would not be a good day in general. Then I found out that Eric would be at a middle school youth gathering as a leader all weekend, which meant I was to be alone. OK. I figured I'd deal with this by cleaning a lot, and going to a spin class yesterday morning. But before that, I checked my Facebook where some interesting photos of my ex and one of his ex girlfriends in an album entitles "Our vacation MSU Homecoming 2010". Awesome. Not only had he not paid my car insurance(which we had a deal on) for 2 months, letting it cancel and never bothering to tell me, but he spent 3 weeks of October travelling everywhere from Pittsburgh to San Francisco to our college town to celebrate homecoming with an ex..... Perfect! That pissed me off enough that I deleted him, and all his family members and friends. I guess I figured I don't wanna be with him, but I'm not so sure I'm ready to see him be with someone else, let alone an ex.

so I went spinning, and hard.... On my way home from spinning(which was amazing, by the way), the texted my ex to see if I could get some of the Xmas decorations to start seperating them and try to get one step closer to cutting the ties. This of course, turned out to be a fatally flawed plan, since he, of course, just had to jab me a couple times to make sure I'm still me. So, what was already a shitty day turned into a screaming match in his garage full of statements that have been coming for a long time but that I never figured I'd get the chance to say. And, because I'm a crier, I cried.......a lot. And he cried, which made me cry more. EFF!!! Why did I go there? And I get so tired of hearing from him how I'm so cold, and I put up such a wall. What he just doesn't get is that I'm shattered into a million tiny pieces on the inside and that, while I don't want to married to him anymore and don't really miss the marriage, I still miss him. I can't just flip a switch and turn off all the feelings i have after 11 years together. AAAHHH!

Once I made it out of there, I booked it home to pull myself together becasue I had made dinner plans with a friend and her family to celebrate a birthday. So I covered up my puffy eyes, and redid my makeup, fluffed my hair, and put on some nice clothes. It's really amazing what makeup can do for a face!! LOL. I managed to have a really great time with them last night, and really forgot about my internal pain for a couple hours. Of course, it all came back down on me once I got home and sat in my tiny apartment alone with the cat for a while.

If I've learned one thing about myself recently, it's that more and more I can throw myself wholly into my sport. Today I sprang out of bed, dug out my cold weather running gear, and hit the road for the easiest 10 miles I've ever run. My brain tuned out so severely that I barely remember running. I've learning that the harder my life gets, the easier my runs get because I can channel that pain or anger or frustration into my feet and make them fly. I'm learning that a really hard time can mean a really good, hard run.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Miami Beach Halloween Half Marathon Race Report

Sunday morning started very early! I stayed out kinda late Saturday night, and so when the alarm clock went off at 4:30AM, I wasn't so amused. I got up, got dressed in my bee costume, and sprinkled myself with tons of glitter. Because we weren't sure about how long the shuttles would take, we decided to drive to the start line. We realized too late that taking the shuttle was really the best thing to do, and will do that next year.

At the start line, I took in all the sights and sounds of a small race. Mostly, the costumes were a lot of fun to see. Much to my dismay, there were lots of bees, although mine was the cutest, if I do say so myself. The guy who ran with who ran in the stars and stripes thong definately got my shock and sympathy, since I know he was chaffing like crazy by the end of the race. The girl who forgot to cover her butt also got my attention, but only long enough for me to pass her.

While waiting for the gun, the skies opened up and poured rain for about 5 minutes raising the humidity from tolerable to suffocating. The first mile was across the causeway from Jungle Island into Miami Beach, and the chance to really look at the massive cruise ships docked was a lot of fun! Plus, looking at the people on the boats looking back at us was quite interesting. Miles 2 and 3 were along the waterfront marinas where all the huge private yachts are docked, and being that I love boats so much, it awesome to peak into the lives of rich people. I must say that the concrete sidewalks weren't my favorite.

I was wearing my Garmin, so I knew how many miles I clicked off, being that we didn't see a mile marker until mile 4. Miles 5 and 6 were along the beachside but still on concrete sidewalks, that wound through the big parks that offered a great view of the beach and a lovely breeze. Miles 7-11 were actually run along a narrow boardwalk that allowed no more than 4 people across to run, making if crowded and difficult to pass. The saving grace of the boardwalk was watching the winners and faster runners go by on their way back towards the finish and the chance to see some of the most iconic resorts on South Beach up close. On a side note, the guy running behind thong man looked like he was in misery having to run behind a full moon for 10 miles!

While my pace was staying really steady between 11:15-11:30, running along a wet wooden boardwalk really made my legs tired. I must say, I don't really remember much about the first 6 miles, so the boardwalk miles are really my first coherent memories, and they were fast miles. I really started passing people much smaller than me, who should've been in better shape, but who were actually struggling to keep going. At this point, I was clicking off miles at 11:15, which is quite speedy for me at 1/2 mary pace.

By the time mile 11 hit, we were off the boardwalk back onto the same concrete park paths we had run earlier. After running on soft wood for almost 5 miles, the concrete hit my legs hard and immediately started making me tired quickly. I juiced up on some extra blocks with an extra caffeine boost in them to try to encourage some energy. Mile 12 hit on a short stretch of street where the folks eating breakfast at sidewalk cafes were cheering us on. The worst part of the whole race was the small but mighty hill at 12.5 that led into Nikki Beach where the finish line was staged. We ran around the park, and I saw Eric waiting for me with the camera, and a fair amount of people cheering.

I had been keeping a close eye on my time, and knew that I was on pace to finish in under 2:30:00, and as I rounded the bend to the finish, I saw looked up at the clock to see that I would finish in 2:28 and something. So with a smile on my face, I managed to finish the Miami Beach halloween half mary in 2:28:43! I Pr'd by over 14 minutes since my last 1/2 mary in May. I've never finished a race feeling that good, or looking that cute!

The medal is super cute( and part of the reason I did it to begin with). The post race party was pretty good. I would have liked to hear some music or at least an announcer to call people across the finish line. There was plenty of water being handed out, along with free "Mix" protein shakes that are actually really tasty! The huge food tent posed a serious problem, because after running 13 miles, nobody wants to stand in line for 20 minutes to get tacos?! I went for the muffins, fruit and bagels, and let Eric eat the tacos. Another major gripe I have is that the bathroom's at the finish line were almost 1/4 mile away from the actual finish line and were not stocked well, so I had to ask some random guy to get TP from the men's bathroom. As it turns out, hundreds of people ended up getting off course in the first mile and running 13.5 miles instead of 13.1, however I wasn't one of those ppl.

All in all, it was a novelty race, and was pretty fun. I enjoyed running in my costume, and the chance to PR. I don't know if I'll do it again next year, but at least it was a good experience.