jianantonic: (Seahorse)
My grandmother would have been 100 years old next Wednesday. Before we sat down to our feast, we held up a picture of her as a young woman and sang "Happy Birthday" to her. It was really sweet.

Toby and I ran the Earlysville Turkey Trot this morning. I usually see at least a handful of people I know from high school, but I didn't recognize anyone there today, except for one old friend who actually lives along the course and was standing outside cheering on the runners with his daughters. I shouted a hello as I ran past, but that was it for reminiscing. The run felt pretty good in the cold weather, but the hills were a bitch, as always. Toby finished in 26 minutes. I was slower :)

Toby is fitting in beautifully with my family here. He's socializing on his own, without hanging by my side the whole time. Everyone likes him and he especially hit it off with Bruce and Greg. Casey brought his mandolin and we had a little jam session before eating. That was loads of fun, too.

All the baby cousins are 3 this year, and very cute.

Emily is 38 weeks pregnant now, and I'm very excited for the arrival of her little guy. I just hope he doesn't come until I'm back in the northwest so I can go be there when he makes his debut.

Tomorrow I'm going to Lexington to have a Marma Round Table with Kent, Allan, and Laura. I had sent Kent a bunch of questions about my grandmother, his mother, and he said he was looking forward to answering them, and wanted his kids to be a part of the discussion as well. I'm going to try to record it on my cell phone. I know it will be great to get these stories.

Things are good. Except for politics. But for a few days, I've thought much less about it.

Friendsgiving in PA was awesome, too -- and I was totally right about what I thought would happen...
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I just completed week 7 of the couch to 10K training program. On the one hand, I feel good. I'm getting through the training program on schedule without having to repeat any failed days (yet...), and I've improved my pace a lot. I'm running the fastest I've run since before my accident. I'm doing a combination of PT stretches, cardio routines, and this program, all at my doctor's recommendation. It's really hard work, and it is paying off. I ran 2.5 miles at a 10-minute pace.

So, yeah, that's awesome. I haven't run a 10-minute mile in over a year and a half. I'm improving.

But here's the thing: when I was a 50-pounds-overweight 24-year-old, running for the first time in my life, I STARTED at a 10-minute mile pace. I ran my first 5K when I was 28, having lost a lot of weight but never having been a runner. I don't remember my exact time...something like 32 minutes, I think? So, you know, basically a 10-minute mile. And that was with hills. Almost all of my training nowadays is on a treadmill set to no incline. I've worked hard to rehab my body since my accident almost two years ago, and I'm finally *almost* to the point where I can run as well as I did the very first time I ever ran a race? Ugh, how frustrating.

My lungs can do it. My heart can do it. My muscles can do it. I don't get sore like I used to -- I'd push myself on runs and my calves and quads and hamstrings would be sore for a day or two after. Now I don't get muscle soreness. My back hurts. My bones feel like they can't hold me up anymore. This fucking car accident.

Don't text and drive, friends. The kid who hit me was probably texting. He was on a long straightaway and veered right into me without even touching his brakes. He admitted he wasn't looking up. I'm lucky I was in good shape before this happened. My injuries are limited to "not being the athlete I once was," instead of death or paralysis. It could be a lot worse, sure, but it's changed my life in a big, shitty way. I'm doing what I can to get better. But the time and effort I have to put into it just to get back to where I was before I ever ran a race is unreal. I used to have a goal to run a marathon before I turned 40. Right now my goal is a fucking 10K. Just to run a complete 10K again in my life. I've run dozens of them before. I've run 2 half marathon races and a zillion more miles of training. And now the highest I can allow myself to hope for is to be able to do something, with pain, that used to be easy for me.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I have a self-imposed deadline to file my taxes today. I haven't started yet and I don't wanna. It's overwhelming and scary and I just want to go fetal. Knowing this was on my agenda for the day, I slept until almost noon. And then took another nap after lunch :/

Toby is over here now, though, and he is going to help me. He's still working right now, though, so I'm still procrastinating.

I downloaded a new "trainer" app that my doctor recommended. It asks you what your fitness goals and abilities are, and then it gives you workout suggestions. I did two HIIT workouts today. I think the fact that I told it I work out regularly already made it assume I'm more capable than I am, because holy fuck that shit was hard. Some of the items were not things I can do at all, so I modified them. At the end, you get to rate whether it was too easy, too hard, or just right, so I told it that it was too hard. We'll see what adjustments I get for my next recommendations. I think it's good, though. I know HIIT is a good thing to put into my routine...I just hate it so much. I suppose it'll get easier and I'll hate it a little less if I keep at it. We'll see...

C210K is going well...I'll do W2D3 today. So far the runs are not terribly challenging (no more than 90 seconds at a time), so I've been upping my speed. I doubt I'll be able to keep doing a 9-minute mile pace when I get into the longer blocks of running, but I imagine it'll help bring my speed up a bit, anyway. I know I have it in me to do better than the 12-minute miles I've been running since my accident a year and a half ago.

Last night I went with Ross to an art opening at a swingers' club. It was just an art show -- partying wasn't open until after we left. I've always been curious about this place. Dan always wanted me to go but it just intimidated the fuck out of me. Going for the art show was a pretty gentle introduction, and I'd definitely be willing to go back sometime in the future. Not sure how much I'd want to, uh, participate, but there is a dance floor and a bar, and the people I met last night were all quite disarming. So, yeah. Maybe something new for me to try one day.

I also went out on a couple of OKC dates this week. Not really dates so much as meetups with people I met on this dating site. Both guys were nice, and I can see being friends. Possibly more? But probably not. I'm just not feeling that interested in any more dating. I'm head over heels for Toby, McKenzie still has a big chunk of my heart, and most of my leftover emotional bandwidth goes to Ross, whom I really only see a couple times a month anyway. But for some reason last week I felt compelled to open a few of my more recent messages on OKC, and I felt like both of these guys offered conversations worth having (one opened with a story about scuba diving to see seahorses, the other told me he's ex-Mormon). Been talking to each fairly regularly and definitely like them both. Just don't really feel like I have room in my life for any more *partners* right now. I do like that I have the freedom to meet these people and that we're all on the same page, basically. They're in primary relationships, they understand I'm not really looking for anything, we're just meeting because it seems like we might enjoy spending time together. But not necessarily in a sexy way. And it feels normal. It's really nice to be able to let relationships happen as they may in my life, without feeling like I need to hide one person from another, or be dishonest in any way about it. And I feel like what I've got with Toby is really, really strong. So all that's good. There's just still a big pit of McKenzie sadness. And what I want for the future of that relationship doesn't really gel with what I want for the rest of my future, so I imagine it'll be a struggle to make peace for a long time yet. Right now I'm just experiencing the feelings as they are and not trying to force any changes. Learning how to accept what I can't control, appreciate my blessings, and do what I can to maximize the good. Sometimes even succeeding at it.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
The first day of 2016 was a pretty good one. I hosted a small mixture of old friends and new at my parents' house to ring in the new year. We partied hard -- Diet Dr. Pepper and board games ALL NIGHT LONG, yo. Well, until 1ish. I love that I can get together with these people once a year, maybe less frequently than that even, and when we're hanging out, it's just the same as always.

I'm still not really drinking alcohol. I had a small margarita at the Mexican restaurant last week with my brothers, but other than that I haven't felt tempted or like I'm missing out on much. I like getting a good buzz from time to time, but I think it was becoming too much of a regular habit for me, and it's probably one of the bigger conributing factors to my body dissatisfaction of the last couple of years. So I'm not taking a big stand and declaring myself alcohol-free or whatever, but it seems that this is a habit I am changing and I feel good about that change.

This morning after not enough sleep, I got up to meet Helen & Zach in Free Union for a 5K -- Helen's first ever :) It was really cold, but the course was beautiful, and it was one of the more enjoyable runs I've ever done. I felt pretty good, too. First mile was 11 minutes, next mile was 10ish, and the third may have been sub-10, but I don't think quite. I did kick it up for the last quarter mile and finish strong. Probably had some more in the tank at the end, but I'm doing a good job of pacing myself these days. It's not like I'm ever going to win one of these things, so I might as well run slowly enough that I don't want to quit and die in every run. I've been running for many years now and I still haven't found a way to enjoy it much, but swallowing my pride is a big step toward hating it less. And I'm actually considering signing up for another half marathon. I've done two before, and I hate the training so much...but it would be really good for me to get back into that kind of shape, and Toby says he'd run it with me...ergh...I'll probably find one to do this spring...

After the race, we met up with most of the same group from last night and had burritos at a new place in Crozet. Basically Chipotle but not Chipotle. It was yummy, and I've been enjoying some really incredible farts ever since. I was wiped out by the time I got home, though. I took a long, hot shower followed by a super long nap. I woke up long enough to have a small dinner, work some of the jigsaw puzzle downstairs, and talk to my parents for a few minutes before retiring to bed again. I love bed.

Kelly and I were planning an awesome road trip to get back home, but that's not going to pan out after all. The car we were going to take was hit by a semi a few days ago and totaled. Kelly and Dave were in the car at the time, but they are un-injured. It's a huge bummer to have to cancel the adventure, but I'm also kind of looking forward to getting back to Portland and having some time to relax and reacclimmate before shit gets busy again. I'm probably flying to Jacksonville in a few weeks for a wedding weekend, and I'm starting my trivia hosting gig and have a bunch of doctor appointments...extra time in Portland is a good thing.

Toby will get home from Scotland a few days after my return, and I'm anxious to see him, too. I've reached the point in my stay here in Virginia where every time my mother says my name, I cringe and brace myself. I love my family, but it's time to go home...

And finally, since it's January 1, here are some things I'm hoping to do this year:

I want to be better about recording my running mileage so I can have a good idea what the total is at the end of the year. For the past three weeks, I've been running 10+ miles every week. This will be week 4 in a row as long as I run 2 more miles before Monday :) The 10 miles a week thing is a good goal for me right now, but I want to increase it gradually.

I want to learn to cross stitch. I got some awesome patterns from subversivecrossstitch.com and I can't wait to try them out.

More yoga.

Round up some new clients, sell some more houses.

Be good to myself.

Doable, I think.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Second week in a row of 10+ miles running! I did a little more than a 4-mile run today at my old high school track. I realized during mile 3 or so that I actually have the endurance to do this for a while...it's just really fucking boring. I do listen to music that I like a lot, but I'm always so tempted to stop because it's time to return a text message or play another game on my phone or whatever. I should try podcasts. But what I've been doing lately is just doubling up my cardio -- run for a while, then do weights, then do a machine where my hands are free and I can play on my phone. I can do 3-4 BBO bridge tournaments in a typical elliptical workout, and I am able to zone out pretty well when I do that. I'm always really sweaty at the end, so I'm working hard, but I'm not thinking the whole time about how much it sucks.

I had a dream last night that I got on a scale and was 20 pounds lighter. Oh man, if only. I haven't weighed myself since a doctor's appointment before Thanksgiving, so I don't really know if my weight has changed much, but I'm definitely being healthier, so there's that. I've allowed sugar back into my diet, but I'm still taking it pretty sparingly these days. Cereal or cereal bars for breakfast that have a minimal amount, but really that's it. Well, tomorrow is my family Christmas party, and my uncle is an amazing dessert chef, so...I'll probably have a lot of sugar tomorrow :)

Anyway I feel good about myself. It's nice.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I am 32 years old (and a half, as of tomorrow), and for the first time in my life, I live alone. It'll be very brief as I have an airbnb person checking in today to stay for a month, but whatever, I'm the only permanent resident of my home. It's weird. It's liberating. It's sad. It's overdue.

I have feelings.

But right now I'm just sort of in awe of the space that I have. The closets? Mine. The bathrooms? Mine. Pantry, fridge, walls, garage, etc...this stuff is just mine, and I can rearrange it (or get rid of it) as I please. Wow.

Dan moved his things out while I was away this weekend for the Napa Valley Ragnar Relay. The race was an amazing experience for me. I signed up back in April or something, and I've been dreading it (but not preparing for it) ever since. The last couple of weeks, I put in extra time at the gym, but still not really running -- just extra minutes on the elliptical, a little more weightlifting, not skipping days. I had no idea how that would translate to running, but it was better than I'd hoped. I had 3 great runs and I'm really anxious to do it again. I may have finally discovered something of a runner's high. My team was great and I loved the experience and I have a lot more to say about it, but I'm still tired and have shit to do around my house before the airbnb person checks in, so I'll leave it at that for now. It was good.

I did pull a muscle, though. Not during the run, of course, but while I was taking my shoes off after my second leg. Guess what I pulled...you're not going to guess it. A kegel. I didn't even know that was fucking POSSIBLE, but the repeated twinges I get when I shift my weight tell me that it is very real. Dang. But I love a good story, so of course I consider this worth it. And my tail bone is a little worse for wear after the race, so basically my whole bottom area is a disaster zone. Moreso than usual.

A friend is on his way over to help me do some chores -- I wonder if he knows that's what he's coming over to do...but anyway I should get moving on those things.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Youguysyouguysyouguys! I finished my real estate coursework! I still have a few steps before I'm licensed -- there are end-of-course exams I have to pass, and I should study a bit before I try to take those, because some of that reading is not very fresh in my mind, but I did take one of them today and passed it (for the most recent subject material I covered). It only took about ten minutes to complete that exam, though, so I don't think that the rest of them will take up too much time. Then I need to schedule my final licensing exam, pass the mofo (you find out immediately), and proceed with my startup stuff like getting photos taken and launching a website and all that fun stuff. I'm so close! Finishing the coursework was huge for me, though. I've been stagnating for a long time, really close to the finish line but just not focused enough to fucking get it done. We talked a lot about that in therapy last night, discussed strategies to get the ball rolling again (and to stay on task), and whaddya know, I applied said strategies and was successful. Huzzah!

Therapy has been really good lately. I'm feeling a lot better about so many things, and both Z and I are much more relaxed in our coexistence than we have been in...ever. So that's good. Obviously there's a lot about it that's still really hard, but I feel like we're making the right kind of progress.

I've got an awesome long weekend ahead of me. We've got three different guests coming for various stays -- Jen Cote is coming up from NM tonight, and will be here through Tuesday. She was here about this time last year and I love her and we always have a blast together. Then tomorrow, Jen Chalfan is coming down from Seattle, probably bringing her daughter, and staying for the weekend. We're all signed up to run a 5K on Saturday, which happens to take place at a local amusement park, so that'll be a fun day. Then on Sunday, we have a new short-term renter moving in.

In preparation for all of this, we've been doing a lot of housework. That's something else I'm working on in therapy to try to be better at...not letting my laziness overcome me to the detriment of my living conditions. It's a struggle. But guests are good motivation.

I've also solidified most of my travel plans for the rest of the calendar year. I've all but given up on hitting the mileage requirement for Gold status again, but I'm well into Silver anyway. I was hoping to go someplace international, and I still might if the right fare pops up, but right now I'm just planning on sticking around here for the most part, and going to Providence for the duration of the NABC (after having Thanksgiving in Virginia with my folks). Because of my work schedule and the Thanksgiving holiday, I'm able to take two full weeks off and only having two days covered by my coworker, so even though I'm traveling for a long time, it's not a major burden on my office. That's nice. I still haven't worked out what I'll do for Christmas. I would say that going home over Thanksgiving is enough, really, but William and his family don't come down then -- only for Christmas. So if I want to see them, I need to go then. And of course I want to see them! So we'll see. All this stuff is time off work, money spent, etc. More likely to go to VA for a quick Xmas visit if I don't end up doing any more traveling the rest of the year, and it looks like that's how it'll go. I'd like to get down to Phoenix a time or two to visit with A and Katy, and my regular four-day weekends should make that a viable option. But I also want to dive into real estate up here, which means I probably should be around a lot.

Anyway, super excited to have some of my favorite people visiting for the weekend, and I look forward to hugs and talks and good workouts and girlfriend time.

<3
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I went for a run on my lunch break today to gauge how I felt compared to my 5am runs. I'm proud of myself for doing those early morning workouts, but they've been so hard, I've been really discouraged. I wanted to run at my "regular" time so I could figure out if I'm in a running slump or if I just haven't adjusted to the early mornings. I did 3 miles and the jury's still out...I was more fatigued than I expected to be, but ultimately got through the run without slowing down at all, so I guess I did somewhat better this time. Another factor is that the morning runs are with a group, and I spend a lot of time talking. Trying to talk definitely adds to the exertion. There's no doubt, though, that I'm far from my tip top running condition. Seems like a little from column A, a little from column B...

Last night at the gym, we did the brand new Body Pump workout. Holy shit. They've been trending toward more and more intensity over the past few releases, and this one is No Joke. I'm sore as fuck today. So that may also have had something to do with my lackadaisical run. But whatever, I'm kicking ass. Mostly my own, but that's the point.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I got up before 5 and ran three miles this morning. Then I came home and did my Day 15 stuff from this month's challenge. After my first set of pushups, I was crazy dizzy. That's probably not great. The dizziness came back with each set of pushups, but I gave myself time and got through the workout, then crashed back into bed for a few more hours of snoozing.

I haven't done any running except these super early ones in the past ten days, so I can't really know for sure how different it would be if I ran later, but I can say that these runs have been brutal. I don't think I should have any trouble completing a 3-mile run, but the three that I've done with this group at the 5:30 start time have all been incredibly taxing. I am eating beforehand, but maybe I'm just not giving myself enough time to get up and get going before I force myself to push really hard. I hope that's it, and it's not that I'm losing my endurance. In any case, I did it, and I'm glad I did. Maybe I'll go again on Thursday, but I'm thinking maybe that should be a day to run on my lunch break and see how that feels compared to these early runs I've been doing.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Woke up at 4ish to get my husband to the airport this morning. Before coming home and sinking back into bed, I met with Lorie's running group again at 5:30. Today was a slower pace group, mostly beginners, which was FINE with me! I came home, did Day 14 of my 30-day challenge workout, and then enjoyed a few more hours of sleep. My agenda for the day includes some more real estate schoolin', Body Pump this afternoon, and probably going to eat some Indian food in a little bit.

I had a really good weekend, for the most part. Lots of physical activity, time with friends, good noms, Book of Mormon...then couples counseling yesterday afternoon was REALLY hard. Things are still going well, and we're making the kind of progress we need to make, and all that's fine and dandy, really, but it was still a really hard session and I spent most of the rest of the day sobbing. I hadn't had a good cry in way too long, so maybe I was just due.

It sounds really cliche but it's true -- marriage is fucking HARD. I'm happy that I'm married to McKenzie, but we've got a lot of marriage cleanup to do. And I hate cleaning. Working on it, though. Making progress. It's worth it. Just lots of frustrating points along the way. Dealing with that frustration in a healthy way is also something of a challenge. But I'm getting better at it.

We looked at our calendar and picked McKenzie's next free weekend (September 20th) for his first 5K. Maybe first, last, and only, but I suspect he'll enjoy it more than he thinks, and I'm really looking forward to sharing it with him. If you want to join us, it's the Oktoberfest Fun Run at Oaks Park -- registration includes a ticket to the Oktoberfestivities after the race, and also it's at an amusement park. It's going to be super fun, and I'm looking forward to that.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I don't know if these 5am runs are sustainable for me, but I do feel good about having done it again today. I came straight to the office afterward, did Day 10 of this month's 30-day challenge, showered, and still got to my office about 40 minutes before anyone else will be here.

Today is my boss's birthday. It's either his 50th or 51st, but I think 50th? Not sure if he wants it to be a thing or not. But I'll get pastries for the office anyway. Just when I'm pacing myself so well with this WW stuff, someone puts a free cheese danish in front of me. Mmmm, yes please. (I may have already eaten all my bonus points for the week between the three times I've gone out for ice cream since Sunday...)
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Tomorrow I will wake up at 4:45am for another early morning run with Lorie. Because I am just fucking crazy, I guess. And this time I don't get to go back to bed -- I just get to shower and go to work. This will be the third day this week that my day starts well before dawn. It's not even really necessary, because I could run on my lunch break, but this way I go with a friend and I get it done early in the day. And I don't have to take a full lunch hour, which is good because I'm paid hourly. So I'm saving like three bucks by doing this. LOOK AT ME BEING RESPONSIBLE.

I went to Body Pump tonight. The teacher said she'd be out for the next three weeks for cancer treatment, then back in August, no big deal. Holy shit. I had no idea she had cancer. But anyway I hope her treatments go well and she's back when she expects to be because I really love her class. Someone will substitute while she's out, but she is my favorite teacher. Anyway it makes me feel like a wimp for being "too sleepy" to work out. So I'm getting up at motherfucking 5am tomorrow and running like a motherfucking champ.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
It's 6:26am, and I just got BACK in bed after getting up at 4:45, meeting some friends at Nike for a 5K run (actually, 3.14 miles running -- a pi run!, then like another 1/4 mile back to where I parked).

I'm super duper proud of myself for doing that, and I may have agreed to do it again on Thursday (when I won't have the luxury of returning to bed because job). But I won't say that it was fun...it was good for me...
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I had a fabulous and full weekend. I'm exhausted now, but not because of fatigue (yay!) -- it's because I did a whole bunch of awesome, active shit all weekend. Jen came down from Seattle, and we did very Portlandy things in beautiful Portland summer weather, and I spent a lot of time with Paul as well. Paul and Jen are good friends from college, and it just worked out for us to meet up both days, and it was lovely. I love Paul. I love Jen. I love all my friends. I was surrounded by good people all weekend. Other activities included a bridge lesson (Jen and me teaching Brian and Paul), game night with a huge group, 10K this morning, brunch with Lorie & David, games, ice cream, and more vegging with Paul.

The 10K was great! I was able to manipulate Jen into doing it with me, and I'm so glad she did. She's always been a runner, but due to persistent injury issues, she's taking it slow and doing the Couch to 5K program right now. She's right in the middle of that, which is the perfect time to insert a 10K race into the training, right? Heh. I agreed to do plenty of walking with her, because truth be told, I was in no condition to run 6.2 miles anyway. She was my excuse to take it a little easier than I otherwise would have let myself. We agreed to do the race in 4x1 increments, running approximately 4 minutes, then taking a 1-minute walk break, and repeating this pattern throughout. It was great! We don't know our official time yet, because it's still not posted (wtf?), but the clock was at 1:02 when we crossed. It was chip timed and we didn't start at the very beginning, so it's possible we broke the hour mark. I don't think quite...but still, an impressive time for me. My 10K PR is actually my split from the half marathon, like 55 minutes or so, but my best 10K race was 58 minutes and change. To come damn close to a PR after phoning in the training and then doing plenty of walking feels kind of amazing. Though there are rumors that the course was a little short. We're going to ignore those rumors.

Difficult things in life remain difficult, but the perspective and outlook keep improving. Improvements are outpacing my expectations, in fact. I feel good about things. ((Hugs)) to the world because I'm just feeling huggy right now -- but especially to anyone who wants them from me right now. :)
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I ran four miles on my lunch break today with Rigo and Amy. Amy is new here, and with her addition, all of the Little Women are represented in the office. We have a Jo, Amy, and I'm both Meg and Beth. Too bad there's no Laurie...

Anyway, the run was okay. My legs and lungs felt mostly fine, but my arms were sore as all hell. I've been going to Body Pump 2-3 times each week, and last night's class was very shoulder-intensive. Nice to know that I can pick up from basically no recent running and do four miles on a hot day. I'll do a few more longish runs between now and my 10K. I'm pretty sure I'm ready, or at least I will be.

I'm having a food cart dinner tonight with Marissa, then will come home and try to do some real estate studying and perhaps even laundry, if I'm feeling ambitious. Two days 'til I'm in Virginia! I love visiting, but it's been a long time since I've been this excited about a trip home. I can't wait to see all my nieces, and cousins -- first, second, and nth -- aunts and uncles, everyone. A great mass of Massies. In Massies Mill. Heh.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
It's been a really good few days. McKenzie and I are working hard on changing our perspectives so that we stop expecting negativity from the other. I'm honestly blown away by what an amazingly positive impact this attitude shift has had. I'm trying to be more conscious of when he's bidding for my attention, and vice versa, and we're just trying extra hard to engage each other. Not forcing it, but seizing opportunities. It's working beautifully so far. We had a really nice trip to Klamath Falls for the weekend. We listened to Jon Stewart's "America: The Book: The Audiobook" on the way down, and finished it just as we were pulling into our hotel.

We played two days of bridge and then drove home after the Swiss on Sunday. As is our grand tradition, we finished 2nd in the pair event. That's not just my tradition with Z -- I think I have more 2nd place finishes than any other results combined. Not a bad way to be, but I'd love to actually WIN more often. Oh well :)

I'm working the first half of this week so I can fly back to Virginia on Thursday for the big huge Massie reunion on the farm. I'm so unbelievably excited. Lucy is already in Charlottesville staying with my parents this week, so I've been checking in with them each day and talking to her a lot. You guys. My niece is so cool. I love that kid. I can't believe she's 10 years old. She's amazing. I can't wait to see her, and the other two nieces, and the hundreds of other relatives that will be at Pharsalia this weekend.

I was just going to pack a carryon, but I've just been informed that I will be returning to the PNW with the at-long-last-completed bridal shower/slightly-belated-first-anniversary quilt for Emily and Chris. I'm really psyched to see that finished product, too. Emily, when are we getting together for the quilt exchange? And by exchange, I mean I just give it to you; you don't have to give me a quilt in exchange. I know they don't have the fourth of July in Canadia, but maybe you can come down that weekend anyway and run a 10K with me.

Oh yeah. I signed up for a 10K. It's called the Red, White, and Blues Run, and it's at the Portland waterfront on 7/6. It's my first time doing a course that loops on itself -- it's a 5K course, and those that run the 10K just do it twice. I'm somewhat concerned that I'm going to hate this particular format -- I'll be mentally prepared to go around again, but there's still something really bummery about seeing a finish line and then having to run the opposite direction. Oh well. I've got nothing to prove. I'm just gonna run. Or walk. Whatever. I'm going 6.2 miles that morning, somehow :)

I'm doing a 5-mile practice run tomorrow with Rigo, since I haven't done more than 5K since my half marathon. I should probably make sure my legs are still up to it. I think probably they are...then I'm meeting Marissa after work for noms and walks in our beautiful city. Antidepressants are great and all, but nothing's better for my psyche than walking around Portland.

Two more days of work (and really challenging workouts!), then I'm off to the east coast. Life is still far from perfect, but I'm in a great fucking mood nonetheless. I hope it lasts awhile.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I'm still woefully behind on reading my friends list, and updating here about my own exciting times, but before I let life get too far away from me, I wanted to at least post some quick updates.

Two weekends ago, I went to St. Louis for the Shantytowne wedding of Bill and Tassy. It was lovely to see so many Shantyfolk, and I had a delightful time. I love the Shantyfolk -- being around them is like drinking a happiness elixir.

Last weekend, I ran a motherfucking half marathon. It was awesome. I finished in 2:14, which is a PR for me. I was not expecting to beat my Santa Cruz time, or even come close to it, but during the race, I just felt good enough to keep pushing the whole time. I feel awesome about my finish. Also last weekend, Christian Sedelmyer and Dave Goldenberg played a house concert at my house. That was fucking awesome. Z and I are going to go see them play another nearby show on Wednesday.

Today, I started a professional development course for real estate. I am signed up for the online pre-licensing courses, which are self-guided and required for licensing. The classes I'm doing this week (and later in June) are not required, but I chose to take them to help get a boost as I get started. It is a little intimidating, but also empowering. I know I'm going to do well. But it's going to be so much work omg. But, I'm going to rock.

So that's what's going on lately. I swear to Jeebus I'll get back to reading everyone else's posts as soon as I have a moment to breathe. With the race out of the way, I will have a lot more space in my brain and life as soon as I catch up on some sleep.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I painted my fingernails bright red and bright yellow yesterday. Every time I look at my hands, I think of fire trucks.

Things are going...okay? McKenzie and I are communicating pretty well, and things have been nice between us for the past few days. I know he got to talk to some people and unload some thoughts, and we've had a couple of counseling sessions now, and we're getting better at handling this shitstorm together. We like each other and love each other a lot; that's not in doubt. But can we be happy in our marriage? We don't know, and not knowing is hard and it sucks and this is the prevailing state of my mind lately. But I know I will be okay. I am okay now, mostly. Just really sad a lot, but not void of happiness, either. It's a weird time.

We leave for Italy on Monday, and we still don't have much in the way of a plan for when we get there. I had wanted to go to Pompeii, but it looks like that's not going to work out -- it's about an 8-hour drive from Milan, where we're landing, and lodging options where that's a reasonable day trip are more expensive. So the vague plan is "tour northern Italy." I'd love to cross over to Switzerland for a day if it's feasible, just to say I've stood between more different imaginary lines. But anyway if you have any suggestions for the general area of northern Italy, hit me. My main request is that I want to see ancient things. Oh I'd also like for my marriage to hold together at least through the vacation, because if it all implodes over there, that's going to be a super fun 16-hour plane ride home. Or however long it is.

I really think it'll be okay, though. Indications are that things are going better. McKenzie's even keeping a spreadsheet with formulas. The math says our marriage is improving. (I love my husband. I love that he keeps a spreadsheet of his feelings and mathematical formulas to indicate how we're doing.) We're both looking forward to the trip. I have therapy tonight with my therapist, then we have joint counseling tomorrow online, then Saturday and Sunday I have the best therapy ever -- nieces! So I'm going into this trip all therapied up, and I think we'll experience it in a healthy way. Our game plan is to just enjoy each other's company, and without brushing things under the rug, treat the trip like we are a happy couple in love and on vacation, and see if we can really work out what that feels like. This could be just an epic disaster, but I am optimistic. Even though things are questionable, we're being kind and respectful and loving, so there's no reason to expect we'd make each other miserable on this trip. And if it was a movie, this trip would totally be the climax where we discover our certainty in our relationship and everyone lives happily ever after -- Thanks, Italy!! That's totally how it's going to go down, right? Totally.

Anyway I'm running 5 miles with Rigo today at lunch. He went with me on my 5-miler last Thursday, too, and it was definitely one of my better runs. He let me dictate the pace (last time I ran with him we did 8-minute miles, and I was DEAD at the end). We finished our five miles in 46 minutes -- on my own I run slower than a 10-minute mile pace, so I guess there's something to this running buddy thing. I felt better than I usually do, too. Here's hoping the same goes for today's run. I have Indian food for lunch when I'm done, and a massage scheduled for tonight at 7. Heh, if you count massage as therapy, I have three therapy appointments in the next 24 hours. I might be addicted to therapy. I wonder if there's therapy for that.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I don't think this is insomnia as much as it is just what happens after you snooze all day. I really love days when I can do that.

I did have a 5-mile run on the training schedule today, so I pulled myself out of bed long enough to do that much. It sucked. It's cold and rainy and I was not feeling it at all, but I made it the whole five miles. I'm feeling a little bit crippled now, though. My feet always hurt so much after a run.

I volunteered at the DI regional tournament yesterday. It was so much fun to be back at a DI event. Those kids make me feel good about the world. I was an appraiser for the service learning challenge, which didn't exist when I was a student, or the last time I was a coach. It's a little different from the rest of the program, because the kids do a project in the community and then at the tournament, they just present about what they did, rather than performing/completing their challenge at the tournament, like all the others. It doesn't go super smoothly with the format -- they're supposed to present a skit, and doing something like that which summarizes their project and hits all the required points is somewhat choppy. All the teams did a great job, though, and I loved this challenge. I'm going to volunteer at the state tournament next month, too. I hope next year I can be even more involved. The program here is a lot smaller than it was in Virginia, and they're working hard on expanding it. We talked about me doing some of that outreach, but I never heard back from the director on that point...maybe next year. It's funny, though, at all the events I did attend, we'd do introductions and talk about our history with DI, and when I mentioned I was a DIVA alum, I got lots of oohs and aahs. Virginia is well-represented and well-respected in the worldwide program.

On Thursday, one of my coworkers set the office on fire. It was just a microwave fire, but the smoke was pretty intense, and it filled up the whole three-story building. One of our neighbors called 911, and two cop cars and two fire trucks showed up to respond. By the time they got there, all that was left was a smoky haze and a really bad smell -- the fire never took off. The whole situation was pretty hilarious, and we'll all get a lot of mileage out of this for ribbing purposes, but the smell still hadn't gotten any better by the time we left the office on Friday. At least, for once I know it's not my fault that the room smells terrible :)

Tomorrow I'm getting up early to take Z to the airport, then I imagine I'll nap most of the day to make up for staying up stupid late tonight...I should maybe try to go to sleep again. I've used up all the entertainment value of the internet already.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I'm finally starting to feel more human that sick, which is a good thing, because this week kicks off <dramatic music>HALF MARATHON TRAINING.</dramatic music>

I'm doing almost the exact same running schedule that I did last year, with short runs on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and my long run on Sunday. I'll see Ertan every Monday or Tuesday for a strength session, and I'll do at least one Body Pump class per week -- probably Monday and sometimes Wednesday or Saturday. I don't want to overload myself -- days off are important! -- but I also don't want to be weak in every category besides running, so I'm trying to focus more on the strength training this time around. I may shift some days around and do a short run on Tuesdays and then strength on Wednesdays -- that probably actually makes more sense. Can't do that this week, though, because I have a DI training meeting tomorrow during Pump class time. I'm going to be an appraiser at the regional tournament this year, and probably also the state level, if it's when I'm in town. I'm really excited :)

Anyway, I took most of last week off from the gym, because I very nearly fainted when I tried to get through a training session last Monday. Then this Monday, I went to Pump. I thought I'd lighten my weights since I hadn't been in a few weeks, but I actually felt okay doing my usual thing, so that was nice. The squats and lunges were the only part where I didn't feel good -- I didn't feel like I could drop as far as I normally do. Not sure if that's from having been ill or just being out of shape. Either way I'll build my way back to that.

Today I saw Ertan, and I was still sore from yesterday, but it went pretty well. My strength is back, and my endurance is okay, but holy shit, I got so winded doing the simplest thing -- jumps. He had me jump across the gym, squatting low with each landing. It was about 20 jumps per set. It was by far the hardest of all the things he asked me to do, and it was one of the only ones where I wasn't using any weight besides my own body. I was kind of embarrassed at how difficult it was for me. I kept having to take breathers mid-set. But I got through the workout and I feel well exercised now. Tomorrow I'm just running 3 miles, so it doesn't really matter that I'm sore. That doesn't affect my running too much, so it's all good. Maybe I'll run outside if the weather doesn't suck. Big maybe, though -- the weather has totally sucked for the last few days. We're getting east coast style rains, and it's cold, and I'm over it.

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