March Maddness

Well, time flies when you’re having fun…or when your favorite team has finally gotten their act together in the post-season and is making a run for the Championship. What?! I know, right?! That same team that I rolled my eyes at from my couch, that I yelled at from the bleachers in Rupp, that I thought might just end up in the NIT….they’re in the Championship game. The state of Kentucky is in, I believe, collective shock. How can our tournament run be summed up? Determination, Aaron Harrison, and a lot of luck. 

Basically my life has been revolving around watching games, running, and trying to get through the non-game days as quickly as possible. Probably not the best plan for life, but it is March. Er, well…it was. A week ago. 

Update on my running life – 
I’ve been running 2.5 – 3 miles 4x a week and I am working this week at getting my times down. On the treadmill I’ve gone up from 10:30/mi to 10 min, with shorter distance. Out of doors – I put in a 10:40 pace 3 mi on Saturday, and last weekend running with my friend Kelly we did 3.1 mi in just under 32. Several other runs have come and gone…including a morning run when I went out fully expecting that the rain had stopped, but was instead accosted with a mist and a somewhat fishy smell (what is that about anyway? Hello lake water). Which left me feeling like I was being fish-slapped for most of my run. Ack. 

Until we meet again – GO CATS!

Capitol Hill

the Rotunda

the Rotunda

Today I got to go to the Kentucky State Capitol Building in Frankfort, KY to support the United Way. The Girl Scouts where I work is a partner agency of the United Way and sent me to show our support of their programming and to ask the State House and Senate to continue funding CCAP. While that sounds a lot like lobbying, what it really meant was I got to talk with folks from various United Ways while munching on veggies.

Live United!

Live United!

UW picture

UW picture

It also meant that there was a lot of time just standing around, or for me – taking pictures. I haven’t been to the Capitol since my 8th grade field trip and I obviously didn’t appreciate the beauty. The building is stunning on the inside. So. Much. Marble. And frescoes, and statues, and the beautiful rotunda. Gorgeous. So, enough words here is my day in photos –

#CapitolSelfie

#CapitolSelfie

Abe in the Rotunda

Abe in the Rotunda

Current First Lady - Jane Beshear

Current First Lady – Jane Beshear

First (and Fifth) First Lady of Kentucky

First (and Fifth) First Lady of Kentucky

2014-03-12 12.18.37-1

"Reception Room"

“Reception Room”

 

Senate Floor

Senate Floor

On another note (if you’re still with me…if anyone is even seeing this) I also got in a little time at the gym. I did arms and abs. Is that weird? I wanted to focus just on abs, but somehow got off track. Ultimately I was just happy to make it to the gym, but I don’t know that I got too much accomplished. Win some, lose some. One other thing. My neck is sore, at the base just below my skull/where my spine starts (I think) could this be from running? Or am I just sleeping weird? Who am I supposed to ask these kinds of questions? 

Spring Training

Well, Kentucky got a nice look at spring today. The temperature peaked above 70 and my office window stayed open all afternoon to enjoy the warm breeze. Because I am a good Kentuckian I know that I must enjoy nice weather when it strikes, because you never know when you will see it again. I know that I will see warm weather again (Lord willing, and the creek don’t rise), but only after what I know will seem like another endless bought of frigid temperatures. Kentucky weather’s moto – “I do what I want…”

That said, I’ve taken three runs out of doors since Friday (no dreadmill, hallelujah!). The husband accompanied me on a 2.5 mile run Friday after work and another one yesterday. Confession – my GPS watched died before I even started running, so I’m not sure exactly how far yesterday’s run was. Today I took off, windows down, to West Sixth Brewing after work and ran their running club’s 3 mi loop and got “checked in.” One more club run and I get a t-shirt – boo yeah! Free stuff! My first 5K of 2014 is coming up on Saturday. I’m doing the Railrunner at RJ Corman (because I got a free entry…again, free stuff!) I am kicking off this running season with a 5K, but want to also run a 10K and a half marathon this year. Ok, a half may be a little ambitious, but a girl’s got to have goals.
Image

Busyness

I find my days pass away before I have time to notice they were even here at all.

I want my life to matter in some way. I want to be able to say ‘no matter how small’ but that isn’t what I want. Part of me wants fame, or at least acclaim. To be held up by my peers as a shinning beacon of hope to a sad, sick world. To be this generation’s Mother Theresa.

This isn’t how I want to feel. I want to feel that being a mother to some small (and eventually larger) children, rather than the globe, is making a difference. I want to be content with where my life is, to be content with who I am. Yet, contentment seems always just beyond my grasp. I feel it in fleeting moments that quickly slip through my fingers.

How do I balance my desire to “be” something, something that I can’t quite put a finger on, with my under-whelming lack of motivation to do anything after a day spent pushing paper? How do I find the motivation to make a difference, or even figure out what kind of difference I can make, when I can barely find the time, energy, and motivation to cook dinner after an early morning at the gym and a day at the office?

Sometimes it just feels good to push my questions out of my cluttered mind and into the void. So, thank you void…you are cheaper than therapy. 

Ramblings, Wandering, and Working Out

Well, it has been a busy weekend. Thursday night I finally talked the husband into going to the gym with me to make sure I wasn’t going to look like an idiot hurt myself lifting weights. I not only joined the gym because I am a whiny runner who hates running in the frigid arctic blasts, but I also wanted to get into weight training. I did about a month of P90X in the fall, and liked the results. I want to continue to build muscle, even though my focus is on running right now. Until Thursday I had just been watching the big buff guys use the weight machines while I ran, then tried to emulate what they did. I really needed some confidence, someone to just say – “you totally look like you know what you’re doing.” Cue the husband. While dolling out compliments is not his strong suit, having him watch my form helped in the confidence department. Check, and check.

Lovely ladies at Saul Good

Lovely ladies at Saul Good

Friday friends came up and spent the night. We had a girls’ night out at Saul Good, one of my favorite spots in Lexington, then came back to the house and scarfed down far too many Girl Scout cookies while we played games. The night was filled with good friends, good food, and lot and lots of laughter. A good laugh really does do the heart good. So, despite one cat-induced allergic reaction the night was a success. Followed by a girls’ day shopping. We took a little drive north to visit the always awe-inspiring IKEA, had a fabulous dinner at Bravo! and after a quick stop at the Gap Clearance store made our way back home.

Everybody loves Ikea

Everybody loves Ikea

After church, and a workout (got to work off those carbs!) on Sunday, the husband and I headed to Louisville. He has to be there this week for a conference, so we thought we would go up early and enjoy the city before it was time to start a new week. This plan sounded especially great on Thursday when we made it as we were enjoying the 65+ degree weather. Imagining a nice stroll through Riverfront Park. Really, it was a good plan. I even tried to stay positive when I checked the weather before heading west and saw that it was 46. That’s fine, I thought, no big deal…we will just wear coats. Wrong. When I left Lexington it was 46, when I got just west of Frankfort it started snowing…SNOWING, and all of a sudden my temperature gauge read 34.

Snow

Snow

The Muhammad Ali Center

The Muhammad Ali Center

 

Since the weather refused to cooperate we traded a stroll by the river for a quick walk to Dish for dinner and then spent the better part of the following two hours on a search for coffee along the “Louie Walk.” The “Louie Walk” as we discovered is a (mostly) indoor walkway connecting 4th Street Live to several hotels and convention centers and ends at the new KFC Yum! Center. However, apparently you cannot visit the Yum! Center at 8:30pm on a Sunday as the doors will most certainly be locked. Also, you will not find any open coffee shops. (Loservile…I had been holding that one in too long.)

Quills Coffee

Quills Coffee

2014-02-24 07.15.14

Louisville Sunrise

Louisville Sunrise

 

This morning I headed out of Loserville Louisville, but not before I picked up a cup of coffee at Quills on Baxter Ave. to keep my company for my drive back. After work I headed directly to the gym (did not pass go, did not collect $200) where I did a 20 minute run, followed by arm work, followed by a hydro massage. My gym has this machine that besides being sent from heaven, is like having a very powerful water hose sprayed at your back. Oh, and the water is warm and you can control where it massages you and at what pressure. Heaven.

Bring it on, Tuesday.

Long Weekend

I love a long weekend. Sadly, they never leave me ready to return to work. Is anyone ever “ready” to go back to work after any break? Probably…I am sure there are those people out there who really love what they do. They are the lucky ones. Finding a job I love, that brings purpose, that makes a difference. How do you know what that job is? Then, how do you find it? I guess if I knew the answer to those questions I would be looking forward to jumping out the bed in the morning and getting ready for the day. Hmppff

So, about the weekend. Friday night (aka – Valentine’s Day) was simple. Dinner and frozen yogurt (ps – if you haven’t had Red Mango, you are missing out). Saturday I got to spend time with friends and catch up on what is going on in their lives. Both of the ladies that I caught up with are prego and one has the cutest little 18 mo old. Saturday night the husband and I headed to the UK/Florida game. I am not saying I go to bed early, I do, but I’m not saying it. Anyway, the game didn’t start until 9pm. Seriously, UK…too late. (Even just saying that makes me feel old.) I don’t know when 9pm became too late to leave the house, actually, who am I joking…8pm is too late to leave the house. It is what it is.

The game was a lot of fun. The atmosphere in Rupp was electric. The AcoUstiKats kicked off the game with the National Anthem and also made a welcome reappearance at the half. The UK dance team preformed to a live performance of the AcoUstiKats singing “Timber.” It was marvelous. Just as marvelous as the first half of the game. Unfortunately, the second half was not quite so happy. The result was a Kentucky loss to a better, more veteran team.

AcoUstiKats with UK dance at the half

AcoUstiKats with UK dance at the half

In front of the College Game Day set

In front of the College Game Day set

Sunday we had breakfast with friends that we meet regularly. They have such busy schedules, but I really adore them so after some harassment asking nicely they now meet us most Sundays and I so enjoy our time with them. I would tell you who they are, but they are so wonderful that I want to keep them to myself. After a lovely breakfast, full of tea and pastries, we made a trip to Barbourville. The husband need to take a recliner to his dad, but we also had lunch with my parents and spent time with two super cute nephews and had dinner with the husband’s little sister. All in all a day full of wonderful people that I love.

Mr Chubby Cheeks

Mr Chubby Cheeks

Today was spent running errands, doing chores at the house that I’ve been putting off, and cooking. I forget that I really do enjoy cooking when I have plenty of time to do it. I actually like making dinner when it isn’t being done after a full day of work. So, tonight we had grass-fed beef sirloin with sautéed onions and mushrooms, a baked potato (sweet potato for me), and salad. I also made some stuffed mini bellas because I had some extra mushrooms. The husband said they were good, I generally hate mushrooms so I thought they were “icky,” but I’m glad he liked them.

Here’s to another week.

I was run-ning

I don’t think there is any better motivation for training than signing up for a race. Well, not for me anyway. Honestly, I don’t like races. Somehow running feels personal to me, like something I shouldn’t be doing in front of spectators, or other racers. When I hear runners say they get a boost when they are running and someone cheers for them, I just can’t join in the sentiment. When I’m running I try to pretend that people I pass don’t see me. Unless they are running in the opposite direction, then I give them the “runner wave/nod.” Maybe this discomfort is a lack of confidence. Maybe it is something else. I’m not really sure.

 

I find my lack of enjoyment for races somewhat confusing. I am competitive by nature, but not at all when it comes to running. It is a mystery, but when I’m running I don’t have that “go harder and catch that person in front of me” thought. Mainly I have a “don’t die!” mindset. Races aren’t about getting a great time, they are about survival. I am just trying to make it to the end without walking. Which brings up another point, somehow I feel that walking during a “race” is a cardinal sin to be avoided at all costs. (Costs include a lot of heavy breathing and occasional wheezing, in case you were wondering.)

freedom

freedom

My running seems to resonate more with Forrest as a kid, running from those jerk kids, than Forrest’s literal cross country stint. Oh, another main difference – I am slow. Like, really slow. Like if it was Jenny yelling “run, Sa-rah, run” I would’ve been prepping for a beat down by some pre-teen punks. I guess it doesn’t help that when I try to run faster my heart rate skyrockets. So much so that I grabbed the HRM on treadmill at the gym during my cool down and the thing shut down. It gave me a message that my “heart rate has exceeded maximum” and just stopped. Awesome.

And in summary – although I find myself completely ill-suited for running I somehow find it my most enjoyable cardio activity. Run on.

Powder

I would like to say that all of the winter olympics hype inspired me to hit the slopes, but in reality friends offered free day passes and I said, “heck yes!” Bonus – actual (fun) exercise out in this frigid weather!

The husband and I are enjoying watching the downhill skiing in amazement tonight. Something about watching folks ski after a good wipeout suddenly makes the stakes higher. Obviously also meaning that they are significantly more interesting. 

Image

We left Lexington bright and early this morning and drove through some light snow on the way to Perfect North (Lawrenceburg, IN). By the time we got checked in and got our gear the snow had picked up on the slopes. Beautiful. The last time I was at PN it was in the upper 40s and the only snow to be seen was on the runs. And only about 1/2 the runs were open at that. Today – wow. What a difference. Beautiful, beautiful snow everywhere. 

ImageCan we talk for just a second about how I was mentally planning a move to Lake Tahoe during my lifts? I can’t overstate how much more bearable I find winter (aka – the arctic cold) when surrounded by snow. Even with seriously reduced sunlight the falling snow makes me feel like I am living in a giant snow globe, which is a good thing. In case you were wondering. I’m not saying I would be overjoyed by a constant snowstorm, but I could be happy with an occasional one! So, until we make our move out to Utah, we will just have to appreciate this extra snowy winter season. 

Stay warm dear void,

Image

 

Image

 

Image