Thursday, May 31, 2012

Random things I'm thinking about!

I can't be bothered to make this hang together.  It's enough to use actual capital letters at the beginnings of my sentences today!  Without further ado:

1) This post is awesome.  I wondered about hostels a million years ago but never checked one out, and then later I figured there was a reason they're called "youth" hostels so I probably aged out.  Turns out, no!  Sweet!  This and her previous post totally made me want to try it, and gave me the courage to.  Sorry to all my friends who will quickly get sick of my obsessing about this new endeavor.  But really, travelling and not spending millions of dollars?! Who is not in???

2) OMG YUM. If I could go home right now and try this, I literally would. Thanks Melissa!

btw i totally don't know how to link pictures and give credit yet. 
feel free to email and let me know.  you guys get that this is from her post
that i just linked, yes?

3) Woooo I'm published! This is really quite cool.  I mean, obviously I'm published here, and the post in question amounts to little more than a routine email to my oldest friend, but damn if she didn't make it look cool! :) I still feel very new to the whole blogging endeavor, and it's totally fun to see that in print, especially as I think it makes me sound like a genius! 

You should probably subscribe to PetitePlanet while you're there marvelling, Beth has been hard at work doing something about our errant ways practically since before I knew blogs existed.  Taraandbethdecided you should too. ;)

4) PF Chang's is 10 years old in Phoenix?  Is there some reason I should want to run this the more than twice I've already done-?  I'm going to have to see a face-meltingly good medal or something...For a while I considered running the full here as a kind of bucket-list item, but I'm not at all sure I need to see more of these streets than I already do.  Novelty: kinda worn off.  But I'm listening, Competitor (as I always do, damn you); show me something good...

5) National running day? Mmmm, I don't know.  Methinks we have a "national day" for everything now.  Oh there's tshirts? (yeah i know that's bad grammar but i like it) Okay I'm in.  Altho those would be better if you got to write in your own bubble.

6) SAN DIEGO HERE WE COME!! It is t minus 1.75 hrs till the end of the workweek for me, and till I rush home and officially commence my trip to San Diego for the RnR half marathon this weekend.  Nevermind that we're not leaving until tomorrow morning, I'm going to count packing and laundry and excitedly texting Jaime and the rest of our travel party as part of the trip.  Why shouldn't I; the kids are figured out, arrangements are made, workouts have been completed...well not today yet but whatever.  BEACH!!

7) Not that it will mess up my trip or anything, but I bruised my heel on Tuesday, landing on a concrete corner that was serving as first base in a game with my son.  I mean, landing on it like bone-chipping landing on it, so much so that not only did I ice it afterward, but I also seriously considered calling the game.  And I hate calling the game.  I think I got this pain-tolerance thing and grit-it-out insanity from my mother, who is continually coming back from hikes and climbs with slashed this or bruised that...She once called me from the emergency room, very reluctantly, to ask if I could bring her a sweater bc she was cold -- while waiting to get twelve stitches in her face.  That's my mom. 
So, I didn't call the game but a saner person might have.  I don't feel anything rattling around in there so despite it being swollen and painful I ran on it successfully (if awkwardly) yesterday, and will just assume it's all going to be fine on Sunday.  A bone chip would rattle or something, right?  Maybe I'll call for a sweater.

8) This is officially the coolest wedding I have seen (pictures of).  Fire dance?!  Yes.  I hope one day to be this creative.

keep doing cool things, paula, so i can live vicariously through you
 Can you tell I spent all day reading blogs and checking my email?  Btw I deleted 1300 messages today, so I was totally productive.  *Where's my paycheck?!*


Pinterest is fun, but what I really love about it is collecting images that make me want to work out.  There is something about a motivational quote and people looking ripped that propels me into the gym like nothing else.  G and I saw The Avengers this weekend (thanks Abs, for making *such* a big deal out of it that I actually went to a theater), and while the movie wasn't outstanding, I wanted to drive straight to the nearest weight machine when it was over.  My pinterest board serves largely the same purpose for me.  If you don't have one yet you should totally give it a whirl, or try mine if you like.  (This site has a ton of great pictures I keep cribbing too)

10) is just a better number to end on, isn't it?  And so is this:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mind = Blown!!

nT says he first saw this trick in middle school or something, but I have made it well into my thirties without being exposed to it.  Therefore, I deem it MAGIC!

I am Abraham Lincoln and I am happy!
I am Abraham Lincoln but now I am sad.  And also have a huge forehead!

Are you fucking kidding me!  Awesome!  I seriously could not stop looking at this yesterday when he showed it to me; so much so that I didn't have time to write this post and had to do it today.  I was significantly more impressed than our kids even, proving that they are jaded and ungrateful.  When I was your age I was filled with wonder, ya little...Whatever.  This. Is. Awesome.

He says it used to be much trickier back when the faces were small on the bills.  See how much harder we had it?! *shakes fist*

If you have already seen this and are not impressed like me, then just...get off my lawn.  Whippersnapper.

We also made candles last night with the kids, once I was able to put down the bills.  This also, while not The Most Amazing Thing I've ever done, blew my mind a little bit too, because I remember watching them do it on Mr. Wizard and resolving to try it and then taking fourteen years to get around to it.  Sometimes being a grownup is awesome because you can do all the stuff you meant to when you were little and didn't have a car.  Or income.

So we made ice candles.  Have you done this?

Because I am a grownup and also a genius, I figured we could just melt some dollar store candles in dollar store cake pans on our stovetop.  If it fucked something up, I could just pay someone to fix it and not get yelled at by my mom!  Childhood: pwned!  (Also, Michaels: pwned, because I sourced candle-making supplies there at christmas, and it was so prohibitively expensive per candle that I junked the idea.  Maybe melting and reforming existing candles doesn't count as "making" anything, but my house my rules and I say it was awesome!)

please excuse the experimental color on the walls. 

So what you do is, grab some random containers and throw in a wick, surround it with ice, and dump some melted wax in there.  Done.  It turns out cool and takes seconds to do = my kind of craft.

On Mr. Wizard they used milk cartons and cut them away once the wax hardened. Cool.  But then you have to burn it on something and I didn't have any lying around.  So we picked up various glass vases at the dollar store and just made everything in there.  I also (remember: genius!) used taper candles in the center instead of wicks, bc they stand up on their own and were much easier to work with.  Woo!

Don't tell me this shit don't look cool!

It does.

So.  I apologize in not-quite-advance for talking about random kid-related things; I have nothing against mom-oriented blogs, I just don't want to write one.  Be that as it may, it is summertime and no matter how many times I tell them to get off my lawn, the kids keep coming back.  Something about "but we live here...".  Whatever.  So you might have to put up with some kid-activity-talk as I ramble on about how I spend my summer in between slipping out the back door for out-of-state races.  I'll try to keep it mind-blowingly awesome.  Like today.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Hi there Thursday.  What's up?

All I can say is, this has been an incredibly annoying day so far.  I mean, are any websites working today or just the ones I don't need for booking trips and finding info-?  Thankfully all my blog-friends' seem to be up and running, so I've had that to distract me.

This would probably be a good time to update my 365grateful photos.  That'll give me a little break from griping about all the things that haven't been gratitude-worthy today and also maybe sub in for the Thankful Things I don't have at the ready...

Monday, May 14  2012
I don't have to make my own bed.  For reasons I shall not disclose, lest it inspire consternation among those less fortunate among you.  All I will say is that sometimes I come home, and the bed is made, and I didn't have to do it, and those days are awesome.  There's something about a made bed that's so much more inviting than an unmade one.  Why is that?  An unmade one is easier to get into...Maybe having to work for it makes it better.  Which might be an argument for making it myself....but I say unto you: NO!

Tuesday, May 15  2012
This is the view from the treadmill at my gym.  It might not look like much (iron bars?! wtf?), but let me expound for a moment why this sight truly makes me feel grateful:  1) my gym only costs $2 to get into, and is pay-per-use, and is always completely empty.  It's like having a huge workout room in my house, except it's a block away and I have to say hi to the lady before I go in.  I love this gym.  That's actually like four things right there.  2) I can see water the whole time I'm running.  Water!! In the desert!  Just that color is a big ahhhhhh on my eyeballs.  3) running behind these three big panes of glass ensures I remain at a lovely 72*, with a nice breeze blowing, within reach of unlimited cold cold drinking water, while a mere twelve inches away it's hot enough to blister paint.  It looks super pleasant out there, but trust me *it is not*.  All it is is pleasant-looking-- which is why I love to take the view and leave the rest.  Nice!

Wednesday, May 16  2012
 How is this the first food picture I've added so far?  I guess it's good to know I'm grateful for a lot of things before foods...nevertheless.  Feast your eyes upon the best breakfast ever: the Low Carb Breakfast from D'Lish, which I'm not sure really lives up to its name but is so good that who cares.  Because I know you are most likely super deprived and don't have one of these close to you, you will need to make your own:  spring greens, hash brown patty, pepperjack cheese, two fried eggs, tomato, avocado and pesto. (They also use a balsamic vinagarette that I feel adds nothing so I skip it. Also when I need extra protein I make them add turkey.  YUM.)   You will not be sorry!

Thursday, May 17  2012
 I am sure I should have told you I'm running for Team Chances for Children AZ in the ING NYC MARATHON IN NOVEMBER.  I know this is a massive oversight.  Life moves too fast.  More later! I am super excited!  We had the team orientation meeting tonight and I got really motivated and also scared and also happy to meet a bunch of awesome people I can now really call My Team and also got this shirt which is mine.  YAY!

Friday, May 18  2012
I wonder if he minds that I post pictures of him-? I wonder if he minds I mostly post the ridiculous ones? He should probably not let me take them in the first place.  Grateful to have this ridiculous man in my life?  Yeah.  I sure am.  He is wiser than he looks.  (*not. hard.*  lol)

Saturday, May 19  2012
It might be obvious I took this picture while I was still driving.  On the freeway.  No one here works for dps, do you?  Yikes.  That's how psyched I was to see this temperature show up in my car in May, even if I had to get up at 4am to see it.  I had to capture the moment before it jumped to 75, then 89, then killmenow hot.  This was the first group run day for my Team Chances group, and if anything could convince me that 5am is a reasonable time to start running, it was this beautiful perfect day. 

Sunday, May 20  2012
 This is how I imagine the quintessential Sunday.  And by that I probably mean, the quintessential Sunday for couples without kids, bc almost none of my Sundays are like this.  Chillin at our favorite breakfast place, nowhere to be, to-do lists forgotten, the promise of a fresh bag of produce from the CSA resting on the table...not to be overlooked, jeans and a tank top = not too hot, not too cold (<- won't be a problem till december but i'm thankful anyway!).  nT looks deeply engrossed in his phone, but happily he is not working- just trying desperately to come up with a good enough word to beat me at WordFeud!  An unequivocally awesome morning. 

Monday, May 21  2012
 Bed, redux?  No, Bed: 2.0!  Today was the day I finally said "we're better than this, and we're not going to take it anymore!", and did something about the remote situation in the bedroom.  We have *five* remotes in the bedroom, and no we can't do without any of them, and yes they all do completely above-board things except for the magic-fingers-like function on the bed base...but with two people in the room they are constantly winding up on my side or his side or in the bed or on the floor or omgwtfwherethehellisitnowineedtoturnthelightsoffdammitall.  So I went to the store, bought a shelf, and installed it ingeniously right above our heads.  Yes, you can reach it while lying down without having to sit up; I checked before I put it up.  This. Is. Wunderbar.  I completely love it.

Tuesday, May 22  2012
Awesome print I picked up while buying the bed shelf.  I appreciated it a day later so it totally counts.  On the wall opposite my bedroom door, so I see it every morning now.  Much needed!

Wednesday, May 23  2012
Okay, I know I was previously grateful for the view off my treadmill, and I still am.  But figuring out how to wifi my ipad off my phone so I can watch netflix as I run has got to be the single greatest improvement to working out since the excuse to eat extra calories.  I love doing this.  I've watched so many episodes of Breaking Bad, which I love, and not had to feel guilty for watching tv in the middle of the day.  *I'm working out, yo!*  Plus it totally distracts me from the hours and hours I'm spending here, training for a marathon while refusing to fry outside.  Win/win! :) 

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Life in Pictures

Happy Mother's Day (yesterday) to all the moms and people with moms out there.  Hope it was a good one for you. For me, it was one of the most chill Mother's Days I've ever had; all I did was hang out mom!  I know this is a shocking concept, but for overscheduled me it was quite a departure from the usual routine- running around, flinging phone calls and texts, trying to make three different stops, please nineteen for those who I neglected to check in with (everyone), I'm sorry and hope you had a wonderful day even though I wasn't there.

These are my 365gratitude pictures for the last few days as well:

Thursday, May 10 2012
Passport: renewed!  Been waiting for this to show up in the mail... Awesome, can't wait to fill you with stamps!!

Friday, May 11 2012

Cooking day.  I like to try a bunch of recipes all at once so I tend to mega-shop, rampage-cook, and then super-purge whatever's gone bad after a week in the fridge.  Mostly I have great luck when I cook, probably due to an abiding and long-standing love of food...but my multitasking approach to cooking ensures that even when I turn out a flop, I still have something to show (eat) for my effort at the end of the day. :)  This particular day I kind of couldn't get over the awesome color palette I ended up with after my shop!

Saturday, May 12 2012
So, we have a giant great dane that is varying degrees of house trained depending on his mood and whether or not anyone is watching.  He stays outside most of the time so we don't have a ton of issues, but we also have a tricky door that he can push open if one of the kids doesn't lock it up just right...this night we came home and he had gotten in and done his kamikaze marking routine where he makes up for lost time by peeing on everything he possibly can before we get home and make him stop.  Last time TnT had a virtual meltdown bc there was so much to clean up and we swore Never Again.  So when it happened this time, I think we just clicked into crisis management mode to avoid freaking out, and before I knew what I was doing we had the kids armed with towels and sprays, and doing the whole thing family-style made it all totally bearable.  So I took a very blurry picture with pee-soaked rags.  Bc I'm grateful for how we pulled together; that the kids are old enough to really get it; for moments when we're all on the same page, even if it's a smelly gross one.

Sunday, May 13 2012
G picked out this bracelet for mother's day, he said because it represents eternity and also is a math symbol and I like math.  He was already the subject of my gratitude on day one, so I'll direct my gratitude toward his gift, and just feel awesome that my kid rocks.  And knows me well.  And is deep.  And also it's a pretty bracelet and looks cool on.  :)

Although there have been plenty of the usual prosaic low moments in my days since starting this, I'm glad I've been doing this project, bc keeping an eye out for these moments really turned some of these days around.  It really is work to feed the white dog when you're used to feeding his evil twin, and it's good work that I'm proud I'm doing.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thanks a lot, Thursday!

...okay, I'm going to back that up. 
So I ran across 365grateful the other day.  Have you seen it?  I think PetitePlanet sent it to me with the suggestion that we take on the project so as to exercise our happiness muscles a bit more effectively...anyway, I do love the idea of not only taking the time to be grateful for something each day, but memorializing it with a picture, so as of Monday I've climbed aboard.  I'm curious to see what story my photos will tell over the course of a year, and also whether it will make a difference to my overall mindset- which, if you've known me at all, you know is a little more blackdog than whitedog (yes, i'm adjectivizing these phrases into single words, i think it's going to catch on.).  I'm telling you so you can embark on your own photoessay if you want--a good use for those cell phone cameras we're all carrying around now--and also so I can create a little bubble of accountability for myself here.  Still trying to figure out where to fit a daily blog post into my life, but I'll post them in groups if need be.  (Note to self: try to only be grateful for non-risque things to avoid posting inappropriate pictures on the internets..)  These are the first three:
Monday, May 7 2012
Light of my life, obviously.  An obvious and easy first choice to kick off the project.
Tuesday, May 8 2012
We spent almost three years reading this entire series together, evenings before bed.  We just finished it the other day and I feel like it's the End of an Era.  Three years is a long time in the life of a small boy and his mother!  Naturally, he was pretty unfazed.  I tried to get a little video of his thoughts about it all coming to a close, but three seconds in it devolved into a fart-noise symphony so I'll spare you the post.  But I'm really grateful to have had something we both looked forward to so consistently...I remember picking up one of the books the first time around in Thailand before I knew he was floating around in there, and thinking "if I ever have kids I'm totally going to read this to them like it's nonfiction!"  And now, I have. (though I think he caught on to the fiction part :p)

Wednesday, May 9 2012
I totally did NOT feel like running yesterday, and even though the schedule said "Six Miles!" my obeisance bone was out of joint.  I finally dragged myself to the gym when I realized I could watch Breaking Bad even more effectively on the treadmill than on my bed...and then like 3/4 of the way through the episode this surprise storm blew in out of nowhere and I was like, why the F am I running inside when I could have been out there?!  Well, still.  It was awesome watching it through the window, and smelling it whenever the door opened, and driving home in it, and listening to it on the roof.  Thanks, storm, for thinking of me and coming to visit!
      (Also, bonus gratitude:  see that tiny shiny spot between those two trees?  That's a "lake" out behind my house.  Nevermind that it's more "" than lake, because it's barely deep enough for the ducks to swim on without scraping their toes and entirely lined with concrete-- it is an actual standing body of water and it's near my house and when you live on the sun the presence of any real live water feels like a major miracle.  Every time my eye pans across it I feel a little calmer, a tiny bit more able to cope with the searing brightness in my other eye, and 95% of people here don't have this luxury.  So, glorified drainage ditch, I am super grateful for you!  Thanks for cooling my eyeball every day!)

So.  There you have it, yet another new project for me.  I'm looking forward to it, but realizing I still have to fight the blackdog on my own ("*this* isn't picture worthy, not taking a picture of *that*, jeez it's 12:30 and I haven't taken a picture yet today harrumph" etc).  Anyway.  At least I'm throwing whitedog a bone once a day!  (...Just not my obeisance bone, I'll need it to get through marathon training!)

Update:  Just watched this video and it's making me want to do this.  I think it might be imprudent.  That is not helping.  But I'm seriously scared of those electrocution things!  I mean, seriously?!  Has anyone lived through this and wants to allay my fear?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pat's Run 2012

So, a couple weeks ago we all did Pat's Run, and I was too hot and then busy to tell you about it.

We were all kind of psyched, bc it's not a common distance so it made for an automatic pr (me), nT's whole company signed up for it (practically), and G did a report on Pat Tillman for a school thing this year.  Plus, it seemed like every time I mentioned the race to someone I found more and more people who were signed up.

So, I was looking forward to it.

This is how it looked on the other side of "forward".

I've never run with a group before (I guess I still haven't- more later), and everyone from nT's company was excited about running in ye olde logo shirts, so I set about making necessary modifications to mine.

As you can maybe tell, I wound up with sort of an 80s feel.  I went with it.

The vast majority of half marathons I've been to have been big-ticket items, so I figured I knew what to expect with the 44,000 I heard had signed up for Pat's Run...but it turns out, with the shorter race distance comes fans who are willing to park it and wait for their runners to finish, not to mention nine majillion kids waiting to start the kids' race (.42mi instead of 4.2, awwww it's cute).  What I am trying to convey here is, it was kind of crowded.

I am totally bothering him while he tries to buy train tickets.
In what I thought was a stroke of genius, nT and I drove down to a train stop and took the train in to ASU stadium.  In what was clearly not a stroke of genius, I did not forsee that five hundred other people also had this stroke of genius.  Again, what I'm getting at is, we missed the first two trains.  While I am in constant awe of the Japanese white-glove system of boarding and have gleefully dived into a few packed trains at Grand Central in my time, we couldn't imagine how to even mayonnaise our way into the train sandwiches we were presented with that morning; there was literally not one footprints' worth of standing space until the third train rolled up, a judiciously added "supplement" train provided by Rural Metro to appease the huge crowd of disgruntled runners. So we finally got on. Luckily we don't mind starting in some random corral, bc they had already started several by the time we got to the starting area.

Holy bazingas, any corral will do!
Ahh, we were young and happy.
So!  With the kids getting a ride down to meet us later and only 1/3 the usual distance to tackle, TnT figured we were in for a good run.  Together! And it was, so good.  That 43/100ths of a mile was really good.  In the 44th sliver of that first mile, we remembered why we never run together, and that is because it's virtually impossible.

I am a very slow runner.  Maybe even "jogger" is kind of a stretch; I'm what you might call a "slogger".  <-- HA that is extra funny bc it could be a contraction of "slow jogger", as well as the visually-onomatopaeic way I meant it.  Anyway.  nT has longer legs than I do (he tells me), weighs about 40lbs less, and is a man (which i angrily hold forth is the deciding factor, not the other two facts), which all adds up to mean running for him is quite a bit easier for him.  At least in short distances; I think we both agree that in the long run (HA again!) I hold up much better and recover a lot quicker.  Anyway.  We are not talking about a long race now, we are talking about a short one, one in which I followed nT's optimistic starting pace, went out too fast, and was already tired once I settled in to my happy pace.  And once I did, I wasn't happy, bc if we run together at my pace, we *still* aren't running together!

Bc he is WALKING.

I know I'm slow, and yes some part of me deep somewhere knows it's not a contest ((everything is!) (shut up!)), but I really lost the game mentally in that first mile feeling like I was giving it what I could and he was *walking* comfortably along beside me.  Not even like speedwalking, like that uncomfortable I-can't-really-run-but-it's-too-fast-to-walk walking, just strolling along beside me.  Yeah.  So, needless to say, I wasn't great company after I got all demoralized, and he stuck it out like a champ until the third mile.  At that point he said he'd "meet me at the bottom!" of a hill and I never saw him again.
Guess who else will not be waiting for you at the bottom!
Hey Mr. Speedypants, I know this was a thinly-veiled setup for doing your own thing, and I'm okay with it.  Also, you only picked up five minutes in those two miles, so you didn't outrun me by much!  I checked because I am not competitive!

Anyway.  I was off my game and the heat was the straw on my overly-laden emotional 'back'.  I did not have a good race.  But, I do now have a pr for this distance- albeit a crotchety 57-minute one.  Hey, it'll just be easy to beat later!  (<-- queen of setting the bar low)  The course was a pretty good one, taking advantage of our one hill here in Tempe, and crossing over the "lake" twice is always a good move.  I also got passed by a big military(esque-?) group all running and chanting in sync together, which was a cool experience.  I liked feeling their wave of energy as they went by, although I would like it even better if I could run fast enough to keep pace with them, at least for a little while.

So, once we got back and met up with the kids (fiasco! did i mention it was crowded!  clusterfuck!), we queued up to run the .42 with them.  Not that I needed another race at that point, however small; there was just no clear way to end up with them at the end other than to run with them.

They might be signing something to me.  I wouldn't know.

Again, it's not really "running with" when everyone leaves you in the dust.  Including the 7yo.
I'm going with a) he was fresh and I was tired, b) it was hot!, c) they were sprinting and d) I am not competitive!

Short story long, I'm glad we did it (great race shirts! autopr! I actually ran that week!) but don't think I'd go out for it again (too much crowd for a short race!  transportation clusterfuck! already have the shirt!).  We didn't have a chance to see anyone we knew in the gigantic crowd, and between coworkers and friends there must have been 75 people we knew there.  Out of like 45,000.  So I guess that's why we didn't see anyone.  but still, in a smaller race or longer distance it just seems easier to coordinate and catch each other; this race is like a plague of locusts descending on ASU, all rushing madly  hither and yon, and then magically evaporating 3 hours after the rush began.  But, it was a good excuse to ride the train.  I do love the train!

I also love that he makes this face.

Thoughts I Had While Running Today

1. Why is it so hot?!  I didn't get out quite as early as I meant to today, and omg if that hour didn't make a huge difference.  There is a perfectly good reason why I called this blog RunOnTheSun, but today it was in the 70s as I got ready to go out.  70s!  I guess it's that good ole heat island effect tho, or just my total intolerance for being too warm, bc I overheated in the first fifteen minutes.  There is something about the sun being out that just makes any temperature feel hotter, and I have to get the hang of what that is, and how to counteract it...or move!  83 by the ocean is nothing like 83 in Phoenix. 
And yes, I know I have a good 40 more degrees coming my way.  Just firing up the complaint machine!

2.  I have done this before, right??  I've lost a lot of ground since spraining my ankle in December.  It's not bothering me per se anymore, but I keep getting surprised by how hard a time I have once feet meet road!  I think, oh, I'll bang out 3 miles and then do other stuff--but then that three miles becomes a total project and I'm feeling like it's couch-to-5k all over again.  I'm going to try and reserve judgement as I get back into the swing of regular running, and assume all these little things are going to work themselves out the way they did before...but they better!

3.  OMG NYC is going to be soo long...  Almost every time I go out I calculate and recalculate, "if I ran the whole thing at this pace, it would take xxx to run that whole race!"  When I slow down and walk a stretch, I think "this is going to bring my imaginary overall marathon time down by xxx".  Ha I guess a hero dies a thousand deaths...and I'm running that marathon (badly) in my mind over and over again.  I guess the James isn't the only one having anxiety about what we just committed to! 

If you lived here you'd...probably be one of my neighbors.
4.  There are a lot of interesting things in my neighborhood I never knew about!  We're not the most neighborly of sorts (we blame it on our unsuitable neighbors, ofc), and I'm not too proficient at the smelling of roses- so we tend to head straight in and out of our neighborhood without bothering much about it.  But today I ran a totally circuitous route through a bunch of local streets I've never been down, and I saw cool shit.  Someone has a huge plastic bass for a mailbox.  One house has a totally overgrown front lawn, but it's overgrown with these giant flower stalks that look like a petunia had a one-night-stand with a sunflower.  I learned that 60% of my neighbors see a need to post their family names on placards by their front doors.  (Did I not get this memo in my welcome packet?  (HAAA if you could see this neighborhood you'd know why a "welcome packet" is totally hilarious around here! That was awesome. ) )  I've been in Phoenix so long there's nothing for it but to get to know the city in incredible detail--I am completely immune to getting lost now anywhere in the city--but turns out there is a lot of detail close by I'd left off my list.  Maybe I'll take a camera next time and show you.

5. It would be awesome to do something unexpected on these neighborhood runs.  Like leave a plant on someone's doorstep.  (Note:  November thru February only!)  Pick up some trash.  Leave a note.  I ran by someone's house who had a placard outside, saying he was a Korean war veteran; it occurred to me to leave a note in his mailbox just saying "thanks for your service".  I didn't have paper.  Maybe next time.  Just a little kamikaze goodness...maybe it would take my mind off how fast I'm (not) going.

6.  I need to rein my brain.  When I started this distance running venture those long (ha) three years ago, I had only one goal: get out there and do my time and only think happy thoughts.  I knew the road to my goals was going to be a long one, and that I'd only stay on it with a little bit of pixie dust; if I went at this with the usual grimness people allow about exercise, I'd be on my way back to the couch and jalapeno potato chips with my headphones still in.  So that was my rule- think about anything, but just make it good.  And once I made that connection, it made all the sense in the world...then I'd hear friends say, "ugh, I have to go to the gym today" or "I hate to exercise, it's so boring", and I'd cringe.  Why do you suppose you hate it?  Self-fulfilling prophecy much?  Who the hell's going to make it fun if you're bitching in your head the whole time! 

Okay, I guess this works but if Jillian turned her back for one second you know that girl would be out the door like a comic book character.

      So, that's served me pretty well through my little journey...but I'm having a different kind of experience now.  Now that I'm (a little) more experienced, I know just enough to raise all sorts of questions.  How do I get faster...How can I pr...Is my run harder today bc I ate something weird yesterday...Will I do better cutting out sugar or dairy...Do I need to have my gait analyzed/hire a trainer/just run more miles/cross train differentlyaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh...  So now, instead of slipping into a nice zen state and trusting it all to add up in the best possible way, I'm slipping into constant coach mode and analyzing every detail of every statistic.  This is not working better for me.  Must return to happy moments running.  How I'm going to do this, I'm not sure...but, don't they say admitting it is the first step?