I did it all for the banana. And the Thanksgiving sides.

The night before, I got nervous.

The morning of, I got real nervous.

I think I went to the bathroom 11 times.

And then I was nervous about being nervous because nervous poops.

This is my life, y’all.

I wore my new running leggings. I congratulated myself for choosing the long-sleeve shirt because it was cold as hell. I got my free shirt. And my number.

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My friend Jennifer decided the night before to run the race as well, and she was giving me a pep talk. My cousin Anna – my running buddy – got there and we found our places in line. After one more bathroom trip.

I saw a few more friends lining up and silently cursed at/judged the people who were running before we had to run – you know, those people who will do the course before, just because, or will do a few laps around the parking lot to get warmed up. I was praying I’d just finish before the people with the strollers and the old man with the ski pole.

And then we started.

It felt good, at first. And I told myself I’d run as far as I could, then walk, and then run, and it was OK if I walked some, people do that in races.

I made it further than I thought I would before the cold outside air (this is where my training being indoors became an issue) literally took my breath away. I stopped to walk and told Anna to keep going.

“Save yourself!” I said. “I’m gonna screw up your time so badly.”

But she refused to leave. And I love her so much for that.

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I walked until I’d caught my breath. Then I ran again. And that’s how we did it – walk, run, walk, run, walk, run. My achilles was pulling, I was a full-on mouth breather and I needed Chapstick. I kept apologizing to Anna.

She assured me she did not care about her time, she was doing this with me, start to finish. On our walking breaks we looked at/smiled at/talked about all the dogs running with their owners.

She made note of our distance for me with a smile and kept me going. I saw one of my athletes halfway through and when he and his dad smiled at me and said “Hey Coach!” that was a boost of energy I needed then.

I tried not to look at the time on my Fitbit, reminding myself that this was the first one I’d done in years, the first one I’d actually “TRAINED” for, and any time would be acceptable, because I was doing it.

And when I saw the home stretch, I told myself, and then Anna, that I was going to run the rest of the way, even if I wanted to stop. So I did. Not far from the finish line I saw Jennifer, cheering me on and taking a picture (I was hoping I didn’t look like I felt – which was cold and a little achy). And I kept running through to the finish.

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My time was under an hour (which is really all I wanted for my first one). And I finished way ahead of the old man with the ski pole. And I immediately felt like crying because I’d actually done it. It didn’t look like I thought it would, but I’d done it.

I’d gotten 10,000 steps in for the day, done 3.1 miles, and was still going to make it home in time for the Dog Show. Oh, and all the food.

I could not have done it without Anna that day. She kept me going, never made me feel bad about stopping to walk, and was by my side from start to finish.

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I smiled like a goofball because I was so damn proud of myself. I’d set a goal and completed it. And I wasn’t lying on the side of the road in the fetal position (which I’d wanted to do last time I ran a 5K).

I got my banana, posed for some pictures, and smiled all the way back to my car. Later that morning, I looked up other 5Ks in the upcoming months.

2016 was the year I conquered Couch to 5K, and it changed everything.

2017 will be the year I am a RUNNER.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

I do not judge those people who fill the gym on the first few days of January. Yes, it’s harder to find a spot and you may have to wait a minute for the machine you want, but good on them for making a change. And I hope it’s a change that sticks. For all of them. Except that one girl who was on the leg press way too long the other day. Rude.

Y’all that was me not so long ago – me trying out the gym and doing my best to begin a habit that hopefully would last. I made a resolution and stuck/am sticking with it. Just did it early, because as my dad always says, early is on time, but on time is late. I know that doesn’t really apply here but it could. Use your imagination and vast knowledge of metaphors.

When you last heard from me, I was at the beginning of the Couch to 5K running program. I was terrified because I had started (and stopped it) about 6 times previously. However, this time, I had the added benefit of extra energy via finally being on the right medication dosage, so it got less and less daunting the farther I got.

And wouldn’t ya know it, I FINISHED THE DAMN THING.

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BOOYAH.

And I ran farther than I thought I could.

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And even got FASTER. Slightly. Some weeks.

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WHAT THE HELL??!?!

To insure I wouldn’t quit this time, a few weeks in I registered for a 5K. My awesome cousin (who had just completed her first half marathon) said she’d do it with me. And so did my best friend (until she fell off her deck and messed up her ankle, but she’s promised me we’ll do one together soon). So there was no backing down. I don’t like to waste money, I was now accountable to two other people, and I was actually (GASP) enjoying my three days a week running on the treadmill at Planet Fitness.

Aside: I realize it may have been more helpful for me (for the 5K anyway) to do my training outdoors. Here’s why I didn’t.

– My schedule didn’t allow for it before dark.

– Nobody that could run with me was on the same schedule so I would have been doing it alone.

– Lone joggers get kidnapped a lot.

– Lone joggers also find dead bodies a lot.

– At least half of my neighborhood is pretty sketch.

– I wanted to learn how to breathe while running first because that was my struggle the last 8 times.

And week by week, I ran farther. Sometimes faster. Sometimes I had to stop in the middle of it to go to the bathroom. Sometimes I was counting down the seconds until I was done. Sometimes I didn’t realize how long I’d been running until the voice prompt told me to stop.

Running, for me, is the ONLY time my brain is completely calm. I guess since my feet are racing my mind cannot. I felt really good. I also felt pain in parts of my body I did not realize could hurt so bad. Namely – my achilles and my IT bands.

There were a handful of days I felt like this as I stepped off the treadmill.

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Also this.

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And little by little, I conquered the program. I got more and more confident about how I’d do the day of the 5K – conveniently the morning of Thanksgiving because ALL THE FOOD.

But that’s a story for another time. Next time.

In case you’re curious as to how my dating life is going…

I had this metaphor in mind for how online dating was like Pokemon Go, but not in a good way, because you catch all of the crazies and you don’t want to and then I realized I may not understand Pokemon Go and it all fell apart. But I also don’t really understand dating these days either, so maybe it does work? #fullcircle #inception

I know what you’re thinking – L, you are SUCH a catch. How on EARTH are you not spoken for yet? And to that I say – I guess this screen on my Bumble account speaks to that.

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Dating is exhausting. Or at least, thinking about dating is. Movies and TV shows where you just run into each other at the grocery or something are bullshit. I go to the grocery on the reg and have yet to be hit on. Even on days I don’t wear my yoga pants.

I just looked and it’s been over a year since I’ve updated you on my dating life. I’ve been on a good amount (in my mind anyway) of dates in that time. So I haven’t given up ALL hope. But you guys.

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I made the mistake of staying on Tinder until earlier this summer. Because I guess I needed attention.

About this time last year, I met a guy, Jared, through there who was in town for the week from work from Pennsylvania and I figured we’d get a drink, why not.

A drink turned into much more – including him continuing to text me once he went back to Pennsylvania and making plans to meet up when I went up to see my cousins because he was only a couple hours away. OH. And he managed to finagle his way onto another work trip down here a couple months after we originally met. He picked me up from the airport when I got back to Louisville, yes there was distance but we were seeing what happened because we’d had such good chemistry and conversation and stuff.

Example text, and in case you want to know my flirting style:

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Until he went back to Pennsylvania after that second visit and CEASED EXISTING BASICALLY.

The fuck?!

Aside – Will we ever be past ghosting? I hate it. So much. It’s a common theme these days. Because why actually tell someone how you feel when you can just disappear? HA. Feelings.

If only that was the end, y’all. But it wasn’t.

Earlier this summer, he apparently needed to feel better about himself and his shittiness so he messaged me on Facebook and acknowledged that he was an asshole and what he did was wrong. And that he regretted it because he liked me and he fucked up.

To all of that I said… Yup. You’re right. He asked if he could text me again and I allowed it because I wanted to see how far he would take the apology and try and figure out why he even bothered. We talked for about a week before, to nobody’s surprise, he disappeared again. I wrote a strongly worded message in response to that one and then sent three middle finger emojis the next time I got drunk. Because I am a classy lady that way.

Then I had this exchange and was done.

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In the winter, I changed it up and tried Bumble – a novel concept in that it’s basically Tinder but the girl has to initiate the conversation. No problem. I’m a feminist. Within a few weeks, I’d re-met someone from my high school who I kind of knew back in the day and he asked me out after a few days of talking.

We had an awesome first date – one of the best I’ve had in a while. Great conversation, a lot in common, he was really smart and I liked making out with him. Here’s the catch – he was unemployed. And living at home. I get extenuating circumstances and stuff, but the way he made it sound, he’d gotten fired. And he had no idea what he wanted out of a new job, his future, anything really.

I’m not nitpicky, but you gotta have some direction.

We went out a couple more times – had a conversation about how he was a horrible texter/communicator which should have tipped me off – and then he decided he didn’t want anything more serious than a hookup. Which I had to get him tell me after much prodding because he again, didn’t have his shit together in any way, really.

I deleted the app. Then re-added it.

Got some shit like this…

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I’m all about flirting but I’m not gonna play a game with you. Especially when I’m not entirely sure that it’s not gonna end in an unwelcome and unrequested dick pic.

A couple months ago I went on a couple dates and was talking fairly seriously – and fairly long, actually – with a guy from Indiana. That right there goes against everything in me, because Indiana.

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Long story short since hopefully you’re seeing the theme here… all was good until it wasn’t. Meaning three dates in he suddenly “didn’t have time to date right now.” Which is funny cause he was on an alleged dating site trying to meet people. To date. Allegedly.

So. In conclusion. I have trust issues. And need a break. And am taking one. I’m not going looking. A relationship can come find me. Maybe in the grocery.

Like riding a bike

David Sedaris has this great story about getting a Fitbit and basically how his OCD is mainly what keeps pushing him to not only hit his step goal but blow it out of the water completely. Give it a read after you’re done with this.

I got a Fitbit last Christmas. I’d been having trouble with my motivation since getting back to the world of the employed and needed something to keep me accountable when it came to working out – in the summer I’d been fine because, well, summer, and I think knowing I could go any time of day I wanted made it easier. I fit everything else in around the gym, rather than the gym in around everything else.

I wore it a lot, at first. And then quickly realized how sedentary my life was.

And then we went to Denver and walked literally everywhere. Like, such as, up a mountain. And down and back up Red Rocks Amphitheater. NBD.

That was the first time I hit the recommended step goal for the day. 10,000. Hit it every day we were there. And felt super healthy.

And then I came home, took it off for a shower one day and promptly forgot about it for a few months.

WHOOPS.

I mentioned in one of my recent posts that the past several months have been weird because I’ve kinda plateaued on my depression and anxiety meds. The dosage I had been on for years was no longer cutting it, so we were movin’ on up – in addition to doing some other testing to make sure that all it was was those unbalanced brain chemicals and nothing else.

So. Update.

I had some blood tests, they all came back normal. I’m scheduled for a sleep study – because my sleeping has been all fucked up – sometime in December, I think.

I started my new medicine dosage about 3 weeks ago, and… you guys.

I put my Fitbit back on.. so there’s that.

And then I started, for the 1931049th time, Couch to 5K/attempting running three times a week. Because I actually want to. I want to go to the gym. I want to go take a walk instead of immediately crawl into bed after work. I want to go to the Walking Bridge during lunchtime…

Note about the title of this post – riding a bike after you haven’t in a while is not that easy. Ashley and I did it in London after many years of non-biking and we almost fell at least 5 times each. And accidentally trespassed at least 3 because we couldn’t get control of the things. So yeah, that’s what running/medicating feels like for me. You get back to it and it’s weird at first – you get some good stories out of it – and then it becomes alright again.

Running’s still hard AF for me, don’t get me wrong. Because boobs and breathing, basically. But I’m keeping at it. And signing up for a 5K ASAP – looking at one Thanksgiving Day morning, in fact. I’m looking at getting some new shoes because my current ones are old and my achilles hurts after wearing them a while on my runs.

Aside – that may not be from the shoe, it may be from a fall I had on Oaks Night because I was drunk in a maxi dress. But to be fair, I look hot in that maxi dress and have also tripped in it a number of times sober. I was on crutches and in a knee brace for a couple weeks after, and I think that may have a little to do with the pain too.

I’m about to hit 10,000 steps in a day for the first time since that Denver trip – and upping the medicine dosage – and while I won’t be necessarily going to the extremes Sedaris did, it and the running/gym visits have become slightly addicting so I think I’ll keep it up.

Wherein I was an angry elf for a lil bit

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There are a LOT of fun side effects to having anxiety and depression simultaneously.
1. That thing where your legs almost never stop moving when you’re sitting still – If this helped my running at all, I’d be at a marathon level right now instead of 5K.
2. All of the thoughts all of the time. They really ramp up right about midnight.
3. Feeling like you just want to sleep, but also feeling guilty about doing that because you could/should be doing something productive. And then worrying that you would be judged for just wanting to sleep and not get anything done.
4. Random, unexplainable agitation and ANGER.

The anger, man. My God. That came out of fucking nowhere. It’s a recent development, by the way, so that’s fun.

I guess it was about a month ago that it started? Literally no idea what set me off. But all of the sudden, I was mad. I was grumpy. All. The. Time.

And, let’s be honest, my face can’t really hide any emotion. So here I was, annoyed at just about everything everyone was saying or doing and completely unable to hide it. Also, completely unable to explain why I was getting so annoyed. So that’s fun.

Aside: Despite the fact that I have a serious life-long case of Resting Bitch Face, I am really not mad that often. Especially now that I don’t work in the newspaper business/for the devil incarnate anymore.

Thank God for regularly scheduled maintenance with the therapist that came up at just the right time. Sometimes I really understand Bill Murray in “What About Bob?” because I feel like if she was just on call constantly for me to run things by, I’d be so much better off.

And that, my friends, is why I am in therapy. Ha.

But for real – my appointment couldn’t have been timed better. I was damn near breaking point (though what that would have looked like, I honestly don’t know) when I went to see her.

Luckily, she understood what I was talking about (because duh, she always does) and assured me that I wasn’t going crazy(er). She said that sometimes this happens with this illness, because it’s fun and unpredictable like that. And also, since I’ve been on the medicine at the same dosage for about 6 or 7 years now, I’ve probably built up a tolerance, and it’s no longer working the way it should.

FUN!

She also asked some questions about if some certain things bothered me she knew were going on in my life and wouldn’t ya know it, they were! I hadn’t told anyone I was feeling that way about those situations (purposefully keeping it vague here to not hurt feelings) yet she read my damn mind and figured me out. That’s why I pay her the big bucks.

Anyway. The end result of that therapy session was the (probably due to placebo effect) feeling that I was already doing better. I wasn’t getting more crazy, I just needed the chemicals adjusted again. She made me promise to talk to my doctor about upping my dosage and we’d see where we were when I saw her next.

Not long after the appointment with her, I made one with my GP, who, as it turns out, is on double the amount of Prozac I am, so she totally got it. And she was worried about me.

When you go to your physician’s office requesting anti-depressant related things, they give you a mental health checklist of sorts.

It says things like:
“I have no interest in things that used to interest me.”
“I am tired a lot of the time.”
“I have trouble sleeping.”
“I can’t concentrate.”
“I feel angry/agitated/overwhelmed a lot of the time.”
And so on and so on.

You rank it 0 to 3 with 0 being “Not a problem” and 3 being “LITERALLY ALWAYS.” They aren’t really concerned if you stay at 9 or below. I got a 16.

So. Here’s where we are. I’ve been bumped up to a higher dosage of Prozac for a couple months. I’ve got labs scheduled to look at my blood and my chemicals and make sure depression is the only thing effing me up. I have a sleep study coming at some point in the near future and a plan to check back in with all my doctors after a little bit.

I do feel better having a plan, and I’ll let you know how it all works out.

And I already feel a lot less angry. I guess I just had to tell someone I was pissed. Who knew.

If only depression was that easy.

#tbt, a little early

I cannot believe it’s been a year. I cannot believe how much has changed in that year.

365 days ago, I walked away from a steady paycheck, health insurance and a chance to go to the Derby for free every year (ha), because none of those things were worth me staying in a job I hated.

363 days ago, I became partially employed at what is now my awesome, wonderful, fun full-time job.

You all have heard me talk about that day and that job and what it was doing to me psychologically. For those that haven’t – here’s the post I wrote not long after I left:  On hold.

Today, I went to lunch with five close girl friends, none of whom I would have met (possibly, who really knows though?) were it not for that job I hated. Only one of the six of us still works there, and even she’s a week away from leaving.

As we caught up on our lives and jobs and everything that’s happened since we previously got together, I just kind of sat there and took it all in.

I’ve been bitter about my previous job. Obviously. And, I believe, rightfully so, because of some of the things I went through. But it was never and will never be a total loss of those four years of my life. I got some of the best friends I could ever want from that place (partially because of shared trauma) and all of them are worth every bit of the shit I endured. I cannot imagine my life without them.

One year later. And where am I?

In a much better place. If you’d have told me on this day last year how good things would be a year away? I’d have been skeptical. Because I am was a pessimist.

Not anymore.

A lot can happen in a year. I can’t wait to see what’s to come in the next 365 days.

Wherein I learn a lot about history and once again consider my dreams of being in a musical

You guys.

I am going to go ahead and call for my own intervention. I can’t stop listening to Hamilton.

Trust me, I have tried. There were a few days where I listened to Lemonade on repeat just to remind myself there is other music out there. But it didn’t last.

I mean, look at this:

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That’s the first song of the musical. How could you not want more?

I blame my sisters. They were like, “Oh hey you should listen to this Hamilton musical. It’s all hip-hop and so good and stuff.” And now I have at least the first half (before intermission) memorized. Probably. Their fault. Just like the cheese incident of 2013.

This Buzzfeed article sums a lot of it up..

I bought the book Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote about putting the musical together and haven’t read it yet and it’s taking all kinds of willpower to not start it before I’m finished with the other one I’m reading right now.

Speaking of – I’m kind of in love with him now. I think I like every Tweet he writes..

But anyway, all of this musical theatre has reminded me of one of my kind-of-secret-but-not-really-secret dreams, which is to be in a musical.

We’ve grown up listening to or attending several musicals  – Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Cabaret, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jersey Boys, Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, Hairspray, Evita, Guys and Dolls, Newsies, Wicked…

I’ve always appreciated them from an audience perspective. But after a while I started wanting to be part of the show.

It started with the chorus. I wasn’t ready for the spotlight, but did want to be on the stage. I wanted to be part of the company in a show, any show.

It wasn’t until Les Mis that I really wanted to be front and center-ish. At first, I wanted to be Madame Thenardier, because the two of them had the most fun song in the whole show. Then I got into a little funk and wanted to be Eponine, because unrequited love and all that. And because ‘On My Own’ is maybe one of the best songs ever.

For Chicago, I started out wanting to be another girl in the jail because ‘Cell Block Tango,’ yo. Then Mama Morton. Because I wanted the best songs.

For Wicked, I would obviously be Elphaba. Because I can hit that damn note in Defying Gravity – mainly when I’m in my car alone, giving Broadway concerts to nobody.

I want to add here that these are singing company roles only because yo’ girl can’t dance. That’s part of why I quit dance when I was 9. (Also ‘cause softball was much cooler and more fun.)

So who do I want to be in Hamilton? Probably Angelica. She’s got some good songs, a good rap (and we know how good I am at rapping) and there’s that whole Eponine quality in the show – going back to my Broadway roots, if you will.

My life is so exciting…

Please help.

We’re worried about you, Justin Timberlake

Now that my sisters and I are older and all out of the house, it’s harder to get the whole fam-damily together for a vacation. Schedules are all over the place and Sami and Austin are in a different city now and Rachel and Chuckie were and it’s just…life.

The last time we were all together for a vacation was 2009. The first weekend we were gone, Michael Jackson died.

Fast-forward to a couple weeks ago. We all reunited in Denver, to visit Sami and Austin for four days.

And Prince died.

We are now afraid to go on another vacation because we have this unexplainable power. Our collective energies outside of Louisville, Kentucky are too strong and a major pop star pays the price.

I think we’re going to Gulf Shores next summer and I’m genuinely concerned that if we can all go, who is in danger.

Other than the passing of sweet, talented Prince, our four-and-a-half dayish jaunt to Denver was all kinds of awesome. We visited Boulder (Hippie HQ), Golden (The Cutest) and Red Rocks (I’m in love). And climbed a mountain and ate good food and had all kinds of fun together.

And did not smoke any weed despite landing in Denver on 4.20. #regrets

I compiled a list of quotes that you’ll see pop up here and there on the blog, so stay tuned.

For now though, let me show you our trip – it’s much easier (and prettier) to do through pictures.

Enjoy!