Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First "Real" Post ...

First, I hope everyone had a happy Memorial Day weekend. I never got out to either cemetery to "visit" my grandparents like I had wanted (which is kind of obnoxious since the weather was so nice and family had called to let us know flags WERE posted at both grandfathers' graves). Actually, I haven't been out to Ft. Meigs since Gma and Gpa K's names were finally put on the headstone a couple months ago. I picked up the Christmas flowers that the stone guys left laying on the ground when they took the headstone in to be worked on and that was it. I guess it's ok since I have my little "memorial" in my room that I see every day. It isn't that I NEED to look at it to remember them, but it's nice to have all the pictures together right there by my bed. We think we found the rosary that Gma K ACTUALLY used when we were going through boxes for the garage sale, so I'm going to replace the one I already have hanging on the picture frame with it.

Second, Happy National Running Day! As much as I still dislike running, it's become my refuge from stress the past several months. I am so close to being done with Couch to 5K and thinking about the 5k at Wildwood in a couple weeks is finally starting to be exciting. It almost feels like the anticipation for the first regatta of the season all over again. With each day of the program, I'm getting more confident in my physical ability as a runner. I'm only up to running a half hour on the treadmill, at a slower but more consistent pace than what I run on the road, but I'm getting there. I don't know if I can RUN the whole 5k, but I know I can finish, and that's what matters to me. This will be my FIRST 5k. It's a starting point. I absolutely HATED running up until my mental state drove me to find a new stress reliever last year. I had said on my birthday last year that my 25th year would be my healthiest year yet but it took the stress of losing my last grandparent to push me over the edge and really doing something. It would be SO easy for me to mentally slip back to where I was in September, but running doesn't let me. Despite all the time I have to do nothing BUT think, I physically CAN'T think of where I used to be. The endorphins and my willpower won't let me. It's one of the few times that I BLESS my dad's family for directly handing down the stubborn-as-an-a$$ gene, as someone so cleverly put it years ago. If you know my dad's family, and lord help you if you were ever in a room with all of us at once, you can just look at the line and see it clear as day. Great-Grandma Brinkman. Grandpa Knapp. Dad. And me (well, Sean too). Seriously, I haven't even come close to blacking out since I started running regularly. Running has forced to take better care of myself all over and it's been a blessing. I'm (slowly but surely) losing weight and regaining muscle I haven't had in years ... or ever before! I don't think I cross-trained this well back in high school when I was rowing! :)

Like I said, I'm almost done with C25K (on the treadmill ... outside is a whole other demon). I was going to run a 4th W8 (28-minute run) on Monday since I wasn't able to do it the first time I tried (sick + dehydrated = SHOULD NOT HAVE RUN), but I had been running faster than I normally do (not much, just 4.4mph instead of 4.3mph) and felt great towards the end. When I got to what should have been the end of the run, I couldn't think of a good reason why I shouldn't just bust out those last 2 minutes to make it a 30-minute run and a W9. My playlist had been amazing the entire run and I felt super-focused, so I went for it. It was an amazing feeling afterward. Now, I just need to get in a W9 tonight (was going to get up early and do it before coming to campus, but my bed was too darn comfy) and Friday. Then, I'm outside rain or shine until the race on June 18th. I guess I should really get my registration turned in soon. Early registration ends on the 11th and there's no guarantee of a teeshirt after. I know, right? Me? Another tee shirt? Here we go again ... hahahahaha

I've been anticipating my need to run outside and off-road for some time now and decided I needed to buy trail running shoes. The shoes I run in now are great for treadmill and the road, but they would have no traction on a trail or (probably) gravel. The parental units decided they were going to take advantage of Kohl's Memorial Day sale and try to find new shoes for themselves (mom can't convince dad that tennis shoes don't last 10+ years) ... and Sean is always looking for a handout from them ... so I went along to see what was what. I ended up finding some adidas that I really loved at were $30 off the regular price (plus I had a 15% off ... and my Kohl's charge card) and great Nike compression stay-dry running socks. When I went to get in line to pay, mom took everything from me and told me to go away, that she was buying Sean new shoes so she might as well pay for mine too. I seriously love my mom. :)

I ended up buying True Blood, Season 3 for myself yesterday. I absolutely LOVE Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse/ Southern Vampire series and the way Alan Ball takes her stories and twists them for TB is just fascinating to me. It's like a whole new story on the backbone of the original books. I'm relegated to watching TB online (probably) illegally (Shhh. Don't tell.) in crappy quality when the new episodes are running, so it's nice to pick up the dvds and watch the season all over again. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd is one hott piece of booty either ... and boy do they show a LOT of his backside in this season. *picks tongue up off floor and forces mouth closed* Um, yea. hehehe.

The state of my grad school paperwork is yet to be seen. Last I heard, Karen had my GRAD assurances form but my Plan Of Study was still floating around somewhere. When I talked to her last Wednesday, she was still clearing spring graduation (on her own, dangit UT) and it was possible that it was just stuffed in her inbox and she hadn't seen it yet. I'm still confused how she could have one and not the other since they were given to the Asst. Dean's office worker at the same time. Ugh. She was on vacation from Thursday through yesterday so I'll try calling over there again tomorrow. David was down here in the lab for a little while this morning, I should have just asked him if HE had heard anything formt he grad school. It's stupid that they expect the student to push the papers UP through all the levels but if there's an issue, they shoot it back to the advisor and not the student. D'Oh! I went ahead and turned in my graduation application for this summer on Friday, so we'll see what happens. If everything is accepted over at grad school, all that stands between me and finishing up this stupid degree is an approved proposal, my "thesis", and my "defense". Woo Hoo. Ok, no more woo-hooing until the stupid things are done. lol

I'm the first person to admit to being a summer-baby (really, you should see some of the pictures of me as a kid. Bleach-blonde hair [naturally] and skin so dark you might have been able to pass me off as ... ok, stopping before I get myself into trouble), but this sudden heat wave is driving me bonkers. We went from nice and warm, to cold and rainy, and now back to hot-as-heck. Sheesh. I barely slept monday night because I just kept lying there and feeling the beads of sweat running over my body (even with 2 fans pointed in my direction) so I nearly died laughing when the first words out of my mom's mouth yesterday when she got home from work were "We're turning on the a/c wether your father likes it or not. I'm not sleeping in a pool of sweat again tonight." I'll admit that having the a/c did help a little bit, but my bedroom is just weird. It doesn't matter if the a/c or the furnace is on, my room is never even close to the same temperature as the rest of the house. The a/c can be blasting for several days and the rest of the house be at 65*, but you hit a wall of 75* right on the threshold of my room. It's bothered me since the day we moved into that house. Dad swears up down and sideways that it's because my register is the furthest away from the furnace/ a/c. Bull. Sean's is the same distance away and his outer-wall (that the vent runs along) has a tendency to freeze up during really cold winters (which mine never does and I'm on the unprotected NW corner of the house). His vent runs right along the water pipes for mom and dad's bathroom. Oh well. Just another reason for me to find a job and my own place (again) quick. I can always crash in the basement on the really bad nights. I already feel like I live down there some days, though not as much now that I have cable in my bedroom (*smirk*).

Alright, off to get some more work done before I head home to run. I like to at least already be well into my run by the time dad gets home from work. It's just easier to ignore everything going on upstairs when I already have my focus and my rhythm. :)

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