That Word

That word.

You know which one I’m talking about.

You probably hear or say it hundreds of times a week.

That word is my least favorite word in the American vernacular.

Worse than floppy.

More disgusting than moist.

Even more vomit inducing than pudding.

BUSY.

*chills*

If you’re like me, you have that conversation (mine’s usually at Whole Foods or running in the park) on a daily basis:

MeHey sexy gentleman who doesn’t have a brain cell to spare, that I haven’t seen in months (since I stopped returning your phone calls). How’s it going?

HimOh, the usual. Just busy. Busy with work.

I despise that conversation. In fact, in the past few years, I’ve made it a point to not use that term. Mostly because I believe that people prioritize what is important, and if you’re “too busy” to do something, it’s usually because that thing/person/event/plan is pretty stinkin’ low on your life’s totem pole. I get that it’s easier to say that word because it’s less taxing than explaining what you’ve actually been up to. But that word is just not authentic.

All of that was to say, is that I’ve been penciling -in marking things in sharpie on my calendar a little differently the past few weeks.

I sat at the hospital almost the entire day with a family member.                                Because it was important and essential.

Mexican food and guys night before the big move went ahead of a personal training sesh. Those friends are my heart and soul funny-bone.

Tailgating and watching football replaced my movers coming.                                    Moving could be pushed back and it’s not every day your team is the best in Texas.

A paltry two dates in two weeks.                                                                                 Karaoke with girlfriends trumps a lousy first date anyway.

The list could go on and on and on (which is probably how most of you feel when reading my silly little website).

There are more than enough hours in the day to go for a run or cross train. I’ve been choosing not to. Which will be interesting when I run the Houston Half this Sunday (I’ll be surprised if I even make it to mile 9 before the walking commences).

I’m making a concerted effort with my brother over the next 3 weeks (since I’m running the Dallas Marathon in a month, YIKES, 26.2!) to try and run/workout at least three times a week. Feel free to hold me accountable, interwebs.

Because let’s get real, I’m not too. . .that word.

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Thunder Thighs

On Monday night we had a meeting of the minds (or maybe it was a meeting of the feet) for the ambassadors of the Chevron Houston Marathon and the Aramco Half Marathon.

I was really pumped to meet the other people deemed worthy of representing my favorite race, in my favorite city in the entire world. After being seated and chomping on California Pizza Kitchen, we started chatting and getting to know each other a little better. They really picked a phenomenal cast of characters:

First up was Glauco, who I knew in passing from Brian O’Neil’s Running Club (which I’ve been going to for the past 3 years- it’s a running club with beer, what’s not to like?). He’s such a charming gentleman and a seasoned runner.  Post meeting he shared some hilarious race stories and gave me my new favorite phrase: “What doesn’t kill you makes for a great story.”

Then there was Shirin. Can you say gregarious and an absolute hoot? This gal is a super fit (her arms were incredible, so jealous!) and she was going running post meeting (that blew my mind). She’s running the Marine Marathon in a few weeks and I could tell that girlfriend means business.

To my left was Rebecca, in the middle of training for Ironman Texas. That’s 140.6 miles. REPEAT. 140.6 miles. Chew on that.

Next was Kelli, who runs six days a week (SIX!). And is working on qualifying for Boston. She’s also running the OKC marathon this weekend and then getting married. She was so laid back and calm, you would never have known her plate was so full.

Finally there was Heather, who I know through my favorite person to run races with (Trisha). I might know Heather a little better (we’ve run a ton of the same races together), except for she might be the fastest person I know IRL. So there is like zero possibility we would ever chat during a run. She is such a doll, and an incredible runner. I remember during the Lucky Trail Challenge (you run a half marathon on Saturday, celebrate St. Patty’s day and then run a full marathon on Sunday) a few years ago, we would see her whizzing past us since the trail was multiple loops. And she was at the finish line cheering for us as we finished what felt like hours later.  She’s also run the Comrades Marathon at least TWICE, which is easily the most badass thing I’ve ever heard.

It was a great brainstorming meeting and a true pleasure learning more about everyone. And Vicky with the Chevron Houston Marathon was so darling and patient with our incessant questioning. It was lovely as far as meetings go.

But I walked out of that meeting feeling like a lazy fat ass (at best). And horribly INADEQUATE.

I almost died when I did the half Ironman last year (like literally almost died). And if I run once a week, I consider it a productive week. My only goal when I start a race is “finish and don’t poop my pants“. Seriously.

I actually hung around after the meeting because I was deeply considering telling Vicky that I probably wasn’t a good person to represent the Chevron Houston Marathon. These people are athletes. And runners. And serious. And fit.

I’m just an uncoordinated and goofy blonde that likes medals and wearing tight running pants.

(And to be perfectly candid, flirting with hot shirtless guys at the beer tent)

I stayed up ALL night thinking and writing about how I felt (this is probably the 8th version of this post). And I finally came to this conclusion:

Not everyone that is running the Chevron Houston Marathon is a perfect athletic specimen.

There might even be some other non-runners who struggle to find time to train (because, really and truly going on a date is wayyyy more fun than running 17 miles alone).

And maybe, just maybe, there is at least one other person training for this race that is more proud that they ate 4 cupcakes after lunch and didn’t barf, than of their best 10k time.

And if that ONE person that could maybe relate does exist, then I’m going to keep plugging along both here and on the pavement. If my thunder thighs can make it 26.2 miles (no matter how long it takes), then so can yours. 

A walk down memory lane

When I was growing up, I had two parental figures in my life. My single and hard working mother, and my grandmother (from here on out I’ll call her by her real name, Gran-Gran).

Gran-Gran had a difficult job- dealing with a mouthy and stubborn little girl (me). She took me to endless ballet classes, swim meets, Nutcracker rehearsals, soccer games and would help me memorize pages and pages of dialogue for community theatre or enormous passages of the Bible for school. And I never heard her complain (although that doesn’t mean she didn’t send me to the backyard to find a switch to whip me when I talked back- which was often, no surprise there).

A fun little nugget about Gran-Gran: we call her the “sports savant” because to this day she can name any stat, player or score for the Cowboys, Mavs, and Rangers…from any year. If you talk during a Cowboys game, you are told to leave (needless to say, we don’t watch many Cowboys games together).

I am so fortunate to have built so many incredible memories with my Gran-Gran over the past 28 years and to have such a Godly woman to look up to.

Unfortunately, this past year, my darling Gran-Gran was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Wanting to always be positive and full of sunshine, I refused to believe it. When I’d call her, she would know all the scores, game times and heckle me about being a fan of the worst team in baseball. In my mind, nothing had changed.

As the year has progressed, I’ve seen some changes in Gran-Gran that make my heart (in all it’s cold, black glory) hurt.

She’s 88 years old, and with Parkinson’s, she can’t get around quite like she used to. So you can imagine my surprise, when my mom called to tell me that Gran-Gran was going to do the Dallas Alzheimer’s walk (being pushed in a wheelchair). I immediately signed up to support the woman who had supported me unconditionally for the past 28 years.

My marathon training this week was fully dedicated to Gran-Gran. All 2.5 miles of the Alzheimer’s walk. And in all honesty, it was the most rewarding 2.5 miles of my life.

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Enjoying my time with Gran-Gran after our “long run”.