Sunday, January 23, 2011


So, you heard I'm moving, right? Right.

I've been trying to clean out and then pack only the things that I will definitely want to take with me to wherever I end up after a (hopefully short) stint at my parents' house. I've done pretty well and took a significant amount of clothes and shoes to Goodwill on Friday. I'm talking two huge trashbags full of clothes and probably 30 pairs of shoes and that is no exaggeration.

Really, cleaning out my closet has been the easy part. The hard part has been to determine what I want to go in to storage and what I want at my fingertips. I know that whatever is in storage I will be able to get to because it's not like I'm renting a storage unit in Orlando, but living somewhere else. The problem is that I can't imagine that my dad is going to be willing to stack boxes in there the way I'd like him to so that, on the off chance that I need something, I'll know exactly where it's located. No. He's going to pack everything as tightly as he can get it in there (probably leaving room to put any other stuff that's been sitting at his house in there so that it goes wherever I go next. I'm on to him.) and he's going to tell me to deal.

Then there's the painting. When I moved in, I was told that I could paint whatever I wanted in my apartment and all I'd have to do is paint one coat of primer over it before I left. I wanted to paint stripes, but my dad thought I was nuts and told me that if I wanted to do it, I was on my own. I held off for the first year, not knowing what might happen with my job (which was only an internship when I started), but as soon as I renewed my lease for a second year, I went straight to Home Depot and bought paint.

This is what I ended up with, which I have loved every time I've looked at it.

Initially, I wanted a much more neutralcolor on the un-striped walls. As I was painting, I kept thinking "I hate this color. This looks like macaroni and cheese!" But once the blue tape came off and the furniture was back in place, it wasn't so bad.

I'm having a really hard time getting in the mood to cover it all up. Not only did I put a lot of hard work in to get my walls like this (every line is perfectly straight - I used a level and measured every single stripe), but if I cover it all up, I'm really leaving. Clearly I'm still in denial, at least part of the time.

It's just strange to think about all the things that I've been through while I've lived here and to think about how much I've changed. This wasn't my very first apartment, but it's the one that I've lived in since just after graduating from college. I've done a lot of growing here and it's tough for me to be leaving it behind.

I guess that's what happens, though. I'm sure that there are bigger and better things for me ahead. This move in no way feels wrong. In fact, it feels more right than anything I've done in a long time. And I plan on painting stripes in my next place, so it's not like they're lost forever. They'll just be slightly different; I already have a plan.

I think what's also scary is that, for the first time, I'm taking this big leap of faith and I have absolutely no clue how it'll end up. Granted, I've got this safety net securely below, but I still have no idea what lies ahead. It's not exactly like I'm packing everything I have and moving to a strange city with the hopes of finding a job and being able to make it on my own. No, no. But the only "knowns" that I have are who my new roommates will be and how long I'll still be receiving a paycheck. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Preacher Cookies

First of all, I'm on some sort of blogging role. I don't know where it's coming from or how long it'll last, but I'm just going with it.

A couple of weeks ago I needed to make some sort of something to thank a member of my ward for teaching my class for me for the three weeks I wasn't able to around the holiday. I saw him my first Sunday back to church and made sure to let him know that I hadn't had time yet, but would make good on my promise. That week.

I'd been racking my brain for days trying to figure out what to make. These days you never can tell if someone has some sort of allergy that will kill them, so I was afraid of making something that could cause some sort of adverse reaction. What pressure!

Around the same time, a friend of mine mentioned that she had a Christmas present for and wanted to get together so she could give it to me. At first I thought "Oh crap! I only got Christmas presents for my immediate family, but we never really had that conversation. And it's stupid to go out and buy a Christmas present two weeks after Christmas. That's definitely cheating." Then it dawned on me. Preacher cookies! (For those who don't know... Chocolate. Peanut butter. Oatmeal. Enough said.) She loves them and, even though she has the recipe, loves them even more when I make them. (Everything tastes better when you didn't make it for yourself, you know.)

Two birds? One stone? Yes, please! Sort of.

I had one from that batch, just to make sure it wasn't poisonous, and gave them all away. But then it turns out that they were poison. Poison for my waistline! A week later I found myself jonesing for some Preacher Cookies! I tried to ignore it, but I couldn't and made another batch. Even while making them, I kept telling myself "I have no business making these things because I don't need them. I just ran a freaking half marathon! These are the very last thing that I need!"

I did take some to work, but for the most part, I've eaten almost the entire batch by myself. I've had at least four tonight alone. AFTER A THREE MILE RUN TODAY!!! Way to negate every step of that run, Jac. Way. To. Go. Jillian Michaels would probably tell me to throw the rest away. I mean, that seems logical, right? Just get rid of the temptation. But I can't. They're too tasty! I've never liked these little devils more. So my plan is to just finish them off, maybe even take some more to work tomorrow to speed up the process, and then get it together. My jeans and dresses and lungs during runs will thank me. Maybe even the scale will, too, but I'm not trying to be completely unrealistic.

P.S. If you don't have, but desperately need, the recipe, let me know. You will and won't thank me later.

Friday, January 14, 2011

What A Pain

When rumors were first going around that lay-offs were iminent in my office, I told my parents that I would be moving home if I didn't have a job. My mom seemed fine with it, maybe even secretly excited. My dad was a little more hesitant, but not because he doesn't want me there. I think. ;-) But then I survived the lay-offs and it was kind of a relief that I wouldn't have to do that. I was going to be able to continue on as normal (as normally as you can when 1/3 of your friends have just been let go) and keep calling Orlando my home. Then the bomb dropped that the office would be closing altogether and I was now out of a job and I was facing the reality of potentially moving home.

I may have said this before, but I'm going to say it again. Moving home messes with your head. Please don't misunderstand, I love my parents and I am so, so, so greatful that they are supportive of me and are allowing me to move back home until I find another job. But after being on your own for a long time, it's tough. I know that it isn't my fault that I'm in this situation, but I still wish it weren't happening. However, I do believe that things happen the way that they're supposed to and that everything will work itself out in due time.

Regardless, moving is not fun. I don't care what anyone says, even if they are crazy enough to say that it is. And this move is especially annoying simply because I'm moving back to my parents' house. My parents are not the annoying part; I love them and am kind of looking forward to being able to hang out with them all the time (probably more than they're looking forward to it!). But the annoying part about it is that I have to figure out what I'm going to need for the immediate future and what can go in to storage.

How long will I be living there? I have no idea. How long have I lived on my own? Over seven years consecutively, so I've got stuff. A lot of stuff. Well, not like a hoarder or anything, but enough. What's deceiving, though, is that I like things put away. So when I look around my apartment, I think "Oh, this isn't so bad." And then I open a cabinet that is (neatly) packed with... stuff. So far, I have two and half boxes packed and I have 17 days to be out. Eventually the pressure will move me to get myself in gear.

Aside from the packing, there's all the other things that have to be done in order to be completely moved out. I painted probably two-thirds of the wall space in my apartment. The good news is that I only have to put a coat of primer on the walls before I leave. The bad news is that the coat of primer has to be applied to the walls before I leave. It's not exactly an afternoon task. Then there's the change of address with the post office, with the actual people that send me mail, and on my license and closing my accounts with the power and cable companies. Part of me hopes that this move lasts more than a month just so that I don't have to go through this re-building phase two days after getting to my parents'!

There are some pros to moving there, though. I'll be saving money, which is the biggest one. My dad asking me "Did you run today?" will drive me a little crazy, but also keep me motivated. (Especially since, just tonight, I gave Kelsey a verbal, public agreement to run the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of October. What?!) I won't have to eat leftovers for a week straight after cooking. I won't have to hunt my parents down when they aren't home on Monday night to read Coley's e-mail. And the icing on the cake: I'll be sleeping in a pink room every. single. night.

I'm sure there are a lot more pros that I have yet to see, but will in the coming weeks and months. I am hoping that once I get settled, I'll actually get motivated to look for a new job. Right now, I'm just not, but I do feel like what's going on is what's right for the time being.

And I've got some training to do. 26.2 miles isn't going happen overnight!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Half Marathon Recap

The big day has come and gone and I'm still alive. Here's the whole story, along with some pictures, and hopefully it doesn't bore you to tears.

On Friday, we went to the expo to pick up our race packets. Since this was my first half marathon, I was glad that Russell and Kelsey had been through this before and were showing me the ropes. The process itself was pretty easy. We didn't have to wait too long in any of the lines, but there were tons of people there. It stands to reason, since I think there were like 50,000 people participating over the whole weekend. 50,000!!!

Kelsey and me with the booths in the background (field house at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex. Coley is going to be SO jealous when we finds out that I was in the field house.)

And here are Russell, Kelsey and I leaving the complex.

The rest of the day on Friday, we checked in to the hotel, relaxed a bit, went to Olive Garden for dinner and to pick up a few things that we'd need for the race the next morning. After all of that, we went back to the hotel and played some Cribbage and got all ready for our SUPER early wake up call.

Let me just pause and say that I could not have had a better time. It was so fun to spend time with Russell and Kelsey. We laughed and joked and it was just a really good time. Russell almost went face first in to the display of bananas at Publix, knocking over 100 boxes of Nilla Wafers. (For the record, I hate the name of those things, but love banana pudding with them in it.) Playing Cribbage is always fun, but it was especially fun to let Kelsey get a little taste of what Russell is like when I'm beating him (which is the majority of the time). I also really enjoyed getting to know Kelsey better. She has to be one of the most, if not the most, positive people that I've ever met. I could stand to learn a great deal from her.

Moving on! We got up at 3:00 on Saturday morning, though I think I woke up just about every hour during the short part of the night that I was supposed to be sleeping. I don't know if I was excited or nervous that I would over-sleep and make us late and not be able to run. Either way, it was almost a relief when we were to get up because I didn't have to worry about it anymore. Friday night, we went to Tropical Smoothie so that I could get my smoothie with energizer and I started drinking that as soon as I was out of the shower. I knew I would need it and by the time I was dressed, I was already raring to go.

Our plan was to leave the hotel by about 3:40 so that we could take a taxi to the start and not have to worry about figuring out how to drive ourselves there or parking. This picture caused us to leave about eight minutes later than planned and "Coach" Russell was not amused, but I just told him to zip it and he did and we went on with our day. Haha!

After walking over the river and through the woods, we eventually reached the tents where we were to check in and then head to the corrals. Getting to the tents, though, is a whole other story in itself for another day. The bottom line is that we made it on time and no one rolled an ankle or anything before we got there. So what if we walked an additional five miles prior to the actual race? Here we are just before the point of no return.

Part of me wishes that I'd taken my phone with me because there were several times where I would've liked to have taken pictures along the route. I would've liked to have taken a picture of the guy dressed up like Peter Pan who I never noticed while I was passing him, only when he would flit passed me every so often. I would've also loved to have gotten a picture of or with the lady who had to have been at least 70 years old. I found her during mile eight and thought "I can't believe she's doing this. I need to pass her!!!" There were also quite a few people who made me feel especially skinny. That's always good for a little boost of confidence.

I felt really good throughout the race. I did start to get hungry, though, and knew that eventually there would be a food station around mile seven. By the time I got there, I was so hungry that I would've eaten anything. I saw some people standing on the sidelines holding Twizzlers. I was confused and they didn't exactly look like official race volunteers, so I decided not to take any. Wouldn't it have been funny if they really weren't handing out candy to racers, but just holding it and I snatched one as I ran by?!

I think that I ran more than I walked, which was awesome. I know that I ran the first three plus miles without taking a walking break. That was amazing for me because I'd never run that far without some sort of walking mixed in. I think that the adrenaline was definitely pumping and I have to think all that energizer I drank prior to the race was helping, too. Here's a picture from when I saw Russell just before turning on to Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. This was during mile five, I'm pretty sure.

As I was getting closer to the end, I started to think about whether or not I'd get emotional when I finished. I decided that it didn't feel like that type of experience, so I was banking on no tears. Then, as I entered Epcot, I spotted my parents and they looked so excited to see me. I was excited to see them, too, since this was the first time I'd seen them during the entire race. They took a couple of pictures as quickly as they could, but I didn't want to stand around for a photo op, I just wanted to finish! As soon as I turned that little corner, I did get a little teary, but I never actually cried. I was just so thankful for their support and to see them. I needed that extra boost to get me through the last mile. I saw them again just before crossing the finish line, which was great.

In the end, I met my goal. I crossed the finish line on my own two feet and didn't even come close to being picked up and driven to the end for not being able to keep pace. In fact, I actually had a secret goal of finishing in under three hours and I'm happy to report that I met that goal, too. What's a little strange to me is that my official time on the website was 2:59:41, but I remember looking at the clock as I crossed the starting line and it was at 58 minutes and some odd seconds. Then, when I crossed the finish line, I knew that it was around 3:45 (3:44:56, according to the website). I may not be the best at math, but that would make my time somewhere around 2:47, give or take a few seconds. I think I like my time better, so I'm sticking with that one. Besides, both times are under three hours and it's not like I'm trying to qualify for the Boston or New York City marathons, so who really cares?

It took a little while for me to find anyone because I didn't have my phone and I didn't really know what I was supposed to do to find them, other than going to the "M" area like Kelsey and I talked about. After looking around for what felt like forever, I finally asked another spectator if I could use their cell phone to call my parents. I didn't want to move, but I also didn't know if they knew where to look for me. I wanted to stretch, but didn't want to be bent over or on the ground in case they were looking for me, too. Finally, Russell and Kelsey found me. Here are Kelsey and I, half marathon finishers!

My parents finally found us and everything, which was great. I'm sure my mom was a little disappointed that she was standing in the parking lot at Disney World, but didn't get to go all the way inside. I'll be sure to take her back soon, though. I'm disappointed because I don't think that I have a single picture with the two of them! Kelsey and Russell might have one (I hope! Please send it if you do!), but I am not positive. Two of my friends from work also got up before dawn to come out and support me. I wasn't sure if they were going to make it or not, but I was tickled to death when I saw them. Who gets up that early to go watch a bunch of crazies running?! These girls. And that's how you know who your real friends are.

The bottom line is that I am so happy that I did this. I will absolutely, without a doubt, run another half marathon. I will definitely do this one again and I will do a different one. I have already told my brother that he is completely capable of doing this and that we should run it together next time. He's down. Depending on my employment and living situation, I am planning on running a 15k in Jacksonville with a friend of mine in March. I want to keep running. I have never considered myself a running and don't think I'm quite there yet, but I want to get there. I want to set goals for the next race and continue to see myself improve and get stronger and to push myself to do things that today I don't necessarily see as possible.

Even now, all I can think is "Dude! I ran a half marathon!"

Friday, January 7, 2011

Going and Going and Going...

Two things I never do:

1. Share any substantial amount of information that I've written in my journal with anyone, especially the general public.
2. Put a link to my blog in a facebook status.

Tonight is like a total eclipse of the moon, not the heart, Bonnie Tyler-lover. (Apparently those are really, really rare. According to the google search results for "most rare eclipse.") I've had my blog address posted on my facebook info for pretty much the entire time I've had it, but I didn't advertise it. I figured that if someone found it on their own, they were welcome to read it, though I have nothing to hide.

This is, word for word, what I just finished writing in my journal. The entry isn't complete, but you wouldn't get the rest anyway.

"This is going to be all over the place for one reason and one reason alone. I went to
Tropical Smoothie for lunch today so that I could eat something reasonably healthy and tasty. They are doing weekly promotions with their suppliments. this week's happened to be adding the Energizer suppliment for free. I've never gotten one, but when offered a FREE trial, I thought "What the heck!" I really should've thought "What the heck? Heck NO." Anything that is said to fight fatigue and boost energy is a bad idea for me. At least when I won't be working out. I am STILL "cracked out" and it's been more than 10 hours since I started drinking the smoothie. I feel like I could run a full marathon right now with zero problems. I have no idea when or if I'll get to sleep tonight. A Blimey Limey smoothie plus Energizer makes me the freakin' Energizer Bunny. I am currently devising a plan to pick a smoothie up late tomorrow afternoon and store it in the refrigerator at the hotel overnight and drink it before the race Saturday morning. I think it would really help my running. I thought Russell was insane for wanting to drink Coke before a marathon because I thought the carbonation would completely mess up my stomach. Now, he may be on to something. Especially the way caffeine affects me. I'm going to see if the smoothie thing will be possible. If not, I'm going to open a coke tomorrow and let it get flat and drink some before the race Saturday morning. In fact, I think I have an open bottle in my fridge right now. I wonder if it's still good? I can't taste it right now, though. It'll send me back in to orbit and I'm trying to come down, though it's not going so well."

Many times while typing this all out, I thought "This is exactly why I don't share this crap with anyone and want to burn these dang journals before anyone besides me gets a chance to read them." And after reading all of this post, you should now know why the beginning of this post is the way it is.

One more thing I should try to never do again: willingly ingest the Energizer supplement from Tropical Smoothie. Or anywhere else for that matter.

I might regret this tomorrow, but tonight I'm too jacked up to care. :-D

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's So Close!

I cannot believe that in less than 48 hours, I will have completed the Disney Half Marathon. When I signed up for it, about three months ago, I thought the day would never get here. I kept telling myself that 12 weeks was an eternity away and that I had plenty of time to train. That notion has been proven wrong, but here we are anyway, ready or not.

What's even more interesting to me is that, back in April, I posted this and mentioned how I'd like to one day run a marathon. While I am not running a full marathon, as mentioned in the post, I at least made a step in the right direction. It's funny that eight months ago that was a pipe dream. I had no intentions of actually signing up and doing this, but here I am! Furthermore, I said in that post that I only wanted to do it one time and just to be able to say that I did it. Now, I'm thinking about the next one that I'd like to do. It's amazing to me how things (opinions, situations, goals, etc.) can change so quickly and so unexpectedly.

I've had a number of people ask me if I'm ready. The simple, most truthful answer to that question is "As ready as I'll ever be." Realistically, I haven't followed my training schedule as closely as I would've liked to. Work and life got in the way a bit, but I feel like I can at least finish the race, which is all I really set out to do. On the next one, I might set a time goal or something. I sort of have a time in my head that I'd like to beat, but I'm not going to hold myself to that since I have no idea what to expect.

I have enjoyed seeing my progress throughout the training process. My body hasn't changed in the ways that I was hoping that it would, but I've definitely seen changes. I kept telling my mom that the rib-cage to hip region was where I was looking for the most results (specifically: the muffin top), but some might kills for the quads and calves that I now have. (And by some I just mean one or two people.) I'm hoping that if I just keep running after Saturday that my midsection will catch up to my lower half. Way to be optimistic, right?!

Today and tomorrow, I will be mentally preparing. I really hope that I can sleep tomorrow night. Especially since we have to be at the starting line at 5:00 a.m. That means I have to get up way before I ever had to for Seminary. In most cases, having to be up at 3:00 in the morning would make me just stay up all night. Obviously, I can't do that in this situation. I'm also praying for no rain and cooler temperatures. The high in Orlando on Saturday is supposed to be 70, so I hope that's accurate and that it doesn't get up to 70 until later in the day. If it's in the mid-40's when we begin, I think it'll be perfect.

Did you, by chance, read what I just wrote? I just said mid-40's would be perfect. I am definitely off my rocker.

In case you're interested, here's a map of the run: