As I’m in the bowels of finance and budgeting, let’s look at how much time I spend working on schoolwork. Approximately 3 hrs per day, 5 days a week. Substantially more on weekends, totalling about 10 hours, 15 if there’s a holiday from work. For fun, we’ll say 1 holiday per month. Where was I? Ok, 15 hrs per work week, add 10 equals 25 hours per week. I’m not good at this. 25 hours times 4 weeks per month is 100 hours. Now the holiday. If it’s a workweek holiday, then the difference is an additional 2 hours. I believe I’m at 102 hours +/- 2 hours. Right?

My point is there was a time, recently in fact, I couldn’t comprehend how many hours per week I spent training for a race. Big reveal. It could have been no more than 5 hours/week. Max. A whole 20 hours each month. It really puts it into perspective.

Also, I bought a new book I must make time to read. Along with the other 2 on the shelf. Probably should have waited to purchase it but I was overcome with joy at the new release section.

You know what was not overjoying? Finding out the professor uploaded the wrong spreadsheets, instructions, and information to complete an assignment. I spent the week begging other people to help me with creating some bar charts and pie graphs because I couldn’t get them to compute properly. Gee, wonder why. So I had 11 pages of useless words. Here’s hoping I can reuse the writing in a different assignment. But probably not because that’s how my luck works.

At least I’m not as dumb as I thought I was to be completely inept at Excel. This time it really wasn’t my fault.


I ask you –

How many hours do you spend doing discretionary things?

Read any good books lately?

On a scale of 1 to I-really-want-to-yell, how angry do you think I am? Answer: sometimes I add to the list of people I wish I could run over.

(The post Calculating first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Graphs and Grudges

By the time you read this, I’ll be neck deep in all things resiliency. Which is a much needed break from…nothing. It’s a break from nothing.

Considering I practically sold my soul last week in order to create a bar graph in excel. Then I traded a byline on my dissertation to two people to create every graph I’ll ever need. For being as smart as I am, I’m really dumb sometimes. I have to leave something to others. You’re welcome. Write thousands of words? Done! Not become catatonic analyzing a spreadsheet? So sorry, I’m not the girl for it.

further proof I’m a whackadoo; credit: momsbehavingbadly via Instagram

After watching YouTube videos, phoning a few friends, and emailing the professor, I finally realized one mistake I was making. By correcting it, suddenly the numbers at least made sense. The chart part was still elusive though. I’m still not convinced I did any of this assignment correctly.

On the bright side, I am one class closer to graduation. Last week, I finished my first class. Overall, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. A tad frustrated at my professor’s feedback, but I guess I can get over it. No one will remember my frustrations in a few years anyway.

Not even me. Maybe. I’m good at holding grudges.


I ask you –

Do you know how to create charts and graphs in Excel? Do you have time to teach me?

Exactly what is the best advice for the windshield conundrum?

Grudges: thoughts?

(The post Graphs and Grudges first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Let’s Catch Up

Running update: I haven’t been.

School update: it’s all I’ve been doing.

The end.

As what’s his name once (or all the time) said…And now the rest of the story. Paul Harvey!

I had female-centric surgery a few weeks ago and only now am officially cleared to return to full duty status. Honestly, I paused my training plan then and just haven’t turned it back on yet though the good doctor said it was possible to return to running as quickly as I felt comfortable. The problem is I wasn’t really comfortable. I still feel a little misled but I’m getting over it.

By the time I was ready to restart, I was neck-deep in two classes and not sleeping or eating well. At all. Stress is funny like that. It has a way of keeping you humble. Then there were the hormones. My God, I don’t remember crying so much. Ugh. I’m not sure if I have it together yet but I’m trying. Unfortunately, what I really don’t have is extra time to get my head back in the game and run. The desire is there; the time, not so much. I’m lying. The desire isn’t there much either. I consider going for a run then the writing bug bites me again and I start typing instead. Which is probably a good thing at this point.

But, Kel, you said people make time for what’s important to them. And I truly believe it! But that’s literally the problem – I don’t have time right now! My priority list basically includes sleep and not much else. I have a brand new book (or 2) I haven’t yet found time to read.

Maybe at Christmas. Maybe not. At this moment, I can’t remember if I have a week off at Christmas. Don’t ask about the Spring semester. We’ll be lucky to see the light of day.

We. Me and my other personality.


I ask you –

When everything flies out the window, what do you prioritize?

Do you remember Paul Harvey?

Tell me a good book to read!

(The post Let’s Catch Up first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Anatomy of Paper Writing

As this week has been the most stressful thus far, I’m offering some insight into the reasons why I don’t answer my phone, text back in a timely manner, attend social events, or do anything else really. Besides the fact I’m lazy. Here’s a typical day in the life of a doctoral student. Or maybe it’s just me.

4:02am – Coffee

4:06am – Open approximately 23 tabs of research articles and 1 word doc

4:10am – Try to figure out what I’m doing with my life

4:13am – Start typing

4:45am – Panic because I’ve forgotten where I was going with the million words crossing my mind

4:46am – Re-read everything previously written the past 32 mins

5:01am – Silence the alarm for the time I used to wake up before I decided to go back to school

5:02am – Panic again because the realization has set in I only have 58 more mins to type before I have to wake up mini

5:18am – Close one word doc and open another because I’m an idiot with overlapping classes

5:31am – Silence the alarm for the time I used to get up, back when mini didn’t go to school and I had a conscious thought process

5:42am – Check the due dates and put my head on the desk

5:43am – Sigh loudly, drink the coffee that’s now gone cold, and rethink my life choices

5:45am – Frantically type 250 more words in order to feel good about the perception I’ve done absolutely nothing the past 2 hours

6:00am – Contemplate requesting leave for the next 3 years until school is done

P.S. something terrible happened this past weekend and a file I had been working on went corrupt…kaput…a big middle finger to hours of work. No recovery software could save it. Alas, I cried. A lot. No one warned me I would be so emotional.


I ask you –

Sorry. I have no questions. I’m typing this at an indecent hour because I totally forgot I hadn’t edited anything for the blog this week and I would feel bad for letting my readers down if I didn’t at least try to post something. So here it is. Something. You’re welcome.

(The post Anatomy of Paper Writing first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

My Face When…

this is my face when…

When you’ve been writing for 4 hours and only have 2 pages. I need 6 pgs minimum.

When a doctoral candidate writes (paraphrased) “people who are emotionally weaker have a tendency to be depressed”. Wow. This statement is fantastically false and hurtful. Idiot.

When one of the assigned readings is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (not really, one of the authors is named Hyde so that’s what I call this book) and it mentions the U.S.S.R. – which I should be careful in even typing because we know how that turned out for me last time. It struck me as weird because it’s a very outdated title. Turns out it was written in 1959. Now it all makes sense.

When I drop off mini at school and can’t find my ID to access work. My sweet coworker (Ms. P, remember) happily informs me it’s at my computer. At work. Which I can’t get to without said ID. In nearly 10 years, I have never left my ID in any place other than intended. Thankfully I had other methods to get to work. But still. Now I have to start over on my record.

When mini wants to discuss the merits and nuances of “running sticks”. Tampons. That’s what we’re talking about here. She’s 6 so I give her an age appropriate explanation. Just as I thought we were done – aka I had sufficiently navigated these uncharted waters – she asks…so where do they go? My answer: inside your body. As a look of horror and disgust cross her little face, she loudly says “YOU EAT THEM?!” And this is where I said we’re going to be late for school, let’s go.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be over questioning every life choice ever made and frantically searching for that damn parenting manual. Again. As I always do.


I ask you –

Do you have a winning streak on never forgetting your ID or some other form of work access card, etc?

What conversation was the hardest with your child(ren)?

Send help. I don’t know what I’m doing over here.

(The post My Face When… first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Weekend Recap

This past weekend brought about low overnight temperatures (upper 40’s and low 50’s). Best running weather ever! Unfortunately my body couldn’t seem to get it together. Old age sucks. My back began hurting midweek so by Friday night it was unbearable. The suspected culprit: my home desk chair. You know, where I spend several hours a day diligently writing and researching. Still don’t have week one grades. Hmmpphh. I’ve made the switch to a proper ergonomic, blah blah blah chair. Hopefully that fixes it.

Dr. Google informed me walking (and running, actually) can be beneficial for those who suffer from back spasms. As I essentially have the same degree as Dr. Google, I took the advice with a grain of salt (otherwise known in pill form as ibuprofen) and went for a walk. It didn’t kill me and I only had to stop twice when the spasms nearly knocked me off my feet. Successful walk.

September concluded with nearly 33 total miles for the month! Overall that sounds paltry to what fall training began with last year. But it also wasn’t 95+ degrees then so I’m ok with it.

But I did have a solid reason to lay around all weekend and shirk my running duties. Finally! The long awaited premier of Hocus Pocus 2! Not as good as the original but not bad either. We made Hocus Pocus buns – basically disappearing marshmallow buns. Very tasty!

Update: late Saturday I received grades for my first assignment. 75 out of 75 points and a “well done”. *bowing graciously*


I ask you –

How much faith do you have in Google?

Have you watched Hocus Pocus 2 yet? No spoilers, please!

Tell me about your weekend!

(The post Weekend Recap first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Excuse Me, Have You Heard of Grammerly?

There’s a pattern to the amount of commercial vehicles attempting to gain access to a military base using the main gate. It’s written very plainly miles before and upon entrance to this gate “No commercial vehicles authorized. Please use xxxx gate.” As I eventually drove up to have my ID checked after once again waiting in line behind a semi-truck at the main gate, I made a joke about the sign. These are the responses I received –

1. English is a hard language. – no doubt

2. Readin’ is cheatin’ – please see #1

3. Reading is for the rich. I have no words.

In other news, at the time of this post, I’ll be in week two of my doctorate program. Week one was interesting.

original setup

I’m seriously amazed at the writing skills, ahem lack thereof, of my post-graduate classmates. Appalled would be a better description. Perhaps I should fear one of them reading this and being offended, but I’m not. As I’ve been out of school for 10 years there was concern I wouldn’t be able to do it. All the what ifs. What if I was so out of touch with technology I couldn’t navigate the sites? What if ideas don’t flow and I can’t write? Geez, if this class is the bar then I’m in space.

I wish this didn’t sound so selfish and self-absorbed. Probably should be ashamed now. But there are posts with bad grammar, misspellings, and an obvious lack of citations. Ramen Catholic Church anyone? Proofreading goes a long way in writing. Maybe they expected their word document to autocorrect like text. If I was the professor I’d cry.

You’re welcome, friends. These are the people who might, one day, spell checker-willing, be called doctor. Ugh. Help me.


I ask you –

Have you heard any of the phrases mentioned at the beginning of my post?

Did I go too far in pointing out my classmate’s misgivings? If so, I am sorry.

Ramen Catholic Church – I bet they have an abundance of seasoning packets.

(The post Excuse Me, Have You Heard of Grammerly? first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Still Writing and Reading

I totally thought by spending so much time writing case studies and research papers I would not have it in me to write blog posts. Wrong! Herein lies the random things my brain circles around –

I wonder who watched an egg fall out of a chicken’s behind and thought we should try to cook it?! By the way, if you haven’t read the book Gladys The Magic Chicken then you are missing out! Fairly certain no one thought it was nearly as funny as I did. Even mini wasn’t laughing like me. Sometimes people miss the mark on humor. But not me!

I wonder how many people picked berries and fruits in long forgotten lands, then ate them and died? Oh dang it, John; guess we can’t use that one.

My very own claim to fame: that one time I helped a virtual stranger get accepted into his master’s program. To this day, I am still soooo proud of this!

The first time I ate Five Guys. As my very best friend, Sam, is also in the throes of her own doctoral program, she’s been in my mind lately. Also because when I need help she’s my first call. If you recall, Sam and I met in boot camp, then went to training school together, then went to Norfolk together, as well. We basically lived together for almost 3 years. Anyway, now we’re commiserating papers together. Huge digression here. Five guys. Our classmates in Pensacola kept talking about this hamburger place. Eventually one night we succumbed to pressure to try it. Spoiler: I’m not a hamburger fan, neither is Sam so we enjoyed the fries most of all. And then we never returned. Anticlimactic.


I ask you –

What random things do you think about?

Have you ever eaten at Five Guys?

Name your favorite place to eat! Home!

(The post Still Writing and Reading first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Playing Catch Up

It’s currently Friday night, I’ve been suffering all week with ridiculous allergies, and I realized I haven’t written one word for a post. 23 words now. I’m on a roll! Let me catch you up on my week.

Still Friday. What a crazy day. From 5 miles to start the day to being able to log into my very first doctoral course – it’s been a rollercoaster of emotion. The twin and I were able to honor our grandfather during the POW/MIA run at oh-dark-thirty. Seriously the mosquitoes are brutal. Then we did another hour of walking as part of the Run to Remember for our fallen SAFB service members. Sister wanted to kick me. A bazillion steps later, I finally showed up to work.

I’ve been anxious about this “first look” for school. We can log in and look around, print some things etc, but can’t officially get started. There was a moment where I thought ‘is it too early to quit?’ Surely this will get better with time. Surely. By the time you’re reading this, class will have officially started. Here we go!

Mini has been sick, as well. Poor baby. I blame her. From the few days of rain we received some time back, the ragweed decided to make its grand appearance. Then the city decided to mow because why not. Hello, sneezes! Hello, Zyrtec! Anyway, this has been fun.

I also attended my first ever Air Force Ball. Despite the lack of, well, many things during the preparation phase, the night was a lot of fun. As expected…it literally took a village to put my outfit together. As it’s been an extremely long time since heels were required, I solicited amazing friends and family for a curling iron – because why would I need one of those – and a purse. Which I swear I have one, but couldn’t locate. The accessory du jour was a sparkly tiara because how often does one have an opportunity to wear that?!

Now I must return to my rather boring life punctuated with football, word counts, and a run or two.


I ask you –

How was your weekend?

Have you ever worn a tiara?

Tell me how often you rely on others to make things happen? All the times!

(The post Playing Catch Up first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Finding Joy + Important Question

Sep 1st I’m starting a half marathon training plan. Not because I have a race in mind, but because it’s fall and that’s what I do. I train. I am the driver. I must drive! Also because running is my escape and with school starting mid-Sep then I’m going to need to escape from my laptop. And running brings me joy so why not.

A radio caller posed a question: “Should I let my 12 yr old wear makeup?” Nearly everyone on the show stated no. I didn’t see the problem. Mini has been wearing makeup since she was 2. No, she doesn’t wear it anywhere except to church. My reasoning has always been when you make something mysterious, when it becomes a big secret, that’s when it develops into forbidden fruit. She’s been watching me do my own makeup her whole life; naturally she wanted to participate. Putting makeup on brings her joy. Truthfully, she’s really great at eyeliner. She should give me lessons because mine sucks. For her, makeup isn’t about covering an insecurity or for attention…she genuinely loves blending colors and watching it transform to the finished product. Makeup artists are, in my opinion, creators on a living canvas. Joyful.

A lovely friend often uses the phrase ‘finding joy’. One day she stated she saw a cabinet of candles in her home and silently asked herself why she wasn’t using them. She recognized unlit candles were not bringing her joy so she made a change. Hello, fire! I, too, have a host of candles I never light. Sounds like I need to do something about it pronto. My “Is this bringing me joy?” moment revolves around perfume. I noticed I own several bottles of the same scent of expensive, glorious perfume, but rarely do I wear it. Not anymore. Mini has her own makeup and body spray I encourage her to wear – it’s about time I take my own advice.

Minus the dramatic, winged eyeliner. I’m not there yet.


I ask you –

What brings you joy?

How would you have answered the question of a 12 yr old wearing makeup?

Tell me how many candles you currently have in your home! At least 6.

(The post Finding Joy + Important Question first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© Running on Fumes 2022