Producing Vision

“A vision clarifies purpose, helps establish priorities, motivates commitment, maximizes productivity, and fuels passion. A vision is a specific desire that God has for our future. It gives us a direction to head in. A vision grows out of a need that we see around us, something so strong we can’t get it out of our minds.” – Anonymous

He had a dream. I need a vision statement. As part of my (ongoing, yearly, monthly) goal to grow my blog not only into a widely read source but also into a business, a clear vision statement is necessary.

My friend Morgan from Oregon shared with me a booklet called Unravel Your Year. It’s free and available on the website. Basically, you sit for a few minutes or hours, drinking your favorite tea or whiskey whilst reminiscing on years gone by and how you can incorporate lessons learned into not being a complete idiot the next time. That’s the gist. By the way, it’s 59 pages. But who’s counting. Short story long, I’m doing it! Because what better things do I have to do with my limited time. Truthfully, I jest, but I really do want to use some self-discovery in determining where and how Running on Fumes can grow. There’s also that book still needing to be published. But I can only fry one fish at a time – the blog is the fish in the pan at the moment. No one says that, Kel. Stop it. I have been more intentional about using my planner(s) – one for home, one for work – to set tangible, mini goals. Granted it’s only mid-January.

I write with pens, too!

Focusing on the vision part. I believe there are big opportunities for me in 2022. There will probably be big setbacks, as well; that’s ok. Nothing comes easy. A vision is a lot like expectations. You can’t tell someone you have no expectations when asked, then, all of a sudden, have expectations needing to be met that weren’t clearly communicated when originally asked. Bitter much? Perhaps revisiting vision should be a regular occurrence.

I think this is why I’m enjoying the pages in the Unravel Your Year workbook – because each month of 2022 there is room for monthly reflections. It’s extremely easy for me to say I should revisit the vision portion, but let’s be honest…will you? Not without some reminders!

And, frankly, I love to write in whatever medium I can obtain; be it paper, computer, phone, napkins; I’m not picky. I just want to write.

Oh how that book publishing goal is staring me right in the face.

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I ask you –

Do you have a vision (statement or otherwise) for your blog, life, etc?

Any suggestions on writing a vision statement?

Tell me what you consistently find yourself writing on! Maybe yourself.

Year in Review

So as 2021 will be closing out in just a few days and I will be on my way to retrieve mini from her holiday, today is my – surely anticipated – year in review!

In actively trying to remember how many races I’ve run, I returned to admiring my medal and race bib holder. There’s a lot of jingle on that wall! Pre-pandemic, I was accustomed to training for and scheduling at least 2-3 half marathons per year. Since then, I’ve been extremely lucky to complete one per year. 2021 was a wash/rinse/repeat of 2020, but I don’t let it get to me. Sure, I could blame the lack of events for my injury (which makes no sense and still doesn’t make me feel better); however, one is more than none! Knowing I run much better in the cold, a December race just works for me. I tried to establish a base through the summer, but between the heat and the dreadmill, it sucked. Not only did my base not get built, in retrospect, perhaps I should have used that time to ensure I wasn’t dealing with an injury before I started fall training. One day I’ll learn the lesson the first time!

10 – is how many half marathons I’ve run. Technically, I only completed 9. But I’m still proudly saying 10! Never did get around to counting the assorted 5k and 10k medals. Instead, I took a trip down memory lane. It was fabulous! I have made some amazing friends who also run. I’ve talked to people from different areas and connected with them solely online. I even get super excited when they complete a race because sharing in another’s accomplishment is such a rush of emotion! There are people whom I still refer to as my running buddy, my coach, my mentor – life brings with it different seasons but those people stay in my heart. I imagine for forever. Running just does something wonderful for me.

Ok, moving on…

I love when an app puts numbers together for me! Sometimes I don’t number well on my own. What can I say? – I’m a writer, I like words! Since I won’t be running much (any) anytime soon, I shall live vicariously through my previous endeavors and your stories! Give me all the stories! Disclaimer: for 2021, I only started using Strava in April so this doesn’t include any miles I ran January – March.

thank you, Strava

Being uncertain of which of the past years have been my favorite, I am extremely grateful I chose running! Or maybe it chose me. There’s joy in the adventure running brings to me. It is a huge sense of accomplishment when you complete a run, no matter how fast or slow it was. Running gives back tenfold what you put into it. I want other sports to BE that for me; alas, I don’t know if it’s in the cards for the dream to ever be a reality. Time will tell. Some days I’m rushing to know; others are a slow crawl. Guess it just depends on the mood of the day. I’m anxious to ditch the brace and lace up my trusty running shoes, but I know it can’t happen. Yet.

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I ask you –

Anybody else love looking at their year’s stats?

Are you following me on Strava? Share your ID so I can follow you!

Goal time! Tell me what you have planned for 2022!

Randomly Random

So very random.

Very thankful to a nice man named Alex who left the lovely confines of his home to help me remove lug nuts that might’ve been tightened by the Hulk himself. Seriously, I’m a self-sufficient young woman who can do all kinds of things herself, but when I’m literally standing on top of the bar trying to remove the stupid, non-cooperative lug nuts…well, all kinds of words were coming out of my mouth. This wasn’t my idea of the donuts I tend to enjoy! $500 later – Betty has a brand new pair of shoes!

Slipper socks? Slipper shoes?

Not sure who invented these toasty foot warmers, but thank you times a million! I’ve owned these for several years. I don’t know why I hadn’t tried to use them properly until Thanksgiving! Feets and legs! Anyway, they’re awesome. Get yourself a pair. Or ten!

My friend recently posted a photo of her dogs with the caption “tfw (insert caption here)”. Normally I try to figure out things on my own before referring to Dr. Google. So as I wracked my brain to decipher what TFW meant, which bordered on the inappropriate – to f*** with – to the insane – tiny fried woman, I realized I was completely clueless. I don’t mind being politically incorrect, Correction: my anxiety says we do mind, but I do try to stay updated on the slang our society is currently using. I’m not old nor young. Not naive yet sometimes a little clueless. But as much as I tried, I came up with no words which would make sense in what she posted.

Totally didn’t see that coming. Thanks, Webster. You rescued me from a life of ignorance. Now I must come up with ways to use my new knowledge!

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I ask you –

When was the last time you had a flat? Did you need help?

What brand/style are your favorite socks?

Tell me an acronym you didn’t know the meaning of!

Running on Fumes – Musings from the Mess Decks, pt 2

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From Dan –  

Yes, I was aware that children, for a short time, were considered mail-able. It seems weird, but doctors used to prescribe cigarettes for pregnant women, so maybe it’s not too weird. 

We recently celebrated my elder child’s 30th birthday, and of course I was reminded of the circumstances of how I was alerted to her arrival. For you see, I was cruising around South America at the time and communications between me and the States were irregular and crude.

I knew she would be along pretty soon, and it was after a very long midnight watch up in the gun director that I settled into my rack for a precious 3-hour nap before the endless cycle of events of a warship underway, the next go round of eat, work, and watch.  With great surprise my then-Senior Chief (RIP) thrust his hand past the blue-curtain barrier that defined my sacrosanct rack with a just barely not growled “Here! Read this!”

I had been handed, of course, the long awaited for birth announcement. And now, here it was, a telegram for the love of God, sent to me by the Red Cross. Sleep was out of the question, and I walked fore and aft, bilge to bridge making the announcement to anyone who would listen. I finally ran out of people to tell, and I ended up on the port side main deck, smoking a celebratory cigar while watching the wilderness of the Andes Mountains slide aft. I’m sure there are things about that day that I have long since forgotten, but I still have that telegram up in my study where I keep a number of priceless mementos of my life to remind me of that amazing morning.

There’s a wide variety of trinkets and tchotchkes in that cache of memories, an unsurprisingly number amongst them are letters: Honest-to-God, sat-down-with-pen-and-paper letters written at various times and delivered to me (via paths that can only be guessed at) to whatever ship I was on and wherever I was. Those letters are occasionally pulled from storage, their decades-old creases unfolded so that I may again experience an echo of the thrill I enjoyed when I first received them so long ago. A few of them still are redolent of the fuel-oil, paint, and steel smell of a warship underway and it’s that odor that instantly transports me back to a very different time and place.

Today’s Sailors feel they are lucky. E-mails back and forth to the home-front are everyday events, phone calls common, and video chats with loved ones unremarkable. Keeping up with the day-to-day activities of the household and families has never been easier or more immediately possible for the Sailor.

 

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And, I think it safe to say, that very, very few of the Active Duty folks would willingly return to my Morse code and semaphore way of doing things. Hard to blame them, really. If I could have been part of a video call back in 1985, well, let’s just say I might be missing parts of my anatomy. Running your life/marriage via mail that makes it way home via a wandering and unpredictable path (Say, over to an oiler, then to an amphib, and finally over to a series of Air Force Base storage areas[1]) sometimes takes longer than the deployment. Indeed. Stories of mail arriving home after the Sailor used to be very common.

And it is also true that we could on occasion call home by radio, thanks to ham radio operators and long distance phone calls. It was called the MARS system, although it was probably easier to call the planet than it was to call home. MARS was wonderful to have, but weird. We had to use Navy radio techniques (“Over”) which were hard to teach to small children, and there was a very long list of things that were taboo to talk about on the radio. Imagine phoning home and then being prosecuted. Ah, the perils of military life.

But emails and phone calls can’t be kept, cherished, and handed down like the letters and other messages I have from those long-ago days. It might be fun to see a new e-mail in the inbox in the morning, but every morning? I wonder. And, I wonder if that experience can match the intense feelings of anticipation and joy (and sometimes desolation) when the Boatswain’s Mate of the Watch passed “Mail Call!” Remember, that would sometimes happen only twice a month.

It was possible to tell by holding that the letter had power. You were holding something she had held just a while ago. That letter had been in your house! Your daughter can write! All of those things so very far away. A talisman of home, a status hard to convey onto an e-mail.

Mail and its service seems to be failing, albeit slowly, and the whole process is probably doomed. Sad I suppose, but such is the inexorable march of time. I try to remember that everything in the world today will someday be gone and considered either quaint or no longer understood, enigmas from the past like Stonehenge or the Antikythera Mechanism. One of my more ridiculous thoughts is of my great, great grandchildren attempting to decipher those letters found one day moldering away in dusty old box. “Jeez,” I can hear them say, “Who was this guy? Why didn’t he just flash over and see Grammy Lynn instead of doin’ this? And what’s a ‘ship’?” Sic transit Gloria mundi.


[1] My days in the Navy started before Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Mail services had been archaic/slow for years, but improved drastically after American service members started going to the Middle East in serious numbers. I’m not complaining, it’s just the way it was. And, we could always tell when Oprah or Sally Jesse Raphael had a story about the folks in the Persian Gulf as after those shows, we would receive a mountain of mail on the fantail addressed to Any Sailor/Soldier.

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As always, a huge thank you to my friend, Dan, for his sole contribution to this RoF special piece. I know I have many other friends/family with stories for days of their time and I’d love to post them, too. Please contact me if you have a contribution or if you have a story but are unable to put it into words that make sense – I’m hear to listen and write on your behalf. Always! -Kel

Race Ideas

Brainstorming future race ideas led me to this one: the inaugural Rock n Roll Atlantic City event!

I’ve only ever seen New Jersey as I raced through it on the way to Connecticut, though I do vaguely remember vast toll areas. Perhaps that was a different state, like Oklahoma. Nonetheless, I’d like to enjoy a proper visit and run a little race!

Credit: #myfavoriterun via Instagram

I’m also very interested in the Blue Bell runs in Brenham, TX. Held annually in April, the finish line party includes Blue Bell ice cream, which is my most favorite ice cream of all time. Pecan Pralines ‘n Cream anyone? I want to explore more 10k distances so why not start there?!

Credit: #bluebellfunrun via Instagram

I’m about over this training plan stuff. 15-16 week plans are just too long for me. Week 8 is about my cutoff. Maybe 10 if I’m feeling generous. Never before have I ever given a moment’s thought to running a virtual half marathon just so I can say I did the run and be done with it. A few weeks back – I hit that point. And I know that particular week was kind of a struggle, but I don’t feel like my fitness has increased much since. If I didn’t know that Morgan from Oregon was traversing the plains to attend, I probably would have called it quits awhile back. Alas, she has been training so I’m self-motivating to make it to the start line. My Garmin goal meter says it’s very confident I will reach it. My internal doubter has serious reservations. All I can do is run the race laid out before me knowing I’ve put in work to the best of my abilities.

break in an emergency

Now, with all that said, I just want it to be over. Thankfully start line emotions are a very real phenomenon and 10 mins after I’m done I’ll be kissing strangers and hugging babies. Jokes, lots of jokes. To keep myself on track I’ve been brainstorming things I want to do post-race. For example…

Short Term –

  • Take a long nap
  • Eat copious amounts of Mexican food, specifically tortilla chips
  • Lay on the ground contemplating my life choices
  • Call everyone I know with the great news I have a shiny new PR

Long Term –

  • January run streak?
  • Train for a March/April half marathon
  • Train for a March/April 10k unrelated to the above half marathon
  • Resume keto
  • Survive the winter months
  • Fantasize about vacation

Surely I’m missing many additions to my listing endeavors. I’ll keep thinking and update you all soon.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving – filled with turkey and ham and as many rolls as you can stuff in your mouth at one time. And pie!!!

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I ask you –

Anyone have an upcoming race or race potential near northern Texas?

How often do you make lists?

Please share some thing(s) on your short/long term list!

Random Thoughts

-My calves are sore. -I would like to do at least 15 min of foam rolling everyday. Wasn’t I supposed to do yoga 3-5 times a week? -LOL @ me in avitar form -Well damn, I guess someone told Airbnb that Turin, Italy will be the host city for Eurovision 2022. Left: prices the week […]

Random Thoughts Thursday

Borrowing the above from my good friend (he’s my friend even if he doesn’t know it) Run There, Drink That .

I now have a reminder in my phone to “Write Something” every single day this month. So far, it’s working well. There’s this neat gadget that schedules events in your calendar based on preferences and how often you tell it to shut up because you’re too busy. Unfortunately, no extra points for completing it early. Thanks, Google.

I’m doing all the right things:

  • Carbs
  • Hydration
  • Rest
  • Vegetables

So why won’t my legs turn over? Could it be the quality of workouts, i.e. I don’t respond well to speed and progression runs, etc? The only reason I mention this possibility is because I designed my own race plans the past 3 years and met (exceeded) my goals. Am I just not meant to run fast? Was the 2:18 the best I’ll ever run? I refuse to concede! I’m going to get this figured out.

frustration at its finest

Never fails – on the weekends I wake up early (hello, internal alarm clock), excited to have a few uninterrupted hours to work on the blog, but I’m thwarted by the update screen. It’s my own fault. I don’t think about this requirement until Friday night; by then, I’m tired and just go to bed, always telling myself ‘don’t worry, Kel, it won’t take long tomorrow’. Then here I am. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. You really need to learn.

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I ask you –

Are you following Run There, Drink That? You should be, he’s hilarious!

Do you have a “Remind Me Because I’m Forgetful” feature on your phone? Bonus points if you use it daily!

Tell me about your regular sleep patterns!

My Favorite Run – Texas Edition

I would love to invite you to My Favorite Run! You can also use this link to join the Network: https://myfavoriterun.mn.co/share/2Xq6XfgBX8wADiC-. It’s an easy to use app with support, motivation, and a focus on better mental health through running.

There are monthly themes, challenges, questions of the day, and many other ways to get involved with other runners, like yourself! The spirit of camaraderie can be tough to find lately – especially with many running events and races being cancelled or rescheduled still. For me, running improves my inner peace. And we could all use a little more peace in our lives!

Since November’s theme is Gratitude, we’ll be exploring ways to stay grateful in our daily lives and how running fosters a sense of gratefulness to be able to move our bodies. Disclaimer: you don’t have to be a runner to join My Favorite Run! Even if you just want to find a group of people who focus on mental health and the “why” of movement without all the running stuff, we can help! Our ambassadors (ahem, me) (and many others) (the “others” are much more knowledgeable than I) are available to facilitate discussion on tons of topics!

I truly believe My Favorite Run is a gamechanger in terms of what other apps offer for runners because many fail to recognize the internal component of movement, i.e. the mental awareness piece. People don’t always run to lose weight or win a medal or whatever other common misconceptions exist. Some run just to have a moment to themselves, to find peace in whatever struggle they’re battling, or to enjoy the outdoors, among many other reasons. For me, running has opened a door to connecting with myself and to help me focus on what I need vs what others may need from me. Running is powerful!

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I ask you –

What running apps do you subscribe to currently?

Why do you run or do any form of movement?

Share a time when being outdoors changed your whole day!

Things I Want to Do

My co-worker who hails from the great state of Oregon (according to her it’s a dumpster fire, but I’m trying to be positive) told me about the Multnomah Falls which is conveniently located less than 2 hours from Portland which is conveniently where my childhood best friend (you remember, Morgan from Oregon) lives. Anyway, she said it was gorgeous and I should visit. After perusing the photos online, I agree. Time to travel!

Also, there’s a diamond-mining quarry in Arkansas called the Crater of Diamonds State Park which is conveniently located less than an hour from where we usually do the great parent switcharoo. I know nothing about mining but think it could be fun! Especially if I discovered a huge gem! This isn’t really….well, not at all…a summertime activity. Maybe mid-winter instead.

Forgot to mention before these amazing cookies I found at Walmart of all places. I’ve never had good luck when purchasing cookies. My streak has ended!

They were so good I forgot to take photos until after I’d eaten 3 in about 2 minutes. If that. The coconut with the oats and pecans and chocolate chips, oh my gosh. And they were soft – I was very surprised because usually pre-packaged cookies are crunchy and I don’t love it.

Funny story: when I worked in Oklahoma at Anytime Fitness, my members knew my love for cookies and would bring them to me when they came to workout. I’d go through boxes a day. It’s all I ate. Surely it wasn’t the best image of a gym manager, but the joke was if I continued to politely offer them to members, then it was job security.

My self-discipline is the only real dumpster fire here.

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I ask you –

What other amazing places should be added to my travel list?

Have you been to either of the two I mentioned here?

Preference: chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter cookies?

RoF – Caffeine Injected!

Admittedly I have felt somewhat perturbed lately at getting so involved in other’s dreams that mine had been forgotten. Or at least set on the back burner. My social, spiritual, and physical commitments list is quite lengthy nowadays.

Then I realized I just needed a coffee fix.

Main Street Kaffee

Introducing Main Street Kaffee, located at 209 Main Street, inside Girlfriends Boutique deep in the heart of Muenster, Texas. I’ve intended to check this place out for years – I know – but something always stands in my way. Probably myself. On a beautiful October weekend, my chance arrived.

Not only is this an adorable coffee shop, the adjoining space is a colorful boutique of charming treasures. And the ladies working there are the sweetest! Upon asking what sugar free flavors they had available, I knew I had to try the sugar free coconut. No one I know carries this flavor. As it was late afternoon, I decided on iced coffee – incredibly impressed with it. And super inexpensive, too!

Photo credit: my twin

Located on a busy, downtown street, Main Street Kaffee also offers (besides the boutique and great coffee) Beth Marie’s ice cream. You know I was in heaven. Assorted flavors, freshly dipped in house, and available in all kinds of sizes – though who wouldn’t request the largest size is beyond me – Beth Marie’s ice cream is some of the best!

I loved the little accents and seasonal decor around the entire shop. Fall is my favorite! Though we didn’t stay long, my sister and I commented on the cute space they have to make it feel secluded yet open.

For sure one of the most photogenic places I’ve ever been!

You can find out more about Main Street Kaffee by visiting them at Facebook. Stop by, grab a drink, and tell them Running on Fumes sent you!

Want to See More?

If you or someone you know owns or frequents a favorite coffee establishment and you’d like to be featured (or nominate them to be featured), please comment below!

Cheers to the Caffeine Injected series!

Merchandise Pages!! Live!!

Coffee Mugs – because YES!

Shirts – t-shirts and tanks

Good morning everyone! I finally have the merch campaign live. Obviously this is a special post for a variety of reasons. One being I pulled the trigger and set up a merchandise page, period. Truth be told, my sister was a huge (read: main) part in getting this done because I would’ve drug my feet even longer.

Click on the links above (Coffee Mugs or Shirts) to check out the pages. For now, I have limited options but eventually I will be adding stickers, bags, etc. Let me know if there’s something specific you’d like to see! I’m not trying to retire on merchandise sales (big laugh here)…just looking to spread the word about what I’m accomplishing and, one day, when I open my shoe store/coffee shop/wine bar/library I’ll be ahead of the game! And then I’ll retire.

Please note: I chose to use a third party for the time being so you don’t have to wait forever for me to ship things and so I don’t have access to your personal or financial information. I fully realize many of you don’t know me outside of posting here; trust me, that’s a win!

Thank you! -Running on Fumes