On Your Left

I’m about 24 hours out from starting a new training cycle. What I mean is…forgive me for not returning your calls, texts, plans, and anything else that doesn’t include running or eating. I was speaking to a co-worker several minutes (could’ve been weeks, it all runs together; runs, get it?!) about her Spring race plans and she mentioned she still had “unfinished business” with a marathon goal. (To be clear, this woman is an ultra runner, 2000+ day streaker, and super speedy marathon finisher. We’re not even close to being in the same category!) But she’s fun to talk to and very encouraging so she gets a free pass. As I shared my triple half marathon goal, her sounds of incredulousness made me laugh. Here’s this woman who runs high double digits regularly yet thinks my 13.1 for 3 days is insane. Just means we’re all a little different. And equally crazy. Next time I’m going to tell her my life goal of completing a Ragnar. Look it up. It’s awesome!

Lone Star state beauties

There’s no getting around it. I have a shoe addiction. Running shoes specifically. There’s something about the sleek, cushioned, makes-me-feel-like-I’m-running-fast beauty of new shoes. I’m currently rotating 4 pairs. Excessive? I don’t know. Like I’ve said for years: you can’t do enough to take care of your feet. They’re all you get! No replacements available. But, if it came down to it, and I couldn’t speak for myself, YES! I want a foot transplant! Please remember this! You can take my voice; you will never take my feet! I may not be able to berate you with my tongue, but I want one last opportunity to run you down and kick you. Enough of that.

Thursday nights’ Freedom small group is going well. These are the most courageous, strong, and honest women I could ever know. How I got so lucky to lead this group is beyond me. Many times in my life I fretted about being able to be open with other people, especially women. Nothing against women, but being one myself, I know how ugly we can act. Freedom in Christ, amongst other believers, was never a part of my plan and for this I’m thankful because without Him I wouldn’t have made it this far. Life sure is funny like that. I miss my 6am group, but Thursday nights are special in their own way.

Lastly, the title of this post is the most common phrase used by every runner. A close second: where’s the bathroom? I’m not entirely sure this is true, but it’s true for me! I try to smile and wave, clear my throat unnecessarily within earshot, and do all the other things to let people know I’m about to pass them, but obliviousness tends to rub me the wrong way. So if you see me at the lake or in my neighborhood or on base running and I look grumpy, it just means I’ve said “On Your Left” one too many times.

pleased I won’t be running in this

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I ask you –

Last call: anyone willing to train with me for the Texas Triple scheduled for Memorial Day weekend?

Is kicking people as I pass them allowed?

My shoe collection reminds me of the cutest video I have of my mini, age 18 months, walking around the house yelling for her shoes to appear and she looks at the ceiling as a viable option.

And the Numbers are In!

2020 total miles: 318.25. 2019 was about 140 miles higher, but since I only ran one half marathon the entire year I’d say it was a success. Granted that one half marathon was 14 miles long – must have been the wet and wild adventure we took off course.

Nothing like a new pair of running shoes to put you in a good mood! I recommend it for everyone. My toes are splayed out like they should be, ankles are inline, and quad load is below normal. Sounds super sexy, right? My little lady calls new shoes ‘go fasters’; I couldn’t agree more. They make you want to sprint!

Run the Rail, New Boston, Texas, Oct 9, 2021. Race numero dos on my list of three. This one is near my parentals so maybe they can support my need for homemade cooking. I should ensure they read this. One more race added to the list then I’ll have a full plate. Of course nothing is official until I all-caps-it and post it here. Sometimes it still doesn’t happen even then. Whoopsies!

Relatedly unrelated, I have a confession. A short time ago, I was feeling dissatisfied in my work life. A position in a prior career field was open and I was seriously considering making a big move. After crunching some numbers, praying, asking for advice from others, etc. it became apparent this wasn’t the best option for me. Hello, Kel, you only spent 4 years trying to get to where you’re at now. The silence of what I had asked for was more telling than any answer I could have received.

Suddenly a different opportunity appeared. To be the storyteller I am at heart. Even before I could complete that mission, more people reached out for help with their own personal goals. It took a minute, but I soon realized I wasn’t feeling dissatisfaction with my job. I was feeling as if something was missing from my purpose in life. I asked, He obliged.

Funny how purpose shows up in the most unexpected ways.

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I ask you –

Do you get excited about new shoes? What’s your favorite pair?

Do you go through periods of feeling unsatisfied with your work?

Tell me your advice when going through a low period in life.

Mary, You May Call Me Martha!

The 5am wakeups have been… something. At first it’s exciting, then by day 3, it’s a ‘oh lookie, 5am again’. I love the mornings, but pre-sunrise takes some getting used to when you haven’t done it in awhile. Practice makes perfect, right?

Streaking is going well, too. Much to the benefit of my neighbors, I have been dressing appropriately for each run. The only person to complain was that one guy. The weather has been quite cooperative with my goals!

wayyyyy too much going on here

While helping a friend with a job search, I came across a listing for a “Laundry Manager” at a nearby maximum security prison. Cue the hysterical laughing. Truly funny to me was the fact I made jokes about my own title; motherhood is full of little quirks. Needless to say, I don’t think my friend was interested. Entertained, yes; interested, no. I understand.

Do you know how hard it is to submit for a copyright? Perhaps hard isn’t the correct word; try tedious, overwhelming, nerve-wracking. Don’t mess it up because you pay a lot of money for it! Hopefully it will be worth it. Just another step toward a dream. What’s the worst that could happen? Resubmit? Ok, so that really would be the worst.

For more than a week, the phrase “Who Am I?” circled around me. First, I noticed it during the course of a conversation. Then, it was spoken in a song. Finally, I read it in print. Unsure of its context – question or statement – there is much meaning to some very sincere questions I have had lately. Maybe this happens to you, my dear reader, at points in your own life when you’re unsure of the correct path. Or maybe it doesn’t and I’m just weird.

It’s nothing short of miraculous hearing about a chance encounter between two people that turns into the opportunity of a lifetime. No spoilers. The Courage to Run is a profound and inspiring documentary about the late Gabe Grunewald and Chip Gaines. You may have no desire to ever run 500 feet much less a marathon, but watch the show anyway. Bring Kleenex.

As I’m currently lacking in fun catchphrases to round out this messy post, hope you all have a wonderful day!

P.S. It took nearly 6 1/2 hrs for my computer to update and restart yesterday. If ever there was a license to be able to own electronic devices, mine would surely be revoked.

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I ask you –

What time do you typically wake up?

Copyright, or of the like, advice? Patience, perhaps?

Name something you’ve watched lately which really inspired you! And then restart your computer. Don’t be like me.

Looking Forward

What’s next in 2021? I steer clear of the word resolutions because it gives me anxiety. Goals is the preferred noun.

the one that started it all

My planner states “find 3 races”. I used find instead of run because what if we’re at the same impasse in 2021 that we were in before. Can’t even imagine.

Soooooooooooo istartedlookingatdoctoralprograms. I have to write it fast because I’m a little in shock myself. Before my mini was born, I made a silent promise I would fulfill my own dreams while ensuring she could have a strong future, too. It’s hard to quantify the importance of our young people seeing their parents/family members/peers succeed. Granted a doctorate isn’t a single year goal, but the planning phase has commenced. I’m narrowing down schools, examining financial requirements, and viewing time tables. Oh boy.

best be bigger than this!

For one, I can’t believe she’ll be 5 this year. Secondly, let’s rearrange our whole lives for me to get (another) advanced degree because I’m a career college student. Lastly, wait… she’s going to be 5?! But she was just born yesterday!

at 7 months old

I’d also like to complete my book. Yes, really, this time. Even with so much time on my hands last year – you, too, right? – it got pushed to the back burner. Not by design but by priority. I think I needed to focus on a lot of other things, like recovering from an unexpected car crash and making a significant job change, in order to appreciate where this book has taken me. Rightfully so, a publisher may also state I have to break it into two books. Humble brag hahaha That sounds like such a terrible problem to have; however, it would mean quite a bit of re-write on my part. This is a ton to think about.

Of course my plans change about as fast as the weather in Texas so we’ll see what happens next. And if 2021 is half as crazy as the previous year, there’s really zero telling. Stand back everyone!

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I ask you –

Do you prefer “goals” or “resolutions”?

Care to share one of yours?

Anyone want to guess how much a doctorate costs these days? How does gofund me work anyway?!

Welcome Back!

we have arrived

If you’re reading this, then it’s the very first post of 2021! What a lucky bunch of readers I have. Sound the alarm, wake your neighbors, go to work, do whatever you do best.

Let’s chat about the New Year. Most likely we’ll all be writing the wrong year for awhile, maybe even the wrong month, and still wondering why there’s so many sweets around the house. Oh, just me? Liars. I’m that girl who gets excited about a new year; a new page in our lives and, honestly, if you made it out of 2020 alive you’re doing better than a lot of other folks. Bring out the champagne!

January used to be the busiest month of the year for me. Working in a gym is fraught with resolutionists (definitely made that one up) and many eager to buy their health no matter the cost. Quite sad really. What about the other months, you ask? As expected, I say. Not to be outdone, I’m starting off my year with extra coffee and a 5am wakeup for 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer. Disclaimer: I’m not fasting; I’m de-sugaring. Again. Without my lady love home for the month, I’ll surely succeed at entertaining myself.

a girl and her shadow

Oh! And I’m run streaking! Pay attention to my words. I’m doing a run streak, as in running every day for a whole month. With clothes. It’s January! Then we’ll see where it takes us. Figured since my mini me is gone for another Tennessean adventure I should pack my calendar so full she’ll be home before I know it. Looks like I have the right idea.

Stay tuned for more from 2021!

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I ask you –

Resolutions? Please share!

On average, how long does it take you to write the correct year? At least until March.

Have you participated in a run streak?

Race Recap!

Picturesque scenery

First, we’re pretty lucky to have been able to participate in a race this year. Nearly everything except trail races were cancelled and some road races may not even be returning until 2022. Originally my childhood best friend and I had our sights set on Rock ‘n Roll San Antonio the first weekend of December. Until about 2 weeks before the scheduled start, everyone was saying it was a go. Thankfully, by that time, Morgan and I had decided to swerve right a little in order to register for the Stars at Night Half Marathon near the Natural Bridge Caverns in NE San Antonio.

post-run, pre-pain

Allow me to disclaim as I sit here the morning after reflecting on this race, I need to up my game. Hills. Ugh. I’m a big dummy for not considering if we run in Hill Country there will be…hills. Kel, really? Sadly, I was not prepared, but, thankfully, Morgan was. My hips feel like I tried to smash them between plywood in order to create something new, something altogether too small. Mid-race I made jokes about walking like two old ladies. HaHA, joke’s on you.

Deer kept us company

There were a few sketchy stretches on course: we felt lost once; had to navigate a flooded portion which took us through a large culvert and across pallets and one large rock; and ran alone in a winding, wooded forest for approximately 2 miles. Now we know why headlamps and lights were required. Overall, it was a lot of fun and running with Morgan is always a pleasure.

Sunset photo ops

The resort hotel was beautiful; although I didn’t get any photos of the swimming area, suffice to say it was also gorgeous. A much needed racecation!

Snow globe medal!

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I ask you –

Do you regularly train for hills or elevated surfaces?

What’s been your craziest off-course moment? We weren’t technically off course, but it sure felt like it.

Thoughts on racecations?

Day in Photos, pt 8

My Christmas cards are done! They were completed weeks ago. Who am I?!

card-carrying member of the postal service

90% of my Christmas shopping is done, too. I’m killin’ it over here!

assorted paper options

Final long run topped out at 10 miles in 2:03. We’ll find out soon, but I suspect my commitment (or lack thereof) of consistent training will result in some major post-race soreness. On the bright side, the 40/50° temperatures have been absolutely perfect running weather. Even if the cold makes me a little angry. San Antonio should be right in that range!

a previous 8 miler

I’ve found by taking a lot of seemingly random photos I can easily put together a cohesive blog post. Finally, right? Of course it won’t always be this way – I have some serious sh*t to say at times – but when my mini is home and time is short, a photo collage gets the job done. You may notice the “pt…” number in the post title is in no specific order. Welcome to random (wo)man!

Stay tuned for a Stars at Night Half Marathon update next week! Wish us luck!

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I ask you –

Do you send out Christmas cards every year, some years, or no years at all?

Whose shopping is done? Disclaimer: I’m usually a last minute shopper.

This will be my very first night race! I’m really excited!

Old Macdonald Had a Farm

Still running, still training, still finding funny stuff to share with you all.

people with funny bones

On today’s episode of crazy things you find in Texas, let me introduce you to exhibit A. When running isn’t going your way, slow to a crawl and find humorous photo opportunities. Guaranteed to make you feel less guilty.

I have so many questions

In a society of “let’s name everything!”, why should anything be exempt? We name our land – hello, Kel’s Corner -, our creeks, our pets, and, sometimes, even our alternate personalities. No judgement. You should try it sometime. Join the club. It’s fun in here.

no yellow lines

You know you’re in the country when road lines cease to exist. It’s just you and 2 ditches. Thankfully for me it was a dry day and I could sit in the middle of the road, prop my phone up against a water bottle, and snap photos to my heart’s content.

my new friends

Have I ever mentioned my deep-seated love for cows? I once raised a cow named Bluebell. Yes, you’re accustomed to my jokes, but I’m very serious this time. When I was a little girl, my dad would let us bottle feed the calves on our farm. There was an innocence to growing up around these huge animals. Sadly many children today don’t know a thing about livestock or where our food comes from. I intend to ensure mini knows all about it. Shouldn’t be too hard: she already prefers animals over people anyway. Problem solved.

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I ask you –

Why did they name it Shit Creek? Side note: have you watched Schitt’s Creek? Hilarious.

Ever bottlefed cows?

Tell me you understand where the food you eat originated. Please. Don’t let me down.

Misplaced my List

Why walk when you can run?! Fall brings about the desire to be outside at all costs.

A lovely thought came my way whilst preparing for a trip: when I’m motivated, nothing can match my drive to get something done; when I’m procrastinating, I rival the laziest sloth ever encountered and I will f- around until the last possible moment. Truth be told.

Thankfully this blog isn’t on the lesser end of the spectrum. In all this time I haven’t adopted an Eyore voice of “poor pitiful me, I have to work on the blog”. I’m truly excited to do it. I make time even if it is Sunday afternoon when I publish Monday morning. Like clockwork, it’s there. To be genuinely excited about something someone else may see as a ‘have to’ instead of a ‘want to’ is fascinating to me. Grocery shopping: have to. Blog: want to.

Running is also in the category of want to, but I will confess sometimes it’s a have to. As in, have to for my sanity and the continuation of not going to prison. You know, details! Running and blogging have some similarities, really. They’re both solo sports. Although there are elements of other people interaction, the brunt of them happen where motivation and drive meet. Not to say I don’t rely on my readers, coach, race manager, etc. Nothing wrong with having individual goals; in fact, it is quite welcomed.

As is the norm, my plans are riddled with speed bumps. An injury, an expected race cancellation, just the regular things. They seem to happen at random, but I’m not convinced. Perhaps it’s a voice telling me to slow down. Nevertheless, I continue making plans, even if they may be reworked time and again.

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I ask you –

On a scale of 1 to you’ve got to be kidding, how would you rank your motivation?

Do you have any prison stories? PG only, please. Weak stomach here.

Name some things you have to do and some you want to do.

Texas, my Texas

Surely no matter where you live you’ve been privy to the song that goes something like this…”the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas.” Bonus points if you sing it. Double bonus if you hear it in Sheldon Cooper’s voice complete with hand clap.

Anyway, nevermind my (lack of) singing skills. The big reveal is an update to my race plans! Didn’t see that coming, did you? Rock ‘n Roll San Antonio is still happening, from my understanding, but I quite possibly found something better. Introducing The Stars at Night Half also in San Antonio and just 2 weeks later than the RnR.

Bigger in Texas!

Upon discovery, I quickly notified my childhood friend and we equally, excitedly, committed ourselves to this new race instead. Not only does it give us a few extra weeks of training, but also a picturesque view of the beautiful JW Marriot Resort and Spa.

coursework

And there will be Christmas lights! And it’s a night run!! Bucket list! And my sweet, (not so) little girl will be able to be there! And…and…and!

I’m a little bit excited. You can find me under the stars! And if it’s cloudy or raining or whatever else gets thrown at us, I’ll be smiling anyway.

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I ask you –

Are you familiar with Sheldon Cooper?

Name a few things on your bucket list!

Hopefully I haven’t been too annoying with my seemingly constant change of plans lately.