Archive by Author

Do you have a spare $18?

6 Jan

Oh you do? Well, get yourself down to your local Sephora and pick up Sephora’s line of Marc Jacobs nail polish lacquer (it’s fancy).

Now, ordinarily I would ne-ver spend $18 on nail polish lacquer, but I got a Sephora giftcard for my birthday. I just decided to go for it. Hold me back, people!

I am notoriously bad at painting my nails. It always gets globby, looks weird on my cuticles, and I never seem to have the patience for it to dry 100%. This stuff glides on smoothly, and makes even my efforts look great. I found I don’t need to apply that many coats to achieve a lot of shine.

The color I bought is Delphine, which is a great combination of purple and gray. I think it shall be my go-to winter color.

That’s all. Nothing too profound, but I thought I would share my discovery.

-Kenz

Advertisements

Attempt #2

31 Dec

Fair warning: Things are gonna get a tish personal.

I took a wonderful trip to Guatemala with friends back in 2010. It was totes amazeballs, fo realz. The pictures of me in Guatemala? Eeeshhh… For one, I had a remarkably icky haircut. For another, and to be 100% honest, I looked fat. And then I got home, stepped on the scale, and saw a scary number. To Weight Watchers I went. I stuck with it for a good 3 months, and I lost weight. About 15 pounds. And then for some reason I got bored with points and decided to go back to eating all the cheese. And I kept paying for my membership for a really long time – all the while still eating all the cheese. Eventually I quit the program altogether. And yup. The weight came back. And then some. Especially now that I live with Kris. It’s sooo easy to get in to that groove of thinking “Ehhh. Whatever. You’ll still love me if all my pants are sweatpants and I live off Bagel Bites and chocolate?” (side note: how delicious are Bagel Bites?) This is a relatively new thing for me. Up until Kris, I wouldn’t eat tons of bad stuff in front of a dude. Since living with Kris, it’s like bring on the Chinese takeout! Not so good for me and Mr. Scale.

For work we had to have a health risk assesment done to receive a discount on our health insurance. Mine came back. And? And I am medically, wait for it, obese. Oh.Bese. Ummm. Excuuuuse me? Maybe I’m a bit tubby. Overweight, okay. But obese?? Yikes. And wow. And ugh… And how I am going to not be considered obese? To me, obese is Fat Gina at work. Obese are the people who use scooters because they are too tubs to walk. I’m one of them? Hell to the no.

So I did it again. I signed up with Weight Watchers. And this time I went big time. Meetings too. More pressure and more $. Yesterday was my first day on it. I was within my points. But around 10 pm, as we were coming home from seeing a movie (Secret Life of Walter Mitty – screw the reviews, I thought it was wonderful) I told Kris I could seriously eat an entire other supper. I was really hungry. I rounded out my points with a carrot and a measured out tablespoon of hummus. Prior to yesterday, I don’t think I would have gone straight for a carrot. But that’s what this is all about. I think weight loss is about a million different little decisions everyday. So here I am. And I have to keep telling myself that not being obese trumps bad eating habits.

I’ve also observed a lot too. Thin people might have better metabolisms, etc, but from what I have seen, they also simply eat less. To throw out Ali as a prime example of this (sorry, Ali, just go with me) we met up for some delicious Mexican food in our college town last weekend before her flight back to Denver. True, we ordered the infamous queso, which is nothing, if not pure tastebud Heaven, but her meal was one single tamale. My point is not that all thin people are anorexic. Not at all. But they do just eat less. Which is, long story here, what I am trying to do. I trained for and ran an entire marathon, and people, I didn’t shed one pound of lard. Not one. I think, at least for me it’s got to be about food.

Pretty cliche of me to be writing this on New Year’s Eve, right? I know. It really is. My friends and I are taking a trip this spring and I don’t want to have to wear a one piece suit with a skirt like obese (ugh, I hate that word) women wear. Mayhaps I will start a separate blog to document this journey. I thought about just documenting it personally, but I fear it will get way too “Dear Diary” to be of any use to me. We’ll see. Here we go Day 2.

The Marathon Recap Pt 2

25 Oct

The week leading up to Chicago, I was having a difficult time focusing on anything other than the marathon. The Thursday before we left, I had an evening class. It’s safe to say that academics were the last thing on my mind that night. I nervously told classmates not to expect great things from me – who knows if I would even finish? That Friday at work, I could barely handle being at the office. My#1 thought that day was “in a mere 2 days you will be running a marathon.

Kris and I left Saturday, and it’s possible he heard variations of “I’m worried” every 20 or so minutes. Poor guy. As we flew the short distance from Minneapolis to Chicago, Kris ordered an adult beverage. We had been given some free Southwest drink coupons from a friend (please, we’re waaay too cheap for that otherwise.) I had Vitamin water because, well, no alcohol before the race.

Now the majorly disappointing thing about our flight was its arrival time. Liz was having a blogger meet up that day at 12 and our flight didn’t even arrive until 1. Boo to that! But maybe it was a good thing after all as I’m sure I would have come across as a creepy stalker. #hatewhenthathappens #hashtagsonwordpressmeannothing

Expo

We checked into our hotel and immediately shuttled over to the Expo which was held at a huge convention center. I picked up my bib and race packet, and we walked around checking out the many stands for a while. Funny observation about runners: even though the race was not until the next day, the majority of people there were in athletic clothes. I felt kind of out of place with my jeans and riding boots.

Expo 2

Can you tell how nervous I am??

From there it was off to eat an enormous plate of spaghetti and bread, 100% guilt free. Carbo-loading, baby.

Dinner

And then it was back to the hotel early to rest up. I tried not to dwell on the fact that the marathon was the very next morning. Surprisingly, I was able to sleep, but when the alarm sounded at the early hour, I just wanted to curl up for a minute in denial. But I did get up, put on my running outfit, grab my hat, my water belt, Garmin watch, iPod (actually iPods, I borrowed my brother’s shuffle in case mine died. I needs my music!), ate a banana, drank some (eew, gross) coconut water, and headed out the door. We had roughly a mile and a half to walk to get to Grant Park, and I saw many other runners making their way over as well. In fact, some runners were actually running to the start of the race. Just for the record, I was not one of those people. Not even at all.

When we finally reached my drop off point I gave Kris an extra long hug and walked through the gates to my designated start chorale. When I signed up back in February, I estimated myself to finish between 6 hours 10 minutes and 6 hours 30 minutes. I figured that was a safe bet for me, so I was put in the very last start chorale.

Two days before the race I read about something called the Nike Pace Teams. It’s a free group you can join and run with, led by experienced marathoners who can keep a specific pace throughout the course. I was really interested in the 5:45 pace. I thought this would be a good thing to join because I had heard countless times, and discovered myself, that running is as much a mental sport as it is a physical one. Having a group to run with would help me focus less on how many minutes left until I walk, how tired I am, etc. Just keep with the group. The problem was that the 5:45 group was one group ahead of my start chorale. Upon entering my chorale I was able to spot the 5:45 group ahead of me thanks to their sign.

photo

There was about a 25 minute wait from when the second wave of (non-elite) runners started to when I crossed the start line. During that time it was interesting to people watch. All these people had put in so many hours of training, all these people wanted the same thing as me. To finish this thing. I loved hearing people’s conversations. Somehow it was oddly comforting to know that I was not the only one nervous as hell.

And then we were off. I crossed the start line of the marathon, and felt great. Usually, I am not the type of runner who finds her stride quickly. Usually, during the first mile or so my muscles aren’t warmed up, and it’s altogether not fun. This time my muscles were ready, and I found my pace. And somehow I just wasn’t tired. Thank you very much, adrenaline. I felt so great that I skipped my first 2 scheduled walk breaks. The crowds were incredible. So much support. And before I knew it, 2 miles had already gone by and I found the 5:45 pace group. Just like I suspected, joining this group definitely contributed to my success. Unlike my training group with The Running Room, I really enjoyed running with this group because they ran at a comfortable pace for me. It wasn’t me spending the run trying to keep up. And they, too, did run/walk intervals. I didn’t have to keep track myself, just follow the group.

In between miles 3 and 4, I heard my name and saw Kris. I ran over to him, gave a quick hug, but had to be on my way to keep up with the group. Right after mile 6 is when the coconut water hit me. I had to go. One of the ladies in the pace group split off to head for a port-o-potty. I thought this was as good a moment as any, especially if another member of the group was leaving. I tried to hurry as fast as I could, but once I was out there was no sign of the group or that other runner. Cue slight panic as miles 2-6 had gone really well being with them, and I absolutely didn’t want to think about completing the remaining 20 alone. I ran alone for a few minutes before recognizing another girl from the group. She, too, must have split off at that point. Her name, I learned, is Brenda. She’s from Texas and Chicago was her 2nd marathon. Shout out to Brenda, as she was awesome to run with for a while. During my run with Brenda, we ran past Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. It brought back memories of the summer Ali and I lived in the city. Visiting Lincoln Park Zoo was something fun and (free) we did a few times. If only I would have known then that 6 years later I’d be back, running a marathon. I probably wouldn’t have believed it.

A little in to mile 7 we caught up with the pace group. I was super relieved to be back with them. I think Brenda was too. And from there we just kept going. I honestly couldn’t believe how good I was feeling. In none of my training had runs ever gone this well. Again, thank you adrenaline and crowds. I noticed around mile 10 (into the double digits, oh yeah!) that my feet were starting to get slightly achy, but it was nothing I couldn’t push through.

And then at mile 11 I heard my name and saw Kris, Karla, Kayla, and Mel. By that point the girls had gotten into the city and met up with Kris. It was so good to see them! I ran over, almost knocking into a guy, and said a quick hello. Here is a video Kris took. He later asked why I wasn’t more excited about the Gatorade – little did he know how much Gatorade had already been handed out. Props to Chicago for keeping us all hydrated, but this wasn’t something super exciting to me at the time 🙂

Despite slightly achy feet, I was still feeling good. When we crossed the halfway point, I remember thinking that every step left was less than what I had already taken. I had been taking my gels every 4 miles. It’s basically a packet of goo that provides calories and energy for longer runs. Not the most appetizing thing ever, but I do think it helped as the miles went up.

I remember around mile 15 is when things got harder for me for a few reasons: I was starting to feel tired, there was less of a crowd, we were out in the boonies, and there wasn’t a lot of shade. The crowds cheering really do help. Despite all that, I did keep up with my group. Miles 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 were hard, but I pushed through. I wanted to stop and walk at mile 20, but still, I kept with the group.

However at mile 22, things changed. I had gone from miles 2-22 with the group, but I needed to slow myself from their pace because of the pain in my feet. And sadly, at that point I let them go on without me. And I walked. And walked. This was far and away the hardest moment of the race and I’m slightly ashamed to say I walked from mile 22 to 23.

But when 23 came around I knew the end was so close. I had come so far, and I couldn’t give in to prolonged periods of walking. I saw my friends again and it was enough to keep me going. I made it through 23. Then 24. Mile 25… only 1.2 miles left. There were so many walkers at this point, and I was so tired that I did give in to walking more than I should have. I thought nearing the finish line would somehow bestow miraculous energy upon me. Not the case until a girl put her hand on my shoulder and said, “No, no walking. We are here. We did it. Let’s finish strong. I’ll run with you.” So with her by my side, I saw the group, gave a wave to my friends like “Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m running!” and headed up the hill towards the finish. As I turned the corner and saw the Finish banner, I uncontrollably started to cry. I was crying as I finished the Chicago Marathon in 5 hours and 52 minutes. And I kept crying even as a volunteer put the medal around my neck. Slow to many, but hey, I beat my goal time by 38 minutes. So slow or not, that makes me damn proud. I called my parents who unforunately couldn’t make it, and then went to find my group.

photo

A selfie I took right after finishing. You may notice the tears.

I was handed, like all other finishers, a 312 beer which I took 1 sip off and dumped out. Just a head’s up: beer immediately following a marathon? Nu-huh. By the hundreds of scattered, still full cups, around the park, I seem to not have been alone there.

photo

photo

After meeting up with the group we headed back to the hotel where I attempted to take an ice bath. In case you’re wondering, the Hyatt Magnificent Mile does not have a truly cold option. It was lukewarm at best, which is not what I needed. I mustered up the energy to head down to Greektown for a delcious supper where we had (see Marathon recap pt1) no wait.

So I did it. I am a marathoner. People ask me if I will do another. Honestly, a month ago I would have confidently said no. But now my answer is more like never say never. We’ll see. I would want to do it with someone or a group, and have a little less going on in my life if I ever did it again.

The rest of my time in Chicago I was sore as can be, but we still managed a trip to the Nike store to get my medal engraved. This is also where I was a sucker and spent way too much $ on a finisher t-shirt and hoodie.

photo copy

photo

We took a trip to Hyde Park to get delicious tarts at Medici bakery, visited The Shedd Aquarium, had deep dish at Gino’s East, popped into Topshop (where I only could afford a necklace), and saw The Bean.

I will always remember this weekend fondly, and look back to it if I ever start doubting myself. Because me, the girl who used to despise running, and thought a half marathon might as well have been to the moon, did a full freaking marathon.

Oh, and in full disclosure, I now am one of *those* people with a 26.2 sticker on their car. I know – it’s a bit braggy and all that, but there it is anyway.

Photos from Oct 14, 2013

If you’re still reading this, wow, I’m impressed you’ve stuck with it so long 🙂

xo, Kenz

The Marathon Recap Pt 1

23 Oct

“Is there a wait for a table for 5?”

“Not for a marathon girl.”

I glanced down at the medal around my neck. Marathon girl. Me.

Even now, over a week later, I am still amazed by the fact that I did it. I ran an actual, full, freaking marathon. I can call myself a marathoner. Whoa. You may have noticed that I haven’t been blogging for ages and ages. Life is super busy when you’re training for a marathon, working full time,  in grad school, and completing a residency. Life is still as busy as ever, even with the marathon over, but I hope to blog more than I have been lately. I digress…

It all started with a post from Liz at One Twenty Five about running a marathon, specifically the Chicago Marathon. I’ve been following Liz for a while now – seeing her adventures, following her running story. This marathon, by the way, was her 4th full one. Color me impressed! I had been so in awe of her dedication and accomplishments with her previous marathons. In fact, my New Year’s Resolution for 2012 was to run a half marathon. At the time, 13.1 miles might as well have been to the moon, it seemed sooo far. And then around February of that year, I was laid off. And let me tell you something, having no schedule, no job, no actual reason to change out of pj’s in the morning, made for one reeediculously lazy me. And despite having all the time in the world to train, somehow that 13.1 mile race never did happen. I should have tackled that goal with no pesky schedule to get in my way. I know, I know, turns out, I’m a little insane. Eventually, I was hired, and got out of my slump. Despite not loving my current job, and complaining about a lack of free time, re-hashing my unemployment experience is a good reminder for me that I do seem to thrive on schedules.

Reading the post about running the Chicago Marathon lit a fire under me. I decided to sign up. I remember sitting at my desk at work, feeling a nervous excitement, texting Kris, emailing my mom, and then really deciding. I still had a month or so before the registration opened, but I knew I was going to do it. And come Feb 19 I was ready at 12pm CST to actually sign up. And then I couldn’t. And couldn’t. And couldn’t. Turns out, this year so many people wanted to sign up for the marathon that the server crashed. I was so anxious about actually getting signed up. How sad to decide to commit to something so huge, and then not be able to simply because I couldn’t sign up. After a call to my mom she was able to put me through with her iPad…twice. Luckily it wasn’t too difficult to get the duplicate entry’s refund back. I was just thrilled to actually get in.

After a few hours, Marathon officials opted to close the registration. Those like myself lucky enough to get in were in. Whew! But there were several thousand who found themselves without a registration. The reminaing 15,000 entries were handled on a lottery system. Unforuntately, not everyone interested in the marathon was able to get a registration. Chicago, up until now, was the only World Marathon in the United States to have registration on a first come, first serve basis. This very well may change next year, and who knows how they’ll arrange it. For me, not having to have a “qualifying time” was one of the appeals of this particular marathon. From registration, my only goal was to finish in time to be counted. From what I understand, many marathons have a cut off time of 5 hours and 30 minutes. Chicago’s is 6 hours and 30 minutes which totally benefits pokey people such as myself. That being said, I simply wanted to be able to count. To run this thing in under 6 hours and 30 minutes. To many  probably all marathon runners, that is practically running at a snail’s pace, but still, for me, it seemed like a big challenge.

This book helped me a lot. It added humor to this giant feat I placed in front of myself. I mean, just look at the cover. Hilarious. It called to me. I also joined a marathon training clinic through a store called The Running Room. It’s a Canadian company, but there are a few stores in the twin cities and one in West Des Moines for all my Iowa friends!

The 16 week training program put me with a small group of runners who all were better and more experienced than me. I had never even done a half! I remember being sooo nervous at work before the evening of my first session. What was I doing? I signed up for a MARATHON? Holy shitballs. It got super real that day. And here, for your viewing pleasure, is a lovely picture of myself after that day’s first run. Which was, ahem, only 3.5 miles. It was a HARD 3.5 miles, and at that point I knew I was in for a lot, a lot, a lot of work.

RR1

Week after week we had sessions from everything from nutrition to injury prevention, each session concluding with a run. Being the slowest member of the group could be really disheartening at times. At one point I almost quit the group, vowing to continue on my own. Fortunately, I came to my senses and did not quit. As difficult as it could be sometimes, I was conditioned to push myself. It can be easy to back off on runs when alone.

Another huge challenge I faced was what was diagnosed as neuroma, which is honestly just a compressed nerve that made my feet numb when I ran. Running with numb feet was so discouraging. Being aware of every step, the tingling, sometimes painful throb on the pavement. I ended up getting (holy, expensive!) custom orthotics, which are these solid inserts that fit into my running shoes. They keep my feet stable, which prevents the nerve from getting compressed. These took some serious getting used to. Because on the one hand, while they keep my feet stable, the transition to running without your foot being able to move was quite painful. After some time, this did get better, but especially on my long runs, I would come home with achy, sometimes bruised, feet.

Photos from Running

Leading up to the marathon, I was so anxious. How would it go? The worst part for me was feeling like I didn’t have a sense of how the day would go. I was filled with a mix of dread and excitement leading up to Chicago, and though I feel as though I didn’t train as much as I needed to, given my schedule, I was as ready as I was going to be.

Run Club

28 Jun

Holy Hell. I hate run club. And I need to seriously get over that because I’ve got about oh-you-know 14 weeks left. I signed up for a marathon clinic through The Running Room. Last week it was just me and the trainer which initially I thought sucked because all the attention was focused on me. Thanks, but no thanks. Then on Wednesday of this week was a free run night which was explained to me kind of like this, “Run club meets every Wednesday and Sunday. Usually a bunch of people show up, but people go their own pace and distance.” Sa-weet. My own pace and distance? I like that talk because here’s the truth folks: I am a slooow, slooow runner. Like when I’m tired it looks like I am shuffling in a sad, depressed way down the street. In truth, I showed up with a buddy totally expecting this “your pace, your distance” thing and there were about 5 ELITE runners there. Like this one lady runs so much she has somehow modfied her feminine genitic makeup and has the body of a man. This chubby runner ain’t got nothing on her. My poor friend had to turn around early. I kept up about halfway, but then between huffing and puffing managed to tell the group to leave me. (Side note: If I ever find myself in a war movie where I selflessly tell my comrades to leave me behind as I die in the dirt, I will draw upon this experience.) These runner folks did not stop. For me? This is problematic as I love a little walk break. Hush you. I can sense your judgement.

And then the worst thing happened. Content with making it back to the store by myself (seriously, I was super happy to be alone) the leader and old man marathon dude came back for me. Cue me in my head a la White Fang, “Leeeave!” Just leave, okay?!” But no, they came back and said the dreaded words of encouragement that don’t encourage, but just make me feel pissed. “You can do it.” “Everyone has their own level.” and my personal favorite – “we just felt like running with you.” Uh huh. No you didn’t, LIARS. You felt sorry for me. It’s super lame when people feel sorry for you. I hope I can get better so that stops real soon.

Then yesterday. Oh, how yesterday sucked. Went to the clinic where there were a handful of others that had since joined the clinic. All great runners, which makes me wonder why the hell they joined the clinic. Leave the real training to couch-lovers like me! How I missed the week before when I didn’t have to worry about being the one who is slow that people are waiting on.

Remember my foot problem where it goes numb when I run? Apparently it’s a compressed nerve which my custom-made orthotics are supposed to help. Well, I picked up those orthotics on Wednesday, and um yeah. My foot totally still fell asleep, although I feel as if maybe it’s not as bad with them in? I’ll keep trying, but here is the other problem – orthotics take a bit of getting used to, and since I have only had them since Wednesday my leg muscles on day 2 of running in them were basically screaming at me. So…run with them in and have less/more manageable foot numbness, but overwhelming leg pain? Or take them out and have a foot that is dead. Super awesome predicament, eh? I am going to continue wearing the orthotics until my leg muscles get used to them. And I hope and pray so, so hard that it will help make the numbness better.

I feel like when I explain my situation to people, they look at me is if I am explaining to them that I have fibromyalgia or some other “disease” for attention seekers. No one knows my pain!

 Despite all my bitching and moaning, I want this. I want this just once. To say I ran a marathon. To say I did it and counted. Unlike all my run-happy comrades, I’m not looking to make some marvelous time. Screw that! My goal is as bottom-o-the-barrel as one can get. To run it and count. To not get kicked off the course because I was too slow to count. That’s all.

So I think I will do training club once a week and push myself super hard then. The rest of the time, I’m going to train my way.

Here we go.

Moving Forward (Literally)

28 May

Well hey there. In the theme of “I talk about nothing but The Chicago Marathon”, I went to the podiatrist today. And? And it was…um…a teensy bit of a bust. Everytime I jog/run my foot falls asleep at about 2 miles. Basically I was told that I really should just go to a running store for a proper shoe. Kind of the point was to get a doctor’s advice, but you know, sure. The only smidgen of help is that he said my feet are normal (whew! at least there is not some majorly expensive thing going on), but that somehow a nerve is getting compressed when I run. Not sure how exactly. Which is the problem. I was also told I have kind of flat feet, which did blow my mind a little bit as I always thought my arches were high. Go figure.

So tomorrow after work, I shall drive myself to The Running Room is search of the perfect shoe and upon finding it will do a quick swish of the card. Always something to pay for, right? On this tangent: yeah, this marathon is not so cheap. Really not so cheap at all what with the registration fees, travel expenses, hotel costs, running shoes, doctor’s fees, running clothes – the works. But this is my huge, huge goal and when I complete it I know it will be worth every penny.

I’m also thinking minimalist shoes. Something like this. Maybe a completely different kind of shoe is something I need.

http://us.shop.runningroom.com/shoes/minimus-trail-mt10-v2-womens.html

Well that’s about it for now. Off to my finance class which makes me want to blow my brains out of boredom. First world problems, I know.

Happy Tuesday!

144 Days

22 May

I’m giving these next 144 days some serious side eye. Why is that? Oh, you know, just this little thing called The Chicago Marathon. My training really began this month, well at least the most consistent training since I signed up. Some days I feel so excited and other days I wonder what the f*#! I was thinking to sign up. Because 26.2 miles is a lot. A lot. A lot. I don’t think my trepidation is going to go away until I cross that finish line.

I’ve been nervous as well because for the past couple years, I’ve noticed this slight problem that when I run, only after about 2 miles, my foot (or feet!) fall dead asleep. My whole foot is filled with a tingly, yet numb sensation with every step. It’s getting to the point that it’s really un-ignorable and is effecting my training. I’ve gone on to all kinds of online forums and have read that I need to loosen my laces. Weeellll… that trick is not so much working out. So on Tuesday it’s on to my first ever podiatry appointment where I’m sure the doctor will be quick to point out all my genetic flaws – wide feet, high arches, second toe longer than my big toe, probably getting bunions. I’m afraid by this time next week, I’ll be walking around in nude color grandma orthopedics. Sad. But if I want to keep up this training, keeping this appointment is an absolute must. I can only hope and pray that this problem is fixable and non-costly. I really hope.

In some of my training material, I read that I need to have one super, amazing, purposeful reason for training for a marathon. It has to even be better than “I told everyone I’m doing it and how embarrassing for me if I quit!” So I’ve been thinking and thinking on it. What is going to push me to continue when my whole body hurts, when I have to spend a precious day off on a long run instead of horizontal on my BFF, Mr. Couch? What will be my reason? I think back to 12-13 year old me. I didn’t feel very good about myself at that age. Not good at all. I felt out of place and awkward (well, because I was). I don’t think I had enough self worth to believe in myself enough to accomplish a goal this huge. And now I do, or at least I’m trying like hell. I need to prove to myself that even though I can’t get everything in my life perfect, this I can do. This I can do. And 12-13 year old me would be amazed, utterly amazed, at me now. This one is for her and all the rest who don’t feel good enough. You are.

So that’s my reason. There will be ups and downs, sore muscles, tears, and praying. So pending some disastrous podiatry news next week, I’ll see you in Chicago on Oct 13 laces tied (not too tightly) ready to run.

My Bucket List

8 Apr

Stemming from my previous post about other people’s accomplishments, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on things I have done and would like to do. Because YOLO. To be honest, I don’t really get this YOLO thing, or understand why it’s popular or why some people are annoyed by it. But trying to be as un-annoying as I can be (and because you really do only live once), I think it’s good to make a bucket list of sorts to reflect on the goals you want to achieve. If I were to have made this list 10 years ago during my final year in high school, these are the things I could have crossed off by now:

  • Live in London for a semester – During the fall semester of 2005 I studied abrad through my college in London. The only regret I have of that time is that I didn’t go with friends. I didn’t think it would be a big deal, and though eventually I did make some pretty great friends, the first half or so of the trip I hung out with/traveled with my roommates. I call them the 2 H’s from Hell as both had H names (which you probably deduced using your context clues…you so smart). I also hung out with a dude who I liked for the most part, but due to his crush on H#1 became a total wet blanket. But despite the bitches, which could honestly be a blog post in itself (filing away for later), the trip was amazing. I would LOVE to just pick up and vacate my life for a few months, traveling and discovering things about myself and this incredible world we live in. I got to do a lot of traveling throughout Europe during my time in London and I believe it truly shaped the person I am today. I know my desire to travel will never go away, and I hope to always make it a priority in my life.
  • Lived in Phoenix – The summer after graduating college I took a job as an intern with a theatre company in Phoenix. I discovered my talent and excitement for arts management and somehow found the courage within myself to live in such a new place alone, as in not with family or friends nearby, though I did meet some amazing people during that time.
  • Traveled to Guatemala – Seeing a theme here? My first “solo” vacation, as in not with my family or through school. My friends and I planned the entire thing ourselves and paid for the whole thing ourselves. How grown up!
  • Moved to St Paul/Got into grad school – When I was living in Des Moines, a cool city – I don’t care what you say!, I didn’t like the way my life was heading. I had a good job, but working in insurance was not what I saw for my life indefinitely. I had a strong “now or never” gut feeling, applied for my current grad program, got in, packed up my things, and headed north. This move, honestly, was harder than Phoenix. Though closert to home, I had an inexplicable home sickness that took a while for me to get over. I’ve got my groove back eventually and now love where I live. Of course, Des Moines, will sort of always feel a little like home to me.

And for the things I hope to do while I’m still kickin’ it:

  • Sky Dive. Maybe cliche. But honestly, I’ve wanted to sky dive for a very long time. Just need the occassion and someone to experience it with me.
  • Graduate with MA – One year left and so much work to go. I need to complete an extensive (more than likely unpaid) residency and finish a Capstone class and huge paper. Daunting. But I will be quite proud of myself when it’s over.
  • Get a job I love – I left insurance in Des Moines only to end up in, what do you know, insurance…and with a paycut wah wah… BUT… I’m in grad school and I feel like that’s a good justifier of my present circumstances. The arts are a clique-y, clique-y group here in the cities and it’s quite difficult to break into the scene. Even with the grad school connections, I have about, um, zero time to volunteer. You know, got to work with bills and all that nonsense. So to get a job I am excited about is my version of total awesomeness. I have a lot to give, a lot of knowledge, and a lot of enthusiasm. So yeah. It’s just got to work out eventually, right?
  • Travel even more! Places I have yet to go, but want to with a huge passion include: Greece, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Croatia, Peru, Hawaii (and tons more if I was to reeeally dream big)
  • Married/Babies – If Kris is reading this right now, don’t have a heart attack. This is a while away, but these are things I really want someday.

And you guys, here is one that I will accomplish soon. Scarily soon. I’ve been nervous to announce because of some obvious reasons, but yours truly will be running in the Chicago Marathon on Oct 13 of this year. I KNOW! WHAAA? This coming from the girl who totally chickened out of the half I said I would do last year. Just in November, I huffed and puffed my way through a 7 miler. How will I do a marathon? Well training has begun, my friends. Starting slowly with dedication, adding distance, resistance, and strength training will get me there. This is a big one for me, and frankly, something I would never, never, never have thought for myself just a few years ago. So yeah. I’ll keep posting about it because that will help my accountability. photo[1]

Scariest/Most thrilling email EVER. Just ever. But here I go! It’s time for this non-runner to just keep running.

Life Achievements

29 Mar

Recently The Onion posted a hilarious faux article about how certain Facebook, or FB, friends should just stop with the life achievements already. Like, for realsies. Some of you people need to stop.  There is the girl I know from college who always looks ridiculously adorable because she is ridiculously adorable and you can’t even hate her for it. The worst. PS – she’s married and somehow has some miiighty deep pockets cause the girl is constantly travelling and making me jealous. That’s just one example out of many, many examples of people achieving things on my facebook homepage.

In a couple weeks, yours truly, will be celebrating a milestone event. The one year anniversery of dating. Say what? I know, a relationship that didn’t end after a couple months! I’m feeling rather nice and adult about the whole thing, thanks for asking 🙂

Now for me, this achievement is Big. Huge! (For those that got that Pretty Woman reference you are amazing). For some, my little one year of dating, ain’t got no thang on what they’ve got. Engaged, married, doctors, master’s, lawyers, homeowners, babies! It’s truly overwhelming at times. And let me show you the statsFB

Sorry if that’s hard to read. But yeah, I mean, considering the vast majority of my FB buds are my peers, the stats are daunting. I count single as you would if you file your taxes, so there are many in the single slice-o-the-pie that are dating, living together etc. Of course that’s just relationship status wise. Take a look at the babycentric pie chart. Though it’s only a third of the chart, I feel like my Facebook has utterly exploded with babies and pregnancies. Which is weird for me because I eat cereal for supper far too many nights a week to be considered mom material at this point.FB2So yeah. I even did a graph for the single with kids. I wanted to call it the bastard chart, but being the sensitive and culturally aware person that I am, chose “Single with kids.” And look! Turns out my friends are more traditional than I thought.

FB3Does anyone else feel like this is happening to their homepage? Or are you an “other” with your wedded bliss and baby glow? I jest. Of course I want all of that someday – marriage and 2 fat little babies (who grow up to be not fat) to love. Someday.

Peace out and have a great Easter. I’ll be paper writing. Woot!

Kenz

The stuff of entertainment

15 Mar

Despite not having cable (sad thing, yes, I know) I can generally fulfill my entertainment needs with Netflix, Hulu, and Redbox. Actually, I find myself invested in a lot of different shows. Some shows are difficult for me to explain why exactly I watch them. Take, for instance, the teen drama Pretty Little Liars. I know the show’s target audience is about 12-16 years old, but what can I say? I totally watch it every week. About a month ago, I went to Macy’s out of boredom (shush you!) and bought a new jacket. As I tried it on I thought to myself, “This is such a Hannah jacket.” As in Hannah from Pretty Little Liars. Sometimes I can be a real gomer.

My lack of cable also is a factor in my watching of tv shows on Netflix. One that I’ve watched about half of the first season of is Hart of Dixie, a ree-dic-u-lous show about a sassy New York doctor and her trials and tribulations working at a family practice in (I kid you not) the town of Bluebell, AL. Her arch-rival is a southern debutante named Lemon. (Don’t you just hate when that happens?) This town seems to live for floral prints, drawled out expressions like, “Daddy, I’m so excited for the sweetie pie dance!”, and having aligators as pets. Okay – don’t get me wrong – I’ve never been to Sweet Home Alabama, but I’m fairly certain Hart of Dixie’s portrayal is rather off.

Recently through Netflix I watched Heavenly Creatures. Released in 1994, (I’m really convinced that 1994 was one of the best years for film) it stars a young Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey as 2 young girls in New Zealand who form an obsessive attchment to each other, and through a series of events, plot and execute the murder of one of their mothers.This is based on a true story! Which then prompted my fingers to Wikipedia that shit with great fervor. Sidebar: every time I watch a movie about a real killer, I have to research them on the Intenet. It’s way creepy, but seriously fascianting stuff to me. Can’t really explain it, but I swear I’m not a killer! There is a line in the film in which Lynskey’s character says, “We have decided how sad it is for others that they cannot appreciate our genius.” That’s so Ali and me. Ha. Kidding. (shhh not really)

It has been many years since I decided to purchase a movie I had never seen before, but yesterday at Target I purchased Life of Pi on a whim. I knew I wanted to see it and just decided to go for it. I watched it last night and loved it! I know it’s gotten mostly good reviews, but there are some that are bad. And not to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen this film, but if you are frustrated by the ending because it’s not wrapped up in a neat little bow, I’ll probably think you’re dumb. Yes, the girl who openly admits to watching Pretty Little Liars and Hart of Dixie will think you’re dumb. I don’t like it when Life of Pi is compared to Avatar because Avatar sucked enormously. Life of Pi had stunning visuals with really intellectual themes. Even now, a day later, I’m still thinking about it. So watch it if you can. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen in a while. The director, Ang Lee, is just such an interesting guy. I think he’s got an amazing storytelling ability. Here you have this funny little Taiwanese man who has beautifully told Jane Austen’s English period drama Sense & Sensibility with as much richness as the western Brokeback Mountain, and now weaves the wonderful story of survival, the inter-connectedness of life, and fantasy/reality in such an incredible way.

In other events, T-Minus one week until Ali and her gentleman caller pay a visit to Minnesota. Wooo!