Rate: Christmas is [Mr.] Wonderful

I just wanted to take a minute to announce......


Mr. Wonderful did good.

I am now the proud owner of a Suunto M5 heart rate monitor and foot pod (which measures distance and speed). Isn't she cute (see above)?

On top of that, my mother (aka Santa Claus) got me a nice pair of running capris and and a running shirt and long-sleeve top layer. And I must say, she bought it for me just in time... it's like 40 Degrees here today! I know all you East coasters are facing a blizzardy death, but I've been enjoying the breezy and beautiful 75 degree weather.. until now. Ah, but I do love the built-in hand warmers in my top later. Delightful.

Well at 5AM this morning I sported my new clothing and my new Suunto and all the passing cars and pedestrians may have mistaken me for a pro... until I started running at turtle pace. 

But good gear = good runner... right? 

I'll be super fast in no time... right?  

I WISH.  However I have been diligently doing my PT exercises and I am feeling better and better. I'll bring you up to speed in the next post. Promise.

Now here' s a question for y'all.... How does one start rowing?! I would really like to try rowing and my knees would greatly appreciate it if I took it easy on them sometimes. So please rowing experts, advise!


Run: 5K FAIL

Pre-race. I'm on the left.

First of all, Hello running friends! I miss you! I've been a very bad blogger, but you've all been there so let's just forgive me and move on. Splendid.

As of December 18th, 2010 at 9:30 AM (MST), I have officially run my third race. Clearly, I can now go pro.

Clearly, I can now run a six minute mile without breaking a sweat.

Clearly, I weigh 95 pounds and my diet consists of only rice, beans and vegetables.

Clearly, I have arrived.



....Oh wait, I lied.

Today was in fact, a BUMMER. Let me explain. Problem number one lies in the fact that I have no monitoring device. I have no shiny Garmin on my wrist and no Nike chips in my shoes. I do have an ipod, but the app I downloaded most definitely does not work (I know I'm slow, but a 30 minute mile is a bit ridiculous, right?!). So basically I have no way of training efficiently. I base my times off of MapMyRun, a stopwatch and a hunch (ex. I feel like I was running pretty fast today. Must have been a 9 minute mile kind of day). This is a very ineffective way of doing things and I do not recommend it. Basically, I may be much slower than I thought.

Problem number two: I came down with a cold last week. Perfect. And the fun little thing about being an asthmatic is that most head colds turn into chest colds... AKA BRONCHITIS. So although yesterday I was feeling springy and almost 100% over my cold, today I woke up with four pounds of phlegm in my chest and a wicked cough... cough cough.

And so I head to the Jingle Bell 5K ready to rock it, thinking that I clearly run 8 minute miles. I end up coughing my way through the first mile, and spending the next two miles wincing away my chest pain and desperately trying not to vomit due to lack of oxygen. Already phlegmy asthma lungs covered in new phlegm just don't work they would they are supposed to. I couldn't run fast if my life depended on it.
And so I ran an embarrassing 30 minute 5k. I know many of you run 15 minute 5ks so please don't laugh. I'm fragile. And I have bronchitis. Probably. So there.

So here's the plan. With any and all Christmas money I get this year (got to love the grandparents) I'm buying a Garmin. Then, I am going to COMMIT to 2-3 days of speed work a week along with my regular workouts. I am not going to focus on distance for now because my knees just aren't ready for it. My goal is to run two more 5Ks in January and at least a 10K in February (if my budget will allow). I'm also going to drink a lot of vitamin C so that I never get sick again.

The end.


Rate: Asthma in the cold

I'm a firm believer than physical activity and exercise substantially minimizes asthma symptoms. I believe this for a number of reasons, but the most recent being that since I have started running by asthma has improved greatly. I used to have attacks weekly, and I was constantly using my inhaler, and now I rarely have a major attack and for the most part, I only use my inhaler before and after runs.

Well that was until winter came. But for some dang reason the cold air really gets my asthma riled up. (that may not be a scientific statement... but I swear it's true!). And this has really affected my running routine. I'm trying to incorporate speed work into my running schedule (did a fartlek workout yesterday-- so much fun!) but it's difficult when I start wheezing within a half a mile with no other logical explanation besides the cold air is making my lungs angry.

So what's a girl to do? Just keep running.

So now I'm learning to continue running, even after I am wheezing and slowly bringing my shoulders to my ears as it becomes difficult to breathe.

Well it's always good to have a new challenge to over come :)

And that's all, I just wanted to share. Any one else have trouble breathing in the cold (especially any of you asthma folk)?

(Disclaimer: I'm on my lunch break and therefore didn't have time to proofread this thoroughly so I apologize for any typos or poor grammar).


Run: Turkey Trot 10K

The Mi Amigos, Red Mountain Turkey Trot was my first "real" (timed and fast) race... not that I really raced it or anything; I just ran it. My ITB is still very fragile so I had low expectations. I did however, have higher expectations for my pre-race routine, which failed miserably:

6:00 AM: Wake up; real excited 

6:15 Am: Have somehow gotten ready at lightening speed, however I'm sadly out of coffee filters 
6:16: Drive to Starbucks, buy coffee, get gas, drive home 
6:50: Pack up bag, drink protein shake 
7:00: My cousin arrives 
7:05: Can't find keys 
7:06: "Oh, they're where they should be" (on key hook).  
7:07: [in car] "Oh sh**, where are my keys? I just had them!" 
7:08: Walk inside, grab keys (still on hook) drive to deep east Mesa (45 minute drive).  
7:30: "OMG! [step on brakes] Am I on the wrong 202?! (There's two 202's in Phoenix... God knows why) 
7:32: [After two minutes of panicking, pull off road, check GPS on phone, realize I am indeed on the correct 202, flip a U, and get back on 202.] 
7:50: Arrive at Red Mountain Park, race destination 
7:51-8:00: [Realize my water bottle leaked inside my bag. My running cap, which keeps my ears warm, which is a CRUCIAL necessity to my running capabilities, is soaking wet.] 
8:05 Walk up large hill to sign-up booth, realize I forgot cash 
8:12: Jog back to car 
8:20: Jog back to sign-up booth, sign-up, jog back to car to prepare and stretch
8:30: I have to pee 
8:45: The line for the bathrooms is too long. Must hold it. 
8:46: I forgot my inhaler in my car 
8:48: Run back to car 
9:00: Run up to starting line, seconds before the race starts with a very full bladder 

Next time.. I'll be better prepared.

I ended up having horrible ITB pain in the last 3 miles (probably because of all those warm-up runs to the car) but I didn't walk even though at times it was excruciating. We started off at a fairly fast pace for me, and it felt comfortable and good, however as soon as the knee pain kicked in, we had to take it down a notch.

To make a long story short, I apparently overcompensated profusely and ended up pulling a muscle on the bottom of my right (not the leg with ITB pain) foot. I've been limping for days.

I think the lesson there should be not to push myself too hard, but hey, it was my first race and I'm glad I ran through the pain! So there. 

I am not as glad that I am apparently the most forgetful person on the planet.


Run: Why I carry pepper spray

No, I didn't get attacked by a pervert. That would've been a better story. BUT I did get attacked.... sort of.

You see, I live in what Phoenix likes to call "Central Phoenix," which is a big word that describes downtown, uptown and midtown, all of which, are far from mimicking a real city feel. But Central Phoenix is the closest thing we've got to a real city. I live midtown. It's fun, I love it. There's lots of cute restaurants, thrift stores, coffee shops, antique shops, and random specialized shops. Ya know typical city stuff. There's also a lot of homeless people and crack heads. And I run at 5:30 AM, when it's still dark. So I carry pepper spray, just in case. (It's really a safe neighborhood but you've got to be safe, right?)

I dread the day I have to use, said, pepper spray.

So I'm on my way back from a 3.5 mile run. The sun is barely rising creating a beautiful "midnight blue" landscape... if you will. The birds are starting to chirp. The air is cool and refreshing. I'm listening to my ipod in runner's bliss; basking in the wonderfulness of not having knee pain.

And then I hear a faint noise through my music. It sounds like someone screaming. It sounds like someone screaming, "watch out." And as I peacefully glance behind me I am shocked at the site of a 20-pound, screeching, angry little mut running towards me with his fierce, little fangs shining out at me. Who would've thought such a small dog could look so evil.

And then I hear the most inhuman sound. It's a deep, loud but breathless sound, likened to the voice of Chubaka. Oh God, that voice is mine. I'm screaming "No." And then I wrip my head phones off and clear my throat and let out a few stern "NO's" while aiming my pepper spray into his eyes. But I do not pull the trigger. No, I just aim it at him with a steady hand, ho[ping he'll back off. Finally, the dog freezes; alarmed at my ability to discipline. His owner calls, and he meanders back into her arms.

"Is he aggressive?" I ask.

"Yes!" she replies, "sorry."

Hey, no problem [jerk].


Run: Trails and kicks

First of all, behold my new KICKS! They are the Adidas AdiZero Tempos. They are much lighter than my old Sauconey's and they hug my foot in a wonderfully soothing way. So far, they've felt comfortable, light and supportive and my knees feel pretty good too. I just LOVE getting new running shoes... or any shoes for that matter. Don't you?

Sometimes I catch myself smiling at them, admiring their wonderfulness. I even show them to my friends, my non-running friends, with enthusiastic glee, "Aren't they rad?!" And the said friends agree -- because they're my friends.


nd of all, I did some trail running today. I mean, for the first time in my running career, I meandered away from the asphalt, sidewalks and that cushy, weird pavement-like material found near a lot of city parks, and hit the trails.

Needless to say my new shoes are already quite dirty.

Ah, but it was so wonderful. I ran through the Phoenix Mountain Preserve through a rocky set of paths named "Dreamy Draw." The preserve was relatively vacant, the trails were narrow, rocky and packed with hills, rivets and rocks and storm clouds were bubbling over the horizon. It was perfect.

And I man-handled those paths. I did. I ran up, down and side-did and I pretended I'd been trail running for years. I sucked in that beautiful, clear air and I soaked up the scenery consisting of cacti, rocks, dirt and Palo Verdes. It was freeing, really. And if it wasn't already beautiful enough, I ended the run just ahead of the storm but right in the middle of the calming sprinkle.

Ahhhhhh, picturesque.

My knees, however, might spitefully turn on me and kill me in my sleep.


Rest: Back in the [running] [life] game

Oh running, how my body hates you... and yet loves you.

This weekend I:
Partied with the parents and Gma
Babysat my adorable nephew
Packed for Tucson
Realized I left my wallet at work with my money, license and registration in, said, wallet
Un-packed for Tucson
Cried (b/c I'm dramatic), drank a beer, did my laundry and waited for Mr. Wonderful
Mr. Wonderful and I went to Los Dos Molinos.... again (my name is Kelsey and I am a Mexican-food-aholic)
Bickered about what movie to watch for about an hour
Went to sleep
Ran 5 miles
Ate Bruschetta
Mr. Wonderful left and I again cried, as per usual.

The most important part of this series of events? RAN 5 MILES. Do you know what that means? That means that I am back in the game. That means that I can start training for a marathon again. That means that I can run a 5K faster than a turtle pace. That means that I can once again center my entire life around my running schedule.

And this time I won't push myself to hard. This time I will only increase my mileage by 10% weekly and this time I will not do any hills or speed work until I am good and ready. I will also stretch... if I must.

So hopefully this blog is about to take the turn for the better while I re-center myself my love of running. Question! Being in Arizona where the weather is all Topsy-turvy, when exactly is prime racing season for the rest of the nation?

OH and I leave you with this fun fact: Here in Arizona, we don't do day light savings. But apparently Apple doesn't know that. So everybody's iphone automatically switched today and people were late for life... because we don't do daylight savings. HILARIOUS. Glad I don't have an iphone.



Rest: Thoughts on job hunting

Ya'll thought I died didn't ya?! Nope, I was distracted by a series of events that looked something like this: intense moping; emails begging my former boss to pay me (still haven't gotten paid from former company); hours perfecting my resume and "brag" book; lurking of any and all job sites in my field; sending out resumes; completing five interview in one week (holy crap!); landing a great job, and training for said, great job.


Now that I can say that I have a stable job with a stable company in a position that I enjoy, I feel I can outwardly discuss how horrible job-searching really is.

Reasons looking for a job sucks:

1. You have to look impressive on paper. WTF?! I'm not a website... I'm not a business card... I'm a young person with a fabulous personality... DUH! Can't I just write you a three-page, free-form paper discussing why you should hire me? Who decided upon the resume format anyway?

2. Oh damn, my email had a typo... I guess that means I'm unhireable.

3. Oh I get it, just because those baby boomers can't retire I have to compete in an already horrible market with people who are five times as qualified as me, merely because they are applying for a job that four years ago they would have considered below them?! Ya that's fair (to both involved parties).

4. And then the fun part: I put on a suit, I spend $75 bucks at kinkos, I drive to the interview with the worst nervous stomach writhing of my life, I barely break a sweat (although inwardly trembling) while under interrogation, I present myself like I'm a hot new product (oh please, please, please like me), and I suck up to you, ONLY to find that I didn't get the job.

What I'm trying to say is looking for a job feels, to me anyway, completely degrading.

What are your thoughts? Do any of you actually find job hunting enjoyable?

The great news is that I don't have to worry anymore. I have a great job working with seemingly great people. So I guess, for now, all is well.

And the Blonde Bullet is back from her hiatus.


Rate: First week back for realsies

 (Mount Lemmon, Tucson AZ)
It's good to be training for something again, even if what I am training for is to be able to run for more than 30 minutes without knee pain-- that's something!

Monday: Ran 20 minutes and felt pretty good. I have to run really slow, I mean I think someone could walk faster than me if they wanted to. But it was worth it because I didn't have any knee pain until the last five minutes. My lungs felt good, my muscles felt good and me knee felt like it was improving. I stretched before and after, iced after and the pain went away almost immediately, which is exactly what my PT wants to happen. Which means I'm free to run two more times this week! Yippee.

Tuesday: Decided that since I'm virtually broke, I should become a commuter. So I packed my backpack with high heels, makeup and an extra shirt and hit the road at about 2:00 PM. I was heading for Tempe, about a 13 mile ride, which should be easy, in order to meet the ladies for our weekly girl's night. It has cooled down quite a bit here... but it's not THAT cool. In fact, it was 95. When you're so accustomed to triple digit temperatures, you start to think that 95 sounds refreshing. Also, Phoenix is far from bike-friendly, so I ended up hauling it as fast as I could to keep up with traffic on very busy streets in order to avoid getting hit or at least in order to get honked at less. So to summarize, I was pedaling as fast as I could, in jeans and a tank top (as in, NOT a kit) and in 95 degree weather. Brilliant. Well 5 margaritas later... I took the light rail home. But I still most definitely consider that a decent work out for the day.

Wednesday: Drove to Tucson, messed with camera. Will make up for the lost day over the weekend. Oh and for those who were curious, it's a Minolta Maxxum 5 SLR. It's kind of old, but I'm so excited. I'm going through a photography book and teaching myself all there is to know. Should be splendid. Also received notice of an interview today!

Thursday:* Ran 20 minutes. Tucson is a bit hilly, so that put some extra strain on my knees, but it was pretty much the same as Monday. Now I must do some strength training. Splendid. Killer abs here I come.

Friday:* I know it's not Friday yet. But I am absolutely positive (ok unless there's an earthquake or I have an asthma attack or something) that Mr. Wonderful and I are going for a ride tomorrow morning. Should be about 30 miles with a few small hills. He suggested we do Mount Lemmon.... ya right.

So far, so good! 

 *The above days are a bit switched around from my initial schedule. This is only because I usually need a week to get in the swing of things. I am doing all the workouts on the schedule, I just mixed up the days a little.


Run: Rehab

My PT says I MUST start at 20 minutes every other day, and move up very slowly from there. So this is my somewhat pathetic climb back to being a distance runner. I've only schedule about a month out, because I have to see how the pain goes. I'm also training for a short bike tour with Mr. Wonderful.

The schedule includes riding, running, stretching (which means 30 minutes of intense stretching) and my PT exercises, which include the foam roller (oh the torture) and many other strengthening tricks she taught me. My rides are usually about 30 miles with a few hills, but I have left the exact mileage blank so that I can fill it in as I improve and whatnot.

It's going to be torture to train this slow... but it'll be worth it if I can run again!


Rest: Confession and some optimism

Hello friends. Thanks for waiting for me as I sorted things out. So here it goes

To sum it up: I guess I'll admit it... I'm unemployed. The company I was working for, well, the stopped paying me. Why? The investor pulled out. It's supposed to be a temporary thing, but who wants to work for a company that pays you erratically? Either way, in the meantime I'm a bit SOL. And I've been pouting RELENTLESSLY. But it's a new day and it's time for a bit of optimism.
Optimistic point #1: I'm a writer. I am doing quite a bit of freelance writing and editing, and it's pretty cool to call myself a working writer.

Optimistic point #2: Self-improvement. I am going to try to look at this as an opportunity. I now have the time (and no money) to pursue many interests. I have the time to perfect my technical skills so that I will be a more invaluable employee. I have the time to run, ride and push my body to a physical condition I've never had the time to reach. I have time to read and learn and teach myself the things I have been wanting to learn but never had the time to pursue. I have the time too better myself. And that's an amazing opportunity.

In all my spare time, I am teaching myself all the Adobe Creative Suite programs, trying to get on a rehabilitation running plan, training to do a bike tour with Mr. Wonderful, learning photography, reading a ton about everything and perfecting my writing/editing/grammar skills... just to name a few. I'm also applying for a long lists of jobs... obviously. 

And below is the camera that my mother is letting me borrow! It's a little old and not digital, but I could care less. It will be fun to learn photography in it's pure form :)

I'm also reading this, and loving it.

And I applied to be a shoe tester for Brook Running. Everyone cross your fingers that they pick me for free shoes!

Annnnnnnnnnd, I went to a race this weekend! Well, I didn't really race.. I just ran the 2K with my Aunt. But it was a great time-- very casual-- and it was fun to see how these events work. It definitly motivated me to start racing once I'm off the injury list.

(more pics to come)

Talk to ya'll tomorrow!


Rest: I miss running

 (photo courtesy of Melissa Young)

I miss running.
I miss having a stable job.
I miss Mr. Wonderful.

Oh, to be human.  I have not been blogging this week in order to spare you my sob-fest (you know how honest I can get).  So sit tight, the oh-so-cheery BlondeBullet will be back shortly. Your patience is greatly appreciated :)


Rest: Pinetop, cars and basset hounds

I love going to Mr. Wonderful's cabin because it gets us away from the internet. Seriously, our combined addiction is that bad that we have to be secluded in the forest, in a log cabin, without any cable or internet, in order to detox from social media. It's a flat out weekend of rehab.

But anyways, it was fabulous. We read. We wrote. I ran. We watched movies. We cooked. We rode bikes. We walked Calypso and she ran up and down the stairs like a demon child and didn't really quit all weekend. We went to the local car show/fair. We went to Springerville in search of a hike and we drove the BEAUTIFUL 191!!!

That picture does it no justice. Seriously. Not even close to the epic, breathtaking, wondrous rolling hills and flowing rivers and lakes. I didn't even know that kind of scenery existed in Arizona. AMAZING!

We also, obviously, went to the ORIGINAL Los Dos Molinos. Why?! Because we just love Los Dos Molinos. Best New Mexican food you'll ever have. If you come to Arizona for any reason, PLEASE eat at Los Dos Molinos. We met the original owner's daughter who informed us that the only rule when opening a Los Dos location is that you can't tell anyone how they cook their food, and a family member must unlock the door each day. How cool is that!?

Then I drove back to Tucson. And slept.

And when I woke up, I drove home. For some odd reason, my 50 pound basset hound decided it was a good day to become a lap dog. I kid you not, for the first time ever, Calypso tried to sit on my lap while I was driving. WHAT?! My aloof, lazy, selfish and yet still oh-so-adorable and cuddly dog wanted to sit on my lap while I was driving a moving vehicle? Bizarre. This is a reenactment:

True, not a very good reenactment. I don't have a digital camera. It's sad. I use my Apple Photobooth instead. Here's another bad photo of Calypso:

Wow that's bad. Somebody buy me a camera.

Anyways, Calypso thinks she is a lap dog.

It was a good weekend. I had a swell time.

And then Monday happened and I learned why working for a start-up can be, well, depressing. I'm on the job hunt again, let me know if you'll have any tips or need a copywriter/social media specialist. I'll tell ya'll more later. Toodles!


Rate: Banned Books Week

Yesterday I finished a book by one of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami. I finished reading one of his less popular novels, South of the Border West of the Sun. I loved it, but I love everything he touches. Mr. Wonderful is reading Friday Night Lights and we start to discuss whether or not it's effective for writers to focus on such overly-argued topics such as racism in Texas. Not that that's not a huge problem, but it's been written about a lot, and we read a lot. But I argued that if writer's stopped writing about the more obvious cultural issues, then people would eventually forget and turn a blind eye and become ignorant. And he laughs, and jokes "I'm not sure if the high-brow, novel-loving readers are the ones that need to hear it." This really got me thinking. I love books, poetry, journalism, shoot, even social media. But maybe I'm just idealistically naive, is writing really a worthwhile trade anymore?

I still think it is (even if that makes me an idealist).

Today marks the beginning of Banned Books Week! Happy holiday weekend! Surprisingly, a lot of people don't realize how big of an issue freedom of speech still is. Although it's become less of a problem in America (however since 2000 both Harry Potter and Twilight were almost banned, and interestingly enough Friday Night Lights is also on that list), it's still a huge problem in many other countries, especially in China. Novelists, poets and journalists all over the world are censored every day. Maybe it's not as obvious in America, but it's still a lingering threat. So I'm going to celebrate Banned Book Week by writing a provocative short story, reading a once-banned book (I'm thinking The Satanic Verses) and donating a little money to P.E.N. What's your cause?


Run: My weekly attempt to run again

I was feeling rather rambunctious on Saturday and I thought I'd see if my knees could handle a little two-three mile run. I mean, two-three miles is nothing right?! I should be fine. My physical therapist said that I should only do about 20 minutes of cardio that engages my knees so I don't get too inflamed. So I'm thinking sweet, I can AT LEAST get in two miles. (Oh how my goals have changed..)

I head out the door and I'm a little stiff, but feeling good. My ankles need a a couple minutes to warm up, and then I fall into my pace. I feel a smile creeping onto my face, Oh running, how I miss thee.

And then I hit the sidewalks. The ground is really uneven and it puts some pressure on my right knee. No problem though, I'm allowed to keep running if the pain stays below a "3."

Man, I'm not even breaking a sweat! I'm still in great shape. Yippee! Maybe I'll do five miles instead. I mean if I feel okay, why not?

And after about about ten minutes, my left knee starts to tinge a little. Both knees are creeping up to that "3" threshold. It's definitely the ITB, not the tracking problem. So that's good... I guess. I'm good though. I'm good. Must. keep. going.

11 minutes in: Ouch! The shot up pain runs up the outside of my right knee all the way up to my hip. I stop and walk it out. Maybe it will go away?

So I walk for a few minutes and then try to get in the groove again. But, sadly, no can do. The pain is entering the "4" and "5" zone so I have to stop-- unless I'd like a severe lecturing from my PT.

20 minutes into my run/walk, I am clearly nowhere near five, or even three miles.

Boo knees. Boo.

The good news? My lungs felt great. True, it was only a couple miles but I think all this cross-training and gym time will pay off because I didn't feel out of shape at all. I felt a little stiff, but I think if my knees would have been able to handle it I could have easily busted out an eight mile run. Or so I tell myself.

Wulp, I get an A for effort. I think I'll try this again next week. Now it's back to the gym.


Rest: The weekend good and bad

7 Good Things That Happened This Weekend:
1. Bought a new body scrub that I love.love.love.love. Shiny, flawless skin here I come!
2. Got some face time at a birthday party with my bosses.
3. Decorated house with old farming prints that once hung in an elementary school classroom in the 60's
4. Went to the dog park with my momma and our pups.
5. Got to spend some quality time with Mr. Wonderful
6. Drank poolside with good friends... in SEPTEMBER! Fun times. 

7. I bought a new dining table and my dad drove all the way to my neck of the woods to help me get it home!

5 Bad Things That Happened This Weekend

1. Dad told me not to swear on my blog. Boo Dad.
2. My AC broke on Friday night.
3. I got a tummy ache after aforementioned birthday party
4. There were about 20 hornets in the pool.
5. Mr. Wonderful and I's schedules were hectic this weekend, and we only got one day with each other :(


Rate: Joint vitamins and then some

I've always been really intimidated by vitamin, or health, stores. Let's not get confused with healthy grocery stores. I love those. But stores filled with vitamins, supplements and energy drinks-- those scare me. They look like a store out of the future ya know? All those bottles lined up.. like someday we won't need real food at all. We'll just need to take the little red pill and you'll be full for the rest of the day. Or god, even worse, Brave New World came true and now there's millions of little brain pills to choose from-- not just Soma. Or it's a room full of robot food, or poison or... Kelsey focus.

So my personal trainer made a few suggestions for a multi-vitamin, a protein shake and a supplement to help with muscle building and weight loss. "Great," says self, "I have to go into one of those oddly clean, organized and creepy pill shops. GREAT." Well I did it folks, I faced my fears. And there was a very friendly and obnoxiously healthy sales associate there who wanted to hear all about my need for supplements. Somehow I get on the topic of my knees (great, now she knows your weakness. Don't let her get too close), and she tells me about a vitamin that she gives to the horses she trains to keep their joints healthy. I guess these are really competitive, super-jumping horses that need lots of joint love.


And so, she recommends this: The Vitamin Shoppe's Joint Solutions: Glucosamine & Chondroitin with MSM. She says this stuff performs miracles on joints. The holy water for joint pain. Apparently if I take two pills, twice a day, I'll be pain-free in no time. "If this works I'll be thrilled," I say. She replies, "Get ready to be thrilled."

And so I guess this post isn't really a "Rate" post because I have only been taking these miracle vitamins for one day. Or I guess I am moreso rating the Vitamin Shoppe for having the ability to sell me a drawer full of supplements and vitamins. Shit.. I've gone to the dark side.


Run: Personal Training and Cross Training

So after days of moping, eating and coping with the loss of my training plan. I'm ready to move on. Best case scenario: I cross-train my butt off for the next month, fly through physical therapy and as a result will be able to do a 14-week marathon training schedule, which, being a newby to running, is pretty short. Worst case scenario: I have to do a marathon in February or March instead. No big thang. Either way all is well.

So my new training schedule looks like this:

M,W,F: Spin class at the gym and/or cycling at night with cycling buddies 

T, TH: Running 1-2 miles until there's pain; strength Training and such with Personal Trainer 
Other stuff: yoga, swimming and physical therapy and a strict diet 
Goal: Lose 5-10 pounds, tone up and get in fabulous shape to start training 
Mid October: Start Marathon Training Plan!! Woot! Woot! 

And here's some stuff in my head concerning running:

* There's something so peaceful and wonderful about spending two hours with just me and my thoughts, pounding my feet against the pavement and canal dirt, fighting through the pain and letting my thoughts wonder. I miss it already.

* It's about time for a new shoe. I'm thinking I'm going to go minimalist. I think it will be good for me. Any thoughts?

* I passed out again. I was with my personal trainer and I passed out. Someone explain to me why I pass out on random occasions. I don't think it's often enough to be considered a condition. But it is scary. And it's horrible. Fainting SUCKS. I get nauseous and clammy beforehand, and when I wake up I have no idea where I am and my body feels like it weighs 500 pounds. And it happens at such random situations. I mean always when I'm working out, but never when I'm overly fatigued. It's usually when I combine resistance with cardio, but it also happens at other times. So who knows. Blah. I hate it. Boo.


* I'm sorry that my running blog doesn't only concern running. But to me, a blog should be a personality encompassing platform. That's why we like blogs, right? Because they've got personality. So if I only blogged about running, that would be a completely inacurate portrayal of myself. I would be lying to you. Because, believe it or not, I don't think about running all that much in comparison to the rest of my life. I mean gosh, I hope that's not a mood killer for ya'll but it's only one part of me and... I think I'm rambling. You get the idea. I just think we like blogs because of the people who write them. And I don't like to write only about running.

* I'm really jealous of people that have been running their entire lives. I'm jealous of them for a long list of reasons, but one of the biggest ones is that they're fast. I'm never going to be fast, I just don't have that many miles under my belt. That's fine. It is. But I do love the thrill of competition. It must be such an amazing feeling to win a race. So for those of you that win races, cherish it. For those of you who might be able to win a race some day, cherish it. For people like me, it's all about accomplishment and PR's. Which again, is fine. But it's not the same.


That's all for now. I love running. I love life. I love this blog.



Rest: My 12 Favorite TV Shows... As of Now

TV and resting go hand in hand right? So, great weekend news. I got cable. This weekend, I didn't do much. But I did get cable. So Woot. Woot. It's been a while. I feel like a cable television virgin.
So although most of you probably have had cable for years, maybe you'd like to hear some television reviews from someone who has been deprived for so long. And maybe some of you don't like cable, and I'm on your team too. I'm not a fan of wasting time, so why waste time filling your mind with useless information from the Boob Tube (as my mother calls it).

But the thing is, sometimes, I don't want to think about anything. And sometimes I want to watch a brilliantly cathartic and cheesy drama so I can get in a good cry :) And sometimes, I want to know what kids these days are watching. And I often enjoy the news and commentary shows as well. So, I got cable. Yipee. So here's a few of my favs, in NO specific order, in NO specific season and please ignore the "duh" factor.

1. Jersey Shore: I know, I'm late on this boat. And honestly, I hated it the first like, ten times I watched it. Gah, all that screaming?! But it's grown on me. And I've somehow been convinced that they're actually decent people.

2. Football Sunday: I never thought I'd put this on a list. And sometimes, I really hate football. But Mr. Wonderful and I agree, there's something brilliantly nostalgic and peaceful about the Sunday football tradition. Besides, I always love a reason to day-drink.

3. Grey's Anatomy: God I love this show. I'm obsessed. I know it's over-dramatic. Mr. Wonderful thinks it's a soap. But personally, I think it's well-written (at least last season was) , likable and %100 cathartic. I laugh, I cry (I mean REALLY cry, I'm talking sobbing here) I drool over McDreamy. It's wonderful. Better than therapy.

4. The Biggest Loser: I love Jillian Michaels, and I find most of the contestants to be so inspiring. I can't lose 5 or 10 pounds, I can't imagine 100.

5. Mad Men: Sixties decor, decadent Don Draper, fabulous outfits, copywriting and a killer ad agency. Ummmm? Need I say more? Do you even know me?

6. ANTM: Ya, I'm a sucker. The girls are often complete idiots, and the show goes down hill every season, but I am fascinated how Tyra's team can make otherwise plain or even weird looking girls appear absolutely stunning in photographs. It's one of life's major mysteries.

7. Discovery ID: This is not a show, but rather an entire channel. Why? Because it's all AWESOME. I could watch shows about serial killers and criminals all day. Does that make me screwed up? Maybe... I hate horror films if that's any consolation.

8. Sunny in Philly: Horrible people doing horrible things with Danny DeVito. AH-mazing.

9. Chelsea Handler: I usually hate people named Chelsea. If your name is Chelsea, I'm sorry. It's nothing personal. The name just sounds like Kelsey's evil alter-ego, which clearly offends me. It's an otherwise pretty name, so I'm sorry. But anyways, she's hilarious, witty, makes fun of celebrities, hot and yet not stick thin, and loves the booze. Exactly what I like in a woman :)

10. Modern Family: This show could have been horrible. It could have been trite, over done and sappy. But the director and writers succeeded in making this a hilarious look into how dysfunction has become the new family function.

11. 30 Rock: I want to me Liz Lemon. LEEEEEEEMMMMOOON. That's what I say whenever it comes on. I love absolutely everything about her. I also have awkwardly fallen in love with Eric Baldwin. Erik + Tina = Comedic perfection.
12. Law and Order, SVU: Apparently, I'm secretly a 68-year old single woman, because I'm not sure who else watches this show. But I love it. Guilty pleasure. God forbid I ever get caught in an all-day Law and Order marathon, OBSESSED.

*One last side note, I spend hours this morning catching up on blogging land, and I just wanted to say thanks. Thanks to all of your for blogging all the honest details about your running, and life adventures. Although I feel extremely pouty about the doctor's non-running prescription, after reading your blogs this morning, I feel even more motivated than ever to start racing as soon as I'm back on the pavement. I can't wait!


Rest: Magazine Cache Makeover


Hi friends,
Here's a fun little story about me, and nothing to do with running.
I read through my Runner's World, My Running Times, and my Vogue. I am no longer interested in the Rolling Stone. And I reached for another magazine, and...damn. I realized, that I no longer have the epic magazine collection that I used to. I used to have piles of niche publications that were at least $20 bucks a pop, but I didn't care because every page made my heart beat faster. I would close my door, put on some soft music, curl up in my PJ's and spend hours perusing the glossy, matte and stock pages. For some reason, magazines have always inspired me. More than books, running, movies and all the other things I love... besides possibly writing. Magazines give me goosebumps and focus my mind unlike any other medium.

So you can imagine, how disappointed I am in myself for now only subscribing to Vogue, Runner's World and Running Times. PATHETIC. I mean it. PA-THE-TIC!

So friends, I'd love some recommendations on some killer niche magazines? I like fashion (unique stuff), art, photography, entertainment, lifestyle, culture, fitness and general interest magazines. That's a pretty wide spectrum.

Help a girl out? Magazine suggestions PLEASE!


Run: 11 New things that mean serious

When I was a kid, my friend's dad would always turn my simple requests (like can I have some juice?) into a sarcastic joke. He would push my buttons and say, "Kelsey stop kidding around." And I, without fail, would yell out a loud and pouty, "I'm serious!" The next response? "Oh Hi Serious! It's nice to meet you!" This would go on for several minutes, and although I usually started this exchange with a giggle, I'd be almost in tears with frustration by the end. At 7, communicating with adults was hard enough without someone switching my words around. I know he was just trying to tease me, but still!

I've avoided saying the phrase "I'm serious" ever since. But today, I'm giving you a quick running/life update so that you know... I'm serious! I'm serious about running. I'm serious about work. I'm serious about my future. I'm serious about my family and friends. I'm serious about living my life happily, passionately and with drive and discipline.

So here it is, my serious list. Take it as you see fit.

11 New things that prove I'm serious:

1. I put my 5-month, detailed training plan onto a blank calendar, and then taped it onto my door. I also put up a motivational blog post that I read by one of our fellow bloggers. I have posted them on my bedroom door so I am constantly reminded of my goal.

2. I made an appointment with a knee doctor. Enough is enough and I don't want to have to quit training in the middle of all this. Please send your good thoughts, prayers, good vibes, luck, crossed fingers and positive visualizations my way so that the doc doesn't give me any bad news that would interfere with my training schedule. My appointment is Tuesday. 

3. I've started dieting and eating way healthier. Last night, I even passed on the ice cream. What?! I don't even know me any more.

4. On my mirror, I have posted personal affirmations and life goals that I read and believe every day. Cheesy? Yes. Effective? YES.

5. I have decided that maybe "experts" really are experts. And I hear Dave Ramsey has some pretty great budgeting ideas so I'm giving him a shot. Per his recommendation, I put a detailed budget together, on paper, listing every detail of my cash flow down to shampoo and dog food. I'm also going to a seminar next week. I even made little money envelopes and put some cash in there.

6. I signed up for three webinars on marketing/social media/email blasts, and I will continue signing up for them so I can continue to excel at my job.

7. I joined a gym. The heat is no longer an excuse. No siree.

8. I went to a spin class!!! Ive always wanted to go, but I've always been too nervous. I assumed I'd be too out of shape and look like a total idiot. For some reason gym classes always scare me. Well the new, very serious about life, Kelsey gave herself a little pep talk and waltzed right in there. IT WAS AWESOME! I highly recommend it to anyone. I am going to attend every Monday.

9. I talked to my sister and brother-in-law and they are hooking me up with a friend who is going to help me get an IRA account. Is that what it's called? Oh god, I don't even know.. But yay for saving!

10. I got a personal trainer! I am meeting with him once a week and he is going to put me in tip top shape. I met with him yesterday and my legs feel like jelly today. Sore and stiff jelly. Awesome! Yay for Simply Fit AZ!

11. Monday night is official girl's night! Which means i have a consistent day set up to see my buddies and be a good friend. AND it will be oh so much fun. Thursday is Grey's Anatomy night (I know--Nerdy!) which is another name for Sissy and Me night (Why hasn't ABC posted a season premier preview yet????) AND I think we're setting up a Havens family day a couple times or once a month which will be awesome!!! And the weekends, obviously, will be dedicated to the boyfriend. I just love good relationships :)

See????? I'm serious.


Run: The morning blues

So I'm done taking it easy.  I'm almost done with my new marathon training schedule, officially on paper, and I'm planning on doing just 30-minute easy runs every day for the next week to get myself back in shape real quick (I only took about a week off). So last night I set my alarm for 6:10--something I have done every day for the past four days. And I sleep like a baby all night long, minus the few fits of leg scratching that wake me up in the middle of the night due to the apparent spiders living in my bed. And then the alarm goes off, and I barely hear it--snooze. And the cell phone alarm goes off, and I get up nearly dead and bring it to my bed and hit snooze. And for the next hour I unconsciously hit snooze in my sleep.

Near the 45-minute mark, I start to realize whats going on. I tell myself, Kelsey you must get up. Seize the day! Whats there to keep sleeping about? 6:15 isn't even that early. Why are you being such a drama queen? Just get up it's not a big deal! ...And yet I still sleep. And then 7:15 rolls around, and I think okay, I can do it now. I think I'm ready, but god it feels hot in here. I pick up my phone and click on my weather application: 7:15 AM and it's 100 freaking degrees. I guess I won't be running this morning. 

This is the part of summer where it starts to feel like your trapped. No matter where you go and no matter what time, it's above 95. It seems so endless... and not in a let's surf these epic waves for the rest of our lives, kind of way. It's the part of summer where you realize you still have 2 months more to go (it doesn't cool down until Halloween, seriously).

How am I going to train in this? I'm considering a gym membership. God I wish I had a treadmill. Somebody buy me a treadmill. Thanks.


Rest: Is running your outlet?

Don't ask me why, but I love that pic. So, the weekend was by definition, good.  Had a video shoot that went well, Mr. Wonderful came in town and my roomies (a couple), Mr. Wonderful and I had a DECADENT Mexican dinner (I just love me some Los Dos Molinos) and ended the night at a popular bar. Mr. Wonderful and I went thrifting the next day, and I'd say all around it was a pleasant weekend. So why then, did I wake up the next morning feeling perfectly blasé?

I think this lady may be onto something ---> New Dress A Day

If you read her About Me, she will explain how she was feeling creatively stunted and bored and therefore started a shopping/sewing adventure in which she buys a new dress everyday from a garage sale or thrift store, sews and crafts it up, and then rocks it. Not only is her blog pretty dang cool (thank you Jhen for pointing it out on Facebook), but she seems to be at least momentarily healed from the creativity void she was once so troubled by.

I think I feel a bit the same way. As you all know, I'm very excited about the new job, and training for the marathon and all that jazz. Life is a-okay. But I can't help but feeling like I just haven''t been myself lately.  I'm an extremely emotionally driven person, so when I'm not happy with myself it quickly trickles down into every aspect of my life. Bottom line? I haven't been indulging in my creative passions enough. I've been dressing to be more successful, trying to become wittier to be more social, and writing for advertisements, web pages or businesses. I've been making lists and cleaning my house. I've been making plans every night to appease my friends and coworkers. I've been reading books and articles that I think will make me either more successful or more adept in social conversations.  I haven't been doing anything for myself. Even this blog-- I often manipulate my content into what I think my readers want to read.

I actually love the weirdo, irrational, passionate, impulsive other half of me. I'm not sure how, but I must quickly reconcile my two different worlds. Or maybe, like usual, I'm being overly introspective. Maybe many of you find that running is that emotional outlet; that soothing, relaxing part of your life that makes you feel sane. I love running, I really do. But it's just one compartment of my life. It doesn't have a huge impact on who I am. Am I the only one that feels that way?



Rate: 4 Things I have learned through running, work and then some

I realize that I am in a pivotal point in my life, even though it doesn't feel like it; I'm starting my first job/hopefully-career-- and that's pretty dang cool. I'm going to look back on this year(s) and laugh at my naivety, idealism and enthusiasm. Maybe I'll look back and miss the uncertainty and excitement of it all. Or maybe I won't. Either way, whether your my age, older or younger, you might appreciate hearing a few of the life lessons I've been learning. These lessons apply to both running, work and a social life. So here are a few of my thoughts, spoken from myself, to myself:

1. Dress the part. Always. In a perfect world no one would care what you wear, but this world is far from perfect. Not to mention, it will make you feel more comfortable in the given environment.

2. Never forget this: You really are capable of what you set my mind to. Whether it's 26.2 miles, financial stability or a change in a personal flaw, it takes hard work and persistence, but it's doable.

3. Get tough skin- you need it in order to succeed. But make sure you've got a soft layer directly under the rough. Always be prepared to do a skin change in any situation.

4. Surround yourself with people you respect-- people that you respect for different reasons. There's nothing worse that a close group made up of 15 of the same person. Surround yourself with those who have individuality, enthusiasm and integrity.

Ya know, after I write them down, they sound a bit basic. But I guess, basic isn't a bad thing. In fact, if you can't get the basics right, you're not going to get very far with the harder stuff.


Run: 6 Pre-marathon training thoughts

The Arizona Rock and Roll Marathon is on January 16th, 2011. Therefore, I don't have to start really training until mid-September. I've been running for about a year now. I've met most of my goals (except for the whole race a 5K thing, working on that), and most importantly I've somehow convinced myself that I am a runner. I am in shape(ish) and I no longer gasp and the idea of an 8-mile run. So that's all fabulous, right?

But... now what? I have almost an entire month to kill, and I'm feeling a bit clueless. Here are my pre-marathon training thoughts (in no specific order):

1. 16-weeks of training and a marathon is going to be hard on my body. My knees are prone to injury. So, until training, I don't want to over do it and end up injuring myself.

2. I want my body to feel well-rested before training. I don't want to be sore or burned out before I even begin.

3. I don't want to get out of shape while waiting to train for my marathon.

4. I'm trying to work on my diet and develop a healthier lifestyle before I start training because I know I'll be famished once the training commences, and when I'm famished I make really bad decisions.

5. It's still, um, REALLY FREAKING HOT OUT.

6. I may get fat and flabby if I don't increase the intensity pretty darn soon.  

Maybe I'm just making excuses. Either way, I'm having a hard time deciding what I should do for a pre-marathon training, training plan. Shucks.


Rest: Skyping in the City

How exciting, I think I may be entering into that part of your twenties that is supposed to be fun. My nights are getting mellow and yet still indulgent with good wine and good food. My friends and I no longer worry about social scenes and men, but rather enjoy each other's company and discuss our passions, dreams, jobs and hobbies. My dog even seems happier. I feel like Sex in the City... except I'm not rich, sub NYC with the Wild West and, ugh, my outfits aren't nearly as amazing.

On the running front (which I know is what most of you care about... thanks for humoring me with the other stuff), I've been taking it easy since I don't need to start really training until mid September (will explain more in next post). I don't want to over do it prematurely. So instead, I've been focusing on the simple pleasures in life... besides running.
On Friday, we got a new couch! Do you love?

I'm feeling better and better about my new job everyday. It took me a while to admit this, but... I... am working on a website company for models. Like, I actually am trying to help models and will be working with them often. And at first I was kind of embarrassed, but now, I'm downright proud and excited! It's been so fun to give my input on all the creative aspects, and I think it will be a really cool project. So I'm telling my English Major nerdy other half to calm down and enjoy it. 

Skype is amazing! It's not as good as the real thing, but it kind of feels like I get to hang out with Mr. Wonderful whenever I want. I don't know what long-distance couples did before Skype. Screen shot!

So overall, I think life is going to be pretty good once I get used to all the changes. 
Change is usually a good thing.

I promise more Run posts to come. Resting ain't easy.