The title of this blog entry is brought to you by the temperature in Las Vegas right now. It's so hot I've decided I'm going to run the track at the gym - it's either die from heat stroke or boredom and I've decided boring would be less painful.

The thing is, I hate my gym. I'm so intimidated going there because of the people who also go there. I'm not a fitness model or MMA competitor or professional 'cocktail model' nor could I be one. For one thing, I'm not very good looking to begin with, for second when I work out it is not a pretty sight. My face turns bright red and I mean BRIGHT red. I basically look like I've been holding my breath for an hour and it doesn't calm down for probably another hour. I'm pretty sure people get worried that I might pass out at any moment.

My clothes do not match. I wear the same outfit to work out in because its the only thing that fits. It only happens to be shorts and a tank because if I wore any more clothes I may take on extra weight from all the sweat just walking to the door.
The women at my gym wear outfits. Not just my sweats match my tank outfits, like... I was on the cover of Muscle and Fitness last month and this was my cover outfit. Sigh.

So here I go. Fitness World. Week Six workout #1.


Week 5 Day 2

I have been using a WAUN or RULK (walk/run run/walk) interval training by Podrunner.com for their couch to 5K series. Today's run was basically two 8 minute runs with a short walk in between. I didn't get all the way through the last 8 minute run without walking, which is totally annoying.

The last two times I've run, I feel super heavy even though the week before I felt awesome. According to my favorite trainer Chris Bartl this is called "the grind." The time when the excitement wears off of starting your new program and the plateau begins. I'm not losing as much weight as I am gaining muscle so my clothes are getting tighter. That's a fabulous feeling. When you are working out and you're clothes are getting tight. This is when I start thinking .. why am I doing this?

I'm doing this because I've paid for a marathon and I'm going to run it. And I'll finish it too.

Run Fat Girl Run

I started training for a marathon about 5 weeks ago. I know, I know, what was I thinking? Good question. I think, at the time, I thought to myself - this could be a great way to work on your 'issues' while getting back into shape. Or, hey why don't you torture yourself for 8 months by attempting to run 26.2 miles in one swoop when you've never been a runner in your life.

See, I've always envied people who could run. They look graceful and active and athletic ... well basically everything I'm not. It's something they can do on their own or with friends. It's something they don't need gear for - besides shoes and a road and I REALLY don't need another hobby that has expensive gear to go with it.

So, from here on out, this blog will follow my attempts at running. It will follow my thoughts, the weird things that happen on my runs (you know there will be some) and anything related to running until the marathon on December 6, 2009.

So, I hope you enjoy what is about to happen. That being me transitioning from a chair bound office worker with 'secretary spread' and 'spare tire' to an athlete. A competitive athlete.

Ok, lets not get carried away... Athlete is good.


Stephen King Ain't Got Nuthin' On Me

It's a beautiful day here in Seattle. Days like this make me wonder why I ever moved away. It's warm and there is a slight breeze. The sun is shining, people are smiling, and the bums are lounging on the benches in Westlake Center. It's really beautiful.

The only problem about when it gets warm in Seattle is that the alleys start to smell like urine. Most of them are referred to as "Pee Alley" because usually when you walk past one the stench wafts up into your nose and you think twice about using the alley as a shortcut.

I had to run to our other building this morning to grab a power cord for my laptop since mine is still sitting in my suitcase in Monroe. So, I grab my sunglasses and wallet, and head out for the two block jaunt. I decide to take the pee alley shortcut because it's still relatively early in the morning and the alley hasn't had time to put its stench to work yet. I pass a couple of maintenance pick ups at the beginning of the alley with two guys sitting in their respective driver's seats - obviously hard at work.

Once I get about halfway down the alley I think to myself Either I'm incredibly stupid for continually choosing to take pee alley to the other office or I just think I'm a badass. Before I could even finish the chuckle coming up to my throat I feel something slightly sharp forcefully hit the top back left side of my head. I flinch to bring my hands to my head and simultaneously turn around to encounter whatever crazy man has followed me down the alley. To my surprise and absolute horror there is no one there.

Then I realize what happened: A rustling sound and swoosh of black color off to my left. A crow caawing and soaring back up to his perch on the building light fixture above. I barely have time to register the fact that he is looking directly at me and taking off again - straight towards my head.

I break into a run screaming as he hits my head once again, in the same spot, caawing and screeching like I've trespassed on his own Pee Alley. I get closer to the end of the alley where I can see people milling about and I hear the swish of his wings right next to my ear and I scream one more time.

True to Seattle, no one turns to even look, let alone sees this damn crow attacking my head and trying to grab my hair. I continue running until I hit the lobby and when the door closes behind me I let out a sigh followed closely by a laugh as I turn to look at the security guard behind his desk. Soundly asleep.

Some security you are.



My first memories of her involve big, curly hair, and band geeks. It was 1990, I was in 7th grade at Vista Middle School. She was competing for 2nd chair with whichever of the 'hair sister's' was in that spot this week. I sat with the rest of the real band geeks up on the top riser. Raven, Stacey, and me.

Our band instructor was a dirty old man who looked like painter Bob, so it's no wonder the prettiest girls in class sat right in front of him. I didn't ever hide my distain from him - something I still need to work on when meeting people I don't particularly like. I was just a plain jane girl with low self esteem who didn't necessarily have the fashionable clothes - I tried my best, but it always fell a little short.

Fast forward to freshman year of high school. I'm not sure if I had less or more friends at this point in my life. Everyone knew who I was because my father was the Assistant Principal of my high school and I had an older brother so people had an unfair advantage where I preferred to glide under the radar. Most people either ignored me, made fun of me, or tried to make friends with me for favorable outcomes when dealing with disciplinary action at school. When someone I'd known of for a couple of years decided to be nice to me, I was skeptical.

Enter day one of high school. The first four classes I had were with her. She sat next to me in all of them, and was nice to me. From that time on our relationship has grown from acquaintances to a solid friendship. She is one of the most genuine people I know and I've watched her become a smart, loving and even more beautiful woman. And I am lucky to have met her.

Through the years I've met her boyfriends. I never liked any of them. Once again, I have a hard time controlling my distain for people when I think they fall short of expectations I have for people I love and what they deserve. Don't get me wrong, she dated some really really hot guys, some really nice people, and some HORRIBLE undeserving men... but in late winter of 2006, she 'met someone.'

Here we go again.

Like I said, I've met almost all of the guys she's dated. Most of the time I didn't have complete disdain for them, but there was always something about them that went missing, something that didn't fit, but I could never really explain what it was. But, she was my girl and no matter what - my job as good friend #1 was to judge them harshly because she wanted love, and sometimes we don't always see everything from the inside of an exciting relationship. I stood by her and held her hand when they weren't right. I played the dutiful wingman on several occasions and we had a great time doing it. We really did. I mean really. :)

So, in Spring of 2006, we made plans to have a girls night, and because she wanted me to meet him, he came to meet up with us. We were having a drink at some Tiki themed lounge in Bellevue. It was a little much, to be honest. Grass skirts, Tiki God pictures and statues everywhere... and we were two of 5 people in the bar - including the bartendar.

We sat talking about him and their first date, what he was like, how they met... and me being me I just kept wondering if he had any single cute friends... :)

I don't remember much about this first meeting. I remember thinking he wasn't as egotistical as all the other guys she dated. He had a hint of humility in his movements, and he wasn't trying to charm me. Huh. Interesting. I remember leaving the restaurant with a good feeling and happy that she finally found someone who seemed genuine. Good girl.

A few weeks later we went to a formal gathering. They came to my place and got ready. He had a sunburn, but it was divulged to me that not much was going on in the hanky panky department so he was being shy about showing it off... awwww.

At the party, I was having a flashback to highschool where my 'Ross special' dress, which didn't necessarily fit right, was paling in comparison to others in the room. The mutual friend whom we picked up on the way was causing me anxiety about my appearance because of unrequited feelings, and as the room filled up with millionaires with models attached to their arms, I felt shorter and fatter and shorter and fatter... and on and on. So, I became a wallflower with her man. As we sat in chairs watching people in the room, I watched as he watched her. He didn't get angry if she talked to other men, which when you're a girl who looks like her happens often - he just made sure she was ok. He got dressed up and went to a party because she wanted to go. He hates dressing up. He also doesn't dance. At all. Not even that silly 'wow you really shouldn't be dancing' dance. At all.

They had another party to go to after this one, so when it was time for them to leave, I left. As they dropped me off at my place, I changed my clothes and got ready for bed and at some point decided... that's him. He's the one.

So, congratulations Shana and Aaron. You're the lucky ones. You found each other.

And Shana, your bachelorette party awaits you in Vegas.


The Underdog

There's a rollercoaster effect to attraction. The slow build to the crest and then the freefall and after you get off the ride you ride the euphoric sensation until it fizzles out.

I'm off the high. I've been off the high for about a week now. The short version to end the "Eyecandy" story is this. It built to this amazing crest. I'm not even being dramatic when I say the stars aligned and you could see how everything was working in the favor of this going somewhere other than the attraction funeral home. He'd broken up with a girlfriend. We had birthdays a day apart from each other. He invited himself out. There was a lot of flirting that involved conversations about marriage and how hard it was and kids and how much responsibility there was and sick family members and ex wives and how "I knew you weren't like that the first time I met you." Things were being expressed. Things were moving forward. There was a shared attraction that neither person could deny.

I flew home the morning after and felt giddy; the smile that doesn't fade, the elevated happiness, the fast-forward of your lives together. In my case a fast forward of undeniable fun followed by a tragic ending, but all in all a great love story.

Two weeks later I'm low. I'm wondering why there is no forward movement. Why when standing in an elevator together at the end of a great evening you just look at each other while the doors close between you and you wait because surely that can't be all?

So, here I am, a little over a month to our birthdays. He's supposed to come out. He's supposed to be interested. He's supposed to not be able to function because he's thinking about me too much. There's a 95% chance he's not going to call, he's not really going to even acknowledge that he invited himself out to be with me, so all that worrying is for nothing. Then there's the hopefull 5% chance he contacts me and follows through. I've decided to plan a different birthday celebration and most of me never wants it to happen; I really want the 5% chance to prevail.

I wants the underdog to win. C'mon underdog.


La La Land

Hollywood is a magical place where glamorous men and women clad in the latest fashions live out ordinary lives on large screens, celebrities abound, and happy endings aren't just another part of the adult industry. Hollywood is where dreams come true.

Unless you are me.

My second work trip sent me to LA where I entered my hotel room overlooking the pool and immediately snapped a picture for a vitamin D-deprived amiga back home in the PNW. Amidst texts from she and a phone call from a college buddy who now lives near me in the desert I changed my flips out for some heels and headed downstairs to the boothing area to help set up the booth. JA was there holding down the fort as usual. Adorable as usual. It's just unfortunate because I feel huge next to her.

Apparently, our supplies have not arrived yet. No problem, we usually get there a few hours early and since we weren't the only ones missing our supplies we didn't feel as bad. The setup guys tell us we'll have our things by 3, so we wait.

As we sit, we're discussing the return trip. Apparently, I'd booked an entire extra day, so without reacting or even letting anyone know - I immediately get on the crackberry to change my flight and decide to deal with the hotel later. I'm totally sweating and feverishly hoping I don't have to pay $100 to change the flight and that I can cancel the hotel before it's too late.

And then it happens

I glance up to see Eyecandy walking into the room. Since I was in the middle of changing my flight on my phone I didn't give him the reception he deserved (applause, confetti, musical accompaniment...)and I'm pretty sure this set the tone for the two days we were there. He was not as flirtatious as the first time we met. In fact, if I didn't know better, he seemed uncomfortable around me or that he was purposefully avoiding me. Either way it was clear...goodbye great memory, it was fun while it lasted.

We finally got our supplies and were able to set up moments (I mean a literal 5 minutes) before the happy hour that was happening in the same room we were in. Just in time. JA invited me to dinner with her and a friend, so I decided to do that, even though I really just wanted to go upstairs and look out over the pool. No qt with eyecandy. sigh. It really was fun while it lasted even if it only lasted 4 days.

Next morning gets me up pretty early. I head down to meet up with JA outfitted in some much better looking threads than I had the time before complete with new adorable heels. I felt good, I looked good, and I was in LA the place where dreams come true. There was one minor snag in my morning - the sweater I bought had one of those huge tags on it that you have to cut off and I didn't have scissors. I'd have to stop at the bell desk on my way down.

I meet up with JA, get my morning coffee, and head over to the bell desk to cut off this ridiculous tag. Most of the morning I've been traversing the lobby in front of a bar area with patrons drinking their morning coffee or reading the paper. As I head to the bell desk I think I see Eyecandy out of the corner of my eye. Mental note: check on my way back. In the meantime, the bellman has a great time pointing out that you're supposed to take the tags off before you get dressed.. yadda yadda. Thanks buddy...

I try to slyly look over to see if it is in fact Eyecandy and to my astonishment, he's looking straight at me! I walk over to say good morning, get some good small talk in and am greeted with a morning hug...sigh with a smile... We chit chat for a minute or so and I invite him over to sit with JA and I. He declines-something about outlets for his computer-and I excuse myself to go back over to JA and my coffee.

I'm standing in front of JA reveling in my morning hug moment and she says four words that ruin the moment, "your zipper is down."

OH COME ON! My morning hug sullied by an overlooked zipper! Did he see that? I zip up my zipper and try to pretend like it's no big deal and the whole way downstairs I'm thinking... you're so lame. so lame! I can't take you anywhere.

We head to the room were sitting in for the entire day. What a boring day. Eyecandy isn't really around much, I mean who would be.. it's lame in here, but at least they have a good breakfast spread. I think by the time I visit the restroom for the first time I've ingested 32 oz of fluids and it's time to go.

Here's a pivotal point in my life. Ever since moving to the desert I've had to deal with cockroaches. They're in my kitchen. They're in my bathroom, they're dead under the sink at work and they gross me out. I'll never forget the first time I saw one. I think it was the same reaction I had when I jumped off the pier into Puget Sound at leadership camp. I vaguely remember someone jumping in and helping me swim to shore because my body completely - and quite literally - froze and I couldn't breathe. Dealing with them involves a can of raid and checking the floor before entering the room. I digress.

Anyway, I'm headed to the bathroom to do my thing. Walk in, do my newly found routine of checking the area lest I get stuck in close quarters with a bug, and find a bugless stall. About 13 seconds (that might be long enough to be ready to pull the pants down) I hear a woman exit her stall and say "Bug. Big bug. REALLY big bug." ok. I gotta check this out. As I exit the stall (pants up and zipped, thank you)I find a woman standing to my right, and as I look to see where she is pointing I almost lose it.

There in front of me is my worst nightmare.

You know when you start to feel like you're getting sick, so you look up your symptoms on WebMD and by the time you're done you're convinced you have 'the big c?' That's what I did when I started to research my enemy: the cockroach. And I found these pictures of these enormous creatures that couldn't possibly exist. They must have been photoshopped. But here I stand, in front of a bug that is quite possibly the size of my foot. I ran.

I get back to the booth. I'm shaken. My faith in this hotel is non existant and I'm grateful to the woman who saved my life in the bathroom. And here is Eyecandy watching me turn into a little girl. Sigh.

At one point during the day I'm sitting next to Eyecandy and I ask him about his trip to Las Vegas over Valentine's day weekend. His response shocked me. "Oh, yeah, it was fun. It was just me and a couple buddies..." pretty much everything after that had me reeling... what! No romantic Valentine's day with your non-flatulent musical girlfriend?!?!? smile. And you were out of town for Valentine's day which means....there might not be a fabulous girlfriend... exciting!

And, true to form, at the end of the conference I have to say something embarrassing. It goes like this: after two glasses of wine, we're packing up and I go over to say goodbye. I get my hug and pull away to say "You should call me if you're ever in town..." almost as if I have no control over what comes out of my mouth and it's out there hanging in the air between us before I can grab it and put it back in. That was pretty forward for me and I'm pretty sure he was just as caught off guard. But, he gave me the shootdown in the form of "Uh, yeah. I have your linkedin."

Why do I even open my mouth.? Why?


Fire In Your Eyes

I fell in love for the first time at 16. I didn't take long; it never does. I used to get dizzy when he would kiss me. I'd lose my train of thought if he was standing close to me. Touching him made the room spin.

I met him at a hs dance that was put on as a fundraiser for an afterschool activity I was part of. He was one of four people who showed up. I walked over to ask his friend to dance, but of course he'd asked D already. D was the gorgeous one. D was thin with long golden hair and a bright welcoming smile - she always got the guy. But, instead of retreating, I instead asked his dark haired friend to dance. JO.

He was the first guy to scare me enough to envoke fight-or-flight. I ran from him. I avoided him. And when he called one night I just let him go. I used to blame it on the fact that my parents were getting a divorce and I couldn't handle it, but if I were to be completely honest it was because I liked him so much it hurt. And he liked me back. I'm pretty sure he was the last guy to really like me as much as he did.

He used to write me letters. Love letters. Yes, ladies and gentlemen I have authentic love letters. Handwritten, lined notebook paper, bad handwriting, bad jokes, and old nicknames love letters. I still have them sitting in a small box in my closet. There is one in particular that on my darkest days, I'll take out and read. There is a line in it that keeps me going when it seems like I've lost hope or faith or footing. It brings me back to a time when I knew what I wanted and nothing was going to stand in my way.

There is a fire in your eyes that I can't explain...

I'd held this in my heart for years. Wondered where he went and what he ended up doing with his life. I got my answer and a giant kick in the gut a few years back.

I was at a football game with my aunt. We had amazing seats and spent our morning screaming along with the rest of the crowd. Partially through the second quarter, I kept hearing someone call my name - which happens often because, well it's not like my name is obscure. But then he yelled my full name. I turned to see who I thought was an old friend from college. Thirty seconds later it hit me and I slowly turned to see him smiling at me. We met up to get beers at the 1/2 and the first thing he said was "I've been looking for you for years. You're the hardest person to find. Thank you for the flowers. "

His brother died on a backcountry hiking trip and the first time I'd seen JO in years was when he was on TV talking about it. He looked horrible, as to be expected, but his hair was too long, he was thin and unshaven. He looked like he'd had a hard life. Turns out he'd been on a research ship for months and came back to find out his brother was missing. I sent flowers, but the florist wouldn't give him my information.

Fast forward 4 or 5 years and he's standing in front of me. We are both just looking at each other smiling and saying things like... where are you, what are you doing, where are you living? Are you married? Kids? No to both. And then he said something else I'll never forget:

"I thought you'd be in Europe by now.." so did I. So. Did. I. Life happens.

I dropped him off at his friend's house the next morning. He was pretty quiet on the way and I was giggling about the whole thing. Too funny. He opened the door and turned to face me and said, "I'll call you." The thoughts came quickly I need paper to write down my, you don't know my, oh you don't want my... I'm pretty sure my face said what my voice wanted to but couldn't. As disappointments go, this was a big one.

His wedding was the next week. I lost respect for him when he closed the door to my car and walked across the street. He was a small catalyst to where I am now and a daily reminder that no matter who they are... some people just have a hold on you.

Someday I'll burn the letters and prom picture. But, as horrible as a memory as I have of him now, he is still part of my favorite memory from that time. Dancing in a castle.

Weekend plans!

I've been in Vegas for four months now. Most of my weekends are spent doing nothing. When I say nothing, I really mean nothing. It's really been a pretty huge blow to my ego. I was a social person in Seattle. I had happy hours, a busy schedule, and friends. Funny friends. I mean, I still talk to all of these friends and was even able to visit them when I went home this past week which of course makes it harder to come back here.

I come back to Vegas and I realize how bored I am. To add insult to injury, I'm trying to find hobbies, but all the hobbies I like to do are outside - which in a few days is going to be hard to do since it'll be 98 Degrees on Wed. I'm so nervous. I don't have AC. I'm not prepared for living here. I need an entirely new wardrobe, one that comes complete with shorts which I hate wearing. They make me feel horrible. Guess I'll get used to it.

Somehow, though, I've managed to make plans every week for the next month. People are (thank god) going to be in town and they are going to hang out! Yay! Thank god for living in a tourist destination!