Thursday, September 30, 2010

Running in Cool, Crisp Autumn Air

First off, I really need a computer lap desk. That has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but it is very hard to find a comfortable position for a 16.5 inch laptop sitting squarely on your lap when you don't want to be sitting up. So, it is right now propped up on my stomach and thighs at an angle as I lounge on the bed with two pillows propping me up. We'll see how long this lasts....

Okay, subject of the day. Running. I actually have a topic in mind even before I start writing! This hasn't happened for awhile, has it, imaginary cyberspace friend. So, as we all know I am in Utah to get residency to go back to school next year. (You know I really should know the titles to my own blog entries because I want to reference them sometimes, but it always seems like such hard to work to go look them up, so look back at the one around July 1st that has to do with my big decision of the year if you are new to this blog. I know that's probably a reach to expect anyone to be new, but one can always dream ;)) So, I'm in Utah. For a year before I start school. And yes, I know I wrote that at the beginning of the paragraph, but if you took the time to look up the referenced blog entry, you might have forgotten in the lapsed time, so I'm just helping you out. Seriously, you should see me right now with the laptop...it is starting to dig into my ribs. Wow. I am seeing shiny all over the place tonight. Focus, Stefanie. So, I met this man last night (mom, notice that I am using the word man and not boy) who is very into running. Now, for those who don't know me, or for those who do, but don't know this, about 3 and a half years ago, I joined a gym in Prosser. It was here that I learned kickboxing (okay, shiny), but I also started to attempt to run. Man, you should have seen me back then. I would walk and then pump the treadmill up to something like a 4.5 and jog for 30 seconds, then go back to walking. I think I worked my way up to a minute before I moved to the Tri-Cities, but the seed was there. I moved into my apartment and there was a little gym there with a treadmill. So, I started to made the intervals of running longer. 1.5 minutes, then two, then 2.5 until I was running a good 15 minutes with only a little break here and there. (Then, I would usually walk for 5 minutes and start the whole process over again) Those little breaks became my crutch. Whenever I felt like I was too winded or that I had been running for too long, I stepped off the treadmill and took a drink or wiped my face and then got back on. I started to run outside, which I found was much more difficult, so I had to build up again. But I still had my crutch of when it got too hard, I stopped or slowed. I never truly pushed myself. I knew I was getting into better and better shape, but then I plateaued. Oh, the dreadful word called plateau. In nature it can be beautiful. A raised flat piece of land that can go on for awhile, but when you are trying to change your body a plateau is not beautiful. It is rather ugly, imaginary cyberspace friend. And I know most of us have been there. So, I've been there for awhile. Running the same distance, walking at the same intervals, running in rhythm to my music, using the perfect playlist for running this same run. So, I met this man last night (and yes, again I know said that earlier in the paragraph, but just making sure you remembered). He has this passion and skill for running that just sparked something in me. We spent probably an hour just walking around this park track thing and talking about running. I had never done that before. I had always relied on the knowledge I gained from books or magazines to get me through. But to hear another person's personal experiences with the sport, to see the effect it had on someone's life was really, really cool. Then, I got to see his medals from all the races he's been in and a fire just started to grow inside of me. I wanted that. I wanted to beat all the odds that have been placed in my way and just run them over.

What is all this leading up to, you might be asking? Well, this morning I woke up and the fire that was ignited last night was still burning, so I made a plan to run after work. I get home, ask my brother-in-law, Dave, if he has any reflective gear for me to wear (he does...yeah, didn't even know about this stuff until about two weeks ago, but it's important if you're running at night, so people can see you...I guess ;)), strap it on, put a heart-rate monitor on, and stick my ear buds in my ears. Pump up the music and after a brief warm-up, start running. I have told myself that I am going to run for 15 minutes without stopping (i.e. using my crutch). So, I'm running along and it seems like it is such a struggle to find my pace. I'm not slowing down and my body, for the first 10 minutes is wondering why? But I ignore my body (if it seemed like there was actually something wrong besides my body just wanting to be lazy, then I would have stopped or slowed to a walk...this is just for legal reasons, imaginary cyberspace friend). And I keep running. Well, 15 minutes goes by and I have hit my stride. I didn't want to stop, so I said to myself, I'll go 20 minutes. That's been the maximum I've ever gone without stopping before and wow was that an accomplishment. 20 minutes comes...and goes. Feet are still pounding the pavement. The stars are twinkling above me, and the cool, crisp Autumn air surrounds me. Music is in the background, urging me forward. My mind is clear and my body is doing what it has been training to do (although I didn't realize it at the time)...running. 41 minutes. And I only stop because I have come back to the beginning of the neighborhood. 41 minutes without stopping. And after that first 10 minutes, I felt great (you know until I saw the beginning of the neighborhood and realized it was coming to an end and my body said...I've been running for 41 minutes and I'm a little tired). 

I think I might have burst through my plateau.

Oh, and for all of those worried about the computer position...it went from the stomach to the bed with me hunched over it to the little side table with me laying stomach down on the bed typing at almost eye level.

I took this picture after I got done running...no make-up and hair a hot mess. I love it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Miss America...

Once again I'm at a loss as to what to write. My life this past month has been so different from what it has been over the past four years. I'm living with my sister and it's like being in a family again and I love it. I love waking up and having my niece, Deena, there saying good morning, Aunt Stef. And Jenna does my laundry...ahhh...that I will miss ;). I really appreciate everything that everyone has done for me. Without their support this move wouldn't have been possible. Hmmm...now I'm feeling a bit like Miss America (maybe I'll post a fancy dress picture of me with this). I wish for world peace and harmony. Wait. Well, I do, but I'm also a realist. Okay, back to reality. I will never be Miss America. For one...I'm too old. That's probably the only thing holding me back from accomplishing that dream ;). I am laughing so hard right now, imaginary cyberspace friend, you have no idea. Okay, back back to reality. I've been debating about whether or not to write about this, so I probably shouldn't, but here goes. I've been doing the whole online dating thing. You know, you get to a certain age and just figure, why not? (Wow, that is two old comments I've made in one post...I'm really not that old...really). Well, I find it interesting how some men seem so desperate in their statements about themselves that I figure, heck, this should be easy, but they're the hardest ones to get to meet you. I've only met one of them at that turned out disastrously that it almost turned me off...wait...twice...and they both turned out disastrously. Hmmmm...maybe I should take that as a sign. Nah. When have I ever been one to listen to reason, imaginary cyberspace friend? That's right...hardly ever. And do you know why that is? It's because I am such a reasonable person to begin with that what other people consider reasonable, I have already tried and found that it is in fact not reasonable (get inside my head, it's even funner there...funner? What am I? 16?). So, back to online dating. I rarely get my hopes up when it comes to meeting people (probably why I'm still single...I had a guy pop up to chat once and he couldn't figure out why I was still single. I told him I didn't get it either until I reviewed my dating past and it all made sense after that). I still haven't found...the one. The elusive one. And maybe I never will (see past posts as to what I'm doing about it). But for now, I'm having fun...I guess. Well, as much fun as you can have being rejected by someone you've never met.

P.S. I love how my name always come up as a misspelled word. Stefanie is the correct way to spell the name! At least in my opinion and in this blog, that is the most important one there is!! Oh, and I decided to post a swimsuit picture in honor of the title. A swimsuit picture with that awful hat I loved so much in Hawaii.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How To Lose the Interest of a Four Year Old and Eleven Year Old

My niece, Deena, was just sitting next to me. She looks in the crack of my door and asks what I'm doing. I tell her I'm going to be writing in just a minute on my computer. She says, oh, can I come in? I look at her and say, sure, but you can't touch anything. She looks around and puts one foot tentatively in my room, not touching it down. I chuckle a little bit and tell her she can touch the floor and my bed. So, she climbs on up and snuggles up next to me. I start to open a web page to get to my blog and she glances at the door. Her sister, Jessica, is standing there with a fierce looking k'nex machine she made. Deena hops off the bed and says, I'm going to go play. What? The thrill of my words aren't competition for k'nex? I don't get that. But then again, I haven't been four for a very long time. :).

This wasn't what I was intending to write about, but then again, I rarely have a subject in mind when I start these things. I think it makes it all the more fun to struggle for the first few sentences before something evolves into what looks like a subject.

My nephew, Jimmy just happened by my door. He looks in and I ask, what's up? (You have to sound cool to an 11 year old...actually if you're over 30, which I am, you should never 'try' to sound cool because it just comes out that you're trying to sound cool, which is what you were trying to avoid in the first place.) Anyway, I asked what's up. He says nothing (the usual response), but then comes in and asks if I just got up (Sunday nap...yea!). I tell him I've been up for about a half hour. He says, oh. He hops onto my bed next to me and shows me what he's actually been doing instead of nothing. He has a picture of a warrior centaur. Jim has always been into drawing manga-like characters. Ever since he discovered them, at what, age 2? Help me out, imaginary cyberspace friend. My memory isn't what it used to be. I am 30 years old after all ;). I look at the drawing and proclaim that it is fierce and would most likely kill anyone in its path. Jimmy looks pleased with that and asks what I'm doing. I tell him I'm writing a blog entry. He says, oh. I say, really interesting, huh? He just laughs a little and glances at the door. He slides off the bed and goes to play. Dang. Once again my words lose against playing.

Okay. Subject. What are you going to be? Hmmm...looking up at what I've got so far, I think I have my subject. P.S. I always write my title after I complete a blog entry :). Wait...where are you going, imaginary cyberspace friend!? You can't leave me. It's in your job contract to stay even if you would rather be playing....
On second thought, I think I might go play :).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm Not Perfect

So, I was all gung ho about writing in my blog tonight. I was going to write about how well I'd been doing with weight loss, about how all my clothes are starting to feel loose when I ran into a snag. The snag is, I'm not perfect at this. I ate cookies last night (sure they were organic Newman's Own, but still cookies) and tonight I went to In-n-Out Burger for the first (and last) time. Here's the story of how it happened. I went to have my car inspected today so I can register it in Utah. My check engine light was on, so the guy who was going to do it warned me that I would most likely fail since it indicated something was wrong with my car. Boo. I knew my car was fine, but he told me to reset it and then I had to drive around for 115 miles just to make sure it didn't come back on (supposedly that's the magic number for the car to reset itself...bah). So, I get my light to shut off. This is all fine and dandy, but now I have to drive around for 115 miles. I don't really want to go on the freeway, so I start to drive around. I get about 30 miles in before I'm just done with driving in Utah. Okay, imaginary cyberspace friend, I was done with driving in Utah about a week ago. So, I come back to my sister's house and hang out for awhile. Watch a little Wimpy Kid and it gets done about 9:30. I go to return the movie and try to drive some more of my 115 miles. So far my check engine light has not come on. I drive down this new road called Pioneer, uh...something, which is great because there's really only a few lights until you get into American Fork (a neighboring city) and it's not the freeway. So, I'm driving, la ti da. Listening to some Chicago, when I come across In-n-Out Burger. I had always heard stories about this place. Good stories. Not the kind that make you not want to eat somewhere. I thought, Hmmm...maybe I can get a chicken sandwich or something and see what all the hubbub has always been about. So, I pull in and walk in the place. I look at the menu above the register and guess what? All they have is burgers, fries, soda or shakes. That's it. Simple, right? I should have just walked out, but instead I ordered a burger and some fries. I saw them cutting the potatoes, so it can't be all terrible, right? Ha. I love the concept of justification. I use it often and tonight I used it because my day didn't go like I had planned. I not only ate red meat (don't hate me, Jim!), but I also ate fries. I couldn't finish it because it just made me so sick. I'm sure in the world of fast food, that In-n-Out Burger is super great, but tonight it represented me not being perfect. It represented justification. It represented a stomach ache that I'd rather not have right now. All week I had been doing so good. Grrrrrr...that's all I have to say.

Monday, September 6, 2010

South Dakota Anyone?

So, I'm sitting here on my sister's bed after my first day at a new store and I'm thinking...what the heck was I thinking? I mean I know it's only been one day, but sheesh. I don't think I like being a bookseller without the power. My sister asked me a question off of a little question game key ring yesterday that said what is the hardest thing you've ever had to do. I answered this was. I feel like I dumped my whole life I had built out the window to pursue something that would eventually give my passion wings. But it's hard to remember that in the end it will be worth it when you're in the midst of the five years before the passion can take wing. And it's only the first week of the five years. I don't know why this is so hard. The only thing I can think of is that I'm older this time around. I am older and I don't like change. Sometimes I feel like I don't have a place in this world. You know what I mean, imaginary cyberspace friend? Of course you do, you're imaginary! You don't exist, therefore you don't have a place in this world. Interesting. I wonder if others feel this way, too. You go along and try to find the little niche that was meant just for you. But finding that niche is the tricky part. At least it has been for me. I feel sort of transient right now. Like I could disappear into the world and no one would be able to find me. When my money runs out, that where I stay (probably wouldn't be too far away...say, South Dakota). I did actually think about that this morning. Just taking off in my car and seeing where the road took me. But, dang it! Why do I have to be a responsible adult? So, I didn't. I left for work an hour and a half before my shift and toured around my store for a half hour before my shift started. It's a nice store. Not as big as Kennewick, but still very nice. It has odd angles to it. Ugh. Bookseller. I'll get over it and swallow my pride (what little is left). Barnes & Noble in Kennewick was really my second family. It's kinda crazy to think of the people you worked with as family, but that's how I've felt for a long time. I knew I could count on them (well, most of them...:)). Now I'm just babbling. Oh, well. It's my thoughts and this is what I've been thinking about. South Dakota does sound kind of nice right now....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Grumpy Day

I'm sitting here at my mom's house feeling a little, I don't know, grumpy? Is that the right word? It has nothing to do with my mom or anything like that, I just feel grumpy. I woke up this morning and I felt it. Have you ever felt that, imaginary cyberspace friend? I haven't felt that way for a long time. I can't remember the last time when from the moment I woke up, I wanted the day to end. I came down the stairs and saw Titus sitting on my brother-in-law's head bouncing up and down and usually that would bring a smile to my face, but I just walked on by. I might have grunted good morning, but I really think I just walked on by and climbed into the shower where I thought maybe if I just wash everything away, my bad mood will wash away with it...nope. I got out and still felt grumpy. I ate some breakfast (grapefruit and yogurt...not mood enhancing food at all). Then, I had to separate my boxes into storage boxes and boxes I want to take with me...realizing I have way too much stuff even after all the giving away and selling and downsizing. Grrrr.... I gave up my bookcases, my desk, my bed, my couch and eventually even my chest of drawers aren't going with me. Only taking one box of books. No Christmas stuff (I told my mom I'm not celebrating Christmas this year). The list goes on and on. Most of this stuff is stored (haha...the storage my mom rented for her kids stuff has a corner for Matt, a small stash for Sara, a little bit bigger stash for Melanie and one side for me. Ugh). Back to my grumpy day. Once I was done separating these boxes, I have to take off for the Tri-Cities because I still have to get the last bit of stuff out, take one more load to Goodwill and vacuum. Halfway between Prosser and Kennewick, I realize...my car is still loaded with stuff. Crap. Crap. Crap. I had emptied a couple of things from it, but for the most part, I was pretty full. And that was the car I was driving. Could this day get better? So, I get to my apartment and load up the goodwill stuff first to take. I get to the drop off point and it's about 1:09. It looks like it's closed up. I pull up and there's a sign that says closed for lunch between 1-2. If I swore, I would have right then. I pull into a parking spot outside of B&N because I discovered a cupboard full of pots and pans the night before without any boxes to pack them in. I run inside to grab some boxes. I talk to Paul (which was a good part of the day) and say another goodbye to everyone on my way in and out. (I didn't get to see Jim, so that was another bad part of the day). I cannot wait until 2 to drop off my dishes and dolls, so I go back to my apartment, stop by the dumpster and toss it right in. I will admit the crash the dishes made was quite satisfying. I spend the next 2 hours trying to fit everything into my full car and vacuuming the heck out of my apartment. Now, since I knew I was moving out and was going to be doing a full board clean, I hadn't vacuumed in a few weeks. When you live in the Tri-Cities, this calls for lots of dirt in your carpet. I think I emptied out my vacuum more than 10 times in the few rooms I have. Dang. I'm feeling a little better at this point because who doesn't feel good when something you've worked so hard on looks so great. And my apartment looked great. I had been living there for over three years and it looked almost like it had when I moved in (some places looked better...just sayin'). I got the sign off from the management and was out and on my way back to Prosser. Oh, wait! I forgot the icing on the cake. When I was driving over in the morning (okay, it was the afternoon at that point...I had a very late night the night before), I was thinking to myself, something always seems to go wrong right before or during transit whenever I have moved to Utah...I really hope nothing happens this time. And I am not even kidding you, imaginary cyberspace friend, two seconds later, my check engine light comes on. It wasn't even a full 10 seconds later!! I should know at this point, I shouldn't think things like that. Anyways, I came home and pulled into the driveway. No one is home at my mom's house. Great. I have no key. I'm starving at this point because if you don't know this, grapefruit and yogurt don't last long and it's after four. So, I decide to treat myself to a lunch of Subway (oh, I'm going to be writing more about how I'm getting to my ideal weight in later blogs...btw, Jim, I had the lady put meat on only one side of the sub, the other was vegetarian, which is the side I ate for lunch...be proud). Even though my apartment was great, and I thought my mood was lifting, I find that as I'm eating, my mood really hasn't gotten better. I'm still grumpy. Hmmm...maybe working and cleaning some more will lift it. So, I spend the next several hours getting my mom's house ready to show. We listened to the Beach Boys and cleaned and talked. My mood got better. Then, I decided to sit down at the computer and write a blog about my grumpy day. By the second sentence, I am in tears. You know, maybe I wasn't grumpy all day. Maybe I was just sad.