las vegas

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Every time something that I really, really want can’t or doesn’t happen, I hear the Rolling Stones song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” on the radio. In my car. It’s happened about five times in the last six years. I never hear that song otherwise. I always hear it when I’m cranked up about something or trying to make a big decision or wondering why I didn’t get the job I wanted or didn’t get to race a race I wanted to race. It’s like a message from God. He is telling me that I’m not supposed to do whatever it is that I really wanted. And that everything will be ok.

I recently went on a trip to Las Vegas with my husband for our 20th anniversary, and I took a picture of myself. I thought it was pretty cool, but I didn’t like the age that I saw – the wrinkles and lines in places I hadn’t really noticed before. I thought about NOT posting it on Facebook because of the lines and I didn’t want anyone to think I was ugly or looked older than I am (45) or that I think I’m all that when I am not. Then I thought about it and realized that I really stopped caring what everyone thought about me a while ago. I mean, of course, I CARE what people think, to an extent, but it’s my face and there’s really nothing I can do to change that. And I like it. During this process, I realized that I don’t like what aging does to my face, but I sincerely appreciate what it does for my soul. I’ve had some profound changes in my 40’s and feel like I’m the most “ME” that I’ve ever been. I heard it’s a fairly common thing. I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes, and I’m proud of the person I am today.

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At the Bellagio in Las Vegas

My last post was the positive side of having an injury. To recap, during a track workout that I did WAY TOO FAST (my fault that I did not follow the coach’s pacing), I strained my upper hamstring. I bagged my next long run after 8 miles because of the pain, but I proceeded to run 15 miles on it the following weekend. I was determined. And I didn’t care what happened. And honestly, I don’t regret that decision.

After a few weeks, it became pretty clear to me that recovering from the injury was not going to be a quick process. The weeks until the Boston Marathon, which I qualified for by over 20 minutes, were quickly flipping by like an old clock with the number flaps. I biked, I elliptical’d, I avoided swimming, I did strength, and I stayed positive. I kept hope that it would be ok. I did not allow anger to creep in.

The day after an optimistic physical therapy session, I was to run two miles. And my leg hurt within a quarter of a mile, if even that. I ran/walked the two miles, and I burst into tears when I entered my house.

I. Can’t. Do. This.

I can’t run a marathon in eight weeks when it hurts to run a quarter mile. It’s not worth the consequences. I cried loud. All my pets were all up in my face trying to comfort me. Then I texted my husband that I will not be running in the Boston Marathon because I can’t even run a mile without pain. I cannot do it. I WILL NOT do it.

The weight was lifted. But I was extremely sad. Not angry. Just deflated, and very, very sad. All the hope, all the money on races, all the training that I carefully crafted. All of it for nothing. To be back to square zero. Ugh. Tears. I felt guilty. I felt sad. After I stopped crying, I decided I would do some retail therapy and run errands. I was a little on edge, and normally, I listen to my playlist in my car. But that day, I just kept flipping through the radio stations. Flip, song, flip, song….. it would be ok. Stay positive.

I went to a spa to get some makeup for Vegas, Kohls for some shorts and anything with sparkles, Costco for food, and Harris Teeter for more food that I couldn’t get at Costco. When I got in the car to go home, I flipped the station yet again, and guess what song had just started.

I burst into tears on College Avenue, and I knew I made the right decision. More importantly, I knew everything was going to be ok.

Our family had a decision to make. Because Boston is an exceptionally expensive place to go, we decided to forego the entire trip to Boston. Instead of participating in the greatest marathon in the world on April 15th, I will watch it on TV, and track those friends I know running it. The next day, we are packing our truck, heading to a Charleston KOA cabin on a lake, visit as much as we can in the area, and spend a third of what we would have spent on just a hotel alone in Boston. I’m relieved. I’m still sad. But I’m relieved. I know it will be ok, and running Boston was not what I needed, for whatever reason.

The aging process isn’t always fun, until you delve into what the process teaches you.

“You can’t always get what you want.

But if you try sometimes, you might find

You get what you need”

Categories: being epic, Boston Marathon, coaching, follow your dreams, las vegas, marathon, marathon training, qualifying for boston marathon, running, running buddies, running with friends, Uncategorized, wrightsville beach marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Leaving Las Vegas

The great birthday surprise of 2015 went perfectly.  Read the reveal story HERE. He never found out what I had been planning for months, and we had a great time. Of course, we’re a little more tired, our wallets are thinner, and I can’t speak for everyone, but I know my belly is a little rounder. It was worth it! I love Vegas. I grew up on acreage where it was quite and serene and now live 15 minutes from the perfect ocean view, and I enjoy that as much as anyone.  BUT, I absolutely LOVE the energy of Vegas. There’s ALWAYS someone up, something to do, somewhere to walk. I love to watch people, go see different sights, and of course, I do like to party, responsible adult-style partying anyway.

My husband and I went running the first two mornings we were there, and I was actually surprised at the amount of runners out.

The running was perfect. Perfect weather, perfect company, and perfect environment.

The running was perfect. Perfect weather, perfect company, and perfect environment.

We chatted (mostly me purging telling him all the things I hadn’t been able to since last summer when I planned this whole thing), enjoyed the sunshine, and wandered through Circus Circus since I’d never been in there before. The three hour time change REALLY messed with both of us, especially since we had to get up so early (and I woke up extra early at 3 am the day of) to get to the airport on time, so on all nights except the last, we were up in our room and asleep by probably 8.

By 8 pm, we looked like this poor guy in the airport.

By 8 pm, we looked like this poor guy in the airport.

That meant we were up bright and early at 6 am, ready to get on with our day. Most mornings we had a beer in hand, casino card in the other, and were seated at our favorite penny slots by 10. I’ve never let myself play slots before since I know it’s just throwing money away, but I planned all along to let the purse strings go a little and have some gambling fun. I had been hoarding money for just this too.  And it was fun. I didn’t come away with any winnings and didn’t even break even, but it was something new for me, and it kept me entertained for hours. I won, I lost, I won again, I lost again, I watched my dad play the same silly slot time after time and do the same exact thing.

My favorite slot machine.

My favorite slot machine.

My parents haven’t been to Vegas since the early 80’s and my sister/brother-in-law haven’t been at all, so it was fun to watch them see the “Vegas sights” the first time, including the big guy wearing a teeny bikini complete with a bunny tail.

A friend from Wilmington and two friends from Des Moines came as well, so it was fun to hang out with everyone. We went to the Carnival Court outside Harrah’s since we were told that we just have to. Wow. It was worth it. We had so much fun watching the bartenders do their thing “Cocktail” style and the music was perfect. And I may or may not have had a shot poured directly in my mouth 🙂

Andy's the tall one in the back, then from left, Katie, Sonia, Me, and Del at Carnival Court. Made a lot of memories that night (afternoon).

Andy’s the tall one in the back, then from left, Katie, Sonia, Me, and Del at Carnival Court. Made a lot of memories that night afternoon.

On Sunday, the others had things to do, so just my family went to Fremont Street. I’d been there before but was only there for maybe 30 minutes so didn’t get to experience the entire thing. THIS time, we stayed there for quite a while. It was pretty damn awesome.  I never though lil’ ole’ ME could sit at a Blackjack table and play with the big dogs, but there I was, playing Blackjack IN LAS VEGAS.  And I knew the rules! Little did my husband know two months ago WHY I wanted to re-learn how to play Blackjack – so I could play on our secret trip!  Let’s just say I didn’t come away throwing $20 bills around. The stupid dealer was just too hot. Oh well, it was a new experience for me, and well worth it.

My sister and dad zip lining near the ceiling of Fremont Street.

My sister and dad zip lining near the ceiling of Fremont Street.

I hate to admit it, but I missed my 12 mile long run on Sunday. I felt guilty, but not guilty enough to do anything about it. I know things happen during training and this wasn’t an essential long run, so I let it go. We got home late Monday, and I can honestly say we were there the perfect amount of time. I was glad to be home! Too bad the weather here is horrible. Not a nice homecoming, that’s for sure. To punish myself for missing the long run, I knew I needed to make today’s workout count. So I ran 10 miles at marathon pace, or 8:15. It was rainy, really windy, and about 45 degrees. No excuses.

It’s time to get serious about this race that’s in just a few short weeks. I have two 20-milers left, a LOT of pace and speed work to do, and some major yoga to go along with it. I keet thinking to myself that it will be all worth it when I cross that finish line with a nice shiny new PR.

My luggage was just delivered from it’s extra long trip back, so I guess it’s time to unpack. Ugh, reality!

My hubby and me on his 40th birthday.

My hubby and me on his 40th birthday.

When you go on a vacation, do you plan to run/bike/swim?

Categories: las vegas, marathon, running, training for marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Secrets and Lies

I’ve been keeping a secret from my husband since August 1st. It involved lying about and hiding money, several “lies of omission” and talking about him behind his back to our friends and family. I had to clear the cache on the computer several times because of my internet trolling, and my secrets almost slipped out so many times, I just had to stop talking about certain things. I felt bad. I was tired of the lies and secrets. So this morning, I got him up early and told him to pack his shit.

I told him he had one hour and we were leaving. We threw our crap in the car (after kissing our sweet little sleeping boys g’bye), picked up my sister and brother-in-law, then we headed to the airport. When we got to the airport, I got up to the agent first and told her to keep our final destination quiet because I’d been lying and keeping secrets from my husband for so many months, to have one of them blab it before I was ready would be insulting. It worked. We got on the plane and landed in Atlanta.  I gave him the gate/flight number and had him figure out himself where we were going. Heh heh, evil, ain’t it?

My friends, on August 1st, I purchased a vacation to Vegas for my husband’s 40th birthday. It’s finally freaking here because one more week of keeping secrets and lying was gonna kill me!  And by the way, I arranged for his parents to come visit “for his birthday” and watch the kids for us. I owe this trip to them.

This trip is going to fit right into our "Epic-est" Year, that's for sure.

This trip is going to fit right into our “Epic-est” Year, that’s for sure.

So for the next several days, we are going to be having way too much fun celebrating life, having fun with each other and the few friends/family who could come with us, and oh, yes I brought my running shoes.

Las Vegas strip, here we come!

Las Vegas strip, here we come!

SUPRISE AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEST FRIEND, MY LOVE, MY HUSBAND!

From our trip a few years back.

From our trip a few years back.

Categories: las vegas, marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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