I Wish Life Came with a TI-86 Calculator

If you know me, like in real life, you know that I am always sick. Now, I don’t mean to jinx myself, but historically speaking, I do tend to get sick quite a bit. No idea why. Well, yeah, I do know why.  It’s simple equation. The fact that I’m extremely prone to allergies combined with the fact that my sleeping pattern isn’t always consistent equals sickness.

Which is exactly where I am today, sitting at home on the couch SICK. I’ve actually been sick since Tuesday and have been working from home on and off since then. Ugh. So annoying. But, if I want to get better, than I need to rest.

The question you’re probably asking yourself is: if I know that equation, than why don’t I change one of the variables.

Twiddling fingers wondering if I should even type what I’m about to say, but I pride myself on being truthful and honest, so here goes.

I desire to have a perfect life. In turn, I end up living a false life, one in which I sometimes have no true concept of reality.

The ironic component of this mentality is that I have experienced so many trials the last four months that one would think I would have outgrown that very childish way of thinking. However, that’s not the case.

I never sleep because I’m always working. I’m always working because I want more money. I want more money so that I can live a fabulous life. I want a fabulous life because I have honestly watched way too many episodes of Sex & the City and Girlfriends.

Surely, I’m not the only late 20-something year old gal who doesn’t struggle with this cycle. Surely, I’m not the only woman who doesn’t compare the current reflection of our life with some unrealistic fairytale.

I recently moved into my own 1BD/1 Bath apartment…by myself. From my hip, urban, chic and near downtown apartment with two other girls to an older, near North Dallas apartment by myself.

Depressing.

Friends and family come over and ask me what I think of my new place. My immediate response, “I hate it.”

Now, I am grateful to the Lord above for providing me an awesome cost-efficient apartment literally 24 hours before I am supposed to move. I am even more thankful to have a job where I can afford to pay for expenses all by MYSELF!

But, I really don’t like living alone. Why? It forces me to accept my reality.

Every day I walk in my door, I remember that it’s just me. No one greets me. No one asks me how my day was or what exciting things happened. No one prepares a delicious healthy dinner. It’s only me.

It’s lonely.

So, to avoid dealing with that, I sometimes just avoid going home. I spend countless hours at the gym. (Working out can’t be that bad for me as I have big health goals ahead) I go to the mall or local department stores (my favorite is T.J. Maxx) to window shop or see if I can snag any good deals. I participate in countless happy hours and networking events. I avoid the feeling.

Talk about being childish. There’s no worse way to live than to avoid life.

Five years ago, life was so simple, like algebra. Five months ago, life complexities appeared with all their various variables. In high school, I hated calculus; in college and grad school, statistics made me want to vomit. But in both cases, I had my trusty T.I. 86 calculator, the ever-loved course curve and amazing friends to get me through it.

Today, there is not a calculator smart enough (or programmable) to give me the answers to life’s questions. There’s no index with the answers in the back. And unfortunately, the only curves I’ve experienced witnessed are on my hips.

But I still have friends and family to at least help me figure out. I still possess the determination to keep trying when I have no idea where to start; and luckily, S.C. Johnson still makes Kleenex for when I don’t know what else to do, but cry.

Life is a not a poly or a quadratic equation. Variables are exponential and sometimes never reveal the answers for years. I sure as hell can’t keep running from something that I will inevitably have to face, like coming home and growing up. That is no way to live. My apartment may be older, but it has beautiful crown molding, my modern couch fits perfectly and slowly, but surely, I am adding little pieces of décor that just scream “Vicky D.”

“Running the streets” every day and weekend is not good for my bank account or my belly. Emotionally running away is worse. Sometimes, it’s important just to sit, reflect and listen to my own thoughts. Perhaps, if I did that when I was well, I wouldn’t be forced to do that when I’m sick.

Hmm…Maybe I just solved one of my equations.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some recovering to do in my beautiful apartment and “He’s Just Not That Into You” came on.

It’s the little things.

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Bikram Yoga Dallas Review

Hey There Folks,

Happy Friday to You! How was your week been? I’ve kind of had a case of the blahs (yet again) this week. I don’t know if it’s because of the cold (always with the weather) or if I just couldn’t come back from Thanksgiving the way i wanted to. If that made any sense.

I haven’t blogged in a while, primarily because I needed to spend some time thinking and reflecting. About what you ask? Oh, just life in general. I have a lot going on right now in my life right now. My mind is frankly overwhelmed with thoughts. I didn’t realize this fact until I started writing this post.

Nonetheless, I had been meaning to write a review about my first experience doing Bikram Yoga. Several months ago, Bikram Yoga Dallas had a GroupOn- $24 for one month unlimited of unlimited classes.

bikram yoga groupon

One of my good friends had been doing Bikram for a while now, nearly a year, and had seen great results both physically and emotionally. So, I’ll give it a whirl.

Procrastination has always been a weakness-I admit it-but it’s usually because I’m afraid of something. Weird to admit that too. In this case, I was honestly afraid of not only passing out in the class, but I was not the least bit enthusiastic about walking out of a room drenching wet from head to toe. Need I remind you that I am African American. Our hair is a commitment. That’s all I will say. So, I put it off, got sick, put it off, got sick again. Finally, when I figured out that if I didn’t use it, I was going to lose it, I scheduled an appointment.

My first class was a Friday night, because I am apparently a loser with no plans. I drank a ton of water that day, because that’s what my friend told me to do, and I got to the studio literally 30 minutes early, because that’s what Dallas rush hour traffic forces you to do.

The teacher quickly learned that it was my first time when I checked in and said I had a GroupOn. Now, I have to admit (yet again), that while I’m a nice person, sometimes I can come off very rude and mean, especially when I feel inferior to people. This was one of those times.

“Please, oh please, don’t say anything that will make me act my color or forget I have an MBA,” I said to my apparently ignorant myself.

She was so sweet, encouraging and honestly eased my nerves a little bit.

My friend and I got set up in the room. The heat was already starting to affect me. Why on Earth would anyone want to just sit in these conditions, much less do exercise in them?

The class hadn’t even started yet. I was already complaining.

I laid down rented mat, towel brought from home and face towel on the ground behind my friend. Let me encourage all first-time Bikram Yogis, as they call them, to arrive a little bit early for your first class so that you can get acclimated to the condition of the room.

And then it began. The lights came on. The teacher politely “called me out” as being a first timer, and the 90 minutes commenced.

Now, the goal of the first class is simply to get through the entire session WITHOUT leaving the room. I could stop, sit down, lay down, whatever, as many times as I wanted, but leaving the room was always discouraged. Of course the body wasn’t going to like 105 degree/50% humidity environments. Who would?

The second goal is to honestly breathe, so that you won’t pass out or leave the room. I always knew breathing was critical to the body, but MAN, there is a science to just inhaling and exhaling.

I felt a little silly doing some of the poses. I couldn’t do some of the AT ALL, but I am happy to report that I didn’t leave the room nor did I pass out. Good job, Vicky D.

As expected my hair was dripping wet when I left the class, but I was very proud of myself for simply completing it. The next day, I went to the 10 a.m. class. (So long pretty hair.) They encouraged newcomers to do their 2nd class 24 hours after the first one. Something about it helping with the recovery process. It’s true. Sweat was dripping from every part of my body, but it actually felt good.

So much better in fact that i went the following Tuesday too. I am a glutton for sweaty punishment. The Tuesday class was really hard. I struggled more than I had in any of the rest f them. No idea why. I pushed through though and didn’t leave the room.

Several thoughts entered my mind after I left the studio that evening. I was feeling a little defeated after my class; the over achiever in me kicked in and wanted to go even more so that I could get better. I was really determined, inspired, motivated, all that jazz to become a “yogi” and really practice yoga more. Then, I remembered that my GroupOn only lasted 3.5 more weeks, December 2nd to be exact. After that, I would have to pay 100 bucks PER MONTH for unlimited session or $20/class. EEEK!

Instead of spending another 3 weeks in the classes trying to get better, just to leave, I decided to just stop going and forego my investment. The GroupOn was only $25, I had already went three times which is like $60, so I pretty much got a great deal. I was really bummed about it, but I have financial goals to reach and that $100/month could definitely be used other places.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to return to some sort of “hot” yoga in 2013 once things are better financially. As big of a pill as that is to swallow, and slightly embarrassing,  I know it’s the best choice for ME. My body is my temple, but there are lots of ways to keep this temple healthy and in shape without breaking the bank.

Now, if YOU have the money, I would strongly encourage anyone and everyone to try Bikram Yoga. It really is a spiritual experience that will not only transform your body externally, but internally as well.

I hope you have a great Friday! Busy weekend of birthdays ahead. December is a BIG birthday month in my family. Have a great day!

Toodles,
Vicky D

P.S. Sorry for the picture-less post. I took pictures of all of this, but one day, I stupidly erased them from my phone. I have no idea why. I told you…lots of my mind right now.

The Boot, The Alternative

I had a case of the blahs yesterday.  Perhaps, it’s because it was literally 30 degrees two nights ago in Dallas. I actually wore pajama pants AND socks at work. WHOA!  To me, this is true fall, lows of 30s and highs in the low 50s. That qualifies wearing boots. As much as I love this time of year, I am just not in the cold mood yet.  Anyways, we haven’t really had a chance to chat much this week or in a few weeks. I’ve been really busy at work and when I’m not at work, I’ve just hanging, working out and enjoying life. It’s such a nice feeling.

I needed to do my follow up to my Half Marathon post. Thanks so much to comments from people! Ironically, I heard a lot more from people via other sources Facebook, Twitter, text messages than comments. Still, I appreciate your kind words. I’ve honestly been pondering the idea of “debuting” my blog on Facebook with that exact post. Isn’t that the big question in all of life’s moments: “When Are You going to Put it on Facebook?” I swear, it’s like that one social media vehicle controls our whole lives. Who I am to complain? It’s part of the reason why I even have a job. Still, if I see one more image of someone’s uterus (i.e. sonograms), I may vomit. Do women not realize they are basically showing us their insides. I’m a female, and I can tell you i will NOT be posting any photos of sonogram images. Show off your belly, but please wait until the child is actually in the world before you “show” him or her to all of us. Get mad at me if you want for saying that, BUT one of my pregnant friends is the one who posed the original argument. So, how about those apples?

Stepping off my social soap box.

No one can ever take my half marathon experience from me. Nothing would also compare to the excruciating pain I felt the next day as I walked to my car. Oh, it’s just soreness from running 13.1 miles. That’s all. Eventually, the pain started to go away. But this pain in my right foot got worse. I went and got a pedicure, foot massage. Didn’t help. I soaked in everything possible. Still throbbing.  Oh Lord, what the heck did I do to my foot?

Luckily, I already had seen a sports medicine doctor in 2004 when I tore my Achilles, so I didn’t have to wait months for an appointment. Of course, it was the SAME damn foot that I had hurt before. UGH!!!!

So, I went in to see the doctor and he immediately started wiggling my foot. “Oh, I see what’s wrong,” he said while inflicting pain on my ankle, “Every muscle and/or tendon” is inflamed. What?! I’m confused. X-rays confirmed that I hadn’t broken anything. Nope, to put it frankly, my right foot just wasn’t happy. It was under A LOT of stress.

I told the doc that I had just finished running the half marathon and the horrible conditions I experienced. He said he had seen several athletes, veteran marathoners,  in his office for problems since the race. If they had issues, I was bound to have editions.

Then, the inevitable happened-THE BOOT! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Tears started to well up in my eyes as the doctor told me I would have to wear this boot for 3 months. Why me? Of course, this question loomed in the air, “Doc, will I be able to run again?”

He basically told me that i had two options: 1) Decrease my mileage/run shorter distances or 2) Decrease myself, 30 pounds to be exact. How did I not see that coming?

I chose Option 2.

The Holidays were spent battling this boot. I couldn’t even wear a cute dress on NYE. Sequins don’t go with black velcro boots. I couldn’t exercise, but I already knew that 70% of weight loss is diet, so I immediately changed what I was eating, determined to run again in 2012.

By the time March came around, I was more than ready to return for my follow up. I progressed from the boot to a stupid brace. I had lost around 10 pounds, only 20 more to go. Luckily, I could start working out which is where you read about various challenges I was doing.

To date, I have only lost 14 pounds, which is a smidge more than half of the needed weight loss to start training again. In 2007, I lost 60ish pounds, so I know losing another 16 pounds won’t hard. It won’t be easy either, but I know what to do to accomplish this goal.

Quitting running was never going to be an option. The half marathon opened up a whole new world to me, an athletic world that I had never experienced, which was ultimately the reason why I wanted to start running. It may have ended in my wearing a boot, but honestly, I gave the inner fat girl and her lethargic ways the boot too.

Nearly a year has passed since that dreary day. I didn’t run any races this year, but I sure learned a lot about myself. You could say that I earned a life medal, one in perseverance and determination.

Deep down, I miss running. I miss my relationship with the pavement. I miss sweating for hours. So, if I want to run again, I got to lose that 16 pounds. Why stop at 16 though?

Have you ever had an athletic injury?

When in Rome, Dress Up for Halloween

Happy First Day of November! Good googaly moogaly, hard to believe it’s already November. Where has the year gone? I feel like it was just September yesterday. This is just intense. The year is going by WAY too fast.

So, how was your Halloween? It’s weird for me to even type that sentence because I don’t even celebrate Halloween. My family and I were and still are very religious. Growing up Halloween was viewed as an evil holiday. True story. However, to be fun for the kids, my church always had a Harvest Festival where the kids could dress up, collect candy, have fun with their friends in a wholesome, safe environment. I never knew anything beyond that for a long time. I believed Halloween was just that, some sort of Satanic holiday where scary people would come out their shell and cast spells. Oh, how sheltered I was.

In high school, this time of year was always super busy because it was marching band season, and we were preparing for a BIG contest, whether it was the State Championship or another competition. Dressing up was the last thing on my mind.

Moving on to college, I carried my elementary attitude with me, and never, not once dressed up as anything for several reasons: 1) I didn’t want to be any sexy, slutty, etc. 2) Couldn’t think of anything clever to wear or 3) The usual excuse-i have to work. It just wasn’t a big deal to me. I honestly could do without the entire day myself. What a scrooge!

Sure did take this from Low and Behold…so freaking hilarious!

As an adult, I only dressed up once as an ice cream cone and that was two years ago. Having heard this entire story, you can only imagine how ecstatic I was to hear that my new company, specifically our CEO, is a HUGE fan of Halloween.

They go all out for the holiday! Shortly after my arrival, the lobby, conference room, kitchen, everywhere I went had been transformed into a mini-haunted house.

Can’t even make this up.

Then came the day when I was asked what I was going to be.  Oh boy. Now, I had a choice, I could continue to be a Halloween Scrooge or give a whirl. After all, when in Rome…

Since HR, IT and Marketing all work with all the divisions, we dressed up as a group. I spent the Hallows Eve (Oct. 30th) working on my costume. If I was going to wear something, best believe it was going to be amazing.

Our result–The Four Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

I decided to be winter because honestly, it’s my favorite time of year.

Brrrrr…

The day was really a lot of fun walking around the office observing all the creative costumes from the groovy 70s, rockin 80s to a more topical costume, Burned Big Tex (may he RIP.)

And you wouldn’t even believe it what happened next, we won BEST GROUP COSTUME! Shut the front door! You heard right. We actually were rewarded for our creative genius, $25 to be exact. Not too shabby, not too shabby at all.

To think, had I chosen to maintain my Scroogy ways, I would have missed out on a fun bonding activities with my new co-workers and a little dough to put in my pocket. All in all, it was a fun time, but boy am I happy to see November and…THE HOLIDAYS!!!! 🙂

Fall Fave-Pumpkin Spice Bread

Happy Friday! Hope you all had a fantastic week! It’s supposed to get cold here in Dallas this weekend…again…cue the drama. Maybe the brisk weather would be a perfect time to make this yumminess. Fall=pumpkin. And I absolutely LOVE fall AND pumpkin. In college, one of my best friends used to make this delicious pumpkin bread. It came from a pre-packaged mix, but it was so damn good. She made it like twice a week. I would be there to indulge. So.damn.good.

It’s funny that I even have this addiction to pumpkin bread because it’s not a very popular fruit amongst African-Americans. Growing up, I never even had pumpkin. We only had sweet potato, which is also yummy and similar in color, NOT similar in taste. I was very leary to even try the pumpkin bread when my friend made it because of this fact. Boy, am I happy that I didn’t allow this past experience or family tradition to change my opinion.

Considering that this same packaged pumpkin bread mixture made me slightly ill last year, I decided to make one that I could eat this year. Perusing on my favorite, Food Gawker Ap, I ran across a recipe by Erica over at Cannella Vita. This sweet girl is a high school student and amazing cook. Her passion for cooking reminds me of myself at that age, only I didn’t have a blog and cooking/eating wasn’t the “cool” thing to do.

Anywho, I made this recipe on Sunday night, discovered that it literally made 3 LOAVES of bread and then shared it with friends, family and carefully chosen co-workers. Remember, I have a new job. Can’t be trying out new recipes on people I just met, especially considering the fact that one of my colleagues owns her own catering company and makes DELICIOUS items!!

I digress. This recipe is fantastic. If you could wrap all the wonderful scents of fall into one item, this would be it. Each spice warms your insides. What is it about ginger that is so dang good? Love. It. The original recipe is actually lactose-free (no butter), but I just had to change it up a little bit because well…butter makes everything butter! Either way, you have to make this bread…like yesterday!

PUMPKIN SPICE BREAD

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup of butter (1 stick)
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 7X3 inch loaf pans (funny that I completely missed that three part lol)
  2. Mix together the pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, butter, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together everything else—flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients until the wet ingredients until well blended.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when stuck into the center!

Feel free to share these loaves with your friends….or keep it all for yourself. I don’t judge. 🙂

I came. I ran. It rained. I conquered.

I hope you all are having  a great week! How sad that’s it taken me so long to write about my half marathon. It’s really ironic that I am working on this post about my half marathon experience because one of my best friends is trying to convince me to a FULL marathon next year. That’s 26.2 miles. DISGUSTING!

I’m not saying “disgusting” because my half marathon training was bad. It was one of the best experiences of life. I’m saying “disgusting” because it was a commitment.

Hal Higdon is the GREATEST resource for any runner today, especially the novice ones who refuse group training. Every detail of every day is outlined according to distance or work out, rest, a race, etc. Leave it to me though to customize it a little bit.

The first suggested race is a 5K or 3.2 miles. Oh, that’s too easy. I needed a challenge. I was already running a 3 miles a day and longer distances on the weekend, I could do more than that, which is why, when my friends suggested we run the Tour de Fleurs, I was all for it.

Tour de Fleurs is a race in Dallas that raises money for the Dallas Aboretum, a beautiful botanical garden in an “old” part of Dallas. The garden is near White Rock Lake, which is also a very historical part of the city as well. Runners have the option of either a 10K or 20K. My friends and I chose the 10K.

Please don’t make fun of the fact that my hat is too small. LOL it was on sale.

It was the first race that I ever participated in. I didn’t really struggle on anything. I kept a good pace and crossed the finish line with pride, as The Boy waited, cheering me on.

NOLA woke up early in the AM to go with me! He’s amazing! Please ignore the sweat stains. Disgusting.

After TDF, I was pumped up for the rest of my training. I ran another race, The Vineyard Run, in Grapevine with some other friends of mine a few weeks later.

Same too small hat. LOL…should have stretched more for those hills.

Free wine after running. Enjoying the lovely grapes.

Before I knew it, it was time for the BIG RACE.

December came pretty quickly. As recommended by good ol Hal, I ran my longest distance, 10 miles (or was it 11) the weekend before my race. I ran around White Rock Lake, plus an additional mile.  I knew I was ready to go. Spaghetti dinner was my dinner the Friday before my race at my brother’s birthday party. That’s when it started, the rumors of nasty weather that was forecasted on that Sunday.

Local meteorologist talked about the weather and kind of discouraged people from running. You see, White Rock Marathon is a HUGE race in Dallas that raises money for Scottish Rite Hospital. The whole city would be featured on 13.1 or 26.2 miles of beautiful, scenic route. It’s broadcasted LIVE on a local news station because several elite runners qualify for Boston and New York through this race. BIG. DEAL.

My alarms went off. I woke up, put on my race gear that was already laid out and headed outside. It was drizzling…cold and drizzling. The drive didn’t make it any better. It started raining harder. Oh lord. We arrived at Fair Park, parked and headed to the waiting/prep area.

Thousands of runners and family members were there, putting on their bibs and socks, taping up their chins, ankles and hamstrings, programming their iPods and music players for the long day ahead.

Such more gear. So little time.

Ready for a cold, wet mess ahead.

Some racers adorned Olympic gear. Whoa. I was a part of an elite group of people. MetroPCS was handing out panchos and gloves. I was sure to grab them.

We headed to the race start line, all 20,000 of us, and waited in the rain. The one downfall with the race of that magnitude is that it takes literally 30 minutes for the “average” runners to actually begin. So annoying. Super duper annoying.

As they wait…

He braved the rain, cold and wind for 7 hours. Super duper trooper!!

AND THEY’RE OFF. (CUE THE RAIN.)

I started running. It started raining. I ran faster. It rained harder.

Mile 2. Still raining.

Runners around me start to run slower.

Mile 3. Torrential down pour. Water stop.

Mile 4…until the end. It rained, rained and rained. On McKinney Avenue around Sfuzzi, I threw off the gloves, as they were drenched.

Mile 6ish was Turtle Creek all the way up through Highland Park. That was the moment I learned Turtle Creek was up hill. I ran hills before. The Vineyard Run had killer hills. But these hills, on top of the rain beating down on my already soaked poncho, were just, well, bad.

Fellow half-marathoners around me started to slow down. Some even started walking. You could just sense the air of defeat in the atmosphere. No, Victoria. Don’t give up. Just keep going. You’re more than half way done.

At some mile marker on Greenville Avenue, the race splits. Marathoners go left and halfers go right. I paused for a second and just thought what would it be like it I turned left. Oh, another time.

I would love the say the rain let up. It didn’t. Around mile 10, I called The Boy from this trusty MetroPCS phone station, and told him where I was. It was nice to hear his voice.

Back to the street I went. Feet to pavement. I remember around this point, one of the race attendees, saying “you only have a 5K left…just 3 miles or to the end.” He was right. I had been running 3 miles just for exercise. I would be a piece of cake.

And then it rained the hardest of the entire race. From mile 11 to around 13, I could barely see in front of me. My legs were numb. One lady started crying next to me. “C’mon Victoria,” I kept saying to myself. “Just keep running. You can do it.”

Around the same time that I was motivating myself, the marathoners joined us in the route. They were, of course, wearing nothing compared to my completely covered, multi-layered body. Sprinting around the corner, these amazing men and women had already run 24 miles. They were experiencing a whole different level of pain. Their skin, versus my dry fit pants, was dripping with water and sweat. Some of them had red legs. Some of them looked like they were going to pass out. Bottom line is that they were STILL running faster than me!

If they can do it, so can I.

I gathered up all the strength I had left and literally sprinted the last 2 miles. It ran the fastest I could. It rained the hardest I had that day.

I saw the finish line in the distance and immediately started shedding clothes. I refused to wear my poncho in my “finished” photo.

Almost there!!

Pushing through the pain, motivated by the cheers of my boo and family standing on the sideline, I fist pumped as I crossed the finish line.

DONE.

I DID IT.

DONE. FINISHED. COMPLETE. EXHAUSTED.

The race volunteers gave me one of those aluminum foil cover things as soon as I finished. What is the purpose of those again because I was still cold? Following the crowd, I slowly walked to the hall where they took pictures and gave us our medal.

Finally, I get my medal. I didn’t linger in their long for I wanted to see everyone who came out to support me, especially my amazing boyfriend who waited in the pouring rain and cold for nearly 7 hours for me to finish. LOVE.

Mom and Bubba

My cheerleader and Me

A few tears gathered in my eyes as I thought about what I had just accomplished. I remembered every mile, every moment as I walked back to the car. Wow, I really can’t believe I just did that.

My fam, NOLA and I met up at Maple & Motor after the race for some delicious hamburgers. Everyone was so proud of me. I honestly think no one really thought I could finish it. Hehe! They would never admit that though.

My Daddy admiring my medal…

Fellow runners were also there with their families celebrating their fantastic feat. Congratulations buzzed in the air as each new half or full marathoner walked in. I was a part of an elite group of individuals. We ran. It rained. We conquered.

Training and running a half marathon was already an amazing journey. Running it in those conditions was a test of not only my physical training, but my mental training. I could have not shown up. I could have just forfeited the $100 like a lot of other runners did. I could have walked 10 miles instead of running.

Nope, I didn’t do any of that. In the end, it was honestly my mental training that carried me to the finish line. I have never been so motivated to complete something in my entire life, even my MBA. That accomplishment deserved every 1,614 words of this post.

An entire year has elapsed since my race. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I honestly just got over my hatred of rain like 4 months ago. Now that I’ve finished, soaked in Epsom salt and iced my entire body down for hours, I really feel like I can do anything now. Nothing is out of reach. Anything is attainable with hard work and perseverance. No matter what is thrown my way, I can beat it.

BOOM.

Next stop? Full marathon? 26.2 miles? Maybe….

DUH! Running Lessons, Moments & Epiphanies

Running is no joke. This is probably why people just don’t hop on a treadmill and decide to start running. They know better. I should have known better, but I didn’t.

One thing I knew for sure about my half-marathon training- I did NOT want to use the group training/running classes such as Luke’s or RunOn. Yes, I know it is a great program. Yes, I know it’s better to run in a group because there are people to keep you motivated. I was fully aware of all of that. Simply put, I hate exercising with people. Going to the gym with strangers is one thing. Going to the gym with a friend is completely different. I am extremely competitive, and I end up pushing myself too far. I don’t want to increase my injury rate any higher than it already is. It’s just better for me to do things alone.

So, I did what everyone does when they need advice, I Binged it.  (#thingsnoeversays). I did Google it and stumbled upon Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Novice Training. It seemed perfect. I calculated 12 weeks back from my ultimate race in December and determined September would be the official start to my training season. In the meantime, I needed to be able to run 3 miles at least 3 times a week without wanting to pass out. Luckily, I was already able to do, three wouldn’t be that bad right?

When am I ever going to learn?

I carefully pushed myself slowly but surely to the 3-mile mark. I worked out nearly everyday. I ran 4 times a week just to keep my body warm. I changed my eating habits a lot and started drinking more water because I quickly realized when I’m hydrated, I run better. Duh, Victoria.

That faithful day in September was quickly approaching. Hmmm, I thought to myself. The race is going to be outside. Perhaps, I should try running outside a few times to see how I feel. So, I headed to the famous Dallas landmark, Katy Trail. What a difference it is?! There is no belt pushing you to move faster or you’ll get flung off the machine. Nope, there is only your feet and the pavement.

After the first 1/4 mile, I AGAIN realized, there had to be a rhythm to my breathing, my pace, everything I did or I wasn’t going to make it 1 mile, much less 13.1. I felt defeated for another 1/4 mile, and then I changed my thinking.  Best decision ever.

Well, hello there epiphany. Running is an equal combination of training your body and your mind. Once I figured out what I needed to do physically, I had to get my mind right to make it all 13.1 miles. Little did I know how important that epiphany would be for not only my training, but also my BIG race!