Tuesday, December 27, 2011

a very merry christmas run. and 2011.

I won't bore you with details of my Christmas break activities. I'll just say it was a fantastic Christmas spent with family and friends. Snuggling and playing with my niece and celebrating her 1st birthday. It also involved lots of eating, lots of sleeping in, lots of reading, lots of laughter, fun, family time and lots of relaxing. Some napping. Some running. And a spin class. Not bad, I say.

We must have been nice kids this year, Santa was good to us. Not just in the material sense, in fact that isn't even the important part. Or the part I feel blessed from. Far from it. I think this year, more than any others, I've clearly seen the abundant blessing and joy that is my life. And it has nothing to do with material goods whatsoever. The blessing that is my imperfect, sometimes messy, very real, sometimes raw, sometimes painful, often injured from running, but now very peaceful, happy life. My biggest lesson this year: life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

However, make no mistake. Santa did come to visit. He fueled my inner 80-year old with what has to be a years worth of knitting supplies. Plus, what girl doesn't love the words "Tiffany" and "Chanel" when it comes to getting Christmas gifts? There were a few screams of giddy delight and joy in our house this year, and not just from me, but me and my necklace from a little blue box sent from New York will leave it at that. I felt very humbled and undeserving of my gifts this year, but giddy nonetheless.

Moving on. Seeing how I have a half-marathon coming up in about 6-weeks with my sisters, one of my sissy's and I decided to head out for a Christmas day run. Not the best choice after downing a massive Christmas dinner. But, meh. We got it done. And it reinvigorated me to get on the ball so I can be at my best to run my oldest sisters' first half-marathon with her. Along the beaches of California. Surf City here we come.

Since we were at my parents when we took off for our run, I got to run along my original running grounds, that brought back a lot of memories. It also reminded me how lovely it is to run in a peaceful, secluded neighborhood with smoothly paved streets with no cars on them. And ponds. With ducks. DUCKS, PEOPLE. And sunshine. Gleaming off of things. I swear it's like glitter and rainbows LIVE in that neighborhood. I may need to go against every grain and fiber in my body and move back to the suburbs... nah.

So. I have no re-caps of 2011, that's what the blahg itself is for sillies! I have no preview of 2012 either. Therefore, I'll leave it at this. The year 2011 blew my expectations away in so many ways. In the best ways possible. And for that, I have no words. As a whole I am healthier and happier, inside and out, than I have ever been in my life.

I have no idea what 2012 holds, hopefully more of the same non-material blessings, a tiny addition to the FWR household, laughter with friends and family, and an adventure. Or two. And some running. And cheese. A lot of cheese.

Catch you in 2012 internets. I hope the next year holds the best in store for all of you.

Monday, December 19, 2011

christmas sparkles. and kirstie alley. then more sparkles. with jonathan knight.

Last week I mentioned I was excited to get home and go for a dark evening run with my dog Milo. And that I did. Actually I did that four nights last week and then again this weekend. I'm on a ROLL people. The point is... SPARKLY! On each of my evening runs last week I would randomly stop to take pictures of the houses I found had the prettiest and/or tackiest lights in my neighborhood.

Topping that list includes Kirstie Alley's house. This is likely a little known fact, but Kirstie Alley is a native to Wichita  She has a house in my neighborhood and she is almost always around town for holidays. Random tidbit complete, but it's important to this post.

Some Christmases Kirstie decks her house out, along with the property next to hers (which she also owns, which are both coincidentally next to the church of scientology). Rumor has it the display on the property next to her home is from a movie set, it's an entire Christmas scene that takes up the whole yard. It's festive. It's tacky. And it just screams awesome. Pretty much I love it.

You know what else is awesome? Wait for it, because your mind is going to be blown. Jonathan Knight is home with her. Yeah, in Wichita. He is staying with her. INTERWEBS! Jonathon Knight is is sleeping and hanging out a mere few blocks from my house. SQQUUUUUUUEEEEEE!!!!! I mean.... there's a.... what.... because.... oh my. HOLY SHIZ BALLS!

I need to whip out my 90's acid-wash jean jacket and find a denim mini skirt (wait, do they still make denim mini skirts? because, gross) covered in NKOTB buttons and run past her house over and over and over and over.... deep breath. And over again. Until.... that's right. Until. I. See. Him.

Moving on, I didn't snap a picture of Kirstie's actual house, it has the standard fare of garlands, wreaths and twinkly white lights. All very pretty. But I did snap the Christmas scene. All while Milo pooped in front of Kirstie's house. Thank you Milo. I love running with a bag full of dog poo! 
 *here you go, yes i took it with my crappy old iPhone so it isn't a great picture, but just realize this set up takes up an entire front yard.*

I still have some work to do to make it through all the streets this week on my self-guided neighborhood Christmas lights tour. Until I do, these are the houses I've liked best so far. Again, taken with my crappy old iPhone.

*this one comes complete with christmas music blaring from the lawn, so then that was a good time* 

Happy Wednesday, YA'LLs. Here's to a good Christmas joy filled week. I plan to run, yoga, snuggle my niece, go to my niece's 1st birthday party, spend time with my family, knit in front of the fire and of course pretend to work. And maybe do some stalking... difficult to say.

Friday, December 16, 2011

best part of my day. running.

Running. Splashing through huge puddles in the chilly dark, getting my feet soaked, running garmin free, letting iTunes pick the music, with my dog at my side. Happiness.

It's easy for me to let this time of year stress me out and make me anxious. I've been combating that a few different ways this year, one way being running. It used to be that running stressed me out too, because I let it. But I've learned that if I approach running MY way it reduces my stress and allows me come home a very refreshed, clear headed, happy girl. I realize most runners already have this all figured out in their running. Well, I'm slow. I didn't. It takes me awhile to get things figured out and working in my hard little fluffer nutter head.

The key to my new, fresh approach on running? It's running on my terms. I've been running Garmin free, with no goals, no obligations, no one to meet, no one to keep up with or slow down for, no one to keep a conversation with, no distances to be met... nothing. I suppose I've become a happy winter running hermit. Which for now, is exactly what I want and need.

While I love running with my friends for the company and motivation (I wouldn't trade those runs with my girlfriends for anything) and love having a race to train for, what I've needed most in running is what I've been doing lately. And I've never been happier in my running than I am now. I literally get home in the evenings, put on my running junk while Milo brings me his collar and leash (yes, he sees my running shoes and goes and gets his own collar and leash) in outlandish giddy anticipation and then we set out. And run. As fast as we want (he loves running fast in the winter), as far as we want, and stopping to admire Christmas lights (or for milo pee on shiz) when we want.

Basically. I DO WHAT I WANT. I love running again. Pure and simple.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

basically, i am 80.

The biggest indication that I'm 80 is not just that I've taken up knitting. While a kitty-cat purrs on the ottoman next to me. Or that I enjoy sitting by the fire, drinking hot tea and reading in the evenings. Or that I choose to sleep in, paddle about on the weekends in sweats drinking coffee, shopping and lazing about instead of running or racing. Or that I now bake cinnamon rolls and scones and Christmas cookies (although I draw the line at fruit cake, that will have to wait until I turn 85). Or wake up at 6a every morning just to drink coffee by the fire and write. And read. No, no. The biggest indication is perhaps that I started a Knit Club. And that I added to my bucket list, the item: Knit a Throw Blanket.

Random aside: remember that one day when I was a young kid of about 31, that one who started a running/drinking club? That one who ran every race she could manage and would run 40 miles a week, regardless of injury or sleep? Back when I always ran uphill and into the sleet and freezing rain?  Oh, memories.

Back at it. So, you know how it is. The first rule of Knit Club? Never talk about knit club. (name the movie i derived that from and you get a gold star and a shout out!). And that's that. Knit Club now exists. But it cannot be discussed. Just sharing this tidbit as a true indicator that my transformation into an 80 year old woman stuck in a 32 year old body is complete.

As if that weren't enough, the original Fair Weather Runners have been reunited recently. After a few rough and/or busy years for all of us, we have gotten the gang back together. As I knew we would. The originals. Me, the running Katie and the running Jessica. However, we may still be the originals, but now we get together to eat. And drink home brew.And chitty chatty.

You know, talk about life. The good old days when we ran our first races and half marathons together and how we all almost died. Or how we all almost died during our group personal training sessions. Or how we were a raggedy bunch who all dropped out of our second half marathon together, so we wouldn't almost die. Because ONE of us was on crutches (coughahem), one was pregnant, and one was battling the worst, never ending cold known to man. Or how on an early morning run by the river Katie fell and sprained her ankle, it was her birthday, and so we had to sit and wait on the curb of a random house at 5:30 in the morning while Jessica went to get a car. We talk about DNF's, the ins and outs of relationships, babies, and houses. The real stuff. I mean... shiz gets REAL with us, people. And I like it. We can be honest, be our true selves, share the good, the bad and the very, very ugly. And we have. And we do.

The point here is this. My original running buddies and I are back and do plan to race together again. 80 years old or not. In April. But as we evolve, so does our running. And our relationship. I kind of love it really. I love that we all had our individual battles we fought separately for a few years, but we are reunited. And it feels so good! I have kindred 80-year-olds-trapped-in-30-something-bodies friends.

The friends that together we talk about how we can't wait until we really are little old ladies. So we can go to water aerobics at the YMCA. Then go to the locker room where we let our wobbly bits flop about all nimbly-bimbly while we shamelessly curse and listen in as young women talk about their running and racing. Then we interrupt them impolitely (because we can, because we are 80!) and tell them that back in our day we used to run. Pregnant. On crutches. Sick. Uphill. In the snow. Or in 115 degrees. Beat THAT. Young whipper snappers... Then we will put our clothes on and go eat breakfast. Together.

Monday, December 12, 2011

best part of my day.

Hasn't happened yet. But it involves taking my dog Milo for a run around the neighborhood to enjoy Christmas lights when I get home from work. Man, I love running in the evenings this time of year. It's so SPARKLY! And you know I love me some sparkly, interwebs. SPARKLES! Maybe I'll take some pictures on my night run, post the sparkles later this week.

In other news. I have been running. Some. And doing yoga. Some. But it's just the right amount for my taste right now, actually. The amount that makes me happy.

And yes I'm still alive but barely blahgging! I have grand posts waiting to be written, pictures to be shared, stories to told... OH THE STORIES! The many stories and updates. Okay, maybe just a normal amount of stories and some lame updates about my current obsession of doing projects around my house and knitting. THANK YOU PINTEREST!
But you have to wait. Maybe tomorrow.

Happy Monday, YA'LL's!!