Incontinence.  Just one of the many things in life that terrify me.  It just so happens that the day I lose the ability to control my bowels may in fact be right around the corner.

4.5 Miles to Hell, then 4.5 Miles back Home
I'm sorry that's a little bit of a Debbie Downer thing to say.  Allow me to rephrase.  9 miles of totally awesome running! Factors that may have lead me to include the word "hell" in my sub-heading included, but are not limited to the following:

1st  Self-induced dehydration Saturday evening (even though I knew I had 9 miles to run this evening, friends from college were in town, I couldn't say no!)

2nd  Sleeping only from 3:30 a.m. until 8 a.m. this morning.  I need AT LEAST 8 hours each and every night to function as a normal human being. 

3rd and most importantly, well really #1 was what really got me, but number 3 was fairly close to being the #1 reason why I included the word "hell" in my sub-heading.

(Cue shirtless, angry, drummer for intense drum roll lasting no more than 8 seconds---just bare with me.  I was in athletic and event marketing for a year before I started nursing, I can't help but think this way).

94% humidity!!

Ding! Ding! Ding!  Folks we have a new winner for #1 reason why I included the word "hell" in my sub-heading and thus hated life during my run this evening!

I guess on a happier note, I am pretty pumped I ran 9 miles at a fairly constant 11 minute/mile pace and didn't decide to jump into oncoming traffic due to every ounce of fluid in my body drying up with each step I took.

Don't think I would forget to tell you my thoughts on incontinence
So on my list of fears is the idea of an "uh oh" moment that sneaks up and bites ya in your underwear mid-run.  I've been lucky so far.  I've heard horendous stories of these so-called "runner's trots" but they haven't trotted up my pant-leg just yet!!

And don't worry, you'll be the first to know when they do.

So! Pre-run when I was loading up on some delicious Velveeta...

Goodness knows I eat as much as I can before a run not only because I don't have any eater's remorse, but also, I don't want to pass out on the street.  I mean, that would just be awkward, and I'd probably hit my head.  Then there's the issue with medical billing and insurance! I think you understand why I'd  just rather not go there.  So yes....I really like to load up before a run.

However, it wasn't until this moment...

...when I paused and thought "crap!"

Wow, not only was that Velveeta amazing, but I'm pretty sure creamy, hot, cheesy goodness right before a run could end in an embarrassing pants-down encounter in someone's yard.  I may have popped an Imodium (which I do NOT encourage in these situations) and sent a little prayer up to the big man.

Dear God,

Please don't let me lose my ability to hold it in on my run this evening.  And if in fact, I do have an "uh oh" moment, please don't let the people who's bushes I'm crouching in call the police because there's a possible burglar/drug addict/homeless person in their yard.  Oh yes, and dear God, if any of these events do occur, please don't let any of my nursing professor's be a witness. 


I'll have you know I'm home and only hated my life because of the 3 stated reasons listed above.  Thankfully there wasn't a 4th reason for hating life on my run this evening, and I think we all know what that is.

(Not having "los trots" in some poor, unsuspecting ocean-dweller's yard.)



I was born a Lover not a Fighter

Who ever said white girls can't jump?
So!  Let's just say there's a reason I'm a runner and not a competitive sport player... or what some people would call an "athlete."  Which I must say real runners are legit athletes, they have INSANE bodies, and real drive that pushes them down the street at crazy fast paces.  As it so happens, I don't think I would put myself into the "athlete" category just yet.  I'm merely a girl who runs for the joy of it.

Hm, come to think of it, that doesn't sound very accurate either.  I'm usually bitter while running and mumble cuss words under my breath so Reese's doesn't hear me and think me any less of a person than she already does.

ANYHOW!  Getting off topic here. 

You know, those super competitive people.  They're good at a sport, they have their heart and soul invested in the game, they're willing to "take one for the team."

So imagine this, when a non-competitive person (hmm, I wonder who I'm talking about) joins in on a competitive game of basketball, it turns out, the real athletes on the court aren't too pumped about it. 

So the story allllll started when I sat down in one of my nursing classes today, Therapeutic Communication to be exact.  My newest nursing friends, both male nurses, thought it would be a good idea to form a boy-girl intramural basketball team for the nursing cohort 2011!  What a great bonding experience right!?

...Wrong.  Sooooo wrong.  I told them countless times, "I'm not a basketball player.  I've never played an actual game of basketball in my LIFE." Yet they carried on and finally convinced me to join them in a friendly game of bball at the rec center, 7 p.m. sharp.

I rescheduled my run with Reese's for Tuesday so I could bond with my new classmates whom I'll be with for the next 2 years.  They're both older than I am, AND one is married with children, so I just assumed this wouldn't be a freaking NBA playoff game...

Boy was I wrong.....yet again. 

When will the humiliation end?
I arrive at said rec center on time, glasses on, and ready to play some ball with my fellow nurses.  Hm?  What's that you say?  We are playing against other people in the rec?  This isn't just a friendly game amongst nurses?  Ohhhhhhhhhh.  So you want me to cover that WNBA player who's been playing basketball for the past 15 years? 

No problem.  I got this.

The reason I will be avoiding said rec center for at least a week
1st team to score 15 points wins:  My teammates turn out to be HELLA-GOOD!  This one cat keeps scoring 3-pointers like he's been training for the NBA his entire life.  The 30-something year old Filipino is shocking people with his "hurt wrist" that happens to crank out basket after basket, and the innocent 20 year year old busts loose with moves that probably got her a scholarship to play basketball here.  Crap, I totally should have asked if she played for the lady Islanders basketball team before I decided to join in. 

The REAL reason I will be avoiding said rec center for at least a week

Turns out that I not only lack the coordination to play basketball, but I failed to acquire the competitive edge to play a sport I've never engaged in before....imagine that.  Oh, and let's not forget the lack of sportsmanship. 

Between yelling at the girl guarding me to "back off!" and yipping when a teammate threw me the ball (and then of course throwing it back to them....I'm not gonna shoot that thing), it was an AWESOME game to say the least.

Oh, and what better way to end the game but by going up and hugging the girl who guarded me, and apologize for being rude.  What can I say, I'm a lover not a fighter.

In the end
So to soothe my broken basketball-playing heart, and mend my ego that had been ripped to shreds, I parked my car at a gas station and hustled my body down the street for 2 miles.  Well I'll be a monkey's uncle, a bruised ego will seriously increase your mile time.

So now I sit, ego mended and wine glass in hand.  I have learned my lesson for the day:  Don't waste your time yelling at sports-playing-people, just embrace the inner human-loving-hippie that I you are and just stick to runnin'. 

Or as Keltie from the Bachelor would say....

I'll just stick to kickin'.  (She was one of the sweetest girls on there this season!)


There's no Outsmarting Mother Nature

A Dedication
Today was not a good day for Ben Campos.

A good friend of mine, radio broadcast enthusiast, BBQ extraordinaire, and leader at the forefront for the fight against Diabetes.  His shipments for work did not arrive on time this morning, thus making him late to work, and enabling him to only meeting with 2 of his 13 clients.

It was already a sad day for Campos, but then.... oh but then, he lost his wallet.  Now he could not fight San Antonio 5-o-clock traffic, get to his quaint little home in NB, and pour himself a glass of whiskey to cool down.  For not only had he drank all of his fabulous whiskey already, but he had no identification, or money for that matter, to purchase another bottle.

Poor Benji.  (Awww....poor Nana)

Well ya know what Campos, life's tough and I got a chapped face from wind brutality tonight so I win the 'bad day' story!

The Story
This evening, Reese's and myself planned on hitting the pavement for a good, strong, 6 miles.  We thought we were well on our way to a 20 mile week; little did we know, we were walking on thin ice tonight.  The wind had been blowing all day long as though hurricane Rita was trying to make a 2nd appearance, literally trees....were....BENT.

So! We thought we would outsmart the wind by changing our usual running route.  We would use the gale force winds to our advantage and run with the wind to our backs!  Ha!  Take THAT Mother Nature!

The Fool-Proof Plan
1.  Drive to a flat location where we will be shielded from the north wind.

2.  Park one vehicle (and pray it wouldn't get stolen) at a gas station and drive 6 miles in vehicle 2.

3.  After parking vehicle two at the always reliable Whataburger (and praying it too would still be there after the run was complete), we were confident our run was going to be successful.

Houston we have a Problem
Mile 1:  The legs were warming up, minor pain, but manageable by running on my toes.
Mile 2:  Still going strong. Feeling confident that the wind would be at our backs for the entire 6 miles.
Mile 3:  I realize the key to vehicle 1 (my vehicle) was in fact left and locked inside vehicle 2 (Reeses' vehicle parked at Whataburger)...so yeah....it was my fault.

I yell at Reese's that there will be a change in plans.  She glares at me but accepts the change and handles herself like a lady.  So around we turned to face the hateful traffic that threatened our lives each and every minute of the run.  By the way, what the heck kind of city has sporadically placed sidewalks?!  Between switching from sidewalk to pavement running 1 billion times and 27 mph wind, let me repeat that.....

27 miles per freakin' hour

After careful consideration by Reese's and myself, we decided 27 could be rounded up to 30, which was BASICALLY 50 mph winds!  50 MILES PER HOUR!  Whew, I'm surprised we didn't blow away!

Holy moly! so THAT'S what 27, I mean 50 mph wind feels like!  It's like Mother Nature was slapping us in the face for being stupid and trying to trick her.

Excuse me.  Back to running back towards vehicle 2.  From then on each step I took was painful, each stride was short.  There was NO WAY IN HADES I was running in these conditions for 3 more miles.

Mile 4:  FML.  I was done with that run!  After that it only took 40 minutes to walk back to the car, against the wind.

Now, we are both on our way to ear infections and bitter we didn't listen to our inner binge-eating, wine-drinking selves when they said, "Skip the run! Go back home, open a bottle of vino, and watch the season finale of Housewives."

When will I learn to listen to my inner binge-eater?  WHEN!?


I'll Take 8 Miles over 5 Minutes in PPE

Clinical-Day 1 (8:00 a.m.)-Similar to Race Day
After such a nice winter break, 8 a.m. has been hittin' me like a sack of bricks every morning since starting back into the school and work routine.  However adrenaline does a funny thing to your body when you're really nervous or hyped up about something....it gets you going! 

Aww, like when you're getting ready to run your first race and you can't stop jumping around.  So the morning of my first clinical day, I meandered into the nursing building at 7:50 a.m. 

Wait!  Hold the phone.  Who am I kidding?

I was speed-walking my little body into the nursing building as fast as I could, terrified that I would be late (even though I still had 10 minutes to walk only a few yards).  These nursing gals are crazy though!  Apparently most of them arrived with scrubs and jackets on, notebooks out and ready for note-taking by 7:45 a.m.  Say what?!  I'm just leaving my house at that time!

Crazy....they're crazy I tell you.

Anyhow, once I overcame my fear of being late, I got settled-in, my name tag on, and off we went into the wonderful world of nursing!

 Clinical-Day 1 (10:00 a.m.)-Jokes On Me
If you're in the medical profession you've definitely heard of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).  Ya know, all the goods that protect both you and the patient involved in a given procedure.

So, each nursing student is given a bag of medical supplies we may encounter in the nursing field, including PPE.  We are instructed to practice putting it on, and get comfortable moving around in PPE.  We may very well encounter a situation that requires we wear it in our near future, so I thought it necessary to practice.  I did not however forsee my own personal dread that was soon to come.

(Just an aside:  Nursing school...always be prepared to answer a question....about anything.  Then hope you're correct, otherwise ya feel a tad dumb.)  

1.  Instructor dictates the proper way to don PPE...CHECK!

2.  Instructor dictates to check proper fitting of PPE...CHECK!

....I'm really on a roll here! I'm doing everything right!

3.  Instructor starts asking questions-I happen to know the answers-double CHECK for me!

....After instructor dictates to the class to start running in place, while still covered in PPE, because after all nurses don't walk anywhere, I think, "Bring it lady!  I'm training for a 1/2 marathon!  I can jog for at least an hour without wanting to die."

....5 minutes after running in place covered in PPE, my goggles have fogged-up, cheeks are flushed, and mask is uncomfortable...the class is exhausted.

Score:  Instructor=1

Post-Clinical Long Run
After hitting the pavement for 8 miles (01.32.17) I feel good, strong, and excited that my body is still functioning.  The 2nd time I've hit 8 and been perfectly comfortable/pain free. 

Wait, what was that?  Did I hear you ask, "What was the best part of your run?"  Well funny you should ask.  It happen to be the fact that I didn't have a surgical mask, gloves, cap, or goggles on. 

Crazy how that works.

Lesson learned:  I will take running 8 miles over running in PPE ANYDAY

New Goal:  Jog in place in full PPE in the privacy of my own home for 10 minutes daily....one day show that instructor what a master of PPE-jogging looks like!


Runnin' in the Rain is NOT like Dancin' in the Rain

6 Mile Saturday
After a fabulous day of sleeping, working, and studying I set out with my good friend Reese's to hit the pavement for 6 miles.  Neither of us were too thrilled about the run, considering Reese's just got a new dog from the very well-run and very caring French Bulldog Rescue Network of Houston, Texas. 

A sweet little Frenchie (with a little Boston in her I'm pretty sure) Miss Bordot (bor-doe) to be specific.  A 6 year old, house broken, polite, little lady who was more than pleased to have a good place to call home.  What the HELL was I thinking getting a puppy.  Maddie and I were at war the first 6 months of her life attempting to house break her.  Then we had the whole "lady time" to deal with.  Girls, we think it's bad being human, dogs have their "lady time" for a full two weeks.  Again, what was I thinking getting a puppy.

So back to the run, Reese's was a little preoccupied loving her new pup Bordot and I...well, I just wanted to sit on my couch and be lazy.  What can I say, I like being curled up in a fluffy blanket with a good movie...and not be physically active. 

Against both of our inner lazy couch potato selves, we hit the pavement at 7:00 p.m.  We set out in our favorite running conditions, chilly and under the cover of darkness.  That chilly darkness however quickly changed to rainy darkness....rainy, cold, darkness. 

Mind over Matter....right?
The 1st mile was better than tolerable, it was happy!  By 1.2 miles, my legs felt like lead and I wondered when they would snap beneath my little lead-like body.  So I thought, come on Nurse, you just have to get through 3 miles and then you won't feel anything but the wind at your back and rain cooling you off! 

Mile 1.5... the hypothetical lead in my legs was rapidly taking over my lower half like the plague sweeping through England.  Lets just say I have a hard time with the concept "Mind over matter."  Wait?  What's that you say intelligent runner who lives somewhere inside me...."Why don't you try not running like a flat-footed clown." 

I love that smart inner voice that demands to be heard from time to time!  So up on the tips of my toes I went!  And lo and behold...thank ya Jesus! My leg pain fluttered away.  Somebody call Hollywood, there's a new champ in town!

Mind over matter...Aw hell let's give it one more shot
As the leg pain left my body I started to notice the pavement glittering at me.  Oh how I love staring at the pavement when I run, knowing it's just me and the street, no phone calls, no text messages, and best of all, no email!  Such a great escape. 

Tonight, though, the pavement looked a little different.  There weren't the normal dust and dirt or dog poop to dodge, it was glistening, no no, it was sparkling!  Then I thought, "Oh how pretty!  The small rocks of pavement remind me a sparkling diamonds!" 

And I love me some diamonds!  Then, it hit me, I'M RUNNING IN THE RAIN!  What was I thinking?  This was a perfect position for me to become a crippled, non-runner!  Lets just say Grace is not my middle name!  I fall, I trip, I am a klutz, the world was not set up for a girl like me!  So then paranoia sank in and I just KNEW I was going to bust it at any minute!  So every puddle that came and every mud-pie that I could slip and break mys face on I slowed down, did a little dance, and passed by it without injury. 

6 miles later, Reese's and I finished the run and walked back to my apartment feeling great!  It's taken 6+ months to get comfortable running 6 miles but I'm glad I ran through the pain, because it's totally worth it!!!

Now I sit happily icing my legs with my good friends frozen sliced zucchini and frozen mixed vegetables.  Moral of my story, when the lead in your legs threatens to go English plague on your ass, run on your toes for a while and you'll definitely notice the difference.  See ya plague!


Lookin' Good Nurse's Style

Today, Tuesday the 11th of January, was orientation for the nursing cohort that begin the program spring 2011. 

From 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 80 brand new, nervous, nursing students crowded into a lecture hall to hear how the next 2 years of our lives....would suck.

A large cup of coffee and 4 1/2 hours of hearing all the different ways we could make nursing school easier, I headed to the bookstore to purchase my arsenal for a semester of trying not to kill people by giving them the wrong meds. 

$700 later, I was in the midst of a financial panic attack.

Something Positive
After swinging by the uniform store and dropping another wad of cash, only one thing about today brightened my day.

TAA-DAA!  Yep.  A pink stethoscope!  Wow, that's very girlie of me.  Hmm....something's not right.


8 Miles Closer to Austin

God is Good
Holy smokes! I just got back from an 8 mile run and I'm feeling great!  No leg pain, no vomiting, and most importantly (as usual) I did....not...DIE!

I knew it was going to be a good run because my morale was so high I passed up a quarter on the street.

Usually I would stop and gleefully rescued that quarter from it's boring life, and once I stop running I don't start back up again.  So that would have been the end of my run.  Oh, but today was a good day for running.  I saw the quarter, had a small moment of greed, then pushed on to complete my long run for the day.  I'm sure a homeless person will enjoy that quarter more-so than I, even though it would have made a stunning addition to my quarter collection.

(This is not my collection I'll have you know.  Those of you who know me, if my collecting ever gets to this point, call the authorities and put me in a home.)

I do in fact have a quarter collection, and yes you may tease me for it.  I've developed tough skin since college, I mean seriously, I couldn't have been the ONLY girl in the dorm with a quarter collection?

Anyhow, all quarters aside, it was a nice morning run.  The streets were clear and I only had one chance run-in with a car.  Kidding, I didn't run into it, but more importantly I successfully dodged it.


Don't put the phone down because Oprah said so.  Put the phone down because when I'm running and my Garmin strikes 5.0 miles, I no longer am aware of my surroundings.  More-so my main focus at that point is surviving my run.  I stare at my feet in pure awe that they have not crumbled below me after hustlin' down the street for so long.  So please, don't text and drive....I'm too exhausted to dodge vehicles and will choose death before leaping out of the way. 

If that plea to put your phone down didn't work, think about this.  You hit and kill a runner, you're totally going to jail....and then... I will haunt you from your jail cell!



Life is Full of Valuable Lessons

Just Say No
As a kid from the dirty south, I mean the Valley, I grew up with the saying, "Just say no"  [to drugs, to sex, to strangers, to unwed pregnancies, etc, etc.] drilled into my brain....on a weekly basis.  Read about the stuff going on in the Valley now and you will be astonished I came out of that place alive and not on anything.

Aww, but it will always be home sweet home.  Ha!

Yes now, where was I?  Oh!  Just say no.  This saying has come back to kick me in my adult behind.  Not because I took candy from a drug dealer on the corner, but because I didn't listen to my (fairly intelligent) conscious answer when I asked, "Hmm, it's 4:30 p.m. in the hottest place on Earth, think I should go for a light yog?" 

Conscious was screaming, "No! No! No!"

(Yes, I do see my inner self as a screaming little red-faced, blond, 5 year old... kidding! Sort of.)

But really, Conscious was screaming, "No! No! No!" 
Aww, but I have always been a star when it comes to ignoring people when told what to do.  (A thousand apologizes Mom & Dad, I know my teen years weren't easy on any of us.)

So out the door I walked, running gear on and sun glasses glued to my head.  I should have taken the maintenance man's obvious look of dismay (that I was walking out the door in workout gear) as a hint that this was not what the universe wanted me to  be doing at 4:30 in the afternoon.  Instead, I waved hello and hit the pavement. 

Not Even a Mile
A tenth of a mile into the 2 mile run I cranked up my jams a little louder to muffle the sounds of the 40 year old wheezing man who trailed behind me.  1.5 miles later, I still couldn't shake the old guy.

I'm Alive
So I did survive just in case you were wondering.  I have no clue how I ran a happy 6 miles on Monday and today I barely survived 2.  So instead of running another 4 miles in the sun to match my Monday-6, I'm 30 minutes into icing my knees with a fabulous bag I pulled from my freezer, H-E-B frozen Sliced Zucchini.  I'm never going to cook these, they cradle my knees so perfectly.

A word to the wise.....always run at night....ALWAYS!

Hola 2011, Que Tal?

So Long 2010
I must say first and foremost I've never been a big fan of new years resolutions.  I just figure if it's a choice in life you NEED to make, you probably should have done it by now.  However, lets have a few moments of hypocrisy why don't we.  Lets get real, there are a few things I want to say goodbye to from the year 2010.  You reader, are my witness, for these goodbyes will no longer be a part of my life after today!

So long pajama jeans...

I may have had one brief moment of lunacy and said I would purchase you, but I have regained a competent mental health status and will now boycott you until you are no more!

So long poor dietary choices before races.

Reese's and I, no matter how hard we will in fact try to enable the other runner, will no longer inhale mounds of candy, cake, wine, and crap-food in general the night before a big race (eg. The Austin Marathon and 1/2 Marathon).  It will be tough, I do LOVE a wheel of Brei pre-run.  Yeah...an entire wheel.  Who eats just one slice of Brei anyway?  Psh, once I start something I'm no quitter.

Hello 2011
Now I'm onto greener pastures in 2011.  Pastures where monthly mileage totals exceed 50 miles, legs are toned and "golden," and I get to slide into those blue scrubs with the A&M logo attached.  I... can't... wait!

I kicked off running 2011 with a solid 6 miler, thankfully it was pain free.  I must say I am pretty impressed with my body's ability to stay alive since I've started running this past year, I was sure it would have collapsed from exhaustion by now.

So, it seems like just yesterday I couldn't run a single mile without wanting to die.  It also seems like just yesterday when I couldn't run 3 miles without severe leg pain.  Yet, after 7 months of yogging my booty off, I'm running a solid 6 miles, no stopping, no walking, no pain, and most shockingly no wheezing.  I'm usually a big wheezer when it comes to running.  When I first started running it sounded like a 40 year old chronic smoker who puts away 2 packs a day was attempting to sneak up behind me. 

After a quick glance over my shoulder I realized....Oh!  It's just me making that awful wheezing noise.  Trust me, the no wheezing is a HUGE step for me.  Or, it could have something to do with the fact I've turned up my iPod volume since the "smoker" tried to catch me months ago.  Ohhh the mysteries of life.

So.  If you've just started running, don't stop!  It WILL get better.  Slowly but surely is my motto.