Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I did what I was going to get done for the capstone class. I analyzed and analyzed and re-analyzed using the SPSS 17.0 program and lots of excel sheets. I am so tired of looking at spreadsheets. I wrote and wrote and created my presentation and poster. I turned my documents in and now it's up to the final grading and that's not my part! I'm sure I'll do fine, I am just glad it's over. Now I just need to work on the final draft of my eating disorders paper and turn it in. I'm so tired, I think I might sleep first and work on my paper later... I have to do my lecture slides or whatever for the interns at VSU on Friday too (I'm doing the RD exam review with them). Maybe I should do that now... since I want to print it out at work tomorrow and I'm going straight to VSU tomorrow morning and then going to work afterward.

So much to do... so little time. I always feel like I pack things in even when I don't try to. I have to work this weekend too. At least I get Tuesday off to chill and teach a fitness conditioning class. I think that class will be fun.

Well, I'm exhausted. I think I'm going to sleep now and work on the paper and RD review stuff tomorrow at work. Hopefully I can get it done before I leave. At least I have nothing planned tomorrow night.

Almost there!

- run for life

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

and another one...

And another one, another one bites the dust. I did state 11 - Covenant Health Marathon in Knoxville, TN this past Sunday. It was a 'persevering' experience.

Saturday I got up, did the dishes at my CS host's place since their sink was super full and went downtown to pick up my race packet. I parked in the same lot by the art museum that I did Friday while I was wandering and went down to check out the Sun Sphere (from the 1982 World's Fair, which I didn't even know they had World's Fairs in random years-apparently the Eiffel Tower was from the 1889 World's Fair and the Space Needle was from the 1962 World's Fair). I was expecting this '360 degree view' of Knoxville to be amazing so I was disappointed when it was only 4 stories up and reminiscent of the Canada Tower but not as cool because it wasn't as high and there was no glass/clear floor. I was expecting something more like the Space Needle, but I guess Seattle has everyone beat. There's apparently a bar up there on the 5th floor but I didn't make it that far.

I headed off to the convention center and picked up my stuff. There was a decent assortment of things to look at and I got some car magnets - one of my favorites says "some girls chase boys, I pass 'em." I got another one that said, "I know I run like a girl, try and keep up." I normally don't buy anything but I liked them! I was going to but the "some girls chase boys, I pass 'em" on my car but I feel like I need to get something that says I'm a runner first because people might just think I drive fast or something... which I really don't because I'm paranoid about getting another speeding ticket. :P

Afterward I hit the Hilton's Starbucks to use their free wireless internet and got another 6 hours of analysis for my thesis done! I was stoaked I was being so productive... (I should be editing my final paper right now but I am writing this instead, whoops...). Then I met up with another CSer for dinner where we went to Dazzo's on S. Gay Street and had a bowl of pasta. I had broccoli rabe pasta which was delicious albeit there weren't enough people working that night because it took an hour to get a bowl of pasta. Then I got dropped at Laz and went back to my CS host's place to do some more homework and sleep before the 26.2 in the morning.

Sunday morning I got up at 6AM and went through the motions of checking my stuff, putting on my shirt with number pinned to it (I always pin it on the night before) and socks and shoes. This bib had the timing chip stuck to it so that was pretty neat. I didn't have to put a bright orange timing band on my shoe (I would have thought they'd want to put it on because UTenn's colors are crazy bright orange and white). I packed up my stuff, put it in Lazarus, made a hole in a garbage bag since it was raining and walked 2 miles to the starting line. I'm really glad I brought the plastic bag because I would have been freezing the entire race if I hadn't since it rained before we even started at 7:30AM. I went to the convention center where everyone was gathered in to keep warm and dry prior to the start. I met two ladies from an hour west of Knoxville who were there to run the half. I ended up running the entire first half with them, it was fun chatting and getting to know them. They were both mothers and said they ran for a cheaper "group therapy" option. We talked about tons of things from life and running to food and shoes (a man was actually wearing the Vibram 'barefoot' shoes, I did get a pair to try and I tried them on last night, they were really comfy, I'll have to write about them after I've run in them). I love long distance runners. They're so friendly!

After they finished the half I was off on my own. I took a little walking break (running 5-6 times total since Jan 9/10 is not an optimal training strategy) for a half mile and picked up again when I got to a downhill. Around mile 16 I fell into pace with a man with the last name 'Knox' who had run all 6 Knoxville marathons! It was interesting getting to know him too, the first Knoxville marathon he had broken some of his ribs in a speed skating incident and ran it anyway because he thought he should represent Knoxville as the only entrant with the last name of 'Knox.' For 2 miles we plodded along until it began to rain at mile 18. When I say 'rain,' I actually mean pour like no other. I was drenched in less than 10 seconds, chilled to the bone.

I sped up in an attempt to get done more quickly and eat the gross (yet oddly tastes like the best ever after a long run) cold pizza awaiting me at the finish line. Clearly some of the roads we were on were not meant for pedestrians. I was running in puddles above my ankles and my shoes were squeaking from the water. I was surprised there were any spectators left and I said "thank you" to every single volunteer, spectator and police officer after mile 19. I cheered everyone on after mile 21 because everyone looked so gloomy. Around mile 21.5 a 61 year old by the name of 'Jack' fell into stride with me. He mostly played tennis these days but his daughter had asked him to join in their relay last minute. He had run about 10 times prior to the race, his leg of the marathon was the last 6.2 miles. He ran with me to the finish and after I was tired of encouraging, he encouraged me. As they say, 'Iron sharpens iron' and we need our brothers to pick us up when we fall. I was glad he was there for those final miles.

When I crossed the line the cramps I had been trying to avoid thinking about since mile 10 (yeah, I know I'm out of shape) set in. I went to the athletic trainer tent and some students helped me to stretch and 'knead' out my 'crunchy' IT band and muscles. Afterward I got a ride from two ladies in a golf cart to where the post race 'party' was being held. I was still freezing since I had planned on grabbing some food and heading back to Lazarus to change instead of carrying a bag with me and checking in my stuff.

There were no hand dryers in the basketball stadium's bathrooms so I couldn't dry off. I went to get my food and loaded up on pizza, chocolate chip cookies, granola bars, banana halves, Luna bars and tomato soup. The post race lunch of champions, I know. The granola bars and Luna bars I saved for the drive back to Virginia (since 7 hours is a long drive alone!). I ate my food and conversed with some of my fellow marathon finishers who were at the table I sat down at.

After I was full, I was preparing myself to walk back to Lazarus when I spotted a Lost and Found table... sheer luck. Since I had taken so long for stretching and ate so slowly it was nearly time to pack up and leave (if I had waited another fifteen minutes they would have given me an entire pizza or two since they had so much food leftover). I quickly sifted through the clothes and found the only sweatshirt in the pile, hurried over to the women's restroom, stripped off my soaking wet (I could still squeeze water out) running shirt and tank and pulled on the dry sweatshirt. It was definitely a lifesaver. I wrapped my space blanket around me, pulled on my marathon finisher's hat and walked outside.

It was much warmer with the dry sweatshirt on even though the bottom half of me was still freezing and wet. I walked down to Cumberland Ave. and began the trek back to Lazarus. I stopped in a pizza joint to use the restroom again (I think I drank a lot of water... so at least I was hydrated while running) and a minute after I got back outside the skies opened and it was dumping buckets on me. Luckily the space blankets are that silver water proof material and I stayed relatively dry.

When I got back to Laz, I headed to the CSer's place whom I had eaten my pre-race dinner. He arrived from lunch with church friends and I took a glorious warm shower. (Showers, like food are 100 million times better after you've run a marathon... and even better when you've been frozen, wet and pruny for as long as I had.) We watched the UTenn vs. Michigan State game (sadly UTenn lost by one point with a terrible desparate final shot that didn't even hit rim). I ended up staying in Knoxville a lot longer than I thought I would. Luckily I was able to stop to power nap at a gas station and a rest stop on the way home and made it to work. In all, it was a great visit to Tennessee. I doubt I'll go back again soon since I've checked off my life goals for the state (marathon & jumping pictures in each state), but I enjoyed it.

Now back to homework. School ends this Saturday, commencement is April 24th. I'm so excited for school to be over!

- run for life

Friday, March 26, 2010

stay warm

I usually keep a bag in Lazarus with blankets and small pillows for the random overnight in the car. I was super tuckered out after staying at work again on Tuesday night after presentations for health promotion class so when I got home, I took a shower and took a nap... or what I thought was going to be a nap. I didn't set my alarm because I figured I'd get up after a couple hours. I laid my head on my pillow around 4:30pm... and heard creaking overhead. I looked at my watch and it was 6:30... AM! I jumped up with a start and threw running clothes and a sweatshirt into my Arc'teryx and grabbed my backpack with my homework in it.

I ran up stairs and ate my fiber one with soy milk, went to the bathroom and headed to work. I got in around 7:15AM and went to work. I was hoping to get out so I could speak at the YMCA at 1PM. Luckily the census is down at the hospital and I was able to finish all my patients by 11AM and eat a snack before heading out to the Y. When I got there everyone was serving up food and eating. I joined in and the talk went well, there were lots of questions, but it was fun. Afterward I changed into more comfortable pants and hit the road to Knoxville.

I was getting tired early on the drive and ended up at the first Tennessee rest stop along 81 South from Virgina. I slept there... but it was freezing. Of course I had no blankets and I curled up in my sweatshirt with my jacket over me and was wearing all the pants I brought with me. It was still cold. I woke up at 8AM and went to the bathroom and got ready to hit the road again. I'm sitting in the visitor's center - just got a call from the person I'm supposed to couch surf with tonight and tomorrow night (so I have a place to stay at least that's inside and warm!).

Time to head out to another coffee shop and perhaps scrounge up some food for lunch/dinner. I should have brought more but I assumed I was going to an expo on Friday... but it turns out it's only tomorrow. Lame. Well, the forecast is showing rain Sunday so it'll be a cold run. At least it'll be warm in Lazarus on the drive back to Virginia. Note to self: don't forget the Girl Scout motto-"Be Prepared." Duh. Keep blankets in your car.

- run for life

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

seeking approval

I told my dad tonight what I wanted to do next year. I tried to start out with the positives or things I thought he would like: 1) I'd be closer to home, 2) doing something I'd actually like doing, 3) trying to expand my horizons and figure out with vocational discernment what I want to do/what God made me to do in this life. He asked about money, and I told him I'd break even because they'd cover my expenses and he was not pleased. In fact, that was the end of the conversation. He told me he didn't like that and that I shouldn't waste my life doing things like mission trips that you don't get paid at and said bye.

I was so excited. I get so frustrated when I hear that. I know it's going to happen but at the same time I hope that maybe he'll understand. Life isn't all about money. I wish he'd understand one day, I am doubtful that will ever happen. At least I told him though. He can't say that I didn't tell him I was planning on "wasting a year of my life doing nothing." If that's what mission trips are and helping people is, wasting my life sounds good to me. My ideals are so different. I don't want to disobey or defy but I can't live the life my dad wants me to live. I still need to figure out how I can honor him at the same time as doing what I think God wants me to do. If only life were easy. He mentioned how I need to find a Chinese guy to marry again. Great. Thanks dad. Such great aspirations for me.

- run for life

a reason

I'm constantly amazed at how God works. I feel silly for attempting to plan anything. I am still planning on going to Peru one day. I'm still planning on driving home. There are some things that God must think are comical and my ridiculous organization of my life is probably one of them. Every weekend till I leave Virginia I'm gone or working. I can wait for these last 67 (since it's past midnight) days to go by quickly. There's a method to the madness that is life. There's a reason for everything, I just have to figure it out ... or not and just go with it. I'm glad I can usually do that. I was having a life crisis this morning. I went to work but when I called my boss earlier she said I didn't have to come in and I should take a day off, of course I went anyway when I was finishing my stuff. I'm not a big PTO user. I wonder if I'll get 80% pay out for left over vacation and PTO days. I need to make sure I don't use anymore...

I have some more homework to finish. I need to get crackin' on analyzing my stuff for my thesis. The other classes I have are almost done. I need to do the discussion boards for weeks 11 & 12 for both, edit/add to final paper for ED, give presentation tomorrow and write article 3 next week to be done with my health promotion and eating disorders classes. The whole thesis thing really shouldn't take me this long. I just need to get the analysis done... then I can write the paper and make the presentation and poster based on the paper. So close... yet I feel so far.

I'm so tired. It's past midnight again. I need to catch up on sleep after I'm done with school... Priorities post grad school: sleep, run, guitar...

- run for life

Sunday, March 21, 2010

YAV Can 3

Everyone always says that things aren't going to turn out the way you planned them to be. It's completely true. (Or they say, "God has a sense of humor.") I originally wanted to join the Peace Corps and go to Latin America. That ended up not working due to interviewer issues (he was an interesting character). I decided based on that experience I wanted to do something faith based (still in South/Central America) instead.

I attempted to look up long term mission trips and searched google for days, asked pastors if they had any ideas about it and eventually decided I would apply for YAV through PC USA. They had Peru and Guatemala on their sites list and I thought Peru would be amazing. All of my application stuff was filled out and turned in before August '09 (including references). I was gearing up for Peru.

I had my initial interview with the YAV office staff and that went well I thought. That was in December. I intended to practice but when I decided to take more classes so I could finish grad school in April instead of the end of June... it got a little hectic. When you add flying home every other weekend for dad's birthday, sister's bridal shower, and sister's wedding and the regular traveling I do on top of that for marathons. Let's just say I was busy.

I had no time to practice Spanish. I hadn't really spoken a word since Guatemala in 2007. Basically I was terrible this weekend when I got here and I'm still not much better. For Guatemala you don't have to be fluent, for Peru you have to be before you go. The day we got here they showed a slide show of all the sites. I thought Tucson looked interesting. I hadn't looked at national sites and never considered them. It's near the boarder of Mexico so Spanish is recommended, but not required. You do go to Mexico a lot though. They have a Community Food Bank site where you get to work with Farmer's Market stuff and organic food as well as the food bank. I thought that sounded awesome and I went for a run with the site coordinator and asked about the program in Tucson. It was intriguing. I decided to interview with Tucson on Saturday afternoon. (I had already interviewed with Guat on Friday afternoon and was interviewing with Peru Saturday morning).

The interview for Peru was pretty much all in Spanish (so obviously I sucked, pretty much the worst interview I've ever had in my life). I could understand what she was saying, but I was so slow to answer when I was trying to think of how to formulate my answers in Spanish, it was pretty bad. I wanted the immersion experience so even though I didn't feel too great about Peru, I figured that's what I came here for.

My interview with Tucson went a lot better. I felt like I was able to be very honest and communicate what I was thinking a lot better (well obviously because I can speak English... :P ). I had a good conversation prior to the interview so that probably helped also. I felt quite comfortable with what it sounded like was going to be happening in Tucson, AZ (even though I'm not a big AZ fan, at least they have In-N-Out Burger! There's one that's like a half mile from where I'd live if I was in the community house).

We had to turn in our decision sheets and I thought about it and turned it in before hitting the trail with the site coordinator from Tucson and another YAV candidate. She had ranked Tucson high and was hoping to go.

We went to dinner afterward, I prayed that it was what God wanted and not what I wanted and that everything would work out. I was confused about what I was hoping for. It was internally conflicting.

We had our concluding worship and then we got our letters. I didn't look until I got out of the room. It was written that I was accepted at Tucson, but they encouraged me to look elsewhere in case I wanted to go to another national site. I didn't really see a need to and was wondering why they said that. I talked with the site coordinator and it was because I didn't put it as a one for my options.

The more I hear about Tucson, the more I think it will be a good experience and something I really need to do. I don't have to decide just yet if I am going to go or not which is nice and I don't need to raise as much money. I feel like I should be more disappointed about Peru since I was hoping to go for so long but I feel oddly relieved. I am just praying that God will work out the wedding situation. It looks like I will probably be able to run a marathon in AZ and TX next year as a YAV which would be awesome since I'll be there anyway. Riding bikes is grand, I will actually get into shape I think..! God needs to give me some good clear direction. Please do. More homework... annoying right now especially because my group members gave me incomplete information to work with and I can't really do anything until it's done... what the crap? I'm really frustrated right now... I'm going to sleep and then eat some breakfast and get things done soon after I hope...

- run for life

Friday, March 19, 2010

YAV Can 2

All right. It's day 2 of the YAV Candidate retreat (hence the title of the entries "YAV Can" - YAV stands for Young Adult Volunteer). I ended up going to bed after 2AM because my roommate and I were talking about life and the future and everything. It was good times. We got up at 6:45AM to get to the dining hall for breakfast at 7AM. I was stoaked for waffles as they have the flipy/turning waffle iron here like they did in the Lighthouse when I was in the dorms at Poly. Amazing.

I had my two waffles topped with fresh strawberries and bananas and whoa, I was full. I think my eyes were bigger than my stomach. We went to our site presentations (so I went to Peru at 8:45AM and Guatemala at 9:45AM). Afterward we met with our small group and it was good conversation. One of the girls had both her interviews today and is leaving for a funeral - she had to make her decisions today before she left at 4:30... which is now. I pray that God leads her and gives her strength as she goes through this difficult time in her life.

We had lunch and then I had my Guatemala interview. It was interesting, honestly I'm still shooting for Peru. I was talking with my roommate again when we ran into each other in our room (I was getting ready for a run with the Tuscon coordinator to talk to him about Tuscon as a national site/hang out and she was going to her interview for South Korea). While we ran I liked that he wasn't trying to promote his site or push me in any direction in particular. I enjoy honesty. We discussed God's calling and he reminded me that it's also about what God made you to be passionate about, not just about trying so hard to discern what God wants you to do... because God gives you those emotions, passions and feelings for a reason. He doesn't want you to begrudgingly 'do His work' He wants you to LIVE for HIM. Why do I have to remind myself of that? It seems silly, it's what my blog is titled and I can't even remember, ha ha. Oh if I could remember everything I should (and that's when I have a pretty good memory to begin with).

I need to meet with one of the guys tonight and go over some Spanish questions they might as tomorrow in my Peru interview (9:45AM!). I'm still a little worried although every caution people mention about how hard life might be for the year you're gone... I've not gotten concerned at all. I feel like I've dealt with so many cultures and backgrounds including disabled adults, children, varying socioeconomic backgrounds, urban, metropolitan, rural, country, etc. I am a pretty chill/laid back person and I guess God made me that way for a reason. I am debating on whether or not I want to interview with Tuscon, it would be interesting to be on the boarder... but I really want to go be immersed in the culture and language, not just dip my toes in it. When it really comes down to it, people are right, it's 2 days - Al and Miriam's wedding days that I want to be home for. The rest of the time would be the daily grind and I honestly don't like the grind much... I want to see the world and live the dreams that God has given me to help people of all nations nutritionally, environmentally, ecologically, etc.

I am still praying about all of these choices in my life. I just need some clarity and to strip all of the other stuff away and get down to the heart of the matter. Where does God want me to be and where do I want to be?

- run for life.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

YAV Can 1

I was really tired because I stayed up till 2AM doing my paper for ED class last night and when I got to Philly all I wanted was lunch. I ate some of the snacks I brought and updated my resume some more when I realized the wireless didn't work. I got on the plane and fell fast asleep. I woke up with a jolt and I thought they said we had arrived in Louisville... I deflated my neck pillow and got ready to deplane only to realize a minute later they said we were going to get ready to take off to Louisville, ugh! I was too tired to re-inflate my neck pillow so I just went to sleep on the window. I am plane spoiled by the way. JetBlue has really big comfy/cushier seats. US Airways plane was tiny. From Richmond to Philly there were two seats on either side of the aisle. From Philly to Louisville there was one seat on the left and two on the right. Weird right? Yeah, but their numbering system is even more strange. On the first plane I noticed the seats were numbered by row likea normal plane and then on the left were seats A and D... on the right were seats C and F. I have no idea why it was like that but that's what the signs said above every row. Weird.

When I got to Louisville I am so Presbyterian I fit in with the other YAV candidates. I definitely enjoyed meeting all of the new people today. I went running when we got to the lodge-which by no means is 'roughing' it at all. Definitely more plush accommodations than I was expecting. I went down to Cherokee Park and ran the 'scenic loop' which I learned was 2.4 miles around. It was really nice! I didn't know what to expect out in the cuts of Kentucky (okay so Louisville is a pretty large city out here) but there were a decent amount of people running around the park-there was an entire lane devoted to biking and runners/walkers. Amazing! I thought it was amusing that they had a carpool diamond in the "recreation lane" as they dubbed it on the signs (I probably would have been like 'sweet, there's more than one person in this car' and run someone over... okay so exaggeration, but it was awesome).

I took a shower and grabbed the two bottles that looked shampoo and conditioner. Washed my hair with the shampoo, and put conditioner in my hair... or at least what I thought was conditioner. Turned out it was lotion. Wow...

- run for life

Saturday, March 13, 2010


When you're a kid, you've got decisions to make. Will I play with my ball or climb the orange tree in the backyard? Am I going to cross the street to go to the park or ride up and down the sidewalk?

When you get older, you've got decisions to make that can affect your life in major ways. For me, I had to make the decision to go home after my internship or stay. I chose to stay. I know that God will be glorified no matter what I do, but it's still tough making big choices. Now I've been here on the east coast for three years and don't get me wrong, I think if I were in New York or Boston I'd be all right. However, I'm a city girl stuck in the southern flair of Virginia.

I've got 77 more days until my 27th birthday and pack up Lazarus and begin my drive home. I hope that I can make it. I just finished my big project evaluation for one of my classes and have 3 more large projects to finish before I am done with school (along with some smaller assignments). Once school is over April 3, I think I will feel much more free.

However, with freedom comes more choices! I need to decide whether I'm going to KGibbs wedding or run the Delaware Marathon (I already signed up for back in October). I am going to interview next weekend in Louisville, KY for a mission trip that would last a year in Peru. Or, should I get a job back home in NorCal and hope for the best as far as relationships go.

I feel like my life has been on hold these past 3 years. I kind of want to start my life and perhaps I'm ready to be in a relationship. Who knows. Only God. I'll keep praying. Here's to hoping for the best and trusting in Him.

More homework to do. I can see the finish line. I'm almost there. I just have to kick it in and finish strong.

- run for life

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Is there really a 'type' that everyone must have? I have always tended to be attracted to tall (5'10" or taller) guys. Generally they are Caucasians/white. I guess it doesn't matter though... what people look like, it's the inside that counts right? I think it matters to a certain extent. I wouldn't want to be tempted by other guys... but then there are tons of attractive males out there so of course there are temptations. I would have to stand firm on my commitment made before God to be a one woman person and eventually or hopefully I guess get married and vow in front of friends and family (or not, the whole eloping idea is sounding better and better, especially after all the hectic ordeal at my sister's).

I have talked to a bunch of girls who have ended up with guys they didn't think they would end up with, or in their words, "weren't their type." For them, it's worked out beautifully.

I wish I could stop obsessing over this. It's really keeping me up at night. I need to sleep. I have to get up in 5 hours and drive down to Norfolk. I need to sleep more. I'm all messed up from time zone travels, work and homework. At least all of the wedding hustle/bustle is over now. I'm praying for all of that. God answers all prayers. He will answers my current prayers in His time. Please God. Help me get through these next few weeks and on to home! 4.5 more weeks of school and 86 days till I start driving home. I can't wait. I wish I was done with school and already ready to drive home. It will be here before I know it.

-run for life.