Monthly Archives: December 2013


Saturday, I went for a bona fide run. You know, an outside run where I ran a concrete, measurable distance instead of in place like a hamster. It took me ten steps to realize that this run was going to be onerous, and it was going to suck.

Running on a treadmill is elementary because pressing the start button triggers your basic instinct to survive. You must run to prevent falling to your death. When outdoors, however, not running (example: walking) has a greater likelihood of personal survival for the average, middle aged paper pusher like me (minus situations incorporating zombies or bears). Survival mode or not, I was there for a bona fide run.

Ninety feet into my run, each step is like a stampeding elephant. The jarring shock waves that should be shaking the trees aren’t because the shock waves have been corralled inside my skin. Every bone, joint, and muscle feels the 7,000 kg striking force in each step. I monitor my stride, foot placement, and cadence but there is no escaping the stomp of a stampeding elephant.

I remind myself that the first mile of the run is always the hardest. It’ll get better.

Now 600 yards into the run, I think if I were an original engine in a 41 year old Camaro, the mechanic would have already dove through the window to shut off the ignition to stop the devastating knocking that would surely cause the parts to seize shortly. Instead, I’m just a 41 year old runner, ah, former runner, trying to recapture a little of the glory from 8 years previous. Those knocks aren’t going to go away by stopping.

Finally, I run past a mile. It’s that moment, the 5280th foot when everything starts to run smooth. Yet, at 5281feet, this run still sucks.

It wasn’t until I’m in the neighborhood of 1.5 miles that the knocking is gone, the elephants stomped away and I enjoy running again.

Two minutes later, I’m out of time. I stopped running and walked home. Being out of time sucked the most.



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On The Second Day After Christmas

One thing that a I got for Christmas that I would like to return is about 10 lbs of fat. It will be ginger peachy, I just need to exercise, eat right and stay motivated.

Ginger peachy, ha ha*

It’s the second day after Christmas. I still have a burning desire to lose a pound before New Year’s Eve. I even wondered to myself why I am not more consistent in exercising because I feel so stinkin’ good afterward. An hour later, I nodded off to sleep on my way to work while driving.
Yeah, so, that consistent exercise thing requires me to wake up by 5:20 am. By 7:30 am, when I am driving to work, I’m ready for a nap.
Now, I remember why I’m so inconsistent. It takes a while to adjust to waking up at 5:20 am and figuring out when to go to bed at the right time. (Really, I’m just too lazy to be consistent) I keep choosing to sleep instead.

*This is a quote from a Christmas song. Anyone know it?

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I swore I would do whatever it took to get running again. I need to run. I was going to do whatever it takes, even if it meant running on that blasted treadmill every single day.

Of course, when I got on that treadmill the first day and the belt stopped on the fifth stride, I conceded that my willingness to “do whatever it takes” included sleep depravation, NOT cash depravation. I hadn’t really considered that my wallet would become a factor in my quest for runnability.

It turns out that it is pretty handy to be married to someone handy. One sweet request, accompanied by batting eyelashes, from me sent my husband into the garage to tinker with the treadmill. Looks like my “Do Whatever” attitude will be limited to sleep depravation after all.

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Shoot The Radio


I love Christmas music. It started back when I was a wee child. I know, most people hate Christmas music but it still holds a special magic for me and really makes the holiday spirit come to life. It also helps the holiday spirits go bottoms up.

As soon as Thanksgiving is over, I hit the play button on the holiday music. My brother-in-law, Jason, is a musical guru if you’ve ever met one and has fed my holiday musical addiction for 15 years. Unfortunately, my computer reached an age where it is no longer compatible with my iPhone. Alas, I was unable to sync 800 of my favorite holiday songs to my phone. I figured it wasn’t much of a big deal because there are several radio stations around the Chicago area that convert to Christmas music at this time of year. I’d be fine and Christmas-y until I had a chance to acquire updated software.

By December 8th, I was ready to shoot the radio in my car. I’d heard just three songs, one single version each, about twenty-four times. I was even starting to hate Bing Crosby singing White Christmas which no small feat considering that is my favorite Christmas movie of all time. That night, I dove into the closet, digging through all sorts of things we no longer want but haven’t quite been able to throw away. THANK GOD! because in that pile is 15 years worth of holiday CD’s. Who would need the CD’s after they’ve been downloaded to my iTunes?? Me. I would need them. I would need them badly.

The point is, there is lots of variety in Christmas music, wonderful Christmas music. I learned that radio Christmas music sucks and I understand why everyone else hates it so much. I’ve asked Santa for a software upgrade so that I never have to be deprived again. It is with great…no, immense relief, yes, relief.. to introduce to you the 2013 Christmas Tunes From Jason.

Merry Christmas!

PS. For those who want relief from Radio/Mall Christmas tunes but aren’t brave enough to jump right into Jason’s list (because I too skip over the Dio song from 2010), here a few of my favorites from previous years and the CD year. You can find the previous years at the bottom of the XmasCD page.

PPS. These aren’t necessarily my top 10 because there are so many good ones.

2013 – Stomping Tom Conners – Down On Christmas
2010 – Lena Horne -Jingle All The Way
2010 – Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters – White Christmas
2008 -Jerry Reed -Christmas At the Mall
2008 – Holly Golightly – Christmas Trees on Fire (but if I remember correctly this song can be played until Valentine’s Day)
2007 – Hank Thompson – Gonna Wrap My Heart In Ribbons
2006 – Buck Owens – Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy
2006 – Sufjan Stevens – I Saw Three Ships
2004 – John Prine – Christmas In Prison
2004 – B.O.B- Room In Your Heart For Him
2004 – Red Simpson – Truckin Trees For Christrmas
2004 – Pearl Bailey – Five Pound Box of Money

PPSS. I couldn’t even pick just 10.

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I think I have writer’s block. I used to feel like I had lots to say. Now, whenever I get one thought in my head to say, it’s gone before a cohesive thought comes behind it. I’m just not inspired anymore.

Running used to inspire me to write. But, day after day, week after week, turning into month after month, I just didn’t run. I don’t have the inspiration to run anymore. I think I must have runner’s block.

Even after all this time of not running, the idea of runner’s block is an odd concept to me. How could I not want to run? I run half marathons for goodness sake. Yet, the days pass by but the miles don’t.

It’s time to resolve this Block. I think I read that if you have writer’s block you should write every single day. However, I can’t run every single day because I can’t risk an injury. I decree that I will run every other day until this Block is busted . I will write every single day even if it’s just one sentence until I can write “I want to run” and really mean it.


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Better Something Than Nothing

Why do I buy 6 AM flights in the winter when there is a threat of snow? That’s like buying a flight in the summer with an arrival/departure time in the late afternoon. You are guaranteed a thunderstorm.

Let’s just cut to the chase to say that at that point, it was late evening, I’d been sitting in airplanes, cars and restaurant booths near 10 hours. Running was the last thing I wanted to do when a warm and comfortable looking (but really not because this was your standard low end of the chain hotels) bed. However, I’m not sure if you are aware of this, I made a pledge to run every other day, darn it. I dismissed the pledge when I realized that I forgot to pack my sports bra.

Seriously, it was too easy to talk myself out of running. As a compromise, I walked about an hour as I watched the Duck Dynasty Christmas special.

Better something than nothing.

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Holiday Diet

Yes, I started my diet on the week of Thanksgiving.

I realize there are a gazillion health experts out there groaning and predicting my utter failure.

1. Because I used the word diet. Hey, I’m old school. I’m always going to think “diet”. I realize that this is forever. Just like the last 23 years of my life have been an effort in living healthier, so shall the rest of my life. It’s my diet.

2. Because I started watching what I eat the week of the biggest gluttony feast??? The TEMPTATION! In the 52 weeks prior to Thanksgiving, I hadn’t managed to go three days straight eating a healthy diet so why wouldn’t I try the week of Thanksgiving? The point is knowing it has to be done regardless of what week it is.

No, I didn’t do all that great after Thursday but I’ve still got my head in the game and despite the impending Bake Christmas Cookies Day, I’m trying to make all the other days count well toward my diet.

Tis the Season! May the diet odds be ever in your favor.

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