Melissa Runs

Sometimes, Melissa runs her legs. Sometimes, she runs her mouth.

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After the storm

Tragedy blows through your life like a tornado, uprooting everything, creating chaos. You wait for the dust to settle and then you choose. You can live in the wreckage and pretend it’s still the mansion you remember, or you can crawl from the rubble and slowly rebuild… Because after disaster strikes, the important thing is that you move on. But if you’re like me, you just keep chasing the storm.
Veronica Mars

I have lived in Arkansas for most of my life and as a result, have dealt with tornados for most of my life. I remember having tornado drills in elementary skill. We would leave our classrooms and go into the hall. We would line up against the walls and get on our knees, put our heads on the floor with our hands on the back of our heads. It wasn’t the most comfortable position even for a seven year old and they seemed to last forever.

My first tornado was when I was 10. It was around one in the morning and I was asleep. I remember the loud rumbling that sounds like a train running over your head. I remember the sound of broken glass as the tornado’s change in air pressure formed a vacuum and sucked out one of the windows. (Pro tip: leave a crack in one of the windows of your home to prevent this from happening to you) I remember freaking out and running to my parents’ bedroom only to find my brother had beat me by two seconds. To be fair, it was his bedroom window that was sacrificed to the tornado gods.

This week, a major tornado ripped through my state. It went about twenty miles north of my house and a mile from the home where I used to live. It ravaged the towns of Mayflower and Vilonia. As of today, the number dead is fourteen. I sat on my futon watching Netflix with the television on one of the local television stations. I heard tornado sirens in the background. I had an emergency kit in my first floor bathroom, ready to go if I was in a position where I needed to “take cover.” Fortunately for me, that never happened.

Photo by Forbidden Hillcrest Facebook page.

Photo by Forbidden Hillcrest Facebook page.

My friend Cotton is a storm chaser and managed to get into the thick of it. The tornado picked up his truck and moved it 120 feet. He is okay. ‘

The thing that people who don’t live with tornadoes fail to understand is how sudden they are. Sure, we get the “tornado warning” and the sky gets a certain tell tale shade but the actual tornado is sudden and quick. It sounds like a freight training running you over and the timing and devastation is probably about the same. One second you are driving along. The next you hear a loud noise and then boom. Suddenly it’s all over and everything is ruined.

Things like tornados remind us how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things. They remind us of the the power of nature and the randomness of it all. They remind us of how lucky we are to be alive each and every day of our lives.

Valentine’s Day 5K (rescheduled March 16th) recap

The Valentine’s Day 5K, which was originally scheduled on February 8, 2014 and postponed due to ice, was held on March 16, 2014 on the Bona Dea Trails near Russellville, Arkansas. This was two weeks after the EPIC Little Rock Marathon that was rerouted due to the cold and rain. Even though the weather was decidedly springlike in the the weeks prior to the race, we managed to run in the barely above freezing rain yet again. There were bits of sleet mixed in with the rain.

I carpooled up with some of the my running club buddies and the mantra was “anyone can do anything for 3 miles” We all packed an extra change of clothes. This was the first race in my new running shoes. This was the first time I had used this brand. I am usually a Brooks Ariel girl. I wore my usual jogging pants and put a trash bag on top of my shirt.

This race was much harder than the 10k two weeks earlier. My legs felt “heavy.” I am not sure why. Also, the shoe laces kept coming untied. The trail itself was beautiful and winding. This gave the feeling that I was running farther than I was. I also got distracted by the beauty of the trail during some of the walk breaks. Also, the first turn at a “V” in the road wasn’t apparent and I spent a couple of minutes questioning whether or not I made the right turn. I finally finished. That’s how I felt. I finally finished.

Then we changed into dry clothes, drank gas station hot chocolate, and went home.

My time: 50:45.8 16:22/M

Thanksgiving Gratitude

The turkeys are thankful to not be dinner

The turkeys are thankful to not be dinner

Tomorrow is the day of the Turkey. The day to give Thanks for all your blessings and a time to spend with friends or family. For the most part, I have spent Thanksgiving with my family. When my Dad’s parents were alive, I would spend Thanksgiving on their farm with many of my Dad’s five brothers and sisters and their kids. It was a large event with at least twenty people in attendance. The food cooking duties were shared among the various family members and we would come together to eat and play. In many ways, this was the only time of the year we would all be together.

Time marched on. My Mamaw died and my Papaw got Altzheimer’s. For a couple of years, we would go to the farm but it wasn’t the same. Mamaw was the glue that held us together and without her big heart, we scattered across the State. One of my Aunts had five kids of her own and when her kids got to having their own kids, she started having her own Thanksgiving at her house.

Now we have Thanksgiving at my Mom’s Mom’s house and the best dog in the world. It’s a tiny intimate affair and my Grandma cooks way too much food. I could probably eke out leftovers until Christmas if I really wanted to do so. She is my last living grandparents and she is getting older. She is noticing her aging and it frustrates her. She goes to many medical appointments but she, at 82, is still able to live alone and tell me a good tale. I am grateful that she is still with me, body and spirit. She is pure love.

Where have I been?

Yes I am aware that I wrote an entry about my Little Rock half marathon experience in March and it is now the end of August. I have had a tough couple of months. Lots of things out of my control went wrong. Lots of things in my control went wrong due to panic and poor decision making as a result of said panic. I had a freakishly harsh “acidic stomach” combined with a gallbladder attack which caused enough pain that I suddenly became acutely aware of my mortality. Also, I had a bad roommate. Depression kicked in.

I took time and took care of myself.

2013 Little Rock Half Marathon

So on Sunday, March 3, 2013, I “ran” by fourth Little Rock half marathon. The weather forecast predicted it was going to be cold and I had a cranky left calf that was tight and getting sore so I was a little apprehensive about this race. My sole goal this time was to finish without hurting myself. That’s called “setting the bar low,” folks.

This was also the first year that I did the race without my Mom here. I have since moved to the central Arkansas area and so there was no need to rent a hotel room and as a result, no need for my Mom to come up here and make it a mother/daughter event.

I picked up my packet after work on Friday. The expo seemed smaller than it was in previous years with fewer total vendors. I was short on case this year but I did buy this t-shirt That says “Keep Calm and Run On” Yeah I am loving it.

Keep Calm and Run On. Best shirt ever.

Keep Calm and Run On. Best shirt ever.

I also got my official half marathon shirt, which is a tech shirt.

Turquoise and emerald green. ODD CHOICE

Turquoise and emerald green. ODD CHOICE

Yes it was emerald green, which is the official Pantone shade this year, with turquoise letters. It is as odd as you think it would be. But hey I got my shirt in my size. Good times. Also, I stopped by the GO Running space and got a special “VIP” ticket (because I shop there so much) which meant I had pomegranate margaritas. See Go Running! is the store for you! Or it should be because you didn’t get pomegranate margarita at your expo, did you? I also met the woman who wore the cool Wonder Woman socks at the Bowen 5K. I also took advantage of the volunteer massage therapists and got a nice little rub down. Then I went home and ate pasta.

Saturday. I don’t even remember what I did that Saturday except to read Rebecca’s recount of her 5K experience which mentioned that she got snowed on and promptly exclaimed several curse words. I don’t mind cold but cold falling wet stuff is my limit. I am just not that hard core. Needless to say, I was very apprehensive. I had received an email that the “Hot Legs” (My running club was going to meet in front of the library at 7:30 for a group picture.
Saturday. I don’t even remember what I did that Saturday except to read Rebecca’s recount of her 5K experience which mentioned that she got snowed on and promptly exclaimed several curse words. I don’t mind cold but cold falling wet stuff is my limit. I am just not that hard core. Needless to say, I was very apprehensive. I had received an email that the “Hot Legs” (My running club was going to meet in front of the library at 7:30 for a group picture.

So I ended up carbo loading at my house and went to sleep in my own bed which is 30 miles away from the race site. This is a new development. Usually, I stay at the Comfort Inn near the starting line. I woke up and put on my clothes that I had laid out the night before and “OH GOD” it was cold. I had put on gloves and a headband to cover my ears but I didn’t bring a jacket. I figured it would warm up as soon as I started running. When I finally walked outside, I noticed that there was a light layer of ice/frost on my car that I had to scrape off with my Panera card.

MY MY.

I drove in to Little ROck and traffic was a little more difficult than I had anticipated. everyone was trying to get to the same place. I finally found a place to park but missed the 7:30 picture. I also managed to get to the perks pavillion just in time to pee and get to the starting line. IN fact, I heard the national anthem while I was in line. I got to the race line just in time for the elites to go. This year they did the start in waves with the elites going and then A and B having an official go time a couple of minutes later. This is a completely new development. In the years before, the announcer said go and everybody started walking and then once you passed the line, you started running.

I don’t think the open corral even got to the starting line until 12 minutes later.

So I was off. I didn’t think my phone battery would last so I decided not to listen to music until I got back from North Little Rock. This also means I didn’t have my run keeper pace timer. There are usually a lot of people cheering in North Little Rock there is enough to sustain me. I just ran from one street line to the other. It was a little odd but overall, it seemed close to the same. I knew i wasn’t going to get any PR’s due to cranky calf so I had it in my head to take it easy. That’s what I did.

I don’t remember being tired and so I would run. Friends kept passing me. I saw Brian who is a prosecutor. I saw my friend Rebecca. I saw Eric. And then I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in person since High school but thanks to the beauty of social media, had been chatting it up with him for quite a while. I finally made it across the bridge. I was feeling good. It was slow. Occasionally, I could feel my calf but it wasn’t overwhelming in its tightness or pain. I did, as a result of the first bridge, come to the decision to not even try hills. I walked all the hills.

By this point, I had my music and was trucking along. I was using Stinger waffles as my fuel of choice. I discovered during the second half that maybe they are a little too sweet. Near mile 10, I started to feel a little nauseous.

I managed to run and walk the entire way. I even made a little spring near the end.

Good times. I got my medal.

The Yee Haw cowboy hip hip hooray half marathon finisher's medal.

The Yee Haw cowboy hip hip hooray half marathon finisher’s medal.

BOO YAA!

I felt good. I did wait for a message therapist near the end and that was fun. I think it helps a lot. It gets the main kinks out that ruin your day. I then went home and took a nap.

When I got back, I checked my time. It ended up being

A thought for the day

I have a lot on my mind and this quotation seems to fit.

Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live though it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal. Therapists and friends and other people who live on Planet My Baby Died can help you along the way, but the healing—the genuine healing, the actual real deal down-on-your-knees-in-the-mud change—is entirely and absolutely up to you.

From Sugar on the Rumpus “how to get unstuck”

Sometimes life moves so fast

Sometimes so much happens in such a short amount of time that it seems a blur and there isn’t time to sit back and have quite reflection over it all. But it is Birthday Month. And on Sunday I will be running a 10K. So… good things are a happening.

Pic a day 2: WORDS!

Source: etsy.com via Jessamyn on Pinterest

This is day 2. I am aware it’s February 3rd but I was away from the computer. Sometimes I need to read or hear these words. So here you go.

damn postsecret

Every so often one of these secrets will take your heart string,wrap it around your neck, and try to choke you with it.

Totally awesome videos 2011 edition

Over the course of the year, I, and you, see a lot of videos. Some of them are “okay” and some of them are just freaking awesome. This is for those.

It doesn’t snow that much in Arkansas and as a result, the state pretty much shuts down when it does. It snowed at the University of Arkansas. Some bored dudes made lip dub of Katy Perry’s Firework. Apparently, the need for shirtless barely legal males dancing around in the snow is high and this thing caught on like wildfire. It even got the attention of Katy Perry herself. It got the attention of national magazines and Katy Perry, herself. It currently has over 1,433,914 views. I think that says it all.

Jessie Miskelley, Damien Echols, and Jason Baldwin, otherwise known as the “West Memphis 3,” were released from prison after accepting a deal involving an Alford plea. As a native Arkansan who watched this unfold while I was in college, I never thought they would see freedom. I am still stunned by it, frankly. It’s not a perfect ending but it is an ending just the same.

Okay most of the time, I want to stab my eyes out when people post videos of children doing silly things. This one, instigated by Jimmy Kimmel, is epic. Jimmy Kimmel asked parents to tell their children that they ate all of their Halloween Candy. Hilarity, and tons of crying, ensues. Also, the phrase “YOU SNEAKY MOM” is a permanent part of my vocabulary.

If MTV went back to its roots and showed tons of videos instead of reality programming involving teen moms, KeSha would be a multigazillionaire. This is the music video for “Blow” Yeah the song is a fun little dance number but OH man. This video is over the top fun snarky deliciousness: Unicorns that bleed rainbows, James van der Beek, Meunster “the lactose liquid gold,” James Van der Beek’s head mounted like a deer (come on Dawson’s Creek fans who endured his Joey whining for six years, you know you want to see this). yeah you want it. “We’re pretty and sick. We’re young and we’re bored.” Let the crazy out kiddos. Let it out.

This one is old but I just saw it this year. Cat video bombs for the win.

Sometimes a video isn’t necessarily awesome for its content but it’s awesome to remind the rest of us that there is injustice in the world. The UC Davis pepper spray incident.

Holidailies 2011

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