Melissa Runs

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

Page 5 of 38

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.


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.


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

Oscar Predictions

I love movies. I don’t watch as many as I want but I do love them. Once upon a time before the Best Picture nominees were 10, I used to watch all of the nominees. So I’ve got a knack about this sort of thing.

I haven’t seen that many of them this year and I admit it which will make this more fun. 😀

Original Screenplay

My prediction: Moonrise Kingdom Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola.

Why: For whatever reason, this is the category of the Academy awards that likes to encourage the young. You will remember that this is the category that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck won in the the 90s for Good Will Hunting. Also, there’s a Coppola. This was a movie that created its own very particular world and its own particular world view. It has witty dialogue and is more than it appears on first blush. (Hi I’ve actually seen this movie)

Why not Tarantino? Well. I might get punked on this. I would love to see the Tarantino acceptance speech. Strangely enough both Tarantino and Anderson have very strong “views” and heavily borrow from pop culture and other film genres. It’s fascinating to see how they come up with such vastly different products.

Adapted Screenplay

Written by Tony Kushner

This is the big epic movie nominated. This will be the one that gets it.

in a Supporting Role

Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables


Oscar loves to award women who play prostitutes. Oscar also loves to award women who die. Oscar loves to award beautiful women who go through a massive physical change for the role. Seriously. She has this one. She also has won virtually all the awards leading

in a Supporting Role

Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln

Remember when he got nominated against Daniel Day Lewis for No Country for Old Men and lost. Yeah, this is makeup award. I’m rooting for Robert De Niro and he might get it as a pseudo-Lifetime Achievement Award but Lincoln is the more grandiose of the movies. Oscar likes grandiose.

in a Leading Role

Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook

Why? This is the yeah you should have won for Winter’s Bone and here you go again award. Also, Oscar loves crazy.

in a Leading Role

Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln

Why? Okay I really want Hugh Jackman to win but it is not to be. Daniel Day Lewis is an amazing actor and he has won this award two times before. The Academy already likes him. He managed to pull out a performance of a person who could have very easily been a Caricature and it’s President Lincoln. Dissing on President Lincoln is kicking puppies. I don’t think the Academy will do it.

Best Director in a Motion Picture

Feh. I have no idea. NO really. I think it’s between Ang Lee and Spielburg.

Best Picture


Why? The torture controversy in Zero Dark Thirty will knock it out. It’s part of history and I think enough people will be “BEN AFFLECK WAS ROBBED” for not being nominated.

15K Trail Run


I signed up for this race. I went to the running store and picked up my packet. I laid all of my running clothes and shoes in a nice little stack beside my entry packet. I even attached the timing chip on my shoe the night before. I set my alarm and went to bed. I woke up in enough time to have a leisurely, small breakfast suitable for running a 5K. I put on my clothes and pinned on my number. I picked up my purse and reached for my keys. MY KEYS? not in my purse.

I ended up frantically looking for my keys for almost 30 minutes — finally finding them 15 minutes after the race had started. They were under my bed. I still haven’t figured out how they got UNDER my bed. Point is that I missed the race entirely. SInce I am training for a half marathon in March. I did get in my car and go to a local trail and run a long run. I intended to run a 15k but the battery on my phone went out before I finished. I know that I completed at least 7.34 miles. How much more? I don’t know.

THe run itself was nice. I didn’t feel tired and I felt a had a good pace overall. I did start to feel a sharp pain in my left calf which compelled me to walk the last mile or two back. So there you go.

Trail RUN sucked ass. I got no points and no credit and no glory but I did have a nice run on Saturday.

Then I went to eat one of HOt Dog Mike’s last hot dogs.

Then I went to see Silver Linings Playbook.

Overall, it was a nice day.

One Hour Track Run

So this year I have decided to get my butt in gear and get serious about working out. In order to achieve that end and maybe have a little fun, I have signed up for the Arkansas Chapter of Road Runners Club of America Grand Prix. In order to be considered for Grand Prix, you have to be a member of an official Running Club and you agree to run six of the races listed on the Calendar over the course of the year. I signed up to be a member of Hot Legs Run for Fun Oh and you get points and the points count towards a personal total and a club total. There are prizes.

Rebecca convinced me to do this.

Oh and on top of this I have signed up for the Little Rock Half marathon.

The first race in the series was the One Hour Track Run which was held at Danville High School. It is exactly what it sounds like, one hour on a track. You get a chip on your shoe. You are told “Go” and you run/walk/move for an hour. The electronic mat is located at the finish time and measures each fourth of a mile (or 400 meters) for you. You stop and a person comes out with a whally walker to measure the distance past the finish line in order to tally your total distance for the race.

Finish Line

The weather was cloudy with the temperature hovering around 50 degrees. The threat of rain loomed on the horizon but it never rained. In fact, the sun came out near the end of the day. Danville High School has a nice track. The race people were nice enough to provide music so if you forgot your earbuds (I did) you didn’t have to shlep around in silence for an hour. It was “screamo” music.

I did my 10 mile long run for half marathon training the day before and one of my hamstrings was cranky. Cranky is a nice word for soreness with the threat of injury. I expected to walk most of this “race” and that is exactly what I did. I started off running the one hundred meter straight ways and walking the curves but that gave way pretty quickly. I walked it and my 3.33 mile per hour pace on the results confirms this.

Total stats:
3.33mph 3.224 58:01.92

And boring lap by lap stats.
Lap 1 4:13.26 3.53mph 0.248 4:13.26
Lap 2 4:25.95 3.37mph 0.496 8:39.21
Lap 3 4:34.06 3.26mph 0.744 13:13.27
Lap 4 4:07.24 3.61mph 0.992 17:20.51
Lap 5 4:18.97 3.46mph 1.240 21:39.48
Lap 6 4:39.56 3.20mph 1.488 26:19.04
Lap 7 4:40.11 3.19mph 1.736 30:59.15
Lap 8 4:23.64 3.39mph 1.984 35:22.79
Lap 9 4:53.84 3.05mph 2.232 40:16.63
Lap 10 4:47.06 3.11mph 2.480 45:03.69
Lap 11 4:41.95 3.18mph 2.728 49:45.64
Lap 12 4:15.08 3.50mph 2.976 54:00.72
Lap 13 4:01.20 3.70mph 3.224 58:01.92

See I told you I walked most of it. It felt good and Im glad I did it. Hopefully, next race I will actually attempt to run.

Elvis at the Old South

Elvis at the Old South

Afterwards, Rebecca, Debbie, and I went to Old South Restaurant in Russellville.. This place is a diner filled with Elvis paraphernalia. It has been around. It serves breakfast all day and has a menu full of cheap goodies. I had a grilled ham and cheese.

Caturday photo

My cat likes to look out the window. I interrupted him and took this picture.

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: 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.

Martin Luther King Day: Why NOT you?

This is my favorite picture of Martin Luther King Jr. I like that it shows him having fun. I think it is helpful to remind myself that my heroes were also mere men and women, just like you and me. They may have been a little smarter or a little braver but ultimately, they are just like you and me. I use it as a reminder that a hero is the person who is willing to stand up for something and take action against what he or she finds intolerable. The hero is a person who is willing forgo some immediate gratification for the greater long range goals. I am reminded that if I want to change something, then I have to get off my butt and do something. Something about the humanity of watching a guy having fun and playing pool begs the question, “why not me?” or “why not you?” when it comes to public service and activism for a cause. Why not you?


“It is true that behavior cannot be legislated, and legislation cannot make you love me, but legislation can restrain you from lynching me, and I think that is kind of important.”–MLK, at Oberlin College, 1964.

As you know, I am living in Arkansas. Arkansas is a very interesting and disappointing place in terms of race relations. Some of the most accepting nonjudgmental inclusive people you will ever meet in your entire life live in Arkansas. Some of the most hostile bigots you will ever meet also live in Arkansas. My twitter friend Greg has already wrote an amazing post on the disappointing facebook posts of our fellow Arkansans. There is also another completely embarrassing thread of comments regarding Robert E. Lee’s birthday on the Facebook page of another television network. It just reminded me why I am a card carrying NAACP member.

The first time I went to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis I was shown a thirty minute documentary called “The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306” It documents Martin Luther King Jr.’s last days in Memphis from the view of Reverend Samuel “Billy” Kyles, one of the ministers responsible for organizing the sanitation workers’ strike and was standing right beside Dr. King when he was shot. I highly recommend you take 30 minutes to watch it.

The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306 from Marc Altshuler – Human Music on Vimeo.

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