Melissa Runs

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

Tag: about me (page 1 of 5)

Little Rock Marathon…er… 10K… 2014 Recap

My first “big race” was the Little Rock Half marathon in 2009. Out of a sense of tradition, I have run this race every year since. One year, I ran the 10k because the half was sold out by the time I signed up. This year, I signed up for the 10k due to the fact that I hadn’t run more than 3 miles since June of 2013. My performance at the One Hour Track Run indicated this would be a good idea. Theoretically, I could have finished the half. In fact, I finished the 2010 half with little training and a back spasm during the race. I was dead fucking last and I was incredibly sore for over a week. I didn’t want to put myself through that again. I signed up for Grand Prix this year. I have five more races to run.

The Little Rock Marathon is known for having a great route with some challenging hills, great support, and the biggest medal in racing. This year the theme was EPIC!

About a week before the race, the weather gurus on the television started murmuring about a “winter storm” and “sleet” that may come through on race day. This sounded almost magical since the temperature was sunny and in the sixties but this is Arkansas and I know better. All the runners sat glued to the TV and social media wondering “should I go?” “What should I wear?” “Is it going to sleet during the race? NO?”

This seemed to be the prevailing wisdom. Based on my calculations, I was running the 10k. The 10k starts at 8 a.m. I should be done before anything bad. It will be cold. It was cold last year. I can do this. I have gloves, ear warmers, and a trash bag. I am going.

It started raining as I was walking to my car from my apartment. It was cold. It continued to rain as I walked from my parking space to the starting spot. It may have stopped for a little while. I went to the “perks pavillon” and warmed up by one of the heaters. I saw a running friend who was doing the marathon. I saw many of my friends as I walked to my corral. Then it started raining again.

In an effort to control the crowd the race itself started in waves. I didn’t officially start until some 8:40. Standing outside for 45 minutes in that weather was one of the more miserable experiences in my life. I was questioning my sanity. Then I quit questioning my sanity and came to the realization that “yes Melissa, you are indeed crazy.” Then it was time to actually run.

My medal and my time. BOOM!

My medal and my time. BOOM!

As far as the race itself, I felt good. I had low expectations for my pace and “ran” it via the Galloway method with 1:05 splits. I didn’t feel tired and didn’t seem to be overexerting myself. I warmed up enough after I ran that I almost took off the trash bag. Then the wind started to blow and I was glad I kept it on. Due to the weather, there weren’t nearly as many volunteers and spectators cheering us on but we the runners were cheering each other on. My quads did cry uncle when I attempted to run up the Broadway bridge on the return trip to Little Rock (around mile 5) and so I walked it. Then when it came time to go back down, I started the running again. I slowed down to pick up my lip gloss and I finished. I felt good. I smiled a lot near the end. I was glad to finish and it felt surprisingly uneventful.

I got a printout of my “tentative finish time” and went to get my massage. I always get the “perks” and one of those perks is a massage. The other perk is that I have access to these outdoor heaters. Seriously, if you sign up for the Little Rock Marathon, pay for the perks. The perks are better finisher food, heaters, portapotties, and massages. You want this folks.

It wasn’t until I got home and had time to think that I realized that my pace for this race was a good 2 minutes per mile faster than the One hour track run and 30 seconds faster than anything I had “run” in months. Considering that I hadn’t run more than 3 miles in a long ass time, I think this is one of my better races.

But seriously, that is the limit of the bad weather I am willing to take to win a medal. That was horrible: wet AND cold.

In fact, the weather was so bad that about an hour after I finished, the race directors rerouted the race and cut it short. People were picked up on busses and taken to the finish line. A storm was coming complete with lightning. We ended up having sleet and schools were closed the next day. It was indeed an EPIC experience. Thanks Little Rock marathon for an experience I will never forget.

101 in 1001 list

I am a compulsive list maker. Part of the reasoning behind the compulsive listmaker is that I have a tendency to get overwhelmed and I have found taking big tasks and dividing them into the manageable small task chunks makes me less frazzled and more productive. Also, my job means I have more to do than I could possibly store to memory so I have to write it down anyway.

I also have been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. I believe that the combination of self reflection and goal setting is a good way to keep a girl grounded. I find that I am more focused with clearly defined goals. As far as self help books, I am a big fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done. It provides a system to execute your goals — right down to scheduling day to day activities. I might say it changed my life.

I found 101 in 1001 on blogs several years ago. I have thought about trying it out and I am in a place where I

Starting Tuesday, the deadline is Tuesday, June 21, 2016.

  1. Complete this list of 101 things
  2. Make a list of 101 things that makes Melissa happy
  3. Make cinnamon rolls from Scratch
  4. Learn to cook a dinner party worthy meal (or something that won’t embarrass me in front of the foodie friends)
  5. Get a bona fide cooking knife (Wustoff)
  6. Complete the Little Rock half marathon three times
  7. Complete the Arkansas Road Runner Clubs of America Grand Prix (You only have to complete 6 races, I think) I tried it this year and failed. 2013 has not been a good year for me
  8. Complete on marathon
  9. Do the Mississippi River half marathon It is near my grandma’s house
  10. Do yoga two days a week for a month
  11. Drink green monsters every day for a week
  12. Keep AGS Alumni afloat and turn it into a bonafide nonprofit with a speaker every year.
  13. To read all the books listed on the Modern Library 100 best novels list.
  14. To read all the books on the Radcliffe Best 100 novels list
  15. To attempt to learn to speak Spanish Fluently. (yeah we’ll see how this one goes)
  16. To call my Grandma once a week
  17. Go to Kenya
  18. Get a bicycle
  19. Incorporate a bicycle into my exercise routine
  20. Visit Washington DC
  21. See the Dandy Warhols in Concert
  22. Paint my adirondack chairs
  23. Grill something using the Kelly Gee grill seasonings I am getting in October 2013.
  24. Go Sky diving
  25. Make Homemade pop tarts with Nutella
  26. Do the William Faulkner tour in Oxford Mississippi
  27. Visit the Crystal Bridges Museum
  28. Try poutine
  29. Get a professional massage
  30. Get a facial
  31. Buy a classic handbag
  32. Watch 10 classic films
  33. Go to 10 concerts
  34. Donate to random business on Kickstarter
  35. Watch Veronica Mars Movie
  36. Get a crockpot
  37. Get three pieces of Fiestaware to add to my collection.
  38. Host a dinner party
  39. write more often on my blog. (at least one post per week)
  40. Put my day of the dead skeleton set up in my apartment. (yee haww)
  41. Get a cat
  42. Advertise for Bowen 5K every year

About those “old resolutions”

Why yes I do post New Year’s resolutions each year and I posted a brief list last year.

You don’t have to click the link, I will reprint them here.

1. I will not let the bad things that happen to me destroy the wonderful that is within me (aka I will not let life turn me into a bitter old hag)
2. I will attempt the 100 pushup challenge (I WILL!!)
3. I will attempt the 200 situp challenge
4. I will attempt the 200 squats challenge
5. I will train for the Little ROck half marathon that I have already entered and do another half marathon later in the year
6. In attempt to keep myself on track, I will whine write about my workouts on this blog
7. I will be kinder and more assertive
8. I will attend my high school reunion this year
9. I will also be keeping track of my 101 in 1001 list

Okay let’s review.

1. YES! I think I did this. it wasn’t perfect and I did have some dips. I also managed to get in touch with some people from my past and that brought up some issues but I do think that overall, I made some progress. WIN!
2. err.. NO! I put this every year. Honestly the only way I am going to do this is if I post the results on this blog. Oh well, workout blogging here we come.
3. See above.
4. See above. I do need to do it and add some strength training. Just running is lopsided fitness
5. I kept up my training and did better than last year on the half but it wasn’t a personal best. Also, I didn’t sign up for one in the winter/fall. I had originally planned to do St. Jude’s marathon until I realized that the marathon had a time limit that would put me at a pace much faster than I go now. I should read fine print.
6. I didn’t do this. in fact, I slacked on this blog big time. yeah…
7. Well I was more assertive and got myself out of situations that made me crabby and mean. I think that was ultimately kindness to myself. Maybe even kindness to other because staying around fighting with people whom don’t respect you. Not good.
8. Not only did I attend, I helped plan that sucker and it was so fun that we’re having mini-reunions every year (or every other year) for the rest of our freaking lives… (okay maybe .. maybe not.. but a party next summer is happening)
9. er… I think so… maybe.. maybe not.

Well let’s see.

Proof that I am a nerd

I bought this book for fun. I am not a grad student. I am not a psychologist by trade. I am not a literature professor or English teacher. I just bought this book because it sounded cool. Okay I was a psychology major in undergrad but that was YEARS AGO!


Holidailies 2011

Wordless Wednesday

When I grow up, I want to be just like Betty White.


1. First, my father broke his leg. He fell down at work about two weeks ago. (He works in construction and this was on site) He slipped on some mud. Well, I have heard the story so many times, I can recite it as he would tell it.

“Well I was going down basement and I could have went all the way around and took the steps but this way was closer. Then I was slipping and a sliding and my toe hit something and down I went. I knew that [name redacted] and [name redacted] were on the other side. SO I started shouting but it seemed the harder I shouted, the quieter I was. So I picked up my phone and called them. They came running to where I was and they started slipping and a sliding. But they got down there and tried to pick me up but they couldn’t. SO they got a board and the other one got a track hoe. They loaded me on that board and picked me up and put me on the track hoe. Then [someone else whose name is redacted] saw me and yelled, “Hey what are you doing with [Melissa’s dad]!?” and they got me out of there.”

Well that’s the short part of the story. Then he tried to call my mother on her cell and couldn’t get her because then he called me on my cell. He thought he was okay to drive and drove about 80 miles back to his house. He then went to the doctor and got an x-ray. They didn’t find a broken bone and sent him home with a muscle relaxer and two kinds of pain pills. They also scheduled an appointment to get an MRI to see the tendons and ligaments.

Well, those muscle relaxers and pain pills were the GOOD STUFF. He was convinced he heard people trying to steal his truck outside. He was having conversations with people who weren’t there. They would disappear when Mom would ask, “who are you talking to?” He was seeing bugs and at one point, he saw a dog walk through the house and tried to get up to protect the cat. Another time, he was sleep but he was moving his hands. He appeared to be fishing with one hand throwing out the line and the other hand reeling it in. It was quite amusing. Okay, I’ll fess up. It was more than amusing. Some of it was downright hilarious. Oh poor Daddy.

My Mom celebrated Valentine’s Day by taking my Dad back to the doctor to get him some drugs that didn’t make my Dad so freaking loopy.

Then he had an MRI and it turned out that he did break his leg. It was the top of his tibia near his knee cap. The kneecap obscured the view in the x ray. So now he has an appointment with an orthopedic specialist.

It’s been an interesting experience around here with my Dad on the recliner and Mom waiting after him. Occasionally, due to being self employed, I get called to take up the slack and make sure my Dad doesn’t slip and fall when he tries to get up and go to the bathroom.

It’s sweet to watch how my parents love each other. How my Mom buys my brother, my Dad, and myself these goofy stuffed animals. My Dad then takes the stuffed animal and uses it as a “neck warmer.” She gets his water. He winks at her.

Random thoughts at 2 a.m.

okay so it is technically 1:47 right now. I should be asleep. I’m not even sure why I am not asleep. I don’t feel particularly stressed but I sure was tossing and turning. I even managed to annoy the cat. So here is a list.

  1. My cat is still nipping at his tail. In fact, he acts like his tail is not attached to his body. He acts like his tail is this fur covered snake that is sneaking up on him and trying to attack him. Sometimes, he runs in the opposite direction of his tail as fast as he can. Sometimes he bites at it. I have no idea what to do. I know a second vet business is in order. I know people use the term “crazy cat” but I’m thinking my cat may actually have some sort of psychological issue on this one.
  2. Been using runkeeper to track my runs. I am getting back into the swing of things but dang I’m slow. Also, my new shoes are great but they are obviously doing a slight difference with my gait because there are muscles near my ankles that feel complete different now.
  3. Union Pacific had a contest online to determine a rail route with a steam engine. The Little Rock to Kansas City Missouri route won. I will say one thing about Arkansas. If you get us in a position where we can vote on something nationally that is apolitically and doesn’t make us look like rednecks, we will come out in spades. We know how to autodial and vote every day for weeks. Choo choo!
  4. I am at my innate basic level pretty darn tactless. It has taken years and years of hair pulling and butt whooping by my mama along with the alienation of people whom I really liked to get me to where I am today, mildly annoying. But sometimes, even now, I will say something or given an opinion that just beats the shit out of someone. This week was one of those times.

Au Revoir Holidailies

I thought today was the last day of Holidailies but it might have been yesterday. I am confused.

Of course, I didn’t write every day for the 30something days that I promised and that’s okay. The reddit format was confusing after years of a much easier system. Also, there wasn’t an easy way to see every person’s entry. It seemed more spread out. I did get to read some new blogs that I have never read before and I always like the challenge of fitting in a bunch of blog entries near the end of the year. IT’s like Spring Cleaning for my mind.

This year was hard for me and I managed to perk up with all this blogging and sending out Christmas cards. I realized that the world is full of people who would be happy to hear from me even if I am not the best blogger or person in general. Really, who is the best of anything and how do you judge that criteria. And yes my friend is gone and I will miss her greatly but I’m still alive. At some point, you just got to keep on living.

It was fun guys.

Holidailies 2010 Badge

2010 Resolution round up.

Why yes Kids, I did set up resolutions for 2010 here

Actually, I forgot I had set up a separate resolutions list in addfition to the 101 in 1001 list so I didn’t pay attention to it. So yeah.

Let’s see how I did.

  • I will not kill any small children or animals in 2010 SCORE!
  • I will finish the Little Rock half marathon with a faster time than last year’s Little Rock Half Marathon. (This shouldn’t be too hard, I more or less cramped out about 2/3 of the way through. The time was 3 hours 26 minutes 20 seconds) The weather was crazy. I undertrained and went into the half marathon thinking that my goal was to finish. Well I did. Almost an hour slower
  • I will make Duck L’Orange from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1 NO
  • I will eat all the ice cream I want. (*wink* to LR tweetup)
  • Less whining and more productivity. This is the “If you’re not going to do something about it, then don’t bitch” which means if something makes me unhappy enough to bitch about it then I will find out what I can do to change it. This may end up being that I just need to lighten the hell up.
  • I will try to be healthier by keeping a food journal all year. I will attempt to use Weight Watchers point system and see if I can’t lose weight, too
  • I will start the 100 push up challenge
  • I will start the 200 sit up challenge
  • I will blog here at least once a week
  • I will see Fellini’s 8 1/2 Unless I see it within the next five hours. then no
  • I will attend my college reunion I did this! I did this!!!


Holidailies 2010 Badge

The 2010 highlights and lowlights

Yeah this is my round up of the best and worst of the year 2010. This is not an objective list. This is entirely my opinion and consists of the things I personally experienced which means there are movies that I have not seen and books that I have not read that probably would affect this list if I had seen or read them. Also, this means that some of these things were created in other years.

Favorite song of 2010

Fuck You by CEE LO GREEN

Come on. You know me. YOU KNOW ME. Left to my own devices, I’m a potty mouth and a half. It’s only respect for my elders and the desire to be professional that keeps me from cursing like a sailor all the damn time. So of course, this catchy doo woppy old school sounding song with the F-bomb in the title was DESTINED to be my favorite song. Add on top of that it’s dedicated to an ex who did the singer wrong and I’m on that song like white on rice.

Favorite book

I found the Swedish “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy all kinds of riveting. I read the first two in the span of three days. For favorite of the year, I am going to have to go with True Grit by Charles Portis. It’s written by an Arkansan and takes place in Arkansas. Besides that, it is written in a voice that is both smart and sassy. Mattie Ross is a 14 year old girl who goes to Fort Smith to avenge the murder of her father. She solicits the aide of the mean, drunk Rooster Cogburn. Hilarity ensues. There’s a certain witty repartee combined with religion that is so quintessentially Arkansas I had to chuckle in recognition.

People who don’t like Arkansas can go to the devil! — Mattie Ross


Favorite cultural trend

Using the internet for good. Earlier this year, there was a rash of suicides by gay teens who were bullied. This, of course, was very bad. Then some people got together and created the “It Gets Better” project. People from all walks of life made videos telling people to hold on and that no matter how shitty things seem right now, it does get better. Many of these videos had the person telling of a time where they felt down and depressed. Some relayed stories of the time they were so down they tried to kill themselves. It was touching.

My favorite though is the snarky calling out of Clint McCance, the Arkansan who wrote that he hoped gay kids kill themselves on his facebook page, by George Takei: “You are a douchebag”

A close second was the seven year old Katie, the girl who with the Star Wars water bottle, and the solidarity of girl geeks everywhere to tell her not to let those pesky boys bully her into putting down her bottle and that Star Wars does indeed rule.

Worst personal moment

This would be my friend Angela going into a coma and dying out of the blue last May. I didn’t even know she was that sick. She had MS but was more or less fine. Then BAM. The aftermath involving the crazy child custody brouhaha and whatnot was completely horrible and still hasn’t ended. Being a lawyer, I got put in the very uncomfortable position of explaining to folks that “no I can’t do anything about it. I’m a witness. The rules of professional responsibility means i can’t do lawyering on this case. I’m a witness.” Lord have mercy.

Of course, watching a trainwreck from a distance and knowing there is nothing you can do is always a lesson.

I still miss my friend. Sometimes I will see something on television or read about some local brouhaha in the newspaper and want to call her to discuss it.

Best Moment

Conan playing that guitar

The Conan O’Brien tour. Oh yes. This came about two weeks after my friend died so it was even more awesome.

Favorite movie

I didn’t see as many movies as I would have liked this year. Partially because most of the movies I want to see never make it to the local theater. I saw some pretty gosh darn good films. I’m going to pick The Social Network.

The Aaron Sorkin/David Fincher chatfest about the creation of Facebook managed to make computer programming and lawsuits interesting. Go figure. True Grit is a close second and I have not seen Black Swan yet.

Best Comeback


Holidailies 2010 Badge

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