Monday, November 14, 2011


Monday, November 14, 2011
4 miles
60 degrees

Today I ran 4 miles.  It was part of my half-marathon training schedule; the part called an "easy run."  Tomorrow morning I am running a "hard run": 5 miles at a slightly faster pace.  I have another easy run later this week then a "long run" on Sunday, which will be 11 miles.  The schedule has given me goals in my workouts.  And it has been prayer that has made me stick to that schedule and endure the long runs, when just a few months ago I was running 4 miles at a time at the most and maxing out at 10 miles per week.  Sometimes I just chant to myself "give me strength, keep me strong" with the rhythm of my breathing, and I really feel like that prayer-mantra keeps me moving when I physically should not be able to do so.

There are 27 days left of training until I run this race. 

Then, I don't know.

I wrote a few months back a post called "October 2012."  I posted that right after I found out that my divorce hearing would be in October 2011-- that I would be waiting in anguish a full six months after filing for divorce, eight months after separating, and so many more months before that of abuse and manipulation-- until I would legally be free of that toxic life.  In it, I declared that I would not even think about dating until one year after that hearing: October 2012.  I even included a directive to kick me in the shins if I even considered the idea of starting to date.

Before I continue, I want you to know that that directive still stands...
It is November 2011.  I cannot say that I necessarily want to date, because even the thought still terrifies me.  But I think that somewhere inside my head I had this cartoonish fantasy that once my wedding band was gone I would be beating off eligible bachelors with a stick. That hasn't happened.  It has been a blow to my ego, to say the least.

My weekly "long runs" remind me of just how hard it is to be strong.  As I sit here and type about strength and endurance, there are not many words that come to me that really embody what I feel when I am sweaty, tired, achy, thirsty, hungry, and wondering why on earth I am still running after 2 hours.  On the same token, it is really hard to focus on who I am and what I need as an indvidual-- much harder in real time than it is just writing about it six months ago.  Being strong is hard.  Sometimes, when I'm exhausted, I think about how cool the end of the race will be.  I think about people I love cheering at the finish line, and I think about how accomplished I will feel.

What would my life look like if I kept that same visualization during this first painful year after my divorce?  What could the reward be if I stayed strong and pursued a life that did not depend on the approval of others?

I will keep to my training plan over the next 27 days, and maybe after the race on December 11th, I'll have a glimpse of the payoff that I'm seeking.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Well, it's been a while... again.

It has been a while since I posted.  I have had a lot to say, but I have not been able to get it all out into a post.  When I logged into my account tonight, there were three posts that I had started and never finished.  I decided to try to post them all in tonight's post...

I just changed my mind.  After reading two of the almost-posts I decided that all they contained was random chatter about my mileage.  What I plan to write tonight and in the next few days and weeks will cover whatever I didn't finish in the past.  So here comes the one post that I thought might mean something.

so busy i can't find time to feel...

Sunday, October 9, 2011
2 miles
75 degrees

So I although it has been a really long time since my last post, I promise I have been running. The reason for my lack of writing is not related to a lack of running, but a lack of time. Out of nowhere it seems, I somehow have an active social life again.  Last week alone I had dinner plans or going out plans or Glee watching plans with different sets of friends almost every night of the week.  I was so... occupied.

I am hesitant to say that I am happy.  I cannot say that packing my free time so much that I do not have free time really means that I have a satisfying life, but if faking it for a while means that eventually it will feel like my life makes sense again, then this is a good thing.  Probably.

Even though I am still feeling very cynical about life right now, I am starting to actually enjoy living it again...
I feel like what I started to write here still applies.  My life seems full.  Even more has happened since I began to write this post. 

I wanted to use Pheidippides to write about my faith as well as running and my life.  Now I am so involved in my church in such a deep and meaningful way.  I joined a group of people at my church on a mission to bring the Gospel to the University of Arizona campus.  Now I am starting to spend time every week with this community of families and individuals who, like me, want to impact the students in our city and hope to live this out through our faith in God.  I feel truly blessed to be a part of it and I hope that my life starts to feel full once again.

I am also maintaining connections with friends through regular meetups at happy hours after work, dinner dates, and Glee watching parties.  I just love Glee, and I love my friends.

As for running, I am still doing that, too, don't you worry!  I actually decided a few weeks back that I would run the Tucson Half-Marathon in December of this year.  I have been running four days a week on a training schedule to prepare for the race.  I am so happy about this because it has been prayer that has gotten me through my longest runs, and it has been prayer that has enabled me to run after ten hour days of work when I want nothing more than to do absolutely nothing.

I titled my unfinished post "so busy i can't find time to feel" because I felt exactly that.  I was busy for the sake of being busy.  Beneith my social calendar I was still hurting, angry, sad... I had not gotten to that part of my thoughts before something inevitably distracted me enough to abandon Pheidippides for the night.  But I wanted to include those thoughts in this post because I still feel a portion of that pain.  I am still hurting, angry, sad, lost, confused, and lonely.  Things are changing, hopefully for the better, but I felt that was an important note to include.

There is so much I want to share tonight, but I will save my inspiration for the coming days to catch the followers of Pheidippides up on my life, my running, and my circumstance.

Thank you for your patience over the last few months of my writer's block.  I am excited to jump back in to to this written journey.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Tuesday, August 23, 2011
2 miles
90 degrees

Today I added a line to the standard salutation that I write at the start of every entry: temperature. It was 90 degrees when I got back to my house tonight at almost 9 p.m. I feel like writing down the daily temperature might be a helpful ingredient in the narrative of my workout.

Anyway, today's entry is not another one that complains about the temperature. You're welcome.

My thoughts have been centered recently on my future plans. I'm almost a single woman now. I have my own apartment and a good job and now I have a dog, too. Now I wonder: what the heck am I going to do with my life. At one point, this thought was one that I thought with excitement, like, "I can do anything I want. I'm free!" Now it is more like "Oh my gosh I really have no direction. I have no plans. I am having a hard time committing to anything. What is the meaning of this life?"

First there is the question of my relationship status. (Before you aim for my shins per my previous request to kick me if I mention dating, hear me out). I am not talking about getting involved with anyone or dating or anything, but I would be lying if I said that I have not thought at all about what my life is going to look like whenever it comes to be that I actually, gulp, pursue another relationship.

Then there is my work and education. I have kicked around the idea of going back to school. I know that I really want to in order to advance my career, the question is really what degree I get. Masters in Architecture? Communication? Education? Higher Education? I even briefly considered massage therapy as an educational option. The only thing that all of these vocational threads have in common: their ability to illustrate how incredibly lost I am.

So we have my non-existent romantic life, then my completely directionless pursuit of post-graduate education. And finally, we have Levi. Levi is a year and a half old mutt I just adopted from a rescue shelter. He is super cute and fun to play with and a great little running buddy on short workouts. He also nips like a puppy (ouch), he gets really mad at me when I try to crate him during the day, and he jumps on my white couch even though I know he knows what "Levi! Off the couch!" means. All of that is tolerable and I am sure we are capable of growing through this adjustment period. What is not tolerable and pretty much out of my control is the fact that my eyes are watering, my nose is running, my ears are itching, and (this is a first even for my allergy prone self) I am breaking out in HIVES. So unsightly... and itchy.

The point of this entry, the thing I thought most about during those grueling 20 minutes in 90 degree heat after dark, is the fact that this life is kind of not in my control right now. I am considering a lot of different options, many of which I am clearly not ready for, and I may
need to listen to God, my good senses, and my histamines if/when I jump into something and I am not ready for it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

holy moly it is HOT!

Monday, August 22, 2011
4 miles

Okay. I love Tucson. I love the weather. I love the blazing hot summers and the balmy winters. But I am claiming my reserved right to complain tonight. This heat just might kill me.

I have made a few subtle references to how I feel as though I am aging in Pheidippides, and right now I am going to make one more: I never remember sweating this much in my life. I realize that, yes, I have only lived in this inferno of a desert for three years. And yes, I have never run so intensely throughout the summer any other year. Even so, even after dark, I get utterly soaked in perspiration. Gross. I do not know if this is a sign of aging or of weight gain or both, but it is wholly inconvenient and completely unbecoming.

Anyway... that was just a pointless rant to fill the void of my totally uneventful workout and my subsequently uninspired entry. I ran my usual 4 mile route and did so in decent time. I was totally gassed for about the last .75 miles, but it was still the kind of workout that makes me want to do it again, which is ideal.

Maybe my next entry will be about an awesome run I do at 6 a.m. and the minimal sweat that run produces. Stay tuned to find out. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

what to say? (a lot, i guess)

i won't bore you with the details of every run since my last post. just know that there were several.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011
2 miles

So I have not posted anything for a while, mainly because I do not think I have anything incredibly profound to write about. Life has been pretty ordinary. Thankfully.

I ran this evening for about 2 miles. There was really nothing special about it. I do not even remember what I thought about. I guess whatever it was, it was not that exciting.

What has been exciting is seeing what happens when you allow God to take care of your life.

I have decided in the past to not go into the intimate details of my divorce on Pheidippides out of respect for my ex's privacy. I also have not said much because the ordeal is really too complicated to squeeze into a small digest and too painful to hash out every detail. What I will say is that the process got much more complicated than I thought it would when some financial matters were disputed. What could have been a clean break that ended about two months after the original paperwork was filed back in April has turned into a long, confusing, and potentially expensive process that will not be over until October of this year.

For the first two months of this revelation, I was beyond devastated. This has collectively been the most heartbreaking, humiliating, and exhausting experience of my life. It was difficult enough to finally make the decision to legally end our relationship, but the thought of hashing it out in court would have been laughably cliché if it didn't infuriate and devastate me all at once. Through many verbal confrontations, heated arguments, and downright nasty emails, both of us got across to one another how unfair they thought the other was being. And through all of that, I was torn. There has never been a single part of me that genuinely wished any harm for him. I do not want to be married to him, but I did not want to hurt him either.

I just wrote two lengthy paragraphs about the pain of the last couple of months, but I erased them because the details are not what is important. What is important is that each day, I lived the day. I got out of bed, and some days this was much, much harder than others. I talked to friends, a therapist, and my pastor. I cried. I prayed. I ran. I wrote. And one day I woke up and realized that it had been four months since I filed and it would be just two months until it is finally over. I filed a ton of trial preparation paperwork yesterday-- something that I had been putting off because it made me so angry that we are even going to trial-- and that is the last thing I need to do until October. Now I just need to keep living my life. Get out of bed. Pray. Run. Write. Occasionally cry. And one day I will wake up and realize that I am moving on.

So today's post is appropriately titled, "what to say? (a lot, i guess)" because so much just came pouring out when I (finally) decided to write a new post. Now, moving forward, I feel excited to live, excited to write, excited to move on.... and very excited to run. :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

how did i ever do this?

Monday, July 25, 2011
3 miles

Really Noel? 35:57? As in 12 minute miles? Ugh.

It is hard to believe that just a few years ago I could fly through 3 miles as a fun run and today I was dripping with sweat and gulping down my Gatorade/water cocktail from my camelback and praying that I could make it home in time for The Bachelorette.

It is Tucson and around 6:30 when I got back home it was about 90 degrees, but still. Aren't I used to the desert heat by now? Isn't that why I carry a camelback? Should that really impact my ability to run 3 miles?

Anyway, these are the types of questions that come along with making myself run every day (or almost every day). I have to do the kind of thing that I coach my families to do at work: anticipate obstacles and make sure I know how to deal with them should they arise.

Read: Figure out my game plan if I get ridiculously overheated.

One option is something I had been doing before: running at night. I suppose I could go back to that. I had been running around my neighborhood since I returned from Colorado, and my neighborhood does not have as much lighting as the park where I used to run.

Another option is to accept that my body might have some limitations and that if it gets overheated, it is okay to stop and re-hydrate and stand in the shade. I did that today a couple of times, and maybe that might have to be a reality for a while. Tucson is not going to be scorching for much longer. When the weather changes so that the temperature is 80 degrees at 6:30, my hard work now might just pay off and I might actually be able to keep a decent pace.

Now that I have brainstormed possible solutions, maybe I can use both of these alternatives to overcome this dehydration/heat-exhaustion dilemma and continue enjoying this hobby of mine.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

slowing down?

Sunday, July 24, 2011
2 miles

as well as...

Saturday, July 23, 2011
2 miles

I ran about ten miles this week. Last week it was about 17 and the week before it was around 14, and I had hoped to build up to about 20 miles per week by the end of July. This week, however, the motivation and drive that I had been building just was not there.

Why? Could be energy, motivation, diet, stress... I honestly have no idea. I do know that I am going to try harder to throw in some high mileage runs this coming week. It has been a lot of work to build up to exercising every day and I do not want to get out of that rhythm.

All I really have to write today is that commitment: I am going to be better next week. More running, more writing, more growing.

Stay tuned.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

running in the rain.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011
2 miles

I started to write today's post about my failed relationship and the legal ramifications of that failure, but I erased it all because I had a fun run in the rain tonight and I want to talk about something that makes me feel as happy as running does: work.

Yes, I know exactly how lame that sounded. I guess if I read that last passage I might think "she has really sunk low if work is the thing that makes her happy." But the truth is that it really does. I picked a profession where I know I am never going to make a ton of money or climb some corporate ladder, but that gives me joy whenever I am working. I feel like I am making the world a better place, and I am good at what I do, and that can be the difference between just tolerating and truly enjoying what you do.

So I am talking about work. I feel like my vacation to Colorado and New Mexico was exactly what I needed. I came back and here I am, week three back in Tucson, feeling so energized and so focused on what I am doing. On top of that, I just got some pretty exciting news today. I interviewed for a position this morning that would be a second job at the same agency with a few extra hours per week.

Let me start by explaining my current position and how I got it. I work with a program called Healthy Families Arizona. I work with 15 families with children ages 0-3, visiting them once a week or every other week to teach parents about their children's development and positive parenting techniques, as well as teaching families problem solving and goal setting skills. I got the job because my previous job with an early literacy non-profit had a long standing relationship with the program. When the funding for my previous job was coming to an end, I sent my resume out to all of the people and agencies that I had worked with in the past two years and inquired about any open positions. That is how I got such an awesome position with Healthy Families.

Around the same time I was transitioning into my new job, the Operations Director for another agency I worked with at the early literacy organization had also gotten a job with a brand-new program at the agency that manages Healthy Families: Child and Family Resources. Now fast forward about 8 months and that same former colleague is hiring for part-time, seasonal instructors for the after school program she is directing: Tech Girls. I told her I might be interested in the position, sent her my application, and got the interview!

After the interview, the program director went to my supervisors to talk to them about if they would be okay with me having the second job, and if I would be able to balance the workload. Then, later in the day, she came to talk to me to let me know that everyone is supportive of me taking on the second position, that the agency would allow me to have a few more hours to complete all my work, and that she would love to have me on the team!

So now you may see why I prefer to talk about this than the other less-than-perfect parts of my life. It is also why I named this post running in the rain because I also enjoy running in the rain more than I enjoy thinking about the tough stuff. It does not rain all the time, and I do not always have the opportunity to run through it without getting struck by lightning, but I definitely loved it tonight.

I loved running in the rain tonight just like I loved the prospect of this new opportunity today, and I love writing about it now. I just want to be happy and celebrate the small things. Even though there are some big, ugly things hanging over my head right now, I want to celebrate small victories. So to today's interview and to tonight's run, I say "Nike!"

Monday, July 18, 2011

going the distance.

Monday, July 18, 2011
4 miles


Saturday, July 16, 2011
4 miles

I have decided that after this last 8 weeks or so of running regularly I am going to increase my mileage. I'd like to have 20 mile weeks by the end of the month, and hopefully increase to 30-35 miles per week in the coming months.

I am still having trouble with my legs, though. My knees are no longer in pain while I'm running, but I feel like the supportive shoes that I am wearing now are cutting off the circulation in my little toes... ouch! Maybe I'll try switching back to my old shoes.

Last week I really started seeing a change in my body. I am becoming more toned and really feeling more fit. I am not craving fast food or big meals anymore, and I feel like I have been shopping smarter.

For anyone who's ever hung out with me in person, all this talk about body image may seem confusing. I have always been slender without any real weight gain issues. Unfortunately, that has changed recently. I have gained 20 pounds in the last year-- about 10 of which in the last three months or so. I started eating out all the time around May of this year, which was not only brutal on my bank account, but on my body, too. The turmoil in my life over the past few months have been hard on my soul, so it made it all the worse to look in the mirror and not like what I saw and not feel like the person that I had once been.

So the change that I see in my body are not the observations of a really shallow person (well, maybe a little), but I am becoming satisfied with what I look like and what I feel like again, and I think that is important in the healing of my soul.

I will conclude today just by saying that I am continually excited and motivated by the change that is taking place, and I am hoping that God will continue to guide that change and help heal my heart.

Here's to 4 more miles tomorrow!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

new mexico

Continuing my posts about my recent vacation out of the desert, this one is going to be about my time spent in New Mexico. I left my parents' house on Thursday morning and arrived in Santa Fe in late afternoon.

New Mexico

While my drive to Colorado was a 14 hour, one shot trip, my return to Tucson was much more leisurely because of my stop in Santa Fe. My good friend Jenny was staying in Santa Fe for the month of June, and I was meeting her there so that we could drive back to Tucson together.

On Friday, Jenny showed me all around Santa Fe. We walked all over the little downtown area, stopping in her favorite shops and checking out handmade jewelry and assorted knickknacks from the local vendors. I bought a guitar pick with symbols meaning "courage and change" etched in.

We stopped in a dress boutique where the ladies working there had us try on TONS of dresses and model for them. They were cute, but unfortunately for the dress shop ladies, I was having a fat day and did not feel especially pretty in any of them, especially since they all cost between $60 and $80. Notice the face I'm making; not the face of a woman who feels confident in the garments she's!

On Saturday we drove up to Taos. That was a fun day. We took "the high road" which was recommended to us by a local for beautiful scenery. And it was beautiful. We first drove to a little town called Chimayo.

The Santuario de Chimayo is the town's main attraction, and the reason we chose to go. The site is the destination of a contemporary pilgrimage. People come to the sanctuary to rub the dirt on their injuries and wounds and are miraculously healed. When we entered the sanctuary, there was a wheelchair and several crutches left as a testimony to the healing power of the Chimayo soil. Jenny and I rubbed some on our heads. As I walked out of the sanctuary, I took time to see some of the other memorabilia left behind. Not all proclaimed miracles. They was a whole wall dedicated to pictures of fallen men and women in the service. That was sad. On the opposite wall was a shelf lined with tiny shoes. People brought the shoes of their babies and toddlers that were taken from them far too early and placed them on this wall. I was so overwhelmed. I sat outside of the sanctuary on a bench and cried. I was not mourning, and I was not even contemplating anything that would normally make me cry. I was just overwhelmed.

Chimayo is also famous for its chile, but seeing as how we had this moving spiritual experience in the sanctuary, we decided we did not want to break the spell by checking out the chile stands, wherever they were.

We drove the rest of the way to Taos after our short stop in Chimayo. Our drive there (and back) had some notably funny stories. Jenny and I are both sound minded women who do not frequently lose their way, but I cannot remember the last time I made so many wrong turns, missed turns, and everything in between in my life. At one point, the directions we had said "turn left at such-and-such a road." We turned up that road and we confronted with several signs that read "DO NOT ENTER, FORREST FIRE." So after about three of those ominous signs we drove back down the road, assuming we had missed a turn. We stopped at the local general store of whatever town we were in and went in to ask for directions. Inside, their were five guys drinking beer and looking like nobody had come into the store all day. We asked how to get to Taos, and the conversation went something like this:

Townie #1: Oh so-and-so here can take you. He's a good chauffeur.

Noel: Oh that sounds like fun but we have a good truck for the two of us. Do you know which road we turn on?

Townie #2: It's that road back that way. What are you girls up to today?

Jenny: We just came from Chimayo. It's that road that goes into the forrest?

Townie #3: You get some of that good dirt?

Noel: We did! We rubbed it in our hair.

Townie #3: You gotta mix it with some tequila and it will have you seeing crazy things!

Jenny: Haha that sounds like not a good idea.

Noel: So it's the road like 20 yards that way (gesturing over shoulder)? Thanks. You guys have a good day!

(Exit Noel and Jenny)

Townie #4: Hey nice legs!!!!

Noel: Right back atcha.....

As if my curt manner and our refusal of tequila and a chauffeur had not already tipped them off.... oh townies.... ;)

And so we got back on the road. We drove into the forrest where there were signs clearly posted to leave, and somehow we came out on the other side in Taos. In Taos, we stopped by several little stores and art galleries before visiting what we later learned was the oldest living Native American village in the country. It was so beautiful, and also so strange that in the same place that people come to marvel at American history, there are about 150 people still living in that little piece of history.

That's me showing off my nice legs in front of a house in the pueblo.

When we left Taos, we had plans to go to a hot springs spa and resort called Ojo Caliente. Jenny had heard that they had seven different pools, all different temperatures with different healing properties, and there was even a mud bath! So we began our trek to Ojo Caliente. The directions took us down a winding road that paralleled a river, and we dreamily looked on while we talked about our excitement over reaching the spa. And so begins our next bizarre transportation tale.

The road got even windier. We crossed a bridge and suddenly the road got incredibly bumpy, too. And steep. And did I mention that not only did my Explorer have Jenny and me in it, but we were also carrying random pieces of furniture and other belongings of mine that I was transporting from my parents' house to my own?

And the Explorer has a manual transmission.

So we were slowly climbing this bumpy road, my cargo in the back rattling noisily all the way up. We crept up in first gear the majority of the time (if anyone comments on this lecturing me on when and how to change gears, we will no longer be friends). All I kept thinking was "I do not want to drive down this thing."

We finally emerged at the top and although the signage was poor and confusing and possibly manufactured for the sole purpose of making me go insane with doubt over which direction we were going, we arrived at Ojo Caliente Spa and Resort in the late afternoon. Hooray Team!

The spa was great. We sampled each pool. We baked ourselves in mud and sat in the mud pool. The iron pool was my favorite. I dug my feet into the pebbles on the bottom and could feel bubbles coming up. It was a perfectly relaxing end to a great day!

We headed back in the direction of Santa Fe just before the sun started to go down. And our story would not be complete without another travelling mishap. Thankfully we did not have to take that treacherous road back, because there was a more straight shot to US Hwy 285. I guess there's no way to make this sound clever or funny or glamorous: we went in the clear opposite direction of Santa Fe on 285 for the better part of an hour.

So when we finally arrived back in Santa Fe, we made dinner, packed our bags to return home, and watched a mini-Glee marathon (a nightly routine since my arrival on Thursday) and went to sleep for our final night in Santa Fe.

Jenny had been living in Santa Fe for a month, so it was the final page to a longer chapter in her life than in mine. It may have been bittersweet, but we were both too tired to really take it in. Jenny had said her goodbyes to her friends on Thursday, so there was no grandiose farewell to New Mexico. We woke up early, grabbed some coffee to go, and headed down I-25 for an eight-hour road trip on Sunday.

Other than one outrageously priced gas station, there is not much to say about our trip home. The ten days or so that I was away from Tucson were good. It was a great vacation, a great time to vacation, and in the company of great friends along the way.

I know this was a particularly long entry in Pheidippides, but I hope you enjoyed it. Next entry will be about running again... I promise.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


This post and the next one will be dedicated to the vacation that I took at the end of June and beginning of July.


First, I must say, that this vacation was EXACTLY what I needed to de-stress and just relax. And I would just like to add that that's saying A LOT seeing as how I probably spent more than 50 hours driving in the car throughout the duration of this trip. Yeah... I really needed the vacation.

Disclaimer: You may need to look at a map of Colorado if you are not familiar with general geography in Colorado.

I drove up to Colorado on Friday and spent the night at my parents' house in Conifer. I took a walk with my dad and the dog, and got to work rummaging through my parents' garage for stuff I might find useful in my new house in Tucson.

The next morning I drove to Fort Collins for the Colorado Brewer's Fest. In my opinion this event is among the most fun in Fort Collins. Microbreweries from all over Colorado set up tents in Old Town Fort Collins and serve samples of beer for $1 a piece. It's a really fun time to visit with people that you normally do not get to see, since pretty much every student or graduate of Colorado State University who is of drinking age and still lives in the area (or in my case, visiting) is there. My little brother, Joey, who just turned 21 this year was supposed to go with me, but he had to work so I was left to fend for myself. Luckily, because everyone and their mom goes to Brew Fest and because I happen to be an Alum of CSU and because everyone loves me (just kidding on that last note) I was able to hook up with some friends and spend the day hanging out and catching up and drinking delicious brews.

I left Brew Fest to go straight to a barbecue with some more super fantastic friends from Fort Collins. I got to see some friends that I have not seen in years, many of whom are married or engaged and some of whom have kids of their own. That was really fun. It really felt like no time had gone by at all since I moved away from Fort Collins three years ago, and at the same time, it felt like everything had changed. I wondered that night what my life would look like if I moved back home.

The next day my mom decided we should have a family barbecue. My mom thought it would be a good idea to have the barbecue in Boulder, since my little brothers both live their, instead of in Conifer. So I met my parents, and later my brothers, and later their girlfriends at Joey's apartment and we all sat down together to eat for the first time in a long time. The only people missing were my older brother, Sean, and his wife, Brittany, who do not live in Colorado anymore. The meal was a little chaotic since it was at an apartment located less than a mile from the University of Colorado campus, and the pool area was filled with college students enjoying their summer break, but it was still good to see the family.

I hung out with Joey and his girlfriend, Alli, the next day and I hung out with my other little brother, Patrick, and his girlfriend, Erica, later in the week. Looking at my relationships with my brothers now makes it hard to understand why we fought so much as kids. I really enjoyed hanging out with Patrick and Joey.

So, just in case you are keeping track, moving back to Colorado at some point has earned about 2 points so far during this trip.

The last couple of days I was in Colorado, I met up with my childhood friend Sarah and my crazy Colombian friend Diana. Diana was visiting Colorado for a few days. She flew in from Pittsburgh, where she got her Master's degree and is now teaching, to spend some time in the first U.S. state she called home: Colorado. She texted me the day before she arrived and said "vamos a emborracharnos!" (We're going to get drunk). Some things never change...

Sarah and Diana got along like old friends and, yes, nos emborrachamos.... at Sarah's parents' house in we were 18 and not 25 years old... some things never change...

Sarah is a beautiful person to be around. She and I have known each other since we were 10 years old. In high school, we ran all of the same relays in Track and we even took away a state championship our senior year together. Maybe I will dedicate a later post of Pheidippides to Sarah, because, this being a running blog, I feel our friendship may be worthy of its own post.

So concludes my trip to Colorado. I left on the Thursday morning after I arrived and drove down to Santa Fe, New Mexico, which I will write about in my next post as the second half of my trip.

I am so happy that I got to see the wonderful people who live in Colorado. I really enjoyed my time and felt energized and excited for my weekend in Santa Fe. Stay tuned for more on that.....

Friday, July 15, 2011

don't just survive it.

Friday, July 15, 2011
2 miles
19 minutes


Thursday, July 14, 2011
3.5 miles


Wednesday, July 13, 2011
3 miles
I don't know... let's say 30 minutes for argument's sake

This week has been a great week for me. As you may have noticed, I ran quite a lot, and I also spiced things up and mapped some new routes for some varied distances. On top of my great workouts, I have had two amazing weeks at work, where I am really feeling confident and supported by everyone around me. My life right now reminds me of this blog's namesake and the reason why I chose Pheidippides as my blog's title.

When Pheidippides ran the first marathon way back in ancient times, he did something that no man had ever done before, and he promptly collapsed and died after doing so. In my first entry in 2010, I wrote about how I would be making this difficult journey (at the time I did not really understand just how difficult, and I imagine Pheidippides felt the same), but that I would not face it alone. Because life transformation, making change, and doing so striving to be closer to God, is hard, and possibly something that our bodies and souls are not meant to do alone.

I have anchored what I write about to running, because it is such an essential, big part of me. Running is something I strive to do, and writing about it keeps me motivated. Writing about running is so easy for me, and I can connect to it a lot of the things that I do in life. But Pheidippides is about so much more than running. I have been successful and happy and thriving at work for exactly the same reason that Pheidippides did not thrive after he ran his 26.2 miles: I have help. I run by myself most days but I live my life every day with friends and co-workers who support and love me. I have a church family who I know prays for my peace. I live in a different state than everyone in my family, but everyone has still shown me that they care, each in their own way.

I guess that is what I want to say this post. I have been building morale and confidence and feeling more and more able to not only survive, but to thrive, and that has a little to do with my behavior change and a lot to do with the people who are helping me do it. So here's to pushing through, growing stronger, and becoming more capable of enduring the hard times and relishing in the good times. I think I have learned, and Pheidippides probably learned, too, that those lessons are best learned in good company.

Monday, July 11, 2011

back in Tucson... back on track

Monday, July 11, 2011

3 miles
i didn't time myself

I am back in Tucson. I have not written in a while, but I have been running. I went on a trip to Colorado and New Mexico at the end of June and beginning of July, which hindered my ability to run because I spent so much time in my car. Nevertheless, I am back in Tucson now and I am getting back into the swing of things by continuing my training. I'll write a couple of entries later this week about my trip, which was fantastic, by the way, but today I think I will focus on my workout.

What can I say? On the surface, today's workout was not too eventful. I ran around Reid Park as always. I came home and showered and got ready for bed. But below that superficial description, I had a mini-breakthrough with my pace. Today was the first day since I came home from my vacation that I was able to run that route without needing to stop and jog or walk. In fact, I ran through without any real fatigue problems at all.

Ever since I came home from my trip, I have been really struggling on my runs. For my first few workouts I felt exhausted after just 1 or 2 miles. It was extremely discouraging. On top of that, since I began refocusing on running a couple of months ago, a pretty severe pain began to manifest in my knees. I have been working on toning my quads for the last month because of that pain. I also invested in a more supportive shoe in hopes of absorbing some of that impact on my knees, and have tried to improve my form as well. With all of this work, the pain in my knees slightly lessened and I was drained of the energy needed to finish a 3 miler. Needless to say, things have not been looking too optimistic for my body lately.

So tonight's run was pretty remarkable in its own way. I really felt myself syncing into a stride and feeling the feeling I had glimpsed for a second just a few entries ago ("i feel like a runner ").

I hope that I can keep up with tonight's momentum and continue to become a healthier person, physically and mentally, through the course of this journey.

Monday, June 13, 2011

there is sweat in my eyes.

Monday, June 13, 2011
3 miles

I can't seem to quiet the inner monologue in my head. I really wanted to run calmly and meditate about what I am thankful for and everything that I can do in the coming days and weeks to grow closer to God. But it seemed like the more I tried not to think worldly thoughts, the more I couldn't get them out of my head. I thought about Glee and what songs I would sing if I got to guest-star. I thought about what I plan on doing next week at work. I thought about how gross I must look and how there is sweat in my eyes. I seem to think of everything to avoid thinking about God.

This post is going to be short and sweet. It is going to be a public declaration that I want to commit a little more of each of my days to thinking about my relationship with God and what that means.

what i haven't learned in life so far, i might just learn from The Bachelorette

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
2 miles running (21:10) and 1 mile sprint jogs

I learned an important fact of life from one of those goobers that all look alike on this week's Bachelorette: there is no checklist for finding the person you want to love.

I am going to take that principle one step further. There may not be a checklist for what you're looking for, but there is a checklist for what the other person must accept about you. And right now might be as good a time as ever to work on mine.
  • I am a solitary person; I like to be alone. That doesn't mean that I don't get lonely or that I never want to enjoy someone else's company, it just means that I thrive from being independent.
  • I am a total bleeding heart. I have never chained myself to a tree or led a hunger strike, but maybe I will someday, and I need to accept that about myself.
  • I cry... a lot. It does not mean that I don't enjoy life. In fact, I enjoy it a lot. I am not afraid to show my emotions. I am a passionate person and I won't be ashamed anymore.

I spent the last few years convincing myself that there is something wrong with my eccentricities. That being excited and full of energy meant that I was manic and that because I wanted alone time then I feared intimacy or that I just didn't know what being in a real relationship meant. I kept trying to correct some damage to me that I really hope to find out just isn't there.

I'm sure more realizations will follow, but for now I will just say that I want to embrace these things about me, and I hope I someday find someone who will embrace, not just tolerate them, too. Because I want everything about me to be on someone else's "list" of desirable qualities for a partner, and before that can happen, they have to be on my life of desirable qualities about myself.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

October 2012

Sunday, June 12, 2011
3 miles

Also Thursday, June 9, 2011
3 miles

Also Saturday, June 11, 2011
3 miles

I got a notice in the mail from the Pima County Court Recorder's Office that my divorce hearing is not scheduled until the beginning of October. That means I have four months of waiting in limbo before I can officially be done with this chapter in my life.

That also means that one year from October will be the earliest that I will also my self to date. Ugh... just saying it makes me feel a mix of emotions worthy of throwing up and crying at the same time. I have given myself that time because I hate the thought of getting into another relationship that will likely lead me down the same path. After some prayer, meditation, and self-reflecting, I have realized that I have a serious problem in judgement when it comes to the men I choose to date. I often go after what I cannot have, leading to this self-fulfilled prophecy that I am not good enough for what I truly desire. That leaves me pretty wide open and vulnerable for the first guy who does show interest and is able to charm me to take advantage of me.

When it came to my failed marriage, I know now that he took advantage of me and did not treat me the way that I deserved to be treated, and I took it because I had already decided that I did not deserve better. I wanted to be with him. And even though I've dated guys that treated me better, they still were no better for me than he was. I still had to be pressured and persuaded into every little relationship that I've been in and my biggest regret is that I always let that happen.

About two and a half years ago, I decided that I was not going to get involved with any guys for one year. I had been out of college for less than a year and I wanted to get my priorities together. About two months after I started my one year of no guys I was in a real relationship. A year and a half later I was married.

That ill-fated goal inspired my newest goal of no dating, as in nothing, for one year after I am legally a single woman. If you are reading this and you catch me dating or even thinking about dating any time before October 2012, please kick me in the shin and remind me that I am working on building some self-respect and that dating would be sabotaging that effort.

Until then, I know that my new re-commitment to running and working on my relationship with God will help me focus on building my life, and I have faith that He will help me become free of my need for approval from men and my pursuit of love.

I have more to say about the person that I want to be and the things that I hope to accept about myself, but I will save that for another post. Thank you again for reading what I shared today. Just knowing that other people care about what I have to say gives me the strength that I need to heal.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

not alone.

So throughout the revival of this Blog, I have expressed so much excitement and hope about what is to come that I have left out something really essential. Jesus.

My first post way back in May of last year was all about Pheidippides and how he completed his marathon alone (then he died; not an ideal outcome). I emphasized that this journey would not be one that I have to face alone. And I want to take a moment to reflect on the amazing things that God is directing in my life.

A few weeks ago I went to a church service at Revolution and my pastor talked about the trials that Joseph suffered through his entire life. This sermon touched me so deeply because I sometimes cannot escape the thought that "I just can't catch a break."

Bringing Pheidippides back to my connection to God really helps me write about the stuff that makes me feel so depressed and feel like my life is one tragic mistake after another. My divorce is something that weighs heavily on my heart every day, and even though my running keeps me feeling hopeful and positive, I often feel like I just cannot hold myself together. Every day I feel closer to breaking and it is harder and harder to get out of bed. I push through my normal life and have pushed myself to exercise and I try to put on a happy face despite my pain.

Hearing the story of Joseph literally made my heart open up with hope for the first time in a long time. My pastor concluded this incredible story with this: God did not just allow horrible things to happen to Joseph, He directed them. People in Joseph's life did evil to him. They did not have the righteous intentions of God, but God directed these things to happen because these events guided the work Joseph did for the Lord and for the people of Egypt. I could only imagine the number of people in history whose stories have never been told, but who have experienced the same suffering as Joseph in order to do the work of God on Earth. I don't know if my misery is part of God's plan, but it was a comfort to know that just maybe there was a reason and a purpose to what I am going through.

I am literally sobbing right now, and I am eating so that is just gross.

So now I hope to write my next entry with the focus being on the purpose to my suffering, and the purpose to my healing, and how Christ will help me on that journey. I'm looking forward to meditating on this during my next run.

Thank you for reading this entry. I am a sensitive person but it is so hard for me to open my heart and be open about my pain, but I need people to know why it is so important to me to heal.

i feel like a runner.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
3 miles

So today's run went well. I didn't just survive, I actually pushed myself to speed up and thrive. I actually thought at one point "I feel like a runner tonight." That was big. I want to be able to start racing again and maybe even complete a half-marathon or a marathon. I was starting to think that maybe my body just was not going to be able to handle long distance running anymore, so this evening's run was a great reminder that I have the potential get my life back on track if I work hard enough.

For the last three and a half years I have used a training website called Map My Run to track my workouts. Tonight I felt brave enough to look back a few years to when I first starting running around Reid Park. I was running a full five minutes faster at my fastest, and that gives me hope and a little bit of pride that I have the potential to get that much faster. If tonight I felt like a runner, then I am so excited to know how I will feel when I truly get my runner's body back and truly reach those fast runs.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

maybe i just needed a break...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Today I did not run.

So let me back up. I work kind of a weird schedule. I sometimes start my work day at 7 a.m. and end at 7 p.m. because I try to work the majority of my hours each week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Usually this is tiring, but manageable, mainly because I truly love my job. Today that was not the case.

I got home and laid down and did not get back up. I ate my dinner, curled up in bed, and the next couple of hours are kind of a sleepy haze. I did not really sleep, but I was not awake, either. I finally got out of bed at 10:30 and at that point it was a little late to run, even at my amazing, well-lit, Reid Park.

Even though I would have loved to run this evening, I consider the fact that I did not run to be a win. My last post was about impulse control, and my impulses are not limited to eating junk food. I have to say that I am really proud that I allowed myself to rest and that I did not make myself go running today.

I wish I had some poetic conclusion to this post, but all I can think of is this: celebrate the little things in life; we don't often give ourself a chance to see the positive side of things, and maybe it would help if we did.

Monday, June 6, 2011

love working out. love food more.

Monday, June 6, 2011
3 miles

So it is June (obviously) and I live in a city called Tucson located in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, where the average temperature lingers around 100 degrees during the month of June. During the summer months it becomes all but impossible to workout outside after 9 a.m. and before 8 p.m. Because the city of Tucson, full of workout savvy people, is aware of this fact, there is a lovely park called Reid Park with a lit path full of people walking, running, bicycling, and roller blading for those of us nocturnal beings that need to work out in the evenings. So for the past week or so, I've made my way over to Reid Park around 8 or 9 each night to go for an evening jog.

Now, I love this location, but one major problem is that as you are coming around the bend into the last half mile of the route, the path parallels Broadway Boulevard, which happens to have about five DELICIOUS smelling fast food restaurants along that half-mile stretch. Now I don't know what is was about tonight, but I got SO hungry when I hit that stretch (and yes, I ate dinner earlier, you know-it-all cynic) that I literally felt compelled so stop running. I obviously didn't have to stop running-- you can always push a little harder, right?-- but I truly felt to hungry that stopping felt like the only option. All I could think about was eating a delicious burger from In-and-Out.

After my run, I quickly drove over to In-and-Out Burger and ordered a burger, fries, and a chocolate shake. That last part was just plain indulgent. I felt so rotten for having binged like that, especially after I worked so hard burning calories on my run. Then I realized that a Bulimic person probably feels that way right before they make themselves vomit. And I hate vomiting.

So the lesson I learned this evening: self-indulgence does not need to be a punishable offense. It should probably be avoided, and it is not without its consequences, but seriously, I enjoyed that burger and I especially enjoyed that shake, so I am just not going to beat myself up about a slip-up in impulse control. I have a long list of mistakes that I am currently trying to reconcile, and a chocolate shake just is not going to make the list. At least not tonight.

Lesson learned. Hopefully... :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

When life give you lemons, you probably have to sit and think and be miserably thirsty for a long time before you can have lemonade

Today's entry is incredibly hard to write.

My life has been flipped over. Everything that I had planned for the rest of my life is changing, and I honestly do not know where to start picking up the pieces, so I decided to run.

I remember starting this Blog a year ago thinking that I could make my life be what I thought it should be. I would be someone who is figuring her life out. I would start this Blog and magically gain the motivation and preparation needed to make the changes and be the person that I wanted to be. I may not have been posting much for the last year, but I have been making self discoveries that have shown me that I couldn't have been that person that I hoped to be a year ago. I was trying too hard to make myself happy while ignoring a cancer in my life that grew and grew, putting more and more pressure on my attempts to have a healthy life.

I sit here now, not fully rid of that metaphorical cancer, and realize how damaged I am as a result of this struggle that until recently I had not been able to even acknowledge existed.

So now I write an entry entitled "When life give you lemons, you probably have to sit and think and be miserably thirsty for a long time before you can have lemonade," because that's what I feel the lesson might be, here. I'm angry, sad, lonely, feeling a little hopeless, and yet, I'm hopeful and almost certain that I'm going to be okay, even better someday. But it is going to take a long, long, long period of waiting, contemplating, and mental self torture to come out of this a better woman.

So while that torture commences, I thought it would be an excellent time to run....

Sunday, June 5, 2011
3 miles
30 minutes

Friday, February 4, 2011


Today I turned 25. I have been wanting to write a blog about creating a goal to improve my running habits, and I think today, being the first day of my next year in life, is a good day to begin anew as I strive to rebuild my body and spirit through running.

First, something I need to say is that I love my birthday. I love my birthday to the point where it could be the best day of my year even if I did nothing special on my birthday. Just the fact that it is a special day for me is pretty much all I need. This year, my husband planned a surprise party, which made the birthday an even bigger and better success.

So I feel that having had such a wonderful day, and having completed my 25th year, it seems most appropriate to start the year with a new outlook and a new motivation.

All that being said, and seeing that this blog is all about running, I have decided to write a "s.m.a.r.t. goal" to keep myself on track.

A s.m.a.r.t. goal, for those of you who are not familiar with the acronym, is a goal that is Strategic, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Tangible. It is a goal that puts a specific measurement and time stamp on a plan. It is a model that shows a stronger correlation to achieving a goal than the more common, vague strategy that most people subconsciously use. My original goal that inspired this blog was not s.m.a.r.t. It was more of a fuzzy vision of what I thought might make me happy, but it certainly was not s.m.a.r.t.

So now, at the beginning of this next year of my life, I am writing down a s.m.a.r.t. goal for the world to see.

Okay..... I want to run 25 miles per week every week by May 2011.

Now, that goal alone is s.m.a.r.t., but it needs some steps and a plan to make it happen. My next blog will be dedicated to fleshing that out, and making sure that I write steps that take me closer to achieving that goal.

That's all for today. I hope being 25 will continue motivating me to be s.m.a.r.t. ;)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

let's do this one more time...

January 29, 2011
3.0 miles

I am back. It has been over six months since my last post, and I am not going to begin this post with an explanation or justification for my inaction. I may choose to delve into the the deeper reasons why I have not blogged in the last six months at a later date, but right now, I just want to talk about a run.

I ran 3 miles this morning on one of my favorite Tucson routes, Reid Park. It is a wonderful mixture of one of Tucson's most beautiful parks and the high traffic roadways that surround the path. I must say that after a long hiatus from running, it was good to be back, especially at Reid Park.

To be perfectly honest, I started running again a couple of weeks ago, but I did not want to do anything close to recording it for fear of letting myself down somehow. I did not time myself, I did not even want anyone to know that I was running.

So here I am, blogging again about running. To be honest, I cannot think if I really have anything incredibly fresh or inspiring to say. I still love running. I still wish I could run faster and longer. I still wish I did it more often. It still makes me feel incredible. So I guess I will jsut leave today's post at that. I hope to have more to say soon. :)