Saturday, February 18, 2012


Saturday, February 18, 2012
bike ride-- 12.71 miles

Today I rode my bike for the first time since I bought it.  It had a flat tire that I had to change, so for the first two weeks I owned it, it sat on my front porch.  I changed the tire a couple of days ago, and today I decided to get off my lazy butt and ride around.  I hopped on the bike path near my house and peddled in one direction for a half hour, then turned around and peddled back.  It felt as though I could have possibly gone further, but I really did not want to push it because I have not been working out regularly in over two months.  What I did not realize until after I mapped the ride out when I got home was that it had a subtle decline the entire way to the turnaround point, therefore it was a slow incline all the way back home.  That was a little painful.  My heart was racing the last mile.  It felt really good, though; I felt like I was doing something athletic again.

I still have to fight the urge to run, even though I have begun developing some temporary substitutions.  That's what they are though: substitutions.  I know I have not really committed and given yoga and bicycling a chance, but there is a strong desire in me to run, and I have not yet been able to shake that.

I was watching Moneyball today (which was a fantastic film by the way) and just seeing a sports movie made me want to run out my front door.  Even though my foot does not usually feel uncomfortable, I can still feel the injury and it takes every bit of the small part of my brain that is reasonable not to say "whatever" and just go run.  Never mind the fact that I am still injured, but since it has been so long since I've run, I guarantee I would be disappointed when I'm completely exhausted after a mile... and in excruciating pain.

Aside from bicycling and running and injured feet, I have had something kind of major on the brain.  I feel like this roadblock in my running truly aligns with a very real roadblock in my life: approval.

Before I move forward, let me back up.  Things have been truly amazing in my life lately.  I am moving forward in my career and personal life and getting over all the hurt that last year brought.  My half-marathon kind of represented that for me: a triumph that was a long time coming.  But there is a big hurdle that I have yet to even address, and that is my need for approval.  It is a modern idol of sorts that I know I am far too invested in.  I need the approval of others.  In my job.  In my friendships.  In my life.  I need others to think I'm great, beautiful, cool, smart, nice, etc.  It colors everything I do.  Last summer I had a long conversation with my pastor's wife about what a hard time I was having with my divorce.  Exasperated, I said "...and to top it off, I know some day I'm going to have to explain to some guy's family that I was married for a short time and hope they don't assume that I can't commit to a healthy relationship and..." and I realized then what I was really saying was "I may not need to please my ex anymore, but I need to please someone, and it isn't myself and it isn't God."  My pastor's wife didn't even have to say anything.  I knew and she knew that this was a problem for me.

The issue, aside from what I've just laid out, is that I have no idea how to work on this flaw of mine.  I know if I don't, I won't be able to have a healthy relationship, because the only type of person that wants to be with a person who is desperate for approval is someone who is hungry for power and control... and I know where that ended up.

So here's the parallel: my life came back together again over the past year, and although everything is seemingly great, I know there is this trait of mine that will put me in the exact same paralyzing position if I don't fix what's broken, deep inside.  I ran this 13.1 mile race and I felt great, accomplished, and then it became clear that I couldn't keep doing that if I didn't fix this fundamental part of my body: my foot.

I want to keep talking about this, but this post is getting a little long, so I'll close for now by saying that the first step I'm taking towards repairing my running life is staying off my foot.  I hope to wake up early tomorrow and do another long bike ride.  I wish I knew an easy first step to getting over this need for approval.  Maybe it'll come to me on my next ride...

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I want to write a quick post about some changes I'm making.

It seems that life's forward momentum provokes some changes in our routines that we would not have planned for ourselves, but have happened nevertheless.  Because of my foot injury, I have been posting silly entries on Pheidippides in an attempt to entertain myself and fill in the void that used to be running.

I want to redirect Pheidippides back towards running, spirituality, and personal growth, but I have become especially interested in and entertained by some short video-diary type-things I've been doing and I think I want to continue those posts.

So the time has come to create a second blog.  If you are at all entertained by me musing in front of my computer, then definitely check out the deputy to watch me in action.  Otherwise, I hope you are relieved to know that I'll be keeping the sophomoric entertainment to a minimum on Pheidippides.

Also, I know there are more people that follow this blog than there are listed publicly, so I figured out how to change the settings so that anyone can comment on my posts, even anonymously.

I am excited for what these changes will bring for both Pheidippides and the deputy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

am i a hypochondriac?

First things first.  I want to know why I have written "until next time..." on like three of the past five posts and no one has called me on it.  Talk about cliche.  I'm thoroughly disappointed in my writing.

Okay.  Now.  On to my post.

It is February.  So that means spring is on its way.  That also means that my least favorite time of year is also on its way.  It's the "Noel is sick for months on end because of pollen and mold" season.

For most of my life, I have had to suffer through springs and summers with seasonal allergy symptoms.  It started when I was a toddler and my mom said I always had a runny nose.  Then when I was a preteen I had chronic headaches.  As in all the time.  By the time I was a teenager, it typically just manifested into cold-like symptoms once or twice a year, usually at the beginning of spring and end of summer.

But as I have gotten older, it has gotten far worse.  First, I have noticed that I can physically feel when I'm having an allergic reaction almost as soon as I encounter an allergen.  It takes no time as all to feel my eyes burning and watering, my ears itching, my nose running, and my throat swelling up.  Second, I am now allergic to dogs and cats.  I love animals and I actually have a dog, but read hives to see what that love has cost me.  Third, and most crucial, I have actually experienced the cold-like symptoms for months at a time, costing me dearly in sick days at work and fun days outside of work.

Spring of 2010 was the worst season; I was sick all the time, eventually just trying to power through because I did not want to use all my sick/vacation days, I lost my voice several times (which sucked in particular because I was scheduled to sing the national anthem at the U.S. Airways Center for a Phoenix Mercury game that June), and I generally felt miserable.

So now it is February 15th and I am nervous as ever that I will be getting sick this spring.  I already had a cold in January that lasted about a week and left me with no voice for over a week.

Add to that: I work in some pretty questionable environments.  Since I do home-visitation social work, I sometimes start to experience an allergic reaction as soon as I walk into someone's house.  One client called me last week to tell me that they found mold in their apartment.  I was nervous to go, but I did not want to go to my boss and say "we can't bill for this family because I haven't seen them because I'm afraid of their mold spores."  That seemed like a reflective conversation that I did not want to have.  So I went as planned to the appointment.

But later that day and the next, I had a wheezing, gasping cough.

I wanted to write this post because I feel like that cough may have been in my head.  Like I was so nervous about breathing in mold spores and being sick that I made myself sick.  Plus I am still getting over that cold.

This is such a beautiful season in Tucson, yet it is so miserable if you have a swollen throat or runny eyes or are sleepy all the time.  I hope I'm not a hypochondriac.  It is just one more thing to stack on a heaping pile of emotional issues that I just can't handle.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

my dentist.

Okay kids, I have another video.  This one has some language in it that is not for younger audiences.

Enjoy.  I'll try to write more meaningful stuff soon.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I turned 26 yesterday.

I have to say, it was a pretty fun filled day.  I woke up early and got my hair cut.  Nothing can set the tone for the day like a haircut, so I was really rolling the dice on that one.  But I have to say, it was a success.  I've been growing it out from a super short little pixie cut for a year and it finally looks the way I want it to look.  Success.

I went to my very first yoga class next.  I have been practicing yoga for about 9 years now, but I had never been to a class before yesterday.  I think there are a few reasons behind that... one is that I was a dancer for many years, and being a dancer, I am very competitive and very perfectionistic.  So being in a room full of people trying to learn something was so intimidating to me that I actually spent years doing it on my own by reading in books and following videos in order to learn how to do all the poses.  Then, even after I starting feeling comfortable with and even good at yoga, I still preferred to stay in my house and do it because yoga brought me a peace that I just did not think I was going to get in a class full of people.

I made the decision to go to the yoga class because I really wanted to get a good workout despite my foot injury.  I have to say, I really liked it.  I picked a class that was an intermediate level and I felt competent as well as challenged, which was perfect.  I actually felt so exhausted at one point that I had tears in my eyes, but it felt really great to be in such a supportive environment where I felt encouraged to keep going even when I was mentally exhausted.

The yoga teacher talked about "staying in the eye of the hurricane" which kind of meant focusing on balance and peace and calm.  She said that sometimes life starts to feel like the arm of the hurricane: the most chaotic, furious, and destructive part of the storm.  And in yoga, and in life, you have to focus on centering yourself back in the eye.

There was only one part that I would have left out at home, and that was that I had to grab the person's ankle next to me and he had to grab mine.  And he was SUPER sweaty and I had not painted my toenails either.  It was uncomfortable.  I was having a hard time staying in the eye of the hurricane at that point.

After yoga, I took Levi on a walk and then we strolled over to Jenny's house to grab some tea at the Raging Sage.  Jenny got Levi and me presents (we decided that even though Levi's adoption paperwork estimated his birthday at February 20th, we would celebrate on February 4th).  Levi got a squeaky toy and treats.  I got a necklace and a little knick-knack for my wall.  Here's a picture of us posing with our toys:

After coffee I did a little shopping then went to church.  Then my friend Laura picked me up and I went to dinner with a bunch of friends from all different parts of my life.  It was so awesome to see friends from all parts of my life come together and really click with one another.  After dinner we kept the party going at Che's Lounge.  I had so much fun.  The night came to a close and I went to bed a happy 26-year-old woman!

Levi was also very happy to be turning 2.

This was a really great way to begin a new year in my life.  I know I've hit some rough times and some obstacles that I hadn't anticipated, but this birthday was a reminder of the people who love me, the things I can accomplish, and the joy I am capable of feeling when things feel like they are desperately spinning out of control, right into the arm of the hurricane.

So excited to start this new year...

Friday, February 3, 2012


I wrote a few posts ago about how my foot is injured. I finally got in with the orthopedic specialist today and the news could have been better, but it could have been worse, too, I suppose.

The doctor took an x-ray and there is no indication of a fracture. After reviewing my symptoms and torquing my foot in every uncomfortable direction possible, the conclusion was that I have tendinitus in my left foot, which is why I was in so much pain after any kind of workout the last couple of months. The doctor called it an "overuse injury" and told me to refrain from running for at least "few more weeks." I am supposed to consume Ibuprofen at the rate I usually suck down coffee throughout the day, as well as get inserts for my shoes, and use a topical anti-inflammatory on my foot.

It did not really hit me until a few minutes after I left the doctor's office was crummy this felt. It has been almost 8 weeks since I ran my half-marathon, and I had hoped to take that momentum and euphoria from completing that goal to run may more races this year, including a full marathon. I am seriously bummed that I will not be able to start working on that for at least another month.

I don't mean to sound dramatic; it's not like tendinitus is going to have me bedridden for the next year. It does feel like a loss that I have to spend more time not doing something I love, even temporarily, though. I have definitely found that it is hard to stay active. I walk my dog everyday, which is probably keeping me healthy, but I have not been doing yoga or anything else to keep up on the aerobic, endurance, or mental training that I need to pick running back up successfully. I think something in my brain was holding out to have the doctor say that everything is cool, just do x, y, and z stretches every day and go about your workouts like nothing happened.

Now that I know it is slightly more serious than that, though, I decided to commit to being active in lower impact settings. I went out after work today and did something that I have actually been meaning to do for months: I bought a bicycle. I even went on a very short ride today. And tomorrow I am meeting a co-worker at a yoga studio near my house to catch a midmorning class.

So that is the plan. Maybe I'll temporarily refer to Pheidippides as Bikram or The Cycler or something like that until I get the go ahead to slowly start building my mileage again. I'll definitely have some new and interesting stuff to write about, like the hazards of riding your bike on Campbell Avenue around 4:30 in the afternoon or the new experience of sharing my workout time with 15 other people in the yoga studio, rather than my own solitary pensive time. Anyway, I guess I will just have to wait and see.

As a final note, it is really interesting to me how many times I have learned in the last couple of months about my own limitations. First with my driving to Colorado fiasco (see trapped... if you have like an hour to read... sorry by the way for the longest post in blog history) and now with my foot and probably other things in between of which I am not thinking currently. It is an especially interesting series of epiphanies to have leading up to my 26th birthday (tomorrow!). Maybe it is a sign that the year to come will bring more mature and reasonable decision making.

Time will tell on that one I guess.

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I just wanted to make one more post today to ask about what people thought of my vlog.  Check one of feedback boxes on that post if I should try to do more stuff like that...


my running blog...

I still have not seen the orthopedic specialist for my foot injury.  I have called a few times and left messages with different receptionists to schedule an appointment, but still nothing.  It's annoying because now it's been nearly two months since my half-marathon, and I really wanted to race more this year.  And I can't do that until I can train, and I don't want to train until this foot injury is figured out.  I've thought about testing the waters again without seeing the doctor just to see if whatever was wrong has healed, but I am a little apprehensive about the possibility of hurting myself again.

Anyway, that's my update on my foot.  Here's an update on life:

I got some very exciting news yesterday at work.  I got a promotion!  It's a promotion I applied for over two months ago and I am so incredibly excited that it finally went through!

Social work is very challenging.  Part of my job is to help other people with their challenges and problems, some of which seem so overwhelming, and I have had to overcome numerous personal obstacles and grow as a person in order to do this well.  So it feels really great to see that effort has not gone unnoticed.

The after school program that I teach part-time is starting up again in February as well, and I'm looking forward to getting started on that again, as well.

And of course, the best day of the year is coming up as well... MY BIRTHDAY!  I will be turning 26 on February 4th and my birthday, albeit special every year, marks something awesome for me this year.  I got past a lot of hardship and baggage and pain in 2011 and it brings me so much joy to start a new year of my life fresh.  It is also awesome to think about every blessing I gained from this past year that I'll be bringing with me as I turn 26 while I leave all the other nonsense behind.  In fact, it is so awesome to think about this stuff that I think I will list it out right now!

  1. Levi-- my super cute, insane, ridiculous doggie.  He's snoozing at my feet right now because I wore him out with like an hour of fetch.
  2. Scooter Jenny-- Jenny became such a close friend and confidant during the early months of my breakup all the way through the breaking point.  If not for her, I wouldn't have had a place to go when things got really bad, and I wouldn't have had anyone to celebrate with whenever things got really good
  3. All of my friends at my work-- it would probably be just, but a little repetitive to list them all out.  My work friends have been awesome.  Truly and simply awesome.  Happy hours, prenatal training and Ke$ha, karaoke, Old MacDonald and Santa Claus at parent events, tequila tasting, Ra, Milton, and more inside memories and jokes that I can't possibly name right here.
  4. The family.  Enough said.
  5. FLYNN!  My brother and sister-in-law are bringing my very first nephew into the world this year!
  6. My church family.  What an amazing group of people I have found... 
  7. All the new friends I've met just in the last couple of months who met me and know me as the person that I've evolved into.  If they read this, they know who they are.
A couple of months ago, I decided to buy myself a ring.  It is kind of like a promise ring to myself and it says Strength on it.  I wear it on my right ring finger and look down it often each day; it sort of reminds me of how strong I can be and to stay strong.  I'm looking at it right now and realize that my strength has come from all the things I've listed above, not just from within.  

So I guess even though I'm not running and feeling kind of under-inspired to write in my running blog, I do have a lot to say and it feels good to get it all down.  

Hopefully I'll be back out on the road soon and writing about the temperature and my time and all the things I know you really want to read.  Until next time...