My 2007 Goals . . .

I know that every year people make many resolutions and keep none. I don't normally do resolutions at all. However, there are things that I want to definitely do this year! So, I'm listing a few goals for 2007. First, I am registered to run two half-marathons. The ING Georgia Half-Marathon on March 25, 2007 and the Country Music Half-Marathon on April 28, 2007. I am very excited to run both of these races and the ING will be my first half-marathon! My second goal is tentative, but I would like to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C., scheduled for October 28, 2007 (also my birthday!). Registration begins May 9, so I will be able to see how I feel after the ING Half-Marathon before actually deciding if I can do it. Third, I would like to blog here at least 3-4 times a week. Fourth, I would like to read as many of my books as I can. I have so many waiting to be read. They're all just screaming, "Open me! Read me! I promise you'll enjoy me!" Finally, I would like to take time to enjoy more of the arts around Atlanta. There are so many wonderful theaters, exhibits, and museums here. So, there they are . . . five goals! We'll see how many I've gotten through this time next year.

Tonight, I am meeting friends at Dad's Garage for their improv show. Their improv shows are some of the best in Atlanta! From what I've heard, tonight is their pants off improv where, at several points during the show, the comedians drop their pants and continue with their scenes. I am looking forward to it very much!

With that, I should finish a few things around the house. See you all next year and I hope everyone has a very safe and Happy New Year!

Mish Mash . . .

I'm terribly sorry! I've been absent for a bit due to busyness. Hopefully things will calm down now that the holidays are practically over. I'm thinking that one my of resolutions for 2007 will be to blog more!

I've traveled to Tennessee the past two weekends for Christmas events with my family. They were all fun, but I'm ready to stay home for a few weekends. Bootcamp is still going well. It actually hasn't been very cold here for December so that's been nice.

Over the weekend my Mom and I saw The Good Shepard. It was good, and is a definite thinking movie. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I usually enjoy movies where I am required to think, but I was already very tired from driving to Tennessee, visiting family and then driving to the movies.

I'm supposed to hit my training runs heavy by January 7th for the half-marathon in March. That, however, has hit a possible snag. Yesterday, I injured my foot. I visited the doctor today and after several x-rays was told that I have either a very deep bone bruise or a mild stress fracture. I'm very frustrated because this could set my training back -- especially if I have to go through physical therapy! Hopefully, it will heal quickly. I really wish I had a nice story about how I injured myself doing some great athletic feat . . . not so much. It is actually quite a stupid story that I shall not bore you with here -- mostly to save my embarrassment!

12 of 12 Bonus

The bonus for this month's 12 of 12 is to post a picture from each month you participated. I only participated twice, because I kept forgetting! So, here are my pictures from September & December!


12 of 12

I'm a day late, but better late than never, right? Check out Chad Darnell 's page for all the 12 of 12 info.7:30 a.m.: Here I am attempting to get onto I-285 West! Traffic usually isn't this backed up already. Come to find out, there was a 4-car fender bender on the left side of the interstate and a 3-car fender bender on the right side of the interstate!

8:00 a.m.: Before actually heading into the office, I stop at the Post Office.

10:00 a.m.: On my way to the courthouse I noticed the Christmas decorations around the Decatur Square. 12:00 p.m.: On my way back to the office, I took a tiny detour and drove by Stone Mountain. This is a very bad picture, but the mountain is very cool. You can find out more about it here: Stone Mountain Park
12:10 p.m.: Heading back towards Atlanta, this is Spaghetti Junction, where I-285 & I-85 intersect. Lots of traffic here during the rush hour.

5:00 p.m.: Finally heading home for the day.

5:30 p.m.: On the way home, getting onto I-285 East, this is usually when my traffic starts to get sticky.5:45 p.m.: A view of the downtown skyline from Mt. Wilkinson. A bit of history, this is where General Sherman got his first views of Atlanta during the Civil War.5:45 p.m.: This is also at Mt. Wilkinson, this is "Vinings Mountain" the same development I posted during my last 12 of 12 several months ago. It's coming along quite nicely. Too bad it's way out of my price range right now!
6:15 p.m.: I did make a Best Buy stop on my way home as a favor to my Mom. While there, I also picked up the new Robert Randolph & the Family Band cd "Colorblind". The bottom cd is from 92.9 DaveFM's Circle of Friends live show with Robert Randolph & the Family Band. It was free with the "Colorblind" cd!6:30 p.m.: Simply washing some clothes, definitely nothing exciting!

Coming Soon . . .

I have my photos completed for 12 of 12. However, I'm running a little short for time tonight. I will post them as soon as I can tomorrow!

Just a little busy . . .

I've been so busy the last week or so. I suppose that it's a good busy. Work has been going well. It's finally getting to where I have something to do nearly the entire day, which is nice. Last week and this week I have been interviewing candidates for one of our Atlanta positions. It was definitely a learning experience for me, as I'd never actually interviewed anyone. It felt kinda weird! I'm also fighting a cold. It's been in the background for about a week, but this morning it hit my head and sinuses full force. I'd been taking Aleve Cold & Sinus (some of you may have heard my story of the nasty clerk who eye'd me as if I were a drug dealer when I showed her my ID for the medicine -- stupid woman!), but it seems to have stopped working for me. I'm switching to Robitussin in the hopes it will help, and also so I can stop having to show my ID to get my cold medicine!

I've barely done any Christmas shopping -- only purchased one present so far and my Christmas cards (which are in the mail). I have to get one more gift before I go home this weekend (I already know what it is, just have to pick it up), but I also have to pick up three gifts for my Mom since I'm closer to the stores than she is.

On Friday, I met my friend T for dinner at a really good Italian place. We were sitting and enjoying our wine when this woman came over and asked how our meal was. It was our friend D! She used to bartend at this restaurant where T & I would hang out some on Friday's. She's now at this Italian place -- it was so random. So, after our dinner (at which our server was a very chatty Bulgarian attorney) we sat at the bar and got caught up with D. It was fun!

I promise to have another post tomorrow. Tomorrow is the 12th and the final month of Chad Darnell's 12 of 12. I've only done one month since I kept forgetting. However, I already have my camera out and ready for tomorrow!

Proud me . . .

Today has been a crazy hectic day as far as work goes. I got into the office about 8:30 and was slammed until I walked out the door at 5:00. I didn't even get to leave for lunch! Thankfully, I keep some snacks around so I was able to eat.

Prior to work, I had bootcamp (as usual). Today was the group scavenger hunt around campus. The group I was supposed to be in ended up being just me because two people didn't show up. So, I was placed in the next fastest group "to go for the challenge" to quote my wonderful instructor. (And that wonderful is in no way sarcastic -- she is wonderful!) So, I was definitely pushed today, which is a good thing. My shins hurt a bit, but that passed fairly quickly. About 3/4 of the way through I was thinking I would crash before we finished. My legs were so very tired. However, my group kept me going, I finished and we won! How cool is that? This is the first time my group actually had time to finish all the tasks and then we won to boot. I was proud of us!

Tomorrow is the post-test and I'm really hoping I can bring my timed run down below 9:00. I don't care if it's 8:59, just below 9:00. That is my goal!

Multiple things . . .

I’ve been slowly making my way through the shows in my DVR, save one. I’m caught up on Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Weeds, and Dexter. However, I could not force myself to watch Nip/Tuck. I’ve watched Nip/Tuck since Season 1. Seasons 1 & 2 were great – shocking with lots of drama – but since the Season 3 finale it’s really gone down hill. I did watch the first 4 or 5 episodes, but just can’t get into it anymore. Maybe I’ll catch a marathon one night, who knows. I am disappointed in you Ryan Murphy! Seriously, what happened to Nip/Tuck?

Dexter is a show that I love! Michael C. Hall is fantastic! There’s lots of dry humor and it’s about a serial killer. If you get Showtime, give it a chance. I’ve read both books in the Dexter series and they’re good. There are some differences in the book & series so far, as expected.

Grey’s is so good this season. I was worried at first because I thought the season premiere was pretty lackluster, but it’s picked up. If you're not watching it, you're missing out!

Ugly Betty & Weeds are just fun shows to watch.

My step-brother was taking about Sleeper Cell on Showtime. I never watched it, but might check it out. The second season is about to air next month and they have the first season on demand. So, theoretically, I could get caught up pretty quickly. We’ll see.

I’ve noticed a lot of transgender talk today on the Atlanta radio stations. All My Children (which I know nothing about, btw) is introducing daytime’s first transgendered character; I’m interested to see how people react. During season 1 & 2 of Nip/Tuck there were two transgendered characters Sophia, who you loved, and Ava Moore, who you loved to hate because she was such an antagonist. I know there have also been several movies on the subject (i.e. Boys Don’t Cry & TransAmerica). As an aside, if you haven’t seen TransAmerica, check it out. It’s really good, and while it may look depressing, it’s actually very funny.

I’m trying to get planned out for Christmas. I’ve not done any shopping at all. I know what I’m getting my nephew (he’s the only easy one to buy for), other than that . . . no idea! I also have to get on the ball and go baby book shopping since there is a new baby in my law school family! I have a list, so hopefully I can do that this week.

Out of town . . . again

I drove up to Tennessee this weekend for Thanksgiving. As usual, there's always way too much food. It's always nice to see everyone too.

I spent nearly 4 hours on Friday trying to get my Mom's new laptop set up. Evidently, there were issues with the laptop and the network key! I spent lots of time on the phone with BellSouth and then with Dell. It took forever!

Yesterday, I was able to go to the Tennessee v. Kentucky football game. We had a really fun time. Tennessee won, which made it even better. We spent the first half in the shade, freezing & then moved to the other side of the stadium during the second half to sit in the sun.

Today is a day to wash clothes, restock my kitchen and straighten up a bit.

More soon!

A breeze . . .

I breezed through the rest of Ultra Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes. Seriously, he is unbelievable. I can't imagine going through the endurance challenges that he's completed. No way, not for me. I love reading and watching about that sort of thing, however, I really question the ability of my body to endure something like that. The elite athletes who compete is these type of events amaze me. My first challenge is the ING Half-Marathon in March. I've also become very intrigued with trail running. However, before I can really get into that, I need to find a running buddy.

Last night's party was a lot of fun. It was so nice to see everyone so relaxed after the levels of extreme nervousness prior to the bar exam. We visited, ate great food, danced, and even tried out my super old bottle of tequila. We tried to catch some of the meteor shower last night, but we were too close to the city. It was a great time.

Frisbee & Tequila . . .

As usual, it's been a busy week. The weather here has finally taken a course for cold! I love cold weather, basically because I like bundling up. However, I am learning to dislike it at 6:00 a.m.! This week it's been in the 30s nearly every morning. I do not enjoy working out with watery eyes and the inability to breath because of cold, cold weather.

Friday's workout was so much fun! We played Frisbee! How did we manage to get a good workout playing Frisbee, you ask? Well, we took turns throwing the Frisbee as far as we could (my throw was very weak), as soon as the throw was made we sprinted to its landing spot. Once there, we were on the ground doing some form of ab exercise. It was so much fun, it almost didn't feel like a workout! The latter half of the workout gave us the chance to decide what we did. We took turns leading short runs (i.e. 100-200 yards) across the campus and then took turns deciding what exercise we would do between the runs. It was a fun day. I had been in a funk all week and was not feeling very motivated. However, yesterday brought me back up.

Today I have to get in a 5 mile run and then tonight I'm off to a party celebrating my classmates and I! I'm very excited to see everyone and I know it's going to be a blast. I have a bottle of Don Julio tequila that I've had for 8 years. I've been saving it for a special occasion. One of my study partners and I love tequila. So, tonight I'm opening the bottle. I mean, if passing the bar isn't a special occasion I don't know what is!

I'm here . . .

I'm here! I've just been really busy and worn out the last few days.

I was out of town this weekend in Helen, Georgia. The mountains were nice and the weather was perfect!

My left knee had really been bothering me last week after my tumble in the woods. Thankfully, it's feeling better after the weekend. It felt fine during the workout this morning. Speaking of this morning, it was so cold! It was 35 when we started, but the temperature dropped close to freezing. When I left my apartment, there was no frost. However, when I came back a little over an hour later, there was frost on cars all over the apartment complex. It was so cold that I had a horrible time breathing and was fairly light-headed when we finished up and moved into our static stretch.

I have several meetings at work this week, all via video or telephonic conference. So, it's going to be another busy week. I really look forward to relaxing this weekend. Saturday I'm going to a huge party for my law school class. We're celebrating our bar passage and I'm very excited to see everyone!

Firsts . . .

It's been a busy past few days.

On Friday morning, I was officially sworn in as an attorney. It was a short ceremony, but a neat experience. I only have one more thing to do before I can officially practice.

Also, on Friday, I had my bootcamp post-test for this session. I improved! My timed run went from 10:07 to 9:45, and my timed push-ups went from 22 to 40! I was very proud of myself!

Yesterday, I met a friend for lunch. We had Thai and mine was wonderful! We went to "Top Spice" and I had the Putri special with chicken, shrimp and lots of veggies in brown sauce.

Today, I went along for a group run. Big Peach Running Co. sponsors runs throughout the year and this one was a 4.2 mile trail run. It was a bit intimidating being around so many runners who were, without question, faster and in better shape than I. I had a lot of fun though and aside from a couple of steep hill climbs, ran the entire thing. This was the longest distance I've run! I did fall on the final downhill and scrape my knee up a bit. Evidently, I'm a clumsy runner!

This afternoon I'm going to relax for a bit. I missed Grey's Anatomy on Thursday and forgot to Tivo it. So, I'm going to try to catch it on the ABC website. I'm also meeting a friend for lunch late this afternoon.

I start the final bootcamp session for the year tomorrow. My goal tomorrow is to get my time between 9:00 and 9:30!

A Day in the Life . . .

I've been meaning to get this entry posted for a couple of days. I've just been a tad busy. I wanted to tell you all about my wonderful day on Friday!

I was too nervous to sleep on Thursday night, which would've made bootcamp super difficult since I only had about 3 hours sleep. So, I missed camp on Friday. At work, we have flex-schedules. We can come in anytime between 7-9:30, so long as we work 8 hours. I was at the office at 7:00 so I could leave by 3:30. During the morning I was really busy. This was great since it helped to keep my mind off of the bar results. However, after lunch, I couldn't concentrate. All day I'd been working on creating Georgia forms for our system, at this point, I was so stressed out my fingers wouldn't even type the correct keys! I broke down on the phone with my Mom, my Aunt, and my ex-boyfriend. (Don't give me that look! We're still good friends!) Finally, I was able to leave the office!

Unfortunately for me, everybody in the city of Atlanta decided to leave work early, too! It was pouring rain and traffic was a nightmare! As soon as I got in the car I became nauseous. It was horrible. I called my ex because he was always very good at calming me down and we talked until I was about half-way home. (Just a quick side-note . . . but would you believe that I'm normally very good about handling stress?!?!)

As I pulled up, the mailman was just getting out of his truck. I checked my box, just in case, but it was empty. So, I turned to the mailman and told him "You have very important information for me, so I'm just going to wait." He asked me what I was waiting on, searched, and pulled out the envelope! He handed it to me and I honestly wasn't sure if I could open it. I was shaking so bad! I told him "I don't think I can open this!", to which he replied, "K, you know you passed, open that envelope!" I opened it up and read the first few words, which included the phrase "I am delighted . . .", at this point I squealed very loudly and hugged my mailman for dear life! I was crying and shaking, practically just beside myself. As soon as I got into my car I called my Mom, who could barely understand me because I was so emotional! After that, I made lots of phone calls telling the news. It's amazing the amount of relief I felt. It was such an overwhelming rush of emotions! Friday is definitely a day that I will never forget.

A group of my classmates and I had decided the night we finished the bar exam that we would meet at Hand in Hand at 6:00 on Friday. So, I headed there to meet up with them. Although less showed up than actually passed, it was so great to see them! My two study partners (as well as their wives) were there. This wasn't the big bash. It's scheduled for Nov. 18! Three years ago when I started working with my study partners I told them I had a very expensive bottle of tequila that I was saving for a special occasion. We decided to save it for when the three of us passed the bar. So, Nov. 18, I'm opening the bottle of Don Julio Blue Agave tequila that I've had for 8 years! I can't wait!

The rest of the weekend was great too. My Mom and Aunt came down on Saturday. We shopped a little and then had dinner at SoHo Atlanta. They gave us a huge dessert platter since we were celebrating the bar exam and my birthday! On Sunday we had lunch at Goldfish (yummy!) and then a little more shopping.

Yesterday's camp was a great one for me. It was a sprint workout, but I just felt very strong. I know I'm not the fast runner, but I felt strong and pushed myself on all the sprints. Today, was rougher. We did the long run (mine was probably close to 3 miles) and my stupid left arch started cramping about about 3/4 mile in. I was so frustrated and in so much pain. It really slowed me down. However, for the last 1/2 mile I worked to catch up with a couple of runners and I actually passed them strong! I just forced myself to forget about my arch for a little bit and was able to finish strong. My shins and left knee are sore tonight, but I've been icing them. Hopefully, they're better in the morning. Friday is the post-test and I feel fairly confident that I can get my time down to around 9:30 (Famous Last Words!)

In other news, I officially signed up for the ING Atlanta Half-Marathon today. I also worked out my training schedule. I've given myself 12 weeks, starting January 7. However, I'm still going to be running and working out until then. My next bootcamp session, and the final one for this year, starts Monday, Nov. 6 (I signed up for that today too!).

I'm also doing a 5 mile run on Sunday. The running store where I bought my shoes sponsors runs and they're doing one Sunday morning. I'm looking forward to it. Aside from jumping into bootcamp, this is the first time I've done a group run like this.

I think that about catches me up!

Celebratory Post . . .

Just a quick post to announce . . . *ahem* . . . I have passed the Georgia Bar Exam! I found out about 4:00 this afternoon. I should be getting sworn in on Monday morning with my two study partners. I'm over the moon! I'll share the story of opening the letter later since I'm mentally exhausted right now. It will be coming soon. My Mom and Aunt are driving down tomorrow to spend the rest of the weekend with me. We're celebrating my pass and my birthday tomorrow!

Also, a big Happy Birthday to Helen who's been celebrating in England today. It's 11:16 here so technically, it's still your birthday! I hope you've had a wonderful day and that your trip is a lot of fun!

More later!

Naughty Girl . . .

So, I've been a bad blogger. It's been a week since my last entry. Sorry, I've been a little busy and under the weather.

This past weekend was fun. My aunt, cousin and I shopped most of the day Saturday and Sunday and managed to get in three good meals too. We all bought too much, but it was fun.

I started feeling sick on Sunday and felt really bad on Monday and Tuesday. Today, however, I feel much better. I'm still a little stuffy, but otherwise feel okay.

This week of bootcamp has been different. It's been so cold in the mornings (low 30s). Today, we did the NFL Combine workout, which is so fun and challenging. I had two instructors comment on my improvement over the last few sessions. I was also able to tell, at least with this particular workout, that I performed better than last month. Tomorrow is bring a friend day, which means the workout is "House of Pain" and I think Friday is the scavenger hunt.

Friday is the big day, what I've nicknamed my "Day of Reckoning." It's amazing what stress will do to your body. Yesterday and today, I've had random crying episodes, which totally suck. I also realized that I'm about 10 days late this month. I know it's stress and working out does help, but I can't workout 24 hours a day. Trust me, right now I wish I could! I'm trying really hard not to think about it, but at the same time, I'm trying to prepare myself for the worst. I realize that it's not that big of a deal. Thousands of people will fail this bar exam across the country and they'll take it in February and pass it. It's just going to be so embarrasing if I don't pass.

Anyhow, there are a lot of birthdays coming up in the next few days. Stacy (my lead instructor at bootcamp) is having a birthday tomorrow; Helen's is Friday; mine is Saturday; and Nancy's (another bootcamper) is on Sunday. We're all right in a row.

Quickly . . .

I'm so sleepy and so sore! Yesterday's workout was a really tough one. It was entirely sprints and I pushed myself so hard that I got sick. That was a new experience for me and one which I don't want to repeat. However, I now know exactly where that line is, so I can continue to push without going over it. Today was another tough workout. At the end, we sprinted up "The Bane" (for those just tuning in it's a massive hill that we run quite often. I hate it.), I did it four times, others did more and others did less. I'm not sure how long we were timed. My calves are still sore from the 300 calf raises we did on Tuesday.

I have family coming into town this weekend, so I'm looking forward to that. I assume we'll shop and eat. That's usually what women in my family do when they get together.

Rain, Rain, Rain . . .

I was really dreading bootcamp this morning. Not because I was tired but because it had been raining all night long and was set to continue raining all day! I knew the fields would be muddy and even though it was 60 degrees it would be chilly due to the rain. Was I ever wrong! Granted, I had on three thin layers of clothing, but I managed to keep the interior layer dry. It was a lot of fun being out in the rain (and in the dark).

The workout was a tough one for me today, and a new one for the camp. We stayed on the stadium bleachers the entire time! This, of course means, we ran lots of stairs (which I really don't like). We also worked our calves and did lots of lunges, squats, situps and pushups, combined with a lap around the track. I'm sure my legs will be sore tomorrow. They were literally jello when I left after the workout and they're still a little shaky!

So, next time it's raining, I definitely think I'll be a little excited. That is, unless it's super cold!

Tennessee . . .

Just a short little post. I'm in Tennessee for the weekend. I drove up, amidst a ton of traffic, last night.

No bootcamp on Wednesday or Thursday. Wednesday was a scheduled rest day, but Thursday was cancelled. Friday was a fun day, but it was cold! We did a stair run, shuffles, dips, push-ups and step-ups and then about a 30 minute run. My arches have started cramping up on me during my last few runs. I hope I can get that sorted out. Thankfully, my shins feel fine.

Today, I went for a run in one of the local parks. I actually ran into a guy I went to high school with. He was much, much taller than I remember him being! Afterwards, my grandmother and I went driving around. We stopped and had lunch at Aubrey's Restaurant and then drove into Townsend and into the Smoky Mtns. National Park. We had planned to drive over to Cherokee, North Carolina and over to Maggie Valley. However, traffic held us up. We ended up turning around near Gatlinburg and heading back into Townsend. We stopped at the Apple Valley store and I bought some homemade apple butter and dill pickles (not to eat together). We also looked at quilts. I found two that I loved, but they were so expensive! Instead of driving home the exact way, we drove over the Foothills Parkway to Chilhowee Lake. We saw lots of pretty fall colors, some of which I have pictures of.

Tomorrow, I'm heading to my Dad's to visit that side of the family. I'll get to see my nephew, which is always fun. After that, it's a drive back down to Atlanta and then the start of another week!

A Moment to Brag . . .

As I said yesterday, today was the day of 110 push-ups. Except, that it was actually 125 today! I did all 125 on my toes! I am very proud of myself today. This workout is one of the toughest for me, so I was happy to do well on part of it.

Other than that, today has been a bit of an easy day. I did research at the courthouse, which is super exciting. Tonight, I'm catching up on some of the television I had to record last week. I'm also determined to get into bed early!

Improvement . . .

So, I didn't blog about this over the weekend because I was pretty frustrated with myself, but it's better now . . . so here goes. Friday's post-test for me was bad. My mile time was 10:22, my situps and push-ups stayed the same and I actually went up a little on my sprint time. I was very frustrated! Today was the pre-test day of the new camp. My mile time was 10:07, which I'm still disappointed in because I wanted to be under 10:00. However, I did 26 full push-ups (on my toes) in 1 minute and 30 sit-ups in 1 minute, and my sprint time went down to 10:28. So, I'm happier and I'm determined that at the post-test (which is 30 days away) to have my mile time at 9:30 or better.

This group is pretty mixed which is nice. I'm anxious to see how some of the less fit people improve over the month. I had huge improvements my first month.

Tomorrow is the pyramid workout, which is so tough. My goal for this camp, because I blogged most of the workouts of the last one (and how I did last camp is still fresh in my mind), is to gauge my improvements on these workouts too. I'm very confident that I'll do better!

My New Shoes . . .

Yesterday I went to Big Peach Running Co. for some new shoes. My Nike's are beat from camp. Anyhow, Big Peach offers video gait analysis. They put you in a pair of running shoes and record you running on a treadmill. When you review the video with them, you find out whether you over or under pronate (where your feet roll in or out too much during your strides), or whether you have a neutral gait. This helps in your shoe selection because you are able to purchase a shoe which properly supports your individual feet. I learned that I over pronate (my feel roll in) just a little bit. Other than that, everything about my foot is pretty normal! I've never worn Asics before, so I'm anxious to see how they do during my runs and at camp. I'm also hopeful they will help with my shin splits. I should have close to a netrual gait and therefore proper alignment when I run. I don't like that the shoes are so white, so I look forward to getting them dirty this week!

I also bought some Jelly Belly Sport Beans in orange and blueberry, and picked up November "Runner's World" magazine. Now, I get to stare at another handsome athlete for the next 30 days. Last month was Dean Karnazes and this month it's Lance Armstrong! Speaking of Dean, he ran marathon 22 of 50 today and ran the marathon course in 3:20:04, which is his fastest time so far. You'd think running a marathon every single day would tire your body and you'd run slower, but evidently not!

I think Shannon and I are going to hang out later today. I'm trying to catch up on the shows I Tivo'd this past week. I only have "Nip/Tuck" and "The Nine" left to watch. I am really enjoying "Heroes", "Ugly Betty", and "Dexter". Although, I've been told that "The Nine" will be my favorite. It's supposed to be really good.

The Long Awaited Update . . .

So, I've been a little absent online the last few days. Most of that is due to starting the new job. It seems to be going well, at least from my end. The trip to Louisville went well and everyone in that office is very nice. Currently, I'm still the only one in the Atlanta office, so it's been quiet. Thank goodness there's a radio! I'll have company this week at work as someone from the Louisville office is coming down, so I'm excited about that.

Yesterday was the last day of bootcamp. However, we start a new session on Monday which I'm all signed up for! For that reason, I'm going light this weekend. I might go for a run tomorrow if the weather's nice. We'll see.

Last night, we had an end of bootcamp type get together. It's always fun to sit and talk with everyone, and to see everyone in normal clothes. It's especially fun seeing all the women dressed up, make-up on, and hair fixed, because we don't see that at all at 6:00 a.m.!

I'm going to do a little shopping this afternoon, but have plans to watch the Tennessee v. Georgia football game this evening. I really hope Tennessee wins!

Hopefully, I once I adjust, I'll be back to posting regularly here. It might take a few days!

Back . . .

I made it back to Atlanta around 6:00 tonight. I'm worn out from the drive, and must be up at 5:00 a.m. for bootcamp in the morning.

Tomorrow is my first day at my new office! I'm excited! I plan to update tomorrow night about tomorrow's workout and my trip.

Kentucky . . .

Just a quick update to let everyone know that I'm safely in Louisville. The drive wasn't too bad, about 5 1/2 hours. The weather was great today, it was a beautiful day to drive. I have wi-fi access here at the hotel, so I should be able to update. Hopefully, I can find a safe place to run while I'm here.

Wish me luck for my first day at work tomorrow! I'm a little nervous!

Following Orders . . .

So, I've been told to get off my booty and blog. Happy? (I mean this in the most loving way - you know who you are!)

I didn't get into camp yesterday due to a very late night on Wednesday. I did make it this morning. Today we did a scavenger hunt around the campus where we work out. You have to find certain spots on campus, answer a question about the spot, and do a specific exercise there. You also have to run from point to point. We had a few people absent today, so my group was small (2 campers and 2 leaders). But, it was fun! Another fun thing about today was that we had several former NFL players working out with us today. That, of course, explains where the NFL Combine workout came from! I think stuff like that shows how strong of a program we have, if it can accommodate so many people of varying fitness levels and allow each of them to work their hardest!

I finally got my hair trimmed on Wednesday. Meg did a great job, as usual. I changed my mind on cutting it above my shoulders, so it's still long.
I think I'm heading to Louisville on Sunday for work. Although, I haven't received any hotel information, so we'll see.

Today's Motto . . .

"Just because your muscles are complaining doesn't mean you have to listen."

Except! Substitute "shins" for "muscles" and you have me pegged. Needless to say, my shins are still bothering me. Hopefully, with continued ice and some rest they will be fine. Tomorrow, thankfully, is an off day for us, so I don't have to workout until Thursday morning.

Yesterday was one of my favorite workouts. First, we ran 1 mile or so and then headed down to the field for the workout. We did random exercises, some for 30 seconds and some for 1 minute, and each exercise is some sort of skill. For example, we did jump rope, different type of squats and jumps, mogul twists, throwing and squatting, lunging and shooting a fake basketball. The exercises are meant to keep your heart rate up, and also to max out your muscles - legs especially. It's a fun workout because Stacy is very creative, and has some fun, and funny, exercises.

Today, was also a fun workout, but very challenging. The workout came straight from an NFL Combine Training Program. These are used to increase your speed and agility. We had five stations set up, and did different drills at each station. So, lots of sprints, suicides, shuffles, and things of that sort. The stops and starts really bothered my shins. In between the stations, we did an ab exercise.

I was very excited to finally watch "Heroes" last night. I really liked it. It's probably my favorite new show (although I still haven't seen "The Nine", it starts next week, I think). I'm not a huge fan of X-Men, or some of the other comic book type stuff, so a lot of it will be new for me. I loved Hiro! He was easily my favorite character. I'm already looking forward to next week!

The Weekend . . .

It's been a quiet weekend for me, which I'm very happy about. Even though I couldn't run, I did manage to get outside for a bit yesterday. I'm itching for a run -- which is good! Today, it's been raining off and on all day long. I've been reading mostly - which is so nice.

I've been icing my shins all weekend. They feel better, and I hope they feel okay during the workout in the morning. We have two full weeks left of our workout sessions. I'm going to miss three in the last week as I'll be in Louisville for work. I hope that my work schedule will allow me to do the next set of workouts. We're only going until around Thanksgiving because it gets so cold in the mornings. Then, things will start back up sometime in March.

I renewed my Crunch membership a couple of weeks ago (and for less than I was paying) for another year. I love my gym. So, I'll at least be able to run indoors and get in a good workout if it gets too cold for me outside.

I'm getting my hair cut on Wednesday afternoon. My step-brother comes in Wednesday night, and is staying until sometime on Saturday. I was planning to go with him on Friday because all the drivers mill about and sign autographs and meet the fans. I so wanted to see Patrick Dempsey again. I had originally considered taking the picture of he and I from last year and having him sign it for me. Unfortunately, I have to go into the office some on Friday, so I won't be able to go. I guess hugging on Patrick Dempsey once will have to be enough!

Bootcamp: Day 9, Round 2 . . .

I'm so happy that I'm working out with this great group of people. They all offer such unconditional motivation and support. I was talking today with Stephanie, one my my favorite leaders, about races this morning. She turned me onto Active.com, which has a ton of training tools, and race information. She also said she had a great half-marathon training program which she used for hers, so I should have that soon. The website is great. They had several 10Ks listed for November and December which are in Atlanta. So, now, I'm considering one of those instead of the bridge run. Although, Steph has done the Cooper River Bridge run in Charleston, South Carolina (which is similar to the one I've been considering). She said it was a blast. A lot of the leaders are running a 5K in the morning, which I decided I would do too . . . until the workout. More on that later.

Today we did "B-52". It was a competition workout. We were divided into 5 groups, and each group had a deck of cards in the middle. Each team member would sprint to the middle, pick up a card, and based on what the pulled card was, complete an individual exercise. Numbers 2-9 meant repetitions of the card value, face cards were 15 reps, and Aces were 20. However, when the first Joker was pulled, all the reps doubled until the second Joker was pulled. You have four different exercises based on what suit you pull from the deck. The first group to get through the entire deck, put it back together, and bring it back to the middle wins. It was fun. The first round of exercises was push-up variations, round 2 was ab work, and round 3 was leg work. My legs were bothering me during a good portion of the workout. So, much so that I was nearly in tears -- and I do consider myself to have a high pain tolerance as far as exercise goes.

After the workout, three of the guys were checking on me because I was limping and walking slow. After they all inspected my legs, including prodding around a bit, they decided I've probably got shin splints. Those aren't fun at all. One of our leaders is a chiropractor, so he was able to give me very detailed and good advice for recovery. First, ice, ice, and more ice. He also suggested that I fill a bucket with ice water and soak my legs. I really dread that. He cracked up at the look I gave him after he informed me that "after the first 5 minutes, your legs are numb anyway." I was reading about the benefits of ice baths earlier this week, it's just getting up the nerve to try it. I can't run this weekend, under their orders. It was pretty funny, because all three of the guys were babying me a bit. They've all been teasing me about my fall most of the week. One even teased me that he was going to come over tomorrow and just cut off my legs. I told him that I was already short enough! Hopefully, by resting this weekend, I'll be okay for Monday. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Bootcamp: Day 8, Round 2 & Super Motivation . . .

I missed the workout yesterday, deciding to let my knee and lower leg rest a bit. It was a good decision. It felt much better during today's workout. The bruise is still really ugly -- but I'm kinda fond of it. I think it makes me look tough -- some might say klutzy, but I say tough. Yesterday, they did interval training, so I picked a tough workout to miss.

Today was 21s. It was 49 degrees when we started and throughout the workout I shed two layers of clothes. I was drenched when we finished. We started off running the stadium stairs, up and down three times, then we did our regular dynamic warm-ups. We probably ran about 1 mile around campus. The strength exercises were in downward pyramids, starting at 21 and moving down in 3's (i.e. 18, 15, 12, 9, etc.) Each circuit consisted of jumping jacks, some form of squats or lunges (or sometimes both), some form of push-ups (regular, military style, and diamond), and some form of ab exercise (sit-ups, crunches, butterflies, flutterkicks, and plank). Then we did two sets of 21 tricep dips, and 2 sets of 21 elevated push-ups, angle to work the triceps. Mine gave out at the end. It's the weirdest feeling to be pushing and pushing and your muscle is so fatigued that it won't go. Afterwards, we sprinted up and down the massive hill for 2 minutes. I have officially named that hill "Bane" -- as in the bane of my existence. I hate it.

In other news, I start my job October 1st. I'm looking forward to it. I'm still not sure what's going on with next week. I emailed them this morning, so hopefully I hear from them today.

My stylist -hair, not fashion, but how I wish I had a fashion stylist too -- is on vacation this week. So, I may have to wait until next Saturday to get my hair cut. If I don't go to Louisville, I can do it earlier. I must call Meg once I find out my schedule.

I've lost 4 pounds, as of today, since I started this session. Everybody told me that your second session is when you see vast improvement. So, hopefully I'll see changes in my body tone over the next couple of weeks. People told me they could see differences with the last session, and I sort of did. I'm already seeing a little bit now, and we still have 2 weeks to go.

Last night, I was reading through my "Runner's World" magazine and came to an article about Dean Karnazes. He's an ultramarathoner who is running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. For those unfamiliar, that's 26.2 miles per day. He's sponsored by The North Face and you can read more about it here: endurance50. He's going to be running in Atlanta on October 27th -a.k.a. the day of reckoning for Georgia Bar Examinees, and Helen's birthday! This guy amazed me. He finished 8th in the Badwater Death Valley Ultramarathon! This race covers 135 miles, is held at the end of July, and the racers not only run for approximately 60 hours, but have to deal with temperatures of up to 130 degrees! Talk about tough, I mean, look at this picture. Sure, it's beautiful, but could you imagine running there?
He also has written a book titled Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All Night Runner, which I totally want to read. It really motivated me to read about him. I mean, if he can run that many miles, then surely I can stay off my ass and keep running.

Bootcamp: Day 6, Round 2 . . .

First, a pretty picture of my badly bruised kneecap!

I'm telling the truth when I say it doesn't hurt. However, because I compensated for it yesterday during the workout, my shins were hurting pretty bad today. I had to take it easy on all the non-abdominal exercises.

Anyhow, today's workout was an Ab-O-Rama! It was so painful, mostly because I despise doing ab work . . . it just sucks. We set up in four staging areas and did a different exercise at each one, for a total of 12 exercises. Each exercise was performed for 90 seconds. 90 seconds doesn't sound like a long time -- it's only a minute and a half -- but it sure seems like a very long time when you're doing difficult ab exercise. The 12 that we did were: rowboats, plank position, ball twists, push-up to plank, leg scissors, bicycles, side planks, regular crunches, supermans, oblique crunches, leg holds (6 inches off the ground -- can you say "ow"?), and up & downs. We also did different exercises, such as sprints, back-pedaling, and walking lunges between the stations. That was the part I had to take it easy on. The first set of sprints got my leg.

I'm thinking of cutting my hair. Right now it's almost down to my collarbone, and it really needs to be trimmed. I'm trying to decide if I just want to trim it, and keep the same style, or if I want to have it cut to just below my chin. I'm debating, and looking at pictures. Who knows. We'll see what happens when I get into Megan's chair.

Bootcamp: Day 5, Round 2

My knee and foot are both feeling better. My knee doesn't look pretty. It's totally blue right on top of my kneecap. It felt okay during my workout this morning, save for the jog back down the huge hill (yes, the huge hill from Friday). I noticed the further into the workout the more achy my knee became, I suppose it's simply from the jarring of the exercise. My foot felt a little wonky when I woke up, but once I put on my shoes, and it had a little support, it was fine. It didn't bother me at all during the workout.

So, today's workout was a mixture of jogging and 1 minute recovery exercises. All in all, we probably jogged around 1-1.5 miles. AND! I jogged the massive hill without stopping or getting nauseous! I was very pleased, as was Bryan, the guy who stayed with me on Friday when I was walking off my nausea. In between the jogging portions, we did the following exercises: 1 minute curb toe-touches (x 2), corner jumps (x 3 -- once with both legs, and once on each leg), walking lunges, 1 minutes basketball slides (x 2), 1 minute plank, 20 sit-ups, 1 minute bicycles, 20 tripcep dips, and 20 push-ups.

Tomorrow is ab day! I'm really dreading that. I hate working my abs!

Yesterday, we didn't get to go to Nino's because they were closed. Instead, we went to Roxx Tavern. They have great burgers, but I was good and ordered Lemon Rosemary Chicken with green beans and carrots. I wanted that burger so bad I could taste it, but the chicken was good too!

Ouch . . .

I've had a pretty good weekend. I've been all on my own, which has been nice.

Yesterday I watched baseball and football. Boston took one game from the Yankees, and then gave up the second one. They play another doubleheader today. Tennessee lost to Florida by 1 measly point! I was yelling at my television throughout that game so much I was hoarse!

Today, I went for a run. I went over to Lovett since I wouldn't have to deal with any traffic and it's a pretty campus. I ran 2 miles, if I mapped it out right, in 18:36. However, I had a negative split, running the second mile in 9:06, 12 seconds faster than the first. I'm not sure how that happened at all! On my way back, I was running across a wooden bridge which crosses the Chattahoochee River when I fell. I'm not sure if I tripped or if my left ankle gave out on me. I landed directly on my right knee. I was able to finish the run (and get a faster time)! My ankle's a little tight, but not swollen. My knee doesn't hurt but looks as if I've got a cotton ball stuffed under the skin! It's already bruising. I'm icing my knee right now, and then I'm going to ice my ankle afterwards.

Meeting some friends for lunch at Nino's Cucina Italiana. Hopefully my knee does alright.

My travel plans as far as work have changed, most likely to early next week. So, I'll still be in Atlanta this week. Hopefully my knee goes down so that I can still get my workouts in this week!

Run, Baby Run . . . (aka Bootcamp: Day 4, Round 2)

Today was a long run day. After warming up, we did two 1-minute rounds of curb toe-touches, then 40 tricep dips, and 30 lunges on each leg. After this, we took off on our run. All in all, we ran for 25 minutes. I estimate that I ran 2 miles. I was going fine until we got to this huge, huge, huge hill. About halfway up, I got nauseous and was really worried I was going to throw up. That meant I had to walk it off for a little bit, otherwise, I probably would've been closer to 2.5 miles.

Yesterday I was skimming my October issue of SHAPE magazine and found a small blurb I found interesting. A University of Virginia study lead by Dennis Proffit found that hills appear steeper after an intense workout. Evidently, this is your brain's way to get your body to conserve energy. This totally makes sense to me. It really made sense when I looked up at that massive hill this morning. The article was published in Perception & Psychophysics, in August 2005. However, you can read the abstract and purchase the article at IngentaConnect. I haven't been able to find the entire article online without being required to purchase it.

In other news, I had a job interview yesterday afternoon which resulted in being conditionally hired as an associate with a firm expanding in Atlanta. I'm pleased and very excited. Next week, I'll be at the firm's main office meeting the attorneys and paralegals and receiving some training. Hopefully, everything works out. I do hate that I'm having to miss several days of bootcamp, but I am packing my running shoes and workout clothes so that I can still workout.

Itchy, Itchy . . . (a.k.a. Bootcamp: Day 4, Round 2)

Yesterday was a recovery day as far as bootcamp goes. Thank goodness. I woke up so sore from all the repetitions we did on Tuesday. I made myself stretch off and on all day long, which helped. However, I decided to stay up and watch Project Runway, so I ended up getting into bed at about 11:45. Not a good idea when you have to be up at 5:00 a.m.! I'm so tired! Usually it's just physical exhaustion from the workout, but today it's mental too. I'm taking a nap this morning or I won't be able to function this afternoon.

Today was jump rope day. Fun! (insert sarcasm here) In all, we did about a 1/2 mile run, part of it up a really big hill. I hate hills, and this one in particular. One of the leaders, Stephanie, stayed with me, and encouraged and pushed, which I needed. I'd have been walking up that hill had she not stuck with me. Thanks Steph! Once we reached the top, we jump roped three 3-minute rounds, with a 1 minute break in between. During the breaks we shadow-boxed. I'm a pretty coordinated person, but not when it comes to the jump rope! Then we did some ab work. Afterwards, we headed to the practice field and did a couple of snakes, one with flutter kicks and another with the plank. (The snake is where we're all in a line, we start the exercise and one end gets up and starts running between everybody exercising, all the way to the other end. Once every body is done then we stop. So, the slower people run, the longer we do the exercise and vice versa.) The last bootcamp I did we did this workout during the third week, and my knee was killing me! I definitely liked doing earlier, as I had no tightness in my knee.

Anyhow, the itchy portion of this post is due to rolling around in the grass during the ab-work, the snake, and stretch-out. Because it rained all day yesterday the grass was extra moist and muddy. I had grass from the tops of my knees all the way into my shoes! Mud is all over my favorite white workout shirt! But, it was fun!

I think I forgot to mention that last week I officially returned the new cell phone I purchased when I water logged my phone. My old one has been working fine for 3 weeks, so hopefully it will keep doing so!

In local news, Whitney Houston filed for a legal separation from Bobby Brown. They live in Alpharetta (just North of Atlanta) most of the time. The stories around town of their adventures are pretty crazy. Story's here: Whitney's Prerogative: Leaving Bobby Brown.

Maybe more later, just depends on how things go today.

12 of 12: September

This is my first time doing Chad Darnell's 12 of 12.

If you are new to 12 of 12 - here are the basics:
2) After you post your pictures onto a webpage of your choice (Livejournal, typepad, MySpace, Flickr, etc...) please post the TIME, LOCATION, and A SMALL COMMENT in the pic.
3) You own the rights to all of your pictures. The idea "12 of 12" is mine. While credit is not necessary, please don't credit someone else with the idea.
4) The original concept was at least one body part in the picture. That idea was slowly faded away. The important part is that it is 12 pics.
5) The monthly Bonus pic is a 13th picture and is optional. (This time around the bonus pic is based on the word "break")"

5:34 a.m.: In my car on my way to bootcamp. We have to be at the park at 5:45 a.m. for the 6:00 a.m. workout. This is the second time I've done bootcamp, but today is only day 2 of this session. It's a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun.

7:05 a.m.: Today we were working out on a practice football field, so my shoes are extra dirty. You can barely make out all the grass on the back of the shoes. My arms, legs, and back were covered!

7:20 a.m.: Here I am at Cobb Parkway and Paces Mill Road, on my way home from working out. Although I despise getting up at 5:00 a.m., I do love being finished with my workout by 7:00 a.m.

7:22 a.m.: This is a condo tower being built near my apartment complex. It's called Vinings Mountain and is built on the hill where Gen. Sherman stood when Atlanta was burned during the Civil War. When it's clear, there's a beautiful view of the city. Said view is the reason these condos start at $500,000! I don't think I'll be moving in anytime soon.

7:25 a.m.: Home at last! The first thing I do when I get home from working out is leave everything at the front door! It all ends up in a pile of clothes, shoes, sweat, grass, only to be picked up and dropped into the washer. After that, I clean up and make some breakfast.

11:00 a.m.: After doing some housekeeping, I was in need of a few groceries. Naturally, I headed to Publix! Evidently, my Publix is "the place" for single people on Sundays. It's too crowded for me on that day!

11:45 a.m.: On my way back to the apartment. The cars belong to construction workers building the massive condo tower (see above). I've always liked how the office building is perfectly centered between the trees. It's especially pretty during fall.
11:50 a.m.: Now that I'm home I must carry in my food and water! Anybody want to help? In the back of my trunk you can see my Metro Atlanta map, always a helpful item when trying to wind your way around Atlanta traffic.
12:15 p.m.: This is my book table. It currently holds 19 books. I refuse to buy more until I've read these (aside from The Little Prince, that I've read).
12:20 p.m.: Sitting down for a quick lunch and news check, while waiting for a friend to arrive. Lunch was a grilled chicken salad. The website is CNN, which I'm partial to because it's located here in Atlanta.

5:50 p.m. After a late lunch/early dinner with a friend, I made a quick run to Target. Not much on this list, just detergent, stain remover, and lotion.

6:30 p.m. On my way home, I stopped to pick up the mail. I was happily rewarded with the new issue of Shape Magazine and a Neiman Marcus catalog.
Bonus Pic: "break": My pic is of one of the three books I'm currently reading, since reading is what I do on my breaks. It's Everything is Illuminated by Johathan Safran Foer.

That's all for today (except for watching Nip/Tuck at 10:00). Hope it wasn't too boring. I had fun photo-blogging my day. Hopefully, I'll remember next month's.


Day Two . . . Round Two

Just an update on my morning workout. The theme . . . pyramids and pain! I was a bit sore this morning, mostly in my back and quads. I think it came from running stairs yesterday. In case you don't know what pyramids are, I'll tell you. A pyramid is when you take an exercise and do 10 sets starting with 10, then 9, etc., once you get to 1 (the bottom of the pyramid) you go back up doing 10 sets starting at 1, then 2. etc. They suck, but they work! To be quick, for most of the exercises we did 110 repetitions. Those exercises were push-ups, fire-hydrants (leg exercises, think dog peeing on a fire hydrant), and Mary Katherine lunges. (MK lunges were created thanks to Molly Shannon's SNL skits of Mark Katherine and her movie "Superstar". The starting position is down in the lunge, and then you jump, switching legs. The picture below is close to the starting and ending position, (without the paint, of course) except you are in a lunge, not with one knee on the ground.)After, the MK lunges we did 50 mountain climbers, a few sprints and sit-ups. All in all, it was a tough workout. I'm sure I'll be very sore tomorrow. Thankfully, tomorrow is a recovery day, so no workout! Just lots and lots of stretching.

Day One . . . Round Two . . .

Thought I'd give a quick update regarding my workout session this morning. Today was the PT test, which includes a 1 mile run, a stair sprint, and 1 minute of timed push-ups and sit-ups. I increased my push-ups and sit-ups, my sprint time was roughly the same (.07 slower), but my mile time went up by almost 1 minute. That sucked. Although, I didn't get to run a whole lot during my break which explains the difference. I'm so tired because I didn't sleep well last night, but then had to be up so very early. I'm hitting the bed early tonight. I'm sure I'll sleep well. So far, I don't have much soreness. Just a tiny bit in my back.

Somehow this evening I've become sucked into watch Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I enjoyed it very much when I saw it in the theater. I missed the first half-hour or so tonight, but watched the remainder while cooking, and then eating dinner.

I think I've decided to run the ING Georgia Half-Marathon on Sunday March 25, 2007. However, there is also one on Tybee Island in February and depending on how strong I feel (and if I can get someone to go with me) I might do that one instead. I'm still trying to decide on a 5K and 10K. I'm thinking I'll do a 5K on October 7th which supports the "fragile kids foundation." The only 10K that I'd be able to do schedule-wise is the Enmark Savannah River Bridge Run on December 2. Again , I'd prefer if I had someone to go with me (but I can work around that). The problem is, that bridge is a very high, 1.9 mile cable-stayed bridge! I don't even like driving over that bridge -- much less running over it (which, by the way, I'd have to do twice, because the 10K runs over the bridge and eventually back across the bridge)!

So, we'll see, I might get up the nerve to run across that thing.

Five Years . . .

It’s hard to believe it has been five years since the events of 9/11. I can remember that day so vividly in my mind. In some ways, I feel uncomfortable discussing what my day was like. I lost no friends or family. I was also in Nashville, Tennessee, many miles away from the tragedy. I hope people who did live through the horror of losing loved ones that day, those in the buildings, the emergency workers, and citizens of New York City and Washington D.C. will not think I am in any way belittling their experience by discussing mine.

I was driving to work that morning, listening to morning radio, and heard a report that a small plane had hit one of the WTC Towers. I called my then boyfriend, who was a news reporter for a small-town newspaper in one of the Nashville suburbs. I woke him up when I called, told him what I’d heard, and asked him to turn on the television. At this point, the second plane had not yet hit the WTC Tower. He was describing the scene for me, when the second plane hit. His reaction gave me chills, and I can still hear his voice very clearly.

Once I arrived at work, a small Nashville law firm, three paralegals were there (we had two attorneys and 6 paralegals). They were crowded around one paralegal’s computer which had internet access. We were trying to find out any information we could, but there were only small amounts of information coming in. One paralegal’s daughter was at the WTC for a meeting. Of course, she was unreachable all day long. She was able to contact her mother the next day and had made it out of the building before either collapsed.

Once our boss arrived, we went to our individual offices. At that time, I shared an office with another paralegal. We turned the radio in our office to National Public Radio. That is what we listened to the entire day, hearing of the collapse, the Pentagon, and finally Flight 93. It was scary to create my own images of the things taking place. Our office was very slow, the phones aside from our families calling, were fairly silent. I wonder now what my reactions would have been were I able to visually see what was taking place. In most situations, the visions you create in your mind from descriptions are usually worse than what actually occurs. However, in this instance, I think that’s impossible. I don’t think any of use could have fathomed what was actually taking place.

At lunch, after I had finished eating, I walked across the street to a brewery that I knew would have television coverage. It was so crowded that I could barely get to the bar to see the televisions. I was so shocked at what I saw. It was the first time that I saw the smoke, the second plane hitting the WTC, and finally the collapse of the two towers. I was immediately in tears, and there were many people in the bar (men and women) who were openly crying also. At home, I watched the coverage until I went to bed that night. I had been to New York City about two years prior, and had stood at the base of the WTC. It was so hard for me, even with the images I had seen, to imagine those wondrous buildings collapsing.

Several evenings later, my then boyfriend and I watched the 9/11 documentary by filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet. It was unbelievable, and so emotional, to see what happened through the lens of their cameras. I can remember crying and jumping every time I heard the sounds of people falling. That sound, and the sound of the firefighter distress whistles are the ones that I will remember most.

Today, since I am at home working, I have been watching CNN’s Real Time Coverage. I’ve cried off and on throughout the footage. To me, because I was unable to see things unfold, it was very powerful. Although, I imagine those scenes will always be powerful to our generation, just as the images of Pearl Harbor and Oklahoma City were to other generations. I can remember feeling empowered afterwards because the entire country seemed to rally around each other. The partisan politics, which were constant, seemed to go by the wayside for a while. Now, partisan politics are rampant, and our country seems so divided.

I think I’ll close this one out. I’m still ruminating all of this, especially since there is coverage all over today. My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives, lost loved ones, and our nation as a whole.

*The picture I’ve posted is one that I think is beautiful, despite what occurred. It was taken by photographer Thomas Franklin of The Record.

Early to Bed, Early to Rise . . .

Makes me very, very sore! Tomorrow starts my first day of Bootcamp Round 2. We begin at 6:00 a.m., so I have to be there at 5:45 a.m.! I so dread getting up that early. I suppose the first day is always the hardest. There are only 4 workouts planned this week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. So, I can sleep late on Wednesday.

I did manage to get in a short 1 mile run today. Hopefully, that will help me fare better tomorrow.

Yesterday, I spent the day with a friend. We ate at a restaurant called Agnes & Muriels. (http://www.agnesandmuriels.com/ ) It was really good and wonderfully tacky. We had a good meal and split the largest piece of Chocolate Cream Pie I've ever seen! It was beautiful, and super rich, with huge bittersweet chocolate shavings on top. We were both about to be sick once we were finished. Although, we didn't actually eat the whole piece! I'm happy that he's moving into the city since he'll be closer to me. We always have a lot of fun hanging out.

I watched "The Constant Gardner" on Friday. It was one that I wanted to see in the theater but never got around to because of school. I really enjoyed it. Ralph Fiennes (he's so dreamy!) did a wonderful job. I don't think I've seen him ever play a part badly. Rachel Weiss also did an excellent job. I also watched "Quills". I'd seen it before, several years ago. I enjoyed it again this time. I love Geoffrey Rush! He's always wonderful.

I think one of my step-brothers will be here Sept. 27-30 for the Petit Le Mans. It's held at Road Atlanta, which is about 1 hour away, and is a sports car race. I've never been into that sort of thing, but did go with him last year. It was a lot of fun. They drive the Indy cars and go so fast! Last year, I was able to meet Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy). He was super nice and graciously posed for a photo with me. Hopefully, he's there again, and I can have him sign our picture.

Bootcamp: Tomorrow!

Another week . . .

It's been a busy week! The weekend in Florida was fun. The weather was really nice and it wasn't too crowded, which was surprising for Labor Day weekend. I've spent the rest of the week job hunting and taking care of things around the apartment.

My bootcamp sessions were pushed back to a September 11th start date. So, this Monday is when that starts. I'm looking forward to it. I still have yet to find much motivation to exercise, so hopefully this will kick me into gear. That's what usually happens. It will also be nice to see the group again.

On the sports front, my Red Sox are still playing very poorly. They're 9 games behind the Yankees in the AL East, and 5.5 games behind Minnesota in the Wild Card race. Seriously, when did the Twins become good? They've been pretty crappy the last few seasons! Although my baseball team is down, my Tennessee Vols won big over California last week (who was ranked higher and favored to win)! Tennessee jumped from #23 to #11 in the Top 25! I was very pleased. This Saturday they play Air Force, in Knoxville. Unfortunately, it's not on tv. Next week's game (9/16) is on tv -- it's the big UT v. Florida game! I don't get quite as excited with college football as I do with baseball, but I'm still excited!

Bootcamp: 3 days (again)!

One Quick Thing . . .

I love "Mind of Mencia". Carlos Mencia is hysterical! I laugh out loud everytime I watch. If you have Comedy Central and enjoy stand-up comedy along with comedy sketches, check it out.

That is all!

Btw, I'll try to update from the beach, but I think all I'll have is dial-up. I also will try to run at the beach -- that is my goal! Hello, motivation -- long time no see!

Bootcamp 2: 4 days!

Sans Motivation . . .

Seriously. I can't motivate myself to put on my running clothes and running shoes and shimmy my butt outside! The past two days, I've been so anti-exercise. I'm hoping it's just a funk. It will have to pass starting on Tuesday or I'll get yelled at by my instructors. Hopefully, I'll get some motivation soon! I officially signed up today for bootcamp, which is now associated with Lance Armstrong's LIVESTRONG organization.

My aunt has completely changed her mind about this weekend. She called today and said, "Let's go to the beach!" So, we made reservations and are going to Florida, checking in Friday night and coming home Monday. Nothing fancy, but right on the beach! We'll have fun. We always laugh when we're together. This will be the first time in a while that we've hung out just us. The last few times, either my Mom or her kids were with us.

Tonight was the season premier of "Justice." It was okay. Victor Garber had some great and funny lines. I would never have imagined Victor Garber saying "He didn't know someone was banging his wife? You know when someone is banging your wife! Trust me!" (or something along those lines -- I cracked up the moment I heard banging) I'm so used to him as Jack Bristow, it's hard for me to picture him as this character. He did a great job though. The courtroom scenes were very unrealistic. I was yelling, "Objection!" and "You can't do that!" several times. Law & Order and Boston Legal are the only shows that I've seen which have fairly realistic courtroom scenes. Granted, crazy things happen on Boston Legal.

Bootcamp 2: 6 days.

Nothing much . . .

Not too much to discuss today.

The big thing is my cell phone seems to be working again. I hadn't tried to turn it on since Saturday. I decided to check it this morning and it actually turned on. The screen looks fine, save for a few small areas of white which are only noticeable if you look really close with the screen angled a certain way. The camera and video work fine, all the buttons are working, the speaker seems fine and it will dial out (although I get a non-activation message). I let the battery run down and it just fully recharged. I plan on seeing if the charge holds. After some research, I discovered there's a water damage indicator on the battery which is supposed to turn bright red to indicate water damage. Mine is still white, it looks exactly like the battery in my new phone. So, I'm hopeful that there isn't actually any water damage. I have until next Friday to return the new phone, so I have time to test out my old phone. Think positive everyone!

I have a job interview tomorrow afternoon. I spent some time this morning printing off a couple of extra resume and reference list copies to have with me. The interview is near the airport, which is about a 30 minute drive. I need to write down my questions/concerns so I have them down for the interview.

I'm trying to talk my Aunt into coming to Atlanta this weekend or me driving to Nashville where she lives. She's trying to decide whether she's going to East Tennessee (where most of our family lives). My grandmother wants her to do that. So, it's kind of wait and see. She's one of my best friends and we have so much fun together. I saw her for a couple of hours last month, when they drove through and we met for lunch (my second bad lunch -- in case you remember the post).

I've not been sleeping well. Have absolutely no idea why. I'm hoping its just that I've gotten my schedule off. Once I finally get to sleep I'm fine. Who knows.

In other news, interesting developments in the JonBenet Ramsey case. That whole situation is just crazy. I'm still not sure why a judge would sign off on an arrest warrant with the little bit of evidence the Boulder district attorney had. But, I'm not the judge. The information they did have is really interesting. The statements made by Karr via emails and phone calls did indicate his involvement. It makes me wonder if he's just obsessed with her (which seems sort of obvious) and has had some sort of contact with the person(s) who actually committed the crime.

Also interesting that Warren Jeffs was arrested/captured last night. He was in Vegas! I would imagine this is the only religious leader (at least a U.S. citizen) who was placed on the FBI's Most Wanted List. (I tried looking it up, but couldn't fine any definitive answer -- I also didn't see info about any other religious leader who was listed). The CNN article is here: http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/08/29/polygamist.arrest.ap/index.html . I grew up in a non-denominational Christian Church surrounded by Southern Baptists and Methodists. Needless to say, I have never met any followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Evidently, he's the leader of a sect of this Church. (I say this because it's something I've never been exposed too, as it's not found in the South very often.)

I'm excited to see the season finale of Rescue Me tonight. Hopefully it's good.

Didn't get to run yesterday. The only time I had a chance was when we were having a super strong thunderstorm. Hopefully I can get out late this afternoon or early this evening.

Bootcamp 2: 7 days!

Fun with friends . . .

Last night I went to the movies and dinner with 3 of my friends. We saw "Pulse." Don't see "Pulse." It started out okay, but by the end, it was a bit ridiculous. At one point, we were all ready just to leave the theater. It wasn't at all scary, although there were a couple of jumpy parts. Dinner was okay, as far as the food, we all had a good time hanging out together.

This afternoon, my friend S. and I decided to see "The Descent" because we were told last night that it was scary. Holy cow! That was the most stressful movie I've seen in a while. It was really good! The premise is 6 women who are into adventure sports go spelunking (caving). Crazy stuff starts happening once they get into the cave system. When we were told last night that the movie was about caves I was immediately interested. My first job was as a tour guide in a cave and it was so much fun. We would wander around the noncommercial parts of the cave a lot of times after we closed for the day. I've also gone to a couple of other noncommercial caves, but that's been probably 8 years or so. The cool thing about this movie, I thought, was that it didn't characterize the women as they usually are in scary movies. These were athletic, brave, kick ass women! It was the best scary movie I've seen in a long time.

I was able to get in a run this morning before I met S. at the movies (we met an noon). I did 1.5 miles. My mile time was a little less than my bootcamp post-test, but I expected that. It wasn't too far off, which makes me feel better. I've got to find a 5K to do within the next month or so. Unfortunately, I was right that I won't be in town to do the Run for Justice. That was a fun run, so I'm a little sad about that.

Bootcamp 2: 9 days! I've got to start going to bed earlier!

Ramblings . . .

Having three friends currently in the news business, and one who used to be, I've seen my fair share of funny and creative headlines. This morning, when I logged on to CNN.com, I saw what's become one of my favorite headlines. Evidently, Elton John is interested in expanding his musical horizons to rap music. CNN's headline is this: "Elton John to try 'Candle in the Wiz-ind'?" Hee! I really am not sure why this has made me smile like it has, but it has. My friend, T, agreed with me, and she's in the news business.

We're seeing "Pulse" tonight, there are four of us -- what we like to call our "Scary Movie Group". I have no idea if it's good or not because I haven't read any reviews. I hope it's at least suspenseful. I love a good scary/suspenseful movie. I have a feeling I'm going to be disappointed. I'm weird about scary movies. There aren't that many that I've actually found scary. I don't think "The Exorcist" is scary at all, but that could be because I'm not Catholic. Who knows, that's what my Catholic friends tell me. I did find "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" to be scary. Of the recent movies that have come out I enjoyed "Saw", it wasn't so much scary as intense. I still need to see the second one. "Wolf Creek" was alright -- I need to watch it again. "Hostel" was just gross.

I talked to my on-again/off-again crush today. We're just friends, and probably will always be just friends, but I have moments where I crush on him and others when I don't. He's a wonderfully sweet guy, lots of fun, and the boy can dance -- which I love. We always have fun when we hang out. I'm trying to talk him into going dancing next weekend -- I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Tomorrow, I start running. I haven't ran since I was in Florida, which is right at 2 weeks. I didn't even pack running shoes for Barbados. Bootcamp starts back on September 5th, and I want my mile time to be at least the same as my post-test, if not better. This means it should be at least 10:15. They're actually having an 8:30 a.m. bootcamp which is so tempting. However, if I find work within the next month it would completely interfere. 6:00 a.m. it is!

Also on the schedule for tomorrow, cleaning my apartment.

Bootcamp Round 2: 10 days.

Frustrations . . .

I love my cellphone. It's my favorite of all the ones I've ever had. Last night, on my way to bed, I dropped it into my glass of water. Don't as me how, I'm not sure myself. Anyway, the screen was completely screwed, some buttons would work and others didn't, and no calls would go through at all. Needless to say, I had to go to Verizon this morning to get a new cell phone. They didn't have the exact razr that I originally had, so I had to settle for the silver one instead of the black. What sucks is, had I known insurance was only $6 a month, I would have gotten it. It would've completely replaced my phone instead of me having to shell out so much for a new one. Can you guess what $6 charge was added to my account today -- I have insurance now. Watch, nothing will happen to my phone at all for the next 2 years. Anyway, I've spent a little time now that I'm back home reprogramming all my phone numbers in because their machine was unable to do it because of the water damage. It's amazing how much damage 5 seconds of water can do.

On the job front, I have an interview next week with a company from Minneapolis, although the job is in the Atlanta area. I've still got to send some more resumes out. It sucks looking for a job.

I finally watched Rent yesterday afternoon. I've been so busy that there are so many movies I haven't seen. I saw it on Broadway several years ago and it was wonderful. I sang along to the movie (which is why I watched it alone) and sobbed during the last half hour or so. The stage version is definitely better. I love Jesse Martin, and he was in the stage version I saw. He's wonderful and such a pretty man!

I start bootcamp again in a couple of weeks. Even though their registration info isn't online, they've saved a place for me. I'm excited! I've missed working out with everybody, even though I haven't missed waking up at 5:00 a.m. for the workouts!

Sucked in . . .

Normally, I don't watch reality television, save one -- I adore Project Runway. However, my step-brother and sister-in-law have somehow sucked me into another one. In Florida, I watched Rockstar: Supernova. This is an American Idol type show where contestants are competing to be lead singer of Tommy Lee's new band Supernova. Normally, this wouldn't interest me at all, but I'm a music freak and the songs the contestants pick are ones that I love! It's really hard not to watch when I find myself singing along. So, needless to say, I'm tuning in for the rest.

In other tv news, I'm so excited for the new season of Nip/Tuck, which starts soon! I loved the first 2 seasons, but last season's finale was horrible. I really hope Ryan Murphy does a better job with this season.

I'm considering training and signing up for a half-marathon. There are two I'm considering, one in February and another in March. This is a big step in my running because I've never done a race longer than a 5K. I have had longer runs, just not races. I really want to do the "Run for Justice" which is a 5K benefiting the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. I ran it last year, it was my first race, and had a lot of fun. It's November 11, but I may be out of town. Anyhow, I was thinking that if I put the fact that I would like to train for a half-marathon and posted about it that I wouldn't have a choice. You all would keep me in check! Right? I've been looking at some training programs and it seems like I have plenty of time. I've been told you only need about 12 weeks, so if I started now I'd be in good shape for the run.

I'm also hoping to get back into bootcamp with the next session, if it isn't booked by the time their new website is up. The instructors who actually did my camp have broken from Operation Bootcamp, but they're still offering the same camp at the same prices, with the same instructors. I just can't sign up until their website is up and running, which should be soon.

The Red Sox are still losing. They've lost 6 in a row, but are currently leading the Angels 5-1. I really hope they win. Their chance at the playoffs is in serious danger -- I'll be so disappointed if they don't make the playoffs!

Barbados . . .

Here are details and pictures from my trip to Barbados. You can view larger pictures by clicking on them. Hope it's not too long and boring!

Mom and I had a lot of fun on our trip. This was my first time to the Caribbean so I was very excited. We stayed at the Amaryllis Beach Resort.

This was our beach:

We also rented a tiny car - a Daihatsu Charade. It was so much fun driving on the left side of the road. There were traffic circles everywhere, but Mom said I did a very good job as the driver. She didn't do that great as a navigator because she likes to look at the scenery instead of the map.

In the mornings we laid out on the beach. The afternoons and evenings were spent exploring the island. Monday afternoon we went into Bridgetown which is where most of the shopping is on the island. Tuesday we drove around the entire island which took us about 6 hours. We saw lots of beautiful coastline.

This is a beach area just before the city of Oistins. Mom and I stopped here for pictures because the water was so beautiful here. This is also the area where the picture of the tree, in the previous post, was taken.

This is Codrington College. It's the oldest Anglican theological college in the Western Hemisphere. It has a beautiful view overlooking the Atlantic coastline, which is the eastern coast of the island.

This is a black-bellied sheep. They are all over the island, sometimes in herds and sometimes just one or two. They're definitely not afraid of people or cars.

This was a pretty small beach just before we reached the Atlantic side of the island. All the local fishing boats were painted very bright colors, as were most of the houses.

On Wednesday, we drove to Earthworks Pottery and then down into Holetown. There are lots of resorts in this area which is on the West Coast of the island. We had a late lunch at Cocomos Beach Bistro, literally right on the water. Here's a picture from our table of a palm tree on the beach. I took the picture at a weird angle, but the tree is at a weird one too.

Barbados has several different pottery makers. All the pottery we saw was beautiful and very affordable. I bought three pieces: a rectangular tray, a fish, and a square mug. Earthworks pottery is the most well known from the island. These are the steps leading up to the pottery workshop. I thought they were really, really neat. Click the photo so you can see the phrases written on the pieces.

On Thursday, we went on a Jeep Safari around the island. It was a lot of fun. Along with us was a married couple from Ireland, 3 women from Detroit, Michigan, one woman from Stone Mountain, Georgia, one woman from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a young couple from Boston, Massachusetts. The first stop was the highest point on the island, 1100 feet, which was Mt. Hilloughby. The view was great, but it was a bit hazy the morning we were there.

After that, we went for a walk through the "jungle" according to our guide. It was actually Welchman Hall Gully which is a preserve area on the island. It was a pretty little walk. There were nutmeg trees, banana trees, mahogany trees, the plant from which St. John's wort is derived, and bay leaves.

From there, we went through some 4x4 trails (where we saw two african green monkey - don't worry you'll have plenty of monkey pics later!) and then down into Cattle Wash and Bathsheba. We stopped at a chattel house which was purchased by the safari company and is maintained as a traditional Barbadian home.

This is the trail we took down into Cattle Wash. By the way, from the picture you can't see the drop, it was so steep!

This is part of the Bathsheba coastline. It's absolutely stunning here. They hold the island surfing competitions in this village. The water is very rough though and there are signs everywhere warning swimmers of the current.

On Friday, we went to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. Barbados has a lot of african green monkeys. The reserve uses the monkeys to make the polio vaccine. The entire area is fenced in, but the fences are purposefully low enough so the monkeys can "escape" and explore the island. Normally, the monkeys leave the reserve in the morning and return in the afternoon because the reserve feeds the animals. Along with the monkeys are deer, tortoises, hares, pelicans, flamingos, iguanas, parrots, guineas, and peacocks. The iguanas, pelicans and flamingos are in very large enclosures. The remainder of the birds are in an aviary. There are also a couple of snakes in enclosures (thankfully). Other than that, everything runs free. The crazy thing was it's mating season for the tortoises. Copulating tortoises aren't pretty; nor do they sound pretty! It was a lot of fun watching the monkeys run around and play. Once, Mom and I were sitting on some benches watching two of the monkeys play around and I felt a tug on my flip-flop. I looked down and there was a monkey at my legs. When I automatically moved my leg he looked up at me, reached up, patted me on the butt, and took off! Here a my favorites from the Reserve.

On Saturday, we shopped a little, went to St. Lawrence Gap, and then drove to the North end of the island to the Animal Flower Cave. We got there too late. They closed early because the water was really rough and the tide was coming in pretty fast inside the sea caves. We did however walk along the cliffs and check out the area.

This is at the beginning of the Gap, which is loaded with restaurants and bars.

Here are pictures from the area around the Animal Flower Cave.

Sunday was superlong since our flight left Barbados as 7:15 a.m. Unfortunately, it was made longer because our bags failed to make the plane from Miami to Atlanta. We had to wait a couple of hours for them to come in on the next flight from Miami. We were exhausted by the time we got back to my apartment.

I'm sure I've forgotten lots from the trip. I'll link my flickr site once more of the pics are up. If you have any questions, let me know.