Catching Up

Whew! Is it really Monday, already?? Who else wants a do-over of the weekend?  I got back Saturday afternoon from a work trip to Washington, DC, and I still haven’t really caught up on every thing that went on while I was gone.  For those of you that are new to my blog, in real life I work with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.  It’s a job that I love and one where I really feel I’m contributing to the greater good of others.   One of the things I have to do to stay in compliance with various grants is attending conferences periodically; so off to DC I went.

Greetings from the White House.Or in my case.  From outside the White House like every other tourist.

Greetings from the White House.
Or in my case. From outside the White House like every other tourist.

It was a good conference, not great (it was entirely bureaucratic), but it’s always nice to be around others who are driven by the same passion. We did have at least one really interesting day, but it wasn’t because of the conference.  It was because of a bomb threat at the Dept. of Justice building.  The entire city block -hotels, restaurants, businesses- were evacuated for 2 1/2 hours until they determined it was just a hoax.  I think I would have found some humor in it if I had at least been able to grab a jacket.  DC in November without a jacket is COLD!

This was as close as I could get to the action. What you don't see is the million and one unmarked cars that showed up.

This was as close as I could get to the action. What you don’t see is the million and one unmarked cars that showed up.

I have a 1/2 marathon next week so I made sure to get some running in; not as much as I wanted but that’s ok.  I wasn’t comfortable running outside at night in DC so that meant treadmill miles….And I learned the hard way that the hotel treadmills are set to shut down after 60 minutes of use.  I was in a really good groove on the ‘mill when all the sudden it shut down.  Has this ever happened to you? I was pretty irritated but started it back up and finished my run.

It's not what I'm used to, but it got the job done just fine.

It’s not what I’m used to, but it got the job done just fine.

Does anyone else have trouble taking self portraits? I HATE doing this.

Post 7 mile treadmill run.
Does anyone else have trouble taking self portraits? I HATE doing this.

I also ate waaaaay too much in DC; mostly healthy, but still too much.

Ok, now for the catching up part….

The 100 Pushup Challenge.  Oy!! This is going to be the death of me! I just finished week 3 (out of 6) and man, oh, man it is challenging. No pun intended.  I really am not happy with this challenge and don’t see much improvement, visually at least.  I’m going to stick it out but I don’t think I’d recommend it.

pushups

The #Holidayaday Instagram Challenge.  This challenge started Saturday and has taken off better then we (the girls that created it and myself) could have ever anticipated!  By Saturday night, we already had over 600 photos with Day 1’s theme #festive.  If you haven’t joined the challenge, what are you waiting for? It’s just a fun way to get more involved with social media.

holiday

The 1/2 marathon this weekend.  I’m running the inaugural Woman’s Half Marathon this Sunday and I don’t feel prepared for it at all.  Between the foot pain I’ve been having and the reduced mileage, I know that this will not be a PR race.  But that’s ok, not every race has to be a PR.  I’m going to run it in memory of my Aunt Kathy who died from ovarian cancer in 2003.

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Marathon #2 training.  Today marks the 5th week of training for the Rock-n-Roll marathon in February.  I’ve been kind of silent on the training updates but that’s because there really have been any worth talking about.  The first month’s mileage was really low which was great; it gave me time to recover after the Marine Corps Marathon.  I’m looking forward to it intensifying soon; I’m really missing my long (15+ miles) runs.  On the downside, I’m really worried that this dang foot pain is going to interfere with my marathon plans.  I’ve made promises to my husband and running girls to get it checked out after the 1/2 if it doesn’t go away.  I think I’m going to try a chiropractor first to see if it’s an alignment issue and if that doesn’t work, off to the doctor.  I’m pretty worried about hearing the words ‘stress fracture’ and ‘no running’.

Ok, that’s all I have.  I know that was a lot of info but do you feel caught up? Sorry I crammed everything into one post.  I won’t do that again. Hopefully.

Question:  How was your weekend? Any fun races, holiday events? Or did you just relax and unwind?

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MCM Training Recap: Week 12

I can’t believe it’s October 1st. Not only does today mean it’s officially the month of the Marine Corps Marathon (yikes!!) but today is also my brother’s birthday.  Roger would have been 31 today so in memory of him I’ll be running 3.1 miles this morning (then doing my scheduled training run this evening.  Who doesn’t like 2-a -days?).  And in just 27 short days (on my birthday) I’ll be running in memory of Roger again. This time instead of a 5k it will be the real deal 26.2!

I’ll have a post on the 5k run for my brother’s birthday later this week but for now, onto week 12’s recap.  I feel like I need to pre-apologize for the amount of whining that’s in this post.  Sorry.

I can honestly say this is the first week I was less than enthusiastic about my training.  In fact, I downright disliked it.  Physically, mentally, emotionally, I was just exhausted and overwhelmed. We had a huge fundraising event at work that I’ve been helping plan since March.  It was one of those weeks where training and work collided and there were a few times I {briefly} considered hiding under the blankets and refusing to come out.  However, I’m not really a hide in the closet type person so I grabbed the bull by the horns and got everything done.

Adding to the mix, I ate terribly, too.  A Larabar here, a peanut butter and honey sandwich there, I literally snacked my way through the week.  I didn’t eat a real meal until yesterday so I definitely didn’t properly fuel my body for the miles.  And let’s not talk about what I ate at the event Saturday night.

So back to the running.  Tuesday’s 7mile run was the best run (which isn’t saying much) of the week and included an amazing sunset.

Wednesday’s run was tough.  It was another 7 miles but it was 7 miles of speed work and because I read the training plan wrong, I had us (me + one of my running friends) running a much faster speed then we should have.  Oops…  By Thursday my legs were just beat.  I got the run done but it really wasn’t pretty.  I was so happy to have a rest day on Friday.

Then it came Saturday.  This was a cut back week so it was only 14 miles.  Easy, right? Well it should have been but not quite 2 miles into the run it started down pouring, complete with sideways rain.

We took shelter and waited for it to stop but it didn’t.  It wasn’t thundering or lightening so we decided to tough it out and finish the run.  At one point in time we were running in ankle deep water. Bleh.  It eventually stopped raining in between miles 6-7 and we finished with just enough time for me to run home, shower and help set up for Moonlight Masquerade (the work event).

I ended up working about 55 hours last week but by the end of Saturday night, it was worth it.  We had a great turnout of people (almost 500) who enjoyed a great evening raising both domestic violence awareness and critical funds for the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence.  I’m going to leave you with some of the pictures from Saturday night; I may or may not have enjoyed several of the desserts from one of the pictures…

A few of my fellow gorgeous MCM’ers!

Yes, that is a replica Eiffel Tower filled with various wines.

Question:  How do you bounce back from a difficult week?

Domestic Violence and How You Can Help

After 3 days of speed work my legs are still recovering; I’m so glad that I have one more rest day before tomorrow’s 18 mile (EEK!) run. I’m going to try to get in some cycling tonight just to shake out my muscles.  I’m kind of nervous about running 18 miles, but I think I’m actually more excited then nervous.  This will be the furthest distance I’ve ever run.  I feel like I’m putting another notch in the proverbial belt.

Switching gears, (Hey, I’m female, I can change the subject at any given time w/o notice) I really want to talk about a cause that’s near and dear to me.  Domestic violence.  As many of you know, I work for a the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence which provides emergency & follow-up services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and also to family members of homicide victims.

Each year, millions of women and men suffer horrible violence at the hands of the ones they love.  Here are just a few  statistics on domestic violence and sexual assault (source):

  • 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime.  (Picture your mom, sister, daughter, grandmother.)
  • 1 in 25 men will be a victim of domestic violence in his lifetime.
  • Women ages 20-24 are at the greatest risk of becoming a domestic violence victim.
  • The health-related costs of domestic violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year.
  • Every 2 minutes, someone in the US is raped.
  • 1 in 5 women will be raped in her lifetime.
  • 44% of rape victims are under 18, 80% under 30.

Shocked? I was too when I first got involved.  Domestic violence and sexual assault is often swept under the rug; it’s a topic people aren’t comfortable discussing.  Some even think that what goes on behind closed doors is no one else’s concern. Say, what? No one else’s concern?? If cruelty to animals is part of public concern, cruelty to people should be as well.

See, the thing about domestic violence and sexual assault is that they are crimes that don’t discriminate.  They don’t care if your rich or poor, black or white, male or female; it can happen to anyone! I have had every type of person imaginable walk through my office door.  But there is hope – yay!  Education is the key to prevention; we must talk about it.  Not just amongst ourselves or in hushed tones.  We need to scream about it from the rooftops how to spot the warning signs, how to help friends that may be trapped in a relationship, and how to take proper safety measures while out in public or at a party.  The amazing part is that we (you and I) possess the power to stop domestic violence by teaching the next generations.  We need to teach them to respect themselves, to foster positive self-esteem so they can have healthy relationships, and that it’s ok to leave a relationship at the first sign of trouble.  We will never be able to keep everyone from hurting others, but we can empower those that have been hurt.

Last year the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence provided over 16,000 nights of emergency shelter and 30,000+ meals to victims and their children.  We provided education & prevention presentations to almost 9,000 people and also 3000+ counseling sessions.  (Can you tell I’m sort of proud of where I work? Also, I have some amazing coworkers!)  Now it’s your turn to help! The Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence has been nominated for a Chase Community Giving grant in the amount of $250,000 but we need your help to get it.

Going on right now, Chase is asking you to vote for the charity that should receive the grant.  The top charity receives $250,000 but Chase is generous enough to provide grants for 196 total charities in varying amounts starting at $10,000.  The Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence is entirely nonprofit so we depend heavily on grants and donations to allow us to continue providing services to victims and their families.

To vote, either click on the Chase image above or click here and then cast your vote! Easy-peesy. It would really mean a lot to me (and the victims I serve) if you would take just a second to vote!  Every vote is a vote for a someone to live their life free from violence.

Question:  Do you have a cause that’s near and dear to your heart? Please tell me, I would love to hear about it!