A Crappy Run

OK so I don’t have much to say or post tonight, but this one warrants a post.

I joined Urban Active in Buckhead when it first opened.  It was close to my new office, and I thought it’d be convenient.  Plus one of my old spin teachers from concourse was teaching there, so off I went.  Oh yeah, and I signed a two year contract.

 Fast forward to June, 2012 when I quit my job.  Now I have no need to fight traffic to Buckhead to workout. Sigh.  But I’ve already paid for it, so might as well use it.

Well, I realized that in traffic, it takes me nearly 35-40 minutes to get to Buckhead.  However, on foot, running the six miles, it only takes me 45 minutes to an hour.  So I figured I’d get a few extra miles in on my way to the gym, and take the Marta home when I was done.  I got myself a little daypack, and there was no stopping me.  But that’s a whole other story for another day.

So I often run the six miles straight down Peachtree Street from my house to the gym.  Today, I did just that on my way to spin and Triple Fit.

Triple Fit with Alana! Hopefully not the last class! LA Fitness bought out Urban Active, and I’m hoping my favorite classes don’t go out the window!

I get to the corner where there is a Walgreens on one side and a big strip mall on the other.  On the side I’m on, with the Walgreens, I see a fellow runner girl running towards me mouthing something frantically.  I have my earphones on and am in the zone, so I don’t notice.  Finally I do, I take down the headphones and see that she is motioning towards the corner.  And there is an old woman on the corner.

Here’s the intersection!

Upon closer look, the old woman has her dress hiked up all the way.  And she is wearing absolutely nothing underneath.  Nothing.

To top it all off, she is clearly taking a dump, right there on the street corner in fancy old Buckhead.

The fellow runner girl just keeps freaking out telling me she can’t believe we’re seeing this.  I motion to her to come on, and we run past.  As I look down at the sidewalk, there is – no lie – a gallon zip lock of human feces right there as well!!!!

Fellow runner girl continues to follow me down the road shaking her head in disbelief and telling me how she can’t believe it.

It was totally crazy!  I guess I wasn’t so phased because I used to work downtown and have seen similar if not worse.  But in Buckhead, really?

I was kind of sad I didn’t take a picture for the blog, but I just couldn’t bring myself too.  The woman was clearly homeless, and I felt bad.

But…what a crazy run today, right?

Here’s to hoping you don’t have a crappy run today!

The Goat Does Vegas

Nearly a decade ago, I first met Mex Tex, and this past weekend, I got to celebrate her marrying a totally awesome guy.  It almost brings a tear to this goat’s eyes.

And to think, just about 5 years ago, we were celebrating mine and Pooky ESQ’s wedding!

Mex Tex chose Vegas for the wedding.  Pooky ESQ and I loaded up and it was off to Vegas Thursday through Monday.  If you’re thinking that’s a long time to be in Vegas,  you thought right.

Pooky ESQ’s Code Release party had just been on Tuesday night.  Mo and I spent most of Wednesday cleaning up before I plopped her on the plane back to PA.  The rest of Wednesday was spent running around returning stuff, a quick workout .  Let’s just say I was completely exhausted.

Pooky ESQ and I at the Code Book Release Party

Yes, my Mom made miniature versions of the Code in cookie form. Too cool!

Mo showing off her wares. She made all the baked goods. Her cupcakes are legendary and on the left!

Thursday morning I got up and needed to pack, so no workout got done.  I threw in two sets of running gear in high hopes I would get to workout.  Got on the MARTA and we were off!

I was a bad wife and failed to make our usual breakfast smoothies, so Pooky was stuck with a lone beat up banana.

We arrived in Vegas and immediately spent money buying new flip flops as soon as we got off the plane.

These turned out to be an excellent purchase. Very comfy and worn all about Vegas.

To Planet Hollywood, our base hotel to settle in then it was go time for the Bachelorette and Bachelor parties.  Mex Tex’s little sister, Little Abalos, set up a super fancy dinner at the Mix at Mandalay Bay.  It was on the 65th floor and super fancy.  I had my first drink in over 90 days (I decided to partake in a 90 day no alcohol challenge at my gym 90 days ago), a champagne spritzer, and pathetically couldn’t even finish the whole thing.  So I gave up on trying to drink.  I do know how lame it is not to drink at a Bachelorette party.  You don’t need to tell me.

The view from the Mix! Awesome!

After our time at the Mix, we went for the polar opposite and were off to Gold Diggers in the Golden Nugget on Freemont Street.  The night had a slow start, but once we moved the party inside, where the DJ was playing lots of fun old school songs, lots of bad white girl dancing commenced.  Sorry, I don’t have a video of the goat’s horrible moves.

Time to get down on Freemont Street

Here’s the crew!

I made the grave mistake of wearing some brand new “girl shoes” I had purchased just for the occasion.  Sparkly peep toe pumps (with a very modest heel), but they tore my feet up! I ended up with a big blister and spent most of the time barefoot.  If you have ever been barefoot in any bar on Freemont Street, you can image how gross my feet were.  In fact, they still may be dirty five showers later.

You know there had to be a picture of the dirty foot in here.

They kept me out until nearly 6 AM.  Which would’ve made it over 24 hours.  UGH.  I had a blast, but that is entirely too late for me. Back to Planet Hollywood and the others went out more. I went back to the room.  I had never been so happy to see my PJs.  Into bed I went.

Friday morning I woke up late (understandably). I didn’t have to be anywhere until the rehearsal at 3pm and the rehearsal dinner at 6pm.  So off to the hotel gym I went. It was in the spa, and I started in.  They stopped me at the desk and informed me it was $25 a day!!!! WHAT?!  I immediately got super p.o’d and walked right out.  I stopped in the hallway and mulled it over. I was about to spend $80 to get my hair did the next day, so certainly I could spare the same to workout for a few days.

I marched back in, defeated and bought myself a 3 day $65 pass.  I walked into the fitness room and was totally underwhelmed.  If I was a good blogger, I would’ve taken a good picture of it to post, but I forgot.  Let’s just say it was far from stellar.

Friday I got in a 6 mile run on the dreadmill and some abs.  I felt much better.  Then it was off to undo the workout with my one true vice – candy!!!

The Sugar Factory – the name said it all!!!

The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner were fun.  They had it at Hussong’s in Mandalay Bay.  They were SO sweet and accommodating, providing me with more than one vegan and gluten free option!!!!  I had some veggie fajitas that were great.

There were Mariachis! Yay!

The crew piled in for an after party at Pure Nightclub in Ceasars.  Someone had gotten us a VIP pass and we whizzed in.  Once inside, I could immediately tell this place was too cool for me and that nightclubs sure weren’t my thing.  Plus, I wasn’t dressed nearly skeezy enough.

Pimpin’ ain’t easy…me in the stretch limo on the way to Pure. I look a lot cooler than I am.

Copy Cat.

Luckily, no one else was feeling it and so we retreated to the small hotel bar.  Nothing much was going on, so I persuaded Pooky ESQ to leave with me around midnight.  Tonight I was smart enough to bring back up flip flops, so we hoofed it home down the strip.

Oh, did I mention that during the rehearsal dinner, on a bathroom break which passed by a sports memorabilia store, Pooky ESQ and I acquired this poster which features the pictures and signatures of the 60 greatest NBA players of all time??? Talk about an impulse buy 😉

Saturday, the wedding day, I got up earlier and headed to the gym again.  This time, trying to get my money’s worth, I used every weight and machine I could find – doing a lame remake of my Urban Iron class along with a short two mile warm up on the dreadmill.

Later was the wedding and it was amazing!  Mex Tex looked beautiful and it was a great wedding and after party.  Mex Tex, being sweet as she is, and knowing how weird I am, released me to go home to bed shortly after 1am.  I gave Pooky ESQ full reign to go meet some friends and play until the next morning.

World’s hottest bridesmaids? Or world’s weirdest?

The bride and groom!!!

We clean up good.

Sunday I got up and was getting ready to retreat to the hotel gym again.  Then I remembered! I had read about a free yoga class at the Lulu Lemon store in Fashion Show Mall.  I put it into my navigator and saw it was about 1.5 miles down the strip. I had about 10 min to get there.  I sprinted out the door.  Navigating the strip, was tricky and I went as fast as I could.  Around the Venetian it looked like I might just make it, but then I was foiled by a road closure and detoured.

Eventually, sweaty and breathless, I made it about 10 min late…but made it nonetheless.  They had free mats and it was just what I needed.  A little organized exercise, a little peace and quiet, and a little fresh air in the midst of all the action.

I forgot to take pictures inside the yoga class…Still getting the hang of this.

At the end of class, the teacher commented that us being there meant so much to her.  She got teary and said it was because about 5 years ago, she had been working in corporate America for 10 years.  She said she did yoga at night and eventually started teaching.  She said she was on the cusp of making 6 figures when one day her husband looked at her and said, “I like the woman who comes home from yoga a lot more than the woman who comes home from work.”  She said it was at that point she quit her job and taught yoga full time.  She said she made $3000 the first year, but never felt better.

I approached her after class and shared my story.  Although yoga isn’t my thing, and I can’t really get into its whole touchy feely peace and harmony vibe, I totally got what she said and could identify.  It got me reflecting on my decision to go out on a limb. I often question that decision, but her story reminded me of why I did it.

A little inspiration borrowed from a FB post.

During class, I looked up at the wall. They had a big sign with a bunch of quotes on it.  Who doesn’t love inspiration quotes?  One of them said something to the effect of, stop and look around and appreciate all the great friends you are surrounded by.  I loved this and held it with me.  It was a great reminder to me.  While Vegas certainly was no place for me – all the gambling, smoking, drinking, staying up late, yucky for you food – the whole time I was there, I was surrounded by awesome friends.  Mex Tex has been a great friend who has been there for me for years.  We’ve had a fun journey and adventure and she’s stuck by me even in this new, weird, totally different chapter in my life.  And not only that, but Mex Tex’s family is SO amazing. Usually you like your friend’s family well enough, but in this case I genuinely love everyone in her family. Her Mom, Dad, Brother and sister Little Abalos are all such great people. I never cease to have a great time with them and they’re all amazing people.  And now she’s found an amazing guy to join that group.  I’m so happy for them.

The family Abalos! How I love them all!!!

All and all it was a great trip with great people.  But I’m tired and ready to get back to my routine.  Its all workouts and raw vegan protein shakes for the rest of this week 😉

This is what I made Pooky ESQ eat for lunch today. He wasn’t thrilled. Back on the wagon!

Mountain Goat ESQ.

I had never planned on going to law school. I graduated college and set about getting a job. Despite my stellar credentials and grade point average, I could find nothing. I ended up back in my parents house and took a job waitressing at a small Italian restaurant, deli and specialty store in my hometown – Angelina’s. As with everything in life, I gave 110% to that job. In no time, I was practically running the place when the owners weren’t around and was cooking after the cook left. I loved everyone I worked with and we had a great time. I learned to cook too. Life was good.

I always had fun at that job. See my puppet/oven mitt?

About a year and a half after graduation, I was still at Angelina’s and still in my parents’ house. My little cousin was graduating college and said she was going to law school. She told me to come. My parents were antsy for me to do something with my life, and I didn’t have much else going on – so I went for it.

Not only did I join my little cousin for law school, but I also got to crash her Jamaican spring break trip. Hey, I was too broke to go during my own college spring break and how else was she going to convince me to go to something as horrid as law school?!

The decision to go to law school was a last minute one, and I just went wherever would take me and wherever would throw me some scholarship money. Enter Ohio Northern University.

So I went to law school in an extremely small town in rural Ohio. We had to drive 20 minutes just to get to the WalMart or McDonalds. There were a lot of corn and soy bean crops and not much else. I didn’t know anyone and couldn’t afford to get my own place, buy all the furniture, etc as I was already student loaned up to the hilt and mooching off my parents as much as possible. So I opted for some new student furnished apartment housing on campus. I’ve always had good luck with roommates, so I let them pair me up.

Enter: Ms. Feliz – the Mexican Texan. I don’t know how or why the admissions counselor paired us up – but they did. As we entered law school, the Mex Tex was extremely enthusiastic. Me, well, I tended to be a Debbie Downer. She called me before school started, so we could coordinate on who was brining what. We both remember that first phone call. She remembers being full of excitement and having the most uninterested voice ever respond on the other end (hey, I hate the phone. Always have!). I remember an overly happy and overly excited person on the other end. We both thought – oh god.

Who knew we’d become BFFs. And who knew I would think that haircut and cleavage was a good look?

But as fate would have it, we would get along swimmingly. We both had been cooped up at our parents post graduation and both had a couple years out of college before law school. We were ready for a new college experience and proceeded straight to the drive through beer store.

The two best friends that anyone could have! OK so this was years after law school, but I love the picture.

One of the first night’s we went to the gym to play two on two basketball. We needed one more, and there he was, 130 pounds of hotness, little Pooky ESQ running shirtless around the gym. He played on my team, and we had a great time. We invited him to our house to enjoy your new purchases from the drive through beer store, but he scurried off. The next day he would see me out of my gym clothes and into a skirt, and thought that he had two girls after him. Sorry kid, all you had was me.

He was so tiny and cute. Who could resist.

I was suspicious of his small size, but he could put down an XL pizza from Padrones like no one else, so it was love at first bite.

He still loves his pizza.

Mex Tex and I also assembled an all star crew of friends, gathering together the four or five minorities on campus. The Jamaican Sensation was part of the original crew as well as Pooky ESQ. So we had Mexico, Jamaica, and India covered. Add in Red Joe (he had red hair) and Black Joe (you can figure this one out) and we were complete!

The rainbow connection including the Mex Tex, Pookie ESQ, the Jamaican Sensation and Red Joe!

Me and Mex Tex had so many great adventures together. Many involved fighting with boys in bars, mostly at the Reagle Beagle (that was really its name!), singing LaBamba at Karaoke every Tuesday, studying at sports bars for Saturday and Sunday Football fundays, and lots of late night pizza (what up Columbine!).

I’d like to say we brought the house down, but really we got booed each week by a douche in penny loafers.

In those days we could, and did, go out for late nights and I could even be known to enjoy some of Winemaker Jon’s homemade wine, then go out and run my usual route around the Green Monster. We interned for legal aid and the public defender and I figured I’d graduate and save the world. It was good to be young.

This was a fun night where Feliz and I gave Steven Jenkins a good talking to and lesson on the Mexican Revolution.

Fast forward nine years, and well, the legal profession has not turned out to be all I thought. I am yet to save the world, and I can barely keep down a glass of wine let alone go for a run after several.

So now I’m running from the traditional practice of law, and hopefully y’all will chase after me on my blog-venture from ESQ. to running blogger extraordinaire!

Look out for the wedding episode tomorrow!

So What’s Up with this Blog Anyways?!

Well, I graduated college, and couldn’t find a job. I moved back home with good old Mom and Dad and chilled out in the basement. I spent my days cooking and helping to run a small Italian deli, restaurant and grocery.  Ran a little here and there and went out with my friends after work.  It was fun, but my parents grew weary of having an extra over educated house guest.  One day my younger cousin told me she was going to law school. I thought, well I might as well try it.  So I did.  I plodded through law school and interned at fun places like the public defender and legal aid. I graduated with high hopes of saving the world and running free.

What did I end up doing?  The opposite.  I fell into a job in bankruptcy, and soon learned you sure weren’t helping anyone there.  In no time, I had ascended the ranks and became a litigation attorney representing banks and mortgage companies.  I was working a million hours a week; didn’t have time to pee or eat lunch; and eventually didn’t even have time to run.  I absolutely hated my work – but hey, I did what I was supposed to do and became partner!  I was on the fast track to the life I was supposed to be living!

One day, not so long ago, I had one of those days where you wake up and think, “What am I doing? Is this really my life?”  After much agony, I left my job as a litigation attorney and the soul sucking life of billable hours and living your life in .2 increments.  Luckily my husband, Pooky, has his own firm and was kind enough to let me work with him and didn’t even blink an eye at the thought of losing a significant chunk of our income.

So – was I scared to death to just quit my job, seeming willy nilly?! YES!  But after about four months, the clouds have parted, the sun is out, and things are starting to line up.  The sky hasn’t fallen, and I am still standing…and, most importantly, I feel like I’m on the right track for the first time in years.

Since then, I’ve been working with my hubby/BFF and trying to find my way to the life I imagined myself to have at this point.  With the inspiration of my buddy Swim Bike Mom, my super awesome husband and little brother – I’ve started completely throwing caution to the wind.  Life is too short, so I’ve stopped settling and am going after all the things I love.  And one of the things I love the most is running – so I’ve signed myself up for a crazy six day 115 mile race across the Rocky Mountains, the TransRockies in August 2013…and a bunch of other little races along the way… so hence this little blog to document the journey – through races and training and, well, my journey to a new life…because life is all about the journey, right?

So what’s the blog about?  Well, imagine it like trail runner girl meets Sex and the City.  Scratch that, my life isn’t nearly that uninteresting…although my collection of running shoes might rival Carrie’s collection of Manolo whatever-o’s!

Just a sampling of the obsessive collection…

I guess it’s like Sex and the City meets trails – well without the sex. And with a lot more dirt – of the outdoor kind – not the gossip kind.  How about single track and city? But instead of cosmos we drink nuun and coconut water. Instead of heels we wear running shoes. Instead of a purse over the shoulder, we’ve got a hydration pack on our backs.  Instead of chasing men we conquer mountains, PRs and goal races!

So hopefully you’ll join me on my crazy little journey, cheer me along the way, and maybe even be inspired to go on a crazy little journey of your own!