Thursday, February 20, 2020

Day 370

Today was not my greatest day. Even though I had a busy schedule that included getting dropped off at Camp Bow Wow, attending two meetings, going to Lunchtime Lifts, and going to class, I slept later than I should have. That started a domino effect on the whole day.

I had to miss my first meeting because I needed to take Scooter to Camp Bow Wow.

I had plenty of time to make it to campus before my second meeting, but then a parking lot near the stadium was closed. (I received an e-mail about it, but those lot closures don't normally affect me. Also, I would have walked to my second meeting from the first one, but that would have required making it to the first meeting...which I didn't.) I was still trying to park at 10:30, which was the time when my meeting started. I called and let them know I was going to be late.

When I found a spot at last, I ended up with a 15-minute walk in the wind and rain. I wasn't worried about the rain, as I had two umbrellas in my trunk and a rain jacket in my front seat. As it turns out, I probably needed all three. I had not paid attention to the wind, but the wind blew my umbrella inside out within the first five minutes of my walk.

Not a stock photo today, folks. This is my actual umbrella.
Cool. I was already late, and I had no evidence that my other umbrella would fare any better against the wind even if I turned around and went back for it. I opted to continue on my way, carrying my umbrella over my shoulder like a bindle. (I had to look up that word. Hooray for building my vocabulary.

As Tiger Stadium came into view, I was planning a snarky Snapchat about my great luck on such a beautiful day. Before I could snap a photo, however, I heard a horn honk. A kind lady in a white minivan had rolled down her window and was offering me her umbrella! I asked her if she wanted it back, and she said she did not. In retrospect, that was a slightly dumb question, though I guess we could have exchanged numbers and arranged an umbrella meetup on a drier day. That could have been the beginning of a beautiful friendship, but I think it's okay to just accept kindness from strangers from time to time. I'm pretty sure I used up most or all of the good karma I have generated for myself lately, but it was worth it.

I did allow myself a reprieve from my self-imposed schedule and decided to skip Lunchtime Lifts in favor of a king cake latte from CC's and an hour of quiet study in the Business Education Complex before my class. I could've probably used the opportunity to take out some of my aggression and frustration by lifting some heavy stuff. Still, I was going to be short on time getting back to my car and across campus only to rush out after my workout feeling less prepared than I would like for my quiz. The coffee and quiet were the right choices today.

My less-than-stellar day turned out all right in the end, but it was still not my best day. That's okay, though! They can't all be the best one.

Something that made today great: Good 5-mile run with Sandra this evening, even with the wind!
Time I woke up: 7:15 briefly before deciding to go back to sleep until 8:30

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Day 371

This week is flying, which is good except that I'm not flying with my work/reading! I looked at my clock and realized midnight (my bedtime!) was only ten minutes away. Whew!

It seems that I forgot how crazy the spring semester can be, and it's not helping that my brain already seems to be on Mardi Gras Break. I'm not even going to a local parade, much less New Orleans, so I'm not sure where this shift to vacation mode is coming from. I need to hold out a little longer.

Photo from Pixabay
Something that made today great: Eating a whole sleeve of Thin Mints.
Time I woke up: 7:15 am

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Day 372

Well, I’m about a month into the semester, and everything is ramping up and getting busy. WHEW! Today, I spent a sizeable chunk of the day working out (Lunchtime Lifts followed by 6 miles and 1202 feet of climbing on the treadmill!) which was nice for my mind and body but was not productive for class and assignments. 

After class tonight, I met Becca, Amber, and Diana for dinner, and it was just what my heart and belly needed. I guess working out for more than two hours is enough to make a girl pretty hungry, because I ate my whole plate plus approximately 422 chips with salsa on them. (Normally I have about half of my dinner left!) It’s such a blessing to have incredible lady friends doing the PhD life with me. 

I failed to take a picture of our outing, so here’s a picture of me on the treadmill instead. Also a PSA to my LSU friends: the leisure river is on track to open sometime next week!!





Something that made today great: Post-class dinner at Superior 
Time I woke up: 7:45 am

Monday, February 17, 2020

Day 373

Recently, I wrote about my love for the movie Serendipity, but I am also quite a fan of You've Got Mail. In some of their early correspondence, NY152 tells Shopgirl that the fall makes him want to buy school supplies, and he would "send her a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils" if he knew her name and address. I'm with NY152 on this one, as I love buying school and office supplies. A robust stash of pencils, pens, highlighters, sharpies, sticky notes, sticky flags, legal pads, manila folders, paper clips, correction fluid, erasers, and more provides me with the sense--albeit a false sense at times--that I have my life together and can conquer whatever I might face that day.

Although I like my laptop, I have not fully embraced taking all of my notes on a computer. Just last week, I managed to use half of the ink in a single pen in under 24 hours because I was really in the note-taking and studying zones. Some days are like that. I first started using purple pens in 8th grade and was a devoted user of the Papermate Flair felt tip pen for years. I still have a few that I use from time to time, but I have been a fan of the Pilot Precise RT pens with purple ink since I started my degree. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find refills for them, and the result is that I have a Ziploc bag that is a graveyard for purple pens and pink highlighters. 

To help me behave more sustainably and more pretentiously all at once, Richard bought me a fountain pen and a jar of purple ink for Valentine's Day. I am surprised by how much I am enjoying it so far, though I guess I should have anticipated that I would be excited about a new variety of office supplies. Richard is a little pretentious and a lot old school, so fountain pens are among the things that excite him, too. He has recently taken to ordering new inks based on their colors; Aurora Borealis was one recent purchase, though Oxblood should be arriving in our mailbox any day now. Meanwhile, I am moving through my bottle of Imperial Purple and learned to refill the nib today! I can't wait to explore this new frontier of writing utensil.

Photo from Pixabay
Something that made today great: Strategic Planning class was awesome!
Time I woke up: 6:50 am

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Day 374

Although it’s no longer football season, it’s still great to be an LSU tiger! I spent the first part of the day sleeping in and working on a paper. This afternoon, I helped welcome prospective students to LSU and participated in a panel for them. I’m also hosting a student tonight. It’s hard to believe I was on the grad school hunt just two years ago, but I’m so glad I landed where I did. 

Here’s a picture of a tiger from Pixabay:





Something that made today great: Meeting prospective students for the higher education program!
Time I woke up: 9:00 am

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Day 375

Today was the first full day of our protected weekend for February, and I accomplished so much! I started the day by going to Slow Mode and tackling a 10-mile run. I have been working on switching from run 2/walk 1 intervals to run 4/walk 1, and today I did 10 miles a 4/1! I think that's my longest run ever with those intervals. (I did the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon at 3/1 intervals in December.)

After I came home and showered, Richard and I did one of our favorite things and went to Costco for hot dogs, bulk shopping, and gas for my car. Then, I cleaned out my trunk and rediscovered several shirts and CDs that I've been carting around for months.

All of that fun wore us out, so we took a nap. Then, I made chili, did all of the laundry in the house, and baked a king cake. I also did a little bit of reading and writing, though tomorrow is going to be a more productive day as far as school goes.

Race weekends are fun, but protected weekends at home are pretty majestic too. I'm digging this balance.

Post-run photo. I had to Photoshop Lucas in.
Something that made today great: Spending most of the day with Richard
Time I woke up: 7:15 am

Friday, February 14, 2020

Day 376

Sometimes I’m really tired and can’t really figure out why, but today is not one of those days. I can totally pin my tiredness on a busy-ish week capped off by lifting weights at lunch and going for a run after work.

Whatever amount of rest I get this weekend will not be excessive; my body is in need of lots of down time. There seem to be several webpages about the benefits of sleeping after a workout, so perhaps I will read those tomorrow. I need to sleep right now. 

Photo from Pixabay

Something that made today great: Valentine’s cards and chocolates!
Time I woke up: 7:15 am

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Day 377

Richard and I got married on June 13, 2015, which means that February 13 marks two-thirds of an anniversary. We didn’t plan it this way, but it turns out that having a 2/3 anniversary the day before Valentines’s Day is a great excuse to double dip on occasions (provided that a 2/3 anniversary counts as an occasion in your book) and avoid the Valentine’s Day crowds at restaurants. 

Tonight, we went to Stab’s and had drinks, appetizers, too much steak, sides, and desserts, and we doubly celebrated 4.66666666666666666 years of marriage and Valentine’s Day. If that’s not a win, hanging out at home and not dealing with crowds tomorrow night certainly will be a win. Here’s to the next 50.66666666666 years!


Photo from helping with math.com

Something that made today great: I ran 7 miles at a sub-10:30 pace!
Time I woke up: 7:45 am

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Day 378

Wednesday night has become structural equation modeling night at my house. I spread out the reading over the course of a few days, which was a huge victory for me, but I still had work to do tonight. Progress is progress, though! I'm also busy writing my paper for an upcoming conference and have been trying to chip away at that by writing 30 minutes to an hour each night. It's an odd shift from the cramming/hours of steady work I am accustomed to, but I think I'm going to like it. Perhaps switching subjects will keep my brain in shape, too.

Once again, I didn't take any blog-worthy photos, but I'm actually kind of glad I didn't today. Look at this brain lifting weights!
Photo from https://www.clipart.email/clipart/brain-lifting-weights-clipart-7434.html

Something that made today great: My group's leadership article (including revisions) was accepted for publication! I'm still waiting to hear about the finance one.
Time I woke up: 8:00 am

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Day 379

Today was a kind of odd day because I had several meetings and appointments that were all spread out from each other just enough that it wasn't worthwhile for me to go to work to do anything toward my job, but I couldn't really go home either. I had visions of finishing up my paper for the upcoming ACPA conference, but instead, I checked Facebook and took care of some small personal tasks I had been putting off. While it was not my typical version of productivity, I wouldn't call today a waste.

It has been unseasonably warm here (in the 70s), but when I got home today, I was both tired and cold. I tried to warm up by sitting under a blanket on the couch, but I stayed cold. I ended up getting into bed and taking a nap that I didn't know I needed. I am still so tired, but I am having a good week...and tomorrow is already Wednesday! 

Squirrel photo from Pixabay because I didn't take any blog-worthy photos today.
Something that made today great: I cooked dinner for the first time since Friday.
Time I woke up: 8:00 am

Monday, February 10, 2020

Day 380

I am still in awe of how much yesterday's marathon wiped me out. I know that running a marathon takes lots of energy and endurance, but the wind beating up on us for several hours made me feel completely drained. I am still trying to get my bearings for the week, and I am so glad I went to bed early last night.

Today was a good day! It's the anniversary of the day my dad died, and it used to be a sad day for me. It's still a little bit sad, but I have worked on replacing the sadness with joy and finding a way to honor my dad. This morning while I got ready and straightened up our house, I listened to lots of Jimmy Buffett (one of my dad's favorites!). Tonight, Richard and I went to dinner at Dairy Queen because I wanted to get a blizzard. When I was much younger, I would sometimes accompany my dad to the golf course. When I was good, we would go to McDonald's or Dairy Queen on the way home. Whenever we went to Dairy Queen, I would laugh and laugh when the employees turned the blizzard upside down before they handed it to me, so that has always been a happy memory for me. Even after my dad was diagnosed with diabetes, he still liked to have ice cream sometimes. Ice cream is such a lovely treat, so I don't blame him. At the recommendation of Lyndsay, I tried the snickerdoodle cookie dough blizzard today, and it was quite delicious. MyFitnessPal said a small is 710 calories, but I told MyFitnessPal that I'm bad, and I do what I want. 

Other good things about today included going to strategic planning class and going for a run after work. This week is shaping up to be a good one, AND Richard and I have our protected weekend for February (a weekend where we stay home and hang out with each other) this weekend, so I am really excited about that.


Something that made today great: Sandra and I had a good recovery run after work
Time I woke up: 8:00 am

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Day 381

Two races in one weekend was a lot, especially since one was a marathon! I didn’t go into today’s race with plans for a new PR, and it definitely didn’t happen. Sandra and I fought headwind and crosswind for much of the second half of the race, though there were occasionally tailwinds too. We finished in 5:53:32, and we are darn proud of that. We celebrated with a post race trip to Waffle House, and now I am wiped! I’m so tired, in fact, that I’m heading to bed right now and hoping that I’ll be ready to rise and shine early tomorrow to get a start on the week. Here’s hoping!

Here’s an adorable photo of Scooter stretching when we went outside today. 


Something that made today great: Finishing the marathon felt pretty good. 
Time I woke up: 4:00 am

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Day 382

Today was a busy but productive day! It started with a run, followed by a lovely brunch interlude at Elsie’s, then I went home and warmed up for a few minutes before dashing off to the diaper bank. I volunteered for a few hours, grabbed dinner at Popeyes, and met Catherine to work on statistics...so it’s been quite a day. 

I PRed my 15K this morning with a time of 1:44:23. (This was an improvement from last year’s 1:45:58.) Though I was happy to PR, I expected to run a better race than I did. In measurement terms, I had a lot of error today that created a gap between my true score and my observed performance. I love being a nerd. 

Maybe I can have less error tomorrow, though I am kind of doubting it considering I was on my feet a lot today. 

I didn’t take many photos today, but Elena snapped this one of me right after I finished my race! 

Something that made today great: My hot shower after running in the rain and getting cold
Time I woke up: 6:55 am

Friday, February 7, 2020

Day 383

A piece of the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI) curriculum that I have loved as a student and a small group facilitator is the session where everyone identifies a few crucible moments and shares with the group. When I looked up "crucible moments" a few minutes ago as I prepared to write this blog post, I stumbled across this quote that I loved:

Crucible moments are unwelcomed, unplanned, and seem to impact one's personal and professional life deeply, but there is wisdom and strength to draw from them if one is willing to look within.

One of the crucible moments that comes to mind and is one I am willing to share is the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon when I was picked up by the straggler bus. (I once wrote about it in a different blog.) I could have quit running that day, or at least retired from marathons, but I didn't. I allowed that heartbreaking experience to shape my future rather than destroy the work I had done up to that point, and I upped my training efforts so I could be stronger. Like the quote said, I gained wisdom and strength from the experience. What I also gained, however, were many new friends...some who I count as my family now.

Through my bus friend, Michelle, I connected with the Red Felt Running Club, where I have met numerous runners who are all fantastic in their own ways. Among them was a Marine named Bob Coolidge, and I learned today that Bob passed away last night.

Bob was a constant encourager for anyone who needed it, and he was hilarious! He was an incredible dog father and had amazing stories that he shared on Facebook. I will always remember an enthusiastic speech he gave before the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon where we did a call and response of "RED FELT" and "IN THE HOUSE!" and he ended by telling us to all go out there and "GETCHUSOME!!!!" That was an unusually warm race day and was tough even for people who had trained in the summer in the South. I saw Bob at the Red Felt afterparty and asked how his race went. I don't remember his exact words, but he basically said it sucked...then he finished with, "But it ain't nothin' but a thang." Indeed, it was nothin' but a thang. Most of us drank some alcohol, and we all lived to run another day.

Not too long ago, Bob was working toward running a 50 miler, and we were going to attempt the Wild Azalea 50-miler here in Louisiana in January 2019. We had been friends on Facebook since 2015, but we started texting each other training updates when we made the commitment to do 50 miles together. Bob ended up having to back out while he worked through some health stuff, but I told him he wasn't rid of me just because he wasn't doing the race.


When I had to back out of the 50-miler, I registered for a 100K in February. In my newer, crazier endeavor, Bob was one of my many outstanding cheerleaders.


Our text messages became more sporadic (I actually failed to respond to the last two he sent me back in the summer), but Bob was an incredible person to know and a special friend whom I know I could count on if I ever needed anything. I am so sad to hear of his loss and wish I had reached out again more recently just to let him know how much his friendship meant. For now, though, I am proud to call myself one of Bob's Angels, and I know he's watching out for me down here.

My challenge to everyone in RFRC was to share some photos of whatever they do this weekend (which for me is two races) and to take the time to reach out to any RFRC members who might've been absent in recent history. It is unfortunate that it takes a death or tragedy to remind me to check in with people, but I think it's common. Perhaps I will extend the challenge to other areas of my life in the coming weeks.

Something that made today great: The Breakfast Break/Public Speaking workshop at the Women's Center was excellent!
Time I woke up: 7:00 am

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Day 384

Louisiana weather is wild. I ran outside in the rain last night, and it was 70 degrees outside. Tonight I hit the treadmill because it was dark and 40 degrees. Brr! I find the weather particularly confusing because I am spending so little time outside lately.

This week is winding down, though the weekend and upcoming week are looking like they're going to be just as busy. I'm proud to report that I am sticking to my midnight bedtimes, though. I also climbed 1707 feet over 6.09 miles on the treadmill tonight, and I think that's pretty rad.

Let's go Friday!

Meme from Baton Rouge Moms shared by my friend Willie!


Something that made today great: I made an A on my structural equation modeling quiz! (Jingle-jangle fallacies were not on the quiz, though.)
Time I woke up: 7:00 am

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Day 385

Despite the fact that my 8th-grade boyfriend broke up with me the day after we saw the film in theaters, Serendipity is one of my favorite movies in the world. I could watch it every day, maybe multiple times per day if time allowed. I had the soundtrack on a CD in my car, and I think I can still sing most of the words to the songs. (I'm actually trying it now thanks to Spotify.)

Along with my enthusiasm for this film comes a respectable knowledge of quotes from the movie. The one I throw out most frequently is probably, "When people get hooked on the new age life they end up sitting at home burning candles for Mr. Right, when Mr. Good-Enough-For-Right-Now is waiting at the corner bar!" though I am not afraid to pull out the one about how the men who play golf are the ones who are too fat to play tennis or reference the Chinatown PradO wallet instead of PradA.

Tonight, however, I thought about when Sara explains why she likes the word "serendipity." Her reason is that it has "such a nice sound for what it means," and that is exactly what I thought when I read about jingle-jangle fallacies in my structural equation modeling book. As it turns out, the (erroneous) assumption that two different things are the same because they have the same name is called a jingle fallacy. My mind immediately went to drink (water is a drink, but so is an alcoholic beverage) or going for a run (I run and walk when I go for a run, but some people only run). Then, there is the jangle fallacy, which occurs when someone (erroneously) assumes that two things are different just because they have different names. My mind drifted to sub sandwiches, though I couldn't think of other names. Thankfully, thesaurus.com saved my bacon and even taught me some new words for sub sandwiches, such as torpedo, grinder, wedge, and hero.

Anyway, the point I am getting at is that jingle-jangle fallacy is a nice sound for what they mean. Also, I think I will definitely answer any potential quiz questions about jingle-jangle fallacies correctly.

...And that's how a 2001 romantic comedy relates to structural equation modeling.

John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale in Serendipity (2001)
Photo from IMDb
Something that made today great: I had a good run (even in the rain!)
Time I woke up: 8:15 (I think)

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Day 386

The past two weeks, I have put off reading for my Thursday class until Wednesday night, and that has not been a good plan for me. Deep down, I know that I should space my reading out over the week, but I have allowed myself to fall back on the excuse of, "I've been working hard, so I deserve the night off." Basically, I always think I deserve the night off, but there just aren't enough hours in the week for that to happen every single night. Also, I sometimes end up having to cram too much reading into too short of a space of time, and that is stressful.

I'm plugging along this week, including reading a riveting chapter of Confirmatory Factor Analysis for Applied Research, which is actually quite interesting after I take the time to break the concepts down into little bitty pieces. Tomorrow, I will be parsing out a chapter of another book for my structural equation modeling class, but it's better to have one chapter than two!

Speaking of itty bitty pieces, when I searched for a photo today, I entered several queries into Pixabay, including "breakdown pieces," "parse," and "parsimony." The last two searches yielded photos of persimmons, so here are some persimmons.


Something that made today great: Blake and I sent our finance paper to a journal for review!
Time I woke up: 8:15 am

Monday, February 3, 2020

Day 387

I write more than an average amount of papers thanks to graduate school, and I generally don't mind doing them. Sure, there are sometimes things I would rather be doing than writing papers (taking a nap is the main one), but I accept that as a part of my life right now. What I do not typically do is complain endlessly about writing a paper rather than actually writing it. That's just not my style.

Well, it was yesterday.

I had a three-page article review to write, and it was like pulling teeth just to sit down and type the thing out. I struggled with the length and wondered aloud when the last time I had to write a paper of such a length. I lamented to several of my SnapChat friends that writing a three-page paper was more difficult than I remembered. Once I was done, I wrestled with words and brainstormed synonyms with fewer characters to shorten my paper. Eventually, I got it done, though it would have been much faster if I had stopped whining and pitying myself long enough to write. My Pomodoro app tells me that I spent about 3.5 hours writing this paper, excluding reading the articles and proofreading the final product.

While I am usually motivated by checking items off of my to do list, yesterday was a tough lesson in what happens when I would rather complain than finish a task. The satisfaction of submitting my proofread paper this morning will hopefully give me the momentum I need to avoid another day like yesterday. Also, I am making an extra effort this week to remember that sometimes I have to do things I don't want to do, and whining too much is not particularly helpful in accomplishing my goals. Here's to a productive week with minimal whining!

I don't know this baby, but this photo was a result on Pixabay when I searched for "complain," and I like it.


Something that made today great: The weather was fabulous for walking to class!
Time I woke up: 7:25 am

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Day 388

Richard works seven days on, seven days off, which is really awesome most of the time except that at least two weekends per month are spoken for because of his job. I also maintain a pretty ambitious race schedule, so running events occupy a number of my weekends. It can start to feel like we are never at home together for a full weekend...because that is often the case.

After my crazy fall semester complete with lots of travel, Richard and I decided to implement a "protected weekend" at least once a month where we can spend most of the weekend together, preferably at our house or somewhere more relaxing. This weekend was our first one; we were a bit late for January, but our next one is in two weeks (just in time for Valentine's Day!) Other than noticing that our house seems to be getting dirtier faster than usual with us both being at home more than we were in recent months, our first protected weekend was a positive thing! I'm already looking forward to the next one, though I have two races this coming weekend, and I am excited about that as well.

I slept way late today, so I think I am caught up on sleep. All I need now is to be able to fall asleep when I head to bed shortly. This week is shaping up to be a busy week, but it should be a good one.




Something that made today great: My afternoon run went much better than expected!
Time I woke up: 11:00 am...and it was great

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Day 389

I woke up around 4:00 am and couldn’t go back to sleep, which put me off schedule for the rest of my day. Some perks of the unexpected middle of the night wake up were that I made it to Slow Mode on time today (after oversleeping last week), and I was able to take a solid nap in the middle of the day. Not a bad Saturday, but I hope tonight is more restful.  

Something that made today great: My first trip to Coffee Call (after Slow Mode)
Time I woke up: 4:00 am