Friday, May 24, 2019

Day 108

The night before a race is always a little strange and surreal to me. When I sign up for any marathon or ultramarathon, but especially an ambitious or ridiculous one, it always seems to be this event that will take place in the future someday, and even though I’ve been training, the race itself tends to sneak up on me. For instance, I’ve known for weeks that I was going to make my first 69 mile attempt on May 25, but May 25 seemed like a magical date in a vague future. 

Now it’s tomorrow

I am excited for the race and am ready to give it my all on the trail tomorrow, but for some reason—even though I’m sleeping in my running outfit, and my pack is waiting at the foot of my air mattress—I am still not sure it’s set in that tomorrow is the big day.

I’ll have to be up way early in the morning, but I look forward to a positive race report on Sunday. It’s amazing to be able to do what I do and share these experiences with some truly wonderful people. 

Something that made today great: Road trip shenanigans and giggles with some great GOATS
Time I woke up: 6:00 am

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Day 109

I hate getting in trouble.

It's probably fair to say that most people don't like getting in trouble, but I really hate getting in trouble. I'm not really sure why I am the way that I am, but I grew up wanting to make sure I stayed out of trouble as much as possible. In fact, I still remember when I got a warning in third grade and bawled when I had to tell my mom about it.

The year was 1997. I was in Mrs. Raley's third-grade class, and I have no idea what the morning work was that day, but whatever it was, I blazed through it. It was probably something that I'd been practicing at home with my parents. Regardless, I decided to use my extra time to rearrange my Spacemaker pencil box. Elementary school gets hectic at times, and sometimes you don't have sufficient time to make sure your pencils are all facing the same direction before you throw your box into your desk and move on to the next subject, but on this day, I had extra time, so I started working on facing my colored pencils in the same direction and putting my erasers in the same corner of the box.

After I'd removed the contents of my box and started putting my colored pencils back in place, Mrs. Raley looked up and said, "Kimberly, put that away." I guess she wanted me to read a book or do a quieter activity while everyone finished their morning work, but I decided to make an effort to be extra quiet while organizing my pencils instead. 

It didn't work.

Mrs. Raley looked up a few moments later, saw that I had defied her, and called me up to her desk, asking that I bring my behavior sheet over to her. I can only imagine that my head drooped like Scooter's does when I fuss at her for getting into the trash can or eating something from the recycling bin, but I took the walk of shame and brought the sheet to her desk. Then, I returned to my desk to watch while she wrote down the details of my misdeeds that I would later share with my mom.

I had a direct view of Mrs. Raley's desk from my desk, and it was painful watching her write multiple sentences about how I had disrupted the class and been a bad example for my peers. I had other friends in my class who had gotten warnings on their behavior sheets, but they were usually things like "talking in class" or "out of seat without permission." I, on the other hand, was on the receiving end of multiple sentences. Maybe it was because I was not a regular recipient of a behavioral warning, but my parents were getting the full dish on how I was rearranging my box, the teacher asked me to stop, I didn't, and then I got a warning. I didn't think choosing to arrange my pencil box was such a bad choice, but I knew I was in the wrong for defying my teacher. Although I knew I was in the wrong, I couldn't help but feel ashamed and a little upset that I was in trouble. This happened more than 22 years ago, yet I still remember that day. I don't think about it often, but I thought about today. 

Specifically, I thought about it today because I got in trouble again. 

The great state of Louisiana has vehicle inspection stickers, and I'm not a fan. They can be purchased for one year or two years, and the inspection process isn't a big deal at all. In December 2016, I purchased a two-year sticker for $20 and moved on with my life. When December 2018 rolled around, I never made time to get a new sticker. This spring, I made three attempts to go get a sticker and failed at them all; two were my fault, and one was the shop's fault. I know I should've been more diligent about trying to get a new sticker, but I started to notice more and more people in my life who also had expired stickers. I caught a bit of joy whenever I found that other people had stickers that were more expired than mine.

"Ha! This person is more mature/a higher ranking professional than I am, and they don't have a current sticker either!"

 I didn't feel pressured to go get another sticker. On the contrary, I became a safer driver in other respects because my understanding was that if I wasn't stopped for speeding or another violation, I wouldn't get a ticket for my expired sticker either.

Well, it was all fun and games until today when I pulled off of Interstate 10 in Port Allen to head toward Highway 190. There was an officer waiting on the median, and he turned around shortly after I exited the ramp.

"He must be going to protect Louisiana's citizens in another area of Port Allen," I thought.


He turned on his lights and got right up behind me, so I pulled over right on the side of the road where traffic was. After a few moments, he waved his hand to signal for me to pull over into the nearby McDonald's. I found a parking space between the McDonald's and an adult video store and waited to see which high profile criminal cruising around in a gold sedan the officer had mistaken me for.

"Do you realize you have a 2018 inspection sticker?"


He saw my yellow "18" instead of the red "19," blue "20," or whatever color 2021 happens to be. So, we went through the whole song and dance, including showing my license and registration and receiving a reminder from the officer not to lose my existing ticket in case I get pulled over for the same thing again. If it does happen again, I can show the kind officer that I have until July 10 to get my booty to the inspection station and align myself with the other law-abiding citizens of Sportsman's Paradise.

At the ripe old age of 30, I will say that I didn't feel much different when I received a ticket for an expired inspection sticker than I did when I was 8 years old and got in trouble with Mrs. Raley for rearranging my pencil box. Of all of the things to get in trouble for in life, these are two minor charges, but I certainly feel ashamed of myself. It's so easy to not have an expired inspection sticker, yet I have fallen short for months. I have been taught so much better than this and should behave in a way that shows I was "raised right."

Also, if you've heard that expired inspection stickers are a secondary offense in Louisiana, so you won't get a ticket for only having an expired sticker, let me be the first to say that you've been lied to, and the fine law enforcement officers in Port Allen will be pleased to serve you a ticket for $155.50 if you roll through when someone's looking. If your sticker expired in 2019, you're probably okay until at least January 2020, though.

Something that made today great: Leisurely drink and dinner date with my Work Wife at We Olive!
Time I woke up: 9:30 am

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Day 110

My last blog post was a week ago. Did anyone miss me? Ha. (But I hope someone did.)

I've had quite the busy week since my last post. I left Thursday for Ariel's bachelorette party in Edisto Beach, SC. In order to be in Charleston on Friday morning, I had to fly in Thursday, but it actually worked out pretty well because I was able to have a surprise reunion with my Biffle, Steve, in Charleston on Thursday night. After mostly chatting on the phone for the past year, it was great to see him in person and do some catching up. I was also able to do a little reading while I had some downtime on Thursday.

The bachelorette festivities began on Friday and didn't stop until late Sunday afternoon, and it was such an amazing weekend! Everyone seemed to have a great time, and we all ate and drank very well. There was singing, dancing, swimming, and enjoying the sun, which are all some of Ariel's favorite things, so that was appropriate for the occasion. I came home a little tired but mostly really happy because I had such a good time. 

This week, I've mostly been working and trying to wrap things up at my assistantship, as I won't be working this summer. I have an ambitious course load for the summer, so I won't be at home twiddling my thumbs during the hot summer months.

Other than that, I'm also making time for running. I'm still going to Happy's Run Club on Tuesdays, and Sandra is helping me stick to a training plan. I'm taking a bit of a detour from the training plan this weekend and going to Graford, TX for the Possum's Revenge 69 Mile Run, and that will be my longest run ever. There will be plenty of sun, heat, and humidity, but most of all, we're going to have a darn good time. So there. Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I'll be rolling back into Baton Rouge with a pretty swanky new belt buckle at the end of the weekend.

So, that's a super quick catch up on what I've been up to for a week. I probably won't post Saturday, but I'm going to try to otherwise return to the daily routine so I can take a break and brainstorm some interesting content for days 300-201 starting in August or so. (I'll also post occasionally over the summer.)

Post-run today! 5 miles around the LSU lakes.

Something that made today great: I watched some pretty entertaining videos on YouTube today.
Time I woke up: 8:35 am

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Day 111

I was feeling uninspired last night and opted not to make another post about how Tuesday was average, Run Club was fun, and I'm tired. Today, however, I feel more inspired.

People who know me or who have kept up with my blog since the late summer know that Richard's mom passed away at the end of August, and it has been a major adjustment for our family in many ways. The winter holidays were different, and we felt her absence for sure, but May has brought new challenges with Mother's Day and Kathy's birthday all in one week. It seems like she's been on my mind more and more lately.

Since my dad passed away in 2011, I have always tried to do something to remember him by on special days. His birthday was December 26, the day after Christmas, and I've celebrated that in death about as much as I did in life. (Hint: it wasn't often that we had much celebration during his life.) One year I did go watch his alma mater, NCSU, play in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, and that was fun. Mostly, however, I celebrate my dad on the anniversary of his passing (February 10) and on Father's Day. I was out of town on Mother's Day, and Richard had to work, so I suggested that we do something special--something #kathytastic--today to celebrate her.

Today was Kathy's birthday, and we celebrated her by having a meal of some of her favorite things: rare steak, salad, red wine, and bread on the table (like in France). I admire others' abilities to create beautiful table arrangements because that's a skill I lack, and I couldn't care less about owning and managing cloth napkins. Maybe I'll grow out of that one day, but then again, maybe not.  We also didn't have separate plates for the salad and bread, so the salad and the Brussels sprouts ended up touching each other, and we had to wait to make space on our plates for the bread. All in all, however, it was a delicious meal and a happy celebration of one of our favorite people, and I'm looking forward to continuing this so it becomes a tradition for us.

Dinner! I love our WWI propaganda poster about saving sugar.

Something that made today great: Running 6 miles after work
Time I woke up: 7:40 am

Monday, May 13, 2019

Day 112

I’m back in Louisiana, at least for a few days. May is madness! Fortunately, the drive was smooth sailing and completely rain free. This was a welcome change from my trip on Thursday, though my windshield was much cleaner after driving in the rain than it was today. 

Although I had a good 6+ mile run with Sandra today, an even better moment today was seeing Scooter! I let her out, and she pranced in the sun and rolled in the grass. She’s the best dog I’ve ever had. She let me pet her on the couch, which doesn’t happen often. I think she likes me better when Richard isn’t home. Whenever he’s home, he is her preferred friend. I guess I don’t blame her, especially since he is more generous with the treats. 

I have a lot to squeeze in before I leave town again, but at least I don’t have school work due this week. I look forward to having something more interesting to say tomorrow. 

Something that made today great: A date with Richard and Scooter to Frankie’s Dawg House
Time I woke up: 7:18 am

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Day 113

If I don’t stop skipping days, my summer classes will be starting by the time I could back down to Day 100. Yikes!

Although it’s been rainy off and on this weekend, I’ve had a nice trip home and have enjoyed a relaxing trip. My mom and I did some shopping yesterday and otherwise took it easy. Today, we went to church for Mother’s Day and ate lunch at home. She cooked, but I did clean and reorganize the refrigerator, so I made myself useful. I caught a nap in the afternoon, then we ran a few small errands and spent time at home. It was nice to have the time to just hang out and talk without feeling pressured to be running around or doing things. Looking at my calendar for the next few weeks, I definitely need to take advantage of any possible down time. 

I head back to Louisiana in the morning before heading back out of town for Ariel’s bachelorette party this weekend. I’ll also do a little bit of work and running between now and least that’s the goal. I’m ready to take on the week! 

Something that made today great: Telling my mom happy Mother’s Day to her face!
Time I woke up: 8:45 am

Friday, May 10, 2019

Day 114

I had a lovely Friday! After sleeping in, I had a lazy morning before heading out to Berry College for a run along the Viking Trail. I'd set out to run 10 miles because that's my long run this weekend, but rain is forecast for Rome most of the weekend. My plan had 5 miles at 11:30 pace followed by 5 miles at 11:00 pace, and I held on for 6 miles but ended up falling short. I threw in the towel after 6.55 miles and walked back to my car, so my total was just under 8 miles for the day. Not bad, but not what I was going for. I think the combination of wearing long sleeves (silly, I know, but I didn't have to slather on so much sunscreen), the weather warming up, and the trail having some hills (as opposed to no hills in Baton Rouge) got me down. I'm going to have to be more realistic about my pace goals while I adjust to (read: tolerate) the heat.

Other than running, I ate good food today: Crunch Berries for breakfast, leftover lasagna (my mom's recipe) for lunch, and Kung Pow Chicken from China City for dinner. I also picked up some ice cream and enjoyed that for a post-run treat.  I also relaxed, caught a little nap, and did some reading. I had ambitious goals to read several books before my summer classes begin, but at this pace, I might only read one book this month. Maybe two if you count Harry Potter.

Something that made today great: Eating Blue Bell Raspberry Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream for a snack. Yum!
Time I woke up: 8:52 am

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Day 115

I spent most of today on the interstate driving from Louisiana to Georgia so I could spend Mother’s Day weekend with my mama, Big Suz. I love road tripping with Richard because I enjoy his company and having someone to talk to, but I don’t much mind road tripping alone because it gives me a chance to catch up on podcasts. Today, I listened to Harry Potter and the Sacred Text almost the entire way. I have been rereading the series to stay ahead of the podcasts; I am currently reading the sixth book (Half-Blood Prince) and listening to episodes from the fifth book (Order of the Phoenix). As usual, Casper and Vanessa (the hosts) had plenty of great things to say, but one thing that struck me in particular was something Vanessa said in the episode on Chapter 10, “Luna Lovegood,” through the theme of humility. (The relevant quote is below, but the full transcript of the episode is here.)

It would be really great of me to become obsessed with how to be a great ally in conversations about race. I care about that, but I have not gotten obsessed by it and read six books about it. And instead, what I do is wait to be inspired into obsession, when really I should be choosing my obsessions. I’m so good at being obsessive; why not direct that power? I saw A Star is Born and within six hours, I read two articles and listened to two podcast episodes about it. I should do that with things I care about but that aren’t necessarily, like, as shiny.

As Vanessa describes herself, I am also quick to become obsessed with things. After The Drive-By Truckers released “The Wig He Made Her Wear,” I wanted to know all about Mary Winkler, so I read news stories and ordered The Pastor’s Wife by Diane Fanning. (I didn’t stay interested long enough to watch the movie.) Last year after I ran the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, I wanted to know more about the OKC bombing and decided to order a book about it from Amazon. After some internet research, I finally settled on The Unfinished Bombing by Edward Linenthal, but I still haven’t finished it. Earlier this year, I wanted to know more about Hurricane Katrina after facilitating at The Journey. I read articles, looked at pictures, and read an eBook, but other than making a small donation to the Ninth Ward museum, I’ve failed to do anything that might actually create some change or help New Orleans heal. (Yeah, New Orleans still hasn’t fully recovered.)

I have been part of numerous conversations this year about interests, passions, and dissertation topics as well as how all of those things can (and many believe should) overlap. I’m now two semesters into the doctoral journey, and what I thought I’d like to write my dissertation on has already shifted slightly, which I don’t think is a bad thing. Multiple people told me this would probably happen, and I think I’m shifting toward things that aren’t (to put it as Vanessa did) “as shiny” but are important. I certainly have the obsessive piece down, and while my fanaticism can be irritating at times, when it comes to a task like a dissertation, I think it’s definitely a positive thing. So, I’m going to work on channeling my obsessions toward something meaningful for me professionally. I recognize that I’m already dedicating a lot of time and energy to studying, and plenty of my time goes to training for and running races, but Vanessa really inspired me to carefully choose the other things I dedicate large chunks of time to and to follow through once I do find myself dedicating time to new obsessions. It was a good message to hear on this rainy Thursday. 

Something that made today great: Gas station snacks! Coffee, Diet Mountain Dew, and candy bars...yum!
Time I woke up: 7:00 am

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Day 116

Today was a super productive day in just about every capacity except for going to work. I was only at work for about three hours today, but that’s okay! I tackled my emails and phone calls and started a new project, so it wasn’t a total bust. 

Before I went to work, Ellen and I went for a run in our neighborhood. I had a fabulous leisurely (and adventurous!) lunch at Kalurah Street Grill with my classmates Diana and Becca, which was delicious. I am already looking forward to going back someday. 

After work, Sandra and I went downtown to go for a run on the levee (helloooo Mighty Mississippi!) before we met Elena at Happy’s Run Club. I am doing an excellent job racking up time on my feet in preparation for my ultra in 18 days (!!!)

I picked up Chick-fil-A for dinner, Richard and I took Scooter for a walk, and I was showered and in bed by 10:00 pm. Other than not spending much time doing my actual job, I rocked the adult thing today. 

Something that made today great: Post-run(s) beer was pretty delightful. 
Time I woke up: 8:30 am

Monday, May 6, 2019

Day 117

The best part about going for two runs in one day is that you can eat more ice cream than you would be able to eat if you went a smaller number of miles. The best part is so good, in fact, that I don’t even know what the worst part is. Maybe it’s being more tired or the fact that going on multiple runs creates more laundry than one run, but that’s all small potatoes compared to eating ice cream. 

I did a 4-mile Runch (run at lunch) with Jennie, then Sandra and I ran a big loop of the lakes after work. It was hot both times. It’s just going to be hot from now until at least October, and I know that, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. 

That’s all I’ve got today. 

Something that made today great: I went home for lunch today, and Richard and Scooter were there!
Time I woke up: 8:00 am

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Day 118

I hadn’t planned to take three days off of blogging, but it just sort of happened that way. I had gotten so engrossed in my school routine that I forgot what it was like to not have reading, writing, transcription, or something else academic to do on a weeknight. Not only that, but I didn’t realize how tired I’d allowed myself to become. I wasn’t completely exhausted like I was in March before I had my thyroid rechecked, but I’ve definitely enjoyed going to bed earlier and sleeping later.  Anyway, I’ll do my best to sum up the past few days here. 

Thursday: My first day with no school responsibilities! I went out for a midday run around the LSU lakes during my lunch time, and it was hot. My body is not ready for the summer. That night, I invited some classmates over, and a Richard and I hosted “Hamburgers and Hulk” night where he grilled burgers and we made Incredible Hulk cocktails for anyone who wanted one. We had a great time relaxing, eating, and playing Jackbox games. I’m ready to do it again when more people can attend, because it was so much fun. 

Friday: We slept in and headed to Ruston in the afternoon. Richard grilled steaks and baked potatoes, I made rolls, and Maryanne made salad and dessert. Russ made martinis, and I forget what a Brian did, but anyway, it was a team effort, and a delicious one at that. I’ve missed having time to gather as a family lately, and we missed having Becca and her crew, but it was a lovely evening. 

Saturday: Shreveport adventure! I started the day at Centenary’s graduation, where I saw so many people for the first time in a long time. It was exciting to see so many of my former students graduating and preparing for next steps in all different parts of the country and even the world. 

After that, Richard and I went to Taquería La Michoacana, our favorite taco place in Shreveport for lunch, then we went to Flying Heart for beers and snacks because we were going to a 6:30 wedding but needed to pass some time. My work wife, Tricia, met us there, and we hung out and caught up, which was wonderful. We missed our last FaceTime date due to both having crazy schedules, but real life time is better anyway. 

That evening, we attended the wedding of one of my former students, and it was so beautiful! We had a wonderful time, the food was delicious, and I even saw a few of my former students from my first year at LSMSA. Richard caught up with his med school classmate, Ahmad, for a bit, and then we headed back to Ruston. 

Sunday: Richard and I joined Russ and his friend Robert for their traditional Sunday brunch. Like every other day since I finished finals, the company was lovely, and we ate too much. After lunch, we attempted to take a family photo with Scooter, but we didn’t have much luck. The one below was probably the best one except that I’m wearing my fitness watch. Oops. Guess we will keep trying. Once we made it back to Baton Rouge, we unloaded the car, and I went for a run. I should’ve gotten out bed early enough to run this morning, but the weather cooperated tonight, and I was able to get in 8 miles as prescribed by my training plan. 

All in all, it’s been busy but generally a good few days. I should be back on my regular blogging routine now...fewer than 20 days to go before I rest for a bit and start my next round of 100 days!

Something that made today great: My marathon training plan called for 8 miles in 90 minutes, and I crushed it!
Time I woke up: 9:42 am

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Day 119

Scrolling through my Facebook memories, I'm realizing more than ever before that May 1 is a really important day in my life.

On this day in 2010, I was writing my final paper for my senior capstone class, Genocide and the Holocaust. I had convinced my professor, Dr. David Gushee, that I could craft a meaningful 20+ page paper about Jewish fraternities during the Holocaust. I ended up producing a paper about antisemitism (which I probably hyphenated at that time, oops) in historically Jewish fraternities. Now, portions of that paper are on their way to being incorporated into a book, and I will soon be the co-author of a book chapter for the first time. (Yay!) During my research, I found the following quote from a past Executive Secretary of Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity (which just happens to be my dad's fraternity) that I shared on Facebook at that time.

"I believe that many an alumnus is giving himself to his community because years ago he learned to give himself to his fraternity, and the objective them was to prepare him for larger usefulness to his environment--not for larger usefulness to his fraternity. I submit that, if theese be our beliefs, we may be proud of what the college fraternity is, and prouder still of what it is going to be." -James C. Hammerstein
The quote showed up in my memories today, which happened to be a day of giving for my sorority! I was just talking yesterday with another sister from my chapter about how it can be difficult to be engaged with the sorority when there are not collegiate or alumnae chapters nearby, but there are plenty of ways to improve the world no matter where you are. I volunteered in high school, but my love for service was really cemented when I joined Alpha Gamma Delta and Delta Sigma Pi. Without joining fraternal organizations, I don't know if I would be in Junior League or if I would coach for Girls on the Run. It's possible, but I'll give most of the credit to Alpha Gam and Deltasig. So, I made a little donation to the Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation as a way to give back to an organization that has given me so much.

Speaking of writing papers, my last final was due today. I was in charge of compiling my group's paper for our project that we've been working on all semester, and I had my own paper to submit. It ended up taking way more time than expected, so other than attending a meeting at the capitol this morning (!!), I took the day off of work to finish my final. Everything was due at 4:30, and I submitted my individual paper at 4:29 pm. That was exhausting, so I immediately took an hour nap on the couch (and Scooter actually wanted to cuddle, which is rare). Then, I went for a run (5.25 miles--it's getting hot outside, y'all), and showered because...

Last but not least, it's my engagementversary! Five years ago, Richard and I got engaged, which is pretty cool. We went out to Fuzzy's Taco Shop to celebrate the end of the semester and the anniversary of our engagement because I love tacos, Richard thinks tacos are pretty good, and Richard loves me. I also had a raspberry Fancy-Rita, which is a raspberry margarita served with an upside down mini-bottle of champagne, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be drinking more of them as the summer heat is closing in.

I have made assorted posts about it on Facebook and don't really feel like writing a new one today, so here are all of the posts I've written on other years. There are also photos. Consider it a literature review without the theoretical framework, methodology, and synthesis. I apparently skipped 2017.

It’s College Decision Day, and while committing to Mercer University in 2006 was cool, committing to marry 
Richard Davis on this day in 2014 was a million times cooler...and we all know how much I love Mercer, so this is a pretty big deal. Thwarting his romantic dinner plans by eating LSMSA cafeteria steak fingers, saying yes about 24 times before he actually asked me to marry him, making an all call and celebrating in Caddo, and having this awesome sunburn that’s becoming an annual thing all made May 1, 2014 one of the best days of my life. 

It's our engagementversary again, only this time we are married! I love having Richard in my life and am thrilled that we only have a few more weeks as a
#commutercouple. In addition to being smart, talented, hilarious, fun, and generally dreamy, Richard patiently tolerates my antics and contributes to them when possible. It takes a pretty amazing man to put up with me, and Richard does so willingly.

One year ago today, I ate steak fingers for dinner in the cafeteria as Richard Davis was furiously driving from Minden to Natchitoches with a ring in his pocket and plans to surprise me with a romantic dinner. That was the first of many times things didn't quite go according to plan, but we still ended the night engaged! It was quite symbolic of how we will always make it through life's craziness together. Happy engagement-versary to the dreamy man of my dreams!
Added bonus: I currently have a similar sunburn to the one I had in this photo.

Something that made today great: Finishing another semester of doctoral work!
Time I woke up: 4:35 am (I went to bed early instead of doing school work, and it bit me in the tail!)