This a Touchy Subject…

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My mom & I at the Culdesac 5k

I’ve been avoiding writing about this for a while, but its time. Two weeks ago, I ran my first race in a very long time. It was absolutely horrible. I made a rookie mistake in assuming that I would run fast. That was just stupid. I had only trained for one week before the race. It was close to ninety degrees. I had spent the past two days walking around the city of Chicago. I was not hydrated nor well rested. This was just not an environment meant for success. And yet, my over-competitive stupid self believed that it was.

I am way too competitive for my own good. I take every race or competition incredibly serious. That was great when I was competing in the high school state meet, but when I’m running in the “Culdesac 5k,” I shouldn’t put so much pressure on myself. But I always do. When I race, I race hard. I race to win, or to run a personal best time. Which is STUPID when you have only been training for a week.

So, like I said before, the race was horrible. I ran my first mile way too fast, and thus began a long, slow, painful death… I felt like I could barely breathe and I was concerned that my legs could have given out at any moment. Once I lost that momentum, I lost all  of my mental stamina. I just completely gave up. It was hot, I was tired, and I wasn’t running fast. A recipe for disaster. 

It was the slowest 5k race I have ever run in my life. I’m embarrassed to even be writing this, but I ran the 5k in 23 minutes, 43 seconds. Oh God I am humiliated. I realize that that is a lot faster than a lot of people can run, and I am thankful for that. But you must realize that my best time for the 5k is 19 minutes, 20 seconds. So what I ran in the Culdesac 5k was WAY slower, and naturally I was very disappointed with it. God, I never ran that slow in high school. Now I know that some of my running friends will see this… That kind of scares me, which is why I held off on writing this for so long. But I realized this: what kind of writer am I if I don’t write honestly? And that’s why I have to share this experience with you all.

After the Culdesac 5k, I was extremely discouraged. I knew that I hadn’t been training much, and it was not ideal racing conditions, but I just felt like there was no way I would ever get back to the level I used to be at. I didn’t run again for the rest of the week. After some encouragement from my loved ones, I did start running again, albeit not very much.

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My mom, brother, and I at the Village of Nags Head 5k

So two days ago, Thursday morning, I ran another 5k. We were down in Nags Head, and they have a series of races right in our neighborhood. Honestly, I wasn’t too excited about it, and I didn’t expect much either. But my mom and brother were running, and I knew it would be a fun event so I got up at 6:00 AM and went out there anyway. Much to my surprise, the race went really well! I ran the 5k in 21 minutes, 43 seconds; exactly two minutes faster than my race at the Culdesac 5k. In only two weeks, I dropped two whole minutes, which is huge progress! I was thrilled after I finished. Not only did I race that much faster, but I also raced a hell of a lot tougher, which is really important to me. I am still over two minutes off of my personal best, but that’s okay. I know there is a long road ahead of me, but I’m ready for that.

I now am extremely happy that I ran the Culdesac 5k. Had the Village of Nags Head 5k been my first race back, I would have been disappointed with 21:43. But now I know how far I have come, and I am more motivated than ever! Heck, if I keep up this dropping two minutes thing, I’ll be running personal bests in no time 😉

I am a sucker for a good quote, and there is one particular one I have kept in mind throughout my injury struggles and recovery process

Every setback is a setup for a comeback. God wants to bring you out better than you were before. -Joel Osteen

Sometimes I don’t think I’ll ever be the runner I once was, but that quote keeps me motivated. Even if that day never comes, I’m happy that I’m able to still do what I love. What these past two races have taught me is perspective. I may not be the runner I want to be, but I’m extremely happy with my progress and I have to remember how far I have come.

I know a lot of people who regularly read my blog love reading about my running, so that’s why I wanted to share this. Hopefully one day I will be able to write about some more spectacular success, but this will do for now 🙂 Thank you everyone for all the support and encouragement I have received throughout this never-ending recovery process. The minimal success I have achieved thus far could not have been done without you.

Keep on running, my friends…

xoxo Katie 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detective Katie

I apologize for the corny and somewhat boring title of this post, but at this time of excitement I couldn’t think of anything better. Today, I accomplished something remarkable, if I do say so myself.

ImageFirst off, I’ll just say that the family trip to Chicago was awesome. We had an awesome time and I am still absolutely in love with that city. It was a really, really fun trip. If you read my previous post about my love of wrestling, then you may remember that the reason I started watching wrestling is because I constantly had CM Punk’s entrance song stuck in my head. Since then, CM Punk has become one of my favorite wrestlers. He was born, raised, and still living in Chicago, Illinois. When we began the trip, I mentioned that maybe we would see him while we were in town. It was almost more of a joke, the wrestlers are constantly traveling around the world, we figured there was no way he was in Chicago. Lo and behold, he tweeted that he was in fact in Chicago that weekend. My brother and I thought that was pretty cool, but again knew there was no way we would see him. In a city with a population of 2,714,856 people, not including the hundreds of thousands of tourists that roll in, we figured there was absolutely no chance that we would see that one man.

Nonetheless, when we embarked on our tourist activities Saturday morning, we joked about Imageaccomplishing our “mission” and I jokingly instructed everyone to keep an eye out for CM Punk. But I mean, we took a freaking speedboat tour of the Chicago River. A man who has lived in Chicago his whole life will certainly not spend his Saturday afternoon doing that. Even still, I rehearsed in my head what I would say on the off chance that we saw him. We didn’t. And I wasn’t disappointed by that, because I knew the chances of that happening were less than 1%.

This morning, Will checked his WWE app to see where Monday Night Raw was being filmed tomorrow. We then knew that at some point that day, if not already, CM Punk would be departing Chicago for Austin, Texas. Our less than 1% chance was now completely gone. Again, I wasn’t really that upset by this because my brain knew it wouldn’t happen. I was a little disappointed because my heart got all excited for nothing…

At approximately 5:00 PM CST at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport I texted Tucker…

Hahaha we never saw CM Punk 😦

At approximately 5:19 PM CST I read the following tweet from CM Punk…

If I were to tell y’all that I’m delayed because, “we are looking for another crew member”. Which airline would you guess I am on?

That was when my newfound, supreme detective skills came into action. I went into full on CSI mode and considered all of my clues thus far…

  • I knew that CM Punk was still in Chicago.
  • I knew that CM Punk was flying to Austin.
  • I knew that CM Punk’s flight was delayed due to a wait for a crew member.
  • I knew that he was flying on United Airlines, because that is the main airline at O’Hare, and he complains about them all the time

That was all I needed to know. I rushed to that board that displays all flights, terminals, and statuses. There was only one flight to Austin. It was United. It was delayed. They were “awaiting crew.” It was in terminal F1C. Suddenly, something I had joked about all weekend became extremely serious as I knew the exact location of CM Punk, former WWE champion and one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. In this moment I had conflicting emotions. I felt like a bit of a creeper, a little stalkerish. But I knew that this opportunity would never present itself again. I knew that this was a once in a life time chance… And thus, Will and left terminal B11 in a dead sprint headed straight for terminal F1C. (I figured hey, he put all of his damn flight information on Twitter. It’s not stalkerish. Maybe a little but its his own fault.)

At approximately 5:40 PM CST, we arrived at terminal F1C in Chicago O’Hare International Airport. It was absolutely packed with people clearly pissed off about their delayed. We walked through the whole thing, and my hope really started to diminish. I figured I had missed something, read something wrong… maybe he gets to sit in some kind of elite passenger lounge… And then, there he was. I turned to my left in CM Punk, the man who made me become a WWE addict was sitting on floor of Chicago O’Hare International Airport, five feet away from me.

I haven’t been so nervous since…. Well honestly I can’t think of a time I had been so nervous. This was something we had talked about for so long and I had put so much work into getting to terminal F1C. I was not going back to B11 without having spoken to CM Punk. There was just one problem. He was wearing Beats headphones. Anyone who has worn Beats before knows that Dr. Dre was not kidding around, they are damn good headphones and you can’t hear anything but your music. I walked right up to him and back about fifteen times because I was so scared. I was at a loss. I didn’t want to tap him on the shoulder, because I thought that seemed a bit creepy and I didn’t want to startle him. I didn’t want to crouch down next to him because again, creepy.

I finally decided to just say “excuse me,” and hope that he could hear me. I said it once, about five people looked up and not one of them was him. I said it again, he looked up with a face of pure confusion that scared the living hell out of me. For a minute everything froze. Then I decided to crouch down next to him because I didn’t want to make a scene and I didn’t want him to crane his neck (I was very thoughtful towards his overall well-being, or at least I thought so). In a moment like this, I had always pictured myself saying something smooth, unforgettable, and different than every other fan. But instead, after about thirty five “umms” I stuttered through the most cliche fan saying ever.

We’re, like, really big fans of yours.

He smiled. I was encouraged.

We saw your flight was delayed on Twitter… We just wanted to come say hi…

He laughed. Again, I was encouraged.

You’re, like, the reason I watch wrestling.

He responded with…

I appreciate that. What’s your name?

We met, shook hands, took a quick picture, thanked him, and left. It took about thirty seconds because, again, I really just didn’t want to bother him. The picture was pretty much just a crappy selfie, he couldn’t stand because of an injury, and my hands were so shaky that I’m amazed that was able to take a picture even this clear. Nonetheless, I will cherish it forever.

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Seriously, is that not the coolest story you haver ever heard? I mean how crazy is it, that after talking about it all weekend, it ACTUALLY FREAKING HAPPENED. I feel like a character in a corny family vacation comedy. Plus, I am super impressed with my investigative skills. I also feel like a detective for the Chicago PD. I’m thinking about ditching this whole writing thing and pursuing a career as a detective who hunts down America’s Most Wanted. Kidding, I’ll keep the blog. I’m sure you all will love to hear my stories about tracking down criminals. OR MAYBE I could combine the two and write mystery novels. My first could be this story, this post is so freaking long it could already stand on its own as a novel.

In all seriousness, the whole thing was pretty awesome. CM Punk was very nice and I really appreciate that he took the time to talk to us. I can now scratch “Meet a WWE Champion” off of my bucket list. Pretty cool 🙂

If you made it this far, thanks for sticking through, I hope you enjoyed 🙂

xoxo Katie

Katecations.

Hello everyone! I wanted to write today, but I wasn’t feeling very inspired. Luckily for me, I follow The Daily Post! Everyday they post a daily prompt to help motivate stuck bloggers, like myself. So I am honored and excited to be participating in my first daily prompt.

What’s your favorite part about visiting a new place — the food? The architecture? The people watching?

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My dad and I at the Cubs game

This is a fitting prompt because this weekend my family and I are taking a trip to Chicago, Illinois. This will not be my first trip to Chicago. My Dad and I went last year to spend some quality time together before I went off to South Carolina. We spent our time in Chicago visiting places signature to the town and doing “Chicagoan” things. We went to a Cubs game, ate deep-dish pizza, went to the Navy Pier, and shopped on the Magnificent Mile. We don’t have a ton planned for this weekend yet, but I know we are planning to take a speedboat tour of Lake Michigan.

So, when I think back to the initial question: “What’s your favorite part about visiting a new place?” I guess my answer would have to be, getting immersed in that place’s culture. Even if I’m only there for a few days, I like to hit all the “must-see” attractions.

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Bahamas trip #1 back in 2008

I guess everybody likes to do that when they travel. But, oh well. I really like to travel. The only bad thing about being a teacher one day is that it I will never get to travel for my job… I will pretty much just stay in the classroom at all times. One of my dreams in love is to fill my passport up with stamps from all over the world. So far, I have three stamps from the Bahamas, but that’s it. I do hope to see the world one day, if I get the opportunity to.

I love traveling so, so much. I love every part of it. I love packing. I love being in an airport. I love the little bag of airplane pretzels and the drinks with the cool looking ice. I love staying in a hotel and having my bed made for me. Oh, I just love every part of traveling. I love it so much, that my dream job has always been to have my own show on the Travel Channel. I have always pictured myself hosting a show titled something along the lines of Around the World with Katie or something more intense like Katie Wood: Abroad or maybe something quirky like Katecations. In my show, each episode would have a different travel destination, and everything I do in said place would be filmed! Then viewers would watch and not only learn about my featured destinations, but also become super jealous of my totally awesome career.

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Bahamas trip #3 in 2012. This could be such a good advertisement for “Katecations.”

This a dream that I think and talk about way too much. But seriously, how awesome would that be? You get to travel to all of these amazing places, immerse yourself in the culture and get PAID for it? It really doesn’t get much better than that. My dad always tells me that the job would much harder than I think, because I would have to do a great deal of research and the trips would not be enjoyable because I would be working. But honestly, I don’t care how much research and work I would have to do if I got to go to, say, Australia. Why else would I go to Australia, anyway? No way I will ever go there with a teacher’s salary. I would research for ten years if I got to go to Australia (maybe not that long, but you get my point).

So if there are many Travel Channel execs out there reading this, please consider adding Katecations to your lineup. It may be a totally unoriginal and already done idea, but you would be making a young woman’s dream come true. I will do endless amounts of research for you.

Well, I guess I really got sidetracked from the original prompt. But hey, at least I wrote. And now I am inspired to take a Flip camera to Chicago this weekend and personally film Katecations: Chicago Edition.

I promise to remember you all when I become a Travel Channel icon 😉

xoxo Katie Lou

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