Saturday, April 30, 2011

Knowing When to Say No...

"No" may be the hardest word in the English language for some of us. We are raised to be people-pleasers. To always help if we can, to rearrange our lives to make someone else's life easier, to put our wishes/needs aside and focus on others. While this is a good way to live, sometimes we have to learn to say "no". If we always say "yes", we enable others to continue to use us and inevitably we burn ourselves out.

I've been in the position where I was asking for things that I needed people to say "no" to if I ever wanted to get better. As the "asker", at the time it hurt to hear that word. I felt like I was being abandoned and that no one really understood me. Two years and two months later, I realize that those people love me and were trying to help me.

So the challenge is to figure out when to use "yes" and when it is okay to use "no"...and that is tough sometimes. Simple things are easy. "Can I borrow a cup of sugar?" "Yes!" "Can you help me change this tire?" "Yes!" But what about these questions:

"Can you watch my dog for three weeks?"
"Can I borrow some money?"
"Can I store 50% of my stuff at your house for the next six months?"

You may want to say "yes, no problem, I will rearrange my life to fit your needs." But for your own sanity, sometimes you have to say "no". While the actual word is not difficult to say, the guilty feelings that follow are sometimes overwhelming. Each situation has to be handled individually and with both your needs and their needs in mind. If, after 24-hours of pondering, you determine that the impact to your life will not have any negative long-term effects, then go ahead and say "yes". But if you find that even the tiniest amount of resentment may rise up, or you may have to adjust your schedule to something you are not comfortable with, then say "no". Allow yourself to put your needs first and even if you do feel guilty, it will pass in time.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Consumed with Technology

In today's fast-paced world, we are surrounded by all kinds of electronic gadgets and toys that make our lives "easier". Here are a few of my favorite:

1) iPhone - I can do the normal stuff that a phone can do (make calls, send text messages), but I can also check e-mail, browse Facebook, take pictures, and play games while sitting in a waiting room. With all of these wonderful
things the iPhone
can do, the biggest downside is that it's a HUGE waste of time. I find myself constantly checking for updates on Facebook and sucked into all kinds of games!

2) Kindle - No more packing five books for that week long vacation. Now it's just a small tablet that slides into my carry-on that holds all the books I could possibly want/need. While this is useful for packing, I still like the feel of a book in my hands, I like being able to mark up a book so I can look back at it later for reference, and I like the smell of old books.

3) Garmin Forerunner GPS - no more pulling up Google Earth and trying to plot out how far I run. No more trying to guess at how fast (or how SLOW) I'm running. Just a click of a button and I'm linked to a satellite that does it all for me! Yes, this is all nice, but there are definitely days when I leave the Garmin at home and just hit the road for pure enjoyment.

4) iPad - With the wonders of Netflix, I can now watch shows that I like without those stupid commercials. I can play games and draw pictures too! Haven't come up with any downsides to this yet!!!

5) Microwave - Now I know this isn't a new invention...but it's still one of my favorite tools. I cannot even count the number of nights in the l
ast two months that I've microwaved dinner (don't cringe Dody!). With the hours that Sean and I keep at work, sometimes this
is the best option and what a convenience! I suppose all of this "convenience" comes at the expense of the quality of the food...pretty sure if you can just microwave it and it's ready to go, 90% of the time it's not going to be very nutritious.

What are your favorite gadgets?

Sunday, April 10, 2011


On Saturday, April 9th, in the heart of the Spring Mountains, just to the southwest of Las Vegas, NV, Jessica took on the task of running her first 100 mile ultra-marathon.
It would be her first long distance race since completing the Marine Corps Marathon in 2005, and her first ultra since running a 50 miler in 2003.
Headphones in and camelback strapped to her back, she began her pursuit at 0700 (PST) in 30 degree weather. Her goal was to accomplish 4 laps out-and-back along the course's 11 mile stretch plus a short 6 mile out-and-back to cover the remaining 12.
She covered the first 6 miles in 90 minutes and just before noon she completed her first 22 mile loop. Battling 4,000 feet of altitude, a sudden snow storm and frigid winds, Jessica muscled through with a smile on her face and completed her second loop just before 6 PM.
As the sun set and the stars arrived, Jessica continued to march northward toward the midpoint of her 3rd lap. Hitting the half-way point of 50 miles just after 7:30 PM she pushed through the darkness and reached the turnaround at 9 PM. Unfortunately, by this point the cold weather and distance had taken it's toll. Although she was disappointed, instead of pushing forward and risking injury, Jessica decided to call it a day after 55 miles and 14 hours of running. Although she didn't complete the 100 miles, she did break her personal best by 5 miles. Not a bad day.

To put things in perspective, here are some interesting facts about her 55 mile accomplishment.
- Most people are happy to run a marathon. Jessica ran two 14 hours...and then ran an extra 2.6 miles.
- NASA consider outer space to begin at 50 miles above the Earth and award Astronaut wings to those who fly above it. (See what happens to you when you try to run to outer space --------------->)
- She ran the equivalent of almost 807 football fields.
- She was 11 miles shy of covering the distance between Columbia, MD and Warrenton, VA.
- Plus she didn't get lost or eaten by any wild animals. Great job!

Additionally, Jessica raised almost $1000 for Fisher House.

Congratulations Jessica on running 55 MILES!!! It was amazing and a lot of fun. Special thanks to West Coast Lisa for her support and being an excellent member of the crew as well. Thanks to everyone who follow on Twitter and checked-in with us throughout the day.
Way to go Jessica!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Race Weekend - Labor of Love 100 Miler

This weekend Jessica will be running the Calico Racing Labor of Love 100 Miler in Lovell Canyon, located in the Spring Mountains southwest of Las Vegas, Nevada.

The course will consist of an 11-mile stretch on the paved Lovell Canyon Road. Jessica will run four loops on the 11-mile stretch four times for a total of 88 miles and finish the remaining 12 miles on a short 6-mile out-and-back along the same road.

The event begins at 7am (PST) Saturday morning. Jessica will have 32 hours to complete the ultra-marathon.

As part of the event, Jessica will be running in support of the Fisher House Foundation. Fisher House provides support to wounded service members and their families.

You can follow her progress throughout the day on the blog site or via Twitter.