2013 Fiesta Fandango Wrap Up

Saturday evening I put on my good sports bra and went downtown for a 2.6 mile fun run called the Fiesta Fandango.SAMSUNG

To be perfectly honest, I had completely forgotten that these last two weeks were Fiesta. For those of you not in Texas or Lamesville proper, Fiesta is a two week long party that is fun if you like drinking beer and crowds. I usually spend my time hiding from it because my interests are neither. The only real Fiesta thing I’ve done was volunteer at Oyster Bake, which is exactly what it sounds like and is held on my university’s campus. Need to go to the library? Have fun with that. Want to head to the caf for dinner? Better have remembered your student ID and wristband because they will NOT let you through without them. I am speaking from experience.

But I digress.

The point is that Fiesta and I don’t get on. So I completely forgot that this was a Fiesta event until they told us we were going to be running on the parade route ahead of the Flambeau Night Parade’s vanguard. This meant that Mister E and I were thrilled to pieces about using the runners’ shuttles from Sunken Gardens. Unfortunately Google Maps and a broken-down Fiesta float turned that into a series of adventures that meant we barely got on the bus in time. Actually, separate buses. I was alone in mine so I made a friend. Her name was Cynthia.

There were way more people than I expected, some wearing costumes, some with babies in strollers. The run wasn’t officially timed, it was just for fun, so we all had the same bib number. Some people were lucky and got special black bibs supporting Boston but Cynthia and I missed out. Boo.

This was my first outdoor race (Jailbreak doesn’t count, it was on dirt and grass) and it became clear very quickly that I had made a miscalculation. I was ten minutes into the run when my shin decided it was time to start screaming in pain. I ran another couple of minutes, then had to stop and walk until the pain went away. I spent the rest of the run alternately walking and running, and I managed to suck it up long enough to run the last of the way over the finish line. My time was 35:55, which I think was pretty okay. Honestly, I was just proud of myself for finishing.

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Once I’d made it over the finish line, it was time for refrescos. I was at the after-party chugging a Gatorade when I realized I had no idea how to find Mister E since we had been on separate buses and I didn’t have my phone. So what did I do? I found some really nice people in Adventure Time costumes and asked the wife to let me use her phone. She let me, I called my husband, and we found each other (and a paleta cart!). Guys. I TALKED TO STRANGERS. This is a huge thing.

When we got back to the car, there was a flyer on it for something called the Shiner Beer Run in November. Mister E’s favorite beer in the world is Shiner so he is insisting that I do it because then he will get free beer. If I can’t manage a 5K by November, it might be time to hang up my shoes.

Next month I might try to do a 5K, run/walking like I did this one.

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New Plan

I did a fun run yesterday, and learned something very important. Judging from the pain in my shin, I am not ready to be running long distances outside. I also learned that I need new shoes but that’s not gonna happen unless the shoe fairy comes to my house. Sigh.

Anyhow, I decided that I need a new plan.

Starting tomorrow I’m going to restart the C25K plan, only I’m gonna do it outside. Three times a week I’m gonna run on the plan wherever I can. There’s a park with good trails near my house, I might do it there. There are also some good trails by the library. I’ll start off with Week One, Day One and work myself up to it.

At the same time, I’m going to continue what I’ve been doing at the gym, which is run 10 minutes, walk 3 minutes, run 10 minutes, rinse, repeat. I’ve been able to run 30 minutes that way without getting completely bored or making my leg hurt. If I keep doing this twice a week I’ll be able to keep my endurance up too.

I think this is a plan that will work to get me ready for a real, live 5K. I’m shooting for July but I might do one in June and just run/walk it like I did yesterday.

More on that tomorrow with the full Fiesta Fandango wrap up. I just needed to babble a little today.

I bought this magnet at the running store where I picked up my packet. Even though I didn’t manage to run the whole way I think I have every right to have it on my car. Because I did finish.SAMSUNG

iPod or Phone?

Okay, so here’s my dilemma. I need to take some tunes for Saturday’s Fiesta Fandango (I’m already hyperventilating about it) and I’m kind of having a hard time deciding what to do. So I’m asking the advice of my lovely friends on Twitter and in the blog world to help me make the tough choices.

iPod

Pros

  • lightweight
  • durable
  • don’t have to worry about OS crashing
  • easy to switch playlists

Cons

  • limited amount of music
  • no holder for it, would have to carry
  • if I break it, I’m SOL for car music

Phone (not an iPhone)

Pros

  • unlimited music choices via Spotify
  • easy to switch playlists
  • fits perfectly in old CD fanny pack

Cons

  • it’s been crashing a lot lately
  • not durable – back cover will pop off if I drop it
  • chunky and awkward to hold
  • battery life is kind of sucky

If you have any sort of input on this, I would be much obliged. After looking at the pros and cons written out I’m leaning toward my iPod but I’d still welcome any advice. I know they always tell you not to take music to a race but everyone does it and I can’t just listen to myself think. I can’t. To quote Thomas Dolby, my brain is like a sieve.

Great, now I want to listen to Thomas Dolby.

Hey Kids!

Well, I went and did it. I reactivated and refurbished my writing blog. You should really go see it, it’s fancy. The layout is the same as this blog but with different pictures and such. One day I would like to get a real-live custom theme but that’s not really gonna happen anytime soon.

Anyway, if you like my writing – on this page or in my books – please go over and poke through the new blog! It’s got info on my books, excerpts to read, and ways to buy them. It’s also got posts from three years ago and pictures of my whole process. Some of them were even taken with my old Blackberry. Please excuse the quality. Anyway, here it is.

nataliesbooks.wordpress.com

Henceforth and whatnot, all writing-related posts will be over there. Don’t worry, I’m not one of those writers who feels the need to be all “arty.” I’m still wearing band t-shirts over skirts over there, just talking about different stuff.

That’s the Truth, Ruth

Hmm, maybe I should have posted that I was a huge fan of The Big Bopper as a kid. I totally was, you know. I wore out two cassettes of his music and pestered my aunt constantly to listen to her old albums. I even read his biography. Like I said, huge fan. Huge.

Anyway, here I am to tell you what my lie was. First I will tell you the truths.

* We once kept a starling in our living room.

TRUE. When we lived in Fort Worth, RJ and I found a starling chick. Actually, someone brought the ugly little creature to my work and asked if we could save it. It was the first bird I ever raised and I was fond of it. Not knowing if it was a boy or a girl, I named it Shammy because the fuzz on its head was as soft as a shammy that you use on a car. Once I’d raised it, though, I discovered that everyone hates starlings. I couldn’t pawn it off on anyone; none of the bird rescues wanted it, and Texas Parks and Wildlife told me to shove off. It also refused to leave no matter how many times we released it, so we kept it in a flight cage in our living room, letting it out to fly around the house and steal our fruit. We later found out she was female. She didn’t live long but she had a good life.

* I danced with the high school teacher I had a crush on at prom.

TRUE. From the time I was a freshman I had a massive, poetry-writing, desperate crush on my English teacher, Mr. C. He was one of those teachers that was really awesome, had great ways to get students involved in the subject, and listened when you had problems. Naturally I went crazy for him, took covert pictures of him, and hung around his room whenever I could. I even shipped us in a story. What can I say, I was fifteen. I maintained this crush all the way through high school and actually had two pictures of us together – one from Open House when I was a freshman, one from the Senior Picnic – and lost my mind when he gave me one of his old senior cards. Then, when I was having a really shitty prom, he asked me if I wanted to dance with him. Guess what I said? And no, it wasn’t just a stream of babbling. Recently he messaged me on Facebook to ask how I was and what I’d been up to. I am not ashamed to say that I squealed like a little girl.

* Ray Bradbury gave me advice on writing.

TRUE. Somehow my middle school got Ray Bradbury to come talk to us when I was in 7th or 8th grade, and I was extremely pumped that whole week. Even then I was writing stories, fanfics, and even a novella for one class. So it was with shaking hands that I handed him my copy of The Illustrated Man to sign, and a deep breath before I asked him “can you give me any advice about writing?” Much to my surprise and excitement, he took the time to talk to me while he was signing books for the other kids. He told me that he rarely wrote down notes, that he just let his ideas roll around in his head until he was ready to actually write them. He said that there’s no one right way to write, that you just put down what’s in your head and let other people decide if it’s good or not. He said the most important thing was to always keep writing and to enjoy it. Even though I write down copious notes and background, I have to say that I took all of his advice to heart and still use it to this day.

* I bought two hundred dollars worth of manga for my birthday.

As much as this seems like it would be true, it’s not. The most I’ve spent on manga at one time was a hundred and fifty bucks, but I would have spent more if I’d had it. One of these days I’ll hit two hundred, just not anytime soon. Right now I’m lucky to scrape together fifteen bucks for the latest Afterschool Charisma.

Well, there you have it. My (long-ass) explanation of my truths and lie. If you have any questions, comments, large rocks to throw, or sandwich cookies to share, please do so. I’m gonna go listen to The Big Bopper now.