Friday, May 20, 2011

Run, Forrest, Run

I have recently began to run. I had always thought I hated running. Long distance, anyway. In high school, I had a brief stint on the track team, however, could only manage to sprint. I think it was the fact that I was mostly hung over, and my lungs were tarred tight from all the marlboros.

Anyway, the "new" , older and wiser Jen doesn't really drink, and hasn't had a cigarette since September 13, 2008. (although, every day I think I am going to start having 2 every Sunday night as a reward for whatever...and a diet coke)

During my fist run, I was concerned that I wouldn't make it to the end of a long street in my neighborhood. My husband and girls rode their bikes with me. My neighbor was getting ready for his run at the same time and offered to coach me along.

I did very well. I managed to get three miles in with no cramping, or shortness of breath. It was nice....even though Emma, with her minimal language skills, managed to continually to turn to me from her bike seat and proclaim " get hit by car?" every 5 minutes or so.

After that run, I was anxious to do it again. However, the weather has not been optimal, and I have been forced to use the treadmill at the gym....which stunts my training as my ADD doesn't not allow me to be stationary for more than 15 minutes or so...which is equal to about 1.5 miles.

Last night, it was fairly warm. I had texted a few people whom I know run to see if they wanted to join me. This proved unsuccessful. As such, I was forced to run a solo mission.

I geared up, tucked my ipod securely in my sports bra, and off I went. (at least something was in my bra)

I was to run the same route that I ran during the first run. At about the ten minute minute mark, it was time turn cross the main street, and veer off into the first major neighborhood.

What I hadn't realized during my first run on this route, was that prior to hitting the suburban section of the neighborhood, there was a super long stretch of woods.

In case you were not aware, I have an incredible fear of being murdered. I had always thought, since very young, that this was my fate. I am sure it is a direct result of all the horror films I watched as a preteen. I seriously cannot be in a public restroom alone due to the fear of "candyman".

At first, I wasn't thinking about it....and actually, was a little glad. I had made the mistake of wearing a thong that was a tinge too big. A too big thong caused drooping, bunching, and moving in the crotch, in case you didn't know this. I was giving considerable thought to ducking into the woods to remove and bury it. Really, I was. Then I began to think a dog would dig it up and bring it home. DNA test would be run, and the news would report my murder. ironic, I know.

As I was thinking this, I noticed that I was running past a historical cemetery. I began to think that spirits were going to come an haunt me. Not two minutes later, my IPOD broke. Right in the middle of "Once Bitten Twice Shy". A continuous, loud buzzing of the could not be fixed...and I couldn't stop running to give it my full attention.

By this time, I was in deep fear mode. I was now alone with myself and my own irrational thoughts. No music to distract my mind. All I could think about now, was that a rapist/murder was going to dart out of the woods and drag me into the hollows of the brush. I began running a little faster, and like a wild animal that puffs out is chest in order to look a bit more threatening, a made fists with both of my hangs and flexed my arms a bit. Like, maybe the murderer would be afraid he wouldn't win my :fight-back"

Next, I started visualizing the fanny pack I would wear next time I ran alone (if there were a next time) It would look something like this:

1. Mace

2. A knife

3. An extra ipod

4. A cell phone

5. An extra pair of underwear

I also decided that I would wear brass knuckles too. I could kill two birds with one stone....give my arms a little more of a workout, and knock the shit out of whomever was stupid enough to attack me.

All of this distracted me enough that I managed to make it to the first house in the neighborhood...alive.

Another 15 or 20 minutes or so through this area, and I was again, found my self running alongside a wooded area.

This time, it was a bit worse. There was a body of water. A body of water, surrounded by woods can only mean one thing. Wild animals. Specifically, the black water moccasin was at the forefront of my mind.

I jumped to the middle of the road. I knew that if I had stayed on the sidewalk this snake would dart out and inject me with a venomous bite. Well, even if it wasn't venomous, there is no way I would be able to continue running with a snake bite...this I was sure.

After I passed the water, I remember a facebook post from a friend who was just running in the same area...and she mentioned a wild turkey. For some reason, I wasn't afraid of the wild turkeys. I was however, afraid of that these were victims of prey....prey that were hiding in the woods awaiting there next meal. Coyotes, Fox, you name it. I sped up, and began cheering myself on to persevere. "run, forrest, run" was all I could hear in my head. I wasn't far from houses once again.

I couldn't wait to get home. I almost wished someone I knew would drive by and pick me up. I wasn't physically tired, but I WAS mentally exhausted.

Luckily, I made it home.....unscathed by my adventure. The first thing I did was take off my underwear...and throw them in the garbage. The second thing I did was round up my girls and give a lesson as to why you never walk/run/or ride your bikes alone.

Today, I will be mapping out a new route for my next run....and purchasing a fanny pack.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jeans and Bikinis and Dressing Rooms, Oh my.

Let me begin by saying, there is absolutely nothing worse for damaging your self esteem as a dressing room.

I hate trying on clothing. 99% of the time, I purchase the clothes that I think will fit and try them on at home. 98.5% of THAT time, I end up needing to return what I had purchased.
I haven't quite figured out why no one in clothing store corporate America has figured out that if a women looks good in the clothes she is trying on, she is more likely to purchase. Seems easy enough.

Two days ago I was at one of my favorite stomping grounds...TJ Maxx. I came directly from the gym so was feeling pretty good about myself. After perusing the isles for a good 45 minutes, I had managed to fill my cart with six bikinis, three pairs of jeans and two dresses. ( I'm the only one who shops here and gets the max for the max)

I have learned, that, unless absolutely necessary, you DO NOT look into the mirror until the clothes are completely on your body. (I'll explain why shortly) I don't need to try the dresses on, but jeans and bathing suits are pretty tough to fit.

I start off with the jeans. I turn my back to the mirror, slip off my workout stretch pants, and thank the lord that I decided to wear underwear this day. (jeans do not normally come with the plastic undercarriage protection sticker). I had grabbed this pair from the juniors department.

(side note: Pants from the Juniors department is cut much differently than women's. I think prior to turning 2o, they assume your "down there" is shorter. I say this because the crotch rise is completely out of kilter. Aside from the most insane camel toe EVER, the top of the zipper is about 1.7 inches long. "jean people.....even juniors have pubic hair. Come on.....lengthen the zipper so the top of our girls pants don't look like zoomed picture of Tony Soprano's chest. )
Also, young girls have higher and firmer rear ends. So apparently, it doesn't matter that the jeans are designed with a super taught backside. For someone like me however, this jeans do nothing but pancake my ass.

Anyway, I wasn't sure what size I would be in Juniors. The real issue, which I learned quickly, is that I don't belong shopping in Juniors...unless is stretchwear. I grabbed a size which I thought reasonable. (You know me well enough to know that I actually grabbed a size that was unreasonable.)

Every woman, at some many points, has tried on jeans that are too small. This I am certain of. I am no exception to this rule. What I did learn about myself, is that at this point in my life, if I try just a tinge to hard to pull up jeans, the urine release gadget within my body is activated. Yes. With one hard yank, I peed my pants just a little. (in my defense, I had just guzzled a small bottle of water before getting into the store) Luckily, it was not enough to penetrate my underwear, and therefore, there was no need for me to panic, or rush into the ladies room to dry off the crotch with the hand dryer....not this time. I did get them up and managed somehow to get them buttoned. It was and ugly scene. Gangster in the front, Ihop in the back.

Five minutes later, I was out of this dreadful pair of pants. I decided to waive my right to try on the next two pairs.

Now onto the what could be the most damaging dressing room trauma. Not much tops the stress of jeans shopping...only swimwear is worse.

First of all, getting into something that for some, is more revealing than your underwear and bra and is made for the public to internally judge you.

Secondly, the majority of the time, swimwear shopping is done pre-beach season. As such, chances are you are at one of your most untan of the year.

Thirdly, you cannot avoid looking in the dressing room mirror unclothed.

I turn as I put on the bottoms. I always put the bottoms on because they are the number one deal breaker. If the bottoms fit and look good enough, you can pretty much make the top fit (with me, too small is not an issue...too big can be cutlet'ed up, or straps can be severely tightened)

I don't think the bottoms fit properly, and were clearly designed by the same asshole who fashioned the pee jeans I tried on just minutes before. They may have been lower in the front than the jeans. And the backside, i firmly believed, was designed using a cabbage patch doll as a model.

I hold my breath and turn to the mirror. Now, here goes my issue with dressing rooms.

The size of the dressing room. Where you need to stand in relation to the actual mirror. No one is going to look proportionate when trying to look at themselves close range. Maybe its because your eyes go a little cross eyed.(?)

Next, its the lights. I think they use the same lights that the dermatologist uses to scare the melanoma out of your face. I mean really. I see things in this mirror that would give freddy kruegar nightmares. Granted, I assume there will never again be anyone eyeballs this close to my ass who isn't starting off with the phrase "this is going to feel cold". But still. Its scary.

Needless to say, I couldn't even get an accurate depiction of what I actually looked like in the suit because of the two negative factors mentioned above. Unless, however, I ventured out of my box -o- horror, and walked to the three way mirror at the end of the dressing room. (Clearly, the dressing room construction genius decided that the most flattering mirror in the dressing room should be located at the end of a green mile aisle.) I guess I could throw one of the sundresses on and give a quick flash once I get to the mirror. I had never before ventured out in the hall before.

So that's what I do. I get down to the mirror (of course my dressing room was closest to the exit, and therefore furthest from the public mirror) I position myself so as to have the perfect view of all sides. I lift the dress.

What the hell was I thinking. Why did I think I needed a rear eyed view of my ass in a too small bathing suit? I quickly rushed back to my closet, turned my back to the mirror and put my own clothes back on.

In that instance I learned a valuable lesson. Maybe the dressing room design team was not that stupid afterall. I went in there, saw a fuzzy and bad image of myself in their swimwear, and blamed it on the dressing room mirror and lighting.

In the past, I would buy the suit, put it on at home, and assume that my severely slanted mirror covered in nasty little handprints and hot breath finger painted pictures was giving me an accurate look of myself. And I was perfectly happy with this. (also, the lighting in my room is very poor)

I mean....I'm not really complaining about my body. All I'm saying is let a girl walk out of a dressing room feeling good. Get some good fun house mirrors and dim lighting....maybe an attendant serving up shots.

At any rate, ill go back to my old ways of bringing clothes home to try on. If I am going to have a body dismorphic issue, Id rather it be a positive one.