Speak da Troof Sunday: You can't run a half marathon every day.

If you just read the title and you're having a "well, duh" moment... bear with me.

I am easily disappointed in myself - it's not my most attractive or productive quality, and it's something that I am actively working on.  But it's true, and it means that I beat myself up about things often.  If I miss a workout, instead of being forgiving (which I would be to someone else), I sometimes slip into the bad habit of telling myself I am a failure and feeling horribly guilty about it.  Again... working on it!

But since I've stepped up my fitness level (read: started actually exercising, instead of counting walking from my bed to my couch as a workout) in the past few years, my high expectations for myself have gone to a new level.  I think it started when I did P90X in the summer of 2010.  I'd been exercising regularly before that, but I hadn't stuck to anything that regimented before, and I had definitely never done workouts that difficult every day.  I had fantastic results from it, I loved the way it made me feel, and I felt so incredibly proud of myself for sticking to it.  But then the 90 days were over, and I fell into an exercise limbo for several months.  I had gone from having an entire basement to myself to exercise in to living in a relatively small apartment with 5 other girls and sharing one living room with one DVD player between all of us.  I also went from working zero hours a week to working at least 30 hours a week, at an exhausting job outside in the Florida heat and humidity.  I did a few P90X workouts here and there, but I couldn't make myself stick to the plan.  And instead of realizing that P90X wasn't going to work for me in my new environment and shifting to something that would work, I instead told myself that if I wasn't doing P90X, it wasn't worth working out at all.

I've tried to get better with this mentality, but I'm afraid with the half marathon now under my belt, this issue has resurfaced.  The problem is that I've proven to myself that I can do very intense workouts, like P90X and TurboFire, as well as very intense and long workouts, like all of the long runs I did during training.  So I get whacked out and tell myself that since I can do those intense workouts every day, that I have to do them every day.  But you know what?  That simply isn't true.

I'm still learning, and I know I'll continue to have mental setbacks, but I realized today that I can't and I don't have to run a half marathon every day.  Or do P90X or TurboFire every day.  Let's face it - some days you feel like running a whole lot, lifting weight for hours, or doing some hardcore cardio.  But some days you feel like getting back in bed and watching romantic comedies on Netflix all day.  And that is okay.  Today, I planned on going for a run.  But you know what sounded really miserable?  Running.  So I went for a long walk with my mom, my sister, and the Bonster Monster, and it felt great.  It wasn't the hardest activity I've ever done, and I don't think I torched a whole lot of calories, but it is what I felt up to.  And I'm starting to realize that taking care of yourself isn't just about eating right and exercising regularly... it's about showing yourself compassion and doing what feels right.

As for now... sleep feels super right.  So I'm going to be compassionate to myself and go to bed.  Sweet dreams, all!

15 Thing Friday!

1.  I'm blaming being late to do this post on Black Friday.  I definitely did the Black Friday thing today.  I did not go anywhere at midnight because in case you haven't realized this, I am an 80 year old woman stuck inside a 24 year old's body, and midnight doesn't exist to me.  But I hit Target around 5 am, then went to work and led a Weight Watchers meeting in a bathrobe and slippers (it was theming, I'm not that lazy, really), and then went to the mall later!  And before you ask... yes, I am tired and in pain.

2.  On the plus side, I got a bunch of DVDs for great prices from Target, and then I bought enough bath and body products to last me until 2020.  Which is great because I definitely didn't just spend several days working on cleaning my bathroom and asking the universe why the hell I felt the need to buy so many damn bath and body products.

It's true.  That stuff is my holiday crack.

3.  Speaking of things I didn't need, but for some reason spent money on today... I bought three pencil skirts from Forever 21.  The assistant director for Cinderella wore the cutest mini pencil skirt to rehearsal about a week ago with leggings and boots, and it honestly just looked like the bottom of a long tank top peeking out from under her shirt.  It was adorable and I thought I could easily pull it off.  I can't.  So now the girl who doesn't like her legs owns short pencil skirts.  

4.  I still haven't gotten my official time for yesterday's race yet, and for some reason checking my email every 15 seconds isn't making it appear any faster.  I feel like a moron for not stopping my Garmin immediately and turning it off so that I wouldn't start it again without intending to... because that definitely didn't happen, that would be dumb.  But I do know the ballpark area of my time, so I will tell you this much - since it was my first 5K in a while (the last one I actually ran instead of walked was back in 2009), I was trying to be kind to myself, so I was aiming to finish in 37 minutes.  This would have been a PR for me automatically because I think my fastest 5K before was at least 40 minutes, maybe a bit more.  Plus, I knew this was a hilly course, so I thought I'd take it easy.  That being said, I was secretly hoping to finish in 35 minutes.  So I was aiming for 37 minutes, hoping for 35 minutes... and I ran it in under 34 minutes!  I am so proud I can hardly stand myself.

5.  To continue the bragging trend, I have been tracking all this week and I didn't even bribe myself with anything!  I even tracked Thanksgiving - really.  It was the first time that I left the table feeling satisfied and normal rather than feeling like I was going to go into a coma.  I hate to admit it, but it felt awfully good.  I'm afraid I'm turning into one of those annoying people who is going to walk around saying, "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels."  But I know I'm not, because I think that statement is a lie.  A whole lot of things taste as good as thin feels.  Like, ironically, Thin Mints.  

6.  I keep finding out more and more people are ending their relationships - actual friends, Facebook friends, complete strangers that I stalk online (I swear I'm not a total creeper).  Despite the fact that all of the breakups I've heard about lately are for reasons that do not affect my relationship with David in any way, I have gotten completely neurotic about it.  I'm sure this thrills David to no end because I was already so sane.  He was trying to go to sleep tonight because he works very early on Saturday mornings, and I decided to help his efforts by sending him anxious text messages asking if we were doing okay as a couple.  You know how people sometimes joke about how they can't believe they're still single?  I can't believe I'm not still single.  

Now I'm just putting words in his mouth.  Really, this is when he'd tell me that of course I'm not single because I'm wonderful and beautiful and amazing and he'd be crazy to let me go.  And that's when I'd wonder if I needed to start testing him for drugs.

7.  I'm still addicted to Pinterest.  It's a little less intense now, but you just have to love something that can lead you to a tutorial on making a chic bracelet with twine and hex nuts and then give you this:

8.  Before you ask, hell yes I'm making that twine and hex nuts bracelet.  And then I'm going to make this adorable little cowl because I've been knitting the same damn sweater on planes for months and I am over it.  I need something cute, quick, and on my neck in two days.

I'm thinking yellow.  Or maybe red.  Really, I'm thinking cashmere, in any color, but my wallet disagrees wholeheartedly.

9.  My wallet also disagrees with the latest piece of fitness equipment that I absolutely must have right this second: the Ugi ball.  Really, it's because an incredibly fit man over on BodyRock (which I now stalk regularly, but still am terrified to try) was using it to work out and if he uses it and looks like that... I need it immediately.

10.  I'm tired and uninteresting so to round out the 15 things, here are five things that I want right now.  All this shopping has got me craving more shopping.  Seriously.  I have problems.

Don't tell me I can't shop for tigers.  I can somehow and I will.

Just ran my fastest 5K EVER!

More details to come later (like my official time because I was so excited about finishing that I forgot to stop my Garmin), but I ran today's 5K Turkey Trot even faster than my wildest dreams!

So darn excited.

The 480 Workout that ended up being the 400...

Today's workout:
323 calories/35:00
Ab Ripper X
125 calories/17:35

I've been doing a lot of cleaning lately.  I hate cleaning.  I suck at it and it makes me super grumpy.  When I post things like this...

... I'm really not kidding.  I have way too much stuff.  I had way too much stuff back in high school, and then I left half of that stuff at home before I went to college, and probably tripled my amount of stuff through college.  And let's not even talk about the two semesters spent in Florida and my constant desire to blow my paychecks at the Orlando outlet malls.  Let's just say I have a whole lot of stuff.  And one of my goals for 2011 was to get rid of most of it.  Welp.  Here we are, halfway through November, and I've barely made a dent in the decluttering that needs to be done.  Thus... lots of cleaning lately.

I woke up this morning and cleaning sounded really gross just like it does every other day, so I decided to browse blogs instead for some new workout ideas.  I kept going back and forth about what I was going to do for workouts for a while... I stick with my routine much better when I have a goal in mind, or when I'm using some sort of "system."  That's a big part of why I love some of the Beachbody products, like P90X (and yes, I am completely twitterpated over P90X2) and TurboFire - they have set schedules, so I don't have to think about what workout I'm going to do that day.  If I'm given too much freedom and can just decide on a workout for the day, I will most likely choose lifting the fork to my mouth.  Specific plans for running have also helped me... I never would have started running without Couch to 5K and the half marathon training plan that I used, even though I ended up tweaking it, kept me on track.  But I've been in a bit of a limbo lately.  I'm a little burned out on TurboFire, so while I can see doing it as a supplemental workout, I don't want to start a whole new round of it.  Plus, I want to keep my running up, perhaps even training for another half. 

That being said, I feel like this year has been all about cardio, and I'm really missing strength training... to the point that I considered doing another round of P90X.  I must be in serious deprivation if I miss TOny Horton.  Well... that, and I patently refuse to see this on my heart rate monitor ever again, even if I've got several runs logged on my Garmin:

Lately, I've been seeing more and more information about CrossFit and I admit that I've been intrigued.  At first, I thought CrossFit looked interesting, but way too hardcore and elite for me.  Then one of my running idols started doing it, and since I consider her to be an athletic but normal person, I started thinking maybe it was worth a shot.  The only thing that I continually struggle with, though, is the money.  I don't have the gear or space to do a lot of the workouts, but most of the "affiliates" that I've looked into are absurdly expensive... we're talking a minimum of $100 a month.  I love an intense workout, but paying someone $100 or more a month to watch me sweat a lot and weep openly seems a little ridiculous.  

So I turned to another blogger that motivates me: the lovely Katie at Yes, I Want Cake (who is in such good shape she can have that cake).  Her blog was actually the first place I ever heard of CrossFit, and she's so hardcore that does it in her own garage.  Note to self: suck up to David a whole lot until he builds me my own hardcore CrossFit gym.  Anyway, between drooling over these waffles that she made and cooing at pictures of her adorable baby, I saw a mention of something called the 480 Workout.  So I checked it out.  And now my arms are making it very clear that they will never forgive me for this.

The workout seems simple enough - it's made of basic moves and through the workout, you build up the number of reps.  Easy, right?  

This workout rocked me.  I'm glad I did it, and I hate to say it, but I actually enjoyed it.  My only complaint was that it was pretty tough on the wrists - lots of pushups and burpees, which tend to bother my wrists.  So it probably won't become a 3-times-a-week workout for me, but I think it will be fun to do every so often and see if I can improve my time.  I will have to throw out today's time though (which was actually 25:37, because I warmed up for 7 minutes and then cooled down until 35:00) because it wasn't until I was explaining the workout to David that I realized I'd completely skipped the second set of 10 reps of each exercise.  Oops.  So, actually, I did the 400 Workout today.  It was still super hard.  Damn.

I added Ab Ripper X on at the end because I felt like I needed some more ab work.  And obviously I missed Tony Horton's beautiful face.  I'd forgotten how evil that workout is.  I love it, though, and I'm thinking that unlike the 480 Workout, I really should bring Ab Ripper X back into a 3-times-a-week rotation.  

I'm feeling pretty hardcore now, having completed that beast of a workout, even if I did leave 80 reps out (oops).  Maybe I'll even try some of the CrossFit workouts that don't require so much gear.  Or maybe I'll finally bite the bullet, buy myself a sandbag and an adorable pink GymBoss timer, and try to keep up with this girl.  

Yeah, she and I are definitely on the same level... in the same place that we wear the same bra size.  My dreams.

Speak da Troof Sunday: It is completely mental.

Today's workout:
Fire 30
320 calories/31:46

Today was not my day.  I woke up this morning feeling like I'd been punched in the head.  I have no idea why because I definitely did not go out with one of my best friends last night, eat my weight in Chinese food, throw back two glasses of plum wine (HOW HAD I NOT HAD THAT GLORIOUS ELIXIR BEFORE?!) and stay up until 1 am.  None of that happened.  Neither did this.

We are so cool.

Regardless of the cause, it wasn't a pretty wake-up call.  I seriously considered just staying in bed, but I got moving and went to church with my mom, which turned out to be a wonderful mass about taking care of others.  Between auditions and Cinderella rehearsal, it has been a little bit "all eyes on me" lately, and I don't want it to go to my head too much... so I needed a little reminder that the world does not, in fact, revolve around me.

After church is where the real headache started.  See... sometimes I have cravings.  Okay, I constantly have cravings.  And sometimes they are for reasonable things like smoothies or big salads with lots of fresh veggies crammed in there.  And then sometimes they are for McDonald's breakfast items.  I know McDonald's is going to give me cancer and send me to an early grave.  I know.  But I can't help it if I think that they make delicious hotcakes and sausage!  And I was super duper hungry this morning... so I made a horrible choice.  I ordered something called a Deluxe Big Breakfast.

Feel free to judge me now.

I justified this choice by saying that I wouldn't eat all of this.  This is true - I didn't eat the biscuit because I didn't like it.  The rest of that happy little platter, on the other hand, was completely demolished.  And I tracked it (I'm tracking again because Cinderella can't have jiggly bits) so I felt okay about it.  Then I stood up and tried to go about my day.  An hour after I'd eaten all of that, I started to feel like I was maybe going to die.  And slowly but surely, I watched all of my good intentions for the day fall apart at the seams.  I had hoped to go for a run, but with that platter of lead in my stomach, I knew I'd be on the ground crying before I had gone half a mile.  Plus, it was cold out, and I felt like a pansy.

So what does all of this have to do with the vague title of "it is completely mental" up there?  As I sat on my couch, giving up on my exercise plans for the day, I got on Pinterest and started looking at the fitness section.  All of these wonderfully motivating and inspirational images and quotes started popping up, and I felt like maybe I could get through a workout.  So I went downstairs and powered through Fire 30.  I could have used the terrible eating choices as an excuse, or the cough that refuses to leave as an excuse... and honestly, both of them would have been valid.  I definitely had some cramping issues during the workout, which I can only assume were related to that ridiculous breakfast.  And I did have to take breaks to catch my breath so I wouldn't hack up a lung.  But you know what kept Grumpy Gills going?

I cried when I found this.  Seriously.  If she can run, I can get through a 30 minute workout.

So was it the easiest and most refreshing workout ever?  Not exactly.  It did feel great to be moving, but it wasn't easy.  It's never easy.  But it proved to me what a difference a simple change in my mindset can be.  Now if only I can keep that up to try this beast that I've got my eye on tomorrow...

15 Thing Friday!

1.  I ACTUALLY RAN YESTERDAY!  I know, it is a miracle.  For having not run in three and a half weeks and for being still a little sick when I did it, it went pretty damn well!  I did 2.72 miles in 35 minutes, including the warmup and cooldown walks.  Mostly it just felt nice to get moving again.  Even if I did forget water and hack up a lung in the middle of it.

2.  Pinterest has ruined my life.  In the past three days, I have easily spent 10 hours just re-pinning stuff.  Including things like rocky road crock pot cake, which I haven't made yet, but I'm pretty sure should be illegal.  I did devote an entire board to fitness though, and I have found some motivational gems.

3.  Just grabbing those two images, I got distracted by Pinterest for ten minutes and forgot I was writing this.  Seriously.  Ruining my life.

4.  Speaking of Pinterest... don't tell David (who is undoubtedly reading this, hi David), but I have found my engagement ring.  Apparently everyone is planning their wedding on Pinterest, whether or not they are actually getting married in the near future, so there are gorgeous wedding dresses and engagement photos and reception ideas all over.  And there are rings.  Someone posted a ring that caught my eye, so obviously I went to the website... and then I found it.  Love at first sight.

A ROSE GOLD ENGAGEMENT RING.  I think I just died a little bit.

5.  If you're currently wondering if I, too, am planning my wedding on Pinterest regardless of the fact that I'm not actually planning a wedding... the answer is hell yes.  And if you're wondering if David is breaking out into a cold sweat right now... I'm putting a strong bet on "probably."

6.  After the Denver Rock 'n Roll Half, I told everyone I know that there was no way in hell I was doing another one.  Then I found another one.  It's called the Ralston Creek Half Marathon and it's brand new. When I found it, I got SUPER excited and couldn't wait to start training, especially because it times out very well - if I start training next week, I have exactly 12 weeks to train, which I think is perfect.  But I'm actually a little on the fence about it.  Training in Colorado in the winter is going to be very tough, given the weather, and the race itself is in February, which could be gorgeous or could be freezing and icy.  Am I being a big baby about the cold and should suck it up?  Or should I maybe take it easy and work towards a half later into next year?  Thoughts?

7.  I am madly in love with this song.  Even though I don't have the cars.  Or the money.  I'm not one of those smart geeks.  I was just in marching band.

8.  The Tervis tumbler and I are still going strong.  We had to breakup while I was in Florida and California... but we missed each other so much that now we are back together.

I wish I was lying to you when I told you that my life is honestly this uneventful.

9.  If you're looking at that picture and wondering why I look different... I washed my hair and actually made an attempt to branch out with my makeup.  I know.  Breathe.  Today's glam look brought to you by:

Urban Decay Naked palette

10.  Um... I'm really not interesting, guys.  And I'm sleepy.  So... it's going to be a 10 Thing Friday.  And the 10th thing is...

Really, I should have just put up 15 things I found on Pinterest.  Truth.

Triple Tangent Twednesday!

It's been a while since I actually remembered to write one of these bad boys... I'm excited :)

1.  I realized today that it's been over a month since my big half marathon debut.  I've done one run.  Yikes.  Also, I still haven't actually ordered the CD of the official race pictures... which is a complete shame because they snapped some really great pictures of me, including one when I was trying desperately to get my armwarmer off about 2 miles in because it was warming up and I am clearly PISSED.  So glad the photographer caught that moment.  So since I still have no official photos to show you... let's take a look at my favorite picture that my Pops took that I have not felt the need to share yet.  Get ready.  It's glamorous.

That mini bagel was probably the greatest thing I'd ever tasted. 

And in case you still think I'm pretty... think again.

Is it lame that looking at these pictures makes me really hope that I wake up feeling good enough to go for a run tomorrow?  Taking Bonnie on a trail walk yesterday made me really want to run that trail again.  I miss it.  I need to pick another race to train for and get back on it.

2.  Speaking of things I need to get back on... my arms got tired today putting my hair into a ponytail.  Um.  I swear I did P90X.  Maybe it's time for some more strength training?

I definitely staged this picture with the intention of writing a whole blog post about strength training.  I desperately need a real life.

3.  I've decided I need a fabulous shade of red lipstick and the confidence to wear it every day of my life.  And yes, that was incredibly random and had nothing to do with anything... but it's true!

On the ninth day of the plague...

I took Bonnie for a walk!  It was almost like exercise!  Real exercise!  That thing I'm supposed to be doing so that I have something to blog about!  It was an early Christmas miracle.  AND I weighed in this morning and was completely within my range!  Which shocked me considering the nonsense that I ate in Florida and California, but I'll take it.

... that's it, really.  I'm just trying to work on this whole blogging every day thing, but I don't really have that much news.  I'm still sick, but today was the first day that I felt slightly human, so I'm hoping that maybe I've turned the corner and am getting better.  Fingers crossed!

And tomorrow... TRIPLE TANGENT TWEDNESDAY!  Huzzah!  Something way more exciting than updates on how sniffly I am.  And in case you're wondering, on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being incredibly sniffly and 1 being dry as the Sahara, I am about a 5 today.  Progress, kids, progress.

So I went to the doctor today...

And I have a cold.  A bad cold, perhaps, but a cold nonetheless.  My doctor claims that it is going away.  I'm going to hope that she did some silent curse on it that they teach in medical school so that I wake up tomorrow and feel magically better.  It was a strange appointment, really, because my actual exam was done by a med student, with the nurse practitioner watching.  So I'd known this girl for all of 20 minutes before she was all up in my business.  Nothing like a pelvic exam from someone you hardly know to start your day off right!

On a completely different (and undoubtedly much more appropriate) note... YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING.  Seriously.  I have gotten some of the sweetest comments lately, and I can't tell you what a difference they make in how I'm feeling.  I've been having a lot of pity party moments lately, and those comments have made me feel so much better, so thank you.  Even David noticed... he said that you were wonderful.  He is right.  So in case you're also having a pity party tonight, listen up - YOU ARE WONDERFUL.  And invite me over the next time you have a pity party.  I'll bring cake.

Speak da Troof Sunday: I'm still sick.

Really, that's it.  I have nothing even remotely entertaining to blog about.  I slept for nearly 11 hours last night and woke up feeling worse.  Then I went to rehearsal... wait, that's wrong.  Then I started driving to rehearsal, went on auto-pilot and ended up going towards work instead of towards the theatre, got frustrated and hit my gas precisely as I passed a police officer.  Then I got my very first speeding ticket.  Then I cried for twenty minutes.  Then I went to rehearsal.

Seriously.  I don't mean to sound dramatic, but this has been a bitch of a week.  Between feeling like absolute hell, bombing two auditions, flying way too much, and now getting a speeding ticket... I am very glad that it is Sunday and that tomorrow is the start of a brand new week.  I am over this one.

Rehearsal was entertaining though, and I'm betting that once I stop feeling like someone hit me with a truck, I will really enjoy it.  I just hope that I did not infect everyone with the plague today.

But really, that's all I have to say.  I'm still sick.  It still sucks.  I'm still complaining about it.  So, I thought I'd give everyone a nice break from my whining, and present one of my favorite YouTube videos of all time.  Enjoy!  And try not to get sick just from reading my blog.  I might be that contagious.

I am an idea thief.

It's been about a month since the half marathon (!!!) and my awesome surge in followers because of the wonderful shout-out Skinny Runner gave about me on her blog.  I believe I went from having 19 followers to having over 30 followers pretty much overnight, which was amazing, and if I haven't mentioned it lately, I seriously love you guys.  Those of you who comment, those of you who don't, it doesn't matter... it means so much to me that 38 people read something that they liked and thought they'd keep putting up with me for a while.  Well... 37 people, really, since David is a follower and he obviously had no choice in the matter.  He has to put up with me.  It's his job.

It's probably not a good sign that I've used that image as many times as I have.

Anyway, I admit that after I got a bunch of new followers, I kiiiiiind of was a horrible blogger and took it for granted.  I didn't go and check everybody else's blog out and comment and follow them and be gracious.  I just kind of went, "Welcome to the crazy, suckers!" and kept blogging.  Bad Jessica.  So now I'm working on going through all of my followers (yes, that means you!) and checking out everybody's blog.

It turns out that I have really awesome people following me and I am completely floored by it!  Why are all of you cool people reading my whining?  Please, don't get me wrong, I love it, and I would cry if you left me.  But you guys are cool.  I'm lame.  I went to bed tonight at 6:30 pm.  True story.  I've been in bed for nearly two and a half hours, and after I finish this entry, I'm going to sleep.  I was going to watch some Frasier first, but I got too tired.  SERIOUSLY.  I'm not cool.  I'm so incredibly flattered that cool people think I'm worth reading.

Anyway, that being said, one of the cool people who happens to be following me is Arlene, who has an awesome and adorable blog and is a complete fashionista.  Something I could never hope to be.  Obviously.

Once I got beyond the fact that I was insanely jealous of her outfits, her makeup skills, and her mini Cooper, I realized that I really enjoyed her blog.  And she recently did a post that I thought would be really fun to copy... because I don't have original ideas, I just steal ideas from other, cooler bloggers.

So, in complete admiration of this post from Arlene, here are a few things I am really enjoying and really wanting to punch in the face lately!

  • David.  Nothing new here, but he was so good to me during the nine hour audition from hell on Thursday, and took care of me when I was still feeling sick yesterday and last night.  He went to two different stores to get me diet ginger ale when my stomach was bugging me.  He's kind of amazing, and I mostly tease him a lot on this blog and post funny pictures of us, but really... I adore him and am a very lucky girl to have him in my life.

  • The fact that Frasier is streaming on Netflix.  I discovered this at the beginning of this month, and suddenly the world seemed just a little bit brighter.  
  • My new Stride jacket from Lululemon.  I have always lusted after Lululemon gear, and have never been able to stomach the prices... so imagine my delight when I dragged my parents to one of the outlet malls in Orlando (which are AMAZING) and found out there was a Lululemon outlet!  I may have cried.  And then I bought way too much stuff.  But I am seriously in love with the Stride jacket... I may be obsessed and I might have refused to wear anything else for a while.  Mine is a gorgeous lavender/grey color and it's just delightful.  Love love love.  Now I just need to save up some money so that I can buy this one that I have my eyes on...

Not loving:
  • Whatever evil disease I seem to have caught.  It's been an entire week now since I first came down with a really bad sore throat, and every night I go to bed hoping that I'll wake up feeling better... and every morning I wake up with some new problem.  The sore throat got a little better only to be accompanied by a cough, stuffy nose, and post nasal drip.  I spent last night throwing up in intervals throughout the night because of the post nasal drip.  This morning, the stuffy nose was replaced by a runny nose.  Now I have a runny nose, a sore throat, an occasional cough, and a hatred of my own respiratory system.
  • The fact that I have to do my staff weigh-in by Tuesday and I guarantee that I have put on 10 pounds.  To be fair, I had good intentions - I was putting off the weigh-in until after I got back from Florida and California because having that on my mind would force me to stay on track and get in my activity.  Then I got the disease from hell and all activity went out the window.  Not looking forward to that weigh-in.  At all.

I fell off the face of the Earth again...

... forgive me.  It's been a rough week.  And now I'm going to blab all about it, so if you are not interested in hearing me whine endlessly about auditions... please tune in tomorrow for a new post.  I'll probably still be whining, but at least it won't be about auditions!

My first of two Disney auditions was on Monday.  The audition was at 2:00 pm in Orlando, and it was for an amazing a cappella group that performs in Epcot called The Voices of Liberty.  This was one of those "dream job" auditions.  There is a running joke that Voices of Liberty only holds auditions when someone has died... not true, obviously, but it's a hard gig to get.  A lot of the singers in the group auditioned several times before getting in, often to the tune of 5+ auditions.  This is just one of the many, logical things that I told myself in order to not get my hopes up.  Obviously, I failed, and walked into the audition really, really, REALLY hoping to get a callback.  Perhaps not my best idea considering that I was going into the audition sick - my sore throat had escalated from a minor annoyance to a full blown problem, and I was also feeling lightheaded, weak, achy... you name it.

The sign-ins for the audition started at 1:30 pm, so I got there at 1:30 pm... and found that there were already at least 50 girls ahead of me.  So all the vocal warmups and attempts I'd made to keep my voice ready to get through the audition were a bit of a waste, because I ended up sitting around for about an hour and a half waiting to be called.  I found out from another girl that if you got a callback, the directors in the audition room would hand you a yellow sheet to fill out - she referred to it as a golden ticket.  They called us in groups of 10, and for every group of 10 that went back, one or two people seemed to be returning with the alleged golden ticket.  These were great odds, honestly, as I was expecting them to give out maybe one or two callbacks.  So my hopes went up even more.  And then I was called.  I went back to the audition area with my group, and we stood in a hallway outside the audition room.  We could hear another woman auditioning and she sounded incredible.  I remember listening and thinking "I'm not even in the same league."  Sure enough, she walked out with the yellow callback sheet.  The problem, though, is that I was #7 in my group of 10, and you could hear exactly what went on in the audition room while waiting.  So I'm standing there desperately trying to play my song over and over in my head while I can hear 6 other songs.  Finally it was my turn and I went in.  I gave my music to the piano player and tried to be very nice, and he was completely cold.  The directors caught me off guard and messed up my slate (a slate is the lame introduction thing - "Hi, my name is So-and-So, and I will be performing "It's A Small World"), so I felt off from the very beginning.  Then I botched the audition.  I forgot where I was starting in the song and had to start over.  It was the worst audition I'd done in a long time, and sure enough, I didn't get a callback.

I was really bummed, honestly - less because I didn't get a callback and more because I gave a bad audition.  I've been rejected for plenty of shows, just like any other performer, but I am usually okay with it because I can leave the audition with my head head high, knowing that I gave the best audition I could possibly give.  But I left this one kicking myself, fully aware of the fact that I could have done better.  If my voice had cracked because of my sore throat, that would have been one thing, but I had let myself get flustered by my surroundings.  I spent a while whining about it.  And knowing me, I probably will continue whining about it for a while to come.

On Tuesday, my parents were nice enough to go to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party with me (yes, I demanded to go to a Christmas party on November 8th just like the five year old I am), which helped distract me from the fact that I was definitely not doing a callback.  Then on Wednesday, I got to take on the daunting task of flying from Florida to California.  I suppose it was a more daunting task for the pilots, but this is my blog, so I get to make it sound like Mission: Impossible.

Yesterday was the second Disney audition and GOOD LORD.  Evil.  For one thing, I did not learn from the Voices of Liberty audition and got there right about at sign-in time, which was 9:30 am.  Actually, what happened was that I was staring at my sheet music at about 9:00 am and I slowly realized that I had been singing my audition piece in the wrong key.  So I spent the next 15 minutes frantically trying to get the right key into my head.  This did not bode well for the rest of the day, exactly, but it didn't even come close to preparing me for what was about to happen.  The audition was at a dance studio about 10 minutes away from David's apartment, so he took me over, dropped me off, and headed to the gym - based on the Voices of Liberty audition, which ended up taking about two hours, I told him that he had plenty of time to get in a good workout, shower, and then come pick me up.  This turned out to be the understatement of the century.  I walked into the studio and there were people EVERYWHERE.  I got into the sign-in line, which snaked through the entire room that we were in, and the room was huge.  The sign-in line itself took nearly an hour and a half to get through, and all that happened was each person handed the woman behind the desk a headshot and resume, signed their name, and got a number.  I ended up being #184, and I was not the end of the line.  I think there were about 300 people there in all.

Then began the waiting.  Luckily, I bonded with another girl - #168, a very nice girl from the bay area named Julie.  We talked together for a long time, which was great because I didn't actually get the chance to audition until about 4:30 pm.  David was a complete saint and came back several times through the day, including around lunchtime, when he drove Julie and I to Subway and we got to escape for a little while.  I joked several times throughout the day that at the very least, we would all have a great story to tell... but in the end, that's about all I got out of it.  The first couple groups of people auditioning got the best deal - the directors spent a lot of time with them in the audition room, and almost all of them were asked to stay for a singing callback, a dancing callback, and/or an improv callback.  By the time my number was about to come up, they had already taken measurements and pictures of at least 5 or 6 people from the first batch of auditions, and handed them what appeared to be contracts.  That was when my spirits just crashed.  It was clear at that point that they had found what they wanted, and were essentially going through the rest of us as a courtesy.  They finally called my number and I went back, did my 16 bars, and got a "thank you, that's all we need to see" and a swift kick out the door.  I got my stuff together, got into David's car, and just started bawling.  I cried for much of the night, actually.  I was incredibly disappointed, and kind of still am.

I'm hoping that in the next week or so, I'll be able to see these auditions as more experience, and be grateful that I had the chance to do them.  Right now, I just feel sad, especially about yesterday's audition.  I had my hopes seriously up for that one - reading the description, I felt like I was perfect for the job and that they would love me.  Plus, it would give me a job in California, so I'd have a steady income where David is.  As fun as the whole being long distance and only seeing each other for a few days every month or so is... eventually I want to actually be in the same state as my boyfriend.  Maybe even get crazy and be in the same city.  And the prospect of leaving a part time job with no benefits and not-so-great pay for a full time job with great benefits and good pay was incredibly glorious.  I have to admit that I am a little crushed that it isn't happening... but I have to keep my spirits up and look ahead to the future and hope that another prospect like this will come up again.

Okay... if you made it this far, congratulations.  You now have almost as good of a tolerance of my whining as Sir David.  You are to be commended.

Audition in T-minus 15 hours.

Today's workout (I know, it's a miracle!):
Fire 45 EZ
451 calories/45:26

This morning was super productive - I got up early, got my headshots and resumes organized and ready, had a relatively healthy breakfast, practiced my song for tomorrow several times, and then got a workout in, all before we were set to head over to Epcot for lunch.  And by lunch I mean a French Regional Lunch, which, as I have mentioned before, is really just a painful amount of food and wine.  The workout went very well - I kept everything low impact because my ankles have been giving me a little bit of trouble and I didn't want to aggravate them too much.  But I still got a great sweat in and felt wonderful!

Unfortunately, that was the end of the feeling wonderful.  Over the course of the afternoon, I developed a very angry sore throat.  It started out as just a little ick, and is now just throbbing.  I've downed about 4 liters of water throughout the day, along with several cups of tea, and a big cup of soup at dinner.  No dice.  One thing that has made a little bit of a temporary dent in the soreness, though, is a new type of lozenge that I tried - Thayer's Slippery Elm Lozenges.  To quote the lovely Janae (who was awesome today and ran the NY Marathon like Speedy Gonzales), those lozenges are thebomb.com.  Personally, I really dislike cough drops.  I can't stand the menthol ones and even the non-mentholated ones are only good for maybe a couple hours, and then I get so sick of the taste I give up completely.  But these slippery elm ones are delightful!  They're not as strong as something like Halls cough drops, but they have a very mild and sweet flavor... they actually remind me a little bit of oatmeal.  So if you're like me and can't stand cough drops, try these babies out next time you run into a sore throat.

Anyway, despite the slippery elm lovelies, I'm still struggling with my throat, and getting more and more nervous for my auditions.  I wish I could say that I'm surprised, but honestly, this kind of thing happens to me on a regular basis.  I am generally very healthy... until something important comes up that depends on my good health.  Then I fall to pieces.  Like two weeks ago when I was planning to start Insanity and I woke up feeling like someone had hit me with a truck.  I'm sure part of it is mental, but kids, it is annoying.

For much of this evening, I was struggling to keep my spirits up - I've put a lot of time and effort into these auditions and I was crushed when it occurred to me that something as stupid as a sore throat could prevent me from giving my absolute best performance.  There were some tears, I will admit.  But the audition is now officially a mere 15 hours away, and so I am trying instead to see this as an opportunity to do my absolute best despite the situation... to rise above and shine.  I have performed with a sore throat before, and I can do it tomorrow.  Or I can stop blogging and get some darn sleep and pray my little heart out that I wake up feeling better.

I like that one.  Let's try it!

Good luck to all the New York City marathoners today!

I know that you're rocking that marathon RIGHT THIS SECOND!  Go you!!  Especially Janae - you are an inspiration to me, girl.  GET IT!

Let's play a game!

Who wants to take bets on whether or not I actually ate the vegetables that came with the pot roast I mentioned?  Here's a hint... you might want to bet against me.