I ran a Marathon cause I’m lazy

melissa-crossing-marathon-finish-small

Catching Up

It’s been a crazy few months since I last posted. I’m working on two new books (one is just over a third done), I’m creating a playable novel (more on that later), I just finished a short Prequel for How to Sex Your Snake. (More later on how to get that), and I accidentally ran a marathon. 

My husband is the runner. I just tag along cause I like spending time with him. 

The race was the Space Coast Marathon and 1/2 Marathon up in Cocoa Beach on Nov 26. It’s a gorgeous course that takes you along the water as the sun is rising. And moving up over head. And setting behind your back. A marathon takes a hell of a long time to run. For some of us anyway. 

3…2…1…liftoff

IMG-1227

Starting point is a little park. You head south, turning around at around the 6 1/2 mile mark and come back to the park. That’s 13.1 miles. Anyone running the half stops there. Anyone running the whole, continues on past. They’ll run about 6 1/2 out then turn around and come back to the park for a total of 26.2 miles. But what happens if you sign up for the whole marathon but realize you just can’t make it? Well, at this race, there’s something called the ‘wormhole’. You take that path and it sends you to the half marathon finish line. It’s a nice out.

So, we’re approaching the wormhole and my husband says, do you want to take the wormhole? He did. I didn’t quite hear him and just kept running. If I’d of heard him and understood, I definitely would have peeled off into the wormhole. And as I ran the next few miles, I was wishing I’d have peeled off into the wormhole. 

I think I can…I think I can…I think…ooooo, booze. 

IMG-1230

Oops. A boat on it’s side. Kinda how I felt at about mile 18

But then a funny thing happened. I got into a rhythm. And lovely people had tables set up, along the way, with shots and snacks. (I stuck with beer) My husband made it to 21. Which was partly my fault. I’d knocked us off our training schedule, in part because of laziness and in part because of…no, totally because of laziness. It’s tough to get up in the mornings to run when it’s so warm and comfy in bed. So he was under prepared. 

Why did I keep going? Again, laziness. I was 5.2 miles from saying I’d run a marathon. If I’d have stopped, I’d have to run 26.2 more miles to say I’d run a marathon. Does that makes sense? 

And the crowd roars…

Well, for the winner maybe. Just not for me. By the time I finished, most everyone had gone home. I was just happy to see my sweetie cheering for me as I cross the line. 

In the end, I came in at 6:55:59. (The course is listed as a 7 hour time limit)img_1250

Cool. Now I’d run a marathon and I could go home and sit on the couch and get back to Glitch on Netflix. Which I did. And then Thursday came. And the email.

‘Are you ready for this weekend’s race?’

Huh?

Seems we’d sign up for a half marathon down in Key West. Mark couldn’t get the time off work so I headed down alone. I crashed at a friend’s place and went down to packet pickup point to grab my race bib and t-shirt. After they handed me my stuff, I asked I could just pick up my husband’s t-shirt. He’s not registered. He deferred to next year. 

Huh? 

img_1308Turns out, after we’d signed up for the race, eons ago and it was rescheduled at one point helping us truly forget about it. Mark finally figured out that he had decided that we should defer to next year. He had done that. (also eons ago) And I hadn’t. He says he reminded me many times. I’m no longer in charge of deferring my own races.  

Totally fine with that. 

Then before I left the packet pickup table, I looked inside my bag and discovered two race bibs. Turns out I was not only running the half, I was running a 5k the next day. My wobbly post marathon legs were not happy to hear that. But…that meant an extra day in Key West. The love of my life. (My husband doesn’t read this so he’ll never know he’s number 2)

In the end, over 8 day and three races, I ran 42.3 miles.img_1290

As I was sitting on a bench staring out at the ocean and eating my post race bagel on Sunday, my husband texted to see if I wanted to run a half this coming Saturday. I bet you can imagine what I told him. 

Rest well and Write On, 

Melissa

PS

I said no. And then I muttered a few of June’s favorite words.

PPS

Who the hell is June? You’ll have to read the book to find out and I can help you out with that. Here’s the first five chapters.

 

Posted in Book Updates, key west, running, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crocodile hunting

Have a cow

Last week, we hit the Everglades National Park on our way back from Key West. No, that’s not a deformed Croc. It’s a manatee (aka sea cow) drinking fresh water that was dripping from a drainage pipe into the gulf. (Yes, I’m still working my way through video shot wrong.)

There’s a lot to do and see in the park but I had only one objective. Find a Croc. Best place was supposed to be Flamingo Marina. (There was a computer issue so we lucked into a free day in the park – normally a 25 dollar fee per carload good for 7 days)

img_0441

The 30 miles drive beyond the main gate takes you through some prime critter viewing. We moved a tiny tortoise (not sure what kind but he had a round bumpy shell) off the road, watched a pancake toirtose waddle away in a hurry when we stopped, because he was in the middle of the road, and got out of the car to investigate two hit snakes. Another car came sailing along from the opposite direction and we were glad we’d moved the tortoise.

If you go, do not forget the bug spray! I still have welts from the biting flies. Thankfully, some other Croc hunters shared their deep woods off.

 

And on your left…more water

IMG_0458We thought about taking a tour. But I’m cheap and it was something like 35 bucks. I figured we’d look from shore this trip and maybe take a tour next time if we struck out.

Turns out it was manatee breeding season and the sea cows were very excited. And everywhere. Crocs were my priority but I found myself squealing with delight every time I saw a pudgy nose poke up out of the water. We spotted a dozen, along with two dolphins. Most were by themselves, but we did see a pod of five just before they dropped back below the surface. One of the other tourists let me look through his mega lens for a closeup. It was nice but I can’t imagine carrying around a giant camera anymore. (I’m sure my husband is happy those days are long gone too. I was always looking through the lens)

Are you using both those eyes? 

Lots of Vultures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some reason, wandering through them on the shoreline wasn’t as creepy as seeing them hanging out in this tree. It kinda felt like they were planning something.

As we were heading back to the car, full of regret for not spilling the 35 bucks for the boat tour, I spotted a little Croc in the water next to the sea wall. Success! He was maybe 5 feet, with all of him visible as he floated in the water. Unfortunately, I scared him by jumping around shouting Croc. He sunk from sight before I could get a photo.

Stinker.

Next time, I think I’m going to bite the bullet and spend the cash on the tour. Boats cover a lot more territory than I can on foot. Plus, the folks on that boat seemed to be having fun.

Next time, I’ve got more photos and video from the new Pandora rides at Disneyworld.

Until then, Write On,

Melissa

Posted in Critters, key west, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Summer Reads plus Crappy Video

(As usual, I suck at cell phone videos)

Yesterday, I wrote about our recent trip down to Key West. New book research, mojitos and the Hemingway 5K. You can read about that last part here. (and see more videos shot the wrong way)

We weren’t on the island for long, but I did have time to get in some last minute research on the new book in my June Nash MisAdventure series, followed by a meet up with my editor Lisa. And yeah, I hope to remember to turn my blasted cell phone sideways the next time I try to take video…. 

 

Free books and Previews

Work is progressing nicely on the next June Nash MisAdventure. More fun with Morgan, Cyrano, Dewzers and of course June and her bad decisions. I think it should be ready late fall/early winter. I’ll update that as things come together. In the meantime, how about a few free books for your summer reading lists?

Lose Yourself in Free Books

I’m excited to be a part of this very cool promo.  230 books and previews in 13 genres! You’ll find my first book in the June Nash MisAdventure series in the humor section. You’ve got 6 more days to get it for free, so don’t wait.

Until next time, Good Adventures (as June’s brother Dewey would say) and Write On,

Melissa

P.S.

If you download any of the books, stop back by and leave a note in the comments. What did you get?

 

Posted in key west, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Key West 5k

Just got back from Key West and the Hemingway 5k. It’s an evening run, start time 7:30pm. That’s me with my race shirt.

And this is the temperature. Kinda of. It was actually 89 degrees, feels like 89 thousand. I just noticed the song on the radio. We’d been hoping for temps in the 70s.

And this was us at race time.

Mojitos from the Rum Bar on Duval. Life is too short to be that sweaty.

Next time, I’ll share video from the Everglades National Park. (Give me a day to recover)

Until then,

Write on,

Melissa

Posted in key west, running | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disneyworld’s Pandora

img_0045

What is up with my cheeks? I look like I’ve just come from dental surgery

We finally had a chance to run up to Disneyworld to check out the new Pandora land in Animal Kingdom. The word amazing doesn’t do it justice. It’s a huge area, with winding paths, bizarre vegetation, tiny banshees to buy and perch on your shoulder and platforms with performers playing odd looking instruments. Though that could have just been the shadows.

I saw Avatar so long ago, that I can’t tell you if Disney has recreated that world accurately. I just know this place was fun.

Especially at night. If you have to leave before dark, you’ll miss what Pandora is really about.

 

Intense black light in your face color!

PhotoPass_Visiting_AK_403065478300

img_0071

When you arrive at Animal Kingdom, head for Tiffins (Stop and make a reservation. Fantastic food, a patio overlooking the water and very cool art covered walls inside) and then continue over the bridge and follow the path to reach Pandora. There are two new rides, a lazy river ride featuring very nifty animation that makes you think you’re watching the movie unfold just off in the distance…(which I didn’t quite get on video, sorry)

img_0060

img_0063-1

If I remember correctly, that blue patch in the middle was a video screen

img_0065

img_0058

 

…and my new favorite Disney ride, Flight of Passage.

As you wait in line, you wind through the interior of a mountain decorated by the natives of Pandora. Eventually, you make it to a research center. (Was there a research center in the movie? I can’t remember why they were wandering around Pandora) The details are worth the time in line. (We were so busy looking at things in the research facility that I forgot to take photos) I’m not sure how much fast pass skips over but do yourself a favor and go through the line at least once.

Once you get to the actual ride, you’re ushered into a long narrow room where you straddle what looks like a motorcycle, pop on goggles and stare at a wall, inches from your face. Once the ride starts, the wall melts into the world of Pandora and all your senses are involved as you ride your banshee over, through and around the lush landscape. I swear I could even smell the other banshees. Wait. It had been like 2089 degrees that day and I was in a little, narrow room with 8 or so people, so there’s probably no smell-o-vision. Still. It’s worth the wait.

I’ll get better photos on my next visit. (maybe next week) Till then, Write One,

Melissa

Posted in Disney World, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Win a signed copy of How to Sex Your Snake

Goodreads Book Giveaway

How to Sex Your Snake by Melissa Banczak

How to Sex Your Snake

by Melissa Banczak

Giveaway ends June 13, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Are you a member of Goodreads? If not, you should be. I’m giving away some signed copies of my latest book, How to Sex Your Snake this summer and that’s where you’ll find them. The first contest goes live at 12:01 am on June 6 and runs till June 13. (I believe it ends at midnight) 

So follow the link above and get signed up. 

Write On,

Melissa

Posted in Book Updates, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tormented by the Futility of Life

If you saw yesterday’s post you know I had some issues trying to rent a car when I left home without my driver’s license. Thankfully, a friend brought it to me. I was so happy, I gave an impromptu concert to my fellow freeway drivers. So many happy people listening to me sing along to a favorite album as we inched through rush hour traffic. Below is my favorite song from that album. 

Some choice lyrics:

The corpse was dredged from the sea that night.

Hair matted around its body tight.

It was no comfort to identify,

The pallid flesh, the life, deprived.

Turn up the volume and Write On,

Melissa

Posted in Odd thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Too stupid for words

So I’m sitting at the airport waiting for someone to bring me my driver’s license so I can rent a car. I glanced at my little black Alice in Wonderland purse that I’ve been using all week and then headed out the door, got all the way down here, walked up to the car rental counter and oops- no license. I don’t know how I managed to put my credit cards back in my big purse but not my license. 

On the plus side, I got a latte for half price because I waited so long. So I guess it all works out. 

I’m still dumber than dirt. But I’ll be home soon and will be done traveling. 

Stay mentally alert and Write On,

Melissa

Posted in Odd thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s the weirdest gift you’ve gotten?

We’re finally unpacking some of our zillion and one boxes, many from two or three moves ago, and I found this photo. On the back it reads, Christmas, 1971. Melissa with her new shoe bag. Is it me or it that a odd gift for a child? I look happy but I’ve always been easily amused. What’s the weirdest gift you’ve ever gotten and how old were you?  

Leave a comment below and Write On, 

Melissa

PS – Wanna win a paperback copy of my new book, How to Sex Your Snake? I’ll be giving a few away on Goodreads in June and July. If you’re not already a member, join and friend me. I’ll post a link here when the contests are live. In the meantime, if you’ve already bought a book, follow the links (QR codes in the paperback, clickable in the ebooks) and leave a review. No links to Goodreads but if you’re a member, I’d love reviews there as well. Authors live and die by word of mouth. 

Posted in Odd thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snake shoes! 

Today’s my birthday so I’m slacking off. These are a present from my oldest. She based the design on the cover of my book, How to Sex Your Snake! 

Have a great day!

Write on, 

Melissa

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments