Jul 28, 2014

Since You've Been Gone

Ok more like "since I've been gone" but I like song lyrics more. 

Today I thought I would list some things that have been going on since I took my little unintentional blog hiatus. Lists=the lazy girl blog post

#Firstofall, I chopped my hair. I say chopped because to me anything more than a tiny trim is a chop. I love the beach wave, messy curled hair that everyone is sporting but I knew that just wasn't going to be possible with my longer hair. I don't know why but when my hair is longer, curls just don't work. They won't hold or they end up looking like wet perm. Or they look flat and stuck to my head. None of those things are cute. So I chopped. And I'm actually itching to take about another inch off of it. 
That's preworkout hair vs post workout hair. I'm starting to master the curling wand. But I can't say I totally understand what makes it better than just a curling iron used the right way for beach waves/curls. I'm a newbie though. 

Next up, I may have mentioned here that I got pretty busy a few months back when my work partner was on maternity leave. I had to learn a whole lot of her job. I would say probably 70% of what she did. The silver lining to that was I just had to know it all for 6 weeks, right? Wrong! After being back a week, she took a job within our parent company but with a different business unit. Now I'm still doing my job and that extra % of her job. It's been a little stressful, but I'm making it. I see a light at the end of the tunnel by way of shoving off my old work on someone else. Winning! That has been part of the reason why I haven't felt like typing or being anywhere near a computer after working hours. 

In other news, I became a Sweat Pink Ambassador while I was away. If you aren't already following, drop what you are doing and go follow @fitapproach on instagram. (oh and add me while you're there too)
Other than that, our summer has been winding down. Brooklyn competed in the softball World Series a week and a half ago. That doesn't mean that softball is over for long though. Tryouts are in just another week. She is also starting middle school in about two weeks. Which means I will be attending a sports parent meeting and middle school orientation this week. Add volleyball camp to that list and we have a lot going on. I feel like our summer has been pretty busy but I'm sure it's nothing compared to how busy we are going to be going forward. I am pretty excited about what the future holds though. 

Now fill me in. What is something new with you that maybe you haven't shared to all of social media yet??

Jul 25, 2014

Race Recap: Stars & Stripes 5k

Let me dust off this old blog, and see if I remember how to do this. 

I have got to be better about writing my recaps. Too much time has passed since my Stars and Stripes 5k and I know I don't remember it exactly as I did the week following. 

I will start by saying that the M-town Race Series is easily my favorite race series. Ok, so maybe it's the only race series I've completed. Minor detail. It really has all the fun summer races in it. I felt like after each race I said, "That one was my favorite!" Stars and Stripes was no different. 

This was my first race that I would have Brooklyn & Jeremy there to cheer me on. Thanks to my friend Lora for bringing B. This made it possible for me to get there in time and not have to backtrack. Another awesome friend picked up my race packet so that gave us a little time to hang out, find our other friends, and take pictures of course. 
Sidenote: How cute are my friends?! I love dressing up for themes or holidays, so this race was great for that. So many awesome red, white and blue race clothes. 

On to the running portion...we had really great weather. I mean, it's July in the South...it is usually a million degrees+ outside. It was comfortable. Everyone seemed pretty chilled out at the start too. I was worried with there being so many people that it would be hard to get off to a good start. People spaced out a little and took their time getting up to the start. I was fairly close to the front, but I noted that the timer was at 2 minutes by the time I crossed the line. 

The course was mostly flat (or maybe I've forgotten rolling hills) and shady for the first half. I found someone a little faster than me and chased her for almost two miles. Then she apparently got a burst of energy that I was lacking, and she left me in the dust. My Nike+ said I was running slower than my PR pace, but I'm starting to learn Nike+ can be a little liar. My legs were getting tired on the last half mile but I was trying my best to keep running. I remember feeling like I was running through molasses or running so slowly I felt like I was actually going backwards at times. I got a little burst when I rounded the last turn. I gave it all I had because I knew my loves were waiting somewhere along the finish line. I happened to look up and see the clock said 35 minutes....which meant 33 running minutes for me. I was ecstatic! That may be slow to some. That may be fast, but for me that meant a PR. Official time- 33:39. My goal is a sub30 5k and I'm trying to do it by the end of the year. 

To celebrate my PR, I got a new tank and new running top after the race. So much for my "no new workout clothes" ban I put on myself. I also got a tank for Brooklyn and a running tech shirt for Jeremy. I got those with the stipulation they had to start running with me. Ask me how many times they have run with me since....if you guessed 0, you'd be right. 

After the race, we ate typical 4th of July food (hamburgers, hot dogs) along with typical post race foods (bananas, oranges) and hung out around the fountain. Once it got dark, it was time for some fireworks. 
This is apparently how you take pictures of fireworks these days. She missed half the show trying to take the right selfie #tweens

And being the hypocrite I am, then we took a selfie, eh um, I mean an usie? I don't know. And yes, I was so cold in July I had to get my race shirt out and put it on. And I was still cold! 

First M-town Race Series is over, but I think this is going to be a yearly tradition. I loved all these races even the Gibson which was my worst. I definitely recommend anyone in the area to sign up for all or at least one of these series races. 

Jun 20, 2014

Race Recap: Gibson 5k

Last weekend I ran the Gibson Guitar 5k in downtown Memphis. I wrote up my thoughts on it and somehow deleted the post or blogger was hungry and ate it. I'm not really sure. And since I hate rewriting posts, I closed blogger and didn't log in for 4 more days. Now I'm finally back around and feel like sharing, so here is my recap. 

I've mentioned a few times (here, here) that my goal this summer was to beat my pace in each race of the M-town series that I'm doing. Well....spoiler alert, that didn't happen. Do I get a mulligan? I started off the race fine. My first mile is always the hardest for me mentally. I get nervous and then I start thinking that something is hurting. It's usually an ankle, random muscle, knee, something. This happens while I am dodging people and parked cars on the first mile. Coming into the mile marker, I'm headed up a little hill straight into the sun. I start feeling kind of weird. We round the corner and I smell one of my favorite things about Memphis....BBQ. Yum, right? No. The smell made me feel nauseous. From that point on, my sense of smell was super sensitive. Every change made me feel worse. I continued slowing down, walking some parts, trying my best not to get sick. I started feeling better toward the end and sprinted up the hill from the river up to Beale Street. Mistake. The hill had been too much for at least one person. I saw their lunch (sorry, TMI). I don't do well with that, so I walked and tried to pull it together to the finish. My husband came to this race so I had to run at the end for him. Once I saw and heard the crowd (and a man that kept pumping people up and running with them for the last sprint) I started running as hard as I could. I think when Jeremy saw me he knew by the look on my face and the time on the clock that I was not feeling great. 

All in all I didn't do that horribly. I didn't get the pace I wanted but the way I see it, there's always a next time. And since I don't want this post to be a "woe is me, I took an extra minute a mile" type post, I'm going to share some positives. 

[one] I can see why so many people love that race. It was fun and there's lots of good energy. We got to run down Riverside Drive. I love Riverside Drive. I love seeing the "M Bridge" and pyramid along the river. We started on Beale St. What a great starting line! The after party is at the Gibson Guitar factory. I mean, could it get any better. 

[two] I love evening runs. I had time that morning to hydrate up, eat right, enjoy the day and prepare for my run that night. 

[three] I got to meet up with a running friend before the race. And Meredith met several ladies of the Schweddy Belles running group from Breakaway Running. I'm telling you, runners are the most friendly people. We had a little conversation with those ladies before getting to our spots. 
[four] The only pictures I saw of myself during the race were when I was running. No grumpy pictures of myself when I was getting frustrated with myself. And I don't totally hate them. 
 [five] Despite the rough run, I felt amazing afterwards. I grabbed something to drink, had some oranges and I felt amazing. I even felt great the next day. I have finally reached that point I used to hear about. I used to think my friends were crazy when they said they felt awesome after a run. That used to sound crazy to me. Now I get it. I totally get the runner's high. 

That's it for this run. Next one coming up is the Stars and Stripes on July 3rd. I think I may have talked Jeremy into running it too! I am really excited about that. Also, I have started low heart rate training thanks to some friends and some online research. I still have a book I want to read about it, but I will share my initial thoughts on it all one day next week. Now get out there and run!

Jun 13, 2014

Friday Five

In case you haven't looked at the calendar or been on any social media all day, guess what? It's Friday the 13th. My mind just stopped at "it's Friday" though. And Friday the 13th or not, it's my favorite easy link up...Five on Friday!
[one] One of the big reasons I don't blog every day is because I read blogs everyday. Make sense? I like to catch up on my internet friends before jumping into a post of my own. This week, my blog reader has been on the fritz and I was not happy about it. I use Feedly, and have been avoiding Bloglovin since Google Reader went away. To me it wasn't as user friendly. To each their own. So for the last few days I have probably been missing out on my favorite blogs but I have had a lot of ideas for my own blog, so maybe this was just a sign or a kick in the pants, whichever. 

[two] I have another race this weekend! I love back to back race weekends. After this weekend, I have two and a half weeks until my next race in the series. Unless I sign up for a race between now and then. 

[three] I have been really bad lately for the last year or more about remembering to take my real camera places. I used to be the photo nazi! My friends could count on me to document our lives in photos. I've been slacking. So this weekend I am going to get a few more camera cards and have my camera ready to go for whatever comes our way. I'm going to start by trying to join in Rachel's day in the life linkup next week. I love the camera on my phone, but for the most part they don't beat out photos from my actual camera. The linkup is next week so everyone has plenty of time to document a day and write a post.

[four] Father's Day is this weekend and I still have to make a mad dash to the store to pick up our gift. Nothing like last minute shopping! At least I know what I want to get for Jeremy this year. That's half the battle. I just have to make sure it's approved by Miss Brooklyn, of course. And since she will be at her dad's house on Sunday we will do our thing to celebrate either tonight or tomorrow during the day. She has already requested that we grill out. Let's see if the weather cooperates.
[five] Also on the agenda this weekend....baseball. Yep, not our usual softball tourney weekend. This weekend we are supposed to take B to her friend-that's-a-boy's baseball game. This is all new territory for me. It makes me nervous and I don't know exactly why. It makes me feel like she is so grown up, but she's also still my baby. 

[bonus] According to my planner, summer is passing by extremely quickly this year. There is little time left on the calendar that is blank. And I still haven't planned our summer vacation. I can't decide between beach, water park, mountains, cruise. Everything sounds like something we should do, so leave your vacation advice in the comments! I need to weigh out our options. 

Jun 10, 2014

Small Victories

This weekend was busy, fun, and a whole lot of stormy! I could have done without that adjective {she says, as her area is under a tornado watch currently}. 

Friday night was the second race in the 4 race M-town series that I signed up for. This is the only race in the series that I have actually run before, two times actually. I love this race! It is in one seriously cute part of town. I love every single adorable little house here. What makes it even better is my friend Laura lives there and this year the race went right by her house. 
Usually it is already 100 degrees by the time this race rolls around. It's humid and sticky and hard to breath, but this year I have to say the weather during the race was probably the best weather you could ask for in Memphis in June. It had rained and stormed all afternoon pretty much. But by the time the race started the rain cleared and the temp was closer to 70.

I got there really early....that is totally not like me. But I've been surprising friends lately by being on time or even early for things. Maybe I will lose that late reputation one of these days. Anyways, so I was texting my friend Lora who was in route and searching for a place to park. I was also meeting Debi in front of a restaurant so we could find each other before the race. She brought Cecilia, which was awesome because I have been following her blog and IG, but I haven't met her in person until this week. They are both super nice, and I love meeting more of the awesome running community we have around us here in the city. Then when I finally get into the start line about where I think I should be, Meredith turns around and says hey! She was in front of me for no telling how long. More friendly faces to look for before the next race in the series! 

I am not sure if I have mentioned it before, but I am not fast. I have never been a fast runner. My body will require more training to speed up my pace. Thank goodness I found my love for running, right? Anyways, I set a goal for myself this year to PR each and every race from now until the end of the year. Sounds like a lofty goal, but this is the first year I've been training and running on somewhat of a schedule. Plus, besides 5ks I've only ever raced one half marathon and one 10k. I just have one untrained (pretty much) time to beat for those. So I'm happy to say, that I have accomplished my goal so far. My pace for the Zoo race was 13:07 (it was a 4 miler) and my pace for Harbortown was 11:41. See, not breaking any course records for sure, but I improved! And my biggest surprise....I wasn't sore. I waited until two days later to say anything. I was kind of disappointed in myself. I assumed this meant I didn't push myself hard enough, but a friend told me that just means my body has gotten adjusted to the distance. Already time to add on some miles! Now I'm excited! 

My goal this week is to follow the rest of my training in my Nike Running app. Then I run the Gibson Guitar 5k on Saturday night. I'm excited about this one. I have heard it is a really fun race too. 

May 30, 2014

Running for a Reason

I've mentioned before that 2014 is the year of running for me. I did my first 5k in 2009. That sounds so long ago. But I wouldn't really consider myself to be "into" running until this year. It took me 5 years to find my love for it. That first mile is the hardest for me. That is when my mind tells me to quit. After that first mile, I can start to enjoy the nature around me. I feel alone but in a good way. I have my time to think. The good thing about being slow is having more time to think I guess. 
Harbortown 5k 2010
During the half I ran in April, I realized I CAN run more than just a 5k. It's crazy that it took me until the middle of a half marathon to realize that my legs could actually take me 13.1 miles. I decided right then, I wanted to sign up to run the St Jude half in Memphis this year. I also wanted to do whatever I could to raise money for St Jude. So today, I took the leap and signed up at the bronze hero level for 2014. I must raise $500 for this level, but my goal is to raise $1,000. I have a few ideas on how I will do this and I have several months to get there. My fundraising page is here if you would like to donate or just share it and spread the word for me. 
Country Music Half Marathon - April 2014
Growing up in the Memphis area, I knew about St Jude. I knew it was a hospital for children with cancer. I never realized it was also a research facility. And I really didn't think about other cities not having a place just as great as St Jude. I didn't realize that patients coming to St Jude never receive a bill for their treatment. St Jude raises money all the time so they can provide families with treatment but without the financial burden of high medical bills. Parents are dealing with enough emotionally and financially when they come to St Jude so knowing that the treatments are taken care of has to be at least a slight relief. 

This year instead of just doing some races, I actually feel like I'm part of a "race season." I signed up for the MTown series, which is 4 races. I completed the first one (a 4 miler) last week, and the next 5k in the series is next Friday. That series will be complete on July 3rd, and I will start the MRTC Road Race series which is 10 races--two of each distance (5k, 5-miler, 10k, 10-miler, half marathon). That series runs from July to November, so it is a great prep for the St Jude half marathon. I will be sharing my experiences along the way as I prep for this race and come up with some fun ideas to raise money for St Jude. 
Zoom Through the Zoo 2014
And if you are in the area (or not), you should sign up and run too! My friend Lora is running it too. And hopefully we peer pressure, Meredith into joining us as well. 

May 19, 2014

Winner Winner BBQ Dinner

Last week, I was going through some of our pictures from previous Memphis in May BBQ fests. I knew this weekend would be fun and full of some good food, good friends, and good times just like every year. But I didn't know this year was going to be such a year to remember. 
Our standard pose - MIM BBQ fest 2012
In case you didn't already know, Memphis is the home of BBQ. There may be some Texas/Kansas City/NC style BBQ lovers that may disagree with me, but let's just agree to disagree :) Each year during the whole Memphis in May celebrations, there is the World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest. My husband has been competing for about ten years now. When he texted me Saturday and told me they were a finalist (top 3) I knew I had to drop everything and get downtown on TIME (not my strong suit). We got good spots in front of the stage and listened to all the other awards. Their category was last--ribs. 

They called out the 3rd place winners, so they knew they were top 2. One of their team members was yelling "we were nobody, and now we are top 2." I got a kick out of their reactions. Then they called out the second place winner and it wasn't them!! Everyone was losing their minds screaming and jumping up and down. It was the absolute best! 
That would be my husband there in the center 
This is definitely a MIM that we won't forget ever. It was so much fun as usual, but it was even better seeing the team so happy! They were all on cloud 9. We went back to the booth to dance and celebrate...and take lots of pictures by the trophy!
And last by not least, my required family picture for 2014...