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...

May 16, 2014

Friday Five

It's Friday! The longest day of the week at work. Just waiting on the weekend! More specifically, waiting on a 3 day weekend for me. 
[One] It's BBQ Fest week here in Memphis! My husband is on a cook team so we get to go down to the river on Wednesday night before it's open to the public. Unfortunately this year it was freeeeezing Wednesday and a constant mist was being blown into the booth. But we are venturing down again tonight to hang out, get my typical picture of us in front of the M bridge, and eat some good food. 
We smiled but we were so cold!
[two] Softball starts this weekend. After a rain out last weekend, we are all anxious and ready for a long day at the park. I am just not looking forward to game day morning without Jeremy. He will be downtown for the end of BBQ fest so I've got morning duty. How did I manage to do this alone before??
[three] I am in a fashion funk. My closet is boring me to tears. It's awful. I am about to clean a lot of it out and start working on building it back. I went shopping a little on Mother's Day to find a few new things to wear to work. I left with black and patterned workout compression capris and two new workout tanks....this has been typical of my shopping trips in the last few months. If I could wear workout clothes to work everyday I would be set. I'm hoping to finish bringing out the summer boxes and find more options in those. 

[four] Race season kicks into high gear starting next week. I am signed up for a 4 miler Thursday evening. I'm a little nervous because my legs are super sore from leg day this week, but I'm going to work in some running time maybe between softball games this weekend. This is the first year I've been signed up for multiple races in advance, and I really like having those planned out. I joined the Memphis Runners Track Club last week and I plan to sign up for their series that starts in July as well. This really is the year of running! 

[five] Speaking of running. I didn't share last week about the Run Baby Run 5k that I participated in. This was a very special run this year. It was for the March of Dimes, and it was in honor of my sweet friend's son, Harper. All of our friends and families came out, wore our #irunforbabyharper shirts, and ran for a great cause. And after everyone crossed the finish line, every single member of the Young family and extended family placed in their age division--from sisters to grandparents! How perfect is that?! 

That's my five for this Friday! I'm ready to pick up my mini and head to BBQ Fest. I'm hoping we get better weather tonight so we can really enjoy our nachos and ribs. What does everyone else have planned for their weekend?

May 14, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: The Funny Stuff

I'm wondering if I'm the only person that has a few goofy wedding pictures thrown into the mix. I thought me and my sister started it because we always have a picture of us with at least one of us making a face. Apparently I was wrong though. The boys were a little silly in their pictures too. 

This is very us...

Which resulted in this picture, which is very us as well...

Then we had to bring my middle sister into it. She usually avoids our foolishness. 

And I'm about 90% sure we didn't completely drive our photographer crazy taking these pictures. She was a trooper! 

I saw this in the men's section of pictures. Of course. Some of the bridesmaids that watched the guys get their pictures taken had already told me that I had a patient photographer. I can only imagine. 
Really guys? 

Just a quick, mostly photos post for today. I have a shorter day at work today and then I'm headed downtown for Friends and Family night at the Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Fest! {I had to write out the full name} We are the BBQ capital of the world right? If you are from Kansas City, you may argue with me on that. Anyways, we go every year on Wednesday because it's more of a family night. It's not open to the public yet and there are plenty of kids. I can't wait. I look forward to it every year! 
NC Belle in Boots

May 7, 2014

The Liebs

It has been such a busy week! The first week of every month usually is, but this month I am covering for a coworker that is out on maternity leave. There have been some longer hours this week, but those will pay off on Friday. Luckily, we have some wiggle room with our work schedule. I will have 35 hours (or more) in by the time I leave Thursday, so I just have to finish out my 40 for the week. In other words, I will be running out those doors at 1!

Yesterday, the awesome Cecilia at MommiesRun nominated me for a Liebster Award! So I am answering her questions and coming up with some for you!
1.  How did you get started running? I really can't remember why I decided to start running, but I had some friends that were signing up for 5Ks. What's better than running with friends! So I signed up for my very first race ever--the Youth Villages 5K in either 2009 or 2010. I would say I haven't really gotten serious about running until within this last year.
2.  What is your favorite summer treat? Fruity beverages. They just go with summer, right? And homemade ice cream
3.  How do you unwind after a rough day? When I don't have running around to do after work, I love getting home, putting on something extra comfy and relaxing in front of the tv with a nice dinner and glass of wine. There was a window of time where I would have said sitting on the patio, but we may have jumped right through spring into summer in about a week's time here.
4.  What race is on your bucket list? I would love to run the NYC marathon but I'm not really sure right now if I want to go after that distance or not. I am just now getting comfortable with the idea of running 13 miles. I do want to run some more half marathons in other cities. Maybe a half in 13 states? Who knows.
5.  What do you love about blogging? I love the people I have met and the sense of community. Sure there are negative things that go along with it but the positives far outweigh the negatives. Some of my good real life friends have once been exclusive blog friends. I've met several just in the running community.
6.  How do you fuel for a long run? I'm still learning how my body needs to be fueled for long runs. As crazy as this sounds, one thing I thought would be the worst race snack ended up being great for my half.....brown rice crispies. Jeremy's cousin had some and that's what I had with natural peanut butter before the race and then one during the race along with some Gu. All worked perfectly for my body. I just didn't have my first snack early enough in the run I think.
7.  What is your all time favorite TV show? I would say Friends, Modern Family or The Office just because if nothing new is on tv, I can watch any rerun of these shows. I like to laugh!
8.  Skirts or shorts for running? Compression capris. For now. I have never liked to run in shorts, but I did 3 miles in shorts last night. I think I just need to do it more and get used to the shorts. I also have a running skirt that I really like.
9.  If you could make 3 wishes, what would they be? Besides the typical, world peace and a cure for cancer (because those are definitely top of the list), my personal wishes would be an unlimited expense account for travel, a huge chunk of land in the same area we live now, and to have had more time with my grandfather that passed away when I was little.
10.  What is your signature color? Melnessa (Melissa, do you remember this color? lol) When I was in high school, my best friend and I discovered that we had a common color that looked great on our ghost white porcelain skin, so we named it Melnessa (Melissa and Janessa, we were combining names before Brangelina). Melnessa is just the right shade of pink-orange-coral.

Now I'm going to try to tag some people that haven't been tagged recently to answer the following questions:

1. If you run, what's your favorite piece of running gear?
2. Where are you going for summer vacation this year?
3. What is something you have pinned on Pinterest and actually made?
4. What is one thing on your bucket list?
5. How did you meet your significant other?
6. What's your favorite current tv show?
7. What is a random fact about you that most people don't know?
8. Why did you start blogging?
9.  What is your favorite piece of clothing?
10. What's the last text in your phone say?

And I'm tagging....
Meredith @ My Own Little World
Lindsey @ A Plane Dr, His Nurse & their 3 little passengers
Lora @ Raising Steppe Sisters
Natalie @ My Fabulous Life of Woodchucks & Sippy Cups
Natalie @ May the Schwartz Be With You
Analisa @ Sunset 79