Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 in review

2011 was a hectic year- it basically kicked off my running "career"
Took a look at my goals I set for myself Jan 2, 2011 and compared to what actually happened. Blue is success, red is "room for improvement". This is a long post, so I don't expect anyone to read it all, more for my accountability. For photos, just scroll down :)

  • Break into 1:40s at least once for half marathon
    • didn't happen, lowest time was 1:51:56. I WILL break into 1:40s this year though, so no worries on that one. 
  • Run first sat / sun half marathons back to back- might be doing a quad threat, 2 back to backs 2 weekends in a row- races being finalized. Apr 30, May 1, May 7, May 8!!
    • I did succeed in doing 2 back to backs WI and MI (may 7, may 8) and CT and RI (Oct 15, Oct 16) 
  • Begin to branch out of just running for training- perhaps yoga, pilates, or p90x.
    • did try SOME yoga, ehhhh. Still working on adding in p90x more consistently, but I do it, so thats good 
  • more consistent with workouts- doing combo of running / weights/ other workout 4x week.
    • Major fail. When I'm good I will get in 3-4 workouts a week, but generally there is no consistency to my training 
  • upgrade my  Half Fanatics moon status to Earth by completing 16 halfs in 16 states in 365 day time frame.
    • went above and beyond- ending up at Venus due to running 20 1/2s in 20 states in 365 time frame. Will be upgraded to Mercury- 23 1/2s in 365 time frame by February 
  • run my first 10k 'race' and find other intermediate races to participate in on non half weekends. 
    • did run 1 10 k--- it was awful.... in fact my time for the 10k was slower than what I run 7 miles in DURING a half marathon race. Awful experience recapped HERE
  • strive for 90-100 miles / month
    • major fail here. I achieved 105 miles in January, wasn't smart about the increase in miles, developed ITBS, took several months light, and the closest I've come to 100 miles again was Oct with 93 miles. 
  • Figure out and make a step toward grad school / CHES certification (work to me) 
    • registering for CHES certification. Naturally it falls on the same day as Country Music 1/2, but since test is only offered twice a year, I have to suck it up. 
  • Less stress- focus on the small changes my clients are making, big or small and remind myself I help make a difference in someone else's life.
    • I've done much better about this. There will always be those arrogant, thick headed individuals who don't listen to a word I say and always complain, but thats life
  • Branch out of comfort zone and interact with other departments and meet more colleagues.
    • Between doing Financial Peace twice, my Ragnar Tennessee team, and just being more social and networking I've definitely made some more friends and contacts. 
  • keep eyes open for opportunities for development 
    • this year was super busy at work, so there wasn't as much time for me to take advantage of a lot of opportunities, but now that I'll be on a different system, I will have much more availability to do so! 
  • will join some type of running group / activities club to meet more people. 
    • does online dating count?!?! haha kidding (sort of) No "official" group joined. Debating on doing Monday night runs now with Fleet Feet
  • do a better job to keep in touch with friends both in the city and back home
    • running has definitely strengthened some friendships and allowed me to reconnect with old friends. 
  • talk with parents / siblings more- keep closer tabs on nephews 
    • Done. Eric I talk often with about running. Andy always has questions on nutrition for weight loss as well as gout. Mom just to catch up. Dad on work questions. 
  • Continue to work on saving money and not splurging it on weekends and going out. 
    • This is part way accomplished- I don't splurge money on weekends, but I did travel to 18 different states in 9 months, which costs money! So I guess you could say my money was re-allocated to running. 
  • get back into journaling ups and downs before bed to help de-stress
    • hit or miss but I did do a better job about this. I don't think I'll ever get back into doing every night like I did year prior. Its always fun to go back and look at entries from 4 years ago--- man was I miserable!! Makes you appreciate where you are now :) 
  • read at least one health related / self improvement book / month
    • Big fail here, but I'm okay with that.  I have been reading more for leisure. I guess it has "improved" me a bit because I can carry on conversations about what everyone is reading- most recently the whole Hunger Games &  Girl With Dragon Tattoo Series (sidebar, the movie is AMAZING, its rare to have a book turned movie be so accurate, but this was eerily close, just a few minor changes) 
  • again with yoga or pilates :) 
    • nope just doesn't excite me so its time to stop incorporating that into goals
  • work on time management so have more free time for others and myself of course 
    • done. 
  • positive self-affirmations everyday- remember to be thankful for my life :) 
    • I would say I do this about 50% of the time 

So in Short, here is what happened by the numbers: 
  • 700 miles ran- original goal was to hit 1000, however no miles were ran in February, March, or April outside of scheduled 1/2 marathon races. Stupid IT Band. 
  • 18 half marathons in 9 months (no half marys in June, Nov, or Dec) 
  • 8 states I ran in were the first time ever stepping foot on their soil (MS, LA, AR, KS, WV,PA, CT, RI)
  • 2 Ragnar Relays
  • 1 10k
  • 1 5k
  • 1 PR
  • 5 friends I reconnected with due to racing in their city and meeting up :)
  • 6 races family came out to cheer me on (live 5 hours away from closest relatives) 
  • 7 bloggers met (in order of appearance- Rebecca W, Jill H, Vanessa, Ashley R, Julia H, Stephanie F, Rachelle W)
  • 10 half fanatic / marathon maniac photo meet ups
  • Finished the year at Venus (7 moons level) and after Livestrong February 1/2, I'll be upgraded to Mercury (8 moons level) 

Monthly Highlights in Photos

Got to run in the Mississppi Blues 1/2 on Elvis' Birthday! (quite a fan)

IT Band went kaput during Critz Tybee 1/2

Had New Orleans race 1 week after Critz Tybee, since I've never been to the City, I still went and just walk/ran/ limped-- first time I was truly appreciative of having an ability to just run. 

First time ever in Disney World... and running in a tutu. So fun to do all the photo ops with characters

Little Rock 1/2- IT band/ knee pain finally died down during race and was able to run again sub 2 hours

Wizard of Oz 1/2- coldest race to date, but at least we looked cute doing it!

St. Louis 1/2- Worst race experience ever--- diarrhea + vomiting throughout the course

Busiest month- 5 half marys and my first ever BACK TO BACK experience

Kenosha, WI- got my new PR there 

Kalamazoo, MI
actually got to meet 2 of my members I had been coaching over the last year- nice to put a face to a voice :) 

Mom came along to my Indy race and her and my aunt participated in the 5k

After a crammed filled May, June was a month off for racing... did go to Bonnaroo Music festival though, so was still able to travel

A close 2nd to 'worst race experience' due to heat over my birthday weekend in Erie, PA + no medal! Upside, mom was there to spend it with me and I got to cool off in Lake Erie

RnR Chicago- flat and fast, nothing spectacular. Randomly ran into my dorm neighbor from sophomore year in college, so that was unexpected

Paced my brother to help him in his FIRST half marathon experience, was neat to run on some old stomping grounds at home + have the whole fam to cheer us along

San Jose Rock n Roll 1/2 - the race was NOTHING to write home about, however all the Half Fanatics I met were some of the nicest racers I've met in a long time. Two of my faves: 
Endorphin Dude!

& Louie! (love his glasses)

2nd double header weekend- first time on the east coast and my top 2 most beautiful runs

Hartford, Ct- gorgeous finish line 

Newport, RI- Ocean views along the course 
AND I got to be matchy matchy with the other B and L 

"Too Legit to Quit" Ragnar Team in Vegas- amazing time with great people + I finally got back to running in the 7s again 

"Trunk Monkey" Tennessee Ragnar- fastest splits of the year! 

2nd year running Rudolph 5k. Placed 3rd in age group, but wasn't around for the awards :(

Now to figure out how to make 2012 even better! Goals to come in a few days...

Find out what other's are up to and what there goals are HERE on Jill's Fitness Blog Hop

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Three Things Thursday - victory dance

10 Reasons to cause me to do a victory dance
  1. I've been at my current job for 2 years, and figured it was time to update my resume since there are a lot more openings in different departments. Wording, spacing, and attempting to sound smart is all hard work. Proud to say I finally finished! 
  2. I got accepted to Pinterest earlier this week---this is exactly why I don't join Twitter because I get sucked in real quick. You can follow me HERE!! (still a work in progress naturally)
  3.  I'm slowly trying to turn myself into a domestic goddess - I got a Magic Bullet, George Foreman, and some gadgets to make eggs with--- I broke in the Bullet last night to make pesto and hummus... I might be addicted to creating different concoctions with this bad boy. (ps- unless you grow your own basil... its MUCH cheaper to just buy pesto) 
  4. My roommate put money down on a short sale house for us to potentially move into--- yes for all those who have been reading since last year, that would mark my 4th move in 1 year- ugh. Good news is that hes working out counter offers and decided that if he gets the house we will stay put in apartment living till our contract is up (June) and slowly move of our stuff in and decorate in the mean time---- this is GREAT news for me because I was putting everything on hold (decorating, organizing, getting rid of stuff, adding new furniture) until I heard what was going on. 
  5. It's forecasted to be 56 and sunny today---- hello perfect running weather
  6. - Have this race in a little over 2 weeks. This will be my first half marathon in 3 months---- WOW. Looks like I may need to do a longer run this weekend or next since all my runs are 5 milers. 
  7. is having a sale + my brother got me a $50 gift card for Christmas. Sooooo for those of you who like the skirts, you can get their triathalon skirts for just $25.20. For those who are unfamiliar with this style- its basically just a skirt- no shorts underneath, no built in briefs, JUST the skirt. For me this is perfect because I always wear my own spandex underneath and this way there is no bunching with anything else. I'm in the process of figuring out a 5-way matchy matchy for Livestrong Marathon with Rebecca W., her sister L, B, and Kim R.
  8. Speaking of Kim- she agreed to do an Idaho + Oregon back to back with me the weekend of Cinco de Mayo! It will be nice not being the only giant in the group ;) 
  9.  I got my new medal hanger for Christmas!! I haven't had time to hang it up next to my old one, but I'm excited that upon immediate hanging, it will practically be full :) 
  10. And last, but DEFINITELY not least- I weighed myself this morning to see what damage was done while being home.... None... thats right a BIG FAT ZERO in weight gain. I think it proves my point I try to get across to my members--- "if you do the right thing 80% of the time, that 20% where you indulge shouldn't affect you" 
Anything going on in YOUR life worth doing a victory dance for?!?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mostly Wordless Wednesday (Christmas edition)

Dressing up for ugly sweater competitions must run in the family....
Me and co-worker / fellow Trunk Monkey teammate, Jason, and I shopping for our "Christmas angel" 
My brother Andy and his wife Courtney on their way to their own ugly christmas sweater party
(everything is hot-glued to his chest... that takes commitment to the cause) 

Both my brother and myself won our competitions---we breed winners in the Jameson Household. 

Mom decided to carry on the ugly sweater tradition and have a funny holiday card from us wearing her teacher collection sweater from the last 20+ years....

Just us kids 

and entire fam in our ugly Christmas glory 

We are styling

Hope everyone's Christmas was grand, can't wait to catch up on all the posts I over the last week! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Oh Honey!

And more randomness brought to you by "not feeling up for running so I have to fill my time with something else" 

Well not this kind of honey (isn't it weird that THIS image is the FIRST one that pops up in google)

I'm talking about this kind of honey

Yesterday I was in a "home remedy" type of mood and I happen to get 2 GREAT uses out of honey. 

First up there was a face mask I came across on Pinterest. After reading Stephanie's horror story HERE from a recipe she found on Pinterest, I was a little apprehensive, however since there was no peeling involved, I figured it would be okay. 

The mask promised: This facial is mildly exfoliating (can be made more abrasive with more sugar), anti-bacterial and moisturizing! It is smooth and creamy, and can be warmed up in the microwave for cold dry skin in the winter (This does however melt the sugar so it becomes an even creamier mix.) All you need are a couple basic kitchen staples and it's as easy as that! 

Well that sounds easy.... 
Actual directions can be found HERE
or you can follow below:
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of honey
1 tbsp of milk (higher fat content the better)

Word to the wise, you either need to really pack in the brown sugar to get a cup in, OR you just need to use more than a cup and less honey. This is what my goopy mess looked like- should be thicker (thats what she said) I kept trying to fix it, but alas gave up....

Once I smeared it all over my face, avoiding my eyes, I had my very own make shift bronzer!!!

Adam was kind of grossed out, but I"M THE ONE that had it on my face. I don't particularly like the taste of honey, so as I sat there for 20 minutes, the occassional goop would fall off and land into my mouth..... or on my computer. (again it needs to be thicker--- twss) 
Afterward I took a luke warm wash cloth and rubbed everything off- my skin was in fact super smooth- but since you can't really show smoothness, I didn't post the awkward photo of me caressing my face. (for the record there were 4 taken)

Next up
As of Saturday my voice has transformed to imitate the ever so throaty Kathleen Turner

I don't mind the voice so much, but the scratchy / soreness of my throat HAS TO GO. It has become increasingly hard to fall asleep as of late. 

After talking with my mom last night, she reminded me of a simple recipe I used a few years ago- honey + apple cider vinegar---- mmmm sounds delightful right??!?!? If you do a tablespoon every 2 hours, the difference you feel at the end of the day is amazing!
Without getting into the science of it- apple cider vinegar has antibiotic and antiseptic properties that help fight germs and bacteria- as well as it helps to alkalize the body which fights off infection. The honey is just to make it taste better.

I brought my batch to work since both B and I are both not feeling so great- wanted to share the "cure"

So there you have it, 2 great uses for honey 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Never too old for firsts

Aside from being sick, thus not being able to run (which is a whole different tangent on its own), the last few days have been filled with firsts for me! 

1.) Friday,  I FINALLY checked out a local brewery, Jackalope, which opened almost a year ago downtown by 2 females. Due to it being so new, they are only open on Fridays from 4-8, which is why I just haven't had time to go.  Ashley R is literally the only Nashvillian I know that has tried it out, and despite her saying it wasn't that great, I still wanted to at least say I went. 

The decor was rustic / hunting with Jackalopes everywhere...
Once you took a closer look at a lot of the photos, they've been altered to have famous people in the photos, different sayings, or just some other random object thrown in there. My favorite was "Do Epic Shit" as well as next to it (not pictured) was a Bob Marley secretly placed in a woods scene. 

Each table had some type of quote burned into it... which I thought was kind of cool 

2.) The other unique part of this bar, they have a separate room where you can go and play board games while drinking your beer--- umm just what I wanted- beer + pretending like I'm a kid again?!?!

What did we decide on?!?!

One of my favorite childhood games. Downside is that it was the new version. Why do you have to change a good thing?!?! They revamped the way all the characters looked, got rid of a few, then had to make it "politically correct" by adding in an Asian girl and a black boy--- I'm all for diversity, I just hate when things get tampered with that you're used to. 

The original will always be near and dear to my heart. I heard they are making a Candyland movie--- lets hope its the original and not the new version

For those who remember, my team dressed up like Candyland at work ... now whats more fun to dress up as


Correct Answer 
Jolly and Princess Lolly

Off my soap Box... 

So aside from the decor, I was severely disappointed in the beer Jackalope brews. I tried a few of their beers, and each one was more disappointing than the previous. The last one I drank, Rambo Red, seriously tasted like Band-Aids. YUP, you heard that right, Band Aids. I am  thoroughly impressed with myself that I actually finished the beer- ick. Due to them still finishing out their first year of brewing, I will give them the benefit of the doubt and perhaps try again at a future date, for now though, I'm steering clear. 

Next up:
3.) First time trying Thai food- crazy right!?!? The Smiling Elephant is a small local restaurant in the area which is generally hard to get into right away due to their amazing authentic thai food + small seating area

I got the Gai Ying (no picture) but chicken sauteed with cilantro and garlic (oh how i love love love garlic) served with sweet and sour sauce and jasmine rice. There was so much flavor in the chicken, I didn't even use the sweet and sour sauce!!! 

4.) and 5.) Lastly B and I went to my favorite local Nashville downtown restaurant / bar, Past Perfect before the Predators Hockey Game on Saturday. 

I normally always stick with beer, BUT in the spirit of trying new things I ordered a Pink Lady, a gin based drink

as well as a Bison burger called the Hangover...

It was delicious- much jucier meat than beef... looking at this I realize I need to kick this sore throat in the butt so I can run again. 

So that was the excitement of my weekend--- unless you consider attempting to go to bed at 7:15 Sunday because you feel like hell exciting... if you do, well then there was that too.