Monday, February 28, 2011

Venturing to Disney

Backstory- I bought my flight (at a mighty good deal) to Orlando around Christmastime, and didn't look much at the itinerary until I was getting all my information ready to leave. Thursday at work B reminded me to print out my boarding pass so I could check in quicker for our Friday morning flight. Turns out I accidently booked my flight to Orlando to leave February 11, not Feb 25- I think I booked my flight after registering for the R n R New Orleans half, and the 11th is the day we were planning on leaving (at least thats the excuse I'm going with) My original $99 departure flight turned into a whopping $268 flight after I got it all fixed.
**sidenote, I've heard some horror stories from others about mixing up flights and the companies not being able to do much to help out, Southwest customer service is AMAZING**
The flight on the 11th had me getting in around 1:30est whereas my new flight gave me an hour, so thats a plus.
I've never flown Southwest before, so I had no idea that you get to choose your seats- As I'm making my way toward the back of my plane I realized there were at least 20 different ladies wearing tiaras- how awesome it that?!?! The flight attendant noticed and once she found out why, made all the princesses and 'hidden princesses' (ppl still running but not wearing crowns) stand up- the rest of the plane clapped. This sparked conversation between me and the gentlemen I sat next to- can you believe he had never heard of the concept of running a half marathon in each state?!?! Silly non- runner hehe.
The short plane ride was spent listening to the flight attendants tell jokes, sang happy birthday to all the birthday travelers (must be a southwest theme to be interactive with their passengers?!?!),  and attempt to read "The girl with the dragon tattoo" (little success there)
When I land I texted B so her and her 'rents can come get me- they both arrived at 11:40. We grab lunch and head to our resort. B and I really lucked out- when we decided on racing in Disney, her parents made the decision to use one of their time shares and let us stay with them.
Arrive at Holiday Inn Orange Lake Resort and while B's parents were checking in- we wanted to check out the beach!
I adore palm trees

I could get used to this sight
thought it was neat that the pool was that close to the water
Naturally as soon as we were able, we changed into our suits and headed down to the pool to enjoy some sunshine and cocktails!
First cocktail, 'Florida sunrise'- dont remember whats in it, but it was delicious!

Gorgeous view! 
There were two outdoor hot tubs at our particular pool, had to wait till some people decided to leave, but once we were able to go in, it was exactly what we needed. It's been awhile since I've been in a hot tub that was actually hot AND had great powerful jets

Hot tub was intense after a bit, tried out the pool and it was a little cold, so we opted to get another drink and check out some of the shops surrounding the pool.
2nd cocktail- 'Bomb pops'- extremely sweet and tart, so it was a struggle to finish

B has a fascination with pirates

We have an inside joke that you're not officially a real runner until you wear a hat (neither of us wear hats)- we saw these foam visors and decided that you're not officially old until you own and wear a patterned visor. The shops looked more exciting from the outside, than from within, so we decided to call it a day at the pool and head to grocery store so we can shop for food for the week.
This is the amazing view leaving pool area and heading to our villa. 
After grocery shopping and eating dinner we're all pretty tired from being up so early, so we go to bed so we can head to expo and animal kingdom the following day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Long awaited diagnosis!!

Today was a double dose of doctors- orthopedic in morning, chiropractor in afternoon- I promise I'm not that broken, just working on the preventative side vs. in the past where I have the mentality "It won't happen to me" - I think that comes with age, some say its wisdom, others say paranoia, I say its just being SMART!

I FINALLY had my appointment this morning with the orthopedic to see whats going on with my right knee. Aside from the fact that my appointment was at 9:15 and I didn't get out of there till 11:30, I was extremely pleased.
If you mix patellar tendonitis, and IT band tendonitis or IT band syndrome, and throw in some bursitis then you've got my trusty (or not so trusty) right knee! Out of the three, the patellar tendonitis is what is the most painful and will be the hardest for me to get over....
.... However if I do the following, hopefully I"ll bounce back in no time!
 1.) rest  (which if i do say so myself I am going CRAZY with all this resting), 2.) ice when needed, 3.)stretches, and 4.) at least 800 mg of Advil a day a few days leading up to and following races!

The great news is nothing is torn (HOORAY!!!) and the doctor told me I had excellent quad definition and support which translated that my knee is completely stable and to just use my own pain threshold to know when to back off. He also said he didn't see an issue with me running the Disney Princess 1/2 this weekend, as long as I don't try to go for a PR. With all the characters / mascots  I will be attempting to stop and take a picture with, I could care less about my time.
I got a cortizone shot in my IT band along with some other medicine and off I went.

Later that day I had my chiro appt. and told him the medial side of my knee (right where insertion is for sartorius lays) is still tender (on both knees)- told me to just rub the muscles out like I would do for IT band and then demonstrated- HOLY COW- you thought the IT BAND was painful, try rubbing sore tendons on inside of knee yooowzers!
Can't get better without the pain I suppose

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yoga or Pilates?

As part of my 2011 1/2 goals (till June) I told myself I would start up yoga or pilates to switch it up and help with my strength and flexibility. To adhere to my goals, and hopefully to prevent any more injuries, I think its time to start something up.
I'm going to be honest- I have NEVER done EITHER- so I have no idea what I will be getting myself into. I would like to start something up when I return from Disney and get all moved in ( around 3/7)  To any of my blogger friends:
What do you recommend for someone just starting out?

What do you prefer and why??

Any helpful tips / suggestions for a beginner?

The week of Awesome

First the not so awesome part of the week-
I haven't been able to run since New Orleans, so now it's been 8 days since I've last ran. I feel so sluggish and lazy, and don't know how much longer I can go with just resting. I CANNOT wait to see what the orthopedic says about my knee on Wednesday!!
**fingers crossed that its nothing major**

 Now to the more positive side of last week! 
Awesomeness #1 - Finally went back to working 8 hr days vs 10- wasn't dragging by the time I left the office
Awesomeness #2- My mom made me a tutu for Disney's Princess 1/2 next weekend, and it came in the mail! 

Awesomeness #3- Wasn't able to try king cake when in New Orleans, but then work had a Mardis Gras celebration and what did they have... KING CAKE
to be honest, it wasn't that great, but at least I can say I've had it
Awesomeness #4 I won  tickets to the Predators hockey game in the company suite- My first preds game!

outside company suite
Preds warming up
B & I with our view
 Awesomeness #5- After weeks of searching for a new place to move in March / April, house was finalized! Moving in with 4 other girls, so now I can have my space when I want it, but also the opportunity to socialize when I'm feeling chatty. 

Awesomeness #4-   One of my best friends from college / home, Kory, told me last minute that he was going to stop in Nashville on his way back down to Florida, so after not seeing him for a year (and him getting ready to move to Turkey for 2 years) we were able to hang out Sunday night
one of my fav downtown Elvis'
Finally got to check out this hookah bar I had been eyeing

taking a break from hookah

So here's hoping to that this week can be equally as awesome, and if not- I leave on Friday for DISNEY WORLD (which will surely blow my mind... I'm a first timer) 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

ABCs of yours truly

Saw this floating around the blogosphere and thought it was a neat idea! 

(A) Age: 26
(B) Bed Size: currently I have a full, but I'm moving in a week or 2 and I'm looking into a queen 
(C) Chore You Hate: I'm HORRIBLE about cleaning my room- can't stand when other rooms are a mess, but for some reason I'm bad about organizing and picking things up in my own room
(D) Dogs?  I have my family dog back home, Madie. I don't have any pets of my own unfortunately
(E) Essential Start Your Day Item: Go to bathroom and brush my teeth
(F) Favorite Color:  I love all shades of green 
(G) Gold or Silver? any type of silver color- silver itself, white gold, platinum
(H) Height:  5'10 barefoot, with shoes, 6'0. 
(I) Instruments You Play: I have an organ back home- however it has the notes above the keys, and all the books actually say a b c d vs. the notes- aside from that, I am not musically inclined. 
(J) Job Title: Health coach & nutritionist
(K) Kids: Not yet.
(L) Live:   Nashville, TN
(M) Mom's Name:  MaryJo
(N) Nicknames:  Lis, Lisa Lou, Jameson- nothing too exciting
(O) Overnight Hospital Stays? Maybe when I was 3 or so having my adnoids removed, but to be honest not really sure
(P) Pet Peeve: S   L  O  W     W  A  L  K  E  R  S & people that can't be on time 
(Q) Quote from a Movie: Anything from Dumb & Dumber or How I met your mother I will quote
(R) Right or Left Handed?  Righty
(S) Siblings: 2 brothers; 33 and 31
(T) Time You Wake Up?  8:00-8:30 (I work at 10)
(U) Underwear:  Love boy shorts, any 'barely there' brand underwear, thongs- all just depends on my mood
(V) Vegetable You Dislike: For whatever reason I don't like tomatoes- love all they byproducts of tomatoes and tomato flavored items, just not the veggie (or fruit) itself
(W) What Makes You Run Late:  I always try to be on time, and if I'm not I call / text to say I'm running behind (the polite thing to do) 
(X) X-Rays You've Had Done: Both my collar bones in my younger days, my back, and will get getting one on my knee this week
(Y) Yummy Food You Make: I'm german so I love to make german food- 2 favorites schnitzel and sauerkraut w/ sausage
(Z) Zoo, Favorite Animal: I have a soft spot for anything 'baby' - LOVE pandas and Penguins the most

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Orleans (Race recap)

State #7 New Orleans

Race day is finally here! Resting, icing, biofreeze, and naproxen might have paid off because my knee was feeling limber when I woke up. B, me and H stretched a little before walking the mile to race start.
Pre race photo
Mile walk to the start was breezy. One thing about downtown New Orleans is that the tall buildings block out the sun, so you're constantly in shade.  Knowing that the weather was going to be sunny and mid sixties, I decided to brave it with just my tank and athletic skirt. This was my first time wearing an athletic skirt (all others were running skirts therefore I wore my own compression shorts underneath them, whereas the athletic skirts have them built in) and just by walking around it was falling down. Literally every minute I was having to pull it up- I desperately hoped that when I ran it would stay on due to movement. 
Finally get to the start line and us three girls depart to our own corrals. I was originally in corral 8, but decided to start in 9 since I knew I wouldn't go out as fast. 

While waiting around for our corral to be able to approach the start line I found out my Ipod shuffle won't play. Apparently it never charged over night- decided to use my phone for music and just hold it (we'll see how long this lasts) 

Finally we get called up and the gun goes off. I feel great for about 30 seconds and then the pain in my right knee kicked in. Seriously?!?! I tried to push through it, but gave in and started walking at 3:45. I felt so stupid having to walk so early in the race as people are breezing by, plus this is going to take me FOREVER to finish if I walk the whole thing. To add to my frustration, my stupid skirt had to be readjusted every minute or so, AGH!!! I had no idea there would be such a difference b/n having briefs vs. built in compression shorts.
On a more positive note, my yurbud earphones were staying in place as promised, AND  I looked  around and noticed I wasn't the only one walking!! Its been awhile since I've run a race of this size (about 30k), so I forgot there would be a lot of people doing the Galloway method. Since it doesn't hurt at all for me to walk, I figured I'd walk for a min or 2, then run for a few min, and go back to walking and repeat. When I hit mile 1 it was 10:18, although thats a slower time for my normal mileage, I was stoked that I could potentially pull off this whole walk / run routine the whole race. After I finished my 2nd mile I was so excited I texted both my  parents- dorky I know, but they were worried about me actually trying to run, thus causing further injury.
My mom texting me throughout the race + people cheering "you go girl" when they read my shirt kept me moving on. As time went on the running part got easier and I was able to go longer before walking to give my knee a rest. Around mile 7 something happened inside my knee. I could run fine, and I could walk fine, however when I would try to do the transition from walking to start back up running again the pain was intolerable. It felt as though something was 'caught' and it took almost a full min of  me 'hobble running' before it loosened up and I got full function of me knee again- strange. Because of this i tried much harder to see if I could run a whole mile without walking- pain while running is much easier to deal with than the walk to run transition. Due to my slower pace- I was able to enjoy  the whole experience of the race vs. just the running part. The weather was perfect, so many happy spectators, runners in great costumes, even talked to a few people along the way. The race was actually going by quickly, and once mile  10 hit I saw there was a possibility to run around the 2:10 range (originally I was planning around 2:30). Unfortunately miles 11 and 12 were 2 of my slowest miles- wear and tear was finally getting to me and the terrain was actually getting worse (guess thats what happens when you're below sea level). As soon as there was the last 1.1 left to go I decided no more stopping and to just give it my all so I can finish. The last 1/2 mile was breathtaking- made all the pain and love of running worth it. As I picked up the pace going through the chute to finally see the finish line in view I was overwhelmed with a great feeling of accomplishment. Although I've run 7 half marathons prior to this one, this was the first time where I ran for me- to prove I can do it despite being injured. Some people may say I was stupid to put my body through it and I could have further injured it (which is true), but it wasn't until this race that my true love for running and seeing what I can accomplish shone through.

After crossing the finish line and waiting in line for my picture, I called my mom so excited that I finished.
My official time was 2:11:00- I find it awesome that I ran faster in this race injured that I did for Women's 1/2 back in september when I was just starting out- goes to show how in a few short months I've transformed into a stronger runner!

1         10:18
2         10:09
3         10:35
4           9:51
5           9:40
6           9:17
7         10:04
8           9:55
9           9:41
10         9:58
11       10:11
12       10:15
13         8:51

Shortly after I finished, B found me stretching and we decided to bask in the sun and walk around while waiting for Heidi to finish.
Even strangers were cheering me on!!
 After asking around I found a tent to get my knee wrapped in ice- wrapped it so hard I couldn't walk- which was ever more painful!
Wasn't in the mood for beer but thought it was a cool pic

The best pic we could get of us- I think the guy we asked to take the photo was on something. 

Guy wanted to take a photo of my knee

Heidi finished (her first 1/2) all of us after we're done

We grab a shuttle back toward our hotel- bus driver got lost and what should have been a short trip turned into quite the opposite. Finally make it back to our hotel and we are STARVING. Game plan was to eat lunch downstairs at hotel restaurant, Cafe Luke hot tub it, nap, then get ready for our dinner reservations. Apparently it is encouraged to have reservations at Cafe Luke, and since there were now 5 of us (Heidi's college friend Maggie came in the day before) we ended up waiting 1 hour before we were sat- oh and the best part is that we had to stand the whole time- ugh. We were already annoyed by the time we were shown to our table and it took literally an hour from the time we sat down till the time our food came. Our waiter was incompetent and when it came time for the bill I told him how to split it- even said "I'm by myself, thats the green card, the couple is the grey card, and the two girls together have the orange card"- naturally he screwed that up and I got charged for Mike and Beccas meal and he charged them for mine- although it was 2.5x more than what my meal was, I didn't bother having him fix it because they covered meals earlier so it wasn't a big deal- more so annoyed that the waiter couldn't follow simple instructions.  <off my soap box>
Our whole lunch extravaganza took 3 hours, we hot tubbed, rested, then made our way to our dinner reservations at Emeril's NOLA
The ambiance was great, the service staff was super friendly and funny, and the drinks/ food were right on par- definitely made up for a crappy lunch (although it was delicious) 
drinks before dinner
The gang- B, Me, Mike, Maggie, Heidi @ NOLA

Just the ladies

After dinner we were wiped. Heidi and Maggie left to go dancing- Me, B, and M went to go back to hotel and got entranced by a cool looking gazebo bar so stopped in for a drink then got to hotel. We all were so sleepy I think we passed out around 11 or so. 
Up early again the next day, grabbed some coffee from PJs, then hit the road back to Nashville. Great but exhausting trip. Happy to be getting closer to double digit states, and now time to rest until Disney's Princess 1/2 at the end of the month! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Orleans- Day 2

Day 2
My friend from high school, Heidi, had come in after midnight and apparently her body is programmed to wake up at 7am- thus we all ended up waking shortly after. While she went on a run to find the expo, the rest of us made our way for coffee and a place to have a "New Orleans" breakfast.

We got coffee from a local chain called "PJs Coffee" ~ in my imperfect opinion, it was comparable to starbucks (and of course better prices) While in PJs we asked a couple who said they were frequent visitors to the city if they had any recommendations for breakfast (and they had to have good bacon haha) They said they were headed to Stanleys which was in the square across from the chapel. So we walked for quite a while and did reach the chapel, which was gorgeous.

I wish I would have taken a picture, but there was awesome Artwork along the sidewalks leading up to the chapel and as you were leaving- next time I go to New Orleans I'm definitely going to purchase some. We walked around looking for the address to Stanleys, but there was nothing there (did Katrina close it down?)
Decided to go to one of the few authentic Creole restaurants - Cafe Montrel. I'm not a fan of seafood, so a lot of the Creole food I couldn't eat but was satisfied with their bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, and toast. I just LOVE breakfast food.
Afterward we walked around the riverwalk, which is absolutely gorgeous, and just enjoyed the amazing weather!

Heidi and I 
Heidi still needed to go to the expo, so I agreed to tag along while Becca and Mike hit up the casino. Expo on saturday was INSANELY busy- ugh I hate slow moving crowds, so this was a nightmare for me. Luckily Heidi didn't want to linger around as much as I did the day before, so we were out fairly quick. 
Met back up with B and M and went to check out the most haunted hotel in New Orleans- Monteleon. We were originally trying to stay here, but it was all booked up, figures. 

had a drink at the bar- even napkins were fancy

Carousel bar- even moves around like an actual carousel!!

view of the city from top deck of hotel 

their heated pool on top deck!

After a drink we walked around looking for a place to eat lunch. In the meantime we saw some more street performers and I got to meet Jimmy Buffet (not the real one of course)

amazing how perfectly still he stayed

Lunch was decided to eat at Royal House for lunch. Small, but gorgeous. If you love seafood, especially oysters and crawfish, you will LOVE this place.

Afterward Heidi really wanted a Hurricane, so we went back to Pat O Greens and had some drinks while listening to the dueling pianos. 

I stopped after one beer, but everyone was getting boozed so we carried on to a karaoke bar- Cat's Meow. I watched as everyone got drunker- Heidi even got on stage a few times to dance with the other singers
Heidi is one in blue

As much fun as everyone else was having, I was MISERABLE. With all the walking around we had been doing the past 2 days, my knee was punishing me. Finally after 1.5 hrs at the Cats Meow, I told the crew I was going back to hotel to rest. I walked back to the hotel, sat and stretched in the hot tub, then iced while watching tv until everyone came stumbling in 4 hours later. We got all our gear prepared for the morning and then lights out!