Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tangent Thursday (holidays)

It's officially been 1 week since I've been at work and I am loving this time off! Quite a bit has happened in the last week

  • On Sunday I said goodbye to an old trusty friend- 2002 Camry I got 2 weeks after moving to Nashville in 2010. When I got her she had 165,000 miles, and in the almost 3 years together I managed to hand her off at 211,200 miles. We ventured to a lot of states together in my half marathon quest, but it was time for someone newer...

Meet her replacement, 2010 Camry (23,000 miles)- I named her Sparkle as an inside joke to a few of my friends (Merry Christmas to me) 

It just so happens that right around the corner from the dealership is the local running store here in Dayton, so naturally I had to add some flair within 5 minutes of driving her off the lot. (Yes, I am one of "those" people who feel naked without 13.1 sticker. If there was a "racing the states" sticker, I would totally have that too) 

Personally, I'm a butt girl, so wanted you all to get a good look at her caboose- ain't she cute?!?

  • My dad turns 60 on Dec 30 and mom turns 60 Jan 6, so the 3 of us kids have been putting our heads together to get them something really nice. I originally wanted to get them an Alaskan Cruise- neither have been to Alaska so I thought it would be an exciting new opportunity--- after mulling it over it made more sense to give them what they REALLY want, time with all of us. We announced on Sunday to them that we're taking a family vacation to Outer Banks June and here is the place we rented for a week (we haven't taken a family vacation since I was in college- Eric was still married, Andy was single, and obviously there were zero grandkids, so this should be a whole new experience)
Needless to say they were beyond surprised and touched that we planned it out for them. 

  • I've watched a ridiculous amount of movies in my lazy stupor- The Vow, Ted, Beastly, Ruby Sparks, In Time, Must Love Dogs- top 2 faves that I highly recommend:

Completely inappropriate, yet highly entertaining. I even cried a little at the end. If you are offended by profanity, do not watch this movie

  • Every Christmas Eve we decorate sugar cookies--- there is always an unspoken competition of the prettiest and ugliest cookies (no prizes) Andy couldn't make it down this year since Courtney is due shortly with their 2nd child so that made it easier for me to snag both the ugliest and prettiest title!!!
There is a cookie under there, I promise

Was surprised dad chose my mitten as prettiest... i attribute it to the sparkles 
  • Santa was good to me this year- Running-wise I only asked for compression gear which both brothers pulled through. Eric remembered seeing a Post HERE about me testing out 110% compression sleeves and got me a pair for after my long runs! Whats so awesome is that he had to go through all my blog posts (this one was from April) to see what they were called. Guess it pays to blog about things you like ;) Andy got me the hot pink marathon socks I had been eyeing from Procompression for quite some time! 

The big gift was both myself and mom got Nexus 10 tablets!! My dad is anti-apple everything so an Ipad is out of question, but it turns out after all the reviews I've been reading, its far superior to an Ipad anyway, so win win :)  I started downloading all the free books for Kindle- turns out to buy a book, its actually cheaper to go to the store??? (I don't get that) 

  • Mom got Just Dance 4 for a family gift---- there is no putting this lightly, but I am amazingly awful at this. Tracie, Eric, my mom, and Kory all murdered me. I've danced at least 20 times on it and I can honestly say I've only won 3 or 4 times- how does this happen??
  • I got to hang out with my best friend Brandon from highschool who I haven't seen in 3 or 4 years---- its great when you can immediately pick up where you left off without skipping a beat. Now that he's back in states for good, I'm hoping we'll get to keep in touch more regular when I visit home or he comes to TN to visit his sister

  • In Columbus today- since Andy and SIL couldn't come to us, we came to them-- presents, drinking, eating, and playing games will surely ensue the rest of the evening till I pick up Mark from airport at 1:30am- lets hope his flight doesn't get delayed any further. 
How were your holidays?

Did Santa treat you well??

Friday, December 21, 2012

Looking back at 2012...

Okay okay so 2012 isn't over yet, but all my races are finished so I figured I'd reflect on the year in terms of running:

At the beginning of the year I posted the following fitness goals 
  • 1000 miles for the year- as long as I don't get injured, this should be attainable.
    • Don't have the exact number yet, but in the 900s. Unfortunately I won't hit 1000 miles. I blame temps consistently over 100 degrees  + 100% humidity in summer and my plica inflammation in knee for having some REALLY LOW mileage months. 
  • Dialing back racing to 1 half marathon a month, unless I get a double header (1 scheduled already!)
    • I think I generally did good with this. I had 3 double header weekends- all but one were the only races planned for that month, so September was a little much with 3 half marathons. 
  • I'm starting the year at 22 states, would like to end with 35, more always welcome :)
    • Right on cue- finished with 36 states

    • In order of when they were crossed off:
    1. Arizona (Phoenix) 
    2. Texas (Austin) 
    3. New York (Flushing) 
    4. Colorado (Denver) 
    5. Idaho (Boise) 
    6. Oregon (Portland) 
    7. Massachusetts (all over-- 13.4 leg of ultra relay) 
    8. Washington (all over- 13.1 leg of ultra relay) 
    9. Utah- (Farmington) 
    10. Iowa- (Clearlake) 
    11. Nebraska (Hooper) 
    12. Delaware (Wilmington) 
    13. New Jersey (Jersey Shore) 
    14. New Mexico (Las Cruces) 
  • Since I have a hard time with LONG TERM goals, each month I'm going to focus on 1 fitness specific goal that isn't always based on mileage. January I decided to do Ab Ripper X every other day to strengthen my core (anxious to see results at end of month) 
    • This actually transformed into trying Kims "new to you cross training" every month. I succeeded 5 times. It's almost laughable, but I have to say that aside from the brazilian butt lift, the rest are all things I do on a weekly basis now so I'll take it as a win. 
    • Bootcamp, brazilian butt lift, battling ropes, kettlebells, just dance
  • Do 1 adventure type race (warrior dash, tough mudder etc)
  • Break into the 1:40s for 1/2 mary distance
    • I managed to do it 5 times!!  (NY, ID, OR, 13.1 leg of Northwest Passage, UT) Best was 1:42:54!! 
  • Run another 'official' 10k and break 50 min
    • No 10ks were ran this year--- maybe in 2013.
  • Register for a marathon---- yes I finally said it! 
    • Was registered for Air Force Marathon, did all my training including 1 20 miler and 1 21 miler then decided to downgrade to half and run with my brother since my plica inflammation was extremely bothersome. 

What HAPPENED in 2012 that I wasn't planning on:
  • Doing not 1 but 2 Ultra relays even though I swore against them.
  • Getting injured and having to be sidelined for most part for 3 months
  • Running a night time half (Utah Legacy Midnight--- so fun!) 
  • Running a WHOLE half marathon with someone else, AND talking the whole time. Platte River (CO) with Kara!
  • Running more than 1 5k in the year and finally breaking that 24 min barrier I couldn't seem to get. 
  • Finding a fellow blogger who wanted to half the states and run just about every half with me:)  Kim  (apparently we wore yellow A lot) 
Aside from Kim, I did meet quite a few other bloggers at races as well- in order of appearance

Laura (Mommy, Run Fast!) - Livestrong 1/2 (TX) 
we had dinner but I can't find the photo :(

 Kara (Mile High Maven) - Platte River 1/2 (CO) 

Cynthia (Run, Dream, and Laugh out Loud)-  Run Around the Lake 1/2 (ID) 

Rachelle (Running for Trevor) - Ragnar NW Passage (WA)

Ashley (Ash and Diz) - Legacy Midnight 1/2 (UT)

Jess (Run with Jess)  & Jill (Fitness, Health, Happiness)- Air Force 1/2 (OH) 

Alma (The Average Woman's Running Blog)- Run for the Buds 1/2 (DE)

Tonia (Racing with Babes)- Jersey Shore 1/2 (NJ) 

When you travel a lot for pretty much all your races, they start to blend together- there were a few that stuck out, good and bad. 

Felt amazing the entire time and was just so excited to be running (and first time to break into the 1:40s!!) 

Most surprising (in a good way) state- Delaware

Excited for the race and it was the Biggest Let Down State- New Jersey (at least I got to see boardwalk before it blew away)

Worst race ever- terrain, boring, support, awards, everything!- Nebraska
spec of next runner in front of me

finish line

Hardest Race on my body aka most digestive issues (Mark's suggestion for this category)

Best time with friends / family
AirForce 1/2 (got to run with Kim a bunch and brother + had Kim and S stay with me!)

My bling was sub par this year, got a lot of "eh" ones, and nothing grand (maybe 2013 will be year of the bling??!?!) So here is best and worst given what I had earned

Best Bling
Livestrong Austin 1/2 

Worst Bling
Seaside 1/2- Jersey  (round circle with a sticker, plain blue ribbon) 

2012 was the year for finding my speed, gaining confidence to break into longer distances past the coveted 13.1, making new friendships, and learning more about myself as a runner.  I'm so excited to make more memories and reach more milestones for 2013- let the planning begin!!

what stood out for your 2012??

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What do you do with your bling?

A few weeks back B had asked me if she could borrow my medals to use for her Christmas tree at work. Everyone in her department had a "themed team tree" and they went with medals from different events and such.

47 of those gems are mine (and the tree--- I like to donate) 

After I got them returned I had fun trying to put them back on my medal display in the exact order I earned them.... I'm super anal about the weirdest things, and lax on things that I probably should be anal about.

Although I tried  hard to squish the medals together- alas they don't all fit perfectly in a row:

Then the other day I got this little guy in the mail completely unexpected:
(ladies- when there is an option to register as Athena, definitely do it!)

After the honey moon phase wore off of receiving a plaque I didn't know I earned, reality set in and I was left with "where the heck do I put it?" I live in an apartment, so nothing is permanent, but here is my current "bling space"
Pretty boring huh?

The two medal displays I currently own are from Allied Medal Displays, and although I love how you can customize your saying, its kind of a pain they way it attaches to the wall as well is how the medals slide on, so I'm potentially in the market to shop around. 

I'd love to hear from you on:

Ways to vamp up the bling space, or what you do for your bling space


What do you use to showcase your medals?
hooks, wall displays, shadow boxes?

If you're not great at explaining and you want to send  me a photo of your space, I'm at

Monday, December 17, 2012

Snowflake 5k (race recap)

The Race:
Snow Flake 5k- proceeds supporting Prevent Child Abuse in TN

PERFECT- low 50s, overcast, slight breeze

Time: 23:53/ 7:41 avg pace (new "adult pr")
Place: 1st in AG, results not up but was 50 something out of 200 something. 

Although I generally am not seeking out 5ks, I wanted to see what a normal 5k would be like vs. the relentless hills of the Rudolph 5k I do every year. The Snowflake 5k was held in Shelby Bottoms park in East Nashville, started at 9am so I didn't have to wake up super early, and was $25- wins all around. 

I LOVE dressing up for races, and it just so happens I have some snow flake socks that I have never worn, so I got to break them in this morning (i'm not sure why my knees look swollen) 

Apparently I don't get out that much and have never been to Shelby bottoms park, so when my gps said shelby botttoms greenway I thought it was the same thing and ended up literally on a dead end road in a neighborhood 30 min to race start. My stupid phone didn't recognize shelby bottoms park again, but figured the nature center would get me in the right direction. Luckily after several re-routes I got there 15 min before race start (thank goodness for small races and accessible parking / packet pick up)

Picked up my bib (with snowflakes on it, adorable), stretched, and people / dog watched. Apparently this is a dog friendly race so there were numerous dogs dressed up in holiday attire along for the run (I may have been beaten by quite a few)

My absolute favorite which I wasn't able to capture on photo was a dog dressed like an elf with a "Santa's Helper" name tag. She was black with one ice blue eye, one brown eye, GORGEOUS

Mile 1: 6:56
The representative from Prevent Child Abuse counted us down and just yelled "GO!" and everyone was off. People were FAST, and I have a tendency to, within reason, mimick everyone else's pace. I equate it to when you're going 80 on the highway and had no idea you were going that fast because you were just "keeping up with the flow"- thats how my first mile was.  I knew I was going faster than I normally do in the first mile, but when I looked down and saw 6:30 I panicked and started putting on the breaks knowing I would surely die if I kept up that pace. I was able to slow down a bit and clocked first mile at 6:56

Mile 2: 7:45
Not long after passing mile 1 I immediately started slowing down. People started passing me left and right and my legs just felt dead (thats what I get for not warming up at all then going out fast). To make matters worse, I started getting horrible cramps--- you know the kind I'm talking about. Nothing is worse... well maybe diarrhea, than trying to go fast while having period cramps. I was honestly shocked when I saw my split for mile 2 because I felt like I was going at least a 10min / mile pace. 

Mile 3: 8:17
I guess its kind of cool when you suck at life, walk a bunch, but somehow run 8:17. It's weird how lately that would be super fast for me in a practice run, but today it felt like my brakes just came off. I got passed by a dog, dog walked and refused to run, then he got some energy and passed me again- low blow. I have zero effort in me and all my competitive edge was gone despite this girl running RIGHT NEXT to me. I know I'm not all hip on runner ettiquette, but I do feel that if you are running on a path over 10 feet wide, its common courtesy NOT to only leave 6 inches between you and the runner next to you when you can spread out since  no one is on your other side. (this happened at rudolph 5k as well and it drove me nuts) 

.13 7:06
I refused to even attempt a kick until I saw the finish line. Too often races are longer and I just had zero energy and could barely breathe. When I finally turned the corner and saw people in front of me kick it in I tried but nothing really happened, or so I thought.  I ended up passing creepy close girl right at the end and almost coughed up a lung once I was done. I haven't been that beat after a race in a long time!

Consistent with all other races, once 5 minutes had passed I was fine and was ready to go again, but man did it suck. 
21st race of the year (2 5ks, 1 adventure run, 2 relays, 16 half marathons)

I stuck around to get some coffee and mingle. After they posted results I saw that I was 2nd in my age group so I wanted to stick around till the end to see if they were passing out awards
Chumming it up with Santa! (I told him I wanted great weather and a raise- he said "ho ho ho" 

Once awards started I realized why there were so many dogs there- they had dog awards:
There was the most athletic (the one who finished first... don't remember exact time but it was in the 17s)
Most Personality, and my favorite- most festive. It was a family of 3 dogs who matched their owner's skirt:

Awards took forever- they started with boys ages 5-9 and went all the way to ages 25-29, switched to girls and stopped at 20-24, then went back to guys and finished them up to age group 75 before girls can go ahead. When the announced 25-29, I was the first name they called--- first?!?! Yay for have a speed demon in my age group place in top 3 (for the record, winning female time was 17:42- damn) I'm so glad I didn't slow down much more because 2nd and 3rd in my age group were RIGHT behind me at 24:00 and 24:02- whew. 

I'm thoroughly impressed with the medal for being a 5k- let alone that fact that its a snowflake. I appreciate unique shapes in medals since most are the traditional circle and that  is just so boring. If I kept bibs after races, this would be a gem- unfortunately I'm a pack rat so I have to draw the line somewhere. 

I've expressed it countless times, and after running this race its confirmed--- I don't like running 5ks. I do appreciate the fact that in less than 25 minutes I'm done, but I don't appreciate how I am HORRIBLE at pacing. I know I shouldn't be hard on myself- it took well over 10 half marathons before I figured out that race, so why would a 5k be any different? If I'm in town next year during this time, I'll probably do it again just for the ease of the race and to see if I can run faster. I don't think I'll be making the switch from half marys to 5k any time soon

Friday, December 14, 2012

Five for Friday

1. I was contacted earlier this week by Nuun  (thanks to Elizabeth) to join their Ragnar Florida Keys team!! Originally I said yes, but due to some "re-structuring at work", having a new boss and a semi- new role, I'm not allowed to take PTO first week of January unless it was already pre-approved.  I have mixed feelings because it was an awesome opportunity, but at the same time a logistical nightmare trying to figure out my own hotel accomodations for thurs / sat night + rental car to get back from finish line to airport (it's up to everyone to figure out what they want to do for themselves, and all the individuals I asked were staying with friends and had their own travel). So with that being said--- I do still have the relay bug and am looking to join / create a team if anyone needs a runner or interested in doing a relay?

2. The other day I had posted some potential races to knock out more states for 2013. Although there are a few I'm figuring out logistics for,  the only 100% good to go race is in Wyoming- a state I put that I didn't care what I did, because it will be a fast in and out so I had no preference. For those that don't know a lot about Wyoming- its hard to get to and expensive to fly into. I found one in Laramie (a little over 2 hours from Denver) that logistically was great. I emailed Becka about it to get her opinion to which she responded with her recap of doing the full marathon (as in, it's absolutely awful) 

What get's better is the comments that Kim and I wrote:

So I guess Kim and I are eating our words and we are in fact doing this race- along with B and her sister L (girls weekend). Also aside from sucky conditions- its almost a 9,000 feet elevation, yay! 

3. Last week's Rudolph 5k was horrible- aka it kicked my ass. Since this is the only 5k I generally run, I decided on a whim to sign up for one that is supposedly flat for tomorrow! 
I'm sure I'll still be miserable since I'm not used to racing this distance but maybe I can get an adult PR?? I kind of just made that up, but adult PR a real thing? My PR in 5k is 20:39, but that was when I was 16 and there is no hope to do that again- since technically I was not an adult yet- I say we should have adult PRs if you set a current PR when you were young. :) 

4.  I really love tacky holiday anything- more so when I win prizes for it!! 
This year it all started out when I went to a tacky holiday party last friday in this gem of a homemade dress:

Low and behold Stephen and I won tackiest outfits (Stephen is pictured above)
Starbucks caramel salted hot chocolate + gift card

Work also does contests....

2nd year in a row champion! Last year me and Christine were winners and we received 5 tickets each to our company suite for Nashville Predators game. This year Kelly and I won and we each got a $50 gift card. She chose visa general gift card, I chose TJ Maxx/ Marshalls haha. Yay!

5. I've been meaning to ask this awhile--- apparently I've reached my max storage for photos on blogger and I can't upload any more photos. My way around it is that I have a private album on facebook where I upload photos to and then I can copy and paste them directly from facebook and it allows those. There has to be an easier way to do this instead of having to pay more money to increase my storage size.... any suggestions??

What do you think of the concept of an Adult PR?

How do you bypass the "no more storage" on blogger?