Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blog Much?

Hi guys,

Sorry for my slacker posting trend! These past couple of days have been nutso. I definitely had an...interesting last week of running.

  • Monday, I hopped on the TM for 4 miles at an incline of 1%. I did it in about 37 minutes and wrote in my log, "a lot less effort than usual!"

  • Wednesday I hopped on the TM again for 5 miles, half of which was spent at an incline of 1%, but I got some shin pain and took the incline off for the other half. Seemed to be the cure. It took me 50 minutes for this run.

  • Thursday I did piyo with Lisa! What a great core workout. I skipped my scheduled 3 mile run due to some sinus issues (down dog was really interesting with clogged sinuses).

  • Billy and I set out on Saturday for an 11-miler at First Landing State Park. Let's just say we got 3 miles deep into the trail before I succumbed, complete with tears, to stomach/esophagus pain. I tried to push through it, but the looming thought of 11 torturous miles was enough to send me into a breakdown! We walked a mile and a half back, and I managed to run the last mile and a half. In total, we ran 4.5 miles, which more than made up for the skipped 3-miler.

  • So, we decided to take on the big bad 11 on Sunday...of course it had to be raining, which left us with no choice...yep, we did it on the treadmill. I think we set world records for longest time spent on a treadmill! Seriously, who does this? If you have, please tell me your experience. I'll be honest...my experience was pretty darn fantastic. I had a TV right in front of me (watching the national college cheerleading competition: sheer entertainment), a fan blowing on me, and I read 2 magazines over the course of 1 hr, 50 mins of nonstop running. I also ate 2 Clif Shot Blocks at miles 3, 6, and 9, which provided some much needed energy.

And there you have it! That puts my weekly mileage for last week at 24.5--a new record. I took a rest day yesterday, and I had some intention of getting in some cross training or a 3 mile run today, but I decided to honor my sore calves, busy schedule, and piles of homework and take another rest day. I did do a 20 minute core yoga routine from Yoga Download. It was so challenging! I really suggest you check out Yoga Download. They have tons of classes, most of which you can download a free 20 minute portion of.

In retrospect, I wish I had gone to the gym. I feel a little sluggish, but honestly I also think I need to have my thyroid rechecked...it may be time for a boost (I've been falling asleep in all my classes! Embarrasing).

In cool news, lookie at what I found in Target (which I had totally forgotten about and blissfully stumbled upon):

Orla stuff! I bought 2 of these chair cushions and a kitchen mat. I need to find 2 more of the cushions, though (the Target I was at only had 2).

We had our 2nd premarital counseling sesh today with our pastor. We really do enjoy the sessions, but we are waiting for the "hard topics" to hit...if they ever do. I'm not saying we are experts on marriage, but once you've been dating for 5 years, especially through the tough transition from high school to college/teenage to adulthood, you've pretty much already dealt with all the tough surprises (at least in our case). Still, it's been nice spending time doing the "homework" together and confirms the peace I have that Billy is the man God wants me to marry. Married people, any thoughts?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

14k recap

Hi readers!

And a special hello to the beautiful Hannah (who I know reads this blog even though I've yet to see a comment from you) who got engaged this weekend! If there's anyone who could make a killer blog post about wedding details, it's this girl (a future event planner). CONGRATS Hannah!

This past Thursday was our final 3 mile run before the 14k. We ran the Larchmont Loop in the blustery wind. Extra points for extra wind resistance! It was definitely a good idea to do outdoor runs this week.

Friday we rested from exercise and woke up at 5:00 am on Saturday morning to prepare for the race! We arrived at the race site and got our chip timers to strap around our ankles, lined up, and we were off! We started at the back of the pack, but quickly passed a lot of people who were either running/walking or just power walking. We fell into a groove and stayed around the same group of people pretty much the whole time. It was really fun to people-watch and chat with/encourage those around us. The weather was pretty chilly (about 40 degrees and cloudy), so I was glad I chose pants/long sleeve shirt/gloves. Our easy jogging pace was not fast enough to warm up a whole lot in! We ran the entire time with no walk breaks; at the water stops we grabbed cups and kept running while drinking them (hardcore, I know). Once the finish line was in sight, we sprinted like mad men to the end. We had a blast and enjoyed the after party catered by Moe's! We came home and promptly got in the hot tub. I noticed my feet were filled with blisters, which I never really get, even after last week's 10 miler. Not sure why the difference here. Billy's bloody toenail was a whole other story....

I think we passed through the finish line at an hour and 32 minutes. Since the distance was 8.67 miles, our average speed was 5.7 mph, which was comfortable and easily attainable for us.

Bright & early:

Gettin pumped!

Sportin our medals:

Again with a different backdrop:

Can you tell we were just a little excited?

I hope you all had an amazing Valentine's day with your hunnies! We spent the evening refueling at the delicious Captain George's seafood buffet. I am STILL full. I also made a sweet strawberry cake for my valentine (courtesy of Miss Sandra Lee, courtesy of Mrs. Chelsea Stott who gave me the recipe). We were too full to try a slice but got to split a piece today. Yum! The best part of this cake is the addition of strawberry nectar. I went to 5 different grocery stores and almost pulled my hair out in frustration trying to locate strawberry nectar, but man was it worth it.
I usually rest the day after a long run, but I was still feeling sluggish after that big dinner last night, so I headed to the gym this evening for a quick & sweaty 30 minutes on the Stepmill with a magazine. Stress relief at its finest. I felt so much better after!
If it crosses your mind, please be praying about Billy's and my future living situation. We're looking to sign a lease May 1 to have a month to get our place set up before the wedding. We've had an interesting opportunity to rent out an incredible house for an incredibly low rate that some mutual friends/acquantainces are looking to sell. Since the owners can't seem to sell the house in this market, they've offered us the option to rent until they either a) sell the house or b) take the house off the market and keep it as a rental. Since we don't like the uncertainty of knowing that a house we've made a home in could potentially be swiped out from under our feet at any moment, we've decided to agree to rent under one condition: that the owners commit to a year-long lease not subject to termination due to selling the house. We'll run this ultimatum by the real estate agent and see what the outcome is. The Lord is truly teaching me a lesson in patience and trust in Him for what's best for us (I have a bad habit of thinking that what I think is best is better than what He thinks, of which I am seriously mistaken!).
Thanks for reading if you got through all that!
Love to you all.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

v-day excitement and myth buster

Hi friends.

I'd like to go on and post my runs for the week so I can make it to my next class in time.

Monday I did the same 3-mile route through Larchmont that I've been doing lately. I could definitely feel myself running faster and I wish I had my Timex (but it's away getting fixed).

Tuesday was a rest day, but I headed to Gold's for 20 minutes on the Stepmill (!). Gold's has new Stepmill machines that don't look like they belong in the 1980s. Sweet! I finished up with about a half hour to 45 minutes of intense abs and strenght training. I did a ridiculous amount of planks and side planks. I held my plank for about 30 seconds or so, then immediately went into side plank without taking a break and held for 30 seconds, then went back to front for 30, other side for 30, etc. I kept repeating this sequence without dropping my hips down. I lost count of how many I did, back and forth like that with no break. I encourage you to give it a try. Empowering! Especially when the big buff guys on the mat next to you are struggling to push out some wimpy crunches. If they only knew...! My strength session was a little humbling, to say the least. I had to drop down in Smith Machine squats by 20 pounds. The Smith Machine, by the way, is that big rack you see that you stand inside of and rest the huge bar across your back while you squat. Best move ever.

Wednesday I took a 4 mile run through Larchmont in between classes. Loved it. The weather was perfect, I maintained a fast, even pace...it was just one of those great runs that leaves you feeling refreshed and motivated afterward. I can definitely feel my body getting used to running outside versus on the TM. Oh, and I also went to a yoga class that night. It was nice, but actually a little too intense for me. I wanted something gentle and stretchy for my sore body, but this was more strength focused. I do notice an increase in flexibility already, though!

I have a 3 miler scheduled for today. And can I just say I'm so pumped for Saturday! I'll be running alongside my valentine in the Virginia is for Lover's 14k race. It'll be my first race ever and I can't wait to experience the atmosphere. Hopefully the rain in the forecast will hold off....

Here is a little something I found on a great website called Gym Junkies. This is from an article called " The Top 10 Fitness Myths Busted!" Here is number 10 and one that I stand strongly by:

10. Women will get bulky from lifting weights

"Let me be more specific - women are afraid that lifting HEAVY weights will make them bulky. Crappy fitness videos abound with women performing biceps curls and triceps kickbacks with dumbbells that should only be used as paper weights.
Women can not get big and bulky for one very good reason…their bodies don’t produce enough testosterone to build the large bulky muscles you’re likely to see in bodybuilding ads. Testosterone is a key ingredient to putting on muscle mass, and the only way women can get this type of big bulky look is by taking steroids and hormone injections. This is why you see bulky female body builders.
So don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights if you’re a woman. Lifting heavy will make a woman strong, not manly. And personally, I find a strong woman sexy as hell."

Just something to think about, ladies!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Monster Post

Hi peeps. Hope you all had a great summer--I mean, weekend. It was in the 70s here! I definitely reached some running "milestones" since I last blogged.

After my run through Larchmont on Monday, I took a rest day Tuesday, and got on the TM at 1% for a 5 miler on Wednesday which I completed in 48:48. Neat! The run itself wasn't very neat, though. The first 3 miles were decent, but the last two I was in debilitating esophagael pain and had to trudge along.

Wednesday night was special because the Gale Force Winds played their first show at The Boot! GFW consists of Billy and our good friend Jean who has a real sweet voice. They were incredible and we all had a blast! You can bet I was swooning from my seat. Billy's YouTube page has videos of the concert.

Thursday I met my friend and bridesmaid Lisa at Gold's Gym for another Piyo class (pilates & yoga combo). Again, I loved the yoga portion! I felt more comfortable with it this time around and it seemed to flow pretty naturally. Who would have thought? I had a scheduled 3 miler, but the gym was packed and I had forgotten my running shoes (I was wearing crosstrainers). I still felt like I should give it a go anyhow. I eeked out one stupid mile before I felt like I was going to overheat! No surprise there.

Friday was a trip to Rock Gym with some fun friends! Let's just say it's two days later and I'm still suffering from immense DOMS. My forearms are on fire! Worth it, though.

Billy & I went to a Power Yoga class at Gold's on Saturday morning. Yes, I got him to come to yoga with me! Unfortunately we were split up across the room from each other because the class was packed and we got there late, but hearing his opinions afterward were pretty hilarious. In opposition to my worst running milestone at Gold's on Thursday, I hit my best running milestone at the oceanfront on Saturday. 10 miles. Double digits. A decade's worth of miles. Billy & I ran fron 74th Street all the way down the boardwalk till we hit 1st Street. Then we ran back! The verdict? It was surreal. I wanna do it again! I know, I'm psycho, but I've never felt physically better than during this run. The weather was gorgeous, the scenery was great, and I had the love of my life to do it with. We even held hands as we crossed through the final block. Ugh, cheesy, I know. Also neat was that the Polar Plunge was going on! We got to see everyone in the frigid water. Some annoyances: the boardwalk was so packed around the Polar Plunge area that we had to stop and walk/elbow our way through the crowds. I've never seen it like that before! Also, when we hit the 5 mile mark, we stopped to have a drink of water and eat a pack of Clif Shot Blocks. We'd been looking forward to these yummy gummy bursts of energy even before we started running. I opened up the pack, and plop, one fell on the ground. We loved the Shot Blocks, though. I still think you can get the same benefits from your basic gummy bear or jelly bean, however. All in all, we were gone for 2 hours and 15 minutes, including breaks to use the restroom, drink water/stretch, and when we were navigating through the crowds.

Now on to some wedding details:

I may have mentioned that we scored the bridesmaid dresses at H&M for the unbelievable price of $30. They just so happened to be just the color, style, and material I was originally looking at for $200 from another dress shop! All 6 of my girls have tried on their dresses and they all happen to fit great. They were, however, a bit on the short side, so my mom and I purchased this blue tulle fabric which she gathered and sewed on the bottom of the hem to add some length. She also added a slip of the tulle inside the bow detail just for fun.

Here is the finished product of dress #1 with some faux pink gerbera daisys I had in my room.

Close up of the hem detail:

Close up of the bow detail:

What do you think?

I also probably mentioned that we are serving cupcakes in place of a traditional wedding cake. Here are some pictures of cupcakes I love and hope to have my cupcakes modeled after:

These are probably the most gorgeous cupcakes I can imagine, but one baker we met with said it would be much more expensive to have them done this way as it would take a lot of more time and effort. Figures.

These are incredibly simple and elegant. Picture them with white frosting/pink bows or pink frosting/white bows. Love it.

Yum! So inviting to the tummy.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Back to the Great Outdoors

Hello blogworld!

I hope you are all having a nice start of a new work week. Mine's been a little iffy. I'm having a tough time relating to/communicating with one of my professors for a class that should be a very easy, effortless A. Not to go into detail, but I'm really putting my all out there and going above and beyond the effort that should be applied for a class of this nature, and I'm not reaping the benefits at all thus far. I CAN'T WAIT TO GRADUATE! Usually I love school, but how can I say this...I am OVER IT! I just want to enjoy married life, bring in a steady paycheck, and make yummy dinners until I ease my way into graduate school. Then I'll be a physical therapist, make everyone's bodily aches and pains go away, and live happily ever after. Is that so much to ask?

Onto the runs:
  • I rested last Thursday, even though I blogged and said I'd be running 4 miles. It was our first experience with premarital counseling and the fiance & I decided to spend time catching a quick dinner together. And in case you didn't know, running after dinner means no running at all!
  • It's okay, because we decided to shift our runs back a day. After work on Friday, we met at the gym for 4 miles on the TM. Yes, we ran after work on a Friday. Crazy. It's pretty funny because at my gym, there are 2 TVs in front of 2 separate treadmills spaced far away from one another, about 5 treadmills apart...so the fiance is on the 'mill at one end of the gym, and I'm all the way down the line on the 'mill at the opposite end. We just would rather watch TV than be close to each other I guess;) I must have jinxed myself with my last post, because right when I put my incline on, I started getting shin pain! WTF?! I took the incline off after a couple of minutes, and like clockwork, my shins were fine. Let's hope that was a one time deal. My time was 37:50--good but no PR. This time I alternated every 5 minutes between running at 6.0 mph and 7.0 mph.
  • Pushing our schedule back allowed us to have a rest day on Saturday! Our first run-free Saturday since November! We spend the day traveling to different bakeries with my mom to discuss wedding cupcakes! I think we're down to 2 different bakeries right now...I'll post pictures later (I'm at school right now so I'm not on my personal computer). We also attended a bonfire at one of my friend's houses (yes, a bonfire in 30 degree weather). All in all it was a great Saturday and it was nice to spend the whole day together.
  • On Sunday, after church, we set out for our long run--6 miles. Not very long, but once you begin to really increase mileage, it's good to taper back every few weeks to prevent overuse injuries. The weather was insanely beautiful (60 degrees and sunny) so we took advantage and completed a Ghent/Downtown Norfolk run. The first half of the run was way tough for me--I kept complaining about wanting to stop, but my motivating other half encouraged me to keep on. I don't know what the deal was; my body was just not feelin' it, and I was huffing and puffing along. Fortunately, the last half felt great. We finished in 57:12, which was pretty quick for us being outdoors!
  • Today I took a 3 mile run through Larchmont. The weather is still amazing out, so I mapped out a route last night and finished in 28:30. It was so peaceful out.

Sorry that my posts lately have been all running and less wedding! There has been so much going on wedding wise. Expect a fun picture post soon with ideas and inspiration.