Easter Weekend

Easter is my holiday to host and I was pretty excited to have Friday off and start getting the house ready (or just have an extra day off). I started Thursday night by decorating “Bucky,” our new faux deer head.

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I think he looks pretty festive.

I don’t really have any Easter decorations, I usually just put tulips everywhere, so this was a nice addition. The excitement started when I went to give the dog her nightly baby carrots and noticed water by the pantry wall. Come to find out, we had a water leak in the wall between the back of the pantry and our laundry room. Let the demo begin.

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Nothing says Easter baking like drywall dust! Fortunately Brian found the hole in the pipe and Friday afternoon we were able to get a plumber to come by and replace the pipe for a whopping $80. So glad we found it before it got worse. Next project, laundry room remodel! After the house was cleaned and the pipe was fixed I spent Friday evening making pillow cases to match our new curtains I made, eating pizza and bingeing on some Alias.

We’ve been having brunch for Easter the past couple years with quiche, breakfast meats, coffee cake, the usual suspects. I decided to mix it up a little this year with scrambled eggs instead of quiche and biscuits and gravy. I also through in scones at the last minute because I hate myself. I’ve never made homemade scones or biscuits before and was a little worried but they ended up being awesome and easy.

You can find the biscuit recipe here, and blueberry scones here. I meant to take a photo of the whole buffet but we just started eating. Oops. I used gouda in the scrambled eggs and it was fantastic. I need more gouda in my life. There was also coffee cake, bacon and sausage, sausage gravy for the biscuits, fruit and ham, which we’ll be eating for the rest of the week. Oh, and mimosas, with guava juice. So good.

The day finished with a game of Scategories and a nap after everyone left. No holiday is complete without a nap!

I am a Runner

I am not fast. I am not lean. I don’t run every day. Some runs are good, more are bad. It’s hard. It’s hard on my body. It’s hard on my mind. But I am a runner and I will keep going.

I was feeling pretty down going into the Best Damn Race 10k. I was only running once a week, partly because of my shin, mostly because my motivation waned. I got as far as 4.5 miles and that was close enough. I slowed down. I lost the little strength I had. But I was going to do it, and I did.

It was a cool, misty morning in Orlando and despite choosing not to wear my compression sleeve (not the best decision) it went OK. I finished 11 seconds faster than my last 10k. But it wasn’t about my time in the end, there is something about that race that made me remember why I’m doing this, and that I want to keep doing it. Maybe it’s just that it was my first half and will always hold a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s the course, or the people, whatever it is, I left motivated.

And so I keep going. I will start running regularly again. I will start slow and I will focus on being better, being stronger, and hopefully getting faster with time. I signed up for a local 5k to give me a goal.

I am a runner and I am human. There will be good days runs and bad days runs, it’s what you do about it that matters.

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Crafts and Things

Well, the shin splint is JUST starting to feel better. It still hurts when I run but not as bad and running is possible, though I haven’t tried more than 2 miles. I contacted Best Damn Race and was able to transfer my registration from the half marathon to the 10k. I feel like less of a failure that I’m still doing a race, even if it’s not the half. Isn’t there a saying out there about making sure your goals are obtainable?

So now I’m 5 weeks away and I’m working on 10k training. My long run on Saturday is 3miles! 🙂  It is such a weight off of my shoulders that I don’t have to worry about 13 painful miles. I would have ended up just walking and being completely disheartened over it.

And now for some crafts. Sometime over the past few months my husband and I decide we should build a medal holder instead of buying one. Why, I’m not sure because it cost almost as much to make it as to buy it, but it is custom and something we did, etc. etc.  I picked out some beautiful and over-priced wood for the project.

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Look at that wood grain!

Brian cut it and glued it and put biscuits in it. You know, tools and stuff. I stained it with this awesome greyish stain I picked out.

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We bought stencils at the craft store that came out awful so I bought some vinyl letter online to cover it up. We ordered 3 different types of clips on Amazon to hold the bibs before we found the right one. Mini clothes pins are REALLY mini. And we got hooks at Home Depot. Brian did most of the work, I really just picked everything out. The final product is kind of awesome.

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I’m considering selling them online, what do you think? Side note: I have a facebook page. You can follow my blog here.

Happy New Year!

What have I been up to since the St. Augustine Half? Well, there was a great Thanksgiving, then a cruise with the family. There were Christmas parties and my husband’s birthday. Then Christmas and New Year’s. There was eating, and drinking, and being merry. There was shopping. There was NO running.

I thought about it a lot. It was always on my mind, but there just didn’t seem to be any time, and I thought “Hey, I’ve got plenty of time before the Best Damn Race! I just ran a half marathon (albeit, slower than a turtle), I’ll be fine.”

Christmas came and I got some awesome running gifts to get things started again.

Brian got me a gps watch! I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and figured it was probably time. After a lot of research we decided on the Garmin 210. It had the basic time/pace/distance display I was looking for and it does intervals. There are so many options out there, it was really overwhelming trying to decide.

My sister got me this awesome custom wine tumbler with my blog on it. I cried. It was so thoughtful and really inspired me to get back to not only writing regularly but running regularly.

wpid-img_20141225_202635.jpgMy aunt got me a running hat, and my mom some new socks. The Saturday after Christmas I was ready to get back out there!

wpid-img_20141227_081754.jpgI did a whopping 2 miles. I blamed it on the sun, the heat. Really I’m just out of shape. I’ve gained weight and lost all my muscle. I did 2 more right before New Year’s and forced out 4 on Sunday. In that span of 2 weeks and 8 miles I have developed a colossal shin splint. I had shin splints when I first started and recovered, this is worse. I’ve taken this week off of running and have been icing and using my compression sleeve. It’s starting to get better but still a little sore.

I have 7 weeks to get to the Best Damn Race. I’m really cutting it close. I had big dreams of PRing that race. I have 5 miles on the books for this weekend and I’m going to do it slow while this shin splint heals. I’m also eating right and cross-training, lifting weights. If I get lighter and stronger it may still be possible.

One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

Where has the time gone?!

It’s been a busy couple of months. So busy I have completely neglected you, again, and I’m sorry. You are on my list of New Year’s Resolutions, I promise to be more attentive. But let’s not dwell on the past, let’s catch up.

We’ll start with the St. Augustine Half.

Disaster. 😦

The Friday before the race I started to get sniffly. And runny. Then stuffy. It was a mess. I desperately wanted to take a decongestant but every thing I read said that would just dehydrate me and make the race horrible. I spent the entire week hydrating, there was no way I was risking that. I sucked it up.

We drove the 3 hours to St. Augustine Saturday morning, checked into our adorable bed and breakfast (www.atjourneysend.com), and wondered around downtown. It was a cold, damp, grey day. The cool air and the walking really cleared my sinuses. We picked up my packet and then had lunch at The Columbia.

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This was our second visit to The Columbia, last time in Clearwater. My husband hated it both times, so we probably won’t be back. We (I) do love their sangria though and they sell boxes of the mix in the gift shop for a few bucks. I bought a case of it to give out at Christmas. It’s delicious.

There was an attempt at a nap after lunch and some lounging before dinner. I was so incredibly stuffy and drippy, it was rather ridiculous. We ate dinner outside at a modern Irish pub called Barley Republic. The fresh air did me good. And the hard cider. We tried to make it an early night but just as I was starting to fall asleep, the other people staying at the B&B came in for the night, drunk, and continued to drink, and laugh and yell, and stomp up and down the stairs until 3:30/4:00 a.m. I had to get up at 5. I was not a happy camper. I considered making a crazy amount of noise while getting ready but as I made coffee in the common area and could hear them snoring, I realized it wouldn’t matter. They were passed out drunk and I don’t think a marching band was going to wake them.

On to the race.

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Downtown St. Augustine at sunrise was breathtaking. The sun coming up over the river was so calming, and heading over the first bridge was a view I couldn’t pass up. I was on a mission to take pictures and enjoy the race more. Unfortunately, every time I took a picture my music stopped. Not the best plan.

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Heading over the Bridge of Lions.

 

I started off really strong. My first 5-6 miles were some of my fastest. But hitting the second bridge killed me. I took too much time getting over it and then you just turned around and went back up again. It was unreal. By the time I hit the bottom I was way too hot and I lost a lot of time and motivation. This helped, a little…

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At the bottom of the bridge they handed out motivational messages. 🙂 And so I trudged on, slowly. The 10 mile mark was a beautiful thing. I knew I could finish. At mile 11 there was a little girl out side of her house waving to us. She even gave the runner in front of me a flower. At mile 12 I cheered out loud trying to motivate my fellow runners at the end of the pack. No one seemed to care. We were a sad bunch.

At the very end the photographer was waiting. I read in blog after blog to smile for the camera. I did my best to put on my game face, smile and cheer. The result was not pretty.

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I got a good laugh out of that. In the end, my time sucked, but I finished. And I recovered a lot faster than the first half. 9 weeks till the 3rd, but that’s another blog entry.

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Mimosas and Medals

 

St. Augustine Half, Here We Come!

My second half marathon is less than 5 days away. Crap. I’m excited, nervous, anxious, scared. I dropped the ball a little on my training in October and my first/last/only 10 miler (sort of, really 9.6, but who’s counting?) was rough. My pace was good but legs were dying and because of it I have been unable to run since. I was able to stretch and roll most of the pain away, but my butt and sciatic started acting up and even now I feel something.

I firmly believe that my lack of cross training and strength training play a huge roll in that. And so, Brian and I started last week doing some exercises at home. Lunges, squats, planks, crunches, pushups, etc. You get the idea. We started last Thursday followed by stretches I found on the internet and immediately after my sciatic felt better. I jog in place periodically (I know, I know) and I don’t feel the tingling going down my right leg. Woo hoo!

I am in complete hydration mode. No wine for me this week. L Guzzling water all day at work, at home, vitamin B and ibuprofen for a few more days to make sure the pain in the butt is as healed as it can be. Chocolate milk before bed because someone on some blog said the extra protein is good for runners. Why not? I’ll add some of my Nuun in the few days before to get my electrolytes up and the rest is up to the running gods.

I’m still trying to figure out what to have for breakfast since we will once again be away from home (3 hours) and the Clif bar last time was like swallowing lead. I may start with a Honey Stinger wafer I have in my drawer. They’re light and easy to get down. Maybe with a banana, which I’m also going to try and eat this week.

I’m as ready as I’m gonna be. I need to remember to stay positive, it’s going to be an amazing morning, an awesome race. I’ve done it before, I can do it again, and I’m going to be better!

Any other last minute tips?

Holy Humidity

Well, it didn’t go as planned. I knew the humidity would throw me off but I didn’t know that I would freak myself out to the point that I didn’t know if I could do it all.

We got to Key West Thursday afternoon and enjoyed a day of drinks in the sun with the dog. Despite every effort to hydrate between cocktails I woke up Friday with a killer headache and cramped calves from walking around in flip flops all day. It was bad: blurred vision, nausea, the works. I forced down some breakfast, some ibuprofen and a nap and woke up felling 100% better. But as the day went on I started to panic. I was still dehydrated. My heart was racing, a combo of nerves, which were getting worse, dehydration, and heat. It was supposed to be in the mid to high 80s but the “feels like” temp was 95-100. We were sweating. And the humidity was at least 90%.  I spent the rest of the day guzzling water and hydration drinks. Thank you Nuun for pulling me through! I was ready. We went to dinner, had a glass of sangria and called it an early night.

I went to bed feeling calm, relaxed, and ready to take on this race. I then proceeded to wake up every 2 hours until 5 a.m., heart racing, sweating, stomach cramps and a dream that we were so late to the race and were running so hard to get there that we ended up crawling to the start line. I remember thinking, how am I even going to run the race if I’m crawling to get there?! I woke up out of breath and nearly sick to my stomach.

I forced down some coffee, water, and half a Clif bar and walked to the race. I nearly cried leaving Brian and Boo behind to get in line. For the first mile I wasn’t sure if I would cry, throw up or both. By 1.5 my right calf was in knots going over a “hill” (more like a mound but felt like a hill!) and I thought about walking it or just calling it quits.

Mile 3, I passed the Southernmost Point. People were stopping to take pictures and I wish I did. It was the first time there wasn’t a line. It was the symbol for the race but I just wasn’t having fun and that makes me sad.

Mile 4 and I was more than halfway there. Walking a bit more than my scheduled intervals but it was just so hot, so much sweating. My calf cramps were finally gone but now the sun was coming up. Shit.

I got to mile 6 and sprinted the last .2, of course stuck behind two guys who stopped when they hit the finish line and I thought I was going to barrel into them. I made it. A few minutes slower than I had hoped. I definitely could have pushed myself a little harder at the end I regret that. I was so negative this race and it messed me up. Lessons for the next one. 4 weeks till the St. Augustine Half. Ugh.

10609700_10205279732661391_3756196355593957720_nThings to change for St. Augustine:

  • I need a new breakfast. The Clif bar that worked for the first half isn’t working now. It was like peanut butter lead and I couldn’t get it down. I think I’ll bring a peanut butter sandwich with me.
  • Be positive! This is sooooo important. I am my own worst critic and it nearly killed me.
  • Get hydration bottles. I need to have my own to keep me going. I found some clip on bottles to fit my new belt.
  • Caffeine. I need to find the Clif bloks with caffeine and get the nuun with caffeine. Every little boost helps.

 

Coming Soon….Key West with Boo

 

12 Days!

I’ve been slacking again and sometimes I don’t even realize it. Is it just me or are the days (weeks/months) just flying by. It’s a little crazy. I’ve been trying to write this post for a week. I’m 12 days from my first race of the season, my 10k in Key West. I am both excited and nervous for a number of reasons. Not only are we going for the race, but it is also our 4th wedding anniversary, AND we’re bringing the dog!

Meet Boo!   IMG_7428

Boo is our 4 1/2 year old Humane Society mutt. She is one of the goofiest dogs I know. Look at that face! I compare her to Buddy the Elf because she loves EVERYTHING, including…

Boats

Kongs

Kongs

and Pillows

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She is 55 pounds of fun and kisses, which could be both good and bad on vacation. She’s never gone on vacation, and I know she will have an absolute blast. BUT, will the random roosters and cats be too much to handle? Can she sit at a bar or restaurant and people watch without bursting (and barking) with excitement? We’re about to find out!

Then there’s the race. I’m up to 8 miles in training so I should be able to do 6.2 without a problem, but it’s still a little hot, and extra humid outside. All my long runs are still being done on the treadmill. I’m worried this will slow me down, but either way I’m going to have a blast. It’s hosted by the Rum Barrel and I’m sure the after party will be great!

And the best part? I get to spend a few days with my guy, not worrying about work, or vacuuming, just enjoying each other (and Boo!) and all the wonder that is Key West!

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Feed Me!

The thing about dieting as a foodie, is, well, it sucks. Plain and simple. I think about food constantly.

I love it, all of it. Bread, butter, cheese. I want mayo on my sandwich and I don’t care who knows. I want wine with my dinner and maybe after and I don’t want to have to think about it, worry about it, or care about it. I almost ripped into a bag of Smartfood in the grocery store checkout line just because I wasn’t supposed to eat it.

It is a struggle. I’ve been working on moderation. I made giant caprese paninis Thursday night. My compromise? I only put mayo on one side of the bread and I ended up only eating half. See! Progress!

I’m still trying to count my points most of the time, and I’ve been running. I managed to get three good runs in last week, which is pretty impressive for me, especially since I couldn’t move for two days after Tuesday’s 4 miler. I’m working through, slowly. 10 miles total, which is almost a record for me for the week. I’ve set up my training schedule for the next year with the hopes of being better prepared for my half’s, as well as making sure I don’t push it and get injured. One day at a time, right?

Just Move

I’ve take a bit of a hiatus and I apologize. We went on a mini vacation to the Keys last month (post to come as soon as I upload my pics), and well, I’ve had a hard time getting back on a schedule. But here we are, June already, and not much to show for it, except….my $1 registration for the Best Damn Race in Orlando 2015!! If you’re not familiar with Best Damn Race, when registration opens the first 10 people get in for a $1, 10-20 are $5, etc. I was eagerly waiting at my computer yesterday hitting refresh until the registration opened hoping to get $35 or less. Low and behold, I was number 4 to register, $1. I did a little happy dance on the couch, so excited. It was such a fun race, the staff is awesome, and it will always hold a special place in my heart as my first half marathon.

In addition to the Best Damn Race, which is February 28, 2015, I have also signed up for the Southern Most Marathon’s 10k in October (any excuse to go to Key West), and the St. Augustine Half Marathon in November, another beautiful city that I just adore. There are large bridges in St. Augustine so I’m not expecting a miraculous time, but I just want to get back out there and feel that rush again. I can’t wait.

Running/Motivation has been a struggle this past month. It’s hot, so the treadmill is my only option and some days (most days) it’s just too hard to make myself go. I need to get over that. Before mini-vaca I ran two of my fastest treadmill 5k’s ever, since we got back, not so much. I just need to learn to do it, and not every run is going to be fast, or record breaking. Doing it is what counts, moving and burning those calories. And also cherish the fact that I’m not in pain, I have no shin splints or sore feet, and just move.  I think that will be my motto for June, just move.   😉