Friday, September 14, 2012

Movin'

So, in an effort to jazz up the blog a little, I ended up deleting some of my favorite sites and not being happy with the layout, etc. Frustrated was an understatement.

I remembered that months ago I played around on WordPress and decided to to back and visit that site. I had saved a draft and after an easy import of several hundred posts, a few clicks, and a couple of sentences, I have a new blog.

I would love for you to continue to read. Please visit me here.

Oh, and please say hi so I can bookmark you so as not to lose any more of my favorite daily reads!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

doesn't it feel good

To file/delete 10,000 emails and clean out your inbox to a mere 26?

Unsubscribe from about the same amount of emails?

Clutter tends to overtake me - my house, car, desk, bedroom floor and I constantly find myself overwhelmed and ignoring the pile.

Today, I had a few extra minutes so I finally tackled the piles of paper on our kitchen counters. Pre K information, catalogs, bills, junk mail. It just make me feel so much better.

I have some friends who clean a room in their house every night, or those who won't go to bed unless everything is put away, pillows fluffed, sink shining. I commend you. I wish I were you, but sometimes the power of my bed, or the thought of a 4:30 alarm clock is too great and the papers, baby dolls, dog hair tumbleweeds win.

But for now, I am happy with my relatively clean counters and inbox.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ballet

If we are friends on Facebook, you've already seen these, but I think this is what every Mom lives for ...

posting cute pictures of your kiddos.

or kittens.

or your breakfast.


Maddy AKA the grumpy ballerina was not too happy or willing to have her picture made.


Is it just me or does the little ballet costume just transform them into little girls and not babies?

Recently, if I refer to them as my babies, I am quickly corrected with "We are big girls" or "We are big kids." I will remind them that even big girls like to be rocked, have their curls smoothed, and their blankets straightened out.

Ballet class, truly "creative movement" started on Saturday and so far, so good. Their ballet slippers were too small, and had to be reordered, hence the tennis shoes. They twirled, stared in the mirror, walked on tip toes, jumped, learned to point their toes, clap and take a bow. From someone who never took dance and has little to no graceful bones in their body, I think they will enjoy it even if it is just for the pink costumes that they get to wear.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

19 miles done

I think my exact words when I finished were "19 miles. Who's your mama?" No idea why I said that, but it just came out with chill bumps and everything. It's really hard to think that just 7.2 more and it will be a full marathon!

I have been trying a few things this week and so far, so good.

No more Nuun, and a switch from Balega to Feetures socks.

For pretty much every long or long-ish run we've done, I've been having some GI issues. Nothing crazy like sprinting to the woods, but definitely not comfortable either. The only thing that is different from the last time I trained for a half was the addition of Nuun. I really didn't think it could attribute to everything, but after talking to a friend who is an RD and she mentioned that some drinks or energy gels use sugar alcohols which can hurt your stomach. Then, I was reading Runners World and noticed an article that mentioned Sorbitol can cause GI issues, and then realize that Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol and Nuun has Sorbitol.

So, that got nixed and replaced with good ol' water and Gatorade. I tried it for our 8 mile run on Wednesday and our 19 miler today and so far, so good.

I have worn Balega for years, but just seem to keep getting a few blister/callouses after long runs. The Feetures feel really good and seem to almost compress your feet. I still got a few hot spots today, but not as bad as previous weeks.

The first 13 miles felt pretty good ... relaxed and steady. When we got back to our cars at a little over 13, I was tired and hungry. After downing some Gatorade, eating 1/2 a banana, etc., we started out again. Those last 6 miles were hard. My legs just felt like they didn't want to go. It's also not the most scenic part of the route and includes a big hill during the last 1.5 miles.

But, we did it ... now just 20 and 22 mile runs left to do before the biggie. Gulp. 13 weeks of training down, 7 more to go. We actually realized that this was our last really long run on a Saturday. Due to schedules, we are running our 20 and 22-milers during the week. Gotta love that two of us have taken new jobs recently. Atleast we will be doing something positive on those vacation days!

Oh, and don't you love M's chevron skirt? I think I may have to go for it ... so cute & she said it was really comfortable too. 3 compliments from other runners today as well.


Friday, September 07, 2012

Competition Dining

The Hub and I had the opportunity to attend a really cool event last night ... semifinals of Fire in the Triad, a cooking competition with two chefs competing, a secret ingredient, smart phone voting, and 6 courses!


I love to eat and really enjoy the chance to try out new foods, restaurants, etc. Plus, it happened to be between two of our favorite restaurants, Southern Lights and 1618 Seafood Grill. When we arrived, we found out the secret ingredient .... BACON! They have been using all local NC products as the secret ingredient, so it has ranged from seasonal blueberries, goat cheese, watermelon, chicken from local farms, etc. Needless to say, thank goodness we aren't vegetarians!

I am not a food photographer so some photos are from the Competition Dining Facebook page.

Here are our six courses:


Pork belly with a turnip puree and cheese crisp (Southern Lights)

 Braised pork shoulder with a jalepeno popper (1618)

Pork tenderloin with bacon and brie puff pastry. The sauce is a mangalista remoulade 
(Southern Lights - please put this on your menu.)


 Filet with collard green "sushi" that included tasso. (1618)


 Bacon bread pudding with blueberry ice cream and basil sauce. (Southern Lights) 
Again, please add this to your menu, or just something with that amazing sauce.

Cheesecake with mangalista bacon covered in chocolate. Ice cream was pecan and bacon. (1618)

My favorites of the night were the braised pork shoulder, pork tenderloin, and the bacon bread pudding. That basil sauce was AMAZING. If I could have licked the plate, I would have. I wasn't familiar with mangalista bacon, but it is wonderful. Apparently, they are fattier than other pigs since so much of pork has been leaned down. Delicious!

The collard green sushi was creative, but overall, I wasn't impressed with that dish. The steak just wasn't that good. I felt the same way about the cheesecake - while I love sweet and salty combinations, biting into the cheesecake or ice cream with a large piece of bacon was strange to me.

It is all blind voting by the audience and guest chef judges and 1618 was declared the winner, but the bacon bread pudding had the highest overall scores of the evening.

A fun night and a great way to celebrate NC's great foods and wonderful local restaurants. We heard that there will be a state-wide competition between the four regional winners. That should be amazing!

All for now ... going to keep drinking more water since I probably consumed my weekly allotment of sodium yesterday!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

September

So, we are only 4 days into September and already I have witnessed the following Facebook status updates/ads/notices of fall:

1. Pumpkins are available at the local grocery store!
2. Bought by first pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks!
3. An ad popped up showing tall wedge boots that had me on Zappos to see if I can finally find a pair I love this year.
4. Target is making room for their Halloween merchandise!

I am ready. I love fall.

I want to wear my most favorite Gap blue jean jacket, wrap a scarf around my neck, watch the leaves turn shades of gold, and sip a mug of hot coffee (sorry, pumpkin spice lattes doesn't do it for me), however, I will take that pumpkin chocolate chip muffin/bread/scone/cake, please.

I want to decorate glass containers with mini pumpkins and gourds.

I want to drink red wine with friends on a patio with a fire pit blazing. Oh, who am I kidding. I want to drink red wine with friends on a patio pretty much any season, but it's even more perfect in the fall.

I want to snooze on the sofa with a book while football blares in the background.

I want to make a big pot of chili with a side of fritos, sour cream, and cheddar cheese.

I want to eat grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup.

I want to have a real reason to buy bags of miniature-sized candy.

I want to run in long sleeve shirts.

However, our pool is still open for a few more weekends, my shoulders are still tan, my daughters are still wearing sundresses, I really don't want to put away my white jeans and Bonannos, plus it's still 80+ degrees with 80%+ humidity.

So what's a girl to do?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Question ...

I'm sure that most of you have seen those magnets on cars with various numbers: 13.1, 26.2, 70.3, 140.6



No, they aren't bible verses, they are distances.

Half marathon = 13.1 miles, marathon = 26.2 miles, half IronMan = 70.3 miles, IronMan = 140.6 miles

And, yes, we will tell you that the .2 matters.

Last night while on a run, one of my running buddies mentioned that she had placed her 26.2 magnet on her car and her husband was giving her a hard time about it.

We haven't actually completed the 26.2 yet.

She said it doesn't matter, that she's training for it.

So, what are your thoughts on the matter? Is it ok? Bad luck? Does it need an extra "in training" magnet to go with it?

Would you 26.2 before you 26.2'd?


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I really am running a marathon

So, yes I have known for quite some time that I was going to be running a marathon.

After all, I ran the Quantico 10K back in March so I would have a guaranteed entry, AKA golden ticket!



I signed up, paid the fees, found a training plan, had a great running buddy who made us gorgeous calendars with all of our training schedules, and I set up long runs in my Google calendar so every Friday afternoon I receive alerts that say scary things like "18 miles"!

But, it's just been recently when we moved into distances like 17 and 18 miles, taking regular ice baths, dealing with tummy issues, waking up at 4:30AM (or not) to go for an "easy 5", talking about snot rockets, noticing the difference between the Saturday "serious" runners and the Sunday "out for a Sunday jog" runners at our favorite park, black toenails, blisters, crazy chaffing, compression socks, and statements like "Oh, it's only 13 miles", that I realized we are really doing this!

I have had moments that 26.2 definitely feels manageable, doable, and even slightly enjoyable. Yes, I said it ... enjoyable. There have also been moments that I wasn't sure if I could do it, but it is exciting that the positive days definitely outweigh the negative days.

People have asked me how long it will take me to finish. No idea ... I really just want to finish. period. However, that competitive side in me comes out and I find myself looking up times of friends, Hubby's first marathon, Oprah's marathon, etc and plugging in times to pace calculators like this one. Speed work also started this week and I think we are now at the point in our training that we know we can do the distance, now it's time to hone in and work on speed and endurance.

It also hit me this week that I don't think this will be my last marathon. I don't think I could/would have said that 8 or even 4 weeks ago, but I could definitely see myself doing this again.

I will admit, it's scary, exciting, mental, and physical all in one.


Friday, August 24, 2012

6 years

This blog is almost 6 years old. Wow.

I looked back at my first post ever: http://loveandlabs.blogspot.com/2006/08/wednesday-night-run.html I guess it's a good sign that I was running then and I'm still running now.

I also found this old one ... back when every blogger was writing 100 things about me posts. I think I was struggling to complete that list!

This one was when I got "the call" after having my baseline mammogram that freaked me out. I am so thankful that everything turned out to be OK, but still get annual mammograms and am debating getting tested for the BRACA gene that scares me even more. What is crazy to me is this happened a few months before my Mom's diagnosis.

Looking back on my sweet babies. I still love these pictures of them.

And of course, documenting the belly. I can say, I wish I had more of these pictures ... even if they were just for me to look back and reminisce. I truly don't remember how enormous it was and that is probably a good thing.

Even though I certainly don't write every day, and have thought about shutting it down, it's still a great way to look back on the years and remember some of the stories that are long forgotten. It has been a great outlet for me and I'm thankful for the friends I have made along the way, both ones that I have never met in person and the ones that I see almost every day.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

17 miler

I feel like I need to make this statement here and on Facebook ... if you don't want to hear about running for the next 3 months or so, just skip over me and check back in November!

So yesterday was my longest run ever and also probably one of my hardest.

I felt like I was getting a cold earlier in the week and as any good Junior League past president would do, I started taking my tested & approved medicines/remedies: Mucinex, Neti Pot, Nasonex, EmergenC, & Ricola cough drops. This is what always helped me get through the last 2 years when I was feeling run down.

Unfortunately, I still woke up throughout the night for two nights in a row coughing and what felt like I might hack up a lung. Not fun.

So, I had 17 miles looming on Saturday and on Friday, I took my inhaler about 4 times. This NEVER happens to me. I have "exercise induced asthma" that requires me to take my inhaler before exercise (duh). I had walked from my car, up 3 flights of stairs and to my office and had to take it. That freaked me out a bit because it was so far from my "norm."

Let's just say that my confidence wasn't at 100% or probably even 80% when I met my running girls on Saturday morning, but we set out for the long run ahead.

Just a few minutes in, I was having a hard time breathing - or keeping my breathing in check. I felt like I was working twice as hard. I couldn't keep up with our normal conversations because I was too focused on trying to breathe. My girls were immediately concerned, asking how I was doing. We were meeting another girl near my car, so in the back of my mind, I knew I could just quit.

That thought made me want to curl up and cry. I wanted to do this damn 17 miles, but I had figured out that I couldn't keep up my normal pace and do so. I told them I just wanted to try to keep going, but I knew I couldn't stay with them. They circled back and made sure I was OK and they went ahead.

At a slower pace, it was much more bearable and I just tried to get in a new, but slower groove. I thought about my friends, my daughters, my family, and tried to focus on the many positive things in my life. I thought about the fact that this may be what the marathon will feel like. Some of the miles clicked off surprisingly quickly. I ran into the girls again at mile 11 and M gave me her iPod. It helped for two reasons - Maria and I have similar taste in running music (Luda!, Missy Elliot, Ben Folds Five, Bare Naked Ladies, etc) and I could no longer hear myself breathing. Hallelujah!

I kept plodding along ignoring Garmina when I looked down and saw paces that should seem like I was walking. I made it to Mile 15, by my car, so I stopped and grabbed some more hydration, a bit of a Luna bar, and kept on going. 2 more miles.

So, I did a total of 17.27 miles. They were slow. They were ugly, but they are DONE.

I met up with the girls again after they were finished. We celebrated with oreos and went on our way. Ice bath, lunch, a mini nap, and I actually felt like I had knocked out whatever "crud" was in my chest out. I am still making an appointment with my allergist, but last night, I slept like a baby and don't have the wheeziness.

So, things I learned:
- All runs aren't easy.
- I am stubborn.
- I have great friends.

The end.

Friday, August 17, 2012

It's helpful

To have a hubby with crazy sleep habits when you wake up at 4'ish due to coughing and hearing yourself wheeze, and you finally decide you can't go back to sleep after plumping pillows, reading Facebook, answering an email, and rolling over a dozen times.

Because when you go downstairs for a cup of granola and milk, you will find your husband lying on the sofa watching a movie.

So, I joined him to eat my granola and watch a good 1.5 hours of Love and Other Drugs. 2nd time seeing it and I love both Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway in this movie.

It's also helpful that when you do fall back to sleep on the above sofa, Hubby makes coffee and reminds you to wake up. At least I didn't get his annoying interpretation of an alarm clock: Ennnnnn/Ennnnnn/Ennnnnn in your ear.

I may need to remember that going to bed at 8:30 isn't always a good idea.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Catch up

I realized that I have blogged about M&L in a long time. Bad Mommy. I guess I could also say I haven't blogged consistently in a looong time. Bad Mommy.

M & L turned 4 this June and I am still in shock. How can my babies be 4 years old? We enjoyed the start of our summer with lots of time at the pool, a fun lake trip with 6 adults and 6 kids all 4 and under, a visit from my parents, birthday celebrations, and they went to "granny" camp with the in-laws.




When I recently returned to work, they transitioned from a 9-1 parents morning out/preschool program to full time daycare/PreK without too many bumps in the road. We have had to answer why their "old" friends aren't all coming to the new school and I haven't quite figured out how I will answer why their good friend, WT is going to Kindergarten.


Maddy can be sassy, shy, inquisitive, analytical, and is still our little engineer. She watches how things work and usually knows what to do to fix them. She has the mind of a steel trap and remembers that she put her baby inside the chest, by the chair, under the blanket, etc. Or that yes, I have one applesauce left and sure enough, I will find it in the fridge. She loves music and especially a toy piano, and princess book that has a piano attached to it. Some days, she is our kissing bandit, showering us with kisses for no reasons. She is helpful and sweet, but can also be stubborn. Hmmmm ... wonder where she gets that!?



Libby is loud, loyal, sweet, and can be a little sneaky. She loves to play, to engage others, and to "read" us stories at nighttime. I will say, C and I are both blown away by her ability to memorize/read to us. She can basically recite Brown Bear, Corduroy Goes to the Doctor, Goldilocks & The Three Bears, and Good Night Moon. Sometimes, when you ask her a question like "Have you already had a snack?" she will answer "No" knowing good and well she just polished off animal crackers. Not sure how to best approach this - yes, it's lying. Does she do it to hurt anyone? No. Does she do it because she knows she can get another snack this way? Sure. We have started talking about what is telling the truth and what isn't and need to keep working on it.

They both basically have two speeds: asleep or wide-open. They run, but don't walk and are busy from the time they wake up. They do enjoy some Nick Jr. time and that will zone them out, but typically, they are on the move. Lately, they love to build houses out of blankets, toys, their small table and chairs. They also love a good picnic on the floor with their pretend food serving everyone coffee and pizza, or cookies, pretend babies (one is the Mom, Doctor, Sister, etc and the other the baby), draw, work in their green PreK readiness workbooks.

At their new school, they are in love with every puzzle, Candyland, the House/Kitchen area, coloring, and playing outside, and the "to-go" snack. Basically, a dixie size cup of snack to eat on the ride home. Libby will often tell me that she needs to get an extra for me since I haven't had any that day.

The inspire, surprise, frustrate, and amaze me on a daily basis. I am so proud to be their Mom. Truly the hardest thing I have ever done and the most rewarding. When I tuck them in at night, look at their pretty faces, and smooth their curls, I am so humbled that they are mine.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Random thoughts during marathon training

My running shoe PSA for everyone today ...

I have been wearing Brooks Adrenaline's for as long as I can remember. Love them. Well, two weeks ago, I bought a new pair (pink!), ran on the treadmill at the store, determined they were fine & off I went.

Two weeks and and 50 some miles later, I finally decided that they just didn't fit right. First couple of runs, they felt too tight across the top, but on my last long run, I felt like my toes were being squeezed.

Sure enough, they had rubbed callous-y blisters on the sides of my two big toes and the end of my second toe. Ick.

Luckily, our wonderful local running store exchanged them no questions asked. Apparently, these shoes have been running differently as of late, so I am now in a size 8. (Full size bigger than my regular shoes & half size bigger than my old pair.)

So, if you are in the market for shoes, ask about return policies, if any of the sizing has been off, and test them out if possible!

Other thoughts ....

It probably isn't a good idea to go grocery shopping after church, while hungry, and when driving home proceed to grab the industrial size bag of animal crackers and put it in the front seat. Can't get enough. I have reverted back to preschool.

Ice-baths are your friend. I have now taken two in my life and they honestly aren't all that bad. Saturday, I tried the get in the cold water first, then dump the ice in. Definitely easier in my opinion since you don't have to dodge ice cubes when sitting.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

If only ...

all of the training runs could be like yesterday's.

14 miles.
All of us were feeling strong, relaxed, and ready. Our pace was good - one mile was probably a little too fast, but we were all feeling good.
Warm, but not too humid.
Lots of shade.
Two pitstops, but luckily we were near bathrooms.
Friendly runners, a couple of bunnies, and much to M's dismay, only one long centipede looking thing. M is our nature watcher.
The ability to pass one of our cars with about 3-4 miles left to go. Nothing better than ice cold Gatorade, water, Nunn, and a handful of ice cubes to put down your sports bra to finish out a long run.
The dreaded hills that didn't feel that bad.
E's longest distance ever.
Chocolate milk, more ice cold Gatorade, ice cold water, Animal crackers, and Ginger snaps at the end.
Hubbies that take kids to the gym/pool/science center so tired Mama's can enjoy naps.

Is it too much to hope all of the long runs can be like this?


Friday, July 27, 2012

The interview that deserves a blog post

While looking for jobs, a friend of mine (Hi, J!) told me about a neat opportunity so I reached out to them to learn more. I had a great phone discussion with their office manager who told me more about the position (Marketing, Public Relations, Special Events for a small beer distributor.) We talked a lot about my marketing & pr background and also my work for a cheese maker where I helped to coordinate special events across the state.

Sounds like it could be a good fit, right?

So, I was asked to come in for an interview. I knew this would be a more "casual" environment, so I purposely dressed a little more casual versus my normal interview attire.

I had a great meeting with the office manager and then I was set to meet with the owner.

To all the HR professionals out there, please be warned ... this person did all the cringe-worthy things in addition to a few that I think he could be sued over.

Statements/Questions that I heard while interviewing:

1. Where do you live? As in what neighborhood.
2. What does your husband do?
3. Insurance is a bunch of xxxx.
4. "I think you should be home with your children."
5. Oh and yes, he asked if I had children.
6. "I think I really need a man to do this job ... to talk to the other store managers because they are typically men, and this is a blue collar job."
7. Speaking of a past employer. "I don't advertise. It's just a waste of money."
8. Why don't you take this case of beer home to your husband?

It was by far the strangest and most infuriating interview that I have ever been on. I had my qualms about the job from the beginning - I knew it would be a lot of nights/weekends, but I also understand that it comes with the territory. Since I was interviewing several places, I didn't want to turn down any opportunities that could turn into something. So many people have asked if I told him off, but I decided that it wasn't worth it and the best thing to do would to be professional.

We happily drank the case of beer, and I may or may not have flipped off the building when I last drove past it, because I keep it professional like that.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Transition

After four years, I will be changing to the role of Working Mom. It's really hard for me to believe that four years ago, I had all intentions to stay at work full time, but when I was laid off after M&L were born, I somehow just sailed into the role of stay at home Mom/somewhat freelance marketing person/Junior League President and made it work.

I'm excited and a little nervous. I'm also a little sad, because it also means that my babies are growing up and don't NEED me as much. They have happily pranced into their new daycare this week and not looked back. We have been working on an ease-in schedule, but when I stopped by at 3PM yesterday, they asked to stay. So much for not throwing them into a new school, but I'm sure if we had done it that way, my plan would have backfired.

So, starting Monday, I will be commuting 30+ minutes, starting work at an amazing company in a big marketing department, and hopefully getting back in the groove of full-time, office politics, commuting, etc.

When I had made the decision to return to work, I had an idea of where I thought I would end up and this was probably the furthest from my mind, but I am excited for the challenge and the opportunity. I went on interviews with 6 companies, received two offers, three polite no's, and one that deserves a blog post.

Here's to my last few couple of days of sipping coffee and checking blogs!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hydration

I received a question about hydration/water on long runs. First, let me say that receiving questions makes me feel like a REAL blogger and that makes me happy. :)

I do carry water on pretty much any run that I do. I'm sure that this is part mental, but I just like the idea of having it if I need it, even if it's only 3 miles.

I use a Nathan 22-ounce handheld bottle. I will say, it did take some time getting used to it, and I will complain that sometimes my fingers start to fall asleep, but it supplies me with quite a bit of water or gatorade. It has a little pouch that can carry my key fob, chomps, or Gu's which is nice.

For instance, yesterday's 12 miler was humid and I started with a full bottle of water with NUUN. I have liked these - they only have 8 calories, no sugar, but still have the electrolytes that you need. In typing this, I realize that I am diluting mine a bit in using a 22-ounce bottle since it comes with a 16-ounce. I will need to alter that!

So, at the 8 mile mark, I was pretty much out of water, so one of my running buddies filled up my bottle with water and I was empty again after my last 4 miles. Wow! We already know that we will be placing extra water along our routes. Training in the south, in the summer ... you just have to. My clothes were literally soaked.

Other good options for hydration would be the Nathan waist pack. I have not been a fan of waist packs in the past, but I have known runners who really liked this hands-free option. FuelBelt also makes several options - waist & handheld. I would recommend trying out some options - maybe borrow one if you can to find out what works for you. Remember that it may take some getting used to, but using one of these kinds of packs may be better than dropping water along the route. 


The good thing is on race day, you will likely have water or a sportsdrink along the course, so I usually will alternate between grabbing a cup, and drinking mine to help conserve what I am carrying so I don't have to refill.

Does anyone else have any products that they love?


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tales of a 12 mile run

At 5:30am, I woke up and immediately said a curse word ... I should have been pulling out of my DRIVEWAY to meet my running girls. So, while trying to wake up and figure out how I could still get there on time, and not mess up E's departure for the beach which was the reason we were running so early anyway ... I came up with a plan.

Since we were doing a course where we were going to drop off a car at the third-of-a-way point, I  decided that I could just meet the other girls there and could make up those last 4 miles on my own. After some early morning/lack of coffee texting, we were all on the same page and I drank my coffee, ate a blueberry waffle with PB, honey, and a handful of fresh blueberries, drank some water, did my potty business, and drove to meet them.

After a little time to stretch and take photos for Instagram, my girls came along. They refueled and we were off.

So, all was good - it was humid, but overcast, so that was in our favor. It was definitely a sassy kind of run that including yelling at a rude biker, questioning a driver of a car on the greenway, and hearing tales of first dates. We got back to the 12 mile point for them and the 8 mile for me. I "borrowed" more water from M, and headed on my way. I felt really good and had a good pace, but quickly got passed by a very bouncy and noticeably pregnant woman. So, I sulked, ate my banana that I had been carrying for 4 miles and walked for a bit, then kept on going.

I also realized that a light blue running skirt on a hot and humid day will quickly look like you've peed yourself. For reals. I don't think I had a dry stitch of clothing on me at the end.

12 miler ... check. 5 weeks of training finished ... check. Looking forward to the possibility of a nap, pool, and guacamole.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thoughts from week 5

A list of rambling thoughts from the 5th week of marathon training ...


  1. Shocked at how quickly we are running 12 miles ... I'm used to this being at the end of our training.
  2. Glad that some of my hip pain has subsided, but definitely understanding why the use of ice/stretching/strengthening is so important.
  3. Getting (or trying to) wake up by 5:00 AM or any snooze-amounted time from then to 5:30 is HARD.
  4. I couldn't do this without my running buddies. Even with threats of kicking, sassy juice, hill repeats, I think they still love me and will put up with me all summer and fall.
  5. Some of my go-to items have been NUUN, chocolate milk, blueberry waffles, peanut butter, Luna bars, and those darn miniature ice cream sandwiches.
So, here's to 12 miles tomorrow and prayers that it isn't as crazy hot as last weekend. Chill bumps at the end of a run scare me when I am blazing hot.



Sunday, July 01, 2012

So .....

Did you go see it this weekend?

I don't know about where you live, but it seems that 99% of my female Facebook friends have been posting all weekend about MAGIC MIKE.

So, my friend, E and I went this evening. Armed with popcorn, water, and contraband vino and candy, we were the first ones in the theater. OK, so we kind of felt like losers for doing that. The being early, not the vino, but we really just got there early and it was not intentional. Even though, all afternoon, I kept texting E, asking if we should pre-buy our tickets, or arrive 30 minutes early, but I promise ... not intentional.

As people started coming in, I noticed two themes of movie-goers. The first was young to middle-aged women in groups, dressed up in what I would call "going out shoes", tight jeans, and "going out shirts." Kind of curious for a movie, right? I'm usually going in with a shawl or sweater because I always freeze, even when it's 102 degrees outside. The other theme we noticed were small groups of gay men. I'm assuming, just to see the action.

All in all, it was a decent movie. There is actually a story line people and for the woman in front of us who muttered "I'm disappointed. There was too much story to that.", what do you think you are going to? A strip club? 2 hours of videotaped stripping?

It's a movie. The last time I went to a movie, you can't touch the actors, you can't get sweat flicked on you by the actors, and you can't even have a drink unless you have an awesome friend who packs her own. Even with your fancy 3-D glasses on, the most that will happen is you move out of the way of flying knives or something.

So, it's not going to win in any Oscars, but a fun couple of hours. Definitely comical to say the least, I left confirmed that Matthew McConaughey is the perfect actor to play Dallas in this movie. He has the accent, the swagger, the confidence, and the ability to wear leather pants, have a marble bust of his likeness, and still somehow be lovable and have women screaming for him.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Over-analyzing


Split
Time
Distance
    Avg Pace
Summary 1:14:45.8 7.00            10:41
1 10:34.4 1.00 10:35
2 10:22.3 1.00 10:22
3 10:30.1 1.00 10:30
4 10:46.2 1.00 10:46
5 10:25.0 1.00 10:25
6 11:09.4 1.00 11:09
7 10:56.6 1.00 10:57
8 :01.8 0.00 12:35 

So, everyone who knows me knows that I can am an over-analyzer. It is probably really bad if you were just talking about over-analyzing on a run this morning, but I just can't help it.

So, here is the deal ... look at these slow miles. What I am trying to figure out is the why. I looked at one of my runs along the same route from December and I was about 30 seconds - 1 minute faster per mile.

What I have going against me:

1. Hip is still hurting somewhat.
2. Breathing was off. That may have something to do with getting over some sinus stuff and that it was 75 degrees by 6AM this morning and humid.
3. My head

So, for the hip, I am icing 1x a day, have "prescribed stretches/strength moves" to do 2x a day, have a small insert for my shoe to balance out a minimally shorter leg, and use Biofreeze before my runs.

As far as breathing is concerned, I use my inhaler, but just felt out of breath more than normal. Can't do anything about the heat and humidity at the moment.

My head - well that is another post altogether. Not sure if I am just over-thinking everything and not getting in my groove.

Things I know ...

1. Need to keep up with my exercises and icing.
2. Definitely need to find a way to do yoga at least once per week.
3. Know that I need to get my head in the game and enjoy this experience.

Anyone else slow/having trouble breathing/finding their running-mojo lately?












































Thursday, June 28, 2012

Another reason

That I can tell marathon training has commenced ... I am STARVING.

We aren't even doing any major miles yet. My run this morning was only 3 miles, but I feel like I could have eaten all day.

I tried out overnight oats that had intrigued me. You can google "overnight oats" or "overnight oats in a jar" and find several recipes. I'm on the fence about them and not happy considering that I paid $9! for a bag of chia seeds at Whole Foods. I'll give them another try, and I think I will add some crunchy granola on top to balance out the mushy texture.

I went to the grocery and loaded up on healthy items like greek yogurt, almond milk, fresh fruit, miniature ice cream sandwiches, english muffins, granola, black bean burgers, etc. Hoping that if I am stocked full of healthier/filling foods, then I won't run 3 miles and eat a bag of chips.

I know some people would say, but you are running X number of miles a week ... eat what you want! As much as I would love to do that, I don't feel as good when I do and running those longer distances is always easier when I'm down a few pounds. No worries - there will be splurging on occasion ... just not every night!

Any good filling/protein filled recipes out there?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My view

From my chair this morning.

Please take note of:
1. bag of ice on my 39-year old hip.
2. cup of coffee to keep me warm.
3. wild child(ren) and messy house

Yes, marathon training is officially underway!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Random Tuesday

So, today started with a hard nearly-4 mile run in the neighborhood ... this was after oversleeping and not running at 5:45 AM with my girlies. Whoops. So guilt forced me out the door at 9:15 AM when it was already HOT. But, I managed 3.89 miles in under a 10 minute mile, so go me.

Funniest sight along the way ... "50 Shades of Gray Painting Company" sign in someone's yard. How much business is that guy getting!?!

Next, I went to visit a potential Showhouse location for the Junior League. Amazing, but I have been sworn to secrecy, but AMAZING including hand-forged wrought iron, elevator, murals, etc. etc.

A trip to Wally World with the girls who managed to get in and out of the cart about 1,000 times, but I was proud when there were no meltdowns over not buying miniature etch-a-sketches.

A late and much needed shower turned into someone scribbling with a green marker over all of the throw pillows on the sofa. Arrrrgh. No one fessed up, but luckily, everything came out and nearly all of the slipcovers are clean and hanging to dry around our house.

The night ended with dinner prepared by moi, a family walk around the neighborhood, a skinned knee, hydrangea picking, bathtime and bedtime.

Now, off to read Catching Fire ... I might have to download the 3rd book tonight. Squeeal!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Where to go, what to do

I had the opportunity to serve in a big role (President) of my local Junior League. As much as it has been a sacrifice and true learning opportunity, it has also afforded me skills, strengths, and dedication that I didn't know I had. It pushed my limits, humbled me on so many occasions, and gave me so much more than I ever bargained for.

As the last few days of my term are coming to a close and my part-time job is over, I am now faced with a looming WHAT'S NEXT?

I have worked part time, but made this volunteer position a priority. I have relied on my husband, family, preschool, and sitters to take care of my children.

There is part of me that literally wants to lie on the sofa, eat cheese and wheat thins, catch up on all my reading, Mad Men watching, etc, but then part of me is itching to figure out the next phase.

So, I am applying for jobs, or trying to find jobs to apply to. I am working my connections and trying to make this next step one that will be positive, life-changing, and done for the right reasons.

I am trying to sit down on the floor and play princess, or color, or just sit and read without worrying about the computer, or email, or phone calls.

I am trying to enjoy time with the Hubby that we can just talk, or not talk, and not worry about the computer, or email, or phone calls, or agendas.

I am trying to spend time with my friends that have probably suffered during this experience. I know I haven't been as available as I would have liked and without those women, I wouldn't have been able to do this. I didn't mean to put some of our friendships on hold, but in some ways I feel like I have.

I am going to run a marathon ... that in itself is still a little unbelievable and after a hard-as-hell 6 mile run yesterday, I have realized that I have to get my mind wrapped around this.

I am hoping to use this blog more, get back into writing, and using this community for the positive messages that it does bring.

So, stay tuned!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Getting older stinks

So, I had been having some pretty regular foot pain, especially when I ran, so I took a couple of weeks off while I was waiting for an appointment with the local Sports Medicine Doc/Running Guru.

My appointment was Thursday morning and I set off with my new and old shoes and a bit of trepidation.  Dr. Google had turned up stress fracture on more than one occasion, and I'm definitely one that can go off the deep-end when presented with several options to consider.

So, it turns out that my left arch is falling/fallen and causing my toes to splay out incorrectly, throw off my form, etc. In thinking back to the 3-Day walk, I had some upper foot pain and I know wonder if it's now all related.

I left with new inserts and a pad for my arch and directions to come back for custom orthotics before Marathon training begins and a diagnosis of metatarsalgia, and to start running again, but take it slow.

I took the inserts on a little 2+ mile run/walk through the park. I felt good, felt pretty fast, but have no idea of my pace or distance because Garmina had a low battery from lack of use. So, I'll stick with the I felt fast comment and keep it at that.

All around, a decent run. I didn't have any pain, except a touch when going up hills and everything felt good.

So thankful to not have any major issues and to be able to get back to it.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

A little insomnia

will get you ...

Two organized kitchen drawers.

A pot of coffee.

A few returned emails.

Edits to a weekly e-newsletter.

Bad drawings on DrawSomething.

A little Facebooking/Blog reading/online newspaper reading.

Calendar updating.

A found tax letter that wasn't in our file to go to the CPA.

Feeling somewhat productive, sleepy, but not enough to fall asleep.


Friday, March 30, 2012

MCM 26.2 ... here I come

So, I can now officially say that I have REGISTERED for the Marine Corp Marathon. I ran the Quantico 10K on St. Patrick's Day and received my golden ticket that guaranteed me an entry.

But, now ... I may be on the verge of my first real injury. Of course, I have already been using Dr. Google and doing too much self diagnosis.  When I ran on Tuesday, my toes hurt.  One of my running buddies asked if I were limping.  I had to be honest and admit, my toes/foot has been hurting for a while.

So, I did the responsible thing and booked an appointment with the Sports Medicine Doc who is on a first name basis with the majority of our local running community.  I am also planning to go back to our running store to see if perhaps my latest pair of Brooks are somehow not meshing well. I have also taken a break from running, just to see if I had tweaked something and needed a break.

So, here I sit ... reading emails about possible long runs in the morning, but replying "no" and contemplating spin classes instead.

So, anyone out there ever had bursitis, stress fractures, or neuromas?

Yes, please talk me off the bridge now, please.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Now we're talking

Food and running. Running and food.

I can always talk/write about those two topics, so here goes.

Some of my running faves.

1. Garmin - yes, I love having a Garmin to keep track of time/pace while running, to analyze the heck out of fast runs/slow runs afterward.  It has been a helpful tool for me.  Otherwise,  I would have completely no idea how fast or how far I am running.  This is the one that Hubby and I have. Nothing fancy and we found it on sale at Target.

2. Shoes.  For me, it is the Brooks Adrenaline. I have been wearing these for several years and they are my favorite.  I wear them about a 1/2-1 whole size bigger than my normal shoe size.  They give me enough support that I need, don't seem to rub blisters like some other shoes did, and while they aren't cheap, they definitely aren't the most expensive shoe out there.  I do recommend, go to your local running store and get properly fitted for shoes.  I promise you that it makes a difference.

3. Of course, it's also all about the clothes.  I typically run in jog bras/tanks/tees from Target in the C9 line. Cheap, cute, and made with wicking material is usually good enough for me.  I did discover Old Navy running capris this that have been wonderful.  You can typically find them on sale for $15 and I think for the price, they are as good as the expensive brands.  I also love the Nike Tempo Track shorts, skirts from Brooks, and running jackets from Moving Comfort.   I go back and forth between paying $10 for a shirt to blowing the bank on a Moving Comfort jacket at a race Expo when I didn't properly pack.

4. Just so I can incorporate food into the conversation ... some of my favorite pre-run foods include bananas, oatmeal, whole wheat toast with peanut butter & banana, mini Luna bars or mini Clif bars.  I tend to run primarily in the morning, so breakfast foods are typically what I eat. It also depends on the mileage, time of day, how late I oversleep, and when I ate dinner the previous night if it's an early run.

While running, I like Clif Shot Blocks (a bit chewy, but they tend to be more gentle on my stomach), Honey Stinger chews, or Gu Chomps.   Sometimes I will pack a mini Luna bar, or try to schedule runs so I can pick up a banana from my car.  I have a couple of running buddies who will run with a banana, but I'm not sure if I'm that graceful.

Post-run, I am usually all about coffee, chocolate milk, gatorade, etc. Then, my hunger hits and I try to make healthy choices so I don't ruin the benefits of the run!  Again, I think that meal depends on the mileage, time of day, and when I ate dinner the previous night!

Marathon training officially begins in June, so there will definitely be more on this topic to follow.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Deep thoughts

So how bad is it when the blog is neglected for a month and no one notices?  Ahem.

I don't do twitter, so I don't feel like I can switch that platform.

I'm not really blogging about "love and labradors" anymore.  I could quite possibly change the title to "Volunteering, running, chasing two princesses, whilst trying to decide what I want to do when I grow up." A bit too long, don't you think.

I've contemplated shutting it down, but I love this community and still enjoy checking in on folks, stalking other blogs, re-reading old posts when I actually used to write.

So, in a nutshell, here is what is going on:

  • Two more months left of life as a Junior League President - I think this could be a blog in itself.
  • Contemplating full-time jobs and daycare.
  • Enjoying my time with two nearly four-year-olds that add light, laughs, and gray hair to my days.
  • I will be running a MARATHON this October.
  • Thinking about turning 40(!) next year.
Hopefully, I'll figure out a direction soon, or at least post more than once a year. 

xoxo 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 24

See Day 12.

We only have one bathroom cabinet/medicine cabinet and I don't use it, so ... here is the hall/bathroom closet.  Again.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day 23

Shoes.

70 degrees - I think I can wear the.peeptoes. Who am I kidding, I have probably worn these when its 40 degrees.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day 23

Where I work.

This is what it looks like when you're a part-timer and don't get to work until 9:30. Full parking lot.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 21

A favorite photo of you.

I just unearthed this one recently.  This was taken in the kitchen sink of the first house my parents owned.  Digging the harvest gold everything & speckled formica counters/backsplash.  I still remember when we went from harvest gold to white.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Day Twenty

Handwriting


Thank you notes and part of a to-do list.
I wonder what my handwriting would say about me.  Hmmmm.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day Nineteen

I know it doesn't look like much, but what lurks in here is the garbage and recycling bins.

I don't mind the throwing it in there part, but I hate the throwing it away, changing the bag, cleaning the gunk that misses the trash can part.  Lucky for me, most of the time, Hubby is the designated garbage-taker-outer.




Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day Eighteen

Drink.

Coffee.  'Nuff said.


I realize I missed a few ... here's to hoping I can make it through the rest of the month!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day Fifteen

Phone.
Currently resides in our phone cubby in our 1939 home.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Twelve.

Inside my closet.

Since my clothes closet is scary, I opted for our hall closet.

This is a little tray and bottles from Anthropologie that I love.  A few perfume bottles and antique hair barrettes always make me smile when I open the door.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Eleven.

Makes me happy.

For sure.

Now, when March rolls around and they've already finished blooming, I may not be as happy.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ten

Self portrait day.


This actually worked out well as a new event marketing idea was being tested by the employees at work today.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Nine.

A photo of my home away from home front door ... the Junior League Headquarters.



Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Eight.

Jusy barely.

Here comes the sun ... At 4:45PM.


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Seven.

Buttons on a snowman.

 - Libby, Age 3.


Monday, February 06, 2012

Six

Dinner.  Whoops, but these suckers are good.


Sunday, February 05, 2012

Day Five

10 am.
Overcast Sunday morning.
Should be at church, but let the cleaning commence!


Saturday, February 04, 2012

Day Four

Stranger.

A noun or a verb?  In this situation, quite possibly both.


Friday, February 03, 2012

Day Three

This looked better in my mind, than in reality.

Nevertheless, I love every sticky finger, half-painted fingernail, and boo-boo'ed knuckle of these two hands.


Thursday, February 02, 2012

Day Two

Words that I love come from unexpected places.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Day One

My view today.

Work = presentation prep, lots of uploading, data clean-up and the like. This is what nose to the grindstone, two days before a project goes live looks like.

I promise my cube isn't as dungeon like as this image suggests.


Who's In?

Photo a day challenge for the month of February, brought to you by Fat Mum Slim.

Wanna play?


Thursday, January 26, 2012

On the Valentine's Day Wish List

For Maddy and Libby.
For Moi.

Stop the overload of cute.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What a day, what a day

Everything is fine, but today started with a tummy bug and ended with a trip to the Orthopedic specialist.

Three-year-old twins make me THANKFUL yet TIRED.


Monday, January 02, 2012

1-2-2012

It's hard to believe that we rang in 2012 in rain boots.  Well, with two 3 1/2 year olds, anything is possible.  It wasn't rainy, but actually almost balmy yesterday and Maddy insisted that she needed her boots to play outside.



I had a nice run with friends this morning.  Part run/part therapy session and those are always good. Now, finally to take a much needed shower and to take 5 bags of purge-related clothing and house accessories to the Bargain Box.