Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An Impromptu 5K

There is no going back. We have ran 3.1 miles. THREE POINT ONE MILES. That is a 5K.
It was glorious. 39:40. 315 calories. Best pace 9:24. Average pace 12:48. HOLLA!!!

Here's what we did. Logan, Lindsay, the roommate and I started out with a very fast paced walk for 2-3 minutes (which went undocumented by the watch so we could get an accurate sense of the time it would take with the 5K).

We would run 10 minutes at a 12:00 pace. And then walk for 1 minute. Until we reached the goal of 3.1 miles.

The only difficulty we ran into was running out of light. Since the days are getting shorter but not cooler earlier, it is hard for us to commit to a specific time. We want to go, but we don't want to burst into flames or melt on the sidewalk.

This impromptu 5K means we can never go back. There will be no more running 25 minutes. No more 2 milers. This is crunch time. We are six weeks out until race day, and I don't want us facing something we aren't ready for, but could have been ready for.

So we will run 3.1 miles each time. And pray that it cools down enough to bear it before dark.

I'm so excited to have ran the distance I set out for so long ago. It is a major accomplishment that must be repeated. I won't get to run again until Friday since I have class tomorrow night. Dang school for making me miss a group running session.

I guess I will just have to make friends with school work and knock it out so I can still have some fun. So tonight I will go home to this.
I still have some chapters to read and a few things to prepare before tomorrow night's class.

Hope you are having a glorious Wednesday!!

If you haven't read Cely's blog Running Off the Reese's, you definitely need to read it today. She writes a weekly WTF Wednesday post. And when you are from rural Arkansas, like me, you will (might) enjoy the WTF topic she talked about this morning. Cely is one of the funniest bloggers I've ever read. Sometimes she makes me laugh out loud. Check it out!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Roommate's Got Mad Skills

You guys know the roommate, right?
She runs.

 Enjoys fishing.


 Bruises like a peach.

And takes stupid pictures with me.

But I bet you had no idea how talented she really is. See, the roommate has a gift. She can create.

I was telling her about this awesome quote I found by an unknown author. How much I loved the saying. And that I needed it to be on a t-shirt.

Girl has gone and done it.

I can't think of a better shirt to wear when running. Or just walking. Or lounging. Or anytime, really.

She made it in a bunch of different colors, but I love the purple with blue. LOVE IT.

Ok, so who wants one? I will be putting together an order list. So message me your name and size and how to contact you via Facebook or Twitter. Or text me if you have my personal number.

People need to wear this. The end.

Here's the quote, in case you can't see it. And you need to see it to know why I think it's so awesome.

Your biggest challenge isn't someone else. It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs and the voice inside you that yells CAN'T. But you don't listen. You just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper CAN. And you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are. - Unknown

Let's give props to the roommate for creating the most awesome shirt anyone has ever seen. It's simplistic design and message is something that everyone can relate to and enjoy. Hats off to Samantha for an amazing design.

Who wants a t-shirt?

What is the most inspirational quote you've ever read?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Stress Would Not Exist at the Beach

I've been through the ringer at work this week. It's be cray cray for realz. So bad that I woke up this morning feeling stressed and out of sorts. And I haven't been able to shake that feeling all day. Sigh. And let's not even talk about school and how my thesis advisor has yet to respond to an urgent e-mail. Double sigh.

Let's not go there. Let's go to the happy place. The beach.

I spent my days like this:
I'd start out in the chair.
Let the water lap at my toes.
Then I'd move to the beach blanket to sun my extremely white back. And take naps. Which is what happened in this picture. I'm pretty sure I drooled on my towel. Not that it matters. I was at the beach. Don't judge me.

I also had a little "accident" with the condo's coffee maker. And by accident I mean it exploded. Coffee exploded out the top and down the side and all over the counter. It was molten lava hot coffee. So after that, the roommate and I ventured out for our morning joe.

A champion breakfast of cinnamon raisin french toast and hashbrowns were also consumed during a coffee outing one morning.

Nobody was upset that the toast slices were as big as my face. And pure heaven. I'm pretty sure Jesus had a hand in creating this breakfast. Thank you Lord.

I also got to see a real live sea creature.
This little beauty washed ashore. And I have no idea what it is. It's little legs would fall off when we touched it. And it was slimy and mushy. But still a sea creature. Pretty cool.

I need to go back to this happy place to recover from my horrid work week.

But instead I will brave the grocery store and Wal-Mart because I have nan food. Or shampoo. Or conditioner. Or soap. Or detergent. So basically I stink. Ha. Just kidding. But this shopping trip MUST happen today.

I'm going to make eggplant lasagna tonight for dinner and go for an evening run. After yesterday and today, I need to pound out the pavement and get rid of this stress. Pray for a good run.

What are your plans for the weekend?
~~~I am going to sleep later than 7:15 in the morning. Drink coffee out of my new "Life is Good mug." And maybe clean the apartment...maybe.

What do you do to de-stress?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mr. & Mrs. Williams

I've officially decided that beach weddings are the way to get married. There is nothing more beautiful and simple. Let me give you the run down of Shannon and Garrett's wedding day.

First, the roommate and I got up and went to The Donut Hole. #YUM
When we got back to the condo, we suited up and went to the beach.
Umm, yes please.

Apparently my sunscreen application technique needs a little work. By 10:30 A.M. the first full day on the beach, my leg looked like this.
It continued to get worse. More red. Achy. Stingy. No relief.

But by the time the wedding rolled around, I was in fully M.O.H. mode. Kicking ass and taking names. There was nothing that would ruin Shannon's special day. And it would have been absolutely perfect had the preacher done exactly what I told her to do when she got there. Sigh. Some things just can't be helped.

The aisle was sandy. The sun was setting. And it was perfect. Shannon looked beautiful, as always.

The roommate did a great job taking pictures, and Shannon's photographer Natalie did an amazing job. I can't wait to see all the photos she took.

After the wedding, Shannon's friend Ashley and I noticed a guy laying on the beach. We thought he looked like a fine man. Back hair and all.

You can tell he thought he was hot stuff. Unfortunately, he was not. And that position is one that he should never lay in again. #yikes

More to come tomorrow. I gots lots of beachy pictures to fill your thoughts. Get. Excited.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Farewell to the Inland


Do you hear that?

I can just make it out over the squealing of car tires and horn honks that permeate the air outside my office.

Do you hear it yet?

It's just barely audible. But I can hear it.

Waves crashing on the white hot sand in Destin. Seagulls cooing over a small child's Cheeto's. Sand crabs snapping their little pinchers at unknowing beach combers. Sand shifting over sand with the push of the gulf breeze. Yellow flags tinking against flag poles.
Did you hear it now?

I can't even tell you how excited I am. I know I said that yesterday, but it's true. I can't believe I have to go sit through my first class tonight before I am free to have nothing but beach thoughts.

How is it that graduate school can almost ruin the best summer outing? If I didn't have to go to class, I would have been able to leave today. Right now I would be somewhere in Louisiana or Mississppi. Sigh.

But it will all come soon enough. And then it will be nothing but this.

I fear this day will be the slowest of all the days. School will take too long to let me out in the the freedom of a sweet vacay.

I can feel it now. The hot sand burning the soles of my bare feet. The sun beaming down from its place in the sky. Ok. I'll stop. Promise.

I know I haven't been doing too hot with the blogging this week. Don't fret. There will be so much glorious beach pictures and posts mixed with the new stresses of grad school to come. The last few weeks have just been a little dead.

I promise to:
  • Take too many pictures
  • Spend all the daylight hours on the beach
  • Eat copious amounts of seafood
  • Drink my fair share of beachy beveys
  • Be the Maid of Honor in my best friend's dream wedding
  • Wake up with the sun
  • Run twice while I'm there
  • Not do anything school or work related
  • Not get stressed out driving through Mobile, AL
  • Make the most of an amazing opportunity
But I can't promise I won't cry when I'm forced to come home.

So if you want a direct link to me while I'm beaching, follow me on Twitter @ashtenbrook.

On this Thursday, I leave you with an image of Taylor Lautner.
Surely his shirtless, rain soaked body will suffice my being gone and not posting for a few days. (I think I'd be satisfied if you provided me with this kind of eye candy.)

I hope you guys have an awesome rest of the week and weekend. See you on the beach. HOLLA!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beach: T-minus 1 Day, 2 Sleeps

Work has been a crazy place the past few days. So let's keep this short and sweet, and I will give a long, heartfelt goodbye til next week post tomorrow.

Beach Bound: T-minus 1 day, 2 sleeps. #imsoexcitedicanbarelycontainmyself

I don't think you understand how effing excited I am. BUT before I get carried away with the excitement, I must tell you that something terrible happens tomorrow.

SCHOOL STARTS AGAIN!! akjdfjalkjfalsjdslasndflkla

As of tomorrow night at 6 P.M. I will be holed up in a classroom with my peers listening to the opening rambles of the semester. The only good thing is that I'm leaving for the beach right after that.

What have you been up to this week?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sing Like We Use To, Dance Like We Want To

Morning Friends!! I hope everyone is having an excellent and much needed rainy Thursday. Since the training session is still going on at work, I got a nice little treat when I got to the office this morning.
What is it about buttery, flaky french delights that make them so yummy and yet still not good for you? Oh, right. Butta. I seriously contemplated smearing a small packet of butter on this, even though I know it is made with mostly butter. What can I say? If I'm going to clog my arteries, I want to make it count.

On this rainy day, I thought it would be a good idea to share some musical loves of mine. I introduced you to Needtobreathe a while back when I bought a ticket to their concert. But they have been hard at work on some new stuff and have been playing it out on the tour.

So I thought it'd be a nice change of pace to have another VIDEO MEDLEY!!!Get. Excited. Two of the songs I will introducing you to today are available for purchase on iTunes. So I'm gonna say go ahead and get that immediately and prepare for your heart to skip beats as you blast them in your car.

Without further ado...Needtobreathe.

"Drive All Night"

"Beg the Book to turn the page cause I get stuck where the villians get away. Somewhere in this wretched tale there must be a line where the victims get his way. Just one time. Oh, I'll get mine."

Don't mind the awkward camera man. But if he happens to distract you, just close your eyes. That is what I do when the videos are poor, but the music is phenom.

"Sing like we use to. Dance like we want to. Taste of the breakthrough. Open wide."

"A Place Only You Can Go"
HOLY COWSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this. Be still my heart. It makes me feel all gooey. And I want you to love it so bad.

So in order to have the same reaction I did, watch it at least 3 times. The first time, you will be in shock, but joyful. The second time, you will laugh at the pure genius of what they do. The third time, you will scream because it all just kind of hits, love, musical genius, the words of the song, the added extra, his face (if you're a guy, this may not work for you, and I'm sorry for that). It all just works so beautifully.

Mark your calendars. Needtobreathe. The Reckoning (the new album). September 20, 2011.

I will be at the store at midnight waiting in line like boys wait for Madden. It's the same concept, yet I feel like less people will be there...So you should come stand with me in line.

Tell me what you think of the videos. Do you already have a love for Needtobreathe? Is this your first exposure? What do you think? Leave a comment....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Morning Sunshine

I should say Morning NO sunshine. Arkansas is known for its ever-changing weather craziness. In the winter, it's freaking cold with snow and ice. In the summer, it's 114 degrees with little rain. The only truly nice times of year are spring and fall, and those seasons don't stick around long enough.

The view from my balcony this morning was pretty creepy.

And the view didn't get much better on my way to work.
See the sunny line across the sky.

P.S. Don't take pictures while you drive. It's really not a good idea. Sorry Mom. I promise I won't do it again.

Once I got to the office, fat rain drops were starting to fall. So I came on inside to avoid the rainy weather. We are having a training session about budgets (yawn) at our office this week, but there is one good thing that comes from it.

Free food.

The office paid for our breakfast and lunch since they are torturing everyone with the expection of Tiffany and me. (We don't have budgets of our own, which is probably for the best.) But we are reaping the benefits of the training session A.K.A the free food.

This morning's breakfast:
Blueberry bagel with butta. Something about a nice smear of "heart healthy" butta makes everything better. It's just so simple and delish. I want another one just thinking about it. Sigh.

Switching gears: Let's talk running.

Last night, Logan, Lindsay, the roommate and I ran 25 minutes. The roommate and Lindsay had a pretty good run, while Logan and I almost died. Logan was running fever while she was running. I, on the other hand, have no excuse.

The humidity was OUT OF CONTROL. It was so sticky and unbearable that I could never get my breathing down to a comfortable, manageable level. I started out strong, but finished weak.

The only think I can think of that would cause me to have such a reaction was not drinking enough water. Which I didn't do very good yesterday.

I'm praying for a redeeming run on Thursday. We are down to the end. All our runs are 25 minutes, 28 minutes and 30 minutes. So it's not like I can catch a break. And the heat's not helping. Send up a pray to The Big Guy for me. And one for Logan, too, so she won't get sick.

Do you ever have training sessions at work? Do you take advantage of office supplied food?

What was your workout like yesterday?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Night of Debauchery

So you may remember that I will be attending a beach wedding in just a few short weeks for my best friend Shannon and her soon-to-be hubby Garrett.

Well this weekend I threw her a Bachelorette Party. And it was a total success. Check out some of the highlights.
The night started at my house, and then we all got ready and went downtown to eat at Dizzy's. (BTW--the food at Dizzy's is amazing.) Then we headed to Willy D's for a some drinks and music.
Logan bought Shannon a shot. It was blue, and it tasted not good. Doesn't she look excited about the night ahead? Lot of shots were consumed on her part. Something about her screams I'm me drinks. I think it's the crown.

So she had shots and beer. And life was good. Everyone was so happy.

My mom and I had a photo shoot while people were getting drinks at the bar cause we're cool like that.

Then we moved into the piano bar area to try to get Shannon on the stage so they could sing to her. But they did much more than sing. Shannon, along with three other girls, had to pick people from the audience that they didn't know to participate in song. Shannon cheated and found a guy she knew in college to be her partner. And then the competition began.

First they had to dance like it was the 80s.

Then they had to do the twist.

Each time a couple was eliminated. But Shannon remained til the last dance off. And what kind of dance off was it, you ask? Oh, it was a lap dance.

The guy had to give the girl the "lap dance of her dreams" on stage in front of the entire bar. And then this happened.
Boy took off his shirt. Shannon was laughing so much. It was too funny. People were going crazy. And they ended up winning the competition.

Just goes to show you that a good guy friend will give you a lap dance when it comes to bar dance competitions. Pure craziness. It was awesome. And hilairious.

On a completely unrelated note, I have started a new book and bought a book to take the Shannon's beach wedding. (Well to read on the beach, not during the wedding.)

I started The Hunger Games yesterday, and I'm totally hooked. I'm saving Once a Runner for beach reading and beach relaxation time.

Do you have any funny Bachelorette/Bachelor Party stories?

What book are you dying to read right now?
~~~I can't wait to go home and read the rest of The Hunger Games. It's going to be one of those books I can't put down. And I love it when that happens.