Friday, November 9, 2012

Whoa...What Happened?!?

Dudes, it's been a while. My life has been crazysauce. And I wish I was kidding. So much has happened, and I'm sorry for not sharing a play-by-play. But most of it is boring. HA.

I've been working a lot trying to get into my new job to get some things going, and I'm feeling good about it (and a tad bit overwhelmed.) There's just so much to do, and it's hard to pick what is more important. AND Asher had surgery...she's doing well, too. So needless to say, my life has been turned upside down and inside out.

The good news?

I'm still running. I haven't lost focus on training. Just because I haven't posted in a while doesn't mean I've given up. This girl has been gettin' it. Long runs, speed work, hills, tempo runs. You name it, I've been running it.

After tomorrow, I enter into a blissful period called the taper. But more on that later. I have to show you some keep milestones....Well really just one key milestone.
Last Saturday, I ran 10 miles in two hours. Two major running milestones. It was my first double digit distance, and the first time I've ever ran for a two-hour time period. And let me just say...10 miles in 2 hours is no joke.

Here are my stats from my last long run:
Distance: 10 miles
Time: 2:06:16
Best Pace: 10:10
Average Pace: 12:37
Calories: 1101

I ate like a horse to two days after this run. And the sad part is I was hungry at mile 8.5. Long runs like this turn me into a ravenous wolf. And I don't suspect tomorrow's long run will be any different. 11 miles here I come.

I did a short bout of speed work on the treadmill Wednesday night, and then I ran a nice 5-miler last night. And no, I didn't run by myself in the dark. Remember the last time I tried to do that...Not cool. Never again. I was, and still am, serious.
Here are my stats from last night:
Distance: 5 miles
Time: 59:26
Best Pace: 10:01
Average Pace: 11:53
Calories: 590

It was an amazing night to run. Something about running in a long sleeve shirt and shorts is my favorite thing ever. And I was happy to see an 11:53 average pace and a 5 mile run under an hour. It reminds me of my running self from last winter...except I was a little bit faster.

I got my St. Jude's Hero singlet in the mail the other day.
It's my first piece of Brooks clothing, and I love it.

And in case you want to know, I found out my bib number for St. Jude's half marathon is 5060. So if you want to follow my progress on Race Day, you can sign up for texts based on my bib number. Don't ask me how to do that because I have no idea how to tell you do that. I just know you can do that. You can also look up other runners in the race to find their bib numbers, in case you want to follow them, too.

As of tomorrow, it's three Saturdays from Race Day. I'm so excited and can't wait to run my first half marathon. I hope you choose to follow along that day because I have a good feeling about it. It's going to be a big important day.

To my peeps running The Color Run in Little Rock, GOOD LUCK. Have too much fun. I'm totally jealous you get to run 3.1 miles and I have to run 11 miles. Wanna trade? HA. Just kidding...kinda. Take lots of pictures because The Color Run should be documented as the most fun run ever.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fun Day Friday

  • My mom got this little running girl sticker for me when she went to St. Louis. I think she's precious, and her purple headband is the best. I love purple. I think running stick girl goes nicely with my run sticker I got in New Orleans.
  • Speaking of stickers, I'm saving the other side of my back window for my 13.1 sticker. As of December 1, I will have one of those beauties on my car. And I get to check something off my bucket list.
  • I've decided my only distractions I'll have from working from home will be unlimited access to my refrigerator and the ability to make endless cups of coffee.
  • I am thinking it's time to break out my top 5 Christmas movies. Asher's been quoting Christmas Vacation for weeks now, and it's starting to get to me. I'm trying to hold out until Thanksgiving, but let's be and I both know I'll cave before then.
  • Mark it down. October 26. The first time I mention Christmas on the blog this year. Two months away....I can't believe it didn't happen sooner.
  • Boom Kinetic is playing two nights in a row here in Little Rock. I've waited years for such goodness to happen. There's rumors of a guest list for tomorrow night. Trying to figure out how to get on it. It would just add to the goodness.
  • I'm in the market for some chunky sweaters and smoking loafers. Any suggestions on where I should go to get these items? I need something trendy in my wardrobe right now. Maybe a sweater with elbow patches. And definitely some leopard print smoking loafers.
  • Once Upon a Time and Pretty Little Liars has taken over my free time. Netflix has been good to me recently. I think it's trying to make up for the time it took away The Biggest Loser without my knowledge. And don't judge me for Pretty Little Liars. It's a good show. I think I'm in love with Ezra Fitz. He's cute in that nerdy smart guy kinda way.
  • I picked my 13-year-old cousin up from the junior high the other day. And then I kidnapped her and made her help me recycle some magazines. She tries to pretend like I'm not cool anymore, but deep down I know she loved it. Am I cool enough to make recycling fun? It's questions like that that keep me up at night.
  • I need to get the new Mumford and Sons and the new Taylor Swift. My musical life is suffering. I am behind. I feel bad about it. And you can hate T. Swift all you want, but she means it when she sings. She means it. (My love of Mumford should help me keep some cool points, right?)
  • Who says cool points? I need to be slapped.
Have a great Friday. Rock on!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

One Week from Today

This sweet girl turned 4 on Monday. I can't really believe she is four....probably because she acts likes she's 24. Just a little old soul in a toddler's body. This is one of the only pictures of us. Susan snapped at Bit's birthday party this past weekend, and I cherish it. It's one of many moments I will never forget.

As of today, it's exactly one week until Asher's surgery on the tumor in her leg. I'm hoping after that we can start throwing around the term "cancer free" like it's our job. Justin got some awesome photos of Bit last night, and I wanted to share them with you because they are so beautiful.

Looking at these photos makes me so happy. I love how little kiddish she looks. I mean she is a little kid. A little kid dealing with very grown up problems. So I love any captured moment where she actually looks her age.

The last few weeks I've been super busy, and I started my new job this week so I haven't been able to hang out with her as much. The time I have gotten to spend with her is a full reminder of how much I love this kid.

She has been a constant in my unsteady life for the past five months. But if I were to bet, I'd say she's been a constant in more lives than just mine. And this is a beautiful thing.

This kid can evoke so much emotion out of so many people. And the fact that she has touched so many people who have never met her is just a testament to her story....and all the more reason to tell it.

But there are two people that should get a lot of praise for this child's success.

Her parents, Justin and Susan.

I've never really went into much detail about how amazing they are, but it's been on my heart lately. Anything I write won't hold a candle to how amazing they actually are, but that doesn't stop me from trying.

I am very blessed to have them in my life. They let me come into their lives during one of their most difficult challenges. They've fed me for five months while I was job hunting. And all they ever asked me for was my babysitting skills.

As I've spent more time with them, I'm just so grateful for both of them.

Susan and I have grown really close. She's taught me that green beans can be fried, angel food cake must be put on the lower rack of the oven and celebrity gossip makes the world go 'round. Justin and I talk running, he's sent my resume around to his contacts and he always provides vauable information about things I know nothing 401Ks.

But more importantly, they've both given and accepted love for their child to any and everyone. They created a normal for Asher that only the two of them could have created, and they've created an indestructable bond that only two people can create when it comes to their child.

You both are exceptional parents. And I'm lucky to be a part of your life. Thank you for letting me in. Thank you for being open to sharing Asher's story. And thank you for being incredibly awesome people. Your kid is special to me,  but so are you guys. I be loving you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fight or Flight

After a week of running 19 miles, I'm so glad this week is my recovery week. I did complete all of my runs last week, and my mid-week 5 miler wasn't pretty.

But I am thrilled to tell you all about my 9 mile accomplishment. So here we go.

I set my alarm for 4 a.m., which is something I never do. But I wanted to get up and eat breakfast so I could have time to digest before my 6 a.m. run. Y'all, I had it all planned out. I thought 6 a.m. would be the best time to go before it got too hot outside. And as I was loading my ice chest into the car, I didn't think too much about the fact that it was still dark outside. I thought for sure the sun would be on the rise at any time.

Apparently, I missed the memo that the sun comes up a little after 7 a.m. But being the trooper I am, I downloaded a flashlight app to my phone and took off in the complete darkness at Two River Park.

It was dark. I mean country dark. I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face.

Nobody was out there. The parking lot was completely empty, and there were no signs of human life.

But I wasn't alone.

I ran about a half mile when I turned on to my usual trail. With my flashlight beaming, I rounded the corner and was met with four pairs of glowing eyes. I couldn't see a thing but those eyes staring back at me. Ummmm....I almost peed my pants. So I turned around as quickly and quietly as I could, but then I heard some rustling too close to my left.

I hightailed it back toward my car at an 8-minute mile pace. My legs were booking it. I could hear my heart beating in my ears. Fight or flight, y'all. Fight or freaking flight. I have never moved so fast in my life. I was terrified.

I should have known the run wasn't going to be what I thought it was, but I decided to stay on the road instead taking the trails.

It didn't help.

I could hear too much movement along the sides of the road, and there were too many "shadows" moving. But the coyote darting across the road in front of me was the icing on the cake. I was done with the dark and Two Rivers Park.

I ran back to my car, got in it and left. Didn't look back.

So I drove down to the Big Dam Bridge, and when I got there I saw sunshine and people. Just what a girl needs after too much darkness and wildlife.

I did run a mile and a half at Two Rivers. So I completed the seven and a half miles I had left at the Big Dam Bridge trail. And it was glorious.
Here are my stats:
Distance: 9 miles
Time: 1:53:07
Best Pace: 8:39 (darkness and wildlife escape pace)
Average Pace: 12:34 (much more like normal)
Calories: 960

Let me just say this. Running nine miles gives hunger a whole new meaning. I've been eating the contents of my refrigerator like it's my job. And I'm still's Tuesday.

And for the record, I will not be running in the dark 6s again. Not ever. No way. Too many animals. If it came down to me and deer, I feel like the deer would kick my they are naturally swift animals so I don't really stand a chance.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fun Day Friday: Welcome the Weekend

  • My mom is going to St. Louis this weekend to run a half marathon. AND she is going without me. #rude I'm trying to be cool about it because that's what "grown ups" do, but let's be honest....I really wanted to go. What can I say? Big cities just call out to me.
  • I officially start my new job on Monday. I went to check out my office/storage closet on Thursday, and I ended up taking some boxes home with me. I need to look through some stuff so I have a slight idea what I'm being trained to do. To be honest, I'm a tad bit nervous. I'm hoping I will gain more clarity about everything on Monday.
  • I'm doing a 5 mile hill workout today. Who wants to come with me? Not all the miles will be hills, but there will be hills........and in this case I mean the Big Dam Bridge or something similiar to it. Who wants in?
  • Asher's birthday is Monday. She's going to be 4. Crazy how time flies. Her party is tomorrow. I still  have to find a costume...
  • I'm running 9 miles on Sunday. Nine miles. Sometimes I can't believe it. But I'm starting to get more confident in the long runs. To be honest, I enjoy them the most. I don't have to focus on speed or time. I just have to cover the miles. The other workouts during the week are shorter, but sometimes I feel they are more difficult, hence the five miles of hill work I'm planning to do this afternoon.
  • I made a to-do list yesterday. And sometimes I write stuff down that I already did just so I can mark it off. It makes me feel better about having a to-do list. I've marked one thing off already, and the day is just getting started. I have a feeling the last three things (reorganize the nook, clean out the cabinets, and clean the house) will not get done today......but that's just a prediction.
  • I've been watching a lot of British tv shows on Netflix. I've finished Sherlock and Doctor Who, and I'm now watching Being Human. I can't decide if I like Being Human as much as Sherlock and Doctor Who. What tough decisions I'm faced with?
  • Also, the British tv show marathons have made me want to attend high tea. I've tried to recreate the tradition in my house, but I don't have any biscuits. Does anyone know where I can have high tea?
  • I'm going to be guest posting for Paige over at Approaching Joy one day in the next two weeks. I don't know what that means you will have to visit her everyday until you read my macro moment. P.S. Paige is getting married and going on her show her some love while she is busy getting hitched and all.
  • As soon as I hit the publish button, I will be making pumpkin oatmeal, starting the next episode of Being Human, looking through work files, and deciding when I should hit the trails for a run.
  • Have a fabulous weekend!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Such a Happy Day

I'm completely thrilled for two reason.

1. I GOT A JOB!!!!!

And with this new job comes the title of Executive Director. I couldn't be more excited about it. I can't wait to get started because I see so much potential for this organization. This vision and opportunity are great, and it's up to me to make it happen.

Here are my stats:
Time: 1:41:13
Distance: 8 miles
Best Pace: 10:10
Average Pace: 12:39
Calories: 846

The majority of this run was terrible like the lone three-miler I ran on Thursday (more on that later). I haven't been feeling well, and I ran fever a couple of days this week. Such a bummer. And it threw my running off.

I set out to do four miles of speedwork on Thursday, but I cut it to three miles because I couldn't breathe and my whole body felt like it was break into a thousand pieces.
Here are my terrible stats from Thursday:
Time: 36:22
Distance: 3 miles
Best Pace: 10:21
Average Pace: 12:08
Calories: 345

I have no idea what was up with me this week. I just couldn't get in a groove.

The 8th mile of my long run felt the best, and you know I have to be crazy to say that. But I finally worked through my side cramps and stomach pains and leg tightness by the 8th mile. So I can only hope that this week of running will be forgiving, however, I fear it won't.

This is the week before my next recovery week. And it's going to be tough. I have a five mile HILL workout and a 4 to 5 miles of repeats at race pace with a half mile warm up and cool down. And did I mention the nine mile long run???

Typing that just made me realize how crazy I must sound when I say it out loud. Looking at an 18-19 mile week. Sweet. And I'm starting to develop a nice toe callus, a runner's mark that I wear with pride and sometimes pain.

Just in case you're curious about what my day looks like, here is a look at my to do list.
And I got this book on sale at Kroger the other day.
Looks like my spare time is pretty wrapped up.

Tell me something that made you happy today.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Two Days of Pure Joy

I have been a very lucky girl lately. It's very unlike me to be so lucky.

I got to see Needtobreathe play two shows two nights in a row. Talk about luck. We (the roommate, Chelsey and I) had bought tickets to see them play in Little Rock back in May. But the roommate entered a contest to win tickets to see them in Oklahoma City, and she won.

Oklahoma City was ridiculous. Standing room only. And we were so close to the stage. I could have touched Bo if he had reached out to the crowd.
I mean seriously. I could have touched him. It was an amazing night. The opening bands were so good, and the energy was crazy.

Leaving OKC and driving the 5.5 hours back to Little Rock was a true test of character. About three hours into the drive home, I was ready to be out of the car. And by the time we got home, we had just enough time to get ready to go eat before the show.

Round 2 was just as awesome as Round 1.
They played "Cops" from their new EP that came out a few weeks ago. I was ridiculous. Jumping. Singing. Screaming. Laughing. You get the idea.
I can't tell you how much I love Needtobreathe. I just can't do it.

I am a music lover. And I have been since as far back as I can remember. My family was always in awe of my ability to memorize song lyrics and melodies at such a young age. And there was a period of time (1998-2000) where I wanted to be a "pop star."

Needtobreathe became my favorite band my senior year of college. All it took was one song. One song started the whole thing. Once I got all their music, I was hooked. Ridiculously amazing melodies. Thoughtful lyrics. And every single album that comes out is just different enough and even more genius than the last. And I like all of the old stuff just as much as the new stuff....and that's not something I say very often.
I have now seen them play live six times. And each time is more amazing the the first time. They are like a fine wine...just keeps getting better with time. Songs become more thought-provoking. Melodies become more ridiculous.

The roommate took some video that I have to share with you. I want you to have the opportunity to see what I saw. To experience the awesomeness that I experienced.
This first video is from OKC. "The Outsiders" is a song off the album The Outsiders. And there is a point in this song where my brain exploded. If you listen carefully around 1:15 you can hear me freak out because of the ridiculousness.
The second video is a new song called "Difference Maker." I had never heard it before they played it in OKC. But the roommate recorded the whole thing in Little Rock. I think we were both in shock and awe mode in OKC because of how awesome it is. And when I watched this exact version in Little Rock, I totally cried. The sounds and lyrics were just too much to handle.

I hope you enjoy. If you are new to Needtobreathe, you should definitely check them out. I can say without a doubt they are my favorite band ever. And those are big words for me.

What is your favorite band/song?

Who was the last band you saw play live? Where did you go to see them?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Seven Mile Milestone

Something amazing happened on Sunday morning. Something I've never done before. I ran seven miles. The farthest I've ever ran. And it was awesome.
It was one of those runs that didn't seem long or difficult. I was completely in the zone. And to make the seven miles that much sweeter I got to run six miles with my mom.

Here are my stats:
Time: 1:25:08
Distance: 7 miles (really 7.3...I'll explain it in a bit.)
Best Pace: 10:09
Average Pace: 12:10
Calories: 817

For the first .3 miles of running, my watch decided not to work. So I technically completed  my run at 6.7 miles in an hour and twenty minutes, but I just couldn't stop until I saw that perfect seven.

I felt good running. It was cool outside. I would have and did say it was freezing before we started running. But it ended up being just the right temperature. The sun was out. It was too good. And I didn't have any hypoglycemic issues! Hooray!

But I'm not the only person to hit a milestone this weekend.

My friend and sorority sister Sarah ran her first marathon this weekend.
She ran the 26.2 miles of the Chicago Marathon in 5:25:16. I am so proud of her awesome accomplishment. The whole weekend I was tweeting/stalking her, and I almost cried when she posted this photo of her.

So show Sarah some love because she is amazing!!! And she deserves all the congratulations she can get! Party on, Sarah!!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fun Day Friday: Funnies

Every time I write a blog post, I e-mail pictures from my phone to myself so I can post them. In the subject line, I just type random letters so I don't get the dreaded there-is-no-subject-do-you-want-to-send-it pop-up. And sometimes the random letters are autocorrected into something awesome.

That was the case today. kdhaldjhdl turned into Highballing. #perfect


I went on a winter squash buying rampage yesterday. And I have to tell you I had a butternut squash before I got all this. It's fall, y'all. Get some squash. Roast it and love it.


I stole this photo from Arkansas Outside. I laughed a lot when I saw it so I had to share it.

I also found this on Pinterest and sent it to the roommate.


I'm prepping to see Needtobreathe next Tuesday. We all know how much I love them. And they are coming to Little Rock to play a show. We have fourth row tickets. HOLLLLLLAAAAA!!!!


While eating burrito bowls on the patio of Chipotle's, a little girl, no more than two years old, tried numerous times to climb the metal fence and run out in the street. Her parents were trying to eat dinner while her older sister was shaking the umbrella attached to the table.

As they were getting ready to leave, the pregnant mother was carousing the umbrella shaker and the dad was going after the fence climber. I made a comment to the dad about how she was trying to break out of jail.

He said, "Don't have kids til you get a Taser." I, of course, laughed out loud. Then he threw in "...and ear plugs." as an afterthought.

Best advice ever. Taser and ear plugs.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Get a Foam Roller

Since I started training for St. Jude's half marathon, I've been foam rolling. I've talked about it a lot, but I realize some of you have no idea what I mean by that. So today is the day I share some information.

As much as I complain about it, foam rolling is clearly brilliant for quick muscle recovery. And I can tell a huge difference since I started using it.

What does it look like?
It's a cylinder-shaped piece of foam. It's not soft foam, but it's not hard like a brick. It has a little give to it, but not much.

What do you do with it?
You roll your legs and back on it. It's a very awkward process. And after long runs or not using it for a few days, it will hurt you.

Here's the thing. When you run, your body builds up toxins that are stored in your muscles. Over time, the toxins form knots in your muscles. You can't really feel the knots, but you know they are there because of muscle tightness.

Think of the foam roller as you own personal masseuse. By applying pressure to different muscle groups and rolling them on the foam roller, you can elongate your muscles and break up the knots and toxins in your body.

It is crazy how good it hurts. The first time I did it (the right way), I cussed like a sailor. My calf muscles felt like solid rocks, and rolling down my quads took my breath away.

But as bad as it hurt doing it, I felt like a million bucks the next day. Seriously, nothing hurt. No aches and pains. No muscle stiffness. It was crazy. I knew I was on to something.

So I decided to dedicate 30 minutes or so a day to foam rolling. And at first it wasn't pretty. I looked like a fish flopping around on the floor, and I'm pretty sure if my neighbors heard me they would have thought I had Tourette Syndrome because of the random outburts of cuss words. (BTW---they moved out right after I started using it on a regular basis....Coincidence? Maybe.)

After running Asher's 5K, I was too lazy to foam roll, even though my legs felt tight during the entire run. And I didn't foam roll Sunday. Or Monday.

So I did 3.7 miles of speed work yesterday, and I knew my date with the foam roller wouldn't be fun. And guess what? I was right. My calves were back to feeling like rocks, and rolling over my quads almost made me cry.

Bottom line: If you are a runner, you need a foam roller. Especially if you run long distances and high mileage. Elongating tight muscles will help prevent injury. And once you get through the first couple of rounds, foam rolling becomes less of a self-tourture fest.

I realize foam rolling doesn't sound all that great, but I promise your legs and back will thank you. I am completely amazed at how much better I feel, and I would dare to say it's changed my running life.

Here is the pin I used to teach myself how to foam roll.  Thank you Pinterest!

Now go foam roll and report back.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Arkansas Outside Follow-Up: Bit's 5K

I'm back at Arkansas Outside today.

I was super excited when I was asked to write a follow-up piece to "Why I Run."

And I'm pleased to tell you the Show a Lil Bit of Love for Asher Ray 5K and Baggo Tournament was a huge success.

Since my mom didn't run, I ran with one of her good friends and running buddies. Kerri is an excellent motivator, and I love getting the opportunity to run with her.
My mom and dad worked the final water station with my best friend from high school Shannon and her mom Kimble and my mom's other running buddy Lisa. Shannon tried to get me to pose. I think I did pretty good.
Overall, it was a wonderful day. And I came out of the race with some pretty nice stats.

Distance: 3.11 miles
Time: 34:35
Best Pace: 8:33
Average Pace: 11:07
Calories: 363

And I'm pretty sure Asher had a awesome time, too.
Via Maurie Alderson at Studio M Photography

So head on over to Arkansas Outside and see what I did there.

Happy Wednesday!! Party on!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fun Day Friday: Quick List Edition

I've got about 20 minutes to write this since I'm going to a big networking meeting today! Still on the job hunting wagon, but I'm hoping not much longer. So I can't be late. But I wanted to write because...let's face it...I always want to write.

So here it goes: My random thoughts on this Friday.

  • 5K tomorrow. There is a possibility I will have make-up on since I put my "full face" on today for this meeting. But let me clarify...It will be the slept in make-up that makes an appearance at the 5K. Slept in, not fresh faced.
  • I'm in the Baggo Throwdown this weekend, too. The 5K will be a cake walk compared to the baggo tournament. It doesn't seem like throwing bean bags would be difficult. And in reality, it's very easy to throw one. But I find it terribly hard to get my bean bags where I want them to go. This comes from years of watching boys play, and said boys would not let us girls play because we are girls. Dumbest thing ever. My partner has never played before. And we don't really know the rules. We are going out in the first round. Whatev.
  • Foam rolling hurts like a bitch. There is no other way to get around saying that word because that is the only way to explain it. I will dedicate a whole post to foam rolling in the near future. But just so we're clear...It hurts like a bitch. And I've almost cried several times while foam rolling my quads.
  • Did I say we are practicing for the baggo tournament tonight? Because we are. Don't ask me why (see two bullets above for explanation.) we are practicing. But I feel good about it. Maybe we will get some beginners luck.
  • I need a haircut. The horse tail is out of control. Out of control. I'm teetering on the line of hippy. Really on the edge.
  • My favorite month starts on Monday. OCTOBER is almost here. I love October. That's when the leaves start changing colors, and running outside is the most enjoyable.
  • #FlashbackFriday: College Edition

This was taken right at the end of us singing "I'm on a Boat" at the top of our lungs. You're welcome.

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sharing the Love with Arkansas Outside

I'm over at Arkansas Outside today. I wrote a little ditty about Asher's 5K. So take a gander over there. I'm pretty sure it's some of my best work. I know it's some of my most heartfelt work.

Lisa and Joe have done an awesome job with the site, and they work hard to promote and cover outdoor events all across the state. So if you love to be outside and you live in Arkansas, the Web site is a perfect fit for you.

I met Lisa at the Arkansas Women Bloggers Conference. When she told me she and her husband travel all over the state writing about running, biking, kayaking, etc., you have to know I was drooling all over myself. Clearly, it's my dream job.

So show Arkansas Outside some love today. And show Joe and Lisa some love because they work really hard to provide us outdoor enthusiasts with amazing content. So follow them on twitter @arkansasoutside and like their Facebook page.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Questionable Choices

I don't think I've told you, but I enjoy an apple after every training run.
Today's apple is quite the delight since I made the questionable decision to run outside at noon while it's a ripe 88 degrees. I'm lucky I didn't burst into flames.

I'm not sure what compelled me to run at noon. Clearly it goes against my best judgment. Every experienced runner knows not to run at noon in temperatures above 70 degrees. Period. There is no arguing with that logic.

And not only did I decide to run at noon, but I also decided it would be a brilliant idea to do speed work. At noon. In the 88 degree heat. Again, not my best choice.

When I got to the trails, I should have known not to go through with it considering it was me and the crickets. Not a car or human in sight. (Seriously, rethinking it now as I write it makes it sound so much worse because it really is a dumb thing to do.)

As I'm stretching, beads of sweat rolled down my neck. Disgusting. Hadn't even moved yet. So I changed my plans of speed work to a 3 mile tempo run, and I took off.

Y'all, it's so hot the animals weren't even out. No deer. No snakes. No nothing. Just me, the crickets and the huge flying grasshoppers.

I spent mile one playing a game of dodge the huge man-eating grasshoppers. Seriously, why do they have scissors for legs? I think one cut me. By the time my walk break came, I was beyond hot, but I was keeping a steady pace.

So I kept going knowing that mile two would be more in the shade. For this mile, I played a game of don't vomit because the smell of pine trees intensifies due to the excessive heat. Pine is not my favorite smell. Definitely not even close.

Mile three was a test of sheer will power. Mentally, I wanted to quit. The heat was extreme. The shade was no more. The smell of pine lingered in my nose. And just as I decided I would walk the last half mile, a girl in a hot pink top and matching shorts with full make-up jaunted right by me as if I was standing still.

Ahhhhhhh, hell no.

Something inside me died. And I think it was a touch of my sanity. Stupid make-up wearing sassy pants gave me the little extra something to push the pine smell and heat wave out of my mind. And somehow, only God knows how, I made it the whole three miles.

Here are my stats:
Time: 35:21
Distance: 3.0 miles
Best Pace: 9:18 (pretty sure it was due to sassy pants wearing the make-up or the pine smell don't vomit game)
Average Pace: 11:48 (much better)
Calories: 352

You can call me crazy, and that might be accurate. But I think my questionable decisions turned out for the best. At least they did today.

Tell me about your questionable decision that turned out alright. I love a good story.

Monday, September 24, 2012

From Long Run to Recovery

I've made it to what I would call a milestone this week. I ran 18 miles total for the week. I did two long runs this week due to rain. I'm pretty proud of myself. But Saturday I did a six mile long run. To date, six miles (really 6.1 miles) is the farthest I've ever ran.
It's a really great feeling to know I can still do it. And I'm even more pumped because all the long runs from now on will be milestones in my running life. Each distance will add a mile to the farthest I've ever ran. I'm in uncharted waters people, and I'm thrilled.

Here are my stats from this week's long run:
Distance: 6.0 miles
Time: 1:13:16
Best Pace: 9:13
Average Pace: 12:13
Calories: 693

This long run was super special to me. My mom came up to run with me. I love getting to spend time with her. But running with her is extra special. She is one of the reasons I started running. She is training for the full marathon, and this past week was her recovery week. So she only had to run eight miles.

I'm pleased to report I felt good running the six miles. I was in the zone. Ever since I ran my first 10K back in November, I've loved the distance. 6.1 miles is just enough. I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think I had a negative split on this run. I'm pretty sure I was faster on the last three miles than the first three. Negative splits are super awesome, and I'm pretty proud of that fact.

I'm starting week 4 of training, and it's my first recovery week. Basically I will run 3 miles for each run this week. So my long run will be a 5K. A very important 5K. Asher's race is this weekend. I'm super excited about it. I can't wait to see who all comes out to support her.

On a different note, I was reading a magazine, and I ran across this article.
So much is wrong with this. The article suggested wearing just a sports bra to show off your curves and neon tennis shoes to elongate the legs. I'm not even going to get into their thoughts on underwear. But I turned the page and got the biggest shock of all.
The only time you will find me working out with make-up on is if I run in the evening and I put make-up on that morning. There is no way in hell I would put make-up on before I went to run. No way. I mean that is just ridiculous. Plus waterproof mascara is bad for your lashes. Just saying.

I think the gym is one place where you can get a pass for not looking your best. I mean it's all about sweat. If you still look cute, you didn't work out hard enough. It's all about sweat. Not make-up.

On today's agenda:
  • Foam rolling
  • Grocery shopping
  • Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Writing
  • Cooking something yummy for dinner
What's on your agenda?

How was your weekend?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Zoning Out

I did something kinda dumb the other day. I had to run 4 miles of speedwork. And I thought the temperature was going to stay in the mid 70s. Ummmm....Note to self: Check the weather.

I made the mistake of running in the heat of the day. Now it was nothing like the heat of summer. But still. It was hot. Four fast miles in the mid 80s is tough stuff. (I say fast, but we all know that is a relative term.)

Here are my stats:
Distance: 4 miles
Time: 48:35
Best Pace: 9:23 (no idea how that happened)
Average Pace: 12:09 (much more like normal)
Calories: 443

The miles felt good. Speedwork outside always seems to go by really quick. There are so many things to trick your brain into thinking it's not so bad. I change the pace every minute. I strive to hit 10:30 - 11:00 for one minute. Then slow down to 12:00 -12:30 pace for one minute. Then back up to 10:30 - 11:00 for one minute. Then I let myself walk fast for one minute. I did the three minute intervals for three miles.

I'm training myself to zone out. I want to trick my mind as much as I can for as long as I can. I think it will help me be mentally stronger toward the end of my race. I don't want to be mentally stressing at mile 4 on race day. Talk about a race day downer.
I also wore my Injinji toe socks the other day. And I have to say I really like them when my shoes are on. They feel super weird without shoes. And right before I took this picture I thought people aren't gonna want to see my alien toes. Seriously, they are that long. Disgusting, I know. Don't rub it in.

But I had to show you the socks. Over the past year or so, I've gotten blisters on the tip of my second toe on my right foot. Random place to get a blister. But I've noticed when I wear these socks I don't get a blister or add to the callus on the tip of my toe. I also like the thickness of the socks and the fact that they wick away a lot of moisture, which was good since it was a sweat fest of a run.

Yesterday was my off day. So I didn't run. But I did get to see Boom Kinetic play outside in the middle of downtown Little Rock.
It was the perfect way to spend an off day. I'm super pumped for their new album to come out. "City Ocean" is my new favorite Boom Kinetic song. So if you are in the Northwest Arkansas area or the Little Rock area, be on the lookout for a Boom Kinetic show. The band is full of cool dudes who love to play great music. Definitely check them out. So. Much. Fun.

Who's running today?
This girl. Three miles. Long run tomorrow with my mom. Yippie.

Weekend plans?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stories from the Treadmill

Do you know how difficult it is to take a picture while running on a treadmill?
I have no idea what that says. I can make out a 31:15 time, and I know I did a 5K. But I have no idea about the pace or any of that stuff. And I thought I was being so proactive by taking this photo. Schucks.

We've had a good bit of rain here in the Big City. So running outside has been non-existent. But that doesn't mean I haven't been running because I definitely have been.

I did a two mile fartlek (speedwork, which was really three miles) on the treadmill Saturday. I wore my blue Brooks Adrenaline 12s I bought in New Orleans at the race expo.
I usually wear my pink ones that look just the same. But for some reason I put on the blue ones. While they are the same make and model of the shoe, the pink and the blue ones feel completely different on my feet.

By the time I finished my speedwork, my left shin and right ankle were screaming in pain. I had noticeable aches and pains I never have after running three miles. It's the shoes. Blue is completely different. I came home and put one of the pink ones on to compare. I could be crazy, but I don't think so. The pink one just felt better.

On Monday, it was still raining. And I had to run five miles. I couldn't put it off any longer, or I would be behind on the runs for this week. So I went back to the ole treadmill that only stays on for 20 minutes. I set it on the 5K setting so I would have to worry about the distance, not the time.

I'm happy to report I ran five miles. I only walked for a minute or so (and I say or so because I had to take into account the instance my treadmill shut off after I finished 3.1 miles) in between each mile. It took me about an hour or so. I tried to keep my pace right at 12:00, but I ran mile 3 at an 11:30 pace. And I wore my pink shoes. They made all the difference.

I didn't start to feel the burn until I was running my fourth mile. And that is how it's suppose to be. I love knowing the training plan I'm following is working.

Adding a mile to the long run each week is the perfect way to add to your fitness. The final mile is the one that builds your strength and endurance. And honestly, it's not so bad...if you've been doing all your training runs during the week the way you should.

I am excited I don't have to spend anymore time on the treadmill this week. The weather is too good right now to not be running outside. So I'm going to take advantage of that this week.

I'm running today. Speedwork. Three miles, which really is four miles considering the half mile warm-up and cool down. And I love the fact that I can run any time today because the weather is just right to be outside.

I'm also thrilled to tell you I get to run with my mom this weekend. I have a six mile long run, and she has an eight mile long run (she's in her recovery week). I love getting to run with her. I can ask her 600 million questions about different things as we run. Get ready, Mom!

What's new with you?

Have you been taking advantage of this awesome weather?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I Make Omelets

I love to cook. It's basically my favorite hobby. Well, it goes hand in hand with running. I love them equally. But running is a love-hate relationship sometimes. Cooking is just a pure love relationship.

That having been said, making an omelet terrifies me. I attempted omelet making one time, and I ended up making the ugliest scrambled eggs ever. I'm embarrassed to even say that. But seriously they were the ugliest scrambled eggs I've ever seen in my life. Too much oil in the pan. Wet and gray in color. I'm gagging just thinking about it.

Needless to say, not my finest moment in the kitchen. So ever since then I've shied away from omelets. I thought too hard to make. Too much room for error. And considering my first attempt being a complete and utter failure, I just couldn't face the eggy treat again.

I'm a weirdo, and for some reason scrambled eggs don't appeal to me. I love a fried egg, poached egg, boil egg, but not plain ole scrambled eggs.

Over the past month or so, my mom has been making post-run omelets and sending me pictures. And they always look so dang good.

Since omelets have veggies and cheese in them, it's not a plain ole plate of scrambled eggs, and that seems like a delight in every bite. The problem is I always think back to the gray veggie scrambled eggs that almost made me vomit just looking at them.

Today I hit a milestone in the kitchen. I made an omelet. A legit omelet.
And it was flipping delicious.

What is in my omelet, you ask? Two eggs, orange bell pepper, purple onion, mushrooms, spinach, basil, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

This omelet could be one of my best creations yet. And it turned out so gourmet. And did I mention it was delicious?

Talk about a veggie and protein packed breakfast. And I paired it with two cups of coffee. Can't beat that.

I'm shooting for a 5 mile long run tomorrow. And I have a feeling this will be my post-run delight. And when I say I'm shooting for a run tomorrow...I'm not sure if it will happen because of this.

The rain is coming. It rained steady last night. And it looks like the bottom could fall out at any minute. I am going to do my speedwork for this week today. I have to run, regardless if it rains or not. I may have to run more than three days next week, but that's fine. We must sacrifice for the training. It will be worth it.

I'm not sure if this positive attitude comes from the fabulous breakfast I made this morning, or if all the episodes of The Biggest Loser re-runs are starting to reprogram my brain. Who knows for sure?

Weekend plans? Tell me about 'em!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fun Day Friday: Random Thoughts

First thing: Boulevard Bread Company has the best chocolate brioche, breakfast sandwiches and lattes on the planet. I was on breakfast duty this morning so I brought Susan a good spread of yummy treats.

When the Bit asked what I brought I told her chocolate brioche. She said, "Eewww, yuck. I don't want to eat chocolate britches."

I didn't even try to correct her. There is no sense in it. Plus it was funny. So I just went with it. Susan and I halved the chocolate britches.

Second thing: My oldest and dearest friend is coming to the Big City. I can't wait to see her and spend some quality time with her.

Good ole Shannon is coming to the city for a dental conference. And after that we are going to paint the town red. Or go out to eat somewhere. And maybe rent a movie. Because we're cool like that.
Third thing: I want tacos and guacamole again. These tacos and guacamole to be exact.

I dream about these tacos and guacamole all the time. I can't even describe how much I love them. Chipotle has figured it out. The winning combination. I would push someone down for this meal.
Fourth thing: The ole weather app on my phone has lightning bolts for the next three days. I have a five mile long run to do this weekend. And if it rains, I'm not sure I'll do a long run on a treadmill that only stays on for 20 minutes at a time. It just shuts off after 20 minutes. I will have to re-start it three to four times to get that long run finished. That will be interesting.
Fifth and final thing: Bit got a donor bone. And we are so thankful. There will be a post dedicated to this topic in the next few days. So hold your breath and wait patiently....I can't wait to tell you all about it. But the kid got a bone so we are totally kicking this cancer business. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hills Are Not What I Remember

Let's talk about hill work. Specifically the Big Dam Bridge. More like damn bridge. I think I was mentally more confident than I should have been. The mind is a powerful thing, but that bridge is more powerful.

Those dang inclines...I can't even begin to tell you how slow I was. I was trudging. Trudging up those inclines. At the pace that I usually walk. Can I even call it running? It's too close and too hard to say. There goes my self esteem. Trudging....Who does that? I have no excuse.
Here are my stats:
Distance: 3 miles over the Big Dam Bridge and back
Time: 37:19
Best Pace: 10:00
Average Pace: 12:27
Calories: 319

I felt really good about the run when I started. I knew I had eaten the right foods, and I was anxious to have a good run considering the terrible one I had on Sunday. But the first ascent up the mountainous bridge was very humbling. My calves were screaming at me. And while I felt like I was booking it right on up that hill, my watch was less impressed with me. I was in the 14s. So freaking slow.

I was the Little Engine that could. I think I can. I think I can.

I told myself on the way back that my last mile would be faster. And I set a goal to finish in under 40 minutes. Seriously, the hills were a bit too much. I ended up finishing under my goal, and I know I can only get better from there.

When I finished I was greeted with the best sunset I've seen in a long time.
The picture doesn't really do it justice. But I had to show you.

I also stuffed my face with apple slice on my way home so I wouldn't have another episode.
Being a reactive hypoglycemic really has its downfalls. But the apple was just the right choice for a post run snack. It was cool and juicy. I've been loving the Envy apples lately. You should get some. They're pretty tasty.

On a completely random note, I babysat Asher yesterday. And right before nap time, she wanted me to read her this book.
I feel like this book, especially the kid on the cover, should induce nightmares. He is creepy. And what kid wants to read about body parts as a pre-nap time treat? I'll tell ya again. That kid is an old soul in a little kid's body.

She starts chemo again today. Round 6. Keep her in your prayers. We need a smooth visit.

Tell me something good.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Reactive Hypoglycemia and Running

Back in June, I found out I am a reactive hypoglycemic. And the way I found out was super scary. The experience included me passing out in a public place, vomiting on a super cute guy who smelled like an angel (yes, that was necessary to tell you), hitting my head on the concrete floor and making my mom drive to Little Rock at 2:30 in the morning. Could I be any more dramatic?

Y'all I can't make this up. It was scary. We had no idea what was going with me. And then I sat through the longest blood glucose test, almost puked on a nurse, cried my eyes out, and then went home and took a four hour nap. Yep, it happened.

After my diagnosis, I felt better because I knew I could control it somewhat. It's the type of hypoglycemia that is controlled by diet. So I moved from 2-3 meals a day to 5-7 small meals a day. And it worked. I feel good. I do.

But half marathon training has changed my body once again. I am now burning more calories because I am running regularly again. More running means more food. And I proved this to myself last night after my weekly long run.

I ran 4 miles last night. I've done it before and felt fine. But yesterday was strange.
Here are my stats (which I wasn't too excited about):
Distance: 4.0 miles
Time: 51:14
Best Pace: 10:14
Average Pace: 12:49
Calories: 407

The first two miles were golden. No pain. Nothing out of the ordinary. The last two miles were mentally and physically terrible. And I couldn't really pinpoint why.

I noticed my vision seemed a little watery, but I didn't think anything of it because it's that time of year for minor allergies. So I ran on. When I finished I felt some shortness of breath, but I thought it was just because I'd lost a lot of fitness.

I called my mom on my way home to lament over my terrible time. I use to be so much faster. I couldn't believe that this was the time I use to run 5 miles. How did I lose one whole mile?

Instead of going straight home, I went to Kroger to get some stuff to make a veggie pizza. When I was checking out I noticed I was having a hard time focusing on the stickers on my produce. It took a lot of concentration to get those typed into the register. (I always self check out....just easier.)

By the time I got home, the peripheral vision in my right eye was blurry and looked a lot like the black and white fuzzy screen on a TV. And that was when I realized I was having a hypoglycemic episode.

So I drank a small glass of milk. And within five minutes my vision was fine. But I knew I had to eat something fast. The whole time I prepared my pizza was a mental battle. I couldn't focus. It was like I knew what I needed to do, but I had to concentrate so hard to do it.

I had a 10 minute wait for my pizza to cook. So I ate some chips and drank some water. Then suddenly a severe headache took over. Sharp, stingy pains. I ate half of my pizza. Drank more water. Felt super sick. Like I was going to throw up. My head and stomach ached, and I was freezing.

I ran a hot bath. And just laid in the tub. I had no energy. And I was super sleepy. Just felt like blah.

And then I started to feel better.

All of this happened over the course of an hour. The onset of symptoms, the meal and recovery time took one excruciatingly painful hour. By 10 p.m. I was completely back to normal. No vision problems. No nausea. No headache. No stomach pains. No lack of concentration. Still tired, but basically normal.

Life Lesson Learned: Eat more before a long run. Eat something right after a long run. Eat a well-balance dinner after the post run snack. Always wear that dang ID bracelet (which I forgot to put on before the run).

Additional notes: Always tell someone where you are going to run. I called my mom and the roommate. I always tell the roommate, but now it's even more important that she knows where I choose to run if she's not there with me. If I had had a full hypoglycemic episode, I couldn't have told her where I was.

This is serious stuff. And I am taking it serious. It's so crazy how my body reacts to stuff now. And it's scary how fast it can happen.

I kind of hate it. I wish my body would burn sugar like a normal person. It's one of those things I have to be constantly watching. I don't have to take my blood sugar, which is a good thing because I'd pass out every time I had to prick my own finger. But it's still super frustrating.

If you are like me and need some support, please let me know. I would love to talk to you about it.

And for my family who is reading this and probably freaking the eff out, please try not to worry. My number one goal is to be healthy and smart about running. I love running and want to run this half marathon. And I will do it. I just have to be smart about what I eat and when I eat.

Little Rock friends/runners, who wants to run with me?

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Tell me about it.