Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Brown Santa 5K Race Report

This was my second time running this race.  It is put on my the agency I work for and it goes for a great cause...helping those in need have a good Christmas.  Last year when I ran this race I hadn't run much at all for WEEKS prior and was way out of shape.  It was also my first cold-ish weather run at 28°.  This year was way different.  For starters, I've been running VERY regularly since I was training for the Dallas Marathon (which happened 1 week after this race).  Last year, I placed 1st in my age group and got a nice little medal to hang on my bling rack.  The other thing that was different this year was the temperature.  While last year I had to bundle up...I wore 2 pairs of running tights, my running socks with a pair of thick knee high cotton socks on top, a running shirt under a running pullover under my TEAM SHERIFF shirt, gloves and a beanie.  I was just right temperature-wise last year.  Having never had to layer for running in the cold before, I did a fantastic job.  This year, however, it was warm.  I only wore just my running socks, 1 pair of tights, and my TEAM SHERIFF shirt.  I, of course, also wore an elf hat and some green felt accents to make my TEAM SHERIFF shirt into an elf shirt!

Just like last year, I had a great time.  Honestly, my time wasn't much faster than last year's time (32:13 last year, 31:49 this year)...just a mere 24 seconds faster.  In my defense, it's a very hilly course.  Haha.  Last year, I was just trying to finish.  This year, honestly, I was actually trying to run fast because I wanted to place in my age group again.  It was really nice to see a couple deputies that I am friends with guarding the intersections along the course.  Got me some hugs as they wished me luck!

As I ran across the finish line, the announcer gave me a shout out, saying "and here comes Santa's elf, Sara Casey!"  Love it!  Last year, there were so many people dressed up as elves and Christmas trees and there might have even been a Santa too.  This year?  It was just me.  While disappointed, I didn't let it get me down.  I just had more holiday spirit than everyone else!  HA!
I did place in my age group again, however there was a lady that was much faster than me AND they did 10-year groups instead of 5-year groups (hate this), so I got 2nd instead of 1st like I was hoping for.  Something I'm disappointed in with this year's race is that they did not hand out medals to the age group winners.  Instead, 1st place got a $20 gift card to Rogue Running, 2nd place (me) got a $10 gift card to Rogue Running and 3rd place got an Austin Running Club running hat with a zipper pocket for a key.  I would have liked to have also received a medal on top of my gift card.  It's not like the medals they gave out last year were fancy.  They cost probably less than $5 each.  I'm just saying, it would have been really nice if I could have added to my bling rack.  But, I put that $10 together with the $20 gift card, also to Rogue Running, that I won from the Halloween Half for their photo costume contest and got me another pair of running shoes!  WOOHOO!

I love this race, however, I'm thinking that next year I might do the Decker Challenge Half Marathon that happens the same day and starts from the same start line 15 minutes before Brown Santa kicks off.  I know 2 other people that almost always run the Decker Challenge and they are both telling me I should run it...and it would help me reach my goal of running at least 5 half marathons in 2015.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Thundercloud Turkey Trot Race Recap


Thanksgiving morning I participated in the 24th annual Thundercloud Turkey Trot 5 mile race.  It’s my first time running it and I liked it.  I will definitely be doing this race again next year!  Plus, it was nice to have those “extra” 750 calories for thanksgiving food!  Haha!

My work was having a potluck dinner and I was bringing homemade cranberry sauce and marshmallow yams.  I wasn’t going to have time to cook them the morning of, so I stayed up late after work Wednesday to cook them.  I then had to decide what outfit I was going to wear to run in as I had neglected to do that.  I decided on a white tank top with my white pullover with THUMBHOLES!!! and these new capri tights I had bought at JC Penney the other day. 

The race didn’t start until 9:30…which is really late.  I set my alarm for 6:45, but when it went off, I reset it for like 7:20.  I finally got up and started getting ready.  I didn’t go the day before and buy my usual banana and power bagel because I really wanted to “save” my calories for the thanksgiving potluck at work.  So, instead, I just had my usual pre-regular-run fuel which this time was some energy beans by Jelly Belly.  100 calories. 

Anyway, I wanted to make sure I got to the parking areas early enough that I would be able to score a spot in one of the free lots and avoid paying $7 to park in the event center’s parking garage.  I succeeded.  So, I kicked back my seat and set the alarm on my phone and dozed until around 9:13.  Then I got up, got everything situated and headed for the starting area.  I stopped at the port-a-potty on the way.  When I got to the starting area, I couldn’t see the actual start line.  I didn’t realize that I was a good at least ¼ mile away from the actual start line.  I had registered for the timed run, but they also offered an untimed registration.  Well, when I FINALLY got near the start line, I noticed that they had designated the very front for the people that had registered for the timed run and that I was at the very waaaaaaaaaay back of the untimed people.  Joy.  You could tell the difference in the runners because the timed people (like me) had blue bibs and the untimed people had green bibs.

Over 21,000 people participated in this race.  It is the biggest turkey trot/thanksgiving race in all of Texas.  For the first 2 miles, I weaved in and out and around and sideways through hundreds, maybe thousands of people that were walking and/or running extremely slow.  Well, I *WAS* at the back of the UNTIMED registrants, so what could I honestly expect?  It was my own fault.  I know better for next year.  Anyway, my first 2 miles were in the 11:30 min/mi range as a result of all the weaving I had to do.  There was also a few good sized hills in mile 2 but I just powered up them.  After that, my time started to get faster with each mile.  I even had a pretty good time for the mile I decided to stop and get water during.  The water stops were severely congested and unorganized, which is surprising considering how long this race has been happening.  But, I got my 2 less-than-half-filled cups of water and swallowed them quickly…after I had waited for a good little bit behind other people getting water…then I took off again and tried to make up the time I had wasted waiting to get water.

There wasn’t photographers AT the finish line, but they were at the last turn that you take before you enter the finisher’s shoot leading up to the finish line.  They had like 4 photographers.  There was no photographers out on the course, but then, this wasn’t a half marathon so I wasn’t expecting that in the slightest.

Overall, I loved this race.  I wore a silly turkey hat this year, but I think next year, I’ll put my hair in a bun and stick a bunch of feathers in it fanned out like a turkey’s tail.  I will be adding this race to my list of races I plan to do every year for sure.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Friend Making Monday: How was your Christmas?



How was your Christmas?

Here’s how it works: you copy the questions, answer them and post them to your own blog.  Then you come back here, and in the comments, post the link to your blog post with your answers to this week’s questions.  If you don’t have a blog of your own, just post your answers in the comments.

1. How was your Christmas?
It sucked.  I had to work…that was not the reason it sucked.  It sucked because usually at work, those of us that are working put together a potluck spread.  That did not happen this year.  Also, even though I had to work and I’m sure most people I know that live near me knew that, it still would have been nice if someone had reached out to me and said something like “if you didn’t have to work, you could come celebrate with my family” or “want to come over before work?”  But, nope.  On my way home from work, I stopped at Walgreen’s because the grocery store was closed and bought a frozen pizza.  The cashier asked “is this your Christmas dinner?”  Gee, thanks for making that sound all depressing and pathetic, yes as a matter of fact it is my Christmas dinner.

2. Did you get any gifts you weren’t exactly happy with or just downright hated?
Nope.  The people that buy me gifts know what I like, thank goodness!

3. Did you get any gifts that you loved?  What was your favorite?
YES!  I loved so many of the gifts I received this year.  My favorites were a beautiful necklace my friend Patricia bought me that has a silhouetted lady petting a silhouetted cat on top of a heart.  From my friend Amanda, I really loved the funky cat cookie jar and the coffee fairy statuette.

4. Did you have a gathering (friends, family, co-workers) to celebrate and eat?
Not this year.

5. What is your favorite food and/or drink of the season?
PIE.  Any and all kinds of pie (except mincemeat).

6. Do you have any sporting events you like to watch on or around Christmas?
Just whatever is on.  I do like to watch a football game if there is one on.

7. Do you go to any tree lightings or trail or lights?
I have in the past, but it’s not anything I do every year…just if someone is like “hey, wanna go?”

8. Did you ever have your photo taken with Santa as a child? 
I’m not sure.  I want to say yes, but then I haven’t seen any if they exist.  I should ask my mom.

9. If you have kids, do you take them to get their photo taken with Santa?
No kids…but one year I did take my dog to get his picture taken with Santa.  Haha.  I would take the cats, but they freaked out enough with the whole Glamour Shots thing and I promised I would never do that to them again.

10. Do you gather at a particular person’s house every year for Christmas, do you rotate who hosts Christmas, or do you just do your own thing?
When I was a kid, we did our own thing.  Thanksgiving was the big family get-together.  On Christmas morning, we would wake up.  As soon as the parents were up, we were allowed to start opening presents…until they got up, we just sat there and stared at the presents and wondered what we got.  After all the presents were opened, we would go to a fancy hotel and have brunch (I think this was just when us kids were older…when we were younger, I’m pretty sure we just did a Christmas lunch/dinner at home).  As for what happens now, I live by myself, no kids, no significant other and I work in a job that doesn’t shut down for the holidays, so I’m usually working.  So, I don’t do anything special except maybe make something to bring to a potluck dinner at work.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

What's Cookin' Sunday

I've got 3 recipes for you this week!  I was just going to do the usual 2, but then I remembered that eating black eyed peas as you ring in the New Year is thought to bring good luck to the coming year, so I figured I'd include a healthy version of black eyed peas along with the other 2 recipes I'd originally intended to do feature.

Let's kick it off with the black eyed peas!
HEALTHY CROCKPOT BLACK EYED PEAS

Ingredients:
• 5 cups water
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, diced or minced
• 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1.5 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 2 bay leaves

Directions:
• sort and rinse black eyed peas.  place all ingredients in the crockpot.  stir and cover.  cook on low for 7-8 hours.  remove bay leaves before serving.

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SAUSAGE & KALE STUFFED ACORN SQUASH

Ingredients:
• 2 medium acorn squash, halved & seeds removed
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 1/4 tsp pepper
• olive oil cooking spray
• 3 tsp olive oil, divided
• 10 oz mild Italian chicken sausage
• 1 large leek, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, diced or minced
• 4 cups chopped kale
• 1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
• 2 tbsp grated fresh parmesan
• 2 tbsp 100% whole grain bread crumbs

Directions:
• heat oven to 375°.  cut a thin slice off round side of each squash half to create at stable base.  sprinkle with salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray.  place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; bake until golden and tender, 30 minutes.  remove from oven; flip squash and set aside.
• heat broiler.
• in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tsp oil.  add sausage; cook, breaking into coarse pieces (or cut into small pieces before putting in skillet if necessary), until brown, 6 minutes; transfer to a bowl.
• to same skillet, add remaining 2 tsp oil and chopped leek; cook until leek is soft, 3 minutes.  add garlic; cook, 30 seconds.  add kale and toss; add broth.  cover and cook until kale is tender, 5 minutes; stir in sausage.
• divide kale-sausage filling among squash.
• in a bowl, combine walnuts, parmesan and bread crumbs; sprinkle evenly over squash bowls and coat with cooking spray.  broil until bread crumbs are golden, 2 minutes.
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forgot to buy this yesterday when shopping for ingredients
got lucky as this was the ONLY bottle left in the store!!!


SHRIMP CURRY

Ingredients:
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 pound shrimp, cooked and peeled
• 1/2 tsp chili powder
• 2 tbsp peanut oil
• 1 tsp paprika
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 can (14 oz) + 1/2 cup light coconut milk
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp ground ginger
• 1 cup water
• 1 can no salt added diced tomatoes
• 1.5 tsp ground turmeric

Directions:
• place all of the ingredients except the coconut milk into a slow cooker.
• mix well and cover.  cook on high for 3 hours.
• after the cooking time, remove the lid and stir in the coconut milk.
• continue cooking an additional 30 minutes.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Weekly Weigh-in & Recap

As promised, I am starting my weekly weigh-in and recap blogs as of today and then every Saturday to follow.  I’m sad to say that since I weighed in last Tuesday at the start of my Biggest Loser challenge, I have gained 2.6 lbs.  Ugh.  Seriously?  I mean, it wasn’t really a surprise.  I knew I had gained because my clothes were a little tighter…my stomach was a little jigglier and my acid reflux was acting up a little bit.  Anyway, here’s the shot of my scale this morning

I didn’t slack on my exercise.  This is all eating.  I didn’t say no to anything in the last week and a half.  I have no one to blame but myself and I am taking full responsibility.  I won’t dwell on it or shame myself for it because that will do me no good.  What am I going to do instead?  As we used to say back when I was in the Army, I’m going to suck it up and drive on.  What does that mean?  Basically, it means that I’m just going to accept this speedbump in my journey and not let it get me down.  I’m going to attack my eating plan next week like my life depends on it.  I didn’t stick to my eating plan for even one day this week.  Yesterday was the closest I came to it, but I still ate 2 cookies and 2 slices of pizza.  Thankfully, there shouldn’t be any cookies to tempt me next week; but even if there are, I’m going to refuse them.

Here’s my recap of this week’s exercise:

• Saturday: did the 30 minute circuit training @ Planet Fitness twice through, minus the step cardio in between machines, plus the back extension machine and some dumbbell calf raises (this is my norm for PF, so after today, I won’t be spelling it out).  Then I did some Zumba Core on my Xbox when I got home.  I forgot how much FUN Zumba is!!!
• Sunday: ran 10 miles @ an 11:02 pace

• Monday: ran 8 miles @ a 10:47 pace

• Tuesday: ran 5 miles @ a 10:50 pace

• Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: nothing.  I was working double shifts and then recovering from them and trying not to get sick.

This week was a light running week, just a total of 23 miles.  There was supposed to be 3 more miles that happened yesterday, but I decided to skip it because I wasn’t feeling all that great and wanted sleep more than I wanted a 3 mile run. 

I was going to also post a recap of what a general day of eating looked like for me, however, as already discussed, my eating this week was horrible and all over the place.  There was a LOT of cookies.  Let’s just leave it at that.  Tomorrow is Sunday and starts a new week.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Friend Making Monday: Christmas is Coming!



Christmas is coming!

Here’s how it works: you copy the questions, answer them and post them to your own blog.  Then you come back here, and in the comments, post the link to your blog post with your answers to this week’s questions.  If you don’t have a blog of your own, just post your answers in the comments.

1.  Do you celebrate Christmas?
Yes, but very minimally.

2. What are your Christmas traditions?
I don’t really have any right now other than exchanging gifts with a small select group of people.

3. Do you decorate for Christmas?
Not currently.  I have in the past.  Lights in my apartment windows and some fake frost on them too.  Sometimes I put up a tree, but right now I really don’t have anywhere to put one.

4. What was Christmas like for you when you were a child?
My family wasn’t well off but we always had a great Christmas.  One year “Santa” surprised us with a trip to Disney World.  A lot of the gifts we got were clothes, but we did get some toys we had wanted as well.

5. Is there anyone on your Christmas list you don’t like buying gifts for?  Why?
No, I have to say that the people I do buy for are all easy to know what they’d like.

6. Is there anyone you particularly like buying gifts for?
Yes.  My friend Amanda is loads of fun to shop for.  It really helps that her and I like a LOT of the same things, so it’s like shopping for myself.

7. Did you believe in Santa as a child?  Do you remember when you found out he wasn’t real?
Yes, I did.  My brothers and I always tried to catch him but never could.  Just when we started to suspect our parents, the year we couldn’t afford a tree, we woke up to a fully decorated tree and loads of presents under it.  The magically appearing tree HAD to come from Santa.  But no, I don’t remember exactly when and how I found out he wasn’t real.

8. I know Elf on the Shelf has only been around since 2005, but did your parents do anything similar when you were younger to make you behave during the holidays?
Not that I can remember.

9. Speaking of Elf on the Shelf, do you have one?
Yes.  I don’t have kids, but I saw all the pictures on Instagram and Facebook and thought it would be really fun, so I bought one.  And it is fun to come up with adventures for my elf.

10. What is your dream Christmas (present/decorations/vacation/whatever)?
I would love to be able to go home to Oregon for Christmas one year with a trunk full of presents for everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

What's Cookin' Sunday

And we're back!  I'm experimenting a little it this week with a product called Miracle Noodle.  They're shirataki pasta and are extremely low-carb.  I've never eaten them before, but I know people that have and they love them.  So, I'm hoping to love them too.  I found this recipe on another blog, Neon Is My Color.  She does something called "fat adapting" where you eat a high healthy fat diet.  She swears by it, has lost a decent amount of weight and as a result has gotten faster with her running times.  I did substitute a few things in the recipe for lower fat versions as I am not eating a fat adapted diet and am trying to lose weight.  Yea, I know, I just said that eating in a fat adapted manner has helped her lose some weight, but, at least for now, it's not for me and I'm trying to limit fat somewhat.  I swapped full fat ricotta for part-skim ricotta and full fat mozzarella for part-skim mozzarella, I also used extra lean ground beef instead of chuck.  Other than that, this is the exact same recipe you will find on her blog.  Here it goes!

MIRACLE NOODLE BAKED ZITI

Ingredients:
• 2 - 7oz bags Miracle Noodle Ziti, shirataki pasta
• 1 tbsp avocado oil
• 1 lb extra lean ground beef
• 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
• 2 cloves diced garlic
• 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
• 1/4 tsp ground fennel seeds
• 1/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
• 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
• 2 cans no salt added diced tomatoes
• 12 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese
• 1 egg, beaten

Directions:
• prepare Miracle Noodle ziti.  rinse and drain it.  microwave it on high for 3 minutes, then rinse and drain again.  press out excess moisture using a clean towel or allow to drain while preparing sauce.
• brown ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink.  drain and set aside.
• add oil to same pan.  add onion and garlic.  saute 5 minutes.  add seasoning, fennel, salt and pepper.  cook an additional 5 minutes or until fragrant.
• add 2 cans of diced tomatoes and the browned ground beef.  simmer on low for 25 minutes or until sauce thickens somewhat.  remove sauce from heat and allow to cool about 10 minutes.
• meanwhile, place the ricotta cheese, half the parmesan, and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese in a bowl.  add the beaten egg and combine. 
• spray a 7x11" glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  lay out half the noodle mixture.  then layer half the remaining sauce.
• add a layer of half the remaining mozzarella and half the remaining parmesan.  repeat layers, starting with noodles, sauce and cheese.
• place in a 350° oven for 35-45 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and ziti is bubbly. allow to sit at least 8 minutes before serving, or to completely cool before portioning to freeze.
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HEALTHY DARK CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY OATMEAL COOKIES

Ingredients:
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
• 1.5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
• 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1 large egg, beaten
• 1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
• 4 oz extra dark chocolate chips
• 1 small package (56 grams) natural sliced almonds

Directions:
• preheat oven to 350°
• combine flours, oats, baking soda, salt and vanilla in a medium bowl
• in a separate bowl, mix butter and sugar until smooth
• slowly add dry ingredients into the butter mixture, beating until well-blended
• add the egg and mix until incorporated
• remove from mixer.  add cranberries and chocolate chips and stir by hand until combined
• drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with silpats or parchment paper
• bake for 12 minutes, rotating the sheets midway through the baking process
• cool on wire racks
**if you don't like almonds, or you're allergic, it takes about 12 calories off each cookie.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Biggest Loser 90-day Challenge

Okay, so this actually started on Monday, the 15th.  I'm a little behind.  I've been so busy this week and just haven't found the time to write up this post.  But, it's sort of fitting that I do it today because starting next Saturday, I will be doing weekly weigh-ins and recaps of my week.  Every 30 days (counted from the 15th), I will post a "Biggest Loser Challenge" update which will include my weight, my measurements, how many inches I have lost so far and the percentage of weight loss I have experienced.  So, let's kick this off!  Starting with my logo for the challenge:
I'm really excited about this challenge and I do invite you to "play" along.  I challenge YOU to do what you can to reach your health and fitness goals within the next 90 days.  When I post my weekly weigh-ins and recaps on Saturdays, I invite you to post your own weekly updates in the comments.  We can support each other and motivate each other!  Here are the measurements and pictures I took on Tuesday morning (I was out of town for my marathon still):


Every Saturday, I will post a picture of the scale.  I will probably save the progress photos of myself for the every 30 day Biggest Loser Challenge updates.

What to expect to see in my weekly recaps, you ask.  Well, here's a rundown of what I will be updating and recapping each Saturday:
• my current weight
• my week in exercise
• an average day of food for me
• how many calories I consumed all week
• how many calories I burned through exercise all week
I should note that my weeks, for the purpose of these recaps will run from Saturday morning until Friday evening.

If you're going to join me in this 90-day challenge, post your goals in the comments of this post.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Post Marathon Days

I'm not writing my Dallas Marathon recap yet, but I did want to write about the general experience surrounding my first marathon.  I was so nervous coming up to the marathon.  I had such a hard time falling asleep Saturday night, then I'd fall asleep and sleep well, then I'd wake up, and so on.  I had set my alarm for 5am and woke up promptly at 4:55.  I shut my alarm off so as not to scare the crap out of Amanda sleeping in the other bed.  I got up and started getting ready.  I knew there was a good chance it would rain before I was done running, so I did not bring my bluetooth earphones, but instead was using my regular earbuds.

Anyway, I wanted to get to the area near the start as early as possible to get good parking.  I had thought I would just park in the convention center parking garage, but when I had parked there the day before for the expo, I had lost satellite signal for my radio.  Thankfully, there was a surface lot that was $5 cheaper than the garage right across the street, so I parked there.  I had an hour until I would make my way to the starting area.

Shortly after 7, I made my way to the start area and stood in line for FORTY MINUTES for the port-a-potty.  Geez.

I had planned to run with the 5:30 pace group, so after the port-o-potty, I made my way toward them.  We started off when the race started and the pacer was going fast.  Really fast.  I looked at my Garmin and it said an 11:00-ish pace.  Um...what?  Then, at the half mile mark, there was a walk break.  Ugh.  So I said forget it and pushed on ahead.  For the first few miles, we passed each other alternately before I finally ended up just pulling away from them completely and doing my own thing.

I had toyed with the idea of bringing my water proof/shock proof point and shoot camera with me.  I have a wrist strap that has a slide lock on it, so it's not like I would actually drop it.  I eventually decided against it.  However, as we were running through areas like Deep Ellum and the historical housing areas, I was starting to wish that I had brought it with me.  Oh well.  If I run this race again, I will bring my camera with me.  Oh, and if I had brought my camera, I totally would have stopped at all the mile markers to take selfies with them.  Haha!

I did have to stop to use the facilities during the run.  I knew around mile 4 that I would have to stop at some point and decided that I would wait until after the marathon split off from the half because the lines at the port-a-potties I was passing were way too long.  Good thing I waited because right after the split there were really nice port-a-potties to use.  I also used this moment to slip the Clif Shot gels (they have a handy little strap in the packaging that makes it easy to slip them onto a gear belt strap...they're hanging down and bouncing around, but whatever) that I had scored from their station not far before when I stopped to potty.  They had another station later in the race.  I scored 8 free gels, 1 of which I took during the race (I had taken 4 of my own gels...my gear belts only have 4 loops for gels).

At mile 20, my friend Carina was there again (she had been at mile 7 as well...with her husband, but I didn't see him, just her because she was the one hollaring at me and chasing me down with a camera...haha).  I was so exciting to see her again!  I didn't realize that she had planned to do that.  I knew she'd be at mile 7, so I was looking for her at that point.  As I was running up, she got a couple good photos of me and boy was the grin on my face huge!  I was having a fantastic time!


see?  there's that huge grin!
She ran with me for about 2 miles which also coincided with the only time it decided to rain (read: pour) during my time on the course.  She was very nice and offered me her running hat, but I declined.  If it stopped raining (which it did shortly after she turned around to go back to her car), then I'd have a hat I didn't need anymore, so I toughed it out and it was all good.  This was honestly one of my favorite points in the whole marathon.  I got my fastest mile which just goes to show that I'm not going to my fullest potential.  I'll get there eventually.

SO...I'll save the rest for the recap after I've gotten the official photos.

I'd like to talk about the post-marathon now.  I had planned to take most of this week off from running with a 3 mile run tentatively scheduled for Saturday.  I figured I'd be a little sore.  I was going to take an ice bath when I got back to the hotel but that idea was nixed when I walked into my room and found the maintenance guy shop-vac'ing the carpet in front of the sink area that was soaked thanks to a leak from a floor above us.  So, I waited for him to get done, then did my stretching and foam rolling.  I did extra foam rolling and it hurt so good.  My hips were a little stiff when Amanda and I made our way to Cheesecake Factory to meet up with Carina for my birthday dinner.

The day after the marathon, before Amanda and I headed back to the Austin area, we went to the Dallas World Aquarium and then to the Dallas Zoo.  By the time we got done with the zoo, I was more than ready to sit down.  My feet and legs were so tired.

Tuesday, I woke up and wasn't really sore at all.  I'm sure it had to do with the extra foam rolling I did and with the 3-4 hours of walking we did at the aquarium and the zoo.  I was going to maybe get another massage, but decided at that point that I didn't need it.  Later in the day, I started itching to run.

I woke up this morning, took the car for an oil change, did some craft shopping, paid myself up current on my gym membership, then went home and got ready to run.  I decided I would do a 10K because I had just received the medal for a virtual 10K I had signed up for in the mail the other day.  I felt really good.  I mean REALLY GOOD.  I started out doing what felt like a good pace.  I hit the 1 mile mark and it was 10:14.  What?!?!?!?  Okay, cool, I just got excited and went out fast, the rest of my miles will be in the 11's.  Mile 2...10:34.  Mile 3...10:24.  Hmmm.  Mile 4...10:23.  Mile 5...10:19.  Mile 6...10:21.  And the final .2 mile at a 9:39 pace.  Geez.  I really was feeling great!  Oh and it started raining around mile 1.5, so at a little after mile 2, I stopped into a convenience store and asked for a plastic shopping bag and put my bluetooth earphones in it and ran sans music for most of the run.  Not horrible.  I still prefer to run with music, but running without isn't horrible.  I've done it before when the battery has died in my earphones, but I'm usually no more than 2 miles from being done when that happens.
Anyway, like I said, I did not plan to run just 3 days after completing my first marathon, but I did.  I couldn't help it.  I was compelled.

I received my registration code for the Austin Marathon yesterday, so I went and registered.  So, I am officially registered for my second marathon!!!  So exciting!!!  And, I've decided that I now want to join a group called the Marathon Maniacs (maybe you've heard of them?).  To qualify, I have to complete 3 marathons within 90 days.  So, I've got the Dallas and the Austin...just need a 3rd one done before March 14th.  The Army Marathon happens on March 1st.  Soooo...by the end of January, I will pay my registration for the Army Marathon so I can qualify for MM status!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Friend Making Monday: Birthdays!


Friend Making Monday: Birthdays!

Here’s how it works: you copy the questions, answer them and post them to your own blog.  Then you come back here, and in the comments, post the link to your blog post with your answers to this week’s questions.  If you don’t have a blog of your own, just post your answers in the comments.

1. When is your birthday?
Dec 14th

2. Is there any sort of controversy or conflict with another important day with your birthday?
Yes, my birthday is just 11 days before Christmas…so a lot of my friends and acquaintances have forgotten my birthday as a result because they’re so focused on Christmas.  But, fun fact!  I came home from the hospital in a giant Christmas stocking when I was born!  I believe I still have that stocking somewhere.

3. Do you have parties to celebrate your birthday?
Nope.  I might spend the day with my friend Amanda like I did last year and we watched a marathon of Silk Stockings and did scrapbook stuff all day.  But, no parties.

4. Do your parents still get you birthday presents or send you money for your birthday?
Sometimes.  Last year they sent me $50 out of the blue which was really awesome of them.  This year, they sent me a little cat statue from their trip to Mexico for my mom’s birthday.

5. Has anyone every forgotten your birthday?  Or did you think that they had?
Yes.  My friends forget my birthday all the time.  If it wasn’t for Facebook, I’m sure most of them still would forget.  Also, I’m pretty sure my birthday slipped my mom’s mind a few years ago because I got my Christmas card the day before my birthday and didn’t get my birthday card until like a week and a half after my birthday…and it was the exact same card she had sent me the year before.

6. What is the best birthday present you’ve ever received?
Hmm…even though the guy turned out to be a total jerkface, cheating, lying bastard…he bought me a DVD player back when they were still new, so he spent over $200 and it was pretty awesome!

7. Do you take time off from work for your birthday?  If you do, do you ever take trips or a whole vacation for your birthday?
Yes.  About 6 years ago, I flew up to Oregon to visit my family for my birthday.  It was cold, but completely awesome.  One of the best birthdays I’ve ever had.  It was almost like a Thanksgiving get together because the majority of my family showed up for the dinner we had to celebrate my birthday at a local nice restaurant…even my mom’s parents made the 4+ hour drive (each way) to make it to the dinner.  This year, my friend Amanda and I drove up to Dallas, TX so I could run my first full marathon yesterday (yep, ran a marathon on my birthday…race report coming soon, don’t worry!).

8. Is there anything you have always wanted to do to celebrate your birthday and, if money was no object to do it, what would you do?
I would love to just have a party with all my friends and family.  I would fly all my out of Texas friends and my family to Texas, rent a big ballroom at one of the fancy hotels in town, have it catered, have a fun photo booth for people to take pictures with, a giant professionally made cake, a DJ…all that jazz.  Lots of fun!

9. Did you ever have a slumber party for your birthday when you were a kid?
Yes.  I remember one year, I think it was my 14th or 15th birthday.  I invited like 5 people to come to my birthday party which including movies, cake, pizza and a sleepover.  I think 2 showed up.  I wasn’t exactly “popular” growing up.  But the friends I did have were awesome friends.

10.  Do you buy/make a cake for your birthday?
Not usually.  If I go out to dinner at a restaurant that has cake, I will get a piece.  One year at work, a coworker’s wife made me a giant sheet cake for my birthday because I complained that no one ever remembers my birthday at work.

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