How do you measure a year in the life?

Hey-o! Happy Friday! We made it!

Yesterday was the end of another fiscal year for me (i.e., my birthday), so I figured that it might be fun to look back and remember what all went on during the last year. I’m using Seasons of Love as my inspiration.

How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
525,600 minutes. How do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.

B-t-dubs … I used to be straight OBSESSED with this song. I’m pretty sure I listened to it on repeat until my brain exploded and I couldn’t handle it anymore. If I was going to measure a year in the life, I would definitely choose everything in the chorus above except for maybe midnights and strife, because let’s face it, I don’t see very many midnights per year and I don’t particularly care for controversy and conflict. Daylights (which I’m assuming to sunrises), sunsets, cups of coffee, miles, laughter and love seem like perfect measurements to me though. Let’s see how it stacked up!

Here are a few of my favorite daylights from the year …

Sunrises

I wish that I had more sunrise pictures to share. I love soaking in the stillness and peacefulness each morning in the moments before the sunrise and watching the sun come up as we run. Unfortunately, I don’t always have my phone at that time.

Here are a few of my favorite sunsets from the year ….

Sunset 1 Sunset 2

I have a slightly embarrassing number of pictures of coffee as well, but I’ll spare you the actual details there. I’m estimating 730 cups of coffee for the year. Most days I have two cups of coffee, some days it’s three and some days it’s only one, so I think an average of two is fairly accurate.

I ran 218,845,444 inches while I was 31. Ha. In case you don’t feel like doing the math on that, it’s 3,454 miles [feel free to insert the whole “I don’t put that many miles on my car in a year” joke here]. I also ran 21 races while I was 31. Hmm … I am sensing a new goal. Run your age in races per year. Who’s with me?!

Here’s what the race breakdown looked like (in case you are curious) …

1 mile: 1, 2 mile: 1, 5K: 8, 10K: 2, 12K: 1, 10 mile: 1, Half Marathon: 6 and 50K: 1

I won 16 of the 21 races, placed 2nd in one, 3rd in 3 and didn’t place in one. The majority of the races were very small, local races, so just take that with a grain of salt. I likely wouldn’t be winning any races if I lived … well probably anywhere else. Haha.

I don’t know how to objectively measure the rest of these things, but I do know that 31 was a year filled with lots of joy, laughter and love!

Misc 2Misc 1
Misc 3

I won’t say that the year was without struggles by any means. We’ve had several people close to us go through some rough stuff this year, which has been hard (especially when you don’t live in the same town). I would pretty much classify my career as a hot mess at this point as well, but ehh … it is what it is. It’s just a job and it’s not my life. One thing that I’ve been thinking about recently is that our struggles don’t define us, they refine us. If you are going through something hard, just keep your head up and know that you will be a stronger, wiser and more compassionate human once you get to other side.

To wrap up this “year in the life” post, let’s talk about how I celebrated turning 32 …

If you’ve been following along for a little while, you probably know about my birthday tradition. In the last few years, I started running my age in miles to celebrate my birthday. It’s become something that I really look forward to each year (strange, I know). For 30 and 31 I did the miles on the weekend (either right before or right after my birthday), but this year I decided to make things a little more interesting (i.e., challenging) and do the miles on my actual birthday, which fell on a Thursday.

I woke up at 3:30 a.m. (well … I think I snoozed once) and was running by 4! I did the first 8.5 miles on the treadmill. Brookser kept me company. Just after 5 a.m., I hopped off of the treadmill and ran 9.5 miles outside with the Daniels. They actually did 8 of the 9.5 with me and I decided to go ahead and squeeze in another mile and half just because I had a few extra minutes and I knew that any miles I could get done in the morning would only help to make the evening run a little easier. I ended the morning with 18 miles and I’m not going to lie, running 18 miles before work was oddly satisfying (like really satisfying … I kind of loved it).

I rehydrated and fueled like a champ during the day at work. I also wore compression shorts and socks under my regular clothes [I feel like that makes for a good “you might be a runner if” moments]. No one at work knew what I was doing (or that it was my birthday for that matter), so I felt like I was carrying out a covert mission and they were none the wiser. Side note: the spy shows might have gone to my head a little bit. I also pretty regularly check for tails in my rear-view mirror as I drive around town these days.

Rebecca met me after work Thursday afternoon and did the remaining 14 miles with me. I am so thankful that she was willing to do that because I really don’t know that I would’ve done it otherwise. We didn’t get started until close to 6:30 p.m. because the weather was terrible. We’re talking storms and torrential downpours. We tried to wait it out a little bit, but it became pretty evident that we were just going to have to suck it up and run in the rain, which is exactly what we did. 14 glorious, soggy, puddle-jumping miles later and it was done. 32 miles for 32 years! Phew.

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Thanks for following along! My blogging has been sporadic (at best), but it’s still a fun, creative outlet for me.

Talk to you soon!

July Recap

Hey-o! Happy August!

Month Recap: July 2017

The Running

Workouts: Every single workout that I did during July took place on the track. I hadn’t really realized this until I looked back and I would say that this might be the first month that I have done only track work. The month of July wrapped up what I coined the ‘summer of speed.’ Let’s face it, it’s much more realistic to train for a one and two mile race during the months of June & July than it is to train for a marathon. I enjoyed pushing myself and the challenging workouts, but I am also glad that this training cycle is wrapping up.

2 mi. WU, 6 X 1000 (3:48, 3:48, 3:44, 3:48, 3:55, 4:00), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 6 X 1 mile LT repeats (6:54, 6:46, 6:44, 6:36, 6:34, 6:28), 1.5 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 12 X 300 (61, 60, 62, 61, 63, 63, 60, 62, 62, 62, 61, 61), 2 mi. CD

1 mi. WU, 800 (2:41), 400 (75), Milk Mile (6:40), 1 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 4 X 1 mile repeats (6:01, 6:03, 6:00, 6:09), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 12 X 400 (80, 80, 81, 85, 85, 86, 87, 86, 90, 89, 91, 88), 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: I really enjoyed the 12 X 300 meter repeat workout. 300s allow you to run pretty quickly and not feel completely destroyed at the end.

Races: The only official race that I did this month was the Fairground Road Mile Race. I also did a milk mile, but that was more just for fun than anything else (I realize that most people might not consider drinking 32 oz. of milk and running around in circles to be fun).

Favorite Race: The Fairground Road Mile was by far the best race of the month, if not of the year! I think this is my first PR of 2017. Whew! It was about time.

Paces: The paces ranged from 5:23 (one mile race pace) to 9:37 (recovery run pace).

Total miles: 279!

Distances: My shortest run was 3 miles and my longest run was 15.5 miles.

Strength work: I should likely just remove this category, although my coach mentioned that he might design a quick, easy strength program for me. I know that this is important and it’s just a matter of me making time for it! If left to my own devices, I will choose 10 to 15 more minutes of running over strength training every. single. time.

The Other Stuff

Please note: I came up with a new little A-Z template of random things to share each month. I was getting a little bit tired of the one I was using and wanted to step it up a notch. I might have stepped it up too many notches though.

Anticipating: Baby Olivia’s arrival! Any day now!

Buying: lots of Brooks running shoes! I got a couple of Launches for everyday wear and a pair of Flows for short workouts and races.

Considering: riding a bike. All this biking that Daniel is doing has me contemplating the idea myself. We’ll see.


Discovering: that it is okay to just say no if I don’t have time or don’t truly *want* to do something. No clue why it took me 31 (almost 32) years to figure this out.

Enjoying: the drier air. The humidity has been less than 100% in the last few days and it feels so good.

Feeling: a little sleepy and a little anxious, but for the most part, pretty happy.

Going: to work here shortly and to Mobile for a 5K this evening after work.

Hoping: to get some technology issues solved at work this week.

Inhaling: my first cup of coffee for the day.

Loving: the latest Little Big Town album.

Missing: there is about a 95% chance that my phone will go missing at some point during the day. I feel like I am losing my mind sometimes because I can lose just about anything in about 10 seconds flat.

Noticing: that I am so much more willing and likely to speak up when something is on my mind these days. Again, no clue why it took me 31 (almost 32) years to figure this out.

Obsessing: about finding balance. The irony is real.

Planning: some big life goals. Super vague. Sorry.

Questioning: how it is that the IAAF can conduct retroactive drug tests 10 YEARS after the fact. This is so bizarre to me. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally against cheating. I just have so many questions about this. How long do they keep the samples? How do they decide when to retroactively test?

Reading: Eligible by Curtis Littenfeld. If you’ve been reading along for a little bit, you’ve likely heard me talk about the I’ll Have Another Podcast. The host, Lindsey, has put together a book club and I’m planning to follow along as best as I can. I’m excited to dig into this modern-day Pride and Prejudice, which is one of my all-time favorites.

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Saving: so much money on gas! There is definitely something to be said for living and working within a mile of each other.

Thinking: that maybe 26 things was a lot to try to come up with.

Using: my mouse and keyboard. Lame, I know.

Visiting: Destin, FL this weekend!

Watching: Covert Affairs. We got into this series shortly after I asked for suggestions last month. It’s about a CIA operative and her missions. We’ve really enjoyed it.

Xeroxing: So yeah, hard to come up with an X word. I think they made a copy of my insurance card the last time I went to the doctor … cool story bro.

Yearning: for fall! I love summer, but it’s about time say peace out. I love the memories that come with the changing seasons.

Zeroing: Again, hard to come up with an Z word, so … zeroing means “closing out” for purposes of this post. Speaking of closing out, I think we are done here!

Have a great day! See you soon!

June Recap

Hey-o! Happy First of July!

Month Recap: June 2017

Workouts: I did lots of fun workouts this month! I’ve been focusing more on speed and shorter distances which means that track workouts are becoming fairly standard.

2 mi. WU, 6 X 800 (3:01, 2:58, 2:54, 2:53, 2:54, 2:54), 2 mi. CD

1 mi. WU, 8 X 400 w/ 200 float (1:28, 1:26, 1:28, 1:27, 1:27, 1:26, 1:26, 1:26), 3 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 4 X 1.5 mile (9:45, 9:41, 9:41, 9:41), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 5 X 1200 (4:38, 4:36, 4:32, 4:33, 4:37), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 16 X 200 (39, 42, 40, 40, 39, 39, 39, 40, 39, 40, 39, 38, 39, 40, 40, 39), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 4 mile LT tempo (6:27 average), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 8 X 600 (2:13, 2:08, 2:10, 2:10, 2:11, 2:12, 2:12, 2:08), 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: I think I am jumping on board with Daniel and the other guys we train with and am going to have to say that the 400/200 float workout was pretty cool! ICYMI, the workout is a 5K total. You start with a 200 and then you alternate between 400s and 200s, running at 5K pace for the 400s (8 of them) and 1 minute slower than 5K pace for the 200s. You have to stay mentally engaged and focused on your paces, but that keeps things interesting and the workout flies by.

Races: I ran  two 5Ks in May (one as part of the Grandman Tri Relay and the other one was Hot Trot) and one virtual half marathon (on the last day of the month might I add … cut it pretty darn close this time).

Favorite Race: Hot Trot! It’s always such a good time!

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Paces: Paces per mile this month ranged from 6:00 (the last mile of Hot Trot) to 9:08 (on an easy TM run). I did a lot of shorter workouts this month where I ran faster, but never for a mile consecutively.

Total miles: 272

Distances: Distances ranged from 3 miles to 13.1 miles. Prior to writing this post, I was fairly certain that I had done at least a few 16 milers, but nope. 12 miles in the summer *feels like* at least 16 I guess. Haha.

Strength work: Crickets …

Current blogs: Some new blogs that I recently discovered (via Lindsey Hein’s I’ll Have Another Podcast) are Piece of Cake Running (Mollie Turner) and Itsamarython (Mary Johnson).

Current music: Currently alternating between 90s on 9 and Pop2K on XM. They just don’t make music these days like they used to …

Current craving: Time with friends! It feels like it’s been a while since we’ve had some good quality friend time (it’s actually only been like 2 weeks … feels like forever).

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Current guilty pleasure: Going to bed before the sun. Not that I would have trouble doing this otherwise, but these long summer days make it even easier!

Current drink: I’ve been hitting the cherry limeade Nuun pretty hard these days. It’s one of the Nuun energy flavors, so I have cut down to one cup of coffee in the morning and then I fill my huge water bottle up with water and two Nuun energy tablets. I’m not sure if that means I cut down on caffeine or not. I would guess not, but I do feel better about myself for only having one cup of coffee, so I’m counting this as a victory.

Current food: Guacamole. I know I did avocados not too long ago as my favorite and this isn’t really any different, but y’all … seriously, I can’t. get. enough.

Current obsession: I am currently loving my new wet brush. Have y’all seen these things? A co-worker originally told me about them and my mom has one and they are absolutely incredible. If you have hair that tangles easily, you definitely need to get one of these. The humidity does some crazy things to my hair sometimes. I had this on my birthday wish list, but decided to go ahead and “splurge” and get it for myself (it was $9.99).

Current need: Show recommendations! So this isn’t a super critical need (obviously), but it’s a need nonetheless. We need a new show to get into on Netflix (we don’t have cable). We just finished Royal Pains, which was definitely one of our all time favorites. We also enjoyed White Collar, Suits, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, New Girl, etc. We prefer something semi-intelligent (not something you *really* have to think about, but not mind-numbing either … you know?), fairly funny and with no violence. Please let me know if you have any suggestions!

Current indulgence: Lunch dates with Daniel! For the first time, we both live and work in the same city (just a few miles apart) and it is so nice to be able to go out to eat together. For YEARS (and I do mean years), I never left the office for lunch. Turns out, it feels really good to get out for a few minutes, whether it is to meet Daniel or go home and play with Brooks!


Current bane of my existence: RAIN. Ugh. GO AWAY.

Current procrastination: Pinterest.

6ad95957da668477394f6ee42219b731.jpgCurrent confession: If you post something on social media on July 4th using the term ‘Merica, I am totally judging you (sorry, not sorry).

Current quote: “Wisdom is your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other.” – Steven R. Covey

Current excitement: The Tour de France starts today! We always enjoy watching the tour each year.

I hope you all have a wonderful, safe holiday weekend!

May Recap

Hey-o! How’s it going?

Can you believe that it is already June?! I really can’t. May flew by. I feel like I probably say that a lot, but this one felt exceptionally fast. May 2017 was definitely an exciting, fun-filled month! Daniel and I went to Colorado, I ran my first 50K, I went to the beach with my mom and got several good beach runs in.

Month Recap: May 2017

Shameless self-timer photo to follow …

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Workouts: The majority of the month was spent tapering and recovering from the 50K. I only did two workouts this month and both were last week.

2 mi. WU, 15 X 1:00 hard with 1:00 recovery, 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 4 mile progression tempo (6:28, 6:17, 6:07, 5:54), 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: My favorite workout this month was almost identical to my favorite workout last month. Last month it was a 2 X 2 mile progression workout and this month it was the 4 mile progression workout. On both occasions we happened to have really nice, cool mornings and we also had good groups at the track. I negative split each mile of both workouts and ran faster than I was supposed to (which rarely happens).

The moral of the story is that 1) cool weather is the best, 2) running with friends is the best and 3) starting races and speed workouts a little bit conservative with a goal of negative splitting is by far the best way to race and do workouts. There you have it folks … my secrets for achieving your best run.

Races: In May I ran the Greenland Trail 50K and a virtual half marathon.

Favorite Race: I really enjoyed the Greenland Trail 50K and all of the challenges that came with it!

Paces: My paces usually vary a good bit anyway (I’m all about keeping those easy days easy and working hard when the time comes), but this month the paces really varied! They ranged from 5:54 to 15:57. To be fair, the 15:57 was mile 27 of the 50K and it is highly likely that I did not actually run very much during that mile. My slowest mile outside of the race was 9:57 (which was my first run back from the 50K).

Total miles: 260

Distances: Distances ranged from 2.5 miles to 31 miles. Lots of variation here too! Haha.

Strength work: I slacked off of my stretching, core and upper body weights a little bit at the beginning of the month, but somewhat redeemed myself by going to two OTF classes and a hot yoga class later in the month.

Current book blog: I’m changing this category up a little for now. I read a lot more blogs than books and I love finding new running blogs to read. Some of my current favorites are (in no particular order):

Current music: Instead of music while running, I have really started getting into podcasts lately. I know that I am late to this party (as per usual (I’m definitely not an early adopter of things)). I really enjoy listening to the Ali on the Run Show by Ali Feller and I’ll Have Another by Lindsey Hein. Both of these are these are about running (because … duh!) and both of these ladies do a great job hosting their shows and I feel like I am right there running and talking with them. A lot of the guests are other bloggers that I read or used to read and I really enjoy hearing them talk and getting a glimpse into a slightly different side of their personalities.

Current craving: Something salty!

Current guilty pleasure: Sonic! It’s that time of year where all I really want after a hot, sweaty run is a ginormous drink from Sonic.

Current drink: This Bai Cocofusion beverage caught my attention at the gas station and I decided to give it a try. I really liked it!

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Current food: May was most definitely the month of the mudbug! I think we went to four crawfish boils in May. I am in the camp that thinks crawfish are too much work for not enough meat and so I only eat the sides (things like sausage, potatoes, corn, bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.), but man are those things good! The spicier the better!

The best thing about crawfish boils is definitely the time with friends! Little Miss Sassy Pants wanted me to pick one up (at least I think that’s why she kept sticking my hand into the bucket of live crawfish), but when I did, she wasn’t too sure!

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While we are talking about food, I feel like I should let the internet know that I also BAKED this month. I made 5 ingredient flourless banana bread (it was made with oatmeal) and it was delicious! Daniel really like it too.

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Current obsession: I am straight obsessed with this CamelBak Chute .75L water bottle. I fill it up twice during the day (usually with some Nuun) and I know for sure that I am getting at least 64 oz. of water per day. I drink more than just that, but this is a very easy way to make sure that I at least get the minimum amount in.

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Current need: I need a new cellular device. I’m having major issues with ringing vs. silent mode, speaker volume and notifications. In the meantime, I am just harder than usual to get in touch with (and I’m okay with that).

Current indulgence: Lululemon. Enough said.

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Current bane of my existence: During the month of May I had a literal pain in my neck on multiple occasions. I woke up super stiff several times and couldn’t really move my neck from side to side and I also pinched a nerve in my neck and in my shoulder. I don’t know what in the world is going on with all that (probably has something to do with my horrible posture while sitting at my computer), but it wasn’t fun. 

Current procrastination: I had very good intentions of trying to (at least loosely) follow the Fit by Jessica meal plans that we got at the scavenger hunt race in April. I am over two weeks behind this point and the only thing I have made from the meal plans is the banana bread that I mentioned above and some chia pudding that I added oatmeal to and turned into overnight oats (both of which turned out great!). I just struggle with making myself take time each day to cook things. Sigh.

Current confession: Sometimes I have to make the same mistake twice in order to truly learn from it.

Current quote: This isn’t really a famous quote or anything, but I’m digging the saying of “better an oops than a what if.” We all make mistakes and sometimes having just having the courage to try something new and take a risk is better than staying in a stagnant, comfortable place and never knowing what could’ve been. I’m trying to give myself grace for my “oopsies” this month.

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Current excitement: Well y’all, it’s Friday afternoon! I guess that counts as excitement enough for the time being.

Current companion: Basically this section is just an opportunity for me to show you the latest [adorable] picture of our little booger each month. We haven’t been letting him sit on our new couch (poor guy) and so he just sits at our feet and stares at us. Bless it.

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Sharing time: Give me a current confession or obsession!

April Recap

Hi, hey, hello!

How’s it going? Can you believe today is the last day of April? Me either!

Month Recap: April 2017

Workouts: There were several long runs and a few other workouts this month.

26 mile long run

Easy run w/ 10 X 1:00 pickups

2 mi. WU, 12 X 400 (ish) hill repeats (1:37, 1:35, 1:35, 1:34, 1:37, 1:37, 1:39, 1:39, 1:37, 1:36, 1:37, 1:38), 2 mi. CD

24 mile long run

2 mi. WU, 8 mile AT tempo (7:02, 6:53, 7:05, 7:04, 6:44, 6:40, 6:42, 6:44), 2 mi. CD

16 mile long run w/ fast finish (7:10, 7:01, 7:00, 7:13, 7:31)

2 mi. WU, 2 X 2 mile (6:36, 6:26, 6:07, 5:50), 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: My favorite workout was the last workout of the month (and last workout before the 50K). It was a 2 X 2 mile progression workout. We had a really nice, cool morning (which unfortunately seem to be becoming few and far between) and we had a good group at the track. I negative split each mile (which was the goal of the “progression” part) and ended up running faster than I was supposed to (which rarely happens). Goal paces were 6:50, 6:40, 6:30 and 6:20 and actual were 6:36, 6:26, 6:07, 5:50.

I ran the first two mile set slower than the Daniels and so my mission on the second set was to catch them. Having someone to chase down definitely helped my motivation. I caught up with them with about one lap to go on the last mile of the second set. As soon as I caught up to them, they kicked it up a notch and left me in their dust. Nothing like a little friendly competition to make you run a little faster!

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Races: I ran the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in Pensacola this month and I also participated in the Race the Town Scavenger Hunt yesterday in downtown Fairhope.

While I didn’t do a “formal” recap of the scavenger hunt, I want to do a little “mini” recap here because it was so much fun! I wasn’t originally planning to do this event at all, but a few girls from our old small group had a team and one of the girls wasn’t able to do it. They needed a last-minute fill in and I was happy to do it. I honestly wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting myself into.

Each team received a clue book the day before the event and there were 15 clues or “stops” scattered throughout downtown. There was a bar code at each stop that you had to scan to get your assigned challenge and once you completed the challenge you got a stamp in your clue book. We did things like push ups, squats, jumping jacks, wall sits, etc. at each stop and the race ended up being just over 2.5 miles total.

One of the challenges was to take a selfie and post it to social media. There was a team right in front of us and when I saw them stop to take a selfie, I was like “c’mon girls … they’re stopping to take a selfie, we can totally catch them.” Turns out it was part of the race! Ha.

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The event was hosted by FIT by Jessica and benefited the Fairhope Education Enrichment Foundation (FEEF), which provides educational enrichment opportunities for students who attend Fairhope schools and the Baldwin County Foster & Adoptive Parents Association which provides care and resources to local foster and adopted children and their families.

It was a great event that supported great local organizations. We had a blast and ended up as the third place team! Our prize was three months of meal plans by FIT by Jessica (includes meal plan, recipes and shopping lists). I will take any and all help with meal planning that I can get. I’m pretty excited about that!

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Favorite Race: The Gulf Coast Half Marathon was one of my favorite races this year (not just this month)!

Paces: Paces ranged from 5:50 to 9:31.

Total miles: 336!

Distances: Distances ranged from 5 miles to 26 miles.

Strength work: I stayed pretty consistent with my stretching, core and upper body weights this month.

Current book: Baby Love by Rebecca Walker.

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Nobody freak out on me here (Mom, Dad, Daniel … I’m talking to you).

Here’s a little snippet: “Beneath the promise of “having it all” were mixed messages about motherhood: a woman risked being emotionally drained and intellectually stunted, losing herself in the process of caring for another. As Walker’s entertaining and insightful memoir attests, these messages created a new kind of struggle for many young women, and the decision to have a child became fraught with ambivalence.”

I’ve mentioned this a time or two, but having children is not something that I am 100% clear on (or even 50% clear on) and I have a lot of guilt about feeling this way, as there are so many people who yearn for children and struggle to have them. Throw in the fact that I am an only child and 1) my parents will not have grandchildren if we don’t have kids and 2) only children get a bad rap for being selfish and this just furthers my complex about that (as human beings we are all selfish, I get that).

The good news is that Daniel and I on the same page of ambivalence and we are still young.

Current music: I don’t typically download music to my phone, but every now and then I will hear a new song that I really like and I will buy it. This month I bought one song, “Warrior” by Demi Lovato. This song hit me like a ton of bricks when I heard it and I was immediately drawn to it. While I love an up tempo song as much as the next person, I also really love music that makes me *feel* something.

All the pain and the truth
I wear like a battle wound
So ashamed, so confused
I was broken and bruised

Now I’m a warrior
Now I’ve got thicker skin
I’m a warrior
I’m stronger than I’ve ever been
And my armor, is made of steel, you can’t get in
I’m a warrior
And you can never hurt me again

Out of the ashes, I’m burning like a fire
You can save your apologies, you’re nothing but a liar
I’ve got shame, I’ve got scars
That I will never show
I’m a survivor
In more ways than you know

Current craving: Sunshine and crisp air. It’s been overcast and overly humid (more than standard LA humidity) for several days and I’m ready for that to be gone. When it is cloudy out I am even more sleepy than normal.

Current guilty pleasure: We have a new Whit’s frozen custard location about a mile from the house, so we decided to try that out this weekend. We walked up Friday evening and got some custard. I went with the weekly flavor, which was lemon (I like anything lemon) and Daniel got an O’Henry George Whitser. We both liked it a lot and I’m pretty sure we’ll be back.

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Brookser got some leftovers …

Current drink: Currently sipping on (my second cup of) Starbucks Creme Brulee flavored coffee. It’s not my favorite, but I’m a sucker for any sort of flavored coffee.

Current food: Eggs! Daniel has been making eggs (either in scrambled or omelette form) in the mornings and I am loving it. Oh the joys of having a kitchen!

Current obsession: Stalking the weather in Colorado! It’s definitely a bit chillier than I was expecting it to be (um … it’s snowing today). It actually does look very nice towards the end of the week though.

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Current need: I need to be packing! We leave this week!

Current indulgence: I woke up this morning without an alarm and I honestly can’t remember the last time that I went to bed without setting an alarm. Of course my internal clock still woke up fairly early, but I was able to snooze it for a little bit longer.

Current bane of my existence: We have an armadillo friend that is slowly destroying our yard. We are really trying to keep our yard nice (which has not been our strong suit in the past), but this thing is making that increasingly difficult.

Please be impressed by our dipladenias that we planted this week.

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Current procrastination: At the beginning of the month, I would say that my procrastination list was at an all-time high, but thankfully I have crossed off the majority of my to do list items in the last two weeks (such a great feeling)! I took a big pile of clothes to the consignment store, renewed my car tag, filed for our homestead exemption, changed our address with the post office and took the last few items to the frame store.

Currently I am back to status-quo with a fairly standard laundry procrastination. The clothes are washed, dried and even sorted on the bed. Now if only someone would fold them and put them away!

Current confession: I changed my contacts this morning for the first time in way too long. I guess the confession would be that 1) I wear my contacts until my vision becomes “fuzzy” and 2) I don’t remember the last time that I changed contacts.

Current quote: “When God gives you a new beginning, it starts with an ending. Be thankful for closed doors. They often guide us to the right one!”

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Current excitement: Our new treadmill came yesterday! Our workout room is almost complete. We just need to hang a few more things and then we’ll be set.

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Current companion: This little goober is resting while I blog. Everyone needs to take a lesson in relaxation from Brookser.

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I hope you had a great weekend! See ya soon!

March Recap

APRIL IS *almost* HERE! Can I get a hallelujah?

It’s time for another month-end recap. As a side note, I just realized that these little recaps are kind of similar to the monthly updates that moms do for their kids. At 31 years and 7 months, here are some things that I like, things that I dislike and things that I did this month. Enjoy! Haha.

Recap: March 2017

Workouts: March was full of workouts! As I listed these out, I was surprised that it was so many. As a comparison, last year during March I did one workout. One! I am pleasantly surprised that I still seem to have some motivation and energy this year. Usually tax season sucks the life those things right out of me.

1.5 mi. WU, 4 X 800 (3:05, 3:06, 3:01, 3:01), 4 X 400 (1:28, 1:28, 1:29, 1:26), 2 X 200 (0:39, 0:39), 1 mi. CD

Easy run w/ 10 X 1:00 pickups (8 miles @ 7:41 avg.)

2 mi. WU, 10 mi. brisk pace run (7:01 avg.)

2 mi. WU, 3 mi. tempo (6:38, 6:32, 6:30), 1 mi. recovery, 4 X 400 (1:36, 1:35, 1:37, 1:36), 2 mi. CD

22 mile long run

1 mi. WU, 3 X 3 mi. (6:59, 6:48, 6:55), (6:54, 6:48, 6:39), (6:54, 7:17, 7:31), 1 mi. CD

Moderate pace run w/ last 3 up-tempo (6:42, 6:38, 6:40)

23 mile long run (broken up into two runs)

1 mi. WU, 3 miles (6:27, 6:20, 6:18), 2 miles (6:16, 6:10), 1 mile (6:09), 1 mi. CD

Favorite workout: I really enjoyed the brisk pace run this month. It was challenging, but doable and was definitely a confidence boosting workout.

Races: I did two races in March. I think I’ve done two races each month so far this year and I’m still going strong on the 1 half marathon per month thing. I’ve got my April one planned, but after that I’m going to need to get to work on the schedule. I ran the Seaside School Half Marathon and the Spring Fever Chase 10K in March.

Favorite Race: My favorite race this month was, hands down, Spring Fever!

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Paces: Ranged from 6:09 to 10:27. I guess it’s possible that I ran at least one mile faster than 6:09 during Spring Fever, but since I ran without my watch … we will never really know. I’ll have to admit that even though I didn’t have my own data to analyze after the race, I was able to kind of piece together what I did based on other runner’s splits on Strava. I was behind several people through mile 3 that averaged 6:15 for the first three miles and then I averaged 6:15 overall, so I know that I picked it up the second half. I finally got a nice little negative split! Woo hoo!

My 10:27 mile was with Brooks (our dog). We have been running a mile and a half or so a few times a week. Our new yard isn’t quite as conducive to fetching (his absolute favorite method of play), so we have added a few short runs. He could definitely run a faster pace if there weren’t so many distractions. All of his doggie friends leave him lots of pee-mail to check each morning.

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We were getting some sun in the picture above after a quick run. As it turns out, laying out isn’t our favorite. We only lasted about 10 minutes. I like the idea of laying out, but actually doing it isn’t fun (in my opinion).

Total miles: 323. Gotta love ultra marathon training!

Distances: Ranged from 3 miles to 23 miles. I took a rest day or two as well, so technically I guess the lowest distance could be zero and the 23 miler got broken up into two runs, so the highest consecutive distance was 22. Rebecca and Jessica came to the house to run the morning of the 23 and neither of them were doing more than 10 – 13 miles (but only because Rebecca was tapering for her 50K and Jessica is growing a human … otherwise, I know they would’ve totally joined me). I was planning to do the first part with them and then continue on by myself, but of course that didn’t happen.

I decided that breakfast and coffee with friends > running by myself. Call me crazy (or dedicated … I like that better), but I did get those other 10 in a little later in the day when Daniel was home to go with me. I told him that it felt like a birthday run. Birthday run days are the only days that I can recall doing double-digit runs twice in a day.

Strength work: I have been doing a decent job of stretching (what?!) and doing core after each run. I also have some 5 lb. weights that I use to do a few arm exercises, but I’m not entirely sure how much that is actually doing for me. It’s better that nothing I reckon.

Current book: I promise to read a book next month!

Current music: Daniel has got me branching out with my SiriusXM channels a little bit. He got a new car (long story) and has XM radio for the first time and so he’s been finding the good stations for us. One that we have been digging (so old school) is the 90s on 9. I’m pretty sure that when you start appreciating music of past decades more than current music, you are getting old (and I’m totally cool with that). We’ve also been listening to SiriusXM Fly which is Hip-Hop/R&B from the 90s & 00s. It is oh so fly (but also oh so uncensored … oh my).

Current craving: Time in nature. I have this odd desire to channel my inner Henry David Thoreau and experience life in the woods (translation: I just want to go camping for like a weekend or something).

Current drink: Ginger Lemonade Nuun. Y’all! This is SO GOOD. It’s my new favorite flavor, but I really like lemon-y things. As a side note, I also tried the Blackberry Citrus Vitamin enhanced Nuun flavor and did NOT like that one. I couldn’t even drink it.

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Current food: Avocado. I think I am late to this party, but I am putting avocado on everything right now. SO GOOD!

Current obsession: I am loving a good top knot! Just when I thought it was impossible to get any lazier with hair preparation … I have discovered buns. It is the easiest hairstyle ever and it’s perfect for runners!

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Current need: Top knots aside, I need do something with my hair. I let the lady talk me into that whole ombre thing last time I went (sometime in September) and I really am just not feeling it anymore. I don’t know that I was ever really feeling it, but whatevs. It’s just hair. I’m thinking maybe just some highlights would be nice.

Current indulgence: Shower sitting. This may sound ridiculous, but we have a little bench in our shower and if I have time, I like to take a few minutes to just sit and be. I didn’t sit down on it for the first two or three weeks that we lived there and I realized it was because I was constantly rushing around. It’s nice to take time (or make time) to relax a little bit! Plus I just love feeling the water wash over me. I like to think about my sins washing away. It’s a good way to start fresh each day!

Current bane of my existence: For whatever reason my skin has decided to become super sensitive lately. Lotions and sprays that I have used for a long time have started causing me to break out into a hive-like rash. I like vanilla and coconut scented things (basically I just want to smell like the beach) and now I just have to settle for being plain. Boo.

Current procrastination: I know that I’ve said, “I’ll do that after tax season,” in reference to lots of things recently … one of those things is taking pictures to get framed. Daniel pointed out that the frame place was about two blocks from our house and I could just drop them by there anytime … pretty sure I gave him a dirty look.

Current confession: This might get a little long-winded and I hate that I am even going to say this, but y’all, I *almost* lost it over a Facebook post last week. I made it through the entire election debacle without getting into it with anyone (heck, I didn’t even comment on anything election-related), but this post about sent me over the edge. My blood was boiling!

This person shared a video that said “women have a right to run without fear and that everyone has a right to feel safe in public” and the post itself said “these kinds of things irritate me because it perpetuates this idea that women are victims or easy targets. Almost 25 years of running solo and 10 years of riding my bike alone and I’ve been attacked by 1 dog. I’ve never been groped or chased. Don’t let the media keep you from doing what you love, […] don’t be scared of the boogeyman.”

The comments were along the lines of, “I feel sorry for anyone who messes with my wife” and “fear mongering, on many levels, is rampant.” I commented and simply said, “You should consider yourself very fortunate to have never dealt with sexual assault while running. It’s a very real thing that happens all too often and not just in the dark or in sketchy places. All runners need to be aware.”

I still just can’t shake this. It makes my livid just thinking about how ignorant people can be. Should we have the right to feel safe? Yes. Do we live in a crazy, fallen world? Yes. Should we walk around (or run in this case) with a false sense of security? NO! The comments were possibly worse that the post itself. People were basically saying that *some* women can protect themselves and would easily be able to fend off an attack. Maybe this is true, but honestly you just never know. You don’t know what could happen or how you will respond until you have someone twice your size with a gun threatening to kill you. My main thing is that I just want everyone to be aware and to have a plan (I wrote an entire post about safety tips for runners here). Please don’t think that the “media” is making a bigger deal of this than it is. The statistics speak for themselves. Be smart people!

Current quote: From Henry David Thoreau’s Walden: I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

Current excitement: I am excited about so many things! Did I mention that it is almost APRIL?! Only 18 more days of tax season! Plus it’s Friday. Also, I am running a marathon tomorrow! Okay, so not an official marathon, but I am going to do my longest run of the 50K training cycle (which I haven’t properly documented here) tomorrow morning. There is an actual 50K in Orange Beach that Rebecca is running and I am going to run 26 of the miles with her.

My 50K is just over a month away at this point and I am really getting excited about that. I’m really looking forward to seeing Colorado in the spring and spending some quality time in the woods (this seems to be a recurring theme). Fun fact: I ran my first marathon when I was 26 and am going to (Lord willing) do my first 31 miler when I am 31!

Your turn. Tell me something that you are excited about!

February Recap

I can’t even believe that February has come and gone. Pure craziness! It’s been a very busy, very exciting month here. Let’s talk about what’s been going on!

Recap: February 2017

Workouts: Not as many workouts this month as usual. The end of the first week of the month was a taper for Rock N Roll New Orleans and the second week was a recovery week. I also missed two workouts during the weekends that we were moving. Between work and moving I am just worn slap out. Sometimes life gets busy and training (and blogging) have to take the back seat for a little bit, but that’s totally understandable and is definitely as it should be.

2 mi. WU, 6 X 1 mile (6:11, 6:10, 6:07, 6:08, 6:05, 6:10), 1.5 mi. CD

12 mile medium long run (7:23 average)

2 mi. WU, 2 X 3 mi. ([6:42, 6:38, 6:33], [6:40, 6:34, 6:19]), 1.5 mi. CD

20 mile long run (7:50 average)

Favorite workout: I’m going to have to go with my 20 miler for this one. Rebecca and I did 20 miles last Saturday and kept it at a really respectable pace. This was my first 20 miler since July, which seems crazy! I took some time off from the long distance training (my last marathon was November of 2015) and I’m itching to get back at it …

Daniel and I are taking a trip out west in May and (of course) I found a race to do while we will be there. The trip had nothing to do with running initially, but I can’t pass up an opportunity to run on some beautiful trails and race in a state where I have never run.

More to come on that soon!

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Races: I ran 2 races this month … the Rock N Roll New Orleans Half Marathon & the Joe Cain Classic 5K.

Favorite Race: Rock N Roll New Orleans will always hold a special place in my heart, but I really just LOVED Joe Cain this year! It was so fun to do an impromptu race with no pressure.

Paces: The paces ranged from 6:04 to 10:23 this month.

Distances: Distances ranged from 4 miles (on the Alter G treadmill) to 20 miles.

Total miles: 298.10 miles

Strength work: 90 minutes of “lifting” plus some miscellaneous, undocumented (gasp … appalling … I know) ab work. I was really on a roll with adding strength training to the weekly routine, but it just got to be too much. I had too much on my plate and I had to decide what to cut. Unfortunately strength training was the first to go (I think blogging was a close second).

Current book: Uh … I think I may have read one page of a book (aside from my morning devotion) this entire month. I have also fallen behind and basically quit reading all of my usual blogs. So sad. So busy. So overwhelmed.

Current music: I’m really digging the Billy Joel station on Pandora lately. I added Paul Simon as the “variety” and I’m pretty pleased with the result.

Current guilty pleasure: Cookie dough. I am chuckling a little bit to myself right now because I only just realized that the package [literally] says “do not consume raw cookie dough.”

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Current drink: When we were at the grocery store last week, I noticed that they had mello yello zero and for some reason that just sounded incredible to me. Probably because I am tired, but who knows. We got a fridge pack of it. Maybe I can put a lemon-lime Nuun in it and call it a recovery beverage.

Current food: I’ve been really loving chicken salad lately (not a salad with chicken, but chicken salad). Pretty much every day for lunch I have a wrap with chicken salad. It’s delicious.

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Also, in the interest of full-disclosure (there is also a current confession category that perhaps this next little spiel would more accurately be categorized in, but that’s neither here nor there), I kind of freaked out when they started putting the calorie content on this chicken salad. I have been enjoying it for WEEKS and then all of a sudden … bam! 900+ calories?! Holy moly. I honestly thought I was in a really good place with my nutrition and overall outlook towards food and this really threw me for a loop.

I know that I can eat whatever and that I NEED calories to fuel my running, but I guess I prefer to remain somewhat blissfully unaware on certain things. I came really close to not buying the chicken salad again this week, but I bought it and I will enjoy it. I might even take a sharpie and mark out the calorie content!

Current obsession: Organizing my closet. Maybe it’s just me, but there is something very cathartic about cleaning out and organizing a closet. Just me? Okay, cool. Regardless, I was on a mission to de-clutter and organize. I got all new matching coat hangers. I have never bought coat hangers before and this was obviously not an absolutely necessary expense, but they were cheap and they make me happy, so … worth it.

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Current need: REST

Current indulgence: Taking a few minutes out of my morning to write this blog post before heading to work!

Current bane of my existence: My shoulder. For whatever reason, it has decided to start coming out of place on the regular now. It’s a tad frustrating (and painful to boot).

Current procrastination: So many things … fully cleaning out our storage unit, hanging pictures, changing my address at all of the places that has to be done, etc. My post-tax season to do list is quite lengthy!

Current confession: I am feeling very overwhelmed lately and I feel like I am not giving 100% to anything. I am usually an “all-in” type of person and I *strongly dislike* feeling like I am not doing my best. I know this about myself (self-awareness is key right) and yet somehow I can’t seem to stop it.

Current excitement: We bought a house and we are (almost) all moved in! Super fun and exciting! The moving part … not so much.

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I remember thinking how terrible moving was when we moved out of our other house and I also remember thinking that I never wanted to move again (like ever), but when we moved out of our house, we moved (what was supposed to be temporarily) into a garage apartment and that meant that we most definitely would be moving again at some point. Well … that some point came to fruition now (almost 3 years (!!!) later).

We knew the area that we wanted to be in (this was the most important factor) and we have been keeping our eyes open for new houses that became available in our price range. We were able to be fairly selective, which was really nice! After being on the lookout for 3 years, our eyes are tired and we are ready to rest them in our new home.

Current quote: Home is not a place, it’s a feeling.

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This will probably sound super cliché, but I feel like I knew from the minute that we walked into our new house and it was going to be our home. It migh’ve taken Daniel a little bit longer to get on board, but he is all in now (thank goodness)!

Our house was on the market for a little while and eventually the price dropped into our range. As soon as it did, we were on it. I called my grandmother (she is in her nineties and still works as a real estate agent … she’s incredible) and told her that we wanted to look at it. The next day we looked at it and the day after that we made an offer.

My heart lives on Mobile Bay (the sign came with the house). And yes, we are doing the whole white picket fence, living the American dream thing over here currently. Haha!

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It’s been a crazy, but incredible month!