Sunday, February 28, 2010

Heartfelt Thanks and Bridal Shower Fun!

Happy Monday lovelies! First off, I want to thank each and every one of you for your comments on my last post. I was still in a bit of shock when I wrote it. The support of the blogging community has brought so much to my life. One of my fave bloggers even touched on these feelings in a recent post; check out Wendy's post from Saturday. She is simply amazing!

I am feeling much better about it; I know that we can get through it! I think I just needed a day or two to wallow. I feel like I'm back to my old self again. So let's get to some shower pictures! My work shower was this past Friday and my bridal shower was on Saturday. Both were outstanding! My matron of honor reaaaalllly outdid herself with my bridal shower. We still had a great turnout despite the not so great weather. The shower was in a room called "the wine cellar" and it was decked out like, you guessed it, a wine cellar! It was awesome! Right up my alley :)

The flowers (I have pics but not on my work computer) were stunning! Christina had them done by the florist who is doing my wedding. They were white hydrangeas with pink roses in square vases with pretty stones in them. I brought one of the centerpieces to my office today :)

Some pictures: Modeling my outfit!

With my lovely matron of honor in front of my wine table. In addition to all of my gifts, each guest brought a bottle of wine. I am a lucky girl!

Very excited by all of the wine! I think I have around 25 bottles :)

My beautiful bridesmaid Kristin and Me

The best matron of honor ever!!!

Modeling the rehearsal bouquet of bows. Super hot!

I'll be back later with a more thorough recap. I just wanted to express my gratitude to all of my fellow bloggies out there. You guys rock! Have a great Monday everyone :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Some News

"Hey, Katie, are you in there?" The receptionist's voice came through on my office phone.
I didn't think much of it. One of the main components of my job is to answer legal inquiries from our members.
"Yeah, I'm here. What's up?"
"It's Brian."
"Ohh, okay, put him through, thanks". He must be calling to see how the work shower went, I thought, smiling to myself.
"Hey honey, how's it going?!". My standard greeting for him.
"It's going, how was the shower?"
I chatted on excitedly about how great it was, how fantastic my co-workers are.
"I even got a red velvet cake in the shape of an engagement ring!!". Red velvet is my favorite cake.
"So", he says, "are you ready for this one?" He sounded anxious. My heart dropped. I sat back in my chair, gripping my desk. I knew. We've been waiting to hear.
"Yeah", I said nervously, "what's up?"
"I got my orders. I leave in April. 365 days. Afghanistan".

Approximately 30 days after becoming husband and wife, my new husband will be traveling halfway across the world, to a hostile country, for over a year. Thousands of brave soldiers do this each year, and we go about our daily lives, appreciating it but not necessarily feeling the impact. Until it hits home. And it sits pretty heavy.

Trial Run

Hi lovelies! It's almost the weekend, hooray! This has been the longest week evah. Probably because I had to work on Sunday. I wanted to thank everyone for their comments last night; you guys definitely know how to make a girl feel better! I am in a much better mood today :-)

For the lies and one truth- a lot of you thought I was born without wisdom teeth (including Bri!!). I got all four of them out during law school, not fun. I learned how much I hate the way pain killers made me feel. Necessary evil at the time! Julie, I was very flattered that you think I could do a back handspring :) My one truth is that I practiced Gaelic in a pub in Dublin with an old drunken Irishman. It was hilarious! Slainte! Ashley and Lily, you were right! :) There were cows across the street from our b&b and my friend Kristin and I may have wanted to pet them, but we didn't. Ha. I am not a fan of white zin- it is waaaay to sweet for my tastes. Give me red any day! And yeah, I really cannot sing. I got cut from chorus in fourth grade when there were no cuts, if that's any indication of my abilities ;) I will never try bear. I know people that have though. Eek.

So last night was the trial run for my hair and makeup. I am soo happy with how it came out. Now for some pictures. Bri, if you are reading this, you have to stop reading now!

Hair from the back:

From the front- it looks a little messy because it was pouring out (this is back at my house). Sorry that it is blurry!

Side view- hair and makeup.


I'm trying to go for a Grace Kelly-esque look. Sophisticated, elegant and not too over the top. I am loving everything, aside for the lipstick. I think it may be too pinky for me. I am going to go for a more peachish color. My makeup artist is amazing- she did something to my eyebrows and I have never seen them look better! I need to learn her tricks. I slept in the makeup last night (I know, typically this is bad) to see how it would hold up and it still looks great! Which works out perfectly, since my work shower is today :) My bestie and matron of honor Christina is going to be my guest of honor at the office since Bri can't make it. I can't wait!

Okay, and now for a wedding planning tip- make sure that when you send out the invitations, you number the back of the response cards. Keep a spreadsheet with the names of guests and the number on their response card. This will come in handy if you get a response card and the writing is illegible or the person doesn't write their name in the appropriate place. This helped me out last night! I received a response card from someone who merely wrote "will attend". No name, no nothing. I flipped the back of the card over, saw it was number 18, referred to the spreadsheet and figured out which guest it was. Crisis averted!
What do you guys think of the hair and makeup? Any fun weekend plans? Have a great Friday!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some Lies, a Truth and Feelin' the Blues

Hi beauties! I hope that this post finds everyone doing well. I have my hair and makeup trial tonight for the wedding so I will be sure to post some pics tomorrow. I actually have a very exciting weekend coming up- my bridal shower is on Saturday (which, by the way, also marks one month to the wedding)! My awesome matron of honor, Christina has been hard at work to put together something great. Annnd, tomorrow my office is throwing me a shower! I am one lucky girl.

The only damper on the upcoming festivities is the dang winter storm that is hitting the Northeast. Bri was supposed to come up for the weekend to attend the work shower (it's customary, I guess) and to see me. The weather is preventing that. My mom was flying in from California, and she had to cancel her flight due to weather issues. Other friends/family members from out of town are likely to not come to the shower because of all the snow. I have been pretty bummed about that for the past two days. What do you guys do to get yourself out of a bad mood?
I am a very happy person and to me having a bad mood almost seems indulgent- like, get a grip Katie, there are people out there that struggle with real problems. On the other hand, I tried everything I could to lift my mood yesterday- watching funny youtube videos, thinking about upcoming events- to no avail. Perhaps sometimes out moods are beyond our control? I did start to feel better after my body sculpting class. It always kicks my booty!

In any event, I made a kick ass dinner yesterday- whole wheat pasta with shrimp and basil in a "creamy" nutmeg sauce. One of these days I will actually take a picture of my food and post the recipe for you guys- it's really delicious! In fact, I'm currently eating some of the leftovers now for an early dinner before my appointments. I'm feeling very frugal in packing my dinner and eating it before I leave work.
One of my fave bloggies, Lindsey @ Eat Read Run passed along the "creative writer" blogger award to me.

Now I am supposed to list six lies and one truth about myself. Y'all have to guess which one is true!

  1. I was almost bitten by a cow in Ireland when I tried to pet it.
  2. I've practiced speaking Gaelic with a drunken old Irish man in Dublin.
  3. I can still do a back handspring.
  4. I was born without wisdom teeth.
  5. The most adventurous/out there food I've ever tried is bear meat.
  6. I was the lead vocal in my high school musicals.
  7. I love white zinfandel.

Now I am supposed to tag some peeps, but I have to head off to my appointments. If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged and play along!

I hope everyone has a great rest of the week, and I'll be back tomorrow with some trial run pictures! Happy Thursday :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sunshine and Shoes!

Afternoon bloggies! I apologize for the MIA-ness, it's been super hectic 'round these here parts. We had a big event at work that ended today, which meant that I had to work on Sunday. However, before work on Sunday I put in a last ditch effort at the mall to find something for my bridal shower this coming Saturday (yay!). I have been looking on and off without much success. I wasn't even going to stop at Banana because their dress selection has been lacking lately but of course, I couldn't help myself. I'm glad I did! They got in a new shipment this past Thursday and I am now the happy owner of this lovely wrap dress:source
It is a lilac/grey/tan pattern. I love it! It is very flattering and lays quite nicely.

I have to say that I am even more excited for the shoes that I purchased at Banana. Behold: source

They are so cute on! Plus, everything in the store was 25% off when you spent $100, so I got a major deal. It seems that lilac and grey are going to be huge this spring. I am contemplating whether to get a lilac cardigan to wear over the dress. Decisions, decisions.

In other news, I have been getting up before work to hit the gym! The fact that I am keeping this up is monumental. I was supposed to go yesterday morning, but postponed it to this morning due to all of the craziness with work. Which just means I will be "two-a-daying" it and attending my yoga class tonight as well. On Sunday, I put myself through a kick-ass Jillian circuit. I was going to write out the first circuit workout listed in her making the cut book. However, I remember that my mom had purchased her "hot bod in a box" cards, which basically is just a set of cards with a bunch of workouts on them. Coincidentally, her first circuit workout card (with everything already listed out) happened to be the first workout listed in her making the cut book! So I just grabbed that and hit the gym. There were many sprints (on the treadmill), burpies and jumping rope to be had, interspersed with strength training. It was awesome! Do you circuit train?

The lovely Suzy at Running on My Time and Molly at I'm a Sleeper Baker nominated me for the sunshine award! Thanks ladies! I sure could use some sunshine in my life right now! I am supposed to pass the award on to 11 blog friends and let them know via a comment on their page. I tag:

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg! I love reading Anna's blog. She's a college professor, which I think is super cool. She also posts beautiful pictures and has the most creative vegetarian recipes!
  • Danielle @ Coffee Run. I find it so hard to believe that Danielle is still in college- she possesses such wisdom and maturity already! I wish that I shared her healthy habits in college. She is very inspirational and her food photos are amazing!
  • Lily @ Lily's Health Pad. I love Lily's blog! She is super nice and has a lot of great budgeting tips. She's provided me with a lot of encouragement running wise, which I am very grateful for!
  • Wendy @ Give Love, Create Happiness. Wendy is quite possibly the sweetest person ever. Her blog inspires me to be a better person and find peace within myself. I went to high school with her (she was a few years older) and can attest to the fact that she has the most gorgeous hair on the planet.
  • Lindsey @ Eat, Read, Run. I want to meet up with Lindsey and hang out in real life! She's from upstate NY living in NYC and is currently training for her BQ. She is totally going to qualify for Boston- she is sooo speedy! She is also a fellow bibliophile, which I always appreciate.
  • Linzi @ Destination 26.2. Linzi is in the process of training for her first marathon, which I find to be super inspiring. She is also dating a military man, so I identify with her in that respect. She also participates in a running club called "Will Run for Wine". I could totally be a member of that club.
  • Katharine @ From A to Pink. Katharine is currently training for her first 5k. I was in that boat last spring/summer so I know how she feels! She is a great writer and comes across as being very fun and vivacious.
  • Julie @ Julie's Running Blog. Julie is so sweet! She just ran her first two half marathons (and did incredibly well, I might add). She brings so much support and fun to the blogging community with her posts. I look forward to reading her blog! She also has the cutest running gear!
  • Meredith @ Balance for MEre. Meredith's blog is one of the first blogs that I began reading. I finally de-lurked once I started my own blog. She has been a source of inspiration for me, as she just celebrated her running anniversary this past December and, in the meantime, ran a super speedy 10k! She has lots of great ideas and is a great writer- it must have something to do with being a teacher!
  • Yelena @ One Healthy Apple. Yelena's blog is too cute- I love the background! She is newly married and she and her husband are adorable- I remember at one point he guest posted and referred to her as BWE- best wife ever. So cute!
  • Lee @ In My Tummy- Lee and I are in the same boat- we are both planning a wedding in the spring and running a half this fall. I may even venture down to Atlanta to run one with her! Her blog is very real and fun.

I could go on and on, but I do have to get some work done. Thank you to all of the bloggers out there for being a constant source of inspiration and motivation!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Adapting Goals

Good morning beauties! I am feeling fantastic today because I started off the morning with a "speedwork" treadmill workout at my gym! I didn't really want to lug myself out of bed this morning at 5:55 (I like odd numbers) but I'm glad I did! I'm currently trying to improve my 5k time (I'll get into that in a bit) so I started with a mile warm up at 6.0, then rotated a quarter mile at 6.7 with a jogging recovery period of 5.1 for two minutes. I did this until about 2.6 miles and then finished off the workout with a cooldown from 5.5-6.0 until I hit 3.1 miles. It was a fantastic workout and went by super quickly! I was a sweaty beast by the end. :-) I came home and stretched, rocked out 25 "jumping pullups" (ha) on the bar in the basement and called it a (workout) day. This working out in the morning thing is great!

I was at Barnes and Noble this past weekend with Bri and I picked up the "Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running." I first saw this book on Linz's blog and thought that it looked really interesting.

I have to say that so far I am impressed with the book. I wanted to share a quote I came across that I found to be really inspiring:

"Not meeting a goal is not failure. In fact, if success were a certainty, you wouldn't have much of a challenge to begin with. There is little point in setting an easily attainable goal. Goals are meant to stimulate and inspire greatness. A goal that is obviously attainable is without value. That means that any worthy goal comes with the implication that you may not meet it. Learning and growth come only in the struggle to attain your goal." (Emphasis supplied).

This quote really struck me for some reason. You set goals to see if you can achieve them. Once you meet (or don't meet them), you reevaluate where you're at to figure out your next steps, which is where I'm at now. In my pre-running past, my goal was to run a 5k. Once I met that, I was officially bitten by the running bug. I set my sights on longer distances to see what I could accomplish. My ultimate goal running-wise is a half marathon, but I may or may not be putting that on the back burner, given certain life circumstances. I originally planned to run the VB half in September but that may pose a minor inconvenience, location wise. Let's just say I've fallen into the role of military wife quite swiftly ;)

Technically, I could continue on from my 14k training and run a half marathon somewhere in May. However, with the wedding coming up and the honeymoon after that, I don't necessarily want to be worried if I can't get the miles in. So, my goals from here on out to the wedding are as follows:

  • Run 10 miles a week, with a "long" run of at least 4-5 miles to maintain endurance
  • Attend yoga every Tuesday
  • Attend body sculpt every Wednesday
  • Complete two of Jillian's Making the Cut workouts per week
  • Work in the 100 pushups workout
  • Continue with "jumping pullups"
  • Ensure that at least one of the runs is a speed workout to increase my 5k speed

Once I get back from the honeymoon, I'm going to start working on my running game again. I definitely plan on running the Boilermaker 15k in July. I am contemplating doing the Iron Girl sprint triathlon (!!!) in Syracuse on August 7th. Ideally, I would like to run a half in September or October. For whatever reason, running a half in Chicago sounds awesome to me. Does anyone have any recommendations for a half?

How is everyone else doing? Have you had to change your goals because of changes in your life? I hope that everyone has a great weekend! I get to spend some time with my girl Kristin so I am super excited :) Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Virginia is for Lovers 14k Recap- Splits, Swag and After Party!

Good morning lovelies! Thank you to everyone for all of your congratulations and well wishes on my last post- it means a lot :)
Isn't the medal from the race lovely? I was looking at my splits yesterday on garmie and though the course was 8.67 miles, we ended up running 8.73. Definitely a PDR for me! :) I feel somewhat lost now that I'm not following a training schedule. I'm probably going to work on my 5k time until I start training for the half in June, but that's a story for another post. The splits were as follows:

Garmin Total- 8.73 mi/1:29:09/10:12 mi average
  • Mile 1- 10:34/mi
  • Mile 2- 10:19/mi
  • Mile 3- 10:14/mi
  • Mile 4-10:08/mi
  • Mile 5-10:20/mi
  • Mile 6-10:04/mi
  • Mile 7-10:30/mi- you can tell that I was battling the elements here. It was so windy!
  • Mile 8- 10:10/mi
  • last .73- 6:46- average 9:17/mi
Max Pace 7.8 mph during the last .73 :)

Thoughts on my splits: It would have been nice to have negative splits, but overall I am happy with my performance. I was trying maintain a slower pace in the beginning in order to not tire myself out. At one point Bri told me to stop worrying about the garmin and to just run! I felt really strong and often looked down to see my pace hovering around 9:40/miles. When I saw this I forced myself to slow down. I think my pace slowed on mile 5 because I was distracted by all of the great signs. Mile 7 was definitely the worst. That was when the snow was coming down pretty hard and the wind was whipping! Bri definitely pushed me to finish hard at the end. The last mile or so was the only point when I felt truly exerted. Now that I know I have built up some endurance, I am going to work on really challenging myself speedwise in the future. To me, this means running consistently at a 9:00/mi pace :-)

At the finish line, we were handed our medals, a flower (females) and this drink coozy:

The phrase "Run Passionately" was everywhere throughout the race. It is even written down the side of our long sleeve tech shirts. Which, by the way, flipping rock- see for yourselves:

Super cute, right? I didn't wear the tech tee the day of the race, as Bri seems to think that you can't wear the shirt until you've run the race, and I tend to agree with him. Do you feel the same way, or is it not really a big deal to you?
After the race, we headed into the large tent for the after race festivities. It was WARM (which was awesome) and the band was playing music.
Bri immediately headed out to the car to grab our wallets. There were booths selling race gear and of course, I couldn't resist. I have a bit of a coffee mug addiction so purchasing this was a definite: I also purchased a long sleeve navy cotton tee that I didn't get a chance to photograph. It's very cute though!

We were stoked to find out that every person wearing a race bib was entitled to two free yuengling beers and food from Moe's. I love Moe's, so this was awesome (even though it was only 10 in the morning)!

The pic is dark, but I'm enjoying my free yuengling. I only had a few sips, being that what I really wanted was WATER! Bri and I both got burritos and nachos. I didn't eat much of it, but I still thought it was cool! We mingled about for a bit, roaming around all of the vendor booths and listening to music. The Rock 'n Roll VB peeps were there, so I picked up information to register. If you register for the Virginia Beach Rock 'n Roll Half before March 31 (I think) using the code "Boardwalk" you get a discount on your registration fee. Sweet!

At this point, my left knee was killing me, so we called it a day, headed back to the car and went to the Exchange to pick up Season 5 of The Office. :) Bri was very embarrassed because I insisted on wearing my medal in the store. Haha :-)

So, there you have it. All in all a fantastic race, cold weather and all! Thank you for following along with me. I can't wait for next year!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Virginia is for Lovers Race Recap

Happy (day after) Valentine's Day! I hope that everyone had a great day surrounded by people you care about. Bri and I started off the day right with brunch at this local restaurant on the water. You can't go wrong with $2.50 mimosas and $3.25 bloody marys! So let's get to this race recap, shall we?

I had been checking the weather for the past week to determine what gear I should bring down with me to VB. The temps were looking chilly so I brought all of my upstate running duds with me, just in case. I am glad that I did! I checked on Friday evening before the race and they were predicting snow, with temps of 19*! Accordingly, I wore my running tights, fleece pants, coldgear compression top, under armour tshirt, lululemon sport jacket, gloves, hood (!!!) and fleece headband.

The race was set to start at 8 A.M. It was approximately 20 minutes away so we left the house around 6:30. Bri had picked up our race packets on Thursday, which was fantastic. I was already pinned and chipped up! The sun was still rising so there was still a sliver of darkness. It definitely made me feel hardcore to think that I was going to be running almost nine miles before a lot of people had awakened to start their weekend!

All geared up!

The race took place around the VB Ampitheater, so there was more than enough parking. We parked and headed over to a large tent, where all of the pre-race festivities were taking place. The tent was awesome because it was nice and warm! There were a ton of vendors, a band warming up, and overall just an excited, happy vibe. There were three ways to participate in the race: the 14k (8.67 mi), a 1.4 mile fun run or a 14k relay, where one partner ran 4 miles and the other partner ran 4.67 miles. Those partners that were running the tail end of the relay were taken to the transfer point via a shuttle provided by the race.
This was the long line of porta potties provided for the runners. I am glad that we got to the race early, because there was a huge line 20 minutes prior to the race. I had to force myself to use them, as I didn't want to encounter any "issues" during the race. Speaking of, I didn't see any porta potties along the race, although I know the information packet indicated that they were out there somewhere. I did see a girl run towards the trees around mile 3. Bummer, but it happens!

Everyone started heading outside around 10 of eight, when we were informed that the race was going to be starting 15 minutes late because of traffic issues. The directors wanted to ensure that everyone who signed up for the race would have the ability to participate, which I thought was nice.

There was a ton of Valentine's Day related regalia inside the race tent, so we used the extra time wisely and took some goofy pictures. I was really excited!
At 8:10 everyone lined up at the start. There were a lot of couples, some with some really cute tshirts. Bri told me that if I designed a tshirt like that for him to wear he wouldn't wear it, but he totally would ;) The horn sounded, and we just kind of stood there- getting to the starting mat was kind of slow going. There were approximately 3,000 runners and, with no corrals, it took a bit to get situated. Once we crossed the start line (I think it took around two minutes) we were good to go.

Miles 1-3 literally flew by. My foot felt great, but I was trying not to think about it. It was freeezing! There was a DJ playing tunes and shouting encouraging things at the runners, which was pretty cool. Around mile 2, I heard a girl say to someone she was running with "only four more miles 'til cupcakes." lol, whatever it takes to get you motivated! There was a water station at mile 1.5, which we just skipped.

Throughout the whole race there were super cute Valentine's Day/love related signs posted. There were signs saying "I love you" in different languages, quotes from romantic movies, conversation hearts, random love facts- they were all on the course! It was very entertaining.

Approaching mile 4 were signs (very well marked) for the relay race handoff. This didn't interfere with the actual race at all, as those who were switching off had to veer to a parking lot on the left. It was very well done. We then ran past a water station (which we skipped) and encountered Lover's Lane. Lover's Lane was this super cute part of the race where signs that friends or relatives had purchased to display for the runners. The ones that stick out in my mind were "Jen, forever isn't long enough" and "Christopher, congrats on one year of running!" So cute! At this point, there was another DJ playing music.
This is the entrance into "Lover's Lane." I'm running in all black. Don't mind bri's finger ;)
After Lover's Lane we hit mile five and ran around a bunch of sports fields- I think Bri said they were for field hockey. Which would make sense since we ran past this mayjuh looking field hockey training facility. At this point I noticed that there were indoor bathrooms available! I didn't have to use them, thankfully, but if I had I would have been grateful for that. I took one shot block at mile 5.5.

As we approached mile six, we knew we were coming close to the cupcakes. It was an out and back course, although it wasn't too bad because there was no definitive turn around spot. I decided that I didn't want a cupcake, as I didn't know the effect it would have on my stomach and I had just taken a shot block. Bri was not deterred and grabbed a cupcake. They were bite size and looked really good! Most people stopped to grab one and walk while eating it. There was a water station at mile 6.5. At first I didn't think I needed to stop but there were enough tables to convince me. I grabbed a cup, walked for about five seconds to drink it, threw it out in one of the many trash bins placed out (loved that!) and continued about our merry way. There were more signs posted, like "the first recorded death by chocolate occured in 1276." Fun stuff

At mile 7, it started to get ridiculous windy and snowy. I was not a fan of the wind. I could tell by my splits that the weather slowed me down, but I was excited to almost finish. To distract myself, I took another shot block at mile 7.5. I'm glad I did, because it gave me a burst of energy, just in time to tackle the sole hill on the course at mile 8. We had to run into and through the ampitheater, which was cool but the hill was not a fun surprise.

Bri was motivating me the whole time, but he really kicked it up during the last mile. He could tell that my energy was starting to flag. He is an awesome running buddy! I was so excited to see this:
Yay! We crossed the finish line and I was immediately handed a flower, cute medal, and drink coozy. I'm so discombobulated after the race that I'm just staring off to the side- LOL.
A race volunteer offered to take a photo of Bri and me, which was super nice. We went to this hanging fabric thing to take a race photo in front of it. I was having a tough time walking- my left knee was killing me for whatever reason.

I'm going to cut this post short, as I've been traveling all day and need to get to sleep! I'll be back tomorrow with my splits, the review of the after-race festivites and photos of all my swag! I'll be back to reading and commenting on your blogs tomorrow- I've missed everyone!

Virginia is for Lovers 14-Complete!

Happy weekend bloggies! We completed the Virginia is for Lovers 14k today during snowy, windy weather (it's colder in VB than upstate!) Chip time: 1:29:05 (10:13/mi)

Full race recap to come tomorrow!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Two Days and a Swollen Arch

Happy Thursday friends! I am happy to say that the wedding invitations are in the mail... finally! Not without a hitch though. I get to the post office yesterday to mail out the 130 invites. The post office worker takes one look at them and says "you don't have enough postage on these." Ummmm, wtf, I had them weighed on Monday! He asked me which post office I went to to weigh them and when I told him he called them a bunch of idiots and said that they didn't check to see if the invites would fit through this thin slot thingy (technical term). Apparently, the bow on the invitations made them just thick enough to require an extra twenty cents worth of postage. So there I sat at the post office, placing two ugly ten cent stamps on 130 invites. I was so annoyed with the dang things that I was just throwing them in the box to be mailed. It probably didn't help that I hadn't eaten lunch yet and my blood sugar was getting low. But yay, they are done! Now the RSVPs can start flowing in and the real fun can begin (seating charts... shudder).

Thanks for all of the well wishes about the kidney issue. My doc said that the ultrasound revealed healthy kidneys so he is befuddles as to why red/white blood cells were showing up. I have to go back next week to get retested and if there is still no answer, I may have to go to a urologist. Weird. My back pain is no longer so I'm thinking it was just a fluke. My cholesterol is super low! I'm so excited- diet and exercise really does work, y'all (I have to practice my southern-ness, I'm crossing the Mason-Dixon line tomorrow). Three years ago my cholesterol was 210, with my bad cholesterol at 140 (bad bad bad). Now, I am within the healthy ranges- total cholesterol of 171, with my bad cholesterol at 99- yippee!!

It's finally here:
The big race is on Saturday at 8 am! Bri is picking up our race packets tonight. I am so excited! The race is sold out, with 3000 runners running. Hopefully my foot will hold up. I wrote earlier this week about foot pain I've been having. I ran two miles on Tuesday to test out the foot. The run was great, but after I stopped running it really hurt. I'm glad I ran though because I was able to pinpoint the pain- my left arch was swollen! I'm glad it isn't a bone or anything but still, it was pretty painful! I have very high arches so that probably has something to do with it. After the race I am going to go buy inserts and new shoes (I'm due for new ones, I think) and hopefully that will remedy the issue. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

My mileage has definitely tapered down this week, as I want to have fresh legs for the race and don't want to irritate my arch. It is driving me nutso! I feel like I'm being lazy because I've only run two miles thus far this week. I was tempted to wake up early this morning to jump on the elliptical to get some cardio in but I told myself to stop being a crazy person. My foot needs rest! Do you find it mentally hard to ease up on the cardio when your body needs the rest?

I completed a quickie strength workout last night. I first put myself through a self-guided yoga workout for about 15 minutes- lots of downward dogs, high pushups, warriors and half moons. I then did the following:

-3 sets of 20 bridge ups
-3 sets of 20 donkey kicks (per leg)
-25 stability ball jacknifes
-20 stability ball hand to foot ball pass
-10 pushups

I was going to do day 3, week 1 of the 100 pushups workout but my chest was still screaming from my strength workout the other day. I'll get to that tonight. How are my pushuppers doing? :)

I hope everyone has a great rest of the week. I'll be back soon with a recap of the race and a guest post from Bri!

Monday, February 8, 2010

8 Miles (!!) and a Short Hiatus

Hi friends! How is everyone doing? Apparently I decided to take a blogging hiatus for bit. I have been in wedding invitation hell but if all goes as planned, they should be ready for mailing tomorrow! That will be a huge weight off of the shoulders. I've also determined my least favorite part of wedding planning- the invitation process. Corralling the addresses, labeling, tying bows... good times! If you're married, what was your least favorite part of wedding planning?

This past weekend was great. I hit up Chowderfest in Saratoga on Saturday with my co-worker Jennifer and her family and had the most amazing chowder at The Parting Glass. It was something along the lines of lobster crab chowder with sweetened corn bread in it. Amaze! After that, my co-worker, her four year old daughter and my stepmom and I went over to the dress shop for my fitting. The little one was in awe of my dress- it was so cute! I purchased a fun accessory that I won't describe in case Bri is reading this but it is realllly awesome :)

Okay, let's get to running! On Thursday I had a four miler on tap. I woke up early before work (again, yay!!) and hit the treadmill at the gym. I generally start at 5.6 for the first minute or two and then complete the run at 6.0. That was getting boring so I decided to mix it up with high intensity interval training (HIIT). I pumped up the speed to 7.5 and did that for about a minute and half, and then slowed down to 3.2 for two minutes. I did this for a majority of the run for a grand total of 4 miles at 10:30/miles. Sweet! Do you incorporate HIIT into your runs? I am going to incorporate HIIT into my workouts more after the race this Saturday (!).
On Friday I left work because I was having kidney issues. Apparently I may have a kidney stone or something. I'm heading back to the doc for my yearly physical so I'll find out then, but my back pain has gone away so hopefully it was nothing! When I left the doctor, it was too late to make the drive back down to Albany, so I headed home and decided to bang out my long run. The results:

I did it! 8 miles in 1:24:48, which I think worked out to 10:36/mi, which is right where I wanted to be. The splits were fairly good. I had some issues during mile 3 and 4 that left me wishing for a bathroom (tmi!) but I ignored it and it went away. I took three clif shotblocks in wildberry during the course of the run- at miles 4.1, 5.1 and 6.5. My stomach felt weird after taking the third shotblock, but I don't think the shotblock was the cause. I think I like the Gu Chomps better. The flavor of the clif wildberry was good, but the blocks were slightly larger and stickier, making them harder for me to chew. I may or may not have almost choked on the last shotblock ;). The shotblocks are organic though whereas the gus are not... so I haven't made a final decision as to my preference. The weather was chilly but I felt great.

Here I am after the run:

Exhausted, red from the cold and my eyes are black hollow holes but hey, I ran eight miles!!!! I haven't run since Friday. Saturday evening I started feeling a slight pain between the ball and the arch on my left foot. It still hasn't gone away. I can walk on it fine but I am a little concerned, as the race is this Saturday. Eep! I am going to try to run 4 miles on it tomorrow to see how it feels, and then rest on Thursday and Friday.

I am sooo excited for the race! Bri told me that I won't need my gu or anything because they hand out cupcakes at mile 6! Crazy right? I am even more excited to see Bri this weekend :) What is the craziest thing you have ever gotten at a race?

In between stuffing envelopes last night I decided to get some strength training in. There are a ton of weights and a pullup bar in the basement, so I did 25 "jumping pullups" (read: Jump, grab bar, lower self down. Chin is nowhere near the bar.), chest press and flys with 12#, bicep curls and tricep kickbacks with 10#, renegade rows with 10# and a boat pose. Wow. Let's just say I was trying to wash my face afterwards and couldn't even bring my hands to my face. Water was all over my shirt because I was basically throwing the water at my face. It was so foolish that I was laughing at myself. Gotta love it!

After the race this weekend I won't be following any sort of training plan. It will be six weeks from the wedding and I need a training plan to follow! I was looking at my copy of Jillian's Making the Cut last night and I think I may follow her workouts four days a week and work on my 5k speed two days of the week. Do you guys have any suggestions or thoughts?

What's new with everyone? I feel so out of the loop with all of the wedding planning going on! Let me know how you are doing, and I promise that even if I'm not commenting, I'm still reading your wonderful blogs :) Have a great Tuesday!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cupcakes... and a Co-Op Find!

Good evening bloggies! I've been super busy with wedding things this week (and I haven't even started tying the bows on the invites, sweet!) I had to miss my weekly yoga class yesterday (tear) in order to meet with the organist for our wedding. She is soo adorable. She played all of the choices available and I am super excited with my selections! I have to say, I teared up a bit listening to the recessional song- it's the first song bri and I will hear as husband and wife! Okay enough cheesiness ;)

Since I missed my yoga class, I completed yogadownload's Yoga for Runners. It is a great workout that seems like the perfect complement to my running! Today called for two miles on the dreaded track and my body sculpt class. I never thought these words would leave my mouth (er, keyboard) but I think I am starting to prefer the treadmill to the track. I can watch television and it seems to go by more quickly. With that being said, today's run and class were great. My instructor is really starting to show in her pregnancy; she is so cute!

Today on my lunch break I ventured over to a local food co-op to pick up some items to make for dinner tonight (I made a rocking shrimp pasta dish that I didn't photograph but trust... it was awesome) and looked around in awe. This place is a gold mine! I easily could have dropped tons of dinero in there. There was grass fed beef, organic EVERYTHING, hard to find teas... I could go on and on. I have to share a picture of my favorite find: Hazelnut agave nectar!!! I am SO excited to put this into my coffee tomorrow. :D Are you a fan of agave nectar? If not, what kind of sweetener do you use?

Speaking of sweets, I went to the bakery yesterday to order our groom's cake. It's going to be a kettlebell. Bri will love it! This bakery is seriously amazing; whenever I go I always purchase cupcakes because they look so amazing, and I'm not even a sweets person!

Hello, lovah:

Red Velvet awesomeness.

Oreo cupcake. Holy yumtastic. Surprisingly, I haven't busted into these yet. I will though!
This post is so disjointed... I'll be back soon with thoughts on conquering my 8 miler and other adventures (chowderfest this Saturday, yippee!) . I'm waking up early again to get my four miles in. Pushup challengers, let me know how you are progressing! I'm going to do day two of week one tomorrow.

This is Baya looking mighty satisfied with herself, as she had just licked my entire face right before the pic was taken. I'm mid-laugh and my eyes are practically shut, but I think it's a funny pic! Do you have any fun pics with pets? If so, post them! I love looking at them :)
Good night!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Early Riser + Treadmill Conqueror

Good afternoon blogfriends! I hope that everyone had a restful and relaxing weekend. Mine was so much fun! On Friday I began the weekend with a seven mile run, with hopes of conquering this: The initial plan was to do half on the treadmill and half on the track, so as to avoid boredom. I ended up running four on the treadmill, ran to use the restroom, and then continued upstairs to finish the run on the track. Um, wow- it was super weird. Running on the track after running on the treadmill must mess with your head, because I was feeling SUPER dizzy and weird. I lasted for a lap before I ran back downstairs to finish the run on the treadmill. The miles were a bit disjointed, but I conquered the mill! Have you ever split a run between a treadmill and a track? If so, did you experience the same funky feeling that I did?

The next morning I got up bright and early to head down to Long Island to visit my friend Nicole. The train ride was nice and quick but effing HOT. Amtrak definitely needs to work on their heating/cooling issues. After meeting up with Nicole, we set off to go wine tasting in Long Island. We hit up about five places and it was really fun! Nicole's husband came along and played DD so we both got to enjoy the wine. Wine tasting may be one of my favorite things to do! On the ride back home I housed a ton of cheese, which I was really pissed off about afterwards because of all days to do that, I had to do it two days before I got my bloodwork done to check my cholesterol... oh well! Have you ever been wine tasting? I've gone wine tasting at Niagara on the Lake, Sonoma County in California, a bunch of times in the Finger Lakes and now Long Island.

We were so sleepy from all of the wine that we were in bed by ten. Party animals!!! The next morning we headed to the gym so I could make up the run I missed Thursday. I ran 3.5 on the treadmill, bringing my January running total to 64.1 miles. Yippee!

Nicole has a really cute german shepard pup named Baya who is almost a year old. She took a picture of Baya and I that I was all set to post- it's hilarious because Baya had just licked the side of my face before the picture was snapped so I am laughing and she is looking at the camera with a devilish look. The file size is too big to post- I need to figure it out! Baya's head is as big as Bailey's whole body. I'm not used to big dogs!

While I was on the LIRR train heading back to Penn station to catch the train upstate, I caught a conversation between two women next to me. An older woman that spoke broken English was very distraught and confused because she was on the wrong train but didn't know which train she should be on to meet up with her daughter. The younger woman that was sitting next to her asked her where she needed to go, and then called the woman's daughter on her cell phone to help the older woman figure it out. After that, the younger woman gave her detailed instructions to help her navigate the train system to get home to her daughter. This younger woman's act of kindness really inspired me. Taking the train can be stressful, especially if you have no idea where you are going and are unfamiliar with the system. This young woman's act, which only took up a few minutes of her time, saved this older woman from a lot of stress and confusion. Incidents like these that make me believe in the good of human nature. Have you witnessed any acts of kindness lately?

As I alluded to earlier, I had to get bloodwork done this morning for my physical next week. Since I am meeting with my caterer tonight, I have no time after work to get my 4.5 miles in. I realized this last night and decided that I MUST get my butt out of bed early to get the mileage in before my 8:05 appointment. I am happy to report that I did it!! This is major for me, as I love sleeping in as much as I can and have always been an evening exerciser. It felt great to be at the gym with a different crowd and to have the sun streaming through the windows. I'm going to do this more often! Are you a morning, mid-day or evening exerciser? Do you think working out at certain times of day impacts your body differently? I've read various articles that seem to suggest this. I want to look into it more!

I'm excited to start the 100 pushups challenge today! I did the initial test last night and got up to 11. I could have done more but 11-20 pushups fall in the same column so I decided to call it quits at 11. Lame, I know. I'm going to create a spreadsheet after work and will share it with everyone interested in participating.

Oh, and for those of you who asked- Bri and I are having our reception at the Canfield Casino in Saratoga. I love it!

Have a great Monday!