Monthly Archives: October 2011

Party in the (Team) USA

I decided to take the weekend off from long runs since my ankle has felt tight for the last couple days. Yesterday morning I hit the gym and did 20 minutes on the elliptical followed by a 40-minute leg workout. I used all the different leg machines at the gym and I am feeling it today!

Last night we went to a Halloween party hosted by our friends Jen & Mat. We had a blast and I loved seeing how creative people were with their costumes.

Jason and I as Team USA Ping Pong Champs

Tiffany and Aaron as the Potatoheads – They even had different pieces you could put on the faces!

Jen made the Taco Bell Hot Sauce costumes – too cute!

How pretty is that Belle costume??!

We had such a great time at the party and didn’t get home until 2am. Unfortunately, my camera died after only a few pictures so I didn’t get any of the other costumes. There was a¬†hypochondriac, a Wall-E and Eve, the Flintstones and so many other great costumes. It amazes me how creative people are when it comes to thinking up ideas for Halloween.

Tomorrow is our work party and we spent a lot of time decorating on Friday afternoon. I’ll be sure to get some pictures. After work, I think I’m going to go for a run through the neighborhood to see how people have decorated. We have some exciting tricks at our house for the Trick or Treaters ūüôā

What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

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Filed under Halloween, Party Time, Weekends!

Duty Calls

Jury duty that is… And unfortunately since I live in Ventura County and not LA county I won’t be called in to serve on Loco Lohan’s inevitable next trial.

The last time I had jury duty it fell on the last day of Summer Vacation before my Sophomore Year. Talk about poor timing. At least today it is more like a day off of work.

This morning started bright and early with a trip up to the Ventura Courthouse. Of course I only packed the essentials and wore my finest footwear for the occasion.

I managed to get to the courthouse in enough time to score a coveted seat at a table near an outlet instead of the airplane terminal style chairs that force people to get a little too cozy with their neighbors. I even had time to fill my tank up with gas and grab my favorite coffee.

Panera Hazelnut Coffee w/ 1 Splenda and a splash of half & half

I am normally a Starbucks girl, especially when they have the Pumpkin Spice Latte back, but when it comes to just a plain ol’ cup of coffee, I will take Panera’s over anything else. I love when I get there and the sign says it was just brewed 5 minutes before – best. coffee. ever.

Now I’m just going to sit here for 2-3 more hours hoping I don’t get selected. I kid you not, it takes 4 hours of online menu scrutinizing for me to decide what to eat at a restaurant – how could I ever serve on a jury and have to make a decision regarding people’s lives?!! If you need me, I’ll be browsing 1800 new cookie recipes and home decorating ideas on Pinterest.

Also, the courthouse appears to still be using a wireless internet connection from 1999 so it’s very very slow – advance apologies for any weird formatting issues.

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So Now I Have to Carry Hand Sanitizer Too?

So if you were wondering how my grand master plan went, let’s just say it didn’t really go. I didn’t get a PDR. I ran 7.4 slooooow miles – it took me around 1:20 to do so. Why do I say around 1:20? Well, when I packed up all my stuff on Friday to leave at J’s house, I left my Road ID and Nike+ in my bag with my spare clothes. Which I left at his house. UGH.

Missing in Action on 10/22

Missing in Action on 10/22

I’m not going to make excuses and blame my poor performance on my lack of a stopwatch. Instead, I’m going to blame it on my mental state starting out due to the lack of a stopwatch, the wind, the 80+ degree heat, the obscene number of stoplights and crosswalks, and the fact that I was just generally not feeling it. It really got bad at about 6 miles when my left hip started to cramp up each time I was forced to stop at a crosswalk. The only good thing about the run is that the NUUN and the Shotbloks didn’t bother my stomach at all.

Thankfully, my wonderful BF comforted me by letting me watch the entire first season of The Walking Dead with him all weekend.

Zombie Shows = Temporary Distraction from Crappy Run

I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being totally disappointed in myself. I spent a good portion of Saturday just feeling really bummed and getting down on myself. I know that’s not going to make anything better, but sometimes I just need to sulk.

To top off the utter-horribleness of this run, I also learned today that I’m probably going to contract some nasty, incurable disease from all the crosswalk buttons I had to push on Saturday. Now on top of a water bottle, NUUN, Shotbloks, my phone, iPod, RoadID and Nike+, I need to start carrying this on my runs:

I think I was able to redeem myself a little tonight by knocking another 15 seconds off my 3-mile run. Thanks to the cool temps and lack of stoplights, I ran 3 miles in 28:45 (9:29 pace).

I was very excited to finally get the chance to wear my cold-weather-running Target clearance purchase:

Not at all flashy right? But only $4.98!

The funny thing is, J and I were at Target on Saturday getting stuff for our Halloween costumes and he pointed out this shirt and mentioned how ugly it was, so I kindly informed him that my cheapo-self had just bought it for less than $5 because I need more running tops and don’t make billions of dollars for doing nothing and talking in a baby voice:

Do you care what your running clothes look like or will you wear something if it’s a good deal?¬†I am more picky about my running shorts and capris, but will wear any top as long as it’s a good deal and a good fit.

What’s your weirdest germaphobia problem? Well I now need to add gas pumps and crosswalk buttons to my list, but I am most grossed out by the benches in the gym locker room. I can’t believe people will sit on those naked!

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Filed under J, Running, Shopping

Gearing Up for a PDR

I have this great master-plan in mind for tomorrow’s 9-mile run. As you may have read, my current personal distance record is 8.15 less-than-stellar miles, and tomorrow there is a BIGFAT9 on the running calendar.

Did anyone have a clue this was a movie? I think the picture just sums up how I feel about running 9 miles. How horribly difficult and ominous it feels…

So about this master plan of mine… see, I live at the TOP of a hill. I can manage about a 1.5-mile slightly uphill run at the start, but any distance further than that requires me to travel downhill. And what goes down eventually has to go back up, right? Or something like that. So unless I drive down to the flat roads in my town, I’m usually stuck dragging my tired, shaky legs a mile uphill at the end of each run.

Why yes Miley, there is always going to be another mountain… at the end of my long runs.

I’ve decided that I really really ant to run the Holiday Half in 2 hours and 20 minutes. Overambitious? Maybe. But I think I can do it. This means picking up the speed on my training runs and trying to replicate the course pattern as much as possible. The course starts off with a bit of a hill climb, but after the initial climb, it’s really no hillier than the routes I run at home.

For tomorrow’s 9-miler, my goal is to complete it in 1:30 or less. I’m going to do this by adjusting my route to start at my house, work through a 2-mile hill climb right at the beginning, speed up on a steep one-mile descent, then level off for the last 6 miles (with some small rolling hills) by running to J’s house in the flatlands.

I would love to live somewhere with roads like this to run on. For a day…

I really hope this strategy works. I also took the advice of the super-sweet Ashley at PrettyFittie and purchased some NuuN for my run since the Gatorade just wasn’t agreeing with me. While buying the NuuN, I also picked up a pack of watermelon Gu Chomps and Cran-Razz Clif Shotbloks to see which I like best since the idea of a body-temperature gel while running ups the queasy-factor for me.

On a funny and non-nauseating note – one of my favorite awesomely-sarcastic runners, Cely, gave me a little shout out on her blog Running off the Reese’s, because I sent her this hilarious link in response to her visit to the American Girl Place in Chicago. If you ever had an American Girl doll or wanted one, check this out and leave me a comment telling me which doll you had. I was a Molly all the way:

Right down to the love of books, loathing attitude toward math, and the scheming for attention…

 

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Filed under Goals, Half Marathons, Running

A Human Christmas Tree

Ran 3.02 miles in 29 min (9:36 pace yeah!)

I can really feel how much stronger I am getting as a runner. I used to have to drag¬†my body up hills, and today I ran the entire 3 mile loop without stopping, even with a 1-mile uphill battle! I also knocked 1:36 off my previous record for this route! Needless to say, I’m feeling much better today than I did after the 8-mile fiasco.

Over the weekend, I went to visit my grandparents in Palm Springs for a little R&R.

My Grandparents Know How to Party

The only bummer was that I had to make the long, long, 2.75 hour drive all by myself and much to my annoyance, the radio seemed to only want to play Foster the People and that AWFUL Lil Wayne Song. Whoever told him he sounded good needs their ears check. I mean, how can you even listen to his version after hearing this guy do it ohsowell. Who goes on a long drive and leaves their iPod in the trunk? This girl.

But I digress… Anyways, on my way home during said boring drive, I made a slight detour to the holy grail of impulse purchases:

The Desert Hills Premium Outlets Nike Factory Store. Yes. I somehow managed to breeze by Michael Kors, True Religion and every other amazing outlet store that i still can’t afford despite the heavily discounted bargain prices and head straight to Nike. I was extremely hungry and ready to be out of the car and home, but first I needed to do a little damage. My main goal was to find something for the Holiday Half. I ended up scoring 2 pairs of Nike Pro compression shorts, Nike Dri-Fit Capris and a Nike Technical Tee.

Modeling my new outfit pre-run today

I am hooked on these shorts. They are definitely a little on the short side, but they don’t make me look like I’m wearing a diaper (coughmytemposcough). And they are SO soft. The tee is great too, I love that it’s a little longer than normal and it’s loose but tapered in on the sides so I don’t look like I’m wearing a man-shirt.

So now I’m just in search of some awesomesauce Christmas socks. Preferably ones with lights or something equally as ridiculous. Target should have them in stock by next week I’m sure. And since my face and legs tend to turn fire-engine red when I run, I should have no problem looking like a Christmas tree while running the Holiday Half. Now I just need some upbeat Christmas songs to add to my iPod.

What is one store you can never walk out of without buying something? Mine is definitely Target. But second would be any place I find Nike running clothes on sale.

What is the next race you are running? Anyone planning to run the Holiday Half in Pomona?

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Filed under Running, Shopping

Increasing Mileage and Getting Over THE WALL

(**This post is wordy and I really have no relevant pictures so please enjoy the randomness throughout.)

On Thursday, my Dad and I officially registered for the Holiday Half Marathon in Pomona on December 11. On Friday, I tackled my 8-mile run. With the half only 8 weeks away, I really need to stick to my running schedule from here on out and make sure I’m getting in those weekly long runs.

Jason, Me, Dad & Mom at the Hollywood Bowl

The run started out great, despite the fact that I momentarily lost all rational thought on Thursday and worked out my legs with squats and lunges. I was a little stiff starting out and it took about a mile for me to get into the groove and figure out a comfortable pace. Unfortunately, I think my pace was a little too good starting out because I finished the first half in 38 minutes. I was excited and proud, but that feeling quickly left when I realized I went much too fast in the beginning. At 5 miles, I stopped in 7-11 to fill up my handheld with Lemon-Lime Gatorade and colder water. I was so parched from a combination of the rapidly increasing heat and the dry weather that has been killing my throat and nose this past week.

The ONLY temperature I'd like to see for the next 2 months

At first, the Gatorade seemed to give me that every kick I really needed to knock out the last 3 miles, but at mile 6 I started feeling a little queasy. I ended up half jogging and half walking the next mile, and tried my best to push through the last. In the end, I ran 8.15 miles in 1:30 exactly (11:02 pace). I wish I could say “I’m so proud of myself for running 8 miles, it’s my longest run yet!”, but I can’t help that feeling of disappointment. I WANT to be faster. I KNOW I can run faster, but it’s such a mental thing for me. I start out feeling great. I get that runner’s high right off the bat, then I just hit a wall. It becomes a total mental battle of “It’s too hot, I can’t run in the heat” to “You won’t be able to pick the weather on race day, just keep pushing!” I gripe about everything from the sun in my eyes, to the dinner the night before. Then I tell myself to quit being a baby and shut up and run. So I run. Then I complain and walk some more. UGH.

Think happy thoughts... like stealing this puppy from the mall

I get so inspired reading so many other blogs, hearing about everyone’s successes at their races, reading first-time marathon and half marathon stories, reading about great long runs and PR’s. All of that is so exciting and I love being able to read about and share in the excitement of some of the people who inspired me to run. But, as great as all of that is, I think I learn the most from runners who aren’t afraid to write about a difficult run, a race that didn’t go as planned, or just any obstacle they had to overcome in order to get where they are today. Reading these stories reminds me that we all experience those crappy days, whether we run 10-minute miles or sub-4 marathons. We all have those over-the-top, feel-great, AMAZING runs and those OMG-can-this-be-over, why-did-do-this crummy moments. But one thing we all have in common is that we all keep going. We keep running and we keep training and we just keep at it because one great moment really does outweigh all the bad.

Today, I actually did the smart thing and got my leg workout out of the way well before my 9-mile run coming up this weekend. I did an easy 2 miles on the treadmill at a 10:06 pace and followed it up with this beast of a workout, inspired by (and majorly tweaked by me) Peanut Butter Fingers’ “Sure to Make You Sore Leg Workout“:

75 squats (I WILL get to 100) (30 lbs)

3 reps of 15 low rows (40lbs)

3 reps of 15 lunges each leg (30 lbs)

3 reps of 15 dead lifts (30 lbs)

Total weaksauce compared to her killer workout but it had my legs shaking like crazy and I was sweating bullets. Hopefully I can keep at this and get stronger! When I started doing strength training I could barely lift the 20 lb dumbbell, and now I can at least get the 30 lb-er up and over my head without dropping it on myself.

I think I need to get a running mantra to keep myself moving when the going gets tough. What’s your mantra, or best advice for getting past that wall?

Do you have a favorite strength training workout to share? I know nothing about weights and lifting so I just have to jot down everyone else’s workout to remember when I hit the gym ūüôā

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Filed under Goals, Running

Weekend Recap

Just got back from a great 3.28 mile run with Tiffany. I finally got around to purchasing one of those c9 babydoll tanks from Target (clearance!) and wore it tonight. I need to go buy 8 more, like, now.

Where did the last 3 days go?? Seriously… the weekend goes by way too fast. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

I was SO disappointed that this garden gnome costume didn’t come in a size XXXL because I REALLY wanted it. I bet you think I’m kidding, but I couldn’t be more serious.

Megan and I met up for Happy Hour at Elephant Bar. $6.50 for a veggie burger, sweet potato fries and a beer. Can’t beat that.

And a shout out to Megan since you told me you read this… I need to start an extreme couponing page for you.

Baked these cookies, but subbed the spice cake mix for devil’s food.

They may not look pretty, but they tasted SO good.

Jason cooked an amazing dinner of Thai Peanut Chicken over rice. Recipe coming soon!

I helped by cutting and eating a delicious honeydew melon, but apparently there is a wrong way to cut melons because J took over partway through.

On Saturday we went to Jodi’s parents house to enjoy the beautiful weather and celebrate Casey’s 26th birthday!

Jodi and Casey

J and I

I was too busy scarfing down the amazing feast of smoked pulled pork, pasta salad, coleslaw and BBQ beans to remember to take a picture, but believe me, it was amazing.

Sunday was spent cleaning my highly disorganized room and throwing out 63 tubes of mascara. Then, J and I walked around Home Goods and Bed Bath & Beyond to get out and kill some time looking at giant clocks and glittery Halloween decorations. I also decided that one day I will need one of these:

A DONUT MAKER! So necessary in my life.

This morning I felt a little under the weather to I had to make an Emergen-C cocktail and follow it up with a salad beast for lunch:

Oh and I totally took about 18 self-timer pictures of me with my salad while sitting in the Gelson’s parking lot only to look up and see a car full of old ladies watching me. It’s cool though, I know all you bloggers understand.

How was your weekend? Do you ever get weird looks from people for taking a million pictures of your food? No, just me…?

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Filed under Birthdays, J, Mmm Food, Running, Weekends!