Monday, August 31, 2009

23 is fabulous

My birthday weekend was completely awesome. I took tons of pictures with my brand new camera (thanks BF for an awesome birthday present!) But....I left the connector cord at the BF's house so I can't upload them yet. Sorry!!!

I treated myself to a half day of work on Friday and then headed home to get ready for a night o' fun. BF and I had dinner at the Olive Garden. Nom nom nom. Lol, I love me some OG! Ended up taking more than half the plate of spaghetti home, but that's always the case there.

Then we hit the bowling alley with my friends. My roommate brought crowns for the girls to wear and got me sparkly beads and a delicious cake. It was a fun, but very late night. I knew then I'd be bumping my long run from Saturday to Sunday.

After sleeping until about 11:30 Saturday morning, BF took me to the zoo! That was the surprise he had planned. I've never been to the National Zoo so I was so excited. We got to see the pandas and tons of other animals. It took us five hours of walking around to see everything. Ooof what a workout!

I asked BF how his legs felt afterward. "Dead," he said. And I chuckled and said it was good prep for this weekend.

Hours of walking around also landed me with a mondo-huge blister. Like holy crap pain. I could barely walk the rest of the day. It managed to pop on it's own so I've got it covered up and it doesn't hurt as bad now, but I couldn't put shoes on yesterday, so that obviously meant my long run got canceled.

That's kind of been the story of my training for this race anyway. Have awesome plans to run, only to have life get in the way of it all. Oh well. It's not the end of the world. My weekend was totally awesome and I'm not letting a missed run and a giant blister ruin it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ladies Night and Birthday Fun

Last night was Ladies' Night at the local running store, so I thought I'd head over to check out what it was all about. They were having sports bra fittings, and raffles for $50 gift cards for the store and free massages, yea I was so there.

Unfortunately for me, I didn't win any of the prizes, but I did get a sweet massage that felt fabulous on my back. And I managed to not buy a single thing, a small miracle for me when I walk into a running store.

Since today's my birthday I took a half day from work as a small present to myself. I'm going bowling with friends today to celebrate so that should be a blast.

Tomorrow BF's got something top secret planned and it's driving me nuts not to know what it is. I did ask him if I'd be able to fit my long run in in the morning though and he said Yes. So as long as we don't get back too late from bowling and Hurricane Danny isn't blasting us with pelting rains and 75 mph winds, I'll be trying to knock out 8 to 10 this weekend.

Those miles will be a much needed confidence booster heading into next weeks half marathon. So Danny, stay away. I need to get my run in!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fun new route

Last night the temperature was actually pretty decent when I headed out to get a short run in. I decided to mix things up last night and try a different route in hopes of finding one that's not full of traffic lights every block.

I'm happy to report I was fairly successful. I turned down a street off the main one I usually run on and ended up in a fairly safe looking neighborhood. There were a couple other people out and a few families with little kids, plus it was in a good part of town. So I think I might look at that area a little more on a map to see if I can work out a way to get more of mileage in that area. Maybe with the new route, I will stop hating city running.

Last night I whipped out 3.7 miles in 37 minutes. Can't complain about that.

I got my race confirmation stuff from Virginia Beach and after reading through it, I'm officially pumped for the race. I know my time won't be good, but I'm excited to run/walk it and have lots of fun. The BF has decided he's going to at least start the race and we're going to run/walk (probably with a lot more walking at the end) together, take lots of pictures and just in general try to enjoy the experience.

T minus 12 days til it's racing time!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The hills of Tennessee

I'm back to civilization after surviving my weekend in Bristol, TN for the Nascar race. And while I didn't think the races themselves were all that thrilling, the rest of the weekend was a blast.

I don't have the best pictures ever because my camera broke on the trip down so I've got a few from the BF's iPhone and from his mom's camera.

I managed to get a run in Saturday morning and I learned that Tennessee is unbelievably hilly. I don't think I ran on flat ground for more than 2.5 seconds. It was all up and down, with the majority of it being up, up and more up. My favorite part of the run was when I was running back into the campground, one of the security people goes to his partner, "Now that's dedication," as I ran by. I guess not many Nascar fans drag themselves out of bed at 7 a.m. to head out for a run.

Anyway, here's the rest of the weekend, as told in pictures:

Tons and tons of campers for people watching the race. And this was just one campground. There were so many of them!

We went to walk around the trailers where you can buy all kinds of stuff with drivers' names and numbers and plenty of other tacky things.

They were also giving out free energy drinks. BF's cousin took a few.

And BF's mom and aunt compared the ingredients lists on the sugar free and the sugar filled.

We walked around some more and saw the tacky-est of all things tacky:
Umm yea that's what it looks like. Boobs on a plaque with the dollar bill shoved in between. If you hit a button the boobs bounced up and down. Best comment of the day was by the BF. "Hey I bet Glaven has one of those." Bahaha score one for the BF!

I got a picture with my driver. BF's family told me I had to pick one, so I based my decision purely on good looks.

#9 is mighty fine.


After heading back to our campers, we played insane amounts of cornhole.
Me and the BF's cousin.

The BF and his other cousin.

Check out the form. And concentration written all over my face.

Then it was time for the first race.
You have to wear these funny headset things so you don't go deaf.

Because the cars are loud!


BF and I during the first race. This one was the boring one. I almost fell asleep. Oops.

Saturday was much of the same.

We went up to the trailers so we could get Kurt Busch's autograph. He's BF's cousin's favorite driver.
I had him autograph a Bristol piggy bank.

Then it was off to the races.

The BF and I waiting for the Sharpie 500 to start.

We got to see some awesome parachuters.

And got a fly over.

And then the cars were off. For 500 laps.
There's my #9.

We stopped in Blacksburg, Va. on the way back home to see the BF's alma mater and visit his other cousin who starts classes today as a fresman. All in all it was a fairly awesome weekend.

Two weeks til the Va. Beach Half. I'm a little nervous and I'll have to figure out when I'm going to be getting my runs in this week!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

She's gone country

August humidity has finally set into the D.C. area. It was absolutely gross out this morning at 6:15 when I headed out to get a run in. I did about three miles and it seriously felt like there was no oxygen in the air because it was all water. Nasty, nasty.

I was sweating like wow by the time I got home. Sweet AC and a freezing cold shower never felt so good.

I normally don't get to do morning runs anymore because of my work hours, but today was awesome. I had to come in to work late anyway, because my roommate is taking me to a Keith Urban concert tonight for an early birthday present. Since the concert's in the city, it's easier for me to just come in to work later rather than leave work, go back to Md. turn around and come back to the city.

So I was super excited to run in the morning. It made me hate running in the city so much less than normal! I only had to stop at one light! Score!

Tonight's concert also kicks off a weekend of complete hickish behavior. After my awesome country music concert tonight, BF and I leave tomorrow for Tennessee to see some of his family. Do you know what else we'll be doing in Tennessee?

Going to a Nascar race....yea...Nascar. Like the world's fakest, most hill-billy sport ever.

Oh and guess where we'll be staying while in Tennessee. In a camper. Next to the racetrack. Apparently showers cost $5 at the campground. This explains so much to me about the South.

Perhaps if you've been reading long enough, you know my idea of vacation is going to a nice beach, staying a hotel with running water and nice plush pillows and comfy sheets. Roughing it isn't so much my style. So this will be an experience for sure.

I'm sure the tailgate aspect of the campground will be tons of fun as long as I can avoid offending any hill-billys. To do this, I must avoid saying things like, Nascar is the stupidest thing ever, Why would anyone want to sit and watch cars drive in circles for three hours, and ummm why does that guy only have two teeth? Otherwise I'm sure I'll be fine.

BF's stepdad told me there some places to run down there, so I'm packing up stuff and of course bringing my camera because this weekend totally needs to be captured and shared with you all.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cruisin'

I finally booked my cruise to the Caribbean last night! It's not until Feb. but I'm so excited. It will be my first real vacation since I started working 1.5 years ago. Bloggy peeps in Florida (more specifically in the Orlando area) I fly in Saturday, Feb. 6th and I'm spending the night before the cruise leaves the next day. If anyone's interested, I'd love to grab dinner or something.

The cruise is seven glorious days of warmth in the middle of winter. It hits a private island near Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman Island and Cozumel, all places I've never been.

So wheee! I'm super duper excited!

I was going to go running this morning, but I stayed up late watching Big Brother on the DVR. (Fail) All I have to say about that so is oh my goodness it gets more ridiculous with every episode this season. I love it! Guess I'll be fitting my run in some other time.

Anyway, that's all I've got for now.

Monday, August 17, 2009

An awesome trip home and a five mile run

This weekend I headed home to PA for some family time and to get away from the city. It was fabulously wonderful weekend and I wish it didn't end so quickly.

I got into town late Friday night because you have to wait to leave the D.C. area until at least 7 p.m. unless you'd like to torture yourself sitting in rush hour traffic for two hours. So I pretty much collapsed into bed when I got home and slept like a baby.

Woke up Saturday, ran errands and then my mom and I hit the outlets for a day of shopping. It was awesome. I didn't get anything to exciting, just a couple cute tanks that were ridiculously cheap. We met up with some family friends for lunch and then finished our shopping extravaganza, which I think totaled five hours of shopping. I was beat afterward from all the walking. (Secret prep for all the walking I'll have to be doing in my half marathon perhaps? lol)

But I spent the night at friend's of ours pool, lounging in the hot tub, which seemed to do the trick for the tired legs.

Sunday morning I got up and headed out for a run around 7:30. Whooo it was hot as Hades by that point. But it was five miles in the book. And guess how many traffic lights I had to stop at or for that matter even ran through....ZERO! Alleluia! Running at home is the most amazing thing ever because there are just these long winding roads through woodsy areas and then past golf courses and big open fields. No traffic lights, no inhaling exhaust fumes, no nasty drivers honking at you.

As my mom said this weekend, apparently I'm a true country bumpkin when it comes to running. I hate running in the city. Like hate it in a way that words can't describe. And I blame where I live on why my running has suffered this year. It's hard to get motivated to go on a nice run when I know I'm going to run a block and stop. Run another block and stop. It's annoying and I hate it. Big city people, how do you deal with it? Yes there's a park by me, but lots of people get mugged, molested, etc. there so I avoid it. Tips, suggestions, to make running in the city not torturous? Maybe I should just move to the 'burbs lol.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Reframing

Seems like I'm still hanging on to a bit of a cold at the tail end of this plague that I've got, but I'm hoping I've at least turned the corner and I'll be back to my normal healthy self soon. (Hellllo POM juice any time you want to assist my immune system, I'd greatly appreciate it)

As far as what I'm thinking for VB now, my plan is still to do it, but without the expectations of a PR and perhaps with the expectations of a PW.

But it's all about reframing people. If I'm going to PW, I'm going to have a damn fun time doing it. It's a half marathon at the beach. With awesome music and fun neighborhoods and lots of things to take pictures of. I've run races with my camera before, but haven't really used them on the course. So this would be a first for me.

So if race morning I go out and realize it's going to be a crappy day of running for me, I'm going to try really hard not to be disappointed and try to let it go. And then I'm going to try to embrace it and get pictures with the bands and the people who dress up in the neighborhoods and get some great shots of running (errrr maybe walking?) down the boardwalk to the finish line.

I know that even if I can only get a few more decent runs in the before the race, that I'll be able to cross the finish line. So my goal from here on out is to train when I feel better. Shoot for three runs each week with a longish run on the weekend and just try to still have fun on race day.

My mom's going to be there racing. My dad will be there watching. BF will be there, not sure what his plans are just yet and the BF's grandparents might be there. So there will be lots of people, it will be lots of fun. I just need to reframe and if necessary on race day try to drop my competitiveness and just run for fun.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Va. Beach Half is cursed

So sorry I've been MIA people. I got hit with strep throat again last week and I'm just starting to feel normal now. I finally cracked and shelled out the big bucks for some POM juice and just as Dr. CJ says, it seems to be helping. I was actually going to bring some in a water bottle to work today, but I forgot in my morning rush.

Anyway, I've decided the Virginia Beach Half Marathon is a cursed race for me and anyone who registers because I suggest it.

Don't believe me?

Here's proof:

The first year I ran the VB RNR I had strep throat. I did the race anyway, but didn't do very well. I feel like running a half with strep at least qualifies me for some sort of bad-ass award.

Last year, I had to scratch VB from the calendar because of my knee injury.

This year, the VB curse has not only affected me. It's affected the BF and my mom.

My mom was so excited that was so going to be able to run the whole thing, even though she'd be going slowly. She pulled both of her hamstrings not to long ago and has barely been able to walk since. She'll just be happy to cross the finish line at this point.

The BF's training started out so well and he was going to finish his first half ever. But then his knee started acting up. He most likely will be a DNS on race day.

And me, well I was planning to avenge my crappy time from two years ago and hopefully set a new PR. With only four weeks until race day, I'll just be happy to have a solid running base in place to finish the race. I haven't run one step since my 10 miler two weeks ago because I've been sick. I'm on strick doctors orders to not run until I feel completely better to avoid another relapse. I still don't feel completely better. So until then it will be eat, sleep, rest, hydrate and then start rebuilding some of my strength.

I'm trying not to let the VB RNR curse get me down. I just need to readjust my goals a bit and focus more on running the race for fun. Letting go of the PR dream hurts a little bit though.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Need hilarious T-shirt slogans

Every year I run the Komen Race for the Cure 5K in Maryland and last year I was able to convince a bunch of my friends to run it with me. We had a blast so we're planning on doing it again this year.

One of our favorite parts of the race was checking out all the other teams hilarious shirts with funny slogans about "Saving the Ta-tas" or "Running for Boobies" We thought it would be fun this year to create shirts of our own.

Only problem is apparently we aren't as creative as the other teams because we can't come up with a slogan. So I'm putting it out there for you guys to help. Leave me a comment with your most hilarious, most fun, most borderline inappropriate slogans dealing with running to raise money for breast cancer research.

Last year we were mostly girls. This year we may have some guys joining us too. So you could do one slogan that covers all of us or you could send me two separate slogans, one for guys and one for girls. Last year I saw a guy wearing a shirt that said he was running because he loved boobs too. Made me laugh a little bit.

I don't have a fun prize for the winner yet, but maybe I'll hunt around and send you something cool for your efforts. Or maybe I'll promo your blog on the back our shirts or something or just tell you that your awesome and lavish you with praise on my blog.

And if anyone has any advice on where I could get technical shirts printed with a slogan for not an insane amount of money, I'd appreciate it. I did some hunting around and haven't found too much.

So send me your slogans and pass this along to your friends. I know we've got a lot of creative people out there in blogland.

Monday, August 03, 2009

D.C. and Philly birthdays

This weekend was all about having fun, staying out too late and celebrating birthdays. My good friend Laurie turned 23 on Friday and my baby bro turned 21 on Saturday.

Friday was dinner and dancing in D.C. and we had a blast.

We headed to Adam's Morgan for dancing and spent the night at Eighteen and Red and Heaven and Hell. On our way between the two bars we bumped into TV crews and mobs of people wearing dangly things around their necks. Oh hey...it was the Real World D.C. cast. They were going to Tom Tom, which had a line twisting down the block of people hoping for their 15 minutes of fame caught on camera with the Real World cast.

I didn't get home until close to 2:30 a.m. Seriously that's the latest I've been out in months. (I'm the lamest twentysomething ever.) Passed out and slept until noon. Felt like I was back in college.

After spending some time visiting with the BFs fam (his grandparents were in town) we hit the road for a trip to Philly for my baby bro's 21st. The BF has never been to Philly so the plan was to head to the bars with my brother Saturday night and then do fun Philly stuff Sunday.

My brother arranged a sweet open bar where $30 got you all the top shelf liquor and all domestic and imported beers you could drink for two hours. I didn't take part in the open bar part. I had two drinks and a shot. Not worth $30. My bro, his friends the BF and my cousins all loooooved it though.

Check out the sweet photo evidence:

Sibling tequila shots and my last drink of the night. Probably around 11:30.


Mind Erasers with our cousins.



Left to right (My bro, and his friends Sookhoo, Jason and Keith)



BF buying the bro car bombs. Both ended up very drunk and had a long heart to heart about life lol.


My brother's been known to bust a move.


Yea that's the sprinkler...also check out the sweet spillage on his shirt.

After three bars and many hours of fun, I collapsed into the hotel bed sometime around 3:30 a.m. Thank goodness check out wasn't until noon.

Sunday it was pouring rain which killed me and the BF's plans to see Philly sites. We didn't leave however without getting the BF his first ever Philly cheesesteak.

Directions on the proper way to order a cheesesteak.


BF approves.

Got back to D.C. Sunday around 6 p.m. Did some grocery shopping, grabbed a quick nap and then made a late dinner and settled in for Shark Week! It's my favorite week of television of the year. If you've got a minute take this awesome quiz from Discovery Channel to find out which kind of shark you are! I got the Great White (I love it, except for the part where it says I'm dumb haha!)