Saturday, November 26, 2011

Second Half

I did it. I really did it!!!!!

13.1 miles
3 Gu's
2 Time half-marathoner!!

Here's the details (go here for background info)

I hydrated yesterday and got a great night's sleep. I was still pretty tired when I woke up at 6, but I had a busy day ahead of me! (after my race I helped a friend make 150 pounds of sausage!)

Daniel was actually up before me and took a few pics of me getting ready to head out.

I was feeling pretty good at this point, ha!

I ate a small granola bar and a GU before heading out.
The first 3-4 miles was pitch black. It was about the 4th mile that it started to get light out. I thought that would slow me down since I was trying to run carefully and make sure I didn't fall. But I was pleased to see my normal pace.

My plan was to do a 5 mile loop, grab my water bottle and GU from the gate guard, then have Daniel meet me at mile 9, to refill my water bottle and give me another GU.

This is the map I drew for Daniel so he could meet me.

The first few miles are always hard mentally just because you know you have so much further to go. Today my mantra was "This is YOUR race!" I told myself that a lot when I was running today. It seemed to help me focus and keep me motivated. The last few runs I've also been saying this phrase, "You just have to put your time in." That may sound weird, but when you're at the earlier miles, it's hard not to run too fast and just want to finish already. Telling myself to put my time in, made me remember that I wasn't worried about not being able to finish the run, I knew I could physically do it. But it was going to take time.

Here's me at mile 9.

Probably 90% of my route is in alleys and small streets. But about 2 miles is in a park, this is me running out of the park. I like this part :)

I'm so hardcore I even run stairs.

My 10th mile was amazing and fast. Then came mile 11. Miles 11 and 13 were definitely the hardest. Mile 12 for some reason was great. But 11 and 13, I was feeling it. I was SO ready to be done with the race!

Here I am finishing!

(notice the people staring behind me.....this is normal)

And this is how I FELT after finishing my half marathon!!!

I OWNED this race!!! I was first female, first place...not a single person passed me....and I totally PR'd!!!!!

Daniel, in his wonderful love and support for my race, he made me a sign naming me the champion!

He also made me gold medal. When he put it around my neck, I lost it and started crying. I was close to really letting it all out, but I don't like to cry so I held it back (and people were already staring at us for cheering and yelling). But getting the medal around my neck made me feel that it was all worth it. All the side stitches, dog chases, early mornings, sore muscles, all of was all worth it for this moment.

Overall this was an amazing race! I felt great practically the whole time!! In my book, an uneventful run is a success!

Here I am enjoying chocolate milk. Yes, my ankles are dirty.

Here I am with my gold medal!!

Here are the stats:

Total distance: 13.2 miles :)
Total race time: 156 minutes (2 hrs, 36 min)
Total run time: 152 minutes (2 hrs, 32 min)

Total race time pace:  11:48/mile
Total run time pace: 11:30/mile

I am SO proud of this pace!!!! Honestly, it seems surreal. It used to seem like I could never get out of the 12 min/mile rut, and I was always slower if I ran more than 5 miles.

I'm almost in denial about it all. It's been such a journey these last two years-the weight loss and the running. It's such a huge part of my life, I honestly don't know what I would do without it. It has changed me-how I feel about myself and even who I am.

I am a runner.



Friday, November 25, 2011

The day we gave thanks

We spent Thanksgiving day with other American friends that live in our city. We all brought something, and believe me, we weren't going to starve.

I contributed black olives (our family tradition), TPW's green bean casserole, Daniel's famous fruit/jello salad, and chocolate chip pie.

Nothing canned in this casserole! (okay except for the topping)

We had 13 adults and 7 children.

With so many things needing to go in the oven, we did what we had to!

Our friends fried 2 turkeys.....yum-mee!

We also had mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, squash casserole, macarroni and cheese, creamed spinach, crescent rolls, sweet potato rolls, brocolli salad, jello salad, and fruit salad. Seriously. I don't know if I'll ever be the same again.

And of course.....desserts!!!!

Pumpkin caramel pie, sweet potato pie, pecan pie, chocolate chip pie, apple pie, and pumpkin goodness cookies.

After dessert, some people had the energy to play football.

We spent the day eating and enjoying time with our friends. We also played Ticket to Ride on an Ipad.....anyone know this game? It's way fun.

This morning a big group of foreigners in our city organized a flag football Turkey Bowl. I'll post pics of that later.

Right now I need to go drink about a gallon of water to get ready for tomorrow. Remember, it's the big day.



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Saturday Stats and Happy Birthday

As my friend Caroline would say, I'm going insane in the membrane.

Seriously ya'll, I ran how many days ago and didn't even post about it?? I will try not to complain about the business that is my life right now, because I know it's a busy time for everyone. But next time you're driving around going crazy getting all your errands done, imagine doing all of that on a bike. (do you feel thankful now?? you're welcome.)  haha, so kidding.

I'm trying not to get caught up in the chaos of life right now and freak out and cry because for the love how is it all going to get done?! Because, most of the things that are busy in my life are good things. I don't want to just 'get through it,' and not enjoy the actual moment. So I'm trying to have a good perspective and remember to calm down and be more laid back. Which comes so naturally to me. ha

Besides, I'm sure if I tried hard enough I could find a pharmacy that carries percocet or vicatin over the counter.


Kind of....


Last Saturday was my long run. It ended up being about 11.2 miles. There was a lot less pain this week than the 9 miler last week. I tried something new this time. I had GU before the run and during. I've never tried using it before running. I couldn't tell a huge difference energy wise or anything, but it didn't hurt me so I'm likely to try it again.

I started exactly at 7am, and finished with less than a 12 min/mile pace. I will take it!!! 

Honestly, the run and all of the recent days are kind of blur, so I can't really remember much about it. Let's just say it went great........

It's taper week, but again, busy so haven't noticed. But i'm also thankful, because I couldn't imagine finding time for anything more than 3 miles this week.

Saturday is the big day.

I'm going to run 13.1 miles.

Go me!!!!!!

Don't worry, you will get the play by play. It may not be immediate because I have every minute of my life planned after the run, but I'll try to find time to post about it.

Also, today is someones birthday!!!!

Happy Birthday Ethan!!

Ethan is turning 3 today!!!! Sadly, he has mono, so they're not doing anything too big.  I'm sad we're not there to celebrate, but I was overseas when Grant turned 3 too, so I guess it's good that i'm not playing favorites. ha



Friday, November 18, 2011

Random Ramblings

Tuesday nite has become my baking night. Daniel goes to English Corner and I stay home and bake.

This past Tuesday I made granola bars, pumpkin bread, and cream of tomato soup. I think I'm finally perfecting the granola bar recipe. This past weeks was by far the best. To save $, I used a chopped up chocolate bar, instead of paying over $6 for chocolate chips. I thought it wouldn't taste the same, but it actually tasted better!! I also now add about 1/2 cup of peanut butter to the recipe. My add-ins are some combination of almonds, cashews, peanuts, chocolate chips/chunks, peanut butter chips, and raisins (for Daniel.)

I also made pumpkin bread again. I used a friend's recipe and thought things were going well. The bread looked so pretty when it was done!

I had a piece while it was still warm, and it did not taste good. Something was clearly wrong, but I wasn't sure what. So the next morning we had it for breakfast, and we were both sure that something was missing. While I was thinking about the recipe, I realized it didn't call for cinnamon, which is kind of weird. So I actually looked at the recipe again, and realized I completely forgot to put it in!!!!!
I was SO mad at myself for skipping such an essential ingredient, and wasting my pureed pumpkin! There was so much potential.....

Speaking of baking, I am on a baking kick! I am devouring cooking/baking websites and wanting to make every single dessert I see. I might need an intervention. Or make sure I keep running if I'm going to give into this new baking obsession. Because believe me, the recipes I'm looking at are not going to be found on any diet or health website.

Speaking of running, tomorrow is 11 miles. woo. hoo.

Also, I'm in the market for a planner. Not like one that you buy in the stores, but a real good this-will-keep-me-organized-no-matter-what planner. Suggestions???

Have a good friday!



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Anniversary Recap

Yesterday we went to class. I only have 1 class on Mondays, so I got done at 10:30. I came home and ran real quick, then we ate lunch, studied some, then took off for a massage!
(sidenote: massages are way cheap here. But they're also not like what you think. You keep your clothes on the whole time, and you're out in the open. It's also really loud, kind of like an asian mani/pedi place with a TV going and lots of people talking.)
Here we are:

How handsome is he??!!?!?!

We decided to get a foot massage too. Yay for hot water when it's practically freezing out!!

After the massage, we came home to change and head back out for dinner.
Here we are starting out the night!

In order to save a bit, we took the bus instead of a taxi. We went to a new italian restaurant in town, and it might be my new fave.

I ordered salmon.

Daniel ordered a penne pasta:

After walking around a bit, we went to Starbucks to get a drink and dessert. We don't have the normal holiday drinks that ya'll have in the States, but they do have a few special ones here. Daniel got the dark chocolate cherry something something (gag me) and I tried the Toffee Nut Latte. It.was

LOVE this drink. I almost repented after drinking it, it was that good.

My love:

We spent a lot of time talking about how this anniversary compared to last year's and our actual wedding.

We came up with this list (all of these are in reference to our anniversary day or wedding day):

This was the first year we rode the bus to dinner.
First year we were in the actual city we live in.
First year we went to class.
First year we got a massage.
First time we didn't have wedding cake for dessert.
First time I didn't wear a dress to dinner.
First year we didn't do presents.
First year we ate leftovers for lunch.
First year we rode bikes.
First year I ran.

I'm sure there are more but you get the idea :)

Even though our anniversary was a little different, we had a great day! I'm so thankful for these past two years and so hopeful for the remaining ahead.



Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy TWO Year Anniversary!!!

Today is our 2 year anniversary!!!

Here we are two years ago today!

I thought I'd do a photo recap of our last year together.

Here we are one year ago celebrating our 1 year anniversary.

This is one of my favorite pictures of us. We were about to go run in freezing temperatures. We didn't even make it a mile that night.

January-Celebrating my birthday at a JJ Heller concert.

February- a random ( not the best) picture

March-celebrating a friend's wedding in Arkansas

April-random pic, i think this was date night

May-Roadtripping it up at Lambeau Field!!

June-Leaving America

July-Enjoying the local sites

August- Enjoying a trip to the mountains!

September- First day of School!

October- At our marriage conference

I'll post more later!



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend Rewind

After my run on Friday, I went to class. Just call me Student of the Month.

Friday afternoon I went grocery shopping and we had calzones for dinner.

Tomorrow is mine and Daniel's anniversary, and eating out breakfast is my absolute fave.....but with having to go to class, we decided to go out for breakfast on Saturday instead.

So we went to my favorite place to get breakfast. I always order the french toast. It's amazing!!!

Don't they look kind of like little Christmas trees?!

Saturday night we had a double date with some good friends of ours. We went to a vegetarian restaurant and it was SO good!!!

They served us quite literally, Green Tea.

Look at this amazing food! Those peanuts were delish!! I have no idea what the spice was, but I could not get enough of them!

From left to right: Tofu/cabbage/peppers, Veggie Dumplings, Sesame Seed Tofu, Peanuts, and asparagus and bamboo shoots. We will definitely be going back! I know some of you are thinking "tofu,how gross." But seriously it tasted like meat. I've been to a couple different veggie restaurants here and they all are able to cook the tofu so it has the same texture and taste as meat. It's really just a win-win for everybody.

We hadn't been on a double date in a while, so it was fun to go out with another couple. They were actually celebrating their 30th anniversary of being engaged!

Today I embraced the pumpkin again and made iced pumpkin cookies.

The cookies by themselves without the icing weren't that sweet. So the icing definitely makes the cookie. I've had 3 and am about to go finish them off. I mean, they have pumpkin in them which pretty much makes them a negative calorie food :)

Hope everyone had a good weekend!!!!



Friday, November 11, 2011

Saturday Stats

It's actually Friday here.

And Thursday where you are.

But you get the idea.

After 2 pitiful runs this week, I was beyond nervous about running at all this morning. (We have plans tomorrow morning so the long run had to be done today)

I haven't been sleeping great since getting back from my trip, and to say I'm tired would be an understatement. But, life goes on. So I didn't sleep well last night and I had weird nervous dreams about not having time to put my Glide on, or my pony-tail holder not holding my hair so it kept falling out.

Anyways, I headed out planning to do 8. Since 5 was difficult, I thought 8 wouldn't kill me, but anything more just might. I'm not gonna lie, every single mile was hard. I had side stitches at 2 & 3, which came back again for miles 6 & 7. My time was okay for the first 5. I then stopped to get my GU and water bottle from the gate guard. I had to walk about 30 seconds after mile 6 not only because of the blinding left pain (i've had this several times before), but also my right side of my stomach was cramping too.

For the love, I just want to run.

I somehow made it and around mile 7ish I was feeling okay and remembered I had the chocolate milk I brought back with me on my trip in the fridge. Then pride kicked in and I couldn't let myself be rewarded with imported chocolate milk for a measly 8 miles. So I ended up running 9.5.

I'm happy I finished, it was running like my first 15K or half. Finishing was all that mattered.

Next week the long run will be 11, then taper week (my fave!!) after that.

And just for kicks, here is an awkward picture of my nephews.

Stay tuned!



Thursday, November 10, 2011


I have started to embrace the pumpkin.

I have always claimed to not like anything related to pumpkin. Eck......

But a few weeks ago, my friend made pumpkin bread, it smelled good and I was hungry. So I tried it. I loved it!! I even had a second piece!!! And then this same friend is the one who introduced me to other varieties of the pumpkin.

So this Monday night, in honor of meatless monday eaters around the world, I made Cream of pumpkin soup with grilled cheeses. (p.s. everytime i type pumpkin, i end up putting a 'g' on the end.)

And when I say made, I mean MADE! None of this canned pumpkin......I bought a real pumpkin from the market (which looks like squash here), cooked it down in the oven, scraped it out of the skin, put it in the blender, and voila!!!

 I didn't make the croutons, just the soup. And next time I'll use less cream, or add half milk/half cream, it was a little too rich for me. But it was soooooo gooooood!!!!

I rather like our meals being all the same color. I'm making a dish in the crock pot this weekend that is also monochromatic. I strongly believe in themed meals :)

With the leftover pumpkin, I made pumpkin bread. It was my first time to make it and while it tasted great, it didn't look very pretty so I didn't take a picture. But I anticipate making it again soon, so I'll take a pic then.

In other news..... I ran twice this week, a 3 and 5 miler. Both were very hard! I didn't think it would be that bad, but it was. I'm supposed to run 9ish tomorrow morning. We will see what happens. My half is tentatively scheduled for Nov 26th. I'm almost at the point of just wanting to get this over with. While I love training and meeting goals, it takes up a lot of time. And I always say that I miss 'just' running, but then after training is over and I go back to running on my own, I get restless and end up training again for something.

BUT because my in-laws sent a monster sized package.....I now have GU!!!

I'll let you know how the run goes!