Time Flys

It’s amazing how quickly time goes by.  It seems the older I get, the quicker things go.  Each year seems to go by faster than the last and each day/week is the same way.  I can’t believe it’s been 10 days since my last post on here.  I have a ton of posts started and I need to set them up to post, but time just got away from me.  Before I jumped into those though, I just wanted to pop in with something a little more relevant and updated.

Tomorrow we are running the Get to the Green run (5k/10k) in Five Points.  This was the very first 5k I ever did.  I had high hopes for this to be my sub 30min 5k.  That is not going to happen though.  Training has been tough with everything else going on in life and I’ve been fighting a nagging injury in my left arch that kept me down a bit.  I’m hoping I’ve figured it out though.  I removed my inserts and put back in the factory inserts this week.  *Knock on wood*..my foot didn’t hurt after my last run.  Keeping my fingers crossed though.  That said, I’m planning to take Yota.  Maybe he’ll pull me fast enough to get a decent time.  Andy is doing the 10k (actually kind of jealous he is doing the longer distance).  This year both races get a finishers medal which is new and I’m really excited about adding some more hardware to our bib/medal holder.

My sister Taylor, myself, and Andy at last years Get to the Green race

My sister Taylor, myself, and Andy at last years Get to the Green race

On another running related note: Today, we signed up for our first half marathon and entered a lottery for our first full marathon.  We signed up for the Palmetto Half (which is in exactly one month..crazy I know, but I think I can make it work) and entered the lottery for the Marine Corps Marathon.  I’m way geeked out about both events and am super pumped to train and accomplish them.

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Also, I’m doing a #30daysofYota photo a day project on my instagram.  If you don’t already follow me, head over and follow me: https://instagram.com/blonde_designer/

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There is so much more I want to share, but I have to get some other posts out first before sharing those details..and NO I am NOT pregnant (I know there are those of you thinking that).  Until next time!

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Feed the Need 5k – Race Recap

So we have officially done our first race out of state.  This past weekend we went to visit my in-laws in Marietta, OH. It’s literally the first exit of I77 once you enter Ohio.  A few weeks ago we decided we were going to make this trip and when we did so, we thought we’d check around and see if there were any races that weekend.  Turns out there was a 5k/10k  about an hour and a half north in Coshocton, OH and the funny part is that we actually have very close family friends that live in Coshocton.  So we signed up (me for the 5k and Andy for the 10k) and packed up our running shoes for our first out of state race.

I didn’t think ahead and realize how little sleep we were going to get this weekend though.  Friday afternoon we got off work at 6.  We hurried home and grabbed the dog (thankfully we already packed and loaded the car) and then proceeded to drive the 7 hour trip to Ohio.  With a couple of potty stops for the dog and a subway stop for dinner, we finally made it to my in-laws about 1:30am.  After unpacking and prepping for the run in the morning, we got in bed around 2.  The alarm was set for 5 and I was looking forward to a hard 3 hours of rest.  Roughly 5 minutes before the alarm was supposed to go out, Yota woke me up asking to go outside.  Really! I know it’s only 5 minutes..but on so little sleep, 5 minutes is very precious!

So we got up, showered and dressed.  By 5:30 I was upstairs in the kitchen (Andy’s parents have a split level home with the kitchen being on the main floor, 3 bedrooms on the top floor, our bedroom & the living room on the level below the kitchen, and the basement being the lowest level)…so anyway I was upstairs in the kitchen about 5:30.  I made a quick piece of toast with a dark chocolate peanut butter spread and grabbed a starbucks iced coffee (love these lately, taste so good, light on the calories and on the stomach).  We all hopped in the car and got on the road.  Much thanks goes out to Andy’s dad for getting up early and driving us all to Coshocton and props to both of his parents for braving dark thirty to come watch us race.  Andy, myself, and Yota all piled into the backseat and snuggled in for the next hour and half. I scarfed my toast and then mentally prepped for the run.  We had an 8am start and I needed to make sure that mentally I was going to be prepared.

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I was already skeptical about doing well in this race because of the lack of sleep, the fact that my legs still felt tired despite having so many rest days, and that I would be running with Yota.  So I didn’t get my hopes up.  Oh I still had goals of course.  Just no hope of meeting them.  My best 5k thus far was a 33:28 and I really just wanted to get a sub 33.

About 20 minutes before we got to the race, I ate a banana for my fuel.  Toast and a banana may seem to be a bit much for a 5k, but my body is always starving in the am.  If I only ate the toast, I would be keeling over in starvation by mid race at the latest. So banana it was..besides I basically had to split it with Yota.  That dog is a nut for a banana (and apparently Skittles as well).

When we got there, I asked Andy’s dad if he would take Yota (and encourage him to use the bathroom) while Andy and I went to packet pickup.  Thankfully we were there early enough that the line wasn’t long yet.  We grabbed our bibs, tshirts, and the free american flag they were handing out and headed back to the car to get prepped.  As we were getting prepped, our friends Bryan & Jen showed up along with their daughter Alyssa.  Bryan and Jen were running as well.

As we started getting closer to start time, I took Yota (who still hadn’t used the bathroom) and we moved closer to the starting line.  It was a very small race in comparison to the races we do in Columbia, but it was still a nice group of people.  The weather was PERFECT.  I think it was right around 60 degrees with ZERO humidity.  I never really took into account how much the humidity in SC sucks until I ran a race without any humidity…it was bliss.

The horn sounded and we were off.  Unfortunately, Andy and  didn’t have signal in Coshocton, so our tracking programs weren’t working.  So we swapped phones with his parents (who thankfully both have iphones), logged into our mapmyrun accounts, and then loaded up a workout station on Pandora.  It wasn’t horrible for a last minute freak out moment.  However, at the start..everything worked easily and therefore Yota and I could just get started.  He was extremely excited.  He didn’t bark a ton like he did at See Spot Run, but he did jump up and down a lot.  He just loves to run and he REALLY loves to run with a bunch of people.

I’m not going to be able to relay the course very well because I was lost when I was on it.  About the only thing I remember is a hill that came out of no where and a very sharp left turn (I think everyone said this was at 5 points).  About half a mile in, Yota decided that now would be the most opportune time to use the bathroom..so he stopped right in front of me in the middle of the road and I basically had to leap frog over him to avoid tripping.  Thankfully I still had doggy bags hooked to his leash, unfortunately it was the lost one.  I prayed the whole time that he wouldn’t have to go again.  Thankfully he didn’t.

So, post Yota bathroom stop..we are just moving along.  Right before the race, Andy and I signed up for the MVP part of MapMyRun and it includes coaching.  So basically, every 2 minutes, this woman can tell you what your pace is and if you’re going to slow or too fast based on the goal pace you set.  My goal pace was a 10:30.  After the bathroom stop, I started getting feedback from her… we were currently doing an 8 something pace.  I mentally told Yota that we were going to have to dial it back a notch or else I wasn’t going to make it.  He didn’t listen.  So we took walk breaks instead on this race.  We would sprint at his 8 something pace (I swear Andy programmed this in him) and then we would like for a short period so I could catch my breath.  We went at this for the rest of the race pretty much.  I still didn’t have any high hopes of getting a PR…I was just enjoying my run with my dog at this point.  I vaguely remember hearing my times at each mile from my app, and the race organizers forgot the time clocks for each mile..so it felt like I was running a little blind.

Photo 1

My goal for this race was to run a sub 33 (my best was a 33:28) and my uber goal was to do a 32:33.  Like I said before though..I felt like it just wasn’t the day for that.  So, Yota and I are running and I have no idea where I am on this course or where in relation to the finish I am, but we start running down this long road and I see my father in law way down at the end taking pictures.  I figure we have to be close to the finish if he’s on the course.  So..I make a promise to not walk anymore of the race and Yota and I start putting in the final kick of the race.  We come to the end of that street and there is another man there who yells something at me.  So I rip out an earbud and give him the universal look of “can you repeat that please”.  He yells a time… 32 minutes.  As I hear this and round the corner at the same time..I can see the finish line..I didn’t know it was so close..holy cow..I can actually meet my goal and PR this thing.  As I cross the line I’m pretty sure it says like 32:20something.  I’m way excited at this point.  That did not feel like a PR race.  At All. I’ll take it though.

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I hand off Yota to the inlaws for a minute so I can catch my breath.  I grab some water and then we take Yota over to a water bowl while we wait for Andy.  I ended up taking Yota back because he was just way too excited about the other people and other dogs.   Now that I was done with my run, we could then use my father in laws phone (that I was using on the run) to track Andy on the course.  That was a really cool feature.  This way, we knew when to expect him.  He had already come by of course and I later learned that he saw the clock at his 5k point and would have had an awesome 5k time as well.  Despite that, he was doing the 10k..so he got to do the course twice.  I believe he wanted to finish in under an hour and when he came across the finish line, it was in the 54s.  That was so exciting.  We talked later about how easy the course felt and how good the race felt.  It just seemed to come easy that day.  Our official times came in at 54:42 for Andy and 32:17 for me.

Once we visited for a bit after the race, we got back in the car to head back to Marietta.  It was nice to have already run so that we could enjoy our weekend and pig out without guilt.  Someone was knocked out on the way home.

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March: Things I’m Loving

Hey everybody! I hope you are having a beautiful start to your April.  It’s in the high 80s here and is really starting to feel like Summer.

Anywho, if you follow my youtube videos, you will see that I have started doing a monthly favorites video for my favorite beauty items.  I did a February favorites last month and will be uploading a March favorites this week.  They are just quick videos that I do talking about my favorite beauty products.  So I thought I would do something similar on here.  However, my favorites I list on here most likely won’t be beauty related.  They will be more home, life, internet, design related.  The things I do outside of beauty videos.  If you like this idea and want me to continue it, just hit the like button above (if you are a wordpress user) or comment below.  Let’s get started.

1. Swagbucks

I know I talked about Swagbucks in my last blog, but I had to put it on here as well because it has just taken over my brain this month.  In the month of March, I got $30 in Amazon giftcards from Swagbucks alone.  It’s just amazing and I can’t wait to figure out what I’m going to spend my free giftcards on.  If you missed last week’s post and want to know more about Swagbucks…click here!

2. Our Yard!

The past few weeks, Andy and I have been working hard on our yard.  We’ve been raking up leaves, planting flowers, mowing, edging, etc.  We are so tired of yard work, but the results are fantastic.  We do have a shortage of grass in our yard (thanks to an endless canopy of shade in the backyard and my lovely 80lb lap dog), but otherwise…it is SO NICE to have everything cleaned up and put together.  We’ve even filled the bird feeders and Yota just loves watching the birds fly to and from the feeders. I am planning to post a blog about my garden soon and I’ll include pics of the yard then.

3. Womanfreebies.com

Now..this is somewhat of a love/hate situation.  Until Easter Sunday, womanfreebies.com is hosting an egg hunt on their website.  They have set up a special software on the site that randomly places eggs throughout the site at random times.  These eggs contain giftcards for all kinds of places (ie: Target, Dairy Queen, McDonalds, Barnes & Noble).  I won a Subway giftcard in the very beginning (a few weeks ago), but I’m just dieing to win another giftcard.  I’ve been addicted to this site day in and day out.  If you have the ability to surf their website (it’s mobile friendly as well)…try your luck and see if you win a giftcard.  If you’re a big winner..comment below and let me know.  Did I mention that one of those giftcards contains an Ipad?  Their website also contains a ton of coupons and free samples of everything from food to beauty products.  Make sure to stop in on the hunt before easter. You can get to the hunt by clicking the photo below.

Easter egg hunt

Now..just like on my videos, I’m only going to post the number of things that coorelate with the month number.  Meaning, your April favorites blog post will have 4 items.

I hope you enjoyed this and have a good week!

St. Pats 5K recap

Hello everybody..morning going alright?  Mine was good.  I had a breakfast meeting for an organization this morning and it went off well.  It’s nice sometimes to have things like that to go to because it forces you to really put your professional gear on and actually want to do my hair fully.  It’ so easy to fall into a rut of black pants, hair in a bun..know what I mean?

Anyway, so last Saturday, Andy and I ran the St. Pat’s in 5 Points Get to the Green 5k.  That’s a mouthful…

I’m excited because even though I didn’t train, I still beat my race time by a minute over last year.  Isn’t that awesome?! Also, my recovery was a lot easier and I hardly had any down time..woohoo to being in better shape! Here’s a pic of Andy and I with a friend of ours:

Wow…that’s rough looking.  Anywho..so after the race, Andy and I headed home to get cleaned up for the festival.  Every year, the 5pts area host the St. Pat’s festival and it’s always a good time.  Fortunately the weather was nice (very warm) and we got to see some good performances.  They have a handful of stages that bands play on throughout the day.  The 3 perfomances we saw were Crossfade, Hinder, & Blackberry Smoke.  We also enjoyed our share of beverages:

This week has been the typical work week..nothing exciting really.  We have to attend a formal dinner this evening, but I can’t wait for Friday.  Even though I have to work weekends, something still feels great about Friday.

Do you have any special weekend plans?

P.S. I’ve been partaking in this scavenger hunt on womanfreebies.com.  They have randomly placed eggs throughout their website (on the individual posts) and each egg contains a prize.  I won a $5 subway giftcard the other day, but they have all kinds of prizes including an Ipad.  Check it out and maybe you might win something exciting!

Ski Week at Winterplace

Hey everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  The weather around here is looking absolutely wonderful.  Look at this 5 day…

Other than the rain tomorrow…doesn’t all that sunshine and warm temps just make you smile.  I absolutely love spring. Something about working our way back into dresses and flip flops…

Anywho…our weather this week is a far cry from where I was last week.  Actually, not that far.  We did some late season skiing at Winterplace Ski Resort in West Virginia.  It was unbelievable.  I had never been skiing before and didn’t really know what to expect.  Andy and I did lessons each morning and the instructors were so helpful.  They took this absolute beginner and had me skiing most of the blues by the end of the week.  They truly were a big part in teaching me how to ski.

As far as the slopes…it was late season of a already warm winter and natural snow was hard to come by.  Winterplace did a fantastic job of keeping most of the slopes covered with the fake stuff and if it weren’t for the 50 and 60 degree temps (that feel like 80 when you are skiing), I would have totally believed I was in a winter wonderland. Okay..so enough from me…here are the pics:

Doesn’t it look wonderful.  So yea…we had a great time and can’t wait to go back next year!

On a side note…Andy and I will be running in a St. Pats in 5k this weekend that I am not at all prepared for.  Here’s to getting in a last minute training run this week.

Update: Don’t mind the 5day forecast in the photo gallery…I can’t seem to figure out how to get it out of there! If you have any tips, feel free to comment below! Thanks!

Back Home…

We are back in Columbia now and I am honestly glad to be home.  The trip this weekend really rejuvenated me and is helping me stay motivated this week.  Now where did I leave off…oh right..Sunday!

Sunday was the brunch and it was delicious! I love brunches.  It was nice to see all of the family love that everyone had for Dave and celebrating his 60th Birthday.  I took lots of pictures, you can find them on facebook under Baltimore III.  We left Baltimore around 2ish and were planning to be home by about 10pm.  Well…you know what they say about plans…we of course got stuck just on the Virgina side of Washington DC for about an hour of stop and go traffic…that is the one thing that drives me crazy about cities.  I can’t stand that traffic! However, we finally made it home just before midnight and got to sleep in our own bed!! I love our bed.  I want a King, but I love our Queen…it’s just perfect for how I like my mattresses.

Yesterday morning I went and picked up  Yota and I think he was so ready to come home.  He got right into the car without any hassle and was quiet the whole time.   He lounged around yesterday morning and went into his kennel fairly easily.  Yesterday was a good day…he behaved for the most part and he slept until about 7am this morning.  We got up…went outside…I fed him breakfast…and he didn’t eat.  For those of you who know him, Yota is a lab/hound mix and he ALWAYS eats! However, he wanted to play so I took that as a sign that he wasn’t too sick.  I took him for a walk so we didn’t wake Andy, and Yota loved it.  He loves going for walks…just to sniff and trot right along.  When we got back, he still wouldn’t eat.

As of right now, he has only eaten a little of his food and he is really starting to stress me.  I don’t want to leave him here without eating hardly anything, but I do have to go to work..so we’ll see how the next 45 or so minutes go.  I’ll keep you updated on his status.  Until then, I have to go get ready, but I’m sure I’ll be back soon.  Stay posted : )

Stop & Go to Baltimore

Today we left Columbia to make the 8.5 hour drive to Baltimore.  Andy started the drive and drove until about 1/2 way through North Carolina.  We hit our first bit of traffic in Charlotte…needless to say…this set the precedent for the rest of the trip.

We stopped and got gas (we are in the Jetta…meaning more fill-ups) and did a driver change.  So far so good..weather was beautiful..road was smooth…we were just getting settled and Andy had just leaned back to take short nap when all of sudden traffic stopped.  We were just shy of the North Carolina/Virgina border and we sat in the first of many stop and go traffic jams of the day.  To backtrack…we went to the gym first thing this morning to get our workout in and I added a bit of a leg workout to the end of session today..so my calfs and legs are plenty tight today with working them and then sitting in the car for basically 9 hours.  To add to that…the Jetta is a stick shift which means with the stop and go traffic…my left calf and leg was getting twice the workout today from constantly pressing the clutch.

So we broke through that bit of traffic (which seemed to have no reason other than the 3 police officers hanging out around their cars on the side of the interstate) and got going again.  We had discussed me driving to Richmond and then switching back at that point.  So we start heading towards Richmond (we had to take I-77 to I-85 to I-95) and start getting into the city.  Richmond is a decently large city with a lot of neat older architecture.  I decided I was going to get us just past Richmond and then stop to switch.  Well just outside of Richmond we hit another round of stop and go traffic.  There was a sign saying that an incident was up ahead, but I never saw any clues as to the incident.

By this point, I was getting pretty tired of driving a stick in stop-go traffic.  I was getting not only physically tired, but mentally as well.  However, I knew I just needed to push forward to finish my stint.  I got us to just before Alexandria, VA (we really want to visit there some day…would love to see Arlington Cemetery..so much emotion) and we stopped for gas, driver change, and dinner.  Andy drove us through Alexandria were we hit a little more traffic and then through Washington DC (a little more traffic).  It’s always exciting to see the monuments and architectural designs of our nations capitol.  We can’t wait to drive through during the day.

So…here we are…we finally made it to Baltimore…right now we are laying in our bed…about to fall asleep, but I wanted to leave you guys with a few of these pics first.  Good Night Everyone!

Clock in Richmond, VA

Cool Night Shots in Washington DC

Tomorrow we will be in Baltimore.  We are planning to go to the inner-harbor and I hope to get a lot of great pictures.  Tomorrow is also a very special day in the sense that tomorrow is Racer’s birthday.  She would have been 18 years old.  It’s going to be an emotional day, but I am sure we will still enjoy the city sights and eat lots of crab for her. (Crab was one of Racer’s favorite foods).