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!



This is becoming a habit.  This routine of writing a blog about why I’ve been MIA and thinking I’m going to dive full force back into it and then disappearing for months on end…it’s becoming a habit.  A habit I fully intend to break.  I’m putting things in place to break it.  I’m adding blogging to my life planner and putting in lists of things I need/want to do to the blog.  I’m making a bigger effort.  I’m going to try and revitalize this dead blog.

Just to update you though, life has been weird.  It feels like it’s a constant thing of one event to the next.  There isn’t any sense of normalcy.  My fitness is hurting bad right now.  I have the mental motivation, but so many things keep getting in the way.  I’ve done something to my foot.  I run and then I can’t walk for days..so I wait until it doesn’t hurt anymore.  I bought a trainer so I can ride my bike even through this eternal winter we are in, and I put the bike on the trainer to find that my big front gear is bent.  It’s just one thing after another.  I can tell my body wants to move though.  I feel antsy all the time.

Last week I chaired our annual Regal event and I’ll post about that soon with pictures and everything.  It was fun, but I felt burnt out from it for days.

We bought a big toy.  That’s all I’m going to say on that.  I’ll provide more details later.

Yota is on a every 2-3 week visit to the vet for his ear issues.  We have been fighting them forever and I’m just ready to have it cleared up.  Hopefully soon…

I think this is where I’ll end today..that way I have more to talk about later ; )

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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Photo 5

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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My Little Water Dog

So..one last July 4th post..promise!

So..I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but after we ran the Born in the USA 4 miler, we got cleaned up, packed up the car and the dog, and made our way down to James Island County Park.  I had read that they have a dog park with access to a lake so that dogs can swim.

Now, Yota is part Bloodhound, but we are pretty positive he is part lab as well.  He has similar looks to a lab, he LOVES! Fetch with a passion (possibly even more than eating), and when he was a puppy, he looked just like a lab.  He also has black fur and his Bloodhound mother was a typical tan coloring.


The only thing he didn’t seem to be a fan of was water.  As a puppy, he loved the rain.  Anytime it would rain he would beg to go out in it to play and he would get major zoomies.  As he got older though, not so much.

So this past May, we ran a 5k with him and they had doggie pools everywhere.  He did not care to go in them at all.  So finally at the end, we picked up his feet and made him at least stand in it.  I think his feet must have been warm because he didn’t try to move.

See Spot Run 5k - 5/18/13

See Spot Run 5k – 5/18/13

A few weeks later, at the dog park at Sesqui, I encouraged him to get in the doggie pools there, and he did! He even layed down.  From then on, he loved the pools.  If we were playing fetch at the park, every few throws, he would run over to the pool, drop his ball and lay down in the water to cool off.  It was perfect! Towards the end of June, Andy got him a pool for at home and he loves it.  He isn’t in it all the time, but when we play, he will sometimes go sit in it to cool off.

So..we decided it was time to swim and we took him down to James Island County Park to learn to swim.

Source Unknown (If you know who took this pic, please let me know)

Source Unknown (If you know who took this pic, please let me know)

At first he was timid.  He played around with the other dogs on the grass and sand, but every time one would run into the water, he would stop at the edge.  So finally, I told Andy to go get his tennis ball and I slipped off my flip flops and slowly walked with Yota into the lake.  As long as I walk with him, he’s okay.  So we stayed like that for a little while and I would get a little deeper every few minutes..finally when I was up to about mid thigh, he got to a point that he couldn’t really touch anymore.  So then he started jumping around.  So we walked back up to the shore so that he could calm down again.  About that time Andy got back with the ball and we started tossing it short distances into the water.  Still where he could touch.  Then we started tossing it further.  The first time it went out of reach, he kind of panicked and looked back at us.  So I walked into the water with him towards the ball.  When we got to the point of no touch, he started jumping around and tried to get me to hold him.  I told him now and tried to encourage his swimming.  He swam a little to get the ball and then high tailed it back to shore.  We kept doing this until eventually he was comfortable swimming on his own to go get the ball.  This video says it all and if you’re a parent of a child or a furbaby, I think you can understand the excitement and pride we had for him.

I really didn’t mean for this to get so long, but I just got to talking and rambled on.  It was really an exciting day for all of us and I think it opened up a whole new world for him.  It’s like he finally found another part of him (the water loving lab part).

Do you have a pet that is like a child to you? 

Finishing School

It’s official…I am out of class for the summer. I finished my last “exams” this week and I am free. It felt like such a big relief to get everything done..now I just have to unload all of my paintings out of my backseat.
I just can’t even describe the amount of relief I felt when I was done with school. It’s amazing. However, all of the pressure came back 100% with work, design work, and the wedding. Now I am back to stressed, anxious Kristen.
Yota and I have been attending obedience training the past two weeks…and…in some ways I know it helps because I can make him listen to me, but in others..it’s not. When he is really going crazy…he doesn’t listen to anyone! He just goes psycho! I have to figure out something to keep him calm.

Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to better control my crazy, psycho dog?