Wednesday, April 27, 2016

9 Months

You guys...


being married to this guy is a lot of fun :)
This month was jam packed....


We tried out a new to us restaurant, Foody's. You guys...I'm obsessed! They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner...AND...they are right down the street. We have already been twice...I foresee many Foody's trips in our future.


We added some furniture to the sunroom/reading nook...next up things for the wall ;) #ItsNeverEnding #ButIKindOfLoveIt


The grill made it's return :)


We hosted our first family dinner...and Gracie's face says it all ;) Unfortunately, when you are the host and cooking the dinner there is no time for photos! Next time I vow to do it all...or learn to delegate the photo taking responsibilities.



We made 2 new to us recipes...and honestly they might be my favorite ones yet!


We discovered our new (or maybe just mine) favorite drink...Fresca + cherry vodka...thank me later :)


We spent an evening with Finley...and her baby dolls :)



I think it is safe to say we are great babysitters ;)



We spent the afternoon/evening at No Other Pub and watched Royals and Sporting win! It's so much more fun when your sports teams are winning ;) #KeepItUpBoys



Speaking of winning...we went to our first Royals game of the season. Lucky for us they pulled out another win :)



We tackled yet another home improvement task...we pulled up all the carpet on the stairs so we could get the trim painted.

Although the stairs are looking a little rough...I have to say it's 10x better than that hideous brown carpet. We have the new carpet ordered for the stairs and basement and fingers crossed it gets here soon...but not too soon...I still haven't finished painting...Have I told you lately I hate painting ;)
Our anniversary date this month started out at Home Goods...we are nothing if not romantic around here ;)



Nothing says love (to me at least) like a cart full of home decor :)


And no...we did not buy Gracie a stroller...but maybe I might just have to  go back and get it today ;)


After dragging AJ through aisle after aisle...and then back through just one more time...we headed to Up Down Bar and Arcade.


On Sundays they have a special where you get 4 domestic tallboys and 80 tokens...AJ of course volunteered to wear the fanny pack ;)


Beers + Arcade games = one of the best anniversary dates yet!
Friday, April 22, 2016

Garmin Half Marathon Recap

It's been a week since I crossed the finish line of The Garmin Half. I had originally planned on posting my review right after...but I thought it would be better to give it some time so I could be a little more upbeat...warning...this post will likely be a bit dramatic ;) 


You see...the Garmin half marathon kicked my ass...like REALLY kicked my ass. 

I would like to blame it strictly on the course and the weather...but we all know my lack of training played a big part as well.



Looking at the course elevation, one would think it was relatively flat...one would be WRONG...and we aren't talking "rolling hills" we are talking straight up and straight down hills...hills that my legs were in no way prepared for.

Since getting my treadmill "Millie" in January, I have spent more time that I would like to admit logging my training miles with her assistance...and while I am not a fan of the treadmill for many reasons...one thing I do love is the lack of hills ;)

I was pretty familiar with the first part of the course, which I knew to be pretty hilly, so I kept telling myself that if I made it past those first few miles, I would be okay.

And, I was...sort of. The course flattened out for a bit (I think...sometimes think I black out during races) but then came the final stretch of the race...and by final stretch I mean the last 4 miles...

I pushed through and knew that mile 12 was coming up ahead...then I saw it...the horror...the torture...the unjustice....The hill of doom...

You guys...this killed my legs and my spirit. I was so, so, so, tired...and done. I looked at that hill...gave it the middle finger...and began to walk...

That is until the 2 hour pace group passed me...and then it was on. I mustered up every last bit of strength I had and started running again. Passed the 2 hour pace group and managed to cross the finish line in 1:59:44...talk about cutting that sub 2 close!


Again for this race my only goals were to have fun...and run a sub 2. At least I managed one of them...although barely ;) 

While I struggled through this race, I am proud of myself for managing negative splits (faster second half than first) If you had asked me during the race or immediately after I would have told you there was no way the 2nd half was faster...#BecauseHills, but somehow my poorly trained body managed to surprise me yet again! 

While the course was one of the hardest I have ever run, I would say overall the race was great...packet pick-up/expo: A+, parking: A+ (although, after the race it was a little rouch), post race: A+, the medal and finishers shirt: A+

To distract myself from death during the race I snap-chatted my adventure...

I now present to you the first ever "Snap Chat Half" 


5 AM wake-up calls are always fun...#SaidNoOneEver


Fun fact...I never leave the house without mascara. Love me or hate me for it...it is what it is. I have blonde eyelashes and look rather scary without it...so really, I am doing you a favor ;)
 

Garmin changed the course this year...and if it had stayed the same the start line would have been less than 2 miles from my house...and minus about 400 hills... 


The absolutely worst part of running a race is the 5-10 minutes you are standing in the corral waiting to begin...#SoManyPeople


Caution...hills are larger than they appear ;)


This woman went all out...green face paint and all!

By the time I got to mile 4 I knew I had to break the race down into smaller increments...#CanYouTellITeachFractions


 I can't remember exactly what mile this was...maybe 6? Taking photos and running is not an easy task ;)


 This gave me quite a giggle...I was delirious at this point :) 


It was all downhill (not literally) from here! 


 No words necessary...WOOF!


 Remember that mile 12 hill I told you about...this was it...and again...hills are larger than they appear ;)


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The INCREDIBLE Virtual Run {GIVEAWAY}


Last month I participated in my very first virtual run...and I to tell you...I LOVED it! I loved being able to run whenever and wherever I wanted and not have to spend a half an hour pre-race in line for the porta potties....

And then...I loved it even more when I received my killer finisher medal




Isn't it awesome? 

Brad from Level Up reached out to me again and offered me a free entry to their next virtual run "The Incredible Virtual Run"

While I am an avid collector of bling, I just couldn't fathom trying to fit another race in these next couple of weeks...so I asked if it would be okay if I gave away my entry to one of my followers...and of course he said YES! 

The winner will receive an entry to the race, a custom 4" medal, as well as a $25 gift certificate to SLS3!
 
I am currently hosting the giveaway over on my Instagram page and all you have to do is like and comment for a chance to win...easy peasy! So head on over and check it out!! 
Giveaway 

*Giveaway will close Thursday, April 14th @8AM and winners will be announced shortly after. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Rock the Parkway Recap

How fitting is it that this popped up on my FB memories today...


 Last year I ran RTP as sort of a redemption run and to erase the horror that was Rock the Parkway 2014. I trained my tail off, drop a few lbs, ran a sub 1:45 and set a HUGE PR for myself. I spent weeks residing on cloud 9 and felt more pride in myself than I have ever felt before. I had literally ROCKED that parkway in 2015.

Fast forward to this year...my training was lackluster at best. I seemed to have lost my motivation and drive to prepare my body as rigorously as I had the year prior. Instead of giving up nights out with friends...I gave up long runs. Instead of pushing myself to the limits with speed work...I ran slower paces...mostly on the treadmill while watching Real Housewives :)

When I lined up at the start line of RTP on Saturday I was a bag of nerves. I felt pretty confident that I would finish the race...even if I had to run/walk...and eventually crawl over the finish line ;) However, what I was worried about was after...I worried about how I would feel when the race was over and I didn't reach a goal I had set...would I still feel exhilarated and proud? Would running 13.1 miles regardless of how long it took me still make me feel accomplished? 

I went into this race mostly goal-less. Publicly I stated my only goal was to have fun...but when I got to the start line I told myself that my goal would be to finish under 2 hours. 

Because I am not the best at race recaps, I will keep it short and sweet...


I had an absolute blast...



...and finished in just under 2 hours! 

All those concerns about not getting a shiny new PR flew right out the window around mile 8...At mile 8, it happened. I got the always coveted "Runners' High" and felt a moment of pure joy and love for this sport that I have loathed for the last few months. I remembered in that very moment WHY I do this.

So yes, I finished 15 minutes slower than last year...but it didn't change a thing. I still felt joy and pride in my accomplishment. 

And while I didn't give it my all like I did last year in training...at least I never gave up, although I wanted to throw in the towel numerous times. I have a lot to be proud of...I may not have run my fastest half marathon this weekend...but I ran it. I had the courage to go out there and push my body to it's current limits...and I succeeded.

No matter the finish time, running 13.1 miles will always be an accomplishment in my books