Monday, April 30, 2012

Got my First 5K under my Belt!'s official...I completed my very first 5K and lived to tell about it.  :)

One of my 409 ladies, Ali, flew down to Atlanta from Virginia for the weekend and agreed to run with me.  We got up nice and early and headed to the runner's area at around 7:30 so I could pick up my bib and race packet.  We met up with my friend and local running buddy, Sharon, and later, my old boss, Shannon, from Canada.

They had a DJ set up playing music for us as well as a photographer that was taking pictures for free!  Ali, Sharon, and I decided to partake in the fun.  (Excuse the poor photoshopping - this picture was too cute not to post) -

We made our way to the start line and waited for the official "go"!  There were over 1200 people running/walking

The sea of runners

Myself, Sharon, and Ali waiting for the race to start
And then we were off!  Shannon left us in her dust as she headed into the crowd, Ali and I started our jog and Sharon was behind us.  We ran out of the hospital parking lot (shouldn't the race end there?), up a road, and into the quarry.  We got lucky and ran on a dirt road all throughout the quarry so the impact did not tear my shins apart.  Running through was pretty neat - they had all the equipment, huge mounds of whatever it is that they use/get out of the quarry :)  It was a nice course.  I walked more than I would have liked, but it is what it is and I know where I need to improve.  Ali stayed with me the whole time even though I encouraged her to run ahead if she wanted to.  It was nice having someone there to chat with a little bit during the run.  I finished my first mile in 10:32!!  I was so surprised and impressed with myself!  My second and third miles both fell into the 12:00 range, but at least I know I'm capable of running faster!

When we got in sight of the finish line, Ali took off.  I maintained my slowish jog and smiled when I saw J crouched down snapping a picture of me.

I look like I'm power walking but I swear I was running!
The professional photographer was also at the finish line.  I saw him and gave him this -

Thumbs up!
And finally Shannon, who rocked out a time of 35 minutes, was right at the finish line and snagged a picture of me with my finish time -

First 5K in the books!
They had us walk up a small area, tear off our chip from the bib and then Shannon, Ali and I waited and cheered Sharon on as she crossed.  J came up and I forced him to take the sweaty kiss I had, then we headed up to get our t-shirts, water, and check out the festivities.  Thank goodness my shins were not killing me!!  I iced and massaged them the night before and they really felt great, although the Biofreeze one of the vendors was handing out after the race felt amazing on them.

Still smiling!
Later Saturday evening the stats were posted on  My official time was 39:12 - I finished 31/66 in my age category and 699/1207 overall.  Not too shabby!  Now that I've set the bar with my first 5K time, I've got to beat it, and being the competitive person that I am, I'm pretty confident I will.

I had a blast running my very first 5K and I cannot wait for my next one.  Sharon and I have signed up for The Freight Train 5K on May 20th.  They have a whole series that we would ideally like the finish.  Their last race of the series is a half marathon the week before the Princess half, so we may opt to do the 5K that weekend instead.

Ali and I rewarded ourselves after the race with a tasty treat -

We shared the Maple Bacon doughnut and grabbed J a coffee buttercream doughnut at Dutch Monkey Doughnuts.  If you're ever in the area I highly recommend checking them out!

A huge congrats to two of my other 409 ladies who also ran 5K's on Saturday morning!  Awesome job, Julie and Amanda!!

Big thanks to Shannon, Sharon, and Ali for running the race - it was a ton of fun!  Also a thank you to J's company, Hansgrohe, for covering my entry fee.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3 Years and Counting

Taking a break from my normal post on running to give a shout out to my wonderful husband on our anniversary!  It's been 3 years since we said "I Do" in front of family and friends on the beautiful sand of Pensacola Beach, FL.  He's currently in Chicago for KBIS (the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show) so I'll be celebrating with a friend at dinner tonight.  Here's a few pictures of us on our wedding day -

When he first saw me
Dad made me laugh the whole way down

Ready to do this, honey?

Such a Daddy's Girl

Sweet picture of my parents

You may kiss the bride!
Fun pics on the beach
My two younger brothers
Our first dance - Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillet "Lucky"
Icing right up my nose
Dancing with my brothers
My favorite wedding picture
 Sorry for the photo overload, but I wanted to share some of my favorites from our wedding day.  Photos courtesy of our wedding photographers, David and Jessica Marshall of David & Jess Wedding Photography.

Thanks for a wonderful 3 years of marriage honey.  I look forward to celebrating many more with you.  You're the icing to my cupcake and the macaroni to my cheese :)

And to all my beautiful 409 ladies - Happy Anniversary month to you all. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pushing Through the Pain

Today I decided to skip using my C25K app and instead try out a new Interval Timer app that I downloaded.  I hope to use this during my 5K on Saturday and wanted to give it a shot.  I programed it to run 5:1 intervals.  With the C25K it always has you start off with a 5 minute walk, but today I just stretched and jumped right into the running part.  I think I may need to walk at least the first one or two minutes just to warm myself up.

As my run went on I started to feel that dreaded pain almost all runners experience at least once - SHIN SPLINTS.  OMG it was soooooo painful to run.  I had to stop for 30 seconds or a minute here and there during my run, but for the most part I kept going.  I finished 3.08 miles in just under 38 minutes.  I was almost in tears when I got home...I think I'm going to rest my legs and not do another run until my race this weekend.  If anyone has any tips to help soothe my ailing shins please leave a comment!!

Speaking of my first race, I found a GREAT article posted on the C25K Facebook page called 9 Race-Day Tips for Your First 5K courtesy of  It's got some great information so I definitely urge you to check it out if you're training for your first 5K.

I am headed to bed.  Along with my shins screaming at me, my stomach isn't feeling quite right either.  Hoping some sleep will make it better.

I'll leave you with this, as it's something that I have to keep reminding myself.

Until next time,


Monday, April 23, 2012

Almost "Blown" Away

So the hubs and I spent the weekend celebrating our 3rd anniversary in the place where we got married - Pensacola Beach, FL - we had a great time.  We were able to get some beach time in, and I believe this may be the first time we've come back without sunburns!  Friday was a pretty laid back day - we did the beach, then I took a nap, we showered and met some friends for dinner at The Grand Marlin (phenomenal restaurant) then we went for drinks at a local hot spot that was PERFECT for people watching.  I took some pictures but I'll spare you - let's just say it was a 50+ crowd, many of whom needed to get a room.

Saturday morning we woke up to some very dreary weather.  We headed out to breakfast, grabbed some snacks for the hotel room, and went back to just relax.  We know the General Manager of the hotel very well so I went down and chatted with her and showed her pictures of our house and Guinness (if you're in the Pensacola Beach area I highly recommend the Holiday Inn Express Pensacola Beach - great hotel, great staff, and all the rooms face the ocean).

Remember me talking about my 409ers?  Well one of them (we'll call her K) lives in Fort Walton Beach and she and her parents were hosting a spring beer tasting Saturday night, so J and I drove over and spent some time with her friends and family.  We got to meet her adorable daughter as well as her husband.  We tasted lots of yummy beer and some that were not so yummy.  It was a great way to spend a rainy Saturday evening.

Sunday morning I ALMOST didn't get up for my run - my throat was hurting and I couldn't breathe out of one nostril, but J convinced me to stick with it so I went for it.  It was WINDY!!! (hence the title of the blog post) At first I got a little chilly and then as I ran I warmed up a bit.  I had mapped out my route before leaving home so I knew how far I was going, and the run was pretty good!  I went a little over 3 miles in until 40 minutes.  I'm still kind of stuck on W5D2 of C25K but I had much less walking today.  I may try it one more time tomorrow and see how I do.

On the beach after my run
 J met me in the lobby for breakfast, where we saw dolphins out in the ocean :) We took a quick walk on the beach before we headed back up to our room, packed, and headed home.  We also saw some manta rays, and the Blue Angels flew by our hotel.  We had a great time and will be back next year for our anniversary.

So my first 5K is in less than a week!!! 

The sign alerting motorists of the run

I'm a little nervous about it, and my goal is to finish in under 45 minutes, so hopefully I can still stick with that.  I downloaded an interval timer app onto my phone to help me with my run/walk method so we shall see!

Until next time,


Friday, April 20, 2012

8 minutes never seemed so long...

Last night I flew down to Pensacola to meet J for our annual anniversary trip. We got married here in 2009 and come back each year to celebrate. He coordinated it with a work trip and drove down, so I flew down and will drive back with him on Sunday. Our actual anniversary isn't until next Wednesday, but he'll be out of town and we have a friend coming into town next weekend. I was determined to keep up my running even though I'm on vacation, so after hitting snooze a couple of times I got up, got ready, and started my run. Today was Week 5, Day 2 of C25K. I had mapped out my run yesterday so I knew what I was going to do and wouldn't be running in areas I wasn't familiar with. After a 5 minute warm up I was to run 8 minutes straight...I was soooo not prepared to do this! The first interval I think I only walked once in the 8 minutes and made up for it during the walking interval. During the second 8 minute run interval I walked a little more (only about 2 minutes total) and again made up for it when I was supposed to walk. I'm not sure if it had to do with the weather (it was 70 degrees at 8 a.m.) or running in circles around the block, or maybe I just wasn't ready to move on...but I'm proud of the fact that I got myself out of bed and did my run. I will probably repeat this day on Sunday though. As soon as I can get J moving, we're going to grab some beignets at a local place (where we had our wedding reception), grab some drinks and snacks at the grocery store, and head over to the beach to catch some rays. Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! Until next time, Jen

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Running on Mother Nature's time....

Bleh.  After getting only 5 hours of sleep Monday night, I was DRAGGING by the end of the workday and really didn't want to run.  But...skipping a day wasn't going to help me improve (and the forecast calls for rain for most of the day Wednesday), so as soon as I got home, I quickly changed clothes, took the pup out, and started my run.

Remember me talking about my 409 ladies?  Well...we decided that we are going to do a "virtual marathon" in a month.  We are recording our runs/walks and in a month, we should all have done a marathon.  Wednesday is the official first day, but some of us started a day early.

I decided to forego the C25K training today and just see what my time would be if I ran a 5K tomorrow.  I chose to run up into the neighborhood next door, then back down to my neighborhood.  As I got about halfway through my run, I heard a clap of thunder.  Great...I'm gonna have to cut my run short and have my neighbor come pick me up, I thought to myself as I was running.  I kept pushing through and made it back into my neighborhood.  At least if the rain comes it will motivate me to run faster and get home!  I pushed on and by the time I started the last leg of my run, the rain started to come down - just a little drizzle, which I could handle.

I made it home and no more than 5 minutes after I walked in the door, the bottom dropped out of the clouds and it began to pour.  I felt good about pushing myself to run the distance of a 5K.  I was able to finish it in just under 39 minutes...not too bad! 

Today is an off day, and I have a lot to do - work my 8 hours, run to get G some more dog food, home for a few, then off to Taco Mac to say farewell to a coworker that's leaving.  Then back home, do some laundry, and pack a few last minute things...I'm headed to meet J at the beach tomorrow night for the weekend! 

Happy running guys!

Until next time,


Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunday Runday :)

Sharon and I were supposed to meet up and run at the park at 8 a.m. yesterday morning, but she's on a new diet and wasn't feeling the energy, so we didn't do our weekend run together.  I must admit, it was nice to sleep in and lay in bed with my boys.

Yesterday was filled with laundry and packing, but I REALLY wanted to get a run in since I hadn't run since Wednesday and I didn't want all my hard work to go to waste.  So I laced up, told J I would see him soon, and hit the pavement.

Today was Week 5, Day 1, of the C25K program, and I felt pretty good through the whole run!  I decided that since I felt so good, I wanted to keep going a bit even after my training was done, so I ran/walked down to the end of our street and back up to the house.  I had gone 2.96 miles in 36 minutes, so I was pretty pleased with myself!

Tonight is an off day from running, so since J will be out of town, I plan to go home and relax with the pup.  For now, I leave you with this thought -

Until next time,


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Play Ball!

Can I just say how excited I am that baseball season is here?  J invited me to go to the home opener of the Gwuinnett Braves Thursday night with his training class, and it was a lot of fun - despite the fact that it was chillly and J was sick.

Watching the G Braves from the Party Deck
 Friday I left work early to get ready for our tailgate at the Atlanta Braves home opener.  I had hopes of getting a run in before leaving, but ran out of time.  We had a great time, and we had great seats.  Everyone even won a free burrito from Moe's when Brian McCann hit a 3-run homer!  And they came out with a win, 10-8.

Today, I went with my friend, Sharon, back to Big Peach Running so she could get fitted for running shoes!

Since I didn't think to take pictures when I had my analysis, Sharon was kind enough to let me take pictures during hers.  (Thanks Sharon!)  We found that she overpronates a bit and picked a new pair of Nikes as her "Glass Slipper".  She was even able to order them with her absolute FAVORITE color....PURPLE!  I bought a Run ATL shirt and a sample of Nuun to try out.  Afterward we went to Academy and bought some new running apparel.  I also bought a couple of packs of Sports Beans and Gu - even though I'm not running super long distances right now, I want to see if I like the products before I buy them or go to a race where they are handed out.

J has been at a paintball tournament today so it was nice to have a morning with the girls and then an afternoon with the pup.  We went to the dog park, where he managed to get muddy, so it was off to a bath when we got home.

A couple of weeks ago a fellow blogger, Tess, over at Because I Want To... (check her out!) had a giveaway for a Road ID bracelet, so I thought I'd enter and give it a shot, and I won!  So today when I checked the mail, I found this in the mailbox -

Yippee!!  It came!  The guys that own Road ID have such an awesome sense of humor.  Their confirmation emails and shipping emails had me cracking up.  The humor continued with the envelope -

My handy little pull tab broke, but I resisted the urge to grab the scissors and just ripped it open with my fingers o' steel.  And here is my RoadID bracelet -

 The purpose of the RoadID bracelet is to have emergency contacts if something was to happen to you while running, biking, walking, etc.  I think it's a great idea because if you're unresponsive paramedics or the person that discovers you has information to let loved ones know what has happened.  Since I'm planning on running the Disney Princess Half Marathon as my first half ever, I put the motivational quote "Run Like A Princess" at the bottom.  I settled on a black band because it will go with anything I decide to wear, but they also sell the bands in different colors so you can switch the information onto another color bracelet.  I may get more in the future :)

I am off to bed.  Meeting Sharon in the morning for a run.  Hopefully I can push myself since I haven't been able to run since Wednesday. 

Until next time,


**The opinions of RoadID are my own - I received the bracelet in a giveaway and think it's a great product**

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Halfway there!

My plans were to run immediately after work, but J and I had some errands to run to get ready for our first baseball tailgate of the year - the Atlanta Braves home opener on Friday night! 

After we bought our supplies and got home, I changed for my run while he packed his paintball gear (he plays on a team and they have a tournament on Saturday).  Today for my run I decided to venture up to the neighborhood next to ours.  We've walked it multiple times with Guinness, but I had yet to run it.  The voice inside my phone must have had laryngitis because she didn't tell me when to start running and when to walk!  Having to keep glancing down at my armband was annoying, but hey, it worked.  The Map My Run app got a facelift and had some great changes made to it.  A voice comes on at each mile and tells you how long you've been running, how far you've gone, and what your pace is.  I thought that was pretty cool.

As soon as I started my warm up, I knew my shorts were going to be a problem.  They absolutely refused to stay up!  I kept having to tug at them the entire run.  I guess the good thing is that they ARE too big on me!  Good thing I checked out Academy Sports on my lunch break yesterday and saw they have some great deals on running apparel.  I may be making a trip there this weekend.

So I'm halfway through the C25K program, and I got really excited as I can see the progress that I'm making.  That's the great thing about the Map My Run app...I can run it in the background and have all the mileage and min/mile information for me.  When I looked at my past workouts I can see my mileage increase - woo hoo!

(Ignore the walk - that was an rest day from running)

I think it's finally sinking in that I WILL be able to meet the goals I have set for myself.  I haven't had a negative thought during my runs in over a week, and I can feel it getting easier to complete the C25K workouts.

Tonight should be a fun night - I'm going to the home opener for the Gwinnett Braves with J's training class and some of his coworkers.  Is it 4:30 yet??

Until next time,


Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Adoption Day, Guinness! (And a run, too!)

A year ago today, we adopted Guinness into our lives.  I blogged about him last week so I won't go into a ton of detail, but I had to give him a shout out!

I baked him some "pupcakes" from a recipe I found on Best Bully Sticks blog (great products for dogs and cats!) and got him a new toy by West Paw Design from our awesome local pet store, Fido's Market.

Today wasn't a bad day at work, but it being a BEAUTIFUL day outside made it hard to sit at my desk for 8 hours.  I was so ready to head to the park and get my run on!  I stretched and started my C25K training.  Our pollen count was relatively low, and normally it doesn't bother me, but I started sneezing, coughing, and sniffling all during the run, and my throat got drier than normal.  I had to walk when I was supposed to run at times, but I made up for it when I was supposed to walk.  I'll do this day over again because I felt I could have pushed myself farther.  I did go two tenths of a mile further than I did on Saturday, so that was a big plus!  

J is still sick, so after my run I went to Wal-Mart for medicine, Atlanta Bread Company for soup, and Menchie's for frozen yogurt for him.  Hopefully he feels better soon!  Tomorrow is an off day for running, so I plan to come home and play with the pup since he didn't get too much love from me today.

Until next time,


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Sorry I've been such a slacker on the blogging!  It's been a busy few days, but I'll catch ya up and do better about it this week.  Guinness got a fuzzy little hedgehog from J and I for Easter.  How much  ya wanna bet the squeaker's dead in five minutes and the stuffing is out in ten?

So Thursday J got home from his business trip to West Palm Beach (tough, right?)  I got home from work, gave him a kiss, and laced up to go for my Week 3, Day 3 C25K training run.  Today was good - I went one tenth of a mile farther than Tuesday and I just felt overall good after I was done. Oh!  And I got my first "runner's wave" know, when you're running around a track and meet a runner going in the opposite direction and they give you a little wave?  Geeky, but made me feel good!  I hit a wall after dinner and went to bed shortly after (which is why I never got around to blogging about it!)

Friday was an off day, so Saturday morning I got up bright and early and met my friend Sharon, who is also training to do some 5Ks, 10Ks, and the Disney Princess half.  We like to meet up at Fowler Park and run on one of their paths.  We warmed up together and then did our own thing as we were on different days of the C25K workout.  Today was another good run - I added yet another tenth of a mile to my total and "ran" into this on the final leg -

A hot air balloon landed in my way on the walking path!  I have always wanted to go up in one and to run right next to it was pretty stinkin' cool.  After our training Sharon and I chatted a bit, then headed in our separate ways.  I spent the rest of the day running errands with J, then we met some friends at Andretti Indoor Karting and Games to visit, have some drinks, and watch their son drive on the Junior Track.  We didn't drive this time, but it looks like a lot of fun to do!

Today was another off day of running and, unfortunately, J woke up sick so I've been playing nurse.  We did take Guinness to the dog park to get some energy out, and I visited with the neighbors while J got some rest on the couch this afternoon.  After a tasty dinner of Atlanta Bread Company, we're chilling on the couch watching some TV. 

I'm feeling like I may have pulled a ligament or tendon in my foot.  I know it's not the new shoes because it was hurting before I got them.  I'm debating on getting it checked out because I don't want to injure myself this early in my training. 

My company finally got rid of our business casual dress code and went to a more casual one.  Jeans to work everyday?  Yes please!  Tomorrow is another run day, so I'll be hitting the pavement after work.  I'm getting to the point where I actually enjoy getting to run!  Is it possible that I could actually be on my way to becoming a **gasp** runner?!?!

Until next time,


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Run at Home

Today was a run day for me,

So last night I put my running shoes in my new gym bag that J gave me so that I could grab it this morning on my way out the door.  Halfway to work I realized I had left the bag by the couch...oops.  I like running at the park more than in my neighborhood, but tonight would be an exception.

I got home, took the pup out, and headed out to do my training.  I was really happy about this workout.  It was the first day I had no negative thoughts while running AND I didn't curse at the woman in my phone when she told me to "start running".  I even ran a little when I was supposed to walk.  I felt fantastic by the time I got home.  I was sweaty and not too out of breath, so I know my endurance is getting better.

After three weeks of consistently running at least three times a week, I finally feel like I'm getting into a groove.  I find myself looking forward to my runs after work and on the weekends.  If the forecast calls for rain I always hope that it holds out so I can get my run in since I really don't like running on a treadmill.  It's a great feeling to have.

If you have a moment, stop by a fellow blogger's spot on the web, Because I Want To... for a chance to win a very cool RoadID Sport bracelet!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Meet Our Furbaby

(I wrote this Monday night but for whatever reason it didn't post and then the computer decided to eat it...but luckily I was able to go back on my iPad and find it)

I had a nice run on Sunday morning.  I was on Week 3, Day 1, of C25K, and I knew for sure that I wasn't going to be able to run for three minutes straight...I'm so out of shape!  But, I was able to push through and complete it without stopping.  I didn't run as far as I did in the earlier weeks, but that's okay - I know I'll get there.

Monday was an off day from running, so I decided to take our pup, Guinness, out for a walk around the neighborhood.

Guinness is our year and a half old Doberman/Shepherd mix pup.  We adopted him from Peace, Love, and Dog Paws Rescue out of Birmingham, Alabama.  I have wanted a dog for years but J and I lived in an apartment and we knew it wouldn't be fair to have a dog live in such a confined space.  J's job also requires him to travel quite a bit and I knew having a pup would help keep me busy and occupy my time.

One year ago on Monday, we moved into our first house.

(I soooo wish I had thought to blog about all the renovations we did to the house!!  Oh well, maybe for the next one).  The following week, PL&DP brought us our little furry bundle of joy, and he has been nothing short of that.  Guinness adds a whole new element and completion to our lives.  I'm hoping that as he gets older and calmer on the leash that he can become my running buddy.

Until next time,