Monday, September 24, 2012

Seven Days Is Long Enough

It's been seven days since my 15k, and seven days since I last ran.  That was the farthest I've ever run and my body was very sore for a few days.  I had plans to run this weekend but it didn't happen, so I'm determined to get back out there and do a few short runs this week.

I do not have another long run race scheduled as of now before I run my first half marathon, so I want to focus on some speed training to help shave some time off my runs.  I've been doing a little research on different workouts I could use, but if you have any that you recommend I'm definitely open to them!

Short and sweet post today, so I'll leave you with a bit of inspiration-

Until next time,


Friday, September 21, 2012

Getting a Head Start

Christmas is less than 100 days away!  It's probably one of my most favorite times of the year...I love shopping and finding the perfect gift for my loved ones.  I've already purchased a small gift for J as well as his birthday gift (it's in October), and last night I started on my mom and grandmother's Christmas gifts.

My mom LOVES to bake.  Growing up baking Christmas cookies was always a big deal in my house.  Mom would make the dough and roll it out, and my brother and I would use the cookie cutters and then sprinkle colored sugar on them before they went into the oven.  My mom goes through a lot of vanilla extract, and I found a recipe on Annie's Eats for a DIY vanilla extract recipe.  Perfect!

I bought the bottles at Sur La Table and they were really inexpensive.  If you plan to buy a few, sign up for their email list and they'll send you a coupon for $10 off your purchase.  I ended up spending only $12 for 5 bottles.  Score!

The recipe is super simple - tight sealing bottles, cheap vodka, and vanilla beans.  I bought my vanilla beans off Amazon as it was a LOT cheaper to do it that way than to buy them in a store, and I got 16 beans for $12.  I bought them from the same supplier that Annie buys hers from as well.

No need to clean the bottles as the vodka is strong enough to sterilize them.  Split the vanilla beans and put 3 beans in each 8 ounce jar.

Fill the bottle up with vodka and seal it.  Place them in a dark, cool place for 2 months and shake occasionally.

I *really* hope these turn out.  I'll post some progress pictures as the process goes on.

Got a couple of runs on the books for this weekend...I've been taking some time off after running the 15k, and I'm ready to hit the pavement again.

Are you an early shopper when it comes to Christmas?

Until next time,


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Little About Me

I found this on one of my fellow Sweat Pink sisters blog, Glenneth over at Let's Talk and Walk and thought it might be a fun read for my new readers.  Here goes nothing!

Question 1: Do you have any pets?
Answer 1: Yes - we have our dog, Guinness, 2 bearded dragons (Chicken and Bizkit), and a leopard gecko 

Question 2: Name three things that are physically close to you:
Answer 2: my iPad, UGA blanket, throw pillow

Question 3: What’s the weather like right now?
Answer 3: Cool and rainy tonight

Questions 4: Do you drive ? If so, have you crashed?
Answer 4: I drive when I'm husband drives otherwise, and yes, I've had a couple of accidents

Question 5: What time did you wake up this morning?
Answer 5: 6::30 to get ready for work

Question 6: When was the last time you showered?
Answer 6: this morning!

Question 7: What was the last movie that you saw?
Answer 7:  I watched "Sex and the City 2" yesterday

Question 8: What does you last text message say?
Answer 8: I don't know where my phone is at the moment to check :P

Question 9: What is your ringtone?
Answer 9: The standard ring on the iPhone for everyone except my husband..his is "Lucky" by Jason Mraz

Question 10: Have you ever been to a different country?
Answer 10: I've been to Canada as well as some countries down in the Caribbean (Barbados, Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Grand Cayman, Jamaica)

Question 11: Do you like sushi?
Answer 11: I enjoy some of it

Question 12: Where do you buy your groceries?
Answer 12: Publix or Kroger

Question 13: Have you ever taken any medication to help you fall asleep faster?
Answer 13: I usually have no problem falling asleep :)

Question 14: How many siblings do you have?
Answer 14: 2 younger brothers

Question 15: Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?
Answer 15: We have a laptop and a Netbook and 2 iPads

Question 16: How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
Answer 16: 31

Question 17: Do you wear contacts or glasses?
Answer 17: Nope!  Although my husband thinks I should

Question 18: Do you color your hair?
Answer 18: I haven't in awhile

Question 19: Tell me something you are planing to do today:
Question 19: Work!

Question 20: When was the last time you cried? 
Answer 20:  Yesterday

Question 21: What is your perfect pizza topping?
Answer 21: peppers, onions, olives, tomatoes, pineapple

Question 22: Which do you prefer, hamburger or cheeseburger?
Answer 22: Cheeseburgers 

Question 23: Have you ever had an all nighter?
Answer 23: Ah, those late nights in college studying for finals

Question 24: What is your eye color?
Answer 24: Brown

Question 25: Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke?
Answer 25: Yes! I'm born and raise in Georgia...Pepsi is a no-no.  Coke is it.

Feel free to copy and use in your own blog!

Until next time,


Monday, September 17, 2012

Iron Horse 15k recap

Yesterday I ran my very first 15k.  As I mentioned before, I was very nervous about this race for a few reasons - the main one being I didn't want a repeat of last week's 8 mile post run.

I woke up nice and early on Sunday morning and put on my running outfit for the day -

Gotta rep my Sweat Pink sisters!
I met Sharon at her house and we headed to the race.  In the past, I haven't eaten anything before a race, but I'd also never run more than 6 miles.  I decided that my body probably needed more fuel, so I had a Zone bar on the way to the race, half a Luna bar when we got there, and a GU before the race started.  We picked up our race bibs and packets and finished stretching and getting ready to run.

Sharon was running the 5k while I was running the 15k.  Both races started at the same time, so we wished each other good luck and went off to run our own races.  I started off slow since I knew I had to go 9.3 miles and wanted to conserve as much energy as I could.  I would share my splits with you, but my Nike+ app has a mind of its own and actually tells me I've gone more miles than I actually have, so they're very inaccurate.  It said I was finished when I had a good half mile to go.  I hope to get a Garmin watch soon to help resolve this problem  (hint hink, wink wink honey!)

I took a GU at miles 3 and 6, and always made sure to drink the Accelerade they had at all 5 or 6 water stations.  I also had strawberry lemonade Nuun in my water bottle to have if I needed a sip between the water stations.  I knew I was at the back of the pack, but I just wanted to finish the race in an upright position.  The course was nice...a few hills but nothing too serious.  Some of the fraternity brothers of the Kappa Alpha fraternity at several different spots on the course cheering us on (well..some of them were...others were sitting down looking bored...I called them out).

Sharon was getting worried about me and actually texted J to see if I might have mentioned to him when I thought I might finish.  She then texted me  -

Thanks for worrying about me Sharon!
FINALLY...the end was in sight...I kicked it up and crossed the finish line - official time was 2:03:51.  I had hopes of finishing in under 2 hours, but I didn't miss it by much, and it will definitely be my goal to beat that time.

 For running the 15k, we got medals.  The series of races (5k, 10k, 15k and half marathon) is called the Locomotive Series, so the medal was a train.  


Sharon had a water waiting for me and we walked around since I needed to keep myself moving.  We saw the Muscle Milk truck, and Sharon has been raving about their Cookies 'n Cream, so I gave them a whirl, except I got Vanilla.  It was pretty good!  Definitely something I would consider drinking for recovery.  Panera Bread was also there with their Cinnamon Crunch bagels...they were very tasty!  We saw people walking away with a full box of them!  I also grabbed a Powerade and we just walked around the vendors and chatted until we decided to head home.

After I got home and showered, I slipped into my Zensah compression sleeves and even ended up sleeping in them that night.

 I also cracked open a Skinny Cherry Cheribundi to help my muscles recover.  It was a very low key rest of the day.

 Things I learned during this race :
1) My phone will not stay charged if I run any distance was dead about 5 minutes after I crossed the finish line.  Reason #2 why I need a Garmin. :)
2) I REALLY need to make sure I fuel my body and keep it as hydrated as possible...I felt so much better after this race as opposed to my training run last week
3) My Nike+ app is so incredibly inaccurate with calculating the actual mileage run that I feel like I've wasted the money in purchasing it.

Thanks for all of the positive thoughts and comments on my previous post.  I really appreciate it!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I Heart Mail

I get so excited when I see a package on the front porch or an envelope in the mail (with the exception of bills and junk), and this week I got a couple of very cool items when I came home from work.

First, I got my official Sweat Pink gear!

Do you Sweat Pink?
I will be sporting my Sweat Pink tank tomorrow during my 15k and get the word out there, as well as my pink shoelaces.  You know I had to immediately lace them up.

You shoelaces make you run faster.   True fact!  ;)  I'll be holding a giveaway soon so that I can share the Sweat Pink love with my awesome readers, so keep yours eyes peeled!

A couple of weeks ago I entered a giveaway over at Alexandra's blog, Pop Fit Life, for Adora, a calcium supplement cleverly hidden in chocolate.  HELLO!  I know that I don't get the amount of calcium that I need (I got a lecture about this in Minnesota from my grandmother, who is also a nurse).  What better way to get some calcium into my body than by eating chocolate!  I was the lucky winner and received these this week -

I don't normally like dark chocolate but these were really good.  J broke into them before I had a chance to, and he liekd them as well.

Today I spent the day at a paintball field watching J and his paintball team play in a tournament.  They did decent - they came in 2nd place.  I got a little sunburn on half of my legs...good thing I only wear shorts on the weekend.  i saw the cutest shirt at the tournament -

Such a girl power shirt :)  Love it! 
As I mentioned earlier, tomorrow is my first 15k race, and I'm a little nervous about it, especially after my episode I had last week after my 8 mile run.  I've tried really hard to do a good job of hydrating today with Powerade and water, and I'm trying a new type of food for my carb loading tonight - 

After I took a bite I thought to take a picture for the blog :) 

If you have any spare positive vibes available, please send them my way tomorrow morning at around 7:30 a.m. EST.  I'll definitely be Sweating Pink!  Recap to come either tomorrow night or Monday about the race.

Until next time,


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News...

Monday I woke up bright and early at 5:30 a.m. to head to Columbus for my appointment with my orthopedist, Dr. Jacobson at The Hughston Clinic about my knee.  After taking my vitals and doing some x-rays, the doctor came in.

He said that my x-rays looked fine, but he noticed when I was walking to get them done that my right leg swings out.  He suspects that I may have torn my meniscus cartilage (again).  He also said that my knee was puffy and inflammed and that my right quad was weaker than my left quad.  I told him that I was training for a half marathon and had a 15K coming up this weekend, and he said I didn't have to restrict my running.  Score!  For my treatment, he sent me to a physical therapist so they could give me some exercises to do at home to strengthen my leg, told me to take 2 Aleve twice a day for the inflammation, and gave me a brace to wear during physical activity to help stabilize my knee.  It looks like a spiderweb!

The Hughston Clinic is close to 3 hours away from my house, so I stayed with my parents Sunday night so I wouldn't have to drive as far Monday morning to get there, especially since I had to be there by 7:30 a.m.  When I was done meeting with the doctor they sent me over to the PT area of the clinic and, of course, they had no openings to see me today.  They have another office in LaGrange, so I was sent there to see if they could fit me in.  Luckily, they could see me at 2:30!  But...that meant killing 5 hours of time in between appointments.  So, I found a Starbucks, bought a coffee, and sat on their patio for 3 hours, playing on my iPad.  My dad works in LaGrange so I picked up lunch and took it to him and spent some time with him.

My PT appointment went well.  All of the PT's know my parents since they both came in for physical therapy.  We joked around and had a good time.  I got my exercises and then they hooked me up to a machine that "ices" your knee by pumping cold water into the sleeve they put over it.  It was actually pretty relaxing :)

So....backtracking to Sunday morning....I had my 8 mile run...and the run itself went well.  I beat my 10k time by 6 minutes (yay!)  When I got home, I took a major turn for the worse.  I got hot, clammy, and nauseous, so I turned the shower on as cold as it would go until I cooled off.  I proceeded with my shower, and got nauseous again.  When I was done, I crawled into bed and absolutely could not get warm.  I was shivering under the covers, even with a hoodie, flannel pants, and socks on.  It took me about 2 hours before my body finally settled down enough for me to get up and get ready for my friend's Gender Reveal Party for their baby.  I believe either 1)I got dehydrated, or 2)I didn't eat enough to properly fuel my body for the run.  Sunday before the 15K I plan to really hydrate with Powerade, eat a little something beforehand, and have my Nuun handy.  I do NOT want that to happen again.

Last night I did a short 2.6 mile run as I taper down for the 15K as well as my PT exercises and a plank.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fall Favorites

We've got a little cold front moving through this weekend, and it makes me excited that fall is just around the corner.  Soo...I thought I'd share a few things that I'm looking forward to this fall -

College Football
I absolutely LOVE college football season, and the season is in full swing.  As I write this, I'm watching the UGA/Missouri game (update...they won 41-20!).  If we're home, we usually spend Saturdays with college football on TV all day.  This year we'll be heading up to Columbia, SC for the UGA/South Carolina game.

We have a Keurig at home, which I LOVE having, but if we're out and about I always enjoy a coffee from Starbucks.  I know the huge hype is their Pumpkin Spice latte, but I'm not a pumpkin fan, so my go-to is a skinny vanilla latte. 

I really enjoy sitting by the fire and reading, watching TV, playing online, or just hanging out.  When we go to the cabin in the winter, building a fire is one of the first things we do.  It's also fun to roast marshmallows and make s' going outside and getting cold!

You can tell more so on my friend, Jessica, than me, but we're both wearing hoodies, and they're probably one of my favorite things to wear when it starts to get cool outside.  Snuggling up on the couch with some flannel pajama pants and a hoodie?  Gotta love it.

Soups...stews...chowders...chili...fall is the perfect time to drag those cookbooks out and find your favorite recipes.  I love a good chili while watching football, and a crock pot soup is great for those nights you don't want to cook and have it ready when you get home.  I can't wait to start making some of our favorites, and I will gladly share the recipes with you guys!

And finally...

Cooler Weather to Run In!!!

The above picture is a bit of an exaggeration for me considering I live in Georgia and we don't get snow very often, but it does show that I'm very much looking forward to cooler weather to run in.  The heat and humidity can get horrible here and I cannot wait to be able to go outside and not immediately start to sweat as soon as I walk out the door.

Tomorrow morning I'm getting up bright and early to knock out my longest run yet - 8 miles.  I have my 15K next Sunday and need to get a few more miles in beforehand.  I have a goal for myself so hopefully I can achieve it.  Monday is the appointment with my orthopedist for my knee, so fingers crossed it's nothing too serious.

Hope everyone got out at some point and Sweat Pink this weekend!!

Until next time,


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Introducing..... of the newest Sweat Pink Ambassadors...ME!

Yesterday was a good day.  I got my company's season tickets to the Braves game for Thursday afternoon for being the first to reply to an email, so instead of being at work Thursday, I'll be hanging out at the Ted cheering the Braves on!

When I got home, it was raining and I wasn't sure if I would be able to get my run in, so Guinness and I chilled on the couch for a few.  I grabbed my iPad and checked my email, and was excited when I saw this -

I was accepted into the Fit Approach Sweat Pink Ambassador program! 

So you may be wondering, "What is this Sweat Pink thing all about?" 

From the Fit Approach Facebook page - "We believe that kicking ass is best done in pretty shoes. We’ve learned that real women sweat, and sweat hard. We know that assertiveness, strength, and ambition are the ultimate feminine qualities. We concede that sometimes it takes hours to get ready, but we’re also no stranger to just rolling out of bed and going. We’re convinced that we run faster in pink shoelaces. We believe in pushing ourselves, and we believe in giving ourselves a break, too. We’re all about the rush of endorphins and the thrill of the challenge. We’re all for looking great and feeling even better. We’re committed to finding our best fit, and making it stick.  How do we get there? We climb. We journey. We balance. We reward."

I feel so honored to be welcomed into this wonderful group of women and I look forward to the opportunities this might bring my way.

Once it stopped raining, I laced up and started on my run.  I originally planned to do 5 miles, but my knee started to bother me, so I cut it short to 3.5 and will shoot for 5 miles on Thursday or Friday.  It was uber humid since it had just stopped raining, but it felt good to get my sweat on.

Tonight J and I plan to hit the gym together after work to get our weight training on.  I hope everyone has a great day, and get out there and sweat pink!

Until next time,


Monday, September 3, 2012

Back to the Grind

I hope everyone had a nice and relaxing Labor Day weekend!

I came down with a cold when we got back from our trip up north and haven't been able to run for a week!!  I think the fresh mountain air helped me, though, because I'm feeling much better and have 5 miles planned to run tomorrow.

I haven't done very well with the Lose A Marathon challenge, and I am a bit disappointed in myself, but I also think I wasn't mentally ready to participate either.  I think I'm finally in the mindset to really discipline myself and really kick this weight to the curb.

I've got my meals planned for the week, done my grocery shopping, and even cleaned out the pantry (it was driving me crazy!) I've got my runs planned out as well as some home work outs and trips to the gym.  I'm ready to do this!

Last week before we left for the cabin, I stopped by Big Peach Running Co and signed up for the Iron Horse 15K on September 16th!  I'm a little nervous about it since I've been sick and haven't run, but hopefully I can really kick it these next two weeks and get ready for it.

I also added some fun buttons linking you to my Pinterest page as well as my Twitter account.  Please feel free to add me!

What do you do when you feel like you disappoint yourself?

Until next time, 


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Women's Running Magazine 5K race recap

As I mentioned in my previous post, our original plans of going to my grandparents lakehouse for the weekend fell through, so three days before we flew up, I decided to check around online and see if there might be a local 5K that I could run.  I stumbled upon the Lady Speed Stick Women's Half Marathon Series and saw that they also had a 5K to go with the half marathon.  Since I'm not quite ready to do a half, I decided that the 5K would be perfect, so I signed up!

Friday was the race expo.  J, my grandparents and I went to the hotel to pick up my number, t-shirt, and goody bag and check out the race expo.  I bought my first Bondi Band and could not WAIT to use it for the race.  I made it out with minimal damage to the bank account and looked forward to the race on Sunday.

Ready for the race!
Sunday morning the alarm clock went off at 5 a.m., and J and I got up and got ready to go.  The email I got said that participants should be parked by 6 a.m. because of road closures, so we headed out at 5:30 a.m. to make sure we had plenty of time.  We parked and headed over to the start line to stretch and hang out before the race started.

Waiting for the race to start!
Finally, the announcers asked the half marathoners to make their way to their starting corrals.  J and I went ahead and walked over so I would be closer to the starting line.

Half marathoners ready to go!
Fifteen minutes after the half marathoners started, they called the 5K'ers to line up.  I like to start near the back since I'm not that fast and I don't want to get trampled.  :)  And then we were off!  I

About 1/2 mile in
I decided to run with my phone in my hand instead of in my armband so that I could take pictures and let J know when I was coming up on the finish line, but my camera stopped working!!!  It was a really nice course...a few rolling hills, but we ran on a path beside Normandale Lake.  It was nice and never really got crowded anywhere along the course.

As I approached the finish line (same place as where we started) I texted J and I heard the announcers saying names as the participants neared the finish.  I registered too late to have my name printed on my bib, so I figured I wouldn't be hearing my name, but all of a sudden, I heard "Jen ******, all the way from Atlanta, Georgia!"  I raised my arms and gave a little "Woo hoo!".  Shortly after, I crossed the finish line -

And done!
After I crossed we were guided into the finisher's chute, where I grabbed a water and a Gatorade and my medal!  They also gave us an ice cold hand towel.  That was a nice touch.

Gotta love the bling
 J then met me and we walked over to the Cookie Cafe.  I grabbed a cookie and down my water and Gatorade, then we decided to head back to my grandparents house (they chose not to wake up at 5 a.m....can't say I don't blame them!)

My official time was 35:48, so I'm slowly but surely closing in on my current PR.  I think I'm going to make it a goal of mine to run a race in each of the 50 states.  Should be doable right?  I want to get a running shirt so people will know I'm an out of state runner :)  Cheesy?  Maybe...but oh well.

This race was very well run.  They did a great job during packet pick up, the expo, and the actual race.  The medals for the half marathon was pretty cool!  Had I been prepared to run one I probably would have.

Within the medal is a charm that you can put on a necklace or bracelet.  All of the half marathoners in the series do this, so if there's one in your area I highly recommend checking them out!

There were photographers there, but I refuse to spend $30 on a digital image for a 5K race.  They took a really cute one of J and I before the race.  Oh well.

A big thank you to my hubby for getting up at 5 a.m. and going with me to the race!  Seeing you at the finish line means more to me than you'll ever know.

Until next time,