Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WIWW - Clash of the Patterns

I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday (WIWW).

I've been trying to step out of my box lately due to reading all these great blogs with fashion ideas.  I normally do not mix patterns EVER!  But I thought 'oh, what the heck' today.  I figured as long as they're in the same color family I'm sure its fine.  I thought my outfit was cute. 

Here's the patterns I mixed:

Polk dots, stripes, and plaid

The outfit. 

Earrings - by Lauren Conrad at Kohls (I totally love her clothes and jewelry!!!)
Both tops - Kohls I think
Pants - Kohls
Shoes - Kohls
Necklace - Up and Running

 Side view

 The totally cute earrings

Cute shoes

Love this polka dot top

 Love love love this necklace.  Represents all my hard work.

Monday, June 25, 2012

DNFs & Tough Mudder Recap

I’m sure most of you runners out there have heard of DNF (Did Not Finish).  I wanted to write a blog post about it because I’ve, unfortunately, had this experience.  I also subscribe to a lot of runner blogs and most of the DNFs I see are from the people who run the ultras.  Those are the races that I would actually think of DNFing.  Running 100 miles ain't no joke.

Never in all my regular races (since 2007) has that ever entered my mind to DNF.  I always believed I could walk it if it got that bad.  It has never got THAT bad.  I’ve always been able to push through the pain and keep on running. 
That is until the Tough Mudder in November 2011.  Me and some coworkers signed up to do the one in Indiana.  I had just ran two marathons in a month (AF Sept 17 & Cbus Oct 16).  The Mudder was a month later. 
Here is a picture of us before the race:

We look so happy and excited!  We were called the Booty’s Brawlers.  Don’t ask me what it means because I have no idea haha!   So I went into this race thinking it was not big deal.  I did the Warrior Dash and two Mudathlons that year so this will be like them but longer.  Boy, did I get a wakeup call!
First of all, I’ve never done a mud race in the COLD.  This girl hates the cold.  With a passion.  But I had two shirts on, capris, and gloves with fingers cut off for easy gripping.  I probably should have worn whole gloves.  Although in my case, I don’t think it would have mattered if I had a fur coat on!
So here we are at the starting line getting a pep talk from a dude.   All the following pictures are from Tough Mudder's Facebook page HERE.  I am in none of these pictures but they give you an idea of what I went through.

And then we’re off!

It was pretty cold at this point and it seemed to get colder.  Maybe in the low 40s?  And the wind was pretty bad also.  Not the weather I had been expecting. 
Here we get to the first obstacle (by the way this is 11 miles of mud and obstacles):

The mud was SO cold.  It caked my fingers/hands and they were to stay frozen from that point on.  Complete torture.  Then we ran to this obstacle – the steepest hill I’ve ever seen in my life!

I could not get up the last part of it.  It was like I had NO strength in my arms for whatever reason.  They had to pull me up by my arms to get me over.  It was so embarrassing.  And from that point on, I was just utterly exhausted and could barely run. 

But my friend Joy kept pushing me to keep going.  So I kept going.  I felt so bad because I couldn’t really keep up with her and I was totally holding her back.  But it didn’t phase her. 
Next came the most torturous obstacle yet.  The ice dunk tanks. 

You jump in the ice water then have to dunk yourself under the wooden partition.  I was ready to take it on for some reason.  I jumped in.  It was cold.  But I could do this.  No problem.  I dunked under the partician and came up.  I think my body actually went into shock.  I felt like I was on an ice pond and fell through the ice.  My body went into survival mode.  I started flipping out and my friend Joy was going up the ladder to get out and I kept saying over and over a hundred times ‘Go Joy, Go Joy’.  Who knows if she heard me.  But somehow I got outta there and I completely lost my mojo.  Thankfully, nearby they had those space blankets so I took one.  Didn’t really help much but it was better than nothing.
Next we ran until we got to the next obstacle.  A bunch of logs hanging. 

This one was a pain.  Thankfully, I am somewhat small so I could squeeze underneath some of the logs where some couldn’t.  I am totally scared of heights so I did that whenever possible. 
But I still thought I could maybe keep going even though I couldn’t feel my feet or my hands at this point.  It scared me that I couldn’t feel either one but I kept thinking ‘Oh, I’ll warm up.’  Then we got to the mud river. 

I’m sure it would have been cool if it was warm out but with frozen feet/hands – this does not help.  Nor was it fun. 

Yes, I think I even fell in a time or two like this dude.  As if I wasn’t cold enough! 
I was miserable.  I think my body had gotten so cold that I started crying uncontrollably.  And I did not stop.  But I kept going because I had my friends counting on me!

The next obstacle was the Berlin Walls. 

I knew going in to the Tough Mudder that I probably wouldn’t do this obstacle.  It is just too high and I have zero arm muscles.  And being that I was utterly exhausted, frozen, and crying, I did not attempt it.  I walked around it.  I was no longer embarrassed for not completing an obstacle.  I was out of it.
Then came the craziest obstacle.  You jump from a really high point into the lake which basically (according to my friends) had no bottom and it was FREEZING cold.  I totally just passed this one on. 

This wasn’t much an obstacle but I felt like I was getting my mojo back and got through it.

Totally skipped this one and went around.

I think after this one we had to go through the creek which was pretty high and just couldn’t do it.  I was so cold.  So my coworker, Lance, put me on his back and walked through what seemed like miles of creek.  It wasn’t miles I’m sure but it felt like it.  And I was STILL crying at this point.  I was SO grateful for him doing that.
There were a couple of other minor obstacles I did and didn't do.  Then we got to the 4th mile. 

There was a tent with this heat thing that really didn’t do nothing.  But it was better than being out in that race.  So I had to make a decision – this was probably the best place to stop.  I had been fighting with myself for the last mile whether I wanted to drop out or not.  I have never quit a race and felt so much shame just in trying to make the decision.  I shouldn’t have felt that way though.  My body was pretty much shutting down.  I was out of it.  I kept thinking to myself ‘If I keep going and lose my feet (frost bite or whatever) then I’ll never run again.  This race isn’t worth that.’  So in the end, I decided to keep my limbs and DNF.  I, to this day, think it was the best decision and the right decision.  I followed my gut.  Normally I push through but this was beyond pushing through.  I knew I would never make it.  Sometimes you got to suck it up and be realistic.

I felt awful for afterwards in regards to quitting.  My coworkers all got done and had their orange headbands.  I felt defeated, embarrassed, and pathetic.  I knew I did the right thing yet I felt like a failure. 
I felt like that until very recently when I started reading ultra blogs.  DNF happens to people sometimes.  It isn’t the end of the world.  I am not a failure.  I completed 3 miles of it and did that one crazy ice dunk tank.  That is pretty big.  Thankfully, no one last year got on my case about it.  But I wanted to be able to say I’m a ‘Tough Mudder.’  Well, I can say I am not.  That race kicks people’s butts.  But I attempted it and most people don’t even attempt to get off the couch!  I still sometimes feel bad about it but not as much as I used to. 
For now, I’m just going to run what I know I can run.  In weather that I can tolerate, haha!  So my words of advice are, don’t worry about DNFing.  Sometimes it happens.  Even the best runners or the best trained can have their bad days.  I may not be either of those, but I have ran a lot of races and I succumbed to one.  It is okay.  I followed my gut and I still am running! J 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Heights Half Marathon Recap

So today was the day to run the Heights Half Marathon up in Huber Heights, OH.  I was nervous about this one because there were some hills.  If you don't know already, I despise hills!  Any hills!  But I would soon learn that the hills were the least of my worries.  Met up with some co-workers who were also doing the half marathon.

I'm glad I wore that loose tank top.  Because it was gonna be hotter than I thought. 

So this race wasn't heavily advertised so there were only like 124 of us I believe.  I figured I'd be alone for most of the race since normally the 'faster' runners run these small races.  And I was right.  I was pretty much by myself by the 2nd mile.  The run was through the Huber Heights clone houses neighborhoods, then ran along Old Troy Pike, then down a long road where new houses 'should' have been built but probably weren't due to the housing crisis.  Then we turn around and go back the same way.  NO shade except for one or two trees in the neighborhoods.

I felt pretty good in the beginning.  I wasn't thinking at all and drank some at the first two or three waters tops (they had lots of them so that was great).  I drank because it seemed a bit hotter than I thought it was gonna be.  Forgetting about ALL the stomach problems I get if I drink and its hot.  DUH!  So the water start sloshing around a bit (even though I did drink - I took just a mouthful each time).  So it wasn't too bad.  But I decided to not drink anymore water at this point for a while. 

So I was alone running and I'd come up to the water stops and they'd try to give me water and I'd have to say no thanks.  I felt soooo bad! lol  I'm sure they didn't care but I felt uber uncomfortable for whatever reason. 

I got to the halfway mark at 1:13.  Disappointing for sure but I had decided when I started this race that I didn't care about my time and this was just a training run.  Still irked me but I trudged on.  I still felt good at this point and thought, I'm going to get a negative split - which is pretty much not ever gonna happen but a girl can dream and be delusional, can't she?  Hahaha.

So I turn around and there are NOT many people behind me.  In fact if it tells you anything, I finished 111 out of 124!  Anyways, I figured at least I'm ahead of some folks.  So I think I get to the 10th mile and I'm spent.  I definitely am thirsty as heck.  So I threw caution to the wind.  I gulped down a huge thing of water.  BAD IDEA!

And I gulped more at the next place.  SLOSH SLOSH SLOSH.  And it also makes me nauseated.  So I thought - at the next water place, if they have gatorade I'm going to drink it because I assumed it would trigger my digestive system to freakin' work!  BAD IDEA!

Are you seeing a trend her?  hahaha  That blazin' sun fried my brain.  Yup, I started to get EXTREMELY nauseated.  I knew that gatorade makes me super ill but I did it anyways.  So the last 2 miles were torture.  I finished strong though.  One of my co-workers was there rootin' me on!  Love that!  So my finish time was 2:34.  Not a PR by any stretch of the imagination (my PR from years ago was 2:19).  But I was glad it was OVER with.  I thought all my troubles were done.  BWwhwhwhahahaa

So I go over to the refreshments, they just had oranges and apples left (thats what the slow peeps get haha).  But Tim Horton's was a sponsor and they still had coffee left!  YAY!  Don't be jealous lol!

So I got me a coffee and heading to my car.  I started to get really sick.  Like almost gonna barf everywhere sick.  I've never been that sick after a race EVER.  I'm gonna blame it on the Gatorade.  Who knows what it was.  The heat?  The gallon of water in my belly?  Anyways, so I sat in car trying to cool myself down for 10-20 minutes ready to barf all over my steering wheel.  I wanted to leave but I didn't feel like I could actually drive.  I was that sick and out of it.  But I couldn't sit in my car forever so I left feeling like that.  Oh and at this point, I tried everything - eating, drinking water, drinking pedalite, but nothing was helping.  So I started home.  I was still OUT of it.  Maybe it was the heat?  I took all my crap out of my cooler bag fully expecting to pull over on the side of the road and barf.  While I was taking crap out of that bag, I decided to use the dry ice stuff and put it on my face/neck to see if that helped.  I was fine 5 minutes later so I wonder.  So I was able to get back home safe and sound.

Here is a picture of my medal:

I thought it was pretty cool to run an inaugural half marathon. 

Here I am after the race.  I know - I look a hot mess!  Got me some new freckles from that blazin' sun tho!

I have no idea how I took that picture while being sick like that. 

By the way, I have a lot of digestive problems so using 'electrolyte' things like gatorade, nuun, pedialite, ETC. give me a lot of issues in different ways.  So I do not want any advice on this subject.  Thanks!

Just as a random sidenote, check out my cool new flip flops!  I would have taken a picture with my feet in them but my toenails aren't painted real well right now.  :)

So anyways, this race was a realization that the Air Force Marathon could be brutal if it is a hot.  I'm hoping its not.  But I think what is great about the AF Marathon is the crowd support.  There is a lot of it and I prefer that over a person here or there.  It can motivate you for sure.  So hopefully that will carry me through.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mid-week semi long run

So as you all know, I'm training for the Air Force Marathon.  Today was my mid week training run of 5 miles.  Unfortunately, it is extremely hot here in Ohio.

But who cares...I'm gonna rock it!  Well at least try to get through it.  So after I changed, look what I found on the ground heads up!

Sweet!  My lucky day.  I haven't found one heads up in FOREVER!

So here I am about to run 5 miles in 91 degrees with the sun ablazin'. 

I totally looked thrilled, eh?  Just a bit of hesitation as you can see.

But guess what?  I got my magic shoes on!

These shoes will take me ANYWHERE!  (Sounding like Forrest Gump - btw LOVE that movie!)

I call them my magic shoes because right after I got them, I PR'd at a 5k by almost 2 minutes.  I hadn't PR'd at any race in YEARS.  They are so cute, aren't they?  Yup, I totally buy stuff just for the looks.  One more thing to help motivate me to get out there. 

And here I am after the run.

Hey, this ain't a beauty pageant!  You ain't running till you got veins popping out of your head and sweat dripping like its pouring rain. 

So I did end up running all but maybe .5 miles of the run.  Typically if its hot like that, I get the chills and thats a signal to stop running and chill for a bit.  But sometimes I can get my mojo back and start running again and that happened today YAY. 

By the way, do you guys read Skinny Runner?  The girl is HILARIOUS!!!!  Not to mention I would die for her legs.  PERFECT legs.  You should totally subscribe if you're a runner and you like funny people.  She cracks me up every day! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Taste of Summer (Review)

I am a BzzAgent.  Go HERE to sign up.

Since it is summertime and everyone is having grilling parties, they wanted some of their BzzAgent's to try out some Private Selection food.  They sent me Private Selection Sea Salt & Black Pepper chips and coupons for Private Selection Angus Beef and a Private Selection 6 inch pie.

Looks good, doesn't it?  Krogers actually has a recipe for the Moroccan Burger with Mint-Pepper Glaze HERE.

So when I got my package from BzzAgent, I immediately dove into the chips.  They were absolutely perfect!  Perfect blend of spices.  I normally hate spicy things and these were not spicy at all.  They were great!  I took them to work to share with my co-workers.  Well, someone ended up taking the WHOLE bag!  Chip clip and all!  Guess they liked them, too!  Here's a picture of what they look like:

They have other flavors too:  Spicy Chipotle, Blue Corn, and Salsa Picante.

The next thing I tried was the Private Selection Angus Beef.  I was nervous to try this because I basically avoid store meat.  I eat mostly grassfed beef.  But I was ready to take on the challenge.  I decided to mix it up and try a new 'recipe.'  I like mixing foods for some reason.  I'm a creature that likes variety thats for sure.  I decided to ground up the beef in the skillet and then mix in scrambled eggs.  AMAZING!  I mean the recipe was fine but the beef was out of this world.  Seriously, I'm a meat eater (and those who know me well know how much meat I actually eat) and have tasted a lot of meat.  This was BY FAR the best tasting beef I've ever had.  I don't know what the deal is but they are doing something right.  If there is one Private Selection thing you should try, it is this!  Here are a couple of pics of cooking the meat and the completed meal:

Sorry the pictures aren't so great.  I'll try better next time!  :)  I also used the rest of the meat to make a normal hamburger for lunch the next day.  So good!

Next I bought a Private Selection 6 inch Northern Spy Apple Streusel Pie (Sweet and Crisp).  Normally I don't eat sweets.  But I just HAD to do this review so I caved in.  LOL!  These pies are individual sized but you could probably get 2 servings out of it.  Of course, for me, once I start eating anything with sugar, I can't stop!  I ate that whole thing in like 10 minutes!  It was unbelievably good!  The apples were so perfect and the topping was DIVINE!  There was soooo much topping, it was so great.  I was in heaven for 10 minutes! haha!  Here are some pictures:

Sorry, I couldn't get this picture to rotate?!  It is normal saved on my computer but for some reason flips when uploaded.  But that is what the box looks like.

Look at that crust!

Look at those apples!

Halfway there!  Trust me, I finished it.  :)

So if you're looking to have a grilling party or you just like good food, you can head over to your local Kroger store and pick up any of these items.  Private Selection is also carried at Ralphs, King Soopers, Smith's, FredMeyer, frys, Dillons, Baker's, and Gerbes.

Disclosure:  I received a product sample, coupon, collateral, or other special premium from BzzAgent.

Latest runs...

I'm going to update you on a few runs I've done within the last week or so.  I was planning on signing up for a 50k in September but I have decided against it after a trail run last Friday.  It was just terrible.  The loop was 7 miles.  I thought I was lost even though I kept following the markers.  I didn't bring enough water at all.  I swear I thought I saw a zebra at one point chillin' but it was a tree!  LOL!  And that was early on in my run.  The trail just seemed to go on and on and on.  There were about a zillion steep hills also.  I am not fit enough to be doing that many hills so I actually had to stop a few times to catch my breath.  Now if I was training for a 50k, I would have to do this 7 mile loop FOUR times in a row.  NO way.  So there goes that dream. 

The next day I had a 5k race (Sisca 5k).  It was pretty hot and my first race in 8 months?  Here's a picture of me at the finish line. 

Hope I don't blind you with my pasty white legs! LOL!  I tried not to really push it in this race.  I didn't expect to PR and probably never will again at a 5k.  Within the first 1/2 mile, my shoelace came untied!  I swore I double knotted it but I guess not or not very good.  So maybe I would have done a minute better if that hadn't of happened.  With that, the heat, and me just not trying my hardest, it wasn't my best time at all but I'm ok with it!  I actually was passing people which is unusual for me!  Felt good.  The race was also in my old turf (when I was a kiddo) so it was pretty cool!  Memories of walking around with my friends Kelli and Kelly.  Good times!

Did my 3/5/3 miles during the week from hell.  Don't know how I managed to get them in with the kind of week I was having.  Emotionally draining 3 days out of the 5 days for various reasons.  Hoping next week will be better. 

Did my 12 mile long run yesterday.

It is getting hot here in Ohio again (in fact it will be in the 90s I think all next week).  I absolutely hate getting up early on the weekends.  I want to be able to sleep in till I naturally wake up.  I had originally started training with just going on my long run whenever I woke up.  Well that was not working because I would be running in the heat and wouldn't be able to keep running and would have to walk.  So this Saturday I was bound and determined to get out there before the sun even rose.  Well some annoyance, I was somehow able to get up and get out there by 6am.  It was dusk but light enough to see.  And it was already 70 degrees - YUCK.  But better than the 80s.

So I brought along my camelback.  Had it full of ice water and brought some pemmican for nutrition just in case.  I have a half marathon race coming up next Saturday.  I do not know if I'm prepared to run it on just water.  I know I've done it before but I wanted to see if my body was ok no nutrition.  While I was running, I decided to test something else out - kiddos don't try this at home.  I have a problem with the combo of heat, running, and drinking water.  If it is the slightest bit hot and I drink, the water just sits in my stomach.  I have not been able to figure out how to fix it.  Have tried salt tablets but nothing works.  I don't do sports drinks because they make me nauseous.  The water sitting in my stomach  makes me VERY nauseous so therefore I end up walking.  That is beyond annoying because I just want to get the long run over with!  Anyways, so I decided to see how long I could go before drinking water.  I went till the last 1/2 mile (11.5 miles) before I drank anything!  I think around the 10th mile I was getting parched and the 'dehydration' headache set in.  But I ran the WHOLE way!!!!  Charles Washington (zero carb guru) says that he doesn't drink or eat during a run because it makes him sick so maybe I'm the same way.  I also did not eat at all during the run so that means I'm prepared to run the half marathon without nutrition.  Feels good! 

I ended up getting done with the run around 830!  Felt great to have the rest of the day to just bum around!  Maybe that will help me get up early the rest of the long runs!

Friday, June 1, 2012

1984 - A look back link up

Shaping Up To Be A Mom

I'm linking up today with my girl Kelly from The Houtz House Party.  Everything 1984! 

Here is me from 1984 - 7 years old:

I had recently moved to Ohio the last fall from Kentucky.

I was probably pretty devastated moving from the country into the suburbs.  But I had some good neighbors and started being best friends with a girl name Jolynn - I think she lived there at the time?  My memory is pretty bad but lets just go with it.

Some of the toys I probably played with were:


Big Wheel!

Hungry Hungry Hippos!

Some songs I probably heard on the radio were:

I think my mom drove a Granada at the time.

Fun times in 1984 hahahahaa

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