Monday, January 30, 2012

Mondays in Love: Random

I'm a little shy on content today, so you get a list of random things I was thankful for today.

  • Sunshine!!
  • My ability to work from home sometimes
  • New blog followers and connecting with more of your blogs
  • Neighbors we are blessed to call friends, who helped out today in a pinch
  • Some co-workers who have been incredibly thoughtful toward me lately
  • Seeing my belly move when baby kicks and squirms
  • My faith
  • Baking. Our neighbors helping us out gave me a great excuse to make chocolate chip cookies :)
  • Walking into the nursery and just looking around and daydreaming
  • Weighing myself this morning and feeling really good about how its going
  • Coupons. Go ahead, say it. I'm cheap. 
  • Salad and fruit. Constantly. 
That's all I've got, peeps. Run strong and carry on! 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Freeze Your Thorns Off 5k "race" report

Today was the date of the long-awaited Freeze Your Thorns Off 5k, hosted by The Boring Runner. I did my "race" as part of a slightly longer Saturday "long" run, but made sure to stop at the 5k mark and record my finish.

New PR? Not even close. Not even my fastest 3.1 this week. But you know what, this was what I had in me today, and that is more than ok! I am, after all, just days shy of being 7 months pregnant. Here are some more pictures from the "finish line" (which to any onlooker looked like a random spot on the running path).

Feeling groovy. And sparkly.

My silhouette at the "finish line". This picture was harder to take than it looks!

I finished out my run at about 4.75 miles and a huge smile on my face. It definitely is not about speed at this point. It's about feeling good and enjoying being healthy. Thanks, Boring Runner, for spicing up my Saturday run! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Can I gush for a minute?

It was still dark this morning when my alarm went off. I laid there in bed thinking how if I skipped my run I could stay in bed for another hour. Then I thought about the weather forecast, and how it was supposed to start raining mid-morning and rain all day and tomorrow. If I didn't go run now, I wasn't going to get to until Friday afternoon or Saturday. If I didn't go run now, I was going to wish I had. So, I got up, got dressed, and headed out.

When I got to the corner of the park I decided to run the perimeter along the road to stay in the streetlights. By the time I got halfway down the long side of the park, it was light enough to head into the park and take the path. I warmed up enough to take off my gloves. I ran my whole 4 miles without stopping to walk at all. I felt free. I felt healthy. I smiled. The stress of the day to day melted away.

And all day I thought about how happy I was that I'd gotten out of bed and gone for that run. How glad I was that I'd grabbed the opportunity while I had it. I felt like I'd won. I'd beat the rain. I'd beat the sleepies. I'd done something I love. It's good to be a runner.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mondays in Love & Giveaway Winners

I'm not going go lie to you, I've had kind of a rough go of it the last handful of days. The weather turned all grouchy (as my son would say--actually he says this about an upset tummy but I think it applies), including ice on Friday/Saturday. JoePa's passing was emotional for everyone to whom WE ARE means something. But what got me was the exhaustion. And that is the root of today's Mondays in Love.

Just in case I don't talk about it constantly, I'm pregnant. I'm 6.5+ months pregnant. I'd gotten so I was waking up 3 times a night to go to the bathroom and come morning, my hips and arms hurt from the weight of being directly on one side. Not cool, and not conducive to running/motivation. But, it turns out that at least a temporary solution was simple. Today, I am thankful for pillows. I'm freaking sleeping in clouds and it's amazing.

I now have a pillow under my head, a body pillow on one side, and a super cushy pillow on the other side. It's amazing. I'm back to waking up once per night and waking up much more rested and ready to RUN. I did my 4-miler this morning with a smile on my face!

Now, on to the Chickbands giveaway. There were 29 entries to my giveaway. Using, the winners are...{drum roll please}....

Meg and Jess, I already have your email addresses, so I will put you in touch with Kara. 
tpinthehouse, drop me a line at and I'll get you hooked up! Congrats, ladies!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Forever in our hearts

"Believe deep down in your heart that you're destined to do great things." Joe Paterno

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Eleven Random Things


I absolutely love other peoples' "random things about me" posts. It's a fun way to learn about the bloggers I follow and see what crazy things people come up with. This time, you get to read some random from lil' ol' me, thanks to Marlene's 11 Randoms post yesterday. Here are the rules:
1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag people! (I'm downgrading the tagging from 11 to 5--11 seems like a lot)

11 Random Things

  1. I am wildly allergic to honey. I know it doesn't make much sense, and it doesn't always happen (different strains of pollen? Different sugar concentrations?), but when I unknowingly eat it, really bad things happen. I discovered this thanks to honey nut Cheerios in the 3rd grade. You don't want details. 
  2. I really hate over-paying for groceries. I don't have a problem spending money on nice things every now and then--it's not an all-encompassing cheapness--I just hate over-paying for groceries. I have a whole routine of how I shop that's designed to save money. It works pretty well. 
  3. I once fell off a mountain. The ground was dry and just let loose under me and I fell, went over a small cliff, and slid for what seemed like forever. I was pretty sure I was going to die for about 5 seconds. I still have scars on my stomach and arm from the fall, and it was nearly 13 years ago.
  4. My husband and I both hold degrees from Virginia Tech, and we met there, but we didn't attend at the same time. We actually met through my brother. 
  5. I think I've mentioned this before, but I love lemon curd. It's expensive, but so worth it. 
  6. I know it will be a while before we take another big trip, but I'm already ready for another vacation that includes West Virginia. Our vacation this past summer was perfect.
  7. For years I ate what became known as my "10:30 Banana." Like clockwork. I still eat a lot of bananas, but I've diversified the snack repertoire. 
  8. I was born in the back of a moving vehicle. It was a red hatchback. Know what I grew up and bought? A freaking red hatchback. We are NOT going to delay in leaving for the hospital when the time comes. You just can't have consecutive generations born in red hatchbacks. It's too much. 
  9. I can't stand dirty floors. 
  10. I bake most of our bread. I actually got up this morning so I could get bread baked in time for lunch. I get kinda weirded out by the preservatives and unpronounceable things in commercial bread. Plus, see #2 above. 
  11. I talk and sometimes do bizarre things in my sleep. By far my personal favorite--about a year ago I punched myself in the eye while sleeping. If it hadn't woken me up in time to see my arm going back down I wouldn't have believed it. My husband happened to be awake for it too. We looked at each other like, "WTH just happened??" 

Questions from Marlene
1. What is your favourite pair of non-running shoes?
 Oh man, that's a hard question. I have a pair of Doc Marten mary janes that I've had for 10 years and they are still going strong. I love those things. I also have a pair of black boots that I wear all the time and love. 

2. What are you wearing right now?

Yoga pants and a yellow and gray striped maternity hoodie. It's Saturday. I can't be held accountable. 

3. What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?

Meet with a financial planner. Not very exciting, I know! I would just be afraid of making really stupid mistakes with the money. 

4. Are you named after anyone/anything?

No. My parents had both taught for a handful of years before I was born, so they picked my name by process of elimination--what names didn't evoke memories of terrible students.

5. What is worse – being too cold, or being too hot?

Being too hot. It's nauseating

6. What is hanging on your walls at home?

We have a lot of black and white framed pictures of places we've been, and a handful of framed pictures of family and friends. I also have a few city-themed things, like an old print of Chicago, a fabric rendering of the Paris metro map, and a framed piece celebrating Arizona's 75th anniversary. Finally, we have some more traditional art pieces, including paintings my dad did and some prints. 

7. What is the last thing that you took a picture of?

Part of the stairs in our house. After I fell in December we decided to get carpet treads, which were installed yesterday. Hopefully this makes the steps safer for everyone. 

8. Who is the last person you spoke to on the phone?
My very much missed Meg. We finally got to catch up last night. 

9. Where did you go on vacation as a child?
We went to different places. We went to Chattanooga/Atlanta once, Niagara Falls, various beaches on the east coast, and once we went to Disney World. 

10. What is your favourite TV show?

Probably Justified. So addictive. 

11. How many pieces of jewelry do you wear regularly?
I always wear my engagement and wedding rings, and most days I wear earrings and a necklace. Sometimes I wear another ring or a watch, but not usually. 

My 11 Questions

  1. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
  2. What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you?
  3. Are you a morning person? If not, how do you feel about morning people?
  4. What's your favorite book?
  5. If you could take classes to learn any new skill, what would it be?
  6. What is your favorite track workout (or other workout if you don't do track)?
  7. If you could visit any place on earth, where would you go?
  8. Do you have an usual talent?
  9. What's your favorite guilty pleasure?
  10. True or false: Jimmy John's is awesome.
  11. How long have you been in your current job?
Are you tagged??
RunningFirst (because he hasn't blogged in ages)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Today I get to do one of my favorite things--host a great giveaway!

A while back the ever-fabulous Marlene did a Chickbands giveaway. While I didn't win, it made me aware of the product and I quickly fell in love. These are VERY reasonably priced headbands that really, honest-to-goodness do not slip. Here's what I love about them:

  • Price point
  • The fact that they don't slip, as mentioned. I think they are lined in velvet, which does an amazing job. 
  • The HUGE range of colors, widths, and patterns they come in (I own 4 sparkly ones, an argyle, and a houndstooth, and there are like 15 others I want to buy)
  • They ship quickly and at a reasonable shipping cost ($1 for your whole order, I believe)
  • The owner, Kara, is an absolute sweetheart and is great to work with if you ever do have a question. For instance, I recently sent a Chickband to a friend as a gift and asked if she would include a gift note and remove price information, both of which she did and was so nice about it!
I wear them to run in (and this is proof that I don't just share the "good" pictures. What? It was early.) This was this morning in my silver sparkly super-skinny. 

And every now and then I wear them to work. This is my argyle 5/8 inch Chickband.

The only caution I might issue is that the really wide bands don't sit flat enough to be comfortable for running. They work great for everyday wear though, and you may find that they work for running for you. Maybe my noggin' is just a funny shape. :)

Now, to the good part. I have 3 Chickbands to give away. Here's how to enter. 

Mandatory entry:
You need to do two things. Go like the Chickbands Facebook page (and let me know that you did), and check out the Chickbands Etsy shop and let me know what you like. Leave one total comment to let me know you did these two things. 

Bonus entry: As a second comment, follow my blog and let me know!

I will pick THREE winners on Monday. Good luck!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mondays in Love: Track Practice!!!

Ok, sort of. I mean let's not get crazy here. But, I'm really excited about this.

Over the summer a new track was under construction about a mile from my house. On Saturday, I was planning to drive to my work to use the 3 lap/mile outdoor track (which maintenance assured me was clear of ice and snow). On my way I remembered the new, closer track and thought I would check it out. It's gorgeous! And if you look carefully, you can even see the Arch in the distance.

When I get back to training, I can run to the track as a warm-up, do my speed work here, and run home as a cool-down. How sweet is that?? For my last two marathon training cycles I've done my speed work in the park gauging the distance by Garmin (because really, a 3 lap/mile track is kind of a pain to do speed work on). So excited to be able to do it right next time around!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Weekend Update

Hellooooooo weekend!! I'm starting to like this semi-regular weekend update. It's fun to post the random stuff. So, it's the weekend, and you know what that means?!? I got through my huge deadline! Woooohoooo!! Time to relax a little this weekend. Here's to kicking things off with a little foto Friday. 

Is there some way I could make racing NOT conflict with being hugely pregnant (or by then, immediately postpartum)?? At any rate, I laughed out loud when I saw it in the mail.

We finally had our first snow of the year. Less than an inch yesterday, a little more today. Way less than in our old town a few hours from here. So little snow, and yet more than enough to thrill the 3-year-old. <3 Normally I would plow right through and run in this, but...notsomuch at this point (there's some ice to it). Hello, indoor track, for a while at least.

My 28 week picture. Had a check-up yesterday and everything is looking healthy!! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Second Tri[mester] Wrap-Up

We're there, folks--the third trimester has arrived! I so enjoyed writing my first tri{mester} wrap-up post, I decided to do it again after the second. Above all, I'm incredibly thankful that I am still running. But, running is not what it used to be!

On Miles 
My mileage consistency has been so-so. Excuses Scheduling conflicts included below. Don't get me wrong here--the mileage is not blowing any one's hair back. Most "normal" weeks I've been around 12ish miles per week, and I've been fine with that. I've been particularly pleased by my gradual re-building after the early December stair incident.

Otherwise, my mileage has still been influenced some by nausea. Incredible, I know. But up until just maybe 2-3 weeks ago I was still having awful nausea some days. That's a solid 10-12 weeks later than I should have been having nausea. I could eat, but felt less than great and ended up drinking Cherry Coke a lot of days to try to settle my stomach. Honestly, it may have partly been stress. Whatever it was, I think it's finally behind me. 

On Pace
In my memory, my pace started to slow down in the middle of this past trimester. But, according to the ever-handy training log, not so much. Until about a month ago my pace was anywhere from 0-30 seconds per mile slower than normal. And what happened a month ago? That's right, the stair incident. So, maybe it's possible that my Saturday "long" run is just getting back to pace rather than being a mirage. 

The 0-30 second slow-down isn't new to the second trimester, but it's been more consistent. In the first trimester it was about keeping my heart rate in check. This past trimester, it's been more about shortness of breath and knowing that if I push too hard I put too much pressure on my tailbone.

More recently, I've had a few days where I just feel like a large moving object and for a few days I had shin splints. Shin splints?!? Seriously?? Where did that come from? I'm 100% ok with the slower moving days. Even though a slow pace still feels like all I've got, I'm still thrilled to be out doing it.  

On Perception
I laugh every time I give someone the runner nod only to realize that they didn't see it because they were looking about 2 feet lower. Ha! But overall, I have to say, I get stared at a LOT less than I did when I was a pregnant running lady 4 years ago. Even my mother has stopped harassing me about it. And like I said on Monday, occasionally I even get some encouragement from strangers. Mostly people are really supportive.  

On Logistics
I know, I know. Y'all know how much I've loved my maternity running tops. But a few other things have significantly improved my second trimester running. First, my Nathan Handheld. I haven't had to worry about whether the water fountains in my park will work on colder mornings, or when they will winterize the park. Also, I've noticed that I've had fewer headaches since I've been running with water rather than stopping every now and then when it was available.

I have no idea how running is going to change over the next couple of months. Some days are easier than others. I stopped running at 7 months with my first pregnancy, and hope to run longer than that this time around. Fingers crossed!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mondays in Love: 9:19!?!

....and, we're back on schedule. And I have a few posts planned, so things won't be quite so quiet around here. Game on!!

This Monday, I'm loving so much. Let me break it down.
  1. My Saturday "long" run. It was glorious weather. I felt great. And I ran faster than I knew I was still capable of without feeling like I was pushing myself much. The first 4 miles of this 5-miler were 9:48, 9:30, 9:53, and 9:19. Nine-nineteen?!? Get outta here! I had no idea that was in me! The last mile was part running, part walking a cool-down. 
  2. Oh yeah. I totally park here now. 
  3. A woman in the park the other day who yelled, "You go! That's great!!" as she passed me going the opposite direction. 
  4. Getting close to my giant work deadline. It's Friday, and the project is coming together nicely. 
  5. Fruit jambalaya. I am crazy with the freaking fruit these days. Fruit on my cereal. Fruit on my greek yogurt. Fruit as snack food. Fruit in my salads. Now fruit for dinner. I seriously cannot get enough. FRUIT! 
That's what I've got this Monday. Run strong ladies and gentlemen. And runners too. :) 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mondays in Love: Getting Ridiculous

Seriously, this is getting ridiculous. This is my third week in a row of posting my Mondays in Love on Tuesday. First it was being wildly overwhelmed. Then it was the holiday. And last night I was working until bedtime, after staying home with the kiddo all day because his school was closed. Like I said, ridiculous. Things should be back to normal next week! Sorry guys!

**Back to your regularly scheduled programming**

Today, I'm loving two things.
1. Today is my parents' 42nd wedding anniversary
I love this. So much. And they are adorable in their very own, quirky way.
Yes, I definitely have more composed pictures of them. But really, this is who they are, and I love them. This was taken in 2006 when our family (Mr. Joanna and me, his Mom and my parents) spent Thanksgiving break in Biloxi doing Katrina clean-up work. This is my Mom vacuuming drywall dust off my Dad while he eats a banana. I love this. 

2. The way my December 2011 running wrapped up
Rather than a monthly review, I did the year end post. But I'm really thankful for how December shaped up, too. The low-light of my month was the 9th when I started my day by falling down our stairs. I laid off of running for a few days to let my tailbone and side heal. Over the following weeks I slowly lowered the pace until I was back to about a 10:15 pace, and on New Years Eve I put in 5.4 miles. I am thrilled about this. I'm 6 months pregnant. Being able to cover that distance at all at this point is a huge joy. But being able to do it just a few weeks after a bad fall was even sweeter. By this point in my first pregnancy, running was not really comfortable. I am SO thankful that it's still relatively easy!! I'm in love with the fact that I can still say this: