Sunday, April 29, 2012

First and Many

       Thanks to the input of our cousin, Amy and I were notified of a 5K benefit run for a baby in our area who lost his life to Sudden Infant Death syndrome (SIDS) a cause that I have really studied up on and attended many conferences on.  When Amy told me about it I was very interested but knew I was not ready to run it.  She told me it was also a 5k walk and I was totally on board for that.  Needless to say it was a big morning for both Amy and I as I walked in my first 5k fun run/walk and Amy ran it (not her first as you know she has run many!)  Anyway, I asked Amy what goal she would set for the time I should finish this walked 5k in...she told me "I'd say like 45 minutes"  and I really, really wanted to stick to that and I knew I could do it.  I started off at a really good pace but drifted behind a little bit in the middle, and finished up strong.  I finished in 44 minutes, 1 minute shy of my goal and even though that is not much I was extremely proud of myself,  I still am!   My body felt really good while doing it and it seemed to go by fast, as the day has gone on my leg muscles are a little sore but still for the most part I feel good.  I felt that keeping up with the walkers, not getting winded and not wanting to give up are all very good accomplishments for me because I haven't gone the distance I went today in a couple of weeks.

Our aunts, cousin and mom participated too!

And true to Amy's "Post Race" style... we enjoyed a light breakfast at Starbucks after.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Why I love Home

Happy Friday to our readers!  This blog entry will be based around my photo challenge from last week. 

Amy gave me the challenge of "A photo of the reason you love living here"  and therefore I'll discuss why I love it here.  I love living in Illinois because we get all 4 seasons.  We get to experience all kinds of weather from REALLY cold to REALLY warm which is kind of a nice change (not that I LIKE cold or super hot weather I'd rather it be right in the middle but that doesn't happen much anywhere.)    I like living in the country because it takes some thinking to figure out ways to stay busy.  We do have to drive to many of the places we want to go unlike city life where you can walk, but there is also much more space to take a walk with out the hustle and bustle of a city pace. 

Who wouldn't love to see pretty sights like this every day!

I also love it here because my family is here, I've always wanted to stay close to my family and I think they appreciate that as well. 

For next week:  A photo of something you really don't like to do!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Routine Runner

I'm a routine kind of girl. I like consistently, I'm a planner, and I find comfort in knowing what's next. For me, running is no different. As you know, I plan my training WELL in advance. After a long day of teaching, squeezing in a run is not always easy, so I'm pretty routine about this as well. So, here is a little about my least on school days:

  • Leave school at a reasonable time. Always a bit of a challenge, but I make running a priority. In a way, I treat it like a part-time job.
  • Change into running clothes as soon as I get home.. If I wait, I start to find excuses to skip my run. Skipping my run will certainly ruin my night, as I would definitely feel crazy guilty.  Plus, I know how good I feel after a run, so it's not worth skipping.
  • Put on compression sleeve (right leg only!), set phone workout (if needed), and head out the door.
  • Walk for a minute or two, then get moving!
  • Finish running, turn off RunKeeper app, and walk it off for a minute or two.

  •  Stretch.. Always the same stretches, always the same spot.
  • Head inside, shower, and make dinner.. Then, spend the evening relaxing!

So, my routines have gotten me to wondering if all runners are a little bit routine. So, I'd love to hear from you...what are your running routines?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Joys of Homeownership

This week, I celebrated the one year anniversary of buying my first house.

This past year has FLOWN by, so I thought it would be a good time for Ashley and I to reflect on the "joys" of home ownership, both sarcastic and real.

The "Joys"

Getting locked out. Not once, not twice.  THREE TIMES.  Including once on my 8 PJ's.

Calling a repairman, only to find out you didn't need him.  And having to pay him over a hundred dollars just to flip a switch.

Having to replace the battery in a smoke detector at 2 am.  Might I add that this was the night before a field trip.

Ashley's "Joys"

The smoke detector going off anytime the oven was on for the first month we lived here.  Electrician determined the detector was faulty and replaced it.  Smoke detector still goes off anytime we bake something and it starts to burn (encourages me not to burn any food!). 

Being in the middle of a true blizzard and the sensor of the garage door breaks...winds blowing 50mph, snow coming down inches per hour SIDEWAYS, and its freezing cold...Fixed that problem by myself by taking the door apart while the blizzard raged on the other side of it.

Again with weather.... just last week we were clocked in at 52mph wind gusts and some crazy storms.  After we heard a sound that resembled an explosion I discovered the wind took our outdoor gas grill and pieces of it were everywhere.  After cleaning them up (at Midnight) I noticed the rain was pooling up on my window sills INSIDE.... So needless to say I never went to bed that night as I stayed up mopping up the water that was pouring into my house. 

its been determined that our windows are not properly installed on the house...ANOTHER repair call.

The True Joys

Decorating for Christmas.

Being able to open my home to celebrate some special events for some very special people.

Doing random projects, especially with help from fun people.

Going to bed at night with the feeling that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.

Ashley's True Joys

Bringing our families together.  Hosting holidays and fun gatherings.

Having a place to call "home."

Feeling a sense of accomplishment when people congratulate you or mention how much they like something you have worked so hard to have.

How about you, do you own your own home?
What are some of YOUR homeownership adventures?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Back Behind the lens...

Well... I'm back behind the lens-  sorda.   Thanks to a tip from Amy, I've discovered the Instagram app for android, and it is AMAZING!  I love how I can turn a somewhat dark photo into a really cute photo by using some of the features that Instagram provides.  I can convert some old favorites into "instagram" photos (as long as I've taken them on my phone.)  Amy originally posted about our love for the app here.  I have been trying it out lately mostly using photos of Matt and I, but I'm 'cool' with that.  So anyway, I wanted to share some of the photos in my instagram portfolio, but I'm having some difficulty getting them uploaded from phone to computer, so those will come as soon as I am able to do what I'm trying to do.  For now, I'll continue on to something else I've brought up in this post.  The colors in a photograph... in some ways it really matters and in some ways it really doesn't.  But through my collections i've pulled a few nature photos that fit right in with what everyone is calling "Earth Week" as Earth day approaches.
Yes its pretty.... but did you know that the color of the sky is VERY important to a pilot or the captain of a boat out on the water?  A photo of the sky with coloring like this can be the difference of safety and danger!

 The colors in a photo can also add emphasis to  the pure beauty of innocence. 

Color means camouflage and making nature what it is to most of us.

I'm not one to fight for the rights of the Earth or Nature, but I do find it very important to take care of what we have.... that brings me into the results of my latest photo challenge.
The challenge was- a photo of the biggest difference of me from the past 5 years. 
I picked...some sister pics

I'm aging myself here but these were taken on (and the week after) my 21st birthday..

and these were taken within the past year-

Biggest difference- My hair.... do I miss the bangs??? YES!
Do I miss the unnatural amount of makeup I wore at that time?? NO!

For next week's challenge, a picture that shows why you love living here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Might Be Psychic

Do you ever have a moment when you think to yourself "What would I do if _______?" and then the "blank" happens?

Well, that was me today.

I started out my run, and someone let her dog off of the leash, which is not uncommon in my neighborhood.  I thought to myself, "Good thing that dog didn't bite me.  Hm, what would I do if I got bit by a dog?"

About 3 miles later, bam.

No bueno.

Can't find any unhappy-looking pictures, so a random post-race picture will have to do.
Here is what I did:
  • Told the owners I was OK.  They asked and were very apologetic.
  • Stopped running and walked the rest of the way home.
  • Called my sister to freak out, haha.
  • Called my close friend who is a nurse to find out what to do (she said to wash it with soap and water and keep an eye on it for any redness).
  • Washed it with soap and water.
  • Sprayed some Neosporin on it.
Here is what I wish I had done:
  • Not panicked.
  • Got some information from the dog's owners.
Here is what I still don't know if I should do:
  • Go to the doctor?
  • Call whoever does the animal registries to figure out if the dog had all it's vaccinations.
It's only been a couple hours since this experience, so I'm probably still a little more shaken up than I need to be.  However, I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm a little hesitant to head back out on the trails.  Looking back, I really don't know how I could have avoided it, short of turning around or stopping and standing far away as soon as I saw a dog.  I certainly can't do that for every dog I see on the trails.

So, now I need some input.

Have you ever had this experience?
What SHOULD I have done?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

101 Foods

Just the other day, I was chatting about all the foods I refused to eat as a kid, but now, as an adult, really like (or at least am willing to eat).  Then, I stumbled upon this post on Reads, Recipes, Runs, and I figured it would make a great weekend post for me and the picky-eating sister!  :)

At least she's a good sport on New Recipe Night!

This is a list of 100 rather obscure foods, and we're going to see if we've tried them.  I'll go ahead and admit from the start that I had to look up MANY of these!

1. Abalone: No thank you.
2. Absinthe: Nope
Amy: All I can think of it the movie Moulin Rouge, and it freaks me out that I'll see a little green fairy, haha.
3. Alligator: Nope...where do you even get that?
4. Baba Ghanoush: a very good record so far...
5. Bagel and Lox: Nope
Amy: I'm a sweet breakfast kind of girl.
Ashley:  I'm pretty partial to plain bagels..boring I know
6. Baklava:
Amy: Yes!  YUM!
Ashley:  Nope not here.
7. Barbecue Ribs: Yes!  I feel bad for anyone who has to say no to this one.
8. Bellini: Actually, no.
9. Bird’s Nest Soup: Nope.  Had to look this one up.  Was appalled.
Ashley: Haven't had it and i'm not brave enough to look it up... eesh
10. Biscuits and Gravy:
Amy: YES!  LOVE this stuff.  If only it wasn't so terrible for you!  (And yes, I just realized that this completely contradicts my previous statement about being a sweet breakfast kind of girl.)
Ashley:  I've had it and believe it or not, everyone thinks i'm weird that I do NOT like it... i'm not a fan of any breakfast meats (bacon, sausage...)
11. Black Pudding: No.  Another clueless one.
12. Black Truffle: Nope.  Isn't this stuff like wicked expensive?
13. Borscht: Another one that scares me for some reason.
14. Calamari:
Amy: Yep, but not a big fan.  Weird texture.
Ashley:  No Thanks!  I don't even like the smell.
15. Carp:
Amy: Probably, but I don't know for sure.
Ashley:  Nope, I'm very aware of the type of food I'm eating.
16. Caviar:
Amy: I remember way back in 4th grade we got to try things like this because a parent brought it in.  I also remember I had to call my mom to see if I was allergic to any of it, haha.  I don't remember how it tasted at all though.
Ashley:  Nope...better off giving it to someone else.
17. Cheese Fondue:
Amy: Yep.  Made it myself.  Rock star!
Ashley: Yep, thats one thing I do like!
18. Chicken and Waffles:
Amy: Nope.  I'm such a carb-o-holic, that, if put in front of me, I would probably pick around the chicken to get to the waffles.  Kind of like eating only the outside of the corn dog.  It's logic.
Ashley:  Chicken and Waffles??? Makes no sense to me.  Chicken is one food that doesn't go with Breakfast like waffles.
19. Chicken Tikka Masala: Nope.
20. Chile Relleno: Another nope.
21. Chitlins: No, does not sound appealing.  At. All.
22. Churros:
Amy: Yes.  They used to serve these at my school, and I would get hot lunch that day just for that reason.  If it's amazing even in a school cafeteria, you know it's good stuff!
Ashley:  Yep, fantastic!
23. Clam Chowder:
Amy: Kind of shocked that I'm just realizing this, but no.
Ashley:  Whoa I've tried something that Amy has not!  I wasn't a fan.
24. Cognac: Nope.
25. Crab Cakes:
Amy: Yes, and it was just OK.  I'm not a big crab person.
Ashley:  No thanks.
26. Crickets:
Amy: No, although they did have them at my school this week, and I considered giving it a shot.  Considered is the operative word here.
Ashley:  I don't think i'd even consider it.
27. Currywurst: Nope, not a curry fan.
28. Dandelion Wine: Nope.
29. Dulce De Leche:
Amy: Does it count in cake form?
30. Durian: Never heard of it.
31. Eel: Not brave enough for that one yet.
Ashley: Will never be brave enough!!
32. Eggs Benedict:
Amy: For an egg lover, I'm shocked that I have not.
Ashley:  I'm definatly NOT an egg fan like my sister!
33. Fish Tacos:
Amy: Quite possibly my favorite kind of taco.  Not fried though.
Ashley:  I can't get brave enough to try them.
34. Foie Gras: Nope.  Not sure I'm classy enough.
35. Fresh Spring Rolls: Nope.
36. Fried Catfish:
Amy: Yep, at an amazing soul food place in Nashville.  It was, well, amazing.
Ashley:  No thanks.. not a fish person either!
37. Fried Green Tomatoes: Nope.
38. Fried Plantain: Nope
Ashley:  Not fried but I have tried a Plantain.
39. Frito Pie:
Amy: Yes, but not actually in the bag.  Blah.
Ashley:  Again nope
40. Frogs’ Legs:
Amy: Yes, at a cheap-o Chinese buffet in a college town.  Really did taste like chicken.
Ashley:  Frogs' Legs Amy really?  No thank you here.
41. Fugu: Nope! Another one to add to the look-up list!
42. Funnel Cake: And another one to add to the list of things I would have to feel bad for you if you hadn't tried.
Ashley:  yummy!
43. Gazpacho: Does it count when we used to stir up our melty sherbet so it was like soup?  Haha... (We were awesome kids)
44. Goat: Nope. 
45. Goat’s Milk: And nope.
46. Goulash: I don't think so.
Ashley:  No thanks
47. Gumbo:
Amy: Yes, but I don't remember anything about it, haha.
Ashley: Tried it, wasnt a fan because the kind I tried was very spicy.
48. Haggis: No thank you.  Yuck.
49. Head Cheese: Again, no thank you.
50. Heirloom Tomatoes:
Amy: Yep, tomatoes are finally starting to grow on me.
Ashley:  I have tried them, I like tomatoes.
51. Honeycomb:
Amy: I think I tried this on the same day I tried caviar.
Ashley:  The only honeycomb I will eat is cereal  = )
53. Hostess Fruit Pie:
Amy: Only remember ever being able to eat half.  But these were generally off limits in the fridge, because they were for dad's lunch.  :)
Ashley:  AGREE with Amy!! I didn't like them though because I don't like pie.

54. Huevos Rancheros:
Amy: Another shocking no for my egg-lover self.
Ashley:  sounds like heartburn waiting to happen.
55. Jerk Chicken:
Amy: Yep.  Nothing special.  Perhaps I haven't had the good stuff?
Ashley: Tried some of Matts before, not a fan.
56. Kangaroo: No, just had a vision of the one from Winnie the Pooh and it made me sad, haha.
57. Key Lime Pie:
Amy: Yes.  Not a lime fan.
Ashley:  Yeah it was too tart!
58. Kobe Beef:
Amy: I think so.  Again, no big impact on me.
Ashley:  Nope I havn't
59. Lassi:
Amy: Nope, I'm too cheap.
Ashley:  All I can think of when I see lassi is the .25 cent goldfish that my mom called Lassi when we were kids....
60. Lobster:
Amy: Yep.  Kind of feel the same way I feel about crab.
Ashley:  Tried and I didn't like the smell or taste.
61. Mimosa:
Amy: Nope.  Not an orange juice fan.
Ashley:  Yep I've tried them a few times.  Pretty good but can't drink much because I'm not that big of an OJ fan either.
62. MoonPie:
Amy: I think so?
Ashley:  I think so too?
63. Morel Mushrooms:
Amy: Nope, not a big mushroom person.
Ashley:  I can't even stand the thought of a mushroom.
64. Nettle Tea: Nope.
65. Octopus: Can't stand the way it looks.
Ashley:  I cant even try it because its just a cute sea creature.
66. Oxtail Soup: No thank you.
67. Paella:
Amy: No, but have thought about making it.
Ashley:  What is it?
68. Paneer: No...I feel like I need to be more cultured!
69. Pastrami on Rye:
Amy: Actually, no.
Ashley:  Yep I've tried!  Not good.
70. Pavlova: Nope.
71. Phaal: No, another curry situation.
72. Philly Cheese Steak:
Amy: I suppose yes, but never a "real" one.
Ashley:  Nope
73. Pho: Nope.  (Ashley: but for some reason I am really wondering how people come up with these names and Matt keeps asking me why i'm smiling at my computer)
74. Pineapple and Cottage Cheese:
Amy: No, but I might need to try it, like today!
Ashley:  Yep!  I didn't like them mixed but I sure do like them seperate.

Now I'm craving pineapple salsa...great.

75. Pistachio Ice Cream:
Amy: Shockingly enough, I'm not much of an ice cream eater.
Ashley:  Yep I have and I was pretty concerned by the fact its like neon green.
76. Po’ Boy:
Amy: I am, however, a sandwich eater, so yes!
Ashley:  Nope never had it.
77. Pocky:
Amy: No, but I often look at it curiously.  :)
Ashley:  I think I HAVE tried this but I may be thinking something else.
78. Polenta:
Amy: No, but definitely want to try it.  Just don't know how to cook it.
Ashley:  What ever happened to normal food?  = )
79. Prickly Pear:
Amy: Another one from caviar day.  Who knew 4th grade would come in so handy?  :)
Ashley:  Nope
80. Rabbit Stew: No...but maybe if I ever visit District 12.  :)
Ashley:  Sweet Answer Amy!
81. Raw Oysters: Ew, no.
82. Root Beer Float: Yep, yum!
Amy: Remember those popsicles that used to get stuck to our tongues?  Haha!
Ashley:  Yes I remember and it hurt so bad when Mom had to get them off. 
83. S’mores: Uh, yes.  Add it to the list of things we'll feel bad for you for.
84. Sauerkraut:
Amy: Yes.  On a total rueben kick lately.
Ashley:  Amy, I laughed that you just said Rueben... and I do NOT like Sauerkraut.
85. Sea Urchin: Nope.
86. Shark: No.  We need expand our seafood horizons.  :)
Ashley:  I'm very content with my almost nonexistant seafood horizons. 
87. Snail:
Amy: My first thought is "I don't think so," but I'm pretty sure this is somethign I would remember.
88. Snake: No, thank you!
89. Soft Shell Crab: No; kind of creeps me out.
Ashley:  All of these creatures don't belong on plates!
90. Som Tam: Nope.  Actually never even had papaya (yep, I looked it up!).
91. Spaetzle: No, and that puts our German culture to shame.
92. Spam: No, and not sad about it.
93. Squirrel: No...but it wasn't far away with the multiple squirrels I have nearly run over this weekend, haha.
Ashley:  Amy remember that Squirrels have families too!!
94. Steak Tartare: Eek!  No!
95. Sweet Potato Fries: Uh, yes!  Addicted!
96. Sweetbreads: No...who on Earth decided to name something so yucky after something that sounds so good?
97. Tom Yum: Nope.
98. Umeboshi: Another nope.
99. Venison: Our dad is a hunter, so yes.  Yearly, in fact.  Yum!
100. Wasabi Peas:
Amy: I don't do wasabi.  Or peas.  So no.  :)
Ashley:  No Wasabi but I don't mind peas.
101. Zucchini Flowers: Nope.  Intrigued though.
Ashley:  Just recently tried regular Zucchini.

Our totals?
Amy: 32.  Not as bad as I thought!
Ashley: 19... out of 101?  Oh goodness... but like Amy mentioned I'm picky and I think after some of the things I know I havent tried, i'm very content with my "normal" staples... plain Multigrain Cheerios here I come!!

Any interesting stories about some of these foods?
Did you have to look up as many as I did?  :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Anatomy of a Tempo Run

Before about a month ago, I had never done a tempo run.  Since I started training for my next half marathon, I decided to incorporate some speed work and tempo runs into my training plan, both things I didn't do last time.

My first shot at it wasn't bad but wasn't great either.  I did a little over 4 miles in about 39 minutes, at an average pace of 9:26 overall.

My second attempt?  Epic. failure.  It was awful.


Then, I stumbled upon this post on Carrots 'n Cake about how to do a tempo run.  I had read up about it a little, but this post really helped in breaking it down for me.  I've done this format twice, and I felt like I rocked it both times.

Today's tempo run was another 4-miler, this time I did it in about 37 minutes, at a 9:10 pace overall.  When I looked at my splits, though, my 2 tempo miles were at an 8:33 pace...awesome!

So, I thought I'd break down my tempo run plan for you a little today.  I'm still in trial-and-error-ville, I'll admit, because I don't have a GPS watch.  Yep, I'm cheap.  I stick with my RunKeeper app on my phone.  Here's what I do for a 4-mile tempo run:

Set RunKeeper to tell me my average pace every minute.  I thought this would get annoying, but it's helpful.  I also set it to coach me at 1 mile slow, 2 miles steady, and 1 mile slow.  This just helps alert me when to speed up and when to cool down.

Run the first mile at warm-up pace (i.e. don't worry about it).

Gradually speed up for about a mile, until I hit my desired average pace.  For me today, I was aiming for 9 minute miles (could have gone a little faster, but my legs are UBER sore from yesterday's workout).

Gradually slow down for approximately another mile, but aim to keep your average pace about the same.  If your average pace is still improving, slow down.  Try to keep running this whole time.

For the last mile, cool down.  Expect your average pace to fall a little, but not too much.  If you have to walk at this point, you probably pushed it too hard (guilty of that today).  Aim to enjoy the living daylights out of this part.  It's kind of awesome.

Celebrate your rockstar-ish tempo run skills. :)

OK...I'll admit that I'm still not sure I'm doing this tempo run business correctly.  Feel free to correct me if I'm not.  Regardless, I'm having fun with it, and it spices up my week.  I was NOT positive about going out for a tempo this afternoon, but ended up loving it, and I definitely think it has been good for my running overall.

Tempo runs: love them or hate them?
Any advice for me when it comes to tempo runs? 

Oops!  Can't forget Ashley's photo about a picture that shows a major difference between your life now and what it was 5 years ago.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Cleaning!

Hello everyone!  Many of you have probably seen Amy's awesome guest post on this blog.  What a cool sister I have!! 

Anyway, this week is my "Spring Break" and I am really keeping myself busy.  For months now I have been saying "OK when I'm on my break, I'll get this....and this....and this... done"  and I'm not going to let myself down. 

When we painted the house a few weeks ago we acquired quite a bit of clutter and things being out of place.  I'm working through that mess and while I do that I've noticed our "abyss" of a storage closet YIKES!  So its time to get serious and do some purging.  Old Wedding brochures ---GONE,  extra catalogs and out dated magazines --- GONE!    I warned Matt that this would NOT be a 1 day project and it sure is not going to only take me one day, so here goes.

** All embarrassment aside** this is what I was faced with when opening the closet door.  My step grandmother made the towel cake for me for my bridal shower and she has since passed away and I'm finding it extremely difficult to take apart something she was so proud to have made me. 

oy vey!

So the work has begun... this is what it looked like mid-project.   How two people have this much stuff I'll never know! 

And... this is the final product!  All done!
Then, I went to the next room and onto the next project.  With a powered up drill in hand I took down these temporary paper window coverings and I put up ....

                        Our lovely cellular shades that have been hanging out in their box for way too long.
Guest room is complete! 

Photo Challenge:  Something that exhausts me just looking at it;  Aside from what i've posted above lets say
this picture:   I don't know if I will ever become a runner.  This business is NOT easy!

                                          maybe I'm just meant to be a sideline cheerleader!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter: Instagram Style

This morning, I was laying in bed playing with my phone and made an exciting discovery.  Instagram finally has an Android app!

Perhaps this is old news, but it was new to me.  So, I promptly hit download and have been playing with it all day.  Well, it is Easter, so not quite all day.  You catch my drift.

So, we figured it would be a good day to photo post about our Easter: Instagram style!

Can't have a photo post about Easter without the infamous pretty flower picture.
I was having fun playing with the settings...and curling my hair.
Off to Easter with the fam!
Carefully supervising the Easter egg hunt with my dad.
Thanks, Easter bunny!
How did you spend your day?

Hope you had a happy Easter!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Viva Las Vegas!

Well, this past weekend knocked a lot off of my "bucket" list.  I took my first flight on an airplane, my first time in Vegas, and my first time attending the Academy of Country Music Awards. 

 First up... The flight. 
    Our flight was at 9:50am therefore we had to leave early in the morning for the airport, I got about 3 hours of sleep the night before and realized that I was more nervous about a flight than I was on my wedding day (could be good OR bad!)  when we landed I realized that it wasn't all that bad, then I thought "ok I only had to get married once, I still have to fly home!"  but I didn't let the fear of the flight home get me down.  It turned out fine, we made it home safe but I still haven't convinced myself to want to fly again.

Bucket list item #2 :  Las Vegas-  This lion was the first thing I saw when I entered the hotel in Vegas.  We stayed at the MGM Grand which was a very pretty hotel but also weirdly modern and it was the first "eco-friendly" hotel I've ever stayed at.   My first impression of Vegas wasn't as "busy" as I thought it would be, but everything was large scale for sure.

Bucket List Item #3  : the ACM awards.
Kind of like a glorified concert but still very cool to see.  I wasn't able to bring my camera into the show but it was the same as what it looks like on TV.
Earlier in the day, before the show, Matt and I went to the "ACM experience expo" which had a bunch of booths set up each displaying something different.  One of the first booths we visited allowed us to actually hold one of the awards.  It was fun to see them up close and the award was actually very heavy!

This weeks photo challenge was :  The most colorful thing I can find
So true to Vegas style I present my photo challenge results:  The "strip"  lit up at night!

For next week's challenge...I'd like to see a picture that makes you exhausted just looking at it!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Running the Numbers

Some people are "numbers" people.  I am not one of them.  I always liked math in school, and I like helping my students with them now, but they're just not my thing.

Or maybe they are.

On my long run this Saturday, I purposefully set my RunKeeper app so that it would alert me at each mile with my distance and time, NOT average pace.  When I hear my average pace, I find myself pushing too hard (at least for a long run) not to let it drop, or beating myself up that it needs to be faster than the one before it.

However, as I ran, I found myself doing the math anyway, and it got me wondering.  Are all runners number crunchers?

Then, I got to thinking some more (it was an 8 miler, after all) about numbers that are significant to me as a runner, and as a person.  So, I thought it would be fun to throw some numbers around today.

13.1: The farthest distance I've ever run in one "session."

26:44: My 5K PR (October 2011).

When your rock-star preggo friend tells you that you have to beat her, you listen!

6: Road races I've run so far.

102.5: Furthest distance I've run in a month (October 2011).

Even with a vacay thrown into the month!

2:54: Minutes I've taken off my 5K since my first.

1:59:59: My next half marathon goal.

And last, but certainly not least...

1: Number of my cheerleaders that I would love to race with one day :)

How about ya'll...
Do you think all runners are deep-down numbers people?
What is YOUR most significant running number?