4.15.2014

A Currently Coffee Date (Where I Order Tea)

Some scenes from our trip to the zoo on Saturday!
It was giraffe feeding time.
***

If you and I were meeting for a cup of coffee, I'd say, "Heck no! Coffee is gross. Chai tea for me, please!" Then we'd get our drinks and find a cozy spot where we could have a nice chat, and I'd tell you what's been on my mind lately...

I used to never understand what people meant when they said, "There just aren't enough hours in the day." I always thought that was kind of silly. There are enough hours if we just use them wisely. 

I mean, I prioritize everything I do, so if I don't get something done, it's because I chose to do something else first. I can't blame the fact that I don't have enough time. I need to just be okay with the decisions I made about how I spent my time. Right?

But I think I get it now. Lately I've been feeling like there really aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I either want to do or need to do.

I want to go running and do my arm exercises.
I need to work on freelance editing projects.
I want to write blog posts.
I need to cook dinner.
I want to read books for fun.
I need to go to sleep.
I want to watch TV and crochet.
I need to do the dishes.
I want to hang out with Jordan. 
I need to go to work.
I want to respond to blog comments.
I need to respond to work emails.
I want to read other blogs.
I need to read my Bible. 
(And I want to read it too.)

Each of those things are valid needs and wants that realistically do not all fit into a twenty-four-hour period. And I don't even have a baby or a dog to take care of! Although I do have a husband, which some might say is the same thing. (Just kidding, Jordan!*) 

I also used to wonder why bloggers quit their blog. But I think I get that now too. As my list of needs and wants gets longer and longer, I find that blog-related ones are the easiest to set aside for another day. Most of the time I'm going to choose sleeping over blogging. Running over blogging. Hanging out with Jordan over blogging.

At this point in the conversation, you might set down your cup and eye me suspiciously. "Just where are you going with this?" you might ask.

And I'd say, "Don't worry! I'm not quitting my blog." And you'd say, "That's so good, because if I couldn't read your blog there would be no point in waking up in the morning." Or, you know, something equally as dramatic.

But, I would tell you, I have noticed myself slowing down a bit. I've never been a seven-day-a-week blogger, but I feel like lately I'm slipping into more like a two-day-a-week blogger. I'm not apologizing for it, because it is what it is. But then again, maybe I am apologizing. I do wish I could have more content for you to read lately.

So I guess this is me not apologizing.

After I got that off my chest, I would realize that I've just rambled on for a while, and you haven't gotten to say anything. Then I'd give you the long story short of what's been going on in my life currently.

Listening to the radio on my drives to and from work, and I am annoyed as can be by the insane number of repeated songs. Let's get some variety in here, people! I try to switch stations, but it's the same song again. What is happening? Do people even listen to the radio anymore? How about CDs? Maybe don't answer that.

I need to get another audio book from the library. After The Help, I picked up Lauren Graham's Someday Someday Maybe (narrated by the author) and finished it just last week. It was pretty good!

Reading The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, the second in his trilogy. You can read my review of book one by clicking here. Basically, these books are good, and you should read them.

Wearing jeans to work EVERY DAY. Hashtag my job is better than yours. Also wearing $80 worth of clothes from my shopping spree at Banana Republic outlet. That store is my budget's kryptonite. 

I mean seriously. Check out this shirt I got last weekend. Originally $60. Got it for $17!
In a word: holler.

Eating all the ice cream. ALL OF IT. I bought a half gallon of Breyer's mint chocolate chip on Sunday, and it's already half gone. It's Tuesday. I don't want to talk about it. Why do people snort crack when a bowl of creamy mint goodness is just a short walk to the kitchen away? One of life's great unanswered questions.

Loving my Saturday morning run with the OKC running group! Is there anything better than watching the sun rise on a morning run? I really think not. Although when my alarm goes off at 5:30 on Saturday, I do wonder what the heck I was thinking.

Anticipating so many awesome things coming up this year. Running a 5k with my mom, my brother's wedding, missions trip, our anniversary, our birthdays, Tough Mudder... Those are just a few. 

I have a sneaky feeling my time is going to get squashed even more. I hope you guys stick around with me for all of it! And just bear with my random posting frequency. I'm way too deep into this blogging thing to quit now.

*But seriously.


***
What's one thing you're anticipating?
What would you tell me if we met for a coffee date?

4.10.2014

[10k Race Recap] Spoiler Alert: I Ran Really Fast


Running marathons messes with your mind.

The moment you start saying things like, "It's only a 10k," do yourself a favor, and punch yourself in the face. Seriously, who says that?

Stupid marathon.

I went into this race (my first of 2014) having zero expectations except the hopeful dream of a PR (personal record, for those of you non-running folk). In my case a PR would be anything better than 56:21, which I clocked during this same race in 2012.

Thanks to the Great Freeze of 2014, I've been running mainly on the treadmill, and when I do run outside, I haven't been taking my Garmin. As I've mentioned multiple times, last year was an intense twelve months of running for me, and I have been greatly enjoying the luxury of basically no schedule at all except that I go when I want to.

That all being said, going into this race I had no idea how fast I should expect to be able to run 6.2 miles. Heck, I'll be honest and tell you that I hadn't run farther than 6 miles since my marathon on December 31. I wasn't all that nervous (it was "just" a 10k, after all), but I did want to at the very least better my time from two years ago.

I was completely alone for this race, hence the pre-race selfie.
___________

I started with the 9-minute/mile group, thinking I could stay with them for sure and have a good chance of a PR. But then the gun went off, and I broke the cardinal rule of running: Don't start too fast. What can I say? It was my first race of the season! I got excited and said to heck with it and sprinted off. (Do not try this at home, people!)

I'm not positive, but I honestly don't think I got passed by more than 2 or 3 people the whole race. I was feeling really good and just kept getting faster and faster, as evidenced by my mile splits. I don't know what came over me.


Mile 1: 8:37
Mile 2: 8:27
Mile 3: 8:21
Mile 4: 7:56
Mile 5: 7:47
Mile 6: 7:36

Around mile 4 is when I really started to feel it, but by that point I was pretty much almost done, so I powered through and kept picking people off one by one. 

Then, around mile 5, the end-of-race shouts started. Have I talked about my shouting yet?

Basically, near the end of a race, when I'm really tired, I yell things. If you happened to be running next to me during a shouting phase, you'd hear a lot of, "LET'S DO THIS!" and "BRING IT HOME!" and "YOU GOT THIS!" I'm very intense. 

When there's a hill, I usually shout something like, "I LOVE HILLS!" This is a lie, obviously, but for some reason I find this encouraging. People are probably staring at the crazy shouting girl, but if I've started shouting then I'm usually just trying not to throw up everywhere, so I don't care what anyone thinks of me.

With the finish line in sight, I started sprinting. I also kept shouting and passing people, because, well, once the shouting starts, I'm unable to control it. 

There was just one guy in front of me, and I decided to pass him before the finish. Except when I came up behind him shouting, "COME ON!" he shouted back, "YEAH LET'S GO! LET'S SPRINT TO THE FINISH!" It kind of startled me, to be honest. I'd never gotten a response before. Then he sped up real fast, and I had to speed up my already fast sprint to keep up. Dying.

So that's how I ended up crossing the finish line almost stride by stride with this guy: 
I love this picture because it looks like I'm flying!
Also, confession: I'm a creepster and looked up that guy on the race results. Dude is 47!
I can only hope I'm still this fast in twenty years.
___________

After we crossed, we high-fived each other, and then I almost keeled over. I saw on my Garmin later that I'd run the last quarter mile at 6:45 pace! Holy speedy. It blows my mind that people run faster than that for an entire marathon.

My official time was 50:20, almost exactly six minutes faster than my time two years before. I finished 8th in my age group and #35 out of 547 females! It really is encouraging to look back and see how much faster I've gotten just with consistent running. I know some runners don't care about time, but I can't lie to you guys. I totally care about the time. No shame.

Even though I've run four times as far before, that does not make this medal any less special. Each race is so different and so fun, and it reminds me all over again what a special community running is and how fantastically awesome it feels to cross that finish line, no matter whether it's 1 mile or 6.2 or 26.2.

Anyone race recently or have any races coming up?
Anyone else shout random crap while they're running, or is it just me?

4.07.2014

Mind Explosion


About a year and a half ago I made two of the greatest discoveries of the modern era:

1. The freezer. 
2. A single-size blender.

Let's take these one at a time.

#1: Freezer

I don't know why it had never before occurred to me to freeze things like, oh I don't know... fresh fruit & veggies, chopped fryer chicken, browned hamburger meat (my MOST brilliant of brilliant ideas, seriously saves me so much time), and other delicious foods that had previously gone bad before I could eat them. I distinctly remember the day when I was like OMG YOU CAN FREEZE BANANAS?! Um, yes, yes you can. 
Hashtag I'm an idiot.

#2: Individual Blender

I used to own a normal-sized blender, but I never used it because I didn't like to wash it. I love smoothies, but apparently I didn't love them more than I hated washing my blender. So it sat, unused, taking up valuable space in my otherwise cluttered pantry/hot water heater closet.

Then I found this:

For FIFTEEN dollars at Target. It might not look it, but this baby can blend pretty well considering it cost less than a pair of Nike running shorts. I use it weekly, and I have most definitely gotten my money's worth. So I got rid of my blender that I never used and upgraded to a cheaper, more functional model. 

Here's where the freezer comes in. Yep, you guessed it: frozen smoothies! I know. I'm a genius. Blueberries, get in my mouth. 

(Shoutout to Wyman's frozen fruit! Deliciousness in a bag, I tell you.*)

Now, once a week or so I make 2-3 smoothies, pour them into glass mason jars, and pop them in the freezer. Since it's a smaller blender, it's very easy to make different flavors, all in an individual serving size. This is a super easy weekday grab-and-go breakfast plus less cleanup because you're a) washing a smaller blender and b) only using and washing it once instead of three times! Mind explosion.


When I get to work, I let the smoothie sit out on my desk for a little while, and as it melts it turns right back into the original smoothie I made earlier in the week. Or, you can be impatient like me and eat it with a spoon. It's just as good, I promise.



So there you have it. Another brilliant idea courtesy of me.
I am positive no one has ever thought of this before.
This is how I shall make my millions.

[What's your favorite thing to freeze?]

* * *

Looking for more breakfast ideas? Make some breakfast burritos!
Click on the picture for the recipe.
_____________________

*I was sent a coupon for a free bag of Wyman's frozen fruit. This post was already written and planned before they contacted me. That, my friends, is what they call meant to be. All opinions are my own.

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