Race Recap: The Vineyard Run @ Delaney Vineyards

Yesterday marked my 3rd 5k for 2014. Woop woop! My friend Katie had told us about The Vineyard Run at Delaney Vineyards a few months ago, before I had run any races at all, and it did sound appealing. Racing through a vineyard, and tasting wine after the event? I’m game. We registered a few weeks later and began training.

When I went to pick up our race packets, I also bought a few new running tank tops. If you know me at all, you know I don’t wear sleeveless shirts. I’ve never been comfortable exposing bear arms – even in high school when I was thin. I prefer atleast a cap sleeve…but it gets so hot in Texas, that I needed something lightweight and cool. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to avoid tan lines. While I was at Academy, I also picked up a Spi Belt. I’ve never really known what to do with my car keys, etc, when we’re running races, and figured this belt would help.

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The belt fit comfortably around my waist and was just big enough to hold my car keys, ID, and credit card. It would have fit my phone, too, but I wear that around my arm with my ear buds. I also loved that the belt did not bounce while I ran — I would definitely recommend this for outdoor runners/walkers. On longer distances, I might carry some chapstick, energy bar, etc.

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Parking was really funky at this race. The Vineyard was right off the highway but there was practically no parking there. We had to park on the other side of the highway and walk. There were buses running back and forth, but the line was really long, so we just decided to walk since it was only about a mile. We walked around and checked out the vendors (free coconut water for the win!) and did a few stretches to get ready.

Once the gun went off, it took us about 2 minutes to cross the start line. The race was chip-timed so fortunately we do have accurate timing this time! One thing we had no idea about — THE HILLS! Omg. They were the hills of death. The whole course was up and down, up and down, and we had no idea. And I’m talking STEEP hills. It was so awful. I ended up walking more than running due to some crappy shin splints and the hills…but I still made it.

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Since the race was close to our house, we invited my parents to come and cheer us on. We had no idea they would actually bring homemade signs to a 5k race! It was kind of funny, but definitely awesome. They are great cheerleaders!

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We were so happy when the race was over. It was fun, but definitely tiresome, and it was already 90 degrees by the time it was over. We did stick around for a bit of wine tasting, but my heart just wasn’t in it. While wine sounded like a great motivation, I was too tired after the race to get excited about drinking wine at 10am.

Instead, we sacked it up, ate a quick lunch, and then headed to my parents house to lay by the pool and sit in the hot tub. Our friends came with us, and it was a glorious day to sit in the pool, soak up the sun, have a few drinks and relax. We ended up coming home around 730pm, promptly took showers, and went to bed at 8:15. Not kidding. We were exhausted!

Now we have to decide what race we want to do next!

 

 

 

HIIT is Hard

HIIT training is hard…but it’s where it’s at y’all. For reals.

For some reason, this week I decided to do a few HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. Don’t ask me why. I guess I’m just tired of mundane running at the same speed (aka: slow) and trying something new. Never hurts, right?!

So I did what any normal fitness guru would do and searched Pinterest for the latest and greatest HIIT workouts. The first one I stumbled upon looked good: (could not find original source, but found HERE)

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I was anxious to get to the gym to try this on a treadmill. First of all, I did the whole workout without dying. Go me! Secondly…. I’ve decided I don’t like HIIT workouts where the incline changes. This was literally too difficult for me to keep up with while actually performing the workout, especially since some of the time changes only took places after 30 seconds! It may have been easier if I had someone telling me what to do, versus reading on the iPhone screen…but I did not prefer this workout.

Yesterday, I was determined to find a HIIT workout I liked, so I decided to make up my own, and this was MUCH better. I warmed up for 5 minutes by walking at a decently brisk pace. Then, I alternated running at 7.0 speed and walking at 3.5 speed. I did this for a few times before I decided to up the speed a bit to make it more challenging. So then I did a few rounds of alternating 7.5 speed with 3.5 speed. Then I upped it even more at 8.0 speed with 3.5 speed.

Let me just tell you…8.0 speed is FAST. I think it’s around an 8 minute mile…which is super fast for me. Granted I was only running 30 seconds “fast” and then walking for a minute, I was proud of myself for making my legs work so fast! I was only planning to do HIIT for about 20 minutes, but decided to round out 3 miles – which I did in under 40 minutes…also shocking. Now that I’m EXTREMELY sore, I know this training works! HA!

Overall, I think I need to add some more HIIT into my life for training. I can see how this would be helpful to make me a faster runner, but also to help lower my resting heart rate and burn calories longer after a workout. I need to do some more research and find some good HIIT programs that don’t alternate time/speed/incline because that’s just too overwhelming right now.

Do y’all have any experience with HIIT? Recommend any good trainings?

A Very Anniversary Weekend

I cannot believe a year of marriage has arrived! It’s been one wild, crazy, awesome year, and I can’t wait for the years to come. So….how did we celebrate?

On Friday night we met up with some friends at The Cellar in Las Colinas. We had heard from some friends that this place was pretty good, cheap drinks, and on the Las Colinas canal so the patio was great. Well, we were very disappointed in the service, food, and overall experience. None of the waiters were friendly or helpful, and they were VERY slow. The food was decent, but it turned out the place was more of a bar than an actual restaurant. Bummer. We’ll never have to eat there again!

 

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On Saturday, we slept in and went for a short walk to get the day going. I then picked up a fresh top tier of our wedding cake from the bakery, Frosted Art Bakery in Dallas. Lucky for us- our bakery highly encouraged us to serve the top tier at our wedding instead of freezing it for the first anniversary. If you send professional pictures of your cake to the bakery, they’ll recreate the top tier for FREE on your first anniversary! The sad part- if we wanted to order this cake every year, it would cost us $75. Womp Womp.

On Saturday night, we met up with some friends we met on our honeymoon for dinner. Funny Story: on our honeymoon in Palm Island (very close to Venezuela aka: very far away) we met a really awesome couple, Sandy and Ray. We met them over lunch as iguanas were crawling up Sandy’s leg. Yes, disgusting. Anyway. We thought they were hilarious and started hanging out with them on the beach and at the bar in the evening after dinner. About a day later, they told us that they were actually getting married on the island and wanted us to be the witnesses. Of course, Dono and I jumped at the chance. On their wedding day, we helped each of them get ready, and stood behind them as they recited their vows. It was such a beautiful wedding…and hilarious…because we are in ALL of their wedding pictures! Well, come to find out, Sandy and Ray moved to DFW shortly after the wedding. We had been planning for MONTHS to get together, but between all of our work schedules, it was quite difficult. Last night, we finally got to meet up – a whole year later – for some pizza, wine, and reminiscing.

When we came home, and took all will and might to not break into the cake and champagne!

On Sunday we slept in again, but as soon as we were awake – it was like we were children on Christmas! We didn’t care how early it was, we wanted to dive into the cake. So we did! We snapped a few pics with our cake and champagne before digging in.

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We exchanged anniversary gifts, too. We decided when we got married that we wanted to follow the traditional anniversary gift giving because we liked having to put creative thought into the gifts and following the tradition of many others. The first year’s gift is Paper. We both wrote each other heartfelt notes on the PERFECT cards for each other. I gave Donovan a race display bib holder, and he gave me a gift certificate to get a pedicure. Ok, so my gift was not really paper, but its holds paper, so its close enough for me! After our gift exchange we watched our wedding and reception video and looked at all of our wedding pictures. It was so much run to reminisce and talk about the best parts of the wedding day. We also set some goals for ourselves for the future – mainly moving into a house this year!! (I’m very excited about this goal)

Overall, it was a fantastic day together. While we did spend a lot of time doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning like we usually do on Sundays- it was great to take a break in the morning, relax, and remember why we got married in the first place.

What did y’all do on your first anniversaries?

One Year Has FLOWN By!

Y’all. I cannot believe that I have been married for 1 full year! ….well, it will be 1 year on Sunday, but this post is coming a bit early.

Two years ago, Donovan gave me the surprise of my life! He took me to Smoke for dinner for my birthday, and ended up proposing! Little did I know he had also invited our entire families to come and celebrate with us…and ended the night with a surprise birthday party for me…and surprise engagement party for all our friends who came!

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It’s hard to believe that the next year of engagement went by so fast, too. As Team Carovan, we planned the wedding together. We ordered invitations, flowers, tasted cake (YUM!), picked music, outfits, and venues. Some aspects of engagement were really tough, but we made it through and are stronger for it.

Then came the wedding day. You can read more in detail about the wedding here — but I’ll just say it was a very magical day. It was everything I hoped for and dreamed for. All of our best friends and family were there to witness us exchange our vows and commitment to one another + tear up the dance floor and celebrate!

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It really is crazy to me how quickly the first year of marriage has gone! Everyone says the first year is the hardest…and if that is the case, then we are smooth sailing! Donovan and I don’t really fight anyway, but we have great communication skills. We don’t play mind games with each other, and we let it all out when its necessary. Yes, there are things that bug me about him (you have a lot of dang socks!!!) and I know there are things about me that bug him (I’ll never learn how to use a knife properly) – but they are all little things that we chalk up to quirks.

I’ve learned in this first year of marriage that my husband is not only my best friend, but also my best support team. Sure, my parents and family will be there – but Dono is my one and only. We’re the only people that can really motivate each other to get up and exercise, eat healthy, and do the right thing. We challenge each other daily, make each other laugh, and enjoy each other’s company. Sure, there are lot of hobbies and interests we don’t connect on, and that’s fine. It gives each of us our space when we need it.

This last year we’ve done so many things together it will be difficult to list – but I know that we are planning on many years ahead of us together. This year we are planning to run a half marathon together, and I can only imagine what lies ahead! I can’t wait to take more trips, have children, and purchase and move into our first home together. But for now….let’s just eat that glorious cake 🙂

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April Showers Bring May ….Endurance?

I hope you haven’t filled a missing person report yet! I promise I’m here, and I’ve been keeping up with training – but April is a SUPER crazy month in my life.

Dono has been traveling for work this month, and when he’s not here, I’m really not motivated to exercise or eat right. He’s such a good buddy to have, and when he’s not here, I really feel it. Last week I did get out for a few walk/jogs, but it was nothing to write home about. And I may or may not have had Chick Fil A.

I also celebrated my 28th birthday last week. Woop woop! I’m getting old.  On the day of, we took it pretty easy since it was a work day, but over the weekend, we celebrated with my friend Katie and her boyfriend at Gloria’s – my favorite margarita place!

This week, Dono and I will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary! It’s crazy how fast time is flying! We don’t have any specific plans yet for the anniversary, but I do know that we will be eating some glorious wedding cake from Frosted Art! We have seriously been dreaming about eating this cake again since the wedding day.

In my world of health and fitness- I’ve decided to join Jess’ Whole 30 Challenge starting May 5th. I’ve been wanting to do the Whole 30 completely, but April is a really tough time to start since it includes my birthday, Easter, and our anniversary, and I knew I was going to want to eat some cake. I’m excited about starting this challenge with some other women who are on the same page – looking to better their lives and become healthier! I’m hoping Donovan will want to do this, too, since its quite difficult to do the Whole 30 while you’re partner does not. Even brown rice becomes a temptation! It will be difficult – the hardest thing for me is giving up dairy because I LOVE milk – but I know we can do it. It will make me feel healthier and strengthen me for the 10k’s this summer.

Ok, Ok I promise to be better about posting. Now that April is almost over, I’ll have a bit more time on my hands.

If you have any good Whole 30/paleo recipes, please share them, because I will need them!

 

 

Where I’m At

I’m sure you’re all wondering where I’ve been and why I haven’t been blog posting. Spring time is busy all around, so I’m pretty much trying to keep my head afloat (even though its already floating…thanks seasonal allergies!).

When I started this “weight loss adventure” earlier this year, I really only had 1 goal in mind – to run a half marathon. I’ve said over and over again how much I struggle when I just focus on the number on the scale. When it doesn’t budge I get angry, frustrated, and overwhelmed. 50 pounds seems like a lot to lose when you’re barely moving down the scale. BUT- when I focus on an extra-curricular activity – like running races, spin cycling, and other things that are FUN to me, I don’t care as much about the number, and I seem to be more successful.

Case in point.

Yesterday I went and got a physical at my new doctor’s office. I haven’t had a physical in YEARS, but I was really curious as to what my body looks like on the inside. Sure, I can look in the mirror and see outer appearance, but don’t have much knowledge on how things function on the inside. So, I signed up to do a full physical, including blood work. I won’t get my results back on my blood work for another few weeks, but I can already tell I’m moving in the right direction.

I wasn’t planning on posting exact numbers here because, well, its quite embarrassing…but I’ve started a blog to make progress, right? So….don’t judge me.

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So here’s the overview. I went to the doctor back in January and February for a “Special” issue I was having with my lower regions and weighed in at 217 and 216 respectively. Yesterday?  A whole 10 pounds down! While this may not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things…this puts me 10 pounds closer to a 50 lb weight loss. Not to mention, my DR appointment before the wedding, I weighed about 225- 10 pounds more than this. Also, I feel like this is the healthy way to do things. Essentially, I’ve lost a pound a week for 2 months. I’ll take it. By the summer, I anticipate being under 200 pounds….something I have not been since high school years. And that would be amazing.

I’ve got a long way to go, but progress is key. Its helpful knowing and SEEING that what I’m doing is changing my body. I’m already so anxious to get the blood test results back so I can see what things look like on the inside!

Another thing I’ve been doing….I’ve been following the Whole 30 plan for food the past few days. I really do want to try the whole plan in entireity, but need to wait until after April is over since there are so many fun things happening this month. Essentially, I have not had any dairy, legumes, sugar, or grains for the past 3 days. It has been really freaking hard. Surprisingly, I miss milk the most. As long as I’m eating enough fruits and veggies throughout the day, I don’t really miss carbs (although, I got a whiff of glazed donuts in the elevator this morning and almost died). I just REALLY miss my glass of milk with dinner. I did buy almond milk, but I can’t get used to the taste. There’s something satisfying about a big glass of milk with dinner. (Yes I think I’m 5 still). I have found some great recipes on Pinterest for Whole 30 meals, and so far they have been delicious.

Have y’all done Whole 30 before? Any advice?

 

 

Half Marathon Training Weeks 12 & 13 Complete!

So I’ve been a bit behind in posting, so I’m combining a few posts. Now that I had a new iPad, I rarely log into my PC anymore to make the weekly updates. I’ll need to figure out a new way to make that happen…

So overall, I’ve been doing good keeping up with my schedule. Here’s what it has been looking like:

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: 3-4 mile run (possibly strength training if we go to the gym)
Wednesday: 1 Hour Spin Cycle Class
Thursday: 3-4 mile run
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Longer runs 6+ miles OR 1 hour Spin Class
Sunday: 2-3 mile walk

Now that it is getting closer to summer, I need to start upping my mileage and strength training to help get me ready for 10ks. The thought of running a 10k (6.2 miles) right now sounds pretty miserable. However, that is also how I felt about a 5K, and I really enjoying doing those now. Who knows, may be after I run a 10K, I’ll be hooked on them too!

In the last 2 weeks I’ve also really started noticing how much looser my clothes are fitting. I [finally] went bra shopping this past weekend and decided to have the sales associate measure me since it’s been awhile. I’ve been wearing a 40C for the last 2-3 years. Well, after I got measured today, I was a 36DDD. WHAT THE HECK!?! I was not ever wearing close to the correct size. Clearly I’ve lost some inches since my band size is smaller, but cup size? I have no idea. I always knew I had a large chest…but DDDs? Whoah. The girl at the store told me I needed to get bra-checked every 6 months to make sure I’m wearing the right size, especially since I’m losing weight. While this could potentially get expensive, I feel like when I tried on my clothes with my new bra, I felt like a completely different person. A correctly fitting bra will work miracles!

How did y’all do the past 2 weeks?! I promise I’ll do a bit better on posting!

Non-Scale Victory: Motivating Others

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It’s no secret that I’m trying really hard to lose some weight and train for a half marathon in the process. However, up until now, I’ve really only told my closest friends what I’m doing. While I can be an overshare-er at times, I also get nervous about telling people about my goals. I guess part of is afraid of what people might think. If I tell someone I want to run a half marathon, I don’t want them looking at me with crazy, judgmental eyes. I may not be in the best shape of my life, but I am trying, ok? Well, last night, judgmental crazy eyes went out the window.

Last night I went to my normal Wednesday night spin class. I’ve made friends with a larger woman who has also been coming to the class and losing weight, and she’s fantastic. Since I met her last summer, she has lost probably half her size. She’s doing boot camp, body pump, spin, swimming, running – you name it! She mentions she is working out twice a day and completely changed her diet. WOW! That takes some serious motivation.

Well, anyways. My friend and I sit next to each other during class. We don’t talk much since the music is so loud, but will occasionally give each other a thumbs up. Last night, at the very end of class, the instructor played a pretty fast tempo song and told us we were going to sprint for 1 full minute – this would be our final workout. She gave us the option of quitting at 20 seconds or 40 seconds, but encouraged us to go for the full minute. I knew I was going for the minute, but my friend loudly said she was going to quit at 20 seconds. When we got to the 20 second part of the song, I yelled at my friend, “KEEP GOING! YOU CAN DO IT! LET’S DO IT TOGETHER!”

…and she did! And so did I! When the class was over we were both pouring with sweat. The instructor approached us after the class and gave me a huge pat on the back. She said that apparently everyone else in the class heard me yell to keep going, and she was impressed with how many people stuck through the full minute sprint. I was quite shocked because I never thought of myself as motivational. I keep to myself in the spin class and even duck out before the stretching is over at the end. This time was different. I told the instructor and my friend about my wish to run a half marathon this year, and they both seemed really impressed (no judgment eyes) and encouraged me to keep going. My instructor even remarked that she could tell that I was really dropping pounds (although it really is more inches than pounds).

It really was a boost of confidence to hear that from people I didn’t know…and to know that I was motivating them!

What is your non scale victory this week?

If a Tree Falls in the Woods….

If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is around, did it really make a sound?

This is kind of how I feel about food.

If my husband is out of town for 5 days, and no one is around, did my non eat clean habits really happen?

Ugh.

Last week Dono left to go out of state for a few days. In my head, I was thinking this would be a great time for me to try new, healthy recipes since he wouldn’t be around to eat them if they tasted horribly. Except. My weekend went the exact opposite. I did not make the WORST choices…but I sure as heck did not go out of my way to make healthy choices.

I ate dinner one night at the movie theater. I skipped lunch on Saturday. And I may or may not have indulged in some ice cream at multiple parts of the weekend.

Y’all. Losing weight is hard work. Especially when you’re addicted to sugar and unhealthy food. It’s almost like being an alcoholic – I mean, every day is a struggle. Each meal is a new opportunity to succeed or fail. While I did not do so great this weekend food wise, I’m still proud of my PR time for my 5k. Now, I need to dust off the silverware and get back on the horse. Wait. That’s not how it goes. You know what I mean. It’s time to get back on it.

Over the weekend I was thinking seriously about upcoming 10ks and half marathons. While I’m doing great with 5Ks, I really need to step it up in more ways than one. Not only do I need to increase my mileage and endurance during practices and training, but I also need to get back on a healthy meal plan. I’ve really begun to see how much food affects my body (more so than exercise!), and how important it is for me to stay on track. Sure – a cheat meal (Note: MEAL not WEEKEND) is not all that bad as long as the food is within moderation. I just need to stay on track with this.

I think the next book I want to read re: weight loss and food is The Whole 30 book. I first heard of the Whole 30 from Kaela and subsequently have spent a lot of time reading through Emily’s blog. Food is difficult and  I need to learn to rein it in.

Sorry for no pictures today. Y’all have any ideas for changing food habits?

Race Recap: The Firefly Run

Wow! Never thought I’d get to a place where I’d be doing race recaps! Well, here I am. The 2nd 5k of the year is in the books!

This past weekend I signed up for and ran The Firefly 5k in Plano, benefiting Children’s Medical Center. I’m not sure why I decided to run this particular race, but it was quite an experience. The whole point of the race is that it starts at 8:30pm when it is dark outside. In our race bags we were given 2 glowing/reflective armbands to wear + there were option to buy more glow sticks and light up gear. Shannon had gone to Party City before the race and picked up a few glow-y things. We were not the most decked out, but it was pretty fun.

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Let me just say that night races are really awkward to prepare for. I woke up at 9am on Saturday morning and ate a bowl of spaghetti. Weird, I know, but I didn’t want the food to sit in my stomach so close to the race. I tried to rest most of the day, but that was pretty hard since my mom wanted to take me shopping. I drank a green juice about 4pm, but not sure that was quite the energy I needed. By the time I left for the race at 6pm, I was already tired and ready to call it a day so I wasn’t expecting to have a good race.

When we showed up at the park, I was shocked at how many people showed up to run. Apparently the Firefly Run is a huge deal in Plano. My race number was 26,000 something. Ridiculous. There were WAY more people there than at the Trinity River Levee Run. (Click here to read about my previous race experience.)

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Not the best picture since it was starting to get dark -but they had this “rave” area set up in the front of the park. There was a DJ spinning remixes and a huge light up billboard thing with fun colors and lights. It was pretty fun just hanging out and seeing all the crazy costumes!

When the race started, Katie and I started near the back of the pack since we’re not fast runners. I thought we were still decently close to the start line, but I guess not. When I crossed the start line, the time clock read 8minutes and 30 seconds!

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Ok, ok. This picture is worse than the previous one – but it gives you a good idea of all the glow lights. The only downfall to running at night was that I couldn’t see a damn thing. I can’t tell you how many times I tripped over the stupid lane markers several times or bumped into other people that weren’t wearing glow gear. It was neat to see a bunch of kids and families running together, but as a “seasoned” runner, it was annoying to have to run around them or cut off the course to get around since they would walk/run 4-5 people abreast. Annoying.

I crossed the finish line at 51 minutes – which means I actually finished in 43 minutes (since there was an 8 minute delay in starting). I was SO shocked because the last race I completed I finished in 45:05. A 2 minute improvement does not really seem like much of an improvement, but it is for me! Although I still walked a bit in this race, my first mile split was 13 minute pace! I haven’t run that fast in a long time! I think I wore myself out though because my next splits were 14:30 and 14:45ish.

Overall, I’m satisfied with my finishing time – especially because I wasn’t expecting to PR at all considering the conditions of the race. Although, this makes me nervous because the next race I have to run even faster!

Now that I’ve completed 2 5k’s – I really need to start upping my mileage and preparing for 10ks. If I’m ever going to get to the point whereI can run a half marathon this year, I need to start adding some distance each week. Currently, I’m running an average of 2-3 miles a day (may be 4 if I feel good) – but I need to start pushing towards 4-5 miles/day and longer runs on Saturday/Sundays.

Who wants to run the next race with me?