Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: The to-do list picks up

I have a long running update tomorrow, things have been fun/busy in that department, but it is Wednesday, and what better reason to talk more about my wedding :)


The countdown is slowly starting to begin. We are at less than 4 months and to be very technical, 16 weeks until the wedding. For a runner who thinks of my life in terms of 16 week training cycles, we are moving into the final cycle of it all and my to-do list has certainly picked up, there is lots going on, luckily, this is all the fun stuff!


The crafty, do it yourself projects have begun! I am NOT a crafty, artisticly inclined person, I tend to think in solid colors, no patterns, and straight lines--> this also tends to be very boring. My fabulous craft inclined friend Heather has brought her skills to the table and we are embarqing on some fun projects!

Joann Fabric has become one of my new favorite stores! It is amazing how many random things they have than seem to fit my wedding needs, and I feel like I am starting to develop the right side of my brain a little more.
 One of my favorite tasks that we are taking on is making custom water bottle labels. Lets face it, it will be hot, there needs to be water, it might as well look fun right?

We are just getting started with these, and I am very anxious to see how they turn out! 


My invitations have come in and the stuffing process has begun...

We are keeping these a secret until they actually go out, but I was super happy how they turned out. I chose an existing design, but had them custom make our invitations to fit our color scheme and my taste, they are a little more modern than I usually go for, but I am super happy with them!

I went back and forth a lot about how I wanted to have the invitations addressed, first world problems, I know!!!! The women in my family were very quick to remind me that hand written invitations are expected in the south, but I really dislike the look of caligraphy and my own hand writing kind of blows, especially in mass quantity. I thought the easiest thing to do would be print them in a nice scripty font, but I also knew I would hear about it from our older and more traditional guests and family members. Luckily, I had a very naive volunteer with literally flawless handwriting agree to hand address the invitiations- yippee!!!

Most people use printed envelopes now, am I being too old-fashioned following tradition? I feel like the older people will care and appreciate that we made the extra effort, but my guess is most people wouldn't have noticed either way.


As much as I love to shop, it was about time that I finally have an excuse to get a little crazy! While we don't have a 'theme' per say, we definitely have a cohesive element/style that we are using to tie everything together, and it is going to require some shopping...

At this point, I really feel like I am going to be saying  "Stephanie's wedding, brought to you by Etsy". I have always read wonderful things about Etsy, and spent time perusing their site, but have never purchase anything, I never felt I truly needed it, whereas I always needed more running shorts ;)

I have fallen in love with a zillion things on Etsy that I want to bring in to 'decorate' our wedding and gifts for all the fabulous people involved in our special day, but I am trying not to get too out of control yet.

Jewelry... I have been starting to think about my bridesmaids jewelry and what shape and color I think will look good with their dresses. While I will be giving them their wedding day jewelry, John's mom is actually making it for me (them) and I love that we can basically design it to be anything we want!

I have had lots of fun trying on different styles

And colors. I think we have a pretty good handle on what we want it to look like, and I can't wait to see the first few designs she has for me!

Shoes!!!!! I LOVE shoes, like own so many pairs I don't need just because they were pretty, but that's the fun of it!
I have had lots of fun finding shoes that I love and having an excuse (or 4) to buy them. Showers, parties, rehearsals, wedding, after parties, etc. all a good reason for new shoes! Here are a pair of my favorite recent find!

We have more things coming up soon that I am very excited about! Will have to get back to them next Wednesday!!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Back to Training

Happy Monday! I trust everyone had a great weekend!

For the last 6-7 weeks I have been running without a plan without a pattern and without the was nice. Mentally, I need a break, time to figure out what I wanted to do next, work on getting faster, etc.

Well my nice no plan phase has pretty much come to an end. I am 5 weeks our for my goal 5k race of the summer, and 4-5 weeks is about all I can handle focusing on the insane paces needed for an impressive 5k PR. After that race it is right into base building for the fall race season. My goal after my last spring race was to make sure that when my fall races came around, I was in a totally different pace range, so here is hoping it all worked.

I am just about finished finalizing my fall and winter race schedule, and should have all the fun details up soon.

Over the past 3 weeks, I have been getting back to my normal routine after a 2 week illness and also getting acclimated to Florida Summer.. oh yes, its already here! Between the 2, most of my runs the last 3 weeks have been pretty sub-par, average paces, plenty of struggling and frustration, but I was reminded that one day I would head out and it would all just click again. I would hit my new fast paces with ease, every step wouldn't feel like my feet were bricks, and it would all go back to being natural.

Well this weekend, it all came back

Saturday Long run:
7 Miles- 1:01:29, 8:47 average pace
Mile 1-  9:33
Mile 2-  8:58
Mile 3-  8:55
Mile 4-  8:45
Mile 5-  8:26
Mile 6-  8:25
Mile 7-  8:23

I made sure to start out super easy, especially since I had been running so slow recently, and I just kind of assumed I would hover in 9:00-9:30 the whole run, but it just kept getting faster- always a nice feeling!

This morning it was back out to the bridges, which are not my favorite workout of the week, but I have definitely seen a lot of improvement, so I always try to go. I never try and hit fast paces while doing bridges, I figure the inclines themselves are enough to get my heart rate up without me trying to kill myself, so I always just go with it. Today, it seemed to go better than usual:

5 Miles-
Mile 1-  9:32
Mile 2-  9:28
Mile 3-  9:21
Mile 4-  9:29 --> up the big beast
Mile 5-  8:56

So these might seem like a snails pace in comparison to Saturday's run, but with 4 separate inclines to tackle, that is actually quite nice to see :)

I have a fun workout planned for tomorrow morning, sort of a fun take on a progression run, and I am running for time not distance- cannot even tell you the last time I did that. I think I am anxious to see how far I can push in the time allotted, and then of course see if I can beat it next week!

Do you prefer to run for time or distance?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wedding Wednesday

So it has been quite a while since I have managed to doa wedding post, or really any post, but I have been a busy girl!

Work, running, wedding planning, Bachelorette weekend for Jaime, so yeah it has been a busy one.

So onto the wedding update:  this week John and I got to do something fun... we took our engagement pictures, and it was super fun!!!! I even think John started to enjoy himself towards the end, not that he would let on to that.

At first we John was a little skeptical of the whole engagment session thing. He is not a huge fan of posed pictures, which is why so many of my race photos are all of me talking and looking dumb, but I promised I we would take the cheese factor out as much as possible, I think like everyone I wanted our pictures to look like us and how we normally interact.

We are not cheesy stare into each other's eyes touch your face kind of people, so I tried to convey that to our photographer early on. While we certainly have a few of your more traditional poses in our photos, I really loved how they turned out, for the most part we look like ourselves, and like we actually like each other :) I am so thankful that we decided to haev these pictures done as part of our wedding package, it will be nice to have non-wedding pictures of us when we were still young and pretty. Considering the only professional pictures I have ever had done were baby pictures and senior portraits in high school, I thought we deserved some nice pictures of ourselves!

Our photographer, Tonya Beaver is just fantastic! She and I clicked as soon as we began exchanging emails, and I am so excited for our wedding and all the great pictures to come out of it! It made

Check out her blog HERE to see some moe pictures from our session!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Waiting Wednesday

Happy Wednesday all! I have my life back after a super busy last 2 weeks of the semester here, and life will pretty much be smooth sailing through the summer since we run at 1/3 our load all summer :)

Today is a day that I have been waiting for for weeks, no months, and yet it is already 9:30am and I am STILL waiting! Today is the announcement of the winners of the NYC marathon lottery, and while I have tried really hard to not get my hopes up since the odds are pretty crappy, it doesn't change the fact that I want in! We will just have to wait and see, I have been holding off on all of my fall plans and races until I knew whether or not I would be doing New York, I am glad my wait is now mere hours instead of days.

On to more fun news- I am back to normal! I know I mentioned it last week how sick I had been, and even though I ran 6 days last week, it was a struggle to say the least. While many of my fellow runners are excited and welcoming the beautiful days of spring and nice weather, it is officially summer here- 90+ degrees ar the highs we have seen for the last week or so. So in addition to sucking it up big time from being sick, my body is also trying to acclimate to the inferno like conditions it will be expected to run in for the next 6 months.

As much as last week was rough and this week is still leaving me a little frustrated with my times, I must say that I would rather have 2 bad weeks trying to get used to the weather AND get back from being sick then to have had 2 weeks coming back after illness followed by 2 more slow weeks of getting used to the heat- so kill 2 birds with 1 stone I suppose.

Last week I did try to get in my track workout which was 8x400, but it was literally 92* when I was supposed to go to the track at 6pm, and my coach told me that with only being back for 3 days AND the heat that I may literally die and renounce my love for running so he sent me to do it on the treadmill- it was rough, I average a 7:25 pace which is about 35 seconds slower than my usual 6:50ish pace for 400s.

This week I felt I had enough energy finally to get back to my normal workout schedule, so this is my week:

Monday AM-  4 miles bridges run (3 hills covered) 37:42 or 9:26 pace
              PM-  Spin class + 10m stair climber

Tuesday AM- holy tired legs!!!   4M tempo run (2 @8:00) HA that didn't work- 35:17 (9:31, 8:00, 8:24, 9:22) average pace 8:49  + 45 min full body weights
    Lunchtime-  2M run easy (9:26 pace) this was stress induced, I was not supposed to run again! 15 minutes bike, 15 minutes stair climber

Wednesday AM-  TRACK! I went to morning track today to avoid today's 94* high, and it was the most lovely thing ever- I think I will be going to morning track every week! On the schedule 4x1200

When I was out there I felt like such a slow-poke, like seriously thought my times were awful because my range that I have for 1200s is 5:15-5:30, my actual times were

5:33, 5:34, 5:42, 5:38

I went back and checked, and the last 2 times I have done 1200s my times were all ~5:40, so maybe that's not so bad, but it felt bad at the time. Hopefully by this time next week my legs and lungs feel back to normal.

Another fun waiting for: The Royal Wedding. I plan to actually watch the early morning coverage from the treadmill at the gym, I figure this may accidently turn into my long run this week just because I don't want to leave the tv coverage to go shower.

Is anyone else planning to watch the Royal Wedding Friday????

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Back from the Sick

Wow, so I couldn't even tell you the last time I blogged, but it has been a while.

I have been sick for the last 2 weeks, like sleeping all the time, can't breath, sore throat, on bunches of meds, kind of sick. We all know with that kind of sickness also comes 0 workouts. The first week of the sickness I would waiver back and forth between feeling awful and feeling ok. When I felt ok I would go run, and then I would begin to feel like death again. So per Doctor's orders, I have taken a full 2 weeks off- it sucked!!!!

Don't get me wrong, I guess I needed the break, and mentally I am so eager to be back, so I guess that's good, but a 2 week break is a little harder to come back from. It's not like 2 weeks of no running where you cross-trained and kept some endurance or 1 week off where you can see it as a break- after 2 weeks of nothing there is most certainly a noticible difference in my cardiovascular capabilities.

I was allowed to pick it back up yesterday, but was told to cut my normal load in half and build back up- ha! In my head I would cut my run shorter but still hit my 90 minutes for the day through some sort of cross-training combination, so I had a plan to do a 3 mile run and then go to spinning.

I knew the run would hurt a little, but was determined to hit my pace ranges for what I am working to become the new easy (8:55) and the new moderate (8:25). I took the first mile super easy, even for 2 weeks off it felt easy and then did one at each of the 2 other paces. While they were certainly tougher than they were before I got sick, I didn't feel like I was dying, so a small victory- then again, this was only 3 miles.

After I finished my 3 miles I just did not have the energy to throw into a spin class. I had enough energy to finish my workout, but not at the intensity that a spin class requires- and the revelation of how much fitness I lost sinks in. I do 35 minutes between the arc trainer and the bike and call it a day at 60 minutes, not a great feeling.

Today, was back to the weights, and I knew I would have to drop certain weights as I would not do very well with some higher weights after not lifting for 2 weeks. I made it through my normal routine and felt pretty good, I am sure I will be sore tomorrow, but I can deal with that. I did 20 minutes of cross-training and am planning an easy 4 mile run this afternoon, here is hoping that it doesn't kill me.

I have not had to take a break like this since I started running. Sure injuries kept me from running, but I could cross-train, bike, swim, etc. Doing nothing for 2 weeks has made me feel like a lazy ass and a blimp, and it seems so hard to get back into my routine, but hopefully I can pick it back up easily after a week or so, I have a big race in just 8 weeks that requires some serious attention and I need to get at it!

Hopefully regualr blogging will also resume now that I am an active and functioning human being again!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Confessions

I hope everyone is looking forward to their weekend as much as I am! As much as I have been MIA lately you had better bet there have been a lot of things I haven't fessed up to, so here it goes.

-  I have been sick as a dog all week this week, and yet for some reason I will not let myself call in sick. In my last job you could bet your ass you would be fired if you called in sick for anything other than losing a limb, you had to go in sick and be so bad that they would send you home- I guess I still have this fear instilled in my brain.

- While out of town last weekend I did a glorious "long run" of 7 miles at an 8:43 average elevation...on hills- I know ridiculous!

-I have been sidelined all week from this lovely ailment, but refused to miss Wednesday's track workout...The Mizuno Bus was coming to let everyone test out their new shoes lines, get discounts, and a fun tshirt. Yes I should have been in bed, but I coughed, sniffled and hacked my way through 6 miles with 3x1600 (at 7:43) to get to try some fun new shoes and get my tshirt- I have issues.

-I have picked back up my addictive reading habit this week to replace my running addiction. I have finished 2 book in 5 days...and I have my eyes on another before the weekend is out :)

-I found my wedding shoes!!!!! And then someone stole my size :( My size 10 foot will not fit in a teensy little pair of 5.5 sandals that is left. FAIL!

- Bridesmaids dresses are still causing problems. We found a dress that was great, and it is not laying right on people the way it did in the pictures...hoping this issue can be resolved as the idea of finding another dress highly disinterests me.

- I think I have eluded to this a bit, but John has started doing CrossFit recently. He has been going for a little over a month and absolutely loves it. He has amended his diet some with it also which has been great for both of us too. He has urged me to come try it, and part of me is intruigued, but then I hear the word pull-up and panic...sheer panic.

-Very Serious Confession: I have never done an unassisted pull-up. Ever. No, this is not an April Fool's thing, I really can't do it. The idea of pull-ups scares me, I don't know why, but it seems so hard and taxing and diffcult, and people lash about all weird to get themselves all pulled-up. And besides, knowing I can't do one now, why would I try. Everyone at the gym would laugh at me as I haphazardly attempt to pull myself up over the bar with no success, so I figure I will stick to dumbbells at the gym and call it a day.

Is there anything strength related you struggle with?

I can handle push-ups, but talk about pull-ups and I will run away.

Have a fab weekend everyone, hope Spring has shown up where you are, it's already summer here!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So I have been missing- between work, life, and running I have been busy I guess, but mostly not training= pretty boring. Here is a general update since I last left:

  • After a super speedy week that I mentioned here, I decided to go out and race a 5k the next day...after my fast-for-me 8 miler. Yeah, I'm real smart.
  • One of my very good friends has started running and I blame her for enabling me at this race. She did awesome and beat her previous 5k time. When my coach found out I was going to do the 5k, he told me to shoot for a 7:30 pace...umm don't think so,
  • On race day I decided to go for a new PR (old PR was 25:08) and get myself into the lower half of 24 minutes.
  • I now have a new 5k PR- 24:27 or 7:52 pace. While it is certainly an improvement and a testament to all my recent speedwork, I still have a ways to go to get to where I want, however I feel like I can finally call myself a real runner having broken into the 7:xx pace range- it hurt though, all 24 minutes of it.
  • Oh and another age group win

  • Weight and Cross training has been going really well, it feels good to be on a mileage break at the moment, and I actually really like the results I am seeing right now from all the weights, it has been fun for sure.
  • Wedding planning is actually coming along quite nicely, there have been a lot of little things we have been checking off the list like stationary, crafty projects, dresses and accessories, scheduling some of our appointments for final meetings, and some bigger things, but things are going well in this department. Hopefully next week I will have some fun details that I can actually share.
  • There may have been a Trader Joes raid recently also, I can away with some really yummy stuff :)

So there you have it a quick catch-up, maybe I will have some more entertaining things to regale you with soon.