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Monthly Archives: November 2012

You know you’re going to get a good laugh when “Race Photos” are in the title of a post. Why? Because you never know what you look like when you’ve been running for an hour.

Last night, the Turkey Trot photos finally went up on the site and I was quick to check them out. I’m used to smaller races. Most smaller races have professional photographers, but I never see the photos after the race. Somewhere in the world, there are many photos of me huffing and puffing down the road. Somewhere someone is saying, “Why does she look so pissed?”

Take exhibit A:

Those determined eyes. That running form. It screams, “I’m just a 5K from finishing.” Or at least that’s what I was thinking at this point. Surprisingly, I was feeling pretty good. I had just stretched and was taking off on another leg of the run. And props to me for hitting up the edge of the road. I’ll pay for no photo bombing any day. Oh wait. I did. Since these were my first legit race photos, I needed to have them for myself. They rip you off no doubt, but I needed some evidence.

I forked over $27 for three DIGITAL images. No, I didn’t get prints. No, I didn’t receive a frame for them. No, no one gave me their first born son for them. A slight rip off indeed, but worth it.

Exhibit B:

Not such a furrowed brow here and still loving that no one else is in the picture. I do have to say the scenery was pretty awesome. Check out that background. A little slice of Dallas for your viewing pleasure. I look like I’m about to die, but at least I’ve got my essentials. Bic Band. Check. Tech tee. Check. Brooks. Check. Compression Socks. Double Check.

Exhibit C: The Grand Finale

Flailing hair, gut-wrenching finisher face and the sweet relief of a finish line. And apparently I’ve got some pronation by the looks of the way my right foot is landing which explains the pain I felt hours later. Thank you compression socks for lessening said pain.

I just had to share these with you all. I got a good laugh out of them and you should too. I mean heck. It’s only Tuesday. We all deserve a little laugh for making it through another Monday.

Happy Tuesday, ya’ll!

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This year, Turkey Day started off with a nice 8-mile run. The Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot celebrated it’s 45th anniversary this year and I wanted to help celebrate.

Two days earlier, I had taken a quick 3-mile jog to keep my legs loose. After the first mile, I felt a shooting pain run through the outside of my right foot. Hoping it wouldn’t last long, I continued on my way. Anther a half mile in, the pain began moving to the arch of my foot. I cut the run short and began building a plan to nurse my foot for Thursdays run.

On Wednesday, I made my way to the Run On! store to see if they could help solve my painful foot woes. The sales guy suggested I buy a pair of compression socks to help the blood flow in my feet and legs. I knew it couldn’t hurt. I wore them most of the night while I massaged, iced and rested my foot. I really couldn’t do anything else. Worst come to worst, I could always veer off the course early for the 5K instead of the 8-miler. So the plan was I wouldn’t try breaking any records, run at a comfortable pace and constantly check the feel of my foot throughout.

Race day came and I met up with my running buddy from the Undy 5000, Sarah. We set a goal for 9/1 intervals and attempt a 10 minute/mile pace.

This was the biggest race I’ve ever done. There were over 3,900 finishers! It’s such a family-friendly race with all types of vendors from fitness companies and their sports drinks to a puppet vendor and bounce houses for the kids.

Getting back to the race, the weather was perfect – mid-60’s and sunny. Everything seemed to be lining up for a perfect run. Even the morning of the race, my foot was feeling really good. The energy of the crowd was really great. It’s really just one thing that I love about races. Everyone is so hyped up with adrenaline. It’s awesome!

The first few miles went great. We were comfortably running 9 minutes and walking 1 minute. Those miles went by fast. Before I knew it, I was closing in on the fork for 5kers and 8-milers. Since my foot was still feeling good with no troubles, I made the decision to go ahead and do the 8-miler. We weren’t hitting the 10 minute/mile goal and once we hit mile 5 Sarah and I split ways. I stopped for a quick stretch and continued on. I was more concerned with injuring myself then hitting any major time goal. I knew I wanted under 1:45 which was a pretty easy goal really.

The run led us out of downtown Dallas and back. Once we began heading back, we got some really great views of downtown.

This was the first race that I carried my phone on me…tucked in my bra. Surprisingly, I forgot it was there until around mile 5. This spot led us up to a bridge that had the perfect lookout over downtown Dallas. People were stopping to take pictures. I tried to do the same, but my phone decided to crap out on me. I think it might have had something to do with all the sweat it was enduring.

I hit the 6-mile marker and still felt pretty good. I tried to run a half-mile then walk a bit and repeat. I wasn’t concerned about time. I just wanted to finish strong. I was simply enjoying myself out there. It was nice to see the big, yellow 7 mile marker. I had 1 mile to go! The trail teased you a bit because once you hit number 7, the next half mile was all down hill. After a slight turn, the race finish festivities came into view. The only thing that was slightly annoying was I felt like I was running through the race village forever! I kept hunting for the finish with no such luck. I just kept at it and finally finished in 1:37:08. It certainly wasn’t fast, but for someone who didn’t really train for it, I think I did alright.

I actually really enjoyed this run. I thought it would be a lot harder than it was. I liked the location. It’s your typical Dallas run. The trot led us through the Main Street District, West End and Reunion District. The views of tall buildings, storefronts and lofts were such a treat from my typical trail runs. I appreciated the multiple water stations and challenging hills. I would definitely be interested in doing this race again next year. Maybe I’ll actually train a little better for it next time.

And just for a split overview:

A bit of walking at every mile really throws off my average pace. Oh well. I’ll take it.

Side Note: Recovery wasn’t that great. I stretched after the race, but my poor foot ended up taking a beating. After many massages, ice packs, icy hot patches, and Tylenol, it’s finally starting to feel better. I’m concerned I’ve got some tendinitis. Not fun.

I think I’ve finally made an official decision on the date, but I won’t be sharing it just yet. May 10, 2014 will not be our date. We’ve bumped it up a bit so I’ll let you in on that later. I’m also looking into rental setups and photographers so those posts will be coming soon.

For today, I wanted to share with you all my inspiration and vision for the big day. Thank you, Pinterest! I don’t think I could do this without the help of Pinterest and all the previous brides of the world. It’s been a serious blessing in the last few weeks and for those that follow me, you know I’m either pinning wedding inspiration or food. Mmmmm food.

Ever since I knew I wanted to marry Joe at the lake (for realzie), I’ve imagined a quaint backyard wedding with tons of personal touches.

All links are embedded in the photos.

This is my ideal wedding setting. A pretty tent, twinkling lights and plenty of space make this the perfect way to celebrate the start of our life together. We find the tent the most practical. We’re able to get the ambiance we want while being prepared for inclement weather. I want to make sure our tent rental has the same open feeling. The lake is beautiful so it’s imperative that everyone can experience the scenery during the ceremony and reception.

Speaking of ceremony.

How beautiful is this backdrop? I can imagine draping these from the trees instead of doing a traditional wedding arch. Fresh flowers wouldn’t be cheap, but it makes for some great photos and a unique place to tie the knot.

One idea I’m about dead set on is having a grand exit as we are confirmed man and wife. As we walk down the aisle as husband and wife, guests will throw rose petals from pretty white doilies like the photo above. I love this approach because I’m not sure we’ll have any other “exit.” Logistically speaking, Joe and I probably won’t leave before the rest of the guests since we’re getting married at a home and not a venue. I’m able to still get that exit I want without leaving the property.

Grey, plum/eggplant and touches of green will be our colors. I love this look. It’s formal, but not so formal that it turns into a black tie affair. We’re going with classy casual. Black tuxes would be too much and any other color would just look odd for the groom and groomsmen. I think it’s a really great look that isn’t too tacky and our kids won’t automatically cringe when they check out our wedding album years from now. Yes. More classy. Less tacky.

Something that’s always on my mind is the budget. We haven’t set a budget, but I think I’ve got a good feel of what I’m willing to spend on each wedding necessity. When I feel like I’m losing sight of sticking to that budget, I come back to these budget-friendly weddings (click the photo for the specifics). This is where the true inspiration comes out. Since I’m more focused on saving money for a house then spending it on a wedding, this site just secures my doubts with wedding planning. If I know that real brides made it happen on such a tight budget, I’m willing to do the same.

On to the reception.

Corn hole is a must for a little entertainment. Picture a backyard party with craft beers and a corn hole competition. That’s my kinda party. There’s nothing traditional about this even though it seems to be gaining popularity. Corn hole is such a fun game and since we aren’t big on dancing we may just omit a dance floor altogether and have mini corn hole games instead. I’ve done some research on custom corn hole boards and them seem a bit pricey. I’ll keep hunting but I have a few ideas in mind.

Other entertainment inclues a little smores party. A couple summers ago, Joe helped build a fire pit in the lake house backyard. We’re big smores people. Joe’s mom always has the essential ingredients to create the perfect smore. I even bought her a 10-piece marshmallow roaster so we could get maximum smore love.

Can you get a good feel of my wedding style? Come follow me on Pinterest if you want to see my complete wedding board. Are you planning a wedding? Has Pinterest helped you as much as it has helped me?

Man! After this recipe I’m starting to think those sweet bloggers over at Tuesdays with Dorie are trying to plump us up for Thanksgiving. These last few recipes have been indulgences that my waistline does not appreciate.

This Tuesdays recipe is Best Ever Brownies and they certainly were.

Thanks to preparing the brownies ahead of time, I was able to use some natural light this time to take my photos. Much better than last time, right?

Anyway.

These are some seriously decadent brownies. There is no skimping on the chocolate with these. Butter, chocolate and sugar are the foundation of these brownies with your typical baking additions of flour and eggs. These bad boys certainly aren’t gluten-free, vegan-free or any other froo froo “free” definition. Any chocolate lover would die happy indulging in one of these.

Let’s get to the recipe. As I’m sure I’m not the only one, my brownies took 65 minutes to bake instead of the allotted 28 minutes mentioned in the recipe. Big jump. Was this a glitch in the recipe? Not sure, but I was greatly disappointed that it took so long.

Backing up a bit, I flubbed up on the recipe. Once the chocolate, butter mixture melted and was taken off the burner, I whisked the eggs and threw them in with the chocolate not thinking about it. I went back to the recipe and gasped. I missed a crucial step. I was supposed to save half of the eggs to whisk to three times its size and then fold them into the chocolate batter. Fail. I prayed it wouldn’t hurt me in the long run.

Going back to the time discrepancy, thinking that a few extra minutes would help, I kept the brownies baking for about 32 minutes. I took them out and let them cool. An hour later, I was craving some chocolate heaven. I cut into them to find a soupy mess. They weren’t done. With a sigh of frustration, I preheated the oven and set the timer for another 35 minutes. I kept checking on the batter with tooth picks.

Finally, after 65 minutes of baking, I pulled them out and let them cool. At this point, it was very late (or early) on Saturday (or Sunday) and I wasn’t about to lose sleep for these things. I headed to bed with sugar plum brownies dancing in my head. I wish I had stayed awake. Nothing beats fresh, hot brownies.

My little flub with the eggs didn’t seem to lesson the greatness of these brownies. If anything, they seemed more fudge-like and less cakey. I’m not complaining. I took them to work on Monday. My coworker said he finally understands why Joe is marrying me. It’s all about these brownies. Hmm. I’ll take that as a compliment.

Now go visit Monica for the full recipe. I promise you won’t be disappointed. And let me know if you folded the eggs into the chocolate. I want to know if it turned out any differently.

Moving is annoying.

We moved into a bigger apartment the first weekend of November. The second weekend of November was spent installing contact paper and unpacking. And this past weekend was spent screaming out my frustrations as I mentally glared at the apartment to-do list. I can’t seem to lesson the load. If anything, I’m adding things to the list on the regular.

Our extra bedroom has become a staging room. If we haven’t unpacked it, used it, hung it, slept in it, etc. than it simply sits there glaring at me. The glaring anticipation of all these things to be placed in their place is causing me anxiety.

I’m not an extremely organized person. We have multiple junk drawers and unlike Joe, I don’t organize the dishwasher. So, why the anxiety? The problem comes when I know there are tons of things that need to be done and the process is slow as molasses. I want the automatic satisfaction that the curtains are hung, new furniture in the spare bedroom and the counters spotless. However none of this is done without me. I wish I could just snap my fingers and everything would be done.

We recently went to a house warming party. The new homeowners said something that stuck with me. They said that they would throw a house warming party once they were settled in the new home; however they realized they weren’t going to get that feeling for a while so they went ahead and threw the party together anyway. The simple truth of it all is we’re all building a home for ourselves. Are we ever done fixing, hanging, building, etc.?

I know eventually I won’t spend my weekends hunting for furniture, unpacking random boxes or organizing home office items. It’s a work in progress with work being the key word.

When I’m not working on making our apartment a home, I’m working at my legit job. Last week was one for the books – a book that needs to be destroyed. It was a rough one. Thanksgiving couldn’t have come at a better time. This year, I’m thankful for a roof over my head and my sanity to keep it looking more like the photo above and not like the spare bedroom.

Have a wonderful Monday, ya’ll. Make it a great one though.