Monday, March 31, 2014

Five uses fort 5K t-shirts...

Like any respectable runner, I collect 5K t-shirts to way most people collect regular clothes. In fact, since Spring is in the air around here I've already been struck by the urge to go shopping for some Spring tops. See, I usually feed that urge around my birthday, when I have a little extra money to spend on myself. But this year I used most of that money to build my summer running clothes collection. I now have no less than six pairs of running shorts and a countless amount of running tanks.

No regular clothes to wear. None. Unless you count last year's stuff, which apparently I will.

Since I just ran my eighth race since last July, I've collected a total of seven shirts. (One race was cheaper if you didn't get a shirt, so I opted out.) So what do I do with all these t-shirst you ask? Well, here's just a few options for you.




1.) Wear them running. Think of it, when people see me running past them with a shirt proudly declaring Museum of Aviation MARATHON (and in tiny letters, half marathon and 5K) they will totally assume I am a marathoner. One of those crazy freaks who can run twenty-six-point-freaking-two miles. What they really don't know is that I just ran the 5K that day. In all honesty, I don't think I've ever actually run in a 5K t-shirt. For one: a lot of the times they are your usual unisex cotton tee,  not the best thing to be running in. I prefer something a little more slim fitting. Although my Cherry Blossom Road Race tee is actaully the perfect shirt to run in. And call me superstitious, but I never run a race wearing that race's shirt. Do you want everyone to think you're a total noob?? (Matthew says this is snobby of me, but whatever!) You haven't' earned it yet, take it off! Wear it after the race!

2.) Dust cloths. Enough said. What else are cotton t-shirts good for?

3.) Pajamas. Move over Victoria's Secret, nothing says sexy like a t-shirt down to your knees declaring, "Run to Lose." My husband loves it. For reals.

4.) T-shirt quilt. Okay, I'm actually quite into this one. I would love to make an "I love me" quilt out of all my hard-earned t-shirts. I would sleep with it every night and think of how awesome I am. After I wallpaper my wall with race bibs and make a chandelier out of all my race medals. (I only have two, so I'd better get on that.)

5.) Donate them to the less fortunate. Have a friend who wishes he/she was a runner? Give them the gift of a 5K shirt today! Not only can they pass themselves off as a real runner just like you, they will get many complements, I'm sure.


I'm off to the beach for a week! Gotta go pack some non-5K, non-running clothes, wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Things writers Google...

It's been almost four years (FOUR) since I started this crazy journey of writing and self-publishing my book trilogy. I've learned so much along the way, and at the end of the day, I have to give props to a writer's best friend...Google! Today I'm going to share with y'all some of my top Google-ed things since I've been writing.

1.) How to use a colon/semi-colon correctly.

Yup. This is what happens when you don't have the bucks to hire a real editor! In the past I've relied a lot on the help of others to sort out my grammatical issues, but at the end of the day it's just me. I'd like to think my grammar skills have gotten a lot better since the old days, but ehhh...I still Google some of this stuff to straighten myself out. And I'm not too proud to admit it!

2.) Actors who might look like my characters.

I've actually never found any actors that look exactly like my characters in my head. Maybe it's because to me, they're actual real people, complete originals. Yes, I know I sound crazy. We're all crazy! At least I admit to hearing voices in my head!

Even though she's a Disney star, Bella Thorne is the closest match I can find to my favorite red-headed heroine. 



And even though he's a bit older than my character, I think Sam Claflin looks the closest to how I picture Jason. 


Everyone's favorite grandma is of course, and always will be Sean Connery circa Indiana Jones and Last Crusade. I just can't help it!


Will is another hard one for me, but the closest I can get to what's in my head is Thomas Gibson.


3.) Random spy knowledge!

I can't tell you how many things I think I need to know to successfully portray some of the scenarios in my books. I'll just break it down in a sub-list.

a.) How to drive a stick shift (this was for book one, since I have no idea how any of that works)
b.) How to pick a lock. How to pick a lock on handcuffs (book two)
c.) How to break a sleeper hold. (book three) this one is my personal favorite. I ended up watching self-defense videos for around fifteen minutes. That's some informative stuff people!

4.) Location shots!

"Scouting" locations via Google is one of my favorites, though it seriously triggers my wanderlust gene!


Oh you know, just the cafe where Peter and Kit first met.
Machu Picchu

Bridge like in book two.









Bolshoy Kammeny Bridge, Moscow.









Half of book three takes place in Moscow, but the final scenes will be in Hong Kong!


I clearly have a thing for skylines and bridges, I'm well aware.


In case you're wondering, I am nearly done with book three. (Working title is still Final Redemption unless I think of something better!) I'm about to start writing the pivotal final scene and even i'm not 100% sure how it's all going to play out. There will be a few more chapters to pen after that final showdown since it is the last book of the trilogy, so I would like to tie up as many loose ends as possible. I think there are still more stories to tell about Kit and her family and Halcyon, so we'll see what happens next!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Cherry Blossom Road Race...

It's that time again! Time for another thrilling and exciting race recap...just kidding. You know you don't care. But it's fun to write about, and after all, it is my blog...such as it is.

So, let's get to it! This past Saturday I ran my very first 10K. I was pretty excited since I've already run a total of seven 5Ks in the past seven months since I started running, and I knew I was ready for a new challenge. I've been upping my distance quite a lot lately, with a half-marathon in mind. So running a 10K was just the next step. I picked the Cherry Blossom Road Race a few months ago, knowing how famous Macon Georgia is for its Cherry Blossom Festival this time of year. It didn't disappoint! The race was well-organized, and the route was fantastic. Though, sadly, there weren't quite as many cherry blossom trees blooming as I had anticipated. That's okay, my allergies are bad enough as it is!

Since Matthew works close to where they were having early packet pick-up, he kindly picked up my stuff on his way home from work on Friday. Early packet pick-up is my favorite! Just sayin'. Again, this race didn't disappoint. Super cute, slim-fit, dryfit t-shirt (that I wore all weekend) and a free Chick Fil A coupon! Woo!
Favorite! (And I'm not even a huge pink person.)

Even though I already had my stuff, I still got up at the crack of dawn on Saturday, six fifteen to be exact. I just have a hard time sleeping in the morning before a race. Thankfully, I was excited, not nervous! I was expecting it to be fairly warm-ish, like fifties, but when I got up it was a chilly 48 degrees. I had to sneak back into our room for some pants!
Have you ever seen anyone so cheerful at seven am on a Saturday. I mean. Really?!

Anyway, I got to the race venue, and it was still chilly. I was honestly wishing I had some sleeves instead of a tank, but I knew running six miles, I was going to get a lot warmer! I had already talked pacing with my dad the day before and I told him my goal was to run a 8:30 pace for the race. Since I'm used to running 5Ks it's sort of my nature to just go hard and fast. I knew I was going to have to monitor my speed a little more carefully so I wouldn't burn out. Not surprisingly, I started a little slow. It was a little crowded since they started the 10 and the 5K together, about 600 people. After the first mile or so, I really managed to even out my pace. Like the OCD nut that I am, I had memorized my splits. I was a little slow on my first mile, but I hit my second mile split almost on the nose. By mile five I was wearing out some, but still hitting those splits. Too funny! 

Boom! Finish line! (Screen cap from my phone. Obviously.)

I finished with a time of 52:38, according to my Nike app, which is EXACTLY a 8:30 pace. Super exciting and satisfying. My official time was actually a little less. It was a pretty competitive race, so I didn't win anything in my age group, but I had an awesome time anyway! 

I rewarded myself with a chicken biscuit! Yum!
I can't wait to run another 10K, and my half is looking more and more doable every single run. I've had a few people tell me I could probably be trained and ready much sooner than October. I'd want at least another six weeks to train, though, and after six more weeks it's already getting a bit hot here in Georgia. I think I'll keep shooting for Blue Mountain Beach in October. I'll be more than ready by then. I'm already trying to think of my goal time, probably something like 2:15. But you know I'd love to go sub 2! But that's mostly crazy talk. Mostly!

Next up, I'm running a 5K here in Byron, just for the fun of it. I'll probably attempt to come close to my standing PR of 24 minutes, but again, crazy talk! And I'm definitely running the Chick Fil A 10K in June!

Race stats:
Official time: 52:33 (8:28 avg)
Age group: 6th out of 22
Overall: 75th out of 230

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pinterest...I don't understand you sometimes...

Now, I love Pinterest as much as the next girl, but let's face it, most of it is some pretty useless junk. If I had a dollar for every time I saw something that didn't make any sense at all or just seemed competently stupid, well, I'd have a few more dollars. I was browsing this morning while drinking my morning coffee and found a few especially...uh...interesting pins so I thought I'd share. Just for kicks. Most of the time my favorite board to browse is the health and fitness, so all of these came from there.







Hmmm...okay. No wait...HA HA HA HA! I know I have a lot of running friends out there, so tell me, when is running easy for you?! Running is not easy! That's sort of the point! I guess I should follow the link and see what it says, just out of curiosity. But I'm pretty sure it will say something like, "Run slower" or "Don't wear cotton or Nikes." Yeah yeah. We got it.






Alright, alright, alright...healthiest packaged foods. Yes! M&Ms. Wait....NO! I'm confused. I do realize these are pretzel M&Ms and I suppose those would be healthier than the chocolate ones...but really? Maybe you should try pretzels with no chocolate on the outside if you want a healthy snack. (Says the cranky girl who gave up junk food recently. BOO!)









Okay, I talked about this one in my last post...pretty sure I don't "sparkle". Pretty sure I sweat for real....









Nope. Just nope. I have zero interest in watching a Victoria's Secret model work out. For the same reasons I refuse to watch the Victoria's Secret fashion show every year. I have decently healthy self-image, why would I go and ruin it by watching that? Just one question, will the workout make my legs about six to seven inches longer, because that's what it would take to get me to look like that. That and a few other *ahem* enhancements.











Ooooh boy. Have you seen these pins around? "How to get the gap between your thighs" I've seen plenty, and every time my reaction is the same, "I didn't know we were supposed to have a gap there?!" I'm a pretty small girl, but there is no gap between my thighs and I seriously doubt there will ever be. Now, I do understand that some people just have naturally slim legs, and therefore, theirs might not touch in the middle. But for the rest of us, I'm not so certain this is an achievable goal.

Maybe it just burns my britches a little extra since I've always been self-conscious of having "thunder thighs" a little. It wasn't until I started running that I started embracing the way my body is. Now I don't see them as thunder thighs, I see them as strong and powerful. Gap or no gap. Strong is better than skinny!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

5 little confessions...

5-Little-Confessions_250x250

Hosted by Carrie - Aubrey - Jacq - Kimberley 

It's me again, twice in one day, I know I know!!! I met the lovely ladies listed above when I did the 30x30 outfit challenge in May of last year, and while I don't blog much at all, I do enjoy keeping up with their blogs. Anyway, they're starting this new link-up once every Wednesday so I thought I'd give it a go!

Although I'm not sure what I have to confess that I'm willing to admit to...

I thought for this week I'd got with a theme, and since I just blogged about my last race, I thought I'd do my top five running confessions!

1

I like running because I'm an egomaniac (har har, no really, I am.) and I'm super OCD. I love running because it's one of the few things I'm actually good at, though it's a pretty dumb thing to be good at. I got lucky right away winning my age groups in smaller races and after that I became pretty much insufferable about it. And I love the OCD-ness of PRs, splits and all that. (Yes I have an exel spread sheet of all my races.) (Yes I have a pace calculator app on my phone.)

2

Okay, this one is really embarrassing, but I smell super bad after a run. I've never been a sweaty girl, even after years of living in the super humid south. But running? Wow, running brings out the smelly in the best of us. Just last week I ran in about 60 degree weather and Matthew basically ran away from me when I got home!

3

I hate running skirts! I know a lot of runners love them and swear by them. But I feel like a total doofus in one. It's not that I don't like girly things, I love skirts and dress for church and going out, but not for running. Give me some running tights, capris or shorts any day, please! 

4

I wear makeup to races. This one stings too, because I always made fun of those runners, you know? It's not a beauty contest! Hello, this is the South. Everything is a beauty contest! And I don't mean a lot of makeup, just a little. Enough so that when I see my race photos I don't think "YIKES!" Because I mean, really, if I'm going to smell, I need to at least look a little bit pretty to compensate, no?


5

I am signing up for a half-marathon in October and I'm honestly terrified!!! Sometimes I wonder if there really are two different types of runners, the long-distance and the short-distance. Clearly I only have experience with short distances for now. All I know about myself right now is that I like to run fast. So I know half training will be so much of a challenge for me. The most I've ever run is seven miles, but all my seasonsed distance running friends have assured that I can build myself up to thirteen in no time. But I'm still scared! I've already picked my race too and if all goes according to plan, I'll be running the Blue Mountain Beach Half on Columbus Day weekend in Florida. 



More race recaps, a birthday, and a PR...

So, yes, another random post...

This past weekend my parents came up from Florida to celebrate my birthday. We had a great weekend full of shopping, eating, visiting and running (of course!).

On Friday my mom and I went shopping most of the day with Sophia in tow. She was a pretty good sport since she's not quite old enough to enjoy shopping the way we do. I scored some great stuff at Old Navy, including this dress that I'm completely in love with already! The website says "teal stripe" but it's green like my Converse green. As in, looks great with my (fake) red hair. Score! After dinner we had a little birthday party and some cake.


Since we always run a race when we're together, my dad and I got up early to run a 5K at a local elementary school. If you've been following my race recaps these past few months you'll know that I've been trying hard to PR ever since I ran a 25:57 back in early November. Since then I've missed it by about 40 seconds every race. This race on Saturday I knew was going to be flat as a pancake and straight as an arrow, so I had my hopes up quite a bit. It was also a pretty small race, under a 100 runners/walkers, so no crowding issues at the start. Normally I'm quite OCD about the way I run, but before the race I told my dad I was just going to forget over thinking everything and just run as fast as I could. Which is exactly what I did! I've always been too afraid to run a race full-out because I have a fear of running out of energy midway through and having to *gasp* walk!

So off we go, and I'm hauling booty, basically. My first mile is 7:54. Holy crap!!! Around one mile another woman came up alongside of me and started to pace with me. Now, normally this is not my thing. I'm way too competitive to run with someone else. But, she seemed to be wanting to pace off of me, not pass me, so I just stayed at my pace. After a minute or two, she started to make small talk with me. Again, I was like "what?!" because I always run with headphones and music cranked. Still, not wanting to be rude, I popped out one headphone and talked a little too. It was actually pretty fun to have a running buddy! We were both excited to be running as fast as we were, since she was a distance runner who was trying to up her speed. I told her I was the opposite,  a speed runner who's trying to graduate up to distance. My second mile was a 7:59 and I was still feeling pretty good.

Around the third mile I was beginning to wonder how long I could keep it up, but I knew the route pretty well and knew it was almost over, so I managed to carry on. My third mile was 8:03.

I crossed the finish line at 23:46, so basically I Hulk-smashed my PR! The course was short by about a tenth of mile, so adjusted time should be something like 24:30. Which still would have been a PR by a minute and a half!

Race stats:
Official time: 23:46 (average pace: 7:55)
Age group: 2nd out of ? (They did ten year age groups, so I was in the 20-29)
Overall: Not sure, but I know I was the 4th female finisher.

He beat me, of course.


So, that might be my last 5K for a while! I've signed up for a 10K in three weeks and I'm really excited!