Monthly Archives: February 2011

Dress Shopping

Wowzers, what a weekend!

Bright and early Saturday AM (6am uggg!) I woke up, showered, loaded up the car and headed down to Raleigh, NC to go WEDDING DRESS shopping with my mom and two of my bridesmaids. It was a FUN day and I had a great time, even though we left empty handed. I definitely have a sense of what I like and what I don’t, so that’s gotta be worth something right??

In fact, one dress actually made me CRY tears of happiness, so I’m thinking it may be the one. I may consider posting a picture of it, but I’m not quite sure if that’s a good idea yet. I don’t want to jinx myself. Here are a few other shots from our day of white dress bliss.

OOO sparkles. And HI MOM.

I love the pockets on this one.

So romantical

That dress was pretty sweet, but feels a little too traditional for my tastes. And holy VEIL…I’d be afraid of tripping. p.s. don’t you love the hair thingy on my arm? I’m cool.

Check out my cool socks!!

I asked Brian for socks for Christmas one year and he proceeded to buy me knee highs. Boys really don’t know how to shop. But hey, I’m wearing ’em.

Overall the weekend was fabulous and I plan to head back down to Raleigh in 2 weeks to make an actual purchase. I’m thinking that once that is done the rest of the look and feel of the wedding can come together. Can’t wait!!!

REJOICE!

AHHHH!!!!!

That’s a picture of me rejoicing. Why? Because I had a great run today.

I didn’t think it would be in the cards for me today – I ended up coming home from work at 3pm thanks to my bff IBS (that’s a post for another day). Seriously I felt like I was dying. Horrid. Thankfully I wasn’t in agony for too long, but I did end up crawling into bed to escape the nausea. I managed to get some work done from home and when 5pm rolled around I had a “now or never” type moment. I’m not really sure what possessed me to actually put my running clothes on, but I did. Thank you subconscious body.

I ended up going out to my car to wait for Bri to come home, just to see if MAYBE he would run with me. I even told him I NEEDED him out there with me. I got a big fat no. I was totally ready to throw in the towel and I asked him if it would be bad if I didn’t run. I fully expected him to say “no, of course not sweetie pumpkin baby,” but he actually said, “Yes, it’d be really bad if you don’t run.” Geez what?! He then proceeded to tell me that it was all in my mind and that I should probably just get my ass to the park. I mean I was dressed and in the car already.

I guess I’m just dramatic and he’s always right (did I just say that??).

So I pathetically drove to the park fully expecting my run to suck. I piddled around a little bit waiting for Mr. Garmin to locate his satellite friends and I finally took off around 5:20. I decided to just let my body run and not try to do anything too fancy. I vowed to ignore my Garmin and didn’t look at my pace even one time. I just let the run happen and didn’t put any pressure on myself to run a certain pace or distance. As the sun sunk down I heard Mr. G click to 3 miles and I decided to do just one more for good measure. I was feeling surprisingly zen.

Color me shocked. It’s amazing what NOT obsessing over pace/distance/time can do for a girl. So glad I kicked that little running rut in the ass.

I'M HAPPY FOR YOU MOM!!!!

 

Oh and TOMORROW IS MY FRIDAY. This little lady has some white dresses to try on…

We Have a DATE

Wham bam, thank you ma’am, we have a WEDDING DATE!

October 29th, 2011. Which just so happens to be our 4 year date-a-versary.  And an odd number (which I love). And it’s a Saturday. And it falls a week after the most stressful event of the year for me at work. And I don’t care, bring it on!

We don’t have a ceremony site yet, but we do have a venue and I love it. It’s an old, classic ballroom with super spiffy hardwood floors. No ugly hotel/country club carpet for this lady.

Now, according to theKnot.com, I only have about 257 things left to do before the big day. Yikes.

Bring it on Wedding Industry.

Celebrations and Crappy Runs

Brian and I spent the weekend in Staunton, VA – probably one of our favorite places to visit for a weekend trip. We got a PHENOMENAL deal on our hotel and some other sweet stuff and decided to use the weekend as our Engagement/Valentine’s Day celebration.

Let me break down this deal for you. It was really just that kick ass.

$99 ($108 after taxes, etc) got us:

  • 1 night at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel (right in the middle of town and an overall nice place)
  • Free breakfast for 2 (nice buffet normally priced $12.95 pp)
  • $20 gift card to Shenandoah Pizza (our FAVORITE pizza place in all the land)
  • 2 tickets to the local movie theater (a 3 minute walk from our hotel…normally $8.50pp)
  • Free parking (normally a few bucks a day)

Oh and the hotel had a wine festival IN IT on Saturday…so we definitely hit that up.

I got in my 5 mile run on Saturday AM then we hit the road. As a thank-you-for-proposing-and-happy-Valentine’s-Day-gift I took Brian to three breweries that were all on the way to Staunton.

Heaven.

Three breweries may have been a bit too much…he barely made it through the wine fest. We ended up touring Starr Hill Brewery and sampling all their beers, scoring a quick lunch at Blue Mountain Brewery, and then rounding out the beer intake at Queen City Brewery. I tasted most of the beers along the way, but left the actual consumption to Brian since someone had to drive.

I got my kicks at the Winter Wine Festival in our hotel that we promptly entered as soon as our bags hit the floor of our hotel room. Between Queen City and the wine fest I ended up walking away 5 bottles of wine richer 🙂

I can often be seen with a wine glass in my hand, so this isn’t too crazy or unusual.

Yum, fermented grapes.

But I like (good) beer too.

Oktoberfest...Munich 2007. I had 5 liters cause I'm hardcore.

And bubbly champagne.

Perfect for celebrations (and putting out cupcake fires)

Anyways, now that I seem like a total lush (which, sad to say, I’m really not…I can’t party like a rockstar like I used to), back to our weekend.

We spent an hour or so after the wine fest in the room to recoop (I watched E! and Brian took a much needed nap) and then we headed to dinner at our favorite restaurant in town, Zynodoah. I had a yummy ricotta gnocchi. Then we saw “Unknown” at the cute little theater. It was surprisingly entertaining and I’m proud of myself for staying up till 11:30 to watch it. Go me!

Sunday we lazed around, ate our free breakfast, lazed around some more, then hit up Shenandoah Pizza for garlic bread and a yummy pizza pie. All in all, a FABULOUS weekend with my husband-to-be.

After all this fun and relaxation I decided to check out a yoga class at our gym on Sunday afternoon. I contemplated not going, but I had it in my calendar and didn’t want to feel guilty about not going. Is that weird? It ended up being a great class and I’m super glad I went. I plan to go again on Wednesday night.

On to crappy runs. I had one today. I’ve been feeling pretty great the last few weeks, so I imagine it was about time for a crappy run to come my way. I intended to whack out 5 miles (which is what my training plan called for) but I ended up only making it through 3.3. I literally had no will to continue on and my legs were just DONE. I felt pretty defeated.

Blah. I think I need to focus more on what I’m eating, how much water I’m drinking, and how much stress I’m under. I tend to to A LOT better when all these things are in check. I thought wearing my fun pink Nike shorts and pink socks would make me feel like running with the wind, but they didn’t do a damn thing.

So much for looking the part. Sometimes that can help (yay for new running clothes!), but I should have know from the look on my face that this run was going to suck.

I’m officially resting up like crazy tomorrow (i.e. not doing anything active AT ALL), drinking a boatload of water, eating a balanced diet and grasping my trusty stressball furiously. No more crappy runs please!

Five Finger Friday

I love alliteration and it really works well today.

It’s a balmy 75 degrees here in Richmond today…the perfect weather for VIBRAMS!!!

I bought my Vibrams last summer, but haven’t really run in them much since. I was training for the half marathon all late summer/fall and I only wanted to train in the shoes I’d actually wear on race day. Since it was my first half I didn’t want to throw any wrenches into the mix. I had originally thought I’d try and run the Monument 10k in the Vibrams but cold weather training isn’t so pleasant when your feet are basically exposed to the frigid air. My biggest fear is that my feet will go numb in the cold and I’ll accidentally break a toe or something and I won’t be able to feel it.

So the Vibrams have sat peacefully by the front door until today. I have a 5 miler in the AM so I didn’t really want to push it today and the weather was perfect for barefoot running.

Don't mind my freaky looking feet...I was wearing socks all day.

I couldn’t for the LIFE of me get my left pinky toe into its slot, so I just gave up and ran with it all weird. I only went about .3 of a mile, but from what I’ve read you are supposed to take it ridiculously slow when you first start out. It was quick and easy, but I can already tell my calves are going to be sore.

I kind of look like a frog.

I really need to work on this whole “take a pic with my iPhone” thing.

Time for Friday night relaxation!

Nap or Workout?

I chose nap.

I thought about going to a body pump class tonight (never done one!), but I decided against it when I walked through the door this afternoon. I have volleyball games at 9 & 10pm tonight so I didn’t want to over do it. My body was craving some extra rest. Unfortunately a little furball has been keeping me up all night with his need to cuddle on my face. Ever tried to sleep with a wet cat nose tickling your nose? Horrible. Oh and he drools like crazy.

At least he's cute. And MUCH fatter now.

The 1.5 hour nap was exactly what I needed.

Yesterday’s run was decent. It called for a 35 minute tempo run, but honestly I’m not sure how the hell to actually do that. I’ve read tons of info about tempo runs online, but when I actually hit the pavement I can’t seem to figure it out. So instead I just ran two loops of the park…about 3.25 miles.

I’m getting comfortable in the early 9:00s. I am not really sure what to equate this to, but I’m not complaining. Training WORKS and I’m not a “Real” runner. Love it. I’m hoping I can maintain this kind of pace in the Monument 10k.

In other news, I bought a Boot Camp pass on Living Social today. $20 for a 1 month unlimited pass to bootcamp classes near my house. SOLD. I’m planning to use my month in March or April, when it’s a little nicer out (although today was a happy 72 degrees). I’m considering this my “get my ass in shape for the wedding” present to myself.

Time for volleyball!

Race Photos and a Classy V-Day

Official VA is for Lover’s 14k photos are up and I’m looking particularly nerdtastic.

I'm BETROTHED!

I contemplated not doing this cheesy pose, but I just couldn’t resist. The sun was shining, I was covered in hearts, and the birds were chirping. So there you go.

Pretty standard.

Notice the lovely stickers all over my jacket. Green was a good idea in this race since EVERYONE else was in red and white.

Not-so-photo-finish

Kind of happy kind of dying?

In other news, yesterday was Valentine’s Day. We celebrated by eating Chipotle then driving to the gas station and buying ice cream. Pure class. But we’ve got a little trip planned this weekend to celebrate the day of love in style. And since we never formally celebrated our engagement, we’re going to do it right by touring lots of breweries, going to a wine fest, and having a fancy dinner. I smell beer, wine, and lobster in my very near future!!

Monday Love

I actually enjoy Mondays. I work from home in my PJs basically all day, I can eat whatever I want out of my pantry, I get to snuggle with my cats, and I get to run in the daylight (and not have to worry about cleaning up for the office). Monday also means YOGA night, which I’ve been loving lately. Oh and it’s also Chipotle night…we have a system down (I go to Yoga at 6:30 and pick up our yummy dinner on the way home).

Today’s Monday was especially awesome. I got to whip out THIS BABY:

My running skirt!! It was about 70 degrees here today and it was absolutely perfect for a run. I decided to push myself a little on today’s run since my training plan only called for 3 miles.

Sub 9 minute miles!! I am very excited about that. Maybe I’ll actually accomplish my dream of finishing a 5k in under 30 minutes…that’d be awesome. I’m crossing my fingers that the conditions at the Phillies 5k are ideal for doing that!

Oh and happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Sappy love photo.

Virginia is for Lover’s 14k Relay Recap

Hands down my favorite race to date.

My request for Valentine’s Day this year was for Brian to run this race with me. He happily obliged since he has a ridiculously hard time buying gifts (such is the male gender). One option in the race is a relay – this was much more appealing to us than running the full 14k, especially since we haven’t been training for that distance yet. We ran the race with my brother, Tristan, and his girlfriend, Gray, and we decided to make a friendly competition of it.

Brian and Gray ran the first leg of the race (3.7 miles) so they started at the starting line. Tristan and I were shuttled to “Cupid’s Corner” where we waited in the relay exchange area. It was pretty chilly but they had a nice heated tent for us to warm up in. VA Beach had some snow/ice a few days prior so some of the ground was frozen. The combination of the heated tent and the wet ground made for some very icky mud. Thanks to the shining sun, Tristan and I decided to forgo the muddy tent and just stand outside to do some dynamic stretches. The whole area was very casual and we were simply told to keep our eyes peeled for our partner and make the exchange (basically just putting the ankle-timer-thingy on the other person’s leg) however we liked.

Thankfully I didn’t have long to wait for Brian to show up. We got to the exchange area around 8:45 and he was there by 9:25 (9am start time). He ended up finishing his leg in 25:08, a 6:43 pace. He took the Garmin off his wrist and while I put that on myself he put the ankle timer on me and I was off. The relay area shot us back in with the rest of the full 14k-ers, so I ended up with all the people running about a 7 min mile pace. Let’s just say I got passed the ENTIRE race 🙂

The course was VERY flat and fast and I felt fantastic the whole time which was a very welcome treat. I also had extra motivation to keep up my speed since I didn’t want to get passed by Tristan.

The course, per Mr. Garmin.

I loved the weaving around of this course. You could pretty much always see other runners and we were constantly looping back to DJs playing music and crowds cheering. People were also dressed up in all kinds of fun love-related costumes, so I was pretty entertained the entire time.

I ended up finishing my 4.99 mile leg in 46:37, a 9:26 pace. I couldn’t even believe I kept it under 9:30, especially after the Polar Plunge 5k mess. Oh happy day. I also crossed the finish line about a minute in front of Tristan and we officially beat them by a mere 20 seconds. A VERY close race!!

Our Garmin results. Very happy!!

 

GO TEAM GILDYER!!

All the finishers received these cute heart-shaped medals and a pint glass with the race logo and every female received a carnation at the finish line. The end of the race was actually inside the MASSIVE fieldhouse and it was incredibly well organized. I collected my medal and flower, passed by the banana and water station and proceeded to get my pint glass. Once I was through the shoot I was smack dab in the middle of a very jolly post-race party, sponsored by Yuengling. The group sat around and drank beers while we played with really cute puppies (the race benefited the local SPCA).

 

Valentine’s love dog.

All in all, this was a FANTASTIC race that I would love to run again. It was fun, the weather was great, and the distance was perfect. I’m already looking forward to V-Day 2012!

Finally, Great Runs!

This last week was particularly good for me in the running department. And the timing was perfect – I really needed some good runs after my craptastic performance at the Polar Plunge 5k.

I work from home on Mondays so I take advantage of the fact that I can run outside at any point during the day (yay daylight!), and then continue to work without the hassles of showering, putting on make up, or driving to and from the gym. I feel so good after a run that it’s easy to be uber productive. Thanks endorphins.

This past Monday called for a 4 mile run. Nothing fancy, just four steady miles.

BAM. I’ll take it. There is just something nice about seeing my pace in the 9s. I followed up this run with a private yoga session (a la Living Social…best website ever) and I felt super great and stretched.

Tuesday was a rest day since I had work meetings until 730pm and Wednesday called for a 35 minute tempo run. Since I hate the treadmill so much I decided to give it a whirl outside. Mentally, this was a great run since I broke it up by time rather than distance. I did 10 minutes “comfortably”, 10 minutes comfortably hard, 5 minutes comfortably, 5 minutes hard, and 5 minutes comfortably.

Improvement! Apparently the time vs. distance thing really works for my brain.

Thursday I had volleyball games for 2 hours…cross training???…and Friday was a rest day in preparation for the VA is for Lover’s 14k Relay. Race recap to come – it was a GREAT ONE!!!

Here’s a sneak peek…

Geez I’m cool.