Monthly Archives: March 2011

Perks of Working from Home

  • Coffee whenever I want it (for free!)
  • Peace and quiet
  • A snuggly cat to keep me warm

It’s only once a week, but I really love the productivity of working from home – especially because it happens on Mondays. I can be more relaxed which tends to help me get things done. I do get distracted when Deuce goes crazy and wants my attention, but thankfully a good snuggle usually calms him down. The only downside to working from home? Lack of human interaction. As soon as Brian walks in the door at 5 I am ready to talk and hang out and goof off and gossip and all he wants to do is sit on the couch and veg out.

Tonight we plan to head to a NEW restaurant near our house…it’s opening day! Full report to follow…

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Phillies 5k Recap

Race #3 of 2011 is signed, sealed and delivered!

The morning actually started off ridiculously early – Brian and I didn’t get up to the Philadelphia area until about 1:30am. We had a very important basketball game to watch before we hit the road, so we didn’t leave Richmond until about 9:15. I attempted to sleep a bit in the car, but I just couldn’t get cozy. We arrived at Brian’s parents’ house and immediately went to bed. However we were so cold throughout the night that neither of us slept very well. Brian ended up fetching more blankets at 5am so we wouldn’t freeze to death. Needless to say, when our 7am wake up rolled around we were pretty groggy.

We got to the stadium around 8:00am to pick up our packets. It was a ridiculously cold when we got out of the car. I ended up wearing 3 layers of dri-fit clothing as well as my Under Armour pants, ear warmers and gloves. We picked up our packets and goody bags (complete with cotton tee, a Phillies frisbee, some sponsor doo-dads like a key chain and jar opener, and a mini Poweraide) and jogged them back to the car. Parking was right next to the stadium, so logistically this was a super smooth race. We ended up sitting in the car with the heat on until about 8:45 and then made our way to the starting line. By this point it was a balmy 31 degrees.

Chillaxing in the parking lot...

Yes, that’s a Super Mario Brothers hat. Moving on…

The race wasn’t crowded at all. In fact we both made our way to the front of the start pretty easily. Brian’s speedy it made sense for him to be up there and I just didn’t want to hang out alone. There were TONS of people in Phillies gear, which was awesome. The Phanatic also made an appearance and started the race on his little go-cart thing.

Hi Philly! Thumbs up for being awesome.

As far as the actual race goes, I started off feeling pretty good. My feet were rather numb and I was generally freezing, but I felt alright for the first half mile or so. Then I just started to feel like complete crap. My lungs were burning and my legs felt heavy and tired. It’s been nice and warm down in Richmond so my cold weather runs have been few and far between. This race was a bit of a shocker to my system, not to mention the lack of sleep I had the night before. Boo!

I did manage to blow my previous 5k PR (30:58) out of the water despite the cold. I was hoping to finish in under 26:00, but only managed to pull off a 26:27. I can’t complain because that’s AWESOME for me! I still can’t believe I was able to maintain a sub 9-minute pace, let alone an 8:30! Officially…

  • I was the 448th finisher out of 2,592 finishers
  • I was 65th out of 594 finishers in my age group (20-29)
  • I was 116th out of 1410 female finishers

Brian also had a great race (I think!! Although he doesn’t agree..). He was the 55th finisher overall, 21st out of 415 in his age group, and the 50th male finisher. He finished in 21:07.

At the end of the race we got to GO OUT ON THE FIELD and it was awesome. Brian even got his picture taken at home plate (I didn’t want to wait in the long line) and took about a million pictures and videos. He was in heaven.

Overall we had a great time and definitely plan to run the race again. I’ll cross my fingers for warmer weather though!

On the field! Brian ran with a flag cape.

Big ole crowds on the field waiting for a home plate photo.

PHILLIES.

Will you be my…

At the moment, I’m currently off racing the Phillies 5k, but I thought I’d share this wedding snippet to hold you over until my return…

It was a pretty easy decision for me to choose my bridesmaids. I don’t have a sister (neither does Brian) so I knew I’d want my closest girlfriends next to me on the big day. I’ve chosen to have two maids of honor (actually one maid of HONOR and one maid of HONOUR) since I really couldn’t decide between the two. One of them lives in Australia (hence the honOUr) so it isn’t very realistic for her to do anything “maid-of-honor-y” so having two is a logistical necessity as well. I’ll be the first to admit that I am generally clueless when it comes to all this wedding stuff (but thankfully I plan events for a living), so I’ve been heavily relying on my bridesmaids to give me advice.

So anyways.

How did I ask them to be in the wedding? To start, I found this really cute card on Etsy, and knew instantly that I wanted to incorporate this type of wording into my ask  (planning bonus: when I know I like something, I’m sold. No dilly dallying or mulling over a million options. That’s a recipe for insanity).

They are pretty fabulous, but at $4.50 a pop I knew I could do better. I wanted to make my message personal as well, so I decided to incorporate a bit of modern technology into my asks…

I picked out some cute stationary from Target ($5 for a pack of blank cards) and wrote the “Will you be my bridesmaid” message from the Etsy card (with a few edits of course). I switched the wording around a little bit and ended my note by saying, “and I have one more question for you, but you’ll have to go to this website to see what it is!” Then I directed each bridesmaid to a Google Form that I created especially for her! I used the link-shortening website, tinyurl, to create short “pretty” links to write out for each girl. This was important since I didn’t want to have to write out a 75 character web address to connect them to the Google Forms. Here is what the form looked like for my friend Mandy:

Now I could write my own personal message to each girl and not have to worry about squeezing all that love into one tiny notecard. They all loved the cliffhanger in the note and couldn’t wait to get to a computer to check out their links. Google automatically emailed me when each girl filled out the form, so I immediately texted/called/G-Chatted with them to exclaim my happiness! Asking the girls this way also avoided any sort of awkwardness if one of them couldn’t or didn’t want to be a bridesmaid for some reason. I put a “no” option in the form to let them know that I’d completely understand if they couldn’t do it. For the record, they all enthusiastically said yes!

All in all I had a lot of fun with this idea and I think the girls did too. Three cheers for Google!

Another Half and Halfway There

Sha-BAM!!

Yup, I registered for my second half marathon!! It takes place on May 22nd, so I have just under 2 months to train. I think I’ll be in pretty good shape by that point, now that I’m already up into the 5-6 mile range. This race will also mark the HALF WAY point in my 10 races in 2011 New Year’s Resolution. So that just means I’ll need to find 5 more races to run in the summer/fall to reach my goal!

In other news the Phillies 5k is TOMORROW and I am ready to blast that baby out of the water. My current 5k PR is OVER 30 minutes and I really just want to crush that. I did a “practice 3-miler” on Monday with Brian (yes hell froze over and he actually ran with me!), so I feel pretty good about my goal.

I’m kinda sorta hoping that I can do it in under 25 minutes, or at least 25:30. My practice run included hills (well, hilly in comparison) while the Phillies 5k is completely flat.

Here is my run:

And the Phillies 5k course:

My only worry is that the forecast is calling for COLD weather on Saturday morning. The race doesn’t start til 9am (yay!), but the daily high is only 40 degrees. I’m guessing it will be in the mid-30s during the race. It’s been in the 70s here, so I’m not used to running in the cold recently. It’s also a brand new race, so there’s no telling what other craziness could be involved. I’m crossing my fingers for a great race day!

OH and a quick wedding update…my parents hosted an engagement party this weekend and it was AWESOME. We had such a blast with about 30 of our friends, family members and coworkers. It was “cocktail attire” so I rented a dress from Rent the Runway and it was amazing. Such a GREAT website. They send you the dress in two sizes since you can’t actually try it on before wearing it. I wore a $400 Badgley Mischka dress and it only cost me $50 😉 (And I had a 30% off code!). And you don’t have to pay for return shipping. Love.

The dress was a very sparkly blush color and it rocked. So did the cupcakes. The best part of the evening, however, was that one of my maids of honor got to attend the party via SKYPE! My mom totally surprised me and had the computer set up so she could call in from Australia. IT WAS FABULOUS!!

Virtually together!!

Lots of fun ensued and I cannot wait for the BIG party at the wedding!

Bridesmaids!

How well do we know each other...

YAY!!

Time to pack for RACE DAY!!

6 Miles x2

My 10k Training Team schedule called for 6 miles this Thursday and gosh darnit, I was going to run 6 miles. I have volleyball on Thursdays, and I usually don’t like to run too much before our games, since we play for 2 hours straight. Our games this past Thursday were at 9 and 10pm…LATE!

But after my disappointing run on Tuesday, I knew it was kinda a “now or never” type thing. So I came home from work, plotted out a nice 6 miler from my house, and hit the ground running. My goal was to PACE myself so I wouldn’t burn out after 3ish miles. I really had to work at this, since I was feeling pretty stellar when I started. I had to tell myself over and over again to “reel it in”. It seemed to work since I had pretty consistent pacing per mile, and I had enough energy at the end to make the 6th mile my fastest!

It’s amazing what a little pace focusing can do! I was definitely happy with this run even though it was a bit chilly outside. I am somewhat sick of wearing gloves and earwarmers!!

BRRRRR! Before the VA is for Lover's 14k...twas cold. And I'm sick of it!

I had another 6 miler planned for today…technically Saturday = the day I run with the 10k training team. However, I woke up around 7:30 and was just way too lazy to get out of bed. I turned off my alarm and hit the pillow for a few more hours of glorious slumber. I knew it was supposed to be around 65 this afternoon, and I would MUCH rather run in that than deal with a 35 degree morning. Oh Virginia and your 30-40 degree temperature swings…

Around 3pm I suited up and decided to run my 6 miles in a similar manner as I did my Thursday run – by reeling it in and focusing on pace.

ALAS! It worked 🙂

I was even ever so slightly faster this time around. I’m thinking I can accomplish my goal of a sub 1 hour 10k!

And the weather was BANGIN’…I actually got to wear shorts and a t-shirt. I’m crossing my fingers that the weather stays this way from here on out.

Time for Saturday night, bring on the FUN!

Guilty of Saturday night fun.

Fast and Steady Wins the Race

I learned that the hard way today. I had every intention of running 4-5 miles at my usual 9:20-9:35ish pace. I did 5 horrifically boring miles on the treadmill yesterday thanks to a massive thunderstorm (26:57) so I wanted to squeeze in an outdoor run today. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping to I felt obligated to run.

It ended up being about 48 degrees for the run, which isn’t really my fav. Thank goodness I horde cheap gloves in my car like I’m some sort of glove squirrel. I HATE when my fingers lose feeling during a run.

So anyways, back to the lesson I learned. I felt pretty good when I started out so I ended up running WAY TOO FAST for the first two miles. I was feeling like a badass and just kept going. Unfortunately I am so NOT ready for 8:38 minute miles and I could only keep it under 9:00s for the first two miles. I definitely just wore myself out and I could feel my form deteriorating.

That’s practically a whole MINUTE difference from mile 1 to mile 3. I would so much rather run a steady 9 minute mile for the duration, and I’d probably have enough energy to keep going for 1-2 more miles. I really to learn to reel it in a little bit and be a little wiser about pacing.

With that I leave you with a picture of Mardi Gras cat, Deuce.

Happy one-week-till-FAT-TUESDAY!