Monthly Archives: June 2011

Bridal Expo Explosion

Talk about a bridal madhouse.

I attended my first Bridal Expo this weekend and I quickly discovered that I am very behind the game. My wedding day is just about 4 months away…most people in attendance we getting married in 2012 (I deciphered this thanks to the sign up sheets at the vendor tables. I’m a sleuth).

Anyways, I tagged along with a friend of mine in the hopes that I could try some yummy cake samples and maybe find a band and some transportation (yea we’re a little behind).

The Expo was held in a hotel and it seemed to take up the ENTIRE first floor of the place. There were upwards of 75 vendors, a fashion show stage, door prizes, and hundreds of crazy people. I was decently entertained with the people watching and I did end up making an appointment with an invite shop (oh yea we need to invite people to this shindig…). I also talked to a few transportation companies and I think I found us a band. All in all I would say it was a success and I’m glad I went. I don’t think you could drag me to another one for less than $5,000 though.

In other news, the diamond fell out of my engagement ring.

This is how it's supposed to look.

I was literally just sitting on the couch, minding my own business, when the damn thing fell right out. I wasn’t even MOVING. I was rather stunned at this occurrence, but I figured it would be an easy fix. I dropped it off at the jewelery store and they ended up having to order some special thingy to replace the diamond. It cost me a grand total of $0, thank goodness. I had to go ringless for about 4 days though, so that was weird.

But now it’s back on my finger and happily polished.

Thankfully this little sucker is fully insured, so I could drop it down a drain or into a shark’s mouth and get another one for free. YAY!

I few other wedding tidbits…

  • We have our PHOTOGRAPHER and she’s RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME. You can check out her page here.
  • I’m thinking about having the bridesmaids carry RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME paper flowers.

  • We have blocked off rooms at a nice hotel for our RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME guests.
  • I’ve started construction on our RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME wedding website.
  • I have my first RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME dress fitting on July 23rd which means I need to find a pair of RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME shoes before then.

I’m off to try and book our honeymoon! Ciao!

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Race Bandit

I am a rule follower.

I get extreme anxiety even just THINKING about breaking the rules. I brush my teeth twice a day, I don’t speed, I don’t sneak into private places, I change my oil on time, I show up to work on time, I turn in my mileage reports to the tenth of a mile, and I wear my seat belt. Call me lame or unexciting, but I find that the anxiety I experience by breaking a rule or fibbing or causing mischief just isn’t worth the thrill.

I glow like an angel.

SO, I was SUPER BUMMED when I found out the race Brian and I hoped to run last weekend was SOLD OUT. I was excited to run it, especially since Brian has participated in the race every year since he was in middle school. It’s a tradition for him to run with his brothers and they haven’t missed a year. Brian wasn’t phased for a second about the race selling out. Last year he showed up (after a 5 hour drive from Richmond) a few minutes after the race had started, so he just jumped in at the back and ran through the course. So he didn’t think twice this year about running the race with no bib. Needless to say, he’s pretty passionate about this race.

I, on the other hand, started having extreme levels of anxiety. For the week leading up to the race (it sold out in May, and we didn’t try to register until about a week before) I scoured Craigslist for bib numbers and poured through message board on race websites. I couldn’t find a single bib. I know selling bibs is generally frowned upon, but I didn’t feel so bad since it’s just a small, hometown 5-Miler and I am not competitive by any means of the word (and I had no intention of wearing a chip timer). I just wanted a damn race bib so that I wouldn’t stand out like a sore thumb. For me, this race was more about getting in 5 miles and participating in a family tradition than it was about an official time, but for some reason the thought of not wearing a number was driving me bonkers.

In the end I decided to suck it up and run. I noticed that a LOT of people weren’t wearing bibs, so I didn’t feel so bad. Everyone acted like it was no big deal, so I forced myself to ease up on the anxiety. I did wear my hydration belt though, since I felt guilty drinking the water I didn’t pay for! I’m pretty sure the adrenaline from my anxiety made me go faster than I normally would have on this course. There were several steep hills and it was hot (it started at 7pm). I guess I can be thankful for that…

The long rolling downhills really made up for the evil steep parts.

I was especially paranoid because the race was 2 loops and I thought they’d remember not seeing a bib on me the first time around, so they’d kick me off the course the second time. I have issues.

In the end the race was a success for me. I only have my Garmin time to go by, but I’m happy.

If you chop off that weird 11 seconds at the end, my time for 5 miles was 46:18. However, I’m not counting this as a PR or as one of my races in 2011, because I’m too much of a rule follower for that.

I do have one race photo to share, although it was taken from my future MIL’s phone. My hands got a little crazy…I guess that happens when I’m having a panic attack.

I majorly chicked that dude.

In the end I’m happy I ran the race. I still feel a little guilty about it, but I think I need to learn to lighten up a bit. Next year I’m registering at the first moment I can…

Face Pillows

Wow. I can’t put the awesomeness of this product into words.

I stumbled upon this a few weeks ago. Usually I use one of the Aveeno scrubs, but this called to me. It feels like pillows on your face. Go forth and ensure eternal facial bliss.

Also, I run bandit-ed a race. And I ran through the forest. Those compelling deets to come…

Growing Pains and Terrible Race Photos

I’ll get to the Corporate 4 Miler race recap in a moment…if you’re here for that and don’t want to soak in my woes, please scroll down.

Lately I’ve been feeling rather blah.

This is my blah face.

The most frustrating part is that I can’t really pinpoint why. I love my job but lately I’ve been wanting a new challenge. A new adventure. A new routine. It’s not that I necessarily want to do something new professionally, but I’m lusting for SOMETHING. At one moment I’m eager to apply to graduate or PhD programs and the next moment I’m paroozing the web for interesting sounding jobs. The whole “blah” thing kicks in because I don’t exactly know what I want. I don’t know what that “next step” is in my life. It’s not that I’m unhappy – in fact I have a pretty kick ass life at the moment – I’m just itching to learn/experience/take a risk/develop personally and professionally/travel/soak it all in. Perhaps this is a legit quarter-life crisis. How can I satisfy this urge?? I shall keep you posted…

In other news the Corporate 4 Miler was a success!

I seriously had my doubts about the race in the hours leading up to it. Gun time was 7pm, but the temperature on Thursday hovered in the high 90s pretty consistently. Oh and that Virginia humidity was bound to make things interesting. Not to mention the fact that my attempt at a measly 3 miler on Monday in the heat was down right embarrassing (that whole “I need to drink out of a puddle and walk every mile” thing).

But I was damned if I didn’t run that race. Brian and Tristan were both considering not running…but I literally forced them into the car. When we arrived at the race location we were greeted by large vats of water (water monsters??) and plenty of shade. We milled around for about 30 minutes before taking our places at the un-corralled starting line. The boys started up at the front and I found a place sort of in the middle.

Before I go any further, let me explain that I am NOT a sweater. I get really red, but wet stuff doesn’t usually come out of my skin except on LONG runs or in out-of-control humidity. I don’t know why I have this issue, but it’s just become normal for me. Perhaps I am not drinking enough water to sweat? Or my pores are ridiculously small? Whatever it is, whatevs.

Sweat beads are brain cells leaving the body.

So anyways by the time I jaunted over to the start my in-between-boob-area was already dripping with sweat. Yuck. The gun went off precisely at 7pm and we were off. Despite the heat I felt surprising stellar the first 2 miles. My body was excreting an absurd amount of sweat, so that felt a little weird, but overall I was feeling pretty hardcore. By mile 2 the sun was setting a bit and the temps dipped down to the low 90s and some folks came out with hoses so the heat wasn’t killer. But then mile 2.5 hit and I suddenly felt the urge to chug a bathtub full of water. I probably consumed 6-8 bottles of water and 2 powerades earlier in the day, but clearly my body had already sweated it all out.

I trudged through the next mile and a half and managed to swing out a decent overall pace. I would have been happy with anything sub-40 minutes, so I’m proud of my time.

Talk about NON negative splits (positive splits?). Apparently the more I sweat, the slower I get. Such is life. Also, since the race was super tiny (they didn’t even have chip timing) the “official” photographs are less than stellar. In fact, I am pretty sure this is the worst race photo EVER taken of me. And that includes the poopy gems that came out of the Monument 10k. Like this one:

My hands have a mind of their own.

And the worst photo ever…

I'm nothing but a blur.

This is obviously me and it obviously sucks. I was hoping for a better photo – I even tried to “pose” – but apparently I don’t understand how camera lenses work. There were only about 100 photos up on the race website, so I guess I should be thankful that I’m in any of them. Ha.

I have officially completed SEVEN of my 10 New Year’s Resolution Races. I’m thinking I might round up a make it 11 races in 2011. And if I want to be super cool and snazzy, I’ll vow to run 12 races in 2012, 13 in 2013, and on and on until I’m running 80 races in 2080 at the age of 96. Again, I’ll keep you posted…

Floor Sleeping & Food Fails

For the past 2.5 months I’ve been sleeping on a mattress on the floor.

Not because I don’t love snuggle time with my main man, but because I literally could not sleep in our old, curvy bed. We got our queen size bed and frame from my parents when we bought our house two years ago. They upgraded to a tempurpedic and we happily accepted the freebie. However, considering the bed was purchased in the mid-90s, it was already past its prime.

Old bed. Painful mattress.

I started to have A LOT of trouble sleeping…just tossing and turning and feeling so uncomfortable. There was basically a giant ditch in the middle of the mattress and no matter how many times we flipped it and rotated it, the ditch was still there. Brian didn’t have a problem with the mattress (homeboy can sleep through anything), but I opted to move to a twin mattress on the floor of our office (my brother is occupying the guest room). Eventually I started to feel like I was sleeping in the maid’s quarters. Not only was my house full of boys/men (of the human and cat variety) constantly playing Playstation and making messes, but I was also forced to sleep in a cramped little room away from all the hustle and bustle. Maid’s quarters.

So I put my foot down and decided it was time to invest in a big people bed. I even got to the point where I said we could cancel the honeymoon if it meant we could get a new bed. Not having an adult bed was really driving me insane. FINALLY Brian gave in and we went bed shopping. Thankfully that whole experience only took about 20 minutes since I am an expert Consumer Reports investigator and I determined exactly what we would need to keep me from going postal.

The bed of glory and sanity arrived on Saturday.

Thank you for saving my sanity (and future marriage).

That little slice of heaven is a king-sized Original Mattress Factory bed of angels. It is ridiculously comfortable and provides ample space for two greedy bed-hoggers and one fat cat. We had to do a little rearranging of the room, but I really love how it turned out. I plan to scratch the mismatched pillows and find a few that compliment the room a bit better.

Goodbye college hand-me-downs...I have old people sleeping problems now.

 

The view from my side.

I am not so good at interior design, but overall I enjoy the space. I love color, hence the massive orange rug. There’s nothing better than sprawling out on that baby (especially when you’re a cat).

In other news I ate HORRIBLY today. I don’t normally talk about food – I eat a pretty healthy, balanced diet. It’s really not that interesting. But today was weird for me. I like the taste of healthy foods (I could live off avocados, hummus and bagels), but I do enjoy the occasional treat. If I’m in the mood for something “bad” I just eat it. I must have been in a “mood” today. I ate:

  • A delicious smoothie for breakfast…I started out on the right foot. Spinach, greek yogurt, pineapple, blueberries, and chocolate milk.
  • Two pieces of plain pizza for lunch (provided by work…we loaded trucks today and it was brutal)
  • An M&M McFlurry (I NEEDED this after the truck loading)
  • A small McDonald’s fries (I honestly can’t remember the last time I ate at McDonald’s)
  • A handful of sweet potato chips (doing better here)
  • A bag of mini carrots (go me!)
  • A “real” grilled cheese made by my brother (white bread and kraft singles cheese)
  • A handful of buffalo pretzel bites

Talk about unbalanced. Maybe I’m having health food withdrawls since I ate McDonald’s today. That’s enough to last me at least a solid year. Tomorrow it’s back to my regularly scheduled programing.

Time to relax around these parts…I’ve got an EARLY morning tomorrow!

 

Another Race!

And this one is just two days away!

On a whim I decided to sign up for the Corporate 4 Miler taking place on Thursday evening. I work closely with several groups involved in the event, and they convinced me to register. The best part about the whole thing? I got Brian AND Tristan to register as well. I had to bribe Brian with promises of beer at the end, but I secretly think he’s excited to see how well he can do. He’s been running 4 miles pretty much every morning for the past month.

The weatherman is calling for a high of 99 on Thursday, so things might get interesting. The gun doesn’t go off until 7pm though, so hopefully it won’t be too sweltering. I plan to chug water as much as possible over the next two days. My goal is to maintain a 9 min/mile pace and finish in at least 36 minutes! If it’s ridiculously hot I’ll adjust my expectations a little and aim for a sub 40 minute race.

I’ll be back this evening with my “sleeping on the floor” update and a recap of my 6am bootcamp class. Happy Tuesday!

Gym, Tan, Wedding?

Now that the half marathon has passed, I’ve decided to try and focus on building a little bit of strength, getting a little tan and planning a litle wedding.

It’s hot as BALLS in Virginia right now and running isn’t exactly fun. I’ve done a handful of easy 3 milers since the race and one of them almost put me over the edge. It was so blazing hot out that I seriously considered drinking from a puddle. It’s been in the high 90s most of the week and has been in the mid 80s even early in the morning. Boo.

So rather than run till I pass out, I’ve decided to try my hand at BODYPUMP.

When it comes to weight lifting, I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t really know how to use the machines and I don’t know what to do with free weights. I mostly lift things like my cats and beer glasses.

5 liters of beer is heavy.

On my first day of BodyPump I didn’t really know what to expect. For some reason I thought there would be more cardio involved, but it was literally just weight lifting. And man did it kick my ass. I could barely lift my fork at dinner that night and I was incredibly sore the next day. Obviously I’ll be going back since it’s clear my muscles need a little torture every now and then.

I specifically want to focus on my back, since that’s what people will be staring at while I’m at the alter for our wedding. I want to be toned and tan (what bride doesn’t?!). I’m hoping a combination of BodyPump, Bootcamp and yoga will do the trick.

As for tanning, I tried to get a jump start on that this past weekend. I spent the day with my posse down by the James River. It was a beautiful day and I did manage to get a little sun.

Sorry if this next photo blinds you with my paleness.

I might blend in with my wedding dress.

We laid out and frolicked around the rocks for about 3 hours before calling it a day.

Rock modeling.

I managed to burn my feet pretty badly, but at least it’s sort of evening out the annoying running shoe tan I had going on down there.

We’re officially less than 5 months from the big day and I am pretty sure I still have a TON to do. I’m not stressed though…everything will come together. The big stuff is done, so now it’s just those annoying details that need to be taken care of. Yawn. I have ZERO interest in choosing napkins, tie colors, and a limo service…I totally get why people hire wedding planners!

Time to go for a run…

Next up: why I’ve been sleeping on the floor for the past 3 months (and why I’m FINALLY moving back into the master bedroom).