Category Archives: Weekends

Yup, Another Race

I’d MUCH rather run a race than have to plan out my own routes.

Call me lazy, but it’s just so much easier to show up and run, rather than worry about fueling, traffic, getting lost and fighting boredom. This weekend is the start of my taper week for the March 18th half. It’s also my mom’s birthday, so that means traveling will be happening. Should I squeeze in the 6 before hitting the road? Wait until I’m down there? Wait until I’m back home? Nah, I’ll just find a race. WIN.

Unfortunately there was not a single 10k that I could find anywhere remotely close to my home in VA or my parents’ place in NC. BUT I did manage to find an 8k that is happening along the route that we take to NC. Not quite 6 miles, but still totally fine for a taper.

Enter, the Roanoke Rapids Canal 8k.

It’s a super small race that actually features a half marathon. From what I’ve read, it looks like most people will be running the half and the 8k is just a bit of an after thought. Fine with me…I just need to get the miles in! I actually convinced Brian to run with me as well. Last year there were TWO people in his age group, so he thinks he might have a shot at an age group award.

The course looks really beautiful and I’m excited to support a small “local” race. I’m also pretty much guarunteed a PR, since I’ve only done 2 other 8ks ever (one was a mud/loose sand run..finished in 1:27:44 and the other was a race that I was not trained for AT ALL…finished in 56:38). I am confident I can CRUSH those times.

The only downside to this race is that we have to wake up at the buttcrack of dawn to be in Roanoke Rapids in time to pick up our bibs and start the race. At least I’ll get more practice waking up super early before a race. That will come in handy for the 3:30am wake-up call on March 18th…dun dun dun!!!

 

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The Good, the Bad and the Broken

Let’s start with the good.

I recently decided to get a little crazy in the kitchen. I had 3 pretty nasty looking bananas to deal with, which obviously calls for a banana bread! I didn’t want to make something uber unhealthy, so I ended up following this recipe here and making a few adjustments with whole wheat flour. The end result was tasty and relatively healthy for a banana bread!

Yeah, I MADE that (it's really some kind of miracle).

The only downside to this bread? I totally trashed the kitchen in the process. I really can’t help it. I also made a pretty gross crock pot dish that I’d rather not talk about. Let’s just say I don’t know how to make salsa and sour cream should never go in a slow cooker. Behold the mess…

I cleaned it eventually...

Now for the bad. I had the.worst.run.of.my.life. last weekend. It was a 9 miler and it was seriously the worst run I’ve had in YEARS. The weather was about 58 or so, so I wore a long sleeved top with shorts. I felt just dandy for the first 4-5 miles until I stopped at a park water fountain to re-hydrate. The damn thing was OFF. Uggg. Richmond needs to realize that we don’t really have “winter” and there is no need to turn off water fountains! I was depending on that water to get me through the end, and when it wasn’t there I kind of crumbled. I ended up running in the sun and it was HOT. Looking back I know I was seriously dehydrated and should have just gone home. Instead I stopped at Dot’s Back Inn (a yummy diner) because I saw Brian’s car there (he likes their burgers and I don’t eat meat so he occasionally goes alone). I ended up waiting about 5 minutes for a glass of water which just caused my legs to stiffen up. And I was still 3 miles from home. SO AWFUL.

I was hot, dehydrated, stiff, annoyed and just blah. I was really close to tears about 1 mile from home.

The splits don’t lie.

9 Miler of Doom

I contemplated quitting running after this. Alas, I am back on the bandwagon.

Moving on to the BROKEN.

I went to DC after the 9 Miler of Doom to visit 3 of my closest college chicas. It was a whirlwind trip but super fun. I was able to recover from dehydration (it was NOT FUN) in time to make it up to see them. I’m so glad I didn’t bail. Wine is hydrating, right?

Anyway, after a night of fun my friend and I walked to my car to hit the road. She had a flight to catch so we were in a bit of a hurry. But LO AND BEHOLD, some idiot had punched out my window!!! And not a main window…one of the little triangular ones in the back. WTF. They didn’t even steal anything. In fact, the locks weren’t even reachable from the broken pane. I mean, who does that crap?! Just a random act of violence. Lame. Karma will get you evil person!!

NOT COOL. EVER.

My insurance deductible is $500 and this little baby only cost $250 to replace. So that meant I had to drop $250 senseless dollars. SO ANNOYING. Oh and I had to tape up the whole thing with a trash bag since I was driving straight into a snowstorm. I was totally “that car.”

Oh well, I’m moving on the greener pastures now! Here’s to good runs and intact glass from here on out…

I scare myself sometimes…on purpose.

Last night I dressed up like a very scary zombie. And no, it’s not Halloween. BUT it was Friday the 13th. Dun dun dunnnnn.

My girlfriends and I decided it would be fun to attend a Monster Bash last night in honor of the “unlucky” day. Any excuse to get dressed up, right?

We went to TOWN. Who would have thought covering yourself in costume makeup and mixing up a batch of homemade blood would be so fun? I’m pretty sure we had more fun applying the makeup and taking a million photos than we actually had at the party.

Behold our scariness….

Just spreading the zombie love.

I’m in the back left. I think I looked more like a deranged clown than a zombie, but I was still pretty darn frightening. We made the blood with water, flour, red food coloring, cocoa powder and a little molasses. It was kind of cakey but looked so nasty. Perfect.

We're commmmming...

I didn’t realize we were so horrifying until we actually got to the bar later that night. People were STARING at us, especially since not many people were actually dressed up (maybe 25% of the crowd). It’s hard to remember you look so terrible when you feel totally normal. We ended up going to the bathroom at one point in the night and I legitimately scared myself when I looked in the mirror. No wonder people were staring.

One of my fellow zombie friends took a ton of photos on her camera, so I’ll share those as soon as they make it to Facebook. We put on quite the undead fashion show. In the meantime I’ll leave you with this gem of a couple’s photo.

Love at first bite.

Brian wore a weird wolf shirt and put the fake blood on his face. It looked like he was wearing a bloody mustache. Ewww. Totally a frame-able pic, though.

Can’t wait for the next zombie party!

A New Year and a Resolution

I’m a little late to the New Year bandwagon…I spent the majority of Sunday on the couch and today Brian and I massively cleaned and organized the house. We’re FINALLY getting all of our wedding/Christmas gifts put away. Tomorrow I’m lugging a car-full of stuff to Goodwill. It feels so good to purge at the beginning of the year!

Backtrack…I managed to squeeze in a quick 4 miler before the NYE festivities began. It was a wonderful way to end my running year. My resolution for 2011 was to run 10 races, and I accomplished that AND became a much better runner. It felt good to get a final run in.

Probably my last RunKeeper run for a while. I've missed my Garmin!!

After a quick dinner and 2.5 hours of primping, Brian, his cousin and I headed to a local bar to ring in the new year. Our friends rented it out for the night and for $45 we had access to an open beer/wine/champagne bar. Compared to most “all-inclusive” NYE shindigs, this was a pretty good deal.

In a nutshell, we had fun:

Running buddies (we were running in this pic...obviously)

So much fun was had in fact, that we spent the entire next day sprawled out on the couch watching a House marathon. Bliss.

Today was spent massively organizing the house. We have the downstairs tamed and tackled, as well as our bedroom, but still have the guest room and office to conquer. I shudder just thinking about it.

On to the obligatory resolution making.

This year my resolution is to run a marathon. And maybe I’ll take on 12 races to continue my racing trend. I’ve proven to myself that I am capable of keeping running-related resolutions, so I’m going to stick with that. I have my eyes set on the SunTrust Richmond Marathon in November…the course is in my backyard, so I have access to it easily. I’ll also be able to join the training team, which conveniently meets 30 seconds from my house. And the BEST part about the whole marathon thing?

Brian has agreed to run it with me.

He makes running look HOTTT

Color me shocked. However I did have to bribe him a little…I said if he ran with me, he doesn’t have to get me a gift for any holiday/celebration/birthday in 2012. He can just pay for race entry fees and run along with me. Win win.

2012 is gonna be epic…

Happy Times

Christmas #1 has come and gone.

Brian and I traveled up to Philly for a nice long weekend with his family. Lots of food, lots of people, lots of gifts. It was a little weird being away from my family for the holiday, but it was nice to be part of a new set of traditions. Best gift of Christmas so far?

Time for some heavy duty baking.

My MIL gave me this! We didn’t get one as a wedding gift, and she’s insisted we need one. This is the heavy duty version…like the kind they have in REAL restaurants. So far I’ve made one bangin’ batch of chocolate chip cookies and hope to try pizza dough soon.

I vow to be good in the kitchen.

Brian and I also squeezed in a nice hilly/muddy 5 miler while up in PA. He likes to show me his old running stomping grounds, so of course we ended up running through the forest. Thanks to a MASSIVE rainstorm the night before, it was a messy run through the muck and mud. Oh, and hillly. What’s new PA?

OUCH.

I have the whole week off from work (YAY!), so now I’m down in NC to start Christmas celebrations #2 with my family. Brian is heading down soon and we’ll have another Christmas morning. I’m pretty much using the week to relax, read books, play with my mixer, write wedding thank you notes, and run. What a life…

And in other superexcitingawesomeamazing news….I FOUND MY GARMIN. It’s been missing since the half marathon and it’s been a sad thing. Thank goodness for my RunKeeper app on the iPhone.

Time to end the randomness. Next up, NYE!

Happy 100!

According to the fancy WordPress stats, this is my 100TH POST! Rejoice!

If I had the time/patience, I’d write out a top 100 list of something. Or post 100 pictures of stuff. But instead I’m just going to recap my weekend like it’s no big deal.

Brian ended up going to Philly for his brother’s Christmas party, so I was stuck alone all weekend. I had a bachelorette party to attend and couldn’t bail. This weekend taught me that I do NOT do very well alone. Hence the reason I’ve always at least had a roommate. Carrie + an empty house + no one to talk to + paranoia about everything = not such a great weekend.

As soon as I got home from work on Friday I deadbolted every single lock in the house, whipped up some mac and cheese and poured myself a glass bottle of wine. I had a rough time sleeping on Friday…the cats were going absolutely insane and it totally freaked me out. They were running around like crazy and even though I KNOW it’s them, I still get totally paranoid that someone is breaking in. I need to chill…or at least take some sort of sleeping aid.

Awww what an angel...

SIKE! Devil cat. Especially when mom is home alone...

Saturday I rolled out of bed around 9 in an attempt to sleep late and therefore not have the urge to pass out in the middle of the bachelorette party. I had every intention of running 4 miles, but I could not muster up the motivation. I tried everything but my funk was just too powerful. I ended up spending the morning on the couch watching TV and contemplating my existence. Basically it made me depressed. Note to self…when relaxing, JUST RELAX, don’t think about issues/problems/hopes/dreams/etc. Just chill.

Around 1 I managed to shower and get my act together. I decided to go shopping to cheer myself up. BAD CARRIE, BAD. And ummmmm, hello, it’s the weekend before Christmas. My excuse was that I HAD to go out anyway since I needed to pick up some cute underwear for the bride-to-be. To add insult to injury in my already cloudy state, I ended up REAR ENDING a truck. Thankfully I was only going like 3 miles and hour and didn’t do any damage to his vehicle. I literally looked in my rearview mirror for like half a second and then hit him out of no where. Damn Christmas traffic.

Oh and he was a state trooper. Awesome. But thankfully he didn’t want to call the cops so I didn’t get a ticket. My license plate was damaged and there is a small hole in my bumper where his trailer hitch hit me. Uggg.

After that I cried all the way to Target and avoided the mall completely.

I went in for underwear and came out $165 poorer. Such is Target.

But I did score THESE awesome pants.

Miracle worker.

I didn’t even try them on. Rather, I just prayed that they’d be the PERFECT pair of pants for the bachelorette party. And they were.

Hard to see, but they were great...

Anywho. I got home and had about 30 minutes to get dressed, wrap my gift, do my hair and make up, paint my nails and get out the door when my ride arrived. It was a whirlwind but I was thankful for the distraction from my funk.

The night ended up being a LOT of fun. I was worried that my crappy day would make me a buzz kill, but a night of girlie fun can never do harm. I stayed out until 2:30am and partied like a rockstar with some of my favorite Richmond people.

Sunday morning I was regretting all the wine, and didn’t get out of bed until 10:30. Then more couch sitting happened. So much for my last opportunity for productivity before the new year…I promise we’ll have all of our wedding gifts unpacked before our 1 year anniversary..

Brian finally came home around 3 and I decided to go for a run despite my pounding headache. Mr. Garmin was no where to be found, so I used my RunKeeper app on the iPhone. I did a nice and easy 4 miler…just what the doctor ordered to cure my funk.

I'll take it.

In a nutshell, I accomplished NOTHING this weekend other than tasting a whole bunch of Pinot Grigio. Oh and loading the dishwasher. I did do that.

Motivation, where are you?! All I want for Christmas is you!!

September is the Best Month. Duh.

Where the heck has September gone?

 

Since my last post (so long ago wow) I’ve done a decently amount of things.

  • Had a couples shower in PA
  • Turned 27
  • Ran the hilliest more horrid run of my life
  • Ran a 7-miler
  • Got through a Saturday of FOUR work events
  • Had a surprise mini shower
  • Bought new running shoes
  • Got my bridesmaid’s bouquets in the mail

Oh and the wedding is now like 37 days away or something. How??? Why??? Ahhhh!

Some quick recaps…

Couples shower – ridiculously awesome. My parents were there. His family was there. We constructed a tent. We drank like 15 bottles of wine. We kicked a keg. We sang karaoke. I cried. We got more gifts that we know what to do with. It was epic and amazing.

Turned 27 – no biggie…I’m just practically 30. Geez. Brian cooked me a fancy vegetarian curry and we dined at home. He also got me a Kindle, which I lOVE. Can’t wait to bring that baby on the honeymoon.

Hilly Horrid Run – The morning of the couples shower Brian agreed to do a 4 miler with me. However he failed to mention that we was taking me to a cross country course to do it. Seriously it sucked. It was on ALL GRASS and it was WET and hilly. Imagine just running through fields of rolling hills. I don’t do that. I do pavement. The only good thing about the whole ordeal was that the run was OBVIOUSLY good for me. I was slow as hell but it completely kicked my ass. Hills will do that. I was darn proud when I finished.

7 miler – I redeemed myself this past weekend with a fantastic 7-miler. Yes, it was mostly flat, but I did it without much effort. I think the hilly run of doom really made this feel easy. I finished in a 9:20-something pace.

9/17 – the Saturday with 4 simultaneous work events going on. Thankfully I only had to physically be at one, but I did have to make sure 2 others got off without a hitch. Twas a VERY long day.

Surprise shower – One of my super awesome and amazing bridesmaids surprised us with a mini shower immediately after the long day of work events. Thanks to the generosity of her family we got to watch the University of Richmond football game from a private press box. And her mom made the cutest little treats and invited our friends. It was so cute and so thoughtful!

Epic.

New running shoes – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Thanks to the hilly grassy run of doom, my old running shoes got soaked and managed to capture a horrid stench. I was unable to make it go away…It was time to buy new shoes anyway, so I went with the Brooks Adrenalines again. So far so good. This will be my third pair of Adrenalines. Oh and they’re purple. Love.

You won't let me down.

 

Bridesmaid’s flowers.

These really need no introduction. I LOVE them. Love. love. love. and love.

I heart you.

These are from FlowerThyme on Etsy. I HIGHLY recommend the shop!

I’m off to another dress fitting…cross your fingers it looks perfect!

That August Whirwind

I’ve been booked solid for the entire month of August. Thankfully most of the things I had on my agenda were for play, not work. September will be another story…

 

Last weekend Bri and I headed down to Myrtle Beach to enjoy a long weekend with some of his work friends. It was relaxing, full of wine, and generally a great time. Ironically we didn’t even set foot on the beach since the condo complex we stayed in had a massive awesome pool. And by awesome I mean they let you drink IN the pool. We also managed to enjoy two wine tastings.

MmMmmmm Blackberry Merlot.

I ate ridiculous amounts of food over the weekend which probably won’t bode so well for my upcoming dress fittings. Boo. But at least it was super tasty.

Flash forward to the past weekend…Brian’s 26th birthday was on Friday and we celebrated by taking a trip up to Philly for a Phillies game and a beerfest. Last year I surprised Brian with a trip to the beerfest – I schemed with him family to surprise him at the hotel. We had such a great time that we had to do it again this year.

We both took Friday off and stupidly didn’t hit the road until about 9:30am that morning. We usually leave late Thursday night when we drive up, but Bri got an iPad for his b-day and we decided to spend the night playing with it. It basically took us 6 hours to get up there since everyone was fleeing from Hurricane Irene.

When we arrived we grabbed some food, showered, and left for the ballpark 2 hours early. Brian was convinced there would be tons of traffic but we actually made it to the stadium in record time. We spent the next two hours tailgating by ourselves with a 6 pack of beer.

We're the coolest.

Eventually we made our way over to the stadium and proceeded to eat more food and drink more beer (well, Brian drank more beer, I was DDing for the birthday boy).

Fake cheese is acceptable at baseball games.

Sadly the Phillies lost, but it was a great game nonetheless.

The next morning we woke up at the early hour of 9am (ha) and squeezed in a 5 miler at the local park. And that run kicked my bootay. Richmond is ridiculously FLAT compared to the rolling hills of PA. I seriously thought my legs were going to fall off during the first 3 miles. It was brutal. However, what goes up, must come down, and we were rewarded with a solid quarter mile decline around mile 4. Um, hello 7 minute pace?! We finished up in about 48 minutes with a solid 9:30-something pace.

From there we cleaned up, played with the iPad a bit more, and whipped out our rain gear as Irene made her way into PA. The beerfest was about an hour away near Lancaster, PA and we arrived in time to eat some grub at a local diner, snooze for a bit, and whip out the Pinot.

The fest did not disappoint. It’s held at Stoudt’s Brewery and it is truly one of the best beerfests I’ve attended. It’s completely indoors, so the fact that a hurricane was whipping around outside didn’t really affect us. $35 gets you a tasting glass, a buffet dinner, and a really fantastic band. Oh and I fell in love with Watermelon Beer. Serious love.

Watermelon beer is my second love after this dude.

By the time we caught the shuttle back to the hotel, Irene was really starting to blow in. The rain was pouring sideways and there were branches whipping around everywhere. Thankfully we didn’t experience any sort of damage, although our hotel room started to smell like hermit crabs (I kid you not)…

Now it’s back to reality and the fact that September is equally as busy! But it’s my birthday month, so BRING IT on.

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!

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).