Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Disney Inspired Letter "N"

In February, Abigail has the pleasure of enjoying a day at Magic Kingdom with both sets of her grandparents!
Nano & Nina, Mickey & Abigail, Nana & Papa
Today's Wordless Wedneday: Disney Inspired Letter "N"isn't completely wordless, as most of you wouldn't realize what exactly the "N" represents...Abigail calls three of her grandparents names that start with "N" so now you know!

-If you participated (or not) in Focused on the Magic's Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop, what did (or would) YOU choose as your Disney Inspired Letter "N"?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Training Recap: August Week 2 & 3

I'm not sure where the last two weeks have gone. It's been a blur of sorts, even though we haven't been super busy. So I'm recapping two weeks at once in this post.

Monday, August 12th
I spent the morning trying to get back to some resemblance of a home routine after being away for the entire first week of August. Suitcases had to be unpacked, laundry needed to be washed. For the most part it was a perfect day for "a 'jama day" (as Abigail calls it) since the weather wasn't great. The only one inconvenienced was Brewer, who would come over to me, bark in my face then go sniff at his leash. I decided to take Brewer out for a walk, in the rain with umbrella in hand. We finished a 1.7mi walk in 30 minutes.

Tuesday, August 13th
The morning got off to a rocky start. Abigail was playing with Brewer and she bumped into my coffee on the side table. The coffee spilled everywhere! All over the table and all over my training planner (which is now coffee scented). Brewer enjoyed licking up the coffee that spilled over onto the floor. I ended up having to wipe up everything, move furniture, vacuum up Brewer hair and shark the floors. Not how I wanted to spend my morning! Instead of our usual Tuesday activities of swim and dance, Abigail's class times changed for this session leaving Tuesday afternoon free, so we went to the gym instead. I was not feeling the treadmill though, and only managed 5mi in 60 minutes.

Wednesday, August 14th
Abigail decided she wanted to persue gymnastics more, so instead of registering her again for the ballet/tap class she'll be taking Tumbling once a week in addition to her Thursday Pre-Team class. She is still the youngest in her class but she's having so much fun! Her cartwheels and round-offs are constantly improving, and she's getting so close to a handstand. It's fun because I have started attempting these as well and it's my absolute favorite when she corrects me telling me to straighten my legs more or point my toes.

In the evening Abigail and I went to Matt's second softball game of the season. Abigail made a friend and was able to play and run while I kept score for the team. The weather was beautiful and we got home at a decent enough time for me to take Brewer for a walk around the neighborhood before bedtime, 1.42mi in 30 minutes.

Thursday, August 15th
Abigail enjoyed her gymnastics class and I took Brewer for a 1.66mi in 40 minutes once we returned home. Brewer seems to be content to go for walks but I know he really wants to run, too bad for him I'm taking this week easy to prepare for my double race day on Saturday.

Bonus, I hit 10,000 tweets!

Friday, August 16th
I'm still fundraising as a St Jude Hero for Dopey Challenge and am over halfway to my $2000 goal! Until August 30th you can place an order with Thirty-One and 10% of all sales will be donated back to my fundraising, and one lucky order will also win a great prize. We'll also be having a local yard sale in October with all sales going to my big goal, so Abigail and I spent the morning picking up donations from some local friends. I'm so grateful to everyone who is helping me with fundraising!

I took Brewer out for a 1.78mi in 31 minutes before we enjoyed dinner out "at the brown bread place", Abigail's name for Outback. Matt and Abigail enjoyed coloring together, even though Matt was a bit crazy about Abigail needing to stay within the lines.

Saturday, August 17th
My morning started early as I woke up to head straight over to Vinings Downhill 5K. This was my very first 5K last year so I was excited to run the course again and compare "apples to apples" to see how I improved over the last year. My 2012 time was 35:41, which is a fast time but this is a downhill course. A new PR (personal record) was achieved with a time of 28:28! I am thrilled to have a sub30 5K time too. (Oh! and I won a coupon for a Mocha Cookies-n-Cream shake from Chick-Fil-A!)

I also registered for the Area 13.1 (an evening half marathon) making this a double race day. I had heard a lot of negative reviews from the 2012 event but was still excited to run this race. I parked off site, arriving to the start line a bit later than I had hoped. In the craziness of it all, I got a bit too over confident and programmed myself for 4:1 intervals and it wasn't good. For the weather conditions (it had just rained and was overly humid) and this being my second race of the day, I should have stuck with 3:1 intervals. Overall, I did set a new half marathon PR time of 02:20:20 which is 5 minutes off my last half time from April.

Sunday, August 18th
I woke up feeling like I had been hit from a truck, and I had been so happy I remembered to stretch and foam roll before I had gone to bed. I could have felt much worse; I forget running downhill works different muscles. I was also starving! It felt good to get up and move, every bit of me seemed so stiff! After church, we went to PF Chang's for lunch where I devoured a dinner portion of their Crispy Honey Chicken. After I was no longer starving, I took Brewer for a 1.58mi walk in 32 minutes. My ITBs were sore and I felt slower than usual but getting in a recovery walk.

Monday, August 19th
Number One priority was to call Starbucks and inquire about the background check that was submitted on August 6th. I had called last week but the store manager was on vacation, so I had to wait a bit longer. Finally I spoke to the store manager and she asked me to come in with my passport to fill out tax papers, so I guess that means I'm hired! Finally! Otherwise, it was a low-key day because my legs were still sore so I skipped on the training.

Tuesday, August 20th
It became official, I filled out all my tax documents and will start training at Starbucks next week. With this news, I also learned my schedule would not be set days each week. This concerned me because Matt and I would be "juggling" Abigail back and forth with our very different schedules. I spent the afternoon revising our budget to see if 9mo of preschool tuition could be squeezed in and I emailed the school where she had been on the wait list. I had plenty to do and with sore legs I decided I needed an extra rest day.

Wednesday, August 21st
Abigail and I went to the preschooler morning at the skating rink. I was thrilled to wear my Retro ProCompression socks, and received a few envious comments from other moms! I chatted up other moms who had their child(ren) enrolled at the preschool I was hoping Abigail would be able to attend. They informed me Wednesday & Thursday was Teacher Meet and Greet, so the lady I was trying to get in touch with was very busy.  In an odd turn of events, the skating rink co-owner also chatted me up and long-story-short, she wants to hire me to help her coordinate corporate events one day a week (whenever I have off at Starbucks). This would be an amazing opportunity and our personalities are very similar. So let me get this straight? I was Starbucks #1 harasser all summer, and now I might have TWO jobs?! Yes, I'm fully away God likes to show me He has a sense of humor.

Brewer even got to go for a walk around the block. We managed 1.71mi in 40 minutes. It's really funny how our pace varies from day to day. It all depends on how many scents Brewer smells, and how many bushes and mailboxes he wants to mark along our way.

Thursday, August 22nd
Abigail had a preschool spot! I hadn't spoken with the preschool's director, we only played phone-tag. I decided Abigail and I would just show up to the Teacher Meet and Greet (technically uninvited). I filled out lots of paper work, Abigail received her "backpack" (a red shoulder bag), we met her teachers and checked out her classroom. Abigail knows two of her classmates already and she was disappointed when it was time to leave.

Matt and I (and Abigail) got to attend the New Parent Orientation that evening. The director went over the entire parent manual. It was a good introduction for Matt, who had never visited before. Abigail also took him to see her classroom, since he'll be sharing in the drop-off and picking-up as well.

Friday, August 23rd

Saturday, August 24th
Instead of registering for a small race through Marietta Square, I decided to take Abigail to cheer on my good friend Brandi and her parents.

Sunday, August 25th

Monday, August 19, 2013

INKnBURN Running Shorts Review

As I have mentioned many times on this blog, I started my running journey June 2012 with Couch to 5K. I had to build a running wardrobe mostly from scratch. As the weeks progressed through C25K, I realized the workout clothes that I was wearing to the gym for different group fitness classes wasn't as comfortable while "running". (Insert a laugh here, my pace was slow and I ran intervals so I never claimed to be "a runner".) For the sake of not doing laundry daily, I was more concerned with quantity. Most of my running wardrobe consisted of items I found on sale with a combined coupon from Kohl's. I acquired a variety of brands and I was learning what was comfortable, wicked sweat best, didn't cause chaffing, etc. Part of my hesitation in not wanting to spend too much money was because of my track record; me and exercise have never been consistent. 

I was originally introduced to INKnBURN through social media late in 2012. I know I lusted over the beautiful designs numerous times online but was always deterred because of the pricetag. One of my #CorralG friends from 2013 WDW Marathon Weekend, Linzie Starr was/is always raving about his love for INKnBURN. After reading so many positive reviews, and Linzie sharing a discount code with me (I still like being "thrifty"), I finally decided to give it a try for myself. My first purchase was the Dragonfly Shorts (pictured above). I was surprised when I got the shorts in hand, the fabric felt like no other items in my wardrobe. 

Here's what INKnBURN has to say:
"INKnBURN's Women's Running Shorts are designed to be light and fast. The moisture-wicking fabric we use for the body of the shorts is ultra light with a subtle texture to it. It also has stretch so these shorts give when you need them to. The waistband is soft but also strong and stretchy. No muffin tops with these babies! You can keep it up for extra tummy support or, roll it down to reveal a complimentary design in the inner lining for a low-cut look."  

I absolutely love the waistband option! I am a petite 5'1" and so many waistbands do not hit me where I would like. I also had a c-section in December 2009 and am self-conscious about my mid-section, as many women are, so I wear the waistband up for the extra support. The shorts also have undies built-in and two pockets, big enough for a gel or two in each. When it got to the point where I was washing my Dragonfly Shorts every other day, I knew I needed a few more! A rare discount code was advertised around Forth of July, I jumped!
Purple Run or Die, Pink Ribbon, Leaf'em in the Dust, Demin
INKnBURN's Women's Running Shorts truly are high-performance running shorts! I consistently set personal best times when I race in my INKnBURN shorts. Okay, some of this is due to my continued training as I'm still improving, but when you feel good, you do preform better. I never fidgit with my InB shorts, they don't ride up when I run. I have even raced in the rain, my shorts were dry in no time (unlike the rest of me). Ladylike or not, I sweat or sparkle, or whatever you'd like to call it. I'm not sure if I should compliment the quality of the fabric or the prints, or the combination of the two, but I am thrilled that after a training run or race I do not look like I have dumped water all over myself...or just poured water on myself in awkward place, if you catch what I'm saying.
I must say, it's also pretty fun showing up to an event and NOT blending in with the latest and greatest color schemes released by Nike or Under Armour. Sometimes it's so obvious everyone went shopping that same week, that I think I missed a memo! The INKnBURN designs are beautiful art. 

"Don't disappear into to the crowd...Distance yourself with INKnBURN and the Art of Running." 

Now ladies, do check the size chart and take your measurements before placing your order! The women's running shorts are available from a size 0 to 14. Every company has different measurements, but I ordered based on my measurements and my fit is exact! I recently used the same sizing chart to order my first INKnBURN camisoles, and loved racing in them over the weekend!

Yes, above I did say "before placing your order!" because I know you have now checked out all 19 options of INKnBURN Women's Running Shorts. I know you have a favorite print! Some of my original concerns I listed above might still be circling through your head, well take my 15%off code "jilltoldme" and try out a piece of the INKnBURN aparel for yourself! (You will need to create an account to use my code, but this will also earn you $10 towards your second purchase. Trust me, there will be a second purchase!)

If you still need a some convincing, see what other INKnBURN products my fellow Ambassadors reviewed by clicking the individual links below.


-What will be your first/next purchase?
-Do you have a favorite design in the INKnBURN line?

Friday, August 16, 2013

runningMix: Summer Tunes

On June 25th I highlighted the Top 5 Songs that have received the most play on my runningMix. I usually hit "shuffle" when I start my runningMix so I was shocked to see why some songs play way more than others. That same week I created  a separate playlist for the Peachtree Road Race. I had purchased some newer tunes and wanted to have the newer tunes to help keep me energized as I tried to sub60 at one of the two 10Ks in July. My training and new song additions helped me reach that goal! Here are a few of the newer tunes I have been loving during my summer runs!

Florence + The Machine: Dog Days Are Over

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: Can't Hold Us

Robin Thicke: Blurred Lines

Fun.: Some Nights ft Justin Bieber: #thatPOWER

-Are any of these songs on your running playlist?
-What has been at the top of your running playlist this summer?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Disney Transportation

Abigail's favorite Disney Transportation has got to be The Tomorrowland Speedway! It's very rare when we skip this attraction when visiting Magic Kingdom. 
Where's the driver? (04.29.11)
Eyes on the road! (10.14.11)
Our for a 3rd Birthday cruise. (12.19.11)
Are you ready for some whiplash, Papa? (03.02.12)
-What is your favorite form of Disney Transportation, an attraction or real transportation?

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Color Run Atlanta Race Entry Giveaway

I had the pleasure of running The Color Run™ St Pete in December 2012, it was so much fun! If you'd like to read my race recap you can do so HERE.

I am so excited to have the opportunity to share with you more about The Color Run™ and giveaway a pair of race entries to The Color Run™ here in Atlanta on Saturday, September 28th!

Check out when and where The Color Run™ might be coming to a city near you! If you do not live near Atlanta or wont be able to run on September 28th, use the promotional code "COLOR5OFF" to save on your registration costs. This promo code is valid to any city at is not already sold out so I recommend registering soon as the races do tend to sell out!

The Color Run™ is not a timed race, so recruit runners and non-runners alike to participate in this event! Many people run, but many walk. At the 2012 St Pete event, I even saw lots of strollers and a couple wheel chairs! This "run" is all about having FUN! That's why it's called "TheHappiest 5K on the Planet"! As an added bonus, there is the perk of registering a team of 4 or more, everyone gets an additional $5 off their registration! You can name your team, wear your starkest white to the starting line and whether you finish together or separate, you'll all finish plastered in color!
The fun isn't limited to the five-kilometers only, expect lots of excitement after too! There's a finish line party with a gigantic "Color Festival," using more colored powder ensuring a day you wont forget for a long time! Expect lots of laughter, lots of great photo opportunities, lots of music and lots of COLOR!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thirty-One & St Jude

As I have mentioned already, I accepted runDisney's Dopey Challenge as a St. Jude Hero! My goal is to raise $4000 before I race at Walt Disney World in January.

A mom friend of mine is a consultant for Thirty-One Gifts and they always have the cutest bags, totes and thermals so I asked if she'd be willing to donate a portion of a party's sales to my St Jude fundraising, and she said yes! Ten percent of the total sales will be directly donated to my goal as a St. Jude Hero. I hope you'll like the items as much as I do, and I even plan to buy a few items as Christmas gifts so keep that in mind too.

I would like to highlight a couple of my favorite items!
Organizing Utility Tote, $30
Thermal Tote, $18
The Thermal Tote seems to be the number one item I see with many. It measures approximately 9.5"H x 14"W x 4.5"D making it perfect for packing heavy snacks or lunch to take to the park. It currently is available in 10 different prints and can be personalized with embroidery. The Thermal Tote is also very reasonably priced at $18. For me, it's the perfect size to keep a few water bottles extra cold in the car so I can cool down after a long outdoor run with (or without) Brewer. 

Another popular item many of my friends rave about is the Organizing Utility Tote. I have seen this tote used as a diaper bag, to carry items to swim class and just keep another mom organized as she juggles daily life. It's a decent size without being too big, measuring approximately 15.5"W x 10.25"H x 6.5"D. It is very spacious with seven side pockets! There are 20 different prints available, including plenty of solids that coordinate with the Thirty-One Collegiate Spirit Collection.

August has a great customer special too! If you spend $35 you can choose any purse from the new Girl on the Go Collection for 50% off. There are smaller and larger options, for all ages. The colors, prints and fabrics available will make my own decisions a little more difficult since so many are catching my eye.

Lastly, as a small gesture of my tremendous thanks to those ordering from this online party I will be giving away one Party Thermal! This is currently a Hostess Exclusive item and is not available for retail purchase, unless you'd like to host your own Thirty-One party with my consultant, Summer! Everyone who places an order before the closing of this party on Friday, August 30th will be entered into and have a chance to win this Party Thermal, in the print of their choosing.
Party Thermal, valued at $75

-What item(s) from Thirty-One would you like most?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Training Recap: July Week 5

Either I am getting lazier or I'm just enjoying running much more that I feel lazy during easier weeks. Or maybe I was just lazy? I only accumulated 11.5 miles all week!

After my roller coaster of emotion trail run Saturday, I was in need of a good run. I kept it simple, taking Brewer for a run through the neighborhood. He still wanted to pee on just about everything. The problem? I'm in a groove and all of a sudden I'm whip-lashed to a halting stop. Could I dislocate my shoulder with him doing this? Time to look into different collar/harness options. We finished a 2.95mi run in 31 minutes.

July 30th is cemented in my brain for two reasons. First, it's my Tia's birthday and second, it's National Cheesecake Day! The Cheesecake Factory discounts all their cheesecake 50%off on this one day each year when you dine in. My selection was the Oreo Dream Extreme. I eat a few bites and bring the rest home so I can nibble off of it for a couple days.

Once we got home from dinner I was stuffed, no running was going to take place, but I wasn't going to dump my behind on the couch for the night. Brewer needed to get out of the house so we went for a walk. Abigail came too and we actually met another family while we were out, the little boy is a year older than Abs while the little girl is a year younger. They got friendly fast and promises were made to play again soon.

Bonus: September 30th marked the beginning of the 100 day countdown for the runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend!

Over the last few weeks Brewer has been getting tougher and tougher to control; he's getting bigger and stronger! When we run, if he wants to sprint I have a hard time controlling him. If there's a downhill portion, we don't run, we walk. I am not risking myself getting injured due to a puppy with too much energy and strength! I decided it would be in my best interest to check out a choker type collar. It definitely keeps him more calm, but I don't think I'd be comfortable running with him wearing it. We had a great walk with the new collar (no, Abigail did not walk him!). I'm still in my search for what will work best for us and I would love any suggestions you may have!

The three of us had another nice evening walk and chatted with a few other neighbors. I am still in a bit of shock we have almost been living here 5 years and I am just now starting to meet our neighbors.

We started our morning with some FaceTime with my parents in Paris. Abigail has been very excited because we'll be picking them up from the airport in Tampa on Saturday night. I let Abigail have a 'jama morning (where she doesn't get out of her pajamas) while I finished typing up my training recap from the week before.

Abigail had swim and gymnastics classes as usual, this was her last gymnastics class of this session and next week we have an off week. While she was in her classes I stewed over still not hearing anything from Starbucks. I called the store I'm waiting on and spoke to a shift manager who unknowingly informed me the store manager still had not made her hiring decisions. In my frustration, I decided to call a local running store and inquire about a part time position. Now the perk of Starbucks would be getting full-time benefits for working part-time hours, this would be ideal. If this doesn't pan out, the next best option seems to be a running store. I feel like I could gain a wealth of knowledge about all things running, which would be a huge asset as I continue to train for marathons and endurance challenges like runDisney's Dopey Challenge. So for now, I'll continue to wait and pray for the right opportunity to arise.

Abigail and I attended a pool play date with some MOPS friends. It was so nice to chat and catch up with friends we hadn't seen all summer. Matt's parents were in town for an appointment so they were able to stop in and get some social time with Abigail before we all headed out for pizza. 

I was registered for the Atlanta Run or Dye event, but decided I wanted to just get to Tampa. I have mixed feelings about skipping. While I had some friends running this event, I don't think I would have been in the mindset to fully have fun knowing I still needed to shower, pack the car and drive 8hrs. I also had re-read through all the race information and realized this wasn't a timed race, which is fine and would be more fun untimed. So still with mixed feelings that are difficult for even me to understand, I'll just leave it at that.

We stopped by the vet on the way out of town to pick up Brewer his monthly flea/tick pill and some puppy tranquilizers for his drive. Brewer does not settle and after one horrible drive to Tampa with him Easter Weekend, I asked for assistance. Brewer gets droopy eyelids, with bloodshot eyes...but he's calm during our 7-8hr drive. With him tranq'd, the drive was fairly easy. Abigail did as quite frequently some version of "are we there yet", wow. Luckily we arrived in Tampa early enough to get dinner and frozen ice cream with my grandparents. Then we picked up my parents from the airport at 11pm. It was a LONG day.

With a late night home from the airport, and Brewer not happy with his Tampa crate, I didn't get much sleep. Then my parents (still on Paris time) were up and about at 7am. We ended up visiting my brother and sister-in-law's new home, and Abigail got to take the first jump into their pool. Abigail got to play with her cousin; he is getting bigger and moving faster and trying to talk more than two month ago when we last saw him. We got even more family time at Sunday dinner, where my dad's side of the family gather's weekly at my grandparent's house. While some of the family was missing (if we're all together, and if I didn't forget anyone, there should be 23 total spanning 4 generations), it was still really nice getting this quality time! 

-Do you have a favorite dessert at The Cheesecake Factory?
-Any suggestions for a collar to best control my crazy puppy while we run?
-Have you ever decided to skip a race? What were your feelings after you skipped out?
-Do you live close to your family or far away?

Wordless Wednesday: August Calendar Shot

This photo, from August 2012, has to be one of my absolute favorites from the last few years of taking Abigail to the Walt Disney World Parks! 

-Do you like to stop and take photos in this same location a Magic Kingdom? 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Training Recap: August Week 1

I wasn't sure how successful my training would be while in Florida for the week, visiting family. It's a struggle to get my runs accomplished because time with family and friends always takes priority. We TRY to visit Florida family (an 8hr drive away) every other month, so we have to make the most of each visit. Our last trip was for Memorial weekend (2mo ago) and our next visit isn't planned until Christmas (yikes!). We will be in Florida for runDisney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon in early November, but currently we're not sure if we'll be able to tack on a couple days before or after the race weekend. As always the week flew by way too fast and I didn't get to see everyone I had hoped, which makes my long drive home full of guilt.

Abigail and I started our morning with a little FaceTime chat with Matt, since he stayed home in GA. Abigail ends up being silly (not looking) at the iPad, while her daddy continues the silly giving us an extra close view of his eye ball. My mom picked up my nephew, William, and we got to play with him for most the day.

We took a trip to Target and Abigail was thrilled to have someone ride in the big cart with her. Unfortunately, she did not like it when he continuously pinched her or kept dropping a shirt and wanting her to pick it up. My mom and I found it a bit amusing though, especially when she scolded him "If you drop it one more time, I'm going to leave it down there!". Yes, #AbsMakesMeLaugh.

After my Sunday evening run turned into a walk (I ate too much dinner and it was horribly humid), I decided my training miles would have to be done at the gym this week. Luckily I'm able to visit other gym locations in the franchise when we travel, free of charge. I wanted to run 8 miles, but wore the wrong sports bra and downsized my miles to 3 for the day.

I headed straight to the gym in the morning for an 8 miler while my mom and grandmother let Abigail tag-a-long to their nail appointments. My grandmother, I call her Abuela, is 88! Abigail loved having pancakes with Wellie, what she calls her great-grandmother; she was super sweet wanting to sit next to her and hold her hand to "help her walk".
Abigail and I headed to St Petersburg to visit with my "old" high school friend, Janet. Was it December when we last saw each other? Yikes! Janet's little boy just turned two and we got to meet the newest family addition, a beautiful daughter who is already 3mo old. And like almost every rare visit, I never remember to get a picture when we're together! We need to remember this!
Odessa Sunset
After breakfast with my grandparents, Abigail and I visited another "old" friend to get our hair cut. Abigail's bangs and partial self-made layers are still growing out from her own doing back in February. While Abigail's bangs look better, there are a couple still short spots that still will need months of regrowth. ::sigh::

We ended up spending the entire day away from the house, a huge communication fail between my mother and me. When I found Brewer, he had managed to scoot his crate, 8' across the room. I wish that could have been the end of that...but no. Brewer managed to pull my INKnBURN shorts off a closet doorknob (where they had been drying after being washed). There's a small 3" rip in the panty liner of the shorts, but no material is missing. My mother has said she should be able to repair this mishap. I'm sad my Leaf'em shorts will be MIA (missing in action) for a while, but at least they weren't completely ruined! Also because of the communication fail, I didn't get any training in...not even a walk. When we got home the skies were a bit stormy and didn't clear until it was too dark to take Brewer for a walk.

First thing in the morning, I took Brewer out for a nice walk through the orange groves. The weather was way too humid for us to attempt a good pace for a run, I'm just not used to Florida summer heat. I took my miles to the treadmill again, getting 5 miles done in 52 minutes. It's surprising how difficult it is now to run on the treadmill. Last year, almost all my runs were on the treadmill (minus the couple races I did in the fall). I did most of my winter miles on the treadmill (no winter running clothes) and spring miles (pollen allergies), but since I've been running more with Brewer (gaining more confidence and a better pace) I seem to enjoy the outdoor miles so much more now.

We had another fun afternoon with my nephew William and my grandparents stopped by to visit too. In the evening we met up with family to celebrate my youngest cousin's birthday a day early since Abs and I would be heading back to Georgia on his real birthday. I cannot believe Stephen is 25! Wasn't he adorable as  baby? My mom was going through some old photos and found this shot and I couldn't resist taking a photo of it myself. I'm super excited that Stephen will also be joining me for Wine and Dine AND WDW Marathon! -- I left dinner a bit early to meet up with Meghan and Genna for dessert; they are two Tampa Bay bloggers I started following earlier as I started running and it's been fun to get to know them over the last year. Meghan is training for a Half Ironman (I am so excited for her!) and Genna is training for the New York City Marathon (this is a lottery race, and she got in!), so I enjoy reading their training and race recap...and learn a lot from these ladies! It was nice to sit and chat and eat some frozen yogurt, yum.

I took Brewer for a 30min walk to wear him out a bit before I spent the rest of the morning packing up. Abigail started her "are we there yet?" style questioning before we even made it to the interstate. Brewer was such a better passenger on the way back to Atlanta (in comparison to our trip out of town), and this made everything seem better. Instead of heading home we drove to my in-laws, to meet up with my mother-in-law's side of the family for a mini-family reunion of sorts.

In the morning we returned to The Pittman House for breakfast. It was nice seeing this side of our extended family as it's unfortunately once a year, or less, that we see them. Some family lives further away than others, so it was a smaller crowd than Friday night and it wasn't long until most started heading back out of town. Abigail really had lots of fun playing with the cousins of her generation.

Since Matt didn't get to join us in Tampa for the week, we decided to let Abigail have some Nana & Papa time while we went on a date. It wasn't anything extravagant but it was nice having dinner together and then we popped into a few local stores before splurging on some frozen yogurt for dessert.

We headed back home first thing in the morning, dropped Brewer off at the house before heading to Abigail's friend's birthday party. It was nice getting to socialize with friends as the summer is coming to a close and especially after being gone for a week! In the midst of unpacking and getting back to a normal home life, I was able to take Brewer out for a walk through the neighborhood and we managed 1.41mi in 30 minutes.

-How do you handle your training when out of town?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Training Recap: July Week 4

After such a high mileage training week last week, I felt very lazy this week!

After the 24 miles I accumulated between my Saturday and Sunday runs, Monday was a rest day. I actually felt great! No soreness. No achy muscles. Well, my right elbow was still a bit bruised but that was from the "somersault" during my run-hike with Brewer Saturday, not actually from running. This was so encouraging! I still remember being terribly sore for days after my first (hilly) 5K last August, then after my first 13.1 last November and after the WDW Marathon in January. I hadn't run over 13.1 straight since the Half-Marathon I ran in April, so I was expecting some discomfort. I guess I just assumed I would always be sore after races. I am thrilled this isn't the case. With proper training, my body has adjusted to the increased activity levels and it also is great reassurance that I have a good training plan in place as I continue my journey to runDisney's Dopey Challenge.

Abigail's classes got swapped which worked out great because I had a Starbucks interview in the afternoon. I was bummed to not be hired on the spot (a girl can dream) but felt I had a great conversation with the store manager and will wait for her to make a decision on Monday.

INKnBURN has asked for 3 photos of me wearing their clothing for their Ambassador page. I have one photo in the Dragonfly Shorts after the Peachtree Road Race and one photo during the Summer Steamer 10K in the Leaf'em in the Dust Shorts, so I needed a third photo. I asked Matt to snap one of Brewer and me, wearing the Performance Denim Shorts. Brewer has become my running buddy so it's only fitting that he's also introduced in my Ambassador Bio.

After our quick photoshoot, I took Brewer for a run around the neighborhood. He must have been punishing me a bit for not taking him for more frequent runs because he wanted to pee on every single bush and mailbox! I called it quits before we even "ran" 2mi because it was so frustrating.

Abigail attended a little ballet play date another mom I met during Abigail's swim lessons was teaching. I had committed to this play date before Abigail informed me she no longer wanted to take dance. It was a bit of a rough drop-off but Abigail enjoyed her morning, especially the princess crown craft. While Abigail was playing, I headed to a local consignment shop as I've been purging through my closet. I have accumulated four different sizes of clothes plus maternity and whatever doesn't fit needs to go. It's too much of a pain to store and keep organized just in case. I'm in a different life season and most of the clothes aren't even "my style" right now...and those larger sizes I do not plan to be in again, ever.

After our Thursday swim and gymnastic afternoon combo, I headed out to Phidippides for their group run. The extra perk was having Mizuno there letting runners test out the Wave Sayonara. I originally tested these shoes on July 10th (read about that experience here) and wanted to give them a second chance. We ran a 3.5mi loop through Piedmont Park, and it was gorgeous. Since we don't live in the heart of Atlanta, I am still not super familiar with Piedmont Park but it has some really great pathways and I hope to run more with this group in the future.

It turns out while the Wave Sayonara's look amazing, they aren't the right fit for me. I did get great information from a Phidippides employee about shoes that will better suit me when I do need shoes again, so I know what shoes to keep an eye on (hopefully I'll find a great sale) when I need a new pair.

I spent the morning trying to finish typing out my training recap for the week before. Abigail and I dropped Matt off at a friends so they could go camping for the night. Abigail and I had a surprise visit from Nana (Matt's mom) before heading to pizza dinner with friends. Abigail and I snuggled to watch the beginning of Rise of the Guardians before her bedtime, then I watched Identity Thief since I usually have Matt-less insomnia when he's gone.

Abigail and I had a sweet morning, and I planned for a trip to the gym to get some miles in. Turns out I got the childcare hours wrong so my morning treadmill run got nixed.

Abigail attended a painting birthday party where they were instructed how to paint this beautiful beach scene. I thought it was very ambitious for a group of 2-5yr olds, but the instruction was surprisingly easy with simple steps and most of the 4 & 5yr olds finished with excellent paintings. Abigail got a little over zealous with her palm leaves but she had fun. (The sample painting is on top, and Abigail's masterpiece photos are on the bottom.)

In the evening I took Brewer to the same trail we ran-walk-hiked last Saturday. I was hoping to have another great run and take all the correct turns so the 5 Mile Loop, wouldn't become an almost 8 miler again. Our run started great but before Mile 2 I got a call from my grandparents informing me my great-uncle had passed (my grandfather's brother). My heart broke, and I was out on the trail trying to run while wiping tears from my eyes. Homesickness overwhelmed me, even more when I remembered my cousin wasn't able to say goodbye to her grandfather in person because she lives in TX while her family is in VA. While I haven't lived in Tampa since 1999, I always feel homesick when I am miss out on family events. We make every effort to be with family for milestones (most birthdays, baby showers, weddings) but when the unexpected happens, it's really tough for us to travel. Anyway, Brewer and I were able to correctly finish the 5 Mile Loop and I look forward to running it more with him...just with no more bad news phone calls, because that was awful.

I never got enough energy to go on a run but I forced myself out of the house to take Brewer for a walk around the neighborhood. We walked 1.5mi in 30 minutes. I really should take him on more walks, even if we don't run.

-When your training plan has low mileage scheduled, do you feel lazy or do you enjoy the break?
-Have you visited the INKnBURN website yet? What item is most catching your eye?