Thursday, July 24, 2014

Happy's Irish Pub NOLA 3 Miler Recap


On Saturday, 7/19, Matt and I were registered to run the Happy's 5k in New Orleans. Due to some last minute conflicts with BeyoncĂ© and Jay-Z performing at the Superdome on Sunday, the route had to be altered. This change resulted in the course no longer being a 5k since it was now only officially 3 miles.
 
The weather in the week leading up to the race wasn't the best. It seemed like it would never stop raining, and the forecast for the weekend didn't look too promising. The weather and exhaustion from a long weekend at work kept Matt and I away from running that week. I admit that I was nervous about this race. I definitely felt undertrained, which made me sad considering that this is nowhere near the longest distance that I have completed. I knew that my body was capable of finishing the distance, but it still didn't stop me from worrying.
 
Inside I was kind of hoping that it would be rescheduled due to the weather, but I'm glad that that isn't what happened. Thank you, Mother Nature, for not listening to me during that moment of weakness!
 
The race was scheduled to start at 6:30 pm with packet pick-up and race day registration at 5:30. Matt and I had to pick up our packets, so we planned to be there early. We didn't book a hotel this year, so parking was another reason that we wanted to get there early.
 
Matt and I planned on going to Barnes & Noble before heading downtown. We didn't stay as long at B&N as we thought we would, so we arrived at the race location early enough to park right at the start.
 
The first order of business was finding the updated course map. The only description that we received was that the route was changed to a "double-loop." Last year's course was a double-loop around the Superdome, so we were kind of confused about the change. Where was this double-loop if it wasn't around the Superdome like last year? (I didn't think about it at the time, but it might have been a good idea to snap a picture of the map for the blog...maybe next time?) The course ended up being a loop around Poydras, a left turn onto O'Keefe Ave, a right on Lafayette St, a right on south Rampart St, a left on Poydras, and then finally a quick U-turn to the right to travel back down Poydras. This was then repeated, except the second time through you would take a right on Poydras, instead of a left to finish the race.
 
Water and Gatorade were provided at the start, which is always a good thing. It was a warm day, so I made sure to take advantage of that. They also had the Abita beer trailer set up for after the race. The bad part about this was that people were walking up and fixing themselves a cup of pre-race beer.
 
Even though we were extra early, 6:30 seemed to show up faster than I thought it would. Before we knew it, we were lining up in the street for the start of the race. I left my phone in the car, so Matt played photographer for this one.
 
 

 
 

This race was chip timed, but we didn't actually have to pass under the arch at the beginning. This is a small race, which is nice, but that is also the main thing that lead to my anxiety about finishing with a decent time.

 
 
Matt and I decided to run this one on feeling instead of following our usual run/walk combo. In hindsight this probably wasn't the best idea, but we wanted to give it a try.

We ran through the whole first mile, but it was tough to keep that pace whenever we turned back up Poydras because we were heading towards the sun. I forgot to grab my sunglasses, so that wasn't fun. I was surprised when my Garmin told me we finished that first mile in 10:04 minutes. What?! That is the fastest we have gone in forever!

Unfortunately most of the race after that point continued to be a struggle for me. I think that all of the cups of water I had before the start wasn't enough to make up for my lack of water during the earlier parts of the day.

Lack of water + not running consistently = bad race day performance.

Not long after the start of our second loop, we were passed by an older woman. I can't really remember what lead to it, but she made a comment about not looking like a runner. Matt responded to her that she looked like a runner to him, and a running friendship started. From that moment, every time we passed each other, words of encouragement were exchanged between us.

Matt told our new running friend that she was a big help in keeping us motivated, but he expected her to finish before us. Not long after that she started to run again, and that was the last we saw of her during the race.

I started to feel a little dizzy towards the end of the race. We had less than one mile to go at this point, but I needed to walk for a bit longer than I planned.

Eventually we turned back onto South Rampart for the last time, and I was starting to feel better. Some other runners passed us and gave us encouragement that we were almost finished. This made me want to start running right away, but I was nervous and wanted to hold back a little longer in order to run across the finish line.

When the line was in sight, Matt and I decided on a good point to start running. As soon as I picked up speed, I realized that something was different about that time. Something in my body just seemed to click. From that moment until we crossed the finish line, I felt amazing. I felt sleek, light, and fast. I felt like a runner. My stride was strong and smooth. In that moment I remembered why I fell in love with running. It was like my head cleared and the running angels sang. I finished the race determined to find that place again soon.

As we were crossing the finish line I noticed a woman in a pink shirt standing there cheering us on. It was our newest friend. She was there holding her hands out to us for high-fives, so of course, we headed over to her right away. After some exchanged congratulations, she offered to "buy" us a beer. After all of that we finally got around to introducing ourselves, and then we went our separate ways.




Seeing that this is a small race, we were bound to run into our friend, Jackie, again. When we did, we made sure to grab a quick picture. She also let us know that it was Matt's encouraging words that lead her to such a quick finish. She was such a nice woman, and I'm glad that we met. Hopefully we will run into each other again in the future.


We didn't stick around much longer because we had a date with some delicious pizza.

This race was not my best, but it definitely wasn't my worst. I went into the race a nervous mess but finished feeling better than before I started. Matt and I made a friend along the way along with memories that will live with me forever. Thank you, rain, for staying away that afternoon.

P.S. Running, I miss you, and we will meet again real soon.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday - 7/10/14

Hello!

In honor of the Diagon Alley expansion at Universal Orlando officially opening this week, here are some pictures from the Harry Potter Celebration at Universal in 2011. This event was to celebrate the last Harry Potter movie being released on Blu-Ray/DVD.

This was definitely one of the most fun experiences that I have ever had, and I hope you enjoy looking back at some of my pictures!


Waiting in line for autographs
From the red carpet event:

Stanislav Ianevski (Viktor Krum)
Devon Murray (Seamus Finnegan)

Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood)

James Phelps (Fred Weasley)

Oliver Phelps (George Weasley)


Matt and I
 

The picture quality might not be the best, but these still bring a smile to my face when I look at them.

This was such a fun event, and I'm glad that we were able to make it. Everyone we met was super nice and exceeded my expectations.

Evanna Lynch was probably the first person to start on the red carpet, but she was one of the last people to get to us because she stopped for everyone.

Devon Murray was excited when he saw me because I'm short. He is short, too, so it isn't often that he can say that he is taller than someone, apparently. :)

The stars weren't the only people to make an impression on me though. The other fans that we met were amazing, and I honestly don't know if my experience would have been as great without them. Matt and I met a couple that was from New York while we were waiting in line before getting to the red carpet area, and we chatted with them most of the time. They helped make the time spent waiting in line more fun than usual. I also have to thank the group of girls that were in front us. They were so nice, and without them I probably would not have any shots with the actors. They made sure that everyone that I wanted a picture with stuck around for me, too.

The biggest thanks would probably have to go out to my husband though. Thank you for being my photographer that night, even though it meant that you didn't get to be in any photos. You are the best!

Looking back at these pictures makes me even more excited than I already was to be going back to Universal after Space Coast. I can't wait!!

I will leave you with one of my favorite pictures from that magical weekend:

Watch out, Matt!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

It is Time...

...to get back to running!

I almost started to panic when I realized that Matt and I have a race NEXT WEEKEND!! I didn't panic too much though because it is a 5k, so I am fully confident in our ability to finish the race. Will this be a PR race? Definitely not, probably not even close, but I'm okay with that.

We will be running the Happy's Irish Pub 5k for the second year in a row. We really enjoyed this race last year, so we made sure to sign up even though we have been staying away from 5k races this year.

I really started to panic when I remembered that Matt and I are signed up for the Gulf Coast Half Marathon, which is on October 19. I totally forgot that we registered for this race, and I have been telling people that our next half marathon is in December! As soon as I realized this, I started to get excited about running again and looked for a schedule to get us back into running form.

Somehow we will find the balance between SUP and running in our lives. ;)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

SUP?!

Hello!!

 

It seems like Matt and I have been super busy since the last time I posted, but at the same time, it also kind of feels like we haven’t done much. Since moving into our new building for work, business has been really busy, so we have been spending more time at work than we would like lately. Thankfully, I think that everyone might be getting more used to where everything is at this location and the new procedures, so the work day might start to go smoother than it has been going since the move.

 

This last month has been a whirlwind of work with some fun times thrown in whenever we get a chance. I won’t lie, we also had weekends that we turned into couch potatoes, but I don’t think that pictures were needed for those days!

 

Here is what we have been doing, when we aren’t at work:

 

Fighting Darth Vader

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Our Disney trip was short and sweet, but Matt and I were able to make the most of our weekend doing what we do best…making it up as we go along. We had some friends come with us for Star Wars weekends, so the plan was to go to Hollywood Studios on day and Magic Kingdom the next. One of the other people on our trip had gotten sick Saturday afternoon, so Matt and I were on our own on Sunday. Since it was just the two of us we were able to be at Magic Kingdom for rope drop, so we were able to ride all the rides that we wanted to (without even using a single FP+ that we had scheduled) by 10:30 am. At 10:30 Matt and I decided to upgrade our tickets to park hopper, so that we could head to Epcot, which is our favorite park. We made it to Epcot with enough time to eat lunch at our favorite restaurant, Via Napoli, and then we spent the rest of the afternoon touring the countries and riding Test Track. It was a good day.

 

Celebrated National Running Day!

Photo: Had a fun run today! #runningday

 

Honestly, Matt and I haven’t been running much lately, and I’m okay with that, even though I miss it. We will have to start getting back on track soon though, since we have a pretty full half marathon schedule from November through January.

 

Took a Stand Up Paddle boarding lesson:

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Here is one reason why we haven’t been running as much. Matt and I took a SUP lesson, and we have been in love ever since. I was honestly nervous because I wasn’t sure if I would be any good at this, but I felt completely at home as soon as I was out on the water.

 

Growing up I was always out on the water, either in a boat or at my grandparents’ fishing camp, and hearing the water lapping against the board made me realize how much I missed that. Because of work and other life things, I haven’t been to my grandparents’ camp in years, and even though my parents’ still go fishing all the time, we don’t join them because I don’t enjoy the act of fishing as much as they do.

 

Went to the Bruno Mars concert

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Bruno Mars is amazing in concert! I think this is the best concert that I have been to, but Red Hot Chili Peppers is a close second place. The three of us girls danced and sang all night long, and this will be a night that I will always remember because it was just so much fun!

 

Bought our own SUP boards

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I told you, Matt and I fell in love! We took a week to see if we could afford investing in our own paddleboards, and we decided to buy them as soon as we could since we had the money. It has only been two weeks since our first lesson and one week since we purchased our own, but I definitely think this was a great decision! We have already had so much fun on these boards, and it is also a great workout that doesn’t feel like a workout.

 

I’ll save the pictures of our SUP adventures for a different post, and maybe that will help me get another post up more quickly than I have been posting lately. :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Anyone Still Out There?


I definitely think that I was right to add random to my blog name, but not exactly for the reason that I planned...

I can't promise that I will ever blog on a consistent schedule because I doubt that I ever will. I already know that I am random and spontaneous in most things in life, so I guess it shouldn't have surprised me when I couldn't stick to a schedule when it came to blogging and running. Don't get me wrong. I do enjoy having a schedule for work and other things like that, but when I can't meet something on the schedule, I begin to stress out over it.

I don't really mind working late, but on running days all I would want to do is get out of the building as soon as possible. Tuesdays and Thursdays can be busy days at work, so it seemed like every week was a constant struggle for me to choose between doing my job and going for a run. Obviously, I can't leave work early just because I have to run. Of course, nothing would stop Matt and I from going run after a late night at work, except ourselves. Matt's job is more physical than mine, so he is usually exhausted after a long day. I'm not physically tired since I sit down at a computer, but after warring with myself mentally all day, it isn't hard to convince me that we shouldn't go run. Then once I get off track, it is hard for me to get back into the groove of things, and every run that we miss makes it easier to skip the next.

It is the same with blogging. Once I get off schedule, it is hard for me to get back to it.

I think that scheduling things that I want to do for fun makes it seem like work, and that makes it less enjoyable for me. I already have my hands full with one job, so I really don't need to add any more work to my life.

Since Matt and I don't have another half marathon until Space Coast, I decided that I want to change up how we do things. I want to try running without a schedule. Whenever we can run after work, I want to get out there and do it. Off early on Monday? Go for a run! Working late on Tuesday? That's okay. If there is a week where we get off early on Wednesday and Thursday, we will run on both days! I want to feel like I'm running or blogging because I want to, not because I have to, if that makes sense.

For some people this might not work, but I think taking this approach might be good for us. Of course, this plan might fail miserably, but I think that it is worth a shot. Even if it doesn't work how I want it to, at this rate, we will probably still be running more than we are now.

Matt and I did still run some during my blogging hiatus, though. Here are a few pictures of what we have been up to lately:


Ran into Manu Bennett at the St. Louis Arch!

 

Completed the Lincoln Presidential Half in Springfield, IL!
 

Had a visit with the Lincolns post race!

Posed for pictures before the CCC10K!

Enjoyed the views during the CCC10K!


Gobbled up some Blue Runner red beans and rice (my fave post race food) after the CCC10K!

Made myself a pretty bracelet!

Was almost blown away during one of my few post work runs!

As you can see, we have been keeping busy with races and other things, even though I haven't blogged about it.

Next up we will run the Great Huey P Long Bridge Run for the second year in a row. Matt and I really enjoyed the inaugural race last year, so we are excited to be able to do it again. (Read about last year's race here.)




Friday, March 21, 2014

Fitness Friday - 3/21/14

Happy Friday!!


This week was another good week of work outs, but I did do a little bit of switching around of the schedule.


Sunday turned into a true rest day since I didn't run or do yoga that morning, and then Thursday afternoon Matt and I didn't go for our run because we were invited to go eat with some friends. We did bring our running clothes to work today so that we can go run this afternoon.


I may not be able to see any change yet, but I can definitely feel a difference in my muscles while exercising. I did an ab video this morning that I was dreading because I had some trouble with it last week. Well, I'm happy to say that I did not have as much trouble today! It was still difficult, but I was able to complete the whole workout today. Yay!!


Our run on Tuesday was so great! Matt and I set a goal for ourselves that we want to be able to run a 5k without using intervals, so we were going to see how far we could run without stopping that day. We did make sure to start slower than usual so that we could last longer. We managed to complete all 3 miles without walking! I was so excited!


Honestly, I was really nervous before we started because I didn't think that I would be able to complete the challenge. I was probably more nervous about trying to run 3 miles through than completing a half marathon. Now I want to sign up for another 5k even though I said that we weren't going to sign up for any races of that distance this year.


Oh, I also got an extra workout in today since I went over to the new building to clean up all the new (to us) desks that are currently in the building. It was pretty warm in the office, so I was all sweaty by the time I was done. Also, my arms were tired from the work, at least my right arm was shaking. I did try to use my left arm to balance them out, but it just felt too awkward sometimes.


Hopefully next week will be even better!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday Wish list

After about five years of pushing construction off and many broken promises we finally have a brand new building for work! We are supposed to be moving into our fancy new area at the end of the month, and I can't wait. I'm excited, but at the same time I'm still trying not to get my hopes up until we are actually moved in and working out of the new warehouse. With our luck something is bound to go wrong and push everything back again.

 

Since this won't be a leased building I plan on decorating my office more than I decorated the one I am in now. I have some odds and ends at this place, but I want my new office to have more. Right now the only thing that I actually have on my wall is a calendar. Granted I always try to get an interesting calendar every year, but that still leaves the rest of my walls pretty plain. I also have a Runner's World desktop pull away calendar, an adipose stress toy, Thor Pez dispenser, some owls, Mickey clock, and Disney pictures scattered around my desk and windowsill.

 

The Mickey Mouse clock and adipose are actually for Matthew, so he says that I have to give them up when he finally has his own space at the new place.

 

I have an awesome Loki print that Matt bought for me at Wizard Con in New Orleans that doesn't really go with the theme of the other prints that we purchased, so I will probably bring Loki with me, but I am still on the hunt for other things that I would like to display.

 

Here are some things that don’t follow a certain theme, but I think would look great on my walls:

 

(click images to be taken to the source)

 

 

Steampunk Flying Pig

 

The Kraken! Art Print

 

Winter Owl

 

You Found Me

 

Game of Thrones - Westeros Map - 17x11 Poster

 

Steampunk Art Print -  8 x 10 Hot Air Balloon  - Nautical giclée Art PRINT -  grey blue pale green black dusty - Fairy Tale Art Childrens

 

We Are Made Of Star Stuff - Space Poster Print Galaxy Nebula

 

Loki Helmet Print - Faux Gold Foil Loki Helmet from the Avengers Thor - Tom Hiddleston Fandom Loki Print

 

There are many more prints that I have seen and would one day like to own, but I decided to just show you a little bit of everything that has caught my eye.