Friday, April 29, 2011

It's Marathon Time!

The husband and I are off to Nashville!! I thought I'd have a harder time with this, knowing I'd be running by myself...but I have to say, it's kinda awesome to know that I'm fulfilling a dream - all on my own and just for me. It's also pretty cool that it's just Brent and me going together. He's been so supportive throughout my training, and I'm so thankful we get to experience this together (well, sort of). :)

I'm ready to run!!

And here's the sign I'm putting on my back (thanks for the idea, George!):

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for today...just being able to wake up today. Every day is such a precious gift, and I am going to do my best not to take that for granted.

I am thankful for the sun, for power at my house...for my house to still be standing. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the past few weeks' storms, especially those in Alabama. Visit Christin's blog, A Classy Southern Wife, for information on ways you can help.

I am thankful for TRUE friends - the ones who are always there for you. I'm thankful for my amazing family, too! :)

My bestie, Erika!

I am thankful to know that I will be on the beach exactly one month from today!!!

I am thankful to be healthy enough to run a marathon in just TWO days!! A huge thank you to all those who have offered kind words and encouragement throughout my training. It means more than you'll ever know!

My outfit for Saturday!! :)

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Three Days until the Marathon!

Getting so excited for Saturday!! Even with all the tornado watch and warning madness, I made the executive decision to head to the gym after work. My gym is underground, so I figured that would be the safest place for me anyway. :) It was an awesome spin class, and I'm so glad I went!

Today is a 5-mile run day. Really hoping the rain stops like it's supposed to this afternoon so I can get that in. Otherwise, it's back to the gym and on the treadmill I go...anyone who knows me knows I HATE the treadmill. I'd rather run for three hours outside than even three minutes indoors. I've really tried to bite my tongue about complaining about the weather, though, because Saturday is still looking gorgeous for 26.2! As I knock on wood...

To keep things positive, I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes:

"In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that."
-Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
"Every day gives you an opportunity to improve. With every run, you can try to be better. Not just a better runner, but a better person."
-John Bingham

"I don't think you can become an outstanding runner unless you get a certain amount of enjoyment out of the suffering. You have to enjoy absorbing it, controlling it, and - ultimately - overcoming it."
-Derek Clayton in The Masters of the Marathon

"The more you frame the marathon as a stressful experience, the more negative messages you'll receive. But it's just as easy to frame it as a positively challenging journey."
-Jeff Galloway in an excerpt from Runner's World Magazine

"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about."
-PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

"I can't imagine living and not running."
-Paula Radcliffe

"Do the work. Do the analysis. But feel your run. Feel your race. Feel the joy that is running."
-Kara Goucher (my HERO!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Time to Cross Train Tuesday!

Four full days 'til the marathon!! Woop! Today and Thursday are my cross-training days, so I'm heading to spin class after work...providing I'm not swept away by yet another tornado outbreak.

Haha! This isn't me, obviously, but I thought it was an appropriate pic. :)

While I believe this marks the 20th day in a row (or something ridiculous like that) that we've been under a tornado watch, I have to say I'd much rather it be like this now than over the weekend. The forecast is calling for sunny skies and mid-70s for Nashvegas this Saturday. Praying it stays that way! :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's Marathon Week!

I promise to cool it on the running talk after this week...until then, I apologize for the daily pre-marathon posts. :) Though this post is more about my awesome weekend.

First of all, I hope everyone had as wonderful a weekend as I did! There's nothing better than spending time with family and friends - the people you love most - especially on the holiest of weekends.

Good Friday was spent mostly at work, though I can't complain too much, as I got so much done and it was a super positive day. That night, I went out with my BEST friend in the world, Erika. It was such a fun, low-key night...very much needed for both of us. We saw Water for Elephants, which I just finished reading (a must-read for those who like the fantasy genre). I'm quite enamored with Robert Pattinson, I love Reese Witherspoon, and I thoroughly enjoyed the book, so needless to say, I really enjoyed the movie. After that, we went to Fox & Hound for dinner, a couple drinks, and some great conversation. Love you, Erika!!

Fun pic from Erika's bday last month!

Saturday, I did an easy 8.5 miles with Autumn. It was bittersweet when we parted ways at our "corner," as it's been a fun (and not-so-fun at times) few months getting to train with her. I know she's still upset not being able to run this one just for fun. But her foot is healing, and that's the most important thing. I made it through those long runs because of her training regimen and encouragement, and I am so thankful for her!

That afternoon, I ran a few errands and picked out my fabulous outfit for the marathon (pics to come this week). Then Brent and I headed to my favorite Downtown Memphis spot Local Gastropub to grab a few drinks and some great food before the AWESOME Grizzlies playoff game. We had such a blast...THANKS AGAIN to George for the sweet tickets! We had a blast!! After the game, we made our way to Silly Goose...and got pretty silly.

Andrea and me at Local!

Good times!

Go Grizz!!

Kellie and me at Silly Goose!

Easter Sunday was spent with my hubby and amazing family. What a beautiful day it was to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. And what better way to do it than with those you love. :)

Happy Easter!!

Here's to a great week and just a few more days of running before 26.2!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

10 Days Until the Marathon!

Only 10 days until the marathon!! Just wanted to share a fun link for those who want to track my progress:

Looking forward to an easy 8-miler this Saturday...and picking up my custom shirt! :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Festivus Weekend!

What started out as a laid back weekend quickly turned into two days of "I think I'm still in college" madness. It was super fun, don't get me wrong...but as I like to say, I'm never drinking again. :) I sure hope I don't look as bad as I feel today!

Friday was a very much needed chill night, as last week was packed with 10-hour work days and one event after the other. Plus, Brent was out of town most of the week for work, so he was happy to stay in.

Saturday was quite the different story. Autumn and I met up at 7:30 and headed over to the Greenline for a fun 12 miles (so cool that I can say fun about 12 miles now!). We finished in about 1:45, then recovered with a hearty breakfast at Republic Coffee. After that, I ran by Mrs. Post Stationery to pick up my sis' wedding invitations (which are absolutely GORGEOUS and I can't wait to blog about them!) before heading home to get ready.

Saturday was also the annual Southern Hot Wing Festival, which Brent of course is on a team for. He had to be out there at 7 am, which wouldn't have been bad except the weather did a complete 180 on us. While running, it was a brisk 58 degrees, and I was happy in shorts and a thin long sleeve shorts. However, by about noon, the temperature had dropped at least 10 degrees and it looked like the bottom of the sky was going to fall out. Needless to say, it wasn't the best day for a festival. Luckily I came prepared and dressed for the cold temps. After saying a brief hello to the hubby, I met up with my friends and co-workers Angela and Victoria. We proceeded to make our way throughout the fest, stopping by the Celebrity Eating Contest (which Angela was coordinating), and mingling with just about everyone (I have come to the realization that Angela knows every single person in Memphis). :) Despite the cold and dreary weather, alcohol and good company quickly turned our frowns upside down!

After the sun finally made its appearance :)

It was an early evening for us...though by that time, 8 pm felt a lot like 2 am.

After passing out for a few hours, we surprised ourselves by making it to the early service at church on Sunday, went grocery shopping, tried without success to make it to the Farmer's Market (little did we know it's not open on Sundays), then it was back Downtown with Victoria and Angela. The three of us have been wanting to meet up at Local Gastropub for brunch for quite some time, as Angela's husband is the head chef there. Just last week, we held my sister's bridal shower there, and it was I was very excited to go back. Almost four hours, a lot of drinks, fabulous conversation, minimal (but amazing) food, and some fun pictures later, here we are:



While at Local, I also ran into my friend and former co-worker, Andrea...SO great to see her! I was somehow able to remember that I was supposed to meet up with Brent and composed myself enough to walk around the corner to the annual Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival. A few more drinks and lots of old friends later, here we are:

Brent and I outside The Pier

Gotta love the bromance!

Sunday night, I was very fortunate to have (a) sobered up and (b) the opportunity to go play with my precious niece Bailey. My dad, or "Papa" as Bailey calls him, had her all day, as my little sis Ashley was taken to the hospital for an abscess on her tonsil. How awful! Thankfully she's home now and doing much better. I so enjoyed that time with both my dad and sweet B. We practiced our handstands (girl after my own heart!), ate dinner, sang the Barney theme song, and watched a couple of her favorite shows before bedtime. Love!!

It was a long, eventful weekend, but not long enough as always...I feel so blessed to have such amazing friends and family (one dear friend in particular I wish I had more time with!!). But I have to say I am very much looking forward to a weekend of doing absolutely nothing...with the exception of the Grizzlies playoff game and a fun dinner to celebrate the birth of my husband on Saturday evening! :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tapering Before the Marathon

The marathon is three weeks from today...ahh!!

I am so thankful to finally feel good about it. After a great 20.5 miles on April 2, followed by this past Saturday's 14 miles, I can honestly say I am READY!

Originally, my goal was to run up to 24 miles and then start tapering. But that quickly changed after finding comfort in a "less is more" plan. Well...that and not being able to get past the wall that was 18 miles. The new plan was to get through 18-20 miles (thankfully I was strong enough for the latter!), push back to 14-15 miles the next week, 10-12 miles the following week, and then just 8 miles the week before the marathon. I'll of course be mixing in light runs and spin class during the week.

Here's to 10-12 miles this Saturday and two and a half weeks 'til race day!! :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thankful Thursday: I'm thankful many blessings!

I've been slacking on my "Thankful Thursday" posts lately. Sorry about that! So much to be thankful for this week.

For one, I'm thankful to be blessed with a home...and one that is still standing after this Monday's insane storms! We had some damage: a large branch went through our fence and kitchen window, a portion of our front gutter needs to be replaced, and a couple roof shingles are popped up. But after surveying the damage of all the surrounding neighborhoods, Brent and I realized how incredibly blessed we were with our minimal repairs.

Second, I am SO thankful to be blessed with a job...a job that I love doing, and one that provides me with such incredible opportunities. Not only do I get to express myself creatively at work - be it with website design and coding, PR, and graphic design - I also get to attend awesome educational conferences in some of my favorite cities (New York, Boston, Las Vegas), and I just adore my co-workers (Victoria and Angela, y'all have been my ROCK this week...LOVE you both!). Those opportunities have led to both personal and professional growth, most recently with a social media podcast and super fun speaking engagement, courtesy of the Social Expedition! I'm able to promote Mahaffey and myself...good stuff!

Finally, I'm thankful to have such amazing family and friends. I am so blessed to have two wonderful parents, two sisters whom I love very much (and one getting married in about two months!), a great group of friends, a husband who is truly awesome to me, and Buster the Boston Terrier...enough said.

Life is full of blessings. You just have to know where to find them. :)

"What seems to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise."
-Oscar Wilde

Monday, April 4, 2011

Take that, 20 miles!

For those who don't know, my first 20-mile training run didn't go that well. So needless to say, I was pretty nervous about this go-round. Not only was I running this ridiculous distance alone (again), but I was also concerned about how my knees were going to hold up.

I've been going to physical therapy for a little over a month now, and it's amazing how much it has helped. The stretching and strengthening exercises for my IT bands (the root of my knee issues) have truly worked wonders. I've also been reading up on the Hanson's "less is more" training plan.

I had planned to run 18-20 miles on Saturday, but really just wanted to get through whatever my body would let me. I am SO excited to say that I made it through 20.5 miles, and I actually felt good afterward! I only stopped at mile 8 to take Gu, mile 11 to stretch for 30 seconds, mile 15 to take another packet of Gu, and mile 17 to stretch for 30 seconds. A few months ago, I would've beat myself up for stopping at all. But seeing as how I have been doing the "run a mile walk 30 seconds" plan for so long, yet didn't feel the need to do that this time (my longest run EVER), I was extremely proud of myself!

No music, no running buddy...just me and the open road. Bring it, Country Music Marathon!

20.5 miles courtesy of Casey at OrthoMemphis, a harsh ice bath, and so many people who have encouraged me throughout my training. :)

P.S. I am SO getting a shirt made like this!