Friday, July 29, 2011

my faves: i live with a baby hippo

His name is Frank. He is my baby-hippo sized cat. He eats at least eight times a day. Just like MEEEEE! And I love him.

He's breaking in the new living room rug. He blends in nicely, no? It's hard to tell where the baby hippo ends and the rug begins!

Obviously I bought the rug to match the cat. He really ties the room together.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

stupid. and ouchsies.

Right. Um, I decided it was an awesome idea to go for a lunch run yesterday. The heat index was 100 degrees, there were zero clouds in the sky, and I had exactly 20 oz. of iced down Gatorade all ready for me and my running. I wanted to go earlier but a work meeting kept me from getting out any earlier than 11:30a. In all my distracted preparing, I forgot to drop sunscreen in my gym bag or on my body:

a) I thought I'd be running much earlier and wouldn't really need it

2) It was 'just' supposed to be a 6 miler which means I'd be out running for less than an hour

d) I honestly didn't even THINK about sunscreen, which is rare. I was pretty distracted before my run. Obviously I was tackling the world's problems and NOT thinking about how short I should cut my hair next week. Or how I need to get my eyebrows waxed and tinted. Obviously. So that's a fair excuse, right? Tackling world problems. Uh-huh.

The result of all of the above? I got sunburned. Badly. Not only was my 'run' a complete disaster; it got cut short to 5 miles where I ended up walking every half mile and draining my Gatorade by mile 3.5, but I got a sunburn. BRILLIANT!

And I LOATHE getting sunburned, skin cancer scares the junk out of me. Seriously, as it runs in my family I've been scared into slathering so much sunscreen on my body every week that the amount I typically use could probably supply a family of 20 for months on end.

  *yes this is me face-planted on my living room floor after begging the edder to put aloe vera on my back and arms. do you like those burn lines btw? yeah, HOT. note to self, never buy a running shirt with a cutout hole in back again.*

STUPID STUPID STUPID. That's all that was going through my head last night. So after work (and after multiple comments from co-workers about my burn....sigh) I went and purchased 70 SPF Ultimate Sport Sunscreen. It's apparently good for those who get 'super-sweaty'. That would be me. I'm that girl. I sweat. A gross amount.

*this sunscreen is going in and staying in my gym bag....*

Lesson learned. Guhhhhhhhh. I tend to learn things the hard way. Even after getting a bevvy of advice from a fellow hot-weather-middle-of-the-day-runner. Like taking ice water and wearing sunscreen. STUPID STUPID STUPID.

So here's to hoping I don't get the skin cancers!

Monday, July 25, 2011

11 weeks to prairie fire. um, i THINK i'm training for a marathon...

So theoretically I've been training for a marathon for a good five weeks now. Um, right. Here's the thing. I still don't have a training plan, I haven't once worried about my paces or finishing time and I'm pretty darn sure I've not done a long run over 12 miles. BAM. Recipe for success right there. Right?!

Actually, I think right. In all honesty I'm enjoying this cycle of marathon training more than any other. I'm having a blast doing every single run, even in the stupid heat and humidity. I'm feeling relaxed and not an ounce worried about the marathon. This fact in and of itself is kind of making me nervous. But then I think, meh. It'll be fine. My new marathon training attitude... it's something I guess I'm just taking in stride.

Don't get me wrong, I'm training. Four - five days a week of running, two-three days a week with hot yoga. I'm even including speedwork this time, something I've never done before in 'm' training. My attitude is just a little more laid back this time. In fact, after running three marathons I'm starting to realize what makes my running and racing click. I'm not a high mileage girl, half marathons are my thing, long endurance runs suck the life out of me. And that's a-ok, everyone is different. So I changed my marathon approach, with the realization I will never be a stellar marathoner, but that doesn't mean I can't give it a go. In my own way, in a way that suits my body and lifestyle. Plus, going this route is far more enjoyable for me. Because I still DO want to conquer at least one marathon!

And that's that. No real training plan, except the fact that I do speedwork once a week, try and hit 30+ miles and have decided to do all of ONE 20 mile training run. Among a lot of 16-18 milers of course. My body just does best with that type of training. The other biggest factor going on during this training is sleep. I'm making sure to get a LOT of it, and man is it already paying off in recovery after speedwork and long runs. This lots of sleep thing (i.e. 7-9 hours per night) is new to me, and what a difference it makes! I mean WHO KNEW?!

Oh. About a goal for Prairie Fire? Sub-four. Maybe not possible with this training style, but maybe this style training is exactly what my body and mind need to reach that sub-four goal. We shall see blahgesphere.

Cheers to this weeks runnings, stay cool out there!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

best part of my day. fighting the cold.

So. I have a little summer cold. FUNSIES!! I haven't worked out since Sunday and I feel like I'm channeling a narcoleptic right now, all I want to do is sleep. But. I have a job, so... instead I survive. And wait for 5p to arrive so I can go home, crawl in bed to watch trashy television, and eat whatever I want.

Here you go, the only way I am surviving right now. My little 'sicky-poo' stash... It's as blissful as it gets on a 105 degree Wednesday when you are sick and have to work:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

best part of my day.

Question: What do 30-something, professionals do on a hot Saturday afternoon? I'm about to explain...

Step 1. Grill some delicious foods in the scorching heat and refrigerate tasty homemade beer to counteract standing in bajillion degrees to make food for your friends.

Step 2. Let little kids run around and play all nimbly bimbly in a different room while said 30-somethings consume food and beverage.

 Step 3. Obviously play with the light saber app's on your phones over lettuce while eating cookies.

Step 4. Entertain yourselves while kids crash out. For example, with the Talking Carl's on your phones.

Step 5. Volunteer to pace a friend in a half marathon, running ONE race in two different countries (canada and the US)? Yes please! Pacing someone during their first half? Oh my, yes!

Step 6. Convince boys to take the group on a winter trip to Mexico

Step 7. Accept a dare to eat a tablespoon of cinnamon based on securing said trip to Mexico (yes, i will do anything to get a trip... ANYTHING).

Step 8. Admit to blahggie land you were stupid enough to take a dare to eat a tablespoon of cinnamon to get a trip.

Step 9. Admit to success. The eating of the cinnamon was ugly, lets just say the cloud of cinnamon that covered me and went into the air was similar to what I imagine comes out of Snoop Dog 5 minutes before he goes on stage. It was an impressive cloud of red dust. And maybe I'll post a picture. Maybe. People, my tongue went numb, so did my face. My hair is still gritty with cinnamon after a good washing.

That, my friends, is how you spend a Saturday...

Friday, July 15, 2011

do you smell that? that's the smell of minimal...

That's right kids, I jumped on the minimalist running shoes bandwagon. Mostly because I found these spectacular pink and yellow Nike Free's. Yes, I'm shallow like that. What? I'm still devoted to my tried and true good old fashioned (albeit a bit boring in appearance) Mizuno's. But these suckers were calling my name, as was a change-up in my runnings. 

*my beloved pink and yellow free's. and yes this is how you can find me pretty much any given evening while at home. i just hang out, holding and sniffing my free's... creepy*

So. I hopped on the bandwagon because I decided I wanted a lighter shoe for running in shorter races. But it's evolved from there. I was mostly inspired by this guy, and his post here about his trial of some Free's. Because he's fast. Really fast. And I figured if he runs in Free's, then somehow by default if I run in Free's, I will become fast. Right. Still waiting for that one... But, I'm finding that the shoes are perfect for training. And I hope to graduate to running my full marathon in them this fall.

Let me 'esplain. Seeing how I'm injury prone, I bought the Free's with the realization I would have to ease into them very gradually. Which I did. I have had them for nearly three months now and just last weekend did a long run of 12 miles in them. I took three months to build up to that. So I am still easing into them, and I switch between my Free's and my Mizuno's quite a lot.

The bottom line? I love my Free's. I bought them thinking of them as a trial and hoping I wouldn't get injured in them. They have done just the opposite, they actually make me feel better while running. Although at first my calves and legs would burn big time, but that has gone away. I can tell a noticeable difference in my form (that has carried over to when i run in my cushy miz's) as I used to heel strike and now I'm a mid-foot striker. I've also noticed an improvement in the strength of my calves and ankles. Then there is the bonus of them being obnoxiously flashy and bright. That's my favorite part about them. I'm not a flashy dresser, I just let my running shoes do the talking for me apparently!

I've even graduated to ditching my orthotics in the Free's. And my hips remain pain free... without the orthotics... something I never thought possible. So I'd say they are doing the trick for me, improved form, going orthotic free, lessens the pain I've had in my hips and calves both. All = huge bonus. 

Love. My. Free's.

Please note, I realize every runner is different, I would never push these shoes (or any shoe) on any runner. I'm just pointing out that I went out on a limb to try something different and it absolutely worked. To each runner their own... I'm just sharing what worked for me, and how excited I am that they've changed my running for the better. They are literally the best thing to happen to my running in the six years I've been running. This all deserves a big. fat. SQUUUUUEEEE!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

best part of my day.

I spent a good chunk of time at Beaver Lake with the family over the Fourth of July holiday week. The baby girl pictured below was hands down one of the biggest daily highlights for me. My niece, Avery, she has stolen my heart. Big time.

*giving kisses to sweet avery one morning before her first lake swim. my mom took this photo, i had no idea she captured it. but i'm glad she did. LOVES.*

I've been absent from blogging, I've taken a break, but that's another story. I'm making some changes to my blahggings, not drastic, just some that will make me want to return to the blahgesphere. Coming soon!

For now I'll share that I'm several weeks into marathon training, it's going well, I've been testing new running shoes, it's been going well, I've been taking vacations, that's been going well, I've been spending a lot of time with family and friends, that's been going well, I've been cooking and baking, also going well, I've been taking my sweet dog on walks, going well when it's not 111 degrees (it's hot in wichita this summer), and I've worked hard on getting healthy... that's been the most exceptional thing of all. And part of the changes to come.

Brutal honesty shall follow... YIKES!