Back in Time: 2012 &2013 Virginia Running Festival Alumni 5k Recap

Can you tell I’m out of writing material? I thought I’d go back in time and review the races I’ve done in the past for posterity’s sake.  I want to make sure I record my thoughts about them before I forget!

November 2012

The 2012 Virginia Running Festival Alumni 5k was my first road race EVER.

It’s put on by Flat Out Events and was on the campus of my alma mater, Christopher Newport University during homecoming weekend.  Its a pretty small race so it wasn’t too intimidating.

I stayed at my friend’s apartment, which in hindsight was probably not a good idea because I didn’t sleep well the night before.  I got up early, headed out there and stood around in the cold (it was November).

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Before my first race ever!

I distinctly remember the REALLY long lines for the porta potties because they didn’t have very many.  The half-marathon start was about 15 minute before the 5k start…I let a few half marathoners cut me so they wouldn’t start the race too late.

I watched them start, then headed to my start.  No corrals, just a gun start (we did have chips).  My chip time was only 15 seconds off from the gun time if that tells you how few people there were.

The first mile of the race I chatted with a former hall-mate of mine.  At about 1.5 miles I pulled away cause I was wanted to go faster.  The course was not wonderful – there was an out and back section that was torture, and we spent a lot of time weaving through campus.

I was way too talkative with the volunteers along the course, which meant I should have been able to go a lot faster, but hey, it was fun.  The race ended on the track, and one of the volunteers would run a couple paces with each runner she could and encouraged them.  I finished in 36 flat…which for my first race EVER was so awesome!

The after party was great.  No medals, but as an alumni I got to go in a special tent with coffee, Panera bagels and Moe’s burritos.  I hung around to watch the first half marathoners finish – then headed off to get ready for Homecoming festivities!

November 2013

In 2013, I decided I wanted to do this race again.  However, this time they had it on Sunday, which sucked because then I couldn’t enjoy the game the night before (aka, not drink).  Also, I signed up to pick up my race packet at the tailgate and they left early,  forcing me to pick up my bib on race morning – then they lost my personalized bib and I had to get a generic one.

I got there early because my friend Erin was running the half and I wanted to see her start.  Her father and I watched her start, then I went through my prerace bathroom ritual and got in my corral.  Finally! Corrals!  We took off on a slightly different course this year (they adjusted where the race started). I struggled a lot more than I thought I should have.  It was a pretty cold day but I opted for a short sleeve shirt and capris and I’m so glad I did.  I can’t imagine how I would have done in long sleeves and being hot!

I finished 10 seconds slower than the previous year, but my Garmin also said I ran 3.3 miles.  I’m convinced the course was not the right length.  Truth be told, I had not trained, so I probably wouldn’t have done fantastically anyway.

I got my food and drink and waited with Erin’s family for her finish.  She was hoping for around 2:15 but didn’t feel like she had trained enough so she was thinking she might be a little slower.  I mentally did the math and noted when I should see her.

Sidebar: she always wears one calf sleeve (she had compression syndrome in one leg) that is bright blue.

So I’m looking around and looking on the opposite side of the track from the finish line at the runners coming in, and I see that bright blue calf sleeve….a full FIFTEEN minutes before we were expecting it.  I pointed her out to her family and watching as she secured a sub-2 hour half.

She later told me she was with the the wrong pace group, realized her mistake, thought she’d stick with them as long as she could and did so much better than she expected!

Overall Impression:

The food is good.  Organization is ok.  The shirts are nice, but there are no medals for the 5k.  With the move to Sunday and lack of medal, I’d have to think about doing this race again.

Training and Planning a Wedding

RunningBride

I don’t know about you, but the idea of wedding planning while training (and working full time) terrifies me!  I know people have juggled many more things that that, but for me it seems a tad overwhelming.

We are meeting with our favorite venue this week and I hope to be able to make a decision on that and check that off the list.  Once we do that, I can lock in my photographer and I’ll have the two major things that are important to me.  I know you are thinking, “Wow, that was fast, she just got engaged!” Yup, its fast.  BUT – weddings for Spring 2015 are booking up fast and I want to get those things locked in!

I will be doing the Crawlin Crab half in October and Shamrock again next March.  I have a feeling that there will be a lot of wedding stuff going on during Shamrock training.  Here’s to hoping I can train and plan (and work full time) all at the same time 🙂

So I know I usually blog about running and training, but I’ll probably talk a lot about wedding stuff on here – because hey; its part of my journey!

Did you train for an event while planning a wedding? How do you manage to balance life and training?

 

Weekly Update

Monday

So even though Monday was my birthday, I really wanted nothing more than to go to yoga class.  After the chaos (although it was amazing) of the weekend, I wanted some “me” time 🙂 Class was just as relaxing and amazing as I’d hoped!

Tuesday

Danny night.  We are working on stretching.  This workout was all about hip mobility.

1. Hamstring walks, wall sit (x2)

2. Squats, wall sit (x2)

3. Walking Lunges, wall sit (x2)

4. 5 yoga pushups on bosu ball, 10 supine hip hinges each side (x2)

Wednesday

Rest day.  Fiance and I looked at our first venue option!

Thursday

Danny night. We worked mostly on shoulder mobility. We did what will become my new warmup:

1. Hamstring walks, wall sit, 5 yoga pushups (x1)

2. Squats, wall sit, 5 yoga pushups (x1)

3. Walking Lunges, wall sit, 5 yoga pushups (x1)

We did 3 rounds of the following:

1. 15 double kettlebell clean and press (12 lbs)

2. 10 (each side) kettlebell rows in push up position (20 lbs)

Friday 

Rest day.  Got to hang out with the fiance and dream about wedding planning! We came up with a  budget…yikes!

Saturday

Danny and I have a bunch of sessions to make up from all the snowstorms we had this winter, my vacation, sickness, etc.  We are adding a Saturday session for a few weeks!

Did my normal warmup:

1. Hamstring walks, wall sit, 5 yoga pushups (x1)

2. Squats, wall sit, 5 yoga pushups (x1)

3. Walking Lunges, wall sit, 5 yoga pushups (x1)

We did some stretches and foam rolling for some tightness in my back.  We did a lot of other stretching that I honestly can’t remember right now.  I’m horrible at documenting!

Michael and I spent some time walking around CNU (my alma mater) because it is a potential wedding site.  We had dinner with my friend Sara and her husband Matt.  Later on, our friends Sarah and Chris joined us.  The girls gave me lovely birthday presents and some wedding planning stuff – magazines galore!!!

Sunday

Church in the morning. Had lunch with my old college roommate, Erin.  Michael and I walked around CNU again since the weather was so lovely 🙂

Do you have a certain warmup that you like to do? What did you do this week?

Florida Pt. 2

This is a continuation of Florida Part One. Sorry it took so long to get out…I’ve had some unexpected excitement! On Wednesday, we began the trek to Key West…my favorite part of the trip. We knew the drive was going to take about 4 1/2 hours, but we were willing to take our time.  The first part of our drive  until we got to Marathon was pretty uneventful. The second half was really slow!

Key West welcome center

Key West welcome center

 

My view for most of the drive

My view for most of the drive

 

Beautiful restaurant in Marathon.

Beautiful restaurant in Marathon.

Best Caesar Salad I've ever had!

Best Caesar Salad I’ve ever had!

This plane had crashed near Marathon days earlier and they were working to get it out

This plane had crashed days earlier and they were working to get it out

We arrived in Key West and navigated straight to the Cypress House, a cute bed and breakfast that was built in 1888.  They took our luggage up to our room and gave us a free parking pass.  We parked down the street and walked back to the room.  It was beautiful.

Porch outside of our room

Porch outside of our room

Cypress House Est 1888

Cypress House Est 1888

Front door to the Cypress House

Front door to the Cypress House

Cypress House

Cypress House

Pool at the Cypress House

Pool at the Cypress House

The most beautiful thing was sitting on the nightstand….a gorgeous boquet of flowers! Michael had snuck away from me while we were in Ft. Lauderdale and contacted the Cypress House.  They arranged to have an arrangement made and delivered to our room.  Do I have the sweetest guy, or what?!

Beautiful flowers from Michael!

Beautiful flowers from Michael!

We freshened up then hit Duval Street.  For those of you who haven’t been to Key West, this is the main street, where all the bars and shops are.  We hit up Irish Kevins for a pre dinner drink and then did some exploring.  We settled on Fogarty’s for dinner.  After dinner, we had a great dessert from a local bakery 🙂

We crashed early.  Got up the next morning (Thursday) and had breakfast downstairs.  We brought our coffee back up to the room and sat on our porch.  We each took turns getting ready and we set out for the day.  We went on the Conch Train to get a tour of the city. Key West has so much history and so much Cuban culture.  We got off around Southernmost Point (90 miles to Cuba).  We walked around for awhile, taking in the sights and exploring some nice hotels.

We went to a cute place called Two Friends Cafe for lunch.  After lunch we went shopping along Duval, much to Michael’s dismay.  We had dinner that night at Caroline’s and I had the best blackened Mahi Mahi I’ve ever had.

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My handsome baby!

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My sunburned self…

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Blackened Mahi

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Michael’s Cuban sandwich

On Friday morning we went through our normal morning ritual.  We spent some time hanging out in the room, then we went to Bo’s Fish Wagon for a snack while we were waiting for Dante’s pool bar to re-open from a private party.  We ate lunch, hung out, then went back to the room to get ready for our sunset cruise.

The sunset cruise was amazing.  The weather was perfect, the staff was funny, and the wine and food was incredible.  We had a blast and met so many interesting people.

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The happy couple

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We had a beautiful sunset!

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I love this picture of us!

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Sailboat!

Saturday was the day we left Key West and I was so sad! We drove back from Key West to West Palm Beach to hang out with his cousins.  These cousins are the children of his aunt and uncle that we stayed with at the beginning of our trip.  We sat out on their porch, drinking and eating.

We got up on Sunday morning and drove all the way to the west coast of Florida to Ft. Myers.  We had an incredible lunch with two of Michael’s friends.  I decided to leave my beautiful flower arrangement with them so that they could enjoy it.  I didn’t want to just leave it in a hotel room!

After lunch we drove to Orlando.  We checked into our hotel and then had dinner at Cafe Tu Tu Tango with some of my friends from a vendor the bank uses. I had a southwest chicken flatbread and some jalapeno mac and cheese.  It was so yummy and it was so good to see them!

Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

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Southwest Chicken Flatbread

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Chocolate Calzone

We stayed at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando.  It was a beautiful 4-star hotel that I’ve stayed at for work before.  We spent the last full day of our trip lounging by the pool.  It was such a good way to close out the trip.

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Pool at the Gaylord

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Caesar Salads poolside!

Our flight out on Tuesday was uneventful.  We were sad to be leaving, but very happy to be heading home to familiar territory 🙂

And that’s it!  It was a great trip that I will never forget!

Getting to know me….

Sorry I haven’t been active recently – its been a whirlwind of a week! I thought this would be a good post to tide me over till I can actually post something coherent 🙂

Stolen from Ritsa!

1. What are you wearing?

Black dress pants, a black tank and a grey cardigan.

2. Ever been in love?

Sure am!

3. Ever had a terrible breakup?

Sure have!

4. How tall are you?

5’5”

5. How much do you weigh?

I’m not telling you that!

6. Any tattoos?

Nope! I want a few though. I just need the courage to get one!

7. Any piercings?

I have my ears pierced.  I had a second hole, but I’m letting them close up.  I’ve had issues with them getting infected!

8. Favorite song?

I can’t just pick ONE! How about I just tell you what I’m currently listening to instead?  “A Lack of Color” by Death Cab for Cutie.

9. Quality you look for in a partner?

They must be very family oriented, or at least understand that I am.  My family is so crucially important to me!

10. Favorite quote?

Hmm, that’s a hard one.  I’ve always liked this quote from the movie “Signs.”

“See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?”

11. Favorite actor?

I love Mark Harmon.  I also have a girl crush on Debra Messing.

12. Loud music or soft?

Soft music cranked up loud.  🙂

13. Where do you go when you’re sad?

I either spend time with my family or veg out alone.  I am an introvert, so I need time to process whatever is making me sad.

14. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

Not long at all, less than 30 minute.  I shower at night after my workouts, so I don’t have a lot to do in the AM.  I spend more time playing on my iPad and watching TV in the AM than actually getting ready.

15. Ever been in a physical fight?

Does a fight with my brother when I was a little kid count?

If so, then absolutely yes.

16. Turn on?

Eyes.  “Nuff said.

17. Turn off?

Smoking.  Gross.

18. Fears?

Bees. And fire. I don’t mind candles and a campfire, but I don’t want to be closer to them than necessary.

19. Last thing that made you cry?

Thinking about how sweet and giving my fiance is.  He truly loves me in a sacrificial way.

20. Last time you said you loved someone?

Today!

21. Meaning behind your YouTube Name?

I have a youtube name? I’m not sure about that.

22. The relationship between you and the person you last texted?

Texted my fiance.

23. Favorite food?

Chocolate! Seriously.

24. Place you want to visit?

Europe, all over.  I really want to visit Seattle too.  Not really sure why, but I do.

Also NYC – because I’ve never been!

25. Do you have a crush?

I mean, I have a crush on my fiance.  Is that weird to still have a crush on him? Haha

26. Last time you kissed someone?

Um, Wednesday?  I don’t get to see him everyday 😦

27. Last time you were insulted?

Oh lord, probably today. Haha.

28. Favorite piece of jewelry?

My engagement ring!

29. Who should answer these questions next?

Anyone else who is bored!

Weekly Update

This was the first full week of being on a food log.  Danny has me using My Fitness Pal.  Its pretty easy to use.  I know I don’t eat the best I should, but I hope I’m not doing too abysmal!

Monday

Finally! Back to yoga class! We spent the last four weeks (I was on vacation and missed 2 weeks) working on balance, now we have transitioned into some strength movements.  My hamstrings were on fire from doing yardwork this past weekend, so it seemed like everything we did hurt them.  I had some discomfort in my left ankle while holding Warrior 2 pose, so I’ll need to pay attention to that.  Words cannot describe how much I’m coming to love this class 🙂

 

Tuesday

Danny night.  Basically, welcome to torture! 🙂 We did a 3-2-1 workout (3 min, 2 min, 1 min) two times, paying close attention to form over speed.

Exercises for 3 minutes:

1st minute: High pulls to goblet squats (20 lb kettlebell)

2nd minute: Kettlebell swings stepping forward, backward, and each side (15 lb kettlebell)

3rd minute: Bent over rows with opposite leg lifted (10 lb kettlebell)

Exercises for 2 minutes:

1st minute: Side step lunges (:30 sec each side)

2nd minute: Plank with hip dips w/feet on bosu ball (till failure)

Exercise for 1 minute (:20 sec each):

:20 sec plank with arms on exercise ball

:20 exercise ball between feet 6 in off the ground

:20 crunches while holding exercise ball between feet

 

Wednesday

Rest day, aka boyfriend day. Way more sore than I should be from yesterday, but that’s what happens when you don’t exercise during vacation!

 

Thursday

Danny night.  Today was “see how much we can kill Lauren’s arms” day.

Warmup:

90 sec jump rope, 5 yoga push ups on a bosu ball

60 sec jump rope, 5 yoga push ups on a bosu ball

30 sec jump rope, 5 yoga push ups on a bosu ball

Workout:

1st set: Stair run w/12 lb ball over head, 10 kettlebell deadlifts (10 lbs), 5 ball slams (12 lbs)

2nd set: Stair run w/14 lb ball over head, 10 kettlebell deadlifts (15 lbs), 5 ball slams (14 lbs)

3rd set: Stair run w/16 lb ball over head, 10 kettlebell deadlifts (15 lbs), 5 ball slams (16 lbs)

 

Friday

My poor arms are sore.  That’s what I get for not working out on vacation!  Went for a nice walk today during lunch, though it was a bit cold. Got to spend time with the boyfriend.

 

Saturday

Because of Easter being this week, we had worship team practice for church on Saturday AM. I’m not a fan, because I like to sleep in on Saturdays….my ONLY day to sleep in!  Because my birthday is on Monday, my momma took me out for lunch and some shopping. But Saturday was a MUCH bigger day than I expected because I got ENGAGED! I also got to celebrate my birthday with my mom and stepdad!

Sunday

Easter Sunday! I got to share the news with my church family and my pastor greatly blessed us by praying over us.  We celebrated my birthday with my dad and stepmom (and engagement) and it was a such a beautiful day filled with family!

Weekend Surprise – Engaged!

I couldn’t think of a clever way to say this, but I’m engaged, ya’ll!

After seeing several of my favorite bloggers get engaged recently – I NEVER thought I’d be among them (at least not any time soon!!!) Check out these exciting posts by Hollie and Caitlin.

I was so beyond surprised! I had been shopping most of the afternoon on Saturday with my mom.  Michael was texting me and asking when I’d be back so that we could spend some time together before family dinner.  We were going to be having dinner with my mom and stepdad to celebrate my birthday (April 21st).

I wasn’t really in the shopping mood anyway, so we cut the trip short so that I could spend some time with Michael.  I told him I really needed some “I” time, which is our way of saying “introvert” time.  We sat on the couch just playing on our phones, relaxing a bit.  He was insisting that we leave for my mom’s house at around 5:30.  She wasn’t expecting us until 6pm, so I didn’t understand why he was rushing me.

He opened the car door for me, which isn’t entirely normal, but not unusual, so I didn’t think much of it.  He asked me to get his gum out of the glove compartment. What?!  So odd. When I opened it up, this is what I saw!

The ring!

The ring!

I couldn’t even comprehend what I was looking at.  He was so firm in wanting to wait a year to even think about marriage, that I was not even thinking about the possibility that he would propose.  I looked over at him (he was kneeling next to me), said “Are you serious?!” about 100 times.  I don’t even know what he said, but he said later that he said “Will you spend the rest of your life with me?”  Apparently I didn’t answer so he had to ask “Was that a yes?” I said yes and kissed him, and kept asking him if he was serious.  He got around into the driver’s seat so he could answer my million questions.  He kept asking me to look at the ring, but I was so focused on him and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was!

He had talked to my parents during the week prior and I had NO CLUE!  He is so sneaky.  In fact, he told me he was helping his dad fix a mower when he was actually driving up to Richmond to pick up my ring.

The ring is gorgeous, by the way.  Pictures do not do it justice.  It is a Tiffany’s Legacy cushion cut.  The large stone is just over a carat.  (I know nothing about rings, I had to ask all about it!) The ring is so perfect…Michael is so incredibly generous, I can’t even comprehend it.  I can’t stop looking at it.

:)

🙂

So after talking and smiling in the car for about 20 minutes, we decided it was about time to get to my mom’s house.  She knew what he was up to, so she knew we’d be late.  We picked up some wine and champagne and arrived a little late 🙂

Mom wanted to snap a bunch of pictures, and this was one of my favorites 🙂 I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m wearing my Shamrock shirt!

Happy!

Happy!

We sent a million texts, made a million phone calls and had some FaceTime calls to all of our family and close friends.  I’m so blessed with the outpouring of love we received.

We had already planned to have dinner with my dad and stepmom on Sunday, and little did I know that Michael had arranged to have his parents meet us.  I’ll be writing a post about my birthday celebrations later…I wanted this post to just celebrate my engagement!

Michael's parents

Michael’s parents

Marriage is an exciting but serious endeavor.  I don’t take the commit we are going to make lightly. I have a lot to learn about what this commitment means, a lot to learn about becoming a team and enter into a partnership with the man I love.  I’m so excited to embark on this journey with him.