7.23.2013

Running Report: #50milesinjuly

Well.

I did it.

52 miles total for #50milesinjuly

(Whomp! There it is!)

Two months ago I had absolutely no idea I would become so obsessed with running again, in the middle of summer no less, all because of a hashtag challenge on Instagram, but thereyouhaveit.
Something about these little hashtags clicked for me though and gave me a goal.
Apparently I'm goal oriented.
(Sometimes.)
(Selectively.)

Even though the sweat is pouring, bugs are sticking to me (and occasionally being swallowed) (although I will break my no spitting rule if a bug is involved), music is blaring, and I might be huffing like a 3-pack-a-day smoker (I'm not)...I'm totally down with this running thing.

Again.

And it feels awesome.
I met my running group Saturday morning, at 5:45 mind you, and knocked out 7 sweaty miles.

It was hard.

But I'm glad I did it.

I love the challenge of pushing my body to do more, even when it doesn't particularly want to and I have to play the mental game of okay, run to that tree, good, now make it to that sign, alrighty then, let's go for the bridge...and so forth.

Running longer distances is 98% mental.

Truth.
I finished this month's challenge Monday morning with a final 5 miles.

I was very thankful for late morning sprinklers.
Can I get a whoop-whoop?!?!

And? I think I would have racked up some more miles but I worked hard to finish early because of our upcoming vacation (stay tuned).

I can't wait to crush August!

Who's with me?

It'll be fun.
Pinky promise.

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7.16.2013

This & That

THIS is a recent stack of happiness from the library.
I've already devoured the bottom two books (highly recommend) in rapid succession and will be making my way through the others soon. Shutter Island, THAT was a trip. It had something like an, "I see dead people," Sixth Sense kind of twist that I did not see coming.

THIS is a selfie Annelise and I took as we left the library last week. We totally timed our visit wrong, arriving just as Storytime was letting out. THAT was chaos on a cracker.
The #50milesinjuly challenge is still chugging merrily along and my feet have been on THIS   street (and a few others) a lot lately. 
THAT is not a duck face, THIS a WHEW face.
THIS is the RunKeeper summary from one of my runs last week. I started using this app about two(ish) weeks ago when my Garmin bit the dust and I couldn't get it resuscitated. I certainly liked the convenience of RunKeeper and I liked what it was telling me my pace had improved blah, blah, blah.
THAT was all a lie. Well, partial lies at least. I knew my distance was usually fairly close because I always run pretty much the same route but it turns out it was probably 1/4 of a mile off, which adds up. I was never convinced I was running that fast on average since I follow 4:1 intervals. I mean, I might have a few intervals that are faster than others but overall my pace stays in the 11:30-12:30 range on average, so I don't know where it got its crazy fast pace data.
Last week I decided to give my Garmin another shot and realized the charger cord hadn't been plugged all the way in.

Duh! <Kicks self>  
So my oldie but a goodie Garmin is back. THIS is great news!
Friday I took a break from running and went back to my other soul mate work out, TurboFire. I tend to get tunnel vision and only do one type of workout at a time, I think THAT has something to do with my addictive/ all or nothing personality. I also did one of the Burn strength circuits from ChaLEAN Extreme, which had been long overdue.
THIS past Saturday morning I went for a longer run with my old running group.
(!!)
It had been at least three years since the last time I met them for a run, so THAT made me a little nervous. 
Sometimes just the simple act of showing up is huge.
I ended up doing 6 miles which was the longest I've run in quite a while and was a sweaty heap when I finished. But I was pretty doggone proud of myself just the same.
Most of the group is faster or slower than I am (I don't think anyone does run:walk intervals) so I ended up being by myself most of the run, but I'm used to that. It was still nice to see others along the route as they zoomed on by.

Thanks to THIS early morning run yesterday (Scott had a dentist appointment and left for work later) I got in another three miles. THAT brings me to 36 miles for #50milesinjuly so far.
I hope I make my goal!
After a particularly sassy/back-talking moment and banishment to her room for bed, Annelise left me THIS note.
THAT is too much. And too sweet. And too funny.

THIS is one of our favorite summer treats.
THAT's a fact Jack.

THIS pedicure yesterday while Annelise was at VBS was long overdue.
I went back to a salon I used to go to several years ago and remembered how much I liked it there, so I'm switching allegiances (if there are such a thing as nail salon allegiances) back to that salon.
Aren't you glad I told you THAT?

THIS is my current lazy summer go-to hairdo. It's kind of a fake bun* or almost topknot. First of all, I'm thrilled my hair is finally long enough to wear it this way, even though it's only a baby bun right now, it's progress. 
I think I've worn it this way almost every day for the past two(ish) weeks, at least for a portion of the day. Since most of my runs happen at night I've been washing my hair, putting some Sebastian Potion No. 9 in, pulling it up into a high pony-bun and going to bed with it damp/wet. The next morning I either leave it up, which is not only easy for summer, it's cooler, or I add a few curls with my curling iron if I decide to *fix it* and wear it down.

I haven't used my blow drier, except to just blow dry my bangs, for almost three weeks. THAT's a game changer!

*To make more of a bun look I fake it by tucking a few strands down along the very top/front with a bobby pin, of course the messier it looks the better, I think.

THIS is the end of this and THAT.


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7.11.2013

Schlitterbahn 2013

Last week we took a little trip to New Braunfels and Schlitterbahn for the long 4th of July weekend.
This was our third visit to Schlitterbahn (Trip One and Trip Two) and we were bursting with excitement. Okay, the nine year old was bursting and we were very much looking forward to it.

She begged to be allowed to dig into the snack bag while we were still in the driveway and we had to shut that down right away. Once were were on the road but still not out of Houston (can you say urban sprawl?) I looked back and she was down for the count and snoring (we realize lying down like this is probably not the safest--and possibly illegal?--even though Scott and I both did that on road trips in the 70s and 80s, so we let her snooze for a while).

I was so happy to see her bring Luke (her Build A Bear tiger) and her pillow pet (Pandora the Panda) because they give me hope that she might stay little longer (I can dream). Of course she also brought her iPod and watched Disney channel in the hotel. Sigh.
We stayed at a Hampton Inn in New Braunfels just down the road from Schlitterbahn. This is my rolled out of bed threw on shorts and came to breakfast I need coffee face. Several people just wore their pjs to breakfast.

What?
Here we are right before we sold our kidneys for ticket fare and went in. Oh I kid! But, um...yeah, the tickets aren't exactly cheap. 

Sidenote: We always park in Lot 10 and enter at their side entrance because it's less crazy than the main entrance.
We set up camp, meaning we dropped off my tote bag and our towels at one of the picnic tables near the arcade in the same area we did last year, I guess we like it there. This year we didn't bother with lockers for our phones or money, trusting that the Schlitterbahn Honor Code was still in effect (it was) (seriously, no one messes with your stuff, which is odd but cool).

Every year we talk about how we should pack a cooler (they let you bring drinks and food into the park) so we wouldn't spend (read: waste) money on overpriced drinks and food and every year we don't do it. I may or may not have looked at another lady near us making a sandwich and pulling an ice cold water bottle from her cooler with a tinge of envy as I sipped my overpriced flat diet coke in my silly plastic souvenir mug.

We survived on Pringles, almonds, Nilla wafers and Goldfish.

What?

We spent the first day at the original Schliterbahn. Our absolutely favorite rides, as always, were WhiteWater, Cliffhanger and Congo (although it was COLD). Coming up next were Raging River and Hillside. Scott and Annelise also had a blast on Der Bahn and Downhill Racer which aren't tube rides but more in-your-face-shooting-water rides so I abstained.
We spent most of our time alternating between WhiteWater (crazy swooshy fast and fun), Cliffhanger (really long bumpy waterfall at the end) and DerBahn because they are located near each other and later in the day the lines are gone and you can pretty much hop from one to the other.

Once the park closed we dried off as best we could and headed over to Gruene.

Which is exactly what we do every year.
We ate yummy queso burgers and onion rings at The Gristmill while bands played at Gruene Hall and we heard the occasional firework pop in the distance.
Goodnight Gruene. You never disappoint.

It was late when we got back to the hotel but I didn't listen to the voice in my head telling me to just go to bed.
There I was, up in the gym just working on my fitness, Instagram was my witness.

I know! Not only did I pack my workout clothes, I actually put them on and used them!

And? Treadmills, while convenient, are incredibly boring. But I worked off (maybe) a few bites of my burger and an onion ring by getting four miles in, so there's that.

The next day started off at one of the other Schlitterbahn parks (there are three parks with trams that take you to and fro), Blastenhof (just like the year before). I planted myself in a chair along Torrent Beach with my book and pretended I was alone (it didn't really work) while Scott and Annelise waited in line for Black Knight.

Note to self: the day after the 4th of July, especially since it was a Friday, is CUH-razy crowded. Remember this for next year.

One new ride for us this year was The Falls, which is a long tube ride that goes between Surfenburg and Blastenhof with lots of fun rapids in between. We all three liked it!
Oh the humanity!

We stayed at Blastenhof a bit longer so Scott and Annelise could ride MasterBlaster (it's crazy fun but also always has crazy lines) before heading back to the original Schlitterbahn later that afternoon. We rode our favorites a few more times each and then called it a day.

Overall I am not a waterpark person. I won't go to just any water park because they gross me out on principle and population, but Schlitterbahn is different. It really is family friendly and not as Scankville as some other parks. 

However. That said, I have now seen more than enough tattoos (men and women) and bottoms and boobsies and bellies (men and women) to last me a good long while. The thing about Schlitterbahn is that since the park is built along the Comal river the rides are all at different heights, so several of the rides require you to climb stairs as you wait in line, not only do you have assorted people in assorted swimsuits on your main eye level you also have them above you and below you. So there's a lot to, um, take in. Ahem.

We finished off the night on the Taco Cabana patio, while not fancy it was still deelish (as far as semi fast Tex Mex goes) and perfect for damp swimsuit/coverup dining.

And no, I didn't hit the treadmill after.

We'll see you next summer Schlitterbahn (with our cooler)!

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7.10.2013

What I Wore Wednesday

This week is all about stonewashed (some might say acid washed) (either way it screams 1987, but in a good way) denim, maxi dresses, mixed gold and wedges.

Given my druthers (whatever druthers are), this is the type of outfit I'm most comfortable in.

Pulled together yet comfy, casual yet still a tad dressy.

Ish.

I wore this to church, cajoled Scott into taking photos as we walked into BJs for lunch and opted to wear it to the movies later that afternoon (my people changed) (we saw Monsters University, just FYI) because it was so comfortable.
grey maxi dress: target
acid denim jacket: kut from the cloth, nordstorm (it's on sale y'all!)
kimberly necklace: stella & dot (I'm obsessed with the necklace!)
earrings & bracelet stack: twisted silver
watch: michael kors
cross body bag: nordstrom
wedges: yellow box
One thing I've started to do recently with my denim shirts (really any long sleeve shirt, I just don't wear a lot of them because I might faint from heatstroke) and jackets is to cuff them like the J Crew stylists do and I like this look a lot better than the basic way of rolling up the sleeves. Just pull the cuff midway up your arm then roll the remaining (inside) sleeve up, that way the edges of the cuff stick out a bit and add a bit of interest. Or something. I don't know, it just looks better.

Check out how Shaeffer of Pinterest Told Me To explains sleeve rolling, that's where I learned this valuable fashion tidbit. And how I realized I could not live without my new acid denim jacket and many, many other fashion-y things lately (love her blog, but it's dangerous to your credit card, consider yourself warned).

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

pleated poppy

Also linking up with The Mummy Chronicles  & Suburbs Mama

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7.08.2013

Miscellany Monday

You know, tidbits, the drivel, the randoms, the whathaveyou of late...

01. I  (and I think I can safely say with confidence that Annelise feels the same way) am so relieved to have NOTHING on the calendar this week. June was fairly well booked with camps and VBSs so it's refreshing to have July start off low-key and snail pace ish (at least for this week).

02.) Having just finished a book (Overseas by Beatriz Williams, meh) while on our little getaway last week (more on that to come) and starting and stopping another (The Given Day by Dennis Lehane, will probably go back to it) I am thrilled to be completely sucked into Kate Atkinson's latest by page, oh, five or so. 

I shall be totally useless until I finish.
Just so you know.
03.) We went to see this yesterday and gave it three enthusiastic thumbs up. I'm Team Wazowski all the way, love that little one eyed guy.
04.) We are always up for a happy hour treat (usually Diet Coke with lime or cherry vanilla for me and some sort of  brightly colored slush for Annelise). What's yours?
05.) So #50milesinjuly is off and running.

(I crack myself up.)

(Or not.)

Last week I got in two evening runs and one yawner of a treadmill run while we were in New Braunfels. When I first started running (circa 2005), or at least a beginner's version of it, I ran almost exclusively on a treadmill and couldn't imagine running on the street. Now I can hardly stand the treadmill and would much rather be out with the elements and nature instead of being a hamster (although I do like the treadmill for speed or incline work, I just don't have regular access to one any more).
Speaking of nature, we've noticed an abundance of skunks around our area lately and last week when starting out on my run I had to pause--at a safe distance so as not to be sprayed--for a skunk crossing:
Four (maybe five, it was hard to tell) baby skunks were trailing their mama and it was the cutest thing. I mean, as far as skunk culture goes. When we got home Saturday from New Braunfels my dad told Annelise that he killed a skunk while we were gone (he said it with pride I'm sure) and now I'm worried he killed the mama and those little skunk babies are now orphans. 

Nature, and BB guns, can be cruel.
Last night, after I finally talked myself into changing into my running gear (some days that's half the battle!) I got in another four miles to bring me up to 16 miles for #50milesinjuly so far. 

I don't know why each run of late has been four miles, it's not like I plan it really, but if I'm going to go the trouble of getting all sweaty and gross and having to wash my hair then I want to put in enough miles to make it worthwhile, so based on my weird rationalizations four miles have been my jam.

I'm still worried that RunKeeper is not accurate but not worried enough (yet) to invest in a new Garmin. I always run the sameish route so I trust the distance, but I can't wrap my head around the pace it's been telling me, especially since I follow 4:1 intervals. Don't get me wrong, I love what it's telling me (ranging from 11:30 to even 9:30 average pace), but I can't believe I might actually be running that fast. I've always been much more of a turtle.
Although I do think that the more you run the better you run (usually) (and the more you want to run), so maybe all this running is paying off and my overall pace has improved.

Fingers crossed.

Happy Monday, y'all!
lowercase letters
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7.04.2013

VBS 2013: The Armor of God

Last week our church hosted a wonderful VBS based on Ephesians 6: 10-17, the armor of God. There was a great turnout and all the kids not only had a fun week, they learned a lot too.
Every morning started with singing and then our youth minister and several talented teens would act out a skit. They did a fabulous job and more importantly the kids really seemed to *get it*. The teens were knights in search of the Kingdom of Eternia but didn't know how to go about finding it on their own, enter the helpful Villager who equipped them with tools (each day's pieces of armor) that would help them on their journey. One of the would-be-knights, Rooster, was too proud to ever take what the Villager offered and preferred to go it alone in his own way. 
Along each day's journey they would encounter Scammer (aka The Devil) who was always trying to deceive them. Thankfully the armor they received from the Villager each day helped them avoid Scammer's tricks and schemes!
The Breastplate of Righteousness, the Sandals of Readiness (and Peace), the Belt of Truth. the Shield of Faith and the Sword of the Spirit protected them and allowed them to fight Scammer.
On the last day they arrived at the Kingdom of Eternia and met the King, who they realized had been the Villager helping them along their journey. He gave them each a Helmet of Salvation and they were able to enter the Kingdom. (!!) In an incredibly powerful moment, Rooster, injured and humbled, came hobbling up to confess he'd been wrong to deny the Villager's help. The King forgave him, gave him his full armor and allowed him to enter the Kingdom as well. It was so moving!
The kids, ranging from toddlers through fifth grade rotated through lessons, crafts, PE and snack each day.
Annelise was highly excited to be with The Big Kids (3rd - 5th) with Mr. Ralph upstairs. He had lots of challenges for them but lots of fun application lessons as well.
They even had a *war* one day where they wadded up and threw papers that had the Devil's lies written on them. So cool!
The PE rotation was a new addition to our VBS this year and if was a huge hit! They definitely needed time to run and burn up some energy playing lots of fun, organized games.
At the end of the last day they got to dress in all of their armor and there was a procession into the auditorium (the teen actors held their swords up for them to walk under, they all thought this was so cool).
This was Annelise's class.
This was the whole group (we had about 125 kids every day, several visitors returned from last year's VBS and there were several new visitors as well).
Thursday night there was an open house and the kids were invited to bring their parents back with them for a short performance, a slideshow, singing and tons of fun activities and of course, food.

I helped with the photo booth, which was a new addition this year as well. The teen actors signed t-shirts and posed for photos with the kids, it was a HIT!
Of course The Girls and I HAD to pose for a photo too.
Kim was one of the VBS team honchos (whew!), Heather taught the toddlers (whew!), Robyn taught application lessons to 4s - 2nd (whew!) and I helped with photography (I had it easy!).

VBS this year was incredible (seriously). I can't to see what next summer brings!

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