Monday, July 9, 2012

A New Home


So this is the last of my blog posts at this site! I moved my blog over to Wordpress and the new website is

I am still trying to get everything all set up and going, but I hope you will come visit over there :-)

Happy Monday!

Monday, June 25, 2012

What have I been doing?

I have been the lamest blogger ever.  I wish I could say it is because I have been doing some crazy awesome things that have kept me super busy.  But I would be lying.  I have not really been doing much of anything! Which leaves me not much to write about.  But when I condense all of these activities into one post, well it is not quite as boring :-)

Golf: I have been learning how to golf!  My dad has taken me to the driving range a few times in the past, but nothing official.  And he is always hesitant to "coach" me because he is worried about sharing bad habits or not giving me good information.  So I finally managed to sign up for some classes.  This was a 5 class clinic called "Get Golf Ready".  It has been offered so many times at the golf course close to me, but for one reason or another I always manage to have something else going on on the day of the first class.  This time I was free and ready to go! We worked on the basics - putting, chipping, pitching, and then half and full swings.  The last day we went on the course and actually played the 18th hole.  Just the would have taken days to get through all of them!  I am still not ready for 18 holes.  A few more trips to the driving range and I may be brave enough to try 9, but not quite yet.  Sadly I do not believe the LPGA will be calling me to join the tour anytime in the near future, but I have not embarrassed myself too badly!

Books:  I am kicking right along on my 100 books challenge!  I finished Wuthering Heights (loved it) and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I am working on Pride and Prejudice right now.  I also have thrown in a few books not on the list - Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (don't judge, not my best choice, but it was surprisingly entertaining), Killing Lincoln (this is the new one by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard.  The Vampire Hunter version goes into his assassination and such, and I wanted to read a more historically legit version.  Not saying that this was the best choice, but it was written in novel format and not history book format, so it was easy to fly through.  Pretty interesting stuff.)

Netflix: This has been my new favorite entertainment.  Somehow I came across that BBC show Doctor Who.  It is now officially my new favorite show.  Its a science fiction show about time travel and aliens and the such.  Yes I am a dork :-)  Seriously though, its awesome.  I am only at the beginning of season 2, so I have a ways to go to get caught up.  I was in Barnes & Noble on Thursday and there was an entire table set up with Doctor Who books and stuff, so I guess I am not the only nerd out there!

A lost computer: Technically, it is not lost.  Someone broke into my apartment and stole it.  Who does that? What is wrong with people? I used to be a Kindergarten teacher, and I know I taught the lesson about "if it is not yours, keep your hands off of it", but apparently that lesson does not carry much weight in the real world.  I am grateful for the fact that all they took was my computer (with the charger), but still.  I know for sure at least one other apartment was broken into and their computer was also taken, but I am not sure how many others there were.  Its annoying because this is actually a nice place.  Not the kind of place I worry about leaving my things around at.  I mean, I know idiots are everywhere, but still.  Plus, it happened in the middle of the day!  Thankfully I take my dog Ollie with me when I go to work during the day, so he was not here either.  Poor guy would have been traumatized for sure!

So now that you are all caught up...I will try to be much more exciting :-)

Motivational Monday!

Happy Monday!

My Monday has been wet thanks to Donna.  I loved having a rainy Sunday.  I just laid around the house and did not have to feel guily one bit.  Every now and then those days are nice.  If it is sunny outside, there is no way I can lay on the couch without feeling so horrible.  When the sun is shining I feel obligated to be outside enjoying it.  But when its gross out, I feel like its the universe's way of telling me to stay in my pjs :-)
Legit or not, its my rule and I am sticking to it!

So here is today's motivational Monday picture.

Something tells me I am going to be learning how to run in the rain before the week is over.  I have thus far managed to avoide it, but I think this may be the week I have to lace up my shoes and put on my raincoat! It definitely beats the treadmill :-)

Have a good Monday!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekly Recap June 17 - 23

Its so hard to believe another week has flown by! Its kind of starting to freak me out to be perfectly honest with you.  January will be here in the blink of an eye.

Let me just say, holy canoli it is dang humid outside! This is Florida, so heat and humidity are something of a regular occurrence, but it does not make running any easier.  I started running at 6:30 instead of 7:00 in the morning, which has helped a tiny bit.  At least the sun does not start beating down quite so intently until I am almost finished.

Here is the week:

3.93 miles
53:07 minutes
13:31 min/mile average
This was a somewhat randomly speedyish morning! I like it :-)

3.90 miles
54:36 minutes
14:00 min/mile average
And just like that, no more speedy tendencies.  Boo.

2.98 miles
42:20 minutes
14:14 min/mile average
It was out of control humid! It was really overcast and soon to be rainy, which did not help matters.  You know that dream when you are trying to run away from something, only you cannot actually move? That is how I felt this morning.  I was running and running and barely moving anywhere at all!  It was awful.  I swear you could see the humidity  just sitting there.  I needed something to slice through it to be able to run.  So I cut the 5 miles to a 3 miler.  Next Saturday I have a 2.5 miler planned, so I will just make that the 5 mile weekend.  I am not too worried about it.  My weekly 30 minute runs have been 4 miles, and almost an hour, so it should be fine.  As long as it is not rainy next weekend as well.  I am pretty certain that by the time January rolls around I am going to fly through the course! Cool temperatures and minimal humidity.  It will be like Christmas :-)

I really really need to get back into yoga!! It just seems like every night I would be going, something comes up at the last minute! Granted...sometimes that "something" is simply the fact that I would rather be in bed...but still.  I really need to go.

Have a good week!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy National Running Day!!

Happy Running Day to everyone!! I have totally dropped off of the planet, but figure today is as good a day as any to rejoin the world :-)  So here is my oh so very deep reason why I run!!

I mean, you have to have your priorities! Don't get me wrong, I totally run for all of the healthy reasons as well...but this is the big one :-)

Hope everyone has an awesome day of running!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What happened to the libray?

I went to my local library yesterday to renew my library card.  I used to have one in this county about a million years ago, but thankfully they no longer have me in the system.  I fear I would have had some 15 year overdue book fine!  I decided to use the library for as many as my 100 books as possible.  I thought for sure I would at least be able to grab the classics off the list.  Wrong!  How does a library not have a single copy of Pride & Prejudice?  They did have 4 copies of Pride & Prejudice and Zombies! Say what now!!  Utter insanity.  So from there I moved on to Les Miserables.  Nope.  I managed to find one copy of Wuthering Heights, so that will be my next read.  I know I can get a lot of these for free on my Kindle, but I just feel really weird about reading a book that was written in like 1846 on my ereader.  Seems disrespectful or something.  Now, any of these that I fall in love with, I will more than likely add to my kindle for rereading purposes.  But as a first go round, I am sticking with paper.  I had no idea it was going to be such a tricky task though!

So far I have checked 3 books off of my 100 Books to Read Before You Die list:

1.  The Stand by Stephen King.  This was good! I tend to read a little faster through the parts that are scary, so I never find books as freaky as movies.  In a movie the scary scenes last forever, with background music and slow walking and such.  I could immediately tell which scenes would have scary music behind them, but I just kept reading.  If you don't know, this book is about what happens after a killer virus is released into the world, and spreads.  It was so fascinating because it really took the time to start from the first person who was infected, and how it spread from there, and eventually killed I think like 98% of the population.  I have been using much more hand sanitizer, and I get a little jumpy when people around me start to cough or sneeze!  From there, it becomes about survival and rebuilding "society", and eventually a battle between good and evil.  It definitely made me think a lot!

2.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  I read this at some point in school, so I remembered the story, but not necessarily a good chunk of the smaller parts.  I forgot how amazing this book is. 

3.  Blubber by Judy Blume.  I am sure I read this one growing up.  But I do not really remember much of it.  Its basically about bullying.  Its sad how relevant it still is after all of this time.  Is there ever going to be a time when we aren't being mean to other people?  I wish I remember reading this one when I was younger to see if my immediate feelings about the characters were the same.  Did I pick up right away that the "popular" girls were picking on someone else for no good reason?  Or did it take until the end of the book when the tables really turn around for me to see it? 

Wuthering Heights and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe are next up!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Weekly Recap: April 15 - 28

Ahh yes, another 2 week recap :-)  Its alright this time, because there is one pretty good week, and one insanely lame week, so they balance out into two decent weeks.  At least that is the math I am going to use in this instance!


3.03 miles
43:22 minutes
14:18 pace
This was a run with mom - so it was a 30/40

3 miles
41:05 minutes
13:41 pace
Yay for faster! Today I went back to 40/40

6.12 miles
13:47 pace
This is the first "longer than 3 mile" run that I have managed to keep under a 14 min mile pace.  I am not anywhere near as fast as I hope to be by Tower of Terror, but I am excited that I can actually see progress! Hooray!

Now for last week:
I did nothing.  Nada.  Not one single mile.  My sinuses were bothering me on Tuesday and Wednesday.  They were all clogged up and pressure-y.  I was so clogged up that it was throwing my equilibrium off! I tripped going up the stairs to my apartment every time during those two days.  While I am not exactly a picture of grace, I am also not that clumsy, so I figured running may not be the greatest idea.  Plus in addition to being clogged my head was nice and poundy, so all in all I just was not feeling the whole run thing.  And then on Thursday I went out of town for the weekend, so there was no running for me all week. 

The good news is that my yoga studio started a "Yoga for Runners" class and I went to the first one on Sunday.  At 7am!  It was packed.  And we did a lot of leg stretching which will definitely be helpful.  And I ran this morning.  So I am already back on track.  This morning was a tough run, so there will be no more skipping weeks for me (at least I am going to try my best to make sure of it anyway). 

In other related news.  I am like 50% of the way through The Stand.  At this rate it is going to take me forty forevers to get through those 100 books.  I need to speed things up.  Its pretty good so far though.  I am not sure what I am going to make my second choice.  I need to renew my library card and see what I can find!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

100 Books to Read Before You Die

I came across this list the other day when I was trying to decide what book I wanted to read next.  It is now my mission to read every book on the list!  There are a bunch of different versions of this floating around, but I chose this one because it seemed pretty well-rounded, and I also liked that there are not multiple books for one author on it.  This list came from  I have already read some of these (although not nearly as many as I should have) but since when I read them, they were required reading for school, I am going to reread them.  This is definitely when having a Kindle makes things easy, especially since I live on the third floor and will not be hauling all of these crazy books up and down the stairs :-)  Actually I will probably become good friends with my local library as well, and then if I come across anything I feel like I want to read again, I can pick up a copy.  I thought about just going down the list in order, but I am going to have to jump around and pick and choose what I am in the mood for, otherwise this project will take ten times longer than it already will!  And just for the record, the books are not in any particular order. 

100 Books to Read Before You Die

1.    The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
2.    The Road Less Traveled - Dr. Scott M. Peck
3.    Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger
4.    In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
5.    To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6.    War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
7.    The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
8.    The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
9.    Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
10.  World War Z - Max Brooks
11.  Education of a Wandering Man - Louis L'Amour
12.  Watership Down - Richard Adams
13.  The Illiad - Homer
14.  The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
15.  The Color Purple - Alice Walker
16.  Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
17.  Paradise Lost - John Milton
18.  Ulysses - James Joyce
19.  Dracula - Bram Stoker
20.  Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
21.  A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
22.  Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
23.  1984 - George Orwell
24.  Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
25.  Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
26.  Shogun - James Clavell
27.  For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway
28.  The Stand - Stephen King
29.  Lady Chatterley's Lover - D. H. Lawrence
30.  Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
31.  The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
32.  War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells
33.  A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
34.  The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli
35.  The Art of War - Sun Tzu
36.  The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
37.  Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
38.  Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
39.  Starship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein
40.  Deliverance - James Dickey
41.  Lord of the Flies - William Golding
42.  The Dark Night Returns - Frank Miller
43.  Season of Mists - Neil Gaiman
44.  The Princess Bride - William Goldman
45.  Eaters of the Dead - Michael Crichton
46.  The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett
47.  Night - Eli Wiesel
48.  Exodus - Leon Uris
49.  Contact - Carl Sagan
50.  You Can't Go Home Again - Thomas Wolfe
51.  On The Road - Jack Kerouac
52.  Blubber - Judy Blume
53.  Foundation - Isaac Asimov
54.  The Stranger - Albert Camus
55.  The Trial - Franz Kafka
56.  Rabbit, Run - John Updike
57.  Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
58.  The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
59.  The Long Goodbye - Raymond Chandler
60.  Absalom, Absalom! - William Faulkner
61.  Grendel - John Gardner
62.  Hour of the Dragon - Robert E. Howard
63.  The Executioner's Song - Norman Mailer
64.  Cop Hater - Ed McBain
65.  Moby Dick - Herman Melville
66.  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain
67.  McTeague - Frank Norris
68.  A Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin
69.  Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
70.  Titus Groan - Mervyn Peake
71.  Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
72.  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne
73.  The Divine Comedy - Dante
74.  Don Quixote - Miguel De Cervantes
75.  Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
76.  Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
77.  The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
78.  Charlotte's Web - E. B. White
79.  One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
80.  The Magus - John Fowles
81.  Foucault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco
82.  Middlemarch - George Eliot
83.  Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
84.  The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
85.  The Complete Shakespeare - William Shakespeare
86.  Rosemary's Baby - Ira Levin
87.  I am Legend - Richard Matheson
88.  The Complete Plays of Aristophanes - Aristophanes
89.  The Science of God - Gerald L. Schroeder
90.  The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett
91.  No Exit - Jean-Paul Sartre
92.  Alexander of Macedon - Harold Lamb
93.  Battle Royale - Koushun Takami
94.  We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
95.  Band of Brothers - Stephen Ambrose
96.  Ancient Inventions - Peter James and Nick Thorpe
97.  The Telltale Heart and Other Writings - Edgar Allen Poe
98.  The Call of the Wild - Jack London
99.  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Frank Baum
100. The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer

I am not sure if I will be able to make it through all of these.  But I do want to make at least a good faith effort.  I am already somewhat nervous about The Illiad and Shakespeare...they will probably be towards the end of the list :-) 

The first one I chose was The Stand by Stephen King.  I have had this one on my list of books to read for a while, but just have not gotten to it.  Since I already had it, I figured it was as good a place to start as any.  Luckily it has not given me nightmares yet, but I am only 20% of the way through!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weekly Recap: April 8-14

I cannot believe how fast the weeks are flying by! January will seriously be here before I know it.  I would not be disappointed if things just slowed down a teeny tiny bit though.  Its hard to believe its already the middle of April.  Wasn't Christmas just yesterday? Craziness!

Last week was a busy running week!  Since I moved my Saturday run to Sunday, it gave me 5 days of running.  Surprisingly I felt really good through every run.  None of them were longer than 4 miles, but at least I made it out of bed every morning.  So I will take that for now.  But I do have an 8 miler on the calendar for Saturday!

4.01 miles
59:17 minutes
14:48 average pace

3.05 miles
43:52 minutes
14:23 average pace
This was the first day I went to 40/40 intervals.  No joke, adding 10 seconds of running feels like an hour!

3.06 miles
43:48 minutes
14:19 average pace


3.07 miles
42:28 minutes
13:50 average pace
I have no idea what happened today, but I may have found my inner "almost speedster"!  This was the best run I have had in such a long time, and the running segments were much much faster than usual.  I don't know if it was my awesome Italian dinner the night before, or the fact that I had a chocolate peanut butter bear waiting for me at the office, or just a fluke...but I hope it sticks around :-)

4.01 miles
59:15 minutes
14:46 average pace
I ran this one with mom and we ran 30/40 intervals.  And I forgot my Garmin.  That dumb thing will be the death of me! And I am way too analytical to be able to just run like a regular person and enjoy it, I want to study the numbers when I finish.  Total nerd I know :-)

17.20 total miles this week! I have been paying myself $1 for every mile that I run, so that I will have money to shop at all these expos!  I am already looking forward to all of the shopping I will be doing :-)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Motivational Monday!

Mondays are the devil!! Seriously, I do not understand why they even have to exist?? The world would be a better place if we just went straight to Tuesday.  I guess if the week went from Sunday to Tuesday, then Tuesday would get the bad its probably an impossible feat.  Oh well. 

This was my breakfast today! (Don't worry, this isn't the motivational part :-) )

For the record, I do not really care much for white chocolate, but this white chocolate is another story!  Thankfully this is the only one I have, so I can go back to regular breakfast foods tomorrow!  No good ever comes from holiday candy :-)

I love finding cool motivational quotes and such, so I am going to add some will make Monday seem less horrid (well it should anyway...I can always resort to more candy pictures if it doesn't work!)

This is my favorite one of the day.  I am crazy impatient, and tend to get frustrated very easily, so its almost as if this was written just for me.  I will probably have to print it out and tape it all around the house.  Yes I am nerdy like that!  Ohh actually it may need its own page in my scrapbook attempt!

Happy Monday :-)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Let the Nightmares Begin!

So there are about 279 days until WDW Marathon weekend.  And I have already had my first race dream!  This does not bode well for the rest of the year...

I was running the Goofy Challenge and decided that in order to save my legs for the full marathon, I would have a faster runner pull me in a wagon for the half marathon.  Which is actually a brilliant idea!  I don't know why I haven't considered it before :-)  Well we got through the castle and decided to stop and eat cheeseburgers before leaving Magic Kingdom.  Sadly, I eat even slower than I run (if that is even possible) and by the time we got ready to get back on the course, the balloon ladies and the end of the race passed right by!  I do not know why I did not just get my cheeseburger to go, I mean I could have just eaten it while I was riding. 

Moral of the story: No cheeseburgers until AFTER the finish line :-)

I also started one of those Smash books to keep through training.  Scrapbooking is one of those things that I always intend to do, but can never get creative enough to actually do.  So I end up with shoe boxes of the things that I would put in my scrapbook if I ever made it.  This Smash thing seems much more up my alley.  No order, no decorating, just find something cool and shove it in the book!  It will likely be the common place that I shove all the random notes that I put with recipes and running ideas, but its a start :-)  Maybe I will throw some stickers in there and really get crazy!  Honestly, the "order" thing is not my issue with scrapbooking, as I have already been mentally organizing how I am going to work this book...its the "decorating".  I am not exactly creative...way too much of a left brain for that.  I love the way elaborate scrapbooks look, but its just not my strength.  This is really just kind of a journal with some fun stuff thrown in :-)

Weekly Recap - March 25 - April 7

Errr technically this should be called Multiple Weeks of Recap because I am a slacker.  The good new is that I am only slacking in recaping, not the running :-)

So here it is:

Tuesday 3/27
3.07 miles
44:12 minutes
14:22 average pace

Thursday 3/29
3.07 miles
44:35 minutes
14:30 average pace

Saturday 3/31
6.10 miles
14:42 average pace

Monday 4/2

Tuesday 4/3
3.05 miles
45:00 minutes
14:46 average pace

Wednesday 4/4
3.02 miles
14:37 average pace

Thursday 4/5
3.07 miles
14:27 average pace

I kept 30/40 for the last two weeks.  I managed to run them all even during my not-all-that-long run, although I did slow down a little bit, but not too bad.  I am going to increase the run to 40 seconds starting next week. 

In other related news...

This is my Publix

That smoke you see is where an airplane crashed into it and fell through the roof!  Yep, you read that right, I said airplane! Pretty insane.  Thankfully no one was killed.  The pilot and copilot were pretty badly burned and are still in the hospital, and 3 customers had some injuries, but I think only one is still in the hospital.  Luckily it happened a little after 7pm, so a good chunk of the after work rush was already finished.  Sadly, Publix is a disaster.  Who knows when it will open back up.  Boo.  Pretty crazy for a Monday though...especially in a small town, nothing ever happens here.  Hopefully it goes back to being that way now!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Food Truck Sunday

Yesterday was the monthly gathering of food trucks in the town I live in.  This is only the second time it has happened, and last month I was sick in bed, so I missed it.  Therefore I was quite excited to check it out for myself!

Last month my mom and dad went and figured out how things worked, so this month they were ready to go with a table, chairs, and a cooler with drinks.  We stuck to water and soda, but there were a bunch of people with beer and wine.  I am not sure what the rules are about stuff like that, since we were in a Lowe's parking lot.  My guess is that it will not be a big deal until some kind of disturbance happens, and then it will be an issue.  But that is of course just my not so professional opinion :-)

The trucks were all set up in one roped off area, and people brought their chairs and tables into that part, and some people were sitting out in the regular part of the parking lot as well.  It was pretty much like tailgating, except there was no football game.  If I could somehow combine food trucks and Buccaneer football I would be one happy camper!

I would guess there were about 30 different trucks there - everything from cupcakes, to bbq and burgers.  The only thing I do not like is that every truck gives you a full sized meal.  Which makes it hard to sample a lot.  Mom, dad and I decided that we would just choose things that we could share, so we could try a few more things, but it was still a lot of food.  Here are just a few of the trucks!  I wanted to get pictures of all of them, but I got distracted once we started eating.  These are the ones I could see from my chair :-)

This Gastro truck calls itself the home of cheesy goodness!  They were not lying!  I have already decided what I will be eating from them next month :-)

Saigon Sizzle (or Saigon Sally as my dad calls it, no idea why, lol) has Vietnamese tacos.  They are really good, but we tried them a few months ago at the Manatee Festival, so we did not have any this time.

Chicken and Waffles seem to be the new popular combination?  So random, but it must be good I guess.  I have not yet worked up the nerve to try them out!

The Batter Bowl had all kinds of desserts!

So then it was decision time!  We started out with fried green tomatoes!  Yummy!  Although, there were some red tomatoes in there as well, which was weird, but they were just as good.  I am not sure what the sauce was.  It reminded me of the sauce you get at Outback with the Bloomin' Onion.  Whatever that is called.

After the tomatoes, we had creme brûlée from the Batter Bowl.  It was pretty good...but the dish was so deep, so the ratio of sugar topping to custard was a little off for my liking.  But it was still good!

This is a ham and grilled cheese sandwich with a side of mac n cheese.  Yep you know this is from the cheesy goodness truck!  I am not a huge ham fan, but it was good.  I love mac n cheese though!  They also have a sandwich on their menu called the Apple Harvest Grilled Cheese.  It has apples, cheddar cheese and clover honey.  I will be getting that next month for sure!  It has apples, so it will obviously be healthy :-)

This next one came from the Korean BBQ Taco Box.  It was beef and rice, with a ginger salad, chicken wing, fried cheese thing, and two unidentified objects...although I vaguely recall the menu saying something about tofu, but I cannot remember.  It was yummy!  The meat had an awesome flavor!  This was what I picked.  It was so hard for me to make a decision.  All of those trucks with so many choices were so unbelievably overwhelming!

After this, we had a monte cristo crepe which had honey ham, turkey, cheddar, lettuce and raspberry preserves.  We also had a blueberry and creme cheese crepe.  I am not sure why but I missed pictures of those!  Oops!  I think I was so busy with my Korean food.

The grand finale was this strawberry balsamic basil popsicle.  I'm not gonna lie, it was kind of weird to have basil in my popsicle, but it was surprisingly delicious.  Nice and light and fresh :-)

All in all our food truck experience was quite lovely!  I cannot even wait until next month!  Mmmmm!!

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Last weekend I went to the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.  This is one of my favorite Epcot events...second to the Food & Wine Festival of course :-)  I love flowers but cannot grow them to save my life.  Honestly, I have the thumb of death!  I have tried to have so many different kinds of plants/flowers, and none of it ever lasts.  I could not even keep a bamboo stalk alive.

So here are some of my favorite pictures...I am hoping to go back at least one more time before it is over!

The orchids were actually at Animal Kingdom, but I could not pass up adding them in :-)

I love this bonsai tree so much.  I have never seen one with colored flowers on it (not that I am any kind of bonsai expert or anything, lol).

I have never seen ducklings at Epcot before! These little guys were so adorable.  There were quite a few people standing around watching them, and just as they were going through to the other side of the gate, a little girl picked one of the ducklings up.  Holy cow did that mama duck go bananas.  She pecked the snot out of that little girls legs till she put her baby down.  That little girl should not have touched it, and the little girls parents should not have let her do that, but alas, that is a blog entry for another day :-) All of the babies made it safely down to the water's edge.

I think its super fitting that Goofy looks as if he is running :-)

While I was there, I had to indulge in some yummy goodness! I walked around a decent chunk of Animal Kingdom in the morning, and then I went over to Boardwalk and walked all of that into Epcot, and walked all of Epcot about 3 times.  So I felt like it was well deserved   :-)

Fiesta margarita!! Lime, Mango, and Strawberry :-)  Delicious!

And of course, what is a trip to Disney without a Mickey bar!  While it was really nice to be able to walk around and not have to worry about whether I was going to tire my feet out for a race the next morning, I think its best for me to hang out at Epcot only when there is a lot of running involved!  There is just way too much yumminess to pass up :-)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weekly Recap - March 18-24

I have so many things to catch up on!! But it would seriously be the longest post on the face of the planet if I tried to do them all together...I doubt even my mom would make it to the end without getting bored! So I am going to just break it all up and start with last weeks running recap.  Exciting stuff :-)

Last week was the first week that I upped my intervals to 30/40.  The first mile on the first day was kind of hard, those extra 10 seconds felt like an eternity! But by the time I finished it was not that bad at all.  Also, the circus came to town and their tent was set up right along my running path.  I am NOT a fan of the circus.  At all.  Well let me rephrase...I have no issues with the circus itself, its the clowns I have issues with.  Issues as in they freak me out! So I am pretty sure that the part of my path that was past the circus tent was most likely extra speedy.  I needed to make sure I was going to outrun any clowns that happened to be wandering around (never mind the fact that it was only 7:00 in the morning, and I am sure all of the clowns were sleeping, I was still on the lookout!). 

So here are the numbers! The first mile is always the slowest because I just walk for the first 2 or 3 minutes.  I have considered just waiting and starting my Garmin when I start my intervals, but since I have always started it in the driveway, I figure it will give me a good gauge of how I have improved since I started. 

Mile 1 - 15:51
Mile 2 - 14:41
Mile 3 - 14:21
Mile .05 - 9:35
Total - 45:20 minutes, 3.05 miles, 14:53 min/mile average

Mile 1 - 15:06
Mile 2 - 14:22
Mile 3 - 13:50
Mile .07 - 12:16
Total - 44:07 minutes, 3.07 miles, 14:23 min/mile average
Somewhere between Tuesday and every run I have done since then, the distance went from a consistent 3.05 miles to 3.07? No clue how.  I know I am starting and stopping my Garmin at the exact same spot, so I must be making some turn differently or something.  Its just funny how it had been so consistent, and then it changed, and now it is a new consistent.  Maybe the earth is stretching :-)

Mile 1 - 15:23
Mile 2 - 14:01
Mile 3 - 13:47
Mile .07 - 11:36
Total - 44:05 minutes, 3.07 miles, 14:19 min/mile average
I moved what would be Saturday's run to Friday because I was going to  Disney on Saturday and did not want to have to get up earlier than necessary.

All in all not a bad week!  I am going to keep these intervals for one more week, and then on Saturday I am going to do 8 miles, and make sure I can actually keep them up for longer than 3 miles.  If I can, then I will bump them I think to 40/40.  I also need to throw in one more run day sometime soon.  Once I get used to waking up earlier three times a week, I want to wake up even earlier at least one of those days and increase the 3 miles to something longer...probably 5.  It would be nice to fit one in after work, but it is just getting way too hot, and it is only going to get hotter, so I may as well get used to morning running sooner rather than later :-) 

I totally skipped yoga all week.  I need to get back into that routine ASAP!! So that is going on the must do list for next week! 

Hooray for running :-)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Victoria Park 5K

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

This morning mom and I got up and ran the Victoria Park 5K.  I ordinarily avoid small races like the plaque...I hate feeling like a snail!  But its not too bad when its just a 5K :-)

The race winds through a local neighborhood and around a lake, so while there is no castle and no princesses, it is definitely scenic!  I finished in 43:23, which came out to just under a 14 minute mile pace. Slow!! I think maybe 10 people max finished after me (I am not sure how many people were actually running...I registered there, so I have one of the higher numbers, but I seriously do not feel like there were 1200 people there...weird).  In fact, right at the finish line a lady passed me and she was wearing Crocs! She did not even have on running shoes! At least it took her the entire 3 miles to catch me :-)

But the good news is that I kept my intervals the entire race, and even added on some extra running here and there because I felt like my run time was too short.  And it was faster than my morning training runs, and faster than every other 5K I have lots of good! Oh and my Garmin actually decided to work through the entire race :-)  So this makes me very excited to jump the run time up come Tuesday!

I am now free to enjoy my green beer without guilt!! Or rather I can probably guiltlessly enjoy about 4 sips it, but hey I will take it!


Friday, March 16, 2012

A Spectacular Surprise??

I opened up my April issue of Runner's World yesterday (I get the electronic version, which apparently comes much slower than the paper issues, because I have heard everyone talking about this for over a week!) and saw the most beautiful ad for the 2013 WDW Marathon!!!

Its kind of hard to read the small print...but there are 2 awesome pieces of information:
1. A "spectacular surprise" at Mile 20!!!
2. Special anniversary Mickey medal!!

I am equally excited for both of these things!  Disney medals on a regular occasion are awesome, so I cannot even begin to imagine what this one will be like.  They eventually revealed the 15th Anniversary Donald medal for the half marathon last year, so I wonder if they will show this one early or keep it top secret.  I kind of hope they keep it secret till we cross the finish line :-)

The spectacular surprise will be interesting.  I am hoping that it is either a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar (yum yum) or beer (yum yum).  However, both of these are probably unlikely.  I wonder what it will be though! It will not be anything tangible, since we will still have to carry it around for 6 more miles.  Plus, I think my definition of "spectacular" is somewhat different than Disney' I am thinking maybe more along the lines of a special character op? But who knows!

I cannot wait to find out!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Garmin hates me!

No joke! I seriously think it purposefully dies every time I try to use it! Conspiratorial little stinker (I do not know if conspiratorial is actually a word, but I feel like it is a legit fake one at least :-) ).
In all honesty, I think there may be something wrong with the wall charger part of it.  I still think it was messed up that it died the morning of the WDW half.  I KNOW I put it on the charger before I left for Orlando...all night! And there is absolutely no way it should have been dead in like 2 days.  It was dead again on Saturday, although this time it was my fault because it has been in my running bag since coming home from Princess weekend.  Even though I knew I needed to put it on the charger on Friday night, I did not.  So on Monday I knew that I needed to charge it so that it would be ready to go on Tuesday morning.  I plugged it in to the wall, and it beeped like it recognized something had happened to it, and it showed the little charger sign for a minute, and then it just gave me the "low battery" message.  No joke the battery is low, that's why I am plugging it in to the wall!! So I tried like 5 other outlets, and still the same thing, it beeped, but no charging.  I finally decided to try it in my computer.  It plugged in and charged just fine in the computer.  I left it in for a while and then unplugged it when I went to bed.  It was not really in the charger for that long, but it at least gave it 2 bars, which I knew would get me through 3 miles.  Last night my computer was dead, and I did not feel like plugging anything in, so I went to bed and crossed my fingers that the little bit of life I gave it on Monday would hold out, but alas this morning it was dead.  Sad. 

And to make the morning even more interesting, I woke up late.  Super late.  My alarm goes off at 5:30 on running mornings.  I immediately shut this one off because I also have alarms set for 6, 6:30 and 7 (those are for the regular days).  I ignore the 5:30 one, but it gives me the 30 minute warning, and I go back to sleep until 6.  For some reason though, the 6 and 6:30 alarms were both off!  I have no idea what I was thinking when I did that!  I was probably thinking it was a good idea to get some extra sleep :-)  So today, I opened my eyes and thought that I was enjoying the longest most awesome 30 minute nap ever!  And then I decided to just look at the clock, and it was 6:38.  I should already be in the car driving at that point.  Oopsie!

In my flurry of trying to get out of the house as quickly as possible, I left my Luna bar and bottle of water on the counter.  I did of course have the dead garmin, but no breakfast.  So when I got to my mom and dad's house, I decided to just borrow mom's garmin.  I stood in the driveway for like 5 mins waiting for it to "locate satellites".  Seriously, I listened to one full song on my iPod while I waited.  It was finally ready, and I made it about a half mile and that one died as well! Its like something in my body just sucks the life out of them :-)

It was also at this point in my run that I realized I could not breathe.  I forgot about my inhaler in my mess of activity.  Big mistake!  That's probably a little melodramatic...its not like I pass out or anything, it just makes running a lot less pleasant. 

So I had a dead garmin, no breakfast, no water and no inhaler.  Awesome morning :-)  The good news is that I still managed to keep my intervals.  I did somehow manage to remember my interval timer.  So the run was a little slower than normal, but I still stuck to those intervals and I think I was only a minute or two slower than my normal run to work. 

I am running a 5K this weekend...hooray for St Patrick's Day races!! And I think come Tuesday I am going to bump up the run part of my interval.  Hopefully by Tower of Terror I can get a little bit speedier :-)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I have a problem...

and it is called "Race Day Signup Envy".

I am not even sure if that is an accurate description for it?  I get all caught up in everyone's excitement signing up for races, and it makes me want to sign up for them too.  Example 1: The Chicago Marathon.  Yes Marathon.  I have not even taken my first steps on a single 26.2 journey, and truthfully still freak out a little bit thinking about how long it is, but when a race opens, I want in on the fun.  Thankfully Chicago sold out so fast that I did not have the opportunity to do anything crazy. 

Today it is the Marine Corps Marathon.  Same thing. Watching everyone sit anxiously by their computers waiting for the 3:00 registration to open seriously made me consider I needed in on that action as well!  I may be certifiably crazy! I am guessing this one sells out just as fast as Chicago, so I will luckily miss any opportunities for foolish behavior.  Well that is not entirely true...I have been on the website, so its not like I am so busy that I just will not have time to do anything, but thankfully there is enough common sense in me that knows this is not the year for me, but that the time will come :-)

I know come April 10th when WDW Marathon registration opens I am going to have race signup envy again.  This time, not nearly as bad, because I will be registering for the full marathon...but I have to stay away from all the Disney running message boards and facebook pages because before you know it I will be signing up for Goofy (half marathon on Saturday, followed by full marathon on Sunday...Goofy right!).  I ran into the same thing last year and had a hard time not caving in!  I really want to run Goofy, but I am going to go slow and steady...just like how I race :-)  Mickey this year, and IF I live to tell about it, Goofy in 2014!  Besides, I think it is probably enough crazy for me to be registered for two marathons before ever finishing one....I mean, what if I absolutely hate it?  I have a funny feeling it will be similar to the half marathon - awesome idea until I am at mile 10, then it is the stupidest thing I have ever done, and then I cross the finish line and it is right back to being awesome...but I guess we will see!

So for now, I believe I will just have to keep mental notes of all of these races and start my Marathon Bucket List! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Princess Half Marathon Recap!!!

The day is finally here! My alarm went off at 2:45am.  Which is the middle of the freakin night! Every time I am at a Disney race, and my alarm goes off at this insane hour, I always swear that I am going to implement a new sign up procedure - on the day that race sign ups open, I am going to wake up in the middle of the night, and go sit in my driveway for a few hours in the cold.  And if I really still want to register, then I can go back into the warm house and do it.  However, somehow I always manage to forget how horrid those early mornings are in the instant I cross the finish line and get an awesome medal.  I blame Disney and their dang magic :-)

So I got up and got my stuff together and we made it downstairs right around 3:30.  Since we were checking out that day, and had lunch reservations at 11:30, we needed to have everything packed up to take with us.  We left our suitcases with the concierge in the lobby and went outside.  There was a bus waiting for us, and another one waiting right behind it.  Thankfully my bus luck has continued for another race!  There were about 10-15 people hanging out in the lobby when we got down there, but in the 5 or so minutes it took us to take care of leaving our suitcases, the bus arrived, and the lobby cleared out.  I took advantage of the nice warm bus ride to eat my bagel and peanut butter. 

All too soon we arrived at EPCOT and made our way to the pre race waiting section.  It seemed like there were a lot more people than were here in January, but the races were about the same size, so I am sure the crowds were about the same...unless us Princesses just drag more spectators with us?  I hung out there for a little bit and tried to arrange all of my race crap.  I opted to skip my iFitness belt and just stick with the pockets in my skirt.  I tried to pack light, but still ended up with my inhaler, iPod, headphones, 3 GU, tissues, and my camera.  All shoved into 2 pockets :-)

I eventually decided that the lines for the bathrooms were entirely too long to wait in in this area, so I said goodbye to mom, checked my bag and started the trek to the corrals.  There were tons of porta potties along the way, and while the lines were fairly long, it was nothing too crazy.  I made it into Corral E without any issues and just sat down and tried to stay somewhat warm while I waited.  I had sweatpants on under my skirt, and was wearing a long sleeve shirt, but I left my gloves thinking it was not that cold out.  By the time I got to my corral I was freezing.  Of course, I am a wimp, but still.  I should have brought my blanket!

Before long, the Fairy Godmother was there to send us on our way!  Each corral had fireworks at the start and there was about 6 minutes between each start.  So it took about 25 minutes or so after the "official" start for me to actually cross the starting line. 

I think this course is the same as the one in January, but I never remember and tend to not pay very good attention to where I am going.  I know: start in the middle of nowhere at EPCOT, run to Magic Kingdom, through castle, along boring road back to EPCOT, up mountain (aka on ramp), into EPCOT, past choir, finish.  As far as the specifics, I swear there are things every time that I notice new, but I think they are always there.  This time, I remember going through the Ticket and Transportation Center, and there were tons of people on the road and on the monorail ramp, and a mini inverted hill, but I swear I have no recollection of this in January.  Sometimes I think I just zone out and run.  I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad :-)

The first few miles of the race are really not too exciting.  Carrying everything in my pockets was not working - I was having to stop like every 5 steps and pull my skirt up!  It would not be very princess-like to lose my bottoms! I took one GU and my tissues, and put them in the pockets of my sweatpants (and then of course forgot to take them back out when I tossed my pants at mile 3...oops), and carried my camera.  I carried my camera for the 5K, so it wasn't too big of a deal, plus I was always ready for a quick picture, and I no longer had to fidget with my outfit so it was win win :-) 

Once we made it to the Magic Kingdom parking lot, I had to stop and take a picture! 

And thanks to having Garmy with me, I  knew that I was keeping well above pace, so I decided that I was going to slow my roll and enjoy the park.  As usual the Magic Kingdom was amazing!!! Although, there is some construction going on at (I think) Main Street Bakery.  So they have this little fake building like thing set out that covers the sidewalk and goes all the way to the curb.  This fake blue house thing was somewhat interfering with the immediate view of Cinderella's castle that you get when you make that first turn onto Main Street.  So I jumped over to the left side of the road :-) Must maximize the happiness!  I stopped to take a picture in front of the castle before making the turn into Tomorrowland.

Somewhere in between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland I ran into these guys, and the line was short, so I figured I would make another little pit stop!

Just past them, we came back around and could see the back of the castle.  They had the trumpet player people up on the top which was cool, and royal Mickey was there just before we ran through.  I thought about jumping into that line for a picture, but it was super long, and I was excited to go through the castle...seriously, why is that so awesome?  So weird I know! But that tiny mile through the Magic Kingdom is well worth the price of admission :-) 

Mom was standing in her usual as I came down the path out of the castle, I made sure not to be making any doofy faces since I knew there were cameras sitting all over the place right there.  But once I made it down the little hill, I went into search mode and practically fell over another photographer sitting on the ground! Oops.  I am sure that picture will definitely be a keeper!  When I saw mom, I gave her my camera, knowing that the characters out on the road had long lines, and I wouldn't stop anymore anyway.  Of course as soon as we turned the corner, Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen were right there with a decently short line, but oh well.  

We ran through Frontierland and eventually back out of the park for the journey back to EPCOT.  This is the point where I decided I was starving.  I had forgotten to take my GU out of my pants pocket, and I had already eaten one, so I was down to one, with 7 miles to go.  So I decided to wait until I hit mile 10 to eat it, to try to space things out a little.  Ordinarily, towards the end of a race, Chocolate GU is my absolute favorite snack.  Its like chocolate cake batter! So yummy! For some reason though, I had to choke it down this time.  I have no idea why.  I can never stomach any of the fruity flavors, but Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, and Vanilla I am usually good to go with. 

Mile 10 is also the point when I ran out of energy (should not have waited to eat that stupid GU, oh well).  My legs were killing me!  My shins and calves felt great (thanks to my compression socks), but my quads and hamstrings were totally revolting against me for making them do all this running.  I still trucked on though :-)  And then just as I was making the final turn to head through the EPCOT parking lot into the park, it started to rain!! Cold, misty, miserable rain.  It was not really heavy thank goodness, just enough to soak me, annoy me, freeze me, and then stop :-)  Figures that this would be the first race ever that I wear a white shirt in! Which thank goodness was fairly thick so no one got any kind of free show!

The final stretch into EPCOT was great! There were lots of spectators cheering, and one lady holding up a sign that said something like "Complete Stranger I am proud of you too!".  It was awesome, and she could not have picked a more perfect spot to be.  It was a nice little boost to push us through the last mile or so of the race.  I have no idea where we wind through the park, lol...I know we make an out and back somewhere, but no idea where.  Its part of the 5K course, because I do remember running it the day before, but beyond that who knows.  Told you, I am not observant! The best part of EPCOT was having the Fairy Godmother out taking pictures! I have never seen her out on the course, and it figures I did not have my camera, and her line was not all that long.  It was just not meant to be.  But really, at that point I knew the finish line was super close and was not about to stop running!

Just around the corner was the gospel choir, and they were exceptionally upbeat! They were cheering and giving high fives to runners.  They started to sing, but I cannot remember what they were singing - shocking right!  It was something I had heard before, and the girls in front of me started singing along...maybe something from Sister Act? Joyful Joyful or Oh Happy Day?  Beats me.  I booked it past the mile 13 sign (which says "Finish" on it, even though there is clearly another .1 to go...whats up with that?) and down the path of cheering sections to the finish line.  I actually remembered to stop my Garmin when I crossed, usually I am wandering around after getting my medal and realize it is still running, but I was watching that bad boy like a hawk, so I managed to stop it at the right time.  It was a 3 minute PR, and 17 minutes faster than last years Princess.  So that was pretty exciting!  Its still no where near being any kind of fast, but at least I am heading in the right direction :-)

I collected my tiara medal, and grabbed some snacks and my checked bag.  It had started to rain a little bit at this point, so I grabbed my jacket out of my bag and tried to somewhat organize all of the stuff I was trying to carry before going to look for mom.  I shuffled very slowly and painfully out to our meeting spot, and we began the 800 mile trek into EPCOT (it was probably only a couple hundred feet, but my entire body was in pain at this point, so it seemed like the longest walk ever!).  Once in the park I changed out of my rained on race clothes so that we could go to Canada and Le Cellier for lunch! 

It was accidentally brilliant planning on my part because not only was Le Cellier amazing, but it is also the first country in the World Showcase so I did not have to hobble halfway around the "world".  We got there just as they were opening, and all of the servers came out into the little entry waiting area and sang "O Canada".  In French.  Lovely singing, no idea what they were saying :-)  I will google it later!

We sat down and began what is now officially my favorite meal in all of EPCOT, and I have had some good ones!

We started out with the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup and Pretzel Bread.  Whoa yum!  I mean, what brilliant human being thought about turning a pretzel into bread and serving it with soup!  It tasted like regular soft pretzel, just a little bit thicker, and in the form of a breadstick sort of.  I am hungry just thinking about it.  There were some other kinds of bread in the basket, but I did not even touch them.  I am sure they were equally good though :-)

The restaurant was sort of dark, so my pictures did not come out all that well.  You get the idea, but my photography really does not do any of the food justice! 

Then we each ordered the Mushroom Filet Mignon.  Mom kept the mushroom risotto with hers, and I switched to the cream cheese mashed potatoes.  I am not a huge mushroom fan, so I was a little nervous that the risotto would be too much for me.  But honestly, it was absolutely amazing.  The mashed potatoes were delicious as well, and I am glad we got a chance to try them both, but next time I am sticking with the risotto!

I only ate about half of my meal because I needed to save room for dessert....Maple Creme Brulee!  Oh my dear lord it was so amazing!! I thought the Creme Brulee in Les Chefs de France was going to be my all time favorite, but this quickly ousted it! I would have considered licking the bowl if I were at home :-) 

After lunch, we rode the bus back to Animal Kingdom Lodge, picked up our suitcases and headed home.  Another successful race in the books :-) 

I love this race!! I am all about wearing my tiara and being called a princess.  Its a shame that it is not appropriate for me to wear my tiara on a daily basis.  In fact, I forgot I had it on when I pulled into my parking lot, and got a few strange looks from my neighbors :-)  I mean, sure there are always things that could go better, but honestly, for there being 19000 ish runners, I think its a great race.  I cannot wait for the next one!  No one does it quite like Disney!

I was really lucky and constantly had cheerful and friendly people around me.  I did not hear any kind of negativity or snarkyness, which thankfully I have found to be so rare at running events.  Oh except at the very end, and I mean the very end.  Past the choir and just before hitting the last straightaway to the finish line, we are on a sidewalk, and the sidewalk splits and there is some grass/bushes/nature-like stuff in the middle.  I came up on two girls that were walking, and I was already too late to just jump onto the other part of the sidewalk, so I stepped onto the grassy part to go around them.  It wasn't a big deal or anything, I just took a step or two of offroading.  I was bound and determined to run that last tenth of a mile to the finish.  As I passed them, the one girl started yelling something about how they were at the finish and people were having to go around them because she was walking.  At first I thought she was yelling at me, so I turned around to get a better look at what was going on, but she was yelling at her friend, who was walking, and did not look very happy.  Dude...yelling is not encouragement.  Its not nice on any regular day, it is certainly not nice after 13 miles of running - no matter how fast or slow you are moving.  This is why I prefer to run on my own.  Not that I have friends that would yell at me or anything, and not because I would ever yell at someone else, but this way I do not have to worry about disappointing any one else if I am just not having a good day.  Although, for the record, 99.99% of the rest of the runners who were either in groups or alone, were super encouraging to each other.  This girl was definitely the exception, not the rule.  Thank goodness!

I hope all the people out in cyberspace who are considering running this race (or any other Disney race) in the future can weed through the negativity and complaining that inevitably seems to pop up right after an event and find the great experiences and stories out there that make the race special.  I know I am already excited for next year...and cannot wait to see what will be in store for the 5th Anniversary!!!!!