Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Does it Really Matter

- After our half marathon one of the things available was corn that you added mayonnaise and siracha sauce to. Don't knock it till you try it. I may or may not be eating that right now as a snack. 
- I'm excited that the weather forecast for Thanksgiving is cold. Bring on the sweatshirts, campfire, hot chocolate and quilts. 
- I use men's razors. They're cheaper and get same result. 
- I ate really good, healthy last week. I've bombed all that since the weekend. Taco Bell after trivia last night. Slap forehead. Get it together Calista. 
- I ran for the first time Monday since half and it felt so good. 
- I feel like I'm getting sick. Not an option.
- I'm so ready for my hair appointment tomorrow. That is the understatement of the week eh month. It's been awful since last cut. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Everyone wants silky smooth skin not itchy, ashy and dull skin.  I do a very good job at moisturizing my face and neck at a minimum of once a day.  I am miserable at putting lotion on any other part of my body.  I've seen Vaseline's commercial for their Spray and Go and I've wanted to try it for sometime.  I've also recently seen commercials for St Ives spray moisturizer. So this weekend I was buying one of these products at the store when grocery shopping. Kroger only had the Vaseline one and I'm proud to say I've used it for three days now. My skin is soft, it's fast to absorb and has a nice but faint smell.  I would definitely recommend this product. There are three types, total moisture, aloe fresh and cocoa radiant.  I went with the total moisture.  If you're like me and fail to take care of all your skin, do yourself a favor and pick this product up on your next trip to the store.  Winter's coming and your skin is going to be even drier...just saying.  Hurry. Go. Now.  Run. Get out of here. What are you still doing here!?!?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gumbo is good for the soul

I don't think I ever had gumbo until I moved to Houston 7 1/2+ years ago.  I love a good gumbo.  I've had good and bad and you definitely know when you're having a good one. One of my favorites is from Babin's Seafood House which makes New Orleans style seafood.  During their happy hours you can get a bowl for $3 and they have happy hour on the weekends too.  Not that I've ever been...once maybe...ok ok twice ;-)  This weekend I was craving gumbo but wanted to try making it myself. I have only made it once before using a family recipe that a friend gave me. I couldn't find the recipe and so I followed a one I found on Pinterest.  After 7 hours of cooking it turned out delicious and was even better tonight.

I think the key is having the perfect roux.  The recipe said it took like 15 was more like 30+ mins till it was as dark as I wanted. Just when I thought I was done, I would cook it a little bit more and it would become an even richer color. You can purchase roux at the grocery store or at least I did the first time I made it.  Making your own just takes time and patience. 

A pot on the stove would be just as easy to cook on low but the crockpot allows you to set it and leave it.  I never worry about putting something in the crockpot and leaving the house but the stove and oven are a whole other story.

When I made our plates for dinner I served it like I see at restaurants.  If it wasn't going to taste good, it was going to look good.  But alas it was delicious served with a side of French bread to dip into it and will enjoy it probably all week because I doubled the recipe.  Bon app├ętit 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Does It Really Matter

- My winter workout clothes are from Walmart and I love them. Thumb holes in the sleeves anyone???
- I have a hole in one of my eyebrows. I have no idea how it got there. I guess I pulled it out in my sleep. Who knows?!?!
- I'm excited to decorate for Christmas but will refrain till after Thanksgiving. 
- I'm not a fan of Olive Garden but will go for my husband. It's one of his favorites.  However, I should stick with soup and salad. I'm always disappointed with anything else.
- Thankful posts on Facebook are annoying.
- I have a note on my iPad that's been there for like a month planning our Thanksgiving meal. 
- I made a one page document analyzing the available rooms at Big Cedar Lodge (Bass Pro Shop's resort in Missouri) for a friend's wedding next May.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Half Marathon Recap

My first half marathon experience was pretty exciting and the weekend was equally as relaxing and fun. I arrived in Fort Worth Friday evening and we planned on a low key night. We went to dinner at Hooters. I mean where else would two girls go for dinner?!?!  When we got there it was families, a table of women behind us, couples but in the middle of the meal it seemed to change to all men. We weren't surprised by it just funny to see the switch. We went back to Natalie's apartment to watch a movie or something. I suggested we watch the first episode of Damages. Loved that show but never got to finish it when it switched to a DirecTv only channel.  Natalie didn't make it through the entire episode and fell asleep on the couch.  I then had to put sheets on her bed myself. I think it was all part of an evil plan. She blamed me for her spending most of the night on the couch.  I did try to wake her.

Saturday we woke up for some FaceTiming with sweet Harper Lily. She felt the need to show us her crackers in her mouth. She has so much personality and oh so cute. We got dressed and went out for a quick walk in the neighborhood behind her apartment.

 We ran some errands, picked up our race bibs and then went back to the apartment to get ready while watching football in order to go to the Greek Festival.  It was a smaller festival focused mainly on food and the food was so good.  They made a gravy to put over the rice.  It was my favorite out of everything and so I asked the lady who was serving on how to make it. She was pretty vague but I found some recipes on the Internet that I think are what she was trying to explain.  

Naps, water and carbs were in the picture the rest of the evening.  At BJ's Brewhouse we had the "pleasure" of sitting next to a guy who was from Louisiana but cheered for Alabama. He said "Roll Tide" a minimum of a million times while we there.  We couldn't take it anymore so we left to watch the rest of the game at home.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to sleep but I had a really good nights sleep.  Start time for the half was 8:00am. We wanted to leave by 6:45 to give us plenty of time.  I was a ball of nerves not knowing if I had trained properly, how my body would handle it all, etc.  We got there with plenty of time.  We stretched, drank some water, talked with some other runners and of course a selfie.  

They introduced a guy who had just started running the beginning of the year and had lost like 50+ lbs.   They surprised him by getting his mom here from Aberdeen, Scotland. It was the sweetest thing.  They hugged and they cried.  I may have teared up as well. We learned a little more of their story because we ran a bit in the middle of the race with his mom.  She had arthritis and was carrying 60 extra lbs. So two years ago she started running.  They were the sweetest people. Unfortunately for her son his knee gave out and we passed him walking at the 8 or 9 mile mark.  When he had passed us before we got to the turn around, he was very encouraging to us as we're a lot of the other runners. I love the atmosphere of a race and the way everyone pushes each other along.  Some of my best runs are at busier parks because I race other runners there even though they don't know I'm racing them.  I guess it's the competiveness in me no matter what I'm doing.

Having support from friends and family throughout the weekend helped as well.  My phone went off several times throughout the race and we were happy and motivated to push through because of all of those cheering us on from different places across the country.

Before we knew it was time to line up.  There weren't any corrals because it wasn't that huge of a race.  The countdown began and we were off.  

knew I had to pull my pace back from where I was in my training runs cause I didn't want to gas out at the end.  We started a little faster with all the other runners and then pulled back.  We kept a nice pace through out, walked for the few seconds at the water stations and had fun when there were guys to take pictures.  

The first half we felt good and after the first and second mile my legs were on auto pilot. Once we were close to the turn around I felt a little tired but not too bad. A couple shot blocks and I was good.  I made sure to alternate Gatorade and water at the stations.  They also had orange slices and bananas which helped cause I started to get hungry at points even though I had eaten breakfast.  I just kept telling myself there are fajitas and beer at the end.  I really felt good through the whole thing and when the finish line was in sight I pushed the turbo button and took off.  We finished at 2 hours and 51 minutes and very proud of ourselves.  We sat on a curb, drank some water, watched as other runners came through and still in shock that we had done it.  

The race was very well organized and it was the perfect race to be our first half.  The race had very few hills and was flat with lots to look at through out the course.  The finishers medal was a belt buckle which I thought was a neat change from a regular medal. (I've only got a medal from one other race so it's not like I have tons) I'm ready to start training for our next race, which we plan to do in February.  Most people finished around the 2 and a half mark and so my goal for the next race is obviously to beat this race's time but also get as close to 2:30:00 mark as I can.  

Running for me is not all rainbows, skittles and cotton candy.  There are days I hate it. There are days I love it.  My body is getting use to it.  I had aches, tightness and pain Sunday evening and on Monday but again not as bad as I thought it was going to be. The mini massage at the race expo afterwards probably helped.  I still can't believe I did it and smile or get this feeling when I see the sticker on the back of my car.  When I started running at the beginning of the year the most I thought I would do was a 10K. A 5K felt like an acheiment to finish and now three miles is a walk in the park.  I don't have a desire to do a marathon...for now. I'm just going to focus on my goal of two half marathons for next year.  Anyone can be a runner because it's just you and the road.  You don't need fancy equipment.  You just need the desire.  It truly is mind over body and once you figure that out, it's not that daunting.

Friday, November 8, 2013

It's THAT weekend

No it's not my wedding weekend.  Been there, done that.  It's not a holiday. Although they are coming soon and my mouth is already salivating for all the Thanksgiving yummies. We're camping for Thanksgiving this year so preparation should be interesting but I love a challenge which kind of segues into why this weekend is going to be er uh um....epic?!?! A little over 3 moths ago I got a text from all the way across the pond asking if I wanted to train for a half marathon and how about we do it in November.  Sure. No. Sure. was kind of my response. And you guessed it folks....this Sunday Natalie and I will be running our first half marathon...13 point freaking one miles.  Oh and that's what our shirts say too.  My longest training run was 9.69 miles.  I don't think I'm scared by the amount of miles. I think I'm just anxious, scared and nervous for the experience as a whole.  I've read about marathons. I've read about how to prepare, what to do the night before and the morning of but in my head I feel like there will be a sign on my back that says "it's her first marathon. She doesn't know what she's doing."  But then I remind myself all I have to do is run, run and run some more.  Let's just hope I don't cry like a fool like I did after 8.69 miles because I was by myself then and no one's pretty when they cry. 

I have run several 5ks and I will say the race day experience and environment is awesome. I'm totes looking forward to that and know everyone's enthusiasm will push us through. So by next week I'll be able to order the cute half marathon charm from James Avery and who knows, I may put a sticker on the back of my car.  

I'll rest a week and then start again because well my goal for next year is to do two half marathons. I have the ones I want to do picked out and I really hope they both pan out.  

So wish us luck, send us good mojo and be on standby should we collapse.  Here goes nothing....

Monday, November 4, 2013

Half Marathon Training Update

It's less than one week until the Fort Worth Half. Am I scared? You bet. Do I have any doubt we'll finish? None at all.  Do I think I have trained enough? Nope.  Last week I ran once.  Everything I've read said that you should taper the week before which means no long runs but I should have run a little more than that last week.  I let the weather dictate my running last week. Shame. Over the years I have found in order to succeed I have to set goals, make plans and write them down. 

So this week's goals are the following:

- run 3 times
- eat cleaner (I guess starting tomorrow because I failed today.)
- drink LOTS of water
- plenty of sleep

As I look at the above list I realize it's things I need to do better on a daily basis.  I've seen a lot of bloggers posting about staying on track through the holiday season.  I want to not only stay on track, I want to do better in order to get in the 140s. I'm not far but since June I've stayed between 153-157. I know there's thought that the number doesn't matter and blah blah blah.  However, I want that number and I plan to get there in the next 6 weeks.