Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thankful Tuesday

There are a lot of good people in my life, and I was driving to work this morning thinking about them and how thankful I am to be so lucky as to know all of them.

I have friends who let me talk until I'm blue in the face about whatever's on my mind, even if I'm being completely ridiculous about something.

I have friends who will text me about a song they heard on the radio that reminds them of a fun night we had and how we need to do it again.

I have friends who want to try to find me dates.

I have friends who want to bring over a bottle of wine and watch a movie.

I have friends who will sit with me at a business meeting and know I'm having a bad day but that know I'm glad to just know that he/she is there by my side and that we don't have to talk about it.

I have friends who will run MILES with me.  And listen to me talk about anything and everything on my mind.

I do have a best friend or two, but in a way... I feel like I have a lot of "best friends."  There are a lot of people in my life that I know through different avenues who are just amazing to me and kind of count as being a best friend in some way, even if it's different from how another friend may be.

I'm a lucky girl.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Recipe Success

There was a discussion about what to make for dinner.

Pork chops sound good, he said.

And they're cheap, he said.

Honey glazed or blackened pepper sounds good, he said.

Here's the thing... I'd never cooked pork chops in my life.

I did a Google search and found this awesome honey-glazed pork chop recipe.  I already had all the ingredients except the chops, and it looked so easy!

I picked up the pork chops and followed the recipe.  I got some corn and made a salad.  We had some rolls.  It turned out to be a lovely meal.

This might be the best pork chop I've ever had, he said.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Guess Who Got an iPhone?

Me!

I have wanted one ever since they first came out, but I had been biding my time for Verizon to offer them... and yesterday was the day I finally went and got mine!

So.  Tell me.  What games and apps do I absolutely HAVE to have?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Accent Vlog

I decided to hop on board the Accent Vlog train... mostly because I feel like you all get a kick out of my southern accent whenever I post a video.

Accent Vlog from Mel Belle on Vimeo.

List of Words:
Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Rain, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

Questions:
  • What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
  • What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
  • What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
  • What do you call gym shoes?
  • What do you say to address a group of people?
  • What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
  • What do you call your grandparents?
  • What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
  • What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
  • What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Race Report: Tom King Half Marathon

On Saturday, I ran one of my favorite half marathons in the state... the Tom King Half Marathon.

I've run this one quite a few times, and it's known for having terrifically crappy weather.  This year we got lucky.  It was in the 60s with a breeze, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

I met up with some of my favorite runners and got checked in, and I was excited to wear my new East Nasty top.  (Melissa, Liz, me, Matt, and Erin)

I was also excited to see one of the guys from my last job and his wife.  I love these two, and I don't get to see them often enough!



I was feeling pretty good, but I still wasn't sure what I was capable of for the day.  My plan was to start out by taking it easy and assess as the miles went by whether or not I could pick it up.

Matt and I started out together, and we found that was easily ran in first mile under 8:30.  I was honestly a little shocked because it really didn't feel like we were running that fast, and I immediately felt nervous about whether or not I had started out too fast.

As the next couple of miles went by, I felt warm.  I had felt a little ridiculous putting on a tank top and sorts that morning, but I was SO thankful that I did!  If there hadn't been a breeze, I think it might have ended up being a pretty miserable run.  This is the first time in months that I've run in temperatures this warm.

I also felt a side stitch.  It wasn't totally there, but I knew that it could get ugly at any moment.  I focused on my breathing and form, and after a few miles managed to get it to clear up.

Somewhere around mile 8 I flipped on my iPod for a little background noise.  Matt and I had been chatting a little bit, and we had run for a while with Liz and chatted with her... but I felt like it was time to focus in a bit more.  We had been running a lot of miles in the vicinity of the 8:30 pace, and I wanted to keep it up.

I think I took off a bit a little before mile 11.  I was definitely not able to run too much faster, but I felt strong and wanted to see what I could pull off.  I knew that I was going sub-2:00, which is really all I wanted to do... but I started thinking I could break 1:55 and began to push.

As I got closer to the stadium, I knew I could pull it off as long as I didn't fall apart.  Before long, I was running up the tunnel onto the Titans field and running around the field to the finish line.  I think I was focusing pretty hard on not throwing up (I had a spectator in the stands that I did NOT want to witness that!) so I never noticed them say my name or see myself on the JumboTron.

It turns out I clocked a 1:54:43.  I'll take it!  It's about 2 minutes off my PR, and it's not sub-1:50 like I'd like to do someday... but considering I haven't been training quite right and it took me so long to recover from Disney, I was pretty pleased.  I also placed 25 out of 109 gals in my age group!

I found Matt and Liz after the race, and we were all glad to get this one behind us.  We had some food in the stadium club to celebrate that we all managed to survive qualifying for the Marathon Maniacs with three marathons over November, December and January.  None of us really had the race we wanted, but it's nice to know we're getting there.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Runner Brain

So here's the thing.

I had all these grand aspirations to come back from Disney World, take a little break to recover, and then hit the pavement hard.  The way I saw it, I was in the best shape of my life and would just keep building on that.  I figured I'd keep the mileage up and could PR at a spring half, all the while staying in shape for fulls.

Yeah, about that...

My body definitely needed a lot more time to recover.  I took several weeks off.  When I started running again, it was only for short distances.  I ran that half in February and felt defeated when I finished in 2:11 and was exhausted.  I've skipped long runs.  I've cut long runs short. 

I've realized that I had some pretty unrealistic expectations.

I have a half coming up on Saturday, one that I had hoped to PR at... but I know that I'm a bit undertrained.  It sucks considering just two months ago I was at the end of a crazy training cycle that had me running 39.3 miles in one weekend.  I mean, I had PRed in almost EVERY distance in the few months proceeding that.  How can I be in this place now where I'm doubting my ability to run a half well?

I have to remember that I have kept running enough that I've gone out on some 12-13 mile runs in the past month.  I can't really complain about that.  It's not like I'm out of shape.  I'm just not as in shape as I'd like to be.

Typical runner brain.  I know that I've done the right thing by allowing myself ample time to recover and ease back into it, but at the same time it's really hard to not feel like I've been a slacker.  I know it'd be nuts to try to PR at this race, but I also kind of want to try.  Maybe my legs are really fresh?

Nonetheless, I think the best thing is for me to get out there, run what feels comfortable, and see what happens.

But I won't lie... I'll still be pushing it to see what I can do.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

101 in 1001 Update

7. Join the Nashville Striders for a group run at least once a year - I've already attended one of the spring training runs, but I'll definitely attend a few more between now and April.

13. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame - The museum had a free community day a few weeks ago, so I went with a few friends.  We checked out the exhibits and heard a free concert by Street Corner Symphony.  It was a nice afternoon, and I'm glad I finally got to go inside the museum.

36. Learn how to make 5 new dinner recipes - This month I followed a recipe I got from my cousin for poppy seed chicken.  Yum.  Someone also taught me how to make french toast this month... it was way easier than I had thought it would be.

48. Mail a card/letter to someone four times a year (doesn't have to be the same person) - I sent a thank you card to the sweet couple who let me into their home during the crazy snow we had a few weeks go.  A few kind words and a Starbucks card felt like the least I could do to thank them for being so kind to me.

95. Watch one new movie per month, minimum - Oh, I definitely watched a few this month. Solitary Man (it was ok, but I was a little distracted), Paranormal Activity 2 (it's true that it was just as good as the first... because it was pretty much the exact same movie as the first), Cop Out (Bruce Willis and Tracey Morgan - funnier than expected), and Death Race (gory, but had some good action).

96. Read one book per month, minimum - I am almost done with Sophie Kinsella's Can You Keep a Secret?  It's a short month, so I'm cutting myself some slack for not being done yet.