Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Approaching Race Day

Oh yeah.  I'm running the Country Music Half Marathon this Saturday.

More specifically, I am pacing the race.  I'll be running as one of the 2:15 pacers.  If you'd like to run with me, you can sign up for the pace group and get more information at the Nashville Striders booth at the race expo this Thursday and Friday.

It's an average 10:20 mile.  Some miles are a bit hillier, so we'll try to run consistently with a little flexibility for the hillier miles being slower and the less hilly miles being a little faster.

We've had storm after storm (and some tornados here and there) all week, but it looks like it will be sunny and warm on race day.  I'll definitely say a prayer or two that it's cool in the morning and stays cool until the race is over, but I know it may be wishful thinking. :)

Hope to see you out there! If you live in Nashville and are not running the race, I encourage you to get out there on the course and cheer on everyone.  It's really fun to watch 35,000 people running a distance race.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Tucker

Today my sweet Tucker turns FIVE!

I can't believe I'm posting the below photo because I'm looking pretty rough in it, but it's one of the few that shows just how tiny he was when I first got him in June 2006 (when I was 23, wow!)

Tucker has been with me since I first moved into my first apartment and lived on my own.  He's kept me company and made my life a lot warmer.

He's certainly not that tiny little kitten any more, but he's still got that same incredible purr and lovey personality that caused me to pick him from the litter.

Happy birthday Tucker!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rah Rah Ah Ah Aha

On Tuesday, Lady Gaga came to Nashville.

My friends and I had bought tickets... in September... SEVEN months ago.  To say that we were excited that April 19 finally rolled around is an understatement.

We all met up at a friend's office and got ready together and agreed it's like Halloween in April.  (Our outfits were tame compared to some of the ones we saw once we got to the show.)

Then, we totally went to dinner at SATCO all dressed up.  I have to say that I have never been out and had so many people staring at me and my friends. People actually came over and asked if they could take pictures of us.  There is no telling how many photos there are of us on the Facebook pages of perfect strangers!

A friend also noticed that my stamp the restaurant gave me is the Facebook Like!

Soon we were heading downtown...

Once we made it to the arena, we hung around outside for a bit.  It was a beautiful evening, and people watching was a blast!  And once again, everyone wanted pictures of us...

There were also some protestors who made sure to tell us we were all going to hell.  I really wanted to go over and let them know that I have Jesus and am confident my presence at a Lady Gaga concert is no worse than anything any of them have ever done (not to mention point out to them that Jesus did reach people by threatening them... have they heard of love?), but I decided I was there to have fun!

Before long it was time to head in... which took forever.  I have never had to stand in such a crowd trying to get into anything at this arena.

We found our seats just as the opening band was wrapping up their set. (I have no idea who it was, and I didn't mind that we missed them.)  And then we waited... because Lady Gaga does things on her watch.

As in, I had time to go to the bathroom twice.  On my second trip, I walked past 3 of what may have been 3 of very few straight men at the concert.  They were staring... so I smiled and nodded and said, "gentleman."  I may have even stopped to speak, but then one opened his mouth and said "Nice dress, baby."  I smiled, said thanks and kept walking.  Maybe it's too picky, but I'm not really impressed by a guy I don't know calling me baby.  Total turnoff.

Finally, Lady Gaga took the stage around 10.  What followed over the next two hours was crazy and intense and SO much fun!

Yep, this would be a piano in the hood of a car.

We danced and sang along the ENTIRE time.  I'm pretty sure I got just as much of a workout as I would have if I had run a few miles.  We had a total blast.  I know some people are not a fan of Lady Gaga... but I'm actually really impressed by her.  She actually has a pretty encouraging message when she talks in between songs... she said several things about being yourself and not letting anyone tell you you're not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, etc.

And the woman can sing.  And dance.

I was thoroughly entertained.

The show ended around 12:15. We all would have loved to have gone out downtown after the show, but it's hard to pull that off on a Tuesday when we all have work the next day.  (We're getting old.)

I'm not sure I've recovered yet from the late night, but it was totally worth it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wrecking Crew Reunion in Chicago

This weekend I headed up to Chicago for a little Wrecking Crew Reunion with my two best friends.  I was a bit nervous on Friday about whether or not I'd actually make it.  You may or may not know that there were some pretty severe storms and tornados tearing through the south on Friday... I just said a little prayer and headed on to the airport, and we managed to take off before a pretty bad storm hit.

Granted, I had a VERY bumpy flight.  It turns out, Amanda almost didn't get out Toronto due to bad weather and also had a bumpy flight.  We both finally made it and reunited with Steph and her hubby at the train station around 9pm.  We were greeted by pouring rain and were soaked by the time we made the walk back to their house, but that didn't stop us from downing some pizza and having a fun night hanging out and catching up.

On Saturday, the weather pretty much sucked.  We went out for some lunch and had some girl time in the afternoon, but it was cold.  And windy.  And raining.  Oh, and then it was snowing.  That was a surprise, and I wondered if this sign would become relevant.

Later that evening, we headed out and checked out this swanky bar called Edge.  We had a lovely evening, and the owner even bought us a round.  Sweet.  It's always so good to get together with these girls and catch up, even if we're not doing a ton.

On Sunday, we grabbed some lunch and just hung out until it was time to head out to the airport.  It was a fairly uneventful weekend since the weather was a bit disappointing, but it was still just awesome to be able to spend the weekend with these gals.  We were talking at one point about how we wonder if other people are as lucky as we are to have this kind of friendship... the kind where you can go for months without seeing each other and keeping in touch by email and then getting together and picking up like we see each other every week.

I wouldn't be who I am without these girls.

Even more exciting? I get to see Steph again at least 2-3 more times this year... and all three of us will be together in Chicago when I go up for the marathon.  Super awesome.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Playing in the Park

My friend Erin had mentioned ages ago that we should go take pictures in the park some time, and I was pretty intrigued by the idea.  I haven't really had any good pictures of me since my senior pictures were taken... TEN years ago.  

The weather here in Nashville was freaking gorgeous this past weekend, so we decided to head over to Centennial Park and snap some photos.  Erin is AMAZING, and you can check out here photography website here

I don't mean to be narcissistic, but it is kind of cool to have some good photographs of myself... this is a pretty fun phase of life, and it's nice to know I'll always have these pictures to kind of reflect on where I was at around this time.  Here are a few of my favorites...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hello Humidity

On Saturday, I set out with two friends to run the Country Music Half Marathon course.  Since I'm running as a pacer again this year, I felt it would be wise to give it a test run and ensure I know what I'm doing.  I haven't really trained much on the course since I ran it last year.

Plus, they changed the course a bit from the previous years... so it only made sense that I should get the lay of the land.  Unfortunately, they didn't change it for the better.  While they did eliminate an out and back that occurred on Belmont Blvd. and was WAY too crowded, they also managed to add some pretty tough hills.  This is further evidence to me that Competitor Group cares way more about their profit than their runners... but we all know I have numerous other reasons for not caring much for their events.

The bigger issue of the day was the humidity.  You see... Tennessee takes issue with having four seasons.  We tend to jump from winter to summer and then back to winter.  Case in point? 90 degrees and humid over the weekend, but sunny and gorgeous.  70 degrees and thunderstorms/tornados yesterday.  Got down to 40 something overnight and is back to sunny today, but still a bit cool.  There's not a lot of "in between" weather around here, and it will soon be hot as hell and that's that.

But Saturday was the first truly humid day I've experience this year, and running 13.1 miles in it was not ideal.  I was so sweaty after just a few miles that I opted to run in just my sports bra - something I rarely do.  (I guess it helps that I've had someone recently tell me my stomach is a lot nicer than I tend to think... it definitely boosted my confidence in showing my tummy a bit.)  I had some water with me, but I definitely should have carried more.  And by the time we got done, I was more drained than I am after a marathon.

I stopped at a gas station for a Gatorade (which I drank right away) and a Coke (for later... I tend to crave them after a hot run sometimes).  I rinsed off the sweat and salt.  Then, I took to the couch for about four hours.  I still felt hot and nauseous, and I didn't have any energy to do anything else for a while (despite the fact that I desperately need to clean my apartment).

I know that it's going to be a good thing that I not only ran the course, but that I had a chance to log a long run in the humidity.  No one wants for their first humid run to come on race day.  I'll definitely be a lot more prepared for that if it happens.

I did eventually start to feel better, and I spent some time at the park with a friend snapping some photos... I'll have to share a few of those soon.  It feels a little narcisstic that I have all these pictures of myself, but I haven't had any good ones of me since my senior pictures... TEN years ago. So it was time.  I mean, we all need a good Facebook profile pic, right?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Current Song

This song was shared with me recently, and for some reason it's been in my head for weeks since then.  It's kind of beautiful.  Give it a listen and read the lyrics.  It's simple... but I think that's part of what I like so much.

i've been going down

down into the river baby

listen to the sound

it's something only god knows

you figure it out, i can't stay

water's in the clouds

is my life about to change?

who knows, who cares

so we took a van down to colorado

where we ran into the dead

i took you by the hand

know that even with your doubts, it's ok

take into account that it's not about to change

who knows, who cares

you could let it down

jump into the river baby

easy as it sounds

it's never quite as easily done

the current has us now, it's ok

take into account that it's all about to change

who knows, who cares

no one's been there

but i don't care

i know all have been there

i don't care

i know

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

101 in 1001 Update

I know I'm a few days late in posting this, but it's better to be late on an update than never write one, right?

Here's what I accomplished on my list in March... I have to admit that I've been a little preoccupied the past month in a way that I hadn't been in months before, but it was kind of because of it that I got as much done as I did.

36. Learn how to make 10 new dinner recipes - I found a recipe and made honey glazed porkchops, and then I was told they were the best porkchops my dinner companion had ever had.  SUCCESS.

56. Plan at least five $5 dates - This is kind of a pansy way to achive this, but this definitely happened a few times this month.  I can't say I was all that creative though... renting a RedBox movie and calling it a date doesn't really count, so I'm just going to say that the few times that happened at my suggestion this month count as one instance.  I need to get more creative.

57. Find a church and get involved - I'm not really ready to say this is done, but I have been visiting a church a lot this month that I'm really liking.  We'll see how it goes in the next few months.

64. Put money in my Roth IRA each year - I finally put some in to count for 2010.  Yay!  I may have to credit someone for reminding me it made more sense to have some money there than to have it sitting in my savings account.

68. Go to three concerts per year - I saw Bright Eyes at the Ryman on St. Patrick's Day.  Excellent show.

78. Go ice skating again - I had a coupon for buy one get one free, so after dinner one night we headed on over to the Sportsples.  He used to play ice hockey... and this was my fourth time to ice skate... ever.  It ended up being a blast, but there may have been a bruised knee (and it wasn't mine).

84a. Try 10 new beers in the States - I finished this task when I tried Stella for the first time.  I know.. how have I not had it before?

95. Watch one new movie per month, minimum - Oh boy did I achieve this one. The King's Speech, Eat Pray Love, Life As We Know It, Toy Story 3, Jackass 3, How Do You Know, The Tourist, Last Three Days, Due Date, and Love and Other Drugs.

96. Read one book per month, minimum - I read a book called The Anointing that I had to read for work.