Tuesday, December 25, 2012




Part of why I've disappeared a little bit from blog land is that I have been spending a lot of time with Adam for a while now.  It's sort of a long story and one that I feel I'd rather not divulge every tiny detail of on the internet.

Adam and I met in 2003 and have been friends for a long time, but through a series of events we ended up reconnecting a bit this summer.  Over the past 6 months or so, we fell in love and realized we wanted to spend our lives together.  We'd been talking about it, but I wasn't expecting to get engaged until spring.

We had planned a weekend trip to NYC months ago - both to see a Dave Matthews Band concert and to explore the city at Christmastime.  (I'll save the trip recap for another post.)

On our last night, I really wanted to get a picture in Rockefeller Center in front of the big tree.  They had someone set up to take them and you could buy them, and I insisted that we stand in line to take one so that we'd have a really good picture with the tree.

After posing for a photo or two, Adam started talking and next thing I knew he was down on one knee.  I was SO surprised!

It took me a little bit to compose myself, but once I did I said yes and he put my beautiful ring on my finger.  I was shaking with adrenaline and couldn't stop smiling and kissing him.

Needless to say, this has been the best Christmas of my life. :)

I hope you've all had a very, merry Christmas.  If anyone has any great advice on resources about wedding planning (like one solid book to use as a guide, or something like that), I'd LOVE to hear about it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Race Report: 12S Winter Warmup 12K 12.1.12

My last race for the year happened about 5 minutes from my home and along some familiar stomping grounds.  The 12S neighborhood (in the 12th Avenue South area) is one of my favorite places to both run and hang out (as there are many awesome restaurants along 12S).

I'm part of the 12S Runners, and I try to make it to the group runs as often as I can.  So it was an easy decision to run in the first ever 12S Winter Warmup 12K.  I knew I'd still be tired from the marathon and my lack of training, but I also knew the area (and its hills) well and that it'd be a fun event.

I wasn't disappointed.  The weather was gorgeous (mostly because we've been having 60 and 70 degree days).  I saw tons of people I know from the Nashville running community.  And even though I ran sort of slow, it was an automatic PR since it was my first 12K.

The course was definitely a hilly beast... and since there was also a 6K and the 12K consisted of the 6K course twice, I got to do all the hills twice.  I didn't mind though... I kept an easy pace and just enjoyed waving at friends and running along.  I didn't even run with music.

I finished in 1:10:41, a time that I was pleased with all things considered.  I had fun, and that was all that mattered.

I haven't thought much about my 2013 racing just yet, but I know I'm done for 2012.  It's definitely been a pretty laid back year in terms of running with all my races being just for fun or to do something new... but I had a blast, and I'm glad I didn't really have a goal race when it's all said and done.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Race Report: Boro Dash 4-Miler 11.22.12

As is tradition (or at least as it has been for 6 years), I ran a Thanksgiving morning race.

For the second year in a row, I went to Murfreesboro and ran the Boro Dash 4-Miler.

It had only been 4 days since the Flying Monkey Marathon, so I was totally running for fun.  My goal was to take it easy and enjoy the day... and the gorgeous, warm weather!

I did exactly that and finished in 37:00 flat.  Sure, it's nothing to brag about, but I had fun and enjoyed the morning.  I always see a lot of people I know when I run in the Boro, and this time was no exception - including two of my Ragnar teammates!

I went on to spend the day with loved ones and ate lots of yummy food!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Race Report: Flying Monkey Marathon 11.18.12

On the 18th, I ran in the Flying Monkey Marathon here in Nashville at Percy Warner Park for the third year in a row.

I haven't really trained for a marathon, so running this race was sort of foolish... but you run this race because you love running, so I figured I could eek it out and have some fun.

It was pretty cold in the morning before the race, but it promised to be a gorgeous day as the temps rose a bit.  It was fun catching up with friends and hanging out before the race.

I love that there are a ton of Marathon Maniacs at this race.  It's always fun to take a group picture.

I knew that I needed to take it pretty easy if I wanted to do this race.  I seriously have not run more than 13 miles as a long run this entire calendar year.

My friend Liz and I started the race together and got to chat and catch up.  We walked up the big hills and otherwise kept a steady pace.  Our friend Amy hopped in with us for a few miles early in the race, and it was super awesome to have her company for a bit.  A little later, Liz's boyfriend joined us for a few miles.

Liz and I stayed together until about mile 15 when I told her to take off.  I knew she was in much better shape than me!  I managed to run a lot until mile 20 when I started doing more of a run/walk... I definitely didn't run up any hills!

I chatted with folks and enjoyed the beautiful day as I took it easy and pushed toward the finish.

Before long, I was done and had completed the race in 4:52:23 - a couple of minutes faster than when I ran it last year in the pouring rain!

I had some chocolate milk and socialized with a few friends who were at the finish.

I also got a 10 minute massage - I think this made a huge difference in keeping me from being too sore.

I went home and napped before we joined a bunch of other runners for pizza and beer at Mafiaoza's that night.

I definitely enjoy this race, but I'm not so sure I'll run it again.  It is definitely tough, but then again... I did sore of go out there and run it with very little training.

I was pretty sore on Monday, but by Tuesday I felt good to go!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Race Report: TN Ragnar Relay 11.9-10.12

For the third year in a row, I joined 11 other runners to run in the TN Ragnar Relay - 196.3 miles from Chattanooga to Nashville.  This was my fourth Ragnar, and I had a blast yet again.

The team and our two drivers gathered at the start in Chattanooga to see off our first runner.

I was runner 3 in van 1 this year.  My first run happened at about 10am, and I had a 5 mile leg running DOWN Racoon Mountain.  It was AWESOME!  I have been running hills a lot lately, and I felt confident on the downhill.  I finished it in about 40 minutes!

Even though I felt great, I was still a little wobbly at the end.  It's hard to go from five miles downhill to walking a flat line, haha.

After the first run, we got to really enjoy the GORGEOUS weather and all goof around a bit.

We had a small incident at the first major exchange in Jasper, TN where we accidentally locked the keys in the van.  Only three of us knew about it, and we decided to keep it that way until after the race. Fortunately there was a small crack in the window.  Two of the guys lifted me up and I was able to reach my arm in up to the elbow.. so we got a stick and I used it to reach down and push the button to unlock the doors.  It's pretty funny looking back on it.

One of my favorite things about this run is that you go through backwoods Tennessee.  A lot of the small exchanges are at tiny little churches, and it always cracks me up a bit to see the church signs.

One of the most fun parts of running a relay is definitely the people!

We had lunch after turning the action over to Van 2, and then we headed to Cowan, TN to rest a bit until it was our turn again. I again took advantage of the beautiful weather while we still had some sunshine.

It wasn't long before we were back at it.  I ran my second leg around 8pm, and I had 6.8 miles to go in this one. 

I felt strong and confident, and I finished it right in about an hour with 6 kills!  A friend of mine ran past me at one point (he was running the same leg on another team and is way faster than me) and knew it was me, so it was nice to say hi to a familiar face. 

After we finished, we found a Waffle House in Shelbyville to have another meal before trying to get some rest.  We curled up in the van at the next major exchange and napped a bit before it was our turn again.

I ran my last leg at about 3am.  I was TIRED, but I was also thankful I'd had a little nap.  I had about 5.4 miles to go.  My legs were pretty heavy, but I powered through and didn't walk once.  It was much slower, taking me 58 minutes to complete.  But all things considered, I was happy with that!

After we finished our legs, we went to a team member's house and took a little nap for a couple of hours before heading downtown to finish with the team members in van 2.

We finished in a little over 30 hours - an hour improvement from last year!

It was SUPER fun, and I can't wait to run another relay... though I am sort of itching to do one somewhere else.  Anyone else interested?

Oh, and the medals were awesome this year.  SWEET.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Never Too Old for Halloween

I am a firm believer that Halloween is not just for kids.  And even if it is, I feel like we all need to be kids sometimes.

Adam and I dressed up this year as replacement refs.  You can't see it well in the pictures, but we have Foot Locker name tags where we crossed out Foot Locker and added the NFL logo.  Heehee.

We met up with some friends at another friend's house and all hung out before going out for a bit in midtown.  I love these people, and we had such an awesome night.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

So I Caved...

I bought a Garmin.

I've never felt the need to have one before.  I was fine to just use a basic stopwatch.  And a lot of my friends I run with have them and could let me know splits if I really wanted to know.  And they were expensive.  And mostly? They were so big, and I have tiny wrists.  Like, super tiny.

I also never really felt the need to know all the facts and numbers and details.  I worried it'd take the fun out of running.

But the folks with Garmins?  We're all in different seasons right now and don't run together as often.  We're still friends of course, but the group runs are a little less frequent.  And the people I do run with regularly don't have one either.

And I started running trails and am really getting into that and see myself doing more trail races.... and it's hard to know how far you've run out there.

And I discovered they new Forerunner 10 was MUCH smaller.  And only $130.  And came in green.

So I bought one.

And I love it.  I don't obsess over the times or anything like that, but it has been really nice to hear the beep when I hit each mile so that I can keep up when I'm on the trails.  It was also SUPER helpful when I was running the Ragnar Relay this past weekend (race report to come) as they don't have mile markers.  When it's 3am and you're tired and running over 5 miles, you sort of want to know how far you've gone and have left.

I'm pretty happy.  I totally recommend this one.  It's super user friendly, it's not like wearing a garage door opened on my arm, and it's easy to download everything so I can see the stats.

Yay Garmin!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Race Report - The Nashville Color Run 10.21.12

Last month, several friends and I ran in The Color Run here in Nashville.  I know this race series has gained popularity this year, but if you're not familiar with it then the jist is you where white, and you run through color stations where they throw color on you.

Here's our group BEFORE picture. We called our team Lisa Frank and the Stickers!

The race is a 5K, and it is not timed.  You just run for fun! We laughed and joked and walked and ran and just enjoyed it. It was actually a gorgeous day in Nashville, and it was such a blast to do something like this with friends.

Here's what it looked like running into a color station.

We stopped along the way for pictures. 

And here is our group AFTER picture.  Maybe you can tell why we went with the Lisa Frank theme for our team name?

One of the things you do after the race is gather in a group and everyone throws their personal packets of color in the air.  A friend caught this picture of what it looked like from the pedestrian bridge.

We hung around for a little bit, and then Adam and I walked over to the Municipal Auditorium for church.  I sometimes go to Crosspoint, and they were having a special 10-year anniversary service with all locations gathering in one place.  It was pretty awesome.  And one of the things I love about this church is that people were excited to see us coming all covered in bright colors!  And the service ended with a picnic in the park with all the food trucks.  Definitely an awesome day!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Race Report - The Middle Half 10.13.12

For the 6th year in a row, I ran in my favorite half marathon in middle TN - The Middle Half in Murfreesboro, TN.

I have run in this race every year that they've had it, and I fully intend to keep the streak alive.  My half marathon PR is from this race, but the past few years I've run it mostly for fun.  Since I ran my first trail race at Stump Jump the week before, I just wanted to take it easy and enjoy the race.

My mom and my friend Erin were going to walk the race together, and my sister and I decided we would run together.

We also found my cousin Amy at the start, so we set out with her as well.  I love running through Murfreesboro and around MTSU as it brings back a ton of memories from my four years in school there.  The weather was perfect - not too hot, not too cool.  I love how there are a couple of small out and backs on the course - I spotted friends Amy and Andrea along the way as well as some old high school and college friends.

We kept a pretty gentle 10:00 minute/mile pace.  Somewhere around mile 8 the 3 of us split up a bit.  I was feeling fine, and I started picking it up a little bit in the last mile.  I spotted some friends from my Ragnar team toward the end, and we ran it in together.

I ran a 2:09, which I was totally pleased with considering I haven't been training all that well lately and had just raced a tough race the week before.  We had to wait for mom and Erin to finish walking, so we grabbed some food and enjoyed socializing with everyone.

Mom and Erin did great and finished walking in about 3:50! It was mom's second time to walk a half, so we were super proud of her.

I always recommend this race to folks because the course is flat, the weather is usually good, the medals are always nice (though I was glad to see they changed the design a bit as they were tending to all sort of look the same, just in different colors), and they do a long-sleeve Brooks tech shirt that is nice.

My only pet peeve this year was that the women's shirts were hot pink and the men's were red.  Not all women like pink!  And I'm ok if you do pink, but then they ALL need to be pink.  I ended up trading my shirt out for a men's red... which doesn't fit quite as well as a women's shirt, but I just couldn't handle the hot pink.

Anyways, I digress.  Another great Middle Half this year!