Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weekend at the races- Houston Marathon recap

Houston Marathon weekend is one of my favorite times of year! There are big flag like signs all over the city that look like mile markers, which makes me think of getting in miles, which makes me think of races, which makes me think of new race shirts, which makes me happy! One of my biggest dilemmas is that the HouMar (which is the adorable nickname I just gave this race) is usually on the same weekend as Disney's Marathon Weekend, which, of course, trumps everything in life. After doing the Goofy Challenge last year, my mom really helped put things in perspective for me by saying maybe I should run Disney every OTHER year. (Read: A guaranteed Disney Runcation with my sweet momma's blessing every other year!? Please! Yes, even though I'm pushing 30, I still get this whole "you're blowing your allowance on THAT?!" vibe when I tell my parents/Donnie/non-runner friends that I'm signing up for another race.) (But guyyyyys! There's a t-shirt and stale bagels/cold pizza/sad oranges/room temperature beer at the end!) This year the HouMar fell on the weekend after Disney. I thought I was going to be overwhelmed with jealousy when I saw my friend's pics from WDW the weekend before, but surprisingly I was so focused on Houston to get too upset for too long. Here's some pics to walk you guys through my weekend.

We kicked off the weekend with a pasta carb load party. What did we eat, you may be asking? Just the most clutch pre-race fuel you could get- pizza and cookies. But don't worry, we decided soda would be a bad idea. Don't want to get dehydrated.
Saturday morning was a little 5k shake out run. (You got another medal at the end of the marathon if you did the 5k the day before. Go big or go home, kids.) The timing of this race was perfect. The gun went off at 8….and the expo, located at the finish line, opened at 8:30. Fabulous!
Again with that crazy, ridiculously awesome (and good looking!) group! Have I mentioned lately how wonderful they all are? Side note- Timmy actually is more badass than all of us. He opted out of the full marathon because he ran the Dopey Challenge (ahem, 48.6 miles….) just last weekend. Yeah. He's cray. 
Got my Nuun hydration on…and snagged a free water bottle! That's what it's all about, folks.
I could probably be a spokesperson for Gu Roctane. Stuff keeps me going! And, all of the flavors look so cute and colorful on my fuel belt. Taste the rainbow.
Go time! I figured I should probably give myself a little reminder as to what day it was. Sometimes I'm pretty delirious when I wake up. It's hard to come to after a long night of sweet puppy snuggles.

A pre-race group shot as we wait for our corral to leave! Look how sporty everyone looks! (Spoiler alert- everrrryone killed it!)
We look good. I'd give us a shout.
It would have been a really wonderful picture of the boys. ….sorry guys…

So our corral leaves, and we're off! Despite my training going pretty well, it was a really tough race for me for some reason. The weather was perfect, the course was flat, and the spectators and volunteers were incredible! All things were a go for launch! But around 7 miles in, my quads were killing me, and my knee was making me wonder. And quite frankly- I was about 15 miles tired at mile 9. At mile 10 I knew my sub-4 wasn't in the cards for me today, so I switched my focus to finishing with a PR. By mile 13, I was wishing I had taken that turn at mile 8 that marked the split from the half and full courses. I (literally) ran into my old Team in Training coach Audree around mile 15. Girlfriend kept me going for about a mile or so, thank goodness! I knew Timmy had finished, and he had said he'd try and make it to mile 20. I had a few more sweet friends that told me they'd be at mile 24 (bless their hearts). So I started counting down. 5 miles to Timmy, 9 miles to the girls. 4 more miles to Timmy, 8 to the girls. 2 miles to Timmy, and no more than an hour til I see the girls! It was pretty pathetic. Until I got the most energetic pump up from Timmy just before mile 21. Even with 13.1 miles under his belt, he still leapt (yes, leapt) onto the course with me, hooting and hollering, and making sure I knew I had this. Thank God I saw him before I saw the beer tent, or else I probably would have called it quits and just drank myself into oblivion. 

About a half hour later, something wonderful happened….
I made it to the ladies!! Happy tears were shed by my part, which were luckily hidden by mirrored shades (SmithOptics for the win)! I stopped for hugs, a chit chat, a picture and then- it was on to the last two miles. I don't have any sweet finish line photos. The professional ones are merely ok, so I will spare you all a fuzzy screen shot. But I did finish the close to 27 miles, and I did PR by almost 40 minutes. So I guess it wasn't too bad :)

After the party it's the after party!  After everyone totally killing their race that morning, we had the gang over for a fiesta that night. Bags of ice, chips, champagne, good friends, and Cards Against Humanity. I couldn't think of a better way to end my favorite weekend!

I need to give Donnie a big ol' shout for being so amazing and supportive, and putting up with all of my ridiculous hours of training for the last few months. Poor guy wound up waking up with me at 4 am every morning, too, because I'm about as graceful as an elephant when I'm trying to get ready for a run/gym trip/bike ride in a half asleep stupor. He's the greatest, and SUCH a champ!

I'd say "until next year, HouMar," but next year happens to be a Disney year. I don't hate it!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Guess who's back…back again...

Guess who FINALLY got her domain up and running?! It's been a wild rest of the year! I won't bore you with the chit chat. Instead, I'll take you on a photographic journey through the months that I missed blogging with you all! (And boyyyy, did I sure miss blogging with you!)


We bought a house! Ain't no thang. Just a couple kids being grown ups and stuff.

And then Julianne got married!…..
…in Saint Thomas. It totally didn't suck.
We LOVE Polaroids. (This was also when I embraced the fact that I need to do a whole lot more arm work. Tricep dips, I'm comin' for ya!)

I went back to Cape Cod for another round of life guarding at the BEAUTIFUL Herring Cove Beach (if you haven't been to Provincetown before, turn off your computer and go now, please)! And I couldn't have asked for a better summer family. They make being away from home much easier to bear!

We worked SUPER hard….
…and this guy and I came out of our swimming retirement (I don't even want to tell you how many years after the fact) and wound up not embarrassing ourselves too bad! (Yeah….those medals mean we're awesome. NBD.)

The arrival of the newest main man of my life happened. Believe it or not, HE GETS CUTER! You'll see.. (Clarification- baby Flynn belongs to my best friend, Katy. My babies have 4 legs and fur.)

August brought my return to Houston…and rekindled my love affair for sky porn.

September was relatively uneventful- let's move on to October…

First run of the Houston Marathon Warm-Up Series. Rainy, rainy day. So many wardrobe malfunctions  and an irritated IT band meant no PR for me. But the beer at the end helped ease my sorrows. Bonus- the medal was pretty sweet!

We saw Alkaline Trio. Remember how much I love them?! You can probably see in Matt Skiba's face how much he loves me back.


I participated in my second 70.3. This was taken before the start with my sweet friend Jessica. It was a brutally tough race for me which taught me that I need a WHOLE lot more work on the bike. Lesson learned. Jessica, however, KILLED it!! So proud of her!

I was blessed to have some sweet friends out there along the run course cheering me on. Thank God, because I definitely don't think I would have made it. Thanks, Jimmy and Diane (not shown)!

A couple weeks later brought the second race in the Warm-Up Series- 25k, baby! This time I had some beautiful friends to run it with! (AND more free beer at the end! Yes!) (Note- Jimmy and Diane got engaged the VERY NEXT DAY! That's why you can really feel the smitteness in this picture. They're so great!)

After 25 kilometers of fun, we met the rest of the Team for brunch. This is the greatest group of people to come into my life. You'll see.

This smile happened.

And then Donnie and I celebrated our second anniversary and Thanksgiving in Disney World.
Bubbles, pizza (not shown), and a/my cute boy in a hoodie. These are a few of my favorite things!

(To all who come to this happy place- Welcome.)


Officer Bradford picked me (and Martha) up! He does this all the time, but I'm pretty sure Martha and I are his favo pick up. (Disclaimer- that statement is my own opinion and is not based on fact or anything mentioned by Officer Bradford himself. But I mean, seriously- check out those smiles.) So much happiness!

Third and final race of the Warm-Up Series- Sugarland 30k with some of the Team! It was a beautiful, but COLD, day for the run, and everyone did great! 

My last race of 2013- the 12k of Christmas. (Note- Timmy requires jumping pictures after every race. I can't blame him- check out that air and form!) Christmas Carolers at every stop, Santa at the finish line, good friends along the way...

…and free beer at the end with my sweet friend, Misty! Not a bad way to race out the year!

This was at the conclusion of our final long training run for the Houston. Never in my life have I had SUCH a blast running 20+ miles! There were adventures, hills, and just so much laughter! 

Donnie and I flew up to New Hampshire to ring out 2013 with my parents and friends. We visited my daddy at his work, and I got to touch a lot of buttons and knobs on a fire truck. (Side note- this is going to be my dad's 30th year on the line!! This man just loves a good fire fight!)

Donnie also got to meet my summer family. Boy it felt so good to see them! Look how well everyone cleans up! Love them so much!

Remember when I said he gets cuter?! Told ya. I absolutely cannot go to New Hampshire without seeing my bestie. And that importance is now magnified ten-fold now that Flynn is in the picture! I can't believe how fast these things grow!!

Next up, a Houston Marathon re-cap… Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

My favorite meme, and the trio

Guys. My most favorite day of the year went down this week. Tuesday, to be exact. Tuesday marks the day that I get to use my Most. Favorite. Meme. Ever. (And if you happen to be one of the contacts in my phone, you'll know I like memes a lotttt).
(Hehehehehe! Don't get it? Say it out loud.... Still don't get it? We probably shouldn't be friends)

Confession alert: I used to love *NSYNC. (See? I even used the star instead of an apostrophe, and all of the letters remain capitalized. Respect.) It was pretty bad. Once I went out of town for the weekend when I was in high school younger and I came home to find that my parents had taken every. last. one. of my posters, magazine cut outs, and random *NSYNC shit down off my walls, and had completely repainted it. It was like coming home to a generic hotel room. At the time, I was mad, sad, hurt, confused. But now I know they did it for my own good. (Thanks, mom and dad, for always having my best intention at heart. And for knowing that if I continued to bring friends over to hang out they'd want nothing to do with me after seeing my damn bedroom, and I'd wind up friendless and alone and, yes, without *NSYNC because, you were right, they didn't have the staying power of the Beatles..)

May is my birthday month. We won't talk about how old I'll actually be turning. At least it's not 30. On Friday, we decided to celebrate my birthday a little early! (Ok, just kidding. We would have gone to see them even if it wasn't my birthday because we. love. them.)

I love Alkaline Trio. LOVE. They. Are. My. Fave. If you haven't ever heard them, you should look into them. Start with Goddamnit. Or Maybe I'll Catch Fire. Those are my FAAAAAVES. Ugh. They're so good! If you like them, you should then listen to The Emergency Room. (I love me some Dan Adriano, something unhealthy!) 

Donnie is the mack daddy of meeting bands and celebs (speaking of mack daddy, rest in peace Mac Daddy). I don't know how he does it. Man's like magic. Matt Skiba, the guitarist and lead singer, said at the show that he'd be spinnin' over at da club across the street after the show, so we decided to go over and wait for him (obv in hopes of meeting him, even though Donnie's already met him like 3 times....lucky duck). So we went next door. And I got some beers. And we waited. And waited. And waited. And finally, I didn't want to drink beers anymore (my tolerance isn't what it used to be folks, and quite frankly, I get freakin' full). It was getting late so we decided to leave. 2 good reasons we did: 1- we went outside and Skiba's bike wasn't even there anymore (read: Skiba has left the building.). 2- AND THEN WE RAN INTO THIS GUY!!!!!!!
Dan. MF. Adriano. (Clearly, one of us is slightly more excited than the other. Poor guy.)

Ugh. I can usually talk to anyone. ANYONE. I could probably befriend a trash bag. But after a long night of drinking beer, my conversational skills were, let's just say, lacking. So many things I should have said. So many WITTY things I could have said. But instead I went with "I think you're really wonderful." ...heyyyy, creep alert. I've been ashamed all weekend. At least I shook his hand, and his arm is definitely on the small of my back. Maybe even my butt- you really can't tell from this picture and that would totally make a better story. Dan Adriano touched my butt. I'm goin with it.

Other "quick news" on the home front: Donnie and I bought a house! 
Please pardon the terrible quality. I had to screen shot from the realty website. I've been going through a real funk where I'm not taking pictures actual. It's bad.

In less than two weeks, the house was put on the market, we went, we loved, we offered, they countered, we accepted, they signed, we inspected, and we're slated to move the first of June. Holy. Smokes. It's cool, timing. The end of the school year is totally not chaotic as it is or anything, so I absolutely have time to pack up my house and finish redoing the kitchen (that I started over a year ago....). But we'll get it done, and we're so excited to turn this house into our home!!!

I'm gonna go get my Sunday morning run on, but here's a picture to leave you with. Hopefully it makes your heart feel at least half as warm as it makes mine feel.

Is anyone else good at talking to celebrities?
- I suck.

How far was your long run this weekend?

Any other Taurus' out there? Happy birthday!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

For Boston, and my wardrobe this week

I'm still left speechless and angry and sad about Monday's happenings, so I'm choosing not to really talk about it. I'd just start babbling like an idiot, and that's not anything anyone wants to read. Instead, I want to share this clip from one of my favorite people alive. I love 99.999% of everything that comes out of Stephen Colbert's mouth. Pure comedic genius.

I shared with my principal, and fellow marathon runner, on Monday night that I was going to wear a race shirt to work the following day to honor Boston, and that he should too. (I don't think he gets on Facebook too often so I wasn't sure how on earth he'd find out!) Not only did he wear a race shirt (OVER his dress shirt) on Tuesday, he wore another one today. He then informed me that he was going to wear one every day this week. Give props to Boston AND dress down for the rest of the week? Don't mind if I do!

Yesterday I wore my Houston marathon shirt. Tomorrow I think I'll wear a Disney. Friday, perhaps San Antonio. (Today was a dress since I didn't get the memo that he'd be fine with me wearing race shirts all week. What a loss.)

I'm totally bummed that I've been feeling really crappy- not because I've been feeling crappy, but because I haven't gotten to run for Boston yet. I'm hoping to get out there this weekend at the latest! I hope you all were able run and reflect this week!

I've been singing this song all week. You should too. They make me think of high school and home. Love me some Murphys!

Did you wear a race shirt this week? 

Anyone have a good workout this week? 
--I'll need to live vicariously through y'all :)

What bands make you reminisce or think of home?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Saturday smiles and a day with Donnie

Happy Sunday-Funday-Runday!

It's cloudy, humid and HOT in Houston today (well, I'm hot anyway...but I think I'm a bit sick, so perhaps it's only hot to me). Since Donnie was SUCH a champ last weekend and went with me to Galveston and waited around for me for HOURS to finish my half ironman (and got just as sunburnt as I did, poor guy) I told him that Sunday would be his day, and I'd do whatever he wanted. And then I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a freight train, so I've been a real stick in the mud all day. (Sorry, my love! I'll make it up to you!)

Yesterday, on the other hand, was a BEAUTIFUL day here in Houston! I called up my girl, Misty, and we met at Starbucks to start our run. (My favorite things: coffee and running!)
I'm such a sucker for the Houston skyline... Alright, any skyline, really..

We tried to get the awesome city in the background, but instead just got the sunshine. This girl is one of my FAVES to run with. ...and one of my faves in general :)

In my opinion, a good run route has numerous photo ops.

One sad thing did happen on our run though- I ripped my Lulu shorts. Sad, sad day. They're still wearable though. (And I did not take a picture, because it was a little too close to my backside and I didn't think anyone needed to see a picture of THAT.) I have, however, been thinking lately of switching to Athleta. Their yoga stuff is pretty drool worthy! (Not only am I a sucker for a skyline, I'm also a HUGE sucker for expensive work out apparel...)

After our run, I wandered aimlessly around Babies R Us for a while (maybe it's just the store I went to, but there was NO organization to their layout and it gets us non-parents really confused!! Am I right?!), bought far more than I needed at Target, and then headed to this FABULOUS high rise (anytime I go somewhere with valet I feel uber ritzy) to celebrate this lovely lady and her bambino number 2!
So wonderful to be reunited with these lovely ladies again!! 

Of course, the food was amazing (I would have taken a picture, but I couldn't hold myself back long enough before digging in). And there was fabulous cake. There is nothing better than sugar and carbs all on one plate. Once again, Miss No-Self-Control over here couldn't keep it together long enough to take a picture of that either. Sorry, gang. All you really need to know is that it was delish. And if you want to know the way to my heart- it's cake. And expensive running outfits.

Happy Sunday! For the rest of the day, I'm at Donnie's mercy- which means we'll probably watch whatever movies he wants, take naps, and snuggle. I don't hate it.

What's your brand of choice for work-out ensems? Any Lulu AND Athleta wearers out there? What's your preference?

What are you a major sucker for?

cake, skylines, puppies, cute clothes..

What's on your favorite run route?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Crossing another one off the bucket list...

So this past weekend I competed in completed my very first half ironman. Woop! Shocker- it was WAY more fun than I thought it would be!! Despite the fact that I did the 56 mile ride on this.....
The WHOLE ride totally sucked. I thought maybe I was just being dramatic- but then I realized I was getting mad props from people as they whizzed past me on their fancy tri bikes ("Damn, Becky, you're a BEAST on that bike!" Thank you, speed racer on the bike that costs more than my car. Next time I will strive to be more like you) (Read: I'm going to light this bike on fire, make some awesome s'mores in the burning carnage, and buy myself a tri bike. STAT.)

I always seem to forget how ridiculous it is packing for a tri versus a marathon.. Swim cap, goggles, wetsuit, flip flops, helmet, bike shorts, shirt, socks and sneakers, shades, body glide (so clutch!), water bottles, sunscreen, compression socks...all of which needs to fit on a towel the size of a shoe box. It's like playing tetris. But I'm not good at tetris, so everything winds up in a pile on my towel next to my bike, and my transitions take 5 minutes because I can't get organized.

Not to mention the FUEL!

The swim was (sorry, fellow triathletes who hate the swim) amazing! I had debated for a few weeks on not wearing a wetsuit (65 degree temps...that's like a really good day at HCB...I don't need a wetsuit...). The day before I left for Galveston I invested in one. By. Far. The. Best. Purchase. EVER. Man! That thing made me feel like I was flying on top of the water! I'll always be a swimmer- so that first little part of a tri will ALWAYS be my favorite! (The rest of the tri, however, is usually another story.)
Bonus! I got a "free" cap! 

The run following the ride on my Franken-hybrid-bike (made up of all sorts of random parts) was pretty rough. I can't clip in to my bike, so the spiky pedals dug into the bottoms of my feet for 56 miles. As soon as I hit the pavement to start running, the bottoms of my feet started burning like nothing else I'd ever felt before. On top of that, it was noon, so the pavement was hot by then. I felt like my socks were lined with hot sandpaper for the whole 13.1. I've had better.
It may look like I'm running, but it's only because I saw Donnie and his mom. As soon as I was past them, I started hobbling again.

Donnie and his mom came out to cheer me on for the run portion on Sunday. (Slash- maybe I begged Donnie to come out and cheer for me because I wasn't sure if I was going to make it if I didn't have him there for me at the end. What a sport, right?!) They were SUCH champs! The sun was relentless, and we all left Galveston with ri-dic-u-lous sunburns. I have the best family!
And FRIENDS! These ladies MADE ME SIGNS!! I've never gotten a sign before!!! They made me feel SOOOO special!! Love! Another friend from work (not shown in the picture above) came too- for the WHOLE weekend!! I've got the best support system!

Not to mention my parents sending me these!! I know if they were closer they would have "loved" to come out and support me in the hot sun for 7 hours. Lucky for them, they're in NH :) They sent me these fabulous flowers at work to let me know they'd be rootin' for me every step of the way. (Awwww!)

The reason.

So despite a terrible ride, a sandpaper-sock run, and lots of heat and humidity, I think I may have found my distance....once I get a good bike, that is. I surely never wanna do another one of these on a hybrid. I also feel like, since there's only one big daddy race left that I haven't gotten to yet, perhaps...perhaps...I'm going to add a full Ironman to my bucket list. We shall see...(you next May, Ironman Texas.)

Happy Hump Day!

What type of crazy race do you want to add to your bucket list?

What part of a triathlon freaks you out the most?
-the bike. For sure.

What's the best sign you've ever seen at a race?
-I still like "Worst Parade Ever."