Monday, January 31, 2011

Less than 2 weeks!!!

I feel like I have been training for this marathon FOREVER (30 week plan)... I am so excited that it is less than 2 weeks away!  I cannot wait!

More later.... Have a great day!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

For all the science grad. students out there....

My co-worker showed this to me today, and I could not help but share.  Too funny!  I think every graduate student probably feels this way at some point when hitting a hurdle in their project.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wedding photographers & narrowing down a date

On Tuesday, Chris and I met with our favorite wedding photographers (name to be revealed after they are officially booked... just because I like to tease).  I really love photography, so I subscribe to a few photography blogs, and yes some of those were wedding blogs even before I was engaged.  Once Chris and I got engaged, I expanded the list of blogs.  Our friends Caitlin and Ryan attended Ryan's cousin's wedding, and she told me about their fantastic photographers.  I instantly added their blog to my list.  I was in love with their work from the beginning, but was not sure of their prices, so I didn't know if I'd ever be able to afford them. 

When we decided on a venue (to be revealed when it is officially booked), another photographer was suggested to us.  A few months ago, we met with the photographer and his wife, and they were very sweet.  While we really loved how fun they were, we just did not think they were the perfect match to us.  One thing we knew we absolutely wanted was a dvd of our photographs, which was not part of their package.  I also still had my heart set on the other photographers.

After my candidacy was completed, I had a bit more time to think about wedding ideas.  We decided to contact our favorite photographers.  After meeting with them Tuesday, we are convinced that they are the perfect photographers for our wedding.  They are a husband and wife team with amazing personalities and talent.  We love their style! 

Meeting with them really got us talking about potential wedding dates.  Originally, we both decided on the month of March.  My birthday is in September, Chris's is in October, then the holidays... March was away from all that and during the spring, which I love.  Since we are planning an outdoor ceremony, the summer was out of the question (way too hot in Florida!).  Now, I am trying very hard to graduate at the end of this year, but naturally that decision is up to my adviser and based on when he feels my research is complete.  But knowing how research is, I know that there is a very good chance that my research could roll over into 2012.  I absolutely do not want to worry about a wedding and a dissertation in the same semester.  I suggested March 2013, but my wonderful fiance does not want to wait that long.  He randomly threw out the idea of October or November of 2012.  The odds are good that I would be done with school by then.  While we were originally avoiding that time of year, Chris pointed out, "why not?"  So why not?!  I personally would rather the weather be more on the chilly side then on the hot side, so November seemed perfectly.  Plus, I mentioned that I love spring.....  but in Florida, in November the flowers are still blooming in the garden we have chosen for our venue.  It will still look like spring.

We are in the process of seeing when both the venue and photographers are available.  I am so excited about almost having a wedding date!  And it is close yet still far enough away that I feel like I can keep my focus on school and still plan without too much stress.  Not to mention we have an amazing support group!  I will keep you updated!  And I cannot wait to reveal the official details!

Thank you all for reading!

22 miles!!!

This week was pretty busy.  On Tuesday we met with our favorite wedding photographers (more about that in my next post).  Now on to my runs for last week and today.  Wednesday night I ran 3 miles with Chris, but my stomach felt like a soda bottle that had rolled down a hill.  I had to take several walk breaks.  Total time was 31:02.  My second run was on an easy 3 miles with my co-worker Bala on Friday.  The total time was 31:02.  The last run of the week was on Saturday, with Chris, and was 3 miles in 28:45.

Today Caitlin, Ryan, and I ran our last long run before our marathon.  Caitlin and Ryan ran 20 miles, and I ran 22, simply because for me the marathon is all a mind game.  And telling myself I have already run 22 and only need to run 4.2 more sounds better in my head then adding on a 10K.  I woke up at 5 am, met them at 5:30, then we drove out to Clermont.  It was 39 degrees Fahrenheit for the first 5 miles of our run, then it slowly warmed up.  Since we were wearing multiple layers and were not sure if we wanted to shed layers, we did 2.5 miles out then back to the car then repeated the other direction.  For the last 10 miles we ran 5 out and back.  Then I ran an extra 2 miles.  Unfortunately my run literally was a pain-in-the-butt.  We had to stop several times so that I could stretch.  The entire left side of my butt/hip/and IT band seemed to tighten up quite a bit.  Stretching consistently really seemed to help.  I had a GU at mile 5 and at mile 10.  Then at mile 15, Caitlin and I split a really delicious Clif Bar.  We ran with a water/gatorade mix in the hydration pack.

Here are the splits:
(Note, times below include only running, not the times that we stopped to stretch or use the restroom).

Mile 1:  12:03
Mile 2:  11:58
Mile 3:  11:49
Mile 4:  12:11
Mile 5:  11:53
Mile 6:  12:16
Mile 7:  11:55
Mile 8:  11:55
Mile 9:  11:35
Mile 10:  11:38
Mile 11:  11:56
Mile 12:  12:27
Mile 13:  11:50
Mile 14:  13:50
Mile 15:  12:20
Mile 16:  12:18
Mile 17:  12:14
Mile 18:  12:55
(here I handed off the hydration pack and ran the rest by myself.  I felt bad because I mentally really needed to run 22 miles, but Caitlin and Ryan only wanted to do 20.  I knew Caitlin wanted to get home to work on her candidacy, so I really pushed to finish my last 4 miles as quickly as possible.)
Mile 19:  9:05
Mile 20:  9:02
Mile 21:  8:46
Mile 22:  8:37
Total time running:  4 hours and 14 minutes. 

I completely surprised myself with the last 4 miles!  I am feeling really confident for the marathon!  I am so excited for the marathon and the expo. 

In regards to my 2011 challenge, both last week and this week I have done short arm work-outs and some crunches.  Like I said, I intend to increase the intensity after the marathon.  I do not want any more injuries.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  Did you do anything that pushed your limits?

Addition:  I want to thank you all so much for your support!  You really helped me get pumped for my run!  Thank you so much!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wish me luck!

Tomorrow I am running 22 miles.... Longest run yet, and last very long run before my marathon on February 14th.  Eek! 

Blog posts coming tomorrow!  Both work-out and wedding related.

I hope you all are having a great weekend!

Friday, January 21, 2011

I will not wear cute shoes...

[image source]
...until after the marathon!  My gluteous minimus had been feeling a million times better since my injury, until this week.  I made the mistake of wearing a cute pair of wedge shoes all day Wednesday, and now my butt hurts again! 

I have been super busy as of late, but I promise that this weekend I will sit down and blog about our super exciting meeting with the photographers and other details. 

Have a wonderful Friday and weekend!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

P.S. Tomorrow....

[image source]
Tomorrow, Chris and I are meeting with our favorite wedding photographers!  We are in love with their work and cannot wait to meet them at their studio.

I have managed to refrain from posting pretty much anything about our wedding planning, since we are not officially planning.  I say that because we do not yet have a date, since one of the pending factors is my graduation (which is really up to my adviser).  The great thing about not "officially" planning is that we are having the fun of planning without the stress.  While we do not have a date, I am collecting information about all of my favorites.  This way we know how much to save for deposits, and how early we need to book to get what we really want.

I love being a fiance, and I am really looking forward to marrying the man of my dreams.  While part of me wishes I could rush out and marry him tomorrow, I know that we are going to be together forever so there is no need to rush.  All in good time... all in God's perfect timing. 

Crazy fun weekend!

First of all, I cannot believe that it is less than a month until my marathon!  Eek!  My butt/hip are feeling better.  On Friday I did a solo 10 mile run (in 1:34:50).  Here are the splits:
Mile 1:  9:25
Mile 2:  9:42
Mile 3:  9:41
Mile 4:  9:54
Mile 5:  9:40
Mile 6:  9:25
Mile 7:  9:29
Mile 8:  9:18
Mile 9:  9:12
Mile 10:  9:06

After the run, Chris and I headed to Jupiter to visit my Uncle Bill and Aunt Nora.  We had an absolutely wonderful weekend!  On Saturday the four of us went for a really fun bike ride through trails in Loxahatchee, FL.  We ended up going 7.3 miles, and had a great time.  After the bike ride, Chris and I ran 3 miles so I could get in my last run for the week.  My run was 29:37, and my legs felt like logs for all the back-to-back work-outs.  Aside from working out, we had an awesome time hanging out with my family, including my cousin Dan who came up to visit.  We also went to a sea turtle rescue facility.  I will share the entire weekend with you in pictures. 
Smoked sailfish.  Caught and smoked by my uncle.  So good!
Saturday morning before breakfast.
with UB
with UB and Aunt Nora
Love this blue crab statue!
Sandhill crane
Chris and I rented bikes
Love them!!!
Love him!
with my "little" cousin, Dan

Hilarious bumper sticker!
Relaxing in the hot tub.  So wonderful!
New decorations for our bedroom. 

I hope you all had an amazing weekend!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Feeling under the weather

Chris luckily is all better, but now I am feeling sort of "off".  As soon as he ended up sick, I made a point of eating more fruits and vegetables, taking my vitamins (although that is a daily habit), and getting plenty of sleep.  Perhaps it is this sudden freezing cold weather in Florida.  No matter what, I am not feeling 100%.  I left work with my face feeling really flushed and my stomach not feeling great.  My Aunt Nora suggested I take some Airborne (and told me to drink it in juice or something with a good flavor to mask the flavor of the Airborne). 


Luckily I do not have a fever, but I am going to stay in on this cold night and run tomorrow.  I have on my new super comfy socks that Chris's parents gave me for Christmas. 

The inside of the socks.... so soft!

Chris is super sweet and is bringing home some California Pizza Kitchen for dinner.  Yum!  We love their Margherita pizza, and I love their Tuscan Panzanella salad which comes with Cannellini beans, cherry and yellow grape tomatoes, lightly toasted croutons, red onion, cucumber, beets, fresh avocado and basil tossed in their homemade red wine herb vinaigrette.  (Random fact:  The first time he referred to CPK, I was trying to figure out why he was talking about a Cabbage Patch Kid.)

I hope the rest of you are feeling 100%!  I plan to be that way tomorrow!

Frustrating week in research

I do not have any runs to report at the moment.  The last two days I have spent long days at work.  I really need a good mid-length run right now.  I plan to run either tonight (pending plans with a friend) or tomorrow. 
[image source]
 I spent three long days this week working on an organic synthesis for school/work only to discover yesterday that it did not work.  We have successfully done this synthesis twice, and then the last two times it has not worked (and these two times were spaced a month apart).  Even my adviser who helped us with the synthesis has no idea why it is not working.  Long story short, I need the the synthesis product to do an experiment and nothing is working at the moment which has left me very frustrated.  Frustration is a part of research, and while last night I was frustrated beyond belief, I deep down still absolutely love my work.  I live for a challenge.  

Some quotes from some very wise men:

"I have not failed.  I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."  ~Thomas Edison

"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, would it?"  ~Albert Einstein
Last night I went home and had a very nice dinner with Chris which included a much needed glass of wine.  Then I went to bed and slept for nearly 9 hours.  Now I am up, feeling refreshed, and ready to face the challenge again.  Thank you for allowing me to vent.  Off to do more research!  How do you face mental challenges?  Have a wonderful day! 

P.S.  On a positive note, my butt is feeling better (Thank you for asking, Christine!  You're so sweet!).  There is still a dull pain, but is much better compared to last week.  Yay!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The dreaded treadmill

I forgot just how much I hate the treadmill until yesterday.  I ended up working late so it was dark by the time I got home, I didn't have anyone to run with, and it was rainy outside.  Chris recently got us a key for the gym in our complex, so I decided to utilize that.  I did 3 very long and hot miles in 28:45.  The entire time I was face-to-face with a woman on an elliptical, and I was watching some really horrible Spanish soap opera (Unfortunately... or maybe in this case fortunately...I do not understand Spanish.)

After finishing, I made sure to stretch, went home, showered, ate, and went to bed.  Pretty exciting stuff huh? 

I'm off to work.  Have a great day!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A work-out with Serena Williams and a blogger meet-up!

Friday I chilled with Barbara Walters while she took my vitals, and yesterday I worked-out with my old friend Serena Williams.  Okay, so it is an iTunes card where the voice of Serena Williams instructs you through interval training.  It counts.  My legs were pretty sore from the run the day before, so my intervals were not very intense at all (3 miles in 31:22).  But I did them. 

hen I came home, showered, and went for my massage.  When I explained my situation, the gentleman who was my masseuse suggested that I get an all over massage to help me relax, then he would focus on areas around my legs/butt.  I was actually very relieved that it did not turn into a deep tissue massage.  I'm not going to lie... having someone massage my butt was awkward, but at the same time it really did help with the pain.  He also focused on my shoulders, since that is where I carry all of my tension.  This is my third massage where the masseuse was unable to remove all of the knots in my shoulders.  He suggested for both my pulled butt muscle injury and my shoulders that I heat them.  He said to heat for a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes every hour.  He told me that heating beyond that amount of time would result in inflammation, which would not help.  I have been doing what he said, and it really seems to be helping!  My gluteus minimus is still sore, but it definitely feels better than a few days ago.  I am going to be good and not do a long run for at least week, even though I want to.  (I had really been looking forward to my solo 15 mile run, just to prove to myself that I could do it.) 

As far as my weekly challenge, I made my goal!  I ran 3 days (it was 3 miles each day).  Given that I injured myself by incorporating a new work-out into my routine, I have decided to keep my upper body and ab work-outs light and build up until after the marathon.  Call me paranoid, but I do not want another injury.  One day I did 10 push-ups (on my knees... but they were still challenging.  I have lost all of my strength I gained during my 100 push-up challenge).  Another day, I did a single set of various arm exercises with 5 lb dumbbells.  My arms were not very sore, so I will probably add another set next time.  In terms of abs, I did one day where I did a plank for a full minute and then a half a minute.  A little is better than nothing! 

Yesterday, the lovely and talented Katy from The Singing Runner was in town for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon.  You can read her awesome race recap here, and also see her awesome pictures from our meet-up (at yummy PF Changs).  I had so much fun meeting with her!  She is such a sweet heart!
We did not order these, but they brought them to us.  I tried a lettuce wrap, and it was pretty good.
I loved these green tea noodles.  They were different.
Photo op!
Not a great fortune but true.

Have you ever participated or would you participate in a blogger meet up?  Were you nervous?  Personally, I get nervous and shy (which tends to equal chatty), but I really enjoy them!  I love meeting new people!

Have a wonderful week all!  Today Chris and I bought a ninja!  But more about that in a later post...