Sunday, June 26, 2011

No Photos, Please

I'm alive!  It's been one hell of a month.  I'm going to just skip ahead to the weekend, let y'all know how the move went, and just go forward from there.  How's that?

Thursday night, Eric and I met up at the leasing office to do our walk through and sign the lease.  We were cutting it quite short, getting there a half an hour before it closed for the night.  The manager of the community stayed long after they closed to make sure we had time to go over everything properly.  He was so friendly and helpful, especially considering it was the end of the day for him.  He even gave us one of our keys so we could start moving in early!  Eric and I talked about doing something nice for him and the agent that "sold" us the apartment.  Ideas?  Starbucks gift certificates won't work since they don't like coffee.  :(

So moving day came early, and to make it brief, here's a summary of all of the things that went wrong (please keep in mind that our apartment is on the fourth floor):
  • The elevator broke while we were unloading the truck filled with stuff from Eric's house
  • Eric's super-nice dining room table fell out of the back of my SUV while they were trying to drive it slowly up the parking deck, scratching it all to hell and nearly killing Eric in the process
  • Aadil twisted his ankle
  • The glass of a painting that is very dear to Eric broke into a million billion pieces
  • A thunderstorm rolled in right as we were loading the truck at my house
  • Said thunderstorm caused a power outage to our apartment complex, causing the gates to remain shut, and locking us out
  • Once we were able to get in to the complex the elevator, which had since been fixed, was inoperable due to said poweroutage
  • The thunderstorm caused the rain to fall sideways, onto the balcony, where Eric had put the painting, who's glass was now broken, allowing rain to fall onto the actual canvass
  • At one point, I looked down from the balcony to see Eric and a friend stacking several pieces of furniture on top of each other to carry up the stairs; I said "I really hope they don't drop all of that" and literally 5 seconds later, my nightstand was in several pieces
  • Did I mention Eric had an essay due in his online course, which requires internet to send, which we did not have due to the power outage?
  • Upon returning the truck, finding a hotspot and turning in his essay, Eric came back to the apartment and promptly locked his keys in his car - with the lights still on
  • To top off the night, the backpack he was carrying broke as soon as he stepped inside
  • And bonus crazy: a large tree branch fell in my (old) backyard, onto the roof of the shed, and causing the tree itself to weaken and threaten the safety of the house during the next storm.
That's all of the things I can think of.  On a positive note, both Comcast, and the guy delivering our washer and dryer, came before the elevator broke and the power went out; we had excellent customer service from  Comcast (shocking); even though the power was out for over 3 hours, Publix stayed open due to their generators powering the registers, and we were able to buy candles and (more) beer; miraculously, the painting doesn't seem to have run or been permanently damaged; AND, J-dog got a clean bill of health, a bath and furmination, and I got a reasonable quote to remove his pesky dew claws - he's ripped them out twice. :( 

So the move did not go as I had planned or expected.  I was hoping to have everything in the apartment by 2:00 p.m., and I think we finished unloading around 8:00.  I was hoping to have unpacked the kitchen and cooked everyone a huge pasta dinner as thanks, and we ended up ordering more pizza.  But I have to say, Eric and I are so incredibly blessed to have the friends and family that we do, who persevered through injury, rain, and power outages to help us.  So thank you Aadil, Nate, Patrick, and Aleksander.  I'm shocked you all stuck around for as long as you did.  And thanks also to Kristy, for coming over afterwards and bringing your sparkling personality to brighten the mood, like you so often do.


I think all of mine and Eric's luck must have been redistributed, and I'm okay with that.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Popping In

Firstly, I want to apologize for the blog being such a downer recently.  I just needed to process all of what was going on, but everything is so much better now.  Kristy is actually moving into the same neighborhood as me and Eric, which is REALLY exciting.

Nothing else has really changed, but after chewing on the facts for a few days, I'm strangely at peace with everything.  My friend, Kim, gave me some really great advice, which put a lot of this into perspective.

I'm trying to figure out how to keep running over the next week without a gym in the INTENSE Georgia heat.  I suppose I could should wake up early and do it before work, but if you know me, you know that's a real stretch.  I'm sure Tim Gunn would tell me to "Make it work."  That I shall, Tim.  That I shall.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today Will Be Better

Remember yesterday when I said the weekend was stressful?  Child's play compared to what was coming.  I'll try to be brief, since this barely has to do with running or training.
  1. Eric and I have yet to sign up for our utilities.
  2. My computer's hard drive is dead.
  3. Kristy's future roommate, who was supposed to move in on July 1, backed out yesterday, leaving both of us, as well as our landlord, completely screwed.
This first item I'm hoping to have fixed by tonight.  Eric and I tried several times this weekend to knock it out, but it just didn't happen.

The second item gave me a minor meltdown yesterday, but I thought it through and calmed myself down.  All of my important photos and music are stored on my external hard drive so I haven't lost that much.  I wanted to buy a new computer anyway, preferably a desktop with a large monitor.  This is just super inconvenient, but it is not the worst thing that could happen.

The third item is the worst thing that could happen (barring actual real life tragedy).  Because this guy backed out, Kristy now has to plan a quick move, which she hadn't budgeted for.  Because this guy backed out, I'm now responsible for an additional month of rent, which I hadn't budgeted for.  Because this guy backed out, our landlord now has to ready his house to show potential renters as soon as possible, which he hadn't budgeted for. 

In order to find some money to pay for the extra rent I've had to make some sacrifices.  I'm putting my gym membership on hold for a few months, because, well it's kind of an expensive gym.  BUT!  One of the amenities in my new apartment complex is a "state of the art" fitness facility.  It's pretty standard actually, but the equipment works.  I've also given up on kickball for the summer, and I'm trying to find some races that aren't north of $50.  Training-wise, I'm not sure what my next few weeks will look like, but I promise there will be some.  I'm not sure how often my updates will be posted either.  Please bare with me in this transitional time.

But let's end on a positive note, shall we?  My firm gave the support staff gift certificates to Buckhead Life Restaurants for meeting our goals last month.  Eric and I have been joking that we would be eating ramen for our anniversary, and now we'll actually be able to go out!  I'm very excited.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Short and Sweet Update

This weekend was not relaxing, let me tell you.  I'll try to do a proper update later, but I wanted to pop in and tell you all that my computer crashed last night (I've had it since 2007 and this is the first time, so no complaints).  That being said, I am computer-less for an amount of time that is TBD.  Eric, the wonderful man that he is, will be taking the poor broken wretch to the Apple store for me today to see if there's anything they can do.

Side note: How sweet is it of Eric to do that, so I don't have to take extra PTO time from work?  He is awesome, and I am a lucky lady.

I will try to update later tonight if I can borrow a computer.  Otherwise, please think happy technologically sound thoughts for poor Niska (yeah, I named my laptop after a villain in Firefly, what?  He's a badass.).

Friday, June 10, 2011

Progress 6.10.2011

Monday: Rest Done
Tuesday: Yoga Rest Done
Wednesday: Rest Done
Thursday: Easy 2 mi Run/Walk Rest Done
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 3 mi Run/Walk
Sunday: 3 mi Run at 5k pace
Time for another update!  They say that the most important day of any training plan is your resting day.  Well, clearly I'm really good at that.  Apparently I've mastered the most difficult part of training for a long race.  I guess I should get started on the rest, huh?

In all seriousness, my week has been incredibly busy.  I have some stuff in the works that I can't really talk about just yet, but let's just say that hopefully my time not working out will have been worth it.  But, today is Friday!  I left my gym bag at home, but I'm thinking of taking J-dog for that 2 mi Run/Walk I was supposed to do yesterday.  I have to get him used to walking on a leash again, since that'll be imperative starting two weeks from today! 

 What's going on here?  He looks like a 40 lb dog.  I can tell you he's about twice that big.

He looks so sweet, right?  Lies.

Holy crap, I'm moving two weeks from today.  Two weeks, y'all.  That's, like, not that far away.

In other news that may or may not excite you, I've got a big photography project coming up in the next month.  If any of you have any experience in the publishing world, please shoot me an email at 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I lied. I'm such a liar.

One last post, and then I'm done for the day. I swear. For real this time.

I spent part of my lunch break this afternoon trying to figure out how to save the elevation chart for the Summerfest 5K. I did it!


I just wanted to share that accomplishment. There you go.

RSS Feed

I also forgot to mention that I set up a handy-dandy RSS Feed button over there on the right menu bar. Click the button and follow my on your handy-dandy RSS Reader! Or click here. You know you want to.

Okay, enough. That's all you're getting for today.

Progress 6.8.2011

Monday: Rest Done
Tuesday: Yoga Rest Done
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Easy 2 mi Run/Walk
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 3 mi Run/Walk
Sunday: 3 mi Run at 5k pace
I did not actually go to yoga yesterday, and I'm pretty bummed about it. Eric's aunt, my favorite instructor, was back last night for the first time in a month! But work has been extra stressful, and I'm also moving in less than three weeks (!!), so I opted to skip the gym and do some work at home.

I didn't do a lot.

I finished packing one book shelf. One. And it's the one I started on Sunday night.

I know it doesn't look finished since there is a big pile of books on the second shelf, but those are actually from the bookshelf on the other side of my bed! So...see? Progress.

Yeah, so that's where I stand right now. Awesome, right? I really don't have too much stuff (I'm sure I'll be laughing at that statement later). I have another 5 or so boxes of books to pack, a few boxes of knick knacks from my bedroom, and a few things in the kitchen. I'm hoping to get a majority of the packing finished this weekend, so I can focus on planning the actual move over the next two weeks.

On a completely different note, I have a meeting tonight with one of Eric's aunts to discuss doing some photography for a book she's writing!

The next few weeks are going to be pretty busy for me, so I'm giving myself a little leniency when it comes to gym/workout/training time. I just need to get moved and settled in. I'm not saying I won't be going to the gym at all. I'm just not in a rush at the moment. When I have free time, I'm going to make a schedule for the month of July (including strength and cross-training) to get me up to speed for whichever training plan I decide to follow. That'll include reading NROLFW, which I'm really excited about.

How do you balance life changes with your fitness routine?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

VaHi Summerfest 5K

Sorry to leave you in the lurch for so long. I know you're all so very anxious to read about how the 5K went this weekend. I guess I'll get straight to it then.

Nicole picked up our packets on Thursday night, so we weren't in a rush to get to the race early on Saturday (Nicole is Eric's superawesome cousin, who happens to live right around the corner from me). The plan was to meet up at Nicole's house and carpool together since we didn't know what the parking situation was like in the Highlands. Eric, ever the supportive spectator, was up with me and out the door by 6:50 that morning. We met up with Nicole and her friend, Chris, and had a brief chat with her mom, who wished us all luck. We were out the door by 7:15!

I think we arrived in the Highlands right around 7:30, at which point I rushed around searching for a restroom. Apparently, the gas station across the street* happily opens their doors for the runners, so that was nice, since there were absolutely NO Port-a-Potties (I thought that was weird).

*I totally typed "stress" instead of "street" and didn't catch it until proofreading. Subconscious issues, much?

About 5 minutes before the start, we all huddled around the starting area. There were about 1400 runners, but somehow I spotted my friend from college (hi, Jeffrey!) who had also signed up for the race. Eric left us to wait at the finish line, and Nicole, Jeff, Chris, and I all prepped our music and waited for the gun. Or siren. Or whatever was supposed to signal the start. I think in the end it was a cop on a motorcycle? But I couldn't see it.

Jeff and Chris took off immediately while Nicole and I trotted along at a steady pace. The music was really helpful at first. Fall Out Boy and Gaslight Anthem are my bands of choice. Unfortunately, my ear buds refused to stay in my ear, so about a 1/4 mile into the race, I gave up and stuffed the headphones into my shirt. Then, close to the end of the first mile, my calf just tightened up. I tried to walk it off, but I ended up having to stop and stretch it out.

It was all downhill from there. Actually - that's 100% not true. I think Nicole said it best after the race: "I don't know how Virginia Highlands managed to do it, but they had a track that was 80% uphill. Bastards." I would show you the elevation profile, but I can't figure out how to save the image. It was incredibly intense though. We ended up walking a majority of the hills and running the downhill/flat areas (which were few and far between). I think I got my wind sometime in the last mile because I was able to run up the last hill and straight to the finish line.

Suffice it to say, I did not PR. But I did get a nifty shirt.

I said I would be honest here, but I can't tell you what my exact time was. I looked at the clock at the end of the race, and I think it said 46:17, but I'm not sure. Eric was standing at the clock, so I hopped the rope area and stood by him. Nicole was only a few seconds behind me, and she ran to the end of the rope area and got herself a little time card thingy that you fill out yourself for the "results" page later. I definitely grabbed mine out of order, so I don't know what my official time was.

After the race, I went home, ate some cereal with a banana and crashed for about 3 hours.


That course was incredibly difficult. I wish I'd known better and hadn't set my expectations so high. I also didn't run at all the week prior to the race, but I know my endurance has improved, and I could have PR'd if the race was similar to the Brookhaven Bolt. All in all, I'm glad I finished, and I'm really glad that Nicole was there with me. I think I might have just quit after the second hill if it wasn't for her.


All that being said, I'm still excited about and in love with running. Now I'm trying to figure out whether or not to train for a half marathon. I don't need to have a sub-10 min pace to feel successful. I keep trying not to compare myself to my friends or to the bloggers who inspire me. I'm not at that level yet. I have to remember that plenty of people run/walk half marathons, and that's still miles and away better than those who don't even try.


You're waiting for my training plan this week, aren't you? I wasn't going to do one, but I'd rather make an easy plan to stick to than not have one at all to keep my accountable.
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Easy 2 mi Run/Walk
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 3 mi Run/Walk
Sunday: Rest
I finally got New Rules of Lifting for Women last week, but I haven't started it yet. Regardless of whether I start training for a 10k or a half marathon, I'll definitely be throwing in strength training once I've moved. I'm just waiting to have a gym that Eric can use too, so he can show my what to do!

Alright, that's it. Busy days ahead, but check back here tonight for photos from this weekend!

What kind of earbuds/headphones do you use when you're running?

Friday, June 3, 2011

What would you do?

I'm trying hard to listen to my inner voice here.  I ran a 5K about 4 weeks ago, and I'm running another one tomorrow morning.  If you check out my goals, I'm right on track.

But!  I want to jump ahead.  Is that bad?  I'm not, like, super fit, but I feel like signing up for a half-Marathon and quite literally investing in my running by spending almost $100 for registration, will motivate me should I become disenchanted during the hot summers.

So here are my options so far.


Stay on track and sign up for the September Big Peach Sizzler 10k, organized by Big Peach Running Company.  I'd start training during the last week of July.


Go balls out and sign up for the Atlanta Half Marathon (which begins and ends at my dear Alma Mater), which takes place in October.  I'd have to start training for that in mid-July.


What started this whole mess: The Savannah Marathon Series Half Marathon.  A lot of my favorite bloggers have signed up, and it sounds like a lot of fun.  I thought maybe in addition to running a half Marathon, Eric and I might could take a small weekend getaway.  Because, while I've lived in the south for my whole life, and in Georgia/Atlanta specifically for nearly a decade, I've never been to Savannah.  (I know, right?!)  Training would start in August, and the race is in November.

So what do you think?  Would you go all in, or stay the course?  (Sorry for the mixed metaphors!)

How could I forget?

I totally forgot to tell you all about the most important and exciting thing that happened on my trip!

First I must back up and tell you all a brief story of something that happened a few months ago.  Kristy and I were standing in our kitchen, and I think we were talking about yoga.  It makes more sense for the story if we were, so if I'm taking a few liberties, I apologize.  Anyway, we were probably talking about yoga, and I was probably saying something to the effect of "I would love yoga, but I'm not flexible or strong, so I can't do anything."  Kristy, the kind* and encouraging person that she is, tried to tell me it's okay.  Yoga is for everyone.  So I bent over, reaching for my toes, to show her how inflexible I really was.  My fingertips reached just passed my knee caps.  She started laughing, but she wasn't laughing at me.  She thought she was laughing with me.  She thought I was joking.

When I joined my gym, I had one free session with a personal trainer.  Among other fitness tests, she had me do that thing where you sit on the floor with your legs straight out, feet flat against a box, and lean forward to push a measuring thing as for as you can.  Do you remember that flexibility test?  Anyway.  I was in the 97% for my age group.  That's the bad end of the scale.

Well, I've been doing yoga and trying to stretch a little bit every day.  I've definitely seen improvement over the past few months, but I still haven't had the joy of touching my toes while bent in half.

So, this past Saturday, we hiked up Whiteside Mountain, right?  Walking, walking, walking.  Limbering up, really.  When we got to the bottom of the mountain, I started to stretch, like you do.  I bent over and reached forward.  I could almost clasp my ankles.  Kristy saw this and encouraged me to try a little harder.  Then she gently pushed on my back, and it was just the mildest of assistance, but it did the trick!  I touched my toes!!  I was so happy, I started jumping around.  I did it again, this time without any help.  It was so exciting!  I could only hold it for about 3 seconds, but it was awesome.  It's like the first time I ran a mile without stopping.  It's just something I felt like everyone else could do except me.

This past weekend was so fun and a little victorious for me.  I'm excited for this coming weekend, because who knows what other small victories lie ahead for me?

*I think "Kristy, the Kind" shall be Kristy's new name.

What was your first small victory on your road to good health?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Progress 6.2.2011 & Mountain Trip!

How did last week's training schedule work out?
Run 3 mi
Run 1.4 mi
Run 1.75 mi
Run 3 mi (some fartleks)

Thursday: Rest (leaving for the mountains after work)
Hike or Rest

Hike, Yoga or Rest
Hika, Yoga or Rest

Not well.  Better than nothing, but I'm a little disappointed.  Wednesday I ended up skipping the gym.  I went, but as I pulled into the parking lot I realized I didn't have anything to pull my hair back with and I'd forgotten my deodorant.  Somehow this led to an overwhelming dread over the amount of stuff I still had to do before I left for NC.  I got back in my car, drove straight home, and Kristy and I went to Pho Dai Loi II for dinner.  The rest of the night involved a lot of laundry and packing.

Thursday was a Rest day, if you could call it that.  I felt like I was running a marathon at work, trying to finish everything before the holiday weekend.  Without getting too specific, I work in a law firm, and the attorney I work with has several hearings on the calendar, which means there are a lot of deadlines coming up which CANNOT be missed.  I was terrified to be out of the office for even one day.  Anyway, as soon as I finished with work, I was home packing up my toiletries and trying to microwave a quick frozen dinner.  Of course, Thursday brought some of the worst weather Georgia has seen in a while, and our power went out about 15 seconds into cooking my fettuccine.  We were in a hurry to get on the road and north of Atlanta before traffic got too bad, so I ended up grabbing some McDonalds (EW.) about 30 minutes into the trip.  Our friends, Ryan and Amy, caravaned with us, so after such a rushed day, we spent the evening drinking wine and relaxing.  It was pretty glorious.

Friday I wasn't feeling to well (I'm sure it had nothing to do with the wine), so I spent the whole day reading and staring out the windows.

This is only a portion of the view from the living room/porch.

Friends started pouring in after lunch.  For dinner, delicious tacos were had by all, and an epic game of Identity Crisis ensued before I went to bed, and everyone else watched How to Train Your Dragon.

Saturday we ventured to Whiteside Mountain (pictured above).  It's not a very rough or difficult hike, but it was definitely a workout.  The best part is when you get to the top/lookout.  Not only is the view amazing, but you can literally see the house from there.  If you look at the picture above, to the left of the tip of the mountain there's a sort of dip in the trees.  That's the lookout spot.

From left: Aadil, Jerod, Nate, Jenn, Ryan, Lilli, Eric, Kim. (Not pictured - Me, because I'm terrified of heights and man-made platforms defying nature.  Also not pictures - Kristy and Amy, because they are taking photos, and Eric's sister Kate.)

That evening, the girls kicked the boys out of the living room and we played a very long game of Phase 10.

From left: Kate, clearly done with this game; Amy and Jenn.

Sunday, most of the gang went on another hike to some waterfalls.

Kristy, Amy and I, however, said "No thank you."  We drove into town to see some shops.  None of us brought a camera, and it was a pretty uneventful trip anyway, so I have nothing to show you.  We did stop by the Highland Hiker, where I found a sleeveless Patagonia sweat-wicking shirt on sale, as well as some Torvol padded socks, so I bought them in anticipation of running my race on Saturday in the sweltering Georgia heat.

Several friends left on Sunday, so that night was pretty mild.  We played a new game called Pictionary Telephone, which I've decided is to too difficult to actually explain other than to say it is exactly what it sounds like.  Monday, we cleaned, ate, drank beer, and just enjoyed our last day.  We all made it home that night in one piece, and came back to a 4-day work week.

I packed my bag for the gym on Monday night, but I haven't made it there yet this week, and it doesn't look promising.  Tuesday, I wanted to work on making a moving plan (because, holy crap I'm moving in 3 weeks).  Yesterday, I had free tickets to the Braves game, which I couldn't pass up.  Today is Kristy's birthday.  Tomorrow is the day before the race.  I don't have high hopes for improving my PR on Saturday, but I do feel like my endurance has significantly improved in the last month, so I might be proven wrong.  We'll see.

As you've probably guessed by now, there is no training schedule for this week.  I'll be back on Sunday with a race recap, training schedule, and maybe even a brief review of New Rules of Lifting for Women.

How did you spend Memorial Day weekend?