Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Nashville Recap Part 2: The race!

So let's pick up this recap where I left off, sharing now the day of the Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon in Nashville, TN on April 27, 2013.  As much as I knew that rain was likely, I was really hoping for a miracle. When I woke up in the AM and saw that it was raining, I have to say it wasn’t the best feeling.

It had rained for my first 10K. It had rained for my first sprint triathlon.  And now it was raining for my first half marathon.  Figures.  I saw conflicting weather reports that still had me feeling hopeful that maybe the rain would clear up... But then I got a call from M and J saying that local weather said 100% chance of rain the whole race. It wasn’t clearing up any time soon. Because of that, the two of them decided not to run the race.

While I understood their decision, there was no way that I wasn’t going to run the race and felt even more determination to not let the rain stop me. When talking to my mom the night before I said to her, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to achieve my goal if it is raining while I run.” And my mom, a lifelong runner responded with something that stuck with me. She just said, “Why? Why would that stop you from achieving your goal?”

And to be honest, I really didn’t have an answer to that. So I put my game face on. 

Well, I put my poncho on.

And then I put my game face on.

I know, I know, the poncho is back off on that bottom picture.  But it was warm with it on before I left the hotel!  I stretched in my room and decided to head over to the start of the race at around 6:30. I wanted to stay out of the rain but also get there with some time to experience the pre-race excitement and activity! Before I went over, I blasted my race music in my hotel room and had a solo dance party. It really helped to stretch myself out and loosen up, but also to get rid of my nerves and just start to have fun. It 100% did the trick. Dancing always makes me happy. It’s something that I have always done at the beginning of races, which I am waiting for the gun to go off and I have my headphones in. It gets me pumped up :)

The hotel dance party got me going, and with my Boston hat on, I was all smiles before leaving my hotel room.

Again, I have to say how amazing the staff at the Courtyard Marriott Vanderbilt/West End were.  They had great energy in the morning, helping out the runners.  From who knows where they pulled out a box of ponchos and were handing out ponchos to the runners, and even helping take dorky pictures for narcissists like me who feel the need to have 5-10 photos taken until I find ones that I think are cute/acceptable.  They had great energy though, which was what was needed most.  One of the guys even decided to photo bomb one of my pictures.  Oh hey!

When I got to the race, people were dealing with the rain various ways. Some were waiting until trees or covered areas they somehow found. Others were walking around in intense trash bag contraptions, including a number of people who had their feet wrapped up in plastic, which looked kind of awesome, I must say. I wish I’d snagged a picture of that.

I got choked up for the first time in the morning when they held a moment of silence for the victims of Boston and when they did the National Anthem.  This isn't my picture, I stole it from the race's Facebook page, but I wanted to share it because I think it is kind of awesome.  This is from the moment of silence.

The race was a corralled wave start, so I didn’t end up crossing the start line until around 7:30 a.m. Which turned out to be pretty awesome because I was able to sneak in a last minute trip to the porta-potty and also I was at the front of my wave went so I began right off in a run!

The first few miles of the race felt good. I just tried to keep my pace and get comfortable. I actually ran with my poncho on and up over my head so just my face was peaking out. At around mile 3 I felt warm so I took the hood down. I kept telling myself I’d take the poncho off when the rain stopped or when I got too warm. But that never even ended up happening.

The first half of the race I just chugged along. I was feeling great but I tried not to let my head get ahead of myself and continually reminded myself that there was A LOT of race ahead of me. I also had been studying the elevation of the race and I knew that miles 2-6 were a lot of uphill. I told myself if I could get through 6, that would be a big accomplishment.  At mile 2.5 I tried to take a picture of us heading down honky tonk row.  But between the rain, and well, the running part, I didn't really get a good one.

I planned to eat a Shot Blok and have some water at the 10K mark. I ate the gummy thing then looked around for water, I thought there would be one there. You are supposed to eat those things with water, and I've learned if I don't, I get a stomach ache. I assumed water would be nearby but I didn’t see any and started to get panicky and for the first time in the race didn't feel relaxed.  I know it was probably just mental but I felt like every minute that passed after I ate the Shot Blok I could feel my stomach getting woozy. When I finally saw a water station, I nearly knocked a few people over to get there. The guy handing it out was being kind of slow and I grabbed it out of his hands because I didn’t want to stop. I felt bad but kept running after I grabbed the water.

I hit mile 7 and all of a sudden I just was in a zone. I’ve heard people talk about how when they run they get into a zone, forget they are running, and just could go forever. I’ve always heard that and thought, “That’s bullshit. That’s never happened to me.” Generally, nearly every minute I spend running I am mentally trying to convince myself to KEEP running.

Well, for anyone else who has always called bullshit on that and thought the people who said that were freaks of nature... I have to admit, for the first time in my life, I hit that zone. Miles 7-10 flew by.

I refueled again at mile 9 with a Shot Blok and water.  It was funny to drink the water while running-- I've literally never done that during a race before.  I have never needed it during 5Ks or my two 10Ks.  I was already soaked from the rain so I just let it spill over me a lot.  It reminded me of when I was little and we'd set up a "water station" on our street and we'd run up and down pretending we were the Boston Marathoners grabbing water cups of water and spilling them all over ourselves.  Thinking of this just made me even more determined.

During these later miles in the race, I relied on the crowd a lot... grabbing high fives from kids wherever I could, trying to make eye contact and rouse some cheers, smiling at fans, waving, connecting with others holding Boston signs to notice me and my hat, etc. My music helped a lot as well.  I had asked family and friends to give me a song to put onto my half marathon mix that was their song to me.  A song that when I heard it I would think of them cheering for me.  I am SO glad I did this and cannot tell you how much it helped me.  When I was feeling a little a little drained or running up a hill I found myself thinking, "Please let the next song be a "present" song!!" (as I was calling them.)  They helped to give me a boost of energy and think of my friends  and family cheering for me.  Also, there was music along the race course!  At one point someone was blasting the YMCA and a big group of runners, me included, were doing the hand motions to the “Y-M-C-A” part as we ran. It was so funny to see and put a huge smile on my face.

The crowd was incredible too.  Even in the rain they were out there cheering with signs saying "Run for Boston" and "Stay strong random stranger!"  I particularly loved the group of girls that had signs that said, "Single and supportive!" I thought that was SO funny.  I may have to try that someday :)

I’ve mentioned how sometimes when running I will FORCE a smile on my face because I know it releases endorphins. Well, during the half marathon, I didn’t need to force a smile on my face... I literally was grinning and having fun throughout the race!  I can't wait to see the race photographer pics because I feel like I will have a cheesy grin on in a lot of them.

I mean, to some extent it is a funny thing. I remember running and just looked around me at the fact that literally there were THOUSANDS of people who were all out, in the pouring rain, many wearing ridiculous ponchos (like myself), soaking wet, and just RUNNING for no reason whatsoever. I thought to myself, this is the stupidest thing in the entire world.  We are all complete idiots for doing this.  Yet, it's kind of awesome and I kind of love it. Seeing myself as a part of this crazy group of people just made me smile and laugh.

When I’ve looked at people who do distance races in the past I’ve always admired them. I’ve envied their determination and athleticism and thought they were in a different class than I was in. An elite group of people. "Runners."  Well, I realized on Saturday that I am one of them and while maybe .01% of runners are "elite," well, the rest of us -- we're just idiots.  And it's awesome.

When I reached mile 10 and was still running (and feeling good), I felt for the first time I was in new territory. 10 miles was previously the most I’d run consecutively. When I got past 11 miles I felt even more that I was in new territory. I just kept telling myself, “Just go one more.” and repeated over and over the mantra I’d picked up somewhere amongst Nashville's rolling hills, which was, “Survive the hills. Pace the race. You’re finishing this thing.”

Mile 12 was the hardest... there was a good amount of uphill running and I was exhausted. The rain felt heavier and for the first time I felt the wind. I also felt for the first time, “Holy shit. This is real. I am finishing this. I am going to finish this.” There was no way I was quitting at this point.

Midway through mile 12 I heard M and J cheering for me. I don’t even remember seeing their faces (they were in ponchos with the hoods on) but I saw them jumping up and down and cheering and shouting for me. It really was an awesome feeling to have that support at the end and I knew I was so close. When I hit 13 I sprinted. I honestly wish I remember running through the shoot and the finish. I think I was already sort of freaking out inside and it was a bit of a blur.   But I did it.

After I crossed the finish, stopped my Garmin, took a medal from a volunteer, and wandered through the finishers shoot. I had so many thoughts running through my head. I felt great. I felt like I could have kept going. I felt like I wanted to cry. I felt like I wanted to call someone. I wanted to look at my phone and see my messages. I wanted to check what my time was. But I couldn’t really focus or think about anything but one fact.

I had finished this thing.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Nashville Recap Part 1: The day before the half marathon!

So, there is just far too much to write about my weekend in Nashville.  I started to do a race recap last night and was choked up 2 sentences in.  I think today I finally came down off of the adrenaline high I was on for all of Saturday and Sunday, which was one of the most blissful feelings I've ever had.  I'm still feeling pretty great but reality hit today and I've been tired and sore.  Yet, also more proud of myself than I have ever been in my life.  Anyone at work today who asked me how the race was... well I talked their ear off telling them how great it was.  Hopefully emptying all my thoughts onto the blog will help spare the poor people who pass me in the hallway at work, saying "How'd it go?!" from hearing a novel rather than a quick, "Great, thanks!"

So let's rewind to last Thursday night.  I finalized packing to go to Nashville, pretty confused about what to bring. What would the weather be like? Would it be cold? Would I need to ditch clothing at the beginning of the race? Should I bring nice running clothes or crummy running clothes?

I tried on all of my outfits and made plans, packed, and went to bed. My flight to Nashville was at 6:00 a.m.! Well, since there is never any direct flights from Albany, I flew first to Atlanta then from Atlanta to Nashville. The flight there started with a bit of unease as the line for security was bonkers at the airport! Seriously, it went out into the parking lot.

I'll tell ya, 6:00 a.m. flights can be rough but they are also pretty beautiful.

The day stayed high in the excitement factor as when I got to my gate at the airport in Atlanta, turns out the gang from Duck Dynasty was on my flight to Nashville! Now I am not a Duck Dynasty fan but I know a lot of people that are. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to snag a picture with Si.

And as Sarah commented to me on Twitter, it was the beginning of a great trip that was destined for an epic blog recap :)

When I arrived in Nashville I went to my hotel and get settled.  I stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Vanderbilt/West End in Nashville and I point that out because I have to say they were so, so great for the runners!  I had chosen that hotel off the race website because it was listed as being close to the start line.  The staff at the hotel were amazing and so nice and had so many "extras" for runners.  When I checked in they gave me a welcome back with snacks, water, and Gatorade.  They also planned to have a pasta dinner that night and breakfast starting at 4:30 a.m. for runners.  The hotel really made the experience so much more worthwhile.  They had a shuttle going back and forth regularly downtown and it was so convenient and easy.  I highly recommend this hotel for future Nashville Country Music Marathoners!!

From the hotel.  I wish I knew how to rotate these photos...

After checking in to my hotel in Nashville and getting settled, I went and met up with the girls I also knew doing the race - M and J. These girls are both half marathon pros and their number of races completed is in the double digits by now. They’d given me some great advice leading up to the weekend and I was excited to be able to spend some time with them.

We hit up the race expo where I wanted to take every cheesy, corny race expo photo possible. Luckily M and J were totally cool with that and obliged my newbie runner dorkiness. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to capture a moment of the weekend!

It was also really incredible to see the support for Boston throughout the city.  I could have taken a million photos of all the signs, shirts, etc. that people were sporting for the marathon but I'll share a quick couple things from Friday.  By my hotel a bank had a great sign up.

And at the Expo they had a wall where you could sign posters for Boston.

The afternoon after the expo was spent exploring Nashville’s “Honky Tonk Row” for lunch, ice cream, shopping, and live music! As we walked up and down the main road, I thought to myself, “Man, I can’t wait to run through these streets tomorrow!” and it sort of hit me... holy crap, I’m a runner!

After walking around a bunch we settled at one place to rest our feet a bit. The weather for Saturday had been a topic of conversation throughout the whole day and as we sat there we checked yet again. I’d been obsessively checking the hour by hour forecast on both Yahoo and Weather.com. Unfortunately, nothing had really changed. And by no means was it looking good. Rain all morning. 

We didn’t really have much of a choice but to accept it. I was getting really anxious and scared as to how this would affect my goal of wanting to run the whole thing. I was getting pretty stressed out and also questioning why this goal was so important to me. So many people I talked to walked at points throughout the race and didn’t consider it to be any less of an accomplishment. My mind was really starting to get to me. Should I be so worried about that goal? Or just enjoy it? And this stupid rain forecast? At that point, I sort of just said screw it and had a beer. M and J were both drinking and I figured one beer wouldn’t kill me. If anything it would make me relax a bit. I’d planned to only have water the night before but I think the beer and live music did me well.

After that I parted ways with the girls and went back to my hotel, which I had chosen because it was near the start line. I wanted to lay all of my clothes out, prepare everything exactly as I’d need it, stretch, relax, eat dinner, finalize my playlist, give myself a few mental pep talks and get to bed super early.

When I got back to my hotel, I actually had a wonderful surprise waiting for me.  Flowers from my sister and brother-in-law!!  They were beautiful and it really made my day.  I know I was only there for 2 days but for some reason that hotel felt so homey to me.  Maybe it was the incredible staff or the friendliness of all the runners staying there.  But as someone who has spent a lot of time in hotels over the past year, this was truly a unique hotel experience for me.  The flowers in my room were so thoughtful and just added to my enjoyment of the whole weekend.  Thanks Nikki and Mark!

I ended up eating at a place I saw out of the window of my hotel called The Row. It was a BBQ place and I really didn’t want to eat a lot of meat the night before my race but I honestly chose it because it had brussel sprouts on the menu. I love brussel sprouts and they have so much nutrition and I always feel good after I eat brussel sprouts. I got a sampler of sides that included mac and cheese, brussel sprouts, and green beans. It came with a biscuit on the side and all were delicious and I think perfectly what I needed. The smashed sweet potatoes were very tempting and delicious sounding but just seemed so heavy.

I ended up not even eating all of the mac and cheese, which is incredibly rare for me to leave food on my plate. But I was full and it was pretty heavy too. I had been eating carbs since Thursday so I hoped that was good and opted a lighter dinner was better than a huge one. Plus, I ate that whole biscuit so I really wasn’t skimping on any carbs here.

After eating I was able to get to bed early with my alarm set for 5:00 a.m. The race didn’t start until 7:00 a.m. and my hotel was right by the start line so I didn’t NEED to be up that early. But I know my body and it takes a while to wake up in the morning.

Speaking of which.  I'm going to head to bed for the night myself and continue Part 2 of race recap tomorrow.  Hope you all had a wonderful start to your week! xoxo.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

On top of the world.

Just wanted to post a quick update as I'm back from Nashville and officially a half marathoner :)

I've been on a crazy high from the race for the past 2 days and feel like I am on top of the world.  I finished the race in 2:19:14 and accomplished my goal of running the whole thing.  Despite raining the WHOLE 13 miles, the race was so much fun!  I can't wait to rehash the whole race here, more so for my own memories (not that I don't love you all) to be able to preserve every minute of it.  Stay tuned and THANK YOU for everyone support.  Friends, family, strangers, everyone.  You have no idea what it means to me!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I finished my half marathon training plan today.  I did a 2 mile run over lunch today at work and that's that.  Yes, I made coworkers take pictures of me.  I was excited and happy!

In fact, I was so distracted by the fact that I'd finished my training plan, that I forgot to take a towel when I went to shower at the gym.  Let me spell this out for you a little... the towels are next to the water fountains in the big room with the equipment and cardio machines.  Why they aren't in the locker rooms, I do not know.  Yet it wasn't until 1/2 way through my shower that I realized, "Oh shit, I never took a towel."

So yeah, my giddiness in finishing training went away quickly when I had to pull my sweaty clothes back on to my soaking wet body and run back out in the middle of the gym, dripping wet, to grab a towel.  Woops.

With my running plan... nothing but race day left!
For dinner tonight I had lots of water, some pasta with a pesto sauce I'd bought ages ago, spinach, and toast.  I still had some of that yummy baklava left over so that was my dessert.  

The pesto wasn't that great.  I bought it at this awesome place in New York City called Eataly months ago.  I expected it to be somehow different... I love anything with truffles so I had high expectations, but they just didn't meet.  Which was sort of a bummer.  But the bread and spinach and whole meal together, was great.  And ya know what was even better?  I think for the first time in a long, long time I ate an indulgent meal filled with carbs without the slightest bit of guilt or remorse.  Yum.

I've got to finalize packing and head to bed.  Flight at 6:00 a.m.!!! :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Why this is such a big deal.

I've been writing about, and talking about this half marathon for months now.  Not just here, but in real life too.  With my co-workers, with my friends, with my family, with strangers I meet.  Literally, everyone.  I told you the other day I told the lady who was giving me a pedicure!

Running this race has become a bigger deal to me than when I started out this process.  When I first decided about doing a half marathon in 2013, I thought it would just be for fun and was roping in a few friends to make a weekend trip out of it.  When they all ended up being unsure of whether or not they could go, I decided I still wanted to run a half.  And when I chose and signed up for this race, I thought I would be traveling to Nashville with my boyfriend and having a fun long weekend away.  In both these scenarios, when I both mentally made the decision to do a half marathon and when I actually took the step to sign up -- it wasn't just about the race.  It was about an experience with friends, doing something fun, and sharing in the memory of seeing a new city with people I cared about.

Well, when my friends all finally told me that they wouldn't be able to do the race, and when things fell apart between my boyfriend and I, things started to change mentally for me a bit.  Rather than this being  a weekend away in a new city, with a half marathon as a fun excuse for the trip, it became a challenge for me.

You may have guessed it from my blog and my willingness to do silly things, my love of hosting parties, and my general all around openness about sharing who I am... but I am an extrovert.  To the fullest.  A 100% textbook "Expresser" if we were to go by the Interaction Style Guide personality types.  Although I am fully comfortable doing things on my own and am incredibly independent, I very much enjoy the company of others.

Doing this half marathon on my own became a new challenge for me.  Yes, it would be incredibly amazing to see a familiar face cheering for me along the route or waiting for me at the finish line on Saturday.  Of course it would.  Yes, I would love to have someone to go to a celebratory dinner with that night.  Who wouldn't?

But I am going to achieve this on my own.  And I know I have a fan club of people who love me all over the country and world (hi Lama!) cheering me on throughout this race.  I know that I am one of the luckiest girls in the world with the amount of love and support I have in my life for all that I do.  And hopefully after Saturday, I will KNOW that I can accomplish this on my own.  With nobody else for support day of.  Nobody but myself giving me a pep talk before the gun goes off.  Only my two legs and my mind to push myself through.  However, I must say, that I am completely and totally thrilled that I learned I will know another friend and runner who will be at the race as well.  She is a veteran half-marathoner and I am excited to be able to spend time with her!

Another reason why this is such a big deal for me is that three years ago, I couldn't run a 5K.  Literally three years ago in April I was working on the "Couch to 5K" program.  I ran my first full length 5K without stopping in June 2010.  Running a half marathon wasn't even something that was on my radar. It never was.  I have never been a runner.  I have never pushed myself like I have with this training.  Frankly, I never had this faith in myself.  I have never even thought that I could do this.  I want to prove myself wrong so badly.  I want to show every one of you reading this blog that things you can't do something -- YOU CAN. I want to prove that to myself and to you.  I am so anxious and excited for the race on Saturday.  And really scared.  I'm scared I won't meet the goal I have for myself.  That I'll be disappointed.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to reach the goals I set for myself.  And always right before I set out to do something I always think, "Aw crap, I wish I hadn't told so many people about this in case I fail."

Today I ran 2 miles then spent a lot of time stretching, foam rolling, working on my playlist, and relaxing.  I am going to spend the next few days trying to push these anxious and negative thoughts out of my mind.  Only room for positivity here!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy belated Earth Day!

Hello there internet friends, I hope you are doing well out there!  I wanted to write a quick "Happy Earth Day" to everyone out there as it was something I didn't write about yesterday.  I got home and was pretty tired so I opted to post an entry I hadn't had a chance to from the week before, rather than write something new.

Earth Day is something that has become more meaningful to me over the years, and much of that is influenced by my job.  I am lucky enough to work somewhere that makes every day like Earth Day!  As most people probably know, I have been working for a renewable energy company for the past year, and it has been an incredible experience for me professionally and personally to learn more about the green side of the world.  There are some great people in this business and I've had some AMAZING experiences.  Such as this one, where last September I climbed a wind turbine out in Sweetwater, Texas!

It was such an insanely cool experience that I would love to repeat someday.  Anyways, yesterday, on Earth Day, we had a green living fair for employees where people could recycle electronics, plant seeds, learn about composting, cooking with fresh herbs, gardening, recycling at work, etc.  And it is at this fair that I learned a lot about, and signed up for, something that has been right along with my recent goals, healthy living plans... I signed up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)! I am now about 1/500th owner of a local farm and from about July-October I should be getting 5 pounds of fresh, local, organic vegetables delivered to me at work every week!  I am excited because it helps me with my goal of wanting to eat organic, will force me to eat lots of veggies, and experiment with new foods, recipes!  Another one of the other really cool things about the CSA is that on the weekends you can go and "pick your own" beans, herbs, etc. which I think will be so fun!

So yeah, I hope that you had a great Earth Day and did something positive to impact the environment/world around you.  Even if it is making a pledge to carpool more, use less disposable silverware, cut back on plastic water bottles, or at least refill them a few times and use them over and over.... find something that you can do to make this world a little bit of a better place and try to fit it into your routine!

Today I had a really great day as well.  I ran 3 miles over lunch, which is the most I will be running before Saturday.  Tomorrow and Thursday I actually have only two miles to do each day!  I'm looking forward to fully using this time to rest and stretch.  I have been feeling some pain at times in my right hip/butt area when I run and I really want to keep that stretched over the next few days.

After work I met a friend for dinner at Tara's Kitchen, a fantastic local Moroccan restaurant.  When you eat there, you feel like you are really having a family dinner with the people that work there, sometimes other guests, etc.  I love that feel and I love the food there.  From the moment that you walk in and are brought green tea with mint and honey, you feel like you are somewhere special.  The menu is filled with incredible flavors and combinations that I've never had before and after trying a number of different things, I have yet to find something that I don't think is delicious.

Tonight my friend and I split some pita with spicy harissa, potato pancakes with mixed vegetables, and lamb kebabs as appetizers.  Followed by a tagine, or stew-type dish, of eggplant with prunes, honey, and chick peas.  This comes served with pita and some rice.

Excuse my half eaten meal... I forgot to take a picture right away, woops.  Oh, and by the way, did I mention that they have the most AMAZING baklava?  Yeah, I definitely brought a piece home with me for dessert.  I ate half tonight and have the other half waiting for me for tomorrow.  Yum!  Cannot wait!

You know, I used to be of the mindset that if I was eating something bad for me, I should eat it all in one serving.  That way it would just be out of the way and I wouldn't eat bad food two days in a row.  For that reason I have often avoided taking home leftovers or made stupid choices such as eating all of my Easter candy within a week, okay fine, a day, so that I could go back to being "healthy."

I'm starting to realize that healthy is eating in moderation and listening to your body.  I really didn't need or wasn't craving a giant piece of baklava after my meal.  But a little piece along with a cup of tea when I got home was a perfect way to end the evening!  And yeah, baklava is pretty sweet and not an every day thing.  But knowing what I now know from reading this book The Happiness Diet, I feel so much better (mentally but also physically!) about eating a piece of fresh baklava with butter, honey, and nuts then anything processed that I could have/would have normally eaten as a dessert.

Tonight's meal out was really, really nice.  I can't tell you how much energy and positivity it brings into my week to mix things up by having dinner with a good friend.  It was so good to see my friend Andrea, and the sweetheart, brought me a good luck gift for my race this weekend!!  Check out these adorable and fun goodies Andrea brought me.  She is so sweet and knows me well :)

A couple things I am super excited about from here?  This book.

And this sticker.

I freaking LOVE that sticker and can't wait until it is true and I complete the 13.1 miles and earn this thing!! I seriously love it and it couldn't be more perfect.

And the framed picture Andrea gave me?  Yeah, it's already up on the wall :)

Happy Tuesday everyone.  I hope that you are feeling positive this week.  I'm doing my best to keep positive but must admit I am getting a bit nervous about the weather in Nashville.  Weather forecasts predict thunderstorms!!  Ugh.  As my mom pointed out to me this morning, apparently competing in races is storms is my thing (aka my first 10K and my first sprint triathlon.)  I realllllly hope that this isn't the case for this weekend!  Cross your fingers for me please!

Monday, April 22, 2013

My "Say Cheese" workout for the week!

[Note:  I actually put this post together last Thursday night, planning to post it on Friday.  However, with everything going on Friday in Boston, it didn't cross my mind and then when I did remember, it didn't seem relevant.  However, I decided to share tonight!]

So I've been trying to clean up the "draft" blog post section that I have going that is full of half written blog entries and I wanted to share something that I had flagged a while ago.  Four score and seven years ago I noticed this blog entry from Khushboo about having a "Say Cheese" workout and I thought it was such a cute idea.

As she writes, in addition to developing abs, smiling also does wonders for our health.  I'd read a while back that smiling releases endorphins so just the act of smiling, even if you're feeling blue, brings you closer to feeling better!  It is this reason that I began randomly smiling throughout my runs.  I am sure I look like an idiot but during the points in my runs that I feel miserable, I force a smile on my face.  It hopefully releases some endorphins, and also reminds me that I'm running for ME.  And during my run I should be having fun.  I definitely used the "smile method" during my runs this week.

I thought that this week, more than anything else, we all might need a little extra smiling in our life.  So I wanted to share some of what has been making me smile this week.

  • First off, the Dove Beauty ad?  Have you guys all seen this video? Anyways, the parody literally made me laugh out loud.  The parody is spot on, and also is very true.  They could have gone so many different ways with the parody (I originally thought it was going to be guys describing themselves in great detail and then when describing the other guys, the artist would come up with a stick figure or something... i.e. guys don't notice and aren't descriptive.)  Here is the parody: 

  • Tell me this doesn't make you smile a little bit.
  • The fact that this week I was having an e-mail conversation with my uncles and one of them, perfectly used the following GIF in the e-mail.  Literally had me laughing out loud at my desk at how amazing my family is.

  • This image explaining the use of QR codes:

  • Alright, now life is only fair if you can laugh at yourself in addition to everything else in life.  This week I was laughing at a "blonde" moment I had (although I am true and true brunette.)  A friend and I were having a conversation via e-mail where she told me that she was studying for her GRE.  I literally thought about this for a little bit and then wrote back, "I'm confused. You graduated from high school... so why are you studying for the GRE?"  I has somehow in my head mistaken the GRE, which you need for grad schools, with the GED, which is a high school equivalency degree. #woops #ireallyamsmart