travel · Uncategorized

Dreaming of Barcelona

Now that my race is over, I’m back to daydreaming about far off places. As the saying goes, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”.

One of my favorite places that I have visited was Barcelona. The city is just gorgeous and the people were so nice. I loved the history, the architecture, and I especially loved the food.

The highlight of my all-too-brief trip to Barcelona was a tapas tour through the Food Lovers Company. We did it our first night in the city and it was a great introduction to the area.

The tour guide (Aleix) was fantastic. He had so much knowledge about the city and talked to us about politics, history, and food.

The food was all stuff I would never have thought to try on my own. We went to 5 small tapas bars. One was literally a hole in the wall with no sign, but the food was ridiculous.

There was a wide variety of dishes, including fried fish, fresh sardines, black pudding with chickpeas, ham and chicken croquettes, and amazing desserts.

If anyone goes to Barcelona, I HIGHLY recommend this tour.

Has anyone else been? Did you have a favorite food there?

running · Uncategorized

What I learned from my first long distance race

OK, I did it. I completed a 15k. In the rain. Here are a few things I learned along the way:

1 – Don’t do a long distance race. Hahaha…just kidding. Actually, running across the finish line in this race was one of the proudest moments of my life. I had accomplished something, and it was big. All of my training, all of my stressing, all of my whining and excuses had finally come to this moment.

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FINISH LINE!

 

2 – That brings me to my next thought. An event like this requires a LOT of preparation. I knew I wasn’t actually ready for running this distance, but I gave it my best. I ran my first 5k in November. My longest actual run (without walking) was 5 miles on December 1. Since then, I’ve done several distance runs with walking breaks, so I knew this race would be a run/walk. I completed an 8 mile run/walk with just over 15 minute mile pace and I did a 10 mile run/walk with just under a 15 minute pace. The minimum pace for this run was 15 minute miles, so I knew I had to bring it. Luckily, I wasn’t alone so I brought it.

img_05173 – FIND FRIENDS TO RUN WITH! This was important for me. Since I’ve started this little running journey, I’ve been running with my sister. It’s great when we both push each other to keep going, but it’s not so great when we help each other make excuses. Overall, we’ve done a good job keeping each other on track getting ready for this race. Luckily, we had two co-workers who also wanted to run this race. One of them finished an hour before us (but waited for us at the finish line!) and the other stuck with us. It was awesome to have friends there encouraging, cheering me on, and keeping me going.

 

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Will run for chocolate!

 

4 – Most importantly, have fun! Everyone got into running for a reason, and I’m sure fitness was in there somewhere, but if you aren’t having fun, then why are you doing it? This particular race was awesome because it was the Hot Chocolate 15K. That meant awesome fuel during the race and an AMAZING post race snack. This race had the best swag of any races I’ve seen. All of the volunteers and staff were all friendly and happy to be there. It was such a great experience running with my friends and enjoying the day.

I am so glad I did this race, and I can’t wait for the next one. I have a 4 miler coming up in March, but no more long distance races until my half marathon in November. Let the training continue!

running · Uncategorized

Tapering?

Ok, so now I’m 4 days out from my longest race yet, the 15K. I’ve been thinking a lot about tapering.

Since it’s hard to find anything about a 15K, I decided to read up on tapering for a half-marathon. I found this article from the Chicago Half Marathon that gave some good tips.

I did my long run 2 weeks prior to the race, but since then I’ve been slacking off majorly. It was my birthday. The weather was bad. It was Super Bowl Weekend. All kinds of excuses piled up and kept me from actually running.

Today I’m planning on running two miles and then I’ll run again on Thursday. Other than that, I’m not going to do much exercise. I’ll focus on stretching.

Nutrition wise, I’m really trying to focus on eating whole grains and protein. I made some chicken salad from rotisserie chicken, Greek yogurt and some spices which I’m going to eat with some whole wheat pitas. I’m also trying REALLY hard to avoid eating out and eating a bunch of greasy crap. Last week, I did horribly with that goal, so I’m hoping I do better this week.

Mostly, this week is about resting and getting mentally prepared for my longest race ever. Here’s hoping I don’t die!

Anyone have any brilliant advice for me on this?

travel · Uncategorized

Alaska Bound!

In addition to all this running nonsense, my real passion is travel. I’ve been Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, France, Spain and England. I want to go EVERYWHERE.

My next big trip is coming up in May, and it’s an Alaskan cruise. I cannot wait! I want to see whales and glaciers and trains and bears and eagles!

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 9.50.48 PM.pngSo far, we are planning on doing whale watching and glacier viewing in Juneau and the White Pass Railroad in Skagway. We haven’t made any other solid plans for anywhere else yet.

It’s going to be a mix of amazing scenery, wildlife, and some history thrown in for the nerds in the family. Ok, let’s face it. I’m from a family full of nerds. Mom, dad, siblings, me. We’re all nerds.

We’re still discussing doing some sort of an excursion in Ketchikan. We’re probably just going to do dinner in Victoria.

Has anyone ever done an Alaskan cruise? What is a must do?

Uncategorized

One more week….

A week from today is the big day. The 15K I’ve been looking forward to (or maybe dreading…) is almost upon us. Now it’s time for tapering and preparing and possibly freaking out a little.

I can’t believe it’s almost here. I feel like it’s been forever since I signed up for it. I’ve been working hard to towards this since November, so I should be ready. Why don’t I feel ready??

Last week was my final long run before the race. It was a total of 10 miles, 7.75 of which was actual running. Or at least what I consider running. Other people may consider it jogging. Or somehow walking with both feet off the ground at one time. Whatever. The important part is I finished. And I think I learned a lot about what to expect next Saturday.

First of all, chafing is REAL, y’all. Like, Oh Em Gee. They weren’t kidding about that part of it. I scurried myself right over to the running store to buy some body glide stuff. That should make next Sunday much better.

I also realized that I need more fuel if I’m going to run that far. As a very slow runner, a 15K is going to take a long time. I went a little crazy at the running store buying some different energy things – gels, beans, sports drinks. I need to try them out, but I’m scared! I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories. I don’t think it would be a good idea to try them for the first time during the race, so I’ll need to figure that part out.

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Buy ALL the stuff!

Last, and most importantly, I realized that I can do it. I know it sounds cheesy, but I needed that long run to convince me. I’ve been working towards this for a long time, and on Saturday, I get to prove to myself that it was all worth it.

Besides, there will be chocolate at the end, and isn’t that worth running for??

Uncategorized

Who am I?

They say you should have three hobbies in life, one to make you money, one to keep you in shape and one to be creative. Well, I don’t. Or at least I didn’t until recently.

As far as making money, I guess my hobby would be mortgages. It doesn’t sound sexy and glamorous, but after 15 years in the industry, I guess it’s kind of a hobby? Really, it’s the way I afford my other hobbies.

Before last August, I didn’t have hobbies that fit into the other two categories either. I didn’t really believe in exercising. I didn’t want to eat healthy. And I always managed to convince myself I wasn’t creative.

Well, after looking at myself in the mirror, my sister and I decided to start getting in shape. We started by doing the 21 Day Fix, which was a fantastic kickstart, as a way of preparing our bodies for running. We signed up for a 5K in November, and off we went.

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Savannah Rock n Roll 5k

While we were at the expo for the 5K, we somehow decided that our next goal should be a half marathon, so we decided we were going to do one in November 2018. Well, we finished that 5K and signed up for the next one. Thus began my hobby to keep me in shape – running. Or at least jogging. Kind of like a turtle runs, but I’m lapping everyone on the couch, right? Right????

 

And that brings me to the last part of this, my creative hobby. I haven’t exercised that part of my brain in a loooong time. Way to long. I have a degree in journalism, so you’d think I’d write all the time. But I don’t. So this here blog is a way for me to do that and get back to an old passion.

So, if you’ve read this whole lovely introduction, you now know something about me. And this is a space where I share my journey with exercising, along with some fun travel-y things (my actual passion) and maybe some cat stuff. Just because they are cute.