Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Southwest Pasta Skillet...

...first off, I hope you all had a great Memorial Day! Thank you to all our troops and soliders who fight and put their lives on the line daily.

Now on to this delicious recipe. Thank you Jen for bringing Philadelphia Cooking Creme into my life! I LOVE this stuff! Is it healthy? Not really but it's so good and curbs my craving to eat out so I'll take that esp on a Friday or Saturday night. I tried out another recipe, this time using the Santa Fe Blend Cooking Creme-OMG! This one is definitely my fave! Now without more blabbing, here's the recipe. Seriously, print this recipe out and make it TONIGHT!


1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
1 can (14.5 ounces) no salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1 pkg (10 ounces) frozen corn
1 tub (10 ounces) Philadelphia Santa Fe Blend Cooking Creme
2 cups hot cooked rotini pasta
1 cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, divided in 1/2 cups

*Cook and stir chicken & peppers in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 6-7 minutes or until chicken is done. Add tomatoes, corn and cooking creme; cook and stir 3 minutes.
*Add pasta and 1/2 cup shredded cheese; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
*Top with remaining shredded cheese. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand until cheese is melted.

The sauce thicken upon standing.
I used the Tyson pre-cooked grilled chicken strips-worked perfectly! Instead of topping the whole thing with cheese at the end, we just put what we wanted on our own serving. And the green peppers? They added the perfect little crunch to the dish. I only used half of a green bell pepper because the other half isn't a huge fan of them but we could have probably used a little more.

I was seriously licking my bowl it was soooooo good!!! And it made a TON! Definitely an easy dish you could make and have another couple, or your parents or in-laws, over to enjoy as well. OH! And you don't dirty very many dishes either which is always a good thing in my book!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Crowdtap & Old Navy Active Pants!!!

...I recently joined Crowdtap after Meredith posted about her experience with them. After just a few weeks of joining, I got picked to Sample and Share some Old Navy active pants. Click here to check out the options available! Basically, I got a coupon for myself and three to giveaway to friends to get a free pair of active pants of our choice. Having recently lost some weight, my current workout pants were getting a little baggy so this was perfect timing!

This morning, Jen and I met at the gym to get in 5 miles. Since the Cardinals won last night, we stopped at Mobil to get quarter fountain drinks then made our way to Old Navy. Lucky us, Old Navy was having some awesome sales! We started in the active pants section then hit up all the clearance racks. I walked out of there with 2 men's khakis, 2 shirts, a jacket, a pair of shorts and 2 pairs of active pants for only $42!!!

Here were the options:

Option #1-Black compression capris! (This pair was the winner!)

Option #2-Gray compression capris (Also took this pair home!)
Option #3-Black compression shorts...the top is also Old Navy with great support for the ladies. ;)
Jen with the first option-black compression capris!
Option #2-Gray compression capris...she too left with both pairs!

My sister couldn't join us for our shopping spree in Lake Saint Louis so she shopped at the Old Navy in Cape Girardeau, sending us pics and getting our thoughts.

Here's my sister (and granny in the background!) with Option #1-Black Yoga Capris
Option #2-Black yoga pants
Option #3-black yoga capris...again-her final choice!
Here's Jen and I post shopping spree with our goodies!
It was a fun start to the long, holiday weekend! I can't wait to wear all my new clothes. So thanks Old Navy and Crowdtap-you guys rock!!! I can't wait to participate again.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Half Training Week 3/11...

...are you all tired of these posts yet? Because I'm REALLY tired of training. Don't worry...only one more after today!

Friday, May 20-Ran 10.5 miles with my co-worker Holly. I was NOT wanting to do this at all and you can tell in my pace (12:21/mile). Around mile 7, I finally got warmed up, or realized there was no turning back, and I settled into a good time. Mmmm...Mattie took me to the Hibatchi restaurant for dinner, now THIS is why I love running. :)

Saturday, May 21-Walked Shad 1.25 miles then did like 10 minutes of P90X yoga. All I have to say is that I'm sooo not flexible!

Sunday, May 22-Woke up bright and early to run with the running group at work. THOUGHT I was only running three but it ended up being 4 miles. I was very unprepared for this run...dressed in all black, no water, no water belt to hold my keys BUT I still managed an 11:17 pace! From Monday, May 16-Sunday, May 22, I logged 38 miles...it was a busy week for me!

Monday, May 23-First day of camp training and I thought that working 9am-9pm, I'd for sure be able to squeeze in a run. I was wrong. So unplanned rest day but I was a busy bee running around all day so I'm pretty sure I burnt plenty of calories.

Tuesday, May 24-Ran a 5k on the t-mill. Really not following a training plan this week just trying to get in what I can since its camp training and I'm busy, busy, busy!

Wednesday, May 25-Stress, storms and responsibility kept me from working out this day! :(

Thursday, May 26-Swam a mile and officially hit 15 miles so I'm in the swim club!!!

So this week was camp training, the start of my busy season. I only got to work out 2x which sucks with Hospital Hill right around the corner. I treated my body very poorly this week....I did eat within my calories but on Wednesday, I didn't have a single drop of liquid...no water, no Gatorade, no soda. That's horrible!?!

To top it all off, Matt had a renal scan yesterday and we're waiting to hear from the doc what to do. He called us around 9 last night and asked Matt some questions and then said he was waiting for his CT scan for a few years ago to compare. Looks like there's no blockage, his right kidney is draining slowly but it's hard to tell without putting a tube in there to check it out. So now we just wait...enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Bakery Shoppe...

...Groupon had a deal at The Bakery Shoppe, $7 for $14 worth of deliciousness! I was sold and decided I would get them for my sewing party. They are apparently famous for the cocktail cupcakes. I ordered 2 giant ones for Matt and my mom for helping me with the party. Here's the mudslide and chocolate martini:

Then I ordered 6 carrot cake and 6 chocolate "mini" cupcakes. However, this are NOT mini, they are like your regular size cupcakes.
I asked for them to be ready at 2pm. When I arrived at 1:50 they said they'd be done in 30 minutes. Not cool...so I left and luckily, my Mattie was headed home passing the store about an hour later so he picked them up. The consenus from the group: nice size, a little dry and a TON of icing.

Side note: I just love the art of the cupcake!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quilting: Passing It On...

...my mom bought this quilting machine...a long arm? Her and my stepsis were REALLY excited! I could have cared less. They spent all of Thanksgiving weekend quilting, I hung out on the couch reading and chatting with them when the machine wasn't going. It's their thing, I'm cool with that.

Then over Easter weekend, my mom asked Matt to help get the machine back on track. He did, she was thrilled and again, I could have cared less. She wanted to try it out since Matt had fixed it. She had to TWIST my arm to get me to try it. I relucantly agreed...and then she couldn't get me to stop!

Here I am quilting away!

I practiced that cursive I learned in 3rd grade and even added a heart or two here and there

All you had to do was move the machine around in swirly designs, or as I quickly became obssessed, write things in cursive. Towards the end of the quilt I was writing quotes such as "Stop and smell the roses" and "Dance like no one's watching."

My mom's quilt guild makes "community quilts." Whenever a family experiences a difficult time AKA fire, tornado, etc...they give them a quilt. I ended up quilting the ENTIRE quilt and then my mom binded it and all that extra stuff the next day. It's kind of like Project Linus but locally. My mom was really excited that I was into it but poor Mattie, our bedroom is less than 5 feet from the LOUD machine and we quilted until midnight!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Biggest Winner...

...now that I just posted about Fro Yo yesterday, let me tell you about the weight loss competition I'm doing. :) Last fall, the local hospital started a county wide weight loss program. My work was a weigh-in spot. I heard about it then and kind of wished I participated so when I heard it was starting again this spring and it was FREE, I decided I was in. I talked Maggie and Jen into signing up with me so I was really excited.

April 27 was the kick-off meeting. OMG!!! NIGHTMARE! We get there and got our folders to complete paperwork. Then we get "in line." We get our BEFORE pictures taken then get in line again. As we're waiting, they start telling us about the rules and give us a "motivating" speech. They said they were going to start a walking group and if we wanted to start one ourselves, we could post it on their FB wall. I looked at Maggie and said, "That doesn't seem very safe. I'm going to be at this park at this time and, oh yeah, I'm overweight so I can't run very fast. Seems like that just screams out easy target."

So after they finish with the rules and speech, we're STILL in line. We were waiting to get our blood pressure, blood drawn and body fat taken. The main lady in charge tells us that the hold up is because there's only one blood pressure cuff so we could skip that if we wanted to. All the screenings were free and optional so I figured I might as well take advantage of them all. Now at this point, we'd been in line for OVER an hour and the main lady was like, just get in line for what you want. Uh...totally not cool because now this people at the end of the line were getting ahead of us.

I got my blood pressure taken then jumped back in line to have my blood drawn which I REALLY did not want to. During November/December, I was getting my blood drawn every other day but when I don't have it done on a regular basis then it freaks me out. I joke with the lady going in for the blood draw to get it on the first time but then I might have offended her because I asked if she was a nurse. She said no but gave me all her creditials. I'm sorry if that was rude but you're about to stick a needle in my vein, I just want to make sure you know what you're doing...yeah, she didn't. She stuck me...no blood, digs around...nothing. Now at this point I am stressing because of the whole line situation, feeling rushed and now no blood. She asks if I want her to try again, I am like H to the no. Then she moves the needle and I feel this numbing/shooting pain down my forearm. I look at her and am like, "You can take it out...NOW." She does and then she tells me, "I've been at work for 8 hours today and you're the first person I couldn't get." Well, doesn't that make me feel all warm and fuzzy...NOT!

Maggie gets her blood drawn no problem and at this point, I can feel my blood pressure rising and the tears coming on because I was so freakin' frustrated. I tell Maggie I'm not going to wait another hour for my body fat, which was really the only test I wanted. I went to drop off my paperwork and I knew the lady and I just went into a rant about the whole situation. I left shortly there after with just my stupid blood pressure and that was it. Seriously, I get my blood pressure once a month from the Wellness Mobile and it's always normal. Even when it's high, it's still in the good range which is surprising to me since I am a HUGE stressor I figured my blood pressure would always be through the roof. When I got in the car, I called Matt in a tizz and told him the story ending with, "I need a beer!" Now too bad I don't drink beer!

We're now two weeks into the competition and things are going very well! I lost from week 1-3 and I've been keeping track of my calories and trying to workout every day. I'll keep you posted as it keeps going. I'm hoping that with camp starting that this contest will keep me on track for eating well.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fro Yo Taste Tester...

...that's my new title! Jen, Aimee and I threw our names in the hat to be taste testers are the new Fro Yo store opening up in STL. Luckily, all three of us got picked! You can read my post about Fro Yo last fall here. Basically, it's like Subway of frozen yogurt. You pick your flavor, and I'm pretty sure all are non-fat or low fat. Then you go through the topping bar and spice it up. Then you pay by the ounce so it can get kind of expensive. HOWEVER, as a taste tester we got ours free so I loaded mine up:
Jen and I went Saturday afternoon for our free Fro Yo and a sweet t-shirt. Here's Jen with the front of the shirt. It said "Flavor Facility."
Here I am with the back that says, "Fro Yo Taste Tester."

It was pretty cool although all we really did was walk in and say we were taste testers. I skipped lunch so I'd have calories for my free fro yo and it was sooo worth it. Thanks Fro Yo!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Half Training Week 2/10...

...10 weeks since I started my half training, seems like forever ago!!!

Friday, May 13-Was supposed to run from my house to Big River Running for Girls on the Run packet pick-up but after mile 1, I was hot and my legs were heavy. Instead, I walked the whole way, better to have walked than done nothing at all, right?

Saturday, May 14-LONG day of shopping and work which means rest day due to no time to squeeze anything in.

Sunday, May 15-Volunteered at the Girls on the Run 5k so I walked a lot but no specific training.

Monday, May 16-Walked 2 miles in the AM with Jen. Met Della at Creve Coeur after work and we did 2 loops which was 7.4 miles. She's got a half this weekend, good luck!, so we were taking it slow at about a 12 minute/mile pace.

Tuesday, May 17-Ran for 1 hour which equaled 5.4 miles. This run was purely for burning calories because I planned on being bad for dinner. :)

Wednesday, May 18-Met Jen and did a small weights workout and then we walked 2 miles outside in the gorgeous weather!

Thursday, May 19-Swam 1 mile and then had speed workout with Big River in the evening. Ran 4-800s, luckily, it was much cooler than last week.

Two weeks to go until Hospital Hill Run, my runaversary! I'm so excited because not only am I running with BQ'r Shell BUT Sherrie's running with me again!!! It's going to be a great weekend, hills and all!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sinfully Sweet Cupcakes...

...okay so I feel like a bit of a cupcake connoisseur lately after the cupcakes I've eaten and all the bakeries I've been frequenting lately. Oh well, you only live once, right? I've been so super busy with LOTS of things to blog about that I'm JUST now getting to tell you about these awesome cupcakes.

April 24-30 was National Infertility Awareness Week and aside from the facts I posted on my blog, I also participated by thanking my RE's office. I ordered 2 dozen mini cupcakes from Sinfully Sweet Cupcakes. The first dozen that I ordered were, surprise!, Peanut Butter Cup. It is a Chocolate cake topped with peanut butter buttercream topped with a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. I snuck one out of the box before I delivered them and OMG! It was to die for!!! Loved it:
The other dozen I ordered were Drama Queens. Chocolate cake topped with pink vanilla buttercream and sugar sprinkles. I didn't try one of these but it looked delish.
Currently, they are working out of a commercial kitchen and not allowed to do any business out of it. They have very reasonable delivery fees. I was lucky enough to have them drop them off at my work so I could deliver them to the doctor's office myself and they didn't even charge me a delivery fee. I paid $18 for the two dozen and it was definitely worth it, the one I had just melted in my mouth. I would definitely recommend them again and I hope they open a storefront soon! He said they're hoping to have a store open by the end of the year. OH! And they came in a box which is always a plus for me. ;)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Singer Sewing Party...

...I won a House Party!!! It was for the new Singer Sewing Machine. Of course, since it was sewing related, I needed my momma's help! I received my party kit in the mail and took it to Cape with me over Easter weekend. Each party person would get to make a roll-up organizer, here's the one I made:
Here I am with it all rolled up: TADA!

My mom came up from Cape to help with the actual party (isn't she awesome!). Here's my mom showing Jen how to get started. Jen looks a little scared...which she should of been-she broke the machine!!!
But we were still able to finish, maybe she was just nervous because of the crowd:

Everyone with their end projects:
After sewing, we got our meatball and gamble on playing "Left, Right, Center" Jen wasn't so sure about it...
Then she saw the pot and changed her mind!

It was a small get-together but a fun time! Thanks for your help momma and thanks for the party Singer and House Party.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tastefully Simple Cinnamon Muffin Melt...

...the week Matt was really sick, he woke up all pitifully on that Saturday morning and said, "Babe, can you make me breakfast?" I jumped on this because he NEVER asks for breakfast. I eat breakfast at work during the week and Matt eats his on his way to work in the truck so come Saturday or Sunday, I'd be happy to have a nicer, bigger breakfast together but we're always too busy or he's not hungry.

Anyways, I'm getting away from the point (don't I always!). I decided I would try out the Cinnamon Muffin Melt that I got from my Tastefully Simple party. Easy enough, preheat oven to 400. Stir muffin mix and 1 cup water. Bake for 15 minutes. When they come out of the oven, dip muffin in melted butter and then roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture. Final product:

OMG! These babies were GOOD! They tasted just like cake doughnuts. Too bad I ate most of my calories that morning by 9:30. :( What's your favorite Tastefully Simple product?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Volunteering at Girls on the Run 5k...

...I joined the Running Family about a year ago. Running is a unique sport in that its very individualized, just you and the pavement, but there's a HUGE community out there supporting and encouraging you. I've received so much support from my Running Family, people at all different levels, that I feel the need to it pay back (or pay it forward?) by introducing other people to the Running Family, cheering at local events and volunteering when I can. So when Jenn tweeted that Girls on the Run was still looking for volunteers, the Twit Gals and I quickly signed-up!

I volunteered to also work packet pick-up last Friday since I was off work. I decided I'd run the 5 miles there but after about a mile, the heat was killing me and my legs had finally caught up to me and were tired from the half last week and speed training last Thursday. Instead, I had allowed myself plenty of time so I decided to walk it. About halfway there, I noticed a Toto looking dog sitting on a porch. No big deal, whatev...then out of nowhere it takes off across the yard and jumps on the fence barking right when I passed. Then the board on the fence fell down and hit me! I think it scared the dog as much as it did me because he took off running back to the house. Whew! Always an adventure out there!

So Sunday morning, we head down to the race which was held at Forest Park. It rained off and on all day Saturday so I made this sign, I wanted it to say, "Hurry so your shoes don't get wet!" but I thought that might sound mean so I left off the hurry:
The raindrops had encouraging words in them, unfortunately, the signed got soaked while I waited the hour before the race started so this is the debut of the sign and it found it's way into the trash can. :( I had fun cheering though! I was at Cheer Station #1 so I got to see both the Fun Run and 5k participants pass by me. No one can tell me more cowbell because I rang it the ENTIRE time!!! I kind of felt bad for the parents around me but I didn't want to miss cheering for ANY of the 5,000 runners.
Maggie, Jen, and Della also volunteered. This is an awful photo of us after the race, it was self-timer and obviously the camera focused on the ledge it was sitting on and not the beautiful ladies.
After the race, we headed to Bread Co and met up with Megan, who also volunteered, for some soup to warm us up. Luckily, I was wearing long underwear, 4 layers of shirts, a hat and a coat with a hood so I didn't get too cold or wet but the soup was still fantastic!
All in all, it was a fantastic day despite the nasty weather! I got to see some blog friends running the race, got some girl time and it was so inspring to see so many little girls out there with their parents exercising, smiling and having fun! I'm hoping to possibly be a practice partner in the fall so I'm excited to get more involved with the organization. Congrats to all who raced!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Half Training Week 1/Week 9...

...well, this is officially week 9 of my half training but week 1 post Indy Mini Mary.

Saturday, May 7-Indy Mini Marathon-2:38:23!!!

Sunday, May 8-Much needed rest day!

Monday, May 9-First day of the Biggest Winner! 30 minutes on the elliptical with Jen to stay loose from the half.

Tuesday, May 10-Attempted to swim, got in 11 laps but then thunderstorms called it off!

Wednesday, May 11-Ran 2 miles.

Thursday, May 12-Swam a mile then did speed training.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Parrotheads Everywhere!!!

...last Tuesday, May 3, I went to my first Jimmy Buffett concert! It was a birthday gift to myself because I've wanted to see him for almost 10 years. I've had the opportunity before but was too chicken to go because I'm not a Parrothead, just a huge fan. This year though, I said screw it, I've got Mattie so we'll go and have a great time! Here I am at home with the tickets, I checked like 500 times to make sure I didn't forget them!

We got to the parking lot and it was PACKED! Wall to wall cars, people and Parrotheads. The laid back, tropical atmosphere, despite the arctic temperatures, only increased my excitement. Typically cameras are allowed into the amphitheater but it’s up to the artist’s discretion and Jimmy said no cameras. However, I was able to get my digital camera in due to my super sneaky skills. Now about 90% of the concert goers had I-phones with a camera and were snapping all sorts of pics. Since Mattie and I choose to save our pennies by having the simplest phone (seriously, we don’t even have text messaging!), I didn’t feel bad about bringing in my camera although I was too afraid to use it once we got inside. I finally worked up the nerve and snapped a few pics. Jimmy on the big screen:
They tried their best to make us feel warm and tropical...
Here's Mattie and I after the concert. Can you tell how cold it was based off the redness of our noses and cheeks?
We wanted to get a good lawn seat so we got there right when the doors opened so we had about an hour and a half to wait. If the wind wasn’t blowing then it wouldn’t have been that cold but it was blowing and blowing fast. One of the Parrotheads had a windmill on his head that was spinning 90 mph. I was trying to wait to put on my extra clothing so I laid down on our blanket all curled up only to be kicked in the head by some guy stumbling around not paying attention. I sat up rubbing my head and told my husband, “I guess that’s karma for bringing in my camera.” I wasn’t going to let the swift kick to the head damper my spirits, I rubbed my head for a few minutes, let a few tears slide down my cheeks in pain and then decided I was over it although the dull headache was a reminder that I won’t be sneaking a camera into anywhere in the near future.

The concert started and Jimmy did his best to warm us up and give off that tropical feeling. Maybe a few heat lamps would’ve helped, but the dancing and moving around got our blood flowing. However, not many fans stuck around for the entire concert due to the chill factor. After “Margaritaville,” I was happy to head home and warm up. As we turned out of the parking lot, we got in the far lane and were minding our own business driving along. Then a car decided to pull out of the parking lot and instead of staying in their own lane, they wanted to get into ours. My husband swerved onto the curb which was a sewer lid to avoid being hit and then BOOM! Blow out-tire and the kind driver of the other vehicle quickly sped off. We spent the next 45 minutes of the chilly night changing our tire and having concert goers stare at us and mutter to each other how awful a flat tire would be. Yeah…we know! The damage (we ended up paying $120 for a new tire):
We’re thankful it was only a flat tire but I don’t think we’ll be going there to see any more concerts. Next time I see Jimmy Buffett, I’ll make sure I *am* in Margaritaville!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Biggest Loser...

...at the Expo on Friday night, we were walking around...do-to-do, minding our own business then I looked up and said, "I think that's the guy from the Biggest Loser." Beth looks and says, "Yeah, I recognize the shirt." All we could see was the back of his plain green shirt, no words. Beth and I started weaving in and out (the theme for the weekend apparently!) until we could see the front of his shirt and his face.

Beth touched his arm, "Excuse me? Are you from the Biggest Loser?" He nodded and said, "Yep! That's the only place you can get this shirt!" I guess you can't buy the team colors with the logo on it. We were SO starstruck and freaking out. Matt was rolling his eyes at us as we took a picture. Apparently, we were either the only ones that recognized him (except one lady who asked for his autograph) or no one else was as excited to meet him as us because really no one else stopped him.

He was so cool as we chatted with him, just very down to Earth asking what corrals we were in and our goals and telling us about the people walking with him. Beth went on and on about what an inspiration he was and he was like, "Good, that's what we like to hear." Anyways, it was a very cool experience if you can't tell by the huge smiles on our face:
As we got in the car to head back to Beth's granny's, (Beth is the super skinny one in the light blue), Beth comments, "He probably thought I was either a big liar or used to be really fat." We all agreed, we'd go with he thought she used to be fat. LOL!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

500 Festival Mini Mary Race Report...

...I survived my second half marathon!!! I slept like crap the night before (and didn't sleep at all the night before that) but I rocked the race. In the midst of hospitals, sleeping and packing, the course map got left at home and there wasn't one in the packet so, unfortunately, I only got to see Mattie at the start and finish but it was nice knowing he was there. My friend from 7th grade, Beth, also ran the race but she was like Speedy Gonzalez and finished just over 2 hours. MB, my friend from DailyMile, ran the whole thing with me even though she's WAY faster. So thankful to have her by myside! I'm going to try my best to give you the shortened version of my race report:

Starting line: Corral Z-took us 30 minutes to get to the starting line and literally only 3 rows of people were behind us. We made up a lot of ground because when we finished, there was WAY more than 3 rows of people behind us.

Mile 1: Saw Mattie at the .5 mile mark, I was pissed because we could barely run there were so many people and clothes shed it was like an obstacle course. After we left him, we saw the elephant at the zoo watching us-not something you normally see along a race course.

Mile 2: Entered the ghetto and was sure to thank all race course personnel.

Miles 3-5: Fairly uneventful, was feeling good and was on pace for 12 minute miles.

Mile 6 (or maybe 5, I can't remember!): Entered the Brickyard (where the Indy 500 race is), as we entered Beth was leaving-amazing we actually saw each other!

Mile 7: Took a pit stop but it didn't effect our pace. Saw a sign that said "SMILE" and though it said "5 mile" meaning we were at 8-let down!

Mile 8: Got off the track, started to drizzle and hips started bothering me.

Mile 10: Hit my wall and started slowing down.

Mile 11: Was raining a little more steady and had sweat all in my left eye, burned bad! Didn't know how I was going to finish then I told myself, "Self, you ran a freakin' marathon! Suck it up for 2.1 more miles!!!"

Mile 12: Walked the last quarter mile of 11 and tried to pick it up for the finish. Saw Beth and Matt, so relieved to see my Mattie! Told MB we'd turn it on at 13, then said no I don't have it in me, got to 13 and changed my mind.

Mile 13.1: Finally finished my second half under my goal time of 2:40 beating my old PR by 9 minutes!!!

Me, Beth and MB with our medals after the race!
My wonderful hubby who definitely gets Hubby of the Year and Biggest Fan! I love you Pretty and I'm SO glad you were there for me.
Despite sleep deprevation, stress and a little bit of rain, I still did pretty awesome in my eyes! I was hurting bad miles 10-13 and wondering why I did it, then I remembered as I enjoyed my runner's high the rest of the afternooon!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Getting to the Starting Line...

UGH! This was supposed to post at 6:01AM-new blogger is killing me!

...this was the hardest part because I didn't even know if I'd be able to go! Let's rewind back to Thursday afternoon, about 4pm Matt gets home from work and starts complaining his back is hurting. By 10pm, he can barely move and is doubled over in pain. About 3 weeks ago, he'd had a double-bacteria kidney infection so we had an idea where this was going. Without going into much detail, Matt has a history with his kidneys so we take this sort of thing VERY seriously at our house.

At 10pm, he calls his primary doc who says go to the local hospital. We have one hospital about 2 minutes from us and another, newer one about 15 minutes. I talked him into going to the one 15 minutes away and we were VERY happy with this decision. I dropped him off at the door, parked, came in, went to the bathroom and by the time I got out, we were heading back into a room. After 18 minutes, the doctor was already seeing us. The doc, well, he was like a baby and we weren't 100% impressed by him but the RN that was treating Matt was awesome.

They started Mattie on some pain meds then took him for a CT scan. The RN came back and said, yes, there was an infection but we'd have to wait for the CT scan to come back and he started Matt on some antibiotics. Then, the doc came in and surprised us. He said that Matt needed to be admitted to the hospital and because of his history, he needed to be at the main hospital downtown. Both of our jaws dropped-WHAT!?! Then the doc goes on to tell us that the ambulance is on the way and we're like-hold up! We denied the ambulance, they finished the antibiotic med and we headed home. He said Matt's kidneys were enlarged and they saw a couple stones in his bladder.

We got discharged at 2am, went home to pack a bag for him because we had no idea how long he was going to be staying. He told me to put my Indy bags in the car so I could leave from the hospital. I did but there was NO WAY I was going to Indy if my husband was still in the hospital. At this point though, it was easier to do it than to argue. We went ahead and fed the dogs at 2:30 because we didn't know when we'd be home again. Then headed downtown. Matt was so precious because he could tell I was getting tired as I was driving (both of us were going on almost 24 hours of no sleep) so he made a point to rub my back and start talking to me about random stuff just to help me stay awake.

We got to the second ER a little after 3am and I dropped him off at the front door. Now this hospital...let me tell you, it's in downtown STL and any place downtown anywhere is SCARY at 3am. There were like 10 people milling around outside the hospital and I'd be lying if I didn't say I was a bit scared. I pulled forward to go into the parking garage and you have to hit a button. The security guard comes on and I really couldn't hear anything he was saying except that he was asking me if I was there to visit. In my mind, I'm thinking, "Who in the hell comes to visit people at 3am? Isn't that against visiting hours?" Eventually he lets me in and I park although I wasn't so sure the car would be there when we left.

I go inside and have to go through a metal detector (I told you-scary!) but I was so tired I kept forgetting about my phone in my pocket, my watch and duh-my belt! I finally got through and didn't see Matt any where then the nurse told me he was in the first room. Since the other hospital had already called, we got back right away. We passed a really nice old man in the hallway but he smelt like urine sooo bad. They got Matt in a room and hooked him up to the IV again, the nurses and doctors came in but we were waiting for a uriologist which took about an hour or so to see him. As we waited we heard someone yelling about someone's effing "cat" (if you get my drift) and I looked at Matt giving him the "Where in the hell have you taken me?" look. Our room had curtains but also glass sliding doors (hopefully they were bulletproof!) and about 4:30am, Matt and I both drifted off to sleep. Umm...2 chairs to sleep and stretch out in is NOT comfy AT ALL.

The uriologist finally comes in and tells us that he was able to pull all of Matt's medical records and from the CT scan they did in 2006 (when he had this happen last), they looked similiar so the kidneys weren't enlarged, that's just how they are from all his surgeries and everything. Basically, the doctor at the first hospital, who wasn't familiar with Matt's history, freaked out. The uriologist says he's going to give us a couple prescriptions and send him home. Thank goodness!

As we're waiting to be discharged, Matt's says, "Okay, we'll go home, sleep a few hours and be on the road by noon." Seriously? Do I not have the best husband? Despite 7 hours in the hospital and feeling like crap, he was still coming to support me in my race. I love that man!

We get home and I drop him off then head to Wags to fill his prescriptions. I called him mom and updated her about everything as I waited. Luckily, I had wifi at both hospitals so I was able to email our fams to keep them posted and you all had a live-Twit feed of the action! When I went to pay for the prescriptions, I just stood there until it dawned on me and I said, "I bet you want some money for this, huh?" The pharmacist was a bit worried that I was driving but I assured him it was just around the corner. Around 7:30, I finally made it home and my Mattie and I took a nice long 4 hour nap and we're up and on the road by 11am.

He was feeling 100x better than just 12 hours earlier. It really sucks to see someone you love in so much pain and not be able to do anything about it. He's a trooper though and already back to his old self. So there my friends, is how I almost didn't make it to the starting line of the Indy Mini Marathon but my husband did everything he could to make sure I did. Don't you just love him?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Stephany's Giveaway!

...First off, big congrats to Stephany for graduating today!!! What a huge accomplishment, so proud of you lady. Secondly, she's doing this awesome giveway for JackPot Designs (a store on Etsy) on her blog. JackPot Designs makes adorable address labels. Go check out the giveaway and enter for your chance-just don't beat me! :) http://www.stephanywrites.com/2011/05/jackpot-designs-giveaway.html#disqus_thread

Friday, May 6, 2011

Half Marathon Training Week 8...

...week 8 and the Indy Mini-Mary is tomorrow!!!

Saturday, April 30-SCC 10k! New PR!

Sunday, May 1-Delta Gamma 5k! Another new PR! (Rabbit, rabbit!)

Monday, May 2-Did 30 minutes on the elliptical over lunch with Jen then met Della after work at Creve Coeur Lake. Della and I did one loop which is 3.7 miles in 40.32.

Tuesday, May 3-Uncalled for rest day because I was too excited about the Jimmy Buffett concert!

Wednesday, May 4-30 minutes on the elliptical, too tired from the night before to do anything else.

Thursday, May 5-Swam a mile. Ran at Creve Coeur Lake with Della-3.7 miles in 40.52. OMG! The wind was so flippin' strong!

I came home last night and Mattie said his back was hurting him again like the kidney infection he had last month. Sigh...I don't like it when he feels bad and its something as serious as his kidneys. If you don't mind, say a prayer for my Mattie to feel better. Happy Friday all!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

500 Festival Mini Marathon...

...I will be running a mini marathon, AKA half marathon, this weekend in Indianapolis, IN. I'm actually kind of excited since my last marathon race was in October and I love that runner's high after a race. Part of the race is actually on the NASCAR Indy 500 track which I think is 2.5 miles long so that'll be cool and they've got live bands throughout the course so it should be a good time. Now let me tell you how this idea to run this race came about...

After I ran the Lewis & Clark Full Marathon in October, my friend Angie (who'd ran half the full with me) said let's do the Indy Mini Marathon. She has family in the area and her SIL had decided to run it. I was like, I'll think about it and checked out the website. Keep in mind that as soon as the full was over, we went straight into IVF so I had no idea where or what I'd be doing in May. I kept going back and looking at the website trying to figure out what to do. The problem was that the fee drastically increased after Thanksgiving and we wouldn't know whether IVF would work or not until the end of December. I was torn at what to do! I talked to the running guru at work and got her opinion. The Mini Marathon has a 4 hour time limit so she and I decided that if I was 5 months prego that as long as I stayed on a training schedule, I would be able to walk the mini in 4 hours. I decided to bite the bullet and register saving me about $25. When you registered, you had to put your estimated finish time so I just put 4 hours. After I registered, I told my friend Beth about it because I knew her granny lived in Indy so she registered too. Plus my DM friend Mary Beth (or MB as I call her) is also running. MB is planning on staying by my side and running the entire race with me.

A couple weeks ago, I got a postcard in the mail about the race. I didn't really read it, almost tossed it but sat it on the table to read later. Upon further reading, I found out that I need that little card to pick up my bib and it had my corral listed on it. So here it is May, I'm no where near prego, hoping to beat a 2:46 time and I'm in CORRAL Z!!! UGH! I had emailed back in February to ask if I could change my time and they said no. Now I'm stuck in the back of the pack to dodge around walkers and still try to beat my goal time. I wouldn't be as worried about this except for the fact that the three other ladies (Angie, her SIL and Beth) are in corrals P and Q and will probably finish a good hour before me. My goal is to try to sneak into a corral that starts before Z but we'll have to see how strict they are on race morning. Did I mention 35,000 people are running this?

OH! AND Mattie and I have to drive back to MO that afternoon. Yeah, I registered back in November then got my work schedule and I was scheduled to work this upcoming weekend. Luckily, I got the Saturday switched but no luck with switching Sunday since it is Mother's Day and I'm the only non-mom at work. . Luckily on Friday, Matt and I are both off work so we'll be able to take our time, not get up too early, get there in time to meet up with Beth and head to the expo and carb load (my favorite reason to run!). Saturday, however, is just going to be a whirlwind that includes racing, showering, lunch and driving. Whew, I'm tired already!

Anyways, I am excited about this race and just trying not to put too much pressure on myself. I feel like my running is leaps and bounds ahead of where it was this time last year but I don't want to take anything for granted. I know that weather, what I eat, how I feel, etc...all play a huge part on my performance not to mention this is definitely the BIGGEST race I've ever run in. My time from Hospital Hill last year was 2:46:42 which was a 12:44/mile. My 1st goal for this race is to beat that time. My realistic goal is 2:43 or less and I have a "push-it" goal but I'll keep that to myself for now.

So there you have it, the deets on my race this weekend! Not sure if I'll have Internet this weekend but I have my FB and Twitter set up to post my splits DURING the race (how cool is that!) but a race report will have to wait until Monday. Hope everyone enjoys their weekend! Think of me when you wake up on Saturday morning and know that I'll be running...and running...and running...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jilly's Cupcake Bar...

...after the race on Sunday, we headed to:
Jilly's Cupcake Bar & Cafe

We all ordered brunch which was seriously to die for! I love all my new bloggie friends but my cholestrol does not appreciate all the yummy food places they've introduced me to! They had a cold bar and a hot bar then a dessert station. OMG! I was so stuffed when I left and it was all such delicious food!!!

Jen with her mini cupcakes she decorated-this is the G-rated photo

They had this PB Mousse Cheesecake thing and as you can see, I was thoroughly enjoying it!

You felt like a real baker making your own cupcakes and they even had Nerds you could put on them.

The new love of my life: PB Chocolate Parfait-OMG! DELISH!

The famous Jilly with her favorite cupcake the Turtle! She was telling me I'd better not post this picture-oops!
It was the BEST brunch and dessert EVER!!! Not your typical foods but like scrambled eggs with ham, cheese and broccoli (I never think of broccoli as a breakfast food but it was yum!). I will definitely be taking Mattie back there. My only complaint is that it was soooo good and it was soooo busy! Oh well, we survived and had a great time. My belly was VERY FULL!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Delta Gamma 5k Race Report...

...Sunday was our "annual" 5k in downtown STL. This was the third year that Matt and I have ran it and luckily, I've gotten progressively better every year! This is really a bland race report because for once, I wasn't focused on "just" finishing but instead, I was trying to focus on my pace. You can read about last year's race report here.

Before the half mile mark, Della and I were running together. I knew she was a 10 minute/mile girl so I was *hoping* to keep up with her. I had my Poor Man's Garmin AKA my wristwatch and saw at mile 1, we were sub 10. At mile 2, we were still sub 10 minute/mile pace and I was feeling pretty good.

A little after a mile and half, we saw a guy zip up his fly. After mile 2, we passed Stevie and Trent who bailed on the 5k and just walked the 2 mile course. Right before the turn to the loop behind Union Station, we saw a race volunteer fighting with the cops on how to direct traffic. It was all good times, good times!

As we rounded to the final stretch, Della asked if I was ready and I nodded so we TOOK OFF! I passed a few people and looked at the clock. I saw it said 29:49 and I was thinking, "RUN ALYSSA RUN! Get that sub-30!!!" Then the race guy said on the mic, "Look at her finishing hard!" Then everyone cheered, it was cool but kind of embarassing too. I'm sure they were all shocked a girl my size could move like that!

Once the results were posted, I found out that Mattie beat me by ONLY 50 SECONDS!!! Of course, he was a bit hungover but still! Next year, he'd better watch out. Last year at this race, my time was 34:23 and this year's time 29:47!!! OH! And this is officially my new 5k PR! My previous PR was in 2007 when I was 24 on a VERY flat course (unlike today) and was 30:16. Here's hoping I kick some more a$$ at the Indy Mini Mary next weekend!

Mattie & I after the race, he still wasn't feeling fab but was happy he beat me...barely!

The bestie Stevie and I! Next year, we'll both majorly kick a$$ because we'll be super skinny from her wedding!
Our running family! L to R: Me, Mattie, Stevie and Trent This was mine, Matt and Stevie's third year to run this race and Trent's second.
The Running Ladies L to R: Sarah, Cece, Della, Jen and me
Another great race and fun day! We were truly blessed with amazing weather this past weekend as it was calling for rain both days. Love my running friends, love running!