Thursday, June 30, 2011

Big River Running Speed Work!!!

...back in May after my half in Indy, Big River Running, a local running store, started offering FREE summer speedwork sessions. I was a little intimidated at first but I thought I'd give it a try. So far, I'm LOVING IT!!! I'm in the slowest group but near the front of the pack and there's lots of others that are at my speed to push me along. We typically run between 2-3 miles/night so I still try to do an easy workout earlier in the day or weights to burn some more cals. I'm hoping to find a 5k in August to see if this has helped at all even though I know it'll be eleventybillion degrees. I've been able to move my work schedule around and have only had to miss one night, possibly one more but I haven't decided yet if I'm going to go to the Biggest Winner last night or not...the speed work will be mile repeats so it'll probably depend how I'm feeling.

Last week, Haley went with me so she took some pics and recorded my times for me. I'm in the back left in a red shirt, it looks chaotic and sometimes it is but for the most part, we all know what's going on:
There I am breezing by:
And again at a distance...
So what are the workouts? You can find them on the Big River website but I'll just share here. Ben, the owner who looks totally like Apollo Ohno, created it. Here it is:

Week 1: 8 - 10 x 400 @ 10k race pace (rest interval = 200 meter jog)

- The first 5 weeks of the schedule are all based off of 10k race pace. This is because we don't want to get too fit too quick. Doing the repeats a little slower at first will be a good way to introduce your body to the track without risking injury from going too fast. This first workout is essentially a "rust-buster". It shouldn't be too hard but it will be a chance to feel a little bit of turnover.

Week 2: 4 - 5 x 800 @ 10k race pace (rest interval = 400 meter jog)

- This workout plays off of the week before and gives you a chance to tap into your VO2 Max zone a little bit. Workouts of 800 to 2000 meters in length are the bread and butter of any 5k training. They teach your body to run efficiently at a fast pace.

Week 3: Ladder # 1 = 1600/ 1200/ 800/ 400 (rest interval = half the distance of the repeat)-MISSED THIS WEEK!

- This is a fun one! We will do three of these throughout the summer. For this first one we will do the 1600 at 10k race pace, the 1200 at 5k race pace, the 800 at 2 mile race pace and the 400 at mile race pace. Don't worry if you don't know what your race pace is for those different distances. We'll have a chart that will tell us all that good stuff.

Week 4: ONE MILE TIME TRIAL (mine was 8.07)
- FUN STUFF! Simple as it sounds. We'll break up into groups and run one mile all out. This will give you a chance to run a fast mile, see ho far you've come so far, and challenge yourself a little bit.

Week 5: 10 - 12 x 300 @ 5k race pace (rest interval = 200 meter jog) This totally sucked!

- We lower the repeat distance to 300 meters for this one but we lower the pace to 5k race pace. It will be a good chance to learn the pace as you will have to do 10-12 of them. This workout really shouldn't feel that hard, that is not what is designed for.

Week 6: 5 - 6 x 600 @ 5k race pace (rest interval = 300 meter jog)

- 600s, not my favorite. This workout, as simple math would tell you, should be about twice as hard as last week.

Week 7: Ladder # 2 = 1200/ 1000/ 800/ 400/ 200 (rest interval = half the distance of the repeat) Was really scared by this workout but I LOVED IT!

- This will be a faster ladder than last time. We'll do the 1200 at 5k race pace, the 1k at two mile pace, the 800 at two mile pace, the 400 at mile race pace and the 200 at FAST.

Weeek 8: 4 - 5 x 1000 @ 5k race pace (rest interval = 400 meter jog) Doing this tonight!

- This workout is a classic in almost any 5k training program that you'll ever see. It is tough but it is a good indicator of what you can run for 5k. Plus we're going with pretty short rest.

Week 9: 3 - 4 x 1 mile @ 5k race pace (rest interval = 800 meter jog)

- This is a tough one. Be ready for some huffing and puffing. You'll feel stronger the next week because of this workout though.

Week 10: TWO MILE TIME TRIAL (try to hit 5k goal pace)

- Our second time trial of the summer. This time it's two miles close to all out, but holding a little bit back. Basically we want you to hit the pace that you want to run for an entire 5k in a few weeks.

Week 11: 12 - 16 x 200 @ Mile race pace (rest interval = 200 meter jog)

- Now the fast stuff begins. 200s at mile race pace is tougher than it sounds. Running this fast puts a lot of stress on the system but because of the longer workouts you have done all summer you'll be ready for it.

Week 12: Ladder # 3 = 800/ 600/ 400/ 200 (rest interval = half the distance of the repeat)

- Fast stuff tonight. 800 at mile race pace, 600 at mile race pace, 400 at FAST, 200 @ FAST. You're first chance to really go all out.

- This is the BIG DAY!! Depending on how many people we have we run a couple of different heats. This will be chance for everyone to set a 5k PR. With all the training it will be a piece of cake. Plus, how often do you get to race a 5k on the track?

So there you have it, this is what I'm doing every Thursday night from 7-8pm. If you're in the area, feel free to come join me! The other local running store has free speed work sessions too but started almost a month later. It's difficult to arrange my schedule for 2 nights off on particular weeks but I still might try to make a couple. I'll be sure to update after my 2 mile and 5k time trial. Happy Running all!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

World Bird Sanctuary... I posted last Friday, my neice Haley stayed with me and went to camp. On Friday, we decided to treat ourselves and went to Cracker Barrell for breakfast-yum! Here we are waiting on our food:
Then we went to camp and I tagged along on the field trip to the World Bird Sanctuary. It was pretty cool and we got to see a ton of birds and other animals like this armadillo:
This is a turkey vulture. Apparently, they fend off coyotes and stuff by barfing on them-eww!!! If the puke got on your shirt, it would eat right through it. Look at the wingspan on this baby:
This owl was sooo cute then the naturalist started telling us how it could break a duck's neck, umm...I won't be getting a pet owl any time soon:
EW!!! This is a Colombian boa constrictor! I had the heebie jeebies just seeing this thing:
Overall, it was pretty intersting, I got a TON of pictures and it was nice to be out of the office (did I mention it was a nice, cool, breezy day?). If you're in the STL area, I wouldn't take a youngin' because it's mainly looking around but if you've got an active kid that needs to burn energy, this is the place because they have trails and picnic tables and lots and LOTS of birds to see!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Hate List" Book Review...

...I recently finished "Hate List" by Jennifer Brown, who happens to be a Missouri author! My mom gave me the book to read but didn't tell me this. When the book started naming colleges in Missouri, I flipped to the "About the Author" and sure enough, she resides in KC. So "Hate List"...

Summary: Valerie's boyfriend, Nick, opens up fire on their cafeteria killing some of their classmates and himself. Many of the targets were students that Valerie and he added to their "Hate List." Valerie gets shot herself trying to stop Nick. The majority of the book is about Val's healing and handling everything thrown at her after the shooting.

Yes, this book is centered around the school shooting but it's not REALLY what the book is about. It was very interesting because it came from Val's perspective who wasn't sure if she, herself, was guilty or a hero or what. At parts in the book, I felt like her whole world was falling apart and I REALLY felt bad for her. I wanted to yell at her family, give her a break! But the truth of it is, if I were in her town, I probably wouldn't know what was going on with her, I'd link her to the shooting too...just like everyone else did. But she was working through so much...she wasn't even sure if she was involved in the shooting or not, losing the love of her life, her dad having an affair, an enemy becoming her friend, losing her friends, etc...The author also gives you a look at Nick, the shooter, so that you realize he's a person, not just an angry guy with a grudge which is an aspect you don't normally hear or see. I have to admit, I wasn't thrilled with the last 2 pages. I loved the graduation part but not so much what happens after graduation, despite why the author explained she did it.

At the end of the book, there are Q&As with the author. It was really interesting and she brought up some good points like how Val's dad is seen more as the villian than Nick even though Nick did the shooting. She even gave meanings to the characters name so if you read the book, try to figure it out before you read the end.

Overall, it was a good read that wasn't my typical romance novel. She just had a new book published last month called "Bitter End." Once I get through the pile of books I have, I might check it out at the library. Let me know your thoughts if you've read this book.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Q's Bachelorette Party!!!

...on Saturday, we celebrated my sorority sister's bachelorette party at Montelle Winery. The view...AMAZING!!!
As soon as we got there, we started the tasting. I told the lady I liked fruity, sweet wines and then BAM! She pulled them all out in like 2 minutes. I was like, whoa! I'm getting a buzz just from all the tasting!!! sister Q, girl, we've been through it all, have we not? We had some wild and crazy times in college that only spilled over into my first couple years back in STL. We may have fallen in and out of touch but we always pick up right where we left off. I am so happy for you and wish you and Chris all the best!

I'm totally bummed I'm missing the wedding (in the Dominican!!!) so don't wait three months to post pictures on Facebook!!! You're going to be a BEAUTIFUL bride and an amazing wife...Chris has got himself a pretty great catch! So enjoy your time as a bride and my advice, don't yell at each other...unless the house is on fire! :)

The beautiful bride-to-be and I at the winery (and I promise my eyes are open!):

Thanks for the loaner dress Jen!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Annual Haley Visit: Take 3...

...for the third year in a row, my niece Haley came to stay with me for a week and go to camp. You can read about last summer here and 2009 here and here and here. We had a VERY active and busy week! I feel like last year, I depended on the TV too much. I feel like we did a good job avoiding that this year though. On Saturday before she came to my house, she learned how to ride her bike and so her bike came with her to my house!

Sunday was Father's Day so after we came home and unpacked, she and I headed to the local paved trail and rode it all the way down and back-TWO MILES!!! Emma and I ran behind here. She did a GREAT JOB! Monday we swam after work, came home and walked Emma. Met up with my friend Stevie for dinner then came home and she rode her bike while Shadow and I walked. Tuesday we stopped by the paved trail again but she only rode a mile and I ran. After a DELICIOUS meal by Uncle Matt, she and Matt rode around the block while Shadow and I walked. Did I mention that we were VERY active?

Wednesday and Thursday were no different. Wednesday we swam after work and she surprised me by showing me that she knew how to do the backstroke. Then we stopped by the paved trail for another mile bike ride/walk. I had a coupon for a free Chick-Fil-A kids meal so I stopped and got her one on the way home. DISAPPOINTMENT!!! The pieces of chicken were teeny tiny! Then we took the dogs on a walk, they are SOOO tired having her here. After dinner and the walk, we made brownies for her counselor who she LOVES and it's a boy! She was a little leary of having a boy counselor at first but she really likes him. She was in charge of sprinkles. Unfortunately, Uncle Matt ate half the pan so we didn't take them. :(
Here's Shadow smelling her hand for a treat before giving her "five."
Emma's passed out on her while she watches some A.N.T. Farm...I've had my fair share of Disney this week.
She went in my closet and tried on my red heels. Then she told me, "I can totally rock these!"
On Thursday at camp, we had two Olympic athletes come visit us. They brought these leftover kid medals from the Olympic games in ATL in 1996. The kids thought it was pretty cool.
Here we are on our final dog walk on Thursday night!
It was a good time and we were two busy ladies!!! I'm already looking forward to next year, she always makes work less stressful and the week go by faster. Thanks for coming H!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday Tidbits...

...hmmm, I'm not sure I have too many tidbits but I'll try!

*Bachelorette party this weekend and I borrowed a SUPER cute dress from Jen! I can't wait to wear it and I just hope I don't sweat too much in it because it's at the winery...will post next week with pics-hopefully!

*Biggest Winner ends next week! I feel like I rocked it in the beginning, leveled out in the middle and did pretty decent the last couple weeks. Full report on that in the upcoming week!

*When we took Matt to the ER back in May, we got transferred from one hospital to the other. They are now wanting us to pay the $300 co-pay at each...ugh-$600 for six hours! I have a phone call in to the hospital in hopes that we might only have to pay one. It's a slim chance but cross your fingers for us!

*I have to work Fourth of July...walking in the local parade. I'm kind of excited about it even though it will be eleventybillion degrees, hopefully I'll get some sun!!! What are your Fourth of July plans?

I think that's all for now...what are your random tidbits?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

T-Shirt Quilt... mother, the quilter, made me a t-shirt quilt MANY moons ago! It has everything from soccer jerseys when I was a wee little one to high school activity shirts to sorority and college shirts to shirts from vacations. For some reason, everyone seems to be talking about t-shirt quilts lately so I thought I'd share what mine looked like:

Back (or doesn't really matter!):

Even a Brownie troop shirt made it on there! Anyone remember "Hands Across America"? My shirt made it on there. Side story: My sister made the cover of Newsweek for "Hans Across America" back in 1986. The story goes that the magazine sat on our coffee table and everyone that came over commented on it. One time, I walked up to the guest at our house (no idea who) and 3 or 4 year old me opened the magazine and said, "I'm in here too. See!" I was pointing at this starving Ethiopian child! My family NEVER lets me live that one down.

Anyways, I LOVE bright colors, all the quilts my mom makes for me has bright, bright colors...even our wedding quilt (that'll be a post for another day!). And I couldn't break it down to specific shirts because I wanted them all so that's why there's so many. I love it and while it stays in the closet most of the time, it does come out on fall/winter days when it gets cold but not cold enough to turn the heat on yet.

Well, mom is retired and has bought her own quilting machine, remember this post? So if you're interested in a t-shirt quilt, drop me a line and I'll get you in contact with Quilting Vick (that used to be her screen name-how appropriate!). She is enjoying her retirement though spending lots of time in Florida so it may take awhile for her to finish the project but hey, if your shirts have been in a box since high school then what's the hurry, right?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Home is Where the Bark Is" Book Review...

...I'm telling you all, I've been a reading machine lately! I've made an effort to spend at least an hour a day reading because honestly, that hour would probably be spent watching tv or on the computer so it's been an easy hour to spare. The latest book that I finished was "Home is Where the Bark Is" by Kandy Shepherd. In you remember correctly, Kandy also wrote "Love is a Four-Legged Word." I did a post book review on it last June and Kandy commented ON MY BLOG! I'm also friends with her on Good Reads, she seems like a really sweet person. Okay, back to the review....

This is kind of like a sequel to "Love is a Four-Legged Word." The main character, Serena, was introduced in the first book as Maddy's best friend. Now Serena, ex-model, has opened up a doggy day-care. PI Nick has noticed that quite a few of Serena's clients have had identity theft issues which leads him to the doggy day-care to check out the owner, his number one suspect. Right away there's tons of fireworks between Nick and Serena that they both deny and the book follows them, a sweet doggy Mack and the hunt for the identity thief.

I liked this book because it had romance, mystery and dogs! I did find the first half of the book moved a little slow and focused too much on Serena's and Nick's suppressed feelings for each other. I would have rather cut that out and had more time with them together! Kandy did use one of my most favorite words ever-towhead (it was a word of the day in 5th grade, the only one that I remember!). I love the puppies in the story and the puppy love. I wouldn't say it was a page turner (until the last couple chapters) but it was a sweet, easy and fun read. So...what are you all reading these days?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pop's Day Review...

...first off, happy Father's Day to all those dads and guys that are like dads! I hope you all got spoiled and got a day off. Matt had to work so I spent the day at my sister's eating delicious food, lounging in the pool and visiting with the fam. I even indulged in a piece of Dairy Queen Reese's Blizzard cake...all 730 calories per slice! Good thing I ran to my SIL's in the morning to deliver my FIL's card so I had enough cals for the day!

Here's my sister, H, my dad and me :
Here's H and I lounging in the pool, the tops of my thighs got SUPER red!
Here's my granny and me, it's been said before but I'll say it again, I know I look EXACTLY like her:

Haley came back with me and is attending camp for the week. She just learned how to ride a bike Saturday night so her bike came with her for the week. When we got back home, we went to the local trail and she rode her bike while Emma and I followed behind. She only wobbled into the ditch once and other than the bruises on the back of her legs from the pedals hitting when she'd try to stop, we came home injury free! I'll be sure to update how the stay is going later this week. I hope everyone had a FABULOUS Father's Day! I know I've got one awesome dad!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Going to the Chapel...

...last Saturday, our good friends Monica and Colby got married! We had to miss the wedding due to work but made it in time for the reception. I'm so happy for them!!! You could tell they were having a FABULOUS time. Congrats guys!!!
Here's Mr. and Mrs. G...
I was totally rockin' red heels and red jewelry with my LBD. I got a lot of compliments on the outfit!
It's obvious I run summer camp, when I look up at the speaker and notice Gator balls. I started telling Matt how expensive they are and asking if he can get them down for me. Needless to say, we were not able to get them down.

They also had an ice cream bar!!! OMG! Loved it...she knows the way to my heart. AND a photobooth! They had hats and wigs you could put on but I refused because I didn't want lice (again too much summer camp in my life). Here's Matt and I's turn:

...we got a copy for us to keep (which I hung up at work) and then they put the other copy in a photo album and you write a message to the couple. What a cool idea! Matt ditched me later to go back with his friends which wasn't a big surprise. Sometimes I think my husband forgets that I'm his "date" and spends the whole evening with his friends. I don't usually mind but I did get my feelings a little hurt this night. Oh well, it was still a great time to visit with friends and see how happy the new Mr. and Mrs. are! Can't wait for them to get back from their honeymoon so we can hang out with them soon. Happy Friday all!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Shopping Spree!!!

...about a month ago, my mom, stepsis and I attended our last Scholastic Shopping Spree. You can read here about last year's. My mom retired about a month ago so no more sprees for us but it was fun while it lasted. Now that she's retired, she plans to travel. I think sometime in the next couple years, she's already planned a trip to Africa and Japan for us!

This year we went on the last day of the warehouse sale so it wasn't nearly as bananas. I won't even tell you the dollar amount we spent, it was insane! I got books for my friend Candace, her son AKA my friend Colin, my neice, baby shower gifts, my dad a book and LOTS of books for me. Last year, there was like no adult fiction and this year there were a TON! Here's what I came home with:

Up close....I got to "Eat This, Not That" books, a James Patterson book, couple books I'd never heard of and my mom thinks "The Maze Runner" might be the next "Hungry Games."
I also got the rest of the "Hunger Games" trilogy "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay." Two Jodi Picoult books and three books by Sarah Dessen...anyone ever heard of her?

I'm going to be reading for QUITE awhile now so expect some new book reviews. Also might be doing a giveaway soon to get rid of some books I meant to give away after LAST year. So what book have you read lately?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Papa Murphy's S'More Pizza...

...over Easter weekend, my mom introduced me to Papa Murphy's S'More Pizza

Marshmellows, chocolate chips, oats and dough=deliciousness!

Look at all that gooey goodness! Don't ask why we were eating off snowman plates in April.
Papa Murphy's is like Subway for pizzas. They make whatever you want and you just take it home and bake it. The s'more pizza they premake daily and the best part? It was only $3.75!!! Matt and my mom tried to convince me that the oats were coconut so I wouldn't want to eat any more (because coconut=toenails=EWW!!!). I knew better because since when did s'mores have coconut??? Definitely delicious, definitely worth the calories!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Thirteen Reasons Why" Book Review...

...I'll be doing a couple book reviews around here and keep in mind that my mom was (retired now-yah her!) middle school librarian so that's where we get a lot of the books from. "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher is about high school student Hannah Baker. Hannah's committed suicide and she was 13 reasons, or people, that she pins it on. She makes cassette tapes about what they did and each of these people are supposed to pass them on. Clay, a co-worker and fellow classmate of Hannah's, has had a long time crush on her and has somehow wound up on the tapes. The book follows him listening to the tapes to understand why she did what she did. It does jump POV from her to him but it's fairly easy to follow.

Okay, let me admit...I'm a turn to the last page and read it before I start a book kind of girl but with this book, you couldn't. Each chapter introduced a new character, some were wound together, but by reading the last page, it didn't give anything away-I mean after all, we all know Hannah was already gone. Now reading the book, some things didn't seem that bad to make you want to kill yourself but at the same time, think back to when you were a teenager and how hard life was then. In life, all we ultimately want is to be accepted by our friends, our families, our co-workers and ourselves. Unfortunately for Hannah she never felt that acceptance. Reading this book was also like watching the Titantic, you knew it was going to sink but you had small hope that it wouldn't. Reading this book through Clay's eyes and seeing/feeling how much he liked her and wanted to save her, made me hope that maybe the end would end with something like, "...and then she walked into class" but it didn't. To me, the ending didn't necessarily tie everything together but my mom thinks it might have been left that way for a sequel, we'll see...

It was an easy and fast read and whether you like the book or not, it had a good point. As the author signed my copy and stated, "Everything affects everything."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Krazy Kelly CrossFit Workout...

...Saturday, I tried out CrossFit. Meg had asked me to join in the Krazy Kelly workout which was being held at a fundraiser for the gym. CrossFit is basically a hardcore workout that works your ENTIRE body.
Meg and I both did the scaled Krazy Kelly workout. It is a three-round workout. It included a 400 meter run (I walked majority of the last one). Meg did an 800 her first round. Did I mention that after you did the run, you had to climb back in the gym on this tire?
Then you had to do 25 box jumps, or in my case, step-ups. Meg was a rock star and did all box jumps. I'm a wuss when it comes to jumping because of my knee (tore my ACL and meniscus in high school). My parents paid a lot of money for it back in the day and I don't want to pay again so I tend to do step-ups and shy away from jumping. Anyways, I know I cut her head off but here's Meg in mid-air of a box jump.
There, now you can see her in action!
Here's a (LARGE!) picture of me doing a step-up.

Then you had to do 25 wall balls. Squat, throw medicine ball at least 8 feet up. I used an 8 lb ball and used the 8 feet mark. Meg did a 13 lb ball and used the 10 feet mark (red line).
It was super tough because it was an all over body workout. I had to walk the last 400 just to catch my breath so I could finish the box and wall balls. I was pretty thrilled to be done and did it in a time of 13:58. I never knew my body could sweat so much from just 14 minutes of working out!
Meg was happy with her time of 22:47 (remember-she was way more hardcore than I was) and she got an award for "Best Attitude."

So thanks for having my join you, Meg. My legs are STILL sore!

Friday, June 10, 2011

KC Fun and Randomness...'s finally Friday and the end of the first FULL week of summer day camp! Here's an easy and fun blog post for you to skim through. KC fun from last weekend that is not about the half...

I kind of forced Cece to take this picture against her will but isn't it fab?
Jen was totally up for the pic though!
Friday night I went to dinner with Amy and Anthony (in pic below). They are some friends of mine on DailyMile. Anthony's brother and sister-in-law went to dinner too, both also DM friends. They were fantastic company and wanted around until the end of the race to see me. Love these guys!
For dinner, I went to dinner with some sorority sisters. Here's me, Lauren (my dot) and Candace (my bestie), let's just say the night was...award-winning!
The boys, including Colin, headed to Oklahoma Joe's for dinner. Somehow, Mexican and girl talk didn't appeal to them. Colin was a little meat drunk on the delish dinner they had.
Here's me with Candace's dog Marley. Mar Mar LOVES me...seriously, whenever I come in the house she pees and then she wants me to love on her the whole time I'm there...which, of course, I do!
On the way home, we pulled up to get gas and saw this:
What is it? It's the largest skateboard made by Rob Dyrdek!!! He was not with it but it was still pretty awesome and not something you always see when you pull up to get gas.

Awesome trip but no PB donuts! Guess I'll have to go back again!!! Always a good time and lots of laughs when we're in the KC. Happy Friday all!