So About This 1/2 Marathon

Last Saturday, on the first day of fall, I got my butt out of bed & ran 10.5 miles. Solo. And it felt GOOD.
Well, to be more accurate, the first 6 miles felt good & the last 4.5 felt like hell. But I have a feeling that has something to do with the fact that I am slacking on my weekly training (again). I find it so hard to fit in a short run three times a week.
This could be due to the fact that I only like to run when it’s under 80 degrees & lately that has only been happening in the morning, which would mean that I would actually have to get out of bed when I planned to, in order to make my run happen.

Note to Self:

Or it could be due to the fact that I’m over running on treadmills – I’ve become an outdoor running lover.
It also could be due to the fact that I’ve been training since the beginning of June, which will make 20 weeks total by the time the 1/2 rolls around (in LESS THAN THREE WEEKS). 16 or even 12 weeks would have been sufficient.
But for some reason, I have very little problem getting the long runs in. I think I love running.

As we were gearing up for our long run last Saturday, Kevin, one of the owners of Go Run, mentioned that this 1/2 marathon should be the beginning of our running, not the end. And while I’m looking forward to a little break from the training plan, I do believe that running has become a part of my lifestyle.
The 6:30 a.m. Saturday long runs that I used to dread waking up for? I now look forward to those. Nothing feels better than getting a run in to start my day.
And doing my first solo long run gave me the confidence I needed to know that I can cross that finish line after running 13.1 w/some amazing friends, and of course, my sweet husband, by my side.

Here we are before a 4 mile run at Sedgwick County Park a couple of weeks ago.

So I’m going to promise myself (again) to stick to the running schedule diligently for the next three weeks until the big day is here. So far, I’m off to a good start.
Now I’m off…to run. For real this time.

Fall & The Changes It Brings

Fall is my absolute favorite season, for all of the obvious reasons. Cute clothing options – tights, riding boots & scarves, anyone? Chilly weather. The smells. The beginning of the holiday season. The tastes – Pumpkin. Spice. Latte. Need I say more?

This fall is particularly special to us because it will be the last season we’ll spend living in Wichita.

Anyone who has ever known me well, through any stage of my life, has known of my desire to spread my wings. Specifically, by moving out of Wichita.

Growing up, I was always hoping for a “fresh, new start” in a city that I felt more connected to, more alive in. Now I must admit that while Wichita still has a long way to go, in my opinion, I feel that it has also come a long way.
As I’ve gotten older & especially since beginning my career in marketing, I’ve learned to appreciate the city that I was born & raised in. The cheap real estate. The thriving business community. The way that people will do something good for you & expect nothing in return.

I’ve also learned a lot about myself in the past several years & feel that I’m truly starting to understand who I am and own it. Not only own it, but love it. And when you accept yourself, your past, the good & the bad in life and you begin living with intention, you open yourself up to seeing others for who they are. You attract & keep people in your life who not only love themselves, but love & accept you for who you really are too.

Below are some of the women that I am so thankful to have in my life. Ashley (L of me) & I have been friends since we were five. This girl means more to me than words; I only wish I wouldn’t have let us drift apart during our high school & college years. Kate (just R of me) has been a friend of mine since 2009 & we’ve both watched each other grow into the women we are today. She is such a special lady. Megan (far R) & I met two years ago & she is not only a inspirational mom, person & friend, but she has helped me to learn how to not sweat the small stuff.

So this is where I’m at right now.

I’m happy. I’m thankful. I’m humbled. I respect & love myself enough to know what/who belongs in my life & what/who doesn’t. I’m at peace. I’m surrounded by loved ones. I’m passionate & alive.

And I’m moving.

It’s funny that just when you think you have things figured out, life happens. I no longer desire a “fresh, new start” because I love the story that’s happening right in front of me. I love my life, every single detail of it, because it’s what has brought me to where I am today.

And knowing myself, I know that no matter how happy I am right now, in Wichita, Kansas, that I will feel unfulfilled if I don’t take the chance that’s right in front of me.

So that’s why we’re going. To act on a lifelong dream I’ve had & see where it takes us. To make it our big adventure, alone together. Just the two of us, taking on the world (well, starting with Fort Collins).

In that spirit, I plan to make the most out of every single day this fall. And I hope you’ll join me in that venture.

 Happy first weekend of fall 2012!

Fashion in Fort Collins

Last week Cory & I were apartment hunting in Northern Colorado, where we will be moving soon, and stopped in downtown Fort Collins for some lunch.
While visiting last fall, we fell in love with this little college town. Lucky for us, it’s a 15 minute drive from my office (in Loveland) & we were able to find a charming apartment complex there that totally fits our wants & needs! More on this in another blog.
We ate lunch on the patio at ingredient, a modern bistro. I loved the oversize plate ware & this queso was legit.
This is what I wore:

Sunglasses – Target, Dress & Tangerine (Not Red) Cardigan – J Crew, Sandals – Lauren Conrad
You can’t see it in the head-to-toe photo, but I was wearing my favorite necklace, a birthday present from Cory. It spells “mrs”.
Necklace – Kate Spade
Close up of these pretty babies. Thanks to my sister for pointing them out – wish they had them in your size, BooBoo!

15k – 5 Weeks Til the 1/2!

Ever since our gorgeous run last weekend, I’ve been looking forward to tackling 9.3 this weekend. And then last night I started getting a little nervous.
When I woke up this morning my stomach was a little queazy & I was pushing doubts out of my mind. Could I really do 9.3 miles? I mean, at the beginning of June two miles was pushing it for me.
But I choked down my Luna bar, packed my GU (well, I went with the same version I used last week, so whatever that was) & headed off to Tanganyika w/my husband in tow.
We got there about 5 minutes before the race started, which worked well for me – no extra time to let my nerves get worked up even more, and luckily we were able to chat with my sweet friend, Aram, before we got going. Before I knew it we were off.
The first couple of miles were easy, my shins hurt a bit, but nothing I couldn’t handle. While running seven last week, the first three miles were the hardest, so I was a bit surprised that the first three were going so easy.
And right around that time, we got a little surprise…
Our family was there to cheer us on!
When we hit the turn around point around mile 4.5 I started to feel a bit weak, so I took my GU at mile five, which was about 55 minutes into the race.
That + a water station + my family (and as always, my husband) kept me going for a couple of miles, but somewhere in mile six my legs, feet & hips starting hurting bad.
When we crossed mile seven we were in what we like to call “foreign territory.”  And although the last, new 2.3 miles were hard, we pushed through the pain. When we saw this, it was all worth it!
Here we are after the race:
And this is where we went after that:
And this is basically what I’ve been doing since:

Here are some of  the songs from my playlist that kept me going today:
Train – Drive By
Calvin Harris – Feel So Close
OneRepublic – Good Life
Fiest – I Feel It All
The Downtown Fiction – I Just Wanna Run
Young the Giant – My Body
Coldplay – Paradise
Kelly Clarkson – Stronger
Flo Rida – Wild Ones
Lady Gaga – Edge of Glory
Rhianna – We Found Love
Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man
The Cataracs – Bass Down Low
The Outsiders – Something Beautiful
Taylor Swift – Love Story
Flo Rida – Whistle
Eminem – Love the Way You Lie
Check back next week to see how my first ever double digit run goes – 10 miles – that is crazy!

Under Contract!

On this unofficial last day of summer I have some very exciting news to share with you all…
After 14 weeks of being on the market – we have a contract on our house!
Does this SOLD sign look sweet in our front yard or what??

The transaction is off to a good start: the buyers seem great & are very excited (from what we hear), the inspection went well & we are pleased with the buyer’s requests. We still have the appraisal &VA inspection (the buyer’s have a VA loan) to go through before closing, which is set for early October. VA loans take longer to close, apparently, but so far, so good.

So, it is official – we will be out of our very first home in a little more than 30 days, pending everything goes right & closing doesn’t get pushed back.

Here we are on the day the house became ours.

We made a lot of good memories in this house and truly had no clue we would be leaving it behind so soon.

When Cory & I first moved in together in 2008, he had just graduated from college & I was graduating in a year. After which, I assumed we would be moving to Kansas City, where I would be looking for jobs.

Apparently I had forgotten to mention that life plan to Cory & we hit a bit of a bump when he told me that he NEVER planned on moving away from Wichita.

It had been a dream of mine to move away since I was about five years old. So, we worked through it & decided to stay in Wichita, while always keeping our options open.

The summer after I graduated in 2009, we bought our first home.

Two years later an opportunity came open for me to relocate with my current company.

Four years after our initial relocation discussion, Cory was not only open to this opportunity, but when I told him Colorado would be the place we would be moving to, he was super pumped!

So after discussing the relocation for many, many months, we put our house on the market in May 2012.

And hopefully, the rest will be history!

 Please keep us & this closing in your prayers over the next month & I’ll hopefully have some great news to report in October!

Happy Labor Day!

1/2 Marathon Training – 6 Weeks To Go

I woke up at 6 a.m. today, on a Saturday, ran seven miles AND IT FELT AWESOME!
I think I’m starting to understand this whole runner’s high thing. After mile three I sort of just got in my zone. I wish every run felt as good as that run.
This week I’ve been getting into some running blogs & a tip I picked up from this blog is to turn every long run into race day practice. So, with that in mind, Cory & I carbloaded last night & we actually went a little overboard. No cream based sauces on the night before race day – lesson learned!
I woke up & had a LUNA bar. I wasn’t hungry at 6:30 a.m., but while running the 10k in July I only had 1/2 a banana for breakfast & started to feel really weak after four miles, so I knew I would need more than 50 calories of food before I attempted seven miles.
I also experimented with an energy gel for this first time, PowerBar’s Energy gel in vanilla (thanks for the flavor suggestion, Stephanie). I took it after mile four (which is about 45 mins of running for me) & felt like I could keep going even when we hit mile seven.
So it’s hard to tell if the gel really helped or if it was the 180 calorie pre-run snack that gave me the energy. The energy gel wasn’t the BEST tasting thing I’ve ever had, but it wasn’t the worst either. I didn’t get any water until the end of my run, so it made my mouth sort of sticky. I think I’ll try it again, but only when I’m a little closer to water, so that I can chase it.
Next week we’re running our first 15k at Tanganyika, duringTiger Trot.
9.3 miles suddenly feels doable.
I’ve never jumped more than a mile at a time (going from six miles one week to seven the next), but it will be great race day practice, since 11 miles will be my longest run beforeI run  the 1/2. Plus, this run starts at 8:15 & is on a Sunday, which is almost identical to the Prairie Fire. I’ve been doing all of my long runs on Saturdays at 6:30 a.m.
Maybe I’ll take some GU at mile 5.5 or six during the Tiger Trot. A colleague had suggested to take energy gel after 45-60 minutes of running. Does anyone else have different philosophies?
As for my weekly runs over the past two weeks, they’ve still been a little shoty. I’m having a hard time MAKING the time to run almost every day. But with six weeks to go until race day, I’m hoping to work on my consistency.
Nothing gives you the inspiration to push your body like a good, long run does!
“I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought.” – Arthur Blank