Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Birthday Week!!

So Wednesday was my birthday. Another year older. I don't know where the time goes.
 Wednesday morning as I was getting ready for work I heard something - it was these!

Along with my friend Cindy singing "It's someone's birthday". She's so sweet!! 
Notice the princess balloon? More on that later. 

After work Dean & I had dinner at Louisiana Lagniappe. So delicious! I had stuffed flounder. It was stuffed with all sorts of seafood goodness. There may have been cheesecake & wine too.
 I had instructions from Amelia-Ann to text her when we got home.
 Her & Alexandra came over with this.

I love it! Amelia-Ann's 16th birthday was a few weeks ago & we got her a necklace like this. The picture doesn't do it justice. Those girls are so sweet. We've lived next door for 9 years. Love them!

Thursday was our friend Scott's birthday so there was a double celebration at where else but Caliente. They cooked a special meal for us all to try - Goat. It was good. Nothing incredible but not bad at all. 

Cooked with potatoes & carrots & it was served over rice & then topped with salsa. Very authentic!

Mallory, Mackenzie, Maddie, Amelia-Ann, Gretchen & Miles.

Just about the whole crew in a not good iPhone pic.

Love these girls (and boy puppy) - Jordan, Bentley & Allie, Anna, me & Alexandra

The Red Velvet Bundt cake was amazing!!

Notice the princess hat. APPARENTLY, my friends think I'm a princess because I kinda depend on Dean a lot.  I really don't know what they're talking about but they think it's hilarious!

Some of my awesome friends - Sheri, Jackie, Steph, me, Cindy & Dawn 

We had such a fun night! 

Sunday is brunch with more awesome friends, Vicki & Allison. Can't wait for that. 

Happy Halloween!!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I'm Back!!

We've been on vacation in California. We left Wednesday night & flew to San Francisco. We spent the day there Thursday before driving to Napa. These are all iPhone pics. I haven't had time to do anything with the pics from the "good camera".

Our car  -  a convertible is great in theory! It was fun but apparently I'm older than I thought because getting in & out of this car was no small feat! Not to mention I could barely see over the dash.

Robert Mondavi Vineyards - So pretty!! 


Grapes were harvested the week before we got there.

Pine Ridge - my favorite white. So good & I'm not a fan of white. Loved, loved, loved their reds too!

Delicious reds!

It rained off & on all day Saturday but we saw 3 different rainbows!

Ca' Momi - Aracini, pizza & Ox Tail pasta! So delicious!

Dean & I with our friend Brandy that lives in Napa. 

Golden Gate Bridge

Full House!

We had such an awesome trip! Can't wait to go back!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Gulf Coast Half

Get ready for picture overload. I did a fabulous job of capturing everything all weekend! The race was in Mandeville which is about an hour an a half from Baton Rouge. This was the first time I've "traveled" for a race. We left Saturday morning after I had my nails done.

We did a lot of eating Saturday. Carb loading & all that you know.

Lunch was The Beach House. It was so cute. The weather was gorgeous so we were able to eat outside. The nachos were soooo good!!! Our appetizer for dinner was Irish Nachos. I don't know if that's a real thing but that's what they were called. It was french fries with all the nacho toppings. So incredibly good! I limited myself to one glass of wine but I did have dessert. Pumpkin Creme Brulee. YUMMMM!!

After lunch we walked to Varsity Sports to pick up our packets. There was a sale going on so I picked up a cute tank & Dean got fitted for some new shoes.

Lydia, Scott & me in front of Varsity. They were a major sponsor of the race. I love that store. It's locally owned & in a cute little house in Baton Rouge, Mandeville & New Orleans.

After packet pick up we walked around the area. The local Catholic Church was having a fair so we walked around that for a bit & then went to check in the hotel.

I was so excited to pack for this race - something to sleep in, something to run in & no makeup or hair products aside from a brush, visor & ponytail holder. That little white bag was Dean's luggage.....Scott couldn't decide what shoes to wear so he had to bring multiple pair. Once we checked in we decided to rest. Dean watched football & everyone else napped. Once everyone was up we went to Old Rail Brewery to watch the LSU game & eat.

We sat at the bar. It was so fun! We watched the game, chatted with the bartender & Dean chatted with someone who has a brother that was on the flight to Dallas with the ebola patient. Why would you tell people that?? Anyway, it was fun, the food was good & the Tigers won!

The alarm went off at 5:30 Sunday morning which was perfect. I got dressed & was ready in time to eat breakfast at the hotel. I just had an english muffin with peanut butter. My standard breakfast before a long run. We didn't have long to wait once we got parked.

It was 57 degrees which was awesome. Scott was freezing in this picture. He's not a fan of cold weather.

The start of the race, the chick with the butterfly wings was in front of me awhile & it drove me crazy. I was NOT letting someone wearing wings beat me. Lydia was in my line of sight for a lot of the race which helped me. Part of the race went through the Ponchartrain Yacht Club.

I was better at taking pictures while I ran.

These were all taken on the lake front.

I caught up with Lydia around this point.

I loved that part of the race. The water was pretty & the houses were amazing!!

All of the water pics I took are the view from all of the houses front porches. Once I caught up with Lydia I stopped taking pictures because I realized that I was on track with my pace. I did about a zillion calculations in my head as to whether I could PR or not. Every calculation was close but I knew I'd have a better handle on how close once I got to the 10 mile mark.  I made sure to get water or powerade at every water station. I don't drink much because I never stop running so half the cup ends up on me but I do take in a few sips. My plan was to take a GU at mile 10. Around mile 7.5 a guy started chatting with me & Lydia. I like to run & talk because it makes the time go by. How funny is this - he was with us for about half a mile & then he couldn't keep up with us! I thought that was awesome. I'm not fast so it's shocking to me that a man couldn't keep up. Anyway, I was feeling good around mile 8.5 so I decided to go ahead & take the GU. I didn't want to wait too late. I didn't take it all at once though. Just a little at a time & I made it last a mile. If you don't know what GU is, it's flavored & has a ton of sugar in it & it's just gooey. Kinda like pudding but not cold. It's in a little pack that you just tear open & squeeze in your mouth. It's supposed to give you energy.

Around mile 9 Lydia said she didn't think she'd be able to keep up our pace much longer. She slowed down some & I kept going. Mile 9 felt like forever & when I looked at my watch to see how close I was to mile 10 it said 10.35. We were in the park at that point & there hadn't been a mile marker 10. Talk about relieved! The calculations started again at that point & my pace was down to 10 minute miles.Way fast for me! It was going to be close. Finally at mile 12 I was exhausted & knew that I was going to miss a PR. Not by much but I was going to miss it. At that point I was just ready to be done.

As I got closer to the finish line I could see the clock & that's when I realized I was closer than I thought to a PR.  I was looking for Dean & Scott & listening for them but I didn't see or hear them. I did hear the official guy call my name as I crossed the finish line. Official time 2:18:29. My previous PR was 2:19:54. I was excited! I still couldn't find Dean & Scott. I stopped looking & got a place to watch for Lydia. I didn't know where she was but I didn't think she was too far behind me. I tried to call Dean, nothing. Then I saw Lydia.

That's her in the stripes. Girl finished in 2:20 with an 8 MINUTE PR! That's AWESOME!

Still no Dean & Scott. I looked up & here they come strolling along without a care in the world. They were NOT coming from the direction of the finish line. They were coming from the direction of the band & beer!! Yes folks, that's right, they missed me & Lydia crossing the finish line with PR's. Lydia had said she hoped to finish in 2:30 or less because that's her usual time. I said 2:30 because I had a bum leg & didn't know how it would hold up. So that's what they were betting on. Oh well.

I just realized Scott didn't have his medal on.

We all went to the PT tent & got stretched out. This is what happened when Lydia told them her knees were bothering her.

Too funny!

I'm not a beer drinker so I was really happy to see wine!

My official stats - 43rd in my age group & 502 overall. I think there were around 1000 people in the race.
After the race we listened to the band for awhile & had some food. After we dropped Scott & Lydia off I decided that since I burned almost 1400 calories I wanted a treat. It just so happened that we needed to get gas & a Dairy Queen was next to the gas station. It was fabulous!!!

During the race I didn't have any real issues with anything hurting. My leg held up fine. However, late in the race I could feel my left leg/hip. After the car ride home walking was interesting. This morning walking was a struggle. Pretty much everything hurts between my waist & ankles. I've iced, foam rolled & taken Advil. Hopefully, I'll be back to normal soon. We leave for Napa Wednesday!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's Almost Time!

Sunday is my 3rd Half Marathon. I don't have high expectations. In fact I'm trying to have no expectations. No expectations means you're never disappointed. When Sunday gets here it will be exactly 2 weeks since my last run. I have soreness in my right leg, at the top kinda where it meets your body, if that makes sense. It's not awful. I can pinpoint the exact day that the "injury" occurred. It was 2 weeks ago yesterday. I ran my 5 miles that morning, got to work & proceeded to walk up 6 flights of stairs 3 times that day. Our office is on the 6th floor. Then when I got home I did whatever day it was of the 30 day challenge which was a leg heavy workout. At that point I started to hurt. It got progressively better that week & I had a long run that Sunday. I ran my 11 miles, was a little sore but ok. I got in my car to drive home from the lakes which takes approximately 7 minutes. When I got out of the car walking was a problem. Luckily, it was better the next day. Some days are worse than others but I can deal with it. Anyway, all that to say no expectations. Not to mention it's going to be warmer than my previous Half's. Thankfully, it's not supposed to be crazy hot. The forecast says it will be 57 at the start of the race & should be in the low 60's when I finish. They say partly cloudy too which you'll never hear me complain about when running. I don't want to run in the rain, been there done that, but clouds are awesome!

Have you heard of the Warrior Dash? It's one of those crazy races that has mud, fire & lots of obstacles. My brother, Scott & SIL Lydia have done it before. They attempted to get me to do it with them. I'm not sure why they even tried. Complete waste of time. I've changed A LOT but I don't do mud & fire. Sweat is one thing, getting dirty is another. I don't like it. Scott finished 4th overall.

This was one of his race pictures. He looks rather clean here but at one point you slide down a giant slide into a pool of mud. BLECH!

My friend Cindy has committed to run the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon. At some point I'd love to do a Disney race. They're not cheap & they're very popular so they sell out. Cindy is running through their Charity Groups program. She's committed to raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Cindy's mom passed away a couple of years ago from Leukemia. Aside from donations Cindy planned a Virtual 5K. We're even getting cute shirts. 9 of us got together Monday morning & did our 5K.

Please excuse my crazy eyes & crazy reflecting shoes! Several of the ladies aren't runners so we all walked & talked. We had a lot of fun & I'm sure there were some people wondering what was going on because we got a little loud a couple of times.

When I put my watch on the battery was dead so we had to go old school & track our mileage using the phone. It felt good to get outside & do something since I hadn't been running.

Last night Cindy asked if anyone wanted to walk again. There were 6 of us this morning.

We were either slower today or the watch is just more accurate than the phone. My leg felt MUCH better. The more I walked the better it felt. Let's hope that's the case Sunday. Still no expectations.

Tonight we'll be switching things up a little & going to Caliente for dinner. Being that we're regulars there we've all gotten to know the owner & she's super sweet. Tonight she's donating a portion of sales to Cindy's fundraising effort. At this point I think we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 people going. It should be a fun night,


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Beach!!

Thursday after work Jackie & Cindy picked me up & off we went to the beach! We stopped in Mississippi to eat at The Shed. It's so good!

This is what we woke up to Friday morning.

We had gorgeous weather!

We spent the day at the beach.

Malibu is my favorite. So good with pineapple juice & blue curacao! Friday night we headed to the outlet mall in Foley. Imagine how happy we were when we went in Michael Kors to find a sale going on! We shopped for awhile & then had dinner at Doc's Seafood. It's another hole in wall but good. Since Jackie & her husband bought their condo last year they've scoped out lots of good restaurants. I thought this was the cutest thing.

I ordered a Dr Pepper. I hadn't had one in awhile. They brought me a glass & then this cute pitcher full of DP. I didn't drink it all but it wasn't for lack of trying. I hated that it was going to waste. The others ordered Diet Coke & tea & both got a little pitcher.

Saturday morning Sheri & Steph were coming to town so while we waited Cindy & I worked out.

I stuck with the exercise bike. Once they got there we were off to the beach.

I CANNOT STAND THE BIRDS! After I took this picture there were 8 of them in a line & they all had their backs to me. I was eating some chips. It was like they thought I didn't know they were paying attention because their backs were to me but I knew what they were doing. Finally, they flew off to annoy someone else.

We lovingly refer to Cindy as our cup lady. She handles all of our group's styrofoam cup needs & let me tell you it's a big job.
Of course there were beach appropriate ones! Aren't they adorable?

Jackie with her white peeps! It's really disconcerting to sit next to her at the beach! I'm lathering myself with SPF 55 because of course I missed spots Friday & have some random burned places while Jackie coats herself with SPF 4 oil.

After spending the day on the beach we went BACK to the outlet mall. Everyone wanted to go back to visit Michael. I bought my anniversary gifts. A cross body bag that also converts to a shoulder bag & a new pair of sunglasses. With the sales that were going on I could've bought several more things but I refrained. We shopped & had dinner at Cosmo's. We ate on the patio & it was such a nice night.

We were sad to go home Sunday but we had breakfast at Another Broken Egg before we left. It was delicious! I've really become a big fan of breakfast.