Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I WON THE LOTTERY!

Just kidding. I was trying to think of a good excuse for not blogging for TWO WEEKS, and that was the only good one I could think of. As you can see, I took an unintentional break from the ol' blog. Life just got a little busy. The first week I went MIA, I had 2 12 hour days at school for parent teacher conferences, report cards, and tons of school stuff going on. After that, I had fall break, but we were super super busy with house projects. So, I'm finally back! I've missed blogging a lot. Who knows if anyone even reads this (besides Drew, thanks babe), but if anyone does... hello again!

*If you want to keep up with me, check out my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more frequent updates.*

Since I've updated last, a lot has gone on. I usually do a weekend update on Mondays, but I'll have to break some posts up into a two week hiatus update. Let's start off with where I left off. I went to visit my best friend, a couple of weekends ago. It was our college Homecoming AND  an AXO sister's wedding, so we were able to kill three birds with one stone. We had such a blast!

Drew and I drove down to Indy on Friday night, and it literally took over 4 hours. We stopped for a quick dinner, and then traffic was horrible. We were completely stopped for a half hour. Awful. It was all worth it when we got to Elizabeth and Jared's house!

Saturday we woke up and drove to Butler for Homecoming. We went to the AXO brunch, which was fantastic!
 After eating and catching up with some of our sisters, we took a house tour. They have done SO much to the house in just 4 years. It was so great to see all of the improvements!

Entryway 

Formal 

While we were snooping in the basement, we found this super old sewing machine. The ladies in the house found it in storage, and are using it! 

After touring the house, we went to look around at the bookstore. We ended up not buying anything, but making a stop to take the mandatory pictures in front of Atherton Union with the bulldog.










 After the mandatory pictures with the bulldog, we took more mandatory pictures in front of our old house.


and of course a ridiculous one...

I think this was my first homecoming since graduating, which is crazy. I live only three hours away, so I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to get back for it! 

-Do you go to your college's homecoming?
-Were/are you involved in greek life?
-Tell me your favorite college memory. 
  • Mine would have to be a (now hilarious) terrible formal my junior year. I'll have to share that story sometime. :) 



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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New shoes to make me faster, and exploring new lands

That tile is a joke, obviously. I don't think I will ever be fast. But I DID get new shoes. When I got to Fort Wayne last Friday before the race, I stopped in at Fleet Feet and bought a new pair of shoes.



The sales girl was trying to talk me into buying inserts, but I passed. If I was having trouble with shin splints or knee pain I would go for them, but I'm not currently having any issues. Funny thing about that is, Dr. Scholl's sent me some of their new Active Series insoles to try for free. Funny how that works out, right?
"During athletic activity, the foot is subject to the shock from impact of 2-3 times your body weight with every step. Active Series insoles reduce shock by 40% and, for those with Shin Splints, Runner's Knee and Plantar Fascitis, helps relieve and prevent the pain."


What you do with these inserts is a little different from normal inserts. I pulled out the insole that came with my Brooks shoes, and then had to measure how much to cut off from the Dr. Scholl's inserts. The pair sent to me are for sizes 8.5-11. Luckily, I wear a size 10 (man feet) and didn't have to cut much off at all. I was nervous cutting it, but it was super easy and quick.


After they were the right size, I stuck them in my shoes and was ready to go.

Today I was able to try out my new shoes with the inserts at a new park in my town. It's called Fidler Pond, and it used to be a gravel pit. Our city bought the park for around $550,000, and turned it into a beautiful place for fishing, boating, running, and other recreational activities.
 I had heard that the path around the pond is around 1.5 miles, so I decided to take Jeffrey and explore.
 My stomach was having some issues, and Jeffrey decided to be a jerk, so we only did one lap around. My garmin said it was right around 1.5 miles, and it's only about a half mile or so from my house. I'm thinking this will be an amazing place to do some more training runs! I can do as many laps around the pond as I would like, and it has restrooms and possibly a drinking fountain? <--I guess I should have paid more attention to that detail. Oh, and you can't forget free doggy poop bags. That is a necessity. :)



After we got home from our very short run, I made a huge salad. I topped it with a turkey burger, guac, hummus, green onions, egg, and bits of bacon. It was amazing. 


I also cooked up some more kale chips. I'm obsessed.  I found a big bag of pre-washed kale that is already chopped for you! Score! Lazy cooks FTW! 

I line a pan with foil, spread the kale pieces out in a single layer, spray lightly with cooking spray, add seasonings (I use garlic salt, garlic powder, red chili flakes, ground pepper, onion powder), and bake at 375ยบ for 15 minutes. Voila.

Are you obsessed with kale chips too? 
Do you have some favorite parks that you run? 
Do you wear shoe inserts? 

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Post race meetup

After saying goodbye to Erin on Saturday, I got into my car and debated whether or not I wanted to go to the meet up I had planned on for a few weeks. On one hand, I  would probably never have the chance to meet these ladies ever again, and on the other, I had to go all by myself and had no idea how it would be. I was super nervous, but I decided that I would regret it if I didn't at least stop by. 

I looked up the restaurant on my phone and saw it was only a 5 minute walk from where I was parked. Score! I quickly changed my clothes (praying no one could see me) and started walking to The Dash In. I walked into the restaurant, and walked all the way to the back room. 



The room was set up for a surprise baby shower for Megan, and people had even brought a cake and balloons! As soon as I walked in, everyone who was already there welcomed me and Brandi even knew who I was. WHAT?! I nervously found a place to sit, while totally freaking out inside that I was meeting three woman that have inspired me more than anyone else ever has. I mean, what are you supposed to say? "Hi you have no idea who I am but.... I'm Emily?" Yeah, it kinda went down like that. I had the Twilight Zone intro going on in my head. 


I introduced myself to Megan, who was just as sweet in person as she is online. She made me feel so welcome and right at home. We joked about how we smelled and I told her how her kick butt attitude has really helped me get back into running. She has lost a ton of weight, but has always been confident, even at her highest weight. Megan's outlook and attitude have helped me realize that I need to appreciate my body even when I'm not where I want to be.


Then I went and talked to Holly for quite awhile. This girl is pretty amazing. I've only been reading her blog for a few months, but I love how honest and real she is, in person and on her blog. She has recently opened up about her anxiety, and I have emailed her to talk because I deal with some of the same issues. We talked about this a little more in person, and she was so kind and sincere. Holly even said she could have her husband Chris hook me up with a new blog design! We'll see if that can happen soon. :)

Finally, I went over and talked with Brandi. Ok, this is embarrassing, but I totally got emotional while talking her her. I was just dealing with nervous emotions beforehand, not crying! But as soon as I sat down to talk to her, tears just started forming in my eyes. I told her how she was the one who inspired me to start running. I never thought of myself as a runner before, but reading through her experiences, when she was at her highest weight, made me believe I could too. I ran my first 10K that day, and she was the one that inspired me to step outside my house on that first day. Brandi was super awesome and just hugged me and asked all about my journey so far. She couldn't have been sweeter, especially with me being all psysco emotional. 

 After talking with Brandi I talked with Holly for awhile longer, and then left shortly after. I didn't stay super long. I was ready for a shower and wanted to get home. I am so grateful for whatever pushed me to go that day. I will probably never see these women again, and I am glad I got to thank them for sharing their life with me and inspiring me to do something I never thought I could.

My hope is that someday I can inspire someone else too. It doesn't need to be thousands of readers, I just hope to make an impact on one person.

Who inspires you?

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Race Day

Sorry this is posting a week late, last week was a lot busier than I expected. I'm back with a race day recap!

On the morning of the race, I woke early to pack up my things and get ready. We woke up with plenty of time to eat breakfast, make coffee, and take our time before driving to the stadium. I ate a granola bar and some coffee in the best travel mug ever.
We parked in the parking garage and made our way into the stadium shortly after the half began. We wanted to watch Erin's sister in law finish the 4 mile run, but we never saw her. We found out hours after our race was over that she didn't even run. Oops. 


I cannot tell you how great it was to experience this race with Erin. I've only ever experienced races by myself, so this was a lot of fun. She was a great sport with all my picture taking, even though I'm sure she was annoyed by the end of the day. :)


After waiting for her SIL to come through for awhile, we checked our bags and walked to the staging area. It was very organized and had a pretty good flow.

                           

We waiting a few minutes for the race to start. The National Anthem was sang by the Indianapolis Children's Choir, so that had special meaning for me. Not only because I am a teacher, but also because they rehearsed at Butler while I was there. I saw a few tears around me, so I'm glad I wasn't the only emotional one. 

We counted down from ten and heard the cannons sound as the first runners crossed the starting line. I said goodbye to Erin and watched her dash ahead of me as the surrounding runners started moving forward.  

                                 

Anyone who has experienced a large race can tell you just how electric the air is. This sport is just so special in that everyone is competitive, but with themselves more than each other. People smiled and cheered each other on through the whole race. You really feel like you are part of a community as you run with these hundreds of people you've never met before in your life. It's what keeps me coming back for more.

                                 


I had a little trouble with my Garmin and my pacing at the beginning. I wanted to make sure to start of slow, so I was watching my watch a lot in that first mile. Soon after we started, we went under a big tunnel, which threw my GPS off. For the first mile or so it told me I was running an 8 minute mile, so I slowed way down. Then it said I was going even faster, so I slowed down some more. Next time I looked, I was running at 16 minute mile, and it said I had run a half mile over what was marked on the road. I guess that was a good warm up, because after that I just forgot about the watch and went with how I felt. I ended up running a lot faster than I had trained, but I felt great the entire time.

The last few miles of the 10k were run with the half marathon runners, which was really cool. It gave me another burst of motivation and encouragement to see them joining us. As we finished the race, we entered the stadium to run around to finish at home plate. As you enter, they announce each runner's name. I took off my headphones because I wanted to make sure to hear my name with all the cheering as I finished. I didn't know there was a way to mispronounce my name, but I giggled as they pronounced Emily HEEdings. ha.


I finished strong, giving everything I had left...


...and finished my first ever 10K.



We collected our medals, some post-race food, and went to grab our bags and our official time. We grabbed some pictures and parted ways. I had a blogger meet up, and Erin went home to shower. I'll share more about the meet up tomorrow.


What's your favorite race you've ever finished?
Have you ever run a 10K?
Please tell me your race photos are as horrible as mine? Please???

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The best weekend I've had in awhile

The title pretty much sums up this post. I had such a great weekend. Friday after work, I got into my car to make the trek to Fort Wayne. It takes a little over an hour from our town. I wanted to get there early and make a stop for some new running shoes, so I stopped by Feet Fleet.  


I've only ever been to one other running store, so this was super exciting for me. A girl came up to me and asked me some questions, and when I told her I currently wear Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoes, she got SO excited. The 14s had JUST arrived that day! It was meant to be. 

I tried on some other shoes, just to see if anything else felt better, but I decided to stick to the Adrenalines. 

The 14s aren't on Amazon yet, but hopefully soon! Here is a link to the 13s. 


After trying on shoes, I bought some new socks and was on my way. My friend Erin was super kind and offered to let me stay at her in-law's. We met at their house and she gave me a tour of the place. Her mother-in-law was out of town, but left us this SUPER sweet note:
You can't see it well but she set out FortWayne chocolate bars, water, and snacks for the race. So thoughtful! 

Ok, this is random. But do any of you use these?  They are hand towels. I've seen them before, but have never had someone actually use them in their own home. I guess I'm just not fancy.

After touring the house, we went to the race expo. It was a pretty decent size. Erin bought a gel for the race and I walked around taking pictures. I was very tempted to buy a new headband, but I've never heard of the name before so I decided against it. 
After the expo we went to dinner at Flat Top Grill. It was the PERFECT place to get dinner before a race. If you haven't been there before, it's a make your own stir fry restaurant.  They give you an option to do an all you can eat route, or one bowl. I always get one bowl and fill that sucker up as high as it can go. No really, it's probably embarrassing for those with me. (Sorry Erin!) I made a huge mountain of brown rice, green onions, broccoli, mini corn, green beans, chicken, beef, garlic, soy sauce, and lots of chili sauce. mmmmmmmmmm. I filled my bowl so full that I couldn't finish, and had to take half home. Oops. 

The race recap will be up tomorrow, so stay tuned for that. 


After the race, I went home to my boys. 


We had a super relaxing Saturday and Sunday, and I even went to get a mani/pedi thanks to my mom. She had a gift certificate she didn't want, and it was the PERFECT way to relax the night after a long run. 
I'm thinking this should be added to everyone's post-race recovery plan. It was heaven. 


What do you do after a race/long run?
Have you ever used paper hand towels at someone's house before? 
What are your favorite running shoes? 

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