Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A designerd's dream

Ever heard of a Wordle? No, it's not a word created by Dr. Seuss. It's something that came up at work recently and I'd never heard of it. defines it as
A toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.
Basically you can go to the website and either type/copy&paste in a bunch of text or you can enter in a website, and it will create a "word cloud", or a wordle, from the text/site. I decided to test it out with my blog, and this is what I got:

...which is kind of funny, because that's basically all the things that are on my mind right at this very second.

I'd also like to point out that capybara shows up nowhere in this wordle. SARAH!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A little bit badass

Yes, it's a stock photo. Just pretend there's no watermark.

I...don't feel like writing today. But I feel like I should. The angel and the devil are busy this morning. I had a great weekend. I ran on Saturday and skipped out on hot yoga on Sunday because I'm starting to feel incredibly guilty about paying $12 for each class when my car needs to be washed and I am running out of shampoo. I enjoyed some awesome sunny weather, HGG watched Horton Hears a Who with me, and even laughed...some other things happened. The end.

No, not really. Although, kind of.

On Saturday morning, Kari and Alyssa tried to talk me into running the Hartford Marathon with them in October.

I had considered doing the Hartford half marathon, but then I started looking up prices for flights and train rides and hotels and was brought back down to earth. Oh, right. I'm poor. HGG showed interest in running the 5k so, as a compromise, I looked up some other races in October and *ta da*

There's a race called the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon in October in South Carolina. It's actually a half marathon and there's a 5k option. AND even the 5k finishers get a medal (which doubles as a bottle opener). SCORE!

I'm not registered yet, but I have until May 31 before the price goes up so if, by then, I still think I want to do it, I'll register. I wonder if I can convince my family to come and cheer.

Yesterday I was also forced to embark on an unwanted adventure. On my way to work yesterday I thought the Jeep was driving a little funny, but then I was feeling dizzy and also it was Monday morning and my brain hadn't kicked in yet. When I got back to the parking lot after work, I realized I wasn't crazy after all.
womp womp woooomp.

I called HGG and my brother right away, and then went about seeing how far I could get on changing it myself before help came. I had to ask my brother where to put the jack, but other than that I was doing good until it came to loosening the lug nuts. I got one off and almost broke the lug wrench (that's the right name, right?) jumping on it trying to get the others off. A kind gentlemen that had just gotten off the bus came over and loosened them for me, also by jumping on the lug wrench. So, yeah, I'd say they were a tad too tight! By the time HGG got there to rescue me, I had the new tire on.

I never thought, 15 years ago, when my stepdad "forced" me to change a tire on my own, that I'd actually use the skill (because I was 15 and I already knew everything, you see).

Now I'm glad I was forced into it.

I feel a little badass.

Friday, February 24, 2012

If all my friends dared me to jump off a cliff

...I probably would.

A year ago I was thinking of training to run another 5k. Since then, I've ran a 15k and a half marathon, and signed up for a 10-mile race in April. Why would I even consider doing such crazypants things, you ask?

That said, there must be no bounds to my insanity. I've taken it another step further and this morning I registered to run the RunRaleigh half marathon in April...the weekend before the 10-miler.

You know what I'm most concerned about right now, besides keeping up with my training?

Race outfits.

Suggestions?? :)

And, because Pippi has been complaining about her lack of air time on the blog, I present to you, her favorite way to lay in bed (especially after I put clothes from the dryer on the bed).

By doze is zo cold!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Announcements of the Awesome variety

I've finally joined the ranks of the cell phone elite. Yesterday, on the day I could finally upgrade my slow, nothing special cell phone, I headed over to Verizon on my lunch break and BAM! iPhone 4S owner here. The phone lady (yes, that was her name) tried to give me an 8GB iPhone 4. I set her straight. And, because I don't understand the point of buying a white phone, and iPhones don't come in purple, I chose the black one.
I'm the bomb, yo.

My lock screen wallpaper is cooler than

Today is my "second opinion" ENT appointment. I'm hoping this doctor has a better diagnosis than, "Oh, you're dizzy? Here, use this nose spray...THAT WON'T HELP AT ALL!" Because, as you'll see from #3, I'm going to need to NOT be dizzy for the near future.
It looks like I'm going to need to get on with my plan to create something to hang my race medals. 

Not only am I registered for the Tar Heel 10-miler in April, but now I'm being coerced into also registering for another half marathon (RunRaleigh half), also in April, by Alyssa's friend Michael (who ran his first full marathon this past weekend in Myrtle Beach).

He's the tall one.

I've decided that I don't want to run any race alone, and Michael has promised me that if I sign up for the RunRaleigh half, he'll sign up for the Tar Heel 10-miler. (He knows his audience).

It would be awesome to go from zero medals to three
medals in less than four months.

So, I haven't made a final decision yet but as we all know, I'm a sucker for peer pressure. Plus, I'm prepared in the running fuel department.

Hopefully someday soon the thought of consuming these won't make me gag.

OH! And, remember those Legos I ordered? Well, after long last, I bring to you....dun dun duuuunnnn!...the reason for the Legos.
How frickin sweet is this?!

The only problem with this little piece of awesome is that, once there are Legos on it, it gets kind of sharp and as we all know, I don't need any help hurting myself on inanimate objects. It's also pretty thick. I decided last night to order a smooth case also, and because Amazon has its funny rules, it was cheaper for me to order three cases than it was for me to order one and pay the shipping.

If you have an iPhone, has it changed your life?

Should I go for the half marathon in April?

Don't lie, you wish you had a Hunger Games phone wallpaper.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thirteen point freaking one

I saw this billboard on my way home from the beach and it just seemed
an appropriate way to open this post. LIVE YOUR DREAMS, KERMIE!

How did my first half marathon go? Well, I reached my goal: I finished!

How sweet is this medal?!

First off, this race was nothing like that horrible hot chocolate race in December. Even from the very beginning (parking), things couldn't have gone smoother. Also, the porta-potties were plentiful and the lines moved quickly. We all know how important that is.

My first race expo and, really, the palm tree took center stage.

One thing I have to note, that I'm sure no one else probably even remembers, is the dude singing the National Anthem messed up and had to restart. He pulled a Christina Aguilera (ha!) Even at 6:20am I was coherent enough to realize this.

I started out the race running in step with Alyssa, Lily, and Mike, but around mile 2 I slowed back because I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to keep up a 9-minute pace for 11 more miles. I was dizzy all the way until around mile 5. At mile 4 I really wanted to go collapse in the medical tent, but I kept trucking. Thankfully the dizziness eased up around the halfway point of the race.

People cheering for me by name was pretty spectacular.

My calves were extremely tight, and just never loosened up. I kept having to step over to a curb to stretch them. I don't remember much between about miles 5 and 11 except for being in pain and having to do run:walk intervals and hating life. I kept remembering what HGG told me the night before, though, and just made finishing my goal. This was my first half, and I kept thinking if I got a crap time, it could only improve next time.

Headphones weren't allowed in this race, although I really could have used some music in my life. I think it's an A.D.D. thing. I need something to occupy my brain. Apparently my own thoughts aren't interesting enough for two hours of pavement pounding. I'm convinced I could have gotten a much better time with some tunes. The majority of the people around me were wearing them anyway. That's what I get for being a goody-two-shoes and following the rules, I guess.

Once I hit mile 11 and the point at which the half-marathoners' and full marathoners' courses split, hunger really hit me and I realized I had forgotten to take my Gu, but knew it was too late now that I was hungry. But, dude, only two miles to go. I could do this! Those last two miles were nauseating. I don't know why, but sprinting the last quarter of a mile into the finishers' chute, it was all I could do to not throw up.

Running through the finish line was kind of a blur. I was most excited to finally sit down. Is that wrong? As I reached the finish, the third full-marathoner was finishing. That's insane! I swear the first few full marathon finishers are superheros in disguise. When I leaned over to have my race medal put around my neck, I almost fell into the medal-hander-outer. I met up with my aunt and uncle, who had been watching everyone finish, and we took some photos. It was nice to have some familiar faces after finishing!

Garmin time: 2:22
Official time: 2:28

That means I took a total of six entire minutes at water/Powerade stations and stopping to stretch my calves. I'm hoping my next half marathon will be a much more comfortable run, but I FINISHED!

Alyssa finished ANOTHER marathon, too. It was the shirts :)

All the runners: Mike, Lily, Eric, Alyssa, and me...and the awesome sign Alyssa's
friend Nicole made.

Fun details and pictures to come!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Freakout mode: initiated

So, the forecast for Myrtle Beach on Saturday keeps changing. Like, one day it'll say a 70% chance of rain and in the 40s and the next it'll be sunny with a high of 60. This makes it really difficult to not pack my entire running wardrobe, just in case. Also, I realized yesterday that our official race results will literally be available immediately after the race. This means that the drink I'll have in hand Saturday night will either be a celebratory one or a "drowning my miseries" one. Either way, I'll be wearing my [first] race medal!

I hope this isn't this year's medal. I don't wear hearts.

The half and full marathons both begin at 6:30am, starting at the same location and along the same route until mile 11. I wonder if I can keep up with Alyssa for 11 miles. I highly doubt it, as I lost her and Kara around mile 1.5 at the 15k in December since they are more of the "kill or be killed" type of racers. I haven't been running long enough for that. Plus, I'm afraid of being punched and having paid $65 to run a small part of a race before having to be transported by ambulance to the hospital to fix my broken face.

I have the bright idea that I'll take a dip in the ocean after the race instead of taking an ice bath. Don't worry, there will be pictures and, if you're lucky, video. There's a pool and hot tub in the hotel we're staying at that I plan on spending a good amount of time in also. This weekend will be epic.

If you've ran one, what was your first half marathon like?

Have you ever ran a race in the rain?

Monday, February 13, 2012

I also sent out my taxes.

So, how did my 12-mile run after work on Friday go? Well...It sort of didn't. Actually, it did, it just was a very dizzy 10-mile run instead. My official last long run prior to my half on Saturday.

Feeling slightly defeated and slightly glad it's just effing over.

Have you ever had a run (or a workout), where you find that one song that you just keep repeating? For this run, that song was Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars. I'm not sure why but as soon as another song came on, I just wanted it back. So I literally repeated that song over and over again for an hour and 39 minutes. If my math is correct, that means I listened to Runaway Baby about 43 times. Wow. I'm a crazy lunatic.

But, seriously, how can you argue with
You better run. You better run. You better run. You better run. You better run. You better, you better, you better run run run away run away baby.
...while running, while dizzy. I don't know, it just made sense.


On Saturday morning I attended my first hot yoga class and it was amazing! Yes, I was sweating like a 400-pound man running through the rainforest, but then again, that's not really any different than any other workout.

Quick! Someone get the fire extinguisher!

I'm definitely planning to go back when I can. Since it costs $12 each time, I'll probably only be going a couple times a month. Why must yoga be so damn expen$ive?!

This weekend I also did some baking. I present to you chocolate chip coconut scones.
Chocolate? good. Coconut? Good. Scones? GOOD!

Pippi tried to steal some off the counter. Sneaky little jerk.

I also made lasagna again on Saturday for dinner. Since I was making it for me and two guys who don't like mushrooms, and one who doesn't like olives, I couldn't make it exactly like I'd like to, but it was still good.
I'm such a bad little blogger. I only got a 'before' shot.

And what did the dogs accomplish this weekend?
All your productivity makes us so sleeeepy.

OH, and I woke up early Sunday morning to Pippi barfing up the DVD case she'd consumed onto my bedroom carpet. It's tough work being a cute little shithead.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Three things Thursday (but it's actually about Wednesday)

Three things about my Wednesday:

I got my Legos!
Legos are for kids of all ages!

I got home late yesterday, and this package was waiting for me. It was already past my bedtime, but I just wanted to stay up and play. Even Pippi was asleep by the time I got in bed.

I did an hour spin class in a regular bra because when I packed my gym bag, I grabbed the wrong pile of clothes, and the one I grabbed didn't have a sports bra in it. I was so looking forward to this class, so there was no way I was going to let it stop me. Do I recommend an hour-long spin class in a regular bra? Nope. Nope, I don't. The ladies kept trying to escape. It was like a horror movie.

This is a random one. But, I've decided something. Bridesmaids dresses. They're always horrible. Always. I came upon this "revelation" because my cousin is getting married later this year and my SIL is in the wedding, and there's so much talk about the dresses. "Oh but I don't look good in strapless" and "How could she pick a bridesmaid that's pregnant? The horror!" and also "That's such a horrible color on me." I have huge reservations about all the stress and hullabaloo that surrounds getting married as it is. Why would people want to put themselves through bridesmaid-dress-choosing hell? I've pretty much decided that when I get married I'm having one bridesmaid (my best friend) and she can pick whatever the hell dress she wants to wear and BAM, problem solved. Of course I have a strong desire to elope if the day ever comes, but that's beside the point.

It's like the Easter Bunny threw up.

Have you ever been a bridesmaid in a dress that you didn't hate? (If so, I need a picture!)

If you're married and you had bridesmaids, how did you choose the dress, and do you still like it, looking back?

And I don't even know if it's that they're all bad or if it's the whole everyone-wearing-matching-dresses-that-never-look-the-same-on-everyone that makes them all seem awful. Any thoughts on the subject?

Have your boobs ever been the stars of a horror movie?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Countdown madness

I'm counting down to so many things right now, I must share. (Yes, I count down to things. Because I'm 12. Haven't we gone over this?)

Days until my HALF MARATHON:

Holy crap! That's less than the amount of miles I'll be running!! Scared? Yep. Excited? YEP! Am I going to rock my last long run of 12 miles this weekend? Hopefully.

(Times I've mentally hallucinated about this race: about a million bajillion)

Days until I  finally get to join the world of "Lookie, I have an iPhone. I'm cool!":

...which is also the amount of days until you finally get to find out why I purchased those Legos.

Days until The Hunger Games is in theaters:

And, because I'm a sucker for projects, my latest Pinterest-inspired art project:

The original


It occurred to me that this would probably only look ok in a kid's room. (Note to self: Next time tone down the color palette). I'm not quite sure what to do with it. Unfortunately there are no longer any young girls in my family, so maybe I'll try to sell it on etsy.  At least it gave me something to do for an afternoon.

Are you counting down to anything right now?

Have you ever made anything (other than food) that you saw on Pinterest?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Three hours thursday

Yesterday I was at a work conference all day. I am not at all a fan of work conferences. It involves a lot of standing around, pretending I know a tiny shred of information about government, and schmoozing. Also, the people-watching is terrible because everyone's wearing business suits; even the women. It's a sea of black and gray and drab. Whoever inflicted business suits upon this world hated pretty things.


One thing that was kind of cool, though, is that most of the materials people were carrying around were designed by me. I should have brought a Sharpie to sign autographs :) We had two large displays at our booth that were both designed by yours truly.

Not exciting, but I work at the School of Government. I'm not allowed to be

This one was set up in my office for a long time. I feel like I know him.

Since yesterday was Thursday, I was at the gym for three hours. I wanted to stay for the abs class at 7pm, so after doing my planned workout, I hung around and did whatever random things I could think of. This morning I hurt so much. Tomorrow's long run should be a fun and painful adventure.

Also, yesterday I received the race shirts that I ordered for Alyssa and me for our half marathon (for me) and marathon (for her) in two weeks. (ARGH! TWO WEEKS!!!) I'm not sharing any details. It's a surprise, but we're gonna be hot.  ;-)

Do you have to attend work conferences for your job?
If so, do you enjoy them?

Are you a good schmoozer?
Because if so, you're coming to my next work conference with me.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Baking, boyfriends, and winning bids

I forgot yesterday to tell you all about my scone-making adventure! On Saturday I used Gina's recipe for pomegranate orange scones and made cranberry orange scones instead. I couldn't find fresh or frozen cranberries in my local grocery store, so I used Craisins. It wasn't exactly ideal, but next time I'll head to Harris Teeter instead.

I'm using Gina's picture because mine wasn't this pretty.

The scones turned out pretty delicious! Next time, however, I need to roll out the dough a little thinner before putting it in the oven. The very middle was a little undercooked, but that was user error. The two people who tried the scones were pleased (ok, so one of those two people was me, but I think I still count).

Saturday was not only long run day, but it was also National Blueberry Pancake day, and so, my post-run meal was blueberry pancakes. Saturday was basically an awesome day.

And now, since it's been inquired about, a relationship status update. I've mentioned Hot Gym Guy in several posts (like here, here, and here). Well, things have...progressed and we are now "together". I normally get annoyed when people refer to people on their blog by nicknames, but "Hot Gym Guy" (or HGG) has proven to be such a popular nickname, that I'm pretty sure I'm sticking with it on here. You're welcome :)

Yesterday I set out to do my 4-mile run outside since the weather was incredible. I started out feeling a lot better than I normally feel during the first mile or two, but I knew that I'd get tired out fast if I kept at that pace, so I walked up the first hill, and then kept on trucking. I literally couldn't slow down. It was like I was running with someone else's legs. At the two-mile mark I decided to see if I could blow my previous 5k PR time (30:40) out of the water. When I finished and checked out my Garmin time, BAM! 26:50; a pace of 8:39! That's a 1:10 improvement. It may be time to register for another 5k.

And now, did you win any items in my auction? I've followed up each numbered comment with the winner. Go check it out! (I still need email address for a couple of you).