Merry Christmas To Me

I pulled into my driveway after work yesterday afternoon only to see one of the most exciting things ever…

…Merry Christmas to me!

As soon as I got inside I ran to the front door and picked up the package. It wasn’t a surprise what was inside because the husband and I both picked out our own presents, which just happened to be tennis shoes for the both of us, but I couldn’t wait to see the little beauties in person.

I’ve heard that a good rule of thumb is to run no more than three hundred miles per pair of running shoes. I have had my running shoes since May, and throughout marathon training, then half marathon training, and add on top of that some cross-training and just running for the fun of it…I’m sure I at least doubled that three hundred mile limit!

I stuck with the exact same style of shoe as my last pair…why change something that’s already working great! They are Asics Gel Cumulus 12s, and they feel like you are walking, or running, on clouds. The only difference is this time Asics made my shoe with pink details instead of blue. It’s like they knew me!

The only sad thing is that I’m going to put these babies back in their box and wait until after Christmas to take them for a run. When the time comes, I’ll swap out those bright white shoelaces and put in my pretty pink ones and begin training for marathon number two!

Oooohhh, I can’t wait, but for now…yay for Christmastime!!!

ang

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What To Do With Those Funky Foam Sticks?!

A few weeks ago I asked you all about foam rollers. After hearing all your responses, I ultimately decided that I needed one! I made a trip to the running store in search of one.

Thirty-seven dollars. Thirty-seven dollars?!

My running shoes were already one hundred dollars, and the marathon I am signing up for in August is eighty dollars, not to mention the other various races I want to participate in this summer…this just seems like a lot of money, so why would I spend thirty-seven more dollars for something that I can make.

Yes. You read that right. I can make a foam roller. (I realize this makes me sound cheap…and I don’t really like the word cheap…so I’m going to prove that instead of me being cheap, that I am actually creative!)

Ingredients: 1/2″ by 24″ copper pipe (Lowe’s plumbing department), duct tape (Wal-Mart), 6″ funky foam craft sticks (Hobby Lobby), hot glue gun and glue sticks, and a towel (so you don’t get hot glue on your craft area.)

Step One: Start by wrapping one end of the copper pipe with duct tape to use as the handle for the foam roller.Step Two: Take a strip of funky foam and wrap it into a circle (it must be a little more than 1/2″ so that it will fit around the copper pipe). Use the hot glue gun to permanently glue the foam in place as you continue to wrap it. You will need to wrap at least 4 funky foam strips for it to be thick enough.Now you have one finished foam roll.Keep rolling funky foam strips until you have enough foam rolls to fill up the entire bar (only leaving room at the ends for the handles).

Step Three: Once you are finished creating your foam rolls, slide them onto your copper pipe.Step Four: After all your foam rolls are on the copper pipe, take the duct tape and wrap it around the other end of the copper bar to create the other handle. Make sure to wrap the handles with enough duct tape so that the foam rolls cannot slide off.And now you have a cute, finished, homemade foam roller!Step five: Roll all your muscle soreness away!

Enjoy!

ang

I Need Your Running Advice…Part Two!

I bought new running shoes a few weeks ago, and I had a lot of anxiety over the fact that they weren’t pink.

But, I had to choose comfort over cuteness for 26.2.

However

I decided to give these babies a little makeover!

Much better!

I am doing pretty good with my mini goals. I have been waking up earlier, consciously drinking more water, taking princess Tia for more walks, and sort of sticking to my training plan.

Monday I ran five miles (because I was supposed to do that on Sunday, but took a nap instead), went to yoga, and did some strength training.

Yesterday I ran a three mile tempo run. I ran .5 of a mile at 6.0 mph, .5 of a mile at 6.2 mph, .25 of a mile at 6.3, then at 6.4, then at 6.5, then at 6.6, then at 6.7, then 6.8, then 7.2, then I finished up at 6.2. Does that make sense?

Today I just finished my long run of the week…nine miles. It was a great run! Today was just supposed to be a four miler, but since I will be running a 5K race on Saturday instead of my long run, I did it today.

Now on to my new running questions!

I need help on hills!

source

So far, I’ve done the majority of my training on a treadmill, therefore I haven’t had much any hill training. The course for my first full marathon has 3 out of 5 star rating for difficulty and for hills.

Ummm, what?

Although common sense is not one of my strengths, I do realize that hill training should probably be incorporated in my training, especially since the weather is now nice enough to go outside. So, what is hill training? Do I just run routes with lots of hills? I’m pretty sure my nine miler today was FULL of hills…so does it count as hill training?

Also, what is the technique for running hills?

Or maybe I should also just ask what is the technique for any running. As I’ve said before, all of my running experience has come from conditioning for other sports, so I guess I’ve never really been taught how to run. I’m also pretty sure that I’ve come up with a funky looking running technique since I watched myself run as I past a series of reflective windows today…it’s a booty-sticking-way-out with an awkwardly-straight-back kind of look. My quads and knees haven’t felt completely normal since my half marathon, and I think I am running funny (or maybe this is normal?) to compensate for it.

You see, I need your help! Please and thank you 🙂

ang

Soaps, Shoes, Swimsuits, and Baby Bottles?

It seems like I am always missing in action on the weekends. I had a busy, busy, busy weekend filled with so many fun things to do!

It all started on Friday (which was my LAST day of Basic Microbiology class! Yay!) and the first thing on my agenda was to have lunch with my awesomely talented momma! We went to a restaurant where you go through a buffet line and create your own stir-fry type entree. You pick your meats, then your veggies, fruits or other “toppings”, then you pick your sauces and seasons. Then they cook it right in front  of you…YUM! As always, when I meet with my momma, she has a new soap from her soap line, and this time it was lemonade! Double YUM!(Please ignore the messy edges…they were stuck bouncing around in my purse all weekend!) She also gave me a bayberry spice soap to give to the hubs!

After lunch I went shopping. My mom and I split ways because my mom hates shopping with me and I am the PICKIEST shopper in the world! I was on a mission for a new swimsuit (which had the possibly of being a catastrophic event) for my upcoming trip to Mexico, sunglasses, and new running shoes.

As picky as I am, I ended up finding two swimsuits! SCORE! This one is from Target and on clearance!

And this one came from American Eagle…The sunglasses are from Aerie.

Now I must say, running shoe shopping was much more stressful than swimsuit shopping. I went to a running specialty store where they watched me walk and measured my feet, then provided me with the shoes that would be best for me. When the salesmen saw what shoes I had been running in, I think he almost croaked! Maybe that explains the knee pain? After finally deciding on a pair, I was given terrifying news…

…they didn’t come in pink.

I asked them to hold the shoes for me, because I wanted to look at others stores and hopefully find a pair that I loved just as much, but that were pink. I ended up finding a pair of pink and white asics at another store and bought them. Then I kept wondering to myself if they really were as comfortable as the shoes from the first store. Oh no…I didn’t think they were…did I make the wrong decision?!?! (I’ll have to tell you about my wedding dress experience similar to this one, HA!)

So, what did I do? I put on the pink pair that I’d already bought, then I walked back into the store that had the blue asics. I took one pink shoe off and put one blue shoe on and compared. They shoe expert was right…the blue pair was so much more comfortable…they were like walking on clouds!

So I bought the blue pair and returned the pink pair. If I’m going to run 26.2 miles, I guess comfort is more important than cuteness…They are still pretty cute…they’re more of a purple than a blue, which is good in my books. Maybe I’ll just buy some pink shoe laces to spruce them up a bit 🙂

The next day I sold some appliances. HAHA! That’s what I do for part time work right now. Can you imagine that?…me?…selling washers and dryers?! I can’t either! But that’s what I do!

After work, the hubby and I headed over to our friends Casey and Seth’s house for dinner club! (I will have to tell you more about dinner club another time…it is great!) We were also celebrating that two of our dinner club friends are having little baby boys soon! Yay! To help them celebrate, all the husbands got to do something really cute…(Notice what is in all of their hands?)Too funny! I LOVE IT!

This weekend I also received some more donations for Girls on the Run, and I had my first donation from a reader! Thank you Carly CarlyBananas! I can’t tell you how thankful I am! I am so close to reaching the minimum amount that I need to raise, but as you may know, I like to smash goals! Please help me by spreading the word! Thank you so so so so so much!

How was your weekend?!

ang