30 Before 30 Update Pt. II

Find part I here. And here's the rest! There are fewer things crossed off of my list but I feel better about this half.

16) Find a church. Not just any church, one that speaks to my soul. Sigh. I haven't even really been trying lately.
17) Prepare a six-course meal. I added this so late that I forgot about it! I need to make up an occasion to make this happen... Hmmm... A Saturday?? :)
18) Learn how to hem clothing (on a sewing machine). It's such a mess that my grandmother is a seamstress and I can't do this!
19) Play laser tag! My mom is anti-toy guns so we weren't allowed to go as kids. As I got older, I always wanted to and never did it. Plus this seems like a stupid thing to have on a 35 before 35 list. LOL Since I didn't do it before 30... I guess it's basically on that list! And I'm cool with that. I don't feel too old to play laser tag!
20) Make a house a home via decoration! I'm itching to do this! 'Twill be awesome when it happens! Our place is so small and I'm so ready to move on from here that I don't have a desire to decorate.
21) Tour a brewery!  :)  [7/14/10] Sooo fun. I liked this even better than the winery! Let's do it again!
22) Find my perfect shade of red lipstick. [12/24/10] I don't wear it often but I love it when I do!
23) Make AND KEEP a budget. I've done some budgeting for our household but not enough to feel like I can consider this a success.
24) Take a dance class for some dance you have to get pretty for! :) [8/22/12] This was just okay. It was a salsa class at a bar. Rashan was too self-conscious to dance with me because there were so few men there. It was weird to dance with someone other than my husband with him sitting right there. I'll be back.
25) Read 10 classic books: [12/17/10] I enjoyed this so much that I multiplied the number for 35 Before 35!
    a. Pride & Prejudice [6/6/10] LOVED IT!! I will read this many times!
    b. Oliver Twist [8/14/10] Liked it a lot. The neat wrap up was rather ridiculous at the end. My 2nd  e-book.
    c. Catch 22 [5/15/11] A historical fiction about a WWII bombing squadron from the officers' and fliers' perspectives.  I really hated reading this.  It was out of sequence and went in circles so you heard the same story with different details two or three or four times.  Incredibly frustrating at times. Moderately interesting at others.  It took me months to finish this month.  I'm so glad to be done.  Good riddance.
    d. Catcher in the Rye [1/13/11] I can absolutely see why this one was banned. I don't particularly enjoy being cursed out the entire time I'm reading a book.  It was a pretty easy read.  Very stream-of-consciousness which I was actually far more tolerant of than I've ever been before.
    e. Grapes of Wrath [8/20/11] Loved it!! OMG I didn't expect to like this book about the dust bowl migration but I did!  It's a classic for a reason!  He skillfully interweaves general migration stories with the tale of the Joad family-- complete with a strong matriarch and a likeable murderer.  Right!?  Loved it.
    f. The Great Gatsby [5/2/11]  It's the story of a mysterious man living among the filthy rich. The cadence of the writing felt off to me from the beginning, I didn't particularly connect with any of the characters.  It all felt frivolous.   I can honestly say I didn't enjoy this book. 
    g. Invisible Man [12/17/11] Slow start but really sped up after the first 150-200 pages. Made me want to read a literary critique. How often do you get to say that??? Have I EVER said that??? LOL
    h. Lord of the Flies [12/2011] It was just okay. I wondered more about what happened to the boys AFTER they left the island.
    i. Their Eyes Were Watching God [12/4/11] Loved it! Such an amazing love story.
    j. Uncle Tom's Cabin [7/15/10- Slow start, intriguing & at times infuriating middle, shark-jumping end. My first e-book. That experience alone was an adjustment.].
26) Go to an opera! [10/5/10] I'll go again! With my mom this time!
27) Get my name in the newspaper. [8/2011] A local paper covered a class I taught at an area high school. I originally wanted my name in the paper five times but this will do!
28) Enter a food competition with my own recipe. [7/31/11] Entered a Taste of Home breakfast recipe contest. I never heard back but I want to enter more competitions.
29) Watch AFI's Top 100 movies When I put this on the list, it felt like a chore. And sometimes during the process it felt like a chore. But I also came across some great films I never would've watched. [12/28/11]
30) Get a job I love.  [8/15/10] I'd never had one of these.  I've been happy for periods of times at my old jobs but I can't say I'd ever had a job I loved until I became a teacher. Now let's go find another one!


30 Before 30 Update Pt. I

I have a hint of 35 Before 35 for before we get into how I did with my 30 Before 30. One of the 35 things I want to do? Finish my 30 Before 30 list! :) That includes some things from the 30 Before 30 that I knew ahead of time I wouldn't be able to complete and migrated to that list and the things still outstanding.

I didn't finish the list which I'm kind of okay about but y'all know I like setting and achieving a goal. I knew by June that I wasn't going to be able to finish this list by August 23, 2012. Some things were cost prohibitive but here's what I accomplished and how I feel about it. The stars are all the things Rashan refused to do with me. LOL It got kind of long so I'll post part two tomorrow.

1) Get married. :))))) [7/1/11] Obviously this is one of the happiest things in my life! One year later, it still feels like just the beginning (of course) and at times like we've been together a while. I love navigating and getting to know our life together.
2) Get one of my films into a festival. [8/25/12!!!] Yay!!! Super extra awesome news! We're so excited!
3) Go skydiving.*  I've always wanted to do this! And I definitely still will.
4) Ride a mechanical bull for at least :08.  How ridiculous is it that this is still on my list? It should've been one of the first things I got done! I just knew it would be! Ah well. If there was a non-sketchy place in town that had one it would be done.
5) Go on a helicopter ride. I CAN'T WAIT for this!
6) Go white water rafting.* My sister definitely said she'll do this with me. Yay!
7) Use my passport again.  It's been 10 years!!  My passport expired in May 2010... Clearly one of those cost-prohibitive things. I'd love to get it done before the end of the year. COME ON, JOB!
8) Read the entire Bible. [Started 5/31/10][Finished 10/20/11] I loved this and didn't at the same time. I have multiple different approaches throughout the 18 or so months it took me to complete this. First I just took the verses from "Our Daily Bread" and read the entire chapter, 2 chapters per day. Then I decided if I got really into a story, I could read as many chapters as I wanted. That worked for a while. If I read early in the day, before I did anything else, I noticed a positive effect on my day. Then I had a bit of a faith struggle. One thing I didn't expect as I proceeded, I felt less strong in my faith and it was freaking me out. There were things I just didn't agree with or understand I felt like no one could make me understand it. My mom said it was normal.That made me feel better... but still concerned. This entire year, I've read only sporadically. I'm still unanchored. What I'm doing is not working. I need a change.
9) Run a 5k.  I've been saying this for years so it's time to actually do it!! [10/16/11] Wow. I soooo had no idea how this would change my entire life. This one goal has shaped the biggest non-Rashan-related change in my life. I run to feel calm and happy. When I know my body needs a rest day, I take it but it can be like TORTURE!! One day off, okay. Two??? My body starts whining and my brain starts begging for it. No lie. So crazy. And awesome. Since I created this goal, I've done four 5Ks. I'm super excited about what's to come!
10) Take a cooking class. There have been multiple free cooking classes in my area WHEN I'M OUT OF TOWN!! CONSPIRACY!!
11) Go wine tasting in North Carolina Wine Country. [8/23/11] Fun! I definitely want to do more!
12) Cook my way through Tyler's Ultimate cookbook.  It's achievable by sheer volume (there are about 100 recipes) but still difficult enough because of the techniques required to be interesting.  And with some of those ingredients, it will be a true stretch of my ability to follow a recipe. I'm still working on this but I've completed 60/100. This book has definitely helped me grow as a cook. I'm confident I can make absolutely anything if you give me a recipe. Except fried chicken.  I failed at that and beef stew. But banged out some technically difficult dishes. Nuts. I have too many that I liked to start listing them here but we learned that Rashan doesn't like fruit with meat. I'm more open to it than ever before. My mother-in-law is OBSESSED with the ultimate french onion soup. I'm now required to make it every time I see her. I like cauliflower now! I don't think I'd ever had it cooked before. There were a ton of things I'd never had before this book but I think that's my favorite standout! Oh! And I never would've thought I'd make barbecue sauce but I made TWO and both were amazing!
13) Go to a gun range and shoot it out!*  Don't ask what IT is!  Lol. I've been looking forward to this for a good 10 years. This will absolutely happen in the next five.
14) Work out 3xs a week for a full year.  [7/24/12] I'd done it before (for almost 2) and I wanted to do it again. When I made this list, I was in such a workout rut. I had just lived minutes from a FREE gym and gone a handful of times. Running definitely kept me on track with this goal! I had a two-day week last month and I was a little disappointed but I know missing a few days isn't going to derail me. Lifestyle change.
15) Run a 10K. I would never have imagined I'd be bitten by the running bug enough to want to do this before 30 but I really do! [3/17/12] And now I've done three 10Ks! :)


Race Recap: BGR! 10K

This race included a whole weekend's worth of events. I have a goal to run a race in all 50 states. I have my Georgia 10K! 2 states down, only 48 to go! LOL If you're wondering how (we'll ignore why... obviously because I'm nutty!), I want to visit all 50 states anyway so I'll make some of these visits combos!

The night before the race, I attended an awards banquet with delicious food. I had mushroom tortellini, fettucini with summer squash, turkey meatballs, a salad with mixed greens, cheese, lite caesar dressing and grilled chicken. Dessert (right) was a chocolate cup filled with fruit & yogurt. Very yummy!

The speaker was a 75-year-old body building champion.
Me & the amazing body builder post-race
AMAZING body! And so inspirational! She did one-legged push-ups at the banquet. I'm sayin! I'm definitely trying to be that fit in 45 years! Can I get an amen??? I was getting chills and near tears at the banquet thinking about how two women started a blog three years ago and in just the last 18 months it's grown to more than 70 running groups around the nation serving tens of thousands of women. And I was there to witness & participate in the inaugural race & honors dinner! AWESOME!!

After the banquet, I went to a mixer for group leaders very briefly since it was already late and I had to be up at 5 to prep for the race. I would've loved even more time with them. Such a wonderful experience to talk with other women from across the nation who are helping their communities! I might have sneaked a half glass of wine. MAYBE. LOL I have never had any alcohol the night before a race. Playing fast and loose!

Rashan & I got back to our hotel around 10:45. Before the banquet, I'd laid out my clothes and set up the coffeemaker so the only thing I had to do in the morning was press brew. I was so keyed up I didn't think I was going to be able to sleep. It didn't even matter that I'd only slept for 2 hours the day before. (I sleep horribly up to two days before races.) But I was pleasantly surprised to fall asleep before 11:30. I woke up with a start thinking I'd slept through the race. This is how my brain wakes up on race day. I grabbed my phone and saw it was only 3:08. The race is at 7. It's too early to eat or do anything else but surf the web so surf I do.

A sampling of my manic race morning tweets:
1) And I've now been up almost an hour. At this point I'm kind of scared to go back to sleep! As usual! Lol
2) I don't enjoy sleeping in king sized beds but these pillows are giving Rashan a run for his money under love of my life status.
3) I want some eggs. And toast. And a pickle. What the... Everybody watch out after the race. Eating all the food!
4) The 5k starts 30 minutes after the 10k. I'll be interested to see how finishing next to 5kers affects my race. In the best way, I hope!
5) I'm getting crazy hungry but I don't feel like getting out of bed. More races should start at 7 p.m. instead of 7 a.m. I would love that!
6) When Rashan gets up, he'll be so happy he wasn't to recipient of this chatter. Lol I'm always on 10 in the morning.
7) Let me clarify: RACE morning! Lol Important distinction.

All of those tweets were within 20-30 minutes. CRAZY! Rashan usually hates how peppy I am pre-race but this morning he was actually awake at 4 a.m. and fine with my energy! YAY! I brewed my coffee, ate a peanut butter sandwich & showered. Somehow I was still rushing to leave by 5:30. INSANE!! I grabbed some of our hotel's free cookies for Rashan as he got the car. Since I already had on my race bib, the hotel staff definitely heckled me. LOLOL "You're gonna have a cookie before the race???" LOL! No!

We hopped in the car and headed to Atlantic Station. We parked and took a quick picture! :) I love my number one race supporter! He tolerates a lot of my crazy running chatter. I literally talk about running every single day. Considering he has no interest in running, it is a wonderful thing that I married a very patient man! :)

As you can see, it was DARK. Why? Because it was 6 a.m.!! This is wrong. Running and traveling are the only things that get me up at that hour. Despite my night owl tendency, I am a ball of energy all morning on race day and this race was certainly no different! There might have been even more excitement in honor of this historic event!

I thought about my goals again. A) 1:09:00 B) 1:10:00 C) Personal Record so 1:13:45 or faster. There was a BEAUTIFUL rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. After that we couldn't hear anything happening on the stage (we didn't know there was a prayer until people closer to the stage said, "Amen") so we actually missed the start. I was turned around facing the stage when the people from my running group were like, "Oh. I guess we're starting." I turn around and people are streaming through the start line. Um. Okay.

It turns out the 5K and 10K were starting at the same time after all. I was soooo excited to be running! Hence my blurry shot of joy! :) All of my phone pics look like this while I'm running. LOL You can KINDA see the sun was just breaking the horizon. Even though I don't like being up that early, I love sunrise! And because I worked overnights in Pittsburgh, they always remind me of my time there. I saw the sunrise 5+ times a week for 3 years. It never got old. Look at God.

The first mile, we were running out of Atlantic Station. It was mostly flat and/or down hill. I ran with one of my group members for a few minutes and chatted with her and assorted random people. Do you see those town homes off to the right? I commented on how hilarious it is that people were asleep inside, some of them likely with no idea that 3000 people were running past. LOL Can you imagine waking up to that?

Shortly after, we hit the first mile marker. At this point I feel like the race might be short because I haven't heard a one-mile notification from my phone. Then a few seconds later it goes off. Cool. Except I'm moving way too slowly. I always do this in races. I'm so conscious of not going out too fast (and crashing and burning the later miles) that I go out too slow. Drives me nuts. I wrote my pace times on my arm again so I know I need to pick up the pace a little. I'm about 2 minutes under pace. Heading into mile two, two guys were calling out the 5K/10K split... no signs. Several people missed the split and went on the wrong course. Impromptu longer/shorter race distance? Not awesome. I run 5Ks and 10Ks completely differently. 5Ks will now be all out the whole time. If I drop a little at some point, fine, but I'm going all out and hanging on the best I can. Back to the 10K... I was certain I was on the right course (going up a good sized hill as far as steepness) and still felt a little nervous. Not too long after, we hit the two-mile marker. I glance down at my arm. Yikes! Still too slow! Like 4-5 minutes too slow. I speed up a little more, knowing there are a good number of hills still ahead.

There were very few people on the course as we ran through Georgia Tech's campus but at one point, there were a few workers sitting along the side. They were silently amused so I heckled them to cheer for us. LOL Apparently we also ran past a frat house with beer cans scattered across the lawn and a kid passed out on a leather couch. Whaaa??? LOL I so wish I'd seen that! I fell out when I saw this picture! I wonder if he ever woke up during the race...
Good morning?
When we hit mile 3, I see I've picked up a little time but was still under pace. I speed up a little more and think about my idea of hitting the hills at pace and taking the downhills and flats a little fast. I also decide I'm having such a great time at this race, encouraging people, chatting (Cute shirt!) and soaking up the atmosphere that as long as I PR, I'm good!

Mile 4 was a blur but I glanced down, saw I'd picked up still more time and was getting very close to being back on pace. But I knew I'd need to pick it up again. The hills were rolling but not too bad. Definitely not worse than anything I'm used to running. [I heard the Floridians were MISERABLE. This makes me really REALLY want to run a half marathon or full marathon in Florida! :)] I decided at this point that not only would I run faster and do my fastest miles of the race for the last two, but if it didn't hurt a little at the end, I wasn't doing enough.

I had my own water with me so at each water station, I'd skip the first people handing out water while deciding whether or not to take water then grab from the last person. I accidentally poured water all over myself while trying to drink and run at every station. LOL This made me really glad I had my own water. It felt hotter than I was expecting out there. Nowhere near what I'd been running in all summer but hotter than expected.

At the 5th mile marker, I tried to enjoy some downhill and flat stretches knowing from the course elevation chart that there was still a monster ahead. Not too far afterward I heard someone who had run the route in practice say, "Last hill!" Oh HECK YEAH! Except.... from the bottom, that hill was EVIL-looking. It loomed ahead, long and steep. But I can do ANYTHING for one mile. A lot of us yelled out things like, "LET'S GO LADIES!" and "KILL THIS HILL!!" It was awesome! Then I bounded up that hill, encouraging people as I passed them. Then I ran out of breath to do any more talking. This is probably also where my cramp began. There were people along the hill encouraging all of us, too. It was amazing! I recovered by slowing a little at the summit but I knew we weren't that far away so I picked it back up. At this point I knew the race course was definitely short because I had to do a lot of weaving to go around people walking and I still was coming in under mileage. No matter, I was going hard all the way in!!

It started really hurting as we approached Atlantic Station. OH MY GOODNESS I HURT! I had an evil cramp for the last half mile or more of the race. Worst cramp of my so far short running life right under my right rib cage. NOTHING helped. As evidenced by THIS face heading into the last few turns. LOL

Trying not to die! (I'm in all black w/the shades)
I promise you I was feeling like I was NEVER gonna make it to the finish line. Were there 100 turns in the last .3 of the course??? I kept expecting to see it around the next corner as I'm sure someone LIED about. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY CORNERS??? AND WHY DID YOU SAY THE FINISH LINE IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER??? At least the next picture looked more like I was gunning!

As you see in my pace & elevation chart, my pace has a steady (slight looking) downhill slope. Each mile of this race was faster than the previous. My intended pace was 11:06. I ran the last two miles at 10:50 and 10:42 respectively. And (my version of) SPRINTED across in 10:30 in the last tenth of a mile for a 1:10:32 finish. I was ECSTATIC!!! And hurting.

This chart is rude. It felt way worse way closer to the end.
My running group cheered for me as I crossed the finish line on one side. Rashan was on the other. Both got a pained wave. OH MAN it hurt! CRAMP!!! I limped over to the food to grab a banana. Thankfully by the time I finished the banana, the cramp was mostly gone. I turned both of my ankles in the first mile of a 7-mile run the week before the race and my left ankle was angry with me post-race. But a few minutes later I saw K. Rock. Yay!
My mom said we look like high schoolers. LOL!

I cheered in the rest of my running group then checked out the post-race party for a few minutes and right before I left, ran into the co-founder of BGR! How awesome! Yay! Weekend made!

Then Rashan & I headed to Another Broken Egg with the interweb crew, Patti, baby Ty, Naima & Bakari. Great fun and deliciousness! Now that I eat during my runs at real intervals, I'm no longer starving at the end. It actually took me a while to finish this Mardi Gras omelette with smoked andouille sausage,  red peppers, crawfish & scallions topped with tomato hollandaise. Quite tasty.

Oh and Rashan... this man... It's been a long time since he/we went somewhere and had to beat the women off with a stick. Every time I turned around to ask him to take a picture for me, some woman had already conscripted him for her own pics. Generally not a big deal but mildly annoying. Where is my photog??? I saw him taking a picture for a group, took my own pics, then looked back again and was like WHAT THE??? This chick is POSTED UP on the wall solo having him take pictures of her. Ma'am... He later told me she made small talk, "You from here?" "Why are you out here today?" "I'm here supporting my wife in the race." "Oh. That's nice." Side eye. He also ducked two former coworkers and a girl he dated a couple of times. That part made me laugh. Oh to have seen the girl he dated! Wedding ring flash, "I won!" LOL J/k j/k But I was irked by the woman who made him her personal photog. Have a seat.

Early morning tweet recap: The 5K had no effect because it started at the same time, I'm pretty sure the wine had no effect on my race and a week later I have still had 0 pickles. Well I had chips on a burger but I want a pickle spear! Overall? Great weekend!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 149

1) The BGR weekend was amazing! I'm so proud to be a part of this organization. I got to meet all kinds of interesting people! Recap coming this week but it will require my phone working to get the photos (see below).
2) I don't like sleeping in king-sized or twin beds. Full is fine but a queen is the perfect size for me.
3) Have I mentioned lately how much I love that Rashan is my family?? Le sigh. He's great. That man made me laugh ALL.DAY. Sunday! I seriously stopped at one point and was like, "What is wrong with me???" and "You are in rare form today!" :)
4) Driving in Atlanta made me realize how much I miss driving in Atlanta. The city is so alive! But not in an overwhelming way.
5) I murked my phone yesterday. I didn't sweat on it nearly as much as I usually do (what usually makes it rebel) so my only explanation is that as I was trying to drink and run I poured water all over it. Strangely, it was working most of the day after the race, then it gave up yesterday evening and won't work today. Que???
6) Reading this book about Le Cordon Bleu filled with French I mostly understood made me really want to REALLY learn French. I've lost a lot of stuff. Long lost Jameil fact: I won the French award in my high school all three years I took it. Essentially my French teachers chose me as the best student in the school in French I, French II and French III. I don't think I ever got below a 95 on a single test or quiz. I LOVE FRENCH! & I want that old thing back! Ah ah ah! (Say it like Jay in "I Know")
7) Another long lost fact: I never get it when people talk about high school like it was the best thing that happened to them. High school was fine and even somewhat fun for me but LITERALLY the second I looked out the window of my Hampton dorm room, high school faded to black and paled in comparison.
8) When I heard Beyonce's new song a few weeks ago, I felt betrayed by her stans. Y'all want to tell me about every time she goes out with her baby but the thing she's famous for, you ignore??? Fix!!
9) There was a period where I wanted to move from calling my mom "Mommy" but didn't like Mom. She hated Ma. I stuck with Mommy and still call her that at 30! Mother when she's working my nerves. LOLOL!
10) Whenever I have to call people out in my leadership positions and do it generally instead of by name, the people I'm NOT talking to always apologize. This amuses me.


Race Prep

*whispers* OBSESSION...

I'm always thinking about running but it's even worse heading into a race. Going into a race, my obsession reaches heights known only to the crazy (aka other runners). A few weeks (yes WEEKS) before every race, my obsession begins to ramp up. What will I wear/eat/do/pace/eat for every mile of my run. (LOL Don't you love that eat is on there twice subconsciously?? Leaving it! I mean I do need to think about pre- and mid-race food!) I go back and forth on my expected pace and what I believe I can do. I've still only raced at two distances, 5K (3.1 miles) and 10K (6.2 miles), despite training for a half-marathon (13.1 miles). My last 5K was so long ago that I definitely need a tune-up.

Saturday I was running with some faster ladies in my group, chatting away with my pace notification intentionally off so I could test my speed (I use the Runkeeper app on my phone) but keeping an ear out for overall time at each mile marker. I was sooo excited that we were averaging under a 9:40/mile pace for the first 3 miles. HOW COOL IS THAT?!! Especially considering how conservatively we went out! We won't talk about how painful the last 3.6 miles were as a result (well just a little... I had to talk myself out of walking for a good mile and a half... it didn't help that the woods had my app off by ALMOST AN ENTIRE MILE!!! 0.9 miles off is HORRID!!) but that means I definitely want to shoot for a 30-minute 5K the next time I run one.

Pacing for a 10K is notoriously tricky because it's a longer distance so you don't want to go out TOO fast and burn out before the end, but it's short enough (compared to a half-marathon or marathon) that if you go out super slow, you can't make up that time. I know this under-pacing too well from my first 10K. I'm always afraid of going out too fast and not having anything left at the end. In that race, I had WAY too much left at the end. Since I was aiming for a half-marathon (that didn't happen), I've been running way over 6.2 and haven't actually practiced at 10K.

One of a million many schools of thought is that your long runs should be slow. At least 1-2 minutes per mile than race pace. I follow this almost to the letter... then forget to pick up the pace during a race. UGH!! This is part of why many training plans have you do what are called tempo runs. Basically for a few miles in the middle of your long run or in a longer (but not necessarily your longest) run, you run at the tempo you expect to race for several miles (more miles the longer your goal distance). I tried turning off the pace notification for an 11-mile run with the faster ladies a couple of weeks ago and ended up running about 2 minutes PER MILE faster than long runs with my former running partner (we still run together very occasionally) and a minute per mile faster than alone. HUGE confidence booster! So  that 11-miler was essentially a long tempo run. (And awesome!) If I ran 11 miles at one pace, could I conceivably run 6.2 one minute faster per mile?? I'm betting on doing that.

Pretty much everyone agrees that running over distance (longer than the length of your goal race) makes you faster at that distance so I have that working for me. But not practicing 6.2 has still made me a little uneasy. Nevertheless, I've set my goals -- a) PR i.e. faster than 1:13:46, b) faster than 1:11:00, c) faster than 1:09. Because I haven't run 6 miles much in the last few months, I have no idea if I'm aiming too low. I have a feeling I might be but only time will tell.

After feeling pretty proud of my pacing and strategy for my 2nd 10K, I know I absolutely MUST have a plan for where I want to be at each mile. I've played with a few different ideas for this race but my final strategy? I STILL DON'T KNOW!! The one I'm most leaning toward is to go out a little fast but not at top pace to use the first mile as a warm-up of sorts, then kick it up for mile 2 OR 3, go all out from 2 or 3 on and try to hold on to my fastest possible pace. I want to KNOW I left it all on the pavement. What do I have to lose? I'm confident that my training has prepared me to PR. If I botch this race, it will be another thing I learned from. But the plan is to conquer!

Do you see all of the stuff running through my head??? No wonder I sleep horribly before races! I don't know if any more than 3 people who read this cared about this post but if you read it, I thank you anyway! :)


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 148

1) The day after I wrote the fall imminence post, I had a (Dogfish) pumpkin ale. It was good. Could have been more pumpkin-y. It still made me feel sad. What didn't make me sad? My brother taking me out for a fancy early dinner where I had said ale. Twas great!
2) I'm running my 3rd 10K in Atlanta this weekend! Yay! My what just happened here (if the race goes poorly) goal is to PR. That means faster than 1:13:46. My realistic goal is 1:10. My beast mode goal is 1:09 or faster. I'm soooo excited! Especially because one of my Atlanta homies is running the 5K that day. Yay!
3) I tried this concentrated "flavor boost" chicken broth from Swanson. I HATE it. It smells and tastes of burned rubber. I'm going to call that a product fail.
4) Too many fashion bloggers at NY Fashion Week are trying too hard to be unique at the cost of personal style. I'll leave you alone if I normally think you look crazy but you usually look mostly normal and you're in left field this week. Ma'am...
5) I read two books in a row that mentioned Nora Ephron's 1983 book, Heartburn. Isn't that weird?? So I checked it out from the library and I quite enjoyed it! Short, quick read.
6) I made a pork loin last night that has me back on team pork. For a while everything that wasn't bacon, ham or sausage smelled and tasted disgusting to me. This herb-marinated loin recipe from Ina Garten? Re-converted! *Note: I did the 3-hour marinade vs. the overnight and it was amazing.* But I think I'm still done with pork chops.
7) You know what would be nice? A break from non-essential people! I would be really, really happy to not have to be around anyone but the very specific people of my choosing for a whole week. That would be great.
8) I wish I liked yoga. It's supposed to be so good for you and it bores me to tears.
9) I know I owe you a 30 Before 30 update and a look at my 35 Before 35. You shall love it! :)
10) I need more eggs in my life. Rashan stopped eating them over a year ago and it's slowed down my egg consumption. This is sad. I need to fix this post haste!
11) Okay I love Christmas more than most but TALK OF CHRISTMAS CARDS NOW?!?! PEOPLE!! IT MUST STOP!!!


Torn Between Two Lovers

I don't like super hot weather and that means I LOVE FALL! But for the first time ever... I'm not ready for summer to be over. I made a sad face as Rashan ripped my birth month off of our giant wall calendar. I know there are good things to be had in fall. I just know it! But let me have the last gasps of summer! Please! Fresh tomatoes that actually taste like something, strawberries, peaches, white nectarines, squash & zucchini! Do you even know what an expert I've become at dicing squash and zucchini? I get into a zone and just go. Tis a beautiful thing! I weep for you, delicious summer produce! Don't leave me so soon! I love you! I'll be good! I promise!

Most of all, I'm not ready for pumpkin ANYTHING. No pumpkin recipes, no pumpkin spice lattes, no pumpkin beer. GUYS!! I saw a pumpkin beer display ON MY BIRTHDAY!!! AUGUST 23RD IS TOO EARLY FOR PUMPKIN BEER!!! I was so offended. I still am! I love all of these pumpkin things in October and November but it was 90 degrees on Sunday! And it's supposed to be 91 on Friday. It's not time!

(I am secretly REAAAAALLY excited by how much cooler my runs have been lately. After running when the heat index was over 100 (Yes I know I'm crazy), I'm excited to get back into my absolute FAVORITE running season. Spring is rough because your body thinks 75 is a horrible temperature to run in after running in 40s and 50s, summer is MISERABLE with highs in the mid to upper 90s, our mild, mostly snowless 40- to 50-degree winter was quite bearable, but fall? A MIRACLE OF LIFE! JOY OF JOYS! FALL RUNNING I LOVE YOU!!! But don't tell my summer produce-loving food brain I said so. It's still NOT READY!!)