Friday, June 1, 2012

My First 10K

In February of this year I signed up for two races.  One of them was my first 10k race.  It was the Dam to Downtown in Iowa City, IA, on April 28, giving me about 2-1/2 months to train.  In an effort to stay in shape and try to avoid gaining weight during the wintertime I had been running and walking frequently on the treadmill.  I think I got up to about 2-1/4 miles by the time the weather warmed up enough for outdoors running in March.

It was so good to be able to run farther and farther every 10 days or so, and about 8 days before the race I was able to run 4.8 miles (a 10k race is 6.2 miles).

The night before the race was very stormy and rainy.  I was so nervous and excited about the race, and scared that it would be raining that I woke up pretty much every hour of the night to check on the weather outside.  The race started at 8:00am, but the shuttles that were taking the runners to the starting line were running from 6:30 to 7:15.  I wanted to make the first shuttle so I got up at 5:00am (after a night of fitful sleep) and made it in time for the first shuttle.

I took this photo on the shuttle on the way up to the starting line.  It was quite cold, windy, and cloudy.  The shuttle got to the starting line at 7:00 am, leaving the early bird runners to wait for an hour in the cold.  This is one case where being early was not a good idea.

Finally, it was time to lineup and start the race.  I knew the course would have hills, but I wasn't expecting the first and most severe hill to hit as early as it did - in the first 1-1/2 miles of running.  My goal with every race I've run has been to never stop running.  I came extremely close to walking on that first hill.  It took just about every bit of determination to not.stop.running.  The second hill was somewhere around mile 3-1/2.  It was very long, but had a pretty gradually climbing grade.  The third and last hill was at some point during mile 5.  I had run this hill during my training runs, and it was quite easy compared to the previous hills.

That last mile was so hard.  I had to keep telling myself I could do this, God made my legs and my body to be able to run, to be able to do hard runs, to not give up.  Finally, I saw the finish line, and the desire to be finished and excitement that I had finished kicked in, and I was able to sprint the last 100 ft. or so to the finish.

I got home and had breakfast.

Because that's the other not-too-smart thing I did:  I ran on an empty stomach.  That breakfast was delicious.  I then took a nap for about 2 hours.

I learned a lot from my first 10k.  One, I have more determination than I thought I did.  Races are a wonderful way to push yourself to run farther.  Getting proper sleep and nutrition before a race is very important.  The feeling of finishing a race, especially a longer one, is wonderful.  And even though while I was running this race I wondered if I was absolutely out of my mind to think I ever wanted to run a half-marathon, I signed up for my second 10k right after my 2 hour nap.  I think running is becoming a habit.  And I'm so glad it is.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Week in Instagram

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  Mine included breakfast with a friend, a baseball game, relaxing and a surprise birthday party.  And of course, the good thing about the week after a 3-day weekend is that the weekend comes that much faster :)

Got these lights up.  I like them a lot, and they're my first purchase in my new room decorations.  They're from Hobby Lobby.

Late night grocery shopping with the bro.  He's actually quite fun to grocery shop with - he always manages to find some new treats to try.

Having fun wearing spring colors.

I have not shopped for fabric for so long.  I had some free time on Saturday and purchased some fabrics to make some new bedding for my room.

Went to our local minor-league baseball team's game.  It was quite humid that night, but the game was fun.

Had a little time to relax and knit while watching Netflix.

Finally got this button sewn on.  The original button literally broke into several pieces.

An account rep brought these into the office Tuesday.  I was (thankfully) able to restrain myself and only had one :)

I went to the dentist yesterday, and had to take a 45 min detour on my way back to work because of an accident on the interstate.  So thankful for God's safety to me on the road - I've had some close calls!

Tomorrow's Friday - woohoo!  I'm going to a wedding on Saturday, first one this year, can't wait!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


"Now godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content." ~ 1 Timothy 6:6-8

Shopping is one of my favorite hobbies.  It's a lot of fun to do online or in a store.  Plus, it's always fun to have something new to wear.

Cutting back on my shopping was one of my goals for the year, one that I did well on at first, but I've slipped back into buying too many things again.  So, this Sunday, while thinking and praying about this, I decided to not do any more clothing shopping until our upcoming vacation in early July.  So far, I've been able to completely stay away from my favorite shopping sites, and it's been surprisingly easy and freeing.  I'm so thankful for this and hope it doesn't stop.  I think this is one way I know that God was prompting me to do this, too, and that reassurance is always nice to have.

So, for now, I'll be enjoying my recent and not-so-recent purchases, and re-discovering new things in my closet :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Past Month via Instagram

Well, that was an unintended break.  I'm so thankful for a wonderful spring.

I was so happy when Instagram was released for Androids.  I've been trying to take a photo a day - I love going back through the photos I've taken and remembering things.

I ran my first 10k on April 28.  This blurry photo was taken at 6:45am in the shuttle that took the runners to the starting point.  The race deserves it's own blog post - it was a great experience.

Been going to lots of my siblings softball games.  This is one of my favorite things about spring and summer.

Summer officially came to Iowa City.  School is over and now there are events downtown on the weekends and all the families are out and about.  Such a different environment than when all the students are in town.  This bike race was so much fun to watch.

Been going on lots of runs.  This is a huge change for me, and it's been so good to be disciplined in this area.

I never go grocery shopping.  But I'm starting to, and I'm trying to eat a little differently, too.  So far, so good!

Ran my second 10k on May 12.  

The weather has been so perfect for outdoor eating!

Froyo with my little sis downtown.  I think summer might be my favorite season.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

L is for Lewis

Lewis is my sister's (family) dog.  He's a chocolate lab, and is the sweetest, dumbest dog ever.

April 2008, when we first brought him home.

This is his favorite way to sleep.  He is quite weird.

He is the cutest, though :)

K is for Knitting

Knitting is my favorite hobby.  One of my favorite things to do is sit down with my knitting, a cup of coffee and a good movie.

J is for Junior Mints

Junior mints are one of my favorite candies.  It's incredibly easy for me to eat an entire package by myself in one sitting.  They are just too easy to justify - after all, they're breath mints! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I is for Instagram

I really should not be surprised that I totally failed this blogging challenge.  I also should not be surprised that I'm going to attempt to catch-up.  Somewhat.

About 3 weeks ago, Instagram was made available to Android users.  I've been enjoying it quite a bit since then.

My first Instagram photo - I didn't use any of the cool filters.  Going to my siblings' softball games is great fun.

My birthday cake, Pastel de Tres Leches.  It wasn't nearly as moist as usual this year for some reason.

Dinner at Noodles & Co. after my longest run yet at this point - 4.3 miles.

We went to see October Baby and I took a photo in the theater.  It was so good!  I highly recommend seeing it if you have the chance.

Monday, April 16, 2012

H is for Hogan's Heroes

Hogan's Heroes is my favorite TV Show.  It was originally aired in the 1960's.

The show centers around a group of Allied POW's in a German Prisoner-of-War camp during World War II.  It is a comedy, and the humor is just as funny today as it was when the show was first produced.

The chemistry between all the cast members is amazing, and no matter how many times I've watched the episodes, they are still funny every time.

Just to clarify, this show is not about concentration camps, but about POW camps.  The actors that portrayed the main German officers were all Jewish, and the actor that played the French POW was a concentration camp survivor.  They all agreed to be in this show as long as Hogan always gets the best of Colonel Klink, the camp commandant.  Hogan does, in every episode.

If you're looking for a new (old) show to watch, give this one a try - you won't be disappointed!  There are a lot of full episodes on YouTube.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

G is for Guitar

This post is for Saturday, 04/07, part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

My siblings and I all play Guitar.  While I took lessons I played regularly, and was a barely decent guitarist.  Then I stopped lessons, and have barely touched my guitar in the past year.  I do pick it up once in a while, and it feels great every time, but I haven't pushed myself to get back into practice again.  I do hope to start playing regularly again, especially since my parents bought me such a pretty guitar while I was still taking lessons.

F is for Faith

Wow, I'm completely failing at this blogging challenge.

For this past Friday's letter F, Faith.  God has really been causing me to grow in my ability to trust Him for things I can't explain, and am anxious about.  Some of the verses that He's used to speak to me are:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ~ Hebrews 11:1

He has made everything beautiful in it's time. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11a

O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot.  The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance. ~ Psalm 16:5-6

I've been trying to read more, both the Bible and other books.  I'm really loving it so far.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Exercise

This is Day 5 of the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge.

Exercise is something I don't like doing but am very glad I've done after-the-fact.  A few years ago, I really never exercised, and lived a pretty much sedentary lifestyle.  But, spurred on by my Dad who knew exercise was good for me, and the desire to lose some weight, I began exercising and eating better a couple of years ago.

With my Mom after my second 5k in October 2010.

I'm so glad I started exercising regularly two years ago.  Not only did I lose weight, but I feel better, too.  I used to be cold all the time, but I'm really not anymore.  I also used to lay in bed for 30 minutes trying to go to sleep every night; now, I go to sleep within 5 minutes of getting in bed.  

Speaking of, I need to get some exercise in this week.  I've been busier than usual lately and haven't gotten in very much exercise, and I have a 10k race at the end of this month, which will be the longest distance I've run yet.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for Determination

Time for my fourth post of the A-to-Z Challenge.

Determination is something I lack when it comes to exercise.  I'm always so glad I did it afterwards, but getting myself into running shoes and out for a run is a different story.  Signing up for races does help with forcing me to run, though, and that's a large part of why I run them.  So here's to race season - hoping I'll be able to beat my 3 races last year!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for California

Time for day 3 of the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge.

My Mom & I at the beach a few years ago.

California is the state my parents grew up in, my siblings and I were born there and all our family and several friends are there.  We moved when I was 11 and for the past few years some of us have gone back to visit about once a year.

California is my favorite place to visit, and I can't wait for our next visit.  And if the beach wasn't enough to look forward to, there is also this:

I am all about good food.