Thursday, January 27, 2011

my commute and runners.

true statement: i have a commute that really is not fun on my way home but there is something that i love about my 45 minute, 5 mile commute. watching the runners.

they run alone. with friends. in groups. but they just run. in the rain. in the heat. in the freezing cold.

i sometimes wonder why the runners run in the dark in all black with no reflectors. i sometimes wonder how they can run the same route day in and day out and never take a day off.  …but i like how people just run.

there are a lot of things that i like about Atlanta and there are things i don't like about Atlanta. but what i do like is that it seems like there are runners EVERYWHERE and when i cannot run or don’t want to run, i am always in awe of the dedicated ones.

So to those dedicated ones – you’re really an inspiration to so many… if only it would inspire me to try and find more time to fit a run into my oh so busy life.


One of these days I am going to have to pick a wedding cake to serve my wonderful guests.  And by one of these days, I mean my 1st planning meeting with the bridal staff at my wedding venue. And I have narrowed the cakes down to two!  *Which for me is quite the accomplishment*   So!  To the right, you can see the 2 cakes I am deciding between.  The one of the left would be the choice IF we chose to do a cake topper and there would be zero flowers on the cake because I do not feel real flowers belong on a cake.  The other one is SO wickedly gorgeous I do not even have words.  And it fits the vintage funky anthropologie vibe I am planning to have my wedding resemble.   That thick base and belted fondant flower is to.die.for. all comes down to if they can replicate that.  GORGEOUS. yes, I am for sure leaning towards the cake on the right but if that will be "the one" it is still to be determined. 

Kyle has told me that he does not want a grooms cake because he does not like sharing his "personal details" with others... I wish I could surprise him with one but I wouldn't do that to him.  A southern tradition that will not be done at our wedding. sad.

Oh the decisions that are to be made.  I keep staring at pictures and magazines and blogs and need to stop.... because I just keep getting flooded with better images than the last!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Polar Bear 5K Run - I bailed.

So a few weeks back I signed up to run my first 5k (and first organized race of 2011) of the year.  I chose the Polar Bear Run in Marietta for 2 main reasons. (1) I wanted to see how far I had fallen as a runner after pretty much sitting on my butt since October and (2) I really want to work on my 5K this year so I needed a 2011 starting time.

For week I had planned to not set out to set a PR at this race.  I just knew that I wanted to run it in at least 35 minutes (which is 2 minutes slower than my 5K PR) and I wanted to give my nike free running shoes a race trial especially since i was kind of on the fence about them.

Well, my alarm went off at 6:30 AM on Saturday and I hit snooze. And then I hit snooze again and again and again.  I did not get out of bed and I did not run.  My body was just too tired from this past week and bowling on Friday night that it kept saying "do not do it" --- normally I can just muster through, get up, wake up, and go, but Saturday morning it was SO different.

BUT! I told myself that I was going to not let sleeping in and being a lazy bum hold me back from running 3.1 and today I ran my own little 5k on the treadmill so I could figure out how far I had fallen and figure out my 5k time and my nike frees.

Well.  I ran 3.1 in 35:25 (average pace of 11:25) which is 2 minutes slower than my PR so I guess I did not do too bad.  I felt pretty good the whole run (minus the treadmill shocking me every time I touched it) but I definitely could not go much farther than 3.1 which means I have a lot of work to do over the next few months for Ragnar in June.  But I did remember how much I miss just running and listening to the music.

The nike frees -- I just cannot decide.  I can feel my legs getting stronger but I just do not think they give my feet the support they need (or are used to). 

wedding dress hanger.

still dress less (still eyeing wedding dresses in wedding magazines). but no fear. i have shoes and i now have a wedding dress hanger for pictures.  this was on my Christmas list and i really wanted one, so i decided to buy one. because i could. how freaking cute is this?!  and she is going to either paint the hanger a light purple (lilac) since that is a wedding color .... or a light blue for "something blue" ... oh how i love love etsy.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Nike Free Saga / Review

Months ago I decided I wanted a pair of Nike Free running shoes but I told myself I would get through Marine Corps Marathon training and running before buying a pair.  Then all of a sudden it was holiday shopping time so I just decided to throw them on my Christmas list. I figured there would not be any problem in finding them or getting them and since they were #1 on my list someone, somewhere had to break down and buy them for me... ...that is until Oprah came out with her stupid "Oprah's Favorite Things" episode and proclaimed that she LOVED the Nike Free Running Shoe. .....and with that every Oprah watching woman in America (and probably the world) went out and bought herself a pair of Nike Free shoes (to probably never ever run in, but to grocery shop and take little Tommy to daycare in).  Oprah is the modern day King Midas... everything she touches (or says) turns to gold and everyone has just got to have it and/or do what she says (i would insert my political opinion here, but that is too controversial so i won't say it.)

And that leaves me... the RUNNER who refuses to buy Vibrams because they look ridiculous but wants to try and "barefoot"/minimalist shoe thing who has heard amazing things about Nike Free shoes ..... shoeless. Ba Hum Bug. :o(

Originally... the plan was to go to zappos and get them for $85 and free shipping.  But thanks to Oprah and her faithful followers I was forced to look all over the Internet for a pair and found a pair at DSW for $79.95 (already cheaper) + free shipping + $10.00 off thanks to rewards gift certificate. So $75.55 with tax.  I did not get the muted blue and gray ones I initially wanted, but ordered a dark gray and loud teal pair.  There is a catch though: I ordered a 9.5 rather than a 10 hoping that maybe they fit. THEN! I went to Dicks Sporting Goods one day (just because) and they had a pair of black and hot pink ones.  In size 10. (and i was right, the 9.5 were too small, so I would have to return them to DSW) So, I snagged them - not really liking the color scheme.  Since I did not like the overall look of the shoe, I did not take them out of my car, I left them in the back seat hoping that maybe when I went to DSW they would have a size 10 and I could just exchange them and then return the pair from Dicks and still get them at the awesome price...  Well the DSW ones came and they were gorgeous and when I went to exchange them... they did not have a single pair of nike free shoes in any size so I had to return them ... leaving me with a pair of black and hot pink shoes ... which honestly are a little too loud looking for me, but I figured beggars can't be choosers and I FINALLY have a pair of Nike Free running shoes so suck it up and run in them.  :: big sigh. deep breathe. big sigh. ::

BUT!!! As I searched for a picture of said loud shoes to post for your viewing pleasure, I stumbled across Shoe Station and across a pair of size 10 in the same coloring of the pair from DSW for $79.99 with free shipping and then with a 20% off coupon making them $69.11 (which was cheaper than DSW and I hate paying full price for anything). SO.. BAM I ordered them with tons of excitement and I tracked the package and tracked the package.  Then, it snowed and iced in Atlanta throwing UPS for a tailspin and closing my office for 3 days.  SO, when UPS was allowed to work again, my office was still closed and UPS tried to deliver my shoes. when they learned that my company was closed, the driver decided to play Santa and gave my shoes to some random receptionist named "nelson" at some random company. enter anger and fear that i may never have the cute shoes and be stuck with the black and pink ones... WELL,  I ended up coming to the office with a sticker on my door telling me to follow the rainbow to find the pot of gold.  Suite 750 had my shoes. My coveted shoes.  And then I returned the other pair to Dicks.

So... after all this, I of course just had to try them out.  And after a few runs and wearing them around the apartment ... my final opinion is this.

  • They are very pleasing to the eye, insanely light, and fight like a sock -- however, the "tongue" of the shoe may drive me nutty.
  • Super comfy.
  • There is VERY little padding on the bottom and that is because they're supposed to simulate barefoot running
  • The toe box is HUGE so the shoe does not feel too tight, yet my toes/foot is snug so I do not predict any bli
  • This may just be me... but I can for sure feel my legs getting stronger
  • I hate my foot getting hot and these are totally breathable
I have a 5k this Saturday in Marietta and I am going to wear these to REALLY give them a whirl and I am going to try them out at blast900 in 2 weeks. 

And with that said. I won't have to buy these as often as my Brooks since I do not see myself logging high miles in them, but I will buy them again.  And thanks to Oprah I am going to have to watch zappos website...

save the date selected.

So!  I settled on a Save the Date to send all our wedding guests -- now we just need to firm up the list, collect ALL the addresses, and chose what picture to use.  And of course we need to edit it with Kyle & my information and put our picture in. 

....those should be going out in April/May hopefully...  this upcoming move is going to put Kyle and me in the poor house for a little while...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

When I was SLAMMED at work today (yeah thanks snow days thanks) my BlackBerry binged and I had an email from one of my blog followers staying that she was passing the Stylish Blog Award onto me.  And as someone who so desperately wants a teeny tiny bit of style I was thrilled to know that Ashley likes my blog and thinks it is stylish!  Thanks girl!

So from here, I am supposed to tell you 7 random facts about me.

1.  I am a horrible decision maker and I am getting married.  Once the real wedding planning starts (like food decisions, flowers, THE DRESS) I can see myself having mini panic attacks. Don't tell me to look at pictures, because looking at magazines & pictures only makes my decision making fears worse.  There are WAY too many options out there. Oi.
2. I used to LOVE to spend money, but now that it is my own money I hate to buy anything. I refuse to buy things at full price and I price shop for pretty much everything.  And moving into this new house pains me because I will have to pull money out of savings for the 1st time in months... maybe even since I moved to Atlanta 2 years ago.  But... when I do shop, man do I shop. I am a fan of the finer things in life.
3.  I have a pretty major case of OCD and control freakism. I carry a notebook around that is my to-do list and I find myself staring at it and updating it frequently and no one else can do anything on my to do list because it just will not be done right.  Needless to say,  I am overwhelmed A LOT.
4.  True Statement. I have so much stuff. There is a VERY big possibility that I am a pack rat.  No where near the point that I could earn a spot on Hoarders, but seriously... hand me the trash bags when I move next month and tell Goodwill to send a truck.
5.  If I could I would live on Mexican Food.  I love tacos and quesadillas and guacamole and cheese dip and margaritas and salsa.   
6.  I so desperately want to get into a solid steady work out routine, but when you mix my crazy job, my attention seeking mutt, and my "i want to watch trashy tv" personality it is very very hard.  baby steps in 2011 baby steps.
7.  I can (and have) scarfed down a pint of ice cream in one sitting and I am not ashamed to admit it.  Dove makes some pretty amazing ice cream.
And from here I am supposed to pass this onto 7 new blogs that I found.   ....but I think pretty much my whole blogging social circle has been awarded this award so this may be a challenge!

Have a great weekend - I can't wait to break in my new running shoes and put my race bibs in my new scrapbook thanks to Laura Elaine Designs - stay tuned for a write up!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

three things thursday.

Hey Thursday.  This feels weird because up until today, I have not left the house since Sunday and no I do not have cabin fever.  Honestly, I am not even sure that today is really Thursday and if there wasn't a calendar to my right I would think today was Tuesday.

1.  I was out of work due to snow and ice on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. That my friends is a 5 day weekend.  And I managed to do NOTHING that I wanted to do.  The dog did not get washed (what a stinker).  I did not clean the bathrooms.  I did not start purging the crap that I have collected after 2 years of living in this apartment.  I did however, work from home a bit, lay in bed ALL day and watch The Millionaire Matchmaker, drink a few too many beers during the national championship [boo auburn], play Just Dance 2 on the Wii, and play with the dog.  ....wasn't a very productive 5 day weekend but I did enjoy being a bum with Kyle.  I did have to go to work today and let me tell you, I hate driving on ice.  At least this time I managed to not break the axle on my car OR pop a tire. baby steps my friends.  I will leave it at that.
2.  Even though there are 400+ days (that's over a year ya'll) till I get married, everyone has been bugging me about making a wedding website, but I thought those free sites from and places like that are boring and not fun and with our families so far away, i decided to make a wedding website blog ... which will then turn into a newlywed blog / our life in georgia blog ... and maybe at some point a baby blog (maybe, babies freak me out).  SO if you care ... here is the link.  I am honestly going to try and keep up with that one more than I do the blog about our dog.
3.  Kyle and I found a rental house that we really really like and that lets you have pets (there are even doggie doors) and we decided to take the plunge and say bye to apartment living and hello to home living.  If our application is approved (and it is looking like it will be...fingers crossed) We move in February 15th, which means we need to pack and schedule movers and cleaning teams (thank goodness half depot has a coupon for steam cleaning). It is in Tucker, Georgia which gives me a longer commute but takes miles off of Kyle's (we're now basically in the middle) and it has a pretty good kitchen, a HUGE master bedroom and an awesome bathtub. =)  We're excited about this and I am REALLY excited about decorating and all the cabinet space and now we need to learn how to use a lawn mower.  Oi.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bridesmaid Dresses

Now that the girls have been chosen - next on the list is what to make them wear.  Yes, I know I have some time, but dresses need to be ordered like 4 or so months out... so I need to make a decision, tell my girls what to order (and I need to do this early because I know from personal experience.... you always procrastinate!!)  Currently, I am torn between 4 dresses... 2 long (designed by Jenny Yoo) and the other 2 are short (designed by LulaKate)  ... I want my girls to be comfortable and cute.   Below are the 4 dresses I am choosing between.... opinions are wanted.

Wedding details - I am going for a vintage/shabby chic feel, colors are navy, off white, and lavender/lilac, and I am aiming for a night, outside ceremony.

Workout Stolen from Runners World.

Forgive me for putting this on my blog (err.... maybe you may find it useful), but I am in the middle of purging my apartment of all the clutter since Kyle and I are moving into a house next month and let me tell you ... I am a pack rat.  The things I am stumbling across make you cock your head to the side and ask "why do i have this?!" YIKES. 

I want this for (I don't really know why) and I am sure Kyle does not want to pack pulled out magazines pages so I am typing up key points of treadmill running workout tips from Runners World.  Granted - I have not done any of these yet ... but I do plan on it since they're made for beginners and my lazy butt is a beginner again!  AND I want a point of reference.

Pace Boosting
warm up for 6 minutes by alternating 30 seconds jogging & walking.  Increase speed - walk 30 seconds run 30 seconds. Continue the 30/30 ratio. Increase speed with each run segment

Fast workouts
Jog 3 minutes. Increase speed, run for 2 minutes. Walk 30 seconds. Repeat, increase run part to 3 minutes. Walk 30 seconds. Repeat....

Distance Run
increase speed till running comfortably. run 2 minutes, walk 1. Repeat 2:1 ratio 3 times. then bump up the ratio to 3:1 repeat 3 times. end run with 2 more 2:1 segments and then 1:1

gradually increase speed until you're at an easy run pace. run for 3 minutes. raise incline to 2% for 1 minute then to 4% for 1 minute. Lower incline and rest for 1 minute then raise to 4% and run for 2 minutes. alternate running 2 minutes at an incline with 1 minute on the flat for as long as you can.

....and as i typed these up i think i should totally incorporate them into my workouts once the snow goes away and i get out of the apartment to run on the treadmill .... maybe tomorrow

2010 training summary.

Thanks Dailymile for a great recap of my 2010.  Some AWESOME months ... some not so awesome months.  Best thing about a new year ... starting over.  January has been a bit slow {and I am currently snowed in} but I will dust off the running shoes soon.  Promise.

384 miles run. average of 7 miles per week. 125 workouts total. 17 pounds burned.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

wedding shoes.

No. The dress has not been bought nor have any been tried on, but the shoes have been purchased.  Wanting to keep everything classic and simple, I fell in love with these shoes and when I found out they were on sale, I snatched them up real quick.

Ivory. Peep toe. Simple. And gorgeous.  And I have over a year to break them in to make them comfy and not slippery on the bottom!


Saturday, January 8, 2011


Kyle and I are FINALLY getting married!!  Rather than starting a typical, normal, wedding website... we have decided to create a blog to chronicle the planning process.  Since all of our family is SO far away in Virginia we thought this would be a great way to keep people up to date on decisions that need to be made and that have been made.  ...Of course, we will keep secrets from everyone!

Please check out all the tabs above to answer questions about lodging, the bridal party and most importantly, the engagement! 

We're excited to share this adventure with you!!

barbie & kyle

running goal two - started.

goal two. blast900. it is pricey but i want to do it at the minimum 2 times per month. it is a killer work out and can do/will do a lot for my stamina and running

I am off to a good start - now I just gotta keep it up.  This morning a friend and I went to Blast900 in Buckhead for a crazy hour worth of hill repeats, sprints, arms, legs, core, intervals, endurance training and much more.  We did everything in 5 minute intervals (5 minutes on floor then 5 minutes on the treadmill ... and you just keep rotating for a full hour) and used everything from hand weights to weighted balls. My arms were BURNING about 3 minutes in and I wanted to puke while doing core work. ...and in total, we probably ran about 2 miles on the treadmill.

 I have mentioned Blast900 a few times before, but if you're wondering what it really is this is their website. To be 100% honest, while you're there... it is hell.  But after the fact, you feel really worked out and if this does not help my running, by god I must not be pushing myself hard enough.

If you're in Atlanta and wanting to try it .... your 1st class is on the house. From there is it $28 per class so it is kinda pricey, but if you go HERE you can buy 3 classes for $34 rather than $84 and save yourself some cash.

I probably won't be there next weekend, but I will for sure be there in 2 weekends.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Goals Created.

as well all know from my previous post i did not do so well on my 2010 goals. but no fear - I am not going to be too hard on myself for I will be the first one to stand up and say I (a) let work rule my life (b) chose to be a runner who slept in on weekends and (c) was a slacker.

for 2011 i wanted to set both goals for my running and personal life. and with that statement - here are my goals for the year ahead of me.


goal one. find a balance with the world of working out and running. 2010 was all about getting the job done and sacrificing runs. 2011 will be about getting the job done but also getting my work out in. how this will happen... tbd.
goal two. blast900. it is pricey but i want to do it at the minimum 2 times per month. it is a killer work out and can do/will do a lot for my stamina and running.
goal three. focus on the little races and increasing speed and stamina. I would like to run a sub30 5k this year and run a 10k in under a hour and a 2 hour half marathon.
goal four. vary the workouts. if that means rejoining a gym, that means rejoining a gym to get in swimming and spin. or just finding the local rec center and seeing what they have to offer.
goal five. run more than 500 miles in 1 year.
goal six. find a running buddy or group to hold me accountable
goal seven. train for big races. fully train. stick to the training schedule.
goal eight. not run a marathon. (you're probably saying WHAT?) but i would like to focus more on finding and making a routine and a balance between life, work, and running so when i do decide to do another one I am 100% committed to all the runs and workouts.


goal one. floss more. wear my crest white strips more often. i have a wedding that i need REALLY pretty teeth for.
goal two. read more. i'd like to read at least 1 book per month. 12 books per year.
goal three. save more. spend less. 110% stick to my monthly budgets.
goal four. find a house to rent here in atlanta to give my crazy dog a backyard to run in.
goal five. volunteer with an organization. no idea yet. if you have ideas, please send them my way.
goal six. one diet coke per day. all year long. cut back on the sweets. eat healthier.
goal seven. take kyle to an alabama football game. in bryant denny.
goal eight. take 1 bubble bath per week. 4 spa days per year. learn to decompress.

....i hope everyone has a safe and happy 2011!