Monday, April 29, 2013

Green 6.2 10k Recap

A friend mentioned the Green 6.2 10k on Facebook last month sometime and I realized that I haven't done a 10k since the Rodeo Run. It was time to do one again. So, I signed up and somehow convinced Sara to sign up, as well. She really has become my running event go to partner and I love it.

I spent the week of really trying to pick up my speed. Sara was working hard to get a Personal Record (PR) of 1:07. Eek! I would have to shave off a lot of time to get there and I'm running a 10:15 mile right now on my best days.

My week looked like this:
  • Monday:  2 mile run, 2nd Trapeze class, 1 hour, core, arms, bruises, busted blisters, etc...awesome
  • Tuesday: Ran 3.5 miles in 40 minutes, 3 miles in 32:32, and 3.1 (5k) in 33:33
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Ran 3.5 miles again in 42 minutes, 3 miles in 33:15, and 3.1 (5k) in 34 min...alot on my mind and it took awhile to shake it off before I could pick up speed
  • Friday: Rest
Sara and I came up with a plan; I would run with her for three miles keeping up with her pace and then watch her speed off as I cry to myself wishing that I could run faster. Then, I tweaked my back somehow at work the day before. WTH?! This 10k would prove to be difficult, so I warned Sara.

My other plan was to get there ealy so I could pick up my packet. This race is not close to me and due to some google/iphone map issues (i.e., it told me that Sun & Ski Sport was a house), I couldn't pick it up earlier. I worried that I wouldn't receive my bib, because they said no packet pickup on race day. I thought that was absurb since this is a race about being green, but whatever, I digress. However, they did end up having race day pickup. Okay, but back to the point. So, I wanted to get there early. I picked up Sara (late, of course, because I AM my mother's daughter) and then we got hit with a massive car wreck on 610. Needless to say, we got there 15 minutes before start time. I get a little flustered when I'm rushing around, but we managed to get my packet, go to the bathroom in the very nice Lifetime Fitness, and then head to the back of the start line with all the walkers.

We appropriately wore green for the Green 6.2. Doesn't Sara look cute? I think so.

I had to take her picture alone.

We had to maneuver around a lot of people in the back, which as you know wastes so much energy. It was also humid and miserable to start the race. What is it June already? I immediately started sweating and it wasn't even the first half of a mile. UGH!

Finally, the first mile came and we checked our times. WOOHOO! It was roughly a 9:40/mile, which means that is a sub 10 minute mile for me. That's amazing, because I haven't had a sub 10 minute mile in a long LONG LONG time. Did I say LONG? However, I did know that I couldn't keep this pace going. The second mile was slower, with a 10 minute/mile.

On a side note, I may be off by five seconds on some of these, because my mind was fuzzy during the run.

Anyhoo. We continued running 4 minute run/1 minute walk through the miserable heat (although, we did the first 1.5 miles without stopping). I moved to the side to get around a slower person and my back began screeching at me in pain. OUCH! I had to slow alittle bit, but then the pain eased. Somewhere in the second mile, this lady wiped out badly. The lady in front of us just yelled, "Keep Coming BOO" or something similiar, while pointing to the sky. It was funny and so random.

But all things come to an end. During the one minute walk (right after we hit three miles), it was time for Sara and I to say our goodbyes. Naturally, in my lateness, I forgot my watch. This whole time, we were using Sara's tools and especially her stopwatch clip thing. Since she had a watch, she gave me the stopwatch so that I could stay on top of our pacing as best that I could. I'm so happy she gave that to me, because I really did stick to it. The best thing about it is that I didn't even have to push buttons. I need to find me one of these. My birthday is coming up?

And then I watched her speed away from me.

My fourth mile was awful. I was slow. I was hot. I stopped at the second (and last water station) for water. Since I decided at the last minute to get water, I had to stop and go back. Once I started running again, the watch beeped at me to walk. So, I stopped again. Then, this lady was trying to get in to her driveway and I stopped to let her go since no one was around. All of a sudden these fast runners just came out of nowhere and she had to stop. This meant that I had to wait and wait and wait. I was annoyed. At this point, I met the "talker." He was on his phone talking about legal or company stuff almost the entire time. Those people annoy me. I kept up with him unfortunately for two miles.

I finally got back to running and my fifth mile was so much better. My back even felt better and I was happy that I did a sort of rest fourth mile. I finally got to the sixth and final mile and just picked up the pace. I saw 1:12:44 on the clock and just sprinted. My PR was 1:10:20 (but at the time, I thought it was 1:12). I immediately went to find water, get my medal, and then stand in a long line to get my finisher shirt. Note to self, the shirts are big.

I saw a sign for these socks. The company name was Mitscoots. If you buy a pair, a pair of socks are donated to someone in need. It is similiar to TOMS. After talking with the owners from Austin, TX, I bought a pair. They were awesome. Then, I went to find the trees. I thought I read that you could plant a tree there, but I found out that you take the tree home and plant it. Yeah, I'm in a small apartment. No thanks. I did find Sara and Jason (speedy runner) and then found the Lemonade Day stands, but I was too late to get all of them. While I was giving my tickets for some water, I was approached by a Houston Chronicle person who asked me questions about the run. I happily obliged.

I had my picture taken, while waiting in the long t-shirt line.

Sara and I with our really cool medals.

Lemonade Day Mascot. I had to tilt my head.

I saw this and thought of MaloRee.

Finisher shirt and medal.
After I dropped off Sara, I immediately went to get a massage. I chose a Thai Massage, which did feel great. My shoulder hurt something awful, because I was tensing up to help with the back. And then Sara sent me the race results. I GOT A PR!!!!! WOOHOOOOOOO! My time was 1:08:41. See full race results here. I was totally not expecting this and I'm so excited. Thanks Sara!

All in all, I had fun. I didn't like some things like the information on the website, but it was still a well organized run. My back still hurts and it's Monday. Oh joy.


On May 4, 2013, I will participate again in the Sprint for Life 5K to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research in honor of MaloRee, BranDee, and MegGan whom lost their mom to this horrible disease. I also run in honor of my Great Aunt, Betty who lost this battle, as well. Please donate here or join us on Team Teapot. My goal is $2,000 this year and WE ARE SO CLOSE. We are at $1,600. Help us get there.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Running and Hiking in the Pines

I want to start this post to say that it pains my heart to hear and see what happened at the Boston Marathon. As a runner, it affected me on so many levels, especially since I'm training for my first marathon. I can't imagine what anyone is going through right the spectators, the family/friend support, the cops, firemen, volunteers, medical staff, organizers, the city of Boston, and the runners (both who finished, just crossing the finish line, or never got that chance after long training). I'm so happy to hear that everyone I know (or read their blogs) running it was safe. SkinnyRunner posted about these awesome shirts in which 100% of the proceeds go to the Red Cross Boston Relief.

And I want to also send my thoughts and virtual hugs to the city of West, Texas, after a devastating explosion that basically pummeled the town. Again, my country is hit with another tragedy in a week. I just don't have the words to express my emotions. I have so much to donate, but yet everyone is taking donations to the North of me. Hopefully, somebody will take donations in the South side.

I know these tragedies won't keep our country, state, or the running community down; we are strong! 

So back to the real reason for this post...

Did you think I was done with my posts about Retreat in the Pines? Well, I wasn't. I decided to combine this in one post and hopefully, it won't be as long as the last post

JL and I before our was obviously cold.
After our first yoga class on Saturday, the group of ladies went for a hike complete with Zoe the dog as our lead guide. Theresa instructed us to talk as much as we could on the first part, because the last half will be about the silence and taking in the moment of our hike. Naturally, I had nothing really to say. JL and I just walked next to eachother in silence with a few casual conversation topics. We mostly listened to the conversations around us and then quietly disected them to eachother. I was listening to the conversation on the left of me, while JL was listening to the ladies behind.

Zoe is our lead guide.

He heard a noise.

I ran ahead to get this picture of the group walking. 

We got to the turnaround point so that we could do some yoga stretches. This would be a first for me and I really liked it. We were in the middle of the country road just doing some yoga and thankfully, no cars. I trusted that Theresa would let us know if cars came, while we had our eyes close. In fact, only one car drove by during our walk back.

Photo by Theresa.

Photo by Theresa.
The hike back was calming experience. Although, the subgroup (i.e., the stragglers) hung back to take pictures and just stare at trees. There were some beautiful shades of green bursting out of the vast expanse of forest.  We made sure to say hello to the older lady in dress robe smoking a ciggerette and waving to everyone. Their dogs came out for petting time. At the end, the group all gathered around to take some pictures with the Retreat in the Pines sign. The rest of the day was for our own adventures.

Namaste Y'all.

My roommates for the weekend.

This tree was seriously eye catching.
JL and I in the tree pose.
We found a great tree to do some yoga poses.

I had to try it, too.

On Sunday morning, I slapped JL on the butt and said, "Start getting ready for our run." Honestly, she didn't have to go, but she did bring her shoes. I promised her we would go slow and not that far. We didn't. I have done some races in the woods, but this was a new experience. This was just running for the hell of it in some beautiful wood surroundings with my friend. If we had a professional photographer, this would be the kind of picture you see in Running World. Well, all we had was me taking photos.

It's too early. It's too bright. It's too much exercise.
And she thought I would just forget to run. HA!

Zoe wanted to make sure we knew the way.
So what if they forgot to take down the Christmas lights, it was still pretty to see on our run.

WHOA! I want a sign like this.

I made JL do the same thing.

This was my favorite picture.

Sweaty and feeling good after our two mile run.
It was about a two mile run in I don't know how long. We did some stopping for pictures and rest. We talked about calming ways to breathe and other things for the future. Even with seeing the Rottweilers going crazy to get to us, because they are chained up what seems like 24 hours a day, we still had a pleasant jog. Unfortunately, we didn't see the older lady with the robe outside like the other mornings. After we got back, showered, ate some breakfast, and went to do our final yoga and meditation. I can't wait to go back!

On May 4, 2013, I will participate again in the Sprint for Life 5K to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research in honor of MaloRee, BranDee, and MegGan whom lost their mom to this horrible disease. I also run in honor of my Great Aunt, Betty who lost this battle, as well. Please donate here or join us on Team Teapot. My goal is $2,000 this year and I just know we can reach it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Yoga Retreat Awesomeness Recap, Part I

One day, I was reading on a website or blog and saw an ad for Retreat in the Pines. I clicked on the link for the sheer joy of it, because there was no way it would be a short trip, cheap, and close to me. I was wrong on all accounts. I immediately zoned in on the word that said East Texas. Interesting, it's close to me. I skimmed the site and then saw the classes and schedule. Wow, these are weekend yoga retreats. SCORE! Oh wait...this one is a Women's Retreat talking about yoga, laughter, and wine. And it's on a weekend where I have a Friday off. DOUBLE SCORE! Now, for the prices. I expected it to be way over my price range for what it was offering, yoga, wine, meals, a place to stay, etc. Wrong again. It was only $349 for this retreat (prices for some are $299 and $329). The only thing left to do was to find any girls that wanted to go with me. The victims to take the bait were Jules and JL. Unfortunately, Jules had to back out the week before, but JL and I were still game.

During the weeks leading up to the retreat, JL and I swapped Faceworld posts and text messages and emails about how we couldn't wait to go or that Friday couldn't come soon enough. I mentioned that if I see any Bluebonnet patches along the way, we were stopping. I promised to make sammiches for the road trip and she stopped at Hillje Prasek's for the best jerkey in the world. She is a woman after my own heart.

It was roughly a four hour trip that we made in to a really great road trip. At one point in Lindale, Texas (close to the retreat), we saw a sign for a Historical Marker. Now, we didn't stop at all of them (like we tried to on the way back), but this one for some reason magnetized us to it. When we got to the sign, we realized why. It was the Kiepersol Enterprises (KE) Cellars Winery. So, JL and I did a tasting, bought some wine, and headed out to the retreat (a man did warn us about The Pines with all their bugs). It was a wonderful and suprisingly awesome stop. We also learned that we were in Miranda Lambert's hometown and that there were several wineries around (one that she actually owned).

When did they erect this giant statue of Sam Houston on I-45 North?
Our first patch of Bluebonnets even though we could have been killed in this weird RV park and the weird guy who called our state flowers a weed.
I love these moments of Spring.

Well, Hello Lake Palestine, I never knew you existed.
This house (winery) is one of the oldest still standing houses in Texas.

We are so ready for yoga.
When we got there, it was a bunch of women hanging out, drinking some wine, eating some healthy snacks, and waiting for their first yoga/meditation class. We were shown our beds in a room with two other strange women; I just hoped they were cool (they were). JL and I are not used to being in a room full of women, but I think we handled it okay. I jumped right in to get to know people and I could only thank my backpacking trip to England for this confidence. When you are a solo travel, you have to learn to talk to groups of people or you don't really have any interaction.

The cabin where we stayed.

Finally, the first class started. I didn't understand how we could fit all of the women in the small space, but we did. It was harder than I expected on the first go around, but it was awesome. I loved the meditation tricks. Theresa really gives you helpful visuals to guide you through everything. I especially loved the Happy Husband pose. My only issue was when Zoey the dog barked at the incoming car forever during meditation. It made it difficult to mediate and I eventually gave up to enjoy the moment. After the class, we had a wonderful roast chicken dinner and you guessed it, more wine. This group of women really dove in to the conversation to get to know eachother. A big part of the group was a bridal party, which I thought was a great idea for a Bachelorette Party.

First class of the morning.
 The next day, I couldn't decide about running early in the morning. It was cold and dark, which swayed me to the no category (JL was happy). We read the wrong start time for our first yoga class and thought we wouldn't have time after breakfast, but we had 1.5 hours to kill. Oh well, we were showered and ready to start our day. The first class was a detoxifying yoga. We did cardio type moves and balancing to get rid of the wine. We also worked on our abs. It felt great, but I could have used some more. 

JL in Warrior 1.

JL and I having fun during the rest time.
The group did a hike later (more on that in another post) and then had the rest of the day to do whatever until 6 p.m. So, JL and I went to explore Mineola, TX, which is a cute little town complete with a band. We ate at La Waffalata Restaurant (btw, it is not about waffles) where we had a delicious lunch. We also headed back to Lindale to drink some more wine at the Miranda Lambert's Winery.

We found this wonderful patch of Bluebonnets at someone's house. We had to stop.

Aren't we beautiful er I mean the flowers?
They started playing some gospel bluegrass, then to some Texas country, and then we left them playing Folsom Blues. Only in Texas.
Every menu item had a La at the beginning of the name.

Our wine of choice...Crazy Ex Girlfriend.
Red 55 Winery store in Lindale.
Our last yoga session was mostly about the calm and meditation. The yoga part was great, but to be honest with you, I couldn't get calm during meditation. I didn't position myself well on to the pillow and before I knew it, we were well in to the meditation. If I moved the pillow out, I would have made a loud sound. Note to self, just lay flat on your back during meditation in a yoga style. JL awoke from meditation to find Zoey between her legs. It was so cute. Afterwards, we had another great dinner (tortilla soup) and some more wine and conversation.

The last day was filled with one more yoga class and outside meditation. My favorite part of the trip was the outside meditation. Opening our senses to what was around us, while calming our mind was just amazing. I loved hearing the sounds and smell the pine trees.

I wished I had a blanket though.

This is relaxation.

This really sums up my trip right here.

For my first yoga retreat, I had a blast. I would so go to Retreat in the Pines again. I'm even thinking about a late summer trip. It was such a calming experience. Plus, Theresa sent an email with the recipes from the weekend. Yummy! Good wine, good converstation, relaxation, and exercise in a beautiful place... couldn't ask for anything better of a girl's weekend.


These are some of our pictures on the road trip back home to everyday life. I wished I didn't have to leave.

We managed to find the first Adopt a Highway.

Conversation Me: "Did you see that Railroad Park Historical Marker?" JL: "Yes, should we?". Me: "Yeah."
It took awhile, but we finally found a great place on the side of the highway to stop for flower pictures.

JL really wanted to get the Indian Red Paints.

Indian Red Paints are just as beautiful.

A closeup of the Bluebonnets. Don't judge me...we only get these flowers a few weeks a year.
Did I mention I love the flowers this time of year?

This side bridge was dedicated to war veterans of Texas.

And don't forget...

On May 4, 2013, I will participate again in the Sprint for Life 5K to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research in honor of MaloRee, BranDee, and MegGan whom lost their mom to this horrible disease. I also run in honor of my Great Aunt, Betty who lost this battle, as well. Please donate here or join us on Team Teapot. My goal is $2,000 this year and I just know we can reach it.