Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Making the Goal

The 27th of November I realized how little I have blogged this month. I said I would write 8 more times before December, and this is the 8th! It hasnt been too hard, but like all things it took me setting aside time to do it every day. I've really enjoyed this, so I'm raising the bar of writing 20 times in December, and I can't wait! I'll be doing a decent amount of traveling, of course running, and more yoga than usual. I've practiced 3 times this week, every day, and each day at a different studio. I'm very excited about tonittow's yoga at Noda Yoga! My body feels so great, refreshed, and strengthened. I am looking forward to a good run this weekend though.

Overall I'm thriving off all of this goal setting. So much that I'm going to have my students write some new goals for Spring semester. It's amazing what writing them does! My goals are not only written, but printed and posted in the store. Talk about being for real!

So life, here I come. I can't believe it's December!

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree

Last night was the fashion show, tonight was the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Center. This has been one of my favorite nights on tv for years. To go along with the Christmas tree spirit, my roommate and I bought our tree tonight! It's kind of short and stout but I love it. We had the guys trim the bottom of the tree. He asked what kind of stand we had. My response- a Christmas tree stand. I mean what was I supposed to say?! I then said its green and plastic and we bought it here last year. Well, I guess I should have been more specific, or maybe we should have taken it with us. That was my plan this morning, but I've been in a rush lately, so oops. Anyways, we got home after carrying it off my car, tried to fit it in the stand. We unscrewed the stand as much as possible, but it still would fit. The diameter of the trunk was bigger than that of the stand! We finally took the screws out and as hard as we could shoved the tree in the stand. It went in! But when we stood it up it was pretty dang crooked. We've tried to straighten it. I just hope I'm not woken up in the middle of the night to it crashing.
Good news is Home Alone 2 is on tv for me to fall asleep watching!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jay-Z is in the building...

I have 5% battery left on my computer, so this is going to be a quick one.

It's that time of year again! This week there are two things I'm super excited about watching on TV. One just started! The Victoria's Secret fashion show. Now I know a lot of guys love this, understandably, but so do I. I think it's because I imagine how fun it would be to be in it! Just to get all dolled up in fantastic outfits and winnnngs. There is absolutely no way I could walk the runway in those heels though. I would FACE PLANT. (I'll never really understand why the show happens during the holiday season, I guess to remind people to shop there...)

Second, tomorrow night on NBC at 8PM is the Lighting of the Tree in Rockefeller Center. This is one of my favorite things to watch on TV all year! And to make it even better, my roomie and I are going to buy our tree tomorrow night so we can put it up/decorate it while we watch this. We will probably be drinking hot chocolate too. (Don't worry pictures will come.)

There are great musical guests at both of these shows. Kanye and I think Jay-Z on the fashion show, and Faith Hill and others on the tree lighting. Hopefully one day I will attend the tree lighting in person!!!

The Buddha

No I'm not talking about the person, I'm talking about the restaurant. Fair warning, this has nothing to do with running or teaching, or even yoga. It has to do with the best Chinese restaurant ever. If you have ever met me or anyone in my family, chances are we've recommended it and even forced you to eat there with us. My family has been eating at this restaurant, The Golden Buddha, since 1977 or 1978. So since before we were a family. When it was just mom and dad they would go together. Then they had one brother, and another, and then me. There's no telling how many birthdays we've had there. We use to occupy the table in the back right with the lazy susan on it. We haven't looked at the menu in at least 27 years. (I've don't actually remember looking at it.  I probably just ordered what my brothers told me to.) I always get mongolian beef, soup (sizzling rice or egg drop,) and an egg roll. The egg roll is a MUST. The best egg roll ever, ever. They use to deliver it to our house when my parents probably didn't feel like dragging us out. They know us all by name. Coincidentally, the owners name is the same as my brothers. Maybe my parents named my brother after the owner. Hmm???? So what made me think of this was a voicemail I received today from my brother. He eats lunch there at least once a week, probably more like twice.  He called me today so incredibly giddy to tell me the owner said his lunch would be free. FINALLY! He was so excited it made me laugh out loud.

So I will actually tie this into running, there is one thing I failed to mention in my detailed race recap. When we would go to Golden Buddha for birthdays my grandparents would always go with us. Whenever my grandfather would hug me he would always slap my bottom as I walked away, like hard. When I was an awkward middle-schooler I tried to not let him hug me because it was embarrassing and really did hurt! (But yes it was in a loving way.) So when I was running my heart out on Thanksgiving I looked up in the sky and said, "Come on Cop (that's what we called him, long story) give me a smack on the bottom and make me run harder!" And I'd like to think he did, and he helped me get that PR.

That's Cop in the middle with our family at his 70th birthday party. And yes that's me in the totally sweet short jean overalls with an embroidered flower... ahh awkward middle school.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Full belly, Sleepy eyes...

It's 6:48 PM and I am in bed. No joke. Not sitting on my bed, but in it. I can barely keep my eyes open to type right now. While I enjoyed Thanksgiving break immensely, it may have been one of the best ever, I did not get enough rest.

Tuesday- drove to Atlanta in the scariest weather ever. Thankful for the safe drivers on the road and so happy when I pulled up to my parents. Especially because my oldest brother surprised me by being there AND they had my favorite Chinese food for me. This was probably my best and longest night of sleep. I slept like a rock until just after 8AM, which is very late for me these days.

Wednesday- This was a relaxing day. We wrote out a schedule of what food should be in the oven at what time, and how long this should stay there. This was to help my mom, who insists on writing every little thing down. Since dad and I were running Thursday morning I suppose she needed the help. I find myself doing things like this more and more, little lists everywhere. I am absolutely slowly turning into her :-) I went to bed not until 11. I usually try to get to sleep at least by 10 when I have a race the next morning. Ooops.

Thursday- Dad woke me up at 5:45AM and we were out the door just after 6. After my AMAZING run I was surprisingly full of energy opposed to the sometimes tired I feel. It wasn't until after we ate Thanksgiving lunch that I convinced my 6 year old niece I needed a nap. "Ok, if I win this game I get a nap," I told her. There was no holding back, I had to win, I had to nap, and I did. But not for super long.

It's really hard to say no to her!

We had to get up, head to the mall and see the lighting of the Macy's (previously Rich's) Great Tree! This is a long-standing tradition in my family. As my brother so eloquently stated as we were walking back to the car, "You know, I really didn't want to come. But now I'm glad I did. I'm really in the Christmas spirit now. I think I'm ready for Christmas music!" I probably didn't go to sleep until midnight or so...

We've followed the tree lighting from downtown ATL Rich's to Underground to Lenox Mall.

Friday- Up and at 'em at 7:30AM to hit the malls by 8AM. I guess I got a decent nights sleep, but my body couldn't move. It felt this way all day, and by 3 or so I was exhausted from shopping and limping around. We went to dinner at Murphy's that night and I had dessert there followed by gelato. Talk about two days of eating a LOT. On the way home we checked out the Griswold's of my parent's neighborhood. This year you tune your radio to a certain channel and can even hear choreographed music. "Look at the trees dancing!!!" my dad said as we drove past. He lives for this kind of stuff, but let's be honest, so do I.

Saturday- I was up again early to head home to Charlotte. I missed the UGA/GaTech game for the first time in years, but I was ok with that. We still won :-) I worked afternoon/night at lululemon and was exhausted when I got home. However, I managed to stay up until almost 2AM blogging, tweeting, etc.

Sunday- Up early again. Advent started Sunday and this is my favorite time of year to go to church. I know I should go every week but it's just hard sometimes. This is the time of year I really try to make it ever Sunday.  I even attended the early service because I had to be back at the store at 10:30. I was there again all day on my feet until 5 or so. As tired as I was, I was talked into yoga this morning at Y2 yoga.

Yoga class was at 6:30 this morning after not going to bed until midnight or so last night. I had never been to the studio but I really liked it! It was a hot vinyasa fast class. It was just that. I had to plop down to child's which I haven't had to do in a while, and even take a fill up my water AKA cool air break. It was a fantastic way to start my week though. I think I'm going to stick to lots of yoga this week (and early bedtimes!) and get back into running this weekend. I'm working on getting a better pair of shoes that don't make my heels bleed everywhere.

Goodnight! (Yes it is now 7:05PM :-) )

"I'm Possible" ABDC- help my kiddos!

This school year we have thirty minutes a day for what we call "Healthy Choices" time. The times rotate per day from outside time, to silent reading, to character education. In my opinion, all three of these are much needed by any middle school student. Today we had character ed, and we were focusing on this month's trait of Honesty. As a class, we chose one student who best represented this trait. After the class nominated seven students (out of the eighteen total) I had them put their heads down and vote. Each student was allowed to vote twice so more votes would be in the mix, and I hoped this would prevent a tie. It was a pretty unanimous decision for the class on who best showed Honesty. I was really excited this student won, because I would have picked him too. He's a wonderful child.

After that I was at a loss of what to do next. We had already written poems about honesty, and discussed and even acted out situations where honesty is most important. One of my students loves to act and sing and dance. He approached the class today with getting a crew together for American's Best Dance Crew. I've heard of the show but never really watched it. While 6th graders dreaming of being on this show sounds a little crazy, I ended up letting them put a group together and even practice some dance moves. I was very impressed with how much they REALLY want to do this. They came up with a pretty awesome group name (I'm keeping it a secret) and I was shocked and excited when we realized they were old enough to audition. I even got online for them to see when/where/how to signup and I couldn't find it anywhere. I told them I'd work on it tonight but I've had no luck. Does anyone have any idea how I could find this?? It would be fun to do something as easy as send in an audition tape. The kids are very passionate about this, so I'd love to help them live out their dreams :-)

Leaving with this quote that was on one of my teacher friend's board today. I really love it and can't believe I've never realized this before...

Nothing is impossible. The word itself says "I'm possible." 
- Audrey Hepburn

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Eight months after my first marathon I took on my 8th half marathon. It was my fourth consecutive Atlanta Thanksgiving Half Marathon. Three years ago this race was my first ever half, and I ran it in something like 2 hours and 17 minutes. Last year, well I don't even know if that counts... I was recovering from being hurt (IT band) and trying to continue marathon training at the same time. I registered for the 5K but when the 5K/half split came, I chose the half. I then proceeded to make it a 10 mile run, not 13.1, but with my horrible sense of direction in Atlanta, yes I grew up there, I managed to get lost and run about 12 miles. Anyways... Since my marathon I have continued running and racing, but have not been able to get a PR. The Peachtree Road Race was just way too hot, and I was not prepared for the hills. I was very frustrated with my finish there, and since then I've been pushing myself harder.

I started running with one of my friends in a local running group. Talk about accountability?! Up at 6AM every Saturday morning. The truth is though, I love that. Then, I met and made another friend in the running group. And she pushes me, hard. She made me realize that I was capable of running better, faster, longer. So when I signed myself up for the 2 hour pace group at the expo this past Wednesday, I wasn't really sure if I could do it. But then I heard her telling me to. My previous PR is 2:03:26. So my goal for this race was to beat that, and my ambitious goal was to get under two hours. This has been a goal for a while but I really wasn't sure if it would be possible in the near future. After running with my new partners I knew I was capable. I was really more confident Mentally than Physically.

Clothes laid out the night before. 2 hour pace sign is pinned on back of my shirt.

So here's my recap...

Dad and I headed towards Turner Field around 6:15AM Thanksgiving morning, leaving Mom at home to prepare the feast!  It was a bit chilly, but we knew as soon as the sun came up it wouldn't be very cold. We were right. While I found warmth in the port-o-potty pre-race, I shed my throw away before I began and was extremely comfortable in my long sleeved shirt and compression tights. The sun was pelting down the whole time, but I think it gave me energy more than a heat stroke.

I crossed the starting line with the two hour pace group just in front of me. The group was going to run roughly 9:10 miles. I knew my best bet would be simply- run as fast as you can. I know negative splits are the way to go, but I knew to get my goal I just needed to RUN. So I pressed start on the Garmin and my iPod and set off. But my iPod didn't work. Total failure after making a MAGNIFICENT playlist. That which was "Thanksgiving 2011" became "Ride back to Charlotte 2011." It was dead! This has never happened to me before and I thought surely my race was done, but it was NOT! I again thank my running partners as running with them had made me used to running without music. I had all intentions of talking to (woo-ing) others during the race, but I think I was running too fast to do that.   I will admit I sang in my head a good bit, not sure what but "Get Low" was definitely one. (Still stuck in my head from Bday Party Bus 2011.)

I complete Mile 1 in 8:59. Pretty solid! Fast, but not too fast.
Mile 2- 8:47 Past Olympic Park. It was all decorated for Christmas and I really wanted to go through it, but unfortunately that's not part of the course. 

Mile 3- 8:46 I think this is where I actually went ahead of the 2 hour pace group. PEACE OUT! Maybe not a good idea, but we'd see! This was also  hands down my fastest 5k ever- somewhere around 27 minutes

Mile 4- 8:24 I don't think I've ever run a mile this fast in a race. I was just excited!!!  My thought process was really, "Hey the faster I run now, the slower my miles can be at the end." Again I don't think that's how races are "supposed" to be run, but whatever. We were running over the interstate and I thought that meant we are at/past Atlantic station. Definitely not. Again, I never have any idea where I am when I'm in the ATL.

Mile 5- 8:44 Five miles in and still all under nine minutes. This was amazing... I guess I'll just keep running as fast as possible! And now I really am by Atlantic Station. I kept thinking, "Now I just have to go through a bit of Midtown, the Park, Auburn Ave and I'll be done!" That was making the race quite a bit shorter than it really was. I think my lack of never really knowing where I am keeps me moving and on my toes!

Mile 6- 9:05 My fastest 10k at 55:06 (fastest before was Peachtree two years ago at 55:26) I even heard someone say, "Hey you've finished the Peachtree!

Mile 7- 8:59 Ok good another one under nine minutes! But man I was getting tired. I could feel it in my hips. Of course the majority of the hills were yet to come...

Mile 8- 9:32 Oh My Hills... Pump the arms, Use those abs, Just DON'T walk. And I didn't!

Mile 9- 9:29 A negative split, wow! But oh man that pain in my right heel! I had a bandaid on one place where my shoes had been rubbing, but this was a different spot. I had a bandaid in my back pocket too. But to stop and put it on and waste valuable, crucial seconds?! Absolutely not. I pictured blood rushing from my food. Oh well... keep on running!

Mile 10- 9:31 Ok so still around 9:30. Using my math skills this evens me out somewhere near 9:10, so still on pace for 2 hours! We ran up and around Oakland Cemetery as a guy running near me kept yelling, "I see dead people!" This gave quite a few of us a laugh. I pumped the heck out of my arms to get me up a few more hills.

Mile 11- 9:37 I was getting warm. I had one glove on that hand was holding my other glove. My bare hand was munching on Honey Stingers, fruit punch flavored. I also owe this to my running partner who introduced me to them. Maybe they helped, I'd like to think they did. They also just taste delicious and DON'T get stuck in your teeth.  I really was hoping to see my brother and hand him my gloved and head band. We were right by his house. But no brother...

Mile 12- 9:32 Another negative split after my slowest mile of the race. I was still on good pace overall and told myself to hustle! Less than one mile! I pictured myself at home being one mile from my apartment and just kept on running.

Mile 13- 9:16 No way! Another negative split! How do I have all this energy? All this power?! Maybe the honey stingers, or maybe I just never really knew my limit and how hard I could push myself until now...

Last 0.1- 8:08 Down right sprinting... Apparently I was running so fast I was too fast for the cameramen at the finish line. I was running with peace sign fingers and everything, but there's not picture :-(

So when it was all said and done I crossed the finish line nearly in tears. I couldn't believe I had done it. According to my garmin I ran 13.24 miles (stop weaving!) in 2 hours and 36 seconds, with an average pace of 9 min 7 sec miles. According to the race and the Atlanta Track Club, I ran 13.1 miles in 2 hours, 0 minutes,  and 35 seconds. I didn't break 2 hours, but I have never been more confident than now that I can, and I can't wait to not try but to DO IT! I PR-ed for the first time since January of 2010 (2:03:26 in Phoenix, a super flat course.) I certainly "earned my turkey" and am still on quite a race high. 

I woke up Friday all ready to shop til I dropped, but I almost dropped to the floor out of bed. My legs were wildly sore, but so were my abs, back, and upper arms. Talk about a full body work out. It hurt to laugh! Such a fantabulous feeling. I can't wait to feel it again...

Dad and I post-race. He did super well in the 5K!


About three weeks ago I made a list of things I wanted to write about. That didn't work so well. Here I am three weeks later and it's, as of one minute, November 27th and I've only blogged once in November. I'm going to try and write 8 more times before December, nearly twice a day, so wish me luck.

I am VERY lucky to have recently become a seasonal part-time educator at lululemon athletica. If you have never been to this store, or purchased our product. DO IT NOW. :-) running, yoga, ballet, just hang out in the clothes! Once you put them on you will never want to take them off.

Along with my very favorite saying DO IT NOW, here are some other things I love that are found written and often said in the store...

Do one thing a day that scares you. 

Dance, sing, floss and travel. 

Breathe Deeply, and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life. 

Sweat once a day to regenerate your skin.

I am also very fortunate to work with such a wonderful group of people at the store. Everyone shares a love of fitness and healthiness, and it's nice hanging out with people who share those feelings with me. I have also been encouraged to sit down and take time to think out my goals for the future.

Write down your short and long-term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next 2, 5 and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.

This has always been an idea of mine, but I've never actually written them out in an organized fashion. Now, I am! And I am putting the finishing touches on them. It's crazy how real things are when they are written.

Along with goals, I am also focusing on my strengths. I just completed, literally five minutes ago, a strength finder assessment. It pulled my top five strengths, not saying they are WHAT I should be doing, but saying they are WHERE I am the strongest. They we Right. On. Target. My #1 was a Woo- winning over others. I'd say this is pretty spot on. I love being around other people, and could talk to any stranger put in front of me. This helps in situations where others may feel uneasy. I have always been told I'm easy to talk to, and this supports that as well. My other top 4 strengths (positivity, communication, futurist, and developer) ALL point me in the direction of teaching or sales/marketing. Ironic? I think not. What I do and what I used to do, what I can go back and forth with forever I suppose. They are almost one in the same.  I make people feel comfortable (students in the classroom), look towards the future, talk a lot but in a way that others understand, and encourage others to find their strengths, putting a positive spin on almost everything. I am REALLY excited about reading more into my strengths and what I can do with them to excel the most in life.

Oh, and the Woo and Positivity also VERY often mentioned sports. Is this accurate? 110%. Go DAWGS :-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

I want I want I want

I want to blog. I have SO much to write about, but I have so much to do. Grad school, I'm so over you.
I want you to be over.
So I want to and I WILL blog about the following in the next three days:

Running partners Rock
lululemon athletica

On to finish my work and then catch some Zzzzs