Saturday, April 28, 2012

Country Music Marathon

My first marathon is done - we won't talk about my time today... maybe in a few days when I come to terms with it we can talk about my experience that was the Country Music Marathon in Nashville. But for today I will just leave you with my thoughts - I'm not so sure I had fun yet or that I even enjoyed it.. The heat and the hills killed me, despite all the hills in Connecticut.. I imagine the heat felt a little bit like Boston but Nashville is supposed to be hot at the end of April... and I know that.. any who..


Marathon #1 is done.. don't worry marathon distance I will be back - with a vengeance because you just made me angry today. 

Now we are sitting in our hotel walking around like old ladies and watching movies like all mid twenties people do these days in a "big" city... 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Country Music Marathon Weekend Part 1

Hello from Nashville! My old stomping grounds for a small, short while - the weekend has finally come and we are all here ready to go! Today we went to the expo, got our shirts and bibs -

 

This makes it very real... but luckily all the rock n' roll series gives you the option of switching from the marathon to the half with no hassle...


and hopefully no judging! I am going to play it by ear and see how it goes =) 

This was the biggest expo I've ever been to - the Nashville Women's half expo was pretty big but this one was huge with a lot of big vendors... And we had the bright idea of getting up and getting ready and being there right when it opened at 10am.. apparently everyone else had the same bright idea.. there were a ton of people and we all kind of felt a little claustrophobic. It is a little bit different from the Seaside half where there were only like 5 local vendors... But still being the newbie that I am and inexperienced in these situations and a little bit over excited about my first marathon so I bought some more stuff =)


Again, the men's small t-shirts are where it's at. I will never again do a women's fitted t-shirt. I know they're stylish or whatever but hello I'm running and hoping I'm not going to die, looking cute is the least of my worries. But really, they just fit better and I know it's going to fit and not be too short or too wide or too low or whatever. In addition to the race shirt which is the lovely red one, I picked up another Brooks EZ T that says RUN with all these these motivational quotes and such to make me feel better while I run or something. I thought it was fun and I like the color green. It's also a mens small. I also got a hat that I think I'll run in it tomorrow, but I'm not sure yet... 

Nuun was there! I've been drinking the tri-berry flavor since I started drinking nuun a while ago BUT friends they have a lemon tea flavor... I love lemon flavored tea... It is my new favorite and I'm thinking that I'll just drink it even when I'm not training just to drink.. SO GOOD y'all my southern heart swoons for it now! Thank you Nuun. I also finally got the sweet water bottle to drink it in!


Hydrating!


We got all or stuff and goodies and wasted a good almost two hours walking around... when you have nothing else planned its a good way to waste time.

We walked around downtown a little bit where I hope we'll be running down Broadway and not up it because holy hill batman... that might just push me over the edge...


We saw the Ryman.. love that place!


PS New York City you need these!! It is a map of downtown Nashville with the streets and bit sites to see.. Great idea for the tourists!

AND went to the American Pickers store!!


Love that show. I was expecting a huge showroom with a lot of junk but it was actually pretty small and mainly merchandise for the show. I thought about buying a tshirt because one can never have too many tshirts and they were really soft but I figured that I'd bought enough today... so we walked around and took some pictures. They had a little bluegrass band for entertainment. 

Then we had to hit up Whole Foods for bananas and peanut butter because I have to have a sandwich in the morning... Then because it was just a few stores down you know I had to have some froyo..



Sorry to all the the other frozen yogurt places out there, I may just not have been to very many of you yet but from my experiences and taste testing Sweet Cece's has to be my favorite. I got cake batter froyo with regular sprinkles and chocolate sprinkles and reeses. It hit the spot. 

Now we are relaxing at the hotel room which just happens to be right at the start of the race with a great view of all the port-a-potties and I can even see the Parthenon. We are headed to Loveless later - which you know I can't be in Nashville and not eat some of that yummy goodness!

12 hours until my alarm goes off... yeeks I'm getting nervous!! 

Oh yeah I tried to sign up for tracking because I wanted to send it to the Twitter but it doesn't do that - it only does text messaging tracking. Sad day... I'll see if the hubs will be willing to update the Twitter so that all of you with a free five-ish hours can follow along if you so please! =)

Wish us luck! And any last minute tips and tricks are welcome!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Florida, sweet Florida

I really had big plans to blog everyday while on vacation with daily updates on everything we were doing while on vacation.. but lo and behold "vacation" in Florida to visit family is never actually a "vacation" and we're up early in the morning and stay up late at night trying to make sure we see everyone we need to see and spend enough time with everyone that we want to spend time with.. So blogging kind of got put on the back burner, as it usually does when it's between blogging and sleeping... So I'll just do a quick week recap of everything we jammed into the few days that we were there - 

Saturday I ran 20 miles and questioned my whole decision to run a marathon... and then I sat around until I went down to visit my sister and her other family and I got to visit with Carey and our sweet, wild, and crazy little nephew.. Good times y'all. I had the best 20 mile recovery food on the planet.. fried fish, hush puppies, coleslaw, cheese grits, cookies, and key lime pie.. I'm salivating just thinking about it! There is nothing in the world like a fish fry in the south.. unless it's a shrimp boil... 

Sunday was pretty uneventful - which are my favorite kind of days.. we went to church and lunch and then we did absolutely nothing... which is what vacation is all about and I wanted to to totally soak it in because the rest of the week just flew by!

Monday my sister has off and she had the little man all day. We had big plans to go to the beach... but first we thought we'd take him to the park.. we had a big big time!


Sliding down the slide about a million times and swinging on the swings together!

After the park we decided to head to the beach, Wyatt looked so tired and we thought for sure we could take the tent out there and he would nap on the beach while we soaked up some beautiful rays.. you know what they say about the best laid plans... After a minor breakdown he saw the beach and that was that..



It was go, go, go. We hadn't even finished spreading the blanket out before the little man had walked back and forth over it at least a dozen times.. We ran down to the water, we ran away from the water, we ran halfway down the beach and back to the water and back to the towel.. It was a workout. There was no laying down and reading a book. Have you ever gone to the beach with an extremely mobile 20 month old!? Who happens to be a little too smart for his own good... But we lasted about an hour and had a great time! The hubs had to work from home that day so sadly he didn't get to join us. 

Tuesday was a good day - it was my birthday! I am now a quarter of a century old... just a baby, I know.. It was hubs and Holly time all day.. whatever I wanted to do. He treats me so well.. We did lunch at Chick fil a and then headed out to Seaside to go to the beach. Because I love Seaside. It really just makes my heart happy to be there. We hung out at the beach for a little while, and then I got my hair did by Erika's (over at Urban Grace) sister - in - law Leah. I love my hair, I've been wanting to chop it off. It was such a cute little salon out in Seaside. And then I went to get my nails did... and then we went to eat at one of my favorite restaurants but we never go to because again we're all TGI Fridays all the time but since it was all about me, I chose the Red Bar. I love that place - if you're ever in the area the panne chicken is my favorite and it is a ton of food! 


Happy Birthday to me!

Wednesday we had Tucker Family Fun Day! My in-laws and sister and brother in law took off work and we spent the morning at another favorite eating establishment - Another Broken Egg Cafe - I love this place and I eat like a fat kid when I'm there.. They have cinnamon bun french toast which is absolutely out of this world amazingly good but probably has somewhere around the upwards of thousands of calories but it is so very worth it. So instead of me eating the whole thing by myself we got it as an appetizer and we all ate a little bit... But I so would have eaten the whole thing... After since the hubs got super burnt from the beach on Tuesday we went bowling. I would just like you all to know that I won the second game... I might just have found a new hobby... After our morning family time I hit the road again and headed over to Perdido Key where one of my BFFs from high school is living for a little while. I haven't seen her since her wedding almost two years ago. A lot has happened since their wedding.. they have little baby Emma now! So I had to go and meet her!


Me and baby Emma!

Thursday was my last day and we had a lot to jam pack in there... one last day at the beach and dinner with the parentals and a night run with my sister. I had really planned on running 18 miles but trying to plan enough time for 18 miles and get in family time is real, real hard. I am so jealous of you people that can run those 18 miles fast enough to still have time after to get things done... 

Friday it was time to hit the road again.. 


We made great time to Mimi's in North Carolina - where we took a short little nap and hit the road again bright and early at 6 am for what I thought would be an 11-12 hour drive home... Silly me.. After a speeding ticket... getting lost in Hagerstown, MD and running into bad storms in PA where I pulled off the interstate to wait it out... so 14 hours later we pulled into the driveway and we were finally home sweet home! 

And now I have a few short hours before my little vacation ends and I'm back at work... I'm going to attempt one last long run before work and before my marathon this weekend... Happy Monday!

Monday, April 16, 2012

pet peeves and major doubts

So I did have a great post idea about our road trip and all my pet peeves about other drivers on the road and how no one drives as good as I do... and then I ran 20 miles in Florida in 80 degree weather...

20 miles is a long, long way.. its 2 whole miles further than 18 miles.. I had a lot of time to think - some of the things I thought about were -

- This is real, real dumb - who in their right mind runs a marathon!?

- I hate hills

- It is real, real hot

- I can switch to the half right!? No one will judge me if I switch to the half right!?

- I don't want to have a miserable first marathon...

- It is real, real hot

- I hate hills

- Can I really do this!? 13.1 seems easy now - I can run 13.1 - but I cannot run 26.2 - can I?

- It is real, real hot..

- I really hate hills..

Those were just a few of the thoughts that ran through my head (ha ha get it!?) as I ran for four hours - hear that y'all that run your marathons faster than I run my training long runs... that is a long time to be by yourself with your own thoughts... I really, really was having major doubts about running in two weeks. Have I trained enough? I definitely could have trained a little more, and a little harder. But it's too late now.. Is the heat going to ruin it for me!? I'm already slow and the heat is only going to slow me down more... Is my fueling strategy really the best for me!? I am having all these major newbie questions and doubts. I am really trying positive imagery - thinking about finishing with an acceptable time (for me) and owning the hills of nashville and running the entire time and not puking and not getting a cramp... Thanks to Nuun I think I've finally found the cure to my cramps! But I'm not going to lie I am more nervous about running this marathon than I am about traveling out of the country for the first time! When I finished I did take my very first ice bath - I was so hot I think that my dehydrated skin just sucked in the water -


I thought the water was a little higher - it apparently wasn't very deep at all BUT I am way too much of a chicken to completely submerge myself - kudos to you ballers out there that do.. maybe next time.. But I really think it helped my calves and thighs because apparently my parents live in an extremely hilly area... and I was hurting. Aside from a foot cramp that night my body wasn't too sore - it was my poor mind racing. Luckily my mom and dad thought it was great and made me feel better.

The good news is that after that 20 miles I think I found my new favorite show on TV - Duck Dynasty on A&E. I am not country.. these people are country... and billionaires. But it is hilarious. I'd love to know how much of the show is real and how much is for TV... I'll leave you with a little clip and some reassurance that there's always a bigger red neck than you out there -


Oh yeah and let me leave you with my number one pet peeve about other drivers! When you're in the right lane and someone is coming up faster than you in the left lane - under no circumstances should you feel the need to cut them off to pass another car and then proceed to take 10 min to pass the other car... It's really just inconsiderate... Okay that is all...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Road Trip

Well the puppy and I have made it home.. to the beach...


Ready to go!!


21 hours, one stop to visit Mimi and Papa, countless potty stops, an undisclosed amount of jelly beans and starbucks stops... and Chick fil A and we are in home sweet home Florida!

Now we will be catching some zzz's getting ready for a 20 miler in the AM with this weather -


Gotta love Florida... 


Tired from all this traveling!!

I promise to be back with a for reals update on life so soon! Like maybe tomorrow... 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Family-versary

On April 5 a year ago after many tears and begging and pleading (you think I'm joking...) the hubs and I were driving to the middle of nowhere middle Tennessee... Beechgrove


Literally middle of nowhere... 

To visit a puppy... This puppy was the last of his litter and lucky for me the hubs has a big, big bleeding heart and felt sorry for this flea ridden, cherry eye mutt... we met him...


Now since I had already pitched a fit worthy of a toddler in the middle of K-Mart begging his mom for a toy.. I kept my mouth shut and to be perfectly honest I kind of, sort wanted a baby puppy - not this five month old animal that was already past most of his prime puppy days - but he was already house and kennel trained... We spoke with the owners of the shelter and said our good-byes and headed back to Nashville.. We didn't get 10 min down the road before the hubs said did you like him? And me not wanting to get my hopes up said yeah I liked him (beggars can't be choosers and I wanted a dog!!).. I thought he was really cute.. and the hubs replies do you want to call them back and tell them we'll take him... I don't think I've ever dialed a number so fast... 

We stopped by PetSmart on the way home and got all the essentials... and a few days later we made that long drive to the Tennessee country again and brought home our very own Tennessee hound dog...


He was kind of sad to leave the only home he'd ever known...


And he kind of hid in the corner for most of the first day...

But now a year later he's more comfortable than ever (sans the fleas and cherry eye)... chewing anything and everything - toys don't last long, he's still not good on a leash, he goes through jars of peanut butter like I eat chocolate, we've lost countless rolls of toilet paper, and the middle cushion of our couch is apparently the way to China because he just. can't. stop. digging... there's never a dull moment but he's the biggest cuddler ever, the cutest snore-er you'll ever meet and we wouldn't trade him for anything.



Happy one year family-versary Harley puppy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Date Night Update

Just a week and few days late... I'm still recovering from the fact that we didn't win the Mega Million and we can't quit our jobs and buy a house on the beach and become the beach bums that live deep down inside us.. I apologize, I know you've all been checking back here diligently just waiting for me to update you on our big date night and if we followed the rules or not and what we did.. The truth is it kind of turned in to one big date weekend - where some rules were followed and most of them were not.

In case you missed it - the rules were no computers, no iPhones, and no xbox! Oh yeah and no TGI Fridays or PF Changs, because we always go to those places!

The hubs had to work late Friday night, so it was close to 830 by the time he made it home - so way to late to head into the city.. for us old, poor people anyway - so we headed to the gym - couples who work out together, stay together.. - and hit up some good ol' Taco Bell for dinner. We are the perfect picture of health.


The puppy even loves him some TB nachos and cheese... (I may have just lost some readers due to y'all being totally grossed out by our eating habits..) 

Saturday we were planning on going into the city and making Saturday our big date day but the hubs volunteers once a month with some guys from our church at a homeless shelter in the area serving dinner - they make dinner at the church and then cart it over to the shelter and serve it. It's a pretty rewarding gig on a saturday afternoon. So, we went with our friends to serve and then ate at Panera - which you can't go wrong with a soup and a sandwich. Then we went to see The Hunger Games!!!! Um it was real, real good - I read the book a little over a year ago, so I don't remember it exactly - but I really thought they did a great job with the movie and following it as well as they could. I thoroughly enjoyed it - sans the teeny boppers that had to squeal and whisper and giggle at every opportunity... and I just sounded really old.. I hope I never went through that phase... and if someone had washed their mouth out with soap every time the F* bomb got dropped - we'd be short quite a few soap bars.. yeesh. 

SO our big date day waited until Sunday... where we finally made it into the city.. after we didn't wake up until almost noon... Whoops.. We love to go in and go to the TKTS booth in Times Square. If you ever visit the city, and you aren't settled on what show you want to see or if you've seen a lot of the bigger ones, i.e.: Wicked - my favorite - then I suggest you go to this booth and just see what they have playing. They have a decent list of big shows at discounted prices - the hubs and I got our tickets to Phantom of the Opera, Shrek, Nine to Five, and now Memphis from this booth! 


We really liked it - not my favorite that I've ever seen - but the music was similar to Jersey Boys, which I absolutely loved! It is set in Memphis (surprise, surprise) in the 1950s - about a young white DJ and an up and coming black singer and the trials they go through to make their relationship work when everyone is against it. It was a great storyline and there was some serious stuff and some funny stuff. I'll just tell you that Wicked is still my favorite and Phantom is next. And I would recommend those before anything else. BUT next time I really want to see Rock of Ages - all about music in the 80s. Yes please!

We definitely act like total tourists when we go into the city. We don't go often, but we enjoy Broadway and our favorite pizza place in Times Square - John's Pizzeria


We always get just a cheese and pepperoni pizza - and it is so good, and why mess with a very beautiful thing? I swear that the sauce and cheese in the city is so much better than anywhere else that I've ever had pizza anyway. We also got some garlic rolls, and I can promise you that I am still tasting garlic today - they were so good. Again if you're planning a visit to the city - eat here! My only complaint is that their service is never that great.. it is such a big place that I think they need more waiters... I had to refill my own water with a bottle from my purse (good thing I carry my own everywhere I go!) and it took like 15 extra minutes just to get the check.. but the food is so worth it. We just keep going back! If you have any other suggestions - we'd love hear them for next time!!

I really, really wanted to go to Magnolia Bakery for their banana pudding because it is out of this world amazing.. I will go as far as to say that it is just as good and maybe better than my Granny's was... Sorry, yeah, I said that.. but it is lick the bottom of the bowl clean good, good. I love it. But I also really really wanted a peanut butter perfection from ColdStone... ice cream at night has become an extremely bad habit that we have started here.. but it is good. And even though I'm in the middle of marathon training I really just couldn't justify having both banana pudding and ice cream even though I really did try the internal debate with myself but sadly I lost.. or I won.. depending on how you want to look at it.. I should have called this the post where I eat really really bad all weekend and gross out all my healthy friends... taco bell, pizza, banana pudding, and ice cream all in one post... yikes! But remember I did run 18 miles last week! That cancels everything out right!? 

There was some internet usage - blog reading, twitter updating, Facebook stalking - and some Call of Duty action last weekend but we definitely took the time to enjoy our weekend together!


What is your favorite date night activity to do with your significant other?

What is your favorite dessert!? 
Cupcakes, ice cream, banana pudding.. I try not to discriminate!