February 27, 2015

Bundle Up & Get Outside!

We are still being plagued by the cold here in Kentucky, but it is FINALLY starting to warm up into the 30s. And look, the snow is melting!

My last EIGHT runs have been inside on the treadmill and I am over it. I'm hitting up the treadmill for the last time today and I will be OUTSIDE for my long run tomorrow. 

It'll only be in the 20s when I run, but the thought of 8 miles on the treadmill makes me want to quit running and become a professional hibernator.  Instead of crying about it again...I'm bundling myself up and heading outside. 

I've been mentally preparing myself since yesterday afternoon and I already have my outfit planned :) I posted these tips last winter, but I'm posting them again in hopes that it motivates you to take your runs outside this weekend too! 

Cold Weather Running Tips

  • Make sure you wear the proper clothing. Your outfit should vent - do not run in cotton! It is no fun to be cold AND wet while running. 
  • Layer up - but don't wear too many layers. I've always been told the rule of thumb is to dress like it's 10-20 degrees warmer than it really is. You want to be warm, but you don't want to sweat a lot and catch a chill. Make sure your outer layer is windproof. Also make sure your outer layers are bright and reflective.
  • Wear a hat! Heat escapes from your head and you need to retain as much heat as possible when it's negative degrees out. Don't forget your gloves or mittens either - heat also escapes from your hands and feet.
  • Make sure your shoes have traction. This is especially important when the roads are slick.
  • Protect your eyes. I don't know about you, but the cold and wind really bugs my eyes and makes them water. I recommend investing in a good pair of athletic sunglasses. This is also helpful when the sun is reflecting off of the snow.
  • Don't forget fluids! Fluids are just as important when its cold as they are when it is hot out. Cold air dries out your skin and can have a dehydrating effect. 
  • As always: carry your ID or cell phone, run with a buddy if possible, and let someone know your route.
Don't worry friends - spring is on its way!

What do you consider the perfect running temperature?
How cold does it have to get to force your run inside?

February 25, 2015

We're Moving to Georgia!

I have been sitting on this news for over a week and I was seriously about to EXPLODE not telling anyone. Now that the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted, I can finally tell the world!

The Professor has accepted a position at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA and we could not be happier. Starting this fall, he’ll be teaching in the Economics department while continuing his research.

We knew back in January, when The Professor had his first interview in Boston, that GCSU would be a good fit for him. It’s a small, public liberal arts college in a medium sized town, close(ish) to a big city. In case you’re not close to a map, we’ll be 30 miles from Macon and about 90 miles south of Atlanta. The school colors are blue and green (both of which I look fantastic in!) and there are lots of opportunities for both of us to get involved on campus.

The Professor spent two days in Milledgeville back in January, but I’ve only seen the town through a Google search. We’re planning a trip down there in April and I cannot wait to check it out. I’m so excited that this move will most likely be our last and that we can finally start to plant some roots together in a town we can call home.


In case you’re wondering what I’m going to do in Milledgeville, the answer is a big “I don’t know yet.” I have started looking online, and I’ve found a few exciting opportunities that I can explore, but there is not a plan of action in place yet. Since we don’t plan to move until after the wedding, I have plenty of time to find the perfect fit.

To celebrate the contract signing, we invited our parents and siblings to join us for a dinner party in Danville. Plus, I wanted to celebrate that I had finally finished unpacking just in time to start packing again haha.

We all got to watch The Professor put the final sticker on the map and it was a really special moment. I am SO PROUD of him and know he will be an amazing professor. He’s worked so hard and I’m glad I’m here to watch him fulfill his dream.

Now that the hard part is over, all he has to do is defend his dissertation and we will be headed south! Easy-Peasy, right??

February 23, 2015

Half Marathon Training Week 3

Click below to see my 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival Half Marathon training recaps:

Week 3 was challenging. I did my first non-treadmill speed workout and pushed myself extra hard on my treadmill runs. My hip was KILLING me after my speed workout so I took extra time to stretch this week (something I should have been doing all along).

Monday: 3.5 mile run, check!

We work up to a winter wonderland in progress on Monday so it was back on the treadmill for me. I considered an all natural ice bath after my run, but  I went back inside and had 200 mugs of hot chocolate instead.

Time: 34:17 Pace: 9:47

Tuesday: 6 x 400 @ 5K Pace, check!
The Professor joined me for a 400 workout on the indoor track at the Centre Gym. It was SO NICE to be on the track (even though it was indoors). 400m was 3 laps around the indoor track which was interesting, but once we got going, I got used to it. I had initially planned on running at at 8:30 5K pace (2:06 400), but as soon as I ran the first 400, I knew I had underestimated myself. Running negative splits was rough, but I felt great when I finished the workout I ended up running just under an 8:00 5K pace for my 400s.

1 mile warm up
400m @ 1:59
400m @ 1:57
400m @ 1:55
400m @ 1:54
400m @ 1:51
400m @ 1:47
1 mile cool down

Wednesday: 3 mile run, check!
I stretched before and after my speed workout on Tuesday, but my hip was killing me on Wednesday morning. I did a lot of stretching and took my recovery run nice and easy...and enjoyed some more Harry Potter.

Time: 29:39 Pace: 9:52

Thursday: Rest Day, check!
I spent my rest day doing research on foam rollers and fall marathons. I'm trying to debate whether or not I should get a foam roller. I'm done debating on whether or not to run a fall marathon. The debate is now WHICH fall marathon I should run!

Friday: 3 mile run, check!
It was -10 degrees when I woke up on Friday morning, so, yea, more treadmilling. I timed my run perfectly with the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It better warm up soon. I don't know what I'm going to do when I finish my Harry Potter Run-athon :(

Time: 28:41 Pace: 9:33

Saturday: Rest Day, check (swap with Sunday).
I was supposed to do my 7 mile run on Saturday morning and burst into tears when I looked out the window and it was a sleety, slushy mess. It would not have been safe to run outside and the thought of 7 miles on the treadmill threw me into a tailspin. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing, people! I couldn't convince myself to run so I did A LOT of stretching and resting instead.

Sunday: 7 Mile Run, check (swap with Saturday).

I was in much better spirits when I woke up on Sunday. The weather was still crappy, but my treadmill actually looked inviting. I popped in HP6 and got to it. I've never run in compression socks, but my calves were tight so I gave it a try. I don't know if it was the socks or the stretching, but I'm not sore at all this morning. Also: I did get hit with a major case of the treadmills* in mile 6. I slowed waaay down, caught my breath, chugged some Gatorade, and then kicked my butt back into gear. I'm so glad I did because I finished strong! Splits: 10:07, 10:00, 9:50, 9:50, 9:41, 10:42, 9:33.

Time: 1:09:44 Pace: 9:58

A few thoughts on this week's training:

  1. I'm chicken when it comes to the treadmill. Pushing myself this week showed that I've been training at an easier pace that I should have been. I'll be readjusting my goals moving forward.
  2.  I did a terrible job fueling for my long run. I wasn't hungry before my run so I jumped on the treadmill without eating anything - big mistake. Also, I still can't take gus. They don't sit well in my stomach. Shot Bloks work well for me and I need to get some before my next long run. 
  3. I need to live somewhere that's not covered in snow and ice while I'm trying to train for a half marathon because I'm starting to go absolutely nuts on the treadmill. 

*Case of the Treadmills: When you look down and see how far you still have left to run and suddenly feel like you're running at a world record pace and can't image running anymore so you slow down because you're a mental basketcase.
Case of the Treadmills: It's not pretty...

Weekly Miles: 20
2015 Miles: 67

Tell me about your best workout last week.
Indoor track: fan or not?
What's your favorite fall/winter marathon (October-December timeframe)?

February 20, 2015

We Booked Our Honeymoon!

We are only 4 months away from the big day! We made some BIG decisions in February – the most exciting decision was where to take our HONEYMOON.

We spent a long time deciding on whether or not to take a honeymoon. Newsflash: THEY ARE EXPENSIVE. I talked to a few of my close friends – some who had taken a honeymoon and some who had not. They all gave me really great advice and ultimately, we decided that we wanted the experience of a honeymoon and that it would be worth the money to take the trip now instead of looking back and wishing we had taken the trip.

A long time ago, we decided that if we were going to take a honeymoon that we wanted to book our trip at a Sandals resort. We wanted tropical, beach, activities, and relaxation all in one. We also knew that we didn’t want to worry about a single thing once we got on the plane. All inclusive was the way to go for us.

We spent FOREVER exploring all of the Sandals resorts online. The Professor has already been to Jamaica so it was easy for us to cross that location off the list. We knew that we wanted to do a few excursions and we wanted to experience them together (The Professor has already seen the sites in Jamaica).

Seriously – all of the resorts looked amazing. We ultimately ended up choosing St. Lucia. Our resort has a bunch of restaurants, bars (including swim up bars), and excursions and activities for us to do.

Check out these pictures I pulled from the resort website:

We haven’t picked our excursions and activities, but these are two that we are looking at:

Hiking the waterfall
Hiking an active volcano!

Another February Wedding Success: All bridesmaid and junior bridesmaid dresses have been ordered! Check out how beautiful my cousins and sister-in-law look in their dresses! The socks really make the outfits perfect. 

 My bridesmaids are wearing navy and my junior bridesmaids are wearing this pink.

By the next time I update you on the wedding, my wedding dress will be here and I hope to have the invitations ordered and centerpieces made. Stay tuned!

Tell me your favorite place to vacation.
What were your wedding colors?

February 18, 2015

Valentine’s Day, A Birthday, and A Snow Day

I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday! This week is moving so quickly (not that I’m complaining). If you follow me on Facebook, I already gave you a glimpse of our Valentine’s Day date. We celebrated a day early this year and The Professor planned a great date night.

We had dinner at this little place called Jane Barleycorn’s in Downtown Danville. The Professor had stopped by on his way home from worked and dropped off some beautiful roses that were waiting on me when we arrived at the restaurant.

After dinner, we stopped by The Hub for some coffee and a slice of Snickers Cheesecake. We were going to split a slice but somehow The Professor only got one bite…you snooze, you lose! Centre College had a student production playing at the theater last weekend, so we went to see it after our cheesecake.

The show was called, “In The Event of My Death” and the students were incredible. The show was serious, but it had lots of humor mixed in. The students spent their Centre Term class learning how a play is written from idea to production. They had an opportunity to work directly with the playwrite on this production.

On Saturday, we drove up to Bardstown to celebrate Grandma Ruth’s 84th birthday! We made dinner (homemade pizza) and had a wonderful evening spending time with The Professor’s parents and grandparents. I only have one picture and it's us making pizza. I have to get better at taking pictures!

Now, let’s talk about our SNOW DAY!!!! I love snow now more than ever. It’s so nice to be able to work from home and enjoy the winter wonderland outside my window without having to drive in it. We woke up on Monday with just a couple of inches on the ground, but the college had already cancelled classes for the day. The Professor was pretty pumped because he wanted the extra time to work on his research.

When we first measured right before 8am, we had 4.75 inches of snow.

By 10am, we were up to 7.5 inches. I enjoyed an awesome snowy view during my treadmill run and then headed outside at 12:30pm to measure again…9 inches and counting!

At this point in the day, I started counting down until 5pm so that I could go out and play in the snow instead of just measuring! At 3:15pm we were up to 11 inches of snow (and I was on my third outfit of the day - all from the sweatpants collection).

For my 6pm measurement (12.25 inches!), I was able to drag The Professor out with me to play in the snow! 

 ...and by play, I mean that he shoveled and I made snow angels and took pictures. 

Living in a tiny little town means that there are no snow plows and no salt trucks. We were able to get the driveway shoveled out and luckily our road is somewhat clear. The Professor was able to get out and go to the office on Tuesday (although no students showed up to his office hours) and I was glad to sit at my desk in the home office and stare out at the pretty snow all day. We're supposed to get a few more inches this week and I'm hoping for a few more snow days.

How's the weather where you are?
What is your favorite snow day activity?

February 16, 2015

Half Marathon Training Week 2

Whew! Week 2 in the books. In case you missed Week 1, you can check it out HERE.

I adjusted my original training plan by moving everything back 1 day so that I could have Sunday as a rest day. It worked much better for me so I’ll be making it a permanent adjustment for the rest of my training plan.

Monday: 3 Mile Run, Check!
I ran outside on Monday and felt awesome. I even added a 0.1 on there so I could get a baseline 5K time. It was still a little cold and since we were still at my parent’s, I borrowed my dad’s stylish toboggan.

 Time: 29:29 Pace: 9:30

Tuesday: 30 Minute Tempo Run, Check!
I was back on the treadmill on Tuesday (getting all of the answers correct on Family Feud) for my tempo run. Tempo workouts are made for the treadmill because you can set your pace and increase it incrementally (which is harder to do outside, in my opinion). I forgot I was supposed to run 30 minutes and not 3 miles so I went a tad long…

Time: 30:50 Pace: 10:16

Wednesday: 3 Mile Run + Strength, Sorta Check.
I squeezed in my 3 miles on the treadmill, but didn’t do any strength work. Nothing exciting to report about this run other than I finished the 4th Harry Potter Movie midway through the third mile. I spent the last 7 minutes of my run reading movie credits.

Time: 30:37 Pace: 10:12 Pace

Thursday: Rest Day, Check!
This rest day was much needed. My calves were pretty sore.

Friday: 3 Mile Pace, Checkish.
I had planned on a 9:30 pace but as soon as I got on the treadmill I knew that was not going to happen. My calves were still really tight and I felt like crap for the entre run. I was so glad when it finally ended. I spent extra time stretching on Friday morning and took a few stretch breaks during the day.

Time: 30:17 Pace: 10:05

Saturday: 6 Miles, Check!
The Professor has been slacking on exercise lately and focusing on that little dissertation thing. He was looking forward to a break and joined me for the first 3 miles of my 6 mile run. I blackmailed asked him nicely to take some pictures of me for the blog. He’s such a good blog fiancĂ©. Splits: 11:01, 10:41, 10:51, 9:53, 9:26, 9:27.

Time: 1:01:25 Pace: 10:14

Sunday: Stretch & Strengthen, Negative.
Does making 25,000 trips up and down to the basement count as anything?

I did a little better (but not much) at pushing myself on the treadmill last week, but it’s a goal I’ll continue to work on this week. Considering Danville is supposed to get 8-12 inches of snow today, I’ll probably be on the treadmill for most of my runs this week!

Weekly Miles: 18.1
2015 Miles: 47

What was your best run last week?
Any advice for pushing harder on the treadmill?
Which Harry Potter movie is your favorite?

February 13, 2015

The Bachelor: Observations On Episode 2

It’s Friday the 13th and I have a bad case of writer’s block. #Cursed. Since I can’t think of a brilliant topic to write about, I present to you…


Wednesday was the first night in a long time that I got to spend some quality time with The Professor. He’s spent the last few weeks flying around the country or spending time with his other fiancĂ©, Miss Dissertation. 

Since it was my turn to choose an activity, we spent our quality time drinking wine and catching up on The Bachelor (duh). We finally watched the second episode.  

By now, this is incredibly old news, but let’s reflect back on our observations on episode 2:

The Professor wants to know when it became cool to rock only a half zipped hoodie:

I want to know why Jillian doesn’t own a TV appropriate bikini:

The Professor wants to know why anyone would think a tractor race would be entertaining..."They only have 3 speeds!!":

I want to know WHY THIS GIRL GOT A ROSE:

The Professor wants to know why Mackenzie thought it would be a good idea to talk about big noses and aliens on a first date:

I want to know why none of these girls protested walking down a busy street in a bikini:

We both want to know if anyone DIDN’T see this breakup coming after how awkward they were on the red carpet during the live premiere:

Now that we’ve got the fly outs and unpacking (mostly) out of the way, we might be able to get caught up on the rest of the season!

In other news, we’re celebrating our Valentine’s Day tonight because we are headed to Justin’s Grandma’s birthday party tomorrow. The Professor planned the entire evening. I, for one, am hoping it involves watching a few more episodes of The Bachelor!

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?
What are your weekend plans?
Who else watches The Bachelor? 

February 11, 2015

UNO Themed First Birthday Party

It’s hard to believe that this little booger turned ONE last Thursday. Watching him grow and change over the last 12 months has been exciting and full of laughs.

His mom and dad brought him up to Southern Indiana to celebrate his first birthday and we had an UNO themed birthday.

From the invitations.

To the awesome shirt his mama made him. It had an UNO card on the front and his name on the back!

To the balloons and decorations.

 To the coolest cake ever (from Sweet Stuff Bakery).

He was a little unsure of what to do with an entire cake to himself.

His mom and dad helped him out by starting the cake smash.

And then he dug right in!

The little partier had so much fun that he crashed right after his bottle that night (and so did Uncle Justin!).

Is there any place more comfy than grandpa’s arms?

Grandpa and Grandma bought Levi his first car for his first birthday.

Grandpa and Aunt Kim spent FOREVER figuring out how to put it together.

His grandparents, great grandparents, aunts &uncles, great aunts & great uncles, and second-cousins bought him more toys and clothes than he knows what do with and he spent hours playing with them all weekend!

Right before he left to head home to Florida, he told me that he had the perfect birthday party and feels like the most loved one-year old in the entire world.