The adventures of an unlikely pair. Follow us if you dare....

Friday, September 30, 2011

The One With Five Foods

Five Foods

1. Probably my all time favorite food would be mexican food. I always like a good taco, rice and beans and a good enchilada. I try not to indulge in mexican food too often but it is definitely a treat when I can!

2. Nanna's macarroni and cheese
There is just something so nostalgic and wonderful about her homeade macarroni and cheese. It's what I grew up on and will always turn to as comfort food. It's really quite simple, yet so heartwarming and tasty.

3. Tea Cakes (My great-grandmother's sugar cookies)
Mama (pronounced Mo-mo) used to make these amazing cookies. Again, they are something I grew up on and they will always remind me of her. It was probably one of the very first things I ever learned how to bake and I have many good memories of being with my sisters and cousin covered in flour, rolling out dough and making the perfect cut-out with her right by our sides.

*I actually had to pause here and spend a great deal of time thinking about my favorite foods. The first three were easy, yet I realized as writing those that I place a lot of emotion with certain foods. I'm not sure if I find that a good thing or not. I'm really not an emotional eater (at least not that I'm aware of) and food really does not drive my day. I could care less about fancy meals and high quality foods. Food to me is low-maintenance. I like food, yes, but I don't have strong feels one way or another to certain things. There are foods that give me good memories because of the context in which they are always in my life, such as the macarroni and tea cakes; those aren't things I make on a regular basis, and actually to be honest I have never made them for myself, they are only ever had and shared with my family, which is why they are important. So when I think about this particular list, it's odd to find favorite foods because it's really not the food that is the favorite thing, it's really the people that make the food so special.

4. State Fair food
yes, I'm one of those...I usually don't care for fried foods and try to avoid them when I can but I absolutely love once a year going to the Texas State Fair (which starts today!!) and trying every single cool new food they have managed to deep fry. I love the corny dogs (a once a year staple for sure!) and fried onions and a new favorite is the fried s'mores! Yet once again, this is more of a great sharing of the event for me than it is actually about the foods, and I can't wait to share with you all the joys of the state fair!!

5. Taco Soup
I love having a crockpot full of taco soup on a cold winter day and being able to come home and get a big bowl and curl up on the couch and enjoy it. This is probably one of my favorite go to meals in the winter. It's packed full of protien and then add in some sour cream, cheese and chips...yum!!! And it's the easiest thing in the world to make!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The One with Six Places

6 Places:

1. I want to go to London, England someday.
It just seems like such a romantic place to me. The idea of palaces, royalty and the long-standing history intrigues me.

2. San Fransico
I would love to see the Golden Gate Bridge, the crazy streets and the pretty houses.

3. Prince Edward Island

Anne of Green Gables made me fall in love with the beauty of this place and I would love to go and experience it someday.

4. Vermont
Is that just not a beautiful picture? I'm not sure why I want to go to Vermont. I guess it would originate from my love of the movie White Christmas and the Pine Tree Lodge.

5. Rome
I would love to go to Rome and see all the rich history and culture there.

6. The Olympic Games

Now I realize this is not a specific place, but I would love to go the oplympic games someday, it will happen! Too bad I can't cross London and the olympics off in one trip.... Oh well, someday I will experience this!

What are some places you would like to go?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The One with the Second Verse

Here I am folks, same song, second verse: I’m a blog slacker and need to repent!!
I would not lie to you, I really am busy, so let me just fill you in on the happenings in Unlikely Runner world.
I have a new job, I have mentioned this before, I know. I am still working at the same place, same people, same boss, just new responsibilities. However, I did move offices, which was a bit of a pain. And then add to that the fact that I don’t usually like change, and this was my first real job ever, I got sentimental about moving desks and offices. I also was not only doing the job I was hired for, I was also taking over two other jobs because they seemed to think I was capable and we had no one at the time to fill those responsibilities. So that leaves me here, in my new office, training two new people on the jobs that weren’t really mine but that I was doing and also trying to learn the responsibilities of my new job. Like I said, busy!!
I may not be blogging, but I am actually running (shocking I know!!). My running fever has returned and I am still managing to get in three runs a week. Cross-training and my weight-lifting is lacking but as long as those runs happen I’m good. (It’s 17 days until my next half marathon….I best get my booty into gear!)
If you do want to keep up with my workouts I always update my dailymile account (you can befriend me here), and I Twitter (follow me here).
This past weekend I needed to run 8 miles to keep up with my training plan, but I was too lazy to do it. (in my defense, my sister was here and I wanted to spent time with her!) So that meant that Monday night it was now or never for those 8 miles. To be honest, my lack of motivation finally got the better of me and I just got so fed up that motivation poured out of me like none other! Michelle agreed to run with me but she didn’t want to do 8 miles. So I decided I would do 5 with her and then finish up with 3 more at home. I’m really not sure what got into me but that was the best 8 miles I have ever run in my life! Maybe it’s that I’m pushing myself when I run on the treadmill. Maybe it’s the nicer weather. Maybe it was I’ve been missing my running buddies….I have no idea. But we killed those 5.25 miles! We stopped once exactly at the half way point for me to go into a local school and use the bathroom, but other than that we kept a steady pace and never walked once. I was so proud of us. I drove home (which is right across the street from where we met) and immediately hopped on the treadmill and did 3 more miles in 32 minutes. My overall total for the day was 8.25 miles in 1:38 (11:55 pace). It felt awesome and needless to say I was a bit impressed with myself!
Last night I knew I needed to get a hill workout in and had plans to run with a guy from church after Bible study. We set out to the run the two miles to “the hill” and then did 4 hill sprints (ugh, total reminder of how out of shape I am) and then walked half a mile and then ran the mile and a half back. Overall we did 4.3 miles (running, not including the walk) and 4 hill repeats in 52 minutes (12:10 pace). This was also another great run for me and left me feeling mighty proud (so this now means I’ll have a really crappy run next time right?).
Since I’m burning the candle at both ends lately I most definitely had one of these this morning (and I won’t lie, I will be having one tomorrow morning too, they were on sale for 2 for $3).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The One about our home gym set-up and the best tempo run ever!

A couple of weeks ago these lovely things made their way into our guest room!

I just haven’t had the chance to blog about them yet. I love having these right in the next room, it’s so convenient, yet it really cramps my making excuses style! With these things I’ve lost at least 5 excuses (the gym is too far, I don’t have workout stuff with me, I don’t have gas in my car, it’s too hot, It’s too late….), maybe even more than that. It’s the ultimate lazy feeling when you are lying in bed watching TV with a treadmill and elliptical both staring at you from the other room, talk about guilt trip!
So I bet you are wondering if I’ve had these machines so handy where has my mojo gone? Beats me, I’m as fooled as you guys! It’s been a rough few weeks around here and I was starting to get really discouraged. But, I am happy to inform you that last night I told my laziness to shove it and I hopped on that treadmill and had planned to do 4 easy miles. Well 4 easy miles became a progressive run which then became 5.5 miles! That’s right, I pounded out 5.5 miles in 61 minutes and each mile I got faster and faster! I honestly felt like I could have done about 2 more miles but my right hip flexor was tightening up and my left hamstring is a bit sore. Plus I didn’t really want to overdo it and ruin myself for the rest of the week, I need this mojo to last me!
5.5 Mile progression:
Mile 1 – 11:32
Mile 2 – 11:19
Mile 3 – 11:06
Mile 4 – 10:54
Mile 5 – 10:42
0.5 mile cool down – 11:32
Overall an 11:10 pace!

I apologize for the blur!
I was quite pleased with the workout for the night. It was good to be up and moving, it was good to be running and it was amazing to feel so good running! Now, I do know that the treadmill may make things easier, but I did have it on an incline of 1 and to me, miles done are miles counted and that’s all that matters! Welcome back running mojo, how I have missed you!

my workout supervisor!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The One with a Trip to Austin

This weekend my Dad and I had a Father/Daughter day and went to Austin to enjoy some University of Texas Longhorn's Football.

This is something that my dad and I can definitely relate on; he being a UT alum and I, well, I just need a better team to cheer for other than UNT Mean Green! I was raised on Longhorn Pride and when asking my dad as a kid what his favorite color was it was always "burnt orange" and were sad to find it wasn't in the crayola box! My sisters, with their passion and pride for the Texas Tech Red Raiders, find my behavior hideous, but I don't really care. I cheer for Tech when I can, but my Texas Heart belongs to the Longhorns! My dad and I left early so that we would have time to walk around campus and go to the co-op and enjoy being in Austin. We got there right at 3 (for a 6 o'clock game) and oh my goodness, it was like I had died and gone to Longhorn Heaven! There were tailgaters and people all over the place and it was awesome! We scored some awesome tickets and a parking pass (Thanks Davis family!!) and had no trouble parking.

We walked around campus, Dad showing me a few things he remembered and then we ended up at the co-op, got some longhorn gear and had lunch at Pita Pit (never been there but what an awesome place!). I wanted to get to the stadium early and watch the players warm up and all the pregame activities. To me, there are very few things that are more exciting than a longhorn football game in Austin! I love the atmosphere, I love seeing a sea of burnt orange, I love the traditions and the passion involved.

Singing "Texas Fight" and "The Eye's of Texas Are Upon You", they just give me chills! I love it, all of it! And I was so glad I was able to share it with my dad. It was a great day and a fun time was had by all!

p.s. sorry for the unedited pictures!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The One With Seven Wants

7 Wants:

1. To be a physical therapist someday.
When I was 10, I got injured preparing for a gymnastics meet and was in a cast for 6 weeks and then spent another 6 weeks in physical therapy. I never was able to return to gymnastics but I did become intrigued by physical therapy. Then in college I spent time as a personal trainer and it was then that I really saw the importance of a career in physical therapy. Unfortunately, as hard as our society tries to be proactive and focus on prevention, that is sadly just not the reality of the world that we live in. As a kinesiology major I always knew I wanted to help people, but I'm not sure the dream of being a physical therapist ever set in a reality I could achieve until recently. Now, I am prayerfully considering my options and going to see where God leads me.

2. To have a healthy family.
Although this is entirely out of my control I find it so important to live a healthy lifestyle for myself and chose a partner who choses the same things so that we can hopefully pass on good habits to children someday. I think the greatest gift a parent can give their children is their health. No matter what else a child may need they will always have love if you are healthy enough to be there for them.

3. To travel in Europe and see different parts of the world

4. Spend time serving through missions in other countries that are less fortunate

5. Go to the olympic games some day to spectate

6. Run a marathon (on target to accomplish this in March!)

7. Run the Boston Marathon, then my life will be complete!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The One About My 8 Fears

8 Fears:

1. I'm terrified of snakes, the horribly creep me out, ugh! I also do not like spiders!

2. I have a very "worst-case scenario" type brain at times and I often fear that my mom or sisters will die in some horrible freak accident. I know, it's strange, but I really hate it when they don't answer their phones. I've been known to call my sisters on multiple occasions because my mom won't answer her phone. I really have no idea where this fear comes from.... anyways, moving on....

3. Never having a job that I just feel so unbelievably proud of (or more specifically, not being able to go to and finish Physical Therapy school)

4. Not being finacially secure.

5. Not being able to have biological children. I understand this seems weird, but it's a fear that I have simply because it's so important to me.

6. Running/ overuse injuries and not being able to accomplish my dreams

7. Cancer

8. Of losing someone I love.

Honestly, this one was hard for me. I think a year ago I was definitely a very fearful person. I was constantly worried about the future and about what would happen in my life. I was in a very insecure place. But since my world has changed so much in the past year I have truly been able to witness God's unfailing love for me and I've seen the truth in His protection and as a result not too many things phase me anymore. I don't get overwhelmed the same way I used to. All those fears that I listed are there, but honestly, I never think about them, they are more just realities of certain situations, yet I know that if any one of those things happened to me, or even if all of those things happen to me at one time, I would still be just fine and I would be a stronger person for it. I have friends who's lives are consumed with worry and fear and it breaks my heart because there is no joy whatsoever in their lives and it is constant bondage. I just wish I could help them see how God truly does love and guide their lives at all times, because I've seen it and it is absolutely amazing!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The One With 9 Loves

9 Loves

1. My Sisters.

I love those two more than anything! They have shown me the most amazing examples of unconditional love and sacrifice and I am forever grateful for that. They are both beautiful girls inside and out. I have learned so much from Sara's sense of adventure and travel and from Rachel in her strong will and hard work. I also dearly love their boyfriends, Matt and Luke and I'm super excited to add Luke to the family soon! Aren't they so cute!?

2. My Mom

She has taught me how to be a strong woman in times of trials. She has done amazing things with her life and has successfully raised a wonderful family. I only hope that one day I can be as successful as her. She is a very caring and giving person and will be there when you need her no questions asked. She has done so much for me in this past year and I am so grateful for her constant support and friendship, it blesses me daily.

3. My Dad (and Stepmom)

I have not always had the best relationship with my dad, the teenage years were very hard on us. But after lots of hard work we have both reached a point in our relationship where I could not imagine not having his friendship and guidance in my life. My dad and I have always had a lot in common and enjoyed many similar things and it's nice to be able to share those with him. I have watched not only him, but my stepmom as well giving me love and support without question many, many times and it makes me so thankful for their part in my life.

4. My dogs

Pippen - my little scraggly man!

Ace - he can be a snob sometimes!
I love my dogs to the moon and back, they are a complete part of me. I'm not some weird dog person and think my dogs are humans, don't misunderstand, but they have provided so much love to me when I needed it the most. Last year when my life crumbled before me their constant companionship in my life was exactly what I need to move forward. I needed them to need my care. I needed them to just be there and listen and let me cry. And I need their warm snuggly bodies next to mine. My dogs are precious!

5. Reading
I absolutely love a good book. My love for books started early when my mom would read to us before bed. We would also listen to many books on tape. I remember the first books that just made me fall in love with reading were Nancy Drew books. I could sit for a whole afternoon and read an entire book in that time. My love for a good mystery has not changed but as I've gotten older I've tried to expand my tastes just a bit. Reading is a love that my cousin Taylor and I share and we are always exchanging books with each other! I can't wait to someday read to my kids and pass that on.

6. Running

This is more of a love/hate relationship here. But overall I have come to absolutely love running, my running buddies and the comfort and healing that running has brought me. I could go on, but I'll let my blog do the talking on this love interest!

7. My Church home and friends

I was so blessed to have been given such an awesome group of people to be friends with at my Church. The friendships I've made there are so amazing in my life and I have been so grateful. I am daily amazed at the love God has placed in my life. The love that now fills me is a direct reflection of being obedient to God and seeking Him and His righteousness in my life.


Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the whole year, I cannot express my love for this holiday. There are so many traditions, so many memories and so many fun times associated with Christmas in my mind. If you know me, then you know how wonderfully I can relate to Clark Griswold, sad, but true.

9. Texas Ranger's Baseball

I am a baseball fan thru and thru and I'm definitely Texas proud. I love me a good baseball game! I have many good memories of going to many games with my grandfather over the years and those are memories that I will always cherish dearly.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The One-Hundredth Post!

I thought that for my 100th post I would share what I have done in the past year with my running and what I have coming up to do.
I started my running journey in October 2010 by taking a class at RunOn to train for the 8 mile Turkey Trot. This is where I met these two amazing girls that I run with. We have become more than running buddies and I have said countless times how they have truly helped save my life in this journey. We completed the Turkey Trot (very slowly mind you!) and I knew instantly that we were not done running, not by a long shot!

In January, the girls and I ran in our first 5K together, mainly so we could get a free coffee mug, eat free pizza and pancakes and drink free beer. This was also where the idea for my blog was formed…I figured if we are going to be running all these races and spending so much time together I wanted to be able to share that and document it.
The end of January brought to us the challenge of our very first 15k. it was at White Rock Lake and this race has been by far my favorite race. I had an amazing day that day. I ran the whole 9.3 miles and I think it’s the only race to date that I actually have negative splits in!!! This was where I knew instantly that I had fallen in love with running. I knew before this race that I loved running, but that day, I fell head over heels in love!
In February we took our first “roadtrip” to Fort Worth to run the 10K race at Cowtown. We enjoyed our first expo experience, had a fun dinner out, got a few drinks, found an awesome dive and enjoyed a bug-free hotel!

March brought with it our hard-core half marathon training. I ran more miles in this month that I think I have in my entire life. I also turned 25!

On April 10th we all ran in our first ever half marathon. We ran Big D and as proud as I was to say I finished my first half marathon, I hated that entire experience. It’s true! The day actually started out pretty well but it was an unbelievably hot day and that was so unexpected. I didn’t do near as well as I had wanted and I think that mentally messed me up. But, the first one was in the books and I had a beautiful medal to prove it! I was so proud of that experience and how far I had come in just such a short time. I was also reminded of what an amazing family I have because they were there cheering me on every step of the way.

Next we tried our hand at mud running by doing the Warrior Dash. Hands down one of the most fun experiences ever!!

In May, Lisa and I were going to do a triathlon but decided just to do the run portion instead. That day it was freezing cold and pouring down rain and it was the fastest I have ever run a race. I clocked 10:40 miles! Holy crap! I also took second place in my age group and Lisa took first in hers.

 I ran in my second half marathon at White Rock Lake. Lisa was running a half marathon on the same day in Wisconsin and Michelle was dealing with a pulled muscle. I had a great experience at this half marathon and achieved a 9 minute PR!

June brought about our third half marathon that Lisa and I decided would be best to forgo and only do the 10K. This was a hard decision for me but ultimately the right one; seeing as this was the first summer that I was running through I had been having a really hard time adjusting to the heat. The day of the 10K was a hot, hot day and a really bad day for me. But I finished and I would like to point out that this is the night that the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA championships!

July was another mini roadtrip with the girls and Lisa’s friend Lucy. We may have stayed in the sketchiest part of Arlington and we may have run the craziest (read: shortest AND longest) 10K race ever. In fact, I still have not received my medal from that race which was supposed to be mailed to me….  Regardless of the race we did have a good time trying not to die in our motel while sleeping with one eye open. We also enjoyed an amazing Cracker Barrel breakfast that I have now deemed “tradition!”

August, oh August, how I have hated you so much; If I thought the heat was bad in June, just imagine the hell that August brought. I believe I have seen t-shirts made that say: I survived the DFW Summer of 2011, enough said right there! Besides the record-breaking heat, August brought our third half marathon, The Hottest Half. And what an experience that was! I was dreading this run, yet excited at the same time because of the experience that I would be able to walk (or run) away with.  This was a hard run, and the way my body responded to the heat was something that I have never experienced before. But I did better than I thought I would do, even if I did have a 9 minute personal worst!

So where does that leave us for the rest of the year…well with a long list of races to come!
September 17th: Jail Break Mud run
October 9th: Tyler Rose Half Marathon – this is supposed to be a very hilly course I’ve heard, guess I better get those hill workouts in!
October 22nd: 13.1 Dallas – I’m running this race for World Vision, check out my World Vision page by clicking the icon in the top right of my page.
October 30th: Rock ‘N Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon – Lisa and I are headed to L.A. for some fun in the sun and our first RNR medal!
November 13th: Rock ‘N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon – I’m excited about this race because I know several of my blog friends will also be running this and I hope to be able to meet some of them!
November 20th: Route 66 Half Marathon – I will be going to Tulsa to run this and will get to spend time with my sister and her boyfriend!
November 24th: 8 mile Turkey Trot – I mean how can I not run this race, it’s where it all started and I need some time redemption!
December 1st – officially starts hardcore marathon training!!
December 4th: Dallas White Rock Marathon (Relay) – I’m so excited to be doing this relay with my girls but also because my cousin Ryan (he’s my closest in age cousin) and his wife Abby will be joining us for this relay team. I am super excited to share this with them!
December 31st: The New Years Double (Half Marathon) – this will be my first 2-day challenge event and I’m super excited about it! I decided to start with the harder distance so that the next day will just seem like recovery miles.
January 1st: The New Years Double (5K) – part two of my craziness!
January 28th: The Texas Half – this race will be the final race in my 4 Seasons racing challenge. I’m very much looking forward to this race because I like this course and this time last year was my prime racing time. Personally this is going to be a chance for me to PR. I’ve decided the other races are for fun, but this one is go big or go home time!
February 24th: Cowtown Challenge (10K) – this will be our second attempt at a back-to-back race, except this time we will start with a 10K. I’m not a fan of this course so we will see how this goes.
February 25th: Cowtown Challenge (Half Marathon) – day two of the challenge, I anticipate a rough go of it.
March 17th: Rock ‘N Roll Washington D.C. – my first ever FULL marathon!

It amazes me to see what all I have already accomplished and what I am now confident of accomplishing because of that. I have been so blessed by running, the running community, the blogging community and the friendships I’ve developed. And I thank you all for sharing this personal journey with me! Stick around and watch as I continue to run the race set before me.