It Just Comes Natural

April 28, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Posted in Blogroll, Books, Half-Marathon, People I Meet | 5 Comments
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Hey guys!

For once I didn’t have a race this weekend! Crazy, huh?

Let’s get right in to it, shall we?

Uhhhhhh……..Ok wordpress changed something. The little tab where I could select my font size is now gone. Hello? Where’d it go?

Um so anyway….

Running Week:

This seems a lot less exciting without my bigger title font. *huffs at wordpress*

Well I guess the font size fits my running the past week or so! After the 10K…I didn’t feel like doing JACK. I seriously laid around all week. Between being tired in general, burnt out on school work, and doing 3 races in 3 weeks…I was DONE.

So I was a slug all week. It wasn’t as great as it sounds. You ever do that? Decide to rest…but then just end up feeling lazy? I hate that.

Sunday I kicked my self back in to gear. My half training schedule called for a 5K race, but we all know I can do that, no prob. So I was going to try for 7 miles…but I only manged 4. That’s not too bad though! It was mist/raining…so by the time I got back from 4, I was SOAKED.

The good news is that so far this week I had an AWESOME 4.5 mile run yesterday, and a…mostly crap-tastic 3miler today. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh well. It’s better than last week already!

Also today I had one of those “I never thought I’d say these words” moments. I found myself saying to my neighbor “I think I lost my pepper spray in your yard.” which I followed with “It’s pink. If you or your dog happens to find it, please let me know.”

You feel like a winner when you lose your pepper spray. ๐Ÿ™‚

See, it’s not my fault, I swear. And I don’t NORMALLY carry pepper spray! Honest! But I was going to run this long country road…where there’s not many houses, not a lot of traffic…but there are dogs…and other animals…and we’re in the woods…and there can be coyotes….and there have been shootings and a few rapes here so um…yeah. Pepper spray. So. I was heading out to run, and the neighbor’s dog spotted me and came tearing after me, so I helped catch her…and apparently my pepper spray fell off in their yard. I didn’t notice till halfway through my run…but I figured that’s where it had fallen.

So yeah. Pepper spray. But the good news is my neighbor found my pepper spray and I now have it back! Yay for not having to spend 15 bucks!

Anyway.

No races in store for this weekend, but I AM going to hike Dragon’s Toothย ย (which is part of the AT) with some of the Striders! Super excited about that. Get ready for a TON of pictures!!!

There’s absolutely NO knitting to speak of, so let’s move on in to this week’s…

Favorite:

So this week’s favorite is thanks to last week’s favorite. ๐Ÿ™‚ This week’s favorite is the movie Food Inc.

Wow. Just WOW.ย  Did you know that the average food product travels about 1,500 miles to get to your grocery store? And that transporting food accounts for 30,800 tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year? Did you know that in order to kill the bacteria in the hamburger you buy at the grocery store, it’s been soaked in ammonia? Did you know that there is some corn product or corn byproduct in almost everything in the grocery store?

If you haven’t seen it…please, just give it a chance. You’ve probably wasted an hour and a half of your life on something MUCH less important, less interesting, and less entertaining…so just…try it. Netflix has it…I’m sure you can find bits and pieces of it floating on the web…

I liked it so much I bought the DVD so I can make all my family and friends watch it.

Even just go to the website. http://www.foodincmovie.com/ย Just…look around. I mean…don’t you think you should know a LITTLE something about the stuff you actually put inside your body? We all want our doctors to wash their hands before surgery…or even before they poke and prod us in the exam room. Don’t you want to be sure the food you’re actually putting inside yourself every single day…is safe?

So thanks to Food Inc…I’ve made some pretty big changes in the last week or so. I’ve started eating all organic…or as much as I can find. I’m in rural southwest VA…and some grocery stores still don’t carry organic stuff. But on the weekends I’m going to the farmer’s market…I’ve made two homemade pizza’s…with amazing homemade sauce and dough…a rockin homemade salad dressing…and of course my amazing scrambled eggs.

Organic just TASTES better. If you’ve never had free-range organic eggs straight from a farmer…you’re missing out. Eggs will never taste the same again.

Anyway. This favorite has been too long…must cease and desist.

Other Junk:

Well I really have no other junk. OH WAIT! Yeah I do! Haha.

More planting!!! It ties in nicely with my whole organic deal. If you’ve had veggies you raise yourself…you KNOW how much better they are than the store-bought ethelyne-gas ripened crap. Bleh.

Tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, romaine lettuce, and more!

Tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, romaine lettuce, and more!

So excited for these little guys to grow up!!!

I also made sweet potato chips. I haven’t perfected it yet…but they are SCRUMPTIOUS!!! If you’ve made chips at home by baking them…PLEASE tell me how to get them crispy?! Mine turn out either burnt, or slightly mushy…like french fry consistancy. I mean I eat them either way but…how do I crisp them?

Mmmm sweet potato chips!

Mmmm sweet potato chips!

Other than that…just….trying to get through the next 37 days until school is OUT!!!!!! I can’t wait. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sharing Shoutout:

This week’s shoutout is to Miss Ashlei over at The Vegster. I want to say a HUGE thanks to her for sharing her amazing-fantastic-yummy-delecious-tasty-freakingawesome granola recipe.

Doesn't that just look amazing! And it's not even cooked yet!

Doesn't that just look amazing! And it's not even cooked yet!

It’s her Double Coconut Granola and it can be found on her blog under Recipes. Let me tell you….it is amazing. In a word…”granogasmic”. I devoured the first batch, only stopping long enough to share a taste with mom…and I just made a double batch today. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will never buy granola from a store AGAIN. This stuff is better than cookies!

Hellooooooo granola.

Hellooooooo granola.

Ashlei…you freaking rock.

Alrighty, off to eat some granola!!

That Good Old Mountain Dew

April 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Posted in Cross Training, People I Meet, running, Training | 5 Comments
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No Mountain Dew for me…but I did have some Mountain Mayhem. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh wow. SO much to talk about!!!!!

I can’t even remember what I did or didn’t talk about last time. Geez.

Running Week:

Well, as you know last weekend was a 5K that I turned in to a 10K. This weekend I had a REAL 10K. My first time ever racing that distance. Yeah, I’d ran it before, but never raced.

So of course, in my typical style, I don’t do an EASY 10K. No, nothing flat. Nothing simple. Nothing on pavement even! Of course I do a Mountain Junkies race. The Mill Mountain Mayhem. Aptly named.

The entire first mile is uphill. Entire.

And not a little hill either. A mondo-jumbo-evil hill. A mountain even.

Hence the name.

Thank GOD the finish was all downhill. However we did have to walk about a half mile UPHILL to get to the start. Which was also uphill.

Thank GOD the finish was all downhill. However we did have to walk about a half mile UPHILL to get to the start. Which was also uphill.

Actually it takes you through the Star City trails system, TO Mill Mountain, behind the zoo, around the Star **Roanoke is known as the Star City**ย and then back down the hill. Somehow…this amounts to 6.2ish miles. I still swear the first 4 miles were all uphill. Even after we reached the Star…and circled around to the back of it….the trail STILL had a slight incline.

I said quite a few choice phrases….and mom was behind me the whole way. Haha.

Mostly I was saying bad things about the race directior. I’ve been doing his races for years now…and at some point in every race, I question his sanity…or question his motives for the course. ๐Ÿ™‚ He and his wife are both awesome. I’m a huge fan of their races, no matter how painful.

The best race crew EVER. These ARE the Mountain Junkies.

The best race crew EVER. These ARE the Mountain Junkies.

Also this week I found a new road near my house to run/bike. It’s VERY quiet. Secluded almost. I ran for about 20 minutes on it and was only passed by one car. That’s pretty great. It’s fairly flat, and doesn’t have any nasty curves so I feel safe on a bike without worrying that a driver will come up behind me on a turn and not see me. I haven’t biked it yet. I figured I’d run it first to get a better idea of the traffic on the road. It’s easier to jump out of the way on foot than on a bike!

Knitting Week:

Not a lot of knitting. Worked a little on my aunt’s socks. I’m having second-sock syndrome. I just don’t wanna knit them anymore.

I did spin some though! AND over the last week or two I learned how to set the twist in my yarn, so yay me!

Working with my roving from Gate City. Mmmm.

Working with my roving from Gate City. Mmmm.

Whoo, I has yarn!

Whoo, I has yarn!

Favorite:

This week’s favorite HAS to be netflix on the wii. OH MY GOSH. I can get a TON of movies and TV shows INSTANTLY to my TV. Considering the fact I don’t have real TV here…just broadcast…this is incredible. I went from having 4 channels, 5 on a sunny day, to just about ANY movie or TV show I want.

Ta-Da!!!

Ta-Da!!!

Yeah, they are all old episodes, but I’ve been without real TV for almost a year now…so I finally get to catch up!

Plus, the movies! I don’t have to wait 3 days to change out movies. If I watch part and end up not liking it, it wasn’t a wasted 3 days!

Netflix, your instant movies rock my face. (Yes, I stole that. You know who you are and you know you love me.)

Other Junk:

Well because a 10K on some brutal trails yesterday wasn’t enough…the bff and I decided to go a-hiking.

We wandered down to Fairystone Park to explore the trails around there.

Oh how I love hiking season. Man it’s awesome out today. 65 degrees or so…sunny, but breezy…perfect.

We picked a trail at random…Stony Falls I think?

The first drop wasn't much taller than I am. You can walk in the stream right up to it.

The first drop wasn't much taller than I am. You can walk in the stream right up to it.

The falls were little, but being as we’re in a flatter part of the state, I didn’t expect much. The falls were small enough that if it was warmer…I really would have considered trying to climb them. Maybe another time. But after the falls, we kept going on the trail, and found an AWESOME view.

A seat with a view!

A seat with a view!

Then we continued on the trail…followed the signs for the trail head…which on the map there were only 2…but…let me just say one trail head is NOT the same as another.

We wound up near a camp ground, but NOT the one we parked near…so we found another trail…that pointed us closer to the right direction…and then thanks to some lucky guessing, we found our way back to the car.

The trails were all REALLY well marked…we always knew what trail we were on, what mile we were at, but the downside of the park/hike was that we couldn’t find a big trail system map ANYWHERE. It would have been nice to be able to see a “You are here” dot somewhere….especially in the parking lot or at the camp ground so we could better locate ourselves.

Overall, I liked the trail we went on, and I really want to go back again soon.

I need more hiking companions. Any takers?!?!? I pack a great picnic! ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, being as it’s Earth Week, I did my fair share!

I planted stuff! Yesterday I planted 5 tomatoes and 2 basil plants.

I planted stuff! Yesterday I planted 5 tomatoes and 2 basil plants.

I got this off of The Vegster’s blog. I’m not actually participating in the challenge…but I just enjoy knowing that I’m helping our planet. I typically do these things anyway…so it works. Here’s the list. The ones in bold are the ones I did this week!

GREEN WEEK CHALLENGES:

  1. Wash clothes with cold water 1 pt **I do it every time!**
  2. Drink a green smoothie 1 pt
  3. Eat a vegetarian or vegan meal 1 pt
  4. Use cloth napkins 1 pt
  5. Make and use your own cleaning products (Recipesย here!) 2 pts
  6. Use a canvas, or reusable, grocery bag 1 pt
  7. Plant a tree/herb/vegetable (indoors or out) 2 pts
  8. Shop at your local farmers market or buy only local produce for a day 1 pt ***I went to 3 local markets, does that count 3 times?***
  9. Shop at your local farmers market/buy local for the next week 2 pts
  10. Take all batteries, old computers, DVD players, or other electronics to anย electronics recycling center (keep hazardous substances out of the landfill) 2 pts
  11. Start a compost 2 pts
  12. Clean out your pantry and donate unopened non-perishables to a food bank 2 pts
  13. Walk, bike or take public transportation to work for the ENTIRE week 2 pts
  14. Carpool to work/store/gym 1 pt
  15. Make an Earth inspired meal using only whole foods- whole grains, fresh veggies and/or fruits, nuts, seeds 1 pt
  16. Get in touch with the Earth- try a yoga class, go for a walk without distractions such as your Ipod, meditate 1 pt
  17. Donate your time to a soup kitchen (good karma!) 2 pts
  18. Bring a reusable coffee cup on your next cafe run 1 pt
  19. Hang laundry to dry 1 pt

Also this week…I watched Food Inc. We will have to have a WHOLE separate post about that sometime. Whew.

Sending Luck Shoutout:

This week’s shoutout is to everyone doing BOSTON tomorrow!!!!! Karyn is gearing up, and a lot of people from my local running group are going as well. GOOD LUCK to everyone that’s Boston Bound!!!!

I’m SOOOO streaming the race tomorrow during school. My kids can DEAL. ๐Ÿ™‚

We Are…

April 15, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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We are the Hokies.

We will prevail.
We will prevail.
We will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech.

ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  ~Nikki Giovanni

There aren’t words to describe how the events of April 16, 2007 changed my life.

It’s not just the fact that it happened at my school. It happened in my home town. You never expect these things to happen…especially not at school, and especially not in your town. For me, it was both.

When you see these school shootings and things…we hear about how it’s changed the school, the students, the faculty…but it changes the community too.

This random act of violence shook not just a school, not just a community, not just a country, but the world. The world as a whole stopped, and looked right here, at Blacksburg, Virginia. My hometown.

Standing on the drillfield at the candelight vigil…I can’t put in to words what that felt like. I will never, ever forget that night. I can’t ever forget that day. And we will never forget those lost.

It has changed me, as a person. It has made me a lot more thankful for the people in my life. It’s made me thankful for my own life. I thought I knew what it was to be thankful before…but it takes on a whole new meaning. You see these things on the news…but until it hits close to home, it never really sinks in.

I’m thankful for my friends, my family, all of my loved ones. I’m thankful for my life, and my abilities. I’m so thankful for my ability to run. Tomorrow I will run 3.2 miles. 3.2 for the 32 victims. There is a 3.2 mile race tomorrow at Virginia Tech but I won’t be able to attend, but I’ll still do my 3.2.

If anyone else out there would like to join in, I’d love to do an online “run” with anyone who wants to! Feel free to bike 32 miles, or 3.2…whatever works for you. Maybe 32 laps in the pool.

If you do join in, please leave me a comment here so I know!

ย 

We are Virginia Tech.

ย 

I decided to hold off on the rest of the regular post stuff until Saturday, so check back then for the continuation of my birthday post.

Party Like It’s Your Birthday

April 12, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Posted in 5k, People I Meet, running, Training, Triathlon | 6 Comments
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Or rather I’m gonna blog like it’s my birthday. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cause it is. ๐Ÿ™‚

Whooo go me!

So I’m going to deviate from my normal pattern and do a birthday and race special. ๐Ÿ™‚ Cause I can. ๐Ÿ™‚

Race Special:

Last Friday started my spring break from school so I headed home for some rest and family time. Saturday morning I got up and headed to the local park for a 3 mile run. When I got there it appeared as though there was a race about to take place.

I parked, and as I did so another car parked behind me and a fellow Star City Strider hopped out! I quickly asked him about the race and he told me it was an 8K for a local charity.

So I said…”Hey, might as well”.

I’d never done an 8K race before…and was scheduled to do 5 miles on Sunday anyway so I figured I’d move it up a day.

Let me tell you…entering a race on a whim makes you feel like a bona-fide real-live runner with a capital R. ๐Ÿ™‚

Not ONLY did I run my first 8K race, but I did it with some very prestegious company.ย James Kipketer, Richard Bett, and David Cheromei. 3 amazing Kenyan runners. It was so incredible to run with them. I can’t even put in to words how cool that was. James Kipketer finished first in a time of 23:23. Yeah. 23 minutes for 5 miles. It was even more amazing that when I was finishing and they were cooling down, they cheered for the runners coming in. It’s just one more reason why I love this sport. You don’t get to play football with Randy Moss or Peyton Manning. But with running…you’re on the same course at the same time. Same playing field. I love it.

So anyway, after an awesome 8K last week, I had a 5K planned for this past weekend. Our first Susan G. Komen race in the Roanoke Valley. I have been looking forward to this for a year!! The Striders helped organize the event so naturally I volunteered to help the day of the race since I would be running anyway.

Carly and I posing at the finish.

Carly and I posing at the finish.

The president assigned me an awesome job…he asked if I could lead the non-competitive 5K portion. I instantly agreed. I wasn’t sure what exactly that entailed…but hey, lead a race? SURE!

So the morning of the race I met up with all our Strider volunteers and got the details of my assignment.

See, I’d entered the COMPETITIVE 5K. I was asked to lead the NON-COMPETITIVE. With this particular race…there are 3 parts. Competitive 5K, Non-competitive 5K, and 1 mile. The two 5K’s start 45 minutes apart…so I could either drop the competitive one…or run both.

There was never a question. I did both. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah. If I thought signing up for a race on a whim made me feel like a real runner, well doubling my race distance day of the race…yeah, I’m a runner. ๐Ÿ™‚ BAMF even.

So I did a 10K race. The bestest was there and I talked her in to doing the 10K as well. Hehe. I was so honored that our Striders president wanted me to lead the non-competitive. It was supposed to be mostly walkers but there were some FAST people in there too. They passed me…but I was fine with that. I’d already done one race that day! Haha.

Running a second 5K carrying a somewhat bulky sign the whole way...slightly less than awesome but still pretty freaking cool!

Running a second 5K carrying a somewhat bulky sign the whole way...slightly less than awesome but still pretty freaking cool!

I was also on the news and in the paper. ๐Ÿ™‚ Awesomness.

So to recap…I ran an unplanned 8K and 10K. I. Rock.

2 weekends, 2 races, 2 distances I'd never raced before. BAMF.

2 weekends, 2 races, 2 distances I'd never raced before. BAMF.

Birthday Special:

It’s my BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!! Whooooooo!!!!!!!!!

Since I was home for the last week, there were lots of birthday happenings.

Easter dinner involved my birthday cake for dessert…red velvet, the best!

Mmmm cake.

Mmmm cake.

I also went down to Tennessee to see my adopted sister. ๐Ÿ™‚ Today is her birthday too! โค We had several adventures which I will cover in the next post. ๐Ÿ™‚

My sissy and me, out on an adventure.

My sissy and me, out on an adventure.

And then on Friday the bestest brought me birthday CUPCAKES!!!!

Hello, my love.

Hello, my love.

Oh my GOSH these things were AMAZING. No, we didn’t eat them all. Some were for her boyfriend and his family. ๐Ÿ™‚ Let met tell you, one was enough to put me in a sugar coma. So good.

And for my own personal present, I bought myself a new bike seat!!! This puppy ROCKS! More on how great it is in the next post. ๐Ÿ™‚

New bike seat!

New bike seat!

And to end things properly…

Sisterly Shoutout Special:

Today’s shoutout has to go to Jo. My sister-bear. ๐Ÿ™‚ She’s my birthday buddy and the most awesome sissy in the whole world. She’s also in a LOT of trouble for tattling on me!

Ok so I maaaaaaay have talked her in to adopting a puppy while I was in Tennessee…but I mean…it’s not my fault! It was a CUTE puppy! She needed it. I swear.

So she adopted the pup…and brought it home today and I got an awesome text from mom saying that I’m on her hit list now. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks Jo. Love ya.

Check back later this week for even more news!! *2 posts in a week!?! NO WAY!!!*

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