Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Back again, a week later! Yikes! My computer is STILL in the shop so posting has and will continue to be sporadic until then. Ugh!

BUT enough of that. It's time for some Friday Favorites! Linking up with Clare, Heather, and the Virginia Bloggers! Let's do this!

1. I have another race this weekend! I took a few weekends off after a month and half and am so ready to get out and hit the pavement again. There's just something about waking up early on Saturday morning and racing with friends. It's one of my favorite things about summer! It's just a 5k and I don't really have any time or race goals set, I'm just going out and having a good time. Although I wouldn't say no to hitting sub-22.

2. I came across this picture of Peter & I yesterday for #TBT and had to smile. This was our first picture we ever took together! Almost 4 years ago! It was Thirsty Thursday (oh to be young again! ha) and I had gone to karaoke with my best friends. Somehow, I convinced him to leave his crew and come hang out and watch me make a fool of myself. And the rest as they say, is history. ;)

Hello, chubby cheeks! ha
3. Yesterday was my last morning version of Power Hour! Can we just talk about how much fun I had teaching it?! It was totally a learning experience and I'm so thankful for the group of women who showed up to be my "test" subjects day in and day out. It was so beyond rewarding watching them slug it out each morning. I threw everything and the kitchen sink at them and they never once complained--they worked their butts off! I hope if nothing else, they learned that they are capable of absolutely anything and are so much stronger than they think.
Oh and how did we end the class? With a 10 minute plank off. Holy abs! I'm totally feeling it this morning!

4. These pins because they look absolutely delicious. And after a summer of over indulging, I'm trying to be good for a couple of weeks. ha. If I can't eat it, I can at least pin it, right?!


Yeah, my sweet tooth is absolutely insane.

5. I'm officially signed up to volunteer for the Virginia Spartan Super at Wintergreen in a couple of weeks! Ahh! I'm super nervous about this one because a) this is one of the HARDEST Spartan's according to everyone I volunteered with in ATL and b) I'm doing it alone... eek! Totally not my style but I couldn't let this one pass up. I've been wanting to do this particular race for the last couple of years and finally just decided to (wo)man up and go at it alone. But let's be honest.. if you've ever ran a Spartan, you know you're never REALLY alone, right?! Time to start practicing my rope climbs and spear throwing! Oh... and burpees.

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL and relaxing weekend! Hopefully I'll be back to a 'normal' posting schedule next week!


Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday! I promise I'm still alive--just computer-less! Apparently my Macbook had a few more problem than originally thought so it will be another week or so before I get it back. Boo!

BUT on the bright side, it's FRIDAY! And I have a fun weekend ahead!

Linking up for Friday Favorites with Clare, Heather, and the Virginia Bloggers!

1. Girls weekend last week so MUCH needed! I talked about it on Monday but it's still making my top 5 list because it was an absolute blast. It reminded me a lot of our college days (well, sort of) and made me realize a) I still got "it" and b) I'm glad I'm not in college anymore because there's absolutely no way my body could handle it. ha. Do you ever wonder how you survived those 4 years? Because I do. Lol
Our next meet up isn't until October (boo!) but I'm counting down the days already.

2, Work! This could make my top 10 almost every week but the past 2 have been exceptionally phenomenal. I love my Power Hour class because it's exactly what I'd want to do if I were taking a group ex class..... apparently there are others out there who share my same mind set. ;) It's been so rewarding and fun to watch the progress my core group has made over the last month and a half. I went into it nervous and slightly intimidated since it was my first class coming up with my own workouts but it's so much fun!
I had another a-ha moment last night when I got out of my Insanity class--I was absolutely exhausted and over the course of the day had done 100+ burpees and yet, I was totally on cloud 9. I loved it. I loved seeing the energy from my classes, love how they trust me to give them a good workout, and love that they have a good time doing it. Everything just feels "right" and it's taken so long but I'm glad I finally found what it is I'm meant to do in life!

3. A fun/productive weekend ahead! Peter has a golf tournament this weekend and on Saturday night, there's a cocktail party and I'm super excited to get dressed up and have a date with my man. ;) We're also going to be having a big, big, BIG cleaning/organizing party on Sunday which oddly, I'm very much looking forward to. Does that make me old?

4. This obituary. When my time comes, this is exactly what I want. ha.

5. American Ninja Warrior! Totally into it this summer oddly. Everyone at work says when they watch it, the automatically think of me. Lol. Maybe one day? New goal in life? ha. Either way, mad props to those athletes! SO CRAZY what they can do! I've also been following the Crossfit games--it makes me miss it SO much! Who knows--maybe I'll get back into it this fall.

From Murph last year!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekend Update!

Hey all! It's been super busy around my neck of the woods lately so I apologize for the lack of posts. Lots of traveling, work, GRAD SCHOOL (!), and of course, my MacBook decided it was going to go haywire so it's in the shop. I'll give a good and thorough life update at some point this week.

That being said, I had an absolutely WONDERFUL weekend of indulging (too much!), best friend time, and fun. I traveled to Charlotte to see my best friends for another girls weekend and I have to say, it was one of the best yet. I won't go into full detail because that would take forever but here are some pictures to prove it.

Linking up with Healthy Diva Eats for this one!

Sometimes, you just have to go a bar and flex.  I don't think I took these glasses off all weekend. ha.

I can't tell you the last time I went out to a bar two nights in a row. College maybe?! I'm totally paying for it this morning though because I'm exhausted! I certainly can't hang like I used to!

Fashion blogger, I am not.

2am "photo shoots" are the best. Clearly.

Hey there duck face. It was so nice of you to show up in almost every single photo I took this weekend.

Recreating our driver's license photos. And having the BEST dinner. If you're in Charlotte, head to Napa. It was seriously so good.

I love these girls. It seriously doesn't matter if it's been 6 weeks or 6 months since I've seen them. It never feels any different than it used to. We all live apart but still take the time and make the effort to keep our friendship close. I know everyone isn't this lucky but man, I hope you all find someone to call "your person". I know these three will be with my for the rest of my life, through good and bad.

There you have it. Lots of fun was had this weekend and all the details? There just that--details. I'm already counting down the days until our next trip.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

TOTR: Running Survey

Happy Tuesday! It's a super dreary one here and not expected to get any better as the day goes on. Totally one of those mornings where I wish I could have stayed in bed just a LITTLE bit longer. But once I got my butt in gear and out the door, I was glad I didn't press snooze a few billion times this morning and made it through my run.

Which is a perfect segue to Tuesday's on the Run. See what I did there? ha.

Brie from Lean, Clean, & Brie posted this survey yesterday and I loved it! So of course I HAD to steal it. :)

Would you rather run along a beach path or a mountain trail?
Beach. No doubt! I love running at the beach--everything is much more laid back, relaxed.. I don't feel any pressure to be fast. I run because it's what I love to do!

If you could choose the flavor of Gatorade at your next race's aid states, what would it be?
Lemon Lime. No doubt! Although it would be really awesome if they served Spark at aid stations.....

If I have you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?
I would DEFINITELY put it toward a new pair of shoes!

Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?
I'm not a big training plan kind of girl.. which I guess is a little weird considering how many races I run. I've never actually formally trained for any race that I've ever done. Granted my marathon in November will be a little different but in the past? I guess I've just gotten lucky that what I've been doing works. ha.

Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?
Start on the uphill! I've always been one to tackle the hardest thing first so it would be no different here. And to be honest, I kind of, sort of enjoy hills. I guess that's what living in the mountains will do to ya.

When you can't run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?
Any and everything! I'm a fitness nerd/junkie so I love trying new things. I do a LOT of Insanity, lift weights, walk, bike... whatever I'm in the mood for that day.

What is your preference: out and back, point to point, or loop runs?
I'm not a fan of out and back races... at all. I feel like they go on FOREVER! As far as point to point and loop runs go, I'm really okay with either.

If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a...
Definitely a good pair of running shoes. I think most new runners go out in whatever pair of shoes they have laying around and don't realize how important a good pair really is! Are they expensive? Yes. But are they worth it? No doubt. And go to a running specialty store and get your gait analyzed! The right pair makes all the difference.

Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?
Other than dogs? No. And let's hope it stays that way. :)

Ever gotten lost while out on a run?
I thought I got lost one time during a race in Asheville. We were going up this gigantic hill/mountain and the course wasn't properly marked, there weren't that many runners, and I had gone an exceptionally long time without seeing anyone. But other than that, I don't really remember getting lost on a run before.

If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days... what would that meal be?
Umm, how about a hot fudge sundae?! With extra whip topping?! And a warm brownie?!

Capris or shorts... what do you run in most often?
SHORTS!! I'll run in capris/tights when it's really, REALLY cold but I definitely prefer shorts!

At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?
Typically about a mile or so into a run, I feel like I start loosening up and start zoning out.

What do you do with your key when you run?
I try and hand them off to someone else or hide it. ha.

If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one?
The Kentucky Derby Half I did in April. It was by far the best run of my life. I don't know if I've ever felt as good about a run as I did that one (although last Saturday in Hilton Head was close). I felt like everything I had was firing on all cylinders and even after crossing the line, I felt like I could have done another 13.1... my body just felt GOOD.

What type of run is your least favorite type of run?
Night runs. Does that count? ha. I don't' really have a least favorite type of run but I really, REALLY dislike night races/runs. I'm such a morning person now that the thought of running after work or night makes me cringe. ha. Which is funny because when I first started running 10 years ago, I'd go after dinner. Yikes.

What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on?
I love seeing what my body can do! I spent the first half of my life not doing ANYTHING so now it's fun for me to test my limits. And plus, I really, REALLY love dessert. ;)

When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start?
Depends. Sometimes I'll go out my front door, other times I'll drive. During the week, I go in before work and hop on a treadmill.

When running in daylight: are sunglasses a must or an annoyance?
MUST! Even if it's not super bright outside, I wear my sunglasses.

When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?
I'm not a quitter. That's what keeps me from stopping. I don't give up on my dreams!

Have a great Tuesday everyone!


Monday, July 13, 2015

I'm back!!!

Long time, no see! The last week has been a WHIRLWIND and I don't even know where to begin.

Vacation was absolutely everything I wanted it to be and more. I didn't realize how badly I needed a break until I got there. I've been on the go non-stop since January and it was so nice to finally relax and just go with the flow for a few days. 

That being said, I'm so beyond ready to go back to work tomorrow! Isn't it nice that I have a job I don't mind going back to?! :) I'm ready to get back into a steady routine, ready to get back to a schedule, and ready to kick some booty! I'll be teaching 7 classes this week so I don't think that will be an issue. ;) 

AND even better? It's a 4-day week for me! I've got another girls weekend coming in up in Charlotte! Doesn't get much better than that. 

So.. because I have no idea how to even begin on how amazing my vacation was, I'm just going to post a few more pictures. ha. 

(When in doubt, just post photos, right?)

Crazy beach hair, don't care. 
I managed to rock 35+ miles while on vacation! I know some people think that's absolutely crazy and that's okay. But my idea of relaxation? Rocking out mileage with no time restraints, no agenda.. just getting a chance to run for fun. Not that I don't always enjoy my runs but more often than not, I'm on some kind of time restraint and don't get a chance to fully enjoy my run while I'm in it. I LOVED being able to lace up my shoes and go out and ENJOY every minute of my workout. I stopped and took pictures when I wanted to, rested on the beach, got a LOT of thinking done.. it was AMAZING. Running is my "me" time and isn't that what vacation is all about?

You know you're a runner when.................... ;)

Dinner at Black Marlin for my Mom & Dad's anniversary. 41 years strong! I'm so blessed to have such a strong example of what marriage should be. 

Sunset at Shelter Cove. GO TO HILTON HEAD! You won't regret it. 

We decided to stay away from Coligny Beach this year and went across the road from our condo to a beach called Burke's Beach. It was amazing! No crowds, quiet... basically, PERFECT. 

Shelter Cove has fireworks every Tuesday night so I got not one BUT TWO shows. 

I got home from Hilton Head on Thursday and on Friday, Peter and I drove to Charlottesville for a quick visit to his fam. Clearly, we were both excited.

Nothing like a little farm running to get the morning started. It was a dreary run and I may or may not have gotten chased by a 3-legged dog but seriously--scenery doesn't get much better (okay, unless I'm running in Hilton Head...)

Saturday afternoon, we ventured to the Downtown mall and we FINALLY made it to the Whiskey Jar! I've been wanting to go FOREVER! Whiskey Sours are my very favorite drink and their's did not disappoint. 

After way too much (delicious) food at Mono Loco and another JalapeƱo Marg (I'm OBSESSED!), we took another quick walk on the downtown mall. Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE Charlottesville and the surrounding area? By far one of my favorite places!

There ya have it. A terrible vacation recap but let's be honest--my days basically went like this:

wake up
lay on the beach for approximately 1038903148 hours
(aka, an ideal vacation)

Now it's time to get back to the real world and catch up on all of my blog reading! Can't wait to get my reading on!

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Monday!

*Linking up with Erin from Her Heartland Soul for Weekend Snapshots!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tuesday's On the Run: Firecracker 5000

Hey guys! Another quick update from Hilton Head--probably my last until Friday! I wanted to get a quick recap up from my race on Saturday a) before I forget it and b) because I'm so darn proud of the race I ran! 

Linking up with MCM Mama Runs (! (Sorry for the wonky formatting!)

For the last several years, we've been coming down to Hilton Head for the Fourth of July holiday and starting about 3 years ago, I started running in be Firecracker 5000--a local 5k with about 1,500 (!) runners! A little different from home, huh?!

My goal every year has been the same--place in my age group. I've been oh so close every year but not quite gotten there--until this year.

The race was in a new location this year and it was perfect. Mostly because it was within walking distance to where we are staying so I used the walk over as my "warm-up". As I have before most races lately, my legs just weren't feeling it before hand. It was SUPER hot, I'd been on the beach all day Friday (poor me, right?), and I was out of my normal race morning conditions. I didn't put much stock in meeting my goal and just told myself to go out and have fun. 

Cue to the start of the race--as soon as I get my adrenaline pumping, it's on. Once the gun went off, I knew it was going to be a good race. It was crowded at the start but about a quarter mile in, it let up and I started picking people out left and right to pace off of. As soon as I passed them, I'd move on to the next. I think a combo of this and the new course kept my mind from thinking about pace and how bad my legs were burning. ;) 

To be honest, I had no clue what my pace even was. I don't know that I even looked down at my watch once the entire race. All of the miles came fast and before I knew it, I was crossing the finish line. When I looked down at my watch and the clock at the finish line, I was SHOCKED. My 5k PR has been 21:45 FOREVER. I've gotten close lately but haven't quite broken it. 


Umm, beach running is clearly good to me. I couldn't believe I not only beat my PR but CRUSHED it. Never in my wildest DREAMS did I think I'd PR Saturday. 

I think one of the big motivating factors for me was that I was put in the "Zina" category--145 pounds and over. I was over the cutoff by 2 pounds. I've only ran a few races with a weight category and I'm not a fan. I know some are but I'm old school and think that weight shouldn't matter in running. That being said, I was a) not only going to win my category but b) win my age group too. 

Well folks, I did. I FINALLY broke through and won! I've never thought my weight was a big deal with running and still don't. This Zina can run fast and that's all that matters. I won Zina by 4 minutes and would have won my age group (25-29) by a solid 30 seconds. Take that. 

It was a great race and I'm so proud of my shiny new PR! I'm not sure I will be able to break it again anytime soon but you better believe I'm going to keep trying! 

And as a part of this week's TOTR, follow me on Instagram! That's where I do a majority of my posting and is clearly my favorite social media platform. 


Again, sorry for the crazy formatting! 

Have a great Tuesday everyone! I'm off for a run and another day at the beach!


Monday, July 6, 2015

Quick check in!

Good morning from one of my favorite places in the entire world--Hilton Head Island! If you've never been here, seriously--make plans to come now! I won't be home until Thursday (!!) but figured I'd check in with a few pictures this AM and do a FULL recap on Friday. 

I also plan on checking in for Tuesday's on the Run tomorrow for a special recap on my EPIC Fourth of July run. HINT: I CRUSHED my previous 5k PR! 

Anyway, on to the pictures. :)

First sweaty run on the Island! Faster than jnwas planning on but not bad!

Morning in shelter cove.

PR city baby! Only took me 3 years of running this race to win a medal--just call me Zina warrior princess. Ha. More on that tomorrow!


FINALLY got a few fireworks after all of the rain. 


Epic sunset last night! 

Have a wonderful Monday! I plan on another run and more beach time--hard to hate a Monday like that! 


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thinking Out Loud: Vacation Edition!

It's Thursday, I'm off of work, and I'm leaving for vacation in a mere 4-5 hours. LIFE IS GOOD YA'LL!

That being said, here's a quick Thinking Out Loud on this Thursday. :)

As always, linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons.

1. I'm just going to say it.. I don't get soccer. We didn't have it growing up in my area (I told y'all I live in the sticks, ha) so I never really had any exposure to it until I got to college. I played it during intramurals and enjoyed the running aspect (of course) but other than that, I was terrible and just didn't enjoy it that much. To each their own I guess, right?! That being said, I am following the American Women and hope they kick Japan's ass on Sunday!

These shoes are made for running. 

2. The only problem with going to the beach? The 7 hour drive ahead of me. Don't get me wrong, it's so worth it but man.. it's a long haul. I'm driving it by myself as my parent's left yesterday and Peter can't go (boo!). I'll be rocking out to a LOT of XM radio and hopefully a few good talk shows. On the way back, I may see if I can pop into Charlotte for a night and see my BFF!

Not Hilton Head. But can I go back anyway?! 

3. So, I registered for the Firecracker 5000 5k in Hilton Head on Saturday like I always do and this year, they asked me for my weight. I've seen more and more races do this recently and it really bugs me. Apparently, the "Zina" division is for females 145lbs and over and I meet that qualification by about 2 pounds. My weight doesn't bug me in the least bit.. but the fact that I'm put in an entirely different award category does. Mostly because all 147lbs of me is quite capable of beating someone who weighs considerably less. :) My goal for Saturday is to now place top 5 in my age group and totally rock my Zina status.

Just call me Zina.

4. Peter & I got some great news yesterday. I can't go into detail yet (soon!) but it's both exciting and scary at the same time. Ahh! Big changes headed this way.

5. I start my grad school classes in 2 weeks and I'm so flipping stoked! I'm so glad I've finally found a program that feels right. It's been a long process but it's been so worth it!

Alright, time to get my mileage in for the Runner's World Run Streak (2 days to go!), pack (which I should have done last night), and then hit the road!

See ya'll tomorrow form HHI!