Sunday, March 31, 2013

Endorphins and Easter Candy

I should really be doing laundry and making my weekly run to Trader Joe's because I have no clothes and no food but it was such a great three day weekend and so many wonderful things happened that I just have to share. So when I show up hungry and naked to work tomorrow you will know why. 

Friday started off really well because I slept in until 8:45. For some reason I have completely lost my ability to sleep late when I'm sleeping by myself. It just isn't possible. Mostly because 97% of the time my bladder wakes me up at 6:30. That's embarrassing, but it's true. Hey hold on for a second, I have to pee again.

Okay I'm back. So Friday I slept in a little bit, then went for a run because I was stuck at work late on Thursday so instead of running I decided to eat a pizza and then go to sleep.

So after my run I did approximately 12 girl pushups and then called it a workout. I was jamming out to Bon Jovi while I was doing my pushups, and completely forgot I'd left my music blaring so when I hopped out of my shower I thought for a minute there was a really talented attacker in my apartment and panicked. Then I realized it was just "Livin' on a Prayer" and my heart rate returned to normal. So that was Friday day.

Friday evening I met up with Taylor and we headed over to his parents house to have a nice little dinner with them. I really love them and it had been way way too long since we'd seen them so that was wonderful and delicious and it's probably good we don't see them more often because they feed us too well and we would most likely be like 100 pounds heavier than we currently are. 

We spent the rest of the night relaxing and goofing off with his roommates playing made up card games and ridiculous trivia. I may have cheated. 

And then we thought it would be funny to put a tie on Jax. 
Actually I'm pretty sure that was my idea.

A tie. On a dog. Funny right? No? Ok. 

Saturday morning we had no trouble sleeping in until ELEVEN. Of course I woke up early to pee and then went back to bed, but that's really beside the point. And then of course, donuts happened. Weekend breakfast at Shipley's is almost like a reflex now.

It goes like this: Wake up, NEED SHIPLEY'S NOW. 

Cake donuts are my new fave.

I have to tell y'all a secret. 95% of the time Taylor pretends that he can't stand me. 

This  is what I get when I beg him to take a picture with me.
Friggin' Spock hand.
But then he buys me donuts, takes me shopping, spends the afternoon watching Forrest Gump with me while I cry (if FG doesn't make you cry there is seriously something wrong with you), and then feeds me Saltgrass for dinner. Tater, sweetheart, you aren't fooling anyone. 

I'm aware that you already saw the donuts, but I can't help what I instagram people. 
So that was Saturday. 

Sunday we woke up bright and early (eh, is 9am early?) and went to church for an awesome Easter Sunday service. Then we celebrated the resurrection with lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of food.

Seriously, it's what Jesus would have wanted. 

If you are thinking that you don't see any vegetables on that table then you are dead WRONG mister.
That is a whole dish full of green bean casserole. 

If that isn't the most Southern Easter dinner you've ever seen.
BBQ brisket and fried okra? OMG Texas you are the best. 

Then it was picture time. 

Remember when I gave you insight into a typical Mimi conversation? Well I am kindove obsessed with Mimi and she might be my most favorite person in the whole entire world. 

This is Mimi's permanent stance:

Hunched over with her wind up disposable camera glued to her face capturing some super unimportant moment. 

Like this one for instance.  

Crazy lady actually made us pose holding a plant.
You cannot make this stuff up folks.

I keep telling her that one day her face is going to get stuck like that but she doesn't listen to me. 
See? I wasn't kidding about the wind up disposable camera. 

Favorite people. 

Yeah that's me holding my belly because it was FULL. But look how cute my brother is. 

Oh there's that boy again.
Also apparently Mimi forgot my name, because my Easter egg looked like this:

WTF Mimi?!?!!! She says her hand slipped but I don't know if I buy it.
JK Mimi I love you and I love my semi-personalized boiled egg. 

If you are still reading this then you must really like me so give yourself a pat on the back because this is really long and you've obviously developed some super human blog reading endurance. I applaud you. Also I'm almost done.

After the food coma, we headed back home to Fort Worth. I'd really wanted to squeeze in an 8 mile run this weekend and had pretty much decided it wasn't going to happen but the weather was just way too nice and I so I went out for a run. 

Best decision EVER.

My calf pain/tightness/shin splints have been bothering me pretty much always lately. Which makes running less fun and more about distracting myself from the pain. It's been awhile since I've had a really enjoyable run. So I knew that if I was going to have fun with this run, I was going to have to slow the heck down. So I did. And the result was a perfect, pain-free run. 

I think I've been so caught up in wanting to get faster and faster all the time that I've forgotten the benefits of a comfortable run. 

I needed someone to remind me that every run is not a race. And I need to do a better job with incorporating a slower paced long run into every week. 

But now I won't be able to sleep because I'm hopped up on endorphins and Easter candy. Oops. 



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Running talk from the girl who skipped her workout

Here's what happened.

Work today was ugh served with a side of OMGKILLMENOW, so I didn't get out of there until after six. And to be perfectly honest all I wanted to do was lie in my bed watching New Girl with one of these:

Seriously someone buy me one. My birthday is June 2nd. 

But in order to partake in the wine I first had to clear my conscience. 
So I did about ten minutes worth of weights...

Too legit to quit y'all.

Whipped up some dinner...

Always to be eaten in bed. 

And now the partaking can begin. 
Don't judge my serving size. I told you it was a long day. 

I'm doing a really terrible job committing to the books from my impulsive Amazon order. Primary problem being, they are all so good. And I have yet to find a job that will pay me to sit around reading running books while eating cheetos. Believe you me, I am searching, but so far has yet to come up with anything. Ridiculous, I know. Anyways, I've been reading chapters here and there from just about every single book. Even though this is something I read back a while ago when I started Born to Run, this excerpt has stuck with me, and it's something I've found myself recalling on the tough days. 

         "And when things look worst, we run the most. Three times, America has seen distance-running skyrocket, and it’s always in the midst of a national crisis. The first boom came during the Great Depression, when more than two hundred runners set the trend by racing forty miles a day across the country in the Great American Footrace. Running then went dormant, only to catch fire again in the early ’70s, when we were struggling to recover from Vietnam, the Cold War, race riots, a criminal president, and the murders of three beloved leaders. And the third distance boom? One year after the September 11 attacks, trail-running suddenly became the fastest-growing outdoor sport in the country. Maybe it was a coincidence. Or maybe there’s a trigger in the human psyche, a coded response that activates our first and greatest survival skill when we sense the raptors approaching."

How beautiful is that? It gives me chills. Even though I chose to be a bum and skip out today, I just really love running. I love it because it's simple. One foot in front of the other. On the hard days, and on the easy days, just one foot in front of the other. 


I'm off to an embarrassingly early bedtime because I have a very early speed workout scheduled for tomorrow. Also, because I am tired. 




Monday, March 25, 2013

5 Ways to turn a mediocre Monday around


Wake up and realize that it's a FOUR DAY WORK WEEK! HOLLA!

I would probably never do that. 
I've always loved Easter. Mainly because pastel colored boiled eggs are the bomb. But this year I love it even more because my company officially recognizes Good Friday as a day to let Natalie sleep in!!! Oh, and because Jesus rose from the dead. Don't worry I didn't forget about that.


Check back on the race website and realize that your time in Saturday's very rainy 10k actually placed you second in your age group which means you get an award! Even though "award" is an extremely vague term that could mean I'll be getting anything from a brick of solid gold to a high five, but I'm excited nonetheless.


Get off work, go for a run, and then re-fuel with an awesome and extremely healthy roomie dinner date

I was just kidding about the healthy. 

I told rooms she really needs to man up on her fro-yo serving sizes. 
I mean seriously that bowl is so weak it's embarrassing


Oh and I also have to brag that I got my giant bowl of fro-yo for $0.29. Yes, you read that right. TWENTY NINE CENTS. I'm pretty sure the bowl weighed like 8 pounds and so I got about a forty dollar discount. That's what you get for being a platinum level rewards member at your local fro-yo place. 

Never scoff at the rewards program people. 


I have been begging and pleading with my very stubborn Tater Tot for months to run a race, any race, with me. Well, somehow, yesterday a miracle took place and after just one quick five minute phone call from our friend Tyler (the same friend who ran the Cowtown with me), Taylor magically agreed to sign up to run the Color Me Rad 5k in May. Somy relationship advice for the day is: if you want to get your man to do something, just have one of his guy friends ask. Then it will seem like a brilliant idea. 

There is also the slight possibility that Taylor didn't want to run with me because my enthusiasm for the idea of couples runs may or may not be borderline obnoxious. 

Like I said, it's just a possibility


Neglect any and all grown-up responsibilities and curl up in bed with your new book and favorite re-runs of New Girl, all before 10pm. 

Natalie - 1
Monday - 0

How was your Monday?!



Sunday, March 24, 2013

The time I rode a horse and then ran a 10k in the rain

So Friday night, this happened.

And then 12 hours later, this happened.

Don't worry, I'll explain. 

So Friday evening I went down to the Stockyards with some of my favorite work people to ride horses down on the Trinity Trails. Even though I'm from DFW, I can seriously count on one hand how many times I've been down to that part of town, with the most recent being the Cowntown. It's a really great area, but pretty touristy so I guess as a local you don't really find yourself down there all too often. Mostly because it usually looks like this...

But Friday night it looked more like this:

Except less Christmasy. And more people. Pretty huh?

Anyways, about an hour of horseback riding and a very sore butt later, we headed over to Cattleman's for maybe the most outrageously good steak I have ever had. Ever. 

What?!??!! Saturday was race day. Onion rings = carbo-loading. (Oh and the reason you don't see any vegetables on my plate is because there were none. Get real, this is the south y'all.)

Oh and this guy came too. 

After a sunny and warm past two weeks, Texas decided it wanted to piss everybody off and get really cold again. Hence the scarf. Friday morning started off at about 60 degrees and gradually dropped down to the 40's as the day went on. That is just too cold. So Friday night before I went to bed, I said my prayers and crossed my fingers and hoped it would warm up to a comfortable temperature for the Lonestar 10k. 

Saturday morning roommate and I woke up bright and early at 5:30am to head to Arlington for the race. As we were getting ready, we noticed thunder, and lots of it. I did my impression of a totally cool, calm, and collected person and tried to convince Sydney that it was definitely not going to rain and would surely warm up to a delightfully sunny 75 degree morning. 

But the weather channel app is a jerk and refused to back me up on that...

Nonetheless, we tried to stay optimistic and headed to the race and tried to act tough. But let's be real y'all, no one wants to run in a 45 degree storm. And if you say you do I will call you a liar. 

Once we got to the race site, we were in the middle of some major thunder and lightning. As we hiked  around the ballpark to packet pickup, I convinced myself  that things could be worse, because hey, at least it wasn't raining. 

Oh just kidding.

So with about two minutes until start time, we put on our sexy ponchos and ventured out to the start line in the rain to see what the hell was going on. 

You already saw this picture but I thought I'd
refresh your memory with how good looking we are. 

(Also in case you were wondering what the freak is on my head, let me remind you, this was the Lonestar race. I was trying to be all patriotic with my Texas themed outfit and bandana. But no one else really cared about their Texas pride so really I just ended up looking a little silly. Luckily, I think people were so distracted by the hot mess poncho that they didn't notice.)

When we got to the start line everyone was just standing around, so we did the same. After about five minutes of the standing around, someone came by and announced that we were delayed for forty five minutes because of the storm. Since we'd had enough of that rainy nonsense, we headed inside the ballpark to wait it out.

As we were standing around and freezing our butts off, some random guy casually walked by and set a big cardboard box on a table and just walked away. All without saying a word. As soon as he walked away, and four million people flocked to the box and started tearing it open and started grabbing stuff out of it. I don't like to be left out so even though I had absolutely no idea what the hell they were doing I yanked something out of the box and HOLY COW BEST DECISION EVER

Stolen croissant. 
It was the weirdest thing ever but I am not one to argue with free and delicious food. 

As I was scarfing down my croissant they announced that the storm was passing and that we were getting ready to start the race. As we walked back out to the start line the lightning had cleared up and it was only slightly drizzling so I made an executive decision to ditch the poncho so that I wouldn't get hot. (Come to find out, that may not have been the best idea...)

The gun went off right before 99 and off we went. My goal for this race was to come in under 53 and to be honest with you I did absolutely no stretching whatsoever and so when I started running my legs were cold and tight and my shins were hurting. I'm so responsible. But I sucked it up and finally felt like I was getting into my groove around mile two...

And that's when the rain started. 

Um, I call bullshit on that^. Big fat lie from the very pit of hell. Running in the rain is awful. The raindrops pelting me in the eyes, the squishy shoes, the wet hair. I mean it was FORTY FIVE DEGREES PEOPLE. 

Stop that Tim Tebow, you look like a damn fool. 

Anyways, it rained hard for a solid mile. And it was terrible. The only good part about the rain is that it hides the tears. I mean I didn't cry, but I almost did. Finally, the rain let up. Thank. You. Lord. The rest of the race was pretty uneventful except for the giant hill right at the 4.5 mile mark. That sucked. When I got to where I could see the finish line, I pushed with what little energy I had left and came in at 52 minutes exactly. 

Aaaaand then I took a picture of myself. 

If I'm being honest, I don't know how much I cared for this race. Obviously I wasn't a fan of the rain, but the course was really strange, and we actually ended up running squiggles in a parking lot for about a half a mile. It seemed a little disorganized, but what I was most disappointed with was the finish and the fact that there were almost no spectators. I'm sure 75% of that had to do with the weather, but still. The best part of a race is the very end where the finish line is in sight and the energy is high all the strangers are cheering for you. This race had none of that. Since I was kindove bummed out by that I decided to find a perfect spectator spot to scream and cheer for my sweet roommate and her friend as they neared the finish line.


That's some fine Iphone photography right there. 

Survival thumbs up!
I was so glad to be done with that race. Once we got home, I took the world's hottest shower and then headed out to Taylor's where I did this for the entire afternoon:

Saturday evening we headed over to a charity dinner and auction benefiting an awesome organization called Our Father's Children (you can read about my company's work day experience with OFC here). It was such a fun event, and y'all that dinner was out of this world

I'm not kidding when I say that chocolate cake was the best I have ever had. And that's a bold statement. 
And we won something! As we were checking out the silent auction, the very first thing that caught my eye was this amazing love sign. I absolutely had to have it, but I that the chances of me winning that bid were slim to none. Silent auctions are pretty ruthless. But even though I didn't win the bidding war, Taylor did! 
He's the best. Really, he is. 

I apologize for the length of this post, and for all of the incessant picture posting, but really if you come here often, you shouldn't be surprised. 

Weekends like this make it really really hard to go back to work on Monday morning.




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