Four Things


mustache

It’s my turn to answer some questions, thanks to the fabulous Kellie for nominating me!

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

  1. Em
  2. Emmy/Yemmy
  3. E
  4. Red/Ginger (Ginger is my Vegas name!)

Four jobs I have had:

  1. Babysitter (many, many years)
  2. McDonalds crew person
  3. Office Manager
  4. Tax Accountant

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  1. Anne of Green Gables (even the third one!)
  2. The Mummy series
  3. Love Actually
  4. Sabrina (either version)

Four books I’d recommend:

  1. Exodus by Leon Uris 
  2. Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  3. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
  4. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Four places I have lived:

  1. Newcastle, WA
  2. Bellingham, WA
  3. Houston, TX
  4. St Louis, MO

Four places I have been:

  1. London
  2. Paris
  3. Rome
  4. And most recently Turks & Caicos

Four things I don’t eat:

  1. Broccoli
  2. Green Beans (I’m allergic!)
  3. Cucumbers
  4. And sticking with the vegetable theme – Brussels Sprouts (except when wrapped in bacon!)

Four of my favorite foods:

  1. Pizza
  2. Gelato
  3. Pizza
  4. Pizza (are you sensing a theme here?)

Four TV shows that I watch: 

  1. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
  2. NCIS (all versions)
  3. Castle
  4. Scandal

Four things I am looking forward to this year:

  1. One thing that I can’t speak about (at least not yet) but I am SO looking forward to it (while be slightly terrified)
  2. Vacation!!!  But where to?  Maybe Australia?
  3. Princess Half Marathon weekend (where I totally will meet Kellie!!)
  4. Detroit Half Marathon (a tunnel, a bridge, AND you get to cross the border between the US & Canada?!!)

Four things I’m always saying:

  1. Exactly
  2. I hate people
  3. For the love
  4. Oh snap

Here’s where I should be nominating others, but I’m never good at this part and so I’m breaking the chain.  However, if you are reading this and wishing you were nominated, then consider yourself nominated by me!

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2014 St Louis Hot Chocolate 15K

I’d be lying if the thought of a 15K PR hadn’t been on mind leading up to this race.  Granted, I still really done any sort of training, but I’ve been keeping up with a mile a day now since October 1st.  It’s been a long year of watching my times increase.

But last week ended up being an extremely long week at work.  Late nights, lack of sleep, and lack of food.  Yesterday I started writing this blog post in my head with my excuses of why I didn’t PR.  The excuses centered around lack of sleep

How much of running is mental?  Here I was basically sabotaging myself, deciding I was going to have a bad race due to extenuating circumstances.  I tried to stop those thoughts and instead concentrate on having a good race and my time would take care of itself.

To add yet another wrinkle, I didn’t get home on Saturday until late and then I couldn’t get to sleep.  I was lying in my bed telling myself I needed to go to sleep but sleep was a long time in coming.

My alarm went off and I slowly got out of bed.  I checked the weather and the threat of rain from yesterday was now at a 0% and the temperature was to be around 50 degrees.  Well, that was slightly unexpected.  Especially considering last year we were battling cold temps and ice.

I arrived downtown and after a port-o-potty stop, made my way into the corrals.

Ready to go

Ready to go

Go!  The course (slightly changed from last year) started at Soldier’s Memorial and headed west up Market.  My first couple of miles ticked off with decent times (11:43, 12:12, 11:32).  In fact, I had a near 5K PR.

Ready Set Go

Ready Set Go

We passed by the finish area, where the sounds of 5K finishers filled our ears, before heading past the baseball station and south on Broadway towards the Budweiser facility.

My next few miles continued with decent times (11:16, 11:20, 11:55).  I was also fairly close to a 10K PR.  I still wasn’t quite ready to admit I really wanted a PR, but I was getting close.  How close?  I passed by a STL birthday cake and didn’t stop for a picture.

Around mile 7, I was really struggling.  I kept looking at my watch.  I realized that not only did I REALLY want a PR, I wanted to come in around 1:55.  It was going to be close on both counts.

The finish was almost exactly the same as the St Louis Rock’n’Roll with a downhill, followed up a slow uphill that didn’t seem to end, before finally heading back downhill to the finish.

I walked up the hill and watched the clock continue to tick.  I picked a spot and when I reached I started running and didn’t look back.  It was slow up to the crest of the hill before I speeded up, as much as I could.

Goodies at the end

Goodies at the end

Done!!   Not only did I PR, but I also came in under 1:55 at 1:54.23!!  That’s a PR of 3 minutes!  Hooray!!

That PR tastes yummy

That PR tastes yummy

Bling!

Bling!

Posted in Race Report, St. Louis | Tagged | 1 Comment

Turks & Caicos 2014

A long time ago, you would never catch me wanting to go on a relaxing, beach vacation.  You could chalk up the reluctance to a number of things, but the chief reason being I’m fair-skinned and burn quite easily.  That, and my low self-esteem and poor body image do not like to be seen in a bathing suit in public.

But then I went on a beach vacation where I got a pretty nasty sunburn.  However, I learned that yes, even though I will probably get sunburned a little, I can keep reapplying sunscreen, there will be shade, and there’s nothing wrong in covering up or hiding under a blanket.  I also learned that once I’m at the beach, the body issues fade away, because, hey – I’m at the beach!

Fruity Drink O'Clock

Fruity Drink O’Clock

Normally a beach vacation would not be my big vacation for the year.  But with less vacation days, this year’s big vacation became a beach vacation.  It ended up a girls’ trip with Jessica & Nilufer & me.

Ice cream on the beach

Ice cream on the beach

Where to go?  We started out looking at Belize and I think we may have ended up looking at almost every island in the Caribbean before settling on Turks & Caicos.

Fort George Cay

Fort George Cay

Finally it was time!!  We arrived to pouring rain.  What?!!  No!  Are we going to spend our beach vacation inside?

After dropping our bags and checking out our room, we were able to book last minute massages to pass the time and avoid the rain.  Fortunately when our massages were done, we stepped outside to no rain!

Our days became fairly routine.  I was generally the first to wake up and would often find myself out on the balcony to enjoy the sun waking up.

Once everyone was up, we would head to the gym.  Yup, the gym.  Jessica & I are doing a T25 challenge & convinced Nilufer she wanted to do it too!  Which she agreed, but only if after we could do a “quick” WOD (she is the Cross Fitter of the group).  And then we would head to the beach for a mile-ish run/walk.

Running on the beach

Running on the beach

By this time it was around 8 a.m. or so.  The sun set fairly early so we were early to rise to take advantage of the daylight.

Sunset

Sunset

Since we had a kitchen in our room, we’d usually have breakfast on our balcony.

Breakfast on the balcony

Breakfast on the balcony

Then it was time to head to the beach!  Or the pool  Some days it was both.  And we’d park ourselves until it would get dark.

Relaxing at the beach

Relaxing at the beach

We did venture out one day on a tour to Middle & North Caicos for some snorkeling and cave exploring.  We even ate fresh lobster on the beach!

Mmm, lobster

Mmm, lobster

The time went by way too fast, but it was a great trip.  When can we go again??

Rainbow!!

Rainbow!!

Posted in Travel, Trip Report | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Reflections on Forest Park

This morning I set off on my run.  As usual, I walked the first mile and ran the second.  Once again, there was a 10 in front of fully ran mile.  This time it was 10:24!!  I was toast after that mile and was very happy to go back to run/walk intervals where there was a much familiar 13 in front of most of my miles.  But still it gives me hope that with actual training and focus I may actually get faster.

I continued for the rest of my run, admiring the fall foliage and realized I have come full circle.  I have now experienced all the seasons.  While my time here hasn’t been quite what I expected, living across from Forest Park has been a bright spot.  I have been able to come here and enjoy the beauty – the green, the spring blossoms, the summer blooms, the leaves changing colors, and the snow blanketing the ground.

Fall

Fall

Winter

Winter

Spring

Spring

Summer

Summer

Posted in Running | Tagged | 2 Comments

10:46

As in today I ran a 10:46 mile.  Now I’ve seen 11 in front of my mile times, but I can’t remember the last time (if ever) there was a 10 in front of a mile time!

Prior to hurting my knee (several years ago), I had been running several miles continuously.  I had been working my way towards running a 10K without stopping.  But since recovering from my injury, I’ve been faithfully doing the Galloway method.   Recently, I’ve started running a mile without stopping before switching over to a run/walk interval.

Seeing a 10 in front was extremely surprising.  And confidence building.  Maybe someday I will have more than one mile with a 10 in front of it.  I have a slight feeling that running on the beach for the past week might have had something to do with it.  Seriously – running on sand is hard.

And now for a sneak preview at my trip…

Yay for 10:46

Yay for running on the beach

And who wouldn’t be inspired to run with views like this?

Grace Bay Beach

Grace Bay Beach

And enjoy recovery in the form of fruity drinks.

Fruity drink o'clock

Fruity drink o’clock

Posted in Running | Tagged | 4 Comments

2014 St Louis Half Marathon

Otherwise known as my coming home (to St Louis) half marathon, or otherwise known as my 14th half marathon in 2014.  Let me say that again – 14 half marathons in 2014.  I’m exhausted just typing that.  I think it might be nap time now!

Again, I’m skipping ahead a few recaps because I can actually remember this one.

It seems fitting that this race was my 14th.  The course mimics my first ever run in St Louis, when I had flown out for an interview.  While my time in St Louis has not been what I imagined, hoped or dreamed, running this same course brought back the feelings of hope I initially had.

Last Monday we had temps of 85.  Saturday the high was 50.  Quite a swing.  The weather forecast called for temps in the low 30’s to start the race off.  Which of course brings to mind the ever important what to wear question?  Gloves?  Jacket?  How many layers?  If Saturday was anything to go by, it was cold, windy, but when in the sun, it was warm.  Jacket, yes.  Gloves, I was iffy on but decided to bring them just in case.

Sunday morning was not quite so early for several reasons.  Daylight savings for one.  A small local race for another.  I love small local races with close parking and race day packet pick-up.  Even better?  Packet pick-up was in a gym!  With real bathrooms!  And a place to sit down in the warmth!

Waiting in the gym

Waiting in the gym

Of course being inside, I forgot how cold it was outside and was starting to think I really wouldn’t need my gloves.  Thankfully I came to my senses and realized I was inside, not outside.  Good thing, as the sun never did come out and my gloves stayed on the entire race.

As per usual, I didn’t really have any expectations going into this race.  I’ve literally gone from race to race lately.  I successfully completed #streakingwiththecoolkids and ran a mile each and every day of October but that was the extent of my “training”.  I’d be lying, however, if my good finish at STL RnR didn’t put thoughts in my head of another 2:50 or lower finish.  They weren’t strong thoughts because work got even more insane in the weeks between STL RnR and now.

Finally it was time to leave the nice, warm gym and venture outside into the cold.

Ready to go

Ready to go

The race started on an uphill.  Which is better than finishing on an uphill.  At least at the beginning you’ve got the adrenaline and the energy to get you up the hill.

I have asthma.  It was bad when I was younger, but for the most part now is under control.  However, one of my triggers is cold air.  I was having a hard time breathing the first few miles.  Actually, my breathing was probably labored most of race, and not just because I was running! :)

The course winds through Clayton, past Washington University, and into Forest Park.  It is definitely fall as leaves were everywhere.  The colors of the leaves were amazing!  I really do love fall.

The first few miles ticked off fairly quick.  And then came mile 5.  Not sure what happened there.  I think there was a lot of uphill.  I ended up walking a good deal of mile 5.  But what goes up must come down.  Mile 6 involved some downhill.  Mile 6 also involved me waiting for a semi truck.  Really?  Race course.  With lots of people.  Even though I was towards the end, this was part of the course where we crossed paths with those on their way back.  Not sure if the semi truck just went for it because on my side there was only me or what.  It was a little frustrating.  But then again, I’m sure they were frustrated as well waiting for all the runners.

Mile 7 was uphill.  And then it flattened out for a while before a slow incline leading back to Clayton.  There were a few rollers, but mainly uphill until finally cresting and the last half mile or so was mostly downhill.

I had looked at my watch at some point and realized I was going to beat 3 hours, barring a full-out collapse.  Part of me was still expecting a collapse.  But when I got to the top of the last hill, I looked at my watch and realized that while a PR was not going to happen, maybe I could come in under 2:50 again.

Past the mile 13 sign and into the finishing chute!  And done!  With a time of 2:51:08!  Not under 2:50, but way under 3!  Not bad.

FInished!

FInished!

And so ends my quest for 14 half marathons in 2014.  Remind me next year that I want to focus on speed and 10Ks!

I do it for the bling

I do it for the bling

Posted in Race Report | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Wish I Was Wednesday #62

In honor of the NYC Marathon (go Danielle, go Jaime!!!), today’s Wish I Was brings us to one of my favorite bridges!

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Posted in Wish I Was Wednesday | Tagged , | 2 Comments