April 24, 2014

Boston Marathon: Ramblings + Watch Party Recipes

Every year since I started running, I've looked forward to Boston Marathon Monday. It's like the Super Bowl of running. Last year, I watched the events that unfolded, crying on my couch; I just couldn't fathom why or how someone could do such a thing. The lives affected. The innocent (and some young) spectators who were just there to cheer on family and friends. The runners who had trained for months, possibly years, to run Boston and never made it across the finish line. Even though I wasn't there and didn't have any close friends running the race, I felt like it was an attack on the entire running community. Someone took the prestigious Boston Marathon and turned it into one of the most horrific crime scenes. It still seems surreal.

Honestly, one of my goals in life is to qualify to run it. For my age group, I'd have to run a 3:35 to secure a spot. Obviously that's not happening anytime soon, but hopefully...maybe...down the road, it will happen. And until then, I'll watch on TV.

This year, I rallied a few runner girlfriends together and had a watch party. We watched the elite women run 4:30 minute/miles like it was a walk in the park. Saw Jeptoo run a course record. And then watched Meb take home the win for the Americans. It was an awesome morning.

PS another reason I love having Chromecast? Pulled up the live stream on the laptop and cast it to the TV. Worked like a charm.

Oh, and we had food and mimosas, too.


Krusteaz Cinnamon Crumb Cake. If you can't bake (like me) this is an awesome little secret. Totally from a box, but doesn't taste like it.

And the best recipe of the morning: Smoked Salmon, Goat Cheese and Dill Quiche. Ab-so-lute-ly amazing. If you like salmon and goat cheese, please make this. And if you don't like salmon and goat cheese, we probably can't be friends.

What beats girlfriends, mimosa, the Boston Marathon and a yummy breakfast? Not much. And I even got to love on sweet baby Claire :). Bliss.

April 23, 2014

National Infertility Awareness Week

According to the CDC, there are 6.7 million women in the US who have trouble getting pregnant every year.

And 6% of married women 15-44 are infertile.

Those are big numbers. And it affects A LOT of women. 

Infertility shouldn't be the elephant in the room. Something unspoken. Something to be ashamed of. It's one of the hardest things in the world to go through, and you need a community of support to help you get through it.

Whether you've just started trying to get pregnant, you're Fertile Myrtle and have a handful of children, or if you've been dealing with infertility for years, take a moment this week to learn more about infertility. Learn what can be done, learn how to talk to friends or loved ones going through it, learn about different treatments and therapies. Educate yourself on infertility.

Chances are you know someone going through infertility struggles. So reach out to them this week. Just give them a hug and let you know you're there for them.

To check out my infertility blog on Fertility Authority, click here or on the specific post links below.

Staying Sane While Dealing with Infertility
Silver Linings
Infertility: The Big Waiting Game

April 22, 2014

A {Small} PR + An Award

I ran one of my favorite local races Saturday morning-- the Bunny Run benefiting Special Kids and Families. Great race and a great cause. The course is four right turns with a few rolling hills and is (in my opinion) one of the better race courses around. Plus, the post-race party is fun with food and music, and almost everyone stays to hang out for a bit. Oh, and there are chicken biscuits. Enough said.

Anyway, the race. My previous PR was 24:30 from last July (I have only run one other 5k since then...it seems every race I enter is canceled-- see: St. Jude Marathon 2013, Valentine's Day 5k/10k 2014 and Hope House 5k 2014. Anyway, I digress.). McMillan (based on my half marathon time) said I should be able to run a 23:33 5K. And I had my own goal of running a sub-23-minute 5K. Aim high, right?

Well, Saturday morning rolled around, and I got up bright and early at 3:30am. Yep. You read that right. I woke up and could never fall back asleep for some reason. I tossed and turned and finally got out of bed around 5am and read the news. Not the makings of a great race.

The races starts and ends behind the Oak Court Mall at Audubon Park. After warming up with some friends, I headed to find a spot near the front of the starting line (there wasn't chip timing). And right at 9am, we were off. I hit mile 1 in 7:35. Not too far off from my 7:19 per mile pace goal, so there was the potential to pick it up and still make my goal. But mile 2 was 7:53 and mile 3 was 7:55. Positive splits = No bueno. I saw the husband with my dog Jenny at the 3-mile marker, which gave me an extra push, and I finished the last bit at a 7:09 pace.

The husband got the above decent running pic of me. But here are a few others for your viewing entertainment...

This is my "I'm at the end of the race and might vomit" face.

Somehow I managed to pull off a PR, albeit small. And I managed to snag 2nd place in my age group behind my speedy friend Kristen.

Oh, and I got to see Mommies Run for a minute, which is always a treat (and she ran a HUGE PR! Congrats again, lady!)

All in all, a great morning for running. I'm doing another 5K in a couple of weeks, so hopefully I'll run closer to my goal.

Time: 24:20
Pace: 7:50
Age group: 2/39

April 21, 2014

Bathroom Facelift

Up until last week, I had re-done nearly every room in the house that I wanted to revamp from the previous owners...one of the only exceptions was the bathroom off one of our guest rooms upstairs. With my husband's parents visiting in a few weeks, I decided to use the excuse to get a few home projects completed...including the bathroom.

Here's the before: 

Don't worry...I didn't have that wall art hanging on that hideous paper. It was just chilling out there waiting for a home, which it found in a hallway.

 And then I started peeling. All told, the wallpaper demolition part only took about 4-5 hours. I used a water-vinegar solution, spray bottle and a scraper, jammed out to Katy Perry and it didn't seem to take long at all.

And the after:

I love how it turned out!

I stripped the wallpaper, then we took down the boring mirror and outdated light fixture, replaced them with oil rubbed bronze ones and painted the walls.

This bathroom is off what we call the "red room" (it has all my red and girly things in it from my previous life as a single lady). I had been wanting something different to go over the bed, and I found this painting and the new pillows last week. Gives it a little different feel.

And while we're talking about decor upstairs, I've added a few things to the other bedrooms to make them feel more complete:

Gotta love the never-ending home improvement/decorating list!

April 18, 2014

Five on Friday

ONE: After a rough week, I'm glad it's Friday. Bring it on, weekend. Something else I'm looking forward to? My pretty best friend knew how down in the dumps I've been and is coming to see me in two weeks! I can't wait to see her. She's also planning to bring her new guy. Looking forward to meeting him and showing him Memphis!
The BFF with us a few years ago. Note to self: find that fedora.

TWO: The Royals are coming to Memphis! (Anyone else just start singing Lorde out loud? Just me? Okay). For real. Apparently the granddaughter of Kemmons Willson (of Holiday Inn) is marrying William's BFF (Guy Pelly). And the wedding is at the Memphis Polo Club (since when do we have a Polo Club?). Supposedly they also have a private tour of Graceland planned as well as dinner on Beale St. I don't know about any of you Memphians, but I plan to be in stalker mode for the weekend. I would love a Royal sighting!
Photo via Huffington Post

THREE: I got all the wallpaper taken down from one of the guest bathrooms upstairs, and I'm planning to paint it this weekend. Let's pray I don't ruin it somehow. I'm quite the klutz with home projects.

FOUR: I'm going to be in big trouble when I have kids. I seriously can't go into a store without wanting to buy every single thing for my nieces and nephews. Yesterday I found these two adorable things on clearance in my best friend's daughter's size, and I just had to get them.

FIVE: Lastly, I'm going to "race" a 5K this weekend. It's a course I've run a million times, and I had a pretty decent PR when I ran it last year. I haven't been training for anything, but I've been laying down some relatively high mileage at a relatively fast pace, and my speedwork days have been going really well. I think everything I'm going through just makes me want to pound the pavement to get some of my frustration out. Nevertheless, I'm going to channel all that energy and try to run a PR Saturday. Wish me luck.
Bunny Run 2013 with Marcia

Have a great weekend, and Happy Easter!