Thursday, May 31, 2018

Feeling Accomplished!

I have been on cloud 9 for the last day! Do you know that feeling you get when you FINALLY accomplish something that seemed SO impossible and scary? Well, that just happened. For the last few weeks my trainer has been giving me workouts with new gym machines, and not having any experience around weight machines, I have always been terrified of going into the weight lifting section on the gym. I let my fear control what I did, and it severely limited me. I hated giving in to my fear and anxiety, but I just couldn't bring myself to go over and use the machines.


Last year I knew someone from Austin who lifted weights at the gym, and on his Instagram he would film unknowing people using the weight equipment, post it on his Instagram and write captions making fun of them. I did unfollow this person, and I realize that's not normal (ex-military and being an adult, he should know better), but my fear of being made fun of by someone like him kept me from branching out.


Recently, even though I couldn't even venture into that part of the gym without my stomach knotting up and my heart racing, my trainer has continued encouraging me while giving me alternative options to do. Finally, while doing a warm up on the exercise bike, I noticed that the smith machine was free. I don't know what the heck came over me but I just went for it, and you know what?? It wasn't bad at all. No one made fun of me and I left the other day feeling on top of the world.  

Smith machines - source

That's the big lesson I learned: Try something new that's good for you, even if it's scary and you have to try many times to get up the courage to do it. It's small, but I feel so much braver having done it. Also, ignore those who want to make fun of you or tease you, in the end it's their loss.

What's something new you want to try? 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

RUNderful Wednesday

The middle of the week is here, and we've made it this far, so we have a lot to be thankful for. Sometimes it's large and life changing and sometimes it's very small. It's the little things that count, right? 😊 I've been thinking a lot lately about attitude and positivity, and how to keep it going even when times may be tough, and there really is no simple answer. During rough times (or even good ones!), it's beneficial to remind ourselves of something positive in our lives, things we love. Today I'm going to talk about something that makes me HAPPY: 

I love the feeling of happiness that comes over me when I'm running on an empty (or nearly empty) trail (and if it's dirt, all the better). I feel a big sense of adventure and so capable being out there! Being in nature gives me the type of clarity and peace I can't find anywhere else. On one of my favorite trails I can get about 3 miles in on the dirt, and it opens up into a big valley covered in grass and flowers. There's a bench looking over it, and on the way back from my weekend runs I love to just sit on that bench for a minute, eat my GU Gel and think about how lucky I am to be there.

What makes the day RUNderful for you? 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Keeping A Training Journal

There's nothing like keeping a training journal. Journals can be online, on paper, shared with a like-minded group or for your eyes only. They can also be VERY eye-opening, if you're honest when keeping one. I began keeping a fitness/training journal about 3 years ago to track my progress in running and BMX, and I like to glance back through them at times for any difference in training, how that training differs from the present, and how I can improve current performance. Even though we may work out consistently, we forget the details in our busy day and it's nice to have a record.

There are SO many options when it comes to journaling. Below are some of my favorites:

Blank Journal

When I first began journaling, I used a simple plain jane style book with lined pages. I used each page for a different day, jotting down my BMX track workouts/finishes, running mileage, workouts, how I felt that day, sometimes what I ate, competition confirmation codes and information, etc.. I liked it a lot because it gave me something to be accountable for every day. I quickly filled up my first book and another one just like it.

My 2nd workout journal. I think I picked it up at an office supply store. 

This journal had WAY more room than I ever needed to write each day.

Believe I Am Journal

As a few years passed I heard about the Believe I Am journal, created by runner Lauren Fleshman. Aside from being a journal I could jot the date down in and everything I already had been doing, it was full of small inspiring and education articles about running. It was laid out in a clear and simple style and had blank spaces for extra tidbits like personal goals for the week and a mileage box. I LOVE this book. It has a beautiful and soft but durable front and back cover and is super easy to carry around with you when you need to. I didn't have the full page to write the way I had in my blank journal, like food and extras, but I didn't really need all that space and I really like that it's so focused on training, and that there are have good articles to read. I will definitely be getting another one of these journals again!

After I started writing in my Believe journal, I'll never go back to blank pages, but that's just my preference.

Daily journaling is tough, but I'm thankful I made myself write down what I did, even though it doesn't look too pretty :P

Alternative Journal

Recently I was out picking up a few things, and stumbled upon a different kind of workout journal. This one combines training and diet into each page, sort of a hybrid between what I write in my journal now and what I wrote in past past blank journals. There is a space to write down your goals, what you're grateful for, your inspirations, your workout, the foods you ate, things you LIKE about your body, and fitness tips. There is plenty of room to write, and you write the date in each page of this book as well. That way if you (GASP) skip a day (or two), you don't waste any pages. Since I have more than halfway filled up my Believe I Am training journal, I decided to pick one up, along with some colored pens to either color code or simply to make my pages more fun. It's bound in a way that allows it to lay open, and has a hard front and back cover. I love the saying on the front as well, "No goal was met without a little sweat", which is spot on, literally and figuratively. I can't wait to try this journal out!

SO true, especially when it's humid out! 

I love how the pages are focused on not only working out but nutrition, goals and self love! 

The top right has a new inspiration for each day.

I've got my colorful pens! Time to step it up on the art front. 

Option 4: The Future is Habit Tracking (dun dun dunnnnnn!)

In the future, one option I have recently been inspired to try is to create a habit tracker like one of my favorite runners, Colleen Quigley. Habit trackers are great and they let you keep track of any good habits you are trying to form. Some of Colleen's examples can be found here. Other examples can be found here. I think habit tracking would be really fun to try, and I'm hoping that my pen to paper artistic skills drastically increase beyond stick figures and jagged lines very soon.

Do you record your training? If so, what is your favorite way to go about it? 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Importance of Cross-Training

Cross training is something that has always existed for me as something important to do, but has honestly never been at the top of my list. For running, I love to get out there, stretch a bit, and put in the miles. For BMX I love to go for a bike ride and practice gates, straightaways and turns on the track. It all seems pretty straightforward. Recently, with the help of a trainer, I have become aware of the importance of cross-training and of the long term benefits gained from including cross-training in a regular workout schedule.

Cross training includes everything from stretching to resistance training to cycling and beyond. It helps develop fast-twitch muscle speed and builds up those weak muscles we don't normally use when we are running or riding a bike (or really anything you love to do). Cross-training also helps reduce injuries and muscle tightness, and they help reduce the high impact our body takes on without a loss in fitness. It also helps during periods of injury and rehabilitation, and helps us get back on our feet faster. I used to stretch and foam roll much more than I have been doing recently, and my body can tell. I've been making more of an effort to make that a habit again.

While I still have a long way to go on my own cross-training path, I have found a few favorites (some I use more than others) that have helped my training tremendously. Below are a few I have tried and enjoy:

Stretching/Foam Rolling

No one likes tight muscles. I have been stretching more in the last few weeks and can tell the difference in how I run and recover. Since foam rolling is like a deep tissue massage, it can hurt, but your muscles will love you for it after. There are so many different kinds to choose from as well. Also, on the bright side, the more often you foam roll the more your tight muscles get worked out and the less it hurts. I have been wanting to try out a Roll Recovery for awhile, so that's next one the "rolling out" list. πŸ˜„
This is the foam roller I use. I picked it up from Academy a few years back. 


This is one I am looking forward to doing more this summer. My current gym doesn't have a pool, but when I was in college I would use the rec center's lap pool, swimming laps back and forth until I was worn out. Swimming is a great form of cross training, and you get a really great aerobic workout while avoiding high impact on your joints. Not to mention I am very excited to try out my new Garmin in the pool. πŸ˜ƒ

Gym pools, love them! 

Strength Training

This form of cross-training is something that's growing on me. I will admit, when I began weight training recently after not having touched a dumbbell since the late 90's, it was hard and frustrating and I felt like my nephew's favorite dinosaur. I am beginning to like it so much more now, and have started branching out and trying new gym machines.


Explosive Jumps

Plyometric jumps are very important, especially for BMX. They develop the explosiveness you need out of the gate, and after doing these for a few weeks I can definitely tell the difference. They work out muscles I don't normally use , and I have found that I also don't get as tired when I'm running those longer miles.


I'm pretty new to cross training, and if anyone has any tips, I'd love to hear them! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wonderful Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!!! The middle of the week is here, and we've made it this far, so we have a lot to be thankful for. Sometimes it's large and life changing and sometimes it's very small. It's the little things that count, right? 😊 I've been thinking a lot lately about attitude and positivity, and how to keep it going even when times may be tough, and there really is no simple answer. During rough times (or even good ones!), it's beneficial to remind ourselves of something positive in our lives, things we love. Today, I'm going to talk about something that makes me HAPPY.

I am so thankful for this guy, AKA McLovin, but sometimes McMuffin, Baby Kitty, McLovin-ator and McLovin Bear. I was never allowed to have a cat or a dog growing up, so the minute I went away to college I met a girl who's cat was having kittens. I offered to take care of him until she could find a home for him, and fell in love with him. He's been with me through thick and thin, even winning my not very pet friendly parents over within a day. He has so much personality and I am SO happy to have him in my life. His favorite stuffed animal and best friend, Honey Bear, is in this picture. He carries Honey Bear around the house (he is an inside cat only), grooms him and sometimes talks to him.

Think about one thing that makes you happy. :)

Monday, May 21, 2018

Training and Monday Motivation

This past weekend was fun but went by way too fast. Have you even had a weekend that was so busy it was better to just take off a few days and not train? That was this weekend for me, which brings me to the topic of rest days. I hate them. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE naps and to actually lay back and relax, but I hate the guilt that comes along with them. After a day or two I start to (falsely) feel like I'm losing so much muscle mass, speed, etc. etc. Sometimes a forced resting day or two is what we need.

Taking rest days is an essential part of training. After so many miles and weights and sprints, your muscles are tired and the only way to get better and stronger is to let them heal up and rebuild themselves. Resting allows us to catch up on sleep, something that is a very valuable commodity once we graduate college (and even during and before that). It also allows our minds to take a bit of a break, read a good book, hang out with a friend, see a movie or some other type of entertainment.


That said, rest time is over for me and I'll be hitting it hard tonight with some bike sprints (please stay away rain) and miles at the park. I signed up for a 7.7 mile run taking place in a few weeks and I'm hoping to get in some longer summer style mileage and a track workout or two. This run is another run up a hill (this is becoming a pattern), so I will be finding a hill around here to practice on. The treadmill is also good for adding in a little incline, but since the temperatures are about to soar for the next few months I will be taking advantage of the outdoors until then.


What do you like to do on rest days?

Friday, May 18, 2018

10 Ways to Manage Stress

STRESS - something no one wants or needs in their lives. Regardless, it's there, popping up in unexpected places and waiting jubilantly to take our once calm day to new heart pounding heights in a matter of seconds.


We've all experienced stress, and at each new stage in our life we are faced with something new to overcome. I believe that for the most part stressors are objective. What we may sweat about our friends and family might not even bat an eye over, and it can make us feel like we're alone (you're NOT) in dealing with whatever is going on, especially when you're told "it's all in your head". This is definitely not always the case, but the feeling can be there.

Like anyone else, I've had my share of stressors, everything from worries about friends in school, to getting into college, purchasing my first new car, guys, mean girls, finals week (I lived in Club Alkek, our library those weeks, dishes be damned), paying bills, runner's knee, new gym machines etc.. The list could go on, but I won't bore you. I can be a bit of  a "worrier", and I work hard to try as many new things as possible to get over it, and it helps a lot. That said, since stress is always going to be present in some form, the best thing we can do is find ways to manage them so they don't win.


I took up running to combat stress stemming from a bad relationship. It let me think through what was going on. It took awhile, but three years and 11 half marathons later the guy is long gone and the running is still going strong. 

BMX has been a lifelong love of mine that I picked back up after a (much too long) hiatus. I wanted to come back to the sport a few years before I actually did; I was worried I wouldn't be able to compete anymore. After a friend of mine and fellow racer passed away I realized that life is too short to give in to that worry. Also, remember that you are NEVER too old to start something new. I started back and love everything about it, including the positive community.

But not cake, don't go the cake route. 

How I Manage My Stress

Below are 10 of my favorite things I've done to help manage my stress. While some of the things I do aren't groundbreakingly original, they work for me and I hope they can give you some ideas to incorporate in your own stress management.


1. Take up a sport (or two)

A good way to help lower stress is to participate in a sport, any sport. It can be a team sport like basketball or soccer, or more of a solo sport like running or cycling (you can still be on a team with these, but your scores/times are your own unless they are being averaged for a competition). Training to reach a new goal gives a sense of feeling proud and capable, and it's an AWESOME feeling to accomplish something once thought unreachable. Also, hanging out with supportive, positive people who love the same sport is always a plus. I've made lifelong friends that way.

2. Work out

Stressed at work or school got you feeling like 90's Brittany? I love to channel my stress/anxiety into a good sweat session. Exercise is good for so many things, including mental fitness, as well as mood elevation and improving sleep. The good thing about working out is that you can do it pretty much anywhere- it doesn't have to be at a gym. Don't get me wrong, I love my gym, but sometimes I just don't feel like going, and I choose to workout at home or a park.

3. Go somewhere calm

Sometimes I like to de-stress by going off by myself and finding a beautiful place to sit and just appreciate the view. Sitting under the backyard patio, looking at the flowers and butterflies and trees works. I also love to sit anywhere by the water, there's something serene about it and I can zone out for a bit or read.

4. Talk to a friend or family member

Find a trusted friend or family member to talk to about what's stressing you out, most likely they've been there at some point or they can empathize with the issue. It's great to talk about it, because you can get what's bugging you off your chest as well as possibly see a new solution or idea to your problem.

5. Yoga!

Yoga is not only calming, but you get more flexible, and who doesn't want that? While I unfortunately don't unroll my yoga mat and towel as much anymore, I absolutely LOVED doing yoga. You can go to a yoga class, or if you are a struggling college student like I was, You Tube has so many free classes. Click here for one of my favorites one of my favorites. She's had her channel for a long time, is really good and has free classes from beginner to advanced. There's also Yoga Glo, which is like the Netflix of yoga. A massage is always a good plan as well if you aren't feeling the yoga. πŸ˜ƒ

6. Research

After having been a student for so long, I love research. If I'm stressed out by something but don't know a whole lot about it, I research it. I try to learn as much as I can about it, and the more "expert" I become in the subject, the less stress it causes me. Just don't look up illness symptoms on medical websites. Those scary illnesses that come back off symptoms (ex. fever, muscle aches and chills) are just plain scary and ridiculous.

7. Volunteer

Take your mind off some things causing you stress by simply giving back to a good cause. You can volunteer anywhere. I have volunteered at a homeless shelter, a library, trash pickup with a group of friends, helping a senior citizen clear out her yard, hydration stations at runs, etc. It always feels good to give back, and you feel appreciated and happy in return. There are so many places to volunteer. If you are interested in volunteering, go to that place's website or simply give them a call. If you're interested in volunteering at a run, many have a place to sign up on their website, but if they don't just send them an email.

8. Learn something new

It's always good to learn something new. I feel that if I'm overstressed in one area of my life, I benefit by focusing on a new topic (for awhile, NOT to completely avoid life). I love to go to the library and check out a book I find interesting, try a new craft idea, or take a class. Getting out of your head and into a new mindset for a while can calm you down, and you might even think of a new idea or way to handle what's stressing you!

9. Time management/diary

Time management is a big one. It stresses me out and overwhelms me when I have so many things to get done in the day but nowhere to keep track of them. I've recently begun to start again with my Believe training journal. I love how it's set up and I can write the date in, my training, mileage, notes about how I felt that day or how healthy I ate, as well as appointments and meetings. I have also been wanting to keep a habit checklist as inspired by Colleen Quigley. We'll see how that goes.

10. Reach out for help

If you feel that you're stress is beyond what you can do to manage it, ask for help. It's always fine to ask for help and to admit when you're not okay. The type of help will differ depending on your stressor. For example, a tax advisor to help you with taxes, a counselor to talk to about personal issues, etc. We can't always handle everything on our own!

What stresses you out and how do you handle it? 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wonderful Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!!! The middle of the week is here, and we've made it this far, so we have a lot to be thankful for. Sometimes it's large and life changing and sometimes it's very small. It's the little things that count, right? 😊 I've been thinking a lot lately about attitude and positivity, and how to keep it going even when times may be tough, and there really is no simple answer. During rough times (or even good ones!), it's beneficial to remind ourselves of something positive in our lives. For Wonderful Wednesday, I'm going to talk about something that makes me happy.

These last two years have had so many ups and downs and so many changes. I'm so thankful for my family and my extended BMX and running family for helping me to get through so much. Having a good support system is priceless, and it's something I'm thankful for. I consider myself lucky everyday to be surrounded by the people I am. Having people like I do in my life make my heart happy.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, May 14, 2018

Race Re-cap: Women's Quarter Marathon

A busy weekend just flew by and I find myself at lunch, writing this and wondering where the time all went. I guess the saying is true about how time flies when you're having fun. 

Last week Y told me about this cool thing called Movie Pass. With Movie Pass you have an app on your phone and a physical debit type card and for $9.99 a month you can see any movie in the theatre one time. It sounded like a good deal so I signed up, and have already used it twice! If you like watching movies (or want something nice and cool to do in the Summer), this is completely worth it. I'll probably be talking about it a bit more in future blogs, but for now let's get to Saturday's race. 

On Saturday May 12th, my friend J and I ran the Women's Quarter Marathon. It's a women's only run, and this year it was pushed back to May instead of January because of Hurricane Harvey (that's what it said on their website). Besides being moved from La Centerra in Cinco Ranch to McGregor Park, the big difference was weather. I went last year to cheer on J and it was close to 30 degrees out, pretty cold but perfect running weather. This year it was in the 70's and extremely humid. I don't know about you guys but I have the HARDEST time running in humid hot weather. I overheat no matter my water intake, and just want to stop ALL the time, but let's rewind. 

Packet pickup for this event was at Nekter Juice Bar in Midtown, on Thursday during the day. I'm not going to lie, this was a hassle. I'm lucky I can easily get off work for a bit, but between the location, hours available and parking, I was seriously rethinking ever signing up for this race again. I ended up parking in a bar's lot (with permission from the bartender), and crossed the street to get my and J's packets. The women working the event were super nice and very helpful, and once I was there it was no trouble getting them and getting back to work.

On race day I woke up at 5:30 AM, leaving the house at 6, and made it down to McGregor Park, near U of H in about 30-40 minutes because, let's be real, no one is out that early on a Saturday. There was plenty of parking, and I met J up so we could put on our shirts she got us (they were SO cute) and our race bibs. 

After putting on sunscreen and waiting in the port-o-potty line, we took our places at the starting line, listened to the National Anthem and then it was go time! 

The run (6.5 miles total) was on all walking/jogging/bike trails, but there was plenty of room and no one was held back by other runners. Some of the park's trails were a pea gravel trail which was absolutely fine in road shoes, and the majority was concrete path. There were a few photographers taking photos during the run, most of which I didn't see until it was too late, ha! The views were pretty, and we came close to U of H, went by the Delta Gamma townhouse (ITB), and by houses and creeks. It was so hot that I stopped so many times and was drenched in sweat, but J hung out with me during all this, which was so awesome, and we even got to cross the finish line together in our cute Sarah Marie Design Studio tech shirts! 

Crossing the finish line was the sweetest feeling, and after sitting and drinking some water for a bit, we headed over to collect our mimosas (each participant gets 2), take some pictures, try some juice samples and have a breakfast taco. 

All in all I'd say that this was an awesome race. I would definitely go again to this location, but I hope next year they either change their packet pickup location/time, or offer included packet pickup on race morning. 

My medal

Also, this weekend was Mother's Day yay! I ran 4 miles and did some pushups in the morning, then got ready for the day. We had a family get together with all the mom's, ordered BBQ in topped off with ice cream cake, and each mom got roses and big gift baskets. It was amazing to celebrate them since they do so much year round, and family get togethers are always fun! I love you mom! 

Our Mother's Day cake was the cutest! 

I hope you all have a great weekend too! Starting this week out on a high note, and I'm not even scared of leg day today. Bring it on.😎😎

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

On Wednesdays We Wear...

Wednesdays, I like them. I also like to wear pink. A lot. So thanks to Mean Girls I do it on Wednesdays (among other days).πŸ˜ƒ We are officially halfway through the week and on our way to a beautiful weekend. Wednesdays are also kind of like when you are running a half marathon and are on mile 10 and someone cheering the runners on yells, "You're almost there!". That's SO hard to hear with 3 miles left, and even though they are trying to cheer you up, you know you have a lot further left to go.

So far this has been a good week. I took Tuesday off working out and training to reset myself. I got home from work, made some avocado toast (yes, insert millennial joke here), and took a much needed 3 hour nap. That said, today has been WONDERFUL. I'm planning on some sprints and mileage tonight and am looking forward to catching up on a few things and reading a good book.

There are so many good reads out there, and if you have a suggestion I would love to hear it. Since I love to find new reading material, I recently came across a great running book aimed at kids. It's called The Girl Who Ran by Kristina Yee and Frances Poletti.

It's about a girl in the 1960's who wants more than anything to run the Boston Marathon and is told she can't because she is a girl. This book follows her dedication to running and more importantly, her unwavering belief in herself even though people around her are telling her she can't. It's so hard to hear negativity for long periods of time and not start to let it seep in and affect how you feel about yourself or what you choose to do, and I absolutely love books that give that encouraging message to keep chasing your dream. Right on!

What is your favorite running book?

Monday, May 7, 2018

Cinco de Mayo and Storytime

Ittttt's Monday!

This past weekend was a rest weekend. It started out rough though....which leads me to...


I had a brief car scare on Friday. It didn't feel too brief, it was actually really stressful. I took my car to NTB Thursday to get the tires rotated, and the "mechanic" put my car on the lift wrong, messing up my exhaust. All I knew was when they gave it back to me the car made a roaring sound when it started, then vibrated the entire car whenever I gave it a little gas. I took it back and told them about the problem, so the guy drove my car around and put it back up on the lift. After this, he told me that the loud noise emanating from my car was the one inch mud flap rubbing my wheel. I was absolutely shocked that they thought I was stupid, and actually told them so. I took my two year old car to the dealership the next morning where I was told that it would be a 650$ fix to replace the exhaust pipe. After calling NTB and ripping them a new one and telling them they would be paying the bill, my brother went with me to the dealership, took one look at the exhaust while the car was on the lift, had me bring the car to his shop, and pushed it back into place in 5 minutes flat, fixing the entire thing! It had pushed up but luckily nothing had broken or bent with it, so it was in good shape. I'm very lucky my brother knows how to fix things, because I narrowly avoided a HUGE bill. It did feel good to tell off the people at NTB, but I will never be going there again. If any of you are thinking about going to NTB, save yourself the headache and go to your dealership or to Discount Tire. Lesson learned.

The weekend got better. Y was in town and we got to enjoy Cinco de Mayo at El Tiempo on Navigation. It's a really good Tex Mex restaurant owned by the same family who owns Ninfa's next to it. We had chicken and shrimp tacos and micheladas, checked out PiΓ±ata Fest on the esplanade and Spotts Park as well.

Pinata Fest

Pinatas galore! 

We need to talk about the bunnies. If you get this you rock!

Day of the Dead errythang!

I just LOVE Frida! 

The BMX tracks were closed because the Super Nationals were going on in DeSoto, TX. I'm usually at that race every year but too many things went against going this year, and I'm at the point where I want to try out different races and see different areas. Definitely not writing off DeSoto for next year though. It's a great track run by some very nice people.

Sunday came and went way too fast. We ate some of the BEST Vietnamese food I've ever had in the Houston area on Sunday. Nam Gaio is in the Bellaire area of Houston, and they were also featured on a show earlier in the year, showcasing their food. It seems like a hole in the wall until you taste their soups, mochi crackers and really anything else on the menu. The weather on Sunday was so nice that we ended up just hanging out and sipping bubble teas on the porch of Long Coffee.

Spotts Park fun

This weekend did go by way too fast, but it's a beautiful Monday and I can't wait to get some weights and mileage in tonight at the park! I hope you all had a great weekend/Cinco de Mayo, and congrats to everyone who ran the Santo de Mayo this weekend, or any race!

What's your favorite Cinco de Mayo race? 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Throwback Thursday Favorites

You know what day it is! Yippee! πŸ˜ƒ #tbt

Today I want to take it back a bit, not SUPER far back, but to a few years ago. I have always liked the concept of throwback Thursday, and today I want to talk about some of my favorites, both in the past and now.

My first out of state race was in San Leandro, CA. It was put on by the Brazen Racing company, and I got to do this one with one of my very best friends, Justyna. Since she had just ran a half marathon in Alaska the previous weekend, she was still a trooper and signed up for the Sea Breeze 10k, and I signed up for the half. It was so much fun running this race along the salt marshes, and there were LOTS of fast runners here too. I love running with Justyna because she has the best attitude when it comes to running. She has been running for years and is fast, but always so encouraging. There have been times when I've been frustrated/hot/rungry and she has always been there with a smile and a kind word. This has been hands down one of my favorite races and we had a blast!

My second throw back is my kitty McLovin. I got him when I was in college and he's been with me ever since. I was never allowed to have a pet bigger than a hedgehog (and I loved my hedgie), so this was definitely a surprise for my parents when I came home from college after being gone for a month with a kitten. I want to think that they weren't too surprised though. McLovin won their hearts, and it took him only a few hours. He LOVES to run and play chase, which I always thought was super cool. He used to hide places and run out to surprise anyone who walked by in the house, scaring a few people until they figured out this was a game! I'm happy to say that he is still with me and still causing trouble (in the cutest way possible of course).

What are some of your favorite things?