Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Happy Hump Day

This week has been so crazy busy! I've been in the lab alllll day every day this week trying to get one of my experiments to work. Thankfully I think with the progress I've made I should be able to get it to work tomorrow! Yay finally!

Poor Zoe was home all alone for ten hours yesterday! :( I hate leaving her put up for that long. When we came home she had lots of energy and jumped around like crazy, ate her zebra head...
...and helped Amanda and I decorate cowbells! She likes glittery Z's.
This morning we headed out on a 4 mile run!
Be jealous of my pink socks
And my sweet zebra headband and Zach's sun specs
One of my running buddies...
I see y'alls pictures with the best running route views. NYC, Boston, Charleston, the name it. I have...Highway 12.
Oh hey morning commuters.

After my incredibly humid sweaty run, we got ready and headed to campus...
where I found this little creature on my way to the lab. It's a teeny lizard! I named him Munchkin until he ran behind the bookcase.

I also ate a McDonalds cone for lunch.
No judgement.
And now I'm hanging out with Zach and Zoe icing my shins (with my compression-icy thing that Zach got me!) and writing a thesis chapter. Ugh.
And excuse the mess on the table. I was too lazy to clean up the craft/cowbell painting supplies.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Running Jams

I rock out on my runs. I know a lot of people prefer to run without an iPod/iPhone, and sometimes I enjoy that (like chatting/running with my mom) but for the most part, I like jammin out while I run...kinda like this:

So here are a few of the songs I rock out to:
Warning: Very random collection of songs...from country to rap

1. Calling Baton Rouge - Garth Brooks - Love this song!

2. Club Can't Handle Me - Flo Rida feat. David Guetta

3. Move That Body - Nelly feat. T-Pain and Akon - I love Nelly and this song

4. Pretty Girl Rock - Keri Hilson - We did this song in Zumba and it cracks me up. Zoe thinks it's her theme song.

5. Jai Ho - Pussycat Dolls - Listen to this and tell me you don't want to run to it. You can't!

6. California Gurls - Katy Perry - But aren't Daisy Dukes Southern and not Californian?

7. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - Wham - Zach makes fun of me for this one but I think it's hysterical to run to

8. Shake Senora -Pitbull feat. T-Pain and Sean Paul - this is a great song to move to...and I definitely fit into the "my girl's got a big old booty" got back

9. Tik Tok - Ke$ha - I brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack before running. Hahaha. But if you want to watch a funny video on the translation of this song, watch this: GloZell Translates Kesha Tik Tok. So funny. Mick Jagger? How drunk, is you? Girl have you seen Mick Jagger?

10. Pretty Girls - Iyaz feat Travie McCoy - I just found this song and I love it! I feel like this would have been in Sex and the City if it was still on.

11. Comin' To Your City (College Gameday Theme) - Pumps you up for some SEC gameday...chomp...chomp chomp...

12. Give Me Everything - Pitbull feat. Ne Yo, Afrojack, and Nayer - I love the background music haha

13. Smoke a Little Smoke - Eric Church - I love Eric Church's voice

14. Too Much - Dave Matthews Band - My all time favorite of all favorite bands/musicians...I usually relax to Dave but this song is pretty bomb to run to

15. We R Who We R - Ke$ha - I told y'all...I love me some Ke$ha

16. Pascagoula Run - Jimmy Buffett - Love me some J. Buff...and it's about fitting

17. Two Princes - Spin Doctors - Oldie but goodie for me...reminds me of cruisin around Jax Beach in my Aunt Kristine's Jeep with the top off

18. Knee Deep - Zac Brown Band Feat. Jimmy Buffett - This should be my theme song. I love the beach. And running. And running on the beach.

19. Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond - Red Sox/Fenway Park anyone?

20. 2012 - Jay Sean feat. Nicki Minaj - We gonna party like

I'd love to hear what your favorite running/working out songs are! I'm always looking for new jams. And if you live in Starkville and see a crazy running like Brad Pitt with a black dog, say hi. It's me.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

The Not-So-Great Days that Wound Up Being Not-So-Bad

Wednesday and Thursday were not so great this week. Wednesday I woke up at 6:30 exhausted because I had only slept for 4 hours during the night...from about 12-2:15 or so and I didn't fall back asleep until after 4:30 and I had to get up at 6:30. We stepped outside to go for our run and it was raining. Normally I love running in the rain but I was just not feeling it that morning. We decided we would go Wednesday night and headed to work.

As most of you know I'll be done with my master's degree this December, so I'm writing my thesis and preparing my defense in the next couple of months. I have two research projects I've been working on for my master's. One of them is surface modification of polymer (plastic) films... they are reacting. I like this project the best. Polymers and plastics engineering is what I hope I can find a job in after graduation. And this project works and makes sense to me and I've been really happy with the results I've gotten.

The other project is a nightmare. To make a long (detailed and way too nerdy for my blog!) story short, I cannot get this project to work. Its always one thing or another. I research asthma drugs, and I can get the drugs to dissolve, but they don't show up when I take the data, etc. I worked really hard with another grad student all day Wednesday and we were excited to start on Thursday because we had come up with a new idea that actually worked (after 2 dang years!) and we were really excited to repeat it (I have to repeat everything a few times to prove it worked).

Zach and I skipped the run on Wednesday because I really just wasn't feeling good. I was way too exhausted, frustrated, emotional, stressed name it. We made sure to get a good night's sleep on Wednesday night and I woke up Thursday feeling much better. We went to work bright and early since Zach had 8 am class. After hours of trying to repeat the successful trial we had had on Wednesday, we realized we had mislabeled a sample and the success we were seeing (what we thought was the drug) was not actually a successful trial, but isopropyl alcohol instead of drugs. At this point I needed to step away from the lab and think for awhile, and also it was about 5 and Zoe needed to be let out. We stopped to get frozen yogurt, which always makes me feel better, but the rude customer service I got ruined that treat. I just got some to bring home instead of eating it there. When we got home, I was thrilled to find a few clothing items I had ordered online had arrived! I loved the running shorts I ordered, but the shirt I was really excited to get was too small (side rant-I ordered a large because I wanted a loose, comfy shirt to run in and it fix like an extra small. I'm more like a medium and the large was too small? What the heck). UGH.

Zach, Zoe and I set out for a short walk with Zoe that wound up being 2 miles. I felt way better after the walk and talking to Zach. It helps a lot to have another engineer around because we can help each other think. And Zoe just was so funny she kept me laughing all night.

She killed me in this picture. She is so silly sometimes!

Matt and Liza came over to watch Jersey Shore with us and it was fun to chat with them and eat some of this:
Yes, that it 25 oz. of frozen yogurt you see. The local frozen yogurt shop got the taro froyo that is my favorite at Yoga Berry in Jacksonville. I was SO excited when they got it finally so I got a huge thing of it so I could have some for a few days! (Despite the rude employees).

This morning Zach and I did 3.6 miles before work and it was an awesome way to start off Friday after a long week. I felt great during the run and I got to wear these:
My new kicks! My mom got them for me as a gift! Pink and fabulous!
Asics Gel Kayanos are my FAVORITE running shoes ever. I've worn them since high school cross country (like 2001 or 2002 I think when I started XC...dang I'm getting old haha).

Even though we couldn't get the reaction with drugs to work this week, we did have some small successes and I am thinking positively that we will be able to get it to work Monday! Wish me luck!

Have a great weekend and think-only 2 more weeks until COLLEGE FOOTBALL every weekend!!
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Recipe: Muddy Buddies!

This past weekend I made one of my favorite treats that my mom always makes called Muddy Buddies (some people call it Puppy Chow or White Trash?). It is so quick and easy to make and everyone loves it! I am definitely going to make some for tailgating this season!

Muddy Buddies:

-9 cups of Chex (you can use corn Chex, wheat Chex, chocolate Chex, or even Crispix)
-1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
-0.5 cup peanut butter
-0.25 cup butter or margarine
-1 teaspoon of vanilla
-1.5 cups confectioners sugar

1. Combine butter, chocolate chips, and peanut butter into big bowl and heat in microwave for about a minute (until the chocolate melts) and stir until smooth

2. Add vanilla and stir

3, Add in cereal and stir

4. Put cereal mixture into a large freezer bag and add powdered sugar and SHAKE! Cool in refrigerator.

5. Stuff your face

I hope y'all are having a great week! Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments about my new blog layout. It's still a work in progress since I can only work on it at night but I'm really glad you all like it! 4 miles for me in the morning so I'm off to relax and go to sleep!

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Half Marathon Training Week 2 Recap

Happy Monday! I hope all of y'all had a good weekend! For many of us it was the last weekend of summer vacation. Class starts Wednesday here in Starkville. I don't have any classes this semester, but I will be way busy writing my thesis, preparing for and giving my defense, and preparing, editing, and submitting manuscripts for journal publications. And some football thrown in there too of course!

Last week was the second week of mine and Zach's half marathon training. Since the plan we picked from Runner's World was 10 weeks and we have 14 weeks for preparation, we decided to repeat some of the weeks that we thought would be most beneficial. Week two was a repeat of week one. Here is the plan for last week:








3 Miles Easy

Rest/Easy XT

3 Miles Easy

Rest/Easy XT

3 Miles Easy

5 Miles LSD


Looks familiar!

As I mentioned last week, I needed a mental health day Monday, so we ran our 3 miles easy Tuesday night, which went pretty well and I was pleased with how I pushed myself. I am definitely a morning runner so going at night was an accomplishment in itself for me!

Wednesday morning we headed out for our next round of 3 miles easy, which also went well.
Friday's 3 miles were the best of the week. I was pleased with my pace and it was a great way to end the work week.

Sunday was the 5 miler. I was a little irritated because I am a morning runner...and by morning I mean 7/8 am...NOT 9/10 am. My running partner (<3) is not a morning person at all, and I know it's a big sacrifice for him to wake up early to run with me when he'd much rather go at night. And I REALLY appreciate that he does this without complaint. But just because it's Saturday doesn't mean we can wait until 9:45 to start a 5 mile run! I am extremely heat sensitive when I'm working out, and the later we go the hotter it gets. I'm fine with the heat all day long...but not at all when I'm running. So the 5 miles didn't go as well as I was hoping. We left so late I was hot the whole time, and I was really worried about Zoe getting heat exhaustion...she was panting way more than usual and kept stopping to walk and her tail was not wagging. I was kind of frustrated, but managed to push through my irritation, finish 4.8/5 miles, and brought Zoe home to cool off. We agreed we have to go earlier on last!

Overall I was pleased with week 2 of the training. It was an improvement over week 1 and put me in a good mindset for week 3 this week!

Off we go! (At 9:45 am)
Zoe was wiped out the whole rest of the day...but after a long nap she was back to her energetic sweet self!

The rest of the weekend was fun. We relaxed all day Saturday, watched movies and ordered pizza. Sunday we slept in, made our favorite turkey sandwiches for lunch, and watched movies while I edited one of my thesis chapters. We cooked breakfast for supper and Amanda came over to watch movies with us and we made Muddy Buddies!

We woke up this morning and headed out for the easy 3 miler...and THIS was the weather:
65 degrees!!! And let me tell you, this was the best run I have had in a loooong time. I was in the zone the whole time, jammed out to some of my new songs I added to my running playlist, and just cruised for 3.2 miles. I could have kept running for another 3.2 miles if it wasn't time to get ready for work!
I had an awesome day and I think it was because my day started out so great!

After a long day at work doing more chapter edits (I submitted the first draft of one chapter today yay!), I came home from work to a package from my mom and something I ordered for Zoe.
My mom is also a runner and she sent me a Fuel Belt to take on long runs and extra hot days. Boy do I wish I had this on Saturday! My mom's best friend's daughter works for Fuel Belt and gave this to her for me! How sweet!

(I stand weird...)

And Zoe's mail was:
...a new collar! Homegirl chewed part of hers last week while I was in the shower. Her old collar still buckles, so I didn't plan on buying a new one just yet, but I saw this and just loved it! A PINK collar with RUNNING SHOES!! Etsy for the win!

How were y'alls runs this weekend/weekend plans? Who is going back to school this week? Has it cooled off any where you live?

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday Randoms: Sunshine Sandals, Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies and Zoe Accessorizes and Learns to Shake

I woke up this morning to LOUD thunderstorms right above the apartments! They lasted for over an hour and it rained alllll morning. So I decided to wear my yellow bow sandals :) I love them and they look so cheerful and I thought they would be fun for a rainy day.
The sun came out right before lunch but thankfully the humidity was low today.

Last night I baked the most amazing cookies ever. They are chocolate cookies with a peanut butter filling and they were SO good. Think Reese cup in cookie form.
My picture doesn't even come close to doing them justice.
The link to the recipe/directions is here: Magic in the Middle Cookies
Make them immediately :)

I put a headband on Zoe...
She wasn't a huge fan of the band we switched to hair flowers
She wore this longer than the headband! Haha. I swear I don't torture my furry baby. I just like to make her look pretty!

And the highlight of our week: Zoe learned to shake! My voice sounds so weird on video...definitely doesn't sound like me.

So proud of her!

Today was one of our days off from running. Back at it tomorrow am!

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Show Us Your Football Team and Run Recap!

Today I'm linking up with Lindsey for Show Us Your Football Team! As most of you know, I have two teams!
The Swamp is one of my favorite places in the world. I have so many happy memories there! GO GATORS!

And I love making new memories here in Starkville while I'm in grad school!
I CAN'T WAIT till football season!! It makes my favorite season! :) I love cheering on my teams and tailgating! You all will be so sick of me blogging about football games by like...October!

Zach and I woke up this morning all ready for our run...only to look outside and see rain and thunder and lightning! Ugh! I can do rain all day long but the thunder and I've run in storms before but I just don't think it's the safest thing in the world. So we went to work and moved our run to early evening.

I much prefer running in the mornings, because it's all done first thing in the morning! You're energized and accomplished first thing!
I don't like running at night as much because I have a realllly sensitive stomach, so I have to be super careful about what I eat all day. Milk does not sit well with me at all. I was careful all day (I did have a smoothie for breakfast but after 8-9 hours I should be ok), and ate a snack before the run because I was starvin'...

Zach and I split a MoJo peanut butter and pretzel bar and a GU, and off we went!
Yup...I wear headbands with gems on them while running...sorry bout it
Weather...not too bad! Still hot as Hades but it has been way worse!

I was really happy with how I pushed myself today. My legs felt pretty good and despite the heat, I didn't walk that much at all! My stomach was not happy at all though. I think it was the GU...sometimes they don't agree with me.

Pros about running in the evening:
-Have way more energy/fuel to burn since I've eaten breakfast, lunch and a snack
-Get to sleep a little later in the am!
-Zoe is calm all night (haha)

-Have to be extremely careful about what I eat all day
-Have the run "hanging over my head" all day (not that I don't enjoy running at night, I just prefer to go first thing in the am so I have no excuses!
-It's 7 PM by the time we are done so have to eat supper later/have less time to do things before bed

And a Pro about tonight: It's Tuesday so I'm about to watch some Teen Mom!
Have a great Wednesday!

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Last Week/Half Marathon Training Week 1 Recap

I've slacked off again. It's been a week since I posted last! Don't hate me!

Last week started the "official" half marathon training. I've never ran a half marathon before, only shorter distances like 5K, 10K, and 10-milers. I picked out a half marathon training plan for first time half marathoners from Runners World...and away we go!

Here is the training plan for week 1:








3 Miles Easy

Rest/Easy XT

3 Miles Easy

Rest/Easy XT

3 Miles Easy

5 Miles LSD


Doesn't look too bad I figured...until the week of Africa heat came to Mississippi.
Monday was HOT. We did 3.16 miles and were dying the whole time. The heat was just unbearable but we got it done!

Tuesday we just took Zoe for a 1.25 mile quick walk before work. We wanted to do yoga that night but...let's just say Teen Mom and writing up lab results won out. Considering the training plan said to *rest* on the rest days, I was glad we went for a short walk that morning.

Wednesday started out like this:
Now the temperature doesn't look so bad. 78 degrees, "feels like" 81...not so bad. But 91% humidity?! Ugh. By the time we finished the 3 miles, we were drenched! It was down to 82% humidity but it was 84 degrees "feels like" 8 am! Again...we got out there and completed it and felt better than Monday.

Thursday we took off, but watched the season premiere of Jersey Shore!! Liza and Daisy came over to watch with us!
Zoe waiting for Daisy to arrive.
Zoe and Daisy playing! Such sweet girls.

What do you all think of Jersey Shore being in Italy this season??

Friday we got up, in the crazy humidity, and ran our 3 miles. I felt pretty great at the end of this run. I really pushed myself and was happy with how I did :)
I did have some pain in my shins so I iced them at work!
I also painted my nails at work but whatev it was Friday.

Friday after work Zach and I went to meet our new neighbor/my bloggy Twitter friend/now real-life friend Amanda from Life According to Amanda! How weird is it that not only is she living in the apartment complex Zach and I live in, but they put her and her roommate in the same building as us!

Then I was so tired I needed a nap before relaxing Friday night...
...and this is what I woke up to. Umm hello?? Zoe? Last time I checked this wasn't your bed or your pillow! She just invited herself right on up! I was cracking up so much I couldn't even be mad!

We cooked yummy spaghetti for supper, got frozen yogurt for dessert, relaxed and watched a movie, and hung out with Zoe!

Precious girl!
She loves her daddy.
At bed time Zoe hopped right up on the bed and put her head on my stomach and refused to make eye contact..."maybe she won't notice me"
Zoe is NOT allowed to sleep on the bed but it was funny to goof around with her before she had to go to her bed!

Saturday was supposed to be our long run day, but Friday we planned to do it on Sunday to let my shins rest...I have had shin splints in the past that turned into stress fractures so I wanted to be really careful.

We went to the pool
Then out on a dinner date!
Then we came home and watched The Pelican Brief...I jealous.
Zoe and I also had a photo shoot.
Sunday we got up and headed to the Noxubee County refuge to do our 5 miles on the trails there. We had never ran those trails but figured the trails would be easier on my shins and the shade would be cooler than the direct sunlight of our normal route.
The refuge was so pretty and had an awesome breeze.
We loved running the trails...if they didn't abruptly end! The trails went less than a quarter mile, were very overgrown, and just kind of...stopped. So the trails were a fail. We tried to run on the roads but I just wasn't into it. I really don't know what my problem was. My legs felt fine. I just couldn't make them go. We did 2.3 miles and I was so mad at myself. I like the fact that I'm not a give-upper. But Sunday, I just gave up. I was pretty upset with myself after but a few hours later I thought to myself that I can't beat myself up over one day. I decided to take today off, get some extra sleep, and use Tuesday as a make up day for Monday's (today's) run. The extra sleep helped a lot, and now I am looking forward to the run tomorrow. I know I can do this, and I love running. I guess I just needed to step back and remind myself why I do.

After the workout, we came home and went out to lunch with our new neighbor Amanda! We ate Greek food and it was so yummy. We came back home and watched a movie and played on the Wii. Fun Sunday!

Happy Monday! Here's to an awesome week and a better mind set!
PS- I know how horrible my blog looks! I'm trying to figure out what kind of look I want and honestly...Blogger is so annoying for design! I've heard Wordpress is so much better...anyone ever think of making the switch? Or any suggestions for blog designing/websites?
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