Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rose City Run 10K

This past weekend, my parents came down to visit and on Saturday, my mom and I ran our first 10K!  We did the Rose City Run in Thomasville, and we did great!  We were both a little nervous that it would be too hot, or have too many hills.  But the course was actually a great course, and that early in the morning it was pretty cool out.
Here's us before the race.  We got the giggles because 
mom was having a difficult time getting us both in the frame.  This is like take 5.  
We decided to start in the back of the pack, considering that the people in the front averaged a 5 minute mile.  There were about 450 people running the race, most of them faster than us, so we just hung around the back.  Once the race started, we realized we had chosen a good spot.  It was pretty cool going up the first hill to see about 300 people in front of us and to turn around and see about 150 people behind us.  We both felt good throughout the race, and kept pace with a young couple who were pushing jogging strollers.  I was very impressed that they were keeping around a 10 minute mile pace while pushing two kids.  The only rough spot was about 3/4 mile from the finish, a hill that is affectionately known as "heartbreak hill."  We made the mistake of stopping for water at the top of the hill, with about 1/2 mile left to go.  There were little girls cheering and handing out water, and I felt bad not accepting a cup.  But when we started running again, our legs felt like lead and we both realized we never should have stopped running.  But we pushed through it and crossed the finish line at 1:04:33!  I was just hoping to get under 1:07, so I was very pleased with out time.  I came in 299th place, and mom was 300th place!
Note to self: keep running past the finish line in 
case there is a photographer standing there. (Mom is right behind me in the purple.) 
The course.  (I didn't shut my running app off until we got to the registration tables, 
so the time and distance is off.) 
Our splits:
Was glad we had a negative split (second half was faster than first half).  The last part of mile 5 had the largest hill, and was just as fast as our first mile!  What's up with that?!
And here we are after the race!
The things I enjoyed about the race were that they had popsicles and a coke fountain and other treats at the end, and throughout the course there were people cheering.  About halfway through there was a high school band and cheerleaders out to cheer us on.  That's the great thing about a southern community, they really support events like the Rose Festival and Rose City Run.  This is definitely a race I'd like to do every year.  
In other news, my parents brought down my trees they got me for my birthday!  We planted some strawberries in the pot as well, and they'll come back each year.  It will be several years before the trees bear fruit, but I think they will do great in this hot part of Georgia. 
Dwarf Meyer Lemon tree
Dwarf Venous Orange
Speaking of birthday presents, I also bought some sunglasses with the birthday money my grandparents gave me.  
I got a really pretty maxi dress and Nike golf polo from my in-laws!  And husband got me a new water bottle, book, and stoneware tea cup I've been wanting!

I'm a very blessed girl!
Hope everyone is having a good week!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

2013 Haven House Hustle 5K

Last week as I was planning my trip up to Locust Grove for my birthday, my mom texted and asked me if I wanted to run a 5K.  Her work was sponsoring the run, so our entry was free.  I said sure!  At the time, we were unaware that the race didn't start until 1pm.
This is us before the race.  Notice the optimistic smiles.
We started the race out very strong.  It was warm, but not too bad to begin with, and we clocked our first mile in at 8:44.  That's pretty dang fast for us.  So after the first mile, we round a corner and see ahead of us that the road went straight up for about a half a mile in the blazing sun.  No shade!  The most disheartening part was watching as the people ahead of us started walking.  We made it through that mile, at a slower pace, 10:32 and were quite burnt out that last mile.  It didn't help that most of that last mile was uphill as well, and also in full sun.  
Our splits.
About a quarter mile from the finish, we passed a guy who had walked about the second half of the race.  I had my headphones in, so I didn't hear him run up behind me at the last minute and pass me at the finish line.  That is my biggest race pet peeve, people walking for a mile and then sprinting to the finish after I pass them!  But anyways, at the finish line we were both exhausted and so hot and talking about how awful the course had been.  We chilled out in the shade for a while and cheered on some of the other finishers.  We were pretty sure, based on the people we had seen ahead of us, that mom at least had placed in her age/gender group so we waited around for a while for the awards to be handed out.  After waiting for an hour, we just gave up and left because they were taking a while to tally the results.  
Us after the race, about 30 minutes after finishing and we're still red!
So today, my mom got two medallions in the mail!  We both came in first place in our age/gender group!!!  My official time was 31:05 and mom's was 31:07.  We came in 8th and 9th place of the 46 females and 20th and 21st of the 83 males and females!  For such hot and sunny conditions, I think we did pretty dang good!!
Our medallion.
Next up, Rose City Run 10K.  So nervous!!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Julie Anna Helms, CTS

Remember how I've been stressing about a certification exam for work?  Well, I took it today and I PASSED!!!  I am now a Certified Technology Specialist!

It wasn't very pretty, but I passed, and that's all that matters.  So happy to have that over with, I was stressing pretty bad.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Nan!

This past weekend, my parents treated my family to Maggiano's in Atlanta for a birthday dinner for me and my grandmother.  It was absolutely delicious, and I was stuffed!
Nan and Paw!
Me and Husband!
Me and Allie!

I also got some really great birthday presents!  Mom and Dad got me a lemon tree and an orange tree that weren't in yet.  So excited to grow some fruit!
Rooster pie bird for my collection!  Mom said all those girly birds needed a man.  Hehe
Ferrero Rocher from Allie!  Yummmaaayyy!
Pretty watch necklace from Allie!  The front opens like a locket.
Want to wish my Nannie a happy actual birthday today.  And say that my prayers go out to those injured in the Boston Marathon explosions today.  Such tragic news. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Leibster Blog Award

So, I know I've taken quite a bit of a break from this ole blog, and am way behind on my goal of blog posts for the year.  Despite my infrequency in posting, however, my blog friend over at Phenomenal Lass recently nominated me for a Leibster Blog Award!  I had heard of this award, but was not entirely familiar with the origins, and what it meant.  After a little bit of research, I found out that it is awarded to new bloggers with under 200 followers, by other new bloggers with under 200 followers.  According to Phenomenal Lass, "Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome."   It's really cool to be nominated for this, especially by a blogger I have never met in person, yet whose blog I have enjoyed reading.  The blogosphere is cool in that respect, people who live hundreds of miles away can be a part of each others lives and encourage each other through Leibster Award nominations.  I was quite honored. :)

So here are the rules for the nominees:
1. The Liebster is given by bloggers to other bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
2. Each blogger should post eleven facts about himself or herself.
3. Each blogger should answer the eleven questions that are asked by the person doing the nominating.
4. Choose eleven new bloggers to nominate for the Award and link to them in the post.
5. Create eleven new questions for your nominees.
6. Go back to their pages and tell them they’ve been nominated.
7. No tag backs.

So here we go guys!
11 Things you may not know about me:
1.  I can write backwards.  Actually, when I was learning to write I automatically wrote the text in mirror image and have been able to write that way since then, just as fast as I can write forwards.  I've done a little research and it's technically called "mirror writing," I probably write that way because I'm left handed, and Leonard Da Vinci wrote that way (so I'm in good company).
Some of my notes for my certification test
2.  I have an outie belly button.  It sort of looks like a curly pigs tail.  And no, I will not be sharing a picture of that.
3.  I just started collecting pie birds.  You put these little guys down in pies to help the air escape so your crust doesn't puff up and then bust from the pressure of escaping air.  
4.  Mine and Husband's first "date" was at a fast food chicken restaurant.  That is one of the places he hid my proposal scavenger hunt clues.  
Our first Valentine's Day
5.  I broke my left wrist in 5th grade.  I kicked a girl and was running away from her when I fell and broke it.  Karma, huh?
6.  I played basketball for 8 years.  My dad was my coach when I was younger and it was awesome!  Also, it helped that I was the awkward tall one at that age.  
#20, hellooooo awkward stage.  Dad is in the kickin purple sweatshirt on the left. :)
7.  I grew up in a house that was built in 1897.  It was really cold in the winter and really hot in the summer but I wouldn't change growing up there for anything in the world.  It was a wonderful house and will always hold fond memories of growing up. 
Christmas in our old house
8.  I went to public school through 1st grade, was homeschooled 2nd-4th grade, private school 5th-9th grade, and back to public for 10th-12th grade.  Each of those schools offered unique experiences and had their positives and negatives and were the perfect place for me to be at those ages in my life.  Again, wouldn't trade those experiences for anything.    
Our lovely uniforms at the private school.
9.  I took horseback riding lessons for two years starting in ninth grade, and got my own horse in 10th grade which was a complete dream come true.  
Me and Apache
10.  I had awesome birthday parties growing up.  My parents were so creative and made us feel so special on our birthdays.  My favorite was probably the sock hop party.  Also, there for a couple of years, I would get hurt every year on my bday.  Stung by wasps, busting it on concrete...it was like a horrible birthday curse!
This year was my 101 Dalmation Party.  This was also the year the wasp flew down my shirt. 
I'm in the middle with the bangs. 
11.  I eat the chocolate around the outside of a 3 Muskateers bar first, and then after it has been skinned of its chocolate, I eat the nougat inside "like a weird rabbit"(as my husband says).

And now for my answers to Phenomenal Lass' Questions
  1. What is your favorite thing about blogging?  My favorite thing has to be the sense of community it brings.  It takes two seconds to write an encouraging comment on someone's blog, but can absolutely make their day.  
  2. If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?  Oh, this is a tough one, I love watching movies.  Probably Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley.  It never gets old, and she did an excellent job portraying Elizabeth in my opinion.  
  3. What is your greatest strength?  I think my greatest strength would probably be my ability to retain information and organize it all in my head and on paper.  
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?  Paris, of course.  I haven't even been able to visit, but would love to some day.  So much history and romance packed into that little city.  
  5. What’s your favorite song (of the moment)?  My favorite song right now would probably be "Down in the Valley" by The Head and the Heart, but that changes daily.   
  6. Are you what you wanted to be when you grew up?  Definitely not.  When I was young, I wanted to be a Taco Bell Manager.  And then in high school and college I wanted to work for the Secret Service.  
  7. If you had to retake one class from school, what would it be and why?  I would want to take French again, and push myself harder to be fluent.  My teacher had a wealth of knowledge on the language and I don't think I took advantage of that.  
  8. If you had to commit one of the Seven Deadly Sins, which one would you choose and why?  Oh man, gluttony in a heartbeat.  Hahaha!
  9. Your new best friend is a character from a book. Who do you pick? Katniss from the Hunger Games.  She don't play, and could teach me a thing or two about kicking butt.  
  10. What’s the best thing you ate this week?  Cinnamon apple filled doughnut from Dunkin Donuts.  Most delicious doughnut ever.    
  11. What are your plans for the weekend?  Going up to Henry County for mine and my grandmother's birthday celebration with my family. 
And now for my nominees!  It's kind of funny because I don't personally know a majority of these bloggers, but enjoy reading their blogs.

5.  Akin Bits

And now for my questions for the nominees!

1.  If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
2.  If you had to choose one reality show to be on, what show would you chose?
3.  What is the favorite birthday gift you received as a child?
4.  Would you rather bungee jump or skydive, and why?
5.  If you could chose a celebrity chef to be your personal chef, who would you chose?
6.  If you could have a different career for a day, which profession would you chose?  
7.  If you could choose an instrument to miraculously be excellent at, which instrument would you chose? 
8.  What is your least favorite movie?
9.  What is the first thing you notice about people?
10.  What word do you think people would most likely use to describe you?
11.  What do you consider your greatest accomplishment to date?