27 February 2017

Lagniappe 5K Recap

Confession #1: I have no idea how to pronounce "lagniappe"
Confession #2: I'm 100% picked this race to run because it was the smallest 5K option of the weekend & my best chance to place in my age group.

Confession #3: ... that was everyone else's thought, too so that plan definitely back fired on me. There were so many fast runners in this race!

Mile 1
For a race that advertises itself as "relatively flat", the first half mile was straight up hill. We were technically running on the Crawdaddy Dash 5K course this year, but that race also advertises itself as "flat". Either way, the race started off straight up hill. More annoying than the hill? The girl who was probably in my age group who was running 6" to my left. I'm not sure she could have gotten any closer to me without tripping us both up along the run.
Mile 2
More hills! But at least during mile 2 we were running down them rather than up. There was also plenty of flat running too so I won't totally discredit them for their "relatively flat" course promise.
Mile 3
I'm 99% sure that the annoyingly-close-running-girl from the 1st mile is somewhere in my age group and unfortunately, she was about 10 yards ahead of me at this point. There was no hope of me catching her, either. I came pretty close during the last 0.6 miles of the race when we were running along the Owens Field Airport runway and the sun came out and was miserably hot. Everyone slowed down, some more than others.

I got a last little kick of energy before the end and crossed the finish line in 28:44, right behind the annoying girl.
Final Results
Watch Time - 28:44
Chip Time - 28:45
Pace - 9:10/mile
Age Group - 4/6
Gender - 18/60
Overall - 47/113

Yup. That girl who I thought was in my age group who crossed the finish line just in front of me? She got 3rd. You know... only a little bit bitter about that one. I had my 3rd fastest 5K time ever though so it's still a win to me!
Want to know what's also a win? Free River Rat beer at the finish line.

{yes, as it turns out, all I need is to be offered a free River Rat American Kolsch Story at the end of a tough race to give up on day 28 of my 30 day alcohol free challenge, oops}
Next up: the Run Hard 5K next Saturday.
I came across this race one weekend last spring when I was at Soda City Market on Main Street. The race goes right through the middle of the market! That reason alone put this race on the list of "must run" for this spring and I'm excited for it this coming weekend.

24 February 2017


Happy Friday, y'all!
Can you believe that we're unofficially in spring around South Carolina? Seems like we missed the memo around here that spring doesn't actually start until mid-March. It's going to be nearly 80 degrees & sunny today. And tomorrow. All sorts of things are blooming in our yard. The pollen craziness hasn't started yet but I'm sure it's right around the corner.
It's been awhile since there was a "currently" post around these parts, so enjoy!
All. The. Waffles.
We so shouldn't have purchased this waffle maker. Since buying it on Sunday, we've had waffles three times and I'm willing to bet that it'll be our breakfast one morning this weekend.
But we're 3 for 3 on having really, really good days after starting the morning off with waffles so why not?
Eating, Part 2
There's also been a couple of trips to Sweet Cream for ice cream this week.
Good thing I've been doing all of that running lately, right?
Just over here twiddling my thumbs & counting down the days/hours until my 30 days of no alcohol challenge is over. I may or may not already have a bottle of pinot grigio chilling in the fridge, ready to be opened next Tuesday night.

I finally caught up on the newest season of Nashville this week & y'all, I am absolutely hooked on the song "Before You" that's sung by Clay {Joseph David-Jones} on the show.
It has seriously been on repeat on my phone since I downloaded it Wednesday night.
This Is Us - this week's episode finally made me cry {the DUCKS y'all, the ducks}
Nashville - still in shock over here this morning. Anyone else?
& after reading Talking as Fast as I Can, I had to start up Parenthood again on Netflix.
... & our yard. Somehow, I didn't kill every plant that we had. There are things blooming all over the place, including the hydrangeas that we were sure I had dehydrated to death. Surprise! Still alive. I'll be venturing out in the yard this weekend to clean it up a little and to see what I can do to keep things growing this spring.

There's a lot of celebrating going on at our house this week. That's really all I can say for now but cross your fingers & send good thoughts our way over the next few weeks!
{disclaimer: NOT pregnant! It's surprising how many people texted/emailed to ask that after this Instagram post yesterday morning...}
Surprise, surprise, I have another 5K tomorrow morning. This will be the 4th Saturday in a row {!!!} and I have plans to make it 7 Saturdays in a row before I take a little {one week long} break.

Another Saturday, another 5K, & hopefully another PR.
I was so good & completely avoided the 50% off sale at JCrew Factory this week... even when they threw in free shipping with it. I'm not sure that's ever happened.

But then I came home and found this package at the front door. Did I shop & forget about it? Nope! Patrick surprised me with a top that I wanted.
There was also this really good Shutterfly deal going on with free 8x8 book deals, 50% off hard cover books, 40% off everything else... and I did some damage. What? All those wedding pictures gotta go somewhere...
We're going to Nags Head this summer for a wedding! We're booking a house with another couple for an extended weekend and I can't wait.
What should we do while we're there? Check out a lighthouse? Drive up to Corolla to see the wild horses? Wright Brothers Museum? I've already added checking out the wind powered brewery {Outer Banks Brewing} to our list but what else should we do?


Have a great weekend!

22 February 2017

Exploring the Timmerman Trail

Picture this:

Sunday afternoon in mid-February.
75 degrees.
No plans.
Nothing that absolutely has to be done at the house.

What do you do? Usually, we opt for a Sunday funday at River Rat Brewery, but since I still had 9 days to go in my 30 day challenge, River Rat was out. The South Carolina opening weekend baseball game was already well underway and not worth the effort to try and get there to get a ticket.

Patrick and I decided to head over to Cayce to explore the Timmerman Trail portion of the 3 Rivers Greenway. If you're like me, you had no idea how to even get to this place, let alone what the trails were like. Here's the scoop:

We parked at the SCANA entrance of Timmerman Trail off of the 12th Street Ext in Cayce. This was super easy to get to, there's plenty of parking, and it puts you right at the beginning of the trail.

You can go along the trail for about half a mile before you hit a split between "Bridge Trail" and "South Trail". We hung a left at the sign to cross over the massive bridge and continue along the Bridge Trail portion.

We stayed straight on this path for a total of about 2 miles... there was another split somewhere along the way that we didn't take and we crossed over what looked like a dirt path portion of Timmerman Trail. Anyway, 2 miles in, there was another split that had a map with it.

I checked the map and realized that we were at the point where the Bridge Trail & the South Trail meet back up. If we took a right and headed down South Trail, we'd end up making a big loop and heading back towards the car.

That's the way we ended up going and if I'm being honest, I liked the Bridge Trail a little bit better than the South Trail. There were more bridges to cross over {obviously} but it was also a little more scenic.

I kept my eyes open for snakes and alligators but we didn't come across any wildlife other than a few squirrels, a skink, and a butterfly while we were out there. Oh, and this guy:

At the very end, after making our big loop and walking up the trail back to our car, we had walked a total of 4 miles.

The path is a mix of paved/wooden walkways, doesn't have river flooding damage like the Cayce side of the 3 Rivers Greenway, and it wasn't super crowded. There were plenty of families with small children, kids on bikes & scooters, people walking their dogs, and quite a few runners... but I wouldn't call the trail crowded.

It's definitely somewhere that I'd like to take my bike and somewhere that I'd like to go running, but not by myself. It was just unpopulated and woodsy enough to feel like the start of a "female runner goes missing" story on the 11 o'clock news and I've got no interest in being the lead of that story.

As long as I can find someone to hang out with on Timmerman Trail, I'll be back!


21 February 2017

BC Run to the Plate Recap

Another Saturday, another 5K!
For those of you keeping count at home, this is the 4th race of mine this year and the 3rd one in a row for February. I'm really enjoying running every single Saturday morning while it's still somewhat cool outside. This will all come to a crashing halt soon enough when the humidity and 95 degree days come rolling back into town. But for now? For now I enjoy it.

This Saturday was the Brookland Cayce Run to the Plate 5K. It's a 5K put on by a local high school's baseball team that's run on the neighborhood streets around the school. For being the 6th annual race, it wasn't a big one, but I was 100% ok with that.
It was a pretty simple course that finished on the baseball field. I'm always a fan of races put on by high schools that let you finish on a football field or baseball field - makes that last sprint towards the finish line much more fun!
Mile 1
This race started off fast and a little unexpectedly. One minute the race director was thanking sponsors, the next minute he was yelling "ready, set, GO!!!" and I think the start caught everyone off guard. I started out way too fast and had to keep reminding myself to slow down a little bit so I wouldn't get tired before the end. There was a not so fun hill about half a mile in and the hill's only redeeming value was that at least we'd get to run back down it at the end of the race.
Mile 2
Most of this mile was on a turn around loop that ended up putting us back on the same roads we ran for mile 1. Pretty sure
Mile 3
I spent most of this mile running solo. There was a group of people in front of me and there was a group way behind me... but no one within like 50-100 yards of me. I usually like to run near someone so I can pace off of them and keep myself motivated but I had none of that this mile which had me a little worried about running too slow. I picked up the pace a little bit when we hit the hill from mile 1 {since we got to run down it this time rather than up it} and a little bit more when I saw the high school in the distance.
But I really, really picked up the pace when I ran out onto the baseball field and saw the finish line clock at home plate just was the numbers were flipping from 27:58 to 27:59. I was going to set a new PR! I full on sprinted out the last less than a tenth of a mile... arms flailing, total risk of tripping over my own two feet before the finish line type of sprinting.

{see what I mean? 6:37/min pace for that last 0.1 miles... I've never run that fast in a 5K before!}
Final Results
Watch Time - 28:18
Chip Time - 28:18
Pace - 9:07/mile
Age Group - 2/5 {but I ended up snagging 1st place!}
Gender - 13/54
Overall - 38/103
Yup. You read that right... ANOTHER 1st place finish in my age group! Technically, I finished 2nd in my age group but the girl who finished first was also the first overall girl in the race. You're not allowed to "double dip" in awards so since she got that one, it bumped me up to 1st in our age group.

It was also a PR for me by about 15 seconds.

Next up: the Lagniappe 5K this Saturday. It's a Mardi Gras themed race that kicks off a Mardi Gras celebration in the Rosewood neighborhood that includes a parade and a festival at City Roots. I might have to stick around for all of the post-race fun!

20 February 2017

A Perfect Kind of Sunday

You know it's going to be a good Sunday when the sun is shining, there isn't a cloud in the sky, and it's already 60 degrees at 9am.
You know it's going to be an even better Sunday when you're grocery shopping after church and your husband casually asks what time Bed Bath & Beyond opens up on Sundays. Why? Because waffles sound like a great breakfast idea but we needed to go and buy a waffle maker first.
Breakfast of champions: waffles & bacon!
We decided to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous weather yesterday, too. It was a different kind of Sunday Funday. Rather than park ourselves at a picnic table outside at River Rat, we headed out to Timmerman Trail in Cayce for a little exploring.
I got real excited when I saw these signs but alas, no gator spotting yesterday.
We hiked around and explored for a little over 4 miles. We didn't quite make it all the way down Timmerman Trail to where it meets up with the river walk but I'm sure that'll be another adventure for another Sunday.
& what's better than a cup of ice cream from Sweet Cream on Main Street after hiking around for an hour and a half?
We topped off our weekend with Crockpot Chicken Tacos and by watching the 3rd movie in the Divergent series. I read the books years ago so I knew kind of what was supposed to happen in the 3rd movie. But... it didn't end the way that the book did! I was SO upset about it and promptly told Patrick {who hasn't read the books} exactly how it was supposed to end and how mad I was about it.
Then I learned that they had actually split the last book into two movies and oops, definitely spoiled a couple of major plot points for Patrick.
At least the rest of the day was pretty fantastic!
Happy Monday, y'all!


17 February 2017

Five on Friday

Happy Friday, y'all!
When you're scrolling through Instagram one night and see that your photographer has posted one of your very favorite pictures {and moments} from your wedding day...

If your groom is anything like mine and doesn't want to do a first look with you before the wedding, you can absolutely do one with your girls.
I'm only showing y'all these pictures so that you can fully appreciate how much better this one room basement of ours will look once we get it updated. But here it is, in all of it's glory:

Yes. Two different shades of paint over real wood paneling & two different types of sticky tile on the floor.

Y'all. It's so bad. It actually looks a lot better in these pictures than it has in the 9 months that we've been in our house because we finally {& by we, I mean Patrick did 99% of the work} got all of our random tools/paint/wedding gifts with no home/boxes from my apartment days/etc out of here.

The good news is that it's looking even better today! We hired out and we're getting someone to paint the ceilings, prime the walls, and get the walls painted. I'll handle painting the stairs & that fire engine red railing {both colors TBD} and Patrick will get the blinds hung up in the windows.

Flooring will come later this spring but y'all, having this room painted with new blinds? I cannot wait.
Just because we all need something pretty to look at after seeing that basement...

I love, love, LOVE snail mail and I certainly don't send enough of it. But this week? This week we got a letter from our friend in boot camp, we got a postcard from Patrick's sister Amy's travels around Europe, and we're sending out a card of our own.

{yes, that's a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle card for our friend who's turning 30...}

New goal? Send more snail mail!
What's not to love about the weather forecast for next week? Are we done with "winter" around here? Because I'm totally ok with seeing this type of weather for the next couple of months until summer!

Have a great weekend!

Linking up with April for another edition of Five on Friday.

16 February 2017

Book Review: The Magnolia Story & Talking as Fast as I Can

99.9% of the time, if I'm reading a book, it's going to be a fiction book. I'm not too big into the non-fiction side of things or reading about history or reading biographies - they're just not my thing.
Until these two books came along.
I bought both of these as an early Valentine's Day present to myself.
The Magnolia Story
by Chip & Joanna Gaines

Everyone loves the show Fixer Upper and if you watch, you can tell that there's always more to the story than what you see on the show. Chip & Jo have so much character to them and if you're like me, you kind of want a peek into their lives when the cameras aren't turned on.
That's what I feel like this book is - it's a little peek into how they got where they are today. I loved all the stories about the ridiculousness that Chip gets into {especially the baby on the four wheeler story!} and the details about each house that they have renovated/lived in. Favorite part of the book for me? The entire part about "surviving not thriving"... and all the motivation I now have to make our house into a place to thrive.

I'm also now ready to plan a trip down to Waco so I can check out Magnolia Market and that bakery!
5/5 Stars
Talking as Fast as I Can
by Lauren Graham

To be honest, I had high expectations for this book because a) Lauren Graham & b) Lauren Graham. She's one of my favorite actresses and not just because she was a lead character in two of my favorite TV shows. But the first part of this book? I couldn't keep up. It was all over the place... which is probably the logic behind the title, but still.
I finally got into the book once she started talking about the first go 'round of Gilmore Girls. And I really, really loved when I got to the part about the Gilmore Girls revival. But everything else? Not as much. If you're not a Gilmore Girls fan, you should probably skip this book in favor of something else to read.

3/5 Stars
So, if you're going to read just one of these books, go with The Magnolia Story. Both books were really good but you've got to be a pretty big Lauren Graham/Gilmore Girls fan to enjoy Talking as Fast as I Can.
Happy reading!

Previous book review: Harry Potter & the Cursed Child

14 February 2017

Valentine's at Ballentine 4 Miler Recap

Happy Valentine's Day!

We don't do much to celebrate Valentine's Day... mainly because of how it has gone in the past for us. It's never pretty.

But I can 100% get behind running a Valentine's Day themed race put on by a local YMCA, especially when it's a four mile race. I've run 4 miles plenty of times throughout the course of training for three half marathons. I'm no stranger to the distance. It's not a typical race distance though so when I saw that there was a 4 mile race nearby, I had to sign up for it.

It was also an automatic PR! The first time you race a new distance is always going to be a PR so hey, you've already won before you started.
Mile 1
Pace: 9:02/mile

This was a fairly easy 2 mile out & back course that you ran twice to get to the total 4 miles. It was on an old road that I used to drive on a tiny bit faster on when I was running late for being home in high school. I'm glad it was a closed course! Because I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who ignores the speed limit on this road from time to time.

The race felt like a decent sized group run - not exactly like a race. But somehow I still managed to go out at a 9:02 pace for the first mile {?!}
Mile 2
Pace: 9:25/mile

We turned around and headed right back towards the start line for the 2nd mile. The only discouraging thing along this mile? Seeing the lead runner around 2.5 miles in on his way back to the turn around point when you've only run 1.5 miles.
Mile 3
Pace: 9:27/mile

I'm usually not a fan of running back by my starting point in any run because of the temptation to cut my run short. Not really an option in this race. At least the race planners had organized this turn around point really well because half the runners were turning around to run their 2nd loop and half the runners were switching out with their relay teammate.
Mile 4
Pace: 9:16/mile

I haven't run more than 3.1 miles since early December so I was a little worried about this last mile. Surprisingly, it was my 2nd fastest mile of the day and I still had a little bit left in me at the end of the race to sprint the last tenth of a mile uphill to the finish line. I figured that I would be somewhere in the 38-40 minute finish but ended up with 37:19 {yay!}


Any race that hands out Chickfila biscuits at the finish line is my kind of race.

Final Results
Chip Time - 37:15
Watch Time - 37:19
Pace - 9:19/mile
Age Group - 1st Place!
Gender - 13/32
Overall - 31/64

Yay! The elusive first place in my age group! It was already a small race since it was an inaugural race but it was made even smaller because you could either run the 4 miles solo or you could make a relay out of it. A lot of people opted for the relay so it made the individual field super small.

Like, really small.

So small that I was the only girl between the age of 25-29 running all four miles solo. Not only was this race an automatic PR but an automatic first place finish. My kind of race y'all, my kind of race.

My only complaint though is that they only handed out awards to top three overall male/female in the individual race and the rest of the awards went to the relay people. It's not often that I can snag first place in my age group {the last time was 1.5 years ago} so I was kind of bummed out about that.

Next race: TBD! There are two that I'm eyeing this coming weekend... it's not that I can't decide between them, it's that I can't decide if I want to do just one or both. It's totally doable. They're 1.5 hours apart and each course is only a short drive away from one another.

Do I dare? We'll see!

13 February 2017

Recipe: Crockpot Chicken Tacos

What a beautiful, spring-y weekend we had here in Columbia!
I'm talking sunny skies and temperatures nearing 80 degrees. It felt amazing outside. I had all of the windows open in our house yesterday and it was the best thing ever.
I even got a little adventurous and went out into the yard to steal some flowers from the side of our house. I carefully staked out the area for any snakes who were taking advantage of the gorgeous weather before moving in & quickly snagging a few blooms.
Anyone who has seen our yard knows that I have zero green located in my thumb. Nada. Zilch. Anything that might be growing in a pot in our yard is a direct result of me asking my mom to plant something. I regularly google "what do hydrangeas look like in the winter" just to make sure I haven't killed those, too. But flowers in a vase? I can handle that! ... mainly because they're not supposed to last all that long anyway.
So, back to what we had for dinner last night: Crockpot Chicken Tacos!
My friend Camlin reminded me last week of this recipe and I knew that I had to make it this weekend. And share with y'all, because who doesn't love an easy crockpot recipe? Who doesn't love tacos?!
Crockpot Chicken Tacos

3 chicken breasts
2 cups chicken broth
1 packet dry ranch seasoning
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can Rotel
1. Mix the dry ranch seasoning and taco seasoning together with the chicken broth.
2. Place chicken breasts in crockpot and top with the chicken broth mixture and the can of Rotel.
3. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours until chicken is done.
4. Shred chicken with a fork & return to crockpot.
5. Serve in a flour soft shell with your favorite taco toppings.
6. Enjoy!
... and let's just say that I had to scrape the bottom of our crockpot to get enough leftovers for lunch today. It's that good.
Happy Monday!

06 February 2017

The MGC {Not So Long Run} 5K Recap

Here's the thing about weekends in February where we're not traveling & staying put in Columbia:
I get to run ALL the 5Ks that I want!
& there are so many to choose from. This is the best time of the year for running in Columbia because it's cool/cold out, not humid, and the races aren't contending with football season. Don't be too surprised if you see a lot of race recaps coming up on the blog because I intend to take full advantage of the perfect running conditions around here and the numerous races to choose from.

This past Saturday, I ran in the MGC {Not So Long} Run 5K.
The entire race itself is called the MGC Long Run since most people run either the 15K race or they do the 15K relay. Me? I had no interest in running 9.3 miles this weekend nor did I have any interest in sweet talking friends into running the relay with me. I stuck with the little 5K race.
Mile 1
I have never, not once, regretted wearing a tank top and shorts while running. Never. Until this race. I have never been so cold at a race - I was FREEZING and my toes/fingers/arms/legs were numb for pretty much the entire race. I spent the entire first mile thinking about the insanely hot shower that I was planning on taking after the race.

{this was the weather after the race if that gives you any indication of how cold it was on the shady course}
Mile 2
Should have worn more clothes.
Hey! There's our church!
Should have worn more clothes.
It's Columbia - WHY IS IT SO COLD.
Should have worn more clothes.
SUNSHINE! Can I just stop and stand here?
Should have worn more clothes.
Mile 3
There's a long, slow, gradual hill that takes up most of this mile. It was more brutal than it should have been. Luckily, once you turned back on Gervais and headed towards the finish line it flattens out and then goes downhill a little bit. Favorite part of this mile? We met back up with the 15K runners - the LEADERS of the 15K to be specific. They were flying by us one by one, but I did get to see my favorite female Columbia Runner {Shawanna White} run by so that was fun! I finished right behind her {for the first and last time ever because girl is fast}

Seeing her fly by me did encourage a pretty good finish line sprint from me - 7:38/min pace for the last tenth of a mile. That's never happened before!

Final Results
Watch Time - 28:56
Chip Time - 28:54
Pace - 9:25/mile
Age Group - 5/23
Gender - 18/148
Overall - 72/262

{& yes, I ran back to my car as soon as I crossed the finish line to throw on two long sleeve shirts & a jacket to try and warm up}
Race #2 of 2017: Complete!

5th place in my age group? Not too bad. The race also came with a finisher's medal for everyone and some great long sleeve shirts. As far as race swag went, the race organizers knocked it out of the park.
Next Up: the Valentine's at Ballentine 4 Miler next Saturday morning. I've never run a 4 mile race before so I'm kind of excited about this one. It's also the first time this one has ever been put on so I'm curious to see how they handle the out & back course that you have to run 2x and the relay portion of it.
Happy Monday, y'all!

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