Monday, January 26, 2015

Austin Trip

This weekend my friend, Shanna, and I took a quick trip to Austin.  I had registered to run the 3M Half Marathon "Downhill to Downtown" and Shanna said she'd come along for the ride.  I'm always willing to run a half marathon to get a girls weekend!!

We left Saturday morning just after 8am and stopped in Ft. Worth for an early lunch and made it to Austin by 3:00.  We checked in and headed to packet pickup.  Shanna had looked and found that out that there is an Athleta store (our favorite store) so we decided to head there.  Getting to go to Athleta was a HUGE deal for me.  There aren't any stores in OKC.  The closest ones are in the DFW area, but we don't go to Dallas hardly ever so I was PUMPED!!!  Plus! Rumor had it that if you're a group fitness instructor you get 30% off your purchase (which is TRUE!  The first thing I did when I walked in was to ask about that.  I had to show my certification and they got me signed up for their program and I get 30% off full priced items for myself.  No gifts.  And they mean that...they wrote down my sizes to verify that!!)  Anyway, when we were driving to Athleta, we passed a Lululemon (I had gotten a GC to there for Christmas and GFI get 15% off there) so we hit up that store as well.  I LOVE all of my purchases (as always), but as neither of them are inexpensive stores (Athleta is SLIGHTLY less expensive than Lulu) we had spent all our spending money....and then some =)

The next morning was race morning.  I managed to get with a head cold a couple of days before the race.  I get to feeling worse and worse throughout the day, so around bedtime every night I was severely questioning being able to run, let alone race.  I seriously considered skipping the race altogether. However, in the mornings when I wake up, I haven't been feeling to bad, just really congested and running usually helps with that, so I decided I would run, but that I would run really conservatively in case it became clear that it was just too much for me.  Race morning was the same, I was headache free, felt pretty good and was just congested.  The course was net downhill and the uphill portions weren't long or very steep grades.  I started out slowly and had to keep reigning myself back...I was wanting to run faster.  I kept reminding myself that I was only feeling this good because of all the downhills.  I was still fully expecting to hit the wall.  Mile 6 came and I was still feeling pretty good, and my average pace was conservative, but not too slow.  I decided to try to drop my average pace by a few seconds to 9:15 by the time I got to the 10 mile mark.  If I couldn't...fine, if I could and I was still feeling good, I was within range to push the last 5K and go for a sub 2 finish.  Well, my average pace was 9:13 at the 10 mile marker and I was still feeling strong and I knew that if I could run three 9 minute miles I could squeek in under 2 hours and that felt doable for me.  I went for it....and ended up with a bright, shiny new PR of 1:58:31.  More than a minute faster than my previous PR (set in March of last year).  The 3M course was the fastest I've ever run on and I know that helped me yesterday!  The only down side was it was not the most attractive course.  It wasn't chosen to show of the neat areas and pretty sights in was picked to be a fast course.  There was nothing interesting to look at for pretty much the entire race...but that's okay by me!!

After the race Shanna and I ate at Torchy's Tacos (sooooo good.  The best meal of the weekend) and then went to Amy's Ice Creams (my new favorite Ice Cream place...they have de-throned my beloved Freddies Frozen Custard.  It's now #2).  Since we had spent all our money the day before we decided to just head home.  The drive home was long and I was definitely not feeling well again, but it was a great quick trip with even better company.

I got home, saw the kids, put them to bed and was asleep myself before 8:30.  I was TIRED!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Leta's Birthday Party

Leta turns 5 on Tuesday.  At the Soper house, when you turn 5, you can have a "Big Friend Birthday Party".  So this was Leta's year and she was BEYOND excited.  She was more excited for this than she was for Christmas.  She talked about it many, MANY times a day and had her own countdown going and everything.

It turned out that we had it on the perfect weekend.  Grandpa Wilbur was having knee replacement surgery (THAT'S not wonderful, but the surgery went perfectly and he's recovering really well) so Kyle's mom (Grandma Binky) was in town for that and so she was able to come to her party.

Vicki was a life saver.  Leta wanted her party to be FANCY.  Every day she would tell me how FANCY her party needed to be.  "Are we going to decorate?  Because the house needs to be FANCY."  Well, I don't really do fancy.  I had purchased streamers (they're fancy, right?) but I didn't really know what to do with them.  Anyway, with Grandpa Wilbur's surgery/recovery going so well, she decided to spend Friday night with us, so we were able to do some decorating Friday evening.  Kyle did all the hanging (he's the tallest).  I handed him tape.  We all have our strengths.  We finished up Friday night and I thought it looked great.  We still had some streamers left over and Vicki went to bed plotting and planning.  Saturday morning she was over bright and early and used up the rest of the streamers.  It. Was. Fancy.  Leta was happy.

Rapunzel came to Leta's party.  Leta was soooo excited about this and the moment Rapunzel showed up, Leta got VERY shy and intimidated.  In fact, all the little girls did.  I think they were just in awe.  Let's just say it was the QUIETEST birthday party I've ever been to.  After eating and cake and ice cream, they all kind of loosened up and relaxed....when the party was over.  But Leta enjoyed it and she has 5 years to live off this party "high"....because her next one is when she turns 10!!

I sliced the cheese and Leta cut it into fun shapes using cookie cutters.  (I am very proud of myself for this.  I think this is the most crafty I've ever been)

Kyle and Vicki working hard. (PS, I can hand out tape LIKE A BOSS)

Leta and Rapunzel

She got her face painted like a kitty cat.

The aftermath of the "Tangled Game"

Leta blowing out her candles.  I made cupcakes and frosted them.  They are arranged to look like a "fancy dress".  Vicki put on the purple accents using Sixlets candies.

Max refused to have his picture taken with Rapunzel at the beginning of the party, but he'd warmed up to her by then end and wanted his picture taken then.

Running talk!  You're finished with the good part of this post.  Feel free to quit reading if you want.  I'll never know.  Promise.

I am registered for 1 half marathon per month through April.  
January 25th: 3M Half Marathon in Austin, TX
February 7th: Tybee Island, GA half
March: Strides of March Half (here in the City)
April: OKC Memorial Half

With the upcoming half I really needed to get in a 12 mile run.  I haven't run that far since November during my last half.  I couldn't skip.  But I know myself.  If I tried to run after the party I would be too worn out and tired and would likely skip.  12 miles is more than I want to run on the treadmill.  My normal running crew was starting too late Saturday morning, not leaving me with enough prep time before the party....SO...I did what any sane (???) person would do....I called another running friend to see if I could run with her and her crew Saturday morning.  So I set my alarm and got up at 4:20 AM to meet them at 5 for 12 miles.  Kyle took the big kids out to eat with his mom and sister and her family, but Max needed a nap (thankfully) so I stayed home with him and took a nap, too.  

Post #2

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

I'm sure you've noticed (or more likely not noticed at all) that I basically quit blogging for 3 years. But here I am blogging today.  Let's not get your hopes up just yet.  We'll see if I can maintain.

A few years ago I've started setting New Years Goals.  I've reached some goals and I've missed some, but overall, I think they have helped motivate me and hold me accountable.  So I like doing them.  This year is no different.  So, without further ado....

Rachel's 2015 Goals:

1. Maintain my current mileage (run 17+ miles each week) and do 35 sessions of speed work.  

2.  Blog 52 times 

3.  Here's my most humiliating one: NO PHONE WHILE DRIVING. I'm even prepared to tell the kids this goal, so you know I will do better. (Talking on the phone while driving is allowed...but debate-able as to if that's even a good idea or not)

4. Put away all folded laundry THE SAME DAY that it is folded.

5.  And back again for who knows how many years in a row....FLOSS MORE OFTEN!!

So, there you have it.  

Blog 1 in the books. Here are a few pictures from Christmas morning: