Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weird Wednesdays - Collectors Edition

So.

This past weekend while in Chicago Andrew and I stayed at my hippy sister's apartment. Her and her roommate recently moved in, and to use the words of my good friend, the apartment simply looks more like a museum than a living space.

Aside from the large, dirty vase in their living room that contains live water frogs that they mail ordered from an online website, the apartment contains a variety of gems from a record player to treasure chest.

see the little frog at the bottom?



However, my favorite had to be this:



I was obsessed, and considered stealing it until my sister informed me that her roommate got it in Asia or something. I decided that would be mean to steal it.

I've never been one for collecting; the only thing I currently collect are race bibs, and those sure aren't racking up as of late...

only two races this fall. thanks a lot IT band.
Which got me to thinking. I want to collect giraffe things. I want a giraffe teapot, a cute giraffe key chain, those sorts of things. Nothing over the top, I just want giraffes to be my 'thing', or my go-to favorite animal I guess.

My first addition to the collection was one of my favorite stuffed animals that I brought back from home, Markus, whom I forgot about until this past weekend. He now sits happily on my desk at work and as my coworkers pass by they wonder why my desk is slowly turning into that of a child's nursery.



Long hair.

It makes sense right? Giraffes are tall, like me. I also think they are beautiful, like me. In our most recent race through the zoo a giraffe made direct eye contact with Andrew and I as we ran by; we had a very special moment with him/her.

Yep, it's official. I've made up my mind. Giraffes are my new favorite thing.

Ok, I'm off. I have other running related things to talk about but let's hold off 'til tomorrow, shall we? Just wanted to hit you all with a bit of mid-week weirdness.

Cheers!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Full of Turkey


There’s always something refreshing about going home and being with familiar faces.

The 6:30 AM flight out on Thanksgiving morning to start off the trip didn’t even phase Andrew and me. Coffee in hand, we were way to excited to get the festivities under way.





Which we did, quickly.


braiding my little sister's hair. like, so presh.

Festivities ended by about 8:30 that night, when the 4 am wakeup call from that morning quickly crept up on both of us, and Andrew hit a wall like mile 22 of a marathon.

those are actually his stuffed animals he packed for the trip.
doesn't travel without them.
The weekend was a whirlwind of a exploring the city, good times with friends and family, and of course, so much food. Pumpkin cheese cake, pizza galore, turkey tex mex soup; you name it, I probably ate it.










Even some karaoke singing that cleared out half the bar.


I took a lot of time off from working out, unless you count the squats I did in the airport whenever my boyfriend wasn’t looking. I did go for a short run on Sunday afternoon post-Bears game, my knee hated me about 20 mins in… same story different day.

I have more thoughts about that, as well as giraffes, but I’m going to keep this one short because I have a crap ton of laundry to do, and zero food in the house. As much as I love you guys, eating takes precedence. Sorry.

How was everyone’s Turkey Days? Any turkey trotters out there?

Cheers to a new week!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Tunes



Freeeddommmmmmmmmm!!!

Today’s half-day marked the last day of work for me until mid-day Monday, and I couldn’t be more pumped.

Today is also an epic day because I finally caved in and started listening to Christmas music. I gave my office a lecture last week about how that WAS NOT acceptable pre-Thanksgiving time and I would off judge anyone who I caught doing it.  However, this morning I woke up and just felt the holiday cheer in my bones, and decided to give in on my drive to work.



The first jam of the season? Mistletoe by JBeibs, obviously.

However, can I just make the quick argument that the Hanson Christmas Album is the best Christmas album that there is? Followed closely by Jessica Simpson's.

not debatable.


My favorite single would definitely have to be Last Christmas by Jimmy Eat World. They definitely nailed it.

I’ve also recently been wearing my badass Columbia boots around my house in hopes that it will snow, while the temps out here have been staying pretty steady in the 50’s. They may not be put to as much use out here in Maryland compared to when I lived in Colorado, hence why I shall make an effort to wear them in inappropriate social settings that will make my boyfriend uncomfortable to be around me.


 Last night I did a short interval workout on the treadmill and felt decent. I wore my sweet shirt that I got from the Zoo Zoom which I’m obsessed with and may just wear for the entire Thanksgiving weekend. I also really need to find a new pair of shoes because my Asics Nimbuses (Nimbi?) now feel way to heavy after switching back into them from my Brookes Connects. I’ve been eyeing the Asics Blurs, has anyone out there ever ran in them?

best shirt ever.

Anyways, Andrew and I have an early 6:30 AM flight out of BWI tomorrow morning, bringing us into Chicago by 7:30 AM with the time change. I expect my sister to be waiting at our gate with a bloody mary in hand. Wait what? Seriously though, I’m super psyched for some solid family time, lots of turkey/cranberries/stuffing, and of course some outings with friends.



What are your  Thanksgiving plans? Better yet, what’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?

Cheers to the holidays!

Kait

Monday, November 19, 2012

Zoo Zoom 8k


I have to admit that I’m a bit extremely excited this week. The fact that today is essentially a Wednesday for me is enough to put a big grin on my face.



Andrew and I are Chicago-bound on for Turkey Day, but I won’t jump the gun quite yet and start gushing about that.

This past weekend was actually full of two of my favorite things; running and food.

Sunday morning Andrew, some of my coworkers and I ran an 8k through the Maryland Zoo. I didn’t have high expectations; in fact I tried to go in having zero expectations. The little voice in my head kept whispering ‘You should just run it as fast as you can and try to win it.”

Ha.

Running as fast as I can now looks incredibly different than it did two months ago. Sad, but expected at this point.

In case you were wondering, an 8k is equivalent to just under 5 miles. I will deem Sunday as an accomplishment solely based off the fact that I haven’t run that far since mid-September. Pain was minimal… it was cold so my left leg as a whole was tight and generally unhappy, but pain itself was pretty absent. Andrew humored me like a good boyfriend should, and stayed with me for the entire race, even as I huffed and puffed up a small mountain hill towards the middle of the course and proceeded to hyperventilate at the top.

Out. Of. Shape.

Our finishing time was 41:56 which is most certainly respectable, an 8:27 pace. I will refuse to become upset about my current running shape, all things considered, and continue to gloat solely on the fact that I can now run further than two miles without my entire left leg shutting down.



My favorite part was undoubtedly the giraffes and lions that we saw towards the end. Andrew had a 5-year old moment and shouted into the giraffe pen until the long-neck creature made direct eye-contact with him.

Second favorite part had to be the birds that were hanging around the recovery area at the end. And the amazingly delicious pumpkin muffins that I may have had three of.

A kookaburra!!! (feel free to start singing the song) 

It took all that I had not to steal him and make him my new best friend. 
The rest of the day consisted of preparing for ‘friendsgiving’ that Andrew’s roommate was hosting. He made and AMAZING turkey, the spread was incredible, and I was one happy girl when we sat down to eat.





Did anyone else race this weekend? What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Cheers to a short week!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Small Things

Have you guys picked up on the fact that when I get sad/frustrated/depressed I usually tend to get really quiet? Like no blog posts kind of quiet? Yeah…..



After having a full-on mental breakdown last night at PT, I realized two things:

1. I may need to try something else. Although PT is definitely getting me stronger, and ART seems to be ‘helping’.. I’m still not ‘fixed.’ It’s been a month, and I’m getting incredibly impatient. Some runners have suggested forms of acupuncture, which I’ve begun considering, expenses aside.

Any other suggestions are welcome, please!

2. My IT band is a tough, crazy bitch. Like super thick, and super strong. In efforts to console me last night, Sean told me that because it’s such a ‘thick band of tissue’ it essentially takes awhile to get it to cooperate again. So thick in fact, that when removed from a human body and tested on its strength it held over 1500 lbs without snapping. 

That’s both disgusting and intriguing in my book.



I’m ‘running’ an 8k this Sunday with Andrew and some coworkers. It is a ‘zoo zoom’ through the Baltimore Zoo and would will be a lot of fun if I wasn't injured. I suppose the responsible thing to do is take it slow and walk if and when I feel pain. I’ll try my best to do so… (sigh)

I’ve also been forcing yoga on myself although I hate it and want to punch someone it isn’t my favorite thing to do. I even committed to buying a $5 yoga mat to encourage more consistent attendance. Look at me go.



In the meantime, I’ve been focusing on the small things. Because as much as I have made it and perceived it to be, turns out that running isn’t life. (insert shocked face here) There are just too many other awesome parts for me to continue moping and being a Debbie Downer.

Awesome parts such as...

Doughnut batter pancakes with espresso frosting. Enough said.


Chocolate from Italy that my sweet sweet friends sent me. I may or may not have had it for dinner one night.

Forts. Yes. #winning



The Holidays! I honestly cannot say what a mood changer the upcoming holidays have been for me. Thanksgiving is definitely one of my all-time favorite holidays, and the fact that Christmas/Hanukkah (insert your holiday here) is just around the corner is super uplifting to me. Shout out to Starbucks for reminding me that ‘tis the season this morning.



Remember my last post when I shared my beautiful picture from violin camp? Well my creative coworker took the novelty of “improving upon it” and then proceeding to send it around the office. So, since it’s Friday and you probably need a laugh…. Here you have it:

mini gangster Kait



Cheers to a healthy weekend!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Song Bird


First on the agenda… isn’t this just the worst?



I’m honestly not sure if there is anything in the world that is more infuriating. And I swear it happens to every stick of deodorant that I buy. #fail

I’m going to tell you guys something, and you can’t make fun of me. Recently I’ve developed a strong yearning to sing.  I’m not exactly sure how this came about, but more often than not I find myself wishing that I was a good singer, and had the ability to serenade people with my words.

As opposed to when I used to serenade people with my violin

I have always loved singing, and typically when I am alone in the car I end up belting out whatever happens to be playing. I also may or may not have memorized Taylor Swift’s entire new album within the first week of purchasing it, but that's a whole separate issue.

My theory is, the more that I sing, the better I’ll get. The phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ continues to resonate in my brain as a chirp along to songs every morning on the way to work. After all, miles and miles of running is how I became a better runner. 6 days a week on the court during my volleyball days is how I finally saw progress. Many-a-times planking is how I became the world's best planker... It’s the same for singing, right?

Plank so hard.



I’m not sure, and if I had to take a wild guess I would guess no, but I continue to practice just in case. Because after a bit of research on Livestrong.com, I learned that not only does singing burn some extra calories, but it also helps to put you in a better mood and reduc stress.

Hey, I've heard the same thing about running too...

Crazy enough, I stumbled upon this little blurb in this month’s “Women’s Health” issue and couldn’t help but to be a little bit excited.


I’m on my way to becoming a very fit, happy, brainy singer.
Or not…

Cheers!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Normal


I’m ready for normal to return, aren’t you?

I’m ready for politics to die down. I’m ready for people to stop screaming at one another over their opinions, and I’m ready to turn on the news and see a happy, encouraging story instead of a vicious, biased one.

Seemed like the right picture to put here?

I’m ready for my Iliotibial Band to get better, and for my left leg to stop hating me. I’m ready to stop scheduling my days around going to the gym, and to once again have the option to just simply get home from work and go for a run.

The day is drawing near, I can feel it.

Much thanks to some very close friends of mine who have been helping me get better...

Mr. Foam Roller, whom I chat with over coffee twice a day.


we have a love hate relationship.

Mr. Bridge, whom is slowly strengthening my glutes so that they are no longer jello.



Aaaand Mr. Sean, a literal human-being AKA my physical therapist, who requested not to be pictured.
I actually don't have a picture because that would be creepy.

This past weekend, a few interesting things occurred…
  1.  The New York Marathon was cancelled … but we already know that.
  2. Andrew and I visited the pet store for no specific reason. We spent a good 10 minutes staring at the hamsters/gerbils/mice. When he was a wee little boy, Andrew had a gerbil that escaped its cage and died... and almost 20 years later I’m unsure if he has gotten over the experience. 
  3. I managed to run about 4 miles; the furthest in over a month. 


Since my IT Band issues started up about 5-6 weeks ago, 2 miles has been my ‘trouble spot.’ It would always be right around 2 miles/15 minutes that the IT band would start ‘rubbing’ over my knee, causing the pain that would lead to me having to stop. After a frustrating PT appointment on Thursday evening, Sean recommended that I try a run over the weekend in my old Asics shoes; a much more ‘padded’ shoe that I have been running in recently.




At the end of the 32 minutes, I may or may not have been a little teary eyed from my joy.

Sunday I ran the same distance, this time on the treadmill. I covered up the stats with a towel so that the crazy voice in my head wouldn’t freak out when nearing the two mile mark. It was once again, a successful run.

don't mind me, just snapping pics of my treadmill 
Ultimately, any progress is good progress in my book, especially in my current state. Just wanted to share the updates, I know you've all been wondering.



How was your weekend? Did you make progress on anything in particular?

Cheers!