Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Vegas: Sequin Sequel

Dom made it back to the hotel after I had showered but had committed to laying in bed wondering why oh why we didn't get any sleep the night before. Both of our eyes were bright red, so she rested a bit while I attempted to tame my mane. I threw on my favorite set of sparkles and we headed out to find dinner.

But first we had a mini photo shoot in the hallway, as you do when you're traveling with a photog/videog, obvs. Sigh. I just love this dress so much. I wish my everyday life required sequins.

We ended up at the Cosmopolitan at my request, since I had never been there before, and I was at rage levels of hunger. It was bad. Dom thanks for not punching me.

Sparkles ON sparkles. Wheeeeeeeeee ALL THE SPARKLEZ.

We finally got a spot at Holstein just as the NCAA basketball tourney was wrapping up. I snagged a beer before National Beer Day was over, and ate the most delicious burger of my life. And that's not just the extreme hunger talking. It was reminiscent of my favorite burger in town that I discovered 10 days before the restaurant closed its doors. #rude

Dom urged me several times to make sure I saved room for dessert, and this is where I learned that she does not yet know of my extreme eating capabilities. No worries, she learned her lesson quickly. We hobbled over to Serendipity 3. And I say hobbled because my ankles and feet swell like crazy when I walk a lot (see cankles photo from above for #PROOF <--did I do that right?!??!) and my shoes rubbed a giant, and I mean GIANT blister on my foot. I took photos but will save you all from seeing them. Needless to say, they were 1000x times worse than anything I've ever received from 26.2 miles.

I ordered the frozen hot chocolate and thought it was adorable that they assumed I was going to share by giving me two straws. Dom got the regular hot chocolate. Shockingly enough, this was actually way to sweet for me (I have a monster sweet tooth) and I barely made a dent in it.

With a sugar high in tow, we hoofed it back to the hotel, slowly, and painfully. As we got back to the hotel, I noted that it was 10:30pm. Which was a full 2 hours earlier than we had STARTED our previous evening. Vegas: you won this round.

The next morning, I woke up at 9:30am and felt like a million dollars, as you should after sleeping 11 hours. Lolz. I made my way down to the pool, but not until I popped some blisters on my feet. To give you a further indication of my blister situation, the skin was stretched so thin due to the fullness of the blisters, that I was able to puncture the blister using my fingernails, and then the fluid sprayed like a geyser in the air. I almost vomited. Woof.

Moving on.

I hit the pool for 2 hours. It was way hotter than the day before. I was positioned near a group of models, so clearly I was feeling super awesome about myself while in a bikini next to them, and then I ran out of sunscreen. I really wanted to catch a tan on this vacay, but my skin is so pale right now that I was reapplying sweat proof SPF 50 every 30-40 minutes to avoid getting a burn. And I rocked a hat. No pre-mature aging here please.

I hit the hotel bar and restaurant for a drink and some late lunch.

The food was disgusting, so this really ended up being my lunch. Along with some conversation with a random person at the bar for an hour or so. This is pretty impressive for introverted Jerbear. Thanks margarita!

I showered up and waited for Dom to get back, and it was time for our last night in Vegas. Already. Womp.

I offered my green sparkles to her, because the only thing better than sparkles is sparkles+sparkles, obvs. She brought a bottle of wine back to the room, so that somehow translated in to me thinking that red lipstick was the perfect accent for the evening.

Whenever I pose to look like a statue, it seems really cool in my head. And then I see it, and I realize I'm a dork. Oh well. 

I snagged us reservations at Bobby Flay's restaurant Mesa Grill during my leisurely day by the pool, so we made our way over to Caesar's Palace to find a drink before dinner.

 We ended up at Shadow. Meh, but the wine was good.

We cheers'd to Dom's upcoming 30th birthday and then hustled over to snag our dinner reservation. 

They had my favorite beer on the menu, so obviously I had to enjoy that. Cheers again? Sure. We split a black bean quesadilla appetizer, and then I had the scallops (YUM!) and Dom ordered the chile rellano per my foodie buddy TJ's insistency, and we shared the Brussels sprouts side. I would like to live in a bowl of those Brussels sprouts, I can't even tell you.

Once we were thoroughly stuffed, we made our way over to Pure night club as we'd snagged some free passes on our way into the casino. Score 2 for the sparkles! Ladies drank for free until midnight. Whoop! Except I think my drink was just Sprite.

We danced it up until the dance floor got crazy and I was teetering on the point of being VERY ANNOYED AT PEOPLE so we decided we were done for the night. Hah. 

We somehow managed to make our way back to where our vacation started: at the Sprinkles ATM! Vanilla with vanilla. Boring but delicious. 
I couldn't even wait for Dom to join me to dig in, so she ended up snagging this pic of me with my mouth full. I kind of love it. (Although I physically ache looking at those swollen feet, egads.)

The next morning it was off to the airport for me, and off to the conference for Dom, before she caught her own flight back to her hubby and babes. This was just the best mini vacation and Dom is just the sweetest! 

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, many times, but I am forever thankful for all the great friendships I've made because of running. Seriously. Runners are just the best peeps!

Monday, April 21, 2014

March Green Outfit of the Day Challenge

No pic snapped for Day 1, but it was a grey with green striped long sleeve shirt and dress pants. Pretty boring to kick off the challenge, but just like a marathon, this is all about pacing!

This scarf looks more blue in this pic, but rest assured it's green.
My favorite look on a regular basis. All the patterns, please. :)
Warm and cozy on a cold day.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Goal Race Training Recap Weeks 1 + 2

Week 1 (again?) Goal Race Training Week 1? Week 14? I dunno.
March 31-April 6

Monday: Super easy 3 mile shake out run before teaching, before my regular work shift. Somehow that day flew by. I'm guessing the run helped.

Friday: 6.25 miles with 5x800 m hill repeats.
I thought it was warm enough for shorts, but my bright red legs will tell you otherwise. The repeats were pretty decent, but I thought my legs were going to fall off during #4. I had the crazy leg lock thing going on. Uff da. Run felt great and I was on cloud nine.


Sunday: Jillian Michaels workout video. I had planned to do my long run before I left for Vegas, but my hip had been bothering me since my speed work session. Like, hurt to walk on, pain. So instead, I did a strength video and just modified the one cardio move that simulated running and aggravated my hip.

April 7-13

Monday through Wednesday I was in Vegas. I probably walked ~5 miles each day, but those aren't running miles. Dominique and I optimistically brought along running clothes and as the days in Vegas went on, we laughed at the idea that we thought we'd get in some runs. Now I'm kicking myself because we always say how much we wish we lived closer because we'd be ideal running buddies. Whoops.

Thursday and Friday I was on catch up mode. Catch up on sleep, catch up on work (I worked extra long hours to lessen the amount of vacation time I had to take for my Vegas trip, meaning Ollie was left all by her lonesome even longer since Kyle was also out of town), by the time I got home from work, the last thing I wanted to do was put Ollie back in the kennel so I could get in a run. Is this mommy guilt? I'm not sure.

Saturday after a regular ol' 8 hour work shift, I came home, took Ollie on a nice long walk because it was gorgeous out. The vet said Ollie needed to lose even more weight, so we've cut down her meal sizes, and we're working on her endurance levels again. She hit her spring 2014 distance PR on this walk. Whoop Ollie girl! Instead of the Hal Higdom walk/run program, she has implemented the "shuffle really fast and then stop for a minute to huff/puff/catch breath." It seems to be working for her. Look out Hal!

Since she was somewhat wore out after the walk, I didn't feel bad about getting out and enjoying the gorgeous weather. I flirted with the idea of just tackling my long run right then and there, but I hadn't eaten since lunch and spent more time guzzling coffee than water during my work shift. Spoiler alert: I should've just done my long run!

I had the most amazing run ever. I took a rolling hill route and it was beautiful out, and the pace felt effortless. I was shooting for a recovery paced run as I was planning on 13 miles on Sunday, and it was quite a bit faster than my recovery runs typically are. So yayzies I guess for a gorg day.

Sunday I woke up to what seemed to be a tsunami outside. I was actually somewhat concerned for what the wind was going to do to our poorly constructed apartment (have I mentioned we're moving? I hate this place). The winds were in the 30-45 mph range. It was 20 some degrees out and rainy. Eew. Maybe it'll be nice after work, I thought positively to myself.

Nope. Just as bad. Worse probably.

I decided to buck up and run long on the treadmill. Armed with the last two copies of Runners World, a bottle of Nuun, two GUs, my iPod mini with BJ Novak's audiobook on it, my regular iPod with tunes on it, should I get bored of the audiobook, my iPhone for texting enjoyment, and Shalane Flanagan's 60 minutes special coming on the tv before too long. 

All necessities for a successful long run right? I started out and felt great. Like I could run forever. Which is good because I assumed this would take forever. I had planned on easy paces for the first 9 and then trying to speed up to hit GHMP for the last 3. Well I didn't get that far. I started to have pain in my left hip again shortly before the end of mile 3. Ugh. I know my form isn't great on a treadmill, so I figured there was no sense in pushing it and risk not being able to race at all in less than two weeks. Eeeps! Two weeks! So I called it quits and did core work and my hip exercises. Womp.

But then Kyle came home, whom I hadn't seen for over a week, so I quickly forgot about my failed run. Except for now when I'm having to bring it up and obsess over it all over again. Thanks a lot Jerky Blog.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


My Vegas getaway began with some incredible travel anxiety (horrendous trip home from NYC, I blame you), and an hour delay. On a 9:30pm, 3 hour flight. Ugh. By the time I made my way to the hotel, it was 12:30 Vegas time, and 2:30am back home. I knew Dom was napping since she'd woken up super early to snag her flight, and had been at her work conference all day, so I got a little nervous when she wasn't responding to my text. But I was persistent and eventually woke her up from her slumber. I quickly threw on a dress and we set out to find some food and maybe a drink.

We stumbled upon a Sprinkles ATM. I need one of these in my apartment. 

I snagged a slice of pizza from a random shop and then we found a spot next to a fountain to inhale our spoils.

We decided to walk around and find somewhere to grab a drink before we called it a night. Somehow that led to free passes to the nightclub The Bank in the Bellagio with promises of free drinks. Well, okay. I feel a little underdressed in my cutesy polka dotted dress that I wear to work, but let's do this. Dom was rockin' a Sunday church dress, so we were quite the pair compared to the Vegas gals.

We quickly learned that the free drink rumor was a lie, spent too much on a watered down drink, enjoyed some extensive people watching, and called it a night at the early time of 3am. Or 5am according to my body. 23 hours of being awake. Good night world

Dom woke up way too early to head to her conference and I tossed and turned for another hour before deciding that I needed to start my poolside vacation. Of course, after a night of tossing and turning, my hair looked better than it did when we went out, so I had to photo document its awesomeness. The dry heat of Vegas really agrees with my frizzy follicles, let me tell ya.

Rough Monday right here. 

Dom texted me a little before lunch time that she was feeling really sick, and was going to come back to the hotel for a nap. We decided to grab some lunch first. We ended up at the Bellagio Cafe. Yum.

This garden smelled like heaven. And I want to be uber rich so I can afford to have fresh flowers around me ALL THE TIME.

Cucumber Martini to start the day? Don't mind if I do. Plz ignore the sweaty/sunscreened hair and appearance.

I told Dom that I was teasing Kyle about going to the Thunder Down Under show while I was in Vegas, so clearly she had to snap a pic of me in front of a Chippendale promo on a bus. Hand place was not intentional, but hilarious anyhow.

From there it was back to the pool for me until it was time to get ready for night number two. Stay tuned for the sequin sequel.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Weekly Reads: The Geography of You and Me

The Geography of You and Me is an ARC I received to review and wanted to read before I went to the NYC Teen Author Festival, as Jennifer E. Smith was one of the author's in attendance. I have her book Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, on my book shelf, but still haven't had a chance to read it. I loved that it was set in NYC (for the most part) since I was heading there myself for the first time.

Lucy and Owen meet, trapped in an elevator, and when they get out they spend the night together. After that special night, both their lives take them in completely different directions. They keep in contact with occasional emails and postcards from the various adventures. It was a cute, quick read, but I felt it was lacking some depth in the story and their relationships.

My rating: 3 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Precious

On a long run with Jenn, she was telling me the tale of her garmin watch strap breaking a few days prior, and her quick fix to superglue it back together. Moments later, I realized I was horrifically overdressed for the run and asked if we could pause for a minute so I could shed some layers. I went to unlatch my garmin to remove it from over the top of my long sleeve, when the garmin strap snapped.

Mere minutes after Jenn's tale.

Later on our run, I gave a mini cheer to a solo runner chick who we had seen at two different spots of our oppositely ran out and back (does that make sense? I don't think so....) and Jenn commented that she loves when people cheer for her. I said that sometimes when I feel like I'm on the brink of death of a bonkfest long run, just a thumbs up will give me another mile's worth of fuel, so I like to do the same thing.

As this conversation ended, we rounded a corner, and an older gentleman started hooting and hollering for us asking how far we were going and telling us we were awesome.

I then asked for one million dollars to be waiting in my car for me when I finished my run.

I guess the third time wasn't the charm in this instance.

After I got home, I inspected my watch and realized that instead of the pin or the strap itself breaking (which is replaceable and fixable) it's actually the plastic part that holds this in place that snapped. Well, poop.

I had been planning on getting a new garmin when marathon training started in June as the battery on my 405 had some issues with long-long runs last fall in training, especially when it was overcast. I read roughly a trillion reviews and 20 page blog reviews and went with the 610.

Isn't she lovely????

Isn't she wonderful?

Isn't she precious??

This garmin is definitely a she, unlike my previous man-watch. My old garmin was named Garmin the Martian, but I rarely referred to it as such, but this one just looks like a Priscilla, right? And then when she's being sassy I can refer to her as Miss Priss. Obvs.

Priscilla, let's make some running magic.

Monday, April 14, 2014

NYC Trip Day 5

Tuesday was my last full day in NYC. Sniffle. I really wanted to go to a Broadway show, so we woke up and made our way to Times Square to wait in line for discounted tickets. I had to snap this giant champagne bottle for Jenn since it's her favesies.
For some reason, all the giant signs on top of signs on top of signs on top of people stacked on people in Times Square reminded me of scenes from Wall-E when the earth became unlivable. Interesting, no?

After we snagged our tickets (I had it narrowed down to If/Then, Of Mice and Men or Matilda. And Matilda won! Aka, didn't cost an arm+leg), we made our way to the New York Public Library. EEEEE!!!!!

I could've spent days in here. Except I was super overwhelmed by being around giant crowds by this point.

Luckily for me, there was a children's literature exhibit to check out!

From NYPL we went out for dinner before our big show:

The show was absolutely amazing. I can't believe Matilda was played by a nine year. What were you doing with your life at nine? Starring in a Broadway show? Probably not... dang. The set was amazing, giant scrabble like letters framing the stage. It was fun to pick out different words, whether they were intentional or not. There was a library set that was amazing and had Shhhh and Silence hidden in the letters. I laughed, I teared up. It was easily the best money I spent on the entire trip.

From the show, it was back to Susan's to pack and get ready for an early departure. Unluckily for me, I woke up at about 2am with the stomach flu and spent the entire trip home curled in the fetal position trying to not die. :(

I do have to thank Susan profusely/immensely/ridiculously for being my tour guide and hostess for the week. I wish SoDak was even a tenth as cool as NYC so that I could repay the favor to her, but I'm sure we'll meet up somewhere else cool someday (hopefully soon!)