Run in a Marathon …. Check!!

So I did it.

Well sort of. For those that haven’t been following all along, I have been training to run in a relay marathon. I have had multiple knee surgeries and was told by my doctor that marathons were off limit. People with healthy knees ruin their knees running marathons, never mind people with fake knees like myself. He told me I shouldn’t be going over 5 miles … but 5 miles really isn’t much. I signed up for this relay marathon, and took one of the longer legs at 7 miles. I have been training over the past couple months. Luckily the weather has been pretty good this winter so it hasn’t been too bad running outside.

Well yesterday was the big day, and of course it was one of the coldest days within the past couple of weeks. It wasn’t so much the cold, but the crazy wind. But it was sunny, so I am not going to complain. The race was in Hyannis MA. Here is me pre race:

Go time was at 10am, so we headed to the race around 915. This would end up being about 3 hours before I actually started running. Because my phone went through the washer machine, I ended up buying a used iPhone. One of the runners on my team who has an iPhone introduced me to Nike+ GPS – which is a program that plays your music as well as tracks your run and time, and tells you your pace. It will also tell you this as you run, at each mile. It was super cool. Well I decided to use it for the first time during my run to try to keep a good pace.

My run was great. It was a little chilly, but once you got going it wasn’t really cold anymore. The views along the water were beautiful. I of course had to try to take a picture as I ran.

This was probably around mile 4. I think – and the reason I am not sure, was because my new program that I had just installed and tried out, apparently was a little off. As I was running, it was telling me I was running a 9:08 mile pace. I thought I was running faster, but some days you have it and others you don’t. I figured today was just not my day. But I forced myself to stay around that 9 minute mark because I didn’t want to be going any slower than that. Well I started to think things were off when I noticed the mile markers on the street that the marathon organizers put out on the course. I eventually realized that my gps thing was an entire mile off!! When I ended up finishing my run, it was telling me I ran 6 miles, when clearly I just ran 7.

So, I finished my 7 miles in 56 minutes … which when you do the math … is 8 minute miles! I was in shock. I mean I felt like I was running fast and I was cruising by some people trying to make up some time since our second runner had run a bit slower. But I was not expecting 8 minute miles, especially since my new little program was telling me I was running over 9 minute miles. I was so pumped. This was an awesome time for me. This is me, after the race:

Our last runner was actually not ready for me because no one thought I would be there so quick. I ended up being the fast time on our team. Go me! I was very happy with my performance. Our unofficial team time for the marathon is 3 hours and 50 minutes. We are waiting to find out our official time – but I am pretty pleased with how we did.

Here is our team picture after the race.

While I was waiting around to start my leg, I met a few other runners that were waiting as well, so we chatted. One of them was telling me that I had to do the road race in Falmouth MA in August. Apparently it is a ton of fun, and it is only a 10K – so I think I might look into that. This was my first real race and I met so many nice people and had such a great experience, that I will definitely be looking into where I can do my next race. It gives me some motivation to keep running and training.
For any runners out there that haven’t actually gotten the nerve to run in a race, I highly recommend it 🙂

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Random Thoughts

So just a few random thoughts.

1)This week has been extremely busy at work and has resulted in some late nights. Not fun. But it’s alright, I would rather be busy than bored at work. But being busy has resulted in some negligence towards blogging. Sorry.

2)This weekend is the BIG weekend. And by this I mean my Relay Marathon!!!
I have been gearing up for this for a few months now, and it’s finally here. I am ready. I know I can finish it, just now sure how quick I will be. I haven’t done much running this week. A couple shorter runs just to get my legs moving. Also trying to make sure I eat some carbs so I have enough energy for the weekend. Wish me luck!

3)We get to see our little puppy tomorrow! Hopefully we will know which one is ours, since it was between two the last time we talked to the breeder. A and I have been reading a ‘how to raise your English bulldog’ book before bed each night. It’s something fun to do together. A is not a big reader, but I love reading, and it’s kind of fun doing it together and learning some tips about raising a pup.

4)A and I found a house that we really liked. We went and looked at it a couple of times, and even had A’s parents come out to look at it. But it’s a little more expensive than we were thinking and it’s a little more house than we need. Our Realtor seems to think that an offer was made, so it looks like we won’t be getting that house. And there isn’t much else out there right now. House buying is incredibly frustrating.

5)It is Friday. Bring on the weekend! 🙂

We’re gonna be parents! Sort of :)

So I think I mentioned awhile ago that we were put on a waiting list for an English bulldog pup. We found an AMAZING breeder with beautiful bulldogs, and they were expecting a litter to be born within a few days, but they already had a waiting list. A absolutely wanted a boy – he has had boy bulldog’s his whole life and was set on a boy. So we were number 8 on the waiting list. Well when the pups were born, there were 5 boys and 4 girls. Awesome, but that most likely meant no pup for us this time around. The breeder insured us however that we would be on top of the list for the next time around. She said if anyone back out, we might still have a chance – but A and I weren’t getting our hopes up.

Well yesterday night, while A was at the gym at our apartment complex, he got a call from a number I didn’t recognize. I almost answered it in case it was something important from work and I could just go run and grab him. I decided against it because he gets too involved with work as it is. I figured it could wait.

So as I was cooking dinner, he comes in, and I let him know about the missed call. Well he listens to the call and then comes running over looking ecstatic. It was the breeder!! Three people ended up backing out, and while we would have the last pick of the boys, she wanted to know if we were still interested.

UM YES!!

I screamed and started running around like a crazy person. A called back immediately and told her we were still interested, so they chatted for a while. But we are finally getting the English bulldog that we have been talking about for like 5 years now.
Three boys are already claimed, so there are 2 left, one of which will be ours.
There is Grady:

and Jetson:

We love both of them, so we don’t care that we are getting last pick. One of the ones that is left, Grady, is actually one of the breeder’s favorite out of the litter, so we are kind of hoping for that one. I am beyond excited!! A and I had got a book a couple of years ago on how to take care of a bulldog but we had not started to read it yet. Well last night we decided that we would read a bit of it before bed each night. The pups are only about 3-4 weeks old maybe – so we still have to wait 4-5 weeks until he can come home with us. I have no idea how I am going to wait that long. We are going to go there this weekend to visit with them 🙂

Here is a video of all the little guys, they are so cute!!

Now starts the fun of puppy proofing the house and buying toys for the little guy 🙂

Just one of those days

Yesterday while at work, A told me that he was cooking me dinner and that he didn’t want me to help or do anything. He wanted it to be a me night. I couldn’t argue with that. So when we got home from work, he ran out and got some stuff for dinner. And while he cooked, I sat on the couch and read some papers for work that I have been putting off. We had some Dashboard Confessional going on in the background and a couple of glasses of wine. It was really quite wonderful. A was yelling and swearing in the kitchen because things weren’t going right and he said he didn’t time things correctly. I laughed and said it wasn’t as easy as it looked – and he agreed with me. I think it made him a bit more appreciative of me cooking every night 🙂

Anyways, dinner was fantastic. He made a huge mess of the kitchen, and it took him awhile, but the final product was great. I probably couldn’t have made it better myself. He made shrimp scampi, because shrimp is one of my favorites.

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A had decided to cook with his work clothes on, and spilled some grease on his pants, so I scrubbed the stains, and then threw a small load of laundry into the washer. Well the wine had made me sleepy, so I ended up falling asleep early, and before the washer had ended. I woke up at 2 in the morning and was wide awake, so I decided to put the few things in the washer onto our drying rack since I didn’t want to put the dryer on and wake up A. Well when morning rolled around, I decided to throw the clothes into the dryer – and immediately something started banging. I thought weird, what in the world is in the dryer. Opened it up, and what do I find …

Yup – that would be my cell phone. Because I was trying to find a few things to just throw in the wash with A’s pants, I threw my jeans on the floor in, not even thinking twice that my cell phone might be in my pocket. EPIC fail.

So of course it doesn’t work. Doesn’t even think about turning on. Why would it when it say in a washer for the entire cycle. Sad face. I woke up already in a somewhat bad mood for some reason. I think part of it had to do with after dinner, I felt a little ignored by A. He had cooked dinner and then cleaned up so he wanted to just relax – but I was looking for some attention. When I didn’t get it, I pouted and then decided I was just going to go to sleep. So that had kind of carried over into the morning. And then the cell phone thing happened. So needless to say I was very moody and cranky, and might have taken it out on A a little. Meanwhile, he is busy trying to get his old iPhone turned iPod switched back to an iPhone and with my number, so that I can at least have a cell phone. I told him it didn’t matter, but he didn’t want me without a cell phone. It’s when you don’t have one – that you end up really needing one. He said the last thing he needs is me on the side of the road, broken down, and no way of getting in touch with anyone. Valid point. He was a trooper and put up with my crankiness and even got me a phone to use while mine is out of commission. What a guy. Don’t worry – I have since apologized – twice.

Oh, and on top of that, he got me flowers. We are not big Valentine’s day people. I hate the crazy markup on flowers and chocolate etc. But A got me some flowers for my desk at work. He is truly the greatest ❤

New shoes!

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Yesterday I had a great run after work. I ran roughly 3.45 miles in 27 minutes I think. Basically I was running just under 8 minute miles – which is a personal best.  I mean I was doing that back in high school, but I am getting old, so it felt really good.

This weekend A and I went home to visit my family. Saturday I decided to go running with my younger sister, who already has one marathon under her belt. She was going running with one of her friends, who is a cop and has several races under his belt as well. So let’s just say I was a little nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with them. But, not only did I keep up, but I was actually going faster than my sister. She had a long run the previous day so she said she was a little tired, but still, I was very impressed with myself that I was able to keep up. We did 5.5 miles and I was ready to just keep going. We were running an 8:30 mile pace I think.

But, remember when I said I got new shoes, well I tried breaking them in by walking around in them for a bit, but running 5.5 miles might not have been the best idea. At about the 4 mile marker, my sister was like “Uh did you know you are bleeding?”. And sure enough, both my heels were bleeding. What’s funny is they didn’t hurt at all and I wouldn’t have noticed if she hadn’t said anything. I got pissed because I was already getting my brand new kicks dirty.
It was only after we finished our run and I started walking that my heels started hurting. Oh well. I was more concerned with the blood on my sneakers. When we got home I was thankfully able to get the blood off. But it was a good lesson. Properly break in your sneakers before going on longer runs with them!

Today I decided not to run. Give my heels a chance to heal and to give my knees a break. I am so worried about over doing it and messing them up. I do not need surgery again. But I did hit up the gym and do the elliptical and some abs so I am feeling good.

13 more days until race day!

Back in the groove with T minus 16 days until the race

Last week I spent most of the week sick. Which meant there was no running or training going on. Bad news. But, I was hoping it would help me get better quicker. This week I have felt much better, although I think I got A sick, because he seems to have what I had, just not as bad.

This week I have gotten back into the groove of running and getting ready for the relay marathon at the end of the month. Only 16 more days!
I finally was able to get my hands on a map of the race.

The 8 mile leg goes 1st and 3rd. I would get completely overwhelmed at the starting line with all those runners and it would totally mess up my pacing. Not to mention I would probably trip and fall and there goes the whole race and our chances of winning a medal!

Ha! We won’t be winning any medals – but nonetheless, I wouldn’t be able to handle going first. So our other 8 mile leg teammate agreed that he would do the first leg, and that I could do the third leg. I am pumped because that portion of the race is along the coast the most, so hopefully I can get distracted by the ocean and not remember that I am running 8 miles.

In other news, but related to running, my sneakers are on their way out. I have had them for too long. Now I am a sneaker person. A gets mad because I will come home with pairs of different colored casual sneakers and he just asks why. I can’t help it. I have gotten better. But I haven’t bought a pair of running sneakers in quite some time. I figured this marathon running was great incentive and a way to reward myself for my hard work.
I found a pair yesterday that I fell in love with. I loved the color – and when I tried them on, they were the most amazing thing ever. They were a little more expensive than I usually spend on running shoes. But it’s important to have good running shoes, especially with all my knee issues in the past. Here they are:

Well I decided to wait, and talk to A about it. I didn’t want to just come home with another pair of sneakers. But when I told him about them, he told me he thought I should get them. I was so excited. We are a team, so I like being on the same page about purchases, so I was excited that he was on board.
So this morning I did a little research on those Nike sneakers as well as a bunch of other running sneakers. These aren’t the best obviously, but I found a decent deal on them and they are much better than the running shoes I have had in the past. So I am going to go with it 🙂
One more run outside today with my old sneakers (hello 50 degree weather!) – and then I am going out after work to pick up my new kicks! I’ll have to break them in this weekend.

Happy Friday.

Our Love Story

So Valentine’s Day is almost here. I have never been a huge fan of Valentines day. I would almost prefer flowers or a thinking of you card on a random day as opposed to Valentines Day. But at the same time, everyone else is getting something, so I want something to, even if it is just a home-made card or a burned CD of my favorite songs 🙂

Anyways …. I saw this on someone else’s blog, and thought it was a great idea, so I thought I would join in and link up with the blog From Mrs. to Mama as well.

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
It will be 5 years in April. A asked me to be his girlfriend on April 11, 2007, he asked me to marry him on August 8, 2010, and we tied the knot on September 10, 2011. So together for almost 5 years, and married for almost 5 months 🙂

2. How did you meet?
A and I met in college … when I hit his car. It was junior year, and I was late for a late night soccer practice, so I was a little distracted. I started backing out the parking spot, and didn’t see that a car was parked there (where it shouldn’t have been) and bumped into it. And so A and I met. I was so frazzled and embarrassed that I had just backed into him. A didn’t even ask for any of my information, he told me he was going to fix the door anyways (never did), and that there was barely any damage so not to worry about it. That was as far as that went for the time being. I was scared to see him around campus, so if I ever saw him, would purposely go in the opposite direction. Fast forward to almost a year later. We ended up joining the same intramural soccer team because we had a lot of mutual friends. And we started talking. One night after a party that we had both been at, he invited me to his house off campus and we stayed up until 6 in the morning talking. He hadn’t remembered that it was me that hit his car! I had to bring it up before it clicked. Thankfully, that wasn’t a deal breaker for him – and we’ve been together since!

3. If married, how long have you been married? If not, is this the guy you hope to marry?
We just got married back in September, so it will be 5 months in a few days. 5 wonderfully amazing months.

4. If you are married, where did you get married at?
We got married in my hometown, in the church that I attended growing up. It was what most would consider a big wedding. I am Portuguese and A is Italian – so we have very large families. And we also have a large group of friends. So we invited around 320 people, and had 280 attend the wedding. Luckily there was a place in my town that could fit all these people! There were 8 bridesmaids and 8 groomsmen, and we had a flower girl and ring bearer. It was the perfect day – sunny and in the 70s, and everything went just as planned. The day after the wedding, we had all our friends and family over my parents house for one last goodbye, before A and I went off to Italy for 15 days ❤

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!
Not really. I guess we call each other Stink or Stinky sometime. Quite embarrassing I know. We really aren’t stinky, I swear, it was said once and just somehow stuck. There are also just the typical babe, hun, love, etc. that we say from time to time as well.

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
He loves me more than anything else in this world and is dedicated to us completely. He is so family oriented and comes from a large, amazing, religious family very similar to my own. He is funny, and can make me laugh and always manages to put a smile on my face.

7. Tell us how he proposed?
His parents have a house on Cape Cod, so we go there all the time, especially during the summer months. One weekend in August, we had spent the day out on their boat on a lake. When we got home, his mom had some errands to run and asked if I wanted to tag along. After a few stores, she said we should stop by the beach to pick up a few shells (this is something she is constantly doing, since she does own a beach house and is constantly using shells for DIY crafts around the house) so I didn’t think anything of it and thought it was a great idea. It was nearing sunset, and we started walking, when in the sand, written out of sea shells, was the message “Marry me Katie?”. I honestly thought it was a joke, or written for someone else, so started looking around, when out from behind some tall grass, out pops A in a suit. He walks over as I am saying shut up, he gets down on one knee, starts talking (I was in too much shock to even remember what he said now), and asked me to be his wife. I of course said yes. And then notice his dad in the corner taking pictures, as well as a large group of complete strangers watching and all cheering when they’ve realized I say yes. It was amazing.

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
Um neither? I guess if I had to choose, I would say teddy bear and flowers. But he agrees with me on the whole valentine’s day thing being a bit overrated 🙂

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
I would say a bit of both, but again if I had to choose, I would choose the dinner on the beach, because I am a beach girl. If I lived by the beach, there would be no movies, it would be sitting on the beach and enjoying each others company, and I would love every second. We aren’t the type of people who go out often, so we love just hanging in and doing stuff around the house together, but if we could hang out on the beach, even better!

10. Tell us one thing you’d like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
I would love to move to another country and live there for a year or two. Specifically a country in Europe, maybe Portugal or Spain. Italy even. But we are such family oriented people, that we would miss our family here. So I don’t know if we could do it. Maybe someday 🙂

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine’s Day.
I am not really sure – A is keeping it a surprise. Although I am thinking it will just be a nice dinner for two.

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine’s day?
Nope – that defeats the purpose in my opinion 🙂 And I like surprises.

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
Communication and openness. If you are constantly talking with one another and being open, you keep the fights to a minimum. And make the time you spend together count. It’s not always the amount of time you have together, but the quality of time you spend together. Embrace it, and never take it for granted.

14. Show us a picture of what love means to you.