April 30, 2014

Some Sad News

I never guessed I would start this week off on a somber note, but such is life. This morning, we attended my grandmother's funeral. She passed away last week after her health started declining rapidly after Christmas. Of course, I had wished she would have made it to the wedding, but I'm happy that she made it to my first bridal shower. Since family members who lived far away were already coming in for the wedding this weekend, we waited until this week to hold the funeral.

It was a lovely service - sad, of course, but also joyous in remembering her adventurous life. It was nice to get some closure and lay her to rest. She was the matriarch of our family, she held us together (I truly believe I am only as close to my cousins as I am because it was my grandmother who provided so many opportunities to be together), was always kind and fair, and we all loved her dearly. When I think of a proper lady, I will always think of Grandmother.

Rest in peace Grandmother! You'll have the best seat in the house at the wedding. See you there. <3

April 26, 2014

I Ran The Highlands!

Hello from Dallas! I arrived last night (Friday) around 10 and went to sleep as soon as I unpacked and my head hit the pillow. I was exhausted!

At least it was a nice day!
This morning, Saturday, I knew that the Run The Highlands 5K was going to start at 8:45am- a pretty early start (that's 6:45am Seattle time!) for not a lot of sleep the night before. But, I also knew that I needed to run at least 3 miles this week, so if I wasn't going to do it at 8:45, I knew had to do it at some point in the day. With my second bridal shower later that afternoon, it might as well be when I'm half asleep!

This was a hard sight to leave!
The other benefit of running this race was that it was only about a mile away from my house. So, I figured I would make it a little tempo run - 1 mile warm-up, 3.1 miles tempo, and 1 mile cool down. Even though I haven't really been running a lot, I figured it was too perfect an opportunity to pass up.

Run The Highlands, hosted by the Lake Highlands Junior Women's League, is a certified 5K Race, 1 Mile Family Walk, and Carnival to benefit the Lake Highlands community. I grew up and went to school in Lake Highlands, and couldn't believe I had never heard of this event, so I was really excited to learn that I would be in town to participate, and make this race my first official race of 2014!

I started running away from my house at 8:25- enough time to get me to the race, and registered, in time for the 8:45am start.

I had to literally slow to a walk when I ran into a narrow sidewalk behind two ladies that were on their way to the event. Ah, well. I was averaging about 9 minutes/mile before I had to start walking.

I got there with just enough time to register and get in line before I heard the countdown begin!

A good crowd! The final number was 335 registered participants- the smallest race I've ever participated in!
Tired, but ready to run!
So many puppies!!
The race started promptly at 8:45am, and I realized I was at the back with the strollers too late - so it took a little bit to get going. Had I been in the front where I probably should have been, I would have gotten a better start. However, considering I had just run a mile, I was faring pretty well.

There were two aid stations - one at the 1.6ish mile mark, and another at the 2.6ish mile mark. Kind of random, but I didn't need any water since I had my handheld with me. I think from now on, I'm never running a race without it!

Picture is from December - but I use this during almost every run!
They also had a decent amount of spectators. Since the race went through neighborhoods, a lot of families were on their front lawns cheering us on (one family had a little water station!), and at almost every curve, there were even people with signs! I'm sure they were really there to protect the cones marking the curve, but still! I felt really supported throughout the race.

Despite that emoticon, I felt really, really tired throughout. There were a surprising amount of steep hills that I wasn't anticipating. I also hadn't been running a lot, and when I was, it certainly wasn't at race paces. But, I did feel the itch to start racing again. I'm excited - I have a 5K on my calendar for when I get back to Seattle, which is the beginning of a whole lot of races for the summer and fall in Seattle. I hope I get to go to as many as I can! I can feel the racing bug has bit :)

By the time the race was over, the sun was shining!

After crossing the finish line, I walked around for about 30 seconds, found a water bottle, and guzzled it down. I felt really nauseous after the race - I had really pushed it and gave it my all at the home stretch. My Nike+ shows my speed at the end as 7 min/miles. Wow! So speedy. Glad I still have that in me.

I noticed the people at the finish line giving out medals, and I can never resist some sparkle.. so I swallowed my embarrassment and went ahead and asked if the medals were for everyone. The lady looked at me and said, "Well, technically they're for the kids - but if you want one, we have plenty extra!" and honestly in a situation like that, what can you do but take it??

The cutest medal I have ever received- and the cutest I have ever looked.
After a minute or two of rest, I ran home.

Altogether, 1+3.17+0.83= 5 Miles for the morning! I felt really, really accomplished and so glad I got up to run. Run The Highlands is a fun run, with a challenging course, and not too tightly packed that you never feel like you actually got a chance to race. I really enjoyed it!

I ended up getting 2nd place in my division! I thought that was super, SUPER cool. This 5K is technically my slowest, if you look on my sidebar under "Races", you can see that it's one second slower than my very first 5K. But you know what? That's fine. I didn't train at all and I had no expectations. I ran because I wanted to, and that is enough!

Have you ever registered for a race on a whim?

April 22, 2014

Nike+ Running Auto-Pause Feature

Last week, I was pretty swamped. Though despite all of that, I've been going to yoga every day, which I'm really proud of! I knew I needed to run another 2 miles to fulfill my 2014 resolution of running at least 3 miles a week, but I kept putting it off (shocker). To make matters worse, on Thursday during Yoga Sculpt, I tweaked my back doing squat presses. :( Plus it kept raining on and off all week! I wasn't sure when I was going to do it, but when it was Saturday and I still hadn't run, I knew I needed to do it that day, or break my resolution.

The small window of time when it wasn't raining
On Saturday morning, it was clear. By the time I got out of yoga, it was pouring rain. Then I went to Safeway to pick up some things, and by the time I left it was bright and sunny. I knew it- this was the 20 minute window when I could run. Plus, I need to try out Nike+ Running App's new Auto-Pause feature!

Nike+ Running App Auto-Pause Feature

Auto-Pause is a feature that can be turned on or off in the Nike+ Running App's settings, and as soon as I saw the update, I made sure it was on. From last week's pause-filled run with Chelsey, I was eager to not have to deal with pressing pause and un-pause whenever I hit a stoplight, especially if I wasn't using headphones, like I was last week when I talked with Chelsey the whole time.

I was interested to see how quick the app would be to catch on to whether or not I was running or stopped, and through the 14+ lights I had to wait for during this run, I figured this:
  • There is a 3-5 Second delay for the app to pause the workout when you stop moving
  • There is a 11-13 Step Delay for the app to start the workout again when you start running again (meaning, it depends entirely on your pace, but for mine, my left foot hit the ground 6-7 times before the app un-paused itself)
At first, I found this really annoying. For example, at the very beginning of my route, there isn't a big stretch of road to run on before there's a stop light. At the corner of an intersection that I'm trying to turn onto, for example, the street isn't wide enough for me to run 11-13 steps before I have to stop again. For those moments, it was annoying because I would be halfway through the intersection before it would start, and then I would get to where I had to wait again and it would take another 3-5 seconds before the app would pause. 

Waiting at an intersection, I snapped a picture of beautiful cherry blossoms!
I felt like this was giving me false results, because the app tracked me as waiting at the corner, and then suddenly in the next second (from what the app could tell), I would be in the middle of the intersection. So, my pace was kind of all over the place for this run. It gave me a GREAT pace, but I'm just not sure how accurate it was.

Looking at the app, it seemed that every time I was in a consistent running speed, I was running around a 8'30" mile pace, which even for me is pretty fast considering I hadn't really run in 5 days... so I'm not really sure?

Oh well. It was nice to not have to press pause every time I had to stop at an intersection! I would definitely recommend this feature, but with a grain of salt concerning your overall pace.

April 21, 2014

Being Social

All of last week really just ran away from me (hah!). Since last Sunday's 1 Mile run with JW, running couldn't have been farther from my mind. I've been tracking down RSVPs, communicating with my photographer about which prints to order from my bridal portraits, creating programs, communicating with the caterer, creating the guest book, and trying not to lose it in the process.

Candy has helped!
Being really social lately has helped with the stress. On Thursday we went on a double date with a girl from Dinner Detective and her new fiancé (we went to their engagement party last Saturday night). Congratulations, Lauren!

JW, me, Lauren, and Alex - from last Saturday
On Friday we went to go see A Room With A View at The 5th Avenue Theatre with dinner beforehand and drinks afterward.

JW and Aaron
Chelsey and me
Saturday, we went to go see our friends' new corgi puppy Tesla, complete with delicious dinner, drinks, and dessert!
Meet Tesla!
Tiny corgi puppy!!
That's not all - yesterday, on Sunday, after church we went to our friend's house for an Afternoon Easter Party, and ended the night with another double date with friends! Whew!

Even Tesla was invited!
Lovely views on this beautiful Easter Sunday!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! As for exercise, I will detail that (along with my 2 mile run from last week to total 3 miles for the week!) in my next post!

April 14, 2014

6 Miles With Friends (Sort Of)

Title is misleading, but whatevs. Time to update you on my most recent runs, both happening to be with friends!

On Wednesday, April 9, my dear friend Chelsey texted me asking if I wanted to run with her that afternoon in Bellevue. I've never run with another friend before (except for my first half marathon), but I jumped at the opportunity to catch up and work out at the same time!

We set off at a moderate pace, and fell into about a 10 min/mile. I'm not used to talking and running, so I was really winded and worn out the whole time! It was a great workout!

The only negative thing was that though I had my Nike Plus going, I didn't have my headphones in since we would be chatting the whole way. So, there was no easy pause button available to me when we had to wait for stoplights. (Edit: Nike+ just updated their app to automatically pause when you do, so I missed the update by a few days! Oh well.)

Afterwards, we got home, met up with JW, and went to dinner at California Pizza Kitchen with Chelsey's husband Aaron. We took a few pictures beforehand.

Yay for new running friends!
We saw this duck just chilling out in front of CPK and thought it was hilarious.
On Saturday, April 12, JW had planned on running 1 mile on the treadmill, but I convinced him to run outside because it looked like this:

So he somewhat begrudgingly joined me :)

I'm very surprised by our pace! Usually JW runs 11 minute miles on the treadmill but I was kind of pushing him to go a little faster. I think everybody goes a little faster off the treadmill, anyways. We ran two laps around the track and pointed out all the cute dogs along the way :)

After! We look a little tired.
We didn't bring our wallets, but I was craving something cold and sweet, so I settled for an iced coffee at Starbucks that I paid for with my phone. Ahhh, technology!

It wasn't mixed very well, so after we came home, I made my own little latte by just adding some milk. It made it much better!
It was a nice ending to a good run! I'm glad that JW and I can run together :)

All in all, I think I like running with friends! It makes the time pass by quickly and the added conversation makes the workout that much harder, haha. Plus I get to catch up and exercise at the same time - time saver, boom!

Back to wedding planning! Just under 20 days to go.. ahhh!!!

April 13, 2014

Amanda's Ceremony and Reception

Saturday evening, April 5, began with Amanda's wedding ceremony, at 5pm in the LBJ Pavilion of the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort. It was a little chilly, but I wore JW's coat and was comfortable!

The beautiful bride entering the pavilion
A sweet moment during the ceremony
The wedding ceremony was immediately followed by a cocktail hour, where guests could mingle with various champagne drinks (one was a mimosa, one was a basil & pineapple champagne drink, and one was a pomegranate mimosa - all delicious!) or they could choose to go back to their room and freshen up. JW and I partook in about 15 minutes of the cocktail hour and headed back to our room to warm up - though I had JW's coat, it was still a little chilly!

An hour after the ceremony ended, the reception started in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt. We loved that it was inside :)
Party favors (chocolate) and menus
Gorgeous ceiling decorations
Centerpiece and table decorations
Posing with the married couple!
Sarah, Philippa, and myself at the reception
We're getting married in less than month, y'all!

The Bride and Groom Cakes
Cutting the cake
Then, the most awesome part of the reception happened - the bride and groom's first official dance together. It was choreographed! I thought this was SO cool. They were so coordinated and happy and I could just feel the love everywhere :)

Bride & Groom's first dance
The male wedding party members dancing for the bride and groom
All the wedding party and family dancing for the bride and groom
Exit with sparklers!
We had a GREAT time, stayed until well past midnight, and danced the night away! It was a wonderful way to end our trip in Austin, and I wish Amanda and Anand all the best in the next chapter of their happy life together :)