Thursday, November 28, 2013

I am so thankful.

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving from New York City! Needless to say its super chilly up here with some pretty serious wind, but I'm so thankful to be here. In face I'm so thankful for many things and today is the perfect day to share...

I am so thankful for...

The most wonderful, loving and supportive family. I'm blessed to have a large and tight knit family. Not only is my immediate family close but burg mine and JP's families are. We truly become one family when we were married over 3 years ago and I am so thankful for them!

The best friends a girl could ask for! They know just how to cheer me up, show me love, calm me down and keep me sane. Anyone that knows me knows that it's not always an easy feat. I'm so thankful for the men and women I call friends. 

My better half. Having a husband by my side through thick and thin is the biggest blessing. Seven years together and counting, we continue to love each other more daily. I'm so thankful for God creating him to be my husband. 

The cutest, craziest puppies in the world. While some days they can make me crazy, I'm so thankful I found them and have them a forever home!

A career I'm passionate about. Changing jobs this year was the ballsiest move I've ever made and I can't believe I truly did it! I love helping people better their lives and find a passion for fitness. I'm so thankful for finding my nitch in this industry. 

A home over my head, food in my belly, my relatively good health and the ability to do the things I love. So often it's easy to take things for granted. No matter what I know I will have these basic necessities that not everyone has. I'm so thankful for the comforts in life. 

The ability to run. I've complained a bit about running this year and I need to remember to be grateful for the fact that I can run! I'm so thankful for my ability to push my body to new limits and enjoy doing it!

I'm thankful so much more than just these few things but I think I was able to get my point across. I'm so thankful for the life God gave me. Today is the day to remember how blessed I am!

Happy Thanksgiving y'all! Take some time to remember just how lucky you are!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Long Run: Top 10 Tips for Running in the Rain

Distance running can seem very daunting, but believe it or not, you can do it too! Ready to train for your first half marathon? Or maybe you're about to tackle your 10th half or even a full! Join in on The Long Run for different tips and tricks for before, during and after to make it through your long run while feeling your best.

As runners, we have our fair share of interesting conditions whether it be during a training run or even come race day. After experiencing an interesting 18 mile training run in the pouring rain this past Saturday, I thought I'd share a few tips for running in the rain!

1. Protect your feet! 
Even though your shoes may be soaked by the end of your run, be sure to take precautions before you run. Put some body glide or even deodorant to avoid those nasty blisters!

2. Zig zagging to avoid puddles could cause you more harm than good!
If the rain is coming down, the likelihood of your feet remaining dry is low. Instead of dodging puddles, just take them like a champ...assuming you can see the bottom. Please don't step in a hole! You can try to make it more entertaining by attempting to splash your friends like I do :)

3. Wear appropriate clothing.
If it's cold and rainy, be sure to layer! But don't go overboard, if it's really wet, too many layers could mean extra weight dragging you down. A water proof or water resistant jacket could be a life saver. Some people are also keen on wearing a trash bag as a poncho...I haven't done this but I've seen it many times!

4. Wear a hat!
This will help keep water off of your face so you're not constantly wiping your eyes. It can also help block the wind if necessary.

Aramco Houston Half - January 2011

5. Cover your electronics.
If you're going to carry a phone or iPod, be sure to put them in a plastic baggie. The last thing you need is a dead phone after a grueling run in the rain. You deserve to be proud and happy, not pissed about needing a new phone!

6. Don't forget to take in fluids.
Rain is similar to sweat and it will cool your body down. Often times when our bodies are cooler during a run, we drink less which will cause runners to become dehydrated. Dehydration doesn't just happen on the nasty, hot and humid runs. Be sure to drink plenty of water or sports drink so that you don't hit a wall or end up feeling awful after your run. 

7. Be visible!
During a race when there are tons of other people around you {see below} visibility isn't really necessary. However, if you're out running alone or even with a few people, you need to make sure cars, bikes and other pedestrians can see you coming. Rain alters our vision and depth perception, not to mention it's usually gloomy or dark outside. Be sure to wear reflective or bright colored clothing or even wear a blinky light!

Chevron Houston Marathon - January 2013

8.Remember that it is a GLORIOUS day for running.
At this point, you're out there and running. You had the power to stay in bed, but you chose to be a runner instead. Celebrate that you have the ability to be running whether the weather is good or bad. Whether it's a race or a regular old run. You have the will power to be a champion. Keep it up and just have fun!

9. Bring a change of clothes...or at least a towel!
After the race or training run is over, you probably don't want to head back home soaking wet. Especially if it's cold outside or if you have to wait for a bit before you can head home. If changing clothes isn't feasible, grab a towel to put on you car seat. This will at least keep your car from getting too wet!

10. Stuff your shoes with newspaper after your run.
This will help draw water out of your shoes while maintaining their shape. Whatever you do, don't stick then in a dryer or use heat to dry out your shoes. I promise you'll regret it. 

So there you have it! Not every race day is going to have ideal conditions, so make sure you're also training in less than ideal weather even if it doesn't sound quite so appealing. I promise you'll be glad you did it come race day. The most important thing to remember as always is to stay safe and listen to your body. Know when to push yourself and when to back off. You know you're body best :)

I hope y'all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Try to squeeze in a run or a workout to kick some of those Thanksgiving weekend calories!
Anyone running in a Turkey Trot?!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Quick Trip to Calgary!

So I have yet another picture post for y'all today! Last week, y'all may have noticed that I disappeared for a few days...I was off to Calgary! JP had to go up there for work and I had never been so I wanted to go! Luckily I was able to get a plane ticket on my United even though I was only there Wednesday to Friday, it was worth the quick trip.

JP picked me up from the airport and took me to a nice dinner near our hotel at a nice restaurant called Joey Barlow. There was an issue with JP's meal because the crab meat for his sushi was still frozen. The manager came by and it was really no big deal to us, granted I was very hungry, but it wasn't her fault they ran out of crab. Instead he had an avocado roll and we ended up getting our $70 meal for free! Not a bad start to my trip to Calgary :)

Thursday JP had to work, so I took off to downtown for some exploring. But first we had to stop for breakfast at Tim Horton's...they're about as abundant as Starbucks in Houston...if not even more! After breakfast, I took the train straight into downtown {all by myself I might add :)} and headed straight for their mall!

A smile in my Pumpkin Spice Latte

Once I got downtown, I walked around a lot in their above ground tunnel system and eventually made it to the mall where I went straight to the indoor gardens on the forth story!

I loved walking around the gardens indoors since it was so freaking freezing outside! And of course, the gardens were followed by lots of shopping in The Core downtown shopping mall. I managed to get a few super cute sweaters and tops for my trip to New York!

Later that day, once it warmed up a bit, I took a stroll down the historic Stephen Avenue which is an outdoor pedestrian mall! I took a pit stop at the Calgary Tower and paid for a trip to the top to get an amazing view of the city.

From the bottom!

From the top!

I loved the glass viewing deck that you could step onto. I'm not afraid of heights at all, but JP is. He quickly said that he was glad that I was able to go do that without him :) After the tower, I went to explore Olympic Park before heading back to the train.

JP picked me up from the train station and we decided to grab a drink before going to dinner. Oddly, Chili's had a good happy hour deal, so we dropped in and I HAD to snap a picture of the restaurant. Apparently, Chili's is a Texas Grill everywhere outside of the US...who knew?

Dinner followed at another nice restaurant called Earl's! And I was so hungry that no pictures were taken...ooops! Then we headed back to the hotel and jumped into the hot tub for a bit to warm up our frozen bodies.

Friday morning started early with a quick workout followed by breakfast again at Tim Horton's! This time I got a Christmas cup!

Since our plane didn't leave until a little after 1:00pm, we decided to push our luck and head out to the Christmas Market at Spruce Meadows! I even got to see real live reindeer!

They loved me...duh

We walked away with an ornament from Canada, some toffee and peanut brittle and some beautiful candles! I'm so glad that we decided to squeeze it in even though we didn't have a ton of time.

It was a super quick trip but completely worth it if you ask me! I love exploring new cities...especially in different countries! Calgary lived up to my expectations and I really want to go back when it's a little bit warmer!

Do you like randomly exploring new cities or do you prefer to have a set plan?
What cities have you visited recently for a quick trip?

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Monday, November 25, 2013

And they lived happily ever after!

Happy Monday loves! I have a very fun and happy post for y'all today. Everyone loves a good love story and quite frankly, I have a great one to share with y'all. On Saturday, I was able to witness two amazing friends marry each other. Two friends that I have known for many years and are very close to my family. In fact, I know them through my sister. But to me they are my friends, and I hold them near and dear to my heart.

The wedding was beautiful and the Timmer/Gougler/Vorkinn Clan definitely showed up. And let me tell you, we know how to party. Now I'll let the pictures do the talking. I actually brought my DSLR and it was an excellent decision!

On Saturday, November 23rd John and Kelsey were married in St. Laurence Catholic Church presided by Father Drew Wood. Guess what? That's exactly the same place and person who married JP and I! It was so special to see them married there as well.

My sister did the first reading! But the picture I got was crummy because I didn't want to be rude taking pictures during the scripture!

Their theme was Disney and fall which is perfect because it's fall and they're going to Disney World for their honeymoon! How awesome is that? I'm super jealous. I loved the adorable sign the ring bearer was holding! And you can just see the love and joy on their faces!

And of course we had to get some family pictures at the church while we were at it!

Ole - Char - Matt- Emily - Dad - Mom - Me - JP 


Love this...Daddy stole a kiss :)

I love this man to pieces!

The reception was at Safari Texas which is also where JP and I had our reception, but it was in a different room. I loved the room, the grounds, the decor, EVERYTHING! did an amazing job girl!

If that cake isn't absolutely adorable, I don't know what is! It tasted delicious as well!

Kelsey had all the details covered. From the signs up at the bar, to the music, to the name cards and table signs. I loved the attention to detail!

Girls with the bride! Lauren - Emily - Kelsey - Char - Me

Emily, John and in crime. Emily met John as soon as he moved to Texas in 2004-ish and he quickly became a member of the Timmer famiy :)

I wish someone would have told me about how awesome my hair looks right here...

 After dinner and the first dances, we were ready to party, dance and take way too many pictures :)

The photobooth was AMAZING! We were in it all night long :)

They also had glow sticks...hello awesome. This is apparently my fierce face...

At some point, the dance floor got a little crazier and the pictures got a little blurrier :)

I'm really getting into Party in the of my favorite wedding songs to dance to!

Clearly we had a great time and I'm positive the Bride and Groom had an amazing time too. Thank you John and Kelsey for letting us join you on your special day. We can't wait to watch y'all grow closer to one another and God each day. I hope you know we love y'all to pieces! Here's to Mr. and Mrs. John Messer! {P.S. Kelsey, I'm going to put all the good pictures on Facebook and I'll get you a CD with all 250 that we managed to take :)}

What's y'alls favorite part of weddings?

I'll be back tomorrow to tell y'all all about Calgary!

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