Weekend Wrap Up [Christmas #1]

Our first couple Christmases together, we tried to do both families in one day. They were only two hours apart, so what could go wrong? A snow storm. That’s what. We got stuck in a snow storm coming back to NC from VA and I watched cars sliding off the road in my rearview mirror. The only time in my life I’ve been thankful my SUV has 4-wheel drive (otherwise not necessary in NC!). So, ever since then, we’ve tried to alternate. This weekend, we celebrated an early Christmas with my in-laws.

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My mother-in-law made a delicious dinner of fried turkey and delicious fixins for us and had a beautiful table where we dined.

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Santa came and was good to everyone, even the dogs!

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This guy has been obsessed with his stocking ever since we put it up. Every year he’s obsessed, but it’s to a new level this year. He seriously LOVES Christmas.

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On Saturday, we went to hear a storyteller at the Fearrington Barn. Donald Davis made us laugh, made us want to hug our families and made us want to visit the Grand Canyon but never ride a mule. If you ever have a chance to listen to him, DO IT.

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One of our families favorite things to do is play games when we’re all together. We’re big fans of Apples to Apples and Cranium. This year, we got new games which made us laugh until our bellies hurt. Smart Ass and Telestrations were this year’s choices, with Telestrations being played the most. Smart Ass challenged us all a little more with trivia but was definitely fun!

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On Sunday, after days of being tempted with cookies and squash casserole, I had to get in my 7-mile training run for the Key West Half Marathon.

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Not going to lie, I didn’t want to do it. I was a little sore from T25 the day before. It was cold outside. There was beer and football in the house. I had a million excuses. The first 4 miles SUCKED. I even took a break at one point and gave myself a pep talk.

IMG_8149Once I hit mile 4, I actually got in a groove. I felt pretty good and also, the setting sun sparked a fire under me (I am terrified of the dark so running after sunset is out of the question!). I got to see some pretty awesome stuff like the Fearrington House decorated for Christmas…

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And from the side:

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And I finished just before dark with my legs telling me I couldn’t run another mile and chills from my sweat combined with cool winter air. I didn’t hit my pace that I’ve been aiming for with my training. It was actually probably my worst 7 mile run ever but I told myself “Done is better than perfect.” And it’s true. I did it. It’s done. I ran 7 miles. Maybe not in 1:03 like I wanted to, but I did it.

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Oh, and my timehop reminded me on Saturday of a date my now husband and I had on our 6 month anniversary. Weren’t we cute?

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Hope everyone had a wonderful last weekend before Christmas (or just a good weekend if you don’t celebrate Christmas!). We’re both off work this week and excited to relax and spend some quality time together (and with our pups!). Happy Monday!

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Happy November + a running playlist!

I woke up to stories of snow here in NC, as well as in SC. We don’t have any in Charlotte, but we do have some cold rain. Hard to believe that this past Monday was 80 degrees, and this coming week we will be back in the 70s. Is anyone out there still denying global warming? This weather is craziness! And this weather pushed me straight to the gym for my first half marathon training run this morning. I don’t do rain and I especially don’t do cold rain.

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 11.57.27 AMYesterday, I registered for the Key West Half Marathon in January. I’ve wanted to do this race for years and since my birthday is also in January, we decided to make a birthday trip out of it. My husband even decided to do the 5k while we are there! Having a winter birthday and growing up in Virginia meant I didn’t have a lot of warmth or sunshine to celebrate my special day, so I’m thankful that this year, I will. Well, warmer than January in North Carolina, anyway.

11315_10100995262378323_6758311029683940757_nIf I haven’t told you before, I LOVE the beach. Don’t care where it is, as long as it has sand, salty water, and sunshine, I’m a happy camper. However, signing up for a January half marathon means winter training runs. So I’m going to need a lot of motivation, warm running clothes and some awesome music to keep me going. Luckily, the course is flat (Thanks, Florida), so I will have an advantage training on hills here in NC. I’m already prepared to train some on the treadmill, at least on rainy/snowy days, or days that drop below 45 degrees. My run this morning was 4 miles at an 8:53 pace. I’m pretty happy with that, but am also pretty positive I can’t maintain that for more than 5-6 miles. My goal for this race is to get it done in 2 hours or less. So, I need to be under (or at) a 9:10 pace for 13.1 miles. Whew! That’s what training is for, right?

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 3.16.06 PMI created a new playlist to get me motivated for training. I usually just put my iPod on shuffle so I’m not always listening to the playlist in the same order. Everything is pretty upbeat. I’m especially loving Florence + The Machine these days! I grabbed a few songs from Jen’s playlist to push me to the 2 hour mark. Now I know I have enough music to run 13.1 miles (or I’m going to have some quiet thinking time if I don’t get it done in 2 hours).

So, here’s to 13.1 miles, birthdays in Florida and some awesome music on this cold, rainy November day. What are your favorite songs to run/workout to? I’m always looking for new additions to my playlist!