December 18, 2014

Race Recap: Mt. Juliet Holiday Half Marathon

A few weeks ago, I ran my sixth half marathon, the Team Magic Mt. Juliet Holiday Half. This was the race I signed up for while training for Ironman 70.3 Augusta, to have something to train for after my 70.3. The last half marathon I ran (aside from Augusta) was the Oak Barrel Half last April, and I PR-ed at that race. For you non-runners, a PR means your best time, or "personal record". Here are my half marathon stats:

Tom King, 2012
2:43, 11:41 avg min/mile

NOLA, 2013
2:52, 13:04 avg min/mile

Oak Barrel, 2013
2:50, 12:55 avg min/mile

Oak Barrel, 2014
2:34, 11:46 avg min/mile

IM 70.3 Augusta, 2014
2:53, 13:16 avg min/mile

*Holiday Half, 2014
2:22, 10:46 avg min/mile

I set a new PR at the *Holiday Half with a finish time of 2:22, beating my previous PR by 12 minutes. I was hoping to PR at this race. I've gotten a lot faster, plus I'm 20 lbs lighter. I've run a lot of my long runs at a 9:30 - 10:00 min/mile pace, so I was hoping to run this at 10:00 and finish at 2:12. I missed my goal by 10 minutes, but I'm still proud of my 2:22 finish time, especially since I ran wearing a full-length, fur-trimmed Santa Claus apron, which, P.S. I highly recommend because those apron pockets hold everything!

I ran this race totally wrong. My fastest mile was my first mile, which is the absolute wrong way to run a long distance race. You're supposed to start about 30-60 seconds slower than your race pace, so I should have been running a 10:30 or 11:00. I paid the price when I hit MOUNTAIN JULIET at mile 3.

Mile 1 - 9:17 (DUMB)
Mile 2 - 9:31
Mile 3 - 11:24

This part of the race was actually through the main drag of Mt. Juliet (I think. I don't know Mt. Juliet). Two things: 1) a Hardee's advertising a special bologna and Velveeta breakfast biscuit, which made me dry heave, and 2) a Dairy Queen turned Christmas tree depot with these cute little wooden reindeer, one with polka dots. Because common sense factored into no part of this race (see: mile 1) (see also: my outfit), I spent about 30 seconds debating whether or not I could run with that polka dotted reindeer under my arm. Spoiler alert: I didn't. I don't run with money, plus, John is still mad about that snowman chiminea I brought home.

Mile 4 - 10:49
Mile 5 - 9:48
Mile 6 - 10:06

I started this race running alongside Melanie, but she dropped me early on. I caught up to her around now and we fell back in step with each other. This part of the race curved through a residential neighborhood. It felt very East Nasty. Somewhere in here is where my knee started to give out. Of course. I walked a little bit, but was mostly okay and able to run back out of the neighborhood.

Mile 7 - 10:16
Mile 8 - 10:38
Mile 9 - 10:59

These miles were not fun for me. I was still with Melanie, but we were both having trouble. Me with my knees and Melanie with her IT band. This part of the race, visually, was also super boooooring. I spent a long time in my head asking myself why I continue to do these things. This is not fun. My body is not enjoying this. Swim Bike Mom calls this the Pain Cave. I was definitely in my pain cave.

Mile 10 - 11:35
Mile 11 - 12:07 (pain cave)
Mile 12 - 11:59

I was doing a run/walk interval for these last two-ish miles and it was actually helping. We were also running back through town and people were honking and waving. Nothing pulls you out of the pain cave faster than pride. I was going to run that last mile, in front of all those people. And I did. The last mile was great and I was able to finish strong (ish).

Mile 13 - 11:23
Finish time - 2:22:06 (a PR)

I run with a Garmin, so I knew I didn't make my goal time of 2:12, but I was happy to have stayed under 2:30. All of my pain dissipated as soon as I quit running, so I felt fine and went inside to get drinks and snacks and see my friends.

I liked this race! I didn't hear any serious complaints. A lot of people took issue with the road traffic and having to run in the shoulder on main highways. Hilariously, I didn't even notice this. That's either from being a cyclist or being a triathlete, but I never felt uncomfortable during the race. And then EVERYONE complained about the hills on this course, not because we can't run hills, but because it was billed as "flat and fast". For my fellow East Nasties, I looked at the elevation from The Nasty and this race is hillier.

Team Magic is great and they'll work all of this out. There are always kinks in the first year of a race. I'd run this again - it's cheap, it's close and it was fun to dress up. But next year, I'm carrying cash and buying that reindeer.

Full photostream here.

December 15, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up: Women Be Thrifting Edition

Friday morning was our annual holiday Pancake run and breakfast at Mary Katherine and Marshall's. We ran a cold 3 miles and then came in and ate a HUGE homemade breakfast. I'm talking monkey bread (with browned butter), frittata, cheese grits, biscuits, jam and Starbucks coffee. It was so nice! Love my Pancake girls. Bonus points if you spy the cat in this picture.

On Friday night, I met Katie and Alexis at POP for Otaku South. This was a whole lot of firsts for me. It was my first time at POP, and it was my first time eating ramen. I know. I have no excuse. I've been obsessed with eating ramen since watching Season One of Mind of a Chef with David Chang. I got the hot chicken bun, spicy paitan ramen, and they brought us these super tasty little bun/pies. I loved it so much! I also really loved the POP space. I'll definitely be back, #eatmoreramen.

I dedicated Saturday to Christmas shopping. Carolyn came out and joined me and we shopped until we dropped. I started at 10:00am and didn't get back home until after 4:00pm. It was intense. Carolyn took this hilarious picture of me at lunch. I was very confused about what was happening. She's calling it my 'wait, what?' picture.

I met my lady gang on Sunday morning for a 5-mile run in Shelby Bottoms. I wasn't sure I wanted to run at all, let alone 5 miles, but it went by super fast and my knee didn't bother me. Thanks, body! On my way home, I stopped at Red Bicycle and grabbed a latte (and then I secretly went back to Nashville West and bought more stuff - shhh).

John and I grabbed lunch at Thai Kitchen and then decided to hit the thrift stores on Nolensville Road. I hit the motherload at Music City Thrift. They had probably 15-ish of these painting in various sizes and prices, all signed by the same artist from 1971-1975. I wanted all of them, but I only bought this one. I also bought a box of Scripture cat cards, which some of you may see in your mailbox this week...

After Music City Thrift, we went on down the road to Thrift Smart. I kind of hate Thrift Smart, but their book selection is NUTS, so I always go. I'm going through a serious coffee cup phase right now in my thrifting. I bought all of these except the Expect To Win one because it was chipped. They were only a quarter!

On our way home, John ran in to Grimey's to buy the MOJO he's in and Rollum was there, so they made dinner plans for the four of us. It's always funny when the men make the plans. (John) "We're having dinner with Katie and Rollum!" (Me) "Okay. Where? When?" (John) "Oh, I don't know. But we're having dinner with Katie and Rollum!" Alas, a plan was made and we feasted on this fine array of vegetarian Indian fare.

P.S. You have got to see the rest of my thrifting pictures. Someone please go buy those paintings. Full thrifting photostream here.

December 9, 2014

Warby Parker + The Blonde Mule

Last week I was contacted by Warby Parker to help launch their new Concentric Collection. Other companies have asked me to do this in the past, but I've never said yes. When Warby Parker reached out and asked me to help, I gleefully accepted! I LOVE Warby Parker. Buying glasses is expensive, yo, but Warby Parker glasses start at $95, which includes prescription lenses. And for every pair sold, they distribute a pair to someone in need. You can read more about my experiences with Warby Parker here and here.

Murphy in Crystal with Hazelnut

Now, on to their new Concentric Collection. This collection introduces three new styles:  Benchley, Murphy and Everly. They're also introducing a new color:  Whistler Grey. I'm in the market for new glasses and am really feeling the Murphy in Crystal with Hazelnut (above). I like the idea of these clear frames against pale, pink hair, not that I have pink hair anymore, but hey, a girl can dream.

Everly in Whistler Grey with Fjord Blue

I'm also into the new Whistler Grey with Fjord Blue color combo. Maybe in either Everly or Benchley. I'm over tortoise and feel like these grey-blue frames will compliment the head-to-toe black I tend to wear all winter. They'll also go well with the matte red lipstick I'll be sporting until spring thaw.

Everly in Whistler Grey with Fjord Blue

I currently wear Warby Parker Ainsworth in Walnut Tortoise, but a lot of people have these big, round glasses and I'd like something that no one else has yet. Plus, when you lose a lot of weight, your face gets smaller and I'm interested in seeing what a different style and shape would look like on me now.

Benchley in Crystal with Hazelnut

Let's talk about prescription sunglasses. I'm into them. I bought my first pair two years ago and am honestly astounded that I didn't crash my car on a daily basis before wearing them. The pair I currently own is Warby Parker Winston in Revolver Black, but I'd like to upgrade to a new pair, especially since I cracked mine during a bike race this summer.

Benchley in Crystal with Hazelnut

It was a blast teaming up with Warby Parker to help launch this collection. It's hard to get excited about fashion when you're facing months of being bundled up in coats and scarves, but new glasses I can 100% get behind. Now I just have to decide which pair(s) I want for myself. Are you there, Santa? It's me, Kim.

Benchley in Crystal with Hazelnut

Warby Parker asked me to help launch this collection, but this is not a sponsored post. They did not compensate me in any way. As a long-time customer of theirs, I was thrilled to be asked to do this. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely representative of yours truly.

Warby Parker Concentric Collection available December 9 online and in stores; starting at $145.

December 8, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up: Holiday Half Edition

Re: my last blog post. I hope to one day be the kind of person who's not surprised by the quality of people around her. I didn't know what I needed when I wrote that blog post, but now I know what I have - an enlightened, loving, supportive friend-tribe. Today I have a heart filled with gratitude, not sadness. Thank you.

On Friday, I helped my friend Carolyn set up her booth at Porter Flea. I know nothing about the craft fair world and was astounded at how much work it is to be a vendor at one of these things. It took both of our cars and hours of work to get her set up. But it was a lot of fun. And! She gave me a necklace for my time! I took The Archer, which is her top seller and currently sold out (unless you snagged one this weekend). My second fav is The Mesa, which is still available (but hurry).

So the other thing that happened on Friday is.... MY HUSBAND GOT NOMINATED FOR A GRAMMY!!! This is his first Grammy nomination!

Late Saturday morning, I ran my 6th half marathon, the Team Magic Mt. Juliet Holiday Half. As you can see, a lot of my East Nasty friends ran it, too. My goal was to run a 10:00min/mi and finish in 2:13:00, but my knees gave out and I did a walk/run for the last 2-3 miles. I still beat my best time (2:34:00) by 12 minutes with a new PR of 2:22:00! My average pace was 10:46min/mi, #HAM!

It was a late race. I didn't get home until after 3pm, which gave me just enough time to ice my knees, shower and head to Mary Katherine and Marshall's holiday party. I usually dress up for this shindig, but A) none of my dresses fit me anymore, and B) I didn't trust myself in heels 4 hours post-half marathon, so jeans and Converse it was. Oh, and my new Acorn and Archer necklace.

Yesterday was super chill. Either I'm unusually sore from my race, or I've forgotten what it feels like to be sore. Regardless, I could hardly walk yesterday. John took me to brunch at The Stone Fox, which was DELICIOUS, and then we just lounged around the house all day.

Pssst -- I have a big, fun, surprise blog post coming up tomorrow morning, so stay tuned!

December 5, 2014

Major Case Of The Sadz

This isn't even written yet and I already regret it. So read it while you can because I'm probably going to delete it.

I'm grieving. I'm not going to say why because it's too personal. I'm uncomfortable applying the word grief to what I'm experiencing because so many people close to me have lost loved ones, but I am, in fact, grieving. It's huge, scary, and actively painful.

Because I'm resilient and extroverted, my good days are really good. I'm signing up for Half Ironmans! I'm writing funny blog posts! I'm starting a business! And those days are good, but they're not every day, and I think it's hard to help someone who looks like they're okay.

I'm not okay. I mean, I am, but I'm not. When this all started a few months ago, the initial grief took me down for a few weeks. But with the help of a good therapist, a good husband and good friends, I moved through it. And I was doing okay, until Christmas. Christmas has sent me spiraling back into the dark beginning of this process. In addition to being sad, I was also beating myself up for regressing. I felt like I had come so far and slid right back down to the bottom. A good friend lovingly pointed out that grief isn't linear, that depending on the situation, you can be in any one of the stages. (I'm bad about always writing in past tense, so it seems like this was some time ago. This conversation was last week.)

It's hard to see things you're not supposed to see and it's hard to lose things you're not supposed to lose. And it's especially hard to experience these things while training for a Half Ironman, starting a business and trying to pretend like you're not devastated about the holidays.

I told John yesterday that I feel crazy, like I've lost my sense of what's normal behavior for me anymore. I'm worried everything I'm doing is wrong and hurtful. I'm worried I'm a bad person. I have a lot of guilt for things that were done to me. I have guilt about having feelings about things that were done to me. I'm trying to be kind to myself, but yesterday I couldn't get there and it's not looking so hot for today either. John, who is wise beyond his years and who has suffered tremendous loss, told me that the times in his life when he has felt broken and lost, have been periods of growth. And subsequently, he thinks I am growing now. I hope he's right. I hope all this pain leads to a more evolved version of myself, but right now I just feel like a bear who keeps getting poked with a stick.

How can you help? Glad you asked. Grace and compassion. Just being present with me as I work my way through this is really all you can do. This is a lot of weight to carry and it helps me when you walk beside me and when you let me take the weight off and forget about it for awhile. I'm paying a mental health professional to give me insight and coping skills, so I don't need "answers", I just need friends.

December 3, 2014

Birchbox Review: October

Lots of good stuff in my October Birchbox. Let's dive in!

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream, $38

I have an eye cream that I like, so I don't go into eye cream samples with high expectations. I like this Balance Me eye cream, but I don't love it. The creamy texture is nice and it goes on smoothly, but afterwards the skin around my eyes is a little tacky. If you're younger and looking for a natural eye cream, this may be for you.

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips, $14.5

I love this stuff! Months ago, my friend Jenn let me try hers and I've been waiting patiently to receive my own sample. The name is weird, I know, but this stuff is legit. It's similar to Aquaphor, but thicker (and better). And you basically never have to re-apply it. I put it on before bed and it's still there when I wake up. This is going to be a game-changer for my lips during cold, winter runs.

Lord & Berry Paillettes Glitter Eye Pencil in Black, $18

I haven't used this yet. Honestly, it looks a little cheap. It's small and the packaging isn't great. Plus, I don't typically wear products with glitter. I may try it for holiday parties and report back.

Essential Elements Wake Up Rosemary Shower Gel, $19

I love this stuff, too! The minty scent is super strong, which I like. It's a very Christmas-y scent. Apparently mint and rosemary are natural mood-boosters, so maybe that's why I like it so much. The formula also has honey extract, which my dry, sensitive skin appreciates. I don't know if I can swing $19 for shower gel, but I want this.

Harvey Prince Petaly Noir, $55


December 1, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up: Thanksgiving Edition

On Thursday, I donned my turkey hat and drove to Belle Meade for the Boulevard Bolt. I've been starting my Thanksgiving day by running this 5-mile race since 2010. It does nothing to offset the insane amount of food I eat that day, but it sure makes me feel better about it!

We hosted Friendsgiving again this year and had a blast eating and drinking with our friends all day and night. We had more people than our poor, little eat-in kitchen could hold, which was honestly a dream come true for me. It was an awesome day and I'm grateful to have such fun, thoughtful and culinarily skilled friends. And to everyone I beat that night playing Cards Against Humanity, in your face, sucka!

Friday got off to a late start. Pie hangover. I lounged around all day until it was time for my hair appointment and then I begrudgingly put on makeup and pants. You're welcome, Jordan. I spent Friday night trying to get rid of all the wine and pie in my house, and then got on the internet (as evidenced above). Always a good idea. I should install a breathalyzer on my Macbook.

I picked up my shopping buddy Carolyn on Saturday morning and we did the Gallatin Galavant. We were a little early, but it was still fun. According to the pics I saw on Instagram, it got going later in the afternoon (search the hashtag "gallatingalavant" to see all the pics). Courtney at Hey Rooster General Store was giving out samples of her new sausage balls biz, Yalls Balls, and they were DELICIOUS. Check them out at Porter Flea this weekend. I highly recommend her Blue Balls. (I'm not kidding!)

As we're all painfully aware, Lisa Donovan has left Husk. While I'm happy for her and wish her the absolute best, I will miss that buttermilk chess pie. To celebrate (read: cry), Mary Katherine and I bought one of her pies to eat and drink over after Thanksgiving. We got together Saturday afternoon and ate that whole damn pie.

High on sugar, I came home and put up our Christmas tree. Every year, I say I'm going to get a nice, big, ALIVE tree, but no. I just keep putting up this artificial tree we bought at Big Lots for my sister's Christmas wedding in 2003. Maybe next year.

I'm running the Team Magic Holiday Half Marathon this Saturday, so yesterday was my last long, taper run. Melanie and I met Lana and ran 6 miles around West End/Vandy. It was actually a pretty tough run for me. Probably because I don't drink and I had done nothing but drink and eat pie for 3 straight days. But also, it was 64 degrees and my body forgot how to breath in non-20 degree weather.

After a stop at Dose for coffee and biscuits, I ran some errands with John and then we sat in front of the tree and almost finished Twin Peaks. We only have 1 episode left!

Full Thanksgiving photostream here.


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