Remember the Ten

This past weekend was Stillwater's "Legends Weekend." Am I a Stillwater legend? I like to think so. Clearly I had to make an appearance! The weekend festivities included the Stillwater Arts Festival, the Stillwater Public Library Book Sale, Cowgirl softball games, Cowboy baseball, the spring football scrimmage, live music events and the 7th Annual Remember the Ten run. Whew! What a line up.

The event of my choosing? The Remember the Ten 10k. Guys, this may have been the biggest athletic event of my life thus far. It sure felt like it to me, at least! I had stuck to my 12 week training schedule like white on rice. I was ready.....and I was nervous. Real nervous. I haven't felt that deep stomach butterfly feeling since 2008 right before my last Hunter Over Fences class (for those non-horsey people out there, thats a jumping event horse show). I knew I could do it, I knew I would finish, I just really didn't want to be last and I was super worried about side cramps (don't worry, I ate bananas at breakfast, they worked!).

I had planned my outfit, planned my race strategy, had a playlist ready to rock and had the perfect breakfast fueling me. What did I forget? To check the weather.... The tank top I packed wasn't quite going to cut it. Luckily Cole's parents have a closet stocked with athletic gear that I was able to raid.

As the race began, I really had to hold myself back. I wanted to rush out of the gate, keep up with the pack and get a head start. But I didn't. I saved it for the end, when it mattered (and I'm really proud of myself for that!). While running, I was constantly made aware that Stillwater has a lot of gradual inclines. I never noticed them while walking to class, but believe me, they are there (my still-tight calf muscles are all the evidence you need). I was also made aware that all the hydrating I did pre-race was effecting my bladder in a bad way. I had to keep myself from taking a pee-break in Ag Hall.

I was lucky enough to stick with two other girls for about 4 1/2 miles of the race. I called them Peachy and Frizz. The three of us were in constant rotation, passing each other over and over again. They kept me going when I started to slow down, and I hope I did the same for them. I was starting to get pretty tuckered out around mile 4, but after allowing myself to walk up a hill and catch my breath for a few minutes, my second wind finally hit. Mile 5 passed right by the house I lived in my junior year of college - I had walked this course on the daily. I knew exactly how far I had left before I reached the finish line. As I ran through campus, my adrenaline really started to kick in. I only had half a mile left.....I wanted to sprint. I started to, but then noticed I was ahead of my goal time. Slow it down, Amanda, you don't need to sprint just yet!

6.2 miles will make a girl look tired & flushed.
As I neared the home stretch, an older man who had already finished was cheering for me. "Its just around the corner!" he said. "Keep going!" Thats when I couldn't hold it back any more. I started going faster, I left Peachy and Frizz in the dust (sorry for beating you). I saw Cole, Ryan and Shiloh standing on the side lines cheering me on.... I noticed a lady in yellow who had been in front of me the entire race; thats when my competitive nature took over. I kicked it into high gear, flew past her, beat my goal time by three minutes and finished with a new personal record. I was pretty pumped to say the least. Not only was I not last, I did better than expected. Naturally, I wore my medal the rest of the day like some kind of Olympian.

A 10K may not be much for some of you, but for me, its a big deal. After working on my 5K time for two years, I was frustrated. I wasn't getting faster, I wasn't getting stronger; I was seeing zero improvement. I hated running. So, I decided that instead of running faster, I'd run farther. It was the change I needed. I'm still just as slow, but now those 5Ks are a lot easier. I'm way stronger. My breathing is controlled, my endurance is better and my attitude is a thousand times nicer. I actually feel accomplished and proud of myself instead of being frustrated. Running has become something I look forward to instead of dread. For any of you wanting to get out there and hit the pavement yourself, try this 5k, 10k or 1/2 marathon training plan. It worked for me when nothing else did.

What's next, you ask? Chloe and I have a several dog races in our sights - the See Spot Run race in Guthrie and/or the Rub-A-Dub Race for Rescues in OKC. She's pretty pumped, lemme tell ya.

Side note: I also have to mention that Cole finished the Remember the Ten run in 16th place over all. What. A. Stud. I'm one lucky lady!

Snail Mail, FTW.

I love getting mail, don't you? Normally my mailbox only sees bills. Bills, bills, bills. And a lot of way too tempting credit card offers and junk. To make up for this tragedy, I like to send myself goodies.  I could probably be featured on MTV True Life: I'm addicted to online shopping. It doesn't help that my Dad is now working for Amazon and gets a discount......

A while back, while reading my friend Danielle's blog High Heels & Shotgun Shells, I discovered the wonderful world of Birchbox. It is this snazzy little company that sends you a box of girly goodness for $10 every month. High end samples? Beauty products, hair and nail stuff, makeup? All tailored to my preferences? It just makes my heart happy.

After a particularly long week of work, I came home to a pink box on my doorstep. I saw it as I pulled in the driveway (I had been waiting patiently for its arrival). I felt like a kid on Christmas morning as I opened it.

This month, Birchbox teamed up with Women's Health for spring (each month has it's own theme!).

Considering I have been on a "health kick" lately (with the exception of the occasional juicy Big Mac and bag of Sour Patch Kids), I was pretty pumped. With my first 10k coming up this weekend, I need all the help I can get.

My April box included: Caudalie Divine Oil for skin & hair, Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Spray, Supergoop Daily Correct SPF 35 Sunscreen (perfect for those long training runs!), LaFace Laboratories Beautiful Eyes Cream, and Hail Merry Macaroons - mm, mm, mmm!

My favorites were the hair protector, oil, and macaroons. I mean, who can say no to "healthy" vegan, gluten free chocolate coconut macaroons?! Not me. Also, considering I have a long, thick mane of hair, I am constantly searching for new products to treat and/or prevent split ends. This stuff is a strong competitor - it gave me soft, tangle free curls without weighing them down. Birchbox, FTW.

Now that I am superficially ready for Saturday's Remember the Ten 10k with Supergoop sunscreen, the perfect running outfit, a kickin' playlist and a cute JUNK band, its time to get down to business. My last long run is today, then its countdown to race day. Anyone want to sign up to walk the 10k to make sure I'm not the last one to cross the finish line?? I will love you forever and pay you in cookies if you do....


The Paramount OKC: a movie lover's paradise

Whew, it's Friday. We made it, friends! Another week bites the dust. Can I get a hoo-rah?! 

I've discovered my new favorite place in all of Oklahoma City: The Paramount. It is a splendid little hangout spot for us laid back and creative urbanites. Do you like movies? What about the kind of food you'd find in your mama's kitchen? Homemade cookies and pie? Cheap prices? Cafe music? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, The Paramount is the place for you.

The cafe is open all day, serving breakfast casseroles, PB&Js, loaded grilled cheese, deserts and drinks of all varieties, plus $1 movie snacks. Popcorn, giant pickles and candy for a dollar?! Thats' right, kids. You betcha my Tall Drink of Water and I are all about making this our regular date night location. 

In a screening room filled with couches, overstuffed chairs and old school theatre seats, movies of all genres, old and new alike, are shown on the big (ok, maybe medium) screen. Its kind of like being in your friend's basement movie room - can't beat that. Every month has a theme. April is National Comedy Month, so naturally they are showing classics like The Princess Bride. Folks, I twuwy wuv vis pwace.

The best part? The Paramount offers a "Name your own price" membership. Yup. You read that right. One yearly fee of your choosing gets you a year's worth of movies at your fingertips. Don't be stingy, though, I really want this place to stick around! My one and only complaint thus far is Mr. Sniff-a-lot in the back row. I'm sorry you have a cold, sir, but silence is golden. Gethca some Kleenex, ok?

I'm crossing my fingers that a musical month is coming up soon - Seven Brides for Seven Brother's is the apple to my pie and the straw to my berry.... I may or may not have had a Barbie doll named after Dorcas and know the words to every single one of the songs. Speaking of songs, "Spring, spring, spring" has been on my lips all morning.

"Oh, the barnyard is busy in a regular tizzy, And the obvious reason is because of the season. Ma Nature's lyrical, with her yearly miracle, Spring, Spring, Spring."


never say never

What do you want to be when you grow up? The age old question... As a twenty-something girl with a college degree, I still don't know. Am I even a real grown up yet? Maybe not. I'd still like to think I could go to Neverland.... I mean, I didn't mature past the age of seven when it comes to cupcakes, puppies, Backstreet Boys, holidays or birthdays. And yes, I do believe all of those things should go together!

When I think about what I want to be when I grow up, its some kind of mix between a photographer, traveler, blog writer, magazine designer, decorator, personal shopper, cupcake & cookie maker, horse back rider, cooker, dog rescuer, puppy cuddler, taste tester, yoga-doer...... can that be a job? They say whatever you do when you procrastinate, that is the work you should be doing the rest of your life. If that's the case, I'm not entirely sure what my title would be......

Needless to say, I never in my life thought my job title would include the words "web designer." I guess I should have realized all those days I spent designing Xanga layouts in 2003 would eventually come in handy.... Country Cutie Layouts was a big hit, ya'll. I had mad skillz!

Come college web design class, I do believe the words, "I will never, EVER make another website in my entire life!" came out of my mouth a good 73 times. Well, in the words of Miss Frizzle, "Never say never."
Yeah, all you teeny-boppers, the Biebs did not coin that phrase.

After a good ten months of HTML-headaches (its a real thing), the biggest project of my life is finally complete: has been re-designed for the good of mankind. Go on, check it out! Tell me how impressed you are! Juuust kidding.... wait, no I'm not, isn't it fabulous?! I'm pretty proud of myself, and incredibly relieved to say the least. Now I think its time to celebrate - where's the champagne?!
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